About a week ago I saw that AirgunDepot had refurb .177 cal Hammerli 850 Air Magnums on sale for $159 so I grabbed one. I've wanted one of these for quite some time and figured I couldn't pass this up. I ordered the rifle knowing that sometimes buying a refurb is a "throw of the dice" as far as quality but I figured "what the heck, I can always send it back within the 30 days" so I ordered. Well, the rifle arrived earlier this afternoon and all I can say is I am one super happy camper !!
The rifle was well packed and double boxed and the boxes were in great shape,, so far so good. I opened the cartons and removed the rifle for inspection. Other than the little "R" stamped on the the stock the rifle looked absolutely brand new with no damage of any kind to it, not even the tiniest little scratch or mar. The bluing on the entire rifle is absolutely beautiful. A nice deep dark blue color to it that is uniform and consistent on the entire rifle. The stock is very nice quality and the fit and finish is excellent. The front part of the stock, the part that pulls off so you can install an 88 gram C02 cartridge, snaps smartly and securely into the stock and has no movement or play in it. I was really impressed with the rifle so far, now to see how it functions.
I ran a patch through the barrel expecting to find the patch covered with some kind of black, cruddy mystery goo, but to my surprise the barrel was already squeeky clean. I screwed in an 88 gram C02 tank, loaded the 2 magazines with RWS superdomes, grabbed my chronograph and headed out into the backyard range to see what she could do.
I'm not real big on open sights due to the fact that I have to wear glasses all the time, but the open sights on the 850 were bright enough and large enough that I actually found them fairly comfortable to use. Someone with "normal" eye sight would find these open sights a pleasure to use. I put up a target, back up 15 yards, aimed at the orange dot on my target and squeezed the trigger. The gun fired, the pellet struck just below the bullseye and the chronograph indicated 740 fps. I chambered another superdome, took aim and fired again. the pellet struck right next to the first hole, almost touching it and the chrony indicated 735 fps. I proceeded to fire all 16 shots from both magazines and with the open sights I shot a quarter sized group and the chrony gave me an average of 730 for the 16 shots. I checked the outside thermometer on my deck and it was reading 62 degrees. Looking at the target just made the smile on my face get wider and wider
Now that I knew the rifle didn't leak, operated properly and shot real nice it was time to slap a scope on her and really see what she and I could do together. I retreated to the basement workshop and proceeded to install a Tasco 3x9x32 AO Golden Antler scope on her using an Accushot 1 piece mount.
It only took 5 minutes to slap the scope on her and this done I headed back out to the backyard range where I set up a new target and sat down at my shooting bench which was 25 yards from target. I also set up the chrony in front of the bench so I could continue to monitor the fps readings.
The first shot from the bench sent the superdome almost dead center bullseye, I was amazed. The second shot went almost right into the same hole. Long story short, I fired 16 shots from the 2 magazines and shot a group in the bullseye the size of a penny. The average from the chrony for the 16 shots was 719 with an average deviation of only 10 fps. The temperature was cooler where my shooting bench is since it's completely in the shade so I expected the fps to be a bit lower than the sunny spot I was shooting from initially at 15 yards with open sights. I checked the temperature at my shooting bench with my digital outside thermometer and it was 57 degrees as opposed to the 62 degrees from earlier. I was going to shoot some more but the sun was going down and I wanted to take some pics of the rifle and the target so I could post my review so I ended my shooting session.
I should also add that during my shooting session the safety worked very easily and just as it's supposed to. The bolt functioned easily, smoothly and loaded pellet after pellet quickly and smoothly. The magazines themselves are a breeze to load and cycled smoothly in the bolt mechanism. The noise level of the rifle is in my opinion a little bit loud for backyard shooting, but I'm not concerned over that as my neighbors don't have a problem with my backyard air gun range and besides, I plan on ordering some "extras" for the rifle anyway
I will end this review by saying that I am truly impressed with this rifle, especially the accuracy. I have no doubt I'll shrink my groups even smaller once I adjust the trigger a bit, although right from the box I have to say the trigger on the rifle is really very nice. The trigger is smooth, pulls nicely and breaks very cleanly. I could very easily leave it right where it's set now and be very happy, but I'll probably lighten it up just a "tad".
I also want to add that my purchase through airgundepot couldn't have gone smoother. They shipped the rifle within 2 days, kept me up to date with shipping and tracking information links and did a great job of packing and shipping it.
Ok, that's it, here's some pics so I can show off my new shooter