Crosman Optimus .177 rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos and test by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2

Crosman’s Optimus offers a lot of power for a low price.

Today is accuracy day for the Crosman Optimus, and I know that a lot of readers are watching this rifle for all that it offers. We were pleasantly surprised in the velocity test to learn that the Optimus is a stable and smooth-shooting breakbarrel rifle. Now, we find out if it matters.

Choked barrels
The first thing Mac noted was the Optimus barrel has no choke. I’ve seen comments like this on customer reviews as well. Here’s the scoop on choked barrels. When a spring-piston gun fires, the sudden air blast forces the pellet’s skirt out into the rifling. If it didn’t fit the bore well when it was loaded, it usually does after firing.

But PCP guns don’t have a sudden air blast. Their air flow lasts a longer time, and as a result they don’t flare pellets. So, barrelmakers put a small constriction — called a choke — at the muzzle end of the barrel for PCP guns. That way all the pellets are sized uniformly when they exit the muzzle. With springers, that isn’t needed because they’re sizing the pellets when they fire.

Often, when the front sight dovetails get swaged into the barrel, it upsets some metal to the inside of the bore. The result feels like a choke when you push a pellet through the bore. But the Lothar Walther people and Hans Weihrauch, Jr., both told me they intentionally do not choke barrels meant for spring rifles.

Today, however, very few manufacturers put dovetails in the barrels for the front sight. The front sight on the Optimus is glued in place, so it doesn’t have any swaging near the muzzle. Hence, the lack of a choke. Edith checked on this for us and determined that this is correct.

For this test, Mac mounted a 3-9x50AO Leapers scope with illumination in a one-piece BKL cantilevered mount. From the photo, you might think that this mount would have some problems with the Optimus’ recoil, which is not insignificant, but that wasn’t the case. This mount also comes with 0.007 inches of droop compensation to get your breakbarrel back into the aim point.


Does the scope look unbalanced? Mac says it remained stable and solid throughout the test. Because it’s a BKL mount, you don’t have to worry about movement when the gun recoils.

Mac was concerned that with such a large scope and only two screws per scope cap there would be some movement, but he monitored it closely and the scope never moved. To mount the BKL base to the rifle, you should first remove all the oil and grease from the dovetail grooves. Mac also advises putting a drop of oil on the threads of the mounting screws, because when they get tight they start to pop as they turn in their holes. Oiling will lessen that but apparently will not allow them to loosen in operation. At least that’s what he reports. I think BKL advises leaving the screws dry.

The accuracy test
Okay, here we go. First up is the pellet that grouped the worst off a rest at 30 yards — RWS Superdomes. Yes, Mac’s favorite .177 pellet did not do well in the Optimus, grouping 10 shots in 2.4 inches at 30 yards.


Too bad for Mac! His favorite RWS Superdome pellet grouped 10 in 2.4 inches at 30 yards.

Only slightly better was the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier. Six of them went into a group measuring 2 incheseven. He became frustrated by the seeming inaccuracy of the rifle at this point and didn’t finish this group. I guess because there aren’t ten shots, I can’t even say this group is better than the other.


There are only six holes in this target because Mac got disgusted and quit. They measure 2 inches between the two farthest centers.

Lesson for newcomers to airguns
At times like this, we all become frustrated and our frustrations are often borne out in what happens next. Sometimes, things change unexpectedly, which is why it is so important to shoot every shot with the perfect artillery hold, so at the end of it all you can say that you did your best.

The next pellet Mac tried was the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet — the so-called “lite” Premier. It did much better, by cutting the heavier Premier group in half. Yes, 10 Premier lites delivered a 1-inch group at 30 yards.


Premier lites made this ten-shot, one-inch group at 30 yards. This is much better, but we’re still not shouting.

Then Mac tried the 8.4-grain JSB Exact dome pellet. Since Premier lites did so well, he had high hopes for this pellet, but the best he could do for 10 shots was a 1.16-inch group.


The JSB Exact 8.4-grain dome shot ten into a 1.16-inch group at 30 yards.

Finally, Mac tried the 10.2-grain JSB Exact dome. Now, because the 10.5-grain Premier did so much worse than the 7.9-grain Premier, you might expect this pellet to do poorly as well, but it didn’t. In fact, it gave us the best 10-shot group of the day. Measuring just 0.74 inches at 30 yards, this is the pellet that proves the Optimus can shoot. This is why you have to keep on testing, even when you think you know the answer (I’m talking to myself).


Sometimes you’re surprised! The JSB Exact 10.2-grain dome was the most accurate in the test, grouping 10 shots into 0.74 inches at 30 yards.

The bottom line
The Optimus is a fine starter air rifle, as long as you understand that it takes a lot of skill to shoot well. The trigger is not good. Be prepared for that. So far, the best pellet isn’t coming from a discount store. But if you want to get into the game at this power level and are willing to both learn and use the artillery hold, this is a great value.

80 Responses to “Crosman Optimus .177 rifle: Part 3”

  • g. austin Says:

    If springers don’t need chokes…. why does an RWS350 have one? and… does and unchoked barrel prefer a different head/skirt size compared to a choked barrel?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      g.austin,

      I answered this in the report. Guns like the 350 Magnum that have front sight dovetails swaged into them disrupt metal inside the bore. It feels like a choke, but it isn’t intentional. It’s just what happens when you swage deep cuts into metal.

      B.B.

  • Mike Says:

    g. austin………reread the paragraph on choked barrels, RWS doesn’t choke the barrel it just feels that way do to the way the front sight is installed…

  • g. austin Says:

    If it looks like a dog and barks like a dog? If the barrel constricts at the crown, for whatever reason, then the skirt will be reduced in size before exiting the muzzle.

    My other question remains: does an unchoked barrel prefer a different head/skirt size compared to a choked barrel?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      g.austin,

      You have to match head sizes to the bores of all your airguns. A choked bore can do more with a smaller pellet head than an unchoked bore, which is why springer barrels that owners cut off are often less accurate.

      B.B.

      • g. austin Says:

        I’ve noticed just 0.02″ can make an enormous difference to accuracy depending on the size of constriction in a PCP bore. One pellet shoots great while another fails miserably. Swap the guns and the situation is reversed. I haven’t had the equipment to perform the same test in unchoked (no swaging) vs choked springer barrels.

      • J-F Says:

        I have another question about springers and barrels.
        When you say: ” When a spring-piston gun fires, the sudden air blast forces the pellet’s skirt out into the rifling. If it didn’t fit the bore well when it was loaded, it usually does after firing.”
        Is it true for lower powered springers (Bronco, IZH-61/60, HW30 etc) too?

        J-F

    • twotalon Says:

      There are “deliberate” chokes which only serve the purpose of choking the bore (making sure the muzzle is the tightest place).

      There are “accidental” chokes which are a side effect of swaging in sight grooves or ridges to secure the sight in place. Some manufacturers may even use this side effect to kill two birds with one stone.

      Another “accidental” choke may be because the muzzle just happens to be the tightest part of the barrel, which it should be in the first place. Certainly should be at least equal if not tighter than any other part of the bore.

      Pellet size preference could be similar or different . Depends on on how the particular rifle and particular barrel get along with the same kind of pellet. You can’t make a good comparison with different barrels, rifles or both.
      Let’s say you took an individual rifle that had an unchoked barrel. That’s unchoked in ANY way. Completely uniform in dimension all the way through.
      See how it reacts to different pellets that have a snug fit in head size. Now have the barrel choked and try again. You want to use the same barrel and rifle. No swapping to different rifles or different barrels. No cutting off chokes and recrowning. Everything must remain the same except choked/unchoked.
      You would probably see little difference providing the pellets fit well in the first place.
      If pellets were borderline or loose in the first place, you might see a lot of difference (improvement) with a choke. It squares up a pellet right at the muzzle so it will exit on it’s axis as it needs to.

      Did that help?

      twotalon

      • g. austin Says:

        That’s a great analysis of barrel constriction. I am slowly building up data on different barrels in the process of testing experimental pre-production pellet designs. Thanks TwoTalon!

  • Edith Gaylord Says:

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/state&id=8204799

    Go to the above link to read the good news: SB 798 is DEAD. The bill died yesterday. Please read the closing paragraph. Oh, what the heck, here it is (good news MUST be reported):

    “Manufacturers, sellers and airgun users successfully argued that the bill is a job killer and an illogical attempt to improve public safety.”

    Edith

    • Slinging Lead Says:

      Edith

      Horray!!! This is terrific news. I know Pyramyd Air had a financial interest in the outcome, nevertheless, the full court press they put down to stop this thing was very impressive and much appreciated. Way ahead of the ball.

      It would be really great if the opinions on these rulings read like, “…and airgun users successfully argued that the bill is a job killer and an illogical attempt to improve public safety, and the idiot that proposed the bill is locked up outside in stocks, and here are some crates of rotten tomatoes and buckets of chicken manure…”

      These spineless craven lunatics pay themselves a mint on the public’s dollar, and try and regulate every last thing in our lives, because ” the great unwashed just don’t know enough to take care of themselves.” It is truly the epitome of absurdity. Government is absolutely out of control.

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        SL,

        How do you do that? I mean, how in the world can you read my mind? Positively spooky :-)

        Edith

    • kevin Says:

      Edith,

      Thanks so much for this great news. A moment of clarity and common sense was the last thing I expected from California lawmakers.

      kevin

      • Slinging Lead Says:

        Kevin

        Don’t be too optimistic. California is so far in debt, they probably couldn’t afford to find a way to enforce it. Oh, wait. Government doesn’t need to be able to afford anything, like the rest of us. They just raise taxes. I wish I could do that to my employer. “My salary isn’t paying the bills, so I’ll take a $10,000 raise for now.”

        Lets see… silicon valley, Napa valley, and Hollywood. Yeah, not enough tax dollars there to keep California solvent. What a disgrace.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Even more surprising is that the LA police chief, who was the one who suggested the changes in the law to Sen. de Leon, was at the meeting yesterday to testify further…and it still died!

      While this IS great news, politicians are incapable of learning from their mistakes. So, this could come up again in the next session or some other time. We must remain vigilant and beat back the stupidity whenever it pops up. Like “whack-a-mole” :-)

      Edith

    • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

      Crap…I was so looking forward to purchasing that hot pink HW97 ;-)

    • Matt61 Says:

      Great job Edith. I like to think that the PA petition with its argumentation (and maybe even my signature) helped to stop this moron bill. It’s said that the alien race of Paladorians would just call on as many members as needed to solve a particular problem and on only two historic occasions had to telepathically combine all of its billions of cells to deal with emergencies that threatened the entire race. In our case, I bet that would be gun control laws like this.

      Matt61

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        I just heard that the bill is dead now but may be brought up again in August. I suspect that they’re waiting for the uproar to die down. The vote was 5-2. That’s pretty good. I don’t think the industry and shooters will get tired of petitioning and objecting to this bill. Once people have moved on to other things, this bill may pass. Pyramyd Air will ride this thing like a monkey on a circus pony! They plan to see it through to the end. Right now the bill is akin to a zombie. We’d like to see it completely dead.

        The California Paintball Safety Coalition not only managed to get paintball guns taken off the bill, but they’re actually supporting the bill and WANT it to become law.

        Edith

    • Victor Says:

      Edith,

      The statement, “California already requires toy guns to be brightly colored.”, and the ruling that air-guns should NOT be colored like toys, are logically consistent with the idea that air-guns are NOT toys. Again, since air-guns can be lethal, they should be treated as such, and NOT made to look like toys. It would be dangerous for law-enforcement if air-guns were made to look like toys. That would, in effect, be disarming. I hope that this point was also made by those who opposed the bill.

      Victor

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        Victor,

        Yes, that was one of the important points. The other important point is that cops in a life-and-death situation will NEVER stand down just because a gun is brightly colored. In fact, it isn’t the gun that makes the cop shoot.

        The LA Police Commission, which is seriously considering adopting a similar bill regardless of what happens to SB798, had a hearing on their bill about a week ago. There, a local man spoke before the commission about the uselessness of brightly colored guns. He said any furtive movement by a suspect will cause a cop to shoot. The number of people who’ve been shot by cops because they pulled a cell phone out of their back pocket or held up a cell phone in their hand while the cop was in their face by far exceeded the ONE person who was shot because he had an airsoft gun & wouldn’t put it down.

        When you’re in a potential deadly situation, any move by a suspect can be a threat, and cops react to the potential of the threat…not the reality of the threat.

        Brightly colored guns won’t do diddly. Only educating the shooter will do it.

        Edith

        • Victor Says:

          Yes, “…not the reality of the threat”. I recall an Afro-American actor who was shot and killed by cops, blow-drying his hair in his own bathroom, when they were given the wrong address for a drug raid. He didn’t have much in the way of options, in terms of how he reacted, to someone suddenly intruding upon him with a blow-dryer in his hand. – It had a handle. Maybe all blow-dryers should be made bright green, and oversized?

          • Wulfraed Says:

            Ah, but then what about the similar in shape/size heat gun used for stripping paint and drying adhesives? One that’s been in use could probably cause blindness if passed across the eyes from a few inches away… Should they be made matte black to advise police “dangerous weapon”

            Anyway — I could swear some pistol maker had released a series of alloy framed models around 1990 or so anodized in various pink, blue, and red colors… How do you get the owners to ship them off to be refinished in black so they don’t get confused for “toys”.

  • Chuck Says:

    Good save with those JSB’s. There couldn’t be a better example of how different pellets produce different results. I wonder how many shooters keep their guns in the closet because “they don’t shoot worth a hoot” when those guns are begging to be shot with the right pellet?

    • kevin Says:

      ….and the hold that pellet gun likes best.

      kevin

    • twotalon Says:

      “Good” pellets come and go in a fleeting moment. Or at least until the tin gets empty.
      Pellets that are supposed to be the same are NOT from batch to batch.
      So let’s see….
      This kind of pellet from this batch is good in this rifle but not in this other one.
      Next batch of the “same” pellet……..
      This kind of pellet from this different batch sucks in this rifle now, but is now good in this other rifle.

      OR….
      This kind of pellet is now good in BOTH rifles.

      OR…
      This kind of pellet now sucks in BOTH rifles.

      twotalon

  • Slinging Lead Says:

    BB

    Please make good on your sacred pact to post the serial numbers of new guns you are testing that will be available at Pyramyd Air when you are finished. My opinion is that these rifles (especially like yesterday’s example) will be highly sought after. The BSA Polaris was another good example. Mainly, buyers will be getting a known entity.

    Also, you are far too humble to admit it, but “as used and tested by Tom Gaylord” in a ‘for sale’ ad would garner much extra $$$ if a seller were foolish enough to part with the gun.

    Just a suggestion.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      SL,

      You know, I thought of that, too. Like maybe I could sign the box or something. Pyramyd Air would only have to pay me $10 and they could charge an extra $30 for the gun. ;)

      Yeah! Sure.

      On the serial number thing I guess I dropped the ball somewhere. I’ll try to recover as we go forward. I tell Mac, too.

      B.B.

  • Gene Says:

    Dear Uncle BB and Aunt Edith,

    As you know my birthday is coming up and to save y’all some shopping time, I found what I want this year.

    http://www.christies.com/features/singing-bird-pistols-en-1422-3.aspx

    Thanks,

    Gene

    ( lol, what an amazing piece of art.)

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Gene,

      I knew intuitively that you wanted these. They were put up for auction on May 30, 2011. Unfortunately, I was out-bid. So sorry to disappoint you. I hope you’ll accept this as a consolation gift, as it is also unusual:

      http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Air_Venturi_Fly_Shooter/2946

      Happy birthday :-)

      Edith

      • Gene Says:

        bwhahaahhaahhaahah.

        Thanks Aunt Edith.

        (lol)

        • Slinging Lead Says:

          Gene

          I saw a pair just like this at the last gun show I attended. He wanted 150 bucks for the pair, but he wasn’t wearing white gloves when he demonstrated them, so I passed.

    • J-F Says:

      These are very nice, I wish I could afford it (it would mean I could afford pretty much everything I want).
      How about we split the cost and keep a pistol each? Only between 1.25 – 2.5 million… peanuts.

      J-F

  • wprejs Says:

    I graduated today maybe I can ask for some money for my present ;) well we’ll see

  • Matt61 Says:

    Well, this rifle snatched victory from defeat I would say. Until then, I was thinking that the rifle was doing about how I was expecting a low-budget rifle to perform. Looking back I would say that I’m not surprised that the JSB Exacts did well except for their weight. But considering the long, agonizing pilgrimage to find the right pellet, it does make me wonder if it is worth it. Maybe we should start keeping track of how pellet sensitive rifles are as opposed to just hold-sensitive. I think that quality would be quite valuable, especially to the new shooter who isn’t geared up to test a ton of exotic mail order pellets.

    BG_Farmer and PeteZ, right you are. With the springer, it is have gun will travel. BG_Farmer, are you still absorbed with your blackpowder shooting? I am impressed. That is like handloading with every single shot.

    Matt61

    • duskwight Says:

      Matt,

      I envy you a bit, because you have the solution in your hands, but for me right now it’s rather “unite” than “divide” problem :)

      duskwight

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Matt,
      Still absorbed; maybe a little more. I like it because the matches are offhand and open sights are the only ones allowed. The history around them is pretty exciting as well. I made the mistake of building a flintlock, which is even more fun:
      https://picasaweb.google.com/BGFarmer0/GBI_rb?authkey=Gv1sRgCPyUsb7406GwxQE&feat=directlink
      That one is based on iron mounted SW Virginia or E. Tennessee rifles around 1800, and aside from shaped stock (carved to gun shape roughly, but not inlet), lock (modified), barrel (breeched by me), triggers (modified), a ramrod tip, some screws, and one spring, everything else on it is made by me out of sheet and bar stock and fit and finished as close as I could figure to authentic fashion for that period/region. It actually works and shoots as well or better than my percussion.

      So, first you build the rifle, then you work out a load for it :). No more whining about difficulties of reloading cartridges :) !

      • GenghisJan Says:

        BG_Farmer,

        Your new rifle is gorgeous! How long do you reckon it took you? Thanks for sharing.

        -Jan

        • BG_Farmer Says:

          Jan,
          Thanks. Probably about 6 months, more due to problems with arthritis slowing me down than anything else — have to pace myself; making tiny stuff like the sights really is a pain :).

    • Chuck Says:

      Matt,
      Your thinking is entirely wrong. We should be buying rifles that shoot the mail order pellets we own, not buying pellets to shoot in the rifle we own.

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Matt,
      Still absorbed; maybe a little more. I like it because the matches are offhand and open sights are the only ones allowed. The history around them is pretty exciting as well. I made the mistake of building a flintlock, which is even more fun:
      https://picasaweb.google.com/BGFarmer0/GBI_rb?authkey=Gv1sRgCPyUsb7406GwxQE&feat=directlink
      That one is based on iron mounted SW Virginia or E. Tennessee rifles around 1800, and aside from shaped stock (carved to gun shape roughly, but not inlet), lock (modified), barrel (breeched by me), triggers (modified), a ramrod tip, some screws, and one spring, everything else on it is made by me out of sheet and bar stock and fit and finished as close as I could figure to authentic fashion for that period/region. It actually works and shoots as well as or better than my percussion.

      So, first you build the rifle, then you work out a load for it :). No more whining about difficulties of reloading cartridges :) !

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Matt,
      First you can build the rifle, then you figure out the load, then shoot offhand, outside with primitive sights — what’s not to like! I wish there were some (more?) air rifle competitions were under the same conditions, but most of us seem to like sitting down behind a scope.

      I had a description and link to pictures of my flintlock project in a previous post, but WordPress ate it twice — hope I haven’t been blacklisted; probably just didn’t like my link. We’ll see if this one makes it.

      • Slinging Lead Says:

        BG

        What’s not to like indeed. I knew you could work wood, but…. I’m speechless.

        You are a true craftsman. You and Derrick and Frank B and BB with your infernal humbleness. It’s infuriating! ;-)

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,
    Well, apparently the barrel can be accurate. Proper pellet selection is almost typical these days. That’s why your reviews are so valuable.

    It seems that the trigger is the weak link with this gun. Can this trigger be upgraded (i.e., GRT III)?
    Victor

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Victor,

      I don’t know if there is a GRT trigger for the Optimus yet, but if there isn’t, the guy who designs them is pretty quick on the trigger, to make a pun.

      B.B.

      • Victor Says:

        B.B.,
        LOL. You’re punny.
        BTW, I appreciated your brief on choked barrels as they pertain to air guns. With all the insider info, and personal insights from so many years of experience, I suggest that you write an Airgun Encyclopedia. I can’t imagine anyone more qualified than you. Sure, there are a few individuals who are supremely expert on some particular type of gun, or some specific area, but not general enough.
        Victor

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,
    BTW, I think it was great that the Optimus was paired with such an inexpensive scope, and yet demonstrated such fantastic accuracy with the right pellet. Should a trigger replacement exist, or become available, I’d say that this gun is a diamond in the rough and worthy of many a short list for those on a budget.
    Victor

  • wprejs Says:

    So guys any opinions on the diana 48?

    • Toby T. Says:

      wprejs, I have a the .22 caliber version of the Model 48. I love it, great gun. Powerful, accurate and well built.

  • Edith Gaylord Says:

    I just got a call from Larry Behling, the organizer of the Baldwinsville (NY) airgun show. He said that Richard Schmidt, a well-known NY-based airgun collector and a mainstay of every airgun show, has died.

    Richard had a heart attack & stroke in April. He was in the hospital for a while but had been out and going to rehab. Larry said he spoke to him just yesterday and things were looking good.

    Richard knew a lot about vintage guns and always came to every show with treasures and surprises. The most vivid memory I have was at a Roanoke airgun show, where Richard showed a very rare air rifle to some potential buyers. He stood in the aisles with the men and they simply started offering money for the gun…and each out-bid the other. It was a great day for Richard, and nothing could wipe the smile off his face :-)

    His wife, Lorna, always accompanied him to shows. After a few years, his children and grandchildren would join them.

    Richard told me that on the way to every show, he would take back roads and purposely go through small towns looking for junk stores and antique stores to see if he could find vintage airguns. This worked very well for him, as he never failed to come to a show without new treasures. One year, he proudly announced that a rare cast iron Daisy air rifle he had for sale came from an antique store right there in the same town the airgun show was held. He really knew how to locate the guns every collector dreams of finding.

    Larry told me that Richard was about 73 or 74. While he had a shock of white hair, his energy and enthusiasm belied his age. Richard will be missed.

    If Richard’s passing has not already been announced on the yellow & vintage airgun forums, I’d appreciate it if one of our blog readers would do so.

    Edith

  • Nathan Says:

    Hi, I’m new to the blog. Well, I’ve been reading it for a long time, and I think it’s great, but I’ve never posted. Anyways, I own the sub 500 fps Canadian version of the Quest. It was working fine until I’d had it about 7-8 months. In one weekend i shot it roughly 2000 pellets, and that’s when the firing behaviour started getting really rough. I had never noticed any recoil, and all of the sudden it became atrocious. Also, if you move it back and forth, you can hear the spring moving. Then the velocities started getting really crazy. One ten shot string had an extreme spread of almost 400 fps! It’s mellowed out a little bit lately, but the recoil makes it practically unshootable. It’s already ruined one of my scopes, even though it is rated for airguns. So, I took it apart to check things out. The spring looks like it has been compressed to the point where it is too short, which explains a whole lot. Also, the velocity has dropped to only 270 fps with 8 grain pellets. I was wondering if anybody knows what would help, and what the length of the mainspring is in case i need a new one. BUT it MUST be for the Quest 500, because I do not want to mess around with the RCMP. Anyways, any and all help will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Nathan

    • J-F Says:

      Sorry to be late on this Nathan, hope you catch this.
      Just go on the Canadian Airgun Forum and look for Airgun Eric, he’s in Canada and has all the parts you need for Crosman Canadian guns.

      J-F

      • Nathan Says:

        Thanks J-F. I do go on that forum a lot, and I’m going to buy a gun from their store, but I’ve never really seen Eric on there, but I will definitely look for him.

        Thanks again,
        Nathan

    • Vince Says:

      Nathan, what’s the length of that spring? If it’s anywhere around 9″, that’s about normal. In any event, the spring is not your problem.

      Even if the spring did scrunch down that much, that’s NOT going to make your recoil worse. It will make it milder, and (incidentally) make it easier to cock. It will lower your velocity, but NOT give you that kind of wild spread. To me it sounds like you are loosing compression in the compression chamber, probably through a piston seal that is going bad (for whatever reason).

      When the piston slams home after you pull the trigger, it’s not supposed to bang into the end of the cylinder at full speed. Its motion is supposed to be mostly arrested by the trapped cushion of air that eventually kicks the pellet out of the barrel. If the main seal is going bad you won’t have that cushion, and it slams home metal-on-metal. THAT can give you excessive recoil and kill scopes.

      One last thing, I really don’t think you are hearing the spring rattle around. I suspect that’s the cocking link you are hearing.

  • Laurens Says:

    I’m very new in airsoftshooting, but I just bought this gun and i’m very happy about it. I did buy it without scope though, but I would like to have a scope on it. Will only Crosman-scopes fit on this gun? How does the scope-mounting work? Is there like a “standard” scope size for rifles? Totally new in this, so all help is appreciated!

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Laurens,

      I answered your question at the other placed you asked it. You only need to ask one time on this blog.

      B.B.

  • Corey Says:

    Hey there, firstly, very impressed with this as I own the Optimus and you have informed me a lot of things I didn’t even know. Secondly, I live in Ontario and our pellet rifles will not come with a greater maximum FPS of 495 (or 151 MPS). Are they changing something internally on every pellet rifle that gets shipped to Ontario? Trying to find a way to calibrate the rifle at the original 1200 FPS muzzle velocity or 950 FPS with good velocity pellets. There HAS to be a way… Hopefully somebody knows exactly what i mean or they’ve had to change a spring or something themselves… Thanks so much.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Corey,

      Lowering the power to the Canadian legal limit is very easy. All that has to be done is to shorten the piston stroke. Then, less air gets compressed and so on.

      It is also very difficult to soup up a rifle that has a shortened stroke, because many parts need to be changed. It isn’t a matter of changing rhe mainspring, like many people think.

      B.B.

      • Corey Says:

        Thanks for the speedy reply! That is also bad news for me by the sounds of it. I can not just as easily reverse what is done to the piston stroke without “souping” it up, just a matter of returning to original velocity? So parts are taken out, or changed internally to a degree of difficulty that would prove a challenge to a normal person, or would I have to purchase extra parts.. ? thanks again,

        Corey

        • J-F Says:

          Corey if you have your PAL (possession aquisition license) you can get the full powered version in Canada no problem, if you don’t but still wish to get the low powered rifle now and the full powered one once you get your rifle it would be easier and probably less costly to sell the low powered one and buying the high powered one.
          If you wish to buy the 500fps one and illegally make it full power I can’t help you.

          For more info on Canadian only laws and guns you could also visit the canadian airgun forum : http://www.airgunforum.ca

          I’m Canada too and a total airgunaholic and couldn’t pass a day without visiting both places (here and the CAF).

          J-F

          • corey Says:

            Thanks J-F, just curious as to the options available considering if I were too pay hundreds of dollars to acquire my PAL or FAC licensing, then I would most definetely start a new collection of firearms. needless to say I woud still have loads of fun with my collection of assorted air/ pellet/ bb guns. however with that being said, hypothetically speaking, if I were too stretch the main spring a little bit and install the spring back in, how much FPS (estimated of course) extra velocity would that give the optimus rifle? (that keep in mind comes more then double the muzzle velocity a few hours drive from me, yet is totally illegal for people here to possess unless it’s “fully registered”) :s.. thanks,

            corey

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              Corey,

              You have landed on the one place on the internet where people aren’t going to lie to you.

              First, replacing the mainspring will not change the power of your 500 f.p.s. rifle at all. That’s why it has the short stroke I mentioned in my first response — so owners cannot break the law by modifying their rifles easily.

              Second, it is virtually impossible to stretch a mainspring from one of these rifles and maintain the original power of the spring. These springs are heat-treated to hold their strength for many shots and stretching is simply not a practical option. So by stretching the spring, assuming you could do it, which I don’t think you can, you would be reducing the power somewhat.

              Third, as for the parts you would need to change, they would include a new piston and cocking link. The cocking slot in the stock might also have to be changed to fit the greater length of the cocking stroke, as the cocking link will come down farther and the barrel will come back farther on the cocking stroke.

              To change one of these Canadian-strength rifles over to an unlimited power design would be more trouble than it is worth.

              B.B.

            • J-F Says:

              First of all getting your PAL shouldn’t cost you “hundreds of dollars”.
              I’m not sure extending the spring would get you more power, you’re exceeding my limited knowledge of airgun modification. My tought would be that extending the spring would give more recoil because it would slam with maybe a little more force but the volume of air wouldn’t change so it wouldn’t make a big difference. Also keep in mind that the advertised 1000+ fps is obtained using very lightweight pellets that won’t have much accuracy, the rifle as tested with “normal” pellets were between 750 and 900 fps depending on the weight. Also keep in mind that the more velocity a springer is going to have the harder it’s going to be to squeeze the accuracy out of it.

              J-F

            • J-F Says:

              This is a good read about high velocity airguns:
              http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/2011/08/why-you-dont-want-to-break-the-sound-barrier/
              and you could also come to the daily blog as this one is a bit old and not much people monitor the older blogs:
              http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/
              the blogs are published every weekday and off topic questions are always welcomed.

              J-F

  • Corey Says:

    Thanks for your help guys, i appreciate all the replys. I intend on just buying a pellet rifle with the original muzzle velocity as it seems like a lot of work to start messing with the Piston, Cocking link, and possibly the cocking slot. Thanks for the news on the spring, I never new they were heat treated so it makes sense that some powerplant would be lost. I am, however, going to have some fun with this optimus and see what I can custom modify/ change on it. It has lots of potential. And to J-F the airgun forum looks great ive been checkin it out. thanks!

    Corey

  • nate Says:

    on the accuracy test where you aiming for the bulls eye because on other reviews it says that the optimus is much more accurate than your testing.

    • chuck Says:

      nate,
      BB hardly ever aims to hit the bullseye. What you need to look at is the size of the groups and not the location relative to the bull. He sets the sights so that the group hits away from the bull so that he doesn’t wipe it out. If he would wipe it out then there would not be anything left to aim at. It is the size of the group that is important because that demonstrates the accuracy of the pellets. Once you find the pellet that creates the smallest group then you can always adjust the sights to bring it over the bull.
      -Chuck

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Nate,

      Mac did this test, but he shoots the same way I do and most other gun writers. We use the bull as an aim point, but we adjust the sights to not hirt the bull because it can destroy your aim point if you use a scope. So the groups are what we look for and not where they land.

      B.B.

  • chuck Says:

    nate,
    BB hardly ever aims to hit the bullseye. What you need to look at is the size of the groups and not the location relative to the bull. He sets the sights so that the group hits away from the bull so that he doesn’t wipe it out. If he would wipe it out then there would not be anything left to aim at. It is the size of the group that is important because that demonstrates the accuracy of the pellets. Once you find the pellet that creates the smallest group then you can always adjust the sights to bring it over the bull.
    -Chuck

  • Nateowami Says:

    Thanks SO much. I was out today trying to sight in my Optimus. I feel better that the problem isn’t just me. Frustration? Yes! Relief that there’s a better pellet? Yes!

  • Nateowami Says:

    I tried to sight in my Optimus to day and was annoyed by grouping. I’m glad to see it’s not just my problem. Thanks so for finding the best pellet!

Leave a Reply


2 + = 9

NEW: Dan Wesson pellet revolvers!
Dan Wesson pellet revolvers

You wanted Dan Wesson revolvers that could shoot pellets, so we ordered them. Six-shot pellet shooters that so closely copy the firearm, you'll be stunned by the realism. An excellent way to hone trigger control and maintain accuracy with your firearm -- without range fees, expensive ammo or leaving your house. Pre-order yours now. Get it. Shoot it. Love it!

Ka-BOOM!
Airburst MegaBoom reactive targets

Airburst MegaBoom bases transform ordinary plastic soda & water bottles into booming targets that deliver up to 150 decibels when punctured. Get the base and charge your own plastic bottles or get the MegaBoom bottles filled with BoomDust that mists like smoke when the bottle is punctured. Low-pressure air pump and blast guard accessories also available. A real blast!

Archives