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30 June, 2011

Stainless Steel Screws Improve The Appearance Of Your Stoeger Air Rifle

As you know, I'm a great fan of the Stoeger air rifles for their combination of quality, performance and price.

But one thing has always bugged me about them - those cheap front stock screws really look cheap! So here's the solution...

Archer Airguns has introduced a Stainless Stock Screw Kit for Stoeger X5, X10 and X20 air rifles. This provides two beautiful, high quality stainless steel stock screws to replace the black, Philips-head items on the standard gun. Also included are two matching stainless steel washers and an Allen wrench to tighten the new stock screws into place. To keep them tight - and your guns shooting accurately - we recommend that a drop of Loctite Blue threadlocker be applied to these new screws when you install them.

These stainless steel screws look good with a wood or cammo stock, but they really look excellent contrasted against a black, synthetic stock on Stoeger air rifles.

There's also a similar stainless steel stock screw kit for the Stoeger X50 air rifles. For a small cost and a few minutes of your time, you can make a lasting improvement in the looks of your favorite air rifle!


28 June, 2011

At last! Test results from a dry Stoeger X20 Suppressor

As you may have read, I've previously published predictions for performance of the Stoeger X20 Suppressor air rifle in .22 caliber in "dry", non-dieseling state - in other words, representative of the gun's long-term performance.

Today, I found a factory-fresh, dry gun in Archer Airguns Gold Service testing - the first one to date. The test target is posted here and makes an interesting comparison with the predictions I had made for an "average" gun based on the previously-available data.
So, it seems that this test is on the high - that's mostly good - side of my expectations for an average gun in dry condition. But it's pretty close.

I hope that this will be further confirmation of "real world" performance for those reading reviews and tests of the Stoeger X20 Suppressor before deciding to make a purchase of this excellent-value air rifle!


25 June, 2011

Most Popular Scope Sighting Video Exceeds Half a Million Views

Amazingly, the video I posted on YouTube a couple of years ago describing a simple method of sighting-in an air rifle scope has long been the most popular scope sighting video on YouTube.

But now, it's gone even better as there have been over half a million views of this video - actually over 510,000 views - since it was made!

I'm delighted to have helped so many people who obviously have had an issue with sighting-in their scope - as you can read in the "Comments" posted on the video page.

The video features a prototype CAR78a carbine (now available again, incidentally, after a break), together with a Leapers 3-9 x 50AO scope. One element of the video that seems to have caught people's attention is the "through the scope" views that show exactly what you see when making the elevation and windage corrections.

Thanks to all who have viewed this video and thanks to all for your supportive comments on YouTube.


17 June, 2011

Hammerli AR20FT - US Model Performance?

Newly-arriving in the US market at the end of June is the Hammerli AR20FT. This is a very interesting-looking new field-target air rifle from Umarex, but there's something that doesn't make sense about the specifications...

For our store - as well as others - gives the muzzle velocity as being only 560fps, which is hardly enough for field target shooting! How did we get this figure? Well, it's based on Umarex data.

But I think there's a little confusion and I have a question in to the Umarex technical folk about it right now.

I suspect that the 580fps muzzle velocity actually relates to the German market gun (which is rated at just 5.3 ft/lb in .177 caliber). There's also a 11.8 ft/lb version with a muzzle velocity of about 790 fps - this sounds much more like a sensible tool for field target use here in the USA and other countries that use the 12 ft/lb maximum for this discipline.

A little searching on the German Umarex site (it helps to be able to read some German!) leads to a PDF of the instruction manual for the AR20FT and I've snapped a page below - the data is in metric units, 16 J(oules) is 11.8 ft/lbs and 240 m/s is 790 fps.

And then there's the question of the operating pressure. Thee page here shows 300 bar (4,350 psi) and 200 bar (3,000 psi) options. Again I've asked Umarex which version will be coming here (or if there's a choice) and how many shots per fill will be achieved. I'll post the results once we have them.

This is a great-looking air rifle and looks like a very interesting, mid-priced FT rig, complete with scope. I'm sure all will be revealed shortly...


15 June, 2011

New Tuned Valve for QB78 Family Air Rifles

Introduced this week is a new tune kit from Archer Airguns for the QB78 family of air rifles, including the Tech Force TF78 and TF79 and SMK XS78 ranges. This kit is based on an innovative, tuned valve and adds 70 fps to the muzzle velocity of a standard, factory gun.

This tuned valve kit includes a replacement, high-flow breech seal, barrel O rings and modified valve.

The valve itself is opened-up to allow the freeer flow of CO2 - this is what provides the increased muzzle velocity. As you can see from the following photograph, the "XP" Tuned Valve has slots precision-milled in the Piercing Body (QB78 part 0401) to allow more gas to pass into the valve. This is assisted by a completely new high-flow spacer part that replaces QB78 parts 0404 and 0405 in the factory valve. Again, the result is improved gas flow. Finally, the factory dust filter and screen is discarded, again in the interest of improved gas flow.

Performance results are described in the following chart. (click to enlarge)

Compared to a factory gun, the "XP" Tuned Valve Kit provides an increase of 70 fps in muzzle velocity - to about 610 fps for a .22 caliber QB78 family air rifle at 75 degrees F. That's about 11.4 ft/lbs of muzzle energy, an increase of 28% over the factory spec. .177 guns will be shooting at about 710 fps.

If the "XP" Tuned Valve kit is fitted in addition to an Archer Airguns "XP" Tune Kit, then the muzzle velocity climbs by a massive 130fps compared to a factory gun, making 670 fps in .22 caliber at 75 degrees F - that's a muzzle energy of about 13.8 ft/lbs - an increase of 54% over the factory spec. In .177, the gun will be shooting at 770 fps with this combination at 75 degrees F.

Obviously, such a huge increase in performance does not come without using more gas. This is the reason why I suggest fitting the Archer Airguns Hammer Debounce Device (HDD) to your gun in addition to our tune kit and tuned valve. With the HDD fitted, too, you will obtain about 35 "good" shots, before the point of impact begins to drop from one fill of 2 x 12 Gram Powerlets.

And that 770 fps in .177 caliber for a QB78 fitted with the "XP" Tuned Valve and "XP" Tune Kit? Due to the increasing pressure of CO2 at higher temperatures, this configuration will peak at about 810 fps at 95 degrees F.

How about that for a performance increase? And with our performance kits, you can do it yourself!


12 June, 2011

Stoeger X20S Suppressor Test Data Performance Review

With so much interest in the new, quiet, Stoeger X20S Suppressor air rifle, I've been asked many questions about its performance. So, this post gives a review of the "real world" performance test data we have captured during Archer Airguns Gold Service testing of the .22 caliber model.

To cut to the chase, Archer Airguns data indicates that realistic performance expectations from an AVERAGE Stoeger X20 Suppressor in .22 caliber over time is as follows:
- Muzzle energy 14 - 16 ft/lbs
- Muzzle velocity 650-700 fps with ~ 14.5 Grain lead pellets
- Shot variability (Standard Deviation) 7 - 8 fps
- Trigger pull weight 4 - 5 lbs (about 2 lbs with aftermarket GTX trigger)

Make no mistake, this is very good performance for an air rifle of this type and price, particularly when combined with the excellent accuracy and quietness of the X20S Suppressor - as this test target shows!

This Gold Service test target - shot with Stoeger X-Field lead pellets - gives a good indication of the performance you can expect to see from a typical "dry" gun. Note that the domed pellets do not make clear "cut out" holes in the card target, but you can still see that they made a good group. This gun was fitted with a GTX trigger, hence the lower pull weight, otherwise, this performance was given by a fairly "dry" gun, new and in factory condition.

For those unfamiliar with the technology of spring-powered air rifles such as the Suppressor, I'll explain the "dry" comments..

All air rifle manufacturers use oil when assembling guns - as you would expect. But the amount applied varies from individual gun to gun. In any spring-powered air rifle, this oil will be literally burned due to the extreme air pressures generated by spring-powered air rifles when firing. The oil literally "Diesels"!

This dieseling effect increases both the muzzle velocity of new spring-powered air rifle and the variability of muzzle velocity from shot-to-shot (known as Standard Deviation). Archer Airguns extensive Gold Sevice test data shows that - on average - the standard deviation of a spring-powered air rifle falls as the dieseling subsides: the oil from assembly is burned away by continued shooting until the gun becomes "dry".

As we test hundreds of new air rifles, we inevitably find some that are already quite "dry" from the factory, while others diesel significantly. Reviewing and analyzing this data allows us to plot the Standard Deviation range for a particular type of air gun. This data indicates that the Standard Deviation for "dry" X20 air rifles is about 7 - 8 fps. This is a very good figure! Here's a graph of this test data for all Stoeger X10, X20 and X50 air rifles.

By reviewing this performance data, we can set the baseline Standard Deviation for a dry X20S Suppressor at about 7 - 8 fps. Then by plotting actual Gold Service test results of muzzle velocity against Standard Deviation and generating a "line of best fit" we see the long-term performance expectation from the following chart.

And one other thing about dieseling. As it decreases, the air rifle shoots more accurately (as we've demonstrated with other Gold Service test data on the QB57 air rifle and published elsewhere in this blog). So, your gun will also shoot more accurately over time as it dries out.

So that's how we derived our long-term, real-world performance data expectations for the Stoeger X20S Suppressor. It's based on data from testing many guns to achieve an average. Of course, like any average, "your mileage may vary"!

I hope this review gives a good indication of what you can really expect from this excellent, quiet, air rifle. You can buy the Stoeger X20S Suppressor from our store and have it fitted with the improved GTX trigger too - it's a great performance package for quiet plinking and hunting small game.


03 June, 2011

New, Useful Archer Airguns Pellet Holder

Just in stock at Archer Airguns is this most useful pellet tin holder. It's ideal for carrying a tin of pellets when you're out shooting in the field!

Hand-made in Pennsylvania from high quality leather, this pellet holder threads on to a belt up to 2-inches wide. It holds one standard-size tin of pellets. Having tried it, I can't live without one every time I'm shooting outdoors!

Pellets not included.


About This Blog

This blog shares information, ideas and knowledge about air rifles. It compliments the information Stephen publishes on the Archer Airguns website, on YouTube and the Chinese Airgun Forum.

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