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Education / Training Air Arms S410 TDR precharged pneumatic pellet rifle: Part 4

Air Arms S410 TDR precharged pneumatic pellet rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Arms TDR rifle
Both side of the Air Arms S410 TDR.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Pumping the gun has changed
  • Three magazines or two?
  • First group
  • Second group
  • On to different pellets
  • JSB Exact Jumbo heavies
  • Two more pellets
  • Back to the Air Arms domes
  • Is this a 100-yard air rifle?

Today we are back at the range with the Air Arms S410 TDR Classic. The last time we saw that the TDR groups shifted with every magazine. We also learned that this rifle likes the 16-grain Air Arms dome on high power. Today I want to see the full range of this pellet, plus test the potential of a couple other .22 caliber pellets.

Pumping the gun has changed

I reported in Part 2 that it took 94 pump strokes to get to 2900 psi after 40 shots had been fired. If you read that report you’ll see that I shot the rifle 10 times more after knowing it had fallen off the power curve. That was a total of 40 shots on a fill, but that’s not how I’m shooting the TDR today. I’m shooting 20 shots per fill, and I note that the number of pump strokes to refill the gun has dropped to around 60.

Three magazines or two?

One thing I wanted to learn today is whether there are 20 shots or 30 shots on a fill. In the past I have based the answer on velocity, but in this test I’ve discovered that the point of impact changes even when the velocity remains the same. So in today’s test I wanted to determine whether there are 20 or 30 shots in the TDR from an accuracy standpoint — by which I mean a point of impact standpoint.

I’m leaning towards just 20 shots, based on what I saw in the last test. I won’t spend any extra time discovering this, either. If the impact point shifts after 20 shots, that will be the determining factor. I’m shooting the Air Arms dome at 50 yards off a sandbag rest. The wind is still, so this is an ideal situation.

First group

I started the gun on high power. The first group impacted 5/8-inches to the right (0.625-inches or 15.875mm) and 2 inches high (50.8mm). I didn’t adjust the scope, because I will be comparing groups of several different pellets shot at different power levels. Ten shots went into 1.238-inches, but I notice that it was the first 4 shots that are not together. The final 6 shots are in 0.507-inches. That tells me I overfilled the rifle just a little. If I can learn where the optimum fill pressure is, I should be able to reduce this first group’s size dramatically.

Air Arms TDR rifle Air Arms Hi 1
First group of Air Arms domes on high power measures 1.238-inches between centers. It landed two inches high and to the right of the aim point. The first 4 shots are scattered higher, and the final 6 are in a tight group that measures 0.509-inches.

Second group

The second group on high power after a fill will be the telling group. If it remains in the same place as the first group, there are at least 20 good shots on a fill.

But it didn’t stay in the same place. The center of this group is still 5/8-inch to the right of the aimpoint, but it’s 2.5-inches higher than where the crosshairs were placed. Ten shots went into 0.914-inches at 50 yards.

Air Arms TDR rifle Air Arms Hi 2
Second group of Air Arms domes on high power rose another half-inch. I was aiming at the bull below this one. Group measures 0.914-inches between centers.

If groups 1 and 2 were overlaid, there would be 20 shots within the 1.238-inch boundary of the first group. In other words, group 2 rose, but it didn’t rise above those first 4 errant shots in group 1. Eliminate those 4 shots and you still get 16 shots in the same space. Therefore, I conclude there are 20 good shots per fill.

On to different pellets

Sitting in my office examining the target as I write this report I wish I had tried a third group with this pellet on high power, but I didn’t. For some reason I was convinced that 20 shots was the limit, so I moved on to test other pellets. To do the TDR justice, I need to try a third group with this pellet on a high power setting.

Sometimes when I am at the range trying to get things done, I don’t analyze the results thoroughly enough. Of course I’m doing this through a spotting scope 50 yards away, because my target is still downrange and the range is hot. This particular day was one day before the opening of deer season, so every hunter in the state was on the line, checking his zero. I do need to go back and check the rifle once more.

JSB Exact Jumbo heavies

Next I tried JSB Exaxct Jumbo Heavy pellets that weigh 18.13 grains. I knew the JSB Exact Jumbo 15.89-grain domes did not fare well on high power (Part 3), but these pellets perform differently, so they were worth a look. The first group after a fill on high power put 10 pellets into 0.96-inches at 50 yards. That’s better than the Air Arms domes for the first magazine after the fill. They also rose 2 inches above the aim point and are the same 5/8-inch to the right. This pellet is worth further testing.

Air Arms TDR rifle JSB Jumbo Hi 1
This is the first group of 10 JSB Exact Jumbos after a fill. It’s in the same place as the Air Arms pellets. It measures 0.96-inches between centers.

Two more pellets

I was in a data-gathering mode at this point, and there were 2 more pellets I wanted to sample. The first was the new 25.39-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Monster. Would it group? If so it will probably add significant power to the TDR because of its weight.

While the hope was there, though, the pellet failed to perform. When the first 3 pellets landed almost 3 inches apart, I knew this one was not right for the rifle.

The other pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome — a pellet that has been on the top list a very long time. Superdomes often surprise shooters by their performance. But not this time. The first 2 pellets landed 3 inches apart and I knew they were not right for the TDR.

Back to the Air Arms domes

Now that I had tried 3 more pellets it was time to discover whether the Air Arms domes that do so well on high power also perform on medium power. This time I adjusted the rifle’s power setting to medium and filled to 2900 psi.

The first group of 10 pellets went to the exact aim point! This is why I didn’t adjust the scope for the high-power groups. Ten pellets went into a group that measures 0.891-inches between centers! Now, that is what I like to see at 50 yards!

Air Arms TDR rifle Air Arms med 1
Back to Air Arms pellets — this time on medium power. The TDR put the first group of 10 into the aim point at 50 yards. Group measures 0.891-inches between centers.

The second group on medium power went to almost the same place as the first group. The center of the group is perhaps 0.3-inches to the left of center and the elevation is spot-on. These 10 pellets made a group measuring 1.132-inches between centers.

Air Arms TDR rifle Air Arms med 2
Second group shifted about 0.3-inches to the left and 10 Air Arms domes are in 1.132-inches.

Now I have the TDR shooting the way I want it to shoot. While this pellet does work well on high power, it works remarkably well on medium power. This would be how I would leave the rifle set, if it was mine.

Once again, I did not shoot a third group on the fill, and this time I think I really want to know how it does. I do see one shot at the bottom of the group, though, so the rifle may just be about to fall off the useful curve.

I also want to give those JSB Jumbo Heavies a closer look. So there is at least one more trip to the range for the TDR.

Is this a 100-yard air rifle?

The accuracy I’m seeing from the TDR on medium power causes me to wonder whether it might be a 100-yard air rifle. And this will be where I depart from the sofa snipers and their theories of high velocity for long range shooting. I’ve seen enough airguns fail at 100 yards to know that velocity without accuracy is useless.

Suffice to say, there is more to learn about the Air Arms S410 TDR.

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.

100 thoughts on “Air Arms S410 TDR precharged pneumatic pellet rifle: Part 4”

  1. B.B.,

    100 yds….that will be treat, as we do not get to see it that often.

    Question/Comment….Jim M. and I were talking the other day and RWS Superdomes came up. I noted that they performed well at around 530 fps and fell apart at 630 fps. Which led me to believe that they do not like being pushed much past 530 fps.

    It would be interesting that since you can vary the power, that you would give them a try again at 50yds on low or med/low. From you testing, high 850, med 761 and low was 390. That would lend support to the theory that certain pellets do not like to be pushed past a certain speed.

    The lighter weight and flatter shaped dome may be a factor as well.

    Since I only have springers, this testing was done with a .22 TX with stock, 12fpe tune and HO tune. The groups at 25yds. were 75, 20 and 65mm. respectively. So yes, the Superdomes did show promise, up to a point.

    At any rate, just an idea. Thanks for any consideration and any comments or thoughts.


    • That was the best velocity for the gun/s you tested, remember. I used 22 rws superdomes in a nitro piston shooting them at 825 average and that was the most accurate for that gun, it made 1/2″ and sometimes within, groups at 35 yds which was very impressive in that gun. Believe me, I have a strong urge to say np spring guns love them faster, and certainly am not innocent of making generalizing statements on pellet uses, I just did it a couple days ago! But having my own conflicting evidence I felt compelled to billygoat with ya 🙂

      • Dear Billy Goat, 😉

        Well, that blows that “theory” out of the water…….as you proved they will work at the 825 range,..and at 35 yds. While it was a thought based on my own testing,..I suppose it could be catorgorized as a generalized statement.

    • It’s been a while since I’ve had any luck getting readings from my Chrony so I don’t know what velocities my Impact is getting with anything and I don’t have RWS Superdomes,what I have are Beeman round pellets and it seems to like them. They look like the Superdomes but we know what a pellet looks like has little bearing on how they perform. I do however have data from my 2400KT on HPA and that’s about what it was running with them and it also seems to like them. Coupled with the meager knowledge I absorbed in model rocketry I believe your theory is worthy of more research.

  2. That bit about the np making 1/2″ at 35 and me being impressed brings me to my first (and only till I get a pump, which im more impatient then waiting for the actual gun) group from the marauder. It was quick, 15yd indoors from a less then perfect improvised rest but put 9 into 5/16″. The tenth was coming out of power after using one mag to zero and a couple fiddlin around shots, but for the first real shootin and how I was sitting, doin it quick, im blown away. Its set to throw jsb 10s at 875fps so im not getting the most shot count. I want to start from where it is otherwise I’d tune it down and get another couple mags from the -2000psi left. I might go check the airsoft field about filling and tanks but thas an ordeal for another 2 mags at a time while waiting. Im thinking a tank for woods trips to have in the car and pump for everything else. I will be set up quick, luckily Christmas is soon or I’d already be hearing it! 😉

    • If you have access to a full station a bottle is really gonna help! I’ve considered getting one myself to keep my pump outta harm’s way. But I guess you got the Mrod! 🙂
      Congratulations! You’ll be going through those JSB’s like crazy and they’re not cheap! Keep in mind I’m experiencing great accuracy with the 9.8 Winchester round nose pellets and they’re running around $5 /500 where I get them.
      Happy hunting!


      • Yes, got an mrod 🙂 luckily John in Ma did all the footwork for me by finding the jsb 10s and its favorite speed as the most accurate for it. Gave me 1000 of em…. !#!!!?? 🙂 🙂 🙂 that’ll keep it moving for a while. It is an unbelievable machine. I can say for sure, anybody thinking about one is going to have to go very far out of their way to dislike it.

        • That’s part of the reason I was so interested in it! All that initial testing and surprises are outta the way.
          With it being a synthetic stock scratches are only a can of Berliner away if they’re an issue and it has the adjustable combination riser.

          • Autocorrect caught me slippin’ again, it’s either pick one of their options or it’ll pick one for me.
            Got a email from PA telling me my order has been shipped but the tracking number shows nothing yet.
            Guess it’s sitting on the dock waiting for Fed ex to pick it up. At least it’s showing the correct address!

            • Tracking is such a rush! Waiting waiting waiting waiting, IT MOVED! Waiting waiting waiting waiting YES! Next stop! Lol. I wont have to worry too much about bedliner, Johns idea of scratches and mine are just a little different, not to get you green, but I found two when I pulled out my microscope. 🙂

  3. Sixty pumps for 20 shots is not bad at all – three pumps per shot is a lot less that most pumpers need.

    I am surprised that there aren’t more PCP-pumpers like the FX Independence on the market.

    You would figure that a rifle with a reservoir in the stock that was large enough to store a full clip’s worth of air and a built-in pump would be the ideal hunting rifle… Pump it 30 times, load the 10-shot clip and away you go.

    I am kinda concerned with the way the center POI of groups shift around so much – that would need a whole different kind of Kentucky Windage to sort out. Looks like the rifle would benefit from a regulator.

    • It sounds like it’s almost as easy to fill as my 2400. But that other 900psi is where the extra work shows.
      Instructions called for checking the HIPac @ 2500 and I can tell by the resistance there that 2900 is gonna be a challenge for me.

  4. I really wanted to congratulate you last night on finding a good setting and discovering the potential of this gun but I nodded off twice in the final paragraph after taking my meds and didn’t want to get frustrated correcting typos.
    Some of those groups are exactly what I’d expect with a top shelf PCP at 50yds. Not that I’m an expert at long range airgun shooting or PCP’s but I think I know a couple.
    This gun shows a lot of potential, especially considering the fact that it’s a takedown model.
    I’m with Vana2 on the regulator but confused as to why velocity doesn’t seem to be the reason for the impact shifts.
    Maybe it has to do with the reservoir flexing?

      • Definitely a good thing to think about, like how the single shot try is supposed to more accurate, mags seem to cause some kind of gremlin to pop up from a lot of peoples commentaries on the subject.

      • Reb

        When I was checking out my S500 carbine, I ran a lot of group sequences to find out if there was a “best” part of the fill . Now, it’s good for 20 shots for a 30 fps spread . That’s up the curve, over the top, and back down .

        I did multiple targets with different numbers of shots on each fill.
        I did 10-10, 5-5-5-5, 5-10-5, 7-7-7, and all 20 . No “best” area, no poi shifts . It hangs right in there from 200 BAR down to 150 BAR . Falls apart below 150 .

        How is that for a checkout ?


        • Don’t really understand what all those numbers represent but if you’re getting 20 shots from 200 Bar down to 150 with no appreciable POI shift I’d say it’s doing very well.
          Does the S500 have a regulator?

              • Reb,

                Check with your local scuba shop for a used one. Sometimes you can get real good deals on a used scuba tanks. Make sure to check the hydro expiation date. Also, check to see if they offer air fill cards and if they will make a deal on partial fills (Probably not on the partials – the wear on the compressor is more on the high end).


                • Thanks for the advice! There’s diving school just about a mile from the apartment if I can just catch em open. May be best to try in spring but I I’d like to let em know I’m in the market for one before next season.

                  • Reb,

                    Sometimes at this time of the year, dive shops offer good deals on used equipment. At least, the local shop does. The local shop sells off some of its older rental equipment and replaces it in the spring with new equipment.

                    You might also check to see if the shop has an older first stage regulator that it will sell cheap. Most first stages have multiple high pressure and low pressure ports. Connect a pressure gauge and fill line to high pressure ports. Connect a low pressure line with a female foster to a low pressure port. I picked up a set of tips from Harbor Freight, one of which was a blower and another to fill tires. (Sorry, I don’t know the actual names for the tips but I’m guessing that you do.) The blower tip can be used to drain the pressure off the first stage after use. The shop should be able to set the first stage up to meet your needs. As a tip, get a couple of extra O-rings for the tank.

                    I don’t have a PCP (yet) but I use a similar setup all the time. If fact, it has 4 high pressure ports, so it would be possible to set up several different fill lines to match different air guns. It also gives me an 80 cu. ft. tank that I can use to fill tires that has come in real handy a couple of times (one when I had a flat at the lake and another when the electricity was out). Do I have to say to always fill a tire off the low pressure line?


            • Forgive my my ignorance. But why are there pcp’s WITHOUT regulators? Why would someone buy a pcp that is not regulated? If I were to buy an Airarms or FX pcp, Id only buy one with a regulator.
              Just curious. ..

                • Hahaha okay, thats one way to approach it.
                  Ive never taken a pcp apart, thought the premium brands were reliable though.
                  I love to tinker with my springers, so I can see how someone would like to tinker with pcps.

                  • Im very glad that all the valve tinkering on the rodder can be done with the adjustments because I would be honestly terrified to mess it up to the point I’d never get past taking it out of the stock! Luckily its all right there and I did already notch the plastic with a nice clean half circle making the power adjustment available without removing the stock. I already know what it does with the jsb tens but plan on trying some real heavyweights, maybe even eunjins. I cant think I’d be able to get things figured out having to take off the stock every couple groups, this way I can try minute changes and shoot simultaneously and possibly watch groups shrink, or not, either way I got a standard to work off with the jsbs. With the power adjuster shortcut I’ll probably never remove a screw ever again! (Scope rings dont count)

                    • RDNA
                      Let me know what happens with those Eun Jins.

                      I bet they will surprise you too.

                      At this u will save a little money trying all those pellets with PA’s buy 3 get one free deal.

                      Oh yea and I’ll take all those JSB 10.34’s if you don’t want them no more.

                      I got a bunch of guns they work good in. And had a .177 Marauder that really liked them.

                      Let me know. 😉

                    • I thought hard about putting that notch in the stock but as it’s just one screw to remove the stock from the action I did not. Also it takes very little movement on the transfer port screw to change the speed of a pellet.

                      Oh yeah, how is the trigger working out for you?

                      I’m glad you’re happy with the gun and wish you the best of luck with it.

        • One of these days I gotta get a PCP with a gauge, the 2400 gets 20 good shots from 2000psi down to about 900 but unless I just charged it I have no idea how much pressure is in it or how many shots are left.
          The last time I shot it I was shooting Monsters and hitting about 1″ high so I’m guessing I overcooked it before storing or maybe having to run the heater boosted pressure.

          • Sounds like they did a lotta stuff right on those guns!
            Got me another 22xx on the way to play with, hopefully by next weekend and gave up the 3-9 Bugbuster all together and got that 4x instead.

            • Reb
              You did get that 4 power one. I’m pretty sure you’ll like it.

              But them bug busters are nice too.

              And I decided not to get that 1322 and make another woods walker.

              Almost got one of those Beeman QB guns and a Ninja HPA screw on tank. But thought about it more and ordered a AirForce .22 caliber barrel for that Talon SS I recently got. The barrel was a $127 through PA so cheaper than going the other ways. Plus will make more power and hopefully still as accurate as the .177 barrel that came out n the gun.

              And was going to order me some more JSB Exact 15.89’s but they were out. So bum’n about the pellets a little. Was just going to up my supply. I should be good for a while yet with the 5000 I got right now though. 🙂

              • Id love raid BBs cookie jar of pellets… 🙂 I picture a whole shed filled with every color box, tube, tin and every make, model and caliber lining shelves and filling buckets and having dumbwaiters to get the ones from the top!

              • I was gonna have resubmit the other order so I just let it go instead of giving them my card number again and got my PA account fixed enough to place this order and I’ll try to hang onto something money so I can get a 24v Polaris like you were talking about.
                You gotta check that out!
                No having to start or keep it running, just plug it in. 🙂

                  • Thanks again! The thing is where I found the Polaris they advertised it at $449 which I could almost pull outta one check and still pay rent without having to hock anything.
                    But if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, it’s supposed to have on demand 4wd but I’ll be checking into both options for the next check.
                    I’m ready to get out and enjoy some scenery and I’ll check with local authorities about any legal issues. Right now I’m only required to have front and rear lights on my bike and see electric power chairs making runs across town but if they make me get a license I’m required to carry SR22 insurance for 2 years to get it back so I’m happy to have as many options available as possible.

                    • While I was doing it my buddy asked what it was and when I told him he said his phone must be smarter than mine because it didn’t require any input like that from him but there’s no way I’d wanna have to lug that monster around this one’s already pulling my pants off my ads when I put it in my pocket.

                  • I downloaded a Google update over at my buddies house earlier and had to agree to terms and set up some stuff like parental controls and such then I gotta email about mobile friendly sites so if you’ve done that in the last couple weeks you’re ahead of me.

  5. B.B., you wrote “…velocity without accuracy is useless.” I do want to say I am impressed with this rifle and look forward to your further results. Although I am not talking about 100 yards, you statement about velocity and accuracy is meaningful to me in a specific way.

    Although I have successfully quelled my urge to purchase that Beeman Quiet Tek dual caliber rifle, I am still interested. I do find it interesting that the Beeman boxes report FPS for both alloy and lead pellets (although no mention of the weight is given for either.

    Our friend Giles in the UK reviewed an x2 RS2 and obtained good results. Of course, Giles is shooting a rifle tuned to shoot no more than 12 FPE, while a forum poster in the US reported obtaining 19.5 FPE with his Quiet Tek. There are a few other differences but I’ll discount them for the moment. I have no way of knowing what results Giles would get if he tested a rifle he could purchase at numerous big box stores in the US. It may be that, with full knowledge that this air rifle is on the cheap side, I might well be happier to have the rifle tuned for UK limits.

    Aside from this, I want to know what you and the Air Arms rifle can do at 100 yards.


    • Ken, I had a RS2 back when they first came out and it was great with the .22 barrel but too loud in .177 so I’ll have to check into the quiet tek. But I’ll say my buddy got a Kodiak and after shooting it I told him if he ever decided to get rid of it to call me.
      Not top of the line but good guns definitely.

        • I left the .22 barrel on mine for the most part but one thing to keep in mind about guns(especially Springers) with interchangeable barrels is that the vibration can loosen the anchor screw so be sure to get it tight and use threadlocker if available.

            • If your mechanically inclined I would say that from the box stores there can be some real gunk and even metal chips in the compression tubes, the Kodiak dual cal I bought once was absolutely disgusting and at the time I was conflicted and had almost bought something else, so instead of digging in and making it work I went back and got the other. It was nice looking and seemed like it would have been a thumper in both cals but I wanted to shoot at least a little while before tuning so.. they may not all be like that, but something to watch for. The quiet tek is a newer gun and looks a little more thoughtfully developed so may not be an issue.

                • I did have the wrong spring, it wouldnt fit. I tried for awhile to sneak it in but no go. I tried the nitro piston but wasn’t compatible. My freind freaked out that I had a 25 wanting to try one, I tried to tell him you’ll need a spring and its not easy to get in and out, but he said he’d be all over it. He took it for 50$ and the buyback handshake, we’ll see. He lives in Connecticut on some good woods so hopefully he got it laced up. It felt good how much he liked the stock I did, and you had passed it to me so thought it was right to pass it to him since I wasnt able to get back to it and he wanted to do it.

  6. The one thing that hasn’t yet been described yet on this rifle is its reason for existence, the TDR bit, its a take down rifle, capable of being back packed or otherwise subtly carried.
    Of all the Air Arms I’ve owned, the most accurate is the S400 single shot Classic, the magazines on the S410 variants seem to affect accuracy marginally, as does the lever feed of the 5XX series because it’s harder to “feel” a poor pellet.

    • I’ve been looking into 4 wheelers lately and something like this gun would be much less conspicuous than a full size gun case. I have 2 gunguard cases but they’re still the shape of a rifle and if it’s covered nobody knows it’s just an airgun so the cops just get a call about a man with a gun and depending on jurisdiction it May be considered a concealed weapon.

    • Naw, my special service days are waning but even though longarms are legal for open carry here don’t mean a cop won’t freak out on you I’ve had that happen 3 times in the last 20 years and ain’t looking forward to another.

      • I’ll keep an eye out for it.
        I dodged Gravity for a long time thinking it was gonna be a chick- flick and was really surprised I’d misjudged the cover of that one so grossly.

        • Thats the one with the two opposing planets, haves and have nots that can only stick to the one they were born? Preview looked pretty cool, havent seen it yet or the case but it looked very interesting and some good action maybe. The American is George Clooney as a special weapons builder for espionage and is very moody and tounge in cheek and has a very James bond atmosphere undertoning everything. He builds and there’s lots of detail about a takedown mini14/30? Briefcase sniper rifle, lots of cool gunsmithing scenes, girls, action, very film noir.

          • I believe you’re thinking about Upside down. No the one I’m talking about stars George and Sandra Bullock but it really doesn’t go there much. It’s more of an action/adventure only in space. I messed up a review about Fury when I said too much to B.B. about it so I’ll stop there and just say you should watch it but the action starts pretty quick s have everything ready to be paying full attention once it starts.
            I picked up Gangster Squad the other day and saw a preview of Bullet to the head on it and found it cheap on my next trip to the store and ole Sly’s still got it alright. I think he’s 67 & in the best shape of his life.

  7. Time was when B.B. said that 100 yard shooting was a circus act, so that’s something to consider this rifle seriously at that distance. B.B., how many air rifles have you tested at 100 yards? I assume that you’ve tried the Air Force Condor. And there is the Skan air rifle with the impossibly tiny group. I believe that was fired over 50 yards. Anything else?

    Looking at the PA catalog the other day, I see there are no longer any entries for IZH. Inconceivable and tragic. I was living in the golden age of airguns and didn’t even know it. And the same applies to the absence of the Bronco that was always on my short list.

    Gunfun1, thanks for the car info. It looks like we have the makings of a controversy. As I understand it, you are telling me that new computer-aided systems allow new cars to run more efficiently. Mike says that catalytic converters and pollution controls (which I assume are computer controlled) choke off the airflow to engines and make them less efficient. (So, it all comes back to air power.) So here was my original question which may resolve this. First as a preamble, I was watching an old add for a ’57 Chevy on YouTube which extolled the virtues of its 200+ horsepower, not an impressive figure today. Yet, reviews will talk about the power of this car model. So, the specific question is: Would a ’57 Chevy without computer controls have the same or different power as a modern car with equivalent listed horsepower?


    • Matt61

      200 horsepower in 1957 is the same today as it was then. 200 horsepower is 200 horsepower.

      The only thing the computer does is controls that 200 horsepower today more efficiently. There are components on engines like the catalytic converters and pully sizes like Reb mentioned that can restrict a engine. The same thing applied on the 1957 car. There were things that could rob horsepower.

      So if we had components on the 1957 car and it made 200 or say 500 horsepower well that’s what it made like wise on the new car.

      All the computer does is help make that new engine run efficiently. The 57 Chevy had a optional mechanical fuel injected enigine also besides the carbureted engine. They were on the right game plan when they developed that mechanical fuel injection. But the problem was the relied on mechanical devises and springs and engine vacum to control the engine. And when you had big camshaft engines vacum was something that constantly changes when the engine runs and is under different load conditions. Well all engines change vacum. Like say your going up a hill in 3rd gear at 30 mph and you want to accelerate. Well the engine will probably bog because the rpm is to low. So that mechanical fuel injection on the 57 would try to adjust the air fuel mixture. It couldn’t do it very fast and what if you lifted your foot off the gas pedal a little then came back on harder. The vacum would change and the mechanical devises would try to adjust. They couldn’t adjust fast enough for the changing conditions. In other words poor performance at that given situation.

      Now take the modern car going up that same hill like the 57 was with the mechanical fuel injection. The new car has fuel injection too but its controlled electrically by the computer and the signal the computer gets from the sensors. So that new engine can be adjusted institanioualy by the computer. Plus it can even change the timing of when the spark fires in given conditions. So its a more precise system.

      Alot of the people in the series of drag racing that was called the Fastest Street Car Shootout that I use to race in started going to aftermarket electronic fuel injection on the old carbureted muscle cars. That way you could tune individual cylinder’s instead of changing spark plug heat range on certain cylinder’s that didn’t receive the air fuel mixture correct. The carb only had four corners that could get different fuel jets. So some cylinder’s were rich and some were lean on the air fuel mixture so not adjustable like electronic fuel injection. Plus the programing in the computer allowed timming to be changed in different perimeters. And if you ran nitrous you could richen up the cylinder’s when the nitrous came on. Including individual cylinder’s to get the precise flow.

      The catalytic converter killing performance was true with the old ones. But the new catalytic converters flow pretty much close to what exauhst pipes do with mufflers. In other words they flow pretty good and they don’t kill performance like they use to.

      How do you think the new supercharged 700+horsepower Corvettes run so good but still pass emissions. In other words burn clean. And if you stand next to one idling they are as smooth as can be running. None of that big cam rumpity rump rough idling stuff.

      Remember just like our air guns. Got to find the right pellet to make the gun perform its best. Components can be changed and you can end up with a different shooting gun. Hopefully a good shooting gun. Just like cars the combination has to be in light to get the best performance you can. Maybe we can call air gun tuning. High performance tuned air guns.

    • Matt61
      I guess what I keep forgetting to say is its about drivability.

      The old carbureted or mechanical fuel injected car verses the new computer controlled fuel injected car both can have the same horsepower output. But the new computer controlled car will be a easier to drive car in different conditions. Plus it will perform better in a wider range of driving conditions. The engine will respond better overall and that could give the effect of more power than really is there.

      And there is more involved like gear ratios in the tranny and rear end. It’s all about the package and how the package is controlled.

  8. Yay!!
    PA’s gone mobile!
    Looks like it may take a bit to work out some kinks and autocorrect is just as tenacious as ever but,
    Off to a great start so far.
    Now if I could just cut out the typos maybe I can have a wonderful experience in using the site on my phone from here on!

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