by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Why test the V10?
- Dry fire
- Left hand grips available
I had planned to start the accuracy test of the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen today, but I ran into too many issues while attempting to mount the scope. II will tell you everything that happened when that report runs.
So today a new airgun that was on my list was moved up. It’s the Air Venturi Match pistol. It’s a single stroke pneumatic that’s based on the Gamo Compact that I have tested in the past. But why test a target pistol at all?
Why test the V10?
Glad you asked. A couple years ago the Russian IZH 46M stopped coming into the U.S. and many airgunners regarded that as a major loss. Ten meter target pistols are on very few airgunners’ short lists, but whenever something is no longer available people do take notice. Most shooters consider a target pistol to be an expensive plinker with a good trigger.
On the other hand, I am one who holds any legitimate 10 meter target pistol in high regard, because that was my sport. It’s as boring for spectators as watching paint dry, but for competitors it is the chess of the target shooting world. And the Air Venturi V10 is a very nice beginner’s pistol with which to learn the sport. Once you learn the basics it’s accurate enough to continue in competition up to but not including the national level.
I see this pistol a tool that can take a shooter up to the national level for a very small investment. When I competed years ago my Chameleon target pistol was no more accurate, nor did it have a better trigger, and when I stopped competing I was poised to become an expert in the national standings.
The V10 is a single stroke pneumatic pistol. That means you pump it one time for one shot. If you try to pump it more than once, the air from the first pump will escape. The velocity will be low (right at 400 f.p.s.) but for 10 meter target that’s fine.
Single strokes are hard for some people to pump. One of the nice things about the IZH 46M is the ease with which it is pumped. The V10 does take a little more effort, but it isn’t that much. I think most women and older children will be able to do it.
When we talk about the accuracy of a 10-meter target pistol, most airgunners have no frame of reference with which to compare. This is a pistol that will out-shoot most of your accurate pellet rifles, as it must to hit the target repeatedly.
A world-class 10-meter pistol will put five pellets into less than one-tenth-inch at 10 meters. In fact they all come from the factory with test targets that show the groups that were shot with the specific gun the after final assembly. My own FWB P44 came with the smallest test group I have ever measured — 0.018-inches between centers at 10 meters!
My FWB P44 came with the smallest test group I’ve ever measured — 0.018-inches between centers for 5 shots at 10 meters.
I don’t expect the V10 to match that, or even to come close. But we should see some good accuracy from it at 10 meters. You should not lose points in a match because of the pistol until you are averaging 540 points in a 600-point match That’s an average of 9 points out of every 10. When you get to that level small things start to matter more than before. I have shot against competitors who were shooting Daisy 777s, Crosman Skanakers and even a Walther LP53! Most of them were hanging right in there with me at the 535-540 point level. But that was where I needed a better pistol to go much further and I just didn’t have the money to invest. So I stalled out and finally quit competing.
Another feature found on a real 10-meter pistol is an adjustable grip. The V10 has this. The shelf at the bottom right can be raised to squeeze your hand tight. When your arm extends in the normal shooting stance, this shelf helps you hold the pistol tight.
The grip is two separate panels of walnut. The surface you touch is heavily stippled to help you grip tight. Of course no factory grip will ever fit a hand perfectly without extreme luck, so the shooter is expected to use a rasp and wood putty to custom-fit the grip to his hand.
You may wonder why the grip is not more form-fitting than it is. After all, Olympic free pistols have grips that fit the hand like gloves!
A free pistol grip wraps around the hand to support it much more than a 10 meter air pistol grip.
What isn’t appreciated is that the 10-meter pistol has to fit inside a box that’s 50mm deep. That limits the width (thickness) of the grip. This explains why 10-meter pistols don’t have wide thumbrests on their grips — because there isn’t enough room for them. That’s a restriction similar to the 10-meter pistol trigger pull that cannot be less than 500 grams (17.637 oz.). [Note: I have been writing the weight in ounces as 18+ oz. for years and not until I wrote this report did I learn my mistake.] A free pistol trigger can be set with no lower limit. The lack of restrictions is what makes the free pistol free.
I will weigh, adjust and test the trigger on the V10 and give you a detailed report. I will also share some secrets how to make the trigger pull of this pistol as light and smooth as possible, within the limits of its design.
There is an adjustment screw accessed through the rear of the grip for adjusting the pull weight. I will try it and give you a report.
The trigger blade also rotates around a central post. It can be positioned for maximum comfort within limits, though there is no fore and aft adjustment for pull length. You do that by reducing the thickness of the grip where the trigger finger rests.
One thing a 10 meter pistol has to have is the ability to dry fire the gun. You need that for practice, because for every pellet you shoot you should shoot 4 or 5 dry-fire shots, at least. That gets you used to the trigger and the gun in general. After several hundred hours (yes — THAT long) of practice, you will start sensing when the gun is about to go off and you can align the sights perfectly. When you can do that your brain will fire the gun and your score will rise dramatically.
Did you notice I said your score and not scores, plural? That’s because when you get to this level of training, your score won’t vary by as much as 10 points from match to match. Mine was always within 8 points. The only thing I could hope for was an upward breakthrough that sometimes came. Then you might advance 15 points and remain at that level from then on — as long as you continued to practice.
The dry fire on the V10 is a little clumsy in practice because you have to open the top strap and lift it a little to set the trigger. But it’s there and its something you have to have.
The V10 rear sight is adjustable in both directions, as it must be. But the rear notch width also adjusts to suit the shooter. The only complaint I have regarding the sight is the front blade is thin for a target pistol and there is no easy fix that would pass a technical inspection in a match. The manual does not show how to widen the rear notch. It only addresses the possibility of doing so in the text, leaving the shooter to figure it out for themselves.
Notch width is adjusted by a small screw on the left side of the rear sight. The large screw on the right side is for windage and it has detents that can be felt.
This is one time when engineering plastic is the best material for construction because it is super strong and also lightweight. This test pistol weighs 2 lbs. 0.4 oz., which is roughly 921 grams. That makes it light enough for most shooters. The cocking (pumping) effort of 21 lbs., which I will test, should be easy enough for most shooters.
There isn’t a lot of metal on the outside of the gun. Nevertheless I think the pistol looks attractive and right for the job.
Left hand grips are available
The V10 comes in either a right hand version (shown) or a left hand gun for $60 more. Because of the ambidextrous placement of all controls, either gun is perfectly suited to the shooter.
The V10 a lot of pistol for the money. Is it the absolute best? No. You will spend thousands of dollars for one of those. But, if you have never shot a target pistol before this gun is one that will shoot better than you do for a long time.