Where are airguns today?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Spring-piston guns
  • The price-point PCP
  • High-pressure air compressors
  • Action air pistols
  • It’s been done before
  • Airgun shows
  • Hunting
  • They’re listening now!
  • Summary

After writing 6 reports on the SHOT Show I thought it was time to look at all that has happened in airgunning in recent years. We are in a golden age of experimentation and refinement, and it’s good to stop and reflect on that for a moment.

Spring-piston guns

If you had asked me what the future of the spring gun was before I attended this SHOT Show I would have told you that everything that could be done had been done. Then, at the show, I saw not one but two novel new breakbarrels.

Crosman has their new Akura breakbarrel with the Precision Barrel Lock or PBL. It is a novel new way of locking the breech at the shot by using some of the compressed air to push a pin back into the spring tube. The rest of the rifle is a straightforward gas spring breachbarrel, but the question we have to ask is why they felt it necessary to lock the breech this way. A few other airguns use mechanical locks that are operated by the user, so there must be an advantage to locking the breech, but will we see it when I test the Akura?

Sig also gave us a new locking breech on their new ASP20, but they used a mechanical design they call the keystone breech. The breech flares out at the top and presses against the walls of the action forks when the barrel is closed, as the detent pulls the breech down to make it rigid. That’s a second company that feels it necessary to lock a breakbarrel’s breech tight.

Sig also gives us a new American-designed trigger that I feel certain will give their legal department sleepless nights! And guys — there is no adjustment screw in this one — at least not in the conventional sense! Shooters may have to trust Sig this time, because it doesn’t look like fiddling with the trigger will get you anywhere.

So, I was a little hasty when I dismissed spring-piston airguns. Apparently there is still room for innovation.

The price-point PCP

In 2006 when we developed the Benjamin Discovery we were breaking ground that had never before been plowed. That started the PCP revolution that we have today. This year we have a handful of new PCPs with features like good triggers, accuracy, shrouds and regulators — features that used to be found only on PCPs costing considerably more than the sub-$300 asking price the market has decided is right.

Gamo Urban
Umarex Gauntlet
Benjamin Fortitude
Hatsan Flash

This is a greater impact than just 4 new PCPs. This establishes the price at which new precharged guns with a lot of features have to cost. What happens next will be a race to offer the best and most features at this price. If a flood of sales result from this first push, we can expect to see wonderful things, and a small but necessary price increase as even more features are added.

High-pressure air compressors

Twenty years ago no affordable high-pressure air compressor existed. Today there is an entire field of budget-priced high-pressure air compressors. I remember discussing this possibility years ago with Dennis Quackenbush. I thought it was an area in which little would ever be done. Dennis thought differently. He actually described to me the possibility of what has now become the AirForce E-Pump.

Not all the new compressor offerings are as reliable as they might be. What I think will happen next is some of the weak sisters will have to go away and reliability will become the most important thing. I think the price has dropped as low as it can and still offer reasonable reliability, but I have been wrong before. So, let’s see.

Action air pistols

In my opinion we are on the cusp of an explosion of interest in action air pistols. The reason for this — again my opinion — is the introduction of the Air Venturi Dust Devil frangible BB. There are already a great many action air pistols already in the market, so let me explain that I’m not suggesting a flood of new models is coming. But the Dust Devil gives us the ability to use the action pistols with action targets that also exist in great numbers.

Now there is good cause for new hard targets to come to market for BB guns. I think we should start seeing some even this year. Codeuce — are you listening?

It’s been done before

This isn’t the first time ammunition made a big impact on airguns. When the Crosman Premier pellet first came to market in the mid-1990s it was tried in the then-obsolete Crosman 160 pellet rifle. That rifle had languished since being terminated back in 1971. Collectors liked it, but the accuracy was nothing to shout about. Then came the .22 caliber Crosman Premier pellet and suddenly the 160 awoke! Think I’m just talking about vintage airguns that you can’t buy? Think again.

The 160 was the starting point for the QB77, which, in turn, spawned the QB 78 that exists in several iterations and the QB 79. Those rifles, which have been produced in many times the numbers as the original Crosman 160, served as the starting point for the Beeman QB Chief PCP. See how it works?

Airgun shows

The growing popularity of airguns means a larger market for airgun shows. Later I will publish a schedule of the shows I know about this year.

Hunting

Here’s what I see on the hunting front. The recent launch of several high-powered airguns that launch arrows is having an affect on hunting. State fish and game departments are aware of the advances that have been made. I see increasing interest from all around the nation from fish and game departments looking into airguns as hunting weapons. It’s hard to sell them on a .45 caliber bullet that develops 500 foot-pounds because they match it on paper against a .223 Remington cartridge that gets more than twice the power with a bullet that weighs 1/10 as much. They just don’t understand. If they thought about airguns in the same context as black powder arms, things would come into focus.

But, when you tell them an airbow can launch a 450-grain arrow at 500+ f.p.s. — that they understand! Because they know that the most powerful crossbows cannot match it, and the longbows are even farther behind. They know crossbows do belong in the field — even if their state does not allow them yet. The crossbow manufacturers are acutely aware of the airgun threat, because they are pulling out all the stops in an effort to match them!

They’re listening now!

When I started writing The Airgun Letter in 1994, the airgun community was small and content to remain so. You had large manufacturers like Crosman and Daisy who thought of their products as almost adult toys. And you had the small boutique operations like Theoben and Daystate who knew that airguns were a lot more, but were not interested in promoting them. They had a solid customer base that they were equipped to serve, so growth wasn’t on their radar.

Today everything has turned around. Crosman, Gamo, Umarex and Sig know that their future depends on adults who want to use their products for serious endeavors like competition and hunting. They still build for the youth market, but their focus has shifted to the adult airgun market. Anyone attending this year’s SHOT Show can see that.

AirForce just acquired Theoben! Theoben built guns to a high quality standard, but they made them slowly. AirForce knows better than anyone how to do the same thing at a high rate of production. If I were in a boutique operation today, I would start scrambling, because the competition just got fierce! Business as usual isn’t going to last much longer.

Summary

If you have been with airguns for even just a year you know I’m telling the truth about all of this. It might seem like this is the way it has always been, but it hasn’t. The last few years have seen the airgun marketplace come alive and 2018 is looking like the liveliest year of them all!

79 thoughts on “Where are airguns today?

  1. B.B.

    Sig lock up system seems simple and efficient. Has anybody used a similar system before?
    The PBL is innovative. Lots of moving parts however.

    Long live the springer! ,

    -Y


  2. B.B.,
    Thank you for an “over your shoulder” peer into your air gun Crystal Ball. In just the short 3+ years I have been here, I am amazed at the rate of evolution. No sooner than I get a Maximus, fall in love with it, put an aftermarket regulator in it, fall in love with it even more…. they come out with the Fortitude. Oh well. Just one case of something awesome, being made even better.

    I agree that the weak will fall to the way side, as they always do. Not just compressors, but air guns as well. To me, “they” would be best served by doing some serious testing, (prior) to release, whatever the product. You mentioned the new Air Force auto pump, prior, and how they have been at it over a year. Nothing will get you a bad reputation quicker than releasing crap, over and over again, just for release sakes.

    Someone mentioned the other day on how almost no one knows anything about what air guns are today. Outside of specialty sites, where do you even see or hear about them? I don’t have the fix for that. It is however nice to be on the “inside” as to what is happening in the air gun world though. Then again,… maybe we all should just stay quiet a little longer and keep it all to ourselves for awhile,.. ehh? 😉

    Good Day to you and to all my fellow air gun bro’s,…… Chris


    • Chris,

      As far as hearing about airguns, that’s my job. And believe me, things have changed. When I started in 1994 there were less than 15,000 airgunners in the U.S. Today there are way over 200,000, and probably a lot more.

      B.B.


  3. BB,

    It has indeed been quite a ride. In the few short years I have been into airguns I have seen an incredible growth in the industry. I have been amazed by the innovation that has exploded onto the scene as the various companies vie for our attention and our money. Many have also learned that a certain level of quality is demanded if they wish to entice us.

    For so long hunting with airguns was restricted to small game at relatively close ranges with a very few “boutique” airgun manufacturers offering big bore air rifles that could take large game, but now all the major companies have at least one offering and several have quite a range in calibers.

    So, what’s next? 😉




      • B.B.
        Have you heard anything about Diana changing their process to eliminate barrel droop? I just recently purchased a 34 that along with the Americanized straight stock, will not allow me to line up the iron sights. I have the rear sight as low as it will go and the front sight still appears too high in the sight picture, scrunched down as low as I can get. Looks like one I’ll have to set up with a peep sight.
        Larry from Algona






              • B.B.
                Is this the same if your POI is low or high? My POA is standard, at the botom of the bull and the POI is high outside the bull. My rear sight is adjusted as low as it can get and I’ve gotten as low as I can get on the stock. What I see is still the front sight too high over the rear sight notch.
                Larry from Algona


                • Larry,

                  Thertre are too many variables for me to comment and make sense of it. I would need to show you.

                  But herte is how it works. The POI moves in the same direction as the rear sight and opposite the front sight. If the front sight is too high, the show will be too low. Unless the barrel is bent.

                  B.B.


                  • BB
                    I have to agree with Geo and LarryMo.

                    Think about it this way. Say I have a Maximus. It has the factory front and rear sight. Both mounted on the barrel.

                    For the gun to have barrel dropped the front post of the gun gun would be lower than the rear sight if both the front sight and rear sight was both as tall as each other from where they mounted on the barrel.

                    If the gun had droop and you but a yard stick touching the rear sight. The front sight would not touch the yard stick it would be lower.

                    I would have to physically raise the muzzle end of the barrel up to shoot at poi at a given distance.

                    And of course I have to have my line of sight behind the rear sight level or parallel to the breech end of the barrel.


          • BB
            Barrel droop is what is preventing me from getting a 34. I bought on for a friend and was appalled at the droop. It was so bad that iron sights use was problematic. Bending the barrel is out for me too. Looking at a barrel that has been bent upward would be a turn off for me no matter how well it shot. And all that from someone who puts function over looks. Dropper sights extends the scope to high for my comfort as well. I wonder how much more could a 34 cost the consumer if Diana machined out the droop. And how in hell would it negatively affect iron sight users to straighten the barrel?


        • Larry,

          I’m confused by your post. Barrel droop does not affect the POI when using the open sights because both the front and rear sight are mounted on the barrel. The droop comes into play when using a scope because it is mounted on the receiver and the dovetail is not parallel with the barrel.

          If the POI is low on the target then the rear sight would have to be raised to bring the POI up.
          B.B. installed a BKL droop compensating mount on my Diana 34P because it had excessive droop.


          • Geo791
            That was exactly my way of thinking. Since I can’t scrunch down enough to line up the front sight into the rear sight notch, then it seems to me that the stock comb is too high. I’ve got the rear sight turned down as far as it will go and my face as low as I can get it on the stock, and what I see is the front sight still too high over the notch of the rear sight.
            LMo


            • Larry,
              When I recently rebuilt my HW35 I discovered extreme barrel droop. I had not shot the rifle in 25 years and before I rebuilt it the performance was so bad including a very painful trigger sting that I might not have shot it enough to discover the barrel droop then, never sighted it in. Anyway this time, after my rebuild I discovered the droop. Purchased a Beeman 5039 adjustable mount which solved the droop issue completely. The 5039 is a Sportsmatch mount but I don’t know the equivalent part number.


              • I’m grateful for all the responses here, but there’s one thing I can’t get my head around. Here’s my logic: There’s three points that have to line up, front sight, rear sight, and your eye. With the front sight and rear sight on the barrel, I was picturing extreme droop and it seemed to me that I would have to get my eye higher on the stock to line up with the front and rear sights. Conversely, if the barrel was pointing UP, I would have to get my eye as low as possible to get it to line up. I am having to get my eye as low as I can to line up with these sights, so doesn’t that indicate the reverse of droop according to my theory?
                Larry from Algona


                • Hi LarryMo

                  This sounds very strange. It’s like the stock doesn’t have enough drop. I think you mentioned that you have a straight stock? Did the rifle come with that stock? It’s hard for me to imagine a stock so straight that you can’t align the open sights. Maybe a picture would help us to understand your problem. Maybe the stock was designed to be used with a scope instead of the open sights? That’s the reason most rifles have cheek risers on them so your eye is aligned with the scope properly. I don’t think your problem has anything to do with barrel droop.

                  With the rear sight adjusted all the way down, even if you could line up the open sights, I bet the POI would be way low. I had to adjust my rear sight up several clicks to get on target. Did you try raising the rear sight until you could get the front sight correctly aligned? It would seem that adjusting the rear sight down would worsen the problem.


                • LarryMo
                  Here is my comment to BB.

                  “BB
                  I have to agree with Geo and LarryMo.

                  Think about it this way. Say I have a Maximus. It has the factory front and rear sight. Both mounted on the barrel.

                  For the gun to have barrel dropped the front post of the gun gun would be lower than the rear sight if both the front sight and rear sight was both as tall as each other from where they mounted on the barrel.

                  If the gun had droop and you but a yard stick touching the rear sight. The front sight would not touch the yard stick it would be lower.

                  I would have to physically raise the muzzle end of the barrel up to shoot at poi at a given distance.

                  And of course I have to have my line of sight behind the rear sight level or parallel to the breech end of the barrel.”




  4. Nice report BB looking forward to the airgun show updates. I have bought several of my airguns on your reviews alone and have been happy with them . I like the 10 shot groups I tried explaining that to a powder burner friend one day he just didn’t get it . Airguns are becoming like electronics in a since if it’s on the shelf one better is on the way eventually.
    Have good day folks
    Buckaroo


  5. BB,
    I enjoyed the blog.
    One question, why would people rather shoot action pistol with BBs than airsoft? I would be surprised to see action pistol take off myself, but I hope you are right. That might be what is needed to bring in younger shooter.

    I am thinking about buying one of the AirForce E-Pumps. I feel better about buying something built here than something imported. And, AirForce stands behind their products better than anyone.

    David Enoch


  6. Folks, as a daily reader, I usually just enjoy the topic whether its sharpening a razor or sorting
    ammo. But I feel compelled to ask why the the excellent two power level cocking mechanism found in the HW45, also known as the P1 is not used on a rifle sized action? I discovered my Beeman R10 shoots phenominal groups with a broken mainspring, but isnt so powerfull at the same time. Of course we PCPs for power now,
    but I like the spontanaity of the breakbarrel style gun, and the P1 is a proven design, but seems heavy and not as ergonomic as it might be, a well made boat anchor, but I love the trigger and sights, and the two power levels.
    Does such a rifle exist?



      • B.B.

        How in the world would the trigger work?
        Duel trigger blocks?

        Do these new PCP use interchangeable removable air tanks. If they all agree on a common standard, they could really drive the price down. Plus, small compressors could fill 13 ci tanks easier than 99ci tanks.

        -Y


  7. As far as affordable PCP air rifles, there is also the Beeman QB Chief. I have often thought about why there isn’t a large group of action air pistol shooters. I have never tried that form of firearm competition, but did shoot my share of bowling pin matches with a Smith and Wesson four inch .38 Special revolver with adjustable sights. I was usually the only revolver shooter in the matches. Can’t remember the model number, but it was a stainless steel gun. Those matches were a riot to shoot in., and someone should come up with useable targets for air pistols.
    I am impatiently waiting for writeups on the new Air Venturi Dragonfly multi pumper.


    • Birdmove,

      I didn’t list the QB Chief because it isn’t a price-point PCP in my opinion. It’s a cheapie, like the Discovery and Maximus. That’s a different category, in my opinion, because those guns don’t have all the features of the price-point guns.

      B.B.


  8. I also do not believe break barrels are dead. I think they are far from it. Just a short time ago Crosman came out with the Nitro piston II with the “button” bushings if you will. But from what I heard, the “lock up” wasn’t so great on them and wasn’t adjustable? Well now sounds like the lock up will be good. We also now have a second multi shot break barrel. Before long someone will put all the features together. Then what? Maybe a cheaper, less heavy way of making them not recoil as much, thus doing away with the special hold? A break barrel that’s almost as easy to shoot as a PCP? Never say never. I still think there is room for pump guns to improve. 10 pumps for 3 shots? I’m talking about for the masses, not just one offs or high price guns. I think there is room for more power in a single pump gun. Room for an easier to use hand pump. One thing BB said that can’t be more true, we are in the golden age of air guns…..Doc


    • Doc,

      They make them. Look at the gliss system used by Diana. Original FWB 300 had an anti-recoil devise.
      See the Diana/RWS 54.
      Trouble is, this makes them complicated and heavy.

      -Y


    • Doc
      I prefer break barrel air rifles over any other. I would be happy too if those features could be fitted in a light break barrel. I am dreaming of it. Nothing epitomizes airgunning more than a break barrel, it’s uniquely “airgun” to me


      • Ton,
        I agree with you completely! I like the idea that all I have to take with me is the rifle and a tin of pellets and I am good for 500 shots. Plus, my better spring guns are all more accurate than I am so I’d get no benefit from a more accurate recoilless PCP, IMO. Power wise I have all the power I need or want in my R-10 and .22 GAMO Whisper Fusion Mach 1. Now if I were interested in hunting larger game I agree I’d have need for a big bore PCP, but I don’t.


  9. I believe there is a lot more to come in the air gun world.

    I hope to hear more about that PCP air soft gun BB mentioned. I believe BB mentioned it anyway.

    And targets. One in particular that I remember seeing or I had a dream or something. But that was a falling target. It was a rod that had bumps on it if I remember right. It stood vertically, the metal paddle was slid to the top and latched on a bump on the rod. So when you hit the paddle it would in a sense ratchet down the rod and stop until you hit it again.

    But that’s one thing I think could grow tremendously is different types of action targets.

    I think we are as they say in the hay day of air gunning right now. There will be more to come.


    • GunFun1,

      A little query, mate: When you first ever used a PCP air rifle, did it feel unsatisfying due the total lack of feedback and recoil etc?

      I’m asking because, a few months ago, I read one blokes experience of using a PCP for the first time (it may well have even been a commenter on this very blog), and he said it felt sterile and unfun. The bloke then stated that he immediately put the PCP away, got out one of his break-barrels, and it felt so much better as he could actually *feel* it.

      I’m ultimately asking all this as, in the last few days, I’ve begun considering moving to a PCP (when I save the money up). The new, cheaper – but still smart quality – PCP’s now coming out, such as the Gauntlet, is what’s brought this about.

      Thanks man.


      • Chris of E
        I totally like that there is no feed back. I explain to people a PCP is like holding a pool stick and shooting. Smooth and natural. Matter of fact I tuned a number of spring guns and that’s what I’m after when I tune a spring gun. And one more thing is I shot firearms since I was a kid. Alot of shot gun shooting. So the lack of recoil from a PCP is a welcomed friend.

        Hope that explanation helps. 🙂


        • GunFun1,

          Thank you, bro. And yes, that explanation does help a lot. I will most likely get a PCP for my next rifle. And I’ll be getting a manual pump.

          PS, I am aware, though, that I must be careful to ensure that it remains non-FAC power.


          • Chris of E
            I don’t know how that will work out. I was going to say the Marauder can be turned down in velocity. Which means it also can be turned up. So I guess that means you got to get something with a set velocity.

            And don’t forget. If your hand pumping look for a PCP with a regulator. That way you get more shots per pump.

            Let me know if you pick something out.


          • Chris of E
            I forgot something very important.

            The Benjamin Maximus is available in a European version.

            Go to Crosman’s website and check it out. And I do believe on Fridays they have either 25% or 50% off and free shipping. You will have to see.

            Let me know what you find out.


            • Chris of E
              Don’t know if you saw my response to Chris U about the China compressor. But here it is.

              “That is a very good way to look at the $300 China compressor and the more expensive hand pumps. Some are actually right under $300 even.

              So yes definitely makes sense to spend $25 to a $100 mores for the China pump.”


          • Chris of E
            I responded in the wrong place. Read what I said to Chris U about the China compressor.

            “That is a very good way to look at the $300 China compressor and the more expensive hand pumps. Some are actually right under $300 even.

            So yes definitely makes sense to spend $25 to a $100 mores for the China pump.”




      • Chris,

        I had the TX200 first and then got a LGU off of Gunfun. Both springers, both .22. I love them both, but neither compare to the smoothness and ease of shooting a PCP. I can say (now), that I wish I would have went PCP from the start, but I was just getting back into air guns after many years, so springers seemed like the safer bet at the time. (Keep us posted) as you explore your options further. I am not sure what is available over there, compared to here.

        12 fpe limit and hand pump? I would stay with a 2000 fill model. Regulated would be ideal and really stretch your pump efforts. On hand pumps, the auto pump that GF1 got for $300 would be real interesting. He fills direct to the gun, so no tank needed. For the money, compared to best Hill pump, that extra $100 would be well spent in my book. I have the Shoebox 10 and a Guppy tank.

        Good to see you posting a bunch by the way,… 🙂


        • Chris USA,

          So you wish you’d gone straight to PCP’s rather than beginning with break-barrels, then, bro? Interesting. That’s another brilliant testament to PCP’s.

          Thank you very much for the additional information, mate. And yes, I’ll let you both know when I do finally get one.


          • Chris,

            Yes,.. that is a very true statement,.. (beginning with PCP’s). Things are not what they used to be 10 years ago, or 5, or even 2. Springers have been the norm for so long. C02 too. That is a tuff sell to those that are used to that. PCP benefits are undeniable.

            And,… do not just keep us informed as to what you get,… but also keep us posted as to what you are (considering along the way) to getting there. You mentioned saving, so maybe by the time you have some Euro’s back, something new will have come along that none of us have never seen yet. Ya’ never know. Things are moving quite fast. Time will tell, but for my experience thus far,.. the Fortitude would be my pick at the current time.



              • Chris,

                🙂 Well, that shows you how much overseas shopping that I do. Thank you for that correction on a rather important oversight/assumption on my part. In fact,.. that is a good thing too. You can give us a perspective here in the U.S. that we otherwise be oblivious/ignorant to. I have always enjoyed other people’s perspectives from other parts of the world. Keep it coming. 😉


            • Chris USA

              I was disappointed to see on Pyramyd’s site that the Fortitude won’t be available until 4/6/18. My bluebirds will be picking out their nesting boxes by then.

              What did you think of the new Hatsan Flash at the same price point? Looks like it will have more ft-lbs of energy than most all of the other entry level PCPs.


          • Chris of England

            Do your research on shooting breakbarrel springers / gas rams and you will discover that they require a lot of technique to shoot accurately. A PCP on the other hand only requires the same technique used to shoot powder burners. I have a very nice Diana RWS 34P with a Hawke 3-9x50AO scope. B.B. offered to review this rifle for me last summer because after trying all the suggestion he offered, as well as many of the folks posting here, I could not shoot consistently good groups of 1″ or less at 25 yards. B.B. did a six part review of my rifle. He found it had a broken main spring and installed a Vortec Kit in it for me. He was able to achieve the 1″ group at 25 yards with 10 shots verifying it’s accuracy. Then he sent it back to me. It’s as smooth as butter but guess what? I still can’t shoot it accurately even though B.B. found the best pellet and the best artillery hold to use. I have shot probably 500 rounds since getting it back and I’ve tried everything…nothing has helped me. The best I can achieve is 1.5″ to 2″. So now I am seriously looking at these new entry level PCP myself. I’ve already invested over $450 in two springers that I can’t hit with. I’ve shot rifles my whole life and these breakbarrel springers are a whole new ball game. I am not the only one here who can’t shoot springers accurately either. Whatever that special technique is…I apparently don’t have it and can’t learn it. That’s my two cents.


        • Chris U
          That is a very good way to look at the $300 China compressor and the more expensive hand pumps. Some are actually right under $300 even.

          So yes definitely makes sense to spend $25 to a $100 mores for the China pump.


  10. B.B.
    Yes I’m listening, didn’t I send the light weight target faces with your targets? With those installed I was able to get several spins with my Umarex Buckmark pistol at 25 feet. I call it my patio plinker, if I remember right it crony’s at about 250 FPS it is actually one of my favorite guns it is so easy to cock and the sights are pretty decent. But anyways I’m going to pick up some of new bbs and see how they do.
    Thanks
    Carl


  11. We have $300 compressors capable of extended high volume operation. Reports suggests they are reliable.
    All they really need is better cooling without a bucket and pump.
    I suspect that will be available soon for around $350.

    There is room for improvement in filtration for these pumps. Molecular sieve will likely be the standard. Currently there are grossly overpriced versions available that a mechanically inclined person can replicate for a fraction of the price. It won’t be long before good ones are standard with a compressor or at least an option, and are affordable separately. For now I am sitting out on a compressor purchase to see what comes along.

    I believe tank prices will drop substantially. $650 for a tank means they are not being produced in very high volume.

    An option I found recently comes from a welding / medical gas supplier. Oxarc is marketing a higher pressure than usual tank for welders at 4500 psi. The higher pressure gives it higher capacity so there is savings in less frequent exchanges for high volume users. This also gets it into the useful range for filling airguns. A 5 foot tall tank holds close to 500 cu ft of clean dry air or nitrogen, weighs about 110 lb, and rents for about $10 per month. One would have to come up with a fitting to attach a regulator as it is not the same as is used on HPA tanks. So far I have not found it, or a welding regulator in the right pressure range.

    As an aside, until these 4500 psi tanks, the only other welding supplier option I found was a 6000 psi variant that has walls so thick it weighs in at over 300 lb! Not so user friendly.

    I’m interested to see Toms reviews on the new springer locks. I still don’t really get this when there are many springers produced with no barrel lock issues and no fancy lock systems. I suspect this is really a marketing strategy and perhaps it will work. They will need to be inexpensive as I suspect the springer market will remain strong for young and very casual shooters (likely still the biggest market), while adults and more serious shooters will buy PCPs.

    I left the UPS note on the door authorizing UPS to leave my tank without a signature. They ignored it and left another note 🙁


    • Idaho,

      Bummer on the tank. Maybe stay home for the day, or have someone stay home for the day. I like your line of thinking on tanks, and agree that they seem over priced, at least the 4,500 ones. A budget molecular sieve should be do-able. Again, a bit of gouging seems to be occurring. I would like to use one, but 2 tear downs for tuning have shown no issues with the Shoebox 10, a 5 micron LP filter and no cooler of any kind. I have not looked into making one. I should. As a side, the thing that gives out on (extreme) high pressure testing is the threads, not the cylinder walls. Fine threads would seem to be needed, I think.

      I like your suspicious nature. Perhaps frowned on by some,… I rather think that it is doing my part to be an informed consumer. Which, is another thing,…. we are all more informed. The days of pushing crap are over. The dubious manufacturer will be quickly ferreted out by social media.

      Hoping you get the tank tomorrow and can give us a bit of a report over the weekend. Chris


  12. BB
    With all the information released from the Shot Show, here and other places, I honestly can’t remember where I got the info on new barrel lock up devices. One involved a pin that moves into place utilizing the air pressure that fires the pellet and the other involves a sort of curved cam interface between the barrel and spring tube.
    Unfortunately I did not dwell on it.
    I thought droop was caused by spring recoil as well as air pressure on the breach within the seal area? Both of which I assumed overcome most detent designs that are used to secure the barrel in place but do not really provide a positive lockup.
    If droop was only caused by misalignment between the barrel and scope rail you should be able to eventually compensate for that and get a constant POI. Some of my low cost springers never seem to develop a constant POI and I contributed it to sloppy droop.
    So is it just the way the rifle was made that contributes to poor performance and not really barrel droop ?
    Bob M



    • Bob,

      Droop is misalignment and even firearms have it. The Diana 34 is very droopy.

      You can sight the gun to compensate for droop and everything works fine, but it takes scope shimming or an adjustable mount.

      As for your last question, I’m not sure what you are asking/saying, so I’ll pass on that one.

      B.B.


  13. BB
    After I compensated for droop the POI still wanders high and low.
    I wondered if ‘Unpredictable’ droop could be caused by air pressure impacting the breach face and overriding the barrel detent ball that holds the barrel in place to push the barrel downward. This force would be amplified by a bad breach seal allowing air to impact the entire breach face as it escapes.

    So I guess what I am asking is could air pressure working on a poorly manufactured rifle barrel installation with say a worn barrel breach seal cause some droop only when its fired, I imagine the only way to tell is to watch it fire with a high speed camera.
    Bob M


    • BB
      I think I just answered my question above.

      Of course it does !
      Why would manufacturers start to incorporate barrel locking devices unless they moved when fired.

      Never heard of barrels changing alignment while the rifle is being held.
      Bob M


      • Bob
        I was thinking the same thing recently! I have a Gamo 220 which locks up ok I think, but when I slam my palm up wards under the stock in the location of the breach, the lock up disengages temporarily and engages again. This could be happening during firing too affecting accuracy. Particularly with heavy recoiling springers. Crosman May have observed hence their peculiar locking arrangement that engages during the shot cycle.



      • BB
        Your probably right there, forgot all about that bit of info. And the scope on my Crosman MTR77 sits high on the rifle as well and would require lots of adjustment downward. Time for an adjustable scope mount.
        Nice to have an alternate memory available.
        Bob M


      • BB
        I think Bob M may have a point ! I have a Gamo 220 which locks up ok I think, but when I slam my palm up wards under the stock in the location of the breach, the lock up disengages temporarily and engages again. This could be happening during firing too affecting accuracy. Particularly with heavy recoiling springers. Crosman may have observed this hence their peculiar locking arrangement that engages during the shot cycle.


      • BB
        I think Bob M has a point. I have a Gamo 220 which locks up ok I think, but when I slam my palm up wards under the stock in the location of the breach, the lock up disengages temporarily and engages again. This could be happening during firing too affecting accuracy. Particularly with heavy recoiling springers. Crosman May have observed hence their peculiar locking arrangement that engages during the shot cycle.



  14. The new Sig ultra-light trigger you mentioned sounds nice.

    And regarding the safety and legal stuff: I think that’s one of the main reasons you’re regularly disappointed by the quality of air rifle triggers, B.B. It’s because the makers keep creating triggers with an heavy pull, intentionally, for ‘safety reasons’ etc.

    I personally disagree with them about that. I mean, the overwhelming majority of air rifle owners know to make sure kids can never get their hands on it. And the same majority know not to mess about with a loaded rifle, and to never point it towards their face.


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