“Wadcutter Weapon” Compasseco Contender TF-59 review Written By, Eric Eikenberry Writer / Contributor www.AirGunWeb.com Review Product Provided by: www.compasseco.com
TechForce Contender 59, the rifle does not have open sights, you’ll need a scope. If you browse around on the internet some you can easily find many wise words from Tom Gaylord, who is something of a master at the art of shooting high-power springers. I, as I’ve learned, am not. Not yet anyway! His wise words about trying a variety of holds bounced around in the back of my mind as I was trying to get the Compasseco Contender-Series TF-59 to group. Let me back up for a minute and go over the basics first.
TechForce Contender 59, .177 cal. Although this rifle has better bluing and a nice dark stain over its “mystery wood” (Chinese Beech?) stock, it’s immediately apparent this is a Chinese-made air gun. The flat, straight areas of the stock have some waviness to them, as if someone grew tired of block-sanding halfway through the job. I’ll be the first to admit that sanding wood isn’t much fun, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to impart a sense of value to your product. That said the metal work is very nice, with clean edges, clear engraving on the assembly, and a very nice vented muzzle brake over the barrel’s crown. The stock lets the rest of the rifle down somewhat. I’d prefer to see a lighter stain, which would mask sanding imperfections and nicks. This wood can dent easily so you have to be careful how you handle it. There’s a thick rubber shoulder pad which isn’t pretty, but does get the job done. It appears to be bonded on with glue, but there’s no drippy residue at the edges, which is nice.
Clean edges and tight tollerances make the TechForce Contender 59 is a nice looking and shooting rifle. TechForce Contender 59, Front Muzzle break
The trigger guard is plastic, but the trigger itself is a stamped steel piece which could benefit from a little more smoothing with sandpaper. A touch of 800-grit wet-dry paper on the sharp edges makes it a comfortable trigger under the finger. Although there’s a tension adjustment screw, even at its lightest setting it’s still pretty firm. It is, though, very smooth. Lined up on target, there are no catch, no jerkiness to the trigger’s action. Just a long smooth sweep back to the release point. Combined with the “flick forward” safety, this is a fun rifle to shoot. A note to parents purchasing this for a teen; the trigger does not reset if you pull it part way and release it. The rifle’s sears have moved and this leaves the air gun in a dangerous state if you don’t reset the safety and re-cock the barrel.
TechForce Contender 59, Decent trigger for an inexpensive rifle. The cocking action is light and short. The tested velocity that Rick established before shipping it to me (824 average with RWS Hobby pellets) showed a decent bit over 800 fps when brand new. Fully broken in, I’ll guess that it’s drilling lightweight Daisy Precision Max wadcutters down range at around 750 fps or so. It absolutely hates Crosman Premier Domed pellets or RWS Superdomes; they’re too long for the entry to the barrel. It feels like Tech Force cut a slightly oversized “pellet seat” at the breech end of the barrel. Longer pellets hang out and the edges of their skirts get squashed when the breech closes. I don’t have a pellet swedge, or a pellet seating tool, and I’ll hazard a guess that most folks searching for an air gun in this price range don’t either. Both would be required to shoot longer pointed and domed pellets accurately.
TechForce Contender 59, Mounted with a Crosman 3Ч9x32 Scope makes a deadly combo. It does simply love to eat the inexpensive Daisy Precision Max Wadcutters. That’s a short, very lightweight flat-nose pellet with a very sharp edge on the head. They’re also Chinese-made, and appear to be a good match for the bore of the TF-59. They drop into the pellet seat perfectly, and with the right grip, they’ll land in the same hole with nearly every shot. They are not, however, as “precise” as Daisy would have you believe. Quite a few of them come out of the can with bent skirts, or a touch of extra lead hanging on the inside of a skirt. You will see some fliers, but generally-speaking, they’ll all land within the kill zone of a small pest.
Shoot all day for pennies with these Daisy Wadcutters. Once I had an accurate pellet, I experimented with the hold and discovered that the TF-59 can be extremely hold-sensitive. Gripping it firmly sent the pellets off in all directions! Holding it loosely in the traditional springer hold did no better. There’s a substantial amount of spring vibration which is transmitted through the rifle and I suspect this interferes with the accuracy when loosely held. The BEST results came when I simply laid the forearm of the stock on my block-wood rest, with a micro fiber towel under it, and placed the thumb of my trigger hand directly behind the action, on the top of the stock. Pulling the rifle back against my shoulder, and pulling down on it, then squeezing the trigger produced one-hole groups with this cheap Daisy pellet at 20 yards. Sometimes it seemed subsequent pellets were going right through without touching the sides of the hole! Shooting the heavier Crosman Premier Domed pellets didn’t help due to their tight fit. Sometimes they’d be too loose (one dropped straight through the barrel!), other times too tight. The drop off in velocity was audibly noticeable! While a wadcutter isn’t my favorite pellet, I’ll take anything which I can buy for $3.99 a 500-count tin and drills 5-shot 3/8ths” holes at 20 yards!
Not a bad group at 20 yards from an inexpensive rifle. That bottom hole is not part of the center group. And that’s the whole point behind this hobby… to drill consistently tiny holes dead on the POI. Sure, there are wildly expensive rifles which will do this time and again. It’s nice to find one in the sub $80 price range which can be paired with a good scope and inexpensive pellets and yet will still rip holes in the 10 ring! Good values can be hard to find. Grab one like this while you still can! Written By, Eric Eikenberry Writer/Photographer