Chinese KL-3B Fast Deer sidelever: Part 3

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

Announcement: Kyle MacLeod is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their airgun facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card. Congratulations!

Pyramyd Air Big Shot of the Week

Kyle MacLeod is this week’s Big Shot of the Week on Pyramyd Air’s facebook page.

Part 1
Part 2

Fast Deer sidelever air rifle right
The Chinese Fast Deer sidelever air rifle is attractive. Does its performance live up to its looks?

Today will be both a report on the Fast Deer and a rant. The report comes first.

This is accuracy day. Since the Fast Deer has open sights, I thought 10 meters would be a good test distance. You may remember that in Part 2 I told you that I turned the rear sight around to get longer eye relief. Well, that really paid off big time in this test. I found the rear notch to be sharp and well-defined, making alignment of the front and rear sights easy. Blog reader Matt61 asked why good eye relief is necessary for an open-sighted rifle. It’s because you must align the front and rear sights with each other and with the target. If you shoot with a peep sight, no front and rear sight alignment is required — just look through the rear hole and align the front sight with the target. The peep sight is more like a scope in that respect, while the open-sighted (notch and post) sight requires good eyesight for the alignment of the two sight elements.

I started with 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lites. They fit the breech on the loose side but good enough to shoot. The first shot was high and wide to the right, so I adjusted the rear sight down and also to the right. Because it’s turned around, I have to adjust to the right to make it go to the left. And you always want to adjust the rear sight in the same direction that you’re trying to move the pellet.

The group of 10 shot with Premiers was average. It measures 0.756 inches between centers of the two widest shots. That’s not wonderful for 10 meters, but it’s a start.

Fast Deer sidelever air rifle rPremier lite group

Ten Premier lites made this 0.756-inch group at 10 meters. Although it does have a large group of 6 or 7 at the right, it’s a little too open for my tastes.

Next, I tried H&N Match Pistol pellets. During the velocity test, I found them to be very consistent in this rifle. I also said this pellet seemed to fit the breech well; but as I loaded them for the accuracy test, I felt they were still somewhat loose. But look at what they did on target! I did adjust the sights after the Premiers, but I didn’t check where it got me — I just shot 10 of these target pellets and let them land where they would. I didn’t even look at the target through the spotting scope until all 10 had been fired, and in retrospect that was a good decision. I could see the dark hole growing in the center of the bull from where I sat, but I didn’t know if there were any pellets outside the main group. This 10-shot group measures 0.48 inches between centers and is centered in the bull.

Fast Deer sidelever air rifle H&N Match Pistol target

Now, this is what I was hoping for! Ten H&N Pistol Match pellets went into 0.48 inches.

Next, I tried RWS Hobbys. They seemed to fit the breech very well and just look at the group they gave. The sights were not adjusted after shooting the H&N Match Pistol pellets but notice that the point of impact shifted slightly to the right. Ten of these pellets gave a super-tight 0.38-inch group at 10 meters. That was the best overall group of the test.

Fast Deer sidelever air rifle RWS Hobby group

It just gets better. Ten Hobbys went into 0.38 inches.

The last pellet I tried was our new friend, the H&N Baracuda Green that has done so well in recent tests with other air rifles. I did so for two reasons. First, the weight of this pellet, at 6.5 grains, is light enough to be effective in the Fast Deer. And second, because I wanted to see one domed pellet do well in the rifle and because I may want to shoot it at 25 yards. At that distance, the will start to fight me on accuracy.

This pellet did well, but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. And there was a problem. I was shooting the lower right bullseye with this pellet, and a piece of Scotch tape I used to hold the target tight to its backer was reflecting brightly. Was that causing aiming errors? I can’t say for sure, but I can say that this one target was harder to aim at than all the others because of that reflection.

Baracuda Greens gave me a 10-shot group that measures 0.902-inches between centers. In the center of the group, though, as seven shots in just 0.353-inches. So maybe this is a great pellet and maybe it isn’t. But I think I know a way to find out.

Fast Deer sidelever air rifle H&N Baracuda Green group

Not the best group, but does it contain the best pellet? The Baracuda Green was hampered by aiming difficulties. Would that have made a difference?

The Fast Deer has earned a Part 4 accuracy test with a scope. I find the heavy trigger is not as much of a problem as I thought it would be. And I really want to see how those Baracuda Greens do when I can aim precisely. So, there’s at least one more report coming on this unique Chinese sidelever.

On to the rant
Why can’t airgun manufacturers recognize that spring guns running at this power level (650-700 f.p.s.) are more accurate and have the least problems with hold? That was what gave me the idea to develop the rifle that became the Air Venturi Bronco — because I couldn’t find enough good, accurate airguns that aren’t Olympic-grade target rifles or top-end PCPs.

Everyone seems to think the market will not support a 700 f.p.s. spring rifle that also has great accuracy. They all point to the Beeman R7 and say that it isn’t selling that well. But the R7’s price has left three-quarters of the market behind. To succeed, a rifle needs to cost under $200, like so many of the mega-magnums now do.

No — airguns have to hit the magic 1,000 f.p.s., and the faster you go the better! I appreciate that new buyers are swayed by velocity, and so are some who should know better; but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for a few super-accurate guns that don’t take 50 lbs. to cock. And just so people in all the marketing departments around the world get my meaning: by “a few,” I mean a few tens of thousands per year.

The current horsepower race in airguns reminds me of the muscle car days of the 1960s. Sure, everyone wanted power and speed, but Detroit completely ignored that segment of the population that just wanted reliable transportation. Even after Volkswagen poked a finger in their eye, the fat cats in Motor City thought it was just a blip on the radar that would eventually go away.

Well, it wasn’t a blip, and it was Detroit that went away, instead, when the Japanese snuck quietly into the American car market with their little cars that were what the majority of buyers really wanted. Call them names if you must — we certainly did back in the late ’60s — but acknowledge that they took over the world of automobiles from the Big Three.

People will tell you that it was the gas crisis of 1973 that boosted Japan to the top. Well, I was there and that wasn’t it at all. The Japanese were already entrenched when the gas crisis hit. Sure, it put them over the top, but they were already poised to win before the gas stopped flowing.

The same thing exists right now with spring-piston airguns. Everyone, and I mean every single company who builds or imports spring-piston airguns today, will tell you that a gun HAS to go a thousand feet per second or they can’t sell it. That is the kind of reasoning that drives people like me to the Diana 27 air rifles and Hakims of the world. And I shoot airguns all the time. The folks in the airgun marketing departments play golf and fish and have lives outside of the airgun realm. To them, this is just a job — a paycheck.

Well, I see ways of making that paycheck bigger and fatter than ever, and nobody’s paying attention The Bronco is just one such gun. This industry is starved for more like it. But until we learn the hard way that monster vibration machines are not what the world needs more of, the status quo will remain.

94 thoughts on “Chinese KL-3B Fast Deer sidelever: Part 3

  1. I’m impressed by the accuracy. That group of hobbies is impressive.

    Regarding the rant all I can say is…..Amen. Amen and Amen.

    The praises about the R7/HW30 occur weekly on multiple forums but these accolades seem to fall on deaf ears in the current discount manufacturers marketeers. Before being hired in an airgun marketing department you should not only have a marketing degree but you should also have some experience in shooting airguns. I wouldn’t hire you unless shooting airguns was one of your hobbies and would prefer it if it was one of your passions.

    kevin


  2. The groups were impressive for being shot with iron sight.

    There are two issues with magnum springers:
    1) They are hard to shoot, which unless mastered (over a long period), result in poor accuracy.
    2) They aren’t legal to shoot in your backyard in most areas. A typical velocity limit is 600 fps.

    A newbie can easily find him/herself frustrated because of inaccuracy, even if the rifle is very accurate. They just don’t always know where to go for help, so they don’t know what they are doing.
    I personally prefer to find a rifle that is both accurate and powerful enough to shoot out to between 25 and 50 yards. But most rifles, especially .177 caliber, need to stay within 25 yards.

    In any case, newbies would do better to start with something more tame, where accuracy is more easily realizable.

    Victor


    • “I personally prefer to find a rifle that is both accurate and powerful enough to shoot out to between 25 and 50 yards.”

      This echoes my sentiments exactly. When I am shooting indoors, 10-yards is fine, but when I am outdoors and have targets at 10, 25, and 50 yards, the 10-yard target NEVER gets used. I am looking for that “accurate and powerful” gun right now. Let’s face it, having to hold over 4′ with a 600fps springer with open sights is NOT going to yield accurate results. My TF87 is great at 50 yards (3″ group unrested with open sights and cheap pellets), but I would like something a bit lighter for plinking at that range. The rumored chinese Paradigm is that gun of my dreams, but until it becomes a reality I have to keep looking.

      Does a fast and light springer that is also accurate out to 50 yardseven exist under $200? Or am I one of those new airgunners stuck in the power race, and 500-600 fps (thinking Stoeger X5, XS-B12, Gamo Recon, Crosman Raven, Ruger Explorer, HW30, Bronco, R7, etc) is all I really need for plinking at 50 yards?


      • Part of the problem you will find is that those slower velocities translate to big parabolic (ignoring air drag) trajectories. So… You can (second) zero for 50 yards and maybe have (first) zero around 30 yards… But nothing in between will be near the point of aim.

        Actually, it is worse than that…

        ChairGun Pro, starting with my Gamo NRA 1000 but dropping the velocity to 600fps and setting zero at 50 yards gives:

        Point-blank range (+/- 0.5 inch from line of sight) is 2.6-5.3 yards, and 49.1-51.0 yards. At 30 yards, the pellet is 5 inches above the line of sight.

        In contrast, using the unmodified data of 850fps and 33 yard zero:

        Point-blank range is 7.6 to 37.4 yards.


      • jmdavis984,

        That’s exactly how I use my targets out in the field. I rarely go to my 10 yard target, except to sight-in a rifle that I haven’t shot in awhile. I prefer to shoot between 25 and 50 yards.

        Victor


  3. What good is 500+FPE if you can’t hit what you are shooting at!

    A college degree is not an indicator of intelligence.

    The modern business model is all about the numbers. Quality is not a consideration. Hype it and sell as many as you can as quickly as possible as cheaply as possible. So what if they do not buy any more. I will shown that I am a successful marketeer and moved on to a higher position at another corporation on my way to CEO.

    Speaking of cheap, when are you going to test that cheap Chinese copy of the TX200 that Crosman is importing or have you done so and I just do not recall such?


    • RR,

      You must have missed my mention that Crosman seems to have dropped that rifle. They won’t be bringing it in.

      There was a fine one sold at Roanoke for $200 this year.

      B.B.


      • My guess is the market is relatively small for the B40 knockoff, its not for the box store plinker. When marketing suggested a price of north of $300 and the target market of enthusiasts responded vehemently on-line. Well its just not a going to work. Perhaps Mike in Iowa can start getting B40’s again if Crosman has lost interest?


    • RR,
      Check out the XS46U which PA sells under the Browning name. Looks like a clone of the Diana RWS 46 which was made to go head to head with the TX200. B.B. did this comparison back in Oct 2005 and gave the RWS 46 a good review.
      Pete




  4. To Kevin’s Amen, I will add a “hallelujah”, and a “can I get a witness?”

    It is understandable that a typical new airgunner can’t understand, much less justify spending the money it takes to buy an R7 or HW30.

    Soon after getting into airgunning, I saw the horsepower contests and decided I needed to do some research. I also do the same thing before voting, but what the hell, I guess I am an anomaly.

    My research told me two things. First, just about everybody lies about fps, even the venerable Dr. Beeman. The R7 doesn’t go faster than the HW30 just because the stock is different. Secondly, horsepower isn’t everything. I would rather have a small, light car that handles well and gets decent gas mileage. I have no use for a gas hog that goes like a bat out of hell, but only in a straight line. That isn’t fun for me. And so it is with airguns, I like them small and easy to handle.

    There was recently a discussion among the comments on this blog regarding accuracy vs. power. No one was wrong in this discussion, because like I have said many times, different smokes for different folks. BUT if I may add my opinion… missing a target isn’t fun. No matter how big or small the target may be. The more accurate a rifle, the better a tool it becomes, and more fun. And slower is sometimes better. Anyone ever notice how you can accurately shoot a beer can with a high powered gun, and the pellet goes through and through, and the can doesn’t move, to the point where you think you missed? The only remedy is to fill the can with water… but, hit the same can with a slower moving pellet, and the thing jumps into the air with a jolt that brings a smile to everyone’s face?

    Which brings me to the CZ springers. Be it a Slavia 601 or a 604, they are low to medium powered springers that will send your target flying if you do your part. They are nice little accurate airguns. Too bad PA doesn’t carry them. (Hint, hint)

    IMHO, manufacturers of airguns in America (Crossman) need to follow Honda’s lead from the ’70s and offer the public what it needs instead of what their inept Marketing departments say people want. A gun, made in America of wood and steel, that puts accuracy ahead of speed. It just might just fill their pockets with dough.

    But then again, what do I know?


  5. I hope you will at least let us know how the rifle shoots after you get it worked over…I got my FD out of the rack and gave it a clean and lube (it needed it) after the first post. Made a world of difference.

    There are a number of low powered rifles out on the market, many are not good shooters but if one looks and does some research………


  6. Victor…
    Dodging todays’ topic for a while…I could write a book….

    The answer to the 5/10 shot group question I posted a few days ago….#2 is the “tenfer”.

    I was having trouble getting a good group with domed pellets from the same rifle. Yesterday I oiled up some Exact RS and tried again. First five or six shot a crummy group (just like dry pellets). Started another group and went to 10 and got .09″. Measuring to the outmost extremes of any oil or lead marks then subtracting .177″. The group was probably a bit larger than it looked because of the way domed pellets make holes. But was easily half of what I was getting with dry pellets.

    twotalon



      • I tried a wax lube (light application) to some pellets to try in one of my R9s. No detonations, but the rifle didn’t like it. It also did not like being cleaned with Ballistol. I mean REALLY did not like it.

        So far, I have found that no lube is usually best in springers, and oil lube (done lightly) is best in PCPs.
        Also, be darned careful of what you get in the bore. It really changes the nature of a springer.

        Let the rifle tell you what it likes, and don’t just shoot a five shot group with each differently prepared pellet. It can take quite a few shots to stabilize. Even when switching between different kinds of dry pellets.

        Something interesting …..dry pellets….and probably lubed pellets too…
        Sometimes you can switch from pellet “A” to pellet “B” and there will be no need to condition the bore. The groups will be stable.
        BUT then….
        If you switch from pellet “B” to pellet “C” you WILL need to take some shots to get the groups stabel. Then you will have to shoot some more if you switch back to pellet “A”.

        Always be careful that you don’t waste pellets fooling yourself.

        twotalon
        twotalon


    • TwoTalon,

      Thanks for answering that question. Very interesting that lubing made such a difference. I still haven’t tried lubing pellets. I normally get decent accuracy from most pellets, but since I’m just getting back into shooting, I’m finding that the bigger issue is me. I’m re-learning what I already know, if that makes any sense. Basically, when I encounter an issue, I have to remember what the solution was. Conquering my own problems actually makes this whole thing kind of fun and interesting.

      Victor


  7. B.B.,

    Always a nice surprise when an inexpensive gun is accurate.

    Regarding your rant, I could not agree more. While I do enjoy my R1 and Patriot, I also like shooting a Diana 25 in .22 caliber. It is almost impossible to find a low-power .22 springer these days (at least, in the USA.) Pyramyd Air did sell the Norica 56 in .22 and I have one but it is nowhere as nice shooting as the Diana. My guess is that there is not much of a price difference in the materials and labor so why not produce the higher powered gun and charge more?

    Paul in Liberty County


  8. Many people buying their first air rifle listen to the hype for speed—speed—speed. Then, they wonder why they can’t hit anything. I have seen it with some friends.

    Mike


  9. Some of those old bottom-feeder Chinese guns were actually pretty good. Your accuracy results remind me of “Pointy”, the old EMEI TS45 I tested some time ago. I got less than 1/4″ at 10 meters with RWS Basic pellets, but that was only 5 shots.

    Now we know why they were so popular for a few years. Not sure why they came and went, though, while the inferior B3 seemed to have a lot more staying power. They sold for less than $30, as I recall. I should have bought a hundred of them!


  10. This is probably a reaaalllly stupid question, but if I understand this right the trouble with being accurate with a springer is that the spring is bouncing around before the pellet leaves the barrel. Hence the need for the artillery hold. How is a lower-powered gun more accurate? A slower moving pellet remains in the barrel longer right?



    • dangerdongle,

      This is one of those thing you don’t want to overthink. Lower-powered spring guns are just easier to shoot accurately — they just are.

      Maybe it’s vibration. I think it is. But maybe it’s many things — only some of which we know.

      The bottom line is — they are easier to shoot accurately.

      B.B.



        • RobT,

          I’m thinking about writing a blog titled, “How hard is it to make a good springer?” So I would sure like to hear the results of your detuning.

          B.B.


          • B.B.,
            Well I’ve done all the usual things: De-burring, polishing contact surfaces, and a little smear of moly paste on the piston head and tail. I put a little tar-like substance on the spring, too…Actually it was a waxy automotive rust preventer rather than actual heavy spring tar, but the effect seems the same.

            The tophat was removed and the spring ends polished. The rear spring spacer was cut down to 7/16″ long, and machine bushings were stacked under it by experiment until I had put back just a little pre-load on the spring. Without the bushings, there was zero preload, but the spring was not loose. The FPE was running 6-7 FPE at the muzzle depending on the pellets. I put the machine bushings on to give about 40% of the factory pre-load, and am now shooting 9-10 FPE.

            I’m no expert, and this is all experimental so I cannot make any recommendations, but it seems to be shooting fine and much less hold sensitive than before the lube/polish tune, and even better since I reduced power to what I consider to be a low, but still acceptable, hunting level. Mostly this is a plinker though.

            RobT



              • Sure thing.
                It shoots best groups about 3/8″ at 20 yards with AccuPell branded (same as Crosman Premier, I believe) 7.9 gr domed, with just the front hand sandwiched between a sandbag and the front of the forestock, the gun held just barely tight enough to hold point of aim. If I move my front hand back to the trigger area, and grip down fairly tightly all over, POI only shifts up about 1/2″ at that range and the groups open just slightly. Very, very forgiving springer.

                I may have to give that Bronco a try, now that I’ve seen what can be done. I wouldn’t trade my Diana 350 Magnum for anything, but it’s worlds apart to shoot these lighter duty rifles by comparison.

                RobT


  11. Well, this generation is not the first to fall for the speed race. When the FWB 124 came out we wanted it because of how fast it shot. Then the R1 eclipsed the FWB 124 and everyone wanted one. This generation is just doing what we did, want the fastest and bestest gun on the planet. Gamo has just provided what people wanted and it is easier for Crosman and others to follow suit than to educate the public. Like you said in one of your post about people at the airgun show, it doesn’t really do any good to try to talk them out of it.

    To me, the rifle that should be sold here in the USA is the Slavia 634. They are very accurate 700 fps guns. All we need is for someone to import them. How about it Pyramyd ?????.

    David Enoch



    • David,

      BC Guidry on AA Classifieds has CZ 631’s and 634’s new in box. Sometimes for $250, sometimes on sale for $195. He has seals also. He only deals with USPS MO’s and I think that scares somme people off, but I got mine pretty quick. I got a 634 from him a while back and it’s pretty buzzy and needs work to get it up to snuff (read, trigger work, full tune, etc), and regular scope mounts are too large. Other than that, it fits well, is light, and is easy to shoot. Mine is not super accurate, but I’m still working on that…

      /Dave


  12. My first springer was a Beeman C1. Although the rifle was powerful and accurate, it was hard to shoot well because of its harsh shot cycle, notwithstanding the artillery hold. When the time for spring replacement finally arrived, I had the tuner install a spring that got the C1 shooting JSB Exact .177 pellets at around 670 fps. The C1 became more pleasant and easier to shoot, and I didn’t miss the muzzle velocity from being “detuned”.

    As far as the R7 goes, pricing will always be an issue if only due to the import process and exchange rate fluctuations. Having said that, I question why people don’t view the such a purchase as a lifetime investment? The C1 seemed expensive when I got it. That was almost 25 years ago. I’m certain I got my money’s worth.

    Practicing what I preach, I recently purchased an R7. I will own it for the rest of my life, just like my C1. I’m only sorry I waited so long. It shoots like a PCP, the scope hairs hardly move off the target when the shot is released, recoil is that mild. When I want power and accuracy, I turn to my S410 or TSS.

    Finally, removing a spent pellet shot at 500 fps from a duct seal silent trap is a lot easier than digging out pellets shot at higher velocities that penetrated deeper and fragment. Sometimes less is more.


  13. I noticed the ‘doomsday bugout bag’ there on the pyramyd (no offense to whoever slapped it together but its not actually a bugout bag) but what caught my eye was the airgun. I haven’t seen that model before, a .22-version of th 1377 it appears.

    Whats the story behind the gun?


    • Guest,

      Crosman retains certain proven models and introduces them after several years off the market. The 1322 is one, as is the 2260 and its .177 sibling, the 1760.

      Besides that, did you have a bigger question?

      B.B.


  14. Right on BB! It can be that overpowered gun=horrible inaccuracy. That was the problem (bar anything else) of the Hatsan rifles you tested recently. The irony is that here in the UK with eh 12fpe limit (unless you get a firearms certificate) we tend to see all these rifles at much lower power levels and in some cases a better chance to assess their accuracy.


    • I’m glad that we don’t have power limits”Only Michgan and Ill. consider anything over .177 a fire arm
      I like power and buy the latest but I will buy a lower power just for target.
      I read that only in Wales can you order on line,all other sales are face to face”Just like my old state of New Jersey where everything from a sling shot to a real gun is overly regulated all guns from air soft
      to pellet guns are firearms.Don’t think only the UK is tough. I can see little by little the anti’s are
      coming for us.I know Canada,Austrailia,New Zealand,Uk are all strict and Europe too so there are few places left,I bet even in The south pole they have laws.
      When I got the chance I left New Jersey for a free state like Florida,but where can you go in the UK ?
      I have a lot of British guns”Webleys and Bsa’s IE; The Scorpian which was asked by the goverment
      to stop making them because of their power.I came across two brand new BSA Scorpian’s one in .22 and .177 with all of the extras,like bell target oiler,scope mount and sample pellets.I also foud
      in the box the laws of the UK which at the time I could not believe and that was twenty five years ago.Now it is even worse . Thank God we have the constution with our rights insured in most states
      { All because General Howe ordered the Boston area settlers to turn their guns in to the Armory
      and the revolution started and they put the Second Amendment in.So good luck,I don’t forsee any change in the Uk’s laws and I see a bleak out look here eventually.No new jersey Mike


  15. Perhaps the biggest criteria for a successful marketing department and leader is a passion for your product. If it’s just a job, then your results will be mediocre. I think back to Lee Iacocca and Chrysler. The company was going downhill fast, following American Motors who had released almost their entire design and engineering department and was bringing out the same old, tired unreliable pieces of crap with new sheet metal. Iacocca, not an engineer but with a passion for cars, brought back Chrylser to a competitive edge with a reliable product as good or better, back then, as the garbage GM was foisting on the public. Too bad they agreed to a sellout with Mercedes who drove them back to their knees.

    With Crosman and Daisy and other airgun mfgs., if their marketing department gurus don’t have a passion for their products, they just won’t bring out the products that the public wants or that they know will fulfill part of the market’s desires. You just can’t be one dimensional in appealing to one portion of the market that are not enthusiasts or knowledgeable. That market can disappear quickly when another novelty item grabs their attention and the enthusiasts are still left as your customers but now with nothing to buy from that mfg.

    As for the Japanese, yes they supplied a product that was un-contested by Detroit but more than that, all of a sudden people realized that you could buy a car that would last longer than 5 years – whose heater cores wouldn’t rust out, whose window regulators would last, whose alternators and power steering pumps would last 80-90,000 miles instead of 45,000 miles, that didn’t burn oil after 100,000 miles and so on. I don’t know about other parts of the country but when I walk through a parking lot here in NJ, the American made car is a rarety. Sometimes I’m the only Ford amongst a herd of Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans!

    Slinging Lead, where ya been? We all missed you. Hope all is well. Good news – power trucks on my block. Maybe power by the end of day!

    Fred DPRoNJ



    • FredDPRoNJ, well it sounds like you’re one of the best equipped people in NJ. Your description reminds me of Blofeld, the Bond villain who can run everything from his chair.

      Nice try with the old shower ploy. The Robber Baron in you was making an appearance. Maybe that’s why they have all those communal baths way up north in Scandanavia. They just dispensed with the awkwardness once and for all.

      Matt61



    • Hi Gene,

      nice to hear from you. Sorry you folks decided not to travel to Roanoke again this year. On the plus side, your absence did save me some money!

      Fred DPRoNJ


  16. Here is a video showing the Benjamen Marauder (.25 cal) accuracy at 100 yards. He is using JSB .25 Exact King pellets. In an earlier video showing 50 yard accuracy the Benjamen .25 pellets came in a close second. It is the discussion of speed and accuracy that leads me to post this. We can add some increased terminal FPE (is that the correct way to say it?) to the mix. I realize the .25 is not going to be used much for plinking but I like knowing that Crosman has produced this air rifle at a very competitive price.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNTepTqFRpk&list=UUNqIq439XbEIeJhFJca2J-g&index=3&feature=plcp

    ~Ken


    • Wow, fascinating clip for a number of reasons. It confirms the Marauder as one of my very favorites. It has also solved the problem of showing video through the scope itself. I can’t imagine how he does it unless he has some unit that is small enough that he can attach it to the end of the scope and look through it. The guy needs to sight in his rifle, unless he was purposely trying to keep his aimpoint intact. Very interesting.

      Matt61


      • Matt, I have seen video of Ted using the video camera attached to the scope. He was looking at a picture just as we do when looking at the small digital camera screen. I have seen a video or two where he was unable to attach the camera.

        I am sure he was more interested in holding a group than he was concerned about hitting the center. He had tested the .25 Marauder at 50 yards, but this was the first attempt at 100 yards.

        ~Ken


  17. I know that all stated velocities on air-rifle boxes that you see in stores are off by 200 to 300 fps. That’s a given, once you use a pellet starting at something like 7.9 grains, like a Crosman Premier hollow-point. If you buy one of the Rugers, like the Air Hawk, or Air Hawk Elite, which require heavier pellets like the 10.5 grain premiers, then you’re really bringing the velocity down even further.

    Getting a “powerful” springer that shoots too close to the speed of sound is not good, but hardly any of these rifles will do this with heavier lead pellets, so we’re usually safe in this area. The real issue with a lot of these more powerful air-rifles is their harshness. Even if you bring the velocity down, they’re still going to be very hold-sensitive. “Hold-sensitive” means a lot of things, but the bottom line is that the artillery-hold is not enough. You also have to find just the right spot to rest the rifle. An inch or two off in either direction from this “sweet spot”, and your groups will open up significantly.

    So velocity alone is not the answer. A good air-gun is any air-gun that is not too hold sensitive.

    Victor


    • Victor,

      I wasn’t talking about velocity, but the harsh shooting behavior that accompanies it. Unless the gun is a TX200, a high velocity almost always brings a lot of vibration and harsh recoil. That’s what causes havoc with accuracy. As we saw in the “Pellet velocity versus accuracy test”, velocity is really not a problem.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        I agree. From my limited experience, I’ve learned that even the less expensive rifles are accurate, but they require a lot of practice to figure out the required secrets or tricks.

        Victor


    • Victor, thanks to Kenholmz, we have video through the scope in real time as a guy is shooting and fairly well too.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNTepTqFRpk&list=UUNqIq439XbEIeJhFJca2J-g&index=3&feature=plcp

      What a teaching opportunity. So is this what you see through your scope? I might fault him a little bit for what looks like lack of follow through but that may be a perception on my part. But this does raise a question about shooting rested/prone. The advantage of this position is supposed to be the rock solid stability where it is possible to hold the rifle absolutely still. And I know that the orthodox method is just to hold on target and keep adding pressure on the trigger until you get a surprise break. But the trouble with this, for me, is that without any movement of the reticle you lose cues to the shot cycle, and it’s hard to do everything exactly the same. While waiting for the shot to break, I’m wondering if I’m taking too long, if the rifle is really that steady, whether I’m really increasing the pressure steadily on the trigger. What I do now is just adapt my same method for benchrest which I use for sitting and offhand, reasoning that my results will be better just be virtue of the more stable position. The technique is to approach the target in the same way, hold steady, press and follow through. So there is movement here unlike the orthodox rested technique. I’m still improving, but I know that this method flies in the face of the standard. If I plateau, I might think of switching.

      Matt61


      • Matt61,

        Funny that you and Ken would bring this up! I was just thinking about how nice it would be so have a camera that allowed one to see things through the eye of the shooter. In fact, today I went out shooting with a friend, and we were talking about fine adjustments that are made to refine or maintain one’s Natural point of aim. With sprint-piston air-rifles, you lose your position each time you cock the rifle, so you need to do some refinement with each shot. This is doable, provided you don’t change how you’re sitting, or your shooting rest/bag, between shots.

        There are somethings that I do out of habit, like making pulling the right side of my shirt/jacket tight (towards the center) and raising my right shoulder so that I can consistently find where to place the butt-plate. Elbow and hand placement need to be consistent also. I want just enough force on my trigger hand to give me good trigger control. When I get into position to shoot, convinced that everything perfect, I relax a bit (especially my right hand), to double check that the rifle doesn’t drift. A final adjustment is with my breath. Once I’m locked in, everything is good with respect to the horizontal, but the vertical alignment moves with my breath. I now just need to find just the right point to hold my breath such that vertical alignment is perfect. You want to be sure that you are not tense while holding your position. If you find that relaxing causes your shoulders to drop, then you will also likely drop your aim if you don’t follow-through.

        Regarding firm positions, like prone. With sprinter’s you can’t be too firm. With firearms you can hold the rifle more firmly, but even then you are better off being a bit relaxed. The less muscle you use the better.

        In the end, it takes lots of practice to find real consistency. I also find that experimentation is necessary when moving from one gun to another. With some springer’s, there’s some little trick to mastering them. A common example might be a “sweet spot” that a particular rifle likes as a place to be rested. But the biggest issue for me is faithfully executing the basic fundamentals, and in particular the Cardinal Rule, “getting the gun to go off without disturbing sight alignment” and follow-through. If you can ignore your wobble, and just do these basic things for a string of shots (say 10 to 40 shots), no matter how good your score or how tight your groups, then you’ve accomplished something.

        That “dreaded resolve”, as Chucks puts it, makes it hard to complete this cardinal rule of shooting. Sometimes we just want to get the shot over with, to Hell with doing it right. Sometimes we lose it because we are impatient with our trigger control, or sometimes we try to catch the shot during our motion, not seeing if our sights were aligned throughout the trigger squeeze. It’s tough, and some guns are just that much tougher to get to behave.

        Victor


  18. I think air guns are headed in the right direction with nitro pistons, or IGT, where I believe the gun is more forgiving in the hold. We still need to keep a lower fps just to make the pellet fly more stable. One day maybe BB can give us less experienced shooters a break down on the different barrels and benefits and faults of them.


  19. Hello all, This is my first time blogging and I have a question. Hope it’s not in the wrong area. I want to get my two older sons quality air rifles for christmas and can’t decide. I’ve narrowed it down to the tx200hc and the hw97K. I was going to get one for each, but I don’t want one to get a lesser gun. I have no way to hold or shoot either one, so my decision will have to be from info I can get. The guns will be used mostly for target/plinking, pests and occasionally squirrels in that order of most usage. I want to get something that can be handed down to their kids. I really didn’t want to get the exact same package for each son, so as to make the gift more personal to each. Anyone with experience with both guns would be much appreciated.





        • You interested in adoption?
          I’m a little bit older but would LOVE a TX200 for Christmas and my birthday is very close to the 25th so it could count has a gift for both! LOL

          Geez I should make my wife read this sometimes… sweetie a TX200 would make an awesome gift!

          The only airgun I got for Christmas was a Marksman 1010 many years ago… all the others were from me to me 😉

          J-F


          • If it’s airguns-only, you aren’t alone…

            Daisy m25 when I was in 6th grade (and only after I’d surprised my father: he’d shown me the Daisy something* he’d bought for my younger brother; when I proved I could cock it^ he spent the next two weeks before Christmas looking for another airgun to give me). Next three are firearms: Marlin Glenfield 60c in 7th grade, Remington 870 Wingmaster/skeet model in 9th/10th, and an Iver Johnson marked .30 M-1 Carbine [All three were my suggestions, the 870 was Birthday, rest were Christmas]

            * one of the “Spittin’ Image” series — look-alike for a .22 rimfire model
            ^ while older, I was always considered the wimp; my brother was the muscle — I didn’t get a bicycle until proving I could ride the one my brother received…


    • corsair45,

      I have a strong opinion about this and I would get both boys a TX200 in .177 caliber. I have owned and tested several HW97s, a couple HW77s and two TX200s. I have never seen an HW gun that equalled the TX200 for finish, smoothness or interior design.

      The TX does so much more with its powerplant than the HW does, and I like Weihrauch very much! I wrote a book about the R1.

      But at the end of the day, I feel that nothing on the market holds a candle to the TX200. The trigger is more adjustable, the powerplant generates greater power with less effort and the accuracy is the best you’ll get in a spring-air rifle.

      As I said, I have owned them all and tested even more of them and I would choose the TX200.

      B.B.


      • Thanks so much B.B. for your opinion. Do you have any thoughts on the hc version over the standard? I have read alot of reviews and some are saying they like the balance of the hc better. Any downside to it other than cocking effort?


        • corsair45,

          I absolutely do! I have tested the TX200 Hunter Carbine (what the HC stands for) twice and both times found it lacking. The barrel is shorter, which makes the underlever shorter, as well. That increases the force needed to cock the rifle considerably. Where the TX200 cocks with relative ease, the Hunter Carbine is a bear! I don’t recommend it.

          The Hunter Carbine also has a much stiffer firing cycle — probably because of the shorter barrel. It shoots with a jarring feel compared to the smooth discharge of the standard TX200.

          B.B.



        • Vince,

          Not easily. A rear peep would be possible, but not good because of a longer than desirable eye relief, but the front sight would require careful drilling and tapping.

          B.B.


          • B.B.,

            Normally, you can apply a “barrel band front sight”, but because it’s an under-lever, things get more complicated. What would be needed, if you didn’t want to drill holes, is something like the adapter for the 397’s that allow you to add a scope. Maybe someone should create such an adapter for the TX-200’s and other under-levers?

            Victor


      • B.B., you just keep making my decision easier. I think it will be two tx200mIII’s, .177, walnut stock. Now for a reasonably priced scope, preferably with side parallel adjustment and variable power.


        • corsair45,

          If you want the very best, I recommend the Hawke 4.5-14X42 Sidweinder Tactical. I find this scope so good that I have ot returned it to Pyramyd Air after two years of heavy use. I need the best scope to test some airguns and in my opinion, this is it.’

          https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Hawke_Sport_Optics_4_5_14x42_AO_Sidewinder_Tactical_Rifle_Scope_Illuminated_Half_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_4_MOA_30mm_Tube/3352

          Now, for a lot less money, Leapers makes a fine scope with sidewinding parallax adjustment.

          /s/a/UTG_3_12x44_AO_SWAT_Accushot_Rifle_Scope_EZ_TAP_Illuminated_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_4_MOA_30mm_Tube_See_Thru_Weaver_Rings/3493

          You must buy a set of rings for this scope, as it comes with Weaver rings that do not attach to the TX200, but the price is so low that’s still a bargain.

          B.B.


          • I am leaning towards the leaper 3×12. Now the question is will it be the standard size, compact, or compact with the etched glass reticule? Every decision adds more decisions (haha). I guess thats half the fun. I was reading reviews though and someone said he needed the compact size and tall rings for his tx200 because of the loading port. I really like the thought of the etched glass reticule, but have 0 experience with one. Any help would be great.



            • corsair45,

              I have the old Leapers 8-32×56 with an etched glass reticle, and that reticle is very nice. It compares very well with a bunch of high-dollar optics I’ve sampled.

              Also, IF you give a dang about any reticle illumination features, the etched reticles work much, much better with illumination. FWIW, unlike the majority of illumination systems I’ve seen where the illumination is too bright at any setting and often causes glare in the tube, my Leapers etched reticle is actually usable with its illumination! I use it like 0.5% of the time, but it actually enhances a shot here and there.

              -Jan


      • B.B.,

        Since they want to use these air-rifles for various purposes, why not get them in each caliber? That way they are different, and yet provide a wider range of use. Just a thought.

        Victor



          • B.B.,

            Understood, and I know that the TX 200’s accuracy and smoothness are legendary, but I was considering the fact that pest control, including squirrels, might better warrant a .22 caliber version. If the .177 caliber will do for their pest control needs, then I agree. I’m an accuracy nut myself, so I’d always choose that option first. But if a .22 caliber is required, and I could have access to both calibers, then I’d opt for both.

            Victor



            • Matt61,

              You and B.B. are both correct. I was hoping to have each rifle a little distinctive for each son but, not at the cost of accuracy or ease of learning to shoot a springer well. I had thought of two calibers as Victor suggested, but in all reality, the .177 will do 99% of what they will be shooting at. My main concern was that one gun would be noticably more accurate or easier to learn with. I will take B.B.’s advice on this one. The fact that both can have a walnut stock now is a bonus. Bad thing is I’m a lefty and they’re not. Dang.



              • corsair45,

                I’ve been following your thread with great interest.

                Although I’m probably your age I would greatly appreciate it if you would seriously consider adopting me. 😉

                Your boys will have a great start in the quickly expanding world of airguns if they receive TX200″s from you. Terrific heirlooms that can be passed down for generations. You’re on the cusp of a legacy.

                Hope you’ll come back an give a follow up report after they have each broken in their guns.

                ps-years ago I restored a 22′ 1947 Chris Craft Utility including a 3M 5200 bottom.

                kevin


  20. With one of the smallest airgun ranges of all at around 5 yards, I agree with the rant for sure. I think the short distance plays to the intrinsic strengths of the airgun. But I have to admit that my most accurate gun is the B30 with about 900fps. In part this may be because I shoot it standing where the recoil is less significant than from a bench–although the weight of this gun is a disadvantage for offhand.

    I have to come clean about something. In spite of great advice for resealing my Daisy 747, I had quietly decided to send it to PA–partly because of the time constraints I’m under. But lo and behold, PA considers this an “old gun” and doesn’t work on them anymore! Wow, the airgun world has passed me by. They recommended Bryan and Associates who have been very nice over email. They will do the work but also told me about a resealing kit they offer. This sounds doable. Besides, I feel a bit guilty for not doing my Mosin trigger job even though I feel sure I could do it after watching the video. But there’s a new wrinkle. My contact says that the kit requires screwdrivers and a pin punch. I’m fixed for the screwdrivers, but what’s there to know about a punch? That’s all he said. Is there some standard size I should look for?

    Matt61


  21. I agree that the milder springers are usually easier to shoot, and I’m happy to see you give a Chinese rifle its due :)! In my limited experience, most anything with a halfway decent rifled barrel and the right projectile can be made to shoot, but the confidence of the shooter in his rifle has a lot to do with how well it performs. That may be one reason the people with tuned HW’s have such good results :)!

    As for harsh vibration monsters, however, the 1000fps rifles don’t have to be bad. The Ruger Blackhawk was wonderful out of the box. The D34 was near abysmal for several hundred pellets, but it is a good plinker now that things are worn in and (I suspect) the spring has kinked just enough to damp vibration. After the Blackhawk experience (which didn’t end well, but showed me what was possible), I don’t see why any 1000fps springer should be either harsh or hard to shoot, as it gave me excellent groups at 10 meters. Since we can’t talk everyone into being reasonable, maybe the manufacturers should be encouraged and rewarded for producing “1000fps” rifles that are easy to shoot. If Diana took a cue from Ruger and added the articulated cocking link and maybe a sleeve, the 34 would be hard to beat if it wasn’t so rough out of the box — I doubt most “airgunners” (not known for their patience or perserverance) endure to experience it at its best. And perhaps Pyramyd could import (or talk Umarex into importing) some of the other Diana rifles, such as 280 (or 240 if they still have it)with tO6, which on paper would appear to be a very pleasant rifle. Alternately, they could offer slightly detuned versions of known good quality rifles. And of course, there is always the Bronco, although I still haven’t embraced the aesthetic employed on the stock in terms of color and toe-line.


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