Air Venturi Tech Force M8: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ari Venturi M8
Air Venturi M8 is very much like the Bronco.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • First group high — Falcons
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grain were best
  • JSB Exact 10.34-grain domes
  • JSB Exact RS pellets
  • The final pellet
  • Conclusions

This is a test of the Tech Force M8 breakbarrel air rifle at 25 yards. We learned in Part 3 how best to shoot the rifle, which is directly off a sandbag. We also discovered that, of the pellets tested, the best to that point were Air Arms Falcons, seated flush with the breech. That is where today’s test begins.

First group high — Falcons

I was surprised to see the same pellets that had been okay at 10 meters landing 1 inch higher and 1/2-inch to the left at 25 yards. Some movement is expected when you move from 10 meters to 25 yards, but not usually that much. The first group that you see below was actually fired at a bull beneath it. The good news is the pellets were landing higher, which meant I could adjust the scope to shoot lower. That’s almost never a problem.

The first group started out well but then I threw 5 shots wide of the main group and ended up with a 1.321-inch 10-shot group. That’s a little larger than I had hoped — even for 10 shots.

Tech Force M8 Falcon group
Ten Air Arms Falcon pellets made this 1.321-inch group at 25 yards.

JSB Exact 8.44-grain were best

Next I tried 10 JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes that one of our readers favored. They proved to be the best pellets for the M8 I am testing — putting 10 in 0.995-inches at 25 yards. The group is fairly round, which I always like to see.

Tech Force M8 JSB 8.44 group group
Ten JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes made this nice 0.995-inch group at 25 yards. This was the best group of the test.

JSB Exact 10.34-grain domes

Next up were some JSB Exact 10.34-grain domed pellets that another reader recommended. These were a bust in the test rifle. When the first 6 landed over than 2-1/2 inches apart, I stopped shooting.

JSB Exact RS pellets

Next I tried some JSB Exact RS pellets that I thought might do well. They fit the breech snugly, but after the first 5 landed in 1.267 inches, I stopped shooting. Clearly this was not the right pellet for the M8 I’m testing.

Tech Force M8 JSB Exact RS group
Five JSB Exact RS pellets landed in 1.267-inches at 25 yards. This is another average pellet for the M8 I’m testing.

The final pellet

At the end of the test I returned to the Falcons, just to see if I had gotten any better as I was shooting. The first 5 pellets landed in a group measuring 0.995-inches, so another 5 might have opened that up a couple more tenths of an inch. At any rate, I did not feel like the Falcon was the best pellet for this rifle and I ended the test.

Tech Force M8 Falcon group 2
Five Air Arms Falcon pellets made this 0.995-inch group at 25 yards. It’s okay, but when I already shot a 10-shot group the same size with a different pellet I figured why not stay with that one?

Conclusions

This was a thorough test of the Tech Force M8 rifle. We now know that it is a very close cousin to the Air Venturi Bronco that has been discontinued. It has the same easy cocking, light weight, and wonderful 2-stage trigger that was found on the Bronco. It also has a conventional stock instead of the Bronco’s western-style stock. Many shooters will appreciate that.

In the 2 accuracy tests we saw that the M8 is a decent airgun — especially for the low price. You can spend a lot more and get disappointed. With the right pellets it should put 10 shots into about an inch at 25 yards. Five should go even smaller — perhaps 0.6 inches, or so.

If you want one, act now because when the supplies in stock are exhausted there won’t be any more M8s, either. I will keep looking for rifles of this power and price. When I find them, you’ll be the first to know.


Air Venturi Tech Force M8: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ari Venturi M8
Air Venturi M8 is very much like the Bronco.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The assumptions
    Premier lites
    Artillery hold
    Deep seated pellets
    Artillery hold
    The test
    Air Arms Falcons
    Directly on the sandbag
    Conclusions

Today we begin looking at the accuracy of the Tech Force M8 pellet rifle — a breakbarrel that we have discovered is very similar to the discontinued Air Venturi Bronco. Because it is so similar, we can take what we already know about the Bronco and apply it to this rifle — the results will probably be the same, or similar, though we have to watch for anomalies that could crop up.

Today is accuracy day — the first of two such days we will have with the M8. Today I’m shooting the rifle at 10 meters. That gets me on the target and gives a chance for the rifle and scope to settle down.

The M8 comes without sights, so I have mounted a scope, and I think my selection will surprise you. I didn’t choose a whomptydoodle monster scope that costs three times as much as the rifle. Instead I’ve mounted a Gamo 3-9X40 scope with fixed parallax. This scope is nothing special — it probably came with a bundle deal on some other airgun. It’s reasonably clear and sharp, and size-wise it is well-matched to the M8. I shimmed the rear ring of the 1-piece Gamo scope mount that came with the scope, just to offset any possible barrel droop.

The assumptions

Now let’s look at the assumptions I made when starting this test. These are based on results when testing the Bronco.

Premier lites

When I looked back over the 11 blog reports I did on the Bronco, I found that Crosman Premier lites stood out as the most accurate pellet. The M8 has the same thin steel inner barrel inside a metal outer tube that the Bronco had, so there is no reason to suspect this is anything other than the same barrel.

Deep seated pellets

Another thing I discovered in researching for this test is that my Broncos like their pellets seated deep. I used the Air Venturi Pellet Seater that allows adjustment for the seating depth. I will start the test with deep seated pellets and only change if that doesn’t seem to hold true for the M8.

Artillery hold

I also discovered that the Bronco does not like being rested directly on a sandbag. In fact it liked a specific type of artillery hold that I talked about in Part 5 of the original Bronco report, back in 2010. So that is how I will begin testing the M8 — with Premier lites and with the special artillery hold.

The test

Well, the best-laid plans… A lot of my assumptions did not work out. First, I couldn’t get Premier lites to group no matter what I did. I tried deep seating, flush seating and 3 different hand placements of my off hand, but nothing worked well. The best group of 10 Premier lites I got at 10 meters out of 3 targets measured 0.929 inches between centers.

Ari Venturi M8 Premier lite group
This is the best of three 10-shot groups shot at 10 meters with Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets. It measures 0.929 inches between centers. I don’t think the M8 likes the Premier lite.

Air Arms Falcons

I then switched to Air Arms Falcon pellets and the groups tightened up. The first group of 10 was shot with a conventional artillery hold. That means the off hand was back on the stock touching the front of the triggerguard. Ten Falcon pellets seated deep went into 0.587 inches at 10 meters. Now, that’s a group!

Ari Venturi M8 Falcon group
This is the first 10-shot group shot at 10 meters with Air Arms Falcon pellets. It measures 0.587 inches between centers. This is what I was hoping for from the M8.

Then I slid my off hand out to the end of the stock. This makes the rifle very stable, but it also proved to be quite twitchy. Nine of the 10 deep-seated pellets went into 0.858-inches, but one shot that was actually shot number 5 in the string, went wide left — opening the group to a whopping 1.644 inches. That was due to a variation of the hold and I felt it before the trigger broke. I cannot recommend this hold for the M8.

Ari Venturi M8 Falcon group 2
This is the second 10-shot group shot at 10 meters with Air Arms Falcon pellets. It measures 1.644 inches between centers, though 9 shots are in 0.858 inches. What a huge difference the placement of the off hand made!

Directly on the sandbag

I finished the test by placing the rifle directly on the sandbag and seating the pellets flush with the breech — things the Bronco didn’t like one bit! But the Bronco was shooting Crosman Premier lites at the time I tried it, so it was worth a gamble to try the M8 rested this way.

Ten pellets went into 0.581 inches, which is very close to the size of the first group of Falcons. I think Falcon pellets are good in the M8 and I think you can either use a conventional artillery hold or rest the rifle directly on the sandbag.

Ari Venturi M8 Falcon group 3
This is the third 10-shot group shot at 10 meters with Air Arms Falcon pellets. The rifle was rested directly on a sandbag. The group measures 0.581 inches between centers, and is the smallest of the test, though it’s really too close to the first Falcon group to call. Falcon pellets perform very well in this rifle when it is rested right!

Conclusions

The Tech Force M8 appears to be very similar to the Bronco in many ways, but it also has enough personality that you have to treat it as a different airgun. The scope I used is not a top model, yet it performed as well as could be expected.

I plan to back up to 25 yards for the next test, which will also be the last. Obviously Falcons will lead off, but I will probably try one or two other pellets, as well. I would have tried them in this test, but 60+ shots on a breakbarrel that’s hold-sensitive is quite taxing.

I think the M8 is turning out about like I expected. For the money you get a lot of desirable features:

Easy cocking
Light trigger
Nice stock
Nice finish
Decent accuracy

We are still going to test the accuracy at 25 yards because that’s the distance we expect an air rifle in this power range to function. But I am already sold on the Tech Force M8. If you want one act now, because there are a limited number in stock. After they are gone there will be no more.


Air Venturi Tech Force M8: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ari Venturi M8
Air Venturi M8 is very much like the Bronco.

This report covers:

  • Comparison
  • Stock
  • Powerplant
  • Double trigger blade
  • What is it?

Here is an alert to everyone who missed getting an Air Venturi Bronco. From what I see so far, just having taken the .177 caliber Air Venturi Tech Force M8 out of the box and shooting it a couple times, this rifle is as good as the Bronco. For some of you it is even better, as you will learn today.

Comparison

The M8 is practically identical to the Bronco. Both rifles are 40 inches long and weigh 6.5 lbs. The M8 stock has a slightly longer pull of 13 inches, to the Bronco’s 12-1/2 or 12-3/4 inches. Both rifles are said to cock with 18 lbs. of effort, which puts them into the comfortable range. The Bronco came with adjustable open sights, while the M8 has no sights. Both rifles have the 2-bladed 2-stage trigger that uses the first blade to take up stage one of the pull.

Stock

I like the Bronco’s western-style stock. I should, because I was the one who asked for it when the rifle was developed. I also like the original blonde finish of the Bronco stock. In a sea of nearly identical air rifles, the Bronco stood out as something a little different. And I like to think it was also something a little special

The stock is where some of you may like the M8 better. I have read plenty of complaints about the western-style stock from shooters who don’t like the straight wrist. The M8 stock is a more classic sporter stock with a straight line (the butt doesn’t drop much), a conventional pistol grip and a Monte Carlo comb. There is no cheekpiece, so the rifle is 100 percent ambidextrous. I haven’t found a serial number on the rifle I am testing, but that’s okay — I don’t think it will go back. I may buy this one if the principal difference between the 2 airguns bears out.

The M8 stock is conventional. It has a pistol grip with thin flat checkering on both sides. The forearm is also checkered with the same flat diamonds. They are for appearance only and do nothing to help you grip the stock. The wood on my test rifle is a very attractive beech that has some grain in the butt. There is also at least one knothole that has been filled with wood putty. The matte wood finish is very even and attractive in a medium brown. A red rubber buttpad keeps the rifle from slipping on your shoulder, or when you stand it on its butt.

Powerplant

The M8 is said by some to be more powerful than the Bronco. That is what I referred to as the principal difference between the 2 rifles. I know the description says they are about equal in power, but I have heard that the M8 is more powerful. Thankfully we have a good baseline on the Bronco from my testing, so we will know how thee 2 rifles compare after I test this one.

I measured the length and external diameter of the spring tubes of both rifles and they are identical. I believe the M8 is also built on the Mendoza R10 powerplant. So, this may actually be your last chance to buy what is in most ways except the name, a Bronco.

Double trigger blade

We never got an answer about the trigger blade when we asked. I am telling you now that the Tech Force M8 does have a double-bladed trigger the same as the Bronco. The first stage is taken up when the first blade is pulled back even with the second blade. There is an entirely different sensation to the trigger pull than you get with a single-bladed trigger, but after you get used to it, I think it is better. It is the equal of a glass-crisp 2 stage trigger with a single blade, because the shooter always knows when the rifle is about to fire.

Air Venturi M8 trigger
The M8’s trigger has the famous Mendoza double blade.

Like the Bronco, the safety comes on automatically when the rifle is cocked. There is a lever on both sidfes of the spring tube to take it off, so even this feature supports the left-handed shooter.

What is it?

This rifle is an all-day spring-piston air rifle. It cocks easily and fires smoothly. The trigger releases crisply. In other words, it’s everything those uber-magnum spring guns are not, which can be summed up in one statement — it’s fun to shoot. It seems to be everything the Bronco is, but in a slightly different package. And the price is right. If you wanted a Bronco but missed the boat, here is another boat that’s still at the dock.

When these are gone I don’t think they will be replaced, because Mendoza has raised their prices across the board. If you want one, the time to act  is right now.