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Education / Training Whiscombe rifles and barrel harmonics – Part 2Introduction continued

Whiscombe rifles and barrel harmonics – Part 2Introduction continued

Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Well, there was a lot of interest in this gun, so I don’t mind showing it to you again so soon. Today, I’ll continue our walkaround introduction.

Interchangeable barrels
When I bought my Whiscombe, the fact that I could get barrels in every caliber was one of the factors that helped make the decision. I’m pretty careful with my money when it comes to expensive airguns, but the thought of having all four calibers in one air rifle seemed a bargain, even at the price I paid. Barrel changing is a short procedure, after which it is necessary to sight in the rifle again, despite the fact that the scope never moved. There is more to tell about these particular barrels, but I’ll save it for another day.

JW75 could be bought with barrels in all 4 calibers – .177, .20, .22 and .25.

Transfer port limiters
A very funny thing happened when my new rifle arrived. It wasn’t funny at the time, but as soon as I knew what was going on it became laughable. I had ordered the JW75 because it was the most powerful breakbarrel rifle I could get. I had tried one of the fixed-barrel JW80s and found it to be difficult to load, so the breakbarrel feature seemed good to me. The difference in power between a 75 and an 80 isn’t much. The 75 will pull about 30 foot-pounds, while the 80 will go 32.

The barrel raises for loading. Note the bar under the barrel. It’s held in place by twin chisel detents that keep the barrel tight in place for zero air leakage and superior accuracy. This is why I know for a fact that a breakbarrel rifle can be just as accurate as a fixed barrel, because my rifle shoots like a PCP!

But when I tested my new rifle, it shot .22 caliber Crosman Premiers at an average of 577 f.p.s., which works out to 10.57 foot-pounds. I was shocked! Had Whiscombe misunderstood and built this gun to British specifications? I didn’t know at the time that the JW75 could never be built to UK specs. I called the U.S. dealer to inquire. He laughed when I told him the problem. It seems Whiscombe ships all guns with a 12 foot-pound transfer port limiter to keep the British government happy. They know the gun is capable of 30 foot-pounds and Whiscombe has the license to export guns they consider to be firearms, but the Home Office feels it’s best if the guns get shipped at the “legal” limit (please, lie to me!). All I had to do was remove the limiter and the gun would shoot at full power. I did, and the velocity of Premiers jumped to an average of 920 f.p.s., or 26.88 foot-pounds.

That hole in the receiver is the transfer port. That’s where the limiters go. The large flat lever at the bottom opens the barrel for loading. The two chisel detents that hold the barrel in place can also be seen, This rifle is built like an artillery piece! All the metal except for the detents is dark black, but the rifle is polished to a mirror finish.

John Whiscombe had included a number of transfer port limiters with the rifle so I could try it at different power levels if I wanted. Not only did I have a gun with four calibers, I also had the ability to run the spectrum of power levels, from next to nothing clear up to the rifle’s maximum. I hadn’t known about this feature when I ordered the rifle 10 months before. If I had, the decision to buy would have been a no-brainer.

These Allen screws are the transfer port limiters. The one with the tiny hole at the bottom is the 12 foot-pound limiter that was in the gun when I got it. By removing all limiters and leaving the transfer port wide open, you get the maximum power the rifle can deliver.

We’re not finished with the introduction yet. There are still a few more surprises for next time.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

25 thoughts on “Whiscombe rifles and barrel harmonics – Part 2Introduction continued”

  1. B.B. When I first read your (part one)review I thought that the Whiscombe was not in production anymore. However, one can observe them on Brit sites. Two queries: 1.)Can the gun be purchased in the USA?, and 2.) Why aren’t more springers utilizing this technology? It looks like the price would exceed $2,000. Thanks.

  2. As i understand it there will be very few more made as the maker is retireing, if you want one get your order in and be prepared to shell out the sheckels as these are the very best of the best.

  3. It seems to me to be an overly complicated and expensive rifle. From a hunters perspective, I am leaning toward the HW90 gas ram. Plenty of power, much cheaper and simpler.

  4. BB,
    I am looking for a pellet gun -$125 for 10 yr old son. He’s 4’10” #110. I want a gun that can grow with him while not being overwhelming now. Accuracy and ease of use are big considerations.
    Considering:BS Blue Streak- Concerned about weight and it’s # velocity. Powerline 953 ?? accuracy, it’s heavy.I would appreciate your take on these and any other recommendations you may have.

  5. JS,

    Yes, the Powerline 953 is a good one, though the stock will be a little long for him now.

    The IZH 61 is another nice rifle. It may look outlandish, but it’s really a very nice tafrget rifle. Power is about the same as the 953. Pyramyd has sold out of this model twice already this Christmas season, so call and confirm that can deliver if you order it.


  6. BB1967,

    when I was a kid the beni/sheridans were it.

    I wasn’t any bigger and as an added bonus the multi pump plan keeps the shots considered “valued” by the pumper…not a bad first lesson in shooting.

  7. B.B., wow! this gun looks incredible, do all the whiscombe look this good, i mean i love that stock with the thumb hole and raised cheekpiece. keep up these posts, i cant wait to hear more about this gun.

  8. Springer John,

    The reason the size of the hole affects the power is the same one that determines power on car engines. The more flow you have (the more air flows unrestricted) the greater the power. It’s the same principal used to get 400 HP from a tiny Honda Civic engine.


  9. BB,
    The IZH 61 gets mentioned quite frequently in this blog. On the Baikal web site they also show model IZH 60 – the same gun but in single shot. The specs show that it is a lot faster and more accurate than the 61. Any experience with the 60? Can Pyramyd get the 60?
    Thanks for all the advice.

  10. Which Baikals?

    [sorry, hadn’t been monitoring these comments.]

    Of the Baikals, the MP-532 looks interesting as does the 532T. There’s also the MP-572 PCP, which according to their literature is based on the 532(?).

    EEA has apparently already discontinued the 532 and never carried the running target version or PCP.

    I realize that there’s a limited market for entry level SSP match rifles, and nearly none for running target, but the success of the S200 would seem to bode well for the PCP.

    TGAG seems to be able to support smaller lines successfully.

    While I’m ranting – We also need a decent CZ Slavia distributor. There’s one guy on gunbroker who claims to carry these, but he’s impossible to reach and has a mixed reputation. I’ve tried to get a 634 through Canada, but the regulations make this a royal PITA.


  11. dlb,

    Okay, I got the IZH models.

    I doubt you’ll see the CZ any time soon. There is a hobby dealer spitting them out at $10 over his cost on the auction sites. That killed the legitimate sales of the guns. Real dealers will have nothing to do with it if they can’t make any money. That’s why the biggies dropped it.


  12. That knucklehead has locked-up the entire US CZ market?!?

    I don’t think that he actually stocks Slavias. It’s my impression that he’ll order a Slavia from CZ for you once he’s gotten you to purchase it from the auction listing.

    He states on his auctions that you should call first to confirm availability, but it’s impossible to reach him, no one answers the number provided and there’s no way to leave a message. After a dozen attempts over a month or so I’d pursued Canadian retailers.

    Judging by his feedback, his tactic is to bait people into purchasing the rifle, which is never actually in stock, and to then point to the disclaimer in the auction listing when they balk.

    It’s a shame that these eastern european makes are losing out to the Chinese in their market segment when they’re often superior products.

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