Tech Force TF89 Contender breakbarrel: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Tech Force Contender TF89 is a large, powerful breakbarrel spring rifle.

This report is a poignant one for me, because I also tested one of the first TF89 Contenders that came to this country. That was for the Compasseco website back in 2003, and I still remember that rifle. I said that the Chinese were finally nipping at the heels of Weihrauch, and that the Beeman R1 had reason to be concerned.

It’s now eight years later and the .177-caliber TF89 Contender I am looking at today (serial number 08638455) isn’t quite the same gun I saw in 2003. For starters, when I took this gun from the box, it was covered in thickened oil that had to be removed. I haven’t seen that in many years. A quick spritz of Ballistol over everything, followed by a thorough wipedown with a cotton rag removed the old oil and got the rifle to a clean, dry state; but it was something I haven’t had to do in a long time.

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Sam Yang Dragon Claw .50 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


The Dragon Claw from Sam Yang is a .50 caliber big bore air rifle.

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of Sam Yang’s Big Bore .50-caliber Dragon Claw single-shot air rifle. Thanks for being so patient on this report. It took three separate trips to the range to collect the data for what I’ll tell you today, and the report will not end here. This rifle has some more secrets to reveal, although I now know a lot more about it than when I started.

Break-in helps
For starters, this airgun needs some break-in time, so plan on it. When I started this test, the rifle was very stiff and hard to cock, but now it has smoothed up considerably. The hammer spring is still very stout, so cocking the rifle isn’t that easy; but at least the hammer comes back smoothly now. In the beginning, it was actually difficult to stop the cocking mechanism at low power because the hammer required such a yank to retract. Well, that’s behind us now; and the rifle can easily be cocked for low power or high power. Plan on about a hundred shots for a break-in.

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Why don’t they design pellets to go supersonic?

by B.B. Pelletier

Whenever I write about the fundamentals of shooting, it usually starts a good discussion. The CB cap vs pellet rifle article spawned an article about why we like to keep airgun velocities under the transonic/supersonic level for the best accuracy, and THAT, in turn, evoked this thoughtful question on the Pyramyd Air facebook page last week:

“This may be a dumb question — but, since the issues revolves around the ‘badminton birdy’ design of our current air rifle pellets. Has there been any attempts to change the design to provide stable flight, and maintain more energy, at faster speeds? Just curious….”

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Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

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

Here’s what Tyler says about his submission: Me (FR3AK) from the well-known team of Valhalla ODA (Operational Detachment Airsoft) at the annual Vietnam Patrol game at the CDWC field.

Part 1
Part 2

Let’s look at the accuracy of CB caps for the first time. This is a large test that isn’t even halfway completed at this point, so there’s still quite a lot to learn; and from my perspective, there has already been a lot of learning. Starting today, much of what I thought I knew for sure about CB caps is going away.

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SIG Sauer P226 X5 BB pistol: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


The SIG Sauer P226 X-5 Open combo BB pistol comes as an adjustable-sight version for just a few dollars more than the same gun with fixed sights.

This is an extended report to cover the use of 4.4mm lead balls in the SIG Sauer P225 X5 Open combo pistol. I don’t know if you caught it, but while writing Part 3 we discovered that this pistol is also called the Open model here in the U.S., as it is elsewhere in the world. That has been corrected on the website and we will now refer to this model as the Open combo. It’s also called the X-FIVE and not X-5 or X5. However, that would involve correcting a whole bunch of links, and we’ve opted to not make those changes at this time.

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.22-caliber Browning Gold air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

With the assistance of Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2


Browning’s Gold breakbarrel is a beautiful new spring-piston rifle.

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the Browning Gold air rifle. I think many of us have been eagerly awaiting this report, so we can evaluate this rifle in terms of a future buy.

Mac did the testing for me because the Gold cocks with a little more effort than I want to handle at this time. The cocking effort is still about 45 lbs., although you can tell that the action is breaking in and getting smoother as it does. The barrel lock, for example, is now very smooth and requires just a light touch to open. I’d hoped that both the cocking effort and the trigger would both lighten up as well, but so far that hasn’t happened.

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Why you DON’T want to break the sound barrier

by B.B. Pelletier

This report has been done in bits and pieces many times over the years, but I’m putting it together today because of a surge of new airgunners coming online. Many of them are older firearm shooters, but many others are younger shooters with no real background in the shooting sports. We’re seeing an upturn of fundamental questions in our social networks and through customer service representatives that tell us that this topic needs to be emphasized once again.

What’s wrong with the sound barrier?
The sound barrier is a lot more familiar to people of my generation, because it was being talked about and always in the news when I was a youngster in the 1950s. Young folks don’t think much about it these days because supersonic flight is a foregone conclusion; but back in the 1940s, it hadn’t yet been achieved by a manned aircraft in level flight. A couple pilots inadvertently broke the barrier in dives from high altitude during World War II when they were testing certain fighter aircraft, and one of them was Cass S. Hough, the grandson of the founder of Daisy and later a president of the firm himself. At the time, he was trying to solve a control surface problem with the twin-engined P38 Lightning fighter, so he took one to over 40,000 feet, nosed it over into a steep dive and might have become the first man to ever break the barrier in an airplane. I say “might” because almost every air force of that period has a similar story. There’s a plaque in England that commemorates that flight in 1943, but I’m sure there must be other plaques in other countries, as well.

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