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Education / Training Air Venturi hand pump: Part 2

Air Venturi hand pump: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Venturi hand pump
Air Venturi G6 hand pump.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The great challenge
  • History
  • An experiment reveals a lot
  • The trick
  • The dawn of modern high-pressure hand pumps
  • The Air Venturi G6 pump
  • Today’s test
  • My physiology
  • The test plug

The great challenge

Writing about the Air Venturi G6 hand pump is one of the most difficult reports I’ve ever attempted, because most airgunners know so little about hand pumps in general, and a lot of it is wrong. Also, because the audience for this subject spans the gamut from rank beginners to people who have owned other hand pumps for years, the spectrum of comprehension is infinite. Some people feel this is nothing more than an expensive bicycle pump, so I have to explain how it is different.

I read online discussions of hand pumps among airgunners, and I can tell that only a few of them have any actual experience. It goes beyond the blind leading the blind — it’s more like the blind writing detailed travel instructions to places they’ve never been.

The only way I can think of writing this report is to write it as though my readers have no idea of what high-pressure hand pumps do. Here goes.


Pneumatic airguns have been filled by hand pumps for many centuries. They were specifically made for the guns they serviced — there was no interchangeability or interoperability in those days. So each pump you encounter will be unique. Only in the late 19th century do we start to see similar hand pumps coming from makers. That was probably because the tooling they used to make their pumps dictated what they were able to make — so they repeated their pump designs and specifications for their own convenience.

An experiment reveals a lot

Until Dennis Quackenbush and I experimented with handmade hand pumps that mimicked the pumps of antiquity, I never saw anything in print that reported their performance. Writers mentioned that they were used and how they operated, but nobody said anything about what they could do. Dennis wanted to see what these old pumps could really do (he knew, but he wanted to let me write about it), so he sent me some pumps that were rigged up as test fixtures for me to test. I first wrote about them in Airgun Revue 4 and then repeated that article in a special three-part blog series.

If you are curious about how hand pumps operate, I highly recommend reading that report. To my knowledge, nothing like it has ever been written, before or since.

What we learned was that airguns could be filled to pressures as high as 800 psi with these simple pumps, but it took a very heavy person (240 lbs.) to go that high. That weight is far beyond the average for men of the 17th and 18th centuries. Weighing around 130-150 lbs., they weren’t going to be able to fill as high — it is a physical impossibility. So, the guns they filled had to operate with pressures below 800 psi. Perhaps 500-650 psi might be a more realistic number.

The trick

To pressurize air higher than these antique pumps went takes a smaller pump piston, so the weight or force that’s available can be less. But a smaller pump head means less air (by volume) is compressed with each pump stroke. It is possible to build a hand pump that goes as high as 2000 psi, but because of the very small pump head the number of pump strokes that are required to fill a reservoir with air to that level jumps from a couple hundred to several thousand. It just isn’t practical.

What was needed was a breakthrough in pump technology. A hand pump not only had to have an ultra-small pump piston head, it also needed a larger pump piston head, so the filling would go faster. The solution was a multi-stage pump that contained both sizes of pump heads, working together.

The dawn of modern high-pressure hand pumps

The airgun world was shocked in 1995 when the world’s first high-pressure hand pump hit the market. It was made in Europe and allowed a person to fill a pneumatic airgun up to 3,000 psi. It worked, but there were some serious caveats to how well it worked, because the same physics of the old days were still working. There were not two but three different size pump heads inside the new pump — one nested inside the other. As the pump handle was operated, each pump head fed air into the next stage, where it was compressed higher until the output was an extremely high 3000 psi with the pump force remaining relatively low. This was the modern three-stage hand pump.

However, the term “relatively low” has significant meaning. The force required to pump the new pump was a small fraction of what it would have been if it was a single-stage pump, but it still wasn’t that small. It hovered around 160-180 lbs. that were needed to force the pump handle all the way down. The men of the 1700s would have hailed the modern three-stage hand pump as a miracle, but the men of the late 20th century thought it took a lot of work to fill an airgun. And they were right. Lighter people and people with weak wrists found they could not pump past a certain pressure level. That was why the Benjamin Discovery that only fills to 2000 psi was such a breakthough air rifle.

Okay, that was the genesis of the modern three-stage hand pump. Over the 20 years they have existed, I have read several claims about marvelous technological advancements. I have tested most of these claims and found them to be false. Physics is physics, like the man said. There is a potential advancement that inventor Bob Moss created that I have called the “butterfly” hand pump. It uses a moving pivot point on both sides of the pump rod to magnify the effort applied to the downward stroke of the pump handle, but to date this advancement has not been produced.

Butterfly hand pump
The butterfly hand pump would significantly reduce the effort required to reach the maximum output pressure.

The Air Venturi G6 pump

Having said that, I will now tell you that there isn’t much difference between any of the hand pumps on the market today. Some have desiccant filters that dry the air as it’s drawn into the pump, and all have some kind of moisture trap on the output end. That trap is often packed with small glass balls that allow moisture in the hot compressed air to condense on their relatively cool surfaces. When you bleed the air line, the pressure inside the chamber at the base of the pump rushes out rapidly, carrying all the condensed moisture with it.

I find the Air Venturi G6 pump to be far smoother to operate than the first pumps of the 1990s. The outer pump shaft is finished much finer. Even my 10-year-old Hill pump is rougher than this new G6. What that means is the main pump shaft slides up and down with less friction, and that means an easier pump stroke.

Today’s test

Today I will pump the pump against its test plug and tell you what I find. I did that it Part 1, but today I’m more aware of the pump because I have handled it more.

My physiology

To understand what I’m about to report you need to know something about me. I al 67 years old and in generally good health. I exercise 7 days a week. My resting heart rate is 52 beats per minute when I awaken and 61 bpm at any time during the day. My blood pressure at rest is about 125/72 these days. I am 5 feet 10 inches tall and weigh 220 lbs. I am relatively active for my age and can outwalk most people of any age. This is the person who is about to pump the G6 for you.

The test plug

The G6 comes with a brass plug that can be inserted in the female quick disconnect coupling at the end of the hose any time you want to test the pump. Since it blocks the airflow, you have a contained circuit to test. This allows you to test the number of pump strokes it takes to fill the pump hose to a certain pressure.

Air Venturi hand pump test plug
The brass test plug (arrow) allows you to seal the pump hose and test the pump easily.

I found the test plug difficult to insert in the coupling on the hose until I chamfered the edges that push the ball bearings back inside the quick disconnect. When I did that, the plug went in, though it fit very snugly.

The test

In Part One I linked to a video I made on using a hand pump in 2006. If you are new to hand pumps you really need to watch it, because it shows the right way to pump an airgun. Near the end when the pressure has increased you use the entire weight of your body to press down on the pump shaft. It is vitally important that the shaft goes all the way down, because stopping one inch before that point wastes 50 percent of the air that was compressed by that stroke.

Using this technique, I pumped 5 strokes to fill the pump hose to 100 bar/1,450 psi. That was easy! Then I continued to pump until I had put in another 10 strokes — making 15 strokes in all. I wasn’t watching the gauge, but on stroke 16 I reached the point that I could no longer pump the pump.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that 15 pump strokes had increased the pressure in the hose to 300 bar/4,351 psi. I did that! Me — a 67 year old fat man! That’s why I told you about my physiology. Watch the video, then compare yourself to me and you’ll get a good idea of whether you can use a hand pump to fill a PCP. Reread Part 1 to see my recommendations about which airguns to fill and which ones to leave alone.

I tested it again to see the point at which the pump strokes became difficult for me. That happened on pump stroke 9, when the oil-filled gauge read 170 bar/2466 psi. That’s about the same as all other hand pumps I have used over the years. If anything, the G6 pumped a couple hundred psi higher before becoming difficult. I also noticed this pump is very quiet as it works. My Hill pump is very noisy and so have all other pumps I have used over the years. This one seems much smoother and quieter.

Will it last?

Back in the early days, hand pumps were difficult to maintain. They failed for one of two principal reasons. Either the owners had removed the moly grease from the pump shaft — thinking it was dirt — or the smallest o-ring at the end of the smallest pump head failed from overheating.

In the 20 years pumps have been around, manufacturers have learned how to make them better. The smoothness of the main shaft on this G6 pump is evidence of that. And I bet they have found a small high-temperature o-ring for the critical spot inside.

Besides that, hand pumps have become easier to repair. The G6 comes with 5 sets of replacement o-rings, so they want owners to have them when things fail. Back in the early days, replacement parts were extremely hard to come by.

I have said many times in this blog that hand pumps do not typically fail unless their owners do something wrong. Pumping too long (over five minutes per session) or too fast is one thing that can destroy a pump. Failing to go all the way to the bottom of the pump stroke is another thing you have to watch for, because if you do that you’ll have to pump many more strokes to fill your airgun.

Some owners remove the grease on the outer pump shaft, then they notice that their pump handle failes to stay down after a stroke. The lack of grease allows the outer o-ring to roll out of its groove — setting the pump up for this condition.

There is no way I can tell you how long a G6 pump will last before it needs attention. All I can do is point to the many hand pumps I have owned and tell you that most of them lasted over a decade. But I no longer fill my airguns with a hand pump. I have a compressor that I use to fill by carbon fiber tank, then the tank fills all my airguns. That’s the easier way to fill guns, but the tank and the compressor I own cost a total of $2500. If I were just starting out a hand pump would look more attractive.

You have to make the decision whether a hand pump is right for you. I tried to explain in Part 1 how to do that. If you do decide to get one, I think the Air Venturi G6 pump is a good one.

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

79 thoughts on “Air Venturi hand pump: Part 2”

  1. Thanks for the article, I still pump when I am plinking around the house, and filling my 1701 (it has a small reservoir so fills fast) and on my marauder, but use my carbon fiber (90cubic inch) tank for going to the range.
    I have owned 2 pumps so far, a Benjamin and an FX pump.
    I gave the Benjamin to a friend to get him into pcp’s
    The Benjamin will pump 3000 psi, but it doesn’t LIKE to pump 3000 psi.
    The FX pump fills easier to the higher pressures.
    I may have to look into the G6.
    Thanks for the review.

  2. Thank you for the report. We’re grateful for what people like you and Dennis and Timmy Mac do for our sport/hobbie.

    How much PSI do you think is in a 392 or 2200 at full pump? Thanks.

    I haven’t gone to the dark side yet, still having fun with a 392, 1322, and a b25 I bought from Vince.

    • Sam,

      Back in the 1950s, W.H.B. Smith wrote about a Benjamin pump that had a gauge frazed onto the reservoir. It got to 1200 psi at full power, though he never said how many pump strokes that was. By adding a gauge, the internal volume was increased and the max number of pumps may not have maxed out the gun, if you understand me.

      I think the max pressure is in the 1500 to 1800 psi range. But that’s just a guess.


  3. In the second sentence of your first paragraph, “Also, because the audience for this subject spans the gambit from rank beginners to people who have owned other hand pumps for years, the spectrum of comprehension is infinite. ” The word gamut I think should be used instead of gambit.

    Having just started in PCPs using a scuba tank I am intrigued with the use of a pump as a back up. I am reading all that I can about the subject and based on what you have written and what I have read I agree that most pump “deaths” ca be attributed to overenthusiastic users who pump too long or too fast or a combination of both. Living in a tropical country I expect a large amount of moisture to build to in the water trap. You say, “When you bleed the air line, the pressure inside the chamber at the base of the pump rushes out rapidly, carrying all the condensed moisture with it.” Would that be sufficient in my part of the world?

    There is a Chinese manufactured pump being marketed here allegedly water cooled. The owner took it apart when it failed and found about 50cc of water inside. He doesn’t know if that was the coolant or the accumulated water that failed to be blown out. He does note that there were no glass beads to act as a condenser. He is currently rebuilding the unit with better quality O-rings and a moisture trap and expects better performance after the rebuild.

  4. B.B.,

    Nice job on the pumping. At 6’4″ and 235, I fit the bill for having the power to do it,..but,..when looking into going PCP, I was pretty sure I did not want to put that much effort into shooting. But that is me. Your “grass mowing anaolgy” in a recent report was quite good. I push mow 45 min. and after a long hard day/week,…that’s all I want.

    As for the effort it takes and smaller stature people, several reader’s said that there was video’s on line that showed set ups where they mounted the pump solid in a fixture, the applied (leverage) via a longer handle. Kind of like old time well hand pumps or cider presses that used a long handle. With something like that, I believe any one, of any stature, could do it. The # of strokes required would be the same, but the effort would be only a fraction.

    And as a side note,…Thank You to (all) that gave me so much good advice and resources when looking into going PCP. I probably have 10 pages of notes that will serve me well, should I ever go to the ” Dark Side ” of the airgun world.


    • My thoughts exactly. The butterfly mechanism incorporates the leverage principle, but that’s not available. Nevertheless, people might be able to rig up their own and even increase the lever size. As Archimedes (I think) said, “Give me a lever, and I will move the world.”

      This may have already been done by our very own Jane Hansen from long ago who described rigging a lever arm to her pump handle. The next step would be to find a way to automate the pumping action. Just as there are speed loaders pistol magazines, might there be a way to automate the simple repetitive motion of going up and down? Some kind of automated press? And perhaps a lever action is not the only way. It seems like there should be some way to join the up and down linear motion of the pump to a rotary turning motion which can spread the required force out over rotations. With all the ingenuity I’ve seen from the technically skilled, it seems like there should be some kind of solution out there.


      • Matt61,

        Yup,…that’s right where my head went when researching PCP’s. I know I could make a sturdy lever one out of simple wood, screws, bolts and bushings. Perforated angle, if you want to go the steel route. Possablities are endless. And you could go the “flywheel” route as you mentioned. The bigger and heavier the flywheel,…the less work you do. If I were to do it, I would stick to the simple lever(age). A 3~4′ handle would increase your stroke motion by 4x, but,..reduce your effort by 4x as well.

        Mark my words,..there will be a fixture sold that will do just that. Won’t be me, but someone will.

        Me, I would go with a “Shoebox” at minimum, or a full blown dive tank compressor.

        If only,..if only,…I could hit that lottery ! ;( Chris

        • Yeah, you can’t go to far with modifications of the pump before going with the dive tank, but the convenience isn’t that clear. Using a pcp to its full potential takes room, more than you would get indoors. But how do you carry your dive tank outside with you? It obviously cannot follow you around while you are hunting although I guess it can fill you up enough for one session.

          But if you are going to a shooting range, how do you get the tank into or out of a car? Those things look extremely heavy. I suppose at the range, you could leave the tank in the car, but that means you would have to walk back and forth to your car to refill unless you could pull up right next to your shooting point.

          As for the lottery, I’ll pass on one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. There was an article about lottery winners and all the unexpected trouble it can cause. The online comments chimed in predictably to agree discussing how much of your money will be lost to taxes or to friends and relations and how any material gain is more than offset by personal turmoil. But there was another comment which said something like: “I have no property, money, friends or relations” and on through a litany of miseries. It concluded: “I’m ready to win.” Ha ha.


          • Matt61,

            I would go the smaller carbon fiber tank route. Removeable tube/tank as well, if provided.

            My front yard is my range,..country. 30yds. bench to woods. Beyond that,..things get a bit dark.

            I do 50 with a good flashlight on the target. Works pretty well.

            As for the lottery, I live simple and enjoy it that way. Good car, good (paid off) house,…beyond that,..some airgun toys and a good bit going to family and charity. Invest and forget. Simple.


            • The whole point of the lottery is to tax the poor while keeping them thinking their financial future is out of their control, hence they vote for more government.

              It pains me to see the people in my neighborhood gas station= luxury car, will only put 5 or 10 dollars in the tank, 2,000 dollar wheels,

              But they’ll buy lottery tickets, double if it’s sunday and they think God will honor them going to church.

              I don’t recall Ezekial or Hosea expecting gold to fall out of the sky as a reward for gambling.

              • Sam,

                Interesting “take” on the subject of lottery.

                The (last) thing I want is (more) government. I manage my $ very well. Sorry to say,…I don’t vote. (don’t trust the first one). I don’t go to church. I drive a RAV 4 with stock wheels.

                {You do have a point}. The lottery helps schools. And, perhaps the most important point,…you can’t win if you don’t play. As I said, I would look long and far for charities.

                But, each to their own. I am happy as is. If it comes, it does. If not, oh well. 2$/wk.


            • I used a croquet cart to haul my guns from the back door to my bench and back when I had a place to shoot all the pellets and lubricant s fit in the bottom and the guns on their butt.
              that was my plan for attending shows.
              Itfit over 6 rifles.

          • Hi Matt

            The shot count you get from a fill varies with caliber, power and the capacity of the PCP.

            For reference, I am getting over 70 shots @ 950 fps (JSB 8.44 grain pellets) on one fill.

            I have an extra large (150 cubic foot) steel tank that weighs around 60 pounds. I modified a golf cart to carry the tank and a couple of rifles so it takes very little effort to wheel it around. The graphite and aluminum tanks are much lighter.

          • Matt

            A standard Lucifer 80 cu ft aluminum scuba tank weighs about 35 pounds full and about 31 pounds empty. There are various size tanks available. If 35# is too heavy, try a 50 cu ft tank at about 23#.

            As others have mentioned there are a number of wheeled carts that may be used.

            The carbon fiber tanks weigh considerably less but I don’t know their specs offhand.

            As a side note, those of you that have Al80s, you can have some fun with your friends. Take an Al80 with 500 PSI or less in it and bet your friends that the tank will float. It will. At that point most Al80s are will be about 3# positively buoyant. BTW, this trick works best if you toss a full tank in the pool first. A full Al80 is about Is about 2# negative.


  5. I use a hand pump exclusively. Filling an Edge and a Talon SS is not that much of a problem for me, especially since I am not filling from 0 PSI. A few minutes of slow, steady pumping and I am there. I do recommend a good quality pump though. I started with one of the earlier AirForce pumps. I now have a Hill which is much better.

    Having said all this, I have recently been shooting a friend’s Benjamin Rogue some. On low power shooting 100 grain bullets I get about 10 shots and on high power shooting 170 grain bullets, I get about three shots before I have to pump it for about a half hour. That is OK if you are hunting, but if you are trying to get in a little range time, it takes all of the fun out of it.

    Another thing to consider is at least one air rifle manufacturer’s warranty is void if you use a hand pump because of the issue of moisture. I have a desiccant filter on my Hill and I still get moisture in the trap. By pumping slowly you give the moisture time to condense and collect in the trap. Also by pumping slowly and stopping periodically and giving the pump time to cool, you aid the condensing affect.

    Something else you should probably do is every once in a while put a couple of drops of silicone chamber oil in your fill fitting of your pump. It helps to lubricate the seals in your fitting and is transferred into the air rifle’s reservoir, where it’s seals will be lubricated and possibly help prevent rust.

    I also take a male foster fitting with a rubber cap over the threads and keep it plugged into the female fitting on my pump when I am not using it. That keeps any dirt, bugs, etc. from getting in there and possibly be transferred to the air rifle. That little test plug would be ideal for that also.

  6. Nice report BB – I agree that it is hard explain pumps to people, and you did a good job here.

    Several years ago I made illustrations of the basic workings of a three stage pump, based on my experience with my Mk II Hill pump. It shows the airflow and actions in each stroke, and posted it on the Yellow. It applies at least generically for most of the three stage pumps out there today, but I have no experience with the G6 you are currently reviewing, so I don’t know if it applies to it directly.

    I thought I would offer it up, as I have pointed many people to it to help them understand issues with their pump and they found it very useful: http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/message/1315589792

  7. It doesn’t feel right going OT here, but I see others doing it and this place seems to have the most knowledgeable participants. I have a groundhog problem and I have a 1940s Remington 512 that I used to keep the farm free of pigeons 55 years ago. I took out several groundhogs last year but none more than 10 yards or so. Now I can’t get closer than 30 yards and, although I shot pigeons at 70 yards back then, I can no longer see both the sights and the target. I looked into scoping it and found that it costs close to $200 while a friend with a rabbit problem got an air rifle (we called them pellet guns back in the day) for $120 at Meijer (Ruger Airhawk I believe), so I started researching air rifles. The idea appealed also because my area is no longer a farm – lots of neighboring houses so one has to be a lot more careful about where you shoot and some neighbors get nervous at the crack of a 22LR. I looked at Gamo because the advice was to avoid Chinese guns, but seeing the tests here makes me nervous and now I see glowing reviews Hatsan 95. Now thoroughly confused, I seek help. I am not a hunter or plinker. I just need a gun that is accurate enough at 30 yards and has enough energy at 30 yards to kill groundhogs, does not take 1000 pellets to break in, doesn’t require strange incantations and proper phase of the moon to shoot accurately, and doesn’t cost over $200. Does such an air gun exist, or should I just bite the bullet and scope my antique Remington?

    • Gearheadgeek,

      Welcome to the blog. Don’t worry about the topic here. The topic is always shooting and you are welcome to ask or say anything that’s suitable for a family friendly site.

      Okay, you want what many shooters who are new say they want — a quality airgun for very little money. Yet groundhogs — also known as woodchucks — are larger animals. I don’t want to lie to you and steer you wrong.

      My recommendation costs more than $200, but that’s the way it is. If I knew of something powerful enough to kill a woodchuck and also accurate enough to hit one at the ranges you mention I would be delighted to tell you.

      I recommend an RWS Diana 34P that costs $270 at Pyramyd AIR.


      Here is a report on one I tested:



      • Thanks for the quick reply and the candor 🙂 I apologize if I came off sounding like the usual “wanting something for nothing” crowd. I arbitrarily set the cost of scoping the Remington as the upper limit on what I would pay for an air gun. In retrospect, that is not fair as the air gun has the advantage of being better suited to the current neighborhood. I had looked at the 34P and it did look good.

        • GHG,

          Okay — you’ll do! 😉

          Your head seems to be screwed on tight and the good folks on this blog will do their best to help you find what you need. I recommend that rifle in .22 caliber for what you want to do.

          Once you get it there are some things you’ll need to learn. I recommend buying some Crosman premier pellets with the rifle. For now that should be all you need, but if you want other pellets, I recommend the JSB Exact 15.89-gran dome. Forget hollowpoints and other gimmicky pellets for now. The first thing you want is to hit the animal.


        • GHG,

          The Diana RWS 34 is a spring/piston airgun. “Springer” in airgunner parlance. The Diana 34 is one of the best airgun values out there in the power + accuracy catagory.

          The Diana 34 is a 12-14 fpe (foot pound of energy at the muzzle) airgun in .177 caliber and a 20-22 fpe airgun in .22 caliber. Your Remington 512 is a 100 fpe rimfire with a 40 grain bullet doing 1050 fps (feet per second).

          For this reason your Remington 512 can be considered a hammer but the Diana 34 must be considered a scalpel.

          Groundhogs are tough prey for springers because an airgun powerful enough to shoot groundhogs, even at 25 yards, requires technique to shoot accurately enough for precise shot placement that goundhogs require (a shot to the brain to anchor them). Not impossible to do but understand you will have a learning curve to be able to shoot a powerful springer accurately enough to dispatch your groundhogs.

          A pcp (pre-charged pnuematic) airgun would be ideal for you but it blows your budget to pieces (pun intended).

          You may want to consider trapping your groundhogs. A connibear #160 or #220 works well on groundhogs.


          • Yeah, the Remington is more of a hammer! I thought a CO2 would be ideal because of second shot capability and cost, but none have enough energy. You have to go to a PCP to get enough energy with second shot potential, and yes, that is a little over budget 🙂 I haven’t had any luck trapping them this year. The new crop seems to be smarter – they avoid the traps and I can’t get as close to them.

        • I just got a Ruger Impact(big brother in.22) and have been thoroughly impressed so far but haven’t been able to shoot it over 10 yards yet, judging from the effect on my spinners it’s putting out about 20fpe and has a SWEET trigger.

            • I really couldn’t say what it’s a copy of. I’ve never been inside it or a 350.
              All I found was that it’s the same gun as their Yukon but using a metal spring.

              • Just put 5(actually 6 but the first one obliterated the binder reinforcement I’m using as targets so I had to change to another) more downrange and it’s looking like I should able to cocking it with just my left hand before many more shots.
                Range was 10yds and group1/2″@1:00

          • I looked it up. B25 (.22 ruger blackhawk) with a wood stock and muzzle shroud. Probably more attention to QC because of Ruger label.

            D34 clone. I like mine b25, i filled the synthetic stock with great stuff foam. Things to do- shorten barrel- rechoke- and I want to put a sporting peep sight in the back.

            Oh yeah, and learn to shoot it.

        • Gearheadgeek,

          Good advice below and above. I came here 8-9 month’s ago asking the same things you are.

          BB recommened 800fps in .22. The only thing I can add is,… can you keep a 1/2″ group of 10 shots at the range you expect to shoot at ?

          From all I have learned,…better to leave the “chucks” to firearms,..unless you can.

          Me ?….Still practicing. Chris

          • I came to the same conclusion. I am going to scope the powder burner for now. Later when I have more time, I would like to get something to play with – maybe the 34 or a Nitro Venom.

            Thank to you and everyone else who responded and helped me sort this out.

      • B.B.,

        Wouldn’t a Benjamin 392 fit the bill here? Maybe it’s not powerful enough? I think they are still less than $200 and easier to shoot accurately. Plus the power can be adjusted simply by the number of pumps.

        Mark N

          • My 392 is my “go to” airgun, mine has the williams peep with smaller aperture.

            Short and handy, feels good to shoot.

            But B.B. and Reb are right, it is a little low on power compared to a entry level hunting springer.

            • I gotta get one of those peeps for mine! I know it would tighten up but I’ve also considered getting an Integramount and cantilever mount so I’m torn.at least I know there are options.

              • I really like a sight and stock to work well together and the peep uses the same line of sight as the notch, so it naturally lines up.

                I also dislike how my b25 just feels a little top heavy and less of a nutural pointer with rings and a 3x9x40. Hence me talking about putting a peep on it- or maybe my trs25?

                I never shoot an airgun off a bench- the closest I get is off my knee or a 1322 off of a support such as a welder or air compressor filter- hence my not liking top heavy guns. That said, I’m not a good off hand shot.

                Btw, I think your impact is a B28- an rws350 copy, once you said 20fpe that made me remember. Like a 34 but with a longer powerplant.

                If you scope your 392 let us know how it turns out – if your cheek weld and ergonomics are all jacked up. The first 2 times I scoped my ak were all jacked up till I just put an ultimak on. Now when I shoulder the rifle the dot is naturally about half way up, with the iron sights on the bottom 1/4- I don’t have to “hunt” for my dot and lose the whole purpose of a red dot.

    • GHG,
      B.B.’s choice of the 34P is excellent. My second choice would be the Crosman Nitro Venom in 22 Cal. Cost $180 and comes with 3-9x 32 scope. It is a 20 ftlb rated rifle and should have sufficient power at 30 yrs to do the job( I have a 20 ftlb spring piston rifle which produces 13.5 ftlb @ 30 yrs using Crosman premier pellets ).
      Perhaps someone on this blog who owns a Nitro Venom can tell you how accurate it is.


      • I have a nitro venom in 177 and two Titan NPs in 22 cal and they all will group 1/2 inch at 35 yards off a lead filled bag rest so they will provide the accuracy and the 177 shoots CP 10.5 at 850 fps and the two 22s shoot CP 14.3s at 800 fps so they will fit the bill in power as well .


    • The 34 is a safe recommendation if BB thinks the power is adequate. Accuracy at 25-30 yards should not be an issue; mine turns in 1.25″ groups at 25 yards offhand pretty regularly, and I’m not much of a shot lately. I don’t find the 34 hold sensitive much at all, but mostly I use it offhand to practice for flintlock matches. I really liked the ruger black hawk even better, but mine had quality issues, which are probably less frequent with Diana. I plan to get another black hawk someday and when I get it straightened out will probably sell the 34. The Diana 350 or ruger air magnum in .22 are also very tempting options, but probably harder to shoot well.

      On yeah, count on two tins of pellets before the 34 calms down. It is a bit rough out of the box, or at least mine was! It will start shooting well w/in a hundred or so pellets, but behavior gets better for some time afterward.

  8. B.B.

    How are you doing? It looks like you are managing well, and I’m glad to see it. In part 1 of the Air Venturi hand pump, I think you said the Discovery is one of the easier PCP rifles to pressurize using a hand pump. I’m still undecided if I want to get into the PCP rifles because I only shoot in my basement right now and CO2 rifles and pistols are powerful enough for that. If I do get a PCP rifle, I was thinking to start with either a Discovery or a Marauder. How do you rank the Marauder in terms of ease of pressurizing with a hand pump?

    • The Marauder can also operate at the same 2000psi fill but gives the option of many more shots up to 3000psi. The different fill pressures may require tuning for best results but it’s easily one of the most adjustable PCP’s in it’s class.

        • That’s just my take on what I’ve heard of them here by others who actually own one so I’m not the best person to go into depth on the gun but I’m sure someone with firsthand experience will chime in.

    • Cstoehr,

      Unless you set the Marauder up to use a lower fill pressure, it needs 3000 psi and is just as hard to fill as any other PCP with that pressure. You can modify a Marauder to take less air, of course.

      The Disco is the one to get if you want a lower fill pressure out of the box.


    • It’s a shame you didn’t get one like I did. I can’t wait to check accuracy at 25yds.
      The scope that came with mine is just a plain 4×32 but very clear. I had to tighten everything before shooting it and even with loctite after every 20-30 shots I’ve been checking/ retourquing.

  9. Howdy Tom. My condolences to you for your loss. I have been a lurker for a while now and decided to chime in. Thank you for this article. I was intrigued by this pump when I read about it being capable of 4500 psi. I also read a lot of bad reviews on it, which made me Leary about buying one.
    On the airgun forums they always say, “you get what you paid for”. I do believe that to an extent. I also learned from your video on using a hand pump, that I was making hand filling into an exercise routine instead of a practical way to air up my Condor.
    I am in the market to buy an Extreme big bore airgun in .40 cal. I do not have access to 4500 psi of any kind of gas here in North Eastern Nevada. I know a hand pump will not be a practical answer,but till find a self contained compressor that does not cost $4k,I will have to go this route. Thanks for the great articles. Tom M.

  10. You have good luck with that one? I was looking at the regular Charger. I have read that are lots of problems with that one. A retailer that I called about it said that they will not carry it any more because of the complaints and so many returns. I will look into the Super- Charger a bit more.

  11. I need a little help.

    I have a friend’s new condition RWS (Diana ?) 45 in .22 caliber with a 08 84 mfg date code. The globe front sight assembly is missing. However, it does have a RWS 2-7X32 Mod 400 (with AO) scope mounted on a 11mm rail. The stock is beach with the rubber pad. The gun may have never been shot. He does not know very much about air guns.

    He wants me to check it out for him.

    The gun has been cocked for a unknown period of time and I probably need to put some lube in it before shooting it just as a caution measure. I thought that silicon oil would work (no dieseling) and use a heavy .22 pellet in order to load the leather cup (?) for the first few shots.

    Please HELP.

    • BW-Dtx,

      Just shoot the gun as it is. No lube. Until you shoot it you can’t know how it is behaving.

      If it’s been cocked for years the mainspring will be canted and you’ll feel a lot of buzzing when it fires. It will nee a complete overhaul with a new mainspring then.


  12. gearheadgeek– If you have been shooting chucks (and will be shooting them ) you ARE a hunter. Would you prefer to be called a killer, or worse! I have hunted chuck for over 55 years. I have used many cartridges starting with the .218 bee, .220 swift, 7mm magnum etc. I now use a .17 H mag, because the places I hunt do not offer shots over 200 yds, and there are houses close enough to these field for the people to hear my shots. I have seen a chuck shot with a .243 Win. run 50 yds , to his burrow, leaving most of his intestines behind. Chuck are tough animals to kill, unless you can hit them in the head, neck or spine. If you are a humane hunter, and don’t want them to die a slow lingering death, ” use enough gun “, and be able to hit them in a vital spot at the ranges that you shoot them at. Your alternatives are to invite someone like me to your farm and learn to emulate him, or use a trap. I have had farms where I hunt closed to hunters, because the land owner saw too many wounded animals,(from other careless hunters) on his land or heard stories from his fellow farmers. Of course, the big debate among hunters is what is enough gun. I, personally , would not use any air gun for hunting, except for the smallest game ( no bigger than a squirrel). Ed PS The same goes for the .22 long rifle , esp. the CB,s, and their relatives (short, long). I would use the .22 magnum as a minimum.

  13. Yes , I know , an elephant was supposed to have been killed with a .22 short. The story,as I read it many years ago is as follows- Before 1900 ( 1880,s or 90,s) , a boy stole his father pistol, sneaked into the elephant tent of a circus, and shot an elephant. The animal died 3 days later from a lung haemorhage..But that does not make the .22 short an elephant gun, or a chuck gun either. I personally saw a moose that had been shot in the neck with a .22-50. The novice hunter had been told that the rifle was a moose gun by the gun store clerk. It turns out that that was the only centerfire rofle in the rack, at that time! The moose, another hunter killed it with a .300 Win. magnum. Getting close to a chuck, where less powerful guns can be effective, can be very hard. The temptation to shoot at longer ranges usually results in a wounded animal. Of course, many people no longer have the old hunting ethics that were so common 50 or so years ago, when I started hunting. Just because something can be done, does not mean that it should be done. You can jump off the Bklyn. bridge, but should you do it? After all, there have been a few survivers . I use guns that will kill with a less than perfect shot, or at least put the animal down for a second shot. This is not a perfect world and even champion shooters sometimes hit the 9 ring instead of the 10 ring. Ed


  14. B.B.,
    It may seem a little crazy, but why couldn’t a pump be designed that used an energy source we already own to reduce cost – I am thinking automobile. Mentioned this on a forum once and was laughed out of the place, but cars are heavy and powerful. If we are needing to increase pressure from 3,000 psi to 4,500 psi, this is an increase of 1,500 psi. Cars weigh 3,000 lbs. and up.

    As you mentioned in your review, human powered pumps need low volume to reach high pressure because we are relatively weak. So a car powered device could use a high volume pump that would require a very few strokes. I am thinking a simple design could use a ramp arrangement – similar to home mechanic ramps. Drive the car up for each stroke, again you should need very few strokes. It would likely need a pressure relief valve because a high volume device would be easy to over inflate. It would likely need a large displacement with a short stroke.

    Just a (crazy) thought.

    • Neal, I don’t know how long you’ve been around but we got caught up in a conversation about the dyno assist that actually works off the drive axle.
      It’s a concept awaiting an aspiring designer. I’m good with doing mine by hand.


    • Nokerson,

      I like the way you think. Very original thought on “power assist”. I would go for the drive wheel method, but I am almost 100% sure that you would run into overheating issues in 30 seconds or less. Better off keeping it hand operated. If a motor was used, it would need to simulate hand pumping in stroke speed and duration, which I believe was 5 minutes,..before giving it a rest,..for overheating and condensation reasons.


  15. BB

    I know that this is an old blog post, but my question seems to fit here.
    I have an Airforce hand pump with a pump shaft that always bounces back up a 1/4″ to 1/2″ and remains there. It has done this straight out of the box! I’ve been using the pump for over a year like this, and so far I’m not having any trouble filling my pcp. I never pump more than 5 minutes and the shaft still has the original grease on it. Is this something that I need to be concerned about?

    Thank You

    • Rich,

      The bouncebnack is common with most hand pumps. I have had them that did it, and a couple that didn’t.

      It’s air that didn’t get expelled from the last stage. When it get to 5-6 inches you will notice the pump isn’t working any longer. But if it works, just live with it and it will be fine.

      The AirForce pump is one that can easily be rebuilt, even by the owner. Sun Optics provides the parts, I believe. And AirFGorce will rebuild it for you as well.


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