Cometa Fusion .177-caliber breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Cometa Fusion breakbarrel air rifle
The Cometa Fusion is a powerful breakbarrel with nice styling.

Let’s look at the velocity and power of the .177-caliber Cometa Fusion air rifle. They advertise this gun at 1,250 f.p.s. with alloy pellets and 1,083 with lead, so I’ll test both types.

Trigger
The first thing I’ll examine is the trigger. It has a two-stage pull with fixed lengths for both stages. The only adjustment you can make is to the trigger return spring, which changes the pull weight. And this one really does work. A single screw located behind the trigger blade and accessed through a hole in the triggerguard is how the adjustments are made. Screw in, and the pull weight increases until you reach a definite stop. Screw out, and it decreases until the screw comes out of its hole. I tried it all the way in and as far out as I felt the screw would still be retained safely. At the heaviest, the pull weight measured 2 lbs., 2 oz.; and at lightest, the trigger released at 1lb., 1 oz. Stage two has creep that remains throughout the adjustment range; and, as mentioned, the length of stage one never changes.

Cocking effort
The rifle cocks easily for its power. It varies between 30 and 32 lbs. Once a rhythm was found, it cocked at 31 lbs. pretty regularly. The noise I reported in Part 1 turns out to be the piston seal. It’s on the cusp of needing oil; but with a rifle of this power, I don’t think I will oil it. Instead, I’ll let the gun break in and the noise should stop after a thousand rounds or so.

Velocity
I tested the rifle with three lead pellets and one lead-free pellet. The first pellet was the RWS Superdome, an 8.3-grain pure lead dome that many shooters like. Superdomes averaged 976 f.p.s. in this Fusion. The spread went from 969 to 981 f.p.s., so a 12 f.p.s. difference. You know, back in the bad old days of 1970, a result like that would signal a tuned airgun. These days, the better powerplants all seem to hold their velocities tight when the pellets match the bore well.

At the average velocity, this pellet produces 17.56 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. That’s pretty snappy, and it’s still in the comfortable range for a breakbarrel springer. When these guns get over 20 foot-pounds, they become very twitchy to shoot — requiring all sorts of special techniques. Let’s hope the Fusion is well-behaved in that respect!

The next pellet I tried was the old standard RWS Hobby. At 7 grains, the Hobby is one of the lightest lead pellets, and I use it a lot to test velocity claims. Today, the claim is 1,083 f.p.s., so lets see what happened.

Hobbys averaged 1,044 f.p.s. in this Fusion. The spread went from 1,034 to 1,054 f.p.s., so a 20 f.p.s. difference. The last shot was the 1,054 f.p.s. shot, and I think this rifle will continue to increase in velocity as it breaks in, so the claim of 1,083 f.p.s, does seem reasonable. But it’s good that they didn’t say 1,084 f.p.s., because no one would believe that! At the average velocity, Hobbys produced 16.95 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

The final lead pellet I tested was the JSB Exact 8.4-grain dome. They fit the breech very loosely, and the average velocity was 920 f.p.s. The spread went from 909 to 968 f.p.s., though the bulk of the 10 shots were in the 930s. I think I won’t use this pellet in the accuracy test because of how loose they are in the breech and also the huge 59 f.p.s. velocity spread. Since the other pellets were so regular, I believe this one has to be ruled out. They produced an average of 15.79 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Non-lead pellet
The last pellet I tested was an RWS HyperMAX 5.2-grain lead-free pellet. These fit the bore even looser than the JSBs, though a couple were larger and fit better. They averaged 1,220 f.p.s. with a spread from 1,208 to 1,226 f.p.s. The small deviation was surprising because of the loose fit. I doubt they would be accurate, but what they did do was confirm that the Fusion seems to be right on the money as far as the velocity claims go. As I said earlier, the rifle is likely to speed up as it wears in, so the fact that no pellet went the claimed 1,250 f.p.s. doesn’t bother me. They produced an average of 17.19 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Overall impressions
One reader likened the Fusion to an FWB 124 just from the shape of the stock, and I have to say I think that comparison is accurate. Like a 124, this rifle cocks smoothly and with less effort than its velocity dictates, though the Fusion is far faster than the 124.

The trigger is creepy but repeatable. I believe I can learn it and will do well with it.

The overall size of this rifle is very good for what it delivers. It’s like a Beeman R9, in that it has the power in a convenient package. I can’t wait to see how it shoots!

33 thoughts on “Cometa Fusion .177-caliber breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

  1. B.B.,
    I would think that a rifle this powerful would be better suited for heavy pellets like the CP heavies at 10.5 grains.
    Victor


    • The power(pressure)-curve on most spring-piston models, from what I’ve seen, is such that heavy pellets tend to be less effective. Doesn’t seem to matter what the overall spring tension/rated velocity is; lighter pellets seem to get more initial acceleration from the pressure peak.


      • Wulfraed,

        I’m speaking in terms of accuracy, although I didn’t explicitly specify that (sorry). I have some high power air-rifles that only shoot heavy pellets well (accurately/precisely). The difference is huge.

        Victor



    • Mel,

      You are right! I didn’t see that screw when I examined the trigger, but after looking at the photo I used a tactical flashlight and can now see it.

      I will revisit the trigger adjustment in Part 3 and report on the effectiveness of that adjustment.

      The Fusion I have did not come with a manual, so I was winging it.

      Thanks,

      B.B.


  2. B.B.,

    You say, “with a rifle of this power, I don’t think I will oil it.” I’m trying to learn more about the inner workings of airguns. Can you explain the relationship between power & oil (or its lack) & maybe the power level at which you become hesitant about oiling an airgun?

    And while I’m already posting, is there a collection of assorted O-rings available that is particularly good for general airgun repair? Some I can buy at once & not have to head to a hardware store or auto shop everytime I need an o-ring to repair or renew an airgun?

    Thanks,

    Jim


    • Jim,

      My statement stems from experience and also from a general shift in airgun technology over the past 30 years. When air rifles had leather piston seals, oil was essential to keep the leather soft and pliable. But with the introduction of synthetic seals, oil became far less necessary. But the word is out there that all air rifles have to be oiled, so people oil their guns, even when it is counter-productinve. Over-oiling a powerful gun sets it up for a long session of detonations, where the oil explodes from the heat of compression with each shot. I wanted to avoid that.

      Modern seals are mostly self-lubricating and need only a very small amount of high flashpoint oil to function properly. So I err on the side of using too little oil.

      There aren’t many o-rings in spring-piston guns. The seals are round, but they aren’t usually o-rings. And each gun has different needs. Weihrauch (Beeman R-series) guns, for example, use a breech seal that’s round like an o-ring, but five times taller. It is formed especially for those guns. So an o-ring assortment would be of no value with that brand of gun.

      B.B.


      • Argh, so why have my Daisy 747 seals gone bad? No doubt about it. I was hoping for the problem to go away but I needed two major dosings of pellgunoil to complete my 60 rounds last night.

        Matt61


        • Matt,

          The synthetic material in the seals of your single-stroke pneumatoic are more flexible than those found in the spring-piston air rifle. The air rifle can generate 1,500 psi, while you generate a couple hundred with that one slow pump stroke. The more flexible seals have to remain flexible to work. Piston seals are harder and less affected by the air, so they don’t tend to harden like yours did.

          B.B.


  3. This was sent to the wrong address, so I have posted it here and I’ll answer it, as well.

    By way of introduction I’m a 79 year old shooter, mostly rimfire but also Tau 7 air pistol.
    I may have peaked with my ability level since the onset of senior tremor, mostly in my left hand. But I can shoot rifle quite comfortably with no serious tremor happening. So I want to get an airgun for 10 meter. I’ve seen the Daisy 887 on the CMP site but have found no reviews. Do you think that gun will serve my casual target shooting purpose? I do plan to compete at the club level so I want to get good, better and even better. Any other ideas, recommendations, resources are deeply appreciated. I read your archived blogs to the extent that I think I know you already. Anyway I’m looking forward to your response….

    Thanks and best regards,
    Alex.


    • Alex,

      For the money you will spend, the 887 is the best bet in a target rifle. That’s because it runs on CO2.

      I personally don’t like CO2 in a competition gun for a variety of support reasons, but I cannot fault it for accuracy. So your choice is the best at that price.

      B.B.


    • Alex,
      The Daisy rifles lack in the trigger so you may want to try one before you buy. Since you have a TAU 7 may I suggest a TAU 200, they use the same piercing cap or fill cap and have the same trigger as your 7.


  4. Hmmm, very interesting. A rifle whose manufacturer actually claims realistic velocity results. A two way adjustable trigger and comparisons to high quality German air rifles. Now, will the rifle “hunt” (produce accuracy that will stay with the Germans)? Can hardly wait. A Spanish rifle for the collection would be welcome.

    Fred DPRoNJ


    • I was thinking the same thing while reading this article, Fred! A pleasant surprise! I’d say, “Great minds think alike”, but in my case it’s probably a fluke…. $335 puts it at about half of what its German competition costs, so anything close in accuracy would be a bonus! I’ll be waiting on the accuracy tests which should tell the rest of the story.

      /Dave


  5. B.B.,

    Thanks for the info on power & oil.

    Re: o-rings, I have very few springers & no plans to re-work them. Mostly I have multi-pumps (Crosman 1377, Benj Sher) & CO2 (Crosman 2240, Umarex/S&W 586, RWS 850). A couple single stroke pneumatics.

    Would o-rings be useful for say the 1377 &/or 2240? If so, is there an assortment of particularly useful sizes? (If not, one item off my to do list!)

    Thanks both for any response & for the very useful blog generally.

    Jim


    • Jim,

      I don’t know why I thought you were talking about springers, but yes, for all pneumatic and CO2 guns an assortment of o-rings would be handy.

      Why don’t you cut to the chase and go to a repair station to order the o-rings you would like to have? Yes, you’ll pay more, but you won’t have to buy 100 at a time and they will give you the right part according to the parts list.

      Call Pyramyd Air’s tech department with the gun models you want spare o-rings for and they should be able to set you up.

      B,B.




  6. BB,
    It seems like this one is roughly competitive in general with the Diana 350M and such? If so, I think the trigger has to be pretty good with T06 units like the one on my 34P available. Velocity wise, it looks right on target, and it is a pretty attractive rifle for the traditional types. Accuracy is the one question mark, and I guess we’ll see that soon…


  7. Yes, the shooting performance of this rifle should tell us something about that air stripper device too.

    B.B., as the saying goes, you’re a better man than I am to make sense of the discussion of the crossbow trigger in the Payne-Gallwey book. The mysterious trigger sear looks to be a circular piece of metal (as seen from the side) with a right angle notch cut into it. This is hooked into a similar right angle notch that is attached to the trigger blade. Moving the trigger slides the two pieces along until they meet the right angle and the sear falls off the cliff as it were. The rest of it was kind of a Rube Goldberg apparatus that ultimately released tension from the crossbow bolt. Hm, well, I’ll just file this away for my Mosin trigger which should be arriving any day now.

    Yes, that was Beelzebubba himself yesterday… :-) But that’s a good point that he may not have been personally responsible for destroying those great M14 rifles. He probably had a lot else on his mind. I understand that on one bad day, Hillary threw a lamp at him. They were probably the weirdest first couple ever, and to him I attribute this modern habit of simply ignoring the most outrageous revelations and pushing ahead. I don’t recall politicians doing that before–not to the same degree.

    Watching his entourage, I was reminded of Walt Whitman commenting on the political machines of his day: “Creatures of presidents, creatures of would-be presidents, spaniels well-trained to carry and fetch.”

    But on a more optimistic note:

    “Have you outstript everyone? Are you the President?
    It is a trifle. All will arrive here and pass on.”

    Matt61


  8. By the way, on the general subject of health, I have powerful medicines coursing through me including an injection that I administered to myself this morning right in the midsection! So far so good. But I’m reminded of the Spencer Tracy version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ca. 1941. After taking the Mr. Hyde medicine for the first time, he checks his vital signs. Heart rate: normal. Respiration: normal. And then suddenly, Yarrggggh…..

    Matt61


  9. Day three of the one-shot-per-day-for 10-days test and already Murphy’s Law invaded my life.

    The worst is that the peep sight fell off the IZH-61 on shot two. I put it back on and tried to recover the situation but it became too messy. I decided rather than to re-sight the 61 I’d use the Bronco with the Beeman peep sight instead, so I’ll still have a spring piston in the mix.

    The next worse is that I forgot how to shoot a rifle. I’ve been practicing offhand shooting with a pistol so much that I’ve totally neglected my rifles. So now I’ve been practicing with my rifles again to get that feel back. I shot some really nice 10 shot groups with both rifles so I think I’m ready now.

    Third, the targets I’m using are too small for my pistol blade/post sight, eyesight combo. I have a hard time keeping those smaller bulls from being an unseen blur. The peeps on the rifles seem to make them clearer. For some reason the blade/post sight works fine out at arms length for a 2 inch bull but I don’t know how to do this test that way on a half inch bull benched.

    I think I’ll drop the pistol from the test and just do the Challenger and the Bronco. The up side to this is that shooting my 64M just one shot a day for this test is messing up my pistol target practice training. It’s like a body builder lifting one weight once a day for 10 days and expecting to keep muscle tone.

    So now I’m back to square one. Tomorrow starts one-shot-per-day-for-10-days test – take 2, roll the cameras.

    -Chuckj


  10. Hey BB
    Just wondering if you shot the .22, since you did get both, and what you think of the .22. I am excited to see the accuracy results. Thanks for all the info as always.


    • Steve,

      In fact I have shot both rifles for accuracy already. But that’s getting ahead of the story, so mum’s the word for right now.

      B.B.



        • Dollars to donuts that the Fusion is a rebodied RWS94. I predict (!!!) that BB won’t find that the .22 variants produce much more power (1 ft-lb or less). Power plant’s not much bigger than a Gamo’s, although the spring is a bit stronger.

          If BB proves me wrong, I’ll not be able to live with myself.


          • That is sort of what I’ve been assuming, and it isn’t a bad thing, right? I thought the RWS94′s were some nice ones from what I’ve read about them.


          • You are right. The “Diana 94″ is the Cometa 400, which differs from the Cometa Fusion in stock and the barrel shroud/air stripper device.

            (By the way: I hate to see how you poor US airgunners get totally random airguns relabeled as soemone else’s stuff. Why must a Cometa become a Diana, a Hatsan a Hämmerli? It just adds confusion and a lot of mist that obscures the real qualities of the airguns.)


  11. The Cometa Fusion I purchased a year ago had a trigger that could adjust for both pull weight AND second stage creep. It’s too bad the newer versions do not have this option, because the trigger on my gun can be adjusted for a crisp 2nd stage. I hope this gun’s a shooter, though!


    • mattalizer,

      Apparently you missed the early comment that called me on this. The trigger DOES have a length of pull adjustment. The screw was buried too deep tyo see and I missed it. And I don’t have an owner’s manual for the gun.

      I will correct the oversight in Part 3.

      B.B.


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