Looking for an air rifle that is handy, light and accurate with multiple shot capability and yields around 200 shots before needing to refill? Check out the Hammerli 850 from UmarexUSA and available through Airguns of Arizona. This German made little gem is lightweight at 5 ½ pounds thanks to the black polymer ambidextrous stock with molded in Monte Carlo style cheekpiece. The steel barrel and receiver are also black, making for a striking and solid little rifle. It is a bolt action repeater fed by an 8 round rotary magazine. The barrel is 23.5 inches and overall the 850 A.M. measures 41 inches. It is powered by an 88 gram CO2 cylinder that is neatly hidden by a removable section of the forearm.
My example was in .177 and a .22 caliber version is also available. The bolt action was smooth and required little effort plus there is no recoil so this rifle would be great for a young shooter. Although the German engineers decided to forego adding baffles or sound dampening to the barrel, it is relatively quiet when fired outdoors. It sent the various pellets I tried on their way with authority and definitely liked the Predator GTO lead-frees (5.5 gr.) for paper punching. I put some heavier (10.65 gr.) H&N Baracuda Match pellets through it as well. The AirMagnum generated over 11 foot pounds of energy with the Baracudas and the groupings were adequate for taking small pests and critters at reasonable ranges.
The AirMagnum comes with adjustable front and rear sights as well as providing an 11 mm dovetail rail on the receiver for scope mounting. The sights have built-in fiber optics — green in the rear, red in the front. The front sight is drift adjustable and covered with a steel hood, the rear sight is adjustable for elevation by moving it along the incline ramp it rides on. The two-stage trigger is adjustable for travel. The trigger is plastic but I can forgive that because it was not gritty and broke at 1lb. 6.9 oz. The automatic safety engages as the bolt is pulled back. It is easily disengaged by the shooter’s thumb by simply push in and down on the thin vertical button in the face of the safety and continue pushing forward until disengaged. A large red dot shows when the safety is disengaged. To engage it manually, simply pull the large button straight back and the trigger is blocked. The rotary magazine is easy to load and can only be inserted one way. A rubber “O” ring retains the pellets by closing in on their waists. One drawback appeared with pointed pellets like the Predator Polymags which did not always feed smoothly. Predator makes a shorter Polymag for magazine fed guns and those might work well.
I found the AirMagnum’s stock a bit short for a full sized adult shooter and even though a motivated shooter might go to the trouble of making their own spacers, it would be great if Hammerli provided an adjustable stock or easy to add spacers. A potential negative for some is there is no provision for removing the CO2 cylinder before it is spent. Conventional teaching says that you shouldn’t store a CO2 powered gun with a pressurized cylinder installed. So if your shooting session lasts less than the approximately 200 rounds normally provided by the 88 gram cylinder; prior to storing the gun for a period of time (longer than a couple of weeks) go ahead and slowly unscrew the cylinder (wear safety glasses) and allow the carbon dioxide to slowly escape. Be careful to avoid all skin contact with the freezing cold gas!
Overall I really enjoyed this little Hammerli. The MSRP comes in at $329.99 and you can get more information or order one from the knowledgeable folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com. The rifle is covered by a one year limited warranty protecting you against defects in workmanship and materials.