Building the $100 precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 2

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

Part 1

$100 PCP
The PCP built on a Crosman 2100B chassis.

Today is Media Day at the range, and I will be shooting many of the new airguns that will be coming out this year, plus a lot of firearms — I hope. Tomorrow the 2014 SHOT Show starts, and there’s a special first-day report all set for you.

Let’s look at the performance of the $100 PCP that big bore airgun maker Dennis Quackenbush created on a Crosman 2100B chassis. I read some comments about the gun in Part 1. Before we get started, I need to address one of them. Some of you say you want a PCP that operates on 100 psi, so you can run it on your shop compressor. Gentlemen — such an airgun doesn’t exist and cannot exist as you envision it. That is simply not enough pressure to push a pellet to the kind of velocities we want. You can shoot t-shirts into the grandstands with that kind of pressure or perhaps run a pneumatic tube delivery system, but not a pellet gun.

I know that the airguns of old used lower pressure than we use today. They got amazing power from 500 to 800 psi. But they weren’t shooting smallbore caliber pellets. They were shooting .40 to .70 caliber round lead balls and they got them up to 450-600 f.p.s. They did that because the area of the projectile is much larger than a .177 pellet, and also because they used very long barrels (30-36 inches).

You can shoot tennis balls with shop air, but not pellets. I did report on a .25-caliber pellet rifle that worked with 800 psi air, but that’s a lot different than 125 psi air. You can’t pressurize air to 800 psi with a shop compressor. So, we’re going to have to confine our research to what is physically possible. I’m not trying to shut you down for thinking outside the box, but this is a very real physical constraint.

On with the test
Today, we’re looking at the velocity of this rifle with air for both pellets and BBs. Pellets are our principal concern, but I’ll test BBs, as well, since they can be used in this airgun.

Dennis told me what the performance curve looked like, but I’m going to approach this as if I know nothing about this gun. Where do I begin? Well, I may not know much about this particular PCP, but I’ve used enough other PCPs that I’m not completely in the dark. I filled the reservoir to 800 psi, as indicated on the gauge of my carbon fiber tank and then started loading Crosman Premier lite pellets and firing through the chronograph.

800 psi
1…..539
2…..509
3…..474
4…..441
5…..409
5…..361
Stop

Okay, the velocity dropped with every shot, so the valve is not on the power curve, yet. It wants to see more air pressure.

1,000 psi
1…..654
2…..634
3…..582
4…..556
5…..525
7…..483
8…..453
9…..417
10…384
11…345
Stop

Look at the velocity increase from just an additional 200 psi of pressure! That’s an indication that we’re quite far from the power curve. It took 5 shots before the rifle was shooting as slow as in the first string, so that extra 200 psi really added shots.

A word about the next part of the test is appropriate. The gauge on my tank doesn’t show even divisions of pressure as closely as I would like. Instead of adding another 200 psi, I found myself guessing that I added another 300 psi. If I had a more accurate gauge, I could do this with greater control; but it’s all going to turn out in the end. You’ll see.

1,300 psi
1…..722
2…..695
3…..659
4…..did not record (DNR)
5…..593
6…..550
7…..516
8…..488
9…..DNR
10…423
11…DNR
12…DNR
13…309
Stop

This was interesting because there wasn’t such a big increase over 1,000 psi as there had been when going from 800 to 1000, despite adding 300 psi rather than 200 psi. It took just 3 shots for the velocity to become equal to the 1,000 psi string (compare shot 3 from this string to the first shot of the previous string). The extra air pressure isn’t doing as much as it did before.

1,500 psi
1…..791
2…..765
3…..751
4…..DNR
5…..706
6…..677
7…..645
8…..605
9…..570
10…542
11…500
12…466
13…428
14…DNR
15…357
Stop

1,800 psi
1…..808
2…..796
3…..786
4…..763
5…..753
6…..721
7…..699
8…..661
9…..625
10…600
11…566
12…524
13…DNR
14…442
15…405
16…366
Stop

Okay, look at the first 5 shots in this string. See how little velocity they lose compared to the first shots in previous strings? That’s significant. It means the valve is beginning to operate more efficiently at this pressure level. Dennis told me that when he reached 1,800 psi, the rifle stabilized for him, as well. What we don’t know and cannot know for sure is what pressure either Dennis or I actually used because neither of us has a calibrated pressure gauge. We’re just guessing based on the inexpensive small gauges that come with all pressure tanks. But, whatever the exact numbers are, they’re pretty much in the same ballpark.

We have a PCP that operates at 1,800 psi — or so. But when I say “operate,” it isn’t really operating the way we want a PCP to operate. We want to see a nice string of shots that are fairly consistent — some a little higher and some a little lower, but a nice string where the velocity is stable. We don’t have that yet. What we have is a rifle that wants to operate at this fill pressure but probably needs a number of tweaks to get where we want it to be.

There’s one more thing to do. Dennis and I talked about this, and he said if there’s a weakness in this rifle, it’s at the threads where the air reservoir is threaded to the brass valve. While the reservoir is way overbuilt, those threads are a place where not too much more strain can be applied. Dennis feels that it will be safe to 2,000 psi but not much higher. I agreed with him on that, so I did one last test at 2,000 psi.

2,000 psi
1…..853
2…..833
3…..823
4…..825
5…..820
6…..809
7…..799
8…..780
9…..762
10…746
11…717
12…687
13…654
14…624
15…588
16…550
17…513
18…472
19…434
20…397
21…DNR
22…298
Stop

Okay, adding 200 extra psi increased velocity significantly, plus it also gave us a greater number of consistent shots. I would call the first 7 shots fairly consistent, and the velocity doesn’t really start to plummet until after shot 9. What this tells me is that the valve return spring is way off. It’s probably too heavy. And Dennis has already criticized the valve itself. It’s a poppet shape (looks like a top hat) instead of a valve with angled sides that mate with an angled valve seat.

Add to that an enlargement of the valve port (through which the air flows) that might help lower the operating pressure, and the new valve would handle the pressure better than this stock one that got pressed into service for which it wasn’t designed.

What about BBs?
Okay, I can’t end without giving you some BB velocities. Since the rifle works so well at an indicated 2,000 psi, I decided to skip all the early stuff and go straight to the string we’re all interested in.

For this test, I used Daisy Premium Grade BBs that I know from measurement are both the largest and also the most consistent steel BBs on the American market. Since steel BBs run 0.171 to 0.173 inches in diameter, they’re considerably smaller than .177-caliber lead pellets, no matter what their packages say. BBs are NOT 4.5mm!

2000 psi
1…..910
2…..900
3…..891
4…..871
5…..DNR
6…..856
7…..DNR
8…..DNR
9…..809
10….786
11….763
12….DNR
13….698
14….DNR
15….DNR
16….599
17….577
18….533
19….484
20….441
21….408
22….340
Stop

Like the pellets with a 2,000 psi fill, the first several shots with BBs are close to each other and after, perhaps, shot 6 or 7, the spread opens up. Of course, you have to realize that steel BBs going over 800 f.p.s. are extremely dangerous. Lead pellets start to disintegrate at velocities above 600 f.p.s.; and at 800 f.p.s., they almost vaporize when they hit a hard target such as metal. But BBs not only hold together, they absorb the energy of the impact and bounce back at nearly the same velocity. Believe me — you don’t want to be hit by one!

What have we learned?
So far, we know this rifle works but is not a fully functional precharged pneumatic because it does not shoot a string of shots at a steady velocity. However, that doesn’t stop us from proceeding with accuracy testing.

What’s been proven by this test is that the idea of a $100 precharged pneumatic rifle is completely plausible. The needed changes have been pointed out; but as we proceed further, no doubt, other things will be revealed. That’s the way of product development.

Remember this is a testbed — not a production rifle. Also remember the rifle that it was built from. We should expect accuracy to be similar to the Crosman 2100B, which is fully acceptable at this price point. And I’m going to select a string of shots whose velocities are relatively close to each other, so I probably won’t be shooting 10-shot groups.

I’ll need to do some things to the gun before starting the accuracy test, but I’ll tell you about those things in the next report.

74 thoughts on “Building the $100 precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 2

  1. This makes me think back to the conversations we had with the Umarex Fusion C02 rifle. If it could be converted to a pcp gun. Different valves but closely related.

    So I guess that means yes if you do the conversion right?

    And in a way this gun is a Discovery in different cloth’s from what I see. And is the other thing you need to do to the gun have to do with the valve that transfers the air to the barrel?

    And BB a steel bb will shoot out of a rifled airgun barrel at a 100psi with a respectable fps. And I didn’t say pellet I said steel bb. Again bb not pellet ok. Different forces involved. Not that it matters anyway. We are talking a 100 dollar pcp gun. Wait a minute you didnt say 100 dollar pcp pellet gun did you.

    And ok back to the gun you have right now. How are you going to get the shot string consistent? A regulator? Or maybe you will say that your not worried about the shot string on a 100 dollar pcp. Well we are talking a modern day pcp. We have to have a good shot string. Right? That would help with accuracy wouldn’t it. Wait a minute that don’t make a gun accurate does it?

    Anyway I’m glad a pump gun was able to be converted to a pcp gun.
    Yep more crazy gun fun one comments. Sorry. :)


    • The shot string is consistent. The velocity of the pellets only decrease about 50 FPS with the first seven shots. Many of those are within a just a few FPS of each other. If it were not for the fear of the valve threads giving way, they could raise the pressure higher to where you could see the top of the curve. That and a valve adjustment and/or redesign would help. You cannot expect much out of what they started with. It is just a step or so above a Red Ryder.



  2. Hi B.B.

    This is VERY interesting Sir. I’m just wondering if the same can be done to the 1377 Classic. Imagine, a powerful PCP pistol for less than 100 bucks, WOW! I’m sure Mr. Quackenbush can do it. How about it Sir?

    Errol



  3. Looks like the hammer spring needs to be lightened to reduce the striking energy that opens the valve. I believe the system for a pump-up gun is originally designed to try to dump ALL the air for each shot, regardless of the number of pumps. Just as with the Marauder, you can either raise the air pressure or reduce the hammer energy to balance the valve opening. The hammer energy can also be reduced by limiting its stroke, but I doubt that is practical in this 2100.


    • “I believe the system for a pump-up gun is originally designed to try to dump ALL the air for each shot, regardless of the number of pumps.”

      That is correct. It doesn’t always work out that way if you over-pump the gun (which also can and will damage things inside the gun) or if the firing cycle is interrupted (AKA the bolt blows open during firing like the Daisy 880 sometimes does), but the intent is indeed to dump all the air for each shot.


  4. I have to concerns. The first is “what ideas are we using here that can’t just be applied to reduce the cost of something like a Discovery”? In other words, why start with a cheap gun, modify it to make it a PCP, and then improve the parts that prove to be insufficient for our needs when we could take a gun that already has those things solved and just remove or reduce the cost of things we don’t need?

    The second concern is more of a show stopper for me. Where am I going to get the air? That, honestly, is what’s keeping me from buying a Discovery right now. The gun itself isn’t really a problem, it’s that I need to add a $150-$200 pump to be able to use it. Or, I have to invest $100+ in an air tank (plus inspection costs, plus refill costs, plus having to haul a big ‘ol tank around). It’s not he gun that’s the problem, it’s the feeding of it. A $100 (or less) gun that requires a $150 pump to work isn’t really improving the situation as much as it first would seem.

    So, that said, why not just make a very nice bulk fill CO2 gun? CO2 is much easier to find than highly compressed air. It’s used for welding and food *everywhere*. Try finding a scuba shop in a land locked state some time.


    • That’s my issue too. Drives me nuts when I’m told if I don’t like pumping to “just get a tank and have it filled, it’s really cheap, makes it so much easier…blah blah BLAH.” There’s no HPA anywhere NEAR me, I’d have to drive 3 hours just to get into town, and there’s no guarantee I’ll find any there either.

      No way am I moving to the left-coast just to be near a dive shop!!

      Whoever solves this issue is going to sell tons of pcps.


      • I have PCP’s, I have a small 4500psi carbon fiber tank, I’m nowhere near a dive shop (that I know of).
        Yet I can have my tank refilled for 10$ at 3 places near me, 2 sporting goods store that sell paintball stuff and a paintball field.
        Painballers use small HPA tanks regulated to CO2 like pressures so they can bulk fill theirs guns.
        You can have my pump if you want, it’s been gathering dust eversince I bought that awesome tank.

        It’s not that much more expensive and it’s so much fun. Not only are PCP’s great to shoot but I found it also helped me shooting other airguns too!

        I was never able to achieve follow thru before, now I can do it with springers too. I didn’t know what I was looking for, what I was trying to achieve.

        I’m not saying PCP’s are for everyone, that they should replace all other airguns but it’s a better mouse trap.

        J-F


        • Aw, rub it in whydontcha! : )

          I guess living out in the sticks has it’s drawbacks. No paintball out here, no sporting good stores, (ok, there is ONE… a ski shop. Snow stuff only, closed in the summer) and even the local FD has pre-filled tanks shipped in.

          Right now I just have the Disco, so hand pumping’s not a big deal..but it does prevent me from buying another PCP. If I had ready access to HPA Pyramyd could make a tidy profit selling me a few of those big bore Korean guns, ( 1 ea. from 9mm on up please!) but the way it stands now it ain’t gonna happen.
          Another issue-I’ve now rebuilt my benji pump twice. I understand the Hill pump is better, but there’s a reason they sell rebuild kits for it. Sooner or later, it’s going to need it. I don’t find it difficult doing the work, but more than likely the casual newb buying a $100 pcp is going to toss the whole kit when the pump stops working


          • Sorry I didn’t want to rub it in. I live in a small suburb so shops abound around here and since the country isn’t far so do painball fields (there’s one around 10 min away and two other ones (in different directions) about a half hour drive from me).

            Pumping to 2000psi is easy. When I got my first PCP, I got the pump to go with it as I didn’t want to invest in carbon fiber equipment either and those small Ninja carbon fiber weren’t available to airgunners yet, they all had really low psi output.

            So there I am pumping my brand new rifle away and I’m telling myself that’s it quite easy, what are people complaining about, why would you get a tank, what a bunch of wussies… then I get to 2300psi and I’m like the big bad wolf now, I’m pumping and I’m puffing and I’m at… WHAT 2500psi !?!? The higher that thing goes in psi, the more stroke it seems to need and the harder it becomes to pump!
            I didn’t mind it at first and then I noticed I wasn’t shooting it as much as I wanted because I didn’t have time or didn’t want to go thru the trouble of pumping it back up afterwards.

            So now I have a tank that I love and I’m wondering what I should do with my pump that probably needs a rebuild (the pump handle goes up when hooked to a gun if I let go of it) and why I’m so stuborn (please don’t tell my wife) and why I didn’t go with the darn tank first.

            J-F


            • So there I am pumping my brand new rifle away and I’m telling myself that’s it quite easy, what are people complaining about, why would you get a tank, what a bunch of wussies… then I get to 2300psi and I’m like the big bad wolf now, I’m pumping and I’m puffing and I’m at… WHAT 2500psi !?!? The higher that thing goes in psi, the more stroke it seems to need and the harder it becomes to pump!

              All an illusion… x-strokes will produce y-pressure increase at all points in the pumping… True, the last strokes become much harder… Up to 2000PSI I can do with just arm motion. 2000-2500 tends to require locking my elbows and dropping my knees to activate. 2500-3000? Lock my thumbs against my belly and drop my knees (if I just try to straight-arm it, my spine flexes backwards negating the stroke effort).

              My Condor runs ~15 pump strokes per 100PSI; Marauder takes ~10 strokes per 100PSI, and the Silhouette pistol takes 5 strokes per 100PSI.


              • 15 strokes per 100psi… this is ridiculous. My hat is off to you! You’re way more patient than I am.
                The first time I refilled my airguns with my tank I was all giddy. My wife looked at me putting away everything and asked why I was putting everything away? Wasn’t I going to fill up my guns? When I said I was done she asked why I hadn’t bought that tank in the first place as it seemed much easier and faster. I think she’s a keeper!

                J-F


    • David Willmore,

      Good questions. Let me give you my perspective and answers.

      First you ask, “what ideas are we using here that can’t just be applied to reduce the cost of something like a Discovery”? The subject is a proof of concept. The concept is “can a pcp be built that could retail for under $100. This series of articles is showing that it can. Probably for well under $100. Starting with a platform like the Crosman 2100 is what allows this to become a pcp for less than $100. Cheapening a Discovery to allow it to come to market for under $100 would be a disaster IMHO.

      Your second concern about an airsource was talked about extensively after Part 1. A less expensive hpa pump would be important, IMHO, if a manufacturer hoped to reach the next tier of airgunners wanting to enter the world of pcp’s. If, like this proof of concept pcp, the gun only needs to be filled to 2,000psi it would not be hard to fill this gun with a pump.

      Until the day arrives with a cheaper pump available from a retailer you have options:

      1-buy a used hpa pump
      2-find the airsource that your local firehouses use to fill their tanks. They may even fill their own tanks and be willing to fill yours for the price of a dozen donuts
      3-lease a nitrogen tank from your local welding shop and have them fill it for you

      When I was considering entering the world of pcp’s I got hung up on tanks, hoses, gauges, fill stations, etc. Once I took the plunge the whole wide world of pcp’s opened up to me. No regrets.

      Lastly you ask why not just build a bulk fill CO2 gun. That’s been done. CO2 is not for everyone. It’s also costly and doesn’t work well in cold climates like mine.

      kevin


    • David,

      The Discovery has a built-in gauge, a micron air filter and is built to take 3,000 psi air — even though it should never get more than 2,000. All those things and the wood stock drive the price as high as it is.

      By starting with a lower-cost gun and adding none of the frills, the price can be held down.

      If you have followed this entire test you know that we will also look into a low-cost hand pump that won’t go up to 3,000 psi — so the cost can also be held low.

      B.B.


      • B.B.
        Sorry for the late comment. Can you tell me what is the capacity of the air reservoir of the gun and that of the Benjamin hand pump (volume of air per stroke). Also, how many strokes of the pump would it take to fill the gun to 800 psi. I am trying to figure out what volume of air I would need to compress to charge the reservoir to 800 psi.
        I have an idea that I will bounce off you but I need those numbers first to see whether it is practical.
        Tks

        Pete


        • Pete,

          I am in Las Vegas and the gun is in Texas, so I can’t tell you the volumes you ask. I can fill it to 800 psi from a hand pump when I get home. I think it will take 15-20 pump strokes.

          B.B.


        • Pete, It’s right in the description of the Marauder on the Pyramyd site: 215cc air reservoir

          Can’t help you with the volume of the pump, but I CAN say that it takes 6 strokes just to get the line up to 2000psi, to where the rifle will start admitting air on the 7th stroke.


  5. After the big build up to Crosman’s new products, I’m a little let down by the somewhat lackluster announcements. The bright spots seem to be the new trigger and the new little AK BB gun. The easier cocking effort would be nice assuming you don’t give up too much in preformance.


  6. why do my posts keep getting removed – is linking to forums not allowed? I put no link in to other air rifle sellers.

    not very fostering of open conversation on this topic to keep deleting posts with actual information.


    • Edith! Help!

      Eric,

      It probably got caught in the spam filter. That’s happened to all of us here more than once. Please don’t take it personally….

      /Dave


      • I dont know – it was in the comments for a while, then it was gone. This happened to several other people last time on part 1 of the $100 PCP who were talking about Flying Dragon air rifles XS60C PCP rifle which mike is selling for $100.

        Too much coincidence for me personally…


    • Eric,

      You posted repeatedly with links to another airgun retailer. Since Pyramyd Air owns this blog, both Tom and I removed specific posts because there were so many of them that linked to Mike’s retail page. We both thought you were a troll. Then, you posted that the $100 proof-of-concept gun was a “hack” job and that a refined gun was already available at Mike’s, and that only added to our mindset that you were attempting to draw people to another retailer.

      Mike also contacted Tom, and we’re going to meet with him at SHOT.

      Edith


      • But my post this morning had no links to any air gun supplier at all. It had a link to the GTA forums with Chronograph data, and grouping… AND I answered the question that Gunfun1 asked about the Umarex fusion conversion, which I will answer again here.

        The XS60C which is the basis for Flying dragon air rifles PCP conversion, is nearly identical to the Umarex fusion. I would therefore suspect that converting the fusion is indeed a possibility.

        I will not post my link to the data on the XS60C conversion in the GTA forums – people will just have to search for it.

        I am not trying to draw people to another retailer – I am trying to provide more information about what is available surrounding the subject of a $100 PCP.

        I am happy that you are meeting with Mike at SHOT, and I said as much to him in an email.


        • Eric,

          I got a copy of your comment in my inbox but do not see it posted on the blog. Tom did the maintenance this morning on the blog. Today, he’s at Media Day, which occurs the day before the SHOT Show opens, and he’s unavailable for questions from me. I don’t know the situation about your specific comment this morning and cannot address if it disappeared in the ethernet or if Tom removed it.

          FWIW, there was a time when all my posts were labeled as spam :-\ Over the years, several of my comments just disappeared after I clicked the submit button. Other times, my comments would post and be visible…and then disappear some time later. Others have experienced the same thing from time to time.

          Edith


        • eric,

          Did you receive your $100 pcp yet? Have you had a chance to shoot it? If so, I have several questions if you don’t mind…

          If I remember correctly, you’re filling it with a pump?
          What is the fill pressure for your guns power curve?
          How many good shots are you getting?
          How loud is the gun?
          What kind of accuracy are you getting?

          Sorry for all the questions but I’m very interested in your experiences.

          kevin



            • eric,

              Thanks. Moving the trigger group back and forward to vary the pre-load settings is interesting.

              Is there a provision on your gun to mount a scope? Dovetail/picatinney?

              Are you in Ft. Collins? I’m in wheat ridge.

              kevin


              • Moving the trigger group is not meant to be a way to adjust preload – that is just a side affect that was discovered after doing a tear down.

                Generally speaking the preload screw should be the way things are adjusted. I am going to always mount my trigger group completely rearward to eliminate the change in preload adjustment.

                I am in fort collins :)


                • eric,

                  Do you know the avid airgunners Scot Heath (Ft Collins) and/or Scott DeCapio (Glen Haven)? They have traveled to my place and shot airguns.

                  If you want to be invited to my next airgun shoot send me your email address….klentz4 “AT” comcast.net.

                  kevin





  7. I think a $100 PCP would encourage a lot of people to try it. The main problem would be the cost of the charging system. If we consider $150 to be a typical price for a high pressure pump, the $100 gun becomes a $250 gun. At least for newcomers to PCP.

    Would someone who has already a conventional PCP gun and its charging equipment be interested in a $100 PCP gun? The $100 gun is basically a $60 gun with a modified charging system. A much less refined gun than what the PCP gun owner already has. I doubt it, but maybe so.

    So for the newcomer, that modified $60 gun will be competing in a price bracket occupied by some very good multipump-pneumatic guns and some decent spring-piston guns. Guns produced for a market far above that of the basic 2100.

    This is not really a problem with the gun. It is a marketing problem. I think the answer will be in a lower-priced way of charging the gun, to bring the gun/pump combination below $200.

    Les


    • I think, as the airgun enthusiast market seems to be showing, that the $100 PCP idea is viable for those who already have PCP rifles and filling equipment.

      I already own a Maurader, but I went and bought the XS60C PCP conversion for $100 because I wanted a inexpensive grab and go rifle.

      It is certainly a different kind of gun than the marauder, but I didn’t buy it expecting it to be the same. I very specifically wanted a low pressure PCP so that I could do more plinking with it and spend less time pumping. This has worked out exactly as I hoped in that I get about 20 shots, and then it take 30 pumps to top off – very quick.

      As far as getting newcomers into PCP’s I think that marketing is an issue. A $100 PCP is effectively going to be competing against the Discovery at this point as a entry point into the PCP market segment. Can a $100 PCP do that? I am not sure. None of the $100 PCP conversions available to date are a fully refined consumer product, but if they get to that point, I think that such a rifle could easily take over the entry level market share.


    • Les,

      I have carbon fiber tanks and some nice pcp’s.

      I’m very interested in a $100 pcp if it works well. Why? So I have other options for friends to shoot that aren’t as nice to guns as I am.

      kevin


      • Kevin, Eric,

        Those are certainly good reasons. Some airguns are worth buying if for no other reason than their historical significance, especially if the price is low. And those guns are a great fun to shoot as well.

        I hadn’t considered that a PCP shooter would want to buy a $100 gun for the purpose of getting something that would be resistant to being knocked around by newbies. It would then make perfect sense, if you already had an air source.

        The gun should be marketed both with and without a pump. There is no reason to have to buy a pump for each gun. Consider a father buying these guns for himself and his children.

        Les


  8. B.B., Nice report! I read with great interest when I see the picture of that rifle. I have both the 2100B and 2200B (both with “metal” receivers-not sure if the 2100B still has that). I personally would be more interested in the 2200B for the bigger bullet/tube. I understand readers wanting a 125 psi gun, but I do understand it will not work, or will not work very good. I took a .175 or so tube and fixed it to a valve, hooked it up to my shop compressor. The idea was to test it with bbs. Yes it did shoot, no I was not impressed. Very weak. I’ve also took a nice paint ball gun, cut cardboard wads and put shot in it. I dialed up the power as high as it would go, but the results were just not there. I had read an article about the Daisy “critter getter”, a .380 Co2 shot pistol and wanted to see what I could do. Try no better than maybe 3 yards.
    B.B., you talk about the “old” big bores working with less pressure, I take it that is the same as the .22 making better use of Co2 in the same gun compared to .177. Yet sometimes the .25 doesn’t seem to do as good as a .22. I guess it’s a point of diminishing returns. Thanks Again, Bradly


  9. “Some of you say you want a PCP that operates on 100 psi, so you can run it on your shop compressor. Gentlemen — such an airgun doesn’t exist and cannot exist as you envision it. That is simply not enough pressure to push a pellet to the kind of velocities we want.”

    What kinds of velocities do you think you would get at those pressures (100-150 psi)? The reason I’m asking is that since the only thing I do with my airguns at this point is plink I’d settle for the 250-300 fps that the Daisy 840 delivers.


    • J.

      One-hundred psi won’t even get a pellet out the muzzle. Gunfun1 pointed out that a BB will move with 100 psi, but BBs are so undersized to their bore that they will move with almost any pressure.

      I think what you really want to know is how low the pressure can be to push pellets reasonably fast from an airgun. If that’s the case, please read this report:

      http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/12/outside-lock-rifle-by-gary-barnes.html

      That gun required several things:

      1, an extra-long barrel

      2. A super-slow valve

      3. A strong mainspring that could push the locked hammer and cam through its arc while the valve remains open.

      A modern gun would have to do something similar to get similar results.

      B.B.


    • Got a break-barrel spring gun? Got an air nozzle that doesn’t either regulate down or have safety bleed holes on the sides of the nozzle?

      Put a pellet in the break-barrel, shove the air nozzle against the breach, and tap the release lever. Take into account that even a quick tap is likely going to release more air than practically any PCP/SSP/MSP valve system.

      I predict the pellet will jam somewhere mid barrel.

      BBs, OTOH… Unless something holds them into the barrel (on a Daisy 25, there is a bent wire spring between the transfer port and the barrel that keeps the BB from rolling down the barrel; on a other models the tip of the bolt is magnetized to hold the BB) there is NO back pressure. If it rolls, it will drop out the end.


      • “Got a break-barrel spring gun?”
        Nope. I don’t shoot springers. Haven’t since I got rid of my B3 about 8 years ago.

        “Got an air nozzle that doesn’t either regulate down or have safety bleed holes on the sides of the nozzle?”
        Dad probably does for his shop compressor.

        “Put a pellet in the break-barrel, shove the air nozzle against the breach, and tap the release lever. Take into account that even a quick tap is likely going to release more air than practically any PCP/SSP/MSP valve system.

        I predict the pellet will jam somewhere mid barrel.”
        Possibly. But without a barrel, I can’t test it to find out.


  10. Sorry for being out there for too long. I wasn’t celebrating, just working in Europe.
    Obtained a Harris bipod for my PCP so I think I will test “magnification vs precision” at 50 m once more, now with low-speed C62 conversion as an ultimate testbed.

    Crosman 2100 is quite a popular “poor man’s PCP” conversion here. However I’m afraid that in this case there’s a slight miscalculation in construction of this PCP. Well, I’m not PCP ace, it’s just my gut feeling.

    The HPA reservoir seems to be too small for the task, there’s no balance between pressure/reservoir volume/valve cross-section/striker spring force, thus the rifle cannot develop the “plateau”.
    Any 2100 conversion I saw operated on 3000 psi and had a bit larger reservoir, so it could give classic picture – 3-4 slower-than-consistent, then a 12-20 “plateau” of consistent shots and then a decline.
    Perhaps some striker mass and striker spring downplay can give the required plateau. Or ( Extra careful here, anyone, please! It’s not for BB, he knows his job, but to all who reads this, HPA is a killer, I hope the reservoir is water pressured to at least 1.5 times of its max operating pressure) rise the initial reservoir pressure to 3000 psi (200 atm).

    duskwight


  11. eric
    I did check out the data you posted and what I see the gun does have a pretty good shot curve.

    The way I look at it (other people may see it different) but I see shots #8 thru #16 to be the usable shots that I would target practice or pest control with. To me that is respectable for a 100 dollar gun. And it looks like the gun just needs a little more tuning to me if you think about it.

    And the trigger sliding adjustment is a cool idea. That could make for some fine adjustments on the tune of the gun if it was easy to access. You could put the trigger in the middle of its adjustment and scribe a line on the trigger to where it mounts and always know where the middle of the adjustment is.

    But back to BB’s 100 dollar pcp gun. The air supply. From the way I see it the whole idea of the gun is to make it a entry level affordable pcp gun. That was a big turn off at first for me when I was looking at getting my first Disco. Was how to fill the gun. It was nice to have the option of buying the Benjamin hand pump and the combo price was respectable.

    But I think the only way this gun is going to make it and especially at the department stores. Is it will need to have a cheaper hand pump included with the price. Look at the cost of the guns and how they function that the 100 dollar pcp will be setting next to at the department stores.

    So just like Desertdweller said. The gun ain’t the problem. The pump and the cost of the gun and pump is the problem if you truly want it to be a 100 dollar pcp.

    Maybe the whole problem here is with the title BB gave this article. Maybe the title should of been.

    Can a 100 dollar pcp gun be built and be used with existing air supplies?

    Maybe the title is misleading.


    • You make an excellent point.

      For most of the American public, their exposure to this gun will not be from places like Pyramyd Air, or even sporting good chains like Cabelas or Big Five.

      It will be in big box stores like Wal-Mart. And it will be displayed on a rack or shelf alongside the likes of the Daisy 880, the Crosman Optimus, and even its parent, the Crosman 2100B. So its $100 price tag will not be out of place.

      Unless the packaging boldly states “air source required”, there would be some unhappy customers. So a pump-included package will need to be offered, too.

      And the sales people will need to know why. And they will have to know why it can not be charged from an air tank used to inflate tires, or with a bicycle pump.

      Les


      • Les,

        All valid points. While there’s a large educational challenge ahead, others have overcome even larger challenges. Look at Dr. Robert Beeman and what a great job he did…without benefit of the internet. Just imagine how quickly and thoroughly we can show people the features, benefits and rewards of getting a $100 PCP gun. And once they’ve bought one, others will be made that can work off the same fill system. The road ahead is filled with opportunities at a high level we’ve likely never seen before. Pistols, rifles, shotguns…the list is endless. Eventually, 3D printers will help overcome some issues, such as non-standard fill ports/adapter. It WILL happen.

        Edith


        • On your mention of 3d printers, I got to see one in action last week at the microsoft store. I can’t wait to have an excuse to buy one.


    • Gunfun1, I agree 100%. You can make a $100 PCP for the masses, but if you have to spend more than the price of the gun just to be able to charge it so you can shoot it, I don’t think it would make it. Don’t get me wrong, Most of us on here would understand it, but has You, Gunfun1, have said, the avg. person shopping on a big box store or the “kids” shopping on PA would not. Maybe someone could come along with a “cheaper” pump. Not sure how you could take shortcuts on making it. Maybe import one from China? Bradly



    • Matt61,Me too.I have some snacks ready and waiting and two kinds of whole bean coffee to fresh grind and brew and I’m just waiting to enjoy BB’s reports on SHOT SHOW.I look forward to it .-Tin Can Man-


  12. So far I’m impressed with your new toy. I’d really like to see these go into production for around $100. I’d buy a couple just for the novelty of it.


  13. This is a wonderful…dare I say debate? A very worthy project and a fascinating window into just how R & D works. But while the group is certainly sniffing around the obvious answer I haven’t seen anybody emphasize it yet.
    It appears the project is being pursued backwards. Sort of like the Tesla without the charging station. No matter how good they are they’re not going to take you far without the charge.
    In other words, invent a good high-pressure $39.99 pump FIRST and THEN the $100 PCP. And don’t forget somewhere in there a good marketing plan that gathers the interest of both the investors and the buying public.


    • 103David,

      Good analogy — to a point.

      This is not a product. It is an experiment. You are looking over Tesla’s shoulder in the lab — not at the stockholder’s rollout. We are simply asking IF this idea will work. If it does, it MAY be worthwhile to develop both the air rifle and design an inexpensive hand pump.

      B.B.


  14. I really like the “Easy Pumping” (Pump asst.) Benjamin 397 that was brought out some time back. But the price was as much as a Disco or so. Too bad Crosman couldn’t have ran with this. Surely they could have knocked the costs down.



  15. Gunfun1,

    Sorry I never finished responding to you in Part 1. My whole family (including me – twice and heading toward 3) has been sick these last few weeks. I think Wulfraed covered things pretty well.

    Daniel


    • Yes. That was a very good discusion I would have to say.

      But I’m sure there will be more to learn on this subject.

      The pump or filling device will definatly be a interesting topic.


  16. A $100 PCP rifle!
    That could be dangerous. Low cost materials and high pressure air won’t mix well I think. A few accidents could very well set back our beloved sport!


  17. C’mon guys.

    Cheap equals dangerous? Test the reservoir?

    In part one we learned that one of the key conversion parts installed was the SAE steel reservoir tubing that has a burst rating to 14,386 psi. The most costly part of this conversion and truly overkill.

    Dennis Quackenbush went way over the top on this one to insure safety.

    kevin


  18. It is a great experiment. Hats off to BB and Dennis Quackenbush. It’s a great time to be an air gunner.

    Look forward to tomorrow’s report.

    RB


  19. If it’s low powered/isn’t too loud, I’ll get one of those 100$ PCP. It would make a great plinker, a cool gun to teach the kids and like Kevin said to let friends who may not be as careful to guns as we are.
    Since the stock can’t be made of wood, just make it look tacti-cool and I think you could have a winner.

    J-F


    • I was also wondering about how loud the rifle is, and agree with you J-F that if it is given a tactical look/feel then more of the youth crowd might be interested.


    • J-F
      In Canada does a pellet rifle have to stay under a certain fps for a person to own one? Do they rate it by the FPE it makes or do they rate it by FPS.

      And I know you talked about how much noise a gun makes before. And I think somebody mentioned that they may start allowing shrouds in Canada.

      The reason I say I myself believe if a gun is getting designed now days there should be some kind of device or a combination of a lower fps and a quieting device.

      Everybody see’s power all the time when they are looking at guns. I like power with out a doubt. But I’m using my gun for different purposes than what the 100$ pcp will be used for. And sometimes when you slow a gun down on the power and find the right pellet it makes for a nice shooting gun.

      I would think if the 100$ pcp was setting at the department store shelf and it was also marked as very quiet. A parent would maybe be quicker to buy the gun. If some of the other guns on the shelf don’t have a quieting device that would be one more plus for the 100$ pcp.

      And back to why I asked about the shroud in Canada. It could drive the cost of the gun up. But maybe not. But I think the gun should be made with both options available. Quiet or not quiet. And if it did go into production they probably already have the available parts to design and make the gun with.

      Just another thought if all this works out and becomes possible.


      • Airguns have to shoot over 500fps AND over 4.2 FPE/5.7 joules to be considered a firearm.
        So you can have an air canon making 2000fpe if it’s shooting under 500fps you’re good to go or you can make your projectile go as fast as you want as long as you do the math and the energy isn’t over 4.2 foot pounds you’re also good to go.

        Then you have the handgun/long gun problem. Most long guns are fine as long as they don’t have big mags, shoot full auto, have at least 18 inch barrel (if I remember right). Handguns also have to meet certain criterias, they have a minimum size they have to be (no deringers here) and they also can’t be shot anywhere other than a certified range, you have to get a transportation permit for that and can’t stop anywhere between the range and you home. You can shoot a .50 caliber rifle in your backyard if you have the place but a .22 pistol is no-no! And they have to be registered too.

        You can have all the shrouds or apparel you want hanging on your gun as long as it doesn’t lower the report of the gun. A silencer by itself even if you don’t have anything to shoot thru it is considered a prohibited firearm here.
        Now that being said, the Benji Trail NP is available here and so is the M-Rod but with the baffles (so the barrel is loose inside and the pellets are hitting the shroud cap when exiting the barrel.

        J-F


        • So you can own a Marauder or even the new AirForce Escape but it would be considered a firearm then. Is that right? But if it is considered a firearm then you probably have trouble getting it shipped I guess.

          So the lower powered un shrouded 100 dollar pcp would then be able to be sold in more places and .177 cal. would be a better choice for the manufacturer to get the most in sales.

          Final money coming back into the company and cost to produce will be a big factor if this gun will make it then.

          I really hope more thought goes into this gun because I would like to see it happen.

          The more that is known about what people want the more chance there will be for the gun to be a real full on production model. Not a conversion type deal. I guess we wil see.


          • Pretty much. When can buy the Condor and Talon but not the Talon SS. I don’t think you could have it shipped to you but I was told that crossing the border with it is just a question of knowing what you’re doing and filling all the paper work.

            .177 is not really an advantage. Look at the 2240, it’s legal and under 500fps, if it was a .177 it would be over the speed and energy limit. Same thing with guns like the Trail NP.

            J-F


  20. Myself, I still don’t get the concept of $100 PCP bb/pellet plinkers, but can’t deny the interest this has spawned.

    Between this concept evaluation and what is already been done by Mike M, the concept is valid.

    FWIW: I do think the Disco could be made close, if you are willing to sacrafice as much as starting with a 2100B:

    * Stock: – $60 wood stock + 10 plastic (50)
    * Trgger – $30 2 stage + $10 plastic single stage (20)
    * Gauge – $15 (15)
    * Filter – $1.89 (1.89)
    * Barrel – $16 rifled + $8 bb (8)
    * Air Tube (thinner) $5 (5)
    * Breech – $40 metal + Plastic 10 (30)
    * Sights – $30 williams + $5 break barrel style(25)

    = ($155)

    All guestimates based from some known parts prices.

    PS: If Disco ia assembled in NY, that would have to move to China, where the 2100B has to be assembled to make its current low price. No way this will be assembled in the states at $100 sell price.

    Looking forward to seeing something on the low cost 2Kpsi pump. Even the china version of a benji pump is not significantly lower in price.


  21. Very nice report, I have a crosman m4-177 and thought adding a hatsan (2000 psi) cylinder replacing the pump mechanism. I just don´t know how to do it, but you showed that something like this is possible.
    The 2000 psi pump is really another concern. The prices here (Brazil) are higher then in US. A hatsan AT44 is about US $1700,00 (just the carabine).


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