Tuesday, 10 February 2009

My Weihrauch HW80k

I'm new to all this. I only started trying to figure out how to get rabbits for the pot a few months ago, at the end of Autumn last year.  I could see a period of being absolutely skint heading my way and - before it got to me - I decided I'd spend a little money and see if I could learn how to get some of the free-range rabbit that I saw scampering around in the fields nearby.

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 Crosmans: a 'Ratcatcher 2250' and an 'American Classic 1377'. Both of these had their strong points, but a bit more reading, a lot of target practise and some first attempts at trying to get get some experience in the field led me to 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 and I'd need sell both of these gun if I was going to get a better 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 came equipped with a reputation for being almost indestructibly tough, accurate, well-made, dependable and powerful. Good, clean HW80's 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 lived. I rang him up. The gun had previously been modified for a ten-year old boy to use by having 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, "and you could put it back on again easy enough."

'Well, OK then,' I thought, 'why not?'

I drove up there. The gun was in great condition; the guy who was selling it was clearly honest, friendly and trustworthy; the stock had been very cleanly shortened and, just as he'd said, it looked like it would be very easy to repair. I bought it on the spot. It didn't have a shoulder strap so I went into a charity shop a mile or so up the road and found a good quality, thick leather belt for a couple of quid.

Bingo: I had a proper rabbit gun.

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