Tech Force TF79 Competition Rifle – Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I start, I have 2 announcements:

First, the January podcast is now available. My voice comes and goes, so I have to wait for it to be loud enough to produce the podcasts.

Second, the instructional video section of Airgun Academy has been filling up. I haven’t announced on the blog all the videos as they’ve been uploaded, but we’re already up to No. 18! Also, Pyramyd Air put the first 10 videos on a DVD so you can watch them on your TV or when you’re offline. Of course, you can still access them on Airgun Academy.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


The Tech Force TF79 Competition rifle is a lot of value for a very low price.

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the .177 caliber Tech Force TF79 Competition rifle. This is Part 4 and not Part 3 because of the special report I did on the trigger in Part 2.

The trigger that I reported was doing very well in Part 3 is still performing up to spec for this test. Apparently, the moly took care of the tiny bit of creep left in the sear, so now the trigger breaks crisply. It feels like the target trigger that it is.

There were no called fliers in this entire test. The TF79 shoots so smoothly that the bullseye remains pretty much centered in the front sight aperture element. All shooting was done from a rest at 10 meters. I used both the artillery hold and the rifle rested directly on the sandbag, which you can get away with when shooting either gas or pneumatic recoilless rifles.

RWS Hobbys
I sighted-in the rifle using RWS Hobby pellets. The sights were way off target and had to be adjusted over one inch in both directions. That took a lot of clicks, because each one moves the sight only a very short distance. The clicks are vague and indefinite, but I could feel each one. Some felt soft and mushy, while others felt like the mechanism was binding then releasing.


RWS Hobbys were used to sight-in the rifle. After that, the sights were not adjusted for the other pellets. These 5 Hobbys gave a good group of 0.338 inches.

H&N Finale Match Pistol
The next pellet tested was the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. Four of those grouped in a tight 0.29-inch group, but the fifth pellet opened the group to 0.587 inches. That makes me want to try these pellets again, in the hopes that the stray shot was a fluke. But, the sights were set perfectly for all shots and no alibi is claimed. This pellet has a head size of 4.50mm.


A tantalizing group. Four were under one-third-inch, but the fifth opened the group to more than a half-inch. H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets.

RWS R10 Match Heavies
RWS R10 Match Heavy pellets were next, and I really had high hopes for them. But they went the other way, giving one of the worst groups of the test. Five pellets grouped in 0.889″. Another 4.50mm-head pellet.


A disappointing group, to say the least! Five RWS R10 Heavies made this 0.889-inch group.

RWS R10 Match Pistol
If the heavy R10s were disappointing, the lighter RWS Match Pistol pellets were a shock. They produced the second-worst target of the test, with five shots grouping in 1.133 inches at 10 meters. Head size is 4.50mm.


Five H&N Match Pistol pellets made this 1.133-inch group at 10 meters. No need to point out how poor this is, but let’s learn something from it. Compare this group to the one made by the RWS Hobbys, and you’ll see how dramatic a change of pellet can be.

Gamo Match
The old fallback, Gamo Match pellets, turned in a relatively good group of 0.458 inches. While that isn’t 10-meter target rifle performance by any stretch, it’s much better than what was done by several of the higher-quality pellets. No head size is given on the tin.


Five Gamo Match pellets made this 0.458-inch group.

RWS Supermags
At this point in the test, I was beginning to wonder what I could do to get better accuracy from this rifle. The first group of RWS Hobbys showed that it could shoot, but for some reason the other groups were mediocre. I reasoned that a heavier, larger pellet might be the answer. The next pellet I tried was the RWS Supermag. Besides being a heavier pure lead pellet, the Supermag is also a wadcutter, so it prints well on target paper. No head size given.


Five RWS Supermags went through this 0.679-inch group at 10 meters. Not too encouraging!

JSB S100
Next, I tried a favorite pellet. The JSB S100 is not only hand-sorted by weight at the factory, these particular ones have a head size of 4.52mm. If size is a problem, I figured these would take care of it. The group they printed was 0.565 inches — again, no joy.


I can usually count on JSB S100 pellets to deliver the goods, but not today. Five shots went into this 0.565-inch group. Ho-hum!

JSB Exact RS
The last pellet I tested wasn’t a target pellet, but I wanted to know what difference it might make. The JSB Exact RS pellet has delivered the goods in the past, so it was worth a try. Five went into a group measuring 1.429 inches, which has the distinction of being the worst group of the test.


Five JSB Exact RS pellets made this 1.429-inch pattern (too large to call it a group) at 10 meters. Clearly not the right pellet for the TF79. You can also see why domed pellets are not used for formal target shooting. The vague and jagged holes they make in the target paper are too difficult to score.

What gives?
The results of this test are not indicative of the normal accuracy of a TF79 in my experience. The group made by the RWS Hobbys indicates the rifle can shoot when it wants to. I’ll come back to it and test it with different pellets, plus I’ll also clean the barrel before that test. Don’t scratch this one off your list until I’ve had the opportunity for a second run!

Except for the accuracy, the TF79 has everything in the world going for it. Of course, that’s an absurd thing to say about a target rifle, so we still have to see better performance if this rifle is to be on the short list of good competition guns.

93 thoughts on “Tech Force TF79 Competition Rifle – Part 4

  1. B.B. I noticed the barrels on the TF78 and TF79 are the same length. Are they the same barrel? And if so what other common traits do the two models possess. Bub


    • Bub,

      I don’t know the answer to your question, but from a practical standpoint it only makes sense that the barrels would be the same. And any other parts that can be made to work in both rifles. Making unique parts is extremely expensive for a manufacturer, which is why Pontiac engines ended up in Buicks years ago. Now that the public understands that, there is no more hue and cry, but back in the day they actually thought there were meaningful differences between their Cameros and Firebirds.

      B.B.


  2. B.B.,

    For a “target rifle”, I would have expected the best group to be somewhere in the neighborhood of half that of the RWS Hobby’s. At this price, I wouldn’t have expected singe-hole accuracy (even ragged), but I would have expected a group where each shot might hit the ten. At ten meters I get better groups with any of my non-target rifles. As you seem to suspect, there’s got to be a pellet that this rifle likes more. I wonder if there is something wrong with this rifle?

    Victor


    • Victor,

      This rifle was tested at random. So this is what a random buyer might expect from it. Some will do a lot better. This is probably on the lower end of what gets shipped.

      But there is nothing “wrong” with this particular rifle.

      B.B.


    • Victor,

      I have shot groups with three different guns I once owned that were in the .09″ – .35″ range. And at least 2 or 3 different pellets gave .09″ – .18″ with all three guns. So I know these guns will shoot.

      And while I can’t shoot better groups than this TF 79 with every rifle I own, I sure can with most of them! My Crosman NightStalker won’t for sure. But that is a shootemupski any way so no matter!


  3. Discouraging, to say the least…I have been quite interested in this rifle for a while now. While it has many of the features I want, in an easily affordable package, better than mediocre accuracy is a must. With these results, it almost does not look like it would out shoot a Daisy 953. Also, these pellets are the ones most easily available locally to me.


  4. Most match guns come with a test “target” and what pellet was used. This pellet is often the one to use (or, certainly, to start with). Also, perhaps the diameter is what needs testing — many match pellets come in a variety of diameters.

    Best,

    Joe


    • Joe and all, when I purchased my TF79 from Archer, Stephen installed the improved bolt probe and seal and some other goodies and shot the rifle for performance and accuracy. My test card had a .302 ctc group of 10 Chinese wadcutters shot thru it and a velocity avg. of 719 fps. I think that those Chinese wadcutters were 7.9 gram pellets.

      Anyway, that’s my input on accuracy out of the box but modified. Since then, I have shot one or two sets of groups that were darn near one-hole at 10 meters from a sandbag rest, and many groups that were .370″-ish. Gamo Match works well in my rifle as do the RWS R10s.

      In the earlier parts of BB’s reports, he noted the possibility of barrel quality being a question from time to time on the QB type guns. The barrel is certainly stout enough, darn near like a rimfire barrel so, I’m guessing that BBs current set of groups may be as a result of some other set of issues?

      Overall, I’m very pleased with the performance of the TF79 based on $$ for value.



  5. Doesn’t look good… I suspect you’ve got a barrel on the low end of the scale. Even though Industry seems to have improved things recently, I recently got a QB57 with such a rough barrel that it felt like it was serrated as you pushed a pellet through it.

    The Gamo Match pellets you used – new or old? They changed them oh, I think about a year ago. Some shooters found their performance so lacking that they assumed that Gamo went to a Chinese source for them.

    There’s also a Chinese pellet that I believe Archer Airguns recommends for this rifle, they sell it under the brand name of ‘The Peak’. From comparing them side-by-side I’m tempted to say it’s the same as those sold as the “Beeman Wadcutter Coated Pellets” (http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/Beeman_177_Cal_7_7_Grains_Wadcutter_Coated_500ct/626)

    One more thing – I’ve fallen into a habit when shooting groups for testing purposes. If I’ve got one that really opens it up, I assume that I might have boogered up the shot or had a defective pellet. In that case I will shoot one more. If it goes back into the original, tight group I’ll discount the odd one. If it doesn’t, the odd one counts.

    Do you think that’s a valid test method, or am I cheating?


    • Vince,

      I guess the Gamo Match pellets I used are what you would call “old,” though they are in the newer (to me) packaging.

      I used to shoot follow-up groups like you describe, until I realized that my shooting technique was so regular that unless I called a flier, the group was representative of what the gun could do with those pellets.

      You could argue that there might be a bad pellet in the tin, but I physically inspected every pellet I loaded, so if they were bad, it wasn’t visible.

      I said I was not yet satisfied with the accuracy of this rifle, so I will be testing it again. Maybe at that time I will try hand-sorting some pellets, to see if there is a noticeable difference. But I’m leaning more toward cleaning the barrel.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        First thought I had was “Did he clean the barrel.” If that don’t work, I would send it back and get a replacement.

        After all, those groups are NOT going to sell PA many of those guns!


  6. I have a question about using open sights. Say you have a target at 10 yds and you adjust your head/body position and sights so that you are hitting the bulls-eye with a 6 o’clock hold. Now let’s assume you got better at shooting and want to go for targets at 15 or 20 yds. To do this you adjust the rear sight. With your head in the same place the sights don’t line up. Here is my question, to get on target you have to move the front sight in line with the rear sight, but don’t you then have to change the way you are holding your head/body/gun to do this? I’ve never received any formal shooting training so that may have been covered.


    • Nate,

      You NEVER change the way you position your head on the stock. That leads to parallax errors. And yes, when the target moves farther away, the sights will have to be adjusted.

      I do not use a six o’clock hold on a target rifle unless I have to. I use an aperture sight in the front, and place the round bull in the center of the aperture. It’s far more precise.

      B.B.


    • Nate,

      I’m not a shooting gooroo by any means, but I don’t see the rear site moving enough while adjusting for more elevation between 10yds and 20 yds to warrant a different ‘cheek weld’ on the stock. Have you been having trouble with this, or is this something that is a ‘prethought’ ?

      I usually use the same cheek to stock spot and settle in a bit.

      ka


    • It is really just something I thought of while trying to sleep. I guess the “problem” I’m having is that I haven’t figured the best place for my head yet. So you can imagine there are a few combinations for your head to be in and therefore where you can adjust the rear sight to be to be “on target”.

      It’s all just a case of a beginner over thinking.

      Nate


      • Nate’

        Almost sounds like your not getting a good fit (face to stock), maybe some padding on the stock will help? I have had some stocks that just don’t fit me and a little padding (old shirt or clean rags in the garage) and some 300 MPH tape (duct tape) does the trick. Most stocks however fit close enough to at least use the side of your chin or upper cheek bone for a good position. The padding will only help ‘tune’ in comfort/repeatability, etc.

        One thing that I am running into with some of my newer family members wanting to shoot is eye dominance. For some reason lately I’m running into people that are shooting (were shooting) right handed and left eyed. That doesn’t work. That’s not the case with you is it?

        ka


      • Nate,

        The fit of a stock to a shooter is a very important thing. One day you will shoulder a rifle that fits perfectly and then you’ll know what it’s supposed to feel like. Until then you struggle like the rest of us, trying to make things fit.

        Since I’m always shooting different guns I have learned to adapt to so many different fits that I almost doubt I would know a good-fitting rifle if I had one. Better off is the man with one rifle that fits him and suits him.

        B.B.


        • Nate,

          I’ll share my limited experience.

          Everyone should learn to shoot with open sights first. Makes all other sighting options (peep sights, red dots, scopes, etc.) seem easy.

          Because stocks vary so much from gun to gun the way your cheek must meet the stock changes from gun to gun. You have to learn the proper cheek weld for each gun and once you learn where you cheek must be and how much pressure your cheek has on the stock you must repeat it flawlessly every time.

          I’ll state the obvious. With open sights especially you must line up the front sight, rear sight AND your eye in the same place every time or your shot won’t go the same place every time. Attach something to your stock that will allow you to hit the same place on your cheek every time. I like to use the felt pads with adhesive backing that can be put on the feet of chairs to eliminate them from scratching floors.

          Six o’clock hold is common but you have other options. The type of open sights dictate your sight picture on your target. Do you have a korn front sight, blade, post & bead or ?

          Here’s a few of B.B.’s older articles on using open sights:

          http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/08/teach-person-to-shoot-part-5.html

          http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/08/open-sights-part-1.html

          http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/08/open-sights-part-2.html

          Please keep us posted on your progress.

          kevin


          • Kevin,

            Thanks for finding those articles for Nate. I couldn’t remember if I had done a front aperture sight, but it seems I did.

            B.B.



              • Kevin,

                The bullets I ordered came in last week and I loaded them yesterday. I’m hoping to get out to the range this week, though it is still cold here in Texas (the 50s).

                I have a Thompson Center Hawken (not mine but a new one) that I discovered has a load in the barrel, so I need to shoot that out. And I want to get some groups at 100 yards with my M1 Carbine.

                So I have a lot planned for the range, if I go.

                B.B.


                • “I’m hoping to get out to the range this week, though it is still cold here in Texas (the 50s).”

                  BB, that ain’t cold, if it were in the 50′s here (Northern Michigan) it would be a heat wave. I have been waiting for a day in the high 20′s to head to the range.

                  But, I guess it’s all relative. Good Luck with your weather! :)

                  Mike


          • Kevin,
            I have a squared front post. The Diana 34p has fiber-optic sights (not a huge fan) but I pretend they aren’t there and just use the front post and rear notch for sighting. I think what I have to work on is being repeatable.

            Thanks for the articles too, there is a great wealth of information that is available in this blog.


            • Nate,

              You’re welcome. We’re here to help each other. Now it’s your turn to teach me something.

              Yes, there’s a wealth of information on this blog. There’s also a lot of information still on the old blog (which is where I found the articles to help you).

              If you’ll copy the old blog address, http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/ , and use the Advanced search format in google search function, you’ll also find a wealth of airgun related information there.

              kevin


            • Nate,

              Speaking of fiberoptic sights, just wait until you see what a difference they make, compared to just a square front post. Fiberoptics are very difficult to shoot accurately with because they cover such a large area downrange.

              We have such a test coming up in the RWS 350 Magnum test that is starting this week.

              B.B.


          • Excuse my newbie brain and I don’t want to create waves, but if the front and rear sights are aligned with each other during the shot cycle why does it matter what the rest of your body does?
            -Chuck


            • Chuch,

              If two doors are open it still makes a difference if you don’t walk through them straight. You can still screw up and bang into the door frame, even when the doors are both in perfect alignment and both remain open.

              Parallax is the answer to your question. Alignment of the sights doesn’t matter as much as how YOU are aligned with them.

              B.B.


        • BB,
          Your statement, “Better off is the man with one rifle that fits him and suits him” would be well taken if you wouldn’t constantly show us other guns we can’t live without. Can you give us some advice we can better live with?
          -Chuck


  7. You Know Life is Good When…

    It’s NFL championship weekend with teams that actually matter!

    The wife is making Italian sausage sandwiches and the Miller Lite is at 37 degrees

    The Gamo MTS running deer target has new batteries in it & the Walther Lever Action is gassed up & ready to go

    All is well with the world, at least in my little corner of it!


  8. BB,

    You should have had it Mike Melick tuned! LOL! Seriously though, there is definitely something wrong with this rifle! I have owned three untuned ones in the past and they all shot MUCH tighter groups than that.

    And I hope to get Mike Melick to sell me one and tune it for accuracy and boost the power just a tad. He priviously emailed me he could get at least .6″ ctc at 35 yards. Just waiting on his reply with a price and I will pull the trigger on the deal.

    Have you considered returning this gun for a replacement? I would and Mike says that is what he does also. If it is not to his liking out of the box he returns it!


    • pcp4me,

      No, I’m going to shoot the gun they sent me. I will clean the barrel and I will try other pellets, but the Hobby target demonstrates this rifle can shoot. It simply did not like the pellets I used.

      If none of the groups had been good then I would have thought about returning it.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        Ok i sure hope it is the case of a very dirty barrel. I would have cleaned the barrel after two or three bad groups with different pellets as I expect almost 10 meter accuracy from these guns. That was never the problem with my 3 returns. Seals were the problem.


  9. Morning B.B.,

    Let’s hope that some J & B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound makes this an interesting rifle.

    Brian in Idaho sounds like he needs some company in his little corner of the world. Maybe KA, you’d like me to car pool out there with you?

    Bruce


    • Mr B.,

      You’re so right.

      The JB Bore paste trick has come to my rescue on so many guns I’ve lost count. It’s like magic for curing accuracy problems.

      Had one barrel that mildly responded to JB Bore paste. Took a more radical/agressive step and used mothers mag and a brass/bronze brush to clean the barrel. Viola’, it worked! The only airgun barrel I’ve had to use this radical surgery on but I’ll remember it.

      kevin


  10. B.B.

    Some unexpected results I must say. Predictable on Finale Match, but I would have thought better on RWS pellets and JSB. I wish I could see it with my own eyes and push some pellets through.
    It may look like it just hates mixing different types of lead, so cleaning and “heating” it with some pellets before testing grouping may tighten groups redically. “Serrated” or “wavy” Chinese barrels sometimes do that kind of tricks but I would keep my crowning kit close.
    Funny, swapping current “flute” with Crosman barrel with it’s shallow rifling may be good for that Chinese CO2, to achieve enough stability without loosing too much speed on friction. Or, maybe, some Izh poly barrel with good crowning may do the magic to turn it into match rifle.

    duskwight


    • diuskwight,

      That thought also occurred to me, so I will season the bore with one or two of the more promising pellets before I shoot for record.

      Thanks,

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        On second thought there might be yet another reason – loading. It might be designed and made the way that its feedpiece/bolt damages softer pellets on seating or positions them with skirts too close above the CO2 vent.
        I’m not sure if it’s true, but who knows, JSB seem to be the softest, so they have the worst result. However if groups are shot in chronological order – that is 75% for dirty barrel.
        I was reading some comments back, my offline time grew against my will and there were some unhappy events to deal with, so, someone asked about MP-532 rifle. If he still needs that info I can tell a few words about it.

        duskwight


        • duskwight,

          Just heard the news about the awful attack on the people in the Moscow Airport. My prayers are with the wounded for a speedy recovery and with the families of the dead for their healing.

          Bruce


          • Bruce

            Thank you, they are in my prayers too. I hope those who are guilty will be found soon and treated accordingly.

            This year begins just the wrong and pessimistic way. On Saturday I buried my elder Grandpa. Of course, I understand that he was almost 88, he was wounded three times and had a contusion, that’s not to mention time spent in camps, and he died in seconds almost without any suffering – heart failure. He escaped a thousand deaths and won against all odds, giving life to two sons, four grandchildren and (yet) five great-grandchildren. A good way for the warrior and man like he was, still this still feels to me so unfair, so wrong… I must thank God that he was, not to weep that he is no more, but I still can not get in touch with my feelings. It’s all so wrong and so wild this year begins.

            duskwight


            • dukwight,

              My Dad has been dead for decades and my Mom for years. There are times that I’d still like to get Dad’s advice on “stuff” and hear Mom’s voice on my recorder saying, “Bruce this is your Mom calling. Don’t call me. I’ll call you back to night.” For me it has gotten better with time and their deaths accepted and internalized. You, my friend, are also in my prayers.

              “And soon treated accordingly” is my sentiment also.

              Bruce


            • Duskwight, I was so sorry to hear about the attack at the Moscow Airport. My condolences for that and for your grandfather’s passing. He had a good long run.

              Matt61


            • duskwight,

              I’m stunned by the explosion at the Moscow airport. Shameful what we’re doing to each other. I’d like to say “What is the world coming to?” but I already have a pretty good idea.

              Sorry to hear about your grandfather’s passing. Sounds like he endured a lot. My mother, during her escape from Germany in 1938, took a train from Latvia to Vladivostok (and then on to China), but her connecting train in Moscow was delayed for 3 days. While in Moscow (in the middle of winter), she came to know and love the Russian people. Warm, hospitable, caring, treating strangers as though they were their favorite relatives…these are the words she used to describe your countrymen. Sounds like your grandfather was as my mother described…a man who was loved by all and who will be missed by all.

              Tom and I send our deepest condolences to you and your family.

              Edith



      • BB,
        I have seen it repeated without challenge many times on this blog that when you change pellet types you should shoot at least five of the new type before shooting for accuracy. Are you in agreement with that?
        -Chuck


        • Chuck,

          I am not in agreement, but I have noted that several people do believe that it is true. So like I said earlier, I will season the barrel with a pellet or two before shooting for record.

          B.B.


  11. Today’s article and the comments about the initial accuracy of the TF79 reminds me of a cliche’ from my automobile racing days…………..

    “speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?”

    Sure you can buy “out of the box accuracy” for a gun. It’s typically expensive. The satisfaction of buying a bargain priced gun and getting it to shoot accurately is a fun challenge for me. It’s usually been the cheaper guns that forced me to learn what it took to make them accurate that taught me the most though. Yes, it can be frustrating. Yes, my first reaction at this point in my life is to send it back. Then the little voice in my head that says “I will not be defeated” chimes in and I’m going through the standard check list to make the gun shoot accurately.

    When I have some more time I’ll share a relevant story about the new FX Royale that I spent time shooting this weekend that had accuracy problems. In cold and windy conditions we ultimately shot several 12 shot groups from 50 yards that could be covered with a dime. I’m now convinced that with less wind we could shrink those groups by 30%. Point is, that even an expensive gun can have accuracy issues and sending the FX Royale back would have been a mistake.

    kevin


    • Kevin… all valid points and, for the $$ cost you are getting a very decent platform to improve upon.

      Although my rifle was test shot and improved upon before I got it, I still cleaned the barrel and inspected it with a bore scope, opened up the trigger group and “washed” it in gun oil followed by drying and a moly application where needed and scrubbed out the co2 tube to remove any rust or condensation followed by lots of Pellgunoil throughout the gun.

      The trigger and action (hammer cocking on forward motion) have improved dramatically from the stiff, out of the box conditions. The accuracy may be improved but, it was a very good shooter as tested at Archer before I got it.

      As you noted about your FX Royale, it will take some work and experimentation to get it to be the shooter you expect it to be and a Royale is just A FEW MORE $$$ than this TF79!

      Sometimes, I think it would be better for BB to report the “final” and best case testing of a gun with comments as to how he arrived at the final and as-tested conditions. Of course, how much time can he invest in tear down, and cleaning polishing etc? Probably not much with all of the guns and pellets out there to be tested.

      Much like a stock Crosman 2240 pistol, some experimentation to find pellets that work, and lots of tuning and mod’s turn that $60 pistol into a real hot shooter. Assuming decent barrels and actions to start with, these QB and TF rifles are in the same league. Cheap to buy, fun to improve upon and with lot’s of grin factor when it finally shoots as you want it to.

      Last, if this rifle and the other model 160 variants from China were as bad as some of the reactions (here) to BB’s initial accuracy tests this morning, there would likely be no Chinese Airgun Forum(s), no Archer Airgun Co. and, after all these years of production, sales of these guns would have dribbled down to near zero. Instead, it is my understanding that sales of all of these QB/160 co2 rifles is more brisk than ever, here and in the UK.


      • Brian,

        The reason I don’t report on the “best case” for every gun is that is not how Pyramyd Air’s customers receive them. I test them as I get them, just like any average customer could be expected to. And sometimes if the gun doesn’t work out, I finish the test without trying to improve the performance. That’s a judgement call on my part, based on my experience with other guns I’ve tested over the years.

        I know the TF 79 can do better than this. Heck, over the years I have done better with other TF 79s.
        But whoever get this rifle will get this performance out of the box, and I don’t want to hide that from anybody.

        Now I will show the readers what I would do with a rifle like this, if it came to me like this.

        You know, Stephen Archer and Mike Melick get the occasional rifle that shoots like this, too. And they don’t have endless resources to swap out barrels and tune the guns indefinitely. So somehow they have to make them work their best and still make a profit out of their efforts.

        You may recall I did the same thing with the Taurus PT 1911 pistol. Although that is a firearm, I wrote at great length about how I dealt with the problems I had so the readers could see what can be done when there is a problem. Instead of just sending something back, it sometimes pays to investigate it a little. Here is the link to that 8-part series:

        http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/07/bb-trusts-his-taurus-pt1911-part-8.html

        B.B.



          • BB, have you ever tried treating airgun bores or pellets with Moly, Molybdenum Di sulfide? I have had some success using it in firearms but have not tried it with airguns. Lyman makes it in a spray.

            Mike


            • Mike,

              I tried it years ago by coating pellets and shooting them. The results were not conclusive. No change was noticed.

              B.B.


        • Fully understand, and as I noted, best case testing would be reported WITH comments as to how “best case” was arrived at. Cleaning, polishing… whatever. I think is is valid and perhaps instructional to say; “my first set of 10 shot groups was so horrible that I didn’t even publish them here so, I opened up the gun and… did X, Y and Z to it” followed by (hopefully) “my next set of 10 shot groups was dramatically better which leads me to believe that X, Y and Z accomplished…”

          Just a different path to the same destination, I think?


          • Brian in Idaho,

            You have some interesting observations. Among other thoughtful comments you said;

            “Sometimes, I think it would be better for BB to report the “final” and best case testing of a gun with comments as to how he arrived at the final and as-tested conditions.”

            From my perspective I’m glad that B.B. tests guns “out in the open”. Like most spectators I’m always looking for the surprise, the tragedy and the accident. Guess it’s human nature. It’s not just the thrill to see a veteran like B.B. struggle like we do but as important is the input from posters like you that allows me to see a different perspective for potential solutions and even comments about tried and true solutions. This is the value and justification for me to spend the time on the blog that I do. This is also the key difference between other writers that review airguns.

            After so many years of reading gun reviews from writers that are either in the hip pockets of manufacturers or have editors looking over their shoulder that are more concerned about ad revenue than an honest review of the gun this blog is a breath of fresh air.

            The moment a critical piece of testing is done “behind a curtain” I’m outta here.

            kevin


    • Kevin,

      You make some excellent points here! I feel exactly the same way that you do about extracting the best out of any gun. I have learned the most from the gun that started out seeming to have the least promise. I don’t own any guns that are horrible, but some took a long time (many weeks – maybe even months) to figure out. In my case, by cycling through various rifles, I learned something new about others. In some cases, rifle A taught me more about rifle B, than I would have learned had I only shot rifle B. VERY interesting for me!

      Victor


  12. BB -

    Your series on the TF79 has been an interesting read for me. I always like to get your impressions of the guns that I have in my own modest collection. Usually, your experience parallels my own, but in this case, we really went different directions. I’ve had a TF79 for four years now. It was my first adult airgun purchase, and has been a totally good experience. Like you, I appreciate the good trigger, and right from the start, it was accurate at ten meters. Although it did well with several pellets, I generally feed it Meisterkugeln 8.2 grain wadcutters these days. I use a scope, instead of the peep sights, and if I do my part as a shooter, and if I keep the barrel pretty clean, quarter inch ten shot groups are fairly easy. On really good days, I can sometimes manage a ten shot group from ten meters that looks like a single .22 cal. hole. What I am saying here is that the gun is accurate… right up to the limits of my own ability.

    This has become the gun that I use to introduce my friends to the world of adult airguns. The loading and firing cycle is familiar to firearm shooters, and the TF79 doesn’t seem to need any special holding technique in order to give the kind of results that build confidence in new shooters.

    It sounds to me like there is definitely something amiss with your sample. The TF79 shoots better than you are experiencing. Once you get the problem resolved, I will be anxious to read your impressions of its capability as a target airgun.

    Regards,
    -Jim in KS


    • B.B.,

      I think that Jim in KS is on to something here. Maybe the sights are deficient. I wonder how well you’d do with this rifle if you used a scope?

      Victor


      • Victor,

        But a scope cannot be used in 10 meter target competition, so I’m testing the gun as it came to me. I guess the sights are getting tested, too.

        But if you look at the Hobby target you’ll see that there is nothing wrong with the sights. So it’s got to be something else.

        B.B.


        • B.B.,

          Understood. In truth, in competition my best scores were with iron sights. With a target rifle, I find little or no advantage to using a scope. That’s why I’ve harped on being able to add aperture sights to “non-target rifles”. I prefer target (aperture) sights over a scope because of my experience (and results).

          I wish someone made a kit so that the front of almost any springer could be made to hold a front aperture sight. The rear is not an issue, as the dove tail is already supported for rear aperture sights. This would solve two problems;

          1) I would have a sight that is at least the equal of any scope for punching holes in paper,
          2) The issue of scope frailty would vanish.

          Victor


      • Victor -

        Even though I don’t use the original peep sights on my TF79, I do use them on another gun. Right now, the rear peep from my TF79 lives on a steel-receiver IZH-61. That little gun with those peep sights is almost the equal of the TF79. As far as I can tell, the only thing lacking on the rear sight is that the finish is pretty rough. For an operational viewpoint, it works very well.

        Regards,
        -Jim in KS


    • Jim in KS

      Have you done any bulk-fill co2 on your TF79? If so, how was the shot count and did the gun fill easily from a paint-ball bottle or…?


      • Brian in Idaho -

        I use the 12 gram capsules of CO2. A bulk fill adapter came with the rifle, and I’ve often though about trying bulk fill, but I’ve always been stopped by just one thing… It’s just too darned convenient to use the 12 gram capsules.

        Maybe someone else will be more helpful in this regard. Steven Archer at Archer Airguns sells a paintball tank adapter for this airgun that includes a line bleeder feature. He might also be a good source for info.

        Regards,
        - Jim in KS


  13. Those groups are something…I’ve never seen anything quite like that. I would say that this rifle will have some pretty stiff competition in the Crosman Challenger and Air Force Edge, notwithstanding the price differential. Serious target shooting on a budget is almost an oxymoron anyway.

    Interesting too about the domed pellets. The JSB Exacts I shoot out of my B30 have much smaller and more precise holes than the RWS Hobbys from my IZH 61 although that is probably due more to the difference in velocity and the (haphazard) way that I tape up my targets.

    Matt61


  14. I finally got to see how well a couple of my .22 caliber guns can shoot at 100+ yards. I went out to the desert and hung a 10 inch frying pan (that my wife was going to throw away) on a tripod at 100 yards. Before shooting, I covered the front and back of the pan with white duct tape. This allowed me to see where the shots were hitting. Anyways, I could hit the pan, even with 5 to 10 mile per hour wind, almost 100% of the time (the few that missed were for adjustments from 50 yards to 100 yards). Most shots were in a four inch group, and I was rushing my shots (I was playing range-master, overseeing 6 other shooters).

    With my Crosman Titan .22 cal, I used Crosman Premier hollow points (the lighter ones).
    With my Gamo Hunter Extreme .22 cal, I used JSB Match Diabolo Exact – Jumbo Heavy (first time I’ve every tried those).

    There was one case where the wind caused the pan to tilt, allowing the JSB pellet to get stuck under the duct tape, and allowing me to see how hard the pellets were hitting at this distance. Very telling! The Jumbo pellet was FLAT. Those are large pellets, so it was interesting to see the pellet flatten out like it did. Based on this accuracy, and hitting power, I’d say these rifles might be good enough for hunting at 50 to 75 yards.

    Next time I go out, and don’t have such a large group to supervise, I’m going to test for real accuracy. Also, I want to see how well a couple of my .177 cal rifles do at the longer distances.

    Oh, I also put an 8 inch (bull) paper target out at close to 120 yards and was able to hit it the two times that I tried. There were shrubs in the way, so while I could see the target in the background, I couldn’t see where the pellets were hitting, so I only took a couple of shots. Having a group of shooters enjoying themselves so much, I didn’t want to stop them to investigate the target.

    This long distance shooting with an air gun is new to me, but I think it’s very promising!

    Victor


    • Victor,
      You’re now into my favorite type of shooting with airguns. I was surprised with retained energy of .177 Crosman field points one time — they were embedding themselves in OSB (fake plywood) at 75 or 80 yards if I remember correctly. A 2.5 lb. coffee can makes a great offhand target at 100 yards, and the little tomato paste cans are a good challenge at 50. The wind makes a big difference with pellets — there are “soup can days” and “oil drum days”, so to speak :).


      • BG_Farmer,

        The pan had a 7 inch center that was very thick (close to 1/4 inch). None of the pellets put a visible dent in this base area. They did, however dent the outer area. Out of curiosity, I took a few shots with my Ruger .22 target pistol. The .22 did put a very small dent in the center (base) area of the pan. I’d never shot a pistol beyond 50 feet, and was pleasantly surprised at it’s accuracy at a 100 yards.

        Victor


        • One other observation I liked and share — you noticed that pellets shot at objects tend to group very noticeably and surprisingly well. It seems like the shooter subconsciously does a good job of that with 3D targets, whereas it is a chore sometimes with paper targets, at least for me. Maybe its just easier to see an object.


    • Victor, I believe that 4 inches at 100 yards with an airgun in that wind is exceptionally good. Were you reading the wind and compensating? I couldn’t do better than that with my Anschutz although it improves dramatically at 50 yards.

      Chuck, my criteria for top predator is kick butt land animal (no elephants because they are peaceful). I didn’t know that about the lethal record of African lions. But I’m betting that few or none could stand up to a respectable tiger. There is a YouTube video of a tiger jumping over a small tree to catch a chicken. Other candidates. The leopard, I believe, is considered more dangerous than the tiger by some hunters because it is small and able to hide itself and full of diabolical cunning. You’ve got me thinking about the reptile world. All I can come up with is the Komodo dragon which is slow at a top speed of 11mph but extremely gross: it bites chunks out of people with a mouth filled with over 100 different kinds of bacteria which will kill anyone who survives the initial attack.

      Mike, where in the world are you at -20 degrees? The Northeast? No TF 79 for you in that weather. By the way, some more details on the tapered cases for 7.62 X 39mm. That feature appears to assist the feeding of the cartridge but has no effect once it is locked into the chamber, and the round can be very accurate when loaded properly. Also, the tapered case is supposed to be the reason for the distinctive curved magazine of the AK. If that’s common knowledge to everyone, it was not to me.

      Matt61


      • Matt,
        I was using your criteria and reporting based on the number of human deaths per year. The lion had 70, the elephant, which falls out side the parameters of predator, had hundreds. In the reptile world, the salt water crocodile ranks first as a leading cause of human fatalities. There are many creatures that are much more deadly than the above but, although being deadly, they haven’t actually caused that many deaths. Your Komodo Dragon is one. It is definitely more fatal than a croc but hasn’t actually caused that many human deaths. The most deadly creature of all, after the mosquito, is some South American frog. Almost instant death to humans.
        -Chuck


      • Matt,

        From: http://ask.yahoo.com/20070228.html

        “But what if you don’t count the mosquito as an actual animal? In that case, it appears the hippopotamus is the deadliest. This article by Allan Taylor states, ‘More people are killed by the hippopotamus than any other wild animal, either by being trampled to death or having their boat capsized.’”

        -Chuck


      • Matt61,

        Yes, I was reading the wind. Shot many years outdoors in competition, so I’m pretty comfortable with that. With my Anschutz, I could clean 100 yards (400) most of the time. My personal best was 400×36. I could clean 50 yards almost every time, regardless of wind.

        I specifically chose the Jumbo pellets for my most power rifle so that I’d have the stable trajectory. This combination apparently worked very well.

        The one thing that really made this hard was the fact that my scope wouldn’t adjust high enough to center it, even at 50 yards, so I had to first figure out how to offset. At the highest elevation setting, it was shooting about 2 inches low at 50 yards. It was very well centered windage-wise. Fortunately, I found a nice offset target for 100 yards, namely, the top of the tripod. All I had to do was aim at the very top of the tripod and the shots hit within that 4 inch area of the 7 inch center base of the pan. When I hit outside of that 7 inch center (which, again, was very thick), the pan pivoted, making the hit obvious. When I hit the center, the pan did nothing. It was the white masking tape that told the story of the better shots.

        The reason that the pan was so stable (besides the heavy weight) was that it was suspended with a bungy cord that was pulling in opposite sides at the handle (which had a whole), forcing it to face me. It required a wide hit to cause it to twist. White duct tape is the way to go, if you really want to capture your hits. The pellet holes through the tape spread a bit with the deformation of the pellet.

        Next time I’m going to use lighter sheet metal so that it’s more obvious that a hit was made. Lots of fun!

        Victor


      • I have been around firearms for years but haven’t run across that information, tapered cases and improved feeding, before. Live and learn. I’ll bet duskwight could give us some more in-site on the AK series of rifles and the 7.62X39 cartridge. As to the location, I’m in the UP of Michigan, when I had -20 other areas nearby had -40. We have said that we have “Russian Winters” here, at least in some years. Things “warmed up” today with temps. around 20F. BTW, I currently own three AK rifles, A Chinese, a Hungarian, and a Romanian (Semi-auto versions). All in 7.62X39. They were acquired over the last 20 years as the deals showed up.


  15. BB,
    That just isn’t right — at 10M off bags for a gas gun, even from China. Either you got a bad one (which is a valid observation) or the barrel is fouled badly. I assume you didn’t clean it as usual, because of the hassle with the bolt, etc. Anyway, I usually say take what you can get, but in this case, I’m glad you are going to try some more, as that is certainly not useful accuracy for a 10M rifle, and the reports I’ve seen about these are all glowing. It should be educational to see what, if anything, corrects the issue.


  16. Duskwright,

    let me add my condolences for the passing of your grandfather and express my personal distaste for terroristic action at Domodedovo Airport. Terrible.

    In your earlier post, you mentioned a “Crowning kit”. I had absolutely no idea these things existed! I thought to recrown a barrel, one had to own or have access to a lathe. Now for the real question – BB and SL and Derrick, I could use your input here as well. Mac, if you care to weigh in? Oh, heck. Everyone!

    I’m just a bit disappointed with the accuracy of one of my air rifles – the Benj. Nitro Trail. However, reading last year’s blog with Mac doing the shooting, it appears my results mirror his for power (although I get 18 ft. lbs using Baracuda’s ), speed and accuracy.

    Those of you who have done it, have you folks seen significant improvement re-crowning barrels? Is this something I should have a gunsmith (provided I find a competent one in NJ) do and expect improvement? I would think having a smith do it would still be cheaper than buying one of these kits which do cost more than a chronometer.

    Fred PRoNJ


    • Fred, the reason for the lathe is to keep things concentric to the actual bore/rifling or, for a machinist to cut the barrel length down prior to re-crowning. The purpose of crowning is kinda two-fold, 1) to remove any burrs or discontinuities where the rifling meets the barrel crown or face and 2) to polish and make more “perfect” the face or crown of the barrel. There are other theories as to the effect of crowning but they really apply to firearms pressures and gases etc.

      If you were to rub a cotton swab lightly at the very intersection of the rifling and the face of the barrel, would you get some fibers dislodged from the swab? If so, there are microscopic burrs or edges there. If you can support your rifle in either the 0 or 90 degree position in a vise or other contraption, and you have a variable speed power drill, then you can give the following a try.

      Get 2 brass carriage bolts of similar head diameter to your barrel O.D. (no stampings or markings on the bolt heads) Brass tends to hold onto the compound better than steel and… if something happens, steel typically wins and brass loses. (save the barrel and toss the bolt)

      Get 1 small container of valve lapping compound or mild paste/abrasive for steel cutting

      Go secure rifle in vise and mask off (wrap gun with paper & use masking tape at muzzle), chuck the threaded end of the carriage bolt into power drill, plug end of barrel with swabs or felt pellets, dip carriage bolt in lapping compound, engage bolt to end/face of barrel, turn power drill on at lo-rpm and start polishing/creating a smooth and somewhat dished or concave surface at the muzzle. Less is more here, so do a little, stop, clean check, repeat. You don’t want or need the concave surface completely across the face and you only need it to be .010″ – .015″ -ish deep.

      If you are feeling more than a little cautious, get a 1/2″ round piece of bar or steel (just an inch or two long to chuck in a vise) and drill a .25″ hole x .25″ deep in the end. This is now your practice barrel and face to get the feel of the drill speed, how many dips into the compound etc. Keep in mind that the carriage bolt surface is not a full or even hemi-sphere but, it has enough radius or curvature to be forgiving of small angular indiscretions. Still, the more in-line and square with the barrel face and bore the better.


      • Fred, PS go look on-line at barrel crown images on Google to get a better feel for my descriptions. Also, typical barrel crowns are 10 to 11 degree angles from outer edge of barrel to centerline of bore. Yours will not be true angle because of the concave surface but, you still want the 10 to 11 degree change or angle from one point to the other.


        • Thanks, Brian. That is a really great idea. You just reminded me of my New Zealand buddies. They come up with ingenious solutions to problems with whatever’s available for them, not always having the specialty tools or parts we would have access to here. I’ll check for burrs at the crown and also do your swab rub to see if there is roughness at the juncture of the rifling and crown. I have some ancient valve grinding compound (used it when I rebuilt my Yamaha 650 engine) that may come in handy for this.

          I also imagine that if I do this correctly, it won’t make anything worse. On the other hand, I’m wondering if I’m trying to make this rifle into something it isn’t and was never intended to be. But this should be interesting.

          Fred PRoNJ


  17. have you made any progress figuring why the gun only shot the hobbys in a decent group ?
    had any luck with crosman pellets ?
    if not then you have my fear in your hands . im very much on the south side of not rich and if i put $180 into a gun and got the groups you did id be very very disappointed


    • Jeff,

      I was testing the TF 79 this afternoon, so your comment came at an opportune time. I cleaned the barrel with JB Bore Paste, the way I said I would at the end of the last report and the gun didn’t shoot any better. My groups were so bad that I got out an FWB 300, just to see if I was still capable of shooting good groups. Thankfully, I’m still a good shot, but this particular TF 79 is beyond me. So I am sending it back and will ask for a replacement.

      This may take a while yet, but I will do that next test–I promise.

      B.B.


      • BB, Thanks for your work here, watching this thread and interested to see the results you get. I have been looking for an entry 10 meter.

        Have you considered testing an out of the box TF79 Thumbhole Stock or TF79 Tanker?


        • MDMat,

          I won’t test either one of them for a long time, since both rifles are essentially the same as this one. I might test the bulk-fill model later if I get some time, but with all the new products it’s unlikely.

          B.B.


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