Monday, June 29, 2009

Hammerli Pneuma - Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Hammerli's Pneuma has turned in an impressive test! I really enjoy the MTM shooting bench and rifle rest. They make my job so much easier.


Today, we'll look at the accuracy of the Hammerli Pneuma, and I know from the comments there are several of you hanging around to hear what I have to say. Let me make it simple for you--buy the rifle. In my test that follows, I found the .177 Pneuma to be very accurate.

I did not follow my own plan of shooting enormous groups this time, because I was under time constraints to test a couple of different airguns and one .22 rimfire. The day was very nearly perfect, which was a blessing, because the past two times at this range I had to shoot in high wind. So, I made only five-shot groups on this day, so I could finish the testing for all the guns before the wind picked up.

I mounted a Leapers 3-9x50 scope (similar to this CenterPoint 3-9x50 with ill. reticle) in medium-high Weaver rings, despite all that people say about that being impossible. The Pneuma receiver is low for a PCP, so scopes with larger objective bells have trouble clearing the top of the barrel. In this case the scope barely clears the barrel, and you can feel it brush the barrel as the parallax ring is turned for adjustment, but it's the perfect height for my eye. I discovered that the Pneuma's thumbhole stock has a very high line, which helps elevate the eye to the scope.


The 50mm scope objective barely clears the barrel with these medium-height Waever rings. Yes, I know they're nickel. Sometimes you have to use what you have.


Loading was okay but with the scope as low as I had it, I had to watch what I was doing. This is another good reason to use high rings.

The sidelever functioned smoothly every time. In fact, the entire rifle seemed to be dead-stone reliable. I say that because one of the other guns I was testing (the scope on it, actually) was giving me fits! It was so nice to have a gun that just did what it was supposed to that day.

I filled the reservoir to 200 bar, as we learned to do in Part 2 of this report. But I shot longer strings than the velocity numbers predicted that I should. What I mean is that the velocity numbers had indicated the gun really liked Beeman Kodiak pellets, but that lighter pellets started varying in velocity quicker. According to the numbers I recorded, there were fewer useful shots with lighter pellets. Well, on the 50-yard range that didn't turn out to be the case. Just when the pellets should have been dispersing wildly, they were grouping tighter than ever. So, I kept right on shooting down below 150 bar, and the good groups kept coming.

Kodiaks first
I expected Kodiaks to be accurate, and they did not disappoint. At 50 yards on this breathless day, I managed a best group of 0.734" for five shots and an average group size of less than one inch.


Best ghroup of five Beeman Kodiaks at 50 yards went into this group measuring 0.734", c-t-c.


JSB 8.4 grain pellets
I didn't think a lighter pellet would do as well in this rifle, but that was incorrect. With JSB Exact 8.4-grain domed pellets, I shot three five-shot groups that went 0.736", 0.772" and 0.808". That's extremely consistent shooting. I have to report that those groups were not all centered in the same spot, so if I had combined them they would have been about 1.5" between centers. But, once again, I was shooting in a place on the power curve where the velocity numbers predicted the pellet strikes would shift.


Second-best group of five JSB Exacts at 50 yards measures 0.772" between centers.



Worst group of five JSB Exacts at 50 yards measures 0.808" between centers.


The Pneuma shot without a problem. I found it easy to scope, easier to sight-in; and once it was sighted, it was a bullseye drill. Kodiaks deliver the best performance of both power and accuracy, making them well worth trying. But the word on the street is this rifle does well with almost anything.

Conclusions
The world now has another low-cost PCP with remarkable performance. The Pneuma is well worth a place on your short list of pellet rifles. It's a single-shot, which I will always prefer to a repeater, and it has the power needed for small-game hunting. I would buy the .22 for hunting and the .177 for general shooting and the occasional pest.

48 Comments:

At June 29, 2009 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB, enjoyed your previous post, especially the comment about the silent watch cats. I can't say my own watch cat is silent: his reaction to an invader tends to warrent employing the paintball gun (useful for identifying which neighborhood animal was causing trouble that night). Anyway, after your report, I may consider one of the tac lights you mentioned.

 
At June 29, 2009 8:02 AM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,

What a blessing to have a calm day at the range when you had so many guns to test. The Hammerli Pneuma sounds like a winner and not pellet picky. Always fun when a gun's performance pleasantly surprises you.

I am continually impressed by your reports. I think this is the only place I see pictures posted of the worst group shot.

kevin

 
At June 29, 2009 8:18 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Mr B.,

Re: AA S410 .22 caliber test for 400 fps

I want to thank you for the assignment. It motivated me to pick up the AA S410 this weekend and do some target shooting. I've been so distracted lately and haven't been shooting much. Your task reminded me how theraputic shooting is for me.

To provide you with the answers you requested I set up my chrony, 4 types of .22 caliber pellets (jsb's in 15.8 gr & 18gr, crosman premiers in 14.3 gr and beeman kodiaks in 21.1 gr) and started shooting at my 20 yard (60 foot)target with the AA S410 on the lowest setting possible.

Here's the results:

jsb 15.8 gr
477 fps
479 fps
478 fps
476 fps
477 fps

jsb 18 gr
450
452
451
451 (dup)
451 (dup)

crosman premiers 14.3 gr
474
475
476
473
473 (dup)

beeman kodiaks 21.1 gr
413
419
418
416
417

As you can see the kodiaks get you closer to the 400 fps goal that you had.

I then took an unopened (still in plastic) brick of duct seal and hung it on my target at 20 yards. I shot all 4 test pellets into the brick. The jsb 15.8 gr penetrated a full pellet PLUS another 1/2 pellet length. The jsb 18 gr was a full pellet plus about 2/3. The crosman premier was a full pellet plus about a 1/2. The beeman kodiak was a full pellet plus about 2/3.

Hope this helps in your decision.

kevin

 
At June 29, 2009 8:53 AM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

Kevin,

Thank you so very much for testing your S410 on low power. You are absolutly right about the theraputic nature of shooting--the clearing of the mind, the slowing of the breath, the total concentration.

Your penatration figures were also helpful. An eligent, low powered, back yard, tack driving shooter on one hand that instantly becomes a fire breathing 75 yard ground squirel wacking machine. This next sentance is a painful thing to admit and put to pen, but it's looking like Wayne is right:).

However, I am still waiting for someone to test their Marauder using it's CO2 option. Surley someone out there is shooting their gun that way and will give us a report.

 
At June 29, 2009 8:55 AM, Blogger FRED said...

Edith, you have a comment above that needs to be removed from this Blog.

Fred

 
At June 29, 2009 9:10 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Mr B.,

Yes, Wayne is right and quit calling me Shirley.

kevin

 
At June 29, 2009 9:19 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

Edith,

I'm with Fred..

B.B.

Thanks for that test. The Pneuma is for sure on my short list.. the only issue is the noise level.. outdoors on the 50 yard range, would you say it's about like the discovery?

The .177 Maruader gave me excellent groups at 50 yards yesterday.. just a little better than what you got with the Pneuma..
(and the Evanix Blizzard .22 cal matched them!! to my surprise!!)..

So accuracy is not the issue in this choice between low cost PCPs..

One can't make a wrong decision here... It's really about your needs for power, noise, and plinking..

20-30 powerful fairly quiet shots with the Blizzard.... 50-70 shots with the .177 Marauder less powerful, but very quiet.. Or now the more noisy single shot Pneuma, which looks to be an entry level field target gun as well..

I'd like to have that smooth sidelever the Pneuma has on the Marauder, the straight pull bolt is fine, but once you use a smooth side lever like on the AAs410.. you get spoiled..

Can't really go wrong with any of them it sounds like!!

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle RAnge

 
At June 29, 2009 9:20 AM, Blogger Fused said...

B.B.,
You say you always prefer a single shot to a repeater. Are you talking about a repeater like the Hale Storm or Marauder? If so, why?

 
At June 29, 2009 9:31 AM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

B.B.,

Did you try putting your legal suppressor on on the Pneuma? As always, thank you for the work that you do for all of us.

Mr B.

PS I'd be happy to send you and Edith one of the cat books to have and enjoy at your leasure. You can reach me at Dropdog2@Aol.com

 
At June 29, 2009 9:41 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne,

The Pneuma is similar to the Discovery, but perhaps a little louder because it is a little more powerful. It's so hard to tell without both guns present.

B.B.

 
At June 29, 2009 9:42 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Fused,

It's a long story about personal taste. I like single-shot firearm rifles, too. Repeaters just don't do it for me. Never have--except for the Winchester model 61 pump.

B.B.

 
At June 29, 2009 9:43 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Mr. B.,

My silencer has 1/2-28 threads and the Pneuma has 1/2-20 threads.

B.B.

 
At June 29, 2009 10:11 AM, Anonymous Vince said...

Re repeaters - when I sat down and timed myself shooting an IZH61, I found that my overall firing rate wasn't any different than with a breakbarrel. The time taken up removing, loading and reinstalling the magazine pretty much made up for the time saved while actually shooting. So for plinking, I don't know if a repeater really buys you anything even when they DO work well.

 
At June 29, 2009 10:22 AM, Blogger Fused said...

So, it's a reliability issue? Or maybe lack consistency in loading the pellet into the chamber by the mechanism?

I can understand it also in a rhythm context of preparing yourself for the next shot. Just curious which one it is.

 
At June 29, 2009 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne,

Please tell us about the amount of air each rifle (ie. 200 Bar etc) had when you started your testing.

Thank you,

Jeff in Dallas

P.S. Have you by any chance examined the baffles on the Blizzard. A buyer had complained about the pellets hitting them on the Pyramid web site.

 
At June 29, 2009 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the Shooting rest work for springers or just Precharged guns ?

 
At June 29, 2009 10:58 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

Jeff,

Are you speaking of the shot strings that I posted in past comments?

Anyway,
The ,22 cal Evanix Blizzard, I fill to 3,000 plus.. (210-220 bar).. and I have seen no "valvelock".. just a steady lower fps from about 1,100fps down to about 950fps in 20-30 shots with 18gr JSB..

The .177 cal. Marauder, I fill to 2,500 lbs (170 bar).. It valvelocks a little when I go over that.. 2,800 is good too, but then the peak fps is about on the 10th shot.. and I can get 70-80 pretty good shots.. 50 real good shots..

My Air Arms s410 FAC sidelever I fill to 3,000 and it has no valvelock.. I get up to 130 shots on a tank at 750fps on medium power. and 70-80 shots on full power.. (1041fps with 10.2 JSB)

Hope that helps ya..

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At June 29, 2009 11:15 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

Jeff,

On the Blizzard shroud.. I haven't looked at it.. I don't take the air guns apart other than trigger adjustments.. and easy repairs.. Vince does that if they need it..

And NO.. no problems with the pellets hitting the shroud.. or the accuracy would be effected, wouldn't it? She be shooting very accurate!!
I actually used it to practice knocking down field targets on the weekend.. AND I did just as well as the best FT guns I've got!!! I knocked down the 50 yard 1" kill zone 3 times in a row!! sitting in the FT position..

So I would say the shroud is fine..

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At June 29, 2009 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne,

I appreciate your observations and your tests.

The same goes for our grandmaster aka. B.B.

Best regards,

Jeff in Dallas

 
At June 29, 2009 11:41 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

Did anyone catch the show yesterday? B.B. will there be a video link to watch online as much of the county does not have that channel.

 
At June 29, 2009 11:46 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Anonymous,

Re: Does the Shooting rest work for springers or just Precharged guns?

In my limited experience, a shooting rest works best for pcp's. You can use a rest for springers BUT don't rest any part of the gun on the rest or accuracy will suffer. Use the rest for the back of your hand and use your palm for resting the gun where it likes to be held. I've also had some luck in resting springers on an oversize computer mouse pad. The mouse pad seems to minimize the friction on the gun and comes close to the "artillery hold" that B.B. has described so well in so many places in this blog. Use the search function and type in "artillery hold" for details.

kevin

 
At June 29, 2009 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vince,

How interesting. I've been missing my IZH 61 for the repeater function. Shooting with single-shot guns seems so slow and laborious. Perhaps the difference is in putting together more of a shot string rather than time elapsed.

Matt61

 
At June 29, 2009 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB, AR and all
Spent a good part of the weekend looking
at light stuff:)on the net.Most are
rated for 10 hrs. or less CRT,so I'm
a little skeptical about the Sportsman
XTREME claim of 100 hrs.but I'll wait
and see what AR tinkerer reports:)
I'm a flashlight fanatic too.

We also have indoor watch cats,a couple
are silent but 2 are very verbal about
trespassers on their turf, the tom most
of all.

I forget how many of the Cat Who books
there are by Lillian Jackson Braun(sp?)
but my mother who went blind after
retirement has several of these books
on tape.She really loves Coco and thinks
Quill is hilarious.There are 2 or 3
readers of these books on tape but
her favorite is George Guidall.He really makes the characters come alive.

On the subject of repeaters,I find
myself using the single shot tray on
the 953 about half the time.Never stopped to think about why I do.

I missed the first episode of the show
due to Charter changing their package
line up.Now I gotta get a different
package that includes Sportsman's
Channel.There are at least three show's
that I kept up with on a semi-regular
basis.Oh well,it's always something to
fix or change doncha know.

JTinAL

 
At June 29, 2009 2:04 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Everyone,

The show is on today at 3:00 p.m., eastern.

We also picked up an extra day a week. Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Then Saturday July 4 at 8:30 a.m. and Sunday July 5 at 2 a.m.

B.B.

 
At June 29, 2009 2:15 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

BB,
The PCP's are coming over the gunwales:).

I'm with you on the single shot thing -- shotguns excepted:). Unless you're doing some sort of tactical play-soldiering or cowboy action shooting, each shot should be "it":).

Is that your rest? I have used one like that, but found sandbags (literally) or shot bags easier to use in practice, maybe just because they fit my personality better:). Do you just use it for PCP's?

Finally, please don't take this the wrong way, but when I first saw the top photo this morning, I thought "borg"...more a function of switching context than any actual resemblance...plus I hardly ever see any shooters here without the regulation redneck cap:).

 
At June 29, 2009 2:33 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

BG_Farmer,

Yes, and I didn't have any safety glasses, either! Of course that was just a posed shot, as I don't normally leave my camera downrange, but still!

I shot a .43 Spanish rolling block off that rest a week ago and it worked fine. I think just keep a hand under the springers.

B.B.

 
At June 29, 2009 3:04 PM, Blogger woguph said...

I also like single shots. I like the rhythm of a break barrel. I find that I shoot too fast with a magazine fed PCP. If I don't shoot to the end of the magazine, I forget how many more shots I have left. There is more contemplation time with a springer and that relaxes me.

Good luck with the show. I wish more of us could see it but we are not your target audience anyway.

David Enoch

 
At June 29, 2009 3:13 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

David,

I guess you summed it up for me. The slow pace allows for reflection, which adds to my fun. With single shots I really try to make each one count.

B.B.

 
At June 29, 2009 3:33 PM, Blogger Fused said...

Now that makes sense! Thanks, and I think I would enjoy the single shot rhythm for target shooting. Seems like for hunting the repeater would be useful for follow up shots for those of us that can't hit a gnat's behind from 50 yds.

 
At June 29, 2009 3:36 PM, Blogger woguph said...

B.B.,
I would like to see reviews of the new Browning and RSW break barrel pistols when you have time. You could have done them and I just missed them but I don't think so. Currently, my favorite airgun pistol is the BSA Scorpion.

Thanks,

David Enoch

 
At June 29, 2009 3:47 PM, Blogger Kiwi90 said...

A bit off topic,

I placed an order with Pyramyd Air last night, and at approximately 4:15 pm today they informed me that one item, the Leapers scope rings, were out of stock. By 4:45, I had called back, and replaced them with the Air Force medium rings.

The point is, the customer service was phenominal, and the website allowed me to quickly get my order changed and ready to go. I wouldn't shop anywhere else for air gun products.

/end off topic

Jake

 
At June 29, 2009 4:01 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

David,

I have at least the Browning on order. Maybe both pistols. I should receive them soon.

B.B.

 
At June 29, 2009 4:03 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Jake,

No need to be formal here. You can talk about anything and nobody will jump you (I hope!).

Welcome to the blog and I'm glad your experience was good.

B.B.

 
At June 29, 2009 4:11 PM, Blogger Fused said...

A note on customer service. They are helpful. Be careful using PayPal to pay though because you cannot make a change to your order. You have to cancel the order all together and place a new one.

I do have a gripe though. I ordered a box of pellets along with some other stuff. The pellet box was placed loose in the box and there were pellets everywhere when I opened it! I thought they were aware of packing pellets because of their advertised pellet packs, but they need to be more careful with the individual boxes.

 
At June 29, 2009 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hm, you all are missing the joys of the rapid and accurate shot string. David Tubb sayeth that the key to rapid fire is cadence.

Anyway, more wisdom from Tubb. He says that in choosing scopes, you want maximum transmission of light. Not only does this apply to the objective which we know about but also to what he calls the "exit pupil" which measures how much light gets to your eye. He claims that the maximum your eye can handle which is the ideal is a 5mm exit pupil. For a 50mm scope, anything less than 10X gives you more than 5mm which is more than your eye can handle. 20X gives you a 2.5mm exit pupil which is much less than your eye can use. The ideal would be somewhere in between but this is just one among many considerations for the scope. Needless to say, he goes for very high end scopes.

I also got Nancy Tompkins' book on 1000 yard shooting. She's apparently a big star and her book is heavily back-ordered. She is much friendlier and down-to-earth and less like the Terminator than Tubb (at least his narrative voice). However, there's no getting away from the stunning level of detail at the top level. These two, who you might consider to be at the top of the shooting sports, are at the other end of the universe from the gun-owners portrayed in the media. They sound more like martial arts masters or scientists.

Matt61

 
At June 29, 2009 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too like the 'introspection' a single shot offers. It gives time to take a couple of deep breaths and prepare for the next shot.
Unless I'm shooting the boys PPK/S...then bam,bam,bam (or, more realistically pfhht,pfhht,pfhht ;-)
CowBoyStar Dad

 
At June 29, 2009 7:29 PM, Anonymous The Trout Underground said...

Interesting review. The noise thing has me leaning towards the Marauder, though it is gratifying to see all the new low-end PCPs (which I've avoided until now because of the scuba tank hassles).

It's a personal thing, but I like the repeater option. I've been shooting a .22 rimfire with a couple friends, and the highlight have been our admittedly faux-tactical competitions (emphasis on fun, with some odd stages).

Time is a factor - just like wind, range estimation and other elements - and the prospect of shooting something similar is interesting to me.

 
At June 29, 2009 7:31 PM, Anonymous Dallas said...

Hi BB

Any plans on a review for Gamo's Extreme Co2?
They are selling for between $650 and $800 here in Australia and i'm reluctant to part with that much cash without learning all I can about it.

Cheers
Dallas

 
At June 29, 2009 10:16 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

Matt,

Tubb's point is correct in terms of efficiency, but maximum light gathering as limited by pupil dilation isn't always the point of objective diameter and magnification specifications. For example, the higher magnifications make it easier to resolve detail in exchange for a dimmer image, whereas lower magnification give a brighter image with less critical eye positioning. Likewise, the larger objective almost always implies a shorter f/ratio and therefore shorter depth of field, making rangefinding more exact, along with significantly higher resolution of details. Conversely, a smaller objective will have a shorter focal length resulting in the same f/ratio in a shorter tube than the larger objective or a longer f/ratio for the same tube length resulting in a larger depth of focus. There's also the issue of field of view, which is likewise dependent on several variable.

For example, I like the idea of a compact 3x24 (or 4x32) scope for hunting, but not ideal for targets, whereas FT shooters like large diameter objectives and high magnifications for bright, sharp images and precise range estimation. On the other hand, for shooting paper targets at fixed ranges, 36x40 is quite usable, giving a large easily resolved image for precise aiming and enough brightness on a well-lighted, high-contrast target.

 
At June 29, 2009 10:19 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Humm... Pneuma or Murauder?

Good thing funding is still a year out. Otherwise it might be a difficult choice. Love the quiet of the Murauder... but hitting the target is the main objective.

Well there is still time to study.

For now I have to be happy with my Disco shooting Kodiak Heavies. Not bad really.

DB

 
At June 29, 2009 10:51 PM, Anonymous DB said...

About Fridays blog (just read it today). I have zero fear of dogs.

A buddy of mine had a by his description a really mean dog. He warnded me it might bit and to keep my distance.

It was on a chain so I stared it down. At first it went wild and barked and growled. Then is finally hunkered down and peed. My buddy was ashamed of his breast.

Dogs know instinctively when they have met a bigger dog. Almost all humans have the potential to be a bigger dog.

Cats on the other hand can not be stared down.

 
At June 29, 2009 11:46 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

DB,

You won't be giving up accuracy with the Marauder... the one I've got shoots as good a group as any of my "Best" FT guns..
The only thing that holds it back from being as good as the AAs410 is the lack of easy adjustable power and a smooth easy side lever.. and the fit and finish is not as good..

but... These are really small points.. and... accuracy IS just as good..
So the $500 extra for the AAs410 is pretty hard to justify.. If the Marauder holds up to use as well as my AAs410 that now has over 20,000 shots on it!!

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At June 30, 2009 12:00 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

DR. G.

Congrats on the Crossman 600 pistol!!

Great deal with the long barrel and bulk fill adapter..

Your gonna love it!

you going rat hunting too?

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At June 30, 2009 5:45 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Dallas,

Is tomorrow soon enough?

B.B.

 
At July 07, 2009 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Finland I have a Hatsan AT44-10 5.5mm which is the same as the Air Venturi mag fed version. Very nice, quite powerfull. Quiet when fitted with a Weihrauch silencer (here in Finland 100% legal). Without it is quite a noisemaker.

A secret that B.B. might want to follow with Air Venturi and Hammerli Pneuma is the fact tha Hatsan AT44 and AT44-10 DO have a power adjustment. The hammer has a screw and spring inside it and they can be adjusted. The action must be removed from the action first ! I have not done it but some people here already have. One can tune it down. In factory setting the rifle is maxed out so more power is not available but less can be had.

And yes, you lose your warranty if you tamper with the rifle but we all knew that already, right :-)

 
At July 07, 2009 2:39 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Finland,

Thanks for that info! I did not know about the power adjustment screw, so thanks for that, as well.

B.B.

 
At July 20, 2009 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What hand pump works for the hammerli pneuma

 
At July 21, 2009 5:52 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

All hand pumps will work, but they need the right connections to fit the rifle. Pyramyd Air will help you with that.

B.B.

 

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