Air Arms TX200 Mk III air rifle: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Air Arms TX200 Mark III air rifle is impressive in its optional walnut stock.

Let’s look at the velocity of my .177-caliber TX200 Mark III. My gun is more than a decade old, and it didn’t always perform like it does today. When it was new, it was 60-70 f.p.s. slower than what you’ll see today; but as I shot it over time, the rifle broke in and became faster. This gun is still in its original factory tune. It hasn’t been shot that much — perhaps 2,000 shots or so since new. I was no longer competing with a spring-piston rifle in field target when I got this one, so it sat around a lot. In fact, I think most of its life has been spent in tests like this one.

In the description in Part 1, I forgot to mention that the pistol grip of the stock is shaped for either right or left hands. You must buy the specific stock you need. It has a swell that fills your palm as you hold the rifle, and Air Arms made the grip fit well for most shooters. The grip is very vertical, which is perfect for a target-type trigger because it allows the best control over the trigger-pull.

I also didn’t mention the latch that holds the underlever. I have seen everything from a complicated spring-loaded catch that has to be pulled back or pushed forward to release the lever, to a friction fit that can wear out and drop the lever at the wrong time. The TX200 has a spring-loaded ball bearing that holds the underlever tight, yet releases it easily when you pinch between the barrel and lever with your fingers. It is the best underlever latch I’ve seen. The only thing better is using over-center geometry to eliminate the need for the latch altogether.

Cocking effort
My TX200 cocks with 34 lbs. of effort. Cocking is smooth, and the three detents that hold the sliding compression chamber don’t start catching until the last part of the cocking arc. The rifle is agreeably quiet when cocked, yet also reasonably safe from a beartrap accident, where the sear slips and the compression chamber slams forward on fingers that are loading pellets.

Trigger-pull
Another thing I’ve been adamant about is the superb trigger on the TX. In Part, 1 I showed a schematic of the trigger and the adjustment screws. I have mine set for a long first stage (which I like), and a second stage that releases at 9 OUNCES! I believe Paul Watts is able to tune a Rekord trigger this light, but not too many other people are. And all I did with this one was adjust the stage one and stage two trigger screws! It was nothing special.

There’s also a trigger-pull weight adjustment screw located behind the trigger blade. You can lower or increase the trigger-pull weight with this screw, though the limits on both ends are finite. However, look again at what I have been able to achieve and see if that isn’t what you want.

Jerry, how about taking a stab at adjusting your trigger and telling us what you discover?

Velocity
The first pellet I tried was the Beeman Kodiak that weighs 10.2 grains. They average 842 f.p.s. with a 10 f.p.s. spread from 837 to 847. At the average velocity, they generate 16.06 foot-pounds. I felt a slight buzzing at the end of the shot cycle, which is very unusual for this rifle, so I think these may be a bit too heavy for the powerplant. They’re very accurate, however.

Next, I tested the time-honored Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domed pellet. They averaged 958 f.p.s., with a spread from 952 to 967 f.p.s. The shot cycle smoothed out with these, and they felt great! At the average velocity, they generate 16.1 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

The final pellet I tried was the 8.4-grain JSB Exact. They fit the breech loosely and also varied a lot in size (from the feel at loading). They averaged 918 f.p.s., but the spread went from 897 to 929 f.p.s. Compared to the other two pellets, that’s large. At the average velocity, this pellet generates 15.72 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

My rifle is stronger!
This is hard to believe, but my rifle is even stronger than it was the last time I tested it in 2006. Then, it shot Premier Lites at an average 933 f.p.s., with a 19 f.p.s. spread and delivering 15.27 foot-pounds. It’s increased 0.80 foot-pounds over the past six years — mostly while lying dormant in my closet! But it’s not going to be dormant for long, because we’re going to see at least one accuracy test — and maybe two — from this air rifle.

Jerry’s rifle
As I mentioned in Part 1, one of our new readers — Jerry — recently bought a TX200 MK III. I saw it at the LASSO big bore shoot, and Jerry let me shoot it. The rifle is gorgeous, and today Jerry has been kind enough to submit a couple pictures to show us what he received. He bought the walnut stock on the advice of many, both for the looks and for the lighter weight. Here, now, is Jerry’s new rifle.


Jerry’s TX200 Mk III is stocked in walnut


This closeup shows the beautiful wood grain. This is considered a standard walnut stock. And look at that checkering!


The forearm allows another look at the unusual checkering.


Leapers 4-16x scope looks just right on Jerry’s TX. Even though it extends over the loading port, there’s still plenty of room for loading because of the shape of the loading port.

I said in Part 1 that the barrel is nine inches long. That was a mistake. It’s just over 13 inches — a fact I confirmed by measuring mine. The TX200 Hunter Carbine has the shorter barrel. I tested one of those and didn’t care for the extra effort it takes to cock because the underlever is shorter than the one on the standard TX200. But the Hunter Carbine develops the same power as the larger rifle.

I’m going to mount my best scope on the rifle for the next test. Hoo-boy!

52 thoughts on “Air Arms TX200 Mk III air rifle: Part 2

  1. Hello B.B. and Airgun Aficionados. My Jerry, that is one fine looking rifle by any standards. The grain follows the cheek piece perfectly. And I have never seen such detailed checkering from a massed produced rifle. If it shoots as fine as all the other owners of TX’s say, and I see no reason why not, you have a gun for all seasons. Although I love both my Weihrauch 97K, and my 77K, they just don’t have that “Wow” factor going for them. What is “WoW”? Let us see. Both my Weihrauchs are finely machined, gorgeously blued, well designed and finely tuned shooters. Out of the box. So, isn’t this all you expect from a gun? Both models, Air Arms and Weihrauch are made and designed by dedicated and passionate people, who take pride in every grub screw. Most models they produce develop dedicated followers. My passion is building but I’m still not quite sure what the TX 200 111 has that makes it so desirable over my 97K. All I can be sure of, is that I want one. In .177 cal. WoW.
    Titus


    • Titus,
      I get it.
      I have yet to shoot, nor even hold a TX200, seems only fair to state that up front.

      I did however own an HW97K that was blessed by Mr. Paul Watts and if I were on some extreme game show and I needed to make a shot to save my life with a Springer, I would ask for that HW97. If for some reason my request was denied, knowing the TX is a similar platform it would surely be my second choice. ( Think “Hunger Games” with air rifles)

      On the other hand, if I were participating in a runway show where I needed a fashion accessory, the Air Arms gun would probably be at the top of my list. I have never understood why HW chooses to only adorn the model 35 with a pretty walnut stock and not produce any other version as a gentleman’s rifle.

      Personally, I have always been the type that looks at Remington 700 BDL and appreciates the beauty, but walks out of the store with the ADL. Even when money was plentiful, I went with the more subdued Classic version.

      All that said, I still don’t mind getting an eye full of a tarted up rifle now and then rather than a more practical choice. WoW.


  2. I myself am not a big fan of springers. Because of the recoil, I have difficulty producing the groups I desire. But I will likely end up buying one for this year’s air gun.


  3. I have a couple of Weihrauch’s, too. They are nice looking, beech stocked rifles that I bought used, but they don’t have the elegance of Jerry’s TX. That’s some nice wood for “standard” grade…

    /Dave


  4. B.B.

    I would guess that you will have the best luck with the first two pellets.

    Most of my springers that I have spent much time with do not like the light or medium JSB pellets. The exception is the R7s which like the RS.

    twotalon


  5. B.B.,
    Jerry definitely won the wood lottery, that is a real keeper.
    B.B., I suspect you know which pellet works best in your gun, but let me say my TX did not like anything smaller than 4.52 or lighter than 8.4 grains. The power plant was happiest with10.2 AA and JSB’s, and the paper agreed. Never to the order of quarter inch groups. My gun may be able to do it, but I run out of talent and shoot twice that.
    -hm


  6. B.B.

    Those results are very similar to what I have seen in my TX. I get excellent results with CP light pellets. It makes a horrible noise with the CP heavy-type, presumably as the piston bounces back. Results with the 8.4 gr JSB Exact pellets are sort of okay.

    In terms of the velocity values with CP Light pellets, I was initially getting almost exactly the same range of velocity as you are reporting. After a couple hundred shots, accuracy went bad. Following recommendations from this blog’s readers, who suggested this was due to leading, I cleaned the bore and accuracy went back to its normal greatness. After going through this cycle three times I have not seen the need to clean anymore as the accuracy is still excellent. However, the velocity is now approximately in the 900-910 fps range (I do not have my logbook with me now but I will check).

    The rifle came out of the box with a buzz that I corrected using a sparse amount of tar. Velocity did not decrease significantly when I did that. Is it possible that the tar stiffened over time and reduced velocity? or is it just the lead accumulated in the barrel? I would not think it is the spring. I have shot about 2,000 shots with the rifle.

    Cheers

    T.E.


  7. So, you mean that yours broke in and reduced velocity while being used, then the spring regained stiffness as it sat for several years, unused. I can totally understand that!

    The great thing is that in the 900 fps range, I do not have to worry about bore leading as much. You would have to worry about it though once you are past 100-150 shots with the CP Light pellets.

    T.E.


  8. TE,
    Have you experimented with lubing pellets to eliminate leading? Especially with the CP’s.
    I still want to know if Wacky Wayne is still using Coconut oil.
    -Chuck


    • Chuck,

      I was going to start lubing but it is now shooting very accurately. What is the current wisdom on lubes?





        • TT,

          I’m not your average woman…but you probably knew that already :-)

          In the Gaylord household, I’m the one who is the least insane when it comes to bugs. I know how to kill them easily, quickly and without much fanfare. I even take care of the occasional chameleon that gets in the house. I am woman, hear me roar…see me squash bugs on the floor :-)

          Edith




              • Edith…

                I hope you wait for the cats to get done first. Cat entertainment can be hard to find.
                Ours always look disappointed when I wack a fly that they have been trying to catch.

                They really like the little remote controlled helicopters that you can get for kids at ChinaMart. They think it is a REALLY big bug.

                twotalon


                • TT,

                  We’ve used the little RC helicopters. They don’t actually like them very much. They feel threatened by even the smallest ones. Our RC hovercraft (very small) skitters across the table or floor, and that’s okay but doesn’t hold interest that long.

                  Their favorite bug is the mosquito hawk. It’s a large flying insect. They fly into the house a couple times a week, and Dale Evans, our smallest cat, spends all her time chasing it, trapping it and then letting it go. She believes in the catch-and-release program for all critters :-)

                  Roy, our biggest & oldest male kitty, is the chameleon detective. He ferrets them out (they seem to come in thru the front door). He likes to pick them up in his mouth and make a really pathetic howling sound and then brings them into the living room so everyone can play :-)

                  It’s at that point that I take off my shoe & play whack-a-reptile to put the little beastie out of his misery.

                  If you ever visit our house and go into Tom’s office, you’ll see a large brown spot on the crown molding. That’s where he used an unloaded Quackenbush rifle to kill a bug (I think a pesky moth). I would have just waited for it to fly to a lower altitude and then kill him. The brown bug carcass is just one of many “decorations” in Tom’s office…and certainly not as noticeable as the numerous holes in the wall. All of them .177 caliber :-)

                  Edith


                  • In my previous apartment, I think I had the carcass of a crane fly dangling from the access panel to the upstairs bathtub drain for something like FIVE years.

                    I think that’s the same critter you refer to as a “mosquito hawk”… A sap-sucking clumsy fly that looks a bit like a mosquito blown up to over an inch in length.


                  • Edith…

                    I have seen those things before. I always thought they were some kind of mega-skeeter.

                    I would have paid to see B.B. splat the bug with the DQ. At least it wasn’t loaded…or did he forget?

                    twotalon


    • tt,
      You don’t want to wait too long before you shoot these or else, before long, you’ll have a basement full of Dandelion pictures.
      -Chuck



  9. Chuck, why not? AR series are interesting and venerable weapons, so I wouldn’t mind having one. And Russian manufacturers are making and selling their own ARs for about 2 years. However I wouldn’t buy MAR177 kit – it’s too expensive for a plinker and too weak and imprecise for a target rifle, but that’s just my way of things. I believe this kit can be easily married to softair lower – thus decreasing the overall price of posession.

    Wulfraed – don’t underestimate Russians! :) We make it our own way – no silly bourgeois conversion kits, comrade, we take a live AK and turn it into BB CO2 plinker. Some fire full-auto. There are also PP-91Kedr (“T-Rex”), PPSh, PM, TT, APS, SVD, Russian Maxim 1910/39, MG42, MG34 and other stuff on the market.
    You can easily convert your smoothbore Saiga to airgun with drop-in kits, however you’ll have to have a spare pocket for the bolt, piston and bolt carrier.

    J-F, you’re right.

    A question to all. How many pellets do you usually spend per week and how much do you prefer to have in store to feel yourself well backed up?

    duskwight


    • duskwight,
      I think the Olympics are very political. Somehow Russians shooting with an American icon doesn’t sound like it would be politically correct any more than Americans shooting a Russian icon AK would.
      -Chuck


      • Chuck,

        Almost the whole world shoots with German tools of the trade and the only thing it cares about is gold medals :)

        duskwight


    • When I literally was dwelling in a desert and getting serious about this hobby, I had plans of doing a lot of shooting with my grandchildren when I got back home. I was shooting mostly Daisy multi-pump guns (856 and 880). I wanted to stock up on the cheap Daisy wadcutter pellets, so I bought 20 tins of 500 each. 10,000 rounds.

      I still have those 10,000. As I learned more about this hobby, I became curious about how different makes, weights, and pellet designs would work. I bought several different designs, probably another 3,000 total.

      So I have been shooting these other designs instead. My latest pellet is the Cabela’s 10.5 gr. pointed pellet. I thought it would work well in my higher powered springers. I shot them today in a Crosman XT I had it sighted in for Cabela’s 7.9 gr. wadcutters. The additional weight resulted in about a 3-inch drop at 25 yards compared to the 7.9 grain ammo.

      These were pretty accurate after I adjusted my scope. I shot 30 rounds at a target with a possible score of 300. I scored 285 (your mileage may vary). Then I shot a fresh target at the same distance with my Daisy 856 using Cabela’s 7.9 gr. wadcutters. Scored 281 out of a possible 300.

      So, shooting two dissimilar guns and ammo at the same target and distance, close to identical results.

      I try to get out to the gun range at least once a week. I generally shoot 30-40 rounds per gun, and I usually take a couple guns. If my grandchildren come along (each with their own Crosman 760), figure another 30-40 rounds per gun.

      So, in a typical week, I’ll go through 60-100 pellets.

      I shot a lot better today, outdoors in a light breeze on a sunny day, than I did Monday night at the 4H club’s temporary indoor range. Those kids put me to shame with their Daisy PCP target rifles!

      In my defense, I usually shoot seated at a bench, my hand resting on a bag. A position not used at the indoor range.

      It was really nice going out to the range today. Sunny, but not hot. 10-15 mph wind. No one else there. It was almost as good as being back in the desert again!

      Les


  10. Hello BB et all,

    I have been reading and enjoying this blog every day since I discovered it last November. I’ve been rekindling my passion for airgunning that started back in the 70′s with my first rifles from the original air rifle headquarters & Beeman.

    So glad to find that the hobby is still going quite strong. It’s hard to describe the joy of not only discovering this site and collection of people who share my passion, but to learn enough to rebuild my treasured Fwb 124 & Beeman R1 laser. As a youngster, I could only dream of doing my own “accurizing” and making great shots like the ones described in the old ARH booklets.

    I remember being so disappointed with my new R1 because I didn’t know about the ‘artillery hold’. With this new technique and the latest aftermarket rebuilding parts, I’ve been able to both fulfill and surpass my boyhood dreams.

    Thank you so much B.B. for all your countless writings and thanks to all those who make this site possible.

    Now finally, a question. Where can I buy trigger shoes? I used to get them from Beeman. The Beeman website doesn’t seem to be working/up-to-date, Pyramyd doesn’t list them, and t-grips.com website doesnt seem to be current.

    Regards,

    Feinwerk


  11. Everyone,

    The bug in the office wasn’t a mosquito hawk, it was a big spider. I forget what airgun I used but it darned sure wasn’t a big bore! Maybe it was a Condor.

    B.B.


    • B.B.,

      When we lived in Maryland, you often used a Quackenbush big bore without a projectile to send bugs into orbit. I’ll never forget the time a big spider spun a web across the entire living room window. The cats were hypnotized by it! You’d open the window and supposedly blow the spider to Mars by dry-firing a Q’bush rifle. The web was reproduced day after day, so that means the spider didn’t go into orbit. Eventually, he went away, but it was fun while it lasted :-)

      Edith


    • B.B.

      I said it before…if you think you have enough power, use more.

      Would still be hilarious to see a Condor used for a bug splat.

      twotalon


  12. B.B., while looking through some older blogs I came across the picture of the custom scope mount that was made for Edith. This reminded me of something I have thought about but dismissed. Although it may not be feasible, I tend to think many things are possible at some effort and cost. What I have wondered about is whether some kind of (horizontal) periscope type system could be created to assist persons who cannot line up their eye to the scope (e.g., persons who have had neck injury and/or surgery). This would have to be customized for each individual, of course).

    I don’t know how well hooking up a video cam might help. Working with assistive technology leads me to think much is possible, even if not affordable often times.

    Ken


    • Ken,

      That’s a good idea! I don’t know how difficult it would be, but if it’s possible, it would be a great device.

      B.B.


    • I believe some scope mounts for old (top eject) lever actions position the scope to the left of the receiver. Granted. the mount base WAS a plate that fit to the left side (not something that fit to the top and extended to the left).


      • Thanks for that info, Wulfraed. Although the scope would not be as far to the left as Edith’s I assume it would be sighted in at one particular distance and the rest was calculated from there. It is one more example of ingenuity, though.

        You know, things have become so compact I can even envision an optics package that is essentially a CCTV (no recording necessary, just live sighting). Some ideas may not be practical but not impossible, either.

        Ken


  13. I’m sorry this is way off-topic but could someone please point me in the good direction?
    I need to quote Tom to tell people not to use weed whacker line to clean their barrels.
    I’m facing a barage of “I humbly suggest, that any “dirt and grime” dragged through your barrel on the side of a bore snake at ~2fps, can’t possibly
    do anything worse than the same dirt and grime, dragged/pushed by a pellet (cleaning or otherwise) doing ~500fps.” and similar quotes, they seem to think I’m some kind of wacko for telling them not to use the thing. I looked for “cleaning” and “airgun cleaning” in the search bar and wasn’t able to find it.

    I guess I should make a file with the important quotes to keep.

    J-F


    • I don’t know when or where Tom gave the advice you refer to, but I remember reading it. If I recall correctly, the reason for not using a bore snake/weed whacker line/mono-filament is because of the damage the line itself can do to the bore or crown.

      Anyone who has cut themselves on nylon line fishing knows that stuff is very capable of cutting flesh. It can also cut a groove into metal.

      Get a proper-sized cleaning rod and jag and do the job right. With the popularity of .177 cal. rifles, the .177 cleaning rods are readily available even out here.

      Les


      • “Get a proper-sized cleaning rod and jag and do the job right. With the popularity of .177 cal. rifles, the .177 cleaning rods are readily available even out here.”
        That’s what I’ve been trying to tell them but for some reason they don’t seem to believe me :( I guess too many people have been saying to use these line for too many years.

        J-F


    • J-F,

      You can tell them this. Jade carvers use monofiliment line to cut jade, because it holds abrasive particles so well.

      It isn’t the stuff that’s inside the barrel that we worry about. It’s dirt from the outside. Unless someone has had their gun in a sandstorm, the inside of the barrel isn’t likely to have the kind of abrasive particles that cut steel.

      If you can’t convince them, just stop trying. They will either find out themselves or the situation will never arise. That’s how I approach it.

      B.B.


      • Thanks BB, I’ll do that.
        It drives me nuts to see people who insist on sharing bad advice and when you try to say that MAYBE their reasoning MIGHT be wrong they go ballistic.
        I can understand that when talking about spiritual beliefs but about a pieces of steel and a length of filament…

        J-F


        • Softly spoken truth trumps dogma yelled! Speak the truth and those that glean from it benefit. the others will have to “earn it”, but the truth will always prevail. Some just have to pay more for it!!

          KA


  14. BB, Love the fact that your tx200 shoots better now, years after, than before… nice! Jerry, Stunning wood on that 200!

    All, Off topic… I FINALLY got some good range time today! Shot my reloads for .243 and found a sweet load that got me 1/2″ 10 shot group @ 100yds. All but one called flyer, that is. I’m stoked! (I had loaded 6 different power levels of 10 each months ago). Also took my Mac1 worked 2240 and dialed the red dot site in for some fair groups, but ran out of CO2 by mistake (thought I had a five pack, but didn’t). Really love the shoot n see targets, they’re a major convenience. We shot the livin’ crud out of two of ‘em, thanks to the little round patches! My nephew went with me and we were able to get into a some techniques of shooting… aim, stop, squeeze, follow through, plus some fine tuning on hold and site picture stuff. What a great day! We also had a newb with us and I was able to see nephew ‘coaching’ some fundamentals that we covered last year! Great stuff. Then we found out it was the guys birthday which was icing on the cake! Great day!

    ka


    • KA,

      Nothing better than to see your wisdom passed along to others, is there?

      That .243 load sounds like a winner. What rifle and what powder?

      B.B.


      • Stevens 200, Stock trigger, Boyd’s classic lam stock, Leapers 3-12X44AO. 100gr btsp’s with 39.8gr IMR4350. Don’t have a chrony yet, so don,t know speed. I started with 37.4gr and the three of us had a ball with that load. I loaded 20 of those. Surprisingly accurate (.75moa) and recoil was almost non existent! Going to work up a load with some light pills for the little stuff, any suggestions are welcome. Also still chewing on Wulfraed’s info in the autoloader/leveraction stuff.

        Yes, watching the younger shooter relay info to another that you shared is very rewarding. Really makes you think before you share though, as bad info is absorbed as well as the good! He’s a good kid of 25yrs. He won a 25-06 a couple years ago and we shot some ammo through it. He asked if he bought dies and powder could I work up a load for him? It took all of 1/2 second to think about that one, of course!! The rifle is a Marlin XL7. I was amazed to see how similar it is to the Savage 10. Trigger, barrel nut and bolt head all look like clones. Leaves me wondering if barrel changes a as the Savages’.

        The Talon SS… Awesome machine. For years a have purchased around it. Mainly because I have not jumped into the PCP world yet. Still using C02 and pistol framed carbines. I will be glued to you report on the TalonSS, as I can see it’s a natural move for me in the future. I would still like to see a 8-10 shot repeater though. Even though I don’t have one out of the six air guns I have! There’s just too much stuff to buy to make the jump, as I am still having to make reloading purchases with limited funds. I really like the idea of one gun as a backyard .177 pest control device, and within minutes converted to a .25cal. hunting machine. Your latest reports are killing me, this one and the AR upper one!!

        KA


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