Things I liked:I like the build quality of the gun, above all. Everything is done right. This is the kind of rifle you'll be proud to own for the rest of your life. It's the most accurate spring gun below $3,000. There are so many refinements in the trigger, the bedding, the barrel and breech, that I could write all day long about this rifle! In fact, you can read my TX200 article on this website. Things I would have changed:Nothing! What others should know:This is an underlever and therefore has limited access to the breech. People with very large hands may find it difficult to load until they develop a technique. The gun has 3 holes for a vertical scope stop pin, so buy scope mounts with a stop pin. Find the one best pellet, and use it exclusively. I've found both Beeman Kodiaks and 10.3-grain JSB Exacts to be equally accurate in my TX. I would scope this gun with a Bushnell 6-18x40 Trophy or a Leapers 3-12x44 AO SWAT Mini-Size scope.
Things I liked:The P1 is incredibly accurate. It will out-shoot a standard M1911A1 pistol at 50 feet. It has the same grip as the standard 1911A1, and is therefore a wonderful trainer. The gun has 2 power levels in .177, but not in .22. The trigger is adjustable and is light and crisp. The gun is easy to cock for the power it delivers. The build quality is excellent, but don't start taking it apart unless you know how to work on an aluminum-framed gun. It's easy to make the pin holes too large if you use the wrong drifting technique. Things I would have changed:The adjustable sights are excellent, but the 11mm optical sight rail could be cut deeper. It doesn't grab onto dot sight bases well. Also, there needs to be a positive scope stop built into the top rail, as the front sight gets peened by serving as an ad hoc stop. What others should know:Don't use the lower power setting. Just shoot on high power or your gun will start dieseling. The velocity with RWS Hobby pellets is more in the 550-560 f.p.s. range. 600 f.p.s. is out of reach for anything except trick pellets like Raptors, and they're inaccurate.
Things I liked:The HW 45 is incredibly accurate. It will out-shoot a standard M1911A1 pistol at 50 feet. It has the same grip as the standard 1911A1, and is therefore a wonderful trainer. The gun has 2 power levels in .177, but not in .22. The trigger is adjustable and is light and crisp. The gun is easy to cock for the power it delivers. The build quality is excellent, but don't start taking it apart unless you know how to work on an aluminum-framed gun. It's easy to make the pin holes too large if you use the wrong drifting technique. Things I would have changed:The adjustable sights are excellent, but the 11mm optical sight rail could be cut deeper. It doesn't grab onto dot sight bases well. Also, there needs to be a positive scope stop built into the top rail, as the front sight gets peened by serving as an ad hoc stop. What others should know:Don't use the lower power setting. Just shoot on high power or your gun will start dieseling. The velocity with RWS Hobby pellets is more in the 550-560 f.p.s. range. 600 f.p.s. is out of reach for anything except trick pellets like Raptors, and they are inaccurate.
Things I liked:This pellet is the most accurate long-range (not 10 meter) pellet I've ever tested in .177 caliber. It's very uniform in weight and shape and is made from pure lead, so there's seldom a problem with leading. I don't know of a better .177 caliber pellet at this time. Things I would have changed:I wish JSB would ship their pellets faster. What others should know:A pellet this heavy is probably not going to work in a lot of spring guns, but try it anyway. And, use it in PCPs, multi-pumps and CO2 rifles.
Things I liked:This pellet is one of the best .177 pellets of all time. For many years, I've used it in field target competition, and it works well in my USFT rifle. Things I would have changed:Nothing. What others should know:Heavy pellets like this may not work well in many spring guns, but try them anyway. They usually work well in PCPs, multi-pumps and CO2 rifles.
Things I liked:The 10.5-grain Premier used to be the finest .177 pellet until the JSB Exact domed 10.2 eclipsed it...but not by much. It's still the most accurate pellet in certain rifles. Use this for powerful PCPs. What others should know:I hope Crosman never drops this pellet. All Crosman lead pellets are hardened with antimony, which scrapes off lead in the bore. They'll eventually have to be cleaned out of the bore with a brass brush and JB paste (unless you have a barrel that's not made of steel). Keep your velocities under 900 f.p.s. for best accuracy.
Things I liked:You really should have this sight for a 499 Champion, because the sight that comes on the gun is too imprecise to adjust accurately. This one adjusts with knobs, so you have a sense of what you are doing. It is very easy to install. Things I would have changed:I wish Daisy could redesign this sight for greater precision. The adjustments are sloppy and often don't go where the shooter thinks they should. What others should know:You have to get familiar with this sight and its slop, but once you do, it's far better than the peep sight that comes on the 499.
Things I liked:The 499 is the world's most accurate BB gun, and has been so since it was introduced in 1976. There is no better training airgun for young children than this one. Things I would have changed:I wish the peep sight had more precision in the adjustments. Even the replacement sight lacks precision. What others should know:This is a muzzle-loading single-shot. It is not a conventional BB gun - it is for target shooting. Everyone in the vicinity must wear safety glasses because steel BBs rebound like crazy. Be sure to also buy Avanti Precision Ground Shot to use in the gun.
Things I liked:I should have rated the R1 a long time ago, since I wrote the book on it! A lot of new air rifles have come since the R1 was new back in the 1980s, but it is still a rifle to consider when you want the best! The size is quite large, and it fits me better than a lot of the newer rifles. The stock is very wide and hand-filling, yet the pistol grip feels just right. The wood is finished with a dull matte finish that can be hand-rubbed to a brilliant shine over time. The bluing is deep and even. The scope-mounting platform is a classic among spring rifles. The power is good, but the rifle is easy to tune and I wrote a 13-part blog report on how to tune it. The Rekord trigger is a marvel of precision and easy to adjust to perfection. Things I would have changed:I would change nothing about the R1. The fact that it is so easy to tune makes it one of the most adaptable air rifles on the market. It can go from 13 foot-pounds to 22 foot-pounds in just a few hours of careful work. What others should know:This is a large air rifle that is harder to cock than most adults will prefer. The effort is over 40 pounds when new and about 36-38 pounds after 1,000 shots. It can be tuned down to cock with less force, but will also shoot with less energy. Due to the size and power potential of the rifle, I recommend getting it in .22 caliber.
Things I liked:This is the finest CO2 sporting pellet pistol available today! It has almost the same fine single-action trigger pull as the 586 firearm it copies, and the double-action pull is much better than the firearm. Accuracy is remarkable for a sporting handgun. I can easily shoot 3/4" groups at 10 yards from a supported position. The rubber grips are very much like Hogue grips and they feel perfect in the hands. Power is excellent. Finish is deep and even. Things I would have changed:When perfection is reached, there is nothing to change. I wish Umarex would also make a Colt Python pellet pistol. What others should know:You will like this pellet pistol so much that you'll be tempted to buy the .357 Magnum firearm to go with it. Go ahead, because it is just as nice as the pellet pistol.
Things I liked:Ballistol is marvelous stuff! It not only lubricates all kinds of metal and other surfaces, it also protects from rusting AND it REMOVES rust! Yes, it really does. Just rub a rusty gun with a cotton cloth soaked with Ballistol and watch the rust come off. Or clean the barrel and see the rust come out! Buy some and you will never stop using it. Things I would have changed:The odor is not great. It smells like fish, which I am told is the anise in it. What others should know:Ballistol is used by most military forces for lubricating automatic weapons.
Things I liked:I have been recommending Crosman Pellgunoil to airgunners for over 15 years. I have seen this product fix leaking airguns in a number of cases--maybe as much as half the time. If the leak is a slow one, there is a good chance Pellgunoil will stop it. For what you pay, you get enough oil to seal dozens of guns or to perform routine maintenance on a couple guns for many years. It's very easy to use, and the results pay for the product many times over. Things I would have changed:The only thing I would change is that I would make a larger section in the Crosman owner's manual for the part about Pellgunoil. Shooters really need to know what it can do for them. What others should know:You read a lot about what can be substituted for Pellgunoil. I wouldn't bother with that, though, because the product is not expensive. It's far better to spend a couple dollars than to waste time searching for something that may be fractionally cheaper but has to be mixed in quantities so large that it becomes a storage nightmare. Buy it and use it according to the owner's manual and my blog reports. Remember, Pellgunoil works for all CO2 guns as well as for single-stroke and multi-pump pneumatics (oiling the pump piston head). Don't use it on PCPs.
Things I liked:The Beeman HW 77 Carbine was one of the first precision adult air rifles I've ever owned. With it, I learned just how accurate an air rifle can be. It was also my introduction to the fabulous Rekord trigger, which set the standard for spring-piston triggers. The Beeman HW 77 is a heavy, robust, man-sized spring gun that can shoot incredible groups with the right pellets, which would be 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers in the cardboard box and 8.4-grain JSB Diabolo domes. The rifle has Weihrauch's scope stop system, which is currently one of the best for spring rifles. As long as there is a vertical stop pin in one of the three holes on top of the spring tube, the scope mount will not move. Things I would have changed:I wish the Tyrolean stock pattern was still available for this rifle. What others should know:Remember to hold the cocking lever all the time you are loading the pellet. Use the artillery hold, though the Beeman HW 77 is one of the most forgiving spring-piston guns you will encounter. Select a scope whose overall length does not extend past the pellet-loading port when the sliding breech chamber is open. As long as the scope is less than about 14.2 inches, you should be okay on this point. It all depends on how far to the rear you mount the scope, and 2-piece rings are more flexible in this case.
Things I liked:The RWS Diana 54 is the smoothest spring-piston airgun other than a TX200 or a hand-made Whiscombe (no longer available). The 54 does have a tiny bit of vibration when fired, which the TX200 doesn't, but the 54 is without recoil and the TX200 does have a small kick. If you can overlook the small bit of buzzing, the 54 is very superior in its firing characteristics. The 54 is also the most accurate of all spring-piston rifles--fully the equal of the TX200 and the Whiscombe and surpassing all others. Even in .22 caliber, the 54 drills them all into one small hole. It's a 50-yard spring gun. When you add to this the power that only the Whiscombe exceeds, the 54 is truly unique. I also like the extravagant checkering on the stock. You'll never see more checkering on a factory airgun. Things I would have changed:The 54 is not for lefties. Too bad there isn't a lefthand model made. What others should know:I recommend getting the 54 in .22 caliber to take full advantage of the available power. In .177, the rifle shoots too fast to be accurate at long range with anything but heavyweight pellets. Be sure to get a Leapers Diana scope base, because the 54 can have some barrel droop.
Things I liked:I like having a place to find most of the vintage airguns. The information about subtle model variations is quite helpful. If more airgunners had this book, I would spend less time answering questions on the blog. When it's time to buy a certain model, this book can keep you safe. Things I would have changed:The prices listed are sometimes not close to what the actual guns sell for. More work needs to be done in this area. What others should know:Subtle things, such as converting Diana model numbers to others brand names (Beeman, Peerless, Winchester and Hy Score) that also sold Diana guns, is another valuable part of the Blue Book.
Things I liked:When I rate the Hammerli 490 Express with 5 stars, I feel that I have to explain the rating. This rifle is a budget-level youth model breakbarrel spring rifle that is way better than its low price would seem possible, but it is not the equal of a TX200 or a Beeman R1. So don't buy it thinking that it is. However, what you get with this rifle is an honest (wood and steel) air rifle with WAY more accuracy than the price dictates! The trigger is too heavy, but I overlook that because of the accuracy, the light weight and the easy cocking. This is a little spring rifle you can fall in love with, if you overlook that trigger. The firing behavior is smooth and even--way better than you would expect. And although I called it a youth model, adults will like it too. This is a rifle anyone can love! Things I would have changed:I would put a smoother, lighter trigger on it. But I won't rate the rifle lower for just that, because when you see the accuracy you will learn to live with that trigger. What others should know:This isn't a magnum air rifle. It's a fun gun--the kind you will shoot ten times more often than you do those huge magnums. This is an all-day air rifle. And there are aftermarket tuners who can smooth and lighten the trigger. You can find them in our daily blog.
Things I liked:This bag is rugged! It stands up to airline handling, which is as bad or worse than tactical use. You can jam it under the seat in front of you (except in first class, where the seats are lower), and it comes through fresh and unscathed every time. The zippers are just as rugged as the rest of the bag. They move smoothly without snagging, which allows you to pass through airport security fast and easy. Belt, wallet, change, car keys, watch and anything else that's metal drops into the front pocket in seconds. The computer comes out equally fast so you don't hold up the line. The bag has enough storage for a one-night trip. Two nights, if it's casual. The bag comes with holsters and mag carriers that are Velcroed in. They are quick to remove for increased storage. The entire bag is padded, and your computer sits deep inside, so it should never be damaged. Things I would have changed:I can't think of a thing. I've been on 20 airplane flights with this thing and loving it more every time. What others should know:Attach the shoulder strap, because this bag will get heavy after a few blocks of walking!
Things I liked:The Marauder is accurate, quiet, flexible and has a delightful trigger. The magazine is reliable and positive--never a bobble. The stock fits me well and looks like one of the rifles costing twice as much. This is the rifle to go to when you want to hit something. Things I would have changed:There is nothing to change. This is the best value in a 20-30 foot-pound PCP. What others should know:This is a thinking person's gun. It has the ability to be adjusted to the shooter's preferences. It is a PCP, so you need to learn about that, but the literature makes it relatively easy.
Things I liked:Of course I like the Bronco--I helped design it! I really like the straight Western-style stock that eliminates the need for a high Monte Carlo cheekpiece to raise your eye up for a scope. This rifle comes up to the right place naturally. And the easy cocking is another major plus. The Bronco was designed for older children, though adults will find that it suits them very well. The light cocking will make you want to shoot it all day long. I also love the two-bladed trigger that tells you absolutely when the transition is made from stage one to stage two. My test rifle trigger breaks at just 30 crisp ounces! You will be showing it off to your friends. The accuracy is another plus. Just because this is a plinker doesn't make it inaccurate. And it is completely ambidextrous. Things I would have changed:I would like to have a solid hood over the front sight. For now you can just remove it. What others should know:The Mendoza rear aperture sight will make the Bronco a delightful informal target rifle. Don't oil the piston seal until it squeaks during cocking. Crosman Premier pellets and Premier hollowpoints are very accurate.
Things I liked:I collect Makarov firearms and air pistols, and this is the nicest air pistol version of the gun. The finish on the metal is flawless, and the gun feels like the real deal in your hand. It's a very realistic copy of the firearm. Anyone would be proud to own this pistol. And the accuracy is stunning. It shoots like a pellet pistol, rather than a BB pistol. And it shoots right to the point of aim. Things I would have changed:I wouldn't change a thing! This gun cannot be made to have blowback, so there is no sense asking for it. That would take a complete redesign. But as a shooter, there aren't many BB pistols that can beat it. What others should know:I got 86 good shots from a single CO2 Powerlet. That was by waiting 10 seconds between shots. If you are shooting for accuracy, that's easy to do. If you shoot faster, expect fewer shots per cartridge. I found Daisy zinc-plated BBs to be the most accurate. And don't forget to always put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each new CO2 cartridge before puncturing it.