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Air Guns Balance

Balance

This report covers:

  • What does Bill mean by balance?
  • Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock
  • So what?
  • Worth it?
  • But
  • Taste and style
  • The deal
  • Air Venturi Avenger
  • TX200 Mark III
  • Just me

This report was suggested by reader Bill, when he commented this: Tom,After reading so far, do you think that a blog about balance between guns and their equipment would be worth doing?I suppose you understand what I mean but if not I will be happy to explain myself better.”

I said I understood what he was saying, and today he will find out if that’s true.

What does Bill mean by balance?

The thing that comes to my mind when you say balance is money. How much does each thing cost and is it prudent to put those things together? In my unique position as the writer of this blog I have what you could call an expanded perspective on this matter. For one thing, as a writer I often get discounts on airguns and equipment. That means I can put more expensive things together for less money. And because I am a writer, I can sometimes pay for those things as a business expense, rather than a personal purchase. For both those reasons, I operate in a different world than most folks. Let me get specific now, so we can discuss this.

Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock

I began writing about the Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock on August 29, 2019. That’s significant to me because it’s my birthday. At the end of Part One of that report, here is what I said, “Stay tuned, kids, because The Great Enabler is about to embark on a dangerous (to his checkbook) journey!

Air Arms S510XS
Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock.

I wasn’t just testing the air rifle in that series, I also tested the first airgun scope that Meopta ever made. Here is what I said about it in that same report, “Since I have to mount a scope on this rifle I have held off until Meopta sent me their new Optika6 3-18X56 RD SFP scope to test. It is a scope with a 6X zoom ratio (3-18) and a second focal plane (SFP) focal package.”

It doesn’t end there, either. I needed a set of rings in which to mount that scope and for that I selected Sportsmatch adjustables. Here is what I said about that, As you may have read, I always like to elevate the rear of any scope I mount to cancel the barrel droop problem. Even if the gun doesn’t droop, lifting the rear of the scope does no harm and gives me more adjustability at longer distances, so it’s always a plus. With that in mind I asked Pyramyd AIR to send me Sportsmatch 30mm high adjustable scope mounts. Now you may balk at paying $150 for scope rings and I don’t blame you — it took my breath away as well. But the $1,500 S510 rifle I am testing is a no-compromise precharged rifle that’s worthy of every benefit you can give it. I didn’t spend $4,000 on a Swarovski scope and $500 on a scope mount to go with it, so in fact I saved a ton of money by going the way I did. But this will be a test of the very best. I even asked for the laminate stock on the S510 because that is the best they have.”

So what?

Okay, BB, we get it. You have a lot of money and you chose to spend it this way.

I know it sounds like that, but it wasn’t that at all. In fact I was doing exactly what Bill asked about. I was putting together a package of what seemed to me to be the very best things — rifle, scope and rings. I thought it was a balanced package. And today’s question might be WAS IT WORTH IT?

Worth it?

To me this combination was worth every penny. Because of my writer’s discount, I paid less than any of you would have. The S510XS rifle has increased in price by $300 over the four years I have owned it, so I paid just over half of what it sells for today. The same is true for both the scope and rings, so the outfit I have would be a super bargain for anyone if they could buy it all today for what I paid.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

But

BUT, reader RidgeRunner, money has very little to do with the value of this package to me. These three things together — rifle, scope and mounts — do what I want them to. When I shoot this combo I hit where I intend hitting.

It’s like going into a 5-star restaurant and just ordering what you want, rather than what you feel you can afford. I never eat at 5-star restaurants myself. I don’t because I’m not a foodie, I don’t like to spend my money that way and because I lost my sense of taste several years ago. I can taste sweet, sour, spicy, salty and so forth, but I cannot taste the foods they come in. So for me food isn’t about taste. It’s about nourishment, about life. Therefore I don’t spend a lot of money on food. 

But I do spend money, and sometimes a lot of money, on shooting because I like to shoot. Shooting is fun for me and it’s worth it to me to spend money on what I enjoy.

Taste and style

This is not about taste, and what I mean by that is this is not about investing in something because I value it for what it is. It is also not about style because I have zero interest in style. Let me give you what I believe is an example of that.

FX airguns are highly favored by many shooters. It cannot be denied that a great many people are attracted to FX airguns. Daystate airguns are similarly favored.

I have owned several Daystates but never have I owned an FX. I owned a Daystate Huntsman as my first precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle. I bought it used because it was all I could afford at the time, and that was at a time when the Brits dominated the PCP world. So PCPs were very expensive. But that first Huntsman, while reasonably accurate, was not a superior air rifle. It was clunky like a club. I owned a Daystate Huntsman Mark II that I bought brand new for the sport of field target. That rifle was lighter and slimmer than the first Huntsman and was also more accurate in my hands. I owned a Daystate Sportsman Mark II, that was a multi-pump pneumatic. It was beautiful but poorly balanced and extremely clunky to hold when shooting. I got rid of it almost immediately.

The one FX I have ever considered owning was a .177-caliber FX Dreamlite. And here is what I thought about it, “At the present time the best 10-shot group I have gotten with the Dreamlite has been 0.284-inches at 25 yards. Now, THAT is a group (see it in Part 4)! The groups that measure 0.35 and 0.4 are about the same as my TX200 Mark III can do with 10 pellets at the same 25-yards distance, which is what put me off this rifle. You guys know me. If this was a world-beater I would be out in front with my pom-poms!”

That was the last thing I wrote about that air rifle. I was prepared to purchase it from Pyramyd AIR up to that point. But that rifle let me down in a big way. The “smooth twist” barrel was EXTREMELY pellet picky. The regulator required at least 25 seconds to refill after a shot. The rifle I tested was an extreme drooper and the overly large circular magazine made mounting a scope challenging. I wanted to test the single-shot tray, but it wasn’t available when I tested the rifle.

I liked the Dreamlite’s trigger, its quiet operation and its light weight. I didn’t care for its looks, but like I just said, style is meaningless to me.

The deal

Yes there is a deal and here it is. I was all set to purchase the Dreamlite. I needed an accurate .177 PCP — I really did. And I was testing the .22-caliber Air Arms S510XS at the same time as the Dreamlite. Ironically, it was the Dreamlite that drove me to purchase the S510XS. The flaws I saw in the Dreamlite were positives in the S510XS. Even though the caliber of the two rifles is different, the Dreamlite’s shortcomings were showcased by the performance of the S510XS.

To address Bill’s question about balance, for me the Air Arms rifle is worth what it costs to install the best scope and mounts (that I can afford) to realize its full potential. And, to me, the Dreamlite is not worth the price of the rifle, even with my writer’s discount. I wouldn’t buy one at half the retail price, or indeed at any price.

Air Venturi Avenger

Bill, here is another look at balance. The Air Venturi Avenger is a remarkable PCP. It is a repeater, has a user-adjustable regulator, it’s extremely accurate, very powerful and retails for very little. The only downside I can see is a slightly creepy trigger, regardless of how it is adjusted.

My .22-caliber Avenger is a Cerakoted custom gun called BB’s Goldie. It challenges my S510XS rifle for accuracy, though that is a test that’s ongoing with the final results yet to come. And here is where I talk about balance.

The basic Avenger costs $350, as of this publication. I see nothing wrong with putting a $1,400 scope on the rifle. Why? Because the rifle puts pellets where I want them. But I already own an Air Arms S510XS and I don’t need two extremely accurate .22 PCPs. So I put the expensive scope on the rifle that has the best trigger.

TX200 Mark III

The final balance discussion I will have is in regard to the Air Arms TX200 Mark III. Mine is remarkably accurate, smooth-shooting and has a trigger to die for. The rifle costs $780, as of the publication of this report. I put another $350 into it with Tony Leach’s 22mm tuneup kit. I currently have a Meopta scope mounted on this air rifle, but if a better scope came along I would not hesitate to mount it.

Just me

Bill, that constitutes my discussion of balance on an airgun. To sum everything up I would say if the airgun is the most accurate I have and if it’s also very pleasant to shoot, then the price of the accessories is meaningless — TO ME! But the bottom line is, this balance thing is quite personal and what I have said only means something to me. It might give you readers things to consider, but that’s as far as it goes.

I have never held a Swarovski scope to my eye, so all I know is their cost and reputation.

I have held plenty of Nightforce scopes to my eye and shot with them as well. To me they are dreck (German for dirt or rubbish). I have looked through a $2,500 Burris scope and did not see the quality I was told was there. On the other hand I have held Meopta and Integrix scopes to my eye and also shot with them and, as far as I am concerned, they are superlative! That is just my opinion, though. It’s worth what you paid for this report.

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.

60 thoughts on “Balance”

      • BB

        LOL but I would consider a CenterPointe 6-20×50 Tag scope on the Avenger. It only retails for a little over $100 but performs well on pneumatics and low to mid recoil springers. The clear picture on 20 mag is surprising but it requires the eye to be exactly in the right place to attain clear focus. This is an advantage shooting targets informally because it overcomes parallax wiggle. Not good for quick shots when hunting. I have had one for years on my Diana 34 which may be as accurate as anything in my warehouse inventory. I have several of these scopes.

        Deck

  1. I own around 30 scopes, most of which came with the airgun. I do not target shoot much and am happy if I hit a golf ball size target at 50 yards with most airguns. So, I look for scopes that are usually under $100. Dot sights work for me as well.
    Pest control around my vehicles demanded I get at least one powerful accurate rifle, with a good scope. So, I got a 4-16X50 to go on a FX Independance. Way too heavy for offhand shooting. A simple 4x UTG Golden image sits on it now and works just fine.
    I picked up two Hawke Eclipse 30FS and Barska 4-16X50 IR scopes on sale and a nice BSA 2-7×32 and plan to use them for bench shooting, or real steel, but most are reasonable UTG scopes like Bug Busters.
    Extreme accuracy is not top on my airgun checklist, but nice if it comes with the package and the lowest prices scope that works well works for me. Save those high-priced scopes for serious hunting, competition and bragging rights.
    They would probably not help much anyway with my old eyes.
    I agree with BB though. If you want to make the most of an accurate airgun get a better than average scope that’s compatible with your needs.

  2. BB,

    LOL! I have been accused of being of Scottish blood for most of my life. There have been those occasions when I have “waved the magic wallet” though.

    A while back, some may remember my talking about buying a .357 HM1000X. When I bought it, I bought the large AV compressor, a cart to mount it in, an extra air filter, and a 100 cubic foot CF tank. At the time I only had a Hawke 2-7X32 AO IR scope to put on it, but that is a really nice little scope. When you raved about the UTG Bubble Leveler scope, I bought one with the Sportsmatch adjustable mounts and put that on top of the HM1000X. Let me tell you something, Mrs. RR was not happy.

    Now I had a very well balanced air rifle package that was capable of shooting one MOA at any range all day long. The first day I shot it, with the Hawke 2-7X32 on top, I shot a 1.10 inch CTC group at 100 yards. It became boring.

    That air rifle has since moved on to a new home. I hung on to all of the accessories though. That UTG scope now sits on top of a .457 Texan LSS with CF tank. I have not had much chance to fool with it yet, but I know it will be more challenging to shoot. Indeed, I have quite a stack of airguns to shoot right now. I am going to have to get rid of some of them.

    What I am trying to say is, you do not need to “wave a magic wallet” to have some nice airguns. You yourself have pointed out that there are some real nice airguns out there that do not require a “magic wallet” to own.

    I do not bemoan you owning those nice airguns and the nice scopes on them. There are times I would at least like to shoot them. As you have pointed out though, you do get quite a price cut sometimes. Many of us mere mortals must struggle along and pay for our toys at full sticker price.

    Put together a “balanced” setup? By all means.

    P.S. I have had the opportunity to shoot a .25 FX Dreamlite. I was not impressed either. Of course, at the same time I was shooting my .357 HM1000X.

    • RR

      I’m still wondering if the Diana 34 you picked up awhile back performs. Hope you give it a chance before you make room for something else. Mine likes 10.34 grain and balanced directly on a narrow bag.

      Deck

    • R.R.
      “Balanced setup” is the epitome of my thoughts.
      By the way that Hawke is one more item to think as a balanced setup. Etched reticle, adjustable from less than ten yards to more than a hundred, strong. clear and affordable.

      • Bill,
        I do understand. I have not looked through a Meopta or Integrix, but I have looked through quite a few Hawkes. Hawkes are real nice. I think it is like a good sound system. My ears are only so good. My eyes like Hawke scopes just fine and they are over half the price.

        Before I spent that much on a regular scope, I would invest in some night vision or thermal stuff. I would certainly get more use out of it.

        Do not get me wrong. If I was a gazillionaire, I would buy stuff like that. I am not, therefore I do not.

  3. There are all kinds of balance to consider.

    Financial balance is a main one, too many people commit to purchases beyond their means.

    Technical balance makes sense as the components in a system need to be able to work together. The system will function at the level of the lowest component.

    Balance to the application is often misaligned. A sub-MOA airgun isn’t needed to plink tin cans at 20 yards and a 100+ fpe .30 caliber isn’t required for pesting sparrows.

    Balance to skill is a double edged issue. Buying a low-end airgun could restrict chances to improve; buying a high-end airgun isn’t going to instantaneously make someone an expert marksman.

    IMHO, balance is about considering all the factors objectively relative to realistic expectations and the real needs.

    Happy Friday!

  4. Ridgerunner used the appropriate term;
    balanced setup. But since we are all individuals this term can have many meanings. hihihi finds it Ina low weight scope over a heavy weight gun. For me is a heavy scope over an already very heavy gun. Others prefer an expensive combo and some prefer matching accurate items regardless of each one’s price.
    We are only humans after all and as our friend Shoots I put it we should just try to enjoy the important things in our lives.
    A very nice weekend for everyone.

    • Roamin Greco,

      Anyone that i have a shooter’s sling for!

      My favorite and most balanced rifle is my DAQ LA .308 with the 1:10 barrel, MEOPTA MEOPRO OPTIKA6 5-30×56 MRAD RD reticle FFP. Shooting 110 to 150 grain bullets with an initial charge of 3,600 PSI (250 BAR) out to 250+ yards/230+ meters.

      shootski

      PS: i will be happy when all the paperwork is done that allows me to reinstall my DonnyFL EMPORER V3 and 6″ expander chamber.

      • FM’s Fawlty question-of-the-day, Shootski – why “paperwork” if you’re speaking about an airgun suppressor/moderator and related accessories? Did notice DonnyFL stated on their website they were not doing online sales last time FM looked; realize – believe you had written about it – there had been some kind of ATF seizure of some bad hombre’s tools which included a DonnyFL suppressor which then led to the company getting hassled by the Feds.

        Here’s another balance to be considered: that involving power-sharing between The People and their elected officials; don’t want to start a chain of threads on the subject but it is a Friday blog. 😉

        • FawltyManual,

          Since the government (BATF) seems to need my US $200.00 to redistribute to folks that mostly don’t deserve it i have started the paperwork Form 1 to “build” a suppressor. I am looking into how to do this legally and not cost me all too much. There are many twists and turns in all of this DonnyFL and the BATF story.

          I will add one other thought. Beware of the totalitarian smirk! Hitler had one that can be seen on his face in numerous films. Look at some of the current World “leaders” and you will see quite a few totalitarian smirks. All of them that I have seen do the smirk want to ban guns just like Hitler (poster boy of That Smirk and the first Mass Gun Banner) did!

          shootski

    • RG,

      When I think of a balanced airgun I think of its overall versatility (what duties is it suitable for), capabilities (how well it can fulfill those duties), convenience and appreciation.

      Versitility, for my interests (in order of precidence) there is plinking, pesting, target shooting, bench shooting and some hunting.

      Capabilities (for the above interests) are accuracy over expected distances, consistency
      of performance and adequate power.

      Convenience is in the form of good ergonomics, adequate shot-count, light weight, adjustability for different scenarios and ease of use.

      Appreciation is about the overall build quality (form, fit and function), the smoothness of operation and esthetics (I really appreciate a nice walnut stock).

      Lots of really fine airguns out there. Too many to get to know well and, unfortunately, many are not available in Canada.

      I have tried many airguns, own a nice variety of good brands and models and the only one that ticks off all my boxes (exceptionally well) is my .22 caliber FX Crown Mk2 with the 500 mm barrel. Perfectly capable from walk-about to bench shooting, if I ever had to choose just one airgun (heaven forbid!!!) it would be my Crown. I have “specially airguns” for specific uses but when asked to recommend an airgun for general use I suggest they look at the Crown.

      Just my 2 cents.

    • R.G.
      I would say that my best balanced airgun is the HW 90. Bought for 350€ along with its pump, adjustable and with a Hawke Panorama 3×9 on it. As much as I like it its not my favorite though. People are strange.

          • Oops, sorry, and of course Bill. “People are strange” = “nowt so queer as folk”.
            Same thing, ie ‘nothing is as unusual as people’, but written like it would be spoken in the North of England. 🙂

            By “…your plastic long arm…” I meant your Walther LGV Challenger, which, as opposed to a handgun, is a long arm and yours has a synthetic stock, doesn’t it? 🙂

            • hihihi
              Now I get it. Believe it or not the LGV, being so perfect, is not my favorite! Too perfect even for me.I love the K98 more for the feeling but the ultimate keeper is the HW 45 with Hogue grips. Hard shooting, powerful, beautiful and beyond my skills. Just like the ladies in my life…
              Well I suppose everyone finally gets what he deserves /likes.

  5. So Bill, was Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier) right to prioritise financial balance?

    Towards the end of the article there appears a statement I particularly like. He says “…the bottom line is, this balance thing is quite personal…”! 🙂

    What about Vana2’s obvious yet brilliant observation that “There are all kinds of balance…”? ! 🙂

    Personally, I primarily think of balance as a weight distribution thing.

    Adding a weight to the top of an arch will always affect the balance of the whole (I’m likening the shape of a long arm to an arch).
    So how to minimise this?
    Well, by using a particularly lightweight scope on a really heavy airgun! 🙂

    Roamin Greco, I think your most balanced airgun might be the Winchester 363. Among your long arms, I’m guessing the Winchester 425. 🙂

    That’ll do for now, weather’s nice, gotta go outside to play… 🙂

    • hihihi,

      Not Bill but financial balance is the thing most folks get wrong in life! Open Wallet, plastic money, and magic wallet are three of the errors most often made.
      My number one recommendation is to not forget Life Cycle Cost of the purchase on deciding if something is affordable.
      I’ll have more to say on this when Tom remounts the SIG ASP WHISKEY3 scope on his SIG ASP20.

      shootski

      • shootski, when I think of the price of monoculars and monoculars with a moveable picture superimposed on the view, then I see a disturbing imbalance, ie I can’t help thinking we air-gunners are being royally ripped off.
        Even binoculars seem to offer better value for money than scopes. Maybe it’s just unit numbers, ie many more binoculars than scopes are produced?

        Imagine a binocular to airgun adaptor! 🙂

        Meanwhile, back in reality: for me, the airgun hobby is not a financial activity. I’m not a trader and do not intend to sell any of mine.

        Which frees me to buy whatever I want as soon as I have the funds. Meanwhile the money conscious think me a spendthrift, while I see them as missing out on fun while waiting, and waiting, and getting older…
        …until the price is at bargain level.

        I just can’t derive much pleasure from paying less than the perceived value, so I lack the motivation to ‘make a profit’.

        The hunter- and the cobweb spider both, get what they’re after, so actually, either system works. This fun thought just popped into my head; I have never thought of myself as an arachnid before… 🙂

        • hihihi,

          Interesting: “…then I see a disturbing imbalance, ie I can’t help thinking we air-gunners are being royally ripped off.
          Even binoculars seem to offer better value for money than scopes. Maybe it’s just unit numbers, ie many more binoculars than scopes are produced?”
          I don’t think we are being ripped off!
          A rifle/pistol scope is an optical instrument just like a monocular or two could be like binoculars is true but only to the point that you require the rifle/pistol scope to do its primary function and that is aiming.
          It takes a varying amount of extras stuffed inside and attached outside to make it a device that is capable of taking aim on something, at a minimum, in a repeatable fashion. It can also be equiped with the capability to do far more than the minimum I just stated…those add not only complexity and value but substantial costs in the design and manufacturing process.

          Nope i can not agree that rises to shooters being ripped of compared to say, birdwatchers!

          shootski

        • *** Meanwhile, back in reality… ***

          hihihi,

          We have the same approach/attitude towards our airgun hobby. I also buy whatever I want as soon as I have the funds, am not one to sell my airguns and am in to this hobby not for profit, not for competition, but as a fun thing.

          Your arachnid analogy is interesting – amazing creatures they are!

          Santé
          Hank

            • hihihi,

              No chance of that, I’m very fond my 603. Have to admit that it took me a while to get used to the multi-color laminated stock though.

              The 603 for a canoe was a good trade for everyone – I can’t make a 10 meter airgun but a wood canoe or kayak is an easy and fun project!

              Been wanting to make a little one-man rowing skiff for fishing some of the small local rivers, maybe I’ll get to that project this year.

              Hank

    • hihihi
      Obviously the financial factor got me thinking about it but as I mentioned above I enjoy learning people’s different opinions. As one of my famous ancestors put it thousands of years ago
      “I grow old always learning”

  6. Balance considerations can change over time. FM initially got back into this fun activity because of a need to do pest control legally around the house which meant not with firearms. After doing research, which included reading practically everything written in this blog, sat down to balance priorities, needs, wants and wallet – honestly, wasn’t consciously even aware of balancing anything, the process felt more like trying to perform a juggling act – and came up with “need adequate power to down small game humanely at 25 yards or less with fixed sights or decent yet not pricey optics in a fun-to-shoot, reasonably accurate, simple to operate and maintain airgun costing not over $500.” If it had been a car being considered, it would have been a ’67 VW Beetle. Which FM did drive once, albeit too briefly. 🙂 🙁

    So, things in FM’s Airgun World are in balance – for him, at least – with a couple HWs, the Red-dotted .177 Benjamin Maximus and the Whisky3 scoped .22 Max. The wallet survives to serve again.

  7. I think a scope does little to contribute to accuracy. If a scope allows one to see your target well enough to clearly make out the bullseye and associated lines on the target and if the scope does not shift from shot to shot or group to group I think has done what it can to contribute to accuracy. A scope that is more forgiving of eye placement, lets you see your shots clearly, and produces less eye strain, make a scope more pleasant to use.

    Of course, for specific uses more criteria are added. For Field Target, one needs a scope that will range find well and is repeatable at ranging. A FT scope also needs to be able to locate the kill zones on deeply shaded targets, be water and dust proof, and be affected by heat as little as possible.

    For hunting and other types of airgun fun different features are needed.

    David Enoch

  8. I agree with David E that’s why I have a simple fixed True Hunter 4 power scope on my FX. I also have an outstanding device for combating those long fluffy tailed engine compartment saboteurs.
    A huge 9′ high bolder sticking out of the ground. Prior to assaulting my vehicles, they gather on top to catch the sun’s rays and warm up. Just happens to be at 50 yards from my back door and everything is set up to be right on target there.
    Just his morning, three shots and three saboteurs were turned into Buzzard lunch or Coyote snacks.
    There must be a half dozen items that need to be considered before a balanced airgun combo can be set up. The first of which would be, set up for what?

  9. “I plink, therefore I am.”

    As many have commented here, one must think about that for which you want to balance.
    I’m a plinker at heart, and I love airguns for the fun they provide.
    My most balanced package is my HW30S, with its Leapers fixed 6X BugBuster scope.
    While not my most expensive airgun, it is a nice balance, both finacially and ergonomically.
    My wife paid $270 for the rifle when she bought it, five years ago.
    (She would have bought it from PA, but they were, sadly, not carrying the .22 HW30S at the time;
    actually, they still aren’t, but they do have the .177 Beeman R7 version, a bargain at $399)
    For $90, I got the scope with mounts, but I had to pay $25 for 3/8″ dovetail mounts.
    For another $45, I got a cocking-handle/muzzle-weight that makes the balance perfect…for me.
    So, for $430, I got an air rifle that is really accurate (great trigger!), super easy to cock, and is just a ton of fun to shoot…a perfect all-day plinker.
    Amazingly, even today you can get the equivalent, a scoped R7 from PA for $479.
    (it’s got mostly all 5-star reviews; the guy who gave it one star raved about it; he obviously did not understand the rating system, and thought one star was the top rating)

    For a new airgunner, one who is just starting out, that may seem a fair bit of money; however, if you get an HW30S (or R7), I believe you won’t be disappointed in the least; it’s a great starter airgun.
    After a while, you might decide to get a TX200 or a PCP, or try your hand with an air pistol.
    And if, for some hard (for me) to imagine reason you decide “airgunning is not for me,” you would have NO problem selling your HW30S.
    Used R7s and HW30s are like unicorns…you never see them. 😉
    Blessings to all,
    dave

    • *** I plink, therefore I am ***

      Well said Dave!

      Agree that the HW30 (R7) makes an ideal “first airgun”. Always wanted one, but with different priorities, it took way too long for it to arrive. Now it’s the airgun that is most likely to be found waiting by the basement door for a quick plinking session or maybe some light pesting.

      Definitely an all day, all season shooter!

      Hank

      • Thanks, Hank! 🙂 I don’t think René Descartes would mind my paraphrase of him.
        In fact, if he was somehow brought back to life, brought up to speed on history, then read through B.B.’s blog, I think he would agree with us, and buy one of these neat little rifles. LOL! 🙂

      • “…it’s the airgun most likely to be found waiting…for a quick plinking session…”
        Hank, and thanks again for the reminder.
        I was sitting at my desk, waiting for the penetrating lube to loosen up some bolts on the ZTR.
        Then I read your reply, and I was like,
        “Why am I sitting here waiting, when I could be outside plinking whilst I wait?”
        I just got back from a nice session with the old HW30S…
        …now I can tackle those bolts…
        …and if they don’t come loose today…*shrugs*
        …then I can plink some more, and try them again tomorrow.
        “Yay for airguns! They are all just too cool.” 🙂

    • HW30S shoulda been FM’s first springer acquisition but at the time there was need for more power as more messy, scaly pesties were trekking through the yard – hence settled on the .22 HW95 for a (re)starter airgun. The HW30S was the second springer to come live in Casa FM; hope to shoot it with open sights for a long time until the eyes need more help. Then maybe will pick the experienced and smart brains here for advice on optics.

      No regrets owning/shooting these two handsome pieces!

      • “Used R7’s/HW30’s are out there though”
        Kevin, wow, that’s cool; thanks for the link!
        I’d like to buy that one, too…
        …but then I’d have to answer the inevitable questions from my wife:
        “Isn’t that air rifle the same as the one I already bought you?
        What’s wrong with the one I bought you?
        YOU said it was perfect when I gave it to you!”
        As every married guy knows, there ARE no good answers to such questions, hahaha! 😉

        • thedavemyster, shootski’s suggestion is simply the best.

          If your style differs from calling your wife ‘Honey’ and assuaging her by ‘purr’ing, then there is always the pre-purchase display of emotional desire, followed by ‘please’. 🙂

          Interestingly, living in France has taught me that ‘please’ appeals to the pleasure of the granter of wishes, as in “if it is your pleasure” (s’il vous plaît). 🙂

  10. I was hoping to read about various balance considerations for handguns.

    So, has anyone come across a particularly appropriate sighting system, a scope even, for their handgun?

    I think a scope on a handgun only makes sense when a) it is also extended with a shoulder stock, thus transforming the handgun into some sort of carbine and b) it is inherently precise, like a target pistol would be. 🙂

    Of course, any scope on a handgun without a stock would need to have a particularly long eye relief, to allow for a good sight picture while holding it normally, including at outstretched arm’s length, wouldn’t it. 🙂

      • Bill, good point, thanks. A relatively small and light sighting system is what I imagine possible, however, I have no experience and next to no knowledge about Red Dot thingies. 🙁

        What do you use and recommend?

        Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier) appears to have written multiple associated articles, so, I reckon there’s a good starting point for me… 🙂

        Thanks again for giving me that extra nudge to read up about ’em… 🙂

        • hihihi
          I have used some different types and from various brands. A safe start would be a Hawke. UTG also. I don’t buy dot sights costing over 200€ because I find it “unbalanced” for my budget and use. I must mention that I like very much an older style Diana red dot with a 30mm tube. Not very small but really well made, for less than 60€ including the rings.

          • Thanks Bill! 🙂
            One thing I’ve already learned is, that mine will have to have some magnification and hopefully also be a small unit, which’ll probably take me a while to find… 🙂

            • Hi3
              Magnification and small! My friend you set high standards.
              Anyway I have a UTG long eye relief 1×4 scope that can serve different purposes (short and longer distances, illuminated reticle) but not small. Maybe a red dot with a magnifier can help you. Walther and UTG make this type.

  11. shootski, hot food, as in spicy hot, tends to quickly burn my tastebuds, which I perceive as an unpleasant experience, and afterward, they’re numb, unable to perceive the subtle nuances of smells and flavours that I normally evaluate food by.
    Yes, I have learned that spices have their uses, eg to help preserve food when refrigeration is not available.
    I remember a Vietnamese fellow who was particularly fond of hot chillies, saying they offered two delightful heat sensations, first on the intake and secondly, the discharge. 🙁

    Luckily I have, throughout my life, had the luxury of choice and, to this day, I opt for tasty but non-spicy nourishment. 🙂
    ———

    As for that “Taco Hold” in shooting handguns, I guess it’s a form of joining hands via the gun as the link, the principle of which seems somewhat balanced.
    I imagine the offhand grips the gun from above, while the trigger hand, well, it triggers the trigger. Meaning, with this style of shooting, the traditional handgun’s grip is not really required, is it?

    I admit to being unfamiliar with this “Taco Hold” and so, my above is just guesswork… 🙂

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