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Just a few offhand shots on the 25y rimfire spinner, off the front deck, followed by a top-off fill to 3000psi. Total time from the first thought of "hey, I should work the airgun" to refilled, clean, tightened piece and accoutrements all put away, was probably twenty minutes. And this is the complicated pellet gun, which trades a few operational conveniences for the potential of nearly half the power of a .22 Long Rifle. (I could have put the same number of shots downrange with the breakbarrel AV Bronco in under half that time, from first-thought to all-put-away. The Bronco is not about power at all, but rather about easy, high-volume practice shooting--and it is very, very good at that.)
Yeah, I have become a fan of airgunnery as a valuable personal training tool. :-)
Confirmed: I really do like this piece, and look forward to learning more about it this year with working chronography, a goodly supply of .25 caliber pellets, and a whole lot of manual pump strokes into the Hill pump. With a little luck, I'll be able to work with the six-year-old on some select tasks as a school subject (physics, arithmetic, and statistical concepts in chronography and in accuracy testing), and of course work on my own as well.
For whatever reason--maybe it's just warmer now and things have loosened up--I was able to roll the power adjustment wheel with little issue, and so adjusted it all the way down to the bottom of the scale, where I fired the last few shots of the session. This should set things up well to begin testing how miserly the gun can be in terms of shots-per-fill, and what power it generates at that level. I suspect even at the lowest setting there will still be plenty of power available for the sort of game I'm most likely to pursue (think spruce grouse and snowshoe hares), and as anticipated I am already beginning to appreciate the effort required to feed a PCP ("precharged pneumatic") airgun with a high-pressure (2000-3000psi) hand pump. I still love the concept, but it's enough effort that it does tend to keep you from wasting shots needlessly.
Once we get things dialed in for chronography testing and most-accurate-pellet choice, I look forward to swapping out that lovely but huge and heavy Leapers glass for the Walther dot sight, and adding a Giles sling to make the piece more wearable. The whole plan for this piece in the longer term, after all, is to serve as a knockabout carbine of minimum bulk and weight; someday I still hope to acquire a "slightly bigger brother" in the form of the AirForce EscapeSS, which features both readily interchangeable barrels (and a reputedly subtler valve) and sound suppression built into the frame. (That's the piece I think the Leapers glass would be ideally suited for.) The two guns could share air tanks and parts, and I like the idea of having one set up as a .22 (for higher-volume shooting) and the other as a .25 (for maximum power and range).
I did notice that the top hat came loose again, which was a little aggravating. I may have to use threadlocker on those tiny set-screws after all. (If I'm reading things right, the top hat is mostly a set-and-forget item anyway.) We'll see how a really good scrunch goes.
Functionally, there's still only one thing I have reservations about, and that is fumbling the load in really cold weather. I seem to notice that every time I shoot the piece, even when (like today) the weather is just fine and there is no trouble at all. It's as though now that I've thought about it, the brain can't let go.
Very well, then, I'll make it a matter of practice and habituation. Shucks. :-)