Follow-up gun test: The Weihrauch HW100BP K
PUBLISHED: 11:36 22 May 2019
The best things…are often found in the smallest packages - as the editor discovers
Last month you found me forced to choose between the new Weihrauch HW100BP bullpup and its Karbine stablemate. I went for the Karbine, although at the time I made the choice, I wasn't entirely sure why. I'm sure now and I've learned plenty since I sent back the 'full size' HW100BP and concentrated solely on its little brother. My newly-acquired knowledge of the BP K has also backed up certain beliefs I have about my own shooting, so this follow-up test has been a truly worthwhile experience.
The one element of this test I knew I didn't need to research too deeply, was that of downrange performance. The new Weihrauch bullpups are built around the HW100 platform, albeit with a repositioned sidelever, a re-jigged trigger linkage, plus the addition of the smartest sight mounting rail in the entire airgun world.
Starting with that sight rail; why aren't they all like this? In a head-shakingly simple 'best of both worlds' deal, the upper level of the rail offers a Picatinny system, which is mounted on a standard 11mm dovetail rail. Remove the Picatinny's fixing screws, slide off that section of the rail, and there's your 11mm mount, ready and waiting.
Repeat as necessary
As expected, the action and barrel of the BP100 K ticked along as it had from the very first hour of my initial range test, by recording exactly the same 11.5 ft.lbs. of energy and 12 f.p.s. variation over its 50-shot output. I kept a customary eye on the BP's ability to group by going back to a 45-yard paper target, whenever the gusting side-winds permitted. All steady, everything solid, and the limiting factors were that wind and my technique, exactly as it should be.
Other remarkable bits
When a rifle performs with such consistent reliability, those features that raise an already high standard of delivery are bound to make an impression. Such is the case with the HW100BP's ambidextrous grip, which earned itself uncommon praise from my clubmates at Bisley during the first phase of this test. That praise has grown with use and appreciation, and I can only endorse the award of 'ambidextrous miracle' I gave the grip first time around.
I met Hans Weihrauch at the IWA show and complimented him on the new bullpups in general, and the grip, rail and trigger systems in particular. He told me, 'they work as they should. These are important parts of any rifle and we always need to get them right.' Can't argue with that.
The BP100's trigger really is a fine thing, though. Weihrauch has that remote linkage running from the trigger blade to the mechanism proper, unimpeded by anything my fingertip can feel. Weihrauch has supplied me with excellent triggers since I squeezed off my first shot with an HW35 back in the 1970s, so yet again I can't say I was surprised, but it's always satisfying to use something so eminently fit for purpose as this precise, predictable, adjustable, 2-stage unit.
That front mounting rail
Regular readers will remember from last month's test that the abbreviated Picatinny rail section bolted to the Karbine's equally abbreviated fore end attracted universal criticism from my testing team. Just as outstandingly good features flag themselves up by their virtues, features that grate on eye, mind or body do the same, only in a negative way. That stubby rail is certainly outstanding, but only because it physically stands out. Whilst it might be useful for attaching a torch or laser, that rail affects the prime function of the rifle's fore end, and I don't believe that's a price worth paying.
The rail is removable, though, and that's what I'd do if and when I own one of these bullpups.
Fast, compact handling is a good thing…but
Just before I started to write this report, I had a phone call from a reader. He had shot off the tip of his middle finger while testing the effectiveness of a silencer he'd bought and fitted to another type of ultra-compact bullpup. He'd wanted to find out how loud his rifle was with and without the silencer fitted, so, after shooting it with its new silencer fitted, he quickly removed it and 'blatted off a few shots.' It was the third shot that hit his fingertip, and he sent me a photo of it. I'm telling you this because I don't want another such photo to exist.
The lesson here is, never, ever allow your fingers to stray within range of the muzzle. The practicality of this, in these days of ultra-compact rifles, is to prevent the possibility of fingers meeting high-speed pellets, by always using a silencer. Weihrauch supply a silencer with the HW100BP, and I suggested last month that the company should consider offering a shorter, fatter version. Having studied the photos taken during this test and noted the position of my leading hand in some of them, I hereby withdraw that suggestion, at least for the Karbine. I don't think I'd ever have a problem, but neither did the unfortunate reader who phoned me. Please, please, everyone who has an ultra-compact rifle in their lives; just be aware of this and take every preventative measure you can.
As stated, I learned a lot from this test. In addition to what I've already stated, I learned, once and for all, that 50 shots is plenty for hunting, and that my usual requirement per trip is unlikely to reach double figures. I also learned that this rifle and a manual charging pump are made for each other, and yes, I did use the pump myself.
Most of all, I learned that the new Weihrauch bullpups are pure HW, in their build quality, performance, handling and reliability. The HW100BP simply offers another route to excellence. These are fine rifles, indeed.
Model: HW100 BP and BP Karbine
Country of origin: Germany
Type: Pre-charged, multi-shot, bullpup sporter
Loading: Via removable, rotary 14-shot magazine
Trigger: 2-stage, adjustable
Stock type: Ambidextrous, soft touch hardwood, with adjustable butt pad
Weight: Standard 3.78kg (8.3lbs), Karbine 3.3kg (7.2lbs) unscoped
Length: Standard 835mm (32.8ins), Karbine 735mm (29ins)
Barrel: Standard 410mm (16ins), Karbine 310mm (12.2ins)
Fill pressure: 200 bar
Shots per charge: 50-plus in .177, 70-plus in .22
Variation over 50 shots: Average of 12.5 fps for .177s on test
Average energy: 11.5 ft.lbs.
Contact: Hull Cartrdige on 01482 342 571
RRP: £1160 includes two 14 -shot magazines, pus silencer and charging attachments