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Education / Training SAM 10-meter target pistol – Part 1

SAM 10-meter target pistol – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

I know I have a couple reports left to finish, and I’ll get right on them. With the trip to Roanoke and the weekend, plus the end of the month all coming at the same time, I got jammed with a lot of other things. There were articles, videos (that will be up very soon) and a podcast to do, and I just didn’t have the time to mount scopes and shoot for accuracy. Sorry, but it happens.

I thought I would take today and start looking at the new (to me) SAM (Swiss Arms Manufacture) 10-meter pistol I got at Roanoke. You can’t even buy this exact model any longer, but it’s quite similar to Steyr and Anschutz 10-meter pistols, plus SAM still makes 10-meter target pistols, so I hope it will satisfy the curiosity of those what want to see reports on those other guns. The current top SAM model is the K15.

SAM M10 target pistol is world class.

One great thing about this pistol is that its design is guided and influenced by Cesare Morini, the famous maker of the finest target pistol grips available. You’re assured that the grips on this gun will be the very best. While I’ve tested a great many air pistols with Morini grips, this is the first pistol I’ve owned with them.

My pistol came to me with two air tanks–each of which is supposed to get 220 shots from a fill of air to 300 bar (4,350 psi). I’ll fill to 200 bar and get about 100 shots. One tank has a manometer built into the end and the other does not, but this pistol has another fail-safe feature. There’s a lock that engages whenever the air pressure drops below a minimum. When that happens, the breech cover that cocks the gun is locked and you cannot cock the pistol. However, you can manually hold the locking lever back out of the way and cock the pistol anyway, and the manual says there are still 20 good shots when the lock first engages. So, you shouldn’t get caught short in a match. With this feature, a manometer isn’t really needed.

This hook stays away from the cocking arm until the air pressure drops too low. Then it locks the cocking arm. At that point there are still 20 good shots left, but the hook has to be manually moved each time the gun is cocked.

I had shot this pistol many years before, when the owner first acquired it. At the time, I remarked that the trigger was the best I’d ever felt. Well, in the interim, Feinwerkbau has managed to get their P44 trigger working just as well, but nothing I’ve ever tested felt better than this one. And that includes a Morini electronic trigger.

It felt like it was breaking at 10 oz. or less on dry-fire; but when I put it on the RCBS trigger-pull scale, it measured 18 oz. The trouble is, that’s too close for comfort. The last thing I want is to have to adjust my trigger in a match, so I bumped it up to 19 oz. Five hundred grams, which is the required minimum trigger-pull weight, is ~17.7 oz.

The trigger adjusts for location, first-stage travel, first-stage weight, second-stage weight and overtravel. I fiddled with it after adjusting the medium-sized Morini grip to suit my hand. The grip adjusts for size (palm shelf), sideways angle and forward angle. You set it up so your wrist is locked when you’re on target.

There’s a dry-fire lever on the right side of the gun so you can fire hundreds of shots without exhausting any air. This is so essential for a 10-meter competitor, because they shoot many more shots dry than they shoot actual pellets. Their nervous systems get very accustomed to how that trigger feels, to the point that they can hold on the target and simply “wish” the shot off. I explained how this is done in a 7-part report on 10-meter pistol shooting. You might want to read that if this kind of shooting interests you.

Pull the dry-fire lever to the rear (left in this photo), and the trigger is set without cocking the gun. Trigger-pull remains the same with or without air.

More adjustments
The sights adjust for both windage and elevation. The front blade adjusts for width, and the rear notch can be adjusted to compliment it. Total sight radius (how far the sights are separated) is also adjustable.

The weight bar attaches to the front of the triggerguard if you like and there are two weights that attach to it and adjust forward and aft. The pistol weighs 950 grams without any weight and the bar, called a weight carrier, weighs 100 grams. Each of the weights weighs 25 grams, and you can go up to a maximum of 1,100 grams as the pistol comes from the factory. Naturally, you can buy optional weights for the bar if necessary.

And even more…
The pistol’s velocity is adjustable to a limited extent. It comes set up for about 490 feet per second (~150 meters per second).

Next time, I’ll chrono it and play with the adjuster. Meanwhile, I’ll shoot a few dry rounds each day to get back into the swing of things.

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.

34 thoughts on “SAM 10-meter target pistol – Part 1”

  1. BB,
    I won't say its pretty, but it looks like it means business. Sorry to hear it has one of those 18 oz. "lawyer triggers":).

    I'm assuming that the gun itself is regulated, judging by the low-pressure lockout feature.

  2. Once again there's proof one never stops learning. A cocking locking lever for when pressure drops below a threshold and a dry fire lever. I wish Ms. M had both of these. The former would be so useful so I don't have to keep looking at the gauge under the rifle. (I mean how lazy is that? But I want it!) I knew competition shooters did a lot of dry fire but I didn't know how it was made possible.


  3. Looks like he's back. Watch out Tan Zongliang the Olympics aren't far off. I can see the headlines now, "After a lengthy hiatus airgun guru Tom Gaylord breaks onto the Olympic 10 meter scene and captures the gold!!"

    What isn't adjustable on that wonderful piece of engineering? Truly sounds like the usft of pistols.

    I'm excited about the R-8. I've read an awful lot about the R-8 and old HW 50's. Same internals as the infamous HW 55 target guns. Small step up in power and weight from the R-7 with old school blueing and goudy style stock with sharp checkering. What's not to like? We'll see.

    For those of us that live and shoot springers at altitude (I'm at 5,300 feet in Colorado) we lose power. I really enjoy plinking with the R-7 but a little more power to flatten the trajectory is my justification for the purchase. Since I don't write a blog this is my rationalization and I'm sticking to it.

    For others that shoot springers at altitude either regularly or occasionally there was a very interesting and well done article recently posted on the subject of testing multiple springers using a variety of springs for altitude by a tuner that lives in Colorado. If you have any interest here it is:


    The "created" opportunity of purchasing this gun couldn't have come at a worse time since we were digging out from under 18" of snow. But, when opportunity knocks…… Yes, I found this on the internet and it was hopefully boxed, as promised, over the weekend and will be shipped today. Should arrive in a week or so. I know it needs to be tuned so it will be awhile before I experience the guns full potential for my needs at my altitude.

    I'll keep you updated if there's any interest.


  4. B.B.

    Now that's one beautifully ugly pistol!! … sort of like me 🙂

    Practical, adjustable, and ugly.. but lovable and gets the job done!

    But you can't tempt me, now that I've got the Falcon. The eight shot mag is nice, but single shot would be better for the pistol field target contests.
    The trigger is set just right for me, I guess Mac likes them about the same… but it looks to be very adjustable.
    The grip fits real fine for me.

    and 12fpe with JSB 8.4 is just perfect of pistol FT.

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  5. Hi B.B.,

    Form follows function. What a beautiful pistol. When you have the time, please tell us more about those beautiful Morini grips.

    Regulated verses unregulated–are any of the guns at this level of competition unregulated?

    Glad you've got a little time to possibly get caught up on "stuff".

    Mr B.

  6. Hi BB,
    I can't find any reference to you ever testing the Air Arms S200. Have you ever tested it?

    Since Pyramid still carries the S200 I would like to see a review of that gun. I am more interested in the full power gun than the match but it would also be interesting to see the match version of the S200 tested along with the Airforce Edge and the Crosman Challenger.


    David Enoch

  7. David,

    I just made arrangements to get a production Edge for testing this week.

    Both the Match version and the Sporter version of the S200 are 12 foot pounds. So the match gun really isn't a match gun at all. It would not be accepted in any sanctioned match. So if I test something, what should it be? The Sporter is in stock at this time.


  8. B.B.

    Well, I most certainly do not "wish" off the trigger of my Daisy 747. It could probably use some adjustment, but it performs so well as is that I don't want to change it.

    I seem to recall that you don't plan to review the S200; I believe you just didn't like the gun. But I will put in my vote for hearing more about the mysterious Air Force Edge.


  9. I found an amazing deal on a scuba tank and think it's a good way to enter pcp. I heard talk on the yellow about a new crosman pcp that's more disco than mdr, but more accurate than the disco. If you can say, will this fill to 2000 or 3000 psi?

  10. Gas spring,

    A gas spring is what holds up the back deck of a minivan or an SUV. They are everywhere these days.

    Same thing is replacing a coiled steel spring in an airgun.

    You don't have to charge the gas spring in your minivan. Neither do you charge the one in your gun.

    They stay charged for decades.


  11. Kevin,

    Yes, at the last minute I decided to shoot pistol field target at the nationals too… so, I checked the yellow… nothing suitable.. and B.B. and I were working a three way trade with Mac… so I ended up with the Falcon Fn8 PCP pistol.. It's way, way more accurate than me.. I haven't really figure out a scope and the best position to shoot from yet…

    Most folks were shooting from a sitting position like rifle FT, with the pistol supported by hand, arm, and knee… but some shot prone… and there were a few standing shots too.

    The course is half size.. 10-25 yards, with 3/4" to 2" kill zones.. and about 40 shots with 2 shots per target.
    It's really new for the AAFTA, they are just now deciding about the rules, the nationals were shot with the rules of the home club… like above. That allowed up to 20fpe pistols in open, peep or red dot sites, and the other class was scoped up to 12 power scopes… most were in that class.

    Ray from Crosmans's A team won with a 10fpe proto-type crosman PCP and a 3-12×44 leapers rifle scope.. only missed two!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  12. Wayne,

    I'm living the FT circuit dream through you.

    The open sight class of pistol shooting allows red dots sights??!!! Seems contrary to open sights. Guess I've got a lot to learn about these competitions.

    I saw the pictures of the new crosman pcp pistol that Tony posted when Ray let him shoot the gun. The specs and apparent quiet report along with shot count have piqued my interest. I'm not a pistl guy but this might be my first air pistol. Supposed to be released in December??

    Unlike everything else, my timing to enter the airgun world couldn't have been better. Amazing developments in the last few years and the new airguns on the horizon boggles the mind…(and pocketbook).


  13. Kevin,

    Yes, open sights and red dots in the same class was brought up as a "no no", but there was not enough folks to make an open sight only class at the nationals.. it's too new I guess.

    There is also debate about foot lbs. too. Some like Ray, want it to have a 10fpe top limit so the targets can be set for pistols like Tom just bought.. the wennie 10 meter 5fpe ones :).. so the targets have to be set for 2fpe at 25 yards… Most times if the target is set that light, then a face hit with a 15fpe pellet could make it fall… not a good thing.

    Some like their 20fpe hunting pistols for the game.. which were allowed for the nationals… so this is quite the debate!!!

    And so far not enough folks to split up the classes… much fun for the board of governors for the AAFTA! .. they want to settle it long before the next nationals.

    I can tune down my Falcon, so I don't care that much. Since I'm set at 12fpe now.. I, of course vote for that being the upper limit. 🙂

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  14. Wayne,

    Thanks for the info. Very interesting. Didn't realize that pistol FT was a new thing.

    I now understand the challenge of trying to create a level playing field with power and sight options being debated since there aren't enough shooters to create a bunch of sub classes for pistol shooting.

    Quite the dilemma. It will be interesting to see how they compromise on these issues or what kind of handicap they implement to make it fair to all.


  15. Hi BB,
    I would like the Sporter version of the S200 reviewed, or the Target version but tested with a scope instead of aperture sights. I keep running into people that love these guns, but since they came out back in 2002, they are not reviewed very often today. I think I am seeing a trend towards less powerful PCPs these days. A lot of airgunners are realizing that it is fun to shoot a R-7 to R-9 power level PCP in the back yard and at that power level, get lots of shots. A gun like the S200 fits that niche well. One friend of mine shoots his at 12 foot pounds during the summer, and turns it down to 6 foot pounds for indoors in the winter.
    David Enoch

    David Enoch

  16. I read all four of those reports on the Blizzard. The last morphed into something on another rifle and did not appear to me to be finished. That is why I asked the question.

    From the GTA forums I found a Paul Capello video of the Blizzard. Sure looked good. The one I shot has a 'boing' type of sound on shooting. I didn't know they made noises like that. Almost like a spring is going off.
    Is this normal?

  17. The "boing" noise is entirely normal for a silenced PCP. It's the noise the hammer spring makes when it decompresses with the shot.

    The fourth Blizzard report finished and then I reported on the comparative accuracy of CB caps. That started a new series that has now had it first official report.


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