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23 November, 2011

Very Rare But Now Available - the AR2078B Air Rifle

Yes, you read this correctly, this is the Industry Brand AR2078B air rifle, the very rare "competition" version of the popular AR2078A air rifle. Almost never seen in captivity, Archer Airguns has a small number available just in time for the 2011 holiday season. They're in .177 caliber, as you would expect.

Compared to the regular AR2078A, there are number of improvements.

The most obvious is the sidelever cocking mechanism. This replaces the bolt action standard across the QB78 family line. The lever is quick and easy to operate: it gives a lighter action than the normal turnbolt.

Other improvements include a longer, and heavier barrel weight, together with a metal barrel band. I've found that fitting a heavy muzzle brake to QB78-family air rifles improves their accuracy and this heavier muzzle weight is undoubtedly one reason for the factory's claims of improved accuracy for the AR2078B.

Each gun is also supplied with a factory test target and quality inspection label. The 10-shot groups look pretty good to me and are an indication of the quality level the Shanghai factory is capable of achieving.

Finish of these AR2078B models is excellent, with good wood and deep bluing.

If you're a QB78 enthusiast looking for an unusual addition to your collection, or you're simply searching for a high quality, low cost target air rifle that's all wood and metal - just the way all guns used to be - the AR2078B is a "must have". At least while we have them available...


20 November, 2011

The Archer Airguns 2011 Seasonal Sale Is Now On!

There's a variety of special sales offers to be found throughout the store, including a really special deal on our unique QB78 Deluxe/Stoeger scope combo. Picture below.

But wait, there's more...

For the first time ever, we also have a special offer on "the World's best pellet trap". It combines the popular combination of our the Archer Airguns Premium Silent Pellet Trap with the dedicated steel backing plate at a worthwhile price reduction.

Also you'll find many parts and accessory prices have been reduced for the sale, too.

These offers are for a limited time while stock last. When they're gone, they're gone. Have fun!


14 November, 2011

Gamo Whisper Test and Review - Part Two

Noise levels - ah yes, that’s a hard one to measure and test accurately. Also, the noise made by firing an air rifle sounds different when you’re shooting it, compared to what others hear some distance away.

Subjectively, I would say the .177 caliber Gamo Whisper is a quiet air rifle, but only when firing lead pellets. It seemed similar in noise level to the Stoeger X20 Suppressors that I’m used to testing - at least as long as lead pellets were used. Using the supplied Gamo PBA pellets caused a much louder “crack” as the muzzle velocity hovered around the speed of sound. So not only are the PBA pellets less accurate than lead in this Whisper, they’re also louder. And they’re more expensive, too. I’m still struggling to understand the value of the Gamo PBA pellets...

So the Gamo Whisper scores a “pass” on noise levels. But it’s definitely a “F for Fail” when it comes to the 3-9 x 40 scope supplied with this air rifle.

Above, the Gamo Whiper with Gamo 3-9 x 40 scope and mount.

Gamo seems to have really dropped the ball with this scope and - I believe - the other scopes they bundle with their air rifles. It’s all show and no go! Here’s why...

The scope (like all Gamo combo scopes) has no “AO” - Adjustable Objective” and cannot focus even as close as 10 yards. That’s a big disadvantage for any air rifle scope.

The scope itself is puny in size. Now I’m all for small, light scopes, but not when size and weight are achieved simply by going for the lowest possible cost - and that seems to be the case with this scope. This Gamo 3-9x40 scope weighs just 11.5 ounces. By comparison, a Leapers 3-9 x 32AO scope weighs 15.2 ounces (yes, that's just a 32mm objective lens instead of the Gamo 40mm) and Leapers 3-9 x 40AO scope weighs 20.2 ounces! From looking at and using the Gamo scope, I’d say that the low weight is a good indication of poor quality.

The Gamo 3-9 x 40 scope and mount is shown above a Leapers 3-9 x 40AO in this photo.

And then the Gamo scope has a simple duplex reticle. A mil dot reticle really should be mandatory on any air rifle scope, particularly as so many airgunners use the mil dots for “holdover” in the field to compensate for rapid changes of wind or target range.

The Gamo scope is supplied carefully installed in it’s mount, which itself needs to be mounted to the gun by the user and the scope then sighted-in. But incredibly, the scope stop screw - which is absolutely essential to prevent the scope being shaken out of position - is not configured in the “out” position so that it will engage the scope stop rail. Nor is the scope stop and its purpose even mentioned in the instructions. And, oh yes, the scope instructions also tell you to sight-in the scope - at no less than 100 yards!!! - without providing any coherent explanation of how this should be done.

In my opinion this is simply unacceptable for an air rifle that is often purchased by newcomers to our interest - they’re very likely to struggle with inaccuracy and give up on the gun. Maybe they’ll give up on shooting air rifles, too and that would not be good.

But there is hope! Archer Airguns has been developing a couple of Gamo Scope upgrade packages to address these problems. You can see them in our ArcherPelletGuns store and I’l post more details shortly...


10 November, 2011

The QB57 Is Back!

The Industry Brand QB57 air rifle is available again from stock at Archer Airguns! We have all models of this gun in stock, in both calibers, including the Leapers scope combos.

You can see more about theQB57, including the correct procedure for cocking and loading, in my YouTube video at

For everyone who's contacted us about availability of this model, thanks for your patience!


06 November, 2011

Photos and Muzzle Velocity Figures from QB78 Deluxe Custom Shop

Most customers for the Archer Airguns QB78 Deluxe Custom Shop have requested their guns be fitted with both the XP Tune Kit and the XP Tuned Valve, gaining significant improvements in muzzle velocity.

With this combination in .177 caliber, we're showing Gold Service muzzle velocities of around 750 fps at our normal 65 degrees F test temperature with Peak wadcutter pellets - that's an additional 150 fps compared to factory condition. This is just under 10 ft/lbs. As the muzzle velocity of these air rifles increases by about 2 fps per degree F, this means they will shoot at about 790 fps at 85 degrees F - that's 11 ft/lbs muzzle energy.

In .22 caliber at 65 degrees F, we're seeing around 640 fps with 13.85 grain Peak wadcutters, that's 12.6 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. The performance figures for these guns at 85 degrees F is about 680 fps and just over 14 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

Here's an interesting QB78 Deluxe Custom Shop gun, fitted with the left hand Weaver-style breech, Oversize Bolt Handle - and a red dot sight for testing!

And here's another unusual gun - it's not even a QB78 at all, but is a Custom Shop QB79, fitted with Weaver breech, QB79 Paintball Tank Adapter and many other goodies.

One thing's for sure, no two guns out of the QB78 Deluxe Custom Shop are the same!


03 November, 2011

Gamo Whisper Test and Review - Part One

The Gamo Whisper is a very popular air rifle, so I decided to shoot one in .177 caliber and see how it performs. This review covers some of the test results.

First of all, this gun can be accurate! I shot the best 10-shot group I've ever made with any air rifle when using Stoeger X-Field lead pellets. This was a real "one hole group" at 10 yards as you can see from the test target below. But it was much less accurate with the Gamo PBA pellets supplied with the gun, as the second test target shows. This confirms my on-going opinion that lead-free pellets have a long way to go, with the honorable exception of Stoeger X-Speed lead free pellets which are extremely accurate.

Above, the excellent test target shot with Stoeger X-Field pellets. Below, the same shooter, same gun, same range, but Gamo PBA pellets. Accuracy is not good at all.
So, this Gamo Whisper can be accurate, but not with Gamo PBA pellets. Then there's the matter of muzzle velocity. Gamo leads the pack in crowing about muzzle velocity and proclaims on the gun (and everywhere else) that it shoots at 1,200 fps with PBA pellets and 1,000 fps with lead. The actual results - 1120 fps with PBA ammo and 860 fps with medium weight lead pellets, as you can see from the test targets - fall somewhat short.

Now I'm not surprised that the actual muzzle velocities did not meet the manufacturer's claims - I didn't expect them to - but it continues to be disappointing how many misleading claims are made for the majority of air rifles, penalizing the relatively few manufacturers that actually tell the truth about their products.

On the subject of misleading claims, on the packaging for this air rifle, Gamo claims that "Performance Ballistic Alloy (PBA) enhances penetration, velocity and accuracy up to 25%"

Well, I'm not going to argue about penetration - I didn't test that but I would expect the PBA pellets to penetrate better, and the muzzle velocity on test did deliver at least the claimed muzzle velocity increase, but the accuracy claim is clearly unjustified. And note that the PBA pellets did travel faster, but they didn't impart any greater muzzle energy than the heavier lead pellets traveling slower. In both cases, the muzzle energy was around 14.25 ft/lbs. PBA pellets certainly travel faster than lead, but there's no more "power" in them.

And you'll notice the trigger pull weight came in at 5 lbs and above. Gamo's trigger pull weight specs (on their website) are very precise - 3.74 lbs. Another failed claim...

Next time, I'll comment on the noise levels produced by Gamo Whisper - after all, with a name like that, it should be quiet, and talk about the scope that is supplied with the gun.


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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