Weihrauch HW100 - test & review
- Credit: Archant
Gary Chillingworth enjoys a blast from the past when he revisits the Weihrauch HW100 rifle in this test and review
The Weihrauch HW100 is one of the best rifles on the market today, and if I had to have just one gun in my cabinet for target shooting, hunting and plinking and I wasn’t allowed my TX200HC, it would probably be the HW100KT. So, the question you might want to ask is, ‘Why is the HW100 so good?’
Well, first of all, we have to look at longevity. Weihrauch has a reputation for building fantastic rifles and these rifles are often handed down through the generations. This German manufacturer prides itself on build quality and precision and the HW100 has this in spades. It also has some of the best blueing that I have seen on any rifle, and a properly blued barrel will prevent rust and keep the rifle looking like new for many years.
Then there is precision. The rifle is manufactured to a very high tolerance and this is why the HW100 out of the box is one of the most accurate rifles on the market today. The barrel is all match grade and the trigger is a joy to use because it is fully adjustable and has a lot of feel. The rifle is regulated, although Weihrauch choose to call it an ‘air-metering system’, but this system is still a set of Bellevue washer, pistons and ‘O’ rings that regulate the output of the rifle. With weighed pellets it is very easy to get a 8fps variance over 60-plus shots in .177.
With a constant fps and a match-grade barrel and trigger, high levels of accuracy are extremely easy to achieve. From a prone position, a 10-shot group at 45 yards should be no bigger than a 5p piece, and at 30 yards the pellet should be going through the same hole every time, with ease. The rifle that I have been using for this test belongs to Team England shooter, Simon Vant. He used it to great effect at the 2013 World Championships at Kelmarsh, and as I used the rifle on the range, I could see why Simon has been raving about the HW for many years. He always sings the praises of this rifle, so when he suggested that I could borrow it for a competition I jumped at the chance and decided to take the HW100 to round 8 of the UKAHFT series and see how I got on.
The rifle had been scoped up with an MTC Connect and I was very much looking forward to using it. As I started to move around the course, the first thing that I noticed was how light the rifle was. At about 8lbs, the HW is a full 4lbs lighter then my normal competition rifle. This weight-saving had a real effect on my fatigue levels. Yes, it is true that I had just come off of a night shift and I was tired, but usually getting up and down with a 12lb rifle can take its toll on the knees, but this was not an issue with the HW. The same can be said for the standing and kneeling shots; the lightweight and short barrel length made manipulating the rifle extremely easy. There was a downside, though, with a heavy rifle it takes a fair bit to get it moving, and breaking the inertia of a 12lb rifle is much harder than on a 8lb rifle. I do find locking my comp rifle on target and keeping it still, easier than with the HW, but this was not a major issue, just something that you have to be aware of.
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As I shot the course, I was amazed at the accuracy that I was getting from this rifle. I was knocking long targets down left , right and centre, and the only time I was missing was because of wind – all rifles are different and I didn’t know how much wind this particular rifle took.
When you pull the rifle to your shoulder, it is very well balanced. It is the carbine version with a fully-shrouded barrel and is presented in a GinB stock, and it just sits in your shoulder with not effort at all. The barrel is just over 12” long and the shroud is 14”. The beauty of the FSB model is the noise; it is quiet with a side order of quiet, and if you fit a silencer to it, then you can take a shot and hear a sparrow break wind next to you at the same time.
I was shooting in competition, so I chose to use the single-shot adaptor, which sits in the same slot as the 14-shot magazine systems and it is a joy to use. You pull back the sidelever and the adaptor pops out; you then slot the pellet in the hole and push it back in, then close the sidelever and you are ready to go. It is simple, elegant and fun to use.
When you pull the trigger, there is no muzzle flip and the firing cycle seems completely dead with no movement at all. I shot 30 targets with this rifle and on a very difficult course I managed a 52. This score was comparable with shooters like Pete Sparks and Richard Bailey – two of the best shooters around – and considering it was my first time out with a new gun, I was very impressed by how intuitive it was to shoot.
A PERFECT RIFLE
The HW100 is the perfect gun for whatever you want to do and there is also a wide selection of models, from the K series carbine, to the T – a thumb-hole stocked version – to the new laminate and the FSB, and let’s not forget the original S. Then, if you don’t want the magazine system, you can get the HW101, which is a single-shot version. The HW101 is also the perfect rifle for ladies of smaller stature and youngsters because it is short, light and easy to manipulate, as well as big lumps like me.
I have been a big fan of the HW100 for many years and I am amazed that I have never owned one and to be honest with you, I am seriously thinking of rectifying that situation. The HW100 has a massive following and those people who shoot one, never seem to chop and change like the rest of us. There is an old saying, ‘Beware a man with an old rifle because he will know how to use it’. I think the saying should be, ‘Beware a man with a HW100, because he’s going to kick your backside’.
TEST OF TIME
I wrote this piece back in 2014 and I did go on to buy an HW100, or two. I am now the proud owner of an HW100S in .22, and a lovely HW100KT Laminate in .177. They have been great work-horses and apart from a small leak on the filler that was fixed with a £2 ‘O’ ring, they have been very reliable.
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