- 18 Comments
- Last updated: 27/01/2017
To me, Weihrauch are still top of the tree when it comes to offering break barrel springers that offer the best blend of accuracy, power and consistency, not to mention build-quality.
The HW80 came out in the 80s and was the break barrel hunting rifle of its era, offering a man-sized gun with up to the legal limit power, usual Weihrauch accuracy and quality German-engineering. It was really a co-design with Beeman in America and called the RB1, but we got it first as the HW80.
I chose the shorter carbine, or K version, which also came with a fitted sound moderator – a hefty rifle at 8.6lbs, but that solidity transfers into a reliable and confident spring gun to shoot for hunting purposes.
The HW80K has a short 12.25-inch barrel and is also fitted with Weihrauch’s own sound moderator, so ideally suited for hunting use. The barrel itself has six lands and right-hand twist. There is a chamfered edge to the barrel and it is surrounded by a large clear synthetic O-ring for a tight air seal; the breech area is very snug, so again great for proper and consistent barrel to receiver alignment ensuring good accuracy.
The receiver is particularly large on the HW80, primarily because it was designed to work at much higher power than the paltry British 12ft/ lbs, but as such can be tuned to FAC level if desired, giving the HW80 a huge longevity as it is not working hard.
Also, the weight deadens the recoil, again a benefit to accuracy on any spring gun.
Overall finish is a deep bluing that Weihrauchs are renowned for, and the K has no open sights fitted, so the twin dovetail rails are utilised with ample length and recoil arrestor holes drilled into the top of the action.
Up front, the sound moderator is 7.5 inches long and 1.25 inch wide, there are a couple of internal baffles up front and a large perforated pre baffle to allow maximum air retardation which results in a mute report. The all aluminium construction also makes it very light at approximately 120 grams and is easily removed from the long threaded muzzle section of the barrel.
Today the lines are much more ‘rounded’ than the original HW80s. The forend is rounded on the sides and extend to the barrel hinge pin area and the cheekpiece is sufficient for scope use. The checkering is cut to the pistol grip only which helps but the beech woodwork has that matt lacquer finish with smooth surface that’s just too slippery in the wet. It’s just a bit plain really and I would like to see something with a bit more flair to it. Let’s hope, like the one off HW35’s laminate and HW77 models, that there are some alternate stock options, a thumbhole please!
The excellent Rekord trigger unit is adjustable for both first and second stage pulls, allowing you to customise the settings to your own preference, not too light for field use/hunting, yet light enough to aid in producing tight groups. The aluminium trigger blade is nicely curved and first and second stage pulls are very smooth and last stage sear release is one of the best, adjusted through the trigger guard. After-market brass triggers make a nice visual upgrade and Rowan Engineering’s set back trigger is particularly good.
The safety catch too is automatically activated on cocking the HW80 and a small button on the left rear of the receiver pops out to indicate activation or safety on. This actually locks the trigger mechanism, so no nasty accidents happen and is disengaged when the button is pushed in fully. Without an anti bear trap the rifle can be de-cocked at this stage by carefully allowing the barrel to return to the closed position after releasing the trigger. V-Mach make a great re-settable safety catch which is well worth the money in my view.
Firstly, the HW80 is a hefty air rifle, but it is hefty for a reason, it settles well in the hand and being a springer it helps deaden the firing cycle to improve accuracy.
The moderator is very good and one of the best in the business, and I have to say, after an initial small amount of spring noise, the HW80 settled down and was shooting some impressive groups.
Highest velocity does not always translate to best groups, but the RWS Hyper Domes came pretty close, at 966.8fps for 11.2ft/lbs energy and 0.70-inch groups at 30 yards.
Best accuracy went to the JSB Exacts, which is no surprise really and velocity from the 8.6 grain pellet reached 768.3fps and 11.3ft/lbs energy and small 0.55 inch five shot groups.
In fact, three other pellets shared second place in the accuracy stakes at 0.65-inches, these were RWS Hobbies, RWS Superdomes and Weihrauch FT Exacts. All exhibited above 11ft/lbs energies too at 11.2, 11.2 and 11.3ft/lbs respectively.
Highest energy figures went to the Air Arms Field and Lazadomes at 11.4ft/lbs but for me the better accuracy and consistency of the JSB Exacts would be my choice.
The HW80 is still the go-to air rifle for serious hunters who want a superbly built, excellent triggered and powerful and accurate hunting tool. Some say the HW80 is too heavy, but to me that’s its benefit, as it certainly aids in good groups; if it’s not to your liking then get the lighter HW95. This .177 version will now be having a full V-Mach full custom job, stay tuned…
CONTACT: Hull Cartridge Company, 01482 342 571