by B.B. Pelletier
We’re going to start our look at Weihrauch’s top PCP rifle, the HW 100 S FSB. There are so many features packed into this rifle that I’ll have to address them in all three parts of the report, but today I’ll get a good start on the general rifle.
Weihrauch is best known to airgunners for the high-quality spring-piston airguns it produces and, of course, their well-reknowned Rekord trigger. But they only entered the world of precharged pneumatics less than a decade ago with their one and still only model, the 100 S. For the record, the FSB designator means fully shrouded barrel, so that’s the first of many features you’ll be seeing. There’s a model 100 T (for thumbhole), also with a fully shrouded barrel. So it is called the HW 100 T FSB.
The HW 100 was new in 2004, and reports of its accuracy started very soon thereafter. This is a 14-shot repeater that uses a circular clip to feed the pellets. It’s cocked by a short sidelever located on the right side of the action. Power is claimed to be in the 26 foot-pound region in the .22 caliber version I am testing. The rifle is also available in .177 caliber and .20 caliber. I recommend going with the largest caliber because of the power potential, but the HW 100 is also supposed to be so extraordinarily accurate that a .177 caliber rifle will also be attractive. At 22 foot-pounds in that caliber, it’s too powerful for field target but probably a perfect rifle for long-range shooting.
The rifle is supposed to get 40 shots on a fill to 200 bar, which is extremely good at the claimed power level. It’ll be interesting to find out how it actually performs.
The wood on the test rifle is impeccably finished with what looks like a genuine oil finish. There’s no shine and the grain of the wood is striking. You can see holographic ripples in the wood, though they would show up better if the finish had more luster. The pistol grip and forearm are both checkered, and the pistol grip has a palm swell for a righthanded shooter. This rifle is not ambidextrous.
Naturally, there are no sights on the rifle, as you’re expected to scope it. This one deserves the best scope you can afford. The scope rail is split into two parts, ahead of and behind the slot where the circular clip goes in the receiver. This is the first PCP that uses a circular clip like this that doesn’t protrude above the top of the receiver.
You would expect a rifle in this price range to have a lustrous finish overall, but that’s not exactly the case. The receiver is finished in the deep shiny black you expect, but the barrel shroud is entirely matte. The removable air reservoir is a semi-gloss that lies in between the two. That’s a lot of contrast in the finishes, however I have to say that everything looks right on the gun
The removable reservoir has a built-in pressure gauge (manometer) at the front. It reads in bar, and 200 bar (2,900 psi) is a maximum fill. The fill probe is proprietary (sigh!) but it has 1/8-inch BSP threads on the other end, so it attaches to any conventional pneumatic airgun fill hose. You’re given a blank plug to insert in the fill port any time the probe is out to keep dirt from entering.
I could not resist trying the trigger. No, it’s not a Rekord, which only works on Weihrauch’s spring-piston rifles. The trigger on the HW 100 S is a very refined PCP sporting trigger that will feel like a world-class target trigger to most shooters. It’s adjustable, however the instructions in the owner’s manual are out of date. To make the adjustments shown in the manual on the rifle I’m testing, the stock must first be removed. However, I did so and made some attempt at adjusting the trigger. I could not notice any difference in the pull weight. So, I’ll leave it alone. It feels perfect as it comes from the box.
The HW 100 trigger is not a Rekord, but it’s extremely crisp and light.
The shrouded barrel has four air relief holes at its base. These are to give the pressurized air a place to escape when the pellet blocks the muzzle. This is a sign that Weihrauch knows what it’s doing with PCPs, because most airgun manufacturers don’t know the value of these holes. The shroud also has several baffles.
One of four holes in the back of the barrel shroud that let the compressed air escape. This decreases the muzzle report significantly.
I also want to comment on the weight of the rifle. At 8.6 lbs. it’s certainly no lightweight, yet when I hold it, it feels several pounds lighter. The stock feels slender, yet somehow also hand-filling. The bottom of the forearm is flat for a good hold, and the pistol grip is sculpted to allow the thumb to be placed in the upright position. I guess I’m saying that the stock feels like a classic to me.
Overall, I would say that my first impression is a good one. This rifle feels and looks like it will shoot. Of course, all of that lies ahead.