Crosman Challenger PCP 10-meter target rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman Challenger PCP
Crosman Challenger PCP.

Edge Part 1
Edge Part 2
Edge Part 3
Edge Part 4
Edge Part 5
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 1
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 2
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 3
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 4
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 5
Airforce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 6
Challenger PCP: Part 1

This report covers:

  • Held for 11 years
  • H&N Finale Match High Speed.
  • Gamo Match
  • JSB Match Heavy Weight
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Shot count
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I check the velocity of the Chrosman Challenger youth 10-meter target rifle. In 2009, the last time I tested the rifle, I adjusted it to get lots of shots with H&N Finale Match High Speed pellets. They were 7-grain wadcutter pellets that are no longer available. Back then they averaged 545 f.p.s. for 116 shots on a fill. We will see where they are today — 11 years later. read more

BB’s bag of tricks

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Mahesh from India
  • Good advice
  • Do precharged pneumatics leak down?
  • Do Sheridan Supergrades leak?
  • What have we learned?
  • You don’t need to rebuild your springer!
  • Yes, ATF sealant is a miracle lubricant
  • Summary

I was supposed to do the velocity test of the Umarex Fusion 2 repeater today, but something nudged it out of place. Actually someONE!

I get emails from my Godfather website all the time and the questions are sometimes asked in such a way that I don’t understand them. So I answer something else — and not what the person wanted to know. If these people were blog readers there would be no problem, but they aren’t. So all the stuff that’s obvious to all of you is brand new to them.

Mahesh from India

Blog reader, Mahesh, tried to fill a used Crosman Challenger he had bought with a hand pump and was told by the seller that the hand pump he used — AND GOT 15 SHOTS WITH — was not adequate to fill that airgun. He should use a scuba tank. Guys — if the balloon fills with air it doesn’t matter what puts it in there! read more

Benjamin Fortitude PCP air rifle Gen2: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

The Generation II Benjamin Fortitude.

This report covers:

  • Fill to 3,000
  • Crosman Premier Heavys
  • Discussion 1
  • RWS Hobby
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Where are we?
  • After lunch
  • Discussion 2
  • Noise
  • Trigger pull
  • More velocity testing to come
  • Summary

Watch out, spouses! The Great Enabler is about to strike!

Today’s report is so astonishing that if I hadn’t been there I probably would have my doubts. The velocity test took me two and one-half hours to complete! That’s because the .177 Benjamin Fortitude had so many shots on a single fill to 3,000 psi! Let’s get started.

Fill to 3,000

I filled the rifle to 3,000 psi as indicated on the gauge of my large carbon fiber tank. The gauge on the rifle also showed the pressure was 3,000 psi, and I know the gauge on my air tank is very accurate. I waited for 4 days after filling and the pressure still showed 3,000 psi on the rifle’s onboard gauge, so I know the rifle holds well. read more

How the Price-Point PCP (PPP) has changed the face of the airgun world

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Umarex’s Gauntlet was the first PPP to be announced, but several others beat it to the marketplace.

This report covers:

  • Gauntlet dropped!
  • For Hank
  • For the manufacturers
  • What is a PPP?
  • Cost
  • Required features
  • Nice features to have
  • Caliber
  • Compressors
  • Other PCPs
  • Sig
  • AirForce Airguns
  • On and on
  • Summary
  • read more

    Seneca Double Shot air shotgun: Part 1

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    Seneca Double Shot
    Air Venturi’s Seneca Double Shot air shotgun.

    This report covers:

    • Fast second shot
    • Let’s review
    • Sub-1 crossbow
    • Reality of bow hunting
    • Description
    • How many shots?
    • What it shoots
    • Is this for you?
    • Summary

    I usually just review the products and leave my personal opinions out — or I try to weave them in under the radar. Not today. I first saw today’s subject airgun, the Seneca Double Shot air shotgun at the 2018 SHOT Show. I looked at it and then showed it to Rossi Morreale on American Airgunner, all the while wondering — WHY? What possible use is there for a double-barreled air shotgun? Then Val Gamerman, the president of Pyramyd Air, told me. The extra barrel gives you a fast second shot.

    Fast second shot

    That second barrel gives you a quick second shot at a deer or other large game animal, when you are using Air Venturi Air Bolts. Nuff said! That is a real reason for owning a double-barreled air shotgun.

    Let’s review

    Before I describe this airgun let’s look at some past articles that have brought us to this point. First there was my review of the Seneca Wing Shot air shotgun. There are just two parts to that review because I treated the report of the Air Venturi Air Bolts as a separate subject. But, if you read that report you’ll see that the Wing Shot was at the heart of it.

    We learned that the Air Bolt is an arrow (or bolt, as they are called by crossbow shooters) that fires much faster than any crossbow can. And they are accurate. Rossi Morreale shot a Robin Hood at the 2016 Texas Airgun Show while sighting in his Wing Shot for an upcoming pig hunt. That’s where the point of an arrow hits an arrow in the target and splits it.

    Seneca Air Bolt Robin Hood
    While sighting in his Wing Shot for a pig hunt, Rossi Morreale shot this Robin Hood (arrow hitting the base of another arrow already in the target).

    Sub-1 crossbow

    And there is one more report that you should consider. I also tested and later bought the Sub-1 crossbow. I initially did it because my experience with the Air Bolts compelled me to learn what a true crossbow was like. And the Sub-1 isn’t just any crossbow. It is the most accurate crossbow on the market today, with the possibility of shooting three bolts into a group that’s smaller than one inch at 100 yards! Not that I ever did it, but it has been done.

    I found the Sub-1 extremely accurate, but at a cost of about double that of the Wing Shot. It isn’t as powerful, but with a crossbow, power isn’t everything. The bolts they fire are so heavy (400+ grains) that when they hit they keep on going — right into the boiler room of a large game animal, if they strike in the right place.

    Reality of bow hunting

    With an arrow, the animal has time to move after it hears the shot. This move is instinctive and triggered by sound. The Sub-1 puts arrows out at around 350 f.p.s. The Wing Shot is about 200+ f.p.s. faster. Even so, it isn’t so fast that the target doesn’t have time to move. Stealth and patience are still the name of the game when hunting with any kind of bow — even an airbow!


    Okay, enough background. Let’s get to it. What’s this Double Shot like?

    The Double Shot is a side by side double barreled precharged pneumatic shotgun that weighs 8.55 lbs. That’s heavy for a shotgun, so if you are a scattergunner there will be some getting-used-to time ahead. They claim a velocity of 450 f.p.s. with Air Bolts, so the gun has been tamed from the Wing Shot to get more shots per fill.

    Seneca Double Shot muzzles
    Seneca Double Shot muzzles.

    There is a single trigger, so the selector mechanism on top of the gun lets you switch between barrels. The action is cocked by a bolt on the right side of the action that is pulled straight to the rear each time you want to shoot. So, to fire both barrels you set the switch to either the left or right barrel, cock the gun and fire, then switch barrels with the selector, cock and fire again. With practice it takes seconds.

    Seneca Double Shot selectors
    The selector for which barrel fires is on top of the receiver. You can rotate either knurled knob to select to barrel and a line (arrow) tells you which barrel is going to fire. This photo also shows the knurled sliding breeches for loading balls or shotshells.

    The gun has a pretty wood buttstock and forearm that many people commented on at the SHOT Show. It looks like a fine English double with its straight buttstock that has no hint of a pistol grip. It also handles like one, though the weight does slow it down.

    There is a brass bead up front for rough sighting

    How many shots?

    The specs say you get up to 5 powerful shots per fill. That would agree with what I saw from the Wing Shot. However, since this is a double barreled gun, why not just go with 4 shots per fill? That will help you with air management, because its twice through both barrels. Naturally there is an air gauge in the forearm to tell you where the fill is. And this gun fills to 3,000 psi, so a survivalist can fill it with a hand pump. The rest of you may recoil in disbelief when I say that, but you have to remember — this gun isn’t for plinking.

    What it shoots

    The Double Shot is a smoothbore airgun, so it is ideally suited to shoot shot. Each barrel has a removable choke that’s taken off to load Air Bolts and shoot round balls, but put on for shotshells. You can also add the

    special longer and tighter 12.2mm chokes read more

    Piston seals: Part 1

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    This report covers:

    • Updates
    • Early leather seals
    • What’s next?
    • Now that you understand…
    • No magic
    • Don’t be depressed!
    • Leather piston seals
    • The better way
    • It’s all the same
    • Leather’s shortcoming
    • Summary


    Pyramyd Air has shipped me the replacement Fortitude, so I will be restarting that report soon. Leapers is sending me a micro dot sight that I showed you recently. I wanted that to test on the Beeman P1 pistol that I stopped testing months ago, but now I also want to put it on the Chaser pistol and perhaps on a rifle or two. And yes, GunFun1, I am going to test the Gauntlet at 50 yards with the tightened shroud/barrel.

    But today I want to talk about something different. As you are aware, this blog gets many new readers all the time. Often when they come in they have a question about a topic I have addressed in the past. If their question is easy to answer I will often just give them the links to the past report — if I can find it. But sometimes their question isn’t so easy to answer, and when that happens and I know that I have many other new readers who might perhaps benefit from it, I will write a special blog. Today is such a day.

    Reader Arvizu joined us two days ago. He had some questions about various things, including the following statement.

    “ I noticed, too, that the seal plays an important role to define performance (sometimes small variations in diameter makes the difference). I would like to clarify that this is only my appreciation and limited experience with airguns.

    I would really appreciate an article from you, with your vast experience in this regards talking about this topic.”

    I gave him several links to past articles, but I could not get his comment out of my mind. So today I would like to address the importance of piston seals.

    Let’s start with a look at a popular toy that many of us have played with — the toy popper gun!

    popper 1
    Pull the handle back and the cork is drawn into the muzzle by the string that’s attached. If the string is too long you can just stuff the cork in the muzzle yourself. Push the handle forward and the dowel it’s attached to pushes air in front of it to pop the cork out of the “gun.”

    popper 2
    You can see the length of the dowel at the bottom.

    The popper toy works exactly like a spring-piston airgun, except it has no piston seal. Just the close fit of the wood dowel inside the larger wood tube compresses enough air to pop the cork.

    Early leather seals

    If that is clear, the rest will be easy. You don’t need a wood dowel that’s as large as the compression chamber. A steel rod can be much smaller and it only has to “push” a small “head” that’s sized to the chamber.

    simple compression chamber
    This simple compression chamber and “piston” works exactly like the popper toy.

    My graphic is interesting until you realize that the air, once compressed, has nowhere to go. Let’s add an outlet that we’ll call the air transfer port.

    air transfer port
    Now that we know how the air is compressed, it’s easy to see that it exits through the air transfer port.

    What’s next?

    Next we put something in front of the escaping air, like the cork in the popper. The popper pops when the cork is overcome by air pressure and can’t remain inside the wood tube any longer. That’s similar to what happens when a pellet blocks the air from an airgun air transfer port.

    pellet blocks port
    Now we have put a barrel in front of the air transfer port and blocked the escaping air with a pellet. The pressure will built in the compression chamber until the pellet has to move. read more

    Beeman R9 with Vortek center-latching air piston: Part 3

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    Part 1
    Part 2

    This report covers:

    • Adjust the pressure
    • Filling
    • R9 disassembly and assembly
    • JSB Exact
    • Predator Polymag
    • H&N Field Target Trophy
    • H&N Baracuda
    • Crosman Premier
    • Benjamin Cylindrical
    • Discussion
    • Trigger
    • Cocking effort
    • Evaluation

    Today we look at adjusting the Vortek Center Latching Air Piston, which I refer to as the center-latching unit (CLU). It went faster and easier than I imagined.

    Adjust the pressure

    To adjust the air pressure in the unit I had to disassemble the Beeman R9, to get the unit out. That procedure is described in Part 1. Once the unit is out, the piston seal has to be removed to reveal the air port.

    Beeman R9 CLU port
    Looking down into the fill port of the CLU we can see the ball valve.

    To adjust the pressure in the CLU, first release all the air. That way you start from zero. The unit fills very fast from a hand pump and this is the best way to ensure accuracy.

    The air is released by pressing against the ball valve with something small — I used an Allen wrench about 1/16-inch in diameter. Tap it with a hammer a couple times and then you can just push to release the rest of the air. There isn’t much!

    Beeman R9 releasing pressure
    Pressing against the ball valve releases the air pressure.

    When the air is out, attach the fill adaptor and connect it to a high pressure hand pump. The o-rings on the adaptor Vortek sent me are not to seal air. They are there in place of knurling. That adaptor was made up fast and they didn’t want to change the tooling in their machine to cut knurling. The o-rings are just for grip.

    Beeman R9 adaptor
    Attach the adaptor to the CLU for filling. The o-rings are just for grip.


    I filled the CLU and made a mistake when I did. I want to cover that right now. We will get back to the main report in a moment.

    I filled the CLU to what I thought was 500 psi. Last time we looked at the performance on 675 psi, which Vortek says should generate about the same velocity as the factory mainspring.

    R9 disassembly and assembly read more