This report covers:
- I like smooth
- What do I like?
- Others I have liked
- But wait…
- Diana 34 EMS
- The moral
- BB’s dare to the airgun world
Today I want to talk about what is good and what makes it so. And you don’t have to agree with me. In fact, I think many of you should not agree. But ponder what I say and you may gain a deeper appreciation of why you like what you do in this hobby.
I like smooth
It was yesterday’s experience shooting the HW EL 54 Barakuda that prompted this report. And it was not the power of the ether injector that prompted it — it was the smoothness of the underlying HW 35 that I focused on. The day before that I had shot the Avenge-X precharged pneumatic that offered the same smoothness in different ways. And those two experiences started me thinking. They are completely different airguns, yet they both resonate with me in similar ways. Heck — Pyramyd AIR doesn’t even stock the HW 35, even though it is still being made and sold by Weihrauch.
The Beeman R1 and the HW 80 that copied it were attempts to “magnumize” the HW 35 and get up to a respectable level of power. The only question is — who decides what’s respectable? Cocking a factory Beeman R1 is like bending the bow of Ulysses (or Odysseus for some folks). It’s hard. Cocking an HW 35 is MUCH easier.
Yeah, BB, but the R1 shoots faster! And this is where the rubber meets the road. Are we in a race to shoot faster or do we just like to shoot? The answer is yes for both approaches, but for BB Pelletier, the goal is to shoot and hit what he shoots at. If the airgun he shoots is also easy to shoot — so much the better.
What do I like?
I know what it is about airguns that I like. I like shooting and hitting my target. If the guns are also easy to shoot, then I’m really happy. Looking back over recent reports I discovered that I really like the HW 30S, once I tuned the powerplant with the Vortek PG3 SHO kit. It became smooth-shooting. But the final step was to get a stock that allowed me to shoot the rifle comfortably. The HW 30S stock that Weihrauch now ships with their rifle is shaped so I can’t acquire the rear sight easily.
The new stock was made by Steve Corcoran and fits me very well. It allows me to see the rear sight, which the new style factory stock does not.
Steve Corcoran stock made for my HW 30S
However, after I ordered the Steve Corcoran stock but before it was shipped to me, a reader told me about an old-style HW 30 factory stock that was being sold on the American Airguns classified ads page. I bought it and found it to work just fine. If I had not ordered the Corcoran stock, this one would have worked just fine.
The stock made by Steve Corcoran worked better though. It fits me better because I was able to control the specifications and not just adapt to the one-size-fits-most stock that Weihrauch used to sell.
Others I have liked
There have been other air rifles and airguns that I have liked over the years. I won’t even touch on the Diana 27 that I like so much. Years ago I tuned a Diana 45 for a local friend. I buttoned the piston with Delrin buttons to eliminate all vibration and I dropped the velocity to make the rifle easier to cock. It wound up shooting so smoothly and was so accurate than I was delighted with it. I thought I would never like another air rifle as much as that one. Then I tuned my TX 200 Mark III with the 22mm kit from Tony Leach and things got even better!
Yep. After tuning reader RidgeRunner’s Diana 34 with the Vortek PG3 SHO kit, I was in love again. Apparently I like smooth-shooting air rifles that are accurate!
Diana 34 EMS
And just last week I tuned the Diana 34 Easy Modular System (EMS) with a Vortek Diana 34EMS gas spring conversion kit and discovered that the love never has to die. I don’t know about the velocity or accuracy of that one yet, but we are on the path to find it out!
Okay, today I have told you my story. And I see something that I haven’t mentioned yet — money. Everything I have talked about is either custom or expensive to begin with. I have wanted to find a budget airgun for you guys, but in springers I haven’t succeeded yet. In PCPs I have found several, with the Avenger and the Avenge-X leading the pack. But springer guys will say there is an additional cost with a PCP that springers don’t have, and they are correct. However, there are no great cheap springers that I know of. And. when you compare prices, the Avenger and Avenge-X are not absolute bargain basement airguns, either. Apparently it takes some amount of money to make something that’s decently good.
That was my hope for the Air Venturi Bronco — an affordable spring-piston airgun that was better than good. We did it for a few years, but the Bronco is history now.
Air Venturi Bronco.
BB’s dare to the airgun world
I triple-dog-dare any airgun manufacturer to build and air rifle I design that will be beyond good and still be affordable. I define affordable as under $300 retail. I know I can do it; can one of you manufacturers build such a gun?
It has to be inexpensive, so we’re looking at offshore manufacturing. It has to be accurate, so we cannot compromise on the barrel. It has to be pleasant to shoot, so the trigger has to be very good and the power cannot be through the roof.
When I designed the Bronco all I did was put an existing airgun powerplant from Mendoza into an American-style stock. That was all!
When I took the idea of a low-pressure air fill to Crosman and they built the Discovery, I designed NOTHING! I simply demonstrated to Crosman that low air pressure works — a concept I learned from Tim McMurray and Larry Durham.
What I need to start with for this project is a spring-piston gun that works WELL and costs LITTLE.