Falke 90 test: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Falke 90 restored
Falke 90 underlever rifle is a German spring-piston gun from the early 1950s.

Cometa Fusion .22 update
Before I begin, I want to update you on the Cometa Fusion Premier Star report that I’m doing. The fifth accuracy test failed because the scope moved — again! Kevin sent me a special base that people on the internet were having success with, but alas, it did not stay put on the rifle I’m testing.

The vertical scope stop pin on this base is 0.137 inches in diameter, and the stop pin hole on the rifle is 0.111 inches; so, the stop pin cannot enter the hole. As I’ve said many times in the past — no amount of clamping pressure, alone, is enough to hold a scope base from moving, except when BKL mounts of the correct size are used. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of them with enough droop to compensate for this rifle.

I do, however, think this mount base will work because it does have the amount of droop that I need for the rifle. When I come home from the SHOT Show, my plan is to grind the base pin thinner so it will fit into the hole. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what I can do that I haven’t already tried. Remember, I’m doing this because I believe the rifle is accurate and would be a wonderful value if I can just get the scope to stay put.

On to the Falke
I started this report on the Falke 90 because I hadn’t really shot it that much since getting it in 2010. Vince fixed it for me, and Mac did the accuracy test. I got the rifle back from Mac, but there wasn’t anything to do that hadn’t been done. So, this year I had the stock restored, and that was a huge project for Doug Phillips at DAMAGEDWOODSTOCKS. Then, I thought I would test the rifle as though I’d just bought it because, essentially, that’s what happened!

I learned in Part 2 that the velocity and stability of the rifle were affected by the depth the pellet was seated into the loading tap. And the Falke’s tap is a small one, compared to other taps I’ve used, so the seating depth is more variable in this rifle with most pellets. Most pellets fall into the tap and stop at different depths, and often they aren’t in far enough to close the tap without damaging the pellet. That will become important in this test.

RWS Superpoint
The first pellet I tried is the one that I always shoot in Hakim rifles, which are very similar to this one. It’s the 14.5-grain RWS Superpoint. I expected to get the same performance from this rifle as I got from more than a dozen Hakims over the years. Alas, that didn’t happen. The tighter loading tap on the Falke meant I had to seat the pellets manually to clear the tap, and the results at 10 meters, rested, were not that good. Ten shots made a group that measures 1.124 inches between centers. As you can see, it’s an open group with scattered hits that tend toward the vertical.

Falke 90 RWS Superpoint target
RWS Superpoints did not prove accurate in the Falke 90.

JSB Exact 15.9-grain
I won’t even show a target for the JSB Exact 15.9-grain domes because the pellets went all over the place. I didn’t even finish the group.

RWS Superdome
Next, I tried RWS Superdomes, but they weren’t much better than Superpoints. They did give a smaller group, at 0.861 inches between centers, but that’s only good by comparison. I’m looking for better accuracy from this Falke because I think it’s there. Oh, yeah, also because Mac got much better accuracy in his test!

Falke 90 RWS Superdome target
This is better but still not as good as I’m expecting. RWS Superdome pellets.

The iron sights are fighting me
At this point in the test, I had to admit the iron sights on the rifle were working against me. I simply could not adjust them high enough to get the pellets centered in the bull at 10 meters. I remember that Mac used a red dot sight he mounted to the rifle, and I may need to do the same to get the groups I’m looking for. That will have to be another test because this one was already taking a lot of time and I wasn’t finished.

What did Mac do?
When Mac tested the rifle he found that the obsolete 5.6mm Eley Wasp pellet shot best. In fact, it wasn’t close. He got a group with Superdomes like I did, though he shot from 15 yards rather than 11 (which is 10 meters). So, the next pellet I tried was the Eley Wasp.

Eley Wasps
Eley Wasps are much larger than other .22-caliber pellets, so imagine my surprise when the first one fell deep enough into the tap to not require seating. After that, though, I seated every pellet to the bottom of the tap. Perhaps this is why Mac was telling me to do this! I didn’t appreciate it during the velocity test, when deep seating made the velocities more variable; but in the accuracy test, look what happened! Nine of the 10 pellets went into an almost single hole that measures 0.695 inches between centers. And the 10th shot is way low. It opens the group to 1.029 inches. Want to guess that this is the first shot that wasn’t seated deeply? I don’t know if it is, because I didn’t look at the target before I completed it. I only saw this when I went downrange to retrieve the target for photography and measuring…but I think it is.

Falke 90 Eley Wasp target
Nine in 0.695 inches, and one below opens it to 1.029 inches. I don’t know, but I’m guessing the one I didn’t seat deeply was the stray shot.

What have I learned so far?
The Falke is certainly a different air rifle, and it doesn’t turn out to be what I thought it would be. I like the feel of Hakim rifles better than this one. They seem to shoot smoother, and their triggers are easier to adjust. Still, I don’t think I’ve completely mastered the Falke 90 yet.

This reminds me very much of a .22-caliber BSF Bavaria S54 taploader I used to own. It had a huge diopter rear sight, yet couldn’t hold a candle to a plain old Diana 27 for accuracy. Just because a rifle is a rare and vintage gun is no guarantee that it will also be a smooth and accurate shooter.

I do think that I need to try the Falke again, and this time with a dot sight mounted. And I’ll deep-seat Eley Wasps from the start and not worry about whether or not there are other good pellets.

This is a learning experience — that’s for sure!

83 thoughts on “Falke 90 test: Part 4

  1. BB,

    I know this probably won’t help you much since the Cometa Fusion you’re testing isn’t your gun (and PA and Cometa probably would not approve if you did this), but I wonder if the obvious solution is to drill out the stop pin hole on the rifle to .137 (or whatever else the base you’re using requires). Or is that not possible with a springer?

    Regardless of how you ultimately resolve the issue, it also seems to me that someone needs to tell Cometa to use a standard sized scope stop pin hole. (Or is there not a standard size for scope stop pin holes?)


    • J,

      I think you’re right. Since this isn’t B.B.’s gun (it’s only on loan for testing) he doesn’t have the right to modify/deface the gun. More importantly, his testing is primarily about identifying problems and suggesting less intrusive solutions than redrilling stop pin holes in the gun.

      For what it’s worth, if it was my gun I wouldn’t drill the stop pin holes either unless I exhausted all other solutions. It’s a last resort in my book and even a good job with decent cold blue wouldn’t match the factory’s. I think B.B.’s on the right track in planning to modify that stop pin.

      I also agree with you and think someone needs to bring this critical issue to the attention of Cometa.

      kevin


    • J,

      I agree with what Kevin said, plus you can’t just drill the hole bigger. The spring tube is very thin and you risk drilling through to the internal mechanism, so the rifle needs to be disassembled to do the job right.

      B.B.


      • I’d have drilled out the tube for a larger stop pin hole, “adjusted” the barrel to remove some of that droop and probably carved my initials into the forend. I was really pulling for that gun. Like BB, I get some satisfaction trying to get underdog airguns to shoot well.


      • BB,

        I figured my suggestion probably wouldn’t help you since, like I said originally, I knew it was a loaner for evaluation purposes. And I figured that modifying the rifle wouldn’t be the ideal solution. I thought for someone who owned this rifle and had this problem it might be a case of well I’ve tried everything else I can think of and nothing seems to work, what about… However I didn’t think it would be as difficult to drill the pin hole out as you said it would be. Then again I don’t normally shoot springers and haven’t taken any apart so this is a case of live and learn.

        The more I think about it, the more I agree with twotalon on the Cometa. I originally had hopes it could be a nice airgun since you pointed out the groups within a group, but at this point I just don’t think its worth it since as it is there are significant problems (loose/droopy barrel, can’t lock a scope down…). It makes me think that the average shooter would have too many unnecessary headaches. Hopefully Cometa’s other air-rifles are better.

        Speaking of Cometa’s other air-rifles… Are there any plans to bring over Cometa’s low-powered (sub-12 ft-lb) springers (the Cometa 50, Cometa 100, and Cometa 220)? And if so, will you be testing any of them?

        J.



          • B.B., the Crosman 3100 (aka Cometa 100) is not a powerful springer, and yet, I had the scope mounts sliding rearward although I had tightened them as far as I dared. The rifle has not scope stop of any kind (at least it didn’t when they were giving them the Crosman brand. ~Ken


    • BB, how about chucking the scope stop pin in a drill or Dremel tool and filing or sanding the last 1/8″ down small enough to fit the hole?

      David Enoch



        • The scope stop pin I substituted in my Crosman Storm XT was a roll pin. These are made from an very tough steel, probably would be difficult to machine.

          These roll pins are not solid dowel pins, but hollow ones made from spring steel. They have a gap in them so they can be squeezed together to fit in a hole, then expand to fit tightly.

          The factory scope that came with the XT could not be held in place with the scope stop in its mount.
          The scope eventually was broken by recoil. I replaced with with a Tasco adjustable scope with 40mm objective.

          Several of my spring guns now have these scopes. So far, they have held up well. The guns eventually settle down, but tend to break their scopes before this happens.

          Les


  2. RE: …Or is there not a standard size for scope stop pin holes?

    The question would not have occurred to me until BB started having trouble with it. Amazing what you learn here.

    Herb

    PS – The nice thing about standards is that there are so many from which you can choose. :-)


  3. I have found in the past that if a pellet seemed a little small for the bore that rubbing the skirt on the inside of the pellet tin lid under a little pressure, would widen the diameter of the skirt and seating them in a little in break barrels or tap loaders would ensure no catching of the skirt when closing the barrel or loader. Marksman pellets always needed this and most pellets used in guns with older barrels, i have even have to do it with some Crosman premiers on my 1976 HW35.

    It did improve my groupings on the HW35 a small amount by generally eradicating those odd shots that flew wide of their mark, keeping groups shot from a bench to under an inch at 30 yards. It has defiantly helped on my old Meteor and Relum in the past, but my Shamal is pretty faultless with AA diabolo 8.4 gr.This is one of those pieces of advice i was given years ago in my youth by an older veteran air rifle enthusiast, which was forgotten, remembered and used, forgotten again, remembered, forgotten yet again, then remembered finally as i found myself owning a bunch of rifles about 30 years old or older.

    Must be said though that your Falke 90 is one beautiful rifle and must feel good to hold such a well crafted piece of engineering and design, and as i sit here after being so pleasantly woken by my 2 year old daughter at 5 in the morning. I tank you for another splendid article and bid thee all farewell. TTFN

    best wishes wing commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe


    • Sir Nigel,

      Ah — young children! I remember being awakened at the most inconvenient times.

      But we have cats and they never grow up. A 20-year-old cat will still jump up on the bed and meow in your ear at 3 a.m., just to see your reaction. What do they care? After you have fed them breakfast they’re going to sleep all day until it’s time to start bothering you again in the evening.

      Well, at least they don’t pierce their navels and have poor judgement in boys. ;)

      B.B.


  4. BB,

    On that Cometa, just make sure that you grind the stop pin’s sides parallel and square to the bottom. Another approach is to grind a bevel on the pin. Just enough that you can feel it enter the hole with the mount slightly loose. Snug the pin up, after putting a droop of blue locktite on the threads. Then tighten down the mount and finally tighten the stop screw a little more. Careful with the last step or you can pop the mount right off if you torque the pin too much. You can also add that same blue locktite too the insides of the mount rails before tightening them for added security.

    /Dave


  5. B.B.

    You sure are determined about that Cometa. I would have sent it back already.
    Way below power specs, droopy, and no easy way to hold a scope down….for $400 ????

    twotalon


    • I agree with twotalon on the $400 price I expect more. If it was under $200 I wouldn’t mind spending money and lots of time on it, maybe my expectation is set to high for $400


  6. Get someone with a lathe to turn that scope stop pin down. Then you will have a nice snug fit.

    I have done this on several rifles that had none. One of those was an RWS93/Cometa that needed a pin afte installing a Crosman Storm spring with 2 coils removed. Had a little more snot after that.


    • Bob,

      I can do that. I have a friend who has a lathe, but what does that do for the person who buys a rifle and doesn’t have access to a lathe?

      As for why I’m doing this, I really do believe there is a diamond in the rough here. Otherwise, I would not waste my time.

      B.B.


      • <<<<>>>>

        Well if they have a scope stop pin hole in there rifle and the wrong size pin they could always chuck the pin in a drill press and use a file. Should get a pretty good result doing it this way.



          • BB,

            couple of thoughts. Why did you not consider correcting the droop of the barrel with your home made barrel straightening jig? If you mentioned that somewhere in this article series, I forgot (not unusual for me these days). Second, I recommend you forego the hand drill / file method and take the extra trouble / step to go to your friend with the lathe. I say this because almost all hand drills and the less expensive drill presses (like the one I own) don’t run in a nice concentric circle but have a minor wobble. With the kind of measurements you are talking about here, I think you will need a precision pin that doesn’t have much room to walk around. However, Derrick and Vince can address this much better than I.

            Fred DPRoNJ


            • Fred,

              Once again, this isn’t my rifle. I might do just what you suggest if it was, but I have to give this rifle back to AirForce at the end of this test, so I can’t modify it.

              B.B.


  7. I want to talk about the Falke 90.

    It’s my turn for some stupid questions. Does the Falke have a rear sight with the option of 2 notches? Does the Falke have a front sight with a post that can be removed and flipped upside down? Did either Mac or B.B. look at these combinations to get poi closer to poa? I can’t remember.

    I think Mac mounted a mendoza peep sight on this gun and shot some amazing groups.

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      The rear sight blade does have another notch on the underside, but it looks like it would end up being the same height. I will try flipping it, though, because it is a square notch instead of a vee.

      The front sight only has one post. I could cut it down, but I don’t want to.

      So, Mac used a Mendoza peep sight? Well, I’m going to try the dot sight and see what that does for me, but I’ll also look for a peep that would fit.

      Thanks,

      B.B.


      • Tom,

        The removable front post (that would apparently allow other heights to be inserted?) on your Falke along with the flippable ( is that a word?) rear sight blade stuck with me since I dream of current airguns being fitted with same type of adjustable iron sights that provide these adjustment options. My newer diana 27 has a rear sight blade that provides 4 options (different notch on each side). Wish these design features would be incorporated into current production guns.

        kevin


  8. B.B., although I do know a few things and I can learn some more, it wasn’t until yesterday that I wanted to learn about the different properties of gases. I had not considered how CO2 behaves as apposed to how Nitrogen or even Oxygen behaves. I knew that each could become liquid under certain circumstances and even solid under some circumstances. I read a forum response first (I’m glad the questioner made the first post). Doing a Google search I landed your article:
    http://www.pyramydair.com/article/What_About_CO2_December_2003/6

    The article is somewhat dated, but I suspect what is written is as fresh as the next day’s newspaper.
    Thanks for sharing you knowledge. ~Ken


    • Ken,

      Boy, that was a long time ago. It was two years before I started this blog. Back then I just wrote a couple articles a year for Pyramyd Air, as I was working full-time at AirForce Airguns, plus I was writing my column and features for Shotgun News.

      B.B.


      • B.B., it just show that you have been educating us for quite a while.
        You know, it is the winter before the spring and a young man’s fancy turns to the long barrel Hatsan 44 PA. I know the stuff from Honor House was seldom what was advertised, and I know the same is true for a number of airguns. I hope this one proves true. It is heavier than a Marauder, though. Dang it, I just like that pump action, like a 12 gauge Defender. ~Ken


  9. Just got a Crosman TR77NP today. Seems a fine weapon but lousy trigger. I was wondering why this is. Then I noticed something that explains it all. A small 3 words “Made in China”. Crosman has officially sold out to the Chinese! Crosman just hit my “do not buy” list. I don’t mind a chinese gun, but i hate it when American companies become sell outs. Since I buy a lot of guns this is not good news for Crosman Corp.


    • John, that’s very old news. Same thing with Daisy, BTW. But a fair hunk of the trigger problem is that the Crosman traces its roots back to a Chinese copy of a Gamo… which, in of itself, has a mediocre trigger.


    • john, I agree with you that the situation is sad. However, I also wonder how it all works with the big 3:
      Manufacturing, Distribution and Sales and the myriad details from obtaining raw material to getting a sale rung up. I don’t know how much profit Dennis Quackenbush may get (and it is none of my business) but he sales quality custom made air rifles at a quality price.
      Can Crosman go from raw materials to point of sale and remain viable as a corporation? I don’t know, but I do wonder. Based on what you have said I suspect you may be able and willing to purchase an airgun such as one created by Mr. Quackenbush. I certainly think each one is worth it if Dennis says it has met his quality control. However, Crosman (and Daisy) have been in the mass market for a long time. I don’t know how they can change.
      Even so, I agree with your sentiment. My removing myself from a number of companies as a customer may not do much to them, but it has satisfied me to no longer support them. So please don’t think I am criticizing you by what I have written. It’s just my thoughts about the business. ~Ken


      • Ken,

        No, Crosman cannot go from raw materials to a finished product as inexpensively as Dennis. They spend many times more each year on advertising than Dennis grosses. And they have a huge overhead of Human Resources, and lunchroom workers and a staff council and several levels of executive management. I don’t mean for these things to sound bad, but they do add to the overhead that a company has to deal with when making and selling a product.

        I’ve done blogs on this in the past, but I don’t know where they are or how to find them. It’s boring stuff, but it’s also reality that a large company cannot operate on the same margin as a single worker like Dennis. Even Leapers, which is the best-magaged company I have ever seen, has too much overhead to compete with a guy like Dennis.

        B.B.


  10. That’s the big problem. The chinese don’t innovate or come up with anything better or new. They copy and reverse engineer things and often make them worse than the original. I don’t buy many gamos, but this chinese trigger is definitely worse than a gamo trigger. (I also do not buy daisy guns. I pretty much see them as air gun wanna be’s.)


    • That brings up something. The Trail series of springers are apparently based on existing Chinese designs. Others, such as the Marauder are designed by Crosman personnel and most or all of the gun manufactured in China. Still an issue, but somewhat different from distributing air rifles based on the B19 or the B22 (Trail Series springers). I am saving my pennies. I would like a Marauder but if I get enough info on that Hatsan AT44 PA to know it is a worthy candidate I will be talking Turkey, for sure (unless I can save up for something like a Quackenbush). ~Ken


      • The AT44 family of rifle was sold in Canada where they were available in detuned versions so they quickly became very popular in the airgun community.
        So I did a quick search on the Canadian Airgun Forum (CAF) and people said it wasn’t as smooth as the side lever (which is buttery smooth). You apparently have to “pump it like you mean it” no babying this one around but the users also seem to say the action seems to smooth it self a little with use.
        Hope this helps.

        J-F


        • J-F, thank you for this report. I think this just reinforces the fact that there is no substitute for some hands on shopping, or at least some thorough research. I still think about the submarine and the space ship Honor House sold by mail order. Their description was a really pleasant fantasy. I think the Hatsans are a bit more realistic but if the glove doesn’t fit, it just doesn’t fit no matter how close it come. ~Ken


          • Just like lottery numbers, no mather how close you are unless you have the one that came out you don’t win a thing.

            I don’t know if the PA is as accurate as the side lever but mine (a side lever 10 shot repeater) shoots 1/4 groups rested on a sand bag all day long at 10M.

            J-F


  11. I remember a time not so long ago when I bought a crosman M417, which is now the M4-177. I called them and asked them where this plastic beast was made. Except for 2 tiny screws they said it was all made in the U.S.A. It was a cool little gun despite being dipped in plastic. Now the TR77NP is here, a superior gun in that it is metal where metal counts, and I just assumed for the bigger price tag I paid it would be American made like the far cheaper M417 was. I guess I’m just shocked that they have the ability to make a $70.00 gun right here but are out sourcing a car more up market gun to china. It makes little sense to me. And yes, I can and do afford some of the finer guns as well as make my own. I just liked the look of the TR77NP and wanted to test a gas piston gun out. I’d be in love with the gun and might even try and marry it if crosman would get a better trigger on the gun. this gun is definitely worthy of a better trigger.


    • John,

      A multi-pump pneumatic is cheap to make, when it is made of molded parts and made by the tens of thousands. In contrast, a steel and wood springer requires more human labor and time to build. That’s why it gets outsourced.

      The plastic molds are hugely expensive, but they get ammortized over tens of thousands of parts. But each time you cut steel or rifle a barrel you have to do it the old, labor0intensive way.

      Crosman can assemble an M4-177 in one minute’s time. But throw in all the time attached to each part and it creeps up towards and sometimes over an hour. But a spring rifle might take three or four hours to make — and I’m not talking about the assembly, but the time spent cutting steel, finishing, deburring, fitting parts and all the other steps that are required and that springer really sucks up major time.

      Look at the price of a Benjamin 392 is you want a contrast. They are more like the springer, even though Crosman has automated their assembly as much as possible. And look what they cost.

      I am with you in disliking the situation, but it is what it is.

      This is why I always tout AirForce Airguns so much. Because they have found ways that not even Crosman has used to let machines do the jobs so people don’t have to.

      B,.B.


      • Still, I’d expect for the price, $150.00 That the thing would have a good trigger. I’m wondering if a GRT3 or some such would work on this gun. If it wasn’t for the abysmal trigger I’d love the gun regardless of where it was made.

        I do expect for $150 a pop though that i won’t be lining the pockets of some chinese business man using what basically amounts to slave labor to make the gun. Over time that $150 a gun adds up.

        Yes, you are right on the airforce guns. Mine is definitely very sweet.


        • john, you may well know that on two heavily trafficked forums the GRT triggers are spoken of with elated and reverential terms. I am not disputing them. I have every respect for Gene. If the GRT fits a particular airgun and the owner is less than happy with their current trigger then I expect it is a good buy. If you find it will fit and you do get one I hope you will let us know just how much better you find it to be.
          I can’t speak for everyone, but I would like to hear about some of you other builds and customizations. It sounds like you did some significant customizing of the Discovery. Did you get the Double D (I can’t remember the exact label but I know they added another air tube). ~Ken


          • No. I simply tore apart a leaky discovery and figured while I was resealing it I might as well put in a boss max flow valve. Of course with the max flow valve I had to put in an anti-bounce device which saved me on air when the striker bounces on the air valve and wastes air, then I just felt it needed a power adjuster. Eventually I tried a gamo round ball in the gun. That was a mistake as it trashed my bolt so i got a stainless steel extended bolt…. and the list goes on until I had made it into a really nice powerful rifle. By the time I was done with internal upgrades and setting it up with good optics the thing was accurate enough to hit a spent .270 winchester shell on a stick at 20 yards repeatedly. But if you want a pcp gun and don’t have much money, I’d recommend the discovery. It might not be the biggest baddest stick on the playground, but it has potential.


            • John, there must be a slogan or quote in this somewhere, something about learning from failures and persevering through adversity (both in airgunning and the rest of life, including our health).
              Thanks for sharing your experiences. Glad you made it past the lead balls and the brink of death.
              It all reminds me of that one episode of The Unit where Mac says, “Yeah, and I’m still standing”. ~Ken


              • I’ve just been going by “baby steps” first learn to crawl, then walk, then run. Start small and go bigger and bigger until you get where you want to be. It’s worked out well for me.


      • B.B., what you have written is not boring. Earlier today I watch a video of the manufacturing process for making the CO2 cartridges (powerlets in Crosman lingo). I was amazed that the machinery and the process involved, massive looking things (to think, toothpaste tubes once started out as metal discs also). Also, what you have written makes me wonder where that $100.00 PCP is. Perhaps it is stalled by the very nature of the beast, manufacturing, distributing, selling (and keeping the company support end running, .e.g. HR. ~Ken


        • Ken,As I read your question I figured out where BB’s $100 pcp is.It is in a future where Crosman buyes up a block In China and sets up to manufacture and oversee quality control like some of the German companies have done.First they must tweek the design that will excel in that environment then they can precisely make the parts.Parts that will be shipped as a kit to air gunners like us who would rather build it ourselves to see how it works anyway.However;by then it will have to cost at least $150.But,who of us wouldn’t buy one? -Tin Can Man-


          • Tin Can Man, I agree whole heartedly. An entry level PCP that isn’t the airgun equivalent of a Yogo and could be sold for half the cost of the Discovery might do well. I know I would be taking a good look at it as soon as I knew about it. I hope Crosman follows the plan you layed out. ~Ken


  12. I have a hatsan gun. It’s a 125th, but it’s a fairly good gun as far as how it’s made. I know the discovery intimately since I tore one apart and modded the thing to it’s max potential. It was a fearsome weapon once I was done, and as accurate as I could hope for. It’s definitely a gun that can be improved but still A good gun if you liked the 2260′s. I’d figure on the Turkish AT4 will be a very fine pcp gun based on the fact they have an excellent trigger and barrel. If you want the heavyweight all time champion of pcp guns though, buy an airforce gun. Made in texas, fine german barrels and can shoot the testicles off a fly at 50 yards without killing the fly. i have one all tricked out. It’s my favorite, but i still like to try new things.



    • john, Lord knows I want a Marauder in each available caliber and the same for a Condor and Talon (including SS) hanging on the wall beside the 3 Hatsans. The kid in me wants that pump action if it work well.
      I salute you and envy your abilities with airguns. You mentioned you have made some. I envy you all the more. Not that I am unhappy with myself, mind you. You are just able to do some thing I would like to do but am not up to yet. ~Ken


      • Just saw the evanix x2. I really want it, but the price is well outside my ball park. Still, the condor beats it for sheer power.


        • The X2 is the one that I am drawn to just because it looks like it does. The specs add to it. I have no idea how it would feel to hold and aim it, much less shoot it. I have been drawn to many things through the years, some lived up to my imagination, others made my imagination crash and burn (as we used to say). I suppose if I had that kind of discretionary funds I would buy one and just hang it on the wall over the mantle if I couldn’t shoot it. It reminds me of the move, Soldier, with Kurt Russell. It is more an impression than anything specific. The movie has it flaws, but I find value in the context and the main characters response to it. The X2 might prove the same, but I don’t expect to have that kind of pocket change, ever.
          ~Ken


          • I’d have to do some serious saving for it. Likely I’d go for the .357 model, but since I primarily hunt I’d be better off with a dual tank recluse or a Benjamin rogue. My guns don’t normally get hung on a wall unless they get replaced by something else. But all my guns are more or less hunting/working guns. I might not ever use the x2 so it wouldn’t be much use to me, but it is cool looking in a Mad Max sort of way. I’m thinking that was kind of what they were going for. Evanix is too top drawer for me unfortunately.


            • Your so right. Mad Max to be sure. Just now I hear my least favorite morning song playing, “Waking Up is Hard to Do”. I must break from a good conversation and go to bed, hopefully to go to sleep. Have a good one. ~Ken


  13. There have been so many it’s hard to say. Of my collection I have to say my ruger airhawk. or my hatsan 125th. I’ve had good hunting success with my ruger. I haven’t used my hatsan 125th yet since I just got the thing last month, but it appears to be a very finely built gun. I have a feeling it will take first place as my favorite unless I can replace the trigger on the tr77np. So far it seems to be fairly accurate and it does seem very powerful for a .177 caliber 1000 fps springer and the firing cycle is smooth with no vibration. I am not sure if you count gas spring guns as springers. My all time worst springer has got to be a tie between my tech foece 67, tech force 66 and savage arms enforcer that has a very wicked kick and feather light trigger.


    • John,

      Very interesting that you’re anticipating the Hatsan 125th becoming your favorite springer. I’ve been following this one closely because of the Quattro trigger and new SAS (Shock Absorbing System). What are the average sizes of your 10 shot groups at 25-30 yards?

      A suggestion, when you click on the “Reply” button under the person that is communicating with you, he/she/me gets and email notification and continue the discussion without being forced to check back for comments. Nice feature on this site.

      kevin


      • I haven’t tried it yet because it’s just too cold out and firing the hatsan 125th in my 1 bedroom apartment is not recommended since the pellet (lead) is going at a true 1250fps. I tried it once and it had my ears ringing. I can say that the recoil dampers do work well along with the weight of the gun. I’ll have to get back to you on that in the spring when I actually get to test fire it more.

        If you want to build your own hot little pump gun, get a crosman 1377 and I can advise you more on where to find parts for it to make it into a hot little carbine.


        • John,

          I’d be very interested to here the results of your accuracy testing with the Hatsan 125th at 25-30 yards when your weather permits. Ten shot groups.

          Thank you for the offer of helping me build-up a 1377 but I’m not an Multi Stroke Pnuematic guy anymore. Don’t mind a single stroke pnuematic. My passion is break barrel springers.

          kevin


          • We all have our passions, but working on spring guns can be rather dangerous. If that spring catches you in the head, you are going to be getting coloring books for christmas for the rest of your life and liking them. I suggested a pump gun for a starter because modding them is relatively safe and easy. Plus your kids might think you were the best dad in the world if you gave them a custom airgun you made. (not that they don’t now but extra brownie points never hurts.)


            • John,

              You make some good points. I don’t work on springers since I don’t have the time, knowledge, experience or inclination. I leave that to the pro’s.

              My little daughter doesn’t have the passion for shooting that I do (yet) but she enjoys shooting my ranchero carbine and little lg53. Don’t know if this has made me the best dad in the world but I did get brownie points LOL!

              kevin


              • It will be a rewarding hobby for her. Part of why I figured a custom carbine from a 1377 would be a good hobby. You don’t have to do the entire thing in one shot. Maybe get the gun now, later some new grips, then later new valve, then add in a shoulder stock…. you get the idea. From there doing a co2 gun is not hard, then from there a pcp is a cake walk. Before you know it you built one kickin’ pcp gun. Just a thought and maybe some inspiration.


                • John,

                  Your passion for modifying/building airguns is palpable. I admire your enthusiasm. It just ain’t me.

                  I like to spend my little bit of free time shooting. The distractions to get guns shooting accurately are enough work for me.

                  I had to have my ranchero carbine resealed when I bought it 4 or 5 years ago but since then all I do is shoot it. I mounted an old bushnell 4200 6-24 on that little carbine several years ago, set it on high power and shot 10 jsb 16.1gr weighed pellets into a group at 100 yards that was less than 3.6″. Early morning. No wind. I think the gun can do better but it exists as my short range pesting gun.

                  The modded 1377 carbines are large in comparison to the size of the ranchero. My daughter is just turning 10 so small is important.

                  kevin


                  • Depends on the carbine really. I can make you one that will fit in a briefcase and fit for James Bond. I don’t use the 1399 stocks. I use stocks from Rockstar Tactical the tippman 98 stocks work well and they have collapsible adjustable and folding stocks. there is always a way to make anything work.


  14. I’ll be happy to build you something awesome if you like. I’m currently only making co2 guns and pumpers, but my guns are accurate enough you can sign your name in lead in a board at 10 feet away. Just be prepared to pay a fairly large price tag for the premium parts. I have a 2260 here scheduled to become a pcp gun as well as a hydro dipped stock if you are interested. I can give you a good price on that. Same as a discovery.


    • John, you wrote,

      “I’ll be happy to build you something awesome if you like. I’m currently only making co2 guns and pumpers, but my guns are accurate enough you can sign your name in lead in a board at 10 feet away. Just be prepared to pay a fairly large price tag for the premium parts. I have a 2260 here scheduled to become a pcp gun as well as a hydro dipped stock if you are interested. I can give you a good price on that. Same as a discovery.”

      With all due respect, John, and I am in no way asking you to not boycott Crosman. However, I believe you have nailed the issue. Perhaps if Crosman (and other companies) weren’t so large and having to deal with so much overhead that isn’t directly related to producing airguns (HR again, as well as other things), they could produce some quality airguns here in the states at prices that would still woo the box store customers). You and Dennis Quackenbush, among others, offer “something more” and that more does cost but it is worth it for the customer who wants that “something more” and understands the value of it. Your customer will have both the ability and the willingness to pay for that value. It takes both. I don’t know if your offer was to me specifically but it sounds interesting. When I say I am saving up my pennies I am not being overly facetious; cervical spine surgery last February cost plenty and I am grateful for the health insurance I had (and have) or I would have done without or gone into the poor house. I do like what you are describing, though. You are among a distinguished group, it seems.
      ~Ken


      • Thanks. I hope you get better every day. I know healing is a tough thing to do. I’ve had to come back from the brink of death a time or two. So I know a bit of what you are going through.

        Seriosly if you want to get into pcp guns go with a discovery first. Over time when you got a few bucks gere or there you can upgrade it. I’ll be glad to advise you. When you are more financially fit, then go for the better “toys”. That’s what I did. I’m not rich by any means….but I got some really good stuff.


        • Thanks, John. I am grateful to be doing better physically, although the bone fusion is a slow process. I see the neurosurgeon next month and will get a 64 slice CT-Scan a few days before seeing him. B.B. also recommended the Discovery to me. I am dreaming big now but when I get withing striking distance of the Discovery it will likely look more and more attractive.
          You and B.B. both know something about making back from the brink. Glad we can be here to have this conversation. ~Ken


          • Yeah. In my case I survived an attempted murder by my ex-wife. She got me pretty good. Coming back from the dead is a hard trick. I doubt I can do it again. B.B. is so right in saying discovery is a great gun. If I understand right he was instrumental in bringing it into existance. His idea was to turn a 2260 into a pcp which people were doing. Crosman one up-ed him though by adding a longer body to hold air and slightly redesigning the stock a bit. What they didn’t do is max out the performance of the gun. They left that kind of mediocre. Still .22 firing 900 fps is pretty good.


            • Yes, we have substantiated that B.B. (aka Tom Gaylord) was instrumental in showing those in authority at Crosman the light. He has also written that Crosman got there revenge on him by producing the Marauder which some at Crosman wanted to go for first. I have to wonder if their experience evolving the 2260 into a PCP didn’t give them more information and experience before tackling the Marauder. Either way, I thin it has worked out well. And the .25 cal Marauder does apparently have a Made in America barrel, a good one at that. I posted the link to a video (Ted’s Holdover on YouTube) showing good accuracy (with H&B Hobbies I think) out to 100 yards. Benjamin .25 cals coming in 2nd. So, I want the .25 cal even if I don’t shoot it a lot. ~Ken


              • I’m thinking of switching to .25 cal too but in my case all I need to do is buy a barrel for my condor. But I also find .22 cal is sufficient for most of my needs. If you want the ultimate shooting experience, a condor is where you want to go, but with your fused spine pumping it might be quite a challenge. I’m 219 solid pounds and I have some difficulty doing it.


                • John, you have joined B.B. in making a case for an Air Force airgun. As he has said, it isn’t just a gun, its a system. I am a 90 minute drive away from a dealer. Hopefully, the boss will let me drive down that way by spring time. Well, I should be 180 solid pounds. As for the pumping, I will need a tank. The boss is a communications volunteer for the local fire department. I think I have the tank fill licked. I’ll not push the idea until I have a tank to fill, though. Thanks for the push to shed some waist and start back to the gym (doing only what is reasonable). ~Ken


                  • B.B. is right. I can reach out to 100 yards with authority with my condor. Plus I added all kinds of goodies to it. Camera, tactical foregrip, frame extender to quite the 24″ barrel down, Nice scope, spin loc tank, bipod. It’s the best I got and it’s customized to my liking. But if you are lacking in bucks, discovery is the way to go until you can get the “big dog”.



  15. I, like most people here I am sure, have had mixed experiences with Chinese goods. Some are very poor, while other items are quite nice.

    I think the problem lies not in design or materials, but in quality control. If an American company, producing items under their established brand name in China, wants to keep their reputation, they have to exercise close quality control at the plant. They need to get their own QC people, and maybe production supervisors working at those Chinese plants. There is no reason Chinese workers cannot turn out high-quality products if they have the right tools, training, and environment to work in.

    I would like to see all of our air guns produced in this country. Not because the Chinese cannot be trusted to do a good job, but because it is important to the well-being of our country to keep those jobs here. I think the principle is more important than the cost.

    However, we are now in a situation where most low and moderately-priced guns are produced in China. Buying a gun made in the USA in those price brackets is like trying to buy a US-made TV set.
    In these circumstances, I will buy Chinese-made air guns. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still try to get the best quality gun for the money.

    Les


  16. John and BB you both highly recommend the Disco, and I will purchase 1 in the next month, but wondering what caliber you would recommend for mostly plinking, I don’t plan on killing anything unless I would eat it. Thanks for your input


    • Steve B,
      The .177 is certainly the more economical of the choices, but I’d chose the .22 cal. I find that the larger pellets are easier to handle and they typically deliver more foot pounds to the target–which equates to smacking the tin can that much harder.


    • Steve B.,

      Never owned a Discovery but remember when it was first introduced it turned the airgun world on its’ ear. I’ll let others comment on what the most efficient caliber is for this gun. All I know is that the Discovery introduced more shooters to the pcp world than any airgun before or since. The aftermarket mods and parts are certainly a testimony to that. I’d say it’s a toss up between the airforce platform and the discovery as to which airgun should be most compared to the Ruger 10/22 for these reasons.

      Here’s a link to part 3 of the discovery series B.B. did when this dual fuel gun was first introduced. Interesting to note that there were 209 comments on this part of the series alone. Click on part 1 then part 2 at the top of this link to read this terrific series in order:

      http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/01/benjamin-discovery-part-3-velocity.html

      A personal note…B.B. was communicating with a commenter by the name of hegshen that was having issues with his condor. It evolved into B.B. actually going to AirForce and shooting hegshen’s condor that was there for service. Later on, within the comments under part 3 of the discovery, hegshen asked for advice about the bsa lonestar. hegshen eventually bought a bsa lonestar based on B.B.’s advice. That was in 2008.

      I met hegshen in 2010 I think. Maybe a little earlier maybe a little later. hegshen is Erik the Viking that I’ve referred to on the blog several times. We have gotten together fairly regularly over the past several years and either shot airguns, firearms or gone fishing together. Erik still has the BSA Lonestar. He also has an edgun, .25 cal marauder, HW50, S510, alecto and 10 others I can’t remember. Erik, help me out.

      kevin


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