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The .25-caliber JTS Airacuda Max: Part 1

Airacuda Max
Airacuda Max from JTS.

This report covers:

  • The rifle
  • Cheek rest
  • Calibers
  • Regulator
  • Discussion
  • HOWEVER
  • Trigger
  • Accessories
  • Scope rail
  • Summary

Today we begin a long look at a .25 caliber JTS Airacuda Max. I have called this Part 1, but reader 45Bravo who is Ian McKee actually gave us our first look at this rifle in this caliber back in August of last year. What I will do in this series is look at the same rifle in the same caliber, but with my format. There will be no stepping on toes.

The rifle

The Airacuda Max is a regulated repeating bolt-action precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle. The bolt is operated by a sidelever located on the right side of the receiver and it cannot be swapped to the other side.

The rifle fills to a maximum of 3,200 psi through a Foster quick-disconnect filler fitting located on the end of the reservoir tube and covered by a screw cap. That’s a good maximum fill pressure and the correct fill adaptor. Anything else (fill pressure much above 3,000 or any other fill adaptor) is sketchy and worthy of a raised eyebrow.

The thumbhole stock is hardwood that looks like beech. It has a matte finish and is stained a dark brown shade. There is a separate cheek rest that adjusts for height. The vertical pistol grip and the forearm are checkered with flat diamonds and although I do not like thumbhole stocks as a rule, this one feels good and seems to fit me fine.

Cheek rest

As stated, the cheek rest is adjustable for height. The manual shows a picture but does not explain how this is done. A screw in the cheek rest allows a small amount of adjustment and a second screw located in the stock allows more.

Airacuda cheek rest up
The screw in the cheek rest allows some upward adjustment.

Airacuda cheek rest up more
The screw in the stock rest allows more upward adjustment.

The rifle weighs 8 pounds, according to the manual, but we all know that will vary depending on the wood.  The length of pull is 14-1/4-inches and the overall length of the rifle is 41 inches. The barrel is rifled and is 18 inches long. 

Calibers

The Airacuda Max comes in either .22 or .25 caliber. I’m testing the .25 that I specifically asked for because, as I told you yesterday, the only other .25 caliber repeater I have is my Benjamin Marauder. Now, that pits the Airacuda against some very stiff competition, but that’s the name of the game.

In .25 caliber the box, manual and online description all say 920 f.p.s. in .22 caliber and 900 f.p.s. in .25. Of course those numbers are meaningless without the pellet weights that go with them. But we will test that.

I specifically wanted this rifle because I want to test the .25-caliber JTS Dead Center domed pellet. I have already tested the JTS .22 Dead center pellet and we all know it’s a winner, but in .25 my only other repeater is the Marauder. We have now seen how the JTS pellet does in that rifle, so the Airacuda is a second testbed. In reality, then, this test is about both things — the rifle and the pellet. Are you confused? I know I am.

Regulator

The Airacuda Max is regulated and is supposed to come with the reg set to 2100 psi for the .25 caliber rifle and 1800 psi for the .22 Both rifles specify 40 shots on a fill, but we will be the judges of that.

Is the regulator adjustable? The manual doesn’t address it and neither does the description online. So I will say no. Of course people do get into such things, but since JTS went out of their way to tell me the pressure the reg was set for from the factory I’m thinking they want me to keepa my hands offa it!

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Discussion

This rifle is almost a price point PCP (PPP). I have set a limit of $350 for that category, but this Aircuda Max seems qualified because of all the extras JTS has incorporated. The shrouded and baffled barrel is an example. 

We have arrived at a time when the development of airguns is moving faster than I can keep up with. The days of the British, Swedish and German dominance of the airgun market has come to an end and I suspect the $1,500-plus PCPs are soon to become dinosaurs. Features that once cost thousands are now necessary just to compete at any price.

But we haven’t seen the last of this. It looks to me like the next few years will be a food fight among the PCP manufacturers at lower price points. However…

HOWEVER

And this is a big however. With all the wonderful features coming to the airgun market there are two things that are absolutely essential to compete and win. They are accuracy and a great trigger. The Benjamin Marauder gave us both things back in 2008 and even the big guys have to deliver those things or all bets are off.

So as I test this JTS Airacuda Max, those will be the things I concentrate on the most. Power is nothing without accuracy. And a great trigger is a joy to behold. Remember that I told you that I have to INCREASE the trigger pull on my .25 caliber Marauder, and we all know that I can.

Trigger

The trigger adjusts for the length of the first stage pull and for the sear engagement. The owner’s manual says the sear engagement adjustment is the way to increase or decrease the weight of the second stage letoff. It also says you can adjust the trigger to the point that the rifle won’t fire or will slip off the sear. 

Well, I just couldn’t help myself. I cocked the rifle and tried the trigger. It is two stage and quite nice! I will give you the specs in my Part 2 velocity test, but I can tell you right now this trigger is a good one.

Accessories

The rifle comes with two circular magazines and what appear to be the o-rings for several rebuilds. And of course there is a manual, and this one seems to be well-written.

Scope rail

The top of the receiver is machined as a Picatinny scope mount base. You can see from the picture at the top of this report that the circular magazine is almost flush with this base, so scope rings doesn’t need to be that high.

Summary

We have an interesting PCP rifle on our hands to test. The JTS Airacuda has been on the market for one year and I am purposely avoiding reading anything about it so I can give you my unbiased opinion. Stay tuned.

116 thoughts on “The .25-caliber JTS Airacuda Max: Part 1”

  1. Looking forward to this series! The price is pretty decent as are the looks. I do wish the rifle was available with a synthetic stock to bring the weight down. It’d be great if the weight were closer to 6 lbs! Some of us like to shoot offhand, and certainly pesting isn’t often done from a bench, so weight matters!

    • MisterAP,

      You have just added considerably to the base cost with the synthetic stock. The molds for such are very expensive. First, they must establish a market for this air rifle, then they can offer options. It was a good bit before the Marauder came out with a synthetic stock. Be patient, you will likely see the synthetic or tacticool stock for this soon.

      Personally, I prefer the stock on the standard model. I have never been a fan of thumb hole or tacticool stocks either. Have you seen the new Hatsan sproinger? Seriously? They are smoking way too much hashish over there in Turkey.

      • RR,

        You and I think alike on this matter. I’d rather have the classic wood stock on an air rifle too.

        I think Hatsan studies the US market trends well. Tacticool look sells around here, I assume. Big turn off to me. Why that synthetic mess? It was Hatsan’s walnut stock that had created the most sensation in the first place, right?

        Fish.

      • I didn’t know it’d raise the cost! I like the shape, but also like synthetic for the weight savings and ease of care.

        I didn’t get around to replying to yesterday’s post, though it is applicable today due to the topic.

        Pesting iguanas got me started with a Benjamin Trail break barrel and I was surprised by both how loud it was and how heavy it was. I exchanged it for a Gamo break barrel repeater. It was great although a little tedious to cock for each shot. I really liked the grip which was similar to the Airacuda being tested. It also increasingly had misfeeds and I exchanged it for another one that also had similar issues. Along the way I acquired a PSM45, 760, 1322, V10 and P17, which are all gathering dust because of the loading and cocking efforts for each shot. I have an XBG and P365 which get used a little more because they are CO2 BB and easier to keep shooting. I have an M17 CO2 which gets a little less use. Then I got the Fortitude.

        My PCPs are all .22; Fortitude, Bandit and SAM, and are the most used because of the convenience in shooting. I have the small Hatsan Spark compressor that fills them directly. I enjoy shooting the Fortitude and SAM immensely.

        My advice would mirror my experiences. Start with a relatively inexpensive break barrel or similar rifle to see if the sport is for you, then continue with PCP Rifle and if a manual pump is infeasible, look at either a tank filled at a suitable location or a small compressor to fill the gun directly.

        I was looking for a more powerful pesting rifle in .25 and my primary criteria besides the typical accuracy and reliability were weight and cost. I much prefer to shoot rather than tinker, so all the adjustability of the Avenge-X, Avenger, and Airacudas were not as important. The Airacuda Max and the Avenge-X were less attractive due to weight, and the DAR Gen 3 hit all the criteria nicely! The wood stock is the only real downside I see. I’ll just have to be more careful. I just received it a few days ago and have only had one session with it. So far, so good. It could probably use a suppressor but I’m not expecting to use it as much as the others.

        Still looking forward to this series to see what I missed out on by not choosing the Max 😉

        • MisterAP,

          I have a Maximus in .22. I have thought about the Fortitude, but do not really need it with my type of shooting. I do have a magazine feed and silencer for it though. I like the 2000 PSI fill. I have a big compressor and CF tank, but like using my hand pump with it.

          I do not have an aversion to synthetic stocks. I like some of them on some airguns. I do not care for pistol grip or thumbhole though. As I am an old, fat, bald geezer, I am not lugging these old gals around much, I like walnut. Many of the old gals around here at RRHFWA have walnut stocks and lots of steel.

          JTS will likely come out with synthetic stocks in the future. Like the Sig ASP-20, the wood comes first and if the market keeps supporting it, they bring out the plastic.

  2. B.B.

    Since about 75% of the world is right handed, why would you put the cocking lever on the right side?
    On the left side makes much more sense and is more practical!

    -Y

    • Yogi,

      I have to agree with Bill. I am left-handed, but unlike so many I shoot right-handed. Having the cocking lever on the left side only helps those who shoot left-handed or speed bench shooters. The ability to swap lever sides only increases the base price, most especially when the vast majority will not do such.

      • RR

        I shoot right handed. If I were to do darkside it would be with a rifle that is cocked by a lever, none of this bolt nonsense, on the opposite side of my trigger finger. It just makes so much more sense!

        -Y

        • Yogi,

          I have a few PCP’s. The ones with bolts are all Single Shot and many have a separate (Dennis Quackenbush [Old School PCP Style]) Cocking Handle.
          The rifles are Right Hand but all have Bolt and Cocking handles on the Right Side. On the DAQ Single Shot bolt action pistols Dennis gives you a choice to order left or right BOLT and Cocking handle. I usually ordered left side build so i didn’t need to un-grip each time.
          Why? Because consistent griping of a pistol is crucial for accurate shooting, especially single hand. With a rifle there are usually two hands/arms involved so it is a little bit less important since one or the other hand lets go of the rifle and the entire hold will need to be re-established regardless.

          Auto and semi-auto loaders are a complete different Manual-of-Arms.

          My opinion on the matter.

          shootski

          • shootski,, and anyone else reading this

            The difference is in how you normally shoot. If you most often shoot from bags or a rest of some kind, then having the bolt or lever opposite your trigger hand makes sense. Your grip, cheek weld and sightline won’t be affected when chambering a new round.

            On the other hand, if you shoot mostly offhand as most do when hunting, pesting or plinking, that would affect all three of those criteria. Holding close to your sightline is extremely difficult if you let go with your off hand.

            So,, like most other things in our passtime,, it all depends on what you want to do with your rifle of choice. You may want to have a different setup with each gun’s purpose in mind.

            Personally,, when I shoot from a rest, I most often am loading only one pellet at a time. That means that I am changing all three of the original criteria with each shot. So where the bolt or lever is placed really makes little difference.

            Ed

            • edlee,

              Sure makes sense to me Ed!
              I guess I overreacted to Yogi’s concept of: “On the left side makes much more sense and is more practical!” Since it wasn’t so cut-and-dried in my personal experience.
              When as you so clearly point out it all depends on a bunch of things that some of us do and some not so much.
              As long as it helps folks think about why things are or aren’t a particular way we all learn; that must count for a bit of why I like this Blog of Tom’s and the Readership.

              shootski

            • And that is why everyone needs more than one gun, just like golf clubs, no one gun does everything well.

              One gun for shooting for the bench, and one gun for the other pursuits, hunting or offhand shooting.

              One gun that’s lower powered for back yard or short range plinking, one gun for long range shooting.

              The list can go on and on…

              Oh, I know that golf has a lot in common with shooting, like consistency for every shot or swing, the stance, the swing, and follow through, there is a thousand ways to do it wrong, and only a few ways to do it right.

              But in my personal opinion, a golf course is a waste of very good shooting range property…..

              The meme below says it all…

            • Ed-

              Aha! Too right. I am a lefty used to doing everything right handed and I work with it fine. But When I hunt with my Marauder I have to pull the rifle off my shoulder to cock it and then set up again for a follow up shot. In fact all of my guns are R handed or ambidextrous-ish.
              In thinking through this, I now realize why I like hunting/pesting with my little right-handed Hatsan Flashpup. The weight is balanced over my trigger hand and I can cock that rifle without bringing it off my shoulder.

              There are so many things I have worked around like this over the years. The push button safety on Crosman multipumps, Co2 guns, and pcps (1322, 1377, 2240, Marauder pistol, etc.) all get in the way of my trigger finger and I learned to pull the trigger around them. It is awkward and eventually I removed the safeties alltogether on some of them.

              That isn’t a perfect solution but it sure is frustrating to line up a shot and accidentally engage the safety and miss the shot.

              I take it back. I think of the guns I own only 2 of them are truly ambidextrous: springers with their safeties on the back of the spring tube or in front of the trigger blade.

        • Yogi
          What you describe in my opinion, and obviously Shootski’s as he points out above, is best applied on handguns. Your trigger hand there is the only necessary point of contact when shooting the gun so the other hand can help with the rest. On the other hand with a long rifle or shotgun, your left hand and right shoulder keep the gun on target not your right one, despite being the trigger using one. So this can help with the rest. Obviously that’s the reason for making long repeating guns this way for so many years. On the other hand bullpups, even those with repeating actions, are different. Being so short the balance point is very close to the body and you can keep them on target with the trigger hand. Provided they are not very heavy for the shooter.
          It’s all a matter of human physiology but off course everyone may have his personal preference.

  3. The Airacuda std seems to be a kin to the Air Arms S series, with the adjuster, air tube style, etc. I would like to shoot both the max and std to see if there is $100 worth of difference. I guess the question I have is, has the air tube ping been dealt with?

    • MMCM,
      In my experience, adding a regulator pretty much eliminates ping, as it constricts the major air path to the reservoir and results in dynamic pressure level changes over time in the two sections. I would expect little to no ping in the Max . . . we will wee what Tom finds with it.

  4. The Airacuda and the Max have been a large temptation for me. I too believe the day of the high priced air rifles are limited. Dennis showed the world you do not have to have an outrageous price tag to have a good quality airgun. Now we are seeing the fruition of such. I do understand it is difficult to compete with the reduced labor cost of the Communist Chinese, but as with the Japanese, that will change. The Malaysians, the Indonesians and the Vietmanese are coming along nicely.

    As for RRHFWA, there are quite a few gals here to keep me busy for quite some time. It seems more keep showing up every day. I am afraid some of these gals may need to find another retirement home. Now if I could just learn to write.

    Summary
    We have an interesting PCP rifle on out (our) hands to test.

      • Fish,

        What?! I have to admit, I have never heard of either. You have totally lost me, not that hard really.

        Earlier you commented about the Hatsan walnut stock. I happen to have a Webley/Hatsan Tomahawk. It has a beautiful hunk of walnut. I am afraid that Hatsan lost me a long time ago.

        • RR,

          Although my earlier wood stock comment was not necessarily about Hatsan. It was more about wood stock vs synthetic stock discussion.

          BB is going to test the Zada, which, I believe, is a Striker dressed up as something else. I’m guessing they are the same air rifles inside. Which one would you choose? Again, this is not about Hatsan.
          https://hatsanairgunsusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/ZADA-R.jpg
          https://hatsanairgunsusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/products-Mod_1000_Striker_Wood_Combo.jpg

          Or
          https://www.weihrauch-sport.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/HW-30-Synth.-Detail_2_04-2017.jpg
          vs
          https://www.weihrauch-sport.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/HW-30-S-Detail-Punzierung-03-2020.jpg

          Or
          https://www.diana-airguns.de/fileadmin/Editoren/Produkte/Kipplaufgewehre/DIANA-Luftgewehr-350-Magnum.jpg
          vs
          https://www.diana-airguns.de/fileadmin/Editoren/Produkte/Kipplaufgewehre/DIANA-Luftgewehr-Panther-350-Mag.jpg

          I’ll always go with the wood stock.
          Too many links by the way, I hope BB won’t delete the comment. 🙂

          Fish

          • Fiberoptics on them are no good — to my liking. Their PCPs look fascinating.

            I’m curreny not shopping for an airgun. These are just my opinions in general.

          • Bill,

            First, I would have to make a considerable bit of room here at RRHFWA. As is I have quite a bunch of shooting to catch up on. I also have a few that need rebuilding still. I have more than enough to keep me busy for quite some time without taking on any more.

            • Fish, not all of my break barrel springers expose enough of the breech for loading prior to cocking, and some have a scope fitted that gets in the way, however…

              …pictured is my newest airgun that permits just that. 🙂

              It may not have the vintage look/ style (which I too, like) but I think it’s better in every other respect. 🙂

              • hihihi, thank you for sharing that. Wow. So cool. Another reason to love HW50S.

                I wonder if that is the case for HW30S too.

                So, when you shoot your HW50S, do you cock and load, or load and cock?

                • Fish, yes, the HW30S barrel breaks open similarly (though mine now has a scope in the way of the open breech).

                  I admit that it’s become a habit for me to ‘cock and load’ (oops, had to reverse-correct my previous) all of my break-barrel springers, including the HW50S.
                  I also admit that to ‘load and cock’, where possible, would be a little safer, maybe swifter too. 🙂

                  What is your current favourite airgun?

                  • hihihi, thank you for sharing that. Wow. HW30S rocks as well.

                    That settles it. HW30S is the best break barrel springer for plinking. Finally, an air rifle that excels the Diana 27. My life long research has finally concluded.

                    Being able to ‘load and cock’ should become a selling point for plinker breakbarrel springers.

                  • Although, it’s been more than a couple of years since I last shot a Diana 27 — and I admit I had never tried the ‘load and cock’ practice (Or perhaps, ‘I don’t remember if I’d ever tried or not’ might’ve been a better way to put it.) All those years with my old 27s, I had always cocked and loaded — that’s for sure. I still have one 27 overseas; I’ll have to test the theory next time I travel. So, the 30S vs 27 match might still be a draw. 🙂

                  • hihihi, I currently don’t have a practical safe place to enjoy air guns. When I did, the target would usually be a soda can and the distance would be the furthest my 27s could shoot.

                    Well, I have to admit, the ‘furthest’ here had also other variables in effect than my 27s’ range. Let’s say as far as I could shoot accurately. 😉

                    • Oh no Fish – what a tragedy! I admit my first reaction was to suggest ways to have some airgun fun inside a small space, for example, a range in a bedroom or similar.
                      But, although that can be (and is) fun, it’s just not the same as noisily making some aluminium spin and jump around outside. 🙂

                  • hihihi, well not exactly a tragedy. I have other hobbies too. I can actually go to ranges here or what not; I just don’t want to invest in air guns right now. I might move to NYC after all, and if it happens, I’ll completely retire this hobby. And this is good news for me, because I’m just in love with NYC. Oh, and I still have my 27 overseas, but honestly, when I go there, I don’t just sit and shoot airguns. Right now, I am just interested in the developments in the airgun world, I guess.

                    • Ah ok Fish.
                      I too am engaged in multiple hobbies, and have interests that I might realise later on.

                      For example, as well as airgunnin’ I like to play with my remote controlled toys. Yeah I’m a kid despite my age. 🙂

                      I can also see myself taking up something like motorcycle riding, though not in the near future. 🙂

                  • hihihi, don’t tell me you fly RC aircrafts. So cool. Gunfun1, here, is a big RC guy. I think he got shootski into RC flying too. I used to fly RC planes as well. And, my motorcycle days are in hiatus, for the same reason as airguns. BB has a big Harley. He’s a real biker, not a 250cc boi like me.

                    • Fish, yes, little gyrostabilised polystyrene/ foam things. The Trojan, a beginner foamie by Eachine, is my favourite because it’s the easiest for me to control.

                      But as most of the time it’s too windy here, I also play with remote controlled trail- and crawler cars.

                      I recommend looking into the tiny, 1:76 scale Minis by TurboRacing. They perform amazingly well on any clean and level surface! I have yet to see anyone not smile when they see and drive one… 🙂

                      And occasionally, it’s boats too. The tiny Caribbean by Joysway, is relaxing fun to navigate round and round a little circular course, a couple of buoys/ floats tied to stones, in our pool at home. 🙂

                      My latest remote controlled toy is an excavator (Huina1593). I’m surprised how satisfying it can be to scoop up some small amount of loose soil and drop it again. 🙂

                      Like with anything, I’m more the “Jack” than the “..Master of one!”, and I’m happy. 🙂

                      ——————–
                      Fish, I hope you are aware of how much more satisfying a smaller engined motorcycle can be, compared to a bigger and powerful machine. They allow using every bit of power of their whole revolution range with less danger than the lethally fast, bigger brothers.

                      My favourite experience so far, has been to ‘wring the neck’ (deliberately hamfisted throttle operation) of a 400cc Kawasaki Ninja – what a little screamer! 🙂

                      ——————–
                      In response to your next comment, I understand the singing hesitancy. I try to only torture one listener, and thankfully my poor hearing protects me! 🙂

                      I envy those who can make beautiful sounds with a musical instrument, especially if that is their voice, and I suppose I would eventually too, if I had the motivation to persevere with something. But my lazy nature limits me to playing only the radio/cd-player… which almost always works and works well as a mood elevator… 🙂

                      Can you spot the Mini? 🙂

                  • hihihi, these days my hobby pretty much consists of playing Blues. I sold all my music gear along other stuff, getting ready to move. Then Covid happened. Now, the pandemic’s over, but the plans are still postponed. Seems like time is the remedy. Anyway… Recently, I bought a $100 acoustic guitar and a 99 cents kazoo. I’m having a blast. You see I have a horrible voice, so I never sing. Not even back vocals. With a Kazoo, I’ve broken that taboo of mine. Now, sky is the limit. I’ve improved a lot. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of that back in time. That 99 cents have turned out to be my best investment, musicwise.

                    If the plans keep stalling, and I can arrange a good plinking range, I might consider $100 something springer for fun — and eventually give it away. But still, nothing compares to a door opening to a large backyard with no neighbors or a wide basement. Maybe, it’s time to call my friends living in the country. 🙂

                • Fish and Hi3
                  I’m also in love with NYC, Manhattan especially, but I believe that has to do with me being just a “Europman in New York”. Only as a tourist or guest. That being the case I wouldn’t like not to be able to shoot even airguns in the place I live. Being Greek I believe in democracy but not the one that suppresses its citizens that much.
                  By the way Hi3 I love that Mini. So much that I recently bought a 2012 4wd Countryman to the exchange of my Capture. Please don’t think badly of me for choosing a German/British over a French car. It’s so much more fun. Obviously that’s what we are after in our age. Isn’t it?

                  • Bill, I am bemused by what political importance some imbue their shopping with, however, I am happy to read that the Countryman has furnished you with fun! 🙂

                    My girlfriend once considered the same car for it’s looks and practicality (as a horse owner). 🙂

                    How did you arrive at your decision – was it a very fun test drive? 🙂

                    • Hi3
                      It was an instinct decision mostly. The Capture is very nice, practical, economic, comfortable, easy to use (automatic) from mid city to dust roads. But; no soul. When I saw the Mini, with a very good price I admit, it spoke to me. After one month of use I still smile when I look at it, when I get into it and mostly when I drive it around.

                    • Well Bill, it reads like your heart won as is only correct for making smiles and memories. I wish you many more happy motoring months ! 🙂

                      I remember my short period with a dark-rust red British (!) Mini Clubman. Part of it’s soul was in the soft timber framed rear which supported moss and grass. 🙂

                      Anyway, I was then and still am surprised how spacious that car’s interior was. 🙂
                      I drove it for a few weeks, from the time it was going to be scrapped until it had to be. 🙂

                  • Bill,

                    Lol! Where would you even plink in Manhattan? 🙂

                    In a democracy, there will be some common sense rules to reduce the risk of injury from BB guns and such. NY is a big state; you can get out of the city limits and enjoy the activities that belong to the country.

                    When I get to the East Coast, I want to sail — and sailing is an endless moneypit. I am, and will be, saving for that. 😉

                    Fish

  5. There could never be any stepping on toes.

    Your format of testing is so different than mine as I only have to test for 1 article and make it fit before the readers fall asleep from boredom, you have such a lineup of guns to test you have to do it stages, or it would be a very long report..

    Also, I tested a prototype of the rifle, you are testing an actual production rifle that has gone through several rounds of improvements.

    It will be interesting to see what changes have been made in the time since it’s been out in the wild.

    The stock designs have 2 different designs, one for hunting, one for more bench work.

    Ridgerunner, a friend has both a production standard, and the max, both in .22, and the ping has been resolved.

    It looks like I will have to get a current production gun to keep creating relevant content videos.

    I can’t wait to see how it fares in your testing!

    Ian

  6. B.B.,

    In Accessories

    You Wrote, “And of course there is a manual, and this one seems to be well-written.” At least for a price point PCP an Owner’s Manual (well written and not in chinglish or some other dialect) should NOT be an considered an Accessory, in this Dark Siders Opinion. Second Nitpick: is this manual really well written? See my next two nitpicks:

    In Regulator
    You wrote, “Is the regulator adjustable? The manual doesn’t address it and neither does the description online. So I will say no. Of course people do get into such things, but since JTS went out of their way to tell me the pressure the reg was set for from the factory I’m thinking they want me to keepa my hands offa it!”

    In Discussion
    You wrote, “The adjustable regulator that I will discuss in a bit is an example of this.”

    Sorry…Tom you can’t have it both ways!

    Yes, i agree, any Regulator (or valve/powerplant)) is adjustable if you can get inside of it. I think in a near price point PCP that adjustability requires an EXTERNAL adjustment device or at least adjustability with the furniture (stock) removed.

    So which is it?
    And is the Owners Manual really all that good?

    The rifle seems to be good looking and may have potential. Hopefully it provides some Precision and some easily obtained Accuracy in the shooters hands. I will wait for your testing before I comment some more from a Early Adopter DarkSider perspective!

    shootski

    • Decksniper,

      The death of the “Overpriced” PCP has been prematurely announced. As long as the “…British, Swedish and German dominance of the airgun market has come to an end and I suspect the $1,500-plus PCPs are soon to become dinosaurs. Features that once cost thousands are now necessary just to compete at any price.” keep spending some of their profits on Blue Sky Thinking and R&D (Research & Development) at least for now the PCP fun has just begun!

      Ask yourself: have there been airguns that cost thousands for decades already? Why will that market dry up suddenly. Have there been firearms that cost Big Money for many decades? Will that group of buyers suddenly dry up?
      Just because many airgunners are cheapskates?
      Remember what David Enoch wrote about his experience a few days ago at the Dallas/Fort Worth area brick and airgun mortar store? Check out Utah Airguns and even PA and the other On-Line stores!
      WAKE UP!

      Opinions offered are shootski’s alone and bear close watching…

      shootski

      • shootski,

        I agree. (Don’t faint!) Premium prices for premium manufactured goods will always be there. Over time the low-end price point either gets even lower, or quality at that price-point gets better, or both. But high-priced elite products will remain available for well-heeled consumers to buy.

        It might get much more difficult to separate the quality and features of an expensive high-end product from a low price point product. The makers and especially marketers of the high-end are able to become creative with the positioning of the product within the market, adding value in the form of image.

        Show up at an air gun competition with an air rifle equivalent of an Omega automatic mechanical wristwatch, and folks will take notice and perhaps even compliment the owner for having such a nice air rifle. Is it necessarily more useable or accurate than some air rifle half or one-third the price? Is a heavily engraved shotgun better performing than one which is not? Does a mechanical Omega keep better time than a $100 quartz writwatch? (No. It doesn’t.)

        But once upon a time the pricey PCP was indeed better performing than cheaper ones (and cheap ones had yet to come on the market). And once upon a time, before quartz watches, Omegas did indeed keep better time than other watches. (And I remember an era when quartz watches were a new technology and were quite pricey. Omega even made some quartz models — I have a quartz Seamaster frm the 1980s.)

        Michael

        • Michael,

          As you may know, I’m a watch nerd. I covet a Seamaster automatic, but other necessary things stand in the way. What a REALLY covet, though, is a Grand Seiko. But at the price of a nice used car I don’t think so. I am now wearing a Glycine Combat automatic that has stabilized at +1sec/day. And my 1992 Seiko quartz sits on my desk, quietly mocking me at + 1-2 seconds a month!

          I gotta get a timegrapher!

          B B

          • BB,
            Fellow Glycine combat wearer here. I haven’t seen anyone else wearing one of those yet. Mine runs a little fast, but I find it easier to deal with fast as opposed to slow. I have an Omega Seamaster automatic, circa 1990, the single most unreliable watch I’ve ever owned. All the quartz watches I’ve owned kept time, but turned into battery eaters, requiring frequent battery replacement. I also have a small pile of automatic Seiko dive watches, they don’t run anymore. The old ones ran a lot longer than the newer ones. I gave upon them.
            My wife gave me a Rolex Submariner for an alternative to a wedding ring, (wedding watch) I didn’t and still don’t wear rings, a habit from Navy days. The Rolex has been reliable and accurate for 37 years now, but it doesn’t get a lot of wrist time. I recently got a new Seamaster, glutton for punishment I guess, but I don’t wear it much, I guess sticker shock contributes to that. I also look at the Grand Seiko and imagine owning one, but as you stated…
            Now, I read air rifle reviews, scan used airgun ads on the web, haunt the pawn shops, and look on longislandwatch website at the “pretty things”. I’m not sure if I have more watches or airguns, but almost all the airguns are operational 🙂

        • Michael,

          Yes added value in the eyes of many.
          POA = POI is my first requirement.
          Reliability to the extreme is second requirement.

          Show and Tell was not one of my favorites in Elementary School; I trust you understand without my going on.

          shootski

          PS: search for Rubidium Standard. I flew with those back in the 1970’s (and some of the first Winchester Drives) and onward. Also Cesium for time and frequency but the Rubidium held up better.

      • Shootski

        High quality, time proven goodies always have appeal to those who can afford them and even to those who can’t. Having said that, there are breakthroughs on technology driven mostly by open competition that offer excellent value such as watches, calculators and Vessel screwdrivers.

        Have a good day, enabler!

        Deck

  7. Tom,

    I would like to commend the manufacturer of the Aircuda for what appears to be a genuinely ambidextrous buttstock. I have not seen a photo of the cocking lever fully extended, but that seems to be useable by a left-hander.

    Regarding price drops and technological advances, coincidentally this morning I was amazed by an advertisement for mountain bikes. One of the bikes, priced between $600 and $700, was outfitted with quality hardware but also a carbon graphite frame! Years ago I was for a time an avid bicyclist, and a quality mountain bike with a triple-butted chomoly frame cost me $700. A comparabe bike with a carbon graphite frame would have cost seveal times as much.

    Amazing.

    Michael

    • Despite many other issues, we do live in some pretty cool and amazing times quite unlike much of the past. Not saying we can’t still complain, but examples such as yours are good remindesr for all of us to be grateful and count our blessings!

  8. Just got the P/A advert for the AA S510 XS Tactical PCP and was just about ready to order when I thought to myself, you have enough side lever PCP’s. But I had already convinced myself I needed a high-tech Tactical PCP. Enter the Western Sidewinder PCP. Same price, ‘more funner’ F/S-auto, accurate and on order. Checked with Hard Air first.
    5 ft of snow in Ca so far and even at my place this morning at 2,700 ft. Not so deep! Melted by now.

      • Shootski
        AoA has a good short video on it and there are a few out there on you tube. On the Rattler, it’s big brother as well. But yes, I will. I think it is forth in line, behind the TX200 and it looks like heaven is opening for a few days to dry things out.

  9. Hello everyone. Is anyone having issues with the RSS feed for this blog? I stopped getting comment on Feb 27. I still get the main articles, but no comments. Thanks.

    • Michael

      Hey Decksniper,

      Michael replied to your comment on The .25-caliber JTS Airacuda Max: Part 1. Comment content:

      Dick, I’m glad you mentioned calculators. The first time I ever saw a calculator in person was in the ,id-1970s. It had ony 6 digits and only minus, plus, divide and multiply funcions. No square root, memory or anything like that. It was about 7 X 5 X 1.5 inches in size. I believe it cost several hundred dollars (remember, 1970s dollars) from the fellow who proudly showed it to a few others and me and elicited our “Oohs” and “Ahhs.” I remember when PCs had no hard drives and cost roughly $3000 in the early 1980s. Michael

      The message above appeared in my email but at present does not show on this blog. Maybe IT wants to know.

      In college late 50’s early 60’s we used manual hand crank calculators which were a marvel of metal parts configured inside. Well paid technicians repaired them as needed. While accurate, they were slow, limited and expensive. A few years after I was at a business seminar in New York where we were told that the new battery operated watches cost 50 cents to produce so wait awhile before buying one.

      Deck

  10. shootski,

    I have a Citizen WR200 Eco watch. It died this year in Las Vegas as I tried to remember how to set it to Las Vegas time. It is a watch that adjusts itself the time every evening from the atomic clock in the Naval observatory in Colorado, so it was never off by more than a billionth of a second. And it was a solar watch, so no problems with batteries, either.

    It’s too expensive to have repaired but was my last birthday gift from my wife, so it won’t go away.

    Right now I am more satisfied with a watch that’s within 1-2 second a day and my Glycine is fast plus has a hack, so I set it each morning.

    BB

    • B.B.,
      It sounds as if it might have gotten into a unrecoverable feedback loop. A knowledgeable electronic horologist might be able to reboot it.

      Have you opened it and removed/disconnected the capacitor (any battery)?
      That might get it to COLD reboot.

      shootski

  11. B.B. and Readership,

    As Decksniper noted above some strange things are and are not happening on the Blog Replies and email notifications.
    Maybe it has something to do with today being: National Unplug Day.
    I think the PA IT company took it literally or maybe it is just Ops Normal, LOL!

    What will tomorrow or next week bring?

    shootski

  12. The stock looks a little too delicate. When the Evanix AR6 came out it had a thin stock and mine arrived with a crack and so did the replacement. Time will tell.

  13. shootski,

    Many of those high priced airguns are high priced because of the exhorbant taxes places like Sweeden, UK and Germany charge to support their welfare systems. Many of the other companies in other countries charge similar prices for similar products because they have found a market that is willing to pay exhorbant prices.

    I would like to own an RTI, but I am unwilling to pay what they are asking for an Eastern European airgun, most especially since there is nothing really there. Maybe one day I will be able to pick up a nice used one at a reasonable price. I picked up an AirForce Talon SS with an Altaros regulator and a Hawke 2-10 Side Focus scope for under three hundred dollars this past October. The scope is worth almost that much. I also picked up a VERY nice Beeman 800 for waaaay under one hundred dollars.

    I have bought some real nice airguns in my time and payed some real high prices for them. Many of them have moved on. You do not need a Weatherby to hit a groundhog in the head at over 500 yards. A Remington does just fine.

    • RidgeRunner,

      Can’t argue with you over this you have the true nature of airgun manufacturing and buyer/seller habits facts on your side. I’m really only interested in Precision, Accuracy, and RELIABILITY. That is why the vast majority of the airguns I own are PCPs and more specifically from the hands of two people. The metal parts by Dennis A. Quackenbush and the gorgeous Walnut furniture by his wife Karen. Okay for a time there was a guy doing his Hot Salt Bath Bluing because Dennis knew he was better equiped and good at it.
      For those readers that don’t know much about DAQs:
      The rifles and pistols are built on WW2 era machines by a Master Tool Maker who for the longest time even drilled his own barrels from bar stock! Throughout B.B.’s airgun writing career you will see Dennis weaving in and out of the storyline. I can say this with some certainty that although Tom may be the Godfather of Airguns®; Dennis A. Quackenbush is the sustaining Well Spring of the Modern Airgun Era.
      There are certainly others who helped push our avocation forward; but you who read this blog and those who know Dennis are rubbing elbows with Modern Airguning’s Founders.

      shootski

      • shootski, to me Mr Quackenbush seems like a Rock Star whose music is too heavy metal for my handlers to permit me a listen! 🙂

        I have wondered before how I could legally sneak one of his treasures into the 20 Joules maximum realm of which I am a subject.

        If one of his airguns could be set to pass below that threshold, then I would love to give him my custom. Like you, I am a sucker for quality! 🙂

        Out of interest, what, if any, upgrades would you like to see in the next generation of your .58″ calibre airguns? 🙂

        • hihihi,

          I have a DAQ Pistol and the ShortRifle in .58 caliber
          They were designed to shoot Lead Ball at a nominal 283 grains. They are hunting accurate (3 MOA POH (Probability Of Hit) to 100 yards/meters is about 95%; most of the misses are likely due to voids in the Lead. Mr. Hollowpoint casts a 350 grain hollow point bullet that is actually more accurate which may or may not be due to superior casting.
          As far as the next generation airgun upgrade i don’t believe there will be any. I did install a 25 MOA 1913 PICATINNY Rail on my pistol in place of the two Weaver scope mounts. That minor modification allows mounting any number of sight systems with greater repeatability along with more optically centered optics when shooting out to 100 and beyond. I may do the same for the ShortRifle in the future. I doubt Dennis would do that on his builds if he were to make another run of his .58 caliber airguns.
          I have a Vortex Spitfire 3× with bullet drop illuminated reticle mounted on the pistol and would use a similar optic on the ShortRifle as long as it is night vision capable.

          I know you don’t hunt but these two DAQ’s are perfect for Wild Bore hunting; they really are not for Plinking.

          shootski

            • hihihi,

              For plinking I would recommend the DAQ Outlaw LA 1:10, .308 (7.62mm) and 110 to 150 grain bullets (slugs) Lol!
              You can PLINK with 210FPE (284.75 newton meters) authority; perhaps launch that feral can into the next Province. And when not plinking you can just look at the Figure in the entire length of the Superior Walnut stock if you aren’t too mesmerized gazing into the perfectly polished DEEP BLUED metal.
              Do be careful not to make your girlfriend all to upset…cast a loving glance her way from time to time!

              shootski

              • Thanks shootski, for your suggestion. The LA Outlaw appears indeed agreeable to my eye! Luckily for me, Vickie is very tolerant of my interest in those disagreeable bang makers! 🙂

                A barrel twist rate of 1 in 10″ (?) seems ideal for keeping those lead sticks from wobbling too far off course. 🙂

                • hihihi,

                  Your Vickie is definitely a keeper based solely on her tolerance of your banging advocation. With a large enough Suppressor even a .308 DAQ can be dramatically hushed. I have used a DonnyFL in the recent past before the unenlightened ones in the USA got involved in his and many airgunner’s Liberty to protect their ears. We have people in our country much like the ones you so aptly call “my handlers” who believe they are above the Constitution of the USA. But I digress. The Six and one half inch (16.5cm) long expansion chamber and the eleven inch 27.94cm) long Emporer V3 combination were actually urban park friendly at night if not exactly the shortest barrel extension.
                  I’m working on making it all “legal” in the eyes of our overreaching “handlers” but they are currently simply pieces of metal tubing, felt and plastic hair curler parts. Lol!
                  B.B. has a series about his rifle you might be interested in: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2012/05/quackenbush-308-part-4/
                  The Link is to Part 4 to make it easier to click through to all the Parts.
                  Tom Gaylord’s Walnut Stock is rated as a STALKER grade and he says, “I selected the lowest-grade gun Dennis makes,…” But looking at that stock you can see some beautiful figure…now just think what a four level up Superior grade would look and feel like in your hands…if you could get one. Sadly you would probably be looking for a long time and likely paying a three time multiple premium for a well cared for example. Dennis never made all that many to begin with and never overcharged for any of his airguns.
                  Once the word got out on the DAQ airguns folks made the phone-in list which usually closed within 4-5 hours with most just hearing busy signals as the local switchboard was overwhelmed with the flood of callers. Fifty lucky souls got on the list and a year would usually pass before the list was opened again for another lucky fifty. The airgun blogs had people cursing Dennis and others crying about not making The List yet another year. Dennis did not believe in people jumping the order que for all the money in Switzerland and also never took a Dime before your airgun was ready. Unlike so many other boutique makers who took folks money and made them wait years or never delivered an airgun ever! Some folks got on The List just to resell their gun for three or more times the price Dennis had charged them.
                  If you have read Tom’s report you already know the Readership’s reaction to him having had the rifle for four years…and the rest of the story.
                  I will say that B.B. did well on the limited number of shots he has through his DAQ .308 and probably never finding the right bullet(s) for his particular gun. I have shot probably 1,000 times the number of rounds that B.B. has through his airgun.
                  I don’t know how many rounds were fired by that Laboratory he loaned it to but my rifle wasn’t really optimally broken in until i had 600+ rounds out of the muzzle.
                  Mine will shoot MOA with my Meopta 5-30×56 MeoPro Optika6 ED RD FFP Rifle Scope (MRAD RD Reticle) making it a snap to aim and adjust for the pressure tube changing the POI with each of the 5 shots from 3,600PSI (250 BAR) at about 400PSI (28 BAR) per shot before refilling at the current tune.

                  Now get after those handlers and start looking for someone who wants to sell one…it could turn into a lifelong project!

                  shootski

                  • K98Shootski and Hi3
                    Maybe an Altaros M24 would interest you both. Low power to get by French regulations but with 76 joules max for 500 yards shooting in the USA. Being single shot it could be interesting for R.R. also but with the price and place of origin I wouldn’t dare to tell him about it…

                    • Bill,

                      RidgeRunner already knows about this company in the Czech Republic. I told him about it at least once before.
                      I think you are correct that hihihi might be interested in one or more of their M24. I have looked at a number of their items to include their B2B Booster.

                      Looks like some Machinists and Money people that know PCP airguns.

                      shootski

                    • Bill,

                      Only 76 Joules out to 500?
                      When I can plink with as much as 350 Joules using the DAQ .308 (7.63) to launch those feral cans into the next State…

                      Joking aside the Altaros M24 is an airgun platform of interest; need to see if it is interesting from a precision/accuracy standpoint. Maybe B.B. can get one to test?

                      shootski

                      PS: I went looking for where I could buy one and found this: https://www.balistas.com/altaros-m24-55mm
                      Looks like a really class act shop to try and buy one of these and other items for airguns.

                    • Thanks Bill for your appropriate suggestion. I have looked at that Altaros M24.
                      I like the sporter style, the promise of high accuracy (!) and I particularly like the legal power option – well done for finding that! 🙂

                      Shame about the ‘naff’ black plastic. Maybe I should have another look at repairing/ resealing my much prettier precharged pneumatic rifle (Artemis PR900W)?

                      I really wish for more hours per day than the measly twenty four. The remaining time after essential activities is inadequate for my too many interests. 🙂

                      Yes, a luxurious problem, but nevertheless, a problem. 🙂

                  • Shootski
                    First I have to apologize for those strange add-ons before your nickname. K98!!! I wonder if this blog or IT editor have a mind of their own. Anyway. Ballistas is one of the few companies I trust to cooperate with, being in Europe that is. I believe they have a state of mind like Pyramidair regarding customer service. As far as Altaros you may have known about them since they make PCP regulators for years. And some really unique airguns every now and then. Regarding the 500 yards shooting I made a mistake since the relevant YouTube video shows 1400 YARDS!

                  • Hehe, shootski – I have no idea how I missed your choice of words in the first sentence – yes, Vickie really is a keeper!! 🙂

                    Thanks for the link.

                    Erm, I might as well mention here that, looking for more information on the Altaros M24, I came across the news that there might be an Altaros M2010 available later this year (at the earliest). I believe it is supposed to be similar to the M24 except for the stock and repeating function.

                    Interesting development, I think. 🙂

  14. Bill,
    no problems on the K98
    A Sniper variant (Original) would be most welcomed for ownership from a rarity/value standpoint. But to go shoot a G98 Sniper (also Original) would be preferred!

    I saw that claimed World Record. With a Custom Barrel and I’m certain a much higher power tune.

    I need to get some of those “turned” bullets at some point to try out!

    Got to go paddle. The wind is blowing just right for a Downwinder in my kayak.

    shootski

    • Shootski
      You made me miss my sot kayak that’s waiting at our country house on the island for the warmer months.
      I believe that Altaros doesn’t need a more special barrel than the LW it already has. Power wise, I can’t tell if 60 fpe can reach that far and accurately.

      • Bill,

        I hope you get to paddle soon!
        I paddle year-round using a Dry Suit in the cold water season (below 55°F, 12.7°C water temp.) and a full Spray Skirt attached to my EPIC 18X Sport Expedition build. We had Wind 28, Gusts 43mph/W45, G69kph) driving 3+ foot/ 1meter wind waves for push at times to as much as 13+mph. Then a wind shift and dramatically reduced winds for the return which helped make it even more fun.

        shootski

      • Fish,
        Today’s paddle was on the North-South portion of the Potomac River since time was short to catch the wind. If the forecast and my schedule dovetails with other paddlers we do the Chesapeake Bay or the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. My wife and I travel often with our EPIC 18X Double and bag short paddles along the way to our destinations most navigable rivers, lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans have fallen under our paddles over the years. If I’m in Utah it would need to be the Great Salt Lake since every other body of water is typically icebound. I don’t paddle Lake Powell anymore because of the invasive Quagga Mussel infestation and boat quarantine rules, unfortunately about the only other large Utah body of water that is Ice free in Winter.
        We keep talking about a Danube River paddle from source to Black Sea….

        shootski

        • Awesome. Be careful kayaking Black Sea though. I sailed dingies there in my younger days. If I have to define those waters in one word, I would say unpredictable.

          • Fish,

            I find most Waters have their unpredictable days for one reason or another. The steeper and closer to the body of water the topography gets the more focused and sometimes crazy the local wind and weather conditions can make for boating. The wind shadow has fooled many a unobservant Mariner into going out in conditions beyond their capabilities.

            shootski

            • Ahhh, you were a swimmer in the Coast Guard, right? Never mind then. You’ll be just fine, my friend. Still, listen to the locals there; don’t learn a lesson the hard way as I did. In my younger days, I thought I was invincible.

              • Fish,

                I was a Naval Aviator not a USCG Rescue Swimmer. My first and fourth career was as a Beach/Open Water Lifeguard, learned to swim as a toddler, and have paddled kayaks, punts and rowed dories since my early teens.

                shootski

  15. BB,

    Is there a tiny hole in the center of the fill port connector cover (it appears so from the picture)? Any thoughts on why it is perforated rather than solid?

    Best,
    AP

    • AP,

      Yes, that is a small hole. One reason could be so air pressure doesn’t build up in the cap if the fill connector has a leak. It’s the same reason muzzle-loading big bores aren’t made.

      BB

      • B.B.,

        Do I remember you talking about having bought a DAQ .308 with 1:10 barrel as an investment?
        Did you ever run a comparison test to your original Stalker Grade DAQ .308?

        shootski

        • MisterAP,

          I think B.B. is referring to the potential of the exhaust valve leaking into the bore and the gun going off un-triggered…sort of.
          I’m thinking PCP muzzleloader could have a small hole to keep the pressure from building up just like the Vent Hole on a Black Powder Muzzleloader.

          shootski

  16. B.B. and Readership,

    Sad news: Bald Eagle illegally taken by airgun in Nebraska.

    “The men, who are citizens of Honduras, have been charged with unlawful possession of a bald eagle… The Nebraska Game and Parks department took custody of the eagle and the high-powered air rifle used to kill it, according to Unger. Further charges against the two men are possible pending further investigation from federal authorities, he said.”

    Hunter Education for country you hunt in or Professional Guide might be even smarter.

    shootski

    • Unfortunately it’s not just immigrants to this country that do stupid stuff with airguns.

      I belong to a Facebook airgun group, as an admin.
      A member posted photos of himself with a couple of wood peckers he shot with his new pcp airgun.

      Luckily a fellow member took screenshots of the posts, photos, and the online profile of the person before he deleted the posting.

      Let’s say it has been forwarded to the appropriate authorities in his state, and they are very interested talking to him.

      We have since instituted a new rule in the group, no hunting or kill photos allowed, if you do post them, you will be banned.

      Unfortunately we have to police our ranks because of some foolish antics of a few individuals..

      Ian..

      • 45Bravo,

        I’m not certain if they were immigrants or just visitors; i have no issue with immigrants since i myself am a Naturalized Citizen of the US of A.
        My basic point was to be knowledge about hunting laws wherever and with whatever you hunt.
        Having an airgun involved just makes it On Topic and more important for the Blog readers.
        A shame about the ban on appropriate hunting and take/harvest photographs on the Facebook group as well.

        shootski

    • Shootski
      Not to mention bad publicity regarding airguns this is my statement;
      I don’t know or care about such rules. Everyone who’s killing this creature should face severe penalty… Luck of knowledge, although I believe they knew what they were doing, should just save them from the same sentence. I sure hope that God will take care of the fate they deserve. I don’t know how I would react having a gun in hand and seeing someone killing an Aegean hawk.
      .

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