The Weihrauch HW35 holds the record of being the air rifle with the longest production period of all, and it’s still going strong. This legendary classic was Weihrauch’s first full-size air rifle for sport and hunting and bar some small additions (as the safety), it’s almost identical now as to what is was when it came about in 1951.
This is the Weihrauch HW35
As said, the Weihrauch HW35 is the longest continuously produced air rifle around and with that, an absolute legend. Many airgunner holds dear memories to this airgun and we often get customers with a nostalgic look in their eyes, buying ‘back’ their old air rifle. Equally, we get many younger airgunners who (often advised by…) have made a well-considered choice to go for the HW35, just because -even after many decades- it’s still one of the best springer air rifles you can get.
When it comes to size, the Weihrauch HW35 absolutely is a serious air rifle. It’s got a spring powered piston that’s cocked with a lockable break barrel. The HW35 comes with open sights, the rear sight is micro-adjustable and the front sight has optionally changeable sight inserts. You can also opt to mount a rifle scope on the 11 mm dovetail rail. Three arrestor holes (or scope stoppers) will let you adjust perfectly for eye relief, while making sure the recoil doesn’t let your scope wander off.
The Weihrauch HW35 surely isn’t a featherweight, but it also is the weight that keeps it nice and steady when taking aim. And as a bonus, will the mass inertia absorbs a bit of the springer recoil too, adding even more to the accuracy equation. Partly causing its heftiness is the fact the HW35 is quite overengineered. And the fact that lots of HW35’s are passed on from one generation to another attests to that. You could reason making your air rifles thát durable doesn’t make for good commercial thinking in terms of sales. But when it comes to having a revered name that’s synonym for reliability, accuracy and durability, Weihrauch proofs there’s a lot of sense in long term thinking.
For decades -even more than half a century- the Weihrauch HW35 has been around and still is up there with the best break barrel springers. That’s impressive… Production started in 1951, and in that time post-war Germany wasn’t allowed to produce firearms. By then, they were only just recently allowed to use rifling in their airgun barrels again! But considering the fact airguns were all they were allowed to make, it makes you wonder if that could be the reason why Weihrauch’s are as good as they are. Then again, Germany has always been known for producing quality airguns and firearms. Whatever the reason, when the Weihrauch HW35 was introduced, it ended up to be the very definition of the modern air rifle. One that after all those years still is as relevant as ever.
These are typical HW35 features
The Weihrauch HW35 has evolved into being a timeless classic with a quality and accuracy that has given this air rifle a cult-status.
Any enthusiast will recognise the HW35 in the blink of an eye and these are some of the things that make it stand out:
- Stock: the stock with its classic lines has some unique features that Weihrauch only uses on the HW35 air rifle. The breech lock prevents the stock from completely covering the action, which is often common practise with air rifles. More so, the left side of the stock features a small notch to clear the space the latch needs when the air rifle is being cocked. Also very characteristic is the underside of the fore end, that’s almost completely enclosed, thanks to the use of an articulated cocking lever. And by attaching the action at the underside, using a single bolt mounting bridge, the sides of the stock look clean and free of bolts.
- Breech lock: most often, a break barrel airgun sees the barrel locked in place with a rounded off, wedge shaped and spring loaded pin. This pin will push itself into position, keeping the barrel steady and when enough pressure is applied, will release itself again. The HW35 however, has a sturdy breech lock that has to be opened manually by pushing against a latch. By using this system, the barrel is locked solidly against the action, making for excellent accuracy. You might have to get accustomed to the locking breech when you first encounter it, but within five minutes you’ll be intuitively placing your thumb against the latch. By the way, when cocking the HW35, the safety is automatically activated.
- Trigger: the most praised feature on the HW35 is undoubtedly the famous 2-stage Rekord trigger. This superbly adjustable and very refined trigger uses multiple linkages to create a very light action. As a standard trigger that’s now in use on almost every Weihrauch, the Rekord trigger provides almost match grade refinement and feel. And although the design is many, many decades old, it’s still considered to be one of the best airgun triggers ever made.
Which HW35 do you choose?
Whichever Weihrauch HW35 variant you’ll choose, you’ll never be disappointed as you’ll be getting a very accurate and very reliable air rifle that’ll last you a lifetime. Over the years, many HW35 models have been around -amongst them a now highly sought after limited Anniversary model- and for sure some more editions of this ‘mother of all air rifles’ will follow. Still, there are three models that form the basic line-up of the HW35 range. There’s the standard HW35 and the shortened HW35 K (Karabin, which is German for carbine). By shortening the barrel, the HW35 K is a bit lighter and it’s balance point is shifted a bit more towards your shoulder. Another evergreen is the HW35 E with its walnut stock, grip cap, white butt plate spacer and robust sling swivels. Regarding power and accuracy, they’re all identical.