CZ P-09 Duty BB and Pellet pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

CZ P-09 Duty
CZ P-09 BB and pellet pistol closely copies the firearm.

Part 1

This report covers:

• Test design
• Daisy BBs
• ASG Blaster BBs
• Air Arms Falcon pellets
• RWS Hobby pellets
• Shot count
• Trigger pull

Today, we’ll look at the power and velocity of the CZ P-09 Duty from ASG. If you remember from Part 1, this blowback pistol can shoot either steel BBs or lead pellets from its 16-shot magazine. Each end of the mag has an 8-shot circular clip that rotates as the gun is fired.

The pistol is both single-action (hammer is already cocked before the trigger is pulled) and double-action (hammer is cocked by pulling the trigger); but in this case, you’re going to be firing it single-action most of the time. That’s because each time the slide blows back, it cocks the hammer for the next shot. I did shoot it double-action (hammer down when the trigger is pulled) twice, but saw no real difference in velocity. And, since you aren’t going to shoot it that way most of the time, I decided to test the gun single-action, only.

Test design
I started the test shooting BBs. I shot 2 different ones in this test. The first was the Daisy Premium Grade BB that’s a standard for premium steel BBs. Because this pistol operates on CO2, which cools the gun and slows the velocity as it does, I allowed 10-15 seconds between each shot. That gives the gun’s parts a chance to warm up after the shot. I shot 8 shots per string instead of 10, because the magazine holds 8 rounds on either end.

Daisy BBs
Eight Daisy BBs averaged 317 f.p.s. The high was 330 f.p.s., and the low was 311 f.p.s. I noticed that the chambers in the circular clip grabbed the BBs with different tension, and that’s what made the biggest difference in velocity, I believe. This 5.1-grain BB produced 1.14 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

The pistol is advertised to get 412 f.p.s., so I think the manufacture’s velocity estimate is a bit high — at least for the pistol I’m testing. Maybe it will speed up a bit when it breaks in.

ASG Blaster BBs
I also tried ASG Blaster steel BBs in the gun. This is a BB that’s new to me, so I also took a close look at it for you. The surface is extremely smooth. When I measured several BBs, the diameter ranged between 0.172 inches and 0.173 inches, with most of the BBs measuring 0.1725 inches. Of course, the bottle says they are 4.5mm/.177 caliber, but every BB manufacture puts that on their packaging.

These BBs did appear to be very spherical — I measured several of them at different places, and the measurements never varied. They weigh 5.1 to 5.4 grains, with most of them coming in at 5.3 grains. That is both a larger weight spread than other premium BBs I have tested, and also a couple tenths of a grain heavier.

ASG Blaster steel BBS
ASG BB joins the lineup of premium steel BBs.

ASG BBs averaged 316 f.p.s., but the velocity ranged from a low of 303 f.p.s, to a high of 361 f.p.s. I attribute a loose chamber in the circular clip to that fast one because the next-fastest BB went just 319 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this BB produced 1.18 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

It was time to test the gun with lead pellets. Given the power level, I selected 2 light pellets that I thought matched the gun very well.

Air Arms Falcon pellets
First to be tested were Air Arms Falcon pellets. They’re a domed lightweight pellet that often produces surprising accuracy. In the P-09, they averaged 322 f.p.s., with a velocity spread from 303 f.p.s. to 337 f.p.s. You’ll notice that’s faster than either of the steel BBs, despite the pellet’s 7.33-grain weight adding 2 grains over the ASG BBs. Obviously, these pellets fit the bore better and get more power from the expanding gas. At the average velocity, this pellet produces 1.69 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

RWS Hobby pellets
RWS Hobbys weigh just 7 grains and are quite uniform, so I use them to determine the best velocity for most .177 pellet guns. In the P-09, they averaged 335 f.p.s., but the velocity spread was pretty high. It ranged from a low of 319 f.p.s. to a high of 348 f.p.s. At the average velocity, Hobby produced 1.74 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Hobbys fit the chambers of the circular clips very tightly. I had to push them in with a pen to get them seated below flush. That fit may account for some of the velocity spread. The accuracy test will be interesting.

Shot count
The lower velocity means the shot count can be higher, but blowback subtracts from that. By this point in the test, there were already 38 shots on the CO2 cartridge, and the slide was still blowing back strong. That’s a good indication of when the pressure is dropping — when the slide no longer blows back.

Shot 48 was a Hobby that went out at 324 f.p.s., so the gun was still on the power band. Shot 53 was 305 f.p.s., which indicated the CO2 liquid was gone, and the gun was now running on residual gas. Shot 60 went 275 f.p.s., 65 went 250 f.p.s., 66 went 254 f.p.s. and 67 went out at 247 f.p.s.

At this point, I stopped shooting pellets because I didn’t want to jam one in the barrel, but I continued to fire the gun to see at what shot the slide would stop blowing back far enough to cock the hammer. That happened at shot 75. I would say that plinkers will get 8 full clips from the gun and target shooters should stop after 6 clips. Subtract one clip if you want to shoot rapidly without allowing the gun to recover from the cold. Of course, we still need to see if the P-09 is a worthy target air pistol.

Trigger-pull
The last thing I’ll test for you today is the trigger-pull. Double-action went off at 9 lbs., 8 oz. Single-action broke at 5 lbs., even. The length of the single-action pull is very long, and you feel a pause right at the start. But when you get to the break point, the trigger blade stops moving and the pressure builds until the gun fires.

Next, we’ll test the pistol for accuracy. I think I’ll try to test both pellets and BBs in the same report, unless something unexpected happens.

123 thoughts on “CZ P-09 Duty BB and Pellet pistol: Part 2


  1. B.B. (fully transitioned from Tom back to B.B. now),

    You might remember from your report a long time ago on the plastic version of the Tanfoglio Witness that the gun came with a couple hundred BBs that where so shiny and so perfectly spherical that they looked like ball bearings?

    Last week I saw some BB pistols at a certain ubiquitous big box store and saw what had to be the same thing in their clear plastic clamshells. One was branded Sig Sauer and the other Ruger, but obviously they were made somewhere in Asia by an airsoft manufacturer.

    My point and question is this: might these ASG BBs be the same ball-bearing-like BBs that were packaged with the all-plastic Tanfoglio Witness?

    Michael



    • Kevin,

      I never mentioned it, but I did shoot the Diana 1000 last year when I was at Umarex USA during filming of the show. I was underwhelmed. It’s a PCP. It shoots well. I didn’t see that much accuracy. And the price is high.

      But since it is being imported, I will look into a test for the rifle.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Did the Diana 1000 you shot have the quasi thumbhole stock with adjustable buttpad? I know you’re not a fan of thumbhole stocks but if the Diana 1000 you shot had this stock I’d be interested in your take on the ergonomics.

        Poor accuracy is disconcerting. Wonder if the one you shot had regulator problems, which were common with the early guns, that threw an occasional shot 100-150 fps less several times during a shot string.

        Since this gun is regulated it supposedly gets a crazy number of shots, even the FAC versions. Has a high fill pressure requirement apparently though. Price is on par with the AA S500/510 but if the regulator works in the Diana 1000 as advertised and has equivalent accuracy then it may be a good buy.

        I have more questions than answers about this gun since it doesn’t appear many folks have shot the latest versions that supposedly were fixed by the factory.

        kevin


        • Kevin,

          I shot a conventional rifle. Umarex USA didn’t know whether they would be importing the rifle because of the cost.

          The accuracy wasn’t poor, it was just okay. But you know I only shot it with RWS pellets, because what else are they going to give me?

          B.B.


          • B.B.,

            LOL! Of course RWS pellets only from Umarex USA.

            Like the RWS pellets alot for many springers but never had them perform well in any pcp’s.

            In hindsight, a test of the Diana 1000 might be a waste of your time since I noticed PA only has 3 of these guns in stock (unless they’re planning on getting more).

            kevin


            • Kevin,

              PA is doing the tarantula dance with this model. Nobody, including me, knows how well it is going to be accepted in this country. The competition at this level is already stiff and getting stronger every day. So the last thing you want is to sink a lot of money into inventory that doesn’t move.

              On the other hand, I should be sensitive to this new design. I left it alone because everyone else was doing the same. Maybe if I tested it, it might have a chance to do well.

              It’s worth trying.

              B.B.


              • B.B.,

                Along those lines Air Arms has two fairly new PCP’s that I, at least, would like to know more about. First is the S510 Ultimate Sporter. I don’t know what, if any, changes(except for the stock) have been made. Does it shoot any better than the standard S510? Is it more accurate, etc?

                Second is the HFT 500. I would like to see a full review on this one. There are probably significant differences between this one and any of the other Air Arms rifles. I simply don’t know.

                Lastly, the new S510 Extra FAC Limited Edition is drop dead gorgeous but is there anything else to recommend it? Again, I would really like to know.

                I know you can’t do everything we request but I would appreciate anything you can tell me about these rifles. Thanks for your help as always.

                G&G


                • G&G,

                  I might get to test one of these expensive rifles, but not both. I hate to pull such expensive airguns out of inventory and then cause them to become used guns, just to satisfy one person’s curiosity.

                  It would be wonderful if every airgun could be tested the way I do it, but that simply isn’t possible. So I listen to what the bulk of the readers are asking about and pick the guns I will test from that.

                  Many years ago I tested an Air Arms S410, because so many people were shouting its praises. What I discovered was a rifle that couldn’t keep pace at 50 yards with a Talon SS. That put me off Air Arms pneumatics for a while.

                  /blog/2007/11/air-arms-s410-sidelever-part-5/

                  B.B.



    • Sadly, Diana is bankrupt and was bought by a company called German Sport Guns.

      The Dianawerk will be closed because GSG seems to think the tools are outdated and the employees will be let go.

      I wonder what this means. No more choked quality barrels, no more T06 triggers? Chinese springers under the Diana name?


      • I just noticed that this old news in the English-speaking airgun world. I just never saw it mentioned here.

        I also hadn’t read the report from SHOT Show where the plans to make new products based on Diana technology were mentioned.

        Maybe they are planning to do more than (ab)use the brand name afterall.

        The core technology certainly is good as far as I can judge from my 31. A little less plastic, no fiber optics, a little more attention to detail and some innovation… and they might have a product that is still competitive in the future.


        • CptKlotz,

          The buyout of Diana by GSG is last years news. Last year there was lots of speculation, like yours, about the factory closing, Diana workers being laid off, etc. etc. Not true.

          The buyout of Diana by GSG has infused needed cash and is now viewed by most as a good thing since it will allow Diana to continue to produce guns in the same manner as they have been for many years.

          If you would like to hear about the future of Diana from Diana’s Managing Director, Martin Zedler while he was at the SHOT Show here it is:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUJSmJJeDMQ

          kevin


          • Kevin,

            I wish Herr Zedler had been at the Diana booth when I was there! Edith and I visited their booth twice during the show and found it devoid of people. That’s not the thing to do at this show with 1.200 media people walking about.

            I went there specifically to write about the future of Diana, but what I found was a facade dedicated to the past. I hope they do energize the company, because they have superior products.

            Maybe the arrival of the gas spring guns will be a start.

            B.B.


            • Hi everyone…

              I think GSG is determined to close the Diana plant in Rastatt and move production elsewhere. So there most likely *will* be a massive change.

              I wonder how bad the existing equipment can be. They seemed to be able to produce very high quality products (barrels, triggers, blued metal parts).

              It seems they didn’t always listen to the customers, even though there were well-known problems with their products that should be easy to fix.

              The 31/34 has very good ingredients and would be even better with some changes:

              -No more plastic front sights (exchangeable front sight inserts would be even better)
              -No fiber optics
              -A proper scope rail
              -Rubber buttcap
              -Maybe offer a lower powered version in the USA since it’s much nicer to shoot if you don’t need the power. Some people want a big, adult-sized rifle but they don’t want a loud and harsh magnum powerhouse.

              I also wonder why Diana doesn’t have a smaller air pistol anymore. The LP8 is extremely powerful and looks like a rifle in a pistol stock. Something like the Weihrauch HW40 that is lighter, cheaper and has no recoil would be a perfect addition I guess.

              We’ll see what the takeover does for the brand. It could even be a good thing if they manage to leave the good things intact while modernizing and improving the product catalog.


              • Stephan,

                The one thing that always struck me is the executives of Diana have been very resistive to suggestions. I can talk airguns with Hans Weihrauch, Jr., and even though he will not implement most of what I suggest, he listens and at least seems to think about it.

                Wulf Pflaumer of Umarex was extremely receptive to ideas. And some of those like the Colt SAA bore a lot of fruit.

                Crosman under the old regime was also very receptive to at least talking about things their customers wanted. I see a little thawing there now, so maybe they are starting to open up again.

                But Diana has always been a closed book. If they didn’t think of it — it wasn’t worth considering. Yet I noticed that 5 years after Leapers brought out the scope base that fixed their breakbarrel drooping problem, they changed the base on their guns to not accept it. So, they do listen at some level.

                Let’s hope the new owners want to succeed more than they want to have their egos stroked.

                B.B.


                • @B.B.: How did they change the scope rail to “sabotage” a scope mount? It’s still a 11mm dovetail, right? I thought they basically hadn’t changed it since the times when rifles were much weaker and people mostly just put diopter sights on them and scopes were an absolute novelty.

                  Anyway, Weihrauch has a reputation for listening to shooters and maybe that’s why they dominate Field Target in the “recoiling” classes around here.

                  In the German airgun forums, the consensus seems to be “You can buy any Weihrauch without hesitation but Diana is also ok”.

                  After shooting the HW35 and HW45, I sort of know why this is. They are rock solid without any parts that feel weak.


                • B.B.,

                  Changing the gun to not accept the “Leapers drooper base” really got me. That’s about as low down as it gets!

                  Why not fix the droop problem or come out with their own droop base?

                  How hard would it be for Diana to fix the “droop problem”? I never understood that, the whole (short) time I have been here.



                • I really like all my Diana’s warts and all.

                  I am constantly recommending the 34 to newbies that want a quality springer and everyone who gets one is so satisfied.

                  I have 4 Diana’s with the new T06 trigger and I find them all to be very nice. I only have limited experience with the older triggers but from that experience I would pay a premium for the new triggers.

                  Hopefully the new leadership will be an improvement. That would be great. But I like the current offerings too.

                  Mark N


                • Barrel misalignment or Barrel droop is a problem that is common with all break barrels . While shopping for a Beeman R1 in 2005 the shop owner pulled out 5 boxes of R1’s so I can cherry pick one that had the least obvious barrel droop. Barrel droop is easy fixed by bending barrel to one’s liking or get scope base that adjust. Just about all Turkish break barrels point up which is opposite of down droop but it’s still barrel misalignment.


              • CptKlotz,

                I gave you a link to a video with Martin Zedler speaking directly about Diana’s future.

                Can you reciprocate and provide some facts that support your allegation that, “GSG is determined to close the Diana plant in Rastatt and move production elsewhere. So there most likely *will* be a massive change.”

                kevin


                • Kevin,

                  There was an article on it in a local newspaper. I could give you a link but I guess you probably don’t speak German and my posting would be marked as spam anyway. You’ll find it if you search for “dianawerk rastatt”. The paper is Badisches Tagblatt.

                  There also was a discussion at the German Co2air forum but I would have to find it again.


            • B.B.,

              Agreed. I look at Diana as one of the four horsemen of airgun manufacturers. I think the main reasons they’ve survived is because of their meat and potatoes products and recent capital infusion.

              Hopefully along with capital infusion will come a greater willingness to listen to the market, writers like yourself and innovation.

              kevin


    • Hi Edith,

      Have you heard any recent scuttlebutt concerning the Colt SAA, it’s availability and other variations of it, such as a 4 3/4″ bbl? I ordered the blued version the same day Tom introduced us to it. I was disappointed when PA moved the availability from Feb to March 23rd and have eagerly been awaiting its arrival.


  2. B.B., I’m amazed at all the “New” bbs coming out. I guess I shouldn’t be as there are so many “BB” only guns now and more coming out every day. And for a long time there were only really a couple brands, Crosman and Daisy (three counting the Avanti) that was easy to obtain. Now we throw in Umarex, Hornady and these ASG. I know there is Marksman, but they don’t seem to be popular. Can you tell me who makes the Umarex bbs? I also see Remington BBs on the PA site. Are those made by Crosman. I would think so, but, they are “golden” (Remington likes that for their 22 rimfire bullets) and the Crosman are “copper” coated. Exciting times for sure. As a person that shoots bb pistols almost as much as pellet pistols and rifles, it’s nice to see some choices. That said, usually, the Daisy (Zinc coated) bbs still seem to be the best overall bb with all things considered. I hate that as I always want the Crosman to do best because they are made in the USA, but for my guns, they can’t hold a candle to the Daisys. Thank You, Bradly


    • Bradle,

      I don’t know who makes Umarex BBs. What I do know is that making steel BBs is a big capital investment. The machinery is large and the dies are costly to make and to maintain. So the number of companies actually making BBs is far less than the number of brads that exist.

      Daisy used to make BBs in the U.S. I’m not sure whether their Avanti Precision Ground Shot are still being made here, but I do know their Premium Grade BBs are now made in China.

      I know Crosman makes their own BBs because I have visited the line that makes them. I wasn’t allowed to photograph some of the machinery, but I can tell you that more than one million BBs come off the line each day.

      B.B.


      • B.B.
        I knew about Daisy. I’ve asked them about it. I really believe Daisy’s process is why they are so good. They get them by the drums (I’m told). But then once they are in the US, they sort everyone of those. Again, this is what I’ve been told. But it makes sense to me. I had no idea that just one makers alone produces over 1 million a day! That’s a lot of shooting! Thanks again, Bradly


        • The Daisy BBs arrive at the plant in 55gal drums. Four to a pallet, 2500lbs per pallet. The BBs go to a machine that does the packaging. That machine s
          Loads the BBs into three different size containers at the same time.
          My visit to the plant was a few years ago. I don’t remember off hand about the QC for the BBs.


  3. I’ll look forward to the rest of the story on this CZ imitation.

    Bugbuster, you ask questions close to my heart. So, glad that you had a good experience with an IZH 61. I was never able to mount a peep sight on it but have enjoyed both the open sights and the Bugbuster scope that I generally shoot with. And I am dismayed about your bad experiences although that is interesting. I have wondered about the varied reports about the IZH 61 that I have heard. You see variations in performance in the PA comments although they are good overall. Even B.B.’s reports had some variation. At first, this rifle was the best deal for $100. Then a more detailed test found that it wasn’t quite so accurate after all. This was attributed to the change from a metal to a plastic receiver but the “basic goodness” was supposed to be retained. Then there was a later test comparing a metal receiver version to a plastic version and no difference was found. I can’t tell you how I agonized over all this data on the way to putting down my $100, but I couldn’t be happier with the rifle.

    My shooting course is as follows. Five yards offhand in ten shot groups. The number of groups has changed over time. For awhile it was 6 every day along with other airguns and dry-firing but it has decreased a little bit. I don’t really measure at this distance. An excellent group is one round hole slightly larger than a pellet. A good group is a little bigger. A mediocre group either is cloverleafed with individual pellet holes protruding from the main one or one big messy hole. And bad groups are when the pellet holes are separate. But my true quest in all this to invoke the Jaws of the Subconscious. It’s just like the cover of the Peter Benchley novel. I focus utterly on my technique with sneering indifference to the result and CHOMP, a deeper part of the mind takes over and hits the perfect shot. When you are in the presence of the Jaws, there is no time and everything is an eternal present. Sometimes I’m aware of the Jaws rising to the surface in the split second before I release the shot, but even with the pellet in the chamber, I know as surely as I know anything that the shot will hit, and it always does. They said that Annie Oakley was a total machine and never had any self doubts, and I suspect that she lived with the Jaws all the time. I only experience them in a fleeting way.

    Anyway as for the persistent variation in performance among the rifles, maybe it is not a perception but a fact of different build quality. Maybe that also explains B.B.’s 6 MOA Mosin even though the sniper versions of that gun had very little modification from the factory and have been called the greatest sniper rifles off all time.

    Duskwight, interesting about wild inaccuracy with the IZH 61. I have had that happen a couple of times. But in each case, the problem was attributed to something else. Lack of lubrication in one case and a bent loading rod in another.

    Matt61


    • Matt61
      My IZH 61 is the most inaccurate gun I have ever owned. It is the only gun I have that is collecting rust, and I don’t seem to mind. It is not an interesting gun and Townsend Whelen would understand my contempt


      • Ton,

        My IZH61 is by no means the most accurate rifle I have but it is accurate. I can usually get groups that are close to 10 meter match rifle accuracy at 10 meters. Far enough off to probably never beat a match rifle but pretty darn close.

        I don’t want this to sound like one of those “considering the price” comments but the IZH61 was never meant to be competitive with a 10 meter match rifle. Yet, for +- $140 you can get incredible accuracy plus I think it’s fun to shoot.

        I am not familiar with your experience with this rifle but it seems unfortunate to me. Just my opinions (and experience).

        G&G


        • G&G,
          I’ve already concluded that I got a lemon. Too many people love their IZH’s and get good accuracy including a friend of mine who boasts that he has never shot anything more accurate. Each indevidual gun stands on its own. I have heard so much bad things said about Gamo rifles that I have decided to buy one [a 220] to to work on as a project. I was so amazed when I shot it for the first time and realized that all the pellets were going in a 1/2 inch group. I want to reduce the buzz it has but I am afraid to mess with such a good shooter.


          • Ton,

            You are right that mostly what we hear about Gamo is bad. But, I have the Silent Cat and it is an excellent shooter. It doesn’t feel as “substantial” as my other break barrels but the shot cycle is very smooth and the accuracy is above average. I have not bought another Gamo and probably won’t but I’ll probably never get rid of my Silent Cat.

            G&G


          • Ton, I’m sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with the rifle, and I don’t disbelieve you. As Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof: Everyone’s right. Looking in the PA comments you find complaints about horrendous accuracy interspersed with glowing reports. Some of this might be attributable to different preferences, but not all. And Bugbuster’s experience is very significant in having both good and bad experiences. That removes the individual from the equation.

            I suspect as G&G points out that it is low price rearing its head. We think of gun models as all good, bad, or indifferent. But perhaps consistency is part of high quality and lower quality appears in variable results rather than uniform mediocrity. I don’t know exactly what manufacturing process leads to this. Are the parts bad (unlikely it seems to me) or is it the way they are put together (my guess)? And there is even a substructure here. I would guess that all IZH 61s are highly reliable and durable which seems to be an ethos of Russian guns. It is the accuracy that is less certain.

            Savage rifles are the one exception to the paradigm of you get what you pay for. For a cheap price, they offer outstandingly accurate guns on a consistent basis. I have never heard complaints about the accuracy of the Savage line. In part, they seem to have reduced quality to an objective and fairly simple process with their minimum headspacing technique of assembling the barrel to the receiver. They also seem to have a cohort of highly skilled and dedicated people who hand straighten all the barrels. And they have a forward-thinking and active CEO who is creating innovative new products like the Accu-trigger and Accu-stock. They also keep prices down by eliminating the non-essentials like stock quality. The stock on my 10FP does not feel particularly good, but that actually gives me an extra thrill in shooting great groups. That’s why I am crazy about Savage rifles. I lucked out there although I had my bad luck in the lunatic dealer who transferred the gun for me.

            For the IZH 61, it would probably be a good idea to take advantage of PA’s 30 day return policy. Otherwise, I’ve wondered what exactly do you do with a lemon of a gun that you do not want anymore? I would feel bad unloading it on some unsuspecting buyer. There don’t really seem to be ways to fix the accuracy of airguns the way you do with firearms. Can you just throw an airgun away? You certainly can’t do that with a firearm.

            Matt61


  4. B.B., I read this elsewhere about the trigger pull; “The trigger pull in general is not overly heavy but it is long and there are noticeable sticky points when the magazine is rotating and the hammer is being released.”

    I had not thought about the trigger pull being needed to rotate the magazine clip, err cylinder, or however we may name it. It makes sense. The blow back action would need to be more complicated to do that as well.

    ~ken



  5. Hi Tom,

    The next time you speak with Umarex, would you ask them for me if they would offer their Colt SAA with walnut or dark plastic grips? I’m not a big fan of ivory grips. Also, I’d love to have these grips on a 4 3/4″ barreled, pre-stressed version. Thanks!



    • Gunfun1,

      Hey, you got your ears on?

      My Air King was delivered yesterday, but I got home from work too late to play with it.
      This morning I braved 10 degree weather long enough to put 5 pellets through it. The anti-recoil system certainly gives it a calm shot cycle. I have not dresses it up with a scope yet and was shivering too much to even begin to judge it’s accuracy.
      I’ve never shot a side lever before and didn’t find a comfortable way to secure the cocking lever while inserting a pellet into the guillotine at the same time.
      Any technique suggestions that would make my fingers feel safer would be welcome.
      Stay warm,
      Randy.



      • Randy
        I got a way but it will probably get you kicked out if your at a shooting range. The muzzle of the gun will be pointed up and the ranges usually don’t allow that.

        But what I do with a side lever is cock the gun. And this is if I’m sitting in a chair. Then I set the butt of the gun on the ground. I put the lever under my right leg in where my leg is bent opposite side of my knee cap. And then I put my left hand holding the barrel and load with my right hand. The gun will be at about a 45 degree angle facing away from you so its not to bad loading the pellet.

        It may seem awkward at first. But give it a try and let me know what you think.



          • Randy
            I have used that method for a long time with my 54 I had. And I do it that way with my FWB 300s side lever also. Its almost hard for me to not do it while I’m at a shooting range.

            I do this at the range and it might work better for you. I put the muzzle end of the barrel pointed down and between my knees while sitting. Then I cock the gun with my right arm. After its cocked I lean the gun to the left and grab the cocking arm with my left hand and load the pellet with my right hand. And I have the gun angled back with the butt resting on my left shoulder.



              • Randy
                Its not as bad as it sounds.

                You just cock the gun as normal. Then lay the gun inbetween your knee’s. The gun wants to naturally rest on your shoulder. Hold the lever and load the pellet.

                But yea just let me know after you try both methods.

                And yep staying warm. They say we’re suppose to get 8″ by tomorrow afternoon. We got about 4″ right now and going strong. Already had about 2″ left from the other day.

                And all them people out east just keep getting hammerd.

                Spring times a comming though.


              • Randy,

                I have several sliding compression chamber rifles that use a side lever to slide the chamber back and cock the rifle. What I do is position the rifle butt on my hip or thigh, hold the rifle forearm with left hand and pull the cocking lever back with my right hand. Then I place my right arm against the lever (still at full extension) between it and the rifle and load a pellet (I use my right hand). Since there is still pressure on the chamber from the lever’s cocking mechanism, there will be no sudden release of the chamber and thereby premature amputation. Really the danger is the sear or trigger slipping allowing the chamber to release. Once loaded and fingers out of the port, I return the lever to it’s ready position and proceed to punch a hole in the ten ring. I hope this is clear but if not, let me know and I’ll try to clear any misunderstanding up.

                Fred DPRoNJ


                • If the sear slipping were enough to release the cylinder, I’d consider that unit defective.

                  My old m54 has at least three steps on the anti-beartrap system… and it takes a fair amount of force to push that down to release the cylinder.

                  Now — keeping your off-hand thumb away from the anti-beartrap release lever… That’s a different matter.


  6. GunFun,
    Lol just buy their guns like crazy that will save them! I can’t believe the bloody mindedness of Diana’s management though. I hope the new owners change that mindset. Why would you expend Energy and treasure to foil innovative people from modifying your guns? That is the epitome of arrogance! “Hey I have the perfect product there is nothing you can do to make it better”


    • Ton
      I for sure been doing my part trying to keep the gun companies in biusness. 🙂

      And you know how I am when it comes to modifying things. But that’s just crazy when people that use a product and give feedback to a company and they don’t listen.

      Whey and the heck wouldn’t they listen and try to improve. And then worse they spend money to design something so you can’t change it. Its not only in the air gun world either.

      Hopefully the smart company’s will catch on and listen when people talk.

      And I’m thinking we will see quicker than we think if the air gun company’s do or don’t listen.

      Oh and by the way I do like Diana’s. I just don’t care to much for their mindset.



  7. B.B.,..(and old geezers w/glasses and shooting .22)

    Putting together my next P.A. order.

    My concern with ordering the Champion 499 is that I will not be able to use the sights. I wear glasses, bifocals, with correction for close up only, on the bottom.

    With the 92FS pistol, I have a laser, which works great. But with open sights, with head down, looking through the top part of the glasses, the sights are blurry, even at arms length, but,…the target is clear. To use the corrective, bottom part, forces the head up and is very unnatural, plus the target is then blurry.

    With the .22, TX200, scoped,..glasses are off and works great.

    Question: I think I might have a problem with the sights on the Champion 499. So,..what is the “fix” for such a dilemma? Special glasses? Sorry, but it ain’t gonna’ work? What? Close up vision issues are common in older adults, so I figured you might have some insight.

    As for ordering/trying pellets,..I have tried these…all domed

    JSB, 15.89, w/ 5.52 head
    AA Falcon, 13.43, w/5.52 head
    HN, Barracuda Match, 21.14, w/? head
    RWS, Superdome Field, 14.50, w/? head

    While I (do) know the common advice of, “you got to find what works for your gun”,…If you could recommend any more to try, I would be (greatly appreciative).

    Thank you, Chris

    The clear winners thus far are the JSB and AA with pretty consistent 8mm./.315 groups at 41′.



    • Chris, USA
      I like the JSB 15.89’s. That’s what I use in the Walther LGU and my FX Monsoon. I tried other brands but the JSB 15.89’s always seem to win out in these 2 guns and other .22 caliber guns I had in the past.

      Have you chronyed your Tx lately to see if it sped up or slowed down or is still shooting the same speed after break in? How many pellets do you think you have shot so far?

      And that’s pretty good groups considering the .22 caliber pellet is a bit over five and a half mm’s.


      • Gunfun1,

        Thanks for the input on .22 pellet choices. I’m hoping to get some more input from other poster’s on what .22 pellets work for them, in what gun(s) and group sizes.

        Shot total is 582. Still working on technique. I am definitely getting better. I find that if I shoot 6, five shot groups, by the end, I am able to do 8mm. consistently.

        My biggest “discovery” was a consistent pull on the trigger as the cross-hairs “floated” over the exact bull. I say “floated”, because no matter what, I can’t seem to get a dead steady, no move hold. Trigger hand position, finger position on trigger, breathing, etc. are items I’m working on. And, being totally relaxed, which may be the hardest of all. Excitement tends to elevate quickly as the first 3 shots of a 5 shot group land in the same hole! 🙂

        I do not have a chrony yet. May substitute the 499 for a chrony as much as I would hate to. I’m just not sure of my eyes with the sights, as mentioned above. And, since I only have the TX and have not “tuned” yet, I am debating the cost/use factor. Anything I’ve read, says the TX will speed up, so I’ll just assume that it is for now.

        Can you hold a (dead steady, no cross-hair movement), on your target? or,…Will there always be a little, no matter what?


        • Chris

          Wobbling on the target is normal for most people. Resist the urge to yank the trigger as the crosshairs pass the aim point.
          Once in a while if I get into a steady enough position, I will have the movement come to a dead stop for a second or two. You can do some impressive things if you can get the shot off right then.

          twotalon


          • Twotalon,

            Thanks for that reply. Sounds like I’m doing ok. I can keep the crosshairs within a 1/4″ circle at 41′ on 10x mag.

            As mentioned before, I started out using 3/4″ neon dots. Next, I went to hole punch reinforcement stickers, which are also neon. I’m putting them on quality graph paper. I draw crosshairs first, then stick on the circles. 6 to a sheet.

            Yesterday, I picked up 1/4″ neon dot stickers. I have not used them yet, but think I will up the targets to 8 or 10 per page.

            A tip for anyone trying these,..craft tweezers that hold when not gripped and have sharp tips work great.

            A few times on here I have read, “aim small,..hit small”. Seems to work!




                • Chris, USA
                  I was going to say pretty much what TT said about magnification.

                  The higher the magnification the more I see the wobble. That’s another reason I shoot at 6 magnification. That seems to help me get away from the mind game the wobble will cause at higher magnifications.

                  It makes you think your moving more than you really are.

                  Follow tt’s advice and shoot at a lower magnification for awhile and then compare both groups you shoot at high and low magnification.

                  You might find that your better at the lower magnification.


        • The classic (unnamed and forgotten) books I’d read on shooting advise one to increase trigger pressure while the sites are on target, and to hold the pressure (don’t let go, but don’t add more) when you wobble off. That and having a crisp trigger so that it goes off as a surprise.

          As for glasses… In my case, different prescriptions ARE the solution. For a decade now I’ve worn a prescription (no bifocals, I have too many other complications to consider anything that requires looking any where but directly ahead) in which I had the left eye configured for 20 or so inches, and the right eye set for long distance. 20 inches was computer monitor range. My reading glasses are down around 12-15 inches.

          This year I had the computer lens put on the right eye, set for arms length (about 24 inches with my flat screen monitor). That also makes a good match for the sights of my carry pistol. I’ll have to swap back to the old prescription for use with scopes. I’m having two sets of lenses made for use with the last two prescription inserts for my Gargoyles shooting glasses: distance/distance and distance/armtip. $506 for both sets of lenses — I already had the inserts. Next time I have to locate a maker of shooting glasses that takes some other form of insert — since I don’t want to consider the impossibility of doing my prescription in full wrap-around safety frames.


          • Baron,

            Very interesting. I had not considered two different lenses. I will keep that in mind.

            Check out a place called Zenni Optical on line. They got glasses real cheap if you know your scrip specifics. I have not used them but my brother has. Like 20$ a pair.


    • Chris,

      The target is supposed to be blurry. That is the only way it can appear when you use open sights correctly.

      I also wear bifocals and I use peep sights fine. But I don’t wear my glasses when I shoot.

      A couple years ago when I contracted diabetes, I got dehydrated for about 6 months, and then I had trouble seeing the sights. So I wore reading glasses with a 2.5 diopter correction. Then the front sight (never the rear) was in focus, but the target was incredibly blurry. With that arrangement I was able to shoot with open and peep sights again.

      All you need to see clearly is the front sight blade.

      But if you can’t see the target at all, I do understand. I guess 10-meter target guns are out of the question for you.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Interesting. I need to read “how to shoot with open sights” again.

        At a minimum, I would think that at least the front blade and target be in focus.

        But with open sights on a rifle, I think that all 3 would need to be in focus, (rear V, front blade and target).

        As stated, I obviously need to re-read the open sight article.


        • Chris,

          Depth of field is the problem. A camera lens or an eye cannot focus on things if they are separated by too much distance. The closer the lens is to one of the objects, the more difficult it becomes to focus on something at another distance. You see this all the time on television and in the movies.

          For a shooter the front sight is the one thing that has to be in focus. The rear sight less in focus and the target the most blurry. That is why black bullseye are used for target shooting — because they are easy to see, even when not in focus.

          B.B.


        • Hi, folks. I would hope that there’s some hope for Chris using match peep sights. The tiny apertures on match peeps give somewhat a pinhole camera effect, with a big depth of field in exchange for needing a lot of light on the target.

          I enjoy shooting with match peeps. Like twotalon says, bumping down the magnification can cut down on the distraction of your wobble, even though the wobble itself is unchanged. The illusion of steadiness carries on to 1x magnification and iron sights. Aiming at a round bull through match peeps on a heavy, ergonomic match rifle sure makes you *feel* steady on the target!

          I’m conjecturing here on whether peeps would work with a heavy eyeglass prescription. For the moment anyway, my vision is not so bad, so no firsthand experience on how this stuff works with bifocals, progressives, etc.

          -Jan


          • B.B. and GenghisJan,

            Thanks for the input guys. I rigged up a mock set of peep sights on a dowel rod and it worked. So all looks good.

            As for my sight/glasses,… out to 30″ they help. But after that it, is the same with or without glasses, My distance vision is near 20/20.


          • Peep sights also take out one part of the equation — if you can see the front sight through the aperture, you are already aligned on the rear sight. That just leaves the front sight and the target; instead of trying to align a notch with a peg and put both of them onto a target.

            I need to locate a gunsmith (or get really daring and do it myself) to drill and tap a hole on the tang of the Winchester m64 my father handed over to me… I already have the Marble tang sight to fit it, and a tang peep makes it real easy to sight (I’ve got it held on by the longer stock screw, but it needs the front screw to be fitted). Then drift out the leaf spring rear sight.

            The m64 is a top-eject model, so a scope won’t work above the receiver.


    • Chris,
      I use the Eyepal peep sight, available from Pyramyd. it is a thin plastic disk that sticks to your eyeglass lens with static electricity. Does not mar your glasses, and sharpens up the view of the sights very well.


      • Mike U,

        Thanks for that input. I just read BB’s article on the peep site. I had forgot about it from previous readings.

        I’m not sure I want to go that route. In fact, by reading, better shooters keep both eyes open. While I do not do that yet, that would be the future goal.


    • Chris, The last few years I have not enjoyed shooting my handguns because of my eyesight. I need reading glasses for anything within arms reach and no correction for distance. A few months ago I ordered the BSA red dot sight from PA and mounted it on my P1. It also needs an adapter to mount it. It sets as high as a scope would and I don’t much care for the looks of it but it shoots great! Since then I ordered a Crosman Sihlouette and used the same sight on it. I am having a blast with it. One drawback with that combo is the Sihlouette is capable of significant accuracy and the dot was kind of big, most folks mount scopes on them. I ordered a Burris mini red dot and that is working great. I have a 92A also and I can’t wait to get that mini mounted on it. It is light enough that it is supposed to be able to mount on the slide without affecting the action. Good luck, Mark T


  8. B.B.,

    In a post above I asked a couple of questions about some Air Arms rifles. Any chance you can respond this weekend? If not that’s ok, I’ll just ask again in another blog post. I know your awfully busy. Thanks

    G&G


  9. Kansas heat (or cold)–I have a Chinese side cocker. I cut a length of wood dowel to fit in the breech when it is open. It will keep the action from slamming shut while reloading. I drilled a hole in the dowel and tied a length of string to the trigger guard, so that I cant loose the dowel while shooting or storing the rifle. Some shooters drill holes in the receiver and use a length of wire or rod to do the same thing. These are not my ideas, I read them on other blogs, so I cant claim credit for them . Ed


  10. Holding onto a side cocking lever is harder than holding on to a barrel or underlever. You are trying to load a pellet with your other hand. This can be a distraction, and one slip is all it takes. When a lever snaps forward you do not get a warning. I would rather stop the sliding chamber with a hardwood dowel than my finger. Its like the argument I sometimes have with shooters re putting an NRA safety flag into an open action prior to a target change. It seems redundant to some people, but it makes an accident less likely to occur. Ed


  11. @BB: I’m going to post another 10-shot group I made with the FWB300S and RWS Gecos.

    I’m quite happy because I managed to put them into 0.95 cm / 0.37 “.

    I think the Diana 31 can do it as well, but not with me behind the trigger. I often shoot 8 great ones and then blow the next one, ruining the group. The FWB is easier to handle because of the recoil compensation and match-style stock.

    Please retrieve my next posting from the SPAM folder 🙂


  12. I find this weird actually. The ancient FWB300S already has an anti-beartrap device and cannot be fired while open.

    Why don’t modern rifles have this? I’m not sure how it works on the Walther LGU, though. There’s a kind of “slider” next to the loading port, but what does it do?

    I do realize the FWB was *very* expensive, but still… how hard can it be?


    • Stephan,

      Nearly all side- and underlever guns have anti beartrap devices. That slider usually blocks the sear or trigger until slid out of the way.

      Beartrap devices were made universal by some lawsuits back in the 1980s.

      B.B.


      • BB and all

        I will just post here. Everybody nowdays pretty well knows about the anti bear traps and such. But the way I see it is its still some the that is mechanical.

        Mechanical things break. I myself still take precaution when cocking a springer or nitro piston for that fact.

        As they say better safe than sorry.


      • B.B.,

        So are you saying that there is 100% no risk of getting your finger mashed?..if,..

        1) you hold onto the cocking lever

        2) you do not touch the trigger


      • BB,

        maybe I’m using the term wrong. I know you recommend to hold onto the cocking lever on an HW97 because of the danger of digit amputation.

        The FWB300S doesn’t have a safety, but to my knowledge, you cannot fire it while the lever isn’t closed even if you pull the trigger.

        What am I missing here?


        • There is a possibility of mechanical failure though.

          I do have a 300s and the the sliding ratchet cracked when I was cocking it. It will try to make the cocking lever slam back closed if your not holding on to the lever if your not expecting it.

          When that happened the trigger latch broke also. So I don’t know what caused those two things to break. But I do know if I wasn’t hanging onto the cocking lever and I had a finger in the wrong place it wouldn’t of been good.

          But CK your right that little lever that is on the side of the gun at the back of the arm acts as a trigger safety when the arm is open. If that lever is down the trigger won’t fire. When that lever is raised the trigger will fire.

          So it would still be a good idea to keep your hand off the trigger because if you hit that lever the trigger the latch will release. But if the sliding ratchet is working correct the cocking arm shouldn’t try to move.

          But the best thing us be safe and aware of how those levers affect the gun.


          • @Gunfun: Thanks for the info. That sounds pretty scary.

            When I had my ’73 300S apart, I noticed that I could make the ratchet mechanism slip if I pushed it in a certain way. On the assembled rifle, it seemed to be rock solid. But now you have put some doubts in my mind…

            Holding on to the lever is a bit of an inconvenience because I like to hold the rifle in my left hand and then cock and load it with my right. Maybe I should do it anyway.


            • CK
              I cock and load the same as you.

              But I don’t load the pellet until I’m holding the cocking arm with my left hand. Or I put the cocking arm under might right leg like I explained above to KansasHeat.

              My loading hand never gets close to the open sliding breech are until I got the cocking handle secured.


            • I just got done putting 1/2 dozoen rounds through my Qb36 and never let go of the lever until all fingers were entirely clear, I’d prefer not to add finger loss to my list of inadequacies.


              • Reb
                Ain’t that the truth.

                There is some people at the machine shop I work at that lost fingers. And most of the time the accident happened because they were in a hurry and not paying attention to what the equipment was doing.


          • And I got that backwards.

            The trigger will fire if the lever is down. The trigger won’t fire if the lever is up.

            Sorry brain ain’t in gear had the flu or something for a day or so and ain’t thinking straight.


        • Stephan,

          The reason you can’t fire the FWB 300S when the lever is back and the compression chamber is back is because of the anti-beartarp mechanism in the rifle — the same as for all other underlevers. They may work differently but they all do the same thing.

          B.B.


          • I see…

            I somehow assumed that most underlevers worked like a typical breakbarrel, just with an extra lever. If you pull the trigger while the gun is open, the lever will snap back hard and break something.

            Apparently that isn’t so. And apparently, I should be a little more careful with the 300S 🙂

            Thanks for the info, everyone 🙂


            • Stephan,

              The Chinese underlever called the B3 operated just as you said. Pull the trigger when the lever was down and the sliding chamber went forward under force.

              There were some amputations of digits back in the 1970s and ’80s, and there were lawsuits that caused the designs to change. Chinese airguns stopped being imported unless they had beartrap devices. But that didn’t stop people from removing those devices in an attempt to make their triggers better. If they sold the gun later a new shooter would be at risk without knowing it.

              B.B.


    • CK
      That not a slider. Its a release button.

      On the TX and LGU that I have when the cocking lever is all the way open. The lever won’t close until I hold that button in.


  13. Gunfun1 and Twotalon,

    Just tried the lowered magnification. Went from 10x to 6x.

    Two groups of RWS, 14.5 went into 28 and 28mm. yesterday. Two today went into 18 and 18.

    JSB’s, 15.89 went into, 14,9,10,7,15,9mm 5 shot groups.

    So,..bottom line is that the crosshair “float” is less and accuracy was the same or even better.

    Win, win! 🙂

    ( I was a bit “off” today)


    • Chris, USA
      At least you noticed a difference.

      And even though I been sick I do feel better. So I had to go and shoot some from out in the breezeway. Got the old propane bottle heater fired up for some added heat. And its about 39 degrees out today so it feels like a heat wave.

      And we got about 8″ of snow last night and its got about a 1/8″ of frozen crust on the top. Well guess what happens to show up out in the yard.

      One of those ferral cans stop out in the middle of the yard setting out on top the snow. Well first shot taken at about 30 yards out with the300s and got it right in the butt. You wouldn’t believe how it took off skoot’n across the top of the snow.

      Well when it finally stopped I made it do a little dance with the semi-auto Monsoon.

      I don’t think I have to worry about that ferral can any more. 🙂


      • Gunfun1,

        Naw,…they will be back. Those “feral cans” are tenacious little critters,…or so I hear anyways.

        Good thinking on taking advantage of the “ice coat”….hit it once and then keep it skating with the semi-auto. Nice!

        Weather is very similar in Ohio. Got 4″+, then up to to 39 degrees with ice, and getting another 3-4 now. Shoveled earlier.

        I’m done with Winter. My “baby” needs to “stretch it legs”,…as you say. 😉


        • Chris, USA
          Yep pretty fun stuff but this cold weather is got to go.

          I much rather be out in the yard in the summertime that’s for sure.

          And I think when you get that TX unleashed outside you going to like how she will show her stuff.

          Some guns can just keep producing good results as the distance increases.

          But you will know soon enough.
          🙂



  14. Mike– That’s like saying most of the airgun shooters still have all of their fingers. Most of the people who shoot firearms still have most of their hearing. Because all has not replaced most, we should be promoting safety and safe habits when we shoot our guns. Ed


  15. I know this isen’t a forum but I read it daily and wanted to post this, I thought it was interesting.
    On eBay right now is a Daisy Spittin Image Model 1894 BB Gun mint, sealed in the box. Its at $484.45 + $24.16 shipping, with 46 bids, 5 days left.


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