First impressions of the NPSS Part II

Monday, July 6, 2009

Before we see how the NPSS behaves on the range, pay heed to something that Crosman apparently feels is very important. No less than three times in the owner’s manual, the following statement appears: “There may be up to a 100 shot break-in period. During this period accuracy may be inconsistent and your gun may seem loud. This will improve as the nitro gas piston breaks in.”

Now, back to business: take aim and pull the first stage out of the trigger (This requires about 3 lbs 6 oz of effort). Squeeze some more, and at just a hair over 5 lbs, the sear trips, and the shot goes down range.

An aside – recently I spoke with an airgun enthusiast who is also a military shooter. He offered the observation that a lot of airgunners are (his term, not mine) “trigger Nazis,” meaning that if they don’t get a match trigger that can be adjusted down to ounces, they declare the airgun to be garbage. My informant pointed out that there are an enormous number of military shooters who achieve spectacular accuracy with very heavy triggers, and that shooter discipline is the key to getting the job done. So, while I would prefer a somewhat lighter trigger in the NPSS, I found that the trigger is crisp enough and predictable enough for my tastes, and I enjoyed shooting it.

The NPSS launches 7.9 grain Premier pellets at just over 900 fps, producing around 14.7 foot-pounds of energy. While the NPSS box claims “30% Quieter!” I found the report to be comparable to other spring-piston airguns of similar power.

I started testing the NPSS for accuracy before it was fully broken in, and I quickly discovered that I was woefully out of practice for shooting a recoiling spring-piston air rifle. I found I could put three shots into a half-inch ctc group at 20 yards, after which my technique would go to blazes, and the group would widen. How did I know it was my technique? Easy – I tried the same thing with my tuned R7, which is a known tackdriver, and got very similar results. I surmise that a skilled springer shooter could do substantially better.

One thing that is remarkable about the NPSS is that shot cycle is absolutely vibration-free. There is no buzz or twang, and no apparent torque. Subjectively, the shot cycle appears to be very quick – whack! – and the shot is downrange. The pulse of recoil is fast, strong, and gone in an instant.

Recently, I had a call from a friend who wanted a recommendation for a rifle he could cock, load, safe, and keep behind the kitchen door for dealing with pests in his yard. He didn’t want to deal with the hassle of a PCP or pump-up gun. This where the NPSS shines; it’s the perfect be-ready-in-an-instant air rifle for pest control, hunting, or other applications. In all, I found that I really enjoyed shooting the NPSS, and I think that a lot of springer shooters will enjoy it as well.

A footnote: after I finished this blog, the NPSS called to me again, and I took it into the yard for a 15-minute vacation. From a sitting position at 35 yards, I put three out of five shots within an inch of each other. I think the NPSS is breaking in . . . . or maybe I am.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

- Jock Elliott

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