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There was a time when I could hit 1" plates at 30-40 yards with the open sights on my Remington Vantage (now a Crosman Vantage). Back then, I sort of concluded I was better off with the sights than having the scope on it, based on the scope being mounted to the piston/receiver, and the barrel perhaps not locking up exactly the same every time. Now I'd be happy to do that at 10-15 yards. Eyes must not be as good. I'm considering putting a scope back on it and seeing where I'm at with it now, but I've long since lost the dovetail scope mount. I'd like to get some squirrels with it out to 20 yards. Before I spend money on trying this out, it is even worth it or will I just wind up tossing it again?

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Old eyes have rendered open sights useless to me. You may still be able to use a receiver (peep) sight effectively for a few more years. That is the principle behind the Merit Eye Attachment used by target shooters when scopes were not allowed. I would recommend mounting a scope because you will probably end up needing it. Get a scope that is rated by the manufacturer for air rifles as the recoil impulse of the piston slamming at the end of the stroke is totally different than the recoil impulse of a conventional firearm. I have used the Hawke Airmax that I would recommend. I also have a Bushnell Sportview rated for air rifles but it is no longer made. Whatever scope you get I highly recommend an adjustable objective because of parallax adjustment necessary for shorter air gun ranges. Regarding rings and mounts get a mount with holes drilled in it that the studs in the rings lock into. This eliminates the rings slipping forward on the mount which is another unique air gun issue. The last consideration is barrel droop. There are mounts that have elevation built in so that the front of the mount is raised so that if the barrel is lower than the receiver you do not run out of elevation adjustment in your scope.

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I never had much luck getting great accuracy out of a break barrel rifle. I did eat two Tasco scopes trying as springers are hard on them. So you might be throwing good money after bad.

I held off on PCP rifles due to relatively high startup costs, but once I bit the bullet I will never use anything else for small varmint control. The only unfortunate thing is after almost 100 squirrels and 30 chipmunks last year, I've run out of targets. Hoping Spring brings new opportunities.


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Accuracy and break barrels come down to quality of springer, scope (and mounts) and pellets that agree with the rifle. These groups were shot at 25 yards with my Beeman R7 and Nikon Prostaff EFR 3-9x40. As you can see, different pellets can make a big difference.

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Originally Posted by centershot
Accuracy and break barrels come down to quality of springer, scope (and mounts) and pellets that agree with the rifle. These groups were shot at 25 yards with my Beeman R7 and Nikon Prostaff EFR 3-9x40. As you can see, different pellets can make a big difference.

Nice groups! Looks like a Brunswick stew to me!

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A quality scope will make a huge difference. A lot of the cheapo "Airgun" scopes won't hold up on a spring gun for very long. I've had good luck with the Bushnell Elites and Leupolds on the magnum airguns.

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Originally Posted by STRSWilson
I never had much luck getting great accuracy out of a break barrel rifle. I did eat two Tasco scopes trying as springers are hard on them. So you might be throwing good money after bad.

I held off on PCP rifles due to relatively high startup costs, but once I bit the bullet I will never use anything else for small varmint control. The only unfortunate thing is after almost 100 squirrels and 30 chipmunks last year, I've run out of targets. Hoping Spring brings new opportunities.

I’ve had a cheap no name brand scope on my springer forever and, well, it’s been on forever and still functions as it should. Use cheap scopes, throw them away if they get shaken loose.

My springers have taken a back seat to PCP now. About the only comparison between the two is they both shoot pellets. :-)

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I've always favored scopes because of my eyes and definitely need them now. Like was said above, I've gone the pcp route but still have two springers that shoot extremely well, a Beeman and a Gamo. I tried a Benjamin Trail NP XL a few months ago that I couldn't get to stay on paper at 40 yards with a bunch of different pellets and slugs so I sent it back. Reading reviews afterwards showed that they were about a 50/50 satisfaction rate. I even removed the baffle like another member suggested in case it was causing pellet strikes but it made no difference along with 2 different scopes. I was really wanting to love a nitro piston.

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I have 3 break barrels with scopes - a Weaver on a Hatsan .30, a Bushnell Elite on a Hatsan .25, and a Hawke on a Benjamin Prowler .177. All are mounted using a UTG mount\ring system that has 4 Allen head bolts holding it to the base. The rings are integral to the mount, for a one-piece system. These have worked very well so far to both protect the scopes and keep shots from wandering. These mounts are supposed to be "good" for using scopes designed for centerfire rifles on airguns - of course I have chosen reasonably priced or used scopes for my airgun use.

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Barrel lockup has never been a problem for me on any of my break barrel rifles.
The usual problem with break barrel air rifles is the recoil to the rear when the piston is released and to the front when the piston stops suddenly.
Not all scopes will survive the recoil in both directions.

Get a quality, air rifle rated scope and get it mounted solidly.

STRwilson is right, PCP rifles don't recoil like a break barrel rifle but it's a different project and you're trying to use what you have in hand.

I only have one PCP but I won't be selling any of my several break barrel rifles..

Don't get the cheapest Air Rifle scope you find and get a good mount.


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Scopes and springers....

There's a lot of ground to cover here, especially since you quickly went from shooting fine to having trouble.
The first thing to do is check all 5 major screws on your rifle - the 3 that hold the stock to the rifle, and the 2 (possibly 1 with a nut opposite it) that controls the gap between the action fork and the pivoting block that the barrel screws into. After you check screws, try to wiggle the barrel in its fork - if it has a bit of wiggle you may need a slender washer as a shim. I did that to a box store Crosman a couple of years ago and it went from 2" or more at 10 yards to around 3/8". 10 cent shim...
If they are all good and snug, and you still don't shoot well, a scope is probably the way to go.

Springers eat scopes. Period. Big rifles eat them faster. Modest rifles and good scopes can go a long ways though.
I recommend a good scope with an adjustable objective (very important IMO) with a no questions lifetime warranty.
There are multiple options, the most popular seems to be the Hawke Vantage with AO. Many sizes and reticle, with 3-9x40 & mil dot likely the most common. $100 or so should be about right these days.
The warranty is only for the original owner (keep your receipt!) and the scope is recommended to rifles in the 12 fpe or less category. Your rifle should be OK.

Bushnell makes certain models (Trophy and up I think) that are warranteed for springers, and there are definitely less expensive options like Hammers, UTG, etc. There are also high end scopes like Leupold, etc but that's a lot of money to shoot at 25 yards or so...!

One other thing - springers really can't be held firmly, the way someone would naturally hold a rimfire for example. If you tried to hold it tighter when you first starting having trouble, that could be a factor too.


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