Air Venturi Avenger 1100 Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


The Air Venturi’s Avenger 1100 is a big spring rifle for not a lot of money.

Today, we’ll begin looking at a .177-caliber Air Venturi Avenger 1100 rifle. This is a breakbarrel spring piston rifle made by Mendoza. It’s a single-shot, and is one of the most powerful rifles Mendoza makes. The advertised velocity is 1030 f.p.s., which we’ll certainly test.

My test rifle has a different stock than the one shown on the website. Mine is plain instead of being checkered on both the grip and forearm, and the stain on my rifle is a lighter brown than you see here. My stock also lacks the sling swivel stud that appears in the photo on the toe of the butt. Other that that, the two rifles appear the same. The reason my rifle is different is because the new-style stock just came in recently, and the one I’m testing was ordered when Pyramyd Air had the plain stocks. I want to draw your attention to the shape of the stock at the cheekrest. The groove that is supposed to define the pistol grip is cut higher up on the cheekrest of this rifle. Also, the toe of the stock is swooped up instead of following the line of the stock bottom. It makes the butt appear very Bavarian. The wood appears to be beech with very little figure.

The stock is not ambidextrous, but the action is, and I don’t think left-handed shooters will find too much to complain about. The automatic safety has a switch on either side of the spring tube, so it’s equally convenient to shooters of either persuasion. And, being a breakbarrel, the breech is 100 percent symmetrical.

The rest of the features are typical of Mendoza rifles, like the two-bladed trigger, a deep blue finish on all the metal parts, an oil hole for the piston seal and fully adjustable fiberoptic sporting sights. A word about these sights is required. The rear notch is too narrow to show any daylight on either side of the front sight, so this is one rifle that demands you uses the red/green dots of the fiberoptic elements for sighting. I’ll mount a scope for the accuracy test, and the 11mm grooves on top of the receiver end in a stout plastic end cap that serves as a scope stop.

Shooting characteristics
Mendoza ships all their rifles with a test group on the hang tag attached to the triggerguard. If the one on this rifle is any indication, I think we’re in for a treat. The couple times I function-fired the rifle to make sure it was ready to go, I noticed a shudder of vibration with each shot. It isn’t bad, but it’s noticeable. Also, the mainspring makes some noise as the rifle is cocked.

Balance
Whoever designs these rifles is an experienced shooter. I can tell that from the balance, which is decidedly muzzle-heavy. It holds very steady as a result and will do well off the hand in the artillery hold. The bottom of the forearm is wide and almost flat, which will also help a good rested hold.

Economy
This is a $150 breakbarrel with all the power anyone could expect to use. If it holds up to the advertised velocity claims and if the accuracy is anything close to the test target, this will be a best buy. Imagine knocking $50 off the price of an RWS Diana 34 Panther. This will be an exciting test!

35 thoughts on “Air Venturi Avenger 1100 Part 1

  1. I’d like you to comment further about the “the 11mm grooves on top of the receiver end in a stout plastic end cap that serves as a scope stop” on the Air Venturi Avenger 1100. There must be something metal for the scope stop, certainly plastic is not sufficient.


  2. B.B. & All,

    Good morning all. I first air gun I bought after 40 years of not shooting air rifles, was the Avenger 1100 last winter, when it had the old stock. It certainly is the best $150 springer on the market.. The trigger is great and gets better. The balance and weight are perfect. The accuracy WAS very good on the two I ended up buying. I put 45 pellets on a 1" dot, the game became taking out all the orange paper, and I did it in the 45 shots, with going over the edge just a 1/16". That was with Baraccuda Match 10.6 gr. I've still got the board, I could put a photo up on the bucket if you want.

    I say "was" because I had to send them back, with loose barrels, after about 3,000 shots. They can be shimmed, and tighten up again. That is what PA is doing with mine, but I haven't got them back yet.

    B.B. have you ever seen a longer "U" for the barrel to hinge in, before?
    It seems to me that the problem is there, it needs more metal or to be shorter and stronger, to handle the leverage of the long barrel.

    I would still buy a new one, and repair it, if it gets loose, most people don't shoot 1,000 shots per year, let alone 3,000 in one month, like I did. This is a very fine gun in all other ways..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  3. K. Rihanek,

    It depends on what you ask the plastic to do. After all, the Glock frame is made of plastic.

    I will show a photo of the end cap and you’ll be able to see how it can control scope slippage.

    B.B.


  4. Wayne,

    I almost commented on that design feature, but decided not to. Now I will.

    The Avenger 1100 has no base block at all. The barrel is welded to a small extension that carries the pivot pin. I will show it next time.

    I’m not going to shoot this rifle for 3K shots, so I’ll have to let you tell us about that experience.

    B.B.


  5. B.B.

    Like I said I bought two, because the first one was such a joy to shoot. It does get better and better as far as firing smoothness and trigger pull. It has a pretty strong recoil, but it can be held though it, with that extra weight up front. The balance is just right for me. Randy and I had the most fun shooting head to head at night in the 60′ pool room range. They are his favorite low price springer as well. We had so much fun with them, we decided to start a Rifle range, thinking others would want to get into this sport again, like us.. So this gun has great memories for us..

    The next best I’ve found, is the RWS94, but that isn’t on the market anymore, I got some from Umarex, and I’m taking all they get back and rebuild..

    I love the tag, that shows the factory shot and tested the rifle before shipping it. Every manufacturer should do that..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  6. B.B.

    I hear such good things about the Mendoza rifles. I’m eager to see how this one turns out.

    Wayne, at what distance did you put 45 shots into 1 inch? Was it the 20 yard range? Best $150 springer? Oh oh, looks like we’re headed for another match-up with the B30. But mine is still at PA for repairs. :)

    Matt61


  7. B.B.

    Here is more Photobucket madness. My M1 Garand arrived on Saturday!

    http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/
    garand.jpg

    The seconds passed with agonizing slowness all through Saturday until the Fedex man arrived at 4:30pm. I opened the box and while noting the new refinished stock tried the safety, and I couldn’t make it work! What an emotional roller-coaster. I pushed on to try out the rifle’s function with my clip of snap caps, and wasn’t that a comedy of errors. For the first clip, the snap caps ejected with great energy all over the room, but not the clip. I looked all over for it and poked my fingers absently into the magazine and yow, the bolt slammed shut giving me my first “M1 thumb.” Then I pressed the bolt back meditatively and the clip when flying past my face. Basic training must have been quite a circus with this rifle. I finally figured everything out and even managed to load single rounds into the magazine.

    That left the safety, so bright and early on Monday, I called Clint Fowler to ask what had happened. He said that he had no idea and that he had not taken the trigger apart. Then things got weird. Over the phone, he had me taking the gun apart. I pulled out the trigger group and was clicking things and examining parts as he diagnosed the trigger group. It was like Star Trek where you are taken over by a superior alien power. Nothing was wrong with the safety. Then, he started laughing and told me to push on the safety as hard as I could which I did and the thing worked. Mirror shooter has got nothing on me for embarrassing moments. Clint said that it was not an uncommon problem for people who don’t work with tools all day… So you tinkerers are all musclemen too. But the main thing is that the rifle is in hand and working.

    I guess the photography leaves something to be desired. I switched to better lighting, but the image is still blurry. Perhaps it’s the camera although it cost over $400 several years ago. Or maybe the process of extracting still images from video causes the the problem. Here is an improved shot of the IZH 61 from yesterday, but it’s still fuzzy.

    http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/
    61.jpg

    All take note of the fully extended stock which gives it the look of an adult rifle to me.

    BG_Farmer, as our expert woodworker, I don’t know if there’s an opinion you can give me about the M1 stock in spite of the fuzziness. The CMP claims that this is supposed to be a faithful reproduction of WWII stocks, but I don’t recall seeing any with this much figure or being this light. Clint just said that he went over it with some wire implement then sprayed on three coats of polyurethane. Anyway, I’m now a convert to wood and metal.

    The circle is now complete! Airsoft to high power in one year. I can’t believe it. To paraphrase a Garfield cartoon, I was a mere nothing until I found the PA blog.

    To anyone who ever planned on getting an M1, I would encourage you to go for it. The whole thing cost $1600. It was about $450 for a rack grade rifle from the CMP and a little over $1000 for Clint’s accuracy work which included completely rebarreling and restocking the gun so that it is sub MOA from a machine rest. Plus, he is a storehouse of information on everything to do with service rifles and competition shooting. He’s 79, so he won’t be in business forever.

    Matt61


  8. Matt61,

    Those were at the indoor 60′ range before my recliner. But off a desk top front rest of a pillow. I was just starting then, and I could do even better now. I have the B30, but I didn’t shoot it that much before I gave it to the member who we let go, and I haven’t seen it back yet, I will, I saw him the other day.. I remember it was accurate as well.

    You’ve had durability issues with the B30 as well, didn’t you?.. It’s hard to get the quality we want at that price point.

    If we want quality, durability, and accuracy, in a springer, we have to move up to a TX200 or HW-77 or the like..

    When I get my two back for PA. all tuned up with a new spring and tight barrel, we can have another shoot out.. I’ll also go head up with the RWS94 against the B30..

    We can shoot for “pick slips” if you want… anyone remember racing cars for pink slips, (titles)? But we have to choose a position we can call “even steven”..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range..


  9. Wayne,

    For heaven’s sake don’t let someone walk off with your B30, especially if he’s the sort of person you would let go. If he was a gun dealer, I’d say get the ATF after him. But, anyway, you should really find a way to get that rifle back. I would love to hear your comparison with your higher end guns. B.B.’s shoot-off between the B40 and TX200 is one of my favorite blog postings. As far as durability, I do wonder if in the end, I’ll wish I had bought an RWS 48. If I have no problems after PA’s treatment, I’ll say that I made the right decision.

    You’re on for a contest between the B30 and the Avenger 1100 as well as the RWS 94. Never heard of pink slips or pick slips. Definitely no money involved! As for a common position, it’s probably easier for you to stand up than for me to put a recliner in my shooting range that you saw, heh heh. But actually, I can do some benchresting at 25 yards at the local range. Maybe we can do some combination. Making up speculative formulas is so much fun….

    Matt61


  10. Matt,

    That’s a gorgeous stock, but no Garand I ever saw had that much figure. The arsenal soaked the walnut with stain to the point of being black, and the wood isn’t supposed to shine. It’s supposed to have a matte oil finish.

    But it is beautiful.

    An M1 thumb on the first day! That’s a record. Yes, and those controls were designed with men in mind. This is a battle rifle, so get in there and show it who’s boss!

    B.B.


  11. B.B.

    Yes, originally I was going for complete authenticity which is I why I was sold on the CMP stock as described.

    http://www.thecmp.org/stocksets.htm

    The wood is even described as black walnut which is why I was puzzled when it came back so light. At any rate, the new treatment is supposed to be very durable with all the coats of polyurethane, as if the wood is wrapped in plastic. Clint claims that you can put the rifle in a bucket of water overnight without it losing its zero. It’s not hard to look at, and at least I avoided the wild colors and laminated stocks that he seems so fond of that seem to be popular among competition shooters.

    Yes, this rifle is made for real men. It operates with a great clanking of heavy metal completely unlike any air rifle. With this and the 1911, I had this idea that things must not be forced but I suppose that guns designed to withstand tens of thousands of psi have little to fear from me.

    I shudder to think of how I would have fared under army instruction. My Dad claims that during his extensive duty on KP, the head cook liked to come up after one of his screw-ups and shout from one inch away, “You hopeless m—–r.” Like father like son. But I have it figured out now and am all set to shoot this weekend with my mountain of CMP Greek surplus ammo. Some have called it almost match grade and it comes packed in clips and bandoleers. Pretty cool.

    I’m curious how common it is to adjust gas systems when accurizing M1 Garands and M1As. Clint claims that his adjustable gas plug is probably the key element in his accuracy work, and I’m wondering if anyone else does this or if he’s unique.

    Matt61


  12. This is day 3 with no electricity. So I’m a little behind. While I’m guessing my Amish friends in the Southern area of the county don’t miss it, I sorely do.

    Wayne and Matt nice photos. Thanks for sharing.

    Matt, I think Black Walnut is named for the fruit, not the wood color. Very nice looking rifle.

    Wayne, I would not mind shooting for pink slips. Since your age gives you the nod in experience, I’m thinking your HW55 with the aperture sight against my HW97 with 18x glass at 40 yards. 

    On a more serious note, just wanted to add that I received the FWB 124 back from Rich in Mich this past Saturday and I am very satisfied. Communication, turnaround time, and quality of work all appear first rate. I have already sent him a second rifle. I can definitely give him two thumbs up based on my initial experience.

    Volvo


  13. Volvo,

    You’re not in Texas are you? Thanks for the reviews of Rich in Mich. These kinds of reviews are the best form of evidence for me, and he sounds like a good one.

    Matt61


  14. Volvo,

    I’ll think about it….

    A long, long, long time…

    Matt61,

    When I was a young man in California in the 1970′s, the title to your car was pink. So racing late at night, somewhere the cops won’t find you, at least until the race is over..
    was a form of entertainment, and glory for the winner. Sometimes, people would bet there car or “pink slip”, and the winner gets the other guys car. I only watched, because I would never do anything against the law, especially when I was young…

    Wayne


  15. Matt,

    No, I am in Ohio. Somehow 70-90 mph
    winds made it up here! I would of hated to be any closer.

    Just for clarification, I am not lessoning my endorsement of the “famous” tuner I usually use, just offering a viable alternative.

    I would guess as they pick up clientele something has to give, and it makes sense that you sacrifice speed and playing e-mail tag over quality of work.

    I have found I much prefer to own 5tuned Springer’s over 10 stock examples. The investment is the same, but the satisfaction is much greater. Also, with fewer rifles I get more practice and hence more proficient with each one.

    The next time you get the urge to buy a new air rifle, considering getting your favorite tuned instead.

    Volvo



  16. Matt,

    Yes, I’d say you won the wood lottery with CMP.

    As for the Garand, there are a couple parts than need more TLC. The follower rod and the operating rod both come to mind, and the operating spring needs to be changed periodically.

    As far as an adjustable gas port – I’ve never used one, so I’m not the person to ask.

    B.B.



  17. Volvo,

    I’m in Akron, Ohio. We had a power surge that’s gonna cost me at least a walnut stocked Pro Sport in various things that got fried–and most were plugged into surge protectors. I think the surge protectors only protected themselves. They seem fine.

    Shoot me a pic or 2 of that 124 if you have time.

    dwk164@sbcglobal.net

    Derrick



  18. Volvo,

    Were those winds from Ike? I’ve heard it was as big as the entire state of Texas. Who is your favorite tuner, then? Yes, that’s exactly my philosophy about guns, and my acquisition program is now complete. No more guns until I master what I have now which will take forever. I’ve noticed that while the B30 is in the shop that I’ve improved with my 747 with extra practice time.

    B.B., the operating rod which I’ve heard much about is on some sort of two-piece track in my rifle and is supposed to be good for the life of the barrel. I was surprised at the power of the clip ejection spring from a 1955 gun. Unless it was replaced at some point, then this gun really is super industrial strength. I understand that a change to the gas port was one of the last critical modifications in the Garand design. Prior to that it was so unreliable that it started a congressional investigation–M16 style. Then John Garand quickly redesigned the gas port to make it the classic that it is. I’m pretty convinced about Clint’s adjustable gas plug based on groups he sent showing how group size responded to various adjustments, but fortunately, he locked down the final setting so that I don’t have to fool with it. I hear vague references to adjustable gas systems but have not found anything else detailed.

    Matt61


  19. Wayne,

    Betting a whole car on a race? I wonder what happened when the parents found out. Absolutely no guns up for betting. It would be akin to those people who used to make their livelihood with their shooting which would be extremely rough.

    Matt61


  20. Matt61,

    I know it may be hard to believe, but kids had jobs and bought their own cars in those days..It was really weird huh? And you could buy a great used car for $300…. about the same as one months wages for a kid at a gas station..

    So, for all the fame and glory a kid could win, just by racing, let alone winning, it must have been worth it to a brave or (foolish) few.. like I said I just watched with the girls.. I didn’t have to win a girl friend that way, I had mine already. Our generation was very strange.. they get better with time..I think…they should, right?

    OK, I was just kidding anyway, we shoot for glory alone!! just wanted to see if anyone else remembered those days..

    Wayne


  21. Evening folks. Pink slips, tella trays, and 0.29 a gallon gas. Sure we remember. Yes sir, no sir please and thank you. Matt, B.B. is right–you sure won the wood lottery with CMP, enjoy. Wayne, how is your Condor working with the bloop tube? 3,000 pellets in a month through one gun. Maybe a part time job with Mendosa. Also how did your powder coated candy apple red with a wineberry metalic over layed with a pearl and ghost flame on each side workbutt turn out? B.B. how about a couple of recommendations for a tune up on a Diana 35. Thanks much, Mr B


  22. Mr.B,

    I haven’t finished the deal with Jeff yet, we’ve been talking trade. It will be a week before I get the bloop tube.

    I almost forgot the .29 gas.. do we make 12 times more per hour now?

    I didn’t build or paint or race them, I just watched, but you got the memories for me, thanks…

    Wayne


  23. Matt,

    I’m hardly a wood expert, however, I’d agree with the other opinions here that your M1 stock is a cut above what was carried normally as far as grain.

    Congratulations on getting it!



  24. Volvo,

    I’ll second B.B.’s request for an update on your newly, completely? tuned FWB 124 when things get back to normal for you. Did you have rich in mich use the maccari tune kit for the 124?

    I’d also like to hear your opinion about how loud this gun is and your experience with accuracy, ease of cocking, etc. now that it’s tuned. Thanks.

    kevin



  25. Matt61,

    I am a woodworker, and think the stock is very fine indeed..

    I found the board with the 45 shots, from the Avenger 1100, playing the game to see how many shots it takes to remove all the orange dot. Randy thought it took 51 and wrote that in black, but I counted 45. I put up some photos of the lake and land for the field target and practice lanes, also.

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

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  26. Are problems inevitable with rifles in this power and price range?

    I already had to send my Gamo CFX back once for a mainspring repair, and only got 300-400 rounds through it before it failed again.

    An online buddy’s Panther seems to be losing power.

    Do you need to spend TX200 money to get a powerful springer that holds up to regular use?

    I know cheap guns can last – my bargain basement Daisy 953 eats tin after tin of pellets with nary a problem – but is it too much to ask the same from springers?


  27. Trout Underground,

    You ask a good question. I suppose that it’s true that problems with spring piston guns are fairly common at a low price point. I was trying to think of a gun that wasn’t unreliable at low cost and there aren’t many. The Russian breakbarrels might be one, and the IZH 60/61 are two more. But for the most part, you are right that low-cost spring guns do have their share of problems.

    B.B.


  28. BB: Thanks for the candor, if not the news.

    My Gamo’s still under warranty, but I’ve already thrown away half the original cost of the gun in shipping charges, a fact which suggests I’d be better off saving the pennies for a high-end springer (or a Disco) than spending to get it tuned.

    I will say this: on a purely “Dollars Per Human Entertainment Unit” basis, I’d nominate my 953 for sainthood. I shot it all winter in my basement as a 10 meter gun, then beat it up all summer (when the CFX broke) shooting at surprisingly long distances.

    Shooting a low ballistic coefficient pellet out a 450 fps airgun at 40-60 yards is a hell of a lot of fun, and challenging to boot.

    Once the snow flies, the peep sight goes back on, and voila – I’ve got a ten meter gun again.




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