Posts Tagged ‘HW’

Herr Hans Weihrauch Talks About His Company, Weihrauch Sport

In this exclusive interview, Herr Hans Weihrauch – the owner of Weihrauch Sport – talks to Stephen Archer. We met most recently at the 2018 Extreme Benchrest competition in Arizona. Here’s how the conversation went…

Stephen Archer: When did you first start shooting and who taught you to shoot?

Hans Weihrauch: That was quite a long time ago! At about the age of 10-12 years, I started shooting with an air rifle. My father was a member of a shooting club and took me to a German “Schützenhaus”, shooting on a 10 Meter target range. Shooting instructors taught other young guys and myself how to hold the air rifle and to aim at the paper targets.

Stephen Archer: What was your first airgun and do you still own it?

Hans Weihrauch: I started this kind of shooting with a HW 55 match type air rifle. This rifle is still standing in my gun cabinet. I still own it and I am proud of it!

Herr Hans Weihrauch Talks About His Company, Weihrauch Sport

Stephen Archer: What is your favorite type of shooting now?

Hans Weihrauch: I shoot 50 Meter English Match in cal. .22 Long Rifle as well as some Field Target competitions.

I find Field Target shooting very interesting and challenging. Shooting at various distances, in different directions on one lane, in different shooting positions and in a limited time frame is very demanding for every shooter.

Stephen Archer: Please tell us a little history about the Weihrauch company?

Hans Weihrauch: Our family tradition in working in the gun trade started in the late 1890s. In 1899 our great-grandfather founded his first company to produce hunting rifles. Over the following decades the company grew and a lot of different models followed as well as other products like pedals and cranks for bicycles and hydraulic door closers.

In 1939 the first airgun, an air pistol, was introduced, but due to World War II it never got into production. There is at least one prototype still existing. I’ve seen it myself, but unfortunately it’s not owned by us any more.

In the early fifties of the last century the first air rifles HW 50 and HW 35 were launched. A lot of different models have followed over the years!

Herr Hans Weihrauch Talks About His Company, Weihrauch Sport

Stephen Archer: Can you tell us a little about the company today. For example, how many people work at Weihrauch-Sport? How big is your factory? Is everything made in Germany?

Hans Weihrauch: Nowadays our line of air guns offers a wide variety of different models. More than 100 employees produce air pistols and air rifles in a huge number of versions in our premises at Mellrichstadt in Baveria.

All our products are “Made in Germany”. Our major focus is quality and craftsmanship. All manufacturing is undertaken using state-of-the-art machinery. We aim to offer our customers the best possible products!

Below. The Weihrauch factory.

Herr Hans Weihrauch Talks About His Company, Weihrauch Sport

Stephen Archer: Always, the machining and finish of both wood and metal parts is beautiful on Weihrauch airguns! How do you achieve such an outstanding level of craftsmanship?

Hans Weihrauch: Germans have the reputation of being perfectionists. So we happily try to meet our customers expectations! This reflects to all the metal and wooden parts.

The stocks and grips are supplied by outside vendors according to our exact specifications. The metal parts are produced by ourselves in-house. Our workers are proud to produce such products that are well-known all over the world.

Stephen Archer: Does Weihrauch-Sport manufacture the barrels for it’s air rifles?

Hans Weihrauch: Most of our barrels are produced in-house. This gives us constant quality control monitoring on each barrel during the whole production process, right up to final test shooting. In this way we can always guarantee our quality standards on each production step of the barrels.

Herr Hans Weihrauch Talks About His Company, Weihrauch Sport

Stephen Archer: Most Weihrauch air rifles use the spring/piston system. Only the HW90 uses a gas ram. Can you explain why gas rams are not used in more Weihrauch air rifles?

Hans Weihrauch: As always, different systems have advantages but also disadvantages. Our spring piston systems work very well. Nevertheless we are always working and improving our air guns to reach the best possible quality to fit our customer needs. We have a lot of customers who love our spring piston air guns and also our gas ram HW 90 model.

Stephen Archer: Weihrauch manufactures both underlever-cocking and break-barrel spring/piston air rifles. Can you give your opinion on the benefits of each design?

Hans Weihrauch: Yes, we are producing both versions, break barrel and underlever cocking.

For decades the break barrel rifles have been the main product. They are easy to handle and everyone knows how to manage, load and shot, them. This system is ideal for beginners and for “just for fun” – shooting.

We then launched the HW 77. This new design conquered the Field Target Shooting scene and was copied several times. The scope mount and the barrel/receiver components are one unit and built a stable and fixed system. This design is valued more by the serious and experienced shooter.

Herr Hans Weihrauch Talks About His Company, Weihrauch Sport

Stephen Archer: Here at Extreme Benchrest we see almost everyone shooting PCP air rifles. Do you see PCPs as the big future trend for your company, too?

Hans Weihrauch: The EBR event is a special and unique event for shooting taking place in the USA.

The shooting demands are on longer distances and for special disciplines like for example the Extreme Benchrest up to 100 Yards, Extreme Field Target or the Speed Silhouette. There definitely the PCP rifles have their big advantage and will be also the future trend. It is a growing scene and market.

For the “normal” shooter these PCP products are quite expensive, especially with all the necessary charging equipment. He will probably step into the shooting scene on a lower level according to his budget and his aim. And sometimes compressed air isn’t available at all places. Perhaps later he will also join other disciplines.

Therefore we are offering our wide range of air guns in various versions and for different purposes. So nearly everybody can find a suitable product for their needs from Weihrauch.

Herr Hans Weihrauch Talks About His Company, Weihrauch Sport

Stephen Archer: Can we expect to see any new air rifle designs from Weihrauch in 2019?

Hans Weihrauch: We are constantly working to improve the quality of our products. So permanent developments and amendments are implemented into the production process of the different models.

Furthermore we are also thinking on new projects. Just recently our newest PCP air rifle – the HW 110 ST – was launched in a special carbine version.

Herr Hans Weihrauch Talks About His Company, Weihrauch Sport

Also in 2019 you can expect something new from Weihrauch. But… wait and see!

Stephen Archer: Hans, thanks for this great interview! I’m sure this will be of great interest to the huge number of Weihrauch enthusiasts around the world. I look forward to seeing you again next year in Nuremberg for the IWA Show and in Las Vegas for the SHOT Show.

Hans Weihrauch: Steve, I look forward to it!

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

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 and here

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:

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 and here

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:

When it comes to pistols, I am very fond of the RWS LP8. You can learn more about it here: But any of the HW45 pistols are enormous fun to shoot and extremely well made. You can check out one example here:

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:

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

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