I am very lucky in that I get to use a lot of different gun and hunt in a lot of different places. I was down in Arizona on a prairie dog and rabbit hunt in the northern desert recently, and got in some serious field time with the Weihrauch HW 100. This is a handy little carbine in .22 caliber that is a light, compact tackdriving example of what’s right in German engineering. The HW 100 is a 14 round multishot, that is ergonomic, intelligently designed, and impossible to double load (a great feature for me). The sidelever action is smooth, takes little effort to cycle, and indexes the simple yet efficient magazine that in my experience fed flawlessly. This gun comes quickly to the shoulder and is easy to maneuver through the heavy brush. I’ve got a real bias towards more compact guns for hunting, especially in those situations where I’ll be carrying the gun more than shooting it, or crawling through dense brush and the HW 100 is one of the most compact full power PCPs I’ve hunted with!
The stock is an ambidextrous thumbhole design, shaped from a nicely figured piece of walnut. I have an affinity for thumbhole stocks, and this one offers an instinctive and natural hold, with a well shaped pistol grip that features a sharp checkering. The raised comb provided a good sight alignment, and I found that I shot this rifle well from any position. I was shooting the rifle off of the tripod rest for prairie dogs out to 100 yards, and knocking them over left and right. The trigger is a 2 stage adjustable match sporting trigger that was tuned to about 20 oz and broke crisply on the second stage, which further facilitated my field success. I was told that Weihrauch used the Rekord trigger as a benchmark when designing the trigger for this rifle, which set the mark very high…. I think the trigger on this rifle has lived up to that standard, one of the better ones I’ve used on an out of the box gun.
But where the HW 100 really came into its own was when I took off stalking cottontails along the fence lines and in the thick brush. I could maneuver easily and was able to get the rifle on point quickly, not to mention shoot accurately offhand. I went on one of my best stalks of the trip with this gun, which started when I accidently kicked up a fat cottontail while jumping out of the truck. He took me over a winding half mile stop and go course before I could line up the 40 yards headshot as he paused behind a cactus. The shot rolled him, and with the 16 grain JSB roundnose pellets doing in the 850’s (around 23 fpe), he didn’t move afterwards.
Is there anything I didn’t like about the gun? Not really, it is not the quietest and the shot count isn’t extremely high, however I feel this is nitpicking. For the way I would use a fast carbine like this, neither of these were issues that would stop me from selecting this gun. I know they are gaining popularity in the UK, I recently read it was one the best selling PCPs in British airgun shops, but it is not as widely known here. I think if more people had exposure to the gun here that would change!
I had a great few days hunting the HW 100, and in the course of my hunts took a lot feathered and furred game with it. If I was to pick a fast action compact carbine for small game hunting, this gun would certainly make my short list.