BSF S70: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Here’s this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 gift card.


Frank J. Coe shows his brother-in-law and his nephew his Gamo 440 Hunter, which has just been upgraded with a Crosman Nitrogen Piston.

Part 1
Part 2

The BSF S70 is a classic breakbarrel air rifle from the first days of magnum airguns.

Today is accuracy day for the BSF S70 and shooting it makes me feel like a kid again. Or at least like a younger man. Everything about this rifle puts me in mind of the timeframe when it was popular. It was contemporary with the Diana model 27 and the FWB 124, so when I hold it, it’s the 1970s once again.

Sights
Although the S70 has a scope rail and I could use a BKL scope mount to attach a small scope, I opted to conduct this accuracy test with the sights that were on the gun when I got it. In this case, the front sight is a tall, hooded post and bead that came from the factory, but the rear sight was removed. In its place is a beautiful Williams peep sight with target adjustment knobs that looks like a million dollars. We shall see how well it performs.


The front sight that came on the rifle is already tall. It would ruin the look of this vintage air rifle to extend it any higher.

My decision to use open sights was to see whether if eyes had recovered from the problems I had a month ago. No glasses were used this time. I did light the target with a 500-watt lamp, though, and that’s a huge help is defining the front sight against the bull.

Distance
Not wanting to put a couple rounds through the walls of my house, I opted to shoot at 10 meters instead of 25 yards. But the target I selected was also a 10-meter bullseye target, so the scale of target size to the distance shot was kept standard.

It’s difficult to sight a bullseye target with a bead front sight and a rear aperture, but I used a six o’clock hold nevertheless. The bull rested on top of the bead, which was centered in the rear aperture. It sounds flaky but it’s actually possible to be very precise if you get your eye close enough to the rear aperture.

Sight-in
RWS Hobby pellets were used for sight-in, and they produced an agreeably small group, although it was quite a bit higher than the aim point. No problem, I thought. I would just adjust the peep lower.

What’s this? It’s already adjusted as low as it will go? That’s when I discovered why this rifle has been handed off from owner to owner over the years. The beautiful Williams peep sight doesn’t adjust low enough to get the rifle on target at 10 meters. It shoots about 3.75 inches to 4.50 inches high at that range, even when you are holding at six o’clock. To shoot any lower, you would need to install a higher front sight, but the one on the gun is already quite high. The only reasonable solution would be to scope the rifle, but that would detract from the rifle’s vintage character. However, it’s either that or shoot at 50 yards and more all the time.

That was a setback, but I didn’t let it stop me from testing the gun. I don’t care where the group falls, as long as all the pellets are going to the same place.

Remember back when motorcycles all had chains and you had to oil the links often to keep them running smooth? Well, airguns of this vintage are similar, in that they loosen their stock screws as you shoot, so you have to keep screwdrivers on hand and keep checking the screw tension. I found the stock screws loose after the first 15 shots, and I tightened them. They remained tight for the rest of the test, but they’ll loosen again.

Firing behavior
You may recall that I had oiled the piston seal of this rifle during the velocity test and proved that the gun is a full U.S.-powered air rifle. In a gun of this vintage, that also means vibration. Each shot was slightly buzzy, and I could discern differences in the vibration with certain pellets.

I oiled the piston seal, again, after completing the velocity test and allowed the rifle to sit on its butt for a week while the oil soaked into the leather piston seal. The result was a couple of expected detonations when I first fired the gun during this test, but then it settled down to deliver consistent velocity shot after shot.

The trigger is already showing signs of becoming smoother with use. By the end of accuracy testing, I’d become familiar with the let-off and was better able to control my trigger squeeze.

Accuracy
The first pellet I tried was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier. It shot high, though not as high as the RWS Hobby was shooting during sight-in. The firing cycle vibration with this pellet was also noticeably reduced from that of the Hobby pellet. My 10-shot group was agreeably tight, with a single pellet straying outside the common hole. A dime covered the other nine pellet holes. I’ll take that any day from a springer and non-optical sights.


Nine of ten pellets can be covered by a dime. Not bad accuracy for open sights from a recoiling air rifle at 10 meters! The nine pellets measure 0.552 inches between centers. Shot ten enlarges that to 0.762 inches.

The next pellet I tested was the 8.4-grain JSB Exact dome that often does well in spring rifles. Once again, I got nine pellets in one hole and a single pellet outside. This time the group was tighter, as you can see in the photo, making this pellet one that the rifle really likes. The firing behavior was about the same as with the Crosman Premier lites.


Another tight group with a single stray. Notice that this group is definitely smaller than the one shot with Premier lites. The nine measure 0.418 inches between centers, and shot ten enlarges that to 0.876 inches.

The last pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby that had been used for sight-in. The rifle vibrated the most when this pellet was used, and of course the pellets went even higher than the first two I tested. We know from the velocity test that this particular pellet averages in the 860s, which is at the ragged top edge of power for this model, so perhaps Hobbys are a little too light for the gun.


Once more, there are nine pellets together and one off to the side. This group is noticeably larger than the other two, at 0.785 inches between centers for nine of them, while shot ten makes it 0.892 inches.

Please don’t try to make anything special out of the stray shot in each group. The only thing that can be said for sure is that all groups tended to spread horizontally, and the lone shot was always off to one side of the central group.

The bottom line
I’m pleased with the overall performance of this rifle. It’s performed admirably for a vintage springer, and I’m glad that it has the full U.S. power, given the effort it takes to cock the action. The one disappointment is that the Williams peep sight doesn’t adjust low enough to use at normal airgun distances. I hate to mount a scope on a vintage rifle like this, but I suppose I have to if I want to hit what I’m aiming at. These three groups give me confidence that I would be able to hit almost anything that comes within range.

Generally, I like the S70 rifle a lot better than the S55 N because of the length but also because of the fine condition of this particular gun.

173 thoughts on “BSF S70: Part 3

  1. B.B.,

    The potential accuracy of this fine vintage gun has put me over the top. CPH and superdomes would be my next pellets to test. I think this wonderful gun, with magnum velocity, has great accuracy potential. The jsb 8.4gr prove this beyond a doubt. I had high hopes this turbo charged gun wouldn’t be accurate so I could quit thinking about it.

    POA not hitting POI drives me crazy. When pellet testing I don’t like them to be the same but once I’ve found the best pellet I want the gun hitting where I aim.

    I have a HW55S that someone tried to make into a supercharged HW50/R8. It has a bayern stock and a set of terrific vintage match sights unlike any I’ve seen before or since. Because someone stepped on the velocity the terrific vintage sights can’t be adjusted low enough for the increase in velocity at short range. Even though it has 13mm dovetails it wouldn’t be difficult to scope but I love the unique rear diopter and couldn’t bring myself to detach it, put it in a dark box and shoot this gun with a scope.

    My solution was to take an insert with a fine post and bead and jb weld (epoxy) this insert to the front of the original corn post where it now towers over the original corn post about 1/4″. If the future owner wants to remove this it will not be difficult and the original corn post is still intact.

    At 10 meters my HW50S likes the meister heavies best but at 20 yards it prefers superdomes and I still have enough adjustment in the rear diopter for both.

    kevin



      • Yes, me too. And this is one thing that holds me back from surplus rifles–the fact that they reportedly don’t sight in at less than 100 yards. That is just crazy since the majority of aimed shots with these guns was probably at this distance. Did the soldiers of WWI all use massive holdover to hit anything?

        Matt61


        • Many do sight in well for 100 yds and less. I have no problem zeroing my M-1 Grand, M-1 Carbine, 7 mm Mauser, Type 99 short rifle, and all of the Enfield versions that way. Also, once it is zeroed for 100 yds. it should also be zeroed for about 25 yds. as well. This is the point that the bullet will often cross the line of sight with most rifles. An exception to this would be WW I German Gew 98 rifles and US 03A3 Springfield’s with battle sight zeros of 300 yards or longer.

          Mike


          • Mike, yes I remember you said. Maybe I’m the victim of more bad internet advice in getting worried about this. Another factor that might explain things is that these military calibers (except for the M1 carbine) with their high velocities and pointed bullets are so flat shooting that a zero at 200 or 300 yards translates into an adequate zero at shorter ranges, especially when the target gets bigger. I understand that soldiers with the M1 Garand were trained to set a battlefield zero that was good out to 200 yards and only change it if they were shooting further.

            I must say that I am newly astonished at the high quality of the Garand sights as I learn more about this. Having 1MOA corrections for both windage and elevation is way way beyond any other battlefield rifle that I’ve heard of and most sporting rifles too I believe (iron sights). For instance, I see in my Soviet army manual on the Mosin Nagant that the 91 30 actually had elevation settings down to 100 yards with elevation increments of 50 yards. If one knew the rate of drop of the 7.62X54R cartridge one could no doubt calculate the MOA adjustment of this sighting system, but I have no doubt it would not be close to 1 MOA. And I don’t know of any rifles, even the Enfields which correct for windage. (I hardly count hitting the front sight with a hammer as a means of sight correction.) So, John Garand was a manufacturing genius as well as a gunsmithing genius. There are plenty of workable designs like the Soviet SVT-40 that were too complicated to manufacture to make them viable. The Garand should have gone that route, despite its strengths, but it did not thanks to Garand’s tool-making expertise. Amazing and makes the experience of shooting one all the more profound. On the subject of aptitude, if the Mosin Nagant is supposed to be designed for peasants, I guess that reading the manual about it means that I’m matching wits with the Russian peasants, and I’m barely holding my own.

            Say, I see that you are right about the Lee-Enfields having a small extractor that enables controlled round feeding (not that I ever disbelieved you). How about that. I think that I’m pretty much a goner with the surplus rifles that I have in mind.

            Matt61



            • Another factor that might explain things is that these military calibers (except for the M1 carbine) with their high velocities and pointed bullets are so flat shooting that a zero at 200 or 300 yards translates into an adequate zero at shorter ranges, especially when the target gets bigger. I understand that soldiers with the M1 Garand were trained to set a battlefield zero that was good out to 200 yards and only change it if they were shooting further.

              Even the four position drum on my HK91 is marked 2-3-4 (200, 300, 400 meters) for the peeps; the fourth position is the short range “battle V” (eg, the enemy is too close to worry about a precise sight picture — put the front post on the target and somewhere in the V and you should hit). Based upon the Cabela’s tables in a recent catalog, a 200 yard zero in most all .308Win factory loads is only 1.8″ high at 100 yards — good enough to aim for the tip of the enemy’s nose and still clear the edge of the helmet…






      • Apparently, Gamo has a “thing” for shooting pigs.

        I have to admit I was very impressed. If the video wasn’t altered, the hunter killed a fair-sized boar with one shot. And in a thick part of the skull, at medium range. And in .177. And it was a “clean kill”.

        It was taking a chance. If a wounded hog caught the hunter inside the blind, it would have been very bad.

        I would have expected a shot into the “boiler room”. I would also have expected a head shot to glance off the thick skull, resulting in a very angry hog.

        Would like to know what pellet was used.

        Les


        • RE: Boar in Blind

          Reminds me of movie Jeremiah Johnson. The Mountain Man ask Johnson “Can you skin griz?” John answers “Sure…”

          Next morning Johnson is awoken by the Mountain Man jumping though the window after being chased into the cabin by a grizzly bear. As he dives through the window the old Mountain man yells “I caught him pilgrim, now you skin him.”

          Herb


    • Milan,
      I love the comment below the video. Apparently an anti-hunter commented somewhere. The reply to the anti-hunter was, “…WHY … DO YOU WATCH HUNTING VIDEOS IF YOU DONT AGREE WITH HUNTING I DONT SIT AROUND WATCHIN VEGAN COMMERCIALS ALL DAY…” You gotta love our diversity!


      • Chuck i am not anti hunter -i am a meat eater i just don’t think that 177 cal is enough for putting down the hog ,i admit i didn’t read the comments before i took this video and yes ,you can kill an elephant with a tooth pick but …you see my point


      • Chuck,

        Good point. Vegetable hunting is far safer. Even my Daisy 880′s can do a real job on a buffalo gourd!

        Les




          • Lloyd —-i have seen “killed plants/trees ” especially after grenade stroke –and this is warning for all of you guys -lead cause cellulose rotting around projectile in wood and or rotting can be caused by any kind of metal -steel(except copper…i think) so don’t put a nails in a living trees ;)


      • Another observation about folks opposed to hunting.It’s interesting that many anti-hunters will say that they hate to see dead deer on and in hunters vehicles during deer season . Of course they usually have little problem driving by the dozens of deer hit by cars everyday, and left to rot alongside the road.


    • Milan,

      While the video is real and unaltered, the question you should be asking yourself is this: How many other pigs did they shoot with this same gun that did not kill the animal immediately? I hear that it was 12.

      Edith



      • I once shot a domestic 350-400 # hog in the head with a 1911 .45 ACP using hardball at about ten feet,to dispatch it for butchering. The skull of the pig deflected the bullet, it did not penetrate the skull. It knocked the pig down but did not kill it. When it revived itself,which took like 20 seconds, it sure was mad, and nearly ran me over. Another shot in the side of the head finished it. It’s where you hit them. Mis-calculate and it can get interesting. Gamo is irresponsible and mis-leading with that video.


        • Good heavens, a domestic pig has a partially bulletproof skull even to a .45 ACP?! That is fearsome. You had better forget this caliber altogether for the feral pigs with their thickened skulls. I have heard that human skulls have evolved to resemble tank armor in being much thicker in front than the top and the sides. That is why you never want to punch someone in the forehead; you’ll just break your knuckles. Boxing great Gene Tunney was troubled for years by a broken hand which was caused by some boxer in his early career diving his forehead into Gene’s punch.

          Robert, here’s another story of renegade animals. The news says that a pack of 300 wild dogs is terrorizing Washington state and killing pets and other vulnerable animals. Moreover, the evidence indicates that the pack is killing for fun. Psychotic dogs. They are hard to catch because they operate only at night. In fact, the theory is that some of the dogs are benign pets by day and sneak off at night to join the pack! So, what would be the method to destroy this threat? I would think that instead of tracking a large and elusive group you want to provide some bait like a huge pile of roast beef and then lie in wait to trap or gun them down. My thoughts also turn to self-defense since my Dad had an episode like this. While minding his own business walking from his car to his workplace across a large deserted parking lot in the middle of the day, he was suddenly surrounded by a pack of wild dogs acting very aggressively. He protected himself by maintaining forward progress while swinging a water bottle in a bag in all directions; it’s all he had. Finally, the dogs dispersed, but he was pretty shaken up. (In this connection, I am fascinated by certain martial arts techniques that have to do with moving sticks or other weapons in area clearing patterns. It is essentially a repeated figure eight shape but hard to describe in three dimensions; it is extremely effective at covering area. No doubt the techniques were inspired by situations like this or massed bodies of people on the battlefield. Here I believe is the real basis for fighting multiple opponents.)

          Anyway, as to an ideal modern weapon for defense I would say that a 1911 would do the job but is hampered by its low magazine capacity. Probably you would want a Glock with an extended magazine. But I would think that best of all would be a Winchester 12 trench gun in 12 gauge.

          Matt61


          • The 12 ga. is very effective. With a smooth bore gun, try the Federal “Truball” slugs or their tactical buckshot. The flite control wad holds a very tight pattern with buckshot even with a cylinder bore.
            The Truball slug beats them all for accuracy in a smooth bore gun.

            Mike

            f


            • Robert, Mike, Matt

              I second that. And sometimes it is better to be double-barrel with two independent firing mechanisms to be on a safe side. Nothing stops like a 12ga diabolo-shaped slug, well, perhaps a full load of heavy containered buckshot from a short distance. Of course it’s a sort of an overkill for deer, but suits bear and boar just fine, almost no matter where you hit them in upper/front body.
              By the way, about boar’s head deflecting projectiles – it’s one of the areas where Nature got ahead of a Man. Late German tanks and self-propels were fitted with “Saukopfblende” – a kind of a sloped armor mantlet on the front of their turret. So, pig’s head is a sort of sloped armor turret, and more, grown-up boars grow up a sort of “body armor” under their skin, made of dense connective tissue. It helps them to withstand their opponents hits during mating period tournaments.

              duskwight


          • A stick is a very effective weapon and I am familiar with the method you describe where the 3 ft long riot stick is deployed in a crowd using a slashing motion , holding the stick with one or both hands. I always carry a stick while hiking in the woods and mine is usually a plain 34″ hickory sledge handle with a rubber crutch tip. Walking sticks can be carried where firearms are illegal such as in some parks. A regular walking cane with a curved handle is also very effective urban weapon, much better than fists. I applaude your fathers resolve and bravery in repeling the dog attack. I mentioned my pig experience to illustrate that bullets can easily be deflected by striking live bone, even big bullets, much less .177 cal PBA’s. Trapping the problem dogs would be the best method employing modern, coyote sized foothold traps, and using curiosity or matrix lures to draw them to the set. If they are domestic dogs ,not feral dogs , bait may not be appealing to them. They probably chase and attack for the thrill of the chase. It’s sport to them, and they may be already well fed.


        • I believe it might be Manny (Nomadic Pirate) over on another forum that talked about shooting wild boars in the head. He lives in Hawaii and routinely hunted wild boar with a .22 Rainstorm shooting 28 gr EunJins. I believe he takes a Career 909 on his boar hunts now and uses the Rainstorm on mongoose. He also always carries a firearm with him.

          I’m certainly not endorsing hog hunting with a .177 airgun. I personally feel that the Gamo video is shameful and irresponsible. However, Manny has had great success with his .22 Rainstorm and head shots. He has said the secret to getting through their skull is finding higher ground and shooting when they drop their heads to feed. That way the trajectory is perpendicular to the forehead and the pellet doesn’t glance off the thick skull.

          - Orin



  2. I’ve been reading this blog for almost a year now, and it never fails to be interesting and informative. This is a good thing you do, BB! First time commenter here, though I’m afraid I don’t have much to contribute. Instead I would like to ask a question of those with more experience:

    I am looking for purchasing advice for a first airgun. My shooting experience is relatively limited, mostly to a few .22 rifles (of which I like an old Winchester single shot bolt action the most), and a single air rifle, the Crosman Quest 1000. I like the idea of using my own strength to throw the pellet, but the Quest’s execution seems to leave a lot to be desired. It’s… coarse, to put it politely.

    My opportunities to go shoot are currently few and far between, so I am looking for something inexpensive, but accurate and fun to use. Something that won’t stress my wallet, my patience, or my arm. I have looked at the local gun shop, where they have a decent selection of new and used air rifles, but there appears to be no way to try them on the premises, so all I can do is feel what might fit, and not what has a nice light cocking effort, a good trigger pull, or a smooth firing cycle.

    I am leaning strongly towards spring or single-pump pneumatic, and while the option of a repeater could be nice, I am most likely to go with single shot – handling five pellets is handling five pellets, whether that is into a clip or into the breech. Speed is not a large concern for me. I don’t care about power, either – just as long as it’s enough to reliably punch holes in paper or maybe aluminum cans from 10-25 yards.

    From what I’ve been reading, it seems I’ve narrowed down my choices to three, though let me know if I’m missing something that I shouldn’t be. I’m sure this lineup has probably been asked about before:

    Air Venturi Bronco
    Daisy Powerline 953 (I know about the rough trigger, am willing to fix it)
    IZH-60 or IZH-61 (leaning towards the 60, 61 clip seems finicky)

    I would be willing to put an extra $50-80 or so into improving the default sights with any of these options (a decent aperture or simple scope perhaps), so if there is something in the $150-$180 range that would meet the same general criteria, but doesn’t really need a sight upgrade to get the best out of it, I’d be glad to hear about it.


    • John B
      This is only my opinion and i am no expert -but i would take Bronco (if you can find one )
      I’m sure that you will get the information you are looking for from far better experts than me ,but John B welcome !


    • You are right to stay with lower power for what you want. Much easier to live with.
      I have a Storm XT which is pretty much the same as a Quest and find it to be pretty touchy about pellets and hold. Not really a great choice for plinking.

      The slower guns might be an annoyance to you for shooting up to 25 yds. My 853 shoots a bit under 500 fps and has quite a bit of trajectory loop when shooting that far. Something in the 600-700 fps range works well from up close out to 25. Not as much trajectory loop and compensation required.
      Try sticking with lighter pellets if they shoot good enough.

      twotalon


      • I don’t -need- to go out to 25 yards, but it’s good to know about that limitation. Thanks! I tend to shoot informally with relatives at unspecific distances, and am just estimating 10-25.


        • In that case, you can figure out for yourself how far you consider the rifle to be suitable and keep it within fairly easy limits without having to do a lot of guessing.

          Try a 10 yd zero and see how far looks reasonable, or maybe zero at 15 and see how it looks at 10 and 20.
          Lot of ways to do it. Decide for yourself what will not overly complicate things for you.

          twotalon


    • How about the Diana (RWS) line like the model 34 or the lower powered 24? My .177 cal 24 is accurate to 50 yards and very quiet and pleasant to shoot. Mine is scoped. The 34 in .22 can be a good hunter and will be just as accurate and falls into the upper end your budget.


      • RFA Diana 34 would never be my first choice (i have one in 22 cal) it is a” magnum “air rifle and there is a lot not-magnum air rifles to choose from -and easier to shoot with -maybe even D27


        • Another gun I would recommend is the Tech Force 58 sidelever in .177. It is a chinese gun ,but for around $80 bucks from pyramyd it is a good buy. My version is the most accurate chinese gun that I have ever used. Accurate as in 3/8″ with RWS superdomes at ten meters for ten shots.
          Milan , in my opinion, the 34 is not a magnum air rifle as far as” magnum ” applies to air rifles today. Maybe it was in the mid to late 1980′s. A normal 34 has just a little more swat than a Benji 392 at eight pumps, but without the pumping. Diana airguns especially the 34 are very versatile with many after market products available now. You can hardly go wrong with one,Robert.


          • Magnum air rifle(s) are relative term they are actually borrowed from magnum fire weapons so i believe that EVERYTHING that needs artillery hold is is “Magnum”


            • Well by that definition, then all springers are magnums, as all require artillary hold. the term “magnum ” comes from the champange bottle of that size. You are correct in stating it is a realative term . What would be more correct would be to list ft/lbs to establish magnum power, in regards to air arms. I suppose that any air rifle that produces over 12 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle could be called magnum. Back when I started getting interested in springers(around 1973 or so) an airgun that would shoot 12-14 ft/lbs was a magnum. The Sheridan rocker safety MSP I had then ( and still have,BTW) was more powerful than the Comenta and BSF springers I had access to then. Now that kind of power, like BB’s rifle (of which is today’s blog topic) is weak in comparasion to the average springer available at any discount house.


          • Plus one for the TF58 — very easy to shoot, modestly powered rifle, solid anti-beartrap on sliding cylinder, with a trigger that isn’t beyond help (old style Gamo that is adjustable and fine for me, but there are aftermarket upgrades that appear to fit as well). My wife has a QB88 — same rifle but generic in older stock; the TF58 looks a lot more refined, so I’m assuming it is that much better. I’ve never tested its absolute accuracy, but I would have no doubt it does about the same as you say from past experiences (it has been a while since I shot that one), mainly because it is easy to shoot, not overly hold sensitive. Won’t punish a scope either, but you have to find a short one to clear the loading port. Of course, at 25 yards, open sights are more fun anyway :).


      • I would consider the 24 if I could find one, but probably not the 34. I’m not interested in hunting in the slightest, so don’t need out and out power. That’s one of my problems with the Quest, it kicks a fair bit, and provides me with no benefit for that extra kick. Something like the RWS 54 with the recoil cancellation would be very nice for a springer, but is out of my price range. Thanks for the idea.



      • Hmm, that’s an interesting suggestion. I like that it comes with an apparently good set of sights, but am unconvinced about CO2. Given that I don’t shoot often, I don’t think it’d be an encumbrance, but I was leaning towards either a springer or single pump. I’ll have to look at this. Thanks.


    • I like all the guns you listed. I have a Daisy 953, have had a bunch of IZH 60s, and have shot the Bronco. Of those, I would buy the Bronco. The only thing that bugs me about those guns is that I want just a little more power, not much but a little more. I prefer this type gun in the 550 to 600 fps range with 7.9 pellets. The R-7 (HW30), RWS 24, or Slavia 631 or 630 are in this class. I would look for a used gun myself on the Yellow Classifieds, or buy a new Bronco from Pyramid.

      David Enoch


      • Another vote for the Bronco – I’m unsurprised! The Slavia models do look interesting, and about what I was looking for. Thank you for the other suggestions.


    • Hey if you can find Slavia in classifieds then try to find 634 smooth and it has enough power for sport (and destroying things ;) ) i have one and i am satisfied …


    • John B.

      I’m going to go with several others who have recommended the Bronco. For the money there is nothing near it. The trigger is fine, the sights are not fiberoptic, so they can be used with precision, and the rifle is really easy to cock. Plus the accuracy is beyond most guns in the under-$200 class.

      Your own idea of the Daisy 953 is also a good choice, but if you were able to compare it to the Bronco, I feel you would select the Bronco.

      The one drawback to the Bronco is a shorter butt that was designed for older youth. If you are taller than 6 feet or have unusually long arms (36″ or longer) it may be too small. My own arms are 35″ and the Bronco feels okay to me.

      I would stay away from the IZH 60 and 61, as they now have varying quality. I seldom recommend them anymore.

      A Diana 34 would be a good gun to buy used, but it is noticeably harder to cock.

      The ideal rifle would be the CZ 630 or 631, lightly used and bought for about $100. But I don’t know where you would find one.

      Welcome to the blog and please feel free to ask us anything, as you explore this hobby.

      B.B.


      • I’m sorry to hear it, but It’s good to know that the IZH quality has slipped. I almost sprung for a 60, but thought I should ask here first.

        The main reason I was considering the 953 was for the lack of recoil, but since I’ve never shot a lower powered air rifle, I don’t have a good reference point. If the Bronco is really that much more mild than the Quest I have fired, I don’t think recoil would be a big issue.

        I will keep my eyes out for a 630/631, and possibly a 634, though they do seem quite hard to find nowadays. The R24 that someone else mentioned above seems like it would be another good buy if I could find it in good conditioned used and at a good price. I’m not in any way against buying used if it’s been taken care of.

        I was not initially considering the TF79 due to it being CO2, and am about to read your report on that one… Since I don’t have too many chances to shoot, I don’t think the CO2 would be a cost burden.

        Thanks for the response!


        • John B,
          I just shot my Bronco and 953. The Bronco has a kick to it. The 953 – none. The Bronco is louder than the 953 and the 953 is not hold sensitive whereas the Bronc is.

          If you want an excellent, very accurate inexpensive, pneumatic rifle get the 953. If you want the spring piston experience, accuracy, and low cost get the Bronco.

          If you will have more than one person shooting at the same time don’t choose, get both. They’re affordable, fun, and accurate. I give the accuracy edge to the 953 because of the hold sensitivity issue. You’ll learn the artillery hold but you’ll have a tough time teaching it to a neighbor or relative during a cook out.


        • John B.

          I have a Bronco and like it except for one thing , the stock. It was purposely marketed for both youth and adult shooters and therefore has a shorter than standard stock (length of pull is shorter). If your a tall guy that might be something to consider. Other than that I like the gun very much.

          David H


          • Oops, I just repeated what B.B. had said earlier; should have known he would mention that since he had a big hand in designing it. Anyway, good luck finding your first “great airgun” John B.

            David H


      • Love it everytime you mention the Slavia’s.
        Gotta admit, I’m perplexed by this.
        You just can’t find a bad review of them…everyone says they’re great guality for the money. All say that they are such pleasant shooters, making very good target/plinkers.
        But of course so many out there equate power with quality. I give Slavia (CZ) credit on this one…if they really upped the power they could quite likely become unpleasant shooters. I admire a company that doesn’t cave to the demands of the masses to keep the quality at the levels they want, even if it means they don’t sell as many.


    • John B,
      I own all the rifles you mentioned (except I have the IZH-61 not the 60). I shoot all my rifles at 10m (10.3yds).

      The 953 is a single pump pneumatic and is very accurate, can be shot rested directly on a bench, is not hold sensitive at all, is not loud, can be shot single fire or with a clip of 5, but has a two step cocking cycle. First you cock a lever which charges the gun then you cock the bolt to insert a pellet. For an adult, neither of these is much of a challenge. For my 8 year old grandson, cocking the lever was a problem.

      The Bronco is a break barrel spring piston and is also very accurate. It is hold sensitive so, shooting from a bench, it must be rested on the back or palm of the hand with the hand between the rifle and the bench (artillery hold). It is easy to cock and with learned leverage an 8yr old can cock it. It is not loud.

      I wonder about your requirement to shoot out to 25 yds. I know I wish I could, but it is pretty easy to find 10m for shooting, even indoors, and for what you want to do it is ideal and challenging. Even competition ranges and Olympic events are 10m. I have to tape the soda cans down to keep them from flying away when they get hit. Both these rifle make neat holes in soda cans and will cut them in half after a few pellets. I’d suggest you buy a resettable GAMO Squirrel target or a Gamo metal pellet trap, too.

      Bottom line, you won’t go wrong with either of these two rifles and they’re both inexpensive rifles to whet your appetite.

      Be warned your appetite will be whetted and you’ll rue the day you even got started in this hobby/sport. You might as well start setting aside some more discretionary money now because you’ll need when you get hooked.

      Oh, and don’t forget safety glasses for everyone in the area.



      • You’re right, 25 seems a bit long for some of these, and I was just guessing at the distances. I have never really measured, just done some rough pacing. It was fun picking shotgun shells off a fencepost at ~25 yards with a .22, though…

        I’ll consider myself warned about additional expenses! Thanks for the suggestions.


    • John B,
      The folks here have given you a lot of good, and very knowledgeable advice. But after lurking for a year, I’m sure you felt comfortable with the responses you’d get. I lurk more than I post, too, but love reading the blog and comments every day. Good people.
      Glad to have you here.
      Lloyd


    • Welcome John B. The Bronco would be a great choice (I would be jealous). I will also pull for the IZH 61. Mine is working better than ever after 70,000 rounds. With Mike Melick’s tune it is now shooting equal to my B30. The clip is no big deal. Maybe it stuck a few times in the early going but not for thousands of rounds. The key is that you point the rifle down and keep your thumb over the back of the clip as you slide it in to keep the pellets from falling out. It’s a very natural motion–like loading a side-by-side shotgun. And then of course there is Slinging Lead’s storage device….

      I also would not discount magnum power now or in the future. Technically, I should not be shooting my B30 indoors at 20 feet although with my duct seal and .22 pellet trap, I believe the safety issues and even lead dust dispersion are taken care of. But I must admit there is a distinct thrill to driving those pellet hard into the target. The Diana 34 would be a good choice here as would…. but there’s time for that later.

      Matt61


    • My turn to toss in my 2cents. Man these which gun should I buy questions are GREAT! I love it.
      I own the Bronco and the IZH-60.
      I also went for the IZH-60 because I was afraid of the mags not working for very long. It’s a very fun, light weight, easy to shoot rifle, it’s compact size make it a take anywhere rifle, with the stock at the shortest it will fit almost anywhere and will be great to bring with you pretty much anywhere.
      But to me they just aren’t in the same class, the Bronco is a whole different story, no synthetic anything here, all wood and metal, where the IZH is buzzy the Bronco is a lot smoother almost as smooth as my Diana Mod.24, the trigger is really nice and the rifle is really easy to scope. If I was you I’d get both but if I only had to get one especially since yo umentionned you wanted something smooth I would go with the Bronco BUT…
      I’d like to add a little something different to the mix… it’s at the limit of your budget but since you’re leaning towards a spring powered rifle and want a smooth shooter you could look towards gas rams rifles. The Nitro Piston line just had a drop in price, there is a 495fps .22 available from Crosman and the Benjamin Legacy which is a little faster. They’re smooth to cock and shoot and mine is very accurate. Here is the low power NitroPiston :
      http://www.crosman.com/airguns/rifles/break-barrel/BT5M22SNP

      You don’t mention where you live, it would most probably be a real pain to get if your in the US but just to mix things up a bit we have a IZH-60 on the CanadianAirgunForum which the guy is getting very good results with. Have a look at those pics.
      http://www.airgunforum.ca/forums/topic40557.html

      Who are you kidding here, just get all of them, you know you want to (I know I did).

      J-F


      • First, it’s nice to hear a favorable comparison between the Bronco and the Diana 24 – I’ve not had a chance to see the Diana 24 in person, but I have seen the 34 and 48. Both very nicely made. Sadly I haven’t seen a 24 for sale anywhere.

        I was looking at the NP rifles – that specific one, except not really. The US version of the Trail NP is rated at nearly twice the speed of its Canadian brethren, and is apparently that much harder to cock. I’m sure that statement is correctable.

        But, thanks again for the input, I suppose I’ll consider this another nod toward the Bronco, though by asking my original question, I seem to have given myself more options to consider, not less!


    • Air Venturi Bronco
      Daisy Powerline 953 (I know about the rough trigger, am willing to fix it)
      IZH-60 or IZH-61 (leaning towards the 60, 61 clip seems finicky)

      I would be willing to put an extra $50-80 or so into improving the default sights with any of these options (a decent aperture or simple scope perhaps), so if there is something in the $150-$180 range that would meet the same general criteria, but doesn’t really need a sight upgrade to get the best out of it, I’d be glad to hear about it.

      Seems that if the 953 + improved sights are a candidate, I’d scrimp up the money for the 853; wood stock, peep (cheap) rear and “globe” style front with inserts. (And a better barrel than my 80s era “US Shooting Team” 953 — which is, other than receiver markings and lower-grade barrel, what is sold as the 853).


    • John,

      If you happen to find some well-stored or used by straight hands pre-2001 metal-receiver Izh-60 – I would recommend it to you with all my heart. But today… well let’s say their quality has dropped a BIT. I tried Daisy 953 and it felt to me a bit too rough on overall work and trigger for 10 m rifle. I didn’t try Bronco, but that seems to receive some good reviews.

      duskwight


  3. John,
    The IZH 61 clips are a little finicky, but once you’ve shot it a hundred times, you’ll have it down. The clips can’t be pre-loaded and stuck in a pocket. –The pellets won’t stay put. The repeating feature does work extremely well, though and mine has never had a single hiccup.

    Everything on your list will work just fine, so pick whatever you’re leaning toward already.


    • I have found a secret to carrying a pocketful of loaded 61 clips. I have an empty box of matches that fits 4 mags in it quite snugly, so the pellets don’t have room to move around. I tend to use CPH in my 61 clips, they shoot no worse than anything else, and stay in the clip better than others.

      BTW if anyone wants to buy one of my patent pending IZH61 storage cases, I am selling them for $30. I might even leave the matches in them. ;-)



    • Derrick,

      I’m giving that option some thought. I checked it very carefully to be certain that it wasn’t bent up by a former owner pulling the trigger while the barrel was open. A common problem when a breakbarrel shoots too high.

      B.B.


      • BB,
        Yes. you picked up exactly what I was thinking. I was looking pretty hard at the breech block/barrel transition in the picture, too.


        • Derrick,

          How would you go about bending the barrel down? How would you anchor it, so it bent in the direction you wanted and not farther than you intended? I’m not saying I’ll do it, because I sure don’t want to screw up this beautiful rifle, but I am thinking about it.

          B.B.


  4. BB, will there be more parts to the Rogue Blog or did you call it quits on that one? Like you said, you could spend a lot of time tweaking the programming. Since Crosman is changing the programming any more effort could be irrelevant to the production model. I am still interested in the gun and the technology Lloyd brought to the airgun community. A lot of us would still like to see more on the gun. Maybe Crosman can send you an updated version.

    David Enoch


    • David,

      There will probably be one more report on the Rogue, though I have already returned it to Crosman. I wrote the largest article I have ever written for Shotgun News on the Rogue (to be published in their color issue in July), so I have a lot more I can say about it.

      B.B.


      • First, I’d run a straight line from the bottom of the breech block to the end of the barrel and measure the distance. Then I’d anchor the breech block in rubber padded vise jaws–probably need at least a 6″ double locking vise–with the breech horizontal and then push/pull depending on which works better for you on the end of the barrel. Remove and re-check with the straight edge. Somebody here can do the math and subtend the angle and tell you just how much the barrel needs to be bent downward. I’ll venture about 7/8″ inch as just a seat of the pants guess.


        • I just bent a barrel to correct the same thing. I used my work bench top to lay the barrel /breech assembly on and made fulcrums that were screwed to the bench top, and a wooden lever to bend the barrel. I used a carpenters square to gauge progress, after first establishing a base line as Derrick mentioned above.


          • B.B.,
            This POI vs POA is a tough one. If you are hitting 4″ high at 10 meters, that is 4″ divided by 394″ which equals almost exactly 0.010″ per inch of distance. If the sight radius is 30″, that is 30 x .010, or a 0.300″ adjustment. So either the front sight goes up .30″, or the rear goes down .30″ , or the barrel gets bent … uhhh… down(?) .30″. Or a combination of those solutions.
            A .30 bend in the barrel sounds pretty scary to me.

            Now I am thinking about it some more, and if the front barrel gets bent down, and the front sight is attached to the barrel, exactly “how” the barrel is bent will affect the actual POI change. In other words, A sharp bend in the barrel 3″ from the muzzle will impart more change than a less severe bend half way between the breech and muzzle., even though both bends would measure as .30″.

            I could be wrong on any of that, though!
            Lloyd


            • lloyd,
              This sounds backwards to me. If you’re bending the barrel up or down in relation to the breach (rear sight) and you want to bring the poi down, shouldn’t the barrel be bent up in relation to the breach? This would then result in the front sight being raised in relation to the breach, which would be similar to adding to the height of the front sight post in order to bring the muzzle down and poi down? Just wondering. In other words, shouldn the muzzle go in the opposite direction you want the poi to go?


              • Chuck,

                You are over-thinking this one. Every place the front sight goes the bore goes, too. Bend the barrel up and the bore also goes up, like a ski jump.

                It’s like driving a car in the fog by keeping the fenders between the turn signals.

                B.B.


                • Good point! Seemed reasonable at the time but now I see bending the barrel doesn’t change the distance between the top of the front sight and the muzzle. Duh!!!!


              • lloyd is right.
                Let’s take things to an extreme…..
                Lets say you bend the barrel straight up. Will that lower the POI?
                Bending the barrel up will put the rear sight much higher in relation to the bore at the muzzle.

                The muzzle needs to be brought down to make it shoot lower. It has the same effect as raising the front sight.

                OR….
                Get a lower rear sight, or a taller front sight, or both.

                twotalon


          • B.B.,
            Now that I have thought about it some more again, the bend in the barrel can be MUCH less severe than the movement of the sights would have to be.
            Lloyd




                • Thanks for the math guys, I was off pretty far then on my wild-a guess. It might be helpful to bend a tad more –and I think that the bend should be right at the breech not in the middle–so you get into the rear sight adjustment range a bit. It’s still not right if the rear sight is absolutely bottomed out and it’s just barely hitting center at 10M. A little more adjustment is helpful so ti works with a variety of pellets.


        • For some reason I have the urge to shove a laser pointer against the breech and see if the beam exits the muzzle … Heh!

          If if doesn’t, it is definitely arched…


  5. The Optimus (.177) arrived yesterday, and WOW!!! It has some nice power for $89.99….not quite sure about accuracy yet, but I’ve already got 4 house sparrows….:)

    Conor




      • Milan, I think the gun is worth the $90, it is accurate, but not like my 1377 Carbine…but I’d buy it again! The trigger is nice, (even though the “picky” trigger guys would disagree)it is like my trigger on my XL 1100, pull and pull then let go and you have a nice crisp trigger.

        Go for it.
        Conor


  6. B.B.

    That is one sexy looking rifle, I was certainly smitten by it in the ’70′s.

    I second checking the barrel to see if it is bent up wards. Also I am sure you know William offers two different height peeps sights: Williams FP-AG-TK – high or Williams FP-GR-TK – low. I can’t ID yours from the side picture.

    Anyone,

    If you want see the BSF55 B.B. is referring to go here. Not nearly as American as the 70′s stock but a similar rifle.
    http://namericanairguns.blogspot.com/2010_06_01_archive.html

    John B,

    Since you can shoot an air rifle 10 times more than a rimfire you should invest at least 3 times as much money in it. Go with an HW30S in .177 or a Beeman R7 in .20 caliber. If you can’t swing the cost of a new one consider previously owned.



  7. I ran some RWS R-10 8.2gr pellets through my new Challenger the last couple days and here are the results:

    This first picture is of the first 11 shots through the rifle.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/Challenger1?authkey=Gv1sRgCJvFy8ummu2WHQ#5616631105234859090

    I was in a hurry because I needed to be somewhere else but couldn’t resist taking a few shots anyway. I took the rifle out of the triple boxed packaging and mounted the included front domed and rear cupped peep sight. I made no other changes to it, not even to the stock adjustments.

    I filled it with a scuba tank to 2,000psi. I noticed that by the time I got the hose disconnected I had lost a wee bit of air so I reconnected the hose and very slowly began refill. When the pressure got up high enough to pop the valve about 600 lbs of air rushed into the chamber before I could get it shut off. So my first fill was to about 2500lbs. Bummer! Great way to start out a new toy. I didn’t want to start shooting that high. The instructions said to bleed the tank, dry-fire the rifle until the desired pressure or empty tank is reached. It takes about 10 shots to bleed 100lbs. When I got to about 2100lbs it dawned on me I might as well be shooting pellets so the first 11 pellets began at around 2100lbs. This is a guess because the gauge on the rifle is pretty small and not graduated.

    The very first shot was 517.97fps. The second shot was 538.33. The third was 535.12. The last shot of this group was 537.71. The fifth shot was 543.93 – the second highest of the total 69 I shot the last two days. All 69 shots were on the same tank fill.

    This next target is the second of the two that I had time to shoot last night. It is a nice 5 shot group that averaged 536.97fps.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/Challenger1?authkey=Gv1sRgCJvFy8ummu2WHQ#5616631113120256834

    The following target is of the next 10 shots I did today. I’m impressed! This group averaged 537.70fps.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/Challenger1?authkey=Gv1sRgCJvFy8ummu2WHQ#5616631119616899666

    Then I just started shooting to sight in the rifle and to see how the velocity acted. I shot 58 more shots in 10 shot groups (one group only had 8 shots – for those of you counting). They averaged 529.72, 526.97, 522.73, 520.06, and 509.65. I’m not getting numbers as high as BB got on his test. But they’re kinda close to his using the R-10.

    I love the trigger. No creep whatsoever and very crisp.

    One thing I notice is that there is a lot of oil on both sides of the air chamber just below the opening for the pellets. It appears to be blowing up from under the stock. How can that be? On the left side it appears to be wetter around the pressure gauge. On the right side there is what looks like a screw. It is dry directly above the screw head but wet on both sides as if the “screw” head is blocking the oil splash. On the other side there is a similar screw but the oil seems to be between it and the gauge. Anybody else notice this?
    -C



    • Chuck

      I would think that would mean the air transfer port between the airtube and the barrel is not sealing tightly enough. I have read where people have replaced this metal piece with a short section of plastic/rubber tubing on other Crosman pneumatics.

      I don’t own a Challenger, so I don’t know if it is constructed in such a way.

      Enjoy your new rifle. I hope to see some 1st place finishes on the ematches.


      • SL,
        I dunno’. Some of those shooters are pretty good. I’m sure going to give it a try as I learn to shoot this sweet puppy.



      • Victor,
        Assuming you’re talking about the front globe sight with replaceable apertures – this is the first target aperture sight I’ve used. The Challenger came with one already in the globe and three more in the box. I haven’t experimented with them, yet. I have used rear peep sights like this one before but with a globe with a post inside, like the IZH-61 front sights or the Bronco. I like these, new to me, circular front aperture inserts.


        • Chuck,
          Front and back aperture (target) sights are my favorite. Just align 3 circles (rear sight, front sight, and target). It takes practice, but I found this setup to be better than using a scope. I think it’s easier on the mind. Just the right amount of information. Scopes can sometimes provide too much information, like excessive movement. Target sights let you work within your true wobble area. Scopes can lead you to try to compensate for your wobble area. Just relax, and trust in your sight alignment.
          Victor


        • I think you’ll really grow to love match aperture sights. As Victor says, they provide exactly the right amount of information. Use a larger front aperture while you’re learning; it minimizes apparent shake.

          pete


          • Victor and Pete,
            Thanks for the tips. It appears that my eyes are sufficiently focused on the front sight with minor blurring of the target. It seems to me that there is too much room around the bulls for the ematch bench rest targets with the default opening making it harder for me to ensure the sides are equidistant. I’ll try the other apertures to find a happy clearance yet leave that room for these beginner’s eyes.

            One thing that’s worth passing along is that the box the rifle came in is just a plain brown cardboard box with absolutely no markings on it. There appears to be no collectors value to the box at all.


            • Chuck,
              My preference is to use the smallest front aperture possible. I believe that I was very steady, so I had the luxury to do that. I don’t think I’m that steady any longer. Bottom line, use the smallest that you’re comfortable with. Too wide (too much space), and it gets hard to make the necessary alignments, as you’ve noticed.
              Victor


              • OK, the joke is on me. I took out the other aperture inserts and they are all the same size as the one already in the rifle. I have four inserts all exactly the same in every way. What good is that? Do they expect me to wear out the sights by looking through them?


                • Chuck,
                  That does’t sound right. What size are they? There are two main sizes; 18mm and 22mm. 18mm are Anschutz compatible, while 22mm are FWB compatible. If they are 18mm, then you can buy a complete set of 10 (various size apertures), with a holder for all of them.
                  Victor


                  • I guess I should call PA Monday and see if they think that’s right. Maybe they can make it good if it’s not, else I may have to call Crosman. Somebody ought to be alerted if it isn’t right. Also, I wiped off the oil I mentioned before and it hasn’t reappeared, yet. That’s good news.

                    I just shot my first attempt at an airgunarena bench rest target just for practice. It’s 30 bulls on an 8.5″x11″ sheet. Max score would be 300 but I only got 266. That’s all 9′s except for four 8 rings and no 10s. There were seven shots that should have been 10s but they were barely touching the 9 ring so they have to be counted as a 9. Not too good, yet. I blame the front aperture. Way too much space around the bull.

                    I’ve shot a 270 with the Talon SS, 269 with the Marauder (and that has large .22 pellets), 269 with the Bronco and the Daisy 953. But they were all scoped. I expect the Challenger to do better than those. It certainly seems capable enough. I suppose my experience with the peep sight has something to do with it, too. I haven’t used a peep very much.


                  • What should I be measuring? The inserts outside diameter of the circular part is 17.05mm. The circle has a tab sticking out on each side. The tabs measure 21.85mm from one side of the insert to the other. The outside diameter of the globe barrel is 20.93mm and the outside diameter of the knurled part that screws out of the globe barrel to free up the insert is 22.04mm.

                    So, does it look like the 18mm Anschutz would fit?


                    • Chuck,
                      That’s odd. Are you checking the ID of the front sight inserts? The center most openings–the actual aperture–are often only 0.1mm in difference. Often, the insert is marked on the locating tab. 4.1, 4.2, 4.4…..You get the idea.


            • Oh, one other thing, regarding targets. I find official target specs for the various targets that I want to practice with on-line, and I make my own. With the proper backing, even regular paper cuts clean holes. I use PowerPoint to make decent approximations, but you could just as well use another programs. CAD software is probably best.
              Victor


  8. Today’s photo winner is a nice clear shot, but I’m a little unclear on its award winning quality. Maybe it would be captured in a caption like “Not a kid’s game.” :-) B.B. hang on to your RWS Hobbys since you seem to have some of the last ones on the planet. :-(

    Chuck, great news about your Challenger. You are nominated for a full report on my favorite pcp target rifle. And I’m jealous of your delivery time. I wish we could put the RWS Hobby’s on the same schedule. :-(( I believe that I will call PA now to find out what is happening.

    Fred, my bullet-puller looks like a hammer. My guess is that this is the kinetic version since you swing it and knock the bullet loose. Is that right?

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      This week’s photo winner embodies much about airgunning & something you see every day on this blog: The love of airgunning and the desire to share it with others.

      Edith


      • Edith,
        I thought the exact same thing as you when I saw the winning photo. I certainly love and need my time alone, but sharing the hobby can add so much, especially when somebody learns something new!
        Lloyd



    • Matt,

      that’s exactly correct. It’s a kinetic puller because you are using the kinetic energy developed when the swinging hammer stops, to unseat the bullet. You won’t harm the bullet, the casing and you can re-use the powder.

      Fred PRoNJ


    • Matt,

      The bullet is pulled by the force of gravity. When the hammer stops by hitting something, the bullet continues on. About 20-25 Gees will unseat the bullet unless it has been varnished in place, as military rounds often are.

      B.B.


      • Hm, this makes sense although creating this much impact energy around a cartridge makes me nervous. I’ll take your word for it that the design prevents this energy from igniting the primer. :-)

        Matt61



  9. Matt61,
    Regarding my dream, and the management of wild animals. – It was a fairly short dream, and it wasn’t a nightmare. There were no attacks. I guess my mind was playing with the idea of such a problem in real life, as opposed to a nightmarish situation, like the movie I Am Legend. I guess subconsciously, I expect humans to band together like a team, so that’s what I was thinking about in my dream. Basically, setting up “safe zones”, paths, and looking out for each other. Fantasy, I know.
    Victor


  10. Barrel benders,

    Well, I will approach this as I approched the complete disassembly of my Ballard rifle, so when the time finally does come it will be boringly anticlimactic.

    Thank you all.

    B.B.



  11. Pixel the Cat Report:

    A couple of weeks ago I was about to say farewell to my 17-18 year old cat, sick with congestive heart failure, and all of you were incredibly solicitous, encouraging and helpful. For the moment, we spoke to soon! The vet treated him with a lot of diuretics and some more antibiotics as a last ditch gamble since he wasn’t in pain at all. It took 3-4 days but he slowly recovered and is back to virtually normal. Jumping on the bed, the dining chairs, the sofa, and being his usual affectionate self. At his age it may not last too awfully long, but it’s nice for now.

    Thanks for the psychological help when it was needed.

    pete





      • Something I always find amusing……

        I like sci-fi movies, but this always gets me..
        These people go out to hunt and kill these huge monsters with a bit less firepower than they need. Close range tactical weapons are not really suitable for nasty creatures the size of Chicago. This would be about like shooting a rhino with a nerf gun. Or shooting a hog with a .177 Gamo.
        An anti-tank gun or a MOAB would be about the minimum that I would consider, but the movie would be over too fast that way.

        twotalon



  12. Derrick,
    You are absolutly correct! They are stamped with different numbers. I didn’t notice that until I got out the magnifying glass. But the diameters differences are so minor it’s hard to see that difference with the naked eye.

    I have two that are stamped 3.8, one is 4.1 and one is 4.4. When I stack the 3.8 on top of the 4.4 I can barely see the difference with a magnifying glass. Such a small difference is not very useful for my application. The 3.8 is the smallest diameter and it is not small enough for me. I have two 3.8s because the rifle came with a 3.8 installed plus there was another 3.8 in with the pack.

    So, has anyone bought additional inserts for their Challenger? I searched the Crosman web site but there is nothing there about inserts. PA has some that fits the Weihrauch & Beeman HW Air Rifles but they don’t look right, plus they’re not the style I want, and the tabs look too big. I fear without the proper inserts this rifle will be no more accurate than any of my other rifles. I’d hate to scope it. And I shouldn’t have to buy expensive sights just to get more inserts (if they even exist in the size I need.)


    • If you’re starting in with match sights for the first time, 3.8mm is really pretty tiny. Go up at least one size and see how it works. If PA doesn’t sell plastic inserts for 18mm front sight globes, Pilkington probably does, and Champion’s Choice probably does. Should run you under $10 for a set of 6 or 10.

      pz


      • Pete,
        Thanks for the suggestions.

        The 3.8 insert is way too large for the airgunarena ematch targets. Maybe it’s too small for an NRA or other sanctioned match target but not for the bench rest targets on the ematch.

        I looked on those sites you suggested but didn’t see any packaged inserts. Champions Choice does sell them individually for $3.00 each. Looks like I might end up with that option but I’m not sure what size to get at this time. I’ll just pick some random sizes. They range from 2.4 on up. I couldn’t find anything on Pilkington’s site about inserts. They have all these target rifles and pistols and sights but nothing about aperture inserts. I can’t figure that out. Maybe when you buy a sight they send all the available inserts.

        I haven’t made any phone calls to either of these. Have to wait til Monday. I did call PA and they don’t carry anything like that. The person I talked to said she’d check around and call me back if she found out anything. She also suggested I call Crosman. I have a feeling the monkey’s back on my back.

        I did look on Crosman’s web sight but didn’t find anything there. Am I making an unreasonable request here? Doesn’t anyone else need extra inserts? I don’t understand why they would not be a very common item.



  13. Hello, everyone. My name is Fred from the People’s Republik of New Jersey and I’m an airgunaholic (pregnant pause for all of you to say, “Hello, Fred”). Today at the Windsor airgun show, I bought a FWB 124 with the San Rafael, CA address that had a Beeman/Williams peepsight on it. The stock is a “sporter” and it’s everything BB always claimed them to be.

    I think I need help.

    Fred PRoNJ



    • Fred,
      The next time you feel the need to take drink, I mean buy an air rifle, please call my number and we’ll talk through it. (Before you do, though, make sure there aren’t two of them on sale.)

      Congratulations!!! Maybe now the itch is scratched?? (evil laughter follows)


      • Thank you BB, Chuck for your support. I fired the FWB last night and (it has a Williams / Beeman peep sight on it) and found that at 28′, it’s shooting about an inch high, even with the peep adjusted to it’s lowest setting. Question one – I know the Williams’ peep sight comes in two heights – high and low. There are no markings on this Beeman sight so how do I tell if it’s the high or low one. Anyone?
        Two – anyone have a rear sight for an FWB 124 for sale? BB? Thought I’d try here first before looking at the Yellow.

        WPREJS, we probably walked passed each other a couple of times at the show. I felt that after buying the FWB, I had to leave as there was an Anchutz target rifle (250?) calling me.

        Fred PRoNJ


        • Fred,
          I measured my Beeman sight and the stationary the part measures .612″ (15.55mm) from top to bottom. The sliding part measures .993″ (25.24mm) from top to bottom. It sure looks low to me.

          Looking from the top of the sight, down. I see the word Beeman stamped in front of the movable part, right below the movable parts windage marks.

          With the sight adjusted all the way down until it hits the Bronco’s stock, the poi is as much as 1/4″ below the poa using RWS R-10 Match 8.2gr pellets.


          • Chuck, thanks for that. Now if your measurements were all on the left side of the sight, then we have the same sight. HOWEVER, I can’t adjust the movable part lower where it comes close to hitting the FWB’s stock. I have a whole set of markings, again on the left side, that are above the index mark on the fixed body and won’t go any lower because. The horizontal, movable part of the site comes into contact with the fixed horizontal part.

            I did put a straightedge on the barrel where the rear sight would be and the barrel isn’t bent. I measured the forward sight and the distances jive with peep sights on my RWS’.

            By the way, BB, the stock on this is the plain beech stock that apparently came one the European version – the 121 as it appears in my sixth edition of the Blue Book.

            Fred PRoNJ


            • Fred,
              Yes, I was measuring the left side, while looking down the barrel toward the muzzle. My sight, when lowered as far as it will go, still has 6 white marks above that index mark.

              If you have metal to metal it sure won’t go any farther down. If not and if the bottom of your sight isn’t touching the wood yet, loosen that large screw on the left and see if the sight will go down more. That worked for mine. If it’s touching the wood already, talk to BB and he’ll tell which chisel works best. :-) Sounds like you’re already metal to metal, though. In this case, it sounds like a design flaw if there are still markings above the index mark.



              • BB, nope you’re correct – no finger grooves. I do have the S model of the 124. Now to try and figure out how to get a lower rear sight or a higher front site. Very strange that this rifle shoots so high.

                Chuck, there is metal to metal contact so short of taking a file to the sight (which I won’t do), I’m going to need a different sight as I have to get down lower.

                Fred PRoNJ


                • Fred,
                  It’s amazing how these rifle critters tantalize you. There’s always some little thing that just isn’t quite right, that you know if you find the right piece you’ll have the best shooting rifle in the world, yet that simple little piece keeps eluding you. Persevere my friend, you are on the cusp of greatness.


                • Fred,

                  Whenever a breakbarrel shoots too high it is a safe bet that someone pulled the trigger with the barrel open and bent it. That’s what is wrong with my BFS S70.

                  The solution is to bend the barrel back down.

                  I will be doing this for my S70 soon and I’ll blog it.

                  B.B.


  14. Okay, folks, I’ve finally contacted Pyramidair and the RWS Hobbies are out of stock until July 1. Good heavens. That will be over a month without my main pellet.

    In other better news, I just received my Frankford Arsenal calipers for reloading. Nobody told me these are so much fun, and I am measuring everything in sight.

    Matt61


  15. I got my hands on a red ryder with a cracked stock and a 1894 daisy today ,and i was wondering if anyone have any information about the 1894?

    Wojtek Prejs



    • wprejs,

      THe 1894 Daisy was made from 1961 to 1986. it was one of Daisy’s Spittin’ Image guns, I think the second one they made, with the 179 Peacemaker being the first.

      There were several variations of the 1894 and we will have to know a lot more about it to tell you much more.

      B.B.



    • According to BB Daisy stopped production of the 1894 in 1986, BUT I believe they made another one later (it was commonly available about 5 years ago). I THINK that the most obvious difference is the stock… the early ones were plastic, while the later ones were wood.





  16. The RWS are not the only pellets running late H&N field target trophys were supposed to be in by the end of May . They’re not in yet so the whole order is hanging, but I told them I would wait.
    , so wait I will.


  17. I have not been on in quite sometime now, don’t know much of what’s been going on. Actually received an e-mail requesting a quote lol. So here is one for you:

    I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me – they’re cramming for their final exam.
    George Carlin

    Haven’t done much shooting and m/cycle won’t start so I’m kinda depressed at the moment. Gotta keep the chin up, start shooting and pull the battery out of the m/cycle to begin with. Need to do something that is for sure.

    Darn if I didn’t go past mid-night writing this and watching TV, sorry.

    rikib :)


  18. Any ideas how to fix my 1894?When it shoots its bb fly’s straight for about 30 feet and then the bb falls right to the ground and every couple shots it diesels and smoke comes out of the oil here hole


    • I doubt it’s dieseling. Not enough compression in that model. I suspect you’ve got bad seals and it’s not getting ENOUGH air compression which lets the piston slam home pretty hard (and loudly) when you shoot it. Remember that it’s got an air tube that runs inside the shot, and that this will push the BB out (slowly) even if the seals are missing. I did a reseal on a couple of 1894′s, they’re not that bad. I’ve got some diagrams if you want…



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