Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hammerli Pneuma - Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

First an announcement: Friday, Saturday and Sunday (May 15-17), the NRA will conduct its Annual Meetings in Phoenix, AZ. There's a show hall, which is open to the public. It's like a mini-SHOT Show. Admission is $10, but you can show your NRA membership card to get in free (or join at the door and get in free). There's an indoor shooting range, where you can shoot a large assortment of airguns, including the new AirForce Airguns Edge. At noon, 2pm and 4pm daily, there will be a demonstration shooting of big bore airguns.

Hammerli's Pneuma is an exciting new PCP rifle at a great price!

The prices of precharged pneumatic rifles have been dropping over the past several years, and one of the newest guns on the market is the Hammerli Pneuma. The Pneuma is a single-shot PCP that comes in either .177 or .22. Most buyers will choose the .22 caliber for the power, but I opted to test the .177 model for you.

Hammerli advertises the velocity at 1,200 f.p.s. in .177, so I will test the rifle with heavy pellets. The goal will be to keep the exit velocity under 1,000 f.p.s. for best accuracy. Twenty-two caliber owners will not face this issue, as the top speed in that caliber is listed as 1,050 f.p.s. These velocities are for the very lightest pellets, of course, so I expect to be able to control the rifle with heavier pellets.

This is a sidelever bolt-action rifle that loads the pellet directly into the breech. The stock is a synthetic thumbhole that's fully ambidextrous. It has both a Monte Carlo comb and a very low raised cheekpiece on both sides. A soft black rubber buttpad adjusts both up and down for better fit.

The stock is a matte dark charcoal and the metal is a hunter black--slightly shinier than matte but not a deep shine.

The overall length of the rifle is 38.5 inches, and it weighs 7.25 lbs. While that sounds light, the weight is centered on the flat just forward of the triggerguard, and the rifle feels very solid. It should balance well for benchrest shooting.

The sights are a fiberoptic front and rear post and bead with notch. The rear sight adjusts in both directions and the front adjusts for elevation by tipping up and down in the rear. These are some of the best sights I've seen on a rifle that most owners will probably scope anyhow.

Speaking of scopes, the Pneuma has a unique scope base that accepts both 11 mm and Weaver rings on the same base. It's a novel idea that will suit everybody.

This scope base will accept both 11mm rings and Weaver rings. You can see both dovetails clearly.

The muzzle of the 19-inch barrel is threaded to take a 1/2x20 silencer. Unfortunately, my firearm silencer is threaded with 28 TPI, so I was unable to try it. The barrel is held to the reservoir by two wide plastic hangers. Since the reservoir is removable, the influence on the barrel is probably reduced. In other words, it probably doesn't move the barrel much as the pressure drops.

A manometer (air pressure gauge) is built into the end of the removable air reservoir. It reads in bar, only, and the rifle is set up to accept a max fill of 200 bar, which is 2,900 psi. You can fill without removing the reservoir by pushing a blank plug out of the fill port and inserting the quick-disconnect probe. The other end of the probe is threaded 1/8" BSPP, which is a very common thread pattern for PCP fill equipment. It connected to my Hill pump, and I was able to fill the rifle right away.

Pressure gauge or manometer reads in bar only and records a 200-bar fill.

A bleed device also comes with the gun, so the owner can bleed out the air at any time. To depressurize the gun, the reservoir has to come out of the rifle because the bleed device acts on the end that screws into the rifle's action. You would want to do this if you were sending the rifle somewhere by public carrier like UPS.

There are also two extra sets of o-rings for the fill probe, though they won't be needed soon if you keep the rings on the fill probe lubricated with silicone grease.

The trigger is two-stage and adjustable for the length of the first stage and for pull weight. I will report on it in greater detail during the accuracy test.

I've already listed features that would have cost no less than $650 just two years ago. So, the Pneuma is a price-breaker. It promises good power in the 20-22 foot-pound range in .177 and up to 30 foot-pounds in .22. Accuracy will be the deciding factor; and if this is an accurate rifle, it'll be one to consider.


At May 13, 2009 8:57 AM, Blogger FRED said...

BB, By coincidence, I'm flying in Phoenix on the 17th at 2PM to attend a conference for the next two days. I assume if I go to the NRA website, I can find out where the Hall is and it's hours?


At May 13, 2009 9:06 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Go here:

All the details are given.


At May 13, 2009 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering the Pneuma's price I would be interested to see how it shapes up against the Benjamin Marauder, which costs about the same but is a repeater.

At May 13, 2009 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I got excited reading this post because I found my gauge (manometer) similar to the one in the picture. Except mine reads in psi, graduated from 0,1,2,3,4 and 5 x 1000psi. I was told my gauge is made in UK.

However, I find it difficult to resolve useful readings with my gauge.

How do I capture my heart of fill? This power curve is a plot of velocity,fps against pressure,psi so I know at what pressure my valve operates best.

I admit it is my first pcp and I have learned a lot from following your blog since the very first one.

Based on what I have learned, among the first things to do with a new pcp is know the power curve or heart of fill. Am I correct? I just do not know how to do it with my gauge.

Thanks a lot.


At May 13, 2009 10:16 AM, Anonymous wayne said...


You need to do a chrony test..

fill to max, then shoot over a chrony, and mark down every shot until the fps drop off a lot.. if your real lucky, the first shot will be your fastest.. but that doesn't happen often..
so your goal is to find the "sweet spot" (haven't heard of "heart of the fill")..

You'll probably find your first shot will be slower, than your 10th or 15th shot.. this is called "valve lock".. the pressure in the tank is too much to open the valve all the way, so you get less air on the pellet at first..

So now, if you don't want to deal with adjusting your aim, you fill the tank less this time, and find where the first shot is the fastest or just under the fastest, so you have the steadiest fps, for the longest number of shots.. that's the "sweet spot"..

Ashland Air Rifle Range

At May 13, 2009 10:23 AM, Anonymous wayne said...


Some folks mark on the gauge, the "sweet spot" with a couple dots of nail polish or the like... so you can stop filling at the high dot, and start filling at the low dot!!


The PA site says that even with high mounts, the largest diameter scope you can mount on the Pneuma is 32mm..
Can you explain more... with the weaver and 11mm dove tails... maybe they mean if you use the lower weaver ones..
The scope in Paul's video looks larger than 32mm..

Ashland Air Rifle Range

At May 13, 2009 10:42 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


The rear sight gets in the way. I flipped it forward and used medium mounts.


At May 13, 2009 10:50 AM, Anonymous wayne said...


Oh, that's good!

PA should explain better on the site.. that could be a deal breaker for some!!

I'm about ready to push the buy button... especially because PA doesn't even have the Marauder listed in the dealer pricing yet.. so I know not what the dealer price will be, or if it will be sold to dealers!!

The groups Paul shot with the Pneuma were very good, and with my favorite JSB pellet too!!.. I'd also bet there will be a magazine adapted for it soon..

Ashland Air Rifle Range

At May 13, 2009 11:00 AM, Anonymous wayne said...


Does it say on the gun where/who manufactured it?

The PA site doesn't list an extra air tank as an option... that would be a very nice feature for more shots in the field..

will there be one soon?

Ashland Air Rifle Range

At May 13, 2009 11:06 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Turkey. But don't let that be a factor. This one is well-made.


At May 13, 2009 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the guide. I think sweet spot is the same as heart of fill or power curve.

The first shot is, well, almost always exciting. It was spitting a 19.1 grain pellet at 962.4 fps at 3000psi. Not too serious in taking down notes. As Ive said, it is my very first pcp.

No apparent valve lock at max pressure.


At May 13, 2009 11:34 AM, Anonymous wayne said...



Well I know your getting ready to travel to the NRA show, so I won't bother you with more questions now!!

Thanks again so much for your time!


At May 13, 2009 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wow, this is priced well. Hail to the Discovery for introducing affordably priced PCPs. I particularly like the removable reservoir, but Wayne's point is a good one that it would help if spares would sold to allow you to stock up.

As I recall, Hammerli used to be an excellent Swiss company whose name has been farmed out beyond meaning. But if the final product is good, it doesn't matter.

A comparison with the Marauder is a natural. I can't wait to hear about the accuracy and the noise.


At May 13, 2009 12:15 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

They already make a 10 shot repeater version I think PA didn't import it due to the fact that the Marauder came out @ the same time. Check the Hatsan website, they have nice wood stock versions as well.


At May 13, 2009 12:19 PM, Anonymous Scott said...


Look here; for what we are missing out on from them. What was PA thinking?


At May 13, 2009 12:39 PM, Blogger Randy-in-VA said...

BB - Travel safely to Phoenix.

Got a really good feeling about a interview I had Monday, so in the spirit of counting my chickens before they hatch, I pulled the trigger (sorry) on the Marauder at PA. I'm going to start out with CO2 - put my son's old paint ball tanks to good use. I'll send you a report on that. It won't ship until June, so I have plenty of time to back out if the job doesn't come through.

Way Off Topic - Is anyone on this distinguished forum going to the Annual Gathering in Pittsburgh?

At May 13, 2009 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At May 13, 2009 1:27 PM, Blogger Ishaq said...

Well nobody has stock of the Crosman premier 7.9gr domed. I have to look for alternatives. Any ideas? Any body know pellets that shoot well in the RWS 34?

At May 13, 2009 1:36 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Hold your water! You don't know Pyramyd's plans.


At May 13, 2009 1:38 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Randy in VA,

You won't be sorry. And I will be thrilled to get your report on CO2 operations.


At May 13, 2009 2:18 PM, Blogger derrick38 said...


The USPS website is excellent for getting international rate quotes. You get all the different options listed side by side for comparison. I had to ship some bicycle parts to Ireland a few months ago. FedEx wanted $329 for freight and insurance. USPS did it for under $65. USPS First Class International is a relatively fast, cheap way of sending stuff globally.


I'm glad to see the Weaver base option on the Pneuma. Now if it would just appear on all those springers that NEED a recoil proof ring mount. I've been not so secretly wishing that 3/8"/11mm would just go away. Esp. since there's no hard standard that the manufacturers actually adhere to...


At May 13, 2009 2:59 PM, Blogger ajvenom said...

My favorite .177 domed pellets:

JSB Exact 7.9
JSB Extra heavy aka AA Diabolo Field
RWS Superdomes
Gamo Raptors (sometimes)

As for .177 match:

RWS Meisterkugeln rifle
RWS Hobby
Gamo Match

At May 13, 2009 3:27 PM, Blogger FRED said...


this is part of the fun - finding out which pellet your rifle likes best. AJVenom gave you some very good choices. I'd concentrate on the RWS Superdomes and Super H Points. PA sells an RWS sampler and that would be a great choice if you can get that. JSB's have pretty much been determined to give the best results in these spring piston rifles, actually in a number of rifles (now only my RWS's but my Benj. Discovery) but are usually more expensive than the other pellets.

You will start to doubt yourself as you go from one pellet brand to another and find they shoot all over the place. Then you use a pellet that produces one hole in your target and you've arrived. Now you have to see if you can make it a smaller hole.

At May 13, 2009 3:57 PM, Anonymous AZBrian said...

I see two outwardly similar-looking 700 fps breakbarrel pistols in the promo email Pyramyd sent out today - the RWS Diana LP8 and the "Browning" 800 mag - yet the latter is half the price of the former.

If it weren't for the big price difference, I'd wonder if they were the same gun (except triggers and safety appear to be different). Who makes the Browning? Can you give us some general info on both, BB? Seems like you mentioned the RWS pistol recently, but there's searching for "LP8" doesn't seem to turn anything up.



At May 13, 2009 4:34 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You have to go back to the 2009 SHOT Show report:

I haven't tested either pistol yet.


At May 13, 2009 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 10/22 has a base like that. I like the idea, but wish there could be a flip up aperture to hide in the rails. You told me to remind you on your story with that Colt National Match, dying to know.
Shadow express dude

At May 13, 2009 6:12 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...



I'm headed out to Phoenix tomorrow and I'll write it on the road and take pics when I get back.

Interesting story!

Should be next week.


At May 13, 2009 6:15 PM, Blogger Makun said...

Hi, I am interested in casting my own pellets through recycling shot pellets and defective once. What holds me back is not knowing where I can buy the mold in .22 and .177. I think this would be a great show topic for your podcast.

At May 13, 2009 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the "Closer Look" view on PA, I noticed what seems to be a thumb-screw between the front sight and the barrel. Is the front sight adjustable, or is the screw there for some other reason?

At May 13, 2009 8:24 PM, Anonymous Scott said...


I said " I think" that's what they did. I most certainly can be dead wrong. It just seemed logical for not to have 2 competing rifles released @ the same time @ the same price point. I got excited when I went back to look @ their website & saw what they offer again. Wow! they have some nice looking products that we don't see here.


At May 14, 2009 6:13 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


There used to be a mold for pellets but it's no longer made. You can have a custom mold made, but remember to size it for pellet gun calibers, which are different that firearm calibers.

Since diabolo pellets can't be cast, there is no advantage to casting pellets.


At May 14, 2009 6:15 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Thumb screw,

I mentioned that adjustment in the report. The sight does go up and down.


At May 14, 2009 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you have both the Marauder and the Pneuma, it would be very interesting if you can run a comparision between these two rifles. We know one is a repeater and one is a single-shot. One is definitely quieter than the other. But what else in terms of accuracy, trigger, workmanship, etc.? I am contemplating which one to get for my next AG purchase.

At May 18, 2009 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne and BB,

My first shot with a 3000psi (max rated fill) is the fastest and succeeding shots are getting slower.

What do I do now?


At May 18, 2009 10:34 AM, Blogger kevin said...


How many shots?

What was the beginning FPS and ending FPS?

When (which shot number) does your POI (Point Of Impact) change?


At May 19, 2009 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Beginning fps was 962.4. Ending fps was 836.9 for 45 shots. POI of groups at 45 yards was varying from 0.405 to 0.88 inch for five shot groups.

I stopped shooting at 45th shot.

The rifle has adjustment for hammer spring tension only.



At May 19, 2009 6:09 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


When the first shot is the fastest with a PCP the valve can handle higher pressure than the max fill. It's entirely up to you, but some owners might run their fill pressure up a couple hundred PSI.


At August 13, 2009 9:48 AM, Blogger quba said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


At August 13, 2009 10:32 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Thanks for speaking up. We have far too few women who comment here, though I know there are more that read the blog.

I do a blog every weekday. The current blog is located off the home page of Pyramyd Air

or you can go directly there:



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