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Ammo Norica Titan breakbarrel air rifle: Part Three

Norica Titan breakbarrel air rifle: Part Three

Norica Titan
Norica Titan.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • First things first
  • Open sights
  • The test
  • RWS Superpoints
  • The trigger
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • H&N Excite Econ II wadcutters
  • Crosman Premier Super Match
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.52mm head
  • Decision time
  • What happened?
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Norica Titan breakbarrel air rifle. I wanted to test many pellets, plus give the best of them a better test, but, as you will see, things turned out differently.

First things first

Reader Yogi commented the following about the trigger in Part Two, “I assume at this price point it is a starter gun for pre-teens.How many 12 year olds can pull a 5 lbs trigger pull without pulling their shot? Great way to turn kids off of shooting!!!!!”

That was a comment to the Part Two report in which I wrote at the start,“The question we have is this — is the Titan a rifle for beginners? Is it for those just getting into airguns and perhaps even into the shooting sports, altogether? We aren’t asking if it’s a youth rifle, though that avenue will be explored as we proceed.”

So, Yogi, I never considered the Titan to be a youth rifle. It’s a beginning shooter’s air rifle, for either those new to airguns or those new to shooting altogether. As heavy as it cocks, I think it’s an adult airgun.

Open sights

The Titan comes with open sights that I have found to pretty much always be on as the guns come from the factory. Therefore there is no need to start a sight-in from 12 feet. I went straight to 10 meters and started there. I held the front bead at the base of the bullseye.

The test

I shot five-shot groups from 10 meters. That allowed me to test more pellets. I shot from a bench with the rifle resting on a sandbag, though I did use a modified artillery hold since the Titan is a recoiling rifle. The cocking slot of the forearm rested on my off hand. It’s true I rested both the HW 30S and the HW 50S directly on the sandbag for a similar test, but they are quite a bit smoother than the Titan.

If one of the pellets showed promise I planned to shoot a ten-shot group with that one. One did show great promise, but when I started testing it for ten shots, things became interesting.

RWS Superpoints

The first pellet shot was the RWS Superpoint. They went below the bull into a five-shot group that measures 0.932-inches between centers. Three of the pellets are in the same hole that measures 0.15-inches, so I will watch that pellet.

Norica Titan Superpoint group
The Norica Titan put five RWS Superpoints into 0.932-inches at 10 meters.

After this group I adjusted the rear sight up 7 clicks.

Hunting Guide

The trigger

The trigger still has the crunches I reported in Part 2. It does release crisply when it finally breaks. I will test both it and the cocking effort again, but not today.

Air Arms Falcons

The Titan put five Air Arms Falcons into a 0.66-inch group between centers at 10 meters. Four of them are in 0.429-inches. This is more like what I was hoping for.

Norica Titan Falcon group
The Norica Titan put five Air Arms Falcon pellets into 0.66-inches between centers with four in 0.429-inches.

Following this group I adjusted the rear sight down three clicks.

H&N Excite Econ II wadcutters

The next pellet I tried was the H&N Excite Econ II wadcutter. Five of them went into 1.215-inches at 10 meters. Looking at this group I can say the Excite is not a pellet for this rifle.

Norica Titan Excite Econ II group
The Titan shot five Excite wadcutters into a 1.215-inch group at 10 meters.

Crosman Premier Competition

The next pellet I tested was the Crosman Premier Competition wadcutter. Five of them went into 0.926-inches between centers, with four in 0.337-inches. That shows some promise.


The Titan put five Crosman Premier wadcutters into 0.926-inches with four in 0.337-inches.

H&N Baracuda Match with 4.52mm head

The last pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda Match with 4.52mm head. Five made a 0.637-inch group with four in 0.189-inches. Now, THAT is a group!

Norica Titan Baracuda 452 group
At ten meters the Titan put five Baracuda Match into 0.637-inches with four in 0.189-inches.

Decision time

I wanted to shoot one ten-shot group. Which pellet should I select? There seemed to be several choices but I selected the Baracudas. And this is where the test went wonky. The first shot missed the target paper altogether. Shot two did the same. At that point I stopped shooting this pellet, but I could tell that the flight time was a bit longer than it had been before.

I then selected the Falcon pellet and shot ten. Let me show you the group before I comment. 

Norica Titan Falcon 10-shot groups
The Norica Titan put ten Air Arms Falcons into a 2.005-inch group at 10 meters.

What happened?

Notice that within this group there is a smaller group of four shots at the top. That group measures 0.674-inches between centers. That is very close to the 0.66-inch group of five this pellet shots when I first tested it (second group). Then the next six pellets dropped straight down the paper. That’s the same order in which it happened. And the pellets sounded like they took longer to reach the target.

I examined the breech seal and it appears sound and even. I checked the stock screws and all were tight except for the forward triggerguard screw that was stripped from the factory.

Before I test accuracy again I want to re-test the velocity. I plan to shim the breech seal if the velocity has dropped off. And I will clean the barrel with JB Bore Paste before the next accuracy test.

Summary

The Norica Titan is testing about where I expected, though I didn’t anticipate that last group. At this point I would say that it can be an okay airgun for a first timer, but that only holds if there is no problem with the velocity. More testing is needed.

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.

66 thoughts on “Norica Titan breakbarrel air rifle: Part Three”

  1. Tom,

    This Norica hopefully will not be significant Quality Control issues. How easy would it be for a beginning airgunner to simply give up just because of a leaky breach seal? How easy would it be for them to detect it and fix it without guidance?

    Siraniko

    • “…hopefully will not be significant Quality Control issues.”

      Siraniko,
      Yes, you called it; anyone can have one bad gun “slip through the cracks.”
      But it would be sad if Quality Control issues sink what is otherwise looking to be a good starter rifle.
      Blessings to you,
      dave

      • Dave,

        The only thing positive about this air rifle is the price point. Bad breech seal. Hard to cock, most especially for the power level. Crunchy trigger over five pounds. Power loss while shooting.

        I would not be a happy camper if I had bought this one. I would also question the quality of any other Norica products.

        • I have to agree with Ridgerunner. If this was a tinkerer’s mystery gun, a tuner’s beginner rifle, that would be one thing. But a beginner wants to learn to shoot and have fun, not wonder why he or she can’t hit what they are aiming at.

          • RidgeRunner, Roamin Greco,
            I hear what you guys are saying; when I got what became my Crosman 1322 carbine, the trigger pull was quite bad; I had to go in and modify the spring; I also had to cut 2″ off the stock; and I had to open up the rear aperture. All those things made it into a great plinker…but they are all things that a newbie wouldn’t want to have to do; they would just want to take their gun from the box, and expect it to “be a good shooter as it came from the factory.”
            Sadly, many factories do not get that.
            BB does, but many manufacturers do not.
            Blessings and happy shooting to you both,
            dave

          • Well you are wrong! A too heavy trigger is just as dangerous or more so. 3lbs should be the standard and you can go from there. Little kids, 10> do not have strong trigger fingers. To pull a heavy trigger they need to yank on it. When that happens the muzzle can often point in directions that it should not point in. When was the last time you looked at a 10 year old kids hands?

            -Yogi

            • if a kid cant pull a trigger without shooting people around him which is impossible except to you the kid should not be allowed to shoot a gun. how in gods name can a heavy trigger be dangerous and the trigger on the rifle is not that bad

  2. BB,
    Hopefully, the issue will prove to be one that’s easily solved even by a newbie.
    As you always say, a chronograph is an invaluable tool, but most newbies won’t have one.
    Blessings to you,
    dave

  3. TOM: Since this rifle may be best suited for the “new” airgunner, perhaps you might consider your troubleshooting and repair through the eyes of an initial purchaser. At what point would the new airgunner send it back to the factory or importer? After how many YouTube videos will this purchaser toss the new gun and go back to Super Mario? Orv.

  4. B.B.
    Heaven help somebody who buys this as their starter rifle. I think it is perfect for an established airgunner who loves to tinker. The kind of person who likes to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purses, or die trying….

    Buy quality the first time! And this ain’t it!

    -Y

  5. BB,

    Hmmm. Bad breech seal. Power loss. Bad trigger. Hard to cock. Like Orv said, back to Super Mario.

    It is most unfortunate that this air rifle is so disappointing. PA does not have any of these in stock. They also say the cocking effort should only be around fifteen pounds. Perhaps you should send this one back and try another. It is obvious this one slipped past the QC inspectors, assuming there were any. This makes me question the quality of any of Norica’s airguns.

    As you know, I for one do like lower powered sproingers, but when they have a substantial power loss while shooting, I will have to investigate. A newbie most likely would send it back.

    • RR,

      The point of my testing is — this is what you get. I don’t need a better Titan. I would never buy one for myself. I test as I do to show what they really look like when others get them.

      I was asked to test this rifle by more than one reader. Okay — I’m testing it. This is what you get.

      I’m not an unlucky guy. I’m a guy who tells you what I see. And this report is what I see today.

      BB

      • BB:
        We thank you for testing these things and writing up your findings in cogent style and comprehensible prose. That is an important function/service of PA that may be too casually overlooked.

        When I got started with adult quality air guns, and my son as well, I was fortunate to find Precision Airgun Sales & Service on the east side of Cleveland (a shop now long closed). Charles Trepres was the owner, with his wife, Lois, and proprietor of the shop. Charles guided me in my purchase of my most-liked air rifle (to this day) an RWS Diana Model 36. He took the time to teach this Benjamin Comp/Crosman pumper owner how the break barrel worked, what to do and, more importantly, NOT TO DO. He helped with a selection of pellets fit for the .177 bore for the magnum springer.

        Later in time, my son was ready to take up the shooting sports and he worked to obtain a RWS/Diana 24J in .177. He took Kevin to the basement of his shop where he had a range so he could teach him the safe way to load and fire as well as care for the piece. Charles was a very good teacher and Kevin readily learned and obeyed his new teacher.

        As I remember, we also purchased two (2) Williams peep sights and converted our rifles to them when we returrned home. The two of us spent many hours at a country neighbor’s place both chasing bouncing soda cans and pretty much shredding them. Those were good times.

        The role of the teacher cannot be underestimated as part of the equation for the new shooter. A difficult piece like this Norica, I am speculating, is NOT a good entry into the shooting sports. That is particularly true if the customer/newbie has had no prior involvement with air guns (even powder burners can be newbies here!). An experience with an air gun that is either poorly engineered and made or one which needs experienced modifications is a definite stopper for a neophyte to take up the sport/hobby. Further, break barrels/springers, need the artillery hold for the shooter to have success instead of frustration.

        It comes to my mind, from this article, that perhaps PA should consider adding a couple of questions to any air gun purchase order: “Is this your first purchase from us?” and “Have you owned air guns before this purchase?” If either or both answers are “Yes,” then, perhaps that first order needs some attention from the technicians before shipping? Yes, it adds expense, but the long dollar is gained from making sure that the first purchase goes well. I would add that an enclosed letter with electronic addresses to some BB’s fundamental air gun videos would be a good thing, too.

        A mail order house can’t be sending its personnel to each purchaser, of course. It wouldn’t be a mail order house in that case. But…could there be a way to partially compensate for the lack of a shop keeper’s experience for the first-time buyer? It would be an additional initial expense to PA, to be sure, but, in the long haul, would a satisfied customer be inclined to be a continual customer?

        I continue to be an “off-season” shooter (when the cold and/or snow makes cycling a no-go, literally), and I am as such because of Charles Trepes taking the time to teach me, and then my son, some initial fundamentals. Today, I can overcome most common air gun idiosyncrasies on my own. Contrarily, if I had not had that kind of teaching and my first purchase was a Benjamin Trail pistol (the worst purchase I ever made), I would NOT have a locker full of PA air guns, pellets, accessories, chemicals and bits and pieces of sights and such. Good teaching, for the newbie, makes for a long and happy association. PA might want to give thought to this, for not all customers are “seasoned,” some are brand “newbies!”

  6. Guys,

    When I compare airgun to the sound system… There are also statements like “it is good for cinema but not for the music” – what? Than it is crap!
    99% poeple who buy a cheap entry level airgun expect that it is going to shot and be able to put down some “soda cans – like” target at 15 up to 25 yards. They will not improve it or understand how it works, they will also most probably not shot more than 1500 pellets. That is a sad but true statistic. It should be able to shot up to 5000 pellets without any noticable changes, it might be buzzling and kicking for this 8FPE at the muzzle but it should hit a can in 25 yards out of the box at least 1500 times, that is all it needs to proof for the money. If it is not able to do that – deny to the trash.

    If you are a beginner and buy some cheap equipment what do you expect? (switch off our specialized optics)

  7. What a coincidence of thinking today!
    Starting with Siraniko’s thoughts and everyone’s after.
    Cheap Quality is the rarest of birds.
    Beginers/Youth quality airguns also rare.
    Most cost conscious first time airgunners will be either disappointed and leave the hobby or they will just learn how to never hit a target.
    RG there’s a long way to achieve your goal of a good affordable juniors’ air rifle.

  8. Everyone,

    STOP! I’m telling you the patient’s symptoms and all of you are wanting to start the wake. This is what it looks like when I let you look over my shoulder.

    We are not done with the Titan. I just told you honestly where we are. Things could improve. Don’t bury the evidence before it stops moving.

    BB

  9. B.B., I sincerely hope so. It’s not really fair to draw conclusions from a sample size of one. I hope you have a lemon and the other Titans are much better. If not, I hope Norica is tuned in to this discussion. So far, I don’t see any customer reviews on P.A.’s website, which is interesting.

    There are several springers in this price range, one of which comes with a scope and an adjustable stock. So the competition is there even at this price range.

  10. Tom,

    I’m really hoping this rifle just needs an extended break in period. What is the number of rounds that you consider normal to break in a spring piston? I expect PCPs and MSPs to break in after around a hundred shots.

    Siraniko

    • Siraniko
      So we should ask Tom for shooting one or two tins before real evaluation? Maybe someone close to him could undertake that boring part. Otherwise we could just expect him not to test new airguns.
      Or maybe we can accept the reality of statistics; if there are flaws in some of the new ones tested, it’s just an indication of what to actually expect, more or less.

      • *** Or maybe we can accept the reality of statistics; if there are flaws in some of the new ones tested, it’s just an indication of what to actually expect, more or less. ***

        Bill,

        Think that this is the way it has to be, reviewers don’t have the bandwidth to properly break in an airgun to evaluate its real performance. Neither do they have the time (skill?) to test & tune to optimum performance. The only guy I’ve seen that does a “real evaluation” is Steve of AEAC.

        Every airgun I buy gets a pre-use quick cleaning and inspection then baselined over a chronograph. During the initial 500 shot break-in I’ll take reference measurements every 100 shots to monitor things. When the airgun has settled in I’ll start searching for the best pellet/slug and tuning.

        Don’t think we can expect reviewers to do the same.

        Cheers!

  11. Tom,

    Well, unless a clean barrel and breech seal shim cause a miraculous turnaround, the Norica Titan is hardly looking like one of the towering deities of ancient mythology. That’s too bad, as so many of us here have written.

    Someone once asked the late film critic Gene Siskel why there are so few good movies. Siskel repied, “That’s because it is really hard to make a good movie.” I must ask, is it really hard to make a good air rifle? (A future topic, perhaps?)

    Michael

    • Michael,

      It depends on the audience quality and expectations as well as the type of venue they watch the movie in/at.

      For airguns just substitute a few words.

      What IS the definition of a Good Air Rifle?
      Is there one or are there many?

      Wax on wax OFF!

      shootski

      • IMHO, it’s a simple answer shootski…

        *** What IS the definition of a Good Air Rifle? ***
        …Quiet consistent performance. ( Like a Porche 😉 )

        *** Is there one or are there many? ***
        …Lots of choices out there, but they are not cheap. Considering costs of design, labor, materials, manufacturing, shipping, warranty and profit(s) a dollar doesn’t go very far. If you want something decent that’s not compromised to the bare minimum it will cost you. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.

        Cheers!

  12. I wish Pyramyd didn’t have to sell rifles like this. I wish they could afford to only sell quality airguns like Air Rifle Headquarters and Beeman did years ago. I don’t know if this approach would limit their sales or increase their sales since we knew that anything that Pyramyd sold was a product that they had tested and meet their quality standards. Maybe at least they could put a “Pyramyd Approved” label on guns that meet a certain quality standard.
    David Enoch

  13. Readership,

    What say you?

    IF P AIR wants to do this a better way then three examples should be sent to Tom for comparative testing.
    No fixing, no returns for repair/replace, no pointing out possible fixes just the RAW results.

    Let the buyer be ware!

    shootski

    PS: Tom can/could do educational side bars or complete blogs but they should not effect the evaluation results of individual gun tests.

  14. I picture a bunch of baby bulls running down the hill and Tom at the top just shaking his head….. And wiping a little sweat from his brow.
    Meanwhile I remember the good old days when you could still buy the good IZH 61. Or a Bronco.

  15. I offer this theory:

    Once someone has decided to purchase her or his first airgun, they will likely come across a seemingly overwhelming number of choices.
    Being new to this, their knowledge in all things airgun will be limited.

    First scenario:
    Therefore the easiest way to narrow down their options is to go by price. Reading a few reviews of the cheapest airguns a newcomer likes the look of, then leads to a purchase. 🙂

    a) After a while of using their new toy, they will probably have learnt what they don’t like.
    b) Remembering the variety available, and still motivated to achieve what they imagined in the first place, they might decide to get another, better airgun.
    Next, see (a) above…

    Second scenario:
    I can imagine another, less common approach: the first time buyer doesn’t care about the purchase price and is guided only by top reviews and looks. They simply want the best and will likely buy a much more expensive airgun.

    a) After a while of using their new toy, they will probably have learnt what they like.
    b) Remembering the variety available, they might buy different pellets… 🙂

    Rhetorical question :
    Which type of customer would be preferred by a profit driven seller of airguns? 🙂

    • hihihi,

      A great start towards an understanding of airgun profit driven Sellers:

      A hypothesis is a tentative explanation of an observation that can be tested. It acts as a starting point for further explanation. Theory, on the other hand, is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that’s well-justified by facts, tested hypotheses, and laws.

      If we accept the idea that tomek proposes in a Reply above: ”They will not improve it or understand how it works, they will also most probably not shot more than 1500 pellets.”

      IF true you have your answer. Pellets and other projectiles along with other accessories in the shooting sports are the REAL profit makers.
      Big Box buyers do not understand driving true solid profits. Only volume sales with very small profit margins and then on to the next volume item to sell.

      Just my observation in the USA.

      What do you think?

      shootski

      • Shootski, another factor is a lot of buyers can spend to replace a cheap air gun easier than a powder burner. $60 pumper or $100 break barrel is easier to replace 2 years down the road than a $250 shotgun.
        And as has been pointed out, most people are looking at hitting a pop can at 50 feet, if not closer.

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