Getting started with a precharged air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Talon SS?
  • Triggers
  • Accuracy expectations
  • Scopes
  • Get parallax adjustment
  • Match the scope to the task
  • More to come

This is Part 2. In the first part I was brutally honest about the precharged pneumatics (PCP) I think are good for beginners. Now that I am doing my experiment about learning to sharpen straight razors I appreciate the level of information most new guys are seeking and are able to accept. There will always be some folks who don’t get it the first time around, but I won’t talk down to the rest of you to cover that. I will answer their questions and explain in greater detail as they require.

Talon SS?

Reader Cal raised an issue in Part 1 and answered it at the same time. Why didn’t I put AirForce rifles like the Talon SS into the entry-level category? Can’t someone who is new to precharged airguns shoot one of those? Of course they can! The Talon SS is no more difficult to learn to operate than any other PCP. The reason I held off is the style of the rifle.

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • An announcement
  • Today
  • Familiarization
  • Still learning the magazine
  • The trigger
  • The test
  • The sights
  • RWS Superdome — sight in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • Summary

An announcement

This morning I shaved with a straight razor in a completely different way, after reading a book about shaving that was written in 1905. While very different from anything I had been doing, it all sounded very good and authoritative until I tried it. Then I needed a pint of blood after finishing! The author of this book says many things that run contrary to conventional wisdom and what is being taught today.

As a result of this experience, I have decided that there is more to sharpening a straight razor than I thought. There will be another report coming in which I examine some of the facts and some old wive’s tales about sharpening straight razors. I will try to show you the results more graphically. I don’t want to wreck the surprises that I hope are coming, so that is all I will say at this time. Let’s now turn our attention to today’s report.

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Something else

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Always something else
  • Change it
  • Make ‘em pumpers
  • Farco air shotgun
  • A good rifle
  • The 1873 Springfield
  • A long shot
  • The point
  • Summary

Always something else

One thing has stood out about airgunners for me. No matter what you are talking about, they always seem to want something else — something different. I remember many years ago when powerful precharged guns didn’t exist, the Yewah 3B Dynamite multi pump from Korea was looked at as a big deal. It was powerful, large caliber (.25) and airgunners were in awe of it — mainly because few of them had ever seen one.

Change it

Then I read about a guy who had one and reported how very powerful it was, but, man, was it ever hard to pump! The 3B required 150 pump strokes to fill initially, and then you could top it off after every shot with another 20 pumps. This fellow liked the power but hated all the work. So he machined a fill coupling and turned his 3B into a precharged airgun! He said the gun became lighter when the pump mechanism was removed, and it was no longer a chore to fill.

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Getting started with a precharged air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The PCP boom
  • A gamble
  • Buy in bulk?
  • The advantages of a PCP
  • How to get into PCPs
  • Entry-level PCPs
  • 2000 psi fill rifles
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • 3000 psi rifles
  • What if you just want to dive in?
  • Advanced PCPs that are forgiving
  • If you ignore my advice
  • Summary

There has been a lot of discussion on the blog about getting into precharged pneumatic (PCP) airguns. I want to weigh in on this discussion.

The PCP boom

Ten years ago the world had one entry-level precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle — the Benjamin Discovery. It came to market in 2007 and revolutionized the airgun world. When it hit the market it established the parameters of what an entry-level PCP should be and cost.

Benjamin Discovery
The Benjamin Discovery, packaged with a hand pump at an affordable price, broke the PCP market open in 2007.

A gamble

Before it was launched no one knew how the Discovery would be received. When I pitched the idea to Crosman in 2006, their CEO, Ken D’Arcy, asked me if I thought they could sell a thousand of them in a year. I told him I thought they could sell two thousand! Of course I didn’t know for certain, because something like this had never been done before. But I did know airgunners. I knew they were very curious about PCPs, but also quite cautious. Companies like Crosman had tried putting their name on PCPs made by others before (Logan, in Crosman’s case) and it didn’t turn out very well. Once airgunners discovered who really made the guns, they reasoned why buy from Crosman who had to mark up the guns to make a profit? If you wanted a Logan, why not go directly to the source? With the internet it is impossible to conceal things like this today.

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie

Hatsan Sortie precharged pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Three magazines
  • Filling
  • RWS Superdome
  • Loading
  • H&N Field Target Trophy (5.55mm)
  • Hand pump
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Discharge sound
  • Is this a semiautomatic?
  • Trigger
  • Evaluation so far

Today we look at the power of the new Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic air pistol. I told you in Part 1 that it is a 12 foot-pound gun, so the discharge sound shouldn’t be too great, but we will find out today.

Three magazines

I didn’t show you the stuff that comes with the gun in Part 1, so let’s look at it now. First and foremost, there are three magazines in the box with the pistol. That’s very generous of Hatsan, and the two extras save you about 50 dollars! You also get a fill probe and a set of o-rings and a seal for the gun.

Hatsan Sortie accessories
The Sortie comes with 3 magazines, a probe and a set of seals.

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 1

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie.

This report covers:

  • What is it?
  • Power
  • Presentation is important
  • Semiautomatic!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • The action
  • Silencer?
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will do the impossible. It’s not perpetual motion and it’s not levitation. Today I will scoop myself! Today I will start a report on something I was hoping to surprise you with in Part 3 of the Texas Airgun Show next week.

I haven’t reported on all the dealers who were at the show yet, and Hatsan is one I planned to cover next time. Well, I figured you needed to see an airgun after all these other reports, so I opened a large box Hatsan sent me recently and, lo and behold, inside there is an airgun I hadn’t heard of before seeing one at the airgun show — the Hatsan Sortie.

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Kral Puncher Pro B W PCP rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Kral Puncher Pro
Kral Puncher Pro PCP. The test rifle’s walnut stock is not as blonde as this one.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • First test
  • Wind
  • Third test
  • RWS Superdome
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Adjust the scope
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • H&N Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
  • Evaluation
  • Next

You have waited patiently for this 50-yard accuracy report since the middle of May. I have had the rifle to the range several times, and today I’ll tell you what happened.

First test

The first time I went out, I couldn’t get the rifle to group with any pellet. No matter what I did with the power level, the pellets went all over the place. The groups were 5 to 7 inches. After seeing what the rifle could do at 25 yards with the same pellets, I knew something was wrong, and I thought I knew what it was.

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