This report covers:
- Always something else
- Yewah 3B Dynamite
- Change it
- Make ‘em pumpers
- What do you want?
- Farco air shotgun
- Most buyers
- It’s okay
Always something else
One thing has stood out about airgunners for me. No matter what you are talking about, they always seem to want something else — something different. What gave me the idea for this report are the discussions we’ve been having about the Dragonfly Mark 2 and the Crosman 362. Both are multi-pumpers and inevitably someone asked which one is better. Well, you tell me — which is better, a guitar riff by Jimi Hendrix or Yehudi Menuhin playing his Stradivarius? And don’t tell me you never heard of Yehudi Menuhin. He had a popular swing song written about him in the 1940s titled, “Who’s Yehudi?”.
Yewah 3B Dynamite
I remember many years ago when powerful modern precharged guns didn’t exist, the Yewah 3B Dynamite multi pump from Korea was considered a big deal. It was powerful, a large caliber (.25) and airgunners were in awe of it — mainly because few of them had ever seen one.
Then I read about a guy who had one and reported how very powerful it was, but, man, was it ever hard to pump! The 3B required 150 pump strokes of a front pump rod to fill initially, and then you could top it off after every shot with another 20 pumps or so. This fellow liked the power but hated all the work. So he machined a fill coupling and turned his 3B into a precharged airgun! He said the gun became lighter when the pump mechanism was removed, and it was no longer a chore to fill. That made him happy. But not everybody was happy.
Make ‘em pumpers
Several years later there was a huge cry to put a pump mechanism on a PCP. The proponents of that move said you would have all the accuracy of a precharged pneumatic, but no longer be tethered to a scuba tank. I was one of the ones who said that and was fortunate enough to purchase a used Daystate Sportsman Mark II, which was a modernized Titan multi pump. Five pump strokes took that .22 rifle up over 25 foot-pounds, and with as few as three pumps you still got over 15 foot-pounds.
That Sportsman was accurate, beautiful, had a great trigger and was all things people said they wanted, except for the pump mechanism. It was heavy, it unbalanced the rifle to the right side and the final two pump strokes required 77 pounds of effort, each. That rifle was a scarce one because it cost about the same as a PCP. If there had been more of them I’m sure someone would have removed the pump mechanism and converted it to a PCP. No doubt he then would have touted all of the advantages that such a conversion brought!
Today there is the FX Independence, which gives us the best of both worlds — precharged and multi-pump. It’s expensive, but it does exist. And the Seneca Aspen gives us the same capability at a fraction of the price. Okay, okay, people say. I know it can be done. But that’s not what I want.
What do you want?
I want a 5-pound rifle that’s a precharged pneumatic and a multi-pump, but it has to be slim and trim. And I want it to sell for less than $200. Okay — nothing unreasonable there!
Farco air shotgun
Remember the Farco air shotgun? It was .51 caliber, or 28 gauge. And it operated on CO2. Because it was made both in the Philippines and for the Philippines, the temperature/pressure fluctuation with CO2 was not considered a problem. But what did American airgunners want? They wanted to shoot a round ball from the gun. Farco importer, Davis Schwesinger, the owner of Air Rifle Specialists in New York, killed a wild pig in Florida with his Farco shooting such a ball.
Then I published the velocity of the ball from a Farco in The Airgun Letter. As I remember, it was around a .43 caliber lead ball that sat in a shotgun shot cup. It exited the muzzle at around 500 f.p.s. Golly gee but that was too slow. So guys started converting their Farcos to operate on high-pressure air. As long as they didn’t fill to more than 1,200 psi, the CO2 valve could still deal with the pressure and the better flow of the thinner high pressure air did increase the velocity. But it wasn’t enough. Someone converted his Farco to run on air at 3,000 psi. That is dangerous, because the Farco is made of soldered brass. In essence running it on 3,000 psi air turns the shotgun into a large pipe bomb!
You know, the funny thing about fringe experiments like this is that the guy doing them always says there is no problem. And there isn’t — until there is. There are a number of tragic You Tube videos with similar circumstances.
I write this blog with a mindset that my readers want pellet guns that are accurate, powerful and easy to shoot. Same for BB guns. That is how I test and evaluate them. I think that is what marketeers believe, as well. And I think that applies to 90 percent of the buyers. It’s that other ten percent that troubles me. They want something else. Give them a lever action and they complain that it isn’t a sidelever. Give them a sidelever and they want an underlever. And one guy even wanted an over lever! They do exist but they aren’t very common.
Everybody wants a repeater — except those that don’t. But give them a 12-shot rotary magazine and they want a 20-round belt. Give them a belt and it makes the trigger too hard to pull. They wonder why “they” can’t just use the power of the gas to advance the belt and load the next pellet? Yet when “they” did something very similar with the Crosman 600 pistol, the complaint was that it used too much gas. Thirty shots from a 12-gram CO2 cartridge was just not enough, I don’t care how powerful the gun was.
It’s okay to want what doesn’t exist. And seeing new stuff causes most people to start redesigning it in their mind. That’s a natural human trait. But to take something that works well and start redesigning it — that is the trait of a contrary (an American Indian belief of doing things backwards) or of an airgunner. Like the guys who want the TX200 Mark III to be made into a sidelever or Benjamin Marauders to be given internal pumps.
Nothing will change because of today’s report. I will go right on doing what I do and so will all of you. And I guess that is the nature of things. But every once in awhile I need to step off the train onto the platform and just consider for a moment where we are going.