Are you in the market for a high-performance bowling ball which can add a ton of extra oomph to your hook shot? The Hammer Gauntlet bowling ball may very well be for you! Our Hammer Gauntlet review will look at this hook monster from every angle possible, giving you all the information you may need for a potential purchase decision.

Is the Hammer Gauntlet’s powerful reactivity also its downfall? Is this ball too aggressive or just aggressive enough for most? Dive into our extensive Hammer Gauntlet bowling ball review for the answers to these questions and more!


Hammer’s High Performance line already has two hook-heavy crowd favorites to its credit with the company’s Scandal models. The Hammer Gauntlet ups the hook ante over the Hammer Scandals, while striking a balance between the two when it comes to overall lane length and back-end reaction.

One of the most effective hybrid reactive bowling balls we’ve tested in heavy oil, the Hammer Gauntlet   fires through complex and fresh oil patterns alike. The traction it provides in these conditions is nearly unparalleled. This leads to some of the most breathtaking hooks and back-end finishes you’re ever going to see.

The real draw of the Hammer Gauntlet for most hook-heavy bowlers is the ball’s added downlane motion. The hybrid cover stock and asymmetrical Gauntlet core work together to allow bowlers to open  up their angles through the front of the lane. Whether in medium or heavy-oiled conditions, you can attack from a multitude of creative angles and still find the pocket.

The Hammer Gauntlet isn’t for dry lanes and is perhaps way too aggressive for any bowler who doesn’t have a complete understanding of their hook shot. This ball needs plenty of oil to really reach its peak efficacy. It also needs a bowler behind it who can tame its fiery reactive nature and put it to good use.

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Features, Specs & Materials


The Hammer Gauntlet’s Semtex Hybrid CFI cover stock is an absolute gift for bowlers who spend the majority of their time on medium and heavy-oiled lanes. It offers a cleaner reactivity that Hammer’s two Scandal balls, but that cleanness only amps up its overall aggressiveness.

The ball’s Gauntlet asymmetrical core gives this ball an extremely high differential. It also adds some major violence at the back end. It can turn solid pin carry into dynamite pin trajectories.

The Hammer Gauntlet has a pretty dull 500/2000 Abralon finish, but that doesn’t hurt its strong down-lane reactivity. It provides the perfect middle ground between the two Scandal models when it comes to  breakpoint sharpness.


Color: Orange, Black, Silver
Core: Gauntlet (Asymmetrical)
Coverstock: Semtex Hybrid CFI
Finish: 500/2000 Abralon
RG: 2.50
Differential: 0.050
Flare potential: Average
Recommended Lane Condition: Heavy


The Hammer Gauntlet’s Semtex Hybrid CFI cover stock is extremely porous. There are always going to be questions about the durability of such a heavily reactive and aggressive cover stock. If you’re going to invest in the Hammer Gauntlet, you have to realize that there’s going to also be a time investment when it comes to properly cleaning its sensitive cover stock.

The brand-new Gauntlet asymmetrical core feels a bit lighter than the core models used in the two Hammer Scandal balls. It’s an effortless ball to throw altogether. But don’t be fooled – it’s got so much potential to be tapped into.

Advantages & Disadvantages


The Hammer Gauntlet is simply a hook masterpiece. The balance of its asymmetrical core and aggressive cover stock leads to some impressive angles and one of the most consistently violent back-end reactions of any ball we’ve ever tested. If you need to dial up your aggression and pin carry, you can’t do much better.

You can attack the pins from a wealth of angles and still find the pocket time and time again in medium and heavy-oiled conditions. There’s a versatility to the Hammer Gauntlet which gives it a unique edge over other high-performance bowling balls made for heavier oil patterns. It allows you to open up your game and get much more creative with your approaches and shots.

The great thing about the ball’s 500/2000 sanded finish is that it’s perfect for heavier volumes of oil right out of the box. It’s also easily polished if you need to add lane length on medium oil patterns. This   only adds to the ball’s versatility and its overall hook potential in varied oil conditions.

When you get the Hammer Gauntlet into a groove, you’re going to notice a complete difference between your pin carry before you had the ball and after. There’s just way too much back-end motion and way too much firepower for you to be underwhelmed. This ball’s a fireworks display on its own accord.


There aren’t a lot of disadvantages to speak of with the Hammer Gauntlet. The one obvious recommendation is to never ever use this ball in dry conditions. Not only will the Gauntlet struggle to maintain any lane length at all in these conditions, but its cover stock health will also be endangered.

The Hammer Gauntlet is not for beginning or intermediate bowlers. There’s just too steep of a learning curve if you aren’t extremely comfortable with your shot and your overall hook. This ball rewards those with expertise and comfort in their bowling skins.

It may be in a bowler’s best interest to keep another strike ball in tow if they know they’re in for a marathon at the lanes. The oil patterns may start out fresh and dense, but there’s some potential problems to be had for the Hammer Gauntlet as they start to deplete. Read the lanes carefully to keep your Hammer Gauntlet in good shape.

Our Thoughts 

Simply put, the Hammer Gauntlet is a work of art for hook-dominant bowlers looking for something extra in their game. This ball opens up possibilities for bowlers who want to get creative with their hooks, settling easily into the pocket and leading to some amazing back-end reactions.

The Gauntlet’s asymmetrical core adds angularity and fire to Hammer’s High Performance line, outstripping the two Scandal models in over hook potential and aggressiveness.

This ball’s a beast. Yet, it’s a worthwhile beast to tame for hook-heavy bowlers looking to increase their  strike counts.

Overall Score: 9.5 out of 10

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