Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Air Venturi Avenger 1100 - Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Tomorrow, I'll head out to the Little Rock Airgun Expo, so I won't be answering as many comments as usual. I'll bring back some pictures and maybe a video! My wife, Edith, will monitor the blog comments.

This is the second test of the .177-caliber Air Venturi Avenger 1100, so today I'll test velocity. You will recall that this rifle is notorious for dieseling when new. That's because the piston has an oil-retention washer that soaks up all the oil put into the gun. Many people report that the gun calms down after this washer is dried and becomes pleasant to shoot, so maybe I'll look into that for you.

This is a large air rifle, though not a heavy one. It has a cocking effort of 35 lbs., which is about what the Beeman R1 takes. As the rifle is cocked, I can hear the mainspring moving--a sign of not enough lubrication. But I would not advise oiling this spring, given the rifle's propensity to detonate! Instead, maybe I'll put some tar (mainspring grease that dampens vibration, too) on it if I take the gun apart.

I was prepared for detonations and, sure enough, they came. When they did, the velocity didn't always increase. Sometimes, the gun slowed down, and a lot of gas exited from the breech joint. Now, let's test the gun.

RWS Supermags
I started with 9.3-grain RWS Supermag pellets to limit the amount of dieseling. Heavier pellets often seem to do that. They were the best-behaved pellet of the test, averaging 856 f.p.s. The high, which was not a detonation, was 956 f.p.s. The low was 814 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they generate 15.14 foot-pounds.

RWS Superdomes
RWS Superdomes were next. At an average weight of 8.3 grains, you would think they'd be faster than the Supermags, but they weren't. They averaged 847 f.p.s., with a spread from 692 f.p.s. to 1016 f.p.s. This is the same kind of performance I saw with the last Avenger 1100, but this time I understand the breed better and will see the test through to completion. At the average velocity, which by the way is fairly close to the velocity the rifle usually shot, the muzzle energy is 13.23 foot-pounds.

Gamo Raptors
Gotta try the trick pellets just to get a number for you. Gamo Raptors weigh 5.4 grains and were too loose in the breech. They also detonated a lot more than all the others tested. The average velocity was 1,213 f.p.s. and ranged from 981 f.p.s. to 1,479 f.p.s. Three detonations put the pellet in the 1,400 f.p.s. range, so the average velocity is artificially inflated. It would probably be around 1150 f.p.s. if the gun were not burning fuel explosively. But at the average velocity I recorded, the rifle is generating 17.65 foot-pounds.

Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets were the last ones I tested and also the ones with the biggest surprise. I expected them to average somewhere around 1,000 f.p.s., but I was surprised with an average of just 718 f.p.s.! The one detonation got me up to 959 f.p.s., but no other shot topped 840. The average velocity results in a muzzle energy of 9.05 foot-pounds! The velocity range was from 551 to 959. I don't know what to make of that. Maybe you can think about it for me.

The rifle fires with a pleasing thunk and just a hint of vibration. As reported in Part 1, the trigger is delightful and should be on more guns than just those made by Mendoza.

Next time, I'll look at accuracy using my new 20-shot system. I will scope the gun, though it comes with adjustable open sights. They're fiberoptic and difficult to shoot with precision, but for hunters and plinkers they're fast and probably very good.

39 Comments:

At April 29, 2009 5:45 AM, Anonymous Vince said...

I'm beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, I'm not living in an alternate universe. Or if I am, at least I'm not alone.

Oftentimes I see Mendoza's getting absolute bang-up reviews, as this one is getting on the pyramydair website. Yet every time I try one, there is either no consistency or the power is sub-par. Yes, by all means, shoot for accuracy... but you know as well as I do that a spread of 142fps (best case!) there can't be good accuracy at anything but shorter ranges. But maybe the gun will settle down eventually.

When you take it apart, pay careful attention to the trigger spring arrangement before dismembering the rifle!

 
At April 29, 2009 5:52 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Vince,

Talk to me! I don't have time to make mistakes.

B.B.

 
At April 29, 2009 6:21 AM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

Good morning B.B.,

Have a wonderful productive time in Little Rock! We'ew looking fwd to your finds and wonder what neat stuff you're going to share with us.


Perhaps the 7.9 CP's firings were causing the breach seal to leak because of their greater mass thus causing the velocity readings that you recorded.

Miss Edith,

Did you get a tracking number from FedX for the package going to Vince?

Mr B.

PS Have a safe trip B.B.

 
At April 29, 2009 7:18 AM, Anonymous Vince said...

That's pretty much all I can say. Assuming that the mechanism is the same as the RM2003 I had apart a few years ago, the non-modular trigger assembly has to come apart before the spring and piston can be extracted. The trigger has a couple of torsion springs that pop out, and it can take a bit of time to figure out how exactly they go back together. At least that's what I remember.

 
At April 29, 2009 8:40 AM, Blogger AlinCT said...

I don't know where I read it, or even if what I read was true so take it with a grain of salt, but---

They say that there is a reason that Mendoza puts that oil hole in the receiver. You're supposed to oil it regularly, that a big part of the rifles power comes from dieseling and it needs the fuel to do so.

Now I know from reading here that all spring guns diesel to some degree, but the Mendoza rifles are really supposed to rely on that. Has anyone else heard of that too?

 
At April 29, 2009 9:46 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

B.B.

You have to try the kodiak 10.6 ..

In the three avenger 1100s we had, that by far was the best grouping pellet.. and after 300 shots or so, you'll see the spread drop to no more that 50fps... I'd bet..

This is for sure a gun that has to be broken in.. or do your cleaning and tar thing..

It's not really fair to test it until the 300 shots have been done.. or the cleaning..

Yes, I miss the trigger the most on those guns.. Mendoza should sell those to other manufactures!!

Well, have fun galavanting all over the place while your wife is home working hard!!

What Marauder? I know nothing..

I never saw it.. don't worry it will show up..

Wacky Wayne

 
At April 29, 2009 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an Avenger 1100. Mine has more than 500 rounds through it, but I've had it only a little while. I love it.

If it is dieseling, I can't tell that it is. It did smoke quite a bit when I began shooting it, but I didn't hear any "explosions." It shoots consistently and I shoot it more accurately than any .22 cal airgun that I own (a scoped Chinese "Beeman," and a Benjamin 392 with a Williams diopter sight). It is almost as accurate as my Bugbuster-equipped .20 cal Beeman R7. With the Avenger, I have shot my best group ever, with any rifle, since I equipped it with a Mendoza diopter sight.

It is noisy to cock and "buzzes" when it shoots, but I cherish it all the same. The manual instructions say to add one or two drops of chamber oil every 200 rounds, but I haven't done it, and don't plan to unless I notice a difference in accuracy.

I don't have a chronometer and so cannot address any differences in velocity. My bottom lines are: 1] Can I hit what I aim at? and 2] Do the pellets travel with enough velocity to go through both sides of a steel coffee can? Answers to both: YES.

Lastly: I agree with all the reviews on the Avenger that I have read on PA. If I buy another Mendoza, it will probably be an RM-600, which seems to be a slightly different version of the 1100.

I don't care for the original sights. I could shoot fairly well with them, but with the rear sight all the way down I shot high, and the windage adjustment is "fiddley;" there is no windage knob. You adjust the windage via loosening and tightening Allen screws.

--Witt

 
At April 29, 2009 10:20 AM, Anonymous DB said...

CP shooting slow... could be fit? Didn't you have the same problem with another Mendoza?
Do Mendoza barrels need a larger diameter pellet?

DB

 
At April 29, 2009 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

Although the Talon SS's frame might not be ideally long to use the AirForce Match Sight Set, do the sights fit the Talon SS?(I'm concerned about the front globe's height), and are they useful for some informal (but accurate) short distance target shooting (under 20 yards?

Thanks in advence,
Stevie

 
At April 29, 2009 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

One more question: Most accurate long-range pellets for a Talon SS. I'm guessing JSB Exacts or Crosman Premiers, in either case heavies or lights?

Stevie

 
At April 29, 2009 10:49 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne,

Okay, I'll try the Kodiaks in the accuracy test.

B.B.

 
At April 29, 2009 10:54 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Stevie,

JSB Exacts 15.8 grains are always the best in AirForce barrels when I test them.

Once again, I don't care for the AirForce open sights. They are just fiberoptics, which are never very precise. Yes, the sights do fit and can be adjusted for height.

These aren't rifles for open sights. They are meant for scopes. I suppose you could use a dot sight, but you would be throwing a lot of accuracy away.

B.B.

 
At April 29, 2009 10:57 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Stevie,

I just re-read your question. You are asking about a .177 Talon SS! I have done very little testing with the .177, mostly because we sold so few of them while I was at AirForce. While you can get a spare .177 barrel, most shooters prefer the .22 caliber because the guns have the power to use it.

B.B.

 
At April 29, 2009 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.
Thanks For your help but I think were not talking about the same set of sights, Im talking about the sights that you reviewed during November 2008, the ones that come with the Edge (the rear at least). Will they fit the Talon?

Stevie

 
At April 29, 2009 11:24 AM, Blogger CJr said...

I remember reading somewhere that dieseling is bad and dangerous, and non-synthetic oil should not be used in spring piston guns, yet here comes a rifle that intentionally comes oily and diesels from the factory? Maybe the article I read was targeting those who are doing more than spilling a little oil on the piston.
-Chuck

 
At April 29, 2009 11:37 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Stevie,

Thanks for clearing that up!

Yes, those sights do fit the and work on the SS and even the Talon.

B.B.

 
At April 29, 2009 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

8.4 or 10.2 grain .177 JSB Exacts for a Talon SS?

Thanks in excess
Stevie

 
At April 29, 2009 12:03 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Stevie,

The 10.2 grain. Generally speaking in PCPs you always want to go with the heavier pellets. That's not universal, but it's true more than 90 percent of the time.

B.B.

 
At April 29, 2009 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B.

Thanks for the update about the Edge. I didn't realize this gun is still under development. My reading about WWII fighter planes (another shooting device) has impressed me with the complexities of the manufacturing and development process and how a given product is actually a pretty fluid object.

Vince, how interesting to hear your experience about the Avenger in light of the many good reviews. I remember Wayne saying how much he liked it.

Kevin, I would be interested in your opinion on a book about black bears by a fellow in Minnesota named Lynn Rogers who is supposed to be a big authority on them. He claims that your basic black bear is utterly non-violent to the point where you can invade their burrows and mess with their cubs, although he wouldn't advise it; he's done it himself. He claims that the tree climbing is solely for escape and that only something like 3 people have been killed by black bears in the last century, way less than those killed by spider bites. Any opinion on this from your experience? Maybe Wayne can relax a bit while hunting although certainly not where grizzlies are concerned.

Matt61

 
At April 29, 2009 1:34 PM, Blogger derrick38 said...

Wayne,

Did the "package" arrive?

Derrick

 
At April 29, 2009 1:38 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Daisy 953 lovers,
Just ordered one. Thanks for the input on this choice.

Unfortunately it is back ordered - so I have to wait a bit.

Will play with it a bit and get it shooting right then gift it to a very nice boy next Christmas.

DB

 
At April 29, 2009 2:41 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Matt61,

I'm not an authority on bears but I've been around my share of them. I've never read or heard of Lynn Rogers but that doesn't mean anything.

I'm not sure I would get between a sow and her cubs let alone enter her den and "mess with her cubs". That's just me.

Black bears are more of a nuisance than a threat but if attacked they can tear you up. Years ago a friend hunted bears in Colorado with dogs and lost his prize dog. Bear didn't kill the dog immediately but the dog only lasted a couple days. Black bears are notorious camp robbers. Any food left out within their reach and they'll make a mess. Even if it's in a strong cooler. I've got claw marks on my cabin from last spring. He/she went after my fish cleaning sink that I have outside and then after he/she tore that apart I suspect the bear thought there was a meal inside the cabin and started tearing at the log siding. What a mess.

We have a fish hatchery on our property and several years ago a bear tore off 4 or 5 sheets of t11 trying to get inside. Luckily he/she never made it inside to where the fry was.

kevin

 
At April 29, 2009 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Lynn Rogers

Curious... Did Mr. Rogers live long enough to write a sequel?

 
At April 29, 2009 4:55 PM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,

I hope this is ok with you.

Crosman just announced that they will take used airgun trades (like the Discovery) for a new Marauder. This only applies to the first ten people that want to trade. Here are the details:

"The time is finally here to announce that there is a TRADE IN PROGRAM for the purchase of the new Marauder rifle.

I will have a list for sign up on this offer, it will be limited to only ten (10 ) trades of a Benjamin Discovery for a Benjamin Marauder.

How it works :

Send in your Discovery rifle and a check or money order ( also do PayPal. add 3% ) in the amount of $325 and receive a new, inspected and tested Marauder in your choice of caliber shipped to you.

Also take trades for old ( but complete ) 2240-50-60 models, in the amount of $40/$50/and $60.00 off towards the purchase of a Marauder
These trades for 22xx models are UNLIMITED, until the first order of Marauders is made.
After the first order of Marauders, there will be no trades accepted.

Example : send in a 2240 pistol and a check for $460.00 = one Marauder shipped to you.

Also accept strait purchase, price is $499.00 + $20.00 shipping = $519.00 total.

I do not know at this time what mods will be offered for the Marauder."

kevin

 
At April 29, 2009 5:04 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Anyone interested,

More details about trading for a Marauder can be found on the yellow and on the Marauder Airgun Forum.

kevin

 
At April 29, 2009 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Lynn Rogers is apparently alive and well and sort of a local bear guru in Ely, MN. His book is pretty good.

Kevin, thanks for the info. I do want a second opinion to go with a guy behaving the way Lynn Rogers does. It sounds like he's basically right, but you still want to give the bears a wide berth. Even if they're basically peaceful, they're so darned strong it hardly matters. It tried to tear down your cabin?!

However, the Rogers book claims that the black bear and even Kodiak/grizzly are nothing compared to a relatively recent evolutionary ancestor called the "Short-faced bear" which I had never heard of. This one was significantly bigger than a Kodiak and with very long legs was much faster. A portable jet pack would the best answer. The tree climbing of black bears is supposed to be an evolved response to get away from the Short-faced bear and, hence, non-aggressive.

Matt61

 
At April 29, 2009 5:23 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Matt61,

Never heard of a short faced bear.

I'm not interested in seeing a bear bigger than a grizzly. I hunted caribou in alaska. Flew in by plane and spent two weeks floating out to the pick up point. The two of us killed two caribou for food and had nothing left to eat at the pick up point. Talk about burning calories.

Saw lots of grizzlies on that trip. Ground that took us over an hour to traverse a grizzly covered in about 5 minutes. If they're close and they want you you're more than likely dead.

kevin

 
At April 29, 2009 5:33 PM, Anonymous DB said...

Buy a Marder (Marauder)... maybe.
Trade in my Disco... not likely.

Love my Disco.

The bad news is I spent a good piece of my budget on a Chrony and another gun. So Marder will have to wait.

 
At April 29, 2009 5:34 PM, Blogger derrick38 said...

Kevin,

That's not a Crosman offer. It's an offer from Darren, dealer who modifies Discoveries into HPA pistols.

Derrick

 
At April 29, 2009 5:34 PM, Blogger kevin said...

DB,

Is there a reason other than money that you wouldn't trade your discovery for a marauder?

kevin

 
At April 29, 2009 5:43 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Derrick 38,

You're absolutely right. I should have said Crosman Dealer rather than Crosman.

I've gotten into trouble here trying to be a good guy and have posted more info than I should about other dealers.

I might be in trouble again.

B.B., it's ok if you want to send me to my room without dinner.

kevin

 
At April 29, 2009 7:56 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

Derrick,

Yes!! I just got back in from a "supply" run.. (more later) and found the package on my cluttered desk..

Thanks so much for the "KryTech" wax lubricant!!


So it's just a few drops in a tin with a foam lined bottom with 50-100 pellets at a time... then gently swirl them around?

Wayne

 
At April 29, 2009 8:30 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

Rifle comparison..

You may remember that I bought a Howa 1500 in .223 on sale for less than $400 with a nice scope, about a month ago..

Recently, I found a Ruger M77 Hawkeye, in .223 on sale for $600 no scope.. knowing that the Ruger is so accurate and has a smooth action and all..
also very much loving the older Rugers M77 in .270 and .22 mag, both from pawn shops.. I went for this one from a local sporting goods store..

Well, turns out it isn't as accurate as the Howa 1500.. today, and last time out, the Howa gave me 4" groups at 200 yards, while the Ruger was 6-1/2" (six shot groups).. both guns shot 40 rounds each and those were the best groups..

..ammo was PMC Bronze 55gr FMJ-BT.... the best I've found so far and at $8.25 per 20 rounds... a good deal in today's ammo world.

But the action on the new Ruger .223 M77 was not as smooth as the old ones, and not close to as smooth and tight as the Howa 1500.

The trigger started out of the box better on the Ruger, but now the Howa has really smoothed out and lightened up.. It's shot about 400 to 500 rounds now..
and I like the Howa trigger better!

So, sorry Ruger, but I calls em as I sees em! I'll be selling the new one and keep the old ones!...
then looking at the Howa in a larger cal... maybe 30-06.. don't got one yet..

Wayne

 
At April 29, 2009 9:52 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Wayne,

A lot of good info on mac1 site about krytech including appication.

kevin

 
At April 29, 2009 11:55 PM, Blogger derrick38 said...

Wayne,

Follow Kevin's lead. I've only used KryTech on bicycle chains and cables. I'm in the dark as to lubing pellets. I did order an extra bottle for myself so I'm ready to go when the Marauder show up.


Kevin,

Yeah, I saw that trade-in offer and wondered if he'd get many takers. I didn't list his info either. He's easy enough to find if anyone's interested. I don't think you're in much danger of being banned from anything around here. Now, Wayne? He's another story.

Derrick

 
At April 30, 2009 7:57 AM, Anonymous KC said...

Regarding black bear attacks, I would saw the author is VERY incorrect in his count of deaths.
See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_attack

When I was a kid my fathers friends two sons and their friend were killed by a black bear in Algonqiun Park (Ontario, Canada). This is documented on the above wiki page (George Halfkenny, Mark Halfkenny, Billy Rhindress All three boys were stalked and killed while fishing near Radiant Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada).

 
At April 30, 2009 9:25 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

Derrick,

Thanks again for the pellet lube!!

This is the best place to meet good friends!! You and Kevin and many others have been so nice to me here.. thanks again.. and let me know when I can help you with something!

Matt61,

I respect bears, and we have one on our 12 ac. here.. I see his scat often.. but mostly in the summer as the berries ripen.. I've never seen him/her.. just tracks in the mud and scat and a nest for a bed so to speak in the tall grass.. I don't really fear an attack..

My fear comes up when it's dark and I'm walking through the woods.. We have a large and growing number of cougars here in Oregon.. There have been many reports of attacks of people.. mostly small ones and pets.. lots of pets.. and almost all in the dark or close to it..

With a cougar, you stand tall, face it, raise your arms high to look bigger.. if you have a child with you, put them on your shoulders so you both look bigger..
AND DON'T RUN!!!! make noise act aggressive and stare them down..

...which some say is the opposite to do with a bear.. especially a grizzly..

So that's my main reason for my Dan Wesson .357 mag... and learning to shoot it well..

Wayne

 
At May 01, 2009 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Blogger is experiencing problems & is unable to post the May 1 blog.

Edith (Mrs. B.B.)

 
At May 04, 2009 6:56 AM, Blogger ajvenom said...

The worse licking I got in my life was when I left with a freind to go walk around a lake up in Deer River, MN. It's where my grandparents used to live. I was probably 5 or 6 years old at the time. The licking was the kind that was administered by my grandfather with leather suspenders to my bare ass. My grandparents were worried that we could have been atacked by bears and we were not suppose to wander off as far as we did.

Since then, I've seen a lot of black bears. Most of them were when they walked through our camps while canoeing in the Boundry Waters Canoe areas that borders Canada and MN. They seem pretty docile, but you have to be very careful. Black bears can run fast, climb trees and have very sharp claws and let's not forget they can bite too. I've always read and heard to stay away from a mother bear with cubs.


There was a dump you can go and watch the bears scavange around in. When I saw the movie The Great Outdoors with John Candy and watch the bear scenes, it reminded me of the bears I've encountered and made me laugh.

Rule of thumb: if it can eat you, be very careful.

 

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