2017 SHOT Show: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

  • Crosman
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Marauder Field & Target
  • Adjustable regulator?
  • 1875 Remington revolver
  • Best for last
  • Whew!

Crosman

Let’s continue with our look at the new airguns and things at the 2017 SHOT Show. We will begin with Crosman. While I was gawking at the guns, Jesse Caster from Crosman came up and showed me everything you are about to see.

Benjamin Wildfire

The first thing I did was examine the new Benjamin Wildfire rifle. Based on the famous Crosman 1077 that is itself a copy of Ruger’s iconic 10/22 rifle, the Wildfire feels just as light as the CO2-powered rifle. I was hoping it would.

Benjamin Wildfire
New Benjamin Wildfire looks very similar to a 1077. The biggest difference is the longer reservoir.

That tells me that the trigger will feel the same. The 1077 trigger both cocks and releases the striker and advanced the 12-shot circular magazine to the next chamber. That’s why I keep insisting it’s a double-action revolver. The feel of the trigger is exactly the same as that of a double action revolver.

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Diana model AR8: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana AR-8
Diana AR8 N-TEC air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

  • New Diana scope base
  • Droop?
  • The test
  • Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
  • Firing behavior
  • Better artillery hold
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • RWS Superdome
  • Notice all three groups
  • Conclusions

This report has taken a long time to write. I wanted to test the Diana AR8 from 25 yards with open sights, but my sighting eye has degraded to the point that I can’t do that. The AR8 is also very hard to cock and it would be too much trouble to shoot it left-handed, so I scoped it for today’s test. I used a 3-12X40 UTG scope that’s no longer made.

New Diana scope base

As you may remember, Diana changed the installed scope bases on all their spring rifles a few years ago, negating the aftermarket bases that were designed for them in the past by UTG. There are still hundreds of thousands of those vintage rifles that those bases fit, but the new base on all their spring rifles will not allow the old droop-compensating UTG mount base to be installed.
The problem is — Diana’s base on the rifle doesn’t accept a scope ring set very well. I wanted to use a base that accepted Picatinney scope rings, because of the heavy recoil of the AR8, but Diana doesn’t provide a ring like that, nor would it fit their base if they did.

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Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Throttle rifle from Umarex brings a lot of value to the table.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Cocking effort
  • RWS Superdomes
  • RWS Hobby
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Trigger pull
  • Stock flex
  • Evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the Umarex Throttle air rifle. As a quick reminder, I am already impressed by this rifle, just from the brief handling I did in Part 1. Today should advance that. Let’s get right to it.

Cocking effort

It would be easy for me to measure the cocking effort, then “guess” in writing that it will be somewhere close to that. I don’t do it that way. When I guess, I haven’t measured it yet. Today is when we both discover what the real cocking effort is. I guessed it would be around 33-36 pounds of effort. When I measured it on my bathroom scale the number was 28 lbs. Less than I expected. I am impressed!

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Diana model AR8: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana AR-8
Diana AR8 N-TEC air rifle.

Part 1

  • Cocking effort
  • Slanted breech
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Air Arms domes
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Baracuda Match retest
  • Trigger pull
  • Recoil and vibration
  • Evaluation so far

Today we learn how powerful the .22-caliber Diana AR8 Professional Success air rifle is. This will also give those who wonder about the rifle a good idea of what it’s like.

Cocking effort

I’ll begin with the cocking effort, because on this rifle it is really hard! I registered 54 lbs. on my bathroom scale. That makes it a two-hand job for me. I can do it with one, but just barely and not for many shots. Because it has a gas spring, the max effort starts almost at the beginning of the stroke.

Slanted breech

A reader was curious whether the AR8 has a slanted breech block like most Diana rifles. The answer is yes, the breech does slant. Let me show you what that does to loading.

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Diana model AR-8: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana AR-8
Diana AR-8 N-TEC air rifle.

  • The rifle
  • Big!
  • Inexpensive?
  • Sights
  • Scope base
  • Trigger
  • Firing behavior
  • Summary

The full title of the rifle we are looking at today is the Diana AR-8 Professional Success. That’s right. Apparently the Germans have hired Koreans to name to their airguns. Remember Shin Sung — Good Luck for Dignified Masterworks?

The rifle

The rifle I’m testing is a .22, but it also comes in .177. The serial number I’m testing is 20067725. The name AR8 is derived from the Blaser R8 Professional bolt action rifle, though that firearm bears little physical resemblance to this air rifle. Perhaps they mean similar in performance within the airgun world.

The AR-8 has a gas piston unit — the Diana N-TEC piston. That is a unitized piston assembly with an internal gas spring. I tested one before in the 340 N-TEC, and I know how nice it can be. Let’s hope the AR-8 tests just as well.

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Mainspring compressor

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

mainspring compressor
Mainspring compressor.

This report covers:

  • Can you make a mainspring compressor?
  • BSA Meteor
  • Description
  • Bridge
  • Headstock
  • Tailstock
  • Legs
  • General

Today I’m going to show you a mainspring compressor that I will use in tomorrow’s blog. I was asked this week by a new reader to show the tools needed to safely disassemble a spring-piston airgun. Here is the request.

Sir,
Great web sight!  As a “newbee” to air rifles, I find it a wealth of info!  Having a hard time trying to start a new post in the blog forum..  Specifically, I’m looking to find out if anyone makes proper tools for the correct disassembly of the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500.. Looking for a proper end cap removal tool, and a spring compressor.  I was an armorer for years in LE, with an incredible amount of proper tools for “firearms”.  Just want to make sure that maybe there’s a place to purchase proper tools for air rifles out there.

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Bully pulpit and the future of airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Bully pulpit
  • Closed ranks
  • Lead, follow or get out of the way
  • A new dynamic
  • The stalwarts
  • Robert Beeman
  • What I did
  • Edith was the inspiration
  • I pulled the plug
  • The big push!
  • It’s not me

Bully pulpit

According to Wiki, “A bully pulpit is a sufficiently conspicuous position that provides an opportunity to speak out and be listened to.” The phrase was coined by Theodore Roosevelt, who felt the White House was a bully pulpit. In his day, the term bully meant excellent.

Closed ranks

When I started my newsletter — The Airgun Letter — in 1994, it was in response to a lack of literature about airguns. There were only a couple books on the subject at that time, and it seemed as if the serious airgunners wanted to hide their passion. Advanced collectors told me what a shame it is to have a reference like the Blue Book of Airguns, because now everybody can know what they know. In the past, they relied on ignorance to grow their collections at low prices. But when everyone can know that a Winsel CO2 pistol is ultra-rare, they stop selling them for $50, and the price climbs to over $1,000.

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