When purchasing my first air rifle in 1980 the final selection was between the Weihrauch HW35 with its breech lock and leather piston seal
and the BSA Mercury with its smooth shooting floating head piston with O ring seal. Back then the BSA Mercury was my choice.
So now its the Weihrauch HW35 chance to impress me.
The HW35 has been in production since 1951. The latest version retains the breech lock but even with lots of improvements to the mechanicals
and stock design it still retains its classic look.
The new HW35 that I have was manufactured in 2011, so it has been in stock at the agents for a number of years.
The barrel and massive compression cylinder are treated with a nice deep bluing. The stock has a very attractive striped grain
and is in the current Weihrauch walnut stained beech wood.
The HW35 handles and shoulders well with its more slender plainer stock. I was surprised to find that it weighs 4.2 kg
with the Gamo 4x32 AO compact scope ( weight 370 gm). With the small cocking lever slot there is lots of room for a comfortable
grip on the forend. I also like the single front stock screw (as also on the HW30/50). The stock forend has the retro finger grooves
to maintain its classic look.
When I tried to clean the barrel i found that my DIY bore snake would not fit down the muzzle end, So I made up a new design
and also modified the 2mm nylon line version ( the cord/string does last ) (See DIY Section)
Photo credit "Gun Mart"
Note the rounded forestock end and smaller barrel latch cut out on current HW35 rifles.
To release the barrel latch you place your fingers over the barrel and pull the latch forward with your thumb the barrel drops a bit
and then you slide your hand to the end of the barrel to complete the cocking stroke. The rifle with its articulated cocking linkage
is reasonably easy to cock with its very smooth action.
The firing cycle is short with mild recoil and spring twang/vibration. The Record trigger breaks cleanly and consistently at 2 Lbs.
Which is fine for a sporting rifle.
Picture credit "Airgun Shooting"
One of the many updates, the barrels are fitted to the breech block with a locking nut.
I had a go at using the supplied open sights at 10m and they are good but I manage better with the HW30S
as the rear sight is closer to your eye..So to try and do the HW35 justice I have fitted a Gamo 4x32 AO compact scope.
After fitting the scope and zeroing at 17m I got some good clover leaf groups but when I had a go at a 5 shot group
the shots were drifting to the left. So I checked the forend stock and trigger guard stock screws and they needed tightening
also the rear scope top saddle was tightened.
So the group shown can be improved on as the scope had to be re-zeroed again. The five shot group can be covered by a ten cent piece
(edge to edge 14mm as measured)
Checking the power output and velocity using my Shooting Chrony :
Average Velocity 749 ft/sec (10 shot string) Muzzle energy 10.5 ft/lbs using JSB Exact 8.44 gn pellets
I will recheck these figures once I have run in the rifle but they are in line with Weihrauch`s claim of 230 m/sec (755 ft/sec)
In my opinion the Weihrauch HW35 is still a "Classic" . It is a man sized air rifle with its large diameter compression cylinder
and solid build quality and retains its character with modern updates.
To some it may appear old fashioned and why not rather buy the HW50S, it has the same power and accuracy with lighter weight
but it does not have the "magic" of the HW35 maybe its an older air rifle enthusiasts thing .