Weihrauch HW100T review

Review: Weihrauch HW100T 30-joule PCP air rifle


Weihrauch has added more power to its HW100T, releasing a 30-joule model that is a very accurate and robust pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle. The HW100 already has a proven track record and well-deserved popularity, and in this test it showed its mettle with .22-cal ammo ranging from 14.7-grain pellets to 30gn slugs.

Weihrauch has been making the HW100 for more than 20 years and the German company has well and truly got it working like a charm, with easy operation and superb accuracy across a range of pellet weights and styles.

The thumbhole stock is designed so the Weihrauch can be used offhand or on a bench in comfort

The roots of its good performance lie primarily in the match-grade barrel and the truly sublime trigger, which out of the box releases at around 550 after a hint of initial take-up followed by a break so crisp you barely feel it. 

The roots of its good quality lie in Weihrauch’s long-established reputation for it. The company has maintained it, never letting its standards slip.

The HW100T is the thumbhole-stock version and the test rifle had the full-length barrel of 64cm (25”) to the tip of the threaded-on compensator. Unfortunately, Australia’s silly laws about suppressors mean only professionals generally have access to the sound moderator that’s so frequently fitted to these rifles in foreign markets. 

The action is a side-lever design, the lever not only pushing a pellet into the chamber but operating the rotating mechanism for the 14-shot magazine. With the biathlon lever screwed on to the end, the right-handed lever is a delight to use, allowing you to fire repeated shots without lifting your head from the comb or taking your eye from the reticle. 

Weihrauch HW100T review
The HW100T action with its 14-round magazine inserted

The two-position safety is on the right of the receiver for your thumb to operate. It’s only foible is it is noisy, clicking off loudly enough to alert small game you might be close to.

The stock’s good design is one of the 100T’s attractions. It’s ambidextrous, with the same comb profile left and right. The comb is raised high to align your eye with the scope while the butt sits low to properly engage your shoulder. 

The pistol grip is angled back at less than 45°, putting it roughly halfway between a traditional sporter and the vertical grip of a benchrest rifle; it makes this thumbhole stock a comfortable compromise for field positions as well as rested ones. 

The very strong stippling is cut into the grip to enhance your grasp but the fore-end is smoothly finished. Offsetting the reduced traction this offers, there’s a generous finger groove along each side which adds to control. Given the PCP gun’s lack of recoil, good traction isn’t that high on the priority list. 

Weihrauch HW100T review
The bedding contact is large and even. Note how well-finished the inside of the stock is

The quality is obvious when you look over the Weihrauch. Take the inletting inside the walnut stock: it’s flawless and beautifully finished where other rifle makers often leave rough edges and raw timber. You’d think Weihrauch wanted you to show off the hidden bits when your non-Weihrauch-owning mates come around. The bluing is shiny and the walnut itself is not boring, though it’s not top-grade burl either.

The HW100 has metal magazines so it’s highly unlikely they’ll break like cheaper plastic ones do. Two magazines are supplied, and fill adapters are also supplied with the rifle. 

The air cylinder threads on under the barrel, naturally, and includes a pressure gauge on it front end. As well as filling it from the rear end when off the gun, you can use the quick-fill plug up front without removing the cylinder. Maximum pressure is 200 bar (2900psi) and it’s large enough to provide this new 30J model with a claimed 50 shots in .177 or 75 in .22 calibre. I was getting a few less from this particular rifle. 

The top of the action has 11mm dovetails (rimfire size) for scope mounting. I fitted a Meopta Optika6 2.5-15×44, which had parallax adjustment down to a mere 10 yards, ideal for an air rifle. Its magnification range also suited the varying ranges the Weihrauch can shoot to and the small targets it’s likely to be pointed at. This Optika6 had the simple flex reticle but the numbered, ¼ MOA clicks of the adjusting rings allowed me to dial in elevation to suit the trajectory of the ammo.

Weihrauch HW100T review
Operating the cocking lever with the biathlon handle fitted is a pleasure

Oddly, the rifle comes with a plastic Picatinny-style rail. It didn’t fit the rifle properly and is flexible, and is at odds with the excellence of the rest of Weihrauch’s offering. I left it in the box.

Once I’d dialled in for different ranges with the most accurate slugs, I could land shots from 100 metres into rabbit-sized targets with admirably regularity, wind being the obvious variable in field conditions at long ranges like this. There’s a noticeable delay between letting the shot go and hearing it hit!

That was with H&N slugs weighing 23 grains — slow out of the muzzle compared with the lightweights but they hold their line and their energy better over long distance. I can say with certainty that these slugs, leaving the muzzle at 263m/s (862fps) with 51.4 joules (40ft-lb) of energy fly to a fox-sized point blank range of over 50m and will kill a feral cat instantly at 43m using a dead-on hold.  

Firing H&N 30-grain hollow-points, the Weihrauch had no trouble knocking over half-grown piglets at a similar distance.

While some ammunition was more accurate than others, as always, none of the pellets or slugs I put through the HW100T showed anything less than good accuracy over the 25m range I did the testing at. If you can’t find some supremely accurate for an HW100, I’d suggest the first place to look for a solution is in the mirror.   

Weihrauch HW100T review
This group of 14 shots measuring 9.5mm from 25m was typical of accuracy using many different weights of pellets and slugs. Accuracy ranged from good to excellent

Standard deviation figures were superb with a number of different pellets — as little 0.4m/s (1.4fps) across 14 shots. Extreme spreads, too, were frequently very tight, down to just 1.4m/s (4.6fps) in one case. 

The Weihrauch is far from cheap and most traditional rifle shooters get a shock when they see what they might have to pay to get into the realm of high-end PCP air rifles, but that’s what is required for the precision, quality and performance of the HW100T. It’s true to say that those PCP rifles that are much cheaper than this are not at all in the same league. 

The HW100T is both delightful and dependable, and is not going to disappoint anyone who wants a rewarding air rifle they can count on. 

Weihrauch HW100T review
As a rifle for dealing with all manner of feral pests, the Weihrauch HW100T is superb

Thanks to Mudgee Firearms for assistance with this test. They have a quality pump in the shop to refill gas cylinders for a token fee. It makes owning one of these rifles so much more practical!

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Manufacturer: Weihrauch, Germany
  • Type: Side-lever PCP repeating air rifle
  • Calibres: .177, .20, .22 (tested)
  • Magazine: 14-shot rotating cylinder, removable
  • Cylinder: 200 bar max pressure; with sight gauge
  • Shot capacity (claimed): 75 in .22-cal
  • Trigger: 2-stage, 550g release
  • Safety: 2-position
  • Barrel length: 60cm plus 4cm compensator
  • Weight: 3.8kg with cylinder and empty magazine
  • Length: 110cm
  • Price: Around $3200
  • Distributor: Allcock & Pierce

 

 

 


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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.

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