Hammerli Pneuma – Part II

Monday, August 3, 2009

The single-shot Hammerli Pneuma has a side lever action.
I like the sidelever action on the Pneuma. It reminds me a bit of the Fortner action that is used so often on Biathlon rifles: pull back to load, push forward to close the breech. Simple, direct, easy, and I found it very easy to use when the gun is on benchrests.

To test the Pneuma for accuracy, I mounted a huge 6-24 x 56 mil-dot scope on 11mm mounts. My digital trigger gauge tells me it take about 1 lb to take the first stage out of the Pneuma’s trigger. At about 5 lbs pressure, the second stage trips, and the shot goes down range. The Pneuma manual says that the trigger is adjustable for trigger travel and trigger pull. I did not attempt to adjust the trigger travel, but I did attempt to lighten the trigger pull. This requires undoing the two screws that hold the trigger guard so that you can access a small screw immediately behind the trigger. Unfortunately, no amount of adjustment seems to have any effect. The trigger sear always seems to trip at around 5 lbs. I queried the folks at UmarexUSA about this, and the factory told them that the trigger should be adjustable down to about 3 pounds. Maybe it was simply a problem with my sample, but I couldn’t detect any adjustability. Nevertheless, as we’ll see, the trigger did not interfere with accurate shooting.

When the shot does go off, though, the Pneuma drives pellets with authority and with a report that is likely to attract the attention of neighbors, although not nearly as raucous as some of the big Korean hunting air rifles I have shot. The .177 Pneuma was pushing Crosman Premier Heavy (10.5 gr) pellets through the chronograph at 988 fps average. That’s 22.7 footpounds of energy. At 50 yards, I was able to put five Crosman Premier Heavy pellets into a group that measured just .61 inches CTC.

I tried JSB heavy pellets, Dynamic TM-1 pellets, and Beeman Kodiaks. All of them flirted with 1,000 fps or faster, and all of them produced much wider groups than the Crosman Premier Heavies. I don’t know if that is because those pellets weren’t a good match for the Pneuma barrel or if the pellets were simply going too fast for accurate shooting.

The .22 version gets about 20 shots before the velocity really starts to drop.

The .177version delivers about 30shots before the velocity drops too low.

I am not an airgun engineer, but my guess is that the Pneuma is wasting a lot of air and could benefit from some tuning that would make it more efficient and probably quiet it down a bit. The .22 version gets about 20 shots between 825-875 fps before the velocity really starts to drop, and the .177 version gets 30 shots per fill.

The sample I tested was 'minute of squirrel's noggin' at 50 yards.

My take on the Pneuma is that it is a worthy entry-level air varminter. It has the power and the accuracy to clobber vermin at 50 yards and beyond. If I were selecting my first air varminter with a close eye on my checkbook, I’d make sure the Hammerli Pneuma was on my short list.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott


  1. Norton says:

    I purchased the Hammerli Pneuma late last year. Its my first precharged. I like it alot, it hits with authority. When I take it to the range, even my smokeless powder shooting buddies stand up and take notice. I need to get a better scope for it.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Thanks for your comments. The Pneuma is darned accurate, too!

  2. Gerald Austin says:

    I bought a .22 pneuma not long ago. I have been VERY pleased with the results. Today put 5 shots through the same hole at 50 yards in a piece of tin. The Scope Zero has not changed since I started shooting. Down to the last 150 or so premiers. (Wish they didnt come ith so many pointed and damaged pellets.)

    More of my comments and some groups at http://weldingdata.com/pneuma.htm

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Great stuff Gerald. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Gerald Austin says:

    Just a followup. Been through a box of premiers and a tin of benjamin hollowpoints. The gun is doing great it seems. Nothing else to compare it too but 15 shot groups of 1″ or less are common (5 shot groups much smaller but not what I like for my hunting gun).

    Freezer is full of squirrels ready for cooking. Killed 2 at sunrise at 40+ yards in 20 degree weather and one crow at 50 with a headshot.

    Found a person that makes regulators and thinking about getting one and puttng it in a spare cylinder.

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Thanks for your comments!

  4. Chris says:

    ” am not an airgun engineer, but my guess is that the Pneuma is wasting a lot of air and could benefit from some tuning that would make it more efficient and probably quiet it down a bit.”

    What would the “tuning” be. I am very much considering this rife. Thanks.

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Tuning would involve adjusting the hammer spring, hammer pre-load, and other internals so that the air rifle would launch pellets with much greater efficiency and without wasting so much air. It’s a job for someone who knows what they are doing.

      1. Chris says:


  5. Alejandro says:

    I bought my hammerli pneuma the last week and I dont know how to refill it, y need help !

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Contact the seller or the good folks at http://www.airgunsofarizona.com

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