About Jock Elliott

Located in upstate New York, I never met a projectile launcher I didn't like. Besides fooling around with airguns, bows, and blowguns, I pick banjo and guitar. I share my life with my wife, son, and a variety of furry creatures.

Posts by Jock Elliott

FZ200 Daystate target 009-001

I have to get this off my chest right up front: I am not accustomed to air rifles that light up when you switch off the safety. Yet that is precisely what the Daystate Mk4 iS Target does. When you move the rotary safety to the FIRE position, a cheerful little screen just forward of the safety on the left side illuminates with messages such as “115.0BAR” (the pressure within the air reservoir), “Pwr 2” (the power level), “S69” (the number of shots that have been taken; it’s resettable), “73%” (the state of the battery charge), and so on.

FZ200 Daystate target 011

The Daystate Mk4 iS Target, you see, is a target rifle with an electronically controlled heart. It features the Harper patent Mapped Compensated Technology (MCT) electronic firing system, the Harper sling-valve valve, and an air-stripper out at the muzzle end of the barrel. We’ll talk about what all that means in terms of the shooting experience in a bit (probably in Part II), but let me cut to the chase: the Daystate Mk4 iS Target is a bona fide tackdriver and, it is a little unusual to shoot because of the electronics.

FZ200 Daystate target 005

First, let’s take a guided tour of the Daystate Mk4 iS Target. At the extreme aft end of the thumbhole stock, which is covered with a soft rubbery material for better gripping, you’ll find a soft rubber butt pad that can be adjusted vertically. Forward of that, on the right side of the buttstock is a large silver knob that, when loosened, allows the shooter to adjust the height of the cheek piece.

The pistol grip is almost vertical and has finger indentations and textured surfaces on either side. Above that on either side is a shelf for resting your thumb while shooting. Forward of that, the stock material surrounds an adjustable electronic trigger that has an adjustable trigger shoe. Underneath the trigger assembly is a slot where there is a lock that can lock the entire rifle as well as a bolt for attaching the receiver to the stock. The stock can be fitted with a rail underneath and a knee riser for field target.

FZ200 Daystate target 002

Above the extreme forward end of the forestock is the 144 cc air reservoir. There is a black cap on the end that can be removed to reveal a male foster fitting for filling the reservoir with a SCUBA tank or a high pressure pump. A barrel band connects the reservoir to the barrel, and at the muzzle end of the barrel you’ll find an air stripper that strips turbulence from the pellet as it exits the barrel to increase accuracy. The stripper is tune-able to your pellet. By loosening the screw and sliding the unit forward or back you can tune the harmonics and actually improve accuracy for your pellet/power combo.

Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find the black metal receiver, which incorporates a generous breech that can be fitted with a 10-shot rotary magazine or a single-shot tray. On the left side of the receiver is the digital display, and at the extreme aft end of the receiver is a large silver colored bolt handle.

The Daystate Mk4 iS Target stretches just 36.5 inches from end to end and weight 9.5 pounds before a scope is fitted. It is available in .177 or .22 caliber. www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me the .177 version to test.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Daystate Mk4 iS Target performs.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

FZ200 FX Bobcat 008

To get the Bobcat ready for shooting, first charge the air reservoir to 200 bar (not quite 3,000 psi) using a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump. Be sure to use the fitting that comes with the Bobcat because it can be difficult to get a grip on a normal (shorter) fill fitting.

Next, load the12-shot rotary magazine. To do that, first, rotate the clear plastic face plate counter-clockwise as far as possible. Now, while holding the face plate in position, flip the magazine over so you’re looking at the back side. You’ll see that a port has opened in the back of the magazine. Load a pellet backwards (tail first) into the port. This will lock the spring and keep the inner wheel from turning. Now, flip the magazine over and load the rest of the pellets by dropping them nose-first into the magazine while rotating the transparent cover so that the hole in it opens each of the pellet “bays.” Once you have filled the magazine, rotate the transparent cover back to its original position.

An aside: The magazine is self-indexing. In other words, the spring inside the magazine causes the inner mechanism to rotate so that the next shot is lined up to be moved into the barrel by the bolt. That’s why you have to rotate the clear plastic face plate; you are, in essence, “winding up” the spring. I mentioned that I actually prefer rotary magazines that are not self-indexing because they have no spring, are easier to load, and there is little to go wrong with them. However, the good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com pointed out something really important. To wit: if you are going to use a rotary magazine, you have to get it to rotate somehow, which means either a spring built into the magazine or some sort of mechanism to rotate the magazine built into the receiver of the rifle. If a self-indexing magazine has a problem, you just swap magazines, but if the magazine-indexing mechanism that is built into the rifle has a problem, you have to send the entire rifle back for repair.

FZ200 FX Bobcat 002

Now back to our story: Pull the breech lever to the rear of the receiver to move the bolt back. Now slide the magazine into the breech. Push the breech lever forward to move the first pellet out the magazine and into the barrel. Take aim, slide the safety off, and squeeze the trigger. On the sample I tested, it required only 14.2 ounces to take up the first stage, and at l lb 7.7 ounces, the shot goes down range.

On high power, the Bobcat launched the 16 grain JSB Jumbo pellets at an average of 933 fps generating about 30.9 (average) footpounds of energy at the muzzle. The report is a loud pop. On medium power, the same weight pellet cruised downrange at 680 fps, generating 16.4 footpounds of energy, and the report is more subdued. And on low power, the Bobcat averaged 534 fps, for 10.1 fp of energy with a very mild report.

Accuracy was what I have come to expect from FX airguns. At 32 yards, off a casual rest, five JSB pellets fell into a group where all the pellet holes touched each other. It seems to me that the state of the art in precharged air rifles is now very high. It has been quite a while since I have shot a precharged air rifle that did not deliver similar results. They all seem to be wickedly accurate.

The bottom line is that the FX Bobcat is small, easy to handle, relatively quiet at medium and low power, very accurate, and a lot of fun to shoot.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

FZ200 FX Bobcat 001

If you have been reading this blog for any time at all, you know that I like airguns. Airguns deliver potloads of shooting fun in a package that can be shot in a lot of places where discharging a firearm will get you in a world of trouble. Lately, I have been particularly enamored of smaller air rifles that aren’t too long, and are relatively light and easy to handle

The FX Bobcat fills the bill on all counts. A bullpup design, it stretches just 29.5 inches from end to end, weighs just 7.8 pounds before a scope is mounted, and is available in .22 caliber, .25 caliber, or .30 caliber. The factory says the .22 version will generate 30 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle on high power; the .25 caliber version, 46 fp, and the .30 version, 75 fp. The good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me the .22 version to test.

FZ200 FX Bobcat 004

At the extreme aft end of the Bobcat is a soft rubber butt pad that can be adjusted vertically. It is attached to a one-piece matte black stock that is molded from engineering polymer. Just forward of the butt pad, there is a hole in the stock. It can be accessed from the righthand side and used to store extra magazines. Forward of that on the left side of the stock is another hole which contains a clearly marked air gauge. Forward of that on the bottom of the stock is a male Foster fitting for filling the on-board air reservoir with a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump.

FZ200 FX Bobcat 005

Forward of that is a pistol grip with finger indentations and the trigger guard which surrounds a black metal trigger. Forward of that, the forestock is unadorned except for the extreme forward end, underneath which is a flat spot that looks like it could be set up with a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories. Above the forestock is the air reservoir, and above that, the shrouded smooth twist barrel.

At the end of the barrel is a fitting that can be unscrewed, allowing the attachment of a barrel shroud extension. Moving back on top of the barrel, you’ll find a long dovetail assembly for mounting a scope.

On the left side of the receiver forward of the breech, there is a wheel that allows the power to be set at one of three levels. Just to the rear of that is the breech, into which a rotary magazine is inserted. Aft of that, on the left side, the rear of the receiver is covered with a smooth metal cheek rest. The Bobcat is a decidedly right-handed air rifle.

Just aft of the breech on the right side of the receiver, you’ll find the breech lever and a lever type safety. That’s it.

I liked the fit and finish of the Bobcat. I particularly liked its no-nonsense, all-business looks and smooth matte black finish on the stock.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Bobcat shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

 

"Varmint cong" at work at El Rancho Elliott. They are undeniably cute, but they can be very destructive.

“Varmint cong” at work at El Rancho Elliott. They are undeniably cute, but they can be very destructive.

Sometimes the subject for a blog comes from the strangest places. My wife and I were on an outing with her sister and our brother-in-law Kyle. Kyle is my best buddy.

My mechanic had informed methat one of our ancient cars had several problems that, when the inevitable failure came, would be too expensive to fix. So we were talking about cars. Kyle was relating how pleased he was with his Honda van, how reliable it was, and how over the years he had spent relatively little for repairs and maintenance. . . except for “The Great Chipmunk Invasion.”

Kyle and his wife’s house are in an older development that was built perhaps 30 years ago in a vast oak forest. Everywhere you look, there are oak trees and vast quantities of acorns are available every year. So why, exactly, chipmunks would choose to crawl into the innards of Kyle’s Honda van and chew on the plastic that insulates the wires, no one knows. What Kyle and his repair shop know, for a certainty, is that the chipmunks did $800 worth of damage in a very short period of time. In addition, chipmunks or squirrels (Kyle can’t be sure which) also ate several important plastic parts on a lawnmower stored in Kyle’s shed. He related all this to me while were chatting about cars. He also said he had begun a war on chipmunks. He calls them “varmint cong.”

What came next, however, surprised the heck out of me. “You know that pistol you gave me?” Kyle said. I nodded. He was referring to an RWS/Diana 5G springer pistol. It launches 7.9 grain pellets at around 530 fps.

He continued, “Well, the other day I killed five chipmunks with it.”

The RWS 5G pistol when it was temporarily rigged with a red dot.

The RWS 5G pistol when it was temporarily rigged with a red dot.

“Holy smokes,” I said. “How far away were you?” In the back of my mind, I was thinking that he must have been pretty close. The eastern chipmunk is not a large animal. It’s about 5-6 inches long and weighs about 3 ounces. Further, since the RWS 5G is a springer pistol, it has typical springer recoil, which makes it challenging to shoot with high accuracy. Beyond that, the 5G is a difficult pistol to mount a scope on, so Kyle was probably shooting with iron sights.

“I was shooting from the deck,” Kyle said. His deck juts off the second story of his house and offers a commanding view of the back yard. “I got three of them by the shed and two by the woodpile.”

I thought about it for a moment. It has to be a good 30-40 feet from the deck to the shed or the woodpile.

“That’s some good shooting,” I said. “How did you do it?”

“I was shooting two-handed,” Kyle replied. “Sometimes, I rested my hands on the deck railing. The fiber optic sights really helped in lining up the shots.”

Kyle related that he dropped four of the chipmunks instantly. Another was hit but crawled under the shed.

So, if you are wondering if spring-piston air pistols can be used for pest control, under the right circumstances, yes they can!

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

There are two kinds of shooting that I really enjoy: popping away at targets with an airgun and capturing nature and wildlife images with a digital camera. Believe it or not, the two support each other.

Before we get to the specifics of what I mean, let’s grab hold of some basic background information. To wit: people wobble. That’s right; you, me, everybody, wobbles. We don’t notice it most of the time because in most folks it is slight and inconsequential. But if you have ever weighed yourself on a Wii balance board, the results displayed on the screen show the movement of your center of gravity over the balance board, and it’s not a single dot. Instead, it’s a tracing showing movement. We are constantly in motion, you and I, with our muscles continually micro-tweaking our position.

When an airgun shooter wants to shoot offhand – that is, from a standing position – immediately that inherent wobble begins to matter a great deal. Even with iron sights, you find you can’t stay pointed where you want to be: at the exact center of the target. And when you add a scope with magnification to your airgun, the problem appears to be even worse, as the field of view careens back and forth across the face of the target.

Now, here’s the real rub: short of dying, having yourself stuffed with a steel rod up your center, you can’t stop the wobble. Sure, Olympic ten-meter shooters try to control it with special jackets, pants, underwear (no kidding) and shoes, but they still wobble.

The best you can do, as an ordinary (non-Olympic) airgun shooter is to try to control it and deal with it.

Control it. Set your feet at shoulder width, relax and settle into your center of gravity, rest your elbows against your sides, take a breath in and let half of it out, ease the first stage out of the trigger, and take your shot.

Deal with it. In my view (and there certainly are contrary views, so try what I suggest and if it works well for you, use it; otherwise check out some of the contrary views), one of the best ways to deal with the wobble is to get the timing right. Here’s a prime example: some years ago I was shooting a scoped rifle at a field target match. On one of the standing lanes, I was wobbling fiercely, but the wobble was fairly regular, left and right from the center of the target. I realized that if I triggered the shot while I was aimed at the center of the kill zone, I would actually be in the act of moving off the target, but if I triggered the shot while I was at the peak of the wobble to one side, I would actually be in the act of moving back onto the center of the target. So I triggered the shot when I had “wobbled off,” and the target went down.

So what does this have to do with wildlife photography? A lot, it turns out. When I am shooting wildlife with my Panasonic FZ200 superzoom camera, I am generally shooting at extremely high zoom levels: 24x, 48x, sometimes 96x, and I shoot handheld, standing up. As you might imagine, the image sometimes moves around quite a bit in the viewfinder, so I use the same skills: feet at shoulder width, relax into my center of gravity (if I can manage it in the excitement), take in a breath, and let out half, press the shutter halfway down to lock the autofocus and autoexposure, and take the shot when the timing is right.

Even better, I have found that the more I practice with the camera, it helps my airgun shooting, and the more I practice with the airguns, it helps my wildlife photography. It appears to be a synergistic system, and it sure is fun!

What follows are some photos that I was fortunate enough — using the techniques described in this blog — to capture when my wife and I were walking on Peebles Island near Troy NY. On both days, it was a “God likes me” moment.

On July 24, 2013, I shot this image of the dam on the north side of Peebles Island. (Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.)

FZ150 Peebles Island 019

My wife, who has extraordinary distance vision, said, “What’s that at the far end of the dam?” At full optical and digital zoom, I saw this:

FZ150 Peebles Island 020

On June 16, 2014, we saw the following:

Due to recent rains, water was pouring over the dam.

FZ200 Peebles eagles and herons 016

Herons were waiting below the dam.

FZ200 Peebles eagles and herons 031

One of them caught a fish.

FZ200 Peebles eagles and herons 033

An eagle scared the heron off the fish.

FZ200 Peebles eagles and herons 034

He thought about his options for a moment.

FZ200 Peebles eagles and herons 035

And flew off with his ill-gotten gains.

FZ200 Peebles eagles and herons 036

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

You don’t see it talked about much in the airgun forums, but many spring-piston air rifles and air pistols – springers – actually burn some of the lubricants in their compression cylinders during the shot cycle. Don’t worry; it’s a normal thing.

Here’s how G.V. Cardew and G.M. Cardew describe it in their book The Airgun from Trigger to Target: “The combustion phase is the phase in which most high powered sporting spring rifles operate. As the piston comes forward on firing, the temperature of the air in front of it rises with the pressure; this very high temperature causes oil, or any other combustible substance to burn, thereby increasing the pressure further, producing enough energy to drive the pellet up the barrel at a very high velocity.”

Further, they proved that the combustion takes place through an ingenious test that they called “The Nitrogen Experiment.” Starting with a .22 caliber Weihrauch HW35, they stripped it, degreased and rebuilt it with the correct amount of lubrication everywhere. They then fired it through a chronograph until it settled down at 636 fps with a 14.4 grain pellet (12.9 fp of energy at the muzzle).

They then placed the HW35 and a supply of pellets in a long plastic bag and sucked all the air out of it with a vacuum pump, leaving it sitting under vacuum for half an hour to remove all oxygen from within the seals and mechanism. The bag was sealed around the barrel and a rubber bung pressed into the muzzle to prevent oxygen from re-entering the gun. After that, nitrogen, an inert gas that does not support combustion, was blown into the bag to make it a manageable size for shooting the gun. The bung was removed and replaced for each shot, and a number of shots were fired. With the HW35 unable to enter the combustion phase of the shot cycle, the gun managed only 426 fps or 5.8 foot-pounds. The Cardews had proved conclusively that combustion is necessary for the proper operation of a sporting springer.

So, a little bit of lubrication is necessary so that combustion can take place. But what happens when your brand new airgun has a little too much lubrication? Check out the chart below.

WhatIsThis

This is the graph of velocities of an airgun that has too much lubrication and has entered into what the Cardews call the “detonation phase,” or what airgunners generally refer to as “dieseling.” Instead of making normal shot-cycle sounds, the shot goes off with a bang, producing the wild variations in velocity that you see above. Often smoke comes out the barrel and there is a characteristic smell. In severe cases, dieseling can actually bow out the walls of the compression chamber and drive the piston backwards with such force that it kinks the mainspring.

Fortunately, it is usually the case that a handful of shots with extra-heavy pellets will drive the excess lubricant out of the powerplant and settle the airgun back into normal operation. Below is the velocity graph of the same airgun after it was shot enough to settle down.

WeihrauchHW4522

The bottom line: high powered sporting air rifles and air pistols require some combustion of their lubrication to operate properly. But there is such a thing as too much. If you find your air rifle or air pistol dieseling, 5-10 shots with the heaviest pellets you have of the appropriate caliber may help to correct the situation.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

 

pie plate massacree 001

Recently I heard from a reader who was responding to my attempt to test the claims made for the Predator Polymag pellet. You can read that blog and the comments that follow here: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2011/08/shooting-household-objects-%E2%80%93-a-test-of-the-predator-polymag-pellet.html

In a nice note, Mark, who says he is a professional shooter with over 20 years’ experience, made a number of comments, among them: “Simply if hunting small game you don’t want to punch a little hole through you want a pellet that goes in expands uses all its kinetic energy in the animal and that gives much better quicker kills. I’ve tested these poly pellets along others in .22 and have seen the results they do penetrate and unleash more kinetic energy than most …”

He also said, in effect, that he didn’t think my tests on inanimate objects really proved anything and that if I did some testing on actual rabbit heads I might be surprised at the results. Now, I take Mark’s point: maybe my tests on inanimate objects really don’t prove anything. And, if Mark or anyone is getting really good results with Predator Polymag pellets in the field, that’s all that really matters. If the Polymags deliver the accuracy and lethality you need, the defense calls no further witnesses. Read the original blog carefully and you’ll see that at no point did I say that the Predator Polymag pellets were bad pellets. Instead, I simply couldn’t prove – in my tests – the claims of “incomparable penetration and expansion.”

As to the suggestion that I test on actual rabbit heads, in theory it is a good one, but the practical problems seem daunting: I don’t have a supply of rabbit head available for testing and – even more importantly – I lack the dissection skills to make sense of the results. Nevertheless, Mark had planted the seed of an idea: maybe I should give the Polymag Predator pellets another test to see if I had got it wrong the first time.

So I decided to do some more testing, again on inanimate objects. For outright penetration – the ability to crack a skull – I decided to use a metal pie plate my wife gracious donated to the cause. For penetration in somewhat softer material, I selected a piece of 5/8-inch-thick hard wood. And for penetration and expansion, a thick paperback book that I had purchased at a used bookstore and didn’t care to finish.

The pie plate was thick, enameled, and looked to be pretty tough. To get calibrated as to its ability to withstand penetration, I set it up at 13 yards and launched a 7.9 grain Crosman Premier at it from my high-power .177 caliber Walther LGV. With a clang, the pellet punched through the plate, so I decided to step down in power and brought out my 6-foot-pound FWB 150. Typically, it launches pellets in the mid-600 feet per second range.

The first shot with the FWB150, with a Crosman 7.9 grain premier, dented but failed to punch through the plate. The same thing happened with the Predator Polymag and an RWS Superpoint Extra. An RWS Hypermax alloy pellet, however, punched through the plate with authority.

On the thin wood, the 7.9 Premier, the Polymag, and the Hypermax, when shot from the FWB 150, all lodged themselves near the surface of the wood. When I tried the same pellets launched from the LGV, measuring with a toothpick down the pellet holes, the Crosman Premier apparently penetrated the deepest.

Special note here: shot from the high powered .177 LGV, the Hypermax pellet went supersonic with a loud CRACK! I once kinked the mainspring in a nice German break barrel air rifle while shooting ultralight pellets that went supersonic and caused the rifle to diesel. So unless your air rifle manufacture specifically makes claims for high velocity with alloy pellets (1,200 fps and above), I would avoid shooting ultralight alloy pellets in high power spring-piston airguns.

The one place I can really recommend shooting lightweight alloy pellets is in low-power airguns (such as the Weihrauch HW 30 rifle or RWS LP8 pistol) for pest control at short range where you might want lots of penetration and then have the shot “die” very quickly. And – this should go without saying – only if the pellet delivers the accuracy you need.

Shooting the paperback book with the FWB, the Crosman Premier penetrated to page 131. The Hypermax drilled its way to page 173. I found the red plastic tip of the Predator Polymag at page 198 and the body of the pellet at page 179. The RWS Superpoint penetrated to page 206. All of the pellets caused deformation in the paper pages well beyond where the pellet was found, and none of them – including the Polymag – exhibited any significant deformation or expansion of the pellet body itself.

Just for fun, I also tried shooting the book with a 7-foot-pound .22 caliber pumper rifle that Tim Smith put together for me. Launching a Gamo Hunter round-nose pellet, it penetrated to page 98 in the book.

I sacrificed another thick paperback book to the angry gods of airgun testing, Predator Polymag head-to-head against the RWS hollowpoint. Shooting them through the FWB 150 at 13 yards, I found that the body of the Polymag out-penetrated the RWS hollowpoint by some 34 pages, and the red point of the Polymag penetrated another 12 pages beyond that. There was little deformation to the body of the Polymag while the nose of the RWS pellet had flattened so that it looked like a wadcutter.

Shooting with the high power LGV, both pellets penetrated more than twice as far. The Polymag penetrated 16 pages deeper with the red point three pages beyond that. Both pellets were approximately equally mangled and flattened by their passage through the book. Why the pellets were more flattened by this book than by the first book, I can’t say.

So where does that leave us? First of all, there are clearly more variables to the business of testing pellet penetration and expansion than I have a good handle on. The Predator Polymag may not deliver “incomparable” performance in all cases, but it fares pretty well. So if you are using the Predator Polymag, and if it delivers the accuracy and hunting performance you need, by all means keep using it . . . and, if you like, share with me some of your experiences in the comments section of this blog.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

 

G12 misc and modular moderator 022

A few years ago I conducted an interview on long-distance shooting with a gentleman who is well known in the airgunning community. He offered the opinion that no one would want a silencer on an airgun unless they wanted to do poaching.

I’ve had a few years to think about that statement, and my conclusion is that it is hogwash. Sure, I imagine that there might be some airgunners out there who are poachers and who would want silenced air rifles for that purpose, but among all the airgunners that I have spoken with or met not once has the subject of poaching even been whispered.

On the other hand, I have talked with and met many airgunners who particularly enjoy the special freedom that airguns offer – that is, the ability to shoot legally in many locations where the discharging of firearms is strictly forbidden. Many of them desire air pistols and air rifles with a reduced report to help maintain good relationships with their neighbors.

For myself, accuracy is the thing that attracts me to airguns, and in addition to accuracy I simply enjoy shooting an air rifle that makes as little noise as possible. In general, most spring-piston are much quieter than, say, a .22 long rifle, and most pre-charged pneumatics and multi-stroke pneumatics, if they are not fitted with some sort of sound-attenuation device, tend to be considerably noisier than springers.

Some time ago, I read that Dr. Robert Beeman, former owner of Beeman airguns, had done an experiment in which he had a colleague position himself so that he couldn’t see Beeman shooting. Beeman then fired a springer with and without a sound attenuating device, asking the hidden listener which as louder. The listener apparently found no discernable difference. From this, if I remember correctly, Beeman concluded that sound attenuation devices really didn’t have an impact on springers.

Recently, however, I had the opportunity to shoot a Walther LGV .177 caliber, high-power version, that had been fitted with the FX Modular Moderator. It’s easy to do a with-and-without comparison because all you have to do is remove the screw-on sections that attach to the base piece that is permanently bonded to the barrel.

G12 misc and modular moderator 023

Now, from the factory, the LGV is the smoothest shooting spring-piston powerplant on which I have had the pleasure to squeeze the trigger. If you want the easiest cock, quietest version, go for the .22 caliber 12-foot-pound version. It is simply amazing. But if you want the flattest shooting model, go for the .177 high power. It launches 7.9 grain Crosman Premier Lights (CPLs) at around 930 fps and produces a report at the muzzle that is very similar to the Weihrauch HW80 – a bit of a snap as the pellet exits. Fitted with the FX Modular Moderator, the noise at the muzzle of the LGV .177 high power seems to just disappear. The shooter hears and feels the action of the powerplant as the shot discharges, and that’s it. I like it. It makes an already excellent air rifle even better, and, as an added bonus, the modular moderator extends the length of the barrel assembly beyond the muzzle. I found myself grabbing the modular moderator as a cocking assist handle that, because of the additional length and leverage, reduces the cocking effort.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

m4s0n501

Just last night I had an encounter with a fellow who is an experienced hunter, firearms user, and sportsman, and he knows very little about airguns. His lack of knowledge of about airguns about airguns isn’t a rare thing. Most of the experienced sportsmen that I know have very little conception of the world of adult precision airguns. Their knowledge is pretty much limited to what can be found on the shelves of the big-box stores, and there the packaging screams: 1200 feet per second, 1300 feet per second, 1500 feet per second! This leaves the consumer to assume that more feet per second is somehow better, and it does the consumer a gross dis-service in making a buying decision.

So let’s suppose that you think maybe it would be neat to try airgunning, but you really don’t have a clue what to buy.

392-397

First on my list would be a Benjamin 392. This is a solidly made single-shot, bolt-action, .22 caliber, multi-stroke pneumatic air rifle. It is easy to shoot well, delivers enough power for small game hunting or pest control, and with care should last for decades. I would buy one with a Williams peep sight. Scoping the 392, or its .177 caliber brother the 397, is difficult.

Model-34

Next up would be the highly respected RWS Model 34. This is a single-shot, break-barrel air rifle available in .177 or .22 with power enough for hunting or field targe. Like all spring-piston air rifles, it requires some care to shoot well. The build quality is excellent, and the trigger is far better than you will find in the typical big-box break-barrel springer. In addition, the Model 34 is easy to mount a scope on.

HW30S

Third is the Weihrauch HW30S. This is a lower-power break-air rifle that is easy to cock, offers excellent accuracy, and is perhaps the easiest springer to shoot well. Many airgunners I know say it is the last air rifle they would sell. It can be readily scoped, the build quality is outstanding, and it will deliver decades of service with the occasional rebuild. It can be used for pest control and garden defense with careful shot placement at close range.

WAL-LGV-Master

My favorite springer is the Walther LGV. These are break-barrel, single-shot spring-piston air rifles that are easy to cock and incredibly smooth to shoot. With a scope mounted, you could hunt, plink, shoot field target with a huge grin on your face. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one to a friend.

When it comes to pre-charged pneumatic rifles, it’s hard to go wrong. Virtually all of them will deliver one-inch groups at fifty yards under good conditions with the right pellet.

L1377C

Turning to air pistols, the Crosman 1377c is an excellent starter pistol that people love to customize. It’s a single-shot, bolt-action, .177 caliber pistol that is fun to shoot and can be used for small pest control at close range. The rear sight, however, requires a safecracker’s touch to adjust.

Triumph%20747

If you want pure, accurate, air pistol shooting fun, the Daisy Avanti Triumph 747 http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/Daisy%20Triumph%20747.html can’t be beat. It’s a single-stroke pneumatic pistol that’s wimpy in power and no good for pest control or hunting but highly accurate, and people use them all the time in air pistol silhouette matches.

HW45

If you want more power and a challenge, I suggest any of the Weihrauch HW45 pistols. These are spring-pistol air pistols that are tricky to shoot well but are fun to shoot and master. They also offer enough power for defending the birdfeeder at short range.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott