Hey! You! Get offa my cloud! – Part 2

Introduction by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

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

by Vince

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
Gamo: .80
Super Pell: .77
Beeman: .35
Daisy: .58
Industry: 1.14
Crosman: .64

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
Gamo: .74
Super Pell: 1.10
Beeman: .95
Daisy: .66
Industry: 1.19
Crosman: 1.41

This is a shock–Industry beat Crosman! And Super Pell is STILL not the worst!

3) Slavia 634
Gamo: .50
Super Pell: 1.16
Beeman: .97
Daisy: 1.07
Industry: 1.55
Crosman: .72

Super Pell does poorly, Industry does badly.

4) RWS/Cometa 93
Gamo: 1.04
Super Pell: 1.32
Beeman: .83
Daisy: .56
Industry: 1.00
Crosman: .52

AAACCKKKK!!! INDUSTRY BEATS SUPER PELL! Oh, the shame….

5) Diana 26
Gamo: .75
Super Pell: 1.04
Beeman: .68
Daisy: .72
Industry: 1.79
Crosman: .62

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)
Gamo: 1.00
Super Pell: .79
Beeman: 1.30
Daisy: 1.14
Industry: 1.36
Crosman: 1.08

What the…Super Pell was BEST? Take THAT, B.B. man!

7) Crosman 38T
Gamo: 1.00
Super Pell: .81
Beeman: 1.53
Daisy: 1.36
Industry: 1.97
Crosman: .75

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.

Gamo: 1.06
Super Pell: 3.70
Beeman: .61
Daisy: .59
Industry: 2.60
Crosman: .69

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!


Vince mentioned in Part 1 that the Crosman “Flying Ashcans” had cupped heads, so I took this shot to show you what that looked like.

41 thoughts on “Hey! You! Get offa my cloud! – Part 2

  1. Good morning Vince,

    Thanks for the time and effort you put into this “two part” article. I was wondering if the power that is was going to publish this today or wait until tomorrow. Congrads on your old Slavia’s fine showing!

    Mr B.


  2. Any “Roasting of BB” was certainly done in good fun….LOL!
    Hey!! maybe there could be an official BB/Gaylord celebrity “roast” at some big airgun event… I’m sure we could find plenty of your “friends” to contribute some stories… eh BB??

    Thanks!


  3. You know, the overbore bit in the Slavia barrel is half way to becoming an air separator/compensator.
    Could be an interesting experiment, although a springer would probably not benefit much from such a device…


  4. Thanks for a well written, well researched article, Vince! Your usual fine work. I wonder whether the Cometa was choked more tightly and evenly than the others? It may have re-formed the fishing weight Industry pellets at its higher velocities, like an in-barrel die process. I give my occasional Industry tin to friends to weight their nerf darts.




  5. Well Vince,
    You did not disappoint! I really enjoyed your two posts. You are an entertaining writer. Those were 376 pellets I know you enjoyed regardless of the outcome. But don’t feel too bad, I have friends, too, who are always right. Drives me crazy!

    -Chuck


  6. Vince,

    As CJr rightly said, you certainly did not disappoint! I definitely enjoyed this article. Its amazing to relive some of your childhood memories and know that they were true to begin with!! Thats havin your cake and eatin it too!!

    Mo.


  7. Vince,

    Great writing and story!!

    The master survives!!

    How could we doubt him???

    That’s ok, it’s easier to take pot shots when he’s on a pedestal..

    We’ll get another chance..

    Wayne


  8. Nicely written and very entertaining, Vince. As Revwarnut indicated a further roast at some airgun show might be called for, the New Bedford garage sale is coming up and I’m looking to see how to get out there and make it worth my while financially. I’ll watch any roast since I don’t know BB well enough to cast any, er, BB’s at him.

    On another topic, number one son met my suggestion for a firearm half way. He opted for a Ruger GP 1 revolver but in 38/357. It seems that not only is there an ammo shortage in this country but a firearm shortage as well. Glad I’m into air and so don’t have to be overly concerned here. I also introduced number one son to the joys of re-loading.


  9. Wayne,

    Would you clarify please cause it isn’t clear wether you are refering to standing or sitting on that pedestal.

    Mr B.


  10. Field Target report..

    Well Sunday turned snowy and a cold north wind was blowing way too hard to have a contest.. and no one showed up, except Rick!!

    So, we talked “clicking” techniques and computer programs to make it easy.. (or so they say)..

    Then we shot dots indoors in the poolroom. I choose the 12 foot lb US FT.. very accurate out of the wind, indoors, at one distance..

    Rick shoots two Air Arms EV2s.. one is a factory 12 foot lb. and the other has been customized to shoot 16 foot lbs.. he shoots that one if its really windy, but wants to shoot his 12 foot lb, so he can compete internationally..

    That means no harness and no gun over 12 ft. lbs.. Rick wears his harness when he wants to have a good chance of winning (and he often does).. but takes it off to practice without it.. (he’s trying to wean off it)..

    So, I felt better about not going for a harness, and doing the hours of practice at night.. and the swimming to get in shape..
    Sitting for an hour in the FT position is really comfortable..

    While wearing the harness, Rick is very good.. many pellets right on the 1/8″ dot and next ones on top!!.. and, I was pretty close behind, but not topping pellets on pellets very often.. but when he took off the harness.. my groups were a lot better!!

    So, I feel good about my chances to become a competitor some far off day.. if I can ever learn to click or holdover.. then I might be able to play with the big boys..

    It was a good weekend, thanks to Rick Knowles… and thanks again for helping us getting our Field Target course together and teaching us about the guns we have.. Some new members of our group have never shot a FT gun before, and Rick was so good teaching the basics to them..

    Rick is a great guy to know and very generous with his time and knowledge.. thanks again Rick!!

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  11. Mr. B.

    Standing of Course.. Tom can’t sit in the FT position, because of… ah.. well… ah.. he is too.. ..ah.. large in the tummy..

    just started the roast!!

    Wayne


  12. Vince,
    Interesting results. I pick up the Daisy and Crosman pellets sometimes, when I just can’t wait for the big truck, but I’ve really fallen in love with the RWS Basics for my Hammerli 490. The Crosman Copperhead Wadcutters, however, perform extremely well in my wife’s QB88 and my 36-2 at 10M (rare).


  13. Wayne,

    Every good roast starts with one little match. I was thinking of Rodin’s The Thinker when I asked you about the pedestal.

    Mr B.


  14. Vince,

    Glad to hear about the uniform high quality of pellets. I tried different brands of pellets in the beginning, but they were all pretty much the same, so I stuck with a couple brands.

    Wayne, congratulations on your field target shooting. What was your distance indoors?

    I’ve been pursuing my study of shooting technique and came across an interesting book called Sight Alignment, Trigger Control and the “Big Lie” by Jim Owens, USMC retired and High Master high power shooter. The book begins: “I used to think it would be fun to be a dirty old man. Then, I found out about my back going and my vision diminishing….” Mostly, I got the book to find out just what the “Big Lie” is which turns out to deal with windage and elevation adjustments. It turns out that when making corrections, you do not adjust for the exact minute of angle adjustments but only half. So, for 200 yards, if you are 2 minutes low (4 inches), you don’t come up 2 minutes (4 inches) but only half that or 1 minute (2 inches) to get on target. This is supposed to apply regardless of what kind of action you are shooting or how your sights are calibrated whether for one minute, one quarter of a minute, one eighth whatever. There’s no explanation for why this theory is supposed to work which would help. But the book radiates personal experience and endless anecdotes.

    Also of interest is that the book says that if you can maintain minute of angle shooting, you will beat all of the High Masters who can do this only occasionally. As proof, he says that minute of angle shooting is a perfect score and he has only seen 6 in his 26 years of ultra-competitive shooting. He quotes a perfect score as 200 20X which I assume is only one of the three positions that are shot, and I figure it must be prone. This kind of surprises me since a good prone is supposed to be comparable to a benchrest. However, if you are shooting at the high power distances of up to 1000 yards, I can see how minute of angle would be a real challenge.

    Otherwise, he makes me glad I’m in airgunning. There is a lot of talk about throat erosion and bullet jump and how to compensate for it as well as “bullet run out” which refers to making sure that your bullets are aligned exactly with the axis of the case in handloads. It makes weighing and lubing pellets seem trivial by comparison.

    Matt61


  15. Oh Darn!!

    They need supplies again.. and so, darn it.. I have to go out by the rifle range.. I guess I’ll have to sight in and try out the 8-32x56AO leapers on the new Howa 1500 in .223.. what a bother… oh well such is life.. be gone a while..

    Wayne



  16. CJr – I’m glad you have found some sources for the duct seal pugs. Always easier when you know what to look for isn’t it.

    Herb – Thanks for the definition of what a pug is. I hadn’t noticed until Chick brought it up that mine also said pug. I would have thought it was just a typo for pkg.

    Phil L – Thanks for link the other day to those photos for the items being shot with pellets. Those were great.

    Vince – Great job on the postings.

    Wayne – The supplies are fine and fully stocked. Get back to work!

    Rabbitt

    Hmm – word verification is mimic. Wondering if it trying to tell me something.


  17. Very good Vince.
    That was a lot of shooting to prove that B.B. was right (mostly).

    Next, how about a test shooting pellets backwards. I used to do this once in a while with my 1400.
    Results were brutal on pest birds when I hit them.

    twotalon


  18. Hi Guys!

    I have an off-topic question. Has anybody used wadcutters for hunting?

    If so, at what distances are they reliable?

    Do they maintain velocity well?

    I have access to some very good quality .22 wadcutters in 18.4 grains and was wondering if I should use them for hunting.

    I can consistently keep them within 1″ at 50 yards, though 20-30 yards would be my maximum comfortable hunting range.

    However I have no means of finding out the velocity at that range in order to determine whether they’re carrying enough energy.

    The targets will be crows and squirrels.

    Any views?

    Mo.


  19. wooooohooooo!!!

    My Gamo CFX Royal (yes I said “ROYAL”) in .22 cal came today and I am grinning ear to ear. Just about kissed the UPS guy. I’ve been wanting one of these for years, and Pyramyd started selling them again.

    Can’t wait to pop its cherry, get some chrony figures, and scope this bad girl. She sure is purdy. If she performs as well as my other two (.177/.22 synthetic stocks), I’ll be smitten for a while.

    Anybody who has been wishing for its return…..here you go:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/p/gamo-cfx-royal-wood-stock-air-rifle.shtml



  20. BB thanx fer bein a sport
    gotta feel the luv LOL

    Vince great test and I’ll bet you had a lotta fun too.
    Since I took this more personally than most,I’m gonna be ordering
    those beemans very soon.I can get the daisy’s locally so that will be
    my first buy.The 490 had the best group of the test and a great average of all shots too!That’s
    what I call braggin rights :)
    Glad that I pulled the trigger on that deal,now I’ve gotta learn to shoot it that good myself!!!
    Thanks for the write up and a good deal on a nice shooter.

    JTinAL


  21. BB,
    Just to reiterate, the “roasting” was in good fun. I’m also glad to see that H490 made it to Tom’s picks. Much better introduction to airgunning or fun gun than the “magnum” alternatives.

    JT,
    In your 490 write-up, you describe the trigger pull as long. Are you talking about the pseudo-stage 1 takeup or the actual release? Mine has no creep and little travel on the actual release, so I’m wondering if there’s some variation.

    Vince,
    If those ten-shot groups are offhand, you did pretty well. I still have to sit or use a post to get under 1/2 inch and that’s for 5 shot groups:(. As someone already said, that was a lot of shooting, especiall knowing that many of the pellet/gun combinations weren’t going to be pretty. Thanks for the work.


  22. Noooooo…. they were NOT offhand. You can tell they weren’t because all shots hit the paper!

    The overall pellet rankings surprised me. I had pretty much written the Daisy’s off as being poor, but in these low-powered guns they were the best overall. Then again, I think the quality of the Daisy’s might have improved a bit over the past year or so. But I suspect that if I had used my stronger guns I might have had a differenct finishing order, at least among the top three.

    BTW – has ANYONE heard anything about the Crosman ‘Black Lightning’ pump BB gun – good, bad, indifferent???


  23. Vince,
    Great job. Man I must have sent a million of those old ash cans through my old multi pump crosman. They always seemed to shoot as well as I did.

    DB


  24. TwoTalon,

    You seem to be an experimentally inquisitive type of shooter. Have you tried shooting 2 pellets at one time (short range of course)?

    I suspect that this would be even more lethal on those birds than 1 backwards pellet. Do you think it could do any barrel damage?

    - Dr. G.


  25. BG_Farmer
    I was talking about the springy first stage on the 490.
    after that there’s a bit of a catch,that I think is a result of removing the safety .not bad just noticeable.other wise it has a nice smooth release.

    Vince
    Man I’m so disappointed those weren’t offhand shots. I thought your skills went from tuning to
    shooting naturally:)
    Never even heard of the “black lightning”,but I’ll be lookin now.
    We haven’t seen any nice new multi
    pumps for a while now.


  26. Wayne,

    That’s quite an indoor range and good shooting.

    Dr. G., in the early days, I accidentally loaded 4 pellets into my IZH 61 and shot them all out, and the barrel is as good as ever about 80,000 pellets later (I just calculated). So, I wouldn’t sweat an incident of shooting two pellets down a barrel but would not recommend this as a general practice.

    All, on the subject of the half minute of angle theory above, I read further and discovered the rationale. A given group of shots will radiate out from aimpoint into a more or less circular pattern as we have discussed. The reduced minute of angle corrections are to compensate for overcorrections based on single shots which could be anywhere in the pattern. This method is for people who “chase the spotter.” For those who make corrections based on 3 shot groups, it’s not really necessary. So, there’s nothing particularly new here. We’ve got it covered. On to David Tubb, although the real class in shooting books is supposed to be Nancy Tompkins’ book on long-distance shooting. It’s backordered at the moment.

    Matt61


  27. G’day BB

    Knew I should have not have tried to commit to memory. Rodgers not Reynolds. AR, I took for Arizona but I guess it must be another US state…Arkanas? So made in/by Rodgers in the state of Arkanas?

    Cheers Bob


  28. Bob,

    It makes perfect sense now. And it is Rogers, Arkansas.

    Yes, the Daisy 111 is a typical BB gun model. Maybe I can blog a homemade repair fixture that will help you with your job. Would that help?

    B.B.


  29. Rabbit,

    Never hurts to stock up on supplies.. so I went anyway…
    besides the guns (and precious ammo) were already loaded up..

    Kevin and Tom warned me to have the 1893 marlin, (made in 1894) I just got, checked by gunsmiths before shooting it (and I did so want to shoot it!!).. so I stopped by two smiths and three other pawnshop/gunshops that I frequent to get opinions.. All said “tight action, decent barrel go for it”

    And on the value, like Kevin told me, some serious collectors like the cracks in stocks and cowboy repair jobs… as long as the gun is original.. so they can touch the gun as it was touched by the old cowboy.. And the more I handle these two old marlins 1893s.. the more I get that!!..

    Anyway, their value is about three times what I paid.. and that fits with what I see them going for on Gunbroker..

    And the 38-55 carbine shot strong and smooth..but not at all accurate.. (probably the dirty bore, I have to find a pull string/brush for that cal.)

    So, question.. it has a little peep hole to the right of the V on the rear sight.. and the front sight seems to be set on the right side of the barrel tip..

    Is this some kind of old cowboy trick, in case someone steals his gun.. it takes some time to learn how to use the sights? (if so, it works!!)

    Having too much fun,
    Wayne


  30. Wayne,

    The accuracy problem with your .38/55 is probably due to shooting Jacketed bullets. That caliber wants to shoot an oversized lead bullet. Oversized by a thousandth of an inch.

    B.B.


  31. B.B.

    Thanks.. another reason to get into reloading.. as if I need one!!

    But what about the hole in the rear sight and the offset on the front sight?… It’s like it’s setup to be used as a makeshift Peep sight..

    It wasn’t grouping anywhere.. but on a few times using the peep hole on the off set front sight, I did get a bulleye.. and using the V and front sight, in general, I was way high and left..

    Wayne



  32. B.B.

    The front sight on the marlin 1893 is set to the right of center on top of the barrel..
    It seems to be solid and unmovable..

    The rear sight is similar to the other 1893 marlin, with a large deep V.. but in the metal to the right side of the V, on the sight itself, is a little hole (3/32″ or so)..

    So one can sight through that hole instead of the V..

    Wayne


  33. Wayne,

    Thank you. I understand.

    Let’s experiment. Tape a piece of electrical tape to the rear sight blade and make a larger hole in it. Maybe double the tape over for stiffness. This will be your experimental peep sight.

    You don’t care about elevation with this sight–just groups size.

    If it works, there are aftermarket tang peeps you can have installed that will increase your accuracy dramatically. But test to make sure it’s worth it first.

    B.B.



  34. Wayne,

    I’m a little fuzzy on your rear sight description on the Marlin 1893. However, it sounds like you may have an old marble flattop rear sight on that gun.

    Is the “peep” hole threaded? If it is, then it is designed to accept a metal “insert” that will allow the V in your rear sight to be narrowed, even moved left or right. The “peep” hole is for a single screw (usually on the right side) to hold this insert in place. Google “marbles flattop rear sight” and see if you recognize what is on your gun.

    kevin


  35. Kevin,

    The hole is not threaded..

    It is larger on the stock side (3/32″) and tapered smaller on the barrel side (just under 1/16″)..

    It barley fits in the space on the right of the “V”.. almost touching the edge of the V…

    It works pretty well as a peep..

    But why is the front sight set off to the right side of the barrel? (and how did they do it?.. it seems welded in place) Unless it’s to use the peep hole sight that seems to give accuracy sometimes..

    I was shooting at 25 yards, and I only put 20 rounds total through it.. and the first 12 or so were using the V sight.. They were high and left in some general sort of way..
    So, testing of the accuracy of the peep hole cannot be called complete.. maybe the two close bulleyes were part of the randomness.. because the last three were nowhere to be found!!!

    But at least the gun is really solid and sound to shoot.. It feels just as good in action as one of my newer marlin 336s.. and the action looks like, and is about as tight after 115 years!! Now that’s quality construction!!

    I’m sure that B.B. is right about the bullet diameter needing to be larger.. Reloading here I come!!

    It’s funny that my other Marlin 1893 in 32-40 gave groups almost as good as my newer 336c at 50 yards!! .. But I did find a cleaning string/brush and the bore looked pretty good after a good cleaning.. so that could also be a difference.

    Wayne


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