Air Arms S400 MPR FT: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we begin, there are a couple of items to be addressed. First, Edith and I noticed that several of our readers are fans of the Three Stooges, and we thought we would share this photo we had taken in Las Vegas, when Edith, Mac and I attended the 2008 SHOT Show.


Left to right — Tom, Edith, Mac. This was the most fun picture we ever took. It hangs in Edith’s office.

Now, there is a survey to re-name the Air Arms Twice air rifle, and with a name like that I can see why. Go here to select suggested names or submit one of your own.

Next, the blog discussion about muzzlebrakes and the lack of open sights on many Beeman guns has resulted in two reader surveys. Go here to comment on the R7 air rifle. Go here to comment on the R1, R9, HW97, RX-2 and R11 air rifles.

Now, let’s get started with today’s report. The Air Arms S400 MPR FT is a bolt-sction, single-shot .177 caliber rifle made for the sport of field target. It’s based on the S400 multi-purpose rifle (MPR) and comes with a walnut-stained poplar stock. The metal parts are highly polished and finished with a deep, dark black.


The Air Arms S400 MPR FT is an attractive field target rifle made for international power field target regulations of 12 ft-lbs.

Adjusting the stock to fit
The MPR platform is a 10-meter target rifle platform, so the stock configuration is set up accordingly. Fortunately, that same shape works well for field target, so it supports the intended purpose quite well. The only drawback is a rather short pull of 12-1/8 inches with the one butt spacer that comes installed by the factory. I installed the other three spacers, which extended the pull to 13-1/8 inches. While that’s still short for me, I found a workaround. I dropped the adjustable buttpad to its lowest position and lifted the cheekrest to its highest position. That gave me a comfortable fit in the offhand position.


The buttstock with all four spacers installed and the cheekrest up as high as it will go. The buttpad has been dropped as low as it will go. This combination fits me well.

The forearm has an accessory rail, which is perfect for fitting the knee rest that many field target competitors want. Next to the rail and deeply inset into the stock is a manometer or air pressure gauge, so you’ll always know the state of the charge in the air reservoir. That said, the S400 MPR FT operates on a maximum fill of 200 bar, or 2,900 psi.

Pistol grip
The pistol grip is shaped with a rounded knob at the top where I want to put my thumb. I do not like wrapping my thumb around a pistol grip and normally I would expect to find a dished-out spot for the thumb in the upright position, but there is none. There is no comfortable way to position the thumb on this rifle except to wrap it around. If it were my personal rifle, I would modify that with a Dremel tool. The grip is roughly stippled to grip your three fingers when you hold the rifle.


With the top of the pistol grip rounded like this, there’s no comfortable place to put my thumb. The grip is too thick for me to wrap around.

Trigger
The trigger is adjustable for the location of the blade, for the length of the first stage, location of the second-stage break and for the overall pull weight. I was able to adjust it down to 14 oz., with just a tiny bit of creep in stage two. Then, I adjusted the creep out with the second-stage location adjustment. The only thing lacking is an overtravel adjustment.

Fill requirements
Air Arms has a proprietary filling adapter. Nothing else on the market will fit the rifle. Their adapter connects to a 1/8-inch BSPP female coupling, so that’s what you must have at the end of whatever filling setup you use — hand pump, scuba or carbon fiber tank. It’s a fairly standard connector these days and comes with a lot of pumps and scuba connectors.


The Air Arms fill port is unique. Nothing but an Air Arms adapter fits it.


Air Arms adapter to fill all their precharged airguns. The threads are 1/8 inch BSPP, which is pretty standard.

Power
The S400 MPR FT is a 12 foot-pound rifle, which is perfect for competing in field target in the international class. Pyramyd Air lists the muzzle velocity at 800 f.p.s., but I’ll test a number of different pellets to determine the actual velocity of the test rifle.

Sights
No sights come with the rifle, because the assumption is that you’ll be scoping it. As a field target rifle, there really isn’t any other way to go. The aluminum receiver has an 11mm dovetail on both sides of the bolt trough. Because this is a PCP, there’s no recoil to worry about, so no scope stop is needed.

I plan to use this rifle as the test platform for a Hawke scope I’ve been wanting to test. The S400 should be accurate enough to give us a good idea of how well the scope works, so I’ll probably add another part to the report.

Overall observation
The S400 MPR FT rifle seems to be a nice lightweight field target rifle. Of course, a big scope will add some weight, but this will still be one of the lightest rifles on the line. I can’t wait to see how accurate it is.

110 thoughts on “Air Arms S400 MPR FT: Part 1

  1. Off topic, but I would like some opinions. I want to buy an inexpensive rifle to teach some of my nieces and nephews to shoot and to do some informal competitions. This will be pretty much target only, and probably mostly just at 10 meters, as that is my indoor range setup, So velocity and power are not explicitly important. Looking for it to be around $100 and definitely less than $200 (mainly because it is hard for me to not give away something when they really like it). So far, the IZH-61 and the Daisy 953 seem like the best options, but I lean toward the 953 as I would like to put the 5899 and the Globe sight on it. Would those sight options fit easily on the IZH-61? Which one to pick or other suggestions?


    • OJ

      The 953 is the better rifle. It has a target stock, manual safety, costs less and is likely to be more accurate than the IZH61, even if get a good one. Both rifles are five shot repeaters but the IZH, by virtue of it being a spring powered gun, will be damaged by dry firing– which is very easy to do.

      The 953 also has very little recoil, so it is easier to shoot accurately than the 61, which recoils quite a bit due to its light weight.

      The only thing better on the IZH61 is the trigger, and the lighter cocking effort. The IZH is a fun little plinking rifle, but the 953 is better suited to do what you described. Be sure to order a peep sight for the rear and the globe sight for the front.


    • As others have said, the 953 is a good choice, and there are several on-line resources for trigger improvements. Just type Daisy 953 trigger mod in Google and I’ll bet you get 30 sites to surf.


    • OJ, you did not mention the ages of your nieces and nephews. The 953, while easy to cock for you and me is not easy for an 8 year old. I’d venture to say no less 12yrs old. Unless you want to do the cocking or have them get discouraged. The IZH-61 is easier for an 8 year old as the side lever gets them more leverage and takes less strength.

      The drawback of the 61 is that it is so easy for kids to dry fire after the last shot because it’s hard for them to tell when the last shot has been fired. For springers dry firing is not good. The 61, for kids also has reasonable open sights and the hold-sensitive/artillery-hold issue but for your intended use I think that is a good thing for kids to learn how to master. IMHO, Start them on a springer and they’ll love a PCP in the future yet still return to a springer for additional fun. Start them on a PCP and they’ll shoot a springer once and then put it down.

      -Chuck


    • OJ, the 953 is probably intrinsically more accurate as a single pump. However, the IZH 61 is very close and I think in offhand is virtually identical, and the 61 has everything else going for it. The sidelever is very easy and functional, and you will get a much more enjoyable shooting experience with it than the 953 which requires an awkward pumping motion that takes you out of position and then working the bolt for each shot. If the name of the game in training is shooting a lot, those easy strokes of the sidelever will add up to more shooting and fun over time. What others rightly pointed out as matters of attention can be interpreted as training opportunities. You will not dry fire the gun if you can reliably count to five. It’s the same problem as counting shots in your bolt action rifle so that you won’t close the bolt and dry fire after the last one. Counting shots is a good safety procedure I think, and as an aid, the 61 clip indexes out of the receiver with each shot. So, if you lose count and see three empty chambers exposed, you know you’re done. The hold-sensitivity can be used to gain awareness of shooting technique and follow-through. The other night, I had it together, and the 61 shot as tight as anything else could. The rifle is more demanding about correct technique, but if you do your part, the rifle will not hold you back.

      Victor mentioned that shooting a variety of guns was good, so why not get both for your relatives and enhance their training.

      Matt61


      • Matt61,

        It’s easy for one to think they can shoot, just because they’re a Master in target shooting, with all the fancy equipment. The question is, can you pick up almost any rifle, including a $50.00 pump, or $100.00 springer, and shoot it well. When I go out shooting with friends and family who know that I competed, they want to challenge me, or they have great (even unrealistic) expectations of me. This has happened many times, and I’ll tell you, some people are really good shots. As I’ve said, none of my air rifles are bad, from my .177 Quest 1000x to my .22 Gamo Hunter Extreme.

        You asked which I shoot the most, and I answered that I shoot them all, but that in the beginning I shot my Gamo CFX the most. Well, at some point, I had plateaued out with the CFX. I couldn’t get the groups that others were getting. Then I went back to the Quest, after reading an interesting review about what worked for someone else. I tried what they did, and it didn’t work as well as I had hoped, but a variation of what they described did. Suddenly I was shooting the same with the Quest as I was with the CFX (which at one point, I didn’t think was possible). Anyways, having learned something new, that worked, with the Quest, I went back to the CFX with a different mindset, and sure enough, I was shooting much better, and on to a new plateau.

        Looking back, my biggest regret was that I didn’t try to overcome my Anschutz 1407 to shoot it as well as my 1413. There was about a 25 point difference between the two (completely unacceptable). There is no excuse for that. The difference was NOT because of gun accuracy, the difference was that the 1407 required that I truly master the fundamentals better than I had.

        If you have 2 or more rifles that are good, but different, and the disparity between them is too large, then there is something lacking in your mastery of the fundamentals. It’s not the gun, it’s you.

        Victor


        • Victor,
          Every once in a while you read or hear something that rings so true. Not to everyone, but to one or two. Your sentence about “lacking mastery of the fundamentals,” rang true with me. I’d like to be a better shot, but have not really worked at it. It’s time I did.
          Thanks,
          Lloyd


        • Victor,

          Two of my sons are shooters. I am going e-mail this to them knowing that your words will resonate with them improving their shooting skills. (” If you have 2 or more rifles that are good, but different, and the disparity between them is too large, then there is something lacking in your mastery of the fundamentals. It’s not the gun, it’s you.”)

          Thanks,
          Bruce


      • The general rule, regarding practicing with different guns is this:

        Shooting with different guns is good, provided that none of the guns are so bad that they cause you to learn (or enforce) bad habits.

        The best overcome themselves, because that’s the only thing that they have control over. This is why we really do only compete with ourselves. When we encounter an obstacle, or apparent limitation, sometimes the best thing to do is revisit that challenge at a later date. Sometimes all we need is a rested mind, or fresh perspective. It takes time to mature.

        Typically, the greatest shooters are past their physical prime of about 26 years old. This is different from most other sports, because shooting is such a mental sport. As Lones Wigger puts it, you have to be intelligent to overcome your problems. No one else can do it for you.

        A young shooter may have the ability to shoot scores equal to a World or Olympic champion, but they usually won’t perform at that peak level over the several days needed to make a US team. The issue is maturity.

        Websters defines Vacillate as: to waver in mind, will, or feeling. One definition of MATURITY, that I really like, is this: Maturity – Lack of vacillation.

        Victor


  2. I installed a Daisy Avanti rear diopter sight to my IZH 61. It would not stay in place because the receiver is plastic. I had to epoxy it in place. For the front sight, I glued an insert to the original IZH-61 front sight. I painted the insert neon orange for better visibility.

    I also have the 953 with diopter sights (front & rear) installed. I highly recommend the 953 for 10 meter target / plinking. Very accurate. However, the trigger is not as good as the IZH-61.

    Hope this helps.


    • Stingray,

      I agree on all points. The 953 is one heck of a rifle and the only tripping point is the trigger pull which can be fixed. Just google “Daisy 953 trigger modifications” and you will find what you need.

      I ordered the globe front sight from Daisy for $5 shipped. Any good rear aperture sight will work. I used a spare Beeman aperture sight I had laying around unused. Works great and is really accurate considering I never did the trigger mod.

      A QB 78 would also be a wonderful gun. Especially if you order it from Mike Melick and have him tune it before it is shipped to you. You can tell him what you want as far as power and trigger pull weight and he will do it if do able. His rates are VERY reasonable.

      I just ordered a AR2078 which he tuned both for more power and more shots per fill and a crisp 8 ounce trigger. It cost me $180 shipped with the mods and 2 sets of spare o-rings. Comparable to what others charge WITHOUT the mods! Should arrive Monday and I can hardly wait to get my hands on that gun!

      This is the same gun BB just blogged but has a thumb hole stock!

      You could probably get a QB78 with the same mods but a heavier trigger for around $100 shipped. That would be a truly good deal!


    • Stingray,

      Plastic receiver became a real damnation for all who wanted Izh-60 or 61. Guys at the factory say “It’s cheaper this way and easier to assemble”, but you know the outcome yourself. Here, a used metal receiver Izh-60 in good condition with some basic tweaks costs 2,5 times more than new plastic one. Gas spring and tuned trigger gives another 50%.
      Of course, this http://i2.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/001881/1881987.jpg is yet another story but that still is Izh-60 πŸ™‚

      Here, plastic receiver is cured by installing a special mount right onto the barrel. It looks like a cylinder split in two lengthwise, pressed together with screws with 13 mm inner diameter and dovetail/Weaver machined on top of it. I think you can order one from a gunsmith, it’s easy to make from 7075 alloy or titanium, or, if you don’t care about weight – steel. Just don’t remove the front support – plastic receiver means farewell to free-floating barrel.

      duskwight


  3. BB,
    My computer was booting up as I made my fist cup of coffee for the day, I come back down stairs unshaven, squinting through one eye, and as usual the first site I clicked on is your blog. Holy Cow! What the heck is that? The 3 Stooges? Yes, yesterdays blog. But wait, something is seriously wrong…… Who ????
    What a sight the three of you are. I almost sprayed a mouthful of coffee all over my computer! That is great!!!!!
    You three made my day!! I love it!
    Lloyd


  4. Morning all. Do any of the Field Target Matches have a class for “Sporter” air rifles like the FWB 124?
    I ask this since the “Arms Race” can eventually kill a sport and discourage new shooters from giving it a try due to the cost of new equipment. Field Target isn’t shot in my area so I’m not real familiar with the sport.

    Mike


    • Mike, I believe that FT and HFT does have a sporter class and spring guns are also allowed, as spring guns like the TX200 and HW97 were once upon a time the go to guns for FT. I think their is a foot-lbs (energy) limit and it is all single shot (multi shot guns can use a single shot adaptor)

      If Wayne is around today, maybe he can comment more factually or currently for us?


    • Mike,

      The Sporter class is more about the scope you use and how you use it in the match. Any rifle will work for the Sporter class.

      The FWB 124 is fine for the Springer class, where it competes with the TX 200.

      B.B.


    • Mike, you noted that FT isn’t really shot in your area. That’s ok, check out PA and other sites for some knockdown targets and set up your own FT range!

      There are the inexpensive Gamo steel targets with pull-cords and there also some fantastic re-settable targets from England that are pricey but have no cords and re-set by shooting a paddle. You might also get some silhouette swinger targets, they are a lot of fun too.



    • Brian,
      At work among the true geeks, we’ll sometimes try and give a human aura to a cabinet full of electronics in a development lab. In one, we had Larry, Moe, and Curly. In another we had Fred, Wilma, Pebbles and Bam-Bam. Ran out of money before we could build Barney and Betty.
      Lloyd


      • In our machine shop, we have twoof many CNC machines back to back, they are Heckel & Jeckel and Mutt & Jeff, and the manual machines are “dumb & dumber” (no CNC brains, get it?) and in QC we have Big Bertha which is our 20,000 pound granite table.

        You have to name this mundane stuff or you go crazy out here in Industrial-Disneyland, right Lloyd?


        • Brian,
          Quite true sometimes. Dumb and Dumber.. that is funny!
          There is one guy in our machine shop who can play a tune with his air hose. I don’t know if he somehow put a reed in the tip of the nozzle or what. A handy talent , indeed!
          Lloyd


  5. For anyone interested… CZ USA, the famous czech gunmaker and maker of the Air Arms S200, now has the S200 in their own 2011 firearms catalog and the gun is in a red laminate stock and it is a pretty one!


    • nice find! they make the best 22. rim-fires imo. i would really like the cz452 varmint thumbhole, but have yet to find out if i can get one with a left handed stock (im a lefty)

      my other gripe is with the mention on the r7 no sights. so dear PA can i have your gunsmith install some sights if a order an r7 from you? how much extra to install sights on it? last time i asked you referred me to an online gunsmith that pointed me to another gun instead of answering my question, should i just hold out awhile and hope they (beeman) changes the design? what would tom due? lol


    • Brian,

      I very recently started looking into buying a Rugor 10/22 Target model (1262 – See http://www.ruger.com/products/1022Target/models.html).

      Firstly, I was amazed at the amount of misinformation there is about the two target models offered by Rugor. I even spoke to a couple of gun stores who sell aftermarket components, and they too had lots of misinformation. For instance, I was told that the 1262 has a 10 or 11 pound trigger pull. NOT true – the trigger pull is closer to 3.5 pounds. In a nutshell, this model is very good, and definitely much better (trigger, bedding, accuracy, etc.) than the misinformation that after market upgrade dealers are letting on.

      Secondly, by doing my research on this particular 10/22, I found lots of people talking about how accurate the CZ rifles are. I’ve also found some reviews of Savage 22’s that indicate that they are extremely accurate, which doesn’t surprise me.

      Do you own 22’s from either manufacturer? If you own a 10/22, what is your impression of it? I’m looking for a plinker that is also accurate.

      I know they are extremely popular, but it seems that everyone is jumping on the aftermarket bandwagon. What I’ve found is that the Target model with stainless steel barrel (1262) really doesn’t require (or shouldn’t be) upgraded with aftermarket components. Here’s why (I think) – The 10/22 is famous for it’s reliability under tough operating conditions (relatively long sessions of rapid fire, with almost any ammo – it’s the .22 equivalent of the AKA-47). In my research, I found that taking a low-end 10/22 and upgrading it to be “accurized” can be very expensive, and you’ll end up with a rifle that is pickier about ammo, and much less reliable (lots more jams). I say that, if you want target rifle accuracy, then it makes more sense to buy a target rifle, or the 10/22 target model. If the 10/22 becomes less reliable, then you’ve ended up with something that is different than what the 10/22 is famous for.

      What are your thoughts?

      Thanks,
      Victor


      • Victor,

        I have three 10/22’s. Not that I NEED three, but they are so trouble free and fun to shoot that I now don,t have to have all the fun, I can share. I usually will pick one up if it’s in good shape and I can get it for $150 to $175. Not serious target shooting, just plinking. All three are the basic carbine model. That Target model is a nice one, but too much $ for me. I’ve promised not to buy another gun of any sort until I get that Marauder pistol!

        ka


        • KidAgain,

          I know what you mean about having more than one gun. Recently, I’ve enjoyed sharing my air-rifles with my family. It’s nice to see everyone having a good time with them.

          Yes, the heart and soul of the 10/22 is it’s reliability and “fun factor”. It’s fun because it allows for action shooting, while not being picky about ammo. This is what you lose when you get too crazy with upgrades. Sure, you might squeeze a bit more accuracy out of one, but it won’t have the same heart and soul. It becomes a different gun with a different personality. Suddenly it doesn’t play nice like it used to – it becomes less fun.

          Victor


      • Victor,
        I feel about the 10/22 much like you do. Buy it for reliability and fun, but don’t try to turn it into a target rifle, at which point it won’t be either reliable or fun without serious money. The Marlin 60 is another option for semiautomatic fire, but many people don’t like the tube feed; 795 is magazine version, I think. If you look at them as cheap fun, they work fine. I’ve heard many negative things about the Savage semiauto rimfire.

        The Savage bolt action rimfires are a different matter, of course. I have a Savage Mk II BV that shoots very well, even when I feed it less than ideal ammo, which is often because match grade is out of sight unless you are shooting in a match. I think the worst groups rested (and barring mental malfunction) at 50 yards from it were an inch — that was the high-velocity bulk boxed Federal hollowpoints in a good wind. It shoots 0.5″ groups regularly with Automatch (bulk) and MiniMags, although a couple of lots spread a little more. I think 0.25″ is about where it will top out with good ammo, but I’ve been distracted with my muzzleloaders lately. Its good enough that I don’t feel the need to look for another .22, except perhaps a sporter version with synthetic stock. CZ’s are about even — with a trigger that needs quite a bit of work, but nicer cosmetics at a little bit more cost, but not enough to matter. I looked at and shouldered them both and felt the Savage worked better for me.


      • Victor, I hope you see this, as I did not get back to the blog on Friday.

        The CZ Brno rifles, Savage and the 10-22 from Ruger are all great shooters. For me, I like the original 10-22 wood stock and blue action etc. The aftermarket guys are all peddling 500 round drum mags, piccatinny rails and lasers etc etc etc. Everyone seems to want the AR15/M16 look these days. Forget all that crap-ola! The 10-22 (much like the ranch rifle in .223) is best done in tradtional garb IMHO.

        The CZ rifles are particularly impressive, as they still employ real craftsmen in the czech republic who care about fit, finish and accuracy. Their “American” series of rifles is impressive and I shot one two weeks ago in .22 LR with a 9X scope and plugged 10 rounds into one, jagged hole at about 75 yards. Probably .50″ hole size in the target after 10 rounds. They have wood stocks, Kevlar laminates and others and many barrel types.

        If I was looking for benchrest type accuracy, it would be the CZ, for fun and multi-purpose shooting, the Ruger or Savage guns would be my choice.



      • KidAgain, BG_Farmer, Brian in Idaho, Matt61,

        I appreciate the feedback. Never having shot any of these rifles, I believe that I’ve surmised things correctly regarding the Rugor 10/22, Savage, and CZ 22’s. By the way, the last review of the 10/22 Target model that I read showed that with a few types of inexpensive ammo (e.g., Winchester Wildcat), quarter inch groups at 50 yards were achievable. Some ammo, like Wolf Target ammo was closer to just under half an inch. The common sense recommendation is to try lots of different ammo to see what your particular gun likes. In this one reviewers finding, the more expensive ammo didn’t produce the best results. Here’s the link, http://www.gunblast.com/Acusport1022s.htm. BTW, I’ve compared the versions offered by Acusport against the standard 10/22 target model (1262), and the differences appear to be cosmetic.

        Thanks,
        Victor


  6. BB,

    That picture is great! First cup of coffee, waiting for my morning read to load up produced that picture and I thought what the …? Thanks for sharing. I haven’t caught up on yesterdays comments yet, can’t wait now.

    I clicked on the link for renaming the twice gun and it told me I have previously selected a name. I’ve never done so.
    The other two links produced a blank screen. Anyone else having similar experiences?

    Todays subject rifle is a pretty cool one, looks like it’ll make a great platform for that Hawke scope.

    ka


    • ka,

      I’ve also had issues with the Twice survey, but I asked someone at Pyramyd Air to test it last night, and he had no issues accessing it.

      A couple questions for you: Do you use a Mac computer? If so, which browser are you using? If it’s Safari, then that might be the problem. You may have to use Firefox.

      If you use a Windows computer, please tell me which browser & version you’re using.

      Thanks,
      Edith



    • Vince,

      Tom’s face doesn’t even come close to looking like that anymore! Because of his year-long health issues, his entire body…including his head…has shrunk. He’s not a fathead anymore πŸ™‚

      Edith




          • He’s a “victim of cuircumstance”. and thank you, Brian.

            For my son’s Bar Mitzvah, the theme was, yes, the Three Stooges! Every table had a poster made from one of the books I have of movie posters from the different Stooges’ movies. My cousin, who is a doctor, took home the poster of the Stooges’ pose for “Men in Black”. I still have the posters – Brian – if you’d like one and anyone else, let me know and I’ll be glad to snail mail them. Suitable for framing – at at least in my eye. I got my son involved with the Stooges for self defense. He was into Barney, the Purple Dinosaur and I was afraid his mind and mine were going to be permanently damaged. Didn’t take much to get him off Barney and become a Stooge fanatic. This was all on VHS. I would slow the violent scenes down to demonstrate how Moe wasn’t poking Larry or Curly in the eyes but actually hitting them in the forehead. I also showed him how they used stand-ins for some of the more violent stunts, such as falling off a ladder or being tackled by an entire college football team.

            Unfortunately, I haven’t got him interested in air rifles – yet.

            Fred PRoNJ


      • “Fathead” is a state of mind. Generally the state of New Jersey.

        Feed ‘im lots of pasta alfredo. Legend has it that an Italian chef’s wife was weak, losing weight and sickly after giving birth to their little girl, and he formulated alfredo sauce specifically to build her back up. I believe it worked.



  7. BB

    No “Twice” huh? I suppose “#2” or “Deuce” would also be a no go.

    That picture is a classic. How hard did Edith have to pinch you to make you do that face? It’s hard to imagine, but you may have missed your true calling. Did I save that jpeg? Soitenly! Bonk, zing, wocka wocka.



  8. B.B.

    Nice shot πŸ™‚

    I must thank you for that article on engineering. It’s really worth its weight in gold and I must say – maybe airgunners of the world must collect money and order some copies etched in stone to be sent to several airgun manufacturers?
    After reading it I reviewed my own project and I must say – well, it seems I’m in line πŸ˜‰ Maybe that’s because I make it for myself, not for some guy somewhere over there. I think it’s a sort of airgun “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” that some makers need.

    duskwight


  9. BB:
    A Classic photo, lol
    It is begging to have added that well known motto ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps”

    I got a reply from Hans-H Weihrauch himself,concerning my enquiry into a set of Fibre optic sights for my HW99.
    Unfortunately he could not help but it was nice of him to get in touch personally.
    DaveUK


    • Hey Dave

      Same here, although Mr. Weihrauch was able to help me on a serial number question.

      He really takes pride in talking to his customers.

      PS how’s things in o’l blighty? Any shock waves there form the Egyptian problems?


      • Hi Brian,
        Well apart from some ruined holidays(Vacations)for the Brits in Egypt nothing bad has happened so far.
        Obviously the price of oil will go up and if it doesn’t,my government will slap on more tax just to be on the safe side. Grrrrr.
        DaveUK


        • “You can expect the price of oil to go up because( insert any stupid reason you can think of), and the cost of gas will go up at the pump”.

          Every time some friggin’ Arab’s camel farts they use it as an excuse to raise prices.

          twotalon


  10. I just about fell off my chair opening today’s blog. Thanks for that! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :-0 At first I thought I opened the wrong web site then remembered the 3-S coments of yesterday. I’m sure you brightened a lot of lives today. Now, if I can just get past that picture and read the rest of the blog.
    -Chuck


    • Chuck,

      It just occurred to me that people might not take Tom & Mac’s reviews seriously after seeing the Stooges picture. Well, if nothing else, it’s obvious that we know how to have a good time πŸ™‚

      Edith


  11. I really do like the looks of this type of rifle. It has that competitive look. Someday I’ll have to get me one like that. I’d like to try that sculpted pistol grip style sometime, too. I’ll bet it feels stable. I’m looking forward to the accuracy test.

    I wish mfgrs would settle on a standard fitting. (Like you never saw that coming). I already have two “standard” fitting attachments for two different guns for my one scuba tank so what’s one more, eh?

    -Chuck


  12. If the AA Twice is renamed, does that mean any badged with the original name could eventually be worth more? Or do they plan on changing the name before any are released?

    BTW – the first photo is priceless!

    – Orin



      • You guys get the cold snap over your way in TX?

        They are predicting 45 degrees Sunday at Jerrys World for the Superbowl.

        Guess that’s why they usually do Tampa Bay or New Orleans?


        • Brian,

          The cold snap arrived Monday night. Sleet hit the bedroom windows so hard (45 mph wind) that I thought someone was throwing gravel. Been really, really cold…15 low/28 high (minus something wind chill). Everything was sheets of ice for 2 days…and then it snowed. Today, Dallas got about 6″, we got about 4. Temps in the mid-40s Sat & Sun. Possibly more snow on Monday and another blast of ice/snow on Wed.

          It’s a good week to be working from home!

          Edith



    • Conor,I don’t have one,but it has the famous hammer forged barrel.That is a good sign accuracy wise.
      As far as longevity of the spring……look at the second review.In it a man from Russia said he used his for 11 years before moving to the states.When he went home to visit,kids in his neighborhood were STILL using it,that one is 20 years old!!


  13. Vince,
    Here’s the Gamo Match test I said I would do. These pellets are 8.5 gr and more than two years old. They came in a 250 ct tin with a screw-on lid. Bar code 93676 00014.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/GamoMatch?authkey=Gv1sRgCJKvxqOS74rT3wE#5569923532279194962

    I hope this link works.

    I shot five shot groups at 10m. The Walther Lever is an 8 shot group because that’s what the clip holds and I just put in two new co2 carts. The two flyers are the first two shots on the new carts.

    The IZH-61 had the stock open sights, all the rest were scoped.

    -Chuck


    • Hows that Walther Lever Action treating you?

      I have been shooting mine at 15 meters, shooting at the Gamo MTS running deer targets. A lot of fun, especially in the random speed mode.

      This gun is a keeper on quality and looks alone!


      • Brian,
        I haven’t been shooting Walther that much lately but he’s still the purdy-est of the bunch, Pilgrim and I do love that lever action. I have a couple other air-rifles and pistols so he doesn’t come up in the rotation as often. Plus, I found a new organization close by that has an indoor range so I’ve split my attention with firearms. You know, so little time…
        -Chuck


  14. Does anyone know if an AS400 MPR can be turned into an AS400 MPR FT? So if I already own an MPR, I can configure it for Field Target. I see no difference cosmetically and comparing the two on PA shows the only difference is the FT is at 800fps while the MPR is at 540fps. Are the important parts interchangeable? Is it absolute that 540fps will not work in FT competitions?
    -Chuck


    • Chuck, I have not had either gun apart however, I believe that these are regulated guns (valves) and assuming that the same AA400 valve is in each gun, the mechanical regulation should be able to be changed/over-ridden?

      540 fps is a little slow in .177 for the long yardage shots in FT, 800 fps is far more common (and necessary) and will reach out to those long shots and knock down the steel targets.


  15. Very amusing picture with the 3 stooges. Shall I say you are a good likeness…or not. I enjoyed the 3 stooges when I was younger, but watching them as an adult, I was put off by their violence. Even though it is make believe, there is something disturbing about them smacking each other around. Definitely the sign of the lesser martial artist… And it didn’t help to hear that they personally did not particularly like each other. How do you pretend to hit someone in fun whom you truly dislike? Maybe this is the whole acting thing again. Perhaps my favorite single movie scene of all time is the car scene in on the Waterfront with Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger (“I had some bets down for you kid. You saw some money on the side.”) That is the most artful of scenes, but apparently the actors disliked each other so much that one or the other left while a close-up was being done on the other one.

    On the subject of comedy, there is also the distinction between pure slapstick (often rated as the “lowest” form) and “mental laughter” whatever that might be. Anyway, I much prefer Laurel and Hardy who were real comic geniuses. Apparently, it was Stan Laurel, the supposed dumb one, who was actually the real creative mind. Also Laurel and Hardy worked with the incomparable Thelma Todd who was almost unique in combining great beauty with genuine comic talent. Those things don’t generally go together for some reason.

    On the subject of names, I’d say we might want to open it as a subcategory of our marketing advice. One rule so far is not to clash have your name clash with the associations of the original brand–like naming the product of an iconic American company after a samurai sword. As for the “Twice,” I guess the starting point would not be to ask why not name it the “Twice” but why would you in the first place. Twice what? But as for a replacement, I can’t think of a lot of good examples out there. In fact, the only successful one I can think of where the name actually adds something to the gun is the Air Force Talon series. (And the Air Force name itself is a clever one.) “Talon” sounds cool and formidable and it even sorts of resembles the jagged look of the rifles. “Marauder” is okay but kind of generic. Otherwise, as I think of airguns and firearms, the most beloved and best known guns seem to be a combination of a company name and a number: IZH 61, S410, TX200, HW30, RWS 350, Remington 700, Winchester 70, Savage 110, Winchester 94, Springfield 1908, 98 Mauser, Anschutz 1907. Maybe the principle here is understatement in the form of military/industrial chic of proper names and code letters. Model names may even run the risk of being garish and amusing like in NASCAR where Snickers was doing well until, dammit, Cheerios slingshotted past him. Or maybe airgun names can break new ground.

    Today’s rifle looks like an FT upgrade of the Air Arms 400 series target rifle. No doubt it will be good, but what is the benefit of a light target rifle? The wisdom is that they should be heavier. I understand that top-level target rifles for high power are coming out at 17 pounds, almost like benchrest guns.

    Victor, that’s quite the set-up of a shooting range next to an rc field. So, I am not alone. What was a year’s supply of ammo for you? I actually bought a box of 20 Eley cartridges to try out. But with barrel seasoning which I only appreciated later, I suspect those 20 will be just about worthless. I expect at Camp Perry, I can expect to drop a lot of money at things on display.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      Agreed on name+alphanumerics. It has definite chic. On the other hand, names like A-XM177ST-25FT make me say “Down with cyborgs!”.
      I think the rule of a good weapon name is quite simple – brand name (as a mark of quality and expertise) and some simple yet distinct alphanumerical, like year (e.g. PPSh-41), model number (e.g. S&W mod. 27), version (e.g. Haenel Mkb 42(a)) or some construction feature (Whiscombe JW-75FB). It’s easy to remember and, just like you said, has some real chic.

      duskwight


    • Matt61,

      LAR&R is a very nice range for smallbore competition. Everything that you would want for such a range is built in, and the tournaments are well run. No, you’re not alone. A years supply of Eley was several cases of Black, and several cases of Red. I don’t recall what the cost per case was for either Red or Black. However, I believe that each individual box of 50 rounds of Eley Red was about $8.00. At that time, Remington Target ammo was between $0.50 and $1.00 for a box of 50. That same Remington has gone up more, relatively speaking, than the Eley Red. A couple of days ago, I read a blog in which someone showed how the lubricant (wax) used in Eley Tenex will help cheaper ammo shoot better, until the wax is gone. This person provided a series of pictures showing how the groups grew with each successive set of 5 or 10 rounds. I found that to be very interesting.

      Before going to Camp Perry, get a catalog(s) from vendors who sell smallbore rifle products on Commercial Row. Take some time to browse. That way, should you visit, you can see and hold whatever it is that you might be interested in, and not be overwhelmed with surprises.

      Victor



  16. B.B.,

    Recently there was some discussion (recommendations, if I recall) about the Beeman P17. This was the first gun (of any kind) that I purchased in the past couple of years (before I ever heard of PA, actually). Anyways, after a few months of use, shots would go off when I closed it while cocking it. Then a month or two, it just stopped shooting. I put it away for some 4 or 5 months, and suddenly it shot a few more times before dying again.

    Any thoughts on what is wrong, or what I might do to keep it working, as opposed to only sporadically?

    My intent is NOT to scare anyone away from the P17. I actually liked the gun a lot. It feels better in my hand than my Gamo Compact or Crosman 1377, the sights are sharp and fully adjustable, the trigger is better than most air-guns that I’ve tried, and the accuracy was surprisingly good. If I could get it to work reliably, I want to find out how it compares to my Gamo Compact. I would not be surprised if it shoots as accurately.

    Thanks,
    Victor


    • Victor,

      I had some problems with my Beeman P17 that were cured by running copious amounts of Crosman Pelgun Oil through it and that was about a year ago. Yes the fit in the hand and the trigger is excellent.

      Bruce



        • Victor,

          Sorry to be so long in replying to your response to my reply to your original question! I put the Crosman Pelgun Oil in the hole surrounded by the O-ring.

          Let me know if that helps you out. However, I don’t think it’ll do anything for the your possible sear problem.

          Bruce


          • Mr B.,

            No problem. I’ll apply some today. I believe that this pistol had been sitting on a shelf for a very long time. When I purchased it, the package was very faded and dry. I’m sure that’s why it needs oil.

            Thanks again,
            Victor



      • B.B.,

        No, I haven’t made any adjustments. The trigger pull is not particularly light, so I didn’t expect that it would need to be adjusted. In any case, if I can make this pistol work I’d be very happy. I really like it.

        Thanks,
        Victor


        • Victor, I just took a look at the mechanism on my 2004, and it has a real 2-stage trigger. The first stage isn’t adjustable, only the second stage is. By all means try adjusting the trigger by backing the screw out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that didn’t help.

          When you cock the gun there’s a spring-loaded hook that holds the hammer back, and another release lever blocks the hook and keeps it from moving. Pulling the trigger rotates that lever until it allows the hook to move off the hammer. The hammer is what then knocks the valve open.

          I’d suspect that there’s a problem between the hook and the hammer or the hook and the release lever.


          • Vince,

            I was able to get around 4 shots off, but the power seemed very inconsistent. Some shots fired with a lot of power, and some not so much power. As would be expected, the spread was vertical. The P17’s barrel is clearly rifled, and when it does shoot consistently the accuracy really shows. Hopefully the Pelgun Oil will help over time.

            As for the trigger, the gun eventually stopped shooting. I took it apart and found a spring loaded hook floating towards the back of the grip, and not allowing some trigger mechanism to engage, and thus preventing the whole thing from operating. I’m not an airgun expert, by any means, so I don’t know what the fix is, yet. I’ll play some more with it later. The issue could be what you are describing..

            Thanks,
            Victor


  17. B.B.

    Question.

    Awhile back I asked about the Puma 92 by Rossi, and you gave it a thumbs up based on the one that Mac owned. I would have to agree. While it will never have the image or collector value of a real Winchester 92, what it does offer is great fun at a low cost. Mine is the .357 / .38 caliber version which makes it extremely versatile without having to roll my own.

    I bought it new on Gunbroker and had it sent to an FFL that is a cousin of mine. Interestingly, when I UN-boxed it at his shop, one of the workers walked by and looked at it with a frown and said β€œBB gun ?” The look on his face was slight contempt and the fact that he did not even consider it to be a .22 LR speaks volumes as to its petite size. The young man was still unimpressed when I told him it was actually a .357 magnum, instead he pointed at an AR and said, β€œthat’s what I like”

    For me that is one of the beauties of it, I could probably carry it around in the front yard and no one would get excited. The younger generation simply assumes it must be the BB gun from the “Christmas Story.”

    My observations on the 92 copy: the stock is a descent walnut, but the finish need some love. The action is positive and works with anything I have used in it so far, the trigger breaks cleanly with no creep, and it is a real hoot to shoot. One of those guns that makes you smile. Only negative is that the safety did not function from day one. It will shoot with it on or off. I think there is a guy in Texas that sells a peep sight replacement for the odd little safety that does away with it altogether. The 92 is much more handy than the 9410 I sold off, plus leaves money in my pocket.

    So here is the question, I would like to pick up a SA in .357 /.38 that is in the same category as this rifle: low cost, reliable, everyday shooter. Currently, I am looking at the EA Bounty Hunter that is made by Weihrauch. However, I seem to recall reading HW made some really poor firearms? Is this one of them? What inexpensive Single Actions do you like?

    Thanks,

    Volvo


    • Volvo,

      I absolutely do not trust Weihrauch with firearms. They used to make a classic .22 target rifle, but starting in the ’50s their firearm quality went downhill.

      I like the Ruger Blackhawk the best. I own one that’s convertible– a .38 Spl/.357 in one cylinder and a 9mm Luger in the other. Surprisingly (because the bullets are different diameters) they are both very accurate. You should be able to get a used one in .357 only for $300.

      A Dakota by Uberti is an okay revolver, though it doesn’t hold a candle to the Ruger.

      Mac is going to have some work done on his Rossi by the guy in Texas, too. He’s having the front sight removed and grooved to accept a Lyman 17 globe sight. Then he can mount a tang sight and be happy.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        Thanks, that is what I was afraid of. The Ruger design probably makes the most sense since I have no plans of Cowboy action shooting anyway. The picture at the top is hilarious, hope you are feeling better.


      • The guy in Texas is Steve Young. A number of my friends have had Rossi 92’s worked on by him. If you like your 92 now, you will REALLY like it after he is finished with it. Lots of Cowboy Action Shooters use them.

        Also, a real sleeper in the world of .22 autos is the Remington Nylon 66. Accurate and reliable, even better than a 10/22. It is the real AK-47 of .22’s. But, it’s out of production so you will have to check out he used gun market for one. I own two of them and two 10/22’s so I do like them both.

        Mike


        • Mike,

          Sounds tempting to send the Puma 92 off.

          I shot my brother in-law’s new Nylon 66 is a kid, nice gun but the looks were a little hard to get past back then. I remember the ads for it well with the stack of wooded blocks that were shot. His was the Apache black, I recall it was made in brown and possibly green also.


          • Yes, they were made in a number of colors. The most common is the “Mohawk” Brown. The “Seneca Green” is probably the least common. Just before production was ended, they made one that was all black called the “Black Diamond” this because even the white “Diamond” on the stock was black on this one. Regardless of the color, they all use the same parts. They were ahead of their time. Remington should bring this one back. I’ll bet it would sell well today. A friend has one he has had since he was a boy on a farm. He carried it on a tractor for years. He has had it for over thirty years and it looks it, a real “Farm Gun”. Other than a rod thorough the barrel now and then, it has never been cleaned but still works!

            Mike



      • Bg Farmer,

        Firearms usually last a good bit longer with me than airguns, but you never know for sure. Here is a review of the Puma 92 I found that pretty much matches my thought s on it:

        http://www.chuckhawks.com/puma_92_carbine.htm

        The Marlin 1894’s I tried at the local gun-shop all had the extra long octagonal barrels and were very front heavy. Too beefy for my my taste for such a mild cartridge plus about one and half times the cost or more of the Puma.
        However, you may like the added weight in a larger caliber.

        I should get pretty good use out of the gun since the local indoor range will allow it too.

        Signed,

        The Rifleman, aka Volvo, aka…

        Assuming your “handle” is anatomical correct, the Marlin 94 might be a better fit.


        • BG doesn’t actually stand for big, but I am a little stockier than some :). The nicest rifle I ever handled had a 46 inch barrel tapered from about 1.25 inches at breech to 15/16 in middle and then flared to 1.125 a couple of inches from the muzzle — it wouldn’t tend to jump around on the target. The 79 sounds like it came out nice.

          PS. I haven’t forgotten your project — just taking a little longer than I expected due to some other stuff coming up. Feel free to berate me if you want.


          • So I have to ask, what does BG stand for? All this time I have been thinking and reading “BIG” to myself.

            Anyway, I don’t think you would need to be a mountain of a man to find the model 92 to be a little too small in the hand. Myself, I’ve always preferred them slightly anorexic.

            No worries on the project, you are still an A plus in my book.



    • Mr. B.

      Doing okay, thanks for asking. Things are starting to return to normal.

      The only new airgun story I have is on the QB 79 I picked up at the beginning of December. While it deserves an official post of its own some day, in a nut shell the 9 oz CO2 paint ball tanks did not fit it at all, and after a good bit of research on fixes, I ended up just sending it to Rich in Mich.

      The results are amazing. He has it shooting the 18 grain JSB’s at over 17 ft lbs on CO2! The 9 ounce CO2 tanks are only $2.00 to fill and in stock form were supposed to give 550 to 630 shots. With the added power I would guess that number will be closer to 400, but still at $2.00 a fill that is amazing. I bought 3 used steel paint ball tanks for $15.95 on e bay plus a clearance aluminum one at K Mart. Just $8.00 fill them all, verdict: very easy inexpensive shooting.

      Almost forgot, he also set it up to work on HEPA at no added cost…


    • Yes, a Blackhawk from the Mid 60’s is known as a “Three Screw” model due to the three screws used in the frame. Later models used pins instead of screws. They are some of the best. If the gun is unmodified, always remember to carry it with a empty chamber under the hammer when it is loaded.
      As John Wayne said in “True Grit”, “I do that so I don’t shoot my foot off.”.

      Mike




  18. On the MPR-FT, could you do some adjustment with the transfer port screw? As delivered, my AA MPR-FT was shooting 10.77ft/lbs but when I turned the screw 1/2 of a turn out, I got 13.5ft/lbs and a velocity increase of 90fps with the same AA dome pellets. I haven’t increased the power any more than that and wonder what it is actually capable of while still being accurate, as I’m sure others would be too.


    • Coax,

      Well, I never would have tried anything on my own because that’s not what I normally do. But since you asked I will see what I can do.

      Where is the screw located? The owner’s manual doesn’t have a parts breakdown, nor do they mention the screw.

      And what, exactly, do you want me to do?

      B.B.


  19. It’s located below the loading tray on the rear portion of the air tube in a threaded hole ( others may be the same or possibly plugged).

    I would like you to turn the screw out. It is a screw that allows opening up or closing down some transfer port. I got almost 3ft/lbs from a half a turn out, but that was as far as I turned. I bought mine from PA. I heard a rumor that some MPR-FTs could do more than 12ft/lbs and mine certainly will. It would be interesting if others were adjustable to a good degree and might appeal to a larger audience.

    I like your work. Thanks!



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