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Review of Beeman HW97K

I can honestly say that I don’t know whether I’m being too hard on the Beeman HW97K. It’s not a bad rifle by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I’d say it was quite good in most ways. But the places where it falls short are so glaring that I can’t help but focus on them every time I shoot mine. So keep in mind this review will be my impressions, based on my experience, with my rifle, so I encourage you to make of them what you will.

Initial Impressions

Though I’m not the kind of person that automatically assumes that things that weigh a lot are high quality, I can’t help but feel like there should be more heft to the HW97K. It’s less that it doesn’t weigh a lot, it certainly feels like a weapon with all that that entails, but rather that the weight is all over the place. I couldn’t find the part of the structure where everything was “pointing,” where I could balance this on a dowel should I want to. Instead, the weight distribution is such that at times you’re feeling it dragging the barrel down, and at others it sits exactly where it needs to.

Beeman HW97K StockOne thing I will say is that ergonomically this rifle fits very well, almost perfect. Perhaps it’s just my hands, but I felt like I had to stretch my finger to pull the trigger. However, that’s my only complaint in this department. Other than that I felt my hand could stabilize the stock well, and the raised cheek piece sits perfectly. I even liked the feel of the hand cut checkering on the stock and the recoil pad did an excellent job of taking the brunt of every shot.

The gold Rekord trigger really impressed me as well. I haven’t had a lot of experience with them, but the little that I have had has always been pleasant, and my friends who have them love how much you can tweak in order to get the pull just right. It’s a trigger for hot rodders, and it tells me a lot about Beeman’s commitment to letting their customers have total control over the shooting experience. Say what you will about getting things right out of the factory, but shooting is a highly individual sport and we all have our preferences. It’s better to give your customers options than to assume you know how they’re going to shoot.Beeman HW97K Rekord Trigger

Other than the weight, about the only thing that I didn’t much like at first sight was the bluing which didn’t live up to the quality I’ve seen on other Beeman products. It was off in a number of places, and just generally thin all around. If it were just aesthetic it wouldn’t bother me, but this is about protecting your weapon from corrosion, and at the price this rifle is I expect it to last me as long as possible. Laziness in this area is not something I will ignore.

Actual Shooting

Things got a lot better when I got it out to the range and put about 100 rounds through the 97. I mounted a UTG 3-9 x 40 AO True Hunter IE Scope on mine and it turned out to be a nice combination. It was a bit surprising how quickly this rifle broke itself in, and before long I was grouping so close you could have hidden it with a dime. I’m not used to rifles working themselves out so quickly, but this really took very little time to get into firing shape at 35 yards or so.

The accuracy managed to hold itself well for a good 500 rounds in the morning and another later on in the day shooting at targets. I also was able to take out a squirrel in the woods behind my house without any problems, so I can certainly vouch for its accuracy.

Beeman HW97K Cocking LeverIn the power department, I wouldn’t say that the 97 is bad, but again I expect more. In this case not from Beeman, but from a 35 pound cocking effort. It’s not ridiculous, but if you’re going to make me work that hard to get the spring in place, the spring should be able to push more than a fairly light 750 FPS. I don’t think this is so much the spring as the design itself, which is serviceable but could get a lot more power out of even a lighter spring with some changes.

Other than the awkwardness, the weight didn’t seem to bother me, even after getting a scope mounted on there. I could probably walk around with this all day and never have to worry about it becoming too heavy or just getting annoying.

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Pros

This is easily one of the most accurate weapons I have shot. They really did a good job of calibrating every aspect of the rifle from stock to barrel so that it shoots where you point it. That it broke in so quickly still sticks with me and I have no doubt that it will be able to hold on to that accuracy even if you were to put it up for a few weeks or bang it around on a hunting trip.

The Beeman HW97K is a super quiet rifle. Once it as broken in I could hardly hear the shot or the spring snapping back into place. There is a light vibration, but it’s nothing that a little tuning can’t fix. In fact, I’m quite happy for the opportunity to tweak some of the specs on the 97 to meet my exact needs. A rifle that came perfect out of the box would be boring, this gives me a chance to make it mine.

I like the fully open breach. It leaves plenty of room for even someone with large hands to get in there and quickly place a pellet in the barrel with ease. The HW97K is an ambidextrous rifle and you will have no issues loading it from either side. The breach design is one area where I feel this rifle shines above some of its competitors such as the Air Arms MKIII.

One thing I wouldn’t change is the gold Rekord trigger. It’s incredibly easy to adjust to very tiny specifications so that it pulls exactly how you want it to. If you’re like me, you prefer a somewhat lighter pull, but for some people they want to feel the trigger when they shoot. There are a lot of reasons to have that customizability, and it’s good to see it here.

The firing on this rifle is really smooth. Not the smoothest I have ever had, but I can say without question that it doesn’t take a lot of fine tuning to get this to the point where it hardly jerks at all when you shoot.

For me it works best with Beeman Field Target Special 14.66 grain ammo, obviously, but fortunately you don’t have to break the bank in order to get stuff that works. The lower end domed pellets will do just fine and you don’t have to worry about the accuracy which will hold.

Cons

Perhaps the most glaring issue with this rifle is that it doesn’t quite go far enough in a number of areas.

The spring could be better calibrated so that every fifth or sixth shot didn’t feel a little flaccid. It hit the target, but if I were hunting it would probably give smaller game that fraction of a second that they would need to get out of the way. I’d like it better if the power were more consistent and I didn’t feel like I was fighting the underlever to cock a rifle that wasn’t putting in as much work as I was.

The checkering on the stock was very nice, but I think it could have been deeper to really emphasize the texture and provide a better grip. Similarly, some rifles can get away with a beech sock and still come off as high class and reliable, but the 97 just isn’t one of them. The design was good, but I felt like the stock would start to break any minute. It would be nicer to have an option for walnut so that I could be more confident in the product.

Beeman HW97K BarrelThe bluing is such a disappointment. It’s not even that it was universally thin and cheaply done, it looked like it was applied in splotches. This is so far beneath a company like Beeman and I unfortunately have to keep looking at the problem and being reminded just to shoot.

Finally, the lack of open sights bothers me. I know that at this price you’re not likely to be selling to people without several scopes on hand that they can use, but also at this level you have to take into account the people who enjoy the challenge of firing with simple sights. It’s about knowing your audience.

The Bottom Line

Again, I don’t think that the Beeman HW97K is a bad rifle. It’s actually a very good rifle, not only in terms of being among the most accurate I have ever shot but also for how smooth and quiet it is. That being said, the problems are hard to ignore, so I spend my time enjoying the firing until I notice the poor bluing or a shot that doesn’t have much power behind it, then I am reminded all over again of the issues. I can ignore them, I can even take this on a fairly successful hunt I suspect, but eventually they start to get on my nerves and I have to switch out for something with fewer glaring minor flaws.

>>Click Here To See The Best Price For The Beeman HW97K On Amazon.com<<

Beeman KW97K Pointing Barrel

 

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10 Comments
  1. Hi,
    I’m just getting into this as secondary protection source. Do you think that its possible perhaps you got something that got past quality control and/or perhaps someone newly hired did the bluing. The spring could have been substandard quality compared to the other ones in the bin couldn’t it? I guess what I’m doing is throwing those possibilities out there. I say this because this is one of the guns I was considering so I’d really like to know if the majority of these are like that.

    • I can only give an opinion based on my personal experience, and it is exactly that, my opinion. With that being said there is a very good possibility that the issues I encountered were isolated and not indicative of all Beeman rifles. Also, the issues I did note were fairly minor, and I do think this is a very good rifle. I would feel confident purchasing another one, and I do believe you will be satisfied if you decide to purchase this rifle. On a side note, if your looking at this rifle as a source of personal protection I would have to advise you to reconsider. While it will possibly scare a potential intruder, and if shot with one in the right place it can kill, it is still an air rifle and does not have the stopping power to immediately deter an intruder. I would not count on this or any other air rifle for personal protection.

  2. Responding to what bill said in response to personnel protection. Your response was Dead On. Granted if the shot is placed correctly and with in a narrow range of effective they can be deadly. I’ve killed deer with .22 cal . Rifle at a range of 50 yards. But I was raised hunting. A pellet rifle does not have the knock down power for personnel protection. As an ER nurse, some of the worst surgeries I’ve seen were caused by a .22 cal pistol. It is a surgeons worse case scenario . But it won’t stop some one breaking into the home,car, or where ever. They need something larger than a .32 . .38 with I 165 gr. Half jacket hollow point would be the Minimum I would suggest for home defense. My personal home defense weapon is a moss burg 12 gauge that has an extended tube holding 15 rounds alternating #1 buck and 00 buck. Over kill , I know, but just the sound of a found being chambered is generally enough to make them change their mind. I lived in Greenville Mississippi for several years and I’ve had people break in and immediately leave hearing the racking sound of a round being chambered. Luckily I have never had to discharge my weapon protecting my home. The sound has been enough the three times I’ve been broken in on.

    .

  3. Hi Mate, First off thanks for your review of the HW97. However to me it sounds a lot like your 97 was perhaps a bit of a dud from the factory. I live in the UK where the HW97 is labelled by its actual German manufacturer name (Weihrauch). In the UK Weihrauch rifles are known for their excellent build quality and the best bluing in the business. If possible try to handle a genuine Weihrauch HW97, I think you’ll definitely change your mind about the bluing!

  4. I own a HW97K made by Weirrauch and it’s not a “hunting” rifle. You can hunt with it, sure, but it was designed for competition. It’s one of the most popular spring carbine (K for Kurtz – short) for Field Target.

  5. Reply
    Frank Johanningmann December 1, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Hallo there,
    as a german collector and shooter of firearms0 and airrifles I can tell you that Weihrauch is one of the best manufacturer of airrifles since more than 40 years, you can find the HW35 for an example in many, many german homes doing a great job for genaration.
    The longtime quality is very hard to beat.
    The HW 97 K is without a doubt one of the greatest airguns on the market and it is absolut beautyfull in my opinion.

  6. Thanks for the review but, Weihrauch Germany make this rifle and it’s without doubt the best air rifle I’ve ever owned, 49 plus years of shooting just about everything from Air rifles to all kinds of firearms the fit and finish is far beyond anything I’ve come across before, the bluing is very deep blue with a mirror finish, I think it’s a shame you didn’t receive a European model to test, maybe the German’s are sending any sub standard rifles for Beeman to sell in the US, after all I’d keep the best under the original manufacturer’s name for myself.

  7. Yea Beeman is not what they use to be. Get RWS or Weihrauch.
    The reviewer sounds a little picky though. I’ve hunted with beat up guns, scratched stocks etc and I never ever thought “Gee, darn I can’t take a shot because the blueing seems off” That sounds OCD or nutts. Come on, Man up.

  8. It makes for a non conclusive review when every statement made is qualified in some way. Yeah, you know what is said about opinions, but they are not of equal value. I’m interested in reading a confident opinion of a knowlegable and experienced person who isn’t afraid of static coming from the peanut gallery. Kinda sorta sometimes but not all the time seems to be annoying once in a while.

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