Air Venturi Avenger 1100 – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


The Air Venturi’s Avenger 1100 is a big spring rifle for not a lot of money.

Before we begin this report I have an announcement. The television program is heating up and I am taking a larger on-camera role (I’m now the program’s co-host with Paul Capello), so my ability to answer questions will be extremely limited for the next few weeks. The blogs will continue, but I’m going to be writing them on the road on a laptop, and my resources are very limited. The ironic thing is I will be filming airguns during the day and writing this blog in my room at night, and yet I won’t have the access I need to write the normal reports.

Please bear with me. The schedule should return to more like normal after July 4th. Those of you who have been helping me answer questions can help the new readers by herding them to the current blog to ask their questions, so all our readers have the chance to answer them.

The television program, called The American Airgunner, is now filming for the 2009 season that starts on Saturday, July 4, on The Sportsman Channel. We are scheduled for the 8:30 a.m. slot. The show will be replayed twice more that week, and I will get those times for you. You can visit our website for more information on the program. We will have some footage on the website in time and you can watch the program trailer we used to sell the show right now.

Now, for today’s report. I’m starting to look at an Air Venturi Avenger 1100 today. This rifle is a conventional breakbarrel, spring-piston airgun made by Mendoza of Mexico. It’s available in both .22 and .177 calibers. The one I’m testing is .177–at my request. Velocity is rated at up to 1,030 f.p.s. I’ll be testing that for you in the second report. Today, I’d like to look at some of the features this gun has to offer.

I’ve tested this rifle for you before. In fact, I did two parts of a test, but failed to finish the test. I said I would in Part 2, but I never did. So I will reset to zero and test this rifle like I never saw it before, which I haven’t.

This is a large rifle, weighing 7.3 lbs., depending on the weight of the wood stock, and with an overall length of more than 45 inches. The cocking effort is 35 lbs. for most of the stroke, with a bump up to 40 right at the end, so don’t buy the 1100 as a plinker. The model number refers to the velocity in .177, of course.

The beech stock on the test rifle is stained an even medium brown color over wood that shows some visible grain. The contours of the butt around the comb and cheekpiece (left side, only) appear melted, as if left too long in the hot sun. Both the pistol grip and forearm have two panels of checkering apiece. Every dimension of the stock is cut large, long or full, making this an adult air rifle for certain.

The metal is finished deep black and well-polished. Most of the words and numbers are etched into the metal with a vibrating stylus, but the model US Avenger 1100 is laser-etched in silver on top of the spring tube near the breech.

The scope rails are standard 11mm with no built-in scope stop, but you can butt the rear ring against the large plastic end cap to prevent it from moving. Speaking of plastic, that and the front sight base are the only parts I can find that are made from it. The buttpad is thick, solid black rubber and everything else is metal.


As you can see, the shoulder against which the rear scope mount presses is very large. It serves as the scope stop.

The trigger is special
The trigger is Mendoza’s unique two-bladed affair in which stage one of the triggers is a separate blade set slightly ahead of stage two. When the first blade is pulled back to the other blade, you know stage two has been reached. It may look strange, but it’s so intuitive that I’d like to see it on other air rifles. In fact, it is the airgun equivalent of Savage’s AccuTrigger.


Two trigger blades give great feedback for the trigger-pull.

No baseblock
Mendoza has done away with the traditional baseblock for the breech. Instead, the barrel is welded to a sub-carrier that contains the pivot bolt. It works fine, and you don’t even think about it.


The barrel doesn’t pass through a baseblock in this rifle. It’s welded to a small stub that pivots when the rifle is cocked.

Both the front and rear sights are fiberoptics. I don’t normally care for them, but they’re very popular, so I must be in the minority.


Front sight is a square post with a fiberoptic bead. Muzzlebrake is the handhold for cocking.

Paul Capello recently did a video review of the Avenger 1100 for his Airgun Reporter. He found that his rifle was detonating a lot, just like the rifle I tested last year. If that turns out to be the case with this rifle, I may just go inside and clean it out. That way, we’ll all know the full potential of the Avenger 1100.

23 thoughts on “Air Venturi Avenger 1100 – Part 1


  1. BB

    So will Heather still be co hosting on the new show?

    Perhaps you can sneak in your famous artillery hold?

    I know a few people who have been extemely happy with their Mendoza RM-600 models. One person did mention that their RM-600(.177 cal.) did have a tendancy diesel sometimes. I wonder if some silicone chamber oil would tame it a bit?


  2. BB,
    Hooray, I was getting shaky and starting to see things:). Congratulations on the TV show progress. Sadly DishNetwork doesn’t currently offer TSC…please put a few episodes online after airing if possible:).

    The 1100 looks OK…I’m interested to see what it can do without dieseling. From size only, seems like the powerplant would be about the same as my 36-2, which is satisfyingly authoritative.


  3. BB, now you’ll have to hit the tanning bed for the show:-)

    Thank heavens the blogger got cleared up.

    I watched Paul’s video review of the Avenger and he gave it high praise. It looks awkward in a way, but at the same time, it does have a certain appeal to it.


  4. ajvenom,

    Yes, Heather is still a co-host. But she’s in “A Chorus Line” on Broadway, I believe, so we have to work around her schedule.

    Yes, I will definitely work the artillery hold into the show.

    B.B.


  5. B.B.

    Hm, did you ever imagine a career on camera? When my Dad went on tv, he was amazed when a technician came up to sprinkle powder on his head because he said there was too much reflection. It’s like that scene in Batman II with Danny DeVito playing The Penguin. He is being groomed for a media appearance so technicians are brought to work with him. They start kidding him about reflective surfaces and then about his nose. So, he finally says, “Well, at least it isn’t gushing blood.” Chomp. One of the funnier scenes in the movie. Anyway, showbiz can be scary but I’m sure you’ll do great. I don’t have a tv, so I hope you can post clips to the PA website. And I’m glad Heather is still on board.

    I thought that we had heard about the Avenger before. And I seem to recall that it was Wayne’s pick for best springer for $150 and his answer to the B30. Wayne, didn’t you sell this rifle? With my Rich from Mich tune, I suppose that my B30 is now priced out of the $150 market. However, I plan to see what it can do post-tune at the range very shortly.

    Any comparison to an AccuTrigger gets my attention, and I believe you said that the triggers on Mendoza rifles are better than the one on the IZH 61 which I find astounding. I’ve never encountered anything to surpass the 61′s trigger.

    Matt61


  6. Yes, as BG Farmer lamented, Dish Network does not carry the Sportsman’s Channel, so I’m very disappointed to not be able to see the new show. Will it be possible to view large chunks of the video from the web site, or will it be just tantalizing short clips?


  7. If the other Mendoza rifles are anything like the RM-200, it’s no wonder they detonate. Besides the large amount of grease in the barrel and muzzlebrake, they have a fuzzy fiberous ring right behind the piston soaked in factory oil. Every time the piston slams forward, the oil gets slung all over the inside of the piston tube. I don’t think the oil in it has a low flashpoint either. It’s more likely a petroleum based light machine oil. When I dissassembled my rifle, I squeezed out as much of that factory oil as possible. I put the ring back in the rifle just for GPs. The piston seal is some type of synthetic. I had moly in the piston tube so I didn’t bother adding any silicone oil to the ring. Getting that oil out of there cleared up the problem of detonation.

    Shawn





  8. Tom,
    Will you be reviewing the new IZH 46M when it arrives? I’m interested to see how it compares to the original model we shot when you were still in MD. I still have mine. I hope you are doing well, it sure sounds like it.
    Walt Harris


  9. Walt!

    Great to hear from you, man!

    Folks, Walt is the photographer who took all the pictures for the R1 book.

    I probably won’t be reviewing the 46M, but I shot it enough to know that it’s a winner. It’s a 500 f.p.s. pistol. I also discovered a way to boost the performance on the 46 with no work or money.

    Follow this link to find out how to do it:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/04/gamo-compact-vs-izh-46-part-4.html

    I’d like to re-establish contact with you. You can email me at this address:

    airgunservices@airgunwriter.com

    I’m in New York filming an airgun TV program for the next week, but Edith will watch for your message.

    B.B./Tom


  10. Is there any sort of method for washing away the oil without disassembly? Maybe not for the Mendoza, because it has that oil washer. But what if you added a little alcohol to the chamber, worked the piston around, poured it out, and let it dry in the hot sun?


  11. Hello,

    Can anyone advise on how to remove the muzzle brake from a Mendoza? Is it threaded, and if so, in which direction? Thanks in advance for any assistance.


  12. Other than the Mendoza rifles, most air rifles burn off their oil or grease within 100 shots. There isn’t normaly a need to wash out the compression tube.


  13. As for washing out the oil… if you do that, you’ll leave everything dry and prone to rapid wear. That’s not the answer either.

    I don’t think the construction on this gun (the breech assembly) would necessarily reduce the chances of barrel droop – droop is caused by poor tolerances during manufacturing, which could happen with this arrangement as well. The basic geometry here is pretty much the same as almost any other breakbarrel. I’m not saying Mendoza’s droop, but if they don’t it’s because they pay better attention to that area than some others.

    Oh, and FWIW – an apparently rare Mexican Cabanas air rifle I worked on for Wayne had similar breech construction.


  14. Anonymous,
    Vince is right — in the absence of any lubricant, you would be rewarded with strange noises when cocking, sub-par performance, etc. There’s also probably lots of rough, jagged, and/or rusty edges and surfaces inside that need to be dealt with to get better performance and durability out of the rifle. BB’s tuning series has everything you need to know to do a competent job tuning it up, if you are at least moderately mechanically apt, and it should only take a few hours and very little money if you just polish and lube (i.e., use original seal, spring, guides, etc.).


  15. BB the mendoza looks like a decent gun,but way too big for me.I’m short and fat all over:)
    glad you got the blog up and saved your rep.
    I just knew you wernt no slacker!
    good luck with the tv show,sounds like fun but a lotta work too.

    Matt61 no tv?! that helps explain your shooting regimen.I’m a dedicated couch tater so I couldn’t be any competition to you!
    Think I’ll go do some night shootin since it’s so warm tonight.

    JTinAL


  16. Matt61,

    You remembered right.. The Avenger 1100 was the first airgun I bought about Jan. 08.. quickly added 2 more and a RM 200, and 2000 and 600 in .22cal..
    Not a bit of barrel droop in any of them!.. unlike every RWS I’ve owned..
    (except the 92, 93 and 94s made in spain)

    Anyway, yes they are great for a springer… and our .177s did about 820fps with 10.6 kodiak.. they did the 1050fps with 7.0 hobby, but not with any accuracy..

    The Kodiaks would give us 3/4″ 30 shot groups at 20 yards indoors off rests..

    The detonations do go away after 100 shots or so.. it took about 300 shots to settle down on accuracy.. but like all the springers I’ve shot over 700fps, I can’t get those groups anytime I want.. all must be right with the Gods of springers, and since I’m always a bad boy.. they don’t treat me well.. (so I sold them all!!.. no springers over 750fps) in favor of PCPs.. but you knew that, if you read here often..

    B.B.

    That lack of “the traditional baseblock for the breech” could be the reason for the sloppyness after 3,000 shots we experienced with ours.. but PA stood behind them, of course, and I think the new ones are made better..

    Why don’t you stay up late tonight Tom, and shoot those 3,000 shots and see:).. you have nothing else to do..

    Let’s see, 3,000 times 40 lbs of cocking effort.. you can build some muscle for the TV show!!

    HHHMMM.. I think I’ll go over and fill up the Air Arms S410 with the scuba tank, and shoot 120 shots on med.. (750fps) power before bed.. and get my muscles swimming..

    Congrats on signing the show!! and co-hosting.. now it will be a success for sure!!!

    And we have more fun with Edith anyway.. so go ahead and abandon us..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  17. Bg Farmer,

    At the risk of having someone steal my thunder, I will share any way. I believe an BB gun version of Cowboy Action would be interesting. That’s the reason for the 99 lever I picked up. The 499 is a single shot muzzle loader that is too slow and Red Ryder’s lack in accuracy.

    I am aware of the Walther look alike but CO2 is on the loud side and a shroud just wouldn’t be right.

    The big sticking point now is the side arm. Daisy made a peacemaker replica that I owned as a kid, but I could throw a BB harder with my hand. CO2 may be the only answer for the holster iron.

    Currently I lead the BB gun standings with its membership of one.

    Volvo




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


8 + = 12

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>