Drozd BB machine gun – bulk-fill! – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we begin, I have an announcement. The Crosman 2200 I was testing for you is not performing consistently enough for an accuracy test, so I’m sending it off to be overhauled. Until I get it back, that final report will have to wait.


Pyramyd’s bulk-fill Drozd is a full-auto airgunner’s dream.

There’s a lot of interest in BB machine guns these days, and the Drozd is the most available and affordable of the few that are on the market. I reviewed it for you on August 22, 2005, but that was the basic gun. Today I’ll start a long look at the model Pyramyd Air has converted to bulk-fill.

Bulk fill
Three things keep the Drozd shooting – BBs, CO2 and six AA batteries. The BBs fit in a removable stick magazine that holds 30 at a time. The batteries last a long time, so the only other thing to worry about is the CO2. Because the Drozd is both powerful and fast-firing, you’ll go through a 12-gram cartridge pretty quick. With Pyramyd Air’s bulk-fill conversion, you’ll have more shots than you know what to do with. And, they’ll be cheaper, because bulk gas runs less than CO2 cartridges.

The adapter accepts any standard paintball tank, and Pyramyd supplies a huge 20-oz. tank with the gun. It attaches to a dummy cartridge by a flexible hose that allows the magazine to be removed for loading. Once the tank is connected, there’s no need to take it off until it’s empty, however nothing prevents you from removing it at any time and no gas is lost.

Size and weight
The tank adds length to the gun, turning it from a large machine pistol into a submachine gun. It functions as a shoulder stock, too. The entire setup with batteries, a full tank and BBs weighs about 6 lbs. and is 25.6″ overall. Compare that to the standard gun that weighs 3.5 lbs. and measures 13.75″ overall. The weight of the tank in back shifts the balance from the front to the rear, but if you keep the tank tucked under your arm, Rambo-style, the balance feels right.

This gun is controlled entirely by electronics. When you pull the trigger, a solenoid, instead of a mechanical piston, fires the gun. A circuit board controls the number of times the gun fires with one pull of the trigger and the number of rounds per minute it fires. Because the powerplant is CO2, the gun cannot shoot continuously or the action would freeze up. It’s been set up to fire either one shot per trigger-pull or bursts of three or six shots.

Controls
The gun has three controls. A power switch that doubles as a safety, a selector switch that determines the number of shots with one pull of the trigger and another switch that controls the rate of fire or cyclic rate. The gun can be fired as a semiautomatic, or in the burst mode of three or six shots. The rates of fire are 300, 450 and 600 rounds per minute.


The power switch is on the right. In the down position, as it is now, a red light indicates the circuit is live. That means the gun is ready to fire. The selector switch on the left selects 1 shot (semiautomatic), three- or six-shot bursts.


The cyclic switch determines the rate of fire (rounds per minute).

I’ll be testing this rifle for accuracy with steel BBs and lead balls. I’ll show the results so you can decide which is better. I’m beginning to understand that the Drozd is more like an airsoft gun than an airgun, so perhaps I have been thinking about it the wrong way. It seems that the most avid shooters want the sound of full-auto fire over the last bit of accuracy and power.

45 thoughts on “Drozd BB machine gun – bulk-fill! – Part 1

  1. BB,
    You mentioned that you were going to test the Drozd for accuracy with steel and lead balls. According to your previous post on the Drozd, steel BBs are NOT appropriate for use in the Drozd.

    You said, “The repairman at EAA told me he gets guns back all the time with steel BBs jammed in their mechanism. At best, the BBs will ruin the finely rifled bore. To keep your gun working smoothly, use nothing but lead balls in your gun.”

    When Pyramyd Air converted the gun to bulk fill, did they change something in the gun to make it appropriate for steel BBs, in addition to lead balls?

    Still, I don’t see why you would want to ruin a perfectly good Russian barrel with steel BBs…

    Speaking of Russian barrels, I had an MP-513M in .177 and I found it to be a nice shooter. You might want to do a post on it for those seeking out a bargain.

    Thanks for the Blog!


  2. B.B.

    I’m going to rant here for a minute. About a month ago I ordered a condor from pyramyd. There were several things on backorder, I can understand that. Well, at first the site says its getting in stock on the 21st. Well, on the 21st, they moved the date to the 30th. Ok, kinda understandable. Now, come the 30th, they’ve moved the date to 12/07. Why???? I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I think I’ll end up cancelling the order and getting it somewhere else.

    lama


  3. Steel BBs,

    No, nothing has changed. I am testing it this way because of the hundreds of counter comments we have received saying steel is okay for the Drozd. They say the IZH factory has even said that steel BBs are the correct ammo. So I am deferring to what has been said. The accuracy test should prove interesting.

    I have a .177 513M in the testing que.

    B.B.


  4. lama:

    Why not just call Pyramyd and ask?

    It’s not uncommon for a distributor to provide estimates that they later find they can’t meet. They then tell the retailer that this is the case who then tells the customer. These guns are in high demand. Pyramyd probably cannot get the product from their distributor who in turn cannot get it from the manufacturer.

    While frustrating because you want your toy, this is not that big of a deal nor is it uncommon with specialty items such as air guns. If it really upsets you this much, go ahead and buy the gun from someone else if you can do so.


  5. lama,

    I have visited the AirForce factory in the past two weeks and they are still working on the Condor order. A number of small parts, plus some delays with the barrels, caused the backorder situation.

    If Pyramyd Air has them on backorder it’s a sure bet everyone else does, too. The only hope is to find a small dealer who doesn’t sell a lot of guns. He might have a Condor in stock simply because he sells so little.

    The date keeps moving because AirForce keeps shifting it for their customers. All I can tell you at this point is that no dealer wants to have backordered products at Christmas time. That’s the kiss of death! I’m quite sure Pyramyd Air is on the phone constantly with not only AirForce but all their vendors who are backordered.

    B.B.


  6. O.K.

    Let’s get back to the Drozd…. I ordered mine from pyramid about a month ago. The web site DID say it was on backorder until the 21st. When the 21st came, the website had changed and said it was now backordered until the 28th. Boy, was I ticked. But, guess what happened. Two days later, I got a friendly email from Pyramid saying that the Drozd had arrived and they were shipping it out. YEE HAWWW!!! I was happy! But not as happy as I am now. I can’t wipe this silly little grin off my face since I got it. I ordered the Kit that came with a box of C02 and an extra magazine as well as the bulk fill adaptor separately. It’s nice to have a dedicated magazine for the bulk fill and a seperate one for c02. I never have to break the seal between the dummy cartridge and the magazine thus lessening the chances of future leaks. When I first started, I made a blatant, non-thinking error. In my haste to get shooting, I just grabbed some AA batteries I had laying around and even stole a couple from the cordless mouse to come up with the required 6. BIG MISTAKE. My first shot jammed in the barrel. What the heck, I thought? I grabbed a long T-handled allen wrench I had handy and carefully pushed the lead round ball back the way it came. O.K., let’s try this again. Thwap! Jammed again! Dangit! I went down the street, bought some new copper tops and tried again. Well what do you know? Put a hole right through the side of the metal shed! Wow, power! Well, the moral of the story here is, USE FRESH BATTERIES. Once I had that little problem figured out, it’s been smooth sailing since. I connected a 3000 PSI HPA tank to the bulk fill adapter and away I went. Shooting for an hour without a refill. What Joy!! And then my grin got BIGGER. This next part is not for everyone. If you do this, IT WILL VOID YOUR FACTORY WARRANTY! There are plenty of sites out there devoted to the Drozd MP661K. On one of the sites, I found a modified board for sale that you have to install yourself. My Drozd will now shoot single shot, 3 round burst, and 6 round burst at 600 RPM as well as full automatic at 1200 RPM. It will blow through a 30 round clip of BB’s, (NOT LEAD BALLS), in less than 2 seconds with HPA. THIS WILL NOT WORK WITH C02! Things will freeze up. Here is a link for a video that someone made of a modified Drozd and what it can do.

    http://media.putfile.com/PickofCompiled

    All I can say is, whether it’s stock or modified, this is an incredible BB gun.

    “I give it a 10 because it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it!”

    Nuglor


  7. Something I forgot to mention. This gun WILL shoot lead balls great. They are actually more powerful and definately more accurate than BB’s. BUT, you HAVE to have a fresh C02 cartridge and try to limited it to single shot or 3 round bursts at the most. Shooting 6 round bursts or full auto is to rough on the lead and causes them to become deformed and jam in the clip.

    Nuglor




  8. Hey, do you think you could do a review on the GAMO Hunter Extreme? It could use a good review and i am courious about the “180 pound hog” video.



  9. Also, on the review for the 1250 hurricane it talked about velocities of around 1,200 f.p.s. but on the gamo website it said up to 1,600 f.p.s. using raptors. I dont know but that sounds a little too fast for a gun like that.



  10. In my drozd experience, lead balls are more accurate but prone to deformation and jamming, steel bbs are less accurate but shoot more reliably.

    Neither projectile delivers enough accuracy to warrant much concern about damaging the “finely rifled barrel”


  11. I’m looking for a pistol for shooting in my basement, about 20 feet. My family are hunters and own several long guns and about 5 air rifles but no pistols. My dad does not want me to have a realistic looking air pistol, so have limited choices. Just want somthing that isn’t a springer, but can hit a quater at 20 feet . I choose the Masrksman 2004 but he said thats still to real. Got any suggestions.




  12. Dan, have you considered single stroke pneumatics? Try Avanti 747 from Daisy – very nice, quiet, accurate and predictable. And it’s ideal for shooting up to 30 feet. You can find it on PyramydAir for like $130, and if you search in this blog you’ll find BB’s review of it.


  13. Dan, how about the Crosman 1377? It is a multi-pump pistol (variable power), easily stays on a quarter at 20 feet, and costs around $50. The Avanti 747 is nice, but a bit more expensive.


  14. B.B.,

    I know this is off topic, but I found a Sheridan .20 caliber c02 pistol for sale. Here is the description, “SHERIDAN 5mm w/6” rifled barrel, Model EB w/98% orig. blue and xlnt brown plastic stocks, this model uses the CO2 system, includes the orig. box and instruction sheet.”

    My question is, what do you think a fair price for this pistol is?

    Thanks,

    Nuglor


  15. Gamo 1250,

    Thye Raptor is a lightweight pellet that adds velocity to any airgun. Hence a 1250 shoots 1600 with Raptors. Not accurately, of course, but at 10 meters (the distance the pig was shot) it’s good enough.

    B.B.


  16. Dan,

    Several readers have made good recomendations. The Daisy 747 is a great choice. It hardly looks like a firearm, and it’s very accurate. If not a single stroke, then CO2 is the only choice left.

    B.B.





  17. i am courious about the “180 pound hog” video.

    So am I. The only version of the video that I’ve seen was a low-res version on YouTube. Does anyone know of a higher resolution version – i.e. one that could be used to determine the validity of the scene that they’re presenting. Frankly it looks staged to me.

    I don’t hunt hogs, do they commonly sit still and stare at you while your camera man sets-up? Are they fond of dogs?



  18. Guys,

    Wild hogs behave like most other inquisitive game, though perhaps a bit more aggressive. Where deer will avoid hman contact. wild hogs seem to have less fear.

    The hog in the Gamo video appears to be in a genuine setting – not staged or staked out in any way. I’ve seen several other wild hogs behave like this one does, so I don’t doubt that it was a natural stalk and shot.

    The thing that grieves me is the woeful inappropriateness of the shot. To shoot a 180 pound mammal with a .177 pellet is unsportsmanlike, to say the very least. Gamo was attempting to create a viral ad for their Raptor pellet, but I think it backfired – at least I hope it did!

    B.B.


  19. i have to agree that lead is right for the barrel. so, why not just buy another barrel, so if that gets ruined, the other is still accurate? i’ve heard of after market barrels being made that could serve as the lead tube.


  20. baikal drozd how easy is it to out shoot this gun can it hit coins at 10 meters?
    and really how long does the co2 last 1 2 or 3 mags



  21. Please wait for the results of my test to see the accuracy. It’s been a year since I shot this gun and I forget the exact accuracy with lead balls, though I think it might be able to hit a quarter at 10 meters most of the time.

    However, that’s not how the gun is used by anyone – including you, if you get one. No one uses the sights for aimed shots. It’s difficult to do so. This is a gun you shoot mostly from the hip.

    As for how many magazines on one 12-gram cartridge, maybe 2.

    What do you mean, “How does a new barrel help?” Help what?

    B.B.


  22. I’ve seen several other wild hogs behave like this one does, so I don’t doubt that it was a natural stalk and shot.

    O.K. – we’re on the same page as to the appropriateness of this stunt. I doubt that I’d even consider giving a Gamo as a gift after seeing that.



  23. I don’t quite understand your question, but if you are asking how many shots to expect from a 20-ounce tank, the number is hundreds. Probably over 500, but nobody I know has ever counted them.

    B.B.


  24. B.B. said, “This is a gun you shoot mostly from the hip.”

    I have to dissagree. This gun is best used (in my humble opinion) with a red dot scope. It’s light enought to hold up in front of your face with or without the shoulder stock on it. And it’s much easier to track moving game. Yes, that’s right. Moving game. Using a HPA tank with the bulk fill adapter, this gun is powerful enough to take a squirrel or other small game at 30 to 40 feet.

    Nuglor



  25. i was just wondering if anybody had info. on the foot lbs it takes to kill various smaller game ie;crows,rabbits,grouse,porqupine



  26. I was on the internet, and I found this airsoft rifle that looks interesting, but it also has a device which counts down to show how many shots have been fired. As it says on the website, this is what it says about that:

    Electronic Magazine Counter:
    Counts down from 95
    Reads 00 when magazine is removed

    Electronic Barrel Sensor:
    Adjust the Counter as each BB passes throught the Barrel


  27. Yeah, alot of airsoft guys use shot counters to let them know when they’re hi-cap mags are running low, and some even use them with a stopwatch to check the rate of fire after an upgrade (note I said rate of fire… not FPS).

    About the ongoing lead vs steel bb argument… Lets say, hypothetically, it takes 16,000 rounds to wear out a barrel. 16,000 steel bb’s cost about $32. The same number of lead bb’s costs about $320. You can buy a new drozd with the money you save and keep the old one with the worn barrel for spare parts. Maybe someday EAA will even offer replacement barrels..


  28. It would be interesting if a chronograph could tell you the velocity of every shot in a burst. I would like to see if the bulk fill, or the 88-gram cylinder, or the air conversions contribute to maintaining higher velocity, for the second and subsequent shots.

    I suspect the small 12 gram gas cylinder cannot "gas up" the gun so quickly as a larger reservoir, partly because the larger reservoir doesn't get as cold. I suspect that's the whole reason they only sell burst-mode drozds and let you turn down the rate.

    Also, since air is less viscous, maybe the second and subsequent shots would be faster because the air could fill the mechanism better when there is a short time.

    BB, is it possible to get that info with a chronograph? How long do they take to reset themselves?


  29. The chronos we can afford cannot record burst shots. No doubt something can, but what it is I don't know.

    However, there is a simple way to test without fancy equipment. Just shoot a long burst then shoot one shot through the chrono. It will represent the velocity of a shot in that place in the burst.

    B.B.


  30. I suspect your test would take too long because they may have left the Drozd firing rate on the low side because of this very issue & limited it to burst fire. That suggests at least that the time difference between 600 and 750 rpm or six versus seven shots is relevant.

    How about protecting the screens with some 1×1/2 wood strips in front of them and sweeping the weapon across so the last shot goes through? Make the gun strike a foam rubber stop.


  31. Oh, you mean one shot of the burst. OK. I still think you would have to devise some protection for the screens though-maybe a piece of plywood with a triangular cutout.


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