I got this rifle from Academy Sports around Christmas time 2008. it is now July 2009 and the rifle is broken in. it is one sweet rifle.
i knew right away that the 4×32 scope in the combo would not be of any use to me, as i like variable power scopes a heck of a lot better than wimpy 4 power scopes. so, i got a Beeman 4-12x40AO/IR scope to go with it. it was a bad mistake to get that Beeman scope. i did not read the specs close enough and did not see that it wasn’t an airgun rated scope. consequentially, the illuminated reticle light blew off within 1000 shots. the optics started getting sloppier and sloppier by the shot. screws kept coming undone all the time. the rifle was literally shaking the scope apart like a rag doll. finally, i said i’d had enough, and went to Wal-Mart and bought a CenterPoint 4-16x40AO/IR scope for 70 dollars. (i’ve got some kind of attachment to huge scopes.) i’ve not had the same problem again. this scope was rated for airgun recoil, and has the nice lock-down turrets, and is highly recommended. although, not for this rifle. this gun is a general purpose gun, and frankly deserves more of a 3-9 or 3-12 power scope. 16 power is a little bit of overkill, but that’s what i do best 🙂
ok, enough rambling on the scope. the moral of this is to get a scope that is airgun rated, and get one to suit your needs. and also, that this gun is nothing worthy of a Leupold scope. (SO DON’T THINK ABOUT GETTING ONE!)
about the open sights that come on the rifle. they are decent sights, i must say. but they’re really not much use for beyond 20 yards. the fiberoptics give a good sight picture, and make a fun thing to plink with to keep the weight down, as this rifle is VERY heavy already, and only gets heavier with a scope.
now i must say about the sights, keep them protected! the front sight is just open, and the fiberoptic bar is very fragile. now i believe Umarex sells a front sight hood for the Hammerli Storm guns, which use the same sights as this gun. it should work, but i don’t have it, and probably won’t buy it. you will probably find that this gun is more of a pleasure to shoot with a scope. and it’s pretty obvious it was intended for scope use. just look at how high the cheekpeice is.
on to pellets. i started off using the .177 caliber pellets. one thing to get started off, DO NOT USE DAISY PELLETS!!!!!!!!! they diesel and destroy your piston. they’re of no use except for destroying guns. don’t even try them. i started off using Daisy’s and Gamo PBA pellets. the PBA were OK. they kept a 1 inch group at 20 yards, which is better than what i can say for the Daisy’s, which were all over the paper. a week later, i went and bought a variety of pellets from Academy Sports (cause i didn’t wanna wait on shipping.) in the mean time while my Beeman Kodiak pellets shipped. Crosman Premier hollowpoints worked pretty well, as did Crosman Destroyer pellets. Gamo Hunter pellets were the same, and Gamo Match was just about useless. finally, my Beeman Kodiak pellets came in. i tried em out and WOW. i found the true accuracy of this rifle. i can get hole-in-hole-in-hole groups with this gun with Kodiak pellets. a couple weeks later, i bought an RWS cleaning kit in .177 that came with RWS Superdomes and Meisterkugeln pellets. the Meisterkugeln wadcutters were just weird. 2 would shoot at one hole, then 2 would shoot at another. a few targets later, i gave up on em. i switched to Superdomes, which were a different story. they were giving about 3/4 inch groups, which frankly is not that great, but is better than some. as you may have picked up, this gun likes pellets with dome-shaped heads. a month later, after shooting my Kodiaks without complaint, i bought some JSB Predators. i found my new hunting pellet. they were just as accurate as the Kodiaks, but with tons more punch. with the Predators, i also bought my first .22 Beeman FTS pellets. (.22 Kodiaks were out of stock, and stayed out of stock for like a month.) they were average. they were something to start out with, though, and i could tell how much power this rifle had. it took 3 shots to go through solid 1 inch thick wood. i finally got some Kodiaks and Polymags and i had the ultimate plinking and hunting tool. ok, that’s almost enough about pellets, but i want to say one more thing. stick with heavies for this gun. if you don’t, you’ll get piston bounce, which is never good. it rips apart pistons. i had that with JSB Exacts, which was sad, because they were some of the most accurate. instead, i have to use Kodiaks to save the spring. moral of the story is, look into as many pellets as you can, but with this gun, heavy, domed pellets will mostly be your best bet. Pointed pellets work OK. the Predators were outstanding, and i recommend for anyone who wants to go hunting. they work well with this rifle.
as we get to the rifle, i wanna say it’s the most beautiful thing i’ve ever set my eyes on. it is an absolutely gorgeous piece of wood, and deserves great care. the blueing is good, and has the model name stamped into the compression chamber, which is what i’ll talk about next.
the model name stamped on the rifle i got from Academy Sports does not say the right name. the box said RS1. the rifle said RS2. but in reality, it is neither. it is actually an RS3. the RS model name deals with the trigger. there are RS1 triggers, RS2, and RS3. the RS1 is just a plain plastic blade that is not adjustable. the RS2 trigger is adjustable, and is a bit smoother. the RS3 trigger is the best of the 3 and is fully adjustable (except for overtravel), has a nice braiding on the blade, and has a sporty looking chrome finish. out of the box, the trigger is a bit heavy and stiff. the big screw behind the trigger adjusts pull weight. screw it in for a heavier weight, screw it out for a lighter weight. i have it adjusted pretty much as low in weight as it can go, and it feels very nice. i love the adjustability of it. makes it a very nice unit. mine has the RS3 trigger, so i have not seen or felt the RS1 or RS2 triggers. there are a few versions as far as i know. the one i believe i’m reviewing is the RS3. but there’s another one with an RS1 trigger that’s sold on Pyramydair.com. i recommend getting this gun from Academy Sports, because the RS3 trigger is worth the extra 5 dollars.
the soft case makes it very easy to take the gun to and fro. gives a big help for say camping. this is a great gun to take out on a backwoods camp for maybe a day at the deer lodge for some squirrel hunting. the flexibility of having 2 calibers is still not matched by any other rifles for the price. this combo has the most of any duel-caliber gun combo for the price.
one thing to be said, whenever you take the barrel off, even if you take it off and put it back on for cleaning, your POI is gonna be changed slightly. so allow yourself a couple of shots to sight back in. if you’re just taking the barrel off to store or clean the gun, and put the same barrel back on, the point of impact won’t be changed much more than an inch or 2, but when swapping calibers, it will be over 4 inches difference both for elevation and windage.
oh, i was just reminded of something. you NEED to use the artillery hold in order to get this rifle to group good. if you don’t, you’ll get huge groups that are worth gagging at. so look up the artillery hold and practice practice practice! if you do that, you’ll eventually get the accuracy you’re looking for. this is an absolutely excellent rifle for the price and deserves a place in your gun cabinet.
ok, sorry for the really long post, but there is a lot i want to say. this gun is a huge pleasure to have, and it is HIGHLY recommended for a first pellet gun. this is probably the best economy