Tech Force TF89 Contender breakbarrel: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we start, Edith has some announcements about some new promotions at Pyramyd Air.

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Lastly, prices on some Umarex guns have dropped. An opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping and save some money, or maybe an excuse to buy something new for yourself. Whatever you decide, my lips are sealed.

Now, on to today’s blog.

Part 1
Part 2


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

Today is accuracy day for the TF 89 Contender test. I expected the test of this rifle to be a walk in the park based on my previous experience with it, but it wasn’t. In fact, I’m going to do a part 4 with additional accuracy testing, because I think the rifle has more to offer than I saw during this test.

What do we know about the TF89? Well, it’s a very powerful .177 spring rifle, and that means there’s a lot to be overcome. The fact that it’s a breakbarrel means it probably requires a very sensitive hold. Apparently it does, and I haven’t quite found it yet.

Since it’s very powerful and also in .177 caliber, most pellets will go too fast for the best accuracy. I’ll have to shoot heavier pellets to get the velocity down below the transonic region.

I knew going into the test that the trigger wasn’t the best — and it isn’t — but you can adapt to it. The second-stage pull is long and creepy, but not so much that it affects accuracy.

Before the test, I reread Part 2 to see how fast the rifle shoots. It’s a real scorcher! I started with Beeman Kodiak pellets, and in the end they turned out to have the greatest potential of all the seven pellet types I tried. Remember that I’m shooting 10-shot groups, and I shot four of them with Kodiaks, alone; so this test went through a lot of pellets and targets.

The test was at 25 yards. The rifle was rested, and I tried several variations of the artillery hold, as well as resting the rifle directly on the bag and also holding the rifle firmly. The best hold, which was confirmed several times, was resting the stock on the flat of my palm as it touched the triggerguard. I shifted the open palm forward on the stock, but all that did was open the groups and move the point of impact.

The setup
I scoped the rifle with a Leapers 3-9x50AO scope with a red/green illuminated reticle and mil-dots. I like the clarity of this scope for the price and also the fine reticle wires that don’t obliterate too much of the target. Though I shot this test at 25 yards, I would use this scope out to 100 yards with few reservations.

I mounted the scope in BKL 2-piece high rings that gave more than enough clearance for the large objective bell over the spring tube. I might have gotten by with BKL medium-height rings of the same configuration, but it seemed too close to call. Actually, because the TF89 comes with a scope stop on the spring tube, I didn’t need to use BKL ring; but since I switch around scopes so often, I keep this one in those rings in case the extra clamping power is needed.

The test
As I said, the first group was shot with Beeman Kodiaks. They acted like they wanted to group well, but there was something I wasn’t doing quite right. A second group with the same pellet gave similar results. Then I started experimenting.


Ten Beeman Kodiak pellets made this group at 25 yards, which measures 0.797 inches between centers. This first group of Kodiaks gave me hope that the rifle can shoot.

The other pellets I tried were these:

Beeman Trophy
The Beeman Trophy pellet is no longer available, but it’s the same as the H&N Field Target Trophy. At 8.4 grains, this dome goes too fast for accuracy, which is why it shot groups larger than one inch at 25 yards.

Beeman Kodiak Hollowpoint
The Beeman Kodiak Hollowpoint pellets fit the breech tighter than other pellets. I hoped that would make a positive difference, but it didn’t seem to. However, even though the group was over one inch, it was while I was using a hold that turned out not to be optimum. In the next test, I’ll try this pellet again.


Ten Crosman Premier heavy pellets made this 0.906-inch group. It looks too open, but it’s also round enough to make me want to try this pellet again.

Crosman Premier heavy
The 10.5-grain Crosman Premier pellet is normally not used in a spring gun, due to the weight, but I tried it this time, just to see what it might do. The group was larger, but round enough to make me want to try this pellet again.

Crosman Premier lite
As fast as the TF 89 shoots, I figured there was no chance for accuracy with the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet, but since I was experimenting, I gave it a try anyway. As suspected, it was no dice. The pellets were all over the place. But I had to try.

JSB Exact 10.2-grain domes
Sometimes, when the Beeman Kodiak does well in a rifle, it also shoots the JSB Exact 10.2-grain dome pellet. Not this time, though. I didn’t even finish the 10-shot group.

Eun Jin heavies
Just to say I did, I also tried the Eun Jin 16.1-grain dome. Once again, it was no dice, as the 10-shot group measured over an inch at 25 yards.

I returned to the Beeman Kodiaks, thinking that, by this time, I surely was in the groove with this rifle. But my last group wasn’t as good as my first, which is an indication that I’m getting tired. After shooting more than 100 shots on a rifle that cocks with 42 lbs. of effort I would say I had cause to be a little tired at this point.

The final group was large, but it also tantalized me with six shots that went into a very tight sub-group measuring 0.413 inches between centers. That’s what convinced me that this rifle wants to shoot, but I haven’t quite got it together, yet. I’ll do another accuracy test after cleaning the barrel with J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound and giving the rifle a once-over checkup to see if I’ve left any stone unturned. It seems only fair in light of the evidence.


That six or even seven-shot cluster is too tantalizing to ignore. Ten final Beeman Kodiak pellets at 25 yards. I’ll be back to test this rifle, again.

63 thoughts on “Tech Force TF89 Contender breakbarrel: Part 3

  1. B.B.

    O.K…..close. but no cigar?
    You mentioned that the Kodiak HP fit tighter than the others. How were the pellets fitting? I seem to have trouble with pellets that don’t have just the right feel when seating them. My springers tend to like a “just snug” fit that will not damage the skirt when fully seating them with my finger nail. Never a loose fit or a fit so tight that the pellet will be damaged. Bore dimensions (variations) at different points may have a lot to do with this.
    It does get tricky though…
    Tried some AA pellets of two different sizes that had the same feel, but one shot a lot better than the other. Also tried weight sorted H&N FTT (usual R9 and 97K food) that showed noticeable average velocity difference between .1gr weight difference increments in the R9.

    I also run a few tight fitting pellets through a new rifle with a cleaning rod to check out how the bore feels. Rough or inconsistent feeling barrels do not seem to have the same potential for accuracy that a really nice feeling bore does.

    twotalon


  2. I think that these rifles have loads of potential, which a good tuner like Vince Brandolini, Tom from Buzzard Bluff or Mike Melick can easily eke out. I would imagine they are certainly a challenge to shoot accurately straight outta da box. My TF99 was a very pleasant surprise.



    • Yes, I too believe in the phenomenon of the tuneable guns–low-priced guns (because of quality control) which improve dramatically with tuning. Charlie da Tuna considered the B30 the single best deal in airgunning because of what he could do with it. I can see his point after my experience with mine.

      Matt61


  3. BB,

    I tried every type of pellet that I had to get good groups with my TF-89. I was starting to think that it would never be a shooter, then I got some Beeman Silver Arrows. I’m not a fan of pointed pellets, so I was not very hopeful. At 11.57 gr. it seemed to slow it down enough and gave the best groups of anything else I had in my arsenal. My guess is that because it’s a long pellet, it engages the bore better than the others that I tried, but that’s just my guess. That’s all that I use for this gun. Mine actually shot the JSB Exacts pretty well, whereas yours did not, so your mileage may vary with these as well.

    WildMike


    • WildMike,

      Okay, if I have Silver Arrows in .177 I will try them. Until now they have been sinker larvae, because they don’t shoot in any other gun.

      Thanks for the tip.

      B.B.


  4. Everyone,

    An amusing aside. Did you notice the date on the dime used for comparison? It’s a pre ’65, which means it is a silver dime. Straight from the current change coinstream.

    B.B.




        • Worth about $2.50 isn’t it?

          Rare to find them but people are digging up Grandpa’s jar of coins out of the sock drawer these days and some silver is coming out.


          • Based on today’s NYC spot price, the silver content of the dime alone is worth $2.31 (silver prices have fallen 25% from last month (the peak in April was $49/oz making the dime $3.54).

            Of course, that’s probably retail — you’d need a LOT of them to get a smelter to pay 75% of that to take them off your hands…


  5. B.B.,

    Forgive me. I need to suggest a correction.

    The Beeman Trophy pellets were made by H & N for Beeman. As far as I know the Beeman Trophy pellets didn’t and don’t have an equivalent pellet made by H & N (unfortunately). I’m almost out of Beeman Trophy pellets. They’re domed, weigh 7.88 gr and are longish in shape similar to kodiaks.

    The Beeman Field Target Specials (FTS) are also sold as H & N Field Target Trophy (FTT). These pellets are heavier than the Beeman Trophy at 8.44 gr and are shorter.

    kevin



    • The Trophy pellet is also sold under the Bisley brand as the Long Range Gold. They are still sold in England and Europe but I don’t think anyone imports them right now.

      I like the Trophys also – they outshoot Premiers in a couple of my guns.

      Paul


      • Paul,

        I don’t have any Bisley Long Range Gold pellets to be able to compare them to the old Beeman Trophy pellets.

        The specs are different though. Beeman Trophy pellets are 7.88 gr, skirt diameter is .185/4.699mm and length is .228/5.7912mm whereas the Bisley Long Range Gold pellets are 7.7gr, skirt diameter is 4.54 and length is 5.80mm.

        http://www.photosbykev.com/wordpress/2009/01/20/air-rifle-pellet-database/

        http://www.airgunhome.com/pages/pelletspecs.html

        I would sure like to find an exact replacement for the Beeman Trophy pellet. I know that H & N made the Beeman Trophy pellets for Beeman. Does H & N also make the Bisley pellets?

        kevin


        • Kevin,

          H&N does indeed make all of the Bisley brand pellets. Bisley Magnum = Kodiak, Premier = Silver Arrow, Practice = H&N Sport wadcutter, and Pest Control = Crow Magnum.

          I have both the LRG’s and Trophies and they are identical apart from the label on the tin. There is some lot-to-lot variation and I think that is what accounts for the small differences on the web pages.

          If you like I can send you some samples in both .177 and .22.

          Paul


          • Paul,

            That’s a very kind offer. I would be happy to pay shipping to have a few to test and compare. If they’re a replacement for the Beeman Trophy pellet I’d be forever indebted to you. My email is klentz4 “AT” comcast.net.

            Thanks again.

            kevin


  6. Those 10 shot groups are equivalent to some of my best 5 shot groups at 25 yards, so the performance isn’t terrible. I’m sure that a tune would set this gun up properly.

    Archers, yes, I’m all for dropping the bow overhead and pushing out with the lead arm to draw it although I don’t think I could do it as easily as you with an 80 lb. bow. But I don’t believe you guys would be able to do this with the 180lb. bows of the English longbowmen. What was their secret method of “throwing their body into the bow”? The various experiments have to do with stepping forward and kind of rolling the body around. It’s hard to describe. Wulfraed, my leather arm guard works wonders for string slap, and I would recommend it.

    Mike, here’s the truth about my M1 which I am starting realize. I wanted the best possible gun I could get for this model that I admire, so I went with the best, a famous gunsmith who promised to personally customize guns to the High Master competitive level. And that’s what I got–a gorgeous M1 that shoots inside 1 MOA. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that to get this performance required tightening all of the tolerances and tuning the gas system for a very specialized load. Remington case, Federal large rifle match primer, 51.5 grains of IMR 4064 and a 150 gr. Sierra Match King bullet. Well, I wanted to learn reloading anyway, and I would have for the sole purpose of shooting this gun at its potential. What I didn’t realize is that all of this fine-tuning somewhat disables the gun for any other kind of load. Thoroughbreds are not much good for anything besides racing. So, the hundreds of rounds of Greek surplus I bought are largely wasted. They jam because they throw off the timing of the bolt and don’t feed properly although I am able to single load them and accuracy is not bad. I thought the problem would be solved by switching to an IMR 4064 load. But I am starting off with a smaller charge–49 grains instead of 51.5 grains–as a novice reloader, and I’m still getting jams. So, it appears that the gun is sensitive to amount as well as type of powder. I don’t have much to tell you about the type of jams. They rounds don’t feed, and they come out with smashed shoulders. I’m still holding out hope that once I get to 51.5 grains that all will be wel, but I see that I have quite the sensitive race gun on my hands.

    So, is it true of guns as it is of knife sharpening, that the more you tune/sharpen them, the less reliable/durable they will be? If this is true, that’s still fine with me regarding the M1 since I’m only going to shoot targets with it–not go to war, but it’s still interesting. I wonder if airgun tuning has any effect on reliability. Probably not with the spring powerplant and/or single shot mode.

    By the way, any theories on why the semi-jacketed hollowpoints jammed my 1911? It must be either the semi-jacketing or the hollowpoints. I’m leaning toward the semi-jacketing because I noticed that the expose lead was scored and even a little deformed in some cases before I shot it.

    On the subject of ear protection, on my range outing, I experimented by filling my ears with folded up shooting patches inside of my massive Midway USA earmuffs. It worked well. The M1 was a dull pop that was hardly noticeable and I could barely hear the .22 rimfire. I’d say this argues for simple old density of medium to stop noise.

    Flobert, I am in awe of your poise and composure. You’re the kind of guy who will get this country through its problems.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      With all the different guns, plus archery, that you’re practicing with, it sounds like you’re preparing for a spot on Top Shot. That would be very cool! :)

      Victor


    • Yes a match-tuned M1 isn’t the same thing Sgt. Saunders could use through mud and battle to nix all those Germans.

      As for feeding on the .45, have you tried polishing the feed ramp etc? I had a Ruger Mk II once that would have the occasional failure to feed jam, I got some very find sandpaper (!) and smoothed up the feed ramp and it never jammed again.


    • Does the 1911 have an original design feed ramp and barrel throat, or a modernized ramp/throat (1911 have always had problems with exposed lead bullets, with the possible exception of full round nose — though I suspect even those might catch on the top of the barrel given the original feed ramp angles). The large diameter hollow points may also catch, though I suspect the manufacturers have worked to design HP ACP rounds that function over 99% with original specs.

      http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/reliability_secrets.htm


      • Wulfread,

        Most modern 1911 reliability problems can be traced to the extractor (BIG CONCERN) and bad magazines.

        Feed ramps are part of the frame and should really be left alone, because once you mess with them, it is impossible to go back.

        B.B.


    • Matt61

      If the rounds won’t feed you may have more problems then your load. I would check with the gunsmith that set the rifle up for you. The overall cartridge length could be a problem in a tight chamber. If that’s OK, you may need small base dies to make reloads work. Especially since every thing is minimum specs on a match gun. Small base dies re-size the case back to original size to insure feeding. RCBS makes them. Regular full length sizing dies don’t do this. I use SB dies in my M-1. It just works and works. But, it’s all GI except for a match front sight and a reworked trigger group. That load sounds good. I have used it only with 50 grains of IMR-4064 in a commercial case or 49 grains in a military case. 51.5 grains is a fairly heavy load. At some point, you may want to try IMR-4895 since it’s burn rate is perfect for the M-1′s gas system with 150 grain bullets. These are just some thoughts base on my experience since I can’t look at your gun and rounds. At the end of the day, you need to talk to your gunsmith.

      Mike


    • Matt61,

      It may also have to do with the shape of your hollowpoints in your .45. You might try Hornady XTP’s. Their jacket extends all the way to the hollow. I don’t have a 1911, but they perform well in my 9×18 Makarov and my Glock 10mm auto, as well as in my Desert Eagle .44.

      /Dave


  7. More info that might help those of you trying to decide on a Challenger:

    I’d heard that 10m competition needed 60 shots so I wanted to see if the Challenger would give that on one charge. I filled the rifle to where the needle was on the line between the green and yellow area. I believe this is 2000psi. The gauge is very small with no incremental marks, just color areas. I shot two groups of 30 shots each, bench rested, at 10m and chronyed them at the same time. I used 7.33gr JSB Exact RS pellets. Here’s the target results. I’m still impressed. Unfortunately the Exact RS pellets are domed but 10m rules require wadcutters, I believe.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/ChallengerResults?authkey=Gv1sRgCKLa-dLW-YebiQE#5660045093658422370

    The chrony results showed an average of 563.71 fps over 60 shots.

    I took two shots before I realized the chrony wasn’t registering. I fixed that and the first shot registered was 416.88, the next shot was 564.86 so the first three shots must have been in the valve lock range because all subsequent shots were in the 560 range (+- 5fps). The highest being 571.17 (first group)the lowest 555.75 (last group). The 6th and last group of 10 shots had an extreme spread of 7.58fps and a std dev of 2.23. I thought all of this was very good.

    The PA web site says the Challenger has max velocity of 530fps. My results showed significantly higher for some reason. The muzzle of the rifle was 14 inches from the first screen and the two screens were level with the rifle barrel.

    After the 62 shots, the rifle gauge was slightly below halfway on the green.


  8. Wulfraed, I want to thank you for referring me to Gryphon Strings. I actually looked at their price list and after looking at everyplace else, I think I may just go over there.

    They’re kind of like Palo Alto Bicycles. Yes, they have all the high-end stuff, and you can certainly find ways to spend a lot of money in there, but they also have the mid-range and the lower-cost stuff covered as well. And, besides guitarists, banjo’ers, etc they cater to fiddlers! One of their “euro” violins may work out well for me.


    • They are a bit sneaky to find since they’re a block off of El Camino Real toward the rail tracks (I live in Sunnyvale, where El Camino runs east-west, so tend to think of Gryphon as being “north” of El Camino, even though by the time you get to Palo Alto El Camino is really north-south). I usually use the Boston Market on west (north) bound El Camino as the signal to turn right at the next intersection (Straits Cafe on the corner)… Then to the end of the street.

      Unfortunately, with the pending lay-off (got delayed two weeks), I’ll soon be moving to MI putting me in range of Elderly.

      Maybe I’ll actually find time to put the instruments out and practice them… I might end up needing them on the street corners [I’m too pack-rat to sell them for money as I’d never get close to what I paid for practically unused instruments: Taylor NS72 {2009 Fishman electronics, they changed to Expression System the following year}, used Taylor T5 {lovely wood, looks like it never left the case, and $800 less than a new one with boring wood}, Flatiron A1 mandolin {signed by shop manager who now runs his own company}, Mid-Missouri {or their follow-on company} M1W mandolin… plus five other cheaper stringed instruments}


      • Glad to hear back from you Wulfie and sorry to hear about the layoff.

        I’ve had some dealings with Gryphon and always been happy. If the swap meet goes well, I think they’ll be getting a visit from me.

        As for playing on the street, you’re a fiddler right? Fiddle/violin is KING. I’ve been putting far, far, too much thought and research into street-playing for a few years now, and the “violin crowd” is the only one where you can mingle on say, Violinist.com and rub elbows with high-end concert players and they’re *all* busking-friendly. A harmonica, even a saxophone, may mark you as a possible “bum” but not the violin. Apparently people love fiddle tunes, but it appears that it’s all good. If I can hear it in
        my head, I can play it, I discovered. Classical riff or Bobby Vinton, doesn’t matter. I can work it out and play it. So I plan to learn to play …. a little bit of everything!

        Now as for income playing on the street, I think it’s actually a good move. Take the number of buskers in your town. Not that many right? Now take the number of GOOD ones. You can make at least $5 an hour playing on the street, and generally a lot more. Many buskers consider $20 an hour to be a good average. But playing violin, you’ll get offers to do parties and all kinds of stuff. You can give lessons. It probably really is the most versatile instrument in that you can play at the largest different number of places.

        Now, since I’m 10 miles from the center of town, and am making it OK doing odd jobs and recycling metals, buying/selling stuff I find, etc., playing on the street is not an immediate plan for me. But if I get where I KNOW good and dingdang well I can really cut it up and make money, I’ll borrow the money for a small car so I can get out to the prime places better. I *can* make violin a career. But even assuming I’ll never make a dime playing it, it’s an awfully fun thing to do, like airguns.

        But if you have decent fiddle skills, you’ll never go hungry.

        As for finding Gryphon, it’s nearly impossible. I’ve found I can get there by going to the Fry’s (that’s well hidden itself!) and go out the back of their parking lot, then turn right and go to the corner and there they are. I have no idea how anyone else gets in there.


        • No, no fiddle/violin… I don’t have the ear to be on key with a fretless instrument. I’ve also got a minor hindrance to work around, which is most apparent on guitar chords (due to the reach, especially on classical necks) — I’d torn a tendon on my left ring finger. While the doctor was pleased that I had about a 10 degree down bend at the joint when the splints were removed, I was afraid to sleep without a brace for an extra month (I tore it in my sleep, discovered it when I woke up and couldn’t straighten out the joint). So the final healing actually ended up with a 5-10 degree UP angle. Results in a flattened finger tip when reaching across a fretboard that deadens the higher strings.

          Instrument I had most skill with was mandolin, but my work schedule made it difficult to get to lessons. I was taking folk guitar classes as my weakness in all was chording — I could move through melodic sections, but when it comes to massive finger moves… come back next measure.

          In truth, I’ve been thinking of applying to the few remaining bookstores in the west Michigan area… I buy enough of them, and it may be easier to get a job of some sort than to look for software engineering at my age (not to mention I’ve been defense industry with such nasty things as FORTRAN and Ada on obscure systems like VMS and SunOS; I’m too far behind the curve on web applications).


          • Wulfraed:
            Have you thought of learning Banjo?
            A thin necked instrument that has quite a bit of ‘wow’ factor whether played blue grass or trad jazz style.
            DaveUK


            • Actually my first instrument — but not the common 5-string (nor the two-ton antique tenors). It was a Musima instrument (as with most industries under soviet control, they tend to assign one management name — this was an East German made banjo which I found in a small shop during a TDY to the UK). It was originally tuned Plectrum, but the neck only has 19 frets which is typical for Tenor, and the neck is shorter than a regular Plectrum/5-string (but longer than antique tenors). I have it tuned/strung Tenor (CGDA) though it may be on light tension as a result of the different scale length.

              I started mandolin as tenor instruction is hard to find, mandolin is a fifth up — GDAE — so felt I might be able to transfer some skills (a mandola would really be the best match).


              • There are “tenor banjos” which are used in Irish music, nice thin necks and meant to be strummed.

                There’s also the humble Telecaster, which is the guitar I’d play if I played one, and you can get a craftsman socket and play slide. I’m surprised more people don’t play slide, it’s so easy.

                Keep in mind Django Reinhardt got by with about 2 fingers!


  9. Cougars triumphant! 85 year old Spanish princess weds man 25 years her junior. The guy did not, as some suggested, get cold feet when the woman essentially gave all of her wealth to her heirs beforehand. So, this has all the makings of true love. The Yahoo comments on this news story would never be accused of being overly sensitive, but they are kind of funny in their crummy way….

    Matt61


  10. This was sent by Linzie to the wrong address:

    Hello Tom
    This the only way I found to contact you hope it’s ok . I have a Sam yang fire 201 air shotgun , need some input please first did try muzzle loading it with a heaver load? also with .25 balls do know the fps . Oh lastly can this gun be fitted with a .25 rifled barrel and if so do you know the right one to find ? Thanks so much
    Linzie


    • Linzie,

      No I did not muzzle-load the Fire 201. There is no need to. It can take a good load of shot in the cartridges provided.

      I would not try a round ball in the gun. The bore isn’t really bored for that.

      The current 9 mm single-shot rifle is a Fire 201 with a rifled barrel. So, yes, it works. You might try a Lothar Walther from AirForce. They are under $200 and would be cheap compared to something that they sell one at a time. I think Green Mountain gets $260 and up for their barrel blanks.

      B.B.


  11. For some reason this system is trashing my posts.

    Wulfraed, try out the street performing. Think of it as your safety net and a possible good career.

    I hope this gets through. I may have to stop posting here. If that is the case, goodbye all!


    • flobert,

      It held both of these as spams. Don’t know why. I approved one of the comments and trashed the duplicate. I also whitelisted you, which should prevent future comments from being held…I hope :-)

      Edith


      • Thanks. Maybe it will work. Maybe this will post. The Internet tends to trash comments directly proportional to how long, thought-out, and helpful they are.

        Although I do recommend everyone treat the Internet as a fun thing for now, but ultimately a passing fad. Like video game parlors. It’s kind of fun for now, but it’s not gonna last.

        Much better to play in the real world (when it’s not raining cats and dogs like it is here) with our airguns, or fiddles, or guitars, etc.



  12. The difference between each individual rifle is really interesting. Those groups aren’t terrible for 25 yards. The Contender 89 was the rifle I bought for my entry into adult air rifle a couple of years ago, based on some reviews I had read on line. I ordered a .177 combo with scope, even though I was advised that the power plant was better suited for .22 caliber. I have had some issues with the rifle and scope (scope would not hold zero, scope stop and rings could not handle the recoil of rifle, and the cocking mechanism jammed and I had to send it back for repair). Even with all this, I still like the rifle alot. Once I found out what it liked (Crosman Premier Hollow point in the can), it became a real tack driver. At ten yards it will shoot clover leaf groups, at 20 yards it will keep them under dime size with most shots touching, and at 35 yards quarter sized group is common. It was a chore to learn to shoot the beast accurately. I have since gotten a Benjamin Marauder in .22 and of course there is no comparison between the two, but I would buy the 89 again, only maybe in .22 instead of .177. What I really should have done was pick up a B40 in .177 first, then a 89 in .22, and then a Marauder .25. But hindsight is 20/20.


  13. I purchase a TF89 almost a year ago and have been trying to get a main spring for it. After 5000 shots it has dropped to below 600fps and I need a new one. It appears that parts are non-existent. What am I suppose to do to get this back up and shooting?


  14. First off, thank you for the information and tips. The spring E9870 of the aftermarket mainsprings is the closest to the actual specs of the TF89 (22) that I own. When I researched last year he had discontinued it, It is nice to see that he has them back in stock.

    To answer the question about if I’m sure that it is the spring or not, I can only conjecture. It came with a bad seal which I replaced and since I had it opened, I tuned it, which really tamed the twang. Since then 5000+ pellets have been through it and it has gotten fairly easy to cock and probably shoot, due to the reduced spring tension. It holds groups of around .50 at 20 yds and 1” at 30 yds, +/- mostly plus , likely would do better if someone else was pulling the trigger. The symptoms to me reflect the spring and not the seal, however, until it is open, who knows.

    The TF89 overall is very nice, accurate, great trigger (wish my NPSS had the same trigger) and solidly built. The only issue real issue is the that breech over compresses the top half of the breech causing undue wear which requires that the vertical be adjusted as the seal wears.

    Thank you Edith for the email address and quick response.

    Once again, thank you all for the fantastic information this blog provides for un learning the trade.

    Dave



  15. Well. I received my 89 .177 the other day. Like others I found it to be a nice looking gun, resembles a 270 except heavier. I’m not a small guy and I think it wound be way impractical to carry around hunting ( something I don’t and won’t do ). I have always owned firearms, but this is my first trip back into the airgun world since my freshman year of high school way, way too many years ago. I was really excited to receive it and pyramid air got it here quickly and undamaged (based on the box).

    I was off work, so after cleaning the barrel I spent a few hours attempting to sight in the TF 3x9x32 scope that came with it; What I found was this particular rifle is extremely sensitive to the hold, maybe all of them are, IDK; Anyway, I ended up using sandbags. I had bought all the different weight and types of pellets I could find; Crosman Premier HP seem to work the best., although theHN Field Target Trophy were a close second and the heaviest pellet I had at 8.6gr. ( wish I could have gotten something from 9 to 10gr). I was shooting 10 yards inside my apt. (from kitchen table into bedroom). I made a quite target by stuffing a couple old bath towels into a shoe box and taping it.

    To my dismay, I found every tine I set the gun down to check the target or do something else, the zero seemed to change ( sometimes as much as 3 inches ). I ended up shooting maybe 300 rounds and while at times I could achieve dime size and closer groups at different spots, it would not hold on bulls eye. I will admit to a less than steady hand (thus the sand bags), possibly change angle of sight on the scope, but I doubted this was the whole reason. A couple days ago I brought it to my cousin house and we shot various targets at 30 yards. (he has a Gamo Whisper with Nitro Piston). Let me tell you, that rifle out classes the 89 by leaps and bounds, but I guess you get what you pay for. At that range I had to re-sight in my scope (surprise, surprise) because it wasn’t even hitting a 8.5×11 target. We shot for a few hours. At times my rifle would have different sounds ( have to have heard it) sometimes sounding like it had less compression, others exploding like a 22 as if it wasn’t loaded (which was never the case). Towards the end and what caused me to just give up on this gun was it dropped completely of the paper again; I mean I could never get it to consistently group at 30 yards, but this was frigging ridiculous.

    I am going to send keep the scope and send the rifle back. I will order another, but at this time I’m not sure was to what yet; Maybe one of the more accurate but less powerful target shooters?


    • Did you try shooting just with open sights? And if you did, did you have the same problem? That should give some indication if it’s the scope or the rifle.

      Also, does there seem to be much play in the pivot or lockup?

      The TF89, like most Chinese guns, is somewhat subject to variation in Quality Control. The CHinese certainly have gotten better, but an oinker may still get through from time to time.


    • Rick,

      Thy the gun with the open sights. I’m guessing that you have the elevation set too high on the scope and your erector tube is bouncing around because there is no tension on the return spring.

      You mention a sandbag but do not mention the artillery hold. Are you resting the stock directly on the bag? That would explain the large groups

      The “exploding .22″ sound is just the detonation of the oils/grease in the gun. That will go away as the gun breaks in.

      Hang in there and keep talking to us. We will help you any way we can.

      B.B.


  16. Yes. I did just now take the scope off and shot maybe 20 rounds at 10 yards: It seemed pretty consistent within 1.5″ around bulls-eye. I had trouble actually picking up the thin red fiber optics’s the end of the barrel against the florescent orange 0.5 ” bulls-eye. Remounted the scope and seemed to do better, but remains inconsistent, though at times could place 4 to 5 shots in sub dime area.

    Not sure, The gun has quite a bit of kick, really don’t notice it until afterwords. I sand bag the front and have held it loosely and tightly with again no consistent results.



      • Thanks, Read it before the gun arrived. Tried this hold, works OK. Believe what you say, but resting it on a sand bag worked better for me. For me ( and I am no weakling ), this gun is too heavy/ unbalanced for much of that. I mean, I’ve carried/ shot shotguns, AR 15/ M16s, 22s, 30-06 all day.

        Still not happy and am going to send the rifle back; kind of hardly worth the effort seeing how it was only 99 bucks and it will cost me a little over 20 to ship it. Should have went with the RWS. It’s what i really wanted (based on reviews on many different sights). Would love to get one with the nitro piston right out of the box, but until I could be assured of year after year reliability of the nitro piston I hate to screw with a proven thing.


        • I retried, the artillery hold. Put 3 in the bulls eye right to start. 8 out of 10 in a quarter at 10yards ( maybe someone else could have done a dime ). I still not sure about the gun though, had shots that just disappeared off the shoe box completely and occasionally spring sound is weak and loose. I would almost bet this thing isn’t shooting as strong as it should be. Again, not looking to drop a dear, just reliable and consistent performance.


        • Rick,

          I wish you could come to the Roanoke airgun show next weekend. I would show you some things about gas springs. They can be very nice, but when they develop too much power, as most do these days, they are too hard to cock. And I lift free weights three times a week, so I’m not weak.

          B.B.


          • If your talking about Roanoke, Va. I wish I could. Born in Ft. Belvior and lived in Woodbridge when dad was overseas. Anyway, come to a gun show here in Orlando this winter. LOL


            • Rick,

              You are that close!!! People drive from California to this show. I will be driving from Texas.

              Jorge Chavez from Miami used to come and Dick Otten comes from Florida.

              I know, it’s a fur piece, but for those who are fanatic about airguns, we go where the action is. :D

              B.B.


              • Ya, If gas was a dollar a gallon I would do that. I would love to go up there and camp along the Rappahannock River, like we did every summer.

                I don’t know if I will ever be a fanatic about air guns as long as I live in a city: also my first venture back in has come with mixed results ( My fault for not going with my better judgement and getting the RWS). Well, I may get one second hand later; but the fact that springers tend to lose their pop in cold weather kind of makes me want a nitro piston.


                • Rick,

                  It is a shame that you can’t feel what a Benjamin Legacy with Nitro Piston in .22 caliber feels like. Crosman wisely detuned this rifle to about 13 foot-pounds and the gas spring is remarkably easy top cock. The rifle is also very accurate, which many guns with gas springs are not.

                  So read the reviews and look for proof that you are getting what you really want.

                  Otherwise, I don’t think you can make too much of a mistake by buying an RWS Diana 34.

                  B.B.


                  • The Legacy was discontinued I guess seeing how everything I’m seeing is at least 3 years old. I can handle the cocking this Chinese shoulder exercisers I have now is really no problem even after a few hours and hundreds of rounds. Nitro is just int icing to me because of the all weather benefits.

                    I have been reading about the Marauder, but the idea of pumping for 5 mins kind of dampens the fun. I want something I can just simple to shoot when and were I want.


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