Weihrauch HW100SK FSB
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 27/01/2017
Since its inception, the HW100 has proved a major success for Weihrauch, with sales holding up well despite turbulent trading conditions and less than favourable exchange rates.
Weihrauch’s approach to the PCP market was simple really – build everything around the one action, with strong brand identity and a host of options, then project HW100 should look after itself.
On test here is the Sporter version of the HW100, in a highly portable format, and for those unfamiliar with the company’s products I reckon a quick decoding of the lettering is in order. ‘SK’ stands for Sporter Carbine, and ‘FSB’ confirms the provision of a ‘Fully Shrouded Barrel’. The spec sheet includes a two-stage trigger, side cocking lever, and rotary magazine too, so these guns certainly come well appointed.
The HW100, in its many guises, is aimed primarily at the serious hunter, and this Carbine Sporter model is perhaps the most versatile and portable of the lot. The slimmed-down woodwork is particularly attractive in the flesh, and whilst the test model came with some beautifully figured walnut, I’ve seen enough of these guns now to know that quality timber is pretty well a given and not just picked out specially for a review! Whilst the lovely grain pattern is there for all to see, what is perhaps less easy to convey with photographs is the supreme handling afforded by some clever configuration.
Where many guns now come with diluted design, and ambidextrous credentials, trying to be all things to all people, Weihrauch’s Sporter option offers a dedicated right-hand bias; and three cheers for that. The result is a raked pistol grip with a full palm cut-out and effective thumb shelf; stylish of course, but more importantly also supremely comfortable, as the trigger hand gets full support in a natural position across the palm. Add to that a prominent, cheekpiece, complete with satisfyingly angular lines, and a curvaceous forend, and it becomes difficult to fault the stock in any way. A smart Rosewood cap and white line spacers are of course mere window dressing, but the laser cut checkering adds serious grip exactly where it’s needed. All in all then, I reckon this has to be one of the very best standard factory stocks currently on the market.
Weihrauch’s renowned quality doesn’t stop at the action, and the rich-quality of the finish applied to the breech block in particular adds real class to the feel of the HW100. Given this gun’s hunting credentials, the matt finish applied to both the main air cylinder and full-length barrel shroud makes sense, meaning excessive glare and light reflection should be kept to a minimum in any field scenario.
Weihrauch are one of the few manufacturers that make the air cylinder ultra simple to remove, (being a simple screw- fit) and whilst, all-importantly, charging is done with the cylinder in situ, the fact that its removal is so straight-forward means that periodic safety checks can be carried out with minimal fuss further down the line when deemed necessary. Charging the HW100 is nice and easy too, courtesy of the push-probe system, and a small nylon plug is provided which helps keep dirt from the valve, when not in use.
Multi-shot capability comes with the inclusion of a 14 shot rotary magazine, and here Weihrauch can rightfully claim one of the most robust, and reliable designs on the market. The mag itself is a single piece of cast metal, fitted with an outer ‘o’ ring, and the filling routine is as follows: first, pull the side lever back until the action is cocked, pull the mag retaining clip rearwards, and pull the magazine clear of the action from the right-hand side. Pellets are simply pushed head-first into each chamber in turn, and then the full magazine can be pushed back into its home within the breech block. Now push the retaining clip forwards to lock the mag in place, and close the side lever. We’re now all ready to go.
To date, I’ve handled and shot a variety of HW100s, and one over-riding impression is that of subtlety of design. Pulling back that delightful side lever reveals a perfectly weighted action, as the bare minimum of effort is required to complete the task. The cocking motion itself both cocks the hammer and indexes the next shot in the magazine; all with total reliability, I hasten to add. Weihrauch’s use of a spindle which picks up the magazine with multiple teeth or connectors, means the drum is held securely and true, with none of the slackness and excessive play of some rival designs.
Factor-in a genuine two- stage semi match trigger and the performance of this model should come as no surprise. Yes, the blade is plastic, but the sheer precision and crispness of release is such that any such nit-picking quickly seems irrelevant.
Bear in mind the small cylinder utilised for this .22 calibre Carbine model and the fact that I achieved in excess of 80 shots from a 200-bar fill, within 30fps, was impressive to say the least. These actions are unregulated too, so experimentation with fill pressures is always advisable, and will almost certainly tighten up consistency as the optimum power curve is arrived at.
As for the shroud, muzzle report is indeed nicely muted, with much of the spent air being redirected up inside to be released from the holes at the breech end. For maximum noise reduction though, and therefore enhanced performance in the field, the fitting of a full-blown silencer must make sense. Unusually, Weihrauch make this a slightly fiddly operation, since it requires the tip of the shroud to be eased loose with an Allen key, instead of a rather more simple threaded design. Weihrauch’s own silencer has to be the prime candidate, since it still remains one of the best on the market, although the gun’s aesthetic appeal may suffer with a longer, unbalanced profile as a result. Few serious hunters will give two hoots at such frivolous considerations, yet it would seem a shame to impact on that super compact profile.
Accuracy wise, I recorded groups of 0.3-inches at 35 yards, which is obviously excellent, and with the quality of Weihrauch’s own barrels a matter of record, confidence is assured.
In a crowded market, the HW100 remains one of the best of its type. Exemplary build quality, coupled with thoroughly researched design explains the continued success of this model, and this compact Sporter just handles and shoots superbly. So, if it calls for a supreme hunting machine, the HW100 SK FSB just has to be on that short list.
PRICE: £847 guide price including 14 shot rotary magazine
CONTACT: Hull Cartridge Company 01482 342571