Based in Mellrichstadt, Germany, Weihrauch was founded in 1899 as a small-bore hunting rifle company. Following the impositions placed on German companies following the first World War, the company began producing bicycle parts and mechanical door closers. However, in the early 19050s, when German companies were allowed to make airguns, Weihrauch got back to what it does best. What followed was a string of successful spring-powered rifles, several of which are still in production over 50 years later, as well as a new generation of pre-charged pneumatic rifles.
Introduction to the HW97K and KT
The HW97KT sits alongside its stablemates the HW57 and HW77 as one of the finest underlever air rifles ever made. The thumbhole beech stock model is designated as the HW97 KT. The black synthetic thumbhole stocked HW97 KT Black Line is available with either black or stainless silver metal work (HW97K Black Line STL). All models have a 300mm barrel, the KT measures 1030mm and weighs 4.3kgs, whilst the Black Line is slightly shorter and lighter at 1015mm and 4.2kgs. The standard, non-thumbhole derivative, the HW97K is lighter at 4.0kgs, measuring 1020mm again with a 300mm barrel. The action is cocked with a lever located underneath the barrel that also reveals a port which enables a pellet to be installed directly into the breach. Cocking also sets a cross bolt safety at the back of the cylinder. A dovetail rail provides ample room to attach a telescopic sight and, along with the superb fully-adjustable Rekord trigger system, helps exploit the accuracy potential of the rifle.
Weihrauch HW97K / KT Review
The HW97KT is quite rightly regarded as one of the most accurate and capable spring powered air rifles available. Unlike break barrel rifles, it has a fixed barrel which further optimises the rifle’s potential for accuracy. As a result, the rifle is popular with hunters as well as competition shooters. Like many Weihrauch rifles, it is heavy. However, it is also superbly balanced and the weight is hardly noticed. The quality of finish is excellent throughout; everything about the HW97KT feels solid and high quality. The stock is comfortable and sets you up perfectly to use a scope, activate the safety catch and access the excellent Rekord trigger.
Weihrauch HW97K / KT Specifications
|Specifications||HW97KT||HW97KT Black Line||HW97K|
|Stock options||Beech||Black synthetic||Beech / Blue Grey Laminate|
|Calibre options||.22 and .177||.22 and .177||.22 and .177|
|Special order calibres||.20 and .25||.20 and .25||.20 and .25|
|Claimed max fps||950 (.177) and 750 (.22)||951 (.177) and 750 (.22)||952 (.177) and 750 (.22)|
The Weihrauch Range
Weihrauch’s comprehensive spring-powered rifle range comprises three underlever models – the HW57, HW77 and HW97 – each of which has several model variants. The HW97 and HW77 are full powered air rifles – Weihrauch claims energy outputs up to 20 ft. lbs. – whereas the HW57 is lower powered, as well as lighter at around three kgs. By contrast, the HW97 and HW77 weigh four kilos, the main distinction being that the HW77 is fitted with open sights in addition to a dovetail scope rail. All three models have the excellent, full-adjustable Rekord trigger. Thumbhole models are designated ‘KT’ whilst standard pistol grip models are designated ‘K’.
Alternatives to the HW97K / KT
The HW97K is identical to the KT model except that it has a traditional pistol grip rather than a thumbhole stock. Other than the HW77, other underlever rifles to consider include the Air Arms TX200 and Pro Sport models, as well as the thumbhole stocked Walther LGU Varmint and traditional stocked Walther LGU Master Pro.
HW97K / KT spares
Spares are readily available from most retailers, as well as official Weihrauch UK importer, Hull Cartridge.