Have had this XS-B21( .177 ) sincs 2003 and this gun has “WORKED” without fail since the first day. It’s job is to keep the lessor predators under control around the farm – coon, possum, skunks, tomcats and starlings ( although it is the only thing I take anymore to go to the woods squirrel hunting ).
It’s heavy and not ballanced all that well, making it a chore to take extended-hold off hand shots, but if you hold it loosley and let it work it will hit a nickle at 30 yards. The point of getting it was to have a gun that was durable, accurate enough to be lethal to a 28 lb. boar-coon laying along a limb in the top of a 70′ oak ( entry wound was behind and below the right ear and exit was lateral and just behind the left orbit ) and could take some abuse and still be dependable. The “parkerised” finish was poor at best and it would start to rust sitting in the corner of the kitchen, so I’ve just cold-blued it a couple of times to help protect it from the rain and snow. The wood was and still is exceptionally nice in color, grain and finish.
After adjusting the two stage trigger it took about 400 round ( and a little work ) to smooth out the gritty take up. Now you take up the travel smooth and evenly and then it catches and will breaks over with a pull of about 2 lb. The only thing is if you loose the target after taking up the travel and then put the safety back on, unless you re-cock the side lever, you will not have any travel at the next shot. Cocking is stiff and takes getting used to. Once you do, you develope a mussle memory and it just happens without thinking, as dose placing the pellet the correct way in the nipple inside the sliding breach. Takes about 4 seconds to reload in the dark in the woods; release the beartrap, close the breach and your good to go.
It’s loud, if you miss a starling the noise will scare it off for you, and it will shake everything loose ( I just check it over about once a week ), and it seem to slowly shake apart optical sites, but it’s accurate. It has eaten a Red Dot and a Leapers Bug Buster mil-dot/Ill., and it need to be fed something new. The open sites are good, a little bulky covering up smaller aiming points, but easily adjustable and work well in good light or with the sun somewhere behind you. But you can’t take advantage of the guns potential without adding some optics.
The XS-B21 that I have likes heavy pellets the best, JSB Extra Heavy 10.3gr. A frend gave me a tin of RWS Super-H-Point 7.5gr. because he had had great success with them and thought they would out do the JSB, but, the best we could get with them was 8 out of 10 in an area the size of a tennis ball at 30 yards. I hadn’t thought the XS-B21 was all that fussy of a piese of equipment untill then, so we tried the Kodiak Match 10.6gr, H&N Baracuda Match 10.6gr and CP Ultra Magnum 10.5gr which all did well with 8 out of 10 within 3/4″ -> 7/8″ @ 30yd. Still the best turned out to be giong back to the JSB 10.3gr ( which is what was recommended when I bought it ) with 8 of 10 within 1/2″ @ 30yd.
The XS-B21 has it’s imperfections and you know that you will be trying out some new optics every so often, but I don’t let things get loose and there havent been any problems. It has worked very well every time I’ve pulled the trigger, in any kind of weather, day and night, and I can depend on it’s accuracy.