Now I've had my Weihrauch HW100S for a couple of months and put around a thousand pellets through it I though it time to share the good news. First of all, why Weihrauch? after all, there are loads of rifles out there and many are a lot less than the £720 currently being asked for a HW100. Firstly, I've had a variety of Weihrauch springers over the last thirty odd years and they have never let me down. Secondly, those who have owned Weihrauch's first PCP rifle seem to rave about them. An thirdly, I tried all the others in a gunshop before settling on the HW100S in .177 format.
My own gun is the Mk.2 version, i.e. the 'Quickfill' version whereby you just plug the probe into the hole in the cylinder to top up. There is a plastic plug to stop dirt getting into the hole when the gun is in use. The gun was bought from a Sheffield firm who deal exclusively online at a price that was £25 less then a large West Yorkshire dealer was asking for a second hand one. It came in a box, with the filling probe, assorted plumbing bits and an instruction manual. The gun also comes with a Weihrauch silencer as standard and this makes it whisper quiet.
First impressions were of a solid, heavy, well balanced gun that was smooth in operation. The S model has a walnut sportster stock, i.e. not a thumbhole and is full length as opposed to the 'K' carbine model.
For me, the thumbhole is ugly and does not add anything to the handling. You might think otherwise. The stock felt like satin rather than silk and so the first job was to rub it down with wire wool and apply Truoil. This was repeated until the stock fairly shone. Then I took off the gloss with wire wool to leave a sealed grain that did not feel slippy to touch.
There is chequering on the pistol grip and forepiece and the paintwork has a quality feel to it. The trigger is adjustable for travel and weight.
The gun was filled to the recommended 200 BAR, fitted with a German made Richter 3-9 x 50 scope and away we went. Obviously I zeroed the scope first using a mark at 35 yds to give optimum accuracy from less than 10 yds to just over 40 yds.
The HW100 comes with two 14 shot magazines in .177. These magazines are extremely well made and robust bits of equipment.
Once loaded and locked in by the sliding catch you cannot go wrong. If you cock the mechanism twice the magazine does not rotate and allow a second pellet to be loaded. Also, the safety is a solid affair like a lorry handbrake, not the diddly little buttons you see on other makes. This safety catch only operates when the gun is cocked. So, if you aren't sure whether it is cocked or not, just try and activate the safety. If it moves back to 'Safe' the gun is cocked. If it refuses to move the gun is not cocked and therefore 'Safe' anyway.
As I said before, I found the gun to be intially heavy. It's actually 7.5 lbs, but in comparison with my other two guns it is a lump. That said, it is balanced and now, after using it for two months I don't feel the weight. Putting it alongside my old Weihrauch underlever, it feels lighter. Fitting a neoprene sling helped and I am now totally at ease carrying it around.
Over the Crombo I discovered that AA Fields in 4.52 were a little over 12 ft/lb. They averaged 12.08 so I switched to 4.51 size and the reading came to to around 11.7 ft/lb. This was almost exactly the same as with H&N FTT pellets. In a ten shot string the HW100 varied by no more than 8 fps. Given that there could be variances in the gun, pellet or chronometer I don't think that's bad.
Like any gun, it is only as accurate as the pellets you use and finding the right pellets is crucial. To be honest, I've stuck with Superdomes for years without giving a thought to this. It all changed when a mate gave me some AA Fields to try and I discovered that they worked best in my gun. Since then I've been more open to trying new pellets. In the HW100S I put these through on a 35 yd target with gun and shooter both supported on rests.
I then used the last target to try AA Fields at 50 yds to test the drop off.
The AA Fields appear to have gone through the same holes and while their spread is more than adequate as seen by the 1/2" rings, they are outdone by Accupels who's grouping is slightly tighter and more consistent. Anyone thinking of HFT shooting would do well with this gun. It is certainly more accurate with the right pellets than I can ever be.
All the pellets, including those at 50 yds went through a hardboard sheet and a plastic box. This indicates that the gun is more than capable of killing at 50 yds plus.
Since I have started using this gun I have found it ideal for general hunting of squirrels, corvids, pigeons and other vermin. The handling is great and it feels solid. The side-lever action is silky smooth and never jams or fails to deliver another round smoothly into the chamber. 28 shots, loaded in two magazines and carried around in a small clasp purse is more then enough for a day's hunting and the air tank seems to hold around 90 full power shots in .177 and will do more in .22 calibre.
Overall, I really like the gun. It has the same sort of understated quality that you see in the bigger Audi cars such as the A5 and A6. There is nothing fancy or flash, just solid, reliable engieering and a silky smooth operation. The only thing I would change is the pressure gauge dial. It is far too colourful for my liking and I have masked most of mine off with black tape. If you are target shooting it won't matter, but from a hunting point of view, it's something that might catch a pigeon's eye.
Other than that - first class gun in my opinion.