Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.

This report covers:

  • Why not oil?
  • First test
  • Moly-powder
  • Test 2
  • Test 3
  • Changing direction
  • Test 4
  • Conclusions
  • Summary

I said we would get deeper into the velocity of the Sharpshooter pistol this time, so that’s what will happen today. First I need to tell you that one of the two rubber bands I used for the velocity test last time broke, so I have to install another one today. Before I do that, though, I want to test my other velocity idea, which reader Paul in Liberty County correctly guessed was applying a dry lubricant to the gun. He thought it might be graphite, but I actually want to try powdered Molybdenum Disulfide.

Why not oil?

People think oil will speed things up, but in most things on airguns, it doesn’t. It slows them down. Oil pellets or a bore and you can watch your velocities drop. Where oil speeds things up is in mechanisms that are completely dry. Oil will often speed up dry mechanisms, but the Sharpshooter guns are so weak that I’m not sure oil will help. So I want to try treating the two sliding rails with the powdered moly, to see what effect that has.

First test

Since I don’t know which of the two rubber bands broke, I will retest the pistol as it now is, with just one band. Then I will rub moly powder into the rails, top and bottom, and test it again with the same band. Hopefully the band won’t break while I’m doing this! Let’s give it a try!

In the last report one rubber band gave a velocity of 60-61 f.p.s. But then I installed a second band and the velocity got up to 121 f.p.s. I finished the report at that point, but afterward I shot the gun some more and one of the two bands broke. So I’m starting today with one rubber band, but I don’t know if it’s the one band I tested the first time or the band I added. Only a test will tell.

Unlubed gun with one rubber band
Shot…………Velocity
1………………73
2………………72

Okay, it appears that the second band is the one that’s still on the gun. Now that we have a baseline of its velocity, what will happen when I rub moly powder into the rails?

Moly-powder

I used a cotton swab to rub moly powder into the rails, top and bottom. I took a “before” picture in case you could see a difference afterward, but after I finished rubbing the powder in there was and still is no visible difference. Let’s see what that did for the velocity.

Sharpshooter moly
Fine Molybdenum Disulfide powder was burnished into the steel rails with a cotton swab. They looked the same after this was done.

Sharpshooter rails
Both rails (arrows) received the moly treatment.

Lubed gun with one band
Shot…………Velocity
1………………76
2………………Rubber band broke!

Wouldn’t you know it, the rubber band broke as I was cocking the gun for the second shot. Now we have a gun that we must consider lubed from this point on. Moly bonds with steel and I imagine with other metals to give a low friction surface for a very long time.

To look at the one shot that was recorded, the moly did increase the velocity by a small amount (73 to 76 f.p.s.), but not enough to be very significant. Had it gained 10 f.p.s. I would call it significant, but 3 f.p.s. is a gain of only 4 percent over the unlubed velocity.

Test 2

Let’s add another rubber band and test velocity again. Remember, from this point on, the gun has been lubricated.

Lubed gun two bands
Shot…………Velocity
1………………112
2………………111

The gain from a second band is significant (36 f.p.s.) but it’s less than we saw in the last test of two bands on an unlubed gun (121 f.p.s.). That tells me the individual rubber bands are far more significant to velocity than lubing the rails. Let’s add a third rubber band and see what happens.

Test 3

This test is with three rubber bands and a lubricated gun.

Sharpshooter 3 bands
With three rubber bands the gun is getting crowded. Also, cocking is very difficult.

Lubed gun three bands
Shot…………Velocity
1………………136
2………………134

The velocity increased by about 23 f.p.s. While that’s also signifiant, it is less than the increase I got going from one band to two (36 f.p.s.). And the cocking effort increased so much with 3 bands that I started to worry about the gun holding together.

Changing direction

I’m not adding more rubber bands to the gun. This is such a fine old gun that I don’t want to test to destruction. Dean Fletcher told us he got 158 f.p.s. from 5 rubber bands on a Sharpshooter, so let’s just take his word for it. Maybe with clever work you can get a Sharpshooter up to as much as 200 f.p.s. but no matter what you do it will never be a magnum airgun.

Instead, I tried it with a different type of rubber band. Several readers discussed how a red rubber band was the most powerful. Well, I searched my office and didn’t find any red ones, plus the local Office Depot store only sells different sizes of the same Chinese-made brown bands I have been using. But I did find a wide yellow band in my desk that came wrapped around some organic produce. So I tried that.

Sharpshooter yellow band
This big yellow band is different enough to try.

Sharpshooter yellow band on
The yellow band is a big one.

Test 4

This test is with one wide yellow rubber band.
Lubed gun one wide yellow rubber band
Shot…………Velocity
1………………117
2………………116

Well this one band is about as powerful as two smaller bands. It also cocks easily. I will try to keep this one working as long as possible. The gun now cocks easily and gets decent velocity. It’s fun to shoot this way.

Conclusions

I can draw several conclusions from today’s testing. The first is obvious — the Sharpshooter becomes more powerful when more rubber bands are used. This particular gun, though, seems to be hard on the bands. They don’t have a long life. I think there is a sharp edge somewhere that’s cutting them as they are stretched.

The next conclusion is one I haven’t mentioned yet, but I saw it as I was looking for different rubber bands. They have a shelf life. At least the bands I am using do. As they age they get brittle and crack until they are completely useless. That means a fresh band is the best and I think it also means bands wear out whether you use them or not. So, don’t get attached to a band, because it won’t be around for long.

Another conclusion is that as bands are added the gun quickly becomes much harder to cock and shoot. The trigger also becomes very hard to pull. I stopped testing at 3 bands, but for target shooting even that is too much. The lightweight gun can’t be controlled when the trigger is too heavy.

I also discovered that dry lubrication doesn’t make much difference. It isn’t bad, but it doesn’t add much and probably isn’t worth the effort. I think the zinc pot metal rubbing against the steel rails probably has some self-lubrication of its own.

Summary

I like the way gun works with the yellow rubber band installed. I hope it will last awhile. I have tried the pistol at close range (18 inches) and it is extremely accurate. I know you are thinking that it should be accurate  when it’s that close, but that distance matches the small scale of the gun. If I were shooting houseflies, that’s the distance I would do it at. We shall see in the next test, which will be accuracy.

73 thoughts on “Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 3


  1. B.B.,

    I seem to recall previous comments in your previous articles regarding catapult guns that the there is a limit to the velocity that can be achieved by adding more rubber bands. The additional bands will however allow a heavier payload to be launched with similar velocity.

    Siraniko


  2. BB,

    I believe that the purer the rubber, the faster it contracts, and the faster it degrades. Among Slingshot shooters, Theraband Gold is the most desirable material for bands but it doesn’t have a long life.


  3. To all who read this blog,

    We should thank the Moms of America for this series on catapult guns. If it was not for them, we would not be able to find complete kits like this to have BB provide us with his review.

    I am certain most of these were purchased by Dad, thinking he and Little Johnny could have hours of fun together shooting at the little targets and spinners. Unfortunately, the very next day Little Johnny took it and shot the cat, the dog or even Little Sally with it and Mom immediately confiscated it and put it in her closet on The Shelf where none are allowed to go and it was quickly forgotten until many years later it shows up in a yard sale, online auction, etc.

    Thanks Mom.


  4. B.B.,

    Nice testing. While reading,… I could not help myself into thinking of a small kid from yesteryear that was trying all the things you tried (minus the moly powder). Scouring the house and drawers for more rubber bands. Getting in trouble by Mom when she finds her rubber band stash has mysteriously vaporized. Bartering with neighborhood kids for different size and color bands. And the ammo.,…. what happens when a slight stumble sends the entire tube of precious shot flying into the grass, never to be seen again? I would hate to think what the imagination of a desperate, ammo-less kid might come up with as an alternative. 😉

    Looking forwards to the accuracy phase. Will it even punch low grade printer paper? Perhaps gift wrapping tissue paper? Maybe,…. duct tape, reversed? That way, the shot could just “stick” to the target. Gorilla tape is super sticky.

    And,.. what would be the maximum range? Held at 5′ above the ground, level,… when would the shot hit the ground? 5′? 10′? 20′? This highly technical, rarely used, long forgotten about ballistic testing method could be executed by standing at the edge of a pond, watching the POI and taking a guesstimate as to the distance. No doubt,… the afore mentioned youth of yesteryear had this all well documented,… complete with critical hold over data.

    On the maximum range testing,…. perhaps you might to lower the “held at height” to something more like 3 feet,…. for the obvious reasons and reenactment authenticity. 😉

    Good Day to one and all,…. Chris


  5. For ammo alternatives,…. the first thing that comes to mind is a creek. Like the kind that most every kid explored and played in. The finer sandy type matter would yield all kinds of highly polished, near perfectly round, differently colored, mineralized shot alternative. Could even the most hard core environmentalist take issue with this nature provided lead free alternative??? 😉

    Of course,…. some careful size sorting would be required. 🙂 Which,.. brings up another question. Just how forgiving is this gun on accepting variance’s in the size of shot/ammo? Is the size of the drop down loading port the limiting factor? I would think so.

    Mmmmm?,…. a possible “tune” option? Drill out the loading port to accept larger ammo? 🙂

    As a side note,… I grabbed the Mc Master Carr catalog and looked up “rubber”. As is he norm,… a wealth of information was found. There such a thing as precision rubber balls. Material options abound. 1/8″ on up. That would be like dum-dum shotgun rounds,… ehh?


  6. Chris,

    The critical place in this gun is the hole in the bottom of the magazine that allows the shot to drop into the launcher when the gun is cocked. You can see that hole in the photo that has the yellow background above. It’s on the right, just in front of the sear. It is so critical that a shot that isn’t perfectly round may not pass through. I’ve had to stop and remove shot that wouldn’t feed and thus jammed up the gun when they got to this hole.

    But that hole size is critical because the launcher is also size-critical for the shot. There can be no “drilling out” on this gun. Maybe a watchmaker could enlarge the hole and the launcher to take a number 5 birdshot, but that would be the extent of it. Dr. Bunten knew what he was doing and did it very well, back in the early 1920s.

    B.B.


    • B.B.,

      Very good. I start to feel like a kid when I see stuff like this. I got a bit carried away I guess. If I only knew then what I know now,… I could have ruled the neighborhood kiddom. 🙂

      And yes,…. I purposely DO NOT browse the NERF aisle at Wally World. Talk about cool stuff! I would be down $200 in a hurry. LOL 🙂

      Chris


      • Chris,

        Know what you mean – kids these day have toys that we could only dream about in our first childhood. Imagine having a Bug-A-Salt gun back then? You would be the envy of the neighborhood!!

        Fortunately, our second childhood means we have more disposable income for the new cool toys.

        Speaking of new toys, how are you doing with your Wolf?

        Happy Friday!
        Hank


        • Hank,

          The “Wolf” is doing great. I sure do not get to shoot it enough. My first day off (1/3) is usually shot. I am really liking the Athlon FFP 8-34 x 56. It is usually Sunday AM when I get to get out. It is everything that I consider desirable, for me. It don’t get better than that,… eh? 😉

          Chris


        • Hank,

          Unfortunately most of them are so bamboozled by all things video game and virtual that many will miss out on what past generations have been fortunate to have; REAL thing(s) to be nostalgic about!

          SMH!
          shootski


      • Chris,

        LOL! I have several Nerf guns. On occasion my grandson and I shoot empty water bottles with them.

        I used to shoot politicians on the TV with them, but my wife will not let me do that now with our new TV.


        • RR,

          “…my wife will not let me do that now with our new TV” – What happened to the old TV? Throw the Nerf gun? 🙂

          My son works for a software company and project deadlines can raise tensions in the office. As a stress relief solution the management has issued Nerf guns (and a generous supply of darts) to everybody. Once or twice a week someone will instigate a “Nerf War”. Seems that one “sniper shot” can start 15 minutes of bedlam.

          What a way to relieve stress in the office – I’d be up for that! LOL!

          Hank


          • Hank,

            The old TV had a CRT and could withstand the impact. The new one likely could also, but she does not want to take any chances.

            That sounds great. We had similar activities at one company I worked at. Now I work in a “library” and it would most definitely be frowned upon.

            I need to retire.


        • RR,

          On my weekly trip to Wally World,.. Fri.,… I decided to divert from my most useful, most efficient, in and out route. Low and behold,… they had an entire wall plastered with what must be the latest and greatest model. I am pretty sure that it had at least 2 or 3 launching platforms and maybe,… even a grenade launcher.

          I put on the horse blinders (my hand) and quickened my pace,…. like I said,… I could be in real trouble, real quick on the NERF line.

          I will give them credit though as they are always advancing, improving and very innovative.

          Chris


          • Chris,

            LOL! I do understand. Besides my revolver, I have a magazine fed lever action and a shotgun reminiscent of a M-79.

            If you really want to be amazed, go to their website.


            • RR,

              I went to their site. On the way,…. I found some mod. videos. That is what I would be afraid of the most,…. get it, put 5 rounds through it,…. tear it apart. 😉 The one fellow had a 2,000 shot (yup,.. 2,000!!!) that was belt fed from a back pack canister. Pull the trigger and the Gatling gun rotating barrel(s) never stopped. Another was spring and piston mods, a longer barrel and more. Another was powered by a std. propane torch tank (for a compressed air source). Talk about BIG kids!,…. as these were all adults.

              Chris


              • Chris,

                That is WAAAAYYY over the top. Those are not adults in any way, shape or form. That is like the show on the Science Channel where they warn you not to do this at home.



  7. At the drug store there are rubber bands bound with a textile, for your hair.
    May hold up better, and I was taught to put some type of lube on my wind up propeller powered balsa plane models.
    The hair ties should be near the hair curlers we use for our silencers.
    Very kewell find sir! Things are not made for the office with wood and metal very often anymore..
    Best, R



  8. BB,

    Rubber definitely has a shelf life. Balloons go bad after 2 or 3 years. I’ve seen bags of them that had a date on the package mentioning that they were 4 or 5 years old. They had become hard and were starting to crumble.

    Anyone that makes balloon animals tries to purchase balloons that are less than a year old. Otherwise it becomes a fruitless task.



      • B.B.,

        There is a product called 303 that may extend the life of your bands. It has many uses on all things latex, plastics, rubber, Bible to include cockpit canopies and the neck, wrist and ankle latex seals on dry suits. It works to keep the latex seals supple and stretching to specification for years if applied once per quarter
        Certainly test the 303 out on one hand of each flavor before use on all of that type.

        Second item is an obvious need for a shot sorter much like the pellet size sorters.

        shootski


  9. Off Topic:
    Does anyone know of any upcoming HFT competitions this for the rest of 2018/spring 2019 in the Midwest/South/East Central Area? I’ve only shot one so far. But I’m hooked. Appreciate any guidance in finding upcomming HFT Shoots. I live in West Central Indiana.
    Thanks!


    • Springer Fan,

      Do you plan to do any head sorting and weight sorting? What advice did you receive on (those) topics, if they came up? Any other cool stuff that you learned? HFT target is not talked about much here and I think that you might be able to offer a very unique perspective from the HFT newbie stand point,… ehh?

      From the way I look at it,… those folks shoot a lot and practice a lot. They are exposed to the best of the best (skill and equipment) and have seen all of the tricks,.. proven or not.

      Chris


      • Hi Chris,
        Head sorting and weight sorting did not come up but I’m sure opinions on those topics are very wide. From the reviews I’ve seen on the subject I’m in the camp I won’t do either at this point personally. Nothing against them but shooting a forgiving springer like the TX200 that isn’t pellet fussy may be nothing like some of the setups I saw which they may have more than $6,000.00 kit.

        Chair height was a big debate. I saw chairs only 6 inches high to 16 inches high. The debate is which one gives you the best elbow rest/support/stability. The first thing I did was order a 16 inch high super sturdy chair where the legs are fix to a cross-member where it contacts the ground so it doesn’t sink in the ground. I’m 6’3″ with a bad knee. getting up and down from a shorter chair took some out of me. Plus I get better elbow support with a higher chair I think.

        The type of shooting sticks was another debate. I bought mine on the Friday Night of the shoot at the last minute before the store closed. (the only thing they had) Not a lot of pre-thought. lol They worked fine. They are the single push button instant adjustment kind. Many others used the old standard bipod type. I think they had less problems supporting their guns then I did. Very interesting.

        I must tell you I was in the group with the UTG guys the second day. They were super to shoot with. Great guys. They both shot springers. One was a walnut TX200 MKIII and the other was a Weihrauch HW97K Blue. Those guys really showed me what a Springer can do. The Weihrauch HW97K Blue for some reason lost zero. That could be the scope in my opinion. That tells me never shortcut when buying a scope. I do not know which scope he was shooting. Plus Locktitie, Locktite, Locktite your scope mounts.

        Speaking of scopes when I bought my TX200 MKIII a couple months ago I mounted a Athlon 6-24×50 Argos BTR FFP Scope. I did not know if this was a good choice when I bought it but it’s been great. In fact for HFT why would anyone want anything other than a First Focus Plane Scope? Or does it even matter because by the second day I was shooting everything at 16 power. The first day I was shooting at about 8 to 12 power because I was having a hard time finding the target with my new kit.

        As far as practice was concern I got the impression that most of the guys shoot many thousands of pellets each year. I was still shooting from my first tin that weekend. LOL! Since then now that I know how to practice I’m way into my second tin. Shooting paper may not be the best practice all the time because field targets are steel and if the pellet clips the inside of the hole the target won’t always go down. I bought a couple knock down targets so I could practice on actual targets.

        Hope you enjoy this commentary. As you can tell I can hardly wait to get back out there. Now that I know what’s going on. lol!


        • Springer Fan,

          Well Sir,… that has to be one of the finest reviews that I have ever read!!!! Thank you for your down-to-earth insight. You have a knack for telling it. The FFP is sweet.

          “Kit”???? Where did you pick that up? Having a Daystate and visiting the owners site,…. the word “kit” is used quite often to describe what must be their entire set-up. Most posters are in the U.K, so that at least is their way of describing what they have. I found it interesting.

          Chris


          • Thanks Chris. Just trying to be entertaining. sounds like I got the job done. . I like the term kit when it comes to shooting gear. It does a very good job of summing up all the gear it takes to get the job done. I watch lots of Stock Market analysis from around the world all day long every day. SO maybe I’m becoming more international in my vocabulary without even noticing ti! lol DOn’t give-up on Springer Kit! LOL!!


            • Springer Fan,

              Yup,… you got it done. (Please) keep us posted as your adventure’s move forward. Also,… what you discover along the way while preparing for matches and trying and learning new things.

              Pellet sorting (is) a bit controversial. Shoot a quality to pellet to start with. JSB’s have proven best in all of my air guns. Beyond that,.. pellet weight can vary considerably. A weight and head sort at least eliminates (those) variables. It is time consuming though. Maybe a Winter project? Then,… after all of that effort,… results still vary,….. then you know that (you) still need more work. 🙁 Actually, that is a plus.

              Been there,.. still there,… well,.. most of the time anyways.

              Chris


              • Chris, Do me a favor if you think about it. Help me find HFT shoots. I know they are out there but I have not been able to find a source/sources of these shoots. I’m sure they are out there but where? Seems to be part of the problem with the sport maybe. No central listing source/sources. Could Pyramid Air create a promotional listing place? A calender clubs could access to post their events? What a help to the sport that one thing might be too. Or is it just too much to put these shoots on with large numbers of people showing up as participants? I don’t know the answer but I know the questions. Thanks again! DOn’t dismiss those Springer Kits!!! LAL!


                • Springer Fan,

                  I am not finding much. Indiana right? Here is one that is state specific. You can search other states too. It is a start at least.

                  https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php

                  Keep searching. It may take a phone call or two,… but you should be able to get somewhere by doing some networking. One call or e-mail leads to another one,.. and so on.

                  Good luck,…. Chris

                  Verify your state in a comment and maybe somebody else here can turn up more?




                  • Thank’s Chris,
                    Turns out there’s a shoot just 30 minutes from my house in Terre Haute, IN weekend after next. Looking forward to it. Met a Springer TX200 shooter south in Indy too. The Central Ohio Club is only 4 hours from here. I’m well on my way to finding what I’m looking for I think. Thanks Again for the leads.
                    Sincerely,
                    Springer Fan


                    • Springer Fan,

                      No problem. Searching for you made me realize what it must be like for people like you. Info. seems sparse. The very best of wishes going forwards. I REALLY admire your enthusiasm for just jumping into competition like this. For me,… I would want to know what I am up against and then have (already) done as good, or better at home,… first. Hat’s off to you for that!

                      Keep us posted. Like I said,… HFT is not talked about much here and I (do) think that your experiences might lend some good insight to us all. At the very least,… some good inspiration.

                      Sincerely,… Chris



      • Hi Coduece, Great! I’ll be at the Terre Haute Shoot next weekend. Do you have it on your calendar too? That will be my second ever competition. 40 targets I think. $10.00 I’m still marking my Parallax up. That’s how green I am. lol How close to me are you? I’m in Clinton. What do you shoot for a Springer Pellet type and scope?,

        Springer Fan
        (Steve)


  10. I had one rubber band gun which was a repeater. Where the hammer would be, there was a wheel with spokes. You could stretch a rubber band from a post at the end of the barrel to each of the spokes for a total of about 10. Each pull of the trigger advanced the wheel, releasing one rubber band, and you could fire them off in rapid succession with fair accuracy. This got put away once I got into airgunning, but it would probably still be fun if I could find it.

    On the subject of the past, I just read how Lieutenant Pavlichenko, during her publicity tour in America, was presented with a 1911. She loved it (revealing her fine intelligence and discrimination), and she knew all about John Browning. Upon returning to her hotel room, she broke it down to examine the parts under the gaze of Eleanor Roosevelt who was rooming with her on their trip. Disassembling that gun without a bushing wrench or instructions is pretty impressive to me. I only did that after careful study. The presentation of the 1911 came right after a shooting session with an organization of marksmen in Chicago where she fired an M1 sniper rifle and Springfield sniper rifle, both with Weaver scopes. So, the circle is complete, and she has handled all of my favorite weapons. She pronounced them to be of good quality and proceeded to hit almost all bullseyes, putting to rest suspicions that she was a fake. In England, she examined an Enfield No. 4 Mk. 1.

    This whole book, not to mention her visit, is a trip. At this point, the love of her life had come and gone. If anyone has wondered what it would be like have women in the infantry, she provides one scenario. She set up a home with her husband, her commanding officer, in a dugout. Every day, she would go out to shoot a few of the enemy and come home to cozy domestic bliss, and she even had time to engage in a bit of professional jealousy with a woman machine gunner in her unit. She pronounced herself completely happy. But then her husband was killed in an artillery barrage right in front of her while trying to shield her. This devastated her. But shortly afterwards, she was transferred and given a promotion from sergeant to lieutenant as well as the Order of Lenin which sounds comparable to the Medal of Honor, and what do you think was her reaction? “Insane joy.” It all goes to prove one of the Star Trek episodes where Kirk is trying to mentor Charlie, an immature teenager with psychic powers. “Charlie, there’s a million things you can have and a million things you can’t (like Yeoman Rand). It’s no fun facing that fact, but that’s the way things are.” Inquiring minds will conclude that the only response is to get all of your million, and that is what Lyudmila apparently does.

    Matt61


  11. Off topic,… reminder,… to my friends here at Airgun Academy,

    Went to Wally World today and had a very “normal” (quick in and out) shopping trip. Once home and reviewing my receipt, there was 2 RX (pharmacy items) on the receipt for $15.27 each. I did not purchase anything through the pharmacy.

    I called and spoke with the store manager. They said come in and it all can be resolved very quickly with video records and coming in a week later is just fine (as I get to town once a week).

    Bottom line,… double check ypur receipts. In the store is better. I was in a hurry after a busy day and did not. So,.. partly my fault, but sounds as if this should all be resolved quite nicely.

    To be clear,… very clear,… I am NOT a fan of “big brother” keeping a 24/7 track of me,…. but in this case,… it is working to my favor.

    Chris


    • “ypur” is a word? My auto spell check does pretty well on my laptop,… so how that one got through???? Re-typing just now,… it wanted to correct to “your”,.. which was the original intent.


  12. B.B.,

    This is an interesting installment, but I notice you’re keeping us in suspense again! :^) It is always about accuracy, but how accurate these are is especially important, given the high expectations.

    These can’t break regular paper. Paper towel targets? Thin gauge aluminum foil? That or wax paper would not be pierced, but indents would probably appear at the point of impact. Facial and bathroom tissues would tear.

    Michael


  13. Off subject here.

    I know many of you are impatiently awaiting the Seneca Aspen review to see what it will do. Well Stephen Archer reviewed the American Tactical Nova Freedom (the same air rifle) in his Hard Air Magazine and is very happy with it. It has tempted me to own one myself. My only hesitation is due to the size and weight. I desire something smaller and lighter.


    • RR,

      What impressed me (at the time of announcement) was the (dedication) to offering something that filled all of the requirements. I seem to recall a general sense of striving for quality. It is what it is,… but I have a feeling that everything was done to keep the weight down while at the same time giving all of the performance and price point that everyone seeks. Well,… at least that is what I recall anyways. 😉

      That particular air gun market would be/is a tuff one to set the bar on.

      Chris


      • Chris,

        Trying to be realistic, I realize you will not get all I would like in one package. If I was not rebuilding a 101, I would be very interested in this. With the FX and this, you have the power so many desire.

        In all cases the laws of physics will be adhered to, therefore there must be compromises. It is a matter of what you can live with.


    • R.R.,

      Only time will tell if the ATNF is a deal compared to the FX Independence or Indie!
      I realize the going in cost disparity but which gun(s) will have a glowing write-up in the Blue Book in three or more decades?

      shootski


      • Shootski,

        Though I have not handled the ATNF, I have the FX. I seriously doubt the ATNF will survive the handling and abuse the FX would, so the FX is more likely to have a glowing write-up. However, many will likely decide the cost difference favors the ATNF.


  14. I am really curious as to how accurate the sharpshooter will be. But at what distance (did I read over, or miss it)?
    On another topic, what is happening with the Vortek gas cylinder for the R9? Did you get a replacement and it is just waiting in line for testing, or did the company decide to go back to the drawing board?
    Also, B.B. – Thanks for testing all of the stuff that I am wondering about (or didn’t know that I was wondering about). The testing is definitely easier (and cheaper) to read about in your blog than it is to do myself. But far less satisfying.
    Enjoy the day!

    Bill


    • Billj,

      Accuracy test comes next, probably Monday. B.B. did state that the accuracy will be tested at 18 inches distance against aluminum foil targets which can be pierced by the shot. I don’t know how he arrived at that specific distance though unless there was a specification in the box of the Sharpshooter.

      Siraniko


    • Bill,

      The Sharpshooter is supposed to hit houseflies at 10 feet. Dean Fletcher sent a target with a fly that had been hit several times.

      Vortek has never responded to me. I sent in the gas spring unit months ago. I did contact them once about a month after sending the unit back,. They responded but I’ve heard nothing since. When things like this happen I let the company do whatever they do, because it represents how they will take care of a problem for the customer, as well. I am debating what to do about it now, because I find it unacceptable. Sometimes they tell me the truth and other times I get an excuse for why things are delayed, but since I have no way of knowing for sure what is happening I prefer to let things unfold as they will.

      Now that you have asked I will contact them again.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        Please do. I have for quite some time wanted an HW95/R9. To be able to have an adjustable power to be able to tune it to optimum performance is very exciting to me, to say the least.


  15. Off Topic

    Hi B.B.,

    On the PA website they still show the SIG ASP20 in “Pre-Order” status. Also, they only show the rifles (wood & synthetic stocks) but not the combo with the SIG scope. Do you have any updated info on when we might see that become available?

    Thanks.

    Jim M.


  16. B.B.,

    You seem to have the whole rubber band thing pretty well in hand, but I thought I’d pass something on to you just the same. You might do a search for “ranger bands.” Extra large ones cut in two lengthwise look like they might be promising.

    Michael


    • B.B.,

      Also, I believe the red rubber bands mentioned might be “menu bands,” used in the restaurant industry for attaching laminated daily specials and luncheon inserts to the standard menu folder.

      Michael


  17. Hey All,

    Today I played with a “new” toy I had bought last year, my Caldwell Chronograph. With this plugged into my Kindle Fire and the app for it I am able to make files of the various air rifles and pellets. This is awesome! This is one of the least expensive chronys out there and if you have one of those so called smart phones you can download the app and away you go. This has just received the coveted RRR.


    • RR,

      10X 🙂 on both post! Be careful though,… they can be addictive once you get to collecting all of that data. Smart phone too no less,…. I am impressed! Get good with it all and the next thing you know, you will be giving Halfstep some competition! 😉 He is the un-questioned champion of data collection and visual representation.

      The coveted RRR award??? I am impressed. That is like the Oscar’s,.. or Emmy’s,…. or something like that! Well,… without out all of the righteous political inferences. 😉 Enjoy!

      Chris


      • Chris,

        I did indeed enjoy it this afternoon. Using it I was able to see that by adjusting just the striker spring tension on my HM1000X I was able to get almost 50 FPS more out of it. Now I need to see how that affected accuracy.


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