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Education / Training B.B. looks at gas springs

B.B. looks at gas springs

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

This report covers:

• What to call them
• Can gas be a spring?
• Confusion reigned supreme
• We bought one
• Meet Ben Taylor
• It worked!
• Ft. Worth airgun show

What to call them
Today, I want to tell you about the saga I had when I got into gas-spring airguns. Let’s start with the name. Some folks call them gas struts, while others call them gas rams. Some, like Crosman and Gamo, use trademarked names like Nitro Piston and Inert Gas Technology to name their gas springs. But the industry that makes the units calls them gas springs.

They’re called struts when used in assemblies, like the MacPherson strut in a car’s suspension or the suspension strut on an airplane’s landing gear. I don’t know where the term “ram” comes from, but I’m sure there’s a reason people use it.

Can gas be a spring?
Boy, does this terminology ever throw some people! They cannot accept the idea of gas being a spring, because they know that the gas has to be contained inside something before it can work in that manner. So they object to calling these units “springs.”

A gas-spring unit is a cylinder-like device with two halves that slide in and out. Inside the spring, compressed air or sometimes another gas such as nitrogen is permanently contained. When the two halves slide together, they compress the gas inside and raise the pressure. That causes the two halves to spring apart with force. Inexpensive gas springs are used in many places where coiled steel springs used to be. They’re cheaper to make and can last far longer without degrading — depending on how they’re made.

When I started writing about airguns in 1994, gas springs were just coming into the picture. Theoben, an airgun company in the United Kingdom, was an early leader in the field of gas-spring airguns. There was also a factory in Argentina making them, though their distribution base was smaller. I didn’t find out about them until the late ’90s.

Theoben was founded by co-owners, Dave THEObald and BEN Taylor. I mention that because of what happened to me later, when Ben Taylor talked to me at the SHOT Show.

Confusion reigned supreme
In the early days, the British airgun magazines were loaded with articles about Theobens! Americans were importing them privately at first, then Air Rifle Specialists out of New York state began importing them. Davis Schwesinger was the owner of that company. A few years later, the Beeman company stepped in with their Crow Magnum, which was a Theoben Eliminator in a slightly different stock. After that, Theobens were in the U.S. to stay.

I was writing about airguns by this time, so I chanced to encounter these guns from time to time. My first encounter was not with the powerful Eliminator/Crow Magnum, but with the lowest-powered Theoben ever made, the thoroughly delightful Fenman. Someone had one and allowed me to shoot it at a silhouette shoot in Virginia. I was amazed at how accurate the little rifle was. I was hitting rams at 45 yards offhand, which is way beyond my normal ability. But the rifle was accurate, lightweight, attractive and easy to cock for a gas-spring gun. I say it that way because, even though it produced just 12 foot-pounds, the Fenman cocked with about 40 lbs. of effort. That was mostly due to its short barrel. If you’re interested in my experiences with a Fenman you can read about it here.

We bought one
I decided that I needed to get on the gas spring bandwagon if I was going to write about airguns with any authority. So, Edith and I bought a brand-new Beeman Crow Magnum in .25 caliber. I bought the Beeman because of the name. I figured they would back up the gun no matter what happened. I bought the .25-caliber only because they didn’t offer one in .26. I wanted the biggest, baddest spring-piston air rifle in the world, and the Crow Magnum/Eliminator was it at the time. Well, yes, there was also the equally powerful handmade Whiscombe, but they were out of my price range at the time.

Beeman Crow Magnum
We bought a Beeman Crow Magnum in .25 caliber to test it. What we found was not popular!

I began testing the rifle for my Airgun Letter, and that was when the ship hit the sand! I was getting results that nobody else talked about, and my experiences were far different from those in print. For starters, I decided to shoot the big rifle 1,000 times to break it in. I shot at paper targets 10 meters away and fired 50 shots at each bull. Fifty were all the shots I could fire in one session, using both arms to cock the 60-lb. breakbarrel. And my groups were about two inches in diameter! Two inches at 10 meters! Oh, boy, did that ever get people talking!

Folks immediately started saying that I was doing things wrong and that surely this big rifle couldn’t be that difficult to cock. The Beeman company called and told me to let some of the air out of the gas spring, because Theobens had that ability and I had purchased the optional pump. So, I did. I let out enough air pressure to drop the cocking effort to 46 lbs., and the power stayed almost where it had been. It was easier to cock but still inaccurate.

Gas springTheoben guns had a screw that covered the access to their gas springs.

gas springRemove the screw and attach a hand pump to fill the gas spring. A narrow rod pressed in on the Schraeder valve to release pressure.

I had a visit from a Theoben owner who owned several of the guns. He came to my house, and we both shot our .25-caliber rifles at 10 meters, getting one-inch 5-shot groups! That made it real and no amount of talking could change it. Then, he told me that .25 was not the best caliber for the rifle. If I wanted it to shoot accurately, I needed to get a .20 caliber. Another reader of my newsletter loaned me his Eliminator that he said had been filled with pure nitrogen to reduce the cocking effort; but when I measured it, it still came to 45 lbs. And, it was no more accurate than my rifle.

I contacted Davis Schwesinger of Air Rifle Specialists, and he swapped my .25 barrel for a .20. While he had my gun, he went through it and found that my piston seal was okay. He said he did that because too many Theoben owners had over-pressurized their gas springs and burned up their piston seals. I reported all of this in The Airgun Letter, and the hate mail poured in! I kept trying to shoot good groups with the new .20-caliber barrel. While it was better than the .25, it was still unacceptable.

burned piston seal
This Theoben Eliminator seal was melted from the heat of excessive compression, caused by over-pressurizing the gas-piston unit. Davis Schwesinger replaced this seal (and many others) for customers who didn’t understand they were hurting their guns. This is not a seal from my rifle.

Meet Ben Taylor
Then, I went to the SHOT Show and met Ben Taylor. In fact, he sought me out. He told me that my experiences with his rifles were normal, and that the airgunning world had a distorted view of gas-spring technology. He first told me to clean my barrel. In those days I didn’t believe in cleaning airgun barrels, but Taylor told me to use J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound on a brass or bronze bore brush and to run it fully through the barrel 20 times in both directions. Does that sound familiar?

He also told me to shoot Crosman Premier pellets in my .20-caliber rifle and to lubricate them with a mixture he called Whiscombe Honey. He told me to make it with a mixture of STP Engine Oil Treatment (the real thick stuff) and a good gun oil such as Hoppes. Use equal parts of both by volume and stir them thoroughly. I mixed up a batch that I still use to this day. He told me that John Whiscombe had discovered this mixture worked great in his powerful rifles and that Theoben recommended it.

Taylor also cautioned me to not over-pressurize the gas spring in my gun. Of course, I already knew this, but he told me this was the No. 1 problem his guns had. Owners looking for the last foot per second were over-pressurizing their springs and actually reducing the power the guns put out! He said they refused to believe that more was not better. Those who didn’t own a chronograph were ruining their airguns. There’s a maximum pressure for the gas piston and going above it does not increase the piston’s speed. He said these owners turned their airguns into slide hammers that beat themselves apart to no advantage.

It worked!
I talked with Taylor for about a half hour. The man was completely honest with me, which was refreshing after the tidal wave of propaganda I’d been getting. I returned home, cleaned my barrel, set the gas spring at 45 lbs. and proceeded to shoot the first one-inch group ever at 40 yards. What do you know — the darned thing actually works when you do it right!

Since that time, I’ve shot dozens of different gas-spring airguns. RWS USA imported some that Theoben made especially for them, and I found them to be delightful when used correctly. Tom Gore of Vortek started manufacturing gas springs for various models of Weihrauchs, and I got to test them before anyone. I still have one of his units he made for my R1; and after 15 years, it still works like new.

The best modern gas-spring guns I have tested were the Gamo Whisper with a Vortek gas spring installed by Air Venturi. That gun cocked easily and had virtually no movement or vibration! It was a dream! But it didn’t last long in the market.

Crosman signed a deal with Vortek that got them into the gas-spring business. One of their early guns was called the Benjamin Legacy. I still have mine. It’s a .22 breakbarrel that produces just over 12 foot-pounds and has all the attributes I want to see in a breakbarrel rifle. It’s easy to cock and very accurate. There’s almost no recoil and zero vibration! They also produced a Benjamin Trail Reduced Velocity for a short time, but very few were ever sold. People want power!

Alas, I’m in the minority for wanting spring guns that are reasonable. Most shooters want raw power, which is where we are today. Companies are giving people what they think they want at the expense of hard cocking, poor accuracy and painful vibration. And that — my friends — is why I like the new Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 so much.

The Crosman management team that runs the company today wasn’t around during all those years of gas-spring growing pains when things didn’t work as advertised. Yet, miraculously, one of their young engineers has discovered how to make a gas spring rifle that has the benefits of the best of them, and still produces credible power. Not uncanny power, but usable power in an accurate rifle.

If you’re new to airgunning, you may still have to experience some of these hard lessons yourself. Sometimes, that’s the only way to learn. You want the ultimate in power, and you assume that the accuracy will come right along with it. Only after you’ve been slapped around a while and then shoot a real smooth airgun will you appreciate the difference that a good, smooth gun can make.

Here’s the last thing I’ll say on this subject. I’ve seen people switch  hundreds of times to using good airguns, and each time it’s wonderful. An airgunner who has been pursuing the power trail finally shoots a well-tuned spring rifle that’s easy to cock and dead calm. That experience blows him away, and a new airgunner is born! I enjoy watching this happen, and I hope that it happens to all of you some day.

Ft. Worth airgun show
The Texas airgun show is on Saturday, September 6.

All the registration information and hotel information is on the flier, plus the show hours and costs. The 4-H Club will cater food and drinks.

This show is stacking up to be the largest airgun show ever held! We already have the following vendors coming:

AirForce Airguns
Umarex USA
Hatsan USA
Dennis Quackenbush

The following companies say they will try to attend:

Scott Pilkington
Neal Stepp (International Shooters Service)

Besides these major dealers, American Airgunner television will have a film crew at the show and host Rossi Morreale has been invited. Steve Criner, star of television’s Dog Soldier and also appearing on American Airgunner, will attend. We’ve invited big bore hunter Eric Henderson and Jim Chapman, who writes for Predator Extreme magazine, and many other airgun personalities. AirForce Airguns is trying to bring Ton Jones of television’s Auction Hunters to the show, if his schedule permits. Ton is the guy who created the idea for the AirForce Escape survival rifle, as you will remember.

The gun club holding the event has several of their members bringing airguns to sell on a combined club table. These guys have been asking for this show for the past two years and should bring out some interesting old guns for the first time.

The following door prizes and raffle prizes have been donated:

AirForce CondorSS
Air Venturi Bronco
Hatsan AT44-10 Long QE
Walther LGV Master Ultra

Other prizes and giveaways not yet determined will be given out at this show.

I expect a very large turnout for this show. I anticipate new private dealers with airguns that haven’t been seen at other shows, and I know there will be some gun dealers who will be bringing their airguns to sell.

Even better, the crowd at this show will not just be the usual people who attend airgun shows. Yes, many of them will be there and even have tables, but I expect to see hundreds of airgunners who have never been to an airgun show before. Because there will be both vintage guns and brand new guns for sale at the same show, they’ll see the best airgun show ever.

The gun club will be active that day, so there will also be firearms on the ranges. Therefore, the club is allowing firearms to be displayed at the show. Naturally, all firearms and airguns must be unloaded when indoors and must be tied to prevent operation. No dry-firing will be permitted indoors.

Besides the show, the club is giving us two ranges for airguns to be tested and demonstrated. These are located approximately 50 yards from the buildings that house the show. Chapman and Henderson will host a big bore range and demonstrate the guns to the public.

You may have thought about attending an airgun show or even having a table at a show. This is the show to attend! It happens in just a single day and will be exciting, fast-paced and full of surprises.

Tables are now filling fast. If you want one, don’t delay. Send your reservation check today!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

122 thoughts on “B.B. looks at gas springs”

  1. Ft. Worth is just a bit too far for me to travel to from the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of New Jersey. Looking forward to photos and a description of how the show went, BB. If I remember correctly, I believe you are or are one of the guiding forces behind organizing this show and I wish you much luck on it being a success.

    Fred DPRoNJ

      • Its Dallas Fort Worth Love field.

        We have used it in the past when we went down to visit my wife’s Mom and brother.

        Is that very far away from the show I wonder? I will have to check.

            • GF1,

              Love Field is a small metropolitan airport located in Dallas.

              DFW was at one time to largest airport in the world. Each of its 5 terminals is the size of an entire metropolitan terminal. DFW is the main junction for east-west flights in this country.


                • Edith and BB
                  My wife told me; well reminded me that the one time I didnt go her and the kids flew Southwest and it was Love field they went to that time. Makes more sense to me now. 🙂

              • You’re telling me! That place is huge!You really need a golf cart or better to get around that place.I actually read a plaque on the wall somewhere about it achieving this goal.


                • Reb & Gunfun
                  I used to have to change planes in DFW when I worked for Harley and traveled to Arizona’s Ford proving grounds.It always seemed like the plane I came in on and the plane I had to change to were at opposite sides of the airport that seemed to a mile or more away. I hated to go thru DFW airport because of its size.


                  • buldawg
                    And you know what. I fly the RC planes but I can’t stand to fly in passenger planes.

                    But I wpuld love to fly in a fighter plane. But no Helicopters or Harreirs. I like them but I dont like sitting still if Im up in the air. I want to be moving fast.

                    • Gunfun1,I used to fly powered parachutes made by a company called Buckeye.Its a parachute with a 40 horsepower motor on something like a three wheeled go cart. Flew these for seven years on my farm here.Top speed is 26 mph. in no wind.It was to slow for you but the sight seeing is great and hands are free you steer with your feet.Next time you have a few min.to kill Goggle up powered parachute and watch the video’s. I’ve been up to 5000 feet! and its cold up there even on the hottest days.That was just one more phase in my life that I really loved and kinda miss from time to time.

                    • Gunfun
                      I am like you I would rather be going fast than slow or hovering, that way if something goes wrong you don’t have as much time to think about it. I never have really liked flying. I will go all out on land without a fear in the world, but up in the air is a whole different story, It’s like people that skydive, I have never seen the logic in jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.


                    • I actually enjoyed my twin turbo prop ride a whole lot more than the big jetliners. Really fun ride!


      • RidgeRunner,

        There are places out here called hotels that rent rooms to travelers by the day. And for those who drive cars, there are places called motels that do the same, plus providing places to park your cars.

        I am pretty sure that there are at least some refueling stations between Virginia and Texas. I remember seeing them every time I went to the airgun show in Roanoke over the past 11 years.


        • LOL!

          Unfortunately, because of family circumstances, almost anything other than a day trip is pretty much out of the question.

          You never know though, it hasn’t happened yet.

  2. It is a shame Theoben has gone belly up. It would certainly be nice to adjust the power on your sproinger, assuming you had some sense about you. I think they were a little bit ahead of the market. The US is just starting to really catch on about airguns and are now just starting to look around for the truly nice stuff.

    • RR
      I think its a great idea. And as it goes with anything. It could be a good thing for somebody if done right. Or it could be a disaster if not used right.

      Maybe its best that they don’t make them adjustable.

      And on that subject of adjustable. I always wondered why they dint make some kind of locking thumb wheel adjustment on spring guns to adjust the preload of the spring. Then you could have a gun that would be able to be adjusted for different spring rates. Kind of like how the Air force guns have the power wheel adjustment for the striker.

      The rear shocks on the old motorcycles use to have adjustable spring preloads you could turn to adjust your shocks. Maybe they have done that on spring guns already and I don’t know it.

      • GF1,

        You should know that it is one thing to turn the PW on an AirForce and preload a 10# spring, but quite another to do such on a sproinger. Now if you have a way to take one apart, you could insert washers to increase preload, at least until the spring is coil bound. Maybe you could even put in one of those T bearings to help alleviate some of the torque.

        I guess I really need to get my hands on a spring compressor. I would not mind having a cheap sproinger to diddle with then, just to see what I could do with it.

        • I picked up a piece of all-thread the other day so I can get started buiding my spring compressor I’ve still got a design floating around in my head for one using a lever for compression & release. Guess it’s time to go to the drawing board.The QB-36 will be my second springer to open up, with my first being a Slavia 618. The underlever and beartrap have me somewhat intimidated, I’m also lacking a good workstation.Since my dog has started resting his paws on my shooting bench nothing seems to be safe there not even long enough to use the restroom, I have had to pick almost 1000 pellets out of the grass and dirt in the last 2 months.


        • RR
          You really should get you one just to mess with. And on that adjustable spring idea I was useing the power wheel adjuster on the AirForce guns as a example.

          What I was thinking is on one end of the tube that the spring is enclosed in they could make a slot in the tube as wide as the adjustment travel is and have enough room to get a pin wrench and little spanner wrench in there to turn a collar with threads on it. That way you would have leverage to turn it and a way to lock it in position.

          They could go as far as making a line on the tube and in the middle would be normal power and adjust one way and that would be low power then adjust the other way and be high power. I think it would work.

  3. I’ve convinced the accountant to go to Ft. Worth with me this year! I hope to pick up a deer rifle for this fall, and meet some fellow enthusiasts. Really looking forward to it…happy shooting everyone!

  4. Thanks for clarifying these terminology’s.I thought it was just me not understanding some of these names and thinking maybe there was so many different types of gas springs etc.Sometimes when one thinks he should know something because he follows up on it, so often he is a little embarrassed to ask a question.I’ve read gas springs called many different names and wondered “whats the difference”? So just another tiny wrinkle in the brain this morning and with only one cup of coffee. And as far as the gun show goes, it would be like being left on a tiny island with hundreds of beautiful women all begging me to….. well you know.I have a good life here and it would be wise stay away from any airgun show! P.A. is my personal airgun show and much safer then a hands on show.I like having a little bit of retirement. But on the other hand maybe someday they can come to Lexington Kentucky for a show. Yes I would go!!!!

  5. B.B., as a subscriber to you Airgun Letter, I remember when you published the series of articles on the Crow Magnum. I must remind you B.B, that every time you expound on the whole “JB Bore Paste and brass brush” method of air gun barrel cleaning/preparation, the air gun gods roll in their graves! Haven’t you read the posts on the various forums/message boards from the self-proclaimed tuners, experts and know it all’s, stating that wire brushes ruin the “dead soft steel” air gun barrels? The “only proper” way to clean an air gun barrel is with weed trimmer line, patches and Goo-Gone? Its heresy, B.B., pure air gun heresy I say. You really should tell Mr. Taylor, (one of the brightest airgun designers in the last ½ century) that his advice is ruining all those LW and Anschutz barrels installed on the Theoben rifles they sold. LOL.

  6. BB,
    Today’s blog is one of my all time favorite blogs. I really enjoyed reading your stories of the early gas rams. I also learned the formula for Whiscombe Honey. I have read about Whiscombe Honey before but never saw a formula and thought is was a lube people bought from Whiscombe. Now I need to stop at the Auto Parts store. I am probably in the minority but I enjoy these old stories much better than any airgun testing.

    Thanks for showing where the gas access port is. I would like to try to release just a little gas from my Theoben Sirocco. I think I would enjoy it more if I backed the power off from 20 foot pound down to 16 foot pound.

    When I first got into airguns I was reading the AGLF and remember all the guys pulling the springs out of their guns and installing Theoben and Gore rams. From what I remember the Gore rams were always a little more powerful but it seemed that the Theoben were a little more reliable.

    I am looking forward to the airgun show. Are you calling it the Fort Worth Airgun Show or Texas Airgun Show? I will push it hard with all the local guys. Would you mind showing how you want different types of airguns tied?

    David Enoch

    David Enoch

    • David,

      Your Sirocco was the very rifle that Theoben made for RWS and I mentioned in this report. It shot at around 18 foot-pounds as I recall and it was smooth. Cocking was much lighter than the Crow Magnum and I thought it was the Theoben that always should have been made.


      I have a Theoben Big Jim hand pump. Want it? 😉


  7. BB
    Excellent article and very informative. I just graduated to the class of air gunner you talked about that was chasing power only to find that more is not always better. As I stated to you in the El Gamo review A well built smooth break barrel gun did change my opinion and thoughts of break barrel guns whether being spring or gas powered. So yes I have been transformed into a new age shooter.

    I have been actually considering getting a gas powered gun down the road after building my friends 124 and getting to shoot it for 4 days before I gave it back to him. It being one of those smooth well mannered break barrel spring guns definitely gave me a much improved opinion about break barrels for sure. He was thoroughly pleased with it and said it shot better than he remembered it did when new, of course it had been year since he had shot it due to the piston seal having failed years back.

    He did say that when he was ready to let it go he would let me have first dibs. If by some slim chance I don’t snatch it up I will let you have second call for it for sure.


      • Gunfun
        It sure is and I cant wait, I just checked tracking and it has departed from Memphis TN on its way to me for Saturday delivery. Going to be a happy camper for sure.

        I got my 60C valve all done but when I assemble it and test for leaks the hard delrin seat of the crosman will not seal against the valve body , I have tried to seat it by applying some tooth paste to the seat and spin the valve with my drill to polish in the mating surfaces but it has not done any good. What is the seat of your disco valve made of is it a hard type plastic like delrin or is it more like a softer vinyl or rubber material. I am going top the hardware store to try and find some of that clear vinyl or silicone tubing similar to what was in the original valve.

        I did find a company in England that makes custom parts for the QB78/79 Xisico guns and the piston that they show for the 78/79s is made of a stainless steel shaft with a brass head, the shaft unthreads from the head to allow for easy seal replacements. The end of the stem where the striker hits is cone shaped also and it looks very nicely made as it should be at 29.00 bucks not counting shipping. It is the same valve that is used in the 60c, but I am going to try and get mine to work before I will put out that much just for the valve assy. here is the link and look for the QB78/79 parts, you have to change the currency display in the upper right corner of the page from GBP to USD for it to show the prices in dollars. http://www.trrobb.com/

        Let me know about your valve seat material and if you have any other ideas for a seat material to use.


          • Gunfun
            I thought about valve grinding compound, got a tube in the garage. I am afraid it will take the edge off the brass seat before it cuts into the delrin. I have seen on cars where a wire harness that has a corrugated sheath over the harness cut right thru steel brake and fuel lines over time. it just doesn’t seem that plastic could wear thru steel but I have seen it many times.

            I am trying to find something in between rubber and plastic that will hold up to the high pressure from the fill yet conform enough to create a seal, where is the nutty professor when you need him.

            I will find something as I am getting ready to search Mcmaster Carr right now for something, besides if it don’t get fixed by tomorrow I will have my new toy to play with anyway.


              • Gunfun
                That would be a yes and no. I found a hard rubber seal that is sealing in the valve but when I got to 1000 psi the threads around the gauge started leaking and I tried to fire it and I believe it is valve locked because all I got when pulling the trigger was a click with no report from the barrel. so I don’t know if the spring in the valve is to strong or the hammer spring is not adjusted strong enough. I didn’t touch the hammer spring so maybe it the valve spring or the seal in stuck in the valve. it is late and I tired of messing with it. Its a job for another day.

                My gun departed Kennesaw GA at 849 ET to the fedex hub 20 miles away. At least I will have it tomorrow to break in and test with. Can’t wait till morning and hope in one of the first deliveries the driver has on his route.

                Will let you know .


              • Gunfun
                Its on the truck out for delivery. I’m chopping at the bit waiting for the truck to get here. It looking to be a perfect day for some shooting here. I just wish they would hurry up, I’m tired of waiting.


              • Gunfun
                Its here and Mother nature is not being nice. I got a small break to get to shoot it in between rain showers and it is quite a bit louder than the 60C is, it sound like a 22 long rifle being shot. I did not get to chrony it but it is hitting my backstop and leaving large dent in the washing machine lid and flattening the pellets out to over a dime size. It was double boxed when it arrived and had plenty of packing around inner box for prevention of damage. The inner box is black with bright red Hatsan written on it and is made to resemble a hard sided gun case with egg shell foam padding on both side of the box and shuts with a built in carry handle on the box. They definitely do not want it damaged in shipment.

                The gun is very long and looks huge but it fits well in my hands and is a little on the heavy side to carry around in the woods, but it comes with a sling and swivels so that will help a lot. The stock open sights on spot on right out of the box and very easy to sight with, I was destroying the bells on my backstop. it came fully charged which is good because I forgot to order a female foster fill fitting with BPSS threads so I will have to wait for that to get here to shoot it again because I have no way to charge it. I did get forty shots with it before the gauge moved from the edge of the red to the edge of the yellow on the gauge ( the range of the green area on gauge) and there are probably at least ten or so shoots still useable left in it. Very Very Happy with it and well worth 355 bucks.

                I am still fighting my 60c with the gauge leaking around the threads and valve locking so while I wait for a fitting for the Hatsan I will get my 60C fixed come hell or high water. Got to tear it back down and see if the seal on the valve got blown off it seat and is stuck in transfer port, I put a heavier doubled striker spring in it to see if It was valve locking and I know it is moving the valve so I think the rubber seal has to have been un seated from valve and in blocking transfer port. it did fire when I first put back together and discovered gauge was leaking. Any way back to the drawing board I go.


              • Gunfun
                just got done ordering the fill fitting and an extra mag so it will be middle of next week till I can shoot it again, bummer I did not realize it uses BPSS threads for the fill probe. I did not remember reading it in BBs review but it was there and I had brain fade. that’s what happens when you get old and have to many projects rattling around in your head.


                • buldawg
                  Glad you got it. That loud?!? I don’t know if I would like that from a air gun. But it sounds like its hitting nice. What pellet you use? And yep them dang fill fittings. All my stuff is the Foster fittings. Bummer you have to wait to shoot it again. But you know you will have fun with it. And are you going to scope it?

                  And it sounds like you may be close on the air valve project. I had to work yesterday and trying to get all of my yard work done. And I’m trying a different scope on my HW50S. I forgot I had it. Its one of these.

                  Its a very clear wide view little scope. I haven’t had it on a springer though. So I don’t know if it will hold up. But will see. And that’s my air gun project for the day.

                  • Gunfun
                    Yea the Hatsan uses 1/8 BPSS thread not NPT thread for the fill probe. BB stated that in his review and I read it but this old brain farts every now and then and I just did not think to order it when I ordered the gun, but I ordered an extra mag to so I will have three for 30 shots total.

                    Yea got the fill fitting done and put the 60C together and it leaks around the gauge threads even with Teflon tape so I cleaned the threads up good and used plumbers liquid sealer and going to let it sit overnight. Then I am also having a valve lock problem when it gets to 1000 psi so I have to take the valve back out and see if my seal on the stem has stuck ion the transfer port. It will get figured out ,Just don’t know how long it will take. good thing it rainy cause I would be upset if it was nice and could shoot .


                  • Gunfun
                    I was using crosman CP hollow points from the tins/14.3 gr and they sure seemed like they were screaming. I have a scope on the way also I just don’t know whether I am going to put it on my Hatsan or on my AR it is an Aim sport 10×40/50 http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product?p=WX2&i=611975.
                    I know one thing I should be able to see the hair stand up on the back of a critter at 100 yards with it at 40 magnification that’s for sure, us guys with old eyes need all the help we can get. The money I saved buying the gun on sale allowed me to get the scope also on sale.

                    So for now I am just trying to get my 60 C to work till I get the fill fitting and then it will be off for some 50 yard testing. I have read in other forums that the Hatsan likes JSB exact 18.13 grains and I have some so we will see how it likes the heavier pellets, I may even try heavier ones once I get some chrony numbers with the 18.13s. I would like to keep it around 950 to just under 1000 fps, Hatsan states on the box that it shoots at 1070 fps but it does not give the pellet brand or weight so we will find out. I will let you know what I come up with.

                    It is very loud, but the tree rats in the tree line behind my house were just chattering away when I fired my 40 shoots and they did not scatter, they were probably chewing me out for making so much noise or tempting me to see if I could hit them. If I had the scope on it where I could see them clearly they would have known whether I could hit them or not. they will know next week.


                    • When I walk out the door with a gun all the Grackles scatter.They seem to maintain 80-100 yards between themselves and the gun. Word seems to get around pretty quick. I also used to have squirrels that would taunt me…..They’re much less destructive in the freezer!


        • Buldawg,
          Thanks for the link! These folks also do this for Benji’s & Dan’s too! I’ll be ordering a new valve for my 392 before too much longer & I intend to make sure I have a pretty much bulletproof valve for it one of these days


          • Reb
            Your welcome, they make a lot of one off special parts that’s for sure. They are a little pricey, but are dollar is way down compared to their pound also. you get what you pay for.


            • I tried to get one of Mac-1’s from Tim but he wouldn’t sell it to me so at least this would be a good alternative. I’d really like to know more about this product.I’ll see if I can find some reviews.


              • Reb
                I just stumbled across the site looking for a replacement valve for my 60C and it led me to I think the yellow forum and one of the blogs had that site listed so I checked it out. A lot of one off special stuff for sure.


                • Reb
                  I forgot to mention that when going to my buddies land I will hopefully be bringing home an early thanksgiving dinner because the last time I was over there to help him with his outboard motor we rode around in his side by side ranger and saw at least five big turkeys just waiting to be took down.


                    • Reb
                      Does that pertain to private land also or is just for public hunting land, here in Alabama if you are hunting on private land it the land owners rights to allow or not what game can be taken.


          • Reb
            I think the squirrels around my backyard have become accustomed to the noise of gun fire so they don’t run and hide like ones out in the woods when they hear you walking or a shot being fired. My 60C pcp 22 cal gun is pretty loud about like a 22 short report and I, have been shooting it for several months now. My new Hatsan AT44 is quite a bit louder than the 60C is, but that will be addressed in a couple weeks when a certain item arrives for it. It should tame it down a bit. I will be going to my buddies land when I get the fill adapter so I can refill my AT44, I did not realize it take a different thread to use the supplied fill probe so I am waiting to get it to refill my AT44 and I also ordered an extra fill cylinder for the gun so all I have to do is swap cylinders and keep shooting.


            • buldawg
              The squirrels by my house run as soon as they see me open the back door. But on the other hand we have chipmunks that come on the deck when I’m out shooting. I don’t shoot them. So maybe they don’t have the fear of the guns. I don’t know.

              Do you have red squirrels or Gray’s or other kind by you? We use to have a bunch of red’s but you hardly see them anymore. They are around but not like the gray ones. They are everywhere.

              Oh and I put that little Leapers scope on my HW50 and it still shoots good groups. But I miss having a Hawke scope on it. Other scopes ain’t the same after you try one of the Hawke 1/2 mil dot scopes. I really like the 1/2 mil dot line they have on the reticle. I got to order one for it.

              • Gunfun
                I have only seen greys here by the house and chipmunks also, there may be reds out in the woods at my buddies. I have not really looked for squirrels there I was looking more for rabbits, turkeys and deer.

                I have never used a scope with the side wheel range adjustment like the Hawke you like so much. I would bet it is easier and faster to focus in on the target at different ranges. The Aim sport scope I have coming is a 1/8 moa with the mil dot/range finder type reticle in it and I have not used that setup either so we will see, at 40 magnification I should be able to see very well out to 100 plus yards.

                I also found a site in Bulgaria that I ordered an extra cylinder and something to help control the report for my Hatsan at quite a bit less than they cost here in the USA. I will let you know when I try it out.


                  • Gunfun
                    I have no idea yet and may not until tomorrow or after. they have my phone number and e-mail so I should get some more info. Its is supposed to be shipped COD for 9 bucks shipping, the air cylinder was 90 bucks where it is 130+ here and the other item is 49 bucks and is like 90+ here so I will wait whatever time it takes to save money.


  8. Terminology.

    I think it’s very important to use correct terminology in communicating otherwise Confusion Reigns Supreme (I like that).

    Unfortunately, gas ram, gas strut, air spring and proprietary names like Nitro Piston, IGT (Inert Gas Technology), etc. seem to be used universally to describe an air gun that has something inside other than the conventional spring. Very confusing.

    My understanding is that air guns like the RX2/HW90 and Theoben guns use air springs. They ARE ADJUSTABLE and ARE REBUILDABLE and use low pressure AIR. The names are simply marketing hype to confuse the ignorant.

    To add to the confusion there were aftermarket units from Theoben and Air Venturi which were/are gas springs or gas struts (like the struts on a hatchback). They are sealed units, are NOT ADJUSTABLE and ARE NOT REBUILDABLE. They use nitrogen (yes, I know nitrogen is part of “air”) at around 2500+psi. If they fail, you replace them.

    The Theobens were made by Air Weapons Technology in England. The Air Venturis were made by an American company called Vortek Industries.

    The Crosman Nitro uses a gas spring/strut. It is a sealed high pressure nitrogen unit. It is not adjustable or rebuildable. If it fails, it must be replaced.

    Both types are similar in that they replace wound steel springs and have very similar shooting characteristics. But the technologies are totally different.

    For accuracy of terminology should we call one an Air Spring and the other a Gas Strut or ????


  9. There is still a lot of people in love with gas springs around here. I believe they are on par with the general feeling you mention was em vogue back in the late 1990s in the US.
    I personally think there are people with such unrealistically high expectations of the performance of an airgun, to the extent that they believe in magical numbers and are looking for the most power no matter what. If they can’t hit the proverbial barn door, blame the pellets, the weather, the Brazilian Football Team, or whatever…
    I have seen a lot of airguns here simply ruined because the owner decided to change the original coil spring for a much heavier gas spring, in hopes of getting more power, and ending up with a piece of you-know-what.
    I currently do not own a gas spring gun. But there is one thing that call my attention: every model I see is very long! Some are a full 46 inches in overall length. They are so big they should be renamed air muskets instead of rifles! This, as I see, is just an indication that the rifle’ gas spring is so strong that a loooooong lever is required to cock it, and I stay away from them.
    I hope a trend is started by these easy-to-use models. Hopefully, more and more shooters will appreciate an airgun for its accuracy and ease of use rather than its high power.

    • Fred
      I agree with you. Power means nothing if you cant use it. Just like a car. It can have the big engine making all kinds of horse power but if you cant get it to the ground its useless.

      Just like a drag car. The more milder that car drives down the track the easier it is for the driver. If they are in the car having to work the steering wheel and gas pedal the whole run. That car will not make it down the track as consistently.

      And we all know what happens with guns if things are not consistent. And the more negative characteristics a gun has the harder it is to shoot. I want something that ain’t going to beat me up everytime I shoot it. And more than likely that gun will be sitting in the case most of the time while the more pleasant characteristic guns get shot. Unless for some reason I’m looking for a challenge that day of course. 🙂

  10. B.B., the first “Nice” high priced (to me anyway) airgun I shot was a new Beeman Crow Magnum .25 cal at a airgun show in Little Rock AR. It was a demo that they let us shoot. I kept a .25 cal pellet just because I never seen one and thought it was big. I still have that Crow Mag pellet by the way. That was a long time ago. I also saw a Quackenbush .32 ca CO2l pistol. It shot .32 round ball (Black Powder balls). It was a little over $100 and I kill myself still for not buying it. I thought it was cool but never heard of Quackenbush. I was so green in the airgun world. I had just starting learning, after shooting firearms, there was more to airguns they BB guns and pump up rifles. Thanks for the read, Bradly

  11. steve
    I do know what those are. There was somebody that use to fly one of them up and down the river over the farm fields everyday when I was going to work. But yes that would be to slow for me.

    Like you said if its got wheels and its on the ground as that little sticker says that use to be seen everywhere. No Fear. But up in the air that’s a different story.

  12. BB I don’t think you mentioned the pressure that Theoben gas spring used. And maybe I ain’t following correctly. Was it a gas or air that was used to adjust the pressure?

    • I guess that would be a personal opinion, Joe… I have never regretted the $500 I spent on my .177 HW90. I even bought another barrel for it in .22 for another $100.


      • Dave,
        That sounds like a sweet setup.How do you use the gun? Which barrel do you enjoy shooting more and why? I’ve always wanted to have a gun with interchangeable barrels.


        • Pull the pin, change barrels and re-sight the scope. Kind of a hassle, so I usually just leave the 22 barrel on. It’s a thumper at 20+ ft/lbs even up here over a mile above sea level.


          • I bought a Wally world Beeman with 2 barrels back about ’07 that used a grub screw. Was this the RX2? I left the .22 on it to keep the noise down for stealth. Had to take it back due to lack of funds.I did like the gun, it was pretty and fairly accurate to 30 yards or so .Wish I coulda kept it.


  13. Good read B.B., I also love to hear about past times in your airgunning, having seen so much its great to here how things went for you and others that have lead air guns to where they are today. I wondered if you’ve had anymore time with the see all sight it if that was wrapped up, I was reading about a similar fiber-mod sight called firefly that reminded me of it. Maybe you could test this firefly to see if the design might catch and continue to develop with other products?

  14. Finally an article on gas springs that tells us the whole story. When I first got back into air guns 5-6 years ago, it seemed very second article was touting the benefits of the gas spring over the tried and true coiled steel spring. Benefits such as easier to cock, less noise and vibration, and the biggest advantage… you could leave it cocked for weeks with no loss of power, seemed to be the norm. I reasoned some claims must be true as a few companies producing high end break barrels were using this system. However, if all the claims were correct, why weren’t all the companies producing spring piston air guns converting their inventories to the gas spring system? It all seemed too good to be true.
    With your article, you have dispensed with the hype and hyperbole, and answered all those questions that others seemed to always skim over. Gas springs do have they’re knish in the market. They do have benefits, but also drawbacks. At least we now know the rest of the story, and can make a more educated choice when making our next spring piston air gun purchase.

  15. BB
    When you gonna test this. I could only imagine what its like. 🙂


  16. Reminder:

    (1) We remove comments that have dangerous suggestions or experiments.

    (2) We remove comments that mention competitors to Pyramyd AIR. If they sell the same thing, you can’t mention them.

    Pyramyd AIR gives us huge latitude on this blog, but sending others to the site of a competitor is more than you should expect.


    • Edith
      Looks like I missed something again.

      And I guess you mean you can’t mention the competitor but you can mention the product even if the competitor sells it.

      And speaking of sell. I just ordered one of these Hawke scopes for my HW50S.


      This is the scope I got on the 1720T.

      They got the 10% off plus free shipping over a 150 dollars going on right now. And I almost bought a Bronco. But I had to get a Hawke scope on my HW. It just don’t seem right without one when I shoot.

  17. BB
    Regarding over pressuring those rams. I bought an HW90 in 25 from Pyramyd AIR some years ago. Would you by any chance know if PA have the manufacturer’s recommended fill pressure in the HW90s that they sell? Mine shoots great but I don’t shoot it much because it is so hard to cock! I have not messed with the pressure and do I know to anyhow.

    • Kurt,

      Well, the sights will determine how close you can register them.

      Open sights are the same as a scope, because the trajectory is always the same, regardless of what kind of sight is used. If you zero for anything closer than 20 yards, then you will be stuck with that one zero and everything else will be out of zero.

      That said, I have a couple rifles that are zeroed for about 10 yards. I don’t shoot them at other distances, so it doesn’t matter.


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