The Hammerli Pneuma is an interesting newcomer to the entry level category of precharged pneumatic (PCP) airguns. Stretching 39.4 inches long and weighing 7.3 lbs without scope and mounts, it is a single shot, side lever action air rifle fitted with an ambidextrous matte black composite thumbhole stock that gives it a quasi military/tactical look. The Pneuma is available in .22 and .177. I tested the .177 version.
Starting at the back of the Pneuma, there is a soft rubber butt pad that is adjustable for vertical position. Moving forward, you’ll find the black composite butt stock with the large triangular thumbhole. Just ahead of that is the pistol grip, which is nearly vertical and has checkering molded on each side. Ahead of that is the black metal trigger guard which houses a gold-colored metal trigger.
Moving forward again, there is the forestock. At the end of that is the air reservoir, which has a fill port in the side near the end and a pressure gauge gauge that reads in BAR at the very end. The air reservoir cylinder can be unscrewed and replaced, opening the door for shooters to carry spare cylinders in the field.
Above the air cylinder is the barrel. The muzzle is fitted with a ½ UNF connector for attaching a silencer (where legal), and it comes equipped with a cap to protect the threads. Just behind the UNF connector is the fiber optic front sight which has a knurled wheel for vertical adjustment. Moving rearward long the barrel, you’ll find two barrel bands. Moving back again, you’ll find the receiver which has a rear notch sight and dovetails for both 11mm and 22mm scope mounts. Partway back on the receiver is the breech with a gold-colored metal bolt. On the right side of the receiver is the black side lever, which the shooter pulls back to open the breech.
At the rear of the receiver is an automatic safety that engages whenever the action is cocked. The safety is pushed forward to ready the Pneuma for firing, but it can be pulled back again to safe the action whenever desired. When the safety is pushed in, a red dot appears on either side of the receiver to indicate that the rifle can be fired. At the extreme back end of the receiver is a flat spot in the composite stock that provides a convenient thumb rest for shooters who don’t want to use the thumbhole.
To get the Pneuma ready for shooting, fit the charging probe (included with the Pneuma) to your pump or SCUBA tank, slide the rubber plug out of the fill hole, and insert the charging probe. The Pneuma manual says “make sure the airgun is unloaded and not cocked.” I certainly agree that the Pneuma should not be loaded when charging, but I found that I could not get it to take a charge until the action was cocked. Charge the Pneuma to 200 BAR max.
To get the Pneuma ready for shooting, pull the side lever all the way back. This will open the breech, cock the action, and activate the automatic safety. Insert a pellet into the breech, return the sidelever to its original position, and push the safety in. Now you’re good to go.
Next time, we’ll see how the Pneuma behaves on the range.
Til then, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott