Raw HM1000x Chassis
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- Last updated: 15/11/2023
Pete Wadeson tasks himself with testing the tactical RAW HM1000x Chassis
In the past, I’ve only taken a passing interest in RAW air rifles, as I’ve never had the chance to try one. However, at long last, thanks to my local gun shop, T & J. J McAvoys, I’ve been able to test the latest version of the HM1000x. A rifle that may well be hand-built, tested, and tuned in the USA, but thanks to Elite Optical Distribution, they’re now available here in the UK.
It was ex-Theoben co-director, Martin Rutterford, who set up the company in the US to continue the Theoben heritage, but any RAW rifle is now far more technologically advanced than anything Theoben ever produced. However, you could say what Martin learned and helped develop with Theoben, certainly gave him the foundations to build rifles that are quite exemplary pieces of kit.
The rifle has a carbon fibre 480cc buddy bottle that takes a recommended 250 bar fill. The rifle is charged via a covered foster-type fill port on the right of the action, next to the neck of the bottle. There’s also an air gauge on the opposite side to indicate air status. The fully regulated design ensures that shot strings are consistent, and the large buddy bottle ensures that you will have enough air onboard for extended visits to the range or in the field. The company stats give an approximate shot count of 450 from a single charge, which is enough for any 12 ft/lbs airgun shooting discipline.
It’s an undeniably tactical-styled ambidextrous rifle, with most of the stock being manufactured from synthetic materials, with an action of black-anodised, top-grade aluminium. This robust AR-style chassis allows the user to adjust the height of the cheekpiece and the length of pull. The latter can be altered by pushing the large button on the rear/right of the stock, which releases the butt pad and allows it to extend. It locks automatically in three separate increments, but when I measured it, it only affects the overall length of the rifle by ½”.
The way the cheekpiece is raised is quite simple, yet ingenious. On the right-hand side is an inbuilt riser mechanism, which consists of a threaded synthetic post, to which the side of the cheekpiece is attached to. This has an integral, knobbly-edged finger wheel. Turning this adjuster then simply lifts or lowers the cheekpiece to the desired level you require. This means both adjustments need no tools and can be done in the field should you need to fine-tune gun fit. However, the cheekpiece can also be moved slightly laterally, but you will need to loosen 2x crosshead screws under the cheekpiece itself.
The AR-style pistol grip shows a rubberised outer with forward finger ridging. Plus, on both sides, there are raised oval dots to further aid grip. It feels very comfortable in the hold and will suit most shooters. Incidentally, all these parts are interchangeable with any other AR-style components.
The action is quite blocky and deep, plus sits on top of most of the relatively short forend, which is covered in M-LOK mounting points that run from the pistol grip to almost the neck of the buddy bottle. These allow the easy attachment of accessories like lamps, lasers, bipods etc.
As a matter of interest, the American-made laminated stocks come in five colours, are ambidextrous, and feature an adjustable cheekpiece and butt pad. There are also M-LOK attachment points running along the underside of these stocks as well, giving users the same ability to add suitable attachments. This shows just how much this system is becoming popular with airgun shooters, especially across the pond.
The receiver shows a generously sized side-lever, which in turn runs a very familiar, tried and tested, Perspex-fronted self-actuating magazine. This holds 17 pellets in .177 (on test) and 12 in .22 calibre.
The lever operates very smoothly and precisely, plus is ergonomically designed for ease of pickup, before continuing on its rearward travel. As well as cocking the rifle, it also retracts the probe from the magazine, so you have direct in-line operation. Another factor of note is that the side-lever has a short arc of travel. So, for those who prefer this design, it’s a real speed machine.
The magazine is Theoben through and through. Just one look at the unit indicates where the initial design originated from, so why not use it here? Now upgraded, its function is simple yet highly efficient. To load, you must first turn the clear faceplate anti-clockwise in the direction of the arrow until it comes to a natural stop. Then, fill all chambers as you let the magazine faceplate return to its original closed position. Next, you simply slip it back into the right-hand side of the housing, where it sits neatly in place. Though it sits proud on the top of the action, it doesn’t overly stand proud on the Picatinny rails that sit on either side of the housing. The rail also has a 20 MOA relief, so whatever scope you fit probably won’t run out of adjustment. For the test, I used a Hawke Airmax 4-12x40 AO in Sportsmatch mounts, and the AMX reticle’s multiple aim points once again proved highly useful.
The unit follows the same design that Theoben used for many a moon, but here we have a much more developed mechanism. The trigger blade is very well-sized, as is the trigger safety blade that sits inside the guard, in front of the main blade itself. Even those with the largest of forefingers will easily find a comfortable trigger feel, such are the curved ergonomics of the blade. It’s classed as a set-back, match-grade unit, and I for one can’t argue with that, as it let off shots precisely and predictably time after time. If anything, it’s another indication of how much more advanced RAW airguns have become in terms of performance.
Every HM1000x features a Lothar Walther barrel that, after being fitted to the receiver, is tested to ensure accuracy, along with the trigger and power output, which are all hand-tested and tuned before your gun leaves the factory. It noticeably has a carbon fibre shroud, which is more of a cosmetic outer, as this rifle needs a silencer for hunting use. Thankfully, and as expected, the barrel is screwcut ½” UNF to accept most off-the-shelf cans. With the silencers I used on test, a compact can is enough to bring down the report to an acceptable level. However, the Weihrauch HE Silencer made it whisper quiet, and if I owned this rifle, that’d be its permanent partner.
As for accuracy, using quality ammo, this rifle can make tight clover-leaf-sized groups out to 30 yards with ease. Shooting from a rested position, these opened out to ragged ½” c-t-c groups at 50 yards, making this a rifle that’ll impress the long-range shooting fraternity.
I found it interesting to see the company worded as ‘Rapid Air Worx’, which can be seen etched boldly in white on the side of the receiver. Also, the word ‘Theoben’ is etched in white, so there’s no doubt that the company is now officially stating its roots, which is only right, seeing as they’re clearly integrating the heritage that was Theoben into the new brand name, which was previously only designated ‘RAW’. But that’s by the by when you consider the HM1000x is the flagship model in the company range, and as they state themselves, it offers the ultimate in long-range precision.
The rifle handles and balances perfectly and will surprise many with how light it is for such a tactical-looking rifle. Also, accuracy is highly impressive, as is the consistency and high shot count.
The rifle is available in .177, .20, .22, and .25. It also comes in high-power .30 and .357 calibres.