This is a guest report on reader 45Bravo’s Air Venturi Avenger bullpup .177. I am currently reporting on the large .25-caliber Avenger bullpup. But we never hear about the .177. Today we will!
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Take it away, 45Bravo.
Air Venturi Avenger bullpup .177
by Ian McKee
This report covers:
- Choosing the right one
- Very little information about the .177
- I had to get a replacement|Cleaning and snugging
- Performance out of the box
- How slow will it go
- 150 shots on this fill
- Oh wait
Choosing the right one
Like many people I had pre-ordered one of the Air Venturi Avenger bullpups.
I had fretted over what caliber to get, I already have a .22 caliber wooden stock Avenger and I am astounded by the accuracy and consistency of the platform.
By the many reviews online the .25 caliber version is just as capable as the .22 caliber rifle.
Very little information about the .177
But there were very few reviews of the .177 Avenger, and what few they were did not go into any depth other than shooting a few shots out of the box with the factory tune.
I am a member of a few Facebook groups that are dedicated to the Avenger platform where owners share their experiences and modifications or “improvements” they have made or discovered about their rifles.
But even within the groups there is very little useful information and data about the .177 caliber avenger of any version.
At heart I am a plinker, I feel once you have your zero, it is more fun to shoot reactive targets until you think something has changed and you need to check your zero on paper again.
I decided to get the .177 caliber as the pellets are less expensive than either .22 caliber, and .25 caliber, and I wanted it for informal field target and silhouette shooting, with maybe some light pest control in between.
I had to get a replacement
The first Avenger I received arrived damaged, it had to have been when it was packaged overseas, as the box was in perfect condition, but the scope riser mount was cracked.
Pyramyd AIR processed the exchange for a new rifle with no issues.
When the rifle arrived, it had 1000 psi of air in the gun. I filled it to 300bar, (4351psi).
Cleaning and snugging
The gun has been on a boat from China for weeks, from past experience, I knew a few things needed attention. I went over the exterior of the gun looking for loose screws, every screw I found, I removed, cleaned with alcohol, and put a dot of blue Loctite on the threads, and snugged them back in place.
I removed the cheek piece, and where the scope mounts would be for the regular Avenger, and one at a time, loosened the barrel screws, cleaned them, added the Loctite and returned them back to their place and just a little past snug.
The Avenger platform has a chrome plated metal receiver (it is a ferrous metal as a magnet is attracted to it) that is hidden under a plastic cover that has the name of the gun and pressure warnings emblazoned on it.
SIDE NOTE: This gun is sold in many other parts of the world under the name Leviathan, so making the plastic breech cover with the appropriate logos would be much cheaper than making 2 versions of the metal receiver.
I then turned the gun upside down and cleaned the bore using an alcohol swab on a pull through, then 4 more dry patches until the 4th patch came out clean, I then used a .17 caliber bore snake (with the bristles brushes removed) that is lightly oiled to lightly coat the barrel.
The barrel is not crowned, and it comes with the new version of the end cap that has a baffle core to help lower the noise level of the rifle.
Performance out of the box
The regulator came set to 2000 psi, and the hammer spring was set to zero (fully counter-clockwise). Out of the box with 7.9-grain Crosman domes, the first 40 shots averaged 1039 f.p.s., with a high of 1052, and a low of 1019. So a spread of 33 f.p.s. And with Crosman 10.5-grain domes it got an 880 f.p.s. average for 10 shots.
How slow will it go?
I had been asked by some members of the facebook group to see how slow it would shoot, so I degassed the gun, closed the regulator screw, then just turned it counterclockwise until the screw just moved from the closed position.
I wanted to break the gun in, so I refilled the gun to 300bar and started shooting. With the regulator set at the lowest possible position, the regulator pressure shows 1700 psi.
150 shots on this fill
The next 100 shots with Crosman 7.9-grain wadcutters (I have a LOT of them on hand) went from a high of 977 on the first shot, the second shot went out at 912 f.p.s., (more on that later), to a low of 870 toward the end of the string. The spread was 107 f.p.s.
Toward the end of the 100 shot string, I started getting more and more duplicate displays on my chronograph, meaning the shot was the same as the one before it. So the regulator was starting to settle in.
After 50 shots, the gun pressure read 3200 psi. After 100 total shots the pressure in the gun had dropped from 4351psi to 2300 psi. After a total of 150 shots on this fill, I stopped when the reservoir pressure had dropped to 1700 psi, matching the regulator pressure. I could have shot more but decided to stop here
The last 20 shots on this fill went out at an average of 859 f.p.s., High of 868, low of 854, for a spread of 14 f.p.s.
Many owners have reported that after a fill, your first few shots will shoot faster until the regulator settles down again. I wanted to try this, so after filling to 4351 psi, I shot another 30 shot string with the same pellets. The first shot went out at 959 f.p.s. Then shot number 2 went out at 919 f.p.s. The high was 959 f.p.s., the low was 902 f.p.s., with a spread of 57 f.p.s. But if you drop the first shot after the fill, the numbers change to a high of 919, and a low of 902, with a spread of 17 f.p.s.
So, for lack of a better term, I will call this regulator bounce. I won’t call it regulator creep because after sitting for a few minutes, the shots are still within a few f.p.s. of each other.
So, after a fill, dry fire the first shot. That’s not that bad, for a $400 gun that is still breaking in. I feel that the numbers will tighten up more as the gun and regulator wear in.
I was hoping that dropping the reg. pressure as low as possible would drop it down into the 500-600fps range so it could be a backyard plinker with an extremely high shot count, but with the way it’s made, that is currently out of the question without changing parts, and possibly voiding your warranty. At its lowest setting the regulator seems to struggle with stepping the pressure down from whatever your tank pressure is to 1700 psi. (I guess that is the reason the FX Impact has 2 regulators.)
As the gun went through its entire pressure range the velocity dropped by about 100 f.p.s., (if you take out the first shot after a refill of 977 f.p.s., the spread drops to just 69 f.p.s. for 100 shots) but the gun is still new, and wearing in, or possibly the regulator just may not be as stable or efficient at its lowest setting, but that is something I will tinker with until I find its happy place.
I think with a slightly higher regulator setting and heavier 10.5-grain pellets, it will do better.
It is shooting in the 13-14 ft. lb. range with the 7.9’s so I will explore this power level with an accuracy test next time.
It wouldn’t be a blog from me unless I showed you how to fix something. One of the Air Venturi magazines quit working in the test so we will repair it. There are only 5 parts to the magazine, and one of them is a screw.
The first photos compare it to a Benjamin Marauder magazine, in .177 caliber.
And yes, the Marauder rifle magazines do fit the Avengers of the same calibers, the Marauder pistol magazines do not fit the Air Venturi guns.
The Marauder magazine has 3 holes in which to insert the spring that rotates the pellet shuttle, allowing you to set different amounts of preload on the pellet shuttle, the Air Venturi magazines have only 1 hole.
Remove the screw, by turning it counterclockwise with a 2.5mm Allen key, then remove the clear plastic cover, and the pellet shuttle, then the spring.
The ends of the spring are different, one end is parallel with the spring, and one end is perpendicular to the spring.
If the ends of the spring are not broken you will insert the perpendicular end into the hole in the back of the magazine, then line up the parallel end of the spring with the notch in the pellet shuttle.
The end of the spring goes into the corresponding notch in the back of the pellet shuttle.
Then rotate the shuttle clockwise until the last round hold open bump is past the bump in the magazine and the shuttle is held in place with spring pressure.
Then put the clear cover over the magazine assembly and tighten the screw, making sure the brass alignment pin is in its groove, and the pellet cover and the shuttle rotates easily, if you tighten the screw too much, it will prevent the magazine parts from working, if it is too loose, it will allow the clear cover too much play and allow debris into the magazine.
There, we fixed it!