This gun has been used only twice. I’m only selling as I’ve decided to take up Spearfishing instead of shooting. Before buying I did some digging and from what I could tell, this seemed to be the best quality gun for this price range, and that has the maximum legal power that does not need a licence.

The Hammerli Hunter Force 900 Combo. As the name suggests, this airgun comes bundled with a Hammerli-branded 6x42AO scope and some 2-piece mounts.

The rifle is obviously very ruggedly built and although the metalwork lacks the lustre of a top-end model in finish, it’s certainly more than acceptable. It manages to have an overall stylish look that will appeal to many, and after testing it, you can be assured this isn’t just a cheap ‘n’ cheerful slug gun.

Just right

The first feature of surprise on the hardwood stock is that it’s a dedicated right-hander, which is not common these days, as most air rifles have ambidextrous woodwork. A closer look shows a low-to-medium-height, right-hand cheekpiece, plus a black rubber butt pad. Indeed, the cheekpiece is quite dimensionally substantial and feels very comfortable against the side of the face when shooting with opens or when scoped up.

The pistol grip has a reassuring palm swell and feels good in the hold, especially when you factor in the well-rounded neck. The substantial forend is quite lengthy, with a slow upwards taper to where it meets a tip that is angled forward. The fine, well-cut chequering is seen as two generous panels on either side of the grip and along both sides of the forend. The woodwork is treated to a dark brown stain and has a frugal application of hunter-friendly matte lacquer finish to protect the stock from the elements.

Overall, this is definitely an adult-sized rifle, but the length of the stock is in proportion to the metalwork, so it’s spot on in relation to giving good balance and handling.


The rifle has a pair of good-quality open sights. As seems to be the way these days, they incorporate fibre optics to enhance the sight picture. The hooded front sight has a raised red fibre optic bar, while the adjustable rear sight uses two separate green bars to flank the sight notch. Also, because the distance between the front and the rear sight is quite long, the shooter is able to attain better accuracy when using them. Out to 12 yards, they are easily capable of producing sub ½” groups. Considering the price of this rifle, this level of performance is quite something, and in terms of accuracy, it is up there with some of the best mech-action airguns.

Interestingly, although the scope sits low on the action when fitted, the front sight hood doesn’t obstruct the sight picture, even when you parallax down to 10 yards. Also, the rifle not only has a lengthy run of well-cut dovetails but is also fitted with a removable arrestor strap.

Nice glass


The scope’s AO operates positively and very smoothly, plus has sensible range markings and cover-capped, coin-adjustable turrets. It also has what is known as a ‘German type reticle’. Many moons ago, there were quite a few scopes on the market with this reticle and it’s a perfectly usable one for general airgun work. In fact, the scope is surprisingly good quality and despite the relatively low, fixed magnification, it’s a very useful and thoughtful accompaniment to the rifle.

Down below

An under-lever is used to cock the rifle and it is held beneath the fixed barrel by a sprung ball bearing in the under-lever housing. It works well at keeping it secure and the cocking stroke is far smoother and easier than you’d expect on a rifle at this price point. The ease at which you can cock the Hammerli is very much due to the length of the lever, which combined with the articulated cocking linkage, gives you a long but easy journey until the anti-beartrap engages. Upon drawing back to cock the gun, the breech cover automatically retracts, giving access to the barrel for direct loading. It’s generously sized, making loading easy.

Once open, the lever obviously locks back in the open position and is held securely by an anti-beartrap mechanism. Before detailing how this is disengaged, it’s worth noting where the barrel protrudes into the breech opening. Here, you can clearly see the fixed tube is strengthened by a conical collar. This further allows the barrel to be easily loaded, even with gloved or cold fingers.

As for returning the under-lever, first, you need to pull back the small metal tab that’s found behind the main trigger blade. An unusual position, but a design that shows itself to be very practical during use. Once this is disengaged, the barrel returns to the closed position very easily and is held as securely as before thanks to the lever retaining mechanism detailed earlier.

Trigger & safety

The 2-stage trigger and automatic safety are a familiar setup. That being the safety lever is set in front of the main trigger, within the metal trigger guard. On cocking the rifle, the auto-safety obviously engages but can be reset at any time. To put the rifle into live fire mode, you need to pull the front safety lever rearward. Usually, you push the safety forward to disengage it on a system like this, but Hammerli/Umarex have decided on their own method. In use, this proves to be a very safe and neat setup and one you wouldn’t expect on a rifle at this price point. This alone elevates the rifle way above many of its rivals.


The rifle produces minimal recoil on firing and the muzzle report is acceptable, putting it on the same level as most others of this ilk. It’s here you wonder why the butt pad is so heavily ventilated and question the need for a scope arrestor strap. However, it shows due diligence, and the pad really does help the rifle sit snugly in the shoulder, while the arrestor strap can be used to maintain a set zero if swapping scopes with mounts already attached. Talking of optics, when scoped up, the rifle really begins to shine. Shooting from a rest, the Hammerli is capable of producing sub-1” groups right out to 40 yards.


The Hammerli Hunter Force 900 Combo is the type of rifle many learned their trade on, that being a no-nonsense, traditionally-styled springer sporter. In use, it balances and handles well, even when scoped up, but it is a rifle that is more suited to adult shooters. However, having said that, it’s a rifle that you can cut your teeth on when it comes to plinking and hunting.

There are a hell of a lot of rifle/scope combos on the market but often the scope lets the rifle down. However, the optic in this package is surprisingly good quality. As it has the ‘Hunter’ designation in the name, I’m sure many would have hoped for something like a 3-9×40 scope, but shooters of a certain age will remember that we did well enough when we first started with fixed magnification 6×42 optics.

It also must be said that the Hammerli Hunter Force 900 Combo illustrates that you don’t need the latest, all-singing, all-dancing airgun to take part and glean enjoyment from our sport. It’s an air rifle you enjoy shooting the more you use it and for those looking for an affordable, reliable and rugged workhorse, it’s a difficult one to ignore.

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