Weihrauch HW77K part 3
Part 3 of buying a Weihrauch HW77K Air Rifle.
In this article I will cover the .22 calibre HW77K in a bit more depth as this is probably my best
selling air rifle. With 95% of my customers being predominantly hunters with the occasional target
shooting foray, the .22 calibre with its’ large range of pellet availability, is an obvious choice for
those of you looking at purchasing a Weihrauch HW77K air rifle.
HW77K energy issues.
If you have read the previous article on the HW77K in .20 calibre, you should have noticed the
energy levels achieved between all 4 calibres. In particular, the energy levels of the .22 and .25
calibre are very close indeed, so close that I would hesitate to recommend anyone buying .25
calibre version over the .22 calibre HW77K at present. I say ‘at present’ as I am going to look into
tuning the HW77K in .25 cal and raise the speed somewhat which will in turn increase the energy output.
Why would I recommend a .22 over a .25 cal? Simply put, there are currently more pellet types
available for the .22 than there are for the .25 which in theory should allow you a more accurate
pellet selection. As the energy output is very close I would seriously recommend that the .25
calibre HW77K gets ‘kitted out’ prior to purchase whereby I can increase the energy levels (speed)
to take advantage of the additional pellet size and weight. I will go into this is more detail in the
article on the .25 calibre HW77K.
With the energy levels around 16 Ft Lbs the .22 calibre HW77K is an ideal rabbiting air rifle and
would benefit well with the fitment of a V-Mach Tuning Kit in FAC. It is also surprisingly accurate
out to 50 metres and some more, while still maintaining a lethal energy level for rabbits. Tuning
the Weihrauch HW77K is not really enough in the grand scheme of things as matching up a good
Hawke Scope or similar high quality scope is paramount if you want the best out of your air rifle.
The minimum Hawke Scope I recommend for the HW77K is the Hawke Sport IR AO 4-12 x 50 and if
you are shooting out to 50 metres or more, then consider buying a Hawke Airmax 30 SF IR in 6-24
x 50. This Airmax 30 scope has a 4” side focus wheel which doubles as a range finder and has the
ability to negate parallax error due to the ease of adjustment, the location of the wheel to your
thumb of your left hand and the small increments that can be dialled into the scope. It also has a
very fine Reticle that doesn’t block out small targets at distance, making it a very suitable scope for
shooting at a distance while supporting the accuracy ability of the Weihrauch HW77K in .22 cal.
The weight issues of Weihrauch Air Rifles.
I hear quite a bit about how heavy the Weihrauch HW77K air rifles are so I have taken this
opportunity to weigh the rifles and each individual stock for those of you who keeping bringing the
issue up. With the HW77K the weights are within 43 grams of each of the 4 calibres with the stock
weights varying to some degree.
- The HW77K in .25 Cal weighs 2840 grams with steel sights.
- The HW77K in .22 Cal weighs 2853 grams with steel sights.
- The HW77K in .20 Cal weighs 2857 grams with steel sights.
- The HW77K in .177 Cal weighs 2883 grams with steel sights.
Deduct 93 grams if you don’t have steel sights.
The Weihrauch HW77/HW77K & HW97K stocks (all interchangeable) weigh as follows:
- Thumbhole with alloy butt adjustment 1502 grams. (LoP 352mm)
- Thumbhole with synthetic butt adjustment 1412 grams. (LoP 350mm)
- Laminated Green/Grey & Blue/Grey 1377 grams. (LoP 360mm)
- Sporter 1 wood stock 1370 grams. (LoP 358mm)
- Sporter with Ambidextrous wood stock 1333 grams. (LoP 360mm)
- Sporter 2 wood stock 1206 grams. (LoP 362mm)
- Blackline synthetic stock 1185 grams. (LoP 353mm)
So there are the weights guys, so you don’t need to be Arnie to lift these air rifles, though free
standing shooting will need some degree of fitness I guess.
Beside the stock weights I have entered the Length of Pull (LoP), that is the distance from the
centre of the butt pad to the face of the trigger. It is pretty close for all of them but there is room to
take off some from the wooden stocks if you want a shorter LoP and of course, you can always add
a spacer or a new butt pad if you want to increase the LoP. To get the best out of your air rifle,
especially a springer like the Weihrauch HW77K, it needs to be comfortable as springers need all
the concentration you can get. The HW77K should fit you and not you fit the air rifle.
To Tune or not to Tune a HW77K ….
I have had to take the initiative and test fire every Weihrauch air rifle prior to shipment in an effort
to ascertain the correct pellet type that will perform in it. This has been bought about by
the frequent calls I get from new air rifle buyers who have just purchased an air rifle and started
shooting it right out of the box. It appears that the selling dealer just hands them whatever pellets
they have on the shelf in the belief that they will shoot ok, when in fact this is far from the case.
This pellet “miss-match” is not confined to just Weihrauch air rifles but all spring powered guns, or
‘springers’ as we call them.It does affect PCP air guns but to a lesser degree, though most PCPs will
perform marginally better with a specific pellet, like H&N or JSB.
I advocate trying out as many pellet types as you can lay your hands on and try them all, close up and out at a distance. You are chasing a good group here and not the ‘Bull’, as you can move a group around the target with your scope. The key that a lot of people is miss is that ‘placement’ (of the shot) is more important than ‘power’. In fact increase the power or energy if you want to call it that, then expect to find grouping a little harder to do due to recoil – I am referring to Springers here in general.
If you intend to buy a Weihrauch HW77K and use it competitively then you need to tune it or get it
tuned otherwise you stand a real chance of being an ‘also ran’. The degree to which you have to
tune the HW77K will depend on just what grouping you are prepared to settle for and the calibre
you choose. The smaller calibres like .177 and .20 calibres perform really well with a V-Mach
Tuning Kit when detuned from FAC to 12 Ft Lbs.
The HW77K in .22 calibre is more forgiving as the .22 is a more stable pellet and it handles a Tune
at FAC energies. Still, dropping in a Tuning Kit is not the end of the matter, you will still need to
shim the spring up and down so you can compare groups with various spring settings, and to do
this you also need to pump through about 50 -100 pellets first to settle the seal and spring. It is
quite a drawn out process but you will reap the rewards if you do it.
Tuning an air rifle with a V-Mach Kit is not a magic remedy or a bag of secret tricks, namely it is
replacing the spring, fitting a spring guide, new seal and shims. The spring is a different compound
and is slightly shorter and this is positioned within a spring guide. The seal is a custom PTFE seal
that needs bedding in so you need to be putting some pellets through the air rifle while you are
tuning it over several days preferably.
Once you have found the sweet spot for the spring shimming and your grouping has max’d out to
the best you can do, you will need to consider taking the tune a bit further, such as reducing the
trigger pull from 1kg down to (say) 300 grams or thereabouts, possibly fitting a custom trigger and
an air shredder. Once you reach this stage then glass bedding the stock and setting the scope
(aligning) is about as far as you can go other than fitting a V-Glide Tune Kit. From this point on, I
think I would be looking at a custom stock and doing further pellet research and trials. With tuning,
you never finish, it is an on-going sequence of trial and error followed by patience and tenacity as
you strive to reduce the “group” just that much more.
Final selection of a HW77K air rifle.
So if you are now concerned about what calibre to purchase, look at it this way. Do you intend to
hunt (at all) and if so what? If you are just about shooting the odd rat or Minor bird with
competition being you main interest, then I would suggest that you look at the .177 or .20 calibre
However, if you want to shoot rabbits a .22 or .25 calibre HW77K is the ticket and still quite
acceptable as a target rifle. While the .177 is quite capable of dispensing a rabbit, I am of the belief
that a slight ‘over kill’ such as a .22 calibre is warranted. I base this on experience and
conversations I have had with .177 customers over the years where I have been told repeatedly
that “I hit the bunny but it managed to get away…”. Not good. Hence my stand that the HW77K
in .22 or .25 is the better rabbit hunting tool as it packs more energy and has the accuracy
credentials required to shoot rabbits out to 50 metres.
Choosing the correct calibre requires some thought as does choosing the correct Weihrauch stock
where you have a choice of sporter or thumbhole and then wood or synthetic. If you are a hunter
and you do actually get out in the bush maybe you should consider the HW77K Blackline stock as it
takes the knocks, doesn’t suffer that readily from bruising and is both comfortable and light.
Those of you who intend to compete may want to look at wood with the choice of 6 factory stocks
as you will be handling the HW77K in a more controlled environment than that of a hunter. Please
note, that as of February 3rd, 2015, my new Rifle Stock Duplicating machine is complete and will be
leaving the UK this week. So hopefully by March I can add 2 more custom stocks for the Weihrauch
HW77K air rifle range, so please stay tuned by enrolling in my Newsletter.
Author: Ian McIntosh