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[Sticky] Hämmerli sidelever spring sporter air rifles


Garvin
(@garvin)
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Hämmerli sidelever spring sporter air rifles 

 

With thanks to Alistair for this information. 

 

The Model 4 had the underbarrel weight, and a micro-adjustable rearsight, while the Model 3 I have has a crudely adjustable notch. They are very similar to the 400 series, with the exception that the Model 4 barrel inserts above the centre-line of the compression chamber, while the 400 series has it centrally. The 400 series includes the 401 (micro-adjustable open sights), the 402 (no ironsights), the target version 403 and the 420 Military trainer.

They were sold with the underbarrel weight as target rifles, but can be used (at less than 30m) as sporting rifles, the power being about 8 ft/lbs.

They have very nice triggers, on a par with the Anschutz 335 and nearly as nice as the Weihrauch Rekord unit, although not as robust.

Recently the BBS yielded that some of these Model 4s (there was a Model 3 and a Model 10 which are nearly identicle) have trigger units which lack the sidelever safety anti-beartrap mechanism.

They are extremely sweet-shooting and extremely accurate, the trigger being very smooth and precises owing to its long levers, and also the barrels are some of the best ever fitted to a spring powered air-rifle. They are also some of the only recoilling tap-loaders that are actually MORE accurate than most of the top-quality break-barrels of the time.

The main weaknesses are the tiny allen-headed bolts holding the trigger unit on, which must be kept tight, but not so thight that they shear. If the trigger unit gets a little loose, the stamped steel sear will wear out. The side-leaver can start to bend near the hinge, so be gentle when cocking it and don't 'slam' it open. The strange ball-and-V-spring sidelever catch has worn out on my Model 3 and I am replacing it with a brass catch from Robert Dyas, like one would use on a small cupboard.

The mainsprings are still available from Chambers, although I heard that a HW77 spring will fit; this might get a little more power out of it. The mainspring is possibly the longest spring ever fitted to a rifle, at about 15" before fitting. The spring guides are very tight on the spring, and the rifle discharges very suddenly and without any twang.

Hammerli ought to have developed this rifle but must have decided to concentrate on pistols and firearms, and the design hevily influenced the Sussex Armoury Jackal range, the company which eventually became Air Arms.

Do a search on Hammerli, there is a bit of other info about.

Keep the rifle, they are nice shooters, simple and spares can be made up by any competent engineer. One thing to note is that they have wide 13mm scope grooves, which means you have to get some from an old Weihrauch or get some modified to fit.


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