Written on: 24/09/2003 by PJAG (4 reviews written)
I bought my Weihrauch HW97K Air Rifle about 3 weeks ago and it certainly was the right choice.
I mainly use it for pest control: crows, rabbits, stone martens and sometimes even mice. If you don't approve shooting stone martens, just wait until you have 'experienced' them. They are noisy as hell and besides that, they tend to enjoy themselves with gnawing at cables of the engine of your car.
Anyway, two other alternatives I had in mind: HW90 and TX200. My local dealer told me not to get the HW90 because he experienced that the barrel is too thin to handle the force necessary for cocking. There is a danger of bending the barrel because of the cocking effort, which means that accuracy decreases after a while. It will be hard to find a review that mentions this because it's primarily a long-term effect. So if you want the Theoben system, get a Theoben.
The TX200 is at the same level as the HW97K so it was a bit of a toss-up. The Rekord trigger actually tipped the scales: it has well proven itself for quite a long time, feels smooth and you are very well able to predict the exact moment of firing. The gun is equipped with an automatic safety, which is very easy to handle.
The HW97K is accurate, accurate, accurate and has the power as well. Here in the Netherlands you 'only' get the full power (290 m/sec) versions because there aren't any restrictions on power like FAC's or so. Loading pellets into the barrel is easy since the bear trap loading device is well accessible.
The stock is well finished and well shaped. The gun is bleud to a high standard, which gives the gun a classy look. It's well balanced and recoil isn't worth mentioning. Still my scope sits on a dampa mount, just to completely exclude the risk of breaking it.
There has been discussion about whether it is a silencer or a muzzle weight that sits at the end of the barrel; well, it definitely is a silencer. I can tell that not only because of the damped sound, at the German Weihrauch website they say it's a 'M ndungsbremse' which means silencer.
Weight is often mentioned as a bad point of this airgun. Without a scope it weighs 4kg, so 4,3/4,4kg is the weight you'll have to carry when a decent scope is fitted. (The TX200 is even a bit heavier). I don't mind the weight, I just grin and bear it. Just as with cameras, weight adds stability (of course, too heavy isn't good either).
Maintenance exists of rubbing the barrel with some oil to keep the bleuing shiny and prevent rust. The HW97K is very durable, you only need to replace the spring after 5-10 years depending on how much you shoot. Your dealer can give you more details on that.
Weihrauch HW97K summary: accuracy, power, Rekord trigger, reliable and durable, solid and still beautiful.