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Education / Training Browning 800 Mag – Part 5

Browning 800 Mag – Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier
Photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Now it’s time to test the big Browning in .22.

It’s been a while since we looked at this pistol, but I knew we had to test it in .22 because of the power potential.

In .177, I topped 800 fps with the big Browning. Normally, a spring gun in .22 caliber will be up to 20% more efficient than the same gun in .177. That would not mean greater velocity in .22, but it would mean more muzzle energy. Today’s test will determine if that relationship holds true.

This time, Mac tested the gun and was just as impressed with the cocking effort as I was. All of these numbers were gathered by him.

RWS Hobbys
RWS Hobbys were the lightest pellets tested. They averaged 536 fps and ranged from 526 to 546. That’s a max spread of 20 fps. While the number 536 doesn’t sound that high, please remember that this is a .22 caliber spring-piston pistol, not a .177. The 11.9-grain Hobby pellet produced an average energy of 7.59 ft-lbs.

RWS Superdomes
I wanted to test the gun with larger lead pellets, because I thought they would seal better, so I asked Mac to try RWS Superdomes. At 14.5 grains, these are much heavier than Hobbys. They produce an average velocity of 502 fps. The spread was from 496 to 507. That’s only 11 fps and a really tight spread for a new spring pistol. Average muzzle energy works out to 8.12 ft-lbs.

Crosman Premiers
I asked Mac to try Crosman Premiers because they’re so standard among .22 cal. pellets. Many shooters have them and use them, and they’re often among the best pellets for a spring gun…but not for the Browning 800 Mag. The average velocity was 441 fps and ranged from 391 to 462. That 71 fps spread is a clear indication that the Premier is not suited to this gun. Mac also told me that they loaded loosely, and I have to assume they’re much too small for the bore of the gun. Plus, there isn’t enough air pressure to force the skirt out into the rifling. In one case, the pellet actually fell out while Mac was cocking the gun. The average muzzle energy works out to 6.18 ft-lbs.

The big Browning takes a lot of effort to cock. This detachable muzzlebrake slips on and adds several inches of leverage.

Looking up into the pistol’s mechanism, we see the mainspring and the sledge anti-recoil mechanism. It’s possible to see this flex about a quarter inch when cocking the barrel.

More energy?
The .22 caliber pistol is slightly more powerful than the .177. That the two are so close indicates that the powerplant favors the smaller caliber. However, this is still a ver powerful .22 caliber air pistol.

I will return with the results of a accuracy tests, so you’ll have everything you need to make a choice between the calibers.

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.

64 thoughts on “Browning 800 Mag – Part 5”

  1. Hey! What? I’m the first to post? Rikib, did you go to sleep at a reasonable hour or something?

    I love this pistol. And YES it’s on my wish list!

    good night all,


  2. KA/Edith,
    Heck no! I’m here, just trying to find some quotes for a “New Day”. Tom is home, Edith can slow down a bit hopefully. Things are starting to get sorted out with the new blog. Everything is starting to look up and work arounds being found or problems excepted.

    “Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”
    Dalai Lama

    “I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.”
    Abraham Lincoln


      • Edith,
        She’s definitely not an airgunner, or any type of gun. Animal lover to the extreme. I’m supposed to catch spiders and bring them outside, heck no! I’m retired military, combat training and I limit myself to my 2240 and knives. Can’t go any further. As it is we could probably be consider an unlicensed SPCA.


  3. Ryan man -where are you!? 🙂 Did you get your bb pistol and how is the snake is it alive ?When i am not destroying my pelletts 😉 and stuff… i too have a hobby -i do aquascaping and breeding discus fish so i understand your devotion to snakes,but frozen mice ,,,, yuck,,,, 😉

    • C-S,
      I don’t know of any spring rifles that differ in powerplant design from .177 to .22, except the Whiscombe possibly, although some are better at one caliber than the other. So, I think the spring will be the same if stock. If you are ordering a custom spring and want to redo the internals, a .22 could probably take advantage of more power better than a .177.

  4. Good morning B.B.,

    That’s alot of pistol for the money. Will we be getting a look at the Marauder PCP Pistol anytime soon?

    Oops, gotta give Darling Daughter her ride to school. One more year of high school. Time sure is a fast mover.

    Mr B.

  5. BB:
    That is a nice looking pistol and with Mac’s photos I can feel the Browning Quality over here 🙂

    ‘Aquascaping’ I have never heard of that sport.
    My nephew does underwater hockey.
    Whatever next,indoor sky diving.lol

  6. Dave it is kinda opposite of sport,basically it is creating biotope aquariums-but i do like an idea of underwater hockey! Unfortunately we here does not have pool and man today is HOT i would like to be in one 🙂

  7. Matt,
    Thanks for your concern, but the BP raising meetings were years ago when I lived and breathed for 3D graphics in the Valley. Not many meetings for me these days although a local day camp group came by this morning to look at my “donkey” (you know what I wanted to say, but Edith would get me:)) and mules:).

    I’ve been following the long range bottle breaking and tin-can piercing discussion. For what its worth, it takes a good deal of velocity to pierce a steel can, as I found out when shooting one close range with CPH’s testing my new 36-2 breach seal. I find it hard to believe that 12fpe ME would even dent a tin can at 200 yards, much less go through it. Some thin glass bottles might break, but probably not reliably.

    Have you been watching History Channel’s “Top Shot”? The first one was an eye-opener/disappointment — an ex-Marine and “professional shooter” couldn’t hit a _huge_ target at 100 yards with an ’03 Springfield in over two dozen tries, off a rest, even given the aid of a spotter (at 100 yards, for crying out loud!)! Maybe we should sign up for next season:). Although I usually like Marines, the individual in question seemed thoroughly over-confident and under-talented (perhaps he’s a pistol shooter?), so it was a pleasure to watch him lose to a kid in the elimination shoot-off. What was most hilarious was that most of them acted as if the Springfield was an odd weapon; really, a bolt action .30-06 should be about as close to the gold standard as you can get! I think the open sights threw them off.

    • BG Farmer:
      That show is stupid, and I also liked it when the skin head lost to the kid. The ” Lock and Load ” show was much better, and the gunny can actually shoot. My brother and I could hit a gallon milk jug at 200yards with my father’s NRA garage sporterized, DCM Remington Springfield, with a Lyman reciever sight and the plain issue front blade. I was maybe 14 at the time, and that was from prone position , and no rest. We shot the surplus AP loads available through our gun club from the DCM. My shoulder sure took a pounding from the metal issue butt plate, but I loved shooting that old gun.
      I once won a match at our club where you got one shot off-hand,at 100yards with any gun you choose to shoot. The ones that shot and hit the target (a quart milk carton filled with water, stapled to a target frame), shot until they missed and were eliminated. I used a SMLE mark 3 , in .303 British, that was completely issue. The older guys with their scoped sporters laughed at me until I took their money. I was maybe 15 or 16 at the time. Like the kid on the program, I could judge the wind,and knew where that old relic shot. My dad was very proud.Robert

      • Robert,
        You know he did say the Springfield was hard to get on target — I guess it was lucky that Alvin York was carrying an American Enfield in the Argonne:).

        • BG Farmer:
          My Dad’s Springfield was the type with the straight grip stock. I don’t have that gun , but I do have an A-3 Springfield with the same style stock and it is very easy to get on target with it. I also have a 1917 Remington Enfield in as issued form , and it does not point as well as the Springfield. The 1917 is heavier and fatter in the middle. It does however, have a larger magazine capacity by one round. It is a stronger action, but has the cock on closing feature that all Enfield’s share. That can be changed to the cock on opening as on the Springfeild and the Mauser which it is derived from.

          • Robert,
            I was just kidding (which I believe you realize, but others might not). Nothing wrong with a Springfield; he was just making excuses — he shouldn’t have put himself on the 100 yard position with a rifle he didn’t know how to shoot. For what they were doing in the initial round, my Glenfield 60 would have sufficed:)! I really hope they bring the challenges and the shooting up several notches, or it won’t be worth watching.

        • “You know he did say the Springfield was hard to get on target — I guess it was lucky that Alvin York was carrying an American Enfield in the Argonne:).”

          The latest information notes that Alvin York did use a Springfield. He was issued an Enfield but didn’t like the Peep Site. So, he traded for a Springfield. This information came from his son.


          • Mike,

            That is very interesting, and I didn’t know that (obviously:)). In the case of Alvin York, I bet he could have made do with either:).

            Incidentally, if its the son who is a park ranger (don’t know how many there were), I have met him — one of the highlights of my childhood was going to see where Sgt. York was from, and one of his sons is (was?) there to answer questions much of the time. It’s sad that most people don’t even know who Sgt. York is anymore, unless they see the movie on cable.

  8. BB, Mac, or Edith:
    The Browning pistol flexed a 1/4″ when the barrel was cocked? Does that mean that the frame rails are being worked and could suffer from fatique, and possible breakage in the future? Or that there is just that much play in the frame area?

  9. TX200 questions:

    From Paul Capello videos, the noise level of the TX200 is about 86db and the Marauder’s is about 85db. So, if Paul’s sound meter is consistent, the two noise levels are pretty the same. Has anyone had the experience with these rifles and can confirm this?

    Also, how about the TX200’s noise level vs. the Bronco’s?


    • tdung

      I have owned all three rifles and shot them extensively indoors, where sound levels are more easily felt.

      My TX200 in .177 is loudest, followed by the Bronco, followed by the Marauder in .22. None of these guns would be considered loud to me, indoors with no hearing protection.

      Most of the noise from all three guns is from the powerplants, and not the muzzle reports (in my estimation). In the Marauder, the powerplant noise can be easily reduced with a cheap depinger device. The TX200 and Bronco would need more work and expense to yield negligible advances in sound reduction, on rifles that are already fairly quiet.

      All three rifles are excellent in their own way, regardless of noise. The TX200 is my favorite.

      • Thanks S-L for your info.

        Lucky you, for having all three.

        I’ve been disappointed by the Bronco’s stock and the major misalignment of the linkage. So I’ve been think about the HW30/S. And as I’ve read more and more, TX200 seems to be the best of springers (sadly – for me – it is also quite heavy and no open sight). Noise was also my concern and after watching Paul’s videos, I thought wow, TX200 is as quiet as the Marauder. But obviously, I was wrong. Thanks again.

        • tdung

          I gave the Bronco to my 14 year old nephew, so I don’t have that one anymore. The cocking linkage wasn’t dead center in this one either, but it didn’t scrape the side of the stock. As far as the stock is concerned, it was not my favorite attribute of the rifle as far as looks. It did hold well and have good balance. Mainly, the gun was quite the shooter. Easy to cock, easy to load, nice crisp trigger and accurate as hell.

          It is no coincidence that you have been looking at the HW30S, as this rifle or rather its fraternal twin the Beeman R7, was the inspiration for the Bronco (Along with the Diana 27, and Beeman C1)

          The TX200 is not loud, just louder than a Marauder, but it is HEAVY AS ALL HELL. Have you seen Paul’s NPSS video? That (shrouded) gas piston gun seemed to be the most quiet among his tests.

        • tdung,

          If you’re looking at the TX200 but bemoan the lack of open sights (as I do), then you might want to take a look at the Weihrauch HW 77, of which the TX200 is a near copy. The 77 has similar performance, legendary quality, and open sights.


          • It looks like they have similar weight too.

            It might be hard to choose the HW77 when BB’s comment is like… “I have owned both an HW 77 and an HW 97. The TX beats them both – even though my 77 was a tuned gun with superior performance.”


    • tdung,

      You can’t compare the TX200 and Bronco in power, quality, weight, or price, so you shouldn’t try to compare the sound between them either. Comparisons of this type are only meaningful between similar items.


    • HK,

      I’m also glad he’s back. Keep in mind that he’s still recovering from his illness, so he won’t be answering a whole bunch of questions at this time.


  10. I finally got out to the range (Friday) to shoot the .22 rimfire Savage MkII. I shot at targets at 50yds. They weren’t my targets because I forgot to put mine in the car. I have since created a range day checklist with all the items I think I need, but it’s not real time tested yet. The guy already there was leaving and let me use his targets. He was shooting a Ruger .22 black rifle. He said it wasn’t bore sighted and he couldn’t hit a thing so he quit early. Nice guy. Seems like everybody I meet at the range are nice people.

    About the Savage Woman: I like the laminated stock look. I don’t like the bolt cocking, the bolt action is the main reason I wanted the rifle in the first place. I like the trigger very much. I was shooting 3/4″ 5 shot groups at 50yds.

    I know I can do better. The part about the cocking is that raising the bolt also cocks the hammer and it takes more muscle to raise the bolt than I want. After raising the bolt it cocks as smooth as snot. I wish the hammer cocking effort was done while drawing the bolt back to eject the casing. It is easier to allpy more force pulling the bolt back. There isn’t much leverage raising the bolt. Except for that I’m very pleased with the rifle. Also, it has only a 5 shot clip so reloading is frequent. On the plus side reloading the clip is very easy and doesn’t take hardly any pressure. I dodn’t have sore thumbs after the session.

    For this session the best cartrige was the CCI Mini Mag, copper plated, round nose, second best was Federal Spitfire, 31grain, copper plated, hollow point, followed closely by Remingtom Thunderbolt, plain lead round nose, which surprised me cause I thought they were cheap but they shot 3/4″ groups, too. The worst were a 550 round value pack Federal, 36 grain, copper plated, hollow point, and CCI Blazer, plain lead, round nose. These did not get 3/4″ groups, more like 1″-1.5″.

    At the range there was some wind to consider and a rain cloud passing over at one point. I didn’t pay any attention as to how these affected accuracy so my findings above tell you the best but may not necessarily be fair to the worst. Also, the rifle is new, was never shot until now so a couple more sessions at the range may change the above rankings.

    • CJr,

      Sounds like your not very happy with the Savage. That bolt will loosen up quite a bit in just a few hundred rounds. I have shot may flies a 50 feet and peep sights with my daughters rifle. The thing is just a easy shooter and fun as a spoorter.


    • CJr,
      I lubed the bolt (especially the screw/ramp at back which pulls back the striker) with moly paste before I ever took it out. If yours is exceptionally difficult to cock, you should probably let it wear in a bit to debur it, then lube it. Mine cocks easily with one finger, although it is not like a worked-on benchrest rifle where you can cock it without changing the sight picture. Would be nice, but not expected at the price point:).

    • Caveman,
      Maybe I came across too strong on the bolt. I didn’t mean to sound like I am not happy with the gun, just the bolt, so far. That probably sounds contradictory.

      You and Caveman both give me hope on the bolt. I will do as you did after a few more rounds through it. It seems to shoot a lot smoother than my 10/22 which I think is because of the semi-auto action of the 10/22 adding extra movement/shock.

    • The bolt should be smooth and slick out of the box. It will defiantly need a break in period. I would take the bolt out and clean off the grease with Ballistol. Then use a little more when you are done cleaning to lube the action. Then install the bolt again and work the action several times to loosen it up. If that does not work, it could be a defectively made bolt or receiver. thee 10/22 a lot more user friendly and a blast to use. It is very accurate too. Bull barrels makes for even better accuracy. For the record, bore sighted or not, you can still zero without it.

    • For 100 yard shooting, the .25 cal would be better, because it would be less effected by wind. Unless you have a 100 yard indoor range. Then .22 would probably be better due to the higher speed and flatter trajectory.

  11. I really want this gun. There is something about a good springer that leaves me with a warm fuzzy feeling. I also like the aesthetics of this gun. Very attractive indeed. I wish the price was a bit lower though. For $149.99 you can get one or two great guns. I do like the anti-recoil mechanism. Similar to the RWS Diana 52.


  12. Hello,

    The 800 Mag looks really good, but I have a question. Assuming I put the UTG Bug Buster 3-9X32 Compact CQB Scope on it and use Beeman FTS Double Gold (0.22) pallets, how hard would it be to hit a slim can, say, a can of Red Bull from 200 feet. Is it even possible?


  13. Jh-ba,

    Well, you can see the groups at 10 meters, which is 33 feet. So enlarge them about seven to ten times and you’ll have the representative accuracy for 200 feet.

    Groups do not spread out evenly as the distance increases. They often go to twice the expected size or more because of things like wind influence, etc.

    For the accuracy you are looking for you will need something more like a TX 200 rifle.


  14. B.B. Pelletier,

    I see that the TX200 MkIII rifle shoots at 700 fps in .22, which is the same (at least on paper) as the Browning 800, so in terms of wind influence they should be the same. The caliber is also the same, which probably eliminates another variable, that is, the weight of a pellet. What am I missing?


    • Jh-ba,

      First of all, the Browning doesn’t come close to 700 f.p.s. in .22. It’s lucky to get up to 500, and most don’t.

      Second, it isn’t as accurate as a TX 200, so the dispersion starts out on the downside. It will never get better downrange.

      There is absolutely no comparison between a TX 200 and a Browning 800 Mag pistol, other than they are both spring-piston airguns.


  15. B.B. Pelletier,

    I see what you are saying… How does TX 200 compare to Crosman Benjamin Marauder PCP .22? The price seems to be the same, but what about accuracy and quietness? By the way, is Benjamin Marauder as quiet as Browning 800 or is it louder?


    • Jh-ba,

      Hard to compare the TX200 and the Benjamin Marauder. The TX is the top of the spring gun heap and the Marauder is the best value for a PCP. The Marauder will outshoot the TX because PCPs are easier to shoot accurately. The TX will look better than the Marauder because it is hand-finished.


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