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How many shots per fill? It depends…

by B.B. Pelletier

I was reading a mystery novel the other day and the cop asked his friend if he had collected all the floppy disks when he got the computer. Floppy disks!

I remember floppy disks and some that we called floppy disks that were smaller and no longer floppy, but hearing something like that out of the blue, or reading it in my case, is like watching a modern movie in which the hero can’t locate a public phone to call for help. What? He doesn’t have a cell phone? Well, no, in 1977, he doesn’t. In a very brief number of years we have become so familiar with ubiquitous cell phones, that to not have them seems very odd.

Then, Wednesday morning, I got a request from Pyramyd AIR to supply Edith with the number of shots you get from one fill of air in an AirForce Condor and a Benjamin Marauder, so they can be added to the specifications. The number of shots per fill, you say? Well — it depends.

Today, I’d like to examine the reason(s) why it depends. This is for those of you who are considering the purchase of a precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle.

Fifteen years ago, I could have answered a question like this about almost any PCP. Precharged pneumatic airguns were straightforward in 1995, and there was just one answer to the number of shots per fill. But in 1996, when the Career 707 hit these shores, we started dealing with adjustable power levels. As they came from Korea, Careers had three power settings, but before long they were gunsmithed up to as many as 26 settings by any number of airgunsmiths in this country! My first Career had 17 power settings after it was modified.

A gun like that needs a little explanation and a caveat like, on high power, you can expect as many as 10 good shots; on medium power expect 25 good shots and on low power as many as 50 good shots — followed by a separate explanation of what is meant by a good shot.

What I mean by a “good” shot is one whose velocity doesn’t stray outside a certain velocity limit that the shooter would like to allow. Since that can be different for every shooter, we’ve already moved into a vast gray area. But it gets even more confusing as the technology progresses.

Back when the AirForce Condor first hit the market, yours truly had the task of chronographing the first 100 guns that were built. We wanted to ensure that we were building each and every .22 caliber Condor to exceed 1,250 f.p.s. with a Crosman Premier pellet. After that, we could be assured that every gun would be the same, as long as nothing changed in the manufacturing process. We knew that upon receiving his new Condor, every owner of those early rifles would fill the tank and sit down in front of a chronograph to find out whether or not he had been snookered.

We were really focused on the .22 caliber Condor because we knew that, however fast that caliber shot, the .177 Condor would shoot even faster. And that was true! Besides, no U.S. buyer ever ordered a .177 in those early days. It just didn’t happen. As in zero, zip, nada! They didn’t need to, because the .22 was going faster than most .177s on the market.

We were astounded that we not only got these super-fast velocities, we also got 20 good shots, which we defined as the .22 caliber Crosman Premier pellet going faster than 1,175 f.p.s. That was the lower limit we used to define the number of good shots you get from a full fill of a Condor air tank/reservoir. And the number was designated as 20 good shots.

BUT — and this is a big one — the Condor has adjustable power. So, not only can you shoot 20 full-power shots from a single fill, if you dial down the power to the low level, you’ll get a LOT more acceptable shots. Only with a Condor, the low-power shots aren’t that low-power! In my testing of a .22 caliber Condor with the Condor tank, low-power shots still generate 19 foot-pounds, an energy that some other air rifles struggle to achieve. And, because less air is used at low power, you may get 45 good shots or more at this setting.

The power adjuster on the Condor lets the owner vary the power settings and to return to a specific setting in the future. No two guns achieve the same velocity with the same settings, so this is just for the gun being adjusted.

As you can see, there’s no one simple answer to the total number of shots you get from a Condor. But it doesn’t even end there. Since it’s possible to install either the 18-inch 24-inch Lothar Walther barrel or the 12-inch Lothar Walther barrel on a Condor, the number of shots will also change from just the length of the barrel. And since the Ultimate Condor Combo, which Pyramyd AIR sells as the fully loaded Condor, is sold with all three two barrel lengths, this is a legitimate configuration. [Correction note: I originally wrote that the Condor comes with an 18-inch barrel, but it does not.]

The Ultimate Condor Combo contains many popular Condor options for less than $1,500 as of this date.

So, the answer to how many shots you get from a fill of the air tank on a Condor is neither simple not straightforward. Have I confused you yet? Because I’m not finished. Let’s take a trip through the looking glass.

Benjamin Marauder
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, Benjamin brought out their Marauder PCP. Most shooters concentrate on its accuracy and its ultra-quiet operation, but the Marauder has a couple more tricks up its sleeve that relate to power and the number of shots per fill. For starters, you can adjust the power, just like you can with the Condor, though how this is done is entirely different. That feature, alone, will affect the total number of shots the rifle has to offer, but it’s just the beginning.

The Marauder also allows the owner to adjust the maximum fill pressure level it works at. To put it simply, you can adjust the rifle to use a 2,000 psi fill or a 3,000 psi fill or anything in-between. This feature doesn’t necessarily change the power of the gun, but it does alter the total number of shots you get from a full fill.

There are three separate adjustments on the Marauder that adjust these two performance specifications. Let’s look at what each one does. The first adjustment changes the length of the hammer stroke. The longer the stroke, the more inertia the hammer builds before striking the valve stem. When it strikes with greater force, the stem is pushed back farther and held open longer, resulting in more air rushing out of the tank to power the shot. On the reverse side, the shorter the stroke, the lower the amount of time the valve remains open. This adjustment works in conjunction with the air pressure level in the tank.

The second adjustment is the hammer spring pressure. This is more straightforward, as it adjusts the tension on the hammer spring. Adjustments like this date back more than a half century to the power knobs located at the back of various Crosman bulk-fill CO2 guns. It was a straightforward means of adjusting power. It worked well because CO2 maintains a constant pressure level inside a pressure vessel at a given temperature. But pressurized air does not maintain a constant air pressure, so the hammer stroke adjustment was added.

The third adjustment controls the volume of the air transfer passage that connects the firing valve to the Marauder’s breech. The greater the volume inside this passage the greater the amount of pressurized air that can flow through the firing valve to get behind the pellet.

The implication of these three adjustments is that there can be no single answer to the number of shots one can expect from the full fill of a Benjamin Marauder reservoir/air tank. In fact, it takes a discussion very much like the one presented here just to appreciate all that’s at work.

The goal of the Marauder adjustments is to extract the maximum number of shots from each fill at the maximum power level. That might range from 20 high-power shots at a fill pressure of 2,000 psi to over 100 shots at a lower acceptable power level from a fill pressure of 3,000 psi. This lower power shot might still be the most powerful shot available within the gun’s adjustment range, and even more low-powered shots might be possible using the same setup.

There are some shooters whose eyes glaze over when you tell them all these things. These are the people who should set up the rifle to work at a single fill pressure and operate it at a single power level.

But the real answer to how many shots to expect from a single fill of either the Condor or Marauder air reservoir is, “It depends….”

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.

110 thoughts on “How many shots per fill? It depends…”

  1. How many shots per fill?
    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
    How many licks to the center of a tootsie pop?
    How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?
    Where does all the money go?
    Oh yeah, airguns.

    I am very happy that your surgery went well BB. I will keep praying for you, and you’ll be doing 12oz curls in no time.

    • Sling Lead, I too thought of the Tootsie Pop Commercial. One, two, crunch, three!

      BB, I will go out on a limb and help you out since I have shot a Condor once and a Marauder a couple times (that makes me an expert). The answer is 30 shots for the Condor and 40 shots for the Marauder.

      David Enoch

      • Dave,

        very interested in your shaky limb where you claim 40 shots for the Marauder. Could you provide what pressure you fill it to and what pellets (weight and caliber) you’re shooting? Hold onto that tree, partner! I’ll finally try to chrony my Marauder when I get back from my business trip Friday and see what mine does (.177 by the way).

        F PRoNJ

  2. B.B.

    That is a great point to bring up with an ever increasing number of PCP guns hitting the market.

    Myself, I set up my Talons to run about 30 shots before a refill. I don’t want a wide velocity spread that would give me much variation in POI at my usual shooting distances.
    Presently I am running the Talondor (Talon with a Condor tank and hammer weight) at 180 bar fill and PW at 5.8 for an average MV of 950fps with Kodiaks for a 30 fps spread over 32 shots. Nice curve.
    My TSS is presently running a 170 bar fill at PW 0.8 with CPH in the low 800’s. I can’t get a nice curve with it so I start off right at max velocity and shoot half a curve. The uphill side of a curve is ragged and unpredictable with this gun so I don’t use it. Most practical for this gun.

    I just set it and forget it. No fooling around with adjustments that will change POI at different power levels.


  3. BB,there is a minor correction needed in this blog.I also thought the Ultimate Condor package came with all three barrels,but I had to buy the 18″ separately.I double checked and it is still the same.Boy was I ever excited the day I took delivery of THAT package!

    • That’s nothing….I read and dreamed for a long time before I bought the combo.Then I recieved it.Then I called and complained that the barrel was missing! So much for “high scholastic aptitude”:0

        • I think the best answer is I love it for what it is…..American made,relatively powerful*,multi-configurable,both macro and microadjustable,has a certain “Batbelt” like quality.What I’m getting at is
          I apreciate how different and unique it is compared to all my others.You should see it….I really should post a pic…..everything but Gen 1 nightvision.Laser collimiter that aims and/or illuminates just the target for the scope,weaponlight,laser sight under barrel for POI inside sight-in and range estimation through scope reticle intersect point,rock solid quick release bipod and bloop tube.No arrow launcher as of yet but…..?
          *power compared to my smallbore DAQ’s

  4. BB In some of the British airgun mags, Daystate advertises more shots per fill in their .22 cal PCP rifles than shots per fill in .177 cal. This seems counter intuitive given the larger diameter or volume of the pellet skirt and barrel in .22 versus .177. Doesn’t more (expended) air per shot equal more air used per shot for larger calibers than small?

    • Brian,

      It does seem counterintuitive, but .22 caliber is more efficient than .177 caliber, and it shows up in many ways. For example, a .22 caliber spring rifle is generally 20 percent more powerful than the same gun in .177. And PCPs in the larger caliber do get more shots per fill.


      • BB Thanks for the answer, the “old efficiency factor” eh?

        Kinda like the larger horse who pulls slower but who also pulls more weight per mile and eats less than the smaller but faster horse? (cowboy logic)

  5. Morning B.B.,

    I am confused about the Marauder’s third adjustment. How exactly does it work? Is it sorta like the air transfer ports in a Whiscombe that you showed us awhile back? My brain is trying to compare it to a regulator and not having much luck.


    PS The other day I was seeing a delete comment function that isn’t here now.

    • Mr. B.,

      I was unaware that blog non-administrators had a “delete comment” button. I’ve emailed Pyramyd Air’s IT team to see if that function can be reinstalled on the blog. Perhaps it disappeared when they moved the blog to a new server on Sunday.

      I’ve noticed other WordPress functions I used to use that are still available but they don’t actually work as intended. It seems that we still have some fine-tuning ahead of us.


    • Mr. B.,

      Update on your comment about a “delete comment” function. According to David, Pyramyd Air’s in-house IT guy, there was no such button at any time for non-administrators.


    • Bruce,

      The Marauder has a screw that enters the transfer port from the outside. The owner can adjust how much of his screw it inside the port. When it’s inside, it takes up room, which reduces the amount of air that can pass through the port.


  6. BB:
    Oh, that photo reminds me of why I wanted and eventually bought the Gunpower Stealth.
    A shame the trigger messed up.Just bad Luck 🙁
    Although there was no power adjustment on it, I have read of guy’s over here getting greater power levels with a little jiggery pokery on the spring and hammer.

    • Mr.B,

      Funny how IT people always say something “never” existed or “can’t” exist, or is “impossible” under any circumstances, trusting to their notion that the rest of us mere mortals are nothing but idiots barely risen from the primordial slime. I guess they think you have an overactive imagination or indulged in consumable entertainment from the late sixties or something. IT people are all the same everywhere: Perfect knowers of the TRUTH, while the rest of us are but mere conjurers of the figments of our imaginations.


      • AlanL,

        Our IT guy based his answer on not being able to edit or delete a comment he made when he was not logged in as an administrator. He didn’t guess or pontificate based on a notion. He based his answer on his personal experience.

        No one is making any judgements or saying anyone’s an idiot. In fact, you’ve painted all IT people with a very broad brush and accused them of the very thing you’re doing!

        I believe the IT people at Pyramyd AIR have gone out of their way to accommodate the requests made by the blog readers. Perhaps, you were actually reflecting on how you’re treated by IT people elsewhere.

        I deal with IT people all day every day at Pyramyd AIR, and they’re extremely responsive and jump through virtual hoops to make things happen. Where else can I call at 10 pm and tell them there’s a problem and get instantaneous help and fixes (that just happened this past Tuesday night)? Or call on Sunday morning or Saturday night or on Thanksgiving Day or New Year’s Day…and get through to a person who will fix any problem I have? No company I’ve ever worked with had an IT team that actually cared. They do at Pyramyd Air!

        By the way, I didn’t have to come to their defense. If my experience had been as you stated in your comment, I wouldn’t have commented. But it’s so far off, that I had to answer.


        • Edith,

          Indeed. I used the broad brush on purpose. However, you said “…according to…Pyramyd Air’s in-house IT guy, there was no such button at any time for non-administrators”. A categorical statement that makes a flat out liar out of Mr. B. I’m sorry, but being on his side of the fence that irritated me profoundly. Pyramyd’s IT department may be highly responsive, but that arrogant statement puts them squarely in the camp I painted.


      • AlanL,
        I agree, tech “experts” do get kinda full of themselves frequently, and I like the other side of that coin where the user says, “It’s not working anymore and I didn’t change a thing.” I’ve wasted countless hours chasing a problem only to have them say, “Oh, well, I did change that but that can’t be it, can it?”

            • Odd how the IT guy for our company (the largest photo retailer in Western Canada with 9 location) is one of the most helpful guy I’ve ever met.
              Painting everyone in one fell-swoop is never a good thing in my opinion.

              • CSD,

                I agree entirely. I was mostly venting and didn’t think my obvious rant would be taken too literally. Still, to all “good” IT people: my apologies!

                Uh oh, my boiling oil didn’t flow over too well either I see! My apologies to you as well.


      • AlanL,

        My 2cents on the IT guys: If they are speaking English that can be understood by the Western English speakers, and they haven’t hung up on me during my ‘crisis’, then they’re gods.


  7. BB,
    You all wrong! The answer to PA’s question of How many shots per fill is mathematically the same as all the universal mysteries combined: 47

    Nice report. I am lusting after that Condor Package!! Just need more $.


    • Kidagain,have you considered that you can be shooting a Condor for much less money? What I mean is,if you choose a barrel that you would use most often,a fill method,and either the high power reservoir or the regular valve….throw in the riser to mount the scope at the right height….the price gets more reachable! Anything else can be added later,as necessary.I am speaking from experience.If quiet is better,get the 12″ barrel and Talon endcap.It is an excellent platform to “make your own”!

          • CJr,

            Yeah, that’s it. I for some reason thought it was 47. Hmm… maybe my wife is right when she says my stories seem to get bigger/better as time passes!

            This reminds me of a saying that I picked up years ago. “If I was half the man that I thought I was, I’d be twice the man that I am”! There’s one for Rikib


              • Rikib,

                I’ll be waiting! I’m sure you read that I finally got that 2240 (well, not mine, my step dad’s). I see why you like it so much. I never thought I’d go with CO2, but …


                • KA,
                  4 Quotes have been posted, have more but don’t want to over do it!
                  My 2240 is mod’d with steel breech, scope, and shoulder stock. I’ve never shot for groupings, just plinking. Have one mod here still waiting as soon as this CO2 cartridge is depleted, a 14″ custom made barrel. Yesterday I hit on 18 of 20 at approx. 13.25m (with cheap Daisy Wadcutters), saving the good pellets for the new barrel. Thunderstorms all day today, no shooting.
                  Hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine!


                • Re-Post for KA
                  Sorry I was on the wrong blog when I posted this:

                  A few funny quotes that had been passed on to me:

                  By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.
                  – Socrates

                  I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
                  – Groucho Marx

                  My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
                  – Rodney Dangerfield

                  We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
                  – Will Rogers


    • Rikib,

      Ah yes, the scope. It’s the compact rifle scope you got for free, right? Tell me how is it with the shoulder grips? Can you get on target quickly? Can you get on target from 20yds to 50yds, then to say 30yds without difficulties? Also, how does it do at 10yds or less? I am going to either scope or red dot mine. You have the exact scope I would use, should I scope it.

      What 14″ barrel are you going to use? How did you decided on that one?


      • KA,
        Yes, the scope was free and greatly appreciated! It works well with the shoulder stock. Getting on target quickly is only hindered by my eyeglasses, when wearing contacts no problem. I started plinking at 10 ft, now at approx. 43.5 ft (13.25m). It is an excellent scope in my opinion for the 2240. Red Dot, I have a very inexpensive Leapers (read cheap), not even worth the cheap price (shipping cost more than red dot). Maybe a higher quality Red Dot would be good but for now I’m sold on the scope, a laser maybe in the future.

        14″ barrel custom made. Length based on recommendations by others for balanced increase in fps/accuracy while maintaining a usable length if I remove stock and go back to pistol grips.

        Hope I answered everything.


  8. B.B.

    The 97K showed up this morning. Even prettier in person than in the pictures on PA.
    Cleaned the barrel a little and lubed the cocking lever release pin and o-ring.
    Found that the new scope I ordered won’t fit without high rings so had to put my old Bushy 4-12 on it.
    Shot it 3 or 4 times and got a little ping like the 48 had. Buzzes a little.
    Going to check 10 different kinds of pellets for fit and decide which are worth shooting. Get a good fit first, plink while I walk the scope in pretty close. Pick out the best pellet later.


    • Twotalon: Congratulations, mine always liked RWS Super Domes best. You will notice a very slight torque or twist during shooting, this is not unusual for a 97K. After break-in, you should feel and hear a solid thud with no twang or diesel noises at all. Email me if you want some info on the “quiet modification” for the muzzle brake tube.

      Keep an eye on the little o-ring at the end of the cocking lever, it can come off now and then from sweaty fingers or oil, it’s just there to keep the lever from rattling in the holder. I took mine to Home Depot and matched it up to some water valve o-rings and got 10 for $2.

      Last, check all the stock screws a few times during the first 200 or so pellets/shots.

      Have fun.

      • Sounds a little like the 48. It pinged at first, then developed a buzz, then the ping went away, and now the buzz is gone.

        Never noticed the torque that is often mentioned of the 48.
        Will see on the 97 while plinking. Not worried about noise. Pretty quiet as is.
        Will adjust the trigger later. Not bad right now.


  9. Edith,
    Nit Pick begin:
    I was looking at the BSA Stealth Tactical 4-16x44AO Rifle Scope, Mil-Dot Reticle, 1/8 MOA, 1″ Tube Item#:BSA-STS416X44[PY-A-3359] and the last sentence reads, “The clear optics let’s you see your targets clearly, and the included sidewheel gives you additional control on available on most scopes.” Back up 5 words and I think the word “on” is supposed to be “not”.
    Nit Pick end.

  10. AlanL, be carerful what you say about IT people now. I just read aboiut Stuxnet – a Trojan worm that can actually perform physical damage! It is believed it was developed to take out Iran’s nuclear sites. No one is taking credit – yet. You can read about it via google search. The Christian Science Monitor has the best article :).

    Power to the techies (or nerds)

    Fred PRoNJ

  11. Well, I can see how the adjustability could appeal to some. However, I seem to remember in our Marauder conversations that pcps have an optimum setting for power and accuracy at which they work best and the endless fiddling is going in the wrong direction. I also wonder if pcps take time to break in to new settings like springers do when you first buy them. There might be different pressures and vibrations to take account of. Speaking of the Marauder, what is the story on its reliability? When it first came out, the Marauder was my favorite pcp. Then somewhat later I heard rumors (Was it Kevin?) who said that it breaks down a lot and that the magazine is clumsy to load and unreliable (I think this was Wayne).

    Edith, thanks for forwarding my comments. Did I neglect to say that among their great strengths is the Leapers customer service? They were very nice and thorough about replacing my first scope where the locking system broke down. One of the reasons this problem was so annoying is not that it is part of a bad product but because it is thrown into relief by an otherwise outstanding product. Duskwight, a scope with a non-locking mechanism like yours sounds ideal. The new developments described sound like they will do the job. Jan, I have actually considered not locking the turrets since I only shoot at ranges, not in the field. However, the clicks are not very positive. I have mounted the scope on my .223 rifle and I remove the scope for transport, and between these two things, I figured the zero would probably be changed.

    Duskwight, send along some pics of Portugal. You must have missed the unbelievably obnoxious clerk at the post office in downtown Lisbon, but most of the people were nice enough.


    • Matt61,

      Wasn’t me that said the Marauder broke down a lot. Haven’t heard of anyone having problems with the Marauder magazines. Some people have made the minor modification to the magazine in order to load long pellets like the predators but the magazines seem to work well.

      I’ve never owned a Marauder but have shot a .22 and .25 caliber Marauder. Some of the older .22 calibers had accuracy issues. Pellet clipping the baffles and some reported just plain bad barrels. The bolts in a few of the early marauders were a problem but Crosman took care of these issues free of charge. Many, many great reports about Crosman standing behind these guns. Greg Davis is now about 7 months behind in just tuning Marauders. He also offers to rebarrel a marauder with a LW barrel. The newer .22 and .25 caliber marauders don’t seem to have these issues.


  12. Does anyone have experience with the BSA Stealth Tactical 4-16x44AO Rifle Scope? I’m looking for side wheel AO and around 13″ long or less. This must be a new scope on PA as there are no comments under it, yet.

    • AlanL,

      Thanks for the check-in. As a matter of fact, there has been a breakthrough: we noticed that my wife felt better every time she drank a root beer soda. We checked and the active ingredient that works is quinine, which is a natural occurrence in one of the roots and barks used in making root beer. Also, salt tablets seem to help as well. We’re hoping her improvement will continue. Also, we are using a Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen tank every day. This is the ticket for my White Matter Disease, Kidney Failure and Essential Tremors as well.

      Alan, again, I appreciate your compassion.

  13. Are there significant differences between the Crosman Trail NP All Weather and the Remington NPSS 0.22? They seem to have roughly the same weight, length, power.

    I remember a while back you had reviewed the crosman NPSS saying it had this wonderful trigger once tuned but the Trail NP wasn’t as nice.

    Are there other differences?

    • Nate,

      Let’s get some things straight. Don’t you mean a Benjamin Trail? Not a Crosman Trail. The Crosman NPSS rifles were made in New York and had wonderful triggers. The Benjamin Trails are made in China and the triggers are not very adjustable.

      I don’t know where the Remington NPSS rifles are made, but wherever it is, the trigger will probably follow.

      I have a Crosman Titan Nitro Piston on hand to test, once my abdominal muscles are up to cocking it, so we’ll see where they are there.


      • BB,
        Correct, I do mean the Benjamin Trail. I’m easily confused on the different “Crosman” product lines.

        Am I to understand that the Crosman NPSS are no longer available? I know on the Crosman website they aren’t listed.

        • Nate,

          Yes, the Crosman NPSS guns are no longer being made. The new line, called the Crosman Titan Nitro Piston guns are made somewhere, but I don’t know where for sure. I believe China, since the prices are so low. Those are the guns I will test soon.


  14. B.B. are you the owner of Pyramyd Air? Just asking, it seems like you have the dream job anyway writing about and testing airguns.

    I tried my Sheridan at 8 pumps today and it did not seem that powerful. Very quiet and could hear the pellet arrive separate from the sound from the muzzle – is that normal for those guns? Missed the squirrel too @#$%@#$

    • Flobert,

      No, I don’t own Pyramyd AIR. I do have the best job in the world though.

      Your Blue Streak is putting that pellet out at around 650 to 675 f.p.s. on 8 pumps. You should be able to hear the pellet hit the target most of the time.


      • Actually b.b., you’ll have to share the ‘best job’ title.
        I’m the ‘Industrial Manager’ here. I sell photographic goods to schools, pro photographers, gov’t agencies, etc.
        I’ve sold optics to Rob Furlong (he’s the Canadian sniper who held the disance record uptill a couple of months ago), as well as suppling batteries for most of the Canadian Elcan scopes in Afghanistan.
        As well I work with local photographers on a daily basis.
        I’ve know some of these people for 20 years now.
        Friends ask me what I do here and I have to honestly tell them…”I sit in a nice office and spend the day drinking coffee with friends I’ve known for years’. Luckily for me (’cause it keeps my job here) they often walk out with a few thousand dollars worth of product.
        And when I’m not having coffee I’m checking this blog 😉

          • My house.
            I have three hobbies (passions??!!).
            In my kitchen sits a Nuova Simonelli Oscar espresso machine, along with a Rancillio Rocky coffee grinder (total cost about $1500).
            If you’re ever in Edmonton the ‘coffee’s on. I’ll make you a great capuccino (or latte, although according to my Italian friends, lattes are for girls and children) along with a shot of Sambuco.
            The Sambuco isn’t until after the shooting, of course.

            • CowBoyStar Dad,

              Coffee never did much for me. I’d have a hard time living without espresso though. I start my day with a double espresso. Lemon oil from fresh lemon rind on the rim for me please.

              Hard plumbed my La Cimbali M30 Bistro about 14 years ago. The matching La Cimbali grinder sits next to it and that grinder cost more than my first car. Most people don’t realize that you can ruin good beans with a bad grinder. Burns them.


          • Try some Jamaican Blue Mountain, buy from Sweet Maria’s, you’ll get the real deal. GOOD cawfee.

            I just picked up a Gamo Big Cat which is the big bro of my little Delta, and will probably just sell the Sheridan. I have my Delta for lower power shooting and the Big Cat will take care of the spicier stuff. I got some Beeman “hollow point coated pellets” for it too, I was not able to get the Big Cat in .22, it’s a .177, but for $109 that’s OK with me, I”ll just try to keep to the heavier .177’s.

            time to bolt the scope on and get some groups …. I’ll check this later.

            • Aarggh! I could not get the scope to stay on the Big Cat and that’s once I got it attached at first, I returned it. The fine folks at Big-5 were good about that, it was a return and it looks like the scope mounts were already “traumatized” by the prior owner.

              There’s another Gamo gun, called something else and with an OD Green stock, it’s a Big Cat with slightly different-colored fur, as it were. Tempting at $129, with scope. But I noticed, instead of aluminum rings trying to hold onto a skinny too-shallow steel groove, it has a long Al mount gripping the groove along its whole length, then that has a deeper set of grooves for the scope rings to grab. I take that as an admission that their original groove was too dang shallow. Frankly it would be marginal even with the old classic Weaver rings made of spring steel, anyone remember those?

              So, I put my returned money back into my pocket, no “socko” rifle for now, maybe my Sheridan will get more “sock” to it as I shoot it more, meanwhile I picked up a little Crosman pump-up pistol, the one with the little bolt handle on the side, and I’ll see how I like that. Took a few shots with 3-4 pumps and like it so far, then had to do chores and it’s dark now, have to work with it more in the morning.

              A lot of pest birds don’t know what a pistol is.

          • B.B.,

            What kind of coffee do you like? Regular brew, Espresso, or French press?

            Blue Mountain is good, provided (a) you get the real thing (many fakes abound) and (b) you make it strong. Blue Mountain is more delicate than most. ‘Selecto Gourmet’ Arabica beans from (believe it or not) Haiti are very good. Not easy to get just now. The best are any number of smaller lesser known coffees from Nicaragua, Guatemala and Costa Rica (readily available), and some from the Congo. These last are hard to get these days (easier in Europe). All these supposing you’re grinding your own beans fresh of course.

            If you want prepackaged ground coffee there are other good choices, but nothing beats grinding your own and brewing right away.

            I like the plain and simple traditional approach: I grind my beans very fine and brew my coffee in an inexpensive Bialetti stove top espresso pot.


            • Your stove top expresso pot sounds as if it may be similar to one I purchased when I was stationed in Europe about 20 years ago. I have since bought several expensive expresso/cappuccino machines only to give them away, or donate to Salvation Army or Goodwill. None could compare to my little metal stove top expresso pot. It is only about 8 maybe 10″ tall, makes only 2 expressos.
              Another good coffee is Kona beans from Hawaii.


            • I just looked on Amazon and could not believe how many stove top expresso makers there are. They can be quite elaborate looking. I guess I should put old faithful away as an antique and buy a new one that will give me more expresso in one brew, wife’s even more of a junkie. 🙂 🙂


              • rikib,

                Bialetti is one of the oldest and best of the Italian stovetop brewpot makers. Just click on the link I provided and choose a bigger model from them. I use the 4 cup model myself. They make an 8 as well. Buy anything else and you risk getting some cheap Chinese knockoff of uncertain durability. Stick with the tried and proven.


                • Everything I’ve read about Bialetti is positive. Mine I have not been able to identify. As I mentioned I purchased it in Europe about 20 years ago. There are some larger symbols on the bottom and I can still read the word Italy under which there is a word that ends with …menti followed by what looks like two expresso cups. It was used when I purchased it so it is old, but still brews an excellent expresso!


            • Alan,

              The best coffee I ever tasted was some so-called “Crappuccino” from southeast Asia. It’s made from beans pooped out by a small jungle animal; I believe a type of cat. It is so smooth!

              But cold-brewed regular coffee is very close to the same taste and at a lot less than $100/lb.

              Now that my gallbladder has been removed I have to cut way back on the caffein, so I haven’t had a cup of coffee in six months. I guess it’s for the best, but I still remember the morning buzz.


  15. Edith: Placed an order for a Hawke scope today and… changed my usual ship-to address at home to my work location (not home). The good folks at PA Cust Service called me within 5 mins of the order placement to make sure a) it was really me, and b) is the ship-to address correct?

    Please pass along my thanks to the PA folks who are watching out for my credit card and not shipping “gifts” to the “bad guys” addresses!

  16. Hello B.B.,
    It seems like there is always a lot of discussion about maximum fill pressure and number of shots before the velocity drops off. So here’s another question that will have one of those “it depends” answers. How low is the tank pressure when the velocity drops to an unacceptable level? I know there will have to be a lot of qualifiers on the answer, maybe just as an example, when that Condor dropped of to 1,175 fps with those 20 good shots, what was the ending pressure. The starting pressure would be nice to know, too.

      • Kevin,
        Thanks, I see why my question struck a nerve. Reading that blog and the comments, it seems like the span of usable pressure is generally between 500 and 1,000psi. So if you start out at 3,000 psi, you could easily have to refill at 2,000 psi, unless you don’t mind the velocity dropping off dramatically. Seems like a lot of good air is still left in the reservoir.

        • Lloyd,

          The span of usable power differs with each gun. Some pcp’s, like the discovery, were designed (with great help from B.B. I might add) to accept a lower air fill and also designed to operate on CO2. Others need a significantly higher pressure fill to get on the power curve. Even the same model pcp’s from the same manufacturer can differ slightly in where they like to be filled and shot down to.

          Velocity dropping off isn’t as much a concern as accuracy diminishing. There is a correlation and typically a 40 fps+ or – is the equivalent to accuracy dropping as well but not always. Some low shot count pcp gun owners will only accept a 20 fps spread since they hunt with their guns and accuracy is paramount.

          Ignore this gibberish and get to know your gun. Learn when it gets on the curve and learn when accuracy suffers to the point that it is unacceptable to you and you’ll define for yourself what the starting fill pressure for your gun is and the point it needs to be refilled.

          This topic is further complicated by guns that have easily adjustable power. Some owners start on a lower power setting (velocity) and when they reach a shot count where accuracy suffers they merely adjust the power upwards on their guns to compensate for loss of accuracy/velocity. This of course extends the shot count. Typically this is done on pcp’s with external power adjusters since taking the gun out of the stock to adjust power (as some guns require) is more hassle for most owners than just refilling. Extending shot count with guns with external power adjusters is very common though.

          My opinion is that a chronograph speeds this process and makes it easier but determining your guns ideal fill pressure and shot count can be done without it. You can even determine velocity without a chrony using online calculators.


          • All you Talon owners out there (twotalon?) how do you determine the ending pressure when there is no gauge on the tank? The gauge on my scuba tank tells me the max fill pressure but I have nothing to tell me the ending pressure. The scuba gauge only works when the fill knob is turned on. Therefore, in order to tell when to stop shooting, I must always use a chrony but you can quickly see this is not practical in the field.

            • CJr,
              Yes, I’m interested in that too. With some of the Foster quick disconnect fill nipples I use, if I am careful and open the scuba tank valve very slowly, I can hear the check valve in the fill nipple click when the pressures equalize and the air starts to flow. I had to replace the dinky 1″ dia gauge on the adapter with a decent 3″ 270 degree gauge to get readings that were worth anything, though.

                • CJr,
                  I just noticed your question today. Most of this sort of thing I buy from http://www.Mcmaster.com. Amazingly fast delivery. I live in VA and my shipments come out of NJ. If I order on-line by 3:00 PM, the stuff is at my house the next day by regular UPS ground. They ship from multiple locations around the US. First class operation.

                  The actual gauge I have is shown on this page 549
                  that is gauge 4089K81 3-1/2″ dial, with the 4,000 psi max scale, $14.83. If you want to go to a more accurate Grade A gauge, try page 553 4053K16 for $37.63, but I honestly don’t think you need to spend the extra money. I had the $14 one checked checked in our cal lab and it was within +/- 25 psi at all pressures. The markings are every 50 psi and are over 1/8″ apart, so it’s easy to read.

                  You’ll probably also need a 1/8 MPT x 1/4FPT adapter 9171K62 (page 31) for $6.01 to fit the bigger gauge into the smaller hole. The gauge is bulky, so make sure there is enough clearance in your setup. The adapter will make the gauge stick out an additional 3/4″.

                  I hope that helps,

                  • Lloyd,
                    Thanks for sending that. I ordered one and the adapter just now. Anxious to see how it works. It’ll also make the gauge easier to see since it’ll be facing out where I can see it at a distance rather than up where I have to be right over the tank looking down on it.


                    • CJr,
                      Great! Let me know how it works for you or if you have any problems. I guess you are familiar with tapered pipe threads and teflon tape?

              • BB,
                Thanks, I’ll try that, but as I stated previously that gauge is so dang small. For past fills (I admit I never paid really close attention) it just seemed like it started filling after cracking the knob. I do remember hearing a click like Lloyd mentioned, though. Never thought much of it in the past. Maybe I can go by that. Like I said, I’ll have to pay more attention, boy is that going to be difficult.

          • Kevin,
            Thanks for the additional info. I think a good point you’ve stressed is that shot count , and therefore ending PSI, depends a lot on how tolerant the user is of loss of velocity/accuracy.

      • twotalon,

        LOL!! I owned a HW97 (not carbine) for awhile so I understand. Helps with accuracy but it’s a handful. These guns deserve their reputation for accuracy. Bought mine used. Is yours new? If so, you’ve got a few tins of pellets to go through before you really experience what a great gun these are. Have fun.


        • Brand friggen new.
          Found 3 kinds of pellets out of 10 tried that fit pretty well…
          Exacts, Exact heavy, Preds. A fourth, Crosman cpl pretty tight and dry feeling. Would probably lead up. Will try to find a empty tin and wax lube a few to see if they load better.
          With the few pellets shot, the spring is buzzing worse.


          • twotalon,

            A day late, but not the dollar short–congratulations on your 97K and I know that you’ll be giving us an update every once and awhile which we’re looking fwd to.


  17. BB,

    This is a question open to any one who has the answers. I have a Beeman R9 which I believe is about 25 years old but not sure. It has an uncheckered stock which appears to be stained beech. The stock has a very nice sculpted comb and the trigger guard is metal. The address is Huntington Beach California. It has a globe front sight with a post insert and a notch rear sight. It is topped with a Beeman Blue Ribbon 66R 2 X 7 X32 AO scope which is no longer available and I am told the scope brings at least $250 from collectors. Both the gun and the scope are in excellent condition. The gun has 3 very minor stock dings. The metal is 99%+ with only two extremely small scratches.

    What I would like to know is approximately when this gun was made? I do not see a serial number anywhere. Other markings are “Beeman Model R9” and “Made in Germany. On the other side of the receiver it has the warning “Before use read owners manual…..”

    Also I would like to know the approximate value of this rig. I am going to sell it as I can no longer manage the cocking and the weight of this rig because of problems with my hands, wrists, and shoulders.

    I hope to replace it with a Sumatra 2500 carbine in .25 caliber.

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me.

    • pcp4me,

      The Beeman store moved to Huntington Beach in 1994, so your R9 cannot be older than that.

      Kevin might know the value better than I. I don’t value the 66R scopes that much.

      The rifle is worth $250 if the finish is still excellent.

      Look for the serial number on the underside of the barrel, just forward of the base block or on the spring tube, just under the wood on the left side.

      You should easily be able to trade your rifle for a .25 caliber Sumatra with a scope of its own.


  18. B. Marauder filling with a high pressure 100 cubic ft. steel tank rated 5000psi would this last a long time. I’m doing research before I make my purchase. I looking at 25 cal B. Marauder and I have this tank. Is there a suggestions.
    Thanks Vince

  19. Vince,

    Yes, that would last pretty long. Longer if you tuned the Marauder to shoot at 2,000 psi than at 3,000 psi.

    I use an 88 cubic foot carbon fiber tank and it lasts for several months, but I don’t shoot the Marauder exclusively. I figure there are probably 40 full fills in the tank.


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