When you hear about revolvers from Germany these days, you probably think of high-end,
luxury guns. Carefully crafted marvels of engineering and workmanship. Magnificent showpieces with appropriate price tags. But this was not always the case. A long time ago, when the machine gun register was still open, and you could still order guns in the mail order catalog (on both sides of the pond), things were different. Extremely cheap revolvers were made in Germany, usually from Zamak, and then exported to the USA to make a Saturday night truly special. But those times are long gone. All the cheap German producers have disappeared, …all but one. Hermann Weihrauch Revolver GmbH still produces inexpensive pistols, much like those made in Hermann’s grandfather’s time and shows that inexpensive is not the same as cheap.
Weihrauch revolvers have quite a good price-performance ratio, and you will often find them as a rental weapon on shooting ranges, as a sidearm of forest rangers and as a service weapon with security guards. While being limited, the range of guns covers the most important uses. The HW3, HW5 and HW7 are all weapons in smaller calibers: .22 LR, .22 Magnum and .32 S&W Long. The difference is the barrel length of 2-3/4″, 4″ and 6″. The classic caliber, .38 Special, has its own model, logically named HW 38 with different barrel lengths between 21/2″ and 6″.
The same Barrels are available for the next model, the HW 357 (can you guess the caliber?).
This one is also made entirely of steel, while zinc alloy is used for the frame of the smaller revolvers. Then there are also sporting revolvers. In addition to the target version of the HW7, we are talking about the HW9 and HW 357 Match. These two are also available in an improved version called Target Trophy. While all types can use combat and target grips, the Target Trophy can be equipped with a special match variant grip providing a nice entry-level gun for the aspiring sportsman.
If you really want that nostalgic fifties and sixties feeling then there is the Western Single Action (WSA), a series of replicas of the good old Colt Single Action Army. Two versions are available, one in the small calibers .22 LR and .22 Magnum, the other in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .45 Colt.