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Thread: Springer vs. Gas Cylinder Break BBL.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    Springer vs. Gas Cylinder Break BBL.

    I'm interested in a pellet rifle for general shooting fun, but also for some serious small hunting from time to time.

    I understand the new gas piston guns are a bit smoother shooting and can be left cocked for quite a bit of time while shooting and hunting without harming the cylinder since it's not just spring operated.

    I also understand you can wear out the spring on a springer by leaving it cocked for extended periods...but....
    for normal shooting that wouldn't be much of a problem.

    I guess my question to folks who are more experienced in all of this than me is,
    if your just hunting with a springer a few times a year, does it really wear it out quickly to cock it and maybe shoot a squirrel an hour later?

    Seems the gas piston guns are probably best for hunting, but then again, it seems the springer in the same model as the gas gun tends to shoot faster speeds.

    I know if you made a habit of cocking a springer and shooting it an hour or two later all year long would wear the spring out in short order, but will it really wear them out on just occasional hunts a year to do this?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Material for springs has improved a lot over the last couple of decades. What material a given manufacture use in their guns seems to be a secret.
    I don't know how much spring tension is lost in a few hours, but leaving it cocked for a year is very noticeable.
    I have never noticed ill effects hunting with a spring air rifle loosing power, but never gave it a good test.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by clodhopper View Post
    I don't know how much spring tension is lost in a few hours, but leaving it cocked for a year is very noticeable.
    I have never noticed ill effects hunting with a spring air rifle loosing power, but never gave it a good test.
    This is what made my decision to go with a Nitro/Gas piston, everything i read claimed if they were gonna fail they will do it when the rifle is brand new, and it will happen VERY QUICKLY, otherwise they will Go n Go, i read where they claim you can cock a Nitro/Gas gun and leave it however long you choose? I have no idea how much Validity there is to this? I would never leave either of my Air Rifles cocked, just seems like a WRONG thing to do. The same article i read was sorta down on the Springers, weak springs over time/use, and broken springs. Pretty sure it was Pyramid air where i read this? Maybe i can find it again

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    If civilization fell one might be able to make a replacement coil spring, though manufacture of reliable coil springs was more art than science for most of the planet till well after WW2.
    Recharging a nitrogen piston cylinder requires some higher level of technology.

    But that's basically academic. If a spring breaks you buy one and if its a really strong spring its best you have it installed by an experienced air gun smith who has the proper tools.
    If a gas piston fails you pay to have it replaced or repaired. Nothing last forever.

    I expect most nitro piston rifles could be converted to use a spring instead if absolutely necessary.

    I haven't seen any under lever nitro piston rifle yet, I suppose someone makes them some where.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks for the replies.

    Multigunner, Hatsun makes an underlever gas piston rifle and i believe i saw a couple other brands over on the pyramid air site. Hatsan calls theirs a vortex piston, but they're all just gas pistons regardless of the name the maker gives it such as vortex, nitro, etc.

    Guys, im not talking about cocking a springer and leaving it cocked all day or all year.
    What i was after is how quickly would it wear down a springer if it was cocked for an hour or two between shots, such as on a still hunt for squirrels just a few hunting trips a year.

    If they haven't been hunted much, you could probably get away with cocking the gun once you spot one, but if they're spooky, that movement and noise might cost you a shot.

    From the do it yourself videos i've seen, the springers certainly look easier to work on than a gas piston version.
    It does look like the gas pistons are the best way to go for leaving it cocked in the woods for hunting.

    I may wind up getting one of each in the same model just to test it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clodhopper View Post
    Material for springs has improved a lot over the last couple of decades. What material a given manufacture use in their guns seems to be a secret.
    I don't know how much spring tension is lost in a few hours, but leaving it cocked for a year is very noticeable.
    I have never noticed ill effects hunting with a spring air rifle loosing power, but never gave it a good test.
    Thanks clodhopper,

    I may give a springer a try. I would think if it's a well made gun, it would last a long time the way i'm talking about hunting with it.
    Be interesting to test one out anyway.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    "Multigunner, Hatsun makes an underlever gas piston rifle "

    I looked it up on Pyramid Air and found that its specifications and customer reviews did not compare favorably to the much cheaper Browning Leverage which I've had my eye on recently.

    Of the two I'd definitely go with the Browning, as mentioned its much cheaper and has a much higher stated maximum velocity. It also has fewer complaints and a nicer stock. Reviews on other sites are also very good.

    At the stated max velocity figures it could lose some power over years of hard use and still out perform the Hatsan.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Either way a lot is happening after you squeeze off the shot, the piston is springing forward either by spring power or compressed air, that is why it takes a lot of proper practice to shoot them well. Don't get wrapped up in numbers ie: inflated velocity/energy...the cheaper outfits pad those figures a lot using alloy pellets. In the short turn you will shoot a PCP more accurately.....cheap springers are hard to shoot well with usually poor triggers.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    I'll check the Browning out later tonight. I did see it the other day, but didn't read the reviews.
    I do like the idea fo the "fixed bbl." on the underlevers. Should be a bit more accurate for scope use than a break bbl.

    Lol, i'm starting to feel a bit like a kid again researching all these air rifles.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    I could easily see a pcp gun in the future. I almost ordered a Benjamin Discovery in 22 as a intro into that very thing.
    The price is certainly right on that one as it comes with a pump, but for now at least, i want to stick to a good break or underlever to start with.

    The pcp guns would certainly be great hunting rifles and i AM interested in them.
    Last edited by 35 shooter; 03-10-2017 at 10:45 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    my son has been using a springer for years. it still shoots very accurate.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Beeman imported one called the dual magnum in 22 Cal. Itmwas a limited run of alittle less than 200 units. Beeman was actually the importer and they were manufactured b Theobin (sp) . The cocking system was a ratchet type design and you could either shoot half cocked or full. They were well put together and got cost prohibitive to shoot. If I was looking for a gas ram or a hunting springer, I'd look for a Beeman RX1 Springer or its gas ram mate the RX2 in 22. For a dual roll predominately plinker/hunter, the RX9 in 177 is nice. If you really want accuracy, try a side cocking springer.

    The pre-charged pnuematic (air tank rifles) are nice but there is alot of refilling paraphinalia $$$ to go along with them. I got into them early and ended up with both a compressor and a cf tank. They are like a 20 round bolt action 22. You can get more shots off than 20 but that is where the usual sweet spot is for the on board regulator. After that velocity starts to drop off and so does the trajectory.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    GreG S,

    Those rx1 and 2 Beeman rifles sound great, but may be a bit more than i want to put into this to start with.
    Bet they're super accurate though.

    On the other hand, the Umarex Octane gas piston 22 cal. @ a little over $200.00 and a 3 yr. warranty is starting to look good to me.
    Tons of good reviews on a rifle in that price range.
    Quite and easy to shoot according what i've read on it so far.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    One thing a lot of people do not realize is that a big magnum airgun is just that, BIG. Either the gas ram, or spring, can be a handful to both cock and hold. I would suggest that you actually handle a few different ones, and if possible, shoot several times. Some of the springer magnums, which can be a fine hunting rifle, can take up to 60# of cocking force. Some are long. I would not get too concerned with velocity. Accuracy will get you more fun. Check Pyramid Air for video's on many different models, they are very helpful.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I have not bought a new airgun in quite a while. All the new stuff is pretty intriguing.

    Gas pistons, the bigger bore PCP, it seems like I want all the expevsive features.

    Heavy projectiles 100+ grain, 750+ FPS pretty much means PCP in today's offerings.

    I already have molds very similar to the air venture pellets in .30 and 9mm. Along with casting tools and lead.

    I did purchase a scuba tank back when I had a job, but going the PCP way would almost require a compressor, I do not know of any dive shops nearby.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  16. #16
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Well I recently bought the Hatsan 135 QE Vortex.

    I also have a cheap chinese Spring gun, the B3.

    Now if you want a cheap spring gun Amazon still has those for sale at 55$. I bought two, and if you want to stop by I'll give you the second one, still in the box, never opened.

    It has a definate "twang" to it when it goes off. You feel it recoiling first one way, then the other.
    This is the only air rifle that I have ever had thow a scope clean off it when fired.

    The Hatsan Vortex on the other hand is truly a magnum air rifle. Available in .177, .22, .25 and .30 caliber. Yeah, it has enough power to launch a .30 caliber pellet at respectable speeds.

    And it has some stuff going on inside as well. But overall it is quieter, smoother, less hold sensitive.

    This is the thing about bigger springers that most people don't seem to get. A magnum spring gun is touchy sensitive about exactly how it is held. Change your hand position an inch and you may change point of impact an inch.

    The gas piston/vortex is much less touchy. Much smoother in cocking, and in firing.
    As far as replacing either in a SHTF scenario, you guys left out one point. You don't have to make a gas piston from scratch. Go steal a few from tailgates of SUV's until you find one that fits and gives you the power you are looking for.

    In many cases the only real difference is the spring or vortex itself with perhaps a small piece of plastic use to switch from spring to vortex or back.

    If you are interested in the guts of air rifles I would recommend you watch a few of the video's this gentleman has made. He is quite knowledgeable about them in general and Hatsan in particular.
    He does run Hatsan down a bit, "you never know what your going to get" which may be true. But for someone who appears to not care for them much he seems to own and have worked on a awful lot of them.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfG...6BTFtfg9E9Nmnw

    I like him, he is an ex plumber, down to earth, common sense and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.

    I do think he leans more to springs where I lean more to Vortex/gas ram. You can make up your own mind.

    Last, while I truly am coming to appreciate the 135 QE Vortex, it is not IMO a perfect rifle for hunting. At 9+ pounds bare it is a heavy monster. I think either the 95 or the Edge/striker would be better with reasonable speed/power and lighter weight.

    Have a care what scopes you choose. Your old deer rifle scope may not last long on a springer.

    Either Leapers/UTG or Hammer have good reputation for decent air rifle scopes in the 60$ price range. Hawke if you want to spend more for better quality.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have the Benjamin Discovery PCP that I like a lot. I do run it on CO2 over HPA because of the cost of refills. A 24 oz. CO2 bottle is not expensive to own or refill at about 4.00 at Academy. Mine is in .177 because when I got mine, there were some apparent barrel problems with the .22 cal. Light weight and easy to use.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    The hatsan 30 cal vortex is interesting, but the 600 fps velocity makes me think PCP.
    I have couple old Chinese springers around. saving them for gun buy back event near me.
    I have a nice older Anschutz double piston spring gun, excellent trigger, excellent accuracy about 11 pounds and 600 fps. It gets some use unfriendlys.
    Still think 800 Fps and a chunk of lead big enough to make raccoons give up is what I want.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  19. #19
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    The Hatsan Vortex 30 cal. @ 550 fps. is putting out 34 fpe @ the muzzle, and still has 23 fpe @ 50 yds.
    That is a serious pellet "hunting" rifle for sure in a break bbl.

    Definitely a rifle for the woods and fields and not back yard friendly without a "serious" backstop.
    Should be pure Raccoon poison.
    Wish it came in the 95 model and not just the 135.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    You might consider looking at quality over $$$, you'll pay more up front but you'll have an excellent rifle to use every pull of the trigger. Spend a little time looking at rifles that sell and not only hold their value. They actually increase in value.

    I bought a rws 45 .177cal decades ago. It's nothing more than the deluxe version of the rws 34. It was their limited addition anniversary model they were selling to end the sales of the model 45.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    I've shot countless 1000's of pellets out of this rifle and it's still going strong. It was made in 10-1982.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Quality wood, quality sights, excellent highly accurate bbl and the t-01 adjustable trigger. In a couple of years I'll send it in to have new springs/seals put in it and then it will last me the rest of my life.

    Buy quality and you will never have to worry about wearing something out along with you can use the rifle for years and easily sell it for more $$$ then you paid for it new.

    Another rws pellet rifle, this is a rws 75 that was made in 1978. It was made to do head shots on flies @ 10m.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    This one was rebuilt 10+ years ago by Mac1 and is still running strong. When the x-ring is a dot on a target that you're trying to hit @ 33+ft you have to keep up on them a little closer.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    I have a 10m range setup in the basement and I shoot the rifles along with a 10m pistol a couple times a week. I typically fill around 1/2 of a 3# coffee can with pellets every year when I clean the trap out. These pellet guns get used.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    The thought of a pellet gun breaking never entered my mind but then again start with a quality product and enjoy them for a decade or 2.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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GC Gas Check