Air Venturi V10 Match Air Pistol.
Oleg Volk 09.20.18
In learning accuracy, two factors exert the most influence: the consistency of the gun and the consistency of the shooter. Reducing the mechanical variation helps in identifying personal shortcomings. Practicing marksmanship with an inconsistent firearm or air gun often obfuscates training issues. To solve that problem, Air Venturi V10 match air pistol was made.
A single-stroke pneumatic gun, it is extremely repeatable. To load, press the release button at the back of the receiver top to unlock it, hinge the barrel and top cover all the way forward, insert a pellet directly into the chamber and re-close against moderate pressure. That motion charges the air cylinder for one shot. At 400fps with mid-weight .177 caliber pellets, it’s no powerhouse but excels in accuracy. The muzzle is recessed into the upper receiver to protect the crown from accidental damage.
Full length sight radius and two-stage adjustable trigger maximize the mechanical accuracy. For best control, the shooter can use sandpaper and wood file to fine-tune the oversized block grips to fit a specific hand. In practice, half-dozen shots are enough to zero the pistol. A flat point screwdriver is required for adjusting the rear sight for windage and elevation. The same screwdriver fits the trigger adjustment screw in the back of the grip, allowing to reduce the trigger pull from the default 3 pounds. The trigger blade can be swiveled to match the preferred angle relative to the finger. A partial stroke would cock the gun for dry firing without charging it with air.
While any shape pellet would fit, domed or pointed pellets are easier to load. On the other hand, target wadcutters maker cleaner holes in paper, so the ammunition is a matter of personal preferences, as well as a matter of testing to see if a particular weight or style groups better than others. Pellets are the only practice expense with V10: the pistol needs only a minimal backstop, and may be safely set up indoors. The report is minimal, ear safe. In the absence of recoil, noise or powder fumes, nothing distracts the shooter from stance, sight picture, breathing, and trigger control.
The only down sides to the design are functions of its advantages. The simple cocking motion has only moderate leverage, and the 19lb effort to close the slide can eventually tire out the support hand. Loading of individual pellets is uncomplicated, but requires the dexterity of an ungloved hand.
In still air, the pistol produces remarkably consistent results limited mainly by the shooter’s skill and eye sight. I am no target shooter, but I could hit the base of a pop can, a bright aluminum circle under 2.5in diameter, from 15 yards standing every time. At five yards, overlapping successive pellets is normal. That may be easy for Olympic athletes, but it’s rather respectable performance for most pistol shooters. Producing accurate results with other pistols became rather easier once I started practicing with V10 regularly. Even though I have free access to a firearm range, it takes close to an hour round trip to get there. With the V10, my own back yard with the 90ft diagonal maximum distance is sufficient for keeping in shape. In back weather, 15ft of the garage make for adequate practice, especially with one handed shooting. On the down side, the anatomical grip isn’t suitable for weak hand practice, unless a second mirrored set is obtained.
Meant for 10 meter competition, this pistol is accurate enough for longer distances. With pellets visible in flight under the right conditions, they can be used to learn judging atmospheric influences on the trajectory. Unfortunately for such an accurate pistol, it does not accept optical sights for going even further out with reticle-based drop and wind drift compensation, but adjustments can still be made using the target dimensions as the aiming offset references. While the front sight is not interchangeable, the width of the rear sight opening may be user-adjusted.
Compared to a basic BB gun, V10 is expensive at $270. Compared to other target air or cartridge pistols, it’s a bargain. Most importantly, it permits practice without a dedicated gun range, saving scarce time. Being less regulated than firearms, air pistols like V10 are also more practical as gifts to aspiring marksmen. For a complete beginner, a CO2 powered air gun is probably a better match, as the accuracy advantage requires a level of competency to tell. For an intermediate level shooter, V10 is among the best options because it takes the mechanical variability almost completely out of the equation.