Air Arms Pro-Sport: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pro-Sport
Air Arms Pro-Sport.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • Evil BB!
  • Report on the Meopta scope
  • Sight-in
  • The test
  • Refine the sight-in
  • However
  • Hurray!
  • What have we learned?
  • The second However
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • Next
  • Summary

Today we test the Air Arms Pro-Sport with the Vortek PG3 tune kit I installed and tested in Part 5. But first I have to clear up a misconception.

Evil BB!

Somewhere along the line you may have read that I said the Meopta MeoPro Optika6 scope came without scope caps. It wasn’t really me who said that! It was my evil twin cousin, BB Airgundart! He sometimes sneaks into my house and messes with the blog without me knowing it. The Optika6 has a very nice set of scope caps with their logo on both caps. I found them on my somewhat cluttered desk, in the detritus just above the Cambrian layer!

Report on the Meopta scope

In Part 6 of the Dreamlite report I mentioned that the illuminated dot was flashing in my Optika6 scope. Meopta, who follows this blog, read that and informed me that dot is never supposed to flash. It’s supposed to remain solid on all 6 brightness settings, and the flashing does not indicate the battery is running down. They asked me to return the scope so they could examine it, and they promptly sent a replacement. What I had neglected to report to you in the first report on the scope is that it comes with a lifetime warrantee!

Thanks to them I am back in business with what is the finest riflescope I have ever owned, and I’m putting it on the Pro-Sport that I’ll be shooting today. I’m mounting it in the Sportsmatch 30mm adjustable rings and the scope just fits the rifle! Let’s look.

Pro-Sport Meopta scope
The Meopta MeoPro Optika6 scope is mounted on the Pro-Sport. As you can see, it does have scope caps. When the eyepiece is positioned correctly the scope objective lens just clears the loading port by less than a quarter-inch, making it perfect for this rifle!

I forgot just how clear and sharp this scope is. Or maybe my eyes are better this time when I used it. I did not need the illumination to see the dot over the 10-dot on the target at 25 yards.

Sight-in

I sighted in from 12 feet, which is a benefit we airgunners have. The pellet landed about 1.5 inches below the aim point and a little to the left, so the elevation was ideal for 25 yards (the approximate distance between the center of the scope and the center of the bore is 2-inches, and that is about how low the shot should be at 10-12 feet), so I put in 4 clicks of right adjustment and went back to 25 yards to begin the test.

The test

I will shoot a couple 10-shot groups from 25 yards. My goal today is not to see whether the Pro-Sport is accurate. That was established in Part 3. My goal today is to report on the smoothness of the Vortek PG3 tune and also on the performance of the Meopta scope on a spring-piston air rifle.

You will remember that Meopta wasn’t initially keen on making scopes for recoiling air rifles. But they did make this line whose parallax adjusts to 10 yards. I have already tested it on two precharged pneumatics — a very accurate Air Arms S510XS and also on a .177-caliber FX Dreamlite that’s accurate but not a world-beater. I promised them I would start testing it on a very smooth spring-piston rifle and we would go from there.

I already know this scope is a wonderful optic. But today’s test showed me that its even sharper than I remembered, and I think the difference must be my eyes. Old eyes do change from day to day and today they were at their best — and so was this scope!

Refine the sight-in

The first 10 shots at 25 yards were to refine the sight-in. Then I shot a 10-shot group that was great, only it had two different points of impact. I was resting the rifle directly on the sandbag, which you can do with an Air Arms springer. HOWEVER!!!

However

Yes, there is a however today. Back at 25 yards I was resting the Pro-Sport with the point of contact with the sandbag back by the trigger guard. It seemed very stable but it was throwing its shots around more than I liked. So I wondered if resting it forward by the end of the forearm would be better.

Hurray!

Was it ever better! With the rifle rested this way 10 JSB Exact Jumbo domes went into a group measuring 0.38-inches at 25 yards. If you check back to Part 3 you’ll see that there I managed to get 5 of the same pellet in 0.39-inches at 25 yards. Here is a 10-shot group that’s smaller than the 5-shot group, when it should have been about 40 percent larger!

Pro-Sport JSB Jumbo group
The Air Arms Pro-Sport put 10 JSB Exact Jumbo pellets in 0.38-inches at 25 yards.

What have we learned?

We now know that the forearm resting far forward on the sandbag is the best way to shoot this Pro-Sport — at least with this tune. And I do want you to understand that this tune has not made the rifle any more accurate. It’s just made it easier to shoot accurately, because it’s easier to cock and also doesn’t vibrate nearly as much. HOWEVER!

The second However

I didn’t know for sure until this test how well the rifle with the new tuneup would shoot. With my face against the stock for every shot I now know everything. While the Pro-Sport is far smoother with this tune than when it came from the factory, it is not the smoothest air rifle I have ever shot. That honor goes to Michael’s Winchester 427. This Pro-Sport has a little jolt when the piston stops — so Meopta, be aware that you are getting a good test with a recoiling spring-piston air rifle. It’s a smooth rifle that only recoils lightly, but it does have the forward bump that is known for destroying scopes. Before you worry too much, though, you should read last Friday’s report where I discussed the evolution of riflescopes. You are more than likely in no danger.

H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head

In Part 3 I also got intriguing results with the H&N Baracuda with a 5.50mm head. So I tried them in the Pro-Sport again, this time with 10 shots. Unfortunately this time the results were not as good. Ten Baracuda pellets went into 0.773-inches at 10 meters. That takes them out of contention. In fairness, however, the rifle now has far less power and that may have made a difference. I’ll say more about that in a moment.

Pro-Sport Baracuda group
This group of 10 Baracudas isn’t as impressive. It measures 0.773-inches between centers.

Next

Okay, that’s done. The next step, thanks to the suggestion of reader Yogi, is to tune the rifle again and this time to tune it for all the power the Vortek PG3 kit can get. That should be about 12 foot-pounds for this .22-caliber rifle. Then I will test that for you. After that, who knows?

Summary

The Vortek PG3 kit really makes the Pro-Sport a delightful air rifle to cock and shoot. And the Pro-Sport trigger is adjusted about as nice as anyone could hope. Top it all off with the Meopta MeoPro Optika6 scope, sitting in the Sportsmatch adjustable mounts, and you have an air rifle combination that dreams are made of. I wish you readers could try this for yourselves. All I can say at this point is I never knew a Pro-Sport could be as nice as this. It is a sheer delight. I still like my TX200 Mark III, but if I didn’t already own it this one would give it a run for the money!

47 thoughts on “Air Arms Pro-Sport: Part 6


  1. BB
    Quite an endorsement for a scope.
    Has any scope manufacturer ever come to a conclusion about preferred spacing between the mount rings or any benefits one way or the other? Assuming you have some choice in mounting it.



      • BB
        I was mainly wondering if spacing them further apart would help avoid any springer vibration damage, as well as reducing the risk of bumping damage. Especially when using dovetail mounts.
        It would reduce the leverage that having all that tube hanging out there would create. I dented a scope bell bad while packing up for an emergency fire evacuation but it remained mounted solid, so now I try to put mounts as far apart as practical.
        Bob M


        • Bob M-

          I heard that if you place your scope rings on either side of the central saddle, touching the saddle, that this will help prevent scope creep. You have the ring in front to support against forward recoil and the rear ring to support against the rebound recoil. Not sure if this works or even helps…

          -Y


          • Yogi,

            If you use some scope tape it is not likely to slide in the rings.

            I have mounted scopes where both rings are on one side of the saddle. It did not seem to care. It was a short scope though. With longer scopes I would recommend mounting with the two rings as far apart as possible to help reduce the chance of the scope bending.


  2. B.B.

    When you first introduced the marvellous Meopeta scope, I asked if it would be usable for Field Target competitions in the hunter piston class? Here you can only change A/o after the competition starts. You are also limited to 16 X or set to that marking or next lowest one on the scope.
    You mentioned that you might send your scope to an active FT expert to test out. Here to remind you of that!
    Wishing you many more good eye days ahead and a Happy New year to my fellow blog readers!

    -Yogi


    • Yogi,

      Reader Jeff Cloud is active in the Hunter WFTF Piston class and took third place in the Nationals this year. He has looked through the scope and thinks highly of it. But Jeff only shoots one type of scope, so all his reticles look the same. That keeps him from making mistakes in a match. So I think we have gone as far as we can go for the present.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        My concerns are that with their reticle, it is hard to “range find”. also holdover or under is hard to measure.
        Plus there is no 16X marking on the scope! I do not understand how this marvelous scope can be used in Field Target competitions?

        -Y


        • Yogi,

          There are more than 20 reticle possibilities in this MeoPro line. I have only shown the one I was interested in.

          And don’t forget — this scope was not made for field target. I just said it was a good one for it, because of the lower power. It may not conform to WFTF rules, but if Meopta wants to, they can design one that will.

          B.B.


          • Yes, and I hope that Meopta reads your blog! Or you have some inside connections with them!

            The Meopta MeoPro line has parallax adjustment from 30 yards-infinity only.
            The Meopta Optika line has many reticles, but they all seem to be for centerfire calibers.

            B.B. convince them to make an airgun specific scope, please. My New Year’s wish!

            -Y


      • I actually like this scope (Optika6 5-30×56 FFP) for Hunter class FT in the US, but I mostly shoot WFTF so this scope needs to go to 50 or 60x for me. BB and I haven’t discussed his one further, but maybe he can put in some words for us FT shooters about this scope!


  3. BB,

    You had better hope that BB Airgundart does not get together with my evil twin RutRunner. Both of our entire collections could become discumbobblated and switched all around.

    Down tuning my Tomahawk has been one of my pet projects for the near future. Although TIAT smoothed the firing cycle way down, it still has a pretty good thump at the end. I am planning on shortening the spring in increments and try it at each stage for a bit. Once I find a power level at which both of us can get along with, I will have a spring made to that length. It should be interesting to see how much if any wasted spring load there is.


  4. B.B.,

    A happy coincidence that above you mentioned my Winchester 427 / Diana 27 that you tuned to absolute glass smoothness and which I christened The Gaylord. Yesterday it was snowy and gray here, and my cabin fever had reached a point where I simply had to go into the basement to clear the detritus ;^) in front of my pellet trap. I then shot pellet guns into it for almost an hour. One of them was The Gaylord. It is indeed smoooooth.

    This Pro Sport must be a dream to shoot with its tune. It sure is a dream to look at!

    Michael


  5. BB ,

    I test so many different guns here , I just put the forearm screws on the front bag. This always seems to work well and when zeroing scopes it allows us to be more consistent and eliminate ourselves as much as possible. This is my technique for springers . At least You ended the year on a high note !! Happy New Years everyone .



  6. * Slightly OFF Topic*

    Most regular people here know that I am setting up for long range shooting with slugs and that a .22 caliber, 700mm barrel FX Impact MKII is the platform that I have chosen.

    A bit of news… The Impact was designed as a pellet rifle before slugs really came on to the scene. To address the current trend to heavier slugs (e.g. 36-40 grains in .22 caliber) and more energy (60 fpe in .22) FX has announced that the 2020 Impacts will be shipping with a new “Power Plenum”.

    The Power Plenum allows typical velocities to be achieved at lower regulator settings with a higher shot-count or increased capability (in a factory stock gun) for shooting heavier projectiles.

    Anyway, for those who might be interested, here is a link to the AirgunGearShow video (Giles is forever an entertainer LOL!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HKXV1E3SIg

    And attached is the spec sheet.

    Cheers,
    Hank



    • Hank,

      Love Giles. That guy is a natural born entertainer.

      So,……….. ?????? this new factory hot rodded Impact is what you will end up with in the end? Is there any other new FX improvements that have yet to (maybe?) come out? On the blog here,.. I think you are the new GO-TO guy on Impact info.. We all know that you do your homework very thoroughly.

      Chris


      • Chris,

        There is nothing wrong with the 2019 model Impact – I think it is excellent for pellets and does a fine job with the lighter slugs. Because I am specifically looking for a slug gun and want to explore the heavier slugs I will be wanting the 2020 model with the Power Plenum.

        Now that the Power Plenum is available I am sure that FX will be releasing their .35 caliber Impact in the near future.

        Other than that, haven’t heard of anything new… guess we will have to wait until IWA in March.

        Hank


        • Hank,

          I like the ability for the plenum to retrofit the old guns. I like the tuneability. I like the quick caliber swaps. I am (not) however a fan of the looks. Then again,… my .25 M-rod looks pretty darn tactical with the full RAI stock set up.

          After the Red Wolf, I thought that I reached the “pinnacle”. STUPID ME!!!!!!! 😉 LOL! 🙂

          Chris


  7. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and a big “Thank You!” to Mr. Gaylord for his well-written and informative articles over the year and years. We look forward to many more articles to come!





  8. Wishing everyone here in the blog a very Happy New Year. May 2020 be even better.
    And yes, thank you B.B. for all of the great articles and reviews you have blessed us with this past year 🙂
    Geo



  9. BB,

    There/that is another good blog topic,…. ” I thought that I had reached the “pinnacle” when I bought the X-gun”. Only later,…. to find that just in a (very) short while after,… I find that that the bar on “pinnacle” has now changed.

    Just a thought,………… Chris

    I guess,… if I were to state it,…. “I have the best now. I (also) know that very soon there will be better. How will I live with that?” Do I wait forever? Do I “jump” now? How best to reconcile the two?

    😉 Chris


  10. BB,
    I shoot Field Target and Off-hand with my Pro Sport. In both types of shooting I rest the Pro Sport close to the trigger guard and not resting it forward by the end of the forearm like you did. I thought this is the best way to test the accuracy of the gun, meaning you test it the way you normally would shoot it.

    I have a U.K. version of the Pro Sport that shoots at almost 11 ft-Lbs. It can do ¼-inch at 25 yards using several types and brands of pellets. Didn’t you said in past blogs about the TX200 that the U.K. version has a shorter stroke than the USA version and that to convert one to the other, requires more parts than just a full tune kit?


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