USFT rifle Part 2

by Tom Gaylord

Part 1

Before we begin, Pyramyd Air has asked me to announce a huge sale on Webley breakbarrel spring rifles. If you’ve been in the market for a new springer, this might be the sale you’ve been waiting for.

We’ll now look at the rest of the features of the gun, but first a word about the trigger. Several of you wanted to know about the trigger’s adjustability. In fact it is a two-stage trigger. I contacted Tim McMurray, who explained that the adjustment screw in front of the trigger adjusts takeup. If you adjust it as far as it goes, it turns the trigger into a single-stage trigger. I adjusted it to a two-stage, but the second stage is so light (I estimate an increase of 5-10 grams over the first stage) that I cannot always feel it. Rather than shoot when I’m not ready, I went back to single-stage operation, and I think most shooters will agree. There is another trigger adjustment, but you have to partially disassemble the gun to get at it, so I will leave it as it is.

I need to make some additional corrections . The part I called a bolt in the first segment is really a swivel breech. The bolt is just the handle that turns it. The large piece on which the logo is engraved is called the barrel mount (I called it the receiver). The receiver is below it. Both are made of 6061 T6 aluminum. The swivel breech and grip frame are made from 7075 T6 hard-annodized aluminum.


This is a spare swivel breech with a valve set for 12 foot-pounds. The valve stem and seat are shown. The breech removal tool makes changing easy once the air is gone from the reservoir.

Barrel
My rifle came with a 25″ Weihrauch barrel in .177 caliber. It is entirely free-floated, so what may look like two barrel hangers in the photo do not touch the outside of the barrel. When the reservoir flexes as the pressure drops, the barrel will be unaffected. The other barrel feature is a muzzlebrake similar to the one used on an M48A1 tank cannon. It strips off the turbulent air and directs it to either side of the muzzle, so the pellet gets out without receiving a push in the wrong direction.

On the bottom of those two barrel bands are studs to accept quick-detachable sling swivels. They are also possible anchor points for bipods. Tim made them for a Harris bipod, but I had a Leapers Multi-Functional Universal bipod that attached in the same way. I had to file off a small amount of material from the stud to get it to fit; but once I did, it worked perfectly. You can’t use a bipod to shoot field target, so the reason you want one is to give the rifle a convenient stand between lanes. Otherwise, it’s either laying in the dirt, or you have to drag a gun case around the course.

Knee rest
The adjustable knee rest is a popular option most people buy. Because this is a field target rifle and shooters will use it in the seated position, the knee rest is essential to hold the weight of the rifle while shooting. On the bottom of the walnut base is a dense foam pad that rests on the shooter’s knee. The rest is adjustable for height and angle as well as postioning left and right. Since I shoot cross-legged instead of knees-up, my rifle has an extension that drops the knee rest down to contact my thigh when I sit. In the offhand position, it becomes a hand rest.


The adjustable knee rest swings to any position needed for support. Dense foam on the base cushions the knee.

Dog-bone thigh support and rifle butt
The dog-bone thigh support is a brand-new item that increases stability for the seated shooter. It’s attached at the butt and swings into a position to rest on a seated shooter’s thigh, giving one more point of contact for the rifle. Since field target does not permit direct contact between the rifle and the ground, anything that can help stabilize it without touching the ground is a plus. Your legs are already in contact with the ground, so the dog bone has a solid place to rest. The rifle butt slides in and out to give whatever length of pull works best for the shooter. It also rotates to either side, so there is no uncomfortable need to reach out to the rifle – it reaches out and holds you when it’s adjusted right.


The dog bone rest swings to either side of the butt and locks in place quickly. It’s great for seated shots, but with experimentation can also be used for better offhand stability.

I will finish this report tomorrow.

33 thoughts on “USFT rifle Part 2

  1. Hi BB,

    A few weeks ago a bought a Daisy 1000S air rifle (a Turkish built magnum air rifle). This got me turned on for shooting again. I have lots of room on my property. I pretty soon got carried away and bought a Leapers 3-12 X 44 scope for it. It took some gyrations but I finally got the scope securely mounted with a Accushot one piece mount. However as I was sighting in the scope, the scope stop pin sheared off. Where do I go from here? Are there more robust scope stops available?

    As I played around with the big Leapers scope I also realized that I probably would have less trouble with a smaller less massive scope.

    Thanks,

    Mike T.


  2. Mike,

    Is the stop pin part of the rifle or the scope mount?

    There are purpose-built scope stops with their own pins, but it will be difficult to tell if they fit your rifle without actually trying one. They are listed under scope mounts on the Accessories page of this website.

    If the rifle is the problem, call your dealer or Daisy for help.

    B.B.




  3. Hello B.B.,
    The superb engineering and ergonomics of the USFT really shows what can happen if the design isn’t driven by the marketing department. After all, who would want all those complicated, cumbersome, ugly,and expensive adjustable parts on their gun! LOL
    In one of your pics today you mentioned a 12 foot pound valve assy, and the other day someone was asking about bumping the power on the IZH61 by putting in a stronger spring. You told him that the swept volume probably was not great enough. I know that in these 2 examples we are talking PCPs and springers, but I am curious about what makes a powerful SPRING gun powerful? Apparently there is a lot more to it than just putting in a stronger spring. If a gun is designed to produce a certain FPE, is it possible to bump it up more than a few percent with a spring change? It seems like there are so many variables, but there must be a couple of key factors that limit the max power. I’m guessing this is covered in Tom Gaylord’s R1 book, if I could only find a copy!!! I know the answer to this would require chapters to explain, but any insight would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks very much,
    Pestbgone


  4. pestbgone,

    I fact, a more powerful mainspring often LOWERS the power of the rifle, if it does anything at all! It almost never improves it unless there is something else with it. A longer swept volume is one of the real secrets to power in a springer.

    The transfer port is another factor, though much lees of an influence than swept volume.

    This subject of spring gun power potential is addressed in Gaylord’s book, and more thoroughly in Cardew’s “The Airgun From Trigger To Target”.

    I can blog this suject if there is some interest.

    B.B.


  5. B.B.,
    The swept volume certainly makes sense, but the spring force thing seems a little counterintuitive. I’m very interested in hearing more about the powerplant design considerations.
    And if anyone has either of those books around collecting dust, I’d be very interested in talking!
    Thanks,
    Pestbgone


  6. Hi BB,

    The air rifle came with a stop device that consisted of a screw and small plate. There are two locations on the along the dovetail that the screw could be inserted. However this screw deformed and failed early on. I enlarged one of the screw holes to accept the scope stop pin built into the scope mount. This is the pin that sheared.

    Mike T.


  7. Mike T.

    Holy cow! That rifle must be kicking hard!

    I’m concerned that the solution may harm the rifle. The solution is to use a hardened steel stop pin.

    Whose mounts were you using when the stop pim sheared?

    I’m concerned thjat if the pin doesn’t shear, it may enlarge the hole in the rifle’s spring tube.

    B.B.


  8. B.B.,

    one way to bump up the power in a springer is to increase the preload of the mainspring. This is true for gamo rifles. Wouldn´t this have the same effect as a stronger mainspring?

    Wiehrauch dealers often pack a stronger spring with their rifles and tell everybody it will boost power. Are they lying?

    Spring gun ergonomics is a very interesting topic. Like Pestbgone I would like to hear more about it.

    Markus


  9. Hi BB,

    The mount that I used was an Accushot 1-Pc Mount w/30mm Rings, High, 11mm Dovetail 1 x $14.45
    from Pyramid Air.

    Mike T.


  10. Mike,

    The Accushot pins are threaded, aren’t they? I bet Pyramyd can send you a replacement. You could heat-treat them if they are high-carbon steel, but they probably aren’t. Brownells sells a kit for casehardening for mild steel (low carbon).

    Another thought, If the spring tube you are anchoring in is too thin, it could be slicing the pin like a knife – especially if it is threaded and therefore thinner in some spots. On guns that normally use pins this way, the sides of the holes are solid steel.

    B.B.


  11. While the USFT is undoubtedly a highly developed tool it is also a triumph of function over form. There is an unfortunate mix of materials, colours, finishes, shapes, that just clash aesthetically. I can’t help but imagine what a wonderful job could have been done if there had been a sympathetic industrial designer alongside Tim McMurray as this was developed. – Gazza.


  12. BB -
    I was shooting yesterday down the rifle tube, have a grand ol time, until something odd happened. It seemed like the distance from my eye to the scope needed to be much greater to be at the proper distance, so my face was getting about 3/4 of the way back on the stock. The reticle also disappeared for a couple shots, then was back again, but it almost looked as if it was vibrating. I’m using a centerpoint 3-9×50 ao scope. I also noticed that there was a spring visible by looking into the other end of the scope (the large end – the objective?), that was along the ID of the scope tube, close to the end of the scope, by the large objective. I wonder if a vibration disoldged a spring that was stabilizing the reticle, if that’s possible??
    Ozark


  13. bb,

    i recently have become infested with starlings(about 3 dozen). they beat up all the other birds at my bird feeder, and i want to get rid of them. the feeder is under 20 feet away from my house. would the gamo viper express be sufficient to take them out at this distance?(ive been looking for an excuse to get one). or do you think it would be best to stick with my g1 extreme?

    DED


  14. BB & Mike -
    I have the accushot mount also – and it has replacement pins in the package it comes with. I think there were a couple of diameters of pins included. Maybe a larger diameter will stand up better to your rifle.
    Ozark




  15. bb,

    do you trust jim chapmans reviews? on another website which im sure ill get in trouble if i say it, because they are direct competition with pyramyd, he took it out for a starling shoot(stayed under 15 yrds for all shots). i bet you either read the review, or can find it easily without me mentioning websites, but he did a whole gamo review(took 4 guns). i dont think it was a good idea what he did with the delta though…or shooting what he shot with it, i should say, is what i thought was the bad idea…idk…read it.

    DED


  16. BB,

    i dont shoot FT but i like the usft. Could i put a bipod on it and shoot it like i shoot my theoben? What makes it less of a plinker? it gets aout the same number of shots. When i say plink i mean shoot .3 inch groups at 50 yards for fun. thanks.

    -sumo


  17. So the Tomahawk or the Longbow, which would be a better gun for plinking and hunting (I’m definitely looking at the .22).

    Any issues with mounting a scope on either?

    Looking forward to your thoughts.



  18. Sumo
    im pretty sure the pricr plays into the decision. also it seens like this rifle was enjinered for the stiiting position
    Nate in Mass



  19. DED,

    Do I trust Jim Chapman’s reviews? Yes. Jim is a recognized airgun hunter and he has no reason to embellish anything he does.

    Do I agree with the rifles he uses? Well, in his hands they may be adequate, but for the average shooter they may be underpowered.

    Back when Airgun Illustrated magazine was being published, the Urban Hunters – Tom Jue and Robert Hamilton – were taking pigeons beyond 50 yards with R7s and HW 55s. That doesn’t mean the average shooter should try it.

    B.B.



  20. Tomahawk or Longbow,

    Do YOU see a difference? Buy the one you like most.

    Both have scope mounting issues, as neither has a provision for a positive scope stop. Pyramyd Air recommends doubling up on the scope mounts and relying on clamping pressure to hold the scope.

    B.B.



  21. CyberSkin,

    To learn how spring piston guns work, here are some books to read:

    Tom Gaylord’s Beeman R1 book has a lot of material on how a spring piston gun works. He also did some interesting experiments, such as changing the size of the transfer port to see what affect it had on the power of a gun.

    Cardew’s The Airgun From Trigger To Target is another book to read. He does many experiments to determine how a spring piston gun works.

    In the Blue Book of Airguns Tom Gaylord has been examining every type of airgun powerplant. Each issue addresses a different type, except the latest edition, which has nothing.

    Richard Middleton’s book, The Practical Guide to Man-Powered bullets, has a section on airguns that is fascinating.

    B.B.




  22. After reviewing this rifle being used in FT I am very disappointed that one needs such an ugly rifle to compete against other shooters.

    What this tells me is they are not experienced enough to shoot regular looking rifles and need another edge in competition. Sad, very sad!

    It takes more of a person to shoot the rifles you can purchase online than an individual that purchases rifles like these. I am disappointed to see something like aloud in competition.

    I only goes to show that if you have the money, you can buy your win.

    I'd rather have 1.5 inch groups at 85 yards with my old beemon, leaning over the hood of my truck, than shoot something that looks like this! I am also sure that the guys that shoot these rifles really think they are tops and are proud of themselves. NOT.


  23. Anonymous,

    You don't need a USFT to compete in FT. Although they consistently place in the top 10 they don't always win.

    Take your old Beeman to an FT shoot and show these guys what for.

    kevin


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