THE 100 SERIES

Air Arms’s first pcp rifle, the Shamal, was a great success and pcp development was now at the forefront of many air rifle manufacturers plans.

Not being prone to resting on their laurels, Air Arms sought feedback from their customers and leading industry experts as to how to further improve their pcp offering and satisfy shooters from all corners of the air rifle shooting community.

As with the Shamal, prototypes were made and tested in the field before final tweaks being made prior to formal production.

The Air Arms 100 series of rifles were launched in December 1989 and was designed to cover all bases through the use of a common action with a number of upgrades to stock and furnishings being added as you progressed through the range of 4 rifles..

With Air Arms wanting to produce a top of the range model that would drop jaws, Bill Sanders recruited Nick Jenkinson to design a “no holds barred” field target stock.

The result was the legendary NJR100.

Airgun World Front Cover - March 1990

With it’s beautifully figured fully adjustable walnut stock, the upgraded furnishings and the regulated 100 series action, the NJR was considered by many to be the finest production pre-charged pneumatic target rifle in the world at the time and some would still consider it to be the finest PCP target rifle ever made.

The range was generally well received although the XM100, with it’s unorthodox stock designed to appeal to shotgun users, did receive some criticism from the airgun press and sales to the shotgun fraternity were not as high as Air Arms had hoped.

Around June 1991 the Mk2 version of the rifles was released with a number of cosmetic updates. To date I have not come across a Mk2 version of the XM100 so it may have been dropped from the 100 series line up.

Airgun World fron Cover - Jully1991

In 1993 Air Arms released special edition carbine versions of the TM100 & NJR100 to celebrate 25 years of trading - Robert Nicholls started trading with Organ Engineering in 1968.

The NJR100 and SM100 appear more frequently on the second hand market which would suggest they sold in greater numbers than the TM100 and rarely seen XM100. This would seem to be backed up by the fact that the SM100 was the most affordable of the series and that the NJR100 was so well received by field target shooters.

The 100 series took the mantle from it’s the predecessor, the Shamal, and between them they won every grand prix series between 1988 and 1994.

Production of the 100 series ceased in 1994.​

SM100 - The Standard Model (MK2 Version)

Price: £289

Calibre: .177 & .22

Weight: 8lb 5oz

Length: 39.5in

Standard features:

  • Un-chequered beech sporter stock made by Custom Stock.

  • Curved sporting trigger.

  • Unregulated

  • Knob type loading bolt.

  • Standard valve assembly.

  • Plastic dust cap on Mk1. Aluminium end cover on Mk2.

XM100 - The Deluxe Model (MK1 Version)

Price: £364

Calibre: .177 & .22

Weight: 8lb 2oz

Length: 39.5in

Standard features:

  • Chequered walnut sporter stock initially made by Mitchell Bosley and later by Custom Stock.

  • Curved sporting trigger.

  • Un-regulated.

  • Knob type loading bolt.

  • Standard valve assembly

  • Aluminium end cover.

The XM100 stock was designed to offer a “universal” handling feel so it could appeal to shotgun users as well air rifle users. Unusually for a sporting air rifle, the pistol grip was capped and chequered in a fleur-de-lis pattern.

TM100 - The Target Model (Mk1 Version)

Price: £599

Calibre: .177 & .22

Weight: 8lb 5oz

Length: 39.5in

Standard features:

  • Stippled walnut target stock made by Custom Stock.

  • Regulated.

  • Adjustable straight blade trigger.

  • Knob type loading bolt.

  • Quick release snap connector.

  • Aluminium end cover.

NJR100 - Nick Jenkinson Replice - Target Thumb-Hole Stock (MK2 Version)

Price: £849

Calibre: .177 & .22

Weight: 10lb 7oz

Length: 40.75in

Standard features:

  • Stippled thumb-hole target stock with adjustable fore-end initially made by Mitchell Bosley and later by Custom Stock .

  • Regulated.

  • Adjustable straight blade trigger.

  • Chromed swan neck lever type loading bolt.

  • Quick release snap connector.

  • Aluminium end cover.  

As the models had a common action the stocks were interchangeable and features not included as standard on a model could be requested.

 

The unregulated models gave approx. 70 in either calibre, The regulated versions offer approx, 120 shots in .177 & 170 shots in in .22.

Each model was identified by a transparent sticker with metallic red writing that was placed on each side of the bolt housing:

The single  tube was constructed of cold drawn seamless steel that acted as a reservoir, as well housing the striker assay. Towards the muzzle end of the cylinder there was an air release valve that allowed it to be emptied with the use of a small allen key.

Breech blocks on the prototypes were made from brass and had the same gloss finished bolt housing as seen on the Shamal. Early production models had a redesigned brass housing with a satin grey/silver finish but this was soon replaced with an alloy constructed housing with a similar satin grey/silver finish.

Advert From 1990

As with other Air Arms rifles, Walther supplied the barrel, which was 12 grooved and 22in in length.

The standard trigger for all models was the same 2 stage, adjustable trigger unit as used on the Shamal, although the housing was re-designed.

Around August 1990 the superior “Olympic” trigger was introduced as an optional extra. The unit had a straight aluminium blade.

Advert From 1991

In theJuly 1991 issue of airgun world the Mk2 version of the 100 series was reviewed. The Mk2 had a black chromed breech block and a number of other cosmetic changes had been made, although most of these had already been introduced to the series – black muzzle end, quick fill valve & glossy aluminium filler cap.

 

My verdict:

The NJR I own is my pride and joy. A beautIfully executed target rifle that was ahead of it’s time.

The claim that no expense was spared on developing the rifle is evident in the well engineered action and beautifully configured walnut stock.

The adjustability of the stock leads to an excellent fit and although it has generous proportions it doesn’t feel too bulky.

I have had a version with the basic trigger and it is a more than adequate but the olympic trigger on my current NJR is on another level.

I asked renowned engineer Dave Welham what, in his opinion, was the best ever production target rifle. His answer was the NJR 100 – enough said!

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