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Education / Training The Benjamin Katana – Part 3

The Benjamin Katana – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Pyramyd AIR has some Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials they’ve put together. But don’t wait too long to get what you want, as the specials are going to change daily! And here’s a coupon you’ll enjoy using this weekend: 5% off PLUS you can use it with Pyramyd Air’s free ground shipping offer and their free pellet offer (buy 4 tins, pay for 3).

Part 1
Part 2


Benjamin Katana.
Before I begin, the other day, somebody asked about the differences between the Benjamin Discovery, the Marauder and the Katana. His question was about the internal parts, but I think what he really wanted to know was how the rifles differed from each other. I’ll try to answer that now.

Benjamin Discovery
The Benjamin Discovery is a basic PCP, designed to keep the retail price as low as possible. I tested one in both calibers for this blog, and you can read how well it did here. As you will read, the rifle performed very well in both calibers. In fact, it set the PCP world on its collective ear, by delivering performance never before offered at half the price of similar rifles. And it has features that were never before offered. It only needs to be filled to 2,000 psi. It’s also a factory-ready CO2 rifle with no adjustments required.

Benjamin Marauder
The Marauder came next and it offered features that the Discovery didn’t have:

It’s a repeater
The ability to adjust the fill pressure level to gain more shots
The ability to adjust velocity
High-quality adjustable trigger
Choked barrel for greater accuracy
European-style stock with high cheekpiece and checkering
Shrouded barrel for quiet shooting

Benjamin Katana
Then, a few weeks ago, the Benjamin Katana joined the others. It’s designed to have some of the upgrades of the Marauder, but not all of them. It has:

High-quality adjustable trigger
Choked barrel for greater accuracy
European-style stock, but subdued and different from that of the Marauder

The Marauder features that the Katana doesn’t have are:

Shrouded barrel for quiet shooting
The ability to adjust the fill pressure level and gain more shots
The ability to adjust velocity
The repeating function (the Katana is a single-shot)

Now the question that was asked was what internal differences exist between these three rifles. I don’t exactly know how to answer that because the performance of the guns tells the whole story. Unless you’re setting up a Crosman repair station, the identity of each part seems somewhat moot. I’m not trying to blow off the answer, but I’ve answered it to the best of my ability.

It’s accuracy day today, and the Katana and I went to my local firearms range to test the rifle at 50 yards. The day started out perfectly–no wind and I had the 50-yard range all to myself.

To get the best results, I used a Leapers 8-32×56 SWAT scope in UTG high rings. If I were outfitting a Katana for the field, I might be more inclined to use a 4-16x or a 4-12x. That would be in keeping with the gun’s light weight and fast handling characteristics.

I aired the rifle up to 2,000 psi (isn’t that nice?) and started to sight-in when I realized the gun was almost there at the start. That’s a lucky coincidence, since this same scope was last mounted on the Massimo breakbarrel, where its fidelity was called into question. I used it this time because I felt sure it was still good, and I needed to know, so I could either put it with the proven scopes or in the small pile of suspect glass I don’t use.

JSB Exacts
The first pellet I tested was the JSB Exact 15.8-grain pellet. Yes, I know Paul Capello said he had poor luck with them in his Katana, but I have always relied on this pellet in a .22-caliber PCP, and I had to find out. Well, Paul was right! The rifle sprayed them all around the place. Had I taken the time to shoot 10, I’m sure the group would have been 3 inches or even larger, but after five shots I moved on. But not too far.

Air Arms .22 domes
Next, I tried the Air Arms 16-grain domed pellet, which is a close cousin to the JSB Exact. Same results. Not even worth showing you. So, Paul was right about JSB pellets. The Katana doesn’t like ’em.

Then, I did a dumb thing that turned out well, but could have been better. The breeze was kicking up by this time and I was having to pause for breaks in the wind. I had three more pellets to test, and I decided to go with the Beeman Kodiaks. Paul had said the Crosman Premier pellets shot best in his rifle, but I don’t think he mentioned the Kodiaks. Remember that Kodiaks that are difficult to find are the same as H&N Baracudas, which should be easier to get.

Beeman Kodiaks
You know that I’m leading up to something, don’t you? Well, I couldn’t believe how well those Kodiaks shot. In fact, if I had stopped at just five shots, I’d be showing you a group that measures about a quarter-inch right now. But since I decided to go all the way to 10 for accuracy to give a good look at the rifle’s potential, the group is a little larger. It measures 0.592″, center to center of the two shots farthest apart. Yep, that’s right sports fans. The TEN-shot group of Kodiaks made by the Katana is smaller than 0.60″.

It was amazing, because the sun was almost behind me and I saw the pellet fly for the last 30-40 feet. They just kept slipping through that same small hole.


Benjamin Katana shot this sub-0.60″ group at 50 yards with 10 Beeman Kodiaks.
Unfortunately, the wind had picked up by this time and was too much to contend with when the possibility for this kind of accuracy was on the line. I shot another Kodiak group, but it was blown wider than an inch and I decided to call it quits for the day.

More to come
Because I had started with the JSBs, I didn’t have time to shoot the Crosman Premiers or the new Gamo TS-22 Long Distance pellets, so the accuracy test isn’t over yet. I remember shooting half-inch, five-shot groups at 50 yards with the Benjamin Discovery and the Benjamin Marauder, so these 10-shot, 50-yard groups with the Katana show how well the potential for accuracy holds up.

There will be a fourth part to this report; but if you’re inclined toward the Katana already, don’t wait for that. Both Paul Capello and I have already seen superior accuracy from both of our test rifles, and I’m inclined to say this one’s a winner.

64 thoughts on “The Benjamin Katana – Part 3”

  1. Thanks Tom, good enough answer about the differences on the rifles. The heavy pellets in the Kat seem to follow the usual shooting for windy conditions. Great accuracy and with heavies it should have more than enough knock down power for hunting…stop by and see me at the Shot Show….

  2. I'm just about there… just about ready to start diversifying my air rifle collection. The HW100T is still my first love – and shall not be kicked out – but one of these gals is looking like a possible affair of the heart. (I just hope my first love understands…)

    Thanks Tom!

  3. Hello everyone:
    Honestly, I believe that Crosman should start diversifying their rifle's styles. The three rifles look about the same and perform about the same. They should start laser-engraving their stocks, creating tactical looking rifles, etc etc. If you put the three rifles in a bench, I wouldn't know who is who. Take care!!


  4. wow at 50 yards you knocks off about .100 to .200 from my disco. I think I wrote down .500 to .750 5 rounds, I'm sure 10 rounds would be about.600 to .750.

    I think .500 or about 12mm 5 rounds has been my best with eun jin points with predators in second place.

    Probably a 1mm gain per 10 yards out to 50 yards,which is the longest I've shot. Not sure where they funnel out, but the heavy eun jin .22 points do well in the wind. I could see the H&N Baracuda Match aka BM Kodiak Extra Heavy being a good hunting pellet for the Katana.

  5. Wow! Really great accuracy. Looks like the choked barrel gives a little better accuracy than the Disco.

    If you want a Katana get it now….at the $349 price right now it would seem a bargain.

    I am going to pass on it, though as the Disco I have does every thing I want from it!

    Can't see spending that much for a different look and a little better accuracy.

    I am saving my money for either a really good pcp pistol or a light weight repeater along the lines of the marauder. Or both!

    I would relly go for a gun with all the features of the marauder that weighed in at about 6 pounds.

  6. Excellent accuracy and at 50 yds, too!! It shoots like a Marauder!! I look forward to seeing the other pellets perform. I know my .22 Marauder loves the cardboard CPs and my .177 Talon SS loves the cardboard CPs, also. I have never tried the Kodiaks. I would like to but don't know why 🙂 Part of the fun, I guess!


  7. BB,
    I noticed this. You wrote:

    "The Marauder features that the Katana doesn't have are:

    Shrouded barrel for quiet shooting

    The ability to adjust the fill pressure level and gain more shots

    The ability to adjust velocity

    It's a single-shot"

    I think you meant to say multi shot on that last item didn't you?

  8. Chuck,

    There are two ways of saying that and both of them are confusing. Edith changed my wording to your last night and I changed it back this morning. I was waiting to see if anyone had a problem with it.

    I will change it to a longer, more explanatory phrase.


  9. bb
    would like your advise on the evanix ar6/ar4 (adjustable stock)and the renegade, i know ones a repeter and one is a single shot, just wondering which one is the better in your opiniun and does the katana stack up to them, hope your holiday was nice

  10. B.B.

    That's good accuracy. I will extend it to the Marauder as well since the barrels are the same.

    The CMP site has a description of the 2010 Camp Perry event with a lot of great-looking air rifle events. Looks like a lot of fun.


  11. Evanix/Katana,

    There's quite a bit of distance between the Evanix guns and the Katana. I would be more likely to compare them to a Marauder, which is a repeater like they are.

    The Evanix rifles are more powerful and the Marauder is more accurate and quieter. That's the biggest difference I see.

    The Evanix rifles would be better for hunting larger game, while the Marauder would be more of an all-around rifle. That's my take on it.


  12. Thanks BB
    Pellgun oil rides again to save the day.

    A friend gave me a "coleman" Powermaster
    760 camo(don't know if that was factory
    or added later)because it was"broken".
    He said the bolt wouldn't cock and the
    gun wouldn't pump up and had been that
    way for years.Also the stock was loose
    and wouldn't tighten up.
    So I thanked him very kindly,and brought
    it home for a disassembly,all the way
    down to seperating the valve halves.
    After a good cleaning to get all the
    gunk and sludge out,then a liberal
    application of pellgun oil,and
    reassembly remembering to tighten the nut that holds the stock tight,I've
    been happily plinking cans and bottle
    tops all afternoon.This one is old
    enough to have a metal clamshell and it
    cocks on pumping.It's a smoothbore and
    has plastic furniture so it's not too
    old I guess.
    Thanks again BB for all the good stuff
    you do for us.

  13. B.B.

    That's great accuracy!

    If your saying the Katana is about as accurate as the Marauder, then .177 would be nice. The field target crowd needs an entry level gun.. since the marauder is a 10 shot repeater, with really too small a space to work the single shot tray, maybe the Katana could fill that niche.

    Would the marauder barrel fit if the shroud was left off?..

    I know.. we are never happy.. we always want something not offered!!!!

    Hope all had a great Turkey Day..
    I sure did visiting my son and daughter in Portland.

    but… I haven't shot a gun in three days… and I'm feeling a little weird.


    The grocery stores are so picky.. but that's a great idea.. I'm sure I'd have better luck than I've had in the woods… did you use the hen purr/cluck or horny hen call?

    next time wear your camo and the store clerks AND birds won't see you…

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  14. 349.00? That's a pretty good deal for a Katana. A lot of upgrades for 90 bucks. Some may want to customize their Katana with the savings from the original price. Although I do admit, when you say Benjamn Katana, it does seem a little odd.

  15. B.B.

    The field target crowed keeps crying about how expensive it is to get started in field target… as they keep spending $2,000 to $4,000 for an outfit!!

    We keep hoping for a low priced, accurate, started gun so newbies can test the waters before plunking down so much money to feel competitive.

    I've seen a few discos as starter guns, but the guns light weight, poor trigger, and sport stock don't quite make it… those folks seem to loose interest, instead of getting hooked.

    I don't know, it might be the course layout too. The courses are mostly laid out for the open 20fpe harness class folks, that need a challenge and tough course to separate the best shooters..

    That leaves the entry level folks feeling they have no chance to catch up with the top shooters, and so seem to drop out… not a good thing for the long term of the sport…

    That's why I'm setting up two courses with a pistol field target course (10-25 yards with larger 3/4"-2" kill zones).. and a regular tough open class 10-55 yards 3/8"-1-1/2" kill zones) course too.

    Hopefully newbies, (kids and adults both) will enjoy shooting the pistol course… It's really tough to feel good after a shoot, if you knock down under 50% of the targets… maybe that will help.. who knows… I would think even open sighted springers could do well on that course..

    I know the Field Target market is not that big… so maybe it's not worth it for crosman to focus on a serious entry level FT gun..

    ..I know that Ray and Hans, (Crosman's A team) shoot the marauders in a challenger stock.. so they are trying for it to some degree.. but that combo is not on the market..

    I had custom field target stocks made for two marauders, and they are for sure competitive.. but that's not entry level pricing for most folks at $800 without a scope, and filling system… and the aftermarket single shot tray is very difficult to load for fatter fingers like mine.

    The Katana in a challenger stock with a .177 barrel sounds like a winner to me.. mount a leapers 8-32×56 or even a side focus 4-16×50 30mm tube, on it and sell the combo with a pump for $650 or so.. or without the pump for $499…
    .. It will make a hit.. (get it???)

    We will see what comes out of Crosman in the future..

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  16. ajvenom,

    You're right. I cann't put a stock on my Discovery for 90 bucks, let alone a Marauder trigger and choked barrel.

    Five or six pounds is a nice weight for a woods walking hunting/plinking rifle.

    It still makes alot of noise, but TKO can almost make that completly disappear with their Stage 5 muzzle brake.

    Mr B.

  17. Wayne,

    IUf the Katana isn't an entry-level field target rifle there never will be one! I paid almost twice as much for the Daystate Harrier I competed with and it was no more accurate.

    There will always be something you don't get on every air rifle, but I'd say the entry-level PCP for field target is here.


  18. B.B.

    Even with it being .22 cal? That's a big issue for the 3/8" kill zones.. a nick on the edge and it won't go down in most cases…

    ..now on the pistol course I'm setting up with larger kill zones.. your right on..
    so at my course maybe your right, but every course I've been to so far has about 1/3 the targets with 1/2" or less kill zones where .177 cal which your Daystate Harrier is..will be at an advantage…

    Your right if someone is going for an all around gun and testing the waters in field target too.. know if the only issue they are having is nicking the edge of the kill zone!!!

    …. they can then safely move up to the next level like a Marauder or Air Arms S400 MPR-FT in .177..
    keeping the Katana for hunting/plinking or selling it for very little loss…

    So.. OK after all..

    Wacky Wayne. MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  19. B.B.

    Yes, what has kept me back is that by shooting as soon as my sights touch the aimpoint, I sometimes get into a rhythm where it really works, but it never lasts. It also doesn't help that Elmer Keith says something very like fire as soon as your sights touch the target without letting it grow whiskers, but this might have layers of meaning. The patient, surprise break method has a sense of certainty.

    Wayne, great idea to make a modified course for beginners in field target. I recall again my ignominious year on the smallbore rifle team where we kept banging away at the tiny targets at 50 feet. Some caught on and some didn't. Varying the target range or target size would seem to be a common sense first step for beginners. I do believe that progressive training is the secret of life.

    All, I've had some new insights from David Tubb on the sources of barrel wear. Most of it will not surprise but the details have helped me. Barrel wear results from flame cutting of powder ignition at the throat of the barrel and corrosion from powder residue and the solvents used to clean it down the barrel's length. Subtract all that for airguns and your barrels should last forever–and this also probably explains why you don't need to clean it. The cracks from the flame cutting attract fouling. This kind of convenience one of the really nice aspects of this sport.


  20. Forgive me if this post is redundant. Have recently become interested in a pellet rifle and am interested in buying (soon) a .22 Cal. pellet file for practice shooting and small game (pest) hunting (rabbits, squirrel, armadillo, possum). This is my first rifle and am drawn to the Nitro Piston power plant for performance and ease of use concerns. Have been looking at six air rifles and was wondering if you had any recommendations or preferences amongst these. Am trying to stay around the $300 range. Would appreciate any advice/recommendations, or other preferred rifles. Have found alot of useful information on your blog site and am inclined towards the Crosman NPSS. Also, it's made in the US and that is another benefit. Would appreciate any advice on pellets for any recommended gun. After some research, here are the rifles I've narrowed my "choice" to:

    1. Gamo Viper Shadow Express with Nitro Piston
    2. Gamo Whisper with Nitro Piston
    3. Crosman NPSS Nitro Piston Short Stroke
    4. Walther Talon Magnum with Nitro Piston

    5. Tech Force 99 Premier
    6. Benjamin Super Streak – can this be equipped with the Nitro Piston?

  21. Ccobbster, several minutes after reading your post it occurred to me that you were thinking about the TF99 – NOT the TF89. Wouldn't do that if I were you… the 99 (QB36-2) is a sliding-breech gun (with inherent safety issues) that is a leftover from the way Shanghai (the manufacturer) used to do things.

    Unless Shanghai totally revamped the QB36-2 model very recently, (unlikely), the TF89 breakbarrel is far superior. It's made by the same company, but is a much more modern design.

    You might also do well to consider the RWS 34 (in any of its flavors). Generally speaking it's a notch or two above the Gamo, and it's not even in the same universe as the TF99.

  22. Vince, am not quite sure what "sliding breach" problem you are referring to. Since I'm leaning towards the nitro piston, the TF99/TF98 probably won't be a consideration, unless I get an overwhelming response/recommendation for it. Thanks for the response.

  23. ccobbster,

    If you don't mind, please elaborate on the reasons you are leaning toward the nitro piston guns. Don't worry about boring anybody, there are some real sickos here.

    My limited experience in airgunning has taught me that when you are new to these things it is easy to get fixated on something and think that it's what you want, but a little more knowledge teaches you otherwise.

    A neighbor of mine purchased an NPSS recently. He likes it, but it takes some technique to shoot accurately.

    I think I have a suggestion or two but I would like to hear your thoughts on the nitro piston first.

    Whatever you decide on, I would definitely order from Pyramyd if they carry it. Good customer service is hard to find and they have it in spades.

  24. 'Sliding breech' is actually a misnomer on my part. 'Sliding cylinder' is the proper name for it.

    It's not an uncommon mechanism for underlever and sidelever guns. Guns from the old B3 and Fast deer rifles up to the large Diana sidelevers use this configuration. The compression cylinder is a separate piece inside the main tube. When the gun gun is cocked the cylinder (under mainspring pressure) moves rearward so that you can load the pellet into the breech. If the sear fails at that moment the cylinder can slam forward with enough force to seriously make you fingertips wonder if they really want to remain attached. Most such guns have a secondary catch (anti-beartrap) to catch the piston in case that happens.

    Generally speaking, the TF89 is a very good deal at the current asking price of $135. It has one of the better triggers out there – especially if you take the time to touch up some rough surfaces and adjust it up right. I'd suggest that it has a better trigger than anything else on your list.

    While I'm at it: the Viper Express is a smoothbore. The Talon is Turkish (Hatsan), and frankly, there's a spotty reputation with regards to manufacturing quality.

    You might wanna consider an RWS34 variant, too…

  25. Vince,
    Why do you think the 36-2's sliding cylinder is any more dangerous than the others? There are three layers of safety: 1) automatic safety upon cocking; 2) beartrap and 3) keep hand on cocking lever (recommended even for break-barrels). I don't see that there's more danger than with a powerful break-barrel.

    I will join you in NOT recommending the rifle to a beginner, but that has more to do with the hit-or-miss construction quality than safety. Incidentally, there is a new Shanghai underlever out now — same rating, but probably better implementation that seems to be based on the same or similar powerplant and trigger as the TF89.

  26. Thanks bb, I was thinking the markarov, but at the same time I like the realism of the ppk. I didn't see an accuracy statement in your blog about the ppk, so how is it's accuracy?

  27. Slinging Lead,
    Am interested in your suggestion. So, not to bore you…
    I guess the reason I'm intrigued about the nitro piston guns is first, that it won't degrade over time like the spring, and leaving it cocked won't hurt it. Second, it's a single "pump" action (ease of use) and won't have to wear myself out pumping it or purchase/replace CO2 cartridges or compressed air (which is also more expensive). Third, there's a bit more power gained with the NP over the spring which would help in hunting. Fourth, I like the Crosman since it is made in the US and would love to see my money support our own people. Have also heard good reviews about Crosman and how they seem to be responsive to its customers, something fairly atypical in today's society. Perhaps last, the nitro pistons are quieter than the springers and have less recoil. I did briefly borrow my neighbors springer and it did have quite a kick. I live in the country and love being outside. Would really enjoy a nice gun to just target practice and something to teach my young kids (12 and under), as well as spend time developing a hobby. We have a garden but also have occasional uninvited guests that like our garden also, as well as armadillos which tear up any ground that might harbor grubs. They're so thorough at tearing up the ground it's a shame they can't be harnessed to do the garden tilling! Rabbits seem to just pop up (or hop) from time to time, and have a penchance to multiply (hence more targets, huh?). So, I'd like to be able to control the rabbits and armadillos mainly, and do alot of target practice, or I think you call it "plinking". The added force from a .22 Cal (and a decent scope) would assist in hunting, particularly the "armored" armadillo. I would like a nice, comfortable (but not too expensive) pellet gun that is fairly easy to use. I don't mind taking time to master the technique as I'm fairly AR anyways. I realize some of these choices might require more strength than my kids can handle, but would also consider another rifle for them (any recommendations?). I've really enjoyed PA's articles and the blog. Most of the guns I've read about are not available from any local retailer (Academy Sports). So, am going on all of your recommendations for the most part and plan to order on PA if available. If I'm way off on my reasoning for the nitro pistons. This is my first experience with a blog and am impressed with this one, and all the interest in helping out. Thanks in advance.

    Will have to look at the TF89…it doesn't have a nitro piston, does it? The price is rather attractive, and the barrel length might be a good match as I am a larger adult at 6'2".

    The Viper Express, being a smoothbore, implies a loss of accuracy, correct?

    The RWS 34 .22 Cal is better priced and reviews indicate a solid gun (and buy) for the price.

    Am eagerly awaiting advice.

  28. ccobster,

    The nitro piston has its uses. I was quite taken with the original announcement. But upon reflection I don't whether the conveniences it offers outweighs the many fine spring piston guns with proven records. Spring pistons are not a bad technology at all. My IZH 61 is approaching 80,000 shots with all sorts of dumb behavior by me, and it works flawlessly with its first spring. Once my B30 got tuned by Rich Imhoff, it has been absolutely problem free.

    Based on your requirements, I would recommend the Benjamin 392 or the RWS 34.


  29. Does anyone know how many shots a .22 rimfire barrel will last. I'm figuring about 5000 shots for a quality centerfire rifle barrel. Rimfire should be more but you still have the flame cutting and the powder corrosion to deal with.


  30. ccobbster,

    Please don't be put off by the last comment that appears to be posted by Slinging lead. I believe it was posted by a cowardly imposter that occasionally stirs up trouble here.

    Slinging Lead would not post something that lacked manners.

    I know B.B. has promised an article tomorrow that is going to help with your decision.

    In the meantime, I'd like to say that I don't feel any of your choices are suitable for killing armadillo's even at short distances. I think this is a critter best left to a very high powered airgun (PCP) or a powderburner.

    You have a pretty good handle on gas rams/gas piston powerplants vs. a spring. Many gas rams/gas piston guns require as much or more technique than a spring gun to shoot well. Unless you plan on keeping your gun cocked for hours I wouldn't place much emphasis on this benefit. Recoil is minimal with the velocity of guns you're talking about whether it's a gas ram/gas piston or spring powerplant.

    In short, I wouldn't rule out spring guns. This doesn't narrow your choice but widens it so I'm sorry.

    I'll try to narrow your choice a little. Don't buy a TF 99.


  31. Kevin,

    ccobbster may not have seen the remark because we deleted it within a couple minutes of it being posted. Sometimes, deleted postings linger in your browser's cache even though they're not there anymore.

    It appeared to be properly attributed to slinging lead, but we'll have to wait to hear from him to verify that.


  32. ccobbster,

    I'd like to add my vote with my friend Kevin..


    Benji Discovery in .22 cal with pump.

    Later you'll get a scuba tank setup… or… you can skip the pump if you are close to a scuba shop or have friend at the fire station.

    Or the next step up in accuracy and the power of a .22 cal short rimfire.. the Evanix S10 10 shot mag Blizard in .22 cal.. and it's a lot less noisy with it's pretty decent factory shroud..

    B.B. has reviewed them both.. do the search..

    I also have shot them both… a lot.. AAA+++

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  33. Mrs Gaylord,

    I figured since it was Sunday you might be taking it easy and I didn't want to risk alienating our new friend ccobbster.

    Should have known that you're not taking it easy.


  34. ccobbster,

    If you listen to Wayne two things happen. First, you get great advice since he's shot almost every airgun known to man. Second, you'll get hooked on airguns.


    Saw that we each bought stuff today. Please post your opinion of the 410 skeleton stocks when you get them mounted and tried out. I bought a skeleton stock along with a pistol stock today but it came with an action. Any guesses?


  35. BB/Edith,
    Versus ran only 2 different episodes in the four time slots, unless I am mistaken or my Tivo is confused. Good shows, and I enjoyed everything except the AirForce commercial (not because the product or company is defective, but because the ad makes its customers look like losers); I would have liked to see 4 distinct episodes, given this is my only chance to see the show at all and wonder if there wasn't some mix-up.

  36. ccobbster and all others,

    I'm truly sorry for my earlier post. It was made purely in jest. You see I said you wouldn't bore us, then when you gave the detail I asked for, I said you were boring me, funny huh? I guess not. Anyways I meant to immediately follow it up with helpful suggestions and earnest observations but my plans were foiled by dinner arriving suddenly and my infernal wordiness. I didn't mean to come off as mean spirited. Maybe my sense of humor is a little twisted. I guess Wos needs a day off anyway.

    So I'll try again if I am not shunned.

    I'll start with the kids. An excellent choice is the IZH61. Faithful contributor Chuck bought one for each of his grandkids, and they seem to be delighted with them. They are relatively cheap, have a reputation for being very accurate, and importantly, easy to cock. Only drawback, no safety.

    Now here is my feeble attempt to talk you out of a gas spring gun;^) Not long ago I was seemingly in the same frame of mind as you and looking for my first serious pellet gun. I was doing lots of research and at some point came to the conclusion that I needed a Gamo with a gas spring. Then I learned a couple things that sowed the seeds of doubt and then flies got in the ointment.

    The low recoil doesn't really translate to easy shootability as I thought it would. They can require more technique than some springers.

    I thought it would be easier to cock. Again, this is not true, they can be more difficult. If you read some reviews, they will bear this out.

    As for noise, they are quieterish. But it's more like it sounds like its quieter but its almost the same. Again you can bear this out by watching Paul's excellent airgun reporter video of the Gamo Whisper coil versus Gamo Whisper gas piston. You have seen this video, yes?

    If you want a rifle suggested by a big, fat mannerless jerk, I would go with a Benjamin Discovery in .22 with the hand pump.

    1. Crafted in the USA

    2. Can and should be left charged or pressurized, and you can load the gun and then decock it for safety if it makes you feel better. Ready to go in less than a second.

    3. Pumping to the 2000 limit takes some but not much effort. You need to stay fit to keep up with those kids anyhow. After that, shoot for about 40 shots effortlessly.

    4. Can be made very quiet with a muzzlebreak from a site called TKO.

    5. Good open sights if you do not intend to scope.

    6. Fiercely accurate.

    7. BB helped to design it.

    This will stretch your original budget a little, but I think you knew that would happen.

    Again my apologies to anyone who saw my horrific joke bomb, but especially to ccobbster. This is THE best source for info, help and pure entertainment. I would hate to put a bad taste in your mouth and sully the reputation of such a fine blog.

    (WV: Palin!)

  37. ccobbster,

    Something I forgot to mention. The NPSS has a reputation for the carbon fiber lamination flaking off near the pistol grip, leaving it looking a little crusty after a short period. I saw one on the classifieds just the other day that looked like this.

    I see Wayne and Kevin both also recommended the Discovery. This isn't a coincidence or a conspiracy. For the money this gun rocks.

    If you don't want to do the PCP thing, I would recommend the Gamo CFX Royale in .22 at your price point. It has wonderful accuracy.

    When I look back on my comments on gas pistons I see they are pretty negative although I admittedly have some but little actual experience with them. For those with Nitro piston guns and love them, please write in and give me hell about it. I welcome your thoughts.

  38. Slinging Lead and ccobbster,

    Crosman USED to have a problem with the finish flaking off on SOME of the NPSS camo-stocked guns. (The sample we ordered from Pyramyd AIR did not flake off.) Crosman has addressed the flaking problem and that's no longer an issue for guns coming off the production line as of October 5. Anyone who has an NPSS with with flaking should contact Crosman's customer service.


  39. Kevin,

    No apologies necessary. This thing should be monitored closely to keep up the right tone. Thing is, you can't imagine how funny I thought it was when I first wrote it.

    Thanks for your comments.

  40. BG_Farmer, I firmly believe that the QB36 anti-beartrap ("AB") is less reliable than the ones on the Diana's for 3 reasons: metallurgy, machining, and design.

    To begin with design… the Diana sidelever AB does not have a 'single point of failure'. It is completely redundant… that is, independent of the cocking and sear mechanisms. In the case of a massive failure…. i. e. the piston coming apart where it catches the sear…. the Diana AB is still engaged. This is not true on the QB36 and QB36-2. Secondly, the AB engagement on the QB36's is silent and invisible… on the Diana's it can be both seen and heard during cocking. Oddly enough, the QB88 – also from Shanghai – has an AB more similar to that on the Diana's.

    When it comes to machining, I trust Diana far more to get the AB catch angles right (if they're wrong the AB won't catch anything – just like a trigger that's badly machined). Ditto for things like depth of engagement. And even if the machining is right on the money, if the metal is soft the catch surfaces won't stay nice and sharp and properly angled for long. And I've seen Chinese metal that was too soft – even in trigger areas – while I've not noted the same problem in Spanish or German guns. Not that it can't happen, but it's far less likely.

    With regards to the breakbarrel – no, they are not nearly as dangerous for 2 reasons. First, they don't require you to put your fingers down inside a well and solidly between a ram with several hundred pounds of pressure behind it and a steel wall. Second, if a breakbarrel fails there is a VERY sharp downward reaction (caused by the barrel snapping up) that pulls the gun away from the loading hand. I had a very powerful Powerline 1000 (Hatsan) breakbarrel do that to me once. My loading fingers were never in any danger. But the gun jerking downward slammed into the top of my thigh so hard that it hurt for days….

  41. ccobbstr,

    I second the motion in IZH-61. The 61 is a 5 shot side lever springer, as you probably already know. As SL said, I got my three grandkids each their own 61 that I keep at my place for them to shoot when they come here. They are 11 and 12 yrs old. The 61 is very easy for them to cock and shoot and they have no trouble hitting spinners and pellet traps and soda cans at 33ft, which is all the room I have.

    When they were 10 and 11 I let them shoot my 953 which is an accurate single pump pneumatic but they had a very difficult time cocking it.

    I can't be any help with the springer selection for you. I got caught up in the PCP world. I went through the IZH-61 springers to the 953 pneumatic to the Talon SS .177 on CO2 to the Marauder .22 on air.

    I'm fully entrenched in the PCP world now. Well, not fully because I do shoot all the others, still, and do enjoy them, too. But the Marauder is the tops!


  42. Vince….
    By any chance were you talking about the Powerline with the ugly plastic stock, ridiculous cocking effort, sharp and brutal recoil, and the 50 lb. trigger pull?

    I have one somewhere around here.


  43. Hi All,

    thought I'd throw in my 2 cents here. As I understand the IZH61, it's a good plinking / target rifle. I don't think it has enough power for hunting at distances while the RWS34, Crosman NPSS and the Discovery are more than adequate for small vermin – squirrels, rabbits, crows, pidgeons. Armadillos I have no idea since we have none here in the Republic of New Jersey. If you want an all around rifle for plinking, target practice and hunting, the IZH isn't what you want.

    Welcome to the Blog. By the way, how's your advanced math skills? Have you met Jane, Herb and Matt61? 🙂

    Work day tomorrow everyone. Sorry.

  44. Kevin,

    this shouldn't be too hard, since your about as Air Arms S410 happy as I am…

    My semi-educated guess, is a .22 cal AAS410 carbine with that skeleton stock..

    and.. our new friend ccobbstr,

    Take note of the progression..
    ..some start with springers… but they end up with a PCP sooner or later… wasted time and money in a lot of the cases.. OH, it can be a nice experience…

    ..but, in your case you need a tool and toy..

    The other choice is pump ups like the bengi 392.. which is your best choice for low cost, accurate power, with out learning to shoot the fickle springer..

    …and the more power you need.. the less accurate and easy to shoot is the springer..

    …Unless you spend way, way more than a great PCP like the Crosman line.. Disco, Katana, and Marauder…. These guys have barely enough power for your chosen prey/pests..

    ..But they are way better than a springer in their power range…I have sold all my springer that shoot over 750pfs.. so..



    ….Hence… I suggest the .22cal Evanix S10 Blizzard…

    make it the families Christmas gift to the household.. like a new bread maker..

    Harvesting rabbits & armadillos may save on your food budget.. make a promise to eat more from your garden too..

    Have a garage sale or something!!!

    You'll never miss the money in a year.. and the Blizzard will still be worth the same or more than you'll pay.

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  45. Wayne,

    Good guess but you're cold. Put the AA walnut thumbhole on the carbine. Same stock I have on the rifle. Only thing tweaked was hammer spring on the carbine and had a classic tube put on it for greater shot count.

    Give you some hints about the new pcp carbine. It's only 27" long, has ajustable power, is a multi-shot and weighs less than 4.9 lbs.


  46. Fred,
    The IZH-61 recommendation was for his grandsons, not him. I thought he was looking for a good starter rifle for them to plink with. I hope I didn't give him the impression they could hunt with them.

    If you're looking for your gkids to join you in the hunt we'll have to think of something else. The 61's may not be suited for what you're going after.

    Does anyone on this blog use a 61 for hunting birds or squirrels? I'd be interested to know how effective they are.


  47. ccobbster,
    You've already received very find help. But we all like to chime in.

    The Discovery is a fine hunter for a youth. It is very powerful and very loud (they go together).

    My pick for back yard youth fun though is the Daisy 953. Very easy to cock for an average eleven year old dime size groups at 15-yards. It is a 5-shot repeater which is very handy.

    A stock 953 is not powerful enough for hunting much even at very close range. But you can do a power mod to make it powerful enough to take rabbit and such out to say 20-yards. I have one sitting in my locker as a Christmas gift for a youth this year. It has been received power and trigger mods and is a very nice shooter.

    Good luck,

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