Haenel Modell 303-Super Luftgewehr

salmon creek gary

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During tourist travel to East Berlin in the early 1980s (before the wall came down), I was able to buy a pretty nice air rifle for a remarkably low price. My sons and I enjoyed plinking with it off & on over the next few years, but it went into storage in about 1993 when we all grew up and went separate ways.

I recently uncovered that air rifle among a number of other things that we haven't touched for decades. All the parts seem to be there, and it still shoots; however, it has developed some surface rust spots. Wondering about value (i.e. is it actually worth restoring?), I found some markings indicating it is a Model 303 Super, manufactured in Suhl, Germany (which was still GDR at that time), by the Haenel company. A little googling revealed that the Haenel company, founded in 1840, is a rather well-known manufacturer of firearms. Yes, it's the same Haenel that manufactured the Schmeisser.

I'll try to attach photos so you can see what I have; if I'm lucky, someone might be able to judge whether it looks restorable. I would also welcome advice regarding how to go about it (or who to have do the work, since that would be totally new territory for me). I'm responsible for the out-of-focus pictures. Photography is also strange territory for me, although I managed some decent shots of the rust spots. The detailed shots showing the markings and foresight (all identical to mine) were cropped from some pics that I found on-line.

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20200411_185523.jpg 20200411_185557.jpg s08-14-09-05.jpg seec7dc43c2b2e287303c639229f73bae.jpg
 
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Andy54Hawken

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Neat air rife for sure.
I would suggest using bronze wool and KROIL for the removal of the rust...
A little dab of KROIL on the rusted areas , wait a few minutes , followed by a light rubbing / brushing with the bronze wool.

As for value....I'll give ya $25.00 to take that old rusty Commie gun off yer hands....:eek: :D
Just kidding here of course....I do like GDR firearms....but I have no idea of the value of your neat air rifle.
Andy
 

daved20319

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Looks like a poor man's match rifle, the stock design and sights are in line with that sort of use. Can't help with value, although German air guns are almost all high quality, and that one has some features that only top quality springers had. My suggestion would be to contact Pilkguns.com, they specialize in match rifles, both new and vintage, and if they can't give you a value, should be able to point you to someone that can. Andy's suggestion for rust is good, just don't get too carried away. A little rust won't hurt it's value much if it is collectible, major finish damage will. BTW, the sights alone could be worth a fair amount, they look like high quality, and being vintage will only add to their value. Personally, I wouldn't do a thing until I had some idea of its value.

Just out of curiosity, do you have any idea of its velocity? If everything is in good shape, it should be around 600 FPS, maybe a little higher or lower, assuming it was meant to be a match rifle. 800 would put it in the sporter category, much under 500 probably indicates it needs a tune-up, i.e. new main spring, breech and piston seals. Fairly easy job usually, assuming you can find parts, but you'd definitely want to do some homework first. Good luck, and if there's something I can help with, let me know.

Dave
 
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salmon creek gary

salmon creek gary

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Andy, thanks for the tip about bronze wool and KROIL. As to value, there seems to be little info on-line, only a hint that it might be worth a bit north of $25.

Dave, thanks for steering me - I'll be getting in touch with the folks at pilkguns. Velocity? No idea, but considering the lengthy storage time, it wouldn't surprise me if seals have dried. When searching info, I found some reference to a Sporter version of this air rifle. I think the E. Berlin shopkeeper told me that such air rifles are used for training. For what, I never learned; his English & my German didn't get beyond "training".
 
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I would estimate that Haenel at a realistic $325-$350. They were always a good medium+ quality. They were also good functionally. Yours is probably leather sealed. Silicone or Ballistol should rejuvenate the seals. The above information in the other posts seems correct to me.
 

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