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Air Guns Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle: Part Five

Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle: Part Five

Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Scoped
  • The test
  • Benjamin Single Die
  • JTS Dead Center 18.1-grain
  • JSB Exact Jumbo RS
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I mount a scope on the Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle, so we can see the accuracy potential. In Part 4 we discovered that the open sights on the test rifle don’t work.


I mounted a 1.5-4X28 UTG scope that I don’t think Pyramyd AIR has ever carried. I use this scope for rifles I shoot at short distances — like survival rifles. It’s clear and has a fine reticle for close work. It’s perfect for the BM8.

The test

Given the power of the rifle I used a somewhat modified artillery hold. I didn’t experiment with that hold, but if I see potential I may try.

I shot 5-shot groups because today I was just learning whether or not the rifle is accurate. Also the cocking effort of 43 pounds is somewhat of a strain for me and I don’t want to do too much to exacerbate my hernias. Since the open sights failed to work altogether last time this was really my first look at the rifle’s potential.

I selected three premium pellets of different weights — one lightweight, a medium weight and one on the heavier side. Let’s get started.

Benjamin Single Die

I sighted in and started the test with Benjamin Single Die pellets. They made the tightest group of today’s test with five in 0.526-inches between centers. Not that accurate but at least today they go where I aim.

BM8 Benjamin pellet group
The scoped BM8 put five Benjamin Bullseyes into a 0.526-inch group at ten meters it’s the best group of the test.

JTS Dead Center 18.1-grain

The next pellet I tried was the 18.1-grain JTS dome. Four of them went into 0.305-inches and then pellet number five, the last shot, sailed over to the right, opening the group to 0.967-inches at 10 meters.

BM8 JTS pellet group
I don’t know what happened with that last pellet. The BM8 put four into 0.309-inches and five into 0.967-inches at 10 meters.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

JSB Exact Jumbo RS

Okay heavier pellets may not work. What about lighter ones? The final pellet I tested was the 13.43-grain JSB Exact Jumbo RS domes into 0.676-inches at 10 meters. You can see that it’s two separate groups, though I promise I held my best for all shots.

BM8 JSB R S pellet group
The BM8 put five JSB RS pellets into 0.676-inches at 10 meters. As you can see, it’s two separate groups, yet all shots were held perfectly dead center.


Do I see potential for accuracy? Yes, I do see some. But two days ago I shot a Feinwerkbau 127 that outshot this BM8 by a considerable margin with non-optical sights. Of course that rifle is laid out conventionally while the BM8 is anything but.

The BM8 has a gas spring, and given the level of power the rifle may be twitchy. I think I need to experiment with some different holds. What else should I do?

I’ll tell you what I will do. I will mount a more powerful scope and back up to 25 yards to give the BM8 one more test. I’ll probably stick with these three pellets and I will try different holds. That test will still be five-shot groups because of the heavy cocking effort, but it should answer the question once and for all whether the BM8 I am testing is accurate or not. 


I don’t feel that the Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle is suited for use in a survival role. The name that was given to it is unfortunate, because this rifle in no way satisfies any criteria that a survival air rifle should have. It’s not light, it’s not easy to cock and the open sights are a disaster — at least the ones that came on this test rifle are. It does show some potential for accuracy, though, so it will get one more chance to shine.

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.

41 thoughts on “Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle: Part Five”

  1. B.B.

    By “survival rifle”, I assume the meaning is one that can take down small game?
    At 10 meters the answer is YES. How many shots on small game will be at 10 meters?


    • As stated when commenting on the initial review of this rifle, “survival” here may have the unintended meaning that critters being shot at with it have a good chance of surviving the encounter.

    • I should think that small game,, in the US ,, would be rabbits, squirrels, smaller birds and whatever other rodents that we might encounter.

      If those are our choices,, I would say that the opportunities of shooting at them with any weapon beyond ten to fifteen meters would be limited. Not by the weapon but by the person holding it.

      Hunting, I have found, is not a high success sport. One gets better at it with time, tho.


    • Thanks for telling it like it is for this gun. Sounds to me like one might starve using the one as a survival air rifle. My Daisy model 35 smooth bore would be a better choice.

    • I think a better choice for a “survival” air rifle, may one of the Beeman double caliber kits, with separate barrels in .177 end d .22. I’d go for one with a gas piston. Then, check out the accuracy with each barrel. Most likely one or the other will be the most accurate. Go with that barrel. After much accuracy testing with many different pellets (that stage is called FUN in my book) pick the best pellet. Buy a bunch of those. With barrel removed, I bet the two sections would fit in a larger backpack. One drawback? There is a good chance after sighted in, if you remove and reinstall the barrel, you may to rezero, or at least verify zero, before hunting for your dinner.

      • Siraniko,

        “Fishing Lure Marketing” can refer to the practice of not caring if the lure is attractive to the fish (they don’t have any money after all). It is the fisherman who is the target of all the advertising, promotional efforts, store display etc. So this “survival rifle” is an example of trying to appeal to a certain segment of their hoped for customer base without too much concern whether or not it actually works as implied.

      • Siraniko,

        I don’t know how popular it is in the Philippines, but here there are lots of “fisherman” that would rather fish for fish than catch fish. They tend to use things made from rubber, balsa wood, plastic, you know, the three food groups for aquatic creatures worldwide. A bunch of really smart people have discovered that you can sell those guys anything to throw at the fish, no matter the material or what it looks like. They make lots of money “catching” fisherman by their wallets. Hence the old saw (expression), “most lures catch more fishermen than fish” and the term OhioPlinker coined, fish lure marketing.

    • I can see it now, 0200, Outdoor Channel half hour buy with fifteen minutes hawking the “Flying lure” and fifteen hawking the “Survivor 2200” Air carbine.

  2. I was rather surprised to receive a substantial bill from Vodafone for the first period of my, then new contract. I think they called it ‘Free unlimited downloads’. Apparently, “Free” meant, the first 500 MegaBite were already paid for and therefore free to use. “Unlimited” meant that they wouldn’t stop me from continuing to use the internet (but at extra cost).

    Yes, their ‘fishing lure’ had worked with me and I took hook, line and sinker too, only to be reeled in and given a good smack!

    Clearly, Vodafone were content to play with words for one-off frauds and happy to subsequently lose those victims for life! 🙂

    The moral of my story: peruse Vodafone’s small print and then zoom in to see what it says between the lines.
    Oh, and the guys at Black Bunker, they’re just ‘avin’a laff… 🙂

  3. OP understands.

    I would not mind if one was to show up at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns as long as it brought a bayonet with it. I might have a use for the case and the knife. If nothing else, I could take it Jackalope and Snipe hunting.

    The truth is, I would like to have one for the novelty of the thing. Would I be willing to spend the money they want for a new one? I don’t think so. This is something I might look for at a reasonable price at an airgun show. There is a plethora of other airgun options that would be much better suited to “survival”.

    P.S. This is one of the very rare instances I would also want the package it comes in. The box is kinda neat.

  4. I think this survival rifle is rather hideous. I would prefer to try and survive with something made from walnut and blued or stainless steel.
    I don’t quite see why you even bother testing sporting rifles at 10mts.

    • BM,

      Most sproingers are not very accurate past 25 yards. Many sproingers also lack the power to humanely bring down game past that range. Testing such at 50 or 100 yards would be a waste of time and money and may also encourage some to try to shoot game at that range with sproingers.

      If you cannot hit the broad side of a barn while standing inside at 10 meters, why shoot it at 50 yards?

      • RidgeRunner,

        Thank you for this lead-in to my DRUBBING of Spring Piston airguners!

        So some “They” will buy this 43lbs cocking effort GAS SPRING air rifle that is accurate to five to ten MOA at 10 yards, rested, and indoors…
        But after some ID TEN TANGO declared the SIG SSG ASP20 an air rifle for “the firearm shooter” the springer guys stayed away from buying it in droves; a rifle that cocks with far less effort, has higher MV/energy and is under two MOA out to 50 and often groups inside one ONE MOA for a NOVICE spring piston shooter (shooting bullets {SLUGS}) who came in from decades of Dark Side only shooting.

        I know it is still April but why does this feel like Spring Piston airgunner April Fools Day all over again?



        • shootski,

          Please allow me to play “the Devil’s Advocate” here, most especially since I am one of those who “stayed away in droves”.

          The first thing was the price. Most powder burners do not grasp that an airgun is most often made of the same materials as a firearm and is usually more complicated. They wanted something for nothing.

          Sig Sauer also abandoned it before it had the chance to establish itself in the marketplace as a true competitor. Do you think Air Arms or Weihrauch were instant successes? Where is Sig Sauer’s air pistol right now? It is nothing but a relabeled Italian air pistol. They dropped it also. Why?

          Another thing is parts availability. Try buying some spare parts. What happens when those gas sproings decide to leak out?

          What kept me away is a combination of all of the above. I wanted a synthetic stock version and suddenly Sig Sauer decided to devote their resources to other things just as the syn stocks were hitting the market.

          • RidgeRunner,

            All you say is true.
            But you ignored the one comment that was totally out of line: and that was by a “respected” airgun Influencer saying the SIG SSG ASP20 was a firearm shooter’s airgun. That individual was WRONG to have taken what in my opinion was a self serving opinion and spread it far and wide among the airgun “community” when it was farthest from the truth.
            SIG certainly need help from the airgun “community” to understand its proclivities and the problem was compounded by the untimely death of the Lead Engineer.
            Since i exercise both of my SIG SSG ASP 20’s at least once every two weeks the gas springs have not shown any sign of failure; i know that gas springs are on a Bathtub “U” shaped failure profile.
            In order to get that failure profile you need to follow the guidance provided by Ed in his conversations with B.B.; operate the gas spring regularly to keep the seals from “welding” in place! Tom is a busy man and didn’t take his SIG SSG ASP20 out of his LARGE storage area often enough is my educated guess on why his example leaked down.


            • ID TEN TANGO? I guess I have been away too long to decipher this. I was also unaware of the Lead Engineer’s death. However, this does not excuse or explain the total abandonment of a developed product by a company.

              The new U.S. government contract does though. With a finite resource of labor and material and outrageous quantities of tax dollars per example, why not dump a product that may or may not prove to be profitable in the long run? Sig Sauer will be making thousands of these pistols for the armed forces. Just the spare parts orders will be worth gazillions. Add to this the civilian market and Sig Sauer execs will be set for life.

              Why not dump a product that MIGHT turn a profit years from now?

            • As an aside. I had turned my back on gas sproings LONG before BB had his issues with one leaking down.

              A metal sproing gives me the adjustability of power that is lacking in most gas sproings. I am greatly saddened by Theoben leaving the market and my inability to readily purchase an HW90. I have been closely following the efforts to reproduce an adjustable gas sproing.

              The readily adjustable power levels that is in modern PCPs is where the market needs to go with sproingers. Will I see this? I am getting old.

              • R.R.,

                I get my fun on the Dark Side as you point out. My foray* into the Springer World was just to see if it is really as difficult to be okay or maybe better at than most who opine that it is difficult to get groups; certainly not out to 50 unless you are some kind of shooting savant. Lol!

                * a sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, especially to obtain something; a raid. ;^)


                • shootski,

                  I too on occasion foray into the modern airgun scene, but I am usually disappointed by the results. It is true that accuracy has improved, mostly due to the advancements in projectile design, but the quality of construction is descending.

                  Most, including myself, cannot afford true top shelf quality and performance. It does not help that we have become a “throw away” world.

                  Hey, I am just an old curmudgeon who is out of time. Though my age says I am a Boomer, my thought processes belong in the WWII generation. I guess I am just a little slow.

  5. I was perusing the internet today and noted that a person commented that they had purchased (Walmart) .22 caliber Benjamin hollow point pellets in the new style dark can with the “B” on it. Noted that the price was similar to the original Crosman price. Appears to me that the Benjamin container contains the original Benjamin Discovery pellets. I was hoping that the Benjamin single die pellets would show up at Walmart.

    • Decksniper,

      I too, welcome the old format, and to no longer having to verify I’m human, and, come to think of it, I have, for some time now, been so reliably notified of responses to my comments that I’ve taken that functionality for granted, which is nice. 🙂

  6. BB,

    You can risk injury to your hernias if you want, but don’t do it on my account with this obvious loser. Save your strength for something worthwhile. Just my opinion.


  7. From the way things are turning out it looks like the only thing that qualifies it as a survival rifle is the fact that it folds up. It’s not all that compact compared to many others, it is different. And I am glad to have it as a collectable.
    And, if I’m correct I believe the manufacturer did state that they are not finished with this concept air rifle and are looking forward to upgrading it as time goes on. Perhaps we are inadvertently helping them by providing feedback on its performance and or handling. The information they may need to decide where to improve on it and the cost involved to continue on.
    Or perhaps to see if it is even a viable concept?
    How many others are willing to go that far to listen to their customers and end up with the perfect balance between cost and performance in the end? Hopefully those of us providing this feedback will have the opportunity to upgrade as things improve, if we want. Just my thoughts.

    Hope it does so and does not develop a bad reputation from the get-go and it sticks. It is a solid innovative air rifle from people who obviously think “Out of the box”.
    Would it take off if it had the likes of a TX 200 inside? People might be giving it another look then, but just how many would purchase it? Too costly?
    Might be, a slow gradual evolution of development will pay off? Sound familiar? … Gen II.

    I believe it wants to shoot well but there are still some bugs to clear up or the right combination of things to make it happen have yet to come together. Cost may be one of them?
    They took a big chance with this concept air rifle in my opinion, and I hope things work out well or lead to better things ahead If they make it.
    Call me an optimist, but I think they were trying to innovate here and not con us. It’s a solid rifle and hopefully still in the making.
    Bob M.

  8. One more thing.
    A little “Constructive Criticism” about what to do to improve it may go a long way, for all of us and the industry as well.
    Creating a $2,500. target rifle out of it may seem like a great thing to do, but practical? May not fall into the company’s business plan or even desire to compete at that level.
    A simlpe? thing, like changing the barrel or rifling may change everything. OK, throw in the trigger too, But at a completive price? How much would you pay for a great shooting airgun in this configuration or a modified one?

    • Bob M,

      I am happy that you don’t regret your triangle.
      Regardless of the modifications, it is that distinctive folding style, why I can’t take it seriously. It just doesn’t fit in with my cosplay… 🙂

      • hihihi,
        To be honest it’s easier to store unfolded. At least in my case. I have acquired many odd airguns, some undesirable, many short lived and gone. The main thing I look for is that it be … an Air Gun!
        Although I do have replicas that don’t shoot anything. Not exactly a collector of traditional old gals or professional target shooters, but if the price is right who knows. I have nothing against them.

        I have two Daisy air guns in the mail now and will be ordering some accessories for my Select-Fire Western Sidewinder PCP today. Looking forward to the bayonet accessory for the BM8 😉 Who knows, it may affect it’s accuracy !

        • Bob M,

          ah yes, the bayonet should indeed affect your BM8’s harmonics, improving your survival! 🙂

          Anyway, I submit your BM8 might store inside your balalaika case. See below… 🙂

          • It does look like it would fit nicely in that case,, with just enough room for a bottle or two some “medicinal” alcohol.

            That latter might be needed to dull the pain from the lack of accuracy or the cocking force needed ( shooter’s choice).


  9. hihihi,
    And I just let my Balalaika go for a song !
    All kidding aside, inside the square shipping box is a triangular shaped carry box with a handle. And there is plenty of room for those small aircraft in-flight whiskey bottles.

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