Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 2

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 2 Part 1

The Air Venturi V10

By Dennis Adler

A modern update of the Gamo Compact, the Air Venturi V10 is an entry level 10-Meter single shot target pistol using a stainless steel pneumatic air cylinder, oil stained walnut target grips, a 2-stange adjustable target trigger, and fully adjustable rear sight.

The Webley Hurricane is a very old air pistol design established in 1930 by Webley & Scott as the Senior Model. It was replaced by the improved Senior New Model just prior to WWII, and remained in production until 1964. Not a bad run for an air pistol. The first model or “Variant 1 Hurricane”, an improved target version of the Senior New Model, was introduced a little over a decade later. The example tested in Part 1, is a “Variant 2 Hurricane” manufactured from 1990 to 2005. The shorter barreled Tempest model is the last of this historic British Webley design.

The overall length of the V10 is 12.6 inches. The barrel assembly is styled like the slide on a semi-auto pistol and has a flattop design with full length grooves to minimize light reflection.

The 21st century Webley variant is the Alecto, introduced in 2009 and not too dissimilar in appearance and operation from the Air Venturi V10. Both are modern evolutions of single (and multi) stroke pneumatic designs. The looks have certainly changed, the grips have changed (improved for target shooting in 10-Meter competition), but the basics of the pneumatic mechanisms inside are firmly rooted to Webley (and other models) developed in the 1930s.

The V10’s Longslide semi-auto configuration provides an excellent 9.5 inch sight radius. The recessed blade front sight is fairly large and easy to center in the rear sight.

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The Air Venturi V10

The Air Venturi V10 is a second generation model; the 1.0 version of almost anything is always problematic and can be improved upon but the 1.0 V10 wasn’t the V10, it was the Gamo Compact first introduced in the late 1990s. The Gamo design has been around for over 20 years so it is well established, and the Air Venturi V10 has made some noteworthy improvements to the original, most prominently an easier way to adjust the trigger pull by going through a channel in the back of the grip, rather than having to remove the grips. And you really don’t want to do that if you can avoid it.

Depressing the grey lever at the back of the barrel assembly releases it to lift up for cocking the firing mechanism and charging the pneumatic cylinder. Note the opening in the back of the grips. This is the access to adjust trigger pull. Using a blade screw driver the adjustment screw inside can be turned clockwise to reduce the pull, or counterclockwise to increase it.

A far more modern design than the Webley Hurricane and Tempest, the V10 uses a reverse cocking method. With the Webley, all your energy went into lifting the barrel and pulling it up and outward to charge the pneumatic cylinder. Then the barrel went limp, you loaded your pellet and carefully lowered it down and latched it closed; simple. If you were not going to shoot right away, you placed the gun on SAFE.

Raising and rotating the barrel assembly forward presents no resistance, the opposite of the Webley Hurricane in Part 1. Closing the barrel assembly (after loading a pellet into the barrel breech) is what charges the pneumatic cylinder. There is firm resistance and you should use the palm of your hand for best leverage when closing the barrel assembly. Once closed and locked the gun is ready to fire. There is no safety mechanism, so be sure to keep your trigger finger outside of the triggerguard while closing the barrel assembly and until ready to shoot.

The V10 takes things in reverse. Pushing a serrated lever at the rear of the polymer barrel assembly releases it from the steel frame, allowing it to tilt up. The barrel assembly looks like a semi-auto pistol slide and is attached at the front to a polished steel cylinder resembling a pneumatic lift on the rear hatch of an SUV. The rifled 8.26 inch steel barrel is housed inside the polymer assembly. However, unlike the Webley design, lifting the barrel assembly up and forward presents almost zero resistance. With the barrel housing almost horizontal to the frame and the pneumatic cylinder rod fully exposed, you load the pellet into the barrel breech and close the assembly back down onto the steel frame. This is where the resistance is encountered as the cylinder rod is driven back inside (closing the hatch if you will) but you are pushing down on the assembly with the palm of your hand and have more leverage. There is one absolute caveat with 10-Meter target pistols (including the V10 and the Gamo Compact before it); there is no automatically engaged or manual safety. Once the barrel assembly is closed and locks down, the V10 is ready to fire.

The oiled walnut target grips are 10-Meter pistol design and use a bark texture for a secure grip. The palm shelf is adjustable for height. Here I have raised it 1/8th of an inch and there is also a slight tilt. I also used a small wood rasp to smooth a rough edge in the wood where my middle finger wraps around the grip. Wood rasps and wood putty can be used to make minor contour changes in the grip to fit your hand. I only needed to make that one slight alteration.

This is a true 10-meter target pistol design (albeit an entry level gun with an MSRP of $300) and uses a competition-based, oiled walnut grip design that cradles the shooting hand with an adjustable palm shelf, thumb rest, and a rough tree bark like wood finish that provides excellent gripping texture. The competition grip’s angle helps align the pistol for a proper one-handed shooting stance, which is mandatory in 10-meter competition. The grip is described as a “medium” size and is based on an average adult hand. That pretty much describes my hand as most of the time on semi-autos with interchangeable backstraps I end up with the Medium panel. The V10 allows the first joint of my index finger to rest perfectly on the trigger. Those with larger or smaller hands (longer or shorter fingers) may need to alter the grip contour by very carefully using a wood rasp to remove some material or wood putty to build up the grips for a better fit. The only adjustments I made were to take a small wood rasp and slightly smooth the edges of the wood where my middle finger rests, and raise the palm shelf 1/8th of an inch. The latter is done with a Chapman No. 44 (4mm) Allen hex-head to loosen the set screw, raising the palm shelf to a comfortable position, holding it in place and retightening the screw. There is also a little play in the angle and you will see a slight tilt in my final setting. Speaking of tilt, the trigger blade can be swiveled on its axis to perfectly engage your trigger finger. I found center (as factory set) to work perfectly for me.

The left side of the grip is flat in keeping with 10-Meter pistol rules. It has a rounded frontstrap with grooves for the middle, third and pinky fingers. The large screw in front of the rear sight is used to adjust elevation. The small screw in the left side of the sight is used to widen or narrow the width of the notch. The frame is metal, the barrel assembly is polymer.

In keeping with 10-meter competition rules the left side of the grip is flat with the exception of a curve at the front to firmly rest the middle, third and pinky fingers.  The really good news is that the V10 can be ordered for right or left-handed shooters.

With the grips adjusted to my hand, the Air Venturi V10 is ready for a trip to the firing line.

Lining up the shot

The V10 has a recessed blade front sight that is fairly wide, and a windage and elevation adjustable rear, that is comprised of two separate blades allowing the left half to be adjusted for notch width. This is done with a small blade screwdriver and a screw on the left side of the sight. Turning the screw clockwise widens the notch. The large screw on the right side adjusts windage and a screw on top of the tang adjusts elevation. The entire rear sight is recessed into the top of the barrel assembly; a flattop surface grooved its entire length to eliminate light reflections. The rear sights is neither as large or easy to adjust as the old Webley’s with its big handed controls, but it is comparable to adjustable target sights on semi-autos.

In Part 3 we will spec out the V10 and head to the 10 meter range.  

3 thoughts on “Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 2”

  1. Pistol looks like a Hammerli or S&W 41 Target pistol, but a lot of work per shot. Would be nice to see a semiauto co2 pellet target pistol. Don’t even need blowback. The old Crosman 600 kicked hard enough it felt like blowback. Mine gives around 30 shots per co2 , but hits around 350-370 fps.only problem is the old seals give out after a few years. With new technology , an improved 600 would find a following.These pistols give pretty decent accuracy and allow you to shoot almost anywhere.

  2. The pistol look interesting. Your downrange shooting will be interesting also. One thing I do not like about the Webley Tempest is the flakey rear sight adjustment. You adjust windage and always have to re adjust elevation. Looks like the V10 has a better rear sight. The Webley Alecto gives you the option of multi pumps if you want more power.
    I am still a novice in this hobby, but one thing I have learned, is there seems to be too many variables with C02 pistols. If they ever could come up with a regulated C02 system, think we could see more accuracy with them.

    • CO2 has its drawbacks as do pre charged pneumatics, power drops off and there are variables. That’s the strength of the old single and multi pump pneumatics. As for the Tempest sight, I did not experience that problem with the Hurricane. Anyone else having issues with adjusting the Tempest rear sight?

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