Weihrauch HW30S Test Review .177 Caliber
Sept 21, 2021
Supplied by Airguns of Arizona
Huge fun to shoot
VALUE FOR MONEY
This HW30S test review looks at an air rifle that’s been available for many years. In fact, it’s no mistake to describe it as a classic break barrel airgun.
Yet it still sells strongly because this German-manufactured airgun offers outstanding quality. It combines this with great handling and shootability. All at an attractive price!
The HW30S tested here is currently being sold in the USA by Airguns of Arizona for just $313.98. This price is really not so much more than that of many widely-available spring/piston or gas ram air rifles, yet the quality and shootability are “night and day” different.
So why is that?
Well, like all other airguns from the family-owned Weihrauch company, the HW30S doesn’t strive to attract customers with all the latest features and marketing claims. There’s no “Zillion FPS” muzzle velocity here, no claims for silent shooting, nor many of the other “bells and whistles” that are found on so many other breakbarrels.
Instead you have a simple, great-shooting gun that can provide huge enjoyment for the whole family. You don’t have to be a body-builder to cock it, the weight is light and the recoil minimal. There’s no need for the charging equipment needed by PCPs, either.
The only downside is the relatively low Muzzle Velocity. Although that is precisely the reason for most of the other benefits…
As you’ll read in this Weihrauch HW30S test review, this is a genuine case of “less is more”. It’s outstanding value for money, particularly when combined with an amazing – for a gun of this price – limited lifetime warranty!
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SPEED AND ACCURACY
The subject of this HW30S test review produced a maximum Muzzle Velocity of 811 FPS with Predator GTO alloy pellets. The lightest lead pellets – 7.0 Grain RWS Hobbys – achieved 677 FPS.
Most mid-range, domed pellets gave results in the 615 – 640 FPS range. Only the heavy – 10.65 Grain – H&N Baracuda Match pellets proved to be too much for the HW30’s limited power, although even these grouped well on target.
Typical Muzzle Energy is in the 7 – 8 Ft/Lbs range. This is fine for plinking and informal target shooting out to about 40 Yards. But it’s not enough for ethical hunting use unless you’re an expert shot, the range very short and the quarry very small.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Predator GTO 5.0 Grain||811.01 FPS||8.03 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain||795.22 FPS||7.81 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|RWS Hobby 7.0 Grain||677.07 FPS||7.13 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Crosman Premier HP 7.9 Grain||637.21 FPS||7.12 Ft/Lbs||Very good..|
|JSB Exact Diabalo 8.44 Grain||624.92 FPS||7.32 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain||617.45 FPS||7.32 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 10.65 Grain||491.44 FPS||5.71 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
The best accuracy in this test was achieved by 8.64 Grain H&N Field Target Trophy pellets. These achieved a very respectable group at 25 yards, as you can see from this test target.
However, accuracy was very good with all the standard HAM test pellets. This is a significant practical advantage for any airgun and one that’s not often seen in practice!
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
Trigger pull of the HW30S was very pleasant. The trigger blade itself is metal, nicely-curved and ridged for good finger contact.
Touching the trigger brings a very light first stage into play. Then there’s a clear distinction with the second stage. Sear release is predictable and controllable. The average pull weight of just above 2.5 Lbs was low.
This is an easy trigger to use. As HAM Tester Eric Brewer commented in his test notes: “you can’t beat a Rekord trigger!”
The trigger is adjustable, however – as always – HAM tested the HW30 with the trigger as received from the factory.
Cocking is smooth and quiet. There’s none of the “coffee grinder” roughness that sometimes afflicts springers. In fact the cocking action itself is actually very pleasant. There’s no whip or flexing in the action and the ball bearing lock-up is very positive and solid.
In spite of the short barrel, the cocking effort of the HW30S tested by HAM peaked at about 24 Lbs. This would definitely be considered light or manageable by the vast majority of shooters. That makes the HW30 ideal for extended shooting sessions.
Cocking the gun causes the automatic safety to engage. This then needs to be disabled before being able to fire. It also is simple and effective.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
In line with most “quality” manufacturers, Weihrauch makes few claims for its products. The company website claims that the HW30 delivers excellent accuracy. HAM agrees.
It also claims that this air rifle is suitable for use by the whole family. Again HAM agrees.
Maximum Muzzle Velocity is claimed as 190 Meters/Second. That’s about 620 FPS. In fact, HAM testing exceeded these figures by nearly 200 FPS, with a maximum of 811 FPS with GTO alloys.
Even 8.64 Grain H&N Field Target Trophy pellets tested within 2.5 FPS of the claim in the HW30S tested by HAM!
In this HW30S test review, the HAM Team found consistency to be a strong suit for the little Weihrauch!
As we have already seen, the gun was consistently accurate with a wide variety of pellets. It’s not at all “pellet picky” and that’s unusual.
In addition, the trigger pull weight varied by only -3 to +5 Oz around the average of 2 Lb 9.7 Oz. That’s solid consistency that gives the shooter confidence in his or her trigger release. That confidence makes it easier to shoot more accurately.
The average Standard Deviation across the range of standard HAM test pellets was also very creditable at 7.68 FPS. This is a low figure for any piston air rifle. It even beats that of some PCPs HAM has tested in the past!
There’s no moderator, shroud or any silencing system fitted to this air rifle. But – as our HW30S test review confirmed – that’s because there’s no need for such equipment!
The relatively low Muzzle Velocity means that the HW30 is backyard-friendly, even with light alloy pellets. This makes it ideal for many airgunners whose range is in their back yard, garage or basement.
HAM tester Eric Brewer noticed a slight buzz from the spring when fired. However this is not obtrusive and was low compared to the spring noise from many more powerful spring/piston air rifles.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
Weihrauch is one of the few airgun manufacturers which remain truly committed to open sights. This is clear from the degree of effort and flexibility that we find in this HW30S test review.
Let’s start with the rear sight…
Here we have the expected click adjustment capabilities for windage and elevation. But look closer and you’ll see that this rear sight actually has a choice of four different sighting notches!
By pulling out and rotating the rear sight notch plate, you’ll find a choice of wide and narrow square notches, a V notch and a U-shaped notch. These are the perfect compliment to the interchangeable front sight elements – no less than six of them! – which are also provided with the HW30S.
That’s no less than 24 different combinations of iron sight configurations provided with the gun. Many dedicated airgunners will also be delighted to find that there’s not a single piece of fiber optic plastic to be found there, either!
Of course Weihrauch knows that many owners will choose to aim using a scope. In fact that’s how we will shoot for this HW30S test review.
So, two scope stop holes are provided in the rear of the compression chamber. These enable the stop screw pin of a scope ring or mount to be securely located in one of these holes. The result is to prevent scope movement under recoil.
For this HW30 test review, we mounted a Hawke AirMax 4-12 x 40 scope using an one-piece mount. Such a scope would be a typical choice for many HW30 purchasers. It’s fairly light but has good optical quality and an Adjustable Objective (AO) for focusing down to 10 Yards.
At 12.9-Inches overall length, this is definitely the longest scope that it’s possible to mount on the HW30. Any longer and it would not be possible to break the barrel!
To obtain a nice low eyeline, we combined a Medium height mount with this one-Inch tube scope. Everything worked-out perfectly, with minimum clearances all round, yet no contact from the scope’s turret box or focusing ring.
Even with the Hawke Airmax 4-12 x 40 scope mounted, the total weight of the HW30 was just 7 Lbs 3 Oz. That made it extremely easy to carry and hold. The Center of Gravity was just where you want it: directly ahead of the trigger and in the natural position for the shooter’s forehand.
So balance and handling were natural, neutral and easy to achieve. That’s great for shootability in the field!
To avoid the potential for any occlusion of the sight picture by the rear iron sights, these were de-installed. It’s a very easy thing to do – just remove the elevation knob and the main screw in front. (Just be sure not to loose the small helical spring as you take off the sight assembly).
Shootability is aided by the pleasantly-shaped ambidextrous buttstock. With this low-mounted scope, the HAM shooters were able to achieve an excellent cheek weld against the stock, while the rubber buttpad gave a secure, grippy surface against the shoulder.
Although the pull length from trigger blade to rear of buttpad is relatively short at 14-Inches, the 6-Feet plus HAM testers both found the HW30 comfortable to shoot.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
The HW30 is a little air rifle that exudes quality. Metal finish is exemplary, bluing is deep and even. The Italian Minelli stock is gracefully-shaped and has panels of sharply-executed checkering in the Beech wood.
Overall, the HAM Team feels that the HW30S is a great-looking breakbarrel air rifle. It’s a clean, simple design that’s a classic in its own right.
BUYING AND OWNING
Sure, you’re not going to walk into your local big box sporting goods store and find a new Weihrauch HW30. But they’re readily available online from Airguns of Arizona.
As the HAM Team found during this HW30S test review, accuracy was excellent with a wide variety of pellets. This means that – even if you run out of your favorite .177 pellets – the Weihrauch is likely to shoot well with just about any halfway-decent pellet. That’s a big benefit!
The “USA” stamped into the underside of the barrel is confirmation that this gun was produced specifically for sale in the United States.
The HW30 is supplied with Weihrauch’s “omnibus” user manuals that apply to all their spring-piston guns. This comprehensive documentation is in English, German and French.
It also benefits from an outstanding limited lifetime warranty that’s fulfilled in the USA by Airguns of Arizona. That’s a huge benefit that shows that the quality impression is not just skin deep!
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This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.