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A second great target rifle shootoff

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Overpressurized
  • Edge had no rear sight
  • The test
  • Challenger 2009 PCP
  • Trigger
  • The sights
  • Edge 
  • Edge trigger
  • Second Edge group
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we shoot the Crosman Challenger 2009 PCP target rifle against the AirForce Edge. There is a lot to see today so let’s get right to it.

Challenger PCP
Challenger PCP target rifle.

Edge
AirForce Edge target rifle.

Overpressurized

I knew there would be some things to do before the shooting started and number one was to depressurize the Challenger 2009 PCP. I had mistakenly filled it to 3,000 psi when it’s not supposed to go above 2000 psi. Although nobody remembers this, the old Challenger was supposed to be a dual fuel air rifle that could also be filled with CO2. So the firing valve had to be set to operate at a lower maximum air pressure, because CO2 runs under 900 psi most of the time.

Challenger gauge
The Challenger PCP was overpressurized.

I couldn’t find the degassing tool, so I just dry-fired the rifle 100 times until the gauge dropped into the green. That’s supposed to be 2000 psi.

Challenger gauge 2
After 100 dry-fire shots the pressure in the Challenger reservoir is down to where it should be.

I shot the Challenger with the new sight system from Crosman. I’ll comment on them as we go.

Edge had no rear sight

The Edge had no rear sight. I had removed it and mounted it on the FWB 600 when my FWB rear sights failed to get the rifle on target. I’m still messing with that problem, though the Edge rear sight fixes everything. Fortunately the last time I had that sight on the Edge I recorded where it was set on the vertical post. That enabled me to mount the sight and shoot into the bullseye on the first shot — though there was some sight-in required.

Edge sight 2
The Edge rear sight was adjusted with the white dot about even with the third mark up on the post. After that all that remained was to refine the sight adjustments.

I filled the Edge to 3000 psi, which is correct for that rifle. It has a smaller reservoir, but gets about the same number of good shots on a fill because of its regulator.

The test

I fired both rifles off a sandbag rest at 10 meters. Both rifles were rested directly on the bag. I shot two five-shot groups with each rifle after they were sighted in.

Both rifles had performed their best in the past with the same pellet — the Qiang Yuan Training pellet. I will tell you what the best previous group was for each rifle as we go. Let’s begin.

Challenger 2009 PCP

The first group with the Challenger 2009 was the best group of the test. Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets made a group that measures 0.166-inches between centers at 10 meters. The previous best group with the same pellet was fired on July 30, 2020 and measured 0.097-inches between centers at 10 meters. I showed that group with the gold dollar comparison coin because I hadn’t acquired the silver Chuckram yet.

Challenger group 1
The Crosman Challenger PCP put five Qiang Yuan Training pellets into this 0.166-inch group at 10 meters

Shop PCP Rifles

Trigger

The Challenger’s trigger is two-stage and light. Stage two isn’t as crisp as I would like. I can feel some movement, though there is no real creep.

The sights

The Crosman sight system has inserts with a bar on either side of the front aperture. That helped me level the rifle for each shot. And, as you can see, the rifle is zeroed perfectly.

The second group of five Qiang Yuan Training pellets went into 0.204-inches at 10 meters. It was just over the limit for a trime comparison coin, so it got the silver dime.

Challenger group 2 1
The second group of Qiang Yuan Training pellets from the Challenger went into 0.204-inches at 10 meters.

Edge 

Now it was time to shoot the Edge. The Edge is more ergonomic than the Challenger, so it is harder to shoot off a rest. It’s made to be held offhand. 

As I said at the beginning, the Edge was also most accurate with the Qiang Yuan Training pellet. On June 16, 2020 five pellets went into 0.161-inches at 10-meters.

The first group of five pellets in this test went into 0.27-inches at 10 meters. That’s certainly larger than what the Challenger PCP did.

Edge group 1
The first group shot by the Edge measures 0.27-inches between centers.

Edge trigger

The Edge trigger is magnificent! Stage one has almost no resistance. Stage two is  as crisp as a glass rod breaking. It’s been modified to this level and it’s a trigger worth trying!

Second Edge group

The second group the Edge shot measures 0.281-inches between centers. It was also shot with the Qiang Yuan Training pellet.

Edge group 2
The second group shot by the Edge at 10 meters measures 0.281-inches between centers.

Discussion

Well it’s pretty obvious that the Challenger 2009 PCP buried the Edge in today’s test. The Edge is more ergonomic, more adjustable and has the better trigger, but the Challenger is more accurate today. That has been the historical record as well.

Summary

There is your second shootoff between 10-meter target rifles and this one has a clear winner. Was there anything else I was supposed to test with these two?

23 thoughts on “A second great target rifle shootoff”

  1. BB,

    Great! Thank you for another match rifle test. It has become very interesting topic for me personally. The more training I get on my 300s the more I’m interested in match. I try only not to activate the option “I really need also PCP match rifle, now!”. It would be difficult to explain it to my wife. Why do I need 8 air rifles? I always answer “why do you need so many handbags?” πŸ™‚ But it is not working any more…

    I assume both are somewhere in the typical match energy level like 8J (5.9ftlbs)? I really like your way to first chrony the equipment. πŸ™‚ But I know sometimes you don’t get time for pellet speed check.

        • tomek,,, and anyone else having trouble convincing their better half about our obsession

          I have found that I have the most luck when I compare my air gun hobby with one of my past obsessions. Golf seems to be the best for this,, as if one plays only once a week they will be spending about $60 each time for greens fees ( not counting the beer afterwards). Throw in a bucket or two at the driving range and that goes up. And we haven’t even started on equipment and shoes and rain gear.

          Easily $300 per month ( I never thought about it when I was playing,, tho I should have). You only miss a few months a year, so that adds up quickly. $2500 every year seems about right, plus equipment.

          She may not go for it,, but you have to admit,, it’s a pretty good argument.

          Ed

          • Ed,
            It is a very good argument. Here in Germany golf is also a very expensive exercise.
            One of my hardest is that I quit smoking. The cigarettes became very expensive, and I was smoking about 7-8EUR a day. It means more than 200 EUR a month which makes something like 2500EUR a year. Today it means like almost 2600$.
            The best is, after I got this idea to spend all non-smoked money only for myself, I choose coming back to airgunning, I really spend all that money on airguns! πŸ™‚ and even some more. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Tomek:

      I find it helpful to find friends, co-workers or church members that have expensive hobbies like boats, custom cars, etc., and then tell my wife how much THEY spend. β€œHoney, Mike just paid $6,000 for a bare engine block! Golly, I’m glad I never got into an expensive hobby like his!” Makes it a lot easier when you drop a few hundred Euros on a really nice new scope!

      Motorman
      St. Louis, MO

      • Motorman,

        That is also a good one πŸ™‚ The problem is, most of our friends with really expensive hobbies don’t have any kids, so there is always this “but they can do this because” πŸ™‚ Anyway, my wife finally accepted most of my strange things, so it is not so hard as 10 years ago.

  2. BB,

    There is a big difference in the front sight of these two air rifles. The Edge has a clear iris with a “floating” hole and the Challenger 2009 has the bars which you state help you to level the air rifle with every shot. The Edge will not accept the “barred” type front sights, but the Challenger might accept the clear iris. I have some FWB eighteen-millimeter clear irises if you would like to try them.

    LOL! That Edge trigger will disqualify it for competition. It is way too light for Sporter class. It also has a nice overtravel stop. If you did not “misplace” them, you have the parts to return the trigger to “stock”, but why you might want to do such is beyond me.

    In the “What Should They do” column, I think John should take a long, hard look at taking the Edge into the “Precision” class. Maybe a conversion kit that would at least take it to the beginner level. Velocity Outdoors should do the same with their Challenger. It would certainly ease the leap from one level to the next for many. Precision class can be VERY expensive to get started in. Maybe “they” can start a new class somewhere in between, one a bit more budget friendly.

    Gee, I do wish that Edge was back here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. I have an extensive batch of .177 pellets I would like to test with that air rifle.

    • RR,

      As far as Velocity Outdoors is concerned, their new Challenger is capable of shooting in Precision class at the beginner level.

      As for the edge, it needs a better barrel. I will not change that trigger — nop worrys there.

      As for her returning home, we shall see.

      BB

  3. B.B.

    Fiddling with the equipment, lol.
    Guys at the range who shoot PCP’s drive pick-up trucks and need wagons to bring all their fiddling equipment.
    Please fiddle away…

    -Y

    • Yogi,
      It doesn’t need to be like that.
      I drive a convertible to the range and shoot Big Bore PCP. My biggest things are the rifle case and two Great White 4,500 psi CF (Carbon Fiber) cylinders that I cascade. DAQs are reliable so only a small tool roll-up just in case something gets loose from the loud bangs!

      shootski

  4. I have just finished disassembling and assembling a Crosman 150. I have a whole new respect for these CO2 pistols. I like the way it is built. I want one.

    • RidgeRunner,
      Yes it was. I took three paddlers (about 30 years younger) along who want to do a marathon paddle on the Missouri River in the unsupported class. I told them we would try for 45 Nautical miles per day which would have made the trip a 4 day outing covering about 180 Nautical miles as the Seagull flys…well after the first day on the water it was obvious they would needed at least two extra days. Their camping skills are much better after the six nights too! I used MRE’s supplemented by spices, fresh and great prepared snacks. They tried to cook…sometimes in the rain and wind.

      • Ah well. This is how the youth learn, hanging out with the old fogies. They pay closer attention than you might think. Eventually some of it sinks in.

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