Air Venturi HaleStorm – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The Air Venturi HaleStorm is a good-looking PCP repeater that is also testing very well. We may have a major winner in this rifle!

Today, we’ll look at the performance of the Air Venturi HaleStorm. When I did the velocity testing of the Hammerli Pneuma, I got energy levels from .177 Beeman Kodiaks of 23.21 foot-pounds. I also got 24 shots that I considered close enough in velocity to be called the power band. At that time, I predicted 26 foot-pounds or more in .22 caliber for the same rifle.

The HaleStorm has the same action as the Pneuma, only made into a 10-shot repeater. Therefore, I expected its power to play out as predicted. But first I needed to establish the power band of the rifle. Remembering that the Pneuma liked no more than 200 bar, I started with a fill to that level. The following is the performance curve from that fill, shooting Crosman Premier pellets.

Shot…Velocity…Pressure (bar)
1……….846……….200
2……….863
3……….866
4……….871
5……….863
6……….871
7……….884
8……….892
9……….890
10……..898
11……..901……….175
12……..909
13……..915
14……..921
15……..923
16……..930
17……..930……….160
18……..921
19……..933
20……..934
21……..939
22……..941
23……..946
24……..942
25……..950*
26……..947
27……..941
28……..941
29……..937
30……..940
31……..936
32……..931
33……..935
34……..917
36……..915
37……..908
38……..908
39……..899
40……..897……….110

*Highest velocity

The way I read this chart, the rifle likes about 165 bar as a max fill with this pellet. Using that as a starting fill and taking the shots from 13 to 36, there are 24 “good” shots on my performance curve–the same as the Pneuma. However, this curve will vary with each pellet you shoot, because heavier pellets will keep the valve open longer. They’ll respond better to a slightly higher fill level of perhaps 175 bar.

The thing to do is to find that one accurate pellet and forget the others. Then develop the optimum fill pressure and total number of shots for that pellet, alone. If you want to have several good pellets so there’s a fallback in case you run out someday, develop a notebook for the rifle with pressure curves for each good pellet. This kind of analysis, by the way, is a demonstration of why Matthew Quigley COULD NOT have used a different bullet in his rifle, as portrayed in the movie, unless he had such a notebook for his gun. Blackpowder shooters know this from experience, and PCP shooters should become aware of it, as well.

The point is that it would be a useless waste of air to follow the manual to the letter and fill this rifle to 200 bar every time it needed air. And knowing this, I was able to proceed with testing by filling to far less pressure. Before we move on, though, let’s consider the power of the Premier in the HaleStorm. If we use 930 f.p.s. as an average (I did not do the math, but I think that’s close), the rifle is putting out 27.47 foot-pounds, or pretty close to my prediction. However, with a heavier pellet the energy should go up.

Beeman Kodiaks
Beeman Kodiaks delivered an average 832 f.p.s. in the HaleStorm. The low was 826 and the high 838, but I didn’t test the entire string. At that average, they develop 32.29 foot-pounds, which is way beyond my estimate. Let’s hope they’re accurate!

RWS Hobbys
Hobbys delivered an average 996 f.p.s. for 26.22 foot-pounds. The spread was from 989 to 1005 f.p.s., and again, I didn’t explore the entire shot string.

I said in part 1 that the HaleStorm is not quite 30 foot-pounds, but this test demonstrates that it is more powerful than that. So, it’s a little more powerful than the Benjamin Marauder that I compared it to. Of course, it’s a lot louder!

The HaleStorm has good power and a reasonable number of shots. I can also tell you that it feeds butter-smooth. Just cock the sidelever, let it go forward and the gun’s ready to go. We’re two-thirds through this test, and the rifle is looking very good, indeed. We know that the Pneuma is accurate, so there’s no reason this rifle shouldn’t be, as well. Time will tell!

34 thoughts on “Air Venturi HaleStorm – Part 2

  1. B.B.

    That is showing to be a nice PCP.. to bad it's not as quiet as the Marauder.. but what other gun is… none so far.. stock anyway..

    I bet that curve would tighten up if you lubed your pellets with coconut oil.

    And the Average feet per second would also go up.. and more shots in the curve..

    Every time I've tested in every gun so far that has happened..

    Wayne
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  2. Wayne,

    You've probably already addressed my questions cause I remember alot of talk about the wonders of coconut oil as a pellet lube in some of your past posts, but what effect does the oil have on the bore? Does it cause a build up? You said that it is a solid at lower temperatures. Does that have any effect on how it works or effects the gun's bore? Thank you sir for your answers.

    Mr B.


  3. Mr. B.

    I don't know! just started testing..

    ..but I don't see how it could hurt..

    ..and I don't see much of anything without my glasses:-)..

    the heat of the compressed air and pellet moving melts it real fast, and it's not hard solid, just not liquid under 70 degrees or so..

    I haven't been trying to keep it cold and solid, I was thing at first, it might make a better seal if it were cold when inserted into the breech.. but it doesn't seem to matter much either way..

    I'll leave it to others to tell if it's bad for the barrel.. the outside likes it, and the stock loves it!! so do my hands!!

    off to run the dogs for a while..

    Wacky Wayne


  4. Wayne,

    In the interests of science and the advancement of our knowledge about these things, is it too much to ask, that you could possibly, if you currently have or could borrow a chest freezer large endough for you to sit in and fire enough shots
    a to finally satisfy the question about low temperature use of coconut oil, to wit at what temperature will the oil slow down the pellet or possibly cause it to stick in the bore. Again sir we all thank you for your dedication to this wonderful sport, or in some cases obsession, that we all share.


  5. Mr. B
    I doubt if there will be a significant velocity difference to worry about.

    As long as the coating is very thin, then there will probably not be much difference in accuracy.

    When lube is excessive it makes too large a change in weight and balance no matter if it's liqiud or solid.

    Excess solid lube also changes the outside geometry of a pellet and will reduce accuracy.

    twotalon


  6. Getting off the topic for a sec. have crosman upgrade there trigger since people have been complaining about broken triggers? thanks.


  7. To my knowledge, Crosman has made no trigger changes. I am aware of two triggers with problems. I don't know how many rifles have been sold, but it is at least several hundred.

    B.B.


  8. B.B.
    Both the HaleStorm and the Pneuma fall right into the right category for my needs. OPEN SIGHTS, and good thumping power, and good accuracy in a pcp.

    Yeah, the talons are killing machines, but working close with a scope (particularly a very high mount scope) is a real pain.

    These rifles seem to fill the bill for the 0-25 yd distances…. when you don't want a scope.

    Very similar rifles with pros and cons that make a choice difficult….
    I like single shots, but don't like the feel of a thumbhole stock.
    I like the conventional stock, but not the multishot feed system that is more things to malfunction.

    Looks like so far I would have to flip a coin between these two because they are closest to filling the bill as a special purpose rifle.

    twotalon


  9. MR.B.

    How about if I skip the in the freezer thing, and wait for winter… the mountain is only 20 mins to the ski area.. late October if were lucky.. :)

    Not that Wacky Wayne :-)


  10. two talon,

    It's a hard thing to prove, but I think accuracy improves with the coconut oil… the crony tells a story of more steady shot strings.. so that could be an indicator..

    Test it in the Condor.. well maybe not.. the condor is already a one hole gun… so how could it improve!! But test it for increased FPS and more steady FPS..

    Coconut oil is cheap.. $7.00 per quart jar in a natural foods dept of a chain or in a $9 at a natural food specialty store.. but if you can't find it.. then I'll send you a pellet tin of it.

    Wayne


  11. Wayne…
    I base my thick/thin lube statements on results I have seen with spray on wax lubes.
    Too much lube hurts accuracy acompared to pellets that are thin lubed with either wax or oil.

    Tried parrafin lube one time. Really sucked.

    twotalon



  12. B.B.

    HHMMM…
    I'd have to do it on my on time frame..
    I've been hoping others would test in their guns with their favorite pellets.. but.. since…

    I've been doing it piece meal.. anyway..maybe I could collect those comment/reports, and add some more testing.. but not inside a freezer!!!

    How would one find out about the inside damage to the barrel.. I can't see how a natural oil could hurt in any way.. so outside input on that is important..

    Wacky Wayne
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  13. B.B.

    Nice, but no shroud.

    Wayne, I had never thought of designing a pistol position based on an offhand rifle position, but why not. I wouldn't worry about clashing with pistol orthodoxy as long as you're making gains. The history of target pistol shooting technique seems pretty tangled to me.

    B.B. would know more about this, but my understanding is that the legacy from the cowboy days and the police of the 1930s was a one-handed method. Then, in the 1960s, Jeff Cooper and the self-styled "masters of combat" claimed that the Weaver hold with the body turned sideways, both elbows bent and the hands pressing forward and back on the pistol was declared to be the ultimate hold which could not possibly be improved upon. Then, in the 80s, the Isosceles Triangle stance squared to the target with the elbows more or less extended began winning the practical shooting competitions and was named as the new paradigm. I'm also seeing a lot of so-called "modified Weaver" holds with the off elbow bent and the near elbow extended that looks like a compromise between the two.

    You might also have heard that swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps is trying to change his freestyle to recover with a straight arm instead of a bent arm. This is the very thing that millions of kids over the course of decades were told not to do in swimming instruction. Also exploded is the theory that swimmers propel themselves with lift forces from their hands like what you get on airplane wings that was put forward by Mark Spitz's coach and accepted as gospel for decades. His elaborate technique for sweeping the arm underwater in an S curve to generate these forces was also wrong. All wrong, wrong, wrong. So, if something works for you, you're probably ahead of your time.

    Having said that, some might be interested in a shooting tip from 1000 yard shooting champion Nancy Tompkins. She claims that a trigger squeeze initiated only by the finger will naturally move sideways a little bit. For a perfectly straight pull, you want to position your thumb on the stock directly in line with the trigger finger and your sighting eye. Then, when you apply pressure to the trigger, give a tiny squeeze with this thumb and you will get an extra straight pull. I dislike having to think about the thumb, but I do like getting a straighter pull. These 1000 yard shooters can't miss any details. This wouldn't really affect my offhand shooting, but those of you who shoot rested might want to try this.

    Matt61


  14. BB,
    Not my cup of tea, but it looks like something people would be interested in. The stock lines are a little discordant somehow, with a shadow of finger-groove and the almost mandatory ambidextrous cheek pieces, but it has almost a target stock conformation that should work pretty well. I think I agree with twotalon that this stock would better fit the single-shot than the thumbhole.

    Matt,
    For a cheap trick, put your thumb on the backside of the trigger guard and squeeze.



  15. Ok,BB
    It is time to give credit where credit is due. You made a believer out of me with the Baikal 61.I now own the 60 with steel breech as well), and now the Makarov pistol. The gun arrived today. I was amazed at the feel of this gun. So well built. The really great part was the accuracy. I had been shooting a Crosman C11 all week and had expected this gun to maybe shoot a little nicer. Well the difference was night and day. The little Makarov started shooting bulls eyes right from the beginning. After doing my research on air guns I also did the same on the real Makarov and will start looking to purchase one as it has many great reviews.
    Well,I owe you another one! Thanks for a real keeper. If I may quote you, "If all the Umarex Makarovs shoot like this one, my advice is to run, don't walk, to buy one as soon as you can!"

    Thanks
    Dave@vabch


  16. Dave,

    I'm so glad that all the Mak CO2 guns are turning out like the one I reviewed! But as for the firearm–just get it! Get a Bulgarian, East German or Russian one if you can.

    I haven't had one malfunction in hundreds of rounds. It's the SKS of [pistols.

    B.B.


  17. I'm watching the playoff between the HaleStorm and Marauder. These are two interesting rifles! I like that "butter smooth" description of the lever, the open sights and the 11 mm/weaver combo rail for the HaleStorm, but on the other hand I like the shroud, choked barrel and number of shots for the Marauder. Might it be possible to switch the bolt on it for left handed shooting?

    Ah well, it will take me awhile to save up the money anyway and by then you will have finished reviewing them.

    A.R.


  18. B.B.

    I'm with you about forgetting the "damage to the barrel" from coconut oil.. I just can't believe it will happen.. and it has to be a long range test…
    I guess I'm testing it now…. since I've started shooting everything lubed in coconut oil…

    Mr. B.,
    That report will be 5 years from now!!!

    Matt61,
    you said..
    "I wouldn't worry about clashing with pistol orthodoxy as long as you're making gains." …

    "What me worry"… "Mad" (the magazine, if you youngins don't remember)…

    I'm the last person on Earth to notice what others think of me…
    "What you think of me is none of my business"… a wise person told me that, and it really helps to be in the moment with a "freed up mind"…

    No one can change what a person thinks of another person… time and actions do that..

    soooo… that's the focus.. walk your talk, and don't look back..

    Wacky Wayne


  19. B.B,

    I have a .177 Cal Air Pistol and I couldn't find any information on the net about this pistol. I was hoping you could shed some light on this and whether it is worth anything. Currently the Pistol is unable to propel a pellet through the barrel, unless it is cocked and fired 2-3 times. I am considering getting it fixed, but not sure if it is worth repairing.

    The markings on the Air Pistol are: "Made in West Germany" and "FB Rekord". I could not find any Airgun manufacturer with that name. Any info would be appreciated.

    Link to images:
    http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc191/mulki0/Airguns/FB-1-1.jpg
    http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc191/mulki0/Airguns/FB-2-1.jpg

    Regards,

    S. Reddy


  20. BB,

    Thanks for your blog posts, they are really interesting and helpful.

    I have a question for you.

    I recently purchased a TalonSS and just added an 18" barrel to it. Also yesterday, I just got a chrony to do some measurements.

    I hear about you talking about a proper bell curve, and identifying ideal fill level and power level scale settings. I watched your AirForce DVD and it didn't mention anything about this, so I was wondering what's the procedure to do these type of measurements and finding the "best" level on the power scale optimizing shots per fill/power?

    Thanks!

    Jay

    PS: I'm amazed that you write these great articles and still take the time to answer your reader's questions. I'm sure we are all grateful for that!


  21. S. Reddy,

    I meant to answer you yesterday. Sorry about that. Your gun is made by F.B. Rekord, who also made the Jumbo spring pistol that is more common in this country. They are not well known here in the U.S., but in Europe they are known much better.

    Your gun is definitely worth repairing, even if it isn't worth a lot of money, because it is so strange. You need to find someone who enjoys a challenge, because the parts may not be easy to locate. May I suggest someone:

    John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
    http://www.jgairguns.biz

    According to the Blue Book, your pistol is worth $40-80.

    B.B.


  22. Jay,

    The reason you didn't find anything in the AirForce video about finding the "best" level on the power scale is because you haven't told me what the word "best" means. Nor can you.

    What is the "best" shoe size?

    It's up to you what you mean by best.

    What you do is find a power wheel setting that gives you the most of what you are looking for. That could be raw power. Or it might be the greatest number of shots at or above a certain velocity with a certain pellet. Whatever you mean by "best," that's what you are looking for.

    With an 18-inch barrel and an SS powerplant, I would look in the number 6 to 8 settings on the wheel. That's where I usually find the best setting for me.

    B.B.


  23. B.B.,

    Thanks for your prompt response. I appreciate the information you provided. I live outside the US so have to see if I can send it to JG Airguns or try and find someone who can repair it here (Hyderabad, India).

    Regards,

    S. Reddy




  24. B.B.

    Now we know that Air Venturi HaleStorm a.k.a. Hatsan AT 44-10 is a real powerful PCP.

    Thanks for the review. We could not wait for the third part of your review re: accuracy.

    Bob




  25. Can the Halestorm be operated at lower pressure like the Discovery and Marauder can? I have a Discovery, and it is taking just about all my weight at the end near 2000 psi. It's not hard, but it taking most of my weight to get there. The Discovery shoots great at 2000psi, and I think Marauders come set to 2000 but can be adjusted up to 3000. I'm pretty sure I could not pump to 3000, at least not with my weight. Can the Halestorm be set to lower pressure, that is hand pumpable? Not all of us have tanks or access to a backyard dive shop. What to do?


  26. Bristolview,

    No doubt the rifle could be modified to do what you ask, but why pay $1000 ($450 for the rifle and 550 for the mods) when Benjamin offers the Marauder that already does that for $500?

    B.B.


  27. B.B.,

    I probably wasn't clear in my post, but I was not referring to modding the Halestorm, but to it's capabilities. I know the Marauder has this ability to be adjusted to 2000 to 3000 psi, that's a great thing. What I was asking (poorly) was whether the Halestorm also has that capability built in like the Marauder does?



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