Great airgun bargains!

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we get into today’s blog, I want to tell you about something that’s coming. I’ve asked Pyramyd Air to loan me a Chinese BAM B40 rifle to test. This is a direct copy of the Air Arms TX200 Mark III that I always brag about. We had one request to test this rifle, but the airgun forums are full of talk about it, so I thought it would be nice to take a closer look at it.

Instead of just testing the gun like I normally do, I’m going to do a side-by-side comparison test between the B40 and my TX200 Mark III. That’s what I think you readers want. It will be a feature-for-feature comparison, so it will have to be broken into several parts.

Pyramyd Air does not normally stock Chinese air rifles, but they got this one when they recently purchased Airgun Express. The BAM B40 sells for $286, while the TX200 sells for $548, so if you could get the English rifle’s performance for just over half the money, that would be a great bargain. In my experience, there aren’t that many great bargains, but there are a lot of heartaches and disappointments. As you can see, I’m skeptical about the B40, but I will test it fairly and let you decide.

Great bargain No. 1: Marksman 2004
To be a real bargain, the airgun has to be accurate, reliable and priced right. Most guns have two of these, but it’s rare to find all three in one airgun. In that light, the Marksman 2004 is a real stand-out! I reported on it in the February 10 blog, and my opinion hasn’t changed. If you read that report, you’ll learn that the 2004 is an exact copy of the Weihrauch HW40 PCA, which Beeman sells as the P3. Yet, this one sells for less than one-third the price of the other two. It’s just as accurate, just as powerful and just as well-made, too. I know that comes as a shock to those who own the other two pistols, but it’s the truth. I am extremely surprised that the Chinese can put a good barrel in an airgun this cheap and make them all to the same standard. That’s not typical, but, in this case, it is what’s happening. Don’t be shocked by the amount of plastic on the gun, because the other two have it, as well.

Great bargain No. 2: IZH 61
The IZH 61 is a Russian 5-shot sidelever spring piston repeater with legendary accuracy. When I say legendary, there was an owner who installed Olympic aperture rear sights costing $350 and had a target stock custom-made from a laminated wood blank. He then used his modified rifle to compete in 10-meter target competition. The gun shot as well as a Daisy 853C, which is saying a lot! You don’t have to go crazy to enjoy this rifle, though. And, at less than $90, it’s a sure thing. The power is low, with target pellets traveling between 450 and 475 f.p.s.; but for targets or informal plinking, it’s hard to beat. I reviewed it for you in March 2005 (A gift from B.B.! – The IZH 61 air rifle).

Great bargain No. 3: Daisy 22SG
For under $100, I don’t know where else you’ll get a new scoped multi-pump this good. I’m talking about the Daisy 22SG, of course. Please understand that there’s a world of difference between this model and Daisy’s other multi-pumps. This is a .22 with a real rifled barrel and powerful enough for limited small game hunting. It comes with a decent scope and easy pumping effort, despite the power. I reviewed it in September 2005 (Daisy 22SG). There’s a lot of plastic on this rifle, but it’s very durable. Don’t let that dissuade you from one of the best buys on the market.

There are many good deals in airguns these days. These three, however, go far beyond that category. These are real bargains!

27 thoughts on “Great airgun bargains!


  1. Hi BB,

    Is there anything that can be done to improve the rear sight (or front/read sight combo) on the Marksman 2004 pistol? I enjoy the shooting it, but as you mentioned in your first review, there’s not much spacing left & right of the front blade. With my eyes, maintaining a good sight picture is a chore. I considered taking a metal file to the sides of the rear sight, but that’s last resort. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Bill



  2. I own the HW40 model, i heard that the body of the HW40 is better plastic quality than the 2004 model.
    I added a longer barrel to mine and now it shoots right at 450fps with rws super-H-point, almost 50fps gained.

    A great gun even though its more exp. than 2004, i rather have the original.
    Just my 2 cents.


  3. Is the IZH 61 hold sensitive as with most springers?

    Keep up the good work BB.
    P.S. Whens the next Gamo Shotgun (if you can call it that!) test comming?





  4. BB,

    I just bought the 392 from you guys, and a scope (the 4×32 Mini A.O. The Bug Buster as you recommended) and the B272 mounts that I needed on the gun before I can mount the scope.

    My big problem is that after the screws are all the way in on the B272 mounts, the mounts still slide up and down the barrel. There’s no way to tighten the screws enough and I have no good way to use the scope.

    Also, it seems the only place to mount the scope is halfway down the barrel, making it unusable even if I could get the intermounts to stay in one place.

    Could you please provide me with some advice to get this to work?

    Thanks a lot,
    Michael.


  5. hb,
    In my opinion the hold sesitivity on the IZH61 is slightly higher than average for a springer, but far from annoyingly so. I think the light weight might have something to do with that. With practice you should get a soda can at 20 yards without a scope. Baikal really did a good job on this one, and I think B.B. nailed it on his description.

    Mr. Watch


  6. On the IZH 46, I don’t find it very hold-sensitive at all. From a rest it should stay inside 1/3-inch at 25 yards. At 10 meters, it will group under 1/10th inch.

    B.B.


  7. Michael,

    You need to call Pyramyd Air and talk to Boris about your mount problem. This is a specific product problem that should be handled by their personnel, and Boris is the technician.

    B.B.




  8. 392 is great with a peep sight! Tim has some good ideas at http://www.mac1airgun.com. He has been working with 392s for quite a while.

    Not liking the intermounts and not wanting to make any other changes on this particular airgun, I use the peep sights (which I like).

    Ray




  9. BB,

    This is rather off-topic. I would like to know if there is a stage in this hobby when we feel somehing like “ok, i’m done with airguns”?

    Dave


  10. re: is there a stage

    Yes and No. Yes it seems to end when we pass on. No it is not known if collecting begins anew or at the level we have been at in the next world.

    Ray



  11. Ray & BB,

    I am just so disappointed that here in my country, airguns are considered as firearms, hence, laws are not that airgun-friendly.

    Modern PCP came into market at the time when I lost my job. Just so unfortunate. At least, I can drool at the nice airguns here on the net.

    But I love airguns since I saw light of this world. Airguns is part of me. How can I part with it? Till death do us part!

    Dave


  12. As I mentioned on another post that I am new to the Airgun world, what is your take on the Winchester Model 800X? Can or can’t this model be modified to shoot at a higher fps? If so is there mock up kit for it?

    Thanks


  13. Kodiak-

    I suggest an IZH-61 or Marksman 2004 and shoot as often as you can. These airguns can safely be used in the basement. The other suggestion is to read ALOT, also get to airgun shows if you can.

    This is what I did and am not disappointed. I shoot almost daily for fun. Now have several dozen airguns. Found vintage Crosman .22 pistols a favorite. PCP is the rage but CO2 is consistent by its nature (laws of physics).

    The izh61 and Marksman 2004 are very much still favorites. Hundreds of shoots a month.

    This blog is written by an expert. Read past articles. There are no general books as good and timely.

    Ray

    BTW-Forget fps for now. Shoot safely, well, frequently, and have fun! Lube gun correctly & do not clean barrels.



  14. B.B.

    I just got off the phone with PyramidAir about a Gamo 890 order that kept getting pushed back. After a bit of discussion with a supervisor, I was informed that Gamo discontinued ALL their models save the SS1000 today. Is Gamo closing up shop?

    Scotch



  15. I think I only got half of the story, but the rest is coming into focus after looking at Gamo and PyramidAir’s web sites. It now appears that Gamo is dropping all their .22 caliber products. Models that used to be offered in both calibers only show .177 now. That’s a real shame, in my opinion, but I guess the hunting calibers weren’t selling enough.


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