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26 September, 2013

Archer Airguns 160 Repeater Upgrade Featured in Crosman Blog

The Archer Airguns 160 Repeater Upgrade - which converts a classic Crosman 160 into a 10-shot repeater - has been featured in the latest post of Crosman Corporation's "Croswords" blog.

Here's how the 160 breech looks, in original single-shot form and as the 10-shot 160 Repeater.

Amazingly, both the original Crosman 160 and the 160 Repeater were designed in the same town - Fairport NY, USA - but 58 years apart! Crosman designer Rudy Merz produced the classic 160, while Stephen Archer designed the 160 Repeater Upgrade.

For lovers of the old Crosman 160, a key feature of the 160 Repeater upgrade is that it is completely reversible.

The Repeater is a "drop in" upgrade, with no permanent modifications required to this classic air rifle: the 160 Repeater Upgrade Kit can be removed at any time and the gun restored to its original single-shot configuration with no sign of its racy new multi-shot capability!


25 September, 2013

New Instructional Video for QB78 Repeater Upgrade Kit

Just recently posted is a new YouTube video giving full instructions for how to install the QB78 Repeater Upgrade Kit in an existing airgun.

We show the upgrade being undertaken on a QB78 Deluxe, but of course, the procedure is almost identical for all QB78, QB79, AR2078 and AR2079 models, as well as for the older Tech Force TF78 and TF79 and even the venerable Crosman 160.

I hope this will be useful to the many folks who are interested in upgrading their existing single-shot QB78-type air rifle to 10-shot Repeater functionality.


12 September, 2013

Umarex Fusion First Test Targets and Review

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but the Umarex Fusion CO2 air rifle is finally here! Archer Airguns sample gun arrived today and I ran it through its paces for an initial test before I take it apart...

As many people know, the Umarex Fusion is a development of the Xisico XS60C which, in turn, was a development of the QB78. And of course, the QB78 is a modern clone of the original Crosman 160 of 1955, or thereabouts. So, CO2 air rifles powered by two Powerlets have a long history and there are strong design similarities across all of these guns.

The photograph shows the Fusion (with scope) alongside an original XS60C and a QB78.

The original XS60C - there’s a new version arriving soon that will be very similar to the Umarex Fusion - was a CO2 air rifle of great potential. Unfortunately it suffered from seemingly unstoppable gas leaks and an automatic safety that did not work consistently. That’s why Archer Airguns never sold the original XS60C, although I really, really liked the gun if it could just have been safe - like the Fusion.


High points of the Umarex Fusion are as follows:

- The noise reduction system works. It’s quiet. Not Marauder quiet, but still much quieter than a QB78.

- I detected no gas leaks.

- Although this was a short test, the new automatic safety clearly works. I’m sure that Umarex has done much more testing than me and are very sure of that!

- Muzzle velocity is less than I expected but still OK. I found 630-640 fps with “normal” 8 - 9 Grain pellets. Umarex claims 700 fps with “lead pellets”, probably based on 7.0 Grain RWS Hobby pellets - and likely at a higher temperature than the 68 degrees F I tested at. The muzzle velocity of all CO2 air rifles like this increases by about 2 fps per degree Farenheit - so any muzzle velocity claim that does not include at least the ambient temperature along with the pellet weight is really not worth the paper it’s printed on.

- My test gun was very pellet “picky”. Will this be typical? Obviously I don’t know yet.


For this first test review, I simply set up the Fusion as I would for a normal “Gold Service” test of a QB78 - as we’ve done thousands of times over many years.

Benchmark performance for a QB78 in our standardized testing environment is:
- Temperature approximately 65 degrees F
- “The Peak” wadcutter pellets (7.92 grain in .177 caliber)
- 10 shot group in the 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch range at 10 yards
- Muzzle velocity in the 610 - 620 range for .177 caliber
- Standard deviation for 10 shots around 5 fps
- 50 “good” shots per fill (before the point of impact begins to fall)
- Sighting undertaken with a Leapers red dot sight (no magnification)

This old test target gives an example of a QB78 Deluxe in factory condition (except for a 2-stage trigger conversion) that shot a little faster than usual - in the 635fps range with Peak wadcutters at 62 degrees F. But it’s fairly representative and so is a good baseline for our Umarex Fusion test.


So here’s the first 5 test targets I shot with the Umarex Fusion, in order and just as I shot them.

Target 1 gave poor accuracy with the Peak pellets that usually work well in QB78s. I tended to spread them across the target, as you can see. But Standard deviation - muzzle velocity consistency - was excellent and muzzle velocity OK at 638 fps.


For Target 2, I decided to try that other great general purpose pellet, Crosman Premier Light hollowpoints - as widely sold at WalMart.

Whoa! What happened here? Muzzle velocity and consistence were good, but my target looked like one from a shotgun, not an air rifle! This is unfortunate as many Fusion customers are likely to buy these pellets from WalMart, in spite of the manual’s exhortation to use only RWS pellets.


Target 3 was shot with Stoeger X-Speed pellets. These are the best-performing lead free pellets that I’ve found. Here the group was much better and the muzzle velocity hovered around 700 fps. Still below Umarex claims for the Fusion, but not bad. I called one flyer from this target.


Target 4 restored my confidence that I could actually shoot! The Stoeger X-Match wadcutter pellets gave good results and a group that’s about as good as I can normally achieve with any air rifle.

Finally! That’s more like it! Target 5 gave excellent accuracy with Stoeger X-Field pellets, although it was clear that the Fusion was starting to loose muzzle velocity from around shot 40 - rather than shot 50 as I had expected.


So there’s my first review and test of the Umarex Fusion. It will certainly not be the last and I look forward to the arrival of the similar “new” XS60C as well.


04 September, 2013

Test Targets and Review for Stoeger ATAC Air Rifle

Here's some Archer Airguns Gold Service test targets for the new Stoeger ATAC air rifle.

In review, we can see that in .177 caliber, the Stoeger ATACs tested are shooting around 880fps with 8.64 grain Stoeger X-Field pellets. That's just under 15 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. Standard Deviation is very well controlled for a new gun at less than 8 fps for the 10 shots.

The .22 caliber guns tested give a muzzle velocity in the 715 - 750fps range with Stoeger X-Field (14.66 grain) pellets. Muzzle energy is in the 16.5 - 18 ft/lbs range. Again Standard Deviation is good at between 4.5 and 12 fps for 10 shots.

Note that the trigger pull weight varies around 5 - 6lbs with the factory trigger This is normal for all Stoeger Airguns. The GTX Generation-II trigger (which is specified by most of our customers for these guns) gives a much better pull weight of 3 lbs or less, as you can see in three of the test targets, together with improved feel and shorter length of pull. The GTX is a great improvement for practical shooting of these air rifles!

In summary, performance of the new ATAC is very much as anticipated. The guns are quiet: very similar to the noise level of the Stoeger X20 Suppressor.

Paul, who shot these targets, feels that accuracy is excellent - at or above our normal tested results for Stoeger Airguns. He and I both find the ATAC comfortable to shoot and like the 4 - 16 x 40AO scope.

This is an excellent new air rifle.


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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