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Ammo Air Venturi Tech Force M12 combo: Part 2

Air Venturi Tech Force M12 combo: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

The new Tech Force M12 breakbarrel is a new midrange springer from Air Venturi.

Today, we’ll look at the firing behavior and velocity of the Tech Force M12. You readers had mixed feelings about this rifle. Some of you liked the look of the gun and the fact that the trigger is nice, though it’s only single-stage. Others were put off by the lack of open sights. Once again, for anyone who missed it, the Tech Force M12 is made for Air Venturi (who owns the Tech Force name) by Mendoza. It is not a model Mendoza makes under any other name, so if you want one, you have to get an M12.

I’m testing the combo with the 4-12x40AO Tech Force rifle scope. The scope comes into play in the next report, when I look at the rifle’s accuracy. Now, we’ll look at its performance over the chronograph. The first pellet I shot was the one I think may shoot best in the rifle — the venerable Crosman Premier 7.9-grain dome.

The first several shots from the rifle detonated, which means they were accompanied by a loud bang. Some people call that dieseling, but it’s more than that. Dieseling means that the piston causes the oil in the compression chamber to ignite when the gun fires. All spring guns in this power class diesel with every shot — even the ones that have been tuned. You don’t usually notice it because there’s so little oil to act as fuel for each shot that the gun neither makes a bang nor does it smoke. Only when there’s too much oil does the gun smoke with every shot, and only when there’s even more oil does it detonate. Detonation usually goes away after one to several shots, so you just keep shooting until the gun becomes quieter.

The M12 only detonated on the first 4 shots with Premier lites. The first shot went 1012 f.p.s., which is well over the advertised velocity of 750 f.p.s. for lead pellets. It was the detonation that caused the higher velocity, because shot No. 2 went 932 f.p.s., even though the rifle was still detonating.

After 7 shots, the rifle had stabilized, and the velocity had dropped to the 800 f.p.s. mark, which is what we expect it to do with this pellet. The average velocity was 797 f.p.s., and the spread ranged from 792 to 800 f.p.s. That’s a tight 8 foot-second range that tells me the Premier lite will probably be a good pellet for the accuracy test. At the average velocity, this pellet generates 11.15 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

The next pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby — an all-lead pellet that weighs 7 grains. I use Hobbys or other RWS pellets of equivalent weight to test spring guns for power, so we can have a standard reference.

Hobbys averaged 848 f.p.s. in the M12, but their performance was not stable. They ranged from 829 to 877 f.p.s. While I did not hear any definite detonations while shooting Hobbys, there was a lot of smoke with each shot, so the rifle is still burning off oil. It’s good to get that out of the way now before the accuracy test, where it would disturb the shots. At the average velocity, Hobbys produced 11.18 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

The next pellet I tested was the 10.3-grain JSB Exact dome. I felt that a heavier pellet might help stabilize the rifle in the early stages of its break-in. This pellet averaged 716 f.p.s.; but like the Hobbys, it wasn’t too stable. The spread went from 699 to 746 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet generated 11.73 foot-pounds — the highest power noted in this test.

And the last pellet tested was the lead-free RWS HyperMAX pointed pellet that weighs 5.2 grains. These averaged 961 f.p.s. in the test rifle if I throw out the first shot that registered 919 f.p.s. The spread of the average string ranged from 948 to 970 f.p.s., so once more it wasn’t too stable. At the average velocity, this pellet produced 10.67 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

The M12 has surprised me thus far. Why? Because it’s a Mendoza, a company that I know can make some wonderful air rifles. But they often add too much oil during assembly. The M12 is not like that. Yes, it does have a little too much oil, but the same can be said of a new Weihrauch these days. And Air Venturi had them eliminate the oil hole they put on all their rifles, so there’s no encouragement to continue over-oiling the gun.

It seems well-behaved. The oil takes care of itself during the break-in period, so it’s of no consequence. The trigger is still very nice, though I can now feel it moving through the single stage. But there’s still no creep and it still releases crisply. The trigger breaks at 2 lbs., 15 oz. fairly consistently.

The firing behavior is accompanied by a slow shudder, not by high-speed vibration, so this rifle will probably be pleasant to shoot. The trigger is good enough to do good work on target, and I think the rest remains to be discovered.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

55 thoughts on “Air Venturi Tech Force M12 combo: Part 2”

  1. Velocity claims are close to advertised specs but it’s more important to me to hear how the included scope and mounts can keep from moving without a scope stop. This is usually an accuracy killer. Can’t wait to hear what happens in the accuracy testing in part 3.

    Just a not so subtle reminder about the “Cold Barrel one shot accuracy test”:

    B.B. Pelletier Says:
    October 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

    How appropriate! I will be reporting on the 10-shot test on Monday, so your report is very timely.

    I used a different approach to capture the same data as you. We’ll see if it makes more sense or less.

    As far as the shooting goes, I have to say, it is very difficult to shoot every shot perfectly! I am finding that it takes 2-4 minutes for each shot, to allow me to settle in and get everything right. And each first shot is also a cold shot for me. I’m in a constant state of not being warmed up to the task. This is perhaps the most challenging shooting I have ever done.



    impatient kevin

    • Impatient Kevin,

      I had to postpone the report for two extra days because I wasn’t able to keep up with the shooting schedule.

      The test is now complete, all photos are taken and I am writing the report today for tomorrow’s blog. This is one of the most interesting and intriguing tests I have ever done, and I think you will find it fascinating.

      And on its heels I have a world-beater of a followup test coming!


      • Tom,

        When you said, “I wasn’t able to keep up with the shooting schedule.” it brought a tear to my eye. Awful tough way to make a living. Hope you get caught up on your shooting schedule.

        Seriously, I’ve been looking forward to your cold barrel test. The follow up test sounds intriguing.


  2. {visualize Wile E. Coyote with his chin dropping to the floor}

    A .177 spring gun that actually went /up/ in muzzle energy going from 8gr to 10+gr pellet?!

    Is that likely to remain, or could it be some hidden detonation from accelerating a heavy pellet? For all practical purposes, the 7 and 8 gr pellets produced the same energy — which is, to my mind, a sign of the optimal energy transfer from the piston through air to pellet within a narrow range of variation. {Time to go to bed — I’m not phrasing that clearly}

      • B.B.,

        Couldn’t that be because the heavier pellet created a better seal? This past weekend I was shooting out in the desert. I had forgotten to bring my CP lights, and instead only brought heavies. Much to my surprise, the gun which favors lights was shooting way high. I attributed this to a better seal created by the heavies. I don’t really know, but that sounds plausible to me. What do you think?


        • Victor,

          Yes, a better seal could be the cause of greater energy.

          As for your own experience, I need to know what king of gun you were shooting. In a recoiling firearm a heavy bullet generally prints higher on target at close range than a light one because it remains in the barrel for more muzzle lift from recoil. If you were shooting a springer that could be the cause.


                • Victor,

                  The seal might also be involved, but when a heavy springer shoots the gun moves in recoil before the pellet starts to move. Now the recoil is in both directions with the front being much heavier, and that would tend to make the pellet go down, not up. I think the pellet may leave the gun before the gun rotates to drop the muzzle.

                  Every handgun shooter knows that a .44 magnum will shoot higher with heavy bullets and lower with lighter, faster ones. That is what I’m talking about here.



                  • One reason I stayed with 180gr .40S&W rather than switching to the 155gr faster rounds for the night-stand pistol. Considering that the original sight registration was likely made for the 180gr original load, and not the follow-up light/fast loadings.

                    I already have a tendency to shoot low (I blame my eyesight — if I manage to focus the front sight, the target becomes a BIG blurry circle, meaning a “target hold” puts me way low; I used to put orange stickers at the top of the bull as a sighting point, and still hit in the bottom of the black)… That’s with both the S&W 4006, and the Walther P99 (I’ve put the shortest front sight on the P99, which may raise the impact a bit; the 4006 does have adjustable sights but was also hitting to the left [poor trigger pull, I suspect], which is main reason the P99 is the night-stand gun… Not that the 3/4 the width of the bull would have been significant for a “center of mass” defensive gun…)

  3. Nice looking gun. Speaking of Mendoza, I notice that PA hasn’t offered any of their guns for a while. Are they just waiting for more stock, or they didn’t sell so well, or what?


    Re: one shot test… No rush on my part, BB. I’m not in a big hurry to embarrass myself publicly…

  4. B.B.

    A few questions….
    Is the safety on both sides ?
    Is the cocking link articulated ? If so, does it have a roller or something to prevent dragging and galling?
    Is the breech hinge adjustable for tightness, or is it Gamo/Chinese style (sloppy/floppy) ?


  5. How are our east coast guys doing today ? I am sure that some of you are up to your butts , and some may be off the web for a while.

    We were getting slow rain and wind. Last night went to light snow and wind. Wind did not get as bad as predicted as far as I can tell. Snow, wind and 32 degrees right now. Wet slop on the ground, but trying to melt.


  6. Pyramyd AIR says it has a 9.25 inch barrel. Is that enough rifling to consume all of the air chamber released? Interesting. We know that barrel time is important in air guns and firearms. However, with all the barrel flex, recoil happenting in nano-seconds was just asking the group their thoughts and expertise.
    Thank you,
    Pete in California

    Please send some rain here, we are in draught conditions !

  7. B.B. Yes, thank you very much. My question was academic. I am not concerned about the 9.25″ barrel length. My question was is the barrel long enough or can it be even shorter. Besides, I never buy an air gun or firearm without sights.

  8. Greetings from the People’s Democratik RepubliK of New Jersey. Trees and power lines down all around us – only one way off the block that is not barricaded by downed trees, powerlines and poles. No power here but the Yamaha suitcase generator of 1.6kw can power lights, the fridge and my heat (hot air). I also have internet and TV! Further pluses, no damage to the house or cars, rain was minimal this time – no pooling in my backyard and the sump is still dry so no water issues in the basement. However, the utility is saying they won’t have everyone’s power restored until next Monday at the earliest. I understand downtown NY has lost power due to a transformer site flooding around 14th Street (I work downtown), no mass transit running and water problems in several tunnels train and vehicle. Flooding due to storm surge all around the shoreline of lower Manhattan and my building I work in is on Water Street (named because that’s where the shore line used to be till they filled in that area back in the 19th century).

    Fred DPRoNJ

    • Fred, glad to hear you are doing ok. I know the situation is not the best. A lost of big trucks from Texas (and other places, I expect) rolled your way to help get the power back to normal.

      Speaking of Manhattan, when I check the Time Square webcam this morning there were only a few folks passing by, but this afternoon is a lot more activity.

      Take care,

          • You’re right, Chuck; people are aware of the camera. There is another camera across the way just to the right of the McDonalds. It is lower than the current one being used for the “street view”. When I first looked at this site, there were people talking on their cell phones and waving. I figured they called someone and had them check out the webcam.

            It looks like Time Square fared better than lower Manhattan.


    • Keep up, comrade Fred!

      The one thing I really fear – is a repetition of New Orleans scenario, but I hope you’ve got enough sweets as well as a good sweets dispenser for any Halloween guests 😉


      • Comrade Duskwright,

        Plenty of sweets and dispensers for bourgeois zombie apocalypse invaders. Can even use trick of cutting the “candy bar” three quarters of the way around before inserting in dispenser for a sweeter treat.

        Seriously, thank you all for your concern. I have 12 gallons of gasoline in two motorcycle gas tanks for use in my small generator and plenty of food and water. We’re set until the power comes back, hopefully in a few days. Tomorrow, the sun is supposed to appear to dry things out and more clean-up of tree limbs and power lines and telephone poles.

        Fred DPRoNJ

    • Looks like NJ and NYC have had the worst of it so far. Glad the damage is more of a big mess than anything very destructive. I can’t imagine what it will take to get the NYC subways operating. Maybe to the bugout bag, everyone should include a pair of waders.


    • Fred,

      Glad to here that all is well with you and yours. A suit case generator sounds like what I need to power my sump pump, which is about done running now. No real problems here, about two miles from U of MD’s main gate.


      • young daughter says U of MD classes to resume tomorrow. Unexpectedly, the hurricane made an unscheduled stop in their dorm room last night and she reported the clean-up was ongoing today. I don’t want to know about it. I remember some of the frat parties I had in college many years ago…..

        The suitcase generators are actually inverters. They are small, light, super quiet, very frugal with fuel and a bit expensive but in my humble opinion, well worth it. Honda and Yamaha make top of the line units and when compared to the cost versus 24 inches of water in the basement, cheap. This time, I even bought a spare sump pump in case the installed pump burnt out. Still in the box on the dining room table. Even the sandbags by my back door were not needed.

        Fred DPRoNJ

  9. BB,
    Didn’t find time to tear into the Fast Deer/Fast Dear/Faust Dier/ last night. Dealing with some minor water issues at the house due to the storm. I will attempt to get to it sooner rather than later as I’m surprised by the low velocity. Seems that there should be at least 550 fps in a rifle of that size.

    • Take care of business, first.

      As for the rifle, I have noticed with other low-powered spring guns that if the compression chamber swept volume is low, the .22 will always lag behind the .177. It kicks in with guns of this size. That’s just an observation, but it seems to hold true for me.


    • Some of those designs use a thick spacer as part of the piston seal. The problem is you can’t reduce the thickness of the seal (by going to a thinner synthetic) to increase swept volume and still have the gun cock, at least without some significant rework. Eager to see what you find out. I almost certainly would have had a Fast Deer, but the rage was over before I got into airguns :).

      Stay dry. We got a lot of moderately high wind but not much else. Amazing how cold high 30’s can be with 35mph wind gust and some ice cold rain; summers gone, I guess:)!

  10. Ok, some reports on the progress.
    Today I ordered 2 custom gas springs for Duscombe, 50 kg of force each, they’ll be ready in 3 weeks. The delay is due to piston’s non-standard diameter, so there will be some extra welding and turning, it’ll be made with the next batch of springs.
    Tomorrow my C62 arrives and by Thursday I plan to have a crowned barrel on my Duscombe. On Friday I hope to finish sculpting and weekend will be dedicated to polishing my new stock and maybe oiling it with Tru-Oil.

    Weather here is a bit better than in DPRoNJ – less wind, but still slightly below 0, sharp wind and icy rain. I think tomorrow will be what we call a Bodyworker Day 🙂


  11. B.B., today I learned a bit about blow back and locked breech actions, just scratching the surface. I can only wonder at the volumes of knowledge you have built up over the decades. ~Ken

  12. My favorite Internet cartoon is XKCD.com. Once a week the artist (who is very technically savvy) poses an amusing question that can be answered with simple physics and a lot of cleverness. Today he turned his attention to air guns…


    We made it through the storm with no damage. Didn’t even lose power. Feeling very lucky. Hope the rest of the gang did as well!


    • Thanks guys for posting that up. I love things like that. The only thing missing is how many BB’s would be needed to stop an asteroid LOL.

      We’re getting the rest of the storm here. We had a lot of wind yesterday and it’s pouring right now but nothing to cause much damage. We had a few thousand people without electricity but it should be back soon if it’s not done already but it doesn’t look good for Halloween night tommorrow.


      PS “simple” physics… Pete? Really?

    • Glad you weathered the storm. I think the physics are too simple for the train, unless its engineer wanted it to be slowed down. Unlike an asteroid (which is a case of pure momentum assuming it is free of any significant gravitational forces), the locomotive is powered, and I would bet the amount of acceleration the locomotive engine (most likely governed to maintain velocity) can supply would negate or even overcome that of a much larger battery of AK’s! An interesting alternate calculation would be how many RR’s it would take to overturn (and thus derail) the locomotive :)! I’m pretty sure there is an application for the Red Ryder in combating insurgent locomotives…

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