Earlier this year Airguns of Arizona announced that they would be importing the Weihrauch HW35E. The HW35 has been in continuous production for over 50 years, and the “E” version is the Export version of this gun. The HW35E is available in .177 and .22 caliber, stretches 43.5 inches from muzzle to buttplate and weighs 7.8 pounds.
At the aft end of the HW35E, you’ll find a brown rubber butt pad which is separated from the walnut stock by a black spacer and a white spacer. On the left side of the buttstock, there is a modest cheekpiece. The comb on the buttstock is quite low, which aids shooting this air rifle with iron sights. Underneath the buttstock is a swivel for attaching a shooting sling.
Moving forward, there is a pistol grip, which is checkered and trimmed with a white spacer and a black cap. Forward of that is a black metal trigger guard which houses the silver-colored metal Rekord trigger and its adjustment screw. Forward of that, the forestock is relatively unadorned, with the exception of finger grooves on either side and a screw that secures the action in the stock. At the forward end of the forestock, there is a cocking slot that provides clearance for the action with the break barrel is opened.
If you look at the HW35E from the right side, it looks pretty much like any break barrel air rifle. But from the left, you’ll notice something unusual: a semi-circular cut-out on the right forward edge of the forestock. This cut-out provides clearance for a breech latch that is secured to the breech block. The breech latch makes sure the barrel and breech always return to the same position after loading for greater accuracy.
Forward of the breech block is the barrel, and about halfway to the muzzle, another sling swivel is attached. On top of the barrel at the muzzle end is an R1-style front sight with interchangeable inserts, and a typical metal rear sight is mounted on top of the breech block. Moving further aft, you’ll find the receiver is equipped with dovetails for a scope and three holes for anti-recoil pins. At the aft end of the receiver is a push-button safety.
To ready the HW35E for shooting, place your left hand on the barrel just forward of the breech block. With your left thumb, pull the latch release toward the muzzle, then pull down gently on the barrel. The action breaks open about an eighth of an inch and stays there. Now, slide your left hand out to the front sight and pull the barrel down and back until it latches. The cocking stroke is incredibly smooth and noise free, and the cocking effort is definitely moderate – I estimate it to be in the mid to high 20-pound range. Insert a pellet in the breech end of the barrel, return the barrel to its original position, and you’ll hear the breech latch click into position.
Next, take aim, click the safety off, ease the first stage out the trigger and squeeze just a bit more. The action goes “tunk,” and the shot goes down range. There is no twang, no vibration, and very little recoil. In short, the sample that I tested cocked and shot like a professionally tuned air rifle. The report is also very neighbor-friendly.
I found the .22 caliber HW35E launched 14.35 grain JSB pellets at 626 fps average (about 12.4 footpounds of energy).
The accuracy of the HW35E was excellent. I found it was really easy to put 5 JSB pellets in a group at 30 yards that I could hide with a nickel. A skilled springer shooter could probably do even better.
Straight out of the box, the HW35E is easily the nicest to shoot unmodified spring piston rifle that I have shot to date. I give it my hearty personal recommendation.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott