Gun test: Weihrauch HW75
- Credit: Archant
Tim Finley tests the impressive Weihrauch HW75 single-stroke pneumatic pistol
There is a pistol in the Weihrauch stable that does not get the praise, or indeed the press, it deserves. The HW75 is only available in .177 calibre, unlike the spring-powered models which come in .177, .20 and .22., and it is based upon the spring-powered HW45, but has a single-stroke pneumatic powering system. It has the same safety catch and trigger blade, and from a cursory glance, without looking at the grips or the big ‘HW75’ emblazoned in white stencilled lettering on the left side of the action, you might not be able to tell them apart.
However, there are marked differences in the operation of the two guns; on the HW45, the exposed ‘hammer’ at the rear of the action is pulled back to unlock the top part of the action to cock the pistol, then the hammer locks onto the top action when the spring has been compressed, whereas on the HW75, the hammer is an actual hammer in the true sense of a gun.
To release the action there is a small catch to the left-hand side of the hammer, and pressing this in allows the top of the action to be pulled upwards. This is an overlever design, and you have to pull it up smartly up to overcome the partial vacuum in the pistol’s compression chamber.
When you have opened the action fully, you will hear a hiss as air is drawn into the compression chamber. Once the pellet is loaded in the exposed barrel under the top lever, it takes a fair amount of effort to close the action fully to its locked position.
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I would recommend applying the manual safety catch before performing the cocking/charging sequence. The safety catch is a small lever behind the trigger – a matching pair of levers actually, because there is one on each side of the pistol’s frame. When the catch is vertical, alongside the grip outline, it is in its ‘safe’ setting, showing as an ‘S’ moulded into the frame. Push the lever forward and an ‘F’ is revealed instead. For some reason, there is only a red dot, along with the F, on the left-hand side of the action, and nothing on the right. As I mentioned, the safety catch is not automatic, so do remember to use it.
Another bonus with the HW75 is that you can de-cock the hammer to make the gun safe again by taking the safety off, holding on to the hammer, then pulling the trigger and slowly guiding the hammer back to its starting point. I’d then put the safety catch back on. It’s best to leave it on ‘safe,’ cock the hammer and then only take the safety off when you are ready to shoot. When you pull the trigger, the hammer drops back to strike a valve release pin.
Over the chronograph the HW75 gave very consistent figures with weighed Umarex 7.6 grain flat-headed pellets. They were within three feet per second of each other. Power-wise, the pistol on test produced levels a tad under 2½ ft.lbs. The open sights on the HW75 have a slotted screwdriver adjustment for windage and elevation on the rear sight and a fixed post for a front sight.
This pistol has a 237mm sight base and in my six-yard loft range I was able to shoot a 10.1mm five-shot, centre-to centre group with Vogel match pellets, using a two-handed grip. Shooting the HW75 is a real pleasure. It is recoilless, and the trigger pull straight out of the box is superb; using my electronic trigger pull gauge, it came in at 520 grams or 1lb 2oz.
The grips play a part in the pistol’s shootability, unlike the plain, thin slab grips on the HW45, the 75 has walnut ambidextrous grips, billed as ‘sporting grips’ by Weihrauch, but are more ‘target’ than ‘sporting’ in my book. They have a stippled surface pattern on the lower half of the grip below the line of the thumb rest, and they’ll suit either the one-handed indoor paper punching grip, or more common for outdoor shooting, the two-handed grip.
Manufacturer: WEIHRAUCH SPORT
Country of origin: Germany
Distributor: Hull Cartridge / 01482 342756
Type: Single-stroke pneumatic air pistol
Barrel length: 170mm
Calibre: .177 only
Sights: Rear notch – adjustable, (with dovetail optical sight ramp)
Trigger: two-stage adjustable
Trigger weight: 520g (1lb 2oz)
Grips: Wood, target-style, stippled for grip (ambidextrous)
Overall length: 278mm (11 inch)
Weight: 1.2kg (2lb 11oz)
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