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


Benjamin Fortitude PCP air rifle Gen2: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Fortitude
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


Diana 27S: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27S
Diana 27S.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Velocity day
  • A happy accident
  • Breech seal
  • No problemo!
  • BB isn’t daunted
  • Problemo
  • BB has a backup
  • HOWEVER
  • What size are the seals?
  • What now?
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Today’s report
  • Summary
  • read more


    Air Arms Pro-Sport: Part 6

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    Pro-Sport
    Air Arms Pro-Sport.

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5

    This report covers:

    • Evil BB!
    • Report on the Meopta scope
    • Sight-in
    • The test
    • Refine the sight-in
    • However
    • Hurray!
    • What have we learned?
    • The second However
    • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
    • Next
    • Summary

    Today we test the Air Arms Pro-Sport with the Vortek PG3 tune kit I installed and tested in Part 5. But first I have to clear up a misconception.

    Evil BB!

    Somewhere along the line you may have read that I said the Meopta MeoPro Optika6 scope came without scope caps. It wasn’t really me who said that! It was my evil twin cousin, BB Airgundart! He sometimes sneaks into my house and messes with the blog without me knowing it. The Optika6 has a very nice set of scope caps with their logo on both caps. I found them on my somewhat cluttered desk, in the detritus just above the Cambrian layer!

    Report on the Meopta scope

    In Part 6 of the Dreamlite report I mentioned that the illuminated dot was flashing in my Optika6 scope. Meopta, who follows this blog, read that and informed me that dot is never supposed to flash. It’s supposed to remain solid on all 6 brightness settings, and the flashing does not indicate the battery is running down. They asked me to return the scope so they could examine it, and they promptly sent a replacement. What I had neglected to report to you in the first report on the scope is that it comes with a lifetime warrantee!

    Thanks to them I am back in business with what is the finest riflescope I have ever owned, and I’m putting it on the Pro-Sport that I’ll be shooting today. I’m mounting it in the Sportsmatch 30mm adjustable rings and the scope just fits the rifle! Let’s look.

    Pro-Sport Meopta scope
    The Meopta MeoPro Optika6 scope is mounted on the Pro-Sport. As you can see, it does have scope caps. When the eyepiece is positioned correctly the scope objective lens just clears the loading port by less than a quarter-inch, making it perfect for this rifle!

    I forgot just how clear and sharp this scope is. Or maybe my eyes are better this time when I used it. I did not need the illumination to see the dot over the 10-dot on the target at 25 yards.

    Sight-in

    I sighted in from 12 feet, which is a benefit we airgunners have. The pellet landed about 1.5 inches below the aim point and a little to the left, so the elevation was ideal for 25 yards (the approximate distance between the center of the scope and the center of the bore is 2-inches, and that is about how low the shot should be at 10-12 feet), so I put in 4 clicks of right adjustment and went back to 25 yards to begin the test.

    The test

    I will shoot a couple 10-shot groups from 25 yards. My goal today is not to see whether the Pro-Sport is accurate. That was established in Part 3. My goal today is to report on the smoothness of the Vortek PG3 tune and also on the performance of the Meopta scope on a spring-piston air rifle.

    You will remember that Meopta wasn’t initially keen on making scopes for recoiling air rifles. But they did make this line whose parallax adjusts to 10 yards. I have already tested it on two precharged pneumatics — a very accurate Air Arms S510XS and also on a

    .177-caliber FX Dreamlite read more


    Gamo 126 single stroke pneumatic 10-meter target rifle: Part 2

     

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    Gamo 126
    Gamo 126 single stroke pneumatic 10-meter target rifle.

    Part 1

    A history of airguns

    This report covers:

    • RWS Basic
    • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
    • RWS R10
    • Warmed up?
    • Second string of RWS Basics
    • Pump effort
    • Trigger pull
    • Discussion
    • Summary

    Today is velocity day for the Gamo 126 target rifle we are testing. We learned a lot from the comments in Part 1 and I also learned a lot while researching the rifle for this report. Today we will see where this particular one is.

    The Blue Book of Airguns said to expect a velocity of 590 f.p.s., but many owners say 550 is about as fast as they ever shoot and some even say less. The rifle also starts loosing velocity over time, so we should be able to assess the health of the gun I am testing right away.

    RWS Basic

    I will start with the lightest lead wadcutter anyone is likely to use — the 7-grain RWS Basic. I will warm up the action with several shots before starting to chronograph the results.

    The first string of Basics averaged 434 f.p.s. The low was 415 and the high was 449 f.p.s. The spread from low to high was 34 f.p.s. I guess this 126 is getting tired again, following its reseal.

    Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

    Next to be tested were Sig Match Ballstic Alloy pellets They weigh 5.25-grains and should be the fastest that I test today. Ten of them averaged 496 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 490 to a high of 501 f.p.s. That’s 11 f.p.s., so this pellet might be accurate. And the rifle may be warming up, so I need to test Basics again.

    RWS R10

    The next pellet I tested was the 7-grain RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. I also tried a different way of pumping the gun. Instead of forcing the pump lever closed as fast as possible I went with a smooth motion that was decidedly slower. R10s averaged 454 f.p.s. with a spread that went from 449 to 460 f.p.s. That’s an 11 f.p.s. spread.

    Warmed up?

    It seemed like two things had happened as I shot this test. First, the rifle’s pneumatic mechanism had warmed up and second, the different way of pumping seemed to have given the shots more stability. So I wanted to try RWS Basics once more.

    Second string of RWS Basics

    This time 10 RWS Basics averaged 452 f.p.s. That’s faster than the fastest pellet in the first string (449 f.p.s.). So one or both of the things I said were working. The spread for this string went from a low of 432 to a high of 462 f.p.s., so a difference of 30 f.p.s. That is close to the 34 f.p.s. I got in the first string, so I think this Basic pellet is just not that stable in this rifle. But the rifle pump mechanism definitely did warm up a little!

    Pump effort

    The Gamo 126 and Walther LGR 10-meter target rifles both share a common flaw, in that their pump stroke is on the closing stroke when their levers move forward. This tends to make both rifles harder to pump than other single-strokes, though the Gamo has some kind of pump assist in its oil-filled piston and is actually easier to pump than any other 10 meter single stroke rifle.

    The rifle I am testing requires 15 pounds of force to pump if you go steady and smooth. If you force the lever the effort spikes to more than 20 pounds. Only the awkward placement of the pump fulcrum at the rear of the action gives any hinderance at all.

    Trigger pull

    Now we come to the thing I am most interested in — the trigger pull. I told you in Part one that the 126 has a world-class trigger and now we will see how correct that was.

    This is a two-stage trigger as all target triggers should be. I mean real target triggers — not just triggers that have the name target in their title. Stage one takes 3 ounces to complete and stage two breaks at 3.4 ounces. That’s an average of 5 pulls.

    Discussion

    The powerplant in my rifle is not performing to spec. But it is fairly stable if I pump it correctly. I can live with that long enough to get through the accuracy test that comes next.

    Summary

    It seems that reader Geezer was right about the Gamo 126. It apparently does have performance issues. I always heard that it did, but now I know what they are and why they exist.

    Does a 126 belong in a collection of vintage 10-meter target rifles? At this point I think it does — warts and all. But I still need to see the accuracy to know for sure.


    Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen II air rifle: Part 2

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    Gamo Swarm Fusion
    Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen II rifle.

    Part 1

    This report covers:

  • Well!
  • Another breakbarrel repeater
  • Easy loading
  • High velocity
  • Gamo Platinum PBA
  • Cocking is easy
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Trigger pull
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS Superdome
  • H&N Baracuda Magnums
  • Gamo Platinum PBA — again
  • Pellet feeding
  • Summary
  • read more


    Air Arms Pro-Sport: Part 4

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    Pro-Sport
    Air Arms Pro-Sport.

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3

    This report covers:

    • Pro-Sport trigger
    • Based on the Rekord
    • Set trigger
    • Rekord is not set
    • What is dangerous?
    • Hair trigger
    • Slippage
    • Fingers with neuropathy
    • Cold fingers
    • So what?
    • TX trigger
    • Mach II trigger
    • Pro-Sport trigger adjustment
    • Stage one
    • Stage two
    • But wait…
    • Summary

    Pro-Sport trigger
    Air Arms Pro-Sport and TX200 trigger. Graphic from Air Arms.

    Pro-Sport trigger

    Today I show you the trigger of the Air Arms Pro-Sport rifle that I’m testing. I said in Part 2 that I was going to show how to adjust it in Part 3, and then I breezed right past that and shot groups instead. The reason I did is because this trigger was adjusted perfectly as the rifle came to me from the factory. Stage two breaks at 14.8 ounces. It’s far too light for sporting use but perfect for shooting from a bench in a warm environment.

    I normally don’t take the time to write about adjusting triggers for you, though in the recent past there have been several exceptions. The Pro-Sport trigger, which is identical to the TX200 Mark III trigger, needs to be another exception, because it is one of the finest sporting air rifle triggers on the market.

    Based on the Rekord

    To understand the Pro-Sport trigger we first need to understand the Rekord trigger that preceded it by several decades. The Rekord is a multi-lever trigger that is very closely related to a set trigger that can release in fractions of an ounce. But a Rekord is not a set trigger.

    Rekord trigger 1
    This is the Rekord trigger. Yes, I photographed it from my Beeman R1 book, because I apparently no longer have the original artwork.

    Rekord trigger 2
    Here is a look inside the sheetmetal trigger box that holds the Rekord trigger parts. Also taken from my R1 book.

    Set trigger

    A set trigger is “set” (armed would be another good word) by moving its parts into position so that the slightest pressure will make it operate. It can be a single trigger blade that is pushed into the set position, in which case it is called a single-set trigger. Or, there can be a second trigger whose only job is to pull all the trigger parts into position — “setting” or arming the real trigger. When there are two trigger blades it is called a double-set trigger.

    Rekord is not set

    But the Rekord trigger is never set. It is a proper two-stage sporting trigger. It should always have a first stage that is light and stops when resistance is encountered! That resistance is the effort needed to pull the second stage to the release point, firing the airgun. That second-stage resistance can be adjusted very light — so light, in fact, that it becomes dangerous.

    What is dangerous?

    If a gun fires because the shooter has his finger in the triggerguard and it touches the trigger blade unintentionally — that is not an accident. That is a stupident! I have done it. Maybe you have done it, and I know stories that I’m sworn not to reveal about people nearly everyone knows who have done it. That is not an accident and it is not the trigger’s fault.

    Hair trigger

    What IS the trigger’s fault is when the gun fires because the weight of the trigger blade alone causes it to move and the sear to release. Think it’s impossible? Think again. There are set triggers that can be set that light and they fire when the muzzle of the gun is elevated and the trigger pivots back on its pin because of gravity. I have seen guns with triggers set that light. Those are called hair triggers because supposedly the force of one human hair against them will set them off. But many people call a one-pound trigger a hair trigger because, to them, it’s so light that it fires before they are ready.

    Slippage

    Then there are triggers that fire all by themselves because their sear angles are not correct. All it takes to fire these triggers is to reduce the friction and give the trigger a small push. A 100-pound coiled mainspring pushing against a piston (when a spring-piston rifle is cocked) can provide such a push. These triggers may function perfectly for many years and then fail when they are lubricated with a high-tech lubricant like moly that drops their friction below the point needed to hold them. I have a hole in the ceiling of my office from a BSF S55N that fired unexpectedly from this problem. A slipping trigger is a well-known fault of BSF triggers.

    Fingers with neuropathy

    Maybe you have neuropathy in your fingers and don’t recognize it. It comes in many forms — one of which is you loose sensitivity in your hands, including your trigger finger. You know that it’s getting harder to pick up postage stamps and coins, but it hasn’t dawned on you that a trigger can also be a problem. You can’t feel the blade until you put 5 pounds of force on it, by which time the gun has already fired.

    Cold fingers

    When you are out hunting in cold weather your fingers loose their sensitivity, and a one-pound trigger becomes a hair trigger. Cold weather calls for 5-pound triggers, which is the military standard for nearly every nation on the planet.

    So what?

    The Rekord trigger was designed to be a nearly foolproof two-stage trigger that can be adjusted to suit your preferences, within reason. And, it’s the “within reason” that catches many airgunners. For instance, I just read on one forum where Rekord trigger adjustment screw 52B — the one Beeman has recommended for decades that you never adjust — is laughed at! This forum calls that adjustment a fake. Well, that adjustment determines how much sear engagement stage TWO will have in the trigger. If someone comes along not knowing the consequences and wants an 8-ounce single-stage trigger and they adjust screw 52B to get it, they have just adjusted out all the “proof” in “foolproof,” and what does that leave?

    TX trigger

    But this report is about the trigger in a Pro-Sport. Well — until you understand how a Rekord trigger works you will have a hard time understanding the more sensitive trigger found in the Pro-Sport.

    Mach II trigger

    Many rears ago I owned a Mach II trigger (a Rekord trigger replacement) that was custom made by Ivan Hancock. It looked deceptively simple, yet it could be adjusted to a razor’s edge. I no longer have that trigger but let me show you what it looked like — again from my R1 book. Before you get all goose-pimply, please know that the Mach II trigger sold for around $250 in the mid 1990s. It would be a $400+ trigger today.

    handmade Mach II trigger
    The Mach II trigger exposed. It looks almost identical to the Air Arms trigger graphic above. Two screws in the trigger blade (their holes can barely be seen in this photo) put pressure on the part that Air Arms calls the bottom sear when the trigger is pulled. Notice how close these screws are in this blade. read more