Posts Tagged ‘Foster quick-disconnect’

Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2
Secrets of loading the Benjamin Marauder magazine

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

Today, I’ll begin a look at accuracy for the Benjamin Marauder precharged pneumatic air rifle. If the Marauder was a normal PCP, this would be one quick report, but it isn’t. The owner has the ability to change not only the rifle’s power, but also the fill pressure the reservoir will accept. That makes testing a Marauder potentially complex if you want to try everything, and we certainly do want to do that here. So, today will just be a first look at potential accuracy, after which I’ll determine the shot count the rifle now gets with the best pellet, and then tune it to a preselected optimum range and test it again to see if the shot count increases. Neat, huh?

I know I’m going to shoot this rifle a lot, so I selected one of the best scopes I have — a CenterPoint 8-32x with parallax adjustment. The scope I chose is an old one from the time when Centerpoint was having Leapers make all their scopes. It’s no longer available, but a close equivalent would be this UTG scope.

Where to begin the test
Oh, boy, where do I start? I thought it would be good to test a number of premium pellets and try to find 1 or 2 that stand out for accuracy. Then, I’ll concentrate on those pellets, which will help me focus on what has to be done.

I shot at 25 yards indoors because that’s the distance at which things start to happen. If a pellet is going to be accurate, 25 yards is usually far enough for it to stand out.

This is one time where 5-shot groups come in handy. I decided to shoot all the pellets I’d selected in 5-shot groups and see if 1 or more of them stood out as exceptionally accurate. Five-shot groups save time, pellets and air; and when you’re faced with testing 8 different pellets, as I was, it makes a big difference.

If there was no favorite pellet, I would just have to pick a couple pellets and proceed to work with them. But as it turned out, this rifle does have a favorite. When I show you how much better it is than the others, you will probably say what my wife, Edith said when she saw the groups. She couldn’t believe that 1 pellet was so much better than all the rest, and exclaimed, “Woohoo,” involuntarily.

Marauder’s noise level
But before I get to that, when I walked into her office to show her the groups, Edith asked me what airgun I was testing because she couldn’t hear it. She thought it was some low-powered air pistol. And our female cat, who normally runs around the house complaining whenever I shoot, slept through the whole session. As it stands right now, the Marauder I’m testing is about as loud as a politician volunteering to do something proactive in a non-election year.

Pellets tested
I selected the following pellets to test:

Crosman Premier 10.5-grain
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain
JSB Exact Heavy (10.34 grain)
JSB Exact RS
RWS Superdome
Beeman Kodiak
JSB Exact Monster
JSB Exact Express

I did sight-in the rifle, but not so it would hit the center of the target because that would destroy the aim point. Nevertheless, a couple pellets did do just that. Fortunately, it was at the end of the 5 shots and no harm was done.

Average groups
The Marauder is accurate no matter what pellets it shoots. It’s better with some pellets than others. Take a look at some of the 5-shot groups.

Benjamin Marauder 5 shots 25 tards Superdomes
Five RWS Superdomes made this 0.528-inch group at 25 yards.

Benjamin Marauder 5 shots 25 tards JSB Exact Heavy
Five 10.3-grain JSB Exact Heavys made this 0.376-inch group at 25 yards. It’s better than the Superdomes, but still not great.

Benjamin Marauder 5 shots 25 tards JSB Exact Monster
Five JSB Exact Monsters made this 0.316-inch group at 25 yards. It’s the second-best 5-shot group of the test.

Okay, I could live with the JSB Monster group, and there were a couple other pellets worthy of further examination if that was the best the Marauder was going to do. But it wasn’t. When I shot 5 Crosman Premier lites, the whole test changed.

Benjamin Marauder 5 shots 25 tards Crosman Premier lite
Five Crosman Premier lites made this 0.139-inch group at 25 yards. It is hands-down the best 5-shot group of the test.

It should be obvious that Crosman Premier lites are the best pellet of those tested. On the basis of the 5-shot group, they’re twice as accurate as the next best pellet. Now, it was time to shoot a 10-shot group with them and see where that took us.

Benjamin Marauder 10 shots 25 tards Crosman Premier lite
Ten Crosman Premier lites made this 0.285-inch group at 25 yards. This is exactly what I was looking for.

Obviously the 5-shot group was no fluke. This rifle really likes this pellet.

What’s next?
Where do we go from here? First, I’m going to fill the rifle again to 3,000 psi and shoot nothing but Premier lites to determine the total shot count with the gun as it’s currently tuned. You may remember that we found this rifle was tuned to the max when we did the velocity test in Part 2. While that high speed obviously doesn’t hurt the accuracy of the Premier lite pellet, wouldn’t it be nice to get several extra shots from a fill and keep the same accuracy? The rifle currently shoots Premier lites at an average 1,015 f.p.s., and I think an average 900 f.p.s. will be just as good. That’s where I’ll be adjusting the rifle. Several of you have asked how the power is adjusted on the Marauder, so this will give me the opportunity to show how it’s done.

Then, I’ll count the total number of shots at that new velocity, and we’ll see what reducing the velocity gains, if anything. I’ll also test the accuracy at the new lower velocity to see if the rifle is still just as accurate.

After that, I plan to adjust the maximum fill pressure of the rifle. I’ll experiment with the rifle operating at a lower fill pressure while still getting the same velocity. This will be at the new velocity of around 900 f.p.s. We’ll see what benefits there are to having a lower fill pressure.

I do plan on shooting the Marauder at 50 yards, too, but that will come after all the adjustments have been made and evaluated. By then, we should know the test rifle very well and be able to tune it for the best performance. There’s a lot more in store for this rifle!

Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: Part 2

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

Part 1

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

This is a look back at an air rifle that has become iconic throughout the world — the Benjamin Marauder. The last time I looked at this rifle, I did it in my conventional way. This time I’m doing it different because I know more about the rifle.

My goal this time is to tune the Marauder exactly as I want it to shoot. I think there will be a great benefit for those who want to learn about PCPs to watch this as it develops. Today, I’ll test the rifle for velocity in the conventional way, except I won’t do a shot count — not today.

In the next report, I’ll test the rifle for accuracy at 25 yards, only I’ll stack the deck by selecting the pellets that I believe will be the most accurate. The accuracy test will tell me which one(s) to select. After that, I’ll test that one pellet for velocity and for the total shot count I can get.

Then, I’ll decide what I want that pellet to do. If it’s a heavyweight, I’ll try for moderate velocity in the 850 f.p.s. range and then try to get the greatest number of shots from it. If it’s a medium or lightweight pellet, I’ll probably dial the velocity back to about 900 f.p.s. and try for the best shot count.

I’ll also be interested in the fill pressure. If I can get 25 good shots with 2,500 psi air, I won’t care that 3,000 psi air gives me 31 good shots with the same pellet. But if 3,000 psi gives me 38 good shots compared to 25 good shots with 2,500 psi, then, yes, I’m going to set the gun up to fill to 3,000 psi.

As I do all of this experimentation, I’m going to document it so those who have questions about the Marauder can see how it works. You tell people today that an air rifle has adjustable velocity, and they expect to see a rheostat on the side of the stock; but the Marauder isn’t like that. It’s a thinking man’s airgun. You set it and forget it. You don’t keep fiddling with the controls until it’s a jumbled mess. We’re going to spend the time to learn how to do it right.

But wait…there’s more! Not only does the Marauder allow you to adjust the velocity of the pellet, it also lets you adjust the maximum fill pressure of the air reservoir. When you hear that, you probably wonder why anyone would bother with a fill pressure other than the maximum — which in the case of the Marauder is 3,000 psi. Here’s why they do it. Some owners may use hand pumps that they find difficult to use above 2,500 psi. Other owners may use scuba tanks, but they live 40 miles from the dive shop and want to be able to use their rifle for a longer time than conventional wisdom permits. For these owners, adjusting the maximum fill pressure to 2,500 psi makes perfect sense. They understand that they’ll get fewer shots at maximum velocity when the fill pressure is lower — just as you understand that you can’t go as far on a gallon of gas as you can when the tank is full, but you can go just as fast.

When you’re adjusting the velocity and the maximum fill pressure, you have to find a balance point between the two. That’s what’s confused many people. The Marauder is the first air rifle in the world to allow both the fill pressure and the velocity to be adjusted. It’s like they’ve given you your very own NASCAR engine, and it’s up to you to tune it for the race track you’re going to drive on.

One pellet is all I want
I don’t care to discover 27 different pellets for this rifle. I only want the single best one. I don’t care how much it costs — only how accurate it is and how effective (power and shot count) I can make it. So, that’ll take some time to locate and some more time to set up the gun to use that single pellet most effectively.

That’s what I intend doing. The first step is to test the rifle for velocity now. I plan to test the following pellets:

Crosman Premier 10.5-grain (Premier heavy)
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain (Premier lite)
JSB Exact Heavy (10.34 grain)
JSB Exact RS
RWS Superdome
Beeman Kodiak

I may not have included your favorite .177 pellet on my list, but allow me to explain my thinking. First, all of these pellets are domes. I know the domed pellet to be the most accurate pellet shape on the market. And each of the pellets I selected to test are known by me to be very accurate.

I selected the Beeman Kodiak, but I’ve found that the Beeman Kodiak Match, H&N Barauda and H&N Baracuda Match are all the same pellet, as far as performance goes. I use them interchangeably, so I only have to test one to know how all four perform.

There may be other pellets that are better in the Marauder; but starting from zero, these pellets are the ones I would choose. Let’s see how they do.

Crosman Premier heavy
Crosman Premier heavies averaged 943 f.p.s. with a spread that went from 941 to 945 f.p.s. That’s right — only 4 f.p.s. separated the fastest and slowest shots! At the average velocity, this pellet makes 20.74 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Crosman Premier lite
Crosman Premier lites averaged 1,015 f.p.s. The low was 1,012 f.p.s. The high was 1,018 f.p.s., so 7 f.p.s. was the total velocity spread. At the average velocity, this pellet produces 18.08 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

JSB Exact Heavy
JSB Exact Heavy pellets averaged 936 f.p.s. The low was 932 f.p.s. and the high was 940 f.p.s. The total spread is 8 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet produces 20.12 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

JSB Exact RS
JSB Exact RS pellets averaged 1,032 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 1025 f.p.s. to a high of 1039, so a total spread of 14 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet makes 17.34 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

RWS Superdome
Of all the pellets tested, RWS Superdomes were the most difficult to load into the magazine. I had to use a pusher to get almost every pellet into the mag. They averaged 1,014 f.p.s. and went from a low of 1,008 f.p.s. to a high of 1017 f.p.s. Total spread was 9 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet produced 18.95 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Beeman Kodiak
Beeman Kodiaks averaged 957 f.p.s. in the Marauder. The high was 960 f.p.s and the low was 955 f.p.s., so the spread was 5 f.p.s. Kodiaks produced an average 21.66 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Where are we?
I just dumped that data on you so I could get to this discussion. What do these numbers tell us? They tell me my rifle is set up extra-hot. I have no need for all that speed; so after I find the right pellet, I plan to dial back the power to between 850 and 900 f.p.s. If the best pellet is light, I’ll let it go toward the 900 f.p.s. side of that range. If it’s a heavy one, I will try to get it down to around 850 f.p.s.

Why would I do that? To get additional shots per fill. The way the rifle is now set up, I’m wasting air. Not that too much air blows out with every shot, but I just don’t need these pellets to go so fast, to do what I want them to.

Did you notice?
I was impressed by how tight the shot strings were. Remember, the Marauder doesn’t have a regulator. It’s doing all this with just a well-balanced valve. We’ll want to keep that in mind when it comes time to make adjustments.

The magazine is superior!
There have been a lot of negative comments on the Marauder’s spring-loaded magazine. I can shed some light on that. I’ve watched some new owners who were befuddled by how this magazine works, and they ruined it by forcing it when it didn’t do what they expected it to. My magazines are several years old and with hundreds of shots run through each of them. I’ve never had a single problem. But force them even one time to do what they weren’t designed to do, and you’ll ruin them. This mag is a copy of a successful UK PCP magazine, and that one had the same learning curve problems.

Silent operation
My test Marauder is very quiet! Even operating at the high power level it’s at right now, it’s extremely quiet. I don’t know if it’ll get even quieter when I cut the power, but I do plan on observing and reporting.

More about the stock
The Marauder stock is not as clunky as people say. In fact, the pistol grip is thinner and narrower than most UK PCP stocks. The forearm is wide, but only enough to contain the large reservoir.

The trigger
I’m ambivalent about adjusting the trigger because the one on my rifle is so sweet that I don’t want it to change. It’s exactly where I want it to be. Theoretically, I can always adjust it back, but I’ve seen too many instances where the theory didn’t pan out.

The 2-stage trigger breaks at less than 11 oz. The first stage is 9 of those ounces, so the release is very light and glass-rod crisp. Only the addition of an overtravel stop would make it better.

So far
I knew what the Marauder was like before this test began. That’s why I’m testing it the way I am. I get to learn something new, and people who are interested in the Marauder get to see it in a way they probably haven’t seen anywhere else. I think the Marauder is a classic for all time, but you have to decide that for yourselves.

Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: Part 1

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

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

I’m starting a long report about an air rifle that comes up in conversation all the time — the Benjamin Marauder. I use it as a standard for comparison to most other air rifles in its class; though, to be honest, there are no other air rifles that are in its class. They may have some of the same features, but no other air rifle on the market has everything that the Marauder has.

It’s very significant that the Marauder occupies the top position on the Pyramyd Air search page for precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles when you sort for the most popular models. Even though it costs more than the Benjamin Discovery, which was created to be the entry-level gun for those coming into PCPs for the first time, the Marauder out-sells the less expensive airgun. And with all that it has to offer, the Marauder is still a blistering bargain…not only among PCPs, but among the larger category of fine air riflesin general.

This is not my first report on the Marauder, or, as the insider jargonists have named it, the M-Rod. Way back in 2009, I did a 5-part report on this .177 rifle as it was first launched. Back then, the airgun community was just starting to get used to the idea that Crosman could build precharged airguns instead of buying them from other manufacturers and slapping their name on it. The Benjamin Discovery that the slangsters have shortened to Disco was their first attempt at building a PCP here in the United States, and they were so careful with the launch that they hit a home run the first time at bat. But the Marauder was the rifle they really wanted to build. And, with it, they knocked the ball out of the park!

When the Discovery was in development, Crosman engineers knew shooters were going to want a match-type trigger, a baffled barrel and superior accuracy. I argued that we first needed to get our production feet wet with a simpler design that had fewer technical challenges to build. As things evolved over time, we were both right. Building the Discovery first gave Crosman’s East Bloomfield plant the time it needed to ramp up a precharged pneumatic assembly line and to learn all the sensitive issues involved with building PCPs. But the customers really did want all the bells and whistles on their guns; so when the Marauder came out, the company was praised for finally getting it right.

As it turns out, there are actually two distinctly different motivations for buying these rifles. The Discovery is what you buy when you want to save every last penny and still get into precharged airgunning with a brand new airgun, while the Marauder is the one that’s bought for all its features. Sometimes, these are two entirely different customers; and other times, they’re the same customer but at different times in their airgunning journeys. Whatever the psychology, each model compliments the other one, and neither would be as successful by itself.

I’ve always believed that a company needs high-performance models to encourage timid buyers to purchase their more mundane products. That’s why the automobile industry pours millions of dollars into NASCAR — so that mom and dad can feel special while driving their ordinary wheels to soccer practice and to work. Remember this — most Range Rovers never leave the pavement — despite the fact that they can.

But Crosman has taken this marketing strategy one important extra step. They’ve built a high-performance PCP and held the cost to a fraction of what others charge for airguns of lesser capability. It’s like Ferrari is making a sports car that retails for under $30,000. The dinosaurs will claim that it can’t be done, yet here’s the Benjamin Marauder, proving it can.

This rifle deserves a second report because we keep bumping into it as we look at other airguns. It’s often held as the standard against which other air rifles are compared. So, it’s time to look at the rifle in its own light to see if all the hype is deserved.

As an interesting side note, I have not shot this rifle since June 2009, and it’s still holding air. I’m mentioning that because a lot of people talk about how these PCPs don’t hold their charge.

I also tested a .25-caliber Marauder air rifle, and that coincided with my illness and hopitalization. My good friend Mac had to step in and finish that test for me in 2010.

One last footnote before I talk about the gun. There’s a new synthetic Marauder coming out, and I’m going to get one to test for you. This is going to be a very thorough look at the M-Rod family.

The rifle
The Marauder is a PCP repeater that comes in .177, .22 and .25 calibers. The .177 that I’m testing now holds 10 shots in the rotary clip. The .22-caliber rifle has the same number, but the big .25 caliber drops to 8 pellets.

The barrel is shrouded so successfully that the Marauder is held up as the standard for what a quiet PCP should be. Of course, you can make it even quieter with certain aftermarket modifications. But as it comes from the box, it’s quieter than 90 percent of the comparable PCPs on the market. The shroud gives the appearance of a bull barrel, which is pleasing to most shooters. But the real 20-inch barrel is located deep inside the shroud.

The stock is beech with a conventional shape. It’s thick through most dimensions. The fact that it encloses the rear of the reservoir tube means that it’s a trifle thick through the forearm. It really isn’t that wide; but it looks like it is, and that’s the impression most people have of the rifle — that it’s larger than it really is. In fact, it weighs only a trifle over 7 lbs., depending on the wood weight, and is actually a fairly lightweight air rifle.

The pistol grip is contoured nicely for right-hand and left-hand shooters, alike, with a hint of a palm swell on either side. The cheekpiece rises high enough to naturally bring your eye up to the eyepiece of the scope. The bolt handle located on the right is perhaps the one thing lefties will find objectionable.

The rifle is finished with a matte finish overall. The metal parts are a pleasing dark gray, and the wood has a satin sheen. It looks like it was designed for hunters by hunters, and the presence of detachable sling swivel studs is proof of that.

No sights come on the rifle because the shooter is expected to mount a scope. The 11mm scope base on the receiver stands above the barrel, so there will be good clearance for a large objective lens; but the circular clip protrudes above the top of the receiver, forcing you to use rings that raise it high enough to clear. You almost have to use a 2-piece mount, although it would be possible to use a cantilevered 1-piece mount that reaches over the clip. I’m telling you that you need to think about the scope and mount more carefully than with some other rifles.

Benjamin Marauder clip
The spring-loaded clip sticks up above the top of the receiver, meaning the scope mounts need to provide clearance.

The rifle is filled through a male Foster quick-disconnect nipple that has a 2-micron filter inside to stop dirt from entering the reservoir. This type of fitting is nearly universal these days, and it’s one of the pleasing features that all Crosman-made PCPs share.

Adjustable trigger
The Marauder’s trigger is adjustable in ways the triggers on guns costing twice as much cannot equal. You control the first-stage and second-stage lengths, the weight of the let-off and even the position of the trigger blade when it’s at rest. The trigger releases with a light and crisp second stage that’s worthy of the title match trigger. I’ll discuss the trigger more in a future report.

Adjustable power
The user can adjust the rifle’s power, within limits. But this is not a simple adjustment that acts just on the hammer spring, alone. Both the hammer-spring tension, or preload, and the hammer-stroke length are adjustable. You control both how hard the hammer strikes the valve stem and also how far it can push it. This gives you fine control over the rifle’s power output, but it’s a procedure that requires the use of a chronograph and balancing between the spring tension and the hammer-stroke travel. I’ll have more to say about this in a future report.

Adjustable fill pressure
I know of no other PCP that has the ability to adjust the maximum fill pressure of the gun. You’re actually controlling the volume of air that can flow through the valve when the hammer’s struck. This has to be done in conjunction with the power adjustment to be fully effective. If not done correctly, you could have a situation where the fill pressure restricts the possible top power the rifle can generate, rather than the hammer stroke and spring tension. I’ll talk more about this in a future report.

Accuracy
Marauders have a well-deserved reputation for accuracy. We’ll test that, of course; and in the years since the rifle was tested last, a number of good pellets have become available. This should be an interesting update for all of us.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged repeating air rifle: Part 4

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

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle

The Cometas Lynx V10 is an exciting precharged repeater.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Before I start, here’s a reminder that the Roanoke Airgun Expo will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20. If you can come, try to arrive on Friday (noon to 7 p.m.), because that’s when the best deals are found — though there can be some good local walk-ins on Saturday. They say the show goes 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, but don’t believe it. By 1:30 the place starts clearing out fast.

The location is in the Roanoke Moose Lodge #284 at 3233 Catawba Valley Drive in Salem, VA, but don’t expect to find it with Map Quest. Just drive up Catawba Valley Drive (which is on Map Quest) several miles until you see the Moose Lodge on a hill on your right.

Mac and I will have a couple tables there. Mac’s bringing a couple 10-meter guns, and I’m bringing that cased FWB 124 I wrote about. Other dealers like Larry Hannusch will be there, and you never know what you will find at this show. Several of our regular blog readers such Fred from the PRoNJ and RidgeRunner will also be there. If you’re a blog reader, please stop by my table and say hi. Okay, let’s get to today’s report.

Today, I’ll show you the results of shooting the Cometa Lynx precharged air rifle at 50 yards. This is the real acid test for any air rifle — precharged or otherwise. They may hold together well out to 35 and even to 40 yards, but I’ve found from long experience that 50 yards separates the good ones from the great ones. And it exposes the ones that can’t keep up.

And here’s an important reminder for newer readers. I shoot 10-shot groups unless there’s a good reason not to. I always tell you if I’m shooting less than 10 shots. Five-shot groups simply do not test a rifle’s accuracy. What they test are the laws of chance, a shooter’s hopes and a bunch of other things that aren’t important, but 10-shot groups prove the real accuracy of the airgun.

My groups will always be larger than those you see elsewhere. Ten shots will group larger than 5 shots in so many cases that it isn’t worth thinking about. Whenever I go back and read these reports to find out the accuracy of an airgun I’ve tested, I’m so glad when I tested it with 10 shots and disappointed if I tested it with less. I hate the additional work it entails, because every one of those shots has to be perfect, but the result is well worth the effort.

News from AirForce
The day before I went to the range last week to test this rifle, I got a call from John McCaslin of AirForce. He told me they’ve been testing all the Lynx rifles and they found that dialing the power back to 20 foot-pounds produced better results for them. You’ll recall from Part 2 that our Lynx is putting out pellets at close to or just over 30 foot-pounds. So, based on that information, I went to the range with the power dialed back to about 20 foot-pounds.

I did that over the chronograph the day before going to the range. There were two pellets that John told me were giving him good results — the 15.9-grain JSB Exact pellet that had not done so well for me at 25 yards and the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy that was the best pellet in my 25-yard test.

John told me to adjust the velocity until the 15.9-grain JSB was going about 750 f.p.s., so that’s what I did. It took 2 complete turns of the power adjustment screw to get it to that velocity, where it produces 19.86 foot-pounds, and I nailed that average.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle power adjustment
The Allen screw atop the rear of the receiver (in the upper right corner of the photo) is loosened so the power adjustment screw can be turned. I had to remove the scope to loosen the top screw, so I left it loose for adjustments at the range. The position of the Allen wrench leg tells you where the adjustment has been moved relative to where you began.

To adjust the power, loosen the locking screw atop the rear of the receiver, so the power adjustment screw will turn. I had to remove the scope to get at this screw; but if I owned this Lynx, I’d cut the short leg off an Allen wrench for this job. Then the scope could remain in place.

Since I was going to the 50-yard range and the 4.5-14×42 Hawke Tactical Sidewinder scope was available, I installed it at this time. It’s the clearest scope I have, and I wanted to give the Lynx every opportunity to shine.

Beautiful day!
I get to the range very early to avoid the wind that always picks up in this part of the country. Unfortunately, on this perfectly calm day, there was another shooter already there and he was one of those super-gregarious types who likes to tell you his life’s story in 30 minutes or more (per anecdote!), so I had to be a little rude. If I’m not done shooting by 9 a.m., I’m out of time because the breeze almost always kicks up. I also had the Rogue to test on this day, but I tested the Lynx first because the Rogue’s bullets are heavy enough to buck a little breeze.

The first pellet I tested was the 15.9-grain JSB. Unfortunately, the test rifle still did not like it, even at 20 foot pounds, so I stopped the group after just 6 shots. The group was already at 1.871 inches, and I didn’t see any future in it. As I said, I was burning sunlight fast and trying to pull away from Gabby the Gunman on the next bench, so I shifted to the 18.1-grain pellets next. We were the only two shooters at the entire range complex and, with a dozen benches on the 50/100-yard line, he had to sit right next to me and shoot his short-barreled Remington 600 in .308! The blast reminded me of tank gunnery!

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle JSB 15.9-grain-target
Even at 20 foot-pounds, the test Lynx still does not like JSB 15.9-grain pellet. I shot only 6 times at 50 yards.

While it sounds like I’m rushing, I’m actually taking a lot of time with each shot. I’m just moving as fast as possible for everything besides shooting. But with 10-shot groups, it’s vital that no shot can be called a flyer. Because if it can, you have to shoot the group over again.

The 18.1-grain pellet was much better at 50 yards, though the final shot did open the group quite a bit. But it was a perfect shot on my end — that was just where the pellet went. Ten shots went into a group measuring 1.756 inches, but 9 of them went into 1.005 inches. And this was on low power, with this pellet going about 710 f.p.s. The breeze was just beginning to kick up, so I adjusted back to high power and shot another group.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle JSB 18.1-grain-group-low-power
Ten 18.1-grain JSB Exacts made this 1.756-inch group at 50 yards. Nine went into just more than one inch.

You might wonder how I adjusted power at the range. I didn’t have to use a chronograph, because the day before I’d discovered that the Lynx will return to a certain power level based on how far the screw is turned. All you have to do is watch the short end of the Allen wrench and use it as an indicator. I knew that two complete turns of the screw would put me back where I wanted to be, so it was that simple.

On high power, 10 shots went into 1.47 inches, but 9 of them went into 1.108 inches and 8 made a group that measures just 0.928 inches between centers. See what I mean about 10-shot groups? I shot only a couple of them, and yet I got data as good as a handful of 5-shots groups. Because with a 5-shot group, you never know….

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle JSB 18.1-grain group-high-power
The high-power setting was better. Ten 18.1-grain JSB Exacts made this 1.47-inch group at 50 yards. Nine went into 1.108 inches and 8 made a 0.928-inch group.

The breeze was starting to pick up, and I needed to get on with the Rogue test, so there was time for just one more pellet — the big 25.4-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Monster. It had shown promise at 25 yards, so I wondered how it would translate to 50 yards. The gun was still at 30 foot-pounds, so the power should be fine. Even at this level, this heavy pellet only goes 741 f.p.s. But this one did not want to group at 50 yards! The pellets were shooting such a large open group that I didn’t even bother completing it. And I can’t show it to you because several shots were off the target paper (but still visible on the paper backer I always use).

So my test shows that the Lynx seems to group 10 good pellets into just over one inch at 50 yards. That’s good, but it has a lot of competition at the same price or better.

Final observation
The Lynx has a regulator, so it gets more shots than unregulated guns shooting at the same power. When it’s on the reg, those shots are very consistent. It has both a magazine and a single-shot adapter, so you can be satisfied either way.

Although several readers did not like the appearance of the wood stock, I like it. The work seems on par with any other high-end PCP stock. I also liked the standard Foster quick-disconnect fill fitting. And the shroud certainly works well, as the rifle never hints at the power it produces — it sounds like a .22-caliber Diana 27 springer running at 475 f.p.s.

I expect the accuracy will be the biggest sticking point for most people. With the Talon SS, Condor and Marauder on the market — all of which can produce smaller groups at 50 yards under perfect conditions — a fellow would really have to love the Lynx. He might like it because, unlike the AirForce rifles, it has a wood stock, or unlike the Marauder, the stock is slim and trim. Either way, now you know the whole story.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged repeating air rifle: Part 3

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

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle

The Cometas Lynx V10 is an exciting precharged repeater.

Part 1
Part 2

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle for the first time. This test will be at 25 yards and will give me the opportunity to adjust the scope and to find one or two accurate pellets for this rifle. I also plan to shoot the Lynx at 50 yards, so today is preparation for that.

I used the single-shot adapter for all shooting in this test. I’ve used the magazine for this rifle and it works fine; but when I’m doing accuracy tests, I like to shoot them one at a time, if possible.

The test was 10 shots, rested, at 25 yards, unless otherwise stated. The first pellet I tried was the 15.9-grain JSB Exact pellet. I’d thought this might be the most accurate pellet in this rifle, as it often is in PCPs of this power. But this time was different, for 10 pellets made a group that measures 0.795 inches between centers! That’s not a good group for a PCP at 25 yards. It’s more of a magnum-springer group.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle JSB Exact target
Ten 15.9-grain JSB Exacts made this group that measures 0.795 inches between centers.

That target surprised me, for I thought this pellet would be a slam-dunk, and it clearly wasn’t. That caused me to slow down and think about the test a little more.

The next pellet I tried was the Beeman Kodiak. I had played with Kodiaks earlier in this rifle, and they seemed to do well. This time, though, they didn’t group at all. I stopped shooting after 5 shots, and that very vertical group measures 0.879 inches between centers. I did notice that the pellets fit very tight in the breech, so that may be the problem.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle Beeman Kodiak target
Just 5 Beeman Kodiak pellets went into this 0.879-inch group at 25 yards. Not a pellet for this rifle!

At this point, there was nothing to lose, so I tried the Predator Polymag pellet. It has never performed well for me in the past, but I thought this time might be different. Alas, that wasn’t the case. I lost the count and shot 6 Predators into a 0.731-inch group. That’s too bad, because if you can hit with this pellet it does perform. But with accuracy like the Lynx is giving, you’re taking too big a risk when shooting at any distance.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle Predator Polymag target
Six Predator Polymags made this 0.731-inch group. Another pellet the Lynx doesn’t care for.

I switched to that old-time favorite, the Crosman Premier. These are usually good in PCPs. But in the Lynx, just 5 of them gave a horizontal group that measures 0.781 inches between centers. Another non-starter! And those who like to analyze things might consider how the rifle can string Kodiaks vertically and Premiers horizontally.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle Crosman Premier target
Five Crosman Premiers went into this very linear group that measures 0.781 inches between centers.

Finally, the pellets were found!
I was very concerned at this point. The rifle wasn’t liking any of the pellets I usually select for accuracy. But there were a couple good choices remaining. The first of these was the 25.4-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Monster, a new domed pellet that delivers a huge punch in a precharged rifle. This was the first time I think I’ve tried this pellet in a test, though the tin was already open when I started. And they grouped well in the Lynx, too! Ten made a tight group that measures 0.492 inches, and that’s with a single straggler! Nine went into 0.464 inches!

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle JSB Jumbo Monster target
The JSB Exact Jumbo Monster shot well in the Lynx. Ten shots gave a very round group that measures 0.492 inches. This looked promising!

The next pellet I tried was the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy — an 18.1-grain dome that some readers really admire! I haven’t gotten the best results from this pellet in the past, but this time I did. Ten went into a group measuring 0.362 inches. It was the best group of the session, and the one I will shoot first at 50 yards!

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle JSB Jumbo Heavy target
The JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy shot best. Ten shots gave a very round group that measures 0.362 inches. This is the pellet of choice for this Lynx.

So far
I learned a lot from this test. First, I learned that accuracy isn’t always a given. You have to try other pellets to find what works. And when you find it, the difference in accuracy can be startling.

Next, I learned that how the pellets feed into the breech may have a lot to do with the ultimate accuracy. I was certainly able to feel when the Kodiaks weren’t working.

Next stop is the 50-yard outdoor range, where the Lynx will be up against the odds. Ten shots at 50 yards is a pretty good acid test of accuracy for any airgun.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged repeating air rifle: Part 2

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


The Cometas Lynx V10 is an exciting precharged repeater.

Part 1

Today, we’ll look at the velocity and power of the Cometa Lynx V10 precharged air rifle. Blog reader /Dave has asked if I will please post the price of the gun in the first report because he reads the blog on his telephone, where navigation is difficult. I didn’t do that in part 1…but it lists for $950 at PyramydAir.com.

This will be a learning day, because the Lynx has a regulator. A regulator controls the air pressure and volume that’s available to the firing valve, so each shot gets almost exactly the same volume of air. That has two benefits — one obvious and the other subtle.

The obvious benefit is greater shot-to-shot consistency. On some air rifles, this can be as small as one or two foot-seconds across the entire usable fill, but that usually happens with lower-powered guns. Higher-powered guns may vary more, but they’ll still be relatively close.

While some unregulated guns get 10-shot strings with very close velocities — when you look at the entire fill, they can vary by hundreds of f.p.s. So, the second benefit is that you’ll get the same velocity throughout the entire part of the fill where the regulator is “on.” We saw that most recently when I shot the Talon SS with the Micro-Meter tank.

How the regulator works
The regulator is set to allow only a certain amount of air into the firing chamber. This is done by air pressure. When the firing chamber has the allotted pressure of air, it closes the reg so no more air can flow from the reservoir. As long as the pressure in the reg remains higher than the firing pressure, the gun will shoot very consistently. The firing valve is tuned to operate best on very low air pressure.

Falling off the reg
When the pressure remaining in the reservoir is not as great as the regulator’s adjusted pressure, the regulator stops working. We use the term “falling off the reg” when this happens. It’s very sudden and can be spotted immediately by a shooter with experience. From that shot on, all shots will diminish in power, though they may still retain enough power to be useful for quite a few more shots.

I’m not just interested in the power of the Lynx, but also the point it falls off the reg, as that determines the maximum number of useful shots you get from a fill. I’m also interested in how closely the onboard pressure gauge correlates with the regulator. In other words: Can I trust the needle on the gauge?

I selected three pellets to test today, because they’re the three I’ll choose for the accuracy test. I may use one or two other pellets later on, but these three will give us a good idea of the Lynx’s performance.

JSB Exact 15.9 grain
The Lynx I’m testing is in .22 caliber, so I selected the JSB Exact 15.9-grain pellet to test first. I did so because this has proven to be the most accurate pellet in the majority of PCPs I’ve tested in .22 caliber. The gun was filled to 3,000 psi and shooting commenced.


The gauge after two shots on a full fill.

The first shot went 923 f.p.s. After that, nothing went faster than 916 f.p.s. with this pellet. That first shot was needed to wake up the reg and the valve. I disregarded it for this test, except that I counted it in the total number 0f shots per fill. It was probably unnecessary to disregard it, as the velocity didn’t change that much; but with other guns I’ve tested, it does. This has become a habit for me.

The first string of 10 shots (discounting the very first shot) averaged 912 f.p.s. The string ranged from a low of 906 f.p.s. to a high of 916 f.p.s., so 10 foot-seconds was the total spread. At the average velocity, this pellet generated 29.37 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Crosman Premier
Next up were 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers. They averaged 947 f.p.s. and had a spread from 939 to 953 f.p.s. That’s a 14 f.p.s. spread. At the average velocity, these pellets generated 28.48 foot-pounds, or just slightly less than the heavier JSBs. That’s what you would expect in a PCP, as they usually become more efficient with heavier pellets.

I expect Premiers to be accurate in the Lynx, but probably not quite as good as the JSBs. On the other hand, there’s another pellet that may challenge the JSB for the top spot. That pellet is the Beeman Kodiak.

Beeman Kodiak
Beeman Kodiak pellets are made by H&N. They’ve varied in weight over the past several years, so I weighed the pellets from the tin I was using in this test. These pellets averaged 21.1 grains. They averaged 825 f.p.s. in the Lynx with a spread that went from 821 to 829 f.p.s. They varied by only 8 foot-seconds across the entire string. At the average muzzle velocity, they produced 30.9 foot-pounds of energy. This may be the pellet to watch for accuracy.

More air!
After the Kodiak string, the rifle had fired a total of 31 shots since being filled. The needle was still in the green zone, so I ran another 10 JSB Exacts through the chronograph. This time, the average was 908 f.p.s., with a spread from 905 to 913 f.p.s. The rifle was still on the reg after 41 shots.

The needle on the gauge was now down close to the bottom edge of the green sector. But I kept on shooting to see what the total shot count would be before the gun fell off the reg.


The gauge after 41 shots on a fill. There are still some good shots, according to the needle.

The next shots registered as follows.

Shot…..Velocity
42………..913
43………..906
44………..909
45………..908
46………..906
47………..907
48………..907
49………..904 (Gun fell off the reg)
50………..888
51………..883


The gauge, three shots after the gun fell off the reg. The gauge on the test rifle is quite and can be trusted.

The Lynx I’m testing gets about 50 good shots per fill. Those shots are all around the 30 foot-pound range when medium-heavy pellets are used.

Discharge sound
The Lynx is very quiet for its power. This is a rifle that won’t bother most neighbors, unless they are laying in wait for you.

Trigger
The trigger is different because the first-stage pull has a lot of the weight in it. It takes some getting used to the rifle to feel stage two, but once you do it’s very positive. Stage two is totally free from creep, and there isn’t any travel after the release.

The first stage takes 2 lbs., 4 oz., then stage two breaks at 3 lbs., 5 oz. as the adjustment is set from the factory. I fiddled with the two screws that seem to affect the adjustment, but I didn’t get anywhere. One of them simply loosened the push-button safety, while the other introduced a third stage to the pull without affecting anything else. But the trigger is already very nice, so this wasn’t a problem.

Accuracy is next, and I’ve decided to divide it into two parts. First, I’ll sight-in at 25 yards and find the best pellet. Then, I’ll go out to 50 yards and see what this rifle can do. This should be an interesting test.

Cometa Lynx V10 precharged repeating air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Wesley Santiago is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their airgun facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card. Congratulations!

Wesley Santiago submitted this week’s winning photo for BSOTW.


The Cometa Lynx V10 is an exciting precharged repeater.

Oh boy! Another new precharged air rifle to test! This one is called the Lynx V10 and is made by the Spanish firm of Cometaand distributed in the U.S. through AirForce International. Instead of offering these guns through AirForce Airguns, the company has elected to create a separate entity called AirForce International that will sell all the products that are not made in the United States. The Cometa line launches this endeavor.

The Lynx V10 has been seen in the U.S. previously but was represented by smaller dealers who sold whatever configuration the company made. AirForce International has requested specific standard specifications for the guns they sell, and they will have other exciting changes to announce in the future.

The rifle I’m testing for you today is the Lynx V10 — a .22-caliber 13-shot sidelever repeating precharged rifle. It takes a conventional 3,000 psi/206 bar fill of air in the 290cc reservoir. Although the reservoir appears to be removable, it can be left in place on the gun and filled through a standard male Foster-type filling in the bottom of the stock.


The reservoir remains in the rifle and is filled through a standard Foster male nipple! Note the onboard pressure gauge.

I’m testing serial number 30638-11, but you won’t be able to buy this one because I’ll have to return it to AirForce International, who supplied it for this test. They sent the rifle mounted with an AirForce 3-9×40 AO scope, so that’s how I’ll test it. I have both the single-shot adapter and a 13-shot magazine, so I’ll test both for you.

According to the AirForce International website, the rifle will deliver velocity from 700 to 1,000 f.p.s., depending on the weight of the pellet. So, I’m expecting power to be in the 30+ foot-pound region.

General description
The rifle I’m testing is mounted in a natural wood finish stock. The test rifle stock has a pleasing grain pattern and appears to be walnut, though the specifications do not list it. Other stock finishes of blue and black are available.

The rifle weighs 9.5 lbs. as tested, with the scope mounted and single-shot adapter installed. The advertised weight of just the rifle alone is 7.8 lbs.

It is 41.3 inches in length and has a pull length of just under 15-1/2 inches. That pull may be too long for many shooters. I find it very comfortable, but I do like a longer pull. The black rubber buttpad adds an inch to the stock. If you need to trim the pull, that’s the place to start.

The stock is completely ambidextrous, and only the sidelever on the right side of the receiver and the fact that the single-shot adapter swings out to the right for loading shows any bias whatsoever. The comb has a very tall and sharp Monte Carlo profile, and the cheekpiece is subtly raised on both sides of the butt. Both sides of the grip and forearm are covered with attractive checkering.


The sidelever cocks the action and the single-shot adapter can then rotate out to the side for loading.

The forearm is quite wide, while the butt is surprisingly narrow in cross-section. The forearm, though, has to house the back part of the air reservoir, so the wide forearm does not add any weight to the gun. The resulting feel of the rifle is that it’s large but not overly heavy — at least so far. The pressure gauge is inset into the left side of the forearm, where it’s easy to read.

The barrel is shrouded and has a bull-barrel look. I’ll report on the sound at firing after I’ve tested it indoors for velocity, and perhaps again after accuracy testing outdoors. The fat shroud should be able to do an effective job. While the test rifle does not contain any baffles, there’s a large collection chamber in front of the true muzzle — not unlike what’s found in the production Talon SS.

Trigger
The trigger is two-stage and adjustable for pull weight. The one on the test rifle seems to be adjusted perfectly. I plan to leave it alone until I shoot the rifle for accuracy, because it’s right where I want it. Stage one has some weight to it, and stage two breaks glass-crisp.

The cost
This is a sophisticated PCP, make no mistake. The reservoir is regulated, and the power is adjustable. I’ll explore the latter after accuracy testing, but the former will come to the forefront when I report the shot count. Many of you have asked about the utility of a regulator — well this rifle has one and now we’ll see how well it works.

So, yes, the Lynx V10 is pricey, but before we close our minds, let’s see what it has to offer. It should be on par with the Air Arms S510 and similar European PCPs.

Cometas are coming!
This Lynx is just the first of a flood of Cometa airguns that are coming from AirForce International. Next week, I’ll begin a report on another exciting new gun. But focusing on the Lynx for now, I plan to chew on this report a little longer than the usual three reports — both because the brand is new to many of you and also because the Lynx has so many performance features that deserve to be fully tested. So, sit back and enjoy the ride!

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