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The HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit – Should You Buy One?

Many people buy a Weihrauch HW30S from Airguns of Arizona and love it. For many of them, the next question is: “Should I buy the HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit that’s also sold by AoA”?

HAM recently reviewed the HW30S in .177 caliber. We loved it too and had no hesitation in giving it a HAM Gold Award. And we had the same question!

So HAM specialist springer tester Eric Brewer installed the HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit in the HW30S he had just reviewed and tested it again!

 

HARD AIR MAGAZINE TEST CONCLUSIONS

In this HAM comparison test, we found that installing the Vortek kit provided a better, less “buzzy” shot cycle, together with a lower Trigger Pull Weight. Fitting the Vortek kit also provided higher Muzzle Energy with lighter (7 Grain or less) pellets.

Accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency were better in factory condition. Cocking effort and Muzzle Velocity were the same in both configurations.

Subjectively, we didn’t detect any difference in sound levels. But the HW30S is a quiet gun in any case.

Read on for full details…

BUY FROM AIRGUNS OF ARIZONA
Weihrauch HW30S
Vortek Pro-Guide 2 Tuning Kit For HW30

OVERVIEW AND METHODOLOGY

Firstly, you’ll need to refer to our HW30S test review to get the most out of this story. I suggest you open that review in a second browser window to make it easy to swap back-and-forth, if necessary.

For this review, we are not going to go back over things that are unchanged by the HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit. We’ll be concentrating on the differences between the factory gun and the performance changes that are gained – or lost! – by installing the upgrade.

Here we’ll be comparing Muzzle Velocity, FPS Consistency, Muzzle Energy, accuracy, trigger pull weight and cocking effort.

The Vortek Pro-Guide 2 Tuning Kit for HW30 – to give it it’s full name, is sold by AoA for $89.00. If you want Airguns of Arizona to install the kit for you when you buy a HW30 from them by phone, they’ll happily do this for the additional charge of $150.00.

If you’re interested in installing the kit yourself, we’ll be carrying Eric’s step-by-step installation instructions in a future post. Here’s what the kit looks like…

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

For this comparison review, essentially we’ll be taking Eric’s test targets for the same gun in both conditions and comparing them. We’ll use a standard methodology of taking his test data and comparing it in a table and a graph. The graphs have “lines of best fit” added to the data points to show trends. Hopefully they’ll be useful to you.

Eric made sure to test the upgraded gun as closely as he could to the original factory, version. However there’s always some element of variability in testing. If nothing else, HAM testers shoot unsorted pellets “straight from the tin” as most people do. So there’s some variability built-in, as anyone reading HAM pellet test reviews will know.

As we make comparisons, we’re going to make the following assumptions:

– If there’s a difference of + or – 5% or less between the two test results, we’ll say there’s no change. (The difference is too small to really be valid).

– A difference between + or – 6 to 15% will be counted as a small improvement or degradation.

– If the difference is between + or – 16 to 30%, we’ll say there’s a fair improvement or degradation.

– Where the difference is greater or more than 31%, we’ll count that as a large improvement or degradation.

I hope that works for you. Let’s go…


SHOOTABILITY

This is the subjective part!

Both Eric and I found the HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit to provide sharper, less “twangy”  shooting. Maybe the lock time is faster. At any rate the gun felt less “buzzy” when fired. Cocking and firing actually felt more like a a gas ram gun when compared to the standard, factory configuration.

The HAM testers couldn’t detect any real difference in recoil, with or without the kit. In both cases, recoil of the HW30S is very low.

The factory gun felt great to us. The upgrade felt even slightly better. As Eric wrote in his test notes: “The gun is SMOOTH! There’s a slight refinement with the Vortek Kit.”

So far, so good. Now let’s move on to the hard data…

 

MUZZLE VELOCITY

Essentially there was no overall difference between the two configurations with an average difference of just 1.1% in favor of the upgrade.

PelletWeight, GrainsFactory FPSVortek FPSDifference, FPSDifference, Percent
Predator GTO5.0811.01843.3332.324.0%
H&N FTT Green5.56795.22833.3838.164.8%
RWS Hobby7.0677.07704.3727.304.0%
Crosman Premier HP7.9637.21620.39-16.82-2.6%
JSB Exact8.44624.92620.46-4.46-0.7%
H&N Field Target Trophy8.64617.45588.18-29.27-4.7%
H&N Baracuda Match10.65491.44494.593.150.6%
AVERAGE664.90672.107.201.1%

However there was a reasonably consistent 4 – 5% increase in Muzzle Velocity with light pellets (7 Grains or less) with the HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit installed.

This increase in FPS with light pellets has a larger effect on Muzzle Energy, as we’ll see below.

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

FPS CONSISTENCY

Average velocity is one thing. But – of course – the consistency of that average FPS is also extremely important. So this time we’re comparing the Standard Deviation figures for each of the 10-shot strings comprising this comparison test.

Standard Deviation is a mathematical equation that compares the level of variation in a set of numbers. In our case, it’s Muzzle Velocity.

As a lower Standard Deviation is better – more consistent – than a higher one. In this case higher values are worse.

PelletWeight, GrainsFactory Stan Dev FPSVortek Stan Dev FPSDifference, FPSDifference, Percent
Predator GTO5.08.886.08-2.8-31.5%
H&N FTT Green5.5615.0917.722.6317.4%
RWS Hobby7.08.068.830.779.6%
Crosman Premier HP7.95.9121.3015.39260.4%
JSB Exact8.444.586.321.7438.0%
H&N Field Target Trophy8.644.6910.345.65120.5%
H&N Baracuda Match10.656.555.56-0.99115.1%
AVERAGE7.6810.883.2041.6%

As we can see, the average Standard Deviation found using the HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit was not bad at an average of 10.88 FPS. However it was 3.20 FPS higher (worse) than the 7.68 FPS we recorded with the standard factory HW30.

In this case, the factory gun was clearly much more consistent, showing a lower Standard Deviation with 5 out of the 7 standard HAM test pellets.

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

MUZZLE ENERGY

Muzzle Energy – the “hitting power” of the gun in Ft/Lbs is generally calculated using this equation: (FPS x FPS x pellet weight)/45240.

So the calculation uses the  Muzzle Velocity squared (ie FPS x FPS). This means that small changes in FPS make a considerably larger change in Ft/Lbs.

PelletWeight, GrainsFactory Ft/LbsVortek Ft/LbsDifference, Ft/LbsDifference, Percent
Predator GTO5.08.038.690.668.2%
H&N FTT Green5.567.818.60.7910.1%
RWS Hobby7.07.137.700.578.0%
Crosman Premier HP7.97.126.75-0.37-5.2%
JSB Exact8.447.327.20-0.12-1.6%
H&N Field Target Trophy8.647.326.64-0.68-9.3%
H&N Baracuda Match10.655.715.80.091.6%
AVERAGE7.217.340.131.9%

Now our graph looks like this. It’s clear that installing the Vortek kit provides a fair improvement (8 – 10%) if you use pellets weighing less than 7 Grains.

But as the average figures show that there’s effectively no change between them (1.9%), we can also see that the Vortek kit actually produces a small reduction in Ft/Lbs when using heavier pellets – particularly the H&N Field Target Trophy pellets where the reduction was 9.3%.

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

ACCURACY

For this comparison, I calculated an area for each on-target by simply multiplying together the horizontal and vertical CTC figures.

Yes, I know that’s not exactly correct as the groups are not square. However, it’s close enough and at least treats all of the groups in the same manner for comparison purposes.

PelletWeight, GrainsFactory Area, Sq In.Vortek Area Sq. In.Difference, Sq. In.Difference, Percent
Predator GTO5.00.1200.057-0.63-52.3%
H&N FTT Green5.560.0830.0860.0033.8%
RWS Hobby7.00.1200.2140.09579.0%
Crosman Premier HP7.90.1010.3390.238235.5%
JSB Exact8.440.1060.1270.02120.1%
H&N Field Target Trophy8.640.0420.0500.00818.9%
H&N Baracuda Match10.650.0790.0480.031-39.6%
AVERAGE (10 Yards)0.0930.1320.03941.7%
25 YARDS0.4860.328-0.15866.6%

In both cases, accuracy was very good. But, as we can see, the 10-Yard accuracy results show the HW30S tested by HAM to be much more accurate (41.7% on average) than when fitted with the HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit. Again, factory condition was more accurate with 5 out of the 7 HAM standard test pellets.

 

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

The 25-Yard test results showed a different result, however!

The HW30S tested by HAM proved to be most accurate with 8.64 Grain H&N Field Target Trophy pellets. This was true in both factory condition and with the Vortek kit fitted.

The surprise here is that the calculated group area for the Vortek kit was much smaller than that for the factory gun. This was mainly due to the slight vertical stringing in the target for the original 25 Yard test.

Comparing the original targets side-by-side, however, we see that Eric’s group with the factory gun had a slight cant, as well as the stringing. This leads our simplistic calculation method to (unfairly?) penalize the factory condition target. Probably most people would rank the two groups as very similar in real size.

I’ll leave you to make your own comparison and conclusions here!!!

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

 

TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT

The effort required to cock the gun measured a peak of about 24 Lbs both in factory condition and when fitted with the Vortek kit.

However, I felt that the cocking effort started lower and built-up progressively (as with most springers) with the factory spring. With the HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit installed, seemed to be more consistently similar during the cocking cycle. Again this was a feeling that’s more similar to that usually found with a gas ram power plant.

 Original Pull, OzVortek Pull, OzDifference, Oz.Difference, Percent
Test 13937.6-1.4-3.6%
Test 20.08342.736.9-13.6%
Test 340.140.80.71.7%
Test 446.838.3-8.5-18.2%
Test 542.137.9-4.2-10.0%
Test 641.239.2-2.0-4.9%
Test 740.337.7-2.6-6.5%
AVERAGE41.738.3-3.4-8.1

The Trigger Pull Weight (TPW) was good in both cases, with an average 41.7 Oz for the gun in factory condition and 38.3 Oz with the Vortek kit installed.

Here the Vortek kit showed a lighter TPW in 6 out of 7 tests. And the 7th was very close!

Overall, the Vortek Kit gave a TPW that averaged 8.1% lighter than with the gun in factory condition. This change is completely due to fitting the Tune Kit, as Eric made no changes to the trigger assembly itself as part of this test review.

 

 

SUMMARY AND VALUE FOR MONEY

Installing the Vortek kit provided a somewhat smoother shot cycle for the Weihrauch HW30S, together with a lower Trigger Pull Weight. Fitting the Vortek kit also provided higher Muzzle Energy with lighter (7 Grain or less) pellets.

Accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency were better in factory condition. Cocking effort and Muzzle Velocity were the same in both configurations.

So, is the Vortek kit good value?

Eric Brewer’s opinion is that yes, it is good value. Actually, he already has a Vortek Kit installed on his own, personal HW30 and is very happy with it.

We’ll close with a final note about warranty coverage.

The HW30S benefits from an outstanding limited lifetime warranty that’s fulfilled in the USA by Airguns of Arizona. If AoA installs the Vortek kit for you, that warranty is maintained.

If you install it yourself, the warranty is voided. This is understandable and normal for just about any product, not just airguns. In the HAM Team’s opinion, we’d have AoA install the kit and keep that lifetime warranty. But we’ll be carrying Eric’s step-by-step installation instructions in a future post.

 

TEST TARGETS

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

HW30 Vortek Upgrade Kit

BUY FROM AIRGUNS OF ARIZONA
Weihrauch HW30S
Vortek Pro-Guide 2 Tuning Kit For HW30

This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.