by B.B. Pelletier


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

Part 1

Today I test velocity on this .177 Hammerli Pneuma. As I mentioned in Part 1, Hammerli advertises a velocity of 1,200 f.p.s. for this rifle, so I tested it with heavy pellets to start with, because velocities above 1,000 f.p.s. aren’t usually accurate. With power like that, the Pneuma will be a good hunting rifle.

Although I tested a .177, I would recommend getting the Pneuma in .22 because of the power potential. However there are those who favor .177 even in a hunting rifle and if that is the case, this might be the rifle for them. I’ve read a lot of good reports about the gun and nothing bad so far.

The Pneuma is a single-shot bolt action rifle, but the bolt is operated by a sidelever. This sidelever is quite smooth and easy to cock. I think everyone will like its behavior. The pellets simple drop into the loading trough and align perfectly with the breech. No screw holes get in the way of easy loading.

Adjustments
The trigger is two-stage and adjustable for both the length of the first stage pull and the letoff weight. To adjust the letoff weight, the triggerguard has to be removed. I adjusted the trigger and got the first stage pull where I wanted it, but no amount of turning that pull-weight screw did anything. The letoff remained around 4.5 pounds. The safety is automatic and must be pushed in before firing every time. The buttpad is also adjustable, which is an extra nice touch on what is essentially a budget PCP.

First fill
For the first fill I went up to 3,000 psi, which is an overfill, according to the manual. Hammerli says to stop at 200 bar, which is 2900 psi and I found that advice to be correct. The onboard manometer, however, reads 170 bar when a more reliable gauge says there is 200 bar inside. So go by your vetted and trusted fill gauge.

Beeman Kodiaks
Beeman Kodiaks were the first pellet I tried. Since I went to 3,000 psiu (206 bar) I will list all the velocities recorded from that fill.

Shot Velocity
1 954
2 961
3 965
4 970
5 975
6 976
7 981
8 987
9 986
10 984
11 997
12 995
13 996
14 —
15 992
16 988
17 988
18 1007
19 996
20 997
21 994
22 997
23 1001
24 997
25 986
26 991
27 1000
28 988
29 989
30 984
31 994
32 979
33 974
34 972
35 971
36 969
37 959

Analyzing the shot string
If you have been a reader for a few months, I expect you can analyze this shot string and determine what is happening. Clearly the gun was valve-locked for the first few shots. That’s attributed to the overfill I mentioned. So on the second fill I stopped at exactly 200 bar.

The useful shots in this string are debatable, as always, but I would select the first shot at 987, which is the 8th in the string. The last useful shot for me would be shot number 31, which went 994 f.p.s. So my useful shot string would have 24 shots in it (shot 8 to shot 32). That is a LOT of shots when you consider how powerful this rifle is.

My selected string ranges from a low of 984 f.p.s. to a high of 1007 f.p.s.–for a total spread of 23 f.p.s. The average velocity in my selected string is 993 f.p.s., which works out to a muzzle energy of 23.21 foot-pounds. I would expect 26 foot-pounds and more in .22.

Only 46 pump strokes were required to bring the rifle back to 200 bar after this shooting. That works out to about two strokes per shot. give or take.

RWS Superdomes
RWSSuperdomes were another surprise, in that they gave far fewer useful shots on a fill Once again, I will show you the numbers.

Shot Velocity
1 1051
2 1060
3 1066
4 1061
5 1053
6 1073
7 1057
8 1060
9 1060
10 1067
11 1063
12 1055
13 1044
14 1040
15 1044
16 1032
17 1029

Surprising, no? I was just as surprised, so I ran a second test, again filling to 200 bar. This time it only took 29 pump strokes to fill because the reservoir had only dropped to 150 bar. That indicates the lighter Superdome pellet is not working as efficiently as the heavy Kodiaks with the Pneuma valve.

Second string:

Shot Velocity
1 1037
2 1060
3 1057
4 1063
5 1062
6 ——
7 1060
8 1060
9 1051
10 1056
11 1055
12 1051
13 ——
14 1045
15 1027
16 1021
17 1023

The second string is even slower but close enough that we can tell the first strong wasn’t a fluke. Just to see how close the advertised velocity is, I then refilled to 200 bar and fired 10 Gamo Raptors. The high was 1195, the low 1138 and the average 1174 f.p.s. So the velocity claim stands firm.

Conclusions?
The Pneuma is set up for power, so use the heavier pellets for maximum performance and accuracy.

From what I hear, the rifle is very accurate, so the next test will tell. If it is, this is another good entry-level PCP in a growing number that offer choices to shooters for the first time.