by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The test
- Air Arms 16-grain dome
- Second target
- Air Arms Falcon pellets
- Second group of Falcons
- Last group
- Oh, oh!
Today I shoot the Air Venturi Avenger for accuracy at 50 yards. We already know this one is a winner. How good is it?
I went to AirForce Airguns to shoot the rifle. They have a nice outdoor range that I had all to myself. I shot at 50 yards off my portable benchrest. The rifle was rested on a sandbag. I had filled it at home and didn’t bring an air tank to the range because I knew it had at least 90 good shots and there was no way I was going to shoot that many.
I shot from the single shot tray because I wanted nothing to get in the way of the best this rifle can do. The Meopta Optica6 scope was as sharp as ever, and could almost resolve the 10-dot of a 10-meter air rifle target at 50 yards!
I shot 10-shot groups because we know they are the true test of accuracy — especially at long range. I will have more to say on that in a bit.
The Avenger is set at its lowest power level, which is more than enough for 50 yards.
The Texas sun was bright and hot and may have played a part in the test. I will mention that in a little while.
Air Arms 16-grain dome
In previous testing I have established that the Air Arms 16-grain dome is the most accurate pellet I know of for this rifle. The first shot hit the target two inches below the aim point and perfectly centered, left and right, so I cranked up the elevation to hit above the center of the target. I wanted to preserve my aim point.
Ten pellets went into a group that measures 0.643-inches between centers at 50 yards. It was the best group of the test and demonstrates that the Avenger is everything I said it was.
The group is centered to the right of the aim point, so I applied five clicks of left adjustment to correct.
The second target was also shot with Air Arms domes. But this time there was a difference. There is a central group of 7 shots that measures exactly one-half-inch between centers. But three outliers open the group to 0.989-inches. What happened? Well, from my days competing in field target, I think I know. As I mentioned, the sun was hot and beating down relentlessly. I felt the outside of the Meopta scope and it was very warm. The lenses in optics are in in precise packages with spacing that can be measured in millionths of an inch (0.0000254 mm). When the sun heats a scope it expands and moves the optics inside. I have seen shooters loose their zero in a field target match and have to re-zero many times.
It isn’t just the Meopta scope — all scopes perform this way. The solution is to cover the scope with cloth or to keep it out of the sun. But I didn’t think of that on this day, so I lived with the consequences.
Air Arms Falcon pellets
Another pellet the Avenger liked is the Falcon from Air Arms. The first group of 10 measures 0.783-inches between centers at 50 yards. This is the group where, if I had stopped at just 5 shots, it would have measured around a quarter-inch. Eight of the ten pellets are in 0.42-inches but the two outliers open it to 0.783-inches. I adjusted the scope several clicks to the left after this group.
Second group of Falcons
The next group of Falcons did go to the left, but they also landed in the largest group of the day — 1.126-inches between centers. This is the only 50-yard group of 10 that is larger than an inch.
I switched back to Air Arms 16-grain domes for the final group. This time the Avenger put 10 pellets into 0.727-inches — the second smallest of the test. This group did move to the left a little because of the scope adjustment for the Air Arms pellets.
As I finished the last group I felt a sudden itching on my lower left leg. It felt like a fire ant bite. Sure enough I had planted one of the legs of the shooting bench on a fire ant mound and was resting my foot on that leg of the bench. Good thing I was finished. As I packed up I was bitten several more times.
We have now looked at the Air Venturi Avenger 8 times. In every test it has performed in an exemplary manner. It gets lots of shots on a fill, it can be filled as low as 2500 psi and still get 44 good shots, which makes it a candidate for a hand pump. It has a user adjustable regulator that works well and it is extremely accurate. All this for under $300! I’m calling it the best airgun I have tested this century!