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Education / Training Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine – Part 2

Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine is a bullpup springer.

There’s certainly some outspoken interest in the Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine, so I shuffled some priorities and rushed this report to the front.

First, let me tell you about the trigger. It’s a two-stage trigger and the only adjustment is the point where the second stage begins. The trigger on my brand-new rifle breaks at between 5 lbs., 6 oz., and 6 lbs., 8 oz. Most often it breaks below 6 lbs. While that sounds like a lot, it doesn’t feel that heavy to me. It breaks very crisply, which is uncommon for most bullpup triggers, so somehow Norica found a way to do it right.

I think the reason I don’t mind heavier triggers is that I shoot a lot of military firearms, and they typically have triggers with pull weights around 5 lbs. and more. I have always been used to this type of trigger and, although I do shoot 10-meter pistols, whose triggers break at just over 1 lb., I don’t mind a sporting trigger being heavier. I’ve had several accidents in which commercial adjustable firearm triggers have slipped off the sear, firing the gun, but there has never been a single accident with a military trigger. I think most owners will enjoy this Goliath trigger.

Max velocity
According to Norica, the Goliath is rated up to 984 f.p.s. That’s what the gun will do when shooting the lightest pellets. Because our readers want to know such stuff, I fired a few Crosman Silver Eagle hollowpoints to see the speed. Lord help me when I finally run out of them! The fastest shot went 1070 f.p.s., so booga booga! In other words–who cares? We want to know what the gun will do with real pellets–the kind you and I are going to use. However, for the record, the Goliath exceeded the advertised spec. Now, don’t go all, “What they oughta do…” on me, because it won’t change a thing. Airgun manufacturers will continue to test their guns with the lightest pellets for the American market, regardless of what anyone thinks.

Gamo Match
The first pellet I tried was the Gamo Match 7.5-grain pellet. They averaged 835 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 824 to a high of 843. So, a span of 19 f.p.s., though the slowest shot was 6 f.p.s. slower than the next-slowest shot. In other words, it seemed to be an anomaly.

RWS Basic
Seven-grain RWS Basic pellets averaged 856 f.p.s., with a stretch from 842 to 866. Most of them were in the 850s.

Crosman wadcutter
Finally, I tried the 7.9-grain Crosman wadcutters. They averaged 817 f.p.s. and ranged from 812 to 821. With a tight spread like that, they’ll be tried in the accuracy test.

Firing behavior
The Goliath doesn’t vibrate too much, but the recoil is something else. It jumps sharply forward at the shot. We’ll have to see what that does to hold sensitivity in the accuracy test.

The hollow plastic stock amplifies the shooting sound. I think some of you are going to want to fill it, though the bullpup design may present problems. Remember, ther’s an action inside there!

The barrel measures 0.568″ outside diameter near the muzzle and, although I can’t be certain, it looks like there’s no step at the muzzle for the brake. The plastic brake that comes on the gun is probably put on with epoxy, so a heat gun of some kind will be needed to release the bond. Pyramyd AIR carries a replacement brake from Beeman that’s made of black anodized aluminum.

Next, we’ll see how she shoots!

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.

30 thoughts on “Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine – Part 2”

  1. no need to fret B.B., looks like PA is carrying the Crosman Silver Hollowpoints again…


  2. BB,

    With regards to rated velocity vs what is actually possible….

    Gamo DOES rate them with PBA's and lead. Unfortunately they usually don't reach either velocity though usually reach the advertised PBA velocity with the Silver Eagles.

    In fact most guns meet or exceed the advertised velocity with Silver Eagles but these are notoriously inaccurate. So they were discontinued and no longer available. I consider rating velocities with Silver Eagles on par with politician's campaign promises.

    I have rarely owned a gun which reaches the stated velocity with lead. Usually I am lucky to get within 100 fps of advertised and very rarely 75 fps. It is even more rare to get within 50 fps of advertised.

    Two notable exceptions here are my Crossman night stalker and my Drulov Du 10 which BOTH actually meet or EXCEED advertised.

    What a refreshing departure from norm for these two guns. I only wish more manufacturer's followed suite.

  3. RATS!!! B.B., you've had experience with the Nightstalker…are the internals fairly robust?
    Last night I loaded a cardridge and it started to hiss. I'd put the prerequisite drop of oil on it. It wasn't a fast leak, so I reefed pretty good and it stopped. It's holding fine and works perfectly. My hands did have a bit of Pellgun oil on them so I'm hoping I just wan't getting a good grip….
    So, can I fairly safely reef on it or should I send it in to have it checked?
    After this I wonder if a lot of the complaints about leaks with the Nightstalker are just people who are a bit 'limp-wristed'…in the truly physical strength meaning of the term.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  4. CSD,

    Physical strength isn't needed to install CO2 cartridges. It's possible that this cartridge has a face that's more uneven, and it needed a little extra twist to seal it, but that's a dangerous habit to get into. You can shred the face seal if you over-tighten cartridges.


  5. B.B. It definitley took more than a little twist to get the thing seated.
    So…if this happens in the future on an infrequent basis should one just let the cartridge vent? I'd hate to do that because in Canada they are about $18/pr…so losing one is 9 bucks. But I don't want to wreck the seal either.
    Of course if it happens another time or two in quick succession I'll send it back to the dealer as it is still on warranty.
    But if it's just an occasional uneven cartridge can I heartily twist or should I just let the cartridge go and eat the loss.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  6. Hey BB,
    I like the looks of the new Goliath. I wish it was an R-9 in that stock but I know Norinco is getting better in quality all the time. I hope it shoots and groups well.

    David Enoch

  7. BB,

    Pondering impossibilities perhaps, but I have wondered if it would be possible to take the notion of a dead strike hammer, and use the same principles in a piston for a springer.

  8. BB,

    A few off topic questions here:

    Can you tell me what the REAL difference is between a Weihrauch HW30s and a Beeman R7? In other words, what do I get for the extra cost? The R7 claims a little more velocity–is that real or marketing? And why is the R7 a half pound heavier?

    Also, the Beeman web site says all their R-series rifles now come with a built in muzzle brake (which I don't actually want), but the photo on the Pyramydair web site does not show this. Can I still get it without the brake?

    One more question: It looks in the photos like the HW30s has a raised "Monte Carlo" cheekpiece, while the R7 appears to be flat. However, I've seen photos elsewhere on the web that show the R7 with the same raised cheekpiece. Both of my sons are left-handed (not me), so I'd prefer an ambidextrous stock. Can you confirm whether the current generation of R7s is really flat? (I'd be willing to pay the extra for that 🙂

    Thanks a bunch for your help!

  9. Herb,

    Your dead strike hammer idea has been tried several times–and it works!

    Maccari tried it by making a super-heavy top hat that resisted bounceback. It only worked for heavy pellets, though.

    Webley tried it by putting a rubber washer behind the piston seal. When the piston hit bottom, the rubber seal got squished out against the chamber walls and resisted bounceback. The C1 carbine has that technology. How well I works I cannot say.

    It's worth pursuing.


  10. Neil,

    As for the specifics of what's on a certain model gun, you have to call Pyramyd AIR. Beeman and Weihrauch have JUST changed the specs of rifles that are over 20 years old. The R1, for example, no longer has a raised cheekpiece, though it does still have a Monte Carlo comb.

    So let Pyramyd tell you EXACTLY what they have in stock and ready to ship.

    As for the HW30S, it should be virtually identical to the R7, except for the Beeman brake, if there is one. The powerplants are the same, so trust the lower numbers.

    The OLD R7 was a half-pound heavier because of more wood in the stock. What the current one is, only Pyramyd AIR can say.


  11. Hey B.B. I just installed a new cartridge in my Nighstalker and though not at problematic as the one yesterday it was still difficult. For example my 8 year old, who is big for his age would never be able to install one without losing all the air.
    I called my dealer and he says to bring it in for a seal replacement…it is still on warranty so that is good.
    I've needed to send my 853c in once for some kind of leak, and just recently my PPK/s.
    But my 630 Slavia has had 1000's of rounds through it and it never, ever misses a beat. Ya gotta admit, though breakbarrels may be sorta archaic, for reliability they just can't be beat.
    Now here's the 64 thousand dollar question.
    I really, really like the Nightstalker, but it does have that leaking reputation. If it happens again is the CX-4 Strom less problematic in this area in your opinion. Between myself and a couple of friends, all with Umarex pistols, they (umarex) seem to put out damn fine products.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  12. B.B.,

    Way, way off topic.

    Have you seen the vintage catalogue, articles and price lists on the yellow regarding the Hyscores?


    Among other things I learned, and you probably already knew, is that the Hyscore 807/Diana 27 had an "Olympic Match Sight" option. If you look at the pictures you'll see the Rear Diopter/match sight that you mounted on your Diana 27 in the last Diana 27 series you completed. There's some discussion on the vintage about whether this sight is the Diana Diopter 75 (like yours) or the Diana Diopter 60. Apparently both these rear diopters were options on NEW Diana/Hyscore models and it depended on the year of the guns manufacture as to whether it was a 60 (early) or a 75 (later).

    That sight is not only period correct but an actual option that came on the gun new. A Hyscore 807 was $39.95 with open sights and $49.95 with the rear diopter and front globe.


  13. RE: Dead Strike Hammer idea

    Just dawned on me on how to get it to work right. Use a strong magnet to pull magnetic beads to back of piston. Beads in oil of course. When piston reaches end of forward travel, then the beads would fly off magnet due to their inertia.

    There are REALLY strong rare earth magnets now. You just couldn't keep your credit card next to the rifle! Need to make piston itself out of something that isn't magnetic – A good stainless steel, or brass perhaps.


  14. CowBoyStar Dad,

    I've been wondering about the reliability of gas guns myself. My Walther CPSport is in the shop, and my Crosman 1077 has been acting a little weird. On some shots, I get no power, and then the next shots are full power.

    B.B. getting back to your comments about the writhing salted slugs, I was wondering about your opinion of techniques for working a bolt-action magazine rifle in the prone. Old military films show people keeping both elbows in place and kind of rolling the rifle to the side to work the bolt. Modern competition shooters seem to keep the left side of the body in place and move the right arm and elbow to work the bolt. What's current? Working a bolt fast and well is one of the shooting arts that I aspire to.

    On the general subject of safety, airguns and firearms are almost ridiculously safe compared to the lithium polymer LiPo batteries that I just got hold of for my radio controlled planes. These batteries sound like a combination of explosive and flamethrower put together.


  15. woguph,
    Norica != Norinco. Norica is Spanish, while Norinco is Chinese. No relation as far as I can tell, not even in manufacturing, although I'm sure there are theories that Norica manufactures some stuff in China.

  16. B.B. or anyone….
    48 pings. It's the only residual sound from the shot.
    Metallic ping something like a Talon tank, but not nearly as loud. High pitch.

    Nornal for a 48???


  17. BB,
    There's something to the relationship b/t piston weight and pellet weight. By sheer luck, my 36-2 (which required a lot of spacing with heavy washers = a virtual tophat) seems to love anything in the 7.9gr+ range, but it can be rough with lighter pellets, such as hobbies and basics.

  18. Neil,

    i've been following the Beeman line closely as i'm intending to buy an R9 in the near future. all the R series guns are going to be imported in the future with a muzzlebrake. if you look at the Beeman product line, you'll see the regular "R7 air rifle" that still has the sights on it, no brake, (which i believe will be discontinued very soon once stock runs out) and then you see the "R7 air rifle, No Sights". the one that says "no sights" is the new one that Beeman will be importing in the future. the one without sights does have a flat cheek comb (while it still has a slight monte carlo profile) i believe. i've been studying the cosmetics of all R series guns closely. i'm left-handed as well, so i like that the R Series guns are now ambidextrous.

    however, i could always be wrong, so i suggest calling Pyramyd about it so they can have a positive look at it. i've only seen pics in the catalog, and the pics that Pyramyd AIR has provided (thanks PA for the detailed pictures of many guns).

    so yeah, i think the old R7 will be discontinued soon, and will be replaced with the R7 with no sights and a muzzlebrake. you'll need to scope the new one. however, the HW30S is the other way to go, and that has fiber optic sights and a slight cheekpiece. personally i don't think the cheekpiece on the HW30S would interfere with sighting that much for a lefty, but i would always prefer an ambidextrous stock if i can get one.

    but call PA about it.

    i hope this little rant helps,

    John W.

  19. John W.,

    You're absolutely correct about the R7-series rifles. The 2009 models have no sights, but they do have an added muzzlebrake. When the 2008 models with sights are sold out, that's it.


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