Posts Tagged ‘Pneuma’

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

The Hammerli Pneuma has its own distinctive style.

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.

The rubber recoil pad is adjustable vertically.

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.

The gauge is located at the end of the air reservoir.

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.

The fill port near the end of the reservoir can be seen below the barrel.

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