We have Dr Robert Beeman to thank for putting forward his ideas on the possibility of
marketing in the USA of a magnum powered air rifle to Hans Weihrauch. It was agreed that the new
air rifle would be sold in the USA as the Beeman R1 with a more upmarket wood stock and no sights.
The European and rest of the world version was to be the Weihrauch HW80..
It was one of the most powerful break barrel spring air rifles available with 5.5mm (.22) versions
getting up to 23 ft/lbs ME with heavy pellets.
The latest version has a well grained beech stock with the fore-end well rounded for a comfortable grip,
a cheek piece for right handed shooters and good deep checkering on the pistol grip.
The bluing is nice and deep on the barrel and receiver. The stock is smoothly finished with some
uneven dying on leading edges ie lower part of cheek piece and around the trigger guard cut out.
The rifle is very solidly constructed with a large barrel/breech block and a heavy 5mm solid steel
cocking arm linkage and has a large diameter compression cylinder.
I chose the carbine shorter barrel version as the balance suited me better. I can stand amd shoot this rifle
despite its weight of 3.9 Kg without a scope. I was pleased to find that the carbine version came with open sights.
I have done quite a lot of 10m shooting with the open sights and they are very good.
I was able to get 5 shot groups that could be easily covered by a ten cent piece or smaller.
The rifle even with its short barrel is easy to cock once you have managed to break the very stiff
barrel lockup which required a sharp tap with an open hand. The cocking stroke is smooth and the barrel lockup
is very solid, the firing cycle is short and sharp with quite a bit of recoil which is damped by the heavy weight of the rifle.
The 5.1mm JSB Exact 13.73 gn pellets load snuggly into the breech.
Running them through the Shooting Chrony produced the following :
Average velocity 721 ft/sec, ES 14.0 , SD 6.08 and a ME of 15.85 ft/lbs so close to 16 ft /lbs
In fact I weighed a batch of the JSB 5.1mm pellets and they averaged 13.94 gn so using this ME of 16.08 ft/lbs
I had some H&N FTT 11.42 gn pellets they produced the following figures :
Average Velocity 811 ft/sec , ES 4.95, SD 2.23, ME 16.7 ft/lbs
However they were a very loose fit in the breech and I would not use them for field use in case they fell out
when closing the barrel.
I did find that after about 50 to 100 pellets the trigger guard and stock screws started to work loose
as the action began to bed in with the wooden stock, this is common with most higher power spring air rifles.
I did not find the HW80K hold sensitive as long as you follow through well and hold the rifle lightly.
As with all Weihrauch air rifles fitted with the Reckord trigger the crisp and consistent trigger release aids accurate shooting.
The best 5 shot groups that I can get at the moment are 18mm in diameter at a distance of 18m using a Tasco 3-9 ^ 32 scope'
This should improve once the action has been run in some more as I can get four pellets into a 12mm group.
There are a large number of magnum spring air rifles that produce more power than the Weihrauch HW80K.
So is it still "The Legend " I think so as no other spring air rifle that i have looked at offers quite the same
combination of balance and easy cocking, fine trigger, accuracy with usable power and excellent all metal open
sights that make it a great field air rifle. Due to its weight a sling is recommended for field use,