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The future of spring piston air rifles????

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    22junkie
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    United States
    Accuracy: +0

    I have a BSA GRT Supersport SE in .22 cal. that is really pretty nice to shoot.  Compared to my other break barrels it is pretty nice.  The cocking effort is really smooth and the shot cycle is really nice compared to my traditional spring guns.  I’m not saying that it is my favorite or that it is necessarily any better than my other guns, but there is no felt torque and it’s easy to watch the sight picture throughout the shot cycle because the gun doesn’t jump around during recoil.  I’ve read that some pistons are tunable, i.e. the gas volume can be increased or decreased, so I’m wondering if the gas piston is going to eventually dominate this type of power system.  The one down side of my BSA is noise level.  It sounds almost like a 22 rimfire bolt action with a tight bore.  Not as loud as some semi autos, but it definitely has that crack when fired.  I’m speculating that gas may eventually dominate.  What do you guys think?
    Aside from my inquiry on what everyone else thinks is going to be the dominant “spring” in 30 or 40 years, I thought I’d say a little about my BSA, since I don’t think there are many around.  I like mine a lot, but there are some issues with it.  It is built by Gamo and I think that Gamo owns BSA now.  The stock is really pretty nice but it was touching the left side of the breech block and I had to remove a little wood to prevent the pressure.  It was an annoyance and something that BSA/Gamo should have noticed but not worth sending the gun back over since I fixed it.  The front sight is fiber optic and all plastic and is unprotected by a globe.   Honestly, how hard is it to put a globe on a plastic sight that the factory should know is going to get broken?  
    The barrel seems to be pretty good and the gun isn’t very picky about what it shoots, but point of impact changes with every brand of pellets.  That makes no sense to me, but if I’m shooting JSB’s and decide to try some FTT’s the group sizes will be about the same but not in the same location.
    The trigger is a Gamo SAT trigger, BUT the safety is not Gamo and consequently none of the aftermarket triggers work unless you want to completely ditch the saftey.  Another reason the aftermarket triggers don’t fit is that the pin the trigger pivots on is not a separate piece but is part of the molded  trigger.  So, even if you want to ditch your safety, you will have to fabricate a pin to go into the hole in the GRT3 aluminum trigger.  The trigger doesn’t feel bad, it is just heavy for my taste.   
    That is all I have against the gun, but I like it very much.  The safety is NOT automatic. I like that a lot!  I think there are some QC issues and I spent the extra $10 with PA to have them check it out before shipping it to me.  

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    laalex
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    Accuracy: +0

    With respect to diff. pellets hitting different POI, this is common to any rifle.  Each individual rifle bore will have minute variances in the tolerances and hence will shoot different ammo to different points of aim.  JSB .22 cal pellets IIRC are 5.52 head size.  FTT’s can be had in head sizes from 5.51-5.55 IIRC.  Differences in shape, length, weight and head size will contribute to this variable POI. My Marlin 795 will shoot ragged holes with CCI mini mags but sprays Winchester solids all over the place, so it’s common to PB’s also.

    I can’t say if gas ram guns will dominate the market in the future, however they seem to be gaining in popularity as more and more models are offered.  I’ve only had one and I didn’t care for it–it was a Crosman and the sharp recoil made it a scope killer.  Still, it does give a torque free shot cycle. A proper tune will give the same torque-free shot cycle of the gas rammer though.  I would still like to try another, better quality gas ram gun in the future.  The two that I’m most interested in are the Supersport and the Diana 340 NTEC.  Good luck with yours.  I hope you will post up some results of your shooting sessions so we can see your progress.

    Scotty 
     

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    coop709
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    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    I have to concur on the group placements. All guns will shoot different ammo in different places. It has nothing to do with quality.

    As far as the gas ram, given that Theoben invented the technology and spent as much money as you could on it and still had some failures, I’m hesatant to jump on the technology. They built a very reliable gun, but not flawless. So if you have some failures on some $1000 guns, that are hand built. How dependable will a mass-made gun be out of Asia or some Eastern Block country for under $300? I would like to have a gas ram gun, but the only one I would consider is an Impact, the resurrection of Theoben. Until spring for that kind of purchase, I will stick with my Beeman R1’s. I can rebuild those in about an hour for $100, and they shoot better than new…

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    22junkie
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    My supersport was $270 and it dieseled for a really long time. One additional thing I’ll mention about the BSA Supersport that I don’t feel good about is that the pivot is just a pin. It is not a screw or bolt and nut.  This may be the no. one long term liability with this gun, but even that will be fixable.  When I get home form work I’ll post some pictures of the gun and some targets.
     

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    Bstalder85
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    how tunable are the newer gas ram guns? Will they now be more difficult for some guy in his basement to take apart and put back together on his own? Or does someone need more specialized equipment to accomplish the same task on the older atmospheric air spring guns?

    Also, is anyone professionally tuning these new(ER) guns?

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    coop709
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    Accuracy: +1

    To my knowledge, the only tunable gas ram guns on the market today are the Beeman RX-2/ Weihrauch HW-90 (Same actions, different stocks) and the Impact RM 100. Both require a high pressure pump, and adapter to screw into the gun and a chronograph to verify the setting.

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    22junkie
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     These targets were shot at 20 yards. The cleaner holes were shot with RWS Meisterkugeln and the other two targets were shot with H&N FTT. Sorry for the huge size of the pics.

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    22junkie
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    Mentolio
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    Accuracy: +9

    That is a pretty gun, 22junkie! Regarding “tuning” of the NP: I disassemble, clean-up the insides, and lube all my Crosman NPs (hardly comparable to the aforementioned Theoben, Beeman, or Weirauch, I’m sure). Similar to the “lube tune” one would do on a steel spring powered gun. It smooths out the cocking and shot cycle significantly and can even increase accuracy (also trigger mods help a lot, but that’s for other threads). The Crosman NP isn’t adjustable per-se, though I’ve read that you can play with the pre-load a bit, or just get a stouter Nitro Spring, though I imagine that takes a lot of research and likely over-stresses some of the stock components. Anyway, while I don’t see NPs ever completely replacing steel springs, they can be GREAT shooters with a little work (and not a lot of money).

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    Mentolio
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    Accuracy: +9

    …oh, a note about disassembly: my NPs (as I suspect ALL NPs) require a spring compressor (of some sort) to disassemble and reassemble. I made one from some scrap wood and an old, large C-clamp (for a total of around 12 bucks after buying some specialty hardware). It does the job, but only just. NItro Pistons are under A LOT of pressure, so the likelihood of muscling it apart safely is low, and the possibility of muscling it back together is even lower. My next spring compressor is likely going to be a piece of 1 inch diameter pipe, two or three HD scope rings, and another C-clamp (and involving a brief visit with my welder). Do it safe…it ain’t expensive or rocket-science.

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