More High Mileage Airguns

Monday, January 4, 2010

Steve Mannie is a retiree living in Arizona, and he shares a couple of passions that most readers of this blog could identify with. First, he loves airguns. Second, accuracy is what floats his boat.

“Accuracy is my main magnet,” Mannie says. “First and last, I am concerned with accuracy and the repeatability of it. For other people, it would seem that speed is the main thing, but not for me.”

Back in 1996, Mannie bought a Daystate CR94, serial number 58. He tried it out and liked it so well that he bought another one; serial number 60 (only 60 CR94s were made).

Mannie has done some field target competition, but it is no longer popular in his area, so he scratches his itch for accuracy by shooting benchrest at 10 meters. “I usually shoot 2 or 3 sessions a day of about 35 shots each,” he says.

His CR94s are tuned down a bit for shooting indoors in a mobile home park and keeping the noise to a minimum. He has owned other airguns, but “I like shooting precharged pneumatics. They are very easy to use, very accurate and relatively quiet,” Mannie says.

Both of Mannie’s CR94s are scoped. He doesn’t prefer one over the other. “I can shoot either, because they both shoot exceedingly well,” he says.

One of his favorite targets is quarter-inch graph paper. He puts a tiny dot of ink in the center of every other square and then blows the dot away with a pellet. Mannie shoots at a pellet trap with “a quarter inch of steel at the bottom, with scrap paper in between.” He uses a SCUBA tank to charge the guns. Mannie reports that the tank “is very heavy to move,” now that he is 81 years of age.

Mannie relates that he is now on his ninth or tenth case of JSB Exacts that he has shot through these two guns, and before that, he shot case after case (after case) of Crosman Premiers through the pair of Daystates. Although Mannie has not kept exact count of how many rounds have gone down range from each gun, a conservative estimate would be that Mannie’s CR94s have launched at least 100,000 pellets apiece.

The CR94s lasted well over ten years before either required any service. About two years ago, one of the guns needed a reseal, and this year both are in for some additional service. Still, 100,000 shots apiece and over 10 years of continuous service stands as an impressive testimony to the reliability of the Daystate CR94s.

Mannie says, “I use them a lot and enjoy them, because if you select the right airgun, set it up as close as possible to your ideal, they are one of the most satisfying guns to shoot.”

Additional update: I heard back from Brad Troyer regarding his high-mileage HW97. Here’s what he had to say:

“I bought my first HW97 in Sept. of 1994 and have well over 100k pellets through it. I had it tuned in the summer of 1995 by Ken Reeves and at my first major FT match that I put on at the Port Malabar Rifle & Pistol Club a washer from the tune broke and I couldn’t finish the match.

I had David Slade tune it after that and shot it for a lot of years on that tune. I started tuning my own rifles in the late 90’s and have had a variety of kits in it. Most of the time I would shoot the kit for a period of time and then change or modify the tune for a variety of reasons. Right now it has a standard Beeman spring with a Macarri spring guide. It still shoots like a dream. I have had two springs fail in the rifle, as I remember it the first spring that came with the rifle broke and I had another factory spring break in the late 90s. The first spring broke, I think, because I was shooting Beeman Kodiaks in the rifle until I discovered Crosman 7.9 pellets.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott


  1. Tim says:

    I have a Beeman R1 and a Beeman R10from the '80's, that have thousands and thousands of shots through them. The only springer I have had that broke a spring was my oldest gun, that being an RWS 34with untold numbers through it. Bob at AirVenture fixed it and the gun was so smooth (and increased in power) my mechanic/friend took it from me instead of payment for work done. And that was several hundred dollars worth of work.

    When talking with my firearm pals, they cannot fathom shooting rounds in the tens of thousands as a matter culture.

    But what the heck.

    TR Ball

  2. Jock Elliott says:


    Thanks for the comments.

    Your experience is truly impressive.

    Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

17 + eleven =