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 springers. This is the 1st of 4 articles on the HW77K Springer 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.
You like the airgun, now 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”.
HW77K Pellet Test Sheet.
This following Test Result image is displaying a range of 10 pellets shot from a Weihrauch HW77K air rifle 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.
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):
The above range of HW77K air rifles is available at the time of writing this.
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 springers, 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 this Weihrauch air rifle in .177 calibre as it does in the other calibres.