|The XS - B50 Pre Charged Pneumatic Rifle|
|The first Chinese Built PCP Rifle on the market. A review of performance on the bench and in the field|
|Early last summer I was surfing the net when I came across an advertisement on the bestairguns.com website, which stated they were taking pre-orders on the first PCP rifle out of China. The rifle is called the XS-B50 and is a clone of the venerable Daystate Huntsman. I have a Huntsman, which is a great rifle, so was intrigued by this new low cost offering on the market.
I like Chinese guns as project guns, but to be quite honest, the quality and performance can be hit or miss. However, the QB-78 which is a clone of the old crosman 1066 for instance,is better than the original, so with this hope I decided to take a chance. If nothing else, at around $300.00 I could use the parts for some project or another.
I ordered the rifle and began that wait we all dread - the new toy wait!! Followed by a cycle of sending emails every couple of weeks - is it here yet, is it here yet?? One day I was at my desk when an email came in stating that the guns had arrived, and by the way .... there are a couple of thumbhole stock in the shipment - does anybody want them? First come first serve. I was on it right away and got one of the two.
When the UPS box arrived at the door I tore into it. What a suprise, the gun looked very nice indeed! The Asian hardwood thumbhole stock was finished in a dark stain with a glossy sheen to it. The wood was nicely figured (which on a side note became very obvious when I stripped the stock down to refinish it). The metal work on the gun was also good, there were no machining marks to be seen, everything had a tight clean fit, and the bluing was rich and deep. This was without doubt, the nicest looking Chinese rifle I'd ever seen!
Anxious to see how it shot I ran down to my basement range and set the rifle up with a Simmons 3-9x 40 variable power scope to sight in and test. Using a hill pump I charged the gun up to about 1500 psi, but when I disconnected the gun I heard a hissing. Grabbing a wrench I tightened the parker fitting and the problem was resolved. One of those storke of luck ocurred, and the scope was shooting and inch or so too low, and a couple of inches to the right - but after a couple of quick adjustments was shooting spot on. After a few shots, I was a bit suprised when the moderator was blown of the end of the gun, but after tightening the two loose allen screws meant to retain the moderator, that little incident was also resolved.
I have written about it in other places, so I won't go into the details of the when and where, but at one point it became obvious that the hammer spring used in the gun was too light, and that at a full charge of 3000psi the gun failed. The installation of a heavier hammer spring proved the right medicine and the gun shot well afterwards ... at full charge. The trigger pull was not bad, a little rough, but shootable. I disassembeled the trigger then polished and lubed the sear - which made an OK trigger pull really sweet.
The gun has been with me on several hunting trips now, I've taken many jackrabbits, cotton tails, ground squirrels, and squirrels with it. The gun is dead accurate, and I've made kills out to 70 yards. At that range the gun has literally knocked a big buck jack rabbit off his feet - and he didn't move afterwards! I find the gun in the configuration I have, very shootable. It points well and has a good fit for my 6'1'' frame.
|I was pretty happy with what I found when I opened the box! The gun is almost Identical to the Daystate from which it was cloned. As is typical with Chinese guns, the documentation was pretty light, but there was a kit with tools, extra O rings and washers included..|
|The gun performed very well in the field. I used it on a jackrabbit hunt in which I took several of these big rabbits out past the 50 yards mark. I found this particular gun was accurate with the Dynamite Nobel Superdome pellets, and that in turn these pellets were quite effective on game.|
Caliber .177 only at this time
Velocity  1000 feet per second
Overall Length 43.1"
Weight 8.0 lb without scope
Accuracy 1/4" at 10 meters
|When I chronographed this gun I had a maximum velocity of 1012 fps, which dropped to around 950 fps after 25 shots - a lot of hunting shots per charge!|