B.B.'s observations of Volvo's first PCP
by B.B. Pelletier
Announcement: Pyramyd Air's tech support department will be closed until Monday, Oct. 27, when they'll return from the International Airgun Expo in Roanoke, Virginia.
Now, let's get to today's blog.
Volvo's experiences with his new Webley Raider are useful for everyone who's contemplating getting a precharged airgun. There are things you don't yet know and other things you're not even aware of. Now that Volvo has given us his experiences, I would like to reflect on them.
How will you fill it?
First, the problem of compatibility between your intended source of air and the gun you get. I don't care whether it's a brand-new gun or a used one. I don't care whether you get it from a dealer or from the last owner. There's always a great chance for a screwup--leaving you with a gun that can't be filled.
When I worked on developing the Benjamin Discovery with Crosman, I was adamant that the pump be included with the gun. At least until I realized that if a guy ever bought a second gun there was no reason he would also want to buy a second pump, too. We had to give him the option of not buying the pump.
And that was when Pandora opened the box! Because some brand-new buyers, not wanting to wait for the Benjamin pumps to be in stock when the Discovery was new, bought their guns without pumps. And then the forums lit up with distress calls--"What do I do?"
You'd think that anyone who buys a precharged pneumatic air rifle without a means of filling it would have worked out the solution beforehand. At least that's how the conversation goes in the conference room when everyone is sitting around trying to make a decision.
However, on the buyer's side of the fence, you'd think a gun manufacturer wouldn't sell a gun without a means to fill it. That seems reasonable, too.
So, who's right? The answer? It's the dealer's responsibility to question the buyer to ensure he'll be able to fill his gun the moment he unpacks it. But there's a problem with that. Some buyers dislike being questioned about things they think are trivial, and they fail to grasp the gravity of the topic until they come face-to-face with it. I call it the landmine syndrome.
Learning how to disarm a landmine in the classroom is boring. BUT, put someone in the middle of an open demolitions pit with a real mine and an instructor offering words of encouragement from a distant bunker over a loudspeaker, and the subject suddenly snaps into sharp focus. I've been there and got the t-shirt.
You don't appreciate the problems of filling a PCP until it's YOUR PCP that arrives on a Friday before a long weekend.
So, here's what we're going to do. Whenever YOU buy a PCP, you are going to ask the seller to guarantee that you can fill the thing the moment it comes out of the package. You want their assurances, on the promise of severe penalty, that YOUR PCP will be able to be filled by YOU. Do that, and I will be happy.
PCPs are noisy
Next, precharged airguns are loud. Well, EXCUSE ME! So are firecrackers! Do you know that someone actually RETURNED an AirForce Condor because it was too loud?
HELLO! Hot coffee is HOT. You shouldn't pick up a running lawnmower by the deck. And, it's not a good idea to skydive in a straightjacket.
Do you know why I don't do sound testing over the internet? Because an atomic bomb sounds no louder than a car backfiring over your cheap computer speakers. However, if you're ever able to witness an actual atomic bomb detonating, I have a sneaking suspicion it really is louder.
Angelina Jolie shoots two Desert Eagle pistols in all her Lara Croft movies. I wonder what she would think about shooting just ONE SHOT from a real Desert Eagle .50 AE?
I cannot make my analogies any stronger. Print is limited that way. Which is why we take our soldiers into the gas chamber periodically--so they can experience it for real.
Precharged airguns are loud. No, they absolutely are not as loud as a .22 long rifle, but your ears usually can't tell the difference.
Oh, yeah, I forgot one. Never drive a golf ball in a tile bathroom. I saw something very similar on TV just last week.
Suddenly, you're a good shot!
Precharged airguns are usually very accurate. Phenomenally accurate to those of you who have convinced yourselves that a $150 breakbarrel is a good thing. And PCPs don't require any special technique. Springers do, though to listen to people talk you wouldn't think so. You can sit down and shoot amazing groups with most PCPs.
Filling a PCP from a hand pump isn't difficult, but it is labor. Everyone feels differently about labor. Up to 2,000 psi, just about any healthy adult can pump a pump. I can do it sitting down and using one hand, though the last few hundred psi are a strain. After 2,000, pumping starts getting stiffer, and after 2,500 it gets real stiff. That's when the effort starts annoying some people. Smaller adults (under 140 lbs.) will have difficulty pumping past 2500 psi.
Please don't take these comments as criticism of anything Volvo said. What I'm doing is reinforcing his remarks, because they're on the money. Everyone who goes to a PCP has these experiences, and they usually line up just like his did. The one thing that may not be universal is the noise comment, because firearm shooters will have an entirely different perspective than spring gunners. They will be happy they don't have to wear hearing protection to shoot these guns...at least not outdoors.
I avoided the world of precharged guns for 15 years; but when I realized they were the coming trend, I decided to get my feet wet. I never looked back.