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Gas Piston versus Spring

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    Deleted Account
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    Besides the fact that gas rams like my Benjamin NP XL725 is a hefty rifle at some 10.8bs with Centerpoint 3-9x40AO mildot scope, it still kicks pretty good. But hits hard with that 1/4″ projectile. Now, imagine that gas ram in a rifle that’s some 3lbs lighter as a modification? Gonna be hard to maintain accuracy with the way it’ll kick that rifle apart. Not to mention you trying to man-handle it. I believe in what the Amish do…balance in all things.

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    Jonnes
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    “unionrdr”I believe in what the Amish do…balance in all things.

    
Amen brother. ;) 

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    Windmill01
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    Australia
    Accuracy: +16

    Do the various manufacturers still make spring match airrifles anymore or are they all pcp? I think the Walther brand is pcp. Does anyone know?

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    Jonnes
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    Nope, some of them went from spring powered, to SSP (Single Stroke Pneumatic) which is the predecessor of the PCP (Pre Charged Pneumatic) rifles. All manufactures (Feinwerkbau, Anschütz, Walther, Steyr, and so on) only manufacture PCP’s these days.

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    RifleDude
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    Does the Diana 48, 52, 54, and 56 classify as “match?” Those are all spring powered side lever rifles with reputations for precision. What about well-tuned examples of the more accurate underlever springers such as AATX200, HW77, HW97? 

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    Jonnes
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    No, those Diana’s are – just like the AA’s and HW’s – recreational rifles. You won’t see any of those at official (ISSF) 10-meter air rifle matches, because they’re not allowed according to the rules. The sights give you a slight hint, match rifles use diopter sights and are (the current generation) all PCP’s. Just Google for Anschütz One, Walther LG400 or Feinwerkbau 800 for instance. Those are match grade air rifles. Here are two of mine, an Anschütz SSP and a Hämmerli PCP. 

    See the difference? When I talk “accurate”, i mean groups like these;

    I shot this with my Anschütz 2002 Super Air during training at 10 meters. 40 shots, 39 ten’s, 1 nine (pulled it, my mistake). You need to compete at this level if you want to make a change at ending in the top 10 during official matches. The ten-ring is just 0,5mm for your information. Try that with a regular springer, can’t be done for obvious reasons. ;) 

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    RifleDude
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    I’m new to airguns, so perhaps I’m missing something on the virtues of the gas piston system. I get the claimed advantages, but are they truly advantages all things considered? Pros and cons aside, the thing that would concern me most about gas pistons is long-term parts support. It seems to me — and correct me if I’m wrong–but replacement parts would only be available from a single source– the manufacturer of the rifle. If the rifle is discontinued, and if you need a replacement gas piston, would you be able to get it in the future without having the parts custom made in a machine shop?

    A spring piston system is pretty future-proof on the other hand. The thing that wears out — the spring — will always be obtainable. As long as you know the wire diameter, outside diameter, free length, number of coils, etc, you can get replacement springs from a multitude of sources.

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    Jonnes
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    Your comment is my primary concern with gas rams also. New to airguns or not, you’re spot on mate! ;) 

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    RifleDude
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    “Jonnes”No, those Diana’s are – just like the AA’s and HW’s – recreational rifles. You won’t see any of those at official (ISSF) 10-meter air rifle matches, because they’re not allowed according to the rules. The sights give you a slight hint, match rifles use diopter sights and are (the current generation) all PCP’s. Just Google for Anschütz One, Walther LG400 or Feinwerkbau 800 for instance. Those are match grade air rifles. Here are two of mine, an Anschütz SSP and a Hämmerli PCP. 

    See the difference? When I talk “accurate”, i mean groups like these;

    I shot this with my Anschütz 2002 Super Air during training at 10 meters. 40 shots, 39 ten’s, one 9 (pulled it, my mistake). You need to compete at this level if you want to make a change at ending in the top 10 at matches. The ten-ring is just 0,5mm for your information. Try that with a regular springer, can’t be done for obvious reasons. ;) 

    
Understand, but doesn’t that kinda depend on one’s definition of “match?” That term is used pretty loosely these days to refer to most any kind of competitive shooting…benchrest, field target, silhouette, formal and informal.

    I get that springers won’t compete with match grade 10- meter pcp’s and didn’t think otherwise.

    Great shooting, by the way!

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    Jonnes
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    The last part of the discussion was about fitting a match-grade spring powered rifle to a gas ram, hence the confusion. True, there are matches with springers like the Diana’s you mention of course. HFT and FT are good examples. 

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    ironlion269
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    “Try that with a regular springer, can’t be done for obvious reasons.”  @Jonnes, I wonder what the chances are of finding someone to build me a .75 caliber spring rifle?  … juss you wait, ‘Enry ‘Iggins, juss you wait!

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    Jonnes
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    LOL!!! Why not go for a bowling ball canon right away. One shot, all 5 visuals gone. Can’t beat that! :D

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    Windmill01
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    Australia
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    Let’s put this obtaining a replacement gas ram or having it repaired put to bed as we in Australia can readily obtain gas rams online Customairseals.com or have them repaired at any business that repairs gas rams for cars. Not unlike burchasing a replacement spring from the various spring works. I believe you can purchase from the old dart as well. So surely you can have them repaired in other countries.
    I haven’t had to replace a ram due to failure yet not like my Beeman which broke its spring only after approx 7000 shots.
    Bloody nice shooting jonnes those PCP are amazing.

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    Jonnes
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    I think the point is that you can’t service or repair a gas ram yourself. Sure, you can have bad luck with a spring, but a friend of mine had a Gamo gas ram that completely lost pressure within a week after he purchased it, so that doesn’t say anything. You can’t buy a off the shelf gas ram and put it in an air rifle, you can buy a off the shelve spring on the other hand. Even when it’s too long, you can easily cut some coils. Besides, a spring will set you back a few bucks, a gas ram is quite expensive to repair or even replace. Worst case scenario, you can even wind your own springs if needed, always handy in a SHTF scenario. ;) 

    The biggest plus on regular springs is that you can tune your rifle a whole lot easier, like adding washers to gain a bit more power in order to get the optimal velocity for instance. Or customise or tune your piston. Something you also can’t do with gas rams (try drilling holes in a gas ram to put some delrin buffers on them). Honestly, I’ve owned a s-load of air rifles over the past 30+ years (35 years to be exact and well over 100 air rifles), gas rams, springers, PCP’s, SSP’s, the works. Tuning rifles and being able to maintain and repair them myself are part of the fun of owning one. Gas rams just limit your options in that respect.

    I’m just more a fan of a sprins. But I guess (like with many things) that’s personal. I even traded one of the (if not THE) best gas ram rifles (a Diana 340 N-tec Premium Pro Compact) in for a spring powered Air Arms TX200 which is undoubtedly THE best springer in the world. It shoots a hell of a lot better than the gas ram fitted Diana for sure!

     

    Thanks for the compliment by the way. ;) 

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    Windmill01
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    I hear what you are saying jonnes and I can appreciate your fondness of spring airrifles, I own a couple myself. My Walther LGV is a fine rifle. You talk of the ability to tune a springer and I have no knowledge about that, you also mention about customising or tuning the piston on a springer. The piston on some of my springers is the same as inside my gas rams so at a later time I will ask you to share your experience and knowledge on how to customise or tune a piston if you could.  I have taken apart my gas ram rifles too many times to mention in the pursuit of accuracy, replacing nearly all moving parts, jam springs, pivot washers, breach seals, removing galling, piston seals, various trigger fixes and replacing the ram with a lowered powered version so jonnes if that is not servicing or repairing my gas rams then I’m not sure what is.
    Im not sure about the availability of replacement gas rams for all gas ram airrifles but I do know that I can obtain rams to suit my rifles and many others within Australia. Customairseals.com is one such company that supplies rams and I’m sure if they didn’t have a ram to suit a particular rifle the may just make one for you. In my own dealings with them I have found that they will try to help you as best they can. So surly airgunners can obtain them in other countries.
    As far as costs go my rams cost about $54 Aus and I think that is compairable to a quality spring. I too enjoy dismantling my airrifles to see what I can do to improve their accuracy.
    The TX200 is a very fine rifle and yes it will shoot the shit out of a gas ram at a cost that is considerably more then a Benjamin Trail  but my whole reason for being on this thread was to give the other side of the coin to spring that is cheap and easy to shoot. 
    So my friend good shooing and look after those beautiful rifles you own as I will be certainly looking after my Trails. 

     

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    Jonnes
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    What you can and can’t do depends on the rifle. But for arguments sake, let’s you have a full power gas ram for instance, you can’t reduce power (unless you have a HW90 Theoben gas ram). Some gas ram rifles don’t allow for adding washers to gain power, because the sear won’t catch once you do that. With a spring you can cut coils. Here’s one argument to consider, I own quite a few vintage air rifles and most of them (20 years and older) you can’t get any spare parts for, except for some o-rings and maybe a piston buffer. If those would have been gas ram rifles, and the gas ram would have worn out, I’d be in trouble and had to switch to springs to make them work. Again, gas rams are custom built for a specific brand and type air rifle, springs are generic. And “a good quality spring” can be bought for under $10 bucks is you buy them from a generic spring manufacturer. Those quality springs, you pay a lot of money for the brand. 

    I haven’t been able to get a spare gas ram for a Diana 340 N-tec I used to own up until recently for instance. Here in Europe those parts are extremely hard to come by, if not next to impossible. If that store you mention has those, having it shipped (including import taxes) would drive the price up to well over 100 bucks. I can buy 10 springs for that amount of money locally. We don’t all live in beautiful Australia mate. ;) 

    Maybe the Benjamin is a different kind of animal, I couldn’t say, never worked on one of those. But with the Diana’s for instance, there isn’t much room to do tuning.

     

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    Windmill01
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    “We don’t all live in beautiful Australia mate. 😉” Yes jonnes it is gods country, I guess I’m lucky.
     

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    Deleted Account
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    Kenny Kormandy did a gas ram conversion on a .25cal Hatsan in his latest video. Might be worth a look? And I like my Benjamin Trail NP XL725 the way it is. It kicks hard, but not that hard. Hit’s hard and isn’t too loud. I wouldn’t dream of detuning it. Just gotta adopt to the situation. But I must say this…I love my Hatsan Striker 1000x .22​! After some 120 rounds, it broke in and just shoots great for me. Not terribly pellet picky either. Balanced and accurate. Cost me a total of $157.34 for the rifle, Hammers 3-9x32AO mildot scope, shipping and such.

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