by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Double trigger blade
- What is it?
Here is an alert to everyone who missed getting an Air Venturi Bronco. From what I see so far, just having taken the .177 caliber Air Venturi Tech Force M8 out of the box and shooting it a couple times, this rifle is as good as the Bronco. For some of you it is even better, as you will learn today.
The M8 is practically identical to the Bronco. Both rifles are 40 inches long and weigh 6.5 lbs. The M8 stock has a slightly longer pull of 13 inches, to the Bronco’s 12-1/2 or 12-3/4 inches. Both rifles are said to cock with 18 lbs. of effort, which puts them into the comfortable range. The Bronco came with adjustable open sights, while the M8 has no sights. Both rifles have the 2-bladed 2-stage trigger that uses the first blade to take up stage one of the pull.
I like the Bronco’s western-style stock. I should, because I was the one who asked for it when the rifle was developed. I also like the original blonde finish of the Bronco stock. In a sea of nearly identical air rifles, the Bronco stood out as something a little different. And I like to think it was also something a little special
The stock is where some of you may like the M8 better. I have read plenty of complaints about the western-style stock from shooters who don’t like the straight wrist. The M8 stock is a more classic sporter stock with a straight line (the butt doesn’t drop much), a conventional pistol grip and a Monte Carlo comb. There is no cheekpiece, so the rifle is 100 percent ambidextrous. I haven’t found a serial number on the rifle I am testing, but that’s okay — I don’t think it will go back. I may buy this one if the principal difference between the 2 airguns bears out.
The M8 stock is conventional. It has a pistol grip with thin flat checkering on both sides. The forearm is also checkered with the same flat diamonds. They are for appearance only and do nothing to help you grip the stock. The wood on my test rifle is a very attractive beech that has some grain in the butt. There is also at least one knothole that has been filled with wood putty. The matte wood finish is very even and attractive in a medium brown. A red rubber buttpad keeps the rifle from slipping on your shoulder, or when you stand it on its butt.
The M8 is said by some to be more powerful than the Bronco. That is what I referred to as the principal difference between the 2 rifles. I know the description says they are about equal in power, but I have heard that the M8 is more powerful. Thankfully we have a good baseline on the Bronco from my testing, so we will know how thee 2 rifles compare after I test this one.
I measured the length and external diameter of the spring tubes of both rifles and they are identical. I believe the M8 is also built on the Mendoza R10 powerplant. So, this may actually be your last chance to buy what is in most ways except the name, a Bronco.
Double trigger blade
We never got an answer about the trigger blade when we asked. I am telling you now that the Tech Force M8 does have a double-bladed trigger the same as the Bronco. The first stage is taken up when the first blade is pulled back even with the second blade. There is an entirely different sensation to the trigger pull than you get with a single-bladed trigger, but after you get used to it, I think it is better. It is the equal of a glass-crisp 2 stage trigger with a single blade, because the shooter always knows when the rifle is about to fire.
Like the Bronco, the safety comes on automatically when the rifle is cocked. There is a lever on both sidfes of the spring tube to take it off, so even this feature supports the left-handed shooter.
What is it?
This rifle is an all-day spring-piston air rifle. It cocks easily and fires smoothly. The trigger releases crisply. In other words, it’s everything those uber-magnum spring guns are not, which can be summed up in one statement — it’s fun to shoot. It seems to be everything the Bronco is, but in a slightly different package. And the price is right. If you wanted a Bronco but missed the boat, here is another boat that’s still at the dock.
When these are gone I don’t think they will be replaced, because Mendoza has raised their prices across the board. If you want one, the time to act is right now.