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Education / Training Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine – Part 3

Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine is a bullpup springer.

Today, I’ll test the Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine for accuracy. We already know that the scope will be high above the centerline of the barrel, which bothers some shooters because of the parallax at close range. I’ll monitor the situation to see if I notice a problem.

The scope
The Goliath Pyramyd AIR is selling will come with a dot sight. The test version I was sent didn’t have any optics. However, I happened to have a nice scope on hand for a different test I just completed, and it was still mounted in Weaver rings, so it was easy to install it on the Goliath. The Osprey International Tactical scope is a 2.5-10×40 with a 30mm tube. It has a coarse duplex reticle with mil-dots on the thin inner lines. The centerline of the mounted scope is approximately 3-5/8″ (9 cm) above the centerline of the barrel, so this should be an interesting exercise!


Scope sits high above the centerline of the bore.

I will say this: you’ll need some SERIOUS elevation on the rear ring to bring the pellet up to the aim point. Think about using B-Square adjustables or some other rugged adjustable mount, because the rifle will shoot very low if you don’t.

The pellets
I decided to try Gamo Match, Crosman wadcutters and RWS Superdomes for accuracy. The Crosman pellets gave the tightest spread during the velocity test, and the Gamo Match are just on my good side ever since they did so well in the Crosman Challenger 2009.

However, I’m not going to show you any of the groups from those pellets because they sprayed all over the place! So, I tried Baracuda Match, which is the same as Beeman Kodiak Match, RWS Supermag and JSB Match Diabolo. Both the Baracudas and the RWS Supermags changed the firing sound from a buzzy snap to a hollow crack, so obviously they were creating different firing characteristics. More than likely, the piston was bouncing.

The RWS Supermag shot okay, but it was nothing special. At 25 yards, they grouped 10 in about 1.5 inches. Normally, that’s nothing to get excited about, but compared to the three-inch groups the other pellets gave, it was something. By this time, I’d fired close to 80 shots and was pretty discouraged.

Several variations of the artillery hold
The Goliath stock isn’t shaped like conventional rifle stocks; so when you try to use the artillery hold, it responds differently. At first, I was cradling the gun, with my off hand touching the triggerguard; but when that clearly didn’t work, I moved my hand all the way to the end of the forearm. No dice there, either. I thought this was going to turn out bad for the Goliath, but then I tried the JSB Match. Actually, I changed the hold with the JSB, too. Instead of resting the gun on my hand, I rested it directly on the bag.

The one good group I got was with the JSB target wadcutter pellet and with the gun rested directly on the bag. In fact, it wasn’t just rested, it was pushed into the bag where the triggerguard swoops up to meet the forearm. And it worked!


Ten JSB target pellets grouped in this 1.134″ group at 25 yards.

What this tells us is not that this is the best pellet for the rifle, but that you have to experiment with the hold when shooting the Goliath. Just to check it out, I went back to some of the pellets I had tried earlier, but they were still as bad as before. So, you’ll have to try a lot of different pellets as well as learn hold to hold the gun for best accuracy.

I have the impression that this gun doesn’t like to be shot rested and will do its best when handheld. As poor a shot as I am, there’s no way to show that, but if you are thinking of buying one, keep it in mind.

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.

42 thoughts on “Norica Goliath 88 Classic Carbine – Part 3”

  1. B.B.,

    Seems like a lot of the guns coming out are pellet picky and hold sensitive. Goliath seems to fall in the catagory of a plinker.

    Earlier this year (SHOT Show?) you mentioned a scope coming out that had an integrated level. Are these the same scopes that you tested and didn't feel worthy of adding to the PA lineup or are these still to be tested?


  2. Kevin,

    The scopes I saw were at the NRA show in Phoenix in May. They have internal levels, but the scope that claimed 16 magnification was only as powerful as a Leapers at 7X. Also, the pistol scope was priced $10 higher than the prevailing BSA pistol scope. So I'm sorry for the hype and promise, but in the end, the product didn't seem to live up to its claims.


  3. B.B.

    Read your review in Shotgun News about the Colt AR style 22lr. Noticed you upgraded your scope for the range test from the Leapers you mentioned earlier. You made the little gun sound interesting.


  4. Bub,

    Yes, the scope I used here is the same one from the Colt article.

    The Colt M4 is an interesting rifle. Compared to the horrible accuracy you get with an AR15 conversion, it shoots pretty well for a lot less money. But don't compare it to a 10/22, because even with some nice upgrades the 10/22 comes out cheaper.

    Some guys just want the black rifle look in their rimfires and for them, this Colt or the new S&W are about the only guns to get.


  5. Kevin,

    Be patient cause dementia will take care of it self. I'm getting to the point where I don't remember that I don't remember stuff any more or something like that.

    Mr B.

  6. 10M shooting with a 1377 with an adjustable williams notch sight on steel breech, adjustable trigger/sear and wood grips:

    I should have shot some groups to pick the best wad cutter. So far it's been Gamo Match, but I haven't tested the RWS-R10 pistol and rifle pellets. I decided just to try out the R10 pistol pellets, which gave me approx. 10mm ctc groupings to start.

    I was shooting for a score of 540 or better. I figured I could average 9 per shot if I did well.

    Some disadvantages:

    1. The notch sights are different then the diopter sights I've used.

    2. The angle of the handle doesn't allow you to drop your hand down to make a steady platform like 10M pistols.

    3. Multi pump, shot at 5 pumps, may not be the best choice for consistancy.

    4. Standard non L/W barrel, but still has a 10.25" barrel that shoots well. One can order a L/W barrrel or just order a CO2 target pistol version.

    As for the scoring, I shot a score of 408, 428 and 482. When I have more time I will try again. Perhaps 500 will be my next goal.

    Shooting a pistol one handed and open sights is tricky, but the rewards of improving your shooting is worth it. I started at 50mm (approx. 2 inches) ctc groupings 3 years ago and have cut it down to 10mm today and 5mm with a scope.

    I did use the sight picture having the front post centered and level and placed under the black target circle. Next time, I may bring the front post up a little, which seemed to give me a more criper view of the edge of the black target circle.

    Do 10m shooters shoot with both eyes open? I couldn't do that with this type of sight so far.


    I still recommend an IZH-46M for those who are more serious about the sport.

    BB –

  7. B.B.

    Sounds kind of quirky. I know that there's a lot of work to be done in finding the right hold for a rifle, but surely there are limitations too imposed by ergonomics. Some holds will feel better or more comfortable because of the way the body is formed. If a gun requires a hold that feels awkward, it doesn't seem worth it.

    All, my Black Hills .223 69 grain ammo has arrived! Half a case of it after a wait of 10 months. I was starting to give up hope. What beautiful brass cartridges. I'm almost minded like Muhammed Ali who, it was said, slept with his gold medal on the night after he received it. Imagine my sheets covered with the fine, glittering layer of brass. Maybe not.

    I have a better idea. Wayne, did you know that in the Old West, one of the prices of being the top gun is that everyone wanted to take you on? Well, how about giving me another showdown with Oregon's finest? Just because I don't have access to field target doesn't mean I can't have fun too. And this is not without significance either. We have been wondering about the virtues of pcps vs. firearms. As I see it, the pcps have low recoil. The firearms have a flatter trajectory due to high velocity and heavier bullet weights. Pcps shine at the 10m range and moving out with the firearms taking over some time before 100 yards. 50 yards seems like as good a distance as any to see how they compare. You bring your A game in the form of your USFT or whatever. (If you use a Marauder, I'll probably root for you.) I'll use my Savage 10FP with my Black Hills ammo. We shoot a few benchrested groups and see what happens. You'll be carrying the flag for all pcp owners, and in addition to taking on firearms, you'll be facing springer training, since that is mostly what I shoot. What do you say?


  8. AJ, yes 10m shooters keep both eyes open. I sprung for a pair of shooters glasses which are a wire frame affair that have the ability to add options.
    In front of your dominant eye hangs a holder that can either be fitted with a prescription lens, or colored filter lens for different lighting conditions.
    In front of your weak eye hangs a neutral gray blind. Your eye stays open but focuses on nothing.
    It really makes a difference. Until I started using these glasses I didn't realize how much one squints when closing the weak eye. Keeping both eyes open gives a sharper sight with the dominant eye, increased contrast and far less eye fatigue.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  9. Br B, Kevin, BB,
    I bought the Sun scope with the level inside. I bought mine before you posted your critique. I mounted it on my Marauder and there it will stay for a while. Basically I like the scope for my use. The level inside is as good a feature as I expected it to be. The illumination is blue? I haven't confirmed your finding about the magnification on my scope yet. I'll let you know what I find out. I have a Centerpoint 32x variable I can compare it to. Since right now I'm 99.9999% 10M indoors the discrepancy doesn't bother me.


  10. Matt61,

    That sounds fun.

    So am I hearing we meet at the nationals?

    How about we shoot bench rest, offhand, and sitting ft positions..

    I'll be bringing as many guns as will fit into the Volvo V70 wagon…. so we can compare lots of PCP to firearm groups..

    Wacky Wayne MD.
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  11. Matt61,

    You're a brave man, but your Savage 10FP will get eaten up by Waynes's S410 at 50 yards.

    Don't let Wayne talk you into FT positions. Remember how long it took him to be able to do that sitting FT position?

    Mr B.

  12. Wayne,

    No nationals yet for me. This will have to be over photobucket like before. But, the main thing is that you have answered the call! Cue the Gene Pittney song "Liberty Valance":

    When Liberty Valance came to town the women folk would hide.
    When Liberty Valance walked around the men would step aside…

    I'm afraid that the local range is as far as I can go, but I can go this weekend. The Black Hills ammo is so expensive that let's stick with benchrest to start out. I mostly shoot standing so I don't have training for the other positions, and standing is not really a test of the equipment.

    When statistics are all said and done, the American Rifleman standard of five 5 shot groups seems as good and practical to me as any. But it takes a lot of ammo, especially since there are a lot of other things I want to do out there. How about three 5 shot groups from a rest? And let's say the first three groups after you sight in, so we don't get into selecting from a larger sample. I can have mine posted by Sunday assuming I remember how to download from my camera and post to photobucket.


  13. Mr. B

    You see I've artfully avoided the FT position.

    I don't know. If you subtract the individual behind it, the Savage 10FP is a super gun. Besides, for the CTC measurement, I get to subtract a larger number. 🙂 Anyway, we can contribute a data point to the practical discussion of how pcps and firearms compare. I'll be the first to admit that the S410 is a fine rifle.


  14. Matt61,

    It will be hard to have the same wind conditions.. unless we both wait for no wind… but it really doesn't matter that much…
    so are we going for size of group or points on a bull?

    If it's a steady wind, then maybe size of group, since they should all be blown the same.. but in our FT range where there's a bench to rest on.. the wind swirls around the large backstop fence… this is loads of fun with 12 ft lbs. at 50 yards… 🙂

    Mornings can be calm here. that's my best shot.. pun intended 🙂

    posting the pics is my challenge too!

    Wacky Wayne MD
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  15. Wayne,
    Sounds like here. Monday morning I waited until I could just see through the fog, then shot for an hour or so, by which time the fog was burned off and the wind was starting to kick up; the other good time is right before dark, but the light gets to be an issue:). I think you have more to fear from the wind than Matt does at 50 yards…considering the BC on a .223 match bullet is probably 20x the best pellets, not to mention the mass:). Good luck to you both.

    I'm still amazed by your last description of a range trip. Glad you got your Black Hills ammo. Try to shoot a few groups with the Prvti Partisans to see how they compare.

  16. Wayne,

    I think points on a bull is problematic given different sized targets, and my larger bullets give me an inherent advantage in breaking the smaller ring. Group size, measured CTC, would normalize everything.

    Yes, the wind is a variable but that is part of the deal with the different gun types. Here you appreciate the advantage of firearms! But you have advantages too. I'm stuck with whatever comes my way on Saturday. It will have to be then, since I probably can't get out again for another month at least. You pick any conditions you want within a reasonable time frame like the next couple weeks. (This reflects the inherent versatility of air guns.) The only restriction is that you have to go with your first three 5 shot groups after you sight in. Nothing like a little match pressure to get you toned up for the Nationals. We can take the average of the three 5 shot groups as the determining number. Oh, and the sighters are unlimited.

    BG_Farmer, what are you remembering about my last range trip? Was it the forgetting of the hex key for my scope? I'll make sure that doesn't happen again. I placed an order for Privi Partisans in .223 but they're out of stock too! So are RWS Hobbys. The world is coming to an end!


  17. Matt,
    I was thinking about the multiple firearms and accessories loaded into a taxi, and no food, drink or restroom break during the session, so you can keep an eye on your stuff. True dedication:). Work on your offhand some (if you need to), and I'll challenge you with my muzzleloader — I still need a lot of practice at 50 yards:).

  18. Matt61,
    I was practicing field target this afternoon and trying to work out the fine points between 45 to 55 yards on my side wheel marks..

    soooo.. I said why not try the bench and see what we see for uncle Matt..
    The 12 ft lb. USFT#44 doesn't fit into the bench rest with the knee stand on it… so the best I can do is just let it stand on the knee stand and maybe put some sand bags under the air tube… the butt is still floating around..

    I'll have to work on the technique.. the best I got on the back wall 53 yards away, in the swirling wind, was three- 5 shot groups with JSB .177 8.4 exacts averaging 3/4"..

    ..on a good no wind day she should get it down to 9/16" or so.

    Maybe we can email the photos and story to B.B. and he can do something with them.

    Wacky Wayne,
    MD. Ashand Air Rifle Range

  19. Wayne and Matt61,

    Yes please post your pictures for our edification, thanks.

    Question folks–my .22 Discovery was giving me about 25 shots at a fill of 1800 psi before a significant drop in POI and it is now about 15 shots—-why did this happen. No chronny figures and no fluttering tissue laid over bolt when gun is fired. Thanks folks.
    Mr B.

  20. Mr B,

    Have some one watch the bolt of your Disco when you fire.

    Yours sounds like the same problem I had. An observer told me the bolt was flipping open on firing. With heavy Kodiak's it actually opened all the way and traveled back about 1/4 inch.

    I sent the gun back to Crossman and they replaced the bolt and the receiver.

  21. I shoot .22 eun jin points. Hit hard and very accurate in my Discovery. I have to rock the bolt a little when loading because the EJs are a little tight, but the extra effort is worth it. Also, the Predator points work well too. Both are awsome for small game.

    AS for 10M, I went back and reread some of the multi part 10M pistol blog. Also, I put my scope back on and found the RWS R10 rifle 8.2g pellet to be most accurate pellet I own for my 1377. Now to patch one eye, put the notch sight back on the pistol and try again.

  22. No kidding about the depth perception change when using one eye. I used a patch over one eye and had a hard time picking up pellets.

    Best results so far, 490. I got tired at the end and could see my front sight starting to move around when I pulled the trigger. Last few shot were 7s, but I did have a nice long runs in the 9s and 10s.

    Also, I went to 3 pumps with the 1377and put the front sight on the bottom of the black circle. I suppose I will keep trying. 500 would be nice…540 would be really cool.

    AS for the 1377, the real joy has been the absence of those pesky starlings. The smart ones have not returned. I don't mind the other pesky birds because they seem to come and go. But the starlings are like in-laws, you can never get rid of them once they've moved in.

  23. ajvenom,

    It's good to see someone working so hard with the 1377.

    I love mine, even my fiance loves it. During one shooting session she said, "this is so much fun, you can give this to me for my birthday present!" Yeah right. This ones mine, get your own.

    I must admit I "tampered with perfection" by adding the 1399 stock, forearm from a 2289, steel breech, leapers bug buster scope, and a trigger shoe. And I polished all surfaces of the trigger, and the contact points of the sear. An empty .22lr cartridge stuck in the end of the spring makes much better contact with the sear. Other than that its stock;)

    Those stupid soda cans aren't so smug anymore.

    Slinging Lead in Powder Springs

  24. Glad to read more on the Evanix Blizzard. Will you be doing anything on a review of the FX Revolution? It is a semi-auto that sure looks sweet. Want to know if it performs as they say.

  25. Will have to hold a bit on the Shotgun News article. The nearest place that will have it is 90 miles away. Don't go there too often so I will plan a Dec trip.
    Is your review a positive one???

  26. B.B.,

    While this rifle looks nice & does peek some curiosity, one of the first comments, was someone saying how there are so many rifles out there, that are both hold sensitive & pellet picky.

    I think that is a pretty good point, as I've noticed that most springers I've shot, & even my Mike Melick tuned B-40 which needs to warm up sometimes before it will group, fall into this category.

    So, I have to ask… In your opinion, what are the best .22 cal springer rifles shooting at least 800fps, that are not too hold sensitive or pellet picky, & could you name at least three in price ranges, ranging from $150.00 – $350.00 or around there?

    Thank you,


  27. BBA,

    You ask too much! The answer will take a blog or two. But I can help.

    Here is my basic rule:

    All breakbarrels are hold sensitive. Of them, the Diana 34 is relatively good, but it's still hold sensitive.

    The Hammerli 490 is fairly good, but it is still hold sensitive.

    Most underlevers and sidelevers are less sensitive to hold. The TRX 200 is the champ.

    Now for the answer to your real question–the one you didn't ask, but should have. The rifle you are looking for is the FWB 124. You can still buy them for under $350, especially in these troubled economic times. But hurry.


  28. B.B.,

    Thank you for that great info. I didn't know about the hold sensitivity being different between the different styles of cocking mechanisms. That's good to know.

    I know you could write a LOT of info on the differences of these guns & why, so I do understand what you're saying.

    And while I know the TX 200 is a great gun (one that I can't afford right now, which is why I got my B-40 for now), what I don't know, is what is the question I didn't ask?
    I read your reviews on the guns you mentioned, & maybe it's because it's late & I'm tired, but I couldn't figure that out.

    The FWB 124 DOES look & sound very impressive, but it's a .177 cal. & even though I will still look for one, as I would like to have a nice .177 springer in my collection, in case I ever want to shoot field target,
    & I know .177's will always be more desired & that gun will appreciate in value, I still really want a .22 cal. & you didn't sound too excited about the FWB 125.

    So since I already have a TX 200 on my wish list, I'm going to try & grab an FWB 124 now, & then just save up & get the TX 200 later.
    But since I still have a strong desire for a really nice, powerful, & accurate .22 cal. springer, my only other question is, do you think the TX 200 in .22 cal. is just as good as it is in .177 cal?

    Thanks for your help,


  29. BBA,

    You didn't ask what are the airguns I would recommend, which cuts through all the specs and gets down to what works.

    I've heard good things about the TX 200 in .22, but I still think the RWS 54 is the better rifle in that caliber.

    You're really asking me if a Corvette with a 6-cylinder engine is just as good as a V8. The answer is yes if you're a collector and want a Blue Flame 6 and no if what you want is performance.


  30. B.B.,

    I was trying to, but I understand what you're saying. I put in too many specifications & limitations.

    However, ALL your answers DID tell me quite a bit, & helped a lot.

    This is great, because I think I have collected most of the CO2s, PCPs, replicas, custom, & popular classic guns I want for the time being, & am now looking for a couple of high power, accurate springer rifles, with the least amount of recoil.

    Thank you for all your help,


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