by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Artemis PCP air pistol.
This report covers:
- Not from Pyramyd Air
- Impressive from the start
- Finish flaws
- Fill adaptor
- I filled it!
- Scope rail
Today we start something different. The Artemis PP700S-A (what a mouthful!) is a single-shot precharged pneumatic (PCP) air pistol that comes in both .177 and .22 calibers. This pistol I am testing is a .22.
Not from Pyramyd Air
This pistol is made by Shaoxing Snowpeak Air Gun Factory in China, and sold all over the world. Here in the U.S. it’s only carried by smaller dealers. I ordered mine overseas from a large European exporter and had the airgun in about two weeks. I have no idea whether it’s a good air pistol or not, but after this test we should all know.
Come on, Snowpeak! Give this pistol a real name. If you don’t there will be worldwide confusion about it and you will lose sales. It doesn’t have to be an American name. I would rather call it a Licking Cow than a PP700S-A. What is that — somebody’s password?
This pistol seems to retail for around $240 worldwide. Some overseas websites eat the shipping, so the markup must be pretty good. Artemis has a website, but it’s hosed-up and just shows a black screen on my Chrome browser. On Firefox I get the black screen and some Garage Band noodling on a piano, so they have a problem in their IT!
Impressive from the start
I will say the Artemis pistol has been impressive from the start. It arrived in a decent package and the manual, while lacking in some points, does give a lot of information.
The accessories, however, are lacking any tools for adjustments. There is a fill probe that I will discuss, a large pressed steel wrench for disassembling the reservoir for resealing (!!!) and the o-rings to do the job. The manual tells the owner that the seals will need to be replaced at some point, and there are sparse instructions of what to do.
This is what you get with the pistol, plus the manual. Notice the fill probe is a male Foster on one end!
Let’s now look at the gun.
Just looking at the gun you would think that it’s heavy at the muzzle, and it is, but not to the extent that the appearance implies. It weighs 2 lbs. 4 oz. The manual cautions that the weight may vary according to the density of the wood, but there isn’t a trace of wood on this airgun. The grips are synthetic and everything else on the outside of the gun is metal, so the manual was pieced together like most airgun manuals.
The gun is just shy of 15-inches long overall with what appears to be an 11.5-inch barrel, so it’s a big ‘un. I say the barrel appears that long because the last 0.825-inches are threaded inside for a silencer. The grips are somewhat ergonomic and fit my hand very well. They are slightly rough, but not in a real grippy way.
I mentioned the threads inside the barrel. There is also a solid barrel shroud that does nothing to moderate noise.
The Artemis has a threaded shroud at the muzzle. You can bet that it’s a European silencer thread (1/2 UNF).
One video blogger criticized the pistol he examined for having touchup marks, which is common with Chinese airguns. The test pistol I have does have a small nick on the barrel shroud on the left side beneath the front sight that has been touched up with black paint, but in general I would say this pistol is finished as well as most airguns at this price level. I’m not as critical of small imperfections as many people, so take that into consideration.
The manual clearly states that the maximum pressure is 250 bar (3,626 psi), but there is worldwide confusion over the fill pressure. Some sites say to fill it to 3,000 psi, or 206 bar. I will learn a lot more when I test the velocity, but there are a lot of shots between 206 bar and 250 bar and I don’t want to give any of them away. The air reservoir has a 69.7cc capacity.
The fill adaptor has a 7mm proprietary probe on one end and a male Foster quick-disconnect coupling on the other end. That means that all you need is an air tank or hand pump (or a dedicated air compressor like the Nomad II, these days) with a female Foster coupling on the end of the hose to fill the pistol. Given the pistol’s small reservoir, I would be careful when filling from an air tank.
I filled it!
I was curious about the fill pressure so I filled the pistol. I filled to 250 bar/3,626 psi. then I shot it. The gun seemed to function perfectly and the shot was loud. Until I chronograph it we won’t know for sure, but I would say the manual is correct. Perhaps they ship different guns to other market and they have lower fill levels?
The sights are a squared-off post in front and a u-notch in the rear. The rear sight is adjustable for windage by loosening a 1.5mm locking screw and sliding the notch in its dovetail slot. The manual makes no mention of this that I can find.
Loosen that screw on the left and the sight slides in its dovetail.
There is a 4-7/8-inch scope rail on the top rear of the receiver. In front of that the rail does not have a dovetail but there are three grooves that seem to serve no purpose beyond aesthetics.
This pistol comes with a manual that’s clearly written — as far as it goes. But it gives some instructions that I need to address.
1. The manual says to lubricate the surface of the valve pin and the seal of the loading port with mineral (petroleum) oil every 1,000 shots or three months. I would not do that because the mineral oil could get into the reservoir where it becomes explosively dangerous. Use high-temperature silicone oil to lube these areas.
2. The manual says to clean the barrel every 1,000 shots of three months. I recommend waiting until accuracy drops off. Over-cleaning can ruin an airgun barrel from damage to the shallow rifling.
3. The manual says to take the gun to a gunsmith every year for examination, even if it is working properly. Maybe that works outside the U.S., but in this country most gunsmiths know little or nothing about airguns and represent a real danger to their sensitive mechanisms. An airgun that’s working properly is best left alone.
Once the pistol is filled, you can load the gun by first cocking the hammer. It comes back farther than you think and it takes some force to cock the gun. Once it’s cocked the breech block, which the manual calls the loading door, is rotated to the right, giving access to the breech.
With the hammer cocked the loading door can be swung to the right for access to the breech.
There is no safety. The hammer will fall if the trigger is pulled with the loading door open, but no air can get behind the pellet because the air transfer port is inside the loading door. So, by swinging the door open, the pistol is as safe as it can be.
The trigger has one adjustment for the length of the stage-one pull. The pistol comes from the factory set for a two-stage pull that seems crisp enough, though I will have more to say about it in Part 2. I adjusted the one 1.5mm screw in to the point that stage one disappeared altogether, giving you a single stage pull, if you like.
The one screw in the trigger determines the length of stage one — all the way to no stage one!
The manual say we can expect the pistol to shoot a one-gram.15.4-grain .22 caliber pellet at around 600 f.p.s. That would produce 12.31 foot-pounds at the muzzle. Of course I will test that for you in much greater detail.
The rest of the performance remains to be tested. What I can tell you right now it the pistol accepted a fill and is holding a charge. And the discharge is a loud pop!
I expect several of you know more about this pistol than I do. I think it’s been on your radar for a while. So BB will be the one learning on this one!