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The Weihrauch HW 80: a classic air rifle

If ever there was a spring-powered rifle that raised the performance bar following its introduction, the Weihrauch HW 80 would be it, says Andy McLachlan

Weihrauch HW 80

Weihrauch HW 80

Manufacturer: Weihrauch

Price as reviewed: £463

Originally designed as a collaboration between Dr Robert Beeman and the Weihrauch factory, the Weihrauch HW 80 made strong use of modern design methodologies at the time of its release in the 1980s. (Read our list of the best air rifle pellets and how to pick them.) 

The Venom-engraved and reblued action contains custom-engineered components, including a 25mm piston and cylinder sleeve designed to improve the firing cycle

These resulted in a much more powerful action than that of the earlier HW 35, doing without the barrel lock-up but including a new nylon piston seal and retaining the still-excellent Rekord trigger unit. The compression chamber has large dimensions that allow the gun to develop export levels of power if necessary. (Read our reviews of the other Weihrauch air rifles, including the Weihrauch HW100 BP, the Weihrauch HW 55T, HW 35E STL and the Weihrauch CW66 .22LR thumbhole. 

This trigger assembly features a resettable safety catch mechanism


Weihrauch HW 80 accuracy

The HW 80 is as accurate today as it was back then. Maintenance is as simple as a wipe-down with a silicone cloth, plus a mainspring and seal change every few years – and that is it. (Read more on maintaining an air rifle.) 

One of the last stocks completed by master tuner Ivan Hancock before his retirement

Pictured is my own HW 80 Venom Lazahunter, which I bought in 2004. It remains a testament to its outstanding engineering quality. It has had only one mainspring and piston seal change in its working life so far. A genuine classic!

This article was originally published in 2018 and has been updated.