I am now the simply giddy owner of a spankin' new Air Venturi Bronco air rifle.
This came about as the end choice of a couple of months of self-study, much of that at the simply splendid Pyramyd Air website. (Pyramyd Air was not the first airgun resource I came across, but it so quickly overtook everything else that there was no question of where my business would go. These are folks I am happy to go back to for all things airgun.
The package came early, and the boy in me was absolutely powerless to resist trying it out right away.
After just the first ten pellets, I am so happy I made the choice I did. This rifle is pretty clearly going to be everything that its designer and promoter says it is.
I have much to learn about airgun-fu, and intend to, but within a simple ten-shot string I have now learned how to compensate for the high comb in mounting, figured out how to manage the trigger and safety designs, and in general have now seen first-hand how to run a breakbarrel springer. Squee!
At the fourth or fifth round I dispensed with the rear-sight aperture insert, creating a true ghost-ring arrangement, and will be much happier with that. I may yet experiment with it some more, but my eyes like a sight picture that does not obscure the target. The first three pellets (offhand, at about 10m, onto a shoe box with no fixed aiming point), which had felt cleaning wads in front of them, went into about an inch, which tickled me greatly. The next seven grouped a little higher and tighter, and it will be interesting to see how things improve with a little familiarity and some attention to a deliberate bull. (I make no claim to outstanding marksmanship; this piece should be capable of far greater things than my skills can reveal.) And with this rifle, the safety is ergonomic enough that snapshot work will be excellent practice for "real" rifles.
Next up: more getting to know this trigger and sights, position shooting, learning the "artillery hold" that all the serious airgunners talk about, and some time with both a bull and a chronograph.
Since I can only learn it the first time once, I intend to enjoy it with complete abandon. This rifle is going to make that really, really fun.