Airgunner’s Christmas Gift Guide – Part 4Gifts over $100

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1 – Under $25
Part 2 – $50 and under
Part 3 – Under $100

Here’s a link to Pyramyd Air’s official Gift Guide.

First, I’d like to thank all of you who wished me well with my kidney stones. My wife is heavy into alternative medicine, so as soon as I complained about a backache she started her diagnosis. In the past, I’ve had a chronic bad back, so I tend to ignore back pain. This has been going on for over a month, so there was a lot to remove.

She started me on a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil taken three times a day. The morning I complained on the blog was the start of the third day, and the treatment had started to work. That evening I started passing stones and parts of stone without pain. The next morning my back pain was reduced by 90 percent and life was almost back to normal.

Several of you also sent me other natural cures and I tried them all. After all, they are just food, so the worst that can happen is nothing changes. At any rate, life is getting back to normal for this 61-year-old, and I wanted to thank you all for your concern.

Today, I am doing the final installment of my Christmas Gift Guide. Like the first three, not everything on this list is a personal favorite of mine, so I will indicate when something really is a favorite. These things cost more money, and I’m going to insert a little more opinion with them.

Airguns
TX200 Mark III This one is a personal favorite of mine and I know that anyone who gets one will be very satisfied. Before anyone asks, I’m not recommending the Hunting Carbine or the Pro-Sport, although I know people who are very happy with both guns.
Air Arms S410 sidelever This rifle is loved by so many shooters, including Wacky Wayne, the high priest of the 410.
Air Arms S200 Again not a favorite of mine, but so many airgunners love this rifle that I have to list it.
AirForce Condor A personal favorite of mine, this powerful precharged rifle has a style that some love and some do not.
AirForce Talon SS Another personal favorite. Get an optional spare 24″ .22 cal. barrel and you have a second rifle that’s two-thirds the power of a Condor.
RWS Diana 460 Magnum If you want a magnum spring rifle, this is about the best one I know of. Because it’s an underlever, it isn’t as hold-sensitive as a breakbarrel. The power is great for a springer.
RWS Diana 350 Magnum If you want a magnum spring rifle that’s a breakbarrel, this is the best one in its power class, in my opinion.
RWS Diana 34 Panther A personal favorite of mine for an entry-level spring rifle.
Gamo Whisper with Air Venturi gas spring Here is another favorite of mine, but only in .177 caliber.
Beeman HW77 carbine A personal favorite of mine, the HW77 ruled the world before the TX200 came along.
Beeman R7 A perfect plinker. Get it in .177 and never let it go.
Beeman R1 Another time-proven favorite. I would put this rifle ahead of the RWS Diana 350 Magnum in all ways, except the RWS is more powerful. I like this one in .22 caliber.
Beeman R9 I’m including the R9 because I must be the only person on the planet who doesn’t like it. A very popular spring rifle with the same power as the R1 in a smaller package.
Benjamin 392 A proven classic pneumatic air rifle. The 397 is just as great in .177 caliber.
Benjamin Discovery You KNOW I like this rifle! It has everything I want in an entry-level PCP. Either caliber is good; get it with the pump unless you know the reason to do otherwise.
Crosman 2250XE
Daisy 853 A great little target rifle at a decent price.
Daisy 499 World’s most accurate BB gun. I own one and highly recommend it.
Evanix Renegade rifle A refined AR-6. Very usable.
Beeman FWB 700 If you can afford it, one of the two best 10-meter rifles in the world.
Mendoza RM200 Best low-priced spring rifle available today. I like .22 but get either caliber.
Beeman P1 Top spring pistol.
Benjamin HB17
Benjamin HB22
Benjamin EB22
Beretta 92FS
Colt 1911
Crosman 2300S The Crosman 2300S is a good one, too.
Evanix Renegade pistol
FWB P44 target pistol
Gamo Compact pistol
IZH 46M target pistol
IZH Drozd pistol
Desert Eagle pistol Super accuracy and blowback action.
RWS Diana 5G Magnum pistol
S&W 586 revolver
Walther CP88 pistol
Walther CP99

Airsoft
Taurus Raging Bull revolver
TSD Luger pistol
Walther P38 pistol
WE M92 pistol
Shadow Ops Type 96 sniper rifle
Echo 1 M249 machine gun
Echo 1 designated sniper rifle
UTG M4 An AEG built in the U.S.A.!
Thompson M1A1
Marui G36C Powerful upgrade!

Scopes
Leapers 8-32×56
Leapers 4-16×56 scope
Hawke 6-24×50 scope
Hawke 4-16×50 scope

70 thoughts on “Airgunner’s Christmas Gift Guide – Part 4Gifts over $100

  1. BB, I see the 460 made your list but the 48/52/54 did not. If I may ask, in your opinion what puts the 460 ahead of the sidelevers?



  2. Glad to hear that you are doing better. I will have to remember that remedy.

    I like the RWS 54, but I suppose for hunting the 460 has it’s potential.

    I see some Hawk scopes at PA now. They have a pretty good rep in the UK.

    I own a Leapers bug buster scope and find the reticle to be a little thick and was wondering how the Leapers rife scopes with IR compare? The rest of the Leapers I own are non IR and are very good.



  3. RE: Pressurized tank safety

    B.B.,

    Odd question I’m sure.

    Do users of scuba tanks and such do anything to protect the valve stem on the pressurized tank?

    I worked for years in chemistry lab with full size high pressure gas cylinders. If you break off a valve stem, the cylinder turns into a missile. It was absolutely forbidden to move a cylinder without a cap over the valve stem. Cylinders in use had to be chained to prevent them from falling.

    SEE Virginia University link below for what are common precautions in lab:
    http://www.vcu.edu/oehs/chemical/labsafe/compgas.pdf

    Herb


  4. Vince,

    Today’s blog took me 6 hours to create. I made some mistakes. Leaving the 54 off was a big one. The 48/52 is an omission, but not as great as the 54.

    The 460 is simply more powerful than they are, which is why I said what I said about it.

    B.B.


  5. Herb,

    A scuba tank is not made with a protective cap like the larger industrial tanks are. Therefore the answer to your question is no.

    However, divers are taught to protect the valves on their tanks against the very thing you mention.

    B.B.


  6. Walther Falcon Hunter guy,

    The answer to your question is that my friends eye’s switched dominance.

    Thanks for the advice for my friend to “shade” or put vaseline over his dominate eye. In my google search for a solution to my friends problem I read where people have had success in “re-training” there original shooting eye. My friends problem is that he can’t wear glasses because the bridge of his nose was lost to cancer and he struggles to wear goggles. He doesn’t shoot anymore (which is the primary reason I’m looking for this solution) but when we ride our atv’s together he has to put goggles on. They are constantly slipping. He has a set of glasses that clip on his hat so he can see to tie flies when we’re fishing so he solved that dilemma. I’m hoping a green laser, like B.B. suggested, could be the solution. Hold the gun right handed but adjust a powerful laser that could be seen and aimed with his left eye? We’ll see.

    kevin


  7. Derrick,

    Thanks for your contribution on a potential solution for my friend that shoots right handed but is now left eye dominant.

    The tri rail and red dot are worth considering. Thank you for your time.

    kevin



  8. Derrick,

    My order would not have all those pistols!! and Air Soft… not until next spring anyway..

    My order would be more like:
    TX200 Mark III (I won't get the carbine next time),
    Air Arms S410 side lever in .177 & .22,
    Condor, .22 cal with bloop tube
    Talon, both barrels and bloop tube
    Beeman HW-77 .177
    Beeman R7 .177
    Benji Disco .177 & .22
    Dasiy 499
    Mendoza RW200 .22
    Benji 397 & 392

    8-32x56AO leapers
    I haven't tried the Hawke yet so,
    6-24x50AO Hawke
    6-24x50AO Hawke

    And I'll start off the pistol inventory with the: S&W 586 Revolver..

    Those are ones I think my future customers would like, from my limited experience..

    How could you leave off a:
    Wacky Waynes' wonderful waziboy!!

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  9. Wayne: We were checking our blog and have started processing your order. Check your e-mail for the tracking number. Thanks PA :)

    Couldn’t resist Mr B.


  10. PA blog monitors,

    AAAHHHH! ere..ah.. thanks for such great service…will you take a check? .. dated March 1st 2009..

    Wayne
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  11. Wayne,

    Do you have a website(s) for your professional wood products endeavors? If so, what? Interested people want to know.

    Do you have any .25 air rifles @ Ashland? Do you think there is any need?

    Have you given any thought to my suggestion some weeks back about purchasing an actual working, non-leaking version of the semi-auto FX for the amusement of your customers?

    - Dr. G.


  12. Dr. G.

    The last product I developed, and designed the manufacturing process for, was a raised garden bed kit. It's very simple, with a lap joint and pin assembly. My son Jason, built the website, http://www.naturalyards.com

    We've got a cool mini greenhouse to go on top, that will be out by Feb. 1st. (I don't spend all my time buying and shooting air guns)

    Not one .25 cal. Since our focus is on target use and rentals, and the .25 cal is mostly for hunting..isn't it? If I go for a .25 cal, it would be the Condor, with hopes that I could find an accurate pellet for all the power needed to launch it.. I know the Condor can be very accurate…

    Volvo is on the FX whisper for us.. I read those reviews on the problems with the FX Semi-autos too! Those adds that Volvo showed us, were very impressive… but then the reviews of leaks …HHMMM.. I'll wait awhile..

    Wayne,
    AARR&R


  13. B.B.

    Glad you’re better and that the alternative remedies worked. That’s the ultimate tinkering I would say.

    I’m glad to hear that the RWS 48/52 series qualified, but no Gamo CFX? That rifle has had a strange career.

    Matt61


  14. BB
    I was quite surprised to see you leave off the little Black Russian, the Baikal 61. I took your advice after reading your review and bought one and have really enjoyed it. Since them have also bought a model 60 that I love even more. By the way, I have a 460. in 22.cal that was detuned and now shoots like a R8. What a pleasure of a gun to cock and shoot all day now.



  15. Speaking of nickel plating (although you weren’t)…

    I recently got a new Silver Shadow cheap (a closeout) and it appears to me that the nickel plating is applied to the inside of the barrel bore. Assuming I’m right, what bearing does this have on the need to clean the bore with JB or break it in with several hundred shots?

    Also, it seems that the barrel bore has a bit of a rough appearance, not as smooth as my other (blued) Gamo’s were. I’m wondering if this is due to the plating. Oddly enough it seems to shoot well enough, no worse than my other breakbarrel Gamo’s even at 60 yards.


  16. BB,
    My Xmas gift is arriving this afternoon — a new water heater. I'll be making more use of the first list (<$25) this year:).

    RE: the 54,52,48. The compelling thing about the 48 is that it doesn't have the excessive length of pull that the others do. I know its a personal thing and more important to offhand shooters than others, but why does almost every centerfire rifle in the world fit me, but so many air rifles come with 14+ inch LOP's? I even noticed one vendor offering a custom version of the AR2078 (target stock) with a longer length of pull! Maybe my technique is wrong, but I can tolerate a stock that is two inches too short more easily than one 1/2 inch too long. Anyway, feels good to rant about something, although I think I've complained about it before.



  17. BB-
    I’m surprised that the Benji made it but not the Blue Streak. Remember, some of us have been reading this blog from the beginning! JK, glad you are better!


  18. BG_Farmer,

    On the length of pull issue, I’m only 5’10″ and 150 lbs. I’m with you!! You can always add a rubber butt pad of sorts.. But I don’t like the idea of shortening a stock!!

    Matt61,

    My opinion of the CFX (I had 5, 3 with the gas spring) is that; although they are accurate, they don’t shoot up to advertised speed, and the long creep trigger is not good for training young shooters and frustrating for experienced shooters..

    So, by the time you upgrade this gun, twice, or three times… you might as well save money and frustration and buy a collectors item that you can shoot FT with as well.. like a HW-77 or TX200.

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range



  19. Vince,

    Barrels are blued inside and out so I suppose they can be plated inside, as well.

    I know plating helps barrels on military rifles and machine gun barrels. I would just keep shooting it and not worry about ever cleaning it. It sounds like the plating helps keep the bore clean.

    B.B.





  20. Plating inside a tube is very tricky and getting an even deposit thickness is near impossible with electroplating.

    Electroless Ni may work but moving the solution through the barrel is a trick.

    I worked on different processes for a number of projects and none would be up to the tolerances I’d like to see in a rifled bbl.



  21. BB, I would be very interested in the plating process.

    The high current density areas (ends) build thickness so much faster and getting current and fresh solution to the middle of the inside is a real trick. I guess I’m off to Google!.


  22. BB-
    Not sure whether you would include it in the under $50 or the $25 but I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Williams peep sight for people who can’t/won’t mess with a scope. It is surely a step up from most iron sights on guns like the 392. I think Pyramyd sells it as the Crosman 64? Good inexpensive upgrade! GG


  23. Wayne,

    I had been thinking of the CFX with the GRT III trigger which is only 30 bucks or so, but I have heard objections to the short range of the CFX–50 yards max.

    I had also been wondering about the Benjamin Super Streak. Those reading at the time can hardly have forgotten the pleading and importuning for weeks before the review appeared. I think that one thing that killed interest was the Chinese make, probably for people who had been hoping for an American manufacture.

    Matt61


  24. GG,

    The reason I didn’t include any peep sights is because they are such personal items. Like shoes, I wouldn’t want to have anyone but the buyer picking them out. And the gift guide was for others to use.

    B.B.


  25. BG_Farmer: I feel your pain. That’s a pick from list four sitting in your basement.

    B.B. We’re all glad that you’re back to normal, if putting up with us is normal.

    Folks you cann’t go wrong with his recommendations–a Diana 350 Magnum, a Crosman 1077, a Benjamine 392 with a peep sight, a Benjamine Discovery and pump, a Talon SS with HPA or CO2 the optional 24″ barrel and bloop tube for both continue to keep me smiling. Thank you very much B.B. for all you do for us, Mr B.


  26. BB – .20 is hard to justify? But I thought the idea was to look for justifications, as in “I have to have at least one rifle in every production caliber.” Of course, that’s just during the onset of airgun addiction. I’ve since invented many other “justifications”. ;)




  27. Dear BB,
    Glad you’re feeling better.

    Need your help. I called PA sales to order the new AirForce Rear peep sight for my Daisy 853c.

    The sales agent I talked to could not confirm that the Air Force rear sight will mount on the 853.

    I then called customer service and he said that he does not have enough information to confirm that the rear sight will fit.

    After I mentioned that in your blog, you mentioned that the 853 is one of the rifles AirForce intended to market the new sights… he said “If Tom said so, then it must fit…we go to him for advise”

    Since you are the expert… will the new Air Force rear sight mount on the Daisy 853c?

    Need to mail my letter to Santa pronto !!

    Thanks and best regards,

    Stingray


  28. Stingray,

    I don’t have an 853 here to test on, but I believe it has an 11mm dovetail for the rear sight. If that’s true, the AirForce rear sight should fit fine. You may have to lower it to work with Daisy’s front sight, but it is designed for that.

    B.B.


  29. Hey Everyone!!!
    Today I received my Talon SS!! Wohooo.. after month and a half of waiting.. Finally!!… I am so pumped up, untiiiiiiil… I mixed up my spare tanks with my Micrometer tanks…. Stupid me… I thought that the Micrometer had some sort of symbol or marking that differentiates it from the normal spare tanks… Can someone give me a clue of how to differentiate both?? But just to let you know, I don’t have a Chrony so I cannot measure their difference in speed at high power, what about sound, is it any different.??? Im just tired of shooting for today… LOL..
    Cheers,
    Jony


  30. Jony
    My micro had a label around the collar.

    The micro will not be as noisy as the standard tank. The standard will get quiet when turned down, and loud when turned up. The micro will not be affected by the power wheel.

    twotalon



  31. Jony
    You can also check by penetration on a couple scrap pieces of pine board stacked together, or penetration on a duct seal silent trap if you have one. Shoot both at full power. The micro won’t punch as hard as the standard tank.


  32. Wacky Wayne? I can think of a lot of nick names for Wayne based just on his postings, but wacky?

    I don’t think so.

    Great to hear ‘every thing came out all right’ bb.

    Al Pellet



  33. Hey B.B.
    I saw the AirForce DVD, and I liked the idea of oiling the pellets to keep in optimum conditions the barrel… Could I use Pellgunoil??? And when I leave the pump to cool off for about 15 minutes, do I have to bleed off the valve everytime, or only when it is 100% full????
    Cheers,
    Jony

    P.S.: I have pumped 5 tanks today, one more to go, but for tomorrow!!!!… LOL..


  34. The FX Whisper is here.

    CPL’s go 972 fps.

    16 shot magazine.

    and it is quite quiet, less noise than a Daisy 499,
    now back to shooting…

    Volvo


  35. BB- glad all is well with the kidney stones. I have been doing some airgun research (your articles and blogs make it almost too easy) and I came upon one of your arcticles. In this you state that,”as range increases so does the size group for all airguns”. You then compare the accuracy of a true target rifle(3/4″) to that of a talon ss(1/2) at 50 yards. Here my brain took over and started clunking away resulting in a question as usual. I started thinking about group size to distance ratios, and I’m struggling to understand how the target rifle will surpass the sported at closer ranges. Any help is appreciated,
    Thanks,
    John from jersey



  36. Al Pellet,

    I took that nick name on some reviews on the PA website… and thanks, but you haven’t known me long enough.. you’ll find out..

    .22 cal rim fire report..

    I opened a 10/50 round box of Winchester .22 “XT22LR Target” 40gr. and started out with dad’s remington semi-auto with open sights at 50 yards, and used the remington sportmaster bolt action with a 6-24×50 Leapers, as a spotting scope. I couldn’t get the open sights to focus with my old eyes, but I held her steady in the bench rest where it fuzzily looked it should be, and shot 4 shots, high, after a little adjustment, the best I got was a 5″ – 15 shot group, and tried the Sportmaster bolt action so called “target rifle” with the same rounds.

    I like scopes!!! 2 – 1-1/4″ groups of 15 shots each, so I set up a row of 6″ shoot and see at 100 yards. I tested 3 shots on some clay targets scraps on the ground, adjusting up about six inches. So my first 12 shot group with the rem Sportmaster was 2-3/4″ with 4 in the 1″ bull and 5 in the 2″ ring. I moved over for a 15 shot 3-1/2″ group with only 2 in the bull and 5 in the 2″ ring. Next one just a little better than the second, but not as good as the first.

    Then I switched to the Marlin 60 semi-auto with the same win. Target .22LR for a 15 shot 6″ with no bulls, moved over, and did a 30 shot 7″ group with 3 bulls… I switched to Remington Golden bullets HP, which I usually shoot in that gun, and did a 15 shot 4″ group with 3 bulls. All the 6″ targets were used, so I started plinking 2-3″ clay target scraps with surprising success.. here is a updated photo bucket:

    //s424.photobucket.com/albums/pp325/wayne177/

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range



  37. B.B.,
    I have a Leapers 1.5×44 Swat scope mounted on my Disco. Starting to doubt it’s quality… but it was under a $100 bucks brand new. Will be moving it back to one of my lower power short range guns.

    So… thinking of an upgrade to a Leapers 3-12×44 (p/n PY-A-634). This one is not illuminated and that is OK with me… never used that feature anyway. Thought I would… but didn’t.

    In todays blog you recommended a Leapers 4-16×56. It obviously has more magnification and should bring in more light. Just wondering if a 50-yard gun (in my hands) needs such a high power scope.

    So I’m asking do you believe the 4-12×44 Leapers to be a good match for a Disco’s used for 50-yards or less… mostly less?

    Glad you’re feeling better,
    DB




  38. Jony,

    Yes you can use Pellgunoil to lube pellets.

    I always bleed the pump during the cooldown times because that helps cool the pump, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

    I like to get rid of moisture as often as possible, too.

    B.B.


  39. Jersey John,

    Yes, I can see how that would confuse someone. The dynamic is velocity. The target gun is too slow for 50-yard shooting, so any breeze at all, even an indoor convection current, will open the group. A sporter like the Talon SS will overpower the wind to some extent.

    However, John, what makes you think a Talon SS is LESS accurate at 10 meters? It isn’t. It’s just as accurate as a target rifle at that distance.

    B.B.




  40. just wanted to point out on the crosman handguns, the crosman 2300t and 2300s you put both as 2300s…not sure the point of pointing that out, if like you can change that for future readers or not but i thought it might confuse some so yes, just trying to help…good day


  41. After staying from springers for a good while I decided to jump on board again. Started with a Model 45 in ’83 and it was my pride and joy until the stock cracked (via someone else playing with the gun and we know the cause and effects)

    So I went with a Model 54 in .22 My choice was decided via the recoil sled being more advantageous than the little extra speed in my rational. If I want to hear a supersonic Kodiak, I have the means already. The fact a local store had one in stock firmed up the deal ;)

    Still have a little dieseling after about 150shots or so. I laugh at myself because I so far get better groups from my Steyr LP5P in my attic 10m setup… that is probably me but the smell if burned grease isnt helping so I will refrain from blaming anything but myself until it settles :)

    So as noted, you chose the 460 and left the previous generation out of the foray. Are your really showing that much more power between the old and new?

    Also am I the only one that is still scared to load these thing even thought the anti beartrap appears to work?


  42. Cal,

    Don’t read a lot into my Gift Guide, or if you do, then read ALL the comments. I have already admitted that leaving the 54 off the list was a mistake. It is a wonderful gun. And your 10-meter Steyr won’t hold a candle to it at 40 yards and beyond.

    B.B.


  43. I understood your mistakened ommission :) That was my ‘so as noted’ part but I see it wasnt descriptive enough to reflect I realized it.

    How long is it taking these guys to settle? Seems Im at a couple hundred shots already and still smell the tailtail signs.


  44. B.B.,
    I hate to read lists like this. Wait, let me mop up the drool first. I live in Illinois and can’t get a gun over 500psi shipped to me. Are there any other Illinoisans out there in B.B. Blog land? How do you get your guns? Yes, I’ve thought of moving to Texas just to get guns in the mail:) Does anyone know where these guns, especially the TX200′s, can be bought in Illinois?
    -Chuck



  45. B.B.,

    Hah! Sorry about that psi/fps goof. I did mean fps.

    I’ve ben reading so much lately about PCP’s and CO2 and scuba tanks and pumps that I had psi drilled into my head.

    -Chuck


  46. I have been looking at the RWS 350 magnum and the Beeman R1 .22 calibre models. I am left handed will this be a problem using either of these rifles? And are there equally powerful/accurate comparisons that are more left hand friendly that i may not now about? Any advice would be appreciated its been my (gift for myself) Christmas dilemma! Thanks! ;)



  47. BB,

    Even though Christmas is over, I’m still looking at that list….I noted mostly big scopes on it, so I wanted to pose a couple of questions (maybe its ammo for a future blog, or just a couple of questions): Why not the less powerful/more compact Leapers scopes? 3-12×44 mini swat comes to mind. Although I couldn’t get one to work on a TX 200 as it wasn’t long enough, they are sweet on my Talons. Along with an 18″ barrel and a Frame Extender that extends just 3″ beyond the frame, this forms a lightweight combo that is hard to beat! The regular 3-12×44′s work great on springers and are not nearly as massive as the 8-32×56 I have on the TX200 (definitely not a lugging through the woods combo!).

    On to the second question. I note that you have Hawke’s on the list, but they don’t appear to be the ones with the fancy reticle on them – are they worthwhile for airgunning drop characteristics or just for a specific powder/bullet weight?

    Thanks,

    JC


  48. JC,

    I picked the scope that mount the easiest on most airguns. You mentioned the reason I left the mini SWAT off my list.

    As far as specialized reticles are concerned, I do not care for them under any circumstances. I have never seen one that worked as advertised or even reliably.

    B.B.


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