Crossman have licensed a gas piston technology and will be incorporating it into a range of air rifles. The word “gas piston” probably has you thinking of gas operated autoloader rifles. In the context of air guns, “gas piston” refers to the piston system of break barrel air guns. Instead of compressing a spring when cocked, they compress gas. When the trigger is pulled the piston is released, the piston is pushed forward by the expanding gas. The piston in turn compresses air which pushes the pellet out of the rifle.
From the press release:
The heart of gas piston technology is its use of nitrogen as the power, instead of a coiled steel spring.
Unlike steel and CO2, nitrogen isn’t adversely affected by temperature. In addition, the technology allows for much easier cocking. The nitro piston starts engaging the moment the shooter starts cocking the gun. Gas pistons can also be left cocked for long periods of time without degrading and losing velocity, the way steel springs do. Also, when a steel spring uncoils, the vibration is not only annoying, it compromises precision. “Nitro Piston technology solves both by creating a smoother cocking force and releasing the gun’s power more quickly,” said D’Arcy.
The new rifles will not be available until June, but Pyramyd Air have them available for pre-order. They claim the piston system produces a lot less noise (most of the noise from a break barrel airgun is the piston), less recoil, easier cocking and long lasting.
They are available for pre order for $324.99. They comes in .22 and .177 versions (1000 fp/s and 1200 fp/s respectively) and either either a black synthetic or digital camo thumbhole stock. They all feature a bull barrel and two stage trigger.
Air gun expert and blogger Tom Gaylord was involved in the development of the system. If he was involved it must be good! I don’t think he would risk his reputation on an inferior product.