by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I’ll scope the Hammerli 490 Express and test it again at 21 yards. Thankfully, the rifle has a scope stop built in. After yesterday’s demonstration of how scopes and mounts move under recoil, I hope all of you are convinced. If not, prepare for a lifetime of “scope shift.”
I installed a Leapers 3-12×44 Mini SWAT Mil-Dot scope in two-piece rings of medium height. No particular reason for choosing this scope other than convenience.
Quick sight-in, then on to shooting
After three sight-in shots, I was zeroed. I went back to the 21-yard bench and started shooting. Crosman 7.9-grain Premiers had been the most accurate with open sights, so I started with them. Would you believe I couldn’t settle down? I shot group after group measuring about an inch c-t-c and my shots were stringing vertically. That’s always due to hold with a springer, so I tried several alternative holds, but in the end settled back into the artillery hold described in part three.
The second time the rifle grouped better, but try as I might, I could not get the rifle to group any better than it did with open sights! It was very frustrating, because I know this gun can shoot. How am I so sure? Take a look at the one good group I managed to shoot and you’ll see.
The groups did get smaller, but nothing was smaller than the half-inch I shot before. Thinking it was the pellets (yeah, sure!) I switched to RWS Hobbys that had also done well in the open sight test. But they didn’t group any better this time, either.
One last thing I wanted to do was check the velocity after all this shooting. The rifle is partially broken-in now, and I wanted to see what that did to the velocity.
Premiers settled down to 504 f.p.s., with a low of 495 and a high of 513. Hobbys averaged 496 f.p.s. with a low of 483 and a high of 508. So, the velocity is lower and more consistent. It’s very close to the advertised velocity of 495 f.p.s.
It’s not the gun, the pellets the scope or the mounts. It’s me, and I know it. This rifle should be able to lay them all on top of one another, but I just wasn’t up to the task. I would like to blame the heavy trigger somewhat, but since I shot better with it the other day, I can’t use that excuse, either. So, I’m setting the gun aside for a few days, and I’ll try again.
64 thoughts on “Hammerli 490 – Part 4 Another great youth rifle”
BB, I believe that an inconsistent lock-up with a breakbarrel can cause vertical stringing with a scope that might not show up with open sights. Since the irons are mounted on the barrel, they’ll always point in the same direction relative to the bore. Not so with a scope.
Do you think that might have anything to do with it? Also, did you try shimming the pivot bolt?
You could be right, but that doesn’t explain the other better groups. The 490 I’m testing has a super-stiff locking detent.
No, I haven’t shimmed the pivot bolt yet, but I will be for the next test.
Thanks for the suggestion.
I have the combo version of this rifle (came with scope) and I also believe that it has inconsistent lock-up. I was getting better results when I slammed the barrel shut really hard after cocking, it seemed that perhaps the rubber seal around the breech would compress further that way.
That’s one reason I don’t like barrel cockers. Barrel hinge/lockup is an accuracy robbing wear point. The cheaper the gun, the worse it is.
I commend you on your honesty and blaming yourself for the accuracy. I know for a fact that sometimes, I’m just not up to speed and the results are humbling. I’ll bet your results improve.
Off topic, but I just noticed that Pyramyd has listed several new RWS air rifles. Most look like variations of the 34 and 52, but the Diana name is not included. Would you know if these air rifles are in fact variations of the Diana products we are familiar with, or is this another rebranding game the importers are playing?
Don’t slam the barrel shut. You will damage the lockup. The detent takes care of the lockup, not force.
Yes, of course they are Diana guns. The current importer, Umarex USA is also acting as RWS USA. Apparently they want to distance themselves from the Diana name. I used to do that, as well, but when it comes time to locate parts, it’s important to know who made the gun.
Wow, well now we know that your tests are absolutely authentic although I was sure anyway. This episode raises again, for me, the virtues of shooting with a vice. I know you addressed this before, and everything you said was convincing about how good human shooting can equal or surpass a machine rest. Also, human testing gives information on shooting characteristics that can never be dispensed with. But it’s hard to overlook the ease and consistency of a vice. It’s too dumb to have a bad day. Maybe clamping each gun and firing off a few shots once it is zeroed would have some benefit.
I was catching up on the postings on the earlier reports on this gun and came across the Chinese clunk comment. I hope you don’t waste any time worrying about that. It’s a price for having an open blog and this one is remarkably free of that kind of thing. I was wondering, though, if you would indulge in a bit of futurism about Chinese airguns. First, they really did produce junk. Now, they have begun producing some high quality products by copying successful designs and underselling them. As their quality continues to improve and assuming they get their consistency under control, I don’t see any reason why they will continue to offer such low prices (I’m thinking of the BAM series). The Chinese are not out to do favors any more than anyone else. So, could it be that now or the near future is actually the golden time for buying Chinese airguns in terms of price and quality?
Thanks to all for your advice about duct seal which I am now stacking in my Crosman 850 pellet trap. This really is the darnedest stuff–so dense and heavy but also soft, and sticky too. It is very odd to see my IZH 61 pellets clustered on the duct seal with only their heads buried. To stop a projectile this fast without deforming it is very weird. The stuff must be a sink for kinetic energy.
In contrast, it was interesting to see old pellets splashed onto the steel backstop as if they had liquefied and sticking there so that they could not be removed. Did the kinetic energy weld them onto the steel?
Anyway, this is a great low cost solution to reinforcing the trap, and what I feel must be akin to a successful hunt. Thanks.
I found your advice on always keeping a pcp under pressure to avoid contaminated air to enter the tank.
I’m sure it’s been brought up before, but I can’t find information on how much pressure to store a pcp with. Storing a pcp at full pressure just doesn’t “feel” right. Seems like that would put a lot of strain on seals.
On the other hand, once I get mine I would like to it to be ready to go when I need it, especially since I’ll be using a hand pump.
Matt61, lead cannot be welded to steel. At most the pellets could have soldered themselves to the steel!
Sometimes, shooting at hard steel targets at dusk, I’d see sparks when the pellet hit – so I guess it could happen.
I don’t know if you remember but I was the one you called “shorty,” considering the Mendoza RM-2000. At 5’5″ I was worried the pull length and the overall length might be too much so I went to a gun store and tried out several rifles (Remi 700 and Browning A Bolt were my favorites) and they all felt fine so I went ahead and got the full sized Mendoza. Just reporting that it’s near the fringe of what I feel is comfortable but it’s still what I consider comfortable. I imagine 5’3″ and under people would begin to have serious problems.
The Chinese have arrived, except in quality control. They can’t keep it consistent. And that’s not entirely true because in somethings like optics, they can.
Makers who sell Chinese airguns as their own have to resort to in-country inspectors and accepting a larger number of returns.
But the Chinese have accomplished in 5 years what I thought would take 10, so they are definitely on the fast track.
I don’t know whether the Communist culture can ever be overcome, but if they do, watch out Japan!
Kinetic energy heated the pellets to the point of incandescence, which then soldered them to the metal.
They can also spark, which is small particles flashing to incandescence.
Speaking of returns, what does PA do with returned guns? From what I gather from blogs, the volume of returns must be way more than the few items listed under the “used” link on the homepage. Do they dump the rest?
Its a test, not a panegyric…I’m enjoying having an expert shakedown “my” rifle.
I think Vince has a good idea — the barrel pivot is something to check. I don’t particulary care for a scope, anyway, but I might put a peep sight on the groove (so same issues). My pivot tightened up pretty snug, but I think I could also have put sheet metal shims between the forks and the barrel.
I’m still not sure about the piston seal, either. The TF49 teardown I saw was synthetic, but yours and mine are acting like leather. I honestly couldn’t care less which material, except it affects how often it needs oiling, especially early on, if I’m not mistaken? Speed could also be settling down due to spring taking a set?
Also, as you say, you could just be “off” — I’d bet money you didn’t have many expectations with a “clunk” 🙂 and open sights! I shoot almost as well offhand (little as 1/8″ difference at 10M) as from a standing rest, IF I’m relaxed. My sighting in targets look better than my final try targets, too, most of the time:). Once I’ve got a good set going, though, I start sniping and hit the white circles (if I’m lucky)!
Forget your feelings. Leave the gun plumb full if you like. The seals will last FAR longer. I was the technical director at AirForce Airguns and I’ve seen this question from all sides.
Leave the gun full.
BTW, a fire extinguisher might be filled for 20 years and still work.
I’m using the handle because you did – no offense meant.
Thanks for that feedback. Now I have a data point on the rifle’s size.
In my experience I’m probably wrong 98% of the time when I rely on my “feeling” for guidance.
As opposed to when I carefully analize and think matters through. In that case I’m only wrong 96% of the time…
Pyramyd Air sells their returns after repairs. I covered that in the article about the Roanoke Airgun show, or if I didn’t I should have.
No problems about the name. I was just giving you some reference so you remember the case.
The guy at the gun store told me a little tip on finding a good pull length. When you grip the gun, if the stock extends the length of your forearm, than it’s a good fit. The RM-2000 digs a little (but shallow) into the inside of my elbow joint. This is largely what I mean by being on the fringe of what I consider to be comfortable.
I’ve found that cocking isn’t the easiest thing since I have to fully extend my arm to reach the muzzle but once it’s broken open the effort isn’t too bad.
Though I can’t be 100% certain, like I said, I feel that one would start having serious problems at 5’3″ and under.
By the way, you weren’t kidding about being over lubricated from the factory. My first shot looked like a small firearm discharge. It was about dusk and a small flash was pretty visible and afterwards the barrel was smoking pretty bad. I have to say that I felt pretty cool when I blew the smoke off the barrel. Anyway, that kind of detonation stopped in a few shots but there’s still a more than decent amount of dieseling occuring.
I finally found some real Springer at Altitude chrono data over on the Yellow forum!
A guy from Vancouver shooting an R9 and an R7 in Idaho at 4435 ft and at sea level. His data looked like he had taken some care with it, so I’ll take his bottom line with only a few grains of salt. The R9 lost about 8% FPS and 15% FPE, the R7 only lost 3% FPS and 5% FPE. Heavier .177 pellets did a little better. This is far better than my estimate (~18%) based on the Standard Atmosphere Calculator (http://www.digitaldutch.com/atmoscalc/calculator.htm ) that I commented on at the RWS 46 Blog of 2005. I’d still like to see your old data from Airgunner, though. IF he’s right, I can expect a loss of around 10-15% at 5500 to 6000, not the 30% you suggested. I guess I’ll just have to get a chrono next!
RWS 46 and scope arrive tomorrow!!!!!
What is the real deal with ideal LOP on a rifle? When I find it published on air rifles (rare), it always seems pretty long?
I’ve read multiple places that you can approximate LOP by measuring between hand (1st joint of trigger finger) and hollow of shoulder with elbow at 90 degrees… Strictly I think that is for a shotgun (where it seems to work well) but prefer quite a bit shorter on a rifle, since you have to get your face close to either sights or scope.
BB, so far the 490 (being a QB18) seems to be performing better than I would have expected, being (apparently) a descendent of the B1 series. Still, do you still think that the subtitle of “Another great youth rifle” still applies? Maybe the Quest spoiled me in terms of what to expect for around $80 to $90 (and yes, I know the Quest isn’t a youth gun), but this one seems a bit overpriced, all things considered…
The standard length of pull is 14 inches, with one-half-inch leeway either way. Target shooter use about two inches less. Bigger people need more.
It’s not overpriced. At $90 is underpriced for all that it offers. I’d still like to get it for less, but it’s a great gun, and, yes, it’s a great little youth rifle.
I have an OT question. Do you know why a company like Beeman doesn’t even have email address for their customer service department?
If they had that, people would be able to email them!
BB., Made my first trap w/ duct seal today! This stuff is AMAZING!! Made it small, 7″x7″ 2″ thick (clay?) Larger than Gamo targets. You can “stick” on all kinds of plinking targets! My hvac contractor is bringing me 12 lbs. tom. I found it today in elec.at H.Dep. $2 a lb.! 6 lbs. made a nice little trap!(He found it at hvac suppy store) This is so much quieter than my other traps/stops.Thank you SOOOO much BB.!!! ( Also others on this blog!)Tim.
And we made your HVAC guy a little smarter in the process.
I guess 14″ is just average. I can see why a manufacturer picks a length, but its remarkable that target-shooters go so much shorter. Is it in part because the shorter stock looks funny on a sporter, especially “magnum” models? Since most rifles these day are shot with a scope and a rest of some sort on a range, it’s probably not critical.
I’m 5’11” (not too short anyway) and my LOP measures 14.25 inches by the method I described, but I really like less on a rifle, thus my happiness with a youth model. Do you think this is just strange personal preference or is there some underlying reason there?
Sorry, this is all just curiosity.
BB. Your report on 490 accuraccy today made me feel better! Springers, are a challenge! (Thats why I love them!) I REFUSE to be beaten by one!Just came in from a session w/ my latest little “clunk” (G-1), inspired by my new trap, was putting together one hole groups/hit a penny every time (stuck to “clay”) & then an un explainable FLYER! , 1-1/2 ” Off!! 20 yrds. HONEST!! It happens! 2 doves were not so lucky, first one down at about 22 yrds. he looked at his buddy ,like what are you doing,(time to reload) 2nd one pow! 25 yrds.! (G-1 w/ mods. is SOOO quiet!) Lunch tommorow!Thanks BB.!! Tim, 99% paper puncher,1% hunter!!
glad to hear you got them both! When you see two doves they are a couple and they are together for life. Its an awful life as one thats lost there love, even as a bird, they don’t move on. I have a dove that lives alone on my property, but i don’t know how the other died. I don’t care, shoot all the dove you want (i shoot geese), but i thought you would want to know. Don’t worry, thats as soft as i get. LOL
BB., I know you have seen the new RWS. Rifles. The 34 and 350 get my att. (sorry, I love RWS. & they are NOT CLUNK!!) I really like the Pro compact look! One Question: (your good like that!LOL.) What do you make of that HUGE muzzlebreak?Looks like a moderator to me!Im thinking shade tree moder like myself can “work with it”. Ok I know,Tallon ss!! Sooo many new COOL guns,Not so much cash! Im gona have to go from 5hr. to 8hr.days!! (perish the thought!) P.A. lists Noise at typical 3-4 for the new models,Im not so shure? After all TX-200 is pretty hush. ( My moded. G-1 is way quieter than my Gamo Ricon,Swear it!!) On av. 2 decbl.,(Radio Shack dec, meter)Thanks BB.! Tim.
Thanks for posting those groups. They make me feel better about when I have an off day…
SUMO: Could it be that the mate for your “single” dove met a demise due to an un expected spouse loss due to,LEAD poisoning?? Ok, that made no sense, but you get my drift, WE EAT DOVES !!(Well I Do!) Makes me so happy to get responce from all the main players on this blog!! We all shoot airguns for differant reasons, Hunting is why I started,,, but Im 99% plinking &1% hunting now!!!!SUMO, do Quail &Squirels have the same life long devotion?TOO BAD!! Ill create a widow/ widower ASAP.! Those damed taliban SQ.!!Gota go now, just saw a rabbit out the window!LOL. Tim.
i gotcha either way! GOOD thing you got them both! For you and for them. Thats all. You: 2 Dove: 0
Im 80 percent hunting 20 percent just how accurate is this thing. I shoot squirrels in my back yard south dakota style prairie dogin except knock a 0 off the yardage and two 0s off the power (foot pounds that is). LOL
Man i don’t even eat the squirrels! So your better than i am! I jab them with a stick and threw them into a pile for the hawks. ill send the next dove i see your regards (a pellet). LOL As long as its the loner that sits and mopes all day.
Height is a general predictor of gun fit, but not absolute. I was 5′ 11″ ’til I shrunk back a half-inch, but my arms and neck are both long, so I prefer a pull of 14.5-14.75″ It’s an individual thing.
Target shooters hold their rifles completely different (they use a sling and a hand stop), so a 12-inch pull is enough for them. They also stand more erect and have less recoil to deal with, as a rule.
I don’t like muzzle braeks. The bigger they are the more I dislike them. But when they help me cock the gun, like the brake on the Gamo Whisper does, I’ll tolerate them.
To me, cool-looking is a Holland and Holland express rifle or a 1952 model Mannlicher.
BB. I too love the clean lines of a nice rifle/ a sexy taperd brl. w/out JUNK on the end of it!! YES!! Untill I get my new house done, I cant shoot powder burners!( IM in rental)In mean time I shoot my airguns! Im thankfull, I would have never known! I have gravitated towards(muzzle breaks?) Because they seem to eqate w/ quiet! Hell w/ land lord, my prb. is w/ neighbor who must come over if he hears me shooting. Ive set him up w/G-1 but if he hears me & comes over,I CANT GET RID OF HIM!! He is a LONG TALKER!! (disrupts my shooting/ testing sesion! Any way, BB. that is why I like QUIET airguns!! (Bless his heart) Tim.
Thanks for helping me think through LOP — I was just trying to analyze the factors that make something pleasant to shoot.
Also, I found another method for measurement for rifle LOP — from fold of elbow to first joint of index finger, which correlated more closely to what I like in rifles (my measurement was 13.75″ IIRC). I can also see your point about build and preferences: I have normal length arms and no neck (well just a hint of red above the collar:)).
Based on your experience I wish I had taken a second look at the 490 before I returned it. It sure looked like rust on the barrel but I admit I did not attempt to remove it. (I did call the service department and was told it was “Normal” for Chinese rifles to be rusty right out of the box!?) We had purchased Beeman SS1000 which proved to be a big disappointment and the 490 seemed very similar to it. When I originally purchased the 490 I was told it was made in either Spain or Mexico and thought it was underpriced.
From your experience it sounds like the 490 is a good value if you look at it for what it is. Thanks for setting me straight
I have a couple more relevant observations (I hope):
1. Hammerli/Umarex does seem to require or perform more quality control steps than straight IB, based on past week’s experience with an IB QB88 sidelever for my wife. QB88 had cheap, crooked sights, loose cocking lever, lots of tool marks on barrel, and smoked like a tractor subsoiling for at least 150 shots. Once the smoke settled and it smoothed out, though, it was obviously from the same factory, barrel and powerplant wise. The Hammerli didn’t need anything but an external cleaning and maybe the breech pivot shimmed (for scope use). I don’t want to go on too long about something like this given the small sample, but it is now pretty obvious to me at least that the Hammerli 490 went through either a more stringent QC process or was hand selected at some point.
On the other hand, for $50 QB88 has a target-gun inspired stock, an adjustable, upgradeable trigger and (once sights are straightened out and smoke is shot out) puts the pellets into 1/2″ groups easily at 10 yards with any hold you can manage to grab it with. If Hammerli is going to re-brand “clunks”, maybe they should take a look at the QB88, too.
2. The 4×32 scope (also made in China) in the Hammerli 490 combo is pretty nice for the current $10 difference from PA. We put it on the ’88 temporarily to debug the sight situation. I’m still not sure where it is set for parallax, but it is usable at 10m and, even with parallax, it would do better than most people can do with open sights. Mounts are solid (for low-powered guns), Clicks are positive, although it requires a screw-driver, see-through caps work well, eye-relief is typical (somewhere around 3″?), field is bright and clear (although I think there may be some distortion in the extreme edge) etc. Worst case, it will be a good backup or loaner rimfire scope.
Anyway, I’m still happy with my clunk after 1000+ shots and working on improving my 10M scores. Tin cans are not safe at any range I feel like walking constantly, so I’m shooting for a 400/600 at 10M (offhand/open sights/AR target). Don’t laugh — I will be pretty happy when/if I ever get to that level.
Can someone compare the Daisy(Winchester)500x to the hammerli 490!
The 500x is made in turkey so it sounds promising…anyone own or have shot one?
The other day a friend and I were talking about our childhoods and started up on air guns. Never had big concerns about them, but it struck me to check and see what kind of value mine had being in near perfect condition for its age. Only problem is I can’t find what it’s worth. I discovered your entry on Dec. 2, 2005 about the Commemoritive Crosman 760 model 40th anniversary edition and it got me wondering what my 20th anniversary edition would be valued at. Still have the box it came in, as well as the “oil 3 drops here” sticker under the pump handle. Do you have any idea? Your input would be greatly appreciated.
According to the Blue Book of Airguns, your gun is worth $65. It might bring a little more because it’s so pristine.
Dear Mr. Pelletier: I own a Condor and a 2250XT that I had converted to bulk fill. I have both bulk CO2(15 lb former fire EX) and scuba air at 3300 lbs. This Benjamin looks likes a “real” gun, like the one my father used to fill from a small black tank. I am ready to get one of these simply for “old time sake but wonder if I should wait for the next version. Also, will other sights work on this to make it a reciever peep. Thank you.
Your father had either a Crosman 113 or a 114. Both are bulk CO2 rifles.
Yes, peep sight should work fine of the Discovery. It has an 11mm rail to mount them.
you pay for what you get
I’m just updating my 490 experience at the 500 pellet interval — at around 1500 currently. A couple of things have worn in to be even better:
1. Cocking effort is even easier if that’s possible; power doesn’t seem to have changed, based on scientific tests (aka soup cans)
2. Trigger has lightened a little bit, but still crisp.
Sometime after my last update (1000+ shots), I decided to clean the barrel (first time) and gently lap the crown. Neither seemed to have any impact, beyond the psychological (i.e., I didn’t have to wonder if I should:)). I did notice that the barrel seems to be choked slightly toward the end (starting about 1.5 inches from the muzzle). No idea if that is standard or (likely) side-effect of attaching front sight! This may be what stopped the Raptors from shooting in your test. The only outstanding technical issues are: 1) find out whether seal is leather or synthetic; meanwhile I lube it if it squeaks too much. 2) may want to shim breech block pivot before adding aperture sight to scope groove; this hasn’t become necessary, much less urgent, yet, since the open sights are proving quite usable (see below).
I decided to experiment a while back, using a gatepost hand support for groups at 10M and trying very hard to maintain a consistent hold and sight picture (open sights). The best one so far (RWS Basics) is about .12″ C-T-C for four of five shots with one flyer. I don’t know, but I would say the flyer was either me or an “off” pellet. These groups are getting more common as I get more practice (I don’t often use a rest). At this point, I’m fairly confident that the rifle is capable of good accuracy with consistent pellets and patience. Offhand, my groups are still 5/8″ or bigger at the best of times:), although they’re improving, too.
Anyway, so far, so good.
Thanks for such an in-depth report. Other readers really appreciate the comments from owners.
And so do I.
I’m probably past 2000 pellets (still want to say “rounds”), and the rifle is functioning as usual.
One thing I did that might be interesting to other owners concerns the trigger. At one point, the light lube I had dribbled on the sear must have evaporated because the pull became very heavy, as in 10 lbs. or so. Ready to disassemble (I’m almost a “tuner” now:)), I got the action out of the stock but got cold feet at the complexity of the auto-safety. So, instead, I put some M2M paste on a cotton swab and dabbed it on the cocking “hook” on the piston rod (the part that engages the sear). I was just able to reach it by partially cocking the gun. Just this little bit of moly lightened the trigger dramatically. My only worry is that this use is in violation of the moly instructions. What I keep telling myself is that I didn’t alter the geometry, so it should be OK. I don’t trust triggers or safeties, anyhow, so for me it is a non-issue.
What do you think?
Here is exactly what I think, and what I told Robert Beeman, regarding moly on triggers.
A trigger is not a clutch – or at least it shouldn’t be. If lowering the friction makes the trigger unsafe, it’s unsafe to begin with.
Robert Beeman made a big deal out of warning everyone to not moly their triggers, yet when I acquired an FWB 124 that was made and tuned for his wife, guess what? Moly everywhere.
The BSF has a trigger that actually wears to the point of being unsafe. No moly there. But on your 490, yes. Do it. You haven’t changed any angles and, what’s more important, you haven’t cut away any hard metal surfaces, causing premature trigger wear.
What you have done is responsible and safe. Just monitor the trigger, which you would do anyway.
Thanks. I trust your opinion much more than my own — icing on the cake that you agree with me; I would probably have taken it off if you said to. I’ll be careful, but the moly does seem to make it much nicer than just oil. I was also thinking that I might have accidentally gone about this the right way, i.e. letting it wear in for quite a few shots with average lube before using the moly — I could see “smoothed” metal on the hook, whereas it was probably pretty rough initially.
Incidentally, I saw an R7 tear-down on line and it seems to have the same piston rod setup as H490, although, of course the Rekord trigger is much more sophisticated. My only point being that I don’t think the 490/QB18 setup is all that odd (as some contended). Instead my guess is that it is probably copied from older, low-end German or Spanish guns.
And the R7 piston copies the BSA Standard fro 1914. There are only a handful of ways to make it work.
I’m looking for a rifle for my 13 year old daughter. She likes to plink with me using my 2250 that cronys at 535 fps right now – but wants MORE “rip open” power. (She likes to shred tin cans! She is disappointed the 2250 won’t penetrate a tennis ball at 50 feet – just bounces it around the yard.)
She likes lighter, smaller rifles – and I’ve considered the following: Daisy 22 SG, Crosman 2260, Mendoza RM-200 in .22 and maybe the .177 IZH MP-512M. (But the .177 IZH MP-512M may not have ’nuff “PUNCH” for her liking).
Two other considerations: Pinched Fingers & Cost – I like the Mendoza “double automatic safety” idea. Trying to keep this under (or near) $100.
Of course a .177 will penetrate better than a .22.
The Mendoza is good, but it’s a .22 and hard to cock for a 13-year-old, I would think.
A Crosman 1077 is faster in .177, but I don’t know what it will do to a tennis ball.
This new breakbarrel Norica might also be interesting.
I ended up getting her the .22 version of the IZH MP-512M. She couldn’t afford CO2 powerlets on her babysitting earnings – so I found a clearance sale on this springer. She loves it!
The first day she had a little trouble cocking it – but now it’s easy. We chronyed it earlier today – it’s shooting 14.3 Crosman .22 Premiers out between 500 and 540 fps. She is very happy with the power it has. It’s not too heavy for her and the automatic safety works well.
Well, good report. I guess I can consider the 512 a youth gun then?
You can – but it is a good beginners “teen” gun – as it does cock too hard for most preteens. It’s nice & light, and not too large for a young teen girl.
My daughter was starting to develop a “not so good” way of holding my 2250 (because it has no kick). The 512 does kick enough so that the butt must be placed on ones shoulder. Now she is holding the 512 correctly.
As a father, I was most concerned with “the Springer Pinch” when cocking. The auto safety deals well with this area. I did coach her very strictly about keeping fingers away from the safety/trigger area when cocking. I’m not worried about her getting hurt by this area. Thanks again.
P.S. – Will the velocity vary slightly for a while until this gun is fully broken in? (I’ve never been around a springer before.)
As far as velocity after a break-in, I’ve seen it go both ways. An R1 dropped by 10 f.p.s., and a TX 200 increased by 35 f.p.s. I wish I knew what makes them go both ways, but I don’t.
One thing is certain, though. The velocity variation will diminish.
Would this rifle be better with a scope, or just open sights?
That's up to you. As you see in the reports, it is as accurate with or without the scope. So you have to decide how you like to shoot.
Personally, when they are small and quick like the 490, I like open sights better.