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Education / Training Norica Massimo – Part 1

Norica Massimo – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Norica Massimo has real style! The raised, ventilated rib does nothing functional, but it looks good.

Today is just for me and Josh Ungier, because we both like the looks of this new airgun. Josh likes it so much, in fact, that he called me while I was writing this report to ask when I was going to review the gun. The Norica Massimo has the most upscale look of any breakbarrel I’ve ever seen. Now, don’t get me wrong–I love the look of a fine HW55 Tyrolean or perhaps a vintage ball-flask rifle, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that the Massimo looks sharp! It looks like a Browning Automatic Rifle to me, and I’m referring to the modern BAR sporter, not the 1918 full-auto military arm.


Browning Automatic Rifle styling is very similar to the Massimo’s.

I am not easily influenced by style. In fact, when it comes to shooters, it ranks at the bottom on my index of important things. In this case, it does come into play.

The Massimo is rated to 1,000 f.p.s., but I really don’t care about that. I would be happy with 800 f.p.s., if the rifle can shoot. Yes, pretty as I think it is, it either shoots or I walk away. However, I will make a prediction about this one. I predict that it will be the prime target for airgun tuners, and the one who lightens the cocking effort will get my vote. I can even envision a light-cocking gas spring conversion. The great feel of this rifle would do well with a butter-smooth, 20-lb. cocking effort and a shot cycle that feels neutral, like a PCP.

The two-piece stock is different– a butt and a separate forearm. I don’t usually care for that style, but on this gun it looks and feels right. It’s that styling thing, again. The forearm is tall and blocky, but thin enough to fit well in your off hand. And the pistol grip is on the slender side, so you feel like you’re in control. Both pieces of wood are roughened by a combination of reverse checkering (the diamonds are pressed in, rather than sticking out) and stippling. The overly generous 15-inch pull, combined with the beefy wood pieces, gives the rifle an overall feeling of substantial size.


Grip and forearm are roughened by a combination of reverse checkering and stippling.

The weight is seven and one-half pounds, about a full pound less than I would have guessed. The length overall is a very shotgun-like 47 inches, or nearly two inches longer than Beeman’s big R1 Supermagnum air rifle.

The barrel is shrouded (for looks, only) with a fat synthetic tube that looks for all the world like a 20-gauge shotgun barrel at the muzzle. That’s because the real muzzle of the 16.5-inch barrel is located about two inches down the shroud. This is done for style, only, and has nothing to do with the discharge sound. The barrel is finished in a matte dark charcoal that matches the flat sides of what looks like the receiver, back above the triggerguard. The real receiver is the spring tube, of course, which Norica left with a low polished blue finish. I think a deep high polish would look better on this part, because of the contrast with the matte parts.

The raised, ventilated rib does nothing for the rifle but look good. Vent ribs belong on shotguns–not rifles, but we’ll forgive the faux pas because it fits the styling so well.


Barrel shroud or jacket extends beyond the real barrel by several inches, giving the look of a shotgun muzzle, but one with rifle sights.

The trigger is two-stage and adjustable for the location of the second-stage engagement. It seems to release pretty easy, but these Norica triggers are so crisp that I’ve been fooled before. Let’s wait for the scale to tell us the whole story.

The adjustable sights are fiberoptic, front and rear. The front sight is protected by a hood that can be removed. They look good enough to use, so I plan to. Of course, there’s an 11mm scope rail cut directly into the top of the spring tube and a proper scope stop at the back.

One more surprise
A tin of Norica wadcutter pellets was included in my test Massimo box. They look well-formed and weigh between 7.5 and 7.7 grains, according to the small sample I checked. That puts them at the same quality as the Gamo Match pellet. I’ll use them in the accuracy test, just for fun.


A tin of Norica wadcutters was in the Massimo box. I will use them in the accuracy test.

Shooting impression
I couldn’t wait! The rifle cocks more easily than the last two Noricas I have tested. I’ll weigh it for you next time. The trigger breaks cleanly and VERY light compared to the other two rifles! And the firing behavior is quick and without vibration. You can feel the forward thump, but that’s as far as it goes. This is a smooth shooter.

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.

109 thoughts on “Norica Massimo – Part 1”

  1. Good Morning BB –

    Speaking of Mr Ungier, we are still waiting to hear the rest of the story about how Pyramid Air got started!! Perhaps a gentle reminder is in order BB?!?!


  2. Also love the look of the rifle, BB. A welcome change from the "traditional" break barrel profile. It's hard to look at the pics and guess that it's longer than an R1. This must be a substantial gun.

  3. Very nice to see some airgun with a design that stands out from the mass, and doesn't follow the black picatinny "tactical" scheme…and even better to hear it has the good one of the two Norica trigger types built in!

    By the way: Norica is made in Spain. The law there completely bands airgun hunting, but allows to use shotguns. So maybe there's a more practical aspect to the Massimo's looks for the spanish people…

  4. Love the look of that gun! Fantastic!

    I hope the performance is as good as the looks. If so, it will be a fantastic rifle.

    The price set me back a bit, but I guess you get what you pay for.

  5. Mel,

    From the parts diagram, it appears as if the tophat would slide inside the spring guide when cocked. It's awfully long compared to the other tophats that I'm used to seeing. If that is the case, then it could help explain the smooth firing behavior. I would love to see that concept spread to other manufacturers as well.

    Somewhere on the nets, I read a long couple of posts where someone built a custom tophat that slid through the spring guide right out the back of the stock. IIRC, it greatly improved the firing behavior. Looked terrible, but form over function and all of that. It was a fascinating thread just because I had never seen anything like it done before.

  6. Thats a nice looking gun. Maybe the rib will help with glare coming off the barrel. I do have a rifle with a vent-rib barrel. Its a Remington 673 and the rib helps allot with heat. Hopefully the Massimo doesn't diesel so much that the rib is needed as a radiator.

  7. Aaron,

    I put a bug in Josh's ear about the rest of the story a couple days ago. He is working on it.

    I filmed the inside of their new building, and we will combine Josh's blogs with the release of that article with video.


  8. B.B.

    The vented rib looks good, but it looks to much like a shotgun to me to be a pellet rifle.

    Yes, it does look like the BAR sporter, speaking of which, I've been reading numbers of reports about the accuracy of the new FN BAR tactical rifle. The original BAR sporter was not supposed to be accurate at all, but the tactical rifle gets consistent MOA groups which, for a semiauto, is extremely good. I'm not sure what the secret is. Part of it is making the gun very heavy. Otherwise, the action is supposed to be closely based on the M1 carbine.


  9. When I saw the picture of this rifle I immediately thought shot gun. I agree with Mel, I think this is what Norica was going for. Are there any other air rifles/air shotguns that have that vented rib? For a collector this could fill a niche.

    I want to second, or at least vote yay, on the request for a continuation of Mr Ungier's story.


  10. It’s 1979 and I have the new Tom Petty cassette in the player of my ’76 Camaro when I spot a hot chick in a Pinto ahead. While the V-8 in the Chevy was never meant to have the low compression ratio and restrictive catalytic convertor, it still makes short work of catching up to the Pinto. I can’t say as to why I do this, no more than a terrier can explain the uncontrollable urge to chase a distant squirrel.

    The closer I get the more my 18 year old mind fills in the details. The long blonde hair continues to work as a magnet. The Camaro feels the ancestry of the high output 302 in its blood and seems to understand the urgency of the chase. Finally we are side by side, and I glance over for that all important first look.

    It’s a dude.

    Fast forward 30 years and I’m at the keyboard when a combination of impatience and slow internet give me a first close look at the Massimo in B.B. review. I see the copy with the photo below. Yow, I know I said I only need two rifles but this is gorgeous. This first sentence conforms that Tom also likes the looks. Who wouldn’t? For those few brief nanoseconds I am sold based on looks alone. (Sorry BG farmer) But that is one sexy air rifle.

    No, wait it’s a Browning.

    The only “fair” in life is the one that sells cotton candy….. Volvo

  11. You know what I like…

    I like that Norica "gets it", and their offerings are in both .177 and .22 calibers,…and PA makes both calibers available…

    What I dislike is a chintzy trigger on an otherwise sweet rifle like the Norica Quick…


  12. Volvo,
    I can relate. Lets say I wasn't hooked on the looks (first thought was semiautomatic shotgun), but I took a second take and thought I can see what BB sees in her, then realized my second take was the Browning BAR below the intro text.

    Dude looks like a lady:).

    My apologies to BB and Josh — love knows no reason:).

  13. Bg farmer, Kevin, anyone…

    Wanted to get outside again today and work on long distance groups with the Walther 55 but the weather has been uncooperative.

    I found a muzzle brake on the yellow and ordered it yesterday. That will fairly well finish off the appearance other than the barrel. I am thinking about trying a cold bluing on it. Any thoughts on what works? I know some may find it sacrilegious to perform such an action on a 53 year old rifle, but I will not do the sleeve that goes over the barrel, so it could be put back to normal if need be. (The sleeve is a high quality piece made of steel with a nice factory blue.) The actually barrel shows more wear from caring the steel sleeve.


  14. Aaron,

    Pyramyd AIR doesn't have a walk-in store. They do have plans for a local pick-up capability, which they had at their old building. Place your order online and go to them to pick it up.

    But their business is set up around the internet and wholesale accounts, so they don't have the people to run a store.


  15. Volvo,
    I've had mixed results with cold blue when following the instructions. The only time it looked gorgeous was on my long rifle, where I didn't want a factory fresh looking blue job and had to scrape it off and redo it more to my liking:). I've heard good things about the paste version and also Oxpho blue. Some people also report better success with heating the parts before applying solution, and even stopping the reaction with boiling distilled water. Heating the part before the solution does seem to help in my experience.

    In your case, though, I would probably just follow the instructions, so that the finish is not too terribly thick or durable (i.e., can be rubbed off fairly easily). I hope someone can help you more than this.

  16. BB,
    Thought of way to describe the effort needed to recharge the Disco using a hand pump. To me it seems just about like pumping up a 2 gallon garden chemical sprayer.

    The Crosman pump has a longer stroke and you need more strokes but the strength needed is similar. Especially similar if you only go to say 1750psi.


  17. Volvo,

    Cold bluing. I've done a little of that.

    Think of this like painting a car. You can have earl scheib paint everything, without anymore prep than taping off your windows (for $49.95) or you can prep properly and have a show car finish with 14 coats of clearcoat ($20,000 paint job).

    The analogy is for two reasons. First prep is key. Second, cold blue can look ok for awhile but it won't last or look near as good as hot blue.

    I udnerstand this is the barrel we're talking about and not the sleeve so cold blue may be a good option.

    You mentioned wear on the barrel from the sleeve. Are these nicks or gouges in the metal? What is the overall condition of the bluing on the barrel? Rust? Thin blue? Plum color? Black? Blue? Satin or gloss?

    In short I think it might be a good candidate for a cold blue treatment. If you plan on keeping the gun in a safe mostly and not handling it, the blue wonder (come in blue and black) can give good results. It just doesn't last. Birchwood Casey I wouldn't recommend. Multiple bad experiences. The Oxpho Blue (That BG Farmer mentioned) is my favorite (the paste not the liquid) but my technique is different than the instructions.

    Answer my questions when you have time and then we may have to take this offline (you have my email).


  18. Kevin,

    You’re showing your age. I think the “Earl” charges $99.95 now.

    Currently, I have less than the cost of a “high end” Gamo invested in the Walther. The muzzle brake I found was new and only $19.00 shipped. So keeping with the theme, a low cost blue would be just right for now.

    Someday down the road I may send her for a PW adv tune and a full barrel shroud, but that will be awhile.

    Anyway, the barrel is blacker in color, with no nicks or gouges. The bluing is just thin or gone in spots. Zero rust or pitting. My guess is many would be fine with the way it is.

    Sometimes I just stare at the stock; I believe the palm swell and checkering are not found on anything less than semi custom rifles today. As far as shooting goes, it continues to amaze. Who would have guessed that Walther made a great barrel?

    Glad I could put a smile to your face.


  19. Kevin,
    I have to laugh at "my technique is different than the instructions", not because its wrong, but because I suspect you and I have had the same expereiences and dealt with them in a similar way or at least with a similar mindset.

    I generally use B-C PermaBlue (forgot the name earlier) liquid, just because that's sometimes available locally (as opposed to never), but my methodology is so far removed from the instructions and perhaps so contrary to OSHA regulations that I don't want to risk litigation:). I would go with Kevin's OxphoBlue paste recommendation, especially just for touch-ups — I thought for some reason the barrel might have been left white.

  20. Volvo,

    Not only have I used cold blues, Dennis Quackenbush actually did a test of different brands for me and wrote it up for Airgun Revue (I think). I'll look for that article and republish it for you.

    For me, Oxpho Blue works the best. The prep is important, as you say, and heat is, too. The metal needs to be warm when the solution is applied. And repetition gets the darkness you are after.

    However, I have been sitting on a new type of cold blue for several years. Maybe it's time for me to get off my duff and test it. It's Blue Wonder from Armor All. It is a chemical developer that works by a reaction–not by pickling the metal. The solution has gold and silver in solution that turns black like film. I've seen it demonstrated twice and it's as tough as regular blue, plus as deep!

    But will it work in anyone's hands? We'll see.


  21. Cold blue is a though nut to crack. I scratched a new 1377 doing some mods and attempted to touch up the scratch. That is when I found out Crosman paints the 1377 instead of blueing.

    The cold blue stripped off the paint. So I ended up doing the whole gun with cold blue. After several coats it turned out somewhat close to OK but not good.

    Found cold blue great for touching up my powder burners and putting a finish on internal airgun parts that the factory neglected to finish.


  22. This was sent to the podcast, where I do not answer questions:

    Hello Tom,

    Thank you for all the valuable info, it really helps. My question: I have a Beeman R9 and have been plinking with it for years. It has always been very accurate with open sights. I can hit a 3 inch target at 40 yrds. I decided to try FT and took the plunge. Got a Leapers 8x32x56, side wheel, accushot rings and started your recommended set up process. when i got out to 35 yrds i reached the max UP setting on the adjustment and i am still 1/2 inch below aiming dot. What have i done wrong? Thanks for your help. Best regards.



  23. R9,

    You need to raise the scope up in the rear. Your rifle is a drooper. Any adjustable scope mount will enable the scope to be raised in the rear to fix this problem.

    An R9 should group on a quarter at 40 yards. I think you need to refine your artillery hold.


  24. Volvo,

    When it comes to cold bluing I'm not the same caliber as Dennis Quackenbush or Tom Gaylord. I'm anxious to see these articles that B.B. has promised.

    I've never done a test of many cold blue products but have used some of the more popular. I'm convinced that I've made every elementary mistake possible in cold bluing and could possibly help you avoid a few. Here's an example;

    I only used Blue Wonder once. Since they have two products, one for a "blue" finish and the other for "black" I opted to use it on a S & W (they're more black than blue in my opinion). Although Oxpho can be built up to very dark it's still blue rather than black and on some metal can be grey. Anyway, I prepped per instructions and carded with 0000 steel wool (like I always did with Oxpho). After several applications it looked great. I was very happy and I'd even say smug. Within a year the blued area of the gun became a rust thermometer. Because of constant, necessary applications of oil it wore off quickly. My mistake, I learned later, was that I carded with steel wool. Steel wool has alot of oil on the surface to keep it from rusting. Some cold blue products (like Blue Wonder) will not tolerate oil, any oil in the application. Oxpho not only tolerates the light oil in the process but seems to prefer some oil, along with light carding with 0000 steel wool, to improve adhesion.

    The last thing I'll say before B.B.'s articles is that for Oxpho the metal doesn't need to be warm, in my limited experience, it needs to be hot for the first application.


  25. Volvo,

    Thanks for getting us started on "cold bluing". I haven't used any for decades and don't have a clue what's now available. I'm following this discussion with alot of interst, but don't have much to contribute.

    When Kevin said a hot barrel makes the Oxpho work better, he got me thinking about what is the optimal temperature for these chemical reactions which brought up our resident chemist's name in my mind.

    Therefore, my question is for Herb. Sir, is there an optimal temperature for the various cold bluing processes and is there a way to determine what that might be without exausting, extensive testing?

    Mr B.
    WV=bladooki. bloger's shorthand for BS perchance?

  26. Mr. B.,

    Unfortunately my experience with chemistry left out all sorts of practical applications, including bluing.

    I did do some work with plating, which is similar, and I can tell you it is as much an art as it is a science.

    So the only advice I can give is to find a procedure and follow the directions carefully. Like any "paint" job, I would expect that surface prep is key. So look for a procedure which gives carefully explained details about how the preparation is to be done.

  27. Mr B,
    Make sure you have 30mm scope rings.

    I searched PA for adjustable 30mm scope rings comparable to the "B-Square 10037 1" Interlock Adjustable Rings, High, 11mm Dovetail" but couldn't find any. Did I do a bad job of searching or what?


  28. Chuck,

    Like these?:


    Don't remember what Mr B. plans on putting that scope on but these are a one piece adjustable.


  29. Anyone who can help,
    I just bought a Walther LG 55 in very nice condition. The problem is that its piston seal is bad. Does anyone know where I can get one? I could sell it, but I really don't want to because I've heard such nice things about the gun.
    Thank You,

  30. R9,

    Shimming will work, but as far off as your rifle is, I don't think you can shim it enough. You can only use two pieces of film before you risk bending the scope tube because the rings are not aligned. That's what the adjustable rings do for you.


  31. CJr,

    Thanks for the feed back. They're now out of that particular item.. Should be here within the week.

    To answer your question Kevin, I'm going to put it on my Discovery when she comes back from Crosman.

    Mr B.

  32. B.B.,

    do you have any experience with varying temperatures effecting spring gun accuracy? because i've been having the following problem:

    a week ago i got the gun sighted to a gnat's eyelash and it was shooting group after group after group at 25 yards (half-inch groups or better).

    i come out this week (the temperature has dropped 20 degrees now) and i start shooting paper, and i find that not only has the POI changed, but also the accuracy is so bad that i can't even tell what the POI is! i kid you not, the accuracy was not disappointing, not mediocre, but HORRIBLE!!!!!! maybe i'm exaggerating a little, but when I see 2 inch groups at 25 yards from a gun that is supposed to shoot 1/2 inch groups or smaller at the same distance, i'm disappointed. (it's a Beeman RS2, in case someone hasn't seen me before) i think my Center Point scope has a bit of a problem with the lockdown turret rings loosening apon bumping, so i think that explains the POI change, cause it happens often (i'm not too happy with that either, but…). what i'm concerned about is the groups.

    i have regularized my artillery hold now and i'm better with it than before, and my cheekweld does not move.

    therefore, i think the only variable here is temperature. it has dropped 20 degrees and before that drop, the gun was fine, but now it's shooting horribly.

    so do you have any experience with breakbarrels shooting erratically due to temperature changes?

    (sorry if i seem rushed. i'm not very pleased with my airgun right now. it's been doing weird things for a while now. either that or i'm just too quick to act.)

    John W.

  33. John W.,

    Take a deep breath because it's probably not you, and probably not your gun but the temperature that's affecting the accuracy.

    Temperature can and usually does affect the scope and temperature almost always affects my spring guns. The lubes in the gun are affected by cold and so is the glass in your scope.

    I shoot where temperatures from inside the house and outside can vary 40-50 degrees. I've found that not only does the glass on the scope shift, and the gun's velocity get affected (and change the poi) but the stock and trigger screws are loose (the cold shrinks the wood is all I can guess).

    Tighten your stock screws, check your mount and ring screws, let the gun get acclimated to the outside temperature and then adjust.


  34. Did I understand correctly that the mounts you guys are talking about is a one piece, and it's going on a Discovery? How do you plan on loading that baby? With tweezers? Yikes, get two piece mounts. You'll never get a pellet in there. Or maybe I'm confused about what mount is being discussed.

    word verification: dogrogyr!

    Slinging Lead in Powder Springs

  35. All,
    Thanks for the advice on the bluing; I’ll let everyone know how it turns out.

    B.B. if you get the chance to run the Bluing article that would be appreciated.

    You may want to check on the vintage forum also about your Walther 55. My understanding is due it a design issue if they are shot without a proper seal in place the repair is costly.

  36. Slinging Lead,

    I think two different conversations are going on which is making it confusing or else We're going MAD I tell you MAD!!!

    Seriously, MY comments have been toward the two piece rings. A one piece was suggested due to the unavailability of two piece fully adjustable 30mm rings on PA.

    WV – boodo, which is where I think I just went in my first paragraph.


  37. Kevin,

    thank you very much. i had no idea that the glass in the scope shifted too. that may explain some chromatic aberration i've been noticing as well.

    i'm gonna look at my stock screws next time i go out, but i'm gonna have to buy some pellets first! i burned through most of my remaining pellets trying to get the gun to group.

    but thank you for reassuring me. i'll check the stock screws and stuff next time i go out.

    -John W.

    word verification for this post is "holers." hopefully i'll be seeing some ONE-holers again like i did before pretty soon.

  38. John,

    Kevin’s advice was spot on. But if you still have an issue, take the scope off all together and shoot the rifle with open sights. I have had more than one scope give up the ghost on a Springer. That way you take glass out 100% as a variable.

    Also, did you change pellets? Some types are much more accurate than others or work better in certain rifles.


  39. Chris,

    Listen to Volvo on this one. He owns a Walther LG 55.

    If you shoot that wonderful, vintage gun with a bad seal it will damage the nub that the seal is designed to fit. This causes all kinds of expensive problems to fix.


  40. R9,

    Re: "This could get expensive"

    You have no idea.

    Seriously, if you buy the right adjustable mount (if necessary after trying to swap the rings) the money isn't gone. These mounts regularly sell, (within hours) used, for close (within $5.00-$10.00) to the retail prices.

    This is my justification for spending alot on adjustable mounts along with having a gun that can shoot at the poa. I know that when I want to sell the gun and separate the mounts, scope and gun to sell separately I'll get almost all of my money back from the cost of the adjustable mounts.

    In reality, I don't sell them for the same reason their resale value remains high…..many airguns need adjustable mounts. I know I'll need them again.


  41. Kevin,

    Should have checked my box of rings before ordering the scope as if I really need a reason to visit Bass Pro.

    Thanks Sling Lead, but I had two piece 1" rings on the Discovery. You're right about trying to use a one piece set. It took my large fingers awhile to manage w/ the 2 piece rings.


    When I get the scope I'll compair it against my Leapers scopes to check it's magnification and let you know the results. Thanks again.

    Mr B.

  42. Mr B,

    Anxious to see how your spacial concepts fare. I think I'm missing something on comparing magnification. It'll be good to get a third opinion. The view inside the scope is not your standard round presentation. It is flat on top and bottom, round on the sides and may be creating an optical illusion for me.


  43. BB,

    I'd like to get your take on the discussion about poi shifts and accuracy problems because of cold temperatures.

    This is not something I have ever seen, either with air guns or powder burners.

    A SLIGHT poi shift I could maybe see, but temperatures affecting accuracy?

    I think the gentleman needs to look for other causes.

    But I will bow to your expertise on this as I think you have much more experience than I.

  44. hey bb, my sister and her friend in new york are going to give a bb gun they found and dont want i assume its .177 spring since it looks old the pic is on my phone now remeber these girls dont now squat about bb guns so they cant tell me anything can you help me out in geting some info on it. It looks like a Colt .45 and is very similar to this one http://www.umarex.us/colt1911nickel.gif . But that one is new and a little different

  45. Wayne,

    My cards are dealt and my 3X5 shot groups are in. However, I'm keeping my cards close to my chest. 🙂 Let me know when you're ready, and I'll post. I'm still trying to remember how to transfer film from my mini-DV camera to iMovie on the Mac and then photobucket.

    B.B., I have a new analysis of my problems with loading my M1. It appears to be a synthesis of what we've discussed. I just received my new production Springfield Armory clips which do appear to fit somewhat better than the Greek surplus clips. Clint Fowler, however, seems to think that the problem is due mostly if not entirely to insufficient pressure from the Greek ammo. He says that he tuned the rifle very precisely to work with IMR 4064 which is a little slower-burning than the military load. So, my theory is that once in a while between the slightly poor fitting Greek clips and low pressure loads, my M1 will occasionally fail to feed. This puts a lot of stress on the clip and probably bends it out of shape, making it likelier to jam. One of my jams today twisted the bullet out of position in the case, so I can imagine the stress on the clip. The solution? It looks like reloading is drawing inexorably closer, especially since all 60 million rounds of Greek surplus at the CMP has been sucked up by the buying public.

    All, for those who value guns as an evocation of a time or a historical moment as we do with Josh Ungar's stories of growing up in the Ukraine, a new event is afoot that might be of interest. As I may have mentioned before, the ultimate WWII memoir is Guy Sajer's The Forgotten Soldier which is precisely about WWII in the Ukraine which is the subject matter of Josh's blogs. For an overview of the book, I will just commend you to the reviews on Amazon.com.


    My favorite is: "Please tell me that someone didn't have to go through this!" Anyway, after years of refusal, Sajer at age 83 has finally agreed to a movie version of the book which is now being filmed in Eastern Europe. How a movie can capture the book I do not know since the content would make Saving Private Ryan look mild by comparison. However, if it does a halfway decent job it should surpass Enemy at the Gates.

    I just came across a passage in Nancy Tompkins book which says, in effect, that your shooting performance will increase insofar as you use your subconscious. Yes! I love this; it's what I have suspected. The question then is how to activate the subconscious. One way is endless practice to entrain the technique. Another way, that she suggests is to play music in your mind because it will disengage the conscious mind. I would find this a little distracting myself. My way is to focus on process and let the subconscious do the execution; for example, focus on follow through and the let subconscious pull the gun onto the target. Anyway, there's more to be done in this direction.


  46. I put the scope back on my 1377 and ran through my match ammo. After testing them all, I had found my original gamo match 7.71gr won out. So I will have to try again with the gamo match pellets. I doubt I'll break my best score of 552.

    I've also found that shooting with 3 pumps to be quiet, accurate and doesn't slow you down or make you tired.

  47. Still catching up on the blog.

    This comment is a observation sparked by your article #4 on the Crosman Challenger 2009.

    Side note: Going back and rereading the following even I got the impression that I was raking you over the coals, but I'm not. I wish you could hear the same tone in your mind as I have in mine when I write stuff. So, when you read this put a naive and quizzical tone in your mind.

    I noted the pellets you tested with and then I looked at the PA recommendation for pellets for this rifle and the only pellet common between the two was the R-10. You did not test the top 6 PA recommendations.

    I had naively thought that the pellet recommendations on PA were listed in preference order yet the R-10 8.2gr shows up in 7th place (plus, oddly, all recommended pellets are RWS). You did not test any of the top 6 pellet choices recommended by PA.

    OK, what gives? What should I do with PA's recommendations. Maybe I am taking the Challenger results out of context. Maybe you don't want to challenge PA's selections (no pun intended). I know you can say you were testing the rifle and not the pellets but at least I WILL be selecting MY first round of pellets based on your results more than on PA's. Do you use PA's recommended pellet list when you do accuracy tests? Did you eliminate those top 6 on PA's list during preliminary testing as part of your accuracy testing?

    Most likely I'm not the first person to wonder about this so what did you tell those other people?


  48. R9,

    Kevin is right. Before you buy new rings, you should try reversing the rings. Here is what to do:

    First, reinstall the rings, swapping the front ring for the rear. Sometimes, this is all it takes. Each change is a complete reinstallation of the rings.

    If that doesn't affect things, turn one of the rings around. Only one! See if that changes the impact. Then turn the other ring around.

    Rings are not that exact, and sometimes this is all it takes to get the POI into the range you are looking for.


  49. ajvenom,

    what pellets have you tried in the 1377? Mine is all over the place if she doesn't like the pellets. She hates RWS anything. CP heavies are the best so far for me.

    Slinging Lead in Powder Springs

  50. Matt,

    There is no way to tell what kind of gun you are looking at. You called it a BB gun, but does it really shoot steel BBs, or is that just a slang expression encompassing all non-firearms?

    You say that it looks similar to a Colt .45, and reference the M1911A1 from Umarex. Based on that and the sheer laws of probability (numbers of airguns made, probability that someone would not abandon an airgun of high value, location in New York {city or state not defined]) I am going to guess they have a Marksman 1010 or a variant. Look here:



  51. Matt61,

    So Clint tunes his Garands to use 4064? Well, that is not the standard powder for the Garand. Everyone uses 4895.

    The pressure curve will be different with 4064, so you had better listen to Clint and start reloading. I have never heard of using 4064 in a Garand, but I also have never competed with the rifle, either.

    Finally, I recommend that you watch the movie "For Love of the Game", with Kevin Costner. If you are fascinated by how the subconscious mind controls things, look at his self-hypnosis technique. The same thing is also shown in the movie "The Greatest Game Ever Played".


  52. B.B.

    You seem to dig this rifle. Do you really like it that much more than the Quick? That would seem to be the looker of the two. I probably just disproved your motto as you have held both and I … have not (sniff) Why did you have to put up that picture of the Browning? Talk about gorgeous, not to mention cruel. Maybe I need to disable pictures in my browser.

  53. Chuck,

    You are hung up by the intersection of advertising and reality when you comment on my pellet choice for the Crosman Challenger 2009. I don't look at the PA pellet recommendations. Here is what I do, so you will understand in the future.

    I go to my pellet cabinet and I look to see what appropriate pellets I have. I probably have 10 pellet types appropriate for this rifle–several of which Pyramyd AIR doesn't even carry, like Vogels.

    Then I think about my readers and what they are likely to have. Vogel 4.51mm pellets might be the best in the gun, but most of my readers will probably have Gamo Match and R-10s.

    Then I think about who makes the gun I am testing. That's where the Crosman Supermatch comes in. That also allows me to make the left-handed comment that just because they are called Supermatch doesn't mean they are really match pellets. So, I get to teach the newer shooter something about reality while I'm teaching the more veteran shooters about this airgun.

    So, I did put some thought into selecting pellets for this test. You'll notice I didn't chose any domed pellets, even though a lot of shooters will probably use them.

    Anyway, that was my thinking.


  54. Yes, I like the looks of the Massimo over the Quick. All day, every day.

    And that illustrates why style is so often at the bottom of my list of important things to care about. Because it is next to meaningless. It is in the eye of the beholder.

    I'm quite sure that many people agree with you about the Quick being the better-looking rifle.


  55. BB,
    Thank you for that answer. My favorite saying comes from book "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" by the late Douglas Adams.

    "When dreams differ from reality, it's reality that's at fault."


  56. Lots of talk about temperature and POI shift. I've found that too in my Disco. Drives me nuts.

    I've found if I take the gun out on the porch and leave it sit to adjust to air temperature things work out better. Now this is based on exactly one winter with my Disco… so it may be different this year. Who knows.

    Speaking of my Disco… it has historically hated CR hollow points pellets. They sprayed all over the place. However I keep re-testing them anyway. And what do you know the darn gun started shooting them OK all of a sudden. Maybe it is getting broke in enough or something. Anyway this weekend they CR HP's were grouping just as well as the JSB Exacts at 30-yards. It is a real head scratcher for me.

    Also… got the chance to show off the Disco to a non-airgun shooter this weekend. A young man new to my family had not even heard of high end airguns and was shocked to see the pellet trap set out at 30-yards. That was until he held the Disco with a Leapers 16x scope. He banged bulls eye after bulls eye until it got too dark to see. Fun stuff man really fun. And yes he was feeding it CP HP's.


  57. Chuck,

    The list of pellet recommendations for the guns on Pyramyd AIR are not listed in order of what's best for the gun. They're listed according to how they're named or numbered in the database.

    Also, it's impossible to test every gun with all the pellets available in a certain caliber. That would take a MUCH larger staff!

    And, just because a gun shoots a certain pellet well in the rifle used in the blog is not necessarily going to be the perfect pellet for the gun you order. Blog readers will attest to the fact that pellets B.B. finds accurate in his guns are not always accurate in the same models they own.


    Word verification: joysi [as in "joy, yes"]

  58. Edith,
    Thanks for the reply. Nice to clear up the finer details. I have been learning more and more how picky these rifles can be from this blog and from personal experience. I always use BB's tests as a starting point, but I have also been using PA's as listed in order. Must not do that anymore but I will still trust BB's.


  59. sorry i didn't read this earlier.


    no i didn't change pellets. i've always used Kodiaks in both .177 and .22 in my Beeman cause they're by far the most accurate (JSB's are bad for the piston… they make excessive bounce).

    the one issue with removing the scope is that the open sights on my rifle are substandard IMHO. the fiberoptics are nice but the bead is so huge i can't even focus on my quarter-sized bullseyes (i'm too lazy to buy some Gamo targets, but i assume those are even smaller) because the bead is bigger at 25 yards. therefore, i get 1 inch groups with them, which is substandard for what the gun can do. i wouldn't think a CenterPoint 4-16×40 scope would wig out on a medium power springer. it has the same basic design as the Leapers "TS" scopes. i will check all the screws i can find on it however, it could be possible some screws are loose. i should probably optically center it again. i might be near the end of my adjustment, and i know from B.B.'s blogs that something like that can throw off accuracy.

    thanks for all the help. i thought it would have to do with the temperature, but i wasn't sure. now my thoughts are confirmed.

    oh and DB,

    that's really cool. i know from many reviews that the Disco is strange in the fact that it despises CPHP's. really strange that it started spitting them out onto bullseyes.

    and it might be a good idea to let my gun sit out for a few minutes before shooting too, even though mine's a springer.

    i'll try all y'all's ideas. hopefully they'll work for me.

    John W.

  60. Volvo & B.B.,

    I think you might be talking about the Norica Pradera?

    Lot of talk about this gun. The one thing most agree on is that it's made by Falcon as part of their Prairie series of guns. Pradera is spanish for Prairie.

    Looks interesting and the accuracy seems to be there. Lightweight, like most falcon guns.


  61. Chuck,

    Whenever possible, read the customer product reviews or the gun you're interested in buying. Many times, customers will include the pellets that have been successful for them. However, you need to be aware of something.

    A customer who states that his gun was very accurate with a certain pellet but does not indicate the size groups or how many shots are in a group may not have the same opinion of what constitutes accuracy. I've read reviews about the incredible accuracy of a certain gun, but that's in comparison to inexpensive BB guns, which are the only other airguns the writer admits that he owns. Unless a person indicates a specific size group at a specific distance with a specified number of shots, you may not be getting the wonderful accuracy you were expecting, even though the reviewer says the accuracy is great.


  62. B.B.

    Yes, the Clint Fowler load is 155 gr. SMK bullet, 51.5 gr. of IMR 4064, Remington case, and I think a FM-210 primer–something like that. He claims that 4064 was common on the competition circuit and worked very well. I've also heard about the new Hornady M1 Garand match loads which I believe were used as the official ammo at Camp Perry this past year. A handloader says that this load is 168 gr SMK or Hornady bullet, 46 gr. of IMR 4895. Sounds like much less power for a heavier bullet. I'd try out the Hornady factory ammo except that it's sold out everywhere.

    On the subject of reloading, do people ever mix different powders or does it all have to be one kind?

    I'm entering the David Tubb section on match ammo. He says that when he went from .308 to .243 that he noticed that with the lighter recoil of .243 a flinch or two that he had with the .308 in a 40 shot match disappeared. So, if recoil causes a flinch at this high level, I can imagine what's happening with the .45 ACP which has plenty of recoil on a much less steady platform than a rifle.


  63. Rifle rest,

    Only use a rest with a pneumatic or CO2 rifle. Never with a spring gun.

    I use the MTM rest because they sent me one to test. It's plastic and half the cost of the lowest-priced metal rest, but it works as well as they do.


  64. Matt,

    Mixing smokeless powder is a cardinal sin. We never mix powders.

    Elmer Keith wrote about mixing powders to get 2400 to burn cleanly. I mixed his duplex loads and blew up a Colt Single Action. I still have the barrel as a reminder. Never mix powders!

    Last week I was at the indoor range and shooting next to a man who I knew was shooting his new Beretta F92 9MM for the first time. He was using a two-handed hold and spraying bullets all over the place. I buckled down and shot one-handed a hand-sized 50-round group at 15 yards. he was so impressed that he stopped me in the parking lot to talk about it. What kind of gun did I use and what caliber was it?

    I was showing off–pure and simple. The next time I go shooting I will be fighting the urge to flinch yet again. Everybody fights the flinch.


  65. Anonymous asking about a "good rifle rest to use to sight in a scope or shoot off the bench",

    I use a Hyskore rifle vice for sighting in a newly installed scope.

    I use a nylon front shooting bag filled with cat litter and a rear leather bag filled with shot when bench shooting pcp's.

    When I shoot springers I never use the rear bag and always place my hand between the gun and the front bag. Front hand is in different places for different guns. Trial and error to find which place that gun likes.


  66. Matt,
    Flinching on a .308? Its exhilarating to see the scope fly back in your face:)! I have a friend who grew up shooting a surplus '06. He got a new one, but he mounted a scope too far back and cut his face open. He's now a big fan of .243 and claims he hasn't shot the '06 in 25 years. I can't vouch for the story, but I believe flinches are possible:).

  67. Matt61 – The best movie about subconscious shooting is…(drumroll)…

    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,

    "Luke, use the force!"

    BB – Took the Marauder to the NRA range in Fairfax, VA and put about a hundred pellets through it. Best group was 10 rounds, about 2" at 35yds using CO2. It was a social group setting, so I was a little rushed and wasn't shooting all that well. All of the firearm shooters in the group were impressed, though.

    See you in Roanoke.


  68. Ajvenom :

    I concur; my 1377 likes Gamo Match, but it shoots RWS Hobbys almost as well. Three pumps is perfect for my short basement range–the gun's short stroke makes it fast to reload at three pumps. This summer, I tried to shoot outdoors at 25 yards and got sick and tired really quickly at having to pump ten times.

    I have a carbine stock on my 1377 and currently have a old Tasco 4X Pronghorn scope mounted (yes, a rimfire scope looks out of control on a 1377). I switch off with a Bushnell red dot. I love the accuracy this gives me without the eyestrain of looking through the 1377 peep sight.

    This is a great gun, but I confess that all the discussions of $500 and $600 PCPs make me feel slightly out of place with my $50 pumper.

  69. Usually for match pellets the gamo seem to do about the best in my 1377. If you use more pumps, I generally find JSB Exact do well. To save some money I will sometimes shoot hobby and avanti match pellets. Every airgun can be different, but those pellets seem to be a good start.

    Now with 3 pumps and Gamo Match or 10 pumps JSB Exact with a 6x bugbuster scope on a bench will make you feel a little better, I generally hit at 10M:

    5 shots around 5mm / .200 ctc

    10 shots around 8mm / .300 ctc

    20 shots around 10mm / .400 ctc

    It's a little pest getter, but it's also nice to know where you stand against the little critters.

    As for crosman a Co2 silouette is probably more on the lines of 10M air pistol or perhaps a IZH-46M for those who compete.

  70. btw…my groups are probably not the best, but a lot better than 50mm or about 2 inches ctc that I started with 3 years ago. I never had a pellet pistol and it took a while before I really started to learn how to shoot one.

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