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Education / Training The Bronco from Air Venturi – Part 7

The Bronco from Air Venturi – Part 7

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6


Air Venturi Bronco.

My best friend, Mac, got his Bronco a week ago and went through a tin of pellets in a day. He was amazed with the accuracy at 25 yards, and he loves the trigger.

Mac owns a Mendoza peep sight that he mounted on his Bronco first thing. Of course, he ran into the too-high thing right away, but not at 25 yards. He’ll increase the height of the front post to offset the problem until the front sight spacer becomes available.

Today, I’ll look at the Bronco with the new Crosman peep sight mounted. You’ll remember that it’s the lowest peep sight on the market right now. The sight almost clears the stock on the left side, but not quite. If I were going to keep this sight on this rifle, I would relieve the stock just a bit so the sight could sit flat. As it is, it’s canted to the right. That doesn’t affect my test, but it means that the windage adjustments will also include a bit of elevation and vice-versa. No owner will like it the way it sits now; but with a relief slot cut in the left side of the stock, it’ll look fine.


Crosman peep sight hits the stock on the left side of the gun and sits canted as a result.

Oh, what the heck, I decided to cut the relief myself. I routed it out with a Dremel tool and a rasp. The work was fast and easy and the sight now sits squarely on the receiver. So the test will be legit.


The area to be removed is marked with a Sharpie


Wood has been removed to allow the sight to sit square on the receiver.

The Crosman sight sits so low on the receiver that sighting was a problem for me until I got used to it. Those with slender faces will find it easier to do, I’m sure. Also, the aperture in the sight is large for shooting targets. While that doesn’t cost any accuracy, it does require a more careful hold and use because it’s easier to get off target with such a large hole. On the plus side, though, the hole admits a lot of light, making it okay for hunting.

Mac reported to me that he loves the trigger. I do, too. At only 30 oz., it’s light yet entirely safe. I enjoy the two-bladed action for both stages.


This is what the rifle looks like with the rear sight removed and the peep sight installed.

Let’s shoot
Sight-in put me on paper at 10 meters, but the rear sight needed a lot of elevation to get up into the bull. The first I tried were the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets. They shot to the right of center but grouped very well.


Five Premier 7.9 lites grouped well at 10 meters. This was the best group in the session.

JSB lites
JSB lites shot almost as well as Premier lites. They load more easily than Premiers and may be smaller in diameter, so they sit deeper in the breech.


JSB 8.4-grain domes did well, too.


A sight adjustment brought the group closer to the center of the bull.

What’s the verdict?
The Bronco works well with the new Crosman Peep, but the stock does have to be modified for clearance. It adjusts much than anyone will ever need, but it also has the elevation you need for farther targets. Of all the peep sights currently available, this one is the best I’ve tested. It makes a good addition to the Bronco, and I believe I’ll leave it on the rifle for awhile.

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.

82 thoughts on “The Bronco from Air Venturi – Part 7”

  1. Everyone,

    Well, I got the photos switched around, so the last two targets are reversed. Unfortunately Blogger has screwed up my account and I can't edit reports after they have been published so this will remain for a long time. We are looking at moving the blog to better hosting software.


  2. B.B

    Do you think it will be ok if I just get the Beeman peep sight when it becomes available at PA? Also do you think I will have to do any modifications to it to shoot from 10 meters? Thanks


  3. Morning B.B.,

    Thank you for the picture of the of the Crosman peep sight installed. It's nice to see it, rather than a huge, heavy, sitting high above the receiver, super scope.

    Mr B.

  4. "Well, now that this better sight is available, I don't think we will ever see the older Beeman Sport Aperture design again."

    BB, What is this new/better sight??? It appears to be the Crosman/Williams 64 bolt on design for the 392. The Beeman Sprot Aperture design is a clamp on for a dovetail rail and since it is available from Williams (as it is just rebranded by Beeman), I'm sure we will see this design for many years to come (although maybe not under the Beeman name).

  5. B.B.,

    I think Mr. B was very polite to you this morning. If I shuddered at your Dremel rout job on that Bronco, his teeth must've just about fallen out!
    Ah well, silence is golden, I guess.


  6. I've swapped the 2 target images in Dreamweaver & uploaded them to Pyramyd Air's server. Nothing has changed visually on my end, but the two target images have definitely been swapped. It might take a while before it actually shows up correctly. I've reloaded/refreshed the page and emptied my cache & used other browsers to see the page. Yet, all still show the old placement of targets. Not had this problem when making other changes after publishing a blog.


  7. AlanL,

    You were correct in what you said about me and probably also for Frank B, but I cann't speak for him.

    However, rather than make a comment about a well trained beaver, I thought that adhearing to the philosophy that form follows function applied in that case. Therefore, I didn't make any suggestions to send that Bronco off to Frank B for a little stock work wich was an idea that went through my mind.

    Mr B.

  8. Good morning all,

    In BB's defense I have to say that considering he was going to do the report with the thing canted the quick chop job looks great.

    BB, To quote Peter Graves in the Smoking gun (I think) "Nice Beaver!"


  9. BB,

    Thanks for this report. this looks to be a better option for peep sites. I have been drooling over these sites and would love to have them on a Bronco. http://tech-sights.com/. Bought 'em for my 1022 but have not installed yet.

    BTW, is there a gas spring option for the Bronco?


  10. DSW,

    Thanks for "getting it."

    I could have offered all sorts of apologies for my lack of woodworking skills, but I figured the photo would tell the whole story. I had an hour on Sunday to do what I did and that's what it looks like.


  11. AlanL,

    You must understand two things. First, other spring guns have had baffled silencers incorporated into their barrel shrouds for over a decade, with the TX 200 being the first,

    Second, silencers don't work on spring guns. Only Crosman has understood that you also have to silence the powerplant if you want the barrel shroud to do anything.

    BATF is not concerned.


  12. DSW

    I think it was Leslie Nielson, and I think it was in Naked Gun, not smoking gun. I like the scene where he is bribing the shoe-shiner for information.

    Are you also known as KidAgain? I thought I saw that somewhere a couple days back, but then again it could have been a hallucination. The Leprechaun says it happened.

  13. SL,

    YOU'RE RIGHT! Ha! no wonder my Google searches weren't helping me with the name of the movie. Hey I was on my first cup of coffee, anyway, you past. As for the rest of y'all, need to stay after class for some discussion!

    yes, KidAgain, but It's often easier to not fight w/ signing in, sorry


  14. Vince,
    I'd like to add to B.N.'s comment on the AirHawk. I have one. It is the first air rifle I ever owned. I was trying to choose between it and a Gamo Whisper. I bought the Gamo Whisper first but didn't like it so I took it back and got the AirHawk. Not sure that was the right thing to do but I didn't know nuttin then (and still don't know enough).

    I think the AirHawh has a harsh recoil to it. It's advertised at 1,200fps, I believe, so that's what I attribute to the harshness.

    I had a difficult time mounting a scope on it because of severe scope creep. It was so bad that the scope ring clamps would slip off the back of the rails no matter how hard I clamped them. When they did it even deformed the ring clamps. B.N. mentioned a positive scope stop at the end but I don't see that on my gun. There is an end cap on the back where the safety is but it is nowhere near where a scope or ring would come in contact with it. Maybe there was an enhancement after mine. It sure needed it.

    In order to solve the problem I bought a Gamo Scope Stop, Rubber Bumper Item#:Gamo-621317454[PY-A-267], which is currently out of stock, and it has been working very well, no scope creep anymore.

    The gun is pretty accurate. Not as accurate as my Marauder but, hey, what under $500 gun is, know what I mean? I sighted it in at 10m and loaned it to a friend who was having rabbit troubles. I know, Easter's coming and how can a cute little rabbit cause any trouble? Anyway, he had never shot a springer before but he was nailing rabbits with ease. He said they'd drop right in their tracks. (I never got the opportunity to teach him the artillery hold, either.) He was shooting no more than 10m out his kitchen window.

    Don't know if this helps but…

    BTW, someday I'd like to tune the thing because right now it is my least favorite gun. I do not consider it a pleasure to shoot. Spoiled, I know.


  15. BB, As an almost every day reader/lurker I enjoy this blog and have spent many hours digging through the archives. Thanks.
    The Bronco has officially made my short list of pellet guns for when the nephews come over. Currently they scramble to be the one to shooting my low powered qb57. Not really a great airgun but they like the way it looks. Of course I worry about them guillotining their fingers and give them my Uncle safety speech and lessons on holding the side lever each time. The Bronco strikes me as a much safer gun.

    Noticed your 410 post yesterday. The 410 is a gun right up my alley, as I tend to lean towards odd or smaller caliber guns. (I love my marlin model 60) The 410 that's been calling my name lately is the Saiga 410 semi auto. Here's a short you tube vid of the Saiga, looks like fun.
    Here's some swampbillys bump-firing their Saiga, man I want one.

  16. Chuck,

    You must have one of the early AirHawks. They did not have scope stops, but later versions all do. Mine looks like the second picture on this posting.

    I was also pleasantly surprised at the fit and finish internally when I lube tuned it. IIRC, there was very little deburring required. I've never been inside a RWS Diana 34, so I can't compare. Mine has a lot of recoil as well, which makes it pretty hold sensitive. The lube tune helped settle the vibration and twang, but the harshness is still there.

    Since I use mine for hunting, that's resulted in a lot more misses in the field than I am comfortable with. If I don't sell it and upgrade to a Discovery, then I'll probably exchange the internals for Jim Maccarri parts or install one of the new Vortek kits. Hopefully, that would tame the hold-sensitivity somewhat. I might get crazy and shorten the barrel as well.

  17. B.N.,
    I can't get to those pictures. The site required me to logon but I'm not registered. I did look around on the web at other pictures but never found anything different than mine. I even looked at the Elite but it's rail looks like mine also.


  18. B.N.,
    I registered and looked at the pic. The box in the first pic says it is a refurbished gun. Could the stop have been added as part of the refurbishing? Looking a the PA site and reading the reviews people are still having creep problems at least as late as Feb.

  19. Chuck,

    Sorry about sending you to a site that requires registration. Here's a review of the Ruger BlackHawk (same internals, different stock) showing the scope stop.

    I don't think that they put them on as part of any refurbishment process. My first AirHawk was refurbished and had no stop. I returned it for that reason. Cabelas sent me another refurbished one, and it had the scope stop shown in the review above.


    Thanks for the suggestion. I like the looks of both the Vortek kits and the Air Venturi kits. The Vortek kit is about $20 cheaper, so that would be my choice. Of course, Mr. Maccarri has a lot of history in the airgun community and his kits get consistently rave reviews. Choices, choices 🙂

  20. B.B.

    Great! Glad to hear your working on a hopefully slightly larger version. The Mustang would be perfect in the size/power of the RWS92 you just reviewed.

    Please keep the excellent double blade trigger, but add a slightly longer stock and barrel. (that will help keep the cocking effort low)

    I would like the cocking effort to remain the same:-).. so just figure it out! 10-12fpe with 19lbs of cocking effort:-)..

    ..oh and keep the total weight the same too.. and no plastic!!! 🙂

    No loss of accuracy or increased recoil either!

    ok, that's about it..

    keep us posted:-)

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  21. BB,

    Just for calibration, what are the targets you show in the pictures of the various groups? I can't see a 10-spot, so I don't think they are an AR-5 10m rifle target. And what's the diameter of the black?

    And you show two pix of JSB pellets and say that a sight adjustment brought one group closer to the center. Looks to me as if the groups are at the same size, but one is centered three o'clock and the other at five. Or is that just old eyes not reporting right?


  22. BB,
    The stock modification for the sight made my day. While I won't say it is the nicest wood work I've ever seen, I will say that if it helps the rifle shoot better, who cares! The whole idea that every airgun stock is a sacred artifact is patently absurd, plus most of them are ugly to start with (4x too much wood):).

  23. B.B.

    That's great news! the new FWB124 or Diana 27:-)

    I'd like to save the boxes this time. The Bronco boxes have all been broken with the barrel pushing out the front.. better packing and a collector box too! Heck if you want to sell them for 10 bucks less with a plain box.. let us have a choice.

    Your designs and the quality work (for the price) Mendoza can do, make them collectible as well as a great shooter… that box must improve.

    The new Evanix Hunting Master AR6 / AR4 + Thumbhole Stock that is supposed to put out 60fpe in .22cal and it says it will be shrouded, looks very nice! The hammer cocking is pretty cool too, but the shot count was not great on the non shrouded one I tried more than a year ago. Accuracy was not that great either.

    The S10Blizzard was more accurate…. at 35fpe

    But what really has me interested is the Rainstorm with a shrouded barrel, 10 shots, side lever, 45fpe. and 45 shot per fill! All in a 6.75lb gun…

    HHHMMM.. I wonder how the accuracy would be at 45fpe? (how's the new pellet design coming along)?

    Even if it's not as good as the Blizzard, but a little better than the AR6, I'd be a happy camper!

    I notice they slipped the ship date last week to 5/14 now…

    Don't review it!!

    I don't think PA could handle the increased order file:-)

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director, Ashland Air Rifle Range

  24. B.G. Farmer,

    Sacrilege! Nice wood work is everything! Who cares about accuracy! It's the feel of that gorgeous satin finish wood up against your cheek! Form over function anytime!! ;-))


  25. b.b., the wood thing can work another way.
    I remember mentioning my Alfa a while back.
    The sound of that DOHC aluminium head engine at 6500RPM…till the head warped and started dumping oil into the coolant.
    The gorgeous form of the body…until it started to rust. (one of the guys in the Alfa Owners club I was a member of said if you put you Alfa in the garage…turned off anything that made noise…and you listened real hard…you could hear it rust. I believe him).
    But at the end of it's life (with me)…rusting and burning oil…I coulds still sit surrounded by the red leather, walnut dash and steering wheel and Veglia guages….and all was right with the world.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  26. BB,
    I do hope it wasn't Bronco serial #1; otherwise, your modification probably adds collector value:).

    I'm as guilty as the rest…just not as careful or prone to consider the implications of my actions:).

  27. I've owned 3 Air Hawks (well, 2 Air Hawks and a BAM B25S). The first was horrible, accuracy was tepid and the internals were inexcusably bad. The second was better, but still nowhere near acceptable.

    The third (a Panther look-a-like) I still have, I've been meaning to do an inside-out comparison with the real thing for this blog, but just haven't gotten around to it.

    Velocity-wise I've found them to be a little lower than the Diana's, which isn't surprising considering the fact that the piston stroke is a bit shorter and the spring a little weaker (as I recall).

    The accuracy of the B25S was absolutely the best of the lot. If I held it just right, I'd be able to get accuracy comparable to either a Diana 34 or a Panther at 10 yards, but at 60 – ferget it! I could keep 10 out of 10 on an standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper, but not much better.

    I know a lot of people have been crowing about how good their Air Hawks are. I'd sure like to try one sometime… the one's I've had just didn't cut it.

  28. Lessee… the Bronco is basically an RM200 with a few design changes… most significantly is the softer spring. So I'm guessing the Mustang will be based on the RM600 – with a lighter spring, the deleted oil hole and felt washer, and maybe the Bronco's trigger retainer pin (instead of the retainer screws used by the original)

  29. Tom,
    Now that i'm getting the mtm bench (green, folding legs,right?) how about bags and rest? i'm a decent shot but never used these items. i have noticed the caldwell bags and mtm front rest…which to start with (specifically)? thank you, friend.

  30. Would an 953 front sight fit on a bronco. If so, maybe you can add a sight comobo of your choice. Perhaps skip the 953 and get a 853 sight with globe and inserts with a rear sight of your choice. I think you could get a complete 853 front rear with inserts under 30 bucks. The rear sight may be a little mushier, but still adjustable.

  31. BB,I want to apologize for anything that was assumed to be my reaction to your stock "adjustment".I guess the gang thinks because I failed to ruin a magnificent piece of wood,that I am some sort of expert…nothing could be further from the truth.
    In actuality I am the complete novice who benefitted from the great advice that this blog and the talented bunch that reside here were kind enough to offer!!
    respectfully signed; Frank B

  32. Frank B,

    That was me, just pulling B.B.'s chain a bit, at your expense. Sorry! Just trying to liven the morning up a bit.

    And if You aren't an expert at making magic with wood, bone, and who knows what else, I'd like to meet the man who calls himself one.

    You are too modest by far, and so is B.B. We all know that all his protestations to the contrary, if he really had tried to do something nice with that stock he would have succeeded admirably.

    I had my fun, and herewith my humble expressions of remorse to you both!


  33. AlanL,You were just feeding the "elephant in the room".It is funny that you attributed the antler and bone work to me as well.I hate to burst your rose colored bubble,I am guilty only of having good taste in objects.Those nice animal carvings were antler and warthog tusk done by a western artist named Jeff Two Hawks.One day soon I will show you some of my work.Hopefully you will be equally impressed.

  34. AlanL, Alan in MI, Dave UK, Slinging Lead,

    Great advice, thank you. I did take it in part, and changed my letter to more of a formal request for permission to give the boy some literature on gun safety and basic shooting skills. I also stated my concern of what he may learn “out on the streets” with his interest in guns. The boy and I decided that the 717 should stay with me (for now) and not bring that up in the letter. The mother received it well and thought that it might not be a bad idea to come to a club meeting but “no promises”.


    I too was in the USN, I hope you don’t hold that against me.


    Function over form for me as well. If I was on your deadline I would have panicked and went for the chainsaw! Thanks for the place to sip coffee in the morning and unwind at night.


  35. SlingigLead, I'm still laughing over my thinking it was Peter Graves in NAKED Gun!

    MrB, Don't go soft on us now!

    AlanL, If you're referring to my weak excuse as to why I was using anonymous you got me. Truth is I picked a more difficult password to type in every comment than just clicking the anony button.

    Caveman, USN, no problem. I was just 'fishing' w/ rikib. Heck if it wernt for the Navy there wunt be Marines, right? 🙂 Good news with the boy. Smart move with the letter.


  36. KidAgain, DSW whatever you are calling yourself today. I'm Retired USN, 100% disabled vet and proud of every moment I served and proud of those still serving. Just wanted to know where a kid was coming from.

  37. John,

    There is a point at which an understressed mainspring can last many decades. I think the Bronco spring will be like that. Shooting is the only thing that wears it, and not all that much.

    In terms of shots, 30K-50K?


  38. Well, the spring tube, piston, and piston stroke are identical between the Bronco and the RM200. The piston design was changed a little, as you know, to get rid of the felt washer. I even tried the Bronco's piston in the RM200 (to help be track down the low velocity problem) and it worked fine.

    I had the two stripped down side-by-side, and I took pictures! Be warned!

  39. Mr.BB,
    I bought the Bronco. The 1 piece mount I used for the scope covers the hole to oil the rifle as suggested in the manual. Using 2 rings would be preferable. The Bronco is very accurate at 15 meterw

  40. Joe,

    The Bronco shouldn't have an oiling hole. The manual is the traditional one issued for Mendoza rifles, but I believe that specs for the Bronco are such that the oiling hole was eliminated for this gun. If you see an oiling hole in your rifle, please let me know! I'm supposed to write a new manual for the Bronco but haven't gotten around to it, yet.


  41. Edith,
    Near the safety is a hole which I assumed is the oiling hole since the maintenance section of the manual shows an illustration to that effect. Thanks for replying.


  42. Hi BB, yes, I know, this was from six years ago. However, I am very impressed by your huge write-up on the Bronco and wanting to purchase one. Unfortunately, It’s no longer available. As creator of this wonderful shooting instrument, can you tell me if it will be available again anytime soon? if not, any recommendation that would come close to the Bronco accuracy at a similar price point?


  43. Hi BB,
    Just had a read of your Tech Force review. Very nice comparison with the Bronco. Unfortunately it does not come with open sights. I’d like to add a rear peep sight, similar to what was done to later Bronco versions, but how can a front sight be added or can it??


    • Peter,

      It will be a lot of work. The muzzle brake has to come off with heat (epoxy) and then a new aftermarket sight has to be installed. Maybe something in a vintage Diana globe with inserts, but a lot of machining to make it work. Or drill a hole and mount a blade and ramp. Figure $300 worth of work and parts on a $100 gun.


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