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The HW77

The Hermann Weihrauch HW77 is one of the great classics of the spring airgun world for a number of reasons- not the least of which is that it’s been in production longer than most other modern spring air guns. It has also been the inspiration for a lot of copies- some improved, some not. The Air Arms TX-200 certainly falls into the former category, and the recently discussed Chinese TS-45, the latter.

Picking up an HW77 your first impression is that this is a very heavy gun; at 9 pounds, it’s not a gun you would want to shoot offhand all day. It’s significantly heavier than the typical centerfire sporting rifle. At the same time, there’s the impression that this is a substantial, solid rifle. The whole thing feels like it’s been machined out of a block of steel, and indeed a number of parts are made just this way. The overall impression is that of an heirloom gun- one that could easily outlive more than a few owners. I suspect that with regular maintenance, and occasional swipe of the bore, and a new piston and breech seal every 20-30 years of regular use, you could shoot this gun forever.

This is a solid, accurate gun that can be competitive in Field Target right out of the box- and indeed, it ruled spring Field Target competition for years. For a lot of shooters (myself included) this was the gun that got them started in field target. For my first year in field target I shot an out-of-the-box HW77K (the shorter barreled carbine version) only adding a custom stock later on.

The HW77 is a gun with a lot of possibilities for tuning. Mine, for example, had a custom Jim Maccari spring. You could also add a custom piston seal, and perhaps a spring guide and polish the transfer port. And yet, most guns I saw used in Field Target had nothing other than a squirt of Dow Corning 111 silicone grease on the mainspring. This was, and continues to be, a quick and very cost effective mod that quiets spring noise and cuts vibration.

The newest versions of the HW77 (the Mk-II) have upped the power to make it a true over 12 foot-pound gun. Personally, I think that’s unnecessary. If you wanted to hunt with the HW77, sure, that extra power would be a good idea, but the 77 is really much too heavy to be a good hunter, and anyway, there are better guns for that purpose. The HW77 is at its best on the Field Target range. And if you look at match results over the past 20 years, you see that it’s the low powered guns- the 10 foot pound models- that keep showing up in the winners circle.

30 Comments

  1. mick garner wrote:

    i have only had my hw77 a week. i got it for pest controll and all ready i have shot 10 rabbits a crow and a pigeon.

    Sunday, June 17, 2007 at 4:36 am | Permalink
  2. ste adeo wrote:

    ive had my hw77 nearly half a year an i think its a great gun 2 hunt with unless your of a small build it can be a bit much on the arms but it takes rabbits with ease from 30+ yards

    Saturday, August 4, 2007 at 5:17 am | Permalink
  3. dave scully wrote:

    i have had my HW77 for the past 5 years and is best springer iv owned. Had it tuned using one of the venom tuning kits and shoots like a dream. lukily for me i found a 77 with a walnut tyroleon stock already fitted.

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 11:56 pm | Permalink
  4. Matt Downes wrote:

    I bought a second hand hw77 15 years ago and haven t really taken care of it(I do now)but it still shoots good groups.Agree with the author,built like a tank but will go and on.Will never part with it.

    Monday, January 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink
  5. Bob Hopfner wrote:

    I got one for my 16th birthday, I bought it with my Dad and Grandmother in Germany at a local gunshop. It was always a pleasure to shoot. I’d set up 9mm shells 50ft away and knock them down all day. It’s since been stolen and I hope the new owner – I’m sure it was pawned off on someone – appreciates what they have. It’s been 8 years since that happened and I really feel it’s time to move on and buy myself another HW77.
    cheers!

    Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Permalink
  6. Steve wrote:

    Had my 77k for about 18 years and it’s as good as the day it was purchased, with a few spare seals and springs this gun will probably outlive western civilisation lol.

    If your offered one or thinking about getting a 77 or 77k then just do it youll never regret it.

    Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  7. lee weaver wrote:

    had a 77 as a lad before i went down the daystate and rapid 7 route after starting work,used to hit a 1p coin at 25 yrd every time.Since had kids and have just been given a battered old 77 so going to have a pop at restoring it.Curently in bits with action down to bare metal and stock sanded and waiting to be stained.Cant wait to get it finished and buy a scope.Like a big kid lol!

    Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink
  8. Jim Brunner wrote:

    I purchased a Beeman HW77 about 15 years ago and it still shoots like the first day I got it. Can anyone tell me if this Beeman HW77 is the same as the Hermann Weihrauch HW77 and also if you can recommend a gunsmith that knows and will work on this air rifle? I would like see if its possible to put the carbine version barrel on it along with some other work. If you can help me out, could you please be so kind as to send me an email at my listed address. Thank you so much ! Respectfully JB

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink
  9. mje wrote:

    Jim, the Beeman gun is the same as the HW gun- Beeman guns of that era were mainly relabeled HW guns, some with Americanized stocks. As for rebarreling- that would probably cost as much as finding a HW77K carbine in good shape.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  10. Shinny wrote:

    I bought my 77K in 1984 and sent it straight to Venom Arms for their tuning.
    The gun is so smooth it’s uncanny. It has killed a LOT of stuff.
    I previosly had a HW35 Export with which I once shot 9 carrions 2 magpies and 2 jackdaws with 13 headshots one morning before brekky!

    Friday, June 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  11. Simon wrote:

    Ive had a 77k for over ten years having bought it secondhand from a game keeper, and would never ever swap sell or give it away. The best air rifle ive ever had, and sometimes over rules my rimfire with accuracy.

    Friday, July 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  12. BIRENDRA DEB MANNA wrote:

    Recently i have shoot Hermann Weihrauch HW77 in5.5mm .22cal, the air rifle handles and shoot like a Dream, I found the grouping is very much satistisfactory as the makers claim at 35 yeards, but i personally think if the power level could be above 12 pounds like 18-20 pound then it could perform much satisfactoty on small game like rabbits and Ducks in an above 55 yards range,but then we have to obtain FAC certificate.is our manufacturer listening?.

    Monday, August 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink
  13. Mark Gudgion wrote:

    After many years of weilding shotguns I decided to buy a new air rifle to control the pigeons in my veg patch, I decided on the HW77 0.177 after so research and first day out of the box after zeroing in the scope at 37 yards (the length of my garden) I took it up the old railway to harass the rabbits after 5 mins of stealthy walking I took standing aim at 40 yards pulled the trigger and to my suprise the rabbit fell over, by the time I got there it was dead and when I skinned it later I discovered I had drilled it clean through the heart and lungs using Logun Penetrator pellets in fact the pellet was trapped just under the skin on the other side and fell out when I skinned it later, Well after many years of using shotguns it was a very satisfying afternoon especially as I was just walking and shot from fully standing at 40 yards, what can I say what a tool considering its not even broken in

    Monday, October 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
  14. Jim Rickey wrote:

    I just purchased an HW77 and shot it for the first time last night. Awesome! It has some age on it. I noticed a piece of thin wire protruding from the safety. Just a little short piece, but when I grabbed the needle nose and extracted it. It ended up being a coiled piece of wire and it actually must have engaged the safety when cocked. It no longer moves the safety. Did I really screw up?

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink
  15. mje wrote:

    Looks like you pulled out the spring that engages the safety, all right. If you damaged the spring, you might try these guys for a replacement:

    http://www.specialtyshootingsportsoutdoors.com

    You can find an exploded diagram of the HW77 here:

    http://www.acooper.comoj.com/hw77x.gif

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink
  16. Jeremy wrote:

    Thinking of buying one of these second-hand. Also thinking of a new RWS 48. The 48 is more powerful, but maybe not as accurate? Tough call, as this is $100 more than the 48, even used.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  17. mje wrote:

    The 48 is more powerful, but nowhere near as accurate. A tuned 77 is hard to beat. But you might also consider an Air Arms TX200- there are a fair number of used ones around. The TX200 is like a tuned, upgraded HW77.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  18. Rich mccrackin wrote:

    I have been shooting my hw77 for going on 20 years. It is still lethal and dead on accurate. I have finally decided I want to get it tuned, or get a tuning kit and do it myself. It has earned it!!!!!! I live in Ohio, USA, does anyone know of a place that tunes? Can you ship the kits overseas by mail, or are there restrictions?

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
  19. mje wrote:

    There are no limitations on shipping airguns or parts in the US- according to the Federal government, they are not firearms, and so they have no jurisdiction. There are many tuners out there, but I’ve had good luck with Dave Slade at Airgunwerks http://www.airgunwerks.com/tunes.html. The other tuner I really liked was Jim Maccari, who did my FT guns, but he’s no longer doing tunes- just making parts.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  20. steve wrote:

    My uncle is terminally ill with cancer and he gave me WEIHAUCH HW77 he said it doesn’t shoot as hard as it used to but I can’t tell. It is a keep sake and I will never trade it but could anyone tell me if I should oil it. Is there some place I could download just some basic maintenance information. He also gave me the same brand name and caliber pistol. Is there anyone who might be willing to pass along a few tips to a newcomer?

    Friday, November 18, 2011 at 3:36 am | Permalink
  21. mje wrote:

    Do not put any oil in this gun! That’s a quick way to destroy it. The only maintenance it needs is to wipe down the outside with a product like Birchwood Casey Sheath to keep it from rusting. If it’s shooting accurately, you don’t need to do anything else.

    The HW77 is not a magnum power gun- it generates perhaps 10-12 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, depending on the pellets you use. However- if the gun has been left cocked for a long period, that can weaken the spring. If that’s the case, it will need to be replaced by an expert.

    If it’s shooting accurately, just leave it alone. Some people in the past have recommended squirting silicone air gun oil into the chamber, but that advice came from a time when airguns had leather seals and needed regular replenishment of oil. Your gun should be good for 10,000 pellets before needing service. When it eventually does need service, send it to an expert who will rebuilt it and set it up for another 10,000 shots.

    Friday, November 18, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink
  22. Lee wrote:

    I live in northwest of Ireland,I have my HW 77 for nearly a year now,I take my sons out hunting and find it pinpoint up to 40 yards,great rifle.a touch heavy but you know you are holding quality:/)

    Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
  23. rico wrote:

    I have a hw77 I have had it for 18 years and all I can say is that this is the incredible hulk of air rifles it hit what you aim at and built to out last you and your kids and there’s to I have owned over 20 air rifles none could compare and they are all gone but not this one this is the the godfather of air rifles the real thing and when all those other makes of air rifles start showing there age and becoming unglued this one will be at your side makein you fell young forever the forever king the hw77.

    Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  24. Tim Devall wrote:

    I purchased an old 77 of a friend ,some years ago,I borrowed it to another friend who was over run with squirrels,the gun was in a bad way quite rusty and in generally poor condition ,I recently got it back after 3 years,and decided to restore it ,I was told it was still shooting well and killing vermin at some distance, I took it to my gunsmith ,explained my plans ,for it ,I wanted a complete refit ,new spring and seals,he told me it looked a very early model,he put it through the chrono to my amazement it returned 12.4lbpsf,I was amazed,the gunsmith wasn’t ,he said that’s a77for you!

    Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  25. paul wrote:

    which is more suited for hunting, is it the hw77 or the hw77k. can I have some advice on this please.

    Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:41 am | Permalink
  26. mje wrote:

    The carbine, or K version would be my choice. With a scope it’s more accurate, as the relatively slow moving pellet spends less time in the barrel and is less likely to be diverted from it’s intended trajectory. Most target air guns have very short barrels for that reason. In addition, the shorter barrel is easier to maneuver, and lighter. If you were using iron sights, the longer barrel would have a very slight advantage owing to the longer sight radius .

    Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:06 am | Permalink
  27. paul wrote:

    Thanks a lot MJE. going for the HW77K in .177 calibre.

    Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  28. mje wrote:

    One other thing- spring air guns, unlike PCP guns, don’t gain any velocity from additional barrel length, as the volume of air expelled is pretty small. The most accurate spring air gun I ever encountered in Field Target was a custom TX200 (which is based on the HW77) done by British FT champ Nick Jenkinson. He replaced the stock barrel with one from a Feinwerkbau target pistol! I think it was around 7″ long. A friend bought it from Nick and competed successfully with it for years. I’ve heard that Nick actually built several guns like this- maybe 6 or 8.

    Monday, January 13, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink
  29. paul wrote:

    Thanks for the additional info MJE. what pellets(.177) and scope(moderately priced) would you recommend that could go well with the HW77K.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink
  30. mje wrote:

    I had great luck in competition with the Crosman Premier 7.9 grain pellets, but some British Field Target champions were using the 10 grain premiers. The trajectory is not as flat with the 10 grain pellets, but they have excellent wind bucking ability and perhaps a bit more knock down power for hitting those steel targets.

    I also like the Air Arms Diablo Field pellets, which at 8.4 grains are sort of in-between the two Crosman pellets. JSB makes a similar pellet (the Exact) which is available in three different weights- 7.87, 8.44, and 10.34 grains, so you can buy a tin of each and see which performs best in your gun.

    As for scopes, I’d recommend a 3-9x or maybe a 4-12 for hunting and general use and a 6-18x for field target.The Bushnell Banner series runs $99-120 and is a good choice; you can find them at Amazon, Pyramid Air and other sellers. Pyramid also carries Leaper, who have a good rep, and a few other brands I’m not as familiar with. I wouldn’t go much cheaper as it’s hard to find a true air gun scope that will focus parallax-free as close as 20 yards for less than $100. You really need an adjustable objective with air guns if you want to see their full accuracy potential. If you’re willing to spend $180-200, Swift has some air gun scopes that I think are a bargain- Airguns of Arizona carries these.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

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