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Weihrauch HW99S

Pete Wadeson once again revisits the Weihrauch HW99S and despite the latest silenced springers the company have launched still feels the need to champion its cause...

Most new Weihrauch break-barrels are now available screw cut and equipped with the acclaimed Weihrauch silencer - those being the HW95S, HW90S and HW80S (‘S’ denoting silenced). Yet I still seem to be drawn back to the unsilenced HW99S (to confuse the matter the ‘S’ in this case stands for sporter).  So despite the lack of silencer and the rather ‘bland’ cosmetics of the HW99S, I still find it appealing and well worth a look, especially if you are after a springer in the light to middleweight category.

The HW99S has often been referred to as the lightweight powerhouse, a sort of lighter version of the HW80K. Personally I always thought that to be only a partially pertinent statement, as it suggested that the only redeeming feature of the rifle was the fact that at 6.7lb un-scoped it was lighter in weight than the HW80K.

Trim and proper

Granted it’s certainly trimmer in the stock department - no Monte Carlo cheek-piece here, just a simple yet solid stock design. I can’t deny it’s definitely a plain looking rifle but the design is such that it balances and handles well.

The low rather shallow cheek-piece has a slight hog bag design as it meets the narrow rubber butt pad. The forend proportionately complements the length of the rifle and is slim yet quite deep with a nicely rounded underside. No chequering or stippling to aid grip but once you start to handle and shoot the rifle you soon realise fancy frills aren’t needed on a workmanlike air rifle such as this.  The shallow hardly perceptible cheek-piece is obviously designed for open sight work, but if you fit a sensible sized general specification optic in low to medium mounts the design is more than adequate for shooting the rifle scoped up.

Keeping the optics in place are the now standard regulation Weihrauch issue, three arrestor holes within ample deeply cut scope grooves on the HW99s slimmed down and shortened 30mm compression cylinder, making the rifle shorter than certain others in the Weihrauch range. Obviously this is also due to the rifle having a shorter barrel. This results in the HW99S taking quite a bit of heft to cock as the barrel doesn’t give much leverage as a longer one, and to achieve full power the internal spring I would think is stronger - more on both these traits later.

Any old irons

It’s nice to see that the HW99S comes equipped with a solid and traditional set of ‘irons’. Open sights on a Weihrauch are always welcome, as they add so much to a rifle in terms of value for money and versatility.  I’m sure we can all appreciate how good it feels to simply take a new rifle out of the box, twirl a few thumbwheels and start shooting.  Yep, I’ll always be a fan (where practical and beneficial) of using open sights.  Talking of which, the hooded foresight post is quite chunky in width but still lines up nicely in the reversible square/V notch rearsight, without obscuring the target sight picture at sensible ranges.  The rearsight unit itself has micro-adjustable thumbwheels for windage and elevation. Shooting with the irons set at 12 – 15yds can become quite addictive.  In this guise un-scoped it makes for a superb fast handling ratter or feral pigeon pest control tool.

To fully appreciate the rifle’s accuracy capabilities it deserves to be scoped up, and most hunters will do this from the off. I’m not criticising that, but as I said before, you can have a lot of fun with this rifle open sighted. However, if you want to make full use of its performance then obviously a scope it is. I opted to fit a Nikko Stirling Mountmaster 3 – 9 X 40AO, a general specification scope well suited to the rifle.

Range testing

The test rifle was in .177 calibre. Regular readers will know this is a calibre I prefer for most of my hunting. Shooting open sighted did immediately display the HW99S has a rather snappy recoil, but taking the bull by the horns, I set the scope’s zero for 30-yds. As one who grew up shooting springers there’s no doubt in my mind shooting a recoiling springer does give you a better grasp (no pun intended) of gun handling. Get used to the punchy yet manageable recoil and sub one inch groups are achievable at the zero mentioned.

Possibly due to the shorter barrel the rifle does have a distinctive ‘blat’ on firing. Not a report that concerns me personally on a rifle such as this, but don’t consider this an up-market plinker as I think the neighbours would soon tire of a lengthy session hearing this rifle sending pellets down the garden.

Accuracy is surely aided due to the fact that Weihrauch don’t scrimp in the all important trigger department.  The ace up their sleeves being that the HW99S is fitted with the industry standard Rekord 2-stage trigger unit with automatic safety. This is arguably still one of the finest trigger unit fitted to any spring powered sporting air rifle.

On reflection it does seem I’ve been more critical this time around testing, what to me is a very familiar air rifle. In some ways I can even understand why other similar air rifles have appealed to the public over it in more recent times. However, what can’t and shouldn’t be forgotten is the Weihrauch HW99S is a very well built, rugged, reliable no-nonsense carbine size springer. It’s accurate and capable of virtually all jobs that the average airgun hunter would expect from it.

Technical Specifications
Model Weihrauch HW99S
Type Single-Shot, Break-barrel, Spring & Piston
Stock Beech wood sporter
Sights Yes, and cylinder grooved for scope mounting
Overall Length 40.5”
Barrel Length 15.5”
Price £248

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

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User Comments
  • all in all is this rifle worth buying.it will be used for plinking and vermin control cheers Tom

    Comment by: Tom     Posted on: 21 Feb 2011 at 08:30 PM

  • Generally speaking, Weihrauch offer great quality and although the HW99s is one of their lowest priced rifles, it will do the job. If you are going to use a scope (so won't need the HW99s open sights) take a look at the HW95 instead - it's an extremely popular model. You can get cheaper but Weihrauchs seem to go on forever.

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 22 Feb 2011 at 12:08 PM

  • The HW99s is an amazing gun for the money. Quality,accuracy,handling, it's got it all.Don't pay a little less for something else,because if you do,you'll regret it if you handle a 99s. This gun is a must!

    Comment by: Dave     Posted on: 17 Feb 2012 at 08:45 PM

  • Just bought an HW99. Seems OK to me although still in the early stages of setting up the range in my back garden!

    Comment by: hugh stjust     Posted on: 22 May 2012 at 02:36 PM

  • just bought the weihrauch hw99s.what can i say i bought a hawk scope to go with the 99 zero it up . its a light ish gun and handels great plenty of power .22. and for the price you can go wrong im over the moon . so if your thinking of the 99s then go get it . its a cracker.

    Comment by: mike wonnacott     Posted on: 18 Aug 2012 at 05:56 PM

  • The 99S is a superb air rifle and if open sights are an additional option of what you are looking for then this gun is an absolute must. Fantastic balance, great trigger, extremely accurate and an overall feel good factor. Probably the best all rounder, open sighted, break barrelled spring air rifle you can buy. I totally agree with the previous comment around the 95K if you want scope only as this gun also comes with the best silencer available for a springer and is truly superb. If you can afford it, buy both!

    Comment by: Jon B     Posted on: 22 Aug 2012 at 06:58 PM

  • ...great news everyone, just been into my local gun dealer and noticed that the HW99S now has checkering on the stock.

    Comment by: Jon B     Posted on: 05 Sep 2012 at 10:18 PM

  • Sorry, "Chequering".

    Comment by: Jon B     Posted on: 05 Sep 2012 at 10:21 PM

  • After reading reports of the cocking arm grinding grooves into the compression cylinder, the first thing I did on receiving my new HW99S was to take off the stock, remove the barrel, and inspect the area in question. Yes, brand new, never cocked or discharged by myself, I found the grooves already started to form from the factory testing alone. Wrapping the barrel in a piece of old denim, the cocking arm was folded back onto the removed barrel, and a half-round file was then used to bevel the sharp internal edges of the two sides of the arm, followed by a good polish with Solvol Autosol and rinsing the crap off the arm with WD40 spray. The grooves on the cylinder were smoothed gently with a small fine file, and the whole lot put back together with some 25 year-old Abbey moly grease between the arm and the cylinder. The metal to metal contact remains as part of the design, but the sharp edges are gone. Waiting for new V-Mach tuning kit to arrive which should remove the "boing" sound of the factory spring and bring it up to full power. The best light-weight open-sight springer out here when tuned up. Get a 95 if you intend to use a scope, no worries about the cocking arm with those.

    Comment by: McNeal     Posted on: 30 Mar 2013 at 12:12 AM

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Weihrauch HW99S
Weihrauch HW99S
Weihrauch HW99S
Weihrauch HW99S
Weihrauch HW99S
Weihrauch HW99S
Weihrauch HW99S
Weihrauch HW99S
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