Hey! You! Get offa my cloud! - Part 2
Introduction by B.B. Pelletier
Boy, you guys don't cut any slack! You roasted me for splitting this huge report in two last Friday. But it was so large that I had to.
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Hey! You! Get offa my cloud! - Part 2
In Part 1, I introduced the pellets and rifles I'll use in this test. Added to this mix are two pistols. Both are vintage Crosman CO2 guns that belonged to my dad, a Crosman 38T in excellent shape that I resealed a couple of years ago, and an early 1008 that's never been apart but still works well. I figured that if THESE guns wouldn't work with Super Pells nothing would--heck, the box for the 38T shows Super Pells on its cover!
So, a shootin' I will go. Rifle first, indoors, open sights, 10 yards. But before I relate the results, let me point out a few things. First, none of the tested pellets worked really well with any of these rifles (with one exception). I did not test any rifle with its favorite pellet. I'm comparing low-end ammo to low-end ammo and nothing else. That's one reason most group sizes seem inordinately large. The second reason is that as a marksman I stink. The last reason is that these are 10-shot groups, which tend to yield larger groups than the more common 5, especially when the marksman stinks.
With that out of the way, how'd my memories fare in comparison to cold, hard numbers?
1) Hammerli 490
Super Pell: .77
The 490 setted down nicely after I got it straightened out. It really likes those Beeman pellets and really hates Industry. Will the other guns concur?
2) Gamo Sporter 500
Super Pell: 1.10
This is a shock--Industry beat Crosman! And Super Pell is STILL not the worst!
3) Slavia 634
Super Pell: 1.16
Super Pell does poorly, Industry does badly.
4) RWS/Cometa 93
Super Pell: 1.32
AAACCKKKK!!! INDUSTRY BEATS SUPER PELL! Oh, the shame....
5) Diana 26
Super Pell: 1.04
That's more like it.
There's one more rifle, but next, chronologically, were the pistols. Since I'm even worse at pistol shooting than at rifle (hard to believe, I know), I shot at 15 feet. The number of shots was determined by the size of the magazine. Again, open sights were used. All shots were fired single-action.
6) Crosman 1008 (8 shots)
Super Pell: .79
What the...Super Pell was BEST? Take THAT, B.B. man!
7) Crosman 38T
Super Pell: .81
Hmmm. Another GOOD showing for Super Pell. The newer Crosman beat it by a hair, but realistically it's almost a tie.
8) Finally, after letting its original leather seal soak oil for a few days, I took the Slavia 619 out for a whirl. Same as the other rifles...10 shots, 10 yards, open sights.
Super Pell: 3.70
Nahhh, can't be....My trusty old Slavia would NEVER have been this bad with Super Pells! That's worse than some steel BB guns might do. But I noticed something funny thing about that group. Virtually all the spread is in vertical stringing. The gun didn't sound right, and the first shot with the next pellet (the Beeman) hit low by about 2" before they started grouping again. Since that first Beeman shot was obviously a fluke of some sort, I tossed it out. After running through the rest of the pellets, I gave the Super Pells one more chance and got 1.24" group. In case you're thinking of whining about my not giving Industry pellets a second chance, I've got two very good reasons for not doing so. First, the Industry pellets were scattered to the four winds and not just spreading up and down (indicating a gun problem). Second, I ran out. So there.
A side note: Just on a whim, I took 5 quick shots with the 619 using CPLs, and it delivered a .36" group, which shows that I've finally got the barrel back up to snuff after my ill-conceived butchery. I really don't think that even in its prime it would have ever shot any better than that. Given the sentimental value attached to it and my hearbreak when I thought I'd ruined the barrel, this is really great news to me.
In summary, where does that leave the Super Pell? In general, ranking the Super Pell averages #5 out of 6. Industry averaged 5.80, Gamo 3.50, Beeman 2.30, Daisy 2.20, and Crosman 2.70. If I take the average group sizes (for the rifles), I get .70" for the Daisys, .73" for the Beemans, .77" for the Crosman wadcutters, .815" for the Gamos, 1.10" for the SuperPells, and 1.55" for the Industry pellets. The overall ranking doesn't change.
According to my rifle results, was B.B.'s original statement correct? When put into a group--ANY group--of modern pellets, are the old Super Pells absolutely the worst! HECK NO! They're the only the second worst! Just as I thought. B.B. was exaggerating wildly! Well, maybe not wildly. Regardless, and far more importantly, are my memories vindicated?
I guess the best way find out is to put the old Super Pell container lid on top of the Super Pell group and see if I can place it so that all the pellet holes overlap it. They do! My memories ARE vindicated! Super Pells COULD consistently nail that bit of plastic at that range if the sights were dialed in just right. Take into account my better eyesight at age 12 and the fact that I would only hit it MOST of the time, and my childhood recollections remain undisturbed in their credibility.
But what about pistol results? First, let me say that I NEVER shot a pellet pistol as a kid, so to me the issue is far less important. But why on earth did the Super Pells do so well, even at 15 feet, being the best in the 1008 and the second best in the 38T?
It comes down to a question of "Who knows?" Certainly not I. But I can tell you that the 1008 box has a Herman's Sporting Goods price tag on it, and that dates it as a very early model (1991 or so). I believe Premiers started production in 1992, so it's possible that the 1008 was actually produced concurrently with the Super Pell. As can be seen by the box, the 38T certainly was. Maybe that's the answer--they were quite literally "made for each other."
What does all this say about the OTHER Chinese pellets--the Daisys and the Beemans? Generally speaking, pretty darned good for the money and quite adequate for shootin' "on the cheap." Good foolin' around pellets, I guess. Which is more than can be said for the Industry stuff. After seeing the incomparable spread of shapes and sizes in that tin, I wouldn't even use 'em as run-in pellets after overhauling a gun. Absolutely worthless, and I'm convinced that the not-so-bad RWS 93 results were a fluke.
There's a lot more I could do with this--shoot more groups (I'd have to buy more Industry pellets), do a comparative analysis of actual group sizes (my rankings are not very precise), shoot the pistols at longer ranges and so on. But thanks to Wayne, I'm rather busy at the moment and found out what I wanted to find out. In essence, B.B. was right--pellets have gotten much better over the past few decades (my pistol results notwithstanding). For a kid in 1970, Super Pells out of a rifled barrel were still light years ahead of anything out of a smoothbore Daisy. Lastly, joy of joys, my old Slavia is back up to snuff! And that, as they say, is priceless!