Air Arms TX200 Mk III air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


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

Today, we begin our look at the accuracy of the legendary TX200 Mark III. Since the rifle has no sights, I mounted a Hawke 4.5-14×42 Sidewinder Tactical scope in two-piece UTG Accushot 30mm medium rings. These rings are tall for a medium-height ring, but the TX200 cheekpiece is so high that many higher rings will be just right and fit the shooter perfectly. I know they come very close to a perfect fit for me, and the 42mm objective bell still clears the spring tube by a lot.

I’m showing a photo of the rifle with the scope mounted because you’ll see that the end of the scope hangs over the back of the loading port. In a TX200, that isn’t a problem unless you have summer sausages for fingers, because the loading port is very large — but on other underlevers and some sidelevers it may be. The Hawke is not a long scope, so this clearance is something a new TX owner needs to consider.


The Hawke scope hangs over the loading port just a little, but was not in the way during loading. See how much clearance the 42mm objective tube has above the spring tube?

What pellets to shoot?
This question is the one every shooter asks whenever they get a new gun — air or firearm. I have a lot of history with this rifle, but in the time since I last shot it many good pellets have come to the forefront. The JSB Exact RS is just one example. I know that Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domed pellets are averaging 958 f.p.s. in my rifle, and that means the lighter 7.3-grain JSB Exact RS will probably top 1,000 f.p.s. Six months ago, that might have turned me off; but after the exciting 11-part “Pellet velocity versus accuracy test” proved that harmonics and not velocity is what causes inaccuracy, I see no reason not to try a faster pellet.

I sighted in with Beeman Kodiaks, just because I used to shoot them in my other TX for field target, and they always worked well. But in reviewing my past reports, I see that this will be the first time I’ve shot 10-shot groups for a report. What a difference that makes!

Naturally, group one was with the Kodiaks. I had hoped to shoot around my aim point, but as you’ll see, that didn’t happen. The group may be a trifle larger than it should be, because for the last four shots I was guessing where to put the crosshairs.


Ten Beeman Kodiaks went into this group that measures 0.584 inches between centers at 25 yards.

Notice how round the group is? Actually only the first shot went low and right — the rest made that small hole you see. And that was exactly where the aim point was, so after six pellets there was nothing to guide on. Nine of the ten pellets went into a group measuring 0.302 inches!

Next, I tried 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavies. Often, I get the best results with this pellet in an accurate .177 rifle. Ten shots in the TX made a group that measures 0.523 inches. Let’s see what that looks like.


Ten JSB Exact Heavies made this group that measures 0.523 inches between centers at 25 yards. It looks more open than the Kodiak group, but it doesn’t have the one straggler the Kodiak group does.

Next, I tried the light JSB Exact RS pellet. The point of impact shifted up about an inch, and the group opened to 0.687 inches. It’s still fairly round, but more open than the first two by a lot. The RS probably isn’t the pellet for this TX.


Ten JSB RS pellets went into 0.687 inches between centers at 25 yards. The shots are less-tightly grouped than those made by the first two pellets.

Then, I tried 10 Crosman Premier lites, just to see what they would do. They made a pleasing group that measures 0.559 inches between centers.


Ten 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellets made this 0.559-inch group at 25 yards.

By this time, I was remembering everything I liked about a TX200. For one thing, it’s not at all sensitive to the hold. In fact, this is one of the very few spring-piston air rifles that can be shot while rested directly on a sandbag. To demonstrate that, I shot 10 more Premier lites with the rifle rested on the bag. I had run out of targets on this sheet, so I used a single pellet hole for my aim point. Ten shots went into a group measuring 0.414 inches between centers — the smallest group of the entire session!


Ten 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellets made this 0.414-inch group at 25 yards when the rifle was rested directly on a sandbag. The hole at the 7 o’clock position and outside the group was the aim point and is not a part of this group.

The bottom line
I hope this test demonstrates the accuracy potential of the TX200. Also, I hope you appreciate how important it is that the rifle isn’t sensitive to hold. It will make a better shooter of almost anyone! Of course, I used the very best scope I have for this test; but besides that, nothing special was done. I didn’t even use a scope level.

Have you noticed how similar in size all the groups seem to be? The rifle seems to like a lot of different pellets. That’s another plus, and a good reason why this rifle is worth the price.

I love this rifle because it doesn’t fight me. I can relax almost as though I was shooting an accurate PCP. And I’ve adjusted the trigger to such a fine point that it doesn’t disturb the finest aim when it’s pulled. No wonder I compare other spring rifles to this one!

We now have a baseline for the TX200; so when the Benjamin MAV 77 becomes available, we can compare it.

34 thoughts on “Air Arms TX200 Mk III air rifle: Part 3

  1. For some weird reason I don’t know the Friday blog is already live. I had a link at the top and bottom of the RedRyder blog. I just clicked it and got Fridays blog article.
    I’m using safari on my iPhone, I haven’t checked if it did the same thing on my PC. You can delete this post, it was just to alert you of the two blog article becoming live at the same time.
    I didn’t read anything, I went straight to the comments ;)

    J-F


  2. Wow. Two blogs for the price of one, so to speak. The groups the TX200 makes are truly amazing. Especially when you consider the fact that you are 25 yards from the target. The fact that really sells me on this gun, is that you don’t need any special hold to shoot well. Although I’m sure the artillery hold does produce the best groups. Little wonder this gun has a cult following. It is also one of the prettiest rifles I have seen. Air or powder. The Benjamin MAV 77 definitely has it’s work cut out for it. Although they won’t be in the same price range.
    The Red Ryder 300 scope reminds me of a scope my uncle had on his target .22. Long and thin. I can’t remember a name or any details. I was a little boy at the time, but I believe it had glass optics. I think the reasoning was, the longer the scope, the greater the accuracy. I find the mounting system quite unique as well. It is good to go back and see how things have changed over the years. Thanks for the memories B.B.
    Titus



      • Sorry about the post B.B. I knew what was up as soon as I posted my reply. I guess I should hit the sack rather then reading and commenting when I am tired. My brain just doesn’t work too fast at midnight. My gaff.
        Titus


  3. If I buy another springer, this will be the one. I am curious how the Mav 77 and Hatsan Dominator compare. The triggers will likely be their downfall. For some reason they will copy everything else except the trigger. The expense I guess. A good trigger assembly is likely the most expensive part of an air rifle.


    • RR,

      Just for the sake of keeping things straight, the highest cost is always the barrel. The trigger is a cost item, but nothing compares to what a barrel costs, and a good one can cost a third of the gun!

      B.B.


    • I hand build airguns. I have found that if you want a decently tuned trigger that will tack on an extra $90 to the gun. There’s a bunch of work to get a trigger light and breaking crisp. One reason I custom tune triggers is because what might make you happy the next guy will hate. That’s one thing the big factories deal with by just putting in what some design engineer thinks is good and then telling the consumer to just deal with it. This keeps their cost down but also makes a product that simply cannot compete with something specially built for each individual. My guns beat their factory assembled guns by a huge margin in practically every way but they carry an equally huge price tag since every tiny piece is hand made. You have to figure out what you want. Factory precision with whatever they say is good for their lower price or my custom hand made just for you gun for the much larger price tag. Usually price wins for most people.


  4. B.B.

    Very good ! You will always have at least something that shoots good in this one. Much better than a rifle that only likes just one kind of pellet. That can cause problems.

    You went and done did (or did done) something to me again. You shot groups with different pellets than you did velocity tests with. I know you don’t have time to do the whole works.
    I have found that with the limited number of rifles that I have been playing with that the lighter JSB pellets do not do well in anything but the lower powered springers. It does not matter if they feel like they have a good fit or not. This has been in .177. In .22, I do not have a low powered rifle to look at, but they do not do all that well in the higher powered ones. The power plants really throw a fit over them.

    twotalon


  5. A very nice rifle. It will go on my “Keep this one in Mind” list. I don’t need another springer since I already have four. But, you never know, I could run into a nice used one. That has happened with three of the ones I have now!

    Mike


  6. Everyone,

    Sorry, guys. I got the date wrong for Friday’s blog & mistakenly posted it on Thursday along with this one. Please forget that you read it :-)

    Edith


  7. Definitely am putting the TX200 on the “wish list”. I’ll be looking out for one at the CT and Roanoke shows. By the way, BB, after failing to sell my RWS350 at Roanoke (you and Mac were kind enough to let me put it and two other rifles on your tables), I decided I just can’t part with it. Actually, I don’t have any rifles I would consider selling just now, including the Mac blue Streak with the new and improved lever cocking system, with one exception!

    I’ll probably bring the Crosman 100(?) CO2 rifle down again to try and sell (along with the FWB 124 for some barrel bending).

    Fred DPRoNJ



  8. b.b. (or anyone who wishes to chime in).
    Now that I have my license for over 500fps (Canada, eh) I want to get one decent powered springer this summer.
    I’ve been thinking the HW97 blue laminate just ’cause it’s so pretty…but it seems I just hear so many good things about the TX200.
    Any thoughts on which way to go?


    • CSD,

      I have heard many good things about the HW97s. However when I tested two of them, neither was up to the standard of the TX 200. So I assume that the 97 must be tuned to come into its own.

      The TX 200, on the other hand, is good right out of the box. The results you see here are from an untuned rifle that has just been broken in and had the trigger adjusted.

      I vote for the TX 200.

      B.B.


      • Exactly the kind of feedback I’m looking for.
        Accuracy is of paramount importance to me…I subscribe to the thinking (can’t recall who the quote was from) that the only interesting gun is an accurate one.
        I was getting mighty frustrated with my Slavia till I found the right pellet (Exact RS) and was really thinking I’d made a mistake with the Savage till I found what it like to eat.
        The big problem is that airgunning is really not that popular here. Edmonton (where I live) is a city of 1 million. I can pretty much guarantee that if I counted up all the air rifles for sale right now in Edmonton (including the cheapies at Walmart and Canada Tire) it would like total no more than maybe 150, including what is in the stockrooms.
        What this means is that there is virtually no demand (locally) for airgun tuners…and the odd gunsmith I’ve talked to literally snicker when you ask them if they can do any airgun tuning…to a man they seem to equate air rife with ‘Red Ryder’/toy gun.
        So a rifle that is accurate right out of the box is important.
        Thanks.


        • Cowboy,

          The HW97 is typically very accurate out of the box. The issue is the power may not always be up to the TX 200 spec plus you get some twang. The power is really not an issue and some JM heavy tar shoved in the cocking slot will take care of vibration \ twang, use the clear on the sliding breach.

          The 97 is heavy, but the 200 is even more so. You really would cannot go wrong with either. Now an HW77k….


    • CSD

      TX200 is a tad better out of the box, plus it has IMO better safety measures. From precision/power point of view they are almost the same, at least I could not squeeze groups that were definitely better than other rifle’s – both can do less than three pellet diameter groups @25 m, completely equal @50 and equally good @75. TX200 working cycle is a little bit smoother and quieter. As I’m a big guy, I feel HW97′s default laminate a bit more comfortable than TX200′s walnut.
      Overall I’d rather second B.B. – TX200.

      duskwight



  9. I wrote my impressions of shooting the new Bronco Target gun yesterday, but it got in just under the wire as the last posting of the day.

    I read the Red Ryder blog and thought it was really good. I was also impressed to find what looked like a seven-blog week!

    Les


  10. Does anyone know where I can obtain a metal replacement lever for my plastic one on my Red Ryder ? The latest Red Ryder with the metallic lever has Fiber Optics sights, or as I call them “Glow Worms..” Can you believe that ! A Red Ryder with Glow Worm sights… Unreal. Oh, BTW, got my new Marlin Cowboy BB gun yesterday. It has a metal lever, black metal sights and is hard shooting. And it looks just like a real Marlin 30/30. I have had two of those, the first Marlin used, I got my first Black Tail deer here near San Luis Obispo in 1947.
    Thanks,
    Pete


  11. Thank goodness I found this blog. I have been on the fence between an RWS 48 and the TX200MK3. My wife has given me one chance and one chance only to get the rifle I want. I am retired and disabled, so I shoot from my back porch. My target range is from 10 yards to 130 yards (I have do not attempt anything over 50 yards). I usually sit drink coffee and shoot cans and bottles on my fence at 32 yards. I get the most pleasure shooting pennies at that distance. It seems the TX200MK3 has won the contest. I have a Gamo silent cat,Benjamin all weather, and a Beeman RS 2. My favorite is the cheapest of the three (Beeman). I want an air rifle to pass down to my children so quality is of the most importance. Thanks so much for this blog, and if I am wrong please let me know because the TX200 has not been ordered yet.



      • Jesse,

        great rifle, I have the RWS 52 and it’s probably the most accurate spring piston rifle I own but I also want a TX200. And stop drinking coffee, you’ll get better shooting results. Certainly works for me!

        And welcome to the blog! This is published daily and you’ll learn a ton not only from BB’s commentary but also from the comments.

        Fred DPRoNJ


  12. One small question. Pyramyd Air does not do any tuning. Does anyone have any suggestions of who I might get to tune the Tx200? I have only really heard of one person (Mike Melick). Or should I not even worry about it?


  13. Well I pulled the trigger today. Now the waiting game begins. The rifle should arrive 10-31-12 and then shipped to me. Hopefully I will have it before my birthday (election day). I would have bought a different scope than the package deal had, but they were out of the RWS 34 which I would have bought today as well because I was $1000 under my $2000 limit. LOL


  14. Hi,

    I was thinking about getting that same scope for my TX200 and I was wondering if there is enough clearance on that scope and the gun for a leapers medium rather than high one-piece ring. Also, would you recommend the leapers one piece or a BKL one piece, considering the price difference?

    Thanks,
    Eric


    • Eric,

      I never recommend a one-piece mount over a 2-piece unless there is a compelling reason. One-piece mounts are very inflexible on the position of the scope. Why limit yourself that way?

      But, yes, I think the UTG (Leapers) one-piece medium mount will clear. The BKL mount holds by clamping pressure and unless you need it, you pay extra for something you don’t need. Since the TX 200 has vertical scope stop holes, any mount with a vertical scope stop pin will work.

      B.B.


  15. Mr. B.B. Pelletier you missed one very important thing in your review. The thing you missed was “WOW”! I never dreamed of an air rifle that shoots like this. It came with a Hawke 2-7×32 which is dead on at 32 yards, but with my old eyes and glaucoma I am going to put my UTG 4-16X56 on. It is a bit long, but my fingers are short and skinny (Ring size 7). This rifle is so good I gave my oldest my Benjamin Trail, 2nd oldest my Gamo Silent Cat, and my youngest the Beeman RS/2. My daughter will get my TX200 when I pass, but that will be at least 50 years from now because of the enjoyment I get from this rifle.

    My advise to future owners is “Do not waste your money on anything less than an Air Arms”. My next rifle will be an HW97K, but that will be a few years away. Thank you so much for this review.


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