A Hammerli .

22 For Under 400 Dollars

5/5/11 1:24 AM


Hunting / Shooting
A Hammerli .22 For Under $400!
By Dick Metcalf, Technical Editor, Shooting Times.



SIG may be calling its new Hammerli Trailside .22 LR auto pistol a “plinker,” and it may be priced like a “plinker,” but it shoots like a precision match-grade competition gun. here are few handgun shooters around the globe who would not agree that the name Hammerli of Switzerland has long been a world standard for excellence and accuracy in precision .22 target pistol design and manufacture. If you wanted one before this year, it would have cost you at least $1700 or more even for the least expensive Hammerli pistols; top-of-the-line world-class competition versions like the carbon-fiber-frame Model 280 go for well over $2000. But now comes the new SIG/Hammerli Trailside, a full-featured .22 Long Rifle sport autoloader imported by SIGARMS (Hammerli is part of the SIG group) that will shoot .75-inch groups at 25 yards all day long with just about any kind of .22 ammo you care to feed it with a manufacturer’s recommended retail price of less than $400 for its standard version! That puts it right in the same price park as popular versions of the Ruger Mark II .22 autos and the S&W Model 22 series. Actually, I’m doing the Trailside an injustice by calling it a .75-inch gun. In the Trailside pistol’s box is a laminated medallion containing that individual gun’s actual five-round, 25-meter factory test target fired with standard-grade ammunition from a machine rest; in the dozen that I have checked, not one wasn’t a single ragged hole. The factory no-go specification is automatic rejection for any Trailside that groups larger than one inch at 25 meters coming off the line. Shooting handheld from a sandbag benchrest with a 10X scope with both pistols used in this review, I fired several center-to-center groups of .25 inch with each of the gun’s preferred loads, and the best average posted was only 0.1 inch greater than the bullet diameter. The new Trailside is a very impressive piece of work. Loaded With Features Equally impressive as the Trailside’s raw accuracy potential is the array of features that are included in the new gun’s Standard and Target Packages. Both are available in either 4.5- or six-inch barrel length. The Standard Package features molded black sandpaper-finish polymer grips with ambidextrous thumbrest/trigger finger grooves and a drift-adjustable rear sight notch; the suggested retail price is $398 for either barrel length. The Target Package offers smooth, laminated wood grips in the same basic shape and a clickadjustable precision target-grade rear sight; the suggested retail is $489 for either barrel length. Other than those small differences, the Target and Standard versions are exactly the same, with matte black barrel/frame assembly and operating parts and a satiny natural-metal finish slide carrying laser-engraved manufacturer and model markings. Common features on all Trailsides include a left-side slide lock that retains the slide open after the last round in the magazine is fired and a drop-free magazine release button positioned Model 1911-fashion behind the trigger guard. There is no magazine disconnect safety, so the gun can be fired with the magazine removed as long as there is a cartridge in the chamber. The one-piece, black, molded polymer magazine (one per gun) is designed to fit flush within the base of the grip, and it has a forward recurve on its base that forms part of the frontstrap when in place. The manual safety is a hammerblock with lever positioned on the left rear side of the slide where it can easily be actioned by a right-hand shooter’s thumb without

SIG/Hammerli Trailside .22 LR SA Semiauto Pistol

Distributor .........................SIGARMS Inc.
Corporate Park Exeter, NH 03862

Model ...........................................Trailside Operation .....................Straight-blowback
single-action semiauto

Caliber .................................22 Long Rifle Barrel length .........................6.00 inches
(4.5-inch barrel also available)

Overall length .......................9.25 inches Weight, empty ..30 ounces (w/magazine) Safety .................................Slide-mounted
manual hammerblock

Sights .............................Screw-adjustable
target-type rear, integral semi-Patridge blade front (Target Package); drift-adjustable rear (Standard Package)

Sight radius ..........................8.06 inches Rifling ..................6 grooves, 1:16 RH twist Stocks ............................Laminated wood
(Target Package); black polymer grips (Standard Package)
Page 1 of 5


3/8-inch standard rimfire-dimension dovetail mounting grooves atop the barrel for optical sights. Each rear sight change will move the impact of a bullet approximately two inches at 25 yards for each 0.. natural matte slide Price . The same adjustment distances. To my mind most of Hammerli’s obvious care in setting up the manual sight index points and adjustments is made essentially moot by one of the Trailside’s neatest features: full-length.$489 (Target Package). lift up its rear. Hammerli’s similar-appearing previous Model 208 . straight blowback with single-action. subsequently machined and milled. apply to the click-adjustable Target Package rear sight as well. That’s all there is to it... and let it glide forward to leave the barrel freely (don’t boink it against the barrel breechface going by). by comparison..22 auto requires 135 parts (it’s also much more expensive at approximately $2500).. and they allow precise targeting with virtually any type of . Actual pull weights on the two review samples Shooting Times received were 2... remember that windage is not affected by gravity...” A screw-attach interchangeable under-barrel frame extension is available in either short or long versions.10 rounds Finish ..01-inch vertical change moves impact the same amount up or down as a 0..27 inch. The extractor is external.. Most notably. They come in 0. During a recent SIG product seminar at the company’s Exeter. Trigger overtravel is adjustable. but still one hole offhand..htm Page 2 of 5 .22 rifle and really lets you take full advantage of the gun’s superb mechanical accuracy. Trigger pull is two stage....02-inch lateral change moves it left or right. This makes it as easy to put a scope or electronic dot sight on the Trailside as on any ordinary . it means fixed barrel... emphasized in at least three separate places.22 For Under 400 Dollars 5/5/11 1:24 AM breaking grasp. coming back in the initial phase to bear against a spring-loaded plunger within an adjustable screw stop. either polymer or steel. These sights are compatible with the drift-adjustable rear sight available on other SIG pistols as well.5-inch Target http://hunting. I was understandably anxious to have the opportunity to do some serious benchrest work at a more demanding distance.. move the sight in the direction you want the group to move. SIG also offers an accessory combination sight pusher tool that makes adjusting and/or changing dovetail drift sights easier and more precise... And in case you’re wondering why a 0.. The physical construction of the Trailside is quite different from other conventional ... Okay. the barrel and frame are combined into a single integral piece of investment-cast steel.. drilled.. moving a rear sight 0. draw the slide back to the full extent of its travel. Simplicity of construction also means simplicity of disassembly/reassembly for routine maintenance. with the bore face recessed for protection and crowned at 11 degrees.about.89 pounds and were as crisp as any fixed-weight trigger pulls I have ever felt on any pistols.. but the pull weight is fixed and set at the factory not to exceed 1400 grams (3..... All Trailsides come from the factory with the polymer version.. which provides for a variety of weight and balance combinations for all versions and barrel lengths.” down is “Fire... The Trailside is made up of only 42 separate parts altogether. hammer-fired (not striker) operation.....com/od/guns/l/aasthammerli22a. When SIGARMS describes the Trailside as a “fixed barrel” design. facility. which provides positive tension in the final stage of the pull.22 LR ammunition available..09 pounds). Then pull down and hold the front of the trigger guard. and button-rifled to Hammerli’s exacting chamber and bore specifications. a magazine full of shots would obliterate the dime-size SIG logo in the target’s corner. And that’s what I was able to do just a few months later when Shooting Times received two review sample pistols: a six-inch Standard Package and a 4. (Standard Package) Magazine capacity . According to SIG. Shooting offhand at a training silhouette target set at 25 feet..01-inch increments from 0.... New Hampshire..01-inch change in sight height (a higher rear sight blade will raise the impact of the bullet). incidentally. leaving a single ragged opening. Up is “Safe..Black frame/barrel. The muzzle itself is square cut. and the ejector is internal... $389 (Standard Package) Mechanically the action is a simple.” and SIG urges that the small red polymer “Dry Fire Plug” (provided with each gun) always be installed in the Trailside’s chamber whenever the gun is unloaded or stored.22 rimfire auto designs. “Dry firing can DAMAGE your pistol. To disassemble the Trailside you first (after removing the magazine and making sure the chamber is empty) unscrew and remove the frame extension/barrel weight. that’s close in. One point about which SIG is adamant is not to dry-fire the Trailside. This unified construction concept contributes much to the Trailside’s reasonable pricing and allows significantly fewer parts than other designs... now clean the exposed mechanisms and reverse the procedure to reassemble.......A Hammerli . either short or long depending on barrel length for a flush-with-the-muzzle appearance... I had the opportunity to fire some early Trailsides set up with electronic dot sights.68 and 2. According to the Trailside manual. On the accessory side SIG offers six different height aftermarket rear sights for the driftadjustable Standard Package version of the Trailside..22 to 0..020 inch laterally changes the point of impact approximately two inches at 25 yards..

the Trailside is a delightful little gun.A Hammerli . 4. 120 groups total.htm Page 3 of 5 .83 1113 22 0. Hyper Velocity HP CCI 36-gr. The results are listed in the accompanying chart. I chronographed each load through each gun and fired five five-shot groups of each load with each gun at 25 yards—for 60 individual groups through each pistol. as stated by Marketing Manager Wes Lang.” By all conceivable standards the mission is accomplished. slim and sleek in appearance.about. Tenex Solid 1225 22 0.22 LR Performance Factory load Velocity (fps) Standard Deviation (fps) 25-Yard Accuracy (Inches) Trailside Target Package. Zapper HP Remington 38-gr. High Velocity HP Winchester 38-gr. well balanced in the hand with a pleasing “all-metal” heft.63 982 5 0. I’ve never seen performance that good with any other handgun in the Trailside’s price category. Pistol Match Eley 40-gr.5-Inch Barrel.38 http://hunting.41 879 25 0. “Impressive” is an understatement.” I say it’s a real Hammerli. Mini-Mag HP PMC 38-gr.22 For Under 400 Dollars 5/5/11 1:24 AM Package. and there are a lot of so-called premium target pistols on the market at twice the Trailside’s price that can’t touch it.75 1050 28 1. SIG spokesmen acknowledge that the Trailside’s level of performance is going to invite comparison with Hammerli’s true competition pistols but nonetheless are firm. I selected 12 varieties of . SIG/Hammerli Trailside .22 LR ammunition from six different manufacturers and set up both Trailsides to mount a Burris 10X adjustable-objective handgun scope for maximum available magnification and elimination of parallax.75 980 7 0. SIG’s mission with the Trailside. Pistol Match Eley 40-gr. Burris 10X IER-PA Federal 31-gr.00 1021 16 0. and I say I want one. Super-X Solid CCI 40-gr. was to “put a Hammerli into a sport pistol.com/od/guns/l/aasthammerli22a.88 1048 11 0. Made entirely in Switzerland at the Hammerli factory. they say “it’s a plinker.

Pistol Match Eley 40-gr.88 985 23 0. Hyper Velocity HP CCI 36-gr.81 1059 25 0. T22 Overall average accuracy 923 9 0.44 972 8 0.A Hammerli .73 Trailside Standard Package. Gold Medal Match PMC 40-gr.75 1046 9 0. Burris 10X IER-PA Federal 31-gr. Gold Medal Match PMC 40-gr.63 1084 26 0. 22 Target Winchester 40-gr. ScoreMaster Remington 40-gr. Mini-Mag HP PMC 38-gr.88 1019 6 0. High Velocity HP Winchester 38-gr.98 0.91 1075 14 0. T22 1321 16 0. Tenex Solid Federal 40-gr.33 929 14 0.13 http://hunting.22 For Under 400 Dollars 5/5/11 1:24 AM Federal 40-gr.about. Super-X Solid CCI 40-gr.63 991 17 0.69 949 20 0.72 1001 20 0. ScoreMaster Remington 40-gr. Zapper HP Remington 38-gr.com/od/guns/l/aasthammerli22a. Pistol Match Eley 40-gr.50 1034 11 0.0-Inch Barrel. 6. 22 Target Winchester 40-gr.75 1163 15 0.htm Page 4 of 5 .88 1046 25 1.

More Articles Product Reviews Hunting & Shooting Recent Discussions • Feral Cats are tough! • NEW GUN FOR LEE ?? • Animal Joke • Confiscation under Martial Law • Happy Easter http://hunting. Velocity is the average of 10 rounds measured 10 feet from the guns’ muzzles. 2000.about.htm Page 5 of 5 .com/od/guns/l/aasthammerli22a.73 NOTES: Accuracy is the average of five five-shot groups fired from a sandbag benchrest at 25 yards. This article was originally published in Shooting Times magazine in June.A Hammerli . groups were measured center to center.22 For Under 400 Dollars 5/5/11 1:24 AM Overall average accuracy 0.