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Education / Training TX200 Mark III: Part 6

TX200 Mark III: Part 6

TX200 Mark III

The TX200-MkIII is a legendary underlever spring-piston air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Scope
  • Sight-in
  • First group
  • The comparison coins
  • There is more!
  • One more group
  • Air Arms 8.44-grain pellets
  • Only 10 meters
  • Next
  • Summary

Today I shoot for accuracy with the TX200 Mark III, tuned with Tony Leach’s 22mm piston kit. This should be an interesting report.

The test

I shot from 10 meters off a sandbag rest with the rifle rested directly on the bag. That’s pretty close to the target for a TX200, but I did the same thing in Part 4 when the rifle had the factory parts installed, so this will be a direct comparison. I don’t normally do comparisons, but I set this one up in Part 5 when I said:

Now that the kit is installed and the trigger is adjusted to perfection, I am ready to continue accuracy testing. Of course this rifle is different than it was the last time we tested it for accuracy. But you may remember that this JSB dome gave the smallest 5-shot group at 10 meters. It was just 0.098-inches between centers. That will be hard to beat.”

Although I said that the JSB 8.44-grain pellet gave the smallest group in that test, it was actually the Air Arms 8.44-grain pellet. I discovered that when I read Part 4 again. It’s the same pellet as the JSB and it is made by JSB, but it’s made on dies that are owned by Air Arms, so there are differences. I’ll come back to that in a bit.

I have more to say about how the rifle was held in today’s test, but I’ll discuss that when we get there.

Scope

I installed the Meopta MeoPro Optika5 4-20X50 RD BDC3 scope on the TX200. All I did was snug it down in place. Beyond that nothing was done to the scope for the entire test. I did illuminate the central dot at the highest illumination for this entire test.

Sight-in

Since the scope has been off the rifle, I had to confirm the rifle was still sighted-in, so the first group was shot for that purpose. I ended up shooting 6 JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets into a group that measures 0.174-inches between centers. That’s correct, the sight-in confirmation group earned a silver trime comparison coin! What a fantastic start!

TX200 Leach sight-in
Six JSB 8.44-grain pellets made a 0.174-inch group during sight-in confirmation. The scope was not adjusted in any way.

So the scope went back on the rifle and was fine. I never touched it after this.

First group

From this point on I shot JSB 8.44-grain pellets. Five went into the first group that measures 0.074-inches between centers. Since this group is smaller than one-tenth-inch between centers I used the tiny Indian silver Chuckram coin for size comparison. The gold dollar is for groups larger than one-tenth inch and smaller than 0.15-inches.

TX200 Leach JSV group 1
The first 5-shot group with JSB 8.44-grain domes measures 0.074-inches between centers. The TSX200 is already shooting smaller groups than before!

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

The comparison coins

You may not remember the sizes of all the comparison coins so here they are together.


These are my 4 comparison coins. The dime on the left is 17.91 mm. The silver three-cent piece (Trime) next to it is 14 mm in diameter. The gold dollar is 13 mm and the silver Chuckram on the right is 5.34 mm on the short side and 5.81 mm on the long side.

How about that? The TX200 is already shooting smaller groups than it did with the factory tune. But that isn’t all. I could tell because of the rifle’s lack of movement that it could be even better than this! 

Note to self: If I don’t touch the rifle much at all but just let it rest on the sandbag, the red illuminated dot in the scope won’t move that much and, with the trigger adjusted as it is, I can guarantee a great shot every time! This is a level of TX200 accuracy that I have never seen before!

The next group should be amazing! This time I concentrated on not allowing the illuminated dot to move around much at all. The next 5 shots went into a hole that never seemed to grow larger through the scope as I watched. Five shots are in 0.034-inches at 10 meters. I haven’t just shot a smaller group than in all of Part 4 — this group is just one-third the size of that previously smallest group!

TX200 Leach JSB group 2
This time the Leach-tuned TX put five JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets into a 0.034-inch group at 10 meters.

There is more!

Okay — now that I know I can do this at will, what’s next? How about shooting 10 pellets?

Ten JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets went into 0.098-inches at 10 meters. I shot ten pellets into a group as small as the smallest 5-shot group previously! Guys — this just keeps getting better! This rifle is now so accurate that I know I could shoot the tip off an match at this distance —every time!

TX200 Leach JSB 10-shot group
That’s not five shots, folks. It’s ten! Ten shots went into a 0.098-inch group at 10 meters.

One more group

At this point I was feeling uncharacteristically cocky — like I could do this every time. This rifle is now phenomenal! Before today I was worried that I couldn’t put five shots into 0.098-inches again. Heck — I can do so much better than that!

Air Arms 8.44-grain pellets

So out came the Air Arms 8.44-grain pellets — the ones that are just like the JSBs only made on different dies. These have done even better than the JSBs in this rifle. This time I thought the group was going to be 0.0-inches because I really never saw it grow larger. But it did, just a little.

Five pellets went into 0.030-inches at 10 meters. This isn’t just the smallest group of this test. This is the smallest recorded 5-shot group I believe I have ever shot — in my life!

TX200 Leach AA group
This may be the smallest 5-shot ten-meter group I have ever shot. Five Air Arms 8.44-grain domes are in 0.030-inches at 10 meters.

Only 10 meters

Come on, BB. This test was only shot at 10 meters! That’s too close for a TX200.

Yes, it is. However, I have shot plenty of 10-meter target rifles at hundreds of targets in this blog and never has one of them given me a group this small! By now you would think I would have lucked into at least one, but I haven’t. Yet I believe I can shoot groups like this one all the time with this rifle. Why! Because my TX200 Mark III is now perfectly calm. No it’s not as calm as a PCP, but yes, it is as smooth as I have ever seen a TX become.

Next

What’s next is to back up to 25 yards and go again. 

Summary

Never in all my years of tuning spring-piston rifles have I had a result like this. I have always maintained that a trigger doesn’t make an airgun more accurate and that a tuneup also doesn’t change the accuracy. Was I just proven wrong?

I can’t tell you guys what to do, despite what your wives say about me! All I know is this is what I did and this is what happened.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

41 thoughts on “TX200 Mark III: Part 6”

    • Great shooting, BB.

      I’d like to put a call out to any Synergis owners out there- I’m wondering if any of you have any info on matching a piston seal?
      I had been eyeballing the poor man’s TX ever since it came out and despite a lot of reviews about magazine feed problems and pellet fouling I believe it has a lot of accuracy potential, if also a lot of potential for user error. I bought one intending to make it a shooter come hell or high water. But there is zero info out there about tuning or replacement parts. I opened mine up today and did a full clean, deburr, and lube. While my piston seal looks OK, it is made of a very stiff plastic that I suspect will have a short life. The Synergis overall seems very well made but it has a lot of sharp edges. The pellet probe was as sharp as a leather punch and kept slicing through my sandpaper when I tried to ease the edge. I can see why folks were having so many issues with pellets shearing in the magazine and breech. I would appreciate any info, gang.

  1. BB,

    I have seen you drop quite a few bucks on these Meopta optics. With this kind of shooting, do you not think it is time to get this gal another dress? Say walnut?

    • RidgeRunner,

      I certainly like a beautiful piece of wood furniture on my “traditional” guns. But what if B.B. does as you suggest and this fine shooting lady takes on Aires and won’t shoot as well anymore!
      Less or more density, distributed differently, and different grain structure could alter the harmonics. The Feng-Shui could be all wrong Master RidgeRunner.

      shootski

  2. BB,

    So the removal of extraneous vibration from the shot greatly contributed to the resulting accuracy of the Mk III. I think this is the first time you have pulled out that Indian silver Chuckram coin. Maybe you ought to post a picture with your standard coins lined up so we can appreciate it more. Then again the fact that looking at the coin which is practically the size of a .177 pellet is a gauge by itself.

    Siraniko

  3. B.B.

    Bullseye! Glad the 22mm piston is everything, and perhaps more, than what others on the forums have been saying. I wonder what other kind of improvements Tony L., or others could make for springers?
    The Darkside just got even dimmer for me!

    -Y

  4. Sounds to FM like, as with Louie and Rick in “Casablanca,” this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between B.B. and TX. Once again, it is proven beyond doubt that “you get what you pay for.”

  5. Awesome groups BB, great rifle and excellent shooting on your part!

    Incredible that a sport airgun can compete with purpose-built 10 meter rifles.

    I’m shooting (plinking) my TX200 in factory stock configuration. Four 12 fpe kits and a fancy FT stock came with the trade so there are options to play with. Might be that I need to show it some more love.

    Hank

  6. BB

    Congratulations to you. Having the confidence and skill to consistently repeat this degree of accuracy is amazing. If it were to happen to me my biggest worry would be can I do it again the next day.

    You are a happy fellow and should be!

    Deck

  7. “I have always maintained that a trigger doesn’t make an airgun more accurate and that a tuneup also doesn’t change the accuracy. Was I just proven wrong?”

    I don’t think so, at least on the tuneup part – this was not so much of a tune as a complete redesign of the mechanical powerplant of the gun . . . .

    Personally though, I have always felt that the trigger can affect the accuracy of the whole “system” – maybe not the base capability of the mechanical aspect of the gun, but certainly how the total system shoots when you include the shooter as part of the system.

    Alan

  8. Alan

    I agree.

    Using an extreme example to illustrate the point, if this rifle had an 8 pound creeping trigger, accuracy consistency would go out the window. At least it would if I were the shooter.

    Deck

  9. Ahh, I love the smell of fresh chamber oil burning in the morning. The Dragonfly has got a tough road to hoe! I expect those will all be keels at 40 yards or so when you are done ,sir.
    Nice shooting.
    My 2 chukrams,
    Rob

  10. Wow! I have really been enjoying this new series on the Tx200. I am excited to see what will happen at 25 yards.

    I did follow your suggestions in part two about servicing the rifle with the stock parts and proper lubrication. I applied a thin coat of TIAT to the spring, but it still has more vibration and buzz to the shot cycle than I would like. I may have to add more grease to dampen the spring, but wanted to start slow (to avoid excess grease that perhaps could migrate in front of the piston).

    I look forward to seeing more reports on your finely tuned TX200.

    -Airman

  11. BB
    Very nice! These are groups like my HW 50 Full Custom used to do. Best of all, they won’t be much bigger at 25 meters 🙂
    I think 10m distance is harder to judge but it also makes sense to test it. If you have a group like a hole the accuracy is inside. I assume you can be very accurate up to 50m with this powerplant.

  12. “This time the Leach-tuned TX put five JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets into a 0.034-inch group at 10 meters.”
    That’s awesome, B.B.! I’m happy to see this tune working out so well. 🙂

  13. Sorry but got to say what is.

    My factory untuned left hand (and I’m a right hand shooter shooting it right handed) walnut stock .177 caliber 200 shoots that good if not better at 10 meters. And yes it really is untuned.

    The real truth will be told when the distance starts increasing. Not saying it won’t shoot good. But I wonder if the cost is really worth it.

    BB you need to do some before and after the tune side by side pictures of targets as you go farther into the test.

  14. B.B.,

    Congratulations, you have shot the smallest groups of your life recently. You still have it.

    Your TX is amazing. You have thinking about getting the kit for mine.

    You still need to shoot the RAW at 100 yards. The JSB Redesigned should be good, I think the H&N .218 caliber slugs in 25 gr will do even better.

    Don

  15. BB,
    Fantastic shooting!! Good reason for your confidence. Wow. Great skill with a great tool.
    Are the pellets straight out of the tin, or sorted, sized, inspected, seated deep, ..? Was the scope at its highest power? Which glasses were you wearing? How did you stay calm?
    Don

  16. B.B.,

    You “have always maintained that a trigger doesn’t make an airgun more accurate and that a tuneup also doesn’t change the accuracy.” Did you just prove yourself wrong? I think so.

    Here is some reasoning behind the belief that a fine trigger promotes accuracy. Why are the most adjustable, lightest, crispest triggers those on competition guns? No one has a greater motive for accuracy than competitive shooters, and the best ones have the choice of the very best triggers available. Why would Olympic 10 meter air gun shooters go to the trouble of having their triggers absolutely how they prefer them if a trigger’s feel and behavior has no effect on accuracy?

    At the world-class level, the separation between number one and number two is so minute that every little thing makes a difference. Add up a few little things, and pretty soon they aren’t so little anymore. A roommate of mine in school was a hardcore hiker and climber. He chose gear based on weight, and he paid attention to every single gram. The way he put it was that a few ounces here and there matter a lot when you’re hiking an average of 20 miles a day over 12 days.

    Michael

    • Michael,

      What you say is totally true; for target shooting.
      In no way is it correct for 99.9% (nothing is Absolute) of hunters or hunting (Sport Shooting) situations.

      This TX200 is a Sporting Arm; even with a better scope (then most would/have mounted on it) and custom powerplant swap out to boot.

      We won’t even talk of this particular shooters skill set!

      shootski

    • Michael,

      I re-read your reply and actually found something “No one has a greater motive for accuracy than competitive shooters, and the best ones have the choice of the very best triggers available.” I will comment in an Absolute: the hunter, combatant or defensive shooter are just a few of the Ones that have a greater motive for accuracy; or most certainly should have!

      I trust you agree?

      shootski

      • shootski,

        I thought about defensive shooters (not hunters, as a shooter trying to win a competition has greater motive) as I wrote that sentence. A defensive shooter hopes for accuracy within a particular area of the threat. A half inch here or there might be irrelevant, especially if the threat is wearing loose fitting clothing. A perfectly centered shot is not necessarily more effective than one landing half an inch over.

        30 years ago a student of mine was shot in his face at point blank range. The 25ACP bullet lodged in his neck adjacent to a cervical vertebra. Had it been a half inch further right (or left, I don’t remember) to two inches further right, it would have killed him or paralyzed him. He was “stopped” as it was, however. He dropped to the ground, and the attacker jumped in his car and drove off. For the shooter it turned out that hitting within a target area of roughly 2 1/2 inches was sufficient to stop my student in his tracks, even by the much denigrated 25ACP. Incidentally, he was trying to prevent a suspected attempted rapist from escaping justice.

        A world class competitive shooter requires accuracy within fractions of a millimeter, perhaps even down to micrometers (1000th of a millimeter) with every single shot. How many animals and human attackers require accuracy of a sub-millimeter to be stopped? How accurate must a handgun be in order to be acceptable as a service weapon? As accurate as a state-of-the-art target rifle?

        Olympic 10 meter air rifle gold medalists win with a perfect or near perfect score. That means if their targets were overlayed, 60 shots of .177 pellets would produce a hole a .22 pellet would barely pass though (if it could at all).

        The motive for success is greatest with the defensive shooter, but the shooter who has the greatest desire for head-of-a-pin accuracy is the world class competitive shooter. These guys and gals could probably light match heads with regularity.

        Michael

        • Michael,

          As always an interesting turn to our conversation :^)
          What i find interesting in folks who mostly shoot paper or even MTC (Minute of Tin Can) is how precision is usually couched in terms of: ”
          A world class competitive shooter requires accuracy within fractions of a millimeter, perhaps even down to micrometers (1000th of a millimeter) with every single shot. How many animals and human attackers require accuracy of a sub-millimeter to be stopped? How accurate must a handgun be in order to be acceptable as a service weapon? As accurate as a state-of-the-art target rifle?” or even when discussing Practical shooting…
          “A perfectly centered shot is not necessarily more effective than one landing half an inch over.” In a hostage being held as a shield situation it may require POA to POI on that order or less.
          In practical shooting discussing MRAD or MOA in terms of angular miss is much more common since engagement distances are one of the variables at best and unknown at worst.

          I guess as always: It just depends.

          shootski

  17. come on BB although that is excellent results with the TX you know the FWB shoots that good at 10 meters and mine with no tuning will shoot into a .30 hole at 30 yds. at 40 yds about a 1/2 inch. so will the ones you own also. I used the factory sites no scope

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