What every new airgunner wants

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is an answer to a question I received a couple days ago. It’s such a typical question that I thought I would spend a little more time on the answer for everyone. It also dovetails nicely into my holiday gift recommendations.

The question came from a reader calling himself ccobbster. Here’s the question, exactly as he wrote it:

Am interested in buying (soon) a .22 Cal. pellet rifle for practice shooting and small game (pest) hunting (rabbits, squirrel, armadillo, possum). Am drawn to the Nitro Piston power plant for performance and ease of use concerns. Have been looking at six air rifles and was wondering if you had any recommendations or preferences amongst these. Am trying to stay around the $300 range. Would appreciate any advice/recommendations, or other preferred rifles. Have found alot of useful information on your blog site and am inclined towards the Crosman NPSS. Also, it’s made in the US. Here are the rifles:

He also asked for pellet recommendations later on.

Here’s the reason I wanted to answer this in the blog. This kind of question comes up a lot in this blog. The list of guns is very typical and shows that the reader has been looking at the different models. Many times the question will include the phrase “.. and will you please explain your reasons for what you choose?” or words to that effect. That’s harder to do and becomes many blogs-worth of additional information. But I think I can take a stab at answering the basic question because I see the answer embedded in the question. Do you see it?

“…am inclined towards the Crosman NPSS.” That’s what the asker really wants and if I’m smart I will say that it is an okay choice–unless I think that it isn’t.

I don’t know anything about ccobbster. I’m guessing he’s male, but I can’t really tell the age except generally that he’s between 16 and 50. He didn’t lay any macho credentials on me (ex-SEAL, police training, etc., so I think he’s perhaps a little older or perhaps wiser, or maybe both.

But I won’t try to guess who ccobbster is. Instead, I’ll think of him as my friend. That way, my answer gets easier.

First, I want to clear something up. ALL the rifles he listed are springers. Some have gas springs and others have steel springs, but they are all spring-piston air rifles. Crosman uses the brand name Nitro Piston for their gas spring, but it’s still just a gas spring. Ccobbster probably knows this, but I mention it because I don’t want to confuse any new readers.

He’s listed six air rifles and five of them come with a gas spring and one is an air shotgun and a smoothbore. So, I think he’s interested in a gas spring. I could just cut to the chase and say to get the NPSS right now, but that isn’t the entire answer.

Ccobbster, to me your list of rifles are all the hyper-velocity, magnum-class airguns. And I see a subtle price barrier besides the $300 there, as well. If you’re going to pay more than that, you want a LOT of power with it!

May I wave you off your line of thought? Isn’t the important thing to hit the target first, and then be concerned with how much power landed on target? A miss does nothing for anyone.

Let’s talk about armadillos for a moment. They have tough shells that even a .22 rimfire cannot penetrate in certain situations, so to dispatch them with an air rifle takes a real accurate shot.

The Gamo Viper is an air shotgun that has a smooth bore. It’s not at all suited for what you want. So, let’s drop it off the list.

Let’s forget the Whisper with Nitro Piston because you want a .22 and it’s really best in .177 caliber. The .22 caliber Whispers seem to run out of air. I know what the numbers in the descriptions say, but they’re for the fastest possible pellet in that gun–not one that you are likely to use.

We can rule out the TF99, because my living room couch says it can throw a pellet 4 inches wide of its mark at 21 yards. That’s an inside joke–I actually shot my couch while testing a Tech Force 99 in my house.

While we’re at it, the Benjamin Super Streak can go, too. And, no, there’s no Nitro Piston for it, yet. Oh, it’s more accurate than the TF99, but it requires BUCKETS of technique to extract the accuracy. How’s your artillery hold?

Ccobbster, “My what?”

Exactly. Let’s get you into something a little more forgiving than a Super Streak. It’s also quite a bear to cock, as is the Walther Talon Magnum. Not that you can’t cock them. I’m sure you can. But you won’t want to shoot them more than 25-30 times before giving up. I’d like to see you with a rifle you can shoot all day and still do the things you mentioned.

You like the NPSS, but did you read my report about its need for a dead hold? If not, please read it because the NPSS requires a lot of technique to shoot accurately. It’s easy enough to cock, but you have to have the hold to group.

You can look at this two ways. One, you don’t want to be bothered, in which case I will tell you to save up for a precharged pneumatic, because all spring rifles need some amount of hold technique. Or you can choose to learn how to hold a springer, in which case I say the NPSS is a good choice for you.

However, if you had just come to me and asked for a good starter spring rifle I might have steered you toward the RWS 34P that Vince mentioned yesterday. No, it doesn’t have a gas spring option anymore. But it’s less sensitive to hold and groups like a champion. Power-wise, it’s pretty much of a wash between it and the NPSS.

I would learn to shoot the 34 with Crosman Premier pellets and JSB Exact pellets until I was able to group 10 shots inside one inch at 25 yards. Then, I would start thinking about a a scope.

However, if a scope is what you want, I’m sure there are several that will work well with the gun. Just remember to get the Leapers Diana scope base to mount it.

If you’re still up for the NPSS, get it. It’s a fine airgun. Just practice your artillery hold, and you’ll soon find that you shoot everything better.

Ccobbster, that’s my answer to you for a spring rifle under $300. I’m sure this blog will now erupt with other answers and things I forgot to mention.

64 thoughts on “What every new airgunner wants

  1. For what its worth, I too am new to airguns. The reason why I would put the gas piston on my list the way your questioner did was that from what I've read they are quieter than most springers.

    The NPSS certainly appears to be quieter than the RWS 34.


  2. B.B.,

    Any update on the new drop in gas ram for the rws 34 that's supposed to hit the market "before Christmas"?

    I've heard the new Crosman pistol may be available for Christmas and I've also heard that Crosman plans to wait until the ShotShow to release the gun. Does Pyramyd Air have a sense of when this new pistol will be available?

    kevin




  3. Cobbster,
    Well, you got one thing right. You went to a good place for advice. BB will give you his unbiased opinion. That is hard for most of us to do. We all have our favorites and tend to put down other brands even though we have no experience with them. I tend to recommend an RWS 34 as a first airgun to a lot of people if they need that powerful of an airgun.

    I will say, that it is easier to learn to shoot a HW30S or Beeman R-7 (same gun). These are 600 fps airguns which makes them backyard friendly, easy to cock, and easy to shoot accurately. But, they lack the power to hunt anything but birds at any distance over about 30 feet. Some guys will use them on squirrel at a little longer distances once they are sure they can make very precise head shots.

    To me, the advantages of an airgun is the limited range and noise which makes them backyard friendly. This allows you to shoot much more often since you don't have to load up and go to the range to shoot. To me, the most relaxing way to spend an evening after work it to sit out back and plink for a while.

    I hope you find an airgun that works well for you. Stick with it, learn the artillery hold, and enjoy yourself.

    David Enoch


  4. Everyone,

    I was in too big a hurry and believe I may have mislead in my statement.

    This new drop in part specifically designed for the rws 34, rws 350 and hw 50 has been designed and is being released by a company known for drop in gas ram's but this new system is not a gas ram/gas piston but a spring kit. Nonetheless, the few who have fired either a rws 34, rws 35 or hw 50 with this new drop in kit have mentioned the "solid thunk" in the firing cycle similar to a good gas ram.

    According to the buzz this isn't a new concept but apparently improved. The original design was a "universal" drop in kit but the new design is gun specific. B.B. did a wonderful 5 part series on the universal drop in kit over a year ago and used it in the rws 48 and rws 34. Here's the link:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/09/pro-guide-spring-retainer-system-for_24.html

    Hope that clears up the confusion I caused. Wish I would have originally typed "drop in tune kit" rather than "drop in gas ram" and saved myself all this time and avoided confusion.

    Sorry.

    kevin



  5. BB, if I'm not mistaken gas rams – for all their advantages – still do no match the efficiency (cocking effort vs. muzzle energy) of a steel spring. Am I right about that?


  6. Vince,

    Actually no. The gas spring used in the NPSS is a good example. It cocks with a relatively light effort, but it still FEELS heavy because of how the gas spring works.

    A gas spring resists effort with the maximum resistance at the start. It doesn't increase as the barrel is moved. So it FEELS like greater effort than a coiled steel spring, even though it may be less, which it is in the NPSS.

    You can argue that because the resistance is constant it is really greater (effort over time), and I would agree, but the overall measurable effort is less.

    B.B.


  7. BB,
    Accolades to you! Good article and good job of sucking in the new guy like you did to the rest of us :)

    ccobster you have just entered the remarkable world of airgunning and a remarkable blog and a remarkable blog master. I hope you enjoy your new sport/hobby as much as the rest of us.

    -Chuck


  8. Kevin,

    This is fun!

    HHHMMMM….

    "only 27" long, has adjustable power, is a multi-shot and weighs less than 4.9 lbs".

    Wow! Sounds custom to me…. or
    ….
    … Unless it's a FX Ranchero Carbine…

    B.B.

    Recently, I traded for a M1-1 30 cal. carbine with a 30 shot clip…

    Crazy, I know.. but I had to have one in the collection..

    The forearm wood was loose, but with a little more whittling, the bracket tightened up just fine.. It's a very nice firearm and I'm happy to have it.

    I finally got to the range and tried it out… This is a super fun gun.. (not that our soldiers had "fun" with it).. but at the range it's damn fun! .. and pretty accurate with open sights.

    My only issue with it, is the very heavy trigger.. Can they be adjusted?

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range


  9. Wayne,

    Congratulations! Tough to get one by you.

    The ranchero even comes with the pistol stock and an aimpoint ML3. Should be the ultimate downfall for my rodents and a fun plinker.

    kevin



  10. BB,
    I think you gave good advice — either the 34P or NPSS have enough good reviews to make them safe choices, given the selection criteria.

    Vince,
    Well argued last night — you almost had me worried:). I took the 36-2 apart and couldn't find a single point mode of failure if unmodified and used as directed, i.e., two components would have to fail simultaneously, which is a nice safeguard. One thing to note is that the piston is retained by the sear, while the cylinder retains the piston and is in turn retained by the AB and the cocking lever (which also retains the piston), which must be manually released. It seems to me that piston breakage would not be catastrophic in this case, unlike in a break-barrel.

    While I could be wrong, it looks pretty well designed, and after 5K shots or so, no wear to speak of on any of the relevant surfaces, certainly the angles appear correct and unchanged. It would be interesting to look at an HW97 or Tx200 to see how they do it, but I bet its similar, but with better metal finish. Just to be cynical, I suspect there's less metallurgy and engineering going into airguns of any origin than many would find ideal:).


  11. Slinging Lead,

    I'm not saying it's not possible to be accurate with springers…

    I'm saying I'm not able to do it!!

    and it might be harder to get started for someone new… than a PCP..

    and especially if they need power to kill things.. things with armored sides..

    And if a child will be learning to shoot it.. then the Disco is the choice.. if it can do the armored sides.. I don't know. I think I remember the disco doing 900fps in .22cal 14.3gr…

    Doing that with a low priced, Light weight, easy to shoot, accurate springer.. ain't easy, in my mind..

    Not knowing the strength of the armor on the prey.. I suggest stepping up to short range .22cal short rimfire power level with the Evanix S10 Blizard…

    I'm pretty sure that tool would do the job and still be a fun plinker the kids could grow into.

    The Disco or the full power Blizzard would both hold their value, and make the family proud to own..
    whereas, the springer MIGHT cause some frustration..

    and pumping is safe exercise, whereas cocking a springer can have safety issues..

    and the disco could work as one gun, for killing and teaching the child, whereas, he needs to buy two guns, the 61 or (I would suggest an old diana 23 or 25).. and a high power killing springer..

    I rest my case..

    PS.. I know your kidding me…
    I'm just making the point over to let folks know..
    It's a new world out there.. these low priced PCPs open new doors not looked through before!!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range


  12. BG_Farmer, thinking about it further I seem to recall that the AB on the QB36's works by grabbing the cocking shoe – and since the shoe pushes the cylinder back (not the piston), you're absolutely correct.

    A zillion apologies for the wrong info.

    But my comments about metallurgy and manufacturing still stand. Yours may be fine, but I maintain that the chances of running into problems of this nature are considerably greater on a Shanghai product than on a Diana.

    Word verification: "lying"!!! So maybe somewhere is tryin' to tell me sumthin'…


  13. Kevin,

    The FX Ranchero PCP 8 shot Pistol did very well at the Nationals Pistol Field Target contest…

    .. although it might not be allowed on full power in the future.. much debate on that subject now by AAFTA.

    The carbine version looks too cool to past up!

    9 to 16.5fpe is a real nice power range in the .22 cal .. just a little less in .177 cal at 8.5 to 15fpe

    my guess is you got the .22 cal.. but..

    ..Not entry level pricing for sure!!

    Congrats my friend!!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range


  14. Wayne,

    Glad you are having fun with your new Carbine. They are so nice!

    Yes, the triggers can be adjusted to be quite good. I would look to get a five-pound pull and no lees.

    Find someone who knows Carbines to do the work.

    And have fun with it!

    B.B.


  15. B.B.

    Recently looked at a Benjamin Super Streak at a local dealer and noticed that the box highlighted an improved trigger.

    It sorta looked like Charlie's.

    Any information on this?


  16. Wayne,

    Another good guess. Guess you know me. Yep, .22 caliber.

    Since I'm not into FT I like my mild springers in .177 and the pcp's in .22.

    Ever use an aimpoint? Be a new experience for me. Maybe now I can get my picture in Shotgun News.

    kevin


  17. BB,
    This article's timing is so perfect for my question :)

    I'm about to purchase my first PCP and was thinking that I don't want to buy the pump. I saw in the video on Pyramid Air that Paul caspello uses a small air compressor.

    This sounds like a better solution. Would a similar air compressor that I can find at Home Depot do the job. These go for anywhere from $70 to $200.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.



  18. Rudy,

    That small compressor that Paul uses sells for about $1,800.

    The compressors at Home Depot don't go nearly high enough to fill these guns. It takes 3,000 psi and they only do 175 psi at best.

    B.B.


  19. Vince,
    No need to apologize — the craftsmanship on these babies isn't confidence inspiring. I wouldn't recommend one to a nervous beginner or anyone who doesn't know how to tinker, but they are a great kit:). The AR3000 looks really interesting — longer stroke and AR1000 type adjustable 2-stage trigger — might be a good .22.


  20. B.B.

    Well-argued and my thoughts exactly. But why no mention of the Benjamin 392? This is a perennial candidate for a first-time hunting rifle.

    On the subject of holiday gifts, I'm glad to see the Walther P99 was mentioned as a top 5 pistol in a recent PA promotion. This is one fantastic and very accurate pistol if you can get the hang of the double-action trigger.

    Wayne, I thought you already got an M1 carbine from B.B. while down in Texas. Glad you're enjoying it. Some reviews have talked about accuracy just a little over a minute with modified M1 carbines, and that would be with open sights.

    All, David Tubb may have the answer for the next step in spring gun technology!! The Chrome Silicon spring. This came out of his research into reducing lock time which he has gotten down in his Tubb 2000 rifle to about 1.4 milliseconds. No stone was left unturned. He was looking in particular at the spring used to propel the firing pin. The conventional material is what he called "music wire" springs which give out after something like 3000 compressions. In its place, he adopted chrome silicon springs from race cars which, he says, undergo 1 million compressions in a race with no adverse effect. The chrome silicon springs are just supposed to be better in every respect. So, has anyone thought of using these for airguns?

    I'm curious if locktime is a factor in airgunning. You never hear it mentioned like you do with firearms. I'm wondering if the time a pellet spends in the barrel makes locktime irrelevant beyond a certain point.

    Also, from Tubb, the final word on the accuracy limits of firearms in their current state. As I might have mentioned elsewhere, the Tubb 2000 in the hands of an elite shooter can do .3 to .4 MOA reliably. There are bench guns that can shoot below .2 MOA but not consistently. So, that's the limit with the super-stud shooter using a rifle he designed from the beginning.

    Other accuracy numbers are interesting. He claims that a Remington 700 varmint off the shelf is only good for about a minute and a half. The match AR 15s with the top shooters can go about 1 minute in competition but tend to cluster around 2 minutes at 300 yards. AND, they're very unreliable. He says that he never worked as hard in his life as he did on his SR-25 to make it shoot and it never was 100% reliable.

    So all those claims of .25 MOA guarantees and so forth can go out the window. The figure to measure the capabilities of airguns relative to firearms looks to be a consistent .3-.4 MOA.

    Matt61



  21. Matt,

    I suggested the 392 early on…

    I ignore folks who say they want a springer… and just push them into a pumper like the 392 or a PCP like the disco, katana or marauder…

    as much as I can any way… for their own good of course!!

    I'm not polite like B.B.!!!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle RAnge


  22. Wayne,

    How can I argue with a person who has shot and owned just about every gun most of us can only daydream about?

    It was that part about "starting out with springers and then ending up with PCPs" that got to me somehow. This especially chaps my hide because I have to disclose that little more than a month after getting a TX200 (accurate, beautiful, smooth, powerful, accurate) I ordered a Benji Disco with hand pump package.

    I did this not because TeX left something to be desired, but merely that this was too good a deal to pass up–and also, because I have become an AG addict due to the invisible waves emanating from this blog that reduces its victims into a zombie-like airgun obsession.

    But you were talking about ccobbster specifically, so if he's buying one gun for both him and the kids you're totally correct of course.

    I was thinking he might want separate guns– one powerful, accurate, hunting model for himself and a lower powered plinking model for the younguns to learn with and to keep dirty sticky little fingers off his nicer gear (and for ccobbster to practice with inside when no one's home.) I like to have my blacked out 1377 handy for kids, not that they could cock my TX, or even lift it.

    ccobbster,

    Wacky Wayne has shot air rifles of beauty, rareness and expense that would seem incomprehensible to most newcomers. And owned more than a few.

    He is also the State of Oregon Field Target Champion.

    His advice is Sage, golden and not to be ignored. God love him, he dismisses all talk of budget restraints. Hence the wackiness.

    Because I like him so much, I will do an impersonation of Wayne:

    "I'm looking for a good economical car."

    Wayne: "I would recommend the McClaren F1. The carbon fiber chassis makes it very light, and much more fuel efficient than other cars when driving at 190mph."

    Only joking of course.

    As for the armadillos, I have to admit I have a soft spot for them. Instead of risking a painful festering injury to them I would suggest domesticating them and fitting them with leashes. Then make them do your garden tilling. Its a win-win.



  23. Slinging Lead,

    Excellent impersonation of Wacky Wayne. Everytime I think about "the carbon fiber chassis" I start laughing again.

    I'd say that you got him right between the eyes with a TX200.

    Good "shooting",
    Mr B.


  24. I broke in and shot a Ruger Airhawk which looks surprisingly similar to an RWS 34. These 1000 fps guns are easier to shoot than more powerful springers. Remember more power comes at a cost of weight, vibration, and technique to shoot. Not to mention busted scopes :-)

    BB's recommendation of an RWS 34 is a good one. I wouldn't recommend a weaker gun for pest removal.

    Be sure to try some hollow point pellets (Crosman and Beeman) if shooing in 177 as the caliber needs some help to dispatch game humanely.

    Enjoy your new gun and the eventual AG bug that posters to this blog experience!

    G.

    PS. Try learning to shoot open sight before scoping the gun. Inside 25 yards you can't miss!


  25. Cobbster – I love the RWS 34, and everytime someone on the blogs and forums asks the "best springer for $200" question it is always recommended by some of the well known airgunners. Having said that, I would buy the Benjamin Discovery over the 34 every day of the week. It's lighter, handles better, is more powerful, and most importantly, it is far easier to shoot accurately. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT USING THE HAND PUMP, IT IS EASY!! I can pump mine from 1000 to 2000 psi in less than 2 minutes, and that will give you 25-30 good powerful shots. I think a lot of folks on here would agree that the Discovery is a great "first" airgun that represents a wise and well thought out decision, and will be a gun you will be proud to own.

    -Aaron


  26. Can someone please give me the honest oil on the new Ruger air rifle, guys at the local thought it was just an RWS with pretty badges and from looking at it it seems Ruger has just done the Beeman thing with rebranding European guns, if so are there any more new airguns to follow? We don't often see RWS's in my part of the Antipodes.
    thanks, Trapsshooter



  27. bg_farmer
    i agree you with the safety of qb36-2 / tf99 but i had a catastrophic piston breakage, just after releasing the cocking lever safe, fortunatelly nobody was injured, but the lever slammed the barrel and the pellet was shotted


  28. The Ruger brand is displayed proudly on the Umarex website who exclusively distributed RWS brand guns.

    http://www.umarexusa.com/catalog/Shop-by-Brand,4.htm

    The Ruger clearly says "made in China", I believe the RWS34 is made in Germany. I suspect the sub components are coming from the same place (China?) and assembled by different workers with presumably different levels of quality control. (A lot of guesses, I know) I wonder if BB has a take on the whole clone and re-badge market.

    G.


  29. Slinging Lead,

    Your right about the Air Arms TX-200…
    or even the Beeman HW-77
    ..to me, they tie for best springer for the money… but that's a little over $500 and well worth it..
    Really, if it's a springer you want, save up, buy quality that will last a lifetime, hold or gain in value, and shoot almost as accurate as the BEST PCP!!… if you learn to shoot it with the right pellets.

    A lot of the top national field target shooters compete in both PCP and Piston.. and the AA TX-200 is one of the most used spring piston rifles… They really are a very good deal in the total air gun world.

    The HW-77 carbine or big brother HW-97 is right there too…
    but, I think only the 97 comes in .22 cal…. which I suggest for killing garden pests.

    I'm sure lucky to be able to try lots of stuff with the rifle range venture… and I hope I haven't left out my opinion on the best low priced choices too..

    Before B.B. wrote the article on "Starting a Field Target Club", I was shooting one of the best low priced springers for the money, the Avenger 1100 (I think it was $149 or so)..

    ..Randy and I each shot one at night at our indoor range.. we got great 3/4" – 30 shot groups, at 20 yards…putting over 6,000 shots on them total, before we started seeing some loose barrels, (which PA took care of)..
    But after our 100-300 shot sessions, our left cocking arms were almost always sore the next day..

    But for a casual (100 shot per month), ADULT shooter, something like that or every ones' Favorite RWS diana 34 is a top pick!

    I think that's the most important thing to consider when choosing an air gun… how much will I shoot it, how important is it to me to be very accurate, am I going to plink, target shoot, kill things, or all of the above?????

    PS.. I don't deserve that praise, but thanks for the kind thoughts!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range


  30. Lothar,
    I remembered you had a broken piston, but didn't know the details. Thanks.

    Matt,
    I assume Tubb is talking about 300+ yards with all those MOA figures? They sound too conservative for short range (100-200 yard) benchrest, but the scale is not linear.

    I agreed with BB's answer on rimfires last night, but I went to Lilja barrels to see what a good barrel should do. Roughly 1500 rounds for best accuracy from a stainless centerfire and 5-10K for a stainless rimfire barrel, but being careful to note that those are only guidelines and for the absolute best accuracy possible for short range benchrest use. Most shooters would not notice any difference until long afterwards.


  31. G./SlingingLead,
    I was going to suggest the AirHawk also, since the 34P has gone up a good bit in price (since I checked it last), but I looked at BB's review and it didn't seem to be up to the same standards. It is not an exact clone, either. Much information on it in the multipart review as well as many of the comments.


  32. I'm sure most of you, if not all of you will scoff, but I like the Ruger Airhawk more than I did my early RWS 36. I never could shoot the 36 accurately due to the harsh recoil and vibration. The Airhawk seems mild mannered in comparison and shoots just as hard. Perhaps it's because I was younger then, or because the 36 was one of the first ones made (RWS had just started their transition from the 45 hardware to the 34, 36, and (I think) 38). Plus, you can get an Airhawk for 1/2 the price of a 34. But I also really like Crosman Quests/Storms/G1s, especially with the newer trigger, so keep my preferences in perspective.

    -Carlo


  33. New Airgun – As for springers, the RWS 34 Striker Combo offers a lot for the money. It's a little long, but right now for 50 dollars more the .22 RWS 34 Meistershutze is shorter and has variable powered scope.

    As for PCP, the Discovery will get you started. It's easy to shoot and not too hard on the wallet. Used with a pump can be found under 300, but new is not a bad way to go either.

    For small game animals I prefer to use .22 caliber dome pellets and Predator Polymags pellets in my Discovery.

    I started out with a crosman quest 800, but after a few mods, I ended up close to what the RWS 34 striker combo is all about and nearly the same money. For bunny blasting, it does the job, but is hold sensative.

    I've also had good success with a Daisy 22SG, it's an easy to pump multi pump air rifle. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the power as my springer, but is deadly accurate and pretty quiet.


  34. BG_Farmer,

    The AR-15 numbers only are for 300+ yards. Otherwise, I think the catch is that the gun has to consistently group at that size. As we saw from our statistics discussion one 3, 5, or even 10 shot group doesn't count for much. If you shoot enough, you'll get something that is not representative.

    Speaking of which, there is a very weird article in a recent issue of a gun magazine; it might have been Guns and Ammo. The title, many subheads, and most of the first half proclaim that the Savage Accustock definitely produces better accuracy than rifles without the Accustock. But the final part of the article describes a test by the writer and a friend who is some kind of championship shooter where they run a comparison and there is no difference at all. Apart from bizarre gun writing practices, this makes me think that unless you want to be the greatest rifle shooter of all time, the engineering cost and effort of something like a Tubb 2000 are not really worth it. Better with a Savage or its airgun equivalent.

    I must say that I'm very impressed that an effective muzzle break/shroud is produced for the Discovery. If I wasn't such a fan of magazines and what a choked barrel can deliver, I would say that the Discovery is the best buy in pcps.

    Matt61


  35. Another comment erased by blogger >:-(

    BG_Farmer,

    Only the AR-15 numbers apply to 300+ yards. Otherwise, I think the catch is that the rifle has to group consistently at a certain size. As we saw from our statistics discussion, one 3, 5, or 10 shot group doesn't mean much. If you shoot enough, you will produce something that is not representative.

    Speaking of which, there is a very weird article in a recent issue of a gun magazine; it might have been Guns and Ammo. The title, subheads, and the first section of the article proclaim that the Savage Accustock is more accurate than a Savage rifle without which I had been wondering about. But the end of the article describes a test in which the gun writer and a friend who is some kind of champion shot run a comparison, and they find there is no difference at all. Apart from dubious writing practices, this indicates to me that the extra cost and engineering that go into a Tubb 2000 and other refined products are only worth it if you want to be the greatest rifle shooter of all time. Otherwise, you're better off with a Savage or the airgun equivalent.

    I'm very impressed that an effective muzzle break/shroud is produced for the Discovery. If I wasn't such a fan of magazines and what a choked barrel can do, I would consider the Discovery to be the best value in pcps.

    Matt61


  36. FWIW, I've bought and tried 3 B25 variants (the generic model name for the AirHawk) including the Panther copy and frankly, they just weren't up to snuff. The first two were .177's, the most recent a .22. They don't shoot quite as hard (the powerplant is a little smaller), the manufacturing quality isn't up to Diana standards, and worse – I could never get them to shoot nearly as well. The most recent (a synthetic-stocked B25S) was the best, and IF I held it JUST RIGHT it would get close to my much-easier-to-shoot '34's at 10 yards, but at longer range – 60 yards – ferget it. Maybe I just didn't find the perfect pellet for it, but even if there IS a pellet that'll make it shoot just as well as the Diana guns, it's obviously a heckuvalot more fussy.


  37. AR3000?!?!?!

    Great. Got caught napping. Missed that one AND the AR2000.

    The AR3000 looks to be an underlever variant of the AR1000 (no doubt copied from another Norica gun), but the AR2000? Shanghai is one of the few manufacturers that doesn't overly inflate their velocity claims – at least up to now. So if they're claiming 1250/940 for the AR2000…


  38. Vince:
    industry brand website rates qb36-2 at 4.5/5.5 900/675fps, what in my experience is well below the capacity with the huge spring they come(52 coils). I have tested, not chronied, them against gamo magnum action (cfx, shadow 740fps in .22 accordindg to maker) and they outperform gamos by far. I putted 4 tins in a column sticked with ducting tape. The pellet fired by my tuned Chinese (40 coil spring) stopped in the third tin while gamo stopped in the second tin.
    Actually i am tuning/fixing three brand new qb36-2 from a friend sports store, and they get the same result (3 tins) with the factory spring and seal and not tuned, but kicks like an angry mother in law, so the if action in new ARs is longer (more air), i would bet they are very close to the advertised speed with lead pellets.


  39. Fred, here's my report on Mike T's TKO trigger kit for the Discovery. WOW!! YES IT IS THAT GOOD! Very favorable comparison to my Timney Trigger.

    The gun has to be out of the stock to adjust the trigger. I couldn't get the trigger to work until I put the saftey back in. It can then be adjusted for first stage travel, sear engagement and over travel.

    To all you Discovery owners out there, if you haven't ungraded your trigger with TKO's kit go on line now and check it out. Besides it's all of $14.00 shipped to your door.

    Mr B.


  40. Mr. B.

    my trigger kit and muzzle break just arrived today. I installed the break and then discovered….. that the other day when I accidentally dropped the Discovery as I was putting it into the rack, I broke off the cocking bolt arm! Here's another fine mess I've gotten myself into.

    Anyway, just for giggles, I cocked the bolt with a screwdriver and fired one pellet. Substantial noise reduction! No hearing protection required anymore. It's quieter than my RWS52!

    Now, I have to go out and buy a 5/64" drill bit to drill a hole in the cocking arm part still screwed into the bolt with my drill press and then use an easy-out. I'll get the required drill bit tomorrow and call Crosman to order the cocking arm.

    The trigger kit will have to wait for the weekend.

    Thanks for the report, B. Looking forward to the trigger mod.

    Fred


  41. Lothar,
    "Like an angry mother in law" — that is a beautiful and accurate description. I never took the spring out before it broke, but it seems like there must be 6 inches of preload on it!


  42. Fred,

    That's a bummer with the hammer. Good luck tomorrow. While you're waiting for Crosman's replacement to arrive, perhaps you've got a bolt laying around that'll fit and do the job.

    Quiet sure is nice when shooting ones PCP. Glad you like TKO's Stage 5 muzzle brake. What length did you get? I went with the 7.5" one.

    Mr B.


  43. Matt,

    There was a similar article on the Accustock in American Rifleman. I suspect a lot of stuff helps the shooter more than the rifle. The forearm flex is pretty annoying on the standard Tupperware style stock, but mine shoots fine for a hunting rifle even with that going on. The need for sub-MOA accuracy in "big-game" rifles borders on the ludicrous sometimes, anyway:).


  44. B.B, Wayne, Kevin, others:

    B.B. – Thanks for the article addressing my questions. Appreciating you sharing so much good information, including other responders. So many recommendations! You guys are really hooked! And it's addictive! The fly in the ointment now has me seriously interested in the Benjamin Discovery (and the Evanix Blizzard S10 in my dreams). It's an investment but seems ideal, and a gun my kids will eventually also be able to shoot, although I'll probably stick with your IZH61 recommendation.

    BTW, what's with the zombie like state I'm feeling…drawing me into buying PCPs? You all should be ashamed of your selves! Ha.Ha.


  45. ccobbster,

    A lot can happen in a couple years..

    I've tasted quite a few, but our Master, B.B. has tasted the full "pallet"… and I do mean as in crate..

    the cool thing is the "pallet" is changing all the time!.. getting better and better.. what fun!..

    It's a fun place to loose your mind and your money… welcome!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle RAnge


  46. ccobbster,

    after buying a benjamin super strike, all I can think of is why in hell didnt I bought the HW 77 or the TX 200 MK III instead? a lot more expensive indeed, but what a joy to shoot them!
    But, well, at least it did taught me a lot about triger control and artilery hold. Not to mentioned a stronger trigger finger…



  47. ccobbster,

    Okay, you are thinking about the Discovery. If you decided to get it, buy the whole setup with the pump. That will get you going right from the start.

    Don't be put off by the apparent crudeness of the Disco. It will shoot sub one-inch groups at 50 yards. Use it and learn it and I think you will grow to love it.

    Oh, I am going to stick some more pins in this doll I have made that resembles you, but don't worry. They won't hurt.

    Much.

    B.B.


  48. ccobbster,

    I own a springer and have learned to shoot it well. I am happy with its power and hunting accuracy.

    BUT!!!

    If I were to do it all again with all my experience gained from this blog… I would buy a Disco /w Pump as a 2000psi has been referred to as an "easy fill" for a healthy teenager.

    Once you own the pump you can add to your collection in the future with a more expensive and powerful PCP for hunting and load your Disco with CO2 for plinking.

    I have learned a lot about ballistics and shooting with my air gun making the transition to firearms a piece of cake.

    G.


  49. Blog Index for November 2009

    2. SAM 10-meter target pistol – Part 1
    3. Norica Quick – Part 3
    4. Something from nothing – Part 3
    5. Healthways Plainsman BB gun – Part 2
    6. Haenel 310 – Parts 1 & 2
    9. Blue Wonder cold blue – Part 2
    10. Norica Massimo – Part 3
    11. SAM 10-meter target pistol – Part 2
    12. Haenel 310 – Parts 2 & 3
    13. Peeping Tom – Part 1
    16. Relum Supertornado – Part 1
    17. The Benjamin Katana – Part 1
    18. Peeping Tom – Part 2
    19. The Daisy 499B versus the Haenel 310 – a shoot-off!
    20. DIY shooting rest and a Blue Wonder followup report – Part 3
    23. The Benjamin Katana – Part 2
    24. Relum Supertornado – Part 2
    25. Christmas gift list 2009 – Part 1
    26. Crosman Challenger 2009 Target Rifle – Part 5
    27. The Benjamin Katana – Part 3
    30. What every new airgunner wants


  50. Slinging Lead,

    Thanks for taking the time to put the index together for us.

    Would you please contact me at my e-mail address, Dropdog2@Aol.com. I have a quetion that I need an answer to, but I need to do it off the blog.

    Thank you,

    Mr B.


  51. As to what to carry. I have found that the auto guns most likely to work "Out of the box" with no problems, are the Glocks in 9mm Par. This is the original caliber the gun was designed for and it works. While nothing is perfect, these most often feed and fire.
    Glocks in 9mm Par. are kind of the AK-47 of handguns.

    Just my 2 cents ya know.

    Mike


  52. B.B–Scott298-I hope you and "mom" are doing well-tell her happy holidays for me. Oh by the way I never got my Air Arms Rifle for x-mas last year, are you and mom mad at me? and while were at it they closed the store where I work and now I am unemployed- anyone intrested in banking an adult airguns only store in Ct., or do you have a spot for me on the road? Down to business – what about the rws 350. In .177 I can put 5 shots together at 25 yards that can be covered by a nickle and after break in I can sit at my bench and go thru 500 rounds with no ill effects even though I have had nerve surgery on both arms. And don't forget to mention about break in periods to our reader – nothimg bothers me more-especially with x-mas coming up- than some one who takes their new gun out of the box sets up a target then can't hit anything–might be time to repost that blog? and of course I'd tell our reader to go with the .22. It takes a lot of practice with a magnum .177 to hit the sweet spot on an animal and dispatch it humanly. B.B. I wish you and happy holidays and can I get the Air Arms this year? Your friend (and addopted son, Scot298-a true beliver in thd Diana 350!


  53. Good morning B.B Your adopted son again-Say high to mom. B.B -cobster has run into that all all time problem wanting a gun and not wanting to invest much and the anxiety arrises that if the buy a lower velocity air rifle they will not have the money to buy the magnum when they feel they have conquered a lower velocity rifle. Had I know now I would of held of a couple of months before I bought my Dianna and bought the Air Arms. Let me state thar I am extrenly pleased with my 350 and I will never get rid of it. Some people get the "bug" and have to get whatever gun they can afford at the time -then are sorry later. As an exanple my family lives buy the Ocean-well Long Island Sound and my wife decided she wanted to buy a kayak. Low and be hold she went on line-bought one that was not adequate for what she wanted to do and the following summer bought a 2nd one that was made for the use she intended. Bottom line she bought 2 when she only needed one-so buying the kayak turned out to be way more expensive. Anyone in the process of buying their 1st and only air rifle due to cost considerations they have 2 choices. 1- get a lower velocity rifle learn to shoot well with it and have fun. Then stay off the blogs and stop looking at the rest of the field because the bug will bite again. I plan to buy another air rifle and I will be lucky if I can accomplish this within the next 2 years. I shoot and I shoot a LOT! Unless you are going to use it on a regular basis go for the lower velocity-easier to cock air rifle-there is nothing wrong with this-buy it and have fun! Option 2 – if you are going to buy only 1 rifle and want a magnum buy it – but rember this-you may be able to get it at a reasonable cost but it's still going to cost you a hidden cost-TIME. You cannot take a magnum ot of the box, go into the back yard with a tin of pellets and expect to be Daniel Boone. You have to invest time and patients in order to get moderatly proficent with it. This does not involve shooting a tin of pellets-you have to be patient enough to put around 5000 yes 5000 rounds thru it to bring out REAL shooting ability from a magnum springer. There have been plenty of times when I was ready to sell mine and block all of the air gun web sites from my computer. The next hurtle is that once you buy the magnum and feel comfortable with it you will wonder what it will really do with a scope -how far can it shoot? How much further can I take out that squirrel if I had a scope? Now we open a new bucket of worms–B.B. wich scope to buy?


  54. B.B.==Scott298-a while back you did a blog on oilimg pelletts with your home brew-if you over do it will it change the flight pattern of the pellett? Thanks, Scott298



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