Author Topic: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)  (Read 6519 times)

Offline daved

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Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« on: July 14, 2008, 05:45:05 PM »
Okay, now I get it.  Now I truly understand why everyone raves about the S400/410 series rifles.  As some of you know, I recently put one of my Talon SS's up for trade, I was looking for an Air Arms S200.  I had a high powered hammer in one of my Talons, I wanted a light, low/mid powered PCP for bird sniping and targets.  I've shot almost nothing but the Talons for the last year, it was time for a change.  

Well, no one had an S200 they wanted to part with at the time, but I was offered an S400E Xtra FAC.  Needless to say, I jumped on it.  For those not familiar with these rifles, the 400's are single shots, the 410's are 10 shot repeaters.  They are available in various configurations and power levels, with the latest models having a side cocking lever instead of the classic bolt action.  Mine is an older high power model, bolt action, non-adjustable power, full length rifle.  And I do mean full length, this thing is just a hair under 44" long!  That's almost a foot longer than my Talon SS, and it was the first thing that struck me when I took it out of the box.  Part of the reason for the length is the full length integral shroud, more on that later.

The rifle arrived last Friday, nicely packaged in a hard case.  Considering that this is a 3 or 4 year old rifle, it's in excellent shape, just a few very minor dings here and there.  It has a pretty plain jane beech stock, I can understand why Kirby likes his walnut stocks so much :-).  Despite the fact that it looks like a big rifle, it's surprisingly light, and the balance is excellent.  I've never been crazy about the "schnabel" forend on these guns, but I'm learning to live with it.  When I made the deal, I knew I'd need to get a fill adapter, my attempt to get one by the weekend failed, so here I was with a new rifle and I couldn't shoot it.  Add in the fact that my Talon is out of commission, and it's a wonder I made it through the weekend.  But as Paul (Fix) would say, life is good, then it gets better.  Fill adapter showed up today, and I got off work a little early.  So I was able to spend my afternoon with the new gun, and that brings me to the reason for this post.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about fit and finish, others have already done that, and probably better than I could.  Suffice to say, this is a high end rifle, easily the finest I've owned to date.  The only thing I've had that came close was my Beeman HW 77, and I'm afraid it comes off as a not too close second.  That includes triggers.  The Rekord trigger in the Beeman rifles is rightfully considered a world class unit.  Well, Air Arms managed to improve on perfection.  Adjusting this trigger is a breeze, it took me maybe 10 minutes and 20 pellets to dial it in exactly the way I wanted it.  It has separate adjustments for pull weight, 1st and 2nd stage.  When I got it, it was much too light, all I had to do was think about and it went off.  Well under half a pound, I'd say.  And yet, it was perfectly safe, I tried knocking it around to see if it would go off (something the Rekord will do if set too light), and it never did.  Which is a good thing in a rifle with no safety.  It was also set up as a single stage.  After my adjusting, it's a very crisp, 2 stage trigger that breaks somewhere around a pound.  As I get more used to the rifle, I may lighten it up again, but for now, it's perfect for me.

Actually shooting it was shocking.  This one is a .177, all the info I've read says that this is a 20+ fpe rifle in that caliber.  But when you pull the trigger, all you hear is a pop, then the pellet hitting the target.  And that's louder than the gun going off!  Like I said, I shot it a bit adjusting the trigger, but I couldn't believe it was shooting full power.  I thought I was under filling it, per my filling station I was filling to 200 bar, but the gauge on the rifle said I was just a little over 150.  Don't know which one to believe, but I think I'm getting another gauge.  Anyway, after adjusting the trigger, I got out my chrony and shot a couple of strings.  The first 30 shot string was with CPH's, average was 992 fps for 23 fpe!  I couldn't believe it, the high was 1031, and yet, all I was hearing was this POP, then the pellet striking the target.  The CPH's are pretty good accuracy wise, but this is a little fast for them.  At 30 yards, 5 shots inside 1/2" wasn't too difficult.  I think with practice and familiarity, that will improve.  After refilling, I decided to shoot another string, only this time I shot Eun Jins.  At 16 gr., these are about as heavy a .177 pellet as you can get.  Unlike some, I've had good luck with these in my Talons, but this rifle absolutely LOVES them!  4 of 5 went in a hole less than .2", I pulled the 5th and blew it up to about 3/4".  And the power!  30 shots averaged 873 fps, ES was 29 fps for an SD of 7.9, at just a tick over 27 fpe.  If ever a .177 could be considered a hammer, this thing with EJ's qualifies.  And yet, it's so mild mannered my wife was tearing up bulls right off the bat, and she only shoots rarely.  I will say it doesn't seem to like lighter pellets, I shot groups with a variety of pellets, CPL's were terrible, Superdomes and Supermags were only so so, and JSB's were okay but inconsistent.  That might change with a different head size, I need to do some experimenting.  Just for grins, I tried a couple of Silver Arrows, results were typical-2 shots ended up 3 inches apart and nowhere close to POA.  I've got some others to try, Predators among them, but didn't get to them today.

I'll close this with a pic, the Talon is there for contrast.  I TOLD you it was long :-)!  Later.

Dave

Offline gunsup0331

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Re: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 07:01:32 PM »
nice review! very Nice gun!

Offline johncedarhill

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RE: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 12:42:51 AM »
Nice--I still want one. So how do you compare the AA to the B50? Quiet can be deceptive making you think the velocity is low.
John
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Offline daved

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RE: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 01:19:43 AM »
I'd have to say the 50 is a cubic zirconium to the 400's diamond.  The 50 is a lot more compact than this model 400, and it's a decent rifle, especially after being tweaked by someone that knows what they're doing.  The air tube on this 400 is just about  a third longer, 196 cc vs. 314.  I've also never heard of a stock B50 doing 27 fpe in .177, not to say it couldn't be done.  And no matter what you do to a B50, the trigger will never be as good as the 400's.  You hear talk of heirloom quality guns, the 400 is one of those, I'm not sure a B50 would qualify.  And finally, this is no doubt the most deceptively powerful air rifle I've owned to date.  My wife was laughing at me (as usual), I've always liked sleepers, the hot rod that looks like mom's grocery getter, that sort of thing.  She picked a perfect example, this thing is a sleeper.  It's not loud or flashy, just incredibly efficient at producing gobs of power and accuracy.  The only negative I can come up with, other than length, is the cocking effort.  It cocks smooth as silk, but it takes a pretty good pull on the bolt to do it.  No biggie, cocking my old 350 was much more of a workout, but my wife couldn't cock it.  I can also see a need for adjustable power, my plan when I put the Talon up for trade was to get a LOW powered rifle :-)!  Someone does an adjustable power mod, I believe it's Pomona Air Guns, and I think I'll be checking into that soon.  This barrel seems to like shooting in the mid-800's, and the only way to get there as it is is to shoot super heavies.  And who wants to waste EJ's whacking starlings?  

How's that short barrel treating you, had a chance to shoot it much?  Catch you later.

Dave

Offline tat2dman

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Re: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 02:06:42 AM »
Sounds like a shooter,Dave... :emoticon:
Barry Jackson-765-602-1351
barryjackson40@gmail.com
Sig-Sauer P229 .40-for 2 legged vermin!
BSA Super 10 .22 FAC-Bowkett Blueprinted,BSA Super 10 .177 12 FP,tuned by me with JB`s assistance and pics.A couple of smokin QB-78`s-1 hot rod co2,1 pcp conv. by yours truly!!
\"Got a gun for the ole lady\"....good trade huh?

Offline johncedarhill

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RE: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008, 02:31:42 AM »
Up to my six in falling down dirt, cut off grinder and shovels. Maybe tonight. Not sure but I sort of recall that the power could be adjusted on the older 400 but require stock removal--maybe I am hallucinating as usual. I think from what I read the Pamona makes the newer models much more adjustable. I think I can part with the 392 LE, the ss1000t, the cfx, and even the walther lever action and get 2/3rds of the way to 410 erb maybe walnut. I am too much of a hoarder though--LOL.
John
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Offline kirby999

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RE: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008, 02:32:21 PM »
Congrats Dave on the new rifle . Airgunning as you knew it , will never be the same . I have 4 of the AirArms 400's (all 12fpe's) and I no longer have a need or desire for another airgun of any type . They will spoil you. kirby
\" Shooting PCP\'s; I sometimes miss that  unmistakable smell of a springer . \"

Offline daved

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RE: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 04:50:48 PM »
Hey, David, have you or anyone you know gotten the adjustable power mod done by Pamona Air Guns?  This thing definitely has more thump than I really need or want, and $60 to be able to turn it down sounds like a deal.  But I can't recall ever seeing a review of their work, and I'm not about to let this thing get hacked up :-).  Any input would be much appreciated, thanks.  Later.

Dave

Offline Black Mamba

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Very pleased to hear this daved
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2008, 01:31:29 AM »
I'm smiling for you bud.

I'm so glad to hear you got something like this.  I know you'd been hoping and waiting.

Looks and sounds like a beautiful rifle.   I hope you'll fondly remember the times you spend with that one.

Congrats.
Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

Offline kirby999

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RE: Air Arms S400-INCREDIBLE! (Long)
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2008, 05:31:13 AM »
I sold my first carbine to a guy who had the adjustable modification by Pomona . He liked their work a lot and said it came out . here's a link to the forum where a couple of guys talk about having it done . kirby http://www.network54.com/Forum/543831/message/1191465489/Rob
\" Shooting PCP\'s; I sometimes miss that  unmistakable smell of a springer . \"

Offline daved

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RE: Very pleased to hear this daved
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2008, 12:32:36 AM »
Thanks for the info, David, I know Rob is a regular on the Talon forum, I think I'll PM him for some details.  And Greg, thanks also.  I've enjoyed and have fond memories of all the rifles I've owned, even the frustrating ones.  I'm sure this one will be no exception, but the best part of it is the friends made since becoming a part of this crazy little world of ours.  Having like minded ( and isn't that a scary thought?) friends to share it all with just makes it that much sweeter.  So enough warm and fuzzy!  I see the ref nailed YOU and missed me (blows raspberry) :-)!  Later.

Dave