Monday, February 29, 2016

MCX CO2 Rifle’s First Shot

How to clear a jam on the SIG MCX air rifle
The white plastic 30 shot belt is inside the SIG's magazine.

As I wrote in the last post, I went to town, got some 90 gram CO2 cylinders and charged the gun. To do this you have to remove the butt unit. It unsnaps with a large button on the right side. The CO2 cylinder screws into the back of the action where the buffer tube would be on a conventional Armalite rifle. The butt tube is a friction fit over the cylinder making the unit feel much more secure, and hinting that there might be more design surprise in store. There was no hiss when the cartridge was pierced hopefully hinting that there are no gas wasting spaces inside the rifle.

Loading  the belt is not hard. once you have played with the magazine for five minutes, the orientation of the belt is not a problem. the pellets are seated form the back and pushed flush with your thumb. Then you use a seating tool to push them in about 1/16 inch deeper. The pellets fit very tightly.

I had found that the magazine went in and out a lot more easily if I cycled the charging handle first. I don’t know if this is the right thing to, but I don’t like to force anything. The magazine is made from the lightest weight plastic on the rifle. So, I cycle the charging handle before inserting or removing the magazine.

I stepped out the back door, released the safety, aimed at a snowbank (more about this later) and fired. I saw the pellet impacted the snow. I heard the SIG made some reloading sounds. These sounds were what I was interested in. I concentrated on the rifle, and started to squeeze off another shot.

The MCX, in the best black rifle tradition, had jammed.

I tried TAP, RACK, BOOM. I pushed up on the base of the magazine, cycled the charging handle, but the trigger would not move. To make things more fun, I could not remove the magazine. The one thing that worked was the safety which I applied. What I hoped would clear the jam, and which I did not have, was a .17 cleaning rod. It was going to be another trip to town.

Pocatello is a small city. We barely have enough people to require the reduction of the freeway’s speed limit. But, town is town. The traffic is much more hectic than our quiet country road. Long story short, I got a .17 cleaning rod.

By the way, I clean my airguns with a pull thru made from string trimmer line.

I gently slid the rod down the barrel until I felt some resistance. A very little more force and the rod went about ¼ inch more. That was all it needed. The magazine slid out and there was a pellet squished back into in the plastic cylinder that was aligned with the barrel.

I reloaded the belt and fired the gun several times, and experienced two more jams. Each jam came after a pellet has been successfully fired. I think that the subsequent reloading cycle did not fully seat the next pellet in the barrel. There is a warning that low gas pressure will not cycle the belt and jam the gun. I am not sure if this is right. The temperature on my back porch was mid 50s. It seemed warm to me after a winter in the teens and single digits. Perhaps the pellets were too tight in the belt or it wasn’t warm enough.

A good cleaning rod is a must have accessory for this rifle.
More to come.


Friday, February 26, 2016

SIG MCX air gun arrived today

What is a SIG MCX air rifle?
Much more expensive air rifles didn't come in a box this nice.

MCX arrived today and I don’t have any CO2. AROOOOOO!

For those who with the need to know the MCX (full name: SIG Sauer MCX Advanced Sport Pellet) rifle is a 30 shot, belt fed, semiautomatic, CO2 powered air rifle. It is has been shown around for about 18 months, but its release date is October of last year. It mimics the MCX firearm in size and weight, and can be had in black or flat dark earth colors.

And it is Way Cool.

Without CO2 there was no test firing of the MCX today, That’s likely a good idea. today’s high was 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Hardily shooting weather for CO2 which is temperature dependent. However, in the last year and a half, information about the MCX has circulated that is not true. Even without power there are some things that can be set right

The barrel is 18 inches long. I have heard 9 and read 16

The big black can of the front is not a moderator, but it does locate and stabilize the muzzle end of a very slender barrel.

The hand guard is plastic. You may have read that it is aluminum, but that is not right. The hand guard is robust and fastened to the action with four screws. It serves to locate the rear end of the faux moderator and further stabilize the barrel.

What is a SIG MCX air rifle?
The magazine and bolt releases are non-functioning details in the casting.

The left hand magazine release is non functioning. It is a detail in the casting that forms the left half of the receiver. That is a shame. Because the safety is ambidextrous and a mag button on the left side would make this a more useful rifle to southpaws.

The biggest question I have is what does SIG mean when they say “semiautomatic”? Some other manufactures abuse this term and use it for a repeating airgun that functions similar to a double action revolver. After handling the MCX and showing it off at our Thursday evening air gun shoot, it seems more complicated than that.

Today I’ll go to town and get some 90 gram capsules. Even if it is too cold outside for much CO2 powered shooting, I ought to have something more to say on how the gun functions.

What is a SIG MCX air rifle?
The magazine holds a 30 round belt.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Benjamin Armada Negative Feedback.

It had to happen.

I brought the Armada to a air gun gathering populated with traditional walnut and steel airgunners. I knew someone was going to take umbrage at an air rifle that looked more at home in the deserts of northern Iraq, then the sagebrush steppe of Idaho.

“Well, that’s a badass looking gun”!

I choked back the urge to say, “I guess it fits the sweet side of my nature”.   

He went on, “Run down the street with that shouting ‘I can’t take it any longer!’ and what do you think will happen”?  

I allowed that it would be a bad move with any gun, but he continued undaunted.

“As badass as that gun is, what do you see in it”?

Some folks don’t like the Armada's paramilitary look. The “why” is not important. I was confronted and challenged by a man who was clearly looking for an argument and questioned what use other than image I had for the Armada. I was looking for opinions and I got one with the invective “badass” front and center. What kind of a poser did he think I was? I kept my cool until he finally asked that last question.

“I see sights, and a sling wrapped around my arm. I’ve shot enough competition to see the Armada’s potential for marksmanship”.

Now, this guy is a stalwart member of the airgunning community, and his final question is a good one.
Airguns are a gateway to marksmanship, it is up to each of us to see how that is going to be accomplished,

what is a Benjamin Armada


Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Haenel 311

The Haenel 311 German Democratic Republic
The Haenel 311

Made in the city of Shul and bearing the city's trademark blacksmith, this 10 meter target rifle has a leather washer on the piston and bolt action cocking from the 1930s. The The Haenel 311dated from the 1970s,