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Weihrauch HW97KT video review | Gunmart
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Weihrauch HW97KT

Pete Wadeson tests the Weihrauch HW97KT and reckons this latest thumbhole stock variant has been a long overdue...

Prior to the landmark release of their first PCP (the HW100) Weihrauch were best known in the UK for their springer sporters; rugged, reliable and time tested top performing air rifles.

In relation to the HW97K carbine there’s never been a doubt in my mind that this is one of the finest fixed barrel under-lever rifles money can buy. If it had a downside it would be that Weihrauch stayed true to their usual design routine and the action sat in a practical yet not very visually exciting sporter stock. In hindsight I feel this layout didn’t allow the HW97 to perform to the highest degree it’s capable of, and that nicely brings me to the thumbhole version that I have here on test.

Stock similarities?

Immediately a comparison of the HW97KT’s stock could be made with that of the HW100, but on closer inspection and handling the only design trait they share are the actual shape of the thumbhole employed and the configuration of the pistol grip.

The HW97KT has a rather unusual but very comfortable butt section, in the fact that the top starts as a hogs-back design but then morphs into a relatively high, thickset, ambidextrous cheek piece ending at the shoulder with a fully adjustable butt pad.

A generous amount of stippling is applied to the grip and the relatively slim and lengthy forend that tapers forwards to end in an angled back tip, which actually looks pretty good. The grip design and thumbhole are definitely taken from the HW100. A sensible decision it has proved to be, as this offers the shooting hand a comfortable and sure hold from which to give an optimum level of trigger control.

Smooth action, shorter barrel

As I pressed in the front under-lever release button I realised the action remains smooth and effortless to cock. The lock up is also safe and secure with a reassuring click letting you know the trigger sear has set, while the automatic, cross-bolt, trigger safety ‘snicks’ out to the left to show it has also engaged. Weihrauch have incorporated an anti-bear trap mechanism, so even if the safety catch is taken off and trigger released the rifle will not fire until the under-lever is returned to its original position. The only drawback is that the mech can’t be de-cocked. With the action cocked the sliding breech will have automatically ‘slid back’ to reveal a wide and roomy loading bay, making the task of thumbing a pellet into the exposed breech a much easier task - even in the small .177 calibre.

Once the under-lever is returned to its original position it clicks home and securely locks back in place while the sliding breech moves forward to seal the action. If there has been any alteration I’d say the articulated arm that links the under-lever to the piston head has been changed to give the rifle a surprisingly short cocking stroke. I’d reckon it’s not over 100º of travel, so discreet cocking is made all the easier.
The under-lever mechanism still utilises a rubber 0-ring buffer at the front, which helps make for a relatively quiet operation and also to give a more positive lock up as well ensuring the lever can’t move or rattle around in the under-lever catch housing.

When Weihrauch modified the HW97K a good while back, they shortened the barrel to 11.75” and proportionately brought the moderator back so it now fits flush with the end of the button on the under-lever retaining lug. Due to this simple modification the rifle feels much shorter, as the new design reduces the overall length by approximately 3.25”, it now measuring 40.1” from butt to muzzle.

Accuracy as expected

Like other Weihrauchs, the top of the compression chamber is amply grooved with three stud arrestor holes for dedicated scope use. I soon had a Nikko Stirling Gameking 4 – 16 X 50AO illuminated scope in high mounts and set zero at 30yds.

No surprises that Weihrauch have stuck to using their trademark Rekord 2-stage adjustable trigger unit with auto safety for precise pellet release. The gold anodised trigger blade and adjustment screw add a touch of class to an already top class trigger mechanism. What else can be said of this design except that it’s still the one by which others are judged.

On firing, the weight of the rifle and overall balance help reduce any recoil to a mere nudge, whilst the integral silencer really does hush up the muzzle report to a dull thud. Accuracy is likewise impressive, in the smaller calibre on test I soon settled into producing fingernail sized groups at my 30-yd set zero with quality ammo.

Summing up is easy. The Weihrauch HW97KT is a step forward in design and it’s not been done for looks alone, as it really helps the shooter. Hunters will love this rifle as much as production springer class HFT boys. Me, I’m trying hard to think of a reason why not to add one to my armoury. Unfortunately I’m sadly failing…

We Reckon
• Making a good thing better
• Top under lever design
• Love the new stock

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Technical Specifications
Name Weihrauch HW97KT
Type Under-lever, spring & piston
Single-Shot Y
Calibre .177 on test .22 available
Stock Beech thumbhole sporter with adjustable butt pad
Sights N
Grooved for scope mounting Y
Barrel 11.75”
Price £500

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

Gun Mart Shooters Forum - Get Involved in the Discussion!
User Comments
  • 500 quid !!! your having a lough,could buy a hw97 and a custom stock for that,this aint going to sell.so obvious its just a hw97 in a ugly well the forends nice,stock.
    V-machs custom rifle is only 500 quid,probably cheaper or a bit more but thats custom/hand built.
    HW are trying to mug us off if you ask me,the stock dont even look walnt,no way I would hand out a extra 200bills for that stock,phone call to ste pope or custom stocks me thinks.

    Comment by: rixdta     Posted on: 27 Jan 2010 at 01:09 AM

  • pete,I give you the 1 and only reason you need or should I say excuse.£500 quid when you could get the normal k for £300-320 and then give cs a bell with your spare £180,even go visit them and have it fitted and have any checkering you like added.
    I bet the price is down to Hull and really this Rifle should retail for £350-380 max.If you already have 1 in your armoury,save your self 300 quid and go see custom stocks or v-mach.Only the rich will buy this and I dont think there dumb enough to pay a extra £200 for a stock and I know for sure the hft and ft people aint.
    pcp kit money,get a s400 and a pump and a scope for that money,never mind the other options available.
    sad to say but very true,getting to a stage where manufacturers are going to wipe springers out as there costing more the pcps which dont make sense to me,How can it be easier and cheaper to make a pcp then a springer?
    This is £100-150 quid cheaper then the HW100.

    Comment by: rixdta     Posted on: 27 Jan 2010 at 01:46 AM

  • By far the biggest reasons for the higher prices of European made rifles and ammunition are the rising cost of raw materials and the poor exchange rates.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 28 Jan 2010 at 01:59 AM

  • Whats the difference between the Weihrauch HW 97 KT and the Weihrauch HW 97K ?

    Comment by: Alex     Posted on: 05 Jul 2010 at 10:47 PM

  • The 'T' in HW97KT denotes 'thumbhole' stock. The HW97K has a sporter style stock. The 'K' denotes that both rifles are the shorter barrelled karbine model.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 06 Jul 2010 at 11:54 AM

  • thanks for the great review! i just found the site living in the states and think your site is amazing! i was considering the 97k as a strong coice for my next rifle. i also have fallen in love with the looks of the rws 350 pro compact. i know the 97k is a finer rifle but was wondering what your opinion was on the repeatability for accuracy with the rws break barrel? I love accuracy but was wondering if i would be happy with the rws for my back yard squirrel sniper project! lol. most shots will be in the range of 20- 50 yrds. any thoughts would be great. i value your opinion and know you guys know your stuff. thanks for a greaty site that has totally hooked me! thanks again, walter.

    Comment by: walt mcguire     Posted on: 28 Jul 2010 at 02:07 AM

  • For 'garden squirrel' shooting out to 15yds with open sights and 30yds with a scope, most well made break-barrels would cope, and certainly the RWS would be up to the job. However, with springers you normally get what you pay for, and the HW97K is good enough for FT accuracy out to 55yds - although this doesn't mean you should hunt with it at that distance. In both cases (in fact for any air rifle) the usual rule applies - your maximum hunting drange is the distance where you can put 9/10 shots into a one inch circle.

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 28 Jul 2010 at 12:15 PM

  • thank you for the imput! i decided last night to take the plunge and get the 97k! cant wait! thanks for the help and a great site for info. much thanks, walter.

    Comment by: walt mcguire     Posted on: 28 Jul 2010 at 01:55 PM

  • was wondering if someone can tell me where to find out info on the cleaning and maintenance intervals for the 97k? once i get my new baby i want to take good care of her. thanks very much, walt.

    Comment by: walt mcguire     Posted on: 28 Jul 2010 at 10:42 PM

  • iv,e got the H77 wish it was a bit lighter are well cant have everthing

    Comment by: allan parrott     Posted on: 31 Jul 2010 at 02:04 PM

  • quick question... if my back yard range only goes to 20 yrds +or- for target shooting is a 50mm scope to big? i will be able to target squirrels at 5o yrds up in the trees fron this spot as well though. i want to be accurate on my paper and knock downs but also reach into the trees at 50 for pests. i heard that the scope should ideally be as close to the barrel as possible for accuracy. a little confused. any help is greatly appreciated. i want to order the correct scope for the hw97k and get the best out of my daily shooting grounds. thanks again, your site is great! walt mcguire. other side of the pond.

    Comment by: walt mcguire     Posted on: 26 Aug 2010 at 11:45 PM

  • A 50mm objective lens will have no affect on range - it just helps to draw in more light. It will however need to be mounted higher on the rifle due to the large front lens.

    Unless you are doing a lot of shooting pre-dawn and twilight, you don't need a 50mm objective lens. A 40mm objective or thereabouts will be fine - and possibly cheaper too.

    What is more important is that the scope you choose is not too long, as it could foul the sliding breech of the HW97K.

    Mounting the scope as low to the barrel as possible does help 'flatten' the trajectory making range judgement/shot placement easier, but you don't want it so low that it makes it harder to use the parallax/focus ring (if fitted).

    Personally I would choose a scope with mid-range zoom (3-9x or 4-12x or 6-18x etc.), with a 40mm, 42mm or 44mm objective lens and medium mounts. A parallax/focus facility (PA) is also handy.

    Most importantly, when you say you can take 50yd shots at squirrels (from this spot) ;

    1. If the pellet is leaving your property (or property that you have written permission to shoot over) then it is illegal

    2. A 50 yd shot at a squirrel (or any other quarry) should only be attempted if you can put a pellet into a 1" circle at that range with 9 out of 10 shots, otherwise, stalk it until you are within comfortable range

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 27 Aug 2010 at 12:40 PM

  • much thanks! i will heed your advise. walt.

    Comment by: walt mcguire     Posted on: 28 Aug 2010 at 02:29 PM

  • I am writing as I am overwhelmingly curious as to which scope was used in the video with Mark Camoccio testing the HW 97TK?

    The scope has hunting turrets and large parallax wheel, a very nice compact combination if the optics are also good...

    Comment by: Federico Quintana     Posted on: 17 Jan 2011 at 04:50 PM

  • The scope used was an AGS Elite Tactical 30mm SWAT Mil Dot 3-12X44, but we're not too sure of availability these days, as it was formerly marketed in the UK by Webley/ AGS. It may now be marketed by Highland Outdoors, but at present the AGS website is being reconstructed. For details of your local AGS dealer e.mail sales@highlandoutdoors.co.uk

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 21 Jan 2011 at 01:43 AM

  • I got an old BSA superstar under lever 22 and I wanted the new hw97kt apart from weight will there be much difference in power and accuracy lv under levers and it's a toss up between 97kt and the tx200 mk3

    Comment by: Darren     Posted on: 25 Aug 2011 at 09:19 PM

  • The HW97 and the Air Arms TX200 are good rifles and both have their fans - try both before you decide what to buy, but you won't go wrong with either. As for the Supersport, it was a really good gun in it's day, but I think that you will find that the latest HW97K and TX200 are better.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 26 Aug 2011 at 10:44 AM

  • Thanks for the help,I've gone for the hw97kt ,i got walther 4-12-50ci scopes on the BSA wanted to use these on the hw are these ok or would u recommend some others.............I've also got hawk 3-9-40s any help and advice would be great

    Comment by: Darren     Posted on: 26 Aug 2011 at 11:30 AM

  • Either of these should be fine with suitable mounts - whichever you prefer.

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 29 Aug 2011 at 11:14 PM

  • Hi im just starting out in airguns and looking for my first rifle i want to take up FT at ranges of 8 to 45 yards and brc 25 comp at 25 yards. Is this riffle good for these and for the 1st timer

    Comment by: mark stonham     Posted on: 05 Sep 2011 at 01:07 PM

  • In .177 calibre and with a decent hunting scope, the HW97K would be OK for HFT shooting (at the distances you specify) but at FT distances (out to 55yards) it would require a more complex rangefinding scope on board.

    If you intend to take up competitive FT straight away you can either shoot in Piston Class with the HW97 or better still, buy a second hand pre-charged pneumatic and start in whichever Grade that you qualify for.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 05 Sep 2011 at 05:28 PM

  • what's I's the feet per second for the hw97kt .22 and what I's the maximum range it can shoot with accurate consistency ?

    Comment by: Michael a     Posted on: 07 Nov 2011 at 12:10 AM

  • Having mulled over this decision for a number of weeks I walked into the gun shop and instantly chose the 97kt over the 95k. I doubt I would've been disappointed with either, but definitely not with my final choice. The gun came with a scope, and a free bag and pellets for 420 notes. After carefully zeroing the scope, it was delivering consistent 1-2 " grouping over 30meters freestanding out of the bag. The 3-9 x 40 scope allows a good deal of flexibility between 30 and 20 meters. The only weakest part of this set up was me; Hence the grouping. It is a solid gun, and the breech loading is a massive help when fingers are cold as you can recover any dropped pellets from the breach rather than the mud. I had the 177 as i am interested in the range, yes its a slightly harsher recoil than .22 but within a few minutes i had begun to compensate without realising. it is a very quiet gun even without any tuning, the pellet hitting he target is the main source of any noise. The under leaver action has been well though out and requires minimal effort and does not mean you have to bring the whole gun back in to the body unlike most beak barrels. Its early days, but i am very very pleased. Looking forward to learning to tighten up my shooting and getting the most out of this.

    Comment by: Ivor F     Posted on: 26 Jan 2013 at 01:13 PM

  • Hi I am new to this and having trouble with getting my enquiries printed onto this forum, I have tried twice now to get this to work so I'm keeping my question short. Mabe it just takes a long time to get to the UK from Australia. I would like to know if the Weihrauch HW97KT is better than the Diana model 470 target hunter also thumbhole both in .22 For accuracy, power, speed fps, out to 40 to 50 yrds.Which one is the best and can you get more power faster fps i'e a kit or spring for the HW97KT.would very much apreciate some advice. You guys know your stuff with air rifles in the UK. Thank's, Dogtroff.

    Comment by: Dogtroff     Posted on: 05 May 2013 at 12:03 PM

  • Hi Dogtroff,

    Maybe your internet goes the other way to up here, a bit like water down your plughole! Both rifles should be as accurate as each other, as they both use quality barrels and I'm sure if you fed them decent ammo you'd get very good results.

    As far as power is concerned, what power levels are you allowed down there? Power isn't everything of course, as it can sometimes upset the balance of the rifle's firing cycle and make accurate shooting more difficult.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 05 May 2013 at 01:09 PM

  • Thank's Troll Hunter for getting back to me with response to my enquiry about the the power of the HW97KT compared with the Diana Model 470 Target Hunter.As far as power levels allowed in Ausy land there is no restriction as you can't own any type of fire arm inc Air rifles & crosbows without a firearm certificate, which entails lots of paper work , Police checks, fire arm safety course, and every time you want to buy another gun even though you allready have guns, before you can buy another you have to get a permit to aquire, another lot of paper work !

    The Diana mod 470 TH specs .22 is 930fps & the HW97KT are 755 fps I would at least like the HW97K to be the same if not a bit higher, because we all know in the real world we use lead pellets and unless you use alloy pellets and some [petrol] Only joking, both of those specs are going to be even lower. probably at least 100 fps slower if your lucky !.

    Just wondered about an upgrade kit or spring & cost, up the velocity and hitting power withought wrecking the gun and keeping good accuracy.

    Thank's for your interest and help, very much appreciated.
    PS. Last night I wrot back to your responce, With more info about Ausy ,I'M a one finger typist took about an hour to type finished at 1am last night. For it to tell me my answers wer wrong about the colour of the sky I said Blue no that was wrong so me thinks, "brain storm" its in England 'AH-HA" its Grey I presed submit , it didn't like that so it sent it all down the plug hole, "GONE" "AAAAGH" Before the computer ended up in the paddock I went to bed with a larg Scotch!!! G,day from Dogtroff, Down under.

    Comment by: Dogtroff     Posted on: 06 May 2013 at 12:59 AM

  • i have a hw 97kt aswell with a hawk 3 - 9 x 50 scope sitting on it,
    i have to say as with all weihrauch rifles, its as solid as a tank and of course for some of you lesser build individuals possibly weighs as much as one lol,

    though this really helps absorb any recoil, the accuracy really is second to none and the thumhole stock makes this a very comfortable rifle to shoot it really does, whether your just plinking or hunting small game the kt takes it all in its stride though i will say its probably wasted on if your just to go garden plinking with it as this really is a serious air rifle made for doing bussiness and it means bussiness i can tell you,
    cant praise it enough really, to those of you unsure go and have a look at one and i promise you as soon as you even hold it you cant help but have a big smile on your face,

    Comment by: Rance     Posted on: 29 Dec 2014 at 09:50 AM

  • Without a doubt the Weihrauch HW97K in .177 is the finest most accurate air rifle I've owned in 49 year's of shooting, just taken top spot away from a trusty Walther in my gun cabinet, I've not yet found a single person at the range who wouldn't buy one funds allowing, yes it lacks Iron sights but all my rifles are scoped for distance so it's not a problem, buy one you'll love it.

    Comment by: Mike     Posted on: 06 Dec 2016 at 10:33 PM

  • I am having a hard time deciding whether to go for a HW97kt or HW77k special edition (laminate). Am I right in thinking that the denser laminate stock on the latter gives it the edge in accuracy? Or does the higher comb and easier trigger control afforded by the 97kt thumbhole stock make it the better target shooter? (I am going by the assumption that the internals of both rifles are essentially identical)

    Comment by: Bob Ryan     Posted on: 04 Jan 2017 at 06:50 PM

  • I must admit that I would go for the thumbhole myself for the easier trigger control. I doubt if the timber type would alter the accuracy much.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 05 Jan 2017 at 06:45 PM

  • I recall reading somewhere that the density and rigidity of laminate stocks are an aid to accuracy, and for that reason they are often found on high-end target rifles of the type used in Olympic shooting events. If the 97kt were available with a laminate stock, I would choose it in a heartbeat!

    Comment by: Bob Ryan     Posted on: 14 Jan 2017 at 12:47 AM

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