Air Venturi Bronco with optional target sights: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is about mounting the new Bronco Target Sight kit on an Air Venturi Bronco and seeing how it works. The kit consists of a peep sight for the rear and four riser plates with two long screws to raise the front sight high enough to work with the rear.

I tested the Bronco extensively in 2010 and wrote seven reports about it then. If you’ve been a reader for some time, you may remember that I even mounted a Williams peep sight on the rifle and tested it for you. So, today’s question isn’t whether the rifle can shoot with a peep, but rather how this new sight and riser plate set attaches and works with the gun.

The installation is pretty easy. Just unscrew the two front sight screws and attach the four riser plates under the front sight base with the longer screws. It took less than five minutes and there were no tricky parts.


The Bronco front sight as it comes from the factory.


These four riser plates lift the front sight up to work with the rear peep sight.


The installation of the riser plates is quick and easy.

Once the plates were installed, they were rigid and looked like they belonged there. They’re keyed to each other so they don’t slip around once the screws are tightened.

The rear sight
The rear sight is really what this kit is about, both because it is much less expensive than the Williams rear peep sight that is, unfortunately, no longer available and also because it does exactly the same thing. Since this is a cheaper sight that could be just as good, it would would be a find if it proves true.

The sight is made more rugged than the Williams sight and mounts easier. Where the Williams has two very small screws pushing on a dovetail for mounting security, the Mendoza sight is made with larger parts. The screws are also proportionately larger.

Like the front riser plates, the rear sight was a quick installation. Just slip the dovetails into those on top of the Bronco’s receiver and tighten the two screws.


The rear peep sight attaches with two screws. The adjustment knobs are knurled.

Is this a better sight?
That’s a question I’ve heard several times in reference to this sight. What does “better” mean? This sight does exactly the same thing the $60 Williams peep sight did, yet it costs a lot less. It has target knobs, which only the more expensive of the two Williams target peep sights had. Each knob has crisp detents, so you can feel the adjustments as they’re made. Everything works as it’s supposed to, and the machining is excellent — this sight is the equal of the more expensive and now unavailable Williams peep sight.

The one drawback this Mendoza-made rear sight had that the Williams didn’t was the inability to adjust low enough to work with most front sights. The Williams could be modified to go very low and this one can’t. Well, that’s what the riser plates are for, so that problem has been solved.

Testing the sight
Naturally I had to test the new sight set as anyone would, and I expected no problems. We already know about the legendary accuracy of the Air Venturi Bronco, so this sight should help it shoot its best.

I can tell you that the adjustments do move the impact of the pellets in the directions they should. And the movements are small, as you would hope from a 10-meter sight.

Not today!
Unfortunately, I was not up to the task of shooting today. I don’t know what the problem was, but I could not get the new sight set to give results that were even as good as I got with open sights back in 2010. If I hadn’t shot several extremely tight groups at 50 yards with my new Remington model 37 target rifle just last week, I would wonder if my accuracy was slipping, but I know it isn’t. But something is wrong, because I’m not getting the tight groups I got two years ago with the same rifle.


Ten JSB Exact RS pellets made this 1.169-inch group.


Ten H&N Finale Match rifle pellets went into 1.668 inches at 10 meters. Nine of them went into a group measuring 1.114 inches.

These are not good 10-meter groups, yet we know from past experience that this exact rifle is very accurate. So the thing that’s changed is either me or the sights. I re-read Part 3 of the Bronco report and discovered the rifle likes to be shot off the backs of the fingers. That’s an alternative artillery hold that I didn’t try yet, but I’m going to.

So, there’s more to come. But at this point, I can say that the new sight set is a good one and it works as you would expect. It’s a shame I didn’t get the performance we were expecting from the gun in this test, but I remain confident that it’s me and my technique and not the rifle.

That’s why this is Part 1.

68 thoughts on “Air Venturi Bronco with optional target sights: Part 1


  1. Hi B.B.

    Were these shot standing? I got these sights for my Bronco, and I love, love, love them. I can make a 5 shot group from prone or sitting with all shots completely inside the 7 ring of a 10m NRA target. Now that the rifle is sighted I’ll begin shooting standing and see what I can come up with.

    These sights really do wring out the capability of the Bronco. I m completely satisfied.

    See you,
    Scott



  2. BB,

    I’ve been toying with buying this rifle for awhile now to do some informal 10 meter shooting. I was disappointed with these results, and I know you are a good shooter…better than me by far! Anyways, I reread Part 3 of your original 7 part report on this rifle. It seems very picky about its ammo. Your best results back then were the Gamo Match Wadcutters and Crosman Premier Lights. Perhaps the results above were more about ammo than technique?

    Just taking a guess…..

    se mn airgunner


    • SE Minn,

      I tried both those pellets, as well — no dice. For some reason the gun just wasn’t performing this day. It’s not me and it’s not the rifle, but what it is I don’t yet know. Like I said, it could just be the hold.

      B.B.


  3. Black on black on black can get hard to see, especially indoors in poor light. When I use a peep I will sometimes add one of the 1/2 orange stickers or switch to a white bullseye, etc.


    • Volvo,

      Thanks for cutting me a break, but I was using a 6 o’clock hold and the target was lit with a 500-watt halogen light. I could see everything fine.

      B.B.


      • Well then other factors would be the thick front sight blade and a large diameter hole in the aperture.
        Those will make for a better hunting sight, but are not as accurate on paper, as I am sure you know.

        If it doesn’t improve you can shoot the Bronco with a scope to see if the rifle is off for some reason now too.


        • Volvo,

          I thought about the large peep hole in this sight, so I replaced it with a much smaller one with the same results. Then I checked the Williams peep I used two years ago and the hole is just as large as this one.

          But I will keep looking.

          B.B.


  4. Perhaps something is loose? Since the rifle shot well in the past, it could be the sight since nothing else has changed. Since the rifle has been in storage for two years, how is the condition of the barrel?

    Mike


    • Mike,

      The barrel seems tight in the breech. I’m really thinking that it might just be the way I held the gun. Balancing on two fingers often turns a rifle into a tack-driver.

      B.B.


  5. Howdy Mr. B.B.,
    Very cool the way ya stick with it until ya figure it out & then relay just the FACTS, ma’am. That’s just one of the reasons your words carry so much weight. Integrity.
    Thanx.
    Beaz


    • Beazer,

      Thanks for your support. Of course it’s always a bit tough when I’m in the middle of a report, rather than at a happy ending. But it is what it is and I know this rifle can shoot. So I have done something wrong.

      B.B.


  6. I have to give kudos to Air Venturi (or Mendoza?) for how well thought-out this target sight kit is. The stackable plates are so well thought out, they look great on the gun, a nice KISS approach to a common problem when upgrading to a peep. Hopefully they yield some good results. We all know the little blondie can shoot.


  7. Does this mendoza peep sight have a built in stop or does it rely on clamping pressure alone?

    Horizontal and vertical dispersion. Either somethings loose or it’s time to clean the barrel.

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      The rear sight is butted against the large plastic end cap. I don’t think it can move. Normally the low velocity of the Bronco would not result in a dirty barrel, but cleaning is worth a try.

      Thanks,

      B.B.


      • A couple of observations if I may—–

        I’ve used several of the Williams sights for many years. Although the mounting system is a bit fiddly and even delicate the sight-in remains spot on once the vertical locking method is tightened to prevent movement of the sliding tower for vertical adjustment.

        Conversely the Mendoza peeps have far more slop in the vertical tower that the Williams and the grub screw for locking it in changes your laboriously attained sight-in. Nor is there a method for insuring that the locking grub screw can’t move. I like the Mendoza sight otherwise but it’ll never equal the Williams without tighter tolerances in the tower/slide and a more secure cinch-down method that doesn’t eliminate the adjustments already attained. Just one man’s opinion, Tom


  8. Hi BB

    I know you love the Bronco and it is probably as good as you say it is, but I don’t really understand why anybody would like to put a target quality peep sight on this rifle. It will never be good enough to compete in competitive 10 m competitions, so what will it be used for? Rather use the open sights and use the rifle for what it was intended for: informal target shooting, plinking and just plain old fun. Peep sights are of no use for informal shooting such as this and will only spoil the fun. If you insist on having better sights than the standard ones, rather fit a scope!

    If you would like to do competitive 10 m shooting, you need a rifle that can shoot 5 mm (0.2 inch) groups and then you’re not even talking about precision shooting. You will probably be able to buy a pre-owned entry level competition rifle (e.g. Air Arms T200 or MPR) for about twice the price of the Bronco and the competition sight, but at least you won’t be wasting your time.

    Or perhaps I’ve got it all wrong and don’t understand any of this. Anyway, I love your blog.

    Regards.
    Vasco


    • Vasco,
      I see your point and at first I had to agree. On second thought I have kid that shoot in NRA,CMP, and ISSF competitions. In the back yard we play games with stuff like 853s and Crosman Challengers and I think it remind them that you can’t take the fundamentals for granted. Annies and FWBs will not punish you as bad for small lacks of those fundamentals. I don’t want them to forget that 90% of shooting sports is fun and informal.


    • Vasco,
      I agree with you that the Bronco can never be used for 10 meter competition. However, it has lots of good qualities for an inexpensive starter rifle. The most important of which are ease of use. It’s easy to cock, and does have decent accuracy. This makes it ideal for a young shooter who may be thinking of eventually getting into competition, including Sporter Class.

      I’m very partial to peep sights, having been a serious competitive marksman (Precision air-rifle and pistol, and smallbore). I prefer peep sights over scopes (referred to as “any sights”). Peep sights give just the right amount of information for creating a sight picture. So in my experience (not just my opinion), peep sights are about as good as it gets for target shooting (maybe not so much for hunting or pllinking).

      My recommendation for anyone using a lower-end target rifle that doesn’t have true “Precision Class” accuracy, is that they shoot a closer distance, and make their own targets, such that all groups are within some radius (obviously from a rest), and define that as your bulls-eye. Then set successive scoring rings to be just over a pellet diameter beyond the previous inner rings. What is the point here? The point is to start getting experience with the use of peep-sights. You’ll easily be spending over $600.00 by the time you know you want to get serious, and if old enough, and truly serious, you’ll be looking at over $1500.00. So I’m talking about someone who is either very young and needs a rifle that’s easy to cock and hold, or who likes to shoot targets for fun, personal challenge, or is just curious as to whether they like “target shooting”.

      Others might have their own reasoning for using peeps on a rifle like this, but those would be mine. This might be the way I’d go to test a young child, like a neighbors kid, or my own grand-kids. If I saw real talent, or more importantly, serious interest, I’d later move them on to something more substantial for serious target shooting.

      Here’s what I know, ABSOLUTELY, from experience. The fundamentals matter! So called “lessor” guns can be the best tools for establishing the fundamentals, provided they are not so hard to shoot that they teach, or enforce, bad habits. The Bronco has a surprisingly light trigger, and that’s a big plus. When I started competitive shooting, I was required to clean NRA 50 yard targets with an inexpensive Remington target rifle. It was not cheap, and it was accurate. But it also had a heavy trigger, was almost too light, and simply lacked the smoothness of an Anschutz. However, because the bar was raised so high for me with the Remington, I was shooting high 1590’s by the time I was 16 years old, and winning a CA State Championships with a score of 1600 out of 1600 by the time I was 17. I attribute my success to the fact that I was forced to master the fundamentals with a “lessor” rifle.

      I’m a great proponent of requiring that a shooter demonstrate the will to master the fundamentals before buying something that will only mask their lack of fundamentals. I moved from a Remington, that did me no favors, to a low-end Anschutz, and then finally to a high-end Anschutz.

      Victor


      • I must add that I’d prefer to see better results than what we see here in this report. Something doesn’t seem right. I’ll need to go back to see the results with a scope before I can consider this rifle for target shooting. For target shooting, peep sights are at least as good as a scope for me.


      • Victor,
        I wish you told me that a couple years ago. I thought that I was holding my older daughter back by not getting her a better small bore rig. She was shooting an old Walther KK200 sporter and I told her it may be a long time before I can upgrade so just do the best you can. She did just that and never griped about her equiptment and a couple weeks ago a guy showed up from a “away team” to a home league match with the rifle I’ve been looking for (for her) and let her shoot it in the match (nice guy). To make a long story short I bought one for for last week an Anschuz 1913/2213 that is the sister to her air rig. We are looking forward to Camp Perry now!


        • cavaman,

          Congratulations on the new rig! I don’t think I was around 2 years ago, but it sounds like you gave your daughter plenty of time to earn the upgrade. Looking back, I wouldn’t have done it any different. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to check on your fundamentals now and then, assuming you kept the older rifle.

          To truly compete in small-bore, you really do have to master the fundamentals. Beyond the fundamentals, it’s all about being ultra-consistent, which more than anything is a mental thing. My strongest advice is that your daughter train to become as physically fit cardio-wise as possible. No dollar amount of equipment will make a difference if she can’t overcome a pulse that takes her out of the ten ring (if super serious, then it’s the x-ring). Makes training easier to do when it has a purpose. I don’t know how old she is, but it takes more than just time to be very good. It takes real dedication and desire. You want to really want it. And you know you really want it when you’re willing to do what it takes. Knowledge is not enough. Your mind and body have to develop the capacity to execute consistently. It’s doable, but there are no shortcuts. It takes belief, because everyone runs into plateaus that need to be broken out of, which means real problem solving. If a shooter is willing to do everything necessary, then it’s a matter of time before each goal is reached.

          Good luck!
          Victor


          • Victor,
            Thank you very much. I have been around here for a few years and appreciate the comments you make on the blog especially about competition.
            We are lucky that she is shooting on a team that the other 3 shooters are nationally ranked with USA shooting. All three of them qualified to go to Colorado for the Junior Olympics, she shot a bad qualifying round that day but the following week at a state sectional won the over all match with a score that would have given her a automatic qualification (tuff break). The other team members are very one dimensional and shooting and school grades is the only thing they consent rate on. She on the other hand is into 4-H, band, publication (school club that among other things put together the school year book), and loves running cross country. Last year when she made the team I told her she had to give some stuff up so she let go softball, volley ball, and basketball. She wants to participate in a biathlon (mortified, running cross country instead of skiing) league this summer. BTW she is 15 and could lose interest at any time but as long as she is working at it I think I have to continue to support her.
            Thanks again


            • cavaman,

              Sounds like she’s got her basis covered. Yeah, it’s a tough break when a match is blown, but it happens to everyone, including the best. But this is a very important detail about competitive marksmanship, namely, that consistency is the biggest issues that kids have to overcome. At 15, she’s got a lot to learn about dealing with the pressures of competition. Because shooting is so mental, competitors peak out in their 20’s and 30’s, and even older. She needs to understand that she should judge herself against her best scores, and not her worse. Over time, she’ll be more consistent at shooting near her best. World and Olympic champion, Dave Kimes, calls it “performance on demand”. So whatever her best scores are, she’ll eventually shoot at that level more consistently. Of course, her scores will also continue to rise, so it’s a journey.

              The first time I tried out for a US team, my coaches told me that I had no chance of possibly placing, let alone winning anything. They told me that I was only going to the US Internationals to get experience with the venue and that level of competition. They allowed me to relax. This also meant that I was NOT allowed to look at my scores until it was all over. They monitored my shooting and scores for me. I won a gold, and tied for a second. This sport is so mental!

              I was a good student, so when they taught me to let each shot go, and only focus on the current shot, I did. It’s critical for your daughter to ignore how she’s doing, good or bad, and just focus on the execution of the current shot. Nothing else matters. It’s all about focus. Focus is everything! Mental distractions are the enemy.

              Please let me know if you have any particular question. You can always reach me at vector@collector.org.

              Victor


  9. I’m going to open up and make myself a large target for anyone that wants to shoot at my thesis.

    I think rust in a barrel is an enemy of accuracy. Regardless of velocity generated rust can occur especially in a humid climate. I live in Colorado which is a dry climate. I have an airgun that I used in a rust experiment.

    The experiment was that when I was done shooting this low powered breakbarrel I didn’t pull a patch wetted with FP10 through it like I normally do. Rust formed on the lands within a week. Not a lot but pinhead sized rust dots most noticible on the lands. I shot the gun for months and didn’t notice a change in accuracy. Each time, before I shoot the gun, I look at the inside of the barrel. Rust was present in the grooves and all over the lands when I took it out this past weekend to shoot. Group sizes have doubled. Still shoot the same pellet. All screws are tight and the scope hasn’t moved. Most of the rust is removed after shooting but I assume the quick wear on the grooves and lands are to blame for deterioration of accuracy.

    My climate is dry. My guns are kept inside. This gun has never been out in wet weather. HOWEVER, condensation must occur when bringing a gun out from a warm house into cool weather. Condensation must occur when a warm barrel that’s shot several pellets cools down quickly. Condensation is the precursor to rust.

    Maybe I’m blaming the wrong thing for significantly bigger groups but I’ll never put an airgun away again, even a low velocity gun, without a thin coat of my favorite oil inside the barrel.

    kevin


  10. BB,
    I have to ask, since the peep is so easy to mount, why haven’t you mounted the Williams sight yet for comparison since you now have the front risers on? I can’t believe this Mendoza is the only peep you own. You don’t have to do any laborious sight in with it, nor even touch the Williams knobs if they’reset for another rifle. Just mount it and see if it groups. If there is a resulting difference in any way you’ll know what to do next and what/who to blame. Mystery a-solv-ed
    -Chuck


    • Chuck,

      You must have missed the 7-part report I did two years ago. I have already tested the Williams sight and it worked fine. I don’t have to test it again. Read that report I linked you to in the text.

      This is a test of the new sight set, only. It either works or not — that is what I am testing.

      The object isn’t to get the Bronco to shoot well — we know that it does. The object is to get it to shoot well with this sight set.

      If after considerable testing I cannot make this sight set work, and I don’t think that will happen, I will mount a scope on the Bronco to assure myself that it still shoots. If I doesn’t for any reason, I have a second Bronco I can use that has never been shot.

      B.B.


      • BB,
        What I was suggesting was that you mount another peep to see if it was the Williams setup causing the problem. Instead you are choosing to do the same verification thing only with a scope. That’s ok, too, it should prove who’s at fault.
        -Chuck


  11. BB,
    Here I’ve been touting the JSB Exact RS as my most accurate pellet for my Bronco and you do this to me. My credibility is destroyed. I’ll be banned to another airgun site. Please get this straightened out.
    -Your overreacting blogger, Chuck


  12. Thanks for reviewing this gun, BB. Windy, wet weather is still keeping me off the range.

    It reminds me of the first new car I bought. I fell ill and was too sick to drive it the first week. It just sat in the driveway, taunting me.

    Anyway, my experience with this gun has been limited to visual examination. I am not used to peep sights, but the aperture hole seemed a little large to me, too. How would I change this?

    I’m not going to modify anything until I try it the way it is. At this time, the only change I may want to make would be to paint the back side of the post sight white. Most of my other guns are scoped, but I’m not planning to scope this one. I bought the target variant so my grand kids can practice with the same type of sights they use at the shooting club.

    I’m looking forward to see what pellets work best. I would think a lower-powered gun would favor a lighter pellet. Most of my pellets are 7.9 gr. I have some RWS10 8.1 gr. match pellets I would like to try.

    I read a critical review of the Bronco where the reviewer didn’t like the thickness of the stock. I don’t think the stock is overly thick. I have small hands, and the stock fits me just fine. I was especially pleased with the way the stock lines the eye up with the sight naturally.

    Besides, I think blondes can get away with heavier thighs than others. Your opinions may vary.

    Les


    • Les,

      Please bear in mind that this isn’t a test of the Bronco. I did that two years ago and the links to all seven tests are in the opening words above. The Bronco is hands-down a very accurate rifle.

      Yes, the peep hole is large, so I compared it to a Williams peep sight that was used two years ago and it has the same size hole. I did install a peep with a smaller hole (a Williams, in fact, so that is how you reduce the size of this one) in this sight and the accuracy stayed the same.

      The peep hole in this sight is very close to the same size as the peep hole in an M1 Carbine. My Carbine is pretty accurate for a Carbine, but not for a regular rifle.

      So I don’t know what to tell you. I s=till want to finish testing this sight as it comes before I start modifying anything.

      B.B.


      • If the Williams sight works, and the Mendoza sight has the same size hole, the sight must be just fine.
        I’m really looking forward to shooting this gun!

        As I said, I’m inexperienced with peep sights. A large hole would let more light in. This would probably aid the sight picture.

        One of the things I want to use this gun for is to get the kids used to using both eyes. The bb guns at the 4H club are fitted with homemade blinders (made from plastic milk jug material) to block the off-side eye. I view this as a crutch that might help beginners, but that can also promote a bad habit.
        The PCP target guns do not use blinders.

        You’ve created a very handsome gun, BB.

        Les


      • BB,
        You don’t suppose the screws holding the riser plates on are affecting the shot tube do you? I was concerned about that on mine since I used only two of the plates with the longer screws. Maybe the shot tube doesn’t extend that far, but then maybe the screw tips are contacting the pellets on exit? Just a long shot thought. I really didn’t intend a pun but I’ll leave it there anyway.
        -Chuck



          • Chuck,

            I examined the Bronco barrel and you may be onto something. Looking through the barrel I see something where one of the screw holes might be. It is possible that the longer screw protrudes into the bore enough to damage the pellet on its way out.

            Dr. Mann proved that holes in the bore do not decrease the accuracy of a barrel by themselves, but if a long screw is denting a pellet skirt, something like that might be happening.

            I will look at this in my next test.

            Thanks for the tip!

            B.B.


            • BB,
              I may be very lucky because I can see the screws extending into the barrel quite a bit. Keep in mind I only installed two plates. I would imagine my screws penetrate more than yours unless they changed the screws after I got mine. I am lucky that the pellets are not touching the screws as best as I can tell.

              I just shot some RWS R-10 7.0gr pistol pellets for the first time and they are a very good wadcutter. I’m surprised how the Bronco shoots selected 10.x gr pellets and selected 7.0gr pellets as well.

              -Chuck


  13. Well, at least this sight goes on easier than the Beeman that I tried for my IZH 61 which I could not tighten no matter what I did. But the groups here are a big mystery. For a 5 shot equivalent, I’m getting something like 7 MOA. Haven’t the faintest idea of what could be wrong, but I’ll be interested to see the answer.

    CowBoyStar Dad, your Dad must have had the mother of all firearms licenses to acquire such a stock of guns in Canada. It had occurred to me to bury myself with all my guns when the time comes so that they would truly be mine for all eternity. But even with the number I have already that could bump up the funeral price, and besides it seems a bit selfish.

    I know what you mean about wishing you had participated more with your Dad when you could. Fortunately, even when young and self-centered I had the intuition that it would be a good thing to participate with my Dad in his long-distance running. So, I got myself in decent enough shape so that on the downslope of his career, I could keep up with him and participate in a fashion. But there were plenty of dumb and hurtful things too on the record. Maybe this is an unavoidable part of the child-raising process. My Mom is the most patient and forgiving of people, but I remember her looking at me on one occasion and saying, “Love is pain.” Hm, well, er, ahhhh, yes…. Anyway, hopefully a brighter side of the process is that lessons will usually transmit, and I suspect that the way this is done is a fairly tolerant one. It’s not a good idea to force. But even if you do, and it doesn’t work out, some good may and probably will come out of it. I remember hating to read, detesting Karate practice, and wasting thousands of dollars in piano practice. And now, who should that be who is reading everything in sight, practicing and thinking about martial arts in monomaniacal fashion for over 20 years and playing the piano whenever I can get to it. Perhaps the truth is what was said by the Russian thinker, Mikhail Bakhtin: “Nothing is ever truly lost. Every meaning will have its festival homecoming.”

    So, I like to think that your Dad is indeed very pleased looking down on his legacy and is saying something along the lines of, “That’ll do.” I’m reminded too of an anecdote from the American Civil War when a veteran recalled all the suffering that took place and how the country was recovering. And imagining himself at a future point in heaven with all of the other veterans, he saw them gathered around a railing looking down and saying, “Satisfied, satisfied….”

    Matt61


  14. Since I love a good mystery,I want to put my .02$ in….You just added weight (4 plates) at the muzzle.Try removing the plates & rerun the test without changing anything else.Barrel harmonics are my theory.The RIGHT pellet may have changed with the extra weight out there in front? That’s my guess.


  15. Hello B.B. and Friends. This is why I always read this blog so faithfully each day. Sooner or later, someone or two will come up with the answer to a particular problem. There is just a wealth of airgun knowledge here. I love it. Keep it up people.
    Titus



  16. BB,
    I consider it lucky that you had this bad luck 🙂 — if or rather when you solve it, you will have saved someone (or many someones) a lot of trouble. Chuck is probably on to something, and I would suspect the front sight, anyway, although I never thought about the holes going all the way through. I had the Mendoza peep on my 36-2 for quite a while and it was never a problem, except it only worked at 30 yards minimum due to front sight height being non-adjustable. Seemed to hold its zero and group (informally) fine. I just don’t like peeps, almost as much as I don’t like scopes, because they feel too constricting, but it seems like a decent sight.

    Oh, I’ve been primitive camping/shooting lately, so didn’t have a chance to add this, but wanted to say that there is a newer Red Ryder than the one I tested — the one with the metal cocking lever, which I’ve not gotten yet. It would be interesting to see you run it over a chrony and see if the velocity/accuracy is still about the same. Mine both are roughly 2″ at 25 feet offhand, IIRC, which isn’t far off from what you were getting on your older one, considering the different range. Not exactly tack drivers, but more than adequate for teaching sight alignment and early offhand training with appropriate (non-ricocheting) targets. I’m almost convinced that pellet rifles are better starters due to the ricochet issue, but the Red Ryder does have its appeal and it is very economical.


  17. What about the Kodiak pellets? In the previous test it sounded like that was “the one”.
    I’m following this with great interest as I am about to order a Bronco for my wife. I was wondering if a peep would be harder for her to learn to shoot with. I’m leaning toward more conventional sights that would make it more familiar for her when she moves up to a firearm, pistol or rifle. She would primarily be plinking in the back yard. Any thoughts or suggestions?
    B.B. I really enjoy your blogs. A lot to learn out there.


    • ColburnD,
      According to Desertdweller’s comment on the Bronco he just bought, the Bronco has the regular open sights in the package also, so you could choose which works best for your wife.
      -Chuck


    • ColburnD,

      Get the rifle by all means. And get it with the sporting (non-peep) sights. However, just for the record, peep sights are easier to learn to use under most circumstances, which is why the military has used them for more than a century.

      But for general plinking, the sporting post and notch sights are very convenient, plus they save money. And you know you can always upgrade in the future.

      And, welcome to the blog!

      B.B.



  18. Everyone,

    I have done a lot of examination of my Bronco and I’m almost certain that I have discovered the problem. It is a unique one and the mounting screws don’t seem to have anything to do with it.

    There will be a full report of what I have discovered in the next installment.

    B.B.


  19. Checking, the mounting screws look okay on mine. Boy, that’s a cliffhanger you left us with and I can’t wait to see what you come up with. But you’ve just upped my spirits. I’m shooting 10m and just covered my shot group with a dime, using Crosman premier super match wadcutters. So, even if you do much better later on, at least I beat you this once.

    Yes, I read what others said about the Bronco and competition, but these are only Senior Games, so why not give it a try? I’ll be there for other competition anyhow, and the investment cost is low with the Bronco. Besides, it’s fun to see the other shooter’s reactions when I pull out the little Bronco, with their rifles costing over ten times as much.

    I seem to be slightly improving every few days. Now wondering if your problem might apply to mine also. If so, you really need to get out that next installment before the state competition, please.


    • Gerry,

      It’s not the screws.

      And yes to your observation that Bronco can be used in informal 10M competitions! It’s so stunningly accurate that, like the Daisy 953 and the IZH 60/61, it deserves to be used that way.

      B.B.


  20. Hi Edith,

    I was looking for BB’s 7-part Air Venturi Bronco series, and can’t find it searching the Blog. It’s linked to in part 1 of this Bronco Optional Target Sites series, but that link is dead.

    It’s possible that the series (03/2010) may not have been transferred over to the new Blog site yet.

    Can you provide me links to the series?

    Really appreciate it!

    -Bill


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