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Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

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North Country Gal
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Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby North Country Gal » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:50 pm

To recap what I posted in Pt.1, PCPs are state of the art in air rifles, today. As mentioned, they really do reign supreme in two areas, namely hunting and formal target competition. For hunting, 25 and even 30 cal and larger pellets are now being used, but the only way to propel these heavy pellets is with PCPs. For target competition, it's now basically a PCP game, only, unless you compete in a division created for other types of air guns, since they would be handicapped by competing against PCPs.

So why do some of us still use old technology and continue to shoot our old pumpers and our spring piston guns? As I mentioned in Pt 1, shooting PCPs is a package deal. Buy a pump up or a piston gun, all you need to do is grab some pellets and you can start shooting. These traditional air guns have built in power sources. Not so with PCPs. The gun is only part of the package. You still have to buy the support equipment to fill a PCP gun with compressed air.

How do you fill a PCP? There are three ways. The first way is with a special hand pump that attaches to the rifle reservoir. (A bicycle pump is way too low on the psi for this work). The Discovery uses a modest in that it uses a 2000 psi reservoir. That means that I can use a pump that Benjamin offers for the Discovery. When my Disco drops down to its minimum 1000 psi, 50 pumps gets me back up to the 2000 psi max. To pump up one of our 3000 psi PCP rifle, though, would require 100 pumps and that's out of the question for us. Has to be a better way.
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There is. It's with scuba tanks, which we get filled by a local dive shop. This is probably the most common air source used in the PCP world.
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The third and last way to fill a PCP gun is with an add on compressor, called a shoebox compressor, which boosts the pressure capability of a standard shop compressor. No, a standard shop compressor by itself won’t even come close to such pressures needed to fill a PCP, but you'll still need a shop compressor to go with your shoebox compressor.

Note that none of these fill options are cheap. The Discovery pump, the cheapest option, runs about $200. The scuba tanks we got used, but we still had to spend money to have them certified and the certification runs for about five years. Dive shops rarely consent to filling a tank that is not certified and, even then, some shops won't fill tanks for air gun use. We have about $400 invested in scuba tanks. The shoebox compressor option is way more, so not a lot of PCP shooters use this option.

How many shots does a gun get one one fill? This depends on the volume of the tank, the psi rating of the tank and the power of the gun. (Note that most high end guns have adjustable power setting, so the number of shots will depend on the setting. On the Disco, the power is set, no adjustment.) The Disco uses a low volume tank that runs at a modest 2000 psi (most PCPs run at 3000 psi.) This makes it an easy gun to fill with the pump. It also makes it a gun that only gives me up around 25 shots before I need a refill and only 15-18 of those shots will be in the sweet spot psi range where velocity is fairly constant. Above or below this sweet spot, I will get changes in velocity and therefore changes in POI.

On our larger Daystate CR-97 PCP rifle with its large 3000 psi reservoir, I get 40 good shots. Some rifles now use even larger reservoirs at even higher pressures and can get up to 80 shots.
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When we get to the very top of the PCP rifle heap, we get rifles that are some of the most sophisticated rifles in the world, complete with regulators that guarantee exactly the same velocity with every shot, regardless of the psi of the tank, computers with LCD screens on the gun that tell you how many shots are left, electronic firing controls and much more. Needless to say, these are very pricey guns running into the thousands of dollars.


So why do most of my PCP guns mostly collect dust, even though I have the means to fill them at hand? It's mostly my personality. When I shoot, I don't want to worry about the number of shots I have left. I don't want to have to check the pressure in the reservoir. I don't want to interrupt my shooting to go refill the gun. Just not my style. When I shoot, I want my mind totally clear to concentrate only on my shooting. Since I don't hunt, I really don't need PCP power. Since I don't compete, I don't need a PCP and, now that I have mastered the technique of shooting piston guns, PCPs really don't offer an accuracy advantage, anyway.

This is an important thing to consider before you invest in PCPs. They may be a goof fit for you and they may not. As I said, going PCP is more than just an investment in the gun. For some, this is a perfect solution for their shooting. For others like me, it is not. Either way, though, no denying that these are awesome rifles.
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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby CT_Shooter » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:29 pm

Very informative and helpful lesson, NCG. Thanks.
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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby daytime dave » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:54 pm

NCG, thank you for that. It was excellent.

That being said, I love my PCP rifles. The closer to 3000 psi I get using the hand pump, the closer I get to thinking about a tank. It's a good work out and well worth it in the end.

I like to hunt with mine. I haven't been able to in a while, but that should change soon.

NCG, I put one of those on the end of my Disco recently. It makes a huge difference. Very good looking Daystate too.
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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby North Country Gal » Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:51 pm

Thanks, guys.

Yeah, that Daystate was one of their early models and not many made it over here in the U.S. and though it's now a bit outdated, it is one fine, fine rifle. In terms of its original price (north of 2K), it's the most valuable rifle in the house. We got lucky at an estate auction and paid a fraction of that price because no one had a clue what it was. I don't shoot it much, partly because it is so amazing I might be tempted to go all PCP and never look back. :)

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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby daytime dave » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:01 am

Very impressive shooting. That's a neat way to get something that nice. I'll have to look more carefully at sales in the future! :D
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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby Henry88 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:03 am

Thanks for taking the time NCG to explaine that. It's the best explaination I've seen and helped me a lot.
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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby Les » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:19 pm

You've given us two really excellent write-ups, NCG. Thank you. :D

As you say, for sheer accuracy it's hard to beat a PCP. I don't hunt live game any more, but I'd take a PCP over a springer any day if I did.
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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby North Country Gal » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:41 pm

Same, here, Les. Back in my hunting days, PCPs were still on the drawing board. No such animals. Most of my hunting was with a Sheridan pump up, which was actually very effective. Even our very basic PCP, the Discovery, though, would be ballistically far superior.
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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby Hogstir » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:20 am

I use a Daystate Regal .22 for rabbits, birds etc.
I use a .25 Marauder to hunt Fox and even Coyote at close range. A .25 heavy pellet will completely penetrate a coyotes skull at 25 yards or less.
In my state you cannot fire a gun within 1/4 mile of an occupied building (while hunting) but that does NOT include airguns.
So we are able to hunt in areas closed to firearms but which hold game.
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Re: Intro to PCP rifles: the Benjamin Discovery, Pt. 2

Postby North Country Gal » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:41 pm

The Regal is one fine air rifle. Congrats on that. Between that one and your 25 Mrod, you have some serious hunting air rifles.
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