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30 August, 2013

First Review and Test of the new Stoeger ATAC air rifle.

At about 6:00PM today (30 August) the UPS Freight 18-wheeler opened-up it's doors and out came a load of the new Stoeger ATAC Suppressor air rifles!

Archer Airguns has both .177 and .22 caliber guns in stock and we will be shipping from tomorrow - 31 August.

Here's a few initial thoughts about this long-awaited and exciting new model. It looks to be a very good air rifle that will be popular with many shooters.

Obviously this is not a full review, but we'll be working on that over the next few days.

The ATAC is similar in size and weight to the current Stoeger X20 Suppressor. The main obvious external differences are the new shape stock and the different scope.

Whereas the 4 x 32 scope fitted to the X20 Suppressor is small and compact, the 4-16 x 40AO scope fitted to the ATAC is just about as long as can be accommodated on this gun. The 4-16 x 40AO scope is mounted with Weaver/Picatinny rings - a sensible move to tame the recoil. The optics seem sharp and it has a Duplex reticle. No mil dots again for Stoeger. This scope is calibrated in Meters rather than feet, but I feel this will be a minor point for most users at normal airgun shooting ranges.

I found the stock to be very comfortable to shoot, with an excellent cheek weld. The buttstock has a half-inch spacer, giving a length of pull of 14 inches without and 14 1/2-inches with the spacer. The spacer also has a sling point, although you will need the accessory sling swivel to mount a sling to the forend of the air rifle.

The first few shots give muzzle velocities of about 720 in .22 caliber using Stoeger X-Field 14.66 grain pellets ( ~ 16 ft/lbs) and 850 fps in .177 cal using 8.64 grain Stoeger X-Fields ( ~14 ft/lbs). This is similar performance to that of the X20 Suppressor and is about as expected.

The noise level firing the Stoeger ATAC seemed to be similar to that of the X20 Suppressor - in other words very quiet. As the barrel assembly appears to be identical on both models, this is hardly surprising.

Cocking effort for the ATAC felt somewhat harder than for the X20 Suppressor. This is a typical effect of gas ram airguns, so there was no surprise here either.

This photo shows a comparison of the ATAC and the X20 Suppressor. The ATAC looks longer because of perspective: both air rifles are actually about the same length.

Please note that the ATAC-specific accessories such as the bipod, sling, front sling stud and carrying case etc are not yet available.

Many people have been waiting a long time for this new air rifle, so I'm expecting demand for the Stoeger ATAC Suppressor to be very strong!


20 August, 2013

How Pellet Choice Affects Group Size

We test most of the Shanghai Airgun Factory manufactured guns - such as the QB78 and QB57 with "The Peak" wadcutter pellets. These give generally good results with most airguns with a muzzle velocity of less than about 800fps and we use them as a good general purpose pellet for Archer Airguns Gold Service testing.

But recently, Paul tested a QB57 air rifle and "just knew" that it could do better than the group he had achieved. So he tested the same gun with Stoeger X-Field pellets (re-branded H&N Field Target Trophy).

Below you can see the results. Same shooter, same distance, same gun, same number of pellets fired in each string, consecutive shot strings, just different pellets. Paul was absolutely right. That QB57 could shoot better than the first test showed!

This is a simple example that shows why it's very worthwhile to experiment with different types of pellets in your air rifles. Every airgun is an individual and will have its' own preferences. You just have to find the pellets it prefers!


15 August, 2013

Crosman Features Archer Airguns Repair Service on Croswords Blog

I'm delighted to see that the latest post on the Crosman corporate blog - Croswords - features Archer Airguns!

The Crosman blog post features Archer Airguns' repair services, obviously highlighting the fact that we specialize in reseals to Crosman PCP air rifles, including the Benjamin Discovery, Benjamin Marauder and Crosman Challenger models.

Doug and Mike are the primary specialists for Archer Airguns repairs - so you'll probably see one of their names on the documentation that accompanies your repaired airgun - although I check every repair personally before it's returned to its owner.

All three of us (Mike, Doug and I) are Crosman factory trained and Archer Airguns uses jigs identical to those used on the Crosman production line to ensure that O rings are not inadvertently torn when reassembling these PCP air rifles.

Archer Airguns plans to introduce more repair services in the future for more Crosman airguns. Check out our Repair Services page for more details.


04 August, 2013

Testing at Shanghai Airguns - AR2078B and AR2079B Air Rifles

Both the AR2078B and AR2079B air rifles are tested for accuracy at the Shanghai factory and each of these guns ships with this factory test target. In a previous blog, I've posted test targets for the AR2078B, so this post shows how a sample AR2079B performs.

The AR2078B and AR2079B are actually very similar airguns. Both are sidelever cocking target rifles with sophisticated aperture - or peep - sights that are based on the QB78 and powered by CO2. The main difference is that the AR2078B uses two x 12 gram Powerlets for propulsion, while the AR2079B accepts a paintball tank in just the same way as the QB79.

Here's the factory test target for an AR2079B.

Below we see the Archer Airguns Gold Service test target for the same air rifle. The shooting is very similar, as you can see.

The Shanghai factory test targets are shot on the 10 meter range on the second floor of the main factory building in the QA department. This is it, below. As my photograph was taken during the workers' Lunch break, I was able to have a clear shot of their setup.

Note that the range is equipped with chronographs and a lead dust extraction system (the air intakes above each shooting position). It's a very nice arrangement and I loved the lampshades above the Chronies!


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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