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Education / Training Browning 800 Mag – Part 2

Browning 800 Mag – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The big Browning is powerful, but hard to cock.

Well, I learned a lot about the Browning 800 Mag in this test. First, it is powerful, as the owners point out, though not as powerful as advertised. It has very nearly the power of a Beeman P1, which is considerable for a spring pistol. But there is no way my test pistol will ever shoot pellets at 700 f.p.s. without a detonation.

I also learned that the pistol is very hard to cock. My example registers 47 lbs. on my bathroom scale. While my test isn’t entirely scientific or even that accurate, I have tested all spring rifle cocking efforts on the same scale, so it is at least a standard. A Beeman Kodiak rifle (the one made in the UK) takes 50 lbs. to cock and we say it is hard, so a pistol that takes only three pounds less is formidable. I have a feeling that as the gun breaks in the effort will diminish some, but probably not below 40 lbs.

You have to use the cocking aid that slips over the muzzle to cock this pistol. That means you cannot go anywhere without it.

During the test, the pistol was dieseling in the beginning but stopped after about 15 shots. I could tell because the gun stopped smoking after each shot and the burning smell went away. After that, the velocities dropped to a lower level, where they stabilized. I wound up with two different velocity tests on the two credible lead pellets I shot, which I’ll cover with you.

Gamo Match
On the first velocity test, the 7.5-grain Gamo Match pellets averaged 546 f.p.s. with a spread from 529 to 564. But on the second try, after the dieseling stopped, the average was 450 f.p.s., with a spread from 412 to 469. Notice that the spread of the second string is still quite large, so there’s some dieseling still going on. I would expect the average to decrease a little more as the gun breaks in, but I don’t think it will drop below 420 f.p.s. with this pellet.

RWS Basic
The .177 caliber RWS Basic is a 7-grain pellet like the Hobby but made to sell for a little less. In velocity tests, I use them interchangeably with Hobbys. On the first test they averaged 506 f.p.s. and ranged from 484 f.p.s. to 543 f.p.s. This was the string that alerted me to the end of the dieseling, so I ran it again and got an average of 455 f.p.s. with a spread from 434 to 471. Like the Gamo Match, I think there’s still some dieseling going on and I expect the average to drop a little with this pellet, as well.

Gamo Raptors
I didn’t have any of the RWS Hyper MAX lead-free pellets, so I used Gamo Raptors instead. They didn’t do well in this gun. The average was 456 f.p.s., with a spread from 347 to 510. Some Raptors fit the bore extremely tight while others dropped in loose, so the uniformity was an issue. The tight ones also scored the lowest velocity.

The pistol gets high marks from owners for build quality. Many of them position it against the RWS LP8 Magnum, which sells for $140 more. They like its power but many note the heavy cocking effort I mentioned. Most of them find it to be accurate, so that should prove interesting.

Well, that’s it for velocity. Next stop will be accuracy.

35 thoughts on “Browning 800 Mag – Part 2”

  1. Gamo Match in the low-mid 400's? That's not much different from the Marksman 2004/Beeman P17 SSP pistol – which is lighter and is probably far easier to cock. And sells for under $50…

  2. Or compare it to the results of the Crosman 1377, a gun that costs just $50 and has nearly 1/3 more kinetic energy.


    Note: Keeping the 1377 pump head oiled is the key to high performance.

  3. Not to jump the gun on BB's reply. The browning has a recoil reduction system I believe this makes it less recoil sensitive as it has the "artillery hold 'gun carriage' built in".

  4. B.B.

    This sounds like it has half the advertised power, and that amount of cocking force is excessive. When I tried to increase my shooting with the Daisy 747 to between 40 and 90 shots per day, my non-cocking wrist began to hurt from stabilizing the pistol during the cocking stroke. Perhaps this pistol does not have the sidelever which causes torque in the same way, but it will be a strain for the hands.


  5. BB
    I'm gonna guess from the tone of the report so far that you'd still
    recommend the P1 for me?
    The P1 is definitely better lookin to me.
    I think they'd both be a workout but this
    one looks a little harder to me

    Thanks as always for your great efforts


  6. B.B.
    There has got to be something wrong with your test pistol…maybe breech seal or piston seal. My Browning 800 mag shoots at ~630fps with 7.9gr CPHPs after I have put hundreds of rounds through it. Out of the box it was doing about 650fps with some smoke. Now its pretty consistent. The other reviews I have read put the velocity pretty near what I see.
    Perhaps the breech seal could use some shimming on your test pistol?

  7. BB
    using the batroom scale method, the cocking effort comes in at 35lbs with the cocking aide and 46lbs without using the cocking aide. I am also keeping the cocking aide on the barrel when firing for velocity tests.

  8. B.B.

    That's actually encouraging that you get clunkers to test.. makes me believe they don't send you "special" tuned guns to test for us..

    A good used HW70 pistol is another choice for a springer. Mine is averaging 379fps with 7.0 hobby and 347fps with JSB 8.4 …. Cocking effort around 18 or 20 lbs tops.. and a great trigger, nice sights.. Plastic grips, but all metal after that.. I like it!

    Funny thing… I tested the JSB 8.4 also lubed with the coconut oil, and the velocity didn't increase at all, it did steady up a bit.. but not enough to matter..

    I'm guessing that it takes a larger power plant to utilize the sealing power of the oil, since it makes such a large difference in the PCPs shooting in the 900fps range..

    Now the plot thickens!!!

    The blog has new meaning now.. much more testing would be needed to find out why there is no change in a low power plant like that pistol..

    Come on folks.. help out here… test the coconut oil in your favorite gun… or least favorite!!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  9. BB,
    Let me just say that it is a puzzlement indeed…and I'm sure you'll find out what the problem is or replace the pistol.
    I love this pistol. I also have the new Diana LP8, which has a little less power but is easier to shoot/cock, and of course the fit and finish is of typical German Quality. But the power of the Browning is very impressive, as is the anti-recoil system. I am not dissappointed with either of these new pistols…although if I had one with low velocity such as you are seeing, I would really be disappointed.

  10. Everyone,

    I sent a diana 27 to Vince since it was getting gronky.

    I've had several guns worked on by tuners…Mike Melick, Ed Krynowek and Paul Watts.

    Just received the diana 27 today from Vince and I can tell you that Vince knows what he's doing. He got rid of the cocking noise and calmed the firing cycle significantly. My favorite part of his work was replacing the stock trigger spring and working his majic on the trigger. Although the 3 ball bearing trigger on this gun was nice the way I had it adjusted (thanks B.B.) it's twice as nice now. Vince has a quick turnaround and stays in touch. What else do you want from a guy that can make your gun the best it can be?


  11. Thanks, Kevin… but just so everyone knows, your Diana 27 was in absolutely beautiful condition to start with. I've pulled apart brand new guns that looked far worse inside than this one did. So my job was easy…

  12. B.B.,

    As I wrote about this pistol a couple weeks back, it has significantly more power than you give it credit for. I only tried 2 types pellets as I recall, but it is definitely more powerful than what you have found.

    I will write to you some fps information that I get with various pellets if you want over the weekend.

    I also found that it can be cocked without the cocking sleeve, but who would want to (I was simply curious if it could be done, and how easily – not).

    – Dr. G.

  13. Dr G,
    Did you read the previous posts about this very thing? It has already been pointed out that BB may have a test pistol that needs a tweak or replacement.

  14. Kevin,

    A year ago, I just stumbled upon Vince, and his skills.. and have none to compare him with.. I just sent him every thing that didn't work well… or at all!..

    He can make a good gun great or a bad gun great! …or a broken gun great..
    So now I watch for folks selling piles of broken guns they can't or don't want to fix… Like the 7 daisy's pistols for $70, I just sent him… the seller says like "they don't work but…."

    Vince says "come on down" your the next contestant in "Stump the Tech"..

    Fun guy..
    I like him..

    ..we bring em back from the dead… I save em from the crusher, and Vince gives em a new heart..

    Wacky Wayne

  15. Wayne,

    Apparently your intuition was better than my research and experience. Vince has that gift and drive for fixing that I never sought or possessed.

    The proof is that he isn't a full time tuner, doesn't desire to be one, yet has the passion and the meager amount he charges allows me to rest my case.

    Vince is a rare find indeed.


  16. Hi all. I found B.B.'s great blog site recently just after purchasing a new airgun,
    my first in over 40 years. It's a Diana 52, and it is a beauty.
    I posted about it in the comments following the August 2006
    Diana 48/52 blog.

    I plan to use the Diana 52 for hunting and for target practice and general fun. I'll be
    practicing with that rifle mostly at a range, as I feel it is not well suited for indoor or
    backyard (tiny suburban) target practice. So I'm now considering an indoor plinking or
    target pistol to have fun with around the house and to help me build up my skill.

    My favorites in the multi-pump plinking category are the
    Crosman 1377C and the
    Benjamin HB22.
    I think some of the more affordable Competition 10-meter single-stroke pneumatic target
    pistols would be fun for indoor shooting too, and my favorites in this category are the
    Daisy Avanti 747 Triumph Match and the
    IZH-Baikal 46M Match Pistol.

    Now I listed these in order of price ranging from a very affordable $56 for the Crosman to a rather
    substantial $365 for the IZH 46M. I'm torn. My budget would accommodate any of these.
    I notice that I could buy all of the first three for not much more than the cost of the fourth.
    Of course, buying guns one at a time grants repeated exposure to that new gun excitement, so
    I don't think I'll actually buy more than one right now.

    My two main objectives run neck and neck. One is indoor target practice, which
    I will need a lot of considering I haven't used an airgun in over 40 years.
    My other objective is to just have fun.

    Now all of these are .177 caliber except
    for the Benjamin, which is .22 caliber. .177 is probably a better choice for my purposes than .22.
    I'm not looking for a hunting pistol (yet).

    I am leaning toward the low end of each of the two types of pistols, either the Crosman or the Daisy,
    as either of those seem like they would maximize the bang-for-the-buck in the fun category.
    Yet, the simple classic style of the Benjamin .22 draws my attention more than the Crosman 1377C.
    Regardless of my attraction to the competition pistols, I don't plan to shoot competitively.
    So any of the four pistols I've listed seem like they would be suitable for the sort of non-competitive
    indoor target practice and outdoor casual plinking that I envision.

    Eventually I'll settle my mind on these choices. I'm close already.
    In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Are any of these guns more or less suited to any of my
    top objectives of non-competitive indoor target practice and just plain fun?


  17. Rand,

    I'm going to copy your last post that asks for comments on indoor pistols that you have narrowed your list to and paste it in the comments section under the article that B.B. just posted. You should get more responses that way.

    Have you had a chance to read the articles that B.B. did on all 4 pistols? He did a 3 part series on the Benjamin HB22 and on the Crosman 1377. His articles on the IZH46M and Daisy Avanti 747 didn't pull any punches either. There are also reviews by customers that purchased these guns from Pyramyd AIR. A quick way to find B.B.'s articles and the reviews is to find the gun on Pyramyd Airs site then look on the right side and click on "Latest buzz/article" and that will take you to B.B.'s take on the gun. The reviews by customers that purchased the gun are below the info on the gun.

    Check the comments under today's article later on and see if anyone has offered an opinion about your list.


  18. Back to the topic…I made a comment in the part one portion that was not re-dressed, as well as the question: where would I send a pic to so that all could see my Browning??? My cocking effort started at 48lbs and is currently 39 at 50 pellets or so run through, need to find a good method to perm-attach the cocking arm – also found a tad more accurate with the arm on??? Loads of power, with scope accurate to 40 yards, haven't tried a hunt yet, but should take any small -> medium bird easily.. A side question BB, what do you think of this Slick50 tune treatment, and have you tried it yet?? I have a few that could use a boost in power – BTW could you post Vince's contact info – I have a few for him (50 years plus old) Thanx Marlborough Dan

  19. Dan,

    We don't have a photo posting place, but many people use Photobucket and place the link in the comments for people to see their guns.

    I have not tried Slick 50, but I doubt that it, alone, will increase power. Usually you have to change something to do that.

    Vince, how about your contact info?


  20. Dan, my email is vfblovesnancy@yahoo.com.

    As far as that 'Slick50' treatment goes, that stems from some tests done years ago by 'Eddie' from "Eddie's Airgun Forum'. He tested a variety of lubricants in, I believe, a leather-sealed Industry B3-1 or BAM B4-2 underlever and found that it provided the highest velocity.

    I don't know if it's any better than 30wt oil, but I wouldn't even think about using it in anything but a medium – low powered springer with a leather seal. In anything approaching 'magnum' power levels the possibilities of detonation are waaaayyyy too great.

    And when Eddie did his tests Slick50 was advertised as containing teflon, these days all it says is "Contains unique and proprietary Slick 50® Protection Chemistry". Which means they might have changed the formulation, and therefore Eddie's old tests might irrelevant.

    Eddie has received a lot of heat for this recommendation, and has been called a lot of uncomplimetary things. Some of this may be from his recommendations being taken out of context (what's good for a B3 might not be good for an RWS 34!). And I don't know that he ever recommended it for magnum guns.

    In any event, from everything I've seen firsthand Eddie seems to be a nice guy who believes what he writes to be true… and didn't seem to be particularly arrogant or obstinate about anything.

  21. Thanx for the info – the guns I was considering are in fact Chinese, a Bam 3-1 (the AK47 one), and a "American Camper breakbarrel pistol) which is a smaller version of this Browning, accurate but pretty weak… Was hoping the slick50 thing would help gain a few FPS's,otherwise don't know how to upgrade power!I'll try Photobucket.. vince the guns are Crosman 116's and a 112, leaks need fix (tried pellgun oil to no avail), I'll wrie you with details… BTW the scope on my Browning is staying put WITHOUT a scope-stop by using the Dovetail-Weaver adapters, helps with height issue too, verrrry accurate! (I'm an ex-Marine!)


  22. Dan, if it's the pistol I'm thinking of it has no relationship to the Browning. It's a variant on the old Chinese S2 pistol, as sturdy and rugged a piece of junk that has ever crossed these shores! Feel free to try Slick50, corn oil, bacon fat or egg yolks in that thing. Come to think of it, I might have just given away the formula for the lube that's put in those pistols from the factory!

    The B3 MIGHT have a synthetic seal, which means that oiling in the chamber is generally not recommended. And it isn't known if the additives in Slick50 might attack that material.

  23. do u think i need to do somethong to my seal. i adjusted trigger overtravel but didn,t drill the hole in thr trigger guard like it shows in one blog is the seal something i can do myself? i won,t be shooting for a week had a procedure done on neck and i,m not allowed to cock it. i didn,t try stoning the sear when i had it appart cause pull seems reasonable hope u don,t mind this way of communicating our replys to email were geting long bobK

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