As you may have read in an earlier blog post of mine the joy that was brought to me with the return of my beloved HW35L model rifle that was stolen and then recovered some 25 plus years later. The maker of my childhood sweetheart is of course the firm HW, short for Hans Weihrauch. Weihrauch in German translation means ‘smoke house’, an appropriate name for a gun company. Many thousands of satisfied air gunners take pride in their HW rifle and/or pistol the world over, so it is safe to say that Weihrauch has and continues to be the stalwart of airgun manufacturing, design, and production.
I not only admire and appreciate the products produced by this family-run factory, but I have also been blessed to be able to spend personal and professional time with the owner brothers Hans and Stefan Weihrauch. These men are both honorable, honest family-first human beings that have a passion for bringing us the best in quality and performance at a fair price. I look forward each year to meeting with these men at the IWA show in Nuremberg. I can tell you that the customer and quality-first attitude is always present in any of our discussions. The last three years at IWA myself, my wife Staci, Marcus Gehmann, Volker Friedrich and Stefan Weihrauch have shared an evening meal together, laughing about who knows what while dinning on fine German fair and quaffing a local brew. This year’s topic was our favorite rock and roll bands with the Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd getting most of the play. Free Bird was of course at the top of the list for all!
Funny how life brings to each and every one of us opportunities. Lord knows I have been blessed with many opportunities. Also with joy, sadness, fear and bravery. Every time a big event in life happens it seems to come from out of the blue and it makes getting up in the morning exciting. As J.R.R. Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins said,
“Its a dangerous business… going out of your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
A few months ago I received an email that hit me up side my head like a baseball bat. My friend, Stefan Weihrauch had unexpectedly passed away. Stefan leaves behind family and friends that will miss him with hurting hearts and multitudes of people that will continue to love him every time they send a pellet down range with their treasured HW airgun. Fly away Stefan, you are indeed a Free Bird.
President, Airguns of Arizona