Posts Tagged ‘HW’

Weihrauch HW95

The Weihrauch HW95 spring-piston airgun.

Most of us live in a fast pace rat race society.  With today’s advanced technology we stay connected to family, friends and the workplace associates seemingly 24/7.  I find myself looking back at the days of my youth with pleasure more and more.

At the age of 54, I grew up when phones still had cords, fuel was .25 cents per gallon and the drive-in movie was a great place to take your sweetheart or find one.  I remember saving the spent shot shells from my dad’s 16-gauge after the opening day of dove season because I thought they were so cool.  As a society we seem to need immediate satisfaction with today’s connectivity. We can order the latest widget and expect it at our door tomorrow, use it over the weekend, and discard it after our disappointment over its lack of quality and/or performance. We tend to want our things fast and cheap, and not value the qualities that last.

My last blog post was in honor of Mr. Stefan Weihrauch, owner/partner of the HW airgun factory in Germany. The owner brothers Hans and Stefan have built a company that embraces quality over quantity with high value for the money. I recommend their products highly. In particular, the Weihrauch HW95. This rifle is of the highest quality and performance standard with pricing that was negotiated by Stefan before his passing to provide German engineering at a value that rivals much cheaper made airguns. Take advantage of this special promotion while it lasts and bring back some childhood memories. It will put a smile on your face!

Thank you for reading,

Robert Buchanan

President, Airguns of Arizona

Another variation on a classic: the HW45 Black Star

For a number of years, comedian Jeff Foxworthy has made a name for himself doing a bit called “You might be a redneck if . . .” The phrase “you might be a redneck if” is followed by some outrageous statement. One of my favorites is; “You might be a redneck if you ever mowed your lawn and found a car.” (Given the way it has been raining in upstate New York, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a wholly mammoth, a chartreuse Microbus, and some leftover targets from Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show the next time I mow.)

So here’s my version of the “you might be a [fill in the blank] thing: You might be an airgunner if you see yet another variation on the classic HW45 and immediately start inventing reasons why you “need” that pistol.

What set off this train of thought was a recent arrival from Brown Santa (the UPS guy) that contained the HW45 Black Star pistol. Like every other HW45, this is a single-shot, spring-piston air pistol. Available in both .177 and .22, the Black Star stretches 11 inches overall and weighs 2.6 lbs.

At the back end of the Black Star is a silver metal “hammer” that is actually the release for the upper half of the receiver. Below that, except for the safety and trigger, the entire air pistol is finished in a handsome matte black. Surrounding the pistol grip on either side is a laminated grey grip that manages somehow to be both ambidextrous and ergonomic. There is a thumb/finger shelf on either side at the top and a quasi-palm shelf on either side at the bottom. The main part of the grip is stippled on either side to provide better traction for the middle, ring, and little fingers.

Forward of the pistol grip on either side of the receiver is a silver metal non-automatic safety. Flick it forward to allow the pistol to fire. The trigger guard, made of the same metal as the rest of the receiver, surrounds a silver metal 2-stage adjustable trigger.  On the left hand side of the receiver, the words “HW 45 Black Star” appear in white lettering.

Moving forward to the muzzle end of the receiver, the front sight is small, red, and fiber optic. Behind the front sight is a dovetail on which a red dot sight or scope can be mounted. At the extreme aft end of the receiver, the rear sight is equipped with yellow fiber optics and can be adjusted for elevation and windage.

Pull back the silver hammer and the rear of the upper half of the receiver is released to begin the cocking stroke.

To load the Black Star, pull the silver hammer at the rear of the receiver backwards until the upper half of the receiver is released. Grab the back end of the upper half of the receiver and pull it up and forward until it latches. This compresses the spring in the spring-piston powerplant and requires about 18 lbs of effort. Insert a pellet into the breech end of the barrel and return the upper half of the receiver to its original position, snapping it locked into place.

Take aim at your target, flip the safety off, and squeeze the trigger. According to my digital trigger gauge, at 1 lb. 15.7 oz., the first stage came out the of the trigger, and at 3 lbs. 6.1 oz., the shot went off. Since the Black Star is functionally the same as an HW45, typical velocities with Crosman Premier 7.9 gr. pellets are likely to be around 520 fps. The .22 version of the Black Star will probably sent .22 Premiers down range at around 415 fps.

Like every other HW45, the Black Star is both challenging and fun to shoot. It’s challenging because it’s a spring-piston pistol and you have to deal with the recoil to shoot it well. It’s fun because it jumps in your hand and delivers the pellet to the target with some authority.

I "need" one of these, so I guess that makes me an airgunner.

And just why do I “need” one of these pistols? Because it’s so darned good looking, that’s why.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

You don’t have to read this blog for very long to figure out that Your Humble Correspondent is a beady-eyed, slavering, unrepentant, not-in-the-twelve-step-program, airgun junkie. Put an airgun in my hand and chances are that I’ll find something to like about it. I just plain love airguns. I love that they cost just pennies a round to shoot, that by and large they don’t generally make much noise, that I can shoot them in my back yard, and that they are just plain fun.

In many ways, I think we are living in the Golden Age of airguns right now. So many manufacturers are making such great stuff that we airgunners have really a wide selection of excellent air rifles and air pistols to chose from.

What follows are some of my current favorites.

The RWS 34 Meisterschutze Pro Compact. This air rifle surprised me by turning out to be one of the most accurate break barrel air rifles I have shot in a long, long time. With one of these, a shooter could hunt, plink, shoot air rifle silhouette or field target without breaking the family budget. You can read more about it here http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/12/the-tackdriving-rws-34-meisterschutze-pro-compact.html

The RWS Model 56 TH. This is a big, heavy, wickedly-accurate sidelever springer air rifle with an excellent trigger and a recoilless action. If you can put up with the weight, it is a certified tackdriver. You can read more about it here http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/03/big-kahuna-rws-model-56-th-part-i.html and here http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/03/big-kahuna-rws-model-56-th-part-ii.html

The HW35E is an absolute classic break barrel springer, available new today. What sets it apart from all other break barrels currently available – apart from its euro styling – is the breech latch that makes sure the barrel and breech have returned to the same position after loading for greater accuracy. The HW35E shoots great and looks terrific. For more info, look here: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/08/hw35e.html

When it comes to precharged pneumatic rifles, two spring readily to mind. The first is the Gladiator Tactical. It has enormous storage capacity, gets a huge number of shots between fills, has power levels that can be adjusted at the flick of a lever, is a fast repeater, has a very neighbor-friendly report, and is satisfyingly accurate. You can check out more here http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/10/the-outstanding-gladiator-tactical-%e2%80%93-part-i.html and here http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/10/the-outstanding-gladiator-tactical-%e2%80%93-part-ii.html

For a PCP rifle that you could use to hunt just about anything you might reasonably want to hunt with an airgun, I’d pick the .25 caliber Marauder. It delivers over 40 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle and, with its Green Mountain barrel, will deliver dime-sized groups at well beyond 50 yards. You can get more info here: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/08/25-caliber-marauder.html

When it comes to pistols, I am very fond of the RWS LP8. You can learn more about it here: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2009/06/rws-lp8-classic-in-making.html But any of the HW45 pistols are enormous fun to shoot and extremely well made. You can check out one example here: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2009/04/hw45-stl-looker-and-shooter.html

If you want a rifle that embodies everything I prize most in an air rifle: accuracy, quiet, fully self-contained, repeater, and powerful enough to dispatch any small game or pests you might want to take with a pneumatic rifle, the FX Independence has it all. Here’s a link to my review: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/06/independence-day.html

Finally, if you absolutely forced me to choose just one airgun as my overall favorite, the one that would be the absolute last one I would be willing to give up, I think it would be an HW30. It’s light, easy to cock, fully self-contained, a delight to shoot, nicely accurate and capable of taking small game out to about 30 yards or so with proper shot placement. Here’s a link to my review of the HW30 De Luxe http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/09/hw30s-de-luxe.html

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The HW40 looks like a tactical pistol but it shoots like a match pistol.

In my previous blogs I have already admitted my fondness for single-stroke pneumatic pistols. The have a lot to offer: they require only one stroke for cocking; they exhibit negligible recoil, and they generally deliver excellent accuracy. That makes them “just what the doctor ordered” for an afternoon of easy-going, high-accuracy plinking. About the only downside to an SSP pistol is that none of them generate much in the way of power or velocity.

The Weihrauch HW40 is a single-stroke pneumatic pistol that stretches about 9.5 inches long and weighs about a pound and three-quarters. The entire frame appears to be molded out of some sort of matte black engineering polymer. Overall, I was well pleased with the fit and finish of the HW40. At the rear of the pistol is a silver “hammer,” the function of which we’ll discuss in just a bit. Below that is an ambidextrous pistol grip molded with finger grooves. I found that it fit my hand very comfortably.

Forward of the pistol grip, the polymer trigger guard encloses a silver-colored metal two-stage trigger. Above the trigger, on the left hand side of the pistol is a silver metal slide safety. Push it toward the muzzle to release the trigger for firing.

At the muzzle end of the pistol, just about the muzzle, is compensator that vents extra air as the pellet exits the barrel. Just aft of that is a red fiber optic front sight. Moving back along the top of the pistol is a dovetail to which a red dot or scope can be attached. Below the dovetail and above the trigger guard on either side of the HW40, you’ll find an “ejection port” through which you can actually see a portion of the HW40’s barrel. Moving aft again, at the top rear of the pistol, you discover a micro-adjustable green fiber optic rear sight. That’s all there is to the HW40.

Pulling the silver hammer back at the rear of the HW40 releases the "slide" for cocking and loading the pistol.

The HW40, ready for loading.

To get the HW40 ready for shooting, pull back the silver hammer at the rear of the pistol. This unlatches the rear upper half of the pistol – the “slide” if this were a firearms automatic. Next, grasp the rear of the slide and pull it up and forward as far as it will go. This open the action for the compression stroke and activates the automatic safety. Insert a .177 pellet into the aft end of the barrel and return the “slide” to its original position, making sure that the hammer snaps shut. (Although I have no good way of quantifying it, the last 1.5 inches of the compression stroke are fair stiff, so this is not the air pistol I would recommend for a youngster.)

The right side of the HW40.

Next, take aim, slide the safety off, and squeeze the trigger. It takes just a hair less than 11 oz to pull the first stage out of the trigger, and at 1 lb 0.6 oz, the shot goes off. The HW40 has one of the nicest triggers you’ll find anywhere in a single-stroke pneumatic pistol, short of an Olympic-quality match pistol.

My Oehler chronograph tells me that the sample of HW40 that I tested launches Crosman Premier 7.9 pellets at 365 fps average. That’s just 2.3 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. The HW40 is satisfyingly accurate as well. With the right pellet (and presuming you are doing your job properly), the HW40 will shoot 3/8 inch edge to edge groups. At 10 meters.

In the end, I really liked the HW40. It’s an attractive SSP pistol that is easy to shoot well, has an excellent trigger, and is accurate enough to satisfy most pistoleros. It saddened me to box it up and send it back.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

It wouldn’t surprise me if one of these days, my friends and family pull an “intervention” on me. You know what an intervention is: one of those deals where they all gather in a room and tell you how concerned they are about you and how maybe you ought to be thinking about what you’ve been up to and perhaps you ought to Get Some Help. Interventions often revolve around drug abuse or alcoholism. But that’s not my difficulty. We’ll get to what my problem is in just a little bit, but I’ll give you a hint: I started thinking about it when I began testing the Weihrauch HW30S De Luxe.

The HW30S is one neat little air rifle. It measures just 38 and three-quarters inches end to end and tips the scales at just five-and-one-half pounds. At the extreme aft end of HW30S is a soft brown rubber butt pad that is attached to the hardwood stock with a black spacer. The butt stock has a slight swell for a cheek piece on the left hand side, but in all truth the stock for the HW30S is virtually ambidextrous and lefties should have no difficulty shooting it whatsoever.

Moving forward just a bit, there is checkering on either side of the pistol grip, and it is this checkering – and the checkering you’ll find on the forestock – that separates the HW30S De Luxe from the plain old HW30S. Forward of the pistol grip is a black metal trigger guard inside of which is a silver metal Rekord adjustable trigger. Forward of that, underneath the forestock, is a large screw that secures the action into the stock, and a bit further on is a slot in the forestock to provide clearance for the cocking mechanism.

Beyond the end of the forestock is the breech block and the cocking linkage, followed by the barrel. On top of the barrel, near the muzzle is a globe sight (like you would find on a a Beeman R1) that has interchangeable inserts. Moving back along the barrel, you find a micro-adjustable rear sight mounted on top of the breech block. Moving aft again, there is a dovetail for mounting a scope and a couple of holes for anti-recoil pins. At the extreme aft end of the receiver, you’ll find a push-button automatic safety that is non-resettable.

To get the HW30S ready for shooting, grab the barrel on or near the front sight and pull it down and back until it latches. This opens the breech for loading. Stuff a pellet into the breech and return the barrel to its original position. I tested the .177 version of the HW30S (it’s also available in .22), and it launches Crosman Premier 7.9 gr. pellets at average of 620 fps, generating about 6.7 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

The HW30S shares the same powerplant as the Beeman R7, which is one of the most beloved breakbarrel air rifles in the world. What makes it so much fun to shoot, I think, is that the power it generates is well matched to the weight of the gun, which makes it easy to shoot well, very accurate, and just plain a lot of fun to put shot after shot down range.

The Rekord trigger acquitted itself well (as they always do). The first stage required only 1 lb 2.3 oz, and the second stage just 2 lb 11.8 oz.

Now we come to the part where I need an intervention. After shooting the HW30S De Luxe for a while, a thought (powered by my obsession with the movie Quigley Down Under) crept into my brain: How would this neat little air rifle work with a peep rear sight?

In seconds, I was in the basement, dismounting the scope and the rear sight and mounting a Gamo Super Match rear sight that had been fitted with an anti-recoil pin and a variable aperture.

Okay, I pulled one to the right . . .

A few minutes after that, I shot a neat little group at 13 yards from a sitting position using the globe front sight and peep rear sight. With its light weight and ease of cocking, the HW30S De Luxe is simply great fun to shoot, and I heartily recommend this setup to anyone who wants to shoot as simply as possible.

And that’s why I fully expect friends and family to stage an intervention on me. “Jock, you’ve simply got to stop pretending you’re Matthew Quigley and quit mounting peep sights on every airgun that comes in the door!”

But I won’t stop. No so long as there are delightful air rifles like the HW30S De Luxe that can be fitted with peep sights and shot with immense pleasure.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott