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Education / Training Crosman Challenger 2009 target rifle – Part 1

Crosman Challenger 2009 target rifle – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Crosman Challenger 2009 target rifle represents a real challenge to other Sporter Class rifles

In early 2007, I made a presentation to the Crosman Corporation that resulted in several significant things. The first was the development and production of the rifle that became the Benjamin Discovery. The second was Crosman’s commitment to the foundation of a new corporate section dedicated to the production of precharged pneumatic airguns.

The third thing that happened sounded like an afterthought to me at the time. After my presentation, in which I assured Crosman that they had the perfect entry into PCPs with the project they were about to undertake, Production Manager Ed Schultz, himself an airgunner, asked me privately if I thought this new technology could be applied to their target rifle, the Challenger 2000. He wondered what I thought of a PCP Challenger, perhaps fitted with a Lothar Walther barrel.

At the time, it seemed to me like Ralph Maccio, the Karate Kid, was asking if he might someday be able to take on Jet Li in a one-on-one match. However, as there was nothing to prevent it from happening, I told him I thought it was a natural and should be folded into their future plans. Little did I realize at the time that he was dead-serious. Wax on, wax off!

Telling this story now sounds like old news, because the whole world knows about the Discovery and the Marauder that followed it. And we have been seeing this very target rifle, the Crosman Challenger 2009, in news flashes throughout 2009. But now that I’m holding one in my hands I feel like a veteran returning to Omaha Beach 50 years later. We all know how things turned out, but I was THERE when it happened! Ed Schultz wasn’t daydreaming. He was envisioning the future–a future that has finally arrived.

The original Challenger 2000 was always supposed to be a challenger to the highly successful Daisy Avanti 853, the rifle that has dominated youth 10-meter competition for several decades. It had features that made it better than the Daisy, too. It was easier to cock and to load, which meant a lot when the kids competed in the prone position. It had a more ergonomic stock. And I felt that it had a better trigger.

On the minus side, the Challenger was never as accurate as the Daisy. Accuracy being what it is to competition, this shortcoming was the kiss of death for a target rifle–even for one that competed on the basis of price. The Challenger also operated on CO2, which wasn’t a liability, but was a concern for some coaches. The shooters stayed away in droves.


This is what I saw when I opened the box. I removed the manual from the box. The white box contains the sights.

Crosman Challenger 2009
This new model is a precharged pneumatic that also has the possibility of operating on bulk CO2. Yes, it is a true Dual Fuel airgun, and I want to set the record straight right now. Ed Schultz invented the Dual Fuel concept, as far as I know. I know that I did not include it in my initial presentation to Crosman. He surprised me with it at our second meeting, where he showed me the first prototype of the Discovery. He was surprised that I had been right about a 2000 psi air charge being just as powerful as 3,000 psi, and I was blown away by his idea for dual-fuel operation.

The trigger is the same one I have raved about in the Marauder. And you’ve probably read enough reviews of this trigger from owners and other sources by now that you know it’s a winner.

The barrel is a Lothar Walther. I believe Crosman could put their own barrel on the rifle, because I see no difference in accuracy, but target shooters do not follow the world of sporting airguns. They’re a tough bunch to please, and if they need that pedigree, it’s wise to let them have it. I’m going to shoot this rifle at 10 meters and let the chips fall where they may–though I have a pretty good idea of where that will be.

The stock is very ergonomic for a Sporter Class rifle. The original Challenger 2000 was also ergonomic. The Daisy 853, in comparison, is a two-by-four.

This rifle cocks easily. I knew that from testing the Challenger 2000, however, shooters who have never seen one of those are going to embrace the new rifle.

The rifle weighs 7.3 lbs. That’s just two tenths under the maximum permitted in the Sporter Class. It’s as if Crosman knew exactly what they were doing!

The rifle I’m testing comes with target sights. But a version of the same gun can be had without any sights. I DO NOT want to hear any sob stories from people who buy it without sights and then complain about the lack. That’s why the price is lower, and it’s done for shooters who already have sights they like. The sights come with a complete set of inserts, and the aperture insert is already installed.

The rifle does not come with a fill device. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting a Benjamin pump with this one. That’s how many top competitors fill their rifles, so no discussion about heartbeats after pumping. You fill to only 2,000 psi, which is a walk in the park for a healthy adult. The intake fixture is a male Foster fitting, which the pump is set up to accept.

We’re living in some very strange times. When AirForce started showing their Edge target rifle to the NRA and the CMP, they met a wall of resistance. The arguments were many and varied, but they seemed to boil down to one thing, “It’s not a Daisy 853!” Now, Crosman is bearding the same giant. I’m old enough to remember in the 1960s when race fans were just as concerned about the new Indy-car designs because they weren’t Offenhausers. Heck, I was one of the Luddites in that controversy! Change is a scary thing. But it’s inevitable, and today its name is the Crosman Challenger 2009.

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

85 thoughts on “Crosman Challenger 2009 target rifle – Part 1”

  1. The rifle you've got here doesn't seem to be quite the same as the one on pyramyd's site (bolt, trigger guard). I assume that one of these is a pre-production model?

  2. Vince,

    The production version of the Challenger 2009 has morphed & now looks like the one shown in this blog. Pyramyd AIR will replace their image when they get a gun that they can photograph. The gun without sights shown on Pyramyd Air's site is the production version that's now being shipped.


  3. BG_Farmer
    On your coment last night….
    That obstacle after a few shots is the extra fouling buildup where the powder charge had been sitting. It takes an extra bump to break some of it loose to seat the ball. You will learn how often to use a damp patch between shots to prevent excessive buildup.

    Don't try to use knit cloth for patch…not strong and dense enough. It will blow to pieces.

    Get a yard of thinner denim from walmart to try as patch.


  4. You think people would be happy that there are now more choices for low end target air rifles. I have a Daisy 953, like to have an 853 and if given the chance, would take a Airforce Edge or this new Crosman.

    Maybe now that Daisy will have more competition, they will actually decide that they need to innovate, but probably not.

    Al in CT

  5. B.B.,

    Safe travels. This new Crosman Challenger 2009 created quite the buzz at the beginning of the year. Should have known you were there at the inception. I remember 10 meter crowd slamming the Apelles involvement since they're known as ft guys. There were also lots of comments about a 70 shot spec. Not enough, was the opinion of many, considering the necessary sighters. Be interesting to see your results.


  6. I'm not sure if this will affect the Avanti line at all.
    I know that the 853c is the mainstay of early training in both the US and Canada (in Canada we call them Cadets, either Army, Airforce or Navy), and that this is one of the guns major markets. The 853c is very cost effective. In Canada the 853c, with sight is offered to Cadet trainees at around the $250 mark. As well the 853c have proven that hundreds of thousands of rounds can be put through them without a hiccup.
    I don't know if an (at this moment) unproven gun, at over $500 will affect the overall sales of the 853c.
    But the Crosman sure looks like a nice alternative.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  7. Wayne,

    Congratulations on your FT shoot!

    46/60, 46/60, 59/74 are great scores. When I think back it was the beginning of July 2008 that B.B. did the series of articles for you on how to set up an FT course and now a little over a year later you're hosting shoots and having people travel from other states to compete. Well done.

    Holdover has been used successfully by many FT shooters. Since you're still using holdover I'm curious if you have a diagram/chart on your gun (or inside your scope cover?) or have you replaced the yardages on your scope with mil dots like some shooters do?


  8. BB,
    Will you test it from a bench? I thought it was interesting that it is less accurate as they all seem to have the same lothar walther barrel. Is there a way to get the power up for FT?
    Shadow Express dude

  9. b.b., thanks for the response yesterday concerning the Skenco pellets…kinda what I thought.
    So my friend asks…'are there any decent lead free pellets out there?'
    I know I've tried the Raptors and have found them great for hitting the side of a barn, but that's about all.
    Any idea on the Crosman lead frees?
    What my friend is mostly concerned about is if lead frees such as the Crosman (or Raptors) harm the barrel because they are harder than lead.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  10. SED,

    Now, you gotta stay with me, guy. The original Challenger 2000 didn't have a Walther barrel. That was why it is less accurate than the 853 that does have a Walther barrel.

    Part of the news is Crosman is NOW USING a Lothar Walther barrel on the Challenger 2009.


  11. I've been following the Challenger 2000 with some interest (the Air Force Edge too).

    I originally bought my 953 because I wasn't going to drop $2K on a 10 meter rifle without trying things out, and the 853 didn't seem to offer much more than the 953 – at least for a "tryout" gun.

    The original Crosman Challenger was derided as a "7 ring" rifle by the youth shooting sports guys on the target boards, and I'm guessing – based on my Mauraduer – this one's going to do a lot better.

    A recurring theme on the target boards has been the lack of innovation on Daisy's part and the apparent Daisy-centric boards governing the youth shooting sports.

    You never know if the complaints are real or simply whining, but I do think that guns in this price range – which offer a step up from the pump/CO2 Daisy rifles without moving shooters into the high-end PCP target rifles – are necessary to help grow the sport at the youth level.

    Some parents may be able to stomach a $2500 precision gun when you don't for sure your kid's going to stick with it, but a $500 investment (plus pump) is a lot less painful.

    Looking forward to your test.

  12. I was fortunate enough to try out the Challenger at the NRA show in Phoenix. Since I have no experience with 10M rifles, I can't say if this is a great rifle or not but the trigger was superb. As for my target shooting, I would have come in last in any competition and to make matters worse, there was some pimply face teen holding a target with all his pellets in the x ring, watching.

    My ad for used air rifles here in Jersey starts tomorrow. I'll let the blog know what, if anything, happens.

  13. BB,
    This is one I've been looking forward to. The triggerguard is a little funny looking, but from what I can see of the stock, it is suitable to the task — I'm assuming you'll show us and/all stock adjustments.

    That's the plan (denim and bore scrubbing interval) — I went without cleaning b/t shots to see what happened. First two shots were off, third was dead center, followed by 3 close by, then flier again. I'll learn something eventually:). I'd like to get 1/2" at 25 yards from the bench, so I have a long way to go, but the trip is fun.

  14. This rifle looks impressive. Yes, it's $400 more than an 853 (I'm including pump cost), but it allows you to stay on target in prone shooting, and have the option of using CO2. Perhaps a package with the Discovery pump is in order?

    And is that a straight-pull ambidextrous bolt I see?

  15. Sorry to get off topic but I am looking for some advice,I got a Gamo viper express a few months ago to take care of a chipmunk/squirrel problem. The gamo is great at short range but after finding pyramid I decided to get a Beeman Rs3 combo, its a nice gun but so heavy to shoot offhand and I seem to pull shots to the right( I use the armory hold), no problem using a rest but its not a option where I need to go. Have a few more days to return the Beeman, do I learn to deal with it or is there a better option?

  16. No rest,

    Your best bet would be a pneumatic for what you want to do. Of course the Benjamin Discovery would be a dream come true, but to stay in your price range, how about a Benjamin 392? Yes, it is slower because you have to pump it for every shot, but you save several hundred dollars in the process.

    That RS3 is more accurate than the 392, but your technique has to be perfect. Any breakbarrel is going to demand the best shooting technique you can muster.

    Another alternative might be either the Hammerli 850 Air Magnum or the new Gamo CO2 Extreme. Both are in CO2 and I'd get both in .22. They are more expensive than a 392, but not as much as Discovery.


  17. squirrel/chipmunk problem guy,

    Glad to hear you're using the "artillery hold" for your RS3 since it requires great technique to be accurate.

    What is the maximum distance that you shoot squirrels? If we know this we might be more helpful in suggesting alternatives in airguns.


  18. BB,

    I'm very glad to see this gun article.

    I saw one of these at the NRA Phoenix show that didn't look 100% like your picture but I'm pretty sure it was the Challenger and was attracted to it as well as the Edge. The Edge caught my eye because of its futuristic style, which I seem to like and it was very light and easy for me to handle.

    However, the version of the Challenger I saw up in the vendor display booth area looked like the stock was cut out of a board. It looked like a rough cut board painted red which kinda turned me off, but, even so, I still wanted to own one…little sand paper here and there… The one you are showing in your picture looks like a synthetic stock which looks magnitudes better than the one I saw at the show.

    I did shoot the Edge while at the show but I did not shoot the Challenger, to my recollection, to my now regret. So many guns there and so little time and so green was/am I didn't/don't recognize pedigrees.

    I'm looking forward to the next installment.


  19. Kevin,
    I've been wondering about this myself. As far as most air rifles (~8gr@900fps), I wouldn't feel right about shooting a squirrel at more than 25-30 yards, which I think is adequate for actual hunting, but online the hunters seem to start at 100! What do you think? One reason I'm asking you is because I know you are "out west", where everything is farther apart, so it might be educational.

  20. B.B.

    At long last, this will be interesting. And where is the Edge? That seems to have been very long in the pipeline. Among other things, it will be good to know what the deal is with the adjustability of power if any.

    CowBoyStar Dad, I have to agree with TroutUnderground that parents will pay for quite a bit. In my high school shooting career there were many Anschutz match rifles floating around for what in today's dollars would probably be $2000.

    Wayne, good job with the FT. Soon it will be time to claim what is yours. And it wouldn't hurt the Ashland Rifle Range to have a sign about the home of the Oregon Field Target champ.


  21. Dear BB

    Airguns have gained my interest only recently, making me relatively ignorant on the subject. I am not a complete idiot by most standards, yet I find searching for what I want to know to be often slow and frustrating and sometimes fruitless. It's not because the information isn't out there. It's because search functions- as helpful as they can be at times, can also be completely useless. I have searched in vain for hours for answers to questions I found the answers to a month later by accident and usually after it didn't matter anymore, surfing as they say from one unlikely link to another. Also as you have said we (the nOObs) do not ask the right questions. Often it is because we do not know how to ask the right questions. Maybe we think we know what we mean to ask, but lack the knowledge of terms to frame our question clearly? Arrgghh! Frustrating on this end as well, but not as bad as for you I suppose.

    As for your blog it is magnificent. A treasure trove of information without equal anywhere. A thousand blessings on you and the missus.

    I am now waffling between a TX200 .177 or .22. Once the decision is made, so will be the order.(from PA)

    Now, a few observations/suggestions humbly submitted?

    I know you like for questions to be posted on the current blog.

    I understand why, but when someone who is unfamiliar with the blog navigates here, (as they inevitably will) it is likely they will be directed to an older blog. The comments tend to be mostly about BBs topic/article for which we were directed here in the first place, but also all over the place including firearms, which can be confusing for a nOOb.

    On just about every other forum/blog people are treated with wrath and little pity for posting off topic questions or in the wrong string. While I appreciate the brotherhood here, it is the reason why newcomers keep to posting on old blogs.

    Perhaps if someone posted a question to an old blog it could be automatically linked to the current blog? Then any answers could be forwarded to the old blog where most folks would be looking for it. That would also keep the current blog more on topic, or it could go to the current blog as well (for all the old timers to snicker at.)

    Also, if there were some way so that when someone replied to an earlier post, especially a way earlier post, that it would have a link to that post or at least date/time stamp of the referenced post so that we could figure out what the heck they are talking about?

    Surely some young whipper snapper can set this up without too much difficulty.

    A final suggestion is to group certain articles under appropriate links:


    I will post this here as well as the blog that sparked me to write this, the subject of it being nOObs asking dumb questions. (Don't get me wrong, I worked customer service for several years, I know your pain.)

    Thanks to Edith, Kevin, Wayne, Gino, CF-X Guy and all the other regulars who offer up their expertise whenever BB is out living his life rather than answering mundane questions from all us ignoramuses.

    P.S. I read an article on airgunwriter.com about a science fair at a middle school in Tax- I mean Massachusets where an exhibit was disqualified because it involved BB guns, even though it was designed to prove (as apposed to testing a theory?) that BB guns were dangerous. The reason it was disqualified was on the grounds that… wait for it… BB guns are too dangerous! (and they are firearms to boot!) I found the writer's viewpoint and defense of it to be refreshing;) It was also a perfect illustration of the flawed reasoning and somewhat cowardly stance of the opposing viewpoint. Truly, the emperor wears no clothes.

    Three cheers for BB, whose fountain of knowledge quenches us all.

    Slinging Lead in Powder Springs

  22. PS Lead Slinger,
    Welcome!! Glad to see you on the blog!! I agree with your comment on dual links between the current post and past posts. In lieu of that many of us always check the email box when we first comment on the current post so that even in the distant future we will get comments made on the post as it ages. Many times someone on this blog will direct a new commenter to the new post and re-post their old-post comment there for them. (I dare not try to repeat that last sentence again.)

    Your suggestion of categorizing has been made by others but in my mind that makes this a forum where this is currently a blog. I learn so much more in this current blog form than I have from the forums I've visited. The blog format forces me to step outside my boundaries and learn new things whereas with the forum format I'm only interested in a certain topic. For example, I most likely would not have visited the pistol topic because I didn't care about pistols. Being "forced" to read the current posts about pistols "against my will" whetted my appetite for them and I learned something new and exciting and actually bought a pistol which I enjoy now.

    Just some thoughts of mine. Maybe generate some more discussion. I hope you stay with us because you are right about this blog being a treasure trove – there's no other like it.


  23. Matt61, I completely agree about the parents 😉
    But from my understanding the vast majority of 853c's are purchased by the military for training of cadets.
    I don't think Harper (or Obama) is going to authorize Cadillacs when Volkswagens will suffice 😉
    CowBoyStar Dad

  24. BG_Farmer,

    Re: "but online the hunters seem to start at 100! What do you think?"

    100 yards or 100fps? I assume you mean most online hunters consistently talk about their 100 yard shots. Personally, I don't think many of these "hunters" that get their kicks constantly posting graphic pictures know what 100 yards looks like. I also question their consistent ability to hit a kill zone at 100 yards with their airgun. I know most people with the right airgun and a little practice can hit a squirrel or prairie dog at 100 yards but many of the pictures I've seen aren't clean kills. I'm ranting.

    I'm a firm believer in at least a .22 caliber for hunting. Yes, I've shot pests with .177 at closer ranges but overpenetration and a lack of wound channel is problematic. It's a very common question to ask what gun would be best to kill these rats/squirrels/ground hogs etc. but uncommon for these future pest controllers to give distance and shooting conditions, i.e., what is beyond your target, people? livestock? houses? Again, overpenetration is a concern in most cases.

    My biggest pest problem is ground squirrels at my home in the mountains. I've shot a lot of them in the head with my .177 R7 at distances under 25 yards. Unfortunately, they've gotten wiser and now a 50 yard shot is about as close as I can get before they dive back in their holes. The AA S410 in .22 is now their worst enemy.

    Don't know if I've answered your questions but I appreciate you allowing me to get some of this off my chest.


  25. Thanks ! Yes new to springers I still have a Crossman co2 22 cal bolt action from about 1966 and it works no leaks, but the shot shell was such a good idea and cheap I picked the Gamo up , took 7 chipmunks 2 squirrels , 2 moles and a mouse all 10 to 20 feet, I would like to get the buggers at 20 yards no luck with the Beeman yet, much less spring vibration and quieter than the Gamo oh and I am using crow mags

  26. Powder Springs,

    Wow! I'm so glad you took the time to write. You're exactly the type of person for which Tom writes this blog. Pyramyd AIR has repeatedly told us that they want as much educational and instructional copy as possible. Spreading airgun knowledge is our mission these days.

    I'm not sure about the possibility of writing a comment under one blog and then having it automatically copied to the current blog. Also, that might get kind of confusing (for us, at least). But, Blogger is constantly tweaking its software, so anything is possible.

    Can I assume that you're from Powder Springs in Georgia? If so, do you know Alan Becker? If not, then that's someone you must meet. He owns Becker Exterminating Company. He's an all-round nice guy & airgunner extraordinaire.


  27. Kevin,

    I can't imagine shooting a ground squirrel in the head at 25 yards. We had these destructive little critters destroying the concrete of our front walk in our home in Maryland. Tom shot them in the torso, and that was hard enough to do as they're high-energy rodents that flit around quickly & unpredictably. If you're serious that you shoot them in the head at 25 yards, you're one heck of a good shot. I assume that the critter you're calling a ground squirrel is the same thing that I call a ground squirrel (a chipmunk).


  28. Dear BB,

    I guess it's just me because I do not see any other comments about the 'looks' of the Challenger. Technically it sure seems like a gem however the 'boxy stock' and the raised 'Challenger PCP' on the side….well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    This and the total cost of ownership with the 853 still have me in the Daisy group. (However Daisy, watch your back!)



  29. Mrs Gaylord,

    You're giving me much more credit than I deserve.

    These ground squirrels aren't chipmunks. If I shot our chipmunks my wife would make me sleep on the couch and my daughter wouldn't speak to me.

    The young ground squirrels have heads the size of a fifty cent piece and the older ones have heads the size of a silver dollar. These wonderful creatures dig prarie dog type holes in my yard into which my daughter and her friends have twisted ankles while playing and they carry fleas and plague. Our dogs have both caught fleas while sniffing the holes. These nuisances are Belding Ground Squirrels and in my opinion the only reason God put them on this earth was to make me a better shot.


  30. Lead Slinger,

    I find that story interesting because at my high-school, we used compressed air to fire a ball bearing at a falling can, to prove that objects with horizontal movement fall at the same rate as objects that were stationary.

    It was fun, I hit the can first shot.

  31. Slinging Lead in Powder Springs,


    I noticed that you navigated your way from the comments you first posted under an article that B.B. did over a year ago directly to todays article. Your suggestions and questions are excellent. You're about as far from a "complete idiot" that one can get.

    You've chosen an airgun that B.B. always speaks highly about. You're trying to make a decision about .177 or .22. What do you plan on doing with the gun? Hunting? Plinking? Field Target? Long range shooting?

    Much of my experience on other airgun forums mirrors yours. The condescending attitude toward newbies is rampant. That isn't tolerated here. In addition, there isn't anything off topic. The comments run the spectrum and is encouraged especially if it's airgun related.

    Not long ago there was a lot of discussion about organizing the 1,000 + articles that B.B. has written. Blogger and the overwhelming technical task shelved the idea. The search box over on the right side of this page is a wonderful feature. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed at the number of "hits" it returns so I just go to google, hit advanced search, type in my detailed criteria, paste the pyramyd air blog web address and hit search. This alternative is more effective in my experience in narrowing search results by relevance.

    Great to have you here. Hope you stick around and tell us about your airgun progress.


  32. Volvo & Kevin,

    A video camera that can focus from the shooter to the target as much as 55 yards away, and watch the setup and then the shot hit the target, is on my shopping list.. any ideas folks?

    Thanks for the congrats.. Field Target is super fun!

    Hosting a match is also fun.. and a lot of work and expense.. but it's way cheaper than other hobbies that give way less back… and this hobby is a business.. so all the better!!

    This wonderful blog, that Tom and Edith manage so well, is an incredible resource. And with all you great folks adding info to questions asked, it's a never ending supply of current and past ongoing constantly updated news!

    I've recently started commenting on the FT forum, asking questions about setting up the course, standardization and running a contest.
    Boy, there are some folks there that need to learn to play nice with others!

    Like you've said many times, we are very lucky that the tone is always civil here.

    Anyway, I owe any progress I've made in the air gun and firearm worlds, to all the great info I've gained here…. and a whole lot of practice at night, instead of watching TV… probably swimming too.. since I'm so very comfortable in the sitting FT position!

    The most wonderful thing about this sport, is that, at any level, one can do the best they can with what they have to shoot. Trade up, and do that again, and again, and again….

    … there seems to be no limit, because new stuff is always in process, way before one can get as good as the last product one bought can produce.

    I know for one, I buy the newer better one, before I have wrestled all the best the last one could give me.. But if we all do that, and I think most of us do, it helps this poor economy… so that's a good thing.. we be good citizens!

    I've started down a path in the gun world, that I doubt I'll ever return from… I'm here to stay..

    Wacky Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  33. Wayne,

    Can't help with the video question (I'm a vidiot).

    Did you see my question to you (above) that I asked earlier today?

    Do you use a mil dot diagram etc…?


  34. Lead Slinger,

    Wow! What a pat on the back!

    I sent half the money I promised you already, but my credit card is maxed out. Can you wait until the end of the month for the rest? 🙂

    For those who did not understand the above, and for all Vulcans, that was not-too-wry humor that implied I had paid Lead Slinger to make that wonderful compliment. All I really did was suggest it to him and edit it a few times. 🙂 (more wry humor. Stop me!)

    In truth, you have reminded me and all those who help me in this blog of what it is we really do.

    And I vote for the .177 TX 200.


  35. All airguns tend to have pros and cons…just read them all before you buy one.



    Co2 lose power in the cold, multi pumps can give you a work out, PCPs can be expensive and springers generally require a consistant artilly hold:


    So does the 753/853 do better than the avanti Co2?

    I think we need shoot out of 10M airguns under $500.

  36. One more thing to consider about CO2's is that during repeated firing the velocity decreases as the gun gets colder from all the CO2 running through it. During a recent 30 shot session, 30-60 seconds between shots, my Talon varied by as much as 25fps while shooting in the 545-570fps range on CO2. I don't know if that is really significant or not, but maybe.


  37. hey, i've got a semi-urgent problem here. when i bring my trash out to be picked up by the garbage man on tuesday nights, i always wake up in the morning to find half or all of my garbage scattered around the yard, because a raccoon has gotten into it. i am certain it's a raccoon because on my one good trash can that is heavy enough to be an anchor, the small bit of garbage bag hanging out has been torn, giving the clue that whatever animal that did this was a climber, a big one. i do have a Beeman SS1000-S which is powerful and accurate, but i am well aware that its 16 foot-pounds of energy is a bit unreliable for killing prey as big as coons. so i'm thinking about getting a more powerful gun. here's my dilemma. i want something that is semi-cheap that i can buy on the spot and not feel too guilty about, and i need something powerful enough to do the job more reliably than my Beeman. the top of my list currently is the Benjamin Super Streak, but among others is the RWS 350 Magnum and Walther Falcon Hunter (all .22, even the Falcon Hunter. apparently .25 actually has 1 foot-pound LESS energy than the .22) so which of the 3 guns do you recommend most for coon control? i'll be shooting from the bench at approximately 40 yards give or take. i want/need something both accurate and powerful enough to do this. B.B., or anyone else, what is your best recommendation for this job?

    John W.

  38. John W,

    Read This:


    One excerpt:
    "Some airgunners hunt raccoons and woodchucks that grow up to the 20- and even 25-lb. range. For these, you should use more powerful airguns of at least 25 foot-pounds or better. Of course, if you can get a close shot, a lower-powered gun will work."


  39. Kevin,
    “Not yet but I'm optimistic that it will be soon.” Does this mean you have a transaction in progress?

    Slinging Lead in Powder Springs,
    Welcome, I feel a measure of the success here is due to the fact that BB does allow topics to vary off the original post. Hopefully that will never change.

    Maybe ask about camera ideas on the yellow. I know one guy does a pretty neat job over there. Even if you can’t show the individual shots, just see the set up and course would be great.

  40. Lead Slinger,
    Welcome fellow nOOb as you put it. I can vouch for these guys and their welcoming nature. I've tried my hardest to prove B.B.'s mission statement ("There are no stupid questions.") wrong, but everyone here has been very helpful and patient with my input. They even refrained from making fun of me when it took me a month to trouble shoot the loose stock screw on a rifle that was giving accuracy problems (Oh, THAT's what that big screw on the trigger guard is for!) Anyway, it looks like now you have found what you're looking for, both in a rifle recommendation and a source for all the airgun information you'll ever need and more!

    I have no idea what Vince has in mind for you, but I can vouch for him. He's always been very helpful and straight-up with me.


    In the video Paul does on this site for the Benjamin Discovery he uses the Prometheus (dynamic) PCP2 alloy pellet. He recommends them. I have tried them and am very happy with them in my Discovery. They are made in England. I'd love Pyramid to give Airguns of Arizona some competition and carry them.

    B.B. have you tried these?

  42. Hey WW,

    CowboystarDad is a camera salesman and photographer. if anyone here could offer you a direction to go for your camera, he would.

    Had to amend my last comment as part of it was incorrect – sorry for the deletion.


  43. Wayne,

    RE: Video camera

    Paul Capella might be the guy to ask. But I'd think that you'd really need multiple cameras. Focus one on shooter and another on target. Maybe a third on a chrony. You could have two cameras on shooter. One looking from target towards shooter, and another over the shooter to the target. You'd then have to edit the camera footage and interleave the various camera footage. You'd never be able to focus on shooter, then re-aim camera at target and focus to see the shot hit with one camera.

    More expensive cameras would have replaceable lenses like the old SLR 35mm cameras. One type of lenses for a wide shot of shooter, and a larger lens to get a close up of the target. For the camera at the target you might also want to build some sort of "shield" which would keep camera from getting hit by a stray round.

    Editing software is no doubt another sink hole in all of this. I'm sure that you could have some like 4 cameras being shown on the same screen then alternatively select which of the 4 cameras you want in the final footage. More editing capability requires more memory and a faster computer.

    All in all, a good video setup is another hole into which you can pour money.


  44. The other day some people were talking about bullets in air rifles and it took me a while to find a link I saved about Greenhill twist rate formula. Here is what Steve in NC (yellow forum) had to say:

    "What matters according to Greenhill are just two things:

    1. Caliber.
    2. Length of the bullet.

    Greenhill suggests: Twist = 150 * caliber^2 / length

    Plug in a typical 0.22" long .177 pellet, and you get ~1:20" – well within a typical airgun bore's 1:18".

    But a Hornady V-max's .172 x .6" pushes the Greenhill twist down to 1:7"

    The likely result of pushing the bullet thru an airgun bore would be a grossly understabilized, tumbling, keyholing, and inaccurate bullet."


    What I want to know is how good is this Greenhill formula and will it work for airguns? I know Pellets it probably doesn't matter, but maybe it will for bullets. Aren't most airguns twist rates around 1:15, I used to have a list of twist rate but lost that file.

    .22 cal. bullet length need for an airgun with 1:15 twist rate=



    So would .484" length bullet work in a .22 cal. airgun with 1:15 twist?

  45. Kevin,
    You're preaching to the choir. Now, the way I hunt is I wait for the squirrel to jump from one tree to the other. If you shoot them b/t trees, they don't get stuck up in the branches. Of course, 75 yards is about the limit for that kind of a shot:).

    I forgot about the .22's, but it seems like .177 at 30 yards and under (head shots only) ought to be OK in my case. Mainly theoretical, since I've not hunted squirrels in a decade or two, but I'm gearing up for my son's inevitable interest and I've been impressed with the power of even moderately powerful springers.

    Herb's got the right idea, I think. Maybe a closed circuit system like for security application. It seems like I've seen them that can handle 4 camera's at a time or more and be controlled from a PC, and they didn't seem too expensive. Might make playback and editing a little easier on the PC as well.

  46. CowBoyStar Dad,

    What cadets? Do you mean high school ROTC? They're not on the top of the defense budget, but on the other hand, I understand that the yearly defense budget is 276 billion dollars…

    John W., how could you shoot the racoon at night?


  47. Kevin,

    I'm not using anything but my memory and a rough guess at the distance, based on my fussy vision of the numbers on the side wheel. I'm getting a pattern of sorts developed.. but it's crude.. I'm what you might call an "organic" shooter…. naked… unrefined… unprocessed… I'd like to say virgin.. but let's not go there.

    I asked about moving into the clicking world on the yellow FT forum, and got some great advice about staying with the holdover method… so that's what I'll be doing for this year I guess.. then who knows.

    This game takes a lot of practice in many areas… one needs to get the body in shape to sit comfortably, or do the harness thing, I guess… I'm not liking the harness dance I see folks do.. to much work in and out… so I spent 4 months swimming and getting comfortable in the sitting position.

    I also choose 12 foot lbs World FT class no harness, over 20 ft lb American open class with harness..

    Now, I've got to choose clicking or holdover.. looks like holdover at least until I can't do my best there.

    As far as, charts.. I can't use my tinted distance glasses that work well for shooting, and read the numbers on the scope too… and changing glasses seems out of the question with the time constraints.

    So that leaves me with my new plan of lots of practice shooting paper at every distance between 10 yards and 55 by 3 yards.. and putting that in my memory bank, linked to the number of mil dots holdover.

    That should improve my game a few points at least.. how much.. is the question… LD and other top shooters still shoot hold over.. so that ain't bad company!

    Wacky Wayne

  48. Herb, Jake,

    Thanks for the video input.. that makes sense about many cameras… at least two or three. I'm not planning on getting an oscar here.. just showing clearly how the shooters are sitting, standing etc. equipment used, and how they use it.

    Adding the target hit would be a big bonus, and would grab the viewer a lot better I'd think.

    So, mid priced cameras that have a lot of storage on low res. would be fine, I'd think.. what ya all


    The Oregon State title is up for grabs for the rest of the year! It's only fair, and probably the best way to bring new people to the Ashland Air Rifle Range! … heck I'll even travel.. but as far as I know it's just Salem, and they are just getting their course started, but we can still shoot there.. I'll go again!! ..or here in Wackyville, Ashland.

    Wacky Wayne

  49. BB i need your help!

    my benjamin sheridan ss just arrived 2 days ago. This morning when i was shooting for the 3rd time the triger doesn't work! (the 1st and 2nd shoot goes without a problem). I thought that i havent cocked it right, so I lock the triger and tap the barrel to open it, the barrel open loosely indicating that it had been cocked. so, i tried to adjust the triger hoping it solve the problem but it doesn't. So I tried to look at the breach to see if there is something wrong with the pellet. after I lock the triger, I tap the barrel to open it and it opened but suddenly it shoot. When I checked the safety again, its switched to off! When I close back the barrel I found that its already bent. Now I read about fixing bent barrel, but what about the mainspring? do you think its broken?


  50. Gasoline on top of the garbage? I'm guessing that might cause some issues with the garbage collection people. I've seen garbage men smoking a cigarette as they collect garbage. Around here, you're not allowed to dispose of flammables and hazardous materials in your everyday trash. When it goes to the landfill, the gasoline contaminates the ground.

    As for the suggestion to pour bleach on it, I'm not sure the garbage men will appreciate that, either. Even if they're wearing gloves, liquids like bleach & gas can penetrate the gloves. One mistake, like taking off a glove & wiping their eyes, can be painful if some gas or bleach has leaked through the glove & remains on a finger.

    Also, our trash collection does not allow garbage cans. We have to put plastic bags of trash at the street. No cans allowed. So, we'd have to saturate every bag.

    I have something less harmful that might work. Our kitties decided needed to be discouraged from climbing the Xmas tree (no doors on that room). I tried all sorts of sprays, none worked. One year, my sister-in-law gave me a hand cream from Bath and Body Works. It was their Juniper Breeze scent. I noticed that when I put some on my hands & tried to pet the cats, they'd close their eyes & run away. I bought Juniper Breeze Body Splash spray. Whenever the cats laid under the Xmas tree, nothing happened. When they started to play with the decorations or make a move to climb the tree, I'd reach for the spray & start spritzing the tree (making sure to never spray the cat. They'd get a whiff of that scent & bolt for another room. It didn't take long for them to learn. In fact, I don't even have to spray anymore. I just have to reach for the bottle & shake it & they're gone. Last year was the first year (after 2 years of training them) that I didn't have to spray at all. In fact, I didn't even have to pick up the bottle. Training complete!

    Since the Juniper Breeze scent is so pervasive, does not smell like food & isn't hazardous, you could easily spray the trash with it. In fact, you could just spray the outside of the can, including the lid, with Juniper Breeze to discourage the critter. Of course, all this is dependent on the raccoon NOT liking the smell. But, it's pretty harmless to people.


  51. Prometheus,

    I tested Promethus pellets many years ago, at the direct request of the factory. I spent a lot of time and the pellets never lived up to their advertising. Prometheus then made a video to demonstrate how accurate they were, but again I was unable to equal the claims.

    In fairness to them, a lot of time has passed.


  52. ajvenom,

    The Greenhill formula has been in use a long time and is respected as a predictor of how well a bullet will perform. More correctly, what the ideal twist rate will be.

    It is not exact. Dennis Quackenbush says it's a good start, but empirical testing is also required. I always try to err on the side of a faster twist, as it does less damage to accuracy than one that is too slow. I can always shoot slower, but it's hard to shoot faster, sometimes.


  53. Luke,

    Have you contacted the outlet where you purchased the gun and explained the problem?

    My vote would be to send the gun back.

    Sounds like the gun had a problem out of the box and now you have a bent barrel to deal with. We had a guest blogger do an article awhile back on straightening a bent barrel (you could use the search box to find it) but you may also void your warranty if you start tinkering with the gun in any way.


  54. John W with raccoon problem,

    Around here you can borrow, free of charge, a live trap from fish & game or division of wildlife or local animal control office. If you can't borrow one the havaheart (sp?) traps are inexpensive. Bait it with a can of catfood and place it where you usually set your garbage cans the same time you usually set your garbage cans.


  55. Beeman R3 guy with squirrel/chipmunk/mouse problem,

    You're struggling with accuracy. Have you made sure your stock screws, scope mount screws and scope rings are all snug? Have you tried a pellet other than the crow mags? I know on the reviews of this gun on the Pyramyd AIR site that one guy swears that crow mags are accurate in his RS3 but I've never had good accuracy with crow mags in any of my guns.


  56. Wayne, I just got in this morning and noticed you camera queries. Unfortunatley I don't have a lot of experience with video so I'll likely not be of much help.
    But one thing I would recommend is to look a the new crop of digital SLR's with built in video capability. These will give you full 720p HD movie capability at 24fps. (this is important…the new Canon 5D for example, as well as most others shoot at 30fps. This means that the sound will not sync with the pictures properly without running it through expensive editing equipment.)
    By using one of these cameras over a dedicated video camera you will get much better image quality as the sensors are so much bigger. The sensor in the 300s for example is 60% the size of a 35mm frame…that in a palmcorder is about the size of a childs pinkie fingernail.
    As well you can grab a still frame from these videos that will easily print upto 11×14 inches or larger with what is called 'photo quality'. A still frame grabbed from a palmcorder will be hard pressed to give a real good 5×7.
    And of course the range of lenses is limitless.

  57. Matt61. I'm really not sure how ROTC works in the 'States. In Canada we have Cadets (Army, Air, Navy) that is for youth aged 12-18.
    Basically it is like uber-Cubs/Scouts with training in firearms and such. Air cadets for example learn to fly gliders, Navy learn small boat sailing, etc.
    They also learn the ideals of helping society (which of course the military does) by being sent into the community during crisis to help out (forest fires, et) if they are a bit older.
    Is this similar to ROTC?
    As I mentioned it is part of the military and their training gun of choice is the 853c. Often you can try and order an 853c from a Canadian dealer and be told it will not be in stock for a couple of months because they've just filled a large Cadet (military) order.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  58. Thanks Ken! Its me not the Beeman I am sure, also its not broken in yet. I guess I am a shot gunner at heart ( shot trap a lot years go, now if I could use my Winchester Superx mod1 in my back yard ) Took a chipmunk at 20ft with the Gamo today

  59. kevin

    well, actually right now I'm trying to send it back and hope for a replacement.
    But i still would like to know whether this kind of incident will definitely or just probably or will not damaged the mainspring? thank you


  60. I originally posted this last night, alas it disappeared into the ether and never showed up on the blog. Perhaps one day it will be unearthed by archeologists!

    I will attempt to recreate it now.

    Chuck, you are quite correct about the forum vs. blog issue. You have found the chink in my armor, and I congratulate you sir. I have been force fed so much information due to this format that my brain has begun dumping childhood memories. But this stuff is much more useful so its OK. If it weren't for this format how likely is it that I would be considering spending close to $600 on a rifle that until recently I had never heard of? Hmmmmm? Not very.

    Also now that I am an addict I revisit specific articles that interest me to see if anyone has had anything new to add to the discussion.

    Your suggestion concerning clicking the email box is great, I was unaware of this feature.

    Kevin, as far as what I want to do with a TX:

    Hunting? not likely.

    Pestilence riddled varmint control?
    Unfortunately. Raccoons, possums, maybe even a polecat?

    Plinking? Try and stop me!

    FT? I'm not one for organized sports, kind of a loner. But I must admit it piques my interest.

    Long range shooting? The thought of putting holes in paper from 50 to 100 yards puts a big stupid grin on my face.

    I realize my interests kind of span the gamut between the capabilities of these two rifles. Such is my hell. I just might have to buy a second rifle someday to make up for the shortcomings of the other one. (See also definition of slippery slope)

    Thank you for the advanced search tips, very helpful.

    Jake, let me get this straight. Your High School allowed an experiment involving firing a projectile with compressed air, and the building is still standing? Well Glory Be! I think it would be much safer if they just showed you the experiment on a film strip, and with all the students safely wrapped in mattresses;)

    Do they even have film strips anymore? Probably not. God, I'm old.

    Volvo, you are quite right about this blog being what it is because we are given the freedom to post off topic. I really appreciate that, I think I mentioned as much in my previous post. I wasn't trying to overturn the apple cart. Its just that
    some catagorization would help out not only nOObs, but also those of us who read something they needed to reread but cant quite remember where exactly they read it before? As Hillary once said, "You know what I'm talkin' bout."

    I was merely looking for some kind of cross referencing. I have since been given some great tips on how better to find what I'm looking for. But I still think grouping certain articles under headers or links would be useful.

    But then again this thing didn't need my help to become the best airgun site out there.

    Fused, I think you hit on something there. BBs motto "There are no stupid questions." Is both encouraging and welcoming (sorry BB, no offense man) —but also patently false. Kind of like, "The Customer is always right." Yeah, except for when the customer is a foul-mouthed lunatic completely divorced from reality who is trying to steal goods/services by imtimidating and belittling the people who did there best to serve them. Did I mention I worked in customer service for a few years?

    Edith, may I call you Edith? Yes! I'm in beautiful Powder Springs Georgia! No, I am unfamiliar with Mr. Becker, does he post to the blog from time to time? Does he have a handle I might recognize? It does not surprise me to hear you speak so highly of him. This is a great town filled with friendly people. If he is among the faithful perhaps I will go to them for my termite control needs if he does such things.

    Behind every great man is a better woman who gets his lazy but moving!

    Thanks again to everyone for their comments and help. I'll post my observations of the TX after I figure out which one to get and order it.

    Slinging Lead

  61. Slinging Lead,

    Alan Becker can be contacted at his business at 770-309-5745. He does traditional extermination, but he also uses airguns to take care of pesky critters such as squirrels in the attic.

    Call Alan & tell him Edith Gaylord sent you. He also fixes vintage guns. In fact, he wrote an article for The Airgun Letter about repairing Schimel air pistols (they look like Lugers). Since you're new here, you may not know that we used to publish a monthly airgun newsletter, books & magazines.


  62. Luke,

    A spring gun firing without the barrel closed is never good. I don't think you have a problem with your mainspring since I think you said you had inserted a pellet and just couldn't get the gun to fire so you re-opened the barrel? It's more common that your spring could break or become canted when you dry fire (fire without a pellet)It's more likely that you bend the barrel and/or crack the stock by firing a breakbarrel with the barrel open.

    I'm just glad you didn't get hurt. People lose fingers when the barrel slams shut like yours did. Please, always keep one hand on your barrel when it's open. Load with your other hand. Never trust the beartrap or a safety. They can fail (like yours did) and either ruin your gun, remove a finger or both.

    Good luck. Be safe.

  63. Slinging Lead,

    I'm with B.B. Order the tx in .177 and plink, long range shoot and have fun.

    Your next gun can be the .22 caliber hunting gun that can take out raccoons/possums/polecats. When you're ready for that step we'll get you into a pcp.

    WARNING: You can get hooked on these accurate airguns.


  64. Ha! Slinging Lead thinks he's going to get by with just two guns. LOL!!! SL, If you stay on this blog you will be amazed at the AG stuff you can't live without!!

    Anxious to hear your TX experience.


  65. Well guys and gals,
    I was going to test the 10 shot group will be 40% larger than the 5 shot group axiom but I hit a snag.

    I wanted to break in my .22 Marauder while testing this grouping thing but the Marauder is so accurate and so powerful (and so so quiet) that it blows a hole right through the 1" Duct Seal pugs and out the back of the target box after 10 shots. Oh My Oh My, what have I gotten myself into?! And, I'm only shooting at average 860fps at 2500psi(897fps, fresh fill) – 1800psi(843fps, after 20 shots).

    I added another layer of 1" pugs but that won't last either. The first pellet goes halfway through the first layer and then the subsequent 9 shots just push everything on through until I'm shooting through a 1/2" hole and into the carpeted wall behind.

    I need more pugs!


  66. DB and Kevin,
    Yeah, I'm only 10m away from the target. Moving back farther is not an option, however. I can visit the local shooting range about 20 miles from my place. It's just not as comfortable as my basement. The Law Enforcement panel is working great for the .22 so I'll stick with that. I do have a small pellet trap, Daisy I believe. I haven't tried it yet but having used it before for .177 I'm sure a pug in the back is going to be necessary.

    I just realized this is not the current post. If you look at the most current post you'll see my comments on the Law Enforcement panel.

  67. Kevin,
    Thanks for your concern and words of advice. Thank God I do not get injured from that incident! I used to tap the barrel open and after the barrel open THEN i grasp it and push it to cock the gun (two steps). Now I think I have to make it one continuous flow from tapping the barrel open and cocking the gun. so in case the gun fired accidently again (please God, never again), I should have my hand on the barrel to prevent it to snap back in full force.


  68. Luke, the way you're loading and cocking the gun is fine. There's no risk to you or the rifle.

    When you first tap or slap the barrel open, there is no pressure on the spring so there's nothing that can really go wrong. You can safely leave the barrel like that – in fact, it is BEST to leave the barrel like that (cracked open but uncocked) when carrying it around. That way there's no doubt that the gun cannot be fired.

    But if the gun is already cocked and you HAVE to open it up again you're right – you do need to hang on to the barrel the whole time. But even that's no guarantee.

    Your Benjamin SS uses an inferior copy of a Gamo-style trigger mechanism, and it isn't 'self-returning'. If you pull the trigger almost to the point of firing the gun and stop, the trigger BLADE returns to the normal position but the trigger SEAR inside the gun DOES NOT. Which means that the sear sits there just at the release point… and jarring the gun (as you found out) can make it go off.

    Failure-to-fire of a spring airgun is always a bear to deal with, especially with a stonger gun like yours. Fortunately it is very rare. But even if you HAD been grabbing the barrel firmly when it let go, there's a fair chance you would at least have bent the cocking link.

    In any event, the adjustment on that trigger ONLY affects the 'starting point' of the sear trip lever, not the release of the sear itself. So it has nothing to do with the gun not firing.

    All in all, it appears that you have an unreliable trigger. I would STRONGLY suggest returning the gun.

  69. Vince

    Thank you Vince!! this the best explanation on why my benjamin failed to fire. Not only that, now I know how to handle the triger on my benjamin ss (when i got the new replacement). And yes, I already sent it back to get a new replacement.

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