by B.B. Pelletier

Pyramyd Air is having a garage sale Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 20 & 21. If you can’t make it, have a look at their used products. However, the garage sale will have much more than just used products, so it’s worth attending even if you’ve got a ways to travel.

On to today’s blog.

Part 1

Lots of curiosity about the new Renegade repeater from Evanix. I told several who asked, and I’ll now tell everyone else, that the Renegade isn’t just a single airgun. This double-action trigger has been incorporated into four different airguns. The line includes the rifle I’m testing, a carbine version, a Takedown Rifle (TDR) that isn’t available right now and a pistol. I’ll test all of them for you.

When we last left the Renegade, I’d discussed the history of the AR6 from which the Renegade descended. The AR6 will continue to be made because it’s a more powerful repeater. We’ll see that today when we look at the Renegade’s velocity.

I also told you that this rifle gets a lot more powerful shots per fill than any other PCP I know of. However, since I haven’t yet revealed how powerful those shots are, it’s impossible to speculate just what that means. Let me show you a sample set of test strings so you can see what I’m talking about.

Test No 1: Alternating single- and double-action strings
This test uses only 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers. If you’ve been following this blog for a few months, you know that the Premier is a middleweight pellet that won’t give the greatest power in a precharged pneumatic. However, because they’re so widely used and also because they’re one of the most accurate pellets generally available, they make a good starting point.

3000 psi fill
6 shots single-action (the hammer is cocked manually before the shot is fired)
Shots 1-6
1042
1037
1032
1032
1038
1033

6 shots double-action (the trigger, alone, fires the gun)
Shots 7-12
931
937
921
923
926
931

6 shots single-action
Shots 13-18
1028
1018
1019
1016
1007
1003

6 shots double-action
Shots 19-24
964
970
964
958
960
942

6 shots single-action
Shots 25-30
976
976
976
970
963
950

6 shots double-action
Shots 31-36
944
941
938
942
932
924

Test No. 1 demonstrated a lot
I ended this test with the shot 36. Here’s what I learned. First, that there are about 18 shots per fill when firing single-action, which is the most powerful way to shoot this rifle. The velocity spread will likely be 50 f.p.s. across those 18 shots, but I’ll need to test to know that for sure. Second, the rifle’s valve is slightly locked at 3,000 psi if you want to shoot double-action. We know that because the first string of double-action shots (shots 7 to 12) is slower than the second string (shots 19 to 24). The velocity is climbing as we continue to shoot the rifle.

Test No. 2: All double-action
That tells me I want to test a straight set of shots on double-action, only to see what the power curve looks like when starting from a 3,000 psi fill. That’s next:

6 shots double-action
Shots 1-6
906
885
904
896
908
894

6 shots double-action
Shots 7-12
910
906
916
903
910
915

6 shots double-action
Shots 13-18
938
920
917
916
925
931

6 shots double-action
Shots 19-24
949
952
935
941
947
945

6 shots double-action
Shots 25-30
956
955
957
960
965
957

6 shots double-action
Shots 31-36
969
968
964
967
966
967

6 shots double-action
Shots 37-42
975
972
961
963
961
958

6 shots double-action
Shots 43-48
971
956
955
951
947
948

6 shots double-action
Shots 49-54
924
937
923
928
925
918

6 shots double-action
Shots 55-60
913
910
907
905
900
891

Learn how your rifle uses air
This test was very illuminating. It demonstrates why you should never slavishly attach meaning to a fill number like 3,000 psi. Because your gun may not work best at that pressure. I hope you understand the difference between this test and the first one. In the first test, the first 6 shots were fired single-action, which dropped the pressure in the reservoir to bring the second string of double-action shots up on the power curve. Can you appreciate that the gun uses much more air when fired single-action than it does double-action?

A peaked velocity curve
Also, instead of a relatively flat top to the velocity curve, the Renegade has a peaked curve with gentle slopes on both sides when fired double-action. How much of that curve you choose to use is up to you, and you should base your decision on what you want to do with the rifle. If you want to take woodchucks at 50+ yards, I would fill to 3,000 psi and shoot the rifle single-action. That will net you about 18 shots (3 cylinders).

How much of the power curve you want to use double-action is your choice, but I would start with shot No. 13 and finish with shot No. 54. That gives me 42 shots, which is 7 full 6-shot cylinders. My velocity spread would be from a low of 916 f.p.s. to a high of 975. While 59 f.p.s. is a large spread, please remember we are talking about Crosman Premiers, and I’m probably not going to be shooting them. They were just used for testing. I’ll probably go with a heavier pellet like the Beeman Kodiak. The velocity will be slower and should have a tighter spread over 42 shots.

Determining the correct fill pressure
If you agree that shot 13 is the place to begin your string, then you must determine what reservoir pressure it takes to deliver the first shot at that velocity. Goodness knows what those poor unfortunates will do who cannot reconcile starting air pressures other than 3,000 psi, but there isn’t much we can do for them. For you, however, the procedure is to fill one more time to 3000, then shoot the gun 12 times through a chronograph. The next shot is shot 13, which is the start of the third cylinder of pellets. If the velocity is where you want it to be, stop shooting and try to fill the gun right there. You’ll be able to determine from this the pressure at which the valve starts admitting air into the reservoir, and that number becomes your new maximum fill pressure. If shot No. 13 is NOT the right speed for you, keep shooting until you see the right speed and then determine the pressure in the reservoir. This is a simple procedure, yet it’s fundamental to the correct operation of all PCPs!

What if you DONT WANT to shoot only single-action?
Well, that was the reason for the first test. Look at it and determine what sort of performance you would like from your rifle. If your problem is squirrels in the bird feeder 25 yards from the house, double-action all the time sounds like a good idea. If you also have a pesky woodchuck over by the hill 75 yards from your back door, maybe you want to be able to shoot both single and double-action. Remember, nobody is tying your hands from topping off the reservoir at any time. You can shoot just 5 shots and decide to add more air at that time.

Trigger action
It’s time to let you know about the Renegade’s two-stage trigger. In single-action, the one I’m testing breaks exactly at 2 lbs. It’s as crisp as you could hope for, short of an Olympic target rifle. In double-action, I estimate the pull at nine lbs.–far lighter than, say, a Colt Officer’s Model .38 Special and about equal to a well broken-in 1077. So, don’t worry about whether you can fire it fast, because you can! Evanix says the trigger breaks in, so maybe a brand-new rifle will be somewhat stiffer, but you cannot fault the trigger on the rifle I’m testing.

Homework!
Okay, digest this information and next time we’ll test velocities some more. Here’s some homework for you. Calculate the approximate average muzzle energy of the rifle in both the single-action and double-action modes using Crosman Premier pellets. Then calculate the probable power increase when we switch to a Beeman Kodiak pellet. I’ve made all my calculations based on the information presented in this report. I’ll show my expectations and then the test results next time. I’ll also tell you how I arrived at the numbers.