Hammerli Storm Elite: Part 2 – A trip to the range

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

I just finished preliminary shooting with the Hammerli Storm Elite. I didn’t go to my big range, so the targets were confined to 18 yards. There were some surprises, nevertheless.

Preparation
Like usual, I cleaned the barrel with JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound on a Dewey rod. As always, I used a new brass brush for this, and I have to tell you that this rifle has a VERY tight bore! It is perhaps the tightest .177 barrel I have encountered, though I don’t keep a journal on that stuff. While cleaning, I detected a possible choke at the muzzle, which is a big surprise for a spring rifle barrel. I thought I must be mistaken, because no manufacturer would fail to tout such an important feature in their advertising, so I conducted a positive test.

No choke
By pushing a pellet through the bore from the breech, it is easy to feel any constriction in the barrel. I confirmed the tight breech mentioned in part 1, but there is no choke at the muzzle. Also, I can report that the entire barrel is exceptionally smooth, with no tight spots or rough areas.

Scope
I mounted a Bug Buster 2 in Accushot medium 1″ rings. The eyepiece doesn’t come back far enough for me to see the entire sight picture when shooting from a rest, but it’s close to perfect for offhand work. The two-piece rings butted against the built-in scope stop, which made mounting very easy, because the rings were already on the scope.


This Bug Buster 2 was already mounted in rings, so it was a quick installation on the rifle. The eye relief is right for offhand but too short for benchrest.

Pellets
Taking a cue from Squirrel Killer, I selected Eun Jin 16.1-grain domes. I also had some old 13.1-grain Cobra pellets from Air Rifle Specialists, so they were thrown in the pot. Beeman Kodiaks and JSB Exact domes were also tried, as were RWS Super Mags – a 9.3-grain heavy wadcutter. And, finally, I tried some 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers that would have been my first choice for this gun because of its power and the fact that it’s a springer.

Some quirks to note
I like the way this rifle cocks! First of all, the ball-bearing detent means the barrel breaks open and closes like a bank vault – smooth and positive. When the rifle is cocked, there is none of that backlash where the barrel continues to travel down and has to came back several inches to where the sear catches it. The sear on this rifle catches the barrel at the end of the cocking stroke for a positive feel. The trigger, on the other hand, is extremely heavy. It’s two-stage, but the second stage breaks at 6 lbs., which makes precision aiming a chore. There isn’t much creep, and I noted that it was starting to smooth out and possibly lighten up at the end of the short shooting session. To the guy who remarked that the Bug Buster crosshairs are thick, I didn’t think so when I examined the scope for you, but when I tried to take a precise aim at a target, I have to agree.

Accuracy
Squirrel, I wish you well, but I gotta tell you, this rifle cannot handle 16.1-grain Eun Jins! They do hit the trap with authority, but when the third shot landed 2″ from the first one at 18 yards, I gave up on them! Cobras were a little better, but still spread to almost 2″. Kodiaks grouped a little over 1″, and RWS Super Mags were a trifle better. JSBs were worse, at 1.25″. Then I tried the Premiers. Oh, boy, do they shoot! Sorry, Sharon, but in this rifle the 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers are the standout pellet. They will be used in the next and final test when I can get out to the longer-range course.


Five Kodiaks spread out pretty good, even at 18 yards.


Five RWS Super Mags grouped just slightly tighter than the Kodiaks.


Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets were the star of this show.

All pellets were tight in the breech, but Eun Jins were extreme. Even Kodiaks that usually slip in so easily met with resistance from this barrel. I didn’t have a pellet seating tool, and I wasn’t able to seat any pellet entirely inside the breech.

You need technique but it’s not fussy!
The correct technique with the Storm Elite is to lay the forearm on the flat of your palm just forward of the balance point. The end of the long cocking slot will be on your palm. A light, dead hold produces great results. The rifle is not as twitchy, as many breakbarrels I could name.

Bottom line?
At this point, I am pleasantly impressed. The Storm Elite seems to be a nice little breakbarrel with good behavior, accuracy and power. The trigger sucks, but I would give it time. It will probably break-in to a nice pull.

28 thoughts on “Hammerli Storm Elite: Part 2 – A trip to the range

  1. lol B.B.,

    Sorry about your Eun Jin experience with the Storm. If you ever get a chance, try them through your CFX. Seems like the Storm doesn’t like any moderate to heavy pellets. Surprised you didn’t chrony your speeds to determine velocity spreads for the pellets.

    Thanks


  2. bb,

    based on what you know about how pellet shape effects accuracy, how do you think the new crosman fireball pellets(a 10.5 grain pellet that resembles the gamo rocket) will do? ive tried the rocket pellets, but i get horrible results, but gamo usually doesn’t make very good pellets, so im hoping that the new crosman’s will be good. once they come out i’ll try and get some and give you a review on em(unless of course you decide to do one first).

    Dave


  3. Seems like the conversation often comes back to pellets. I found the Eun Jin 16.1gr accuracy ok to about 10 yds in my Gamo shadow 1000. Velocity was down at 585fps with a spread of 20 fps. My Shadow’s FAVORITE accuracy pellet, the Beeman Kodiak match hvy 10.6gr shoots at 800fps with a spread of only 7fps. The CP domed 7.9gr shoot at 900fps and try as I might, they never group better than the BK’s and JSBXact8.4gr.
    But Squirrel, I’ve been experimenting with a peep sight lately (at B.B.’s recommendation) and a 16.gr wallop at 10 yds is very effective!


  4. B.B.,
    The targets you always use in your testing are the standard NRA 10 meter airgun, correct?
    And you were right again, shooting real targets is a lot more satisfying than shooting printer paper with magic marker.
    Pestbgone


  5. hi bb
    a few days ago you told me that the breech on the HW57 was a sliding compression chamber. however other websights are saying that the breech popps up behind the barrell when the rifle is cocked. could you shed some light on this? also there seems to be a concern with accuracy. is this an sccurate rifle? finnaly i was also looking at the webley and scott stingray. i like the ambedexterous stock because i am left handed. however i know other webley and scott are notourios for having no scope stop provisions. is there a decent way to mount a scope o the stingray? thanks
    Nate in MASS



  6. Nate,

    I think I am wrong about the 57. It looks like it has a flip-up breech, lick the Diana 46.

    I would avoid all Webleys without scope stop provisions. There is no easy fix for them.

    B.B.


  7. I don’t have a chronograph. Using online software and equations I keep plugging in estimated MV, BC and estimated down range V and by trial error hoping to get a trajectory table that resembles my known trajectory at three points. Sighted in at 34yds, +1.25″ at 16 yards, – 3.8″ at 50 yards and – 11.5″ at 65 yards. Crossman Premier 0.22 domed pellets. So far the only thing that comes close is a MV way below what rifle OEM advertises and a BC that’s way above the 0.166 I show for the pellet. Any ideas, comments or suggestions.
    I’m about ready to just shoot at targets every 5 yards and forget the software.



  8. sumo,
    According to Benjamin it’s supposed to be around 685 FPS. But when playing with the online ballistics programs I have to use a MV figure much less than that to get a trajectory table that even resembles
    my known trajectory points.


  9. BB – did you find the Storm to be twangy? Mine is almost as bad as a Gamo. Does shoot well, though.

    Have you popped the action out of the stock? Take a look at the trigger mechanism – it’s a hoot. I don’t know how much improvement can be expected in a direct sear – after all, there is always gonna be a horrendous amount of pressure on the sliding surfaces… there’s no linkage to lessen it.



  10. Jay,
    I believe the BC for CP domed is around .02, which scrubs the velocity a lot faster than the .166 you are using. Also, a missing piece of the equation is the scope height above the bore centerline. The calculations won’t work correctly without the scope height, which is the height of the scope centerline above the bore centerline, measured at the muzzle. I was playing with the numbers on the program I use and they were looking reasonable.
    Pestbgone






  11. Jay,
    Are you sure about 16yds being +1.25? It seems like it should be around +.6 or +.7, and then everything falls into place. Also, the measured scope height would be less than 1.6875 as the line of sight is projected out to the muzzle. Interesting puzzle.
    Pestbgone


  12. pestbgone,
    I just shot a group yesterday at 16 yards so I’m sure about that one. I suppose I should measure the scope height again just to make sure.
    I’ve all but decided to just shoot targets every 5 yards and make my own trajectory table. Not sure what I’m doing wrong with the software.


  13. Jay,
    I ran the numbers in the program I use against the program you use and got almost the exact same results, so I think you are probably using your program correctly. The only way i can get the curve to fit is if I move your zero point out to about 39 yards, and drop the velocity and BC a little. Also, at 65 yards, the rate of drop is about 3/4″ per yard, so it might be tough to get a reliable drop measurement with the pellet falling that fast.

    Of course, you’ll never be able to get a program that will give you results as useful as your own real-world 5 yd test increments.
    Pestbgone


  14. Thanks pestbgone. I used a laser range finder and shot 10 shot groups
    at the aforementioned yardages and measured the distance of each pellet from the POA and took the average drop. I’ve never used ballistics software before but apparently it’s not as accurate as I would have thought.


  15. Jay,
    Yes, they don’t seem to be that accurate for pellets at low velocities where the drag is so high. A hi vel bullet might only loose a few percent of its velocity in flight whereas a pellet might loose 30%. The BC actually changes with velocity and most programs can only compensate based on the drag model used by the program, and I don’t think the drag models are accurate for diablo style pellets. Here’s a good explanation that probably explains your frustration.
    http://www.shootingsoftware.com/coefficients.htm


  16. Jay,
    -i think you should get a chronograph if you want the info that you are trying to obtain. Then again, you could buy a walther lg3000. I see what you are going for but it will be imposible to get anything acurate online because it is probibly not incorperating aerodynamics.

    -My condor has a higher muzzle velocity than my 22 when i use subsonic ammo. The 22 still goes about a mile and the condor falls short at about 500 yards. I bullet shape V.S. diablo pellet shape. I can get custom bullet ammo from pyramydair and have it shoot just as far as the 22.

    -Are you shooting the gun with the barrel perfectly level?

    -sumo


  17. sumo,
    “-Are you shooting the gun with the barrel perfectly level?”

    Perfectly level? No, but I do try to keep it close. And yes your certainly right it’s time to look into a chronograph.


  18. Jay,
    A chronograph is about 80 bucks, not to bad. Are you thinking about getting into feild target?

    -sumo


  19. sumo,
    The thought had crossed my mind but
    I don’t think I’d very be competitive with a Benjamin 392, the only air rifle I own.


  20. Jay,

    there are many divisions of feild target. In a PCP class you would not stand a chance. However, many people like to shoot feild target with break barrels and other guns like that. The wordS FEILD TARGET scare many away but it may be a match between you and a couple of freinds.


  21. BB —
    Thanks for the info about the Storm Elite. I recently purchased a Storm (not the Elite) in 22 cal. Your tips and comments about spring break-barrel rifles are VERY FAMILIAR. I have tried laying the stock on sandbags, bunched up old jackets, etc. and accuracy SUCKS! I have 5 different pellets — Gamo, Beeman, HN, etc. You are absolutely right — spring loaders take special techniques to shoot well. Then I held the rifle offhand, and nailed one of thos annoying gray birds (that chirp and sing LOUDLY all night — at 25 yards! Go figure….
    Thanks.
    BK


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