Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 3

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Shooting the Air Venturi V10

By Dennis Adler

The Air Venturi V10 is absolutely capable of being used in entry level 10-Meter ISSF sanctioned shooting events. The grip design is based on 10-Meter styles although it is somewhat unique in its rough wood grained finish. This gives you superb grasp but rough edges need to be smoothed out for a comfortable grip by using a wood rasp. In this shot I have already adjusted the contour where my middle finger rests behind the triggerguard.

You can spend a lot of money for a 10-Meter pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) competition pistol like a Morini MOR-162MI (one of the most expensive with an MSRP of $1,900), a Hammerli AP20 PRO (one of the more affordable at just under $1,000) or a Walther LP400 (around $1,700), and they won’t feel much different in your hand than the Air Venturi V10 single shot pneumatic. A 10-Meter air pistol is built to a competition standard with mandatory grip designs and a generally similar configuration. Most PCP models look very much the same, as do modern single stroke pneumatics like the Air Venturi V10. The differences are speed and accuracy. A PCP pistol is faster to shoot, a single shot pneumatic slower, but the V10 is definitely competitive at the entry level, and at under $300 you can afford to get into training, even if you never intend to get into competitive shooting. (This also opens the door to Match Pistols, which I will begin covering in Part 4).

Loading is part of the two-step process in pumping up the cylinder. Once the barrel assembly is released it is moved up and forward from the frame. At this point you can load a 4.5mm pellet into the barrel breech. The barrel is shown with a Meisterkugeln lead wadcutter inserted. You can just see the rim of the pellet at the back of the barrel.

Over the years I have had occasion to shoot the Walther LP400 (at a factory sponsored demo) but never on a 10-Meter competition range, and I was always impressed with the weight, balance and handling of the Walther. The Air Venturi V10 is, in fact, the next best practical and affordable way to test the 10-Meter waters with a correctly configured 4.5mm pistol (as opposed to my foray into the 10-Meter shooting discipline with my old Webley Hurricane in Part 1). Now it is time to get down to business. You should master this pistol first before stepping up into $1,000 plus territory.

Measuring up to the V10

10-Meter air pistol is an ISSF sanctioned shooting event shot at the Olympics (the ultimate goal for aspiring competitive shooters working their way up through ISSF). Aside from standardized gun and grip designs, there are also maximum weights for the pistol, 1500 grams (3.31 pounds) and minimum trigger weights, 500 grams (17.5 ounces). On my scale the V10 weighs in at 1.95 pounds (884.5 grams) and using a Lyman trigger pull gauge, factory set trigger pull averaged 2 pounds, 2.1 ounces (966.7 grams). I left the trigger exactly as it came. The test gun had a very smooth, short (0.125 inch) trigger press and I am very comfortable with a 2 pound trigger pull, so as it came out of the box the V10’s trigger was perfect, however, after my dry fire test, I adjusted the trigger blade angle slightly to the right to improve finger contact.

I rotated the trigger blade slightly to the right of center to make better contact with my trigger finger. There is a hole in the bottom of the triggerguard through which you can pass a blade screwdriver to loosen the set screw. Rotate the trigger blade right or left as needed and then retighten the screw.

Before heading to the test range, a quick review of the V10 as I have set it up. I used a small wood rasp to smooth an edge at the top of the grip that was troubling my middle finger; I raised the palm rest 1/8th inch with a slight downward angle, and shifted the trigger blade just slightly right of center. This is as you see the V10 in the lead photo for this article.

Before loading the gun I began a short dry fire test. This is done by opening the barrel assembly, raising it about 6-inches and then closing it. This sets the trigger but does not put any appreciable amount of air into the cylinder, allowing the trigger to be pulled for practice. My first 10 live fire shots were used to chronograph the gun and adjust the sights. With a full pump the velocity with Meisterkugeln Professional Line 7.0 gr. lead wadcutters averaged 363 fps with a high of 369 and a standard deviation of 3 fps. The V10 is factory rated at 400 fps. I ran a second chronograph test using Sig Sauer 5.25 gr. Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter pellets which averaged 400 fps with a high of 404 fps and a standard deviation of 3 fps. If you want the full ride, you need to shoot alloy pellets through the V10.

With the palm rest, trigger and sights adjusted I started to chronograph the V10 with Meisterkugeln Professional Line lead wadcutters. With lead the gun delivers an average of 360 fps. Switching to Sig Sauer alloy wadcutters the V10 hit its advertised 400 fps average.

Slinging lead at 10-Meters

It took me 8 shots to get the rear sight adjusted. All my tests were shot with National 10 Meter Air Pistol Targets. Since I am only competing against myself I skipped to the final 10-Meter competition shooting 10 consecutive shots. (In reality I’d been eliminated by now, but what the heck).

Loading and pumping up the cylinder is a two-step process that begins with releasing the barrel assembly from the frame by depressing the grey-colored lock at the rear of the barrel assembly.

Once the barrel assembly is fully extended, you can load a pellet into the barrel breech. As previously noted there is almost no resistance in opening the action. To dry fire the V10, only open it about half way, this cocks the trigger mechanism without pressurizing the cylinder.

There is about 21 pounds of resistance when closing the barrel assembly. It takes a firm push with the palm of your hand. The resistance never gets lighter but closing the assembly does become easier the more you do it. Always be certain to have your trigger finger outside of the triggerguard and against the frame until you are ready to shoot. The V10, like all 10-Meter pistols, has no safety mechanism.

I decided to shoot the test with the Meisterkugeln lead wadcutters. With the sights adjusted, the trigger pull at its crisp 2 pounds, 2.1 ounces and the trigger blade perfectly meeting the first joint of my trigger finger, the V10 gave me a best 10-shot target measuring 0.93 inches with a best 5-shot group clustered into 0.5 inches. I found myself hitting a little high but with tight groups. With only three days shooting this air pistol I’m certain I could get tighter groups than I had with the Webley Hurricane (and I was using a two-handed hold with the Webley). Out of the box and with a few minor adjustments the Air Venturi V10 definitely delivers 10-Meter competition capability.

I went through about half a dozen National 10 Meter Air Pistol Targets for this test and the best 10-shot group was comprised of two 5-shot clusters averaging 0.5 inches. The bullseye, however, remained unscathed by my efforts. Game, set, but no match.

Next week in Part 4 we shift the emphasis to target shooting with Match Pistols.

5 thoughts on “Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 3

  1. Again , nice shooting Dennis. How well do you like the sights on this pistol ? Did you encounter any problems loading it ? The Beeman P17 has the same type of action and loading drill. Using wad cutter pellets. at times I have trouble loading it. The cocking effort on the Beeman seems pretty hard to me and the rear sight will dig into your hand while cocking. Once you get the thing loaded , and cocked, you are rewarded with a recoil free shot, which is a nice change from the spring powered Webley Tempest. Wonder if the V10 cocks easier then the P17?
    Best wishes
    Harvey


    • I have not shot the P17 so I can’t say. The Air Venturi V10 is not easy to cock but not difficult either, you get into a rhythm with it and it is not too bad. Next week I will be reviewing the Beeman P3 and we will see how that is compared to the Air Venturi. The V10 has virtually zero felt recoil.


      • As I understand, the Beeman P17 is a Chinese made copy of the German P3, so you will be able to see how the P17 works by testing the P3 . The lack of recoil with the single pump pneumatics is very nice. Isn’t it wonderful we have so many choices of power plants ?
        Harvey


        • Harvey, right the P17 is a lower-priced Singapore Airgun Company version of the German made P3. You will read how this came about in tomorrow’s Airgun Experience. We do have wonderful choices in airguns and each serves a specific purpose and segment of the market.


  2. I am not a bullseye shooter ,that went by the wayside years ago when I traded a High Standard Citation on a Marlin 1894 24 inch barrel 45 Colt for CAS. The only 22 s I have are not true bullesye pistols, A Woodsman Target , Huntsman, and a Colt 22. This pistol might seem like a way to go for informal for me, target shooting. Would be interesting to see if it could be adapted to using a gas piston instead of a spring. The nice thing is being able to easily switching from rt hand to left hand use. For my old Crosman 600 that came with rt hand thumb rest , actually had 2, only one still works, I found flat wood grips for one and an original lt hand plastic set for the other . I canabalized thert and lt hand sets to come up wit a flat rt and lt hand side grip so anyone could shoot it.


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