Benjamin Fortitude PCP air rifle Gen2: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Fortitude
The Generation II Benjamin Fortitude.

This report covers:

Through the receiver
Man plans…
Power adjust instructions
Testing the rifle  at its lowest power
High power
Adjusting the power down
Air Arms Falcon pellets
How is the air?
What I haven’t told you
Summary

Today we continue the velocity test of the Benjamin Fortitude Generation 2. We are doing this because Crosman has made the Fortitude velocity adjustable by the owner. 

Through the receiver

The Fortitude allows the user to both adjust the velocity as well as depressurizing the rifle in case of an overfill or a need for maintenance. The optional degassing tool fits through the hollow head of the Allen screw that adjusts the velocity, so you use an Allen wrench to adjust power. It’s a regular 3/16-inch Allen wrench, and the head of the bolt that must be turned is near enough to the end of the receiver that the short end of the wrench will work. Both the power adjustment wrench and the degassing tool fit through an opening in the rear of the receiver. The Allen bolt head has been drilled out so the degassing tool will fit through, so don’t be fooled by the looks. read more


AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Edge
AirForce Edge.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 1 of this series


A history of airguns


This report covers:

  • Edge production
  • Edge valve
  • Edge owners
  • The test
  • Test strategy
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • RWS Basic
  • How fast is the regulator?
  • Shot count
  • Discussion
  • Trigger pull
  • Discharge sound
  • Summary

Today I will be shooting the AirForce Edge as a 10 meter target rifle for the first time since 2010. And this one is my own rifle! I have a lot to tell you.

Edge production

When the Texan took off in sales recently,  AirForce struggled to meet the worldwide demand and Edge production was set to the side. When you have solid orders for a thousand guns you have to address that before making 25 of another model.

That time gave AirForce a chance to think. The Edge has not been a high volume seller for them — partly because once a team or individual owns one it lasts forever and the demand goes away. And also partly because of the cost. A buyer has to be serious to spend the kind of money that an Edge sells for. Ironically the Texan that is outselling it costs even more, but those sales are too hot to ignore. Big bore airguns are the hot ticket everywhere and ever since the Texan came out this year in .50 caliber at 800+ foot-pounds they can’t make them fast enough. read more


AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Edge
AirForce Edge.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Daisy?
  • Daisy 599
  • Some history
  • NRA defines the youth target rifle
  • The deal
  • Back to the Edge
  • Specifications
  • Regulator
  • Barrel
  • Trigger
  • Stock adjustments
  • Weights
  • Velocity
  • Summary

I have already written a lot about the AirForce Edge recently. But now I’m writing about the target rifle. That is why this is Part 1. There are links to Parts 1 through 5, above, but they are the earlier report on the highly modified Edge.

I had been told that the only difference between the rifle I now own and a stock Edge target rifle was the large plenum that sat between the Edge reservoir and the rifle’s action. But, as you can read in Part 5, that was not the case. The action had a heavier hammer and mainspring that I showed you. read more


Diana 27S: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27S
Diana 27S.

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

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Diana peep
  • Sight base
  • Remove the rear sight
  • The test
  • Sight in
  • First group
  • Using the peep
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Discussion
  • Summary

I must love you guys to go through what I did this morning. Either that or I’m just as interested in this as you all are. Today I mount a Diana peep sight on the Diana 27S and test it for accuracy — at 25 yards!

Diana peep

Yesterday I wrote about peep sights. Well, getting ready for this article was what inspired that report — which has turned into a series! Chris USA asked me if I was ever going to discuss the high-end peep sights. That is what I’m doing today. Diana has had peeps of all grades. I showed you two of the lower grades yesterday. But today I’m mounting the top grade Diana peep to the 27S because this rifle was made for it! read more


What effect do heavier airsoft BBs have on accuracy?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASG CZ Shadow 2 Part 1
ASG CZ Shadow 2 Part 2
ASG CZ Shadow 2 Part 3
ASG CZ Shadow 2 Part 4
Sig Air M17 ProForce Part 1
Sig Air M17 ProForce Part 2
Sig Air M17 ProForce Part 3
Sig Air M17 ProForce Part 4
Sig Air M17 ProForce Part 5

This report covers:

  • ASG CZ 75 Shadow 2 first
  • The test
  • Game Face Maximum Precision 0.25-gram BBs
  • Trigger!
  • ASG 0.30-gram Blaster Devil
  • Umarex Elite Force Milsim Max 0.32-gram
  • Wearsoft Sniper Grade 0.36-gram
  • Swiss Arms ProGrade 0.36-gram
  • Discussion 1
  • On to the Sig Air M17 ProForce
  • Game Face Maximum Precision 0.25-gram BBs
  • ASG 0.30-gram Blaster Devil
  • Umarex Elite Force Milsim Max 0.32-gram
  • Wearsoft Sniper Grade 0.36-gram
  • Swiss Arms ProGrade 0.36-gram
  • Discussion 2
  • Summary

Today is a special report, done at the request of reader Michael. He wondered whether heavier airsoft BBs than I used in the final test of the Sig Air M17 ProForce airsoft pistol would be more accurate. Read what he said.

“I have always read that heavier Airsoft “BBs” are more accurate than lighter ones. One theory is that in order to be heavier, they are manufactured to have fewer and smaller gaps inside them. Theoretically, that would reduce imbalances in the sphere and make them spin and fly more true.

“Because this is a CO2 pistol, it should be able to launch .30g, .32g and .36g ammo without breaking a sweat. It would be very interesting to see how it shoots with, say, WE or Swiss Arms .36g “BBs.”

It was a good question and I thought I would give it a go. And then I remembered that I had tested two accurate airsoft pistols in 2019 — both the Sig ProForce M17 airsoft pistol and the ASG CZ 75 Shadow 2. If I was going to test Michael’s theory I should probably test both pistols. So I did, and today is the report. I have labeled all the links above so you can read the full report for each pistol.

ASG CZ 75 Shadow 2 first

The Shadow 2 was tested earlier in 2019 — May to July. I tested it with BBs weighing up to 0.26 grams. In today’s test I have five new BBs to test. They range from 0.25 grams to 0.36 grams. There are even heavier BBs but they will slow a gun down a lot, so I stopped at 0.36 grams.

The Shadow 2 is powered by CO2, so it’s fairly powerful. Its tactical rear sight adjusts for both windage and elevation, but I didn’t adjust it in this test. I also did not touch the adjustable Hop Up. This is just a test of the ammunition with the gun set at one single setting.

The test

I shot both pistols off a sandbag rest at 10 meters. My hands were resting on the bag — the gun never touched it. I found that to be the most accurate way to hold both pistols. And I am only shooting 5-shot groups today because of all the shooting there is to be done.

Game Face Maximum Precision 0.25-gram BBs

These BBs are from Crosman. They have a dark finish, are double polished and apparently not biodegradable. They are lighter than the 0.26-gram TSD Bio 180 BBs I tested earlier with the Shadow 2, which were also the most accurate. The Shadow 2 put 5 of those into 1.194-inches at 10 meters.

The Shadow didn’t like these BBs and put 5 into 3.808-inches at 10 meters. I didn’t use the dime for groups like this for obvious reasons.

Trigger!

I had forgotten just how sweet the Shadow 2 trigger is! All my pistol triggers should be as nice. It has a long first stage and a crisp stage two that’s incredibly light. It made the pistol a joy to shoot.

Shadow Gameface group
The Shadow 2 put five Game Face BBs into 3.808-inches at 10 meters.

ASG 0.30-gram Blaster Devil

The next BB tested was the ASG 0.30-gram Blaster Devil. They are white BBs that are also not biodegradable. The Shadow 2 liked them good enough to put 5 into 1.899-inches at 10 meters. That is better than the best target the pistol shot last year (1.954-inches).

Shadow Blaster Devil group
Now we’re talkin’! Five ASG 0.30-gram Blaster Devils went into 1.899-inches at 10 meters.

Umarex Elite Force Milsim Max 0.32-gram

Next to be tested were five Umarex Elite Force Milsim Max 0.32-gram BBs. They are white and they are biodegradable. But the Shadow 2 didn’t like them. I shot 5 but only got 4 holes on the target. It’s possible that two BBs went through the same hole but I cannot see that they did. The centers of the 4 holes are 4.34-inches apart.

Shadow Elite Force Milsim group
Only 4 BBs seem to have hit the target. Their centers are 4.34-inches apart.

Wearsoft Sniper Grade 0.36-gram

This is the one for the Shadow 2! Of the 5 BBs tested, this one was the most accurate. Five Wearsoft Sniper Grade 0.36-gram BBs landed in a group measuring 1.245-inches between centers. This is a BB I would spend time with, adjusting both the sights and the Hop Up. It’s a black BB that’s not biodegradeable. It comes in a 2000-round resealable bag rather than a bottle.

Shadow Wearsoft Sniper Grade group
The Shadow 2 put 5 Wearsoft Sniper Grade 0.36-gram BBs into 1.245-inches at 10 meters.

Swiss Arms ProGrade 0.36-gram

The last BB I tested was the Swiss Arms ProGrade 0.36-gram. It’s a black BB that’s not biodegradable. The Shadow 2 put 5 of them in 3.866-inches at 10 meters. Three of them are grouped nicely in the black, but the other two went high for some reason.

Shadow Swiss Arms group
Five Swiss Arms 0.36-gram BBs went into 3.866-inches at 10 meters.

Discussion 1

So, what’s the verdict. Well, Michael was right about heavier BBs being more accurate. But what I haven’t told you is how much drop there is. When you go heavier than 0.30-grams the BBs slow way down and I wouldn’t want to shoot many of them in a skirmish. As accurate as the Wearsoft 0.36-gram BB is, I think the ASG 0.30-gram Blaster Devil is the more suitable of the heavies because of the increased velocity over the Wearsoft.

Before I continue, have you noticed how many titles these airsoft BBs have in their names? Apparently the airsoft world is motivated by impressive names. Well, I have one for them — the Ubiquitous and Devastating Terminal Mega Blaster! I’ll take a quarter for that, please.

On to the Sig Air M17 ProForce

Now I moved to the Sig Air M17 ProForce pistol. I tested it in October and November, 2019. You may remember that this pistol is sold as a CO2 pistol but there is also a green gas magazine available separately. Sig Air made that magazine available to me to test, so that is the mag I used for today’s test. It was the more accurate of the two mags when I tested the pistol with lighter BBs last year, but after seeing today’s results I see that need to switch to the CO2 mag for a final test.

Game Face Maximum Precision 0.25-gram BBs

Where Game Face Maximum Precision 0.25-gram BBs weren’t so hot in the Shadow 2, they were actually the best in the M17 with the green gas mag. Five went into a group measuring 1.807-inches at 10 meters. In the last test of the M17 the most accurate BB grouped five in 0.80-inches. I was so impressed at the time that I shot a second five and got a 1.21-inch group. So today’s best isn’t up to what we saw before.

M17 Gameface group
The Sig M17 did best with the 0.25-gram Game Face 0.25 gram biodegradable BBs. I will put that down to the lighter weight of the BB because I’m running on green gas, though that wasn’t apparent until the end of the test. Five went into 1.807-inches at 10 meters. read more


Air Arms Pro-Sport: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pro-Sport
Air Arms Pro-Sport.

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

This report covers:

  • Disassembly
  • Rotate forward spring guide
  • The washers
  • Factory top hat
  • Last note
  • Assembly
  • Relubed
  • Gun back together
  • Velocity with RWS Hobbys
  • Velocity with Baracuda 5.50mm heads
  • Cocking effort
  • The question
  • Summary

Today we look at the Air Arms Pro-Sport with the Vortek PG3 tune kit installed at its most powerful setting. This test was suggested by reader Yogi in the comments to Part 5.

“To finish up the review, how about exploring the other 2 notches in the PG3 kit? Maybe one notch is full OEM power, second notch is the desired 12 foot-pounds, and the third one(the one you have it set on) is good for 10.5 foot-pounds.

This way you have a full report on the Pro-Sport AND the PG3 kit.”

I though that was a great idea. Unless I test it, who knows what the other notches will do? And also there are the two heavy washers that add weight to the piston and more tension to the mainspring.

What I won’t do is test every possible combination of the kit. Besides the three notches there are two washers, so that’s a possible 9 different combinations to test — low notch no washers, low notch one washer, low notch 2 washers, mid notch no washers etc.

Instead, I will go to the opposite end of possibilities and set the mainspring on the high notch with two washers installed. That will bracket the power possibilities.

Disassembly

The Pro-Sport came apart in a few minutes with no mainspring compressor needed. Remember that with this Vortek kit the pretension on the mainspring is even less than on the factory gun and even that doesn’t need a compressor.

Pro-Sport Vortek kit
The thousand-word picture. The mainspring is in the lowest notch from the previous tune. The two washers from the Vortek kit are going in ahead of the forward spring guide (black thing the mainspring is wound around) that’s inside the piston. The factory top hat is shown below. One of the washers is stuck to the tip of a magnet to show that it’s ferrous.

Rotate forward spring guide

To get the end of the mainspring into the highest notch in the base of the forward spring guide, the spring guide has to be rotated. However, the inside diameter of the relaxed spring is smaller than the outside diameter of the spring guide — so the spring is on the guide extremely tight. It look me 20 minutes of fiddling with a screwdriver to move the guide high enough to make the slight rotation that was needed. You don’t want to grab the base of the guide with pliers because it is synthetic!

After that was accomplished the rest of the job took mere minutes. But before I go there, let’s look at what I’m about to do.

The last tune was with the spring set in the lowest notch of the spring guide. And no washers were used. So the piston was almost as light as it could be. By removing the synthetic spring guide it would have been a few grains lighter, but the spring would then have had room to vibrate on the piston stem. Vibration is a bad thing, so those few grains of weight are well spent.

The washers

I weighed the two washers, which are steel. One weighed 85.5 grains and the other weighs 86.2 grains. When I add that the two should weigh 171.7, but for some reason my scale says 171.4 grains. We are talking about a weight difference of a postage stamp, so it may be more in the technique I was using to place them on the scale than any real weight difference. At any rate, an additional 171.4-grains of weight is being added to the Pro-Sport piston.

Pro-Sport Vortek washers
Both Vortek washers together weigh 171.4 grains. They will be going into the piston ahead of the mainspring.

Factory top hat

For curiosity I also weighed the factory top hat that goes into the piston like the washers. It weighs 352.2 grains, or 180.8 grains more than the two washers. It’s a little over twice the weight of the two washers. That’s interesting but I don’t know why.

Pro-Sport top hat
The factory steel top hat weighs 352.2 grains.

Last note

If someone reads this entire report they will discover that I removed the sliding compression chamber for the first tune in Part 5. I did it because the piston didn’t want to go into the chamber when I started assembling the gun. But it really isn’t necessary to do that. Just fiddle with the piston and the piston seal will eventually clear and go in the chamber. This time I did not remove the sliding chamber and the time to assemble was cut by several minutes.

Assembly

I won’t show you the entire assembly of the rifle because that was covered pretty well in Part 5. I will just show you the order of the parts as they go back into the gun. The two washers go onto the piston rod first. They add that 171-grains of additional weight to the piston, which should change its performance with heavier pellets a little. They also add perhaps a quarter-inch or a little more of preload to the mainspring.

The higher notch on the spring guide also adds a little preload to the spring. I would guess that together the notches and the two washers add about 3/8-inch of preload. That isn’t much, so Yogi, I doubt we are going to see the factory spec with this kit. I think it may get a little closer to 12 foot-pounds, which is what the specs tell us to expect.

Pro-Sport notch
There is the end of the spring in the highest notch. It isn’t seated all the way but when I cock the rifle it will seat. read more


Diana Bandit PCP air pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Bandit
Diana Bandit precharged pneumatic air pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

    • Filled to 200 bar
    • Not able to adjust the rear sight
    • The test
    • Superdomes first
    • UTG Micro Reflex dot sight
    • Take rear sight off
    • Hades pellets at 200 bar
    • 180-bar Hades target
    • 170-bar Hades target
    • Is the sight mounted tightly?
    • How is the gun rested?
    • Ah HA!
    • Oh, well
    • Final target — Meisterkugeln
    • Discussion
    • Summary

    Today we look at the accuracy of the Diana Bandit PCP air pistol, and I have to tell you that it’s just a first look. This gun took a LOT of work to get it to shoot!

    Filled to 200 bar

    I re-read Part 2 and saw that the .22-caliber Bandit that I’m testing, as it comes from the factory, only gets 7 or 8 good shots per fill. I also saw that a 200-bar fill is probably too high but I didn’t have much to go on, other than the customer comments that seem to agree. Many who gave the pistol a high rating say they had to back off on the fill pressure to get any accuracy.

    The small reservoir fills quickly so you have to be quick on the valve when filling. I learned how to do it so I could nail the fill within an indicated 5 bar every time.

    Not able to adjust the rear sight

    I started the test shooting at 10 meters with the open sights that come on the gun. The first shot landed way to the left of the bull so I added some right adjustment and the adjustment screw fell out! The rear sight notch is still to the left of center and there is no way I can get it close to where it needs to be. So the open sights are out. I’ll tell you what I did in a moment.

    The test

    I shot from 10 meters with the pistol rested on a sandbag. I shot 5-shot groups and refilled the pistol after each 5 shots except for the first target which was for sight-in.

    Superdomes first

    I shot RWS Superdomes first with the open sights. I will show the target but there is no group to show because I was trying to adjust the sights. I shot 9 shots on a 200-bar fill.

    Diana Bandit Superdome target
    There’s not much to see. I was all over the paper trying to sight the Bandit in with the open sights which proved impossible. The shots in the center of the bull were three of the final five that I shot. The two under the bull were the last two shots. These final five shots were shots 5 though 9 on the first fill.

    I later learned things that may have also pertained to Superdomes, but this was the first and only target I shot with them.

    UTG Micro Reflex dot sight

    Fortunately I had plans to mount the UTG Micro Reflex dot sight on the pistol before the test began, so I did at this time and then continued with the test. Pyramyd Air only carries the red dot version, but I have the green one that I can see a little better.

    Take rear sight off

    To fit the dot sight to the Bandit the rear sight needs to come off. Even though the Micro Reflex sight is very small you will have loading clearance problems unless the rear sight comes off. Then it’s fine.

    Hades pellets at 200 bar

    Several owners report good things about JSB pellets in their Bandits, so I switched to Hades pellets with the dot sight. I refilled the reservoir to 200 bar and shot another 8 shots. This time I thought I nailed it!

    Diana Bandit Hades target 1
    I numbered the shots as they were fired so you could see how they went. When I saw shots 4 though 8 I thought I understood what the Bandit wanted. The final 4 shots measure 0.31-inches between centers. This is one of the few times you will see the dime in this report. read more