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Weihrauch HW98 rifle

Weihrauch HW98 rifle

Although I’ve tested Princeton Tec Headlights in the past, and these headlights bear the almost the same names of those still available, these featured are actually variants of the originals. The difference is that these particular models are now available not only as single colour lights but also the variants here featured offer the hunter both dual and vary colour light beams. Both have heavy-duty adjustable elasticated single strap headbands, are very well built and offer similar features taking power from 3 X AAA Alkaline batteries (supplied) that sit neatly in the front lamp casings. Incidentally the Quad will work of lithium or re-chargeable types and has a battery status indicator. Both use a large operating pressure switch positioned on top of the lamp, this allows you to switch the light on and off as well as scrolling through the modes each light offers.

First up is the Remix which differs from the Quad in that it features one Maxbright white LED set to the left hand side of a cluster of three ultra-bright red LED’s. Toggling through the large rubber pressurised operational switch on this model gives you the option of accessing two light intensities for both the white and red LED’s plus a SOS white flashing mode. The brightness levels are rated as high and low and give run times of 28hr and 53hr respectively for the white light and 61 and 200hr when set on the red LED mode. The Remix also features an asymmetrical single arm bracket that creates a centre of gravity used as a reliable pivot point for the tilt adjustable head. This also houses the 3X AA batteries neatly inside the ‘snap shut’ battery casing directly behind the integral lamp housing.

With a full power rating of 100 lumens and a wide choice of mode options this model of ‘Remix’ is a very versatile headlight.

Last but not least and based (obviously) on the popular Quad headlight to be more suitable for a wider range of outdoor pursuits Princeton Tec have introduced the Quad Tactical. This hinged lamp head still accommodates a row of four Ultra-bright white regulated LED’s while the simple but clever addition of sliding filter housing allows the use of the 3-different colour filters supplied.

A hinged cover plate at the front clicks open to allow the changing of filters, these are red, green or blue and when not in use filters can be kept close to hand slipped into a separate and dedicated filter holder clipped onto the headband. The top position large rubberised pressure switch operates the 4-modes this particular light offers. These are high, medium low and fast flash (signalling mode) - this coupled with the approximate burn time of 105hrs at 47 lumens the Quad Tactical is yet another highly useful headlight from Princeton Tec.

Name: Princeton Tec® Remix and Quad Tactical
Price: SRP£39.95 and £44.95 respectively
Contact: Whitby & Co 01539 721032 for nearest stockists
www.whitbyandco.co.uk

When selecting any gun one of the biggest considerations has to be what its purposes will be. For many, the hunting aspect is a major calling and for others target shooting is the most preferred sport. So trying to choose an air rifle that will do both, very well, can take a little research. For some a pre-charged pneumatic rifle may be the answer but others prefer the organic idea of a traditional springer as the tool for the job.

One of a Kind

Weihrauch have a reputation for producing some impressive and very well engineered air guns, offering a wide selection of high quality rifles and pistols. One rifle in the “Range” that shines out as a real contender in the Hunter / target hybrid stakes is the HW98 model.  The 98 is an impressive looking machine and is a real performer in both situations. This gun has a distinctive look and feel and is a bit of an individual in my opinion.

This spring piston powered air rifle has some wonderful features to aid performance and accuracy. You see, it has the attributes of a good sporter and the important aspects of a high performance target rifle alike. The gun has a solid and muscular appearance with the “bull” barrel format up front and the multi adjustable stock furnishing the action.

Stylish and Functional

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The stock is a beautifully dark finished Beech variety which has a very striking appearance and a multitude of form. The eye is drawn immediately to the large black wrap around stippling panels of the forend and pistol grip areas, which are very functional abrasive sufaces and provide a positive anti-slip hold.  The forend has been treated to a “ventilated” design, often recognised as features on serious competition rifles. Although semi decorative, these ventilations do help to reduce weight of the forend, provide a secondary grip area, and really do play an important role in the whole serious image of the gun. There is an adjustable butt plate at the rear and the bonus of an adjustable Cheek piece too, so the fit can be tailored to the shooters ergonomic requirements and different shooting styles. The cheekpiece is adjusted by releasing two recessed allen grub screws, sliding the comb up or down on the steel rods, and retightening the screws. This is a simple operation and the quality of the whole mechanism ensures easy and accurate height adjustment. The black rubber butt pad is nicely curved, which fits well in the shoulder. The pad adjusts on two interlocking alloy plates, locked together or released by using a flat blade screwdriver.  On the whole, the stock is very well designed and the style really highlights the functional intentions of this multi-purpose specialist.

The action is based on the classic break barrel configuration of the HW95, but with the added feature of a heavy, sleeved barrel up front, which gives distinction to the impressive looks of the gun and really assists with performance.  The extra weight of the 3mm walled steel sleeve definitely feels to anchor the gun on target and helps to reduce the amount of muzzle flip during the firing cycle. The sleeve is nicely fluted into the solid breech at the rear. Lock up from the breech, via the familiar wedge shaped catch is very positive, consistent and firm as we have typically come to expect from Weihrauch. 

A generous length of dovetail is machined into the cylinder which provides versatility for mounting a wide range of telescopic sights from the vast choice of options available today. Care always has to be taken when choosing a scope for any break barrel air rifle, with regards to overall length, so it does not interfere with the opening and closing of the breech while still maintaining correct eye relief. There are so many impressive optics and mounting systems available now that this does not present a problem. 

A push button style safety catch sits neatly into the rear of the action, which activates automatically upon cocking the action fully. The location of the safety means that it is easily disengaged by the thumb before taking a shot. Just a small point here is that, for me, it would be a useful addition if the safety catch was resettable without having to break the action again, particularly for hunting. There is a resettable version available from the V-mach custom engineering product range, which is something I have been testing and very impressed with. 

Smooth Operator

Cocking the 98’s smooth action is simple. A swift tap to the front of the barrel with the palm of your hand is required to open the catch at the breech, and pulling through the stroke until the sear is engaged is a fluid motion with no “graunching” or other perceivable noises from the internals. This gives an Impressive feel for a gun straight out of the box with no post manufacture tuning.

The trigger is Weihrauch’s famous and time served “Rekord” unit, which is a robust two stage type which can be adjusted for overall weight and sear engagement. There was a little bit of creep noticeable on the second stage of the supplied test rifle, however my own experience with this fantastic trigger tells me that this is easily adjustable and a smith or someone experienced at setting these up can achieve a wonderful crisp pull with this unit, to suit the shooters requirements. 

The action cycles beautifully and the lock time feels fast. During the firing sequence, the heavy barrel of the HW98 comes into its own by noticeably reducing muzzle flip and also helps maintain steadiness through the shot. Chronograph tests showed good consistency, with best results achieved using Daystate Rangemaster Sovereign .177 pellets, which showed a healthy average of 11.5 ft/lbs muzzle energy with a maximum variation of 14 feet per second. Shooting the gun is an enjoyable experience and accuracy of a high standard is offered with this individual all rounder, with half inch groups common place at 35
yards with a good consistent hold. 

At 8.25 lbs in weight and 43 inches long overall the 98 is no lightweight, nor is it the out and out heavyweight the appearance suggests, however, I would say that this is definitely a serious adult rifle.

Conclusion

To summarise this wonderful hybrid machine I would say that it offers excellent performance, superb looks and definite individuality and certainly in this price bracket. It is a bit of an unusual gun from factory which is a welcome change in the gun rack and a superb piece of combined engineering aspects. This is one smooth, accurate and consistent rifle that ticks many boxes for different types of shooting disciplines.  From the first time I used a HW98 I was impressed and added one to my stable. I saw a brilliant chassis for tuning work to further improve the already impressive firing cycle. I also made a custom stock for the rifle, for my own personal ergonomics and style. I thought it would be interesting to show a different take on the same gun, just to show another form of versatility the Weihrauch represents.

PRICE: Around £385.00

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gun
features

  • Manufacturer: Weihrauch
  • Model: HW98
  • Country of Origin: Germany
  • Weight: 8.25 lbs
  • Overall Length: 43 inches
  • Barrel Length: 16 inches
  • Stock type: Beech (adjustable)
  • Calibre: .177 on test, .22 also available
  • Power: 11.5 ft/lbs (Avg.) with Daystate Rangemaster Sovereign .177 pellets (best on test)

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