Walther LGV Challenger: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LGV breakbarrel air rifle
Walther’s LGV Challenger breakbarrel was a short-run success in 2013.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Firing behavior
  • Sight in
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Discussion

Today we start looking at the accuracy of the Walther LGV pellet rifle. We know from past reports that this rifle is stunningly accurate. And this isn’t the last we will test the rifle. There is more to come.

The test

As I said in Part 2 I knew this rifle was accurate, so I started today’s test at 25 yards. I shot with open sights. I didn’t remember that last time I struggled with vertical groups when open sights were used. It would have been better to mount a scope right up front, so that’s what I’ll do for next time

I shot off a sandbag rest, but I used an artillery hold, because in 2013 it worked best. The rifle floated on my off hand with the heel of the palm touching the triggerguard.

Firing behavior

The rifle is now shooting dead calm — no vibration that I can detect. The trigger has two spots of creep and then it’s ready to break.

Sight in

I had no idea of where the open sights were adjusted so I took it slow. One shot at 12 feet and another at 10 meters. I sighted in with Falcon pellets from Air Arms, so they were the first I shot for accuracy. It took 6 shots in total to get into the center of the bull at 25 yards.

Air Arms Falcon

Ten Falcon pellets went into 2.214-inches at 25 yards. Yuk! The group is very vertical, so I went back to the 2013 test and discovered that these open sights have that tendency when I shoot them.

Falcon group
The LGV Challenger put 10 Falcon pellets into 2.214-inches at 25 yards when fired with open sights.

JSB Exact RS

Would JSB Exact RS pellets do any better? I sure hoped so! They did do better but still not good. Ten pellets went into 1.207-inches at 25 yards. As before the group is vertical.

RS group
The LGV shot 10 JSB Exact RS pellets into 1.207-inches at 25 yards.

RWS Superdomes

Ten RWS Superdomes went into 1.261-inches at 25 yards. It’s a strange U-shaped group with a lot of verticality in it.

Superdome group
Ten RWS Superdomes went into 1.261-inches at 25 yards.

Discussion

It’s obvious that I need to mount a scope on this LGV. I think a small one will be perfect.

I have to do another 25-yard test with these same pellets.

The powerplant is now entirely stable. And I am assembling my grease gun though the job on the LGV to apply Tune in a Tube more precisely is done.


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.

Held for 11 years

By the way, I didn’t mention in in Part 1 but this rifle has been holding air since I last shot it 11 years ago! That’s for those who think that pneumatics have to leak.

The test

I filled the rifle to 2,000 psi and began with the pellet I had tuned it for last time — the H&N Finale Match High Speed. 

H&N Finale Match High Speed.

Ten pellets averaged 565 f.p.s. The low was 555 and the high was 570 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 15 f.p.s. I will use 555 f.p.s. as the cutoff velocity for the end of the test.

Gamo Match

Next up were Gamo Match pellets. Ten averaged 570 f.p.s. the spread ranged from a low of 566 to a high of 574 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 8 f.p.s.

JSB Match Heavy Weight

I tried JSB Match Heavy Weight pellets next. At 8.26 grains they are much heavier than either the Finale Match High Speed or the RWS R-10 Pistol pellets, both of which weigh 7 grains. But still they averaged 560 f.p.s. for 10 shots. And the spread was an incredible three feet per second — from 559 to 562 f.p.s.! And this was done without a regulator!

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The last pellet I tested was the old reliable RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. They averaged 581 f.p.s., with a range that went from 577 to 586 f.p.s. — a difference of 9 f.p.s.

Shot count

At this point in the test there were 44 shots on the fill. Four pellets had not registered on the chronograph. Now I started shooting blank shots with some Finale Match High Speed pellets at certain intervals.

Shot 51 went out at 574 f.p.s. Shot 60 was also 574. Shot 70 was 580 f.p.s. Shot 80 was also 580 f.p.s. Shot 90 went out at 570 f.p.s. And with shot 100 I started recording each shot’s velocity.

Shot………….Vel.
100…………..563
101…………..558
102…………..561
103…………..563
104…………..561
105…………..561
106…………..562
107…………..559
108…………..559
109…………..559
110…………..556
111…………..552 end

I said I would stop shooting when the velocity of H&N Finale Match High Speed pellets dropped below 555 f.p.s., because that was the lowest velocity recorded in this string for this pellet at the beginning. That means that we got 110 good shots from this Challenger on a single fill. In 2009 this pellet got 116 shots that averaged 545 f.p.s. Now, eleven years later the same pellet got 110 shots at an average of about 560 f.p.s. on a single fill. In 2009 the maximum spread for all shots was 29 f.p.s. In this test the maximum spread was 25 f.p.s. What I’m telling you is the Challenger is holding up surprisingly well over the 11 years it has been operated.

Discussion

Those who are afraid of going to precharged pneumatics should pay attention to this test. You are seeing a PCP perform over a timeframe of more than a decade.

Those who believe that a regulator is needed to get lots of shots, pay attention. The Challenger has no regulator, yet gets 110 shots within a 25 f.p.s. power band.

Those who wonder if a PCP can be made to work with a hand pump pay attention. We are getting 110 shots on a fill of only 2,000 psi.

Summary

I am now ready to test the accuracy of the Crosman Challenger PCP. I hope you are as excited as I at the opportunity.


Crosman Challenger PCP 10-meter target rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman Challenger PCP
Crosman Challenger PCP.

History of airguns

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

This report covers:

  • History — Crosman Challenger 2000
  • CH2000
  • NRA
  • Whaddaya do?
  • Description
  • Trigger
  • Comments???
  • Adjustable power
  • Summary
  • History — Crosman Challenger 2000

I put this report in the historical section because the Crosman Challenger PCP has had a short but interesting history. In the year 2000 Crosman introduced the Challenger 2000. It looked like a target rifle but was not as sophisticated as the rifle we are reviewing in this report. The closest I can come to a description was it was a CO2-powered bolt action rifle with target sights. It came with a composite stock in colors of gray, blue, dark blue, gloss black, red, and silver. Though it had target sights, the trigger was heavy and creepy and the best you could hope for was ten pellets in about 3/4-inch at 10 meters. The velocity was rated at 485 f.p.s. The buttplate and cheekpiece were both adjustable.

The Challenger 2000 had a T-shaped cocking handle with a locking latch on the left side. It was similar to an AR-15 cocking handle and unlocked as it was pulled back. It was very hard to cock!

And the Benjamin barrel was attached to the reservoir. That’s something no target shooter wants!

CH2000

The Challenger 2000 was discontinued in 2001, replaced by the model CH2000 that was introduced that year. It also had the ambidextrous T-shaped cocking knob that resembles the one on the current Challenger PCP — but the locking latch on the left side was elimimnated. This model was also powered by CO2 and rated at 485 f.p.s.

This model lasted until the year 2009, but before I tell you what came next I need to remind you of some related history that you probably know if you are a regular reader.

NRA

The NRA used to hold an airgun breakfast at the SHOT Show for members of the airgun industry. One year early in the millennium they stunned us all by telling us about their NRA Junior Marksmanship program. The NRA told the airgunning world that over a million junior shooters compete each year in a multi-tiered national competition that involves over 74,000 different teams from around the nation. Well — pour the bucket of blood into the shark-infested waters and watch what happens!

I’m sure that Daisy, who up to this point had supplied ALL the target rifles to these junior marksmanship programs, was thrilled at the possibility of competition from the rest of the world! It took years to sort it all out and by then only two new companies decided to play. We have already looked extensively at the AirForce Edge that came from one of them; now we switch over to the Crosman Challenger PCP.

When did this NRA briefing take place? I forget, but let’s call it 2006. AirForce was faced with a clean sheet of paper because they had nothing like a target rifle but Crosman was already playing around with an airgun that looked like a target rifle. And Ed Schultz was their lead engineer, so they knew what they were doing. Those were the heady days of success at Crosman with the Benjamin Discovery, followed by the ten times bigger success of the Benjamin Marauder. Things were a’ poppin’ at Crosman and they wanted their share of this huge previously unknown market!

Whaddaya do?

So, you’re at Crosman and you want to build a target rifle for juniors. All of us reading this are sitting on our comfortable couches 12-15 years later with nothing at risk, so of course we know exactly what to do. Crosman, who was owned at the time by a penny-pinching investment group with a board of directors that watched everything, had to guess right the first time, because when people guess wrong they can get fired.

I am going to fast-forward you through all the decisions they made and show you how success looks as it’s unfolding.

First — they already had a target-looking air rifle with a synthetic stock that had an adjustable cheekpiece and buttplate. So that part was done!

Second — they already had target sights. No change needed there.

Third — they had a good ambidextrous cocking handle, and the action was easy to cock. Keep it!

Fourth — they were using CO2 to power their target rifle. That’s BAD, for reasons all of you should know by now. CO2 is not consistent enough — especially when we know that precharged pneumatics are better (more consistent, shot-to-shot). Keep the DESIGN of CO2 (a tubular reservoir under the barrel) but make it from aluminum, strong enough to hold 3,000 psi air! Forget the “Dual Fuel” marketing concept. It’s a cutesy slogan but target shooters don’t care. CO2 IS NOT for shooting in competition — not in this millenium. You can take that from someone who used to do it! If you just want to hit Necco wafters at 20 feet, CO2 is fine. If you want to hit the ten-ring at 10 meters, it’s not. Remember — this rifle is for one million junior marksmanship shooters and their coaches — not Buba at the box store!

Fifth — the trigger HAS to be good. The rules say 1.5 lbs. or more, so make it crisp and as close to that release weight as possible.

Sixth — get rid of the home-grown barrel and install one from Lothar Walther. Not only will it probably be more accurate — you’ll also get a super sales push from having it! Target shooters don’t know much about the technical side of airguns, as a rule. But they know names like Lothar Walther.

Seventh — build it for a price. The NRA would tell you what that could be, once they got their draconian rules committee up to speed, but you just charge on ahead and then figure out how to do it for a lot less than you need, once they have made up their minds.

Challenger 2009

Crosman did each and every one of those things, and in 2009 they launched their model CH2009, which at the time they called the Challenger 2009. A few years later they realized that the years change over time and they renamed it the the Challenger PCP. That’s the rifle I am testing for you.

Description

The Challenger PCP is a three position (prone, kneeling, standing) 10-meter target rifle made for junior marksmanship competition. It is a precharged pneumatic (PCP) that fills to 2,000 psi — yes, you read that right — just 2,000 psi! Crosman still maintains the “dual fuel” principal and the pressure gauge is even calibrated for CO2 — which is a joke because CO2 maintains its pressure until the last of the liquid is gone, then the pressure drops like a rock. It is not in vogue in competition today.

Crosman Challenger gauge
The gauge reads either air or CO2. The green area for CO2 is small because it’s either at pressure or not — there is no gradual decline of pressure. The gauge actually tells you which gas is in the rifle.

The rifle I’m testing weighs 6 lbs. 12 oz. The NRA weight limit is 7.5 lbs.  The Challenger is 40 inches long overall, with a 12.5-inch length of pull. That was measured with the adjustable buttplate installed. It can be removed for wee teeny children, and I have seen little 8-year-old girls mastering this rifle like pros. The Lothar Walther barrel is just shy of 24-inches long.

Trigger

The trigger is 2-stage and adjustable. It is a Marauder trigger, and Crosman could not have done a wiser thing! They are in direct competition with AirForce Airguns with this one and the Edge has many features the Challenger doesn’t offer. But the trigger on this one is the best — hands down!

Comments???

I read the questions and answers on the Pyramyd Air website for the Challenger and one really surprised me. Here is is, as written.

“And does it not come in .22 cal? If it does come in .22 or .25 why is it only showing the .177cal ?”

Indeed! And why don’t NASCAR racers have 4-cylinder engines? They would certainly get better milage.

The Challenger PCP only comes in .177 caliber because the rules only allow .177 caliber pellets in matches. All the scoring systems are geared to that one caliber and to the use of wadcutter pellets.

There is an international rail (3/8″) under the forearm so all accessories that are allowed by the rules can be used.

Adjustable power

Crosman gives you the ability to adjust BOTH the hammer spring tension and the length of the hammer stroke! This allows for fine-tuning the velocity AND the shot count for optimum results.

Crosman Challenger power
The knurled knob adjusts hammer string tension and the 1/8-inch Allen screw adjusts the hammer stroke.

When you unpack the rifle Crosman says it should shoot at around 530 f.p.s. That’s faster than the 485 f.p.s. the CO2 models achieved and everything I’m about to say applies to the gun running on high pressure air (up to 2,000 psi). Crosman says you’ll get about 70 good shots at that velocity. I tested the rifle back in 2009 when it first came out and it was shooting 550-568 f.p.s. with Gamo Match pellets. I got 72 shots within that 18 f.p.s. spread. 

Then I adjusted the hammer spring and hammer stroke length and got 116 shots that averaged 545 f.p.s. The spread for that string was 29 f.p.s. I like it so much that I will rely on this setting because I’m not touching this adjustment again! I will, however, test the velocity of several pellets for you in Part 2.

Summary

So in the Challenger PCP we have a target air rifle that’s still available, though I have put Part 1 into the historical section for this first report. I have also linked to all the Edge reports we just finished so you can check between guns if you like. This is going to be interesting!


Crosman MAR 177: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman MAR
The MAR177 from Crosman.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Why muzzleloading pneumatics and gas guns are extremely dangerous
  • AR with a reservoir
  • Premium quality
  • Receiver difference
  • National Match trigger
  • AR firearm
  • Summary

Why muzzleloading pneumatics and gas guns are extremely dangerous

I am answering this discussion topic today because nobody had figured it out when I wrote up today’s report last Friday. Maybe someone did later, but I will answer it here so everyone understands. And just to let you know — I didn’t figure this out, either. Dennis Quackenbush was kind enough to explain it to me.

A pneumatic or gas gun may leak air or CO2 at any time. If it did, and if its forward escape path was blocked by a bullet in the barrel and the rear path was blocked by o-rings, pressure would build up until something let go. The most likely thing would be the bullet. In other words, a muzzleloading airgun can potentially fire at any time — if it is loaded and if there is a leak. Since a leak can occur at any time unannounced, a muzzle loading airgun is very dangerous.

Today we look at more of the MAR177 features, plus a bunch of other exciting things. Let’s get started. First thing — the rifle is holding fine from yesterday’s fill.

AR with a reservoir

Right off the bat you noticed that the MAR has a long tube under the barrel that a regular AR firearm upper would not have.

Crosman MAR comparison
The MAR177 at the top has a reservoir that the AR-15 upper below doesn’t have. The MAR also has a carry handle with sights the firearm upper lacks.

The MAR reservoir is about the size of a Discovery reservoir — imagine that! And the MAR valve is unregulated. I wonder what sort of consistency it gets?

Premium quality

Crosman built the MAR to be the best of the best. Remember that it has a Lothar Walther barrel. For that reason, you see a carry handle on top of the flat-toped receiver. Note that the AR-15 firearm upper shown below the MAR does not have a handle. It’s an optional item.

If you were to build the firearm equivalent of the MAR177 in 2012, it would have cost at least as much as the MAR. I am talking an upper of equivalent quality. The carry handle with adjustable peep sight would have added a lot, plus a decent barrel instead of a run-of-the-mill barrel that’s found on the cheaper uppers would have set you back a bundle. Heck, just a quality charging handle assembly with a quality bolt carrier can add over $200! The 24-inch Saber Defense fluted bull barrel with a 1:8 twist on my AR-15 was a $1,500 item by itself at the time!

So, yes, AR-15 uppers can be bought for a lot less money than a MAR, but the upper on my AR-15 was a $2,300 assembly. It’s probably worth less than half that today, with the gun scare being over. It is easily possible to spend such money on a quality upper, so let’s not criticize the MAR. And no, I didn’t not pay that much for my upper. I traded two AK rifles for it at the height of the Obama gun scare, when everything was super-inflated. It was my two $2,500 cats for his $5,000 dog.

Receiver difference

The carry handle can be removed by loosening two thumbscrews, and when we do we see a significant difference with the MAR. It has a flat top but there is a slot in the top of the receiver up front for the 10-shot rotary magazine.

Crosman MAR flattop
The MAR receiver has a slot in the top front that stands out when the carry handle is removed. This is where the 10-shot rotary magazine fits.

The carry handle has the same slot. The carry handle also has a peep sight that is adjustable for windage but not elevation. You see, the rear sight on an M16 that the AR-15 is based on does not adjust elevation in the rear — the front sight adjusts up and down!

Crosman MAR carry handle
The MAR carry handle has the same slot in the front for the 10-shot rotary magazine. You can also see the adjustable rear peep sight. The large knob on the right adjusts for windage, only.

Crosman MAR front sight
The front sight adjusts for elevation. On an M16 or AR-15, the tip of a bullet in a loaded cartridge presses down on the tiny spring-loaded locking button (arrow) and rotates the sight counter-clockwise to raise the post (and lower impact) or clockwise to lower the post (and raise impact). It moves one click at a time. It is a slow and tedious method that soldiers have hated for two generations.

National Match trigger

A lot of you keyed in on what I said about the National Match trigger. So I thought I would show it to you.

Crosman MAR National Match trigger
This is the Rock River National Match trigger. Once installed it broke at exactly 5 lbs. over 800 shots. Obviously it needed some gunsmithing that I did not do.

I replaced that trigger with a two-stage adjustable Geissele two-stage trigger that cost $275 several years ago. I’m sorry that I don’t remember the model name but it is probably no longer being produced. I guessed that stage 1 was a pound and stage two was another 8 ounces. When I measured it stage one was 3 lbs. 5 oz and extremely short. Stage two broke at 3 lbs. 13 oz, which means the let-off was exactly the 8 oz. I estimated.

Crosman MAR lower parts
There are all the parts that were used to build the lower receiver. No special reason for showing them. I just thought you would like to see. The National Match trigger is at the upper right.

AR firearm

The AR-15 firearm I built is in .223 Remington caliber. With a Tasco Custom Shop 8-40X56 scope that I used to compete with in field target, it weighs 11 lbs. 9 oz.

Crosman MAR AR firearm
My AR-15 in .223 Remington.

The beauty of the AR platform is that by removing two captive pins the upper can be swapped for any caliber that will cycle through the magazine. It will also accept the MAR 177.

Crosman MAR AR pins
The two assembly pins that hold the upper to the lower have been tapped out (arrow). The receiver halves are beginning to separate.

Crosman MAR AR apart
The AR upper has been separated from the lower.

Crosman MAR AR lower
The lower is ready to accept any upper that will fit. It now has the Geissele trigger, so we are ready to rock!

Crosman MAR assembled
And the MAR177 goes on just that easy. What’s not to like? Yes, I left the carry handle off — both so you could see the flattop construction and mostly because I forgot about it!

The assembled air rifle weighs 9 lbs. on the nose — and that is with the carry handle installed. It’s not a lightweight toy by any means! The extra weight helps stabilize the rifle during offhand firing.

There are sling swivels, and a sling is permitted in match competition, but I don’t recommend it. A hasty sling will put a strain on any AR because of the aluminum two-part construction.

Crosman went to great lengths to keep the MAR from flexing. And the barrel is entirely free-floated. So, there should be good accuracy. Now, this is Part 2 and I haven’t even fired one pellet yet. I guess I’m just having too much fun. But I want you all to stay interested, so let me show you what I did in 2012 with the first MAR I tested.

Crosman MAR 177 R10
That’s 5 RWS R10 7.7 grain pellets (obsolete) in 0.106-inches at 10 meters.

Crosman MAR 177 Crosman Match
And 5 Crosman Super Match target pellets went into 0.144-inches at 10 meters.

Crosman MAR 177 R10
At 25 yards, when scoped, the first MAR put ten R10 pellets into 0.402-inches!

Summary

I told you when we started that this air rifle is a humdinger! I hope you have seen a little of that today. I do need to test the Webley Hurricane’s accuracy, so I’ll have to do that before we look at this one again, but I’m looking forward to testing the velocity, shot count and of course the accuracy of this jewel!


Lov 21 CO2 pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Lov 21
The Lov 21 is a CO2 target pistol; made in the Czech Republic. It doesn’t look like much, but people speak well of it in Canada and Europe.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Learned a lot!
  • The CO2 cap
  • Velocity — H&N Finale Match light
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Shot count
  • Trigger
  • Evaluation

Learned a lot!

We learned a lot from new European readers’ comments to Part 1 of this report — especially reader H3P04. I told you the Lov 21 is an air pistol that I am completely unfamiliar with, and from the little I do know so far, it seems like a winner. Today we start finding out.

The first thing we learned is this pistol isn’t even mainstream in its country of origin! They know about it, but it doesn’t stand out, according to the comments made by several Czech readers.

The CO2 cap

I was asked by H3P04 to show the bottom of the CO2 cap, so here it is.

Lov 21 cap
As you can see, there are no threads on the end of the cap, so it is not a bulk-fill cap — just a CO2 cartridge cap. The hole in the knurled side allows a bar to be inserted for more leverage when piercing the cartridge.

How was I able to pierce the CO2 cartridge, when the pin inside the cap is flat? There is a hole on the side of the piercing cap that accepts a small bar. Stick an Allen wrench in the hole and you multiply the force with which you turn the cap to the extent that a flat pin can be driven into a steel CO2 cylinder.

Lov 21 cap wrench
The Allen wrench in the hole gives a lot more leverage for piercing the cartridge.

Velocity — H&N Finale Match light

The first pellet I tested was the H&N Finale Match light with a 4.50mm head. They averaged 436 f.p.s. for 10 shots. The low was 433 and the high was 440 f.p.s., so a 7 f.p.s. spread. That is extremely tight for CO2. It borders on the consistency of a regulated PCP! I waited no longer than 10 seconds between shots, and only that slow because the Lov 21 is a single shot pistol with a lot to do to get the next shot ready. It seems safe to say the Lov 21 is not affected by the cooling of CO2 gas, which is a bigplus in a target pistol.

JSB Exact RS

I knew readers would want to see something more than just target pellets, So I tested the JSB Exact RS dome. It’s an accurate pellet that I would try in this pistol anyway. They averaged 443 f.p.s. with a 12 f.p.s. spread that ran from 435 to 447 f.p.s. That’s still pretty tight. I will shoot them for accuracy, as well.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The last pellet I tried was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet. Weighing 5.25-grains I know this pellet will give higher velocity than the lead pellets. That isn’t necessarily a desirable feature in a target airguns. As long as the pellets move fast enough to cut clean holes in target paper, no additional velocity is required.

These pellets averaged 493 f.p.s. The low was 476 and the high was 500 f.p.s., so the spread was 24 f.p.s. The first shot was the only one that was below 492 f.p.s., so there might have been some first-shot dynamic happening, though I didn’t see it with the other two pellets.

Shot count

As brisk as this pistol is, how many shots might you get on a CO2 cartridge? At this point in the test I had fired 36 shots, so I continued with H&N Finale Match (436 average) and got the following results.

Shot……….Velocity
40……………432
45……………432
50……………428
55……………427
60……………422
65……………417
70……………419
75……………423
80……………411
85……………400
90……………383
95……………353

Looking at this string I would have thought the gun was out of steam by shot 65, but look what happened. It picked back up again and did well until shot 80. Know what that tells me? It tells me I can shoot a men’s 10-meter match (60 shots) and still have several sighters at the start. A women’s match of 40 shots is assured. At least that’s possible with this cartridge. Not every cartridge will have that much gas, so you might want to be more conservative, but I think there will always safely be 60 shots in a cartridge.

Trigger

The Lov 21 has a single-stage trigger. I told you in Part 1 that I thought it broke so light I would need to test it for safety from accidental discharge. This time I cocked the gun then bumped it severely in several directions and it never fired. I don’t like a single stage trigger that’s also light, but this one passes the test.

The trigger broke at 1 lb. 4.5 oz. average. It ranged from 1 lb. 3 oz. to 1 lb. 8 oz. I feel some creep in the pull, but it’s not too bad. I can do good work with this trigger.

Evaluation

So far the Lov 21 is showing a lot of good engineering. The one bad thing is the maker selected o-rings of the wrong material. They absorb CO2 gas and swell to much larger than their relaxed size. That makes it practically impossible to remove the CO2 cap until the gun has been depressurized for several hours, giving the gas time to bleed out of the o-ring. American gas guns had the same problem back in the 1950s, but when they found a material that sealed but did not absorb gas, they made the change. That problem was over by the 1960s.

Perhaps the Lov 21 engineers are paying it safe with this material. It certainly won’t leak! But it also means you cannot install another CO2 cartridge until several hours have passed. Also you must shoot out all the gas, as there is no other way to depressurize the gun.


Pump-Assist Benjamin 392: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pumu-assist Benjamin 392
The Benjamin 392 pump assist is an interesting side street in the hobby.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Crosman Premier
  • RWS Superpoint
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • Whadja get?

Today we look at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Benjamin 392 with pump-assist. I tested the rifle at 10 meters off a rest using the open sights that come with the gun.

Crosman Premier

We will begin with Crosman Premier pellets, that I expect to be one of the most accurate in this rifle. Shot one landed high on the bull at 11 o’clock, so I left the sights where they were.

Ten Premiers made a group measuring 0.577-inches at 10 meters. It’s not the best I have ever done at that diostance, but for a 392 it’s acceptable.

Pumu-assist Benjamin 392 Premier group
Ten Crosman Premiers went into .0577-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superpoint

Next up were ten RWS Superpoints. This is a pellet I have not tried in a multi-pump, as far as I can remember, so I didn’t know what would happen. Alas — it wasn’t that good. Ten Superpoints landed in a group that measured 1.174-inches. The group is scattered all over the place. Obviously this is not the right pellet for this air rifle.

Pumu-assist Benjamin 392 Superpoint group
Ten RWS Superpoints made this 1.174-inch group at 10 meters. Not a good pellet for the 392 pump-assist.

JSB Exact Jumbo

The final pellet I tested was a JSB Exact Jumbo. This was the pellet I thought might be the most accurate, though to be so it would have to edge out the Premier. Ten pellets made a 0.748-inch group that is ironically shaped like a frown.

Pumu-assist Benjamin 392 JSB Jumbo group
JSB Exact Jumbos did not best Crosman Premiers. Ten made this 0.748-inch group at 10 meters.

Are there other pellets the 392 likes even more? Probably. But accuracy isn’t why I own this air rifle. I own it for what it is — a multi-pump that almost was, but never caught a break. A multi-pump that’s easy to pump.

Whadja get?

I’d like to hear about your special Christmas gifts today. Not the socks and sweaters — just the good stuff. Or maybe it wasn’t a gift you got but onw you gave. Please share.

Today’s report is short because I wrote it last Thursday, so I could spend time with my sister who came for Christmas. I still owe you the video of the 392 being pumped, so don’t despair!


Pump-Assist Benjamin 392: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pump-Assist Benjamin 392
The Benjamin 392 pump assist is an interesting side street in the hobby.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Pump-assist pump effort
  • Sheridan Blue Streak pump effort
  • How it feels
  • Velocity test 1
  • Velocity test 2
  • Velocity test 3
  • Velocity test 4
  • Velocity test 5
  • Trigger pull
  • Conclusion

Today we look at velocity and some other things that relate to the pump mechanism of the pump-assist Benjamin 392. We will start with the effort to pump the gun.

Pump-assist pump effort

In the past I have used the chart supplied by the pump-assist manufacturer, Bob Moss, to show the pump effort of the pump-assist Benjamin 392. Today I actually tested it, by pumping the gun on my bathroom scale. I know an analog spring bathroom scale is not an accurate test instrument, but it should give us a basis for comparison, because I will also measure my recently rebuilt Sheridan Blue Streak.

I laid a thick book on the scale and pressed down on the book with the pump handle for each pump stroke. I did discover that if I went too slow the pump effort remained very low, because air was not being pumped into the reservoir. So I pumped each stroke as fast as normal and them shot the gun to verify that it was filled. I have subtracted the weight of the book (2 lbs.) from these numbers.

Pump stroke…………..Effort in lbs.
1………………………………….11
2………………………………….16
3………………………………….13
4………………………………….15
5………………………………….15
6………………………………….15
7………………………………….15
8………………………………….14

After verifying the gun was full, I then pumped it as fast as I could this way. The scale needle never went above 20 lbs., and 2 lbs. of that still has to be subtracted for the weight of the book.

Sheridan Blue Streak pump effort

Next, I tested my recently rebuilt Sheridan Blue Streak the same way. We know from recent velocity testing that this rifle is on spec. for power.

Pump stroke…………..Effort in lbs.
1………………………………….13
2………………………………….27
3………………………………….33
4………………………………….36
5………………………………….40
6………………………………….40
7………………………………….42
8………………………………….42

There you have it. I would say those numbers accurately reflect the difference in effort for the pump-assist rifle and the Blue Streak. Until you try it the first time it is impossible to imagine — particularly if you are a veteran multi-pump shooter. Fred — you now own Mac’s pump-assist (and mine before he got it). What’s your take?

How it feels

I don’t have that video of my pumping the rifle ready for you today, so I will describe how it feels. Initially the pump effort is very easy, but somewhere in the middle of the stroke the effort goes up to the maximum. It stays there for an instant then drops back to almost nothing as the stroke is completed. The peaks are the efforts listed above.

I watched the pump piston head while I was pumping and discovered that the peak effort comes as the pump head is almost home, which is what you would expect. The pump-assist mechanism changes where in the stroke this happens, because as I reported in Part 1, the fulcrum changes as the number of pumps increases. Now, let’s look at the power of the rifle.

Velocity test 1

First I want to establish the velocity of this rifle on a varying number of pump strokes. The 392 manual says to use a minimum of two pump strokes, and not to exceed eight strokes. From experience I have decided that three strokes is a better minimum. Maybe that was the recommended minimum at some time in the past, or maybe I had a bad experience with fewer pump strokes, but three is the fewest number of strokes I will use. Here is the velocity of the gun with Crosman Premier pellets on a varying number of pump strokes.

Pump stroke…………..Velocity f.p.s.
3…………………………..451
4…………………………..494
5…………………………..535
6…………………………..567
7…………………………..585
8…………………………..608

That’s right where I expected it to be. It seems to be functioning like a new gun. At the maximum velocity this rifle generates 11.74 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. I have seen 392s go from 11 to almost 14 foot-pounds with Crosman Premiers, so this one is on the low end of normal. Just for fun I went back to Part 2 of the test I did on this rifle back in November of 2007. At that time 5 strokes got me 509 f.p.s. and 8 strokes got 589 f.p.s. Things are pretty much where they were back then, if not a little better.

Velocity test 2

In this test, I first oiled the pump piston head. I noted that the pump head was oily when I did this, so I doubted there would be any change, but sometimes people wonder if the gun was given a fair chance to do its best. So I oiled it. Here are the results. I’m still shooting Premiers in this test.

Pump stroke…………..Velocity f.p.s.
5…………………………..508/535
8…………………………..594

Notice that my first shot on 5 pumps was slow. That often happens right after you oil a pneumatic. Then the speed increases as the oil gets distributed around the pump head. That’s why I shot a second time.

Velocity test 3

This test was for the stability of the gun with a certain number of pump strokes. I tried it with 5.

Shot…………..Velocity f.p.s.
1…………………..536
2…………………..537 (fastest)
3…………………..531
4…………………..530
5…………………..534
6…………………..529
7…………………..526 (slowest)
8…………………..533
9…………………..527
10……… …………534

The average for 10 shots was 532 f.p.s. The maximum spread was 11 f.p.s. That means the 392 pump-assist is pretty stable.

Velocity test 4

Now it was time to try the rifle with some different pellets. Because this is a pneumatics, it’s going to become more powerful as the weight of the pellet increases. First up was the H&N Baracuda Match with 5.51mm heads.

Pump stroke…………..Velocity f.p.s.
3…………………………..390
5…………………………..464
8…………………………..523

On 8 pumps the rifle develops 12.82 foot-pounds with this pellet. That’s plenty of power for hunting, and of course the 392 is a .22 caliber airgun, after all.

Velocity test 5

In this test I shot the lighter JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy that still weighs 18.1 grains in .22 caliber. Even though it’s lighter than the Baracudas, it’s still considered a heavy pellet. They gave me these velocities.

Pump stroke…………..Velocity f.p.s.
3…………………………..416
5…………………………..492
8…………………………..558

On 8 pumps this pellet delivers 12.52 foot-pounds at the muzzle. It’s another good performer for hunters.

Trigger pull

This is a new 392 so the trigger is not like the one in my Blue Streak. The 2-stage trigger broke at 5 lbs. 9 oz., which is not exactly light.

Conclusion

I tested the pump-assist Benjamin 392 multi pump several different ways and learned that it is still performing like new. And, this was the first time I tested the actual pump effort. My test was simple, but the results are similar to the chart the maker gave me.

The pump-assist Benjamin 392 was a wonderful idea that was never fully realized. If it had migrated to the hand pump, the world of PCPs would have changed, in my opinion. We may never know, but I know I own a remarkable invention that few airgunners will ever get to appreciate.