A guest Blog entry
So, when I find someone who is conscientious, dedicated, patient and perseverant enough to solve a problem many would have simply quit, or sent back to the retailer, I have to take notice.
Not everyone accepts the invitation, but those that do, usually end up writing VERY good entries, and so, without further ado, let me introduce Mr. Ken Wheeler.
Ken spent a good time battling some issues that the Stormrider has, he went through two guns to find the one he wanted to keep, and he listened to advise and was patient. The results he obtained are "professional grade". So I am happy to recognize Ken's dedication by publishing his adventure with the Stormrider.
A story begins
At this point I should comment that this first gun did not require the hammer to be cocked in order to fill from empty, I don’t know why but that’s how it was.
Anyway, this is when the frustration level really rose as I discovered the gun now leaked, it lost ~500psi overnight. I found the leak locations using bubble juice, it was the fill port itself, the fill port cap where it threaded into the air tube and where the gauge threads into the sleeve. So, I destocked the gun, took the fill port cap off and removed the gauge from the sleeve. This is when I found the major issues that caused me to return this gun. First, there was a noticeable quantity of the preservative oil and associated crud in the air tube. Second, the o-ring at the base of the gauge was badly swollen and had to be replaced, fortunately a complete set of replacement o-rings is included with the gun.
I suspect the o-ring was exposed to and had absorbed the preservative oil ruining it. I cleaned as much of the crud and oil out of the air tube as I could but could never get this gun to stop leaking.
After finding these issues I thought it would be good for DIANA to be informed of the QC issue and remembering Hector’s blog I decided to inform him of my experience. This began a conversation and ultimately a friendship. This first gun ended up returned to Pyramyd Air for replacement. And in here I would like to thank PA for their great customer service.
To summarize the results and allow readers to come to their own conclusions, I implemented a "standard test" consisting of filling up the gun and shooting "economy priced" pellets to find where the powerplant exited the "sweet spot" for that specific configuration, the results of the gun as received (but corrected for trigger pull and leaks), with open sights, no regulator, max fill 200bar produced ~12 usable shots with a max FPS of ~900 using Crosman Hollow Point 14.3gr pellets and a relatively loud report making it marginally back yard friendly.
Here are a couple shot strings with this configuration:
Falling back on the "standard test", the gun yielded15 good shots with an avg FPS of 695 and 20 usable shots if you’re willing to allow an FPS as low as 650 using Crosman Hollow Point 14.3gr pellets, starting at a 200bar fill, the report is still loud but the rifle is more backyard friendly.
Again, listing the results for the "standard test", the gun produced 25 good shots with an avg FPS of 690 and 31 usable shots if you’re willing to allow an FPS as low as 650 using Crosman Hollow Point 14.3gr pellets, the report is quieter still but still a bit loud for back yard. It is to be noted that this time the fill pressure was 230 BAR's
My original plan was to “tune” for ~12fpe but I’ve changed my mind after reading one of Hector’s posts where he discusses the BHE and its terminal ballistics. Coincidentally I had chosen the H&N Crow Magnum and Barracuda Hunter Extremes as my primary hunting ammo while I was still using the Prowler. Hector’s post reinforced my choice and convinced me to leave the gun tuned as is. The Crow Magnum and BHE pellets need more energy than 12fpe to be the most effective. In the time since I completed the tune I’ve taken 8 squirrels and 2 Starlings, only 2 of those shots resulted in a pass-throughs and those were relatively close head shots. For me the jury is still out on this topic, the Prowler produces ~14fpe with these pellets but seemed to be more likely to produce a passthrough.
This addition doesn’t increase performance but in my opinion adds the last bit that makes this carbine a very nice hunting setup.
The one aspect of it that I find subpar is the magazine which was part of the original attraction of this rifle. In real world use I find the use of the single shot tray to be more than acceptable. Using it prompts me to slow down and take a better shot the first time and if a follow up is needed the reload time is not comparable to a break barrel. Overall I would recommend the Stormrider to anyone looking for a first PCP or an experienced air gunner looking for a gun that can be made into a good hunting setup.