Gun Of The Week: Hammerli Force B1

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posted on June 28, 2024

Welcome to another American Rifleman Gun Of The Week video, and here, we’re on the range with the Hammerli Arms Force B1. This unique rimfire rifle makes use of a straight-pull action and is loaded with features. Watch the video above to see this switch-barrel straight-pull in use on the range.

Hammerli is a name many American shooters might not be familiar with, but it’s an old name with a lot of history in the competition world. The company made target pistols for Olympic competition for much of the 20th century, and more recently, they produced an AR-style rifle for rimfire training. Now, though, the Force B1 elevates the company’s rimfire profile, thanks to its affordable, versatile design.

A man aiming the Hammerli Force B1 on an outdoor range.

At the core of the Force B1 is a biathlon-style, straight-pull action. We call it “biathlon” because it makes use of an elongated bolt handle that allows users to use multiple fingers when manipulating the bolt. There’s no spring assist built in, so users must pull it straight back, then push fully forward to chamber another round. A helpful “click” at the end of travel will tell you when you’re in battery.

In terms of versatility, the Force B1 makes use of Ruger 10/22 rotary magazines, which are plentiful and affordable. Ruger 10/22 trigger packs are also compatible, so you can drop your preferred trigger into the action by simply swapping out the two trigger pins. What takes the Hammerli Force B1 to the next level, though, is its easy barrel-swapping mechanism. At the front of the receiver is a textured collar that secures a ring of ball bearings into an annular ring cut into the barrel. Simply pull the spring-loaded collar back, pull the barrel out, and you can place a new barrel into the receiver.

A knurled, black locking collar found on the front portion of the Hammerli Force B1 receiver.

Hammerli offers both .22 LR and .22 WMR barrels for the Force B1. Ruger .22 WMR rotary magazines fit easily into the magwell, and for the shorter .22 LR magazines, Hammerli makes a special adapter that fills the extra space in the well. Two are included with each rifle, and additional magazine adapters are available from Hammerli Arms. Adapters compatible with extended Ruger 10/22 magazines, like the BX-25, are also available.

Versatility doesn’t end just at the barreled action and magazine, though. The polymer stock used on this entry-level model of the Force B1 also has some built-in features. Length-of-pull is adjustable by simply pushing on the recessed button in the butt and retracting the stock. A cushioned rubber buttpad also comes standard. Comb height can also be adjusted between low and high by simply removing and reversing the rubber comb insert. A section of M-Lok on the bottom side of the fore-end makes it easy to add a bipod or other accessories.

A Ruger 10/22 rotary magazine inside the Hammerli Arms Force B1's magazine well.

Weighing in at just under six lbs., the Force B1 is easy to handle and quick to shoulder. Control-wise, the simple crossbolt safety is intuitive to use, and the bilateral magazine release allows magazines to drop freely. We appreciated the additional texturing on the polymer stock, and the bolt operated smoothly, with very little resistance, except at the end of travel, where it locked into battery. For an affordable rimfire rifle, the Hammerli Force B1 packs in a lot of features, making it capable of tackling a range of tasks, from small-game hunts to rimfire competition.

Hammerli Force B1 Specifications
Importer: Hammerli Arms
Action Type: straight-pull, bolt-action, rimfire repeating rifle
Chambering: .22 Long Rifle
Barrel: 16.1"
Receiver: 7075 aluminum
Magazine: 10-round, rotary, detachable box
Sights: none; Picatinny rail
Stock: molded synthetic; six-position adjustable
Trigger: single-stage; 5-lbs., 5-oz. pull
Overall Length: 37.5 (extended)
Weight: 5 lbs., 12 ozs.
MSRP: $649

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