by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
• Nice air rifles
• Nice air pistols
• Other stuff
• Want some more?
I waited longer than I thought to write this second part to my 2014 Christmas gift guide. Many of you wondered why certain guns were left off the first list. Well, it was simply a matter of time. Maybe what was missing last time will be on today’s list.
Nice air rifles
I left a lot of nice air rifles off the first list for space considerations, alone. My first choice today is not a rifle, though it has been called that since it was first made in 1938. Daisy’s Red Ryder BB gun is an icon of youth. It’s not the same gun as before World War II, but it’s still a Red Ryder and still worth owning. Think of it as Christmas in a long box!
In fact, there are several Red Ryder models available, including the 75th Anniversary model with a metal cocking lever (the regular gun has a plastic cocking lever.
Daisy Red Ryder is an icon of American youth — just ask Ralphie!
The next airgun is nearly as popular as the Red Ryder, and, for its maker, it is number one. The Crosman 760 is a smoothbore multi-pump that has satisfied millions of owners over the years. It used to be a rifle but is now a smoothbore that handles both BBs and pellets. Its best feature is a short-throw pump mechanism that’s very easy to work.
A 760 Pumpmaster is America’s most-recognized multi-pump!
Stepping up to an actual air rifle, I nominate Weihrauch’s famous HW 30S. It’s small, easy to cock, accurate and has the Rekord trigger that sets the standard for sporting spring guns. It’s a close cousin to Beeman’s R7, but retails for $50 less and comes with the open sights that the R7 lacks.
Weihrauch HW30S packs a lot of quality into an affordable package. It’s a small, handy air rifle.
I didn’t put the Benjamin Marauder on the first list, but I wanted to. The Marauder is one of the finest precharged pneumatic rifles ever made. It’s packed with features like power adjustment and fill-pressure control that no other air rifle offers, plus it has a wonderful trigger. America can be proud of this one, and you certainly will be.
Benjamin Marauder is a top PCP. It has more features than any European rifle, yet costs half as much.
If the Marauder is iconic, the Talon SS from AirForce Airguns is legendary. This is the PCP that gave the world the concept of a shrouded barrel for quiet operation. I was there in 2001 when it burst on the scene; and, although the design has been updated quite a bit since then with a better trigger, an onboard fill gauge and baffles, it’s still a wonderful deal in an inexpensive package. No other PCP lets you switch calibers and barrel lengths so easily. With a Talon SS, you’re not buying an air rifle — you’re buying a whole shooting system — one that can put 5 shots through a wedding ring at 40 yards!
The Talon SS from AirForce is still setting the bar high for precharged pneumatics.
Want a breakbarrel that won’t break your heart? Get the Walther LGV Challenger. I specifically recommend this model (the synthetic-stocked Challenger) because, for the price, I don’t think there’s a better breakbarrel on the market. In fact, I don’t think there is one at any price! It has a wonderful trigger, great accuracy, a smooth powerplant and a barrel lock.
Walther’s LGV Challenger is so calm and accurate that it’s almost like shooting a PCP.
One air rifle I’m sorry I sold is the Diana RWS 54. It’s the only credible challenger of the TX200 Mark III. While I do favor the TX personally, I notice that a lot of field target competitors shoot the 54. Ray Apelles, who placed second in the world this year, did it with a modified 54 that has a factory barrel. It’s a very large and heavy air rifle; but being recoilless, it forgives your hold technique as much as a TX.
Diana’s 54 Air King is a world-class spring-piston air rifle.
Nice air pistols
I’m sorry, but there aren’t as many air pistols that I can recommend as there are rifles. I’m not going to recommend something just to balance out the list. The guns I recommend are guns I either own or have owned. I feel you will like them as much as I do because of their inherent qualities.
The Crosman 2240 is a winning air pistol on its own, but it’s also the foundation of a lot of fine upscale air pistols in the Crosman and Benjamin lines. The 2240 is a bolt-action single-shot .22-caliber CO2 pistol. It’s accurate as it comes from the factory, plus you can do many things to it. I turned mine into a precharged carbine on this blog several weeks ago!
Crosman’s 2240 is a classic CO2 pistol.
The Legends Makarov Ultra from Umarex is an accurate CO2 BB pisol with realistic blowback action. It looks like the firearm it copies; and with the blowback action, it also simulates real firearm action. If you want even more accuracy at a lower price and are willing to give up the blowback feature, Umarex also offers a Makarov BB pistol. It’s just as realistic as the Ultra, except that there’s blowback.
The Makarov Ultra BB pistol has realistic blowback.
Finally, I’ll recommend the Benjamin Marauder pistol. When Ray Apelles was helping develop this air pistol for Crosman, I tested his prototype and cut dandelion stems at 18 yards with it. Think of it as the Marauder of PCP air pistols — which it is. It’s a repeater that comes in .22 caliber, only, which makes it perfect for hunting. Like the rifle, you get features that would cost twice as much if there was a European name on the outside.
Benjamin’s Marauder pistol has almost everything the rifle offers in a handgun.
Airgunners do not live by airguns, alone. Sometimes, they want things that don’t shoot. Top on the list ought to be a chronograph. And I’ll recommend the Alpha model from Shooting Chrony. It’s the one I use 98 percent of the time. It’s lightweight, portable, sets up easily and the price is right. This is something you’ll buy only once, so long as you don’t shoot it during testing!
Shooting Chrony’s Alpha chronograph is inexpensive, accurate and will last a lifetime with reasonable care.
I’m not going to list scopes, because the technical requirements are too varied to make any sense from my recommendations. If there was a good affordable spotting scope, I would recommend it because I think the world of mine. In fact, I traded a gun worth about twice what my spotting scope retails for, just because I saw that this particular one was crystal clear. This is another once-in-a-lifetime purchase.
I will recommend a bullet/pellet trap, though. I recommend the Champion Heavy Duty metal trap. They cost over $75 now. I bought mine for $49. Too bad. Gas was less than a dollar a gallon in those days, too! My trap is now 20 years old and still going strong after a quarter-million rounds have been stopped.
Just suck it up and ask for it as a gift. The Champion bullet/pellet trap will be sold at your estate sale after a lifetime of use!
The last product I’ll recommend today isn’t Crosman Pellgunoil. You guys should have that flowing through your blood by now! Instead, I’m recommending Ballistol, in the biggest can you can get. Buy a plastic spray bottle at the grocery store and fill it with this stuff. Spray it on everything you want to keep, because it’s the ultimate preservative oil.
Every airgunner should have a can of Ballistol.
Want some more?
There’s time for another list, if you think it’s needed. Tell me the kind of things you want to see. Pellets? Silicone cloths? You tell me.
162 thoughts on “Airgunner Christmas gifts for 2014: Part 2”
I noticed some competition for Crosman’s1077 today. The Daisy 74 is a 200 round capacity 15 shot Co2 true semi auto repeater but that’s only with BB’s, box say 350 fps. the good news is it’s forced feed and no clips,! Talk about the gun to put a 499 barrel on!
I like the Daisy 74 a lot (I wrote one of the reviews for it on the Pyramyd Air Daisy 74 page). But it doesn’t shoot pellets (as you point out), so it’s no 1077, not even close.
Both are cheap, lightweight, backyard friendly, and fun to shoot. But the 74 has no where near the accuracy of the 1077. Additionally, the 74 in the wrong hands or wrong environment would be a ricochet producer extraordinaire. The 74 is strictly for shooting aluminum cans lying on the ground at 25 feet or so.
I suspect the repeater mechanism of the 74 might not play well with the tight barrel of the 499, either.
What I daydream of is a contemporary Red Ryder powerplant in a 499!
I am watching Shane on netflicks and something is wrong, my holster is empty.
Kevin , BB, or anyone with experience, please help.
It is that time of year, when I ask my wife for a present and also give her the money to buy it. This Christmas I want a single action revolver in .357, and that is not up for debate. What is, would be whether to get a Ruger or one of the Colt clones. I have my eye on the Evil Roy Cimarron currently…
Sounds like you need some advice from cowboy action shooters and that’s not me. Also sounds like you’re attracted to aesthetics and I’m not up on all the clone models.
I’ve owned lots of colts and favor the bisley’s because they just shoot and handle better in my hands. I also like the python’s with 6″ barrels for the same reason. I owned a flat top blackhawk and unlike B.B. didn’t care for it as much because of a lack of knuckle room. Liked my 3 screw better and still own that gun today for the reasons above.
Called my buddy Mark a few minutes ago for advice. Mark used to shoot cowboy action and still has lots of pistols. He asked about your hand size, whether you were going to be shooting cowboy action or just wanted a well balanced pistol for shooting free hand or an accurate pistol for shooting off of a rest, etc. etc. Told him I couldn’t answer his questions but read your criteria to him verbatim.
His advice is to find a local cowboy action shooter and pay them to handle and shoot their pistols. Cowboy action shooters typically have many pistols that meet your initial criteria. Many companies are now producing small frame single actions for folks with small hands and/or want lighter weight.
He also said if you’re attracted to the cimmaron series to also look at the Taylor & Company offerings.
Hopefully B.B. will chime in since he has the hat, a nice colt saa we gave him and used to make a living as a gunfighter.
Thanks for going above and beyond as usual.
I would not partake in formal shooting or cowboy action matches, just going to the range or wandering the woods with it on my hip and my 92 clone in hand. I would love to have a real Colt, but they are more in cost than I want to invest.
I have owned several Ruger SA’s, and they are a bit thick and heavy. I understand the .357 will always weigh more, but I want to match my rifle caliber and the hoard of ammo I already have. I have held the genuine article before and it felt nice, assuming the clones are the same? My little finger does extend past the grip, but I had a single six for decades so it really doesn’t bother me. Guessing that is part of the reason you favor a Bisley?
The Evil Roy attracts me because it is supposedly tuned with about a 2 and half pound trigger and a slicker action yet still has the sturdier spring like a Ruger. Or at least that is what the advertising states. If someone knows differently, I was hoping they would chime in. I will check out Taylor and Co.
Hope you are well, are you spending Thanksgiving at your cabin?
It’s not just the shape of the grip but the angle of the butt on the bisley’s that contribute to the reasons that I prefer them. They fit me better and allow me to shoot more accurately.
Yes, bigger caliber revolvers usually weigh more but that helps tame the recoil. You’ll grow to love the weight.
We host the Thanksgiving feast at our home in the city. We spend Christmas week at our home in the mountains. Just feels more like Christmas up there.
Let us know what you decide will be your Christmas pistol.
The Vaquero is very popular among Cowboy Action Shooters, but I always favor a Colt. I especially like the SAA Kevin referred to because its grip is thinner. I think that makes a difference in the feel of the gun.
If you plant to do tricks, buy the Ruger. they hold up longer. If you plan to shoot I’d get a Colt clone.
That is pretty much what I was thinking, that a nice clone will feel better. I did own a vaquero, but it was still not as nice in the hand as the Colt I had held before. (albeit in part probably since the Colt was a .45 rather than a .357) Also, I did have a real cheap clone at one point, but tried to refinish it and ruined it. But it did shoot well, so it looks like a knock off might be the way to go.
BB, the New Model Vaquero that came out a few years back has the same thinner grip that the Colt does. It feels the same as the Colt. That was the main reason for the change. The old model was a lot thicker in the grip.
Another vote for the Ruger Vaquero here.
I’ve owned the the Bisley model in .45LC and loved the way it
tamed the recoil but a friend convinced me he needed it more than me 🙂
The .357’s are heavier than the larger calibers with the same bbl length
because they are all built on the same frame so the .357 has more metal.
I really enjoyed my .357 with the case hardened coloring but I let that one go too.
I am currently wishing for the .357/9mm conversion that I read about.
I can’t comment on the Colt’s since I’ve never had the cash for one lol but I don’t
care for the copies due to the wire thin triggers I have seen on them.I’m not a good enough shot to tell the difference in accuracy between The Ruger and Colt copies
so no help there either.
Thanks, I will double check the trigger on the clone to make sure it is okay.
I am a big Ruger fan, but thought a nice Colt copy could be fun as long as they are fairly durable and trouble free. Do the new vaqueros make the “clicks” like a Colt?
I think they have 2 clicks.
That Walther LGV Challenger is quite an air rifle. I wish it did not have those glowey thingy sights on it, but they can be removed and even replaced with the more standard German sights.
I almost bought one of these the other day. I was at another company’s web site and they had these on sale for $299. I guess they were moving them out for new stock. I hesitated one day and they were all gone. Oh well, it was not exactly what I wanted. For $20 more than what PA is selling the Walther LGV Challenger I can get one of these.
Now this is more my style. Walther seems to be one of those rare airgun companies that is seriously trying to advance airgun technology. It appears they have taken their spring piston technology and built an under lever with all of the best features of the competition. Notice how the barrel is centered on the compression chamber. It also appears to have a generous loading port. Even if it is beech, that stock makes my knees weak!
Diana better hurry up with their Ntechs. I don’t know if I can hold out!
What’s the difference between the German made walthers and the Turkish (hatsan I’ve read) made walther magnum springers ie. Talon magnum falcon hunter etc.. ? Exactly that?
I have no experience with the “other” Walthers, however I would expect there is quite a quality difference. I will say that Hatsan has improved their sproingers, but they still have a ways to go. I understand that Hatsan has really improved their PCPs.
I’m slowly working my QB-36 into “as close as I can get on my budget” a copy of one of the nicer guns, I epoxied in a magnet to ensure the plastic muzzle/underlever clip assy stays in place and holds the underlever up solidly. The recoil used to knock it loose during firing and I know that affects the harmonics of the barrel, I really need the metal one but that’ll have to wait til I get the gun mounted in the stock straight, It’s still canted which’ll take a drillpress to straighten out.
I started off with a Gamo CFX that I replaced the trigger, put in a gas spring, blew out all the seals, took out the gas spring, etc. I took it as far as it would go. I have decided that I do not need a bunch of toys to play with, just a few nice ones. It takes me quite a bit to save up for a new toy, but that’s OK. I have my 1906 BSA and a couple of others to keep me going until then.
The only thing coming to mind would be to perhaps mention some of the higher end stuff. The season for extravegance (AKA “conspicuous consumpion”) is near upon us and if one were to have perhaps a suggestable significant other…
Well, maybe this year it doesn’t have to be (yet) anothet sweater from “Lands End.”
On the other hand, She/He does have to look at you the rest of the year so perhaps being able to claim “cleans up good” among your assets is more worthwhile.
Naw…go for say an Air Arms Special Edition S510, or something in a sooper-dooper competition pistol by Feinwerkbau, the Piccolo is very nice. Maybe that Carbon Fiber tank assembly so you don’t have to keep running out in the rain/snow this winter for a PCP recharge so often, nor get all sweaty with the hand pump.
One could go on…
You can’t go wrong with anything on this list–a nice showcase of both old and new classics. A 760 Pumpmaster owned 30 years ago is why I’m here on this forum today… My only comment on the accessories is that for $10 more you can get the Shooting Chrony Alpha Master with the remote LCD readout and 18 foot cord, which lets you set the display anywhere you want for easier viewing.
Now, don’t shoot anyone’s eye out! (Sorry…couldnt help that!)
I will second that Alpha master with the remote and you can go to wally world .com and get shorter or longer cords for under 10 bucks.
I knew they’d be readily available somewhere, being just a patch cord but I hadn’t looked around yet.I’d like to get a2-3′. The rest is just in the way right now. I wonder how hard it’d be to find a cordless sensor kit?
You can only get them in 6 foot, 14 foot, 25 and 50 foot like what comes with the chrony and I agree the 25 foot is just way to long and get in the way but they give you a 25 footer so if your are shooting a powder burner you can get the chrony far enough away so that the muzzle blast does not destroy the chrony.
You are looking for a RJ-11 connector end cable that are sold on wally world . com from the company tiger direct and cost like 6 bucks for the 6 footer with a couple bucks shipping to your door. Just make sure it states that it is a six conductor cable as they also list 4 conductor cables and those will not work, you need 6 conductors.
Thanks, I’ll be checking on ’em. I’m so worried about it getting caught up and hitting the ground with my dog actin’ like he owns the joint and my stumblin’ self.
The short 6 footer work great for me as I set the chrony on the outside of my porch railing as and shoot with the gun rested on the railing about 18 inches from the muzzle.
It will help from the pups getting tangled up in the excess cable and snatching the chrony off on the ground.
Is this a standard 6-line phone cable? My Shooting Chrony cable is definitely wider, but I have a Beta which is PC compatible if that makes a difference. I wouldn’t mind getting a shorter cable if I can grab one off the shelf somewhere. Thanks if you can untangle this for me!
The RJ-11 cable is just a standard 6 line phone cable and that is what the Alpha masters use between the chrony and the remote readout so I don’t know if that is what your beta uses or not.
If it has more than 6 lines in a flat phone style connector then the RJ-11 cable will not work.
I went on Walmart .com and searched for cables and that is where I found the different length RJ-11 cables from tiger direct or you can go to Tiger direct .com but I think you get a better shipping rate at wally world. You just need to determine what the class of cable that the beta uses is and then you can search for a different length from there like a RJ-11or -14 or -22. Look at the manual with your chrony and see if it tells you the style cable it uses and then just search for that style or go to tiger direct .com and match up the cable end you have to the ones that they list and then you will know what class cable you have and can go to Walmart and search it there.
Hope that helps as I just searched and looked at cable ends till I found what my alpha used and ordered a shorter one from wally world for like 8 bucks with shipping .
I believe it’s the same cord as a Fax machine uses Not a standard phone but maybe Ethernet patch cord.
Ethernet twisted pair cable uses RJ-45 connectors — 8-wire
RJ-11 connectors support 6 wires, but most phone jacks only use the center 4 (2 phone lines).
Might have to pick up a supply of raw 6-contact RJ-11s and a spool of 6-wire cable, and crimp your own.
I think I had enough of that building old school cannon plugs, but it’s a thought.
Actually, just run down to the local Radio Shack, pop for the semi-special pliers-like crimping-strip tool, get a supply of the four-contact plugs and the six-contact crimpable plugs and you can custom make any length you want.
Oh, yeah, better get some approprate four or six line cable, too. Or you can just cut down existing cable, like taking an 18 foot length and make a ten-footer, a five-footer, and a three-footer for all eventualities.
You’ll need the six-contact line and plugs for your Chrony AND PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE COLOR ORIENTATION OF THE CABLE AND PLUGS! The Chrony won’t work if something is backwards.
The good news about this is the tool will allow you to custom make custom lengths for your regular phone line (usually four conducters) probably for the rest of your life. No more just too short lines, or way too long bundles balled up behind the couch.
Thanks, all! I’ll have to take a closer look at the Beta cable and figure out if I can get a shorter off-the-shelf substitute. The way I usually shoot, a cable half the length will work and be a lot easier to coil up and store inside the folded Chrony.
I need to do that myself, one of these days.
You had better take your Geritol before you give thought to this suggestion.
How about a head to head review/shootout between the Air Arms TX200 MKIII, the Weihrauch HW97K and the Walther LGU? This, I think, is my sproinger short list. I have been wanting to get a break barrel, however, I keep coming back to the under lever. I guess it must be my experiences with the Gamo CFX and my 1906 BSA. Also, I have a hard time mentally accepting that an air rifle whose barrel is used as the cocking lever is going to return to the exact same position time and time again. I know that if it is properly engineered and properly constructed it stands a pretty good chance of doing such, but still… That is why I have been looking at the HW35E and the LGV. At least their barrels have locking mechanisms.
Maybe one day Crosman will figure out how to make a decent sproinger trigger and then build a nice under lever to rival the competition. Of course they will end up blowing it and make it look like a Mattelomatic. Sheesh, I wish Joe Blow Commando would grow up.
I don’t know, crosman seems to be listening I think. Just about every rifle they make in the adult category is available in s wood stock, the marauder is maturing into a staple, evolving into some mattelomatic versions, but there is a half and half market of Joe commando and old school style, both want quality. I fall right in the middle and don’t mind the styles but the feel of plastic is offensive, that is true.
I can’t believe the 760 isn’t rifled anymore, that bums me out, I had one early early on a few different times, all were rifled and I always thought of it as a pellet gun first, what with the clip and all. BB reservoirs might’ve been filled a total of one time all together.
The 760’s never left factory with rifled barrels, except some models in the 70ies.
I had a buddy that had one of the brass bolt metal receiver guns that I drooled over every time I saw it. The closest I could get was my RedRyder and an old Hahn parts gun.
The 760 when it was first introduced in 1966 was a smoothbore rifle and did not get a rifled barrel until 1980 and lasted with a rifled barrel until 2001 and since then has returned to a smoothbore.
I had bought my grandson one in 2013 and was disappointed to see it was a smoothbore gun and was not very accurate at all with pellets so I promptly did my research to determine which barrel could be retro fitted to the new gun to make it back into the rifled barreled 760s I remembered that were such sweet shooting and accurate guns.
You can get a barrel for a 1980 to 01 model and modify it by drilling the holes in the barrel support/ transfer port block where the new plastic block is held in the receiver by screws on either side. the older rifled barrels also have the support/transfer port block made of metal rather than plastic so it is stronger. I can not say if they are still available from crosman itself as I got mine off ebay but it is 2 inches longer than the stock smoothbore barrel and has the rear sight and front sight that screw onto the barrel instead of being spot welded and pressed on respectively.
They still have a long way to go with their sproinger triggers. I guess what I would like to see them do is produce a premium line that is competitive with the TX200, etc. I do understand that there is a much larger market at the Gamo level, but that is where I started.
Although it is smaller, there is a market for top shelf sproingers. I hope to purchase a new sproinger before spring. You can bet your bottom dollar that it will not be a Crosman, and that is only because they do not offer what I am looking for.
I just placed an order for the Walther LGU for Tom to test in .177 caliber. When they come in stock, he’ll be among the first to get it.
Edith, would you kindly know the exact date of discontinuence of rifled barrels in the 760?
I quickly glanced at the 760 models in the latest “Blue Book of Airguns,” and it appears that the gun started off as a smoothbore. However, the 760XLS was made from 2007 to 2009, and it had a rifled steel barrel. Again, I was quickly looking over all the variants and that’s what I found. If it had a rifled barrel before 2007, then someone else will need to find that with some additional research. I don’t see it.
So there must’ve been more smoothbores then I thought, but did have I guess one of those ones between 2007-9, they didn’t ever last long so… I guess for its uses the 760 wouldn’t gain from rifling, but it does kill some of that “toy-bb-gun” feelings for it. Thanks Edith for the info, the blue book is available on pyramyd air right now, correct? And its not too expensive, it I recall, especially for its worth…. Christmas gift?
It would be a good addition to your reference library.
While I don’t often answer questions about vintage guns, I do get a few via Pyramyd Air’s website feedback. I always get Tom to take a look at those inquiries & tell me everything he knows about the gun. Then, I get the “Blue Book of Airguns” and do additional research and add that to Tom’s feedback. Even in my limited capacity, I reference that tome about 2x a week. Also, there’s some fun info in there and worth reading.
I even use it when I want to write up some history about a gun that’s been selling for a while. Shooters like to know a gun has stood the test of time, so I include some history in product descriptions as time allows.
You do a great job, i love the honesty when reading about a product, it is fairly unique to this company.
The new 760 will benefit greatly from the retro fitting of a early model rifled barrel and I believe I had replied to you just a few post above with the years of barrels that can be retro fitted to the newer guns.
I second RRs thank you as I am interested in getting a underlever springer and have been looking at the TX200, the Walther LGU and the HW77. So I look forward to his review of the LGU.
I have shot an HW77 so I know what it is like to shoot and liked it very much its just a shame the PA does not offer it for sale.
We all know what a TX200 is and sets the standard to measure from so I eager to see his test of the LGU.
On the one hand, I hope the LGU is just as wonderful as the LGV. If they did it right, it might be a strong competitor for the TX200. However, if it’s that wonderful, then he won’t want to return it to Pyramyd Air, and we’ll have to buy it.
Then you have his Christmas present already picked out for him, pretty clever lady you are.
I have owned a 97 and did not like it. Then I tested a second one and also did not like it.
But just for you I will do some sort of head-to-head test of the TX, 907 and LGU, which is now on order.
Why not also add a 460 Magnum into that head to head with the TX?
That’s a little outside the scope of the other rifles. The 460 Magnum is a much more powerful rifle that isn’t expected to be smooth.
What was it about the 97 that you did not like?
Underpowered. Too heavy and bulky — something that can also be said about the TX, I know.
Power isn’t everything. First and foremost you have to be able to hit what you are shooting at. Is the accuracy on par with the TX? Is the 97K more hold sensitive?
Power is important when they advertise 14+ foot pounds and deliver less than 12. And, no, it wasn’t as accurate as a TX 200.
Yeah, I think I would like a little bit more than that.
Ive had a couple of 97k’s. The harmonics of this gun prevent it to be a smooth and accurate shooter.
My first hw 97 shot fine for the first 1000 shots. After that it lost it harminics, and started to vibarate. My gunsmith knows what I can do with a rifle, so no questions asked…..and replaced with a new one.
The new hw 97k was even worse…..it torqued to the left, vibrated a lot…. and I could not shoot consistend with it. So I got an other new one…..no questions asked. …this one had problems with the cocking lever and the safty-button. I probably had bad luck with these hw97k’s…..but that was IT for me. My gunsmith gave me my money back…and I bought a hw 80 (r1) in .22.
It is accurate…….thats an understatement! I put a anschuetz diopter/peepsight on it.
Standing 10 meter, 12 shots at olympic target, it shoots 115 sometimes 117 points from a maximum total of 120 points. It recoils in the shoulder, but far more controlled than the nervous hw 97k.
Already owning a custom fwb 300s, hw85 longgggg barrel and a hw 80, Im now looking for a way to explain to my wife, why I need to buy my 4th airgun: the hw30s. When I made my gunrack, I cut out room for 4 rifles. When she saw the rack…she noticed the empty space…..it was made for 4 rifles, and I only own 3. I cant explain to her why I need to buy the hw 30s. ….I cant explain it to myself! I got all terrain covered with my rifles. But BB review about the hw30s MADE MY WANT TO HAVE ONE.
So BB, please think before you write a review…… you get airgunners in trouble…..:)
Apparently, you have the same airgun virus as B.B. VERY contagious, no vaccination, no cure.
Other people have said that about me, as well. So I try to only recommend airguns that I think will please you.
At least I do that much! 🙂
Any chance for a test of the HW77, I know PA does not sell them so it is probably a long shot on it getting tested. I only ask as I got the opportunity to shoot a very well tuned one at the FT matches the first Saturday in November and liked it very much as it was detuned to shoot very smooth with virtually no recoil and had a 12 inch barrel and was deadly accurate if yopu did your part on aiming.
I used to own a 77. That was before I got my first TX, which was a Mark II.
The 77 is a fine rifle, but I don’t have one anymore and I don’t want to borrow one from someone.
Why don’t you borrow one from the FT club members and write us a report on it?
I will have to ask Gabe about that and see as he is the owner of the 77 that I got to shoot a few times. I am not much of a writer though so you may have to do a bit of editing as I am more of a hands on person, I guess I could evaluate it like I did when at Harley and was documenting the failures of the bikes for the engineers to use for their redesigns and improvements of prototype designs and parts
Oh and by the way Reb sent me a email of some new prototype air guns that were being tested and I am thinking that may be your big shocker that you have eluded to, I will not elaborate here as I feel that it should be Reb to do so since he found the report. But if it is what he sent me then it will indeed be a huge seller. He may have already mentioned it but I have not read thru all the post from yesterday or today yet so I cannot be sure and will not comment until either he has or you let the cat out of the bag.
Gunfun’s The one who inspired my search for it.
Rick Eutsler is the one testing it and my speculation is that he MAY be doing it as one of his “RoughCut” episodes. Check it out! I know I’m gonna!
The gun Rick is testing is not the gun Tom is testing. You can take that to the bank.
Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to the .30/.35 Hatsan gun Gunfun brought to light this morning.
Have you let the cat out of the bag yet.
Nope, It’s still shiverin’ & bouncin’ down the road.
Ok lets just wait and see if you are right. it will be some cool stuff fro sure.
my 618 looked bent but the sights were on the barrel. That’s why it only cost me $10. Best $10 I ever spent!
Sorry, that had to be said 😀
You’ll shoot your eye out, kid! 😉
How accurate is that shooting chrony that you recommended above?
It’s accurate enough that I have been using one for print articles for 10 years.
I don’t have the means to test it. but it gets results within a few f.p.s. of my Oehler 35P which is considered the industry standard.
Likely accurate enough for sporting use… Don’t know if the maker has upgraded the innards… Presuming the mechanical part is precise enough (the hinge controlling the distance between the two sensors) the remaining facet is the speed of the processor detecting the projectile — higher speed meaning less jitter in the detection time; along with how precise a clock is used for timing… Are they using a crystal clock, or just an RC timing circuit (many PIC chips come with a built-in 4MHz RC circuit to allow one to save two I/O pins and the cost of a precision crystal).
If one is concerned with shooting up the control/logic panel — spring for the “Master” models, which put the control head on a 12-25 foot length of RJ-11 phone patch.
If I recall, the Beta models have memory for 6 strings of 10 shots, allowing one to run off 60 rounds at the range, then recall the data at home.
I have the Alpha master and I can say it is very durable and the hinges are a rivet of around 1/4 to 5/16 diameter and if it is handled with the care any electronic device deserves it will last a lifetime.
I cannot say what type of logic circuit it has but it uses photo cells in the front and rear to gauge the time for the pellet to cover the distance between the sensors. I have mine on a tripod the is left setup all the time and have had it a year now and the only issue I have had with it is when the battery gets low ( 9 volt ) but before the read out indicates a low battery it will give an error reading intermittently but that was like only 15 to 20 shots before it indicated that the battery was low and only 2 to 3 shots out of those 15 to 20 had a error display.
I don’t really believe that the issue is whether the unit is accurate as much as it is if it is consistent in its readings from one gun to another to be able to compare the results. I can say that it has not left me wondering if I was able to compare one gun to another based on it readings that it recorded. I only wish now that I would have gotten the printer and switch to be able to shoot 4 strings without having to stop after 32 shots and record the readings before continuing to shoot.
I’m familiar with the construction — I have a Beta Master (with LED indoor illuminator, and the printer, although I need to recheck the latter; knocked off the bench once and had to tear it apart to get the print head back on track).
Oh, and a dent on the front end where a .22 Condor went low.
You been rough on yours that’s for sure, I leave mine setup so I am not opening and closing it constantly as I don’t know how well the little flat wire cord between the two sensors will hold up to being bent back and forth by closing and opening repeatedly. My experience with small wire like that is they don’t like to be bent repeatedly a whole lot before the start to break the strand of wire inside the insulation.
I wish I had the printer myself as my hand writing is pitiful since my arthritis has become worse and it is bad when you cannot read your own writing at times.
With the Alpha Master you can always expand & upgrade. That’s why I got it! I’ll be looking at a printer for mine sometime next year if I can afford it.
Thats why I got the alpha master also as I will eventually upgrade to the printer when the money is there, but right now I have a 2240 FT pistol to build so that is my project right now and I have a 10.1 inch LW barrel on the way for it and will order the breech and barrel band tomorrow for it so it should be together by the matches in December I will have to, tune it also so we will see if zi can get it completed by then.
I’ve got one and the only time it wouldn’t read was when the lighting wasn’t right. I’ll be breaking it out again probably tomorrow to Chrony the Benjamin Regal I got coming,Thanks to Gunfun!
I think there’s a secret Santa in our midsts! Someone is on the nice list, and hopefully has a blessed happy Christmas, as well as all the people in earshot of this blog, an airgun, or our gracious hosts. Im getting all choked up, cut it out before I start singing Christmas carols! Too early for that.
I was actually surprised not to hear that bell when I went for my scripts.The shelves were already stocked though! I believe you’re right about the SS and he is a genuinely Good guy!
RDNA I like Christmas carols. 🙂
Did you buy the Benji Regal off of Gunfun? He just got that last week. Guess he really hated the trigger.
I’m always getting and trying and switching around all the time.
I got some keepers that won’t go no where. And some I wish I had back.
But the trigger actually wasn’t that bad for a single stage. But now we will have to see what Reb thinks. He might think the triggers terrible.
I’m not really the best judge on the single stage triggers so will see.
I had a hard time switching back to the modded trigger on the Benji Trail after shooting the 460 Magnum Monday. A nice two stage is a thing of beauty.
Did you modify the trigger on the Regal or just adjust it before selling it? The trigger on my Benji Trail stayed the same no matter what I did to the stupid screw.
Yep I like a 2 stage trigger for sure.
No I didn’t mod the Regal trigger. I adjusted the screw and got it to lighten up some. But nothing like what I’m use too.
And it is a shame they put that dang trigger in them guns. It was actually a nice feeling gun to shoot. And I liked that the barrel shroud was actually all aluminum. No plastic.
Didn’t you try my bearing trick on the trigger in your Benji trail and stated that you liked it or do I have you mixed up with another blogger.
I was getting 1/4″-3/8″ @10m groups benchresting my 953 before I did the Pilkington mod on it but a sproinger’s a totally ‘nother story. We’ll find out tomorrow or the next day so long as it gets here before dark I’ll have to have a little time to mount a scope, that’s not something I really wanna rush with a high powered springer and my 30+ year old Pronghorn that’s living the good life on my 953. I’ll probably wanna pull it off before it gets too beat up and saw a paralax adj. at Wally’s that would be quick & easy,if I got the money & if I don’t like it ya know, it’s just across town. I will eventually be trying one of those Hawkes out but right now it’s time to get that 2400 and then get used to bulk filling so I’ll be ready for the transition into PCP.
Lets us know how you like the Regal when you get it and it is not that bad on recoil so I think it will not destroy scopes as easily as you think. It is much smoother than your 36 I can tell you that for sure. Before you buy a wally world scope check this one out from GB that is priced comparable to the wally world and it is magnum rated. I have two of them and they have held up very well without any damage from my spring guns.
Glad you are getting a very good and accurate, powerful spring gun that you can shoot and enjoy without needing any work or problem fixed for a good while. I hope you can cock it easily.
I’ll be alright with the cocking, the first gun I shot after getting out of the hospital was my 36( 30#’s at least and I only grab it halfway most of the time anymore, left-handed) followed by a month’s steady push-up/pull-up routine. I let getting up & down suffice for the sit-ups 😉
The thing about the Wally’s scope is I can take it back for exchange(if necessary)in a matter of minutes instead of days or weeks and check for my Daisy wadcutters again.All I can find are the Precision max & I’m pretty sure they’re not the same.
I understand about the scope from wally world but I have had these two hammer magnum spring rated scopes for about 9 months now and have had no issues and they are 3×9 40 AO scopes that will allow you to get the full potential of the range that regal is capable of and come with a one piece mount that has the pin to prevent scope walk.
I was just thinking about you not having a scope being damaged by the recoil of the regal.
Its out of the bag now I guess huh. I hope he likes it as I think he will and can cock it without to much trouble.
He sold me the 95… I don’t know if he’d be bashful, but at a great deal. He thought Id enjoy the cannon Id been craving, and it sure satisfied that craving, Im still mastering the hold it wants, but also have a 135 oem spring on its way! It has 4 more coils but otherwise is the same, how’s that for filling the craving!? I can get the outing charged (see below) but it was gauging so a steel spring should make its cannon life complete.
Did the spring come for the Hatsan?
Not yet, don’t know if its actually shipped our yet, I have gotten a receipt from pay(buddy) but the shipper still has the status as ordered, its supposed to be oem but they might be making it, or that its a new pay account its taking the money awhile to hit their end… I’ll know as soon as something changes, Im a little annoying when it comes to ordering things! Lol
Well it shouldn’t take you long when you get it.
That is if it will drop right in where the nitro piston was.
I hope it comes with a guide too.
You are going to take out the gas spring and replace it with a coil spring in the 95. so how much more will the 135 spring give you over the gas spring in power and velocity , do you have any specs. Did you order the spring from hatsan or from an aftermarket supplier.
What are you going to do with the gas spring because if you are not going to keep it for possible reuse I would be interested in it to see if it would fit in one of my B3s to make a gas spring underlever Chinese spring gun.
Let me know if you are willing to part with the gas spring when you get the 95 rebuilt with the coil spring and decide if you like it and are willing to part with the gas spring.
I’ll be breaking it out just as soon as soon as it warms up enough to be standing in an open window, Popped a breaker some time overnight and woke up to 45 F in here and had to venture outside into 28f wind chill twice so far. Gotta get that coffee!I’m still trying to figure out when it’s gonna release but so far it’s still scaring me every time it goes off so, not there yet.
Reb you got a Regal coming? 😉
Be here some time tomorrow. I’ll be staying close to home then!
Well, the best Christmas gift for me would be 900 mm of nice seamless steel pipe with 28 mm inner diameter, honed inner surface and 4 mm thick walls 😉 I’m on a way to Mk.2 and finished sketching.
Multicoordinate CNC milling machine would be nice too, but it seems I was a bad boy this year (as usual).
In the movies, guys like you build their own multicoordinate CNC milling machines from old washing machines and pinball machine parts. 😉
There’s a little trouble – I old washing machines I have are used in 1 mW cold fusion reactor prototype and we don’t have too many pinball machines here 🙁
Are you sure pinball machines make for good CNC milling machines? Then maybe I can disassemble my old low-orbit launch vehicle, turn it into pinbal machine and then – into CNC milling machine. Aaah, comrade, how did it happen that you always know the easy way?!
See? I knew you would find a way. Clever guys always do.
You can’t forget the mechanical typewriter!
Straighten up & fly right and you’ll be soaring like an Eagle! Well above the Turkeys!
I have a pair of Ruger Stainless .357 Vaqueros wt. 51/2 barrels. I use them for Cowboy Action Matches. They are great guns, built like tanks, accurate, and very reliable. They are also very easy to mod if you want to. I put in Wolff gun springs to lighten up the actions a bit. As with any fixed sight gun, you may have to file the sight to get it to shoot point of aim with your chosen load. I had to with one of the ones I have.
Appreciate the input, it seems all my searches turn up two camps: one that will swear by Rugers and the other the Clones.
At the matches do you see mostly Rugers?
I would say it is about 50 50. However, most people buying new guns in the last couple years are getting the Ruger. This is especially true since the New Model Vaquero was introduced which has the same feel as a Colt. The New Model is not as thick as the original.
Ruger comes through again. I think of the Vaquero as an old West gun because of its name. How is the design different from the Colt SAA?
The Ruger uses coil springs, it has a transfer bar action (It can be safely carried with 6 rounds) , the firing pin is frame mounted, and it has a two piece grip. Some of the Colt clones may have some of these features, I don’t know for sure. The original model Colts don’t.
Been looking at both the HW30S and HW50S what are your thoughts on the extra money for the 50S? The stock is a bit nicer on the HW50S and it has some more power so I’m leaning towards the HW50S it’s only $70 more would you say the two shoot comparable?
The Hw30s has a power of about 7 fpe, while the Hw50s has 11 fpe. This is quite a significiant difference – in trajectory and hunting capability, but also in cocking effort and ease of shooting. If you want to shoot all day at 10 yards, get the sweet Hw30. If you want to hunt squirrel, take the Hw50s,
The Hw 50s has a nicer stock that suits adults better. If you are small framed, you may prefer the Hw30s.
The comments on the HW30 are pretty unique and almost made me buy one in the early going. Some rifles, like the M1 Garand just come together in a way that is not described by caliber, power, or the usual measures, and the HW30 seems to be one. Maybe some day.
The sum of the parts are greater than the whole certainly applies to the R7 / HW30.
I just made a purchase so the airgun wallet is some what empty. The HW50S is just one if the guns under consideration for a next purchase. Thanks for your input.
Both rifles are nice, but I like the 30S best for its light cocking.
Airgunner Christmas gifts for 2014: Part 3
tool set (various sized screw drivers, allen wrenches, etc.) MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR GUNS. PA used to carry a small set made by B-Square that is great. Think it was $15.00
paper targets (heavy stock), shoot-n-c reactive targets (because they’re fun) and a gamo knock down ft style target with various size reducers (because everyone shoots at these)
large soft sided gun case for travel. one that will accommodate a scoped gun
no silicone cloths needed if you keep a pure cotton rag soaked in ballistol inside a ziplock
Just trying to give you more ideas since you’re running out of suggestions for articles. 😉
Honestly, I just made a list of items I use on a very regular basis. The “couldn’t get by without” stuff.
That’s a good way to look at it. I will look at your list and make up a Part 3.
To save your ears, folks, consider my new invention of triple hearing protection. Expandable disposable plugs go inside the ear canals. Cotton wads fill up space in the outer ear. And then huge earmuffs go on top of everything. This will tame even the muzzlebreak on a .338 magnum.
I wanna see a few different pellet samples cherrypicked by PA or B.B. I’d prefer the Dial a pellet style but 4-5 or 6 compartments to what H&N’s doing
Kevin, good list! And. SteveinMN, You asked for some specific wording…. A centerpoint scope says. “Any disassembly or modification not performed by an authorized service station will void the warranty” A Benjamin nps… “DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DISASSEMBLE IT! Your airgun… special tools.. to repair it. Any dis.sembly or mod.. not performed by ASS will void warranty.” The 1377 says it, , the hatsan says ” Do not disassemble or tamper with your airgun. Use a competent gunsmith. Many airguns contain powerful springs…. injury…'” so the question of can I open my gun without voiding the warranty has a definitive answer, written clearly that YOU can not disassemble without voiding. Countless other guns have always said the same thing. Its important ti know that if the company is aware or your actions make it clear you did enter the mechanics of the gun, they will not honor any repair or replacement.
If the question is can my gun be worked on without voiding, then yes by an authorized service station, he may have asked that but I just wanted ti get the wording up fir clarity either way.
Like steel spinners, knock down targets, shatter targets, targets that get filled with air, targets that lay on the ground that get knocked around. Even different type of paper targets.
Did I mention targets.
Okay, I’ll do a Part 3.
Dum Dum Pops/Suckers are great shatter/reactive targets for airguns. They explode in a cloud of sugar. My wife just bought a bag of 100 of these for me for $1.00 at some store that had their halloween candy at blowout prices (pun intended).
Ok now we got to get Pyramyd Air to start carrying candy for targets.
And could even be used in medical emergencies. Or snack type refresher on those hard long days of shooting.
And biodegradable. 🙂
Woulda come in handy for situations like the one B.B. suffered in his last competition!
A great blog suggestion from awhile ago was ice cubes as targets. There’s a nice shatter effect and no clean up.
We have made several ice tray targets at a time. They do blow up nice.
Did you get the e-mail I sent earlier? Yahoo’s been down almost all day.
The message was there you sent me but the link wouldn’t work.
I did send you a reply.
I have no idea it’ll be before I could be able to access my account but I don’t wanna be pushin’ sharing links here.
Got my harvest up to about 10-12 #’s, I’m cracking some right now. I’ll try to get ’em there in time for Christmas and New Years but I’m afraid we missed Thanksgiving.
Dis you get that die from the valentines commercial? I forgot about that toy you did it, but great idea. I took cookie cutters shaped like pigs and birds and filled em with plaster if Paris, great smash and cloud.
Sorry, didn’t have ny reading glasses, lets see… *did.. *idea… till… said… and, *of
Seeing that 54 reminds me how easy and fast I found it was to shoot a sidelever with good results.
Yes, I have only sidelevers, and you can get into a rhythm with them. Breakbarrels look more difficult and underlevers the most difficult of all.
I do find that the side lever has to be watched when I shoot my 54. It seems to want to contact things when I cock it when in tight quarters.
The break barrel seems to get smaller when you cock it as it pulls in instead of swinging out.
Either way not that big of a deal though.
They all tend to take a bit of space to operate them comfortably. I guess it just depends how & where you set up to shoot. But for woods walking the lighter weight of a break barrel should extend the day considerably.
The 54 is a heavy gun that’s for sure. The cocking arm adds a bit of weight. But the recoil system adds on also.
I would rather carry the HW50s around the woods over the 54 for sure. But that weight definitely helps the 54 shine when it comes to bench resting or using a bi-pod. And it shoots pretty much the same as the synthetic stock Mrods I got.
Sounds like a sweet gun! I’ll keep an eye out for ’em but they sound like the shelf’s gonna be a struggle for this little guy to reach. I saw a TS-45 for sale the other day. but I’m wondering if one of those Russian guns may be more in line for my desired uses.
Thanks to our veterans on Veterans Day. If you care to read the Medal of Honor citations online, you’ll see things that no movie could reproduce. Speaking of which, I saw the Brad Pitt film , Fury. It had good action sequences which was what I was hoping for, and particularly good footage of the inside of a tank in operation. The noise inside of there I can hardly imagine, and the extreme danger. I believe that after WW2, the casualty rates for the German tank crews were virtually 100%. Parts of the movie I did not understand, but you can see for yourself.
Wow, with today’s blog, I see that I still have much to learn about the classics. I never paid much attention to the 760, not having much experience with pump guns, but it sounds interesting. The Marauder now has a cheek piece which can only make it better. So what is the difference between and icon like the Marauder and a legend like the Talon? That’s an interesting distinction. My guess is that the quality is comparable but the legend has been around longer and maybe is more influential for that reason. And it appears we have a new champion of breakbarrels. I had not thought of a previous champion unless it was the R1 or the Diana 34, but the Walther seems to have taken over.
Thanks to Mike and others for explaining timing for revolvers. Makes perfect sense.
Hey so I got all the dirt on the hatsan gas pistons, they are factory filled with compressed air, the bleed screw is independent if the fill channel which is the hollow (looks like a large pin channel) on the opposite side. That channel has a hole in the middle, facing the breech, in the channel that must be the one way valve, they didn’t go into that but did say other fill probes may fit but o rings tend to need to be on the larger side. It can ne filled with compressed air or nitro. It comes with 135 BAR, and shouldn’t take much more or benefit from over that. They advised 150 was possible but not recommended. So, scuba status.
Of* the fill channel
Cool if you had a hand pump or access to one and the correct adapter you’d be able to adjust it to your liking!
Didn’t BB have a problem before with a Theoben that had been pressurized beyond recommended limits by the previous owner?
Speaking of the 75th Anniversary Red Ryder, not only does it have a metal cocking handle, but according to Daisy, it is assembled in the company’s Rogers, Arkansas facility of parts made in USA and overseas. Nice bonus of the “stock” Red Ryder being made in China.
I recall seeing some RedRyders with metal cocking levers on another site and suggesting to PA that they should do whatever they could to get some. It wasn’t pretty but B.B. helped smooth out the wrinkles and it looks like it worked!
I do wish BB would test the Beeman R11, it gets passed over a lot as an R9 derivative, but it’s so, so, much more than a sum of it’s parts and every bit the equal in accuracy terms of the LGV and TX, he loves his Tyrolean HW55 ,I think it would become his new favourite and make this list next year.
I’ve heard that before, tyrolean, and am curious. Is that a tune indication? An air smith brand?
Or a place of manufacture? Certain generations made better thing?
it’s a stock style, quite a pronounced and cupped cheekpiece, much beloved of the Germans though rather out of style these days, The Tyrolean’s are a small Bavarian mountain range.
Now go and google, Schnabel tips and Stutzen stocks 🙂
Actually the Tyrolean mountainous area is Austrian, it was German for a while in the late 30’s and early 40’s until we got the naughty boy cane out of the cupboard.
If that LGU comes through, how about a European Spring Powered FT Heavy Hitter test
Diana 470TH and 56TH, Walther LGV and LGU, Air Arms TX200, Weihrauch HW98 and Feinwerkbau Sport
What a face off!
I would put a few pennies on the 56TH and the HW98 (R11) causing a few upsets!
I’ve held the LGU at my local airgun shop and it gave me more than a slight twinge in the unmentionables