Weihrauch HW100 BP
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- Last updated: 20/08/2021
Weihrauch’s HW100 BP is an eye-catching piece of hardware, that demands to be noticed. So what’s all the fuss about?
Well, introducing a new product for such a traditional manufacturer as Weihrauch, is no casual step, and when the target market is an area as unusual as bullpups, there’s an understandable reticence to jump in too early. Kral, Daystate, Brocock, Hatsan, Cometa, FX, Webley, Jkhan and Walther, are just some of the big names to have all thrown their bullpup hats in the ring.
Homegrown manufacturers such as Air Arms and BSA have also followed suit with their own dedicated models, so the spoils are clearly there to be had, for an ultra-compact airgun, with the action set right at the back of the stock.
Weihrauch has taken action and produced the HW100 BP. This famous German manufacturer has had great success with their first PCP model, the HW100, so to base their first bullpup on the HW100 action, makes a lot of sense.
So we’re not quite talking a blank piece of paper for the ‘BP’, since, as mentioned, it builds around the ‘100’ action. Yet the configurational requirements of a bullpup are such, that extensive tweaks and modifications are by definition, a necessity. So the HW100 BP isn’t just a radical overhaul for the German manufacturer, it is to all intents and purposes, a whole new model in its own right.
Firstly, with the action set almost to the rear of the stock, the scope needs to be mounted on the high rise ‘intermount’rail, machined and positioned above the barrel. The trigger is a subtle 2-stage unit, yet here, with the BP layout, the linkage needs to be remote, with the necessary components running along the inside of the base of the stock. And of course, the stock itself, cleverly ambidextrous and bold in design, is a radical departure from anything they have produced to date.
Add in the company’s silencer as standard, quick fill probe-style charging, two 14-shot magazines, dual manual safety catch, a Weihrauch barrel, regulated action, new side-lever and an adjustable butt pad, and we have here surely, the makings of something quite intriguing.
So, given how it dominates the looks, let’s start with that radically styled stock. Weihrauch has introduced synthetic furniture into their extensive product line-up, but this HW100 BP actually utilizes beech wood that has been coated in a Soft Touch black rubber compound, and the end result feels superbly cosy to the touch. The separate cheek piece is black plastic and shields the face from contact with the action, whilst the drop-down grip is a further plastic moulding, including the integral trigger guard. Making this grip separate means it stays strong, rather than a weak point of the stock, and the quality of the moulding, coupled with that superbly contoured yet ambidextrous grip, means it feels very sophisticated in use. Look closely, and it looks the same as the grip used on the company’s HW44 pistol, which is a clever move.
Looking to the action, the large block above the breech houses the slick side-lever and also forms the intermount, which offers an extensive length of Picatinny rail fixed to the barrel support. Picatinny style mounts, featuring a cross-pin for rigidity, are now widely available, and whilst to me, they can seem like overkill on a recoilless airgun, the system is extremely popular and now synonymous with bullpup style hardware.
The barrel runs through an ‘o’ ring within the support, but I know from experience that some shooters may opt to dispense with the ‘o’ ring in order to allow the barrel to sit free - perhaps a psychological advantage, perceived if nothing else.
The finish to all the metalwork on my test gun was exemplary, with the matt anodizing of the mount contrasting nicely with the rich chemical bluing and gloss of the barrel and block.
Preparation starts with setting the butt pad correctly, which is something not to be rushed. The idea is to get eye/scope alignment just right, where the gun automatically comes up with the full scope image easily achieved, with no straining and muscle effort. Mount the gun and see how it all feels, then, using the Allen key provided, gently slacken the bolt in the rear of the pad, to allow the butt assembly to slide up or down. With trial and error, you should arrive at the optimum setting, where the head is supported correctly. Lock up the bolt, and you’re ready.
Charging the ‘BP’ is simple too. Remove the nylon plug in the front valve, then push the airline complete with adaptor probe supplied, into the valve, and slowly fill the cylinder to the stated 200bar. Bleed the line, remove the probe, and replace the plug to keep out dirt.
With ostensibly the HW100 internals onboard, the good news is that we get a 14-shot rotarystyle magazine to play with, which is both super robust and reassuring in design. Just push the pellets headfirst into each chamber, making sure they sit perfectly flush, then pull back the cocking lever all the way, pull back the mag retaining clip, insert the magazine into its slot, push the clip forwards (this may need a little bit of jiggling of the mag at the same time), then close the lever. The first shot is now ready.
Pick up the HW100 BP and the integrity of the design begins to make itself apparent. That said, whilst the forend is nicely shaped, I would still prefer a couple more inches, just to give more options in the aim, although, admittedly, I do resemble one of the earlier specimens in Darwin’s lineup! As it stands, I was fairly comfortable in a variety of positions. As for having the face so near to the breech, I still find this aspect of bullpup ownership a mite concerning, yet it’s par for the course if you opt for this style of airgun.
Handling overall though, is pretty good, and Weihrauch’s clever grip configuration, filling the palm either way, manages to be all things to all people, with little noticeable compromise. Cycling the super slick side lever is a pleasure and once the magazine retaining clip is locked, the user is assured of hitch-free operation. But it’s the overall package coming together, that makes shooting a modern Weihrauch pneumatic such a pleasurable experience. The sweet operation of the 2-stage trigger, regulated action, and the ultra muted shot delivery all play their part. In short, shot delivery is slick and refined, and that is all we ask for at the end of the day. That extremely effective silencer incidentally, is a screw fit (½ inch UNF), so can be easily removed if necessary.
So how did this all stack up in terms of performance? Well, all I can say is that recorded figures all round were best described as ‘textbook’. Chronograph testing was carried out using the Weihrauch FT Exact Jumbo pellets, as supplied by the UK importers, Hull Cartridge. Ten magazines were duly emptied before residual pressure dropped to a level quite near to the green zone on the gauge (110bar for the record). At this point, I played it safe and called a halt. The 14-shot mag means I had blasted through 140 shots, which as it happens, is bang on what Weihrauch claim for the full-length model specification, as tested. And let’s face it, that’s a very usable number. If you go for the .177 then expect around 110 shots.
Opt for the HW100BP K, carbine version, and you can expect 75 shots, and 50 shots respectively, which is still impressive from such a short cylinder. This model is 1lb lighter but the super short forend would be too short for my build, so try before you buy.
Accuracy wise, tight clusters were easy to come by with a variety of pellets, including Weihrauch’s own FT Exact Jumbo (.22 calibre), made by JSB. However, Air Arms Diabolo just pipped these in final down range performance, managing 5/16” (8mm) c-t-c at 40 yards, which is pretty damned impressive in anyone’s book.
I would always add a caveat with the bullpup style of airgun, namely that the format divides opinion, is a radical departure from traditionally configured air rifles, and simply won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. That said, if you do fancy investing in some hardware along these lines, then I can’t do anything other than wholeheartedly endorse the HW100 BP. Weihrauch’s build quality and unique feel are all part of the equation, and for many, that heavyweight branding is enough to seal the deal. But get past brand loyalty, and this model is a damn fine airgun in its own right. In my view, it deservedly joins the class leaders at the top of the shortlist.