Benjamin Maximus: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Benjamin Maximus
The Benjamin Maximus.

This report covers:

  • JSB pellets are very uniform!
  • At the range
  • First test — JSB Exact 10.34-grain dome
  • Head-sized pellets
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • JSB RS
  • Predator Polymag
  • Last group
  • Final report

Today I take the Benjamin Maximus back to the 50-yard range to test a couple final things. I said last time that I wanted to sort JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes with the Pelletgage, to get the most consistent size from the tin. Then I wanted to see if 10 of those sorted pellets would shoot better than the 0.913-inch group shot with unsorted pellets in the last test. Since readers were still suggesting other pellets to try, I also wanted to test a few of them — just to say that the Maximus was given a thorough test. I have done all of that and here are the results.

JSB pellets are very uniform!

First, I sorted 12 JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes for the range. To my surprise, every one of them had a 4.51mm head, according to my Pelletgage. That is highly unusual. Usually in 12 pellets selected at random I will find at least 3 different head sizes if the pellets are uniform, and 5 or 6 different sizes if they aren’t. Only when testing the top-quality 10-meter target pellets — the ones that sell for $35/500 and up — do I find consistency like this.

I stopped testing after 12 pellets. Maybe there are some pellets in the tin that are different, but I don’t really care. Twelve pellets gives me enough for a group of 10 with a couple extra in case of an accident.

At the range

There was a slight breeze on this day at the range. It probably topped out at 5 m.p.h., so I waited for a lull before shooting each shot. I filled the rifle after each 10-shot string, just to give all the pellets the same chance.

First test — JSB Exact 10.34-grain dome

Before I tested the gaged pellets I thought it would be appropriate to warm up the gun and the shooter. This was done with 10 JSB Exact Jumbo 10.34-grain domes. Ten pellets went into 1.602-inches at 50 yards. That’s not too good, based on what this rifle has done with other pellets.

Benjamin Maximus JSB 10.34 target
Ten JSB Exact 10.34-grain pellets went into 1.602-inches at 50 yards. This pellet is out.

Head-sorted pellets

Now it was time to test those JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes I had gaged. I was definitely in the groove by this time. Ten pellets went into 1.174-inches between centers at 50 yards. This group is 0.261-inches larger than that best group of unsorted pellets I shot in the last test. What I think it shows is that this pellet does not have to be gaged to shoot well and also that one inch is about what the rifle can do with 10 shots at 50 yards. That makes it possible to shoot 0.60-inch 5-shot groups from time to time.

Benjamin Maximus JSB 8.44 sorted targett
Ten JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets with 4.51mm heads that were sorted with the Pelletgage went into 1.174-inches at 50 yards.

Air Arms Falcons

I tried Air Arms Falcon pellets next. When 5 of them went into 2.376-inches I stopped shooting. This was just wasting time, pellets and air.

Benjamin Maximus Falcon target
Five Falcon pellets from Air Arms went into 2.376-inches at 50 yards. They are out.

 

JSB RS

Next I tried JSB Exact RS pellets, at one reader’s suggestion. They were even worse than the Falcons! Six of them went into 2.896-inches at 50 yards. I stopped at that point.

Benjamin Maximus JSB RS target
Six JSB Exact RS pellets from made this 2.896-inch group at 50 yards. I stopped right there.

Predator Polymag

Next I shot 10 Predator Polymag pellets. They grouped in 1.696-inches at 50 yards. While that isn’t terrible, in light of what the 8.44-grain JSBs are doing, I think these Predator pellets aren’t right for this rifle.

Benjamin Maximus Predator target
Ten Predator Polymag pellets made this 1.696-inch group at 50 yards. It’s good, but not great. This picture illustrates why 5-shot groups are often misleading.

Last group

The last group I shot was 10 unsorted pellets from the tin of JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets. These came straight from the tin. Ten of them went into 1.122-inches at 50 yards That’s slightly tighter than the sorted-pellet group, but I wouldn’t make too much out of that. Just know that this pellet is pretty regularly a one-inch 10-shot group pellet in this particular Maximus.

Benjamin Maximus JSB 8.44 unsorted target
Ten unsorted JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets made this 1.122-inch group at 50 yards. It’s the best of this day’s testing and second-best of the series. This is the pellet this rifle likes!

Final report

This is my final report on the Maximus. I think these 7 reports sum up the rifles’s performance very well. The Maximus is an accurate PCP that’s priced for the entry-level shooter. It has everything needed and nothing that’s not needed to get the job done.

65 thoughts on “Benjamin Maximus: Part 7

  1. BB
    Was it a direct cross wind? Or coming from a angle or straight at you or from behind you. Just wondering.

    And it does look like the pellets are hitting the target straight and true. Well the Preditor polymag pellets have a funny looking hole.

    And ok since it’s the last report I will say it this last time. Wish you were keeping it and you could try that aftermarket trigger part. That way we could see if that trigger is really making a difference in the way the gun groups.


  2. BB,

    Thanks for maximizing your efforts with the Maximus. Sorry, I could not help myself. 😉

    I do appreciate the extra effort you have put into this air rifle. I am certain that if a person shot one on a regular basis, fiddled with it a bit and spent some more time and money trying various pellets, a person might squeeze a little more out of it, but probably not too much more. It might also do just a little better at the longer ranges if it was .22. It would most certainly be an excellent light small game woods hunter and superb for thinning out the local pack of feral soda cans.


  3. Thanks for the exhaustive testing. Especially the 50 yard testing. I might end up with one of these yet. I am thinking .22 though.

    I went to the P.A. site and looked at the customer reviews. I was looking for .22 reviews. There was several, with good info., pellet types and extensive chrony data (for anyone considering one in .22).


  4. Thanks BB!

    From your reviews and my other research, I am quite impressed with this rifle and it’s performance.

    Had one in my hands yesterday and it is very lite and handles nicely. The stock is well suited to the iron sights and would be fine for a 40mm scope on low mounts.

    I’ll be picking one or two of these up in the near future. Think that it will be a great rifle for general use… a fun little shooter 🙂

    IMHO, the biggest drawback to PCPs is the cost of setting up the HPA source. Have a pump, been there – done that… not what I like to do. Somebody really needs to design an affordable HPA fill station (compressor, tank and valve).

    Hank



      • Javagonzo,

        My concern is that the HPA compressors that are marketed for airgunners seem to be way overpriced because they have set up a monopoly.

        There are small portable 12v 75 psi compressors for inflating tires available for $20; 115v 125 psi shop compressors with a 3 gallon tank for $200; there are high efficiency compressors in refrigerators/freezers. I have seen HPA compressors (that look exactly the same as the $2000 one) selling for $800.

        I think the technology is out there to make and market a compressor for 1/3 the price they are being sold for and that is what the PCP market needs.

        Check out this site… http://gxaircompressor.en.alibaba.com/


    • Hank,

      That’s why I don’t use my two PCPs and really should sell them along with my hand pump. I shoot paper indoors and plink at 20 or so yards outdoors, so for me a really good springer is the way to go for a long air gun.

      If the butterfly pump had ever been produced, or, if a compressor and small bottle could be purchased new for $1000 or less, I would use my Maurauders. As it is I consider PCPs to be only for those who hunt often and/or larger game than squirrels. Or perhaps folks who are quite well off and to whom cost is not a factor.

      I guess I never really did go to the Dark Side, I just bought some Dark Side gear, tried it a few times, and then, disappointed, put it away were it has sat for a few years now.

      Michael


      • Michael,

        I agree with much of what you said. While some competition exist in the market place, I think that they are all playing the “what’s your alternative” card. Hand pumps of varied quality and cost..

        I have the Shoebox. If you have ever looked at the insides of one, you will find that they are (quite) simple. Is there a Grand+ worth of parts in there. I don’t think so. I do not think that you could build a similar pump that will do 4500 psi though. The same could be said for tanks. Is a small one really worth 4-500?

        Competition, supply and demand, convenience. With PCP’s only growing, I unfortunately do not see things changing anytime soon.

        I “bit the bullet” and yes, it did hurt. But, no regrets either. For me anyways, it really ups the enjoyment factor of PCP’s. And like many told me before I did,…. you only have to do it once.


      • Michael,

        It saddens me that you have two fine rifles that you are not using.

        As much as I love my springers (and I have some nice ones that I shoot regularly… FWB 124, FWB 300 & TX200) my PCPs are totally awesome to shoot. Last weekend I culling bird-pecked crab-apples from the tree at 40 yards.

        My friend bought second hand scuba tank and fill adapter for around $200. Costs $7 for get the tank filled and he is good to go.

        The Dark Side is a nice place to be.

        Hank


        • Hank,

          Would a scuba tank, at 3000 psi, be able to fill my two Marauders to 2800 PSI? Even if so, I live a two hour round trip drive away from the nearest dive shop. And it is probably open only by appointment, maybe on weekends for a few hours as well. And they might not be able to fill up an 88 cu SCBA tank to 4500 psi.

          So to me the Dark Side isn’t a nice place to be. For me it isn’t even a place.

          Michael


          • Mike,

            I can do 4, 3500 fills from a small tank pumped to 4500 with a Shoebox. That is on a Marauder. That is 24 shots per fill and that 24 shots will bring the gun down to around 3600. Each fill on the tank, 3600-4500, takes 20 minutes, +/- 1 minute. That is some real data. I keep good records.

            It is what it is. You just have to figure out if it is worth it.

            Chris


            • Chris,
              It would be nice if they could make the valve adjustable so that you can continue shooting until the pressure in the gun reaches 1000 psi. That way you would be able to get more shots per fill.

              Pete


              • Pete,

                I am not sure I get what you are saying. There is nothing preventing me from shooting down to 1000 psi, but the POI drops off pretty quick after shot 26. The way it set up now, it is for pretty much full power. If I were to adjust the hammer, striker and port screw,… I could get more shots and strings that would work down to 1000.

                But yes, an adjustment knob of sorts would be nice.


          • Mike,

            I am sorry,… It is 5 fills on the gun to 3500,… not 4. 96 shots done, fill gun (1), FILL TANK. Shoot 24, fill (2), shoot 24, fill (3), shoot 24, fill (4), shoot 24, fill gun, (5),…. re-charge tank to 4500.


            • Chris,

              A Chinese HPA compressor is out there that sells for around $1100 which does not require a shop compressor. However, its fill rate is too quick to directly fill most rifle reservoirs. One would have to buy at the very least a mini SCBA tank. and then use that to fill the rifle. So, once again, Marauder + optics + bottle and fittings + compressor is around $2100. Instead of a Marauder, you could get a Maximus and spend “only” $1800. A Maximus + optics + Shoebox + adequate shop compressor and no bottle at all, about $1650, seems to be the cheapest ticket to PCP that does not involve pumping by hand, and that would limit hunting excursions to 20 shots. (I don’t hunt, so I don’t know if that would be an issue or not.)

              Is that last rig two times better than a scoped TX200? It costs twice as much.

              Michael


              • Mike,

                Worth twice the TX200? I would say yes. I have one in .22. You mentioned that your range was fairly short. 20+ yards. So in your case,… maybe no.

                Off,… but at the same time,…. very (on) subject,…. what do you want to do? That comment dumfounded me a bit at first. But, as time, and $ went on, that question is “spot on”.

                PCP’s/pneumatics are just plain easier to control. Your groups will benefit at all yardages. It sounds like a single stroke/pump pneumatic might be your “ticket”. PCP smoothness in a self contained package, suitable for shorter range.

                I feel your pain bud. Been there, wrestled with that. Good luck. I have given all I know to give ya’.

                Chris


                • Chris,

                  First, I have a Feinwerkbau 601 and an Avanti 853, both single pump pneumatics, superb and decent air rifles, respectively.

                  I wasn’t asking what was worth more, any PCP vs. any springer. I asked whether a Maximus with the above accessories was worth TWICE as much as a TX200, because it would cost almost exactly twice as much.

                  Worth is a concept made up of many variables that are entirely dependent on the individual. For example the Maximus shoots farther and harder than the TX, albeit not by much. And the Maximus is significantly easier to carry around all day.

                  “What do [I] want to do” with an air rifle? First and foremost, hit the bull or spinner I shoot at.

                  Even in my inept hands, a Maximus could never, ever group tighter than a TX200 at the same 50 yards or less distance. The very light recoil it might have is not enough to compensate for the TX’ advantage in every single other factor that contributes to accuracy.

                  My five supporting arguments:

                  1st, the TX is just as “hold insensitive” as a PCP, certainly a cheap PCP. Rested directly on a bag it shoots a ragged hole at 20 yards.

                  2nd, the TX has at least as tight a velocity spread as the Maximus (15-19 fps. spread vs. 19 fps., more or less). /blog/2012/03/air-arms-tx200-mk-iii-air-rifle-part-2/

                  3rd, the TX has the infinitely superior trigger.

                  4th, the TX has the infinitely superior barrel.

                  5th and finally, with smaller shooters the Maximus has an advantage for off-hand shooting because of its lower weight compared to the TX, but to stronger shooters an air rifle that light is harder to shoot well off-hand than the heavier one because extra heft, especially on the muzzle end, adds stability, especially if one has to fight a mediocre trigger like the one on the Maximus. Of course the TX has the best trigger of any current, mass-produced springer. The light weight of the Maximus makes its trigger a worse defect than if the gun were heavier.

                  If an FWB 800x is a McLaren 675LT, then the TX200 MKIII is a Porsche 911, and the Maximus is a Hyundai Genesis Coupe (a fine car by the way, according to my sister-in-law).

                  Michael


                • Chris,

                  Perhaps I am expecting too much from PCPs — PCP fill devices, actually — in 2016. The technology is still in its relative infancy after all. PCP air rifles and HPA compressors designed for them have not had that much time to refine designs and manufacturing to the point that high quality can be offered at low prices. Not yet. PCPs and PCP compressors in 2016 are probably about where solid state electronics were in the early 1960s. The market for 4500 psi air was tiny for a very long time. What, welding and firefighters’ SCBAs, and that was about it, no? Perhaps some manufacturing processes I am unaware of, but that isn’t the sort of demand that fuels the kind of innovation that lowers MSRPs and raises build and design quality simultaneously.

                  I think I maybe should cut my losses, sell off the 4 year old, almost unused Marauders and Hill pump, shoot air guns that are plinker-friendly for another four years, and then check back on the Dark Side to see if HPA compressor makers have gotten their act together at last or no.

                  Michael


          • Michael,

            I purchased a large capacity steel scuba tank because I live about the same distance from my HPA supplier as you do. 🙂 I can’t tell you how many fills I get from the tank but I shoot quite a bit and I haven’t filled it since February – I really should keep track.

            There are calculators available on the web that can tell you how many fills that you can get from one tank charge. The free Hawke Chairgun program has one on the Tools tab.

            You are right, not all shops have 4500 psi capability. If you check around you may find paint-ball suppliers or even you local fire station may be a closer source of HPA.

            I don’t own a Marauder but it is on my short list of rifles I would like to get. Besides shooting them, there are all kinds of tweaks and mods you can do to them – no end to the possibilities if you inclined that way 🙂

            Just trying to help.

            Hank


    • Hank,

      The problem rests with that word “affordable.” Many people think paying over a certain amount, say $100, is unaffordable. I have long thought that a solution that costs under $500 would be ideal, and a high-speed (fill an 88 cubic foot CF tank from 3000 to 4500 in less than an hour) for under $1000 is affordable. We aren’t there yet.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        Agreed, but I have the strong feeling that the lack of competition is hurting the industry AND the shooters.

        Michaels comments above are very clear and probably representative of many people’s thoughts. The gunshop owner I talked to last night said that there was a lot of interest in PCPs but he sold very few because people don’t want to pump and setting up an HPA source is too costly.

        I think we could be there BB. For personal use, a small compressor and tank with a pressure limit switch that could run unattended (like a refrigerator compressor) is doable. Wouldn’t matter if it took all night to first fill the tank, after that it would just have to keep the tank topped up as it was used.

        Maybe I am dreaming in technicolor.

        Hank


      • BB,

        There is not real reason that a Shoebox cannot sell for under $500 and that new pretty compressor cannot sell for under $1000. It is like the Epi-Pen drama playing out in the news right now. They are charging as much as they can get away with. I do not have a compressor, not at those prices.


        • RR,

          You said it. If a company like Shoebox would do that, they would “mop up” the competition and prices would plummet. Plus, Shoebox has a really good track record.

          That said, the increase in volume, at a lesser margin, could well exceed their current gross,… and there by increasing the overall bottom line substantially. 1000+ to 500 is a pretty huge drop though.

          And, that would mean a substantial increase in production capacity. I do not remember where I heard it, but it is not that big of an operation to begin with.

          All that said, I can not say enough good about the Shoebox product.


          • I am certain that should they decrease the price, they would soon be unable to keep up with orders, at least for a short time. Once the initial rush was over, the level of orders would settle down to a more steady rate that would allow them to meet demand. You have to keep in mind that though the market is growing, it is still relatively small.

            I am certain that part of the reason they cost as much as they do is the volume of sales, or lack thereof, dictates the volume of parts ordered, which dictates the cost per part, etc.


      • B.B.,

        To me “affordable” for a PCP setup originally (four years ago) was a Marauder, scope & mounts, and Benjamin butterfly pump for $1000. Then I changed to waiting for a compressor plus small carbon wrapped bottle that would be under $1000 instead of a butterfly pump for $300 – $350. Currently the absolute cheapest compressor (Chinese, one-piece multi-stage unit) plus a tiny bottle and fittings is about $1500-$1600.

        After four years I am just about through waiting for PCP guns and accessories that meet my needs to come along. Paying to have one bootleg butterfly pump or one bootleg Shoebox made for my personal use is something I might look into, however.

        Michael


  5. And now I wonder also what the gun would shoot like if theMaximus barrel got taken off and replaced with the same caliber Discovery barrel.

    I just had to go there ya know. But seriously maybe the old Discovery barrels are better. I know my .177 and .22 caliber Discovery’s bench rested good.


    • GF1,

      I stopped by a local small gun shop today on the way home from an interview to ask if they had any air guns. They had a used wood Discovery with a good sized scuba tank for 350. No thanks. I did leave my #, so we will see what happens down the road. Bummer. I was hoping for that sleepy little “gem” sitting dusty in the corner. You know, that 2000$ gun for 150$, cause they did not know what they had or where/how to sell it.

      I will be back out shooting tomorrow weather permitting. Today just did not work.


      • Chris,

        At the local big box outfitter/fishing/hunting/camping/gun store they have probably 150 long guns and 100 handguns, a half dozen CO2 pistols by Daisy and Crosman, and eight air rifles, two Chinese “Beemans” and five Gamos. I was told if I wanted a serious air rifle, Gamo is definitely the way to go!

        With every ounce of restraint in my body, I managed not to laugh. I just nodded my head and said something like, “Oh. I’ll have to remember that.”

        Michael



          • Gunfun1,

            I almost did react with a laugh, or chuckle, or eye-rolling. But the man with whom I was speaking was my elder (my upbringing included “Be respectful to your elders”), and he was very nice, and I did not want to hurt his feelings.

            I had asked him if they ever get any used air guns in, because every air gun there was new, but probably one in four (maybe as many as one in three) of their firearms are used, some even vintage. He answered that they do almost no business at all with airguns, new or used. He asked for my name, number, and e-mail to tape somewhere in case any used air gun came in. So they have my permission to e-mail me if they get something in. I figure it will probably be a Gamo. But, one never knows. It could end up being a vintage Webley, Diana, or BSA.

            Michael




              • I think I still would not have laughed, but man, it was hard for me not to laugh when it happened. I had to wait a couple seconds and swallow. That is what I do when my initial reaction is going to be something like a laugh or an exclamation of some sort, but I quickly choose consciously to stifle that.

                If he had been my age or younger, I probably would have good-naturedly explained to him that while Gamo have a large presence in the mainstream air gun market, they are generally viewed dimly among especially serious aigunners, that serious airgunners usually look to better designed and made air rifles by less known companies such as RWS, Weirauch, and Air Arms (all of their air rifles were springers).

                Michael


  6. B.B.

    Are you filling the Maximus with the hand pump at the range? I ask this because I wonder how easy it to keep a hand pumped pcp pointed down range when filling. I will be relocating to Washington State soon and the range my son in law and I will be shooting at is super vigilant about safety (a good thing) so I don’t want a gun that will cause problems with the range safety folks. Don’t see this gun as being the best choice for most back yard shooters because it seems a bit loud. My house in Washington has a rather small yard and I won’t be able to shoot my long guns in the yard.

    David



    • David,

      I seem to recall someone here commenting that he could not shoot his underlever TX200 at his pistol range because they have a “no raised barrels” rule. He couldn’t cock and load his air rifle because he could not raise the muzzle such that it would be pointed at the ceiling, even if it was the downrange ceiling.

      Michael


      • Michael,

        The range we shot at was an out door range so no ceiling. The range has a trap range, 100yd rifle range and a pistol range, air gunners can share rifle range with powder burners, I checked. We shot a couple of 9mm CZ 75 semi automatics and my daughter’s fifty year old 38 police special once owned by the South Carolina State Police. My son in law left the ammo for the rifle on the table at home and this range does not sell any so we didn’t get to shoot the .22 cal Ruger but it was still a lot of fun.

        David


        • David,

          Very cool about the 50 year old .38 Police Special. I am the owner (but I keep it at my cousin’s because he’s the one with a gun safe) of my great grandfather’s 1926 Colt Police Positive, nickel-plated, four inch barrel, in .32 (Short) Colt. The revolver is in “Excellent +” condition. It was a present my great grandpa bought for himself to celebrate his making Lieutenant with the Milwaukee Police Department and taking command of the First Precinct. I also have the waistband holster he carried it in.

          Michael


  7. I plan on being at the Taxes Air Gun Show on Saturday. I’ll wear a bright yellow polo shirt so as to be easy to recognize. Please say hello. I would like to meet blog readers.

    Jim


  8. A disappointing test compared to the first discovery 177 that you tested. I might be tempted to get it in 22 caliber. The 22 caliber Maximus that Hard Air Magazine tested shot much better groups at all distances. Twenty-twos seem to do that a lot. The 22 caliber Gamo Accurifle that Rick Eusler tested was much more accurate than the 177 version he tested. It would just be harder to hit those three eighths inch killzone’s up close.


  9. The rifle is kind of picky about the pellets. It has strengths, but the Marauder is still my pick for best value in pcps.

    ChrisUSA, glad things are coming along for you. Interesting point about knife sharpening. My understanding is that the angles required for blade shapes are so various that there is no locking system that will work. That is one reason I got Japanese water stones. So I could take my hand-sharpening to the highest level. But after some initial success, I seem to have lost it. I cannot make the blades more than passably sharp, and it is very embarrassing.

    August, thanks for the interesting information on the klewang that I had never heard before. I can see why one would prefer it to a Bowie in a fight because of its greater length. But the Bowie was optimized as a survival tool as well as a combat knife. What’s more surprising is that the klewang did so poorly at survival. Machetes are designed expressly for this purpose. But it’s hard to identify the exact blade shape for the klewang since they seem to take many different forms. Some with very sharp points would have a rough time with survival. Others would do better although all of them are relatively slim which may result from its sword ancestry and that is a liability for utility work.

    Even more interesting than this is the success of the klewang in defeating European troops armed with muskets and bayonets. Most people assume that Western colonialism was enabled by the superior technology of firearms or the introduction of diseases that the native populations had no immunity to. But one thing that I think has been underappreciated is the significance of the close order drill and the musket and bayonet. Between the complication of reloading and general reliability, the guns of that period were not that effective individually, and they only achieved their potential through the organization of close order drill, an invention of the Romans that had been rediscovered in the 1600s by the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. Even firing by ranks, another adaptation from the Romans, didn’t solve all the problems and more often than not the battles of that time were solved by a bayonet charge breaking an enemy formation that had been weakened by gunfire. The Swedish army ca. 1700 was actually known for its preference for close quarters fighting. Their standard tactic was to deploy from column into line, taking whatever casualties they had to from the enemy. Then, they would fire two volleys and erupt into the enemy with a screaming bayonet charge. The Romans would have recognized this very easily.

    It has been the wisdom, backed by centuries, that a musket and a bayonet in formation will beat a sword anytime. So for the Indonesians to triumph with their sword over Europeans is really paradigm shifting. And the Dutch are no slouches either. They love to fight. The Principality of Orange in the Netherlands did disproportionate damage in the gruesome religious wars of the 17th century. Today they have an outside number of people in competitive martial arts (including the stunningly attractive kickboxer Joorina Baars), and I even had an opportunity to witness this myself on a KLM flight. I don’t know if I was in a plane with unusually crabby Dutch people, but there were numbers of arguments among the passengers before boarding. And once seated I heard a flight attendant tell a passenger: “This is my area, and I will not be interfered with. Do you want to talk about it after the flight? Or take it to the pilot? You will lose this battle!” How’s that for a relaxing flight.

    So, the klewang has great potential significance for military history. Why can’t universities research this kind of topic? I guess it’s up to the old Airgun Academy…

    Matt61


    • Joorina Baars, eh? I’ve always been a Lucia Rijker guy myself. Of every female boxer, traditional martial artist, or mixed martial artist I’ve seen fight, including a lot of exceptional punchers, Rijker was the only female I ever saw who threw punches exactly like a well-trained, “scientific,” professional, male boxer (and very few of those are left these days, too). They can get the job done, no question, but the form, trajectory, hip and shoulder kinetics, and especially SNAP just are not there. Everything is tight, tensed, pushed, arm-based, mechanical, and/or clubbing. Not Rijker, though. She snapped her punches and turned with them (and turned them) just like a really schooled pro male boxer from the 1970s or 1980s.

      Michael


  10. Matt61,

    I will have to defer to you for the optimum sharpening technique. There is a hand held protractor that has a small rectangular scale along with the pivoting blade. That, along with a magnifying glass would suffice to determine a blade angle. But, how do you transfer that to a sharpener? Yet another unforeseen tangent? 😉

    That said, I am into cooking and have watched many a show and pretty well read. Specialized belt sanders seem to be what the pros use. From what I have seen, it is done by feel,… no guide. And really, what would it matter if the angle was changed by a degree or two?

    To me, I want it sharp,…. but I do not want the bevel to look like it was butchered in the process. Good luck with your endeavor.


    • I bought one of these mechanical sharpeners that claimed to hold a consistent angle on the edge. You attached the sharpener to the blade, slid the assembly across a stone, and you were supposed to get perfect sharpness every time. Actually, it worked more or less as they described. The problem lies not in maintaining the angle once the device is clamped but making adjustments as you move your sharpener down the length of a curving blade. If you blade curves at all, your sharpener will have to be at different angles for the edge to maintain the same angle to the stone. This seems paradoxical, but if you watch a skilled sharpener work a blade by hand, the hilt will describe a complicated arc in three dimensions as you move the blade over the stone. There is no fixed sharpener that can reproduce that.

      I’ve heard of belted sanders but am not sure what they are. I watched a pro use a powered spinning Japanese water stone that is certainly more convenient than the flat stones I use. At the moment I cannot figure out if I have lost some kind of mojo or whether my stones have curved from use.

      Cooking eh? I find that I actually enjoy it, but it takes too much time. So my meals are fairly simple. When a nutritionist asked me to describe my diet, she burst out laughing. I’m supposing that you have good kitchen knives. If not, the Cold Steel line is as impressive as all their other offerings and cheap.

      Matt61


      • Matt61,

        With all that said,…. Sir,…. that is why I deferred to YOU.

        Good kitchen knives? No. Hampton Forge. Vitorinox and Wustoff would be “good”. I have a Japanese style Chicago Cutlery. They all take a quick edge well with a cheap draw through sharpener. The ceramics are nice. Real nice. I would give those a real hard look for a kitchen knife(s). I have 2 and are my go knives 80% of the time. They are pretty darn cheap too.


    • Get the Warthog V-Sharp! I got one after B.B. did a review of it on this blog: /blog/2008/05/daisy-avanti-499-champion-part-1-the-worlds-most-accurate-bb-gun/

      It works very well.

      As for kitchen knives, if you want no-maintenance, get plastic handled, dishwasher-safe cheapies. If you want great value, well-made, quality steel, I second Chicago Cutlery, but hand wash only, hand towel-dry promptly, and use a sheen of cookking oil opn the blades from time to time and mineral-oil the handles once a year. If you want great knives that will make your dinner guests go “Ooooh!” buy Sabatier and keep them on a magnetic mount.

      OR go to a restaurant supply website and pick a serious sous chef knife for cooking, and specialty steak knives a la Outback.

      Michael


      • Mike,

        That is a real gem. I am envious of you. On the 499, I did a 5/16″ ten shot group today at 24′.

        Like BB said,…. 2 things that actually work.

        Thank you, Chris


        • Chris,

          I LOVE my Warthog sharpener (because it’s basically fool-proof, and I am nothing if not a fool) and I also love my 499. Quiet as rodent flatulence, effortless cocking, and from 5 meters a tack-driver. It’s the one air gun I will shoot in the backyard even on a weekend when the nextdoor kids are playing in their yard. The target and backstop (a ricochet-proof set-up) are so close to me, and it is so low-powered and quiet, I am confident that as long as I am careful (and I always am) and stay on the patio, I cannot be seen or heard, and no accidents will happen. That’s good, too, because my indoor BB gun set-up for steel BBs is a pain to put in place. For most BB guns I shoot indoors I use the H&N Excites. Of course those can’t be used in the 499, so it usually has to be the backyard for that one.

          Michael


  11. B.B.,

    Thanks for a super series on this interesting rifle. I may buy one. Also considering adding another spring rifle. I like the Stoeger X-20S that I have. It is a very consistent performer with the right ammo. I’ve been shooting it long enough to that the trigger is pretty smooth but it still has considerable creep. At least it breaks consistently, and the rifle is not too horribly hold sensitive. Good enough job by the Chinese. But I want a springer (gas or steel) with a little more power. The Stogey sends .22 Premiers downrange in the high 600’s, and I’d like something that will do around 800 fps with that pellet. But I don’t want something that cocks with more than 40 lbs. of effort. Perhaps the answer is another Benjamin rifle, the NP2. I have shot 2 of them and was reasonably impressed. They feel pretty smooth, are easy to cock, and have noticeably more power than the Stogey.

    Matt61 and Chris USA,

    Thanks for the entertaining and informative discussion. Yes, it’s impressive what the Asian Islanders could do with short-bladed weapons. Magellan got one heck of a surprise on Luzon (I think). I took a little Kali (Philippine stick & machete ) 20 years ago. Learned the strikes to the body and a few drills. Very strange, much stranger than karate. Had to learn to count to 10 in Tagalog, and some of the footwork and defenses made no sense to me. But it sure did enhance my ability to beat people up with sticks, hopefully something I will never have to do.
    American Scientific Boxing did make sense, and I enjoyed the training until my my head started to hurt. Now that my testosterone levels are down, I don’t need any more of that stuff. As my father used to say, “I’m too old to fight…I’ll just have to shoot ’em”.

    Thanks!

    Walt


    • Walt,

      I am jealous. I wanted to study Kali, Escrima, Arnis and such, but I never could find a teacher.

      You are correct about Magellan. His expedition (actually only one surviving ship, Victoria) circumnavigated the globe, but the man himself didn’t make the whole trip. James Cook met a similar fate in Hawaii to the one Magellan suffered on Mactan, essentially clubbed, speared, and hacked to death.

      Magellan’s death and the repelling of his ships succeeded in delaying colonization of the Philippines for decades.

      Michael


      • Mike,

        Just wanted to let you know that I read all of your post that you made after I signed off. Many good points.

        The problem with selling stuff is taking that hit/loss. I am sure there is “gently used” Shoeboxes out there with tanks to match. Just got to find them. Maybe get them for 1/2, but I bet they go quick.

        As for HPA pump tech. and cost,….. I don’t know. I do not see it getting better. What is out there works very well. It seems that the more expensive ones have more bells and whistles and just do the job quicker. Plus, they have moisture traps and 1st stage built in. For a PCP, there is no need for breathing quality air.

        At the other end of the spectrum is the Shoebox. I do not think that anyone could copy the simplicity of it. It may be “bare bones”, but man does it work well.

        Good luck on whatever way you go. It’s been a pleasure discussing things with you.

        Chris


      • Michael,

        We are lucky to live near Hurlburt Field, Florida, the headquarters of AF Special Operations. These guys bring back various martial arts from all over, so it’s possible to study anything from Goju-Ryu to Krav Maga.

        Walt


    • Walt,

      Isn’t Stoeger made in Turkey? I recently purchased its cousin a Webley VMX which to my research is manufactured by Hatsan. I changed the rear adjusting screw to a longer one and it definitely helped with the feel of the trigger.

      Thank you for taking the time and effort of learning Kali/Escrima.

      Michael,

      True that Magellan died in Mactan an island off Cebu (one of our 7,100 islands). His death only delayed colonization of the Philippines for a short while by 30 years. We were under their influence for 300 years until 1898.


      • Siranko
        Interesting that the Spanish were defeated in the Philippines in the same year they were beating the Aztecs in Mexico. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Lapa Lapa have holes dug in the battlefield the night before so the Spanish couldn’t keep their formation. This was a key in Mexico, where the Spanish were vastly outnumbered, but as long as they kept their lines straight, the fighting was one to one.
        Fido3030


        • Fido3030,

          The Spanish miscalculated they did not take into account that the reefs along the island’s beach will not allow their ships to get into effective range for their cannon. Thus they had to take the shore by longboats in armor. They had no protection for their legs which the natives aimed at with their spears. Fighting was along the beachfront where the lightly clad natives led by Lapu-Lapu had the advantage of mobility.


  12. Siraniko,

    You sure could be right about the Stoeger. Stoeger’s website offered no info about where they sourced the manufacturing and assembly, so I guessed that it came from China. Thanks for the input.

    And next time I mention something historical, I will look it up first to make sure the details are correct. BTW, many Philippine ex-pats live here. Wonderful people!

    Walt


  13. Walt,

    There sure is a lot of international cross pollination of airgun design and manufacture. The trigger design has been traced by some as a generic Gamo.

    No problem regarding the history. I don’t expect everybody to know the minutiae of every country’s history.

    Our main export it seems is our workers who are willing to do work for a decent wage compared to over here. It is estimated that we have 10% of my country’s population scattered all over the world and that you can hardly find a country without one of my countrymen living there.


  14. Siraniko,

    We have some workers and some who are married to service members. They are great people who make great Americans. They do a lot of good and cause no trouble at all. We’ll take all we can get.

    Have a super weekend!

    Walt


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