New Air Rifle....Stay with Springs or Jump to PCP??
I like the new forum software!! THANK YOU MODS for working hard to give us the new atmosphere! I appreciate it.
OK guys and gals...I've been thinking of getting a new, or nice shape USED, air rifle. Right now I have a Diana 34 Classic Pro. I'd like to get something that's really accurate because I only shoot at paper and small targets like pieces of candy and such. I shoot from 10 to about 50 meters in my back yard.
Some of the rifles I have been thinking about are:
- the RWS 54 Air King
- Beeman Hw97K
- USED FWB spring, CO2 or HPA model
- Jump to the HPA world and pick something that is accurate and fun to shoot but not break the bank.
- Air Force Talon
That's about all I can think of right now. I haven't been shooting for a while and am going to get back into my air rifle shooting. I miss it. If I am to get a new or nice used rifle, I will have to sell my rifle to offset the out of pocket costs. That's one of the reasons that keeps me from going to HPA, the high costs. The tank with hoses, gauges and so forth is a lot of money and then I have to find a place to fill it and likely have to pay them to do it as well.
One rifle that I have wanted since seeing it on a Beeman catalog many years ago is the FWB 300 or other model that takes CO2 or HPA. I love the looks of them and I think having those Olympic styled sights would be fun for a change and then I could just swap them out and put a scope on it. You can't beat them in the accuracy area, but the price is up there for a USED rifle. Oh and I also really like the classic Diana 75. What a GORGEOUS air rifle.
If you all can think of any others that I should be looking at, feel free to add it to the list. I'd like to hear your thoughts and ideas on these rifles I listed or any others you think I should take into consideration. If you were going to get a rifle like what I am talking about with a price limit of $600 or so, what would you get and why?
Thank you for your time and any help you care to give me. I appreciate your help and advice. Have a great weekend everyone!!
Good Day Larry,
I feel your pain......... yes a difficult decision with all of the choices currently available. I also went through this process recently. For me I came to the conclusion that the K.I.S.S." method (Keep It Simple Stupid) was best for my situation to get into Air Gunning. At least to begin with as I continue this journey, and yes it is a journey. I hope to at some point get into Hunter Field Target. So I wanted an Air Rifle that was accurate, easy to use ,and reliable, and with a history of these three items. I decided to stay with springers and purchased a Weihrauch HW97K. For me I made the right decision and am very happy. Take you time Larry and evaluate all of your options and you will know, when the time is right, what would work best for you. And above all, enjoy the journey........
I’m a big fan of the Diana 54 or 56th. Almost like shooting a pcp, great accuracy and has multiple uses including field target and benchrest. Only downside is that you will need to invest in a high end scope mount like a dampa mount or similar to help reduce scope shock.
i sold my original 54 because I’m left handed and the stock was a righty. However I missed it so much I bought a 56th for the ambi stock.
I also have the fwb 300s and it is great as well. Easy to shoot and not much power so I can shoot it indoors during winter months. Cons would be you can’t stretch it out past 30 yards or so.
How about this...within your budget and self contained PCP/pumper and great reviews > https://www.americantactical.us/5690/detail.html
I'd say you already have a very accurate gun. I've had a Diana 34 classic for 2 years and was very seriously considering getting a pcp. I narrowed it down to the FX Streamline and was so close to jumping in. I'd been shooting pretty good off hand at various targets as well as for squirrel hunting. Recently I tried using a shooting stick that I modified from an old LLbean treking pole that I had. Wow, what a difference. I'm shooting 2" targets from 50 yards and it seems I just can't miss at 35 and under. I'm sticking with my Diana for now as I'm just having too much fun with my increased accuracy not to mention not having to hold steady this 9 1/2 pound gun. It's an accurate, reliable and easy to service gun.
I would not get into PCP at this time,heck you can get 2 springers to fill your needs for the price of the PCP outfits.
Get a Great springer,it will shoot better than you...then you 2 can grow together and be able to shoot out to 50 yds with it.
Satisfaction is the name of the game....Us humans always "think" we can get something better,remember you are the "key".
Nothing against springers, in fact that is what I use to shoot and loved it! But once you try a PCP, you are never going to shoot your springers! LOL...There are many entry level PCPs out there that you can hand pump and get into the PCP world (darkside 🙂 for well within your budget. Check out the Gamo Urban, a Plinkster or a Sentry all under $300 or even less and with spare money for a hand pump and decent scope! Good luck with your search. Looks at the classifies, lots of good deals are always popping up.
You asked for options, so let me give you MINE.
I shoot D54's almost exclusively, 0177" for FT and 0.20" for hunting, long range plinking and outdoor pesting.
So, I would tell you to buy a 54. They are good and they can be vastly improved. It will be a journey as Ridesafer posted, but it will be an enjoyable one. They sell for about $560
Now, if you are REALLY ITCHING to try PCP's and just for the sake of having the "bookends" of the discussion, then why not try the Diana Stormrider? It is a small, light carbine (opposite of what the 54 is). It is like a basic "Chevy" or "Dart" that you would buy to turn into a HotRod/Racer. It can be regulated for under $100 on top of the price of the rifle (Price of carbine and pump goes between $200 for the rifle alone and $390 for the rifle and a Hill Pump -one of the best hand pumps available-. There are less expensive pumps available that may be completely worthwhile. just have not tested extensively those).
And it can be made efficient enough to shoot quite a lot with relatively little exertion.
So, for the same outlay, you can get a full PCP system and still have some money for the scope.
The Stormrider needs 45 pumps to go from 130 BAR's to 230 BAR's, and that will give you between 90 shots at 5.5 ft-lbs in 0.177" (the equivalent of a FWB300), to 12 shots at 35 ft-lbs in 0.25" , or around 50 shots in 0.177" cal at 12 ft-lbs (International FT power limit). You can get the 0.22" model or the 0.177", or both, since you only need one pump.
You decide what to do with the gun, and if you are in any reasonable physical shape, you can pump 45 times and be ready to shoot with a 20 mins. rest.
If you are curious about the Stormrider, read these two entries in my Blog:
Of course between these two extremes, there are tons of options. Be guided mainly by what you want to do with the gun.
In airgunning, form FOLLOWS function.
Devout springer shooters kind of dedicate themselves to the breed (think of them as Monks....they've dedicated their airgunning to one format).
They may want to wash their hands after handling a PCP so the "impure stink" doesn't get on their springers. Think they are righfully proud of thier work/effort/practice that got to to really great springer shooting....but a bit narrow minded in just owning one breed of airgun (it's like having a tool chest full of wrenches when you really need a screw driver).
But that's OK...airguns aren't usualy for deadly serious use, so whatever you like is just fine.
Have had some amaxzing single groups from an RWS 54....but I've never gotten away "clean" for 4 or 5 5-shot groups. Always a stray or two, that you gotta count as you did pull the trigger with the intetion it lands close to it's buddies). The slide/rail "recoiless" system does work (pretty much the same concept in the FWB 150 or 300), so it's either some kind of "hitch in it's get-along" or shooter inattention.
Recoiless FWB 300's (or if you find a deal on the older FWB 150) are amazing, if low energy match rifles of yester-year. Seem to just keep shooting and shooting, at least the ones that haven't been molested/hot-rodded. Seldom a pellet lands out, and when it does you can pretty well trace it back to the shooter rahter then the mechanics.
(BTW: "recoiless?"...if either really was, then why did the action slide back on it's rails? Rather than recoiless, they are "recoil in isolation".)
There are some few springers with a very good reputation of quaility and accuracy...that HW97K is one of them. But it is still a springer, and if you can't shoot the springers you have now well, buying "up" is going to make a whole lot of difference.
The down side in PCP's, esp. considering the current crop of reasonably priced PCP's, is the fill cost.
NOw I will agree, if you have more than one PCP, the fill device cost can be split between all the PCP's, so doesn't count as so major a strike as it does when you just have one.
BUT...once you taste the good "cookies" of the PCP world....it's really hard to go back.
How about this...within your budget and self contained PCP/pumper and great reviews > https://www.americantactical.us/5690/detail.html
I agree. You can buy this and still keep your Springer. Less than $400 and no need to buy a tank, compressor or hand pump.
One idea that no one ever seems to mention: Crosman 1701P Silhouette pistol with an added shoulder stock. Could be used as either a small rifle or pistol. Yes the LOP is short with the stock but you cannot beat this pistol for accuracy.
They are ridiculously cheap for the quality in my opinion. Great trigger. Easy to pump with a hand pump. They can be hot-rodded for power but I put mine back to stock because it's just so much fun to have all those accurate shots.
I'm really a springer guy but if you wanted a cheap way to get into PCP with a quality I think it's a great choice.
Just a thought,
You're requirement is "something real accurate" but you do not give us anything more to work with. What is "real accurate" and how accurately are you able to shoot your 34? I am not familiar with that gun, but I can tell you that my wife's HW 30 with a 4.5-14x scope is "real accurate" at 23 yds, and by that I mean it keeps hits within 1/4 inch spread or less with very little effort. I also have a 97 which can do the same, but takes a lot of concentration on things like forward hand position and how tight (or loose) I hold the fore end, pistol grip and butt to my shoulder. That gun drives me nuts and more often than not I get a couple of flyers that wreck any 10 shot group. I have a FWB 300 with factory parts that shoots lightweight wadcutters at around 560 fps, which is about ideal for 10 meter shooting. It is "real accurate" but the breeze blows those slow pellets all over at longer distances.....I can actually see them fly through a 20x scope. Some guys boost their 300's velocity with aftermarket springs which will increase their accuracy at longer range IMO. I think you are wanting something new.....but if you are just interested in something "real accurate", I would first work on your shooting techniques with your 34 as well as trying different pellet designs and diameters.....some .177's can be had in 4.5, 4.51, 4.52 and even 4.53 mm and it can make a difference. If I were to give advice to someone starting out who just wants to punch paper or small targets, I would tell them to buy an HW 30 and spend the rest of their money on a good mil reticle scope and an assortment of pellets. If/when they outgrow that gun they can sell it, not be out a lot of money, and move up to a PCP. It might help you to watch all the YouTube videos you can on any guns you are considering to get an idea of what kind of accuracy is possible. I've seen some crazy tight groups, especially at long range, with PCP's, and then I have seen some PCP groups that are not much better than what I can do with a springer. Good luck.
I completely disagree with this... I started with spring guns, shooting them off and on for a decade or so. Then bought an AA400 and tank, and pump, and so on. Bought a p-rod too and an aas200, shot them a bunch. Eventually I came to notice the overlap between the airguns and the suppressed powder burners. Expense included. Plus carting around all of the crap. Sold my pcp airguns and bought an hw97, and another, and an hw50s, and an r7. Couldn’t be happier with high quality,accurate arms that require no expensive and or time consuming support apparatus. Just cock the rifle, load a pellet and shoot. Carry it over hill and dale, self sustained..
K.I.S.S or the beauty of simplicity = springer. I'd love a FWB 300 or 124 but I got a used Cz631 and it shoots about as good as a friend's 300 and another bud 124. My 634 is close and my old pawn shop Crosman Storm in a Benjamin thumb hole stock with a GRT trigger is almost as close.
Without hope, without fear
I enjoy the simplicity of a springer and it used to be if I went to the range for a day of shooting, that would be my choice. Simplicity can be had in a PCP too. I have a Brocock Bantam that AoA tuned for me to 12 ftlbs (it actually came in @ 13 ftlbs. with H&N Field Target Trophies 8.64 -4.52mm) I get 240 shots from a fill which is more than enough for a day of shooting, so no need to take a bottle with me. I just fill the gun at home and I don't need any more stuff than I did with my springers. Actually with the ability to hold 10 in the magazine, it is easier to enjoy.I still love my spring guns and someday when my PCP springs a leak I will just grab one of my tried and true springers and shoot that again. I shot spring guns back in the 90's and I had an amazing TX 200 tuned by Jim Macari which was better than I'll ever be. Shot that gun for 10 years, won a couple small shoots but nothing big. Took my Bantam to the Pa. Field target championships this past fall and won my class. PCP's are just easier to shoot. Just my 2 cents.