Sharp Ace Target Standard: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharp Ace Pan Target
Sharp Ace Target Standard is a sidelever multi-pump 10 meter target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • This rifle is not an Ace Pan Target
  • Today’s test
  • What happened
  • Finale Match Light
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan training pellets
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • JSB Match
  • Evaluation

This rifle is not an Ace Pan Target

I received an email from advanced collector, Don Raitzer, who said he was sure this rifle was a Sharp Target Standard model. What he keyed on was the bolt handle I showed you last time. The Pan Target has a pushbutton bolt release and a spring-loaded bolt, similar to the Innova. That was a feature I overlooked when researching this rifle in vintage Sharp catalogs, but now that Don has brought it to my attention I see he is right. So I changed the title starting today. I will leave the previous reports as they are.

One benefit of the change is, according to the Blue Book, the Ace Target Standard is a little more valuable than the Ace Pan Target. So I profited by the mistake. But it also means the entries in the Blue Book are correct, after all.

Today’s test

Today we look at the accuracy of this air rifle. I shot it rested at 10 meters, and though I described in Part 2 how I planned to test the rifle for accuracy, things happened that changed everything.

What happened

I told you I planned on shooting it on 2 pumps today and then on 3 pumps. The first shot on 2 pumps failed to fire, so I went right to three pumps and did not plan to try any testing on 2 pumps. Then the rifle acted very strange on 3 pumps as I was refining the sight picture. It had a double bang release — almost as if it was a flintlock rifle. And a couple times there was just a pop follower by a hiss of air. Something was wrong and I wasn’t going to be able to shoot it on 3 pumps, either. So — 4 pumps is was! And I was able to finish the test on 4 pumps per shot.

I also only shot 5 shots per group instead of 10. I normally do that when testing target airguns. And I had to shoot left-handed to see the bull through the front aperture. My right eye can’t see well enough anymore.

Finale Match Light

The first pellet I tried was the H&N Finale Match Light. Five of them went into 0.168-inches at 10 meters. The group wasn’t centered on the bull, but I decided to press on with the test and leave the sights where they were.

Sharp Ace Target Finale group
Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets went into 0.168-inches at 10 meters.

Since I was only shooting 5 shots, I thought I would test a few more pellets. I will say this — pumping the rifle 4 times per shot was tiring, so I’m glad I only shot 5-shot groups.

Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy

Next up was the Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellet that has done so well in past tests. In the Ace Target 5 of them went into a horizontal 0.434-inches. I don’t think the Ace likes this pellet.

Sharp Ace Target Sig Match group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets made this 0.434-inch group at 10 meters.

Qiang Yuan training pellets

Next I tried 5 Qiang Yuan training pellets. These have been very accurate in recent tests of target airguns. In the Sharp Ace 5 of them went into 0.302-inches at 10 meters. That’s okay, but nothing to get excited about.

Sharp Ace Target Qiang Yuan training group
Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets went into 0.302-inches at 10 meters. It’s good, but not great.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

I tried 5 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets next. The group shrank to 0.180-inches. That’s almost as small as the Finale Match group. The R10 Pistol pellet seems like a good choice for the Ace Target.

Sharp Ace Target R10 Match Pistol group
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets went into 0.180-inches at 10 meters. A possible contender?

JSB Match

The last pellet I tested was the JSB Match. Now, don’t get confused. JSB calls almost every pellet they make a match pellet, but only wadcutter pellets are allowed in 10-meter matches. That was the one I tested. Alas, they didn’t do that well. Five went into 0.323-inches at 10 meters. That’s not worth it, given the performance of the R10 and Finale Match.

1Sharp Ace Target JSB Match group
Five JSB Match pellets made this 0.323-inch group at 10 meters.

Evaluation

Today’s performance disappointed me. I have shot regular Sharp Aces that were more accurate than this, and their triggers aren’t nearly as nice as this one. I think the trigger might need some adjustment to stop the problems mentioned at the start of the report. Perhaps the former owner tried to make it as light as possible to the detriment of everything else. Or maybe there is something I haven’t figured out yet.

The rifle is a curiosity, I’ll say that! I’m not finished testing it yet, either. I plan to shoot it with a scope from 25 yards as well, so we get a thorough look at this odd Asian multi-pump.


Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Throttle rifle from Umarex brings a lot of value to the table.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Cocking effort
  • RWS Superdomes
  • RWS Hobby
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Trigger pull
  • Stock flex
  • Evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the Umarex Throttle air rifle. As a quick reminder, I am already impressed by this rifle, just from the brief handling I did in Part 1. Today should advance that. Let’s get right to it.

Cocking effort

It would be easy for me to measure the cocking effort, then “guess” in writing that it will be somewhere close to that. I don’t do it that way. When I guess, I haven’t measured it yet. Today is when we both discover what the real cocking effort is. I guessed it would be around 33-36 pounds of effort. When I measured it on my bathroom scale the number was 28 lbs. Less than I expected. I am impressed!

RWS Superdomes

The first pellet I tried was the 14.4-grain RWS Superdome. No particular reason, other than it is a medium weight .22 caliber pellet and I wanted to start near the center of the weight range. The specs say the Throttle will get 1000 f.p.s. from lead pellets, and today I hope to test that for you.

The first shot registered 782 f.p.s. After that the next highest shot was 768 f.p.s. and I got a super-tight spread of 9 f.p.s., ranging from 759 f.p.s. to 768 f.p.s. If I include shot number one in the 11-shot string the average is 765 f.p.s. By eliminating it the average is 764 f.p.s. At that average the Throttle generates 18.8 foot-pounds of energy with this pellet.

I am impressed by the stability of this brand-new spring piston rifle with its gas piston unit that Umarex calls the ReaXis. It is smooth and vibration-free and the discharge sound is quiet.

RWS Hobby

I wanted to learn what the maximum velocity is with real pellets someone might actually use, and nothing is better suited for that than the 11.9-grain RWS Hobby. Hobbys averaged 806 f.p.s. in the Throttle, but the spread was pretty large, at 45 f.p.s. The low was 789 f.p.s. and the high was 834 f.p.s. At the average velocity, Hobbys generate 17.17 foot-pounds from the test rifle. This is an unusual case where a heavier pellet generates more power in a spring-piston rifle than a lighter one. Given the large velocity spread, Hobbys may not be the right pellets for the Throttle.

H&N Baracuda Match

The final pellet I tested was the 21.1-grain H&N Baracuda Match. I shot the one with a 5.51mm head, but I doubt the head size makes much difference to the velocity. Baracudas averaged 592 f.p.s over 10 shots, with a 10 f.p.s. spread from 589 to 599 f.p.s. Though the velocity is on the low side, Baracuda Match pellets sound like they are worth a try.At the average velocity this pellet puts out 16.42 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Trigger pull

Okay, this is an area several people have keyed on. The Throttle’s trigger pull is listed at 5 lbs., and that part of the trigger is not adjustable. I think it’s heavier than that, and again, I haven’t tested it yet when I say that. But the break of stage two is crisp, and that covers a multitude of sins. I once handed former reader Kevin Lentz my Wilson Combat 1911 pistol and told him to dry-fire it. He estimated the trigger at a pound when it was really 3 pounds. That’s what a crisp let-off can do.

The test rifle’s trigger breaks at 3 lbs. 15 oz. That’s less than 4 lbs., so I was over in my estimate. I think it’s fine for a hunting rifle and for general-purpose shooting.

Stock flex

One negative point needs to be mentioned. The synthetic stock flexes at the forearm and sounds hollow when handled. I tried tightening the forearm screws but the flex is still there. It’s not a deal-killer for me, but some of you are more sensitive to things like that.

Evaluation

I’m seeing features and quality that far exceed the Throttle’s low pricetag. I think we may have a winner here. It will all hinge on the accuracy test that comes next. I am not just impressed by the power — I am delighted! Here is a spring rifle with reasonable power instead of beating you to a pulp for that last foot-pound. This is a rifleman’s air rifle!


Air Arms Galahad: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Galahad
Air Arms Galahad PCP in walnut is a striking looking air rifle!

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • What we know
  • What I want to see
  • First string
  • Second string
  • Third string
  • Fourth string
  • Fifth string
  • Sixth string
  • Seventh string
  • Analysis
  • Out of time

Today I continue testing the velocity of the Galahad rifle from Air Arms. I told you in Part 1 that this rifle is complex and will require a lot of testing before moving on. Not only does it have a 5-position power adjuster, it also has a regulator, that adds an additional level of complexity.

What we know

In Part 2 we learned where the power bands are at each power setting. For example, we saw that the lowest power setting is virtually unusable, giving velocities with .22-caliber Crosman Premier pellets below 300 f.p.s. Power settings 2 through 5 are quite useful though. I find power setting 3 (Premiers average 749 f.p.s.) to be idea for general work outdoors and setting 2 (Premiers average 539 f.p.s.) is ideal for indoors. At those settings the spread of velocities was 14 f.p.s. and 15 f.p.s., respectively. That’s where the regulator comes into play.

What I want to see

You may not appreciate that a regulator isn’t designed for a gun with a power adjuster. The power adjuster works better on a gun that has no regulator, because the reg is balanced against a certain volume of air in the firing chamber. The power adjuster also has a firing chamber, but there is no regulator in the way, so some air still flows freely from the reservoir and that is how unregulated PCPs balance their power. For that reason, unregulated guns do better than regulated guns when there are power adjusters. Tell me if that still confuses you and I might write a blog about it.

So here is the test. I will fill the rifle and shoot on power setting 3. I will see how many strings of 10 shots I can get before the regulator quits. We’ll know when it happens because the velocities will drop fast after that.

First string

The first string averaged 762 f.p.s. for 10 shots. Let’s look at it now.

Shot……….Velocity
1…………….767
2…………….765
3…………….770
4…………….769
5…………….761
6…………….758
7…………….759
8…………….752
9…………….760
10……..…….758

The low was 752 f.p.s. and the high was 770 f.p.s. The extreme spread was 18 f.p.s. At this point this doesn’t mean much, but watch what happens as I continue to shoot.

Second string

The second string averaged 766 f.p.s. for 10 shots. Let’s look at it now.

Shot……….Velocity
1…………….779
2…………….774
3…………….770
4…………….765
5…………….766
6…………….760
7…………….753
8…………….752
9…………….778
10……..…….766

The low was 752 f.p.s. and the high was 779 f.p.s. The extreme spread was 27 f.p.s. Now you are seeing how the rifle performs. This second string was the most variable one in the test. Also, after firing string 2 the rifle was sitting at around 3000 psi, so for those who don’t have a means of filling to 250 bar, the rest of this test is what the rifle can do on a fill to 3000 psi or 206 bar.

Third string

The third string averaged 756 f.p.s. for 10 shots. Let’s look at it now.

Shot……….Velocity
1…………….774
2…………….759
3…………….759
4…………….753
5…………….756
6…………….750
7…………….755
8…………….750
9…………….750
10……..…….756

In this string the low was 750 f.p.s. and the high was 774 f.p.s. That’s a 24 f.p.s. spread.

Fourth string

The fourth string averaged 753 f.p.s. for 10 shots. Let’s look at it now.

Shot……….Velocity
1…………….763
2…………….756
3…………….752
4…………….764
5…………….746
6…………….751
7…………….752
8…………….750
9…………….747
10……..…….748

In string four the low was 746 f.p.s. and the high was 763 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 17 f.p.s. See how the velocity spread gets tighter as the reservoir pressure drops?

Fifth string

The fifth string averaged 752 f.p.s. for 10 shots. Let’s look at it now.

Shot……….Velocity
1…………….764
2…………….757
3…………….752
4…………….748
5…………….749
6…………….748
7…………….749
8…………….754
9…………….750
10……..…….746

In string number five the low was 746 f.p.s. and the high was 764 f.p.s. The spread was 18 f.p.s.

Sixth string

The sixth string averaged 749 f.p.s. for 10 shots. Let’s look at it now.

Shot……….Velocity
1…………….750
2…………….750
3…………….749
4…………….745
5…………….746
6…………….751
7…………….749
8…………….751
9…………….753
10……..…….749

In string 6 the low was 745 f.p.s. and the high was 753 f.p.s. That’s a spread of just 8 f.p.s. My instincts told me this was very close to the last string on this fill, but I pressed on just the same.

Seventh string

The seventh string averaged 638 f.p.s. for 10 shots. Yes, we have fallen off the power band because the regulator is no longer working, due to the reservoir pressure being too low. Let’s look at it now.

Shot……….Velocity
1…………….755
2…………….750
3…………….755
4…………….742
5…………….740
6…………….no shot fired
7…………….190 (must have been a double feed from the shot before)
8…………….561
9…………….605
10……..…….642

Can you see how fast the velocity changed on shot 6? That’s what it looks like when you fall off the reg. I’ve never tested a regulated gun that also had adjustable power before and I suppose other similar guns might perform somewhat different, but all of them fall off the reg in pretty much the same way, which is to say dramatically.

Analysis

First I want to note that I got 65 good shots on power setting three! Across all 65 shots the low was 740 f.p.s. and the high was 779 f.p.s. — a spread of 39 f.p.s. Since I’ve not tested a gun like the Galahad before I have no frame of reference, but WOW! That’s an impressive number of good powerful shots on a single fill. At the end of the test the onboard pressure gauge is reading 110-115 bar (1,595 psi to 1,668 psi).

You shooters with 3000 psi air tanks have to subtract 20 shots from the maximum shown here. You get 45 good shots per fill on power setting 3, when shooting the Crosman Premier pellet. That’s still impressive! Compare that to unregulated PCPs and I think you will agree.

Out of time

I thought I was going to wrap up the velocity test today, but once again I have run out of time. I still want to test the maximum power I can get, as well as how easily the rotary magazine handles longer (heavier) pellets. Because they are where the greatest power will lie.

The Galahad is an expensive airgun, and also one with some complexity because of both the regulator and adjustable power. I want to make certain I test it thoroughly.


Firearm pellet adaptor: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • On a dare
  • The adaptor
  • Priming
  • Is it dangerous?
  • Loading the pellet
  • Discharge sound
  • Cost
  • Legality
  • Conclusions

I love it when I’m wrong! I try to be correct in my reporting, but sometimes I hit the wall and splatter all over the place. Today might be the start of one such time. I am reporting on an adaptor I bought to shoot pellets in a .223 Remington centerfire rifle, using the power of number 209 shotgun primers.

On a dare

My late wife, Edith, used to keep me straight by periodically challenging me. Whenever I said something that didn’t sound quite right, she invited me to put my money where my mouth iwa. She learned very quickly that I knew what I was talking about in the field of guns most of the time, but every once in awhile I was off the track. She learned to spot those times and she would call me on them.

She isn’t around to do that anymore, but apparently I got so used to it that I now call myself out! That happened the other day when I was talking about the adaptors that allow pellets to be loaded and shot in firearms. I said many things in my report that would not pass muster in the past, so I decided to dare myself to try pellet adaptors once again. I bought a .223 Remington adaptor to load into my AR-15. We all know that rifle is deadly accurate — putting 10 shots into a little as 3/8-inches at 100 yards. It ought to serve as a good test platform.

The adaptor

Okay, the adaptor is real high-tech (not). It’s a .223 case that’s been drilled out at the base to receive a number 209 shotgun shell primer. An o-ring inside the base holds the primer tight. The neck of the case has been punched on opposite sides to keep the pellet from falling into the case at loading.

adaptor
The pellet adaptor has two “precision” divots punched into opposite sides of the base of the neck, to prevent pellets from dropping into the larger portion of the case, where they would be difficult to remove.

adaptor base
At the base of the adaptor the primer hole has been drilled out to accept a number 209 shotgun primer. An o-ring inside holds the primer tight. A fired primer is shown next to the adaptor.

Priming

The adaptor must be primed with a shotgun primer. The primer is simply put into the hole in the base of the adaptor and pressed in with your thumb. At first I thought it would not go, but eventually I discovered the right amount of force to use and the primer slid home. For as simple as it is, it really works quite well.

adaptor primed
The primer is pressed into the adaptor by thumb pressure. As you can see, there is a lot of primer to go inside.

To remove the primer after it has been fired, a cotton swab through the case mouth works well. Not only does it press out the spent primer, it also wipes carbon deposits from the case mouth.

Is it dangerous?

Is pressing a primer into a case with your thumb dangerous? You know that primers are detonated by impact and pressure. So, is it dangerous? Not really. Your thumb spreads out the force to the entire surface of the primer, where a firing pin strikes deeply in one one tiny spot. Al;so that o-ring makes loading a lot easier.  It does take a little courage at first, but after you have done it a few times it becomes routine.

Loading the pellet

To load the pellet you press it into the case mouth, tail-first. It isn’t easy. It’s like trying to herd a cat! I found that some pellets like Wasps just don’t want to go in. Their skirts are flared out too wide to enter the case mouth. But I was able to load a JSB Exact Jumbo and an Air Arms dome. Neither is easy, but with persistence they do go in. So far those are the only two pellets I’ve tried because I was just trying to become familiar with how the adaptor worked. I will try a range of weights in the velocity test.

adaptor loaded
Sorry it’s a little blurry, but the background is exaggerating things. The JSB Exact Jumbo dome is pressed in as far as it will go. The skirt is sitting on those divots you see in the first picture.

Discharge sound

Here is where I admit I was wrong. The ad copy says this adaptor sounds like a spring-piston air rifle firing. All my past pellet adaptor experience was with handguns that are very loud. I braced myself for the loud bang in my office and was pleasantly surprised by the quiet pop. It was about the same as a RWS Diana 34!

My AR-15 has a 24-inch barrel, so it’s possible that a shorter barrel may make more noise. But as it stands, this adaptor is very quiet. Backyard in the suburbs quiet! Now I am intrigued, for a number 209 shotgun primer has a lot of oomph. This adaptor could allow us to reload our own CB caps. If it is also accurate, then it’s worth consideration.

Cost?

The adaptor costs $15. Primers cost around 4 cents apiece, so each shot costs that plus the cost of the pellet. It’s more expensive than just shooting a pellet and even more than shooting with CO2, but less than the cost of .22 rimfire ammo. Plus it is as quiet as a rimfire shot through a silencer.

Legality

But when you use this adaptor you are still discharging a firearm — not an airgun. If you were hauled into court for shooting this they could charge you with a firearm violation, because the pellet is propelled by means of a chemical explosion. Add to that the fact that you are shooting it in a firearm and it’s clearly not a way to circumvent the law.

Conclusions

I have a lot to test. The ad for the adaptor had a review that said the user was getting groups the size of a nickel at 20 yards. We’ll see about that. I still have a hard time believing this adaptor can be that accurate, given the difference in bore diameters of a .22-caliber pellet rifle and a .22 centerfire.

If it is accurate, though, it will be the first pellet adaptor I have seen that is. We shall see.


Pump-Assist Benjamin 392: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pumu-assist Benjamin 392
The Benjamin 392 pump assist is an interesting side street in the hobby.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Crosman Premier
  • RWS Superpoint
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • Whadja get?

Today we look at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Benjamin 392 with pump-assist. I tested the rifle at 10 meters off a rest using the open sights that come with the gun.

Crosman Premier

We will begin with Crosman Premier pellets, that I expect to be one of the most accurate in this rifle. Shot one landed high on the bull at 11 o’clock, so I left the sights where they were.

Ten Premiers made a group measuring 0.577-inches at 10 meters. It’s not the best I have ever done at that diostance, but for a 392 it’s acceptable.

Pumu-assist Benjamin 392 Premier group
Ten Crosman Premiers went into .0577-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superpoint

Next up were ten RWS Superpoints. This is a pellet I have not tried in a multi-pump, as far as I can remember, so I didn’t know what would happen. Alas — it wasn’t that good. Ten Superpoints landed in a group that measured 1.174-inches. The group is scattered all over the place. Obviously this is not the right pellet for this air rifle.

Pumu-assist Benjamin 392 Superpoint group
Ten RWS Superpoints made this 1.174-inch group at 10 meters. Not a good pellet for the 392 pump-assist.

JSB Exact Jumbo

The final pellet I tested was a JSB Exact Jumbo. This was the pellet I thought might be the most accurate, though to be so it would have to edge out the Premier. Ten pellets made a 0.748-inch group that is ironically shaped like a frown.

Pumu-assist Benjamin 392 JSB Jumbo group
JSB Exact Jumbos did not best Crosman Premiers. Ten made this 0.748-inch group at 10 meters.

Are there other pellets the 392 likes even more? Probably. But accuracy isn’t why I own this air rifle. I own it for what it is — a multi-pump that almost was, but never caught a break. A multi-pump that’s easy to pump.

Whadja get?

I’d like to hear about your special Christmas gifts today. Not the socks and sweaters — just the good stuff. Or maybe it wasn’t a gift you got but onw you gave. Please share.

Today’s report is short because I wrote it last Thursday, so I could spend time with my sister who came for Christmas. I still owe you the video of the 392 being pumped, so don’t despair!


Sharp Ace Pan Target: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharp Ace Pan Target
Sharp Ace Pan Target is a sidelever multi-pump 10 meter target rifle.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • First test
  • Problem
  • Test 2
  • Test 3
  • Test 4 trigger pull
  • Test 5 trigger pull consistency
  • Test 6 power
  • Summary
  • Photo gallery

This is my last chance to wish you a Merry Christmas, but I decided to give you an early gift. Today I will test the Sharp Ace Pan Target velocity, and you can talk about it all weekend!

First test

For the first test I chose RWS Hobby pellets. This is the velocity test and Hobbys are one of the lightest lead pellets around, so they are ideal. Obviously you wouldn’t compete with Hobbys, though their accuracy could surprise us.

In this test I will pump the gun a specified number of strokes and record the velocity. I thought I would start with 3 pumps, but when I saw the velocity produced from just 3, I knew I could start with less. I tried a single pump but the pellet remained in the barrel, so 2 strokes turns out to be the minimum.

Stroke…Velocity (f.p.s.)
2…………..532
3…………..635
4…………..706
5…………..750
6…………..818
7…………..859
8…………..894
9…………..919
10…………929
11…………941
12…………Did not finish

Wow! Now we know this rifle is a full-power Ace that gives nothing away. And we know that it has more than enough power to shoot targets on just 3 pumps.

Problem

Why didn’t I finish? Because the plastic hand grip on the pump handle cracked and I didn’t want to damage it further. I removed it from the pump rod, but the thin rod is painful when the effort gets high.

I was upset about this until, on examination, I noticed that the crack wasn’t new. An attempt to repair it has been made before. The crack goes around three sides of the handle. I may have enlarged it in this test, but it was already there.

Sharp Ace Pan Target pump grip
I stopped pumping when I noticed this crack in the pump handle grip. It goes around three of the four side of the grip.

I will look for a way to repair this. I’m looking at options now. One way or another the grip will be repaired and I won’t use the original plastic grip handle, as it is too brittle and weak.

What I learned from the first test is the rifle doesn’t need more than three pump strokes to function as a 10meter rifle. Now that the grip handle is off the pumping will be harder because the pump handle is shorter, but three strokes should present no problem.

Test 2

In this test I want to see how consistent the gun is. I will pump each of 10 shots three times and see how they register. Hobby pellets again.

The shots with Hobbys on 3 pumps averaged 633 f.p.s.. The string is below.

Shot……Velocity (f.p.s.)
1…………..595
2…………..620
3…………..649
4…………..626
5…………..636
6…………..631
7…………..634
8…………..649
9…………..640
10…………652

That is a 57 f.p.s. velocity spread, which is way out of profile for both a target rifle as well as for a multi-pump pneumatic of any kind. Granted the distance to the target is only 10 meters, but we still want more consistency than this. At the average velocity this pellet generates 6.23 foot-pounds! On just three pumps! The velocity at 11 pumps generated 13.77 foot-pounds with this light pellet. With a heavy pellet this rifle is probably capable of 16-17 foot-pounds.

Test 3

This test engendered a second test at just 2 pumps per shot. Would the rifle now be more consistent?

Shot……Velocity (f.p.s.)
1…………..484
2…………..532
3…………..538
4…………..545
5…………..541
6…………..540
7…………..553
8…………..550
9…………..546
10…………542

This test opened my eyes. After the first shot the next 9 stayed within 21 f.p.s. And the gun seems to pick up speed as it shoots, so perhaps a warm-up is called for. I might also try the 10-meter test both ways (two pumps and three).

Test 4 trigger pull

I said I would measure the trigger pull for you on varying pump strokes. That’s this test.

Pumps……trigger pull (oz.)
2…………..3.7
3…………..6.3
4…………..6.4
5…………..7.6
6…………..8.1
7…………..8.3
8…………..9.9

So, the trigger pull does increase with the number of pumps. There is wizardry involved, but the laws of physics still hold sway. This raised another question in my mind. How consistent is the trigger with the same number of pump strokes? Like in a match — would the trigger remain consistant?

Test 5 trigger pull consistency

This test I will pump the gun twice and test the trigger pull. I’ll do that 5 times, and then the same thing on three pumps.

Two pumps
Shot……trigger pull (oz.)
1……………5.2
2……………4.9
3……………5.3
4……………4.9
5……………5.5

Three pumps
Shot……trigger pull (oz.)
1……………5.9
2……………6.2
3……………6.6
4……………6.1
5……………6.2

The trigger is close to the same on 2 pumps and 3, except on 3 it is slightly heavier. On 2 pumps the trigger varied by 0.6 ounces from the lightest to the heaviest pull. On 3 pumps it varied by 0.7 oz. It was about one ounce heavier on 3 pumps than on 2. Five ounces equals 141.75 grams, for those on the metric system. So the Sharp Ace Pan Target trigger is slightly heavier than a world-class 10-meter rifle trigger that might break at 50 grams.

Test 6 power

I know some of you are thinking of this as a powerful hunting multi-pump. So now I will test it for extreme power. That means shooting heavier pellets. I’m not trying to set any records, for there are none to set. But we all want a fair idea of what the rifle will do.

Given the strain on the pump linkage, I will pump 10 times, only. I don’t want to ruin this collectible air rifle just to see what it will do.

Pellet……………….Velocity……………Energy in foot pounds
JSB Exact 10.3…………815………………………15.2
Premier heavy…….……812……………………….15.38
Baracuda Match……..…815……………………….15.64
Sniper Magnum………..703………………………..16.46

The 10th pump registered 52 lbs. of effort on my bathroom scale. While that isn’t the most I ever recorded, it certainly is a lot of work. The record for pump effort that I have seen was a Sheridan Blue Streak that Greg Fuller boosted to over 25 foot-pounds on 18 pumps. The final pump for that rifle was 100 lbs. And pumps 4 and 5 of the Daystate Sportsman Mark II were 54 and 77 lbs., respectively.

Summary

That is the most complete velocity test I have ever seen for any Sharp Ace — to say nothing of the Ace Pan Target. Let’s hope some collectors will come out of the closet and share their results.

Photo gallery

Reader RidgeRunner asked for some detail photos in this report, so here they are.

Sharp Ace Pan Target bolt
The bolt handle sticks straight down when the bolt is closed. It’s hard to grasp with the peep sight eyeshade in the way.

Sharp Ace Pan Target pump head
The pump head is adjustable for length to maintain maximum power throughout the life of the rifle. Notice the brass fitting that is self-lubricating.

Sharp Ace Pan Target pump linkage
The pump rod even adjusts at the pump linkage! And there’s another brass fitting.

Sharp Ace Pan Target butt plate
The adjustable butt plate.

Sharp Ace Pan Target loading trough
The loading trough has easy access.

That’s it. Merry Christmas!


Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Throttle rifle from Umarex brings a lot of value to the table.

This report covers:

  • General information
  • Weaver bases
  • Differences
  • Description
  • Affordable rifle
  • Easy to cock!
  • Pivot bolt
  • Sights
  • General
  • Trigger
  • Fly on the wall

General information

Before I start today’s report I have a number of things I want to cover. First, I realize I am behind on a number of reports from the 50-yard line. I’ve been unable to get to the range for many weeks for various reasons, and when I did get to go before that, the wind was too high for airgun testing. I want to test the pellet shapes at 50 yards, the .25 caliber Marauder I had tuned, a new AirForce .357 Texan (I have a lot of things to do with that one), and now guns like the Galahad will soon be stacked up.

I have received the adaptors for shooting pellets in my AR-15 and that’s another one I think will have to be done outside because of the noise, though they say the report is quiet. I also got an adaptor to shoot .32 pistol rounds in my Mosin Nagant rifle, which I thought would be a nice addition to that report on adaptors.

Then there’s a question that keeps coming up, no matter how many times I answer it. People don’t understand the difference between Weaver bases and the military standard 1913 Picatinney rail. So here goes.

Weaver bases

Weaver bases are older than the Picatinney rail. They have the same width (0.617-inches) across the dovetail as the Picatinney rail. If there is any difference in dimensions it is so small as to not matter. And yes — despite what some people say, Weaver bases ARE dovetail bases, so calling 11mm airgun bases dovetails, is confusing

Differences

Weaver bases have cross slots that hold a bar on the bottom of a scope ring, to keep it from moving during recoil. I have always believed that these cross slots are 3.5mm wide, but while researching this report I found a Wiki page that claims they are 4.7mm wide. Picatinney rails also have cross slots, but they are 5.23mm wide. Fortunately, a firearm moves in one direction when recoiling, so once the bar hits one side of the cross slot, it will not be able to move farther.
Weaver cross slots have no specification for the location of the slots. Picatinney rail slots are evenly spaced every 0.394-inches, center to center. Let’s look.

Throttle Weaver Picatinney base
The Weaver cross slot at the top is narrower than the Picatinney cross slot, and is not evenly spaced. Weaver bases are simply installed wherever they will fit on a gun.

So, Weaver rings will fit and work in a Picatinney base, but rings made for Picatinney bases may not fit in Weaver bases. I say “may not” because, if the rings were made with crossbars small enough, they would work.

Okay, enough general info. Let’s look at the Umarex Throttle air rifle.

Description

The Umarex Throttle air rifle is a breakbarrel rifle with a gas piston. The spring and piston are built together in a single unit that Umarex calls the ReaXis gas piston. They have turned the piston around so the weight of the part of the unit that moves when the gun fires is kept as low as possible. Weight that doesn’t move is weight that doesn’t have to be damped, which reduces the potential vibration. And, with the Throttle Umarex has done one additional thing. They have installed the first STOPSHOX anti-recoil system that I reported on in Part 2 of the 2016 SHOT Show report. I have been waiting for this product to come to market all year so I could test it and report it for you.

Throttle STOPSHOX
The STOPSHOX device was seen at this year’s SHOT Show, but the Throttle is the first air rifle to have it.

Affordable rifle

I had no idea of what the Throttle would be or cost until now. Justin Biddle, the marketing manager for Umarex USA told me it would be powerful, but he didn’t tell me much more. I think that was because even he did not know all the Throttle would be until the German engineers finished developing it.

What we have is a $200 air rifle that is supposed to send .177 caliber pellets out the spout at 1,200 f.p.s. and .22 caliber pellets will go as fast as 1,000 f.p.s. I have the .22 to test and I’m hoping to find a heavier pellet that’s accurate but limits the velocity to somewhere in the 800s. Not because velocity harm accuracy — we know from testing that it doesn’t. But I don’t need 1,000 f.p.s. from a breakbarrel .22. Of course, the Throttle is a brand new air rifle that might change my thinking.

Easy to cock!

Given the potential power I expected the Throttle to be the bow of Hercules, but it’s not. My calibrated left arm estimates the cocking effort is around 33-36 lbs. I will test that in Part 2.

Pivot bolt

The Throttle has a pivot bolt instead of a plain pin. That means you can adjust the pivot joint to as tight as required to get rid of all slop. Accuracy will only improve with this, and it’s a major concession that Umarex has made to the saavy airgun market.

Throttle pivot bolt
A pivot bolt means you can control how tight the barrel joint is.

Sights

The Throttle comes without open sights and there is no easy way to mount them. But it does come with a 3-9X32 scope that has an adjustable objective. Normally scopes that come bundled with inexpensive air rifles are good for tent pegs and little else, but this one appears different. I looked through it with both eyes and, though it is not marked closer than 20 yards I would say this scope adjusts down to about 8 yards. The image is clear, and I think this might be a fine scope. As in, but the Throttle and all you need are pellets! If so, this will be the first time I’ve seen that happen. It’s almost as though someone at Umarex is reading this blog and knows what airgunners want! But how they do all this at $200 is beyond me!

Yes, the Throttle is made in China. I know that will be plastered all over the forums, if it isn’t already. This time, though, it seems that someone from Germany may have been inspecting what the Chinese produce and have made sure it’s good. We shall see!

Also, the Throttle comes with a Picatinney rail mounted on the rear of the spring tube. So mounting a scope that has Weaver rings will be quick and easy.

Throttle scope rail
A Picatinney scope rail on top of the spring tube makes scope mounting quick and easy.

General

The rifle sits in a black synthetic ambidextrous stock that is shaped well and ribbed for better holding. The pistol grip is both thin, which I like, and also very vertical, which I also like. The pull is 14.5 inches and the rifle weighs 7.5 pounds without the scope mounted. Pyramyd Air shows the weight at 8.3 lbs. which I assume is with the scope mounted.

There are other plastic parts like the end cap that has windows cut in it to show the end of the STOPSHOX anti-recoil device. The triggerguard is cast into the stock, so of course it’s made from the same material, but both the trigger blade and the safety are metal. The buttpad is soft grippy rubber than will hold onto your shoulder well. The only other synthetic part is the large SilenceAir muzzle brake/silencer. Yes, it has baffles. The barreled action metal parts are finished to a semigloss sheen that’s a grade above matte.

Trigger

The Throttle trigger is two-stage and the length of stage one is adjustable. The weight of the trigger pull cannot be adjusted. I did adjust the first stage length already and it works as advertised.

The safety is automatic and does need to be pulled to the rear to release it. I think both of those decisions are mistakes, but pulling the safety off by pulling it toward the trigger is a safety concern.

Fly on the wall

I would love to have been a fly on the wall when Umarex designed the Throttle! This is so much more than an exercise in how cheaply a Chinese factory can manufacture a spring-piston air rifle. Real though has gone into designing and building this rifle. I wonder that it doesn’t carry the Walther name, though I suppose its origins mitigate against that.

I didn’t know what to expect when I opened the box and so far I am impressed. If the Throttler is accurate, Walther may just have given Diana a run for their money!