Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Speedfire
Hatsan Speedfire Vortex breakbarrel repeater.

This report covers:

  • Breakbarrel repeaters
  • So, what’s new?
  • Outside the rifle
  • Pellet feed
  • Trigger
  • Power
  • Cocking effort
  • Tests
  • Summary

Once more I’ll remind you that I am suspending the historical reports for awhile to catch up on several things I have been putting off. There are also many new airguns I want to test. Some tests of complex guns like the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP have taken me many more than the usual three reports, and this has led to the current situation. The history section will be back soon, I promise.

Breakbarrel repeaters

Today I start looking at the Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle. It’s a breakbarrel spring-piston gun that uses a gas spring (this one is a contained unit that Hatsan properly calls a gas piston) for the powerplant. It comes in both .177 (12 shots) and .22 (10 shots), and I am testing the .22. read more


2019 SHOT Show: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Diana model 30
  • Leapers
  • The really big news!
  • The King Bug Buster!
  • UTG Micro Reflex dot sight
  • P.O.I. rings in 11mm
  • Hatsan Speedfire
  • Crosman Triple threat
  • ASG
  • Summary

Diana model 30

We were in the Diana booth at the end of Part 4. There is one more thing I want to show you in that booth. We talked about it last year, but when I tested a vintage one, it failed during the test. Last August I reported about the Diana model 30. I told you then that this was an airgun that was made from 1972 through 2000. Well, I learned from a Diana representative that the model 30 is still in production today, and that it sells to shooting gallery operators for 1,000 Euro, which is $1,141 as I write this. So the price of $1,000 back in the 1980s wasn’t as far out of line as I had thought. read more


2019 SHOT Show: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Synergis
  • Gamo USA
  • The story
  • It gets better
  • AirForce Airguns
  • Diana Mauser K98 PCP
  • Summary

Synergis

We were in the Umarex booth in the last report, so we’ll start there. The one other airgun that caught my eye in that booth was the new Synergis underlever repeater. Yes, this is yet another spring-piston rifle that repeats!

Umarex Synergis
The Synergis from Umarex looks exciting. Photo courtesy Umarex USA.

This rifle has a gas piston/spring, yet is quite easy to cock. I am guessing it’s between 25 and 30 pounds of effort. It gets 1,000 f.p.s. with .177-caliber lead pellets and 1.200 with alloy pellets. It has a 12-shot rotary magazine, so it’s another spring-piston repeater. But this one has an underlever, so the mag is lower than usual with a springer that repeats. It has a shrouded barrel for quiet shooting and comes bundled with a 3-9X32 scope and rings. But wait for it — the really big news is the price. The Synergis retails for $169.95! When Umarex marketing manager Justin Biddle told me that I said, “What?” I expected $100 more. read more


Sig ASP20 rifle with Whiskey3 ASP 4-12X44 scope: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig ASP20
Sig ASP20 breakbarrel rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • The Whiskey3 reticle
  • The test
  • Couldn’t get the rifle to group!
  • The double group
  • Sandbag rest
  • Wraith Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • I can do this!
  • Air Arms domes
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Last group
  • Summary

Today I start looking critically at the accuracy of the new Sig ASP20 breakbarrel rifle. Until now I have only shot 5-shot groups. They are okay for quick work but do not tell the whole story. Today I will shoot 10-shot groups and we will learn the accuracy of this new rifle with some precision. I won’t get into the statistical reason that 10 shots are better than 5, but here is a good bottom line — anybody can get lucky, and it is far easier to do it 5 times in a row than 10.

The Whiskey3 reticle

Before we get into this test report, reader Bimjo asked this. read more


Best equipment or the best training?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Best equipment?
  • Why not cheap?
  • Airgunner’s dreams
  • Why?
  • One gun to rule them all
  • Thanks Hank
  • One final type of table saw
  • And one final airgun — is it a hybrid?
  • Summary

I almost titled today’s report as an open letter to the airgun industry, because I believe there is a lot for them in here. But there is also a lot for the average airgunner. Reader Vana should be flattered because his excellent report on stockmaking yesterday prompted all that I am about to say.

Best equipment?

As I read Vana’s report, I mused about making stocks myself. Like that will ever happen. It’s like watching a Fred Astair movie and deciding to take dance lessons, I guess. Only, when it comes to dancing, the movie I should watch is Godzilla.

But here is what I actually did. I went online and researched table saws. Yes, I really did! I discovered that table saws fall into several categories that range from cheap, through portable or jobsite, up to contractor and finally cabinet, which is the pinnacle. I discovered that I wanted to pay for a portable (usually under $400) but to get one with the features of a cabinet ($5,000 to $10,000). However I did not like the extreme weight of the cabinet models (450-600 lbs.) and wanted my saw to weigh more in the contractor range (225-250 lbs.). Hey! I’m an airgunner when it comes to table saws! read more


Sig ASP20 rifle with Whiskey3 ASP 4-12X44 scope: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig ASP20
Sig ASP20 breakbarrel rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • Air Arms domes
  • A different rest
  • The artillery hold
  • Screamer!
  • Another pellet
  • Final group — confirmation
  • Summary

In the last report I cleaned the barrel of the Sig ASP20 breakbarrel rifle and showed you there are no real baffles to worry about. Today I want to test the rifle to see whether cleaning has changed the accuracy in any way. I also want to test the rifle resting directly on a sandbag versus using the artillery hold. I will also try some different pellets, to see if there is more potential accuracy. It should be a good test, so let’s get started.

I’m shooting 5-shot groups today because I’m still learning things about the airgun. Five-shot groups allow me to test more things. read more


The way of airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What makes an airgun good?
  • A few good airguns — rifles
  • Challenger and Edge
  • A few good airguns — air pistols
  • Beeman P17
  • Summary

I’m writing this on Christmas Day and don’t want to do another test today. I thought about airguns this morning and came up with some interesting thoughts.

What makes an airgun good?

I used to think accuracy was the only requirement for an airgun to be good but now I realize it’s so much more.

A few good airguns — rifles

Going back a couple years, I was able to purchase a Beeman R10/HW85 that Bryan Enoch had tuned. I had seen and shot that air rifle several years earlier, at the Arkansas airgun show in Malvern. After just a few shots I gave Bryan one of those, “If you ever want to sell this…” requests. To my surprise, this one paid off. I was able to buy it at the 2017 Texas Airgun Show. read more