As most of you are aware there is a wee bit of unpleasantness in or world as of late. A pesky plague, a few riots, 4 guys on horseback causing a ruckus, possibly lions and tigers and bears…..oh my. As such people, being well people, have overrun the stores attempting to prepare for things they should have been prepared for all along. I mean honestly who can’t go a week or two without buying toilet paper. My first rule for friends is, “if you show up on my door step for the apocalypse party you better have bourbon and toilet paper with you.” But I digress.
Of course firearms and ammunition are being scooped up like it’s the mad minute on a Grocery Games type show. I, being a gun geek, enjoy shooting. I enjoy shooting anything with a trigger that propels a projectile in a manner that doesn’t blow me up…I am particular about that blow me up rule. As such not only do I own lots of firearms and ammunition but I also own a great many airguns and I learned many years ago I have the same passion for mid to high end airguns as I do firearms. Ok I say passion, you say mental illness, tomato…tomaaaato.
The point is I have learned over the years I get as much enjoyment, if not more from shooting my airguns then I do shooting my .22LR’s, so I am uniquely positioned to weather these panic storms and frankly I find myself shooting MORE these days and stretching the legs on many airguns I haven’t had out in a minute.
I enjoy sharing my experiences and try to review or quantify some of my guns now and then. Today, I figured I would pull out my HW77SE and share some of my views on this wonderful little pellet chucker.
So on to quantifying my experience. As always these are simply MY opinions and MY experience with this gun as compared to the others I have experience with. I am not some subject matter expert or guru on anything. I know a tiny bit about a great many things. No more, no less. All scores are a 1-5 scale.
Value is tough to quantify in an airgun. I am a firearms guy at heart and generally speak to a firearms audience so trying to explain why a $500 “BB” gun is awesome is generally met with that stare we reserve for kid who had to wear the helmet in school. So when I try to quantify value I try to do so both in terms of a guns peers as well as my own sort of intrinsic value proposition. The HW77k is pretty good value all in. For $550-$600 you get an extremely well made rifle, made of first rate materials with good bluing and fantastic stock. The trigger is better than "dang" near any out of the box .22 long rifle this side of Anschutz and its pretty accurate and tame to shoot to boot. Yes it’s a $580 “BB” gun and if you think in those terms go buy any airgun off the rack at Academy Sports and be happy. If you are a gun guy and actually appreciate firearms/guns of all types that are made with old world quality then do yourself a favor and open your wallet for higher tier airgun. I have changes a lot of powder burner’s minds by letting them shoot my stuff. You won’t be disappointed. Also keep in mind that even high end, target grade ammunition will be cheaper than half decent .22LR.
Now let me adjust this chin strap and we can continue.
FIT/FINISH/APPEARANCE - 4
Weihrauch makes great guns. They generally have nice bluing and good fit and finish but are generally fairly pedestrian in appearance. They do, however, occasionally produce come laminated stock guns that tend to look and feel great. This 77SE is one such gun and the stock both feels and looks fantastic. You are paying a bit of a weight and cost penalty but it’s worth it in my opinion. Weihrauch guns will never live up to Air Arms in terms of fit, finish or appearance but that bar sits pretty high up on the poles.
TRIGGER - 3
The Rekord trigger is a really good unit, but like any trigger can see variation from unit to unit. Alas this particular gun doesn’t have the best trigger out of all my other examples. It’s a little gritty and breaks a bit heavier than some of my other Rekords, even after being adjusted. Now is that saying it’s a bad trigger. HEEECCCCKKKK NOOOOOOO. Compared to most out of the box firearm triggers it’s amazing. Compared to a lot of air rifle triggers it’s amazing. It’s when we start to compare it among its peer group that it falls a bit short. Shooting it a lot more will clean it up, but because I have been blessed with a fairly large collection of both PEW PEWs and PHFFT PHFFTS most of them don’t seen a ton of use.
ACCURACY – 4.5
A great many shooters of all types tend to forget one single truism. “It’s the Indian, not the arrow” Very rarely is a piece of equipment to blame for accuracy issues. Does it happen, of course all machines can have issues. Does technology aid in being able to shoot better? Absolutely. What I am trying to say here is my gun has iron sights, albeit aperture sights, and has an Indian behind it that is happy when he doesn’t put an arrow into the neighbor’s pet buffalo. I am NOT the brave you call for sniper over watch at Custer’s last stand. That said with iron sights and a trigger that is not quite up to my other Rekord units it shoot pretty well for me. I would put its raw mechanical accuracy up there with top of its class.
Keep in mind in general I shoot rested. I do stretch my air rifles out to 50 yards now and then but rarely. The VAST amount of my airgun shooting is 18-20 yards. Also keep in mind if you are new to airguns, just like firearms, ammunition choice can make a huge difference. Spring gun’s also require a different type of shooting hold and follow through then firearms. If you buy your first spring rifle and “IT not worthy!!” take a breath, try some different, higher quality pellets, and use a very loose hold. 9 out of 10 times …….. something, something Indian not arrow.
ERGONOMICS – 4.5
The HW77 FEELS great. It shoulders nicely, the stock fits well in the hand or rested and the cocking stroke is light and like buttah!!! The biggest drawbacks are the weight, which to be honest is a generally a spring rifle trait in general and the cross bolt(tube) safety. I am plenty used to this safety style on airguns and its fine but I don’t prefer it. It feels lighter and handier then say a TX200, but most of that comes from only wearing iron sights versus a large scope. The weight is comparable to a naked TX200
RECOIL/SHOT CYCLE -4
Air Arms, from my experience, is king her. They feel like PCP’s generally. Weihrauch’s always have some twang to them. Spring gun soul so to speak. I will say this HW77 is one of the smoothest, quietest of the more powerful Weihrauch’s I own. It’s not going to match an HW30 of course but within its peer group this is a smooth rifle and is pretty easy to shoot given its power level.
She’ll put a lil’ English on a pellet to be sure.
At 700ish fps in .22 and 900ish fps in .177 those little pills are moving pretty good for a spring gun. I don’t hunt or pest but would have no problems doing so with the typical small airgun critter population. She buries a pellet pretty deep in my traps. Honestly for how smooth this gun shoots it doesn’t feel as powerful as it really is. I don’t own a chronograph but test via duct seal blocks from time to time and make no mistake the HW77k is a powerful rifle, at least as far as spring rifles go.
-The stock is awesome. I love the way it looks, I love the way it feels.
-Truth be told this rifle and I have had a bit of rocky history as far as sights. I have had everything from the stock leaf sights on it to an Airforce Diopter to the current Williams. So far the Williams seems to work the best for me on this rifle. Keep in mind that the front sight post is YUUUUUGEEEE!!! At least seemingly so. That makes precision difficult. If I had one real complaint about this rifle it is that I would prefer it to have the standard Weihrauch front sight post with replaceable inserts I as like the really fine insert with the dot at top in conjunction with a diopter/aperture. The gun is still able to be shot very accurately but that front sight post can add a layer of difficulty. Then again I should probably be singing its praises since I wasn’t manufactured with very good optics units and they aren’t getting any better.
-This is a quiet gun. I generally find .22 to be much quieter in general as far as airguns go but this HW77k has a pretty quiet soft report all things considered. Now keep in mind, if you are new to airguns they are not PFFFT quiet. They do have a report and can be loud enough to raise your neighbor’s ire or be uncomfortable in an indoor setting, although this is rare with spring guns as most of the noise the shooter deals with is the action.
-I have put a scope on this gun and found it to be exceptionally accurate with high quality pellets. That said I have an HW97k for the scoped work and it’s just wrong to run this gun with glass on it. This is an iron sighted gun and IMO should be shot as such.
I rarely have much to say negatively about my firearms. Much of that comes from the fact that if I don’t like it or I find it mechanically inferior we generally part ways. My HW77k is no different. It’s a wonderful gun that shoots well and looks great. I take a great deal of value out of both its mechanical attributes as well as its pride of ownership. It may not get shot as much as some others but when it does and when I fall back into the groove of shooting it, it’s as sublime a shooting experience as any could ask for.
One final thing, does anybody know how to get this arrow out of my thigh, do I push through are pull out.
Take care, shoot safe and try not shoot your eye out kid.