Things I liked:I wanted the Benjamin 397 because of its reputation for being a reliable and accurate shooter with the potential to dispatch pesky rodents and such. The rifle was shipped the same day of purchase and arrived a couple of days later with all components and in good shape. I knew that the combo would need assembly and that was accomplished easily with the furnished scope mounts and allen wrenches. I was impressed by the solid,rugged feel of the whole rig once it was assembled. After running a few patches through the bore from the muzzle end to clean out any fouling, I used wad cutter pellets to sight in the Leepers scope. The length of the range in my shop is only about 21 feet, but that had do for the initial sighting in. The Leepers scope was easy to adjust and no screwdrivers were needed. I finally accomplished putting the last few pellets through an enlarged (5/8")hole dead center. Good enough until I can get outside. Things I would have changed:I soon found that I do not have the same strength at 80 years old that I had when I was in my twenties, and quickly found that going beyond four pumps was going to be hard for "grandpa"! I remedied that problem by adding 6 inches additional leverage to the forearm by carefully bolting a 3/4" hardwood dowel to its left side that extends back beyond the trigger guard. Works for me! What others should know:The stock is a hardwood variety, but not the smooth highly finished burly type so I don't worry about it getting scratched or roughed up by use. It would be nice to be able to put a sling on it for hands free carry, but that would probably interfere with the pumping action. All in all, I am very pleased and satisfied with the Benjamin 397 combo, and I would recommend it to anyone who can handle the pumping effort. A lot of gun for the money!
Things I liked:Because of my interest in the IZH-61, the rifle was purchased for me by my wife as a gift. I am impressed with the sturdy quality of this rifle being in the inexpensive price range. The extendable stock and pistol grip and modest weight are good features that give the rifle a carbine feel. After a good look-over right out of the box, reading the operating instructions, and swabbing out the barrel I eagerly loaded and fired 10 wad-cutters in succession into my pellet trap with no malfunctions. The side lever cocking ease of the IZH-61 should work well for youth, adult and the elderly (like me!). Having only fully wood stocked rifles in the past, I am pleasantly surprised at the overall feel of the IZH-61. It's going to be my "number one" shooter.
Things I would have changed:The five shot plastic loaders that come with the gun and the available accessory loaders could be at least six shot without being too obtrusive. Most pellets fit loosely and have a tendency to fall out of the little magazines; however, I solved this problem by using a pellet sealer to flare the pellet skirts after they were inserted in the magazine.
The IZH-61 has no provision for a sling. I like my rifles to be slung so that I can walk down range hands free with the rifle. What others should know:The rail for accessory sights almost seems like an after-thought. A BKL Dovetail to Weaver accessory rail was needed to mount a red dot sight or scope.
Things I liked:I like having the advantage of the multi shot magazine and happy that extras are available for purchase. They work very well in the IZH-61 air rifle. Things I would have changed:They should be at least 6 shot or more instead of the 5 shot. Most target sighting etc. is done by shooting in 3 shot groups. The hole size (diameter) could be slightly smaller to retain all variations in pellet skirt diameters. Some pellets like wad-cutters have a tendency to fall out. Metal magazines might be more expensive, but would certainly be more precise. What others should know:The loose pellet problem can be remedied by using a pellet skirt sealer.
Things I liked:The reflex sight is compact and well made. The red dot is crisp, sharp and well defined on the #1 setting indoors and still well defined in bright sun on the #5 setting. The weaver mount solidly secures the sight to a weaver rail. The dot is easily adjusted with the supplied wrenches, and remains stable once set. Mounted on a IZH-61, it greatly improved accuracy when shooting at my 21 yard range. It will compare favorably to some more expensive units. Things I would have changed:The lens mount could be wider (more like a short hood) to shade the lens from glare. What others should know:There is no magnification with the dot sight, but it is quick on target, accurate, and a lot less bulky when limited space is available.
Things I liked:The unit is very stout and sturdy. Its size makes it suitable for mounting on dovetails where limited space is available. It comes complete with instructions and wrenches. Things I would have changed:It was purchased for mounting on a IZH-61 rifle, but the mount base would not flex enough to tighten securely to the rifle's 11mm dovetail. The mount should be made with one side loose to be tightened down against any 11mm dovetail. What others should know:The above problem was solved by forming a shim from 36ga aluminum sheet. The adapter then fit snugly on the rifle's dovetail, and was then able to be tightened securely with the supplied wrench.
Things I liked:The pellets are clean and uniform. They are giving me good consistant results on target with my Benjamin 397. I like the pellets' shape and weight especially for my airguns in the 500fps range and higher. Things I would have changed:Could have packaging for smaller amounts of pellets and one that would make it easier for older fingers to pick up one pellet at a time. What others should know:Good all around pellet for 20yd plinking and hunting.
Things I liked:I came across the Umarex Morph while searching for a BB pistol to use for economic indoor shooting practice. Intrigued with the morph idea I ordered it. The morph arrived within a couple days of my order double boxed and in good shape. The forearm, barrel, and stock were precision fit sturdy plastic, and easy to assemble to the main pistol unit. The morph fit comfortably and felt just right in the rifle configuration so I left it that way. The picatiny rail across the top made easy mounting of my red dot scope. I like the built in BB magazine which makes loading simple with the help of a little Crosman BB speed loader. An excellent feature is the safety which disconnects the trigger avoiding accidental BB dumping. The stock or back strap is easily removed from the grip for installing and changing CO2 cartridges. The morph is a rugged unit, and will be a good starter for my wife who has never shot any kind of gun before. Things I would have changed:The trigger is a long hard pull and takes much getting used to. Some cocking device like a charging knob or bolt action should be added to relieve the BB loading and hammer cocking from the trigger. I find the factory unit assembled weighs 2.5 lbs. , and a little light on the forearm end. Adding weight by drilling into the forearm (front to back and installing a 1/2" X 4" steel all-thread with two steel nuts added about 8 oz. to the forearm giving much better balance to the rifle. The combined weight of the added steel and red dot scope brought the total weight up to 3.9 lbs.. What others should know:Sighting in the unit was a pleasure at our indoor 21' range. My wife and I were able to put our last ten shots grouped into a hole the size of my ring finger. She's going to like shooting the morph.
Things I liked:I was elated to find that the Steel Storm met the qualities as advertised. It has a very solid feel and has the looks of a quality piece. Upon its arrival I mounted a UTG 30mm Red dot sight and a Leapers Xenon flashlight on its upper and lower rails. Loading the magazine is not difficult once you get the hang of transferring BBs from the reservoir to the magazine. It didn't take long to sight it in using the single shot mode, and it showed very good, repeatable accuracy at my 11 yard range. The real surprise was shooting in the 6 shot burst mode. Watching an empty pop can on a stick jump, dance, and get shredded as it got hit by each burst of 6 at about 6 yards was a real experience. BBs and Co2 cartridges get used up very quickly in this mode! The flashlight and dot sight work well together in the dark. The red dot appears in the middle of the flashlights spot making for easy aiming. Nocturnal backyard critters beware! Things I would have changed:The loading and piercing the CO2 cartridges with the supplied key could be made simpler. Perhaps a cam type arrangement to push and pierce both cartridges with one stroke could be devised. What others should know:This is quite a machine and is truly an adult weapon.
Things I liked:The sight mounted easily and securely using the finger knobs top tighten the mount. (no tools required) The dot was sharp and crisp even in sunny daylight conditions. No blooming was observed even in my darkened shop. It sits low on its mount and "sighting in" was easy using the horizontal and vertical adjustments. Things I would have changed:It works fine as is, but I would like to see it come adapters for other rails. What others should know:It is a rugged, precise piece of gear and well worth its price.
Things I liked:Easily mounted and dismounted using the large tightening knobs. The light is bright enough to spot critters twenty yards away in the dark of knight, and works well in combination with a red dot sight. The unit is rugged enough to take the abuse of normal handling and use. Things I would have changed:Would like to see a lever or slide off and on switch. What others should know:The light also comes with a pressure switch to turn it on.
Things I liked:The forged all steel barrel with it's definite, precise rifling rivals more expensive pistols. It's weight and balance in the hand makes it easy to hold on target. The three screw take down makes for easy access to the piston spring and trigger mechanism. I really like the rugged simplicity of the design. Cocking the pistol is easy, and its accuracy is competitive with any other more expensive pistol that I have, and is a real pleasure to shoot. Things I would have changed:The IZH 53M deserves much better sights. The rear sight is difficult to adjust at first, and is free to move on its own after adjustment. It would not have been difficult to spot weld a platform on top of the piston cylinder that would accept a picatiny rail. The trigger is light enough that it should at least have a manual safety. Finger off of the trigger will not be enough for all situations. What others should know:When first used, the trigger pull was gritty and unpredictable, but after cleaning, oiling, and some repeated use it became smooth, and predictable with a clean break. I am very happy with the pistol's performance and am in process of adding a picatiny rail and dot sight to make it a competitive shooter.
Things I liked:I purchased the UTG Rail because its base was already curved, and with some adjustment it could be made to fit on my IZH Baikal 53M pistol's compression cylinder. It is solid aluminum and has good length. Things I would have changed:It would be more adaptable if the curved bottom radius could be changed to provide a universal base to fit receivers other than the 10/22. What others should know:Once the bottom radius was changed to fit the 53M it was successfully mounted with an epoxy "cold weld" to the compression cylinder. Before mounting the rail both surfaces must be cleaned down to bare metal.