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Any air rifle experts care to share?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Creeper, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    Howdy folks,

    After not owning an air rifle since I was a kid in the '60s, I'm considering buying one again. Nothing fancy... no $2000 match rifles, just a decent spring-piston rifle, probably .22 cal, with a lead pellet velocity somewhere in the 400 to 800 fps range.
    I want to use it just for some indoor target practice, and to tag the occasional coyote in the butt... suggesting that my meadow is not the best place to hang out. No hunting or killing will be involved.

    The rifles I'm currently investigating are the Gamo CFX (the fixed barrel and under-lever have their appeal), the Diana RWS 34P Compact and Hammerli Razor. All rifles under $300... well built, accurate and reliable.
    I may use iron sights, or I may put a decent optic on it... undecided at this time.

    Any one have an opinion of the guns above... better ideas or suggestions?

    Thanks,
    C
     
  2. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Well...I'm far from an expert but I know several who are and have relied on them for counsel and guideance....OFA bought several rifles earlier this year for a project we're working on for a particular course. We spent about six months researching including working with end users and industry professionals.

    Some things I can share with you based upon my research and now training and using air rifles is this....if you want a spring rifle and you've narrowed it down to the three then the RWS 34P Diana is a TOP performer! In fact OFA has one we bought for this project we'd sell to you if you're interested. We have a spare we don't need now....PM me if this is of interest.

    I'm not telling you this to sell our rifle...cuz I don't really care if we sell it or not but I'd stay away from the Gamo products if you can afford the RWS. They are extremely well built, accurate and highly reliable which meets your requirements. End user reviews on the RWS you've selected are very high. We bought the RWS 34P primarly because we wanted to use it for its open sights which are very-very good. You can also mount an optic and I can share some insight on those when you're ready. The Gamo products are targeted to the masses and are very popular but they're not up to the quality standards of the RWS or Hammerli. Anyone who is semi to very serious about air rifles would back me up on this. I'm not saying their no good but coming from someone who entered into this research with zero bias and zero agenda...I've come to the same conclusion. Would I owe a Gamo - well yes. But since you have a choice and are open to suggestions...I'd say the RWS would be a better choice for quality, accuracy, and reliablity in the long run. End user reviews also support this.

    The newer technology is nothing like the guns we had of old...nothing! You'll need to learn how to use an Artilliary Hold when shooting a Spring Air because of the double recoil which is uncommon in conventionally fired weapons. This may cause you some inital frustration until you master this hold/technique.
     
  3. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    Hi Dan,

    Very interesting response... with a perspective I wasn't, as you can imagine, anticipating.

    I keep leaning in the RWS 34P direction... actually the first gun I looked at, but I thought I'd do my due diligence to see what else is available. A negative is that the gun I actually want, the 34P "Pro Compact", is (annoyingly) not available in .22.

    The Gamo CFX interests me because of the fixed barrel and under-lever cocking... but puts me off a bit because of overall quality and the less than stellar trigger, which would have to be replaced right off the batt. The fact that it also is only available in .177 will likely be the nail in it's coffin.

    The Hammerli Razor, although not a stand-out in any area, is close to the RWS in quality, and like the 34P is available in .22 cal.

    Thanks for your insights,
    C
     
  4. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    If your open to suggestions consider the Crosman NPSS in .22.
     
  5. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    I looked at that as well. I'd like to stay under $300, preferably closer to $200. I'm a bit notorious for going off the deep end if I don't keep myself in check.
    Hard learned self-control is the only thing between me and a Feinwerkbau 603 Match. :p

    C
     
  6. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    I would go with the RWS as well. You can't get much nicer without spending more. If you aren't using it on critters the .177 would work just fine. The smaller pellet is shoots a flatter trajectory.
     
  7. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    Thanks... interesting about the pellet flight. I'll keep that in mind. Any justifiable improvement in "wind bucking" ability with the .22?

    I have about 60 yds of open meadow surrounded by forest... so that's my max range to work with.
    I plan more to "sting" coyotes than kill them, so perhaps the .177 might be preferable.

    C
     
  8. isher

    isher Clallam County Member

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    Owned and shot a Sheridan 5mm "Blue Streak" for lo

    These many years. Like since 1969.

    Well, the old girl is still going strong.......

    Looked it up on the Net and yes they still build them,

    And it would appear not in China either.

    The 5mm is a nice caliber.

    FWIW

    isher
     
  9. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    The Sheridan is also in .22. The gun shhot great but the quality has gone
    down over the years. The RWS is still the highest quality rifle for the $$$
     
  10. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    I've tripped across a Spanish made springer... relatively new in the US, Cometa.
    Apparently, they made the RWS94 for RWS, so they're no slouch... or newcomer to air guns, making them for the last 140 years.

    About $370 for the "Fusion" model above without the optic... priced the same for .177, .22 and .25.

    The more I look, the more I want to spend. :laugh:

    Cheers,
    C
     
  11. Shawn the Locksmith

    Shawn the Locksmith The Dalles, Or Member

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    I just bought a Crosman NPSS in .22 from Wally World. For 150 bucks ya can't go wrong. I've shot rabbits and starlings out to 35 yds so far and it's capable of reaching out to 60 plus. At 35 yds I get 1/2" groups with 14.3 gr Premier (in the tin) pellets. I also have a Tech Force 34 in a .177 underlever. Suprisingly it punches 1/2" groups with Beeman Hollowpoints in 7.3gr at 27yds and last but not least, i inherited my dad's Blue Streak in .20. With a pistol scope of 2x i get 1/2" groups at 35yds with Crosman Domed pellet. Pigeons at 50yd can't duck fast enough. My Chrony tells the story of .22 moving @ 750..............177 moving @ 650..........and Old Blue .20 moving at 600 with 10 pumps.
    Hope this helps and watch out ......air guns are ADDICTIVE
     
  12. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Air rifles rock big time. I think I can safely say that in my extensive collection, and as a person who pulls a trigger every single day, my air rifles get more use and take more game than all my other guns put together.

    My spring gun experience is somewhat limited. I owned a RWS M52 (Side lever .17) for about 3 years. No better quality, and at the time, nothing faster. I sold it because regardless of how much I practiced, I could never get used to the very critical technique (well-described here by the OFA guy) of whether to fight, allow, or something in-between the wierdness of the forward recoil. I know the gun was extremely accurate, because it would group so well when I concentrated on my recoil interface technique, but then when I'd lapse, those pellets would stray from the fold.

    And so, for my purposes, and with 40 years of air-rifle experience (I don't count the Daisy years), my favorites are my Benjamin 342 and 347 pump guns. (.22 and 177 caliber). The old 342 is just as accurate and deadly as the day I bought it used 37 years ago. Nearly all the metal finish is gone, showing beautiful brass, polished in all the places of its workhorse wear. It's been to Ollie Damon's a couple times for an overhaul, but keeps on tickin'.

    At 40 yards, with the Benjamin rear peep, fed pellets it likes, this gun will keep all shots inside of 1.5" off a hard rest. At 50 feet (a common air-rifle testing distance), it will shoot cloverleafs. It has taken game up to the size of jackrabbits and raccoons with well-placed shots.

    I like these guns because around the property here, they can rest easily in any corner near any door, ready for that pesky starling. Of a size really meant for young boys, they are extremely compact and light. A small "slip-on" recoil pad overcomes the lack of length of pull for a grownup. The RWS was so big and cumbersome, it just wasn't always at the ready and handy for my purposes.

    I also owned a couple Sheridan 5mm's, and found they weren't quite as accurate as my Benjamins, so I sold them. I think with the greater variety of pellets now available for 5mm, the Sheridans might deserve another chance. Incidentally, Sheridan and Benjamin are the same company now.

    An oddity I found somewhere along the way, is a Crossman Model 113, .177 caliber. As I understand it, this was one of the very early Crossmans. The story has it (somebody check my work) that Mr. Crossman after WWII, bought a boxcar or two of military surplus CO2 cannisters for filling rubber rafts. These cylinders are about 16" long, 2" in diameter, and have a wheel valve at one end. He designed a gun to utilize them.

    You unscrew a small brass plug at the tip of what looks like an underbarrel tube magazine on the gun. You screw in your "raft-filling" cannister, open the wheel valve, and your gun charges up. Close the valve, unscrew the cannister, and you're ready to go! The gun has an ingenious "power dial" just under the rear of the bolt, to select how fast you would like your pellet to go. At full speed, one charge in the gun will propel about 20 shots. If you reduce the power, your number of shots is increased. It shoots 800 fps at full speed, and very accurately. You refill your raft cannister at any fire extinguisher shop. One cannister will charge your gun about 15 times. Pretty cheap shooting for a CO2 gun, and no pumping, and no spring recoil.

    And one thing I'm surprised nobody mentioned: air guns are EXTREMELY particular about their diet. You should try at least five varieties (ten is better, everything available is best) of pellets in your gun to find what it likes best. Often it is not the same brand as your gun. The Gold Standard for me at least is RWS Meisterkugeln. I always start there, and try to improve upon it. Sometimes I do.
     
  13. crazytimme

    crazytimme Tacoma area Member

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    Look at the IZH 60, it is only .177 with at 490fps but is only $100 bucks and is very accuret from what I have read. I was about to by one my self until I picked up a Benjamin discovery at GI Joes for 40% off last year. I have yet to find anything negative about about the IZH 60.

    It would give you something cheap now, and allow you to save. In the last couple of years their has been a lot of innovative designs at affordable prices coming out, probable fueled by ammo prices.

    I personally would get the RWS over Gamo, Gamo's aren't known for accuracy or even decent triggers. (most raving reviews about Gamos are from people who have never shot a high quality air rifle)
     
  14. Shawn the Locksmith

    Shawn the Locksmith The Dalles, Or Member

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    AMEN..big time. It seems like a handful of airguns like the same diet of pellet's. But each gun is particular to "A" pellet. My friends Gamo Raptor .177 likes the Beeman Hollowpoint as well as my China Tech Force. In these two guns we have shot every pellet available to us locally (Longview, Wa area).

    Now my Blue Streak likes the Premier's and shoots almost as well with the Kodiak Golds from Ollie Damon's and that is in a .20. I've shot some old Beeman Jet's and the Ben/Sheridan Cylandrical, the Crosman Dome with ok results.

    My Crosman Titan NPSS in .22 likes the Premiers very well and the Beeman Pointed and even the Beeman Round Point (this is about the only thing available to me around here. I used the Round Point to kill a couple of rabbits the other day. I used them so they wouldn't pass thru and knock on the neighbors window.

    Oh yeah the PBA's in the .177 in my gun is lousy, I thing a gun needs to spit them out at over 1000 fps to get any expansion of the skirt.

    Pyramyd Air.com is a SUPER SITE for ALL your pellet gun Q and A's.
    Tom really knows his stuff

    I'll take a breath for now. Oh yeah one more thing. I own 454 Raging Bull, Ruger 45lc, CZ52, xp-100 in a 7BR and a 35 rem, a ruger .22 standard and other toys, BUT these last few months i have had more pleasure and relaxation shooting pellets!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  15. OcelotZ3

    OcelotZ3 Corvallis Active Member

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    Which model is that? It sounds like a great price for a NPSS!
     
  16. Shawn the Locksmith

    Shawn the Locksmith The Dalles, Or Member

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    The rifle itself is a Crosman Titan GP (i think the GP is Gas Piston)
    In fact i just now at 8:45 pm came in from shooting my sweet little .22 at 37yrds to rezero with Crosman Premier's after shooting the bunnies with the beeman round nose

    I believe it is the only Nitro Piston air rifle Walmart sells. I was actually was looking at a Benjamin NPSS or the Remington Genesis NPSS or another one that slips my mind right off but the 300 price tag and none available in my area had it's toll. So i happened to stop in to Wally World and lo and behold, she almost jumped off the pegs into my arms.

    Once again learn the Artillery hold and use it for nice groups. The 4x Centerpoint scope that comes with it is ok, it'll probably work for you for what you're wanting to do. I'm not trying to make any sales for WW, but this seems to be a nice way to go without laying out BIG Bucks.

    Hope this helps
    shawn
     
  17. dbeugli

    dbeugli Oregon Coast New Member

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    I would agree with the above statements and would favor the RWS. If I ever find a good deal on a 22 cal model I will take it home. Spring guns are very accurate and I have no problem with the strange recoil. I have been shooting them for a while. My RWS says made in West Germany and I got it new.
     
  18. cetme

    cetme oregon city Member

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    i have hunted for years with a rws 34. in .22 cal also used a model 45 in .177the rws will maim or kill an animal at 200 feet easily.not my choice to sting an animal.youd be better off with a pump up model like a crossman,benjamin etc.the rws with an aimpoint is a serious rabbit squirrel rifle. good luck