Cometa Fusion .177-caliber breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

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

Before we start, just a reminder that I’m traveling to Roanoke, Virginia, today and tomorrow. So, I’m asking the veteran readers to help me answer the questions from newer readers. Thanks!

Well, folks, we have a winner! The Cometa Fusion air rifle has everything you want in a midrange spring-piston air rifle. When I show you what it can do and tell you some things I’ve discovered, I think you’ll see what I mean.

The trigger
First things first. Last time I reported that the trigger adjusts for pull weight but not for the length of the first stage. Well, I was wrong. It also adjusts for the length of the first stage, which affects the length of stage two, in turn. Blog reader Mel pointed me to the adjustment, which I will now tell you about and also show you.

Deep down inside the trigger mechanism, behind the trigger blade, there’s another small screw that controls the length of the first stage pull, and correspondingly, the second stage pull as well. If the first stage is lengthened, stage two becomes shorter. I like a good long first stage so I turned the screw out (counterclockwise) several turns, then tested the trigger. I hit it right on the money on the first try. Now, all the creep I complained about in stage one and stage two is crisp and predictable! The trigger is a wonderful sporting trigger, and it helped me shoot rather than having to be overcome by technique. So, buy this rifle for its trigger!

Cometa Fusion breakbarrel air rifle trigger adjustment screw
The first-stage travel adjustment screw is located deep inside the trigger mechanism, behind the trigger blade. The large silver thing at the right of the triggerguard is the pull-weight adjustment screw that’s much more accessible and easier to see. This photo required a lot of setup, and the light had to just graze the screw so it wouldn’t flare out as a hotspot.

I have to say that having creep in stage one seems very strange, because stage one is just the trigger return spring. Obviously, this trigger works a little differently than I’m imagining. But the return spring still works, and the trigger blade returns to the start point if you squeeze to stage two, then relax again. And that’s what a good trigger should do.

Accuracy
I mounted the Hawke 4.5-14×42 Tactical Sidewinder scope that’s the best scope I have for this kind of test. As for the shooting, I thought I would try something different this time. Instead of testing a handful of different pellets, I thought I would find one that worked well and play with it.

RWS Superdomes were not a good pellet in the Fusion. Neither were JSB Exact 8.4-grain domes. But when I tried the JSB Exact 10.3-grain domes, I had a winner. And I stayed with that pellet for the rest of the test.

The first group I shot looked to be so good that I took a photo after just five shots. I show that now for comparison with the 10-shot group.

Cometa Fusion breakbarrel air rifle JSB group 1 5 shots
The first 5 shots with JSB 10.3-grain exacts looks like this. It’s the size of Roosevelt’s head on the dime and measures 0.204 inches between centers. It was photographed and measured right on the target trap so I could continue to shoot.

But the 5 shots that followed opened the group considerably.

Cometa Fusion breakbarrel air rifle JSB group 2
And THIS is why we shoot 10 shots and not 5. Shots 6 and 7 are in the small group, but 8, 9 and 10 are strung out above the main group. It now measures 0.974 inches between the centers of the two shots farthest apart.

Something was opening the group after 7 shots. I didn’t know what it was, but I went through the checklist. Screws, eye placement, etc. I even put some tape on the stock to regulate where I placed my eye. And I shot another group.

Cometa Fusion breakbarrel air rifle JSB group 3
Okay, we’re getting better! Seven shots went into 0.217-inches. But there were 3 more shots that opened the group to 0.823 inches. What was wrong?

Something was still wrong and I needed to know what. Just on a whim, I adjusted the Hawke scope up a couple clicks to center the next group and that’s when I discovered that the scope reticle was adjusted up as high as it would go. Perhaps the erector tube was floating? It certainly acted that way.

Next, I cranked in about 40 clicks of down adjustment, and the point of impact remained where it had been. Then, another 40 clicks down, and I did get a little downward movement. So I used the hash marks (like mil-dots) in the reticle as an aiming reference, to move the group up a little.

Cometa Fusion breakbarrel air rifle JSB group 4
And there’s the group I was looking for! A dime-sized 10-shot group measured 0.448 inches between the centers.

Overall impressions
Someone said the Fusion reminded him of an FWB 124. Well, it certainly shoots like one — only the Fusion has the better trigger. It does cock harder than a 124, but it’s commensurately more powerful, as well.

The shooting sensation is a lot of forward recoil, just like a 124. The rifle wants to be held with the off-hand back in front of the triggerguard, in a very muzzle-heavy balance. The shot cycle is fairly calm and quick, without much vibration.

All things considered, I think we have a winner here. I’ll also test the .22-caliber Fusion.

29 thoughts on “Cometa Fusion .177-caliber breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

  1. I’m so glad for you US guys that Pyramydair starts to carry the Cometa line of Rifles. For years, I’ve seen them, along with the Slavias, as THE alternative to Weihrauch and Diana. They are, in my opinion, much better than Gamo, Norica, Hatsan etc etc. – especially the higher end models (Fusion and Cometa 400), whith their four-lever trigger assembly.



  2. Definitely worth considering if/when I’m in the market for another break-barrel! Nice to hear about the trigger adjustment working.

    /Dave


  3. I am more than happy with the results of your test and looking forward to see how the 0.22″ cal. Cometa Fusion is on target. I agree 100% with Mel’s previous post in that for a shooter with a lower budget these are “honest” options to choose from ( if we leave aside the German guns). There seems to be a confusion amongst many shooters (mainly newcomers to the sport) about Spanish made air rifles. A lot of people think that all Spanish made airguns are of the same quality (i.e. Gamo = Norica = Cometa = Gamo again as the most known brand of them all) – this is NOT the case here! I wish to thank you once more for this test that surely helped to clear out some misunderstandings!


  4. Never understood why the earlier variant of this rifle – the ’94, never did all that well. In construction, operation, and performance it always seemed more mature than the “better-known” Spanish gun, if you know what I mean.

    I do have a question, though – why no Crosman Premiers?


  5. From looking at your pellet choices (here and prior blogs) that you do not subscribe to the Cardew’s and CharlieDaT’s thoughts about limiting a .17 to something at or under 9.3 grains, to minimize damage risk? I’ve sometimes shot several pellets styles over 10 grains, in the hopes of taming more powerfull .17s, but these gurus’ advice scare me a bit…


    • If the choice is A) shoot pellets so fast that they scatter to the four corners of the barn….or B) use a pellet that moves at an apropriate speed condusive to repeatable precision and get a couple thousand less shots out of the life of the spring,I choose B every time! I think there are many factors in play that must be considered when trying to benefit from the advice offered by experts.I don’t offer this opinion to discredit anybody or what they have stated……just to examine the good & bad that may come from drawing your own conclusions…..FWIW I base this on my experiences with a Gamo Hunter 1250,which insists on Crosman Premier Heavys lubed with Whiscombe Honey!


      • If you consider the fact that most of these springers use the same spring
        in .177 and .22 and sometimes even in .25 rifles,then either you’ll get less
        shots on the spring as the caliber goes up or the reasoning of the “guru’s”
        is flawed.JMO Either way,I agree with Frank B,shoot the pellet that’s accurate
        in the gun :)


      • Personally, I can’t understand the alleged mechanics behind heavy pellets supposedly being bad for springs. Even the heaviest pellet – one that doesn’t move – will cause the spring to bottom out on a cushion of compressed air. I can’t see that shock-loading the spring to the point of shortening its life.


        • That’s the REAL reason I used SO many words……so I could give an answer that can exist in a universe of Experts.I feel in reality only a pellet thats too light or fails to fit the bore with sufficient static friction is the real killer of springer parts.It is the only scenario I can model mentally where parts are subject to “unusually severe” stresses.In other words,I feel that the cushion of air is vital to the equation……and certain pellets become inapropriate due to their inability to provide it in the shot cycle.There…..now I’m out on my preferred limb.Take that,experts! LOL





    • {Going back to my earlier query about trigger rise}

      Pivot pin almost directly over the finger, so I would expect minimal rise. (hard to determine which is which — pivot appears black, the first stage is the silver pin).

      This is NOT a “first stage is return spring” trigger; the first stage IS moving the sear (which is riding on silver pin #1) until the second stage screw makes contact — since the screw is farther from the trigger pivot and closer to the sear pivot the leverage goes down when it touches and the pull-weight goes up.

      What I can’t tell is if there is enough spring tension on the sear to return it to full engagement if the trigger blade is allowed to reset forward. If there isn’t, then this trigger assembly acts similar to the T01 on my RWS m54 — and releasing the trigger after the first stage pull leaves the sear partially engaged. (Given that it has a pull-weight adjustment that looks to act upward against the part of the sear behind the silver ring bearing below #2, it may be sufficient to reset the engagement)

      The nice thing about this trigger is the pivot location, compared to the T01′s upward rise (take this assembly, leave the pivot and contact points where they are, but put the curved blade all the way to the right. (or glance at the sketch on http://www.eddiecolwell.tzo.com/RWS-54.htm ) {If I interpret the sketch correctly, the T01 has separate springs on the trigger vs sear, neither adjustable, and the sear spring is not strong enough to reset if you let go of the trigger}


  6. I like this new reporting format for accuracy testing.

    I don’t need to see target pictures of average groups shot with pellets the gun doesn’t care for. I already have lots of those targets LOL!

    Much prefer a sentence with the list of pellets that were tried and didn’t perform. If I bought the same model of gun I would still probably try the pellets that didn’t perform in the test gun though.

    I really like the report focusing on the most accurate pellet, of the few that were tested, and shooting multiple 10 shot groups. This allows B.B. more time to attempt to perfect the hold and maybe diagnose other accuracy robbing issues (like the scopes erector tube floating in this case).

    In this hot rod I think I’d also try CPH and baracuda/kodiak pellets.

    kevin


  7. Interesting review of an interesting air rifle. That said, at $335.00, there are other choices at this price point that I would choose. HW, Beeman, RWS, etc., for example. Remember, an unknown item does not hold its value. You buy it, it is yours.
    Pete
    California


  8. Nice detective work and nice shooting, B.B. But with a floating erector tube, I’m surprised that you got any shots to cluster.

    All right folks, I have an answer to the problem of pellets falling out of the clips for the IZH 61. I’ve seen lots of complaints about this online and encountered the same problem myself. It did destroy my dreams of walking around with a pouch filled with loaded clips since the pellets all fell out. What you do is tilt the rifle slightly down. Place the clip in the magazine well. Then, place your thumb so as to cover the pellets and act as a guide as you slide the clip home. Your pellets will never ever fall out. The movement now is completely natural, and I don’t even think about it. There may even be a reason why the pellets are held loosely. It makes it easier for the loading rod to push them into the chamber.

    Thanks Wulfraed for the advice about Liquid Wrench which I had never heard of. I can say that Ballistol is absolutely not doing the trick. I wrapped a pair of needle-nosed pliers with a rag and pushed on the barrel bands as I much as I dared. I used quite a bit of force, much more than anyone could apply with their bare hands. I got about a millimeter of movement on the rear band and absolutely nothing on the front band. If my seller is to be believed, this gun was rearsenaled right after the war and stuck in storage in Ukraine ever since. That’s decades for the Cosmoline to harden. I’ll consider the new solutions, but I’m starting to think that putting my $500 rifle at risk with my amateurism is not worth it. We might have to admit defeat to the Russian peasants on this one and send it off to the gunsmith.

    Matt61


    • Liquid Wrench is good stuff. But, I swear by Kano Kroil and have been using it for years. Many uses but my two favorites are getting things unstuck (like a seized engine block) and using to clean fouled firearm barrels. A long range firearm shooter turned me onto using it inside barrels.

      kevin


  9. I have a Fusion Black on .177″ caliber and the best pellet option is the JSB Exact 4.52mm and JSB Express 4.52mm

    [img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-QIAXnv91JFo/S4-6JP3pxII/AAAAAAAAAaw/hm0ETujzGJQ/s912/DSC00453.JPG[/img]



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