I'm very new to all this; I started trying to figure it out - the complexities of putting rabbits in the pot - only a few months ago at the end of Autumn last year. I could see a period of being absolutely skint was heading my way and - before it reached me - I decided to spend some money and see if I could learn how to acquire some of the free-range rabbits that I saw scampering around in the fields near where I live.
The first guns I picked up weren't remotely right, but I think I needed to get them in order to do a bit of plinking and see this for myself. So I bought two cheap, second-hand Crosman guns: a Ratcatcher 2250 and a American Classic 1377. Both of these had their strong points, but a bit more reading, a lot of target practise and - in the case of the 2250 only - some first attempts at gaining experience in the field led me to finally understand that, coupled as they were with my non-existent stalking skills, neither of these were going to do the job.
I had a tiny budget, I would need to sell both of these gun if I was to get another one and I really wanted to get going as soon as I could - so what gun was I going to be able to get? What was within my price range and good for shooting rabbits?
The obvious answer was a Weihrauch HW80. They come equipped with a reputation for being tough, accurate, well-made, dependable and powerful. Good, clean HW80's - old as they are - were still beyond my price range, though. A search at Guntrader will still show HW80's starting just shy of £200 and heading up to around £400 for highly tuned guns in fine condition.
After haunting sites like this for a couple of weeks I saw an HW80k come up for £120 in a private sale a little north of where I live. I rang them up. The gun had been modified for an ten-year old boy to use and had had an inch and a half sawn off the stock. Well, that's no good then, I thought. "But I've still got the piece that was cut off", he said, "you could put it back on again easy enough."
O.K then - 'why not?', I thought - so I bought it.
The gun was in good condition, the guy who was selling it was a lovely chap, the stock had been very cleanly shortened and it was, just as he'd said, a doddle to repair.
Great: Hubert now had a proper rabbit gun!