2018 Pyramyd Air Cup: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

long shot
The field target match included a number of difficult shots, like this long one.

This report covers:

  • Exotic equipment
  • Timed
  • Other airguns
  • Rich Shar
  • Youth shoot
  • Gunslynger
  • Summary

We’re back to wrap up the Pyramyd Air Cup today. We ended Part 1 with the start of the field target match that surprisingly attracted a lot of reader attention, so that’s where I will begin today.

Exotic equipment

One thing field target brings out is the odd and exotic in many of us. You see equipment you could never imagine! Some of it is not so useful but some things you wish you had invented yourself.

Hector
Hector Medina checks the zero on his Diana 54 that’s been detuned to 12 foot pounds. It’s so easy to cock!

Challenger PCP
This young lady is shooting a Crosman Challenger PCP that has, no doubt, been tuned up for field target.

scope aids
See what this shooter has done to be able to see the yard markings on his scope’s adjustable objective?

Timed

Each lane in the match is timed. From the moment your bottom hits the cushion or seat, a timer gives you 5 minutes to make 4 shots. That’s more than enough time, and it keeps things moving along. When there are 104 competitors shooting 104 shots each, time becomes critical.

crowd
This gives you a sense of the size of this field target match.

The match results were not posted by the time I wrote this report, and I left Sunday morning, too early to see the finish. Suffice to say, the match was a success and a lot of people had a wonderful time.

Other airguns

I mentioned yesterday that there were lots of unique airguns to see at this event. Not all of them were brought by Pyramyd Air, either. One was a custom LD pistol, which is already a customized Crosman Mark I or II.

The typical LD uses bulk CO2 and has a longer barrel. You scope it, because it is a tack-driver. And, with the longer barrel, you get more power.

The pistol I was shown runs on air and the owner has two different tanks he uses. As I recall, one of them gets above 12 foot pounds and the other gets above 15 foot pounds. If I am mistaken, I’m sure he will correct me.

A typical LD is held by the grip and the rear of the scope. This one, though, has a forearm. A Benjamin Tootsie Roll pump handle fits the extended frame perfectly, as you can see.

custom LD
When you customize a custom airgun this is what you get. An LD pistol running on air!

Rich Shar

One of our readers asked me whether I planned to meet Rich Shar at the Cup. Rich is the man who has spent a lot of time smoothing and improving Gamo and Hatsan rifles over the years. You may have read about him in my 2014 report titled, An airgun test you weren’t expecting.

Right after the blog reader asked me that, Rich contacted me and we did meet at the Cup. He missed a youth shooting event at his home club — one he has faithfully attended for the past 18 years — just to come and see me. And he brought me — wait for it — his latest version of a .30-caliber Hatsan 135! I couldn’t wait to shoot it.

Hatsan 135s
Rich Shar’s custom .30-caliber Hatsan 135 (bottom) and a stock one he bought for comparison.

According to Rich, his rifle is just a shell of a Hatsan 135. He has completely remanufactured the powerplant with custom parts that are too exotic to explain. It uses a gas spring, but that’s as close as it gets to the stock rifle. He added a custom TJ barrel, after discovering that his new powerplant benefitted by more length.

The stock 135 he has gets 535 f.p.s. with a JSB Exact 44.775-grain dome. The custom rifle gets 625 f.p.s. with the same pellet. As far as I could tell, the cocking effort of his rifle is identical to the one I am testing for you — 57 lbs. For comparison my test 135 got an average of 580 f.p.s. with that pellet. So Rich has boosted the rifle’s velocity with no increase in cocking effort. He’s done this by means of a totally new powerplant plus a new barrel. The original 135 barrel is 10.5 inches long and the one he has put on the gun is 20.5-inches. Usually a longer barrel does not add velocity to a spring gun, but on this one it does.

Tom shoots
I found Rich Shar’s custom 135 smooth and accurate.

Rich told me he is not finished with his work on the 135. He would like to see it shoot 700 f.p.s. and change, which for a .30 caliber breakbarrel is astounding. Whether he gets there or not, he’s forged ahead in a world where we were already pretty close to the limits.

Let’s look at another competition. This one is for the kids.

Youth shoot

On the public range Pyramyd Air hosted a youth shoot. It was an easy-going affair where the parents could watch and help the smaller kids cock the gun, but the shooters had to hold and shoot the guns themselves. They shot Li’l Duke BB guns at soda cans.

dad helps
Dad helps his daughter set up for the shot.

Gunslynger

The other big competition at the Cup was the Gunslynger. They shoot at metallic silhouettes, but unlike the sport of silhouette, the Gunslyngers do it off the bench or off a rest — their choice. There are spring guns and precharged guns. The precharged guns shoot faster (all single shot), but the springers are more fun to watch. You might think they can clear all 20 targets (5 chickens, 5 pigs, 5 turkeys, and 5 rams) quickly, but only if you have never shot silhouette. Even though everyone is resting their gun, this is a sport that requires extreme accuracy.

Just to make things harder the firing line was elevated about 15 feet higher than the targets. That means everyone had to shoot downhill, which introduces problems of its own.

breakbarrel Gunslynger
Imagine doing this 45-55 times as fast as you can and still trying to hit a tiny target hard enough to knock it off its stand!

As it turned out I happened to be behind two springer shooters who finished first in their respective matches. Of course this was an elimination match, so these guys still had a lot of shooting left.

Underlever Gunslynger
He did really well. I never saw him miss.

Summary

The 2018 Pyramyd Air Cup was a huge success, and I just received word that they plan to grow it next year. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they will have an airgun show there, as well. Wouldn’t that be nice?

If you want to expand your knowledge of airguns you really should get to one of these shows, and the Pyramyd Air Cup would be a good one to start with.

33 thoughts on “2018 Pyramyd Air Cup: Part 2

  1. B.B.,

    Thank you for the final report on the Cup. It looks like a lot of fun. Perhaps someday I shall get up there. I do like to see the oddities and gadgetry.

    Good day to one and all,…. Chris


    • Chris USA,

      If you get a chance, take a look at the bottom of the comments on Part 3 of the Diana chaser report. I posted the results from retesting the gun for accuracy with the suppressor on the pistol. Big surprise, to me at least!


      • Half,

        Did do. ((Lot’s)) of info.. You recommend it and that is good enough for me. 🙂 The Red Wolf does better with the suppressor and the Maximus does better with a suppressor baffle,…. so yes, there is something to using them. The proper air stripper did crap for the Maximus.

        So,… based on your testing,…. what pellet would you recommend?

        Chris


        • Chris U,?

          What’s your criteria?

          A)Good and cheapest?
          B)Best at any cost but only available online
          C)Most potential for accuracy at greater distance than 12.5 yards.
          D)Legal to shoot on the Left Coast?
          E)Reasonably accurate and can be had at my local big box or sporting goods store for the cost of a burger, fries and a drink, plus a 10 or 15 minute drive?

          A) Crosman Wadcutters and Daisy Wadcutters
          B) and C)Crosman Premier Lights or H&N Field Target Trophy in 4.50mm or 4.51mm head size
          D) Hatsan Vortex Lead Free
          E)Anything on the CHEAPO chart, that’s why I broke it out that way.

          Half


          • Half,

            As usual,… you have all the bases covered! 😉 Yes, I am most interested in the rifle configuration. Cheap,… but do-able scope, no less. A fun, good looking, Winter, indoor plinker would be my first requirement. I have the Maximus for ?-50 yd. bushy tails.

            Since it is mag. compatible, I (might) do a .177. My big hands have a time with .22 as it is for single load,…. let alone .177 single load.

            As always,…. thank you for your,.. what has to be,.. very time consuming and data collecting work.

            Chris


            • Chris U,

              You are quite welcome. All those groups were shot in such a way that I got the most consistent velocity for the string. On my gun it is 20 sec spacing on first 20 shots, then 40 sec for the next 10, then 60 seconds for the final 10. And they were all fired from the magazine. The gun feeds much better that way than from the single shot tray. BB spoke of hanging up behind the tray, but my problem was hanging, with some but not all pellets, as they cleared the end of the tray and just started into the breech.

              And yes on time consuming. I didn’t do myself any favors when I found that the suppressor was removable and fit both barrels. LOL I actually Love this kind of stuff.

              Being called to supper! Later.

              Half


            • Chris USA,
              I put up some more stuff on the chaser at the bottom of part 3. It’s 45 (5 mags) shots at 12.5 yards using 4 different shot cycles and a graph showing how the velocity was affected and pics of the groups.

              Half


              • Half,

                Very nice, as always. I like the graphs better over the data. I am more of a visual person. Both are good and one complements the other though. I would have to say that you might just be #1 in the most extensive testing of this platform thus far.

                Moderators and strippers are interesting. The M-rod has 7 baffles and I have tried combinations of all cones, some cones and some weights and all weights. My advice is that if you can do it, try it. Also something to think about on new purchases,…. does this allow me to play with strippers and baffles?

                Chris


                • ChrisUSA,

                  I think the suppressor comes apart and might allow for more experimentation, but I won’t be doing it. I have a gun that will shoot better than me and I don’t want to take a chance on messing it up, frankly.

                  I like graphs, also. That’s why I do them. Sometimes they make a detail or some trend jump out in a way that the chart doesn’t.

                  Half


                  • Half,

                    “frankly” works for me. 🙂 I did the moderator insert on the Maximus and it worked hand’s down better then anything else. So,.. “frankly”,… I would have to see some pretty extensive testing otherwise on why I should try something else. And,.. as we all know,… what works for you , may not work for me. The gun itself could be the difference.

                    For (me),…. I like to shoot a known weight and head. That at least eliminates 2 variables. That said,…. I am looking (more) into to improving (me) and my fundamentals. Luckily,… or VERY unlucky,… I can not shoot outdoor 50 yds. year round. So,.. as Winter sets in,… I shall do some head and weight sorting as well,.. which is nice to mix in with some straight-out-of-the tin testing.

                    THAT said,… I can (not) get (consistently) better results with sorted pellets,… which further drives home the possible fact that (some) of my issues could be me. This seems to carry across all airguns that I own,.. ( .25 Red Wolf, .25 M-rod and .22 Maximus).

                    A challenge to be sure!!!! 😉

                    Chris



  2. BB
    I would like to shoot Hector’s detuned 54. I bet it’s a smooth shooter. I’m betting since Hector owns it probably pretty accurate too.

    And looks like it was a nice event.


  3. B.B.,

    Almost 39 foot-pounds from a springer! Rich Shar is amazing. He obviously finds that “40” mark tantalizing.

    I suspect the reason his souped up 135 cocks with no more effort than a stock one is the long barrel. Give me a long enough lever, etc. I wonder what might happen if he were to shorten the barrel but have a long, strong steel sleeve to get it over 20 inches. He might have the same cocking effort but a few extra fps. I vaguely remember that someone had Mike Melick do that to an Extreme Hunter, and the velocity went up enough to make the job worth it for him.

    Michael


  4. B.B.,

    Actually, I just ran the calculator, and just 10 more fps. would put Rich’s 135 over 40 foot-pounds. But at 710 fps., he would get past 50 foot-pounds, which is a number I’ll bet he has in his head when he says he hopes to get 700 fps. and some change (“some change” = 10 or more fps.?).

    Speed goals for springers are pointless with ultra-light pellets available. But muzzle energy is a real number for a springer power plant.

    Michael


    • Michael,
      Yes, at 38.8 fpe he is already close to breaking 40 fpe;
      however, as you noted, I think he wants to break the 50 fpe barrier.
      He would be the first one (that I know of) to do so with a springer…pretty cool!
      take care,
      dave


  5. B.B.,

    Rich Shar is breaking new ground. Who would have thought that a springer would benefit from a longer barrel, especially one 20″ long? He seems to be working utilize the power plant to tame it instead of pushing it past its limits or throttling it down, by optimizing its potential. These promise to be wonderful times for airgunners for sure. The custom Hatsan 135 is a tantalizing look at what future developments are coming.

    Siraniko


    • Siraniko,

      Yes, Rich is definitely onto something. He had a discussion with Val Gamerman, president of Pyramyd Air. The challenge is to turn what he has done into a simple kit that can be manufactured for well under $100 and installed in 45 minutes. At present, Rich’s work is finished too finely for that. But he knows what has to be done, so let’s see what he can do.

      B.B.





      • GF1,

        The LGU was nice. I liked it better than the TX200,… I do think. I did the “Yankee Tune” that Hector touted. At the time, I was in some short correspondence with him and he stated that he prefers the plastic trigger. That was then. Now? Glad to hear that he is doing well and in an advisory position. His articles are enjoyable to read and are usually very photo rich. It seems that there is too much good stuff to keep up on these days. It’s tuff. I need to be retired already!!! 😉


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