Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle available in both 22 Caliber and 177 Caliber. A few months ago I set out to find the best value to price ratio in break barrel air rifles and settled on this one.
There is a lot to like about the Nitro Venom Series. First is price, there are better break barrel guns out there but nothing close to this that I have found in the 200 dollar and under range. Next is quality of fit and finish, now a high end Weatherby this gun is not but as a pellet gun the finish is very well done. Next we have power. The 22 caliber version will put standard lead pellets down range at 800 FPS and the 177 smokes em down range at 1000 FPS.
Now were it really comes together is accuracy, please understand that piston guns have a break in period, more on that in a second. That said I was getting decent groups out of the box with this gun. After a full break in of 500 rounds I can now drill a quarter at 20 yards, and I can knock holes in beer cans off my back fence from my porch, about 60 yards.
Now another feature that I really liked and led me to this pick was the integrated picatinny rail. By that I mean the rail is fused to the receiver, not bolted on. Piston guns have forward recoil, they can be hard on scopes but harder on rings and mounts. Because this rail is welded to the receiver you eliminate an entire point of failure, this rail is NOT going to move.
The included rings are 4×4 rings, meaning they have 4 vs 2 bolts for each ring, this is really important with forward recoil. The included Centerpoint 3×9 Scope is in my opinion the only weak point, but I would pay the price for this gun with no scope so I am fine with it, in fact it is still on my gun. It isn’t a bad scope and it does hold zero (over 2000 rounds now).
It is just not a really clear scope. I don’t expect Leopold quality in a scope at this level but suffice to say it could be better. I will likely eventually put a UTG 4X32 1″ Mil-dot Airgun Scope on mine, I currently have that scope on my Crosman 392 and I really like it. I also think 4x is plenty of power for an airgun and like mildot to play with hold over and windage at extended ranges (50-100 yards).
On break in, one of the nice things about nitro piston is they break in faster. Older style pistons took 1500 or more to really settle in. Most now break in at about 1000 shots. Nitros tend to settle in at about 200-300 but I go 500 before I really start dialing in the “perfect pellet” for it.
Here is my basic break in. I get the gun hitting about center at say 10 yards, then move it to 25 yards, get it basically hitting center, not really concerned about a tight group. Then I put 100 cheap ass pellets in a small dish on my back porch. Every time I get a chance I shoot it until I am bored. I just shoot some of my metal targets off hand until the bowl is empty. I do that until I get though 5 bowls and then get down to picking the best pellet.
So far one of the most accurate pellets this gun shoots is a pleasant surprise. They are the quite inexpensive Crosman Premier 22 Hollow Points. As this is a fine hunting pellet and only $5.82 for 500 rounds, I have pretty much settled on it. It has been more than adequate for squirrels and rabbits so far.
The other thing to do is check the scope rings/mounts every so often during break in. This means check tightness but don’t keep torquing them down more and more every time, just make sure you are not getting movement or loosening. You can also mark your scope with a grease pencil along the rings which will show you any movement of the scope. Though be aware it is easy to wipe off.
So if you are in the market for a good quality piston air rifle that doesn’t cost as much as an entry level center fire rifle, check out the Nitro Venom in your choice of 22 Caliber or 177 Caliber today.
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