by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Artemis pistol
Artemis PCP air pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Seals are holding
  • First shot string
  • Point 2
  • Scope shift
  • RWS Superdome
  • Second shot string
  • Regulator?
  • Four minutes
  • JSB Exact Jumbos second time
  • RWS Hobby
  • Discussion
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we’ll look at the velocity of the Artemis PP700S-A PCP pistol. From the comments to Part 1, I could tell that many of you know this pistol or are at least aware of it. Reader Arcadian even mentioned that it was regulated, but if it is, the reg is not function correctly. You’ll see why I say that in a moment.

Seals are holding

I filled the pistol at the end of the last report, so it has held air for three weeks. The gauge on the pistol reads 300 psi lower than the larger gauge on my carbon fiber tank, but before I conducted the first velocity test I filled the reservoir so the gun’s onboard gauge needle went to the top of the green on its scale. Then I tested the gun with the .22-caliber JSB Exact Jumbo pellet. That test string shows a lot about the performance of the pistol, so let’s look at it now.

First shot string

Shot……………Velocity
1…………………539
2…………………449
3…………………458
4…………………470
5…………………468
6…………………476
7…………………491
8…………………491
9…………………510
10………………..523
11………………..511
12………………..518
13………………..521
14………………..525
15………………..530
16………………..535
17………………..536
18………………..538
19………………..546
20………………..549
21………………..552
22………………..553
24………………..552
25………………..559
26………………..564
27………………..573
28………………..568
29………………..581
30………………..574
31………………..586
32………………..600
33………………..599
34………………..610
35………………..608
36………………..602
37………………..581
38………………..576
39………………..565
40………………..565
41………………..546
42………………..544
43………………..533
44………………..524
45………………..506

Some readers will look at this string and think that it shows a lot of shots on a fill. Others will look and think there is no regulator in this gun, and that the valve hasn’t even been balanced for a flat power curve. But that’s not how I look at it.

I look at it and wonder which part of the power curve do I choose? There is no flat spot to pick. Shots 27 to 38 give me 12 shots that vary by 42 f.p.s. They are also at the highest point of the curve. I can expand that and take shots 19 to 41. That gives me 22 shots with a maximum spread of 64 f.p.s. That should be good for shooting out to 25 yards, but maybe not much farther.

I was missing something very important at this place in the testing. That will become clear in a minute.

Point 2

Don’t fill this pistol until its internal gauge shows 3,000 psi. If you do it will take 18-20 shots before the pressure in the reservoir drops low enough for the gun to come into its power curve. In fact, filling to 3,000 psi by a more accurate external tank gauge shows that even that pressure is too high for this particular pistol. This may sort itself out with a different pellet, so I’m not making any corrections yet.

What you are seeing here is a classic example of how essential a chronograph can be. Another way to figure all of this out without a chronograph is to shoot the pistol at a distant target (40+ yards) and watch to see when the pellets begin to drop below the expected point of impact. When that happens you are at the end of the power curve. Then you need to find the start of the curve in the same way but in reverse — watching the pellets climb into the anticipated point of impact.

Scope shift

And — BY THE WAY — if you don’t sight-in at the right place on the power curve you can expect to see “scope shift” which in this case will be falling off the power curve.

Now I will test two more pellets. This time I will only fill to about 2800 psi (on my more accurate carbon fiber tank gauge), which should put the first shot on the power curve.

RWS Superdome

The second pellet tested was the RWS Superdome. Something interesting happened with this test, so I will show you every shot here, too.

Second shot string

Shot……………Velocity
1…………………628
2…………………597
3…………………598
4…………………599
5…………………591
6…………………596
7…………………597
8…………………596
9…………………600

See how much faster the first shot is than those that follow? Look back at the first string and you will see the same thing. The velocity dropped by 90 f.p.s. between shots oner and two that time. This begins to look like a regulated gun whose regulator is taking a long time to fill the valve. There is a way to test that.

I stopped shooting after shot 9 and waited 15 minutes before shooting shot 10. If I’m right about the reg filling very slowly, shot 10 will be faster and closer to shot number one than to the other shots in the string. I would expect something around 620-630 f.p.s. And, I’m writing this expectation before seeing the 10th shot.

Shot……………Velocity
10………………..622

Regulator?

That’s fairly strong evidence that there is a regulator inside the gun and it passes air slowly. It’s probably faster than 15 minutes, but it’s longer than the 20-30 seconds it takes to get the next shot ready. So I waited 2 full minutes between this shot and the next.

Shot……………Velocity
11………………..612

That was faster but was it full speed? So, I waited 5 more minutes before firing the next shot.

Shot……………Velocity
12………………..622

Bingo! I think we have proven that there is indeed a regulator inside this pistol and that this particular one is passing air very slowly. That renders the first shot string null. And we can consider the velocity with RWS Superdomes to be around 620 f.p.s., give or take.

Four minutes

At 620 f.p.s. Superdomes generate 12.38 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. After this test I further refined the wait period between shots to 4 minutes. Is the airflow speeding up? Too early to tell.

This also does something more. We don’t need a 10-shot string now. Three shots fired 4 minutes apart will give us the velocity close enough, because of the reg. I can refill the gun just one time and get the velocity of the first pellet and the other one I haven’t tested yet in 6 shots, with 4 minutes between each shot. I refilled the gun to 2800 psi and then shot the following.

JSB Exact Jumbos second time

Shot……………Velocity
1…………………570
2…………………578
3…………………583

This is a bigger spread and each shot is going faster. Is the reg speeding up? I waited only 3 minutes and then shot number 4.

4…………………577

And then 2 minutes before the next shot.

5…………………576

At 576 f.p.s. these pellets generate 11.71 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

RWS Hobby

The last pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby, and I tested it similar to what I did with the first pellet the second time — three shots spaced 4 minutes apart. Please don’t get confused — I did this Hobby test before doing the second JSB test, so I didn’t know yet that the reg was going faster.

Shot……………Velocity
1…………………627
2…………………626
3…………………620

At 625 f.p.s. the Hobby generates 10.32 foot pounds at the muzzle.

Discussion

I think the pistol is changing as I’m testing it. That makes it difficult to get an accurate set of numbers. But I do now believe that it has a regulator and that this one is operating very slowly. I may need to do a second velocity test to pin things down before testing the accuracy.

I discovered this because I once owned a Daystate — yes I said a Daystate — that had a slow regulator. It wasn’t as slow as this one, but it took 25 seconds between shots to normalize. It was my field target gun for a couple years, so fast shots weren’t a problem. I just worked around it.

Trigger pull

I have the trigger functioning as a single-stage trigger right now. It releases at 3 lbs. 8 oz. pretty consistently. It’s nice, though I can feel travel before the release.

Summary

I think this Artemis pistol is well-made and a is good air pistol, but I have encountered a quirk in the regulator that isn’t common. However, that gave you the chance to see how to find such a thing and not to despair when your numbers don’t seem right.

I will give a lot of thought to a second velocity test after I have had more time to reflect on today’s results.