Tech Force TF79 Competition Rifle – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we start, I want to remind everyone that today is the last day of Pyramyd Air’s special shipping promo! Instead of buying $100 to get free shipping, you have to buy only $50 in merchandise to get free ground shipping. This special promo is good through today (Jan. 7) and is available only for addresses in the lower 48 states. You cannot combine coupons with the free shipping offer.


The Tech Force 79 Competition rifle is a lot of value for a very low price.

History
If you’re new to airgunning, you need to know what transpired to bring a rifle like the .177 caliber Tech Force TF79 Competition Rifle to the market. It began in the 1950s with the inception of the Crosman 160. The 160 was a .22 caliber single-shot CO2 rifle that used two cartridges to shoot 25-35 pellets at around 610 f.p.s. Back in the 1950s, the 160 was a minute-of-Oreo-cookie at 15 yards. As time passed and European pellets began arriving at our shores, the accuracy improved. The Crosman barrel was always well-rifled, but it took us several decades to realize how good it really was.

Crosman also improved the rifle, ultimately resulting in the high-water mark, which was a military single-shot target rifle with a Williams S331 peep sight and a genuine leather sling. I was active as an airgunner in Maryland in the 1990s when several hundred of these Crosman Air Force rifles were discovered in a warehouse and sold as new old stock. For a while, I owned a brand new 1980 Crosman MIL-SPEC target air rifle.

However, in the 1990s, the Crosman Premier pellet was available. So, the rifle that the Air Force thought might shoot a half-inch five-shot group at 25 feet was suddenly capable of shooting just as good at 25 YARDS. The pellet made all the difference in the world; and, for many years, the airgun world was hot for 160s.

Enter Tim McMurray and Henry Harn. Tim we all know as Mac-1, and he’d been working on 160s for decades by this time. Harn was a businessman with connections in China, so he asked Tim to put together the finest version of a 160 he could, and then Harn would have the Chinese duplicate it. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, only Harn and McMurray rode the Chinese roughshod until they got what they were after — more or less. The QB-22 was a knockoff of the Crosman 160 that gave nothing away in quality or accuracy. Tim did have early problems with barrel quality, but he sorted it out.

But, the QB-22 retailed for $200 in the 1990s. Like today, everyone wanted a free lunch, so the guns didn’t move as fast as expected. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come, but a lot of them will stand around with their hands thrust deep into their empty pockets and kicking dirt clods while saying things like, “What they should have done….”

The QB 22 languished. About a year later, something called a QB 78 hit our shores and it retailed for about $78. That got people talking. A real Crosman 160 for $78! Only, it wasn’t a real 160, of course. It was a gamble. Some of them shot great, while others were just mediocre. For the first time, the Chinese were embarrassed by their own lack of quality. They had expected huge sales, but the lackluster performance of the gun left sales in the dumper. Apparently, you can’t just build a mock landing strip and control tower to attract the cargo planes from the U.S. (I’m referring to the cargo cults.)

So, they did something remarkable. They built a new and improved rifle — the QB 79. The gun they should have built all along, only they didn’t. Now, they were at it full bore. Yes, the QB 79 was the gun you really wanted, but they had quality problems with that model, as well. Some were great shooters, while others were only mediocre.

Okay, now I have to hit the fast-forward button, because both these designs have matured and morphed like gangbusters in the past 10 years. For example, there’s a target version of the QB/TF 79 that’s a super deal in an accurate single-shot. Compasseco had a TF78 with a dark stock and a gold trigger that was to die for. Whole cottage industries have sprung up around these models. MikeΒ Stephen (sorry for the typo!) Archer in upstate New York makes his living selling both repair parts and modified parts for the rifle and by selling high-graded rifles, which are based on accuracy.

That’s enough history. You now know that what we’re about to look at is a close copy and descendant of the famous Crosman 160. You may not yet know what that entails, but therein lies my report.

Sights
The rifle I’ll be testing for you is the full-blown TF79 target rifle. It comes with both a precision adjustable aperture rear sight for 10-meter work and a sporting sight that lets you use the rifle as a plinker. You also get two inserts for the target globe front sight. The ring insert comes installed, and there’s also a post insert for the sporting rear sight. Anyone who wants to put the little holes in the center of the target will use the ring insert and aperture rear sight.


With the rifle comes a large metal precision aperture target rear sight. While not the equal of a $500 European target sight, it works. There’s also an adjustable sporting rear sight, if you chose to use it.

The steel receiver is topped with an aluminum dovetail base for the rear peep sight or sport sight. This same base will also accept an 11mm scope mount, and I know that a lot of you are going to be putting scopes on your guns. The lack of recoil means you have nothing to worry about as far as anchoring the scope rings.

Charging the gun
This rifle operates either on two CO2 cartridges or via a bulk-fill adapter. However, the bulk-fill CO2 hose and paintball adapter was left out of the box I received. I think I’ll simply use CO2 cartridges to test the gun, anyway. With the hose, it’s possible to bulk-fill the gun from a standard paintball tank.


Replace the reservoir cap with this adapter cap, and the CO2 hose screws into the end of the adapter. The hose was missing from my box, so I’ll just use CO2 cartridges.


Just screw a paintball tank into the adapter, and you’re ready to fill the rifle with bulk CO2.

You also get two Allen wrenches for making adjustments, and there’s a degasser that Crosman never thought of. The degasser allows competitors to dump their partial fills and start a match with a full tank of CO2, something that cannot be over-estimated. Degassing also acts to chill the reservoir, to enable a denser fill when bulk-filling.

In all, you get about the same amount of support gear as comes with a $2,000 10-meter air pistol. I’m very impressed at this well-thought-out package for just $180. And, let’s get that out of the way right now. Carp all you want, there simply are no other 10-meter target rifles that sell for this price. Even used, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything.


The rest of the accessories are the sporting rear sight, the front sight post insert and the two Allen wrenches for adjustments. The degasser lever fits into the left side of the receiver when you’re ready to exhaust some gas.

The stock
This is a heavy rifle, if not a large one. The overall length is a carbine-like 40 inches, but the stock is massive, which you want in a target rifle. The rifle weighs only 6.6 lbs., but the overall shortness makes you think that it’s heavier. The stock is not as ergonomic as the aluminum one found on a $3,000 FWB, but it’s well-shaped for the intended purpose. Think of it as a flashback to the 1960s, when stocks were solid pieces of wood on rifles like the Walther LGV and the FWB 300. The finish is dark reddish-brown, even and smooth. No gouges or fills insult your vision.

The length of pull is 13 inches, even — which feels short to me. Because this is a target rifle, a shorter LOP is proper. But, I think many shooters will find the pull adequate for their sporting needs, as well.

The trigger
The trigger deserves its own separate report, which it will receive. Back in the 1960s, Crosman took a crossbow trigger design from the 16th century and improved it for use in the 160. It was incredibly adjustable and could be set so crisp and fine that it rivaled a Rekord — not the target Rekord on the HW 55 — just the standard sport model. When Tim McMurray built his super-160 to show to China, of course it had that trigger.

As the gun comes to you, both Brian in Idaho and I noted that the trigger has lots of creep in stage two; but if this one is anything like the others I have adjusted over the years, it can be made light and glass-crisp, with an absolute dead-stop overtravel. For that reason, it gets its own separate report. Brian tells me he adjusted his down from 4 lbs. pull to 1 lb., 2 oz.

Cocks on closing
One big turnoff all shooters experience when trying a 160 for the first time is the cocking action. The bolt opens quite easily, but the hammer spring is caught and compressed (extended?) on closing the bolt. So, a 160 or TF 79 feels just like a Swedish Mauser when you cock it. American shooters have always been partial to bolt-action cocking taking place on opening, though I personally have converted my views over the years. With more experience, I see why cocking on closing is the better way. It’s faster and less bothersome in most bolt guns, save Weatherbys. Don’t be put off when you feel the resistance of the bolt at closing. You’ll get used to it.

Brian found the bolt knob too short for comfort, and I’m inclined to agree. The knob rests right at the edge of the stock, where it’s hard to grasp. An extra half-inch of bolt stem would make all the difference. Archer makes an extended bolt for the QB 78, but apparently not for the 79. One is needed!

Bottom line
While many of you are newer readers and not familiar with my past writing exploits, I’ve been writing about airguns pretty regularly since 1994. I’ve tested both the TF78 and TF79 numerous times. So, this will be a refresher for me, though I note many changes on this new rifle. This is going to be a big, long report because we have a classic and significant model under scrutiny.

142 thoughts on “Tech Force TF79 Competition Rifle – Part 1

  1. All,

    This gun like BB says is simply THE cheapest 10 meter gun you can find. And it will shoot well enough that most shooters will not be able to get maximum accuracy from it.

    However, I prefer the TF 79 TH which has a thumb hole stock that fits me much better than the regular target style stock. That version is available as the TF 79 TH OR the AR2078 from Archer.

    If you don’t have an expensive 10 meter target rifle or 4, and want to experience 10 meter target type shooting, this is THE gun to start with. My advice, though is get Mike Mellik or another good air gun tuner to tune it BEFORE they send it to you. If you buy the gun from the tuner, often they will do a basic tune for free. That usually includes replacing the lousy o-rings it come with and adjusting the trigger to a nice smooth clean breaking pull. Other mods are available at extra cost. One being a power mod to get higher velocities.

    For a strictly target gun I do not recommend the power mod. If you also want to use it to pop critters then a good power mod won’t hurt the accuracy but it will pull down your shot count.

    I simply can not express my passion for this gun. Had I know about the tuners who replace the o-rings up front, I would still have three of these. A .177 and .22 TH stocked and a regular target stocked one with the paint ball tank attached. All were returned because the seals failed!

    With the ring front sight insert and the aperture rear sight the gun will put a pellet where that ring is centered every time! This gun is simply the best shooter I have ever handled bar none. Course I cannot afford an expensive target rifle, so never shot one of them. I see a .177 and .22 thumb hole stocked ones in my future!

    Get one, get the seals upgraded, and enjoy.


    • Amen to that!

      These guns are a great way to economically experience the recoilless “hush” of punching holes in paper, one pellet after another in the same hole!



      • Pete,

        Not a problem. I just get a stock of the target style from Stephen Archer at Archer Air Guns. He has just about anything you could want for the QB78 family of air guns! Think these stocks are real bank breakers at like $79.95?


  2. Question:
    Is there a inexpensive mil-dot scope under $25/$30 @ Walmart, Bi-mart, ect.? I’m going to put it on my brother’s Crosman Raven. We have the dinkie little $9 scope, but I wanted something bigger and one that has the mil-dots.

    Thanks,
    Conor


    • You won’t find a mil dot scope that cheap.
      You are also dealing with a very low powered rifle. It is not going to bust up scopes , but it is going to have a pretty short range. You run into some serious parallax problems when you have to work close.

      What might work could be one of the crossbow scopes that has a range marked reticle. The marked ranges would be wrong, but it would give you multiple reference points. But you won’t get one as cheap as you are looking for.

      An airgun scope with a 30 yd parallax preset may be good enough.

      Some of the cheap scopes that come with the chinese package deals can be adjusted by a method that was a recent topic here. Depends on how the scope is put together. Adjusting to 20-30 yds might be good enough. When you do this they get fuzzy at distance. However, a low powered rifle is going to be pretty hard to hit anything with at any considerable distance.

      How far do you think he can use the rifle ?

      twotalon


      • Twotalon,

        Depending on what we are doing,(it will be both of us using it) we might shoot tins @ 35-50 yds, use on blackbirds, ect. I want a mil-dot scope because my brother has a Benjamin 392 with Bug Busters 6x32ao scope, and when it’s below 40 degrees F, the gun won’t shoot very fast(I think because multi-pumps need warmer air to operate right.)

        I’ll check PA.

        Thanks,
        Conor


      • twotalon,

        And others. Quality air gun scopes and fixed parallax scopes are available in the $15 to $35 range all the time on yellow forum at http://www.network54.com/Forum/. If you already have registered, good move. If you are not already registered, do so asap.

        Many many really good bargains and even some fantastic bargains show up daily on airguns, scopes, parts, literature and any thing else you could desire.

        Check it at least once per every ten minutes. Still missed a few great bargains that way, but even I who stay at home every day can’t hang on the computer that long.

        Good luck on your needs.


    • Should have looked around a little. PA has some Leapers mil dot scopes for around $30.
      Look under fixed power 1″ tube. They may serve the purpose. But as for Wallyworld, forget it. They don’t have much.

      twotalon



        • I bought a Leaper 4X mil-dot for my son’s Gamo Re-con for Chistmas from Pyramid. It is set for 35 yards parallax, and it is fine on his gun. It came with mounts that had a stope stope pin and it was less that 30 bucks,Robert.



  3. Anyone,

    Are there any good inexpensive options for lefties when it comes to these guns? I would think that a gun that has enjoyed this amount of longevity would have offered the lefties a solution yet I find none. Perhaps I am overlooking an option. Any Ideas???


    • Mark,

      You make a good point. The Chinese, of course, deal with numbers, but with Pyramyd Air at the helm, maybe we can do something about getting a left-hand gun.

      I have forwarded your request to PA management.

      B.B.




        • Thanks Tom, Brian and Edith. I saw that PA lists the TH79’s stock as being right handed. This must refer to the raised cheek if the gun is otherwise ambi. I personally don’t care about the bolt being on the right. I think we lefties get used to such things. It would be nice to see more left handed options but I understand the economics of the situation. We (lefties) are a small minority.


          • The right side bolt favors lefties. While holding the gun in your left hand, the bolt is on the right hand side for the non dominant hand for easier cocking. I wish my 1377/Disco/Marauder had the bolt on the left.


    • Mark N,

      Steven Archer at Archer Airguns might have some left handed stocks. It’s an iffy proposition as they usually don’t last long when they come in.

      Many custom stock makers will also make them for you to YOUR specifications.


  4. Got up for school, only to find out we have a two hour delay. Maryland Schools…..we have about a 20th of an inch dusting( but i’ll take it ). Sounds like it’s going to be an interesting review. I’ll be paying attention for sure.
    HK



  5. BB: I liked your Tom-ism, comment “minute of oreo cookie” when referring to the accuracy of the old trash can pellets we shot back in the day. Recently I bought a Crosman 2nd varient 160 at a show, and the gun dealer that sold it to me for $25 dollars, said he was glad to get rid of it because he still believed that they weren’t accurate. I took it home and oiled it with pel-gun oil, and promtly shot a 1/2″ ten shot group with it at ten meters. A lot of folks today don’t realize just how far we have come in the quality of airguns and pellets. Or , with places to get them repaired or repair parts being available to most anyone. Personally, I think that the 160 or the Chinese clone are the best air rifles to teach young people to shoot with. I taught my kids with a .22 cal QB-78 bought from Archer’s a few years ago. They handle very much like the single shot .22 RF I started with 45 years ago,Robert.


  6. OK – here’s a question. The rifle carries as resemblance to the current Crosman 2260 – the progeny of the 160 – which you looked at in ’05:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2005/11/crosman-2260-real-value-in-gas-rifle_23.html

    You said some very nice things about that gun and noted that it was improved from the 160 in many respects – not the least of which is that it used half the gas for the same performance. How does the 2260 compare to the QB78/79?


    • Vince,

      That is a tough call, because the 2260 is a lightweight rifle, while the TF 79 is a lump. The TF 78 is much lighter than the 79 and a better-formed rifle than a 2260.

      Still, I have to say the 2260 is the best value. It’s a Disco running on CO2.

      B.B.


  7. B.B.,
    Compasseco was advertising (before buy out) a PCP rifle which looked like a converted TF78. It has since disappeared from the site. What gives? Did it ever go into production? The advertised price was even cheaper than the DISCO.
    Pete


    • Pete,

      I don’t know, but I got an HPA adaptor in the box with this TF 79. So I could fill it with air, though I won’t because it’s already shooting fast for a target rifle.

      B.B.



    • Pete,

      For a while they quit making that conversion because of accuracy problems with it related to the air tubes they were getting not all being to specs.

      I do not know the state of them or pyramid selling this conversion now.


  8. The Crosman 160 / QB platform has withstood the test of time. It’s still relevant today 60 years after it was designed and first built. It has been made into everything from pistols to match guns to big bores.

    I have had several versions of the 160 and QB. I only have one QB now, an old QB22. I took my QB to Little Rock a few years ago and Tim told me about my rifle. He told me that it was one of a handful of guns he did a lot of extra work on and sent to airgun writers around the country to show what the gun was capable of with custom tuning. My rifle was later fitted with the only 25″ HW Venon shrouded barrel Tim imported. It was just too long so the rest he had made shorter. My brother, Bryan, calls it my goose gun because of it’s length with a 25″ barrel with 6 baffles out past the barrel. But, with all the customization and long barrel I have a 20 foot pound gun that’s really quiet. I usually shoot my QB with an LD hangy bottle on the end of the C02 tube and can shoot a couple hundred shots on a fill.

    I don’t expect the QB to go away anytime soon. It may still be around in another 40 years.

    David Enoch


    • David,

      Tim put his heart and soul into the QB 22 project and it simply did not pay him back. Few people realize that he is the reason we have the QB 78 and 79 today.

      B.B.


  9. Some additional comments on this rifle:

    As BB noted, Archer Airguns sells a replacement bolt and it will fit all of the QB78 type rifles, including the TF79. Charles Mellon also makes replacement bolts for these, I know, I just installed one yesterday. The added length and larger knobs makes a world of difference and Charles Mellons design is only $12 postage paid!

    QB78, TF79, AR2078 are all the same basic rifle and action. The stocks are different and some have 88 gram conversions or T-hole stocks, and the TF79 is set up with peep sights as noted. I purchased mine from Archer with the extended bolt probe and hammer de-bounce device and improved transfer seal, etc etc.

    BB is going to be busy with this report as there is so much to like (and play with) about this airgun.


  10. One correction on your report Tom…the bulk fill adapter will not screw on to a paint ball tank, the threads don’t match. I’ve worked on a few of these and have had more questions about the fitting than I can remember, The threads are said to match a 20 lb tank. Thanks for the report, I love working on them…had one of my rifles (AR2078A) win the gold at the Iowa games on the running targets a few years ago, the shooter was up against guys with FWB’s etc….so they can shoot well with a good shooter at the trigger


    • Mike, any thoughts as to why the bulk-fill adaptor would leak around the threaded connection of the tube on a TF79 ? (new adaptor and new airgun)

      I initially thought it was the loose-ish fitting o-ring but, have seen a few comments on line about the one way valve and/or the male QD fitting seal leaking?

      Anyway, I’m new to Co2 bulk fill so looking for a little guidance here. Thanks!


    • Mike,

      Are you saying that the brass adaptor on the end of the hose that attaches to the bulk-fill cap on the rifle doesn’t accept paintball bottles? because I thought it did. I thought that was the whole purpose of that hose.

      Unfortunately I didn’t get a hose with my rifle, but now you have piqued my interest. I will ask them to send me the hose, so I can see just what you get.

      B.B.


      • BB My gun came with the adaptor to gun (a one-way valve) and male QD fitting, metal braided hose about 12″ long and the valve to attach to a 20 oz PB Co2 tank (pin valve type tank)

        This is my first go at bulk-fill Co2, and the pin valve is opposite of open/close say… on a propane bottle. Thread in or down on the PB tank is open, thread out or up is closed. Makes sense with an up/down pin-valve.


        • Brian,

          So the adaptor DOES fit a paintball tank, as I said in the report? I’m glad to learn that. I will still ask for a hose, so I can try bulk-fill operations.

          Thanks,

          B.B.


          • Tom,

            The factory bulk equipment does NOT fit a standard paintball tank. It actually fits an industrial-size tank (20lb or larger). For this reason, Archer Airguns offers an “AR Adapter Kit” that allows bulk-filling from a tank with standard paintball threads. You can see the product here – http://www.archerairguns.com/AR-Bulk-Adapter-Kit-p/aabak.htm

            Thanks for mentioning Archer Airguns. We carry the World’s largest range (and stocks) of parts and accessories for the whole TF78/79 family and are happy to support PA customers who need these items.

            Stephen Archer


    • Mike,

      These sure as heck can shoot! Even a 68 yo duffer like me can put the pellet where the sight is when the trigger breaks quite well!

      As I said before, the gun is more accurate than probably 99% of air gunners can shoot it! I know it shoots better than I can! Probably national or Olympic class competitors could wring all the accuracy out of this gun possible, I seriously doubt it would shoot much less accurately than their $2000 – $5000 custom match guns! Speculation on my part, but I think it is that good!


  11. Hi BB,

    Dunno if you recall it or not at this juncture but I was a fixture on the Airgun Letter Forum. I think it was there that I coined the phrase about the QB-78 as “The $50 gun with the $100 barrel”. After promoting the gun a while I finally convinced ‘Uncle Gary’ (remember Unc?) to try one. Once he did he was on a roll as a one-man booster. And “the rest is history” as the saying goes.

    At one point I was buying returned QB-78s, 5 at a time, from Compasseco for $100, rebuilding them and reselling to support my own QB-78 habit. There’s still 3-4 in my arsenal that were too accurate to part with.:O)

    I also bought a custom stock from Ron Robinson that he had made for him by a stockmaker in Ft. Worth for his 160 that he used to win the Texas Silhouette championship several times when I saw it advertised. Since I was already familiar with the stock I jumped on it and one of my favorite QB-78s still lives in it.

    So I’m beyond pleased to see you doing another review on the family and will eagerly await further reports. Cheers, Tom @ Buzzard Bluff


    • Tom,

      My illness has caused a loss of memory, so I have forgotten many things I should remember. But I do remember people on the forum buying QB 78s in bulk and going through them.

      I am so glad that you are still around. You can help keep me on the rails!

      B.B.



  12. Morning B.B.,

    You’ve started a very interesting blog for me cause I have no knowledge about the QB’s except for a couple of adds that I’ve seen. Obviously I’ve been missing a rifle(s) that are highly thought of judging by comments made by the posters today.

    I will hold my questions cause you’ll probably answer them as this topic develops. However, there is one that you started and some of the comments reinforced, that I’m now wondering about, ie., will this platform function on CO2 and HPA like the Discovery?


    • Bruce,

      The TF 79 hasn’t been balanced for HPA, so although it will work, it’s not as smooth as the Discovery. Crosman worked for months to get the Disco valve optimized for both CO2 and air.

      Also, if you are going to use air you will want a larger reservoir than comes standard on the target rifle.

      B.B.


    • And…some margin of SAFETY regarding the pressures involved in HPA. Keep in mind that Co2 is about 880 psi nominal, HPA is 2000 psi or greater.

      Google or search the yellow forums / Network54Chinese for more reading and info/insight before you go HPA. Pellets go fast on HPA, so do flying steel parts and shrapnel.


      • Brian in Idaho,

        Thanks for mentioning the safety factor. Me as an old SCUBA diver and a shooter of a Disco and a Talon SS have a very healthy respect for HPA’s safety issues. But it’s good that you brought it up which is something that I should have done.

        Looking at the adapter for bulk fill and possibly HPA, I don’t understand how you can get it off the gun. I don’t see anyway to relieve the pressure once it’s turned on. The adapter I bought from PA has a bleed valve so I can vent the CO2 out of the system before removing it from my Discovery. What am I missing?


  13. I like reading about the history and evolution of guns almost as much as I enjoy shooting them. Today’s history lesson was very interesting. Since my experience with CO2 guns is very limited I had no idea what a significant role the 160 had in the many offerings today. I also didn’t realize until this morning that Fletcher wrote a book on the Crosman Model 160.

    I know there is a cult like following for the QB 78 but since I’ve read it’s hit or miss on getting a good shooter I’ve avoided buying one. I’ve also avoided these guns because I’m reluctant to get into CO2 tanks, fittings, adapters, only being allowed to shoot above a certain temperature, etc.

    Maybe I’ll reconsider my prejudices.

    kevin


  14. This isn’t exactly the place to ask, but anyway….

    I’ve acquired an airsoft gun (no idea why, just an impulse I guess), and was wondering if that little orange thing on the tip of the barrel can be legally removed.

    Several internet searches have failed to provide me with an answer.


    • Malcom Wrathmoore,

      U.S. federal law requires non-clear airsoft guns to have at least 1/4″ blaze orange on the muzzle. If the gun is completely clear, the blaze orange isn’t required. Pyramyd Air requires all their clear airsoft guns to have a blaze orange muzzle.

      Plenty of guys who skirmish cover up the orange. On the other hand, I’ve read lots of stories about people who’ve done just that and ended up looking down the barrel of a firearm or go to jail for brandishing a gun. If the orange doesn’t show & someone thinks you’ve got a firearm when/where you shouldn’t, you could pay with your life.

      Edith


    • Malcolm,

      To directly answer your question, US law requires the orange tip for importation and initial sale, in order to clearly identify them as not being fire arms. The law does not require that the owner keep the orange tip, and many people remove or cover it up for “skirmish” games as the tip can be easily seen. So at least as I understand things (and I’m not a lawyer or law expert), it is OK to take it off from a legal standpoint.

      That said, I agree completely with Edith, and will expand on her point – my fear also includes the US trial attorneys and our national lack of responsibility. I would be very concerned about the potential liability / financial implications if anything happened to somebody else with an airsoft gun from which I had removed the orange tip. Sad, but it is the state of afairs in America today . . . .

      My kids have several airsoft guns, and our home rules are simple – if it’s not clear, you are not getting it (on top of many other rules). And if they ever paint one of theirs, they know I’ll smash it to bits in front of them and throw it in the trash. Harsh and restrictive, but that way I know we will always be safe from all but the most ridiculous situations.

      I would keep the tip orange, or make a cover to use that can be removed if you give or sell it to somebody else.

      Alan in MI


      • Alan in MI,

        There are many states that have laws that require the orange muzzle remain untouched…and not just when the gun is sold. Thus, jail time for brandishing a firearm is a reality.

        Edith


        • Good point – I was speaking to Federal laws. There is always the possibility that State or even local laws could go the otherway . . . .

          I think it is best ot keep them, and if appropriate, cover them up only for skirmish situations.

          Alan in MI


          • Good advice. If you need no orange for skirmishes, go with the ones which have removable orange covers. Most simply have the flash hider part made of orange and it either screws off or snaps off.

            Do NOT remove the orange other than on a skirmish field. And for sure DO NOT point said gun with or with out the orange attached at any one except at a skirmish field. In Missouri it is a felony to brandish a firearm. Don’t matter to the law if it has an orange tip! Now your expensive lawyer may get you off after spending $25,000 or so of your money. But I bet you have better things to do with $25000 than that!

            KISS! Don’t remove the orange and don’t brandish said gun except on a skirmish field.


    • M W

      Not often seen or reported in the U.S. but, there have been many bank robberies and other stick-ups in the Phillipines with airsoft guns. There have been nearly as many shootings of those same individuals by local and federal police (there) due in most part to the lack of the blaze-orange muzzles, and in part due to the lack of “whining” about those individuals by the public after they are shot. (“couldn’t they tell it was plastic” visa-vi ACLU & others in U.S.)

      I would heartily suggest against hiding or blackening the orange muzzle on an airsoft gun.


      • Brian in Idaho,

        You don’t have to look that far away. The same thing is happening in California. Other states have the same problems, but California has a rash of them almost daily. Usually, it’s Southern Calif.

        Edith


        • And in Las Vegas, the police told me tales of “suicide by police” attempt, where street people would pull an airsoft gun or an airgun lookalike on the police in hopes of being shot. Apparently it happens often enough in winter that the police talk about it.

          B.B.




  15. I have one of the old Crosman 160’s I bought about seven years ago. I haven’t shot it for groups but it zeroed well with JSB pellets when I sighted it in back then. It has an old Redfield 1 3/4 to 5 scope that I mounted on it. It is parallax corrected for 100 yds but still seems to be OK. Anyway, it’s at least minute-of-squirrel’s head at 15 yards. How’s that BB? πŸ™‚

    Mike


    • Mike,

      I’ll bet your rifle is one order of magnitude more accurate than you think. Put it to the test. And don’t overlook Crosman premiers, which the 160s seem to love.

      B.B.



    • Chuck,

      I asked about a lefty earlier. The thread is above. Tom indicated that he had passed the request on to PA and Edith said that one of the folks at Compessaco shot the thumb-hole stocked version and found it to be ambidextrous except for the swell on the left side of the stock.

      I personally think that Tom and Edith should be applauded for their effort and not asked to simply move on. I look forward to the rest of this report. Even if the grip on the TH stock is for righties it could possibly be altered and would make a great, inexpensive winter project to refinish. Just my .02..

      Regards,
      Mark


      • Mark,
        I apologize for sounding so negative. I hold Tom and Edith in the absolute highest regard. They have been my mentors (vicariously anyway) for a few years now and I enjoy and admire what they do, and value their opinions on everything airgun. I actually had my tongue in my cheek when I wrote that but from where you’re sitting I was blocked :-).

        I am left handed and there are many nice air rifles that I cannot own because the stocks are not sculpted for a lefty. Buying an after-market stock is not an option because it doubles the price of the gun. Using a stock made for a righty is doable sometimes but is no more desirable for me than it would be for you to buy one with a left hand stock. I’ll bet you could count on 0 fingers the number of right handers who bought a rifle that had a left handed stock because a right handed one was not available.

        Thanks for letting me rant. I do do that sometimes, but the doctor says I’ll be OK once the wounds heal. πŸ™‚

        -Chuck


  16. BB,
    This one is one of the classic reasons Chinese airguns are not always bad. From what I’ve read, even the sights are pretty darn nice and possibly worth a good percentage of what the rifle sells for. If I had a basement or lived further south, I’d have one of these in a minute, but my one and only CO2 experience was so negative (admittedly due to my own ignorance), that I’m reluctant to get burned again. Adapting to HPA (800 psi?) is one option, but it is a fairly expensive one that requires more tinkering than I have time for at present. Anyway, I’ll enjoy the rifle vicariously via your review.

    Chuck,
    Just think of the money he’s saving you:).


    • Don’t know what that “negative” experience was BG but, you would really like this gun.

      Ya, it’s a little rough around the edges in some ways but, it has a great lineage and the Chi-coms have done a good job of cloning the 160 gun, actually better quality in many of the internal parts than Crosman was.


      • Negative experience was CO2 BB pistol — works fine for what it is, but I had a hard time living with the climate limitations — should have read the manual :).



  17. Due to differences in human eyes, there have been a VERY FEW shooters who could shoot at a world-class level with a peep and post. Our own Gary Anderson was one, another was a European shooter whose name escapes me now. So it’s possible, but not likely. For field shooting with a peep, a post front is the way to go.


  18. Off topic, hopefully someone can confirm (or not confirm) a thought I had last night.
    I’ve mentioned before how I don’t find the red-dot sight I am using all that accurate on the XS-B9 bullpup I have. Now the rifle gets good reviews, and when I have shot it from a rest it can put 5 shots in one ragged (big…but ragged) hole at 10m.
    But offhand, with the red dot the groups open up to 2″ and I have to be very precise on centering the dot in the middle of the field, which from my understanding shouldn’t be so.
    Last night I got to wondering about scope height. The red dot I have is the Vortex StrikeFire. It wasn’t cheap…at nearly $200 it is quite a bit more expensive than the gun itself. And I know it’s not faulty. A friend put it on his AR a couple of weeks ago and he was getting 2″ groups offhand at 100yds.
    So…it’s got this kinda weird-ass mount that has it sitting a good 2″ above the barrel. The cheap Tasco my friend has on his gun sits about 1/2″ above the reciever.
    Could this excessive height be causing more than normal parallax issues?


  19. CowBoyStar Dad,

    I’m not aware of a red dot that does not require the dot to be perfectly centered to be “on target”. Yes, I’ve had more than normal parallax issues with high mounts primarily because of an inconsistent cheek weld.

    Among other red dots I have an aimpoint comp ml3. Great little unit but the dot must be centered. I have a couple suggestions. First, if the dot is adjustable, make it as small as possible. Second, focus your eyes on the dot and let the target be a little out of focus. Hopefully your groups will be smaller.

    kevin


    • All,
      I know I am a little late to this game, but the red dot was primarily designed for close quarters combat (quick target fix). I was issued an Aimpoint for my M4 and we were taught to hold center with the dot out to 50m and anything past that just put the dot on anywhere in the scope. Using all that I qualified expert and that goes out to 300m. I hope this helps you out.
      Jeremy


  20. Thanks Kevin.
    I’ve really found that placing the dot centrally affects the accuracy.
    The salesperson however told me that one of the ‘great features’ of a red dot was that the dot could be anywhere in the field and it would still be accurate.
    I thought at the time he was handing me a line…but he seemed genuine so I took his word.
    Gotta admit thought…combination of the bullpup and the red dot looks darned cool.


    • CBSD I’m sure that the gun store guy was sincere… if the target in question was either 4 or 2 legged animal. He likely had no idea (or concept) of punching rounds through the same hole at XX meters?

      Your need for accuracy at that level would be difficult with the very best Red Dots and the youngest and best eyes. The Red Dot (however small) covers a lot of target space at 10 meters x .177 diameter!



      • Brian in Idaho makes a good point. A red dot, no matter the quality, is not primarily for accuracy, i.e., “punching rounds through the same hole at XX meters.” I just did an experiment with my aimpoint comp ml3 (2 moa model) at 10 meters. It’s early morning here and light level is low so I could adjust the dot very small. At 10 meters the dot was 3/8″.

        At 20 yards I can shoot a 10 shot group that is one ragged hole which is good enough accuracy for what I do with this gun. Since this aimpoint doesn’t have magnification and I have old eyes my groups open up to about 1 1/2″ at 30 yards. In bright sunshine the groups get a little larger since the dots intensity must be dialed up to be seen which in turn results in the dot getting larger.

        For me, the primary reasons for a red dot are quick target acquisition and lighter weight (in that order). Decent accuracy is the third priority. If supreme accuracy was my number one priority I would mount a scope on the gun.

        kevin


        • NRA “3-gun” pistol shooters swear by red dots though.

          Personally I think it’s because they add weight to the gun and it’s easier to go out and buy one than get proper shooting glasses set up with the right lens diopters.





        • My pleasure Fred, and you are always welcome out here in the Independent Republic of Idaho. Over 300,000 sq acres of shootin territory within 10 mins of my home, or we can use my backyard 30 meter range!

          Heck, my boss’ son shoots geese with a 10 gauge within 1/2 mile of my backyard!


          • Let me see, last time I was in Idaho was to watch someone named Robert Craig Knievel try to jump the Snake River Canyon. The rest of you know him as “Evel” Knievel. Back then I stayed in a town 18 miles North called Shoshone (locals pronounced it with two syllables – sho shon). Could of had a job out there tending bar but that’s another story. Ah, youth and 350cc two-stroke motorcycles.

            Beautiful country!

            Fred PRoNJ



  21. I’m missing something. If you’re really a bad guy, why can’t you put that orange blaze on a firearm and so gain at least several seconds of surprise? And what is meant by “clear?”

    pete


    • Pete,

      That’s been done. A guy who was robbing some store put orange paint on his gun’s muzzle. It was a while back, and I don’t remember what happened to him.

      Edith


      • So what good is the orange? Clearly law enforcement cannot rely on it’s presence definitely indicating an airsoft gun. I’m not advocating people take it off; the law says you must have it. But I would have thought that a blaze on a firearm would be more logical even if strongly opposed.


        • Pete, you’re making too much sense. That doesn’t work well with our legislators who make these laws. On the other hand, the typical criminal is not very smart and probably has not yet thought of putting an orange dayglo tip on his Glock to buy the extra second or two with a shootout with law enforcement.

          Fred PRoNJ


        • Pete Same reason that those same clowns in congress thought warning labels on cigs would stop people from smoking…they are imbuciles!

          Orange muzzles, cig warnings, no candy bars at school, it’s all the same. The proletariat knows whats best for you and must protect you from yourself. Just ask Fred in the PRNJ!

          At least “lil Lenin” doesn’t have her big gavel any longer! She turned it over to a smoker / hunter! Ha Ha Ha…


          • Brian

            The nanny state is inefficient/imbecilic and maybe worst of all, expensive. Imagine you could go to work and take what ever money you overspent from the previous month at your will. Chickens coming home to roost doesn’t seem to begin to explain the repercussions.

            Also we should be very careful what is said about the Chinese. At our current rate the USA will be a wholly owned subsidiary of China in a couple decades.


          • Warnings on cigarettes actually do work, as I learned in Europe, but the labels have to look like the ones used in the UK: absolutely disgusting color photos of diseased lungs, guys with holes in their throats, etc. And they need to be bigger than the manufacturer’s branding. Now I think getting people to stop smoking makes good public health sense, and I choke on tobacco smoke. I’ve yet to hear an argument in favor of smoking other than “it’s my body, and I like the stuff.” Which is fine and why the products remain legal.

            pz


        • Wait!,

          Wait guys! We lived with out orange for so many freaking years. Why do we need it now? Mainly because the politico’s have no other thing to do than pass stupid laws that wouldn’t be needed if we dealt very severely with people who break existing laws!

          Some jerk some where robbed a bank. Well plea bargain with him! He pleads guilty to a minor traffic. violation and gets 6 months probation.

          Such idiotic “justice” is why we have so much crime! Be harder on criminals. “Three strikes and out” makes perfect sense, EXCEPT third strike should be the gas chamber!


          • pcp4me,

            You fail to regard the entire history of airsoft in America. Back in the 1980s when the government wanted to ban the entire lot of these guns outright, Daisy and others fought to keep them legal. For years they went round and round about special markings that made the guns legal. The tips (Edith says to call them muzzles) of the guns are not just orange, they are one of a select RANGE of Blaze Orange colors that were agreed upon as being the most distinguishable by law enforcement personnel.

            It wasn’t the government that mandated the orange colors, it was the American airsoft market that kept itself alive by self-regulating the color. The government simply agreed to their logic, to keep many businesses alive and to permit the continuation of importation of airsoft guns.

            In other words, it was done to preserve a freedom, rather than to deny it altogether.

            B.B.


            • But BB, you made exactly my point! WHY in blue blazes would our politicos WANT to ban airsoft guns outright? After all, they are pretty darn harmless.

              So yeah, basically it IS because of stupid government types they have orange tips as the industry made a concession to stupid government regulation just to be able to keep making and selling them!

              EXACTLY my point!


              • Pcp4me,

                You are responding to a remark I made 3 months earlier. I cannot keep these long-term discussions straight in my mind. I now look at over 300 emails each day and respond to 50-80 of them. That’s 7 days a week.

                If you want to have a conversation with me — please keep it in the same week.

                B.B.


    • Pete,

      Orange on the firearm, while it has been done, is probably only of potential benefit with the police. A crook would not want it on a gun they were using against the rest of us, as it would delay us taking them seriously, and would encourage what would amount to a gun fight with anyone that was carrying. To it right, they would need two guns – one with and one without the orange muzzle. Generally their goal is to avoid the police . . . .

      “Clear” refers to airsoft guns that are made mostly with clear plastic plastic housings. There is no mistaking what these are when you see them. They also offer the additonal benefit of being able to see how the gun works in use,since you can see the mechanisms in action. Many guns come in both clear and solid colors. PA has a category of these under airsoft if you want to see some.

      Edith,

      I just double checked the PA site to make sure the category was still there, and I see that there is an all black Crosman R39 that shows up in the list right below a clear one. It’s no big deal, but thought I’d mention it.

      Alan in MI


      • Edith,

        I also noticed that the clear section does not list the Remington Wingmaster spring air gun – my boys just got these for Christmas and love them. There are others missing in the clear section like the Remington TAC 1 that is listed right above the Wingmaster in the Spring Airsoft section.

        Alan in MI


      • Alan in MI,

        Thanks for the heads up on the black gun appearing in the list of clear airsoft guns. I’ve notified the appropriate people at Pyramyd Air. They’ll take care of it on Monday.

        Edith


    • Pete,

      Since nobody else bothered I will explain “clear.” A clear gun is made of clear plastic, so the innards of the gun can be seen. It is obviously not a firearm and only the most foolish would think that it was. It is a major step beyond the orange tip.

      Speaking of orange tips, most of the public has no idea of these laws and therefore they are just as frightened of airsoft guns that are legally marked as they are of firearms. Only law enforcement officials are required to know, and I’d bet that a fair percentage of them don’t have a clue as to the difference, either.
      B.B.


  22. B.B.,

    The available pictures don’t show that the the T79 has an accessory rail on the stock. That sort of limits the use of this rifle to offhand shooting. I think this rifle is an incredible deal, but I would want to practice 3-positions with a sling. That’s why I bought my FWB. I like to add things like a bipod, extra weight, and a sling. Target rifles, like this one, are my favorite to shoot.

    Of course, you can always buy rails separately from Champions Shooters, but adding a rail would require modifications to the stock.

    In any case, this rifle gets a big thumbs up!

    Victor



    • Sorry S.L. – just catching up on a lot of the comments.

      I’m not openly advertising the TX, but I’ve responded to a couple of people who are listing their S410’s as WTS/WTT. The S410 is the one rifle I would consider trading the TX for, and even then it would be extremely difficult. My rationale is that I would have another fine AA specimen to take my mind off the one I lost, and I could possibly obtain a gun that I likely wouldn’t be able to afford outright for quite some time.

      I’ve been spending a lot of hours with the Rainstorm lately (squirrels are out in numbers), so the TX has been benched for a few months. I pulled it off the shelf and shot it the other day, and I got this feeling like I had come home after a long vacation. I can’t really describe my connection with my TX, other than to say that everything about it feels perfect to me. The weight, the balance, the way it shoulders, the safety, the trigger, the shot cycle… it’s all just right. In hindsight, I’m glad none of the deals panned out. I probably would have mourned my loss to an unhealthy extent.

      – Orin



    • Slinging Lead,

      Wow! That is one nice looking piece of wood. And it truly IS a “grade 5” otherwise know by some as an exhibition grade.

      I have seen FAR too many guns advertised as the stock being grade 5 or exhibition grade which were grade 4 and some all the way down to grade 2. Some seem to assume if it has great figure and color in the butt it is grade 5.

      Not so! to be grade 5 or exhibition grade, the figuring and color has to go all the way from the tip of the fore arm to the end of the stock butt! A grade 5 or exhibition grade stock is said to be a 1 in a million occurrence.


  23. i have read on a few forums that the 79’s have better barrels (more accurate) than the 78’s do .
    is there any truth to that ?
    do the 79 barrels fit the 78 series if there is any truth to my question ?

    thanks



    • Jeff,

      You didn’t read this report. I said I will be shooting the rifle with two cartridges instead of bulk filling. Yes, it uses two CO2 cartridges, just like the 78.

      The 78 is a lower-priced gun, so perhaps you can expect to find more mediocre barrels there than on the 79s, but both models are still known to have mediocre barrels occasionally. That is one of the big thing that boutique retailers do for their clients–they test the accuracy and sell the rifles on that basis.

      B.B.


    • Jeff,

      I’ve tested tested thousands of these guns for our customers and I would say that – statistically – there’s very little difference in accuracy between TF/QB78 and 79 models. But all the barrels have exactly the same fitting at the breech end and can be interchanged between all the guns in the family – in some cases mods may be required to accommodate the front band and its screw, however.

      Tom has referred several times to Archer Airguns “Gold Service” testing – that includes an accuracy test. You can read more about it here http://www.archerairguns.com/Articles.asp?ID=131

      Stephen Archer



  24. BB – ANYONE – what on earth did Gamo do to their ‘Match’ pellets?

    Now, I KNOW they weren’t really ‘match grade’. But if you had a gun that shot them well they could shoot quite decently. I had recently gone through several dozen of my lower-powered air rifles to see which one liked what pellet, and several in both .177 and .22 showed a preference for the Gamo Match. OK, I’ll go nuts and order lotsa Gamo Match so that I can feed these for quite a while. I ordered on the order of 10,000 total in both caliber from PA – and when I opened the tins I saw a completely different pellet.

    You could tell they were TRYING to look like the old Gamo pellets, but not very effectively. And how do they shoot? Well, I re-tested them in about a half-dozen rifles, all 10 meters indoors. BEST case the groups were about 50% bigger. WORST case? Not long ago my HW30 stuffed 5 into a 1/8″ group. Sure, there was a bit of luck involved. But with these – over 5/8″? With my HR81 I kept getting the frequent flier every 3-6 pellets that landed about 1 1/2″ away from everything else.

    What gives???



    • Vince,

      I bought 85 tins (500 pellets each) of Gamo pellets awhile back. I find that they shoot really well in all of my air-guns (rifle and pistol). Maybe I was lucky enough to miss the recent product being sold. When I bought my Gamo Compact, a tin came with the gun, so I tested those pellets (against other pellets, BTW) with several guns with good results. Soon after I found a great deal, so I bought a huge quantity at $3.14 each (again 500 pellets per tin). Of course, I do all of my shooting within 20 yards, so within this limit they perform reasonably well. Since I’m still trying to master the springer, they are making for a great practice ammo. Having 42,500 rounds should be enough to help me get the basics down.

      Victor


  25. Vince,

    Hard times giving way to sloppier quality control? This is not just happening to Gamo. Many other manufacturers are having the same problems.

    They want to reduce the price to keep customers, so they cut corners and end up with an inferior product!


  26. B.B.,

    While waiting for the snow to stop so I can plow my driveway and road I’ve been reading your archives. You sure have written some great tips on shooting accurately. In one of your comments you mentioned “shimming your hold” as one of the final steps before pulling the trigger. Would you mind explaining your technique?

    ps-how much snow did you have to plow today? LOL!

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      The snow is trying to start right now, but the ground is very warm and wet and I don’t think it will stick.

      Okay, shimming the hold means this. In a rested artillery hold you get the crosshairs on target then relax and close your eyes. When you open them, if the crosshairs have moved off target, you have to adjust your hold until you can relax and still have them on target. The small adjustments are what I referred to as “shimming.”

      B.B.



      • B.B.,

        What you call shimming, we call finding your “natural point of aim”. Some of the great Olympic champions were able to demonstrate the effects (benefits) of this either blind-folded, or with the lights turned off. The late Malcolm Cooper (Gold Medalist in two Olympics and 17 World Records), could clean a target with the lights off, I’m told by a friend (also a World and Olympic champion).

        Victor


  27. BB , can you give your impression of how the 79 compares SPL wise ? im deciding between it , the daisy 22SG and the crosman titan GP low power and the perceived loudness is important to me due to neighbors .


    • Jeff,

      I don’t understand “SPL-wise.” You ask me to compare a CO2 rifle, a pneumatic and a spring-pistol. Whatever SPL is, it must be very broad to encompass three such different powerplants.

      B.B.



  28. Jeff,

    So you want to know which of these guns is noisier?

    The Titan GP low-power is quietest. The TF 79, because it is a .177 is next and the 22SG is the noisiest.

    B.B.


  29. I am new to the air rifle world. I love shooting competitively and I kind of snicker at myself how I seem to have turned into a wuss over the years (my pride would call it “evolved”.) Anyway I started competing using milsurp rifles because they were cheap. I love the old Mausers, the Swiss K-31’s the Mosin Nagant’s and pretty much any rifle that would rip you shoulder a new one and cost under $200. The ammo was cheap the rifles were cheap and plentiful and when I competed against the older fellas at the range I was able to beat them because I could take the recoil better than they could simply because I was younger and this usually gave me the edge I needed to win. Common sence got the better of me and I started to make more money as I got older and I worked my way up to hand loading and varmint guns. I still shot a .308 most of the time in the varmint competitions I competed in but recoil was noticeably less than a 8mm Mauser with a 220gr. bullet. Then a vary wise person introduced me to Rim-fire Target shooting and I pretty much put the big guns away and fell in love with shooting all over again. Now with the cost of decent ammo at $5-$8 a box of 50 even this is losing its luster and now I am looking at getting into pellet rifles. I live in Rapid City South Dakota and I was wondering if you knew of any competitions in my area. Great review on the rifle I have already desided to add this one to my collection.


    • Cameron,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Yes, the transformation you have gone through regarding recoil is familiar to most of us older guys. If you still want to mess with a powerful rifle from time to time, consider a Garand. They do kick, but the impulse is so slow that it feels like less.

      Rapid has no competitions that I am aware of. You are pretty far from most hot airgunning areas, however, your state government just enacted legislation to allow airguns for hunting small game like rabbits. Too bad they didn’t also include deer, because I remember that Rapid is overrun with Whitetails and the right airgun could take good care of them. Is that still a problem?

      Whatever airgun you get needs to be accurate above all else. Power doesn’t matter if you can’t hit what you’re shooting at.

      Spring piston airguns are the most difficult to shoot accurately and of those, the breakbarrel type is the hardest of all. They can be very accurate, as this particular blog report shows, but it takes a special hold technique called the artillery hold. Here is a short video on that:

      http://www.pyramydair.com/artillery-hold-video-article.shtml

      Pyramyd Air also has a large library of articles, besides these blog reports. You can find them here:

      http://www.pyramydair.com/site/articles/

      Now to answer your specific question, please tell us what sort of budget you have for this airgun and the kind of shooting you envision doing. We might just recommend a used gun in some circumstances, because our goal is the bring you into this hobby the best possible way. We aren’t here just to sell you airguns.

      That comes later πŸ˜‰

      Welcome, again,

      B.B.


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