What does the new year hold?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What the new year holds
  • Big bores
  • High-tech projectiles
  • Price point PCPs (PPP)
  • Basic features of a PPP
  • Things that are good to have
  • Kiss of death for a PPP
  • Horsepower wars over?
  • Optics
  • Electronics in scopes
  • Scope mounts
  • Air compressors
  • Replica airguns
  • A dual-power spring-piston breakbarrel
  • M16 replica
  • M1 Garand replica
  • Summary

Happy New Year! May 2020 be a year of vision for all of you!

What the new year holds

I know a lot of you are trying to peek behind the curtain, to see what’s coming down the line. Some writers will divulge things, but I won’t. I would rather wait and see how something is presented before I announce it to the world.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know some of the things that are coming. Today I would like to share a glimpse into the coming year with some things I know and also the trends I see unfolding. Let’s go!

Big bores

The coming year will be a hot one for big bore airguns. Expect to see muzzle energy over 800 foot-pounds, and this year it will be in actual production guns — not those that have been held up for scrutiny but have never quite made it to production.

Look for the outsider manufacturers — the ones not known for making big bores — to either increase their presence in the big bore arena or to enter it for the first time.

High-tech projectiles

Along with the big bore guns, I see an increase in projectiles that are designed to give greater performance. There is a lot of room for innovation here and the smaller big bore calibers (.257-.357) are where the largest potential benefits lie.

Look at self defense pistol calibers. Years ago the .45 caliber was highly touted, but when specialized .40-caliber and 9mm defense projectiles began hitting the market, calibers as small as .380 rose to credibility. The same could happen in the airgun world. Certainly the smaller projectiles travel much faster and speed is often a critical component of performance with high-tech projectiles.

Price point PCPs (PPP)

The price-point PCP (precharged pneumatic) took the world by storm a few years ago and quickly became the hottest sector of the smallbore market. Look for more new models, plus gen II and perhaps even gen IIIs that correct errors made at the initial launch.

Basic features of a PPP

Repeater
Shrouded barrel
Good trigger
At or under $300
Foster fill coupling (at some place in the fill line)
Light weight

Things that are good to have

Regulator (user adjustable from the outside of the gun)
Fill to 2,000, or to somewhere below 3,000 psi
Better adjustable trigger (Marauder grade)
Adjustable power
Reasonable power and number of shots
.177 — 18 foot-pounds and 20 shots
.22 — 22 foot-pounds and 20 shots
.25 — 25 foot-pounds and 18-20 shots

Kiss of death for a PPP

Fill higher than 3,000 psi
Proprietary fill coupling
Too much weight

Horsepower wars over?

Yes and no. For spring-piston airguns the horsepower wars are pretty much a thing of the past. Oh, there will still be some rattletrap breakbarrels at the discount stores, because their buyers haven’t watched the market as closely as mainstream airgun retailers, but the days of the “1,600 f.p.s. breakbarrel” have come to an end. But the horsepower wars are not over. They have just shifted to PCPs and especially to big bores.

Today’s airgunners seem enraptured with 80 foot-pound .25-caliber smallbores and 700 foot-pound big bores. Where does it end? Well, here is a little secret. A 100-pound anvil traveling 100 f.p.s. generates 15,547 foot pounds of energy. The secret to muzzle energy in airguns (because velocity is restricted by physics) is the weight of the projectile. But a heavy projectile may not be accurate or even stable in a given airgun. In other words, the heaviest projectile may just be for bragging rights.

Nevertheless, high numbers sell airguns. And muzzle energy is what many buyers are focused on today. So expect airguns with more muzzle energy this year.

Optics

I do know some specific new scopes that we will see this year. I’m sworn to secrecy but there are some things coming that you readers have specifically asked for.

Airgun scopes have lead the field of optics for years. The side focus parallax adjustment was on airgun scopes two decades ago, and firearms scopes only got it 5-7 years ago. Scopes with internal bubble levels are still not in the mainstream for firearms, yet they are so necessary for long-range accuracy.

Electronics in scopes

Look for more affordable thermal imaging devices and videocamera recorders in scopes of the future. And look for the prices to fall as they proliferate.

Scope mounts

Adjustable scope mounts that compensate for barrel droop are another airgun innovation. Though the AR-15-class rifles are notorious droopers, many of their users are not aware of this and adjust the droop out with elevation adjustment, alone. Then they wonder why they can’t hold a zero, when we airgunners have known why for decades.

Air compressors

Look for prices to drop this year as companies rebrand the Chinese compressors with upgraded parts and design. And, with the price drop, look for more people to enter the world of precharged airguns.

Also, look for more small compressors that are made to top off guns and not tanks. In the past these had to be connected to shop compressors, but now they stand alone and fill to 4,500 psi readily.

Spring rifle repeaters

Repeating spring-piston air rifle are another hot topic of the past few years. Look for more of them to surface this year and look for the focus to be on a lower profile, now that Gamo has set the bar with the Swarm Fusion 10X.

Replica airguns

This market has always been hot and could be called a perennial favorite. Do it right and succeed in a big way. But there are two parts to success. First the gun you copy has to already be well known. And second, your copy has to be perfect.

The M1 Carbine is a favorite of service members and shooters, in general. It’s small, light and handy to carry and use. And its replica airgun copies start with the Crosman BB gun of 1966 and are still going today with the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine. I look for a pellet-firing version of the carbine soon and eventually a precharged version.

The M14 was a not-so-popular transition that followed the Garand in the 1950s and ’60s. Service members who used it liked it, but the government wanted to move to a smaller cartridge in a lighter platform so the M16 replaced it. Look for an accurate replica of the M14, as the M1A (the civilian semiautomatic version) that first shoots BBs and eventually pellets.

Places where the market is open for innovation

A dual-power spring-piston breakbarrel

This is something people have long been asking for — an air rifle with two power levels. It already exists in air pistols. The HW 45 or Beeman P1 has been around for decades with two power settings. I have always thought that a rifle that develops 5-8 foot-pounds on the first cocking stroke and 15-20 foot-pounds on the second stroke would be nice.

M16 replica

There is no good copy of the M16/AR-15 in a pellet rifle. Crosman had the MAR177, a single-shot target upper that worked on an AR-15 lower. I actually built a lower to be able to test the MAR177. I wish I could have afforded one at the time, because it is no longer made.

 

Anschütz made a good airgun copy of the M16 years ago, but it was special order and not many people ever saw one. And my point is — there is  no accurate copy of the M16/AR-15 on the market today. The Crosman AIR17 wasn’t that close and while there are many airguns that resemble the AR today, there is no accurate copy.

M1 Garand replica

There was a replica of the 8mm Egyptian Hakim (the poor-man’s Garand) in 1954. But 66 years later there is no airgun replica of the rifle General Patton said was the “…greatest battle implement ever devised.” Oh, there are WONDERFUL airsoft replicas of it, but there have been accurate airsoft replicas of BARs and M60 machineguns since the 1990s! The airgunning world wants a Garand!

Summary

I believe 2020 will be a year when we see many new products. There will also be some refinement of existing products — the gen III guns I referred to earlier.

What I would like to see is more solid and innovative new designs like the Sig ASP20. When a company puts everything on the line and then nails the outcome, we all benefit — whether we buy their rifle or not. Because innovations like these set the standard for the entire market.

98 thoughts on “What does the new year hold?

  1. BB,

    As you have stated, there are likely to be many “replicas” we are likely to see in the coming year. What I myself am looking for is true innovation. Let us take what has been developed to the next level.

    What many do not yet comprehend is that many of the “new” airguns are just rehash of the old. Let us take the true advancements and take them to the next step. What can we do to take the ASP20 to the next level? What power AND accuracy can be brought to the world of PCPs and still be affordable for “Joe Blow Sixpack”?

    The airgun world is slowly moving from the FPS world to the FPE world, but the world of accuracy is being ignored in many cases. “What good is +500 FPE if you cannot hit what you are shooting at?”

    As for Mattelomatic replicas, I do understand. These pieces of plastic and pot metal have been around for 50 years and this is all that many know. OK fine. I myself would much rather have something else, but let us at least build better airguns than the originals.

    There is much room for true innovation in this “golden age” of airguns. Let us see some of the manufacturers have true “conjones” and lead the way.


    • RR,

      Agreed with your emphasis on quality.

      I would like to see the Replica market move away from the pot metal construction. I’d pay more for higher levels of fit and finish. Ditto for innovation/engineering, like you said. My Diana K98 is a good example. It’s simply a better gun than my other WWII replicas. Wonderful triggger, accuracy, and fit/finish. I was happy to pay the additional $250 more than my M1 Carbine. It’s worth it.

      I do think Umarex Legends line has helped move the needle here. Compare the P38 pistol (c. 2012) to the most recent P08 (c. 2016?) Both have blowback. But the P08 execution, finish, and realism are notably improved. (Though yes, there’s still that pot metal).

      A rant: I’m also a little old school. l but on a replica airgun, say… a Garand… I think the furniture needs to be REAL WOOD. I know, I know. The plastic wood-look is getting better every year. But there’s something about real wood. Your hands tell the story. Not just your eyes.

      I’m looking forward to the new M1A1 Thompson coming out. But really hoping for a wood furniture option. Marketing materials are only listing a wood-look synthetic.

      StarboardRower


      • StarboardRower,

        I would agree with getting away from pot metal construction. We now have hard blow backs and full autos.

        That said, full metal would add serious cost. You could put in “wear points/plates” at key areas,.. but that too would require bonding/keying of the hardened component. Again,… added cost. Solution?,… you tell me (or them).

        In the end,… make it last! Even under heavy use.

        Chris


        • Chris,

          Yep. Durability is what we want. Pot metal becomes highly suspect when we ask for something to last. But I’ll acknowledge there are other factors, including design, manufacturing tolerances, etc. that are contributing factors. I’d welcome improvement in any of those categories.

          Can you imagine if airguns had the “quality” of their firearm counterparts? Of all the things that make for “quality” , it seems like durability is is an especially neglected one in the airgun market. This becomes especially interesting to me in the replica market. Some will argue the “costs” are too high. Yes, they are significantly higher. But is that bad?

          The real question is this: Is there a market of sufficient size for higher quality replica airguns? I don’t believe any manufacturer has taken the plunge yet. Perhaps Diana is closest, with the K98 underlever and PCP.

          I say “yes”. That market is there. Look at the sales of airguns ranging from $600 to $2,000. Multiple manufacturers are already in this price point. Just not in replicas. I think there’s an untapped demand.

          I count myself among that market. I favor higher quality and will pay for it, because I keep my guns, and i want to use them decades from now.

          StarboardRower


          • StarboardRower,

            I agree that people would be willing to pay more. In my mind, it is more about anything with a substantial blow back and the full auto stuff.

            If selling such an item, my first approach to a sales pitch would be,…. “We at Whammy Blaster know you want something that will last. To address that concern,.. we have fired over 20,000 full auto shots from our Decimator and did not experience an single misfeed or mechanical failure”

            Or,… something to that end effect. 🙂

            Chris


  2. A repeating, pellet firing, CO2 powered Garand would be awesome. I’d happily settle for a bb version, though. I’ve already pre-ordered a Umarex Thompson M1A1 that will be lonely without a Garand!



  3. B.B.,

    Happy New Year!
    I look forward to watching your prognostications come true.
    I believe your and my optics desires may see some of the best results in the near term. Some of the more agile scope makers will win big and others will join outfits like Eastman Kodak. I see all aspect ranging, leveling, and multispectral and perhaps even hyperspectral innovations just over the horizon.
    The projectiles for airguns are already well on the curve to major breakthroughs and accuracy will the key that selects the winners.

    Errata: Scope Mounts, last sentence: “Then they wonder why they can’t ho,.d (hold) a zero, ….

    Great times for all of us shooters!

    shootski


  4. B.B.,
    First off, Happy New Year! May it be an awesome one for you and for all who read this blog.
    Based on the good things you have said about UTG, I picked up one of their 6X BugBuster scopes; it’s a natural fit to the HW30 platform, and I was so freaked out that they had discontinued this model that I called the manufacturer to ask why. They said the sales volume was not there, so it had to be dropped. After using it, I couldn’t figure out why the sales volume is not there…it’s a small, simple, light-weight, accurate scope…a plinker’s dream. I love it so much that I tracked down second one for a spare. That being said, I have no use for the electronics; I’ve never put a battery in it to try out the lighted reticle because it shoots great at dusk as is…*shrugs* You can call me a dinosaur, but I like simplicity and reliability; I am a big fan of fixed-power non-electric scopes (isn’t; that what military snipers used for years? A fixed 10X on a Remington 700 in .308?).
    Now replica airguns are something I think is awesome, especially accurate pellet-firing ones, and most especially WWII and Old West replicas (I love my Colt NRA Umarex Peacemaker from PA; it’s my grandson’s favorite airgun!)
    I’m sure your predictions are on the money, and I look forward to what 2020 will reveal in airguns. =>
    Keep up the great work! We all value what you have to say and recognize the hard work you put into it.
    Take care & God bless,
    dave


    • Dave,

      The sales of the 4X and 6X scopes were so poor because like airgun velocities, everyone wants more power and they want it variable. “I want a 2-5000X99 IR AO SF BL Monstercom scope for my Discovery.” Even I am kinda hooked on the variable thing. My favorite scope is a Hawke 2-7X32 AO. Most of the time it will stay on 7X, but there are rare times it is nice to be able to back it off.

      I recently bought a 4-12X32 BugBuster, not because of the large power but because of the side focus. It also does not have the lights. I can do without that myself.

      I have become a big fan of the BugBuster line. I hate to hear they are discontinuing the fixed lower power models. Their main problem was they cost almost as much as the 3-9X model.

      In 2020 I would like to see two things out of Leapers. I would like to see them convert the BugBuster line over to etched glass reticles. Those humongously thick wire reticles are great for close in woods work, but when you want to reach out there some…

      Next would be a lower powered side focus BugBuster, also without the lights. A 2-6X32 AO SF BugBuster would make my knees weak.

      Does anyone want to buy one of these?

      https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/UTG_4_16x56_Bubble_Leveler_AO_Rifle_Scope_SWAT_AO_EZ_TAP_Illuminated_Etched_Glass_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_8_MOA_30mm_Tube_Weaver_Picatinny_Rings/7683


      • RR-
        I bought one of those bubble levelers when BB first talked about it 2 or 2 1/2 years ago. I loved it! It did everything I wanted it to and I didn’t spend 500+ dollars to get it. I sold it along with my .25 Marauder this fall, but am driving down to pick up my new AirForce Condor SS on Friday and want to buy one of the new UTG scopes that BB talked about a couple months ago. It’s a 4x16x44 AO. OP3. Has etched glass. etc. Doesn’t have the level, but it’s not as big. On a 6 lb. Condor it should make a nice compact rig.


        • B B B,

          You really should give some thought to one of these.

          UTG_3_12x32_AO_Bug_Buster_Rifle_Scope_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_3_MOA_1_Tube_Medium_Weaver_Rings/7972

          I have several of those “compact” UTG scopes. They are big, heavy honkers. They are nice but “compact” is a misnomer.


          • RR-
            Because I do a bunch of evening shooting and sometimes inside barns and such, I like the 30 mm tube and slightly bigger 44 mm front glass for the extra light gathering ability. After the bubbler, it’s still smaller by quite a bit. !


            • Hawke_Sport_Optics_HD_IR_Series_2_7x32_AO_Rifle_Scope_Illuminated_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_4_MOA_1_Tube

              Maybe you should try one of these. If you do not like it I will buy it from you. It has the coveted 3R rating.

              Hawke_Sport_Optics_HD_IR_Series_2_7x32_AO_Rifle_Scope_Illuminated_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_4_MOA_1_Tube


      • RR,
        I have a UTG 3-12x44SWAT compact scope with etched glass reticle. It does have the IR feature which I found to be very useful when shooting in my basement range. I use the red illumination on a low intensity and it really helps see the center of the black bullseye. Outside it is sometimes helpful when pesting a starling. The black reticle is a little difficult to see on a black background. So, there are times the IR is nice to have available. This scope is only 11″ long and weighs 22oz.
        Geo
        https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Leapers_UTG_3_12x44_AO_Rifle_Scope_EZ_TAP_Ill_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_4_MOA_30mm_Tube_Weaver_Rings/4319


        • Geo,

          I will second liking the illuminated reticle!!!! Very nice for benching into low light woods (target) and also indoors. I prefer a lower setting of 3-5? of red or green. That (color) can vary as well depending on conditions. The 36? color option???? Yea,… maybe we all could do without that. It could be that their electronic set up allowed for that though,…. in which case,….. HECK YES on promoting it!

          I like it! I like the (option) to use it. For me, I will use it more often than not. It is nice and fine too on the etched reticles.

          Chris



      • Hey RidgeRunner,
        I have read a lot of “likes” on that Hawke 2-7X32 AO…I may have to get one just to give me an excuse to get a rifle on which to use it, hahaha!
        As you said, ” I would like to see them convert the BugBuster line over to etched glass reticles.”
        Amen to that! =>
        Take care, and happy shooting in the New Year,
        dave


  5. I like ice cream! Oh yes thats been done.

    I want my Gauntlet .25 pushing mark II 33.95 out near 1000 fps, but will settle for it stock 1900psi aand stay within the 2100psi limit with 22ci tank and outfitting it with a quality moderator.

    Hey its 2020 yall and Shot Shows in like 20 days!

    I have my .25 and it has the accuracy so my upgrade path is set to a point. For the rest of the market it is kind of nice to dee new choices in big bore as well as some quality choices in cast.25 not that i think of that for long range however sub 100 for mid size pesting could work well.

    I always get sucked into over optimistic show hype, but i am ok with that and as has been discussed affordable optics improve. Perhaps i will get around to putting UTG mini red dot on a door gun for quick target acquisition [pesky squirrels]. While i may have the rifles that i need i am up for scope upgrades.

    Happy new year and hope you are all safe!


  6. That Swarm Fox mentioned above is getting really good re iews at Amazon. It’s a budget Swarm. It’s a springer. No CAT trigger or RRR (recoil reducing rail). No Whisper goodies either. Comes in .177 and .22.


  7. BB
    Well it looks like my plan to cut back on getting new airguns may go out the window. It just keeps getting better.

    I have the K98 PCP and pre-ordered the M1A1 already. Would like to see a 1927 version too with the fwd. pistol grip and finned barrel, even if it still has a side positioned cocking arm instead of a top one. Wonder if I can swap out with my airsoft one? Looks very similar to the ones already out in airsoft.
    In my opinion replica PCP war weapons with smaller, hidden air tanks, like the K98 make perfect sense. Mostly used for shooting at home, they are easy to fill with a compressor or handpump and retain the looks.

    Also, lets take that pellet firing M16 up one step. How about an M249 SAW PCP that has the air tank(s) and pellets inside a belt fed type box mag that can also be used with an M14 enhanced battle rifle, EBR. OK the caliber may not match. Just a thought! Make them both a 308 cal replica. 😉 Or perhaps a Navy M60 ?
    Just opened the new year with a cream soda sitting in my recliner. Glad I survived my youth to even be here today !



      • Shootski,
        You have taken to this blog like a duck to water and in my opinion introduced a whole new dimension to the conversations. You are over my head now. I simply would like to have some of the now forbidden real steel firearms available in airgun versions. Much better, or as we say, “More much gooder” than a non operating replica.
        I may be in the minority of airgunners but thanks to Tom I can voice my opinions and hope for the best. This is truly a wonderful blog, thanks to him. The word family has been tossed around and to be honest I have communicated with fellow bloggers way more than family members.
        Bob M


        • Bob M,

          Hank’s is a company that makes really great Cherry Soda, Root Beer, Orange Soda, and to die for Cream Soda!
          Oh! you meant the Brocock Cartridges:
          https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/01/brocock-air-cartridges/
          Duck to water…they sink too often! Lol!
          I really like this blog of BB’s a great deal for just what you said: FAMILY!
          I’m off to celebrate my personal seventy first new year!

          Thank you and all the other readers of this blog!

          shootski


          • Shootski
            Thanks for the clarification. It was a common A&W cream soda. My selection is very limited out here in a single country store road stop town or should I say bypass town, Potrero, Ca.
            People still sit on the general store porch and get to know each other. A far cry from Brooklyn NY.

            We still leave our cars running when we get our mail from the Post office. But don’t underestimate us, We don’t dial 911 if you know what I mean. OK, I decided 911 may be a better way to go sometimes, especially when the situation is very unclear.

            My quest for the ultimate Airgun would end with something like the Russian T37 or similar RC unmanned tracked crawler search and destroy robot in full auto so I can take care of yard pests that eat my car wires, without leaving my home. Not to mention intimidating any unwelcomed intruders, salesmen or illegals. 🙂
            Bob M



            • Bob,

              I LIKE IT!…… Then again,… my “mind’s eye” sees the pesky bushy tails attacking from the rear, climbing all over it and (still) chewing any exposed wires! 😉 LOL!

              Perhaps something similar that can generate a 360 degree blast zone, covered with corn, etc. and let a few em’ get on board before hitting the remote detonate button?

              Chris


              • Chris
                Good point ! And there always seems to be one who knows I won’t shoot him if he comes out of the hood scoop on my 69 Mustang and just sits there.
                Just tonight I watched the 2011 version of The Mechanic with Jason Statham and there was a very note worthy statement engraved on the slide of a 45, “Victory Loves Preparation” Perhaps a little bait in a predetermined space with an RC 12 gage will get the job done just as well.
                Bob M


          • Shootski,

            I am not a pop/soda drinker 99.9% of the time. Read: Maybe 1-2 per year and most times will never finish one. However,…. Cream Soda is generally my #1 go to if falling off the proverbial pop abstinence wagon. No real reason why I do not,… other than I get enough calories already with my good cooking.

            Now,… before you “launch” into the whole “Well, if you were more active,… like myself,… you could eat and drink anything you want”,….. type spiel,… I know,…. I know! 😉 LOL!

            Chris



      • Davemyster
        Lets see, it’s 2AM and the bar is closing. If I open the throttle on my Harley all the way I can be home in 15min… Boy those reflective cat eyes in the road are jumping all over the place! That’s OK, as long as I stay someplace in the middle of the four white lines I’ll be alright. !


        • Bob,

          That would be as in,.. “past tense”????,…. I would hope? If so,.. I may be able to relate in a “small” way.

          Like I said,… I feel very lucky to even still be here. Live long enough and we all will know somebody that has not been so fortunate.

          Chris



            • Bob,

              Maybe,… a “public service message” on what NOT to do? 😉

              ….. Nice bike! You on the other hand look like you are ready for a nice, long nap!

              Glad you are on (have been) the right track. If I ever get a DUI,… it will be “driving” from the couch to the bed! LOL! 🙂

              Chris




                  • Mike
                    Yes, it has been good to listen to it again, thanks. Closest thing we have to a time machine.
                    The good thing about aging is it happens slowly, one day at a time.
                    The bad thing about aging is it sneaks up on you, one day at a time. Till one day, it hits you smack dab between the eyes and you realize it’s all down hill from here and you better do something quick to slow it down… And the days that follow, they become more precious and rewarding.
                    Bob M


  8. I think the M1 Garands are the low-hanging fruit – the long gas tube of the Garand makes for a very tidy disguise for an underlever or PCP reservoir in the manner of the existing Diana underlever/PCP K98s. Since the Diana guns are more about being evocative than anything else in terms of reproduction fidelity, a Garand-ish stock mated up to their existing design should be enough to get them to market.

    However, I suspect what would really pique interest from the Commonwealth markets would be a pellet-firing SMLE. Maybe an Air Arms Pro-Sport style underlever disguised as the bayonet lug?


  9. Happy New Year to all! Hope your 2020 is better than your 2019. Nice teaser BB. We are looking forward to find out whats new and improved. ( I think Meopta is one of them that have you sworn to secrecy.)


  10. Happy New Year everybody!

    Like most people here I am looking forward to seeing what innovations will show up in the airgun industry this year.

    B.B.

    I agree that high fill pressures are a (potential) concern for unregulated PCPs because a certain pressure level must be reached to sit on the bell curve. If that level is high, then keeping it in the correct pressure zone will be difficult if the owner is hand-pumping the reservoir.

    I disagree that 3000 – 4500 psi fill pressures are any concern in REGULATED PCPs (provided that are designed to handle those pressures). Regulators are (typically, depending on performance and caliber) set to between 1200 and 2000 psi and the gun will operate normally as long as the reservoir pressure is above the set pressure. Within reason, it doesn’t matter how much higher the reservoir pressure is above the set pressure, as long as you are in the green part of the gauge you are good to go. For a given size reservoir, having more pressure means more shots.

    My Walther Dominator 1250 is rated to 4500 psi; when I first got it I could fill it to around 2500 psi with my hand pump; later I could do around 3300 from my scuba tank and now 4500 from my compressor is no problem. The rifle shoots fine with any of those fills, just the shot count changes.

    A 2000 maximum psi reservoir could easily be overfilled from a tank or a compressor where 4500 psi capability is common these days. Don’t think a reservoir capable of handling high pressures is a “kiss of death” (the opposite may be true) – a 4500 psi reservoir would be safer and makes sense to me – it doesn’t HAVE to be filled to the maximum.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Cheers!
    Hank




      • Geo,

        Thanks for the link – hadn’t seen that. Think that everyone considering an Impact should watch this video.

        Good advise and so true… if you don’t know what you are doing – DON’T MESS WITH IT!!! If you absolutely must start changing things at least record the factory settings so you can get back to a known good state.

        Cheeers,
        Hank


        • Hank,

          Impact or not,.. I thought that there was (a lot) to be gleaned from the conversation with regards to PCP’s in general. Then again,… I am not looking at the new Impact,.. with the new super plenum as my soon to be next airgun either,… like someone I know. 😉

          Just when you think “it” (the buying) is over,…………. IT AIN’T!!!!! LOL!!!! 🙂

          Chris


          • Chris,

            Yeah, a lot of good information.

            The more I read about the Impact the more it seems that it is actually a robust design that is very tolerant of the abuse heaped on it.

            A typical .22 PCP runs around 30 fpe, lots of guys are shooting their modified Impacts at at DOUBLE that. It should not be surprising that it will need extra maintenance but people still complain if they blow an O-ring and blame the design.

            Seems that FX tunes for the highest (reasonable) performance and the first thing people do is presume that the manufacturer doesn’t know what they are doing and start cranking everything up to maximum. Per the video, according to the guys who intimately know the gun (the designer and the their chief R&D airgunsmith), reducing the reg set-point actually improves precision.

            I always shoot my new guns as received, straight out of the box until they are well broken in. Then record factory settings and try a bit of tweaking to optimize for a particular pellet. After all my experimenting I find that I usually end up very near the original factory settings.

            Yeah, impatiently waiting for the shipment to come in.

            Hank



              • Chris,

                While I might try a sample pack for giggles but serious shooting with slugs is quite a while away yet. I still have 3 months of cold weather before I can get out shooting.

                As always, I’ll start close with pellets and work my way out to slug ranges. Figure that I have a lot of “work” ahead of me.

                Hank




  11. Happy New Year to all. That said, I must add not what I want to see, but pray that we don’t see in the coming year. My other guilty pleasure other than air guns has been model airplanes, and as the market has made radio control so easy and affordable so that any idiot can own one, then every idiot is owning one with the model aviation hobby under attack by the FAA to the point this hobby is in danger of being crushed to death by regulations. As PCP and other versions of air guns become not only more powerful but more affordable, it is only a matter of when, not if when some idiots uses one in a major crime, then someone uses the incident to push a political agenda to regulate another healthy, safe and enjoyable hobby to eradication. What I want to see in the coming year is this not happening.



  12. I guess it depends on what you want.
    I could use some good shooting weather. Last year was about worthless with the wind and rain.
    Need a lot more time learning my FWB 800 .
    Need more time learning the scopes on that and my AA s500 . What making adjustments to the AO does on each scope . The POI will shift, but how much? Gets complicated.
    tt


  13. B.B,

    I tried to post this day before yesterday. I intended to copy and paste, and typed it up before I got on line with this laptop. Out of the blue, it informs me MS Office is not installed. I believe the college move to Office 360 has something to do with this. Anyhoo, I managed to install LibreOffice 6.x. So I am back.

    I still have a lot to learn. I hope to sort out the air pressure gauge discrepancy.

    2019/12/30
    Sunny and breezy; temperature about 65 degrees
    Rifle: Benjamin Marauder .177 / synthetic stock shooting with front stock rest only.
    Target: Penny sized black dots stuck to target box
    Scope set so POI is set below POA to maintain target dot integrity and show true groups)
    Muzzle velocity and PSI are unknown
    Distance: 15 yards
    Shots per group: 5
    Number of groups: 8
    Total shots: 40
    Pellet JSB Exact Heavy 10.34 gr.
    Beginning PSI according to rifle air gauge: unsure, the air gauge on the rifle showed 3000 PSI even, but the larger gauge on the pump showed around 2700.
    Poundage barely changed for the first 25 shots then dropped rapidly to 2000 PSI

    Group size: 1st five groups were covered by a dime
    6th group was covered by a quarter
    7th group was 3 inches
    8th group was so bad one pellet hit below the bottom.

    My .177 Crosman shoots JSB Exact RS fairly well. I have never done as well at 15 yrds as I did with the Marauder today.

    I started having trouble with the hand pump in the evening. This time I had a fresh replacement O-ring. The difference was clear. I filled both rifles to 3000 PSI on the hand pump air pressure gauge. Both rifle gauges were in the red, but not the same distance into the red. This concerns me. I don’t want to start using the electric compressor without being clear on the limits.
    At the current fill level, I don’t know how different groups and shot count may be compared this first outing.

    Thank you and thanks to all your readers who posted information and support.

    ~ken


    • ken

      Pressure gages are test equipment. A larger gage does not mean that it is more accurate than a smaller gage. It only means that gives a more precise reading of whatever it measures.
      Unless the gage is calibrated to a known standard, you really have no idea how close it is to being right.
      You could say that you get a more precise reading of a wrong reading.
      I worked with test equipment for a long time. Nearly everything in the shop required periodic calibration. Some of it required correction charts when it was used.. The calibration standards used by the lab had to be 10X as accurate as the item under test/calibration to give an accurate calibration.

      tt


      • TwoTalon,

        Now you tell me. I hope I can get some idea about the Marauder gauges. I prefer to not hurt myself, of course. Interestingly, after I replaced the O-ring I found it rather easy to pump up to the red zone. I have no idea which pressure gauge is correct, assuming either of them is.

        ~ken


        • ken
          Do you have a chronograph so you can see what your velocity curve looks like ?
          A problem in my book….a Marauder has too many adjustments. Not as easy as establishing a fill pressure for a good curve with other rifles.

          tt


          • Twotalon,

            No chronograph yet. I will make now adjustments until I have one. Of course, Jerry set both of these up and they are shooting well. I am in no rush. I will look for the best fill level for the best results I can achieve for now, with the settings as they are.

            ~ken


            • ken
              Sounds like a good plan for now.
              The worst thing some people do is start messing with the adjustments right away and quickly end up in a hopeless mess. Some of them have paid someone to do a tune and promptly go to lousing it all up.

              tt


              • Twotalon,

                Thank you. Yes, sir, I have read enough so far to take changing things very seriously.
                I have shot a few groups with some unnamed pellets; a very good rifle can’t make them worth anything. The JSB Exact Heavy has been touted by B.B. and others. Based on my first experience with them, they will probably be the only ones this rifle sees.

                ~ken


            • Ken,

              Shootski did offer some additional clarification on the term “overfill”.

              Another way to look at this term is what we call (partial valve lock). The valve is tuned/factory set in such a manner that if slightly overfilled, the valve is under just a bit of (too much) stress. With a chrony, that would show the initial shots being lower and then rising the more you shot.

              A multi pump pneumatic can do the same. The manual says you can pump it 10 times, but after you shoot it over a chrony with varied pumps,… you find that it likes 8 pumps. BB has shown us all this with PCP’s and multi pumps over the years, many times.

              Conversely, if the first shots are stable with your PCP,… then that also means you can start out with a bit (higher) fill! How about that? 🙂 That would also mean a few extra shots in your string.

              In your testing, you showed the groups growing after 25 shots. Did they show a “general” dropping trend (vertical stringing) or did they just simply start to spread out in all directions?
              I would imagine a general down trend, but thought I would ask.

              Chris


              • Chris,

                Thanks again. I assume what you say has to do with finding the “sweet spot” for the reservoir of the rifle. That makes sense. B.B. has a lot to say about fill pressure and tuning, as do others. I haven’t previously studied these thing in detail. Now, I want do so and gain a good grounding before I even think about anything except the fill pressure. I may well find a sweet spot. I will track my shots and the air pressure gauge.

                Groups 6, 7 and 8 did spread out some. Groups 6 and 7 were covered by a quarter, however, so not a lot of spread. The 8th group had a big vertical drop.

                ~ken


                • Ken,

                  Like you, I only casually look at things that I may have no immediate interest in. I (attempt) to stay current,.. or at least be aware of. Once I do have interest ,… all bets are off and it (can be/is?) all time consuming. (You are doing well). From the sounds of it, you have 35 good shots with that rifle. Not sure I would even mess with that.

                  Chris


                  • Chris,

                    Time consuming is an understatement. When I become obsessed with something I have trouble backing off until it runs its course. Sometimes, it is just about knowledge but other times it is about doing something.
                    Yes, both rifles were tuned sometime before I got them. The .25 calliber was tuned by a professional. Jerry tuned the .177 and kept good notes. He gave me several printed pages of information. I won’t be messing with anything except finding the “sweet spot” for the fill.

                    ~ken


                • Ken,

                  Also, moving out to 25 and 50 yards will really start to show things. You, as a shooter, also enters more heavily into the equation. When I first started, my illusions of “TOTAL WORLD domination of the airgun world” quickly diminished the further I moved out. 😉 LOL!

                  Chris


                  • Chris,

                    I know you’re right. I will be backing up as soon as I am satisfied with what I can learn at 15 yards. Issues of reservoir fill, shot count and POI, specifically.
                    I was watching “American Sniper” recently. One take away was the trainer saying, “Aim large miss large, aim small miss small”.
                    That only works when the rifle and the ammunition are up to it. I shot some unnamed pellets out of the .177 at 15 yards and had 1.5 to 2 inch groups. I will not be shooting any more of them with the Marauder. Maybe I can lot shot shells with them.

                    ~ken


                    • Ken,

                      I never miss it if it is on. Not so sure that would be my “cup of tea”. All good and fine as long as you are not getting shot (back) at. “Hat’s off” to all current and past Vets!

                      But yes,… “aim small,.. hit small”. Good advice and something to always strive for.

                      Chris



              • Chris,
                Very good explanation of the optimal fill pressure. I do not own a chronograph but before I purchased the Gamo Urban PCP, I watched several YouTube videos demonstrating the shot curve. One of the best ones was by Steve Scialli at Airgun Nation.
                The Uban’s fill pressure is 232 bar (3,364 psi). Steve showed the graph of the first ten shots starting at a lower fps and then climbing to a peak fps. Based on his analysis, he recommended filling to only 195 bar (2828 psi) which yielded 27 shots with an extreme spread of only 20 fps. I fill to 2900 psi with my hand pump and then refill after two mags, 20 shots. This is results in a very flat shot curve, especially for an unregulated PCP.
                Geo


                • Geo,

                  Well,… there you have it. You are the perfect example of how to do it without a chrony. Learn from others that have “been there, done that”. You could have tested more on paper,… but why? For what you do and how you use it,… I would have done the exact same thing. You are getting the exact results you want.

                  Chris


                  • Thanks Chris, and remember, after all of my struggles with shooting the desired 1″ groups at 25 yards with my Diana RWS 34P break-barrel, I bought this PCP at your suggestion…best choice for my needs. Thanks to you, GF1, and others on this blog, I found the correct path for me.
                    Geo


        • Ken,

          Not that you want to “overfill” any PCP; but the terminology of overfill is used in a loose manner by Airgunners! One meaning in unregulated PCP means you have exceeded the upper range of the tune. The other meaning is the one that can hurt you and others around the Airgun. There is a working pressure range for the cylinder/air tube, then there is the Overpressurized zone which is usually a multiple of the top working pressure with little danger of prompt failure. The final zone is the maximum tested pressure or the failure pressure IF that testing was done. IF all your parts are Crosman (OME/P) then you will not be able to hand pump to that dangerous zone.

          There are categories of gauges and each costs more and is more accurate by some amount. All mechanical gauges have the greatest accuracy in the mid-range of the dial and fall of by a percentage in the upper and lower end of their dial range.
          You need to at least compare over a range a gauge to a KNOWN accurate gauge; if not spend the money to have a Calbration Lab calibrate your calibratable (not all are) gauges.

          “One (quality) Gauge to “CALIBRATE” them All!

          I will however repeat:

          Do NOT “overfill” any PCP or other ultra high pressure vessel!

          shootski


          • Shootski,

            Thanks. I know that reputable manufacturers test their products beyond the standard limits, for the sake of safety. But I also don’t want to test those limits.
            I know it is possible I will find the “sweet spot” at a pressure lower than fill pressure I have now. I look forward to finding it.
            What you say about gauges is in line with what Twotalon posted. It helps to have more knowledge.

            ~ken



    • Ken,

      It sounds as if the rifles you bought should already be optimized,… with recommended fill pressure and such (expected shot count, etc.)

      As you noticed,… shots started dropping the more you shot. That is at the (end) of your bell curve.

      There is a (front) end also. If you overfill a non-regulated PCP,… you will find the shots will be (lower) at the start,… then rise and stay steady, on target,…. and then drop again (at the end of the bell curve).

      “Overfill”,….????,.. you ask? That could be 3000 or 2900 or 2800. The gun’s internals and the gauges will all be a bit different.

      You have all you need at the moment. If you fill to 3000 and find the shots start low,.. and then rise,… back the fill off.

      Yes, the small gauges are a pain. I imagine that they also (bounce) if getting filled from a compressor? Maybe not?

      Keep at it ,.. and,… you know we are here for ya’ if ya’ gots ya’ a question! 🙂

      Chris


  14. Happy New Year, everyone!

    We’ve seen a few full auto BB guns over the years, such as the Baikal Drozd and Umarex Legends MP40.
    The time is ripe now methinks for full auto PCP air rifles. The LCS Air Arms SK-19 (from the Ukraine of all places) look amazing. It has created quite a stir and has the market to itself. Only a matter of time before other manufacturers get in on the action though.

    I really like BB’s idea of a dual-power break barrel springer. Low power for plinking or indoor targets and high power for hunting would be brilliant!


  15. B.B.,

    In my view the most overlooked classic firearm to have a CO2 replica is the Colt Peacemaker SAA with the 4 5/8 inch barrel, especially in a blued finish. It is arguably the most iconic cartridge-firing firearm of all time and is certainly the most prominent firearm of them all on television and cinema.

    I find it puzzling that Umarex has dropped this ball for so long.

    Michael


  16. I would like to see smaller, satelite brick and morter Pyramid A ir shops, where I could go and handle
    products, get parts, hang out. Like a motorcycle shop or a Performance bike shop, or a pawn shop, but staffed with enthusiasts and experts. I would like to see stronger online presence for replacement parts and service. The industry really has grown allot since the 80’s. There really is allot of great older used equipment if you prefer that to new manufacture. I risked a little money just to find out how a new Synergis stacks up to an out of production, old R10 that cost twice as much new 35yrs ago. We’ll see, but B.B made a great account of himself with this same rifle, so I am looking forward to that arrival as well as some other goodies. The LGU will have to wait a little longer!
    Happy new year folks!
    Rob


    • Rob,

      Living in Ohio and since PA is in Ohio,… I will second that. Columbus,… above 270 outer belt (N),… would suit me just fine! Then again,… that could be VERY dangerous to the ol’ wallet too. 😉 Toss in a try and (maybe) buy test range and it would be all over!

      Chris



  17. B.B.

    Never a day off? No rest for the wherry….

    Just to put it in perspective, how much is 800 fpe? I believe a “normal” .22 lr is about 60 fpe. What is a .308 deer gun? A 50 cal elephant gun? What was the energy of your Army artillery shells?

    Wishing you and all your readers the very best in 2020.

    -Yogi


    • Yogi,

      In answer to your question, today is New Year’s Day and I am still working at 6:30 p.m. I started at 4: 30 a.m.

      A .22 LR standard speed with a 40-grain bullet puts out 100-110 foot-pounds. A .308 puts out 2,700 foot-pounds and a .458 elephant rifle puts out just under 6,000 foot-pounds.

      A 400-grain arrow moving 330 f.ps. puts out 96.75 foot-pounds.

      B.B.

      B.B.


  18. So on gunbroker there is an unusual air gun, a lever action with no markings it claims, pretty interesting looking rifle, wonder if anyone has run across one like it. Search on gunbroker for “air gun custom workmenship”. Workmanship is misspelled so it should pop up.


  19. BB
    I hope you’re right about someone coming out with a PCP powered M1 carbine this year. In my opinion the current crop of C02 powered blow back action airguns are too anemic since it takes so much pressure from the C02 cartridge for the gun to have “respectable” power. What I would like is a PCP powered, rifle barreled, pellet firing M1 carbine (caliber doesnt matter) that shoots at 600-maybe 700 fps, using LEAD pellets.It would take some engineering to marry a PCP rifles’ blow back action to the pressures involved. But since now have air pistols and rifles that are full auto, and break barrels that are repeaters, I think its possible. Am I a “power junkie?” Maybe, only as long as its ACCURATE.

    Happy New Year


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