Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, October 31, 2005

Crosman's new Nightstalker is here!

by Tex Force

There aren't very many true semiautomatic air rifles in the world, which makes Crosman's brand-new Nightstalker all the more interesting. A true semiautomatic gun is one that fires and reloads with one pull of the trigger. The reloading is performed by the gun, not by anything the shooter does. A real semiauto is much faster than any other kind of airgun.

True semiautomatic airguns are very special, because lead pellets don't like being fed through mechanisms. Even the manual bolt-action repeaters get jammed sometimes, so imagine what can happen when gas does the feeding in milliseconds!


Crosman's brand-new Nightstalker is a true semiauto pellet rifle. It holds 12 shots and uses a huge 88-gram AirSource cartridge to power both the shot and the realistic blowback action that loads the pellet.


Isn't the Crosman 1077 a semiauto?
The venerable Crosman 1077 (second gun down on page) looks like a semiauto and shoots 12 shots, each with just the pull of the trigger, but it's really run by a clever revolver mechanism hidden inside the gun. Each trigger-pull also has to advance the cylinder, and that makes the trigger-pull longer than it would be if all it was doing was releasing the hammer. That's what makes the new Nightstalker so exciting.

The Nightstalker features real blowback action with every shot
Until now, real blowback action was something you could get only from an airsoft gun. The blowback imparts a realistic feel every time the trigger is pulled. It feels like a firearm with so much going on inside the gun.

Crosman had a semiauto pistol back in the 1950s and '60s. The model 600 was a 10-shot .22 pellet pistol that shot as fast as the trigger was pulled. Today, a 600 sells for $200 or more because shooters love the way it handles. The new Nightstalker is just about half that, and it's a rifle, so there will be even more velocity.

Handles many pellets!
The model 600 pistol, has a problem feeding pellets that aren't wadcutters. The Nightstalker has a 12-shot rotary clip, so it won't have that problem. Two clips come with the gun, and you'll be able to order extras - which is highly recommended. You can load pointed pellets, domes and hollowpoints in the Nightstalker clips because the nose shape makes no difference.

How significant is the semiautomatic action?
Until now, if you wanted this kind of rapid firing capability at an affordable price, you had to get the IZH Drozd from Baikal. It's also a CO2 gun, plus it has an electric motor to allow semi- and full-auto fire in short bursts. The Drozd is limited to shooting only round lead balls through its rifled barrel, plus it's more expensive than the Nightstalker. It's a great gun in its own right, but the new Nightstalker offers more ammunition flexibility.

Truly a tactical airgun!
As you can see from the photo, the Nightstalker can hold a host of accessories that will soon be available in the deluxe model. So it's more than just another pellet rifle; it's a new tactical platform! And, with the huge Crosman AirSource cartridge as its power source, you'll get hundreds of shots before it's time for a new one. If you buy extra clips, you can reload quickly and get back in the fun!

If you like fast action and responding to targets of opportunity with speed and precision, the Nightstalker is for you. The Christmas season is now upon us, so supplies may be limited, because every airgunner in America has been patiently waiting for this new gun. If you don't want to be disappointed, the time to order is NOW!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tech Force 79 - a bargain 10-meter target rifle

by Tex Force

If you like to shoot at targets, Compasseco has a rifle you should check out. The Tech Force 79 is a family of CO2 target rifles that offers features usually costing three times as much. If you also like to hunt with an airgun, you're in double luck because the TF 79 is also very powerful - AND it's available in.22 caliber!

Based on the TF 78
The TF 79 is based on the TF 78 that we learned about last week. That rifle is, in turn, based on the famous Crosman 160, a classic CO2 target rifle from the 1950s and 60s. The TF 79 has everything the 78 has, plus many more target features. The trigger is the same finely adjustable trigger Crosman perfected in the final version of the 160. It's based on a crossbow trigger and is extremely adjustable for pull weight, sear engagement and overtravel. It also has a positive manual safety - a rare feature on a target air rifle.

Competition sights
If you shoot at targets, a peep or diopter sight is something you need to have. The TF 79 comes with a finely adjustable rear aperture sight that helps you place your shots right where you want them. At 10 meters, this sight will be as accurate as using a scope! The front globe has replaceable inserts, that allow you to find the right sight for a given situation. You can even install aftermarket inserts.

Competition stock
Notice the deep stock on all the 79s. It naturally raises your eye to the line of sight so you won't have any parallax error. The deeply scalloped pistol grip positions your trigger finger perfectly to squeeze straight back without any sideway influence. Couple this with the crisp trigger, and it will be difficult to miss what you aim at.

Superior barrel
Don't think that because the TF 79 is affordable it isn't accurate. The barrel on this rifle is a legend, as far as accuracy is concerned. Of course, you will get back what you put into the rifle, so we recommend using Tech Force match pellets in either the heavy (8.9-grain) or light (7.6-grain) weights. Try both to discover which works best you and your rifle.

A thumbhole stock - what's THAT about?
So many shooters were buying the TF 79 for sporting use that Compasseco decided to do something about it. They created a special thumbhole stock that really moves the rifle over to the advanced sporter class. Even though they show the rifle with a peep sight, it's really made to mount a scope. Allow me to recommend the Tech Force 8-32 target/hunting scope (second scope down on the page) as the perfect companion to this rifle. Though any scope will work, this one has all the power you need for those really precise shots the rifle is capable of making. And, remember, you need to buy scope rings separately.

I saved the best for last!
The TF 79 is on sale as of the publication of this blog posting. Instead of the normal good price of $179.00, the standard Tech Force 79 (second rifle down on the page) is reduced to just $143.20. Just in time for Christmas, if you can wait that long, this classic target rifle is now more affordable than ever!

Monday, October 17, 2005

A quick look at Tech Force 97, 99 & 78 rifles

by Tex Force

One of the best things about Compasseco is their Tech Force airguns and accessories. I'll go into details in future postings, but today I'd like to take a general look at three of the air rifles they offer.

A great entry into adult airgunning!
For many years, Chinese airguns came into this country with no controls on how well they were made or what features they offered. Compasseco actually started by selling Chinese spring air rifles back in the 1980s. Then, they had a better idea.

Chinese economy with American tastes & quality controls
Because Compasseco was buying so many airguns from them, the Chinese factories were interested in what their largest customer wanted. Compasseco had enough dealers and customers telling them what THEY wanted that, before long, they were starting to make changes to what the Chinese produced. At first, the changes were in the safety and cosmetic areas, but they soon extended into accuracy, power and special features that American shooters said they wanted.

It wasn't long before Compasseco began to develop their own trademarked line of airguns, built to their more demanding specifications. These were called Tech Force and they surpassed any other guns coming out of China. I could talk about a lot of models that unfolded over the years, but for today I'll just briefly touch on three important models for you - the Tech Force 97, 99 and 78 rifles.

Tech Force 97
This underlever spring rifle was an outgrowth of the Chinese QB 38 (later called the Tech Force 38), which was an improvement over the time-honored B3-1. The Tech Force 97 (second rifle down on the page) was and is more powerful than the older 38 and also a lot more accurate. Significant improvements were made to the wood stock for a more American shape, to the quality of the front sight and underlever lock, and the powerplant to be smoother and more consistent. You can read more about the TF 97 on this website in the article, The Tech Force 97.

Compasseco had hoped to compete with European air rifles with their TF97, and in many respects it does. It's sold at a price you simply cannot find in any other seriously powerful spring rifle today. But, in the end, the company wanted to take spring rifles even farther.

Tech Force 99 Magnum
The Tech Force 99 Magnum (third gun down on the page) is all Compasseco's own design. It's the spring airgun they always wanted to build. Where the 97 had grown out of an existing gun, the new 99 Magnum is based on nothing else. It is bigger, more powerful yet just as smooth as the TF 97, and it maintains the same high quality and accuracy. It is truly a magnum, yet the cocking effort is light enough for most older youths and nearly all adults to operate.

Compasseco installs a mainspring from Jim Maccari in this gun as standard. Maccari springs are standard in no other spring gun in the world, and shooters often pay upwards of a hundred dollars just to have Jim tune their rifles with one of his springs. In the 99 Magnum, you get one with the gun for almost nothing!

The TF99 is ready for a scope when you buy it (scope stop is installed), or you can use the excellent fully adjustable sights. This is a big air rifle, so if you want something that's physically smaller, I'd advise you to select a TF 97. For the ultimate in power and accuracy, the TF 99 Magnum is the best Tech Force spring rifle made.

Tech Force 78
The last rifle I'll mention is actually a whole battery of CO2 rifles called the Tech Force 78 (fifth gun down on the page). These are modern recreations of the famous Crosman 160 air rifle of the 1950s and 60s - but with a lot of modern improvements! The standard TF 78 is a sporting rifle that sells for less than half of what a vintage Crosman would bring, yet you get the same power and accuracy PLUS the famous Crosman fully adjustable trigger that only the very last 160s had. Who says the golden age of airgunning is over? It doesn't end there!

Tech Force 78T
The Tech Force 78T (sixth rifle down on the page) is a special version of the 78 that operates with a large bulk CO2 tank or Crosman's newest 88-gram disposable CO2 cartridge. This makes the rifle ideal for target use, which its adjustable trigger and superior accuracy fully support. Even though it is designated for target, this rifle is still as powerful as a sporter, so hunting is certainly possible. Read more about the 78T on this web site at A Tech Force 78T Review. Be sure to also order some Crosman AirSource 88-gram CO2 cylinders (at the bottom of the page) when you buy this rifle.

Of course, there's a lot more to say about Tech Force. We'll get to the other guns and products in another posting, but for today we have looked at three of the classics.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sheridan Streak for the best in airgunning!

by Tex Force

The Sheridan Streak has been made for over 50 years!
The first Sheridan Streak was a Silver Streak (scroll to the bottom of the linked page to see the Silver Streak), initially offered back in 1949. That rifle was made to sell at $19.95 because Sheridan was having a tough time selling their Model A, a premium pneumatic, at $56.50. The new Silver Streak had all the performance and accuracy of the Model A (some people call it the Supergrade today) but was designed to be less costly to manufacture.


This Silver Streak was made around 1951
and looks very similar to the first Silver Streak produced.


The Blue Streak followed shortly thereafter
The Silver Streak was such a success that it put Sheridan on the map! Soon, the company was humming with activity; within a few years (no later than 1954), the Blue Streak was added to the line. Both rifles are identical except for finish.

The Silver Streak is heavily plated with nickel (NEVER chrome, which is typically not used on guns), while the Blue Streak is finished in a matte black paint. The Blue Streak has always been a few dollars less than the Silver Streak, except at the very beginning, because the Silver Streak has to be polished before plating.

Sheridan introduced .20 caliber to the world
The inventors, E.H. Wackerhagen and Bob Kraus, found that the poor quality of pellets available in the 1940s limited the performance of their rifles. They developed their first prototype with a .22 caliber barrel, but they selected .20 caliber for the production guns so they could control the quality of ammo people would use.

Sheridans have always been the most powerful American multi-pump pneumatics because of their proprietary .20 caliber pellet. Though their velocity of 675 f.p.s. on 8 pumps of the mechanism is somewhat slower than a Benjamin pneumatic, the extra weight of the Sheridan pellet makes up for it.

Open sights, peep or scope?
Sheridans come with fine adjustable open sights. A shooter can do wonderful work with these sights, and I have taken rabbits at 35 yards with them. But if you want something even better, try an optional peep sight. Made by the Williams Sight Company, this sight attaches directly to all new Sheridan rifles in holes that are already on the gun. This is, perhaps, the best way to sight a Sheridan.

Some shooters will want a scope. To mount one, you'll first have to install a Sheridan four-piece scope base. It clamps to the barrel and lets you mount medium-height scope rings. I suggest medium-height rings, because I'm also recommending that you mount a smaller scope on a Sheridan. Because you have to pump this rifle, a large scope gets in the way of that operation. I like the Tech Force 39x40 scope (3-9x) (third scope down on the linked page) for a Sheridan.

Don't forget to order pellets!
The best pellets for a Sheridan Streak are the Sheridan S-P50 cylindrical .20 caliber pellets, shown on the page with the Silver Streak rifle. You won't find these listed on the pellets page, but you can order them on the page that shows the rifle. Another great pellet for this rifle is the Crosman Premier in .20 caliber. For best accuracy, buy the pellets in the cardboard box (shown at the top of the page).

These are still the "good old days!"
The Sheridan Streaks have been around for more than half a century, yet in all that time, and though the company changed hands twice and moved once, the rifle is as good today as it was when it was first introduced. The styling has changed several times, but the power, accuracy and overall quality have remained the same throughout the decades. You often hear oldtimers talking about how well things were made back in the good old days. Well, the Sheridan Streak is still made that way today, so you have a chance to join the fun!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Welcome!

by Tex Force

Hi, there. This blog is a part of the Compasseco web site. I will be posting items of interest to airgunners once each week. You can make comments to each post and if there is a question, I'll do my best to answer it for you.

I hope this blog will help you enjoy the fascinating world of airgunning all the more. Watch this spot!

Tex

New Air Guns and Air Rifle Reports

New Air Guns and Air Rifle information will be posted weekly, so check back for new articles each week on leading air guns from Compasseco.