The Beeman R1 Supermagnum air rifle 18 years later: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


My 18 year-old Beeman R1 with its Maccari custom stock and Bushnell 6-18x Trophy scope is a thing of beauty.

Today, I’ll test my Beeman R1 air rifle for velocity, plus show you the differences between the standard Rekord trigger and the special match Rekord trigger. Before I get to the velocity figures, however, let me give you a brief history of some of the many tunes that have been in this gun.

Break-in
After 1,000 shots were on this rifle, it was shooting Crosman Premiers at an average 770 f.p.s. The rifle took 46 lbs. of effort to cock and shot with a little buzziness, indicating the powerplant had some looseness.

Following that test, the rifle went through a series of tunes that are way too numerous to cover here. One that’s of interest was the Beeman Laserization that was so popular in the 1980s and early ’90s. Beeman would do this tune for a price, or you could buy all the parts and do it yourself. I elected to do the latter.

The Laser seal came way oversized and had to be reduced to fit the particular gun in which it was installed. That was thought to be a superior way of tuning in those days, though today I see generic seals that work just as well without all the fuss.

I had a problem fitting the first seal, and it burned on one edge from excessive friction. I got a replacement and sized it a bit looser. You never want to lube a Lazerized rifle, as the special Beeman Laser Lube is the best stuff for friction. This lube is no longer sold. If you have a worn-out Laser seal, just about any modern generic seal can replace it with no loss of energy.

The Laser spring was weaker than the factory spring, making the rifle easier to cock. After I applied the tune and broke it in a little, my rifle averaged 765 f.p.s. with Crosman Premiers. Cocking effort was 37 lbs., which is an 11-lb. reduction for almost the same power. That’s significant!

The one thing I didn’t like about Laserization was the fact that the gun vibrated a lot more than before. That Laser spring fit the piston and guide so loosely that the only way to quiet the gun was to use Mainspring Dampening Compound on the mainspring — which subtracted velocity at the same time.

The absolute best tune I ever applied to the R1 was a Mag80 Laza Tune I got from from Ivan Hancock. It was a drop-in tune that included a buttoned piston and a long mainspring that came coated with something I called black tar in print the first time I wrote about it. After that, the airgun community seized on the term, and black tar became a product — though nothing that was ever sold separately was as viscous as the stuff on that Venom spring.

This tune took the R1 up over 22 foot-pounds with absolute zero vibration. It was so smooth I thought it had actually lost power. But the 50-pound cocking effort reminded me that the big spring was doing its thing. For reference, Crosman Premiers averaged 809 f.p.s. with this tune.

Unfortunately that spring was included in my Mainspring Failure Test, that left four different tunes cocked for one month to see the effects. The spring finally canted and was never as smooth afterward!

I also tested a gas spring made by Vortek. It was smooth and did make better than 20 foot-pounds with certain pellets, but it also took 50 pounds of effort to cock, so I have since removed it from the rifle. The gas spring put Premier pellets out the muzzle at around 790-795 f.p.s.

The tune that’s in the rifle now is a weak mainspring and a generic piston seal. Everything is moly-ed and I have used a touch of Black Tar on the mainspring to calm it down. Today we will all see what velocity the rifle currently develops with this tune, which can be researched in its entirety in the 13-part report titled Spring Gun Tune.

Velocity
The first pellet I tested was that old standard — the Crosman Premier. I have given you the velocities for this pellet at various stages of the rifle’s life, so you can compare them to how it’s doing now. With the current tune the rifle shoots Premiers an average 743 f.p.s. The range runs from a low of 738 f.p.s. to a high of 751 f.p.s., so an extreme spread of 13 f.p.s. Given the pellet’s average 14.3-grain weight, the rifle produces 17.53 foot-pounds at the muzzle with Premiers. I noticed they fit the breech on the loose side, but were still what I would consider a good fit.

The rifle now cocks with just 33 pounds of effort, which is where I like it. It weighs 11 pounds on the nose, and you have to allow a little over one of those pounds for that big Bushnell Trophy 6-16 scope and mounts.

Next I tried RWS Superdomes, another domed pellet like the Premier but made of pure lead and just slightly heavier, at 14.5 grains. These averaged 742 f.p.s. in the test rifle and ranged from a low of 733 to a high of 748 f.p.s. So a 15 foot-second spread. At the average velocity this pellet produces 17.73 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. The fit was loose in the breech.

Then I tried the heavier 15.43-grain Gamo Hunter. This dome fit the breech loose but also varied a lot in the seating pressure required, which indicates variability in the size. They averaged 706 f.p.s. and ranged from 700 to 710 f.p.s., which is a tight spread of just 10 f.p.s. At the average velocity these pellets produced 17.08 foot-pounds of energy.

The final pellet I tested was the 15.9-grain JSB Exact dome. These averaged 696 f.p.s. and ranged from 693 to 701 f.p.s., so the spread was just 8 f.p.s. — the tightest of the test. The fit of this pellet was loose in the breech. At the average velocity this pellet produced 17.11 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

The trigger
I mentioned that the trigger in the R1 is a standard Rekord, and when I reported on the HW55 target rifles, I had mentioned that they all have special match Rekord triggers. Weihraiuch now calls all of their Rekord triggers match triggers, but back when the 55 was still being offered they differentiated between the trigger in that gun, which they called a match trigger and the one they used in every other sporting rifle. The latter was just called a Rekord.


This is the standard Rekord trigger that’s on my R1. Paul Watts gave me the smooth trigger blade to replace the Weihrauch grooved blade that comes on the trigger, but otherwise the trigger unit is stock. I have adjusted and lubricated it, of course.

The match trigger also has no provisions for a safety, in contrast to the standard Rekord. Target guns are seldom provided with safeties, as their shooters are expected to be cognizant of safe shooting at all times.

The match Rekord has an aluminum collar around the trigger adjustment screw that is used to lock the screw after adjustment. This collar is turned by hand-pressure, only, so it is knurled on the outside to provide a better grip. Let’s sample the R1 trigger against an HW55-CM trigger and see how they differ in use.


This match-style Rekord trigger is on my HW55 CM. The most visible difference between this and the standard Rekord is the locking collar around the adjustment screw.

The R1 trigger breaks cleanly at 1 pound 1 ounce — a little lighter than the recommended 1 pound 8 ounces that the Beeman instructions used to recommend. You have to remember that I have shot this rifle extensively since it was new and I have worked on the trigger, as well.

The match Rekord in my HW55 CM breaks at 7 ounces, or just less than half of where the standard Rekord goes off. It is considered very safe at this low pressure setting, because of both the design of the Rekord and that fact that a target shooter will be handling the rifle.

The two Rekord triggers are dimensionally the same. The proof of that is my HW55 SF that is an HW50 with this trigger instead of the normal Rekord that’s found on the HW50s. Back when the 55SF was made, the HW 50 was a different model than today, but the same gun could accept either trigger.

Should you swap your trigger?
The question that always comes up when I tell people about these two triggers is why not just adjust a standard Rekord to have a pull weight equal to the match trigger? The answer is the match trigger isn’t designed to hold back pistons that are compressing powerful mainsprings like those found in an R1 — or even in lesser sporting rifles. And, if you were to install a match trigger in a sporting rifle, you would be doing the same thing. So leave the trigger that came with the gun where it is and be safe.

That’s it for today. Next we will look at the accuracy potential of this rifle.

47 thoughts on “The Beeman R1 Supermagnum air rifle 18 years later: Part 2


  1. B.B.

    I see that you have some loose fitting pellets there. Hope it does not mess up the accuracy too much.
    My R9 (tighter bore than your R1) has found the latest batch of FTS I got to be objectionable. The are about 5.50 as advertised as opposed to the 5.56 FTS that I previously got.

    I was out shooting some 5.53 FTT this morning, and the R9 is really liking them now. The Vortek had to get some more miles on it. It previously did not like them too well. M.V. 700 fps, FPE 16.1.

    So now I have a good stock of FTS that don’t fit right in my favorite .22. Might work in a couple others.

    twotalon


  2. Pearls of airgun wisdom.

    Never ceases to amaze me the number of guys drawn to airgunning because they like to tinker on airguns. It seems they’re the segment that would rather have an airgun torn apart on their workbench rather than be shooting it. They’re obsessed with modifications especially tunes and replace springs, seals and lubes frequently. Shooting is merely a required step in this process to learn what the outcome of their work is. The insight in todays article gives them a variety of tunes to try. The link to B.B.’s 13 part tuning series will turn them on and even empower new tinkerers.

    The Rekord trigger is in a small class of great airgun triggers. Attempts to duplicate this design are numerous. The original design has survived the test of time. If you learn how to adjust a Rekord you can have your ideal trigger.

    IMHO, Most airgun forums and blogs have two common themes, “How can I get the most power out of my XYZ airgun?” or “Here’s how I increased the power in my XYZ airgun by 20%!” Writing on a forum or blog about taking a 22fpe gun and making it into a 17 fpe gun will be overlooked by most but veteran airgunners will smile to themselves because they get it. I spent a lot of money to learn this important lesson. If you want a 13fpe gun buy an 18fpe model and detune it. DON’T buy a 11fpe gun and try to get it to shoot 13fpe. 17fpe in a .22 cal R1 is perfect IMHO. Paul Watts recently announced that he quit tuning R1′s. The primary reason was that too many guys wanted to push their R1 to the limit. When he did what they asked they would complain about cocking effort, harsh firing cycle and disappointment that their buddies R1 shot 30fps faster. Ah, the glorious life of a tuner.

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      I think the answer to why airgunners like to take ‘em apart lies in the desire to thoroughly understand what is going on in there, and see if they can impart improvements.

      It is the same thing that causes me to tear apart my model locomotives to try to improve performance, or to wrench on my cars.

      This impulse is balanced only by a fear of taking something apart I can’t get back together again, or, worse, having parts left over. Sometimes this happens, but that is the cost of education.

      Kids are in school today. I’m off to the range to see if my repairs/modifications on the old 880 are working (see above). Also going to sight in Nicky’s scoped 760 at 25 yards, and blast that ugly rat target at 50 yards with my .22 RS2.

      Les


      • Les,

        I think I understand the desire and in some airgunners the obesession, to take airguns apart. If this is a dimension to airgunning that they enjoy it’s fine by me. I’m not a tinkerer. I’d rather be shooting a tuned gun that an expert worked on since I don’t have the time or desire to learn what the pro’s know.

        Hope you have a good time at the range.

        kevin


    • Kevin,
      I think a lot more “detune” than you might think (JM has several “soft” kits and they seem to sell), but I agree there are always those who try to make up for non-existent tube volume with longer springs and spacers, etc., and proudly post those results. I suspect they silently detune after their initial euphoria wears off (or something breaks) and may not want to lose face by bragging that they lost 50 fps but can now hit the target paper consistently and don’t have to have teeth capped after every other session. My 36-2 was tuned in steps, starting at ~500fps (talk about smooth!) and spacing up until it seemed like it lost its charm, at which point, I pulled a spacer or two and called it good :). Anyway, you won’t tear up anything detuning a beast, but pushing a light rifle into much higher power can break stuff, I would think.

      The unspecified pellet diameter affects even clunk shooters like me! One batch of brand X works like match ammo, the next batch shoots poorly. PA was working on posting head diameters, but I’m not sure it is all there, or even if the manufacturers tell them everything. It may be why one rifle likes a pellet then 6 months later doesn’t.


      • BG-F

        Some pellets have so much variability within the same tin that advertising head size is pointless.
        Then the kinds that are very consistent in size will suddenly have a die change…..presto….different size.

        twotalon


        • There’s that too — although I’ve been pretty pleased with the Crosman Copperhead Wadcutters that come in a plastic pack when I run out of good ones, and the field hunting points are excellent longrange plinkers; that is a matter of expectations (low) more than anything else, but the wadcutters are really good at 20 yards and under in some rifles. I remember griping about it long ago with the JSB’s, which did specify head size — at one time you didn’t get a choice at all or any info. about what the size was, but of course the nominal size can change subtly (due to old or new dies) and still throw things out of whack.


      • BG_Farmer,

        You may be right about the number of airgunners that detune. I know a few.

        I completely agree about pellet batches. They can vary significantly. I tend to try new pellets quickly and if they work order sleeves immediately from the same vendor (usually PA) that are from the same confirmed lot.

        The R9 equivalent is the HW95. FWIW I have owned 3 or 4 of these examples. Couple in .177, one in the preferred .20 cal and one in .22 cal. One of the .177′s was tuned. Don’t think this gun is best in .177. The .20 cal was one of macarri’s TK’s. Maybe the tune was worn out but even this highly touted combination didn’t thrill me. The .22 cal was a trade gun and not broken in. I shot it a few times and couldn’t warm up to it either. Guess I’m not a R9/HW95 guy.

        As far as shooting an old HW50/55/R8 at 50 yards….you’ll have to learn the wind. The FWB 300 is typically less FPS than these guns and I would encourage you to search for Yrrah’s posts on the yellow on shooting his FWB 300 at 100 yards. Point being that velocity alone is not a measure of potential accuracy at 50 yards. The old HW50/55/R8 have the accuracy. It’s up to the shooter to learn how to compensate for wind at 50 yards and beyond but that’s the fun right?

        kevin


        • Kevin,
          Thanks for the R9 info.

          Regarding the low velocity, primarily what I’m trying to do most lately is practice for offhand muzzleloading matches (finally found something where my shooting style is appropriate :)). The “lock time” and “hold sensitivity” are _very_ similar (although you know those terms are mis-applied at least one way or the other :)) between the springer and the flintlock, but the trajectory and wind sensitivity can become distractions that serve no purpose in this application, whereas I agree they are fun and educational challenges in themselves when shooting off a bench, with a scope, flags, etc., but I usually do those types of things with rimfire and centerfire and only occasionally because it isn’t really my cup of tea. In terms of duplicating conditions, I like to get the targets as far out as I can compatible with the air rifle, because it gives more obvious feedback about shooting technique, better familiarity with view of target, etc.. ML targets are 25 yards, 50 yards, and sometimes 100 yards. 25 yard performance is pretty useful/almost identical to ML’er with the higher powered springers, and 50 is feasible, although ~8 gr. pellets start acting a lot different from 190 gr. balls at some point! Does that make more sense?


  3. Back from the range. Got Nicky’s 760 sighted in at 25 yards. The 880 I worked on still tries to come apart when I pump it. I’ll try another modification, and if that doesn’t work, will order some more parts.

    Shot a Shoot-N-C target at 25 yards with the RS2, then turned to the fat rat target at 50 yards.
    This thing is about the size of a large cat (sorry, Edith). It was too easy to shoot to center mass, so I concentrated on head shots. Didn’t change the scope settings, shot using holdover.

    Drain Pipe wound up thoroughly perforated. Next time, I’ll use a new target and try from 100 yards.

    Les


    • Desertdweller, read the awful story about your granddaughter’s accident. Well, what’s to be done. I guess you can’t go around warning your children in advance not to ride downhill on bikes whose brakes don’t work that they didn’t know about. Glad she has bounced back so well. Kids are amazingly resilient.

      B.B. and Edith. Okay, the lead disks with shot sound very damaging. The Circuit Judge is certainly lethal with that load or just about any other. My other question about the rifle has to do with reloading. The cylinder limits you to six shots or so, and I’m guess that there isn’t a speed loader. But may be with the disk load you will have nothing to worry about after six shots.

      How about this for insight into shooting?

      http://uk.news.yahoo.com/brains-not-brawn-knockout-karate-punch-science-160116694.html

      Small martial artists are able to throw harder punches than big people because they have rewired their brain for the necessary coordination with years of training. Maybe that’s what happens with continual shooting practice. And maybe this explains the importance of visualization. I understand that when you visualize, you are firing most if not all of the same nerves that you would during an actual motion. So, you can work on rewiring your brain all the time.

      Matt61




          • Desertdweller,

            The Rossi Circuit Judge revolver is rifled. The muzzle has a de-spinner to stop the shot column from rotating. There are also two chokes with the gun.

            B.B.


      • Matt,
        I think those disk/shot combination shells are what Winchester PDX1 ammo is. It’s three disks with twelve large shots sandwiched in between. Sounds painful to me. If six of those don’t do the job nothing will.
        -Chuck


    • What tries to come apart on your 880? FWIW, I have messed around with them, and have found that the metal levers from the older ones will fit the new ones, and that you can replace the entire shot tube assembly into an older one cheaper than renewing the separate parts of the older metal receiver 880′s. The old ones had separate barrels and valve assemblies ,the new ones are made in one piece,( barrels are not separate).If you have one that won’t group try another shot tube assembly that you can get from Daisy. You can buy at least two assemblies,maybe three with shipping for the cost of another new 880. I found that the Chinese ones had variable QC on the barrels. My son’s shot only a two inch group at ten meters. It was a China gun. Bought a new shot tube assembly and replaced it, and now it shoots 3/8″ groups at the same distance. It also has quite a bit more pop than a older metal receiver 881 that I restored. My old one does 580 fps with new parts and the China gun does nearly 700fps with pellets. My boys (8 and 11 years old) loved to shoot drainpipe, they also like the new Crosman zombie targets.


      • Robert,

        Two years ago, I replaced the shot tube/valve assembly in this gun. I think it was only $17. All the 880 parts are inexpensive.

        My old 880 is American-made. My newer one is Chinese-made.

        The older gun has a design flaw that caused the problem. Where the stock attaches to the receiver, it is held by only one bolt. Pumping the gun causes the halves of the receiver to spread. This causes misalignment of internal parts.

        I originally replaced the receiver halves because the lugs that hold the assembly screw (sort of a lag bolt) were not molded correctly, and were missing much of their length. By replacing the halves, the new ones held together, but eventually cracked inside. I cut them off flush with the interior of the receiver, and replaced them with a brass tube to provide lateral support. The lag screw was replaced with a bolt that continued through both sides and was secured with a nut/washer on the opposite (left) side.

        To add a second through bolt, I’ll need to drill out the metal part of the internal receiver, and add spacers between the metal internal receiver and the resin outer halves. Otherwise, the resin will crack when I tighten the bolt.

        Right now, when I pump the gun, the sides of the receiver spread. Even with a scope mounted, the rings clamped on the dovetails will not hold it together. I cannot expect the scope rings to hold the gun together.

        Daisy solved this problem by adding a second lag screw in the spot I would install one. The Chinese-built gun has this production change.

        Apparently, there is a lot of force being applied to the receiver when the gun is pumped. I do not have this problem with my Daisy 856, where the pump lever is the forestock, and the forces applied to the pump piston are more removed from the receiver.

        For what it’s worth, I think the 856 is a superior design. It pumps easier, and the forestock is easier on the hand than the 880′s narrow lever. Also, my late-model 856 is pellet-only. No bb port for the pellet to roll back and get stuck in.

        The 880 can also shoot bb’s. I think many (if not most) users do not use it for bb’s, as it has a rifled barrel. I can understand why it was made to shoot bb’s, too. It was aimed at the Crosman 760 market. But the 760 is a smooth bore gun, and sells in a price bracket below the 880. It is also a smaller gun more suited for young kids.

        The 880′s big selling point is its sharp appearance.

        Les


        • Les: I know what you are talking about with the receiver cracking. One of my original plastic receiver 880′s had that problem and I called Daisy . The factory rep told me that the installers were over tightening the bolt at the factory and that a design change was being made. That particular 880 went back to the retailer, and I got my money back. Shortly after this the Chinese version came out and the two extra screws were added to the stock attachment. Latter on I acquired the old 881 at a flea market for next to nothing, along with a Daisy 856 (you are right it IS better!) , and some others . All were missing barrels and that’s when I started fooling around again with them. I bought parts from Copelands for the older guns and I bought a new China 880 and the shot /tube/valve assemblies from Daisy. I swaped parts out to see what was changed and what could work in a pinch. If I were you, I would look for a cheap used old 880 or 881, with a sound metal receiver, or a newer used China 880 and use those parts to fix your 880. If you can find one , or the parts, the recently discontinued Daisy SG22 had a metal receiver, and a wood stock. I have one and it is the best of the 880 design in my opinion. The .22 pellets are more expensive , but the gun offers a lot more perform ace. My kids like it the best, because its easy to load pellets as it has no bb magazine. We don’t use bbs in any of our 880′s, and the pellets are always falling into the bb magazine with the .177 version. The SG22 is way easier to pump up compared to the Crosman guns for kids. My eight year old can easily pump the SG to eight pumps ,but can’t pump the 2100 Crosman more than four pumps, plus he will pinch his fingers in the Crosman.


          • BTW, The Crosman 22xx series pumpers also have a similar design problem, but it is at the front end of the receiver, where the entire barrel/pump assembly is held tight by one screw in the foward part of the receiver castings. If that one screw comes loose, and it will from use , the whole front half of the gun will wobble, and if you are using a scope with flimsy mounts your groups will open up. Also the plastic butt stock is held on by only one bolt, and I have had a couple that have cracked their stocks. You get what you pay for. Or not.


  4. B.B.,
    What exactly is an air-rifle “tune”? What are the most common elements of a tune? What can be done by pretty much anyone without requiring any special equipment? I’m not asking for an entire blog here, just the high level basics.

    I’ve mentioned that I have this Ruger Air Magnum that is by far the least accurate of all my rifles. What might I look at to possibly make improvements?
    Thanks,
    Victor


    • Victor,

      Oh contraire, mon ami! I’m about to go on a three-day trip to Leapers on Wednesday and i need things that don’t require testing and pictures. So, a blog it is!

      B.B.



      • OH, MAN! Here I thought BB’s perks were being able to shoot guns all day that I only think about. Now he gets to visit the Big Boys, too, whenever he wants to.

        Totally love the tune/detune idea for a blog.
        -Chuck


    • Victor,

      Here’s my opinion on tuning an airgun without stealing B.B.’s thunder.

      Tuning an airgun will make it easier to shoot accurately but will not make an inaccurate gun accurate.

      In other words, I don’t send guns off for professional tunes if I can’t get them to group.

      kevin


      • Kevin,
        I appreciate the insight. I’m not convinced that this particular rifle is as inherently inaccurate as I’ve experienced. What I mean by this is that B.B. did a blog on this rifle with Mac’s help, and they saw much better accuracy. Also, most reviewers claim to see decent accuracy from this rifle. I’m just wondering if there is some issue that might need addressing with my particular rifle. Part of the trouble for me is that I wouldn’t know what to look for. I’m probably grasping for straws, but I don’t mind taking a deeper look into it.
        Thanks,
        Victor


        • Victor…

          Just how bad does it shoot? Need some reference point. It certainly will not shoot as good as a high end competition rifle.

          Something that can bite you…
          Amazing how shooting something that makes a lot more noise, recoil, and vibration can make you fall apart. You may not even be able to tell that it is happening to you. You might become afraid of firing the gun. When you start to anticipate the brutal firing cycle, you are going to come apart on the shot.
          Try wearing ear plugs. Sounds silly, but even with hard kicking powder burners a reduction in noise can make the recoil seem less and the rifle much more pleasant to shoot.
          See if this helps you.

          twotalon


  5. B.B.,
    First off , the R1 always makes for a good read. Are these tidbits going to be part of a follow up book?
    Going back to the Circuit Judge, any reason for not going with a tactical style Mossberg pump that would handle that nasty ammo? Or even a used Winchester or Marlin lever made for the .410? Curious what the thought process was. Really wish I had held on to the 9410 now. Seems I am always ahead or behind the curve.

    BG Farmer,
    I think you will find the springer you are eluding to in an OLD style HW50S. Took me about a year and a half before I found a well used one on GB for just $135.00. Good news is 650 fps lead pellets are not going to shoot a barrel out, so no matter had bad it looks you can cure it. Since my skills are minimal at best, I sent the stock to a fellow down in Texas for refinishing. At the same time the action went to Rich in Mich and he cut the barrel down a bit and added a shroud. The barrel needed the cut as it appeared the rifle had been used in trench warfare it was so badly beat. Good news was very little rust,and I was able to replace the internals with a JM kit myself. Since you could handle the the finish work, the kit would make the rifle total about $210.00 and I would put it up against any mild sporter out their.
    It has more power than an R7 (this is the same action as in the famed R8) and is about a half inch shorter and just a wee bit heavier. I know you would want iron sights, but I sat a scope Kevin recommend on it. Slim little variable 14x model.


    • Volvo,

      We already have to Mossberg 500s — one 12 and the other a 20. But they are cumbersome and this is small, light and quick.

      B.B.


    • I don’t get the idea of a tactical .410 (Sorry Edith) , and IMO ,the .410 loads seem to me to have limited use for defense except maybe in knife range with face shots, and even then you had better be fast, as a reload isn’t happening fast. Personally I’d take a pistol cartridge lever action carbine over the .410 revolver/or revolving rifle every time. I’ve handled the Taurus judge revolver ,and it was more accurate with the .410 slugs than .45 colt ammo. The best ammo for it seemed to be the Winchester shells with the 3 buckshot in them. The same penetration as the slugs but three hits with each pull of the trigger. IMO, you are ahead of the curve. Your .357 92 , is just about perfect. Mine is the same ,but in .44-40, great for beheading rabbits too. On the other hand , the circut judge is probably a fun gun to shoot and would make an ok backcountry grouse /rabbit/ foraging weapon.


      • Robert from Arcade,

        I do like my Winchester 92 copy in .357 / 38 Special, so much so that I have been watching GB for a Browning version. The extreme flexibility of the two rounds is almost endless plus I have a SA and double action revolver that take the same ammo. Had looked at a 1911 in .357, but the recoil and flash seems harsh compared to the .45 ACP. That might be taking caliber versatility a bit too far.

        Appreciate you easing my mind that I don’t need to run out and pick up the .410. Lots of ways to skin a rabbit with the same result.

        B.B.,

        Never owned a Mossberg shotgun, all the ones I ever handled had a rattle in the forend. Always had either a Remington or Winchester pump. Just noticed Mossberg seem even less $$ with lots of tactical versions advertised. My 1960′s era pump with walnut and checkering would probably be laughed at now a days in most circles. Least ’till I started shooting her.


        • Volvo,

          Yep, they do rattle, but they also always work. I wanted a Winchester model 12 for a long time, but since I’m no shotgunner I have given up on that desire. Can’t have everything, I guess.

          B.B.


    • Volvo,
      You have me figured out — open sights a must, although I can change them if necessary, but the HW50s looks like it has an excellent set. My one concern is will old HW50s/R8 hold up OK to 50 yards with light wind at least? I’m not power-crazed, but I really like pushing the range closer to 50 sometimes (target/plinking wise). It seems like it might be on the light side for that regularly (just in terms of trajectory and drift), but I may be wrong. I thought we had discussed R9 at one point, but I don’t know which HW that is anymore. Based on previous experience with 36-2 and the new Blackhawk, mid 800′s to low 900′s (with 8.3gr pellets) seems to be the range I’m happy with. I’m was thinking I might not be totally crazy, because it seems to be the power level most springer FT rigs settle on (and I think they have reasonably similar expectations, although totally different style of shooting).


      • BG_Farmer,

        When I was the editor of Airgun Illustrated I had a couple of airgun hunters who potted hundreds of pigeons at a time at a farm in California at ranges up to 56 yards. Their favorite rifles were and R7 and an HW55.

        B.B.


        • BB,
          I remember that from a long ago blog. I think they must have enjoyed the challenge, also. I summarized my confused thinking in my reply to Kevin, but I may be missing something. I did shoot the 490 at 60 yards several times, and it is quite the challenge, fun and educational, but outside my primary usage model!


      • BG Farmer

        Didn’t know you turned into a power junkie on me, in that case sell all those other springers and get an HW 77K. Make sure it is the K – for carbine. I am more sure about you liking that pellet rifle than I was on my first wife.

        Now as far the old HW50S or R7, they will shoot out to 50 yards as BB confirmed, but they drop pretty quick after about 42. I recall being able to hit the 10 X on a ten meter target with my R7 around 45 yards with ease. But that was at 9X and clicking – fancy Kentucky windage if you will.


  6. I’m not sure if you read posts to old blogs, so here is my somewhat unrelated question: Can the TF99 be equipted with a Crosman Nitro Piston?
    I have attempted this conversion on the TF87, and find there is insufficent piston stroke to reset the trigger.
    PA offers the TF99 with this NP conversion, but there are no reviews over the year I’ve watched it.
    It has been suggested this could be achieved by installing a .150″ longer piston seal, or spacer, thus reducing the length of stroke, but I’ve yet to try that.
    I really like the idea of an inexpensive underlever Nitro Piston air rifle.


    • ctberfish2,

      If PA offers the TF99 with a Nitro Piston and you want to see a review, I think it might be arranged.

      Edith?

      B.B.


    • Cyberfish,
      The 36-2/TF99 piston seal thickness is critical to its cocking properly. If the TF87 is similar in design in that regard, the spacer (under the piston seal) will fix it right up. When I converted my 36-2 (aka TF99) to synthetic seal, I put 3 (? I think) fender washers (large thin washers with small hole) on top of the piston/under the seal for the same reason — the synthetic seal was much thinner than the original leather one, and the piston wouldn’t get pushed back far enough to latch/cock with just the new seal. I’d still like to see BB’s TF99 gas ram review, though :).


      • This was just the right advice I needed. I put a .160 inch nylon spacer under the seal, and that shortened the cocking stroke length just enough to make the Crosman Nitro Piston work in the TF-87.
        I had to add about a one inch spacer to the end of the piston rod to take up the slop in the stroke length. The piston chamber seats directly on the small knob on the trigger housing. There is no preload on the NP; the spring had about four inches of preload.
        I will shoot it over the chrony later to see how the mods have affected the fps.


  7. Good day Airgunners. Thanks a lot for the explanation and pictures, explaining and showing the two types of Rekord triggers. The fact that they are so consistent shot after shot, and seemingly indestructible in that they last for years without problem or need to tinker, shows why theyare the cream of the crop. I have not had the need to adjust any of the Rekord triggers on my Weihrauch rifles. I have had to adjust the triggers on the two HW45′s. And I am still tinkering with the evil HW70. Evil, being my term. Although the HW70′s trigger has a long single stage, it has taught me to slow down and squeeze the shot. My groups are much improved. You can learn a lot from a poor trigger. As a good one will let you get away with a pull or other bad habit. Another reason I love this sport. You never stop learning. As long as you are honest with yourself.
    Caio Titus


  8. 11 lbs. !!!!!! I’ll stick to my 350 magnum, lighter weight, easier to cock and more powerful. I have no love for heavy springers, but i like heavy centerfire rifles to tame recoil and save my shoulder any unnecessary pain and flinching.


  9. Someone just posted this on a small forum I go to, it’s the “qualitive variation of Cd factor with Mach number for aerospace vehicles” (drag on pellets vs the speed they’re going).
    Look at how fast it goes up once you reach around 950fps and go down again once the reach 2000fps.
    They should print this graph on airgun boxes!

    J-F


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