Air Venturi Avenger - Part 3
by B.B. Pelletier
Well, I learned quite a lot in this accuracy test. In fact, I'm not going to tune the Air Venturi US Avenger 1100 because it doesn't require it. I found out that the tendency to detonate goes away after about 200 shots. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The day was calm and still with a slight drizzle. The range to the target was 25 yards. I selected a Leapers 3-9x40 mil-dot with illuminated reticle and mounted it in a 1-piece, 4-screw RWS Lockdown scope mount. Because the Avenger has no scope stop holes to mate with the mount, I pounded the two stop pins flush with the base and butted the rear of the mount against the plastic end cap on the rifle.
It took three shots to zero the rifle at 10 feet, and I was on paper at 25 yards with the first shot after that.
Remember, I'm now shooting 20-shot groups with spring rifles. If I knew this was a hyper-accurate rifle like a TX, I would have shot at 35 yards, but I selected 25 for this one, and it seemed to suit the situation.
I used an artillery hold with the triggerguard bearing firmly against the heel of my palm. The rifle felt very muzzle-heavy, which works for a lot of breakbarrels. Also, I didn't sight-in to hit the aimpoint. With 20 shots in the string, the aimpoint would be eliminated quickly and accuracy would start to suffer. On the other hand, you would want to sight to the point of aim, because you're trying to hit the target every time--not just shoot groups.
The 9.3-grain RWS Supermag wadcutter pellet was first. In the beginning, the pellets were landing in close proximity, but every 5 or 6 shots a detonation blew the pellet wide of the group. After the shooting ended, I had no reference for comparison and moved to the next pellet right away.
Beeman Kodiak Double Gold
Beeman Kodiak Double Gold pellets were next. One of our readers recommended Kodiaks, and I had these Double Golds sitting here awaiting a test, so it just seemed to work out.
At 7.7 grains, Gamo Match pellets were definitely the lightest pellets in this test. The first shot was a detonation that landed low, but after that there were only two more detonations. The rifle is beginning to break in and settle down, as so many owners have said it would.
In retrospect, I can see that RWS Supermags are not a good pellet in this rifle. Kodiaks bear further testing, as do most other premium pellets. With the tendency to detonate going away, the Avenger 1100 is breaking it to a nice spring rifle. You have to use good shooting technique to get the best results, but that trigger will help out a lot.
There's no need for me to tune this rifle, as it's breaking in nicely. My advice to prospective buyers is to run a tin of pellets through the gun before expecting the best performance from it. While not quite in the same league as the RWS 34, the Avenger has a better trigger and seems to be very accurate. At the price point, it seems to be a good buy.
I like the 20-shot groups so far. Though this is only the first test, 20 shots show a truer picture of the rifle's performance than five would. I'm going to keep on doing it.