Archive for August 2008
by B.B. Pelletier
First, we’ll go over your homework. Your first assignment was to calculate the approximate average muzzle velocity of the Renegade in both single- and double-action. I didn’t give you any parameters other than the velocities recorded in that report. What I did with this problem was use the 42 shots I told you I would accept for the double-action mode. The range was from 916 f.p.s. to 975 f.p.s., and the average was 948.57 f.p.s. So, that was the average velocity that I got for double-action shooting.
Calculating the single-action average was slightly more difficult, because I gave you only 12 acceptable shots to work with (the first and third strings of 6 shots), yet I told you I thought there were about 18 shots available. We’ll have to test that today to see if I’m right. To get the average, I added the first string and took the sum of the second string twice. Doing it that way makes a total for three stings of shots, even though one of them is just a guess.
I did it that way because the first double-action string used up some of the air before the second single-action string was fired. I figured the first shots of a real second string would, therefore, be faster than what was recorded, but the last shots would be slower. By using the slower string of shots twice (shots 13-18), I’d hoped they would account for the difference. Let’s see if I was right.
And, now, the energy
Using my velocities, the rifle gets 28.58 foot-pounds average in the double-action mode with Crosman Premiers and 33.17 foot-pounds in the single-action mode. Of course, the single-action mode is only my best guess at this point.
And, when we move up to Kodiaks
Moving up to Beeman Kodiak pellets, I’m guessing that the rifle will average 32 foot-pounds in the double-action mode and 37 foot-pounds in the single-action mode. That’s just a gut-feeling guess with no formula behind it, but I note that blog reader Malan is guessing that Kodiaks shot single-action will produce just under 35 foot-pounds, so we’re in pretty close agreement. Only testing will tell!
Stop and think
Before I do the test, let’s look at the Renegade for a moment. It gives you a fast double-action shot possibility in return for a reduction in gross power in both the single-action and double-action modes when compared to the standard AR6 rifle. The AR6, which functions only in single-action, delivers power in the mid-50 foot-pounds region. So, there’s a very clear difference between these two rifles. And, the standard AR6 will continue to be offered just as it has been.
What do you want?
What you have to decide is if fast repeat shots are more desirable than sheer foot-pounds. Of course, we still have to take the Renegade to the range, so accuracy is still unknown, but we know a standard AR6 will group 5 Eun Jin pellets in an inch or so at 50 yards. Which brings up another question. Why haven’t I tested the Renegade with Eun Jins?
Well, I will test Eun Jins in the Renegade, but given the performance of the rifle (i.e., a mid-30 foot-pound rifle), I figured that Beeman Kodiaks would deliver better velocity for making those long-range shots. I’ll test Eun Jins for accuracy, as well, so no stone will go unturned. Remember that I warned you this was going to be a HUGE report! Let’s get to it.
Test 3: the single-action string of Crosman Premiers
No more guessing, this is a string of shots all fired single-action. I will shoot at least 18 Crosman Premiers from a 3,000 psi fill, and if the velocity is still within 50 f.p.s., I’ll keep on shooting.
The average velocity for this 24-shot string was 1018 f.p.s., which is a muzzle energy of 32.91 foot-pounds. My estimate of the single-action muzzle energy by interpolating the third string of shots was too high by 0.26 foot-pounds. More importantly, I was off on the total number of shots by five, if we accept my criteria of a maximum spread of 50 f.p.s. Had I stopped shooting at shot 18, I would have underestimated the average power a little.
Test 4: the single-action string with Beeman Kodiaks
This test demonstrates what the rifle can do with 21-grain Beeman Kodiaks. They fit much tighter in the chambers (remember, with this gun you load the pellets skirt-first), therefore they seal much better than the Premiers.
DNR – Shot did not register
I stopped at shot No. 30, not because the string exceeded 50 f.p.s., but because I shot through the silent pellet trap! TWICE! Little bits of crap had been bouncing back at me from the trap with every shot, so when the first pellet went though it sounded the same. The next shot went through a little faster, though, and I knew at once what had happened. Below is what that looks like. I cannot blame the trap, because I used it wrong. You can bet I’ll use a heavy steel trap with this rifle from now on!
A pleasant surprise!
These 30 shots are surprising because there are so many of them! Clearly, this rifle’s valve is better adapted to Beeman Kodiaks than to Crosman Premiers! The average for the 29 shots that did register was 887.14 foot-pounds. That works out to 36.71 foot-pounds, so my estimate was over the mark by 0.29 foot-pounds.
This report is getting too large, so I’ll stop here and finish the strings next time. Besides, I have to clean the splinters off my office carpet.
by B.B. Pelletier
Time for something different today. I reported on the Crosman 1377 in August 2005. In those days, my reviews were terse and filled with less test results than I provide these days, and the 1377 is such a classic air pistol that I thought it was time for another go at it.
This pistol is a direct descendent of the 105/106 Target pneumatics made in 1947-1953. Nearly two decades passed between the last of those pistols and the first 1300-series pistol, which was the .22 caliber 1300 Medalist in 1970. The first 1377 came about in 1977 and had a steel breech. In 1981, the steel breech changed to plastic and the gun became more or less what it is today. Let’s evaluate that for a moment.
The 1377 is Crosman’s counter to the Benjamin HB 17/HB 22, which I evaluated for you 18 month ago. The 1377 sells for less than half the price of the Benjamin pistols, and I think we all understand that the difference is partly due to the materials used in the Benjamin. However, is there really double the value in those guns? Or, perhaps the question should really be, “Is the 1377 a terrific value?” That’s what this report will try to determine.
This is a large air pistol – make no mistake. The 10.25″ barrel guarantees a muzzle-heavy balance, though I must comment that it isn’t as much as you might think. The great size of the pistol also connotes power, and Crosman’s claim of 600 f.p.s. seems to back that up. We’ll see what the realistic velocity is with pellets you’re likely to use.
When I freed my test gun from its clamshell, it appeared that the pump mechanism was well-oiled from the factory, but that was deceiving. There was oil on all the pivot points; but the pump head was dry, and the gun didn’t develop much power when pumped. A liberal application of Crosman Pellgunoil to the pump head fixed that, and I was able to hear the gasp of air being sucked into the pump tube for the first time. That’s a sound all pneumatics should make.
The sights are fully adjustable, but you have to examine them closely. There are no click detents to alert you to adjustment changes. Instead, you must pay close attention to the position of the rear sight. The windage adjustment even has an index scale, but it takes some close examination to find it.
Both the grips and the forearm are made of plastic and are the prime targets for customization. The grips are fully ambidextrous and, in a rare twist of fate, the bolt on the right side of the receiver favors left-handed shooters.
The trigger is a simple mechanism and is another target for change. Those wanting a $1,000 trigger on a $50 airgun find the market full of aftermarket possibilities. You just have to search for them, but they’re there. However, the $1,000 trigger isn’t going to happen with a 1377. Settle for less creep, a lighter pull and some overtravel adjustment. A wide trigger shoe is also nice.
For those who really want to go crazy, Crosman offers a steel breech for the 1377. This breech has 11mm dovetails for optional sights and/or a scope. By the time you’re thinking about the breech, you’ll probably also want to put on a longer barrel for more power. Then, the entire kitchen has to be remodeled! By that I mean that there’s almost no end to what you can do to a 1377 by way of customization. Your $50 pistol can transform into a mighty hunting rifle with the application of another $600 and a lot of elbow grease.
Scope or not?
These days, a scope is very popular on a gun like this. While a scope can get in the way of pumping on a shorter pistol like the Benjamin, the 1377 does have enough barrel for the Crosman 459 intermount to work, as long as the scope is a true pistol scope with long eye-relief or a dot sight.
Many of you have awaited this report for a long time. Let’s be sure and test those things about which you’re curious while the pistol’s in play.
Gino is a recent and satisfied owner of not one but two TX200 Mark III spring rifles. I’ve tested this rifle for you already, but this report comes from a new owner and a reader perspective. I thought it was an important viewpoint. Gino originally posted this as a comment, but it was so complete that I asked him if I could make it into a guest blog.
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A reader looks at the TX200 Mark III in .177 and .22
It’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been so busy practicing in my garage and cannot put the TX200s down. I still owe you a report on my rifles, so here you go.
Let me start with the .22 cal TX200 Mark III. It’s just as good as the .177. The only thing I see that’s different is that the .22 kills prey on the spot and the .177 needs better shot placement to execute the quick kill. The differences are very minimal, but I wind up picking up the .177 cal. 9 times out of 10 when I want to shoot farther, due to its greater velocity. But, the .22 cal. hits the mark with more accuracy on windy days.
Each caliber has unique traits. The .177 kicks a little harder than the .22, and I noticed that the .177 is a tad louder. Both will put pellets into the same hole as many times as you shoot, as long as you religiously keep the same stance/grip technique. I’m referring to the artillery hold–wink, wink.
The TX200 is so forgiving and simple to reload, and it’s never tiring like the breakbarrels. There are no seals that fall out, etc. [Matt61, are you listening?]
The trigger on the TX200 Mark III is so adjustable that I’ve gone through all the adjustments and set it the way I wanted. The trigger can be as light and dangerous as you want, but everyone’s preference is different. My .177 is set at 1/4″ first-stage travel and 16 oz. of pull on the release. Basically the trigger is set where my entire technique allows me to shoot with the most accuracy. The .22 trigger is set to the same first-stage travel of 1/4,” but has a little more tension than the .177 trigger. It just seems to shoot better/hit targets with a less sensitive trigger pull. Trigger adjustments are endless/infinite on the TX200 Mark III.
It gets better
New owners will be surprised when they shoot over 3,000 pellets and notice the rifle performs way better than when brand new out of the box. Everything gets better the more you shoot. The trigger smooths out, cocking gets even better and the overall feel just makes you smile each time you pull the trigger.
The overall weight is not bothering me, as it makes for a more stable rifle. By comparison, my friend’s Gamo CFX is a bit jumpy and springy against my cheekbones.
I scoped both rifles with Leapers SWAT scopes, with the .177 having Leapers Accushot 8-32x56AO with illuminated reticle and the .22 mounting the 4-16x56AO (also illuminated). Both perform great and are dead accurate. The ease of zeroing at any distance is a breeze with no tools needed. Be sure to get a solid mount; it works well.
My conclusion on both calibers is that you need both if you have the extra money. The .177 will the do the job just as good as the .22 when hunting, as long as your shot placement is good. The .22 always kills the prey on the spot. I currently have both calibers and have no regrets. I sold all my PCP rifles as of last month, and I’m keeping these. Field target events were never so much fun before the TX200′s arrived. Just looking at these rifles is rewarding enough, to say nothing of shooting them.
Which caliber is my favorite? The .177 is an all-around rifle but I always hunt with the 22 cal. I take them both if I can.
Here is a TX200 anecdote I’ll never forget. The day was calm (70 deg. F.) with no wind at all, so I took the rifles to the firing range with my buddies. A few onlookers challenged me saying, “Who takes an airgun to a firing range?”
I said, “Let’s see who can group better on a 50-yard target.” That’s my TX200 MK3 rifles against their rifles. Guess who won? Yep, they couldn’t even group inside 2″ but blamed their lack of accuracy on the fact that I had Leapers SWAT scopes against their fixed scopes.
Then, they shot my rifles and everyone complained when their turns were over. They finally admitted defeat as they looked on their spotting scopes to see 10 rounds so close that even I was amazed.
Both my friends and these strangers now have a different perspective on the airguns of today. In the end, I mentioned the artillery hold and told them that you can shoot an airgun at home for free anytime in small areas that can’t accommodate a rimfire or centerfire gun. I gave them all the Pyramyd Air URL, so they may comment if they see my comments.
My take on that experience is that to each his own and so be it if the toys/rifles/guns happen to be non-powder driven. They all shoot projectiles and give us joy and relaxation as hobbies.
by B.B. Pelletier
Pyramyd Air is having a garage sale Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 20 & 21. If you can’t make it, have a look at their used products. However, the garage sale will have much more than just used products, so it’s worth attending even if you’ve got a ways to travel.
On to today’s blog.
Lots of curiosity about the new Renegade repeater from Evanix. I told several who asked, and I’ll now tell everyone else, that the Renegade isn’t just a single airgun. This double-action trigger has been incorporated into four different airguns. The line includes the rifle I’m testing, a carbine version, a Takedown Rifle (TDR) that isn’t available right now and a pistol. I’ll test all of them for you.
When we last left the Renegade, I’d discussed the history of the AR6 from which the Renegade descended. The AR6 will continue to be made because it’s a more powerful repeater. We’ll see that today when we look at the Renegade’s velocity.
I also told you that this rifle gets a lot more powerful shots per fill than any other PCP I know of. However, since I haven’t yet revealed how powerful those shots are, it’s impossible to speculate just what that means. Let me show you a sample set of test strings so you can see what I’m talking about.
Test No 1: Alternating single- and double-action strings
This test uses only 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers. If you’ve been following this blog for a few months, you know that the Premier is a middleweight pellet that won’t give the greatest power in a precharged pneumatic. However, because they’re so widely used and also because they’re one of the most accurate pellets generally available, they make a good starting point.
3000 psi fill
6 shots single-action (the hammer is cocked manually before the shot is fired)
6 shots double-action (the trigger, alone, fires the gun)
6 shots single-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots single-action
6 shots double-action
Test No. 1 demonstrated a lot
I ended this test with the shot 36. Here’s what I learned. First, that there are about 18 shots per fill when firing single-action, which is the most powerful way to shoot this rifle. The velocity spread will likely be 50 f.p.s. across those 18 shots, but I’ll need to test to know that for sure. Second, the rifle’s valve is slightly locked at 3,000 psi if you want to shoot double-action. We know that because the first string of double-action shots (shots 7 to 12) is slower than the second string (shots 19 to 24). The velocity is climbing as we continue to shoot the rifle.
Test No. 2: All double-action
That tells me I want to test a straight set of shots on double-action, only to see what the power curve looks like when starting from a 3,000 psi fill. That’s next:
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
6 shots double-action
Learn how your rifle uses air
This test was very illuminating. It demonstrates why you should never slavishly attach meaning to a fill number like 3,000 psi. Because your gun may not work best at that pressure. I hope you understand the difference between this test and the first one. In the first test, the first 6 shots were fired single-action, which dropped the pressure in the reservoir to bring the second string of double-action shots up on the power curve. Can you appreciate that the gun uses much more air when fired single-action than it does double-action?
A peaked velocity curve
Also, instead of a relatively flat top to the velocity curve, the Renegade has a peaked curve with gentle slopes on both sides when fired double-action. How much of that curve you choose to use is up to you, and you should base your decision on what you want to do with the rifle. If you want to take woodchucks at 50+ yards, I would fill to 3,000 psi and shoot the rifle single-action. That will net you about 18 shots (3 cylinders).
How much of the power curve you want to use double-action is your choice, but I would start with shot No. 13 and finish with shot No. 54. That gives me 42 shots, which is 7 full 6-shot cylinders. My velocity spread would be from a low of 916 f.p.s. to a high of 975. While 59 f.p.s. is a large spread, please remember we are talking about Crosman Premiers, and I’m probably not going to be shooting them. They were just used for testing. I’ll probably go with a heavier pellet like the Beeman Kodiak. The velocity will be slower and should have a tighter spread over 42 shots.
Determining the correct fill pressure
If you agree that shot 13 is the place to begin your string, then you must determine what reservoir pressure it takes to deliver the first shot at that velocity. Goodness knows what those poor unfortunates will do who cannot reconcile starting air pressures other than 3,000 psi, but there isn’t much we can do for them. For you, however, the procedure is to fill one more time to 3000, then shoot the gun 12 times through a chronograph. The next shot is shot 13, which is the start of the third cylinder of pellets. If the velocity is where you want it to be, stop shooting and try to fill the gun right there. You’ll be able to determine from this the pressure at which the valve starts admitting air into the reservoir, and that number becomes your new maximum fill pressure. If shot No. 13 is NOT the right speed for you, keep shooting until you see the right speed and then determine the pressure in the reservoir. This is a simple procedure, yet it’s fundamental to the correct operation of all PCPs!
What if you DONT WANT to shoot only single-action?
Well, that was the reason for the first test. Look at it and determine what sort of performance you would like from your rifle. If your problem is squirrels in the bird feeder 25 yards from the house, double-action all the time sounds like a good idea. If you also have a pesky woodchuck over by the hill 75 yards from your back door, maybe you want to be able to shoot both single and double-action. Remember, nobody is tying your hands from topping off the reservoir at any time. You can shoot just 5 shots and decide to add more air at that time.
It’s time to let you know about the Renegade’s two-stage trigger. In single-action, the one I’m testing breaks exactly at 2 lbs. It’s as crisp as you could hope for, short of an Olympic target rifle. In double-action, I estimate the pull at nine lbs.–far lighter than, say, a Colt Officer’s Model .38 Special and about equal to a well broken-in 1077. So, don’t worry about whether you can fire it fast, because you can! Evanix says the trigger breaks in, so maybe a brand-new rifle will be somewhat stiffer, but you cannot fault the trigger on the rifle I’m testing.
Okay, digest this information and next time we’ll test velocities some more. Here’s some homework for you. Calculate the approximate average muzzle energy of the rifle in both the single-action and double-action modes using Crosman Premier pellets. Then calculate the probable power increase when we switch to a Beeman Kodiak pellet. I’ve made all my calculations based on the information presented in this report. I’ll show my expectations and then the test results next time. I’ll also tell you how I arrived at the numbers.
by B.B. Pelletier
Well, the BB pistol guys have waited patiently for this second report, so I thought I’d combine velocity and accuracy into one post. The Tanfoglio 1911 BB pistol turns out to be a genuine surprise! While it doesn’t have all the neat switches and levers of more expensive BB pistols, this one has something very few others have – accuracy! In fact, this may be the most accurate BB pistol I’ve ever tested. Because I said almost the same thing when I tested the SIG Sauer SP 2022 BB pistol back in May, that statement deserves an explanation.
The SIG Sauer SP 2022 was and still is very accurate. I’m not changing my mind about that. But, if you look at the targets, it shot low and to the left. The Tanfoglio shoots dead-center at the same 15 feet. After seeing where it was striking, I couldn’t resist shooting full magazines of 20 rounds at each target. Granted my groups are larger than those shot with the SIG, but look where they landed!
One way I know a particular gun is a good’un is when I can’t stop pulling the trigger. It doesn’t happen too often, but it sure did with this Tanfoglio. I stood there shooting five shots at a time with rests between. As long as the white dot on the front sight stayed on the black bull, that’s where the shots went. That doesn’t happen often enough that I can ignore it.
After 40 shots, my arms tuckered out and I was unable to hold the sights still enough to repeat the performance a third time. It’s nice to know that a gun is always there for you and makes you do your best because it’ll show. I never thought I’d say that about a BB pistol, though.
The 20-shot stick magazine is the easiest BB magazine I’ve ever loaded. Pull the spring-loaded follower down and it locks in place. Then, the BBs seem to pour into the opening. There’s even a grooved trough to help you align a bunch of BBs for the loading hole. The follower then unlocks in the same way the SIG Sauer 2022 magazine did, and the spring pushes against the BB stack.
With Daisy zinc-plated BBs, I got two different velocities. When the CO2 cartridge was fresh, they averaged 410 f.p.s. with a spread from 396 to 418. When the cartridge was almost used up, they averaged 430 with a spread from 407 to a high of 444. Tanfoglio BBs averaged 414 f.p.s. when the Co2 cartridge was fresh and remained there until the end.
You get more than 60 shots per CO2 cartridge, but not quite 80, so that last magazine needs to be watched. The CO2 piercing screw is inconvenient to operate because they put it where it can’t show from the side, and as a result you lose a little gas at each cartridge change. Screw in the piercing screw until you hear a hissing, then take two quick shots. Use Crosman Pellgunoil on every cartridge!
This is a double-action only pistol, so there’s no cocking of the hammer – which doesn’t move, by the way. This is a modern DAO, and the trigger-pull is very easy and free from excessive creep. Look at my targets, and you’ll see how tight you can hold the gun.
I don’t often get excited about CO2 BB pistols, but this one is the exception. It’s accurate, fun to use and easy to load. In fact, it’s so accurate that I believe this BB gun could be used for serious handgun training. If you’re into BB pistols and don’t need blowback, try the Tanfoglio Witness.
by B.B. Pelletier
Now it’s time to assemble and test the RWS Diana 48 with the Air Venturi Pro-Guide spring retainer installed. Because I removed the piston to photograph, I put it back in the gun first, but you normally wouldn’t take it out. So, the Pro-Guide system goes into the spring tube white end first. That’s the end with the guide inside the spring.
I mentioned in the last report that the Pro-Guide isn’t as long as the factory spring, so the trigger assembly also sits lower in the spring tube. Now the rifle is put back into the mainspring compressor again, and tension is put against the end cap shelf. As the tension increases and the end cap moves into the spring tube, it may twist so the pin holes in the cap go out of alignment with those through the trigger block and the mainspring tube. The trigger block will limit the twisting, but the black plastic end cap can get out of alignment just enough to make pin insertion impossible.
When the compressor bottoms out the end cap, the two pin holes are close to up-and-down alignment with the holes in the spring tube, but you may have to back off on the compressor tension just a touch. Then, you may have to work the end cap to one side or the other so the pins can be tapped through. A tapered punch is a good tool for this job, and you may have to start out using a thinner pin punch until the holes are close enough to insert the tapered punch.
Tap in the rear pin first. Don’t force it, but to get it started may require a few hard taps with a plastic hammer. Once it starts going into the hole, it’ll pull the trigger block into perfect alignment with the mainspring tube..and the rest is easy.
When the rear pin is all the way in, pull the trigger once to release it. If you don’t, you’ll discover later that the rifle won’t cock and the safety slide will be stuck. After the trigger’s pulled, tap the front pin into place. The rifle may then be removed from the mainspring compressor. The next step is to connect the sidelever. Insert the hinge pin first, making sure the two large washers are on either side of the hinge bushing and inside the flange that’s welded to the mainspring tube. The smaller washer goes under the head of the hinge pin.
After the hinge pin is installed, you can connect the cocking link with its pin. Be careful that the link hasn’t been unscrewed while you worked on the rifle; because, if it’s too long, the sidelever won’t stay tight against the side of the rifle after the gun’s cocked. If you have that problem (you will sooner or later), just tighten the link by screwing it in as far as it’ll go. That usually fixes it. It’ll have a little bit of flex as the sidelever is brought close to the spring tube, then it snaps the sidelever closed and tight against the tube when adjusted correctly.
Next, put the action back into the stock and tighten both screws. You’re ready to test the Pro-Guide system! This procedure takes someone familiar with RWS Diana rifles about 15 minutes, start to finish. If you’re doing it for the first time, allow about an hour.
The velocity of this rifle shooting .22 caliber Crosman Premiers with the factory mainspring was 797 f.p.s. With the Pro-Guide, it measures 805 f.p.s. That’s not a large increase, but I think the rifle will continue to get a little faster as it breaks in with either the factory spring or the Pro-Guide installed. There’s still a little velocity fluctuation because of how new the rifle is, and that was observed with both the factory mainspring and the Pro-Guide. Remember, there was no lubrication or anything else done during this installation.
With the factory spring, I could feel a small amount of buzz after every shot. It wasn’t objectionable and died off quickly. With the Pro-Guide, there’s no buzz whatsoever. Just the solid “thunk” of the piston coming to rest. I can feel a definite difference. There’s no measurable difference in cocking effort between the Pro-Guide and the factory spring, and the recoil also feels the same.
Is the Pro-Guide for you?
The advantages are zero vibration, possibly a small velocity increase, and a drop-in tune that you can do at home, as well as customize in several ways. You could add more lube to the mainspring if you like or you could put a washer ahead of the forward part of the Pro-Guide to bump up the velocity a bit. The Air Venturi Pro-Guide spring retainer system gives you one more alternative to expensive tuneups, and it’s one you can install yourself if you’re so inclined. Of course, you can also order the Pro-Guide to be installed when you buy the gun.
Well, I won’t insult your intelligence by claiming the Pro-Guide increases accuracy! Instead, I thought it’d be nice to see what the Pro-Guide can do for a .177 RWS Diana 34 Panther I’ve had for over a year. This is the same rifle I tested for you, and it’s also one of the rifles I used for the Leapers scope base development project. It now has many hundreds of shots through it. You’ll get to see what a Pro-Guide can do for a rifle that’s already broken in.
This just in!
A customer just submitted a nice review of the Pro-Guide, and I thought you’d like to see what he has to say. It’s also posted on the Pro-Guide product page:
“I did the install on my 34 Panther and it was quick and easy. She was clocking in at about 776fps prior to this addition and is now clocking in at around 839fps (10 rounds each, 14.3 grain chps). The gun cocks much smoother now and there’s a solid ‘thunk’ when fired. The recoil feels a little harder than stock, but it’s a nice and solid feel. I have another 34 that has a well-known aftermarket tune kit installed. That rifle shoots really well, though there was actually a small drop in velocity after installing the other tune kit, but her accuracy is incredible. I’d take accuracy over velocity any day, but won’t complain if I have both. There’s lots of speculation and rah-rah going on about this pro-guide kit so I thought I’d be one of the first to give it a try. So far so good; easy installation, good fitting parts and a velocity higher than that advertised for the stock gun. I’ll post a follow-up after a couple hundred more rounds with this to see how it holds up compared to my other 34 with the other custom tune/spring kit installed as far as durability, velocity and accuracy goes…”
by B.B. Pelletier
Big series coming!
Starting a HUGE series for you today – a new and significantly different model line from Evanix with the ability to fire double-action as fast as you can work the trigger and more shots than we’re used to. This first standard rifle I will review is called the Renegade. Before we get to the juicy details, though, you need to know the history of the AR6 in America to appreciate how far it’s come, because the AR6 is the ancestor of all current Evanix models.
Brief history of the AR6
Back in the very early 1990s, when modern smallbore precharged pneumatics were just over one decade old, Davis Schwesinger of Air Rifle Specialists began importing the AR6 rifle from Korea. At that time, the ARS-6, as it was known, was unlike any PCP we’d ever seen in this country. For starters, you filled it by pressing the whole rifle straight down on a needle fixture attached to a horizontal scuba tank. The needle pushed into a valve on the end of the rifle’s reservoir and filled the rifle in three seconds. In doing so, the reservoir became very hot, and American shooters complained that the internal seals and o-rings were being overheated. The Koreans responded by changing the fill port to a simple screw thread that accepted an adapter coupling.
American dealer invented the quick-disconnect probe
That threaded coupling lasted for a couple years, but in 1996 Davis got them to change again to a quick-disconnect fill probe he invented. That probe is still being used to fill all Korean rifles today and spills over to some models from the UK. As novel as it was, that probe wasn’t the biggest feature these repeating rifles had.
They were the power kings!
These were also the most powerful smallbore air rifles of their time. They shot heavy .22 caliber pellets at anywhere from 50 to 80 foot-pounds, completely overshadowing all other smallbore air rifles of the time. Not until the AirForce Condor hit the market in 2004 did the Korean guns have any competition.
With that power came accuracy. Using heavy Korean pellets, 1″ 5-shot groups at 50 yards were possible. This gave hunters the equivalent power and accuracy of a .22 short cartridge with much greater safety, and they soon began taking larger game than airgunners had ever imagined. Coyotes were the No. 1 Western fare and javelinas, the so-called Weber pigs (one fits nicely on a Weber barbecue grill with the cover on), became the target of choice for those in the Southwest.
Designed to be double-action
Back in those early days, there was an airgun magazine called U.S. Airgun, and they examined the ARS-6 frequently. It was on those pages that many of us discovered that this rifle is actually a double-action revolver. Theoretically, it was possible to fire all six shots by pulling the trigger rapidly instead of cocking the hammer for every shot. I say theoretically, because the double-action trigger-pull of that early gun was as much as 25 lbs.! No rifleman alive can squeeze off six fast shots while fighting that kind of resistance. So, the design was there but it wasn’t possible to use.
I remember reading in U.S. Airgun how a fellow came up with a trigger tune that reduced the double-action pull as low as 18 lbs. There was rejoicing and dancing in the streets for that tune, but in the real world nothing changed, because even an 18-lb. trigger-pull isn’t easy.
Over the years, the AR6 continued to evolve. That trigger tune was built into the rifle, but as mentioned, nothing changed as far as the user was concerned. The company changed hands in the new millennium, and they started modernizing their stocks from classic Asian to a more European look.
The rise of Evanix
They became Evanix and forged a relationship with Pyramyd Air as their exclusive U.S. distributor. New design ideas started going back and forth between the U.S. and Korea. Evanix was eager to deliver what the customer wanted because their annual sales numbers under Pyramyd Air were many times greater than they had been with all the other U.S. airgun dealers operating independently. Which brings us to the Renegade.
While all AR6 rifles have always been and continue to be double-action, they are not and cannot actually be used that way because of the extreme pressure required from the trigger. In fact, under Evanix management, shooters have been warned not to fire their rifles double-action because it’ll damage some of the internal trigger parts.
Here comes the Renegade
The new Renegade changes that. It’s designed from the ground up to be operated in either the single-action or double-action mode. You can’t tell by looking at the new rifle; but, to anyone with AR6 experience, all it takes is one pull of the redesigned trigger to convince them that this is all new.
Instantly selectable power
This new trigger makes it possible for the Renegade to have two different levels of power. If you cock the hammer before shooting, you’re on high power. If you fire double-action by just squeezing the trigger, you’re on low power. Low power doesn’t mean weak, however, and I will, of course, report exactly what these power levels are.
Rifle must be charged for the trigger to work
One interesting fact cropped up in my first test. The rifle must have air pressure in the reservoir for the trigger to function in the double-action mode. I tried it out of the box with no air in the reservoir and the trigger only worked once, then it remained in the pulled position. However, after filling the gun, it works perfectly.
The 6-shot pellet cylinder is removed from the rifle by pushing it to the right with a thumb. On a new rifle, it takes quite a push; after removing it a few times, it gets easier.
Pellets are loaded base-first from the front of the cylinder, typical of all Korean 6-shot repeaters. They come to rest against a small shoulder located at the rear of each chamber. There’s plenty of room to load even heavy Eun Jin pellets, though I think a Beeman Kodiak is more appropriate for the power this rifle offers.
Enhanced performance from a brand-new valve!
I see a lot of airguns in my business, and it isn’t often that I see something that’s really new; but, the valve on this Renegade is something I’ve never seen before. Most PCP rifles will function within an 800 psi pressure band. A 3,000 psi gun will shoot well until the pressure drops to 2,200 psi, then the power drops off rapidly. A very few rifles will stretch that band to 1,000 psi. Well, the Renegade rifle I’m testing works well throughout a full 1,500 psi pressure band! What that means is you get many more useful shots per fill. How many depends on whether you shoot with full power (single-action) or reduced power (double-action). In the next report, we’ll see exactly what those numbers are.
Those of you who’re looking for a powerful precharged hunting air rifle, follow this report carefully. I think we have something special here!