Posts Tagged ‘air rifle’

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

At the time of writing, there is a variety of upgrade possibilities available for the Diana Outlaw air rifle or soon will be…

Diana has taken a very enthusiast-friendly approach to their new regulated PCP air rifle. And you can benefit from it to make your Outlaw really your own. Some of these accessories are not available yet. However, check with AoA to find out the latest information on availability.

 

One. A Complete Manual For The Diana Outlaw.

Hard Air Magazine has produced a complete manual for the Outlaw that contains just about everything you want to know about your new air rifle. It’s available from Airguns of Arizona!

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

“Choosing and Shooting the Diana Outlaw” is a 94-page book full of useful information. It includes tips on filling, scope mounting and choosing pellets. In addition, the book covers maintenance and re-building details.

Now you will know what to do with all those tools and O rings that were included with your Outlaw!

 

Two. The Outlaw Enthusiast’s Kit

Precision Airgun Distribution – the US distributor of the Outlaw – has also developed an interesting upgrade kit for this air rifle.

The Diana Outlaw Enthusiast’s Kit comprises no less than 32 upgraded parts and tools. It allows the enthusiastic Outlaw owner to make a number of improvements to his/her gun. And all the information you need to use it are included in the “Choosing and Shooting the Diana Outlaw” book.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

All parts are higher quality replacements for those shipped on the gun. The screws and pins are all stainless steel and the O rings, US-made of VITON material. All parts are matched to original Diana Part Numbers for easy identification.

Using this kit you can…

– Upgrade the trigger and cocking lever pins. These precision-ground, oversize pins replace the factory parts and are much less likely to fall out by accident. The trigger pins also provide more consistent operation.

– Upgrade the stock bolt and other assembly screws throughout the gun with high quality stainless steel replacements for a more pleasing, professional appearance.

– Install a non-rotating cocking handle upgrade. Simply cut the rubber tube to length. This reduces double-loading problems caused by fingers slipping off of the cocking lever.

– Replace the barrel seal – two sets for each caliber are included. In addition, superior pointed, barrel adapter setscrews are provides, together with replacement barrel adapter O rings.

 

Three. Upgrade The Buttstock.

Diana plans to offer an alternative buttstock for the Outlaw. This stock is manufactured in Italy by Minelli and offers a more sophisticated design than the standard factory part. It will also be completely interchangeable, with no modifications required to fit it to the Outlaw’s action.

Diana’s replacement buttstock has a more rounded, flowing design. It’s stylish and offers possibilities for a more comfortable and consistent hold for the shooter.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

The rake of the stock’s wrist gives improved positioning the the trigger hand. The swelled, checkered forend will be easier and more comfortable to grasp, while the higher comb will give a better and more consistent cheek weld.

These are important benefits!

Anything that gives you a more comfortable shooting experience leads to greater consistency of positioning yourself against the gun every time you take a shot. And greater shot-to-shot consistency on your part increases the practical accuracy of your shooting. This can make a stock upgrade an important benefit for many shooters.

 

Four. Check Out The Trigger.

Many owners will be happy with the feel and operation of their Outlaw’s trigger.

However, a trigger upgrade is being developed by Diana and this will be regarded as a welcome improvement for owners using their gun for Field Target and other competitive shooting.

However Diana has designed a Match Trigger for the Outlaw. Again, this is a direct, drop-in replacement for the trigger that shipped with your Outlaw. It’s a significant difference!

Diana’s Match Trigger includes setscrew adjustments for both first and second stages of the trigger travel. These are the tiny setscrews visible just ahead of the trigger blade.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

Another adjustment possible with the Match Trigger is that it’s possible to move the trigger blade itself forwards or backwards. This provides flexibility for you to select the most comfortable and convenient trigger position. After all, we don’t all have fingers of the same length!

Adjusting the trigger blade position is a simple affair. Just use a thin-bladed standard screwdriver to slightly loosen the trigger blade. Adjust the position to your liking and re-tighten.

In testing, I found the Match Trigger to be a valuable improvement to the Diana Outlaw. The greater number of adjustments helped me tune trigger release exactly to my liking. It also provided a lower and more consistent pull weight.

 

Five. Add A Huma Regulator.

Understanding the Outlaw’s popularity, the Dutch regulator specialist company Huma has introduced an upgrade for the Outlaw’s regulator.

The Huma regulator is a high-precision assembly, made largely of stainless steel and brass. It provides you with the ability to adjust the regulator pressure of your Outlaw to match the requirements of you, or your favorite pellets, or both.

The factory regulator is pre-set at a pressure of between 130 and 150 Bar (1,880 to 2,170 PSI).

The Huma regulator upgrade comes pre-set at a pressure setting of 135 Bar (1,958 PSI). However, this setting can be changed easily and – unlike the factory part – the Huma regulator gives you a scale showing the different output pressures. Rotating a setscrew allows you to set a specific regulator output pressure.

Setting a higher regulator pressure will give you higher FPS and less consistent shots per fill. Within reason, of course.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

To install this forthcoming Huma regulator, you’ll find full details in the “Choosing and Using The Diana Outlaw” book, of course!

 

As you can see, there’s lots of ways you can have fun upgrading your Diana Outlaw air rifle. Have fun!

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

I first saw this interesting new air rifle at the annual IWA exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany, in 2017. Then it was called the Nova Vista HP-M1000. It impressed me as one of the two most innovative airguns introduced at that show. The other was the FX Crown!

Below, that’s Mr Zhu, the designer of the Nova Freedom, showing me “his baby” at that show.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

Now this multi-pump PCP air rifle is available in the USA. It’s being imported by the distributor American Tactical and you can buy it from Airguns of Arizona. Its name is the Nova Freedom.

Firstly An Overview.

Of course, the idea of a PCP air rifle with a built-in hand pump is not new. Other air rifles have been produced in the past with a similar basic benefit – not needing to carry a separate tank or pump with you to refill your PCP air rifle in the field. The FX Independence springs to mind, of course.

However, the American Tactical Nova Freedom is a new model with some distinctly different engineering and it’s selling for just $379.95. Both .22 cal and .177 caliber models are available.

Below a Leapers Bugbuster scope is a good match for the Nova Freedom.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

The manufacturer is claiming some pretty impressive specifications for this air rifle. Apart from the built-in handpump, the American Tactical Nova Freedom can be filled from a HPA tank. Maximum fill pressure is 3,600 PSI.

There’s an adjustable, two-stage trigger and two power levels settable by a rotating knob.

Pellet feed is via a Marauder-style 10-shot magazine or single shot tray with side lever cocking. And yes, the 10-shot magazine is very similar to that found on the Benjamin Marauder and Umarex Gauntlet. In fact, they’re interchangeable.

Muzzle velocity for the .22 cal version is given as 900 fps or 700 fps – depending on power adjuster setting. In .177 cal, the claim is 1,000 fps or 800 fps.

 

Before Going Any Further…

Yes, the Nova Vista is inexpensive.

Yes, it’s rather “blocky-looking”.

Yes, it’s not designed or manufactured in Europe.

But don’t knock this one until you have tried it!

It is in fact a very capable all-round air rifle that – I believe – will surprise you with its capabilities.

Real World Shooting.

As supplied, the Nova Freedom is hard-hitting and accurate with mid-weight and above lead pellets.

If you’re hunting, set the gun to High Power and be prepared to pump every 5 or 6 shots. We found it produced 29.7 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber with JSB Jumbo Exact pellets. That’s 965 FPS, higher than the manufacturer’s claims and very decent power!

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

Before shooting it, I expected the Nova Freedom to be rather “clunky” and unsatisfactory to shoot – entirely because of the built-in pump. But that’s actually not the case.

In fact, I found it comfortable and very stable to shoot offhand by holding on to the pump handle and bracing my upper arm against my chest, as shown in the photographs. The pump handle can be locked closed to avoid inadvertent operation in this kind of of use.

For target shooting or plinking, Low Power still gives plenty of FPS and a remarkable 20 good shots between pumping.

 

Pump And Trigger.

The built-in hand pump definitely works!

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

This means that owners of the American Tactical Nova Freedom can do without the cost and inconvenience of a separate HPA hand pump. In addition, it can be filled from an external tank or HPA hand pump if required, however, if you prefer.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

It also means that the user is able to re-fill the Nova Freedom while in the field. This overcomes the inevitable air anxiety (“Do I have enough air?”) that every PCP owner has experienced at one time or another.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom we tested had a trigger pull averaging 2 Lbs 10 Oz.

This trigger is a two-stage design, but the first stage was almost undetectable, feeling more like a little slack on a single-stage trigger. However, the trigger release was quite predictable and consistent. And it can be adjusted…

Adjustments for sear engagement, pull weight and pull length are all accessed from outside the gun using an Allen wrench. The instruction manual supplied with the Nova Freedom gives clear instructions for making trigger adjustments.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

 

I’m Convinced!

If you like this concept, there’s nothing else to touch the Nova Vista in the market at anywhere near the price. The only downside is a slight increase in bulk and weight compared to a conventional PCP.

Try it. I think you’ll be impressed too!

Stephen Archer is the Publisher of Hard Air Magazine.

First Of All, Someone Threw Down A Gauntlet…

Around a year ago, the Umarex Gauntlet started shipping. That was a big deal because – for the first time – a regulated, magazine-fed, shrouded PCP air rifle was available at the ground-breaking price of $300. Well, actually $299.99.

Cue for some rapid developments in the low-price PCP airgun world!

Now we see one of the first responses to the Gauntlet thrown down by Umarex. It’s the Benjamin Fortitude air rifle.

It’s A Shootout At The $300 Corral!

As with the Gauntlet, we have a $300, regulated PCP which delivers 60+ shots per fill, uses a 10-shot magazine feed and offers backyard friendly sound levels. Both have similar muzzle velocity capabilities and reassuring multi-year warranties.

So which should you choose? That’s a great question!

Let’s Look At The Fortitude In More Detail…

The Fortitude looks something like a cross between a Benjamin Maximus and a Marauder air pistol, with a regulator built-in. You can see how it compares to the Maximus in the photograph below. (Both air rifles are the same length, perspective makes that look less obvious).

It’s A Shootout At The $300 Corral!

The breech looks very similar to that of the Marauder air pistol. However, there’s clearly some differences as the Fortitude uses the 10-shot Marauder rifle magazine, rather than the 8-shot mag from the Marauder pistol.

Crosman has always had a core competency in re-using existing parts to build new products. Why design something new when there’s a perfectly satisfactory part already in existence? That’s very sensible engineering, so it would be no surprise to find that the new Fortitude uses many parts that have been proven in previous models. Doing so reduces development time and risk, while keeping costs down.

It’s A Shootout At The $300 Corral!

Compared to the familiar Marauder air rifle, the Benjamin Fortitude is a much lighter, less bulky air rifle. It weighs about 2 Lbs less than the Marauder rifle and just 5 Ozs more than the single-shot, unregulated Maximus. This means that it feels light and handy to shoot.

As with all other Crosman and Benjamin PCPs, the Benjamin Fortitude is manufactured in the USA at the Velocity Outdoor headquarters in Bloomfield, New York.

Velocity Outdoor? That’s the new name for the company formerly known as Crosman Corporation. Don’t worry about it, the Crosman and Benjamin airguns you know and love are still the same…

It’s A Shootout At The $300 Corral!

The Benjamin Fortitude we tested shot at around 750 FPS with 14.35 Grain JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain pellets – in .22 caliber, of course. That’s just under 18 Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy. The gauntlet we tested gave 805 FPS, 20.75 Ft/Lbs with the same pellets.

These JSB pellets also gave the best accuracy of any we tried. Few will find that a surprising result!

And the Benjamin Fortitude was impressively consistent. In fact it gave the lowest average Standard Deviation FPS of any air rifle we’ve ever tested. At any price!

So does that make it better than the Gauntlet? Well, that depends…

First The Fortitude.

The Fortitude is a much smaller, lighter air rifle than the Gauntlet. It has much better natural pointing capability and is a breeze to carry on a hunt.

The Fortitude is manufactured in the USA. The Gauntlet is built in China. For some that will be a big deal, for others not so much.

The Benjamin also has a 5-year warranty, compared to the 3-year coverage of the Gauntlet.

The Gauntlet Strikes Back.

It’s A Shootout At The $300 Corral!

Unfortunately the Fortitude needs a stock with an adjustable cheek piece. I got a chin weld, not a cheek weld when shooting it! The Gauntlet has an adjustable comb to the stock which is much better.

And the Gauntlet’s trigger is also superior. True, it needs some adjustment but this is easily done with setscrew adjustment of pull weight, sear engagement and overtravel all available once you pop off the stock.

The Fortitude’s trigger is non-adjustable and the sample I tested had an average pull weight of five and a half Pounds. Ouch! Yes, there are some fixes for this to be found online, but it’s starting waaaay behind the Gauntlet.

It’s A Shootout At The $300 Corral!

And then – although both have heavy bolt actions – the Gauntlet’s is much easier to operate. The bolt handle is longer and larger, there’s more space to avoid skinning your knuckles on the scope and the pull effort is less.

The Gauntlet is slightly more powerful also.

So Where Does This Leave Us?

For $300, both the Fortitude and the Gauntlet are great choices. It’s almost too close to call. Your decision will depend on which features are most important to you.

It’s great to have choices!

 

Stephen Archer is the publisher of Hard Air Magazine.

Today’s article comes from a new writer to this BLOG, but a known person in the airgun community.  We are proud to have on board, Steven Scialli from the Airgun Exploration & Advancement Channel on YouTube.

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Without further delay we give you Steve’s first entry:

I can remember a time not long ago when it seemed like not much shot well without a tune up and word on the street was that airguns were for kids. A lots changed in 15 years. Before the arrival of the internet sensationalizing the long range airgun kill, most of us were perfectly content to spend our winters plunking away in our basements or across the backyard come summer. To dispatch the occasional feeder-burglar without the neighbors finding out was to declare airgun victory… and afterwords, the rifle would go right back into the hallway closet. After all, with the rimfire touting hundreds of 50 yard rabbit dinners and firmly rooted at the front of the safe, it never even occurred to most of us to try with the old windgun… that just wasn’t the culture here in the States back then. So what happened?

We’re evolving. With costs of powder burning ammunition on the rise and background checks & special permissions becoming evermore obstructive, some of us began to look for a better way and although we didn’t know it then, collectively we were seeking the same light. Luckily for us, industry entrepreneurs were counting on it and were already well along in the development of economical, powerful, good handling, good looking, quiet, and insanely accurate airguns. With our methodology & second amendment rights never in question until recently, many of us hadn’t looked up but for those that did, are today enjoying a world of performance & value without the headache.

Still looked upon by the masses as a stocking stuffer, these machines of excellence have migrated firmly into; “can kill your ass at 100 yards” territory and most Americans still have no idea. For those of you that don’t live stateside, we are of a gun culture but unlike our friends across the oceans, the word gun is always synonymous with gun powder. Powder burners are everywhere here, transcending age & gender, and apart from the lobbyists & current administration, are a part of Americana held in high regard. I own them myself and being a police officer by trade, I was sourced of it’s allure. But I sense a change in the wind… a shift in acceptance if you will, and we’re right on top of it. America has begun to furrow a brow at real guns and it’s become fashionable for White House administrations to do as they please without the support of Congress. My advise is that if you like your shooting lifestyle, you may want to get involved or at the very least, take a harder look at air power.

I get it all the time on my YouTube channel… “$1,800 for that? Why not just buy a real gun?” I make it a point never to answer.. not out of laziness or arrogance, but because the answer was in the video they just watched and they didn’t even realize. Pneumatic newcomers take note: airguns are more fun to own… it’s really that simple. Our popgun crowd all seem to be cut from the same cloth. We like our toys sophisticated, reliable, handsome, hi-performing, and above all… we like them damn civilized. Tall order, right? Nope. Enter the modern airgun.

Invest $100 to $500 and you’re taking home a more primitive degree of civility, granted, but virtues common to the price point are power, accuracy, reliability, good looks, and darn good triggers. Raise your sights to over $1,000 and you’ve entered a realm of lavish air-power pampering that’s hard to put into words until you’ve tried it. For those of you previously propelling via chemical reaction and whom have already been assimilated into the gang, you know what I’m talking about. These guns generate 20-40 foot pounds of energy with ease, and are more than accurate enough to take head shots on 10 pound critters out past 100 yards. They’re well made and while of course you can get one with issues now & then, by and large they’ll last long enough to pass down through generations. The glory isn’t in the performance though… not really. It’s in the shooting experience. These guns are generally recoil-less, are often fitted with silencers from the factory, fit ya like hand in glove, transmit super slick firing cycles, and can even be had with enough chutzpah to take down wild game like bear & elk. The fact that competition barrels & triggers are also the norm is only triumphed by the piece of lumber or polymer that gun calls home. Sure there are some pieces of support equipment that you’ll need to make it all go boom but that’s all part of the fun… fun we’ll save for another day.

Although modern airgunning is in it’s infancy in America, over the past decade it’s gained great momentum in variety and sophistication. Perhaps shooting enthusiasts are being pushed there, perhaps they’re bored with powder and just want a change, but one thing’s for certain… EVERYONE that picks one up and shoots it for the very first time says the exact same thing, “that’s an airgun?”

So go grab a friend and show em’ a better way.

YouTuber & Columnist,

Steve Scialli

AEAC

This weeks article brings yet another treat! As one of the largest airgun stores in the world, we get a lot of local foot traffic and get to see many airguns of all varieties. As you may already have learned, Airguns of Arizona is owned and operated by mostly airgunners. Whenever particularly old or interesting airguns come along for sale or trade in, it is not uncommon for an AOA crew member to snag one up. Over time we have a combined collection that is fun to see and to share with others. From our office walls and display racks around the shop, to our showroom centerpiece, interesting models are around to see for all who enter. But what about you, our distant reader who may not get an opportunity to come by and see our store? Don’t feel too left out, we will continue to bring the collection to your monitors in creative and fun ways.

In previous blogs we showed photos and fun stories behind some classic treasures, like the Weihrauch HW35L from the AOA owner’s collection, or the vintage Crosman 600 that Jock reviewed a couple of years back!

But today is different again! Today we give you a video showcase of an interesting oldie! The Benjamin Sterling HR-83, a fixed-barrel, spring piston airgun produced in the USA with history dating back to an English design from 1982. Production (unfortunately) ceased on this model in 1994.  Our example in the AOA collection is a .20 caliber model, making it even more unique and rare.  We hope that you enjoy our video!

Boy, some guys just don’t get the word. What word? You know: the typical narrative involved in an airgunners career. It usually goes something like this: “Well, I started out with a Daisy (or an inexpensive) Crosman, and after many years of scrimping and saving, I finally got an adult precision airgun.”

Shane1Shane Kellar, whose chief responsibilities encompass working with dealers and setting up the Extreme Benchrest competition every year, has a vastly different story to tell. “I’ve known the owners of Airguns of Arizona – Robert and Steve – my entire life. When Robert first started selling airguns, my Dad bought me a German made spring gun. I would shoot a hundred to two hundred pellets a day. At 12 years old, I was dropping little green army men in the backyard with that springer and a 3-9 scope. I didn’t know the difference between a good air rifle and a bad air rifle, but I knew I could shoot it well.”

My reaction: HOLY SMOKES! A German springer at 12 years old? Wow!

Kellar adds, “When I graduated from high school, I got a Beeman rifle from Robert. That was my only knowledge of air rifles. I wasn’t familiar with precharged, and I didn’t know that there were different qualities of air rifles.”

He says, “I was working in the banking industry, doing mortgages and home equity loans, when the crash came, and I was laid off. Robert was looking for someone to do shipping, so I started to do that. The phones got really busy, so I started helping the guys out. They said: if you don’t know, just ask – so I started asking lots of questions. And of course I had lots of opportunities to shoot different air rifles”

“Within a month, I bought a Daystate Huntsman left hand and an FX pump. Within six months, I had three precharged rifles, the Huntsman, an Air Wolf, and an FX Cyclone. I did lots of reading about airguns, learning about them, and eventually I began to take them apart, so now I know how to fix just about any of them.”

Today, Kellar’s favorite precharged rifles are the FX Royale and the Daystate Regal. And when it comes to springers, he is right back to his roots; the last springer he would part with is an HW35e.

When he isn’t on the phone with dealers across the country and thinking about next year’s Extreme Benchrest competition, Kellar enjoys competing in air rifle bench rest whenever he can get the opportunity. He helped to start the Phoenix Benchrest Club, and he participates with them on a monthly basis.Shane2

Perhaps his favorite thing, though, is “going out with a couple of my cousins to one of the local dairies and helping them to eliminate their pigeon problem. It’s a win-win: the dairies appreciate getting rid of a pest, and we have a heck of a lot of fun.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

FZ200 Frear Park 008

Has it really been nearly seven years and over 350 blogs? That can’t be true. It seems like just yesterday I got a phone call from www.airgunsofarizona.com They had seen my writing in one of the magazines – perhaps it was Precision Shooting or The Accurate Rifle – and they wondered if I would like to do a weekly blog for them.

It didn’t take long to say “Yes,” and a wonderful partnership was born. Airguns of Arizona would send me air rifles, air pistols, and various accessories, and I would write about them. The good folks at AoA were remarkably light-handed. Not once – ever – did they ask me to change how I wrote about something. Their attitude was always: “tell the truth,” and that policy, I think, has served everyone well.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to write about hundreds of air rifles and air pistols. I’ve also written repeatedly about safety – a big thing in my universe. Make no mistake about it: airguns should be handled with all the care and respect you would give a firearm. You owe it do yourself and those around you, at all times and without exception.

Along the way, I’ve also had the opportunity to talk to airgun designers and manufacturers and to interview airgunning champions about how they shoot and train. Exploring the previous years of posts in the blog will uncover a wealth of useful information. For those who are new to airgunning, checkout Airguns 101 — http://198.154.244.69/blog/airguns-101 . It comprises a basic course in the essentials of airgunning. Originally the material there was destined to be included in a book, but last year, faced with a tough winter and little opportunity to shoot, I turned the chapters in the book-to-be into a series of blogs.

And that brings me to a common misconception about the blog. Many people assumed that, because I was writing for Airguns of Arizona, that I am located in Arizona. Nope. I’m in upstate New York, where we have winter. As a write this, there is snow on the ground and the wind is howling. Some years, we had “open” winters which allowed me to keep shooting. Other years, I concentrated on pistols during the snowy months. Last year, it was Airguns 101 that kept the blog going.

The folks at Airguns of Arizona have been absolutely wonderful to deal with: kind, patient, and helpful. I couldn’t ask for better partners in doing a blog. And the readers have been wonderful as well, offering useful comments and asking insightful questions.

Early in 2014, however, I found out that sometime during 2013 or late 2012, I had a heart attack. I didn’t know that I had a heart attack, but it left me with permanent scar tissue on the heart muscle. So I’ve decided to slow down and give up doing a regular weekly blog. I will still show up here from time to time, testing guns and interviewing people. So I won’t be gone from the blog, just not here as often.

In meantime, I am continuing to pursue my passion for combining my Christian faith with photographing the sky. After all, “the Heavens declare the Glory of God.” Here’s a link to my free e-book with the same name: http://198.154.244.69/blog/about-jock-elliott You don’t have to sign up or give your email. You’ll also find a link to my one-and-only YouTube video.

LX100 Pickering Lane Sunset 007

So am I riding off into the sunset? Actually, it’s more like I’m riding off to photograph the sunset. But I’ll be back from time to time, and I wish all of you my very best.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

It is my heartfelt wish that you were very good this year, and Santa showed up with a Ho-Ho-Ho and a nice new air pistol or air rifle for you to enjoy.

So with that in mind, it seems proper to revisit the issue of cleaning and maintaining your newest airgun. Jared Clark of Airguns of Arizona was kind enough to share his expertise with me.

“The very first rule,” he says, “is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Virtually all of the precharged rifles and pistols and many of the springer rifles and pistols go out the door at www.airgunsofarizona.com having already been checked out by the expert staff there. They shoot the gun, chronograph it, and make sure that all is well before it is sent to you. By the time it gets to your door, it’s ready to shoot, so shoot your new gun and enjoy it!

Clark says, “With precharged guns, let the gun tell you when it needs to be cleaned. I have some guns with upwards of 10,000 pellets through them with no cleanings, but if I start to have accuracy problems, maybe it is time to clean the barrel.”

When it is time to clean the barrel, Clark recommends using a pull-through with a non-petroleum-based cleaner/degreaser on a patch. Run a couple of patches with the cleaner degreaser, then dry patches until you are getting mostly white cotton patches coming out the other side.

He says, “With really inexpensive springers, you might have some gunk in the barrel from the manufacturing process, so it doesn’t really hurt to clean, but most of the time you really don’t gain much.”

He adds, “Over time, make sure your precharged gun is holding air. Check the gauge to make sure everything is tight. In my experience, seals tend to last the longest when guns are used often.”

The big issue with springers is making sure that the stock screws are snug. Loose stock screws are the number one cause of accuracy problems in springers, according to Clark. It’s worthwhile to buy good tools like the Chapman gunsmithing kit for maintaining your airguns and tightening up those stock screws. If you are plagued by continually loosening stock screws, Clark recommends Vibratite for helping to keep them snug.

For springers over time, Clark recommends a drop or two of spring lube on the spring once a year.

He also recommends Napier VP90 as a basic treatment for the metal surfaces of any airgun that helps to seal them and prevent rust. It can be sprayed directly on the metal or sprayed on a cleaning cloth and wiped on.

Clark also flags a couple of things that airgunners should never do: don’t dry-fire springers and only dry-fire a precharged airgun when there is air in reservoir.

Finally, do not, under any circumstances, take your brand-new airgun apart. You will void the warranty and Airguns of Arizona will charge you a fee to put it back together.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock

 

shane

By all accounts, the 2014 Extreme Benchrest match was a rip-roaring success. More than 100 shooters from 16 states and 6 countries came to Arizona to compete in Extreme Benchrest (75 yards!), 25-meter benchrest, outdoor speed silhouette, field target and a 10-yard indoor pistol match.

The event, which has been held the last 4 years, is a team effort by the staff of www.airgunsofarizona.com and bolstered by a number of clubs that helped to make all of it possible: Phoenix Benchrest for running the 25 Meter event, Precision Airguns and Supplies for sponsoring the Speed Silhouette event, Quail Creek Airgun club for running the Dirty Bird and Milbro dart events and the Airgunners of Arizona FT club for running the Field Target event.

Shane Kellar was match director for Extreme Benchrest. “My biggest concern was that something would go wrong and throw the timing off. We were running from sun up to sun down – from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm – and any glitch would result in the last relay of shooters running out of daylight.”

You might well think that the responsibility to run the match might take all the competitive spirit out of a person, but not Kellar. He entered and won both the speed silhouette match and the 25 meter benchrest.

The speed silhouette is, in my view, a fascinating competition. The objective is to knock down 16 silhouettes in the shortest time possible. Competitors shoot from front rests only and must shoot either single shot rifles or, in the case of repeaters, with magazines empty. They can’t stage any pellets; they have to start with them in a tin. They shoot at chickens at 30 yards, pigs at 40 yards, turkeys at 50 yards, and rams at 60 yards. At the starter’s signal, shooters begin loading their guns or their magazines, and the match is on.

In years past, individuals with stop watches would stand by the benches, start the watches at the beginning of the match and then click the watches off as the individual shooters finished the course. But as shooters got better and better, and times got closer and closer, it became obvious that a better timing system was needed.

So Kellar and Greg Glover of Airguns of Arizona developed a new timing system. The rangemaster punches a button and a master clock starts for all 20 benches. As each shooter finishes, they punch a button to stop the clock for their shooting position. It’s very similar to the timing system used for Olympic swimmers. “Greg and I were pretty stressed, hoping the new system would behave flawlessly,” Kellar says. It did, and after the first relay, he was able to relax.

Shooting an FX Verminator that was launching JSB .22 15.89 gr pellets at around 850 fps and loading pellets directly into the breech, Kellar was able to drop the 16 silhouette targets in just over a minute: 1:07.34. “I missed two shots and dry fired once,” he says.

In the 25 meter benchrest match, he shot an FX Royale BR, which was sending .22 caliber JSB 18 gr pellets downrange at 885 fps. After three relays, his total score was 736 (out of 750) with 25Xs. He was tied for scores and Xs with another shooter, so the tie was decided by look at the first card. The first person not to shoot a 10 comes in second.

He says, “Obviously I wanted to shoot well, but even more important, I wanted to make sure that the 100 people who showed up had a great experience. I am deeply grateful to all the folks from AoA and all the clubs who bent over backwards to make that happen.”

“It’s very gratifying to have shooters come up to us after the match and say they had a great time. We listen to their feedback and plan on incorporating a lot of their suggestions into next year’s match.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

 

It was my wife who interrupted my train of thought. “Did you see this thing on the news? A boy got shot in Cleveland, and they say he had a pellet gun.”

“Oh boy,” I thought. “This sucks.”

The facts of the case, as reported by the Associated Press on Nov. 26, appear to be as follows: “Tamir Rice was shot Saturday (Nov. 22, 2014) by an officer responding to a call about someone with a gun near a playground. Police say the boy’s airsoft gun looked like a real firearm and was missing an orange safety indicator. Police say Tamir pulled it from his waistband after being told to raise his hands.”

A couple of Crosman airsoft pistols showing the orange indicator tip.

A couple of Crosman airsoft pistols showing the orange indicator tip.

What was originally reported to be a pellet gun turned out to be an airsoft pistol. Airsoft rifles and pistols are replicas of firearms that shoot 6 mm plastic BBs. Airsoft guns are considered to be non-lethal and, for the most part, non-injurious (eye protection is required and the only other airsoft injury that I have heard of is a chipped tooth), and they are used for target shooting, scenario play, firearms practice, and force-on-force training by various government agencies. By law, all airsoft pistols and rifles sold in the United States are equipped with an orange safety tip that indicates that they are not actual firearms. A Wikipedia report on the shooting says that the orange safety tip on Rice’s airsoft pistol was “removed.”

This is a lamentable situation; any way you play it, it is a tragedy for everyone involved: for Tamir Rice, his family, and for the officers involved in the shooting.

My daughter, a grown woman with a career of her own, said emphatically, “He (meaning Tamir Rice) shouldn’t be dead.”

I spoke with a friend who is a gun-carrying sworn officer to find out some of the basics of police training. Police are trained to regard any situation with a firearm as serious and to regard any report of a weapon as a real weapon until proven otherwise. They are also trained to consider “context.” A person with a gun in the woods may have a reason to be there (he’s hunting), whereas a person with a gun outside a grocery store or on a playground is a far different situation.

“Perception is incredibly important,” my friend said. “If you point an airsoft gun out a window and someone sees it and thinks it is a real gun, people are going to treat you like it is a real gun. It doesn’t matter what you intended, what matters is what the other person perceives.”

Further, police are trained to address the threat – that’s their job. If someone reports “a person with a gun,” the police have to deal with it. To do otherwise, is to risk that the “person with a gun” may kill or injure others.

If the police perceive that they are under threat of deadly physical force – for example, by a person reaching for a gun or pointing a gun at them – they are trained to respond to the threat of deadly physical force with deadly physical force to defend themselves or someone else. Further, they are trained to shoot until the threat is neutralized. A kid who is taking an airsoft gun to a place where it may be perceived as a real weapon is putting himself in harm’s way, and you can’t hit reset afterwards and play the game again.

So what does that mean for the readers of this blog? First, don’t walk around in public areas with an airsoft gun, air rifle or air pistol. Don’t show it and don’t point it at people you don’t know. Keep it on private property (or other areas where it is proper to have it, like a gun range), and don’t leave the property with it. If traveling in a car, make sure that it can’t be seen. And don’t remove, cover, paint or tape over the orange safety tip on airsoft pistols and rifles; it could make a misunderstanding over whether an airsoft “weapon” is real even more dangerous.

If you are a parent, drill these principles into your kid’s heads. Make sure that they understand that’s it is not what they intend, but what others perceive, that can make the difference between fun and tragedy in handling airsoft guns and pellet and BB guns.

Further, if you will be shooting on your property, and there is the possibility that the neighbor may see “a person with a gun,” talk to them ahead of time, and make sure they understand what you are doing, and that you are concerned for everyone’s safety.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott