Category Archives: Air & C02 Rifles and Pistols

Section to discuss air rifles and pistols include C02. So springers and C02 mainly.

The ATN X-Sight 4K 5-20x Scope Is Surprisingly Effective But Expect A Learning Curve

I never was that interested in ATN scopes until maybe a two years ago. I was at the range fiddling with something and a fellow pulled in and set up a varmint AR with a big blocky optic on a Bog Deathgrip tripod. I could not help myself – I had to go over and ask what the optic was.

Thankfully, he was a good old boy and liked shooting and talking. He was having a coyote problem and wanted to get the rig sighted in. He told me it was an ATN night vision optic and the tripod was to help him keep it all steady. I looked it all over and headed back to my area. The ATN looked better in person than it did in the ads that I had seen in catalogs that made it look “gimicky”. Between my assumption about the quality and the price, I was never interested but after seeing it in person it was filed under “who knows – maybe someday” category in my head for future projects.

Fast Forward to 2021

I was researching high end airguns and some of the of guys were running various ATN scopes. I wanted to up my game on the computational ballistics front – yeah the calculation of trajectories – and I wanted a computer to do it for me. I really wanted to get surgical and modern with my new .25 caliber FX Impact Compact pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle. This desire brought me to ATN and their latest generation of digital X-Sight 4K optics because they have an internal computer that can crank the numbers.

An Auxiliary Ballistic Laser (ABL) good from 5 to to 1000 yards could be added that interfaced with the scope to provide range to target data to the computer. The computer can take the muzzle velocity of your round, the ballistic coefficient of your bullet (in my case pellet), distance of the optic from the center of the bore, angle and the distance to the target and automatically adjust the recticle. Whoa…. that’s pretty amazing.

Just a quick note on the ABL – based on my experience with laser rangefinders, usually maximum range comments by vendor are a bit of hype because it depends on how reflective the target is. In my case, virtually all of my shooting will be within 50 yards with a possible stretch to 100 but I doubt I will ever shoot beyond that.

Another feature that attracted me was the night vision capability. I’ve not had the capability to eliminate pests at night or at very low light levels.

The X-Sight scopes have a host of other features like taking photos and movies, recording just before and after sensing recoil, etc. Those are nice but not really features I cared about.

I shopped around and ordered an ATN X-SIght 4k 5-20x optic, Auxiliary Ballistic Laser (ABL) 1000 rangefinder, and a quick release mount. It came to just over a $1,000 plus I bought a SD memory card. The optic and rangefinder were from Brownells and I sourced the quick detach mount direct from ATN. A lot of vendors carry ATN products so you can shop around.

In case you are wondering why I would go to such expense for accuracy in a PCP airgun that will mostly be used within 100 yards, I can sum it up with the saying “aim small – miss small.” It’s one of my favorite lines from American Sniper but it is true. If you focus your aim on a very small part of the target then you will either hit it or miss by a small amount. This requires discipline and knowledge on your part combined with a capable weapons system to deliver the bullet or pellet.

The Scope, ABL and Mount Arrived

When the boxes came and I started reading the manuals, I had the same feeling when I read something that says “some assembly required”. I really hadn’t put much thought into how different a digital optic is from a traditional scope. Wow. This thing has a series of setup menus and then you need to learn your away around the scope. So right out of the box there was a lot of fumbling, swearing and my changing things.

So here’s my first recommendation – be sure to watch ATN’s videos about setting up the optic and using it. The manuals help but I found the combination of videos for the overview and the documentation to refer to as a very handy combination. Click here to go to the ATN page with all of their videos and/or click here for the manuals – it actually has links to PDFs videos and guidance on the page itself.

The X-Sight is mounted just like any other scope. Square the weapon then the optic to the weapon to ensure the recticle is level. I use a Wheeler scope mounting kit’s leves to do this. Note that the Impact Compact is being held in a Tipton Standing Ultra GunVise. Man, those are nice.

Here’s an example of needing to read the instructions. The threaded portion is part of a tube that is separate from the body of the ABL. You back off the two screws you see, remove the tube and screw it into the front of the X-Sight scope. You then clamp the ABL onto the tube and position it horizontal to the scope and bore.

Here is everything mounted.
Here’s another angle.

Now let me give you hope – once you start using the scope, it gets easier and faster each time. I turn on the scope so it has time to boot up as I am setting up – not at the last minute when I need to take a shot. Most of the time I am shooting at 14 yards so I dont need to range the target and the scope remembers the last range used. Instead,I zoom as needed, acquire the target and take the shot. That’s it – not a billion menus. So, stick with it – you will probably find it frustrating too at first and then it will get better with time.

Setup and Zeroing In Tips

When you are entering the info for the ballistic coefficient (BC) and the muzzle velocity, try and be as exact as possible, I obtained the BC from the manufacturer of my .25 pellets and the muzzle velocity was the average of 10 rounds fired through a chronograph.

I carefully measured out the range from the muzzle to the target. When I entered the range into the optic, I was precise and not guessing. I was being very careful due to the desire for accuracy.

Set your rifle up in a firm stand and fire a group then adjust the recticle. Their marketing comment of one shot zeroes is something they even mention is “in theory”. Repeat this until you have your zero consistently. This will all go faster and be easier if you have a solid stand – notice I mentioned this twice now 🙂 I used a Bog Deathgrip Carbon Fiber model to help me get the job done.

My Opinion

I’ve been using the X-Sight since late-April 2021 and like it. If I have a new distance to shoot, I range it, take the shot and then reset to my most common distance. I have made a few 35-50 yard shots that would have required some calculation, or at least experience, and hit less than quarter sized targets (squirrel head and heart shots) accurately.

Here’s another angle that gives you a good view of the mounted ABL. It connects to the scope via Bluetooth and you need to follow a zeroing process outlined in the manual. It’s straight forward but don’t skip it.

One thing I had to get used to was looking at a small monitor vs. glass. I’ve been shooting nice glass scopes for a number of years now – notably Vortex scopes – and looking at a monitor with a resolution lower than reality is different. I must admit that I prefer the clarity of good glass but it dawned on me that it was not fair to compare them at this point. I bought the ATN for the ballistics calculation capabilities and the potential for low-light/night-use — I did not buy it to be just another scope, That set my mind more at ease about the image difference – it is what it is with the current level of technology in these scopes.

This is an actual screen capture. The optic allows you to select from a number of recticle choices. Note the range information from the ABL down in the ower right corner. What you see in the scope actually has much more information but the screen capture does not include it.
This is an exciting shot of concrete but it lets you see the recticle better.

The combination of scope and ABL is a bit bulky and the ABL’s head is asymmetrical for the laser transmitter and receiver units. I set the Impact Compact on our tall kitchen table and it fell off onto the hardwood floor about three feet. It definitely made my stomach drop to hear all that money hit the floor. I’m actually happy to report that the rifle and optics system survived without any problems at all.

I was wondering how long the battery would live but that has not proved to be a problem. I fully charged it when I first got it and then again a few weeks ago. Now I don’t leave it turned on all the time. I’d say it runs maybe 5-10 minutes every 2-3 days and it’s not been a problem. I think I will just always charge it when it gets half way down or so plus I could always charge it from a powerbank/portable battery if needed. ATN even sells an extended battery if you need it.

The ABL is still on its first battery so I can’t tell you much there – I only use it as needed for longer shots so its had minimal use. I do have a spare battery just in case.

I wish the menus were a bit easier to navigate with very clear “back” or “cancel” options immediately available on every screen. For example, if you get into the manual ranging section or the part of zeroing the recticle by accident. For the most part they are pretty straight forward but I am not wowed by them from a user design perspective.

I opted for the ATN quick connect scope mount and it is okay but does not have locks on the throw levers. In hindsight, I could have used any 30mm rings I wanted including my preferred American Defense mounts. You have plenty of flexibility because one of the menu options lets you specify how high the scope is mounted.

Here’s a view of the ATN quick dtach mount’s levers. They don’t lock closed but have held no problem so far.

Last comment – I had the scope freeze on me twice. I found that turning the ABL off first, if I turned it on, seemed to cause the problem. Now, when I do use the ABL, I turn the scope off first and then the ABL. I’ve not had it freeze since powering down in this order. By the way, if your scope does freeze, hold down the power button for 10-15 seconds and it will shut off – kind of like notebooks where one push does a controlled power down of the laptop but holding it down does a forced immediate shut down.

ATN definitely tries to label everything outside of the scope to try and help folks learn the controls.

In Summary

I’ve been using the X-Sight 4K 5-20 and ABL 1000 laser for about three months and several times per week – sometimes several times per day depending on what is going on. I really feel like the combination has improved my actual accurage in terms of precisely hitting the target so I am happy with the purchase.

I’d recommend the setup for anyone looking for this type of optics system with similar intentions as I outlined at the start. It’s different from traditional glass lense optics but it brings a different set of capabilities to the table also. Let me put it this way,I would buy it again for my intended use.

I hope this helps you.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

FX Impact Compact .25 PCP Powerhouse – Initial Findings

In the last post, I covered my journey leading up to the purchase and arrival of the FX Impact Mk.2 Compact. The rifle performed beautifully right out of the box. The trigger was definitely very nice and the action was smooth.

For the price though,I did find some features, or lack thereof, annoying and ranked them in order from biggest pet peeve to the least:

  1. There is no “cocked” indicator and it will let you double-cock the rifle thus loading/stacking multiple pellets on top of one another. I have learned over time to carefully pay attention to the feel of the cocking handle about a 1/4-1/3rd as the absence of the spring compressing tells me it is already loaded. I also try to make sure I put the rifle immediately on safe as another flag. While mistakenly double-cocking the rifle has decreased, it still happens. When it does, I open the bolt, remove the magazine and use a cleaning rod to push them out. Come on FX, my $800 Gladius disengaged the cocking lever once cocked to avoid that user error. This my biggest beef.
  2. The owner’s manual is a bit vague. It is concerning that it says changing the power wheel when charged will damage it and void the warranty. WTF. Maybe you should fix your design instead. Putting the blame on the operator is a total cop out. Dear FX, I reached out to your customer service group asking what the power level numbers and letters correspond to with no answer.
  3. The distance from the Foster high pressure quick connect fitting to the trigger guard so long that the purchaser must go out and buy an extended length female fitting? If you find your common length female fitting below human reach once it clicks into place, remove the screws from the trigger guard, remove it, remove your coupler from the rifle and then promptly order a longer one. Tony sent one with my rifle that I wasn’t sure I would need – turns out I sure did. I later ordered an even longer knurled one that DonnyFL sells. Not the end of the world by any means but it is annoying.
  4. Your decocking feature would be nice except it leaves the pellet in the chamber and unless you pull the magazine too and remember that one is in there and shoot it before re-installing the magazine, you will double stack pellets. I’d tell anyone reading this to shoot a pellet into the ground or any other suitable stopping surface vs. using the decocker.

That’s it in terms of things I dont like and I had time to reflect on this list. All in all, it’s a pretty wicked PCP air rifle.

The DonnyFL “FX” Moderator

DonnyFL makes quality sound moderators exclusively for airguns in Oviedo, Florida. While the FX moderator that Tony included did reduce the sound levels, it wasn’t enough. I had a “Ronin” series moderator that could absorb more gas and reduce sound levels even further so I installed it on the special adapter that was already on the rifle. It definitely reduced the sound even further but was still too loud. I added in the 6″ extension and it was quieter but I want even more. I plan to purchase their biggest moderator the “Sumo” and will post about that later. So it’s not really a knock on the FX series moderator but I would tell you to at least get a Ronin of the right caliber and the correct adapter to install it.

This is the DonnyFL Ronin moderator on the left of the seam just above the end cap that is keeping the assembly from rolling. On the right is the optional extension that lengthens the moderator. It was a cheap experiment to see if ot lowered the sound level when firing and it did. I am betting the Sumo will lower it further because the extension is just a hollow tube that serves as one large expansion chamber whereas the Sumo is designed to absorb the compressed air blast the whole length.

Element Optics Helix 6-24×50 Scope

Element Optics is a sister company to FX and their goal is to make quality scopes for airgunners and even firearms. I will say that the glass is remarkably clear but I will also tell you that one day I got my air rifle out and missed the squirrel I needed to dispatch and then I missed another and another. I set up a target and the impact point had shifted almost 1.5-2″ to the right but it was consistent. My best guess was that I had accidentally turned the non-locking windage adjustment knob quite a bit. How? I have no idea.

It turns out there is a zero stop you can easily adjust to return to zero – I wish I realized this up front. It was my fault for not reading the manual up front. What I should have done was to confirm my zero, set the zero stop and then if I had any question, I could immediately return to zero. Live and learn.

Air Source

In December 2020, I invested in a GX CS3 high pressure air compressor off Amazon and it is still going strong seven months later. I run an inline filter to my 18 cu ft Omega tank and use the tank to fill the Impact Compact – I still put a filter between the tank and the airgun just to be safe – quick connects make the plumbing and moving things around real easy – I use all Air Ventury quick connects to avoid compatibility problems – I’ve had to swap out a few generic fittings along the way. Click here for various posts about the compressor and tank.

The GX CS3 compressor is geat. Here it is in refillying my Omega 18 cu ft tank. The small blue cylinder in the air lines is a high pressure air filter. I have a bigger one that I need to replace the generic male fitting with one from Air Venturi and once I do, it will be filtering the air for the tank and then the small blue fiter will filter the air from the tank to whatever airgun I am filling.

Some Photos For You

This is the Impact Compact with the DonnyFL Ronin moderator sitting directly in front of it.
Here’s another angle.
Here’s the power adjuster that I still don’t fully understand. “3” seems like a nice middle of the road setting that works on squirrels without a lot of over-penetration at 14 yards. You can also see the trigger – it’s definitely sweet and contributes to the accuracy.

In Summary

Most of my shooting is within 50 feet and the rifle is an absolute tack driver, It will takke a squirrel or rabbit out with no problem. I’m using the JSB 25.39gr pellets and with the excellent trigger, where ever I put the crosshairs the pellet follows. I’m going to stick with this base rifle for a while but I did replace the scope with an ATN X-Sight 4K that I will write about next.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

FX Impact Compact .25 PCP Powerhouse – Doing The Research

Over the years, I have slowly upped my game when it comes to airguns. My first bb gun was an old Daisy that I shot with my dad and from there I progressed to a Crosman 766 that was my trusty companion — until I got old enough and my dad let me buy my first .410 shotgun and I moved to the world of powder burners (firearms) until about 10 years ago.

For pest control reasons, I moved up from the entry-level airguns and bought a .22 caliber Diana 34P. It did the job but being a break-barrel springer, you had one shot and then had to divert your attention from the critters and reload.

From there I bought a .22 caliber Hatsan Gladius Long and Hill Mk.4 hand pump. I’d started blogging at this point so I wrote a number of posts. The rifle was relatively quiet, had a decent trigger, was accurate enough and packed a punch.

I then added a Hatsan AT-P2 that was smaller and interesting but didn’t hit squirrels hard enough. It’s still sitting in my closet in it’s case. The one thing they don’t tell you about airguns until after you get into them is that the resale value sucks – you have to practically give them away so … the AT-P2 is in the closet.

Getting back to the Gladius, it was and is a solid airgun however, I wished it was quieter so I bought an adapter and DonnyFL Ronin moderator to reduce the sound level. Turns out the barrel wasn’t true in the shroud so the pellets would hit the adapter and accuracy just disappeared so I removed the Ronin and saved it for a future airgun. It was also longer than I wanted and not regulated either meaning whatever pressure was in the tank, that affected the velocity and shot placement at the target … in short, I started to get more and more disappointed because while the Gladius is a good PCP airgun, it’s not a great airgun – at least not in terms of meeting my needs as I learned and changed what I wanted from an air rifle.

I was really leaning towards a bullpup design so I could get a longer barrel in a compact design with a relatively short overall length. I also wanted it to be regulated, have an excellent trigger, accuracy, power and to be quiet. It’s a tall ord to get all of these so I was looking at vendors like Airgun Technology, Daystate, FX, Kalibr, LCS and Taipan. I was really torn between the Vulcan, Cricket and Mutant models so I was reading everything I could – these air rifles were/are expensive and I honestly could not afford to buy one that didn’t deliver.

I usually prefer to read first hand accounts on the web and watch videos on Youtube but due to the level of investment and I am not some guru in the airgun space, I decided to call the Some airgun vendors allow people to take calls who are just order takers – they have nowhere near enough experience with the products they are trying to sell to make a credible recommendation. I’m not going to call any groups out by name but let me just recommend that you call more than one and you do your research before you buy anything – especially a higher-end air gun.

After the disappointing calls, I decided to call TalonTunes and Tony, the owner, picked up the call. Tony is an interesting guy – he has a ton of knowledge and is direct — no BS. I found it refreshing after my other experiences.

TalonTunes & The FX Compact Impact

As we talked and he understood more what I was looking for he steered me towards the FX Impact Mk.II Compact – a short barrelled design I was not familiar with and he explained he could sell me a “tuned” model for $2,499 wherein he would modify the transfer port and pellet probe plus he would dial it in for accuracy with the proper regulator pressure and sight in the scope – provided I bought the scope from him. It also came with a DonnyFL FX moderator to reduce the sound when it fired.

I wrote down the details and told him I would consider it. The answer that really sticks me months later was that I asked him if I should go with .22 or .25 for squirrels, rabbits and a rare racoon. He told me that he had plenty of customers who went with .22 who later told him they wished they had gone for the larger .25 pellet but he did not have a single customer who opted for .25 who later said they wished they had bought a .22. I’d been going back and forth in my head about which to move with and that pretty much sealed it – I would move with a .25.

Again, for this kind of money, I wasn’t going to leap on anything until I researched both the FX Impact Compact and the reputation of TalonTunes. Let’s start with the base air rifle.

FX Airguns is a Swedish company known for making progressive airguns and they seem polarize people into either being fans or not liking them at all. In general though, they are known for quality airguns and you can readily get parts for them.

The Impact was revised in 2020 with an enlarged “power plenum” located before the transfer port. The compressed air is held in it until the trigger is pulled at which time it rushes forward and propels the pellet forward. The speed is a function of the volume of air and the pressure in the plenum. Combine this with an excellent barrel and you have a powerful accurate air rifle.

It also sports a fully adjustable trigger and it uses an AR-15 grip. By using an AR grip, this opens up a world of grip options for you.

It is a bolt action repeater feeding from a 28 round removable magazine. The one thing to look at with these rifles is the magazine – the design that the Impact uses is proven and not a headache to load. Also, not all magazines are removable for quick reloads.

The Impact Compact is fully regulated too. If you aren’t familiar with regulated airguns, this is a critical accuracy selling point. The air tank “bottle”) on a PCP air rifle holds are at whatever the maximum rated working pressure is and then the pressure slowly goes down as shots are fired and air is used. The Impact Compact has a 250 bar (3,625 PSI) fill pressure. Now the regulator is governing the air pressure that makes it to the plenum so that it is a constant – in the case of my rifle it was set to 120 bar (1,740 PSI). As long as the bottle is about 120 bar, the pressure will be about 120 bar at the plenum making the shot velocity much more consistent – for a variety of reasons there will be a bit of give and take on the pressure and the resulting velocity.

In general, a regulated design is far better than an ungoverned PCP airgun that will have a sweet spot somewhere for X number of rounds and then drop rapidly. For my Gladius,it was rated at 200 bar but I would only fill it to 190 and it was pretty consistent for the first 10 rounds and then I would pump it back up to 190. It was a bit of a chore but it served me well for almost four years so don’t get me wrong.

So, for the Impact Compact, it was getting solid reviews with guys amazed at the power and accuract of the small rifle. I was pretty much sold. The only shortcoming I could foresee was the lack of a moderator but the TalonTunes package included one.

In terms of TalonTunes, Tony gets very good reviews. People posting on airgun sites mentioned that there might be a wait but what showed up was as-described and quality. I didn’t turn up any significantly concerniing reviews so I decided to move ahead.

I Placed The Order

I called Tony and ordered the tuned .25 FX Impact Compact, an Element Optics Helix 6-24×50 scope and the requisite mounting rings. Yeah, I did have to wait for Tony to tune and ship it – I think it was about 4-6 weeks but what showed up was pretty wicked and worth the wait.

The rifle arrived in two boxes. One had the FX Impact Compact and scope in a cool cust hard case.The other had the pellets and boxes for the scope, and documentation.
Tony also included a chronograph receipt tape and a grouping in a cool little pamphlet. Yeah, this speaks volumes and that group is real – let me tell you that right now.

In Summary

I’m writing this six months after getting the Mk2 Impact Compact and I was impressed then and still am now. They have now moved on to a “M3” and it’s getting good reviews with an even bigger plenum, twin transfer ports and improved ergnomics. At any rate, in the next post I’ll tell you more about my experiences hands on because there are things I like with my Mk.2 and things that I don’t.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Buying an Omega 18 Cubic Foot High Pressure Air Cylinder and Filling It With My New GX CS3 Compressor

In my last post, I described how I set up and test my brand new GX CS3 compressor. The next step I wanted to do with it was to charge my Omega 18 cubic foot air cylinder. As easy as the GX CS3 is to use, I still wanted a small high-pressure air (HPA) cylinder to use to top off my airguns vs. needing to haul the compressor out every time.

So, why did I pick an Omega HPA cylinder?

I actually have a prime reason – safety. Back when I started SCUBA diving back in the early 1980s, 3,000 PSI 80 cubic foot air tanks were the rage. One of the things they drilled into us during our classes was that this much air pressure needed to be respected. You made sure your tanks were taken care, properly inspected every 5 years via a process known as ‘hydro testing” and you even loaded them in your care secured the valve forward because if the valve broke off then the main body of the tank would take off like a rocket as the air escaped and you didn’t want it coming forward towards you!

At any rate, I had safety top of mind when I started reading on HPA cylinders. Folks, there are cheap virtually generic tanks out there that I would not trust. As I visited the various PCP airgun vendors, I would note what brands of HPA cylinders they would carry and Omega was a brand that I saw repeatedly.

I’m not saying Omega is the only brand to look at by the way – it’s brand I decided on when I looked at price, reviews, and availability. The pandemic has thrown off supplies of just about everything these days.

Omega is a brand you ought to consider because they are owned by the Korean firm Inocom who has done a lot of R&D of carbon fiber HPA cylinders for fire and rescue, medical, SCUBA diving and even PCP airguns — which is what we are talking about today. Inocom produces over 150,000 cylinders a years that conform to a bunch of different standards and my point is that they know their stuff.

In the US, you can find Omega Air Cylinders at a number of different vendors including Airguns of Arizona, Talon Air, and many other places. I bought my particular 18 cubic foot tank from Airguns of Airzona (AofA) because they had them in stock — the relatively small 18 cubic foot tanks can be hard to track down.

Airguns of Airzona Video

AofA took the time to assemble a video review of the Omega tanks. There are a number of sizes and you can spend quite a bit before you know it.

But what about those cheap generic tanks on Amazon and eBay?

I’m not a fan of taking unnecessary risks when it comes to high pressure air. That is a ton of pressure to gamble with. I would much rather spend the money and buy a tank made by a reputable vendor. I suppose you could always a cheap tank to a dive shop that can do hydro testing and have them check it but why go to the extra work and expense?

Out of the box

The Omega arrived just a few days after I ordered it from Airguns of Arizona and boy did it look nice. I’ve always liked the look of real carbon fiber and the tank looked awesome. It also comes with the meter long no-kink hose that also converts from the air tank fitting to a 1/8″ BSPP threaded end that comes with a foster fitting already installed.

The carbon fiber work is visually stunning. Wow.

It comes with a really nice oil filled pressure gauge that tells you the pressure in the line – not the tank. If you want to know the pressure in the tank, you would need to put a dead-head, or test fitting, into the quick release foster fitting in the hose and pressurize the line.

Inside the red circle in the photo is the pressure relief button that depressurizes the line when pressed.

Protecting Your Investment – Get a Bag

As cool as carbon fiber is, I would recommend protecting it from getting cut or gouged with a bag. I bought a Workpro 16″ tool bag off Amazon and the tank fits great. I did add old gun case foam to the bottom of the bag for some added protection.

I have the tank pulled part way out for the photo. It fits with the fill line installed, no problem. You can see the pluckable foam that I put in the bottom. The bag also gives me room for spare fittings – they are in that small grey pouch you see.

Filling the Tank – Remember Your Compressor’s Duty Cycle

Okay, first off, bear in mind that your compressor likely has a duty cycle. In other words, it was designed to run for a certain number of minutes and then be allowed to cool down for another amount of minutes. For my GX CS3, the duty cycle is to run for up to 30 minutes and then be allowed to cool for 20 with the cooling fan running.

To connect the GX CS3 to the tank, I used an Air Venturi foster fitting male-to-male adapter plug. This fitting will allow you to connect the female foster fitting on the compressor to the female foster fitting of the tank.

This is an Air Venturi brand male-to-male Foster fitting adapter.
The male-to-make Foster fitting adapter allows us to easily join the two airlines together via their quick detach fittings.

So what do we do first? Test the lines

Assuming you tested your pump and know that it holds air, we need to next test the fitting and airline from the compressor to the tank. You do this by keeping the tank’s air valve closed and then pressurizing the airline only in steps.

I found out immediately that air was leaking where the airline connected with the tank and used a wrench to snug the fitting down. Note, do not use your hand to look for high-pressure air leaks – use soapy water and look for bubbles.

During testing, I found that air was leaking out of this fitting. Some people say you can install this fitting by hand and it will seal. Due to carpal tunnel, I probably do not have the strength of many and I did use a wrench on the flat sections of the fitting to snug it up and everything sealed beautifully.

So, I pressurized the lined to 1,000 PSI after I fixed the above and watched the pressure gauge for a few minutes. It held. I then opened the bleed valve on pump and let the air out.

I repeated the above going to 2,000, then 3,000, then 4,000 and finally 4,500 pounds. In all cases the line held pressure after the initial tightening down of the air fitting to the tank.

Filling the tank itself

By now I was feeling comfortable with the compressor. I decided to run the compressor in 25 minute cycles to see how far it would get and how warm the exhaust air would get.

At 25 minutes, the tank had reached 2,200 PSI. I could hear the pump was making a different sound as it was operating under load but nothing scary like metal on metal grinding. I turned off the pump but let the cooling fan keep running for 20 minutes.

I restarted the pump and in another 25 minutes, the tank air pressure increased to 4,100 pounds. I used a Fluke IR thermometer to measure the exhaust vent and it was at 116F degrees (for reference, the floor measured 67F next to it. I measured temperature at a few other places too out of curiosity: Top of the case was 105.8F. Neck of the cylinder was 92F, the male-to-male coupling was 76F and the top of the power supply case was 86F. Nothing alarming in short.

I let the unit sit and cool for 20 minutes. The exhaust vent had cooled to 91F. Almost 3 minutes and 24 seconds after restarting the tank reached about 4,500 PSI and the compressor automatically shut off.

I watched the air pressure for a few minutes and it held. That was a good sign.

Interestingly, when I bled the line about a teaspoon of water came out of the pump. The GX CS3 does come with an internal water and oil separator. I do plan to add filters both to the pump and the tank just to be sure – I am real nit picky about having clean air – it comes from my plastics business. At any rate, I will report more on the filters later.


The Omega tank worked without a hitch and I am very happy. I filled my Hatsan Gladius Long from the tank and boy was that easy. My old Hill Mk.4 hand pump has served me well and is now a back up just in case but now that I have a compressor and tank, my life just got a whole bunch easier.

I did need to put a Foster fitting on my Hatsan fill probe. This has made the probe very portable as I can now put it on the tank, the compressor or the Hill hand pump. One recommendation is to stick with the same brand of Foster fittings – this is an Air Venturi female 1/8″ BSPP adapter to male foster plug.

I hope you found this post useful.

2/2/2021 Update: The tank is working great. It is incredibly convenient to have this tank around to top off airguns. I used to dread breaking out the hand air pump and now it’s just a matter of a few second and the gun is full again. The GX3 compressor has proven itself to be a great addition also.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Setting Up And Testing The GX CS3 PCP Air Compressor

As I mentioned in my last post, IU ordered my GX CS3 air compressor off Amazon and it arrived in great shape. The next day, I reread the very terse instructions in the manual and decided I better follow some basic test procedures because you don’t want surprises with high pressure air (HPA) systems – think small explosion when they do. My intent was to bring the unit up in stages.

Current Version Does Not Require Additional Water or Grease

Unlike other pumps, you do not need to add water or oil/grease to this pump. You take it out of the box and run it. I even contacted the seller just to confirm because they still include the old instruction guide that says to add grease and the Amazon listing says you do not need to do so anymore. In short, it’s ready to go out of box.

Take the time to read the very brief owner’s guide/instructions. If the Amazon listing still says you do not need grease and there is no grease supplied, that part of the guide is outdated. You can still see what they say about testing, their exploded parts diagram, etc.

Set up and Testing

Here’s what I did and would recommend to a new owner:

1. Make sure the AC power adapter’s input voltage switch is set accordingly.

If you are in the US, the switch should be on 110V. You only need to do this once.

Do not plug it into the AC power yet. You need to connect the pump first.

2. Connect the pump’s power cables to the adapter.

First, I connected the power clamps to the AC adapter and then plugged the AC adapter into the wall. I debated testing the power to see if I was getting 12-13 volts but decided to just run with it. Note, there is no power switch on the adapter so connect the clamps from the pump to the compressor and then plug the power adapter into the wall.

Important: Connect the pump’s power leads to the AC adapter first before you plug it in. Also, mke absolutely sure the red power line is clamped to the red “+” terminal and the black line is to the white “-” terminal. Do not reverse the polarities.
The power cord to the wall plugs into the bottom receptacles. The red clamp from the pump plugs to the red “+” and the black cord plugs to the white “-“.

You can see the lower AC cord socket. This is your normal office plug so you have tons of cord options if you need to replace the cord down the road. There are also lots of AC adapters on the market with a very similar set up – just make sure they output 13V and and least 46.2 amps to support the compressor.

So your setup should look something like the above at this point.

With the power adapter plugged into the wall, the cooling fan on top should start right away and that is how you know it is running. If it does not, use a test meter to check the AC power cord for 110-120 volts. If the cord is good then see if you have 12-13 volts at the terminals. You will need to contact the vendor as the fan is critical for cooling even if you do have power. If there is no output power then the vendor needs to replace the power adapter.

If the fan is running, let’s go to the next step.

3. Testing the pump and line

Set up really is that easy. At this point, it was time to turn on the pump and pressure test the line. To do this, the maker supplies a test Foster plug that goes into to supplied female Foster fitting.

The test plug, sometimes called a dead head plug or dead head fitting is to the left. The female Foster fitting that is pre-installed on the pump’s airline is to the right. Pulling that silver collar back from the end will release whatever is inserted into the coupling.

Note, my test plug came already installed in the end of those. In general, I like the idea of keeping the test plug inserted when the pump is not in use to help keep the fitting clean.

Two things, the quick connect fittings on HPA lines, tanks and guns is known as “Foster” fittings and you have the make plugs and female couplers with a locking ring you slide back to release the male plug. They are a really handy means to switch between filling different things – tanks, guns, certain types of fill probes, etc. Just make sure you get fittings that are rated for the pressure you need. For example, I’ll be filling tanks up to 4,500 PSI so my fittings are all rated for 5,000 PSI.

If you mix fittings between vendors, there’s a risk of a leak due to tolerances stacking the wrong way. In other words, vendor X and vendor Y might have slightly different allowances during machining and when you combine them, there is enough of a gap for air to leak out. With this in mind, I try to stick with Air Venturi brand fittings and if I have a problem, I swap out the fitting in question with one from that brand and I keep spares on hand just in case. Note, they can also wear out from repeated use as well – another good reason to have a few spares.

This is my Hatsan fill probe with an Air Venturi foster fitting on it. Note, the pipe thread on these fittings and air lines is 1/8″ BSPP – British Standard Parallel Pipe. It is not NPT. Use quality pipe tape or a Dowty washer to seal the threads. Here, I am using quality pipe tape.

My Testing Procedure

I am paranoid. If something is going to break, I want it to happen with the lowest air pressure and volume of air behind it that I can get. Right now, we need to test the pump itself, the air line and fittings that came with tank.

WARNING: Never run your hand over a charged high pressure air line and fittings in search of leaks. You run the risk of injecting high pressure air into your blood and having an embolism. Either spray soapy water on the suspect and look for bubbles or even dip the area in soapy water.
Please note that the gauge has a dial indicator you move around to the air pressure limit you want the pump to stop at. You can move this dial around by turning the silver knob at top. Here, my pump is set to turn off at 4,500 PSI. You would set your’s at the limit whatever you plan to fill. Note how the indicator has both PSI and bar settings. If your airgun has a limit of 200 bar, you would set it to 200 bar for example. You will likely find some difference between what the pump says the pressure is vs. your tank or airgun by the way. For safety, stick with whichever value is lower. If you set the pump to 200 bar and your airgun reports it is past 200 bar then stop the pump and bleed some air off. Adjust your dial so you do not exceed the maximum pressure of the device you are filling. When in doubt, play it safe.

Here is what I did to test my pump and fittings and if you are not comfortable with any of it, please do not do it (safety first):

  1. Ensure the test fitting is installed in the end of the Foster fitting of the pump’s air line.
  2. Set the air pressure limit on top to 1,000 pounds.
  3. Flip the toggle switch as the base of the pump to On.
  4. Push the start button on the front of the pump. If it does not turn on, double check the power connections. You should also hear the relatively loud cooling fan turn on in the pump at the same time. If it will not turn on or you don’t hear the cooling fan once it does, you will need to contact your vendor. My fan turned on when I pushed the silver start button on the unit.
  5. The pump should start and in a few seconds pressurize the line to 1,000 PSI. If not, then contact the vendor.
  6. By the way, the pump better shut off at the assigned 1,000 PSI limit. If not then this is a serious safety concern and you should contact the vendor.
  7. With the pump off and the line charged, watch the pressure gauge for 30-60 seconds. If the pressure falls then that means there is a leak somewhere and you should contact the vendor. If it stays steady, go to the next step. If you want to wait for longer, you certainly can.
  8. Open the bleed valve and release the air pressure. Water from condensation may come out the drain tube on the side and that is fine. It may, it may not.
  9. Next, turn the dial up to 2,000 PSI and repeat the above test. We are increasing the pressure in steps testing the unit. You do not need to go higher than you plan to use the unit — stop where you want. For me, I am going up to 4,500 PSI for my carbon fiber tank so I drained and filled the line several times.
  10. Also, none of these incremental tests should take more than 10-15 seconds to complete.
  11. Do it again at 3,000 PSI.
  12. Do it again at 4,000 PSI.
  13. Do it one last time at 4,500 PSI.

I’m happy to say that my new pump system passed all the tests!

If you run into any problems with the above, contact the vendor. You do not want to void your warranty or get hurt so don’t go taking things apart – talk to the vendor first. I can’t stress that enough. HPA systems require knowledge to service safely and you will probably be far better off exchanging for a whole new pump vs. taking things apart.

That translucent tube is where condensation will blow out from when you open the bleed off valve.

Duty Cycle

Please note that this compressor has a duty cycle that you must keep in mind. It is designed to run for up to 30 minutes straight and then it needs to cool for 20 minutes. Leave the unit powered on so the fan can help cool it off. So, if you have a big tank to fill, keep this in mind. You can fill it but do so in however many steps you need to honor this duty cycle.


Hopefully your system passed the tests and you are now ready to fill your tank or device. If you had problems, be sure to reach out to the vendor and ask questions. I found them both helpful and responsive.

In my next post I will extend testing to include setting up and filling my 4,500 PSI Omega 18 cubic foot tank.

I hope you found this post useful.

2/2/2021 Update: The compressor is still working great. No problems at all!

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Finally, An Affordable And Reliable 4500 PSI Air Compressor For PCP Airguns!

Folks, I think Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) airguns are awesome. They have an onboard high-pressure cylinder that holds enough air to shoot a certain number of rounds before needing to be recharged. After years of having your basic pneumatic and spring-piston air rifles, I bought my first PCP, a Hatsan Gladius Long in .22, back in May of 2017 and a Hill Mk IV hand pump. In this post I want to recap what your options are and then talk about move into the world of having my own compressor.

You Have Three Options To Fill PCP Airguns

To fill a PCP airgun, you xN own a hand pump, have an air cylinder or own a compressor. For almost three and a half years, I’ve used a Hill Mk IV hand pump to top off the Gladius and it has worked well. These pumps are like an old fashioned bike tire pump on serious steroids as they can enable you to fill a cylinder with thousands of pounds of air pressure. By the way, the secret to longevity with a hand pump is to keep the shaft lubricated to protect the O-rings with silicone grease and to not overheat parts if you are doing a lot of pumping.

The second option is to have an air tank that you would take to your local dive shop and have them fill it to 3,000 to 4,500 pounds. You would then use this to top off your airgun until it too was low and you’d go back to the dive shop to get the tank refilled. We do have a dive shop in the area but this never appealed to me because I didn’t shoot enough to need a tank vs. the hand pump. I also figured that I could use the hand pump any time day or night as needed. You can only refill an air tank if the dive shop is open or you own your own compressor.

Now, this brings us to the third option and that is to own a high pressure air (HPA) compressor. These are not what you get for a garage and air tools – those only go to 175-200 pounds. With PCP airguns, you are talking 3,000-4,500 PSI depending on the rating of the tank or airgun you are filling. What stopped many people for years was that these HPA compressors were a fortune and then crossed below $1,000 a few years ago and now you can see inexpensive units from China that are below $400 but they require water cooling, lubrication, and don’t always get good reviews (some do though).

In many cases, you get what you pay for. The decent HPA compressors start at $800 and go up from there. In 2019, I ran across an HPA compressor on Amazon that I had not heard about before – the manufacturer was Ankul and the model was the FX CS3 compressor. The price was around $500 and it was getting good reviews. At the time, I didn’t really need it so I added it to be “Save For Later” list in Amazon just in case.

Maybe 3-4 times since then, I would open up the listing and read the reviews. You know what? The reviews stayed solid over time. Ankul released an updated model that was air cooled – no more water to deal with – and it was self-lubricated and didn’t need the user to add oil or grease. What’s more, the reviews stayed positive – it scores a 4.6 out of 5 with 196 reviews. That’s pretty good. So guess what? I bought one.

Introducing the GX GS3 PCP Air Compressor

Okay, there are a bunch of reasons why I bought this compressor in addition to the reviews and $499.99 price:

  • It can pressurize a cylinder to 4500 PSI
  • It can run off house current with the supplied inverter or it can clamp to a 12 volt vehicle battery
  • There is an automatic-off switch where you can set the pressure via a dial and when it reaches it, the unit shuts off. This gauge is labeled both with PSI and BAR increments.
  • It has an integral filter for oil and water
  • There are three over pressure safeties – the user sets the pressure on the dial plus there is both a safety valve and a burst disc to help prevent a catastrophe.
  • They claimed the unit ran fairly quietly at 75 decibels (this puts it somewhere between average street noise or being in a shower at 70 db and city traffic or a vacuum cleaner being at 80)
  • The unit is maintenance free – no water/antifreeze to deal with or oil or grease to add.
  • The design was elegant with a spool on the side to hold the power cable, the high pressure hose could rotate and there was a carry handle
  • The pump unit measures 10-3/4″ tall, 5-1/8″ wide and just under 9-1/2″ deep — it’s remarkably small – most of my laptop computer bags are bigger and these measures are based on my unit.
  • The duty cycle is 30 minutes run-time and then 20 minutes to cool
  • The unit only weighs 19 pounds 6 oz (I weighed my pump unit)
  • The AC adapter is separate and measures about 8.85″ long x 4.52″ wide x 2.36″ tall and weighs 1 pound 14 oz with the cord.

Here’s a link to the unit on Amazon:

Unboxing it

I ordered the unit on a Monday and it was delivered five days later on Saturday by UPS. The pump and power adapter were packed together in one amazingly well packed box. How often do you here somebody comment on a box? This thing was made from thick cardboard and was practically like opening a wood crate and inside was thick foam cushions protecting the air pump and power adapter from all angles.

I had removed the upper right corner reinforcement already when it dawned on me I better take a quick photo. Tip: Just remove the corner braces and the end cap will slide off. You do not need to disassemble the whole box.
I don’t know who the packaging engineer was but he needs some serious recognition, a beer or both. It was one of the best packed tools that I have seen in a long time. It’s no wonder that my unit arrived in great shape.
Here’s a quick photo of the unit out of the box. Everything was in great shape.
This is the 12 volt power adapter. It’s very straight forward – plug it in and it is running and the fan keeps it cool.


The unit arrived in great shape and as described. In the next post, I’ll review how to set up, test and use the unit. Again, here’s the link on Amazon and I will jump ahead a bit and tell you that I recommend the unit based on my experience with it so far:

3/4/2021 Update: Still no problems at all. I use my Omega 18 cu ft air tank to top of the FX Compact Impact until it gets down and then I use the GX GS3 to top the bottle back off. I’m really pleased with how this has worked out.

2/2/2021 Update: The compressor is still working great. No problems at all!

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Here are some well rated hand pumps on Amazon. While I do not have personal experience with them, they do get good reviews:

Review Of The .22 JSB Hades Pellets – Do They Really Work?

I have a Hatsan Gladius Long precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle in .22 caliber that I use to dispatch garden pests and have written a number of posts about it. It’s extremely effective because it has power, is accurate and relatively quiet. The one challenge I have with it is over penetration. It does have adjustable power settings but I find that I can’t go below the “3” setting (out of five) to have the range I need and enough power for a humane kill. The problem is that the domed JSB Diablo 18.13gr pellets I’ve used since the start shoot right through a squirrel if I am going for a heart shot vs. a headshot and really wanted to reduce this so I started reading on pellet types.

First off, I really like JSB pellets. They are made in Czechoslovakia and are really uniform. I shoot them in both my PCPs and have no complaints. I saw an advertisement for their new “Hades” series of pellets and started searching on what people were saying about them.

Basically the Hades are a form of hollow point that really need the power of a PCP to mushroom. The ones I bought at 15.89gr and have a very intriguing shape to the head.

A 15.89gr Hades is on the left and an 18.13gr JSB Jumbo Heavy Diablo is on the right. The Diablo has proven to be wonderfully accurate and my farthest shot has been about 50 yards with it.

My Real World Review

There are guys out there with chronographs, blocks ballistic gelatin and what not. I’m not one of those guys. However, I can tell you want I’ve noted after about 150 real world shots.

Most of my pest control happens within 60 feet – yes, feet. I set up a target at 30 feet and zeroed my scope. In firing groups, it seemed consistent enough.

Good enough for me.

Did I see anything different with garden pest control? Not really to be perfectly honest. I can tell you the exit wound was bigger than what the Diablos would leave and it was somewhere around half again the diameter of the pellet.

I still have over-penetration with the Hades and the need to be very careful is still true. Both tree and ground squirrels are small and soft. There’s simply not a lot of mass there to stop a pellet. If you have bigger pests, you might see a difference.

I did one close range headshot of a racoon at the rifle’s highest power setting and did not see a difference over what Diablos would do.

My Hades pellets are on the left. I bought two of the 200 round tins initially and backordered two of the 500 round tins that have since arrived. I have about 1200 rounds of the Hades left as the first tin is almost empty and then I will go back to my Diablos as I have 3-4 of the big 500 round tins.


For my use as described above, I did not see a big difference between the Hades and the Jumbo Diablos. The Hades seems to be a decent pellet as long as you have accurate shot placement. I bought a ton of Diablos way back when so I’ll use up my Hades and then go back to my supply of Diablos.

I hope this helps you out.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Airgun Depot Has a Ton of Hatsan Airgun Models Ready to Ship Including Gladius Bullpups

Folks, I am very impressed by my Hatsan airguns and have no problem recommending them. I’m rally a fan on the pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) guns that have an onboard air tank and can fire 10-20 rounds for hunting plus if you get one if their models with the Quiet Energy (QE) baffle system, they are on the discrete side for pest control.

Airgun Depot has a ton of models in stock right now including the Hatsan Gladius that I have bagged tons of squirrels, rabbits and even a raccoon cleanly with. I have the Gladius Long model in .22 and it seriously takes out pests with JSB Jumbo Diablo 18.13 grain pellets.

This is my Gladius Long in .22 and I use it all the time for pest control. Probably over 1,000 if not 1,500 pellets have been shot through that airgun now.

The Gladius .22 has a 10 round magazine and is a bolt action repeater. It carries three spare magazines at the rear under the stock and they come in handy when you need to rapidly reload. It does happen with pest control actually.

The Gladius comes with four magazines. I have one loaded in the receiver, two ready to go securely clicked into their storage bays and you can see I already have one magazine that needs to be reloaded.

So, check out Airgun Depot. They have very good prices and availability right now. Click here for Hatsan in general or here for the Gladius specifically. If you are interested, click here for my other blog posts about my Hatsan airguns.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.