[Note/Warning: Lots of words . . . numbers in the middle . . . but pics at the end! Start from the bottom, if you like!]
I've had a QB78 for about a year - or, rather, I had one for seven months before it was "kidnapped" late this past January by a friend who steadfastly refuses to return it! [That's okay, 'cause I've got a whole bunch of his stuff, too!] I missed the QB78 a lot, so I ordered another one last week from Archer Airguns. I'm just getting it broken in, but I already like it better than my last one. I thought I would share my initial impressions and encourage you, if you haven't looked at one in a while, to join me in realizing what a great value the QB78 is.
I ordered the "Deluxe" model, but didn't get any internal changes made to the stock rifle. I added a TKO carbon fiber wrap muzzle brake that reduces the decibel level (of what is already a relatively quiet CO2 gun) and, I think, makes it look snazzy. Since my age-afflicted eyes can't do anything productive with open sights, I also added a compact CenterPoint 6x32AO MilDot scope, a set of Leapers Medium Profile Weaver rings, and a Leapers Tactical Rail Adapter (3/8" dovetail base on the bottom and a Weaver/Picatinny-friendly rail on top). And, finally, I increased the length of pull (to fit my Sasquatch-like physique) by adding a Pachmayr leather slip-on recoil pad. There are some pics of the final product at the end of this post. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of stock and the general fit-and-finish, which makes my new (recently acquired) Avanti 853CM look a bit rough and shabby (and over three times as costly!) by comparison.
So, how does it shoot? Well, I was very pleased when it arrived with a friendly warning tag attached to the trigger guard by Mr. Archer: "CAUTION - LIGHT TRIGGER." Not only is the trigger light (right at 1.5 lbs), but it is also exceptionally smooth. Although this QB78 seems willing to digest just about any light- to mid-weight .177 pellet I have on hand (and that's about a dozen different ones), it really likes the H&N Match Final 8.18 grain wadcutters. That's ideal for me, since I do almost all of my shooting indoors on a 10-meter range in my garage. That's where I was shooting today, too, since it was 106 and 86% humidity outside. If I'm going to shoot outside, it's going to be cool and crisp and I'm going to use my .22 Theoben SLR98 to harvest squirrels! The rest of the time, I love shooting paper in climate-controlled comfort.
I went through the QB78's first two pairs of CO2 powerlets very casually. I got the scope sighted-in - and felt like I was beginning to bond with the rifle. So, I set up my Beta model Chrony and weighed some H&N's from a fresh tin until I got 20 of them that were 8.17 - 8.19 grains. I loaded two new powerlets and used eight unweighed pellets to get the chrony tracking the shots correctly and to let the rifle's muzzle velocity stabilize after the initial pressurization. I used a medium-sized Caldwell bag - set atop a sturdy gun box (again, an adaptation to my Sasquatchian dimensions!) on my shooting bench - as place to rest the QB78's forearm while I sat comfortably.
With everything situated and primed to go, I shot the 20 weighed pellets, with 5 of them going into warm-up shots, followed by 11 of them fired at a single small bull to test the QB78's initial accuracy, and ending with 4 of them plinking a set of animal silhouettes just for fun. I've included a picture of the 10-shot group, which was just a hair bigger than a dime It actually shows 11 shots, but that's because I had some kind of adrenalin-fueled spasm when I touched off the first shot - and so I ruled it out! Here's what the Chrony recorded for the 20-shot string:
Shot 1 651.3 fps
Shot 2 650.5 fps
Shot 3 643.8 fps
Shot 4 649.9 fps
Shot 5 624.0 fps
Shot 6 627.3 fps
Shot 7 628.2 fps
Shot 8 627.5 fps
Shot 9 650.4 fps
Shot 10 630.5 fps
Shot 11 652.4 fps
Shot 12 629.1 fps
Shot 13 626.2 fps
Shot 14 651.2 fps
Shot 15 652.3 fps
Shot 16 656.8 fps
Shot 17 653.0 fps
Shot 18 653.0 fps
Shot 19 645.1 fps
Shot 20 644.6 fps
That string yields an average (mean) velocity of 642.4 fps, a standard deviation of 11.6 fps, and a harmonic mean of 641.8 fps. I think that is commendable consistency for a rifle that retails for less than $100! I also think that the rifle is already proving to be much more accurate than I expected. Once I get thoroughly familiar with it and can establish a consistent cheek weld, trigger stroke, etc. - and overcome my 10-year-old-kid-level of excitement about a new rifle - then I'm pretty sure I can shrink that 10-shot group to 1/4" or less and keep it there consistently. In more skilled hands than mine, and with better eyes than mine, I think that this QB78 would produce those .25" groups for a shooter using open sights, too.
I am very decidedly just an "average" shooter (from a bench) or a "below average" shooter (in any of the three traditional unsupported shooting positions), but I still appreciate a gun that makes the most of what I can bring to it. The QB78 clearly qualifies as that kind of air rifle and, as I said at the start of this post, it has to be one of the biggest values available!
I apologize is this post is too long or two wordy . . . but (as I know my wife will gleefully verify) that's just sorta how I am! If you've hung with me to the end, then here are a few photos as a reward:
[Keep smilin' and keep shootin,