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Rapid Air WORX HM1000 Microhunter .25-Cal Air Rifle Review

It's one of the most compact air rifles on the market today, and the RAW Microhunter is some of the most fun you can have shooting without gunpowder.

Rapid Air WORX HM1000 Microhunter .25-Cal Air Rifle Review

The HM1000 MicroHunter is handy, maneuverable, and fun. 

The Rapid Air Worx HM1000 MicroHunter is a radically advanced, compact, pre-charged pneumatic carbine with all the bells and whistles. With an overall length of 27 inches and a weight of only 5.6 pounds, the HM1000 MicroHunter chassis occupies roughly the same space as a typical 9mm submachine gun. In addition to being accurate, reliable, versatile, and effective, this spunky little rat popper is also very, very cool. Everything about the HM1000 MicroHunter is beautifully executed. It is also made in the USA, which is a refreshing thing these days. There are M-LOK slots on the sides for accessories and an 11mm top rail for optics. This is the standard for rimfire mounts, though AirForce offers a Picatinny adaptor if desired. The pistol grip is standard AR fare. The safety is a pivoting tab located inside of the trigger guard. Forward is fire, and rearward is safe. This appendage is philosophically similar to that of the M1 Garand only much smoother to use.

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Svelte, sleek, compact, and cool, the HM1000 MicroHunter occupies a unique spot in the modern pantheon of pre-charged air rifles.

The trigger trips a valve rather than a sear, so it is positively diaphanous and nigh heavenly. No kidding, you need to play with this a bit to take its measure. This is one legit awesome trigger. In fact, everything about the HM1000 is designed to be both precise and rugged. Once you take its measure, this nifty little gun is fast, accurate, and intuitive. The action is a manually-operated repeater that feeds from a 12-round rotary magazine. Mounting up a fresh mag involves locking the side-lever action open with the handy right-sided actuator handle and slipping the magazine in from the left side. The tapered rammer is self-centering, so it will properly orient the magazine automatically when you close the action. Once you have the gun charged up, you just cycle each round via the side-mounted handle. After the last round is fired, the magazine prevents the bolt from closing fully. This lets you know it is time to reload.

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The gun comes with a 210cc built-in air cylinder with an adjustable regulator and integrated pressure gauge. The rifle is available in both right and left-hand versions in .177, .22, and .25 calibers. Our test gun was the manly .25-caliber version. The two-stage adjustable flat-faced trigger is indeed match grade, while the buffer tube is AR compatible. The stock that comes with the gun is readily adjustable for both length of pull and comb height. The overall effect is compact, lightweight, and thoroughly sexy cool.

Power

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The HM1000 MicroHunter is grooved for a rimfire scope. AirForce Airguns offers an adaptor for standard centerfire glass if desired. The 12-round rotary magazine feeds from the left and is held in place by the tapered rammer. The action of the HM1000 MicroHunter is so precisely machined that it does not require an O-ring seal.

The HM1000 MicroHunter backs up its rakish good looks with comparably rarefied performance. This is a Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) air rifle. That means it packs an onboard air cylinder that must be charged via an external source. The up side is that the gun remains sleek and trim without any extraneous air compressing apparatus onboard. The down side is that it takes a little equipment to keep this beast fed and running. There are basically three ways to get there. The most basic is a hand pump. AirForce Airguns will sell you one, and it is a top-flight piece of kit. This rig looks like a bicycle pump on steroids and is as reliable as the tides. The down side is that it is a workout of the highest order to keep a PCP airgun fed and happy with one of these puppies. Spend an afternoon in the field or at the range with one of these rascals, and you will have gotten your exercise for the week.

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The right-sided action lever manually cycles the rifle.

The second method is a scuba tank. I got mine off of eBay, and it wasn’t terribly expensive. Be patient and pick up a used example, and they can be positively cheap. However, be forewarned that scuba tanks must be pressure tested periodically before a commercial fill station will service them. If you live on the beach that is likely not a big deal. For a landlocked guy like me, it is a one-hour drive to a pool supply place that can top off my scuba tank. The tank will last a long time on a fill, but that’s a hassle. The best way to keep your PCP gun running is a home-sized high-pressure air compressor. A standard shop compressor won’t cut it, I’m afraid. Those inexpensive Home Depot pancake compressors are great for pneumatic tools and keeping your tires fat and healthy. However, they don’t come close to getting the sort of numbers required to keep your PCP gun charged. That requires a dedicated high-pressure compressor.

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The most convenient solution is a Nomad portable high-pressure air compressor from Pyramyd Air. This nifty little rig is about the size of a small cooler and runs off of 110/220 volt wall power or a car battery. It has a top-end pressure limit of 4,500 psi, roughly ten times that of a standard shop compressor. The larger the PCP tank, the longer it takes to charge. However, larger tanks last longer as well. The Nomad sports easy-to-use controls and includes a blowout feature so it doesn’t get carried away and become dangerous. The latest version runs about $800, but you never have to run that hand pump or fret with your scuba tank again. Once you get past that not-insubstantial investment your ammo costs plummet.

Interesting Tidbits

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The adjustable stock on the HM1000 MicroHunter fits on a standard M4 buffer tube. The 210cc onboard air cylinder includes its own pressure gauge. The basic hand pump from AirForce Airguns will last forever, but it is a workout to keep a decent-sized PCP air rifle fed with it.

Running the HM1000 MicroHunter is just a ton of fun. The stubby little gun is unnaturally maneuverable and looks like a prop from a Star Wars movie. It also shoots really straight. We typically got through three 12-round magazines before air pressure started to fall sufficiently to demand a top-off. The bolt won’t close over a magazine unless there is a pellet loaded. That just means you store the gun with the magazine removed. Additionally, when the gun comes the air tank is just a bit loose. Your first high pressure fill seats everything nicely. After that the particulars are tight as a tick.

The gun needs to be pointed muzzle down when you cycle the bolt. Otherwise the pellets are bad to slide backwards and jam the action. However, once you learn the gun’s personality it runs like a sewing machine. Little bullets like the 31-grain H&N Grizzlies we tested lack skirts and don’t have that problem. Interestingly, the breech seal is established via some really tight manufacturing tolerances rather than an O-ring as might be the case on lesser guns. This means one less potential failure point. It also means the gun will run longer with less maintenance. I have been collecting guns for half a century. Synthetic buffers and rubber bits will predictably deteriorate over time. The less of that stuff the better.

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.25-caliber airgun pellets carry a fair amount of downrange thump. Here we see several designs alongside a standard .22LR round for size comparison.

I topped my MicroHunter off with a 4x rifle scope from AirForce Airguns. This moderate-power optic optimizes the MicroHunter for close to mid-range performance. The gun would be well-served with a decent red dot as well. For bunnies and tree rats, the MicroHunter is a superb close-range game getter. Mounting a proper sling on the gun requires an M-LOK sling mount up front. The buttstock includes sling sockets on both sides. Thusly configured, the MicroHunter is eminently packable.

So, What’s It Good For?

That’s an interesting question. I found the gun to be hearing safe without muffs. As such I could sit on my back porch and shoot stuff all afternoon while using my Nomad compressor to recharge the beast when the tank pressure began to drop. The soft report ensures that you don’t annoy the neighbors unduly. This same attribute helps keep you stealthy in the field on a hunt. If you like to shoot stuff, then exploding dirt clods, ringing steel, mangling pennies, and punching paper will reliably cure what ails you. Typical 25-caliber pellets run about 25 grains.

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A standard scuba tank is not terribly expensive, but you need a handy place to get it charged. The adorable little Air Venturi Nomad home PCP air compressor will keep your pre-charged pneumatic airguns spunky and happy.

My gun pushes those pellets to a monotonous 725 feet per second—like it shoots within a couple feet per second of that number for the first couple dozen shots. The MicroHunter is amazingly consistent. While you wouldn’t want to shoot anything much larger than a coyote with it, for bunnies and tree rats, the MicroHunter is pure death. That makes it a superb tool for subsistence small game hunting and survival. Skirted pellets were beautifully accurate. The little 31-grain Grizzly miniature bullets printed wider groups but also offered very consistent velocities.

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When Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embarked on their Corps of Discovery Expedition, back in 1804, they were equipped with the best weapons and gear money could buy. Amidst a variety of state of the art weapons was included an Austrian-made .46-caliber Girandoni air rifle. This revolutionary weapon fed lead balls from a twenty-round tubular magazine and carried enough downrange thump to kill a deer. Charging the weapon required 1,500 strokes on a hand pump. The reason Lewis and Clark humped this revolutionary ten-pound air rifle halfway across the continent was two-fold. First, it was a manually-operated repeater in an era of single-shot flintlock muskets. The rate of fire impressed the locals. Second, you could power the gun using nothing more than muscle power. In the same way, the HM1000 MicroHunter can theoretically be maintained in the field with a hand pump. Like Lewis and Clark’s Girandoni, you’ll have to work at that. However, it can still be done.

Recommended


Ruminations

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Skirted pellets shot laser straight.

More than anything, the HM1000 MicroHunter will remind you of the basic joys of shooting. There is just something primal and satisfying about setting this rascal up on a sandbag rest and punching contiguous holes at twenty-five meters. I could consistently land hits out three times that far. However, given the precision built into the gun’s chassis and the amazingly consistent velocities, at twenty-five meters or so you could write your name with this thing. It also runs cleaner than a conventional firearm. There is a learning curve to running a gun like this, and you have to be patient with recharging the air cylinder. However, for a seasoned shooter this really is a delightful process. Once you take its measure, the MicroHunter will remind you why you gravitated toward this weird hobby in the first place.

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.25-caliber mini-bullets opened up a bit but offered monotonously consistent velocities.

The HM1000 MicroHunter has an MSRP of $1,679.95. When combined with the requisite support gear, that’s a chunk of change. This isn’t the air rifle you gift little Junior for his thirteenth birthday. However, if you like to shoot and you’re ready to take your ballistic addiction to the next level, this is the high-tech, high-performance machine to get you there. Sleek, svelte, sexy, and inimitably cool, the MicroHunter is the ultimate subcompact pre-charged pneumatic small game rifle.

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The .25-caliber HM1000 MicroHunter is naturally subsonic and doesn’t make much noise.

RAW HM1000 Microhunter Specs

  • Caliber: .25 (tested), .177, .22
  • Barrel Length: 8.5 in. 
  • Overall Length: 27 in. 
  • Weight: 5.6 lbs. 
  • Action: Multi-shot, side lever
  • Trigger: Fully Adjustable
  • Tank Volume: 210 cc
  • Optics Rail: 11mm
  • MSRP: $1,679.95
  • Contact: Rapid Air Worx



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