Part 3 by Tom Gaylord from Pyramyd Air” /> Part 3, airguns report post” />

Friday, October 17, 2008

BAM B26-2 thumbhole
Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, I'll test the accuracy of the BAM B26-2, and I earned my keep on this one! The .22-caliber B26 had been an easy shooter, and I was expecting the same from this .177 thumbhole B26-2, but it didn't turn out that way.

Accuracy testing took place on two separate days, as a thunderstorm abruptly ended day one. However, I did learn some interesting things.

Loosey goosey!
For starters, all the screws on the rifle and one on the scope mount were loose! I tightened the four stock screws, the barrel pivot bolt and locknut and a windage screw on the B-Square ultra-high mount I had to use. Speaking of that ultra-high mount, I had to use them because the rifle's high cheekpiece made it impossible for me to see the scope when it was mounted in a medium-high mount. I can usually adapt to just about any stock, but not this time! Remember that if you plan to buy one of these.

Firing behavior
The shooting behavior is very smooth with just a trace of vibration. This is a pleasant gun to shoot. The trigger lets off light, but not as crisp as I'd like.

Let's shoot
So, use high mounts and check all the screws. Okay, I was ready to shoot. But the rifle wasn't. At 25 yards, my first group of Crosman Premier lites went into a 3" group! I noticed that they dropped deep into the breech, so I figured the barrel is overbore, like some of the old Chinese rifles used to be. I started searching for fatter pellets.

Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets didn't fix the problem. They were just as scattered as the Premiers. So I tried RWS Superdomes. Surprisingly, the groups tightened to maybe 1.5". No prize, but it's moving in the right direction. Beeman Kodiaks grouped about the same as the Superdomes, so I didn't pursue them. Then the storm hit, and I took a break for a day.

The next day
I started the next day apprehensive, because the rifle hadn't revealed any secrets. I started with RWS SuperMags and did get a 1" group. Now I was getting somewhere, but those groups alerted me to something else. If you notice, the pellets are grouped around two centers.


Five RWS SuperMag pellets are distributed three and two on the target.



JSB Exacts are also grouped around two centers.


Eureka!
Next I tried JSB Exact 8.4-grain pellets. They were about the same as the SuperMags, and still gave me the mysterious two groups for five shots. And that's when it hit me! I was dealing with a harmonic! The gun has some kind of vibration pattern that the artillery hold cannot resolve. Whenever that happens, and it doesn't happen that often, you try shooting directly from the sandbag rest. Of course, it worked. Almost.


Resting the forearm directly on the sandbag gave me this group of JSB Exacts at 25 yards. There are four pellets in the top hole.



Here's another group of of JSB Exacts. They're grouped three and two. There's a harmonic that needs to be dealt with, but all these shots fall on a dime.


The groups I got were now pleasingly tight for 25 yards, but they still exhibited two different centers. So, something is not quite right, but at least we now know the B26-2 has an accurate barrel. I bet if I went back through all those other pellets I'd get better groups now that I know this.

There's still improvement to be made, but I've taken this rifle as far as I want. If I spent a lot more time refining the pellet and hold, I'm sure I could get all those pellets into one tight group. In case you're wondering, I checked all the screws at the end of the test and found them all still tight.

Overall evaluation
I find the BAM B26-2 to be a very nice airgun for the money. It's sensitive to hold and I don't care for thumbhole stocks, though this one isn't too bad. The trigger is nice, but not as crisp as a Rekord. I like the .22 caliber standard B26 better than the .177 -2.

83 Comments:

At October 17, 2008 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello BB,

any idea on why .22cal BAMs have disappeared from pyramydair, along with the B40s altogether?

thnx

 
At October 17, 2008 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,B.B., That's real interesting switching from your normal hold to a sandbag rest.I've done the same with my Tx200.I've gotten good results both ways, but what is your opinion.Do you always use the artillery hold when you shoot your Tx200 or do you use a sand bag.Help I"m trying to tighten my groups.Thank You.

 
At October 17, 2008 9:06 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

TX200,

The TX200 is not very hold-sensitive, but I find that it does help to use the artillery hold. Only a few spring guns can be used successfully without it. The Gamo CF-X comes to mind, besides this particular B26-2.

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 9:09 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

B26,

I don't know why the B26 in .22 caliber has disappeared. I suppose it's nothing more than a lack of sales. Pyramyd watches the sales and if a model or caliber is slow they will discontinue it.

The BAM B40 is a different story. Pyramyd technicians told me they had too many returns. My own experiences with just a handful of guns have all been positive, but they see everything that goes out the door, so I have to respect their call.

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 9:35 AM, Blogger derrick38 said...

BB,

I guess I bought one of the last .22 cal B26-2's at the garage sale. I just got around to shooting it this week. You're not kidding about the cheek piece being high. It's higher than that! I'm using the Leapers 6X bug buster. First tried Accushot high rings. Too low. Couldn't get a sight picture through the scope. I mounted a Gamo raised rail from the Viper rifle with those same high mounts and it's OK now. Not perfect, but it's OK. I'd still like about another 1/8" or 1/4" of height. Surprisingly, I had more than enough scope adjustment to get on target. I've only shot it inside, offhand and at 10 meters and all the pellets go into a quarter. The gun sounds very dry inside. The trigger is also creepy, but miles ahead of any Gamo trigger. From what I've seen, the gun has some real potential. I'm going to tear it apart, install a higher quality spring and do some basic fitting and go from there. I'm going to drill and tap the rear of the compression tube--if there's enough metal--for a raised Weaver base. That, coupled with high mounts would solve the cheek piece issue. It's an interesting gun. Higher quality than you'd think for the price.

 
At October 17, 2008 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom,

This is the exact problem I have learned to resolve with Glass Bedding the action.

If you are up to it. Use the Gel Brownells glass bed system and then test again with standard hold and you will be supprised is my bet.

KevinTK

 
At October 17, 2008 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wayne,be sure when you get started tuning that you do NOT use automotive tools for screws.you need a gunsmith screwdriver kit.they don't cost alot,but they are ground square,instead of tapered.tapered screwdrivers will deform your screws,slip off,damage stocks,etc...the one I have was made in the 80's by Chapman tools.a wrong screwdriver blade,with it's wedge shape gets pushed out of the screw by it's own shape.a tight fitting bit with the buisness end square in profile doesn't .then,just pick the bit that fits snug...and good luck to you and the ranch.frankB

 
At October 17, 2008 9:53 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Derrick,

If you want a Weaver base, why don't you use the Leapers 11mm to Weaver base that has a stop pin? It's cheap and will do exactly what you ant with no drilling and tapping.

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/accessory/2401

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 9:53 AM, Blogger derrick38 said...

This post has been removed by the author.

 
At October 17, 2008 9:56 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

I don't want to pursue this rifle any farther. I will be returning to the B26 .22 cal. for some tuning, I think, but this one is over.

However, I second Derrick's request for more info. Wanna do a guest blog or two?

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 9:57 AM, Blogger derrick38 said...

BB,

Good call! I forgot about those. I'll order one up today.

Derrick

 
At October 17, 2008 10:01 AM, Blogger derrick38 said...

BB,

Are you asking Kevin or me?

Because I want to know about this glass bedding he's applied to airguns. I'm not sure I understand how he does it works with the forearm screws coming in from the sides.

Derrick

 
At October 17, 2008 10:03 AM, Anonymous UW Hunter said...

Will glass bedding work with a break barrel? It seems to me that the way break barrels are assembled is so different than the way firearms are assembled that glass bedding would not be applicable. I very may well be wrong. I have no experience with glass bedding, but I have read about it. Am I wrong?

 
At October 17, 2008 10:06 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Derrick,

I was asking Kevin, because I am interested as well. Maybe I should keep this rifle and try Kevin's glass-bedding techniques?

Whadda ya think?

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 10:12 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

Frank B.

Thanks, I thought it might make a difference.. Do you think a local shop will have a quality set, or should I order online...

B.B./Frank B.

PA has the "B-Square Professional Gunsmith Screwdriver Set for $29... is that one good? Is that the only tools, it seems not...

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At October 17, 2008 10:18 AM, Blogger derrick38 said...

BB,

I think you should move the muzzle weight on the B26-2's barrel or remove it entirely and shoot the JSB's again w/ the artillery hold.
That should change your harmonic.

(I also think you should try to test one of those Drulov 5 shot rifles)


Derrick

 
At October 17, 2008 10:39 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne,

I own both sets. The Chapman set is more complete (I have the extra Allen wrench set) but both are of similar quality. I use the B-Square a lot more than the Chapman.

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 10:41 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Derrick,

The Drulov probably won't happen. They are being imported by a very low-volume dealer who has waits of six months when guns are not in stock. It's too much of a burdon to get.

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE - Screwdrivers: I like the ones offered by Grace USA. Real quality and can be had at Cabelas too. Or order direct.

RE - Glass Bedding. Acraglas Gel by Brownells is the product I use and YES it works at times when the gun won't group and all else has been explored (i.e.: crown lapped, barrel cleaned, pellets tried, holds tried, tuned, seal upgraded and sized etc, screw cups added, front bracket replaced, etc.) I have seed the same thing BB describes here. 2-3 in one place and 1-2 in another. Many times 4 in the same hole then a flyer to ruin the group. Try 10 shot groups and you will see.

I believe there are stresses in spots as well as voids and such causing the harmonics Tom mentions. This makes the gun seem way more hold sensitive than normal. Glass makes the guns action fit like skin tight glove to the stock balancing out the guns weight/mass better through the firing cycle.

If you know that a loose stock screw can ruin accuracy think if the wood inletting is tight in some spot causing one forward screw to receive more force than the other even though the screws feel tight?

But don't take my word for it. Try it.

I will post a couple of pictures and such to help answer how to address the action bedding next week if you all like.

KevinTK. Racine, WI

 
At October 17, 2008 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B.

This all sounds very familiar after my experience with the B30: loose screws, high cheekpiece, nice trigger, trace of vibration, and good barrel. Maybe these are the defining features of the BAM rifles. Odd about the B40 getting withdrawn; that is supposed to be their high-end rifle. Is a harmonics/vibration problem necessarily separate from the barrel? I've heard of "barrel harmonics." Or would it have more to do with the fitting of parts? That would be consistent with the loose fit of BAM rifles.

I've wondered why no one glass beds air rifles when they do that for firearms all the time; free-floating the barrel seems to apply to both air rifles and firearms. So, I would like to hear about the glass bedding too.

Wayne, I've heard the same advice about genuine gunsmith screwdrivers, and I think it is a good idea for your collection. The trigger adjustment screw on my B30 is all mashed up after my efforts to tighten it using a regular screwdriver.

Matt61

 
At October 17, 2008 11:49 AM, Anonymous The Trout Underground said...

BB - sorry to see the BAM40 gone from the PA site, but I was starting to fixate on the RWS 54 anyway, which seems like a great choice in a long-range springer.

One question: is the RWS54 an ambidextrous gun? At this point, I'd rather buy an ambi than a right/left hand specific model.

 
At October 17, 2008 12:10 PM, Anonymous UW Hunter said...

I would be very interested to learn how to glass bed a break barrel action. That sounds like a great project!

 
At October 17, 2008 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone has heard of or has an opinion on a new barrel tuning system that consists of a delrin block that you slide back and forth under the stock. The principle is supposed to be the same as tuning a guitar string--another vibrating system. Seems to make sense. This system is supplied on the new target version of the Mini-14 which is supposed to be 1 MOA.

Matt61

 
At October 17, 2008 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 25-'06 with the BOSS on it. Same difference really; it uses the idea of changing the vibrating length of the rifle barrel to get the barrel to the same point in its oscillation for every shot before the bullet clears the muzzle. On a 25-'06 the gas being vented off to the sides is more than a little obnoxious.

--WFH

 
At October 17, 2008 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

might try sims labatory vib damper ,its a rubber doughnut that you can slide down barrel to ajust hormonics worked wonders on my r9 tighter groups less vibration have used them on target 22s ,always good to ck beding too,long time reader love the blog new to adult airguns due to backyard range beinng anxed by city,having good times again just without th noise,thanks bb

 
At October 17, 2008 3:19 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

Since I'm going to the Roanoke airgun show I need material to cover me while I'm away next week. Any chance I might get your input as a guest blog? We would be able to post your pictures there.

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 3:22 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Matt,

I don't know where this harmonic might be, or even that I'm right about it being a harmonic. It just seems to be that.

It could be the barrel, or the action bedding. Hard to tell.

What I dislike is putting a thousand dollars of effort into a $175 gun just to turn it into a $300 gun. I know many people love that, but my days are too full to devote that kind of time.

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 3:26 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Trout Underground,

The 54 lever cocks to the right, so that is not going to change. But the effort isn't that hard.

The cheekpiece is only on the left, so another strike against amibdexterity. And the loading port favors right-handers.

But after that the gun is symetrical. Still, that may be more than you want to overcome.

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 3:28 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

WFH,

I have a harmonic tuner on my R1 and also on all 4 barrels of my Whiscombe. I did extensive testing of the Vortek harmonic tuner, which is an airgun analog of the B.O.S.S. It does work as advertised, and yes, that is a possible solution to the B26.

B.B.

 
At October 17, 2008 8:13 PM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

Good evening B.B. Harmonic tuners on Springers. What a good idea! How about a rubber one like the one advertised in "Cheaper than Dirt"? Yes I also would like to see a glass beded air rifle. Equalizing the pressure is a worthy goal. Thanks Mr B.

 
At October 17, 2008 8:46 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

B.B.and All,

What a difference a scope makes!!!

I had pretty good luck at 200 yards yesterday with the Marlin 336RC and the 4-16x50Ao leapers, but when I switched to the 8-32x56AO centerpoint and stayed with the Federal 30/30 170gr. "Power Shok" for the whole session, I was very happy and feeling ready to cleanly kill a bull Elk if I see one next week with Josh and Nate..

I sighted the scope in at 50, 100, 150 and 200 yards with the bench rest. Then I covered the dots with the nice patches they provide, and lent my bench rest to a nice guy who took some photos while I shot from the Field Target sitting position.. (that "lazyboy" practice at night did really help).. I feel good.. check out the new photo bucket..4"- 4 shot, and 6"- 7 shots at 200 yards.. and 3" at 100 yards.. I love that Malin 336 and 8-32 scope.. another 80 rounds, in back to back days, and not a hint of a sore shoulder..

http://s424.photobucket.com/albums/pp325/wayne177/

Josh and Nate are out now hunting deer, and scouting Elk for the opening tomorrow.. I love the rich taste of Elk, but not the drier venison, except as jerky.. so just the Elk for this year. I hope to be gone for a day or so, if they think we should go out, they know these woods so well.

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At October 17, 2008 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne,

What a nice set of pictures. That's good shooting at long-range and at the envelope for lever-action rifles from everything I've seen. But are you going to hunt with that monster scope on the rifle? That will slow down the handling qualities of the rifle if any bears pop up although it will be great for a steady shot.

You've got some impressive abdominals to hold that sitting position. I couldn't do it for any length of time. If the strain gets to you, you might try the variation I saw in an old army photo where you bend the knees outward and pull the feet closer to each other and rest them on the outside edges of the feet and the heels instead of flat on the soles. I was surprised at how steady this is and much more comfortable for me.

That Slavia is a fine-looking rifle with the target style stock that I like.

Matt61

 
At October 17, 2008 10:10 PM, Anonymous Walther Falcon Hunter guy said...

Is the Vortek harmonic tuner a drop-in effort, B.B.? The reason I'm asking is the BOSS looks like it requires quite a bit of relief between the stock and the barrel so the barrel can vibrate unencumbered -- either that or the person that put my 25-'06 together carved away a bit more wood than necessary.

--WFH

 
At October 17, 2008 11:22 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

Matt61,

Thanks, I couldn't believe it myself, that 8-32x56 is really something, it's the best this old guy has used.. it was like I was shooting the Air Arms S410 at 50 yards, (with just a little more recoil, and foot lbs)...

Yes, it's become pretty comfortable now that I've been doing my sit ups!! Again, it's NO MUSCLE, just sink into the ground, and let the gun be heavy in the saddle of your arm.. I can't get it totally steady, but enough that the cross hairs are there long enough, I guess..

As for Bear, I'll carry it at my side, barrel down, then just lift, cock and shoot like the "rifleman".. I'm ready for "bear" and elk..

I just noticed on gunbroker that the CZ634 jumped to $199 from $139.. (I noticed when I looked at the receipt that I got mine for $129) I hope PA gets them quick and has a good price.. I think $169 would be a fair price for sure..even the $200 isn't far off..

BTW.. just watched "Young at Heart".. super good.. keep on singing and shootin folks..

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At October 18, 2008 9:05 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Wayne,

Forgive me if I misread your comments.

Do you intend to hunt elk with the Marlin 336 in 30-30 caliber? If so, I respectfully encourage you to keep your shot under 100 years and make sure of your shot placement. I've taken a few elk with a winchester model 94 in 30-30 but at close range (black timber). Keeping in mind the limited knock down power of a 30-30, and the enormous strength and mass of an elk, a 4x scope is all you need if you will responsibly keep shots at less than 100 yards. Dress that elk quickly, they have heavy capes and the meat will spoil quickly even at low temperatures. Good luck.

kevin

 
At October 18, 2008 9:06 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Wayne,

Sorry for the typo. Meant to say "..keep your shot under 100 yards..."

kevin

 
At October 18, 2008 9:48 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne,

However, if possible, keep your shots under 100 years, too. A .30-30 isn't fast, but it should be able to at least do that.

B.B.

 
At October 18, 2008 10:01 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Mr. B.,

I searched for harmonic tuner on the Cheaper Than Dirt website and did not find it.

I guess I will do a glass bedding job on the B26.

B.B.

 
At October 18, 2008 10:05 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

WFH,

Think about it. A breakbarrel, by definition, has no stock wood around the barrel. Yes, the Vortek is a bolt-on appliance.

No longer made.

B.B.

 
At October 18, 2008 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eric in oklahoma said bb try search for limbsaver corp firearm barrel de-resonator,works wonders on spring guns its a rubber douhgnut you slide down barrel to control vibration.i have one on r9 and savage mod11 223 tighter groups less vibration.

 
At October 18, 2008 10:25 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Eric,

Thank you.

B.B.

 
At October 18, 2008 10:33 AM, Anonymous Walther Falcon Hunter guy said...

Okay, I have thought about it. And I have more questions. Rather than bother you with them can I ask you for a pointer to the information so I can see it with my own eyes?

--WFH

 
At October 18, 2008 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne,

The larger field of view offered by lower magnification it often a benefit when hunting.

You maybe the first one to have topped a lever gun with a 32x scope. I guess that is the benefit of not being tradition bound. Good for you.

You’re making me want to pull out my Winchester 9410. It is a 94 chambered in .410 and a blast to use on small to medium game or just plinking. The slugs are limited to about .357 magnum power, but still offer decent punch. Not sure why Winchester discontinued it, nice rifle to own just for the fun of it.


Volvo

 
At October 18, 2008 10:45 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

WFH,

What information would that be?

I am communicating with over 100 people at the same time. I cannot remember a conversation very long. Please just ask your question.

B.B.

 
At October 18, 2008 10:51 AM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

Wayne,

BB beat me to it, but 100 years for an elk is the shot of a lifetime (or more) :).

6x is about as high as I can stand on a scope for regular usage, prefer 3x. Did you try the open sights? I think for deer (as well as elk), they keep you honest. On the other hand, you're shooting well with it from your sitting position, so do whatever works! Good luck.

Volvo,

Are you saying .410, as in the shotgun shell? Is it rifled, or can you also use shot? I have to admit that I'm a little cynical about .410's, but that could be very useful within its limitations.

 
At October 18, 2008 11:09 AM, Anonymous Walther Falcon Hunter guy said...

Okay, B.B. Remember, you asked for it. Save me your sarcasm this time. It is unnecessary and unwarranted.

What are the details about how the Vortek mounts to the rifle? Is there a movable shoulder inside that bears on the muzzle to keep it from moving in recoil, or is the muzzle threaded? And if there is a movable shoulder that bears on the muzzle, what keeps the shoulder itself from moving in recoil? Or is the mechanism for attaching it completely different?

Does it necessitate the removal of the front sight to attach it?

Does removing the front sight make it easier to attach, though sight removal is not, strictly speaking, necessary?

Will it work with the stock breech seal?

Does the barrel detent need to be modified to make it work consistently?

I am sure that, never having seen the damn thing, I have more questions about it. Those are the stupid ones that I have come up with over the past few minutes following a Yahoo! search to get even the scant few rags of information about it I did find.

--WFH

 
At October 18, 2008 11:22 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

Kevin, Volvo, & B.B.,

Thanks for that input, I'm a novice at this too.. I've only hunted rabbits when I was a kid, nothing but squirrels since then.. Just because I can hit a target at 200 yards, doesn't mean it's effective.. My plan for a "sure shot" was to only shoot from 100 yards or less ( I hope to be shooting for a 100 years too).. but thinking the "170 grain power shok" would do the job at 200 yards.. thanks it's good to know it won't..

Volvo, yes no limits on my imagination... and not blocked by knowledge of the past.. (how's that for a justification of my stupidity)....

I did get a lot of attention with the 8-32x56 scope at the range.. but no one said it's not a good idea... they all asked how much and where do they get one.. maybe they plan on using them for some other guns.. The field of view issue, seems like it's not so important, as getting a close up view of the target, and the ability to place your shot with better accuracy.. Sure it would be great for locating the target in the scope, but after that, the close up, to me is more important.. but of course, I'm still learning this stuff.. I'll probably find out what everybody else knows, and change back..

Kevin, good advice on the quick cleaning of the elk, that is what Josh and Nate are so good at, and three people would be necessary to get it cleaned & to the freezer asap, I would guess.. I wouldn't go with out them.. Speaking of them, I haven't heard from them since Thursday night.. they must be camping, hunting deer and scouting for elk.. I'm sure they're fine.. just a little worried..

I got some gun smithing tools locally, so I'll tear into the win 422 while I wait for them..

Thanks so much for your help, guys, your all the best!!

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At October 18, 2008 11:38 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Walther Falcon Hunter,

I'm sorry if I have seemed sarcastic. I rarely ever really am.

I will blog the Vortek muzzle break, and I'll use your questions to frame the report.;

BV.B.

 
At October 18, 2008 12:51 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

bg-farmer

Thanks, let me see if I'm getting it.. The 10" drop from 100 years ((yards::)) with the 30/30 170gr power shok, is also a proportional loss in foot pounds... So it won't "knock an elk over" at 200 yards at all, like the pawn shop guy said.. or even a deer over... which could be what he meant, maybe he didn't hear me say elk, it was busy... How about 100 yards.. The advice I've been getting from some is a heart lung shot...I think I heard Josh say, he likes to break their neck, if he can.. I was thinking of when I was 8 years old, the last time I killed for food, it was rabbits that killed our new citrus trees we were planting, then.. And I was using my first gun a Hy-Score break barrel, I',m thinking now maybe a diana 422 or 425, and Dad his new Remington semi auto .22 lr. which I still have.. I had to crawl up close and go for head shots only, miss or no suffering, hopefully.. And that is what my plan was for the elk as well, but at almost 60 now, I was hoping to leave the crawling part..

I see a herd of elk on my way to getting supplies in town, they're just grazing in open areas... so I thought Josh, Nate & I would just walk around or wait for them to come through to a grazing spot or under the oaks for the abundant acorn crop, like I see the deer on our property.... but that was me imagining again, Josh doesn't talk much about hunting, so I don't know what he has planed....But he did want me to take the scope back off the other marlin 30/30, he borrowed.. But he likes all his guns with open sights, so I thought nothing of it, just his young eyes and my old ones... I guess what I'm hearing is they will be moving, and not standing their like the shoot and see targets.. where 50 yards with open sights was all I could muster a 5" group..
Don't forget, I've got the .270s too, I guess because they don't drop as much at that 200 yards, they still have the foot pounds for the chest shot.. Are either the 30/30 safe for a head shot at the 200 yards, and is right below the eye the right spot?

Wayne,

 
At October 18, 2008 1:41 PM, Anonymous Walther Falcon Hunter guy said...

That was unexpected, Tom. Thank you.

That one blog post you'll write on the Vortek will increase the amount of usable material about the Vortek on the web by at least an order of magnitude.

--WFH

 
At October 18, 2008 1:56 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

WFH,

It wasn't unexpected from me, and I didn't read what you read in B.B. comments..

Just goes to show how we are all in different spaces in both our emotional states and physical spaces... it's hard to speak in word only, in a back and forth format that is so quick like this... especially with no body language to help out..

"walk a mile in the other guys shoes" is a good one for this issue like a whole lot of others...

Wayne

 
At October 18, 2008 2:21 PM, Anonymous Walther Falcon Hunter guy said...

B. B. wrote me a very nice apology, Wayne, and I have accepted it. As far as I'm concerned there really isn't anything else to discuss about the matter.

Can we get back to discussing air rifles and pistols and shotguns with the occasional diversion to firearms and catapult guns?

--WFH

 
At October 18, 2008 4:48 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

Wayne,

I think you got it. My understanding is that knock-down power is a myth, at least with anything you can hold. Bleeding from penetration and shock to vital organs do the trick. Mythbusters did a neat show on the movie stunt where the bad guy gets knocked down by a shot, and if I recall correctly, it doesn't happen...BUSTED.

My opinion would be to keep it simple and go for the classic shot to the heart (if you can convince the game to stand correctly)...30-30 for deer and .270 for elk. I'm not sure about ranges. I would keep deer/30-30 under 150 yards and elk/.270 under 200 yards, but that's just a guess. You're out west, where there's more open space; here those distances would be more than adequate in most situations (deer in the woods, elk in mountainous region by lottery). Remember, shooting is only part of hunting...getting close to your prey and ending its life humanely are more important. Also, having fun and getting out of the house:).

 
At October 18, 2008 4:59 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Wayne,

Please allow me to give my answers to your questions, "Are either the 30-30 safe for a head shot at the 200 yards, and is right below the eye the right spot?" No and No.

Wayne my online friend, I was a guide for 8 years in Colorado during muzzleloading and through rifle season. Had a string of 16 horses and accomodated 8-10 hunters in 4 separate bookings usually one week at a time. Translated, I met, fed and guided over 200 big game hunters. Had a list of rules. My most important rules were gun safety, especially in camp, and when and where to take a shot. I need to preface what I'm going to tell you with two things:
1-I'm passionate about killing humanely as possible
2-I always carried 2 rifles and one of them was a 30-30 winchester. I like a 30-30 for close work.

No one in my camps were allowed to take a head shot unless they were standing next to a wounded animal. An elk is a thick skulled animal with the brain the size of a walnut. A walnut at 100 yards is too small a target. An elk head at 100 yards is too small a target especially when you consider theirheadsare always moving even when the animal is standing still. I've tracked too many animals over too many miles that were shot in the jaw by someone that thought a head shot was possible.

A shot to the vitals is what you want. In a few sentences I'll give you a link to an article that I want you to read. I agree with almost everything in this article except taking a "head on" shot only with a rifle. If anyone took a head on shot in my camp they were warned that they would be required to pack their gear and head home immediately, no refund. When you shoot an animal vs. a piece of paper you must know where the bullet will enter AND where the bullet will exit. A head on shot has a high probability of spilling intestinal fluid in the cavity and/or exiting through the rear of the animal. Either way you've ruined a lot of the meat. Here's the link:

http://www.dundeesportsmansclub.com/Dundee%20Pic/elkshotplacement.pdf

Wayne, I sure hope I'm not coming across like a preacher. I don't know the lay of the land you're hunting. In those parts of the high country in Colorado where elk are found, we have everything from open,high, grassy meadows to stands of black timber that are impossible to walk ahorse through but elk run through it regularly. Shot placement is critical or the animal will run off to die. If you find the animal, at best the meat will be tainted from the adrenaline at worst the animal ran to a place that forces you to pack it out one steak at a time.

Lastly, my comment about caping the elk was to suggest getting the hide off the animal as soon as possible to allow it to cool. Not about gutting. Of course gut the animal. I also recommend splitting the animal fore to aft to allow quicker cooling. Deer hide is a light jacket compared to the heavy down coat that is an elk hide. I've seen many an elk ruined, inedible, because this step wasn't taken soon enough or wasn't done at all. Former deer hunters usually.

A last thought, everyone gets buck fever when they get their animal in the scope hairs. This creates
tension and bad shooting. Don't take the shot if you're not sure and choose where you have the greatest margin of error but remain in the vitals zone.

kevin

 
At October 18, 2008 5:31 PM, Blogger kevin said...

bg_farmer,

mythbusters and knockdown power.

Send the mythbusters to my house and I'll shoot one of them with a .22 and the other with a cannonball. Then I'll have the "knockdown power" conversation with them. ;)

To All,

Apologies for digressing into a firearm discussion. And apologies to anyone that I may have offended with the graphic hunting advice. After re-reading I should have posted a warning. Very Sorry.

kevin

 
At October 18, 2008 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey bb think you can do a blog on the .177 walther talon...please?
thanks as always,
john

 
At October 18, 2008 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what accuracy one could expect by glass-bedding, installing a harmonic tuner, and (for firearms) using the mysterious DRT powder bullets. As a spokesman for the Air Force once said, "You want to be the biggest gorilla in the sky."

Kevin, I was intrigued by your description of your guide days and appreciative of your strong feelings about the humane kill. I think one owes that to the animal.

Matt61

 
At October 18, 2008 7:02 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Matt61,

Thank you.

In the re-read sounded preachy and harsh. Wasn't my intention. Lost count of the number of times I gave that portion of my speech. Once you cut out the greenhorns from the herd they usually had to listen to parts of it again. Old habits die hard.

kevin

 
At October 18, 2008 7:07 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

Kevin,

Am I missing something or are we agreeing? It seems like you said almost what I did, but you added a lot of interesting information and perspective from experience. Your opinion sounds authoritative, thanks for chipping in. If I was off on the ranges (I said it was a guess; wouldn't try even those myself), please set me straight.

I believe the MB's did use something insanely large to knock the pig carcass off the hook (that was their test apparatus, I think).

 
At October 18, 2008 7:38 PM, Blogger kevin said...

bg_farmer,

You don't need me to agree with you to be right.

Most of this discussion about Wayne's upcoming elk hunt is opinion. I have strong opinions though.

A 30-30 is a good gun but it has a rainbow trajectory with even lighter bullets than the 170 grain that I think Wayne is planning on using. A 30-30 for big game has limitations in my opinion. I personally would not and have not shot an elk over 50 yards with a 30-30. I've never used 170 grain ammo in a 30-30 either.

I'm not the one to set you straight. But if you ask my opinion you'll get it every time. For what that's worth.

kevin

 
At October 18, 2008 9:49 PM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

Good evening B.B.
A what even I think is probably a stupid question. I have a CO2 adapter from Air Force, a Discovery pump and the coresponding fitting to hook the pump to an empty CO2 tank and fill it to say 1000 psi. My brain says bad idea, but won't give me a good reason. Your thoughts please and thank you Mr B.

 
At October 18, 2008 10:58 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

Kevin & bg-farmer,

Kevin, that link was perfect, and Josh walked in with a book for me to read tonight as well: "Elk Essentials" by the North American Hunting Club.. The same type info with strategies for the hunt as well..
Thanks again, so much to learn.. I tested the 30/30 with the 150 gr at the range also.. and they didn't group as well as the 170 gr from 50 or 200 yards.. So, I was thinking more accurate and more foot power was better...

What do you think is the peak of the rainbow for 170gr in a 30/30? I didn't NOTICE much drop from 50 yards to 100 yards, but then about 5" at 150 and 10 or 12" at 200 yards.. but anyway.. if I should only shoot at 50 yards or closer, with the 30/30, it seems like the "rainbow" effect would be small even with 170 gr..

Boy, there is a lot to this.. I'll use the 170gr in the .270 ...

So do you carry two rifles of different caliber while your walking.. I think I better, to allow for the different situations..

Well, we packed our gear, studied our maps and plan to let the hordes of hunters drive the elk to us, so off to bed. At least it's only a 45 min. drive to "Elk Creek", hows that for a name.. I wonder if anyone else will go there.. We want to get there by 4 in the morning, and wait for sunrise.. It rained just a little today, that should help..

Thanks again, guys, I really do appreciate it..

Wayne

 
At October 18, 2008 11:06 PM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

Good hunting Wayne. Mr B.

 
At October 18, 2008 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin,

A professional guide is pretty intense. Did you ever have bears surprise you in the way that Wayne is preparing for? I'm curious about your opinion of 30-30 lever actions. I had taken the statistics about the Winchester 94 (and other lever actions) as being the most popular hunting rifles of all time as due mostly to the fact that they have been around a lot longer. Do they still have a practical advantage over other designs now? The bolt-actions are more accurate and reliable. The pump action is as reliable I would think and faster and the semiautos are definitely faster. Perhaps the lever actions have better handling qualities but surely you can find this with other action designs.

Wayne, don't forget to smell the roses on your trip which is to say enjoy the sights of nature. There's a video on YouTube of a golden eagle lifting a full-grown deer right off the ground. The eagle doesn't fly away with it, but it does dump the deer on the ground and take control. I've taken to birdwatching with my new shooting optics, and if I saw that in real life I would freak out.

If you're such a fan of scopes, you might look into the Eotech scope which is a holographic sight developed for the army in Iraq. As I understand it, it looks like a red dot sight with a ghost ring around it. Anyway, it's at least as accurate as iron sights and faster to acquire. Only a fantasy for me, but you could actually make this happen.

For the trajectory of 30-30s and other ammo, you can find ballistic tables on Google easily enough.

Matt61

 
At October 19, 2008 8:25 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Wayne,

Thanks for taking by suggestions in the spirit they were intended.

Don't worry about trajectory. Just know where YOUR gun of choice will shoot, with YOUR choice of ammunition at the distances you are willing to shoot that gun (hopefully you don't intend to shoot the 30-30 further than 100 yards). Know what 100 yards looks like in an open meadow and know what 100 yards looks like in a wooded forest. Think "the length of a football field."

The only time I walked with two rifles is from the horse to the storage tent to put the rifles away for the evening. I had two scabbards on my saddle. You won't walk very far with two rifles either.

Yes, driving game is an effective hunting strategy whether it's pheasants or elk. With rare exception I'm not a fan of driving elk. They get heated up (meat tastes stronger), a running target is a tougher shot and it's dangerous. Know where your drivers are so you don't shoot them and make sure they stay in a tight line.

Good luck Wayne. Have fun.

kevin

 
At October 19, 2008 8:51 AM, Blogger kevin said...

WARNING! GRAPHIC PORTIONS

Matt61,

Guiding. Intense. Never thought about it like that. I guess. Like babysitting is intense. Some kids need watching all the time others just occasionally.

Bears are more of a nuisance than a threat.

My opinion of a winchester 94 in 30-30 is that it's a reliable weapon, lightweight and doesn't need a scope to be effective at the ranges you should use it to shoot big game. I'm not familiar with the statistics of the winchester 94 in 30-30 but it wouldn't surprise me if it was the most popular hunting gun. It also wouldn't surprise me if in time it isn't. Most people in these parts hunt with bigger guns that are scoped. Fine with me since most can't be very effective with open sights. Once upon a time all we had were open sights and people learned to shoot with them. These are the reasons I think in time the winchester 94 will be eclipsed in popularity if it is now the most popular.

Never had a problem with my action. Yes there are stronger actions and faster actions. The action in a 94 is strong enough. Fast in the field doesn't mean anything to me. You should only plan on one shot since that's usually all you get. Second shot is probably a running shot away and few people should take it. When you hit the animal it usually goes down (again an emphasis on shot placement). It often gets back up. Which is why I always told guys to fight their excitement and not to immediately jump up and run over to their kill. Sit still, keep your gun on the animal and wait 2 minutes. If it does get up, you're not surprised and out of breath from running so a second shot will be easier.

kevin

 
At October 19, 2008 9:54 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

John,

You asked very nicely, but I already had plans to test a Walther Talon Magnum in .177. Please bug me about this in two weeks?

B.B.

 
At October 19, 2008 10:00 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Mr. B.,

What you suggest is possible, but not practical. You will reduce the number of effective shots from close to a thousand to maybe 10.

Air is not as efficient as CO2, and in this case, you would be doing the worst possible conversion.

Your velocity would climb a few f.p.s., but it would be slow compared to the gun running the regular air tank.

B.B.

 
At October 19, 2008 10:55 AM, Blogger Yash said...

Hi BB,

Thanks a lot for doing this series on the B26-2. After reading this, and other reviews overall, i see that the stock is way too high to be comfortable. What other gun under $200 would you recommend?

 
At October 19, 2008 11:06 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Yash,

The RWS Diana 34 Panther.

B.B.

 
At October 19, 2008 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All – not airgun related, skip if you would like.

BG – Farmer,

Yes, the Winchester 9410 shoots .410 shotgun ammo. It is a smooth bore that includes rifle type sights. I added a ghost ring to the receiver. I can get fist size groups with slugs at 50 yards. Also decent pattern with shot shells at 30 yards. I have the earlier rifle length version, a carbine or trapper model came later. It is one of the most enjoyable firearms I own. Pretty fun to knock down an English sparrow in flight with what your buddies will guess is a 30-30.

I know the .410 is considered puny, but sometimes that is all you need. Taurus makes a revolver in .410 called the Judge and has some compelling ads for it. They show a silhouette target hit with 2 and then 1 round of buckshot that appears quiet unpleasant.

Last time I was picking up some .410 shells, the gentlemen behind me at the check out counter felt obligated to open their box of ammo, 45-70 - and pull a round out to show. They said “this here is for a real gun, what you gonna do with those?” I replied that I had a bad chipmunk problem, and I needed to take care of it. They looked at each other and nodded in agreement that it seemed I had matched prey and gun appropriately. Probably not future airgun owners.

Anyway, the .410 ammo is cheap and if you like lever guns, which I do, it is a great plinker and still can knock a variety of critters down. Not to mention allowing you to do some trick shooting. Can’t think of the manufacture, but one company actually make metallic cased .410 shot shells to add to the rifle illusion.

Biggest issue is the 9410 did not have a very long run. Guys are getting over the cost new now. I bought mine very early after I read a first review of it in a gun magazine, and author concluded it was a gun “that will put a smile on your face – buy it” I did, it does.
.

Kevin,

I enjoyed your observations on guiding and Elk hunting. I live in an area thick with deer but that is it. I can only imagine running into an elk. As a kid at first I would get “the groundhog shakes” lining up the Weaver scope on the .22 Hornet. I can’t begin to imagine an elk in the crosshairs.


Wayne,

Best of luck on the hunt and be safe. I have been shooting my PCP for a week now, but will save my opinion for my guest blog. I would not want to steal my own thunder.

Volvo

 
At October 19, 2008 4:50 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

Volvo,

It sounds like a hoot. My only problem with .410 is that some people don't understand its limitations (nor abilities). Giving one to a kid too small for a 20 or a 12G and sending him out after "full-sized" game is irresponsible -- but it used to happen a lot.

Re: big gun snobs. Last time I checked on one of my favorite shotgun forums, somebody was wondering about 8G. We can only dream of the day when there's a lightweight 5-inch ultra magnum 8G semi to bring down the tough game -- first it will be geese, then ducks, until eventually we'll read that an 8G really isn't too much gun for quail if you want to get the ones at longer range:).

 
At October 19, 2008 5:25 PM, Anonymous twotalon said...

bg_farmer....
Can see your point without a doubt.
When I was much younger I used to read some of the gun magazines. I quit reading them when I read this...
When hunting squirrel with a .22 magnum, you need to use the hollow points as the FMJ ammo will not provide adequate killing power.
Well, I shot a lot of squirrel with a plain old .22 with match ammo and had no problem. Shot one once with a .22 mag FMJ and blew a whole leg off...right down to the bare ribs.
I know from experience that a .22 mag will drop a full grown chuck dead as a rock at over 100 yds with a hp bullet.
Some of these guys can't get enough overkill.
You just don't have enough power if it don't kill, skin, gut, .....oh, why beat around the bush...if it don't blow the animal into confetti.

twotalon

 
At October 19, 2008 8:06 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

Hi All,

Elk Hunt, Not Air Guns!!!
pass if your not interested..

Well, Josh and I (Nate couldn't make it), found a great spot, just less than an hour from the shop. The first ridge we drove to and climbed and watched the sunrise from, was a wonderful way to start the day, but no signs of elk.. The crowds we thought would drive them into the valley and up the hill weren't there either..

But our second choice, we picked from the "google satellite" maps, (man that really zooms in from space), was a perfect spot to go back to this week.

We found a spring fed pond, with elk trails going into and out of it... Since it rained yesterday, tracks in the mud were easy to find. I shot some photos of scat and tracks.. lots of beds where they were resting as well..
We climbed up the hill and picked a perfect little "nest" where 4 elk trails are visible and side shots will be possible, as well as around the pond, where there are signs of them getting in the water. All within 100 yards, most within 50 yards...

I found that I can still use the open sights on the marlin 30/30 under the weaver mount, and the 8-32x56 can act as a scope or as a spotting scope, or I can use the open sights when best..it's a great setup, I like it a lot.

The brush was so thick, except where the fire went through about 5 years ago, that no need for the .270, I just carried the marlin 336rc 30/30. Even with the large scope it was fine in the brush and not heavy to carry.. The fire created clearings with berries and new young things to eat, next to the thicker second growth conifer forest. The pond sight has a fire scared hillside leading down to the pond, that we can watch as well.

What is so cool is that we can get up at 4 am and be there before light, and be back by noon, or go in the afternoon and stay till dark and be home by 7 pm.. or stay all day.. A little different than flying in a plane, riding on a horse, setting up camp and all... I even get cell phone reception, maybe I'll setup my office there until next Friday night, when elk season closes.. Hey Joe! in Maui, send in the half naked women to bring my ammo, ice tea, and hold my gun for me in between shots....

But then, I'd miss the blog!! OH NO!! What to do?

Volvo,
I just got last Thursday, and haven't shot yet, a Revelation R330B 410 gauge full choke 3 shot bolt action, now I'm glad I got it. It has a long barrel and Josh thinks I can shoot slugs in it too.

Josh likes to hunt with his 20 ga. He can change to slugs for deer or elk out to 50 yards or be ready for geese, if he sees one, and he did last Friday, got one almost 40 lbs!

Matt,
I did enjoy the roses, so to speak. Very, Very much!!

I didn't take a shot today, but I've put 220 rounds through the Marlin 336rc lever action at the range, and not one misfeed. It's very smooth, much smoother than the other Marlin 336, I got, that was newer I think. I tried one off the shelf at the store too, and it was not smooth at all compared to mine.. Just lucky I guess.

Thanks all for the help and encouragement..

Happy, even though empty handed Hunter,

Wayne

 
At October 19, 2008 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb can't wait for talon test! also I have a really specific question and I don' t expect you to know the answer. A while ago you had a blog about an entry level springer ( narrows it down a lot!). You were very impressed with it's accuracy and I believe you said the accuracy was " trumping close to" the accuracy territory of more expensive guns. I would really like to know what gun this is, I read the blog but now I forget.
Thanks
John

 
At October 20, 2008 8:11 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

John,

Although I don't remember what gun that was, the RWS Diana is certainly an entry-level spring rifle with superb accuracy.

B.B.

 
At October 20, 2008 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello BB, thank you for your blog. I would like to ask you a question about choice of my new pellet gun im gonna get. I have a powermaster 664 in VERY good condition ( i even made it a custom wooden stock), but i'm looking for a longer ranged, more powerful, accurate gun. Ive only fired cheap Crosman quest springers, and hated them. However, im thinking of getting an RWS 34, Gamo CFX, or BENJI 392, OR gamo big cat. I would like a springer w/o much recoil and isnt sensitive to hold. Im hell-bent on adding a scope, which is why i question the 392. The intermounts might not hold zero, but the 392 is the one i want most. i like the recoilless pump action too. my budget is <300$. I will be using the gun to shoot pest birds, squirre;s, target practice, and informal competition. thank you for your time!

 
At October 20, 2008 11:13 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

What to buy, "my budget is <300$",

Go for a Discovery, and pump. It's just a little more. Or try to get a used TX200, HW77 or HW-97 (in that order) on Gunbroker.com ..."informal competition" is why one of the last three are my suggestion to wait until you can start there. I got my used HW-77 for $300 and it's like new.

Or if you want something new for less, and then you can add a nice scope like a leapers 3-9x40AO 4-16x50AO or 6-24x50AO, then put one of those on top of an RWS 34, Avenger 1100, Bam B-30, or Beeman RS1. Again maybe in that order... But expect to be ready to move up soon..

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At October 21, 2008 6:09 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

New gun guy,

Let's start with the gun you say you really want - the 392. Why are you thinking of the intermount when both B-Square and Air Venturi offer a more stable mount that bridges the receiver? Look here:

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/accessory/431

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/accessory/2015

I have used both of these and I like the Air Venturi mount best.

B.B.

 
At October 21, 2008 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you very much bb. Ill probly buy rings her (weaver) for my 3x9x40 scope for the benjiman. thank you for the advice!

 
At October 24, 2008 3:17 PM, Anonymous Walther Falcon Hunter guy said...

B.B., could John be thinking of the Mendoza RM-200? I know I am very pleased with mine even though I am still burning the excess oil out of it, one 10-round group at a time. If I can get it behaving with a medium weight or light weight hollow point 177 pellet then I think I can use it to good effect to keep the sparrows out of my martin and bluebird houses. It has quite a bit more punch than my Hammerli 490 Express does.

--WFH

 
At October 25, 2008 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi bb, thank you for your blog. i would like to ask you for advice. I need a new pellet gun, and have narrowd it down to the 392 kit, cfx, and rs3. I wanted to know how long the latter two last and their accuracy. thank you

 
At October 25, 2008 7:05 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

RS-3,

Spring guns last for centuries with maintenance. They will outlast the 392, but the 392 is easier to shoot accurately.

B.B.

 

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