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PCP air rifle on a budget

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North Country Gal
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PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby North Country Gal » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:00 pm

Just though I'd add this post on budget grade PCP airgun shooting to balance out the last post on the very high end and expensive air gun shooting with the Daystate PCP rifle. Didn't want to leave the impression that you have to spend a ton of money to enjoy PCP air gun shooting. In fact, it's been my experience that there's sometime's surprisingly little difference in performance between some introductory grade PCP air rifles and the high end stuff. This Benjamin Discovery (or "Disco" as it's fondly called in air gun circles) is a great example of just what one of these affordable PCP air rifles can do.

We bought this very early vintage used Disco air rifle with pump for about $150. Also included an add on moderator for noise reduction. (The stock version can be a little noisy for a PCP.) One of the best buys I've made in an air gun in terms of performance for the dollar.
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For a scope, I added an equally budget grade 4-12x AO in a used Bushnell Sportview. Optics and mechanicals are actually very useable, though, and since a PCP doesn't beat up a scope like piston air rifles do, this one doe a good job on the Disco.
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Today was windy and gusty with a headwind pushing 25 mph, at times. Not great shooting conditions for an air rifle, but as I've mentioned a number of times, a good air rifle can still shoot very respectable groups in the wind if you keep distances at 35 yards or less. It's when you push past 35 yards that wind becomes hypercritical for air rifle performance.

Here's a Discovery sight check target that included some adjustments on the scope. Nevertheless, the Disco with its heavy stock trigger and all, can deliver. This is a great example of my rule of thumb measuring stick that says an air rifle is to 35 yard shooting as a 22 LR rimfire is to 50 yard shooting. In fact, on one of those rare days of perfect shooting conditions, the Discovery has shot groups like this at 50 yards. Just can't do it reliably at 50 under less than ideal conditions like I had, today.
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On to shooting metal targets which are the mainstay for my air rifle shooting. (I only shoot paper to check the sights, these days. Metal is a LOT more fun.) One of the interesting things about this light 5 pound PCP rifle is its power. It's actually the most powerful air rifle we own. After running a clean sweep of my favorite metal flip up target, the next shot hitting the reset actually knocked the whole target off the stand. First time for that. To get this kind of power in a spring piston or gas piston rifle would require a big, heavy rifle with a cocking effort that I couldn't handle, not to mention some very nasty piston gun recoil. No recoil, though, with a PCP. None. Zip. Just open the bolt, load and fire until the reservoir needs filling. Pretty darn cool.

And loads of fun. All done right in the back yard, to boot.
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RetiredSeabee
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby RetiredSeabee » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:52 pm

You are tickling my "I need one of these" nerves again! Thanks as always for your educational range reports.
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby BigAl52 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:27 pm

I have the same problem Seabee. Ive been going back and forth with this for sometime. NCG and Dave told me to get a disco. Then I think to myself do I want to pump one up all the time or just get and RWS 34 and have a vortex kit put in it. I know with a disco I wouldnt be happy the the benjamin pump I would get the Hill pump becasue its a better pump from what I have read. But I read alot of good artices about the RWS 34 and how good of gun it is . Decisions decisions. Then along comes a guy that tells me I need a TX 200 and Im back to the process all over again. I also looked at the Diana 48 which has a side lever cocking arm on it. Still thinking
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby PT7 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:03 pm

I'm gonna add myself as the third person gaining some interest in an air rifles. Never considered them before. And what a large amount of info out there to learn about them. We're fortunate to have NCG sharing her experiences with these rifles.

Last time I was at Cabelas, I looked at the air rifles they had, quite a number of choices were there. It was fun & interesting to consider. But....I had to remind myself I just brought to my gun cabinet a new .45LC Taylor's & Company Birdshead revolver, and I was there to get some ammo for it. Left the air rifle aisle and didn't look back. :lol: I'd like to keep it that way for a while! ;)

Keep the interesting stuff coming our way, NCG.....thanks!
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North Country Gal
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby North Country Gal » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:57 am

Thanks, guys. The good news is that there is so much information out there on the pros and cons of different types of airguns. The bad news is that there is so much information out there on the pros and cons of different types of airguns that it can make your head swim.

I'll do my best to answer any questions, but I think a good place to start is to ask yourself a question: Do I want to take the time and effort to learn how to shoot a piston gun, either spring or gas (don't be fooled by ad hype that gas pistons are easier to shoot), with accuracy? Make no mistake, shooting a piston gun to its accuracy potential will NOT happen, overnight. It's going to be a hefty investment in time and effort. The rewards are enormous, though, when you get there. I might also add that you can get away with going cheap on a pneumatic and still have a great shooter, but going cheap on a piston gun will inevitably make the learning curve to shoot one all the steeper and more frustrating.

If the answer is no, I want to be able to shoot airguns just like I shoot rimfire guns or even if you're on the fence about piston guns, then I recommend a pneumatic of some sort, be it a classic pump up, a single stroke pump or a PCP. Even if you decide to go with a piston gun, a pneumatic makes a great backup gun or a gun to shoot when you want a change of pace from a piston gun.
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North Country Gal
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby North Country Gal » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:10 am

As for the Disco, it runs a low pressure reservoir of 2000 psi, while almost all other PCPs run 3000 psi or more. That lower pressure system, though, means it is within my physical capability to pump up the Disco. Usually takes a 50 pumps to go from min to max on the gauge. This gets me 20 or so good shots. On my other PCP rifles with larger reservoirs that run a 3000 psi system, pumping is out. Way beyond my physical capability to fill with a pump. Only way I can fill them is with a scuba tank. The good news, though, is that these more typical higher pressure system guns give you more shots per fill. I can easily get over 40 shots per fill with the Daystate.

One last tip, for now. If hunting is going to be your primary use for an airgun, I strongly recommend going PCP. If I still hunted, I would be using my Disco.
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby BigAl52 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:28 pm

NCG
Im enclosing a link. You may or may not know about the item in the link but it could open the door for more PCP sales. Also do you have any kind of experience with the RWS 54. Looks like it might be easier to learn to shoot it from the design of that gun. Thanks Al

https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Air_Vent ... essor/8460
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby Henry88 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Hey guys great thread.

Just want to give a bump for the QB78 if you're not lucky enough to find a used classic like NCG.

At $120 delivered it is truly a budget airgun, and like the PCP no special hold required.

There are TONS of YouTubes on it with almost nothing bad to say.

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2168

Feb17 056_zpseavrsmre.jpg

Feb17 063_zpsxfmd1djl.jpg

Feb17 083_zpsxfbyuow5 (1).jpg


Current scope



QB78 002.JPG
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North Country Gal
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby North Country Gal » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:26 pm

Interesting you should mention the compressor, Al. Been looking at those, too. Prices have come way down on these shoebox compressors.

The RWS 48/52/54s are big, heavy piston guns that require a lot of effort to cock. Mostly why I don't shoot RWS under levers. The 54 does use a "recoil-less" piston system, though it's not without its drawbacks. The biggest issue I've heard with the 54 is that when you tilt the gun up or down off of horizontal, the amount of recoil reduction changes and then so does POI. I think as a bench gun it would be fine, though. Would still recommend learning to shoot standard piston guns, but, yes, that would be an option. Also, on this series, a lot of the shooters do tune them down a bit in power for the sake of better accuracy. They run a bit hot, compared to HWs or Air Arms under levers.

I much prefer the HW under levers or the AA under levers (but especially the HWs for ease of use). The HW and AAs have the best triggers in the game, though the RWS triggers are still very good. The HW and AA triggers will spoil you, though.
Last edited by North Country Gal on Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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North Country Gal
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Re: PCP air rifle on a budget

Postby North Country Gal » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:27 pm

Love the QB, Henry. Another great option.
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