How to make a spring-piston air rifle shoot smooth: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Legacy SE
The Benjamin Legacy SE.

This report covers:

  • Strange report
  • The beginning
  • Over and out
  • Throttle brought it back
  • Lower velocity
  • Summary

Strange report

Today’s report is a bit strange. It could be considered one about an historic airgun, because the gun I will talk about is no longer made. I decided instead to put it into the modern section, for reasons I hope will become apparent.

It also could be considered as an open letter to airgun manufacturers, because it deals with an air rifle many shooters potentially want, though most of them don’t know it until they actually shoot the gun.

Finally, it could be considered as a chastisement of some airgunners who think that more power is the only path to happiness with an airgun. Why don’t I just tell the story and let you readers decide?

A few weeks ago reader Siraniko and I had this conversation:

”B.B. Pelletier,
The results you’re getting from the Umarex Throttle suggest that it is the StopShox that is causing the flyers. Is there an equivalent air rifle in Umarex’s inventory that does not have a StopShox installed? That might make a better comparison that would give a conclusion to this problem.
Siraniko”

“Siraniko,
I don’t know of anything equivalent in the Umarex lineup that has similar features, but your question does suggest a blog. There have been airguns that did what the Throttle attempts to do (other than the power) and, in terms of performance, they were stunning. Time to get out some obsolete stuff and show the world what’s possible again.
B.B.”

The beginning

It began in 2009, when Paul Capello and I started the television show American Airgunner. We needed content for the show, and the Crosman Corporation in East Bloomfield, New York, invited us to come in and film their operation. I had toured parts of their plant before, and I knew there was a lot to see.

During the tour, their head engineer, Ed Schultz, asked if we would like to see something special. Naturally, we were excited! He took us out a back door next to the bulk CO2 tank that fills all the cartridges they make. Then, he told us about a secret project of his. He’d taken one of their breakbarrel rifles and installed a gas spring in it. But this wasn’t your typical gas spring — oh, no! This unit had way less pressure inside, and Ed told me the breakbarrel would cock with about 16 lbs. of effort! One-finger cocking for a gas spring! I looked at him like he was crazy. No one had ever made a gas spring rifle that was easy to cock (remember — it’s 2009).

Ed handed me an air rifle with a handful of pellets. There is a berm that’s about 15 yards from the building and he told me to pick out a clump of dirt and shoot at it.

When I cocked the rifle I was astounded. It cocked with less than 20 lbs. of effort. Those were the days of Theobens and Beeman Crow Magnums, and no gas spring rifle I knew of cocked with less than 40 pounds of effort. I thought this rifle was broken.

Then I shouldered the rifle, released the safety and squeezed the trigger for my second shock. It shot like a dream! It shot very much like the Beeman R8 I recently tested, when the rifle was full of Tune in a Tube grease! There was no vibration, no buzz, not a lot of sound (we were outside), and very little recoil. Just that solid “thump” that a finely tuned spring rifle can have. I kept shooting it, not because I was hitting the target. To tell the truth I couldn’t tell if I was hitting it or not. I just liked the feeling of the rifle when it fired!

I told Ed I thought this rifle was a world-beater, which is my term for a gun that I think has a great chance for success in the marketplace. The rifle was a .22 and Ed told me that for some reason the .22 version was delivering a lot more power and performance than the same gun in .177

I told Ed I wanted to test this rifle if Crosman ever made the decision to manufacture it. Well, some time passed but eventually they did make the rifle, and in March of 2010 they sent me one to test. It was called the Benjamin Legacy SE and I started the test right away. Unfortunately that same month I went into the first of many hospitals for the battle of my life with pancreatitus and Part 1 of my report was not written for five more years! Why? Let me tell you.

Benjamin Legacy SE name
Not many airgunners have ever seen this name on an air rifle.

Over and out

While I was in the hospital, I was out of touch with this blog. Edith ran it for me and posted articles I had written years earlier. For close to two months I was so medicated that I forgot I was even a blog writer! When I came to my senses, it was late May of 2010, I was in the second hospital and the Benjamin Legacy SE was not doing well in the market. By the time I was discharged from that hospital in June, the rifle had been taken off the market. I didn’t write about it then because there was nothing to write about.

A lot of time passed and I forgot about the special rifle. But it remained in the back of my mind, and finally in 2015 I included it in a special 4-part series called Interesting gun designs. A month after I finished that series, Edith passed away unexpectedly and I forgot about the rifle for the second time.

Throttle brought it back

I generally don’t like to write about things you can’t buy, but the discussion we have had about the Umarex Throttle has revived my interest in the Benjamin Legacy SE design. I am telling you that the world’s smoothest spring-piston air rifle was made with a lower-pressure gas spring and it performed admirably. Well — I think it is admirable. Many of you may not agree. The performance specs (velocity) are nothing to shout about. It shoots .22-caliber RWS Hobby pellets at an average 536 f.p.s. That’s only 7.64 foot-pounds, and you know that sort of velocity turns off about 95 percent of airgunners.

Those who actually shoot the gun and experience the smoothness I am talking about understand, but if you run that velocity number I just gave past most airgunners, they snicker in derision. Get three of them together and they will “design” a way to make this rifle more powerful, which, if executed, will result in a breakbarrel that cocks with 42 pounds of effort and slaps you in the face every time it fires. It’s as if you discovered the Fountain of Youth and tried to get people to drink the water, but before they could, a marketing guy decides to add flavors, effervescence and a heavy shot of caffeine for an energy boost. Then a CFO decides that, instead of real water from the Fountain of Youth, they could save a lot of money by using filtered city water right at the bottling plant! Sure — that will work! (For the benefit of our readers for whom English is not their primary language, I am being extremely sarcastic here.)

Lower velocity

To their credit, Crosman did realize that this rifle was a winner. Although the Benjamin Legacy SE was taken off the market, they didn’t give up on the idea. They produced several air rifles along the same lines and managed to get another 100 f.p.s. velocity from the .22 version with the same low cocking effort. They called that rifle the NPSS (you will hear more about this one in Part 2). They also discovered how to make it work in .177 caliber. That became the Benjamin Titan GP. For a very short while they added the title Lower Velocity to that model, because the rifle developed less than 695 f.p.s., but that honest name killed sales. And without sales, there can’t be airguns.

There is still a Benjamin Titan GP air rifle today, but it delvers .22-caliber pellets at 950 f.p.s. with a cocking effort of 31 lbs. That’s a lot less effort than gas springs used to require, but it’s not the rifle I am taking about in this report.

The NPSS DNA carries on in the Nitro Piston 2 air rifles. They develop a lot more power, and there is advanced technology inside the Nitro Piston unit to dampen vibration, but they do deliver a lot of power for very little cocking effort. They are not as smooth as the rifles I am describing here, but they are still quite a bit smoother than the gas spring guns of the past. And they sell much better to the general public who want more velocity.

Summary

To summarize today’s report — Crosman once made a landmark breakbarrel air rifle (my opinion only). The smoothness of the cocking effort and shot cycle was unparalleled, but the velocity was low. It didn’t require any special technology to achieve — just a gas spring with less pressure. All that was needed was acceptance of a velocity that is lower than today’s airguns deliver. The airgun manufacturers don’t get to make that call — that’s made by buyers.

I am not finished with this report. In the next and final part I will show you the accuracy I got from these lower-powered rifles. It’s eye-opening, to say the least. I hope you readers appreciate this look behind the curtain. This is stuff you will never read about anywhere else. I don’t think this story is over yet, either, but the next chapter is not up to me.

79 thoughts on “How to make a spring-piston air rifle shoot smooth: Part 1


    • I think half the problem is they rebrand the same gun in a new stock into 100 different guns. Plus they don’t seem to have a clear designation on what kind of market level each brand is.


    • Could be worse. You could have a name like the Air Arms Twice. And a knifemaker has put out a folder called “The Intellect.” On the same lines, I’m still bemoaning the loss of royalties from the “Gladius” which is a name that I came up with on the blog a long time ago. 🙂

      Matt61


  1. B.B.

    I’m sorry to hear of Edith’s passing. I know that is history, but history that I didn’t know. I came to understand that Edith was no longer a presence in the blog but just couldn’t outright ask what happened. My condolences.

    I’m interested in the “less is more” with which you are teasing us. Of course I have my Gamo Hunter. Pyramyd Air had a Crosman Vantage NP.for cheap and I bought one to see what the gas piston was about. The Vantage is one of those “hot” guns, advertised 950 fps. And again, you are so right, a harsh shooting cycle. Subjectively, there seems less vibration than the springier, but I’m at a loss as to a means of throttling back a gas piston.

    I received my “Tune is a Tube” about a week ago. Went to visit our Indianapolis daughter and family and promptly fell ill. Couldn’t eat for a week. Better now and looking forward to some time to get at the Gamo. I have a variety of pellets that thedavemyster gracious sent me to test after I apply the Tune in a Tube. While I have the Gamo apart, I’ll apply some moly gease to friction points and generally lube anything that moves.

    One final note; I’m so impressed by the general good will of those that post to this blog. Offers to help, encouragement and sharing knowledge and experience are given so generously and with such grace. Some of the firearm forums I’ve seen seem always to have a few folks who are opinionated and seemingly easily offended. Kudos to all.


    • Grandpa Dan,

      Glad to hear that you are back among the living again. Being sick like that is no fun. And as to your last comment,.. yup,.. this is a good place to be.

      Rigged that shooting bench up yet? 😉 (just a friendly “nudge”)


      • Hi Chris,

        Nothing on the bench. Mama’s garden comes before anything else. She’s the manager, I’m the labor.

        Joking aside, Mary Ellen was stricken with an auto-immune disease in 2011-2012. It was long time until it was finally diagnosed and treatment started at Johns Hopkins. In Sept, 2012 she was discharged from Hopkins in a wheelchair and on supplemental oxygen around the clock. So weak that she couldn’t manage to go up one step.

        She’s a stubborn German and stronger than I. Today she’s about 90% back on top. I still do the heavy lifting, but she’s got energy and has recovered strength and feeling in her hands and feet. No need for the oxygen bottle. She’s able to go back to making her quilts for all the Grandkids and tending her beloved gardens.

        All that to say that time for my pursuits is sometimes limited. Certainly by my choice. We’re in our 51st year of marriage and I love her. So I care for her as best I can. And as much as she will allow, she has a strong independent streak. I guess that’s why none of our daughters are wimpy women, they get it from their mother. 🙂

        Regarding your mention that your Maximus rifle would be your “keeper.” Observing you in this blog, I’ve come to see you as an wise person. So your statement stuck with me. While looking at an airgun classified site, I found a Maximus and hand pump for sale by a person who has been bitten by the “better” bug. He’s in Indiana! And we were going to visit our Indiana daughter and family! Ha! We can meet and I can get the Maximus. Alas, not to be. I was bitten by a stomach bug and we never made contact. So we’ve conducted the sale via snail mail and the Maximus should be on the was to me today.

        Thank you Chris, for the perspective on the rifle. I was thinking to save my money for a Discovery but your endorsement for the Maximus tipped the balance in that direction.


        • GrandpaDan,

          My 79 year Mom has the same thing and has to get an all day IVIG for the immune system once a month. She is stubborn as all get out and has some other things going on, but she just keeps pressing on. German descent as well.

          Congratulations on the Maximus. Sounds great. (Be sure to ask any questions you may have). The trigger can be lightened a lot, but not sure if anything is out there telling how to do it. You did not say if it was a .22 or a .177.



            • GrandpaDan,

              🙂 I got 30 shots on a 2000 fill that stayed within 1″ at 50 yards,… just some comparison data for you. And hey,.. I do not consider myself to be the best shot,.. by a long shot. Past 30,.. they started to drop about 1/4″ to 1/2″ per shot. I quit at 34. Mine likes the 15.89 JSB’s the best.

              Keep us posted please,… Chris


        • GrandpaDan,

          On a quick re-read,… I caught your compliment. Thank You. Most of my back ground is mechanics and QC,… so I am a bit analytical and detail minded. The best I can say is that I have learned a lot here and am just passing it back/on. There is a TON of people on here way smarter than me,… but I will freely share what I have learned and give you an honest review of anything that I have personal experience with. I am also quick to admit a mistake and take correction, while at the same time remaining objective.

          Chris


    • I, too, heard about Edith’s passing some time after it happened, and it’s still hard to believe. PA posted a beautiful photo of her. You’re right about the tone of the blog which is an increasing rarity in the online environment these days. If you have time, you could go back in the archives and find the moment when B.B. faced down the demons of uncivility. It had to do with a posting about an Air Force product. Anyway, B.B. drew the line in the sand and shut down comments for a period of time. That message has stuck over the years with extremely few deviations. B.B. for president.

      Matt61



        • There you go. Some ancient philosopher, perhaps it was Plato in Plato’s Republic (BG_Farmer where are you?) said something like the people best suited to lead are the one’s who don’t want to, maybe because they are smart enough to know better. I don’t know why anyone in his right mind would want that job.

          Matt61


  2. B.B.,

    Thanks for letting us peek behind the curtain again so to speak. Two things come to my mind from the article. 1) Could I possibly adjust a gas ram down to achieve a controllable level of power? I have access to a Hatsan 80 which jolts and slaps you in the face due to the power generated by the power plant. Could it possibly be done? 2) I do notice that weight also is a factor in controlling the recoil of springers. Has anybody every done a power to weight ratio study about this? The power generated in my brother’s Diana M48 is helped tamed by the weight of the rifle. In a similar vein a low weight springer like the Umarex Embark is still controllable due to its relatively low power.

    Thanks for the article. Looking forward to Part 2.

    Siraniko


    • Siraniko,

      I swear that I remember a gas piston that could be adjusted. It may be gun specific or it could have been an after market item. Anyone? I do think weight does factor in as to what is felt by the shooter.


      • Chris,

        The Weihrauch HW90 can be adjusted. I don’t have the equipment myself, but there is “another” online dealer who sells the pump and gauge you need in order to manipulate the pressure in that rifle’s gas piston.

        Jim M.


    • Siraniko,

      If I recall correctly, the Hatsan Vortex gas spring was adjustable. I do not know if it still is and I do not know if it was so in all models. I also do not know what fitting is needed to be able to charge and discharge the spring.


    • Siraniko,

      Could you adjust one? Only if it was designed to be user-adjusted. Theoben did offer that with some of their guns, but they are no longer in operation — at least not the original company. Vortek may soon offer such a kit for a number of spring rifles. And when they do I will test it for you.

      B.B.



      • B.B.,

        That would be (very) interesting. Especially if the adjustment could be accessed through the cocking slot without disassembly. My guess would be that after playing with it a bit, most consumers would end up at the lower end of things (fps), as opposed to Uber Magnum end of things.

        Chris


  3. I have a like new Gamo Shadow bought in 2002 that is just flat obnoxious to shoot. So much so, that I had (and still am) seriously considering detuning it with a spring having less spring rate to tame the twang, vibration and recoil. But like GrandpaDan, I’m first going to ‘tar’ the spring in hopes it will finally make it into my rotation and not just sit unused in the safe. I bought this gun before I was on the internet so without the plethora of info available there, I went by the advertised FPS as a guide to a gun’s usefulness (the old ‘more is better’ syndrome :P). I believe damping the spring with the grease will definitely help, but whether it will help enough remains to be seen. I have read that a Crosman 500X spring will smooth things out but that has not been confirmed. Besides, I’d prefer to use a better quality spring like a Maccari, etc. if I was going to swap it out. If I go into it I’d be very tempted to fit a tighter guide and such, but I hope to first evaluate it using just the spring grease alone before going any deeper into it.


    • Cobalt,

      Gunfun1, did some testing on springers and found that a substantial amount of spring could be removed with no loss in power. Now, that may not be the case in all springers, but it does illustrate that the some guns could have been made with much shorter springs and still have the same fps. Vortek spring kits are nice. I have one in the TX200. No need for spring guides as they are built into their kit.

      ((Maybe someone else can help out here)), but I remember a vendor that sold all sorts of springs for air guns. If you know the critical data you desire, you could just order one and try it.


      • Chris,

        Perhaps you are thinking of Air Rifle Headquarters? They sell all kinds of springs, seals and other parts. Vortek does also. They will even make a custom spring length for you.


      • I wouldn’t mind some loss of MV to make it less harsh and I totally expect to see a net loss after tarring it. I looked into springs but until I see what I have and what the fit and condition of the powerplant is, that will have to wait. Ultimately, a new spring and better fit and finish of the PP will be the better resolution, but I’m curious about the TIAT deal so I’ll do that first for curiosity’s sake. Might learn sumptin’, who knows?


        • Cobalt
          This is referring to the test Chris U mentioned.

          I found some guns to have as much as 4 inches of preload on the spring. I cut the spring a inch at a time and then assembled the gun and chronyed it. Kept doing that till I had zero preload when I assembled it. Guess what chronyed it and velocity was the same.

          Matter of fact excess preload could over power the seal and cause blow by. Kind of sounds car related don’t it. 🙂



            • Cobalt
              That was the whole purpose of what I did. I wanted a smoother shot cycle. And was hoping to keep some muzzle velocity.

              My question to he gun makers has always been why and the heck put all that extra spring in the gun. All it’s doing is killing the gun. Harder on the cocking mechanism. Harder on the seal and so on. Plus shakes the gun and everything else apart.

              I will take a smooth shooting springer with a little less velocity over higher velocity hard to cock and hard shot cycle any day.

              Plus you tend to end up with a gun that is easier to shoot more accurately. Sounds like a win win situation to me.

              Oh and yes I owned a Gamo Whisper years ago. But no I didn’t tune it. Probably should of but it didn’t last long enough for me too. I got a Diana 54 Air King with the slide recoil system that helps eliminate felt recoil to the shooter.

              I had the 54 for about a week while I had the Gamo. Once you shoot a 54 Air King you don’t want to shoot a Gamo again. Not to say the Gamo wouldn’t benefit from a spring chopping. Cause I’m sure it would help it out. I just didn’t at the time.


              • GF1
                Well thanks for the tip. It will become obvious when I remove the spring plug if I have extra preload to burn. Would be nice if there are preload spacers I can remove.


                • Cobalt
                  I cut springs so there was like a 1/4″ and even more free play when assembled. I put metal washers and o-rings and garden hose washers sandwiched between the metal washers.

                  All in trying to get the ultimate smooth shot cycle and reasonable velocity. Of course for easy shooting accuracy.

                  So there. You can add or remove your own spaces if you like. Just cut the spring a little more than zero preload.

                  And when I talk freeplay. I mean even after the washers. A 1/4″ freeplay with the washers. So yes I could move the cocking arm some before it even hits the spring to start compressing it.

                  Sorry but you just can’t imagine the things I tryed with air guns. I got to keep myself excited ya know. 🙂


            • Cobalt 327-
              I had 2 Gamo Shadows that I bought in the 90’s and I hated them. Set them aside, mostly, for 10 or 11 yrs and then started to shoot them with a purpose of discovery about airguns. After 2500 shots,I broke a spring in one and was amazed at the difference in the shot cycle! Smoothed out considerably and groups did tighten up. Still a Gamo, but was much improved. Spring was 2.14 ” shorter than stock.
              Bruce



                • That was the left-over piece of spring. I just unwound the broken piece and put it back together. The other one broke a spring,also, and I sent it to Gamo USA and they put in a new spring . I opened it up and they had applied a “generous amount” of goop and it did smooth out some,but shorter ,broken, old spring was better.
                  Bruce


  4. BB,

    The Legacy SE was a little too underpowered for my desires, but the NPSS would have worked great if I could have just warmed up to that style stock. Most of those just do not seem to fit in my hand quite right. Couple that with the Crosman trigger assembly and it was not worth it.



  5. Many of the high precision target rifles operate in the 550-650 fps range and they are incredibly smooth.

    For general shooting I prefer 750-800 fps for a .177 rifle. For me that seems to be the sweet spot – adequate power for pest control, good trajectory at the typical 10-20 yard plinking ranges with a reasonable cocking force and shooting cycle.

    Funny about the “more is better” mentality – nobody would buy a dragster to drive to work because in spite of their power – they are just not practical (terrible gas mileage and don’t corner well 🙂 ) but they get wooed by the high velocity numbers and buy a uber-magnum pellet rifle that take 40+ pounds to cock.

    A guy I used to hunt with bought one of those magnum air rifles and came over to show it off. After a couple of minutes of plinking he had to rest. I didn’t say anything, just let him shoot my FWB124 for a bit… He returned his rifle for a refund and is now looking to buy a HW35.

    Monday #2, back to it! Have a great day all!

    Hank


  6. B.B.,

    Your report on the Legacy SE with its easy cocking got me thinking about the latest NPII Crosman/Benjamin line with what looks like a genuine advancement in silencing technology, their SBD system. These rifles claim a pretty light cocking effort for a nitro piston magnum, 30 pounds of effort, 5 pounds lighter than their other NP2 offerings. So while I am not in the market for a magnum, I wonder how smooth and easy cocking these might genuinely be.

    Any reporting plans on the Benjamin Rogue NP2 SBD or Benjamin Mayhem NP2 SBD?

    Michael


  7. BB

    The secret project rifle you are writing about is exactly what I want. As one of your readers says “if you can’t hit what you are shooting at what difference does it make how powerful your gun is?”

    Hey, I like power too but I have firearms that take care of my need to go from zero to 4000 feet per second before I even hear the shot.

    Some readers may want to know that I have a Benjamin Titan NP .22 in my shooting rotation. It has shot thousands of pellets and even the notorious trigger has eased so much I look forward to squeezing the sponge. I put an inexpensive and simple to put on Sharpshooter X-Ring deresonator on the barrel and found the “sweet spot” for dampening barrel vibration waves. Accuracy is my objective and this rifle delivers group sizes that are between 2 and 3 times the size of groups my HW30s can do at 10 meters. A dime easily covers all 10 Titan shots with room to spare.

    I can hardly wait to get to your accuracy report on the Legacy SE.

    Decksniper


    • Decksniper, (love the name)

      Tell me more about the deresonator, please. The thing its self is certainly cheap enough and if it works that kind of magic, why not give it a try?

      How did you go about deciding where to start placement? And then how to determine adjustment direction? Or is it just good old “cut and try”?

      GradnpaDan


      • GrandpaDan

        One of our good readers I include in the “knowing stuff about airguns” responders gave me the idea to buy a couple from http://www.limbsaver.com. It works on the same principle that BB has covered on this site. I think this is a poor man’s Browning Boss. There is lots of vibration happening before the projectile exits the barrel. If the harmonics are consistent shot after shot, group sizes should get smaller if all else is equal.

        Directions are easy to follow about placement on the barrel, how to move it, measuring its location on the barrel. Once dialed in, it hugs the barrel and does not move at least not on the two air rifles I have X-Rings mounted.

        It can be difficult to mount without removing a front sight. I was able to get it past the 1 inch muzzle grip on the M8 I recently bought but it took time and considerable effort.

        Glad you are over your recent illness.

        Decksniper



    • Coduece,

      I have been using multi-strand wire springs since I found them in the 20mm cannons that were mounted on my scout vehicles. Those guns needed them (dual parallel springs) to dampen the recoil of the breechblock of the cannon. But we are talking about a gun built like a bulldozer!

      I am not aware of any manufacturer using multi-strand wire in a spring gun. There may be a lot of reasons for that — things like vibration and lower power. Lower power because they may move slower. Heavier springs don’t always increase a spring gun’s power. Read this report.

      /blog/2008/10/steel-dreams-part-2-building-a-more-powerful-spring-piston-gun/

      B.B.


  8. BB,

    Did you ever find a way for the pellets to exit the Benjamin Legacy without hitting the barrel shroud end cap ? I was only able to find 4 parts to that report. If you haven’t, is there any chance that you will. I know it’s out of production but now I think inquiring minds want to know. ( It’s your fault,you big tease !) It also just occured to me that if all the production guns had this issue, poor accuracy may have killed it’s sales rather than low power. What do you think?


  9. Yes–I would buy this “low power” but smooth and accurate rifle from Crosman, should they ever release a new version of it. I guess I’d need to buy my 22 cal. pellets from elsewhere, however, because Crosman seems to be intent on discontinuing all their quality pellets. First the original .20 diabolo pellets were pulled and now the boxed pellets are going. Last I looked, no boxed pellets were available on Crosman’s website. How much longer will PA be stocking even the .177s? The 22 cal. boxes are gone but I have a 50 cal. ammo can full of them to last me a while. My last several tins of 25 cal. Benji Domes were stuffed with various quantities of coils and slivers of lead flashing in their skirts and many were loose in the bore or sported fingers around the nose at the seam. Sorry to rant a little here but I’d like Crosman to hear that they are losing their long-term, hard-core customers. Maybe the two-timing new owners will show some interest in accurate airguns on their second time around owning the company, but I doubt it!

    -Cal

    However, your blog reminds me that I need to order a softer spring for my .177 Walther LGV Master, B.B.!


  10. My own collection has focused on the lower power range, and it has always made sense to me to play to the strengths of airguns in that area rather than going for higher power which duplicates firearms and can’t compete with them. However, my view has changed with my recent rapid fire experience with handguns. It’s not power in terms of the big bang but it amounts to the same thing with lots of rounds in succession. It is like having your own mini-machine gun. While accurate [guns] are interesting as Townsend Whelan said, there is also a place for rapid fire weapons.

    But a mere mag dump is not the goal. While blasting away, I had a vision of something different. A true smart weapon, not based on technology, but where rate of fire and precision converge. The outlines are there in history. The first doctrine of instinct shooting that I’ve heard of from World War 2, dispensed with sights altogether, and I believe that the double-tap was supposed to make up for marksmanship. But then Jeff Cooper found that it was possible to retain a “flash sight picture” even at high speed. Extrapolating from this, you get accuracy and rate of fire coming together. Actually this has already been done with the likes of Bob Munden, who displayed some astounding feats of accuracy as well as speed, and by heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson who, under the instruction of Lucky McDaniel, was able to hit a thrown bb with another bb! The source is what McDaniel called “God’s own sighting system” which is the human mind. It’s an ideal that is not possible to reach (for me) but certainly fun to pursue.

    Matt61


  11. Gunfun1, yes, sighting in while standing is a tricky thing. I remember the blog advising to just correct sights over time as you observed the tendencies of the gun. The relative insensitivity or stability of iron sights is consistent with this and don’t lend themselves to immediate changes in setting.

    LarryMo, you know more about policies for wounded than I do since my information is mostly gleaned from WWI movies where officers are pointing revolvers at soldiers who either refuse to go over the top or who break off the attack to help wounded comrades. Thank you for your service in the USMC, one of my favorite organizations. (Incidentally, I was just on a flight where announcement was made about a veteran on board who had served in WWII and Korea and the plane responded with sustained applause. This was a nice counterpoint to the trip out where some guy was abusing the flight attendants who had caught him smoking in the bathroom.) Anyway, I so admire the Marines that my next step for reenactment is to buy a complete outfit of their WW2 sage green utilities.

    So many people have soldiered over time that I have wondered what makes the Marine Corps special. It’s a topic fraught with emotion, but there are some objective facts that can be gleaned from history. I believe that the Marines in the Revolutionary era doubled as boarding parties and as policemen for the sailors. So, there was a kick-butt element from the beginning. No doubt that is also one reason for the historical rivalry between Marines and sailors. I believe that Marines were also assigned as sharpshooters in the rigging during boarding actions which would explain their historical focus on marksmanship. There isn’t a lot of information about the Marines in the Civil War other than Abraham Lincoln’s reference to “Uncle Sam’s webbed feet” who assisted in the reopening of the Mississippi River so that the “Father of Waters may once again flow unvexed to the sea.” Otherwise, the record of the Marines was not particularly distinguished either because they did not play a big role in this land-based conflict or because they weren’t organized.

    There isn’t much information about them during the latter half of the 19th century when the nation was absorbed by the westward expansion. But something was obviously going on because at the beginning of the 20th century, the Marine Corps was already a highly professional organization. They stood out for heroics during the Boxer Rebellion in China, and they were good to the point of frustration in WWI when General “Black” Jack Pershing complained about why all of his soldiers couldn’t be Marines. Actually much of the old Corps was wiped out in the assault on Belleau Wood, but the institutional character remained.

    During certain actions in South America in the interwar period, the Corps distinguished itself in action even if it was in the service of dubious political policies. Marine icon and one of the very few winners of TWO Medals of Honor, Sergeant Dan Daly, apparently had a jaundiced view of his service during this time which he described as being a “strong arm for Wall Street”. The achievements of the Marines in WWII and afterwards needs to embellishment.

    In viewing this history, one could conclude that part of the strength of the Marines derives from the old principle about hard environments breeding hard people, and this could refer not only to the difficult environment of amphibious assaults but even from fighting for their own survival in the Department of Defense which periodically tried to shut them down. This seems to have bred a self-reliance which one commentator observed in what he calls the “funky joie de vivre” in the culture of the Marines. But there’s more than this. The U.S. Marines were inspired by the much older British Royal Marines but evolved in a different way. Where the Royal Marines developed into raiders and commandos in the modern era, the U.S. Marines became an expeditionary force that is larger than the entire armies of most countries. So, it was like inserting overwhelming hammer force into what had been considered a niche for surgical strikes and covert operations.

    This implied a lot of engineering/management capability sort of like the famous Roman legionaries. Apparently an amphibious assault is still considered the most difficult of all military operations which the U.S. Marines developed against all expectations in the interwar period and during WWII. Even during the Vietnam War with the different problem of insurgency, the Marines were more successful than the army. One observer said that when the Marines took over a district, “nothing moved.”

    Finally, just as the SS have been described as an outgrowth of Nazi culture, it’s reasonable to suppose that the U.S. Marines reflect a certain amount of their home culture. But where the SS were utterly ruthless, even to the extent of sacrificing large numbers of their own troops unnecessarily, the Marines have gone in a different direction with the ethic of leaving no man behind which has not impaired (may even enhance) their combat effectiveness. Thanks to all the Marine vets.

    Matt61


    • Matt61
      I’m responding here to both of your comments.

      Standing and holding the gun naturally unsupported changes the way the gun reacts in your hands. There are more things to be aware of. Not only that you have to try to hold the gun more steady. But also the gun will move more in your hands when the trigger is pulled. A proper set trigger pull pressure is important as well as how well the shot breaks in relation to when your eyes want the shot to go off.

      And then to your other comment. The eyes and the mind. Sometimes you have to overlook what your mind makes you think your eyes see. You know like what magicians do when they show you a trick. The mind don’t always comprehend what it thought the eyes see. Well that’s what happens when sighting with guns. Open sight or scoped. Some don’t think they can hit their target with open sights cause they can’t see it well to place the sights on the target. Some think all the scope shake from magnification will make them hit not accurately. I don’t know the right words to use but there is a buffer built into when sighting that or mind trys to make us believe. Be it from over magnification or not seeing the subject well enough. Like I said before. Put the sight on the target and trust the sight. Magnification or no magnification.


    • Matt61-The guy smoking in the bathroom should have gotten a $10,000 fine as situated by FAA regulations.
      If he said one word to the flight attendant, the rest of the plane should have beaten the snot out of him! Just my HO….

      You forgot to mention a very important task that the Marines provide. They are the guards of all US embassies worldwide.

      -Y


      • The dude said a number of words to the flight attendant of the choicest kind. I agree with you about what he deserved. But the flight attendant, who looked like Santa Claus, did something different. He just said something under his breath and touched the guy lightly on the shoulder. The guy’s own family was all over him right away, but that first response caught my attention. Maybe it was a case of gentleness showing great strength. But the flying smoker had attitude. As everyone deplaned, he complained in a loud voice about how the whole world was prejudiced against smokers. Maybe the proper attitude is Huckleberry Finn’s advice when he said that the best thing to do about people like that is to get out of their way. Someone is going to lose patience with them, and you don’t want to be in the vicinity when that happens.

        You’re right about the Marines guarding embassies. I don’t know how far back embassies go, but this harks back to the original mission of the Marines (soldiers of the sea) to serve as specialized infantry for naval power projection–through boarding parties or otherwise. In some ways the Marine guards seem more symbolic with their small numbers although it surely takes guts to do that. But apparently the Marines have developed a specialized unit called FAST for reinforcing embassies until a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) can arrive with sufficient firepower. That’s enough to handle almost anything short of Jason Bourne.

        Matt61


    • Matt61

      After so many decades of being the forgotten or ignored, it’s gratifying and pretty amazing at how society is just now coming around to recognizing the service of the Nam veteran. It may even be time to give Jane Fonda a pass. The only WWI movies I can readily recall is Sgt York and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930 version), and of course that TV series by Rowan Atkinson.

      I’m also wondering at the dearth of historical information during the last part of the 19th century. I think the biggest reason is that after the start of the Civil War about half of the officer corps resigned their commissions and joined the southern Marines, as I’m sure did a big chunk of the enlisted. After that I believe the Corps came very close to being disbanded.

      Larry from Algona


      • You’re right about the Civil War. Another incident with the Marines comes to mind. I believe that Robert E. Lee commanded a contingent of Marines that rooted out John Brown at Harper’s Ferry! Institutional unity certainly collapsed after that.

        Matt61


  12. B.B.
    Just wondering, when you do the testing on these airguns do you actually test in parts? Or, do you do all of the testing and then post the blogs in parts? What is your normal daily procedure? I am curious because I read a part I review, but then part II and the remaining parts seem to be spaced out and not contiguous. The reviews are like little cliff hangers…as we wait for the rest of the story.

    As I read through these blogs, I get a feeling that many of us are of an older generation. I notice that the posters are very courteous and patient and use proper English. Everyone seems eager to help with any questions. It reminds me of a time when I used chat rooms. I could tell the age group with minutes just by the language and comments. This is indeed a very special group of people posting in this blog…with a gracious administrator I might add. I always enjoy my time here.


    • George,

      Yes, my normal routine is to test in parts. A complete examination of a typical airgun, with all the testing and pictures takes 6-10 hours, and I just don’t have this kind of time. I’m lucky to put 3 hours together for a trip to the range.

      So, when you read a blog like the one you will read about your rifle tomorrow, you will know that I did the testing, writing and photography yesterday and today.

      I like doing it that way because I am as surprised as you by the performance. That helps my perspective when I write.

      B.B.


      • B.B.
        Thanks for the explanation. I would guess that reading through the comments following each blog could add some insight and more questions to be rolled into to the subsequent blogs. Got the subtle hint about what’s on the agenda for tomorrow’s blog. Can hardly wait to read it. Do you do most of your work from home then? I saw a satellite view of your home and I can see that you live in a community with several homes close together with rather small lots. So I guessing that there’s no shooting in your back yard. I am fortunate in that there are no houses behind my home, just a corn field. So I am able to set up my targets at whatever range I like.


        • Geo
          Can’t wait to hear your reaction when he tells you how he does his tests at home. That cold be a whole blog in itself.

          He has mentioned several times over the years of how he shoots at home. Probably like most I’m thinking.


          • GF1,

            Depending on what direction and at what range,…. my indoor “short range” is 24′,.. across the dining room and across the living room. The “long range” is 41′,.. across the living room,.. across the dining room and down the entrance hallway. Then there is the chrony set-up which consist of about 2′ from muzzle to pellet trap. Even the .25 M-rod.

            By the way,.. since BB has shared his adventures of shooting up the house,… I did lodge one in the wall and one above the stove (don’t ask me how),.. when doing trigger adjustments with the Maximus with the action (out) of the stock. Yea kiddies,.. do not try this at home! (or at least not IN the home) 😉


            • Chris U
              Yep that’s what I’m talking about.

              And I like when BB uses his garage too.

              I bet all his guests know to call ahead when they are comming over. Just say’n. You wouldn’t believe what I hear some people at work talk about.


              • GF1,

                🙂 Just think of the poor cat’s. I bet when they hear that first shot go off,.. they head for “the hill’s”! 😉 Although,.. last I recall,.. one was the size of a small/medium dog,… so I do not think that they are too “hard” off.

                Out’a a here,…. Chris.


                • Chris U
                  I bet the cats alarm BB about multiple things.

                  My cat picks up on things my dog don’t catch at times. If you get a good cat and dog that get along together I think they can alert a person to alot of things. Of course. As long as you pay attention to them.

                  Hmm kind of like air guns. Pay attention. They will tell a story if you listen to how they act.


                  • Gunfun1

                    Our 3 cats are asleep and even snoring (or purring) when I’m shooting from the deck where they hang out. Have never noticed any alarm from them. They are smart and decided I won’t shoot their way.

                    Good night with that trivia.

                    Decksniper


                    • Decksniper
                      Not that type of alarm. That’s alarmed your talking I believe.

                      My cat will notice things outside my dog won’t. And same for the dog. It notices things the cat doesn’t​. So once I learned what they would see I could be alert to what was happening outside. Not alarmed.

                      Again like I said. Alert not alarmed. And as I said. Learn to read the situation if you will.

                      But one more note. My cat definitely likes to rub up against my cheek when I shoot. Gaurentee once you can shoot with that happening and shoot good then you can shoot. Don’t know what it is but the cat just likes me. 😉



  13. BB. In the report you mentioned Paul Capello and It reminds me how much I miss Him Doing the Airgun Reporter videos. No matter what He was reporting on it was interesting and informative.


  14. BB,
    A few months ago I spoke with someone at Crosman about the availability of low powered gas ram rifles. They advised that the Canadian market gets them so that can comply with their laws on airgun fps. Would one of those lower power Models destined for Canada be similar to the Legacy SE?


  15. Is Tune is a Tube still available? No luck in finding it even on Ebay, Amazon, Pyramyd Air etc..

    So will Crosman ever give the Legacy SE a second chance? Or is that idea history now that Crosman has been sold?


  16. I purchased a Tech Force TF-99 in .177 that PA installed a Crosman Nitro piston in from PA a few years ago. This rifle shoots almost as smooth as my tuned springers, I like it very much. Mine shoots Crosman wadcutters very nicely and attains on average 750 fps. These conversions did not sell well on PA and never came back.


  17. The Airgun manufacturers need to produce some mid-range velocity air rifles for adults. I would like to buy more air rifles (12 is not enough, ha ha) but I do NOT want the high velocity guns. I have had to resort to buying youth rifles in order to get a slower velocity, which in my opinion equates to better accuracy. The problem with the youth spring rifles is the stocks are shorter which makes it a little difficult for adults. Currently I am using 3 Game G-Force rifles for most of my shooting. My most accurate spring rifle is an old Game Shadow 640, which shoots .177 caliber pellets at 570 fps. If Game would produce more of these I would buy at least 5 of them (3 for the Grandkids and 2 for me). That’s my rant for the day.


  18. Hi from the UK. Have been reading about the overpowered air rifles you have on offer in the USA. We over here have’n’t that problem as by law you cannot purchase an airgun over 12ft.lbs for a rifle or 6ft.lbs for a pistol. The exceptions are if you apply for a Fire arms licence, which is by no means an easy task. This is not a complaint as the makers have accuracy and build quality to make the sale.
    I also read in the blog somewhere?? ( yes I am of the older generation ) someone asked if the airguns over here were sold with scopes on, the majority I have to say do come with different quality of scopes. The more the airgun cost the better the scopes.
    Anything else that anyone would like to know of the huge amount of airgunners over here in the UK then please ask away, if I don’t know what the answer is, I will find it out for you.
    Thank you B.B. it is very refreshing to read a friendly knowledgeable blog about my favourite pastime.

    Garry



      • Thank You B.B. & Geo791, for the welcome,

        I am really interested in the differences across the pond regarding airguns.
        As I said before because we have limit of 12ft/lbs so there is a different mind set. Bush craft becomes a major part of vermin hunting with an air rifle because of the kill shot range. The major problem over here is that you cannot shoot anywhere without permission, I know that it is the same in some states but we live on a tiny island, so space is at a premium.

        What I`m trying to say is you cannot walk around with rifle bag over the shoulder without being stopped by the police or being reported to the same. I know of a instance when a friend of mine was cleaning out his garage, left his gun cabinet open and someone passing reported the fact that they had seen Guns!!! The next thing he knows is the armed police arrived and was a bit over zealous in enquiring about said Guns. He was legal in every way, what I`m pointing out is the different way we are over here as a society about guns.

        I`ll get off the soap box, I blame my fingers….. have`nt had a trigger to pull for a while so they are a bit tappy.

        Just a note, the grey squirrel is vermin over here, the red is not. The red is native to the UK the grey is an import……along time ago. The grey carries a virus that is`nt harmful to themselves but deadly to the reds, over time the greys have eradicated the red from most of the UK. We are in the process of re-introducing the red to different parts of the country But and it`s a big But…. the government will not have a nation wide cull of the greys
        ( I think it`s because people see them as cuddly with a bushy tail )
        So it has`nt got a good start to be re-introduced but we`ll keep plugging away at the greys, on the land we have permission on.

        Fingers still tappy so will close now and go out to the outdoor 10 metre range I have next to the boat and shoot a can. That should settle them.

        Garry


    • Hello Gary…and welcome to the blog. It’s nice to see a new airgun poster. We look forward to seeing posts from you in future blogs. Always searching for new ideas. You have discovered a great place to learn more about air guns. Those of us with lots of experience are very helpful with solving problems associated with air guns as well.


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