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Time-capsule airguns

by B.B. Pelletier

Reminder: Pyramyd Air’s tech support department will be closed until Monday, Oct. 27, when they’ll return from the International Airgun Expo in Roanoke, Virginia.

Kevin asked for this report. He was interested in all the vintage guns I report on and wondered if there are any airguns offered today that I consider to be time-capsules…classics that capture the present age of airguns and guns that will hold their value in the coming years.

As an example, a Feinwerkbau 124 was such a gun in the 1970s through the ’90s, and we knew it at the time. You can still get used 124s, of course, but I sensed what Kevin wanted to know is if there are any guns being sold TODAY that belong in the classic category. Here goes.

The Beeman R-series guns are all classics, but two stand out. They’re the R7 and the R1. Both rifles are probably in their last decade of production (just a guess…I have no inside information), and either one will become a treasured collectible after they stop being made. The R7 is probably the most desirable of the two simply because it’s so petite and fun to shoot.

These Weihrauch breakbarrels have the desirable Rekord trigger and the American-style stock, making them the most western-style classics in the Weihrauch line.

The Beeman P1, which is also the Weihrauch HW45, is a classic air pistol. I have no idea how much longer it’ll be made, but it’s never been cheapened, so the gun you buy today is the same as the gun bought in the 1990s.

The Beeman HW77 is another Weihrauch classic. It was originally supposed to have become the R1; but with the power Robert Beeman wanted, the weight shot up to 11 lbs., like Steve Vissage’s rifle, so Weihrauch had to scale it back to the smaller rifle you see today. It was the king of all springers until the TX200 came on the scene.

The TX200 in any configuration is a classic. Whether you have a first model, a Mark II or the current Mark III, you’ll never make a mistake owning a TX200.

Any model Whiscombe air rifle is money in the bank. Right now, it’s in the high interest-producing category. I paid $2,300 for my four-caliber outfit a decade ago, and today I wouldn’t sell it for $5,000. John Whiscombe has ended production, but there are still a few guns being delivered, so there’s a slim chance of getting one.

A Quackenbush Outlaw Long-Action big bore rifle is a sure bet to double your money at the present time. Dennis will never cheapen the product, and, when his order book opened last Saturday, he filled his 50 orders in two hours. I know a guy who buys one for $700 each time the book opens and resells it for $1200-1500. Dennis may bring one or two speculative rifles to the Roanoke airgun expo that starts today, but they’ll be gone in a few hours.


Examining a Quackenbush .457 long-action with a special-order long barrel.

The .457 Quackenbush is a PCP, so where are all the smallbore PCP classics? Are there classic PCPs among the vintage guns? Those who own certain models will argue that they deserve classic status, but the truth is that there aren’t very many true classic precharged pneumatics. I believe the reason for that is the simplicity of the design.

A PCP is just a hollow tube with a valve connected to a barrel. One gun is a lot like all the others. To argue that a Daystate is better than an FX is to argue Chevys and Fords. Yes, Daystate has an electronic firing module, but that keeps it from becoming a classic in my opinion. Any rifle whose future depends on a reliable source of electronic boards is doomed to early obsolescence. If I were forced to nominate one PCP to the status of a classic, it would be the Falcon FN-19 rifle because of its rock-simple technology and utter reliability.


B.B. picks the Falcon FN-19 as the current classic smallbore PCP.

In January, Daisy will offer 1,000 replicas of their first 1888 BB gun. An original wire-framed Daisy BB gun sells for $3,000 and up. The replica’s price hasn’t been announced, but I expect it will be under $400. They will sell out in about 2-3 weeks, then the price will immediately double. After that, it should climb to a thousand pretty fast.

Remember, this is just my opinion. I’m not advising anyone to make any investments. While I don’t own an R7 that I say is the top breakbarrel classic, I do own and enjoy a CZ 631 that I didn’t include. It’s the same for the PCPs. I don’t own a Falcon FN-19, but I do have a prototype Benjamin Discovery in .22 caliber that I treasure, along with a Talon SS and a Condor. So, the list is not just the guns I own.

69 thoughts on “Time-capsule airguns”

  1. What is the difference between the Diana 360 and the Feuerkraft model. I like this rifle and Im considering on getting one…anything between the 2 that makes one better over the other.

  2. B.B.,

    Thanks for the article. I greatly appreciate your “guestimation” of future values and justification of why. What is as important, and shines through in your article, are the future classics right under our noses. Whether or not they appreciate in value, maybe we overlook or don’t appreciate what treasures they truly are. Hope everyone reading your article realizes the lengthy history you have with airguns, vast amount of hands on experience with airguns of all types and your unwavering commitment to keep abreast of the history and changes to airguns by devouring and referencing your enormous library of material. A terrific insight into the future through your eyes and a wake up call to what is under our noses.


  3. B.B.

    I second what Kevin said. When I stumbled into this blog, you were so kind with my dumb questions, and I’ve learned so much and learn more with each blog and comments there after.. Thanks so much!!

    What do you see? What do you see? What do you see? What do you see?
    I want to look through your eyes, did you bring a video camera?

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  4. Tom,

    Did you mean “What is the difference between the diana “350” magnum and the diana 350 feuerkraft models?

    If so, vulcanator is correct. I believe both models have the same powerplant the difference is in the stocks and the sights. The feuerkraft stock has a longer forearm, a straight comb and no hood over the front sight. The diana 350 magnum stock has checkering, is shorter and has a raised cheek piece and the foresight has a hood.


  5. B.B.

    Fascinating, one of my criteria for buying is absolutely proven, reliable technology, so all of these guns look attractive. Too bad that PA doesn’t sell the PCP you mention. Also, I just learned that PA doesn’t sell the nifty magazine conversion kit for the S200 so that’s off the list. The next edition of the Discovery is looking better and better.

    All, a propos of our PCP discussion yesterday, I want to report finding another shooter with perfect accuracy and 0 recoil: my Surefire flashlight that arrived yesterday! Fabulous. (Perhaps one of my reservations about PCPs is that without recoil you seem to lose some of the challenge and fun as if you were shining a laserlight at something.) Anyway, the Surefire is great and as a new user (sort of like Volvo) I would advise anyone to get one. As usual, there were some learning experiences. I was eager to see how the beam performed at night. The company posts a testimonial about being able to pick out a pig hiding in the bushes in the dark at 150 ft. So, I beamed the light through the wire mesh screen outside my window and Boom! I was temporarily disoriented. So, even the golfball story yesterday did not save me. Moving off-axis from the beam solved the problem.

    Wayne, did you ever get a Discovery? If so, what did you think?


  6. For the most part, I agree that there are not classic PCPs. It’s the latest technology and changes so fast no one looks back. Not many people are collecting old computers though I suspect a few of the earliest have collector value. To be a classic there has to be something that is still good about it today compared to current offerings. It can be looks, accuracy, or workmanship. I think to be a classic airgun it needed to have been produced in large enough numbers to that there are quite a few around. Maybe that is the difference between a collectable and a classic.

    One PCP I think is already becoming a classic is the Air Arms Shamal. I saw one at Little Rock a two or three years ago. The only thing that kept me from buying it was that it was right handed with a roll over cheek piece and I am left handed. Still, I kick myself for not buying it. It is the prettiest PCP I have seen.

    David Enoch

  7. Volvo,

    Thanks, I was just about to remind Matt of my guest blog… And to me that is still an issue with the Discovery, the barrel is too flimsy to be “free floated”… Next time, make it from heavier stock, Crossman…. But for the money, what can you do? We want the perfect gun for a very low price, don’t we?

    The Discovery is as accurate as it can be for the money, It is not close to as accurate as my AAs410, but at 25% of the price, I don’t expect it to be.. It’s loud, but, It’s a great way to start into the PCP world, and again with a 2,000 lb fill, you can use the left over air in the scuba tank, when the 3,000 lb fill guns can’t use it anymore.. or get a lot more shots per tank, if it’s your only PCP. Or if you go with the pump instead, the pump can be used for 3,000 lb guns as you move up in the PCP world..

    And making a quality low priced, accurate PCP is possible, if we pick up the best from all the manufactures, like, what makes the valve different on my particular Air Arms S410 .177 from others. Find a large supply of quality barrels, a stock that is what we want, but 1,000 already made and sitting on a manufactures shelf somewhere, and tools at ready to make more… It’s just a matter of matching up current tech, and proven stuff already available in some cases..

    I still say that the Mac1 story is the one for small quality, manufactures to copy, he makes the parts he can’t find already made, and rebuilds or redesigns old proven technologies..

    And if the USFT is not going to be a collectible classic, I don’t know what is..

    Sure it’s not mass produced, and there is less than 200 out there now… (I think)..,
    But that shouldn’t stop it from being a classic.. Heck it won the 2005 national FT title.. and more titles I think…

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  8. BB,

    You sure didn't go out on a limb with the R7 and R1, since they will probably become rarer at the current prices:).

    The RWS Diana 34 & 48 look to be classics as well, from what I've read. It was significant you didn't have any RWS's on your list.

    Finally are the tool truck B3's, still interesting to many b/c for $20 they have an underlever airgun kit. An intact one may be worth over $40 someday.

  9. Volvo,

    Thanks for the tip. That price is less than I expected and can add sauce to my fantasies but I don’t know about purchasing just yet.

    Wayne, yes, remind me again of your guest blog. Do you have a url? Now that is interesting about the Discovery accuracy. I recall B.B. saying that the Discovery is not far from the Talon which can go under an inch at 50 yards. If the S410 is that much better…wow. How’s the magazine fix coming?


  10. OT
    He loved it!! (the Red Ryder).
    Man, the 2nd coming would not have illicited a more excited response, and yes, he actually wanted to take it to bed with him.
    We shot a couple of targets in the basement, he only buried one BB in the drywall (my trap is about 15″x15″, I’ll put up a sheet of plywood this weekend).
    Sunday we’ll pack a picnic and head out to our little shooting spot.
    Unfortunatley I didn’t have a camera, but a grin that stretches from ear to ear on a 5 year old is a great sight.

  11. CowboyDad,

    It is a magical time when a present can elicit pure and absolute joy. (Unfortunately as he gets older the problems get harder and more expensive to solve.)

    Back to point…From chem lab, think safety, safety, safety. Don’t thing you want a plywood backstop. Steel BBs would bounce off it. The Red Ryder probably isn’t powerful enough to blow through wall board, so how about a scrap piece, or a large block of Styrofoam? Just in case, everyone ought to wear eye protection shooting inside. Shooting glasses are cheap compared to emergency room visit.


  12. B.B.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now, since one of my friends brought up the topic of airgunning. i have to say it as been a great resource to me, and i have learned many things from it so far.
    However, now i have a question for you. I’m thinking of getting into the sport, and I’ve been looking around pyramid and other websites for an affordable and reliable springer, probably a breakbarrel. (i know it might not be great for a first gun, but I’m willing to take the time it takes to get the hold just right, etc.)of the rifles Ive looked at, the “Crosman G1 Extreme” popped out at me, and for only $130, it seems like a great deal. however if you or anyone here thinks its not worth it to get a cheap first gun, ill probably go with the gamo whisper. So, really, has anyone here had any experience with the crosman G1 or the Phantom (ive heard they are the same gun with just different addons)? if so, what can you say about it? good for the $130, or should i invest in a better quality gun?
    Thanks to anyone who takes their time to answer this, i really appreciate it.

  13. I imagine the Gamo CFX will become a classic, judging from the numbers sold and the good reviews. I was planning to get one, but PA doesn’t carry them in .22 cal anymore; all they have is the .177. Also, no announcements about future in-stock dates for the .22. Does anyone know why?


  14. Ben,

    Welcome to the forum. In the event you choose the right airgun at the beginning, be very careful. Airgun shooting can become addictive and lead to more airgun purchases then to collecting, etc.

    Have a friend that owns a gamo whisper. It’s a quiet gun for the power and after upgrading to a GRT III trigger he liked it alot. His was in .22 caliber. My opinion is that this gun is too fast in .177 to be accurate unless you detune it. Then you would probably have more money in it than you wanted too. Don’t have any experience in the other guns you mentioned.

    Plese note, B.B. is on the road (he’s at the annual Roanoke international airgun show) but will return next Wednesday. Hopefully in the meantime some of the other airgunners can offer opinions of the guns you have an interest in.

    You may want to ask B.B. your question on Wednesday or Thursday next week if us idiots don’t satisfactorily answer your questions.


  15. New Discovery,

    It will not be a Discovery. Look for a repeater, shrouded barrel and maybe adjustable power.


    Thanks, but if I don’t do these now, they pile up. I had 49 this morning and 69 tonight.

    Thanks to all you guys for helping me. I only have to answer a few this way.


  16. Good evening B.B. Glad you’re there safe and sound enjoying the old friends and meeting the new. Some video on this page would be neat.

    Ben, I will second B.B.’s recomendation the RWS Diana Panther 34. If you go that route check with the PA folks on scoping it.

    B.B., how about a blog on bargains seen at the show? MR B.

  17. Matt61,

    I decided to give the Discovery a try. I found a non-airgun specific vendor that is selling them with the pump, shipped to my door for $288. Could be Crosman is starting to clear them out for the next model?

    I’d guess I could play with this one for a while, sell it and not be out much more than a night at the movies.

    Since this is PA’s blog, it would not be fitting to post the seller. I’ll let you all know what I think of her.


  18. Volvo: The Discovery got me into the PCP world. Lot’s of fun–enjoy. Please keep us informed about it. I’ve got the optional CO2 set up and really like having the choice. To pump or not to pump? The CO2 doesn’t have quite as much snap when fired as compaired to the HPA option. Reguards Mr B.

  19. B.B.

    Thaaaaanks for the memmmmmooorrrieeesss!!

    It must be quite a site!!! That is going to be a great video… but don’t miss deals while doing taping… But then again, you said Edith was a better shopper than you anyway, so we can’t loose..

    Aren’t you going to give me any hints what your picking out for me Santa?

    Have fun..

    Volvo linked my guest blog on the Discovery barrel… Randy and I can get 1″ 50 yards groups too, with the Discovery, but not time after time like the AAS410 or Condor, where 1″ is just average and on good days 1/2″ are possible.

    I’ve got the parts, but haven’t got around to installing them on the S410 mag…. with the Marlin 30/30 getting sighted in and practice for elk, then the couple hunts… I haven’t had time yet..soon..

    I like the small size of the Discovery.

    That’s is super great deal.. You’ll like it for awhile, but you demand too much for it to stay in your small closet…for very long.. but I hope I’m wrong… All Three of my .22 cal like different pellets, so don’t give up to quick.. JSB Exacts, Air Arms Diabolo and RWS super points… and even those are not consistent over 20 shots, 15 shots really.. find the valve lock spot on each gun.. usually about 1,800 or so.. from 1,500 to 1,800 is usually your best groups..

    Night all,

    Oh, no elk again, but great hike, no blisters, beautiful sunset..


  20. Ben,

    I got a Crosman G1 locally, then got a Daisy 22SG from PA. The Daisy is much easier to shoot, and it is much quieter.

    I’ve played with different pellets and holds with G1 and can’t quite get 5 shot groups within 1 inch at 10 meters which is lousy shooting. I can easily cover groups with Daisy with a dime.

    I don’t have any other experience with a springer. I had been a shotgun bird hunter. I suspect that I didn’t get what I didn’t pay for. My guess is that the G1 is not one of the easiest springers to shoot.


  21. Ben,

    I totally agree with the previous recommendation of a Diana 34. My first foray into adult air rifles was a Beeman Chinese import (I think it was ss1000) for my son. At the time we thought it was a great rifle. A few months latter I purchased a 34 for myself so we could shoot together. That was a couple years ago, and as you will find out, like Lays potato chips you can’t have just one. Even with the option of some much more expensive rifles the 34 is used on a regular basis. But I can’t remember the last time either of us pulled the Beeman out of its case.

    I am not saying the 34 is in the same league with the more expensive classics. But for around $50.00 more than the entry level break barrels you are getting a rifle that will perform well, hold its value, and most importantly you will continue to enjoy shooting.


  22. Gentlemen
    RE: Benjamin Discovery on CO2

    Is CO2 much quieter than air? I know you lose some power, so I’d guess so. It would be nice to have option to go to air for extra power if need be. But I shoot in the city. I’m trying to avoid a lot of noise. Too bad, otherwise I’d cut loose on the squirrels with my shotguns.

    So far I’ve had no luck training squirrels in neighborhood to pick up tape measure and run exactly 15 yards away and stand still while I shoot them.


  23. Herb,

    If you want to shoot squirrels, maybe the Talon SS with bloop tube, is for you. Adjustable power, very quite, very accurate, extra tanks, can keep you shooting in the field, and very durable for hunting. My only problem, is getting eye relief with a scope on it. The round tank as a butt stock, makes it hard to get ones face close enough to get eye relief. I ended up putting my scope twisted in the High Acushot rings, so I hold my condor with the pistol grip out at the bottom so the gun is on a 15 degree angle. That barley gives me eye relief when I press my cheek to the tank..

    I’m use to it now, and I don’t notice it, but it was hard for me at first… Other than that, it is the most accurate, functional, durable and quite (with the bloop tube) PCP for the price.

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  24. Ben:

    There are hundreds of “first springer” posts on the various forums.
    The standout recommendation of the answers is always RWS34.
    The price/performance/quality ratio just can’t be beat.
    Budget is a consideration but you will end up buying more to get where you want to be. Anyway, if you like the gun, don’t worry… more will follow.
    Try to shoot one before buying a Gamo. I didn’t start with the 34, but I finally bought a used one. Wish I had bought it first! I would still have some of the others but my standards would have been higher from the beginning.

  25. Ben,

    I have the RWS34 in .22 cal, and I think is just fine. But my new one, out of the box is not shooting the fps advertised, (11.9 hobby at 674fps), and it is not as smooth a shooter as the CZ 634 I just got in .177 …. the 34 has a lot of recoil, (don’t forget to get the special mount base to adjust for the barrel droop, if you plan to scope it), and no butt pad.
    I find it harder to be accurate with, compared to the CZ 634, (which is shooting a 10.2 JSB Exact at 725fps with a nice thud)… The CZ 634 is better balanced and can be shot off hand better, at least for me..

    Just .0002 cents worth..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  26. Ben,
    I’ve had a G1(early model) and I could easily get 1inch groups sitting at 30yards with the provided scope (preety decent). I sold the G1 after 3500shots and bought a Storm Xt (same thing, different stock/scope). I bought the Xt because I wanted to customise the wood stock. Looks great and I can shoot 3inch groups at 75yard with gamo rockets and a simmons scope. I’ve also had the 34, its a great gun. I can’t stand the barrel droop or the lower power compared to the Xt. The RWS34 is a tad more accurate at short range (the exellent trigger) but the G1 or Xt is hand down at 60yards. Don’t buy a gamo anything. To loud, to light to control, plastic barrel shroud, the breech seals go fast.

    Could you do something on the Hammerli Nova. It looks like a quality gun with a bad trigger.

  27. Wow! i know you guys must get a ton of “i wanna get an airgun, what should i buy” comments, but thanks for taking the time to help me out on this one. I have been looking into the RWS 34’s, and i think i’ll be willing to spend a bit more money for the higher quality and reliability.
    I recently called up one of my friends and he said he a 34 lying around that i could try out and see if i liked it. If it turns out good, ill probably purchase the Panther Striker Combo, which includes the droop compensator and a 3-9×32 scope, all for $250
    thanks once again to everyone who helped me out, i really appreciate it!

  28. Cowboy Dad,

    Your Red Ryder story inspired me to get mine out with my 5yo today — it had been awhile. He was hitting a box at 15 feet, but you would have thought he was Alvin York by his version. His shooting keeps getting better as the day goes on, as he tells it:)! Thanks.

  29. bg_farmer & Cowboy Dad,

    Great work, your most important job being done right… Quality time with them doing what they like to do with them, not for them…. Your and inspiration to us all…


    PS… PICs would inspire both the shooters and us, even more!!

  30. B.B.

    Thanks for the tips on the new Crosman PCP. That’s just what I want to hear.

    Volvo, yes tell me what you think about the Discovery.

    Ben, I wouldn’t gainsay B.B.’s recommendation and have never owned an RWS 34. However, half the fun in moving in on a purchase is to consider your options since there will always be many more options than what you can buy. Why don’t you do a blog search on the Gamo CFX. When I first joined the blog, people were going berserk about this rifle. I believe it still has the blog post with the most comments, and it retains its dedicated followers. I would say that the main thing that it offers compared to the 34 is fixed barrel geometry. It has always made sense to me that a fixed barrel will get you that much further ahead than one that breaks in half at every shot. Of course much depends on what you want to use it for. Anyway, the Gamo CFX makes a good read. You might even see where B.B. is changing identities while writing about it.

    Regarding the classic nature of the CFX, I am trying to figure out why people have gone so silent about it. Is it a fad after all or not?

    Cowboy Dad and BG_Farmer, you’re the Man (men). An early good start to shooting can make all the difference. I was exposed to complete idiots when I started out, and it’s taken 20 years to recover.


  31. Matt61,

    I bought into the fad with the CFX, I got 2 with steel springs and 3 with gas springs, all in .177……..

    None of them shot up to advertised fps, and that is ok with me, if they can do at least 750fps with a jsb exact 8.4.. Out of the box they didn’t… I sold them all or traded them for deer rifles..

    Number two, the trigger is very hard, and ten miles long, you fall asleep waiting for it to fire.. Then if you happen to try a trigger like the TX200 or even HW-30, you are firing before you want to.

    If you plan on doing the retro trigger from charlie the tunna and rebuild it from new, then fine…but I would say save your money and buy a classic Air Arms TX200 or HW-77 if you want a springer at all..just don’t waste time or money with any other springer….you’ll never loose money on them.. you can do everything from FT, basement shooting, backyard shooting, and hunting… and you’ll always be happy when you want to shoot it.. who could ask for more..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  32. Kevin,

    Regulating out put would be nice, but you can do that by slowly opening the scuba tank valve, and closing real quick, soon you’ll find a gentle small opening will let a slow flow go in, and you can watch the gauge on the gun….so you don’t have to have it…. and you still need the scuba tank yoke…that one looks like a CO2 fitting, but says “Designed for high-pressure air up to 3000 psi” Regulated to 2000 psi output”

    The one at PA is less money, and has the yoke to fit right on the scuba tank.. I use them with different adapters for all my PCPs, on 7 tanks..

    I use the tanks on the Condor, Air Arms S410 and all the other 3,000 lb fill guns, then when the tanks get to 2,700 or so, I switch yokes to the Discovery yoke, (same yoke, just different fittings on the end) and shoot the tank down to 1,400 lbs. or so… again the Discovery likes about 1,200 to 1,800 for best groups, because of the valve lock issue.. from my experience…

    That is the big question about my Air Arms S410, there seems to be no valve lock with a 3,200 lb (about 205 bar) fill…. so I can set the power adjuster to about half, say 800fps with JSB 8.4 Exacts, and the 130th shot will still be at a gentle slope down to 735fps…

    That is why I say there is no real loss of POI in 130 shots.. maybe 1/2″ at 50 yards between shot one and shot 130…
    They only advertise about 1/2 as many shot per fill, so I don’t know what gives…Some day we will see if B.B. will dig into her and see if there is something different to learn there..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  33. Know the only thing I DON’T like about weekends? No new blog posts! The comments keep me going, though.

    I agree, owning one, don’t buy Gamo if you are half serious about airguns. I got my first airgun as a Christmas gift – Gamo Shadow 1000. It is ok since I put in the Charlie trigger but I’m saving up for something better.

    Thanks to Wayne and all the other posters who keep it interesting. Can’t wait to see what BB saw in Roanoake.

    Al Pellet

  34. Kevin,

    I thought about putting the Discovery on the list, but because it is a PCP, it seems too much like the rest to include it. Perhaps the specials features of lower pressure, cost, and dual fuel make it list-worthy. It’s too close to call.

    This I do know – whenever a person asks about the best entry level PCP, I always tell them about the Discovery.


  35. Wayne,

    I believe your 410 is a 12 foot-pound model. Is that correct? If so, the high number of shots you get is normal. The rating is for FAC guns, which use more than twice as much air per shot.

    The last thing in the world I would ever do is open up a gun that is performing well. Sort of like pulling up a prized rosebush to examine the health of the roots.


  36. B.B,

    It was great to meet you and Earl at the show. To everyone else out there, I highly recommend going to it. The amount and variety of stuff there is amazing. (I’ll try not to steal too much of your thunder.) The best part was sitting by your table, just watching and listening. PA (and now a word from our sponsors) had a lot of good deals. I bought a lot more pellets from them than I really need.

    Tell Earl that the scope adjustment trick that he taught me has improved my garage shooting 100%. He’s quite a guy. The 717 pistol that I got shoots well (and it’s mouse fart quiet). Now I’ve just got to figure out how to un-goober the rear sight.

    Have a safe trip home!


    My first springer was a G1. It’s good for long range plinking, but it’s loud and will wear you out. I wish I’d spent a little more money at the beginning.

    Randy in VA

  37. Randy,

    I’m so glad you stopped by to introduce yourself. Now I will be able to put a face with your name.


    I wish you could have seen the show through Randy’s eyes. It was the great show this year – maybe my best ever – yet different than any show I’ve been to. This year the place was broken out with vintage Hammerlis – real Swiss-made Hammerlis, I mean.

    The bargains were heavy, but the classics were still regarded as classics.


    I bought a Diana 27 in .177, but only one. There were several FWB 124s selling for around 325-350, but now really outstanding ones. So I doubt I have what you want for the Tyro. Oh, well!

    I did take a lot of video that I will edit as quickly as I can. And I took many pictures.

    I’m still on the road through Monday evening.


  38. If your’re undecided on a “first” springer, read BBs review of the Gamo CFX.

    It’s a fraction of the price of comparable German models, it’s near as accurate, and is less sensitive to hold as most springers. You’ll never have barrel-droop or hinge issues, and there are a lot of them out there.

    This was Gamo’s “flagship” a few years back, and they put some time into it – even sold it with a nice hardwood stock, (the “Royal” version – and I’d love to find one). Gamo is shifting their product line for more mass-market appeal, but I think the CFX will always stand out. (and yes, it does shoot much better with a trigger upgrade – a 10 minute job at worst)

  39. I thought of a couple other PCPs that I think will become classics:

    The USFT and USFT Hunter are likely to become classics. I think they are accurate enough to be in demand as bench rest rifles and FT guns long after Tim quits making them. I wouldn’t be supprised if their price doubles quickly after he quits making them.

    I think the FX Tarantula already is assuming the place of a classic PCP. It is still as accurate as any field type PCP out there. Many of the Tarantula were made with very pretty grade 4 European Walnut stocks. These will be the classics. Nice grade 4 Tarantulas sell very well today and bring good prices. Yep, it’s a classic.

    David Enoch

  40. Wayne,

    I think I remember reading one of your comments to B.B. that you would consider a diana 27 as a partial trade for the tyro (or you wanted to buy one outright?).

    If you don’t want the diana 27 and if B.B. still wants to sell this new find, I’d like to be second in line for this gun.


  41. B.B.

    My Air Arms S410 .177 shoots the JSB 10.2 Exact heavy at 1040fps so I believe it’s a 20 foot pound.

    Your Beeman R1, or HW-77 or TX200 all in .177… or one you buy and rebuild will be fine..as well

    The Diana 27 will be great, maybe you can rebuild it, and I’ll watch on the blog, learning about tunning… I’m bidding on another win 425 and 422 that might need rebuilding as well, so I’ve taken the plunge and I have to either send them out or tear into them.. I haven’t decided for sure yet..Volvo got me thinking with the, “doer of lots, master of none” comment.. Also, if I sent them to a real master tunner, they have more value and work better than if I fumble through it.. Also, I’ll have more time to shoot, which is my real love, I want to compete in Field Target someday..That’s why I went for Billy Lo’s USFT that he won in the 2005 National Field Target contest. He is hopefully making an instructional video with it for Tim at MAC1 and myself, before he ships it to me..


    I can adjust the power adjuster on my AAS410 to take out the 1/2″ drop at 50 yards after about 80 shots on half power (800fps JSB 8.4), and loose maybe 3 shots out of 130, but I don’t usually, I just aim a little high after 80 shots. It’s such a small amount, it gets lost in my moving anyway….60fps loss in 130 shots is not much..


    I agree with the USFT, and they will be double his first price of $1,800 in two years, way before he quits making them..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  42. BB,
    Have you ever shot/tested the anics Berkut 2002? It looks great. I have the opportunity to buy a new one for 160$. What can you tell me? Is that a good price? whats the power and accuracy like?
    Shadow express dude

  43. kevin,

    Your welcome.

    I do want a Diana 27 sometime, that can be rebuilt or is rebuilt and ready to be accurate and fires with a “thud” not a “twang”… But no hurry, like I said I want all the inventory at the rifle range to be easy to shoot accurate, right off the shelf. To me that means very little recoil, and rebuilding the classic springers that shoot about 800fps, or less, and using PCPs with medium to heavy pellets when someone wants to reach out to fifty yards with 1/2” groups..
    I’ve already started the inventory change process.

    Since your a tunner, maybe we can trade for your services. It sort of depends on how much time B.B. has to fool with it…

    But I could send you some of these ones I just got, and you rebuild them all and keep one or something..Something to think about anyway..

    Hey.. I love to trade, it’s in my blood!!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  44. Wayne,

    Thanks for your kind words. I'm a mediocre tinkerer. Far from a tuner. In following B.B.'s teardown of your tyro and after re-reading his 13 part series I'm trying to find a gun to open up. Volvo seems more competent than me and he had problems with the gamo cfx as I remember. There's alot of guys on the web that are "wannabe" tuners because they can replace a spring & piston, apply the right lubes and call it good. Then there are true tuners like Paul Watts. I aspire to be the former and will never become the latter. I sent my recently acquired fwb 124 to Paul Watts for his advanced tune.

    I thought you might be embarassed to place a diana 27 next to your collection. It's a humble looking gun, shouldn't be scoped (no provision for it) with non-descript stock that shoots under 600fps in .177 and shoots mid to high 400's in .22. But, at close range this can shoot the eyes out of moths. An innocent looking gun that can take your friends by surprise in a shooting competition.


  45. Kevin,

    I appreciate your honesty about your tunning skills.. Your great knowledge of hunting elk, made me think your a master at it all..

    Tim at Mac1 is only 700 miles south of me, two days by FedEx ground.. So I’ll see if his shop can do my work..

    I think I need some 500fps “moth eye shooters” at 25 feet, for young and old… and why not let it be an old classic that is gaining value, instead of the same thing the walley worlds have..that can’t shoot straight, but shoot that all important THOUSAND FEET PER SECOND!!!

    I think one has to pick a niche, and work it right.. I like the “off the shelf bulleye” strategy..
    That means different guns at different distances, unless you only have guns like TX200s, HW-77s and power adjusting PCPs as your only inventory, and who knows where I’ll end up… but for now it will be low recoil classics for short range and medium range (TX200, HW-77 etc) low cost rentals… and shrouded PCPs for short and longer distances at a higher cost to rent or own..

    And I love what you said about the diana 27 surprising people.. But it will be important to let people know each guns assets and limitations..to limit disappointment, and create satisfied customers!

    It will be fun to test rebuilt classics against some of the new stuff that comes out, and show on a video how their advertisements live up, to the old world..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  46. Wayne,

    I’m not a bad gunsmith but a novice at airgun mechanics. Don’t have a metal lathe but I’ve repaired powderburners in the field that had broken sights, lost springs in the trapdoors, were dropped in the river or mud, etc. An airgun is a different machine. “Every man has to know his limits”-Clint Eastwood

    You have a lofty goal for your Air Rifle Range. Admirable. Nothing great in this life is accomplished without first having a goal.

    Here’s hoping your goal comes to fruition.


  47. kevin,

    Couldn’t have said it better myself..

    The key I’ve found in the online raised bed business, is to use the LLC business model, and involve all people in the business as partners, and give each one their own area to manage, and in that way we all manage ourselves and save on labor costs. We also find the best way to do the job for less, and I think work as a team better than any other business model.. It’s also a way to “bootstrap” a company, with the labor investment of the partners.. Way less, or no debt.. so the partners get the capital growth..

    I think the old employer/employee model is on the way out.. and not competitive in the new online world..
    Oh.. sorry to go off the air gun course again.. but I do it because we talked about the quality low cost air rifles, and I think the thing to do is start an LLC to remake the old designs and maybe use parts and machines on shelves somewhere.. with new tech stuff where needed..
    big thinking, I know.. but why not..you guys can group together and get it done…with a little help from friends yet to meet online..


  48. Wayne,
    The Diana 27 is my all time favorite air rifle. The Diana 27 feels so good in my hands. It’s really a tactile attraction for me. I like the slim stock, and also the quality of the workmanship and design. The only thing I don’t like is that the back of the trigger guard is too close to the pistol grip.
    I like the Diana 27 even better than the Beeman R7. I shoot the same accuracy with both the Diana 27 and the R7. Of course, the R7 has the better trigger and a more modern look, but give me a Diana 27 any day over a R7.
    The Diana 27 can be a little tedious to rebuild since the trigger unit ball sear comes out in pieces but you can find instructions on the web of how to put it all back together.
    I definitely recommend keeping it.

    David Enoch

  49. Volvo,

    My 27 was made at the end of its’ long lineage, november 1980. Thanks for the link. Yes, Mike Driskill has quite a collection. His collection of diana model 50’s and 60’s belong in a museum. He’s also very knowledgable about diopter’s and their history. He’s truly a walking airgun encyclopedia. He was kind enough to walk me through upgrade options for sights on the diana 27 with lots of great pictures:


    Once you get the trigger adjusted the diana 27 is a pleasure to shoot.


  50. David,

    Thanks for that report on the diana 27… I can hardly wait.. that sounds like just what I want for the rifle range..


    Thanks for the link to the vintage air gun forum.. great info you got there.. I had no idea a peep sight could have magnification.. very cool.. if you try one, let us know how it works for you.. My old eyes need a scope as well, this might be a great choice instead of a scope.


  51. Wayne and David,

    I have to agree with David on the 27/R7 comparison. The 27 is smaller and lighter than the R7. It can be tuned just right and sort of grows on you.

    I had a chance to get an R7 for $250 at the show and I passed, but I got the 27, so that’s how I feel.

    The gun I got is a pre RWS version with no rear scope rail and was made in March of 1967. Maybe I’ll tune it for a blog report, so you can see it.


  52. Wayne,

    One of my projects this past month has been to put a correct diopter sight, correct front globe sight that will accept inserts and an iris on the diana 27.

    Found the diopter that is correct for this gun in another country. Little banged up but works like a charm. Finally found the plug screws for the rear sight I removed. Front globe sight can still be purchased from pyramyd air. Ordered clear inserts from another country last week and finally gave up on finding a vintage iris (friend went to Roanoke and didn’t find what I wanted) and ordered a new gehmann 530 this morning. I think this is the first time I’ll have more in the sights than the gun cost. Maybe not. Don’t remember. Hopefully will have it all set up on the 27 and shooting again in a couple weeks.


  53. Kevin,

    Thanks again for the link to the vintage airgun forum.. great bunch of people there as well as here, from the looks of it…

    I’m really interested in your progress with the 27..


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