Weihrauch HW110 – Polymer Perfection.
Like many shooters, my first experience of shooting was with airguns. For me it all began way back in 1979 when my dad bought a Weihrauch HW35 – a gun that he still has to this day, and is still in virtually the same condition as when it came out of the shop.
I would often accompany him when he went rabbit shooting and once he had bagged one or two bunnies he would stand up a few spent shotgun cartridges for me to have a shot at. I was only eight at the time and not strong enough to hold the gun unaided.
I fondly remember my dad sitting on the grass, resting the gun on his shoulder and me standing behind him as I aimed and knocked over the empty cartridges.
A couple of years later, in 1981, he bought me my first air rifle, which was a Webley Victor – a fantastic little gun for a young, growing lad to start off with. I still have my little Webley Victor tucked away and it is still just like new.
In the mid 90’s I decided to buy myself another air rifle. I was already a huge fan of Weihrauch and decided on the HW97K, a spring powered air rifle that is still ranked in many people’s top 2–3 springers, even today.
There were a number of manufacturers who used the Great British Shooting Show 2016 as their launch pad for new products, one of these fantastic products for 2016 was the new air rifle from Weihrauch, the HW110. Being an HW fan I was very keen to take a look at Weihrauch’s new addition to the multi-shot PCP market. I was not disappointed when I arrived at the HW stand in the heart of Airgun City!
When Weihrauch first unveiled the HW100 thirteen years ago, yes it really was that long ago, it seemed as if they had pretty much hit the PCP nail right on the head with the first whack, but the German masters of airgun production cannot rest on their laurels and things must move on and progress.
There are many great features on this new rifle. Let’s start at the front and work our way back. Weihrauch have fitted their own extremely quiet silencer onto the 110’s 16” threaded, semi-free floating, precision rifled barrel. The barrel is semi-free floating because it is supported by a strong, but lightweight barrel band.
The air tank has a forward facing air gauge and is charged by inserting the quick fill nozzle – which is supplied in the box with the rifle – into the inlet valve that is situated just behind the air gauge. Another thing that is supplied in the box is a friction fit plug that inserts into the inlet valve to protect it when the rifle is fully charged and in use.
When I first saw the HW110, which was at its launch at the Great British Shooting Show back in February, my immediate thought was that the rifle had a fully synthetic stock, but once in the hand you soon realise that this is not the case. The 110 actually has a beech stock that is wrapped in a “soft touch” rubber compound. This rubber compound has a lovely grippy feel to it, and with the addition of the impregnated checkered panels on the fore end and on the pistol grip the shooter will have a very confident grip on the rifle.
The pistol grip slopes down very steeply and combined with the nice flat thumb shelf gives the shooter a very comfortable trigger hand position. The butt stock features a nicely sized, high ambidextrous cheek piece as well as a very generous rubber butt pad.
Now we move onto something about the HW110 that I really do like, and so far, I have liked everything about this gun. Weihrauch have incorporated the use of a material that has been widely used in other areas of the firearms industry for many years now – ballistic polymer. The entire action on the 110, including the trigger, trigger guard, barrel band and the integral 1” picatinny rail, which runs the full length of the action are made from polymer. The use of this material has drastically reduced the overall weight of the 110 in comparison to the Weihrauch HW100.
The polymer cocking lever is positioned towards the back of the action. As standard the cocking lever is supplied on the right hand side, but if you’re a lefty, like me, you can request the lever be switched to the other side before it leaves the factory. This is exactly what the guys at Hull Cartridge did for me and the gun arrived in the left handed configuration.
There is a bit of a knack to loading it, which makes it sound complicated, but it really isn’t. Once your ten pellets are snugly in the circular magazine, pull the cocking lever to the rear and lift the release catch lever. You will need to hold the release catch in this position to keep the locking pins at the rear. Once the magazine is inserted, drop the release catch lever and then just jiggle the magazine until you feel it click into place. Return the cocking lever to its original position, apply the safety by pressing down and covering the red dot and away you go.
Weihrauch have always been well known for their superb triggers and, as you would expect, the two stage trigger in the HW110 is fully adjustable and match grade.
For this test Leica very kindly supplied me with the new Magnus 1.5-10×42 which, for an air rifle, is a lot of scope, but the handling was not affected in any way and the rifle was still very easy to shoot from an unsupported standing position.
Once everything was zeroed in the HW110 was producing some very tight groups at a distance of 30 yards. The crisp trigger is set very light straight out of the box, maybe a little too light for some hunters, and I have to admit to one or two flyers while I got used to it, but once I was settled in the accuracy was incredible.
To sum up the HW110, I have to say that it was everything I was hoping it would be. Weihrauch have taken their time with the development of their new PCP. The HW110 is definitely not just a cheaper version of the HW100, but clearly intended to be a very high quality stand alone addition to the HW range and to the overall airgun PCP market. The use of modern materials and with it being fully ambidextrous, there is no doubt that the new HW110 is set to take the UK market by storm.
The retail price will be £645. We can expect to see rifles in the shops before the end of May.