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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.