This report covers:
- Laminate stock or chassis system?
- A word about the purpose
- Is Martin Rutterford still involved?
- My big chance
- Bolt probe
- Scope base
- Adjustable power
- So much more
Today we begin looking at a new (for us) precharged pneumatic repeater — the RAW HM-1000X. This rifle exists in .22, .25, .30 and .357 calibers. The .30 and .357 are special order rifles so my advice is to stick to either .22 or .25 caliber. I am testing a .22.
RAW stood for Rapid Air Weapons when the company was initially formed. It evolved from the Theoben Rapid 7 and 12 that were big in the United Kingdom. The Theoben company stopped making airguns and their managing director, Martin Rutterford moved to the U.S. to continue to make the air rifles under the name Rapid Air Weapons.
Now, in the United States shooters don’t think of airguns as weapons, so even though the respected name RAW continues, you won’t find the word weapons on the current website. It’s just RapidAir. The word “Works” was kicked around for awhile, but since the name RAW is so recognized in the airgun community, well enough was left alone.
Laminate stock or chassis system?
As you can see in the picture, the rifle comes with either a laminate wood stock or a chassis system that has an extendible buttstock. My advice is to get the chassis system in this rifle because with the chassis you get the flexibility to mount accessories in M-LOK slots (the laminated stock also has these), a buttstock with adjustable length of pull, as well as an adjustable comb, and a lower cost. All the specs on both rifles are identical except for the stock. I am testing a chassis system rifle.
The weight varies a lot, depending on how the rifle is accessorized. The rifle I am testing weighs 8 lbs. 1 oz. with an empty 12-shot rotary magazine.
The overall length varies depending on how the butt is adjusted. I have mine set to just shy of 46 inches.
The HM-1000X has a free-floating Lothar Walther polygonal barrel. It’s unchoked, so slugs and diabolo pellets can both be used. It’s 24-inches long to extract all the energy the pellet can give. Of course I will test the velocity for you, but for now know that the .22 is expected to top out around 50 foot-pounds. In 25 it rises to 60 foot-pounds, 80 foot-pounds in .30 and 130 foot-pounds in .357.
A word about the purpose
What is the HM 1000X designed for? Given the power, hunting comes up right away. And with the power and accuracy you can expect from the RAW this make an excellent hunting air rifle, plus a contender in extreme bench rest competition. On windy days the .25 caliber would probably be preferred, though the .22 does give you a lot more pellets to choose from. Naturally I will test the rifle at 50 and 100 yards.
Is Martin Rutterford still involved?
Absolutely. I see him often when he comes to AirForce to consult, because AirForce is in my home town. He was very concerned that the quality would continue after he sold his company, but several years later I think he is satisfied that AirForce has it under control. They will continue to make the best rifles they possibly can. John McCaslin, the owner of AirForce, is extremely concerned with quality, only putting safety ahead!
My big chance
I have waited for several years to test a RAW. I thought I wanted to test a 12 foot-pound rifle, but this HM 1000X became available first. Let me tell you, those guys at AirForce are making these rifles as fast as they possibly can, and yet they still have a rolling backlog. The rifles are not inexpensive — the test rifle retails for around $2,000, but airgunners who want the best have only a few brands to choose from and RAW is right at the top.
This rifle is way more representative of what American shooters are buying these days, so serendipity has kept me on the best path. I have pulled the trigger a few times and I can tell you it is the sort of trigger people pay big bucks for. It gives nothing away to a 10-meter target rifle, except that it’s set to break at 6 ounces. I will leave it there, because I’m going to need to look in the thesaurus for adjectives that mean the very best. This will be an air rifle I will be sorry to see leave at the end of testing — and you enablers, please don’t work on me! I now have a new motorcycle to support!
Glass-crisp describes the feel, but there is a little pushback from the 50 foot-pound rifle with each shot. And the trigger is fully adjustable.
The safety is manual! Thank you, Martin Rutterford!
You know how repeaters with rotary magazines can feed pellets that are out of alignment with the breech? I have tested several repeaters with that problem. Well, the HM-1000X has a way around it. First, the bolt nose is rounded to fit in the pellet skirt and the probe is also loose, so it automatically aligns with the breech. Instead of pushing the pellet forward no matter what the alignment is, this probe moves around to center the pellet. It’s one of those small, “Why didn’t I think of that?” points. And such little points keep popping up as I look around this rifle. It’s what you want from a rifle at this level.
Yes, this rifle is silenced and the model I am testing has an older version of the silencer that’s no longer offered. But I checked with AirForce and the one they currently ship is about the same sound level. Of course I will test it for you but I’m telling you now it’s got to be over 100 dB. This is not friendly in a suburban back yard.
Interestingly, the silencer is offset, so it won’t get in the way of a low-mounted scope. Not that anyone is going to mount a scope low. Given what this is they will probably want to mount the Hubble Space Telescope on top!
Speaking of scoping the rifle, the RAW has 20 minutes of down angle machined into the Picatinny rail on top of the receiver. Don’t gotta shoot it to find out — they knew what to do up front!
The rifle is regulated, and from what I have heard so far the reg is extremely stable. That will get tested in the velocity test, of course. The air bottle/tank is carbon-fiber and holds 480cc at 230 bar, which is 3,336 psi. Even at 50 foot-pounds there should be a passel of shots available. Of course we will find out.
Yes, the air tank can be unscrewed. I suppose for someone with whom money is no object it would make sense to get a separate tank.
The hammer spring can be adjusted to change the power. I will probably do that in an extended velocity test — or two.
So much more
I have only covered some of the introduction. We still have things to cover. I will watch your comment and then try to cover the other things in the Part 2 velocity test. Because the power is adjustable there will have to be several velocity tests.
This is quite an air rifle we are examining. At the price it certainly should be, and from the little I have seen so far, it lives up to its promise.