Springer or PCP? Our guru offers his expert advice
QIn recent years, the world seems to have gone PCP bonkers, with new models or variants appearing in Air Gunner by the month and almost every article on airgun hunting based on someone shooting his PCP – and here’s me, still shooting my 20-year old TX200 and wondering what all the fuss is about. I will admit to having weakened a couple of times and found myself in the local gun shop looking at PCPs, but in order to buy one I’d have to sell my TX, and could not bring myself to do it. Am I missing out by not climbing on board the PCP bandwagon?
AGURU SAYS: The great advantage of a PCP is that to all intents and purposes it is recoilless, and that makes it easier for the user to achieve a given standard of accuracy. Whether a spring-airgun user is ‘missing out’ by not switching to a PCP rather depends on how good a shooter he or she is; a top springer shooter will shoot just as well with a well-sorted springer as a PCP, and at the other end of the scale, a poor shooter will achieve greater accuracy with a PCP.
The ease of use of a PCP is not without cost. For a start, you need a means of getting air into the cylinder, and the choice is between a pump and a bottle. A pump isn’t wildly expensive, but unless you’re fit and strong, using it can be very hard work, especially if the rifle has a large cylinder. The alternative is an air bottle, which isn’t cheap, and to which there are two drawbacks; first, it has to be taken somewhere periodically to be filled, which costs money both for the transportation and fill; second, it has to be taken for testing every five years, and the nearest test station might be a long distance away, so that’s more time and expense.
Now let’s consider your TX200. You can pick that rifle up any time knowing it’s ready to use 24/7, without having to top up the air. If you’re out hunting but things are slow, you can have a target or plinking session limited only by the number of pellets you can carry, and not by how much air is left in a cylinder. Best of all, if you’ve had that rifle from new, you should be at one with it and so be able to get the best from it, in which case you would not have much to gain, accuracy wise, from swapping to a PCP.
Guru tip: Never allow a recoiling rifle to touch a hard surface as you fire. It will bounce away and your shot will go wide. Separate it with your relaxed hand and you’ll do better
This is the TX’s equivalent of a ‘pump’ and ‘dive bottle’. It never needs refilling, and you won’t break into a sweat operating it.
The TX200 is still a very popular springer in its MkIII guise.