Weihrauch HW100 KT ADJ Lam
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- Last updated: 25/08/2022
Weihrauch’s HW100 has become a modern classic over the last few years, and that combination of Weihrauch build quality and high-grade finish, really does help this premium airgun to sell itself. OK, there is some serious performance to take into account, and that may have had something to do with it, but the air of solid reliability that these guns exude explains a loyal following in airgun circles.
Weihrauch’s switch to the drop-down biathlonstyle side-lever adds a further touch of class, and that’s helped in no small part by the way the lever is effectively assisted. Just a gentle tweak sideways and the lever flies back on its own, just requiring the merest further pull rearwards to cock the action and cycle the next shot.
On test here is the latest KT ADJ LAM version, and for the uninitiated, those letters stand for firstly, the German ‘Karbine’ (short action), T for thumb hole stock, and the rest fairly self-explanatory - Adjustable Laminate. All the usual HW100 features are here, which we’ll cover, but it makes sense to focus on the special points of interest in this specification.
This model comes supplied with the standard Weihrauch silencer, which has built up an amazing reputation as one of the quietest units available for airguns. I remember the fuss made when they first hit the market and the fascination with the fact they appear to have what closely resembles hair curlers stored inside. Well, on show here, and supplied along with the gun, is one of the very latest XLK silencers from Weihrauch. These have been launched along with the full-length XL version, as optional extras, currently available for £99 apiece. So we’ll take a closer look at that in a while too.
Back to the tasty woodwork, and whilst it may not be quite so alluring for me as high-grade walnut, I can obviously appreciate that this is a stunning piece of furniture. Indeed, straw poll feedback for the duration of my test period indicated that the level of craftsmanship and pleasing aesthetics is a trigger to collectors and enthusiasts alike. Basically, this is the class of gun that just begs for attention and gets it. That ‘tiger striped’ laminate, as Weihrauch terms it, in a sort of grey sand effect, just looks sublime, and the satin varnish sets it off beautifully. I love the fully raked pistol grip (classic Weihrauch), set off perfectly with stippling and the finger grooves up front work well too.
But get past the drop-dead gorgeousness of it all, and there is of course serious practical ergonomics at play. For twiddle an Allen key into the lower hole on the right side of the rear stock, and the height of the cheekpiece can be affected. Simply slacken the bolt and raise or lower it to suit. Then, insert an Allen key into the top hole and the cheekpiece can be slid gently forward or back. Now as if that wasn’t impressive enough, the cheekpiece can also be offset with lateral movement. To do this, you first need to slacken the height adjuster again, then pull out the cheek assembly away from the stock and adjust the small screws underneath.
Reach the desired position, tighten it up, then replace the cheekpiece and re-tighten back at the height required. Finally, focus on the butt pad and get that just so. As always, don’t be in a rush and make subtle adjustments after trial and error over a few sessions. Suffice to say, this specialist kit will allow for a true shooting position with perfect alignment for the individual.
As with all the HW100 series, the main cylinder can be unscrewed and removed/pulled through the support bracket, at any time, for replacement or safety checks, and this is a great feature in my book. Whilst I’ve never liked the match rifles that required their cylinder to be removed just for charging, disrupting the equilibrium of the gun every time, Weihrauch just include this as a feature to effectively future-proof the gun. If you think about it, being able to have the gun’s cylinder easily safety checked (they recommend after 10 years of use), is great for peace of mind, and as we are dealing with a high-pressure air vessel, this is perhaps an area more manufacturers should focus upon. As for normal everyday charging, fear not, as it’s all conventional and carried out with the cylinder in situ. Just pull out that neat nylon plug from the filler valve up front, insert the probe-style charging adaptor (& airline), and then fill to the tune of 200bar. Bleed off, remove and reseal the valve.
Two magazines of the robust metal casting variety are supplied with the HW100 KT, and these are easy to fill. The downside is that fluff or dirt can more easily get into them if stored in a pocket for example. Bear this in mind and carry a small pouch for the job, and it’s happy days. With a pellet pushed flush into each chamber, pull back the sidelever, locate the magazine into its slot within the action, push the magazine retaining catch forwards, and all is ready to go. If the catch won’t engage, just gently move the mag and it will all quickly find its lie and lock in place. Thereafter, the precision of the setup comes to the fore.
And so a quick word on the XLK. Well, it may sound like a hotdog, but this specialist silencer on show here is the shorter of the two (hence the K again) from Weihrauch. This one is 5.2” long, whilst the XL is 5.7”, and all I can say is it looks like the dog’s doodahs, plus it works a treat. It’s ½” UNF, so it just threads straight on in place of the standard moddy. Plus, it can be unscrewed for maintenance and cleaning of the inside. Oh, and yes, there is what appears to be a large hair curler inside, along with other sound-absorbing gubbins! I’m not sure if it’s dramatically more effective than the standard factory unit, but there’s no doubting it looks sexy!
And so to the business end. If you’ve never shot an HW100, then you’ve missed out believe me. For there really is a subtlety and slickness to the entire shooting experience that gives these machines a unique feel. Largely unchanged since its inception, Weihrauch’s multi-shot system just works a treat, and that’s a credit to the design team who basically got it right from the off. Pull back that new drop-down lever, and as mentioned, the spring-loaded mechanism then assists the throw as it springs rearwards, requiring the merest further effort to complete the task and cock the action. Subsequent cycling is as fast as you want and super smooth.
Just look at that diminutive cylinder and there’s something satisfying in just how compact this ‘KT derivative is. Of course, ‘Karbine’ means fewer shots per charge, but whilst the factory claims 50 shots in the tested .177, I clocked 60 from the regulated action. That said, from the specified fill pressure of 200 bar, my chrono did show five or six shots a little low in velocity, right at the start. Count them out, and a total spread of 25 fps is more than acceptable. This was using ammo from the tin. Select and test more options over time, and I’m sure those figures could be trimmed down still.
The 2-stage trigger is fully adjustable and one of the sweetest units around. The nylon trigger blade can even be moved along its rail so that a favoured finger position can be found. As for accuracy, genuine ragged enlarged clover leaves were easy at 30 yards, as was sub half inch over 40 yards. Again, I’m sure I could better these with time and longer evaluation. The side-lever, as mentioned, just elevates the process.
So yes, this beautiful airgun comes highly recommended. Not cheap, admittedly, but a class act from muzzle to butt, from one of the most respected brands in the business. Everything you need in a hunting gun or just a collector’s piece to lock safely away if you really must. Either way, it would be right near the top of any shortlist, and it serves as a reminder of why the HW100, in all its many guises, remains a firm favourite with pest controllers, enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Thanks to Range & Country Shooting Supplies in Sleaford, Lincs., for the kind loan of this rifle for the test.