Gun test: Weihrauch HW100 T FAC
- Credit: Archant
After visiting the factory, the editor gets his paws on something special from Weihrauch
Many of you will know that I choose to hunt with a high-power airgun in many applications and because of this I’m interested to see which manufacturers offer rifles that will suit my needs. Through years of testing and research, I’ve come up with the perfect ballistic recipe, which is a 16 grain pellet flying at 900fps. Interestingly I’ve spoken to many other researchers who have come to the same conclusion. Sure, there’s lots more power and bigger pellets to be had today, but for rabbits, squirrels and pigeons this is all the power I need. Also, at this level it’s still acceptable to shoot upwards without endangering people or property behind your shot, as long as you take reasonable precautions. You can’t say that of a 100ft.lbs. .30 calibre!
Whilst visiting the Weihrauch factory earlier in the year, I was offered the chance to try the export version of the now classic HW100. This uses a long (24”) barrel to maximise air efficiency, making it 48½” long, so it’s quite a handful. I asked if mine could wear a laminate stock with an adjustable height cheek piece and butt pad. This added some weight and with the MTC scope fitted, my rig weighs over 10lbs, a lot to carry for a long hunting session.
I have spoken to gun shops around the country and they love the HW100 because it’s one of the most reliable and durable guns they see, which of course is good news for anybody who buys one. It’s typically German, with very solid engineering and plenty of metal; nothing flimsy here. Despite having been around for a long time now, it must still be considered to be a very modern design. We’ve come to expect only the finest triggers from Weihrauch, and this one is no disappointment because it’s clean and completely predictable from the box.
The side-lever cocking mechanism is smooth and slick, cycling its 14-shot .22 magazine silently. This action ‘top-trumps’ many of its competitors in several ways; firstly, at 14-shots it’s one of the biggest around; secondly, it sits below the line of the scope rail, so never interferes with scope mounting and thirdly, and this is a big one for me, it cannot be double loaded. The mag’ only turns after a shot has been fired. Only experienced hunters will know why this matters so much, but suffice to say, we’ve all accidentally double-loaded rifles and missed shots because of it.
A neat safety lever can be found on the right side of the action above the trigger. This offers another subtle yet important feature in that it will not engage if the action isn’t cocked. This makes it an instant ‘cocked action indicator’, another feature that experienced hunters will appreciate. Being unsure if you’ve cocked the rifle or not can lead to double-loading problems, as mentioned earlier.
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The ambidextrous stock is rather a ‘love it or loathe’ it kind of style, but in this guise especially, it’s a highly effective handle. I believe that adjustable height cheek pieces are the future of modern airgun design, and guns like this only reinforce that view. By setting it correctly for my height and build, my eye is automatically delivered to exactly the right place to make the very best of the scope, with no hunting around first. This reduces fatigue, cuts parallax error and gets you on to your quarry quicker, all of which can make a huge difference to your success.
The air reservoir is filled to 200bar through a port and probe assembly at the front, right behind the pressure gauge. This has proven to be reliable as long as sensible precautions are made to keep the area free from dust and grit, which is best done by keeping the port plug supplied in place any time you’re not filling the rifle.
At the screw-cut muzzle, we find the rightly respected Weihrauch silencer that always was, and still is, one of the quietest you can buy. Many have tried to copy it but few have matched its performance. Despite the extra performance of the high-power model, the standard-size silencer is all that’s needed and this is a truly quiet rifle.
To check that the rifle was delivered as I’d requested, I ran it over the chronograph with Weihrauch’s own FT-Exact Jumbo .22 pellets that weigh 15.89 grains. They look very familiar to me and I suspect many of you as well. Unfortunately, the tin I was sent had been handled badly and quite a few of the pellets had been damaged. However, that should not have affected the chrono’ test and I need not have worried. The average velocity was 916 fps for a muzzle energy of just under 30ft.lbs, perfect for my needs.
Next month, I’ll report on the thing that matters more than any other factor – accuracy – and as the leaves are starting to fall, perhaps I’ll find a squirrel or two along the way.
Manufacturer: Weihrauch GmbH
Importer: Hull Cartidge
Tel: 01482 342756
Model: HW100 T FAC
Type: Pre-charged pneumatic
Action: Side-lever, rotary magazine
Trigger: Two-stage adjustable
Fill pressure: 200bar
Shots per fill: 36
Length: 48 1/2” (123cm)
Weight: 8.4lbs (3.8kg)
Spare magazine: £32.00
FT-Exact Jumbo .22 (250): £5.99
See more tests of the Weihrauch models below...