U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- While I’m big-time into airguns, I never have gotten into the large-caliber airguns. Sure, I’ve shot a couple at the Media Day at The Range at the SHOT Show but that was it. Recently the Umarex Director of Marketing, Justin Biddle said I ought to try out their Umarex 50 cal. Hammer. I said something to Bill Olson, the publisher of Texas Outdoor Journal and before I knew it, he had an axis deer and hog hunt lined up with Adventures Missions and Retreats Properties in Texas.
Bill scrambled to get the hunt together and since it gelled so fast I had Justin & Halea send the rifle to Bill in Texas, so I didn’t have time to work with it beforehand. I soon touched down in San Antonio, Bill grabbed me and we headed to one of the ranches of Adventures Missions and Retreats in Menard. We were greeted by Robert Shipman and Scott Huggins. We told them the first thing we had to do was to unpackage the Umarex 50 cal. Hammer and sight it in. Robert said you’re in good luck, we have a range right by our lodge.
Like I said, I had shot one or two large-caliber airguns but didn’t really have any experience with them so I wanted to get familiar with the Umarex Hammer before hunting with it. We mounted on the scope, adjusted for eye relief, and tightened it down.
We then charged it with the Air Venturi Nomad II air compressor. We’d filled a large air canister in San Antonio when I landed but wanted to save that for when we were out hunting. I love the Air Venturi Nomad II. You can hook them up to the battery on your truck or use a 110 outlet. We filled the Hammer to 4,500 psi and set up a target at 20 yds. to get it on paper.
The pellets we were going to be using were the Umarex 350 gr. hollow point. That is a big hunk of lead. The Umarex Hammer comes with two unique and yet user-friendly 2-shot magazines. To load, you slide two pellets into the magazine and slightly pull the bolt back and slide the magazine in, while at the same time pushing forward on the magazine release lever. The magazine snaps into place. Push the bolt forward and you’re good to go.
We got the rifle on paper and then move the target to 50 yds. and dialed it in. (The trigger is a little rough). The pellets definitely hit with some authority. Even though the Hammer regulates how much air it expels for each shot so it is accurate, after 3- shots you’ll want to re-charge the tank. That’s not to say that you can’t get more shots if you have something down wounded, they just won’t be as powerful and have as good of penetration as the first three shots. You’ll want to carry an air tank or Air Venturi Nomad II while hunting.
How does it perform? We were spotting/stalking axis deer and got within 20 feet of a sleeping boar hog. He jumped up and took off and I hit him right away with a Umarex .50 cal. 350 gr. pellet. It flattened him but in the blink of an eye he jumped up and the guide shouted he’s charging. He came down the brush-covered slope at a full-blown out charge.
I rapidly jacked the bolt and threw up the rifle. It was thick brush and I only had one shot so I waited for a shot until he would hit the clearing, 10 feet away. When he got 10-15 feet away he went down. I don’t know if he stumbled or what but I shot him again right fast and he was down for the count. I later shot an axis deer and it only ran 35 yds. I was impressed with the deadly force of the Umarex Hammer and enjoyed hunting with it.
The MSRP on the Umarex Hammer is $849.99 and we will close with a ballistic chart and specs.
Umarex Hammer Ballistics Data: Speed and Energy Generation (Grain, Material, FPS, Energy)
- 200, Lead, 1055, 495
- 250, Lead, 1000, 555
- 275, Lead, 945, 545
- 300, Lead, 930, 576
- 330, Lead (Lyman), 935, 641
- 350, Lead (Lyman), 875, 595
- 550, Lead, 790, 705
The Hammer employs a three-step safety system that includes a manual trigger safety, hammer-block, and a magazine lockout that prevents the gun from being fired without the magazine inserted.
Each stock includes a rear sling stud and three M-LOK slots in the forearm for adding accessories. The Magpul AR grip contours to the hand, and can be switched out for other AR grips. When choosing your optics you will have a lot of options with the long 8.5” Weaver/Picatinny rail that rests right above its fully-moderated barrel. This barrel is reported to be able to put its first three shots within an inch at 50 yards!
Features & Specifications Overview
- Built in the USA
- Made to be a big game hunting air rifle
- Places 3 rounds of 350 grain lead slugs touching at 50 yards
- Straight-pull bolt with 2 lb. cocking effort and short, smooth travel
- Delivers 3 full-power & 2 sufficient follow-up shots when filled with air to capacity
- Patent-pending Lightspeed valve
- 24 cubic inch carbon fiber tank holds 4,500 psi compressed air
- Regulated to 3,000 psi per shot
- Utilizes Quick Disconnect Foster fitting for filling
- Standard Magpul AR grip
- Picatinny Rail 8.5-inch in length with 20 slots
- Modern stock design
- Three slots incorporated in the forearm for M-LOK attachments
- 43.75-inch overall length
- 8.5 pound overall weight unloaded without scope
- 29.5-inch barrel length with full length composite shroud
- 6 lb. trigger weight
- Three safeties: magazine lock-out, trigger block, field safety
- SCOPE NOT INCLUDED
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”