3 AirForce PCP Air Rifles

AirForce PCP Air Rifles

The American made AirForce Texan, Condor and Talon PCP air rifles are popular world-wide due to their power, accuracy and price and have built a reputation for reliability along the way. This very simple design and even simpler operating system has air rifle enthusiasts tuning, customising and adding accessories, a bit like ‘Barbie’ for Men.

Below I have the AirForce Talon over the Condor over the Texan to give you an idea of size.

AirForce Talon, Condor and Texan

AirForce Talon, Condor and Texan.

In this article I am going to touch on the AirForce Condor and Talon PCP air rifles due to their similarity with one another. The AirForce Texan I will leave for another article.

AirForce Condor

AirForce Condor with Hawke Airmax 30 Scope and Bi-Pod.

First impressions of the Texan, Condor and Talon PCPs.

My first thoughts when I saw an AirForce Condor and Talon was they looked too simple and more like a toy than a real PCP high power air rifle. Pick one up and your whole perception changes as it is very well balanced and solid air rifle with composite grips rather than wood. This departure from the ‘norm’ by using a pistol grip and an almost Military DNA has not been lost on other air gun manufacturers who have followed suite, taking a huge slice of the air gunning market in doing so.

All the AirForce Texan, Condor and Talon PCPs come in a flat black finish with 11mm rails on the ‘handle’ which takes the scope, forward of that to the barrel and underneath to accommodate accessories like a Bi-Pod or torch. The pistol grip is moulded composite with a very basic yet functional trigger and safety incorporated within the trigger guard while the chassis of the rifle is anodised flat black aluminium.

The high-pressure cylinder is directly behind the breach and functions as the butt with a detachable and adjustable butt pad – not really a pad but a simple plate. Due to the diameter of the cylinder I found it necessary to mount the scope using ‘High’ mounts so that I could get a good cheek weld and comfortable stance. Due to the light weight of these AirForce guns it is very easy to shoot off-hand and carrying one of these air rifles through the bush while out hunting is a bonus due to the light weight and ergonomics of the design.

Looking more closely at these AirForce PCP Air Rifles.

If we start with the air cylinder and move forward, there is a small air pressure gauge on one side and a filling nipple on the other side which is a Foster fitting.

AirForce Talon Breech

Close up of the Loading Arm, Trigger Assembly, Top Hat and contents Gauge.

Forward of the gauge pictured above, you will see the almost military style trigger and in front of that the safety which is automatically applied upon loading. The safety can be moved to ‘Fire’ with the trigger finger and be re-applied to ‘Safe’ just as easily.

The Texan, Condor and Talon are single shot, unregulated PCP air rifles that load very easily and quickly. Loading is accomplished by pushing forward on the top mounted bolt that is situated on the upper side of the housing so that it exposes the loading breech and Top Hat assembly. The image above shows the air rifle cocked and in the loading position, ready to accept a pellet manually. Pull back the bolt and slide it either left or right into a detent machined into the chassis and it is ready to go.

The silver Top Hat you see in the Condor/Talon image above is the key to the power of the AirForce Condor and Talon PCP air rifles: it sits in front of what I would describe as an air control valve; that is depressed into the air chamber valve by a hammer that impacts it under the bolt when fired. When you push the bolt forward, you are in fact compressing the hammer spring and moving the hammer into the forward position. Upon firing, the internal hammer slides back and impacts the Top Hat that in turn momentarily enters the air chamber valve and releases a high-pressure charge of air that propels the pellet. The AirForce Texan is but a much larger version of both the Condor and Talon as it handles much larger projectiles.

AirForce PCPs also have a power regulator on the front left side as seen in the image below. Power is regulated by turning the micrometer style wheel that is numbered 1 to 16, this in turn moves an indicator along a slide to the right of the wheel, numbered 1 to 12. Understand this, the power regulator does NOT regulate the gun from “0” to “100%”, it only regulates it through a10-25% power base, depending on the tune of the air rifle.

Power and speed adjustment does not stop there as you can add shims behind the Top Hat or alternatively, wind the Top Hat in or out and re-secure with the 2 grub screws. There are also aftermarket Top Hats with large ports that can increase the power substantially or reduce the power by fitting different air jets into the Top Hat port.

Changing the Top Hat to a tuned version is my preferred method and then tuning this by adding shims or regulating jets will get you the speed or power you want. Changing out the Top Hat takes about 20 seconds if you have 2 flat faced screwdrivers handy. Adding shims or taking some out will add another 20 seconds or so, can’t be easier than that, can it?

For you guys interested in Tuning AirForce Guns for speed or power, my next article on the AirForce Condor and Talon is entirely about tuning, whether you are after 100 ft lbs energy out of the Condor or you want a high shot count between refills, I will show you how it is done.

PCP Power Adjuster

Condor Side-wheel Power Adjuster

The feature video below is on the AirForce Condor SS which is a noise supressed version of the standard Condor that we have here in Australia. The fundamentals are the same with the exception that the SS is shrouded, so please watch these 2 videos for a good insight to the overall performance of the Condor.

 

 

 

AirForce Condor and Talon Specification.

Condor PCP

AirForce Condor with Hawke Scope and folded Bi-Pod

AirForce Condor
Length OA: 980mm
Barrel Length: 600mm
Barrel: Made by Lothar Walther
Available Calibres: .177, .20, .22, .25.
Weight OA: 2.904 kilos
Air Reservoir Volume: 490cc
Fill Pressure 200 Bar
Air Reservoir Total Length (excluding Mts) and Diameter: 328mm x 60mm
Condor .22 Cal with H&N Baracuda 21.14g gave 1162 FPS (354.18 MPS) and 63.40 Ft lbs. Energy (85.98 Joules).
Condor .25 Cal with H&N Baracuda 21.14g gave 1090 FPS (332.23 MPS) and 81.86 Ft lbs. Energy (111.01 Joules).
AirForce factory standard results with Power Wheel set to Max.

 

Talon Air Rifle

AirForce Talon with Hawke Airmax 30 Scope and folded Bi-Pod

 AirForce Talon
Length OA: 827mm
Barrel Length: 400mm
Barrel: Made by Lothar Walther
Available Calibres: .177, .20, .22, .25.
Weight OA: 2.635 kilos
Air Reservoir Volume: 490cc
Fill Pressure 200 Bar
Air Reservoir Total Length (excluding Mts) and Diameter: 328mm x 60mm
Talon .22 Cal with H&N Baracuda 21.14g gave 888 FPS (270.66 MPS) and 37.02 Ft lbs. Energy (50.21 Joules).
Talon .25 Cal with H&N Baracuda 21.14g gave 793 FPS (241.71 MPS) and 43.33 Ft lbs. Energy (58.76 Joules).
AirForce factory standard results with Power Wheel set to Max.

Caveat: Please note that the exact air pressure, relative temperature and humidity will all play a part in the output speeds of any air rifle.

Summarising the AirForce PCPs.

If you are looking for a lightweight and fully self tunable PCP for hunting or target work, then you must look at these PCP air rifles guys, trust me here, they are a lot of fun. I will be able to supply you with what tuning bits you want to allow you to tune them yourselves or I can do it for you, your call.

We are all too familiar with pellet choice when one is looking for accuracy, then if you fall into this category of searching for precision, then consider this: these AirForce PCPs allow you to adjust the speed/power through the power control on the side, after-market Top Hats and shims, regulator, sizing jets and different barrel lengths. I can’t say that many other air rifle manufacturers can give you a product that versatile when it comes to customizing as does the AirForce range of PCPs.

Brocock Bantam Soft Touch Air Rifle

Brocock Bantam from Gunroom, Part 2 of 2.

The Brocock Bantam PCP Range.

Following the introduction of the Brocock Compatto into Australia, they have now followed up with the Brocock Bantam in several different power and air cylinder packages and a choice of wood or synthetic on a modern design of their ladder frame stock. Then, more recently they have changed to the MKII models and introduced a new air rifle, the Commander which will be to feature of another review in August 2018.

At the time of writing this, I have on order more of the extremely popular Compattos and a range of Brocock Bantam MKIIs that should arrive late July 2018. Those of you with an interest in the Brocock Compatto or the new Bantam PCPs, please contact me early as these Brocock PCPs disappear very quickly.

The Brocock Bantam CF PCP.

This Brocock Bantam CF PCP air rifle comes with a Carbon Fibre wrapped air cylinder of 480cc that is just over 3 times the capacity of the Brocock Compatto air cylinder. This increase in air capacity is going to notch up the shots per air fill from that of the Compatto that we have found to be 48+ shots on the High-Power setting. Before you get out your calculator to do the maths on this, save yourself the trouble because it will not work out at 3.2 x 48 Shots because of the increase in power with the Bantam (and so more air).

Some of the first things you will notice when comparing the Bantam PCP with the Compatto apart from the air cylinder, is the side mounted air gauge and the adjustable cheek piece.

I shall be reviewing each of these new bantams once they get in and as usual I will give you the results, be they good or bad. In saying this however, the Compatto with it’s slim line air cylinder is a joy to fire, very accurate and with 48 usable shots it is comparable to the Weihrauch HW100K. Put up the energy by 5 Fpe and with the increase the shot count, the Brocock Bantam will eclipse the HW100K’s shot count as well the larger and more powerful HW100 while equalling the latter’s energy output.

By fitting the Bantam air rifle with a carbon wrapped bottle the overall weight will be reduced somewhat and that will be more noticeable in the balance than in carrying it. The 2 images below are the synthetic ladder frame stocks similar to what we have seen in the Compattos. These differ in the fact that they have an adjustable cheek piece and a wider fore-end to accommodate the fatter air cylinder. It is worth noting that the Bantams with the synthetic stocks are referred to a “soft touch” while the Brocock Compatto is referred to as a Polymer stock. I will elaborate on any difference when these guns arrive here.

Brocock Bantam CF

Brocock Bantam CF Model in ‘soft touch’ synthetic.

Bantam CF

Brocock Bantam CF

Based on the Bantam above there is also this stained Beech wood stock for those purists who haven’t yet made the transition from wood to synthetics. Set against the matt black action and shroud the wood does have an appeal that is difficult to overlook.

Bantam CF in Beech

Brocock Bantam CF in Beech

Brocock Bantam CF Beech Stock

Bantam CF in Beech with a MTC Viper Connect

The Brocock Bantam 400.

Below is the Soft Touch version of the Brocock Bantam PCP with a 400cc air cylinder. What the advantages or disadvantages are between the 400cc and the 480cc carbon wrapped bottle I have yet to establish, apart from cost that is.

Bantam 400 Facing Left

Bantam 400 ‘soft touch’ synthetic.

Brocock Bantam 400 synthetic

Brocock Bantam 400.

The Bantam 400 in wood below looking much like the Bantam CF model with the exception of the air cylinder.

Bantam 400 with Beech Stock

Beech Stock On A Bantam 400

Brocock Bantam 400 Beech

Bantam 400

The Brocock Bantam 500 PCP with the large capacity Cylinder.

One look at this PCP and you can see where Brocock are going with this large air cylinder that will surely benefit the .25 Calibre shooters in shot count. The .25 Cal does not come with the sling-shot ‘self regulating’ inertia hammer of the Compatto, but with a solid hammer to squeeze out 40 Fpe of energy with a 40+ shot count.

With the market moving away from springers and into PCP air rifles we have also noticed a shift upwards into .25, .30 and .357 cal air rifles. With Brocock now establishing their footprint on the .25 cal PCPs and Daystate having the Wolverine 303 in .30 cal, Gunroom Pty Ltd will be stocking these as they become available, as I find these larger calibre PCPs more attractive for the hunting fraternity.

Bantam 500 Facing Left

Brocock’s Bantam 500

Brocock Bantam 500 synthetic

Right side view of the Bantam 500

The Brocock Bantam 500 looks quite foreboding in Beech with the large cylinder fitted and should prove to be a good hunting air rifle with the additional power and shot count.

Bantam 500 with Beech Stock

Bantam 500 in Beech

Brocock Bantam 500 Beech

MTC Viper Connect on a Bantam 500

Brocock Bantam line up summary.

Brocock’s line up of PCP air rifles now starts at the Compatto in synthetic followed by the Bantam 400, the 480CF and the 500 in .177, .22 and .25 Calibres. The Bantam range also offers the Beech stock variant from the soft touch synthetic. However, the new MKIIs are dropping the Beech and Soft Touch stocks in the Bantams and only becoming available in a newly designed synthetic model. The Compatto will still retain its synthetic stock but will also have an optional Soft Touch version.

Those of you looking at the Bantam range as a future PCP purchase will no doubt have noticed the MTC Viper Connect scope used on all the above Brocock Bantams. This is an upmarket scope developed principally for the PCP market where weight and optics are paramount. Gunroom Pty Ltd will be offering the MTC Viper Connect and the MTC Viper-Pro scopes in package deals with the new Brocock Bantam MKII models when they arrive in July 2018.

Author

Ian McIntosh

Brocock Bantam Soft Touch Air Rifle

Brocock Bantam from Gunroom, Part 1 of 2.

Brocock Bantam now available in all calibres.

The Brocock Bantam follows closely in the footsteps of the Brocock Compatto PCP air rifle with several added features, with the most prominent being an adjustable Cheek plate, and a larger cylinder and hence a better shot count. By using a larger cylinder on the Brocock Bantam the power output has been increased on several models, most notably the .25cal that is now fitted with a solid hammer and is rated at 40 Fpe.

The Brocock Bantam HiLite Soft-touch.

Brocock has released the 480cc air cylinder as a carbon wrapped version that is lighter than the 500cc model that we bring in by 100 grams. Sporting the Brocock Compatto logo on the side of the action, one can see the Compatto DNA has influenced this design markedly.

The first thing we noticed about the Brocock Bantam HiLite is the apparent slight shift in weight towards the shoulder, a wider fore-end grip and what feels like a lighter gun than the Brocock Compatto, when in fact the weights are fairly close. The Compatto weighs in at 3.17 Kgs and theBrocock HiLite at 2.9 Kgs plus scope, mounts and accessories.

Below you will see the Brocock Bantam HiLite fitted with an MTC Viper Connect scope on a Soft-touch stock. The stock is NOT synthetic but actually, a wood stock coated with a rubber compound that actually feels soft to touch and makes carrying and shooting this a dream.

Bantam HiLite Soft-Touch

Brocock Bantam HiLite Soft-touch viewed on the right right side.

Brocock Bantam HiLite Soft-touch

Brocock Bantam HiLite Soft-touch viewed on the left side.

The Brocock Bantam HiLite Soft-touch also sports the fill gauge on the left side of the stock making it quicker and easier to use; safer too for those clowns that insist on sticking their heads directly over the barrel of their PCP Air Rifle with gauges mounted at the end of their cylinders. The filler on the Brocock Bantam is directly under the fore-grip just forward of the trigger guard and is accessed by removing a magnetic cover. The probe under this is a typical Foster fitting, however, accessing this easily is best done using the extended sleeve provided with the air rifle as your fingers will have trouble releasing the fitting when full.

The Brocock Bantam PCP air rifles come with an adjustable check rest on all models coming into Australia and an adjustable butt pad, making these rifles extremely comfortable to shoot. The low weight of the Brocock Bantams is immediately evident when you pick one up, thanks again to some unique engineering in both the frame and stocks. They also use the same 10 shot magazine that comes with the Compatto.

Brocock Bantam HiLite in Beech.

Those guys of you out there who are not into synthetics or soft-touch rifle stocks will be pleased to know that Brocock Bantam also has the HiLite in Beech. Weight is the same as the soft-touch with the only differences being the feel and of course the aesthetics.

Both the Beech and the HiLite stocks are still subject to marking and denting through careless handling whereas the Brocock Compatto with the synthetic stock can withstand abuse with less visible damage. Repairing the Beech stock in the event of scratching or denting it is much like any other rifle stock and a quick search of YouTube will give you a wealth of information. The Soft-touch Brocock Bantam stock is slightly more complicated and I shall follow up shortly with repairing this rubberised finish for those of you unfortunate enough to damage one.

Bantam with Beech Stock

Brocock Bantam HiLite Beech Stock right side.

Brocock Bantam in Beech

Brocock Bantam HiLite Beech Stock viewed left side.

Brocock Bantam 500cc Model.

This Brocock Bantam below is fitted with a Beech stock and a 500cc cylinder making it fractionally cheaper than the carbon wrapped bottle that is marginally smaller in capacity. Having recently sold one in .177 cal FAC that produced several hundred shots per fill you begin to appreciate the Sling-Shot hammer fitted to these Brococks.

Bantam with 500cc Cylinder

Brocock Bantam 500cc Beech Stock viewed right side.

Brocock Bantam 500cc Beech Stock left side.

Brocock Bantam 500cc Beech Stock viewed left side.

This 500cc model featured above is in stock in .25 cal with a solid hammer delivering 40Fpe and in .22 cal delivering 30+Fpe with a slingshot hammer. You need to bear in mind that the models of Brocock that we import are FAC rated and take a charge of 240 Bar and not 200 Bar as printed in the literature that comes with them.

I can, of course, supply you with a 500cc model with a soft-touch stock should you be chasing a .25 cal PCP Air Rifle. As this 500cc model is around $200+ cheaper than the HiLite models I will also hold a limited number of .177 and .22 in this configuration. The Soft-touch features below.

Brocock Bantam 500ccc Soft-touch

Brocock Bantam 500cc Soft-touch right side.

Soft-touch Bantam 500cc

Brocock Bantam 500cc Soft-touch viewed left side.

While Brocock also makes a 400cc version as above, these will only be imported as a special order and that will also apply to those of you chasing a 12Fpe Bantam or Compatto in a similar configuration.

Note that the Brocock Bantams and Compattos in FAC come out at 18Fpe in .177 calibre and then you still have the option of dialling the power down to Medium or Low. What power you get then will depend largely on your selection of pellet as the power tends to vary a bit gun to gun through this selector. Should you buy a .177 in 18Fpe and definitely want the option of shooting in <12Fpe competition and still have the available 18Fpe for hunting in high mode, let me know at the time of purchase and I will adjust and set up the rifle specifically for you – no cost.

Brocock Bantam Summary.

The Brocock Bantam PCP air rifles will suit those of you into hunting as they not only have the power and accuracy, but the ergonomics of this PCP allows for comfortable carrying over extended periods of time. Put that together with the lightweight and semi bullpup configuration of the Bantam mounted with one of the MTC Scopes and you have a very versatile package that is competitively priced.

Tuning the Brocock Bantam air rifle for accuracy will be covered in future articles as I will show you what options you have and the effects of adjusting the slingshot hammer. I am also developing a Special Edition Brocock Bantam model that will be available as a fully tuned PCP package complete with pellet test results, an MTC scope and hard-case that comes ready to compete or hunt with.

Weihrauch HW100S air rifle

The Weihrauch HW100 part 2

Weihrauch HW100 review, part 2, of a multi part series on the HW100T and HW100S where I will bring you some more of the practical aspects of this PCP air rifle. I will attempt to cover most issues I have experienced with the HW100, however, if you the reader would like me to cover a specific subject or you may like to share some info for our air rifle fraternity, please contact me.

The most frequent questions.

There are probably 3 very common questions asked about the Weihrauch PCP air rifles, being, not in any kind of order, the following:

  1. What is the price?
  2. How many shots per refill?
  3. What is the power?

I agree that there are plenty of other questions asked but these 3 are usually the opening gambit of prospective buyers.

Let’s look at the price and what you get or don’t get with the air rifle package. The rifle comes boxed in a cardboard box with polystyrene inserts, very rugged and I have yet to see any rifle damaged when it turns up here. Inside, the Weihrauch HW100 comes wrapped in a plastic sleeve with a rubber band sealing the open end from moisture or dirt ingress.

Next to the air rifle is the Air Cylinder that is separately wrapped and cocooned in a polystyrene recess to limit its movement during freighting. The Air Cylinder comes with a plastic dust cover over the threaded end that screws into the rifle and a plastic probe that fits into the filling orifice behind the gauge. Try not to lose this little plug as they are difficult to come by and expensive, somewhere around $10 – $14 depending on how it was freighted. At the end of the polystyrene moulding we have a small cardboard box that contains the following:

Weihrauch HW100 14 shot magazine

HW100 Magazine

    1. 2 x 14 shot rotary magazines
    2. 1 DIN adapter that allows you to fill the bottle (once taken off the rifle) by screwing it directly into the adapter fitting. This is hardly used now and was more effective with the early cylinders that did not have the quick fill function using a probe while still fitted to the gun.
    3. There is another large fitting at the other side of the box with a screw thread through the centre and a matching cylinder thread. This can be screwed onto the cylinder and then the centre screw tightened inwards thus depressing the valve and allowing the high-pressure air to escape. You would only use this function if you want to empty the cylinder prior to air travel or shipping the gun by air.
    1. Lastly there is a filling probe with a 1/8th Gas (aka 1/8” BSPP) thread that will fit a hand pump, much like the Hill PCP Pump, High Pressure Compressor or a SCUBA adapter for decanting air directly from a High-Pressure SCUBA bottle.

The price is available from my Price List and as prices are somewhat fluid, I won’t quote it here. For those of you just new to this site, you should know that I test every rifle prior to sending it out to make sure it is indeed serviceable and meets the accuracy criteria for that model.

HW100KT Facing to the right

Weihrauch HW100KT with Air Stripper

The pellet test is just that, a test, but it allows me to try a minimum of 6 pellet types to see which ones perform the best. The Chronograph results are then put into Excel and a series of technical aspects are derived from these Chronograph results, in the form of Graphs. These then pinpoint the specific pellet type that is most suitable for the air rifle at this specific time. The air gun may use another type of pellet for optimum results down the track a way, say after 1500 shots or so, but at the point of sale it shoots best with the selected pellet.

How many shots per fill with the Weihrauch HW100 PCPs?

For this article I have taken a Weihrauch HW100T and a HW100KT and test fired them both using several different air cylinders. Firstly, I tested the HW100KT with the air cylinder that it came with, then I tested the HW100T with the small air cylinder from the HW100KT to note any difference in performance overall. This was followed with the HW100T with the regular air cylinder and lastly the HW100T was tested with the lightweight FX 390mm air cylinder.

Weihrauch air rifle accessories

Weihrauch Air Rifle Accessories

Shooting was done at 25 metres and I was resting the rifle on a sand bag. I was not looking at getting accuracy as I was achieving a reasonable group at a firing rate of 1 shot every 4-5 seconds. If I had the time to dick around I could easily halve the grouping but I neither have the time or need for this type of accuracy for this test.

With the reasonably fast shooting I am quickly appraised of pellet drop and I do note at what point this begins happening, and at what point it is unacceptable. The pellet groups on the targets tell that tale without having to strive for a ¼” group which would take time and provide little if any additional benefit, as the sole purpose of this exercise is to determine how many effective shots per cylinder….

The Graph below here is of a standard Weihrauch HW100KT with the air cylinder filled to 200 Bar on a chilly day with the Temperature at 19° Centigrade. I am going to put in a caveat here and that is the unreliability of pressure gauges on any PCP air rifle, so please get your filling gauge calibrated at least and then mark the PCP gauge or do whatever it takes to make you comfortable with the readings on your air rifle.

Weihrauch PCP Air Cylinders

FX Air Cylinder Top, Weihrauch Large and Small Air Cylinders below

Weihrauch HW100KT Shot Count Graph

Weihrauch HW100KT Shot Count

Next, I have the Weihrauch HW100T fitted with the small .105 Litre air cylinder from the HW100KT above and note the very different results.

Weihrauch HW100 shot Count Graph

Weihrauch HW100T with .105 Litre Air Cylinder

The HW100T with the standard .175 Litre air cylinder provide greatly differing results below:

HW100 Shot Count Graph

Weihrauch HW100T with .175 Litre Air Cylinder (Standard Supply)

I also stock the FX lightweight air cylinders in 390mm and 500mm for those of you who are seeking to reduce their overall weight for competition work or are just searching for a lighter air rifle. Please note here that the FX air cylinder is longer but thinner with the advantage being that it weighs less than the Weihrauch air cylinder. The large Weihrauch air cylinder comes in at 869 grams, the HW100KT cylinder weighs 626 and the FX comes in at 651 grams. There is not much loss or gain between the 2 large cylinders other than the weight differential, but you need to note that the FX is filled to 220 Bar and not the standard 200 Bar for the Weihrauch PCPs.

HW100T FX Shot Count Graph

390mm FX Air Cylinder on a Weihrauch HW100T

Comparing these graphs individually is probably best done by looking at the following graph where we can see each of the 4 PCP air rifles together.

Weihrauch PCP Shot Count Graph

Shot Count Comparison HW100 Group

HW100T Power.

Below I have imported a Graph showing the power in Ft. Lbs. energy for 6 different pellet types when fired from a Weihrauch HW100KT in .22 calibre.

HW100KT Energy Graph

HW100KT Power in Ft Lbs.

Compare this with the Weihrauch HW100T in .22 cal below:

HW100T Energy Graph

HW100T Power in Ft Lbs.

These 2 Graphs will give you an idea of what power to expect from a Weihrauch HW100 in .22, but do remember this, no 2 air rifles are the same and these recordings should only be taken as “indicative” of the power available for these PCP air rifles.

The next question is going to be ‘what range these air rifles will shoot out to?’. Well put it this way guys, when we tested a bunch or air rifles a few weeks back, I had a customer shooting his brand new HW100T in .22 and he was hitting a 30mm disc at 100 metres 9 out of 10 times. This was done with a 12-power Hawke Sidewinder scope and the rifle zeroed in at 30 metres or thereabouts: furthermore, I don’t think he would mind me saying this, but he was ‘new’ to air rifles, especially PCPs.

I personally have a Weihrauch HW100T that is zeroed at 60 metres and I can hit a 20mm disc 10 out of 10 times at 96 metres (lasered and using Mil Dots) using a Hawke 8-32×56 Sidewinder. Does that answer that question OK?

HW100T with Hawke Sidewinder Scope

HW100T with Hawke 8-32×56 Sidewinder Scope

Weihrauch HW100 Summary.

This article will be followed by another shortly as I get more and more involved with today’s PCP air rifles that never fail to impress. I am trying to appeal to beginners as well as you guys that have been using PCPs for a while now, to try and cut through all the bullshit that floats around from some of the ‘experts’ in this field. My work profile means that I fire air rifles EVERY DAY guys, yup, every effing day, and from this experience I am trying to help build this fledgling air rifle following. Since moving to Brisbane, I have purchased a SIUS Target System at great cost (great for me anyway…), and in 7 months I have fire 17,200+ shots downrange while testing.

HW100 on ACZ Stock

Weihrauch HW100 on an ACZ Stock with FX Cylinder

Please note that ALL the information, results and assertions are made in good faith from my experience and direct from my records. While I also stock and sell Daystate, Brocock and Air Arms PCP air rifles, there is no one PCP that out-shoots them all, contrary to the crap you sometimes read or watch on YouTube. As they say, there are ‘horses for courses’ and there are PCPs that will fit into that category you may be searching for, be it a Weihrauch HW100, Daystate, Brocock or Air Arms, one of which I am sure will get you covered.

Weihrauch HW100S air rifle

Weihrauch HW100 Range of PCP Air Rifles.

Weihrauch HW100 PCP Air Rifles have an established a presence in Australia with the HW100T and the HW100S, both as leading PCPs* in their class. For those of you unfamiliar with Weihrauch air rifles, the designation ‘T’ stands for Thumbhole stock while the ‘S’ stands for Sporter stock. However, there are several other Weihrauch HW100 models that are not often imported in numbers for reasons that evade me, and they are the carbine versions of the HW100T and the HW100S, currently designated HW100TK and HW100SK. The Weihrauch HW100 also has an FSB model, which stands for Fully Shrouded Barrel and currently this is not allowed into Australia under the misguided belief that the shroud qualifies as a form of silencer.

I will attempt to cover each model separately over several articles to allow you, the reader, to get a more comprehensive understanding of the Weihrauch PCP range. * PCP is an acronym for Pre-Charged Pneumatic, as it is powered by compressed air at 200 Bar, or nearly 3,000 psi.

The Weihrauch HW100T.

Statistically with me anyway, the HW100T in .22 calibre is the most popular HW100 series PCP that Weihrauch make. Both the Weihrauch HW100T and HW100S come with 600mm barrels that I feel are an improvement over their early barrels around 2005 and earlier. In my experience shooting the Weihrauch HW100 PCPs, they are very accurate, with reasonable groups right out to 100 metres using a .22 calibre quality pellet like the H&N Baracuda Match or H&N Baracuda Hunter.

Weihrauch HW100T with Hawke Sidewinder Scope

Weihrauch HW100T

The .177 HW100 is an accurate combination out to 50 metres in its factory form and after that distance the pellets tend to lose stability and develop an increasing spiral, thus affecting the accuracy past this point. To overcome this problem, you can do one of two things, or in fact both if you like, and that is use a heavier pellet and/or wind back the hammer spring to reduce the velocity a bit. Both work.

Firstly, let’s look at the heavier pellet option. This heavier pellet by virtue of its weight, co-efficient of drag and cross-sectional dynamics will drop like a stone over distance but will suffer less from spiraling. The drop is no big deal as this is easily calculated and you can compensate for it with hold-over using your Mil Dots – I will have an article on setting up your scope for distance and using Mil Dots very shortly and this will include some custom targets, so you can’t get it wrong.

Now the hammer spring adjustment. This is a straightforward procedure that will require dropping out the mechanism, undoing the guide plate and locking screw and then taking out the hammer spring tension by up to 2 turns. This is not set in stone, so I would suggest 1 turn then test the rifle and so on. What you will effectively do is reduce the pellet speed which in a HW100 in .177 calibre is sometimes too fast with their rifling as it stands.

I will be working on the HW100 Air Rifle over the coming months as we are keen to develop a tuning procedure for this PCP as the hammer spring adjustment only gives marginal controls. It will give you extra shots per fill but once we develop a correct procedure for pressure adjustment and hopefully a variable charging port (not manually variable), we will have the ability to regulate the speed/power and give additional shots per cylinder charge. I am also “Mapping” the Weihrauch HW100 PCPs to find the ‘sweet spot’ of the regulator output: which varies with each gun.

HW100T Facing Forward

Weihrauch HW100T

Presently the HW100T comes with an ambidextrous wood thumbhole stock together with a laminate and synthetic versions that step this air rifle up in popularity. There are other things in the wind at Weihrauch, but being in Australia we are at the bottom of the food chain so don’t expect anything to happen too quickly (the date editing this is mid-July 2018). Edit: Both laminated and Synthetic are available here at present. The laminated model is designated SE for Special Edition. Date 2/7/18. Ian Mc.

The Weihrauch HW100S.

The HW100S is the Sporter version of the HW100 PCP range and is currently only available in wood in Australia. This is not an ambidextrous stock unfortunately though anyone purchasing a Weihrauch HW100S from me that is left handed, I can quite possibly make either a new stock or modify the current stock. Note however, the cocking lever, even though it is only small, is on the right-hand side of the action which basically means releasing your hand to cock it.

Weihrauch HW100S facing right

Weihrauch HW100S

The stock however, is extremely well finished and a compliment to the manufacturers, making the Weihrauch HW100S more attractive than many other and more expensive PCP Sporters out there. The action is a deep black with a high gloss finish and minimalistic appearance with minimal projections such as loading bolt etc. Unfortunately, Australian Customs in their ‘wisdom’ have regulated that the barrel weight not be fitted coming into the country as they deem it to be an incomplete silencer, can you believe this crap? Hence these air rifles tend to look a little bare, so if you don’t like the looks then I can fit an Air Stripper for you or quite possibly an Air Shredder if I can keep stocks up. Neither of these items will reduce the noise level.

 

Air Strippers for a Weihrauch HW100

Air Strippers for Weihrauch HW100

The Scope dovetail on these air rifles is 11mm and while it straddles the Rotary Magazine port, you can still fit a one-piece scope mount without interference. However, guys, please note that the HW100 does not have a locating dimple like the HW77 series does at the rear of the action that prevents the scope from walking backwards due to recoil, so please unscrew the vertical Allen key (if fitted) in your Scope Ring Set and bin it.

HW100S with Hawke Scope

The Weihrauch HW100S with a Sidewinder Scope

I have recently had a guy who did not notice that the rear mount vertical locating screw was protruding slightly, and he tightened up his scope ah la ‘Arnie’ style and put a bend in it…..

As the Weihrauch PCP air rifles do not have recoil as such, they do not need or employ the locating dimple that stops the scope from walking backwards, so please check your mounts for this locating screw or peg that is sometimes fitted.

Weihrauch HW100 on an ACZ Stock

Weihrauch’s HW100 on an ACZ Stock

The Weihrauch HW100 Charging System.

The HW100 PCPs come with 2 magazines that hold 14 shots each and with the standard air chamber will deliver around 35-45 effective shots before you start to recognize speed decay. When shooting at close range, say 30 metres, then you can quite easily get more shots from each refill if you are shooting at targets as speed decay at close quarters has negligible effect. However, many of you reading this use a Weihrauch HW100 for vermin control such as rabbits, and therefore shoot out at longer ranges. You are likely to notice speed decay and pellet drop earlier than those guys shooting close up at targets.

Unfortunately, Weihrauch have not made this rifle with a manually adjustable pressure regulator and to me this is its main flaw. There are a number of ways to increase the shots per air cylinder charge and they are:

  1. Lower the speed/energy (by the hammer spring).
  2. Use a larger cylinder.
  3. Get the charging port and hammer spring customized as mentioned earlier in this article.
  4. Get the Regulator ‘Mapped’ to increase the efficiency, power or shot count.

I will provide a graph and shot count verses pressure in a coming article on the Weihrauch HW100 where Joe Tonga and I field test this air rifle out to 100 metres and provide you will heaps of tables and graphs to assist you in both shooting and tuning your HW100 Weihrauch.

Weihrauch HW100 Summary.

This article is but 1 of several planned, as the Weihrauch HW100 will take more than just a few articles before you for truly understand the complexities and characteristics of this PCP air rifle. I will also be breaking down the components to give you comparisons between the HW100T, S, and the carbine versions being the HW100TK and SK. This will give you the benefits of PCP air rifles over springers such as the Weihrauch HW77K.

Over the next few months we will take testing to the next level prior to customizing the actions in a bid to give you more shots and better accuracy, especially in the .177 calibre. The Weihrauch HW100 is truly a great air rifle, very well built and priced below that of some of its competitors with which it is truly their equal.

Weihrauch HW77KSE spring air rifle

Weihrauch HW77K part 4.

HW77K Review of the .25 calibre model.

The Weihrauch HW77K review part 4: you will now be getting some information on the 25 calibre model. Presently at the time of writing this, Weihrauch does not make any calibres larger than .25 in either their ‘springers’ or their PCPs.

The HW77K range of springers in .22 calibre account for most of the sales at Gunroom with .177 cal a distant 2nd and both the .20 and .25 calibre sales virtually non-existent. This has been bought about by the fact that until I ordered in some in late 2014, .25 cal has never been imported into Australia to my knowledge and only a handful of .20 units a few years ago.

H&N Baracuda Pellets

25 .22 .20 And .177 H&N Baracuda Pellets

The Weihrauch HW77K .25 calibre out of the box.

I have tested the HW77K .25 straight from the box and it produced an energy output just above that of a Weihrauch HW77K .22 air rifle, so you need to ask if it is worth the hassle getting the larger calibre? Well if you are hunting, then I believe the .25 cal HW77K is the better springer with the heavier pellets because it stands to reason that the kill zone will be larger due to greater down range energy and a greater wound channel. This effectively will result in more ‘kills’ for the same placement than smaller calibres.

In my opinion, the effective hunting range of a HW77K .25 cal is probably short of 50 metres and more likely 40 metres in an un-tuned state [it will shoot further but we are looking here at 2-3 inch (50-75mm) drop limit below a 25 metre zero]. By fitting a Vortek Tuning Kit and adding the maximum shims possible (prior to spring lock), the air rifle should perform well and reach out 50 metres effectively with selected pellets.

Weihrauch HW77K .25 cal Special Edition

Weihrauch HW77K Laminated Special Edition

Weihrauch’s HW77K .25 cal v’s the .22 cal.

When discussing the maximum ranges of the .22 and .25 air rifles here, it stands to reason the .22 will reach out further due to the increased speed, the larger range of pellet types to chose from, and the likelihood of finding pellets with a better ballistic co-efficiency. However, the HW77K .25 cal and HW77 are primarily hunting air rifles and when used within their effective range are a more effective calibre at bringing down larger prey.

When we compare the Weihrauch HW77K in .22 cal to its larger .25 brother, what counts in hunting apart from accuracy, is the energy that either one delivers. Having recently ‘max’d up’ the power of a .22 HW77 where I increased the power from 16.8 Ft Lbs. to 19.8 Ft Lbs. by adding shims to the Vortek spring. This was an increase of 26% more power when using heavy pellets like the H&N Baracuda but it came at a cost of accuracy.

For this article, I have fitted a Vortek Tuning Kit to a brand new Weihrauch HW77K .25 cal air rifle after taking the initial Chronograph readings and the following chart lays out the results quite simply. You will immediately notice that the lighter H&N Field Target Trophy pellets showed a more significant increase in FPS and Energy which is to be expected with only a small amount of increased spring pressure. However, this increase in FPS/Energy is at the expense of the Standard Deviation and Extreme Spread that increased markedly, resulting in a poorer grouping.

You will also notice that the heavier pellets excelled with the increase in spring pressure, while not contributing much in the way of increased FPS/Energy. All 3 heavier pellets showed a decrease in the Stand Deviation and Extreme Spread. They showed better groups as a result.

So, to recap on what you would expect to achieve by fitting a Vortek kit and ‘maxing’ the number of shims in it for a Weihrauich HW77K .25 calibre is this:

  • Higher speeds and more energy from lighter pellets.
    • Quite possibly at the expense of grouping so a larger range of pellets should be tested if you are seeking maximum energy with lighter .25 cal pellets while still grouping fairly well.
  • Marginally higher speeds and energy increases from heavier pellets.
    • Testing has shown better grouping in this scenario, however, this is not set in stone as there are heavier pellets with poor ballistic coefficients that could well provide poorer groups as a result and vice versa.
  • With this Weihrauch HW77K .25 calibre for a hunter, you would benefit from the heavier pellets providing better accuracy over the lighter Field Target Trophy pellets. As we all know, air rifle tuning is fraught with compromises as there is no ‘one fix for all’ due to variances in pellet architecture, ballistic coefficients, speeds, barrels, you the shooters just to name a few. All too often a ‘gain’ in one department quite often results in a loss in another.

At the end of the day, this Weihrauch HW77K .25 calibre would make an ideal hunting rifle for larger game such as foxes out to around 40 metres is my guess. The larger diameter pellets with the significant weight increase over the .22 calibre pellets will, in the end, give you a larger wound channel and more down range energy, resulting in a higher kill ratio.

HW77K .25 calibre Pellet tests

Test Results for comparison

Weihrauch HW77K .25 Pellet Test

Energy outputs for a new HW77K in 25 Calibre.

Tuning air rifles for more Power.

You need to understand this when tuning, and that is accuracy quite often comes at the expense of power with spring air guns, that’s right, decrease the power and you increase the accuracy in more cases than not. So if you are tuning for someone who intends to hunt with the air rifle, then I tune it for accuracy first, see what the best group the air rifle is capable of and with which pellets. I then look at the Energy and if it is too low in my opinion, I shim up the spring to increase the energy and that usually comes at the cost of some accuracy.

With the HW77K .25 calibre, we are not talking about hitting match heads at 50 metres here but something along the lines of Rabbits or Minor birds, so you need to be realistic. If you want to shoot match heads at 50 metres than I suggest you get a PCP air rifle where you do not have recoil and precision shooting is available out to 100 metres and more.

Tuning your Weihrauch HW77K .25 calibre air rifle is not restricted to just a Vortek or V-Mach tuning kit, but encompasses such things a fitting a Race Brake, working on the Rekord Trigger Group to make it crisper, lightening the trigger pull, adjusting the butt pad and length of pull, fitting and adjusting the best scope you can afford and even fitting a customized trigger as below. It amounts to an accumulation of minor adjustments and added accessories, mainly aftermarket parts. To that end, you will then probably need to get a custom HW rifle stock for your HW77K .25 calibre beast.

Weihrauch HW77K Custom Triggers

Weihrauch Rekord Custom Triggers

Summary of the Weihrauch HW77K .25 cal air rifle.

The HW77, HW77K and HW97K air rifles all have the same internals just different length barrels and varying calibres. So whatever calibre Weihrauch HW77K you intend to shoot, it is powered by exactly the same spring and seal and so pellet placement varies dramatically between pellet types and calibres ‘straight out of the box’.

HW77K .25 cal Race Brake

Weihrauch HW77/HW77K Race Brake

Given what I know about Weihrauch HW77K .25 cal ‘springers’ and that is pellet selection is crucial as there are too many variables; follow this up with tuning the rifle with a dedicated tuning kit like Vortek and providing you have the patience to chronograph the results and vary them with shims, you will end up with a great air rifle, regardless of calibre.

Weihrauch HW77KSE spring air rifle

Weihrauch HW77K Air Rifle, Part 3.

Weihrauch HW77K .22 Review. Part 3.

I will cover the Weihrauch HW77K .22 calibre in a bit more depth with this review. 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 .22 or other HW series spring powered air rifle, listen up now.

Weihrauch HW77K .22 cal issues.

The Weirauch HW77K .22 calibre’s energy is detailed in part 2, where I compared 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 Weirauch HW77K .22 over a .25 cal? Simply put, there are currently (at present 2018) more pellet types available for the .22 than there are for the .25. This, in theory, should allow you a more choice in a search for a more accurate pellet. 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 Weihrauch.

Edit: Having now tested and tuned a 25 cal HW77K, I will say this, the energy level may be the same as the .22 cal, but downrange it is more as it carries its’ weight well. I have also found the .25 cal to be very accurate with minimal tuning. Great gun. (Ian 2/7/18)

Weihrauch HW77K .22 Sporter in nickel

Sporter 2 Stock under a Nickel Weihrauch HW77K .22 cal air rifle

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 Vortek 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 up Weirauch HW77K .22  air rifles is not really as warranted 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 Weihrauch HW77K .22 is the Hawke Airmax 3-9×40 and if you are shooting out to 50 metres or more, then consider buying a Hawke Airmax 4-12 x 50.

The weight issues of Weirauch HW77K .22 Air Rifles.

I hear quite a bit about how heavy the Weirauch HW77K .22 rifles are, so I have taken this opportunity to weigh the rifles and each individual stock for those of you who keep bringing the issue up. With the Weirauch 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.

From the HW range of fixed barrel air guns, the 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.

Weihrauch HW77K .22 Sporter 1

Weirauch HW77K .22  Sporter 1 Stainless

Besides 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 .22, it needs to be comfortable as springers need all the concentration you can get. The HW77K Weihrauch should fit you and not you fit the air rifle.

Weirauch HW77K .22, tune or no tune?

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.

H&N Baracuda Hunter Pellet

H&N Baracuda Hunter Pellet

If you intend to buy Weirauch HW77K .22 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 Weirauch HW77K .22 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 Vortek Tuning Kit when detuned from FAC to 12 Ft Lbs.

The Weirauch HW77K .22 calibre is more forgiving as the .22 is a more stable pellet and it handles a Tune well 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 Vortek 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 Vortek Vac 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. Should you decide to tune your Weihrauch HW77K you can upgrade the air rifle with quality air rifle accessories to improve the accuracy even further.

Weihrauch HW77K .22 cal Blue Laminate

Weirauch HW77K .22 Blue/Grey Laminate Sporter

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) 600 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 V-Mach. From this point on, I think I would be looking at a custom stock and doing further pellet research and trials. With tuning a Weirauch HW77K .22 air rifle, you never really 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.

V-Glide Tuning Kit to suit a HW77K ,22 air rifle

V-Glide Tuning Kit

Final selection of a Weihrauch HW77K .22 cal 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 your main interest, then I would suggest that you look at the .177 or .20 calibre Weihrauch HW77K.

However, if you want to shoot rabbits, a Weirauch HW77K .22 or .25 cal is the ticket and they are 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 ‘overkill’ 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 Weirauch HW77K .22 or .25 are the better rabbit hunting tools as they pack more energy and have 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 a 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. Should you find the HW77K too heavy, then the HW77 is heavier still with the HW97K the lightest of the 3 air rifles.

Weihrauch HW77K Blackline

HW77K Blackline Air Rifle

Hunters should probably look at the Weihrauch HW77K .25 where you have more downrange energy. Those of you who intend to compete may want to look at the wood versions with the choice of 6 factory stocks. As you will be handling the Weihrauch HW77K .22  in a more controlled environment than that of a hunter, maybe wood is a better option, aesthetically anyway.

Weihrauch HW77KSE spring air rifle

Weihrauch HW77K Air Rifle, Part 2.

Weihrauch HW77K Air Rifle, Part 2.

Weihrauch HW77K air rifle, part 2, will continue here with the second part of this series of 4 articles on the popular spring powered air rifle. Now I will discuss the HW77K in .20 calibre and other features that are common to the remaining 3 calibres.

The .20 calibre Weihrauch HW77K air rifle is not a common calibre imported into Australia due to the limited number of competition air rifle target shooters. We have a fledgeling competitive air rifle following at present in Australia (at the time of writing this) and so the demand for the .20 calibre so far in the HW77K air rifle is minimal.

I carry the .20 calibre HW77K in Blue and Stainless in limited numbers as they were specially ordered and had to be flown in from Germany after a protracted wait of many months.

The .20 Calibre Weihrauch HW77K air rifle.

This particular air gun makes a great target rifle due to the flat trajectory of the .20 calibre pellet’s flight path and as it is a slightly heavier pellet than the .177 making it pretty stable. It has a limited but vocal following of air gunners who insist that the HW77K air rifle in .20 calibre makes a better and more accurate shooting rifle than the very popular HW77K in .177 calibre.

Not being a user of the HW77K in .20 calibre I can’t really comment on this one way or another, but I will say this, and that is the .20 calibre HW77K air rifles I have tested here shoot very well indeed. I also think that if there was a larger range of pellet types for the .20 as it is for the .177 then it could well live up to the claims of its followers.

So if you want an air rifle that is in-between .177 and .22 and that has a flat trajectory, accuracy and obviously an energy level midway between these two calibres, I suggest that you take a good look at the .20 calibre HW77K air rifle. The features, accessories and support that are available for the .177 and .22 calibre HW77Ks are still the same: basically the same rifle just a different barrel.

Those of you who already shoot the Weihrauch HW77K in .20, if you have anything to add on the positives (or negatives) of this air rifle that I don’t cover within these four articles, then please email me and I will share it with everyone.

The .20 Calibre HW77K air rifle straight out of the box.

As with all new spring powered air rifles, whatever the brand, they take quite a few shots before they start shooting that well. The first 100 shots are usually the worst while the seal beds in and the spring develops a ‘set’ and then with the barrel slightly leading up.

Furthermore, it is not just the air rifle that improves with time, it is you the shooter as you develop muscle memory and familiarity with the gun.

The graph below shows all four calibres of Weihrauch HW77K firing the first 15 shots out of the box and then some 50 shots later, another 15 shots. You will see that the Extreme Spread has reduced along with the speed to a small degree, while grouping also improved. The tests were done using the H&N Baracuda in each calibre of the HW77K air rifles tested. This clearly demonstrates that as the HW77K air rifles put through more pellets they settle down and with a reduced spread, the consistency will help you with grouping.

The speeds below are not set in stone so to speak, they are individual speed results and what you see here may vary quite a bit from what you may experience yourself with a HW77K air rifle.

Weihrauch HW77K Spread sheet Results

HW77K .20 Cal Spread sheet

Weihrauch HW77K Energy Graph

HW77K Energy Graph for a .20 Cal

Graph for HW77K showing Extreme Spread

Extreme Spread Graph for a .20 HW77K

HW77K Speed Gunroom Graph

Average Speed Graph for a HW77K in .20 Cal

Should you Tune your HW77k air rifle or not?

In my opinion, yes. Weihrauch HW77K air rifles are mass produced and while the machining specifications are unparalleled, variances do exist in spring technology, compression pressures, tolerances and bore finishes. In saying that, I haven’t come across a HW77K or any other air rifle that I have tuned that didn’t benefit from a Vortek Tuning Kit.

I’m guessing if you just throw a Vortek Tuning kit into a HW77K air rifle without doing the prep work and then shimming ‘up and down’ against speed and grouping results, then the benefits may be marginal. As for speed, detuning the .177 and .20 from FAC down to 12 ft. lbs. or less generally gives better results as the recoil is reduced and with the better Vortek spring and guide, more consistent speeds are obtained.

I sell the Vortek kits and can talk you through fitting them if that is the way you want to go, or if you are buying a new HW77K air gun or similar Weihrauch spring air rifle, I can tune it for you. If you already have a HW77K, HW77, HW97K or HW30, 50, 80 or 95 and you want it kitted out, just send me the action and leave the stock at home, but PLEASE call me first to see that I have time to do it.

Weihrauch HW77KT Air Rifle

Weihrauch HW77KT in Stainless

As for results, I have fitted kits in .177 and .20 HW77K and HW97K air rifles that have reduced the group of 42mm and 18mm respectively at 25 metres, down to 6mm groups. The .177 suffers from hot loads and the .20 does also to a degree. By detuning your FAC air rifle down to 12 ft. lbs. you won’t shed that much speed that it is screamingly obvious, only you will have an air rifle that is comfortable to shoot and also performs with better placement, which is more important than speed.

Weihrauch HW77K air rifle Summary.

I haven’t covered dimensions, weights or options for the Weihrauch HW77K in .20 calibre yet, but as all the ‘77Ks are basically the same, I shall cover these issues over the next 2 articles.

So to generalise the .20 calibre, I would say this: if you are going to get involved with target shooting then give the Weihrauch HW77K in .20 calibre a good look, however, if you are a hunter then maybe look at the .22 calibre air rifle if you want to shoot larger vermin like rabbits.

Weihrauch HW77KSE spring air rifle

Weihrauch HW77K Air Rifle, part 1.

Weihrauch HW77K Review

There’s a better than even chance that you are reading this article as part of researching the Weihrauch HW77K with the view of purchasing either the HW77K, HW77 or the HW97K. This is the 1st of 4 articles on the HW77K range and will deal with the .177 calibre specifically, with each of the other 3 articles concentrating on a different calibre and other aspects of this model air rifle.

The Weihrauch HW77K comes in 4 calibres, .177, .20, .22 and .25 calibres. In Australia, the .177 and .22 calibres are the predominant sizes with a wider range of pellets being available in these 2 calibres.

The Weihrauch HW77K, where to buy it?

At Gunroom I stock the entire range of Weihrauch air rifles that are bought into Australia; that is, I have them here in stock and on the floor 95% of the time. I get a lot of feedback and enquiries about the handling and accuracy of Weihrauchs whereby it is usually about a rifle that has been supplied by another dealer, untested and right out of the box. Hence, I undertook to target test EVERY Weihrauch that I sold to minimise the time spent answering phone calls and emails about issues with new air rifles, pellet selection or accuracy issues.

Complaints about the HW77K often stated that the owner was disappointed with the accuracy and when quizzed by myself, I am told that they are using some obscure and often cheap pellet type. The issue is with pellet selection and not the rifle in 99% of cases, regardless of the make of air rifle. Pellet selection is CRITICAL.

For the last 48 months, I have tested each Weihrauch air rifle against a minimum of 6 pellet types. If I am unable to get a suitable group then I expand the pellet selection until I find at least 2 good performing pellets for that particular gun. The new owner is then given the pellet selection spreadsheet, graphs and target scans so that they can see the performance of each pellet tested. I must state here that this is a pellet selection test only on new Weihrauch air rifles that I sell and is not a tuning cycle to improve the accuracy each air gun. I have recently as December 2018, reviewed and changed to testing we do on an air rifle. We still test them, but differently than previously stated.

For those of you who are new to airguns, let me say this much: no matter who has manufactured an air rifle, be it Weihrauch, Cometa, Daystate, Brocock or Air Arms etc., etc., there is no one pellet that suits every gun or model. Every barrel is different and as such, they perform differently with pellet types and even pellets of the same type. There are some competition pellets that do perform well across the board in Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) air rifles, but these are usually after speed/power adjustments are made to obtain the efficiency.

As I test air rifles every day I have noticed specific pellet types that do perform well in these air rifles, such as H&N Baracudas, H&N Baracuda Hunters, H&N Field Target Trophy, JSB Exact Heavy and JSB Exact Jumbo Monster. However, this is not a given and it is not unusual for me to test 2 Weihrauch air rifles, one serial number apart, to find that the best performing pellet in each gun is different due to slight variances in the barrels and mechanisms.

By testing each Weihrauch I sell, you can be assured that when you get the rifle it will come with a test sheet (as below, if requested) and the recommended pellets for YOUR air rifle at the time of sale. This does come with a caveat, and that is that the Weihrauch air rifles take at least 1500 – 2000 shots before they are ‘run in’ so to speak, at which time I would, as an owner, retest the air rifle against some more pellet types while only sticking to quality pellets. Pellet selection is paramount to quality results, or as they say, “crap in, crap out”.

Weihrauch HW77K Pellet Test Sheet.

This following Test Result image is displaying a range of 10 pellets shot from a Weihrauch HW77K and one should immediately notice that in this particular Weihrauch HW77K, the H&N Power pellets did not perform at all in fact. The Pellet selection testing is usually done with only 3 pellet types and expanded should I not find 2 pellet types that group well. In the HW77K case below I tested 10 pellet types using 6 shot groups to get the results.

This only goes to reiterate that pellet selection from a new rifle is a service that will save you both time and money going through the learning curve yourself. Had this client not had his Weihrauch HW77K tested prior to delivery and had he selected H&N Power pellets, you can just imagine how long and loud he would scream at the poor results, and may even blame the air rifle. Best leave it to me to do the screaming and test your rifle before I send it to you.

Weihrauch Pellet Test Results - table

Weihrauch Pellet Test Results graph - average fps

Weihrauch Pellet Test Results graph - energy ft lbs

Advantages and disadvantages of the Weihrauch HW77K in .177 Calibre.

I often get asked if the Weihrauch HW77K .177 calibre is good enough to shoot rabbits, pigeons and rats etc. Well, this is a contentious issue as the rifle is quite effective at killing large vermin like rabbits, but are you the shooter, accurate enough to do a one-shot kill?

In the UK where they have power restrictions on their air rifles and they are limited to 12 Ft. Lbs. of energy, the Poms have taken their shooting to the next level, and that is accuracy. So it is often seen on YouTube and on Forums guys stating that they take out Rabbits at (let’s say) 40 metres with a HW77K. I don’t discount this as some of the best air rifle shooters are Poms and while they are hopeless at Cricket, they do however perform well with air rifles.

In Australia where our air rifles come into the country predominantly in the FAC* versions, a large number of air gunners here seem to think it is the power that kills, when in fact it is placement. Put a .177 pellet in the right place when shooting a rabbit with a HW77K for instance, then you can be assured of a clean kill. What concerns me is that many Australian shooters lack the skills, patience and diligence to effect a clean kill and I see this as wounding more rabbits than are actually killed in one shot. This is due in part to the culture here that power and speed is everything, when in fact placement is really the key.

So, to answer the question about HW77K in .177 being good enough to kill rabbits, it is if you are a good shot, but if you lack the discipline to affect this style of marksmanship, then I suggest that you buy a .22 or .25 calibre air rifle. That way, if your shot is not placed that accurately, there is still a fair to a   good chance that the increased energy will in effect give you a one-shot kill on a rabbit, as long as you haven’t shot it in the foot or where-ever.

To my way of thinking, .177 is a great target calibre in a Weihrauch HW77K and effective on small vermin such as rats and birds while the .22 calibre is best reserved for larger vermin such as Rabbits. This is my opinion based on over 50 years of shooting with an air rifle and I am well aware of people who are quite effective in killing rabbits with sub-12 ft. lb. air rifles, but in the mainstream of shooters, the HW77K in .177 is less effective on large vermin when looking for a 1 shot kill. I feel that the .177 lacks the ability in a lot of cases to effect a large wound channel as does the .22 or .25 where they have more mass and energy.

*FAC stands for ‘Fire Arm Certified’ as the shooters in the UK have to get a Firearms licence for any air rifle with the power exceeding 12 ft. lbs.

Weihrauch air rifle construction.

Weihrauch air rifles such as the HW77 series, HW80 and HW97K are all on the heavy side when compared to some of the other manufacturers. This is a trade off whereby you are getting a high-quality German product at the expense of weight. It is not a big deal as some say it is, just get over it and concern yourself with the quality product that will last a lifetime with minimum maintenance.

The HW77K is available from Gunroom in the following guises as I can mix and match rifle stocks to give you the product that you want. For left-handers, I also keep several ambidextrous sporter style stocks that suit the HW77 and Weihrauch HW77K range, while the thumbhole stocks are already ambidextrous.

The following HW77K rifles and stocks are available ex-stock, in either Blue or Stainless (Nickel plated):

Weihrauch HW77K Blackline

Weihrauch HW77K Blackline Blue

Weihrauch HW77K Blackline Stainless

Weihrauch HW77K Blackline Stainless

Weihrauch HW77K Sporter 1

Weihrauch HW77K Sporter 1

Weihrauch HW77K Sporter 1 Stainless

Weihrauch HW77K Sporter 1 Stainless

Weihrauch HW77K Sporter 2 Stainless

Weihrauch HW77K Sporter 2 Stainless

Weihrauch HW77KT

Weihrauch HW77KT

Weihrauch HW77KT Stainless

Weihrauch HW77KT Stainless

Weihrauch HW77K Blue Laminate

Weihrauch HW77K Blue Laminate

Weihrauch HW77K Blue Laminate Stainless

Weihrauch HW77K Blue Laminate Stainless

Weihrauch HW77KSE Ambidextrous

Weihrauch HW77KSE

Weihrauch HW77KSE Stainless Ambidextrous

Weihrauch HW77KSE Stainless

The above range of HW77K air rifles is available at the time of writing this.

Weihrauch HW77K Summary.

To do a full HW77K review is not possible in one article so I have taken the liberty of putting further information such as break-down images of the air rifles, weights, sizes, Vortek tuning, performance and accessories, spread over the remaining 3 articles.

So, while you are researching HW77K air rifle, do not stop on this article as there is more information in the other articles that applies equally to the Weihrauch HW77K in .177 calibre as it does in the other calibres.

Author

Ian McIntosh

Weihrauch HW25 Review.

Weihrauch HW25 Review.

Having recently ordered in several Weihrauch HW25 air rifles I have decided to review this model first and then work my way up all the models until reaching the HW100. There are a couple of really nice features of the HW25 rifle and a couple of things that I draw comment on.

First impressions of the Weihrauch HW25 air rifle are that it is TINY, and to clarify that I mean compared to the HW77 and HW77K’s that I handle on a daily basis. That said, at 6 feet in height and not exactly skinny, firing this gun for me is a challenge as it is so small, and for my frame, awkward to shoot.

Weihrauch HW25 Overview.

This is still a Weihrauch air rifle and maintains the finish we have come to expect from Weihrauch with quality bluing and a high standard of finish to all machined parts. The Weihrauch HW25 sports an adjustable rear sight with elevation and windage controls in a seemingly bulky configuration when you view it alongside the rifle’s very slim barrel. This rear sight on the Weihrauch HW25 has 2 green tinted sidebars, one each side of the sighting channel and red bar atop the for-end sight blade: while appearing at first glance to be gimmicky, they are in fact quite effective.

The stock of the HW25 is 1 piece and comes with a formed butt without a pad, very smooth lines and devoid of any checkering or stippling. The wooden stock is coated in a matt clear coat that shows a high degree of the wood finish with a very basic trigger guard. This is attached with a wood screw and a through bolt that secures the action. There is a second through bolt that is nested in a blued steel cup washer forward of the trigger guard that also secures the action into the stock.

Upon removing the Weihrauch HW25 action one will immediately notice the very basic trigger configuration and exposed spring with no apparent adjustment facility. There is a safety catch centred at the rear of the action that is applied automatically as with other Weihrauchs. You will also see a very simple and clean loading arm with a minimum of moving parts, in fact, simplicity in a nutshell.

Weihrauch HW25 Components

Weihrauch HW25 Exploded View

The Weihrauch HW25 on the range.

Loading this air rifle is extremely easy with the ‘break-barrel’ concept and the ability to hold the rifle one-handed as it is so small and light. The safety comes on with an audible ‘click’ and inserting the pellet is easy due to the unrestricted access. The HW25 comes with an effective loading safety that does not allow the trigger to be operated when the barrel is down in the loading position.

As I mentioned, bringing the Weihrauch HW25 air rifle to bear and forming a cheek weld to comfortably fire it was not easy, damn awkward in fact. That suggests to me that this small air rifle is more suited to juniors or people with a slighter frame.

The safety is a plus for this air rifle with it being centred at the rear of the action and easy to reach, unlike the push button safety which is located to the left of the larger Weihrauchs, namely the HW30s through to the HW80s. Aligning the sights was difficult at first though after I had put through 30 shots, I became more adept at shooting it.

The trigger pull on the Weihrauch HW25 was more suited to the likes of Arnie with a pull weight if 3.3 kilos, yup guys, that is right, 3.3 kilograms! Once you master the sights (if you are my size plus) then the trigger is next and after that, you’re home.

I am assuming here that the heavy trigger on the HW25 is probably quite suitable when teaching someone to shoot, namely a youngster who is likely to inadvertently squeeze off a shot before they are positioned.

For those of you who are into air rifle specifications here are the shooting stats:

Weihrauch HW25 Air Rifle Target Results

Weihrauch HW25 Performance Spreadsheet

A word of warning when testing a new air rifle: do not waste time shooting it through a chronograph until you have put through 50+ shots as the initial readings tend to be all over the place. Facts are that most spring powered air rifles take more than 1000 shots before they really settle down and give consistent Chronograph results.

For the Weihrauch HW25 test, I used a Hawke Scope, being the 4 x 40 where I obtained the following very average target results (this was the best of the bunch below).

So if you are looking for an air rifle for your kids to learn from, then this Weihrauch HW25 is probably a good choice but not what I would recommend for air rifle target shooting or vermin control. The Weihrach HW25 is a great air rifle to teach the learner the basic shooting skills.

If you want to control small vermin around your property then I think you should be looking at the Weihrauch HW30 that has a bit more punch and is more accurate. I feel the energy levels of the Weihrauch HW25 are too low to be an effective vermin controller resulting in you wounding more than you kill in all likelihood.

The accuracy of the Weihrauch HW25 did improve drastically after I had fired around 80 shots and in all fairness, I would expect it to improve still further. You need to try a range of different pellets once you have the air rifle ‘run-in’ a bit.

While the Weihrauch HW25 does come with steel sights, if you are chasing accuracy then look at dropping on a small 4×32 or 4×40 Scope, especially if you are finding the rifle uncomfortable due to your size or the ergonomics of the air rifle.

The HW25 Specifications.

Length Overall: 945mm
Stock Length: 585mm
The trigger to Butt Pad: 332mm
Barrel Length: 385mm
Barrel Diameter: 12mm
Action Weight: 1.212 Kilos
Stock Weight: .727 Kilos
External Chamber Dia: 25mm
Calibre: .177

Weihrauch HW25 Target

Weihrauch HW25 Target

Weihrauch HW25 air rifle facing left

HW25 Weihrauch

Weihrauch HW25 Summary.

What is there to like about the Weihrauch HW25 air rifle? Well, it is short, compact and a well-finished product that has an easy balance and is lightweight at 1.939 kilos making it well suited for a learner or junior. It does shoot pretty well and looking over the action very closely you can be assured of having an air rifle with some serious longevity. I do like the easy accessibility of the HW25’s safety catch as it is simple and very light to operate, making this air rifle pretty safe.

What is not to like about HW25? The trigger for a start, it is a safety feature of sorts for a beginner but at 3 kgs it will marginalise your accuracy. The safety I think should be resettable for a beginner’s gun because one of the prime requisites of teaching someone to shoot is SAFETY. The third thing I do not like about the Weihrauch HW25 is the exposed foresight blade that does not have a protective cover though it does have machined slots to take one.

Weihrauch HW25 air rifle facing forward

Weihrauch HW25 Front View

All in all, a good safe gun for a youngster’s first air rifle that should stand the test of time and abuse with the exception of the foresight. So, if you are in the market for a small air rifle to suit a youngster or beginner, I would give serious attention to this Weihrauch HW25.