Weihrauch HW44 Air Pistol Test Review .22 Caliber
14 February, 2018
Supplied by Pyramyd Air.
Great accuracy with wide variety of pellets.
Comfortable ambidextrous grips.
Cocking lever not ideal for left-handers.
Can't think of anything else...
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Weihrauch HW44 air pistol is a very unusual gun. At a Street Price of $969.99, this is one VERY expensive air pistol. There’s very few other comparable air pistols in the market, ones that combine PCP power, magazine feed, great accuracy and obvious high quality.
And, let’s face it, close to $1,000 is a lot of money for an air pistol!
In fact, the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol really is a compact version of the HW110 air rifle in almost every respect – including the price. It replicates the performance, quality and handling of that air rifle in just about every respect, except the power and shot count is lower due to the smaller HPA tank – as you would expect.
This makes for a very interesting comparison, with the smaller, lighter pistol being only around $100 less than that of the rifle.
In fact, the HAM Team was not sure whether to test the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol as a pistol or a rifle! We settled for using our standard rifle test methodology as the HAM test protocol for air pistols is optimized for CO2-powered replica pistols – very different beasts than the HW44.
So it the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol good value? Let’s take HAM Tester Doug Rogers’ opinion: “The price seems high at first,” he wrote. “But after spending time and shooting, it seems more justifiable. I could see myself buying one in .177 caliber for pistol FT competition.” That’s a good summary, Doug.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Weihrauch HW44 Air Pistol, FAC Version
SPEED AND ACCURACY
The Weihrauch HW44 air pistol tested by HAM provided speed and accuracy that matched many air rifles we have reviewed!
Muzzle Velocity topped-out at 820.7 FPS with the lightest Gamo Platinum PBA pellets – this is a .22 cal gun, remember. Maximum speed with lead pellets was achieved with the light 11.9 Grain RWS Hobby pellets.
Although neither HAM Tester Doug Rogers nor myself claim to be the world’s greatest pistol shots, the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol certainly demonstrated excellent accuracy in Doug’s hands – as you can see from the targets below. In fact the accuracy Doug obtained from this PCP air pistol was a match for many of the air rifles that we have tested at Hard Air Magazine!
As is often the case with PCPs, best accuracy was obtained with heavier pellets. In this case, the 21.14 Grain Baracuda Match produced the best accuracy with the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol tested by HAM.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||820.70 FPS||14.51 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||807.28 FPS||14.51 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||757.08 FPS||15.14 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||713.65 FPS||16.17 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||721.62 FPS||16.59 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||714.46 FPS||16.62 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||614.85 FPS||17.75 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
H&N Baracuda Match, .22 Cal (5.52mm), 21.14 Grains, Round Nose, 200ct
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The trigger of the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol was outstanding, straight out of the box!
Pull weight averaged just 1 Lb 1.8 Ounces. The trigger release was exactly what you would expect from a Weihrauch. The first stage was almost imperceptible. It was very clear when the second stage was reached and releasing the sear took almost no additional effort.
Overall the trigger was very predictable and consistent. The trigger can be adjusted for pull length and weight after removing the pistol grip. However, the trigger was perfect as received and the HAM Team could see no benefit in making further adjustments.
As HAM Tester Doug Rogers wrote in his testing notes: “This trigger rivals that of any air rifle we have reviewed.”
The side lever action was easy and smooth to open. The lever itself was well shaped, retaining the finger easily and comfortably. Closing the lever to cock the gun was rather heavier, although not overly-so. HAM Tester Doug Rogers (and very happy HW100 owner) commented in his testing notes: “This is really being picky, but it’s not quite as smooth as the HW100 for cocking and pellet loading”.
Overall, cocking the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol was pleasant and easy – at least for a right-handed shooter!
HAM Tester Doug Rogers is a left-hander and he found that the side lever was very inconvenient for him. Doug explained that he had to change his grip on the HW44 for every shot after re-cocking it. However, it has to be said that his groups were pretty good, in spite of that…
There’s an ambidextrous safety operated by separate levers on both sides of the gun. As with other Weihrauch PCPs, this safety can only be engaged when the gun is cocked. This is unusual but caused no issues in operation for the testers.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Specifically, the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol being tested here is the “FAC” version. That means that it’s the full power version that’s not restricted to comply with the legal power limit of the United Kingdom.
The manufacturer’s website claims a maximum Muzzle Velocity of 755 FPS. The HW44 tested by HAM hit that number almost exactly on the head with the lightest lead pellets. It significantly exceeded that number with alloys – by up to 65 FPS.
Weihrauch also claims a maximum of 18.44 Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy for this pistol. The maximum obtained in HAM testing was 17.75 Ft/Lbs. However, as the Muzzle Energy of PCP airguns increases with pellet weight, it is possible that the claimed Muzzle energy could be attained with ultra-heavy pellets.
Weihrauch’s website says that the The Weihrauch HW44 air pistol is capable of achieving 20 shots per fill. This does not say “consistent shots”, however. As we’ll see below, the number of truly consistent shots per fill was about 13, although, yes, the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol will give 20 shots per fill , so long as you are prepared to accept a decrease of 70 FPS by shot 20.
The consistency of the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol tested by HAM was outstanding!
The trigger pull weight varied by only 2.4 Ounces across the test results – a difference so slight that most of us will be unable to detect any variation at all.
Meanwhile, Standard Deviation – the measure of difference in FPS across the shot strings – was incredibly well controlled at an average of only 2.62 FPS. The Weihrauch HW44 air pistol is fitted with a regulator. This is clearly responsible for the low Standard Deviation.
In particular, accuracy was very good or better with every one of the standard HAM test pellets. Yes, the Baracuda Match pellets were the most accurate, but the groups from all the other test pellets were not that far behind. It’s very unusual that we find an airgun that demonstrates such tolerance to a wide variety of pellets. Again, great consistency.
When the HPA cylinder was filled to its maximum of 2,900 PSI, the shot curve looked like this…
As you can see, the Muzzle Velocity was extremely consistent out to shot 13. After this, the FPS fell away, although it did so very consistently and predictably. The HAM Team suggests re-filling after 15 shots for precision shooting.
The Weihrauch HW44 air pistol is supplied with a dedicated silencer. In spite of the good power and short barrel, this silencer tames the report down to a very low level. It’s obviously a very efficient design.
This is definitely in the Marauder range for quietness!
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
The Weihrauch HW44 air pistol is fitted with open sights. There’s an adjustable rear sight with a square notch that nicely matches the square front post. No fiber optic dots to be seen here!
But most owners are likely to fit optical sights of some type to the Weaver/Picatinny rails of the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol. Without an optical sight, it will be very tough to realize the accuracy potential of this air pistol.
Obviously a quality pistol scope would be ideal. The HAM Team did not have such a scope, so Doug Rogers mounted a Hawke Sidewinder 4.5 – 14 x 42 riflescope for the testing. He had considerable success with that combination. We also tries fitting a Leapers red dot sight and – while this worked well – there was obviously no comparison with the accuracy that could be obtained with the scope.
The Weihrauch HW44 air pistol is large for a handgun. It’s no less than 19 Inches long from the end of the pistol grip to the tip of the silencer. First impressions are that this is going to be very heavy and unwieldy. But it’s not. The weight of the gun alone is just 3 Lbs 1 Oz.
In fact, the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol is surprisingly light. It’s comfortable and pointable. Although it’s possible to shoot the HW44 with a two-handed grip, most owners will probably choose to rest the front of the gun for stability.
The two-tone molded pistol grip is attractive and also comfortable. It provides excellent support for most hands, although those with very large hands may find it a little cramped. It’s also ambidextrous. For a fixed grip design, Weihrauch has made a very good job of this.
Although the grip is ambidextous, the cocking lever is, unfortunately, not easy to change to the other side of the gun. It can be done, but Weihrauch explained to us that this is a job that should be undertaken by a factory-authorized service facility. That’s a shame, because a user-swappable cocking lever would really be the icing on the cake with the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
The finish of the HW44 is impeccable, as you would expect from a Weihrauch. The plastic moldings have a beautiful texture, with almost invisible seam lines, except for the one under the front of the barrel.
Although there are few external metal parts, those that are visible – like the HPA tank – are finished to the quality expected from this manufacturer.
Appearance of the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol is – as always – in the eye of the beholder. Its looks grew on the HAM Team. The more we shot it, the more we liked the look of it. However, the fact remains that this is a very large pistol and there’s no way it can look dainty little thing…
BUYING AND OWNING
The Weihrauch HW44 air pistol – as befits a specialist product – is not widely available in retail stores. However it is sold by Pyramyd Air and this, in itself, assures a wide distribution among US shooters.
The gun is supplied in a quality black pistol case. It also has excellent, comprehensive instruction manuals – two of them in fact – in German and English. And further, the HW44 is supplied with two clips and a fill probe. However, you will need to source an adapter that converts the probe’s screw thread to the male 1/8-inch NPT quick disconnect to fill from your tank.
As frequent readers will know, the HAM Team are not great fans of the probe-filling system. We prefer a simple Foster fitting. However, it has to be said that the fill probe for the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol works well. Also, there’s a serviceable and practical plug supplied with the gun to prevent dirt and crud from entering the fill port – so long as the user remembers to replace it, that is.
In addition, there’s a long hex wrench that’s used to degass the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol. Note that this can only be operated with the safety engaged – a very sensible safety feature.
There’s a one-year warranty. While this used to be the industry standard, recent moves by the big players toward 3- and 5-year warranties make just 12 months seem rather out-gunned, particularly for a quality product.
As always, the HAM team is unhappy about the location of the HPA pressure gauge at the front of the tube. However, the length of the silencer makes it possible to read this without the need to look straight down the barrel.
It’s good to remember that – as a pistol – the HW44 has a small HPA tank. If you’re used to PCP air rifles with much larger tanks, you’ll find that you need to fill this gun very slowly and carefully – at least until you’re used to it. It’s very easy to overfill if you just open-up the valve on your tank as you normally would with a rifle.
This is not a problem, or an issue with the Weihrauch HW44 air pistol, it’s just part of the learning curve that accompanies any new airgun.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Weihrauch HW44 Air Pistol, FAC Version
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.