Tuning Vs Performance

Discussion in 'Piston & Spring' started by skires, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    I think that current spring gun technology has plateaued and that the only way to close the gap to pcp's is to go the Sterling T16 route with opposing pistons. Unfortunately as we know, that didn't work out which is a pity as it would have opened up a new avenue for springer performance.
    Who knows if this will ever happen, I'd like to think that it will as I think there is a gap in the market for a (single-stroke) 12fpe recoiless spring rifle for both target and hunting use.
     
  2. Welsh Wizard

    Welsh Wizard FT: You Give, You take! Staff Member

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    I always Like Skires posts. Does this give you something to think about / work on?
    Current Top Spring gun shooters:
    Bold are PCP % / scores from BFTA only events.
    Non Bold are the Springer current % /scores from BFTA only events
    Brian just made AA with 3 pcp shoots a couple of years ago, but they were regional, I think he would have been A grade pcp over 3 BFTA


    Samson Brian 41052 81.34 P
    Samson
    Brian 41052 95 UA
    Farbrother John 60581 80.84 P
    Farbrother
    John 60581 82.20 A
    Willingham john 42316 76.86 P
    (NO PCP for JW)
    Amos John 21632 74.36 P
    Amos
    John 21632 83.53 A
    Privett Steve 880 73.73 P
    Privett
    Stephen 880 88.52 AA
    Hollis Phillip 80958 68.06 P
    Hollis
    Philip 80958 83.30 A
    Newman Glen 834 67.75 P
    Newman
    Glenn 834 78.50 A
    Thornycroft Neil 20517 67.26 P
    Thorneycroft
    Neil 20517 64.68 UB
    Lees Adam 41670 65.72 P
    (No Pcp for LA)
    James Gareth 50702 64.68 P
    James
    Gareth 50702 76.47 A
     
  3. Adam

    Adam Active Member

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    I too would love to think there is such a gap in the market, but there isn't. Not one big enough to sustain a viable business.

    It's doubtful that a dual piston design is commercially viable for the mass market. The sliding sledge is probably the only halfway viable option. Dual piston is always going to be heavier and larger, with more engineering needed to properly synchronise the pistons. The Park/Whiscombe design results in a bulky rifle. The Diana system assuming enough stroke for 12 ft.lbs would result in a longer action. These factors make it both more expensive and less appealing to most of the market. It's much easier to produce a better shooting experience in PCP and the mass-market wants multi-shot PCPs, and it seems mainly tactical looking bullpups with black plastic stocks.

    Let's look at the past attempts (there may be more but these are the ones which come to mind):

    Diana 66/75 etc: opposed piston recoilless design, 6 ft.lbs: Very successful in 10M in the 80s. Mortally wounded by CO2 then killed stone dead by PCPs
    Feinwerkbau 300 and Anschutz 380 etc: sliding sledge design, 6 ft.lbs. As above: once very popular in 10M, now dead.
    Park: opposed piston recoilless design. Well received. Didn't sell many, not a success. Dead
    Whiscombe: opposed piston recoilless design. A labour of love but not a commercial proposition by any means. JW has now sadly but inevitably retired so his rifle is dead.
    AA TX200SR: sliding sledge design based on the TX action. Promising and seemed popular initially but it's quite telling that, despite the backing of a hugely successful company, and the standard TX on which it was based selling by truckload, they don't make them any more. Probably the most successful barring the 10M guns of their day. But now dead.
    Paradigm: SSP not a springer but worth mentioning here. An intriguing self contained single stroke full power. Dead before it got off the ground.
    Other SSPs: PH Dragon, Titan. Sold in small numbers and are long dead.
    Sterling T16: opposed gasram pistons. Nice concept, seemed promising, but didn't get off the ground. Dead.

    Only Whiscombe lasted, because this is a niche proposition, and it was only viable at the high end of hand made specials in limited numbers. and in the pre-PCP days it gained a reputation as the ultimate air rifle that it would be impossible to replicate now.
     
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  4. Cooper_dan

    Cooper_dan Active Member

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    Comparing the scores is very interesting but it misses out a fundamental point. The majority of top shooters (with a few exceptions) are in the PCP class. So maybe it's not actually springer technology we are looking at. It's how much time and practice the top shooters are putting in, and what class they chose to shoot in.

    Here's my hypothesis. PCP scores will always be higher because that's the class with the higher majority of top shooters in. Those top shooters have very little incentive to move to the recoiling class. Smaller trophies and less of them :p

    If I started shooting PCP I don't think I would suddenly see a couple of points score increase every round. Because my range finding and wind estimation would still be the same level. I dont think resting the rifle on the floor would help much either. Not after shooting out of the shoulder for so long
     
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  5. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    Nice post Adam, of course the other fly in the ointment is the single stroke pneumatic route, maybe not relevant for spring guns but I'm always open to technology evolving, PCP's are part of that after all.
    So, single stroke 12+fpe, there's an American gentleman who makes these that have a double scissor action to give the necessary balanced leverage to get the pressure. Maybe this avenue has merit, the only problem being that he seems to only want to make rifles for his own amusement not to sell, but if his concept were refined and scaled up I think it's viable. I'll see if I can find his vids on YouTube...;)
     
  6. Adam

    Adam Active Member

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    @C.Eaton Doubtless there are a lot of innovative solutions to the single stroke, self contained, recoilless, 12 ft.lbs problem. Some of them known, some of them ideas that will never be reality, some in rifles made in sheds. But the basic point is the demand for them isn't there at the price it would cost to make it function reasonably well. It's just us airgun geeks that would pay good money for a recoilless springer these days. PCPs tick the boxes that people want, with the only downside of needing filling kit. You can buy a new PCP for sub £200 these days (SMK) which is actually a semi-decent rifle; I've shot one and it's not half bad for the price. I wouldn't shoot comps with it (well maybe for a laugh) but it shows that the tech of PCP has matured and is cheap to manufacture.
     
  7. Cooper_dan

    Cooper_dan Active Member

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    Number of components and all up weight are the killer of the recoilless springer. One could be made lighter but needs to be a bit more exotic and cost would reflect it.

    I'm sure it could be done in an ISP/Ripley fashion. Especially providing action only on the assumption people will get custom stocks made anyway. But I don't think they are ever destined for mass production. Shame because they are my favourite type of airgun :(
     
  8. Lofty

    Lofty Member

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    Colin,



    Is this the one ?.

    Chris
     
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  9. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Simon for the stats.

    They predictably show that most people score higher with a PCP. An exception is Neil T and I suspect that Neil briefly tried PCP and so his PCP scores maybe aren't the best that he would have achieved as he was just getting used to his kit etc.

    Dan. Another nice post from yourself. I've said for a while that it's difficult comparing top springer with top PCP for the reasons that you gave. I do strongly contest your comment that you wouldn't get a couple more points shooting a PCP at HFT ( sorry ).

    I shot a lot of HFT but only in the winters and mainly local stuff ... so relaxed courses. I did also shoot some NW courses and the odd Midland etc. For me the difference was what we all already know ...

    If one has a slightly off day with the PCP you may drop about 3 or 4 points. If one has a slightly off day with the springer you can drop 10 or more points. That's why we see top springer shooters often getting within a few points of the top PCP in HFT, but then we also see them have a few low scores in the 40's. So their average, over a year, will be well down on the PCP's.

    For me it was the shots that took me slightly out of my 'normal' or 'range' comfort zone. When I shot one of my PCPs and had to do that then as long as I could physically get on target and hold steady, and did a decent job of getting the shot off, then they went down. Using the springer if I was contorting slightly and/or the contact points had changed slightly, there was a chance of a miss due to a subtle change in POI. I took shots with a PCP that I knew I'd released poorly ( maybe snatched the trigger a tad ) and they still went down. If I did that with the springer it's a miss.

    As you said, it really needs a top PCP shooter or two to migrate and put the same time and effort into springer shooting as they put into PCP. Andy has mentioned a couple of lads that have done that and I'll keep my eye on their scores. I don't want to post their names and scores regularly as that would be terribly unfair on them, to treat them as guinea pigs online. That's probably why Andy didn't name them.

    There have been shooters that were/are top PCP shooters that had a dabble at springer. From memory they didn't score with a springer within a couple of points of what they scored with a PCP ( maybe they didn't have chance to put the same amount of time/practice in with the springer ).

    I'm not trying to fly some flag to say that springer shooting is harder than PCP shooting. It simply is but it's the springer shooter's choice to do that, so they deserve no accolade for doing so. I'm interested in whether the tuning is narrowing the gap. I suspect it must be to some degree as the mega tunes make the rifles less hold sensitive.

    Stating more of the obvious ... I think I can conclude that a shooter who hasn't put the time in learning how to shoot the springer, and maybe hasn't invested in getting a stock that fits, can't just buy a mega tuned springer and start competing with the best springer guys. That's the same for the PCP class. A mega tune may increase confidence and shooting satisfaction, and psychologically that may help increase scores, but that tune represents a small percentage of improved performance, compared to that from time, effort and education to gain a skill set required to shoot springers well.
     
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  10. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    Yes mate, that's the kiddie, it's a bit rough round the edges but perfectly viable I think. The dual action balances both the stroke and the weight of the rifle, something I've always hated for side stroke jobbies with a handle hanging out the side.
     
  11. Adam

    Adam Active Member

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    Yes I like that. If available commercially I'd be inclined to buy one. I thought the same about the Paradigm too. I especially liked the concept of the belleville stack behind the piston. So towards the end of the stroke as the pressure and hence cocking force would otherwise be going up exponentially, instead the stack compresses in a more linear way. Also I suspect that would have allowed the gun to flow more air volume and get more power with less swept volume. I just watched this preview again; such a shame it didn't get off the ground, but it illustrates my point.
     
  12. bigtoe

    bigtoe Member

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    why do you boys want recoilless springers?

    skinny piston guns are running more like a wimpy rimfire now, is that not low enough recoil?
     
  13. bigtoe

    bigtoe Member

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    if you practice enough you get totally used to what you shoot, and be accurate with it, is it nice to shoot though? NOPE, I had 2 mates shoot his gun, it thumps like a mule....but he is accurate with it so happy.
     
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  14. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure I'd want a Runner-Up trophy that was engraved ...

    Runner-Up ... but had a much more enjoyable experience.

    Here's a point ...

    Most shooters will say that shooting a recoiling rifle keeps you on top of your technique compared to a PCP. PCPs can make you lazy with technique as they allow you to get away with quite a lot. Shooting a springer makes you stay on top of your technique because if you don't get everything just right the recoil lets you know. So in an ironic way ... does having a rifle that does have quite a bit of kick make you work harder at your technique and consistency, and thus improve your springer shooting, as opposed to a springer that has much less recoil, where some complacency may creep in?
     
  15. Nick G

    Nick G Active Member

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    So the original question If I have it understood it, does a tuned tuned springer improve your scores . Its difficult to answer , I can only speak from my own experience shooting my own Tune . I do shoot Ft competition with it, and also own a Steyr that I occasionally shoot in club shoots . Its took me a while to get my current rig set up properly, but now it is I can Honestly say that I shoot similar scores with both the springer and the pcp, and when shooting the springer I am now within a point of my shooting partners with there pcp's ( very occasionally I am one point ahead). Club shoots are one thing Competition is another , pressure of the comp, desire to do well, and unfamiliar courses , all add up to a far more difficult shoot.
    I will Say that its not just down to recoil, or less of it, and with my gun I shoot it in exactly the same way as I shoot the Pcp, rested on my knee pad , with a light grip, I do have to pay more attention to trigger control and follow through, but other than that its the same process.
    I have known people shoot the Paul James for the first time , and then sell the gun in the car park afterwards , because they cant see where they have missed and thus can't judge the wind as well, or just cant handle the guns movement) I think If they shot a well tuned Gun in there first comp, they would find the experience closer to that of a PCP and continue with it. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had from doing well with a spring powered Gun.
     
  16. bigtoe

    bigtoe Member

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    Nick, like the old boys who struggled to cock the TX's and now love them as they are a doddle to cock its about the enjoyment of what you shoot and the ability to quickly adapt to shooting it well. I fully agree with you here, some struggle and lose faith quickly, some struggle then move to a re engineered gun and enjoy the experience a lot more so possibly stick with it a little easier/longer.

    Some just get used to shooting guns that others feel are terrible, but as long as its accurate it does not matter. What 1 person does well with though does not mean everyone will do as well with the same thing.

    I have messages from customers explaining their average scores have gone up since moving to 22mm, i have messages from essentially world class shooters also explaining they now felt at a disadvantage with 25mm guns and have moved to 22mm...

    There must be something to sorting ones rifle out or people just would not do it...for me its that simple.
     
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  17. Dale

    Dale Active Member

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    I personally don't think it would automatically improve scores.

    If the shooter doesn't have a fundamentally good and consistent technique to begin with, their scores are unlikely to be great no matter how good the equipment is.

    For a competent shooter having well tuned and set up equipment is certainly not going to hamper their performance.
     
  18. Dale

    Dale Active Member

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    I would agree that a recoiling rifle will keep your technique sharp.

    I haven't shot FT for several years now, but I am quite active in Gallery Rifle, where all the guns are recoiling and compared to most competition air rifles have quite agricultural triggers.

    One thing I have noticed is when I shoot one of my pre-charged pneumatic rifles (and even of my springers) after so much time with firearms is how much easier they are to shoot well with.
     
  19. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    No one can argue that if a tuned gun gives a shooter who is getting older, and/or has physical limitations, a chance to keep shooting a springer that that is a good thing. So that's a great point.

    I also understand the comment that some just get used to shooting guns that others feel are terrible. It's another great point.

    If people are moving to tuned guns and their scores are going up then that's working for them.

    I shot in HFT comp what I'd call a kitchen table top tuned 25mm 77. During a period of several years where I did well with that rifle ( custom stock ) I saw a number of springer shooters bouncing from one tune to another. At each shoot on the practice range before the shoot there would be someone come over to me with their TX or 77. They'd exclaim that they'd just spent X amount of money having it tuned by someone. They'd ask for a few shots of my rifle and then tell me that my rifle kicked like a mule compared to theirs. I'd try theirs and it felt ok but it certainly still had some movement. After the course we'd bump into each other and compare scores and they'd scored several points below me. I'd bump into them a few weeks later and they'd be handing me their rifle again ... which they'd just paid another X amount to have the latest mega tune. Scorecards remained the same.

    I see so many threads on the Airgun BBS asking ... What is the latest best tune for a TX or 77?

    So despite the excellent comments by Tony above, about older shooters and some shooters saying their scores have improved by moving to 22mm, I do worry that this is a trap that many springer shooters fall into ... What tune will make my scores go up?

    I've seen the same with top end PCPs to be honest as we all have.

    I was always semi tempted to go the whole hog and get a full on mega tune and see what happened to my scores. There is always that temptation ... that voice in your head that is saying ... Yeah you are doing okay ... but could you do better ... would you get even higher scores if you were using a mega tuned rifle ... are you allowing your opposition to have an advantage because they have the mega tuned rifle and you don't? Then I'd have a good day with the home tuned 77 and score a high 50's and maybe even beat all the PCP shooters that day at a local shoot ... or go to a NW shoot and come within a few points of some of the best PCP shooters in the world ... and think ... actually ... my rifle is fine as it is.

    I went through about a two year period where I can't remember scoring less than 50. Then courses got that bit tighter and I did start having those damn POI jumps. I'd still get scores in the high 50's and most scores over 50, but I also started getting some stinkers in the mid 40's. So I was convinced ( maybe I needed to convince myself because I'd lost that edge ) that courses had been pushed to a point where several targets were a lottery with a springer no matter what level of tune you had. My eyes are goosed now and I just don't get to put the time in for me to say I'll get a 22m tune and give it another go and see how my scores compare. So I'm having to look now at other shooters and see if I can see any pattern.

    Maybe not enough time has elapsed yet to allow the 22mm rifle owners to have put in enough practice, and shot enough courses, for stats to start showing that springer scores are improving. I'm not seeing it yet when I look at scores on the internet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  20. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    Regarding tuning, or any modification for that matter I think there is also an important mental aspect to consider as well in that you've had your stock rifle 'upgraded' with tuning kit X so there is an anticipation that the good money spent will make a tangible difference purely because you now have the 'best' kit.
    Conversely if you feel that your rifle is 'off' for whatever reason then that can affect your anticipation as well.
     
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