9mm airguns and ammo

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s post was requested by Pyramyd Air. They sell three different 9mm big bore airguns, and the ammo they use has been confusing. They asked me to sort it out.

Drulov
First, I want to comment on the somewhat confusing Drulov Sokol. This is a CO2 carbine that has a nominal .375 bore. That makes it larger than 9mm, which is .356 caliber. But, the recommended ammo for the gun is either 000 buckshot or two 9mm “pellets.” I think you can rule this gun out, as far as real accuracy is concerned. If you own one, I have to wonder why you aren’t using .375 swaged round balls from Speer or Hornady. I’m suspicious of the technical specs for this gun, because .375 and 9mm are not compatible sizes. I only mention it because Pyramyd Air does link two 9mm pellets to it.

There was also a Rada pistol that used to be sold with the carbine. As far as I know, it was the same caliber as the Sokol. If so, my caliber doubts extend to it, as well. If any reader owns either of these airguns, please tell me what you shoot in your gun and what kind of accuracy it gets. I’ve been told by the importer (not Pyramyd Air) that either gun shoots 4″ groups at 25 yards.

Career Ultra
I have tested the 9mm Career Ultra lever-action repeater. When I did, the only pellet I could load was a 60-grain Eun Jin made specially for this rifle. The pellet carrier that transfers the pellet from the magazine to the bore is very short and will not accept a pellet over a certain length. There is a place on the right side of the receiver for loading pellets one at a time, but it’s short, too. So the Ultra uses short pellets, only.

Today, Eun Jim provides a 77-grain pellet that will function through the Ultra’s feed mechanism. This pellet goes fast because it is light for its caliber. Because it is a repeater, the Ultra attracts more attention than the single-shot Fire 201 9mm rifle. If you want to hunt with a big bore air rifle, the Ultra is not the gun to choose. Besides being limited to just one light pellet, it is not as versatile or powerful as the single-shot Fire 201.

Fire 201
This is the air rifle that started the whole Korean big bore industry. It started out as a .25-caliber air shotgun that developed as much as 260 foot-pounds! To my knowledge, there has never been another commercial air shotgun as powerful as this one was. Shooters weren’t interested in air shotguns in the 1990s, so an American rebarreled the Fire with a 9mm rifle barrel and the rest is history. When the Koreans saw the increased demand for a big bore air rifle over a shotgun, they quickly retooled to produce the rifle.


This sliding breech (the brass part) is the reason the Fire 201 can accept pellets and bullets of almost any length. There is nothing to get in the way!

Load almost any pellet/bullet!
The Fire’s sliding breech is so accommodating that almost any pellet or bullet that will fit into the bore can be used. The Fire is so flexible, I’ve seen airgunners load and shoot 158-grain lead semiwadcutter pistol bullets meant for a .357 magnum. To be accurate, they should be resized to .356, but .357 is only one thousandth larger and doesn’t seem to make much difference. Almost all 9mm lead pistol bullets will work just fine. Just be sure to use lead bullets and not jacketed bullets, because the barrel isn’t hardened properly to take them.

Summary
So, the Sokol is meant to be loaded with 000 buckshot, and Pyramyd Air has linked two 9mm pellets that will also work. The 9mm Career Ultra works only with the 77-grain Eun Jin pellet – nothing else! Lastly, the Fire 201 single-shot will work with just about any 9mm or .357 lead bullet.

50 thoughts on “9mm airguns and ammo

  1. BB,

    i currently own an armscor standard air rifle and i only get around 14 shots per fill. what can i do with my rifle to get more bang for my buck?
    thanks!

    Abel


  2. Abel, what are you looking for, more power or more shots per fill? I don’t like to blow my own horn but take a look at Flying Dragon Air Rifles, I might be able to help. Been looking at the Armscor guns myself. Mike


  3. Abel,

    The Philippine CO2 rifles are known for using a lot of gas. To get better efficiency, the valve probably has to be reworked, if that’s possible.

    You didn’t mention the caliber of your rifle or the power you are getting, so I can’t comment more, but I can tell you that my Shark .22 round-ball shooter gets 60 shots per fill while generating about 15.5 foot-pounds. However, two fills will drain a 10-ounce CO2 tank. so it uses a lot of gas.

    B.B.






  4. BAM B30,

    I’m not sure what Pyramyd Air told you, but the way you asked the question may have lead to their response. For example, if you told them that the fathest diatence at which you can reliably hit an American quarter is 30 yards, then the range of any rifle for you hunting squirrels is 30 yards.

    The BAM B30 is very powerful and should have no difficulty with squirrels at 50 yards, but are YOU capable of shooting a one-inch group with it at that distance? That is the question.

    The MP 513M will be even harder to shoot accurately at distance because it is a breakbarrel. They require a lot of technique to shoot well.

    Wjhat is your level of shooting experience with spring piston rifles?


  5. None Really But I Will nOt Be The Only One Shooting It The other Person Who Will Be Shooting It Was A High Scoring Sniper In The Army And Can Shoot A 760 Pumpmaster At 15 yrds And Hit The Same Spot that he had hit befor But i Have never Used a Spring Piston air gun but i will learn .



  6. BB,

    my mistake! i forgot to mention a few things about my rifle, its in .22 cal and i get about 650-700 fps out of it (or so the manual says). is there a way that i can get more shots at the same power? or more power for the same shots? or is it just wishful thinking for my type of gun. i’m open to any type of advice regarding my rifle from anybody.

    Abel




  7. Hey My Name Cord And I Was Wonder How Far I Could Kill A Dove With A Quest 1000 And I See All These Pictures Of People Killing Deer With Air Guns Are They Real And WHat Kind Of Pellet Rifle Are The Using And How Do They Do It?


  8. So I AM Going To Buy The Bam B30 With A Leapers 3-9 x 32 Scope And The Pellets I Will Buy Are Beeman Siver Bear High Impact Beeman Crow Magnums , Logun Penetrators And JSB Diablo Exacts Is That A Good Combination?


  9. B30,

    The Crow Magnums are only for short ranges (under 25 yards) as they are not accurate at distance. The other pellets are good for at least 40 yards.

    The JSB Exact 15.8-grain will take you to 50 yards

    B.B.


  10. Really? You think BAM barrels are on a par with Diana?

    Not arguing, mind you – my BAM rifles are pretty good – just surprised to hear that they’ve gotten THAT good.

    The Quest/Phantom/Remmington Summit is made by BAM – so I assume the same applies to those guns as well?


  11. Vince,

    Remember the test I did with both the .177 and .22 B40? It shot BETTER than my personal TX200 in .177.

    Normally I don’t think much of Chinese airguns, but this BAM brand is turning that around.

    The one thing that I just started doing about a year ago was cleaning all new airgun barrels with JB paste. I think some of the difference comes from that.

    B.B.














  12. PyramidAir Ran Out Of The B30 Right When I Was Ordering It Bummer So I Ordered It From CobraAirguns.com Are They Reliable?


  13. How Far WIll The Laser On The BSA Varmint Hunter Precision Laser Sight & Light Shoot In Low Light And In No Light And How Is The Flash Light On It


  14. dm20,

    The 9MM is rifled, so if you shoot shot, you’ll have to clean the bore frequently to remove the lead from the rifling.

    There are no 9mm shotshells for this gun. You would have to make them. The .25 caliber shells would not fit.

    B.B.


  15. BushyTail,

    If you are asking how far will you be able to see the laser in those lighting conditions (because the light goes to infinity), with the naked eye at least 50 yards. Through a scope, at least 100 yards

    The flashlight is a tactical-type, so it’s brighter than a standard flashlight. It’s not as bright as a Beamshot, but it is surprisingly bright.

    B.B.





  16. The Shinsung 201 & the 707 Ultra 9mm is working great with Hornady bullets cal.362
    In the manual you will find how to change the gun to accept a new pellet size.
    And because they are round they wont jam easily.
    Also I get much more accuracy with these than the eun Jing.



  17. BB,

    Looking at the comment from MrCaspersen, it appears that the Career Ultra 9mm can now be adapted to accept other pellets? Or am I misunderstaning?

    Following the link that Casper provided, I see the instructions, but want to know what my options are clearly. I have read your other posts that say ONLY the 77 gram pellets will work in the multi-shot Ultra. Has that changed to allow greater versatility? If so, what do you recommend for use?

    Primarily I am a plinker, but I do like shooting birds sometimes.

    I don’t have my Career 9mm in hand quite yet; just have bought it and have to wait until I get back from Iraq to give ‘er a try lol.

    Also, what is the “prepkit” that Casper is referring to and what does it do and where can one be procured?

    I think he is talking about the MAC-1 folks for the valve….if I am mistaken, set me right.

    I look forward to your reply.

    All the best,

    -Dan


  18. Dan,

    I just can’t let you make what I think would be a HUGE mistake. Yes, the pellet feed is SOMEWHAT adjustable, and NO, you don’t want to do it. The 9mm Ultra is weak compared to the single shot Career 9mm.

    I was at a big bore long range shoot last weekend and saw a single shot 9mm Career hit half-sized steel ram targets at 300 yards! There were no Ultras at this shoot because NOBODY uses them. The guy shooting the 9mm came in second in the match and had to shooti it out with a much more powerful big bore.

    See the action here:

    http://www.bigboreairguns.com/lasso07.htm

    Johnny is the guy who shoots standing, and that’s a 9mm Career he’s shooting.

    I know the lever action seems neat, but it paints you into a corner with an underpowered gun that has limited ammo possibilities.

    Please reflect on this before spending your hard-earned money.

    And hurry back from Iraq.

    B.B.


  19. I have a 9mm ultra, and it works quite well with a variety of ammunition. However, you will have to take it apart and adjust the stops inside very precisely for what you’re using. The maximum length you can fit in is about 12mm

    The Eun-Jin pellets are about the easiest to make work, but their ballistics are terrible beyond about 50 yds.

    Track of the Wolf sells muzzle loading supplies, including some .358 round balls which work really well as long as you get the casting sprue pointed straight forward or straight back. They do alright if you don’t watch it, but the group size is somewhat inconsistent.

    Hornady makes a .360 round ball which works well, but leads up the bore relatively quickly.

    National Bullet Company makes a 95 grain roundnose that fits if you feed them one at a time, and lets me shoot 2″ groups at 80 yds (standing with factory sights). They almost feed normally, I think if I make a slightly longer stop they would just work.

    The lack of power I think comes from the fact that there’s no positive lock on the bolt. Additionally, the stock model tends to eat o-rings. Shim the bolt to remove the slop so the rings last, and keep a tight grip on the lever when you fire it so it stays shut, and you’ll notice a significant power difference.




  20. When I tested the Fire 201, it was the .25 caliber shotgun – not the 9mm. I do imagine the number of shots would be about the same for both guns, because the shotgun is a 250 foot-pound gun.

    I could get up to 9 good shots.

    B.B.


  21. Since sending a 100gr bullet in 800-900fps range is not a problem for Fire 201s, can it handle way heavier projectile. Would that increase its muzzle energy? How much do you think this rifle is capable of if optimal projectile is used?


  22. A Fire 201 can LAUNCH a heavier projectile – it just can’t stabilize it with the twist rate of the barrel. Get a custom barrel made and you could go heavier.

    I would stay with a 125-grain 9mm bullet.

    Energy always increases with the weight of the projectile in pneumatics. That holds true to the point of diminishing returns, which is longer than any barrel you are liely to see.

    B./B.



  23. I got interested in Drulov Sokol. Don’t you think it is a bit of a difference in calibers? I mean, using .375 instead of .356 might improve the accuracy and energy. By the way, is the velocity of 470fps achieved with 9mm ammo or .375? Thanks, Murad.


  24. Murad,

    As far as I know the velocity quoted on this site came from the U.S, Importer, who also listed .375 balls as the right ammo. Where the buckshot and 9mm size came from, I don’t know.

    B.B.


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