- 10 Comments
- Last updated: 22/10/2018
I’ve always been a big fan of short rifles. I love compact AR15 straightpull fullbore rifles and stubby 22 rimfires and airguns; if it’s short and to the point, I’m a fan! There have been various compact airguns that have tickled my fancy over the years, such as the Theoben Fenman gas ram rifle and the Titan Bearcat and the BSA Ultra PCPs. The ability to easily carry them in the field due to their reduced size was always a bonus and I really hate lugging around too much dead weight. Short rifles also allow you to get into smaller, tighter spaces when shooting quarry and small air rifles have allowed me to tackle feral pigeons in some rather awkward positions. This type of gun is also perfect for when you’re shooting from a vehicle, either driving around farm hedgerows, or using the vehicle as a static hide. I’ve draped camo nets over my land Rover in the past, to make a very comfortable way of shooting squirrels and feral pigeons; with both side windows open, you can swing a small rifle around much easier than a full-length model.
Pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles are generally more efficient with longer barrels and long air reservoirs obviously hold more air; however, with advances in valving and regulators, PCPs can still produce plenty of power for target shooting and hunting and more and more companies are embracing this trend and it’s great to see that German airgun legends, Weihrauch, are keeping bang up to date with their new offering, the HW110K!
I was recently contacted by Hull Cartridge Ltd. the UK Weihrauch importers and distributors, asking if I’d like to test their brand-new offering, the HW110K! I said yes, of course, and a few days later I was un-boxing a very tasty package. The standard HW110 isn’t exactly massive at 38½-inches but the Karbine is positively tiny at 34½-inches. Four inches may not sound a lot (no laughing at the back!) but it makes a huge difference to the handling and the shorter air reservoir, barrel and forend all make for a much neater package. There’s still plenty of soft touch rubber coated forend to grab hold of when shooting the rifle though and one thing I really like is the inclusion of a short section of Picatinny rail just behind the angled back tip. It’s very discrete and is just the right length for mounting a lightweight ‘grip-pod’ or compact bipod. Yes, a bipod does add a little extra weight to the overall package, but they can be worth their weight in gold in various hunting situations.
If you’ve not encountered the HW110 before, it has an action that is made from a high strength polymer, of the type that is used on a lot of military rifles and pistols these days, so there’s nothing to worry about strength-wise and all the high stress areas are made from good old-fashioned steel and alloy. Weihrauch obviously spent a great deal of time and money developing the action and they got it right first time (like the always do!) and the 110 has been hugely successful since its launch. Weihrauch have even used the same basic action to produce the simply superb HW44 pre-charged pistol and it’s another run-away success, despite its price tag.
These guns use an ultrareliable 10-shot rotary magazine that is machined from alloy and anodised black. To remove it from the action, the sidelever, mounted on the right side of the action, is pulled to fully to the rear; the magazine retaining catch, which is now black not silver, is then pressed up and the magazine pulled out from the appature from the right. Pellets are then placed individually into the holes, making sure that the ‘wheel’ is facing the right way around, i.e. the smoother side is facing you. You should also make sure that the skirts of the pellets are pushed flush with the body and that they do not protrude. Once in the holes, they are retained by the large rubber O-ring that is fitted into a groove around the circumference.
To load the full magazine into the rifle, the mag catch is pressed up again and the magazine slotted into the action. As soon as the sidelever is pushed forward, a pellet is loaded into the barrel and the ambidextrous safety catch, which is also black, like the mag catch, can be applied by pressing it down. The safety can only be applied with the action cocked by the way, so you know the status of the rifle at all times. When you want to take the shot, you just push the safety up, revealing the red dot, which indicates that the gun is ready to fire.
Weihrauch are famous for their triggers, which dates back to the ‘Rekord’ unit fitted to nearly all their spring piston guns; their PCPs also have great triggers and the 110K is no exception, with the sears of the two-stage unit breaking very cleanly. They also fit their own barrels that are made in-house at their factory.
None of this can take place without charging the rifle with air of course and it really is a simple operation, from either a dive cylinder or manual stirrup pump, although a lot more effort is required with the latter! The charging probe comes with the rifle and it is first attached to the charging hose; once securely fastened, the bleed valve on the bottle or pump is closed and the probe pushed into the port on the front of the air reservoir. A plastic plug has to be removed first and this keeps everything spick and span internally, as dust and debris can play havoc with the internal workings, valves etc. of any PCP. A maximum of 200-bar is injected and the main valve closed and air bled from the hose; the probe is then withdrawn and the plug replaced.
You can keep an eye on the pressure that is in the cylinder, using the pressure gauge on the end but care should be taken to do this with and unloaded gun and the trigger finger should obviously be away from the trigger at all times, even if you ‘know’ the gun is safe. This goes for all guns of course, not just this little beauty.
The 110K handles really well and the soft-touch rubber coating ensures a secure grip in all conditions. There is chequering on the grip and forend and the high comb to the butt aligns the eye perfectly with any scope fitted. A soft rubber buttpad is fitted and I must say I really enjoyed handling and shooting this little rifle on the range. I mounted a compact Hawke Vantage 2-7 X 32AO scope and it suited the gun perfectly. There’s no point sticking a dirty great scope on a compact rifle such as this, as you’d negate a lot of its qualities; it’s up to the owner of course but I doubt many will fit huge optics to these guns.
All this classy stuff is worthless if the pellets don’t hit their target of course but I’ve never had to worry about the accuracy of any Weihrauch air rifle, springer, gas ram or PCP and the HW110K is no exception! Using Weihrauch’s own 8.44 grain FT-Exacts, I soon had a 30-yard zero and was punching pellets into a tiny, single hole from a rested position, using the dots on the Vantage’s reticle and soon had aimpoints from 10- to 55-yards. I may just have been lucky but the first dot down from the main crosshair was bang on for 55-yards and I proceeded to hit tiny spinners time after time. I really can’t fault the accuracy of this rifle and the barrel is clearly top-notch and the discharge was very quiet thanks to the silencer fitted.
Over the chrono, the figures were very impressive, with excellent shot to shot consistency and a power of around 11ft.lbs; plenty for any task at hand but safely under the UK power limit. From a 200-bar charge, I was rewarded with around 65 full power shots before the power tailed off, more than enough for anyone!
Well, that’s another great air rifle then! There are a lot of shooters out there who love short rifle as much as I do, so the HW110K is bound to sell in huge numbers and well done to Weihrauch for bringing out this lovely little gun.