Quackenbush Air Guns
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The XL rifle was made for sport/hunting. It's a dual power (CO2 or precharge); you need only change the bottle to change power source. Available in .22 cal., velocity is ~650 f.p.s. with CO2 and ~850 f.p.s. on precharge (3000 p.s.i.).

This rifle weighs 6-3/4 to 7 lbs. and is only 35" long. It has a choked Lothar-Walther barrel; the action and breech are blued steel. The stock is walnut with an oil finish.

I use my personal XL almost always on CO2. I get 125 shots per fill of the 7-oz. paintball gun CO2 bottle. I fill my own, and a fill adaptor is supplied with each rifle. If you don't want to do the filling, paintball shops charge between $1 and $2 to fill a bottle. That's a lot of shooting for a little money.

For cool weather squirrel hunting, I change to precharge air. CO2 does not work well in temperatures below 50°F. Using air, I get about 20 consistent shots before power drops. No matter, I get the daily limit long before I am out of shots.

I started making the XL rifle in 1994, but it has been superceded by the Light Sporter. The Light Sporter has a fixed reservoir. This reduces the cost of changing from CO2 to air. The CO2 bottle costs about $20 and is supplied with the XL. The precharge air bottle costs about $100 separately. The Light Sporter works the same way as an XL, but you don't need the bottles. The fixed reservoir can be charged with either CO2 or precharge air.

The XL was tested by The Airgun Letter in the Oct. 94, Jan. 95 and Aug. 96 issues. The Light Sporter uses the action, breech and barrel of the XL. The XL tests are applicable to the Light Sporter.  The XL is no longer made.

Light Sporter

I have put away my XL and started using a Light Sporter. The first hunting use of the Light Sporter was to get the squirrels that were denuding my apple and pear trees. There were more squirrels than I could use, but a neighbor would gladly take some. He was surprised at first that they were taken with head shots. His hunting experience (60 years) had been to use a .22RF for body shots or a .410 shotgun. But he liked my method because he got a cleaner carcass and did not have to spit out little lead pellets when eating his roast squirrel.

The Light Sporter is an excellent hunting rifle. Carrying it afield will not weigh you down like other rifles. Compact and fast handling, the stock has good fore grip and a raised cheekpiece for a positive stock weld for consistent shooting. Ample power and great accuracy. I once (only once) went hunting with a single-stroke pneumatic. It weighs so much that I felt like I was carrying the squad automatic. A hunting rifle should not be a burden to carry and not so bulky as to be ponderous.

As with all the rifles I make, it is made of blued steel and oiled walnut. The Light Sporter was sold for $350. Deluxe grade walnut stock were available for an extra charge.  The Light Sporter is no longer available.

The XL and Light Sporter were guns of their era. It was a time when most shooters used CO2, and precharging (PC) was just coming. These rifles could be used with the familiarity of CO2; and, if the owner wanted to step into precharged guns, he could do it with the very same rifle. Now that precharging is widespread, this dual-charge rifle is no longer needed. The market is flooded with PC rifles and there is plenty of choice today.