Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hammerli 850 AirMagnum - Part One

Hammerli 850 AirMagnum

I use it as a test bed for assorted sights...that is one funky stock to my eyes

CO2 has never been my first choice as a power system and polymer stocks don't really do it for me either. As I have said before, I am not a blow-up doll kind of guy. It need not be fancy in grain or species, but I do like the feel of real wood.

So then why would I order an 850 which combines both features that I don't care for?

I am intrigued by the number of shots the 88 gram Crosman Air Source is said to offer, and I am getting lazy in my old age. The 8-shot capacity magazine is also an attraction when compared to all my single-shot rifles. When I pull the trigger the RWS is new to the market and in short supply. Pyramyd Air is out, and having been fooled before by the ever-changing in-stock dates, I look elsewhere and grab one at Airguns of Arizona. When delivery takes a little longer than expected, I am happy to hear they are testing all the rifles first to make sure they hold CO2 before shipping, and the first one for my order was leaking. They also supply their usual Chrony results at no additional cost and throw in a box of .22 caliber Crosman Premiers because of the delay, which was only a week. Very nice touch. .

I do order the optional muzzle brake from PA along with some extra magazines. I pass on the overly expensive 12 gram cylinder adapter. Bulk fill is also an option for these.

This slips over the muzzle and is for looks only

At the time I am working less than two miles away from home and have learned to watch the UPS tracking information on line. As soon as it shows delivered, I hang a sign on the door and run to pick it up. I can't bring it into my workplace with me but I can get a good peak at it in the trunk.

I pass on this 12 gram CO2 adaptor for $99.00

The packaging is attractive with a retail quality and the RWS 850 is nestled in protective foam that makes me shiver when the rifle is removed.
Once home I find it is much louder than a comparable spring rifle with the same power. I attach the muzzle brake but this does not change the sound level.

The metal work is good, but the stock is a disappointment even for plastic. The feeling is hollow like a cheap drug store Easter Bunny. The slip-on cover over the CO2 cylinder does not inspire confidence as to its suspected long term serviceability. The overall stock shape itself is rather odd looking.

The Crosman Premier pellets work well, but the challenge is knowing when to discontinue shooting. I shoot one full cylinder over a Chrony just to decide on an ideal stopping point. I track the number of shots by noting the number of fresh magazines that go in. It is simplistic, but works well. I have four magazines that hold a total of 32 rounds. I can load that set of 32 five times. When I have 5 slashes it is time for a new Air Source container. 160 is far short of the advertised 250 shots. I guess they did not consider the shots should hit the point of aim.

Stay tuned for more...


  1. I never saw this one coming. I would make fun of you, but I have three plastic stocked guns of my own. (61,953,1377)

    I prefer wood stocks. Not only do they add a touch of individuality owing to the grain, but they feel cool (temp wise) in my hands. Very soothing.

    Numbers are almost always inflated, but a 90 shot differential is a gyp. I am going to assume you would know if there was a leak. What kind of shot count are other 850s getting?

  2. Volvo,
    Sounds like a rip-off to me, also. A QB78 or 79 can be had much more cheaply and there's a multi-shot adapter from someone, I believe, for those also. The 850 was the rage for a time, it seemed, on the YF, but possibly because it ran reasonably well on regulated HPA tanks?

    I've warmed to plastic stocks after a utilitarian Savage w/Tupperware proved a pleasant surprise, but that one sounds really flimsy.

  3. Slinging Lead,
    Technically you could probably get 250 shots, but I guess the key was they never said they would usable. Other reports varied widely at the time
    BG Farmer,
    I think you are correct in that most people converted them from the 88 gram cartridges. As far as the stock, I had one of the new Benjamin synthetic stocked NPS’s that I really liked, but the 850 was just sad. The concept was pretty much a flash in the pan.

  4. Volvo,
    Buddy Joe has an 850 and I got him a B&A paintball to airsource adapter. He can't use the fore end cover with the 9oz. PB tank, though he gets a bajillion shots before he needs a $2 fill from your favorite gun store. I think his gun is quite accurate, and really like the trigger but the automatic safety that resets after every single shot is a stupid design.

  5. You can "disable" the automatic part of the safety pretty easily, and still set it manually :) I agree, the auto-safety is annoying!

  6. Derrick38,
    If I ever try CO2 again, I agree the paintball tanks would seem the way to go. I actually picked one up already preparing for the inevitable.

    I was ok with safety, as all the HW’s have one and I don’t even realize I am taking it off, but that is probably not good.