RAW TM1000 review – high-end target rifle tested by Thomas Bristow

Thomas Bristow’s managed to borrow some high-end target rifles, but this time he’s talking about one of his own – the RAW TM1000.

This rifle used to belong to GB HFT captain Roger Lait, and now it’s up to Thomas to keep shooting it to its full potential.

Continuing with my high-end target rifle reviews I believe the increasingly popular Rapid Air Weapons TM1000 is well worthy of a mention. With RAW recently announcing their new UK supplier (Elite Optical Distribution), now is a suitable time to talk about these amazing rifles.

Currently the Rapid Air Weapons (RAW) TM1000 is one of my personal HFT and Benchrest rifles, therefore I feel well qualified to offer a small insight into what has made these rifles so successful as they continue to stand their ground in the target shooting world.

Evolved from the iconic Theoben Rapid, the RAW TM1000 soon became “the most winning air rifle made in America” after earning itself the title from its ongoing success in various Field Target and Benchrest competitions.

The Rapid Air Weapons brand has built up its reputation as the pinnacle of American airgun engineering. Representing more than 35 years of airgun know-how, it holds claim to one of the most consistent regulators available on today’s market whilst boasting superior build quality.

The RAW TM1000 (Target Master 1000) is truly a target-specific rifle, and like most of the rifles I have mentioned in previous articles it features a precise barrel made by Lothar Walther, as used in many of the top-performing rifles to date. Making use of a single-piece design, the rifle’s block is skilfully machined from a single aluminium piece – RAW priding themselves on their rifle’s bomb-proof quality while keeping its heritage with the Theoben name we all know and love. 

RAW offers an array of unique stock options configurable to your specific shooting discipline, whether that may be Hunter Field Target, Field Target or Benchrest. Although not as adjustable as other air rifles within this price range, I have been satisfied with the overall comfort of the grip as each stock presents a thumb-up or thumb-round shooting style. 

As pictured here, RAW pride themselves on the delicately hand-finished stocks each rifle sits in, offering their customers some amazing laminate colours as standard, which really impress visually. 

The quality of the laminate and the finish are second only to the levels of accuracy each rifle presents.

Back in February of 2020 I was fortunate enough to pick up my very own TM1000 from fellow HFT shooter and Airgun Shooter writer Roger Lait. Despite Covid-19 limiting some of the time I have been able to spend with the rifle on the HFT circuit, I have managed to spend many hours with the rifle in the garden, learning its ins and outs, and to say I am impressed would be a huge understatement.

Shortly after I picked up the TM1000, I sent it off to “Rapid Guru” Kev G, who gave the rifle some updated tunes before I took it to the ranges. After polishing the trigger sears and setting up the trigger to my liking, I was soon able to consistently produce single-hole groups at 35 yards.

Thomas hasn’t been able to shoot as much HFT as he’d have liked due to Covid, but he’s put in plenty of trigger time in the garden to make up

The TM1000’s ability to continually perform with such ease ceases to amaze me each time I take it out of the gun bag. The simplistic design is both rugged and reliable – creating a maintenance-free system providing peace of mind whilst out in the field.

A slick sidelever cocking mechanism allows effortless reloading, allowing for perfect pellet seating directly into the barrel every time. Each TM1000 features an on-board manometer and an easy-access Foster-style fill adapter, enabling the shooter to check air pressure and fill the airgun swiftly, allowing for more shooting time. The fully regulated design is consistent over the chronograph ensuring pinpoint accuracy once paired with a good pellet batch – all factors contributing to its ongoing success.

Especially in target shooting disciplines, where it’s easy to become discouraged after a challenging day out, it’s essential that you enjoy using your equipment. Most rifles within this price range are capable of producing amazing scores, it’s just up to the shooter to put in the time and effort to learn their rifle. If you enjoy using your equipment, good scores generally come naturally, and I can honestly say each time I pick up my TM1000 it puts a smile on my face.

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