Relum Supertornado – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Relum Supertornado may look odd, but it shoots good!

Today, we’ll look at how accurate this Relum Supertornado is–at least in my hands. I’ll also give you an appraisal of how it shoots.

Though it’s been only a few days since I last shot this rifle, I already forgot how pleasant it is to cock. Most underlevers are bears, with the TX 200 being the most forgiving, but that doesn’t include the fine vintage underlevers like the Hakim. They all cock easily, and so does this one. Just at the point you expect the effort to increase, the sear clicks into place and you’re done.

The upside-down loading tap was a surprise on the first loading; but once I got going, I developed a rhythm and after that I never thought of it. Well, that’s not entirely true, because I had to pay attention to which way the pellets were oriented as they were loaded.

The trigger is single-stage, breaking at 3.5 lbs. That’s not bad, but how it broke was troublesome. As I shot, the trigger varied between breaking without movement and moving slightly at the beginning of the pull. If this trigger was crisper and more predictable, I feel my groups might have been a little tighter.

Follow-through
I also saw the sights move on every shot. It was impossible to follow through and remain on target, so I did the best I could. I think the presence of aperture sights front and rear lulled me into thinking this was a 10-meter rifle, when in fact it’s a sporter. Those sights look so darn precise that I was disappointed in my poor follow-through, though the rifle was the culprit.

Hobbys
The owner of the rifle, Jim, had praised RWS Hobby pellets so much that I tried them first. My first group of 10 was nothing to look at, but from past experience I know this is just due to settling into the rifle. At the end of the other pellets, I shot a last group of Hobbys and the results were much better.


Ten RWS Hobbys at 25 yards with peep sights. This is the better group. The other one is half an inch larger.

My Hobby pellets are a bit old and may not be as good as the ones Jim has. That’s why I also tried a variety of other RWS pellets that were all fresh.

Gamo Match
Next, I tried the heavier Gamo Match pellets. They did very well, if you overlook a single flyer to the left. I’ll blame that on my poor follow-through in this case.


Nine of ten Gamo Match pellets made a nice, tight 25-yard group. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

RWS Superdome
I just had to know how RWS Superdomes would do in this rifle–something other than a wadcutter. Though the string came late in the session when I was settled in, they clearly did not equal the wadcutter pellets at 25 yards.


There’s no mistaking that these Superdomes are only mediocre in the Supertornado. There are 10 shots there. The double hole at 12 o’clock has 3 through it.

RWS Meisterkugeln
The RWS Meisterkugeln target pellets won the day with the smallest group. If you haven’t tried these in your rifle, Jim, you may want to!


RWS Meisterkugeln pellets were the clear winner when I shot the Supertornado. Six of them could be covered by a nickel!

Well, as I finished the accuracy testing I had to reflect on the whole Supertornado experience. I can see why Jim loves this rifle. Though it’s a bit plain to look at, it feels nice when shooting and delivers on target. All the work he put into the rifle to get it running no doubt cements the relationship.

The target sights make the gun in my opinion. Besides the smooth firing behavior, the sights make shooting very enjoyable. The trigger, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a trigger to get used to.

I now have the onerous task of packing this rifle back into its shipping container and sending it back to its owner. Somehow, I think all the preparation he did in making the container will help a lot with that task.

Thanks are due to Jim Grossman for sharing this uncommon air rifle with us. He’s given us all a look at an unusual vintage rifle, and it’s one not many airgunners will ever see.

38 thoughts on “Relum Supertornado – Part 3

  1. Those aren't bad groups for 25 yards with target sights that "move on every shot"?

    Thank you Jim Grossman for sharing a wonderful vintage springer with all of us.

    kevin


  2. Wayne,

    Can you email me with those pictures of your Marauders with custom stocks you mentioned yesterday? I would love to have a look at them.

    They must be art, as the stock that comes on the gun looks pretty good to me (only seen it in pictures). I have read more than a few comments from people who really don't like it.
    Different strokes for different folks.


  3. Mr. B,

    I am happy to report that I was able to remove the cocking bolt with the broken handle from my Discovery and drill out and remove with an "Easy-out". I have a bolt that fits the loading bolt (I'd guess it's an 8/24 thread) but now that everything is apart, I left the trigger group out while assembling the rest in preparation for the TKO trigger mod. Just curious in that the instructions say there's a separate sheet for adjusting but I only had two sheets come with the kit and the set-up instructions were rather sparse. Certainly not as comprehensive as those you referred me to by "Diamis" (spelling)? Did you have another sheet of instructions come in your kit?

    Edith, are you a lefty or a righty? Typically, your dominant side will be slightly larger than the non-dominant side (right hand larger than left for righty's, right arm longer, right foot larger and so on).

    Fred


  4. Fred,

    I am a freak of nature. I'm right-handed, but the entire left side of my body is ever so slightly larger than my right side. My father was ambidextrous (although I never noticed if one of his hands was a catcher's mitt :-). I'm also somewhat ambidextrous. I'm left-eye dominant, which explains about 20+ years of Tom not being able to figure out why I had difficulty shooting most rifles! I feel more comfortable using my left hand for certain things. I'm an odd duck.

    Edith


  5. Fred,
    I also got two pages of instructions along with a 3×5 card with a picture of the installed kit came with my TKO trigger kit.

    It wasn't very hard to figure out. I left the cover plate off and watched how everything worked together and then I adjusted them the way I wanted.

    Mr B.


  6. Edith,

    do you / did you have any relatives from Transylvania who were doctors?

    Mr. B, thanks for that. I have a business function tonight so the actual trigger improvements will have to wait several days. Looking forward to the results based on your input.

    Fred


  7. Kevin,

    I think what BB was refering to is that the gun doesn't settle after the shot in quite the same place it started. I doubt the sights are moving on the gun. I was a little nervous about him shooting groups at 25 yds, since I seldom shoot groups, and I've used this particular rifle mostly for plinking fun and indoor winter shooting. Actually, I too am quite impressed with those groups, better than I can do, I'm sure. Maybe some time I'll try scoping it for a bit just to see what it can really do. But I think this one should be left with peeps. It just looks better.

    Jim Grossman



  8. Jim,

    I agree your gun looks great with the match sight set up. I really like peep sights with globed front sights that accept inserts. My eyes aren't what they used to be and I find my groups are much better with scopes.

    I think it's time to re-do the lasik surgery I had done about 15 years ago.

    B.B.,

    Still great groups even if it was the gun jumping around and not the sights moving.

    I mounted a scope yesterday on my newest FWB 124 and shot this group

    http://s444.photobucket.com/albums/qq167/klentz4/?action=view&current=L1010269_edited-1.jpg&newest=1

    By far the most accurate FWB 124 out of the 3 I've owned.

    kevin



  9. B.B.,

    Thank you. And I mean thank you. You taught me everything I needed to know to shoot groups like this with a powerful springer except one…..

    You need to buy a really big dime. LOL!

    I'm getting ready to sell/trade this FWB 124 so I needed to take pictures of the gun and a group yesterday. Timely since it's now snowing here.

    kevin


  10. Jim,

    Thanks very much for sharing your Relum Supertornado. This is the closest most of us will ever get to this interesting old gun.

    Mr B.



  11. Kevin,

    that's an outstanding group! That's a goal for the rest of us to, uh, shoot for (I couldn't resist).

    Edith, I hope you accepted my glib remark in the spirit it was intended – just a little teasing.

    Fred



  12. B.B.

    I think the sight picture moves with all of my springers, but as long as it settles back on target it's okay. I thought that was the theory behind the artillery hold.

    Why are underlevers a bear to cock? Is it because they are all produced with high power or because of the position you have to assume. The cocking procedure as I've visualized it is kind of cumbersome, not swift and sure like the sidelevers. :-)

    Kevin, that is a nice group. Did you measure it? It looks like about a quarter inch CTC which would be about 1 MOA. It would be nice if there was some affordable FWB like this instead of their target models that are through the roof.

    Matt61




  13. Looking for a pellet pistol for indoor shooting. Quiet is critical.

    Could you give me a few suggestions to narrow the search. Its a gift.

    Thank you



  14. BB,
    You really stacked the decks against the Supertornado — 25 yards with wadcutters and superdomes (BC=pretty bad:)) from a low powered rifle. Considering all that, you both did pretty well.


  15. Everyone,

    If I have time I'll post the FWB 124 for sale on the yellow classifieds on Friday. More likely it will be Saturday.

    If someone on this wonderful blog is interested before that let me know.

    The gun has been a safe queen. There is a small mark on top of the receiver caused by someone using a wrong mount with a vertical stop pin. The mark is small, hidden by a mount, wouldn't show up in pictures but it's there. There's also a small mark on the muzzle brake that can be touched up. These are the only marks I can find on the gun.

    This FWB 124 has been ADVANCED tuned by Paul Watts and Paul also polished and ajusted the trigger and polished the cocking slot & shoe. This gun is shooting around 780 fps at my 5,300 feet of elevation. At sea level this gun should do 830+/-. It also has the beeman muzzle brake installed along with a correct rear sight cover plate. Original sights, including the globe front sight that accepts inserts is included. The original hang tag and ARH 40 page FWB 124 booklet is also included. The sling that came with the gun is also included. I have a rare set (with original package) of 2 piece, correct (with cross bar for a stop) scope rings/mounts that can be purchased for an additional $40.00. The correct, HEAVY, one piece mounts for these guns are $70.00. I want $725.00 for the gun, books, sights, sling and Paul Watts card detailing the tune plus shipping.

    Here's few pic's: (first a tip: click on "full screen" in the lower right corner when it first opens, click full screen a second time and it shrinks)

    http://s444.photobucket.com/albums/qq167/klentz4/FWB%20124/?albumview=slideshow

    kevin





  16. Marauder owners,

    Don't remember whom was asking about the trigger adjustments and not having all the manuals but this is a pretty good tutorial with pictures. My disclaimer-I have not done this but did adjust the trigger on a friends Marauder using the 3 screws. When we were done the trigger was very good so he didn't feel the need to "open it up"

    http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/thread/1259354188/Re-working+the+Marauder+%28MDR%29+Gen+II+Trigger+%28Lots+of+Photos%21%29

    kevin





  17. Ryan,
    Are you leaning towards the H490 and looking for some pellets with it? If so, RWS Basics work well in it and better than Hobby's, at least in mine. You have to go to Meisterkugelns or similar to do much better.


  18. Kevin,

    Wow!! great group.. Congrats on some great shooting with a great air rifle. And that's a great price for all that been done and the great shape it's in.. Too bad I'm not in buying mode right now..

    Slinging Lead,

    What's your email? I'll send you the pics of the Marauders in custom FT stocks..
    anyone else who wants to see the pics email me..

    wayne.burns@naturalyards.com

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range



  19. B.B.

    I note your recommendation of the Beeman P17, which would exactly fill my desire for an accurate, short-range pistol on which it is possible to mount a red-dot.

    It also would hit my pocketbook dead center.

    However, all the comments on the web make it sound like the guns start to leak immediately, and only mechanically talented people should own them, since it is necessary to take the gun apart often to replace seals.

    This scared me off.

    Was I wrong to believe these comments, some of which came from Derrick on the "Other" airgun blog?


  20. Kevin,
    Not bad shooting, at least I could tell you had a rifle and not a scatter gun. I’m the last one who should ask, but why you letting her go? Temptation is all around. The guy that offered me his R-8 has been selling off his collection and has some amazing pieces.

    Not much new here, other than ordering a depinger for the FX Cyclone. I am hoping it comes with simple installation instructions. Christmas time always gets me extra nervous as I remember late night’s assembling bikes and the like. Wish me luck de-pinging…

    Volvo



  21. PurcHawk,

    I have heard these stories, too, but when I tracked some of them down they turned into something else–people removing lubricant from the gun before operating, and so on. Still, there are some issues with reliability.

    However, the gun still sells by the hundreds and the problems are low enough that if it is bought from PA the bulletproof return policy should take care of them.

    Mine still works great after several years.

    BB.


  22. Wayne,

    Thank you for the kind words. Far and away the finest stock FWB 124 I've ever seen and after Paul Watts tunes a gun you can be assured you've got a shooter. The barrel on this one is a cut above the others I've owned.

    Volvo,

    Like you, I've seen some wonderful airgun opportunities this past year and seem to have jumped at every one of them. I went to Bass Pro this weekend looking for another gun safe since I couldn't fit another gun under any of the beds. That's when a light went off.

    I don't need another safe queen. Have too many already (mostly firearms). I really need to stay focused on airguns that I will use daily and don't mind if a friend drops it when shooting. It would be easy to build a pristine collection of vintage springers that shoot well around this FWB 124 but I've already done that with firearms and don't need to repeat.

    Good luck with the de-pinger project with the cyclone.

    kevin


  23. B.B.:

    Thanks for the advice on the P17. I am convinced, especially since you included it on your Xmas list today.

    The very best holiday season to you and Mrs. G. (Get some rest!)


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