Modern Air Target Rifles vs. the old Springers


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Peter M. Eick
January 2, 2014, 04:29 PM
I am going to date myself, but I target shot with a Beeman 400 which is a clone of the Dianawerk 75. Here is my baby without the sling and palm rest.

http://eickpm.com/picts/beeman400.jpg

I had it rebuilt about a year ago (bummed me out because there was not a scratch on the gun prior to sending it it for rebuilding. Now several screws are buggered and a few scratches but hey it works again).

I grew up shooting ISU and 3 position 10m target shooting and shot mostly offhand ISU. They were the old postal matches and club meets from the 70 and 80's. At the time the competition was mainly the FWB 300 and Diana 75's. Occasionally you would see an Anschutz at the big matches but rarely.

Today I see that the springers appear to be dead and everyone is using compressed air. I rarely see FWB 300's for sale and have not seen another 75/400 for sale for over a year. Has the technology really improved that much that the old springers are out of the game or is the compressed air guns just that much better to shoot?

Please educate me on the state of the art of air rifle technology. I don't think I could ever compete again (bad eyes) but I would like to understand the differences from my old springer and the newer technologies.

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Chevota
January 2, 2014, 05:23 PM
I think springers are alive and stronger than ever. The PCP thing will never take over until they make a cheap pump, preferably one that can charge from a car and do it fast. Since that's not going to happen anytime soon the springers place is locked solid.
Sweet gun btw!

lykoris
January 3, 2014, 08:16 PM
I think springers will always have their place but a modern day pcp is in a class of its own especially electronic versions like a daystate airwolf.

heavydluxe
January 3, 2014, 09:41 PM
I think that gas and PCP guns pretty much rule the roost for 10m target shooting... Lower effort from the shooter, which I suppose leads to (marginally) higher scores. But, as you no doubt know, the margins in serious competition are razor thin. So, any little advantage helps.

For all other practical shooting, I think springers are certainly alive and well.

Peter M. Eick
January 4, 2014, 04:55 PM
I understand about the razor thin margins. I know I was always a bit behind the curve with the Beeman over the FWB 300s. They had a bit of edge over the follow though and barrel time then my 400. I had to really work the follow thru to keep up on the scores.

So the bottom line is I am not too far out of the competition on quality, just off the cutting edge.

JohnKSa
January 4, 2014, 05:06 PM
In my opinion, the cocking effort (even the relatively low cocking effort on the nicer spring match guns) is likely the main factor that took them out of the running for serious competition.

The ability to have another round ready to go with a flick of the finger is a significant advantage in a 40-60 round match compared to dismounting the gun and going through the cocking process required for a springer.

Little things like that can really add up. When I go to shoot a match with a semi-auto pistol, I make sure I have enough loaded mags to shoot the entire match and load them the night before the match. I have time to pay more attention to the match and focus on shooting instead of reloading and my hands don't get as much of a workout the day of the match.

Peter M. Eick
January 4, 2014, 05:21 PM
I can see your point. I used to hand select each of my pellets and get them all nicely lined up in a foam carrying case just for the match so I could quickly reload without even thinking. It is hard to get back into the exact same stance every time after you cock the rifle and reload.

Zeeemu
January 4, 2014, 10:01 PM
"bummed me out because there was not a scratch on the gun prior to sending it it for rebuilding. Now several screws are buggered and a few scratches"

That's a doggone shame. So, where should we not have our air rifles rebuilt?

Pete D.
January 4, 2014, 10:27 PM
I think springers are alive and stronger than ever. The PCP thing will never take over until they make a cheap pump, preferably one that can charge from a car and do it fast. Since that's not going to happen anytime soon the springers place is locked solid.
Sweet gun btw!

HPA guns have already taken over.....that happened at least 20 years ago. Remember that target guns do not have the high advertised velocities that you read about in connection with many of the common PCP guns.
Velocity is in the 400 fps area.....it does not take much air pressure to run them. Many/ most come with extra air cylinders and at 40 or so good shots per cylinder, they are good to go for a 60 shot match.

Peter M. Eick
January 5, 2014, 11:57 AM
Urmarex did mine out of Arkansas if I remember right. What bothered me was the lack of care on the screws and the scratches on the gun. They are screwdriver slips. I can understand the lack of care on a beater air rifle but on a precision target rifle like mine? It is hard to forgive.

The flip side is mine was DOA with bad seals before so I accept the trashed screws so I can shoot it again.

By the way, mine Chrono's right at 600 fps. It is a good solid performer.

tallpaul
January 5, 2014, 12:29 PM
I had a very clean Diana 75 like yours... it was dead when I got it. I liked the gun but acquired a fwb601 and did not like the fact it would need to be sent out for a rebuild again someday and it was not really owner servicable. I traded it off and somewhat regret it. With the anti recoil GISS sytem one could make a point it was superior to the fwb and certainly was not far be hind if not equal too or aghead of it. The 75 is a great gun as is the 300 but the first SSP target gun jumped past them ... then the later gas guns helped remove more shooter fatigue issues etc...

I would love to get a fwb 300 one day- you can service them yourself if ya are handy.

BTW Randy Bimrose is one of the masters at rebuiling them but a few caps and stuff may get marred and are hard to get parts for. The caps that are in the center take a spanner tool and are soft.

Enjoy that gun!

tallpaul
January 5, 2014, 12:31 PM
I believe most olympic quality target guns run at the 500-600 fps not the 400 mentioned earlier...

JohnKSa
January 5, 2014, 02:08 PM
That sounds about right. My FWB 300S Universal runs right about 550fps with 8gr pellets.

heavydluxe
January 5, 2014, 04:17 PM
Peter: Someone makes a set of screw 'cups' for Diana air rifles... I can't for the life of me remember who, though a google search or a post on the Yellow will probably get a quick answer.

Might help clean up what the 'service' to your gun messed up.

Pete D.
January 6, 2014, 04:14 AM
I believe most olympic quality target guns run at the 500-600 fps not the 400 mentioned earlier...
You are correct, of course. My bad....I was thinking mostly about air pistols and the question concerns air rifles. Still 400 was a digit off....should have hit the five. My FWB match pistol runs about 480+/-.

Peter M. Eick
January 6, 2014, 08:54 AM
Thanks for the tip on the screws. I will go on a hunt and see what I can find.

To all of you guys with the 300's. I envy you. I could not swing a 300 when I bought my model 400 and while the gliss recoil system works great, I always liked the 300's sled approach a bit better. It seems to be less complicated as a shooter.

Also you had better accessories!

heavydluxe
January 6, 2014, 02:31 PM
Found it, so I'll post it:
http://www.mac1airgunshop.com/mac1-forearm-cup-kit-p/mcupkit.htm

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