Originally Posted by john0neuk
Looking at recent posts re new AA kit, FTP, HFT etc thinking of starting a poll are PT's the best AA rifle ever?
I have had 9 AA rifles over the last year - all worked well no leaks, no failures and no returns - FTP 900 beautiful design and looks shot well (Part ex for a Daystate platy and my Gary Cane EV2 stock), 2x Ultimate sporters (one now sold, one given to son for 21st birthday), S510 superlite (my first rifle - now sold) my Pro target which will never be sold (its a love thing). 1x EV2 mk3 (swapped for - I cant remember!) and an EV2 Mk4 again a keeper in its v nice GC stock! 2 x TX 200's one .22 standard and one in .177 Carbine think that is it!
Never tried any of the older ones, 300, 400 series or NJR100 etc, but nearly picked up a Shamal recently just for the hell of it.
Ready to be shot down but for me has to be the pro target - although the FTP was as sexy as hell!
Interesting question. Of course "best" is subjective, but of all the dedicated FT guns the company has produced a Mk3 Pro-Target would be my choice as a working FT gun on account of its excellent trigger, better reg and faster lock time than the preceding NJR, while the PT is arguably the technological equal of later guns that "evolved" from its design.
The Mk3 PT has a free-floating barrel (IIRC one of only two AA PCP rifles to date to run such a setup; despite the deluge of requests AA must have had to ditch the supports
) and from a more personal perspective is the only FT gun AA have ever made with a lefty friendly (ambi) action. I bought one new and sold it some months later as I didn't appreciate the weight - it's the only rifle I've had that I really regret selling
Technically I don't think the later guns added anything to the PT formula; fair enough the EV2 gave you a gauge, level and windicator arm.. however it was also blighted by AT and the guts were pretty much unchanged from the PT.
Aesthetically I much prefer the PT's understated bluing, black anodising and plain laminate to the EV2's shameless Early-Learning-Centre-esq explosion of shiny bits and primary colours. Similarly the FTP is well-finished but hardly understated; while it may have improved ergonomics the poor reliability record plus the lack of much that's tangibly, technically better than its forerunners hardly has me reaching for my wallet.
The fact that the FTP has a horrendously complicated shroud / barrel support setup (which most seem to pull off and chuck in the bin at the first available opportunity) doesn't inspire much confidence in AA's R&D dept, either..
As much as I love AA products (I own an embarrassing number of them) I can't help but think they've lost their way a little in recent years. While the HFT 500 and S510 Ultimate Sporter are arguably very desirable and capable rifles, I'll never buy one on account of the anti-tamper and complete lack of a true left-handed option.
IMO the Mk1 TX200 was the best springer they ever produced (which died a little when they added the anti-beartrap on the Mk2, then became a waste of time in standard guise when long-stroked as the Mk3).
The S400 series are undeniably extremely popular, capable and well-rounded; however again I think AA ruined them with anti-tamper - the reason why all mine are pre-2005 and I'll never buy another new one.
Finally the NJR is a beautiful and still very capable rifle (as others have said; excellent trigger but squiffy reg), however the Mk3 PT IMO represents the pinnacle of their target gun achievements.
As much as I like their older products, sadly this once-innovative and leftie-friendly company hasn't made anything in the last nine years that inspires me to part with any cash..
For now IMO, older is definitely better when it comes to Air Arms products: