Buying your first airgun

by B.B. Pelletier

This is a topic that disturbs me, because never before have there been so many choices in airguns. And most of them are the wrong choice for a first gun. I get private contacts from people asking me questions like, “Which should I buy — the Gamo Hunter Extreme or the Walther Falcon Hunter with Nitro Piston? I want a gun for shooting long range and for occasional hunting.”

That’s the equivalent of a 16-year-old driver asking whether he should buy the Ferrari or the Dodge Viper because he wants a car with some zip. Buy either car, and he’ll end up in the ditch or worse. Fortunately, both cars have exclusionary price tags that keep a lot of 16-year-olds away. However, in the world of airguns, the super-magnums are priced very affordably, so a first-time buyer can afford to get something completely inappropriate.

What do you mean by “inappropriate”?
In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, them’s fightin’ words. A guy ought to be able to buy anything he can afford.

Yes, I agree with the principle of freedom, but here’s the problem. A 56-year-old man buys a Gamo Hunter Extreme as his very first airgun. He has never shot a firearm, so this will be his first exposure to the shooting sports. He’s 5’6″ and weighs 125 lbs., soaking wet. He has bursitis, which is why he decided to shoot airguns and not firearms. And, he just bought a rifle that he cannot begin to cock and one whose recoil will aggravate his bursitis something terrible.

Why did this happen? Because this fellow bought his first gun on the basis of numbers. He was impressed with Gamo’s advertised velocity without understanding the physical effort it takes to get that level of performance. He bought a springer because he “doesn’t want to be bothered” with all the support equipment it takes to operate a PCP. He could have gotten triple the power from an AirForce Condor with zero recoil and no hard cocking effort, but he was unaware of that when he made his decision, or he disregarded it.

I’m not suggesting that the Condor is a great very first air rifle, either. It’s too powerful and too specialized to be a starter gun.

A first airgun should be one that helps you enter the world of shooting with grace and ease. It should be accurate. It should be sized to your stature. It should be of a power level that lets you plink, shoot at targets or maybe hunt (if that’s important to you), all without painting you into a corner on performance.

But most people shop with just two criteria: velocity and price. When that gets them into trouble, they give up on airguns as a bad idea and move on to something else.

Appropriate first airguns
So far, I’ve helped design two air rifles: the Benjamin Discovery and the Air Venturi Bronco. I was thinking of the new airgunner when I worked on both of them. The Discovery is the easiest affordable PCP to fill from a hand pump, so Benjamin sells it with the pump packed in the same box. That was always how I envisioned it selling. The new airgunner gets everything he needs to begin shooting right out of the box. It’s a PCP without all the problems normally associated with PCPs. The fill level of 2,000 psi means our 56-year-old shooter can fill the gun with relative ease. Later, if he decides he likes airgunning, he can get a scuba tank and fill the gun much easier, but he doesn’t have to own one from the start!

The Bronco was originally made by Mendoza for youth, but their version of the gun had some problems. The stock was an insult to style, the muzzlebrake was too short, the oil hole on the left side of the spring tube encouraged over-oiling and the fiberoptic sights destroyed any hope for precise aiming. We fixed all those faults and put the Bronco into a Western-style stock that fits the model name, and now we have a breakbarrel rifle that adults and older kids can shoot with ease! It’s not meant for hunting; but for all-day plinking and informal target shooting, it’s ideal. I think it makes a great first airgun.

More appropriate first airguns
Guns like the Benjamin 392 are great first airguns because they slow down the shooter and make him think of what he is doing. The act of pumping the gun is a plus for new shooters. But if you want a repeater, a Crosman 1077 can’t be beat. It’s got 12 shots on tap that it keeps on shooting with each pull of the trigger. Got a little more to spend? Then look at the Hammerli 850 AirMagnum that also runs on CO2. Shooters love this rifle that is the closest approach to a PCP that a CO2 gun can make.

Want more power?
Okay, you don’t like my recommendations so far. I get that. You want your first gun to stretch out and do some of the remarkable things you read about. Well, you can do that. The Benjamin Marauder is one gun with all the advanced capability, yet still retains the rock-solid easy operation. If you want a black rifle, get an AirForce Talon or Talon SS. Both have enough power to do wonderful things, and yet they’re right in the center of the performance spectrum. The Gamo Big Cat is a perfect entree into airgunning with a spring rifle. So, there are plenty of choices.

The bottom line
The bottom line is that you want a tractable, flexible airgun as your first. Something that you can use for lots of different things. You do not want a highly specialized and narrowly defined gun that can’t be used for 95 percent of your shooting opportunities. Look for a gun you can learn to love by looking for the best all-around airgun.

62 thoughts on “Buying your first airgun

  1. Thank you B.B. for this blog !This all is so true for my first airgun from those listed up i would without consideration buy AIR VENTURY BRONCO.Now B.B.or anyone- sound barrier is about 344(1128,60 fps) meters per secund and 1650 fps(by the way is that mistake?) in 17 cal is gamo extreme it is 502,9 m/s how there can be any accuracy it braks sound barrier so it must be loud and inaccurate ??? I THINK that GAMO EXTREME is good but for 22 or 25 cal…. Dave update me with your progress with piston seal;)


    • C-S:
      An interesting fact from that link you gave me was that my piston seal was adjustable.
      It was more by luck than judgement,that when I put the seal/piston back together last time,I had adjusted it to optimum fit.
      Not too loose and not too tight in the compression chamber.
      The seal still has a gritty feel even after being greased though.
      What to do?
      File under ‘Long term project’with the scope and mounts I think πŸ™
      DaveUK


      • Dave you know i am from Croatia so gritty means like sandy wright? Dont know but if you have used leather for piston seal you can sand it with well sand-paper πŸ™‚


        • C-S:
          Cheers for that tip.
          Today I am mostly doing the annual underseal job on my old banger(Car)and a little body and spray work.
          My mind will be on air guns though πŸ™‚
          DaveUK


      • Dave have you or have you not change piston seal ?!If not then use leather seal from bicycle hand pump -did you try this i am still struggling with language! When preparing the leather seal soak it in petroleum oil for about 24h then try


        • C-S:
          Sorry mate,No I haven’t done the seal on the rifle yet.
          That was the last strip down I did about 3 weeks ago which I was describing.
          Most bike pumps we have here these days,are small bore with a plastic parachute seal unfortunately.
          DaveUK


  2. I have made typefeller it is breaks not braks πŸ™‚ sorry ,seems to me that Gamo Hunter Extreme is best in 25 cal ….but this Falcon Hunter is a beast i would like to have πŸ™‚ 1010 fps this is perfect 307,8 m/s(22cal) for everything πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


  3. I got some advice like yours, when I first bought an airgun. I had not discovered this blog.

    I got a Benjamin 392. My purposes were:
    Get some squirrels out of the garden
    Not have the extra equipment/cost of a PCP when I wasn’t sure about the whole thing in the first place.
    Get my son and introduction to shooting. I had grown up in the military so shooting was part of what I grew up with. He hadn’t so I thought we might enjoy it together.

    The 392 was a mistake. He didn’t like the pumping. Couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. I’m not a great shot, but I’d been trained by professionals who knew what they were doing. I was somebody who as a teen had known what I was doing… I remembered how fun shooting was but not details enough to be a fun teacher.

    The pumping didn’t work to well for getting the squirrels either. By the time I was ready to shoot, the squirrels were off someplace else.

    If not for the squirrels, I’d have stopped right there. I needed to get those squirrels. So I got a 2240. I didn’t and still don’t like CO2, but dadgummit I needed to get those squirrels.

    It worked. I could load up the CO2, sit down and work while looking out the window and then grab the pistol and on my way to the back door load it. The ranges are close enough that when I hit them they’re done.

    So my son got interested. I got him his own. Only a couple of years later do we take out the 392 again. Now its a pleasure to shoot. Easier to pump. Aiming a rifle sure seems easier than aiming a pistol so he can now hit what he shoots at… and we’ve gone on to a couple of RWS springers.

    Saving up for a first PCP which will probably be the M’rod, though the Crossman Challenger looks like it might be interesting or the Hammerli entry level might be in consideration as well.

    And now the wife joins us occasionally…


    • Harold,

      Thanks for your input. I am surprised by the 392 not being accurate, but I suspect it’s the pellets you shoot. Discount store pellets won’t work. You need to shoot some JSB Exacts in the 15.8-grain weight.

      I have a 392 with the pump-assist modification. I may blog it for all to see, just to see what the problem is. Can you tell me the names of the pellets you use?.

      B.B.


  4. Harold in MD -i am from CROATIA so dont mind my grammar πŸ™‚ i do prefer spring airguns couse they are well -raw ,simple mechanism takes a little bit of effort but i like them πŸ™‚




  5. B.B.

    Good topic.
    I don’t know what is worse…starting with a gun that is just plain wrong, or getting one that is a piece of junk.

    Besides how suitable the gun is for the shooter to handle, an important factor is also what they intend to do with it.
    Plinking and small pest elimination do not require much power. Enough to get the job done reliably is adequate as long as there is enough acuracy.
    Hunting game species (where legal) requires more juice. Some times a LOT more.
    Just because something can be done under the right conditions does not mean that it should be attempted on live targets.

    Of course the advertising policies that give the impression that you can have the power and range of a rimfire but without the noise are hogwash. Make the sale and let the sucker find out later what the real story is…..or let them keep buying before they finally wise up and get something that they should have gotten in the first place.

    twotalon


  6. B.B.

    A very good and true-to-life post πŸ™‚
    This fps race is at the same time boring and funny.
    I witnessed a guy at range – a small guy, an office type – trying to deal with D-350. 20 or so shots and he was exhausted, sweating with his hands shaking, unable to cock his him-sized rifle.
    “Man, what were you thinking when you made your choice?”
    “They told me it’s the best rifle ever! it’s got POWER!”
    What’s the use for power, travelling away from your target?

    My opinion – first buy something cheap, sturdy and easy to shoot. Learn well, then decide if you want to continiue.
    Here it is Izh-60/61. A beginner’s optimum (however sometimes – with crowned barrel, custom heavy ctock, gas spring and tuned trigger – a pro’s choice for 25 m paper punching πŸ™‚ ).

    duskwight


  7. This is one case of where Canada’s ridiculous gun laws are probably a blessing.
    With the 500fps limit most new airgunners (assuming they are not already registered for powderburners) end up with nice managable rifles.
    Their are two gunshops within easy driving distance of where I live and the shelves are stocked with the likes of the Slavia 630/631, Diana 240 and Weihrauch HW30s. Those and a nice selection of Umarex CO2 pistols means that most new shooters, unless they stray near Walmart or Canadian Tire (which in Canada seem to carry an excess of $99 Marksman crap) end up with good quality, easy to shoot plinkers.
    Once hooked they can get their FAC and move on to the high power stuff…but at least by then they know what to expect.


    • CSD

      Where I live, if you go into any gunstore and ask if they have any air rifles, they will look at you like are wearing a tutu and tiara and inquiring about pixie dust. This town could use a good Canadian-style gunshop.


  8. BB,

    Great topic, but that is the reason that I read the blog almost every day. Seems to me that learning about air gunning is the basis of the blog every day.

    On a somewhat related story this weekend (Saturday) I roasted a pig for a 4th/50th Birthday party. Well I knew that I was going to have 7 or 8 hours to kill so I through a couple of air guns, shooting mats, and a dozen sets of 1/10th scale silhouettes in the truck to pass the time. When some the early birds showed up we were still shooting and one of them asked if it was alright if he could use his own gun because he didn’t like β€œopen sights” (I had a Daisy 853 and 747 ,Walther LGM-2, IZH 46M, and Anschutz 2002CA) β€œSure , no problem” I said. When he walked up with a Gamo Whisper and a tin of Daisy Precision Max pellets you could imagine what I was thinking. As he settled in to shoot the targets @ 30yards you could tell by the way he was shooting he had a lot of experience but was not knocking them down. We were talking and he asked how much I paid for the Wather I told him $650 used and he said β€œYou’re nuts to pay that much for an air gun.” I said β€œBefore you call me nuts you at least have to try the gun”. After knocking down 12 rams @ 30yds, 12 bores and 12 turkeys @ 20yds, and 12 chickens @ 10 yds in a row he offered me $900 for the gun! In all about 20 people tried the different guns and gained some new respect for air guns and we had a great time. The pig turned out great but I think I should have sold the gun the money would probably buy a nice FWB 603 that I think would be an upgrade, would like to know your thought on that.

    Caveman


    • Caveman,

      Now THAT is a story I like to hear! It’s exactly what I am talking about today. If people could just sample what is possible instead of shopping with their purse, we would have a lot more airgunners.

      Thanks,

      B.B.


    • The Whisper should have done just fine at those ranges if he just had better pellets. I REALLY REALLY hate Daisy pellets. I tried them out of my Disco once just cause they were cheap and they threw inch groups at ten yards. Crosman Premiers go in to one little hole at that range.


  9. Hello BB!

    PCP rifles in Canada is not really an option. They require a permit since they exceed 500fps and are considered firearm.

    So for people like me who are only target shooter and not hunter, this excessive velocity is a bit frustrating.

    I own an example of every mechanical system (spring, multi-pump, single stroke, side lever, break barrel) but I cannot get a PCP.

    Since the Air Force Edge was so close to our legal limit (530 fps) I contacted them only to learn that they had no intention to reduce the velocity for Canada.

    Same with Crosman, the Discovery tuned down to 500fps (as they did for the Quest 500)would be an excellent choice except that they don’t have any intention to adjust it for our market.

    Eventually I discover the only PCP available in Canada that doesn’t require the use of the PAL. It is the CZ 200T, it is intended for 10m target shooting and the maximum energy is 7.5 joules. Its operating range is between 170 bars and 70 bars which gives about 140 shots. I also bought a Hill pump with a dry pack system. Both items together ended up costing twice as much as a Discovery. I am happy with the CZ 200T as it is very accurate.

    On the other hand having more PCP choices in the 500 fps range wouldn’t hurt the consumer. So if the airgun companies could wake up and realize that they might be missing some opportunities it would be best for everybody.

    Thanks.

    Pistol Pete


    • Pistol Pete,

      How frustrating! So near and yet so far. That explains all the Canadians who attend the Baldwinsville airgun show in July every year.

      B.B.


  10. pistol pete…by any chance have you ever tried an Avanti 853?
    I’ve been considering the CZ200 but none are available where I live to try out and I would have to order sight unseen from my usual dealer in Langley.
    I have the 853 but if the CZ was at least as accurate I think I’d make the jump.


    • I just traded a FWB300 for the AA S200/CZ200, and I have to say I am very pleased with it (my first PCP). The quality is well beyond the 853 I briefly owned, and though I have not yet put it on the bench at 10m, the sample targets from the previous owner are very respectable. Not single hole in the FWB600 sense, but awfully close. Only downside is the noise – it’s currently set at 12ft/lbs, but I expect it to be better at 6ft/lbs. Are you in Langley, VA?

      BB – this article is spot-on! I was fortunate to pick up that R7 not long after I started with the Diana 48. I shoot my 10m rifle more than the others combined, and it’s the “weakest” of them all!


      • Jay,

        Good to see you back here! You’re too humble to mention the spectacular job you did on refinishing that FWB 300. Glad to hear that you’re liking the S200. Good trade.

        kevin


        • Hi Kevin,

          I had good help and advice in refinishing the 300 – I simply followed instructions and had a nice piece of wood to work with. The new owner seemed very pleased with it, and he is planning to use it as a shooter. On the other hand, I think I’ll end up shooting the S200 far more, so your right – a good trade. Glad I kept the R10!

          Jay


    • Hi Cowboystar Dad!

      Yes, I have the Daisy 853C Legend and I am very happy with its accuracy. It seems that short rifle works best for me.

      I remember that I was really impressed when I received it. To confirm how close the Daisy and the CZ are, I would have to try them side by side but from what I remember they would be very close.

      Because I just received the CZ 200 T, this is the one that I am using right now. After adjusting the peep sight included with it and using a rifle rest, at 10 yards (length of my basement) the rifle can put 20 shots in a ragged hole easily covered by a penny. I normally use Crosman Premier all the time because they are easy to buy locally.

      Freehand I can shoot a hanging penny most of the time at about 25 feet (length of my garage).

      It is far from an olympic score by I am happy with that.

      The CZ would be about 2 inches shorter than the 853C. This is probably why it works well for me.

      You will need a pump which is available from the same site as the rifle (if you said Langley Canada, it is probably DL). A DIN 200 adaptor (item HIL-AC-006) will also be required.

      The rifle is shipped with an empty reservoir. To fill it to 170 bars (its max) it took me about 150 pumps. The last 30 were a bit hard for me as I weight only 140 pounds. The second time I filled it, I tried to put some weight (about 15 pounds) on the handle bar to help me but it was still hard. If you weight more than 140, it should be easy for you.

      The working range is from 170 to 70 bars, which give you about 140 shots. This rifle is a bit expensive, with the pump it will set you back a good $1000.

      Another interesting rifle available also from DL is an Industry Brand CO2 model AR 2078A (IND-AR-10) in caliber .22. It works on 2 cartridges of CO2 or it could be bulk filled with a Paintball tank. It comes with the accessories but a connector for Paintball tank will have to be bought separately. Nevertheless for $215 it is hard to beat (+ another $15-20 for the extra connector). Overall length is close to 1 inch longer than the 853C but the stock is right handed only.

      Grouping for the AR2078 is very good too (with Premier). In fact even with the cheap chinese pellets sold under the Daisy brand (.22 x 500 for under $8 at Walmart) the grouping is still good. It seems that chinese pellets go well with chinese rifle.

      Ha! So many choices!!!

      I hope it gives you enough info.

      Good luck.

      Pistol Pete


  11. Just returned to the city from spending the holiday at our place in the mountains. We had 3 waves of guests stop by our place over the 4 days. I had 11 people shoot my airguns including some of the wives. They went through over 1,000 pellets. We shot at shoot n c targets, resets, spinners, reset targets, paintballs on golf tees but the favorite target by far was the caldwell shooting gallery since it moves and resets itself.

    The majority of male shooters said “wow, I can’t believe how accurate this thing is. How much does one of these cost?” Then they rolled their eyes when I told them.

    Funny thing is, if you buy a quality gun (airgun or firearm) you can almost always sell it for what you paid. Very cheap rental on quality guns. Whereas a cheap, inaccurate gun rarely has an aftermarket. In this context, a cheap, inaccurate gun is very expensive.

    kevin


  12. BB,

    I just found an old crosman 1377 buried in a closet that was given to me 20 years ago. It wouldn’t pump so I put a little Pelgun oil on it and let it sit for a couple days. Today I tried pumping and it still didn’t work. I don’t know why, but I tried pumping real fast and BINGO! It works! This pistol has the shoulder stock option, plastic breech, and sliding cover in stead of bolt. anxious to see how it shoots. I have been wanting a compact air gun for around the house for a while, this might be the one. I read you 3 part review on it and all the comments and am thinking I may have found a little diamond in the rough.

    KA


  13. B.B.

    Fantastic, just amazing. Thanks a ton for an eye opening article.
    With your permission may I post the contents of your post on a couple of our only airgun forums here.

    Please oblige…

    Manish
    Mumbai
    India



    • Manish,

      I checked with Pyramyd Air regarding cross-posting today’s blog on other sites, and they don’t allow that. They will let you post an abstract/excerpt of the blog, BUT there must be a link back to the entire posting when you do that.

      Pyramyd Air owns this blog, and they do go after other sites that post whole blogs or large portions of their blog.

      I think CJr’s idea is the best solution…post a link to today’s posting. Here’s the permanent link:
      /blog/2010/07/buying-your-first-airgun/

      Thanks,
      Edith



    • Jason,

      my Disco was as loud as a .22 rifle. I literally had to wear ear protection when I fired it. I ended up purchasing a “moderator” from TKO. It’s now about as loud as a loud clap.

      Fred PRoNJ


  14. The old Beeman catalogs used to give two figures of merit for their guns: center-to-center group size and muzzle velocity. Now neither was well specified — for example the book didn’t mention choice of pellet type or weight — but having an indication of accuracy as well as projectile energy was a big help to me. I figured that if you couldn’t hit something small, repeatedly, then what was the point of pulling the trigger or having a high velocity. I did notice that smaller groups meant higher prices, but higher velocities weren’t always more expensive.

    Wish we could encourage today’s suppliers to provide information on group sizes!


  15. Hi B.B.
    I have a chance to buy a Beeman P1 from a member of my gun club. The gun is about 20 to 25 years old, and has been used very little for many years. What should I be concerned about on an air pistol at this age. Would the seals be teflon like the new guns, or are they made out of another material that would not be as long lasting and need to be replaced. Any advise on what I should look for to avoid future unknown repair costs would be appreciated. I know that you are a highly knowledgeable with Beeman guns.
    Thanks,
    Jake


    • Jake,

      The less the previous owner did to the gun the better it will be. Yes, the old guns have Teflon piston seals. If you understand how to re-fit them with dry-firing you should do well.

      Don’t shoot a P1 on low power very much. High power seems to work so much better.

      Check the trigger adjustment. Some owners do things like adjusting out the first stage. If that’s the case, read the manual and try to adjust the first stage back in.

      If the former owner had optical sights mounted, the top of the gun will be buggered from the scope bases. And the front sight that also serves as the scope stop may be battered.

      Check to see that the breech seal is still present and in good condition.

      That’s about all I can think of.

      B.B.


  16. I play tennis and have noticed that in the tennis business, most retailers – both local and online – offer some sort of racket demo programs. These programs give tennis players a chance to test out rackets before they decide to buy with little cost – like paying for the shipping from online retailers and may even be free from local retailers. Retailers often reserve a couple of rackets of each kind/model – often new models – for demo (on first come first served basis). Now, this could reduce the “inappropriate” buy. Just some thought.


  17. It’s too bad about the Canadian Air Gun laws. But I’m sure the government as everyone’s best interest at heart. Why if you could buy airguns that were running 700 to 1000 fps think of all the banks that would be robbed and revolutions started! The very thought would make you faint!

    Mike



  18. My only airgun is a Feinwerkbau 124 approaching 30. It has been resealed. At this altitude (~5800) it shoots the 7.9 Premiers about 750 fps. I have to admit I’m really a fan of this gun. Accurate enough that practice with it – including the required followthrough – produces notable improvements in my highpower scores. It’s remarkably easy to cock. It has killed what I have shot it at: mostly rabbits. It disrupted a potluck among the middle-aged enviroset:

    “O Simon! These somosas are wonderful! Just divine! You’ve GOT to tell me how you made them!”

    “First, shoot the heads off 4 fox squirrels in the backyard. Gut, skin, and render the flesh from their tiny bones in a pressure cooker. Then….”

    “Gag…”

    It evoked stern reproof from a dignified teenage daughter:

    “Mmmm. Good, dad. Good somosas.”

    “Glad you liked them. It’s squirrel. Fox squirrel.”

    “Urk. Dad, We Do Not Serve Rodent to people Without Telling Them in Advance.”

    “We don’t? Really? I do.”

    Of how many airguns could this be said?

    >>>>>>>>>

    I am whoring around with Premiers and JSB Exacts and the occasional Kodiak, trying to find a modern pellet for the FWB, but it makes me feel like a cheater. What the gun seems to like best are the lamented and diminishing supply of Silver Jets, with their cool rows of piston rings, their fluted skirts, and their conical points. If you like the Narnia books, you’d recognize by the perfect shape of the Silver Jets, their exquisite delicacy and precision, that they are Dwarf work.


  19. The statement earlier about junk equipment turning people off to hobbies really resonated with me. Over the past half-century, I have been involved in several hobbies that involve the extensive use of equipment.

    It is always the same. A beginner will load up on stuff at an attractive price, expecting professional quality results. Then, when faced with the reality of “you get what you pay for” sets in, he will either consider the hobby a waste and walk away, or bite the bullet and buy the equipment he should have bought in the first place. Bad buying decisions by newcomers can do a lot of damage to our hobby.

    There are a lot of good quality, durable pieces out there at reasonable prices. But they cannot be expected to perform on a level with items costing many times as much. Realistic expectations on the part of the buyer are important, but that presupposes the buyer is informed enough to make those decisions.

    This is where places like this forum are very important. We get to learn about the pros and cons of guns we likely have never seen in person. And we get information that will influence those buying decisions.

    Guns like my Crosman XT and Beeman RS2 can be purchased and refitted with durable aftermarket scopes for under $200 apiece. They are not comparable to the likes of R1’s and TX’s, but they are durable and dependable, and reasonably accurate for the money.

    An enormously popular and dependable multi-pump pneumatic at an entry-level price is the Daisy 880. Not a Benjamin or Sheridan for the money, but when fitted with a decent scope, easier to shoot accurately than my break-barrels. If/when something does wear out and need replacing, easy to work on and great parts availabilty at low prices.

    I have never seen a Bronco in person, but it really sounds like a gun that would make a great entry-level piece. Low prices do not always mean junk. The key is becoming informed before the purchase is made.

    Les


    • Les

      “You don’t get won’t you don’t pay for.”

      This is BB’s equivalent to “you get what you pay for.” I believe the former is way more accurate than the later. I am usually more disappointed with a ‘deal’ than I am paying for a rifle of known quality.


  20. ok i really need help on picking a gun for hunting and long range shooting. i already have a 392 and plan on buying a bronco. would like a gun that could group under 3/4 inch at 50 yards. i am looking at disco but the noise level bothers me if i plan on doing hunting. any recomadations. also i need somthing under 600 dollars with scope and a can or 2 of pellets. thanks


    • Jason

      You want a Discovery with a TKO muzzle break. The accuracy is phenomenal in mine, and my old lady says that the Disco is quieter than the Marauder. She is kind of crazy sometimes.

      I owned the Bronco as well. It is a peach but not as powerful as the Discovery.

      If you need to do any hunting get the Disco. No hunting, go for the Bronco.


  21. Jason,

    If you can stretch your budget just a pinch, a Benjamin Marauder is what you want. It comes with the quiet and accuracy built in and an inexpensive Leapers scope and rings will be all you need for a long while.

    As for the pellets, get them out of the purchase price. That’s like factoring a tank of gasoline into the cost of a new car. You will buy thousands of dollars worth of pellets over the life of your rifle, so forget how much the first two tins cost.

    B.B.


    • Jason,

      BB beat me to it but I was going to recommend the same rifle in .22 since you want to hunt with it. The reviews have shown it to be extremely accurate, even a good starter rifle for field target competition, although not in .22, very quiet due to it’s shrouded barrel, light so ease of carrying in the woods and a bargain. If you need to go cheaper, as Slinging Lead said, the Discovery is the way to go. If you will hunt primarily, then consider .22. If you’ll occasionally hunt but plink or target shoot more, then go .177. If you need a link to view TKO products, let us know.

      Fred PRoNJ


  22. Nice gun, I own one. On a side note, my girlfriend dumped me yesterday. You see, I’m have mood swings, an BI-polar, and possibly a schizophrenic. She knew all this upfront,and we were good for a year, and then she dumps me. So now I’m pretty suicidal. and I have so many meds, it wouldn’t be hard. whatever


    • Ryan,

      there are PLENTY of girls out there looking for a decent guy. Take an hour to feel sorry for yourself and then GET OVER IT and get back on the horse, so to speak. It most certainly is NOT the end of the world!

      Fred PRoNJ


    • Ryan i had these mood swings ,heck maybe i even have BDD now it is hard but men life s go on you are good funny guy so (God Rikib is so much wiser then me ),she left you SO WHAT welcome to the single s club with me as a member


    • Ryan,

      If you are depressed and feeling suicidal, call your doctor! That is nothing to screw around with. I have lost three friends to depression and wrestle with it myself.

      Typically, the survivors say “I didn’t think he was serious.” After it is too late.

      I’m not fooling here. Get some help!

      There are more women than men out there, anyway.

      Les


    • Ryan,

      This is a growing pain. Growing pains suck. If you commit suicide the world stays the same and everyone eventually forgets you. If you don,t do suicide the world stays the same and not everyone forgets you. People love you, man. Plus you have options. Like enjoying those that know you. Or finding the better match for you. The lows do suck, but the highs are pretty nice too.

      Please take the advice of Cowboystardad and check your meds to make sure they aren’t working against you. I feel for you on this ’cause not much worse than getting rejected by one you love. But these things always work out with some time…ALIVE.

      Keep posting, you’re good here.

      KA



  23. Jason,

    there have been lots of discussions and articles about “muzzle brakes or breaks”. So far, no one is worrying about these. Here’s an article BB wrote several years ago:

    /blog/2005/05/what-about-a-silencer-for-your-airgun/

    It’s not very clear if BB’interpretation applies. Go to TKO, which can be found here and see what he says:

    http://www.tko22.com

    You have to make the decision for yourself.

    Fred PRoNJ


  24. Sorry to hear about the girlfriend Ryan. If you’re having suicidal thoughts please check in with your doc to make sure your mix of meds is still doing the job they are supposed to.
    FredProNJ…I can attest, having experience with people dealing with depression and Bi-Polar…for them it most certainly isn’t a case of ‘taking an hour to feel sorry for yourself’. Please inform yourself before you make such comments.



  25. B.B.

    Great article again, and I agree totally with your choices. It’s almost like a Bronco should be insisted on as a first or spare airgun for visitors. I have four for that reason. I have first timers use the 10 to 25 yard pistol range with open sites and a bronco, even if they need to shoot “hunter” style with a chair and sticks. Feels great to knock down them targets!!! and you can count on the bronco to be as good as any starter will ever be and most pros as well!

    The Disco & Marauder are the same in the next price points and PCP world, or AAs200 for smaller folks with a little more money. All these guns CAN win events with enough practice. One doesn’t have to spend a lot to win, if they are willing to spend time and learn as they practice in all situations.

    Tom and others above are right on with advise to pick on of these lower cost, but accurate airguns and not get conned by high power springers on sale at walley or whatever world.

    Wacky Wayne,
    Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  26. He said “I want a gun for shooting long range and for occasional hunting” so instead of suggesting solutions you tell him what you think he should want,that’s pretty arrogant. Answer the questions THAN find out what he doesn’t know.


    • Bruce, oftentimes the guy who asks a question is already telling you what he doesn’t know just by the question he’s asking. I think that was one of the points that BB was making. A question like this is virtually a dead giveaway that the one asking the question is inexperienced with airguns. More than likely he stumbled across a vendor’s website, or saw some ads somewhere, became totally enthralled with manufacturer’s claims for velocity and/or accuracy.


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