So I had an early, early morning meeting this morning so had to go to bed early (I’m working on an international project now and the project lead is in London, so lots of early morning meetings….) So I didn’t have time to really put my thoughts down about the new pellet gun.
In case I need to remind you, this is the gun I bought:
It is not cheap. The gun itself is over $500, and with all the other stuff you need, it ended up being pretty close to a grand.
Yes, I know. I am insane. I do this sort of thing about once every five years or so… The Cosmic Wife says my biggest problem is that I have champagne tastes and a beer budget. She’s right. When I get interested in something I find it very difficult to accept less than a top of the line item. That’s why I own the most expensive 92mm apochromatic refractor telescope in the world…
I tried this time. I really did. I decided that I would go with the “mid-range” option for pellet guns, which is the “break barrel” design and after tons of research and discussion with the “experts” I ended up buying what was supposed to be the best match of accuracy and power in the break barrel arena, but I just couldn’t shoot the damn thing straight. Plus the shock wave from the recoil was tearing the gun apart. Literally. Parts were falling off and breaking.
So I decided to go up one level to the PCP realm. Unfortunately that more than doubled the cost.
Forgetting all the irresponsible financial escapades involved, I’d rather just talk about the gun.
I had asked Pyramyd Air to set the gun up for me, something they offered to do at no charge after all the grief I had with the Hatsan models. So it came to me pre-assembled and shipped in my previous gun case. It was also pre-sighted in, but at 10 meters (which is what their in-house shooting range is set for).
But, because the air tank is a Department of Transportation certified high pressure gas container, it has to be shipped empty, so they had vented all the air out before shipping it to me. Meaning I had to spend 90 minutes or so pumping it up. Most of that 90 minutes was me resting between 50 pump sessions so that I didn’t do anything stupid like throw my back out. Plus I wasn’t in any great hurry and I had expected to have to fill the tank up one pump at a time.
I did manage to get the tank filled up to about 2,600 psi well before sunset though, which was my real goal, so I was able to go outside and shoot it.
I did set it on the lowest setting. This was for a couple of reasons. First, the only really negative comment about these guns that I saw on the boards was that it was supposed to be loud. “As loud as a .22 long rifle, if not louder!” was a pretty common comment on the boards. Shooting at lower power means less of an air shock wave, so less noise. Secondly, shooting at a lower power means you use less air, meaning you get more shots. That is especially attractive to someone who just spent 90 minutes pumping up an air tank. And finally, I am in a residential neighborhood, in spite of it being in a rural town with large, tree-infested yards. So I didn’t really want any ricochet that might happen to have any more power than needed.
So at the lowest power I took my first shot. I use a “bullet capturing device” when I target shoot in my back yard. It’s basically a box made of thick steel which is designed to contain a .22 long rifle bullet. The back of the box is angled so that the bullets or pellets hit the back and ricochet down into a capture area where the lead is supposed to settle so you can recover it and remold it into new bullets or pellets. (Yeah, I’ll probably eventually get to that point…)
So I used a bit of construction paper with a little self-adhesive “bullseye” that is about the size of a small coin. The first shot was a bit off because the trigger was much, much lighter than I expected. So it went a bit right, but was way high, probably three inches high, which is pretty dang high for a 20 yard shot. Plus it made a really loud sound when the pellet hit the steel box. Much louder than the report of the pellet gun itself.
So I dialed down the scope quite a bit and set up a small piece of 3/4″ plywood in front of the box, figuring the plywood would either stop the pellet or reduce the speed so much that the “blaanggg!” of the pellet hitting the steel box would not be so loud.
The second shot was just a bit more than an inch high, and made a satisfying “THWOCK!” sound when it hit the wood. That pellet completely penetrated the plywood, but remained embedded in the shattered back side where it came out.
So I dialed down the scope a bit more and took another shot. In all it took me four shots to dial in the scope. I took one more shot to be sure that it was really dialed in, for a total of five shots into the plywood. By then the back of the plywood looked like it had been hit with a grenade or something. Some of the shots had cleanly penetrated the plywood, but a couple had just barely remained in the wood.
Remember, this is on the LOWEST power setting.
Now, I had shot at that same piece of plywood with my Hatsan before sending it back. Keep in mind that the Hatsan 125 is considered one of the, if not THE, most powerful .25 caliber break barrel gun on the market. The pellets from the Hatsan had never penetrated all the way through. They were embedded in the plywood but had barely even made a bulge on the back of the board. So the Condor, on its lowest setting, was already blowing the Hatsan away. And I was using lighter pellets with the Condor too, meaning they delivered less impact at the same muzzle velocity.
The bottom line is that I am very, very pleased with this gun. Right now the only thing I am less than thrilled about is that I have to disassemble the stock and tank to refill the tank. They do sell a tank that has a refill valve that you can refill without undoing the tank. I’ll probably end up getting one of those…. They cost about $100 or so… Sigh….
But the gun is sweet.