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Education / Training Air Arms S200 Sporter – Part 2

Air Arms S200 Sporter – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Air Arms S200 sporter.

Let’s look at velocity today. Remember that the Air Arms S200 Sporter is a 12 foot-pound gun, and that’s how I’ll test it. I’ll look at velocity with a couple likely pellets, and I’ll test the useful shot string for you. There was a lot of interest in this rifle after the first report, so let’s see where today takes us.

Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
It’s hard to think of a more classic round for this rifle than the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet. Why shoot the 7.9 and not the 10.5, which is normally chosen for PCPs? Simple. This is a 12 foot-pound gun, which means that it cannot legally exceed 12 foot-pounds with any pellet. That’s only for the United Kingdom sales, of course, but when the Brits make a gun for 12 foot-pounds, it follows those rules. Even though it’s sold in the U.S., you have to expect it to deliver less than 12 foot-pounds with all pellets. In that power range, you need lighter pellets to get some velocity to flatten your trajectory.

I wanted to show you the power curve of this unregulated gun, so here are the shots that followed a 190-bar fill:


*fastest shot
**slowest shot

I stopped and computed the average speed after shot 32, because I could see the power curve had ended. The start of the string informs me that 190 bar is indeed the correct fill pressure for this rifle. The average velocity for those 32 shots was 779 f.p.s. That works out to an average muzzle energy of 10.62 foot-pounds. From what I read on the internet, that’s right on the money.

Why did it not get up to 12 foot-pounds? After all, I said this was a 12 foot-pound rifle. Yes, but 12 foot-pounds is the upper limit the rifle may achieve by law. It won’t do that with every pellet. I’ll show you what I mean in a moment, but let’s look at what happened to the velocities after a few more shots with the same pellet on this same fill.


These additional eight shots show clearly that I stopped recording (at shot 32) right at the point the gun had fallen off the power curve. I just wanted to show that to the new readers, lest they think the gun might get a “second wind.”

Now we know something about the performance, which is very important for a precharged rifle. If we are willing to accept a total velocity spread of about 24 f.p.s., then there are about 32 shots per fill. That should be a good spread for 50-yard shooting. If you are just plinking, or shooting at distances of 35 yards and less, there are about 40 shots in a fill with this particular rifle.

Air Arms 8.4-grain domes
Next I tried a string of Air Arms 8.4-grain domes. Although this pellet is a half-grain heavier than the Premier, it is softer, being made of pure lead. It was no surprise, then, when it recorded an average of 787 f.p.s. for 10 shots. That computes to 11.56 foot-pounds– a heck of a lot closer to that legal 12-foot-pound limit. And the limit is for a single shot from the gun–not for the average, so the fastest shot recorded with this pellet, at 792 f.p.s., generated 11.70 foot-pounds. That’s even closer to the limit. The total spread for this pellet was just 10 f.p.s., which is tight, though you need to remember that this was just a 10-shot string.

Over the limit
But the law doesn’t stop with medium-weight pellets when testing the power of an airgun. The government examiners have learned, just as you have, that in pneumatics, heavy pellets will usually generate the highest energy. So, what If I tried a 10.6-grain Beeman Kodiak, or it’s European equivalent, the H&N Baracuda? The average velocity was 714 f.p.s. with a high of 715. Taking the high and computing the energy, we get a muzzle energy of 12.04 foot-pounds. Ooops, you just broke the law (if you live in the UK and this rifle isn’t registered with an FAC). No problem here in the U.S., though.

But I went even further, just to take this to the illogical conclusion. I pulled a 16-grain RWS Ultra from my pellet stock and shot it at a maximum of 580 f.p.s. That works out to 11.95 foot-pounds, so no harm done, there. Of course your rifle is still illegal from the one shot with the Kodiak/Baracuda, so you’re still in trouble.

I have used this little explanation to illustrate the thinking behind 12-foot-pound guns. In the UK where many airguns are made, it’s no laughing matter, just as silencers are a problem here in the U.S. UK makers are under intense government scrutiny and they have to make every effort to not step over the line and draw attention to themselves.

But none of this has any bearing on the rifle I am reporting about today, because we are considering it for U.S, shooters. I hope, though, that you now have a better understanding of what the 12 foot-pound limit means to you when it applies to pneumatic airguns.

Firing performance
I found the S200’s report so loud in my office that I put on hearing protection. I use protection all the time when testing more powerful pneumatics like the Benjamin Katana and such, but this rifle shoots at one-third the power and I thought you needed to know that it isn’t quiet.

There is also a noticeable rocket-like push at firing. I think it has to do with the air valve remaining open longer. The light cocking effort reminds me of the weaker hammer spring, and that reminds me that the S200 valve stays open longer. The trigger pull is adjusted to 2 lbs. 4 ozs. and is decently crisp.

Good reason for the removable reservoir
I said in the first report that I saw no reason for the removable reservoir on this model. Well, now that I’ve filled the rifle a couple times I see a very good reason for taking it off. The Air Arms fill adaptor is so odd and so hard to position correctly that it’s much easier to fill the tank when it isn’t attached to the gun.


The Air Arms fill adaptor makes the position of the air reservoir very critical, so being able to separate the reservoir from the gun is a plus.

Maybe some of our readers who own S200s will comment on my findings today. I suppose you will want me to experiment with power adjustments, because several of you talked about it last time.

64 thoughts on “Air Arms S200 Sporter – Part 2”

  1. BB
    I really like the looks and performance
    of this gun.If I ever go to the darkside
    it will be a hard choice between this
    and a detuned Disco.I think the disco has
    the advantage right now do to lower fill
    and easier pumping.I would have to wait
    and save for a tank.
    I've been thinkin about co2 since I only
    plink at @ 30 yds.anyway,but the temp.
    sensitivity and waiting between shots
    has me a little cautious.
    Maybe if things are better here next
    year I can get both:)


  2. Good Morning Everyone! I just wanted to take this time to wish everybody a safe, happy, and productive day!!

    JT – Pumping up the disco is a piece of cake, you can do it!!


    WV is "spring" Maybe a sign from above I need a new springer?!?!

  3. Aaron re:pumping disco
    hah sounds like a 70's theme:)
    Anyway what can you tell me about getting
    a .177 detuned to @ 600 fps?
    I think that would be ideal for my back
    yard range.


  4. Good morning BB,
    My .177 S200 is putting out more power than yours, but I want to turn mine down. I have not had time to mess with it since my wife had a major surgery a few weeks ago. I am getting to play "Mr. Mom" around out place. I hope to get my S200 down to around 10 or 11 foot pounds.

    My S200 is the target version and has a manometer on the end of the tube instead of a fill adapter. There is an adapter that screws directly to my tank and the tank screws to the adapter to fill. I have bought a second tank and it has a 1/4" quick connect fill adapter on the end of it. I just got a corresponding quick connect but have not tried filling it that way yet.

    My rifle came with a long plastic muzzle brake. It is not baffled. It is flat on the bottom so that the tank can be removed. Even without baffles, it quietens the S200 down considerably.

    Thanks again for reviewing this gun. I think it is a gun that has staying power. Most everyone I know that has tried one has bought one and loves it.

    David Enoch

  5. BB,I know in part 1 you mentioned being tempted to do some trimming on the stock.I am curious of your impression of the stock…does the pistol grip portion feel right?It looks very vertical compared to ones I've shot so I'm curious if you like the feel… Frank

  6. Guys: I am considering the purchase of the Colt Defender that BB recently reviewed but… I would like to use the Gamo lead BBs, not steel BBs.

    Any feedback on the use of the lead BBs would be appreciated including, any comments on the notice on the Pyramid site for this ammo re "Don't use in BB guns" ???


    Brian in Idaho

  7. JT – Unfortunatley, I'm probably not the guy to talk to when it comes to de-tuning the disco, I have left mine as is. But, I do know there are after market power adjusters out there that could do the trick. They seem pretty simple to use and install. If I understand correctly, basically all they do is add more or less tension on the hammer spring which in turn allows the valve to stay open longer for more power and not as long for less power. I'm not sure you could get it down to 600fps, but I think 700 would be within reach. It's a great gun, I can't recommend it enough!


  8. When I installed the TKO trigger kit, part of the disassembly of the rifle involved removal of the end cap on the receiver. It's two screws and then the cap and a spring is removed. I didn't examine the end cap closely but it seemed to me that the center of the cap has been drilled and tapped. If so, then all that's needed is a weaker spring (that is the hammer spring) and then an adjustment screw and the appropriately sized washer to increase or decrease preload, as Aaron suggested. It's not an involved procedure and with a bit of research should be quite easy to do for those who want an adjustable Disco.

    By the way, Aaron, I do agree with your comments on yesterdays' blog regarding the newspapers' right to set policy. But, I don't want to just let this die and go away without a bit of a fight.


  9. BB

    Wayne's subtle attempts at trading you out of your USFT led me to your review of the AA Shamal back in April. Great article.

    Even in black and white, that's a great looking rifle.

    Accurate. Quiet. Beautiful. I hope you got something really good out of that trade.

  10. Slinging lead,

    I didn't think I was subtle… I want the USFT… and I want it now!!!

    There is a price or items that will move it my direction.. I'm still waiting for hints!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  11. Wayne,

    We can't give you any hints because we can't think of anything that would make us part with the USFT. It's only fair that I tell that I suffer from terminal stubbornness, so I don't hold out a lot of hope for this trade.


  12. Hi B.B.,

    You mentioned that a Silencer is illegal here in the USA. The TX200 has a silencer built in. Is that legal?

    Is the TX200 MkIII silencer for the USA marketed, the same silencer the U.K. version of the TX200 uses?



  13. Bee

    The silencing element on the TX200 is a shroud that goes around the whole barrel and is an integral part of the gun. You cannot easily remove it, modify it, and install it on a powderburner to reduce the report of the firearm.

    When most people speak of a silencer they are referring to something that fits on the tip of the barrel that was not part of the original design. Thats what the government seems to target the most, not to say they wont go after other things in certain jurisdictions.

  14. BB, Edith and Wayne

    I think I can help with the trade for the USFT. Here goes…

    Wayne will take over the blog for 2 weeks, giving Mr and Mrs BB a well deserved rest. Wayne will also throw in his VW van with a full tank of gas. In addition, Wayne will write 1 guest blog a month for the next year. Also, Wayne will sign over a 17% share in the Ashland Air Rifle Range and turn over all profits from the rental portion of the business. He will also throw in 2 raised garden beds, 2 magnum powered springers that he doesn't want anyway, some duct seal, a roll of the blue tape that currently adorns his USFT(why he wants two I still don't know), several hundred tins of JSB's, a side of beef and 400 chickens.

    We got a deal?


  15. I like AA Airguns…I'm a very big fan..but my pocketbook says I'm a bigger fan or the Disco, with a few mods of course.

    I quit smoking and have been pretty good about staying away from soda, fast food and alcohol. It's not just the empty calories and unecessary chemicals, it's mainly because I'm cheap. I also, enjoy my addiction to airguns and playing guitars.

    Here's a good story: When my wife and I first met, I was going to take her out to the movies. They used to have one dollar movie night every Tuesday night. Unfortunatelly, they raised the price to $1.50 and so we ended up "going dutch." Well, I wasn't that cheap, I was just that broke. I never want to be broke again.

    Happy Holidays and God bless all the airgun shooters everywhere…..ok…..God bless everyone else too!!!!!!

  16. Edith,

    You want goats? I'll have you know that Wayne Burns is to goats what Bubba Gump is to shrimp!! Do you want pygmy, alpine, british alpine, booted, brown short hair, corsican, hong tong, maltese, Danish lanrance, Dutch landrance, Dutch toggenburg, black bengal or fainting goats? We'll throw in your stinking goats!


  17. Aaron,

    Always wanted to have chickens, peahens, ducks & milking goats…but I think we're not allowed to have them in our housing division. I guess that means the deal's off. So close! Sorrrrrryyyy.


    Start collecting Shamals. They'll be easier to obtain.


  18. Aaron,

    I think you're mistaken. I believe Wayne already has two USFT rifles so if he can get Edith's it would actually be his third. My guess is he knows how accurate they are–so if he owns ALL of them he can't be out shot at the next nationals. A devious ploy, no doubt.

  19. Edith,
    You might want to check on the chickens. There's apparently a movement for urban chickens that has caused a lot of cities to relax their ordinances and allow a few with some restrictions. Many upscale housing options available for them as well. Check out this one:
    Expensive, but it shows that there's a market:).

    Unless BB is simply obsessed with matching my cholesterol levels, a couple or 3 hens should keep the two of you in eggs most of the time.

  20. BG_Farmer,

    It's the housing development with the goat rules, which means it's up to the builder. Also, Burleson doesn't allow you to have more than 3 animals. We already have 3 cats.


  21. Mrs Gaylord,

    I count 4 animals. Unless that big thing that collects guns and occasionally sharpens knives is a vegetable.

    Someone's gotta go to be legal. Personally, I'd let the cats stay.


  22. Edith,

    Ok It's one AA Shamal and counting!

    Although I have to say I'm hiring Arron as a full time "tradin pardner"

    He can soften em up and I'll come in around the corner with the real deal..

    derrick figured me out… only 174 more to go!… then whatever Tim can put out… probably 2 or 3 per month… A collectors dream… and my secret way to have the "only" accurate guns on the planet…

    Really, I just want these special ones that special people have owned.. three is most likely my limit… one for 12fpe international class, one for open 20fpe class, and one to setup for bench rest matches.. It' really is best to leave them setup for each use.
    Ours' looks to be the first course where one could compete in all three, since we will shoot each class at different times, allowing folks to switch guns and compete in each class, if they choose.

    So, I want to be ready for my own course.. of course..unless of course it isn't a course or is a horse, of course, unless of course it's wacky Wayne..

    The AA EV2 can only pretend to have won the worlds FT championship! … a lie I'll soon prove out..

    and…. "down through the chimney came old …

    postal service… FedEX and the rolling brown box..

    things have changed a little..
    but love still abounds around here…

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  23. BB,
    Thanks for taking the time to explain and demonstrate the 12 foot-pound rule in your two posts. I wonder what a company has to do to prove a gun to the gvt? Would they really reject one over a one shot .004 difference?

    My tastes may seem strange but I like the stock shape. For some reason that swoop makes me think of an old Turkish rifle stock shape I might have seen in the movies or in a book of many years past.

    I'm also surprised to hear that it is so loud. Since I do mostly indoor shooting that is a big detractor.

    Also, your rocket-like push description turned on a light for me about hammer spring tension. That's two lights glowing: shot string analysis plus hammer spring tension. I'm gettin there. Can't wait for the third, fourth, etc.


  24. Chuck,

    I was wondering how your scope with the level is holding up. Is it still mounted to Ms. M? If you have any details or observations I would be interested to hear them. Leave out nothing.

  25. Slinging Lead,

    I DID get something good out of the sale of the Shamal. I got to keep my house.

    Back in the days when we published The Airgun Letter we weren't making any money doing it. There were more bad times than good, and from time to time I had to sell my guns to pay the bills.

    Don't want to be a wet blanket, that's just how things happened back then.


  26. Chuck,

    It isn't the gun that has to be certified by the government. It's that during a spot check, no gun is allwed to exceed the legal limit.

    Manufacturers do a good job of making guns that don'
    t exceed the limit. But then along comes a pellet maker who produces a new pellets that makes thousands of guns that were previously legal illegal.

    You never know when or where it's coming from, but you always know that it's coming.


  27. BB

    Sorry to hear of your former trials and tribulations. I propose a toast and prayer to better times. You and Edith seem like the salt of the earth and I wish you the very best. I'm sure a beautiful Shamal will take its rightful place in the closet of glory some fine day.

    As for myself, I do OK now, but it wasn't that long ago I couldn't afford the car repairs to fix my worn out car I needed to get to the only job I could find, that didn't pay enough to fix my car.

    Again, a toast for those of us experiencing better times, and a prayer for those who are struggling.

  28. Charles, Bruce, Frederick, Christopher, Matt, Kevin & Wayne,

    Oh, my gosh…my golly!

    It's time for mistletoe & holly!

    You can be assured that there will be "peas on earth."

    I'm overwhelmed. And, for once in my life, I'm speechless. Well, almost…as close as I'll ever get 🙂

    Thank you!


  29. Wayne,

    Looks like a good guy, bad guy in your quest for B.B. and Edith's USFT.

    Isn't there an expression out there about the way to a woman's heart, possibly flowers?

    Mr B.

  30. Mr. B..

    I'm a tricky soul… but lots of little angels worked with me..
    but your wrong about the flowers..

    That sounds like a trip to the herbal dept of Whole Foods.. not flowers..

    only a fool/fools would try that one on Edith.. Tom is too well armed and a good shot to boot!

    Wacky Wayne

  31. Edith,

    eggnog is fine for me, so long as there's a healthy dose of rum in it!

    Hey Wayne, are you keeping those FED-UP trucks loaded with plants and whatever else you sell? HOw's the economy doing for you?


  32. Since tx came up all the time, I think if I could get my hands on tx200, I would buy it without thinking. But since I haven't seen one around, what about brand new HW 77 on .177 (not from beeman) how does it compare to tx200? (Accuracy, easy handling, and power)

    Also, if a HW didn't have an F letter stamp on it, is safe to assume that it’s a FAC version?

    Thank you,

  33. Wayne,

    You missunderstood me. I was ment that warm compassionate heart that out of its goodness makes the trade!

    The "peas on earth" went right by me or I'd never have thought

    Mr B.

  34. Who would have thought that the CO2 is worse than the lead? Today's discussion is much more enjoyable than yesterday's. That's all I have to say about that.

    BB – At Roanoke, I mentioned that I'd been out of work since Feb. Good news – I'll be getting a job early next year. That sure changes my perspective on the holidays. I think that I'll buy myself a Benji pump for a Christmas present. I've been shooting the Marauder on CO2. It's been too darn cold in the garage the past few weeks.

  35. Fred,

    We are at the peak of our slowest time. We make cedar lumber raised garden bed kits and ship them any where in the US for free. our website is… naturalyards.com

    We kick butt in the spring time of course.. but now, since we are slow, we are working on the new accessory products for next spring.

    In the spring time FedEx brings two vans to pick up our days shipments.. but now it's a trickle in comparison…

    that's ok, FedEx need the trucks for gifts more now! .. and some are actually our planters as Christmas gifts for families.. just a few this year…more next!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range
    and Co-Founder, General manager Naturalyards LLC.

  36. Edith – I hope you noticed Joe B's comment regarding the going rate of chickens in Africa. I'm sure you thought Wayne and I's offer of 400 chickens was just a throw in with the van, but now the true depth of our offer is revealed. As Joe pointed out, the going rate of a chicken in Africa is 1 AK-47, but if you dig a little deeper, you'll find the going rate of 1 chicken in Scandanavia is 1.25 AK-47's. So, if my math is right, and I admit it is usually spotty at best, you could turn our 400 chickens into 437 AK-47's, and that is certaintly worth 1 USFT I would think. Think it over, get back to us.

    Wayne, you make a good point about having the three (good eye Derrick) USFT set up for the three specific applications. It really is best to set your best gun up for the best application and leave it. You can really get aquainted with your gun(s) that way.

    Happy Holiday every one,


  37. Luke,

    If you want to be sure of a non-12-foot-pound HW gun, buying one on the open market is very risky. Small airgun dealers buy whatever they can find, and many of them don't know or care about the power. When they go out of business, as they often do, their stock gets sold to others, who start selling them without knowing or caring.

    The F inside a pentagram is a German Freimark- the mark of a 7.5 joule (6 foot-pound) gun. The 12 foot-pound guns will never have a Freimark on them, so that is not the way to tell if they are 12 foot-pounds.

    You are only safe when you buy a rifle from a large, established dealer that will stand behind the gun and take returns if it is a 12 foot-pound gun.


  38. Aaron,

    I see that you have sharpened your pencil and fine-tuned the offer for the USFT. However, you're missing a salient point: AK-47s are as common as…well, chickens. However, the USFT is a handmade gun and as scarce as…well, hen's teeth. So, you'll have to come up with a whole bunch of those fowl teeth before we could even consider thinking about the possibility of such a trade. (Please note the excessive use of modifiers.)


  39. I have noticed that the extended air cylinder for the S200AA is incredible!! I get 90-100 shots in 1.77 cal. this little rifle is a tact driver!! at 50 yards, I use 10.3 gr JSB heavy. I simply can't believe how this shoots. Now I've got 3- of them, 2-1.77 cal's and 1-22cal. Love them!!!

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