Air Arms S410 sidelever – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, we’ll take the S410 sidelever to the range. The day was pretty good, with just a light, intermittent breeze.

I sighted in at 10 feet, and the first shot hit the paper directly below the bull where I wanted it, so I knew I would be on target at 35 yards. Read Tom Gaylord’s article about how to sight-in a scope to learn more about this technique.

Initial shooting at 35 yards
I started shooting with Beeman Kodiak pellets. They weigh 21 grains, which is heavy for a .22 caliber pellet, and heavy pellets draw out the most energy from a precharged pneumatic gun. They grouped just under one inch at that distance, which wasn’t what I wanted from this rifle, so I moved on. I will discuss velocities in another posting, but the rifle was set at full power with this pellet.


Beeman Kodiaks were not what I expected at 35 yards–0.85″ group.

I tried JSB pellets next
JSB Exacts are often the most accurate pellet in a given air rifle, so they were next. I dialed the power back to halfway, because at 15.8 grains, they seemed too light to shoot at full power. The groups were much better, averaging less than a half-inch. The best group was 0.391″ and the worst measured 0.635″. These would be good hunting pellets for this rifle.


JSB Exacts did well, as expected–0.391″ group.

Gamo Hunters were okay
To keep things stirred up, I tried some .22 caliber Gamo Hunters. They worked okay, but the smallest group of 0.815″ and the largest of 0.940″ are too large, considering what other pellets can do. The power setting was also halfway for this pellet, which, at 15.4 grains, is lighter than the JSBs and Kodiaks.


Gamo Hunters were okay, but there were better pellets.

H&N Trophy pellets were also good…but not the best
To round out the test, I tried H&N Trophy pellets. Pyramyd Air doesn’t stock them, but the Field & Target Trophy is very similar. They sometimes out-test other pellets in certain guns, but usually they are behind Kodiaks and JSBs. This rifle was acting differently, so I thought I’d give them a try.


H&N Trophy pellets were good, but not the best–0.485″ group. Hole on the right has three pellets.

Crosman Premiers were best of all!
A reader told me that Crosman Premiers were the best pellets in his S410. Ten years ago, they were the best in the world, and they haven’t slipped in quality in that time. Other pellets have gotten better. The first group was 0.466″ and it sparked me to try harder. The next group was slightly larger than a half-inch, but the third group was 0.305″. It turned out to be the best of the session, but I wasn’t done testing quite yet.

Technique matters!
Now that I had a pellet of known accuracy, I shot another group without resorting to any technique at all. Just shot it like a deer rifle, only off the same rest as the other groups. It measured 0.577″ and it would look good to someone who didn’t know what this rifle can really do. But you and I know there is more to be had when the right technique is employed.


When you get a result like this (0.305″), it’s probably the pellet of choice. Crosman Premiers.


The best pellet in the world will not make up for poor technique. Crosman Premiers fired with no regard for technique. Rifle shot from a rest like a deer rifle, meaning once-a-year, casual acquaintance with shooting technique–0.577″.

The technique to use
A PCP doesn’t recoil in the same way that a spring gun does, so a lot of the artillery hold is wasted on it. There are, however, two components of the artillery hold that are essential to better accuracy with all rifles – PCPs and firearms included. They are the proper positioning before the shot and follow-through. Proper positioning means that you align the crosshairs with the target with absolutely no strain. In other words, if you relax your grip, take a deep breath and let it out, the crosshairs are still aligned properly. Any strain to hold the gun on target will result in a larger group.

Follow-through means you keep the crosshairs on target after the shot is fired. With recoiling guns, this takes a lot of discipline because the gun moves you off-target; but you remain where you land and keep watching the target for several seconds. What follow-through does is cancel the tendency to lift your head from the sights the moment the shot goes off. That isn’t a terrible thing by itself, but it leads to pulling your eyes off-target an instant BEFORE the shot goes off, and that leads to moving the gun at the same instant. It is a practiced “flinch” and devastating to accuracy.

I used a hand pump!
Because the S410 sidelever came with such a strange fill adapter, I connected it to the hose on my Hill pump, which was used for all filling duties. The rifle drops to around 2,000 psi when the groups start opening at 50 yards, and it takes 50-64 pump strokes to get it back up to 2,900 psi (just less than 200 bar), which is the recommended maximum fill.

In the next post I’ll discuss velocities and talk about how quiet the rifle is.

34 Responses to “Air Arms S410 sidelever – Part 3”

  • Anonymous Says:

    “Beeman Kodiaks were not what I expected at 35 yards–0.085″ group.”

    that was not a one hole group so i think you mean 0.85.

    -sumo

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    sumo,

    It’s early so I fixed it.

    Thanks,

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    off subject, what do u think of the mendoza rm 2800 .22 cal. repeater?

  • Anonymous Says:

    Hi BB,

    I am trying to figure if I am willing to do the work to shoot the S410 and don’t want to pay for the filling cost.

    If I were to get the Hill pump and only using the Hill pump to fill it to 2,900 psi for the S410, how many pump strokes do I need from empty to 2,900 psi?

    Can you also talk about the Hill Pump and some details on how to use the Hill Pump?

    What is the longevity of a Pump?
    Do they come in renew kit?

    Thanks BB.

    BeeKeeper

  • Scott 298 Says:

    B.B.–Scott298 reporting in-hope everything is fine. Any chance on getting some longer range accuracy reports on this gun, say in the 50 to 75 yard range. For a pcp taking game at 75 yards shouldn’t be a problem-should it? That’s coming as a question as it is my understanding(which could be wrong)that a pcp will deliver more accuracy and energy at longer distances over springers-thanks Scott

  • Anonymous Says:

    B.B.

    Thanks for your response about the IZH 61 yesterday. This is a dream to get this kind of rapid, expert advice.

    I have another area of concern about the gun. Now that I have such a good one, I’m very concerned about keeping it in shape but don’t understand the maintenance instructions too well. The manual says: “In lubricating the air compression chamber, use only a special lubricant with a high flash point designed specifically for use inside of an air gun compression chamber.” What lubricant would this be?

    It also says: “Put a few drops of special light oil that into the vent hole that leads into the compression chamber.” What vent hole? The only hole I see is where the bore gives out onto the space where the clip sits. I suppose this would lead to the compression chamber. Do I just put oil drops in there?

    Then it says: “In order to lubricate the mainspring, you must first remove the stock. Turn the action over and apply 6 to 10 drops of a light oil directly onto the spring.” There are no directions for disassembling the rifle and I’m deathly afraid of screwing it up. Can I just put the oil onto the spring where it is exposed when I cock the gun? Do I use the same oil as for the compression chamber or some other kind?

    Thanks for your time and any help you can give. I’m looking forward to the big revelation on the 18th.

    Matt

  • Mixalis Says:

    Something irrelevant.
    I want to reduce the sound of my new HW57. Are there any silencers available for this gun? or isnt any other way to do it?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Mendoza 2800,

    I haven’t tesrted the 2800 yet, but I do have one to test. What I expect is a gun much like the 2000, perhaps a little stronger and just as nice.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    BeeKeeper,

    I used the Hill because it was convenient, not because it was any better (or worse) than the FX, Axxor or AirForce pumps.

    From empty to 2900 psi is about 275 to 300 pump strokes (I guess). With all the pumps except the AirForce you need to break this down into three five-minut sessions with a 15 minute rest in between to let the pumps cool. The AirForce can do the whole job in one go because it doesn’t overeheat.

    Once filled, you never drop below about 2000 psi, so it takes about 50 pumps to refill the gun.

    I have owned an Axxor pump since 1996 and it’s still working. On the other hand, I know people who have destroyed their new pumps inside a week. Several have wiped off the lubrication, then relubed with the wrong spec of lube. My 11 year old Axxsor has NEVER been lubed! One guy just disassembled his pump to see how it worked and then didn’t have the correct lube to reassemble it.

    Very few places can repair pumps, so careful operation should be your concern. I have three and have never had a problem with any of them.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Scott 298,

    Just for YOU – 75 yards! First time for everything, I guess.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Matt,

    Your 61 came with too muich lube in it already, so the best advice is just shoot it a few thousand times.

    When the time comes, see that large Phillips screw on top of the receiver, just in front of the magazine release button? Remove it carefully and drop the oil in there. Then replace the screw and cock and fire the gun several times. That screw is plastic, so dpon’t tighten it too much.

    The stock comes off easily. Just remove the thumbscrew on the bottom of the stock and slide it off the back of the gun. Don’t forget there is a washer there, too.

    I would say you probably have at least five years before any lubrication is needed.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Mixalis,

    A silencer isn’t needed as much as a good tune. My R1 (HW 80 at 16 foot-pounds) is quieter than a TX 200 that has a silencer, because of its tune.

    ,.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb and scott228,

    great! thats what i want to know!

    -sumo

  • Mixalis Says:

    I dont think I can find someone in my country (Cyprus) that can tune my gun. Can any gun smith tune air rifles?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Mixalis,

    That’s a tough question. There are all kinds of gunsmiths. A good one could do it – especially if he read my 13-part blog on spring gun tuning.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    B.B.

    That’s great news about not having to oil for awhile and thanks for the detailed info.

    Matt

  • Anonymous Says:

    What is the best way to mount a scope on a 392? I’ve seen the clamps on the barrel, the weaver on the receiver, and cut dovetails. I don’t want to have dovetails cut. I want to mount a bugbuster on it for long range shooting. I can pump it easily up to 5 pumps holding the forearm and grip. Holding the receiver is much easier, but I’m willing to sacrifice for accuracy. I could also mount a red dot scout style out on the barrel. I would choose a peep but I look through one long enough on the anschutz 2002ca I shoot at school! (by far the most expensive gun I’ve ever shot and is insane). I want to buy pyramyd so how about these:

    Air Venturi Intermount

    Crosman B272 4-Pc Intermount

    B-Square 17010 Benjamin Sheridan Scope Base

    thanks,
    hb

  • Anonymous Says:

    Isn’t the S410 manufactured by FX in Sweden?

    Either way, I’m wondering if the FX T12 Whisper barrel shroud is quieter than the S410 shroud?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    hb,

    You can’t get dovetails cut in a 392, so forget about it. The receiver is brass and won’t take the strain.

    The Air Venturi seems to be the best way to me. I haven’t tested it, but the mout looks solid, plus it’s back on the receiver for best eye relief.

    The B-Square mojnt is second-best.

    With all these mounts, use a smaller scope, to keep the weight down.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    well bb, thats not entirely true…you could buy an aftermarket reciever(about $60), but then theres the problem with the pumping, which can be solver by getting the stock cut, and moving the forearm grip towards the trigger, which mac1 airgun does…altogether, its pricey…im doing it, but only because i want a fully upgraded 392…also thinking about putting a .25 cal l/w barrel on it…not sure yet…ill see how it does in .22 when i get it in like 2 months, and then make a final barrel decision. bb, what are your thoughts(anyone else can chime in on this too)?

    DED

  • Anonymous Says:

    oh, when i said fully upgraded 392, i meant a steriod/billet tune with the extended billet and dovetail from mac-1, then psp will do a full power/accuracy mod, and add super sears…thats why itll take 2 months.

    DED

  • Anonymous Says:

    and the reciever is from rj machine.

    http://www.rjmachineshop.com/4436.html

    DED

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    DED,

    Have you looked at how the barrel of the 392 is attached? It is soldered. It takes a very special jig and a lot of experience to solder that joint without a lot of voids and places where the solder didn’t stick. Yes, I know about the 392LE, but Crosman made that on the same machinery that makes the standard 392.

    This isn’t the gun I would put a lot of money into in that way.

    Now I have tested the Streoid tune and it does work. The pumping effort climbs to a high level, but you don’t have to fill the gun as far as it will go. I like the billet approach because I have long felt the gun is weak in that area.

    If Mac-1 offers the work, you can be sure they know what they are doing. I thought you were going to attempt this on your own.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    well, i dont have much time to do all of the gun upgrades that i want…i think im gonna let mac one do the 392, and then im going to do a blue streak a little later on…im really excited about working on my own gun…i absolutely love tinkering, and fixing, etc., so im def gonna work on a benji/sheridan myself. i havent done anything with pumpers yet….do you know how hard it is to do?

    also, do you know if the psp accuracy mod accually makes it as accurate as they say(1″ at 50 yrds).

    the reason why im going to do the work on the blue streak is because i like it better, and want it all to be my sweat that works on it…itll mean more to me. the 392 i want because its more powerful, but i like the blue streak more.

    DED

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    also, psp will put in a special piston that he says will greatly decrease pumping effort, but when hes all done, cocking effort will be increased a decent amount, but i dont mind that.

    one ? about pcp’s real quick…since both the talon ss and aa 410 sidelever have the same barrel, are they more likely to be accurate with the same pellets(like cp’s, and jsb’s?). i thought i remember you saying that airforce guns like kodiaks, but i cant remember.

    and yea, the fact that im asking this ? means i still havent gotten a pcp yet…i said i would get the 410, but im still debating.

    DED

    DED

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    DED,

    The one key to working on pneumatic airguns is cleanliness. They are unforgiving of dirt in any form.

    After cleanliness comes lubrication at the right spot and in the right amount. But cleanliness is first.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    DED,

    All AirForce rifle have the same barrels, though they come in different lengths. The S410 may not have the same barrel. Don’t make the mistake that all Lothar Walther barrels are the same. They all have different specs and there might be 20 different Lothar Walther barrels of the same caliber.

    The S410 I am testing doesn’t seem to like Kodiaks, while AirForce airguns really do.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    ooooooh…i just assumed that since theyre very accurate barrels, that they were all consistant per caliber…lol, that was a bad assumption. so, you still say the best pcp for the $ is an airforce, huh?…ive heard that the trigers are sub-par…what seperates it from a match trigger?(even though you’re not supposed to have a match trigger on your hunting gun…a message to everyone out there, you arent supposed to adjust the trigger pull down as low as it goes…youre supposed to adjust it as high as it will go, with you being able to use the gun the right way(so, dont dial it all the way down, but not all the way up either…everyone will have their own preference)

    DED

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    DED

    The triggers in AirForce rifles are NOT sub-par. What they are, are so complex in their operation that a lot of hobbyists have ruined their rifles trying to learn how they work.

    I used to fix wrecked AirForce triggers after “tuners” had worked on them. There are very few things that can be done to change how they work and still retain the reliability. This is one of the few triggers in the world in which the linkage levers actually move as the trigger is pulled. We had a cutaway at the factory so we could study how the parts interacted.

    What some people call sub-par is a sporting trigger that breaks between 2 and 3 pounds. Most of them do have some creep in the second stage. But they are good enough to shoot 1/2″ groups at 50 yards, so they can’t be all that bad.

    Match triggers can be adjusted to break at less than 40 grams. They also have overtravel adjustment that make the trigger pull feel more positive.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I have a Benji 392 LE with a “loose” barrel. Lands will barely imprint grooves on FTS pellets of 5.54mm size. Needless to say, accuracy is not what I desire and pellet selection is nil. Can this be rebarreled by the Crosman custom shop?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Your 5.54mm pellet size refers to the pellet HEAD — not the skirt. The rifling isn’t supposed to imprint deep on the head.

    Also, FTS pellets are not the ones to use in the 392LE. Use JSB Exacts15.8-grain domes (best_ or Crosman premiers in this rifle.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    The lands of the rifling have to leave some imprint to provide spiral stability to the pellet. If no imprint, the pellet is left to longitudonaly wobble down the bore. And upon exiting it may not be in perfect perpendicular axis to the crown and induce pellet yaw.
    I have the JSB’s and the CP’s and neither work all that well. My options now are 5.55mm FTS, Eun Jin, or a rebarrel.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    The lands do NOT need to engrave the head of the pellet! They only have to engrave the skirt. In fact, they are supposed to simple center the head without engraving it, though some amount of engraving is okay.

    If your gun is not accurate, then I suggest sending it to Crosman for repairs. The 392 is not a gun you can rebarrel. The entire barrel joint has to be soldered which takes a special jig. No aftermarket tuner I know of can do that job.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Thanks BB, I appreciate your input. I’ll be contacting Crosman shortly and see what can done.

Leave a Reply


5 + 6 =

NEW: Dan Wesson pellet revolvers!
Dan Wesson pellet revolvers

You wanted Dan Wesson revolvers that could shoot pellets, so we ordered them. Six-shot pellet shooters that so closely copy the firearm, you'll be stunned by the realism. An excellent way to hone trigger control and maintain accuracy with your firearm -- without range fees, expensive ammo or leaving your house. Pre-order yours now. Get it. Shoot it. Love it!

Ka-BOOM!
Airburst MegaBoom reactive targets

Airburst MegaBoom bases transform ordinary plastic soda & water bottles into booming targets that deliver up to 150 decibels when punctured. Get the base and charge your own plastic bottles or get the MegaBoom bottles filled with BoomDust that mists like smoke when the bottle is punctured. Low-pressure air pump and blast guard accessories also available. A real blast!

Archives