Building the $100 precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 5

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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

I bet that when some people heard about this experiment, they laughed it off. Perhaps that will change now that we have looked at this novel idea 5 different times. I’m learning so much from this series that it’s going to affect my writing for years to come.

I was surprised — again!
Somebody — I don’t remember who — asked me to test the $100 PCP with round lead balls — I guess because the steel BB test turned out so well. So I did. I shot it at 10 meters with .177-caliber Gamo round lead balls. Since I shot with open sights, I didn’t get to see the group after confirming that the first shot hit the paper. Imagine my surprise to see all 10 shots clustered tightly in 0.561 inches!

$100 PCP 10 meters round ball
This tight group really surprised me! Ten .177 Gamo lead balls went into 0.561 inches at 10 meters.

That got me thinking — a lot! I’ve been doing this experiment so slow that I forget what I’ve done before.

What I thought I would do today was complete this report with a test of the rifle scoped at 25 yards. However, when I mounted the scope, it was very far off line, as in angled to the barrel. Either the grooves on the receiver are off or the scope mount I chose wasn’t grabbing the base correctly.

After missing the target twice at 25 yards, I pulled the scope off the rifle and decided to shoot another test with open sights. I used different pellets than I used in Part 4 so we get to see some different results.

Crosman Premier heavy
The first pellet I tried was the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier heavy. In .177, Premiers come in both lite and heavy, and this is the first time I’ve tested this rifle with the heavy. I would love to tell you these pellets went into a small group, but the truth is that they scattered in a 2.352-inch pattern.

$100 PCP 25 yards Crosman Premier heavy
Not particularly encouraging, 10 Premier heavies made this 2.352-inch group at 25 yards.

H&N Baracuda Match
Next, I tried 10 H&N Baracuda Match pellets. They made a better group than the Premier heavies, but it still wasn’t worth talking about. Ten pellets went into 2.051 inches at 25 yards.

$100 PCP 25 yards HN Baracuda Match
Ten H&N Baracuda Match pellets went into 2.051-inches at 25 yards. Still no cigar.

After looking at the second group, I noticed that it looked like the first group, only a little smaller. Because I always look through the spotting scope after the first shot of every group to make sure I’m on paper, I knew that the first shots of both groups were high and right. It seemed to me that the shots might be spreading out to the left as the pressure in the reservoir dropped; so on group 3, I took a photo after the first 5 shots had been fired.

RWS Superdome
Finally I tried RWS Superdomes. Including the lead balls I shot at 10 meters, this was the fourth projectile in this test and the seventh diabolo pellet tested at 25 yards in this rifle. The other 3 pellets were documented in part 4.

$100 PCP 25 yards 5 RWS Superdomes
Five RWS Superdomes made this 5-shot group at 25 yards. Would the next 5 shots spread to the left?

Ten Superdomes went into 1.528 inches at 25 yards. That was the best group in this test with pellets, but only the third best pellet of the seven that were tested at 25 yards.

As it turned out, the next 5 shots didn’t open the group that much more. So, another theory bit the dust.

$100 PCP 25 yards RWS Superdomes
Ten RWS Superdomes made this 1.528-inch group at 25 yards. It’s only a little larger than the first 5 shots, shown above.

Evaluation
The $100 PCP is very accurate at close range, but not as good as the distance increases. Of course, you must remember that the barrel is taped to the reservoir with Gorilla tape, so there’s a lack of precision in the build.

It would still be interesting to see how this rifle behaves when scoped, but I’ll have to find mounts that permit mounting a scope to the integral rail. At this point, I think the $100 PCP is a proven concept. I would really like to see this rifle in production.

72 thoughts on “Building the $100 precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 5

  1. Wow, that group of lead balls is great! Makes you wonder if the 2100 is better leaned towards bbs in its original form? Do any of the guys with 2100s see better groups with bbs than pellets? Another thing might be a burr at the crown? That wouldn’t affect the flight off the round balls as it would a pellet I would think.


    • I pulled the ball check out of my AM77,as an experiment(turns out I need to whittle it down & put it back in)with a 70 percent success rate for feeding .177 lead balls, if you watch for double feeding. If I ever get this gun conserving air?!


    • I have no idea about the twist rate, that’s a good question for B.B.,however, this forced loading mechanism appears to be far more superior to any gravity feed design I’ve seen, except may the Giridoni, which isn’t true gravity feed.


  2. Congratulations on finding the lead round ball as your gun’s favorite pellet,B.B.!
    I’m luvvin’ them, so far, in everything I’ve tried ‘em in! I’m sure there are more consistent sizing in some of the higher end packages, especially in .177. Gamo seems to, currently have this market cornered,at least in the U.S…They need competition!


    • B.B. didn’t say in the test, how many grains are these lead round balls? In .22? Figure you guys shooting them might know.. shape/weight/quality is how I decide what pellet to use, and I don’t know if a round ball might do good for my shooting needs but if I might try some I would then want to know the weight, and are they soft? Some softer then others? There’s the quality question, hardness and uniformity. Any info on your round lead balls for those that are curious?


  3. BB
    I think this was mentioned before. You got to get rid of that Gorilla tape or whatever it is and put a dog gone barrel clamp on the the gun. How the heck can you hold a good group with a dancn’ barrel.

    I heard of making people dance with a gun in the old movies. But I never heard of person making a gun barrel dance.

    But seriously I think that barrel needs to get locked down before you test anymore. I don’t think it could hurt. Well I probably shouldn’t say that. Because weird things do happen.


  4. BB,
    Just a thought but, as the pressure decreases in the reservoir, does it not “shrink” and/or “flex” some and possibly be repositioning the barrel that is taped to it?

    On second thought, just leave it alone and let them bring it to market as is. We’ll snatch it up, take it apart and spend $2000 tinkering with it to make it shoot better and then contact the company with our recommendations on how to improve it and get all irate when they seemingly ignore us and get real upset when they do make any improvement and scream they should have done that two years ago when we first recommended that.


  5. B.B.,It would be a shame to lose the BB loader on this gun. It actually works pretty good! I have not and do not intend to shoot anything other than lead projectiles(with a little antimony to keep the skirts true)through my gun. By shavin’ about .020 off the BB stop it will feed .177 lead balls, A debouncer,…





      • How did I get the little picture… very good question! I really don’t remember!
        You have to register in the top right corner if I remember well… but better check with Edith with that.

        You then search the web for a picture that you like or you take one of your own, just remember that it will be quite small and there is no way to make it bigger, so no small details.

        If you do register using the link in the top right corner and when you log in you click the small “remember me” box you won’t have to complete those very hard math questions before posting.

        J-F


  6. BB, What if in the production version of this gun, the soda straw barrel was completely encased inside a plastic filler in the barrel housing? Of course as you mention , the reservoir /barrel attachment needs to be more solid. That, and have the scope mount on the barrel housing, cantilevering it back to the receiver? Also, make it in .22 cal.


    • I used nylon reinforced vynil water supply line on my AM77, it fit both the barrel and the shroud very snugly and tightened my groups akin to mounting a scope.


      • On my AM77 , the rear sight screws were a tad long and pushed on the barrel inside the shroud. I’ve made bushings for some of these guns(the 2200,2100, and dasiy SG-22) from various stuff like the tubing you mention. The clam shell guns like this also suffer from the fact that the front half of the gun with the barrel and sights can get loose from pumping after awhile.


        • Yes, I used a handheld dril lbit to bore holes down to the barrel, for the sight screws, and also the locating tabs on the clamp. A self locking nut for the clamp would be nice, but loctite seems to suffice.


  7. B.B.,

    You and Dennis have demonstrated the potential of a $100 PCP. You’ve seen some of your ideas become superb, commercially successful airguns. I hope this becomes a reality, too. I look forward to reading about the prototype hand pump you envision for this rifle.

    RB


  8. BB,

    I agree with RB above. The concept of this rifle is definitely impressive. Accuracy is obviously a function of the cost of and the specifications of the barrel manufacture with a good dose of it’s final mounting mechanics. If Crossman or someone else wants to produce it, then there is a bit of research they will need to perform to extract the most from this setup. However, you and Dennis deserve a hearty “attaboy” for the concept.

    Fred DPRoNJ


  9. I would gladly pay $250 if it was shrouded like a marauder.
    Of course I am sure the disco not being shrouded was done just to sell marauders.


    • StevenG,

      The Disco was niot shrouded because I advised Crosman not to do it. They wanted to shroud the rifle and also to make it a repeater, but I knew that would have driven the cost too high. So they listened and didn’t shroud the Disco.

      After the Discovery was so successful, the buying public accepted the higher-priced Marauder readily, because they knew Crosman knew how to build a precharged gun. The Marauder is more popular than the Discovery, but the Discovery still serves a purpose.

      One person wants it with a shroud. Another wants a better trigger. Still another wants it to be a repeater. It is impossible to satisfy everyone with a basic rifle like the Disco. So you don’t try. You build it as it is — stripped down, and then come out with a Marauder at not that much more money.

      B.B.


      • While I can understand that completely a .22 discovery with a pump is $400, a .22 marauder with the same pump would be $700. That is a 75% increase in cost. I don’t think the wife would tolerate shooting the discovery in the basement from what I have heard about how loud it is. So I shall continue to try to find a refurbished marauder.

        Sorry, I was so cynical about the reasons for the discovery not being shrouded, I did not mean to insult you or anyone else.


        • StevenG,

          I sounded like an old junkyard dog, didn’t I? I didn’t mean to, but that’s how it reads.

          All I was pointing out was why the decision was made the way it was. Believe me when I say that Crosman agreed with you. They really wanted to put the good stuff on the Discovery. I was the outsider with the mean disposition who kept saying, “No!” They trusted me on that one, and things turned out fine in the end. I know they sold over 4,000 new Discoverys in the first calendar year of sales, which was more than 4 times their estimate and over twice mine.

          B.B.


          • B.B.,

            So tell me sage, how many of the new FWB 124 springers will sell at the price point of around $750US?

            I know that Feinwerkbau looks upon the USA market as secondary but am shocked that they wouldn’t include a .22 caliber in this new offering. They must know about the lust for the old FWB 127 in this Country. I’m really struggling to understand this.

            You probably know the sales figures of the new Walther LGV which may or may not be an indicator.

            Personally I’m hopeful that both are a success especially in the USA otherwise I’m afraid the high end market for springers may appear dead to manufacturers.

            Kevin


      • BB don’t do it! If they make this gun they need to make different variations of the gun. Yes I mean have the shroud available. Look at all the different types of break barrel guns that Benjamin and Crosman make based off of the brake barrel design. Make this $100 PCP available in a wide spectrum/assortment like the springer’s. Let the $100 PCP take over the shelf’s at Wal-Mart and so on. Let the add on parts be available so a person could get the base gun then personalize it.

        That could be a good selling point for the gun. Build it in a couple different base models like we talked about before. A detuned bb shooting version and then the more aggressive pellet version. Then have the custom shop that Crosman has make different bolt on options available for the gun.

        Look at the AirForce guns. Look at all the different ways you can build those guns. If I had just a base frame I can go to the PA site and order a wide variety of things to make that gun the way I want it. Or just by a base gun and leave it alone or add to it.

        If it is produced through Crosman I see the gun to take over where the 1377, 2240′s are at. There is so many mods out there for those guns it ain’t funny. Now if we could get a base PCP model like the$100 PCP I think it would start the next generation gun to mod like the 1377 and 2240 guns.

        I can see a double air tube version mod being made by some body that we know. The list of mods could just keep going on. So I guess your right though BB. Just let them build us a base model and the aftermarket world will just evolve into this gun and like other things as they always do.


        • I agree with you here, you have a clear, positive, and very foreseeable future for this new design. It seems like it will fit exactly where you’ve placed it, they should have you do the PR campaign for the 100$ pcp, you’d have it flourishing. I think this could really be a successful crossover gun that will satisfy a huge range of customers with its different base guns and customization. If that’s the route that’s taken I can’t see it failing.


        • GF1,

          Here is the reality of what you are asking for. If they make a fully featured gun with optional this and that the price has to go up. At some point, the fully featured gun starts to compete with the Discovery that is built much better but without all the features. They then have a cheap product competing with a more expensive product. That dilutes sales for both guns and it confuses customers. The result can be sales to other brands because Crosman/Benjamin airguns are too confusing.

          B.B.


          • I say, cinch the barrel down & put it into production, let the tuners and aftermarket take care of the rest. I see this as a win,win,win situation!


            • Let me take a step back ,there, finish the valve modifications, I think this will probably quell the pellet finickiness of this gun. Yet, another win!


          • BB
            Look at the last sentance you wrote with your reply to me.

            It would be confusing the customer. Thats what I said about the all the different break barrel guns that Benjamin/Crosman makes. I think they should eliminate some of them. That would even save them money with production costs among other costs.
            Like Reb and RDNA and myself.
            Let them make the base gun and the aftermarket world will take over and do thier part as usual.

            So ether way that they decide to make it should be good.

            I think it will be a mistake if they dont make it.


            • Gunfun1,

              Gamo and Crosman seem to be the leaders in reskinning guns. Same innards with some variation, but different exteriors. Some have open sights, some don’t. Some come with good scopes, some don’t. Some have gas springs, some have metal springs. Some are pricey, some are not.

              Here’s where it gets interesting. What if they sell a gun to one big box dealer who doesn’t want to carry what the other big box dealers carry? The mfr can simply reskin the gun, change it ever so slightly, give it a new name and voila! They have another model that didn’t really cost them that much to make, but they were able to stock another dealer. They sell them 2-3 boxcars at a time and then no more of these are made. The dealer’s happy — he’s got something that looks like an exclusive gun. The mfr is happy because he could make some simple, inexpensive changes and get a new dealer who looks to his customers like he’s carrying exclusive models. Win-win.

              Edith


              • Edith
                I agree with you there. So then what you said could also relate to the 100 dollar PCP I suppose.

                Either way I guess will have to wait and see how and if Crosman biulds it.


              • This sounds kinda like how I would imagine the Air Master came to be. I’m all for it! I just wish they would’ve done it with the .22 cal With the loader.



          • B.B.,

            You’ll love this. My marketing class professor discussed this, too. He called it “cannibalization” within the product line. I wonder if the Katana went away because it was negatively affecting sales of the two other PCPs.

            As it is I think Crosman has at least two, perhaps even three, too many multi-pumpers in their budget line. Really, do they need EIGHT different (counting the Backpacker carbine) multi-pumper models, each priced under $80?

            My sports analogy for product line cannibalization is when the Chicago Bulls were winning all of those championships in the 1990s, and Luke Longley, I believe it was, commented about how aggressive Dennis Rodman was under the net, saying, “Dennis would compete for rebounds against US, his own TEAMMATES.”

            Michael


  10. I’d also like to add, while I was shimming the barrel on this gun, I addressed the barrel/breech block connection leakage problem. By applying Shoe Goo to the barrel and cleaning up any excess with alcohol and a cotton swab before tightening, let set over night and then added the sleeve.


  11. I’ve never been near a pcp, let alone inside one but I have been into a couple of co2 guns, I’m eager to learn, in what ways this stock valve needs to be modified, and which modifications will affect the gun,and in what ways.
    I hope it’s not a trade secret. ;)


  12. B.B. I’ve been looking for the twist rate on this gun with no luck and I don’t have a .17 cleaning rod, or I would’ve checked mine. Any idea?



    • Immediately thought of Modine and Baldwin’s ( Joker and Animal Mother) little showdown at the “zipperhead” birthday party. Awesome movie.


  13. B.B. , it was I that wrote you about testing it with lead balls. I like the results also. It’s begs the question of which round ball would be better, as different one from different makes are different in diameter and maybe in weight too. I see 4.45, 4.50 & .4.54 dia. just to name a few with weights at 7.7 gr. to 8.2 gr. There are probably others. You make me want to buy bunch of different lead balls and dig out my 2100. Back to the test, the last group of pellets tested, you stated “Finally I tried RWS Superdomes. Including the lead balls I shot at 10 meters, this was the fourth projectile in this test and the seventh diabolo pellet tested at 25 yards in this rifle.” What were the results of the lead balls at 25 yards? Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t see/read the results of that. Thanks Again, Bradly


    • Bradly,

      I only tested the round balls at 10 meters. I was afraid they might begin scattering after that distance an I didn’t want to put any more holes in the walls and furniture.

      B.B.


      • BB
        All I can say is have you seen those little stickers before.

        No Fear

        Some times you just got to live life dangerously. ;)


  14. This has been a rather interesting experiment. I’d love it if this could be taken to Crosman and maybe use their M4-177 to make the $100 pcp. I bet people would go crazy for it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


+ 5 = 6

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>