Top Value Guns

Tim Fin­ley tests the new Ham­merli Seeker 800, which comes com­plete with En­field scope and mounts

Airgun World - - Contents -

There are many starter ri­fles out there for the new shooter. Armex came up with the Seeker kit some years ago, and this is the lat­est edi­tion. It’s a break­bar­relled, spring-pow­ered air ri­fle, made in China for Ham­merli and is based on their 800 model. Break-bar­rel, spring ri­fles are per­fect for new shoot­ers to learn the ba­sics and this newer Seeker kit comes com­plete with an En­field scope and mounts.

The .22 cal­i­bre blued steel bar­rel on the Ham­merli 800 is 15.5mm in di­am­e­ter, with the end of the bar­rel threaded ½” UNF male, a ma­jor step for­ward over the old Seeker which had an adapter that slipped over the end of the bar­rel to be held with a sin­gle, small Allen stud. I love this up­grade be­cause you can now fit ei­ther a muz­zle brake or a short mod­er­a­tor – I tried both and pre­ferred a muz­zle brake. If you don’t want to fit ei­ther, I would get hold of a thread pro­tec­tor, which are read­ily avail­able. The breech has a black ‘O’ ring to seal it, and a ball-bear­ing de­tent catch. The lock-up is good with very lit­tle move­ment of the bar­rel in the jaws.

I ran the ri­fle over the chrono­graph, and with 14.3grain RWS Su­per­domes it gave 592 fps, which equates to 11.3 ft. lbs. This was with the mod­er­a­tor off ini­tially.

The scope rail is 11.5mm wide, and a full 127mm long, so there’s plenty of room to fit most scopes. It also has a fac­tory-fit­ted scope ar­restor plate over the back of the rail, and I know from ex­pe­ri­ence that a break-bar­rel, spring­pow­ered, re­coil­ing air ri­fle of­ten needs a sys­tem to ar­rest the move­ment of the scope back­wards on the rail. This re­coil stop will def­i­nitely earn its keep.

SAFETY

On test­ing the ri­fle’s trig­ger pull and over­all op­er­a­tion, I found it was ex­cep­tion­ally good for a ri­fle in such a price bracket. With my elec­tronic trig­ger gauge, the pull weight was only 1.17kg, which be­lieve you me, is light for a spring ri­fle. The safety catch is a black plas­tic, pop-out rod in the cen­tre of the end cap, which comes out au­to­mat­i­cally on cock­ing, to re­veal an ‘S’ on each side of the rod. Press it in to set to ‘fire’, or if you are not ready, you can get hold of the rod and man­u­ally pull it back out to set to ‘safe’, and it can then be pressed back in when you are ready to shoot, of course.

The only small safety is­sue I found was that the ri­fle does not have an anti-bear trap de­vice, so, as ever, keep hold of the bar­rel at all times when load­ing and cock­ing. They very clev­erly in­clude a bright yel­low tag, held in the closed breech, which de­tails how to cock and load the gun; a re­spon­si­ble touch for any man­u­fac­turer. I ac­tu­ally like to be able to de-cock the ri­fle my­self if I need to, and never shoot any spring ri­fle with­out a pel­let in the bar­rel be­cause that can dam­age the pis­ton head.

SCOPE

The kit come with an En­field scope, 3 x 9 mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, that

“length of pull is long enough for an adult shooter, al­though the cheek piece could be a lit­tle higher”

has a 40mm fixed ob­jec­tive lens and a 30/30 ret­i­cle. The im­age is bright and clear, and the ad­justers have ¼-inch click val­ues at 100 yards, via coin-slot windage and el­e­va­tion ad­just­ment tur­rets. All in all the scope is spot on for a new shooter be­cause they can wind the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion right down to 3x and lower mag­ni­fi­ca­tion is al­ways handy when you’re start­ing out in this sport and your hold is on the ‘wob­bly’ side of steady.

The plain wooden stock is am­bidex­trous and there are pressed-in grip pan­els on ei­ther side of the pis­tol grip and fore end, which has a curved pro­file end, and the rear stock has a rub­ber butt pad. I found the stock com­fort­able. The length of pull is long enough for an adult shooter, al­though the cheek piece could be a lit­tle higher be­cause the gun is made for op­ti­cal sight use. It’s nicely fin­ished, too. The bar­rel is not too long and the 800 han­dles well. From the clas­sic, field tar­get sit­ting po­si­tion it shot a 25.8mm, five-shot group with the .22 RWS Su­per­domes at 30m. The trig­ger is light for a springer – even with a bit of sear creep it is still very pre­dictable in use.

For air­gun­ners on a bud­get of less than £200, you get a ri­fle, scope and mounts, plus the bar­rel is al­ready threaded for a mod­er­a­tor or muz­zle brake, and that’s real value for money in my book.

Thanks to Della and all at Armex Ltd for all their help in the pro­duc­tion of this ar­ti­cle. I

Above: Good bal­ance, full power and com­mend­able ac­cu­racy come as stan­dard with the Seeker.

Be­low: The Seeker is a heck of an out­fit for £180!

Be­low: The sup­plied 3-9 x 40 scope has click-stop ad­justers. Be­low: The safety catch is per­fectly po­si­tioned at the rear of the ac­tion end block.

Be­low: Not the most ‘grippy’ grip in the world but it does the job. Be­low: The Seeker’s scope won’t shift, thanks to that re­coil-ar­restor plate.

Be­low Left: Var­i­ous muz­zle-tip op­tions. Be­low Right: It was good to find a two-stage ad­justable trig­ger.

Above: The Seeker’s sprung-ball de­tent pro­vides se­cure and con­sis­tent bar­rel lock-up.

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