Scan M32 Powerhouse repeater from England

by B.B. Pelletier


Scan M32 is a 32-shot repeating PCP that operates by pump action, similar to a pump shotgun. Unlike all other pump guns, the pistol grip and not the forearm is what cycles the action. Scope is a Leapers 6-20×56 that’s no longer made.

This test comes from the August 2001 Airgun Letter. Mike Reames was kind enough to loan me the rifle to test. And, as you have already learned, I found it the most accurate air rifle I’ve ever shot.

The Scan M32 is a 32-shot pump-action repeating air rifle. It’s a precharged pneumatic, and the pump-action refers to how the rifle is cocked and loaded. Pulling back on the pistol grip cocks the rifle and loads the next pellet. In that respect, it differs from all other pumps I’ve used because they use a sliding forearm for this purpose. Also, you must depress a lock release on the left side of the gun before the pistol grip can be moved, so this is not the rapid-fire pump we’re used to. If you go too fast, the magazine-advance pawl will hang up and stop the gun.

The clip is a double-stack cylinder that feeds radially outward from the center of the circle. There are two cylinders stacked on each other. When one is empty, the clip is removed, flipped and reinserted. The manual recommends loading 15 pellets per cylinder, but it is possible to load 16, hence the M32 name.


Pellets are pushed from the back (the inside) of the circular clip. One level is loaded at a time, then flipped over for the other side. The large black head of the pellet pusher is also used to hold the action open when installing a clip.

When you pull back on the pistol grip, a pawl advances the large clip to the next pellet, and this is where the gun was hard to manage. That pawl on the rifle I tested was an iffy thing, sometimes working and other times not. I had to check the alignment of the clip before every shot. That and the difficulty of sliding the grip made the rifle a very slow and deliberate operation.


Closeup of the action shows how the bolt probe pushes the pellet from the clip into the breech. In this shot, the bolt is just starting to move, and there’s no pellet on it.

The air tank is in the removable butt, like an AirForce rifle, only Scan used the design many years earlier. It’s a small tank, and the fill pressure is 230 bar, or just over 3,300 psi. I didn’t own a Hill pump at the time, and the AirForce hand pump was still many years away, so I babied my old Axsor pump and it did the job. I would not recommend that you try it, because that’s 300 psi above the pump’s rated capacity.

With .22 caliber Crosman Premiers, the gun averaged 810 f.p.s., for 20.84 foot-pounds and an extreme velocity spread of 20 f.p.s. I didn’t record the velocity for the most accurate Beeman Trophy Hunters (an obsolete pellet, but probably the same as the H&N Field & Target Trophy), but they weigh pretty close to the same, so there shouldn’t be more than 20 f.p.s. difference.

If you’ve noticed that the M32 looks something like an AirForce rifle, you’re right. The smaller air tank, though, made it difficult for me to find a good spot-weld on the stock. The result was extra parallax. In the end, I had to use the scope to tell me when I was in position. It got brighter when I held my head at the correct spot. Once I learned that, I shot that group you saw last Friday.

While I was shooting targets at 40 yards, a spider walked out on the wooden target frame. I was looking through a Leapers 6-20×56 (an obsolete scope), so the quarter-inch arachnid body was quite visible. Since I knew exactly where the pellets were going, I shot the spider dead-center and sent him through the wooden target frame. That was the best shot I ever made with an air rifle and reminiscent of the time I shot a hovering carpenter bee at the 100-yard target with my Mauser .22/250. This time, though, I had a witness watching through his own scope and saw the hit clearly – just as I did.

The Scan M32 is an interesting air rifle, and the most accurate one I ever shot. I didn’t like the operation, however, and I wouldn’t choose the rifle because of that.

Tomorrow, I will finally shoot the Air Arms S410 at 75 yards for you.

26 thoughts on “Scan M32 Powerhouse repeater from England


  1. Ow… great gun! Looks really nice, why don`t own one if you perform so well with it?

    Poor spider… never had a chance… :-)

    By the way, I enjoyed a lot reading about your first days in airgunning! Just like you, I started shooting firearms, then moved to airguns…


  2. BB/Tom, sorry for the off topic question. course christmas time is looming, and my sister is planning on buying my nephew a few airsoft guns. is there any “brand/manufacturer” of airsoft bb’s that is generally more accurate than others (less voids, etc.), or is a best buy? i assume that just like pellets, some bb’s could be potentially better made. i have read, and I do realize in some guns heavier bb’s are better than light, but i’m more concerned with a consistent brand also. BB and anyone with experience, please chime in. thnx.





  3. B.B.

    Thanks for the rapid M32 blog. One thing I can’t handle in airguns is unreliability and faulty mechanisms, but in every other respect this gun sounds fantastic–super accuracy, repeater, good looks, under $1000. You wish they or someone could go the extra step to make it work right.

    Regarding the airsoft question, I would highly recommend KSC high polish bbs. I haven’t tried any other brands I have to admit but I did notice an immediate and visible improvement with them over the factory stock that was included with my airsoft guns. They’re not on the Pyramidair site but they’re not hard to find online.

    Also, I would like to pass on hard-won knowledge with airsoft that may be of service. I would recommend the UHC line of spring rifles. They get some bad press, and I was about to give up on mine. It was very erratic, sometimes shooting great and other times all over the target. But then, I discovered the artillery hold–I first used it on this gun–and the difference was astounding. I was shooting bbs through the same hole. I have a suspicion that the artillery hold might be even more crucial for airsoft than pellet guns. Anyway, with this technique and equipment, I couldn’t be happier.

    Matt


  4. Shroud,

    A shroud works by keeping the energetic air inside a contained space until it looses its energy. If you shoot an air rifle inside you house but through an open window, those outside will be hard-pressed to hear it.

    The sniper who terrorized Maryland and northern Virginia several years ago shot from inside a car trunk. No one could place where the shots were coming from.

    A shroud encloses the barrel and prevents the noise from escaping. There is more to it than that, but that’s a quick explanation.

    B.B.




  5. I would take it that the front of the shroud must be longer than the barrel to allow the air to accumulate in the shroud? If you simply insulated the barrel there wouldn’t be an effect since sound doesn’t come out the side of the barrel, does it?




  6. BB,

    this gun is reminding me of the s-16. Is there any relation between them?

    How would i go about getting an m32? From what i have heard i could get a mini gun easier than an m32 couldn’t i!

    NICE SHOOTING ON THE SPIDER / BEE!!!!!

    -sumo


  7. Thanks for all the info (even on Thanksgiving!)

    Again, so many guns, so little money. Makes my mouth water more than turkey & dressing.

    I relate to your becoming an air gunner. My son (AAA skeet shooter, deer hunter, etc.) wonders about my air gunning. I got him a pistol so I think he is hooked.

    Keep up the great work, BB and all of you. I read this every day and am trying to work through all the past blogs/comments.

    Al Pellet


  8. BB,
    I did a quick search on your blog and couldn’t find any thread related to Weihrauch HW57, which seems to be a well-made and quiet one. Do you have any experience with this gun? Thanks.

    Alan


  9. B.B.,

    That gun looks like a cross between a Airforce and a WWII machine gun.

    Those Germans sure had some nice looking air rifles in there shop window in Viesbaden and Reinlandflats. Too bad summer hire only paid $2.90Hr in 82.

    Love your blogs, I didn’t think you were working Holiday hours. lol


  10. Sumo,

    No, there is no relation between the M32 and the Logun S-16.

    The reason you can’t get a Skan M32 is the British Home Office (similar to the U.S. State Department) requires exporters to have a license to export airguns – by model. The Skan was never popular here, so no license was ever applied for.

    The license must list the U.S. dealer by name, so it’s more complex than it sounds. It’s stopped a lot of exportation of more exotic airguns.

    B.B.



  11. BB,

    Next time I’m in that neck of the woods (England) will be sure to pick one up lol.

    I got a theoben mark 1 from a store call british sporting arms. I could get one through them but its not the gun of my dreams (i already have them). They have tons of shotguns shipped over and they could take a Skan along if requested.

    The Skans cool but i don’t need it.

    -sumo



  12. I have known him for a while. His business takes what’s there and brings it hear. It would be a real favor for him to do this for anyone.

    What I’m saying is that he is the best person to go to if you want “a british sporting arm”.

    this is his site:

    http://www.bsaltd.com/

    he does not normally deal with airguns. I would have to ask him if he could do it.

    -sumo


  13. B.B.

    Thanks for the M32 report. Now that the new model is out I am curious about the reports it is receiving. If they managed to fix the jamming flaw, this could be THE rifle to own.

    Thanks again.


  14. B.B.

    I have decided to buy a PCP in .177 which I am planning to fill by hand pump. I ve abandoned the multi pump idea.

    The M32 might be nice and super accurate and everything, but I was thinking os something more reasonable for my first PCP.

    Basically I ‘ve narrowed down to the S410 (repeater in .177), the HW100S (although it seems a bit pricey), the logun S16 and the Spectre Mark 2 .177.

    What do you think B.B.? Is the 410 my best bet?

    Thanks a lot for your help.



  15. Andreas,

    I’m with bb on that! One reason to buy a pcp is because they come with nice triggers. The S-16 has a 10 pound trigger, i thought you would want to know why its not so great.

    It also jams.

    sumo


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