Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Does this test rifle loose air pressure?
  • How many shots per fill?
  • First test
  • Test 2 — Full power shots
  • Discussion
  • Test 3 — Number of shots on low power
  • Gauge is not precise
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

I guess you could say there is some interest in the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP with a built-in pump. Many of you had things to say about this new rifle and a few of you own one like it. What I saw in the comments was a lot of curiosity. Let’s start satisfying that today.

Does this test rifle loose air pressure?

Reader Kevin asked me to watch the air pressure in the rifle over time, as he said that leaking was one issue owners were reporting. I pumped the rifle to 3,000 psi last Monday at the end of my test and today the onboard needle reads 3,000 psi on the nose. So, this one holds fine. [Note: in a little bit I will admit that it actually reads 3100 psi. I will explain then.]

How many shots per fill?

The wording about the number of full power shots  in the description on the Pyramyd website is a little confusing and reader Seantheaussie said he was confused. I was, too. Today I will test it for you. Tyler Patner did comment that you get a reasonable number of high-power shots when the rifle is fired from a full charge, and today I will show you the exact velocities.

First test

Okay, the rifle has 3,000 psi in it at the start. You want to know how many pumps it takes to fill it, and the peak fill pressure is 250 bar/ 3626 psi. That is what I will do — fill to the max pressure and count the strokes. I will also weigh one of the final pump strokes because some of you want to know how much effort it takes.

I looked at the gauge needle with a jeweler’s loupe, because it is a small gauge. The needle was actually indicating 3100 psi. I pumped in 10 strokes and the needle rose to 3400 psi. I measured the effort for pump number 11 and it registered 30 pounds on my bathroom scale. And I discovered a secret to pumping this rifle.

Remember — this rifle has a 3-stage pump onboard. It acts like one, too. Pump fast and the effort rises to 40+ pounds. Slow down and the scale needle never rises above 30 pounds. Just like a high pressure hand pump, the “secret” of using the pump on this gun is to go slow and be deliberate.

There is not a sound as the pump works! There is no in-rush of air when the pump handle is extended and no squeak of the inlet valve opening when the stroke ends. Except for the click of the pump arm, the rifle is silent when pumped.

Ten more pump strokes took the onboard gauge to 3700 psi. That’s a little more than the max of 3626 psi, but the gauge is small and hard to read. So, 20 pump strokes were required to put 600 psi (3100 to 3700 psi) into the rifle. That means each pump stroke is putting in 30 psi. If it is doing that on the high end of the fill it has to do at least as well on the low end, because with a multi-pump the high end of the fill is where things slow down.

Test 2 — Full power shots

The rifle is now filled completely full, so we can start our test for velocity. I selected the .22-caliber RWS Hobby pellet for this test, because it is the lightest pure lead pellet. It will give us a solid number we can believe. Watch this string and pay attention to everything, because you will learn a lot about how the Aspen performs right now.

Shot……….Velocity……Sound…….Remaining pressure
1……………..492………..2.0
2……………..501………..2.0
3……………..518………..2.0
4……………..522………..2.0
5……………..527………..2.0
6……………..550………..2.0
7……………..555………..2.0……………3500
8……………..556………..2.0
9……………..577………..2.0
10……………583………..2.0
11……………592………..2.0
12……………602………..2.0……………3300
13……………610………..2.0
14……………626………..2.0
15……………630………..2.0
16……………639………..2.0
17……………658………..2.0
18……………672………..2.3……………3100
19……………670………..2.3
20……………693………..2.3
21……………729………..2.5
22……………738………..2.5
23……………756………..2.5
24……………759………..2.5
25……………785………..2.5
26……………804………..2.7……………2900
27……………811………..2.7
28……………851………..2.9
29……………883………..2.9
30……………898………..2.9
31……………916………..3.2……………2600
32……………936………..3.3
33……………941………..3.3
34……………942………..3.3
35……………946………..3.3
36……………941………..3.4……………2300
37……………937………..3.5
38……………915………..3.8
39……………906………..3.5
40……………889………..3.5……………1900
41……………874………..3.5
42……………610………..2.1
43……………188………..1.0……………300

Okay, this one string should clarify a lot of things for most of us. First, the test Aspen is in no way set up for 3600 psi/250 bar. It will work at that pressure, but as you can see, it is far from the optimum power curve. You can call it wherever you like but in my estimation it comes on the curve at 2600 psi by the onboard gauge.

If you accept my starting point you can see how many full power shots there are on a useful fill. I would go from shot 31 to shots 38 — a total of 8 shots at max power on a 2600 psi fill. We can argue all day about where the power starts and stops but I think everyone will agree that if you want tight groups at 50 yards, or even at 35 yards, 2600 psi on the onboard gauge of this rifle is a good place to begin and 8 shots are the maximum to take. Who wants to shoot a group with the rifle starting at 3600 psi? I do not plan on filling to that pressure ever again with the test rifle, because it’s wasted effort and wasted air.

Next, notice how the discharge sound rises as the power increases. I bolded the first time the discharge sound seemed to change, both going up and coming back down. That’s the real world. And notice that as the power starts decreasing the sound doesn’t decrease as fast. That’s also real-world. As a firing valve remains open longer and the air comes out with less pressure the gun starts to bellow. A silencer doesn’t deal as well with that condition as it does with higher-pressure air.

Finally, if this string doesn’t convince you of the importance of a chronograph, nothing will! I have tested many air rifles that performed like this over the years. The first was my Air Arms Shamal (read Part 2) that did not come with a manual. I learned by testing it this way that the Shamal’s max fill pressure was 2600 psi and not the 3000 psi I had thought.

Discussion

There is a lot more to test and I will get to it right now. But I want to tell you what I’m about to do. It is a complete waste of time filling or pumping to 3600 psi. I hope you can now see that. However, each pellet and each power level may have a different maximum fill pressure, so I don’t want to just stop at 2600 psi until I learn the rifle better. In the next several tests I will intentionally overfull the rifle to establish where that best starting pressure is for that pellet and power setting. I’m making a book on this particular rifle, which is something every multi-pump owner needs to do.

Test 3 — Number of shots on low power

Next, I will test the rifle’s maximum number of shots on the low power setting. I’m going to shoot the RWS Hobby pellet again for this test. But I don’t expect to shoot nearly as many shots, now that I know something about how this Aspen performs.

I will fill the rifle to 2800 psi to start the test. This is also an opportunity for me to count the number of pump strokes, because the rifle is almost empty at 300 psi. Since it fills faster than I expected, I need to keep a sharp eye on the gauge. Ten strokes took it to 1000 psi. Twenty strokes took it to 2100 psi. Thirty strokes took it to 2300 psi. Forty strokes took it to 2500 psi. Fifty strokes took it to 2800 psi — where I wanted to be for this test. This is a more complete look at filling the rifle with the built-in pump. And 2500 psi (300 to 2800) took 50 strokes. That’s 50 psi per stroke.

Shot……….Velocity……Sound…….Remaining pressure
1……………..737………..2.8
2……………..747………..2.8
3……………..753………..2.8
4……………..751………..2.8
5……………..751………..2.8
6……………..761………..2.8
7……………..767………..2.8
8……………..759………..2.8
9……………..762………..2.8
10……………774………..2.8
11……………767………..2.8
12……………764………..2.8
13……………760………..2.8
14……………759………..2.8
15……………749………..2.8
16……………751………..2.8
17……………743………..2.8……………2000
18……………731………..2.8
19……………731………..2.8
20……………714………..2.8……………1500

I started the low-power string right at the beginning of the power curve. I could rerun the whole test to prove it, but instead I will just pressurize the rifle to 3000 psi and shoot a couple shots to demonstrate. It took me 52 pumps to go from 1500 psi to 3000 psi. That’s 28.85 psi per pump stroke. Pretty consistent with the first finding, but not with the second one.

Shot……….Velocity……Sound…….Remaining pressure
1……………..716………..2.8
2……………..727………..2.8
3……………..740………..2.8
4……………..739………..2.8
5……………..758………..2.8……………2700

Okay, that should show any doubters that I was just at the edge of the power range the first time. Or, if you like, fill to 3000 psi and get 2 additional shots.

Gauge is not precise

Some of you will focus on my numbers as if they are precise. They aren’t. They are just the best I can do when reading this small gauge. But even with that we have narrowed the performance band of the test rifle with great precision. My gauge reading may not be that precise but the place on the gauge face where the needle stops each time is. I now have a very good handle on this rifle — WITH THIS PELLET!

Seneca Aspen PCP gauge
This little gauge is very difficult to read precisely, plus you don’t really know how accurate the gauge is. I read this gauge display as 3100 psi (taken from the first test), but you have to get right on top of the gauge with a loupe to see where the needle is.

Trigger pull

I said I was going to adjust the trigger for a two-stage pull today, but this testing has already run overtime, so we’ll have to wait on it. I also thought I would get a heavy pellet tested today, but that’s also going to wait for next time.

The trigger is set up with a single-stage pull that breaks at 3 lbs. 3 oz. It is so positive and crisp that I guessed it was half that heavy. If I wasn’t testing this rifle for you I would leave it alone, because it’s very nice.

Summary

Am I impressed? You betcha! The Seneca Aspen performs as advertised. I have other tests to perform, like shooting and pumping to maintain constant velocity, so there will be a lot more velocity testing.

But don’t overlook what we have seen today. I like the rifle on low power better than high power. It’s more powerful than most multi-pumps even on low power and it’s much more stable. It’s also quieter. I don’t need the last f.p.s. But I will wait for the accuracy test to decide anything final.

If we can agree that on high power the Aspen shot a Hobby at about 940 f.p.s., it generated 23.35 foot-pounds. That would mean that a 21-grain pellet will top 30 foot-pounds for sure. Of course I will test one. On low power the Hobby might be said to average 750 f.p.s. and that would be 14.87 foot-pounds. Not too shabby!

84 thoughts on “Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 2

  1. B.B.,

    If ever you need to minimize your effort in pumping this gun up remember there is a capability to fill it from a pressure vessel. That should allow you to shoot it more without getting you tired from the effort of pumping it up, especially in the accuracy test phase. Since you already have the basic numbers you can also use this to minimize your effort when you test the heavy pellets.

    Siraniko


  2. It seems around 6 pumps per shot to get it from the bottom of the power band to the top on high power and 3 on low. I am glad pumps don’t have to be made after ever shot as was implied (stated?).

    Sean


    • Seantheaussie,

      Once the dust settles I think this will be used by pumping/filling to its optimum working pressure and maintained within that band by top up pumps after every few shots. Maybe 12-15 pumps after every 5 shots.

      Siraniko



      • Yup. That will make the 2nd power adjuster really come into play. It adjust the hammer spring, and from the other report I read it has a lot of adjustment. There is a guy claiming over 40fpe with heavy Pellets.


        • Ed,

          On my M-rod,.. the striker adj.would move. If I had it adjusted 5 in from full bottom,…. then re-bottomed to reset/adjust it,… the striker had moved a 1/2 turn in,.. from 5. So,.. that is something to think on. Blue Loctite fixed it. Unless it is locked down in some manner,… that repeated pounding could create movement,…. changing performance.

          Chris


  3. B.B.,

    Fascinating testing. Small gauges are a bummer. When filling or topping from a tank with a larger gauge, you can tell if it is (severely) off or not. The Guppy Tank has 2 and I always use the larger gauge (2″) to judge filling. In the end, it is what it is.

    Q: So,.. what is your impression of the (over all) build quality? Slop anywhere? Smoothness, tightness? Fit, finish? Noise? Lubrication seems adequate? Lever slop? Pump arm movement/slop?

    Looking forwards to more testing. This will be a fun one.

    Good Day to one and all,…… Chris


  4. G’day BB.
    I am confused!
    Test 2…2900 psi to 1900 psi velocity from 800fps to 940 fps.
    Test 3…2800 psi to 2000 psi velocity +/- 750 ies
    We are looking at a difference of upto 200fps at same pressures?
    Sure it is the same pellet or dodgy gauge?
    Cheers Bob


  5. B.B.,

    This is one special air rifle! An awful lot hangs on how accurate it ends up being, because so very many things about it are amazing.

    That low power setting sounds nice. Does switching power settings work on this the same way it does on conventional PCPs? (What is wrong with me — most conventional PCPs are fixed power. :^)

    Michael


  6. BB
    If I was shooting this gun I would be using the low power setting and filling to the 2900 psi and shooting down to 1900 psi. I’m thinking it’s still going to be a accurate gun in that range.

    Got to get it on paper and see. And remember that time you did the blog about that it seems most pcp guns have a usable range of around 1000 psi.

    So far it looks like they did a nice job setting this gun up. And glad to see you didn’t get any leak down after the gun sat.


    • Whoops I meant the high power string.

      Here this particular string I’m talking to about.

      26……………804………..2.7……………2900
      27……………811………..2.7
      28……………851………..2.9
      29……………883………..2.9
      30……………898………..2.9
      31……………916………..3.2……………2600
      32……………936………..3.3
      33……………941………..3.3
      34……………942………..3.3
      35……………946………..3.3
      36……………941………..3.4……………2300
      37……………937………..3.5
      38……………915………..3.8
      39……………906………..3.5
      40……………889………..3.5…


      • And I should of showed one more shot with the 1900 psi reading.

        26……………804………..2.7……………2900
        27……………811………..2.7
        28……………851………..2.9
        29……………883………..2.9
        30……………898………..2.9
        31……………916………..3.2……………2600
        32……………936………..3.3
        33……………941………..3.3
        34……………942………..3.3
        35……………946………..3.3
        36……………941………..3.4……………2300
        37……………937………..3.5
        38……………915………..3.8
        39……………906………..3.5
        40……………889………..3.5……………1900


  7. B.B.,
    This has been an interesting test; I found this line informative:
    “A silencer doesn’t deal as well with that condition as it does with higher-pressure air.”
    That made me think back to the old days when our British friends had “sound moderators”…and we did not.
    Aren’t those Air Force guys the ones who fixed that?
    And how did they pull that off, like give us the first legal (in the USA) silencer?
    I’m sure you reported on that already sometime in the past, but memory fails me.
    Perhaps you could refresh it with a link; thank you.
    take care, God bless, and wishing a wonderful Fall day to all,
    dave


  8. B.B.

    Wow, PCP shooters must use a lot of pellets. You need to shoot 20-30 shot strings just to establish where the power curve is. Springers only need 10 shots or less.
    All that pumping for only 8 full power shots, is that even one magazine worth?
    Do you have a schematic drawing of the pump and how it works? Maybe you could show us the pump head and how it works in further reports?
    Thanks,
    -Yogi


    • Yogi
      You can do it also by just shooting the gun. You will know when point of impact changes. Do one full fill and shoot. You will see when poi is high and where it drops off. You just note the pressure that’s in the gun at those points.

      Pretty much like you would do a Co2 gun.



    • Yogi,

      I think B.B. is doing a test to show the full story of this PCP/hybrid rifle and that has caused him to show his readership a complete powercurve on high power. Notice too that he decided not to go to full fill pressure on the low power test. He also gave us a good example of how a PCP/hybrid PCP owner should think about testing when he screamed WITH THIS PELLET. I wonder how many of his readership even noticed his pointed use of all CAPS?
      With spring piston airguns unless you change something out the gun and pellet combination should shoot the same with little or no variability; maybe it is not powercurve but stability you are thinking of when you shoot those ten rounds?
      My personal experience is that on getting a new (to me) PCP or introducing a new round (meaning grain weight or shape) I bring out a Chronograph and my shooters log and send some lead downrange. After some experience you can lower the amount of rounds needed to establish the ballistics of the new rifle or round.
      Powder burners don’t have this issue if that shoot factory ammo or just use a cookbook approach to reloading. On the other hand someone working up a load will certainly expend a lot of ammo getting it right.
      In argunning we can change a great number of things to effect the performance of our guns and it is imperative that we use a logical plan and approach along with a quality Chronograph or we are just whistling Dixie!

      Shoot Clean —or go home!

      shootski


    • Yogi,

      A good springer or a bad one, for that matter, doesn’t require any shots because they don’t have a shot curve. Totally different beast from a PCP. A bad spring gun will not have any velocity to hang its hat on and a good one will have a very small Standard Deviation and Extreme Spread that won’t even slightly resemble a curve.

      I think all the pumping that you are referring to is maybe for the FIRST 8 shots. A few pumps here and there afterwards will give a consistency to rival the best spring guns and give a power level that will make all the springers that normal people can cock green with envy. I, along with most here, I think, hope all that comes with accuracy to boot. 🙂

      Half


      • Half,

        Yup,… shoot 1 or 2 and pump 1 time to keep you in the sweet spot is a dream come true. While they are turning green,…. I am sure that some will be busting out the green too.

        The only thing I am having issue with is the weight and overall looks. But,… that is my own personal hang up. Overall,… I think that the inventor did a very fine job. Will there be a Gen II? Hey,… I can wish,.. eh?

        Chris


  9. I bought one of these from Nova, and have had a great time with it. It didn’t come with the power adjusted correctly, so I had a lot of chrono work to do to get it right. After that work, I have 20 shots on low, avg 711, std dev 7 with 15.89 pellets. As another poster pointed out, one could squeeze the std dev to next to nothing by pumping 2-3 times between shots. It wasn’t uncommon for adjacent shots in the string to vary by 0 to 2 fps.

    The other thing all that initial power testing did was to convince me to treat low and high power a little differently. Rather than having two points of aim, I played with pellets till I found one that shot on high setting to the same poi as the 15.89s did on low. Turns out that on my gun, the 25.39 had virtually the same trajectory. They just had a lot more power when they arrived on target. 10 shots used about the same air as 20 on low, which works out great with a 10 shot magazine.

    Can’t really say enough good about the gun. I still enjoy using my Benji 392, feeling wood and metal of a solid gun. But if I want to hit something from a distance using a gun that’s far easier to carry than my current heavy hitter (Sumatra), this is my peerless go-to.



      • Thanks, B.B.

        Goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, I couldn’t have done it without this blog and all you (and other posters) have taught! And that chrony you talked me into buying (with oh so many posts saying to) has proven indispensable.



          • BB
            You know what. Thinking back when I was a kid shooting on the farm I never even heard of a chrony.

            We shot our guns to see what they would do. And I’m talking more towards hunting and pesting. You learned how the gun performed. And to think more about it. What guns that didn’t perform for a given task.

            Hey Vana2 you know what I mean. 😉


            • Hey Gunfun1

              I think some of it depends on how much experience you have with guns and shooting. I hadn’t started doing anything with these areas till just a few years ago, and there are lots of times when the chrono helps answer the question “is it me or is it the gun?”. In the instance of the Nova, I couldn’t get more than 15 low power shots without running the tank out. I didn’t know if it was defective or just adjusted wrong. The chrono showed what was up, and then helped me refine where on the power curve I wanted to shoot. I might have been able to do the same process trial and error, but using science and numbers for me sped the process and made it easy to understand. Just my 2 cents…


              • Old guns
                Think about that.

                What would you do if there was no such thing as a chronograph?

                How would you know how to shoot your gun?

                It not about exsperiance. It’s about getting it.


                • Hey GF

                  Well, I’d probably have sent back the Nova 😉 As for learning to shoot, I’m stumbling through that process on my own (trial and error) and reading here and there. I don’t have to shoot for pest control or food, so this is strictly a luxury sport for me. I have some acres, lots of “targets of opportunity”, a nice population of feral cans, and a couple of little “ranges” I’ve set up. So maybe for me it is about the experience as much as the ultimate “getting it”.

                  I think it more like flying RC helicopters. If you’re new to it and on your own, you can read and try, but if your heli isn’t set up right, you’ll crash all the time. But if you don’t know how to fly, you have trouble setting up the heli. So I had to learn flying and trimming at the same time, and that made the whole thing much harder. But, no less rewarding when it was all said and done.

                  Learning to shoot on my own, I’d run into situations where I wouldn’t know if the gun was acting up (is that to be expected?), or if I was being a clod. Having *some* thing that could be stapled down helps a ton! Yes, this gun is shooting erratically, or no, the gun is shooting right. Take one variable out and the rest gets easier to learn.

                  I think there’s no wrong answer, just different perspectives 🙂


                  • Old guns
                    Had .30 and .60 size rc helicopters to in the past.

                    Guess how I learned?

                    Yep started out at a given setting and gradually progressed.

                    The thing about all this hobby stuff is I believe you have to have commen sense. Well and a bit mechanically inclined as well.

                    Here is something else. I have drag raced the majority of my life. I done things that people said wouldn’t work. But for some crazy reason they always worked. 😉

                    But yes there was trail and error in most things I done throughout time. I guess the biggest thing is I always wanted to exsperiance it. Not hear about it or go off of someone else’s exsperiance.

                    Call it what you will but have definitely learned things throughout time. And even learned that some wasn’t true from what I exsperianced.

                    Yep that’s that modding blood that runs deep down inside me.

                    To me learning how to adjust or set something and seeing the results is everything. But all in all I want to see real world results that get down to the bottom line.


                    • Funny how much we have similar, but not quite in common. So, did you ever use an air flow meter when tuning carbs? My old Lotus runs 2×2 barrel DCOE. I *could* set the balance without using an airflow meter: tweak and listen, tweak and listen, tweak and run, repeat. But the airflow meter really helps get the settings that last inch perfect. On the other hand, I could have installed a lamda sensor when doing the jet work, but that just seemed so wrong. So I tuned it to “doesn’t smell like gasoline when idling or running, but does pop a little on overrun”. So maybe it is just a matter of how much you want to rely on tools to make life easier, or figure your way around old school.

                      I’m definitely not saying a chrono is the best way, I’m just saying it is a tool that works for me when there’s something I’m not sure about. One less variable. And while I understand getting to know your gun so well that you can feel when something’s off, I don’t really shoot enough to get that reflex. Sometimes I’ll go on a jag with one particular gun and really get to know it. Then I’m off to the next gun.

                      And as to progress, hitting a soda can freehand standing at 50 yards open sights might not be good, or it might be good, I don’t know. I just know I was really thrilled when I hit that shot (with the Nova). So I *think* I’m learning bottom line results too.

                      Yeah, I think we have more in common than we’re different.


                  • Old guns
                    Oh and another thing.

                    You might save some by just shooting and seeing results.

                    The chrony does give numbers. But the targets you shoot groups at tells a big story.

                    I have had lots of pcp guns. And it all ends up I adjust my full fill and ending pressure to shooting results on paper.

                    The numbers from the chrony are nice to reference back to. That will tell if the gun changed no doubt.

                    But also when you shoot enough you can see when your gun changes. And that’s not chronying. That’s where the projectile hits and how hard.

                    Exsperiance is it.


                  • N2OG,

                    Sounds like you have a good grasp of what you like and enjoy. Glad you joined in.

                    I still wonder if its me or the gun most of the time. The more you know the more varables there is to deal with.

                    Glad you have a good place to shoot.

                    Welcome,

                    Don


                    • Hi Benji-Don

                      Yeah, honestly, the answer is far more often than not “it is me”. I was having trouble with and trying to figure out a gun when a friend’s kid happened to be around. I knew she grew up shooting so I asked her to try. 3 perfect target hits later she didn’t even look at me as she handed the gun back: “well, it isn’t the gun”. Ouch! 🙂

                      Thanks!



    • Old guns
      Gosh missed this.

      You are talking trajectory’s here with the different weight pellets.

      Guess what. That’s shooting results there.

      No t chrony results.

      Sorry but see what I mean.


      • Yep, it is just a tool, not a lifestyle 🙂 I use ChairGun too! It all just helps me know what to expect. But I completely agree that the proof is in the results. And when I got to the stage of picking best pellets and such, there’s no way but shooting and keeping documented targets. Heck, I figured out a hold that about halved the 10′ 10 bb group from my Daisy 1894, no chrono work there.


  10. IMHO, I think that as a multi-pump the Aspen is a dream gun and should be marketed as such – find your spot on the power curve and use the pump as needed to stay there. As the testing shows, the small reservoir has enough capacity for about 8 shots with a 2900 psi fill pressure.

    As a PCP the Aspen falls a little short. It looks like the valve can manage a 700 psi range of pressure (2600 to 1900) but has trouble with anything above and below that. The small reservoir can (easily) handle 3600 psi but the valve would need a regulator to bring the pressure down to a level that it can manage. It would be interesting to see how the Aspen would preform with one. Just speculating.

    The Aspen does look like a capable rifle – curious about the accuracy.
    Hank


  11. BB, Since consistency is key, I would be curious to see if it is possible to fill to say 2600 PSI and after each shot (or two) add a pump and keep the velocity more consistent, similar to what you did with the older Benjamin in a recent test.


  12. And I would probably fill the gun to 2700 psi.

    That would keep it more in the power band.

    But then again see what the group size shows from 2900 psi. Maybe even shoot 5 shot groups at different targets and note fill pressure and see if poi changes. That would narrow down the usable consistent fill pressure range.


  13. B.B.,

    You have almost enabled me on the Aspen even if it is not accurate. I can work on the barrel or replace it if needed. I hope it is accurate though.

    I bet the valve may even smooth out a little with more pellets. Adjusting the hammer spring preload may also give a little more width to the power band, but will probably just shift it a little. At least it is adjustable.

    Is this a pumper you would add a few drops of silicon chamber oil after say 50 or 100 shots?

    And the manual says to store it with 1160 to 580 psi if that is necessary your lower fill pressure is a real plus. That seems to say the valve seal is a softer material than a PCP.

    Don


  14. BB,

    I composed this very early this morning and forgot to hit the “Post Comment” button, (that seems to happen more and more, any explanation?) so here it is again.

    Another great report. I am very intrigued by this gun and am really looking forward to more reports. If it’s accurate, I want one!, that simple.

    Does this gun have an adjustable striker or am I thinking of some other gun that you have reviewed recently (Fortitude, Gauntlet )?

    You were open to this suggestion before so I will offer it again, in the event that you forgot. A lighted magnifier app for your cellphone will give you a VERY large image of your gauge and, if it is like the one I use on my IPhone, you can snap a very high res pic that you can study closely to get the Nth degree of accuracy, if you wish to shoot for that.

    Half



      • Here’s an example of the tuning I did when I received the Nova. HAM’s write-up did help me a great deal, and is worth checking out as well.

        When I received it, even on low it didn’t get more than 15 shots before emptying. The chrono said it was shooting hotter than expected, so it stood to reason that the hammer spring was set too tight. I relaxed it half a turn, and graphed the results. I realized I was heading in the right direction, so I loosened it another half turn. The graph comparing the two settings is below. You can see that I dropped some initial fps but definitely gained more shots. I messed with it some more until I had as flat of a graph as I could. At that point, I realized I had less deviation between shots 2 and 21 than 1 and 20, so for my best shooting I’d pump to 2600 and dry fire once, then load up and head out.

        I could have gone a different route, and left the hammer spring tight, getting over 800 fps, and just pumped 3 times between each shot to stabilize the speed. Choose your direction, this gun is really allows a ton of flexibility.


    • Half
      The problem is not reading the gage, look at BBs pic. It’s simply not designed to be accurately read. The needle is too fat and the increments too close. But it is compact and saves weight and will put you in the ball park. Age related ADD. Been there, done that.


      • Bob M

        So true. I have noticed in real close up pics of some of the gauges on my guns that the pointer is thick, but it has a diagonal slant at the end, as in this image. I have come to assume that the pointy part is the indicator that I should use and have not had any problems from over filling, which is what I would be doing if I assumed incorrectly. Have you observed this and what do you make of it?

        Half


        • Half
          I don’t recall seeing that on an airgun gage off hand but I never really paid that much attention. Now I have seen gages with the tip twisted vertical and centered but it would probably be too thin to see with these small gages.
          I don’t like gages where the needle is actually moving directly over the increment display, better when it just lines up beneath it. Easier to read or ‘Judge’ between mark readings.
          The FX Indy has a gage that’s twice as big and has 100 psi increments but it covers the increments too.
          The Marauder evidently has two types, a gage with one line between the thousand PSI indications and another with only ‘seven’ increments between them. What’s up with that one?

          I guess you get what you pay for with these very small gages, fat increment marks and pointers easy to see but not accurate, or they were never meant to be more than a quick reference device. Probably why that Marauder only had one line between thousand marks.
          A real finely marked indicator this small ‘ would ‘ probably need a magnifier of some sort to read.


          • Bob,

            My M-rod has 100 marks. That at least gets me to an accurate 50. Maybe an upgrade from the Gen. 1 model? As a side,… my M-rod and Maximus are accurate to my 2″ gauge.

            Chris


            • Chris
              Might want to count those increment marks and verify. I have 2 Marauders and 2 Armadas and all are Gen II. Half have the one mark between one thousand and the others have 7. There would be 9 marks if they were in 100 psi increments. Pics on P/A also show the same.

              Very deceiving and not noticeable if you just read one or two lines from the thousand psi lines or the large half way line. That’s why I think they are more a quick reference indicator and not extremely accurate.

              Bob M



                • Chris
                  Looks like you won out. Perhaps ‘ you ‘ have a left over Gen I gage. I don’t know what they actually had.
                  7 comes out to read 125 psi. Easier to read? Like you said “Who knows why?”
                  Sometimes I wish the manufacturers would jump in on these blogs. At least we have Tyler jumping in once in a while for P/A with his inside info.
                  Bob M


                  • I’m able to look at both type of the M-rod gages. My pistol leaked out a couple of weeks ago. I ordered a new manometer from PA and put it in because the other one was not reading correct. Long story short, the gage was the problem. It has been holding pressure for four days now.
                    Gerald


                    • Gerald
                      Checking for leaks with soapy water really helps, the bubbles don’t lie. Well, sometimes. I had to make sure the water did not cover the side bleed air port in the high pressure burst disk so as to isolate the threads into the receiver from a possible bad disk. It’s recessed into a tight hole. I incorrectly referred to it as a blow out valve before.

                      So what kind of increments did the gages have? 100 like Chris, or 125 and 500 psi ?
                      Bob


                  • Bob,

                    The Maximus gauge is different, cruder, more colored and has the 125 increments. Just some additional fyi on the topic.

                    Yes, easy to read, well made gauges would be nice. Even if they are small. Using more of the dial and expanding the increment space would be another great move.

                    Chris


                  • Bob,
                    Checking with soap was going to be my next step but is not needed because the gage is what leaked out. I intended to replace it as it was not reading correct. It is at 500 PSI. The old broken one has 125PSI marks and the new one is 100PSI markings. The needle sweep on both is about 120 degrees.
                    I agree with Chris that a longer sweep would be nice.
                    Gerald


    • It does. Ham did a write-up of it, but didn’t really test in a way that made sense for the rifle. It can make a lot more power though, like 40+fpe with really heavy Pellets.


  15. When I got my Nova it leaked down. I found a loose blow out valve inside the pump handle housing. Tightened it up some and now have no noticeable leak down however over a few days it drops to a little under1000 PSI and stays there. It’s the recommended storage pressure so I’ll leave there. I really don’t like overtightening anything that screws into something that holds over 3,000 psi.

    I think you will be happy with the accuracy results, I was really surprised to hit a beer can on a T post at 80 yards on both high and low power settings. What more could you want in power options, High, Low, with a reasonably consistent string or the same exact power with each and every shot managing the pump and then there is the hammer spring adjustment option.

    Seems like this is one rifle you could adjust to the pellet you want to use instead of finding the pellet the rifle wants to use… Almost!
    I have a feeling we will see a lot more PCP pumpers from other manufacturers, unless the patents he has on it prevent it. More power to its designer.


  16. Everyone,

    This comes late and I’m sorry ’cause I’ve known all day and forgot, but Air Gun Depot has a pellet deal where you buy 4 tins and get 2 free. It is only good for today and that’s why I’m sorry for posting so late. I hope some of you see this and score. That’s a good deal.

    Half


  17. BB or Anyone
    Umarex has a Colt M4 break barrel pellet rifle with rails and an adjustable stock, unlike the Crosman MTR77.

    However they are not offering it here in the U.S. Reason ? It can be found on u-tube and the EU Umarex web site, Just type UMAREX in a search box. It’s not on Umarex USA site.

    Do you, or anyone else know of any vendors who can and do import airguns like this from the UK or EU ?

    Bob M


  18. The Gen. II version of this gun should have a second pressure gage that measures only through the optimum working range of the valve. I don’t know if it exists, but an approx. 1″ diameter gage, with a 180 degree dial sweep, that reads from 2000 to 3000 Psi, with marks every 100 Psi would be perfect. Since the shooter is the “regulator” of the valve (through the pumping), having a gage that is easier to see exactly what the pressure is would be a very welcome addition.

    Also, from everything I have read and seen in testing up to this point, I think a .25 caliber model would be another welcome addition. The pump is capable of the pressures needed, so designing a higher flowing valve specific to the .25 would be the only real hurdle. In fact, if the chamber the valve sits in is big enough in diameter, it could be possible for even a .30 cal.

    We armchair airgun designers can dream, can’t we!

    David H.


  19. B.B.,

    I wonder if one of the aftermarket Marauder gauges could replace (and do a better job than) this air rifle’s strock one.

    Also, I can already imagine modders making use of that big ol’ forearm by putting a large air reservoir in there. Double Disco? How about a Triple Seneca Aspen?

    Michael


    • Michael
      That space on the forearm contains the air pump tube and hides the pump handle arm. It’s full !
      If any regular PCP were to cover the air reservoir completely with the stock it would have a big ol’ forearm too.

      Think about it, the pump arm takes up about the same thickness as the bottom of a regular stock and the pump tube is about the same as an air reservoir. That small reservoir tube under the barrel is all that makes it a little larger.
      I could never figure out why they did not enclose the PCP air reservoirs in the stocks in the first place. Probably because it too would look too large ! … or required the wood forearm to be too wide. Plastic solved that problem.
      Bob M


      • Or use some of the space inside of the butt of the rifle as an air resivior. But then it’s the same old story. More pumping, but there would be room for a regulator in there too.


        • Edw
          That would probably require a new stock style or some curved plumbing to go through the pistol grip.
          And yes more pumping and more money too!

          This is not like any other PCP . It has an external regulator … You, using the pump handle. Only you now have total control over the regulated pressure you want. It’s a pretty nice set up as is, balanced out in almost every aspect, from cost to performance.




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