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Powerline TargetPro Model 953: A Triple-Purpose Air Rifle

No other rifle delivers so much in one package as the Powerline TargetPro 953. Combining the ease and convenience of a single charging stroke with the smooth, recoilless action of a pneumatic air rifle, the TargetPro is superbly accurate. At 10 meters a skilled marksman can put three shots into a hole barely bigger than a single pellet hole. But the 953 isn't just a good target rifle, it also delivers what shooters want for recreational shooting and short-range small game hunting and pest control.

The 953 stretches 39 3/4 inches from muzzle to butt plate and weighs 6.4 pounds. The stock is made of handsome matte black composite material and features a raised cheek piece and near-vertical pistol grip that is characteristic of target rifles.

Just forward of the pistol grip are the trigger guard and trigger. At the upper front corner of the trigger guard is manual crossbolt safety. When pushed fully to the left, it shows a red stripe that indicates the safety is off. Ahead of the trigger guard is the cast metal cocking lever that extends the full length of the forestock.

A steel muzzle weight at the end of the barrel protects the crown of the barrel and provides a mount for the red TruGlo® fiber optic front sight. The high-grade steel barrel, 20.88 inches long, features a 1:15 twist. The TruGlo fiber optic rear sight, equipped with one bright green fiber on each side of sight opening, mounts on the front edge of the receiver. The breech is at the mid-point of the receiver. There are standard 3/8-inch scope rails on top of the receiver both in front of and behind the breech.

Before getting the 953 ready to shoot, the shooter is faced with a choice: whether to use the single-shot adapter or the 5-shot indexing clip. Once the choice is made, put the safety on, and pull the small black bolt handle on the right-hand side of the receiver fully to the rear. The gun cannot fire with the bolt open.

Next, grab the pump handle and pull it out and forward as far as possible, then pull the pump lever back to the original closed position. (Note: just one pump is necessary; multiple pumps can damage the 953.) The gun is now ready to be loaded.

If you're using the single-shot adapter and have already slipped it into place, simply load a pellet into the breech. If you're using the 5-shot clip and have already loaded it, slide it into position. Now close the bolt, take aim at your target, slide the safety off, and squeeze the trigger. There is a muted POP! and the 953 launches. 177 caliber pellets downrange at about 500 fps. With the 5-shot clip, the second shot is easy - just give the gun one more pump and slide the bolt back and forward again. The clip automatically indexes and loads the next pellet.

As it comes from the factory equipped with fiber optic sights, the Powerline 953 works well for fun shooting in the back yard, removing pests from the garden at short range, and entry-level target competition. But the TargetPro was also designed to grow with your needs. If you - or the budding junior shooter in your family – want better sights for target competition, the 953 can be readily fitted with the same type of sight setup used by the Olympic air rifle teams: a globe front sight with interchangeable inserts and a precision diopter rear sight, both available as options. And if you want pinpoint aiming for small game and pests, the TargetPro's scope rails allow easy mounting of optional telescopic sights.

The Powerline 953 is a remarkable air rifle, offering superior accuracy, the convenience of a single-pump action, and exceptional versatility - all at a surprisingly affordable suggested retail price of just $89.99.