Friday, July 16, 2010

Slinging Lead and the Disco- Part 1


“the view somebody takes about an issue, especially when it is based solely on personal judgment”

That is the basis for the majority of my blog, as such I cannot think of a better way to add balance then to offer an opinion other than my own.

Slinging Lead hails from Georgia

Hence, my first guest contribution by none other then Slinging Lead:


I have a propensity to be long winded at times. I have written a bit on the Disco but I don't know if it is too much or not enough. I have alot more to say but this is what I scribbled so far. You may want to make this a multi part blog...
OK, let me get this out of the way first. The Discovery is not actually mine. It was a gift from me to Mrs. Slinging Lead on the occasion of her birthday. Some readers might liken this to Marge Simpson receiving a bowling ball with HOMER engraved on it. But I have an excuse... I mean explanation.

While me and my neighbor were plinking in his backyard one sultry evening, my wife picked up my 1377 carbine and went to work. She was darn good and having the time of her life. "I want this for my birthday!", she squealed with glee. Being as shrewd as I am, I quickly realized the possibilities if I could turn my wife into a gun nut, instead of the discretionary-fund ombudsman that she had been when it comes to things I want to buy. But I realized she was somewhat impatient with all the cocking, and the pumping, and the loading for each shot. I figured if I got her something more streamlined, she would enjoy it all the more and become hooked.

A few weeks later, while looking for something else entirely, I stumbled across a NIB Discovery with pump for the same price as most places were charging for the rifle alone. (The online retailer actually raised the price $30 the day after I ordered it.) I had an epiphany. I could air up the rifle for her, and she could shoot 40 or so shots without the hassle of pumping a stubby little lever several times for every shot. Perfect. It may have entered the very depths of my subconscious that I would also be able to shoot it myself every so often.

I open the box after UPS dumps it carelessly and unceremoniously on my doorstep without a knock on the door much less the signature of an adult, and I am entirely underwhelmed. There's the plain stock, the shiny uneven stain, and the knothole, and the scratches on the airtube. How do you scratch metal with cardboard? But I will get to my cosmetic criticisms later, as by definition they are cosmetic, and have NOTHING to do with how the rifle actually functions.

Nothing like a Georgia Peach, but is the Disco one?

Being the thoughtful and caring husband I am, I wanted to sight it in for her, so that it would be ready to knock down targets without frustration on her part. I plinked away a little with the stock fiber optic sites and was satisfied with my results at the short distance that I can actually use open sights. Then I bought a Leapers 4-16X50AO for it. It looked like the Hubble Telescope mounted to a Derringer. Not the scope for this rifle. My long distance results were encouraging, but not consistent.

I decided on a smaller Bushnell I had, which happened to be non AO. It was her gun, after all not mine, so I wanted it to be light. Also I figured it would be easy to zero for the distance she would be shooting with it. Her birthday arrived, and we were both excited, and she tore the wrapping off the box and... she did a very fine job of pretending to be delighted.

After much grilled chicken and some malted barley carbonated beverages, we decide to start shooting. It is shooting pretty good, but, "it's SO LOUD." she says. "I still like little SWAT better." (This is her nickname for the 1377.) Sigh, the best laid plans...

more to come." by Slinging Lead.

Okay, so Slinging didn't send any pictures and all I could think of was Googling

Can't wait to see what part two holds...Volvo

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Discovery – part 4

The family resemblance to the 160 is apparent, but QC is not the same

Time for the main course.

October 2008. After delaying the unveiling for a couple of days I pull the Benjamin Discovery out of the shipping box. I am impressed by the retail quality of the packaging. The slick graphics and heavy cardboard are striking.

After removing the sarcophagus quality lid I go for the rifle and ignore the pump. The initial observation is of the fit and finish. The stock gave the feel of a Popsicle stick, lacking in both sanding and top coat. The fit is poor at best, gaps are clearly visible and most disturbing is it appears the top of the stock is cut to accommodate the gauge leaving the ability to see daylight around it. Next I clean the barrel and note that the bluing and metal polish is also in the poor category. Sigh. The towel I wipe the barrel with shows signs of rust, this particular rifle shipped directly from Crosman, so that is also a disappointment. The bolt is tiny and toy like and when I remove the plastic end cap the barrel flexes. Nothing evokes quality in the piece.

In contrast, the pump appears a well made heavy duty bit, and I have no negatives to report. More robust feeling than the 4 stage FX pump I have, I would guess it is outsourced?

It is at this point in the process I post my observations on the PA blog with the thoughts I will simply sell the rifle as LNIB. That report has mysteriously disappeared. I then decided the value would not change if I were to use it a little.

Before continuing, I want to justify my visual inspection. The current “rifle only” cost at PA is $250.00 with a suggested retail of $299.00 so I use affordable .22 rimfires or similar priced airguns as my bench mark for quality. My sample falls far short of the expectations in either category. Please understand, I am not comparing it to my Webley Raider that could put many centerfires to shame. We’re not talking Marlins but the affordable Glenfields that I was hoping it would rival. For perspective, my Crosman 1077W was twice as nice in fit and finish and it sold for less than $100.00.

Why is this important? Because this is a rifle for adults that could really influence our hobby. I'm not talking about the airgun enthusiasts that read blogs, with Crosman’s distribution the Discovery could end up in the hands of shooters that never considered airguns before. As is, if resellers leave them in the box it will stand a chance, if they put it in a rack with a price tag it will be hopeless. This was the best chance to convert firearm users in a long time…

Filling the rifle with the hand pump is uneventful. A quick trip to the Chrony shows a max of 26 ft-lbs with a heavy pellet, which is very acceptable. Discharge is loud and not neighbor-friendly. The trigger will need work, but is not totally unusable.

Once I put a scope on it, the Disco finally puts a small smile on my face. It is accurate.

So that’s the meat of it. The Disco is an okay chopped steak, but many will prefer to invest in a better cut, perhaps tender prime rib or juicy T-Bone. One accomplishment of the Discovery was to bring an affordable PCP to market that would cause the competition to lower prices on the sweet stuff. The other is it’s a PCP that Walmart could sell.

Take your pick....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Volvo’s bikes in the garage and the Disco - part 3

Proof that this is Volvo's Garage  S60R

This was going to be the final segment of the Crosman Discovery, but I have been pondering Slinging Leads bike comments. It seems we spend money on what is important to satisfy the exact need we have. Most purchases make our pain go away and replace that feeling with happiness and contentment.

The key here is how we prioritize these needs. For me, a bike is about as high on the scale as the lawn ornaments my wife desires. Somewhere around 1991 I make the pain go away of her wanting to ride bikes together by picking up a pair of slick rides at Sears. I know they are not the cream of the crop but I also know we will not ride them much.
and more...

My Lemon Crate was a sweet way to travel back in the day but once I learned to drive I never looked back. I enjoy a bike ride about as much as a yearly prostate exam.

and more...

So what is my epiphany here? For people not over the top passionate about airguns, the Disco does serve a purpose.

It is the Free Spirit of the PCP world.

This review is a real Cliff Hanger!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Disco – part two

Disco – part two
Pretty in a picture

I pick up where I left off yesterday looking for my Discovery review on the PA blog. Seems I was contemplating not opening the package until Christmas:

“So I’m staring at the shipping box, should I wait for Christmas or open the Discovery today?”

“Volvo: I hate to say it man, but if it was purchased as a Christmas present you should wait,..

Mr B”

“Volvo - I'd hate to waste two months of warranty (or the 30 day return, if you got it from PA). Unfortunately, I think that you HAVE to open it and give it a test. Randy”

“Volvo, of course open the Discovery and tell us about it. The warranty period seals the deal. I underwent major stress just waiting for my guns in the mail. In the house would have been impossible. Matt61”

Please let us know how the Disco goes.

Now I have to admit, I have no intention of waiting six weeks to test it out but I enjoy teasing my fellow blog members. Needless to say I hint at what is to come:

“Don’t know if I’ll make it, the rifle in the box is tormenting me like a heart beat under the floor.”

But now here is the rub, my initial impression slash review is gone.
Sad face. Perhaps it was a little too rough to be tolerated. The reason I was seeking out that original piece was two-fold: First, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, second and most importantly I cannot recreate the emotions that I felt when I first opened that box.

My early model has the Walnut stock
This is all I can find, a follow up piece that hints at my disappointment:

... My initial impressions of the furniture on it have not changed. Since it is useless to offer problems without solutions – here is mine. Send the stock blanks to shop classes throughout the USA. Any 12 year old with a piece of steel wool and the desire to at least achieve a C- will make a better product. Win-win.

Sorry, but I need to get it out of my system. Putting more effort in the box than the stock is just sad. Let people make a product they can be proud of.

The noise level is less than the Webley. I suspect the lower charge level is to thank.

The pump is very nice overall. It lacks the moisture filter of the FX model, but seems to be every bit as sturdy.

The open sights are fair at best, but since most will scope it that is of little consequence.

I have not scoped it yet, so the accuracy remains to be seen.

The dual fuel idea is intriguing, but it needs a couple items that are not included to run off of CO2. I do have to question the name. Since “dual fuel” ranges have been available for about a decade, I keep envisioning a range with gas burners and an electric oven.


BG Farmer tries to make it all better:

BG_Farmer said...


Send the stock -- nay the whole rifle and pump -- to me, and I will refinish the stock within 6 months to something which can be compared to a Weatherby Mark V. I won’t charge for this service, although ebony endcaps are extra:).

So it seems a part three will be needed. Additionally I will have to pick up a flux capacitor and DeLorean to re-live the moment…Slinging, in many fine dining experiences the meat can be many courses away.

The road to Discovery…Part one

The  photo helps stir my memory ... but I need more

At Slinging Lead’s persistent request, I decided to revisit the Benjamin Discovery. I will venture up front, that he is more interested in his rebuttal than my ramblings, but honestly I relish a good debate. So on with the show.

I decided that I would turn to the comments in the PA blog to refresh my memory on my experience with the Disco. While it has only been a little less than two years I can’t help but smile at the changes that have occurred as I search for my impromptu review among the comments.

I know that the Disco comes after my Webley Raider but before the FX Whisper, which puts it in the fall of 2008.

Here are some quotes from the golden era of comments:


It is free to list and sell your rifles here:

Kind of a pain to post pictures, but you can just e-mail them to interested parties. Most of the items I post sell in a few hours, so be careful of listing too much at once. You can get overwhelmed with e-mails.
Maybe try a couple of the rifles to see if you like it. You do need to include a price. You will also have to join first, which is painless.


This reminds me that the barrel actually flexes when you attach the fill probe

I was explaining to Wayne how to sell rifles on the Yellow Forum. Wayne now has 15 PAGES of feedback on the yellow from buying and selling. Just a year earlier I was explaining the Blue Book of Airguns to him. They grow up so quick.

He responds:


I just did my first post, and I couldn't see how or where to add photos... it was easy to sign up, thanks..
With the price one can find used PCPs for, I think you got it right about the Discovery...
After using the Air Arms S410 with the broken mag for a month, (it was an easy fix, I shouldn't have waited so long), self indexing is not necessary for me.. I'll do a search and see what I find.. if anyone out there knows, give me a link..



By his reply I summarize that I am close, but have over shot the date slightly.


I still have not shot the Discovery yet. As you suspected, it may not be long lived with me. I have contemplated just listing it for sale as new in box and keeping my eyes open for another deal on a used PCP.



Really appreciate the details and unbiased review of the disco. You've made me feel better about myself for not pulling the trigger on that purchase.



How nice. I thought you were going to sell the Discovery without opening the box.

"Bg Farmer,

Tempting offer. Could you throw in a brass trigger? : )"

He had offered to refinish the stock....


My bias isn't solely based on your opinion.

Read an awful lot about the discovery. I really like the price, the package that includes the pump, mid-range report, etc. It just won't be my entrance into the pcp world. Can't quite put into words what my hesitation is. Guess springers are satisfying my craving right now.


I still need to find that review. I am over shooting it, I just need to go back a few days. I will have it in my sights soon... I smile at the thought that Kevin shuns PCP’s…