Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 6

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 6

Part 5 Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Match Pistols – The Classic Weihrauch HW 75

By Dennis Adler

The trio of top single stroke pneumatics begins with the Air Venturi V10 10-Meter pistol (rear), Beeman P3 Match Pistol (center) and top-of-the-line Weihrauch HW 75 Match Target Pistol. Although it is not a 10-meter competition pistol design the HW 75 costs the most and delivers the most features for precision target shooting.

The word “classic” gets thrown around a lot these days, always has, and is often misused to glorify some piece of past history. I used to get all up in arms back when I was writing books on American and European Classic cars over the misuse of “classic” when describing American cars from the 1950s. Classic was very strictly defined, at least for automobiles, as a period from 1924 to 1948 and only specific makes and models; prior to 1924 an automobile could not be considered a classic (could be an antique or vintage car) and after 1948 it would be a milestone car, (if so deemed by the Milestone Car Society). A 1955 Thunderbird, for all its glory, was not and will never be a Classic Car, even if it is a classic in the minds of so many. But when it comes to some things, movies for example, classic has a lot more latitude and interpretation, or the classic “little black dress” or a “classic firearm.” How old does an item have to get to be considered classic? When there is no governing body (like the Classic Car Club of America for example) to lay down a set of rules and standards, classic becomes more of an attribute for longevity, the recognition of a design that has remained popular for an extended (generational) period, like the Colt Model 1911, or one that was popular at one time but has become antiquated by more modern versions (cell phones for example, though I’m not sure the first Motorola StarTac flip phone will ever be called a classic outside of Star Trek circles, but it is among Time magazine’s “All-Time 100 Gadgets”). When it comes to air pistols, “classic” has a lot of ground to cover! Among single stroke pneumatic airguns I would venture to say that few will take offense if the Weihrauch HW 75 is deemed a classic.

A true ambidextrous design the Weihrauch has dual safety releases. The V10, of course, being a 10-meter pistol has no safety mechanism.

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The HW 75 is the German version of the Beeman P2, which was designed in 1990 by Dr. Robert Beeman while working in conjunction with the engineers at H.W. Weihrauch in Germany. The single stroke pneumatic Beeman P2 design was derived from the more powerful spring piston P1 Magnum model (sold in Europe as the Weihrauch HW 45) and dating back to Beeman and Weihrauch’s collaboration in the early 1980s. The P2 single stroke pneumatic was intended to be a true 10-meter level target pistol, but at a somewhat lower price than the P1 Magnum. And the P2 had a good run with Beeman until it was discontinued from importation in 2001. In Europe the Weihrauch version of the P2, the HW 75 M, has remained a continued success since the 1990s.

Both the V10 and HW 75 have similar internal systems, however, the V10 uses a striker-type internal hammer, whereas the HW 75 is a true hammer-fired design. The V10 is opened using a release catch at the back of the barrel assembly, the Weihrauch uses a two-point release, cocking the hammer and then pressing in on a release lever at the rear of the frame before lifting the barrel assembly.
Left-handed shooters need to get left-handed grips for the V10, while southpaws have a perfectly matched left and right side grip profile on the Weihrauch. They are also eminently more comfortable grips to hold with their fine walnut finish, rough textured lower, and ambidextrous palm rest.

While essentially a Beeman P2 at its core, it is fitted with superb high quality ambidextrous checkered walnut competition grips, ambidextrous thumb safeties and an adjustable two-stage target trigger. It is what might be considered the Cadillac (or in Germany, the Mercedes-Benz) of single shot pneumatics (and priced commensurately with an MSRP of $545). This is the airgun I would have aspired to owning, instead of the Webley Hurricane, if I hadn’t become so enamored with early CO2 powered pellet-firing models like the Umarex Walther CP99 and CP88. The Air Venturi V10 recently reignited my interest in single shot pneumatics (and I unpacked my old Webley Hurricane) which has taken me back to where I should have begun almost 20 years ago with a Weihrauch HW 75. Fortunately, it has survived the passing of time and is still around. If that doesn’t make it a classic, I don’t know what does.

The V10 is the largest of the three and the most limited in shooting, being a 10-meter pistol that must be shot one-handed. The Weihrauch HW 75 is the most versatile being a competition Match Pistol with full ambidextrous handling, while the Beeman P3 runs a close second as a very accurate 10-meter Match Pistol, but with one non-ambidextrous feature that actually makes it harder for right-handed shooters to use than left-handed! In terms of price, the V10 has an MSRP of $300, the HW 75 $545, and the Beeman P3 $290. So, if the old saying that “you get what you pay for” is true of these three single shot pneumatics then the Weihrauch should out handle and outshoot the other two. We will find out next week in the Part 7 conclusion of “Target Pistols and Target Shooters.”

Next week in Part 7 the HW 75 gets a thorough going over and heads to the 10-meter target range.   

2 thoughts on “Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 6”

  1. Besides accuracy, I will be watching ease of loading and cockng effort. Somewhere in the equation there should be “plain old fun to shoot’ . Having the Webley Alecto, Beeman P17. for pure fun to shoot, I will go to the less accurate Browning Buck Mark, because it is so easy to cock and load.
    The HW-75 is a beautiful big pistols, and I am sure I would enjoy it, but as of now beyond my financial means.
    Besr wishes

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