THE LONG RANGER

Phill Price re­views the re­mark­ably ac­cu­rate Weihrauch HW44, at the range, and is suit­ably im­pressed

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Afew months back, I had the great plea­sure to test the ex­cel­lent Weihrauch HW44 pre- charged pneu­matic pis­tol. It’s based on the in­no­va­tive HW110 PCP ri­fle that has been such a huge suc­cess for the com­pany. They saw the op­por­tu­nity to adapt the high­tech syn­thetic ac­tion for pis­tol use and, in my eyes at least, that was a great de­ci­sion. Ev­ery­thing that makes the HW110 so good is pack­aged into a short form in the HW44, in­clud­ing the su­perb trig­ger, as you’d ex­pect from Weihrauch, a top- class bar­rel made in-house and the ef­fi­cient mul­ti­shot, side- lever ac­tion. This is topped with a Weaver rail which seems all the fash­ion th­ese days. They also en­gi­neered a ded­i­cated si­lencer which de­spite is neat di­men­sions, does an ex­cel­lent job of elim­i­nat­ing the an­noy­ing PCP crack on fir­ing and adds some weight at the muz­zle for sta­bil­ity on aim.

MORE POWER NEEDED

My early ac­cu­racy test­ing looked very promis­ing, but I felt that I was lim­ited by the 2x20 scope. With such low mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, pre­cise long-range aim­ing was very dif­fi­cult and I was con­vinced that if I could find a tech­ni­cally su­pe­rior scope, I could im­prove the re­sults. I re­ally wanted to see just how ac­cu­rate a pis­tol can be at long range. Thus fol­lowed a long and dif­fi­cult search. Many su­per-se­ri­ous pis­toleers fit ri­fle scopes and con­tort them­selves into strange po­si­tions so that they can see the tar­gets, de­spite the short eye re­lief, but that’s not pis­tol shoot­ing for me; I wanted a proper, long eye re­lief pis­tol scope, so the gun would be held at arm’s length.

Pro­fes­sional Air­gun Op­tics came to my res­cue with their 2-8 x 32 which comes with mounts, but th­ese are the air­gun stan­dard 11mm, so I swapped them with some top­class Weaver Sport­smatch ones, and the build was com­plete. Next, I se­lected some pel­lets that I thought would be com­pat­i­ble and that had a proven track record for ac­cu­racy at dis­tance. Weihrauch’s own Ex­act Di­ablo .177s were first on my list.

In an ef­fort to re­duce hu­man er­ror as much as pos­si­ble, I planned to shoot from a sturdy bench, sup­ported by ‘ V’ shaped bags. I ex­per­i­mented with a num­ber of types un­til I felt most sta­ble, and be­gan to watch the weather fore­cast for a rare, calm day. Be­cause of our 6 ft.lbs. pis­tol power limit, the pel­lets would nat­u­rally be fly­ing far slower than from a ri­fle, and I con­sid­ered that the wind would have a strong ef­fect on their flight.

RANGE TIME

Af­ter all the snow had melted, I found my­self on an oddly balmy day at the range, all ready to go. The wind was light, so I quickly knuck­led down to shoot­ing slow, de­lib­er­ate groups. Look­ing through a higher mag­ni­fi­ca­tion scope on top of a pis­tol is a harsh les­son in just how wob­bly we are at arm’s length, even when sup­ported. Also, the view is eas­ily lost by even the small­est move­ments, so pa­tience is needed to get the proper sight pic­ture.

It’s all very tricky, but I’ve done this be­fore and had some tech­niques to em­ploy. The ‘ V’ shaped bag held the fore end nicely and just high enough that the bot­tom of the

“a higher mag­ni­fi­ca­tion scope on top of a pis­tol is a harsh les­son in just how wob­bly we are”

grip didn’t con­tact the bench. Even though the re­coil is very slight, I find it best to iso­late the gun from any hard sur­face to max­imise con­sis­tency. I man­aged to use the fleshy part at the side of my right palm for this job. I still used a two-handed grip to max­imise the sup­port and sta­bil­ity, plus I’m most used to shoot­ing that way.

Next I sup­ported the full length of my right arm along the bench and used a chair with a back so that my torso was well sup­ported as well. I needed to be as com­fort­able and re­laxed as I could, which I hoped would re­duce my wob­bles and shakes as far as hu­manly pos­si­ble.

BEST-EVER GROUPS

As the groups started to form on my 30-yard card, I ex­per­i­mented with dif­fer­ent holds and af­ter a while I could see which was work­ing the best. Af­ter tak­ing a short break, I put out a fresh card and shot the very best groups I’ve ever made with a pis­tol. I was sure the HW44 was ca­pa­ble, but it needed the ex­tra mag­ni­fi­ca­tion to re­lease the po­ten­tial. Sure, some groups were not so good, but when I did my bit, it delivered hon­est ¼” groups at 30 yards, and in my book that’s bloody im­pres­sive. I’m quite con­fi­dent that had it been held in some me­chan­i­cal de­vice, it would have put five shots all through the same hole at that dis­tance, but with me press­ing the trig­ger I feel that I’d reached the limit.

This truly is a lovely pis­tol in many re­spects and I’m glad that I have at last been able to prove just how ac­cu­rate it is. If long-range pis­tols are your bag, then you owe it to your­self to have a good look at the re­mark­able HW44.

I used the bench to sup­port me as much as pos­si­ble

1/4” groups at 30 yards show the huge ac­cu­racy po­ten­tial

Thirty yards is long way to shoot a pis­tol ac­cu­rately

Not only does the si­lencer keep things quiet, it adds sta­bil­ity

This PAO 2-8 x 32 scope made a big diffrence to per­for­mance

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.