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A Brief History of Weihrauch Air Rifles

weihrauch-hw100-1

 

Many of the sporting air rifles, pistols and air pistols, as well as the cartridge rifles we see today are products of the Weihrauch group of companies. This German manufacturer distributes merchandise in North America under the brand name Beeman. Their air rifles are recognised for being solidly-constructed and strong. The company was established in 1899 in a place called Zella-Mehlis, a small town in Germany, at an within the country where other popular gun makers like Walther and Anschutz also began.

This top air rifle company was founded by a renowned German entrepreneur called Hermann Weihrauch Sr. who perfecting the art of making perfect hunting rifles. His 3 sons Herman Jr, Otto and Werner later joined the family-owned business. A number of new models were launched after World War 1, this included the HWZ 21 rifle which was the first German 22 rim fire rifle to be produced in large scale. The model achieved a fantastic track record and was followed by other models which all established a good reputation for quality.

Twenty nine years later, the company began exporting bicycle parts as well as mechanical door closers. Throughout the course of WW II, this company was the only firm in Germany to continue the production of bicycle parts. Upon the termination of the war that was in 1948, the Weihrauch group was disrupted by the government. Otto later began making guns while operating in the small town of Zella-Mehlis. His brother Werner on the other hand went to work in a nearby factory called Jagdwaffenwerk in Suhl which also manufactured air rifles. Their other sibling, Weihrauch Junior, moved to a small German village called Mellrichstadt in Bavaria. While living there, with the assistance of his son Hans, childhood friends as well as former clients he revived the Weihrauch business empire. He first started with bicycle parts followed by air rifles.

Many years later, German factories were again permitted to make and sell air guns. This is also the time when Weihrauch introduced their first air gun, the HW 50V. The model had a smooth bore in compliance with the government regulations which prohibited the manufacture of rifled barrels. Eventually, after some events, Deutscher Schutzenbund was revived and the government permitted the manufacture of rifled barrels. Nonetheless, since they weren't allowed to make firearms, the company focused on manufacturing the best sporting air rifles possible. The HW 55 was among the top European target rifles. The slightly unpopular HW 55T with its decorative Tyrolean-style stock, remained a favorite choice among offhand shooters.

The company then rolled out a full size air rifle intended for sports in 1955.This model resembled the HW 35 that was to become Weihrauch's most profitable model. It was also the first to have the popular Rekord 2 stage sporting trigger a concept conceived from the features of its predecessor. Also, the HW 35 flaunted an automatic safety mounted at the back of the cylinder. This model was so successful that in spite of its slightly small power output, it has remained unchanged in the business's range up to date.

Weihrauch Junior eventually passed on in 1967 thereby opening a new age in the business under the headship of his son. However, today the group is run by Weihrauch Junior's grandchildren namely Hans-Herman Junior as well as Stefan. Since then, the company has released other models including the HW 70 air rifle. The company founders intended to produce a repeating air gun even before World War 2 but the arrival of the war terminated everything. Even though pre WW II sales records show the existence of that type of pistol, only a single specimen of that air pistol is known today. The pistol had survived the war by having safely moved on abroad as a sales unit to a US based Firearms Company called Hy-Score. The chief executive officer of Hy-Score, Steve Laszlo had presented it to his pal Dr. Robert Beeman.

Weihrauch air rifles are known globally for their durability and ease of use. For just a cheap price you can purchase a piece and use for as long as you would like. These air rifles have continued to beat their competitors for decades due to their desirable performance and safety features.The rifles continue to dominate the market and show no signs of stopping anytime soon.

To see our full range of Weihrauch click here.

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