Are CB caps as good as pellets? – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

An announcement from Pyramyd Air: On Tuesday, Oct. 12, they’ll give you a 5% discount off your purchase (some products are excepted) AND let you use their free shipping offer! Get the discount code on their website on 10/12 (coupon is good only on 10/12/09…til midnight Eastern time). Why are they doing this? Because that’s also the day they’ll reveal their new logo, and they want to show it off. Plus, starting on 10/12, they’re changing their shipping policy. Visit their web site on 10/12 to find out about this exciting new change!

Another announcement: There are two new articles online. See It’s only a pellet and The right pellet makes a difference. Now, on to today’s report.

How many times have I heard a firearm shooter say, “If I want to shoot something less powerful than a .22, I use CB caps. They’re accurate and super-quiet and have all the power I need for close shooting. Who needs an airgun?”

I hear that all the time when someone at the range sees me with an air rifle. So, I thought I would test that statement, to see if there’s any truth to it. The rifle some of you drooled over a couple days ago is my Winchester low-wall .22 target rifle, chambered in .22 short. Matt said he wasn’t aware of the short cartridge, but it’s the granddaddy of all modern self-contained cartridges, being first used in Smith & Wesson’s model 1 revolver, which debuted in 1857.

My rifle is called the Winder Musket. It’s named after Col. C.B. Winder, an Army officer who recommended a rimfire training rifle of service-rifle size and weight for marksmanship training in the early part of the 20th century. It’s a target version of Winchester’s 1885 low-wall single-shot rifle. Mine was probably made shortly before 1920, but since Winchester didn’t keep serial number records of this model between 1913 and 1923, we’ll never know for sure. It’s chambered for .22 short, which also means that the rifling twist rate should be one turn in 22 inches instead of one turn in 16 inches for the long rifle bullet. The 29-grain short bullet requires less spin to stabilize.


Winder Musket is a classic Winchester low-wall chambered for .22 short.


Shooting a single-shot rimfire is as slow as shooting a single-shot air rifle. And just as satisfying!

At one time, .22 shorts were considerably cheaper than .22 long rifle cartridges, so shooters favored the smaller round. As several people have pointed out already, the short has enough power to dispatch small game. It’s about as powerful as a hot AirForce Condor running on full steam.

Today, though, the short cartridge offers no price advantage over the long rifle. Factories continue to make the round because of the millions of guns chambered for it, but the long rifle cartridge is by far the favorite, so economies of scale make it cheaper to produce. And, finding standard speed short ammo is very problematic. Everybody seems to want the high-speed stuff. But, when feeding collectible old rifles like this Winder, a standard speed round is better because it doesn’t put as much strain on the gun. Those old steel alloys used in vintage barrels were not as tough as modern gun steels. Because I can’t find standard speed ammo when I want it, I often use .22 short CB caps.

CB caps?
A little history lesson. About a decade before the first .22 rimfire cartridge came about, the French were producing a small rimfire cartridge that used just priming compound to drive a round lead ball. Before that, the Germans used a separate percussion cap to power a small lead ball, but the French round was the first to have the cap and ball combined into one self-contained cartridge. They called it a Flobert cartridge, after the name of the single-shot action it was used in.

Their round was nominally 6mm and is still produced today. Six millimeters is so close to 5.5mm that many guns chambered for the .22 round will accept and fire the 6mm Flobert cartridge. Being lead, the bullet will go through the bore, resizing itself as it goes.

Americans call the Flobert cartridge a BB cap, possibly because the lead ball reminds them of the BBs that are used in air rifles. Or at least that is the best guess I have heard as to where the name came from. Frank Barnes, the author of Cartridges of the World, tried to convince everyone that BB was short for “bulleted breech,” but that name hasn’t become popular. I suppose “ball breech” would be another possible guess.

Well, the CB cap is the same idea as the BB cap, only loaded with a conical bullet instead of a round ball. Conical bullet cap is shortened to CB cap, and that name is more certain. So the CB cap is a cartridge that contains a conical lead bullet and a priming charge but no powder. The first CB caps came in the .22 short cartridge size. That causes problems when they’re used in chambers made for long rifle cartridges, because after many shots the hot gasses will erode a small ring in the chamber, just ahead of the end of the brass cartridge case. That ring starts out as nothing more than frosted-looking metal; but as it grows, it starts grabbing the side of the longer long rifle cases when they’re fired, making extraction difficult. So, it’s best to use shorts and CB cap shorts in rifles chambered for the .22 short cartridge, and CB cap longs in rifles chambered for the long rifle cartridge.

Yes, there are also CB caps with longer cartridge cases that fit the .22 long rifle chamber. But they also have the lighter 29-grain lead bullets powered by nothing but priming compound, so they shoot no faster than the shorter caps. The faster twist rate of a long rifle barrel should be a little fast for them, but it’s probably offset by their considerably slower velocity.


CB long has the same power as CB short. It preserves the chambers of guns chambered for the .22 long and .22 long rifle cartridge.

Whatever the size of the cartridge, these low-powered, self-contained cartridges feed through bolt-action, slide-action and lever-action mechanisms and drive a 29-grain lead bullet at slower speed than a .22 short. They also make less noise. They do not have the energy to power a semiautomatic mechanism, though many semiautos can cycle them manually. After each shot, the shooter has to work the bolt by hand. And, they’re ideal in single-shot guns.

My idea
What I wanted to find out is where do CB caps fit in relation to pellets? Are they really quieter, like some people think? Are they as accurate as pellet guns? More accurate? And what kind of power do they generate? Finally, where do they fit in the cost structure?

As you must know, there are no simple answers to these questions. Nothing is straightforward. So, I posed my little puzzle to all of you in the blog to get your reactions as a means of letting you do some thinking for me. What had I overlooked?

Because I posed the question at the end of the Blizzard report, many of you made a connection between the two. I never intended that, but as someone pointed out, the two do have similar power. The CB caps are advertised to have a velocity of 710 f.p.s. and shoot a 29-grain bullet. That would be a muzzle energy of 32.47 foot-pounds. The Blizzard is roughly 10 foot-pounds more powerful, so it isn’t quite an even contest, just an approximate one. A .22 short standard-speed cartridge drives its 29-grain bullet out the spout at 1,050 f.p.s., producing about 71 foot-pounds, so the CB cap is less than half the power.

Noise
Noise is relative, but when I was on the range with both my Winder and the Blizzard I was able to tell that the Winder is noticeably quieter. That 28-inch barrel is much longer than what is needed to accelerate the bullet. So, just like a pneumatic, the pressure of the gas behind the bullet has diminished by the time the bullet exits the muzzle. Longer barrels equal quieter shooting!

There was also a .22 Czech bolt-action on the range that day, and it was considerably louder with CB caps than the Blizzard. The CZ has a 16-inch barrel. When a legal silencer was screwed on the CZ, it became about as quiet as the Blizzard. So, there you go. Barrel length makes all the difference–just as it does with pneumatics.

Accuracy
The single target I posted on Monday is not the final word for the accuracy of the CB cap. In fact, I need to do a lot more testing to see what it really can do–including shooting the longer CB caps in rifles chambered for the .22 long rifle cartridge. I’ll do all of that, of course, but I already know that the CB cap has an uphill battle if it wants to compete with an accurate pellet rifle. In fact, the question isn’t whether or not the CB cap is as accurate as an accurate air rifle, because I don’t think that it is. Rather, the question is, “How accurate is the CB cap?”


The first group of CB caps I shot at 20 yards was tight, but about four inches to the right.


The second group moved a little to the left, but was still more than three inches to the right.


Group three was close to where I wanted it.

Cost effectiveness
This may be the thorniest question of all. The firearm guy will say that a $10 box of CB caps may be all he ever has to buy, so of course it’s cheaper than investing in a good pellet rifle. The pellet-gunner will respond that he gets to shoot a lot more than the firearm guy because he doesn’t have to travel to a range to shoot. And with a quiet rifle like the Blizzard or even a lower-powered Marauder, that is entirely correct. So, the pellet-gun guy considers his “expensive” pellet gun to be more than just a cheap pest eliminator. It’s his primary shooter.

I have no desire to force people to shoot pellet guns, or even to try to convince them that pellet guns are somehow better than firearms. Because I don’t know what “better” means. I shoot firearms, too, and I really enjoy them. But I probably shoot 20-40 times more with pellet guns–partly because of my writing, but also because it is so much easier to do.

However, the statements made about CB caps deserve to be challenged. Today’s air rifles are so capable of accuracy and power that I wonder if these cartridges are a viable alternative anymore.

69 thoughts on “Are CB caps as good as pellets? – Part 1

  1. Hi B.B.,

    I thought your blog was on a very interesting and relevant subject. I own two old English single shot .22s and used to shoot CBs in them outdoors all the time. When I moved houses, I had less property, and therefore less privacy. So I switched to shooting in my cellar with both air rifles and pistols. I find myself shooting for the pure enjoyment of shooting much more frequently than with the older 22s. For folks who like to shoot a lot, being inside with a great pellet rifle or pistol is quiet, cheap, secure way to stay in the game without worrying about neighbors, kids, and stray police cars patrolling. Keep up the good blog work!


  2. I agree, the CB Cap is a nice 30 ft/lb round but a well built springer or PCP shooting hollow points, round, or pointed pellets fill a variety of needs. From pest elimination to plinking airguns are the backyard king.

    I shoot firearms and enjoy them but the cost and availability of ammo are a little prohibitive at the moment.

    G.


  3. B.B.
    I tried the Aguila Colibri's which are powderless also and found they could NEVER outshoot any of my air rifles. The best group I ever got was about a three inch spread with them at 25 yards and they did o.k. at 10 yards but nothing like hole in hole accuracy like a Benjamin Discovery. Wanted to agree with you on the length of the barrel making a difference also becaue I tried shooting a Colibri out of my Bersa Firestorm just one time and it was loud enough to wake up everybody in town but shot out of my 10/22's they are super quiet.


  4. I have a Ruger 10/22 that shoot CB cap Longs very well at 10M. You have to cycle them manually, probably use a empty case for the last round (because it won't feed) and check your barrel when going back to higher velocity ammo for safety reasons. CCI seem to be powerful and accurate around 34 ftlbs and the aguila shoot ok around 12 ftlbs.

    Like pellets, if there were more brands or variety, I'm sure everyone could find a CB cap that worked in their .22 rf gun.


  5. Took a trip with Tom Gaylord yesterday…not really, Pyramid Air Waves. I drove from Dallas to Houston Monday evening and drove back to Dallas yesterday afternoon. I was able to pull up the Pyramid Air Waves podcast on my iPhone and listened to 7 or 8 free podcast during the trip. The podcast are about 16 1/2 minutes long each. If you can't be visiting with an airgunning buddy, it's a fun way to pass the time and think about airguns.

    Thanks to Pyramid, and my favorite Podcaster and Blogger,

    David Enoch


  6. BB
    I asked this earlier and did not get a satisfactory answer. i bought a S&W78G with adjustable trigger per your blog. Which way do I turn the adjustment screw to lighten the trigger pull. I love this pistol as I have a Model 41 rimfire.


  7. Good Morning BB., I think that you are right about CB's, both short and long. The only reason I would use them , would be to enjoy the use of a particular .22 firearm when I had no other options. I've been wanting to carry this idea to the .25 cal air gun . I want a good .25 springer to shoot squirrels with. (A Maurauder or Disco in .25, and premier .25 cal pellets, available right from the Crosman factory though, might change my mind!) I often use a Marlin CL 1894 rifle chambered for the .25-20 cartridge to hunt with. I use a reduced load with a lead FP cast bullet, of 65grs, to hunt squirrels and grouse. Velocity is in the 850 to 900fps range. Terminal range is about the same (probably less) than RF hunting ammo, and I handload it for less than the cost of most .22 RF. This load actually messes up less meat than a high speed HP .22RF. With the 25-20, a body shot squirrel will also always drop instantly, unlike what sometimes will occur with a .22 RF. A springer shooting a pellet of 26.5 grs, at 750 fps would have a even safer terminal range. Only problem is the lack of a choice of springers in .25 and pellets as good as the better .22 pellets. Another thing I've noticed when hunting with air arms is that I often get more "dead right now" results on small game, than I did with .22 rim fires. I've noticed this with the prediator pellets in particular if the gun shoots them well. The range limitation I've placed on myself is 40 yards with my springers. I would rather use my fire arms most of the time to hunt with, but because of time, I find it much easier to hunt in the small wood lots close to my home in rural upstate NY . For me , air guns are like my archery tackle. They open up places for me to hunt and enable me to take shots that would would be un-safe with a firearm. Take care, Robert


  8. For me it comes down to being able to shoot an airgun legally (and safely) where a firearm wouldn't be. Also I believe to even approach the level of accuracy these pellet guns have you'd have to spend some coin. My pelletgun is so quiet sometimes you'd think it's broke.


  9. B.B.,
    I know we've all said it before, but for me the big difference is that the CBs are shot with a FIREARM and the pellets are not. I know which choice my neighbors would like me to make.

    Personally, I have never been able to get CBs to group well and have found the velocities to be inconsistent.

    Lloyd


  10. Interesting comparison.

    I doubt that I will ever again shoot firearms as much as airguns because of cost, travel time, etc. Power, noise and accuracy aren't factors in my case. Can't seem to part with any firearms though.

    Really appreciate the bigger pictures of the Winder Musket. The picture makes it look like it's 5 feet long. Wonderful looking gun with correct? sights. Low rise for the slim stock. Really good looking condition. Thanks.

    kevin


  11. An additional hint for ajvenon. Does the 1377 have the abiltiy to adjust the width of the notch in the rear sight?
    A lot of pistols are set up with the width of the notch to narrow. I know when I started target shooting I set the width of the notch on the Gamo so that their was just a sliver of open space between the edges of the front ramp when viewed through the notch. A shooter at at 10m match I attended told me that was wrong…that you actually want the gaps as big as possible (he had his set so that the gap on either side was the same width as the front ramp itself). Said it was much easier to judge when the front sight was centred this way,
    I tried it…he was right.
    CowBoyStar Dad


  12. Hi folks,

    My Talon SS equiped with an Airhog shroud is dead quiet, but so is my son's Savage falling block shooting a CB cap. Doen't matter cause I'm shooting in my back yard which is within the city.

    Air rifles are legal to shoot here while the Savage falling block is considered a fire arm and illegal to shoot within the city limits.

    If I'm out in the woods hunting the Talon SS is still a better choice than the CB cap cause the SS is much more accurate than the Savage with CB caps.

    For my use the pellet beats the CB cap hands down.

    Mr B.



  13. Robert,

    Your .25-20 intrigues me! I had a custom .22 Hornet barrel made by Shaw with a one in ten twist, so I could shoot 50-grain .22 lead bullets at 900-1,000 f.p.s. and have a reloadable .22 long rifle. I am in the middle of this experiment right now. Your tale gives me hope.

    B.B.




  14. Hi there. For a lot of people, the cost of a powerful air rifle, is to much. You can buy a decent .22 rimfire, for under $200. If the main reason for the rifle is pest control and small game hunting, you won't be shooting a lot of CB caps. I live out in farm country, I own a lot of wooded land. I shoot a lot of air guns, because I enjoy it. But, I only know a couple of people around here, that shoot air guns. Living in the country, has a lot less restrictions on firearms.


  15. B.B.

    Well we guessed pretty close..

    The bottom line seems to be that the CB caps are mostly useful for those who don't want to invest in an air gun… and don't care about shooting in the city limits… and only hunt a little with their rimfire.. and don't care if they miss a lot!! :)

    Wacky Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rife Range


  16. According to CCI's ballistics tables…. a .22 CB leave the muzzle at 710fps. At 50 yards it's still carrying 656fps. At 100 yards it's only dropped to 607. That's almost 24 ft-lbs, which is close to an RWS M350 at the muzzle.

    So we also have that 'danger range' issue, once again…


  17. BB, I'm very glad to see you doing this kind of comparison. I spend a lot of time answering questions at Yahoo Answer's hunting section and it seems that almost anytime we get a question about using airguns for hunting (especially if its a larger animal, like jackrabbits or raccoons) some shooter will post a response basically saying "Just get a .22 (rimfire). Even if you just shoot CB caps because of noise concerns, it's still better than an airgun." It's going to be nice to have a well thought out comparison I can point those newer shooters to.

    Anonymous,

    I edited your comment to remove the derogatory words. You are absolutely correct that some firearm shooters are not knowledgeable about the level of power and accuracy of modern airguns, and that's why I'm doing this test. But we try to keep our comments friendly so the newer shooters will feel less intimidated here.

    Thank you for your insights,

    B.B.



  18. B.B.,

    ENABLER.

    Thanks, fun to dream.

    Sure glad you live in Texas. If you were close by and I could handle some of those wonderful classics I'd be broke.

    kevin


  19. Kevin,

    If I were close by, you would get to SHOOT all those classics!

    Seriously, I have lived all my life loving these kinds of guns and not being able to own any of them. Or at least it felt that way.

    Only in the last few years has my situation permitted me the wherewithal to acquire a few of my most favorite firearms and airguns.

    Someday everything I own will belong to someone else, so I look at these things as a loan from a Friend, if you catch my drift.

    B.B.


  20. B.B.

    I don't see that the .22 shorts have any advantage over the pellets.

    This blog about older model firearms is hugely relevant to me at the moment. The local Big 5 has a sale on arsenal refinished Mosin-Nagant rifles for $150. I had already decided that I have all the firearms I want for the foreseeable future. However, the sale ends on October 10, and my palms were starting to sweat with the effort of restraint. I've been looking at YouTube videos of the Russian army in WWII, and with their booming soundtracks, they can really immerse you in history and get you going. Then last night, a thought occurred to me that carried the day, sort of like the cavalry riding through.

    With all that surplus military weapons have been through, how do you know that they won't blow up on you at any time? I know that gunsmiths can check guns for functionality at a give moment, but do they have any way of checking metal fatigue in the receiver? For example, I know that there was a batch of 1903 Springfields produced around 1918 that were not heat treated to modern standards and are not safe to fire. Without knowing the history of the rifle, would a gunsmith be able to detect the unsafe quality of the metal?

    Also, more generally, is there a point at which centerfire rifle receivers give out? You mentioned M1 carbines having a shot limit to their receiver. But what about other rifles? As one online poster wrote, you have 60,000 pounds of pressure a few inches from your eyes. Entropy being what it is, surely the metal has to give way at some point. Do we know when that is? That seems to be a basic question in the shooting of old rifles that I have not seen answered. So, the questions are whether a gunsmith can evaluate metal fatigue and whether firearms rifle receivers wear out and when.

    Wayne, I'm not even sure of what a knee rest is. Maybe you can arrange to build up a rest with sandbags to stabilize the rifle in a benchrest. Or you can use an S410 or a Marauder. Uncle Matt has taken note of your numbers and will keep them in mind this Saturday. Let me know when you have your groups for record, and I'll post mine any time after this Saturday. (It seems that the sentiment here is all in favor of airgun accuracy over firearms at airgun distances. :-))

    BG_Farmer, what a novel idea. You're on for an offhand competition. But let's hold off on this weekend's outing so I can concentrate on Wayne. I'm not ready yet for the three-way contest at the end of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. :-) Besides, I can get a handle on my offhand shooting for my different rifles. Definitely, for next month's range trip.

    Matt61


  21. Matt,

    Get the longer rifle. Don't buy a carbine! It will kick the living S*** out of you!

    Don't worry about the Mosin. It is a strong rifle. I have one and it shoots fine. Quite accurate, by the way.

    The movie you want to see is Enemy at the Gates, staring Jude Law. It is about a famous sniper duel from Stalingrad that actually happened, and the 91/30 Mosin sniper rifle is the star.

    You had better plan to reload, because I don't think you are going to like how much the Nagant recoils.

    B.B.


  22. BB,
    I like this article, although your eventual conclusion is more or less academic as far as I'm concerned. If I need something to protect livestock, etc., I'll use it — noise level not an issue, but for fun target shooting at reasonable ranges, my pellet rifles will always have a place. I did go through a phase where I couldn't think of anything but pellet rifles, but I think I've come to a point of balance (for me, at least) where they are an important part of my life, but I don't force them to do everything.

    Matt,
    You're on, but take your time. Consider that I'm still testing loads and filing/drifting my sights on the smoke pole, not to mention that 3 five shot groups is an entire outing sometimes, at least for me:). I have a ways to go before I can put up my 50 yard offhand groups — although I get some tantalizing results occasionally:).


  23. I'll second b.b.'s recommendation for 'Enemy at the Gate'…excellent flick.
    By the way, I had my Nightstalker checked out by the service dept of where I bought it. He says there's nothing wrong with it…just to make sure I give it a quick sharp twist to seat the cartridge. I loaded one last night and I got a gentle his for about 1/2 second and then it seated perfectly.
    Happy camper, I are!
    CowBoyStar Dad


  24. B.B.

    Yes, the carbine is out. I've heard about the nasty kick, and there are plenty of photos of the giant fireball at the muzzle. Enemy at the Gates has been on my list for awhile. I'm told that the city is done very well. My Dad saw it, and said that one conclusion that you draw about people caught in certain historical moments is that they are just very, very unlucky… I've read too about the duel between Vasili Zaitsev and the Nazi super-sniper. The book that the movie is based on says that besides compiling his sniping record, Zaitsev was running around with one of the top women snipers, but when she was seriously wounded, he dumped her for someone else. There's another woman in the book–I think a nurse–who had a relationship with one of the snipers. When he heard that she had lost both arms and legs to a landmine, he couldn't take it and never saw her again. But she went on to marry a guy and raise 6 kids in that condition. Tough! Clearly there was much going on. There are also a bunch of YouTube videos about the corps of 2000 women snipers trained by the Soviet Union. Most of them look like teenagers.

    Another problem I've read about the Mosin is that they shoot high because their sights are calibrated with the metric system and don't correspond to range distances calculated with yards. Have you noticed that? Recommendations are to raise the height of the front post or use a scope. But it seems like you could just adjust the sights to make the correction.

    BG_Farmer, it occurs to me that 50 yards for offhand is quite a bit. Maybe 25 yards is the place to start. And what do you think about taking on my B30 offhand with your blackpowder rifle? I shoot the shoot the B30 much more than my firearms.

    Matt61


  25. BB, I can't justify buying any more pellet guns, my Rem77 seal went last week, my spring went in the quest, my shadow express is on it's last legs, and my 664 has lasted way to long. My air pistols are still doing fine, every one of them. If I use the 60gr CBcap made by aguila, will that erode my 10/22 chambers?
    Shadow express dude


  26. Matt,

    A lot of militasry rifle are sighted too high for shooting at 100 yards. My 1878 Remington Rolling Block shoots about 16 inches hign at 100 yards, and my Nagant, Swede Mauser, 1917 America Enfield and Trapdoor Springfield all shoot high.

    The sights cannot be set low enough to hit at 100 yards. So you build up the front sight or you reload, which is what I do.

    On the other hand, the Garand can be sighted spot-on, which is one reason I love that rifle.

    B.B.


  27. BB: I've also fooled around with the .22 Hornet and .218 bee (25-20 case necked down) and really haven't had as good of accuracy with the smaller cast lead .22Loverin /gas check style bullets I have used. In .22 cal, I get the best results with my .222 when using cast bullets of 50-55grs. wt. I really have better luck with the .25-20 and 32-20. They are true small game cartridges. Almost forgotten by todays shooters. I also always have better accuracy with gas checked cast bullets than plain based bullets. I have tested my theroy in my identicle Marlin mod. 1894 CL's. One in .218 Bee, one in 25-20, and one in 32-20. They are all the same except for caliber. My current Hornets are the H&R handy rifle, and a Savage Combination .22 Hornet/20ga. I also hunted with and shot a Savage bolt action Hornet, for a long time, and used both lead and jacketed reduced loads for squirrel hunting in it. The problem I have found is that the hard cast .22 bullet has the same issues in regards to performace on impact with the game,. as HS .22 rimfire solid points. The larger caliber always does best with cast bullets, and all have the Ballard style rifling. Paul Matthews book "Sixty Years Of Rifles", available from Wolfe Publishing , has some very good information on the Hornet and cast bullets. He uses a Ruger #3 SS, for woods hunting and has little use for rimfires for small game. Check it out if you get a chance. Robert


  28. SED,

    You are getting confused. The Aguila 60-grain LONG RIFLE round is subsonic, but it is not a CB cap. And it won't shoot for anything in a 10/22. The twist rate is wrong, and unless you install a 1:10" twist barrel, you can forget it.

    But there is another reason not to shoot the 60 grain round in a 10/22. You will wreck the rifle. The recoil overpowers the mainspring and batters the buffer block (if there is one) and eventually the back of the receiver. To use that round in a semiauto, which it clearly says not to do on the Aguila box, you need to add a lot of bolt mass, and a faster barrel.

    B.B.


  29. Robert,

    But my idea is to try something that I have never seen or read about. I want to slow the 50-55-grain bullet down to between 900 and 1,000 f.p.s., so I can cast it softer. Maybe 30-1 with no antimony. I will lube it with a soft lube, like SPG or Alox.

    I want to create the energy of a .22 LR, and be able to reload for it, as well. The bullets will be free, and if I can get the powder to a penny and the primer to 4 cents, I will have a cheaper .22 LR and I hope will be just as accurate out to 100 yards.

    That's the hope, anyway.

    B.B.


  30. BB, et al.:

    Here are questions related to several previous points.

    I shoot my 1377 and Daisy 953 almost daily in my 21-foot basement range, using a Beeman pellet trap.

    This is great stuff, and I don't see it as a substitute for firearms. But I also shoot a Ruger Mark III .22LR in NRA Conventional Bullseye Competition, and I'm looking for some way to practice over the winter months when it's too cold to use my club's unheated indoor range.

    I haven't identified a pellet handgun that would be very close to the Ruger.

    So, could I fire CB caps through my Ruger at 21 feet without too much noise and smoke? And would I need a .22 trap or will the pellet trap work? The 710 fps is considerably more powerful than my 1377 at ten pumps.

    Also, would it hurt my Ruger?

    I'd have to cycle the action my hand, but it seems like it would be good practice for the slow fire parts of pistol competition and a good way to work on trigger control.

    Any advice?


  31. I generally use my Mark II savage .22 for testing all kinds of .22 mmo from one end of the spectrum to the other. Bolt action, full power and no cycling problems.

    As for CCI CB Cap longs, I've had 5 rouds groupings as low as .118 at 10M with my ruger 10/22. Generally twice that on average. It's not a long rang round….30 yards perhaps, but will really lay out game.



  32. I agree with everyone who thinks most people under-estimate the capabilities of airguns. Plus you don't have to clean them as much.

    FYI

    Aguila Colibri makes a 22lr (20gr primer only loads)rated at 500 fps and 11 ft lbs intended for handgun (revolver) use. I purchased a couple boxes a few months ago, but have never gotten around to trying them.

    Bub


  33. BB: I was using 2.5 grs. of PB, or dirty old unique with 3.0 grs and my bullets were the #225438 Loverin style bullet from a Lyman mold. I used the gas check, and Rooster Red lube. Velocity was in the 1200fps range , so you are going a lot slower, and getting closer to PCP power . The twist as you say is probably the key factor for accuracy. The guns I was using, I believe have a one in 16" twist barrels. Groove diameter was .224 for all. Of the two small .22 centerfires the Bee I think was better ,regardless whether cast or jacketed bullets were used. My other Bee rifle is a rebarreled Martini SS., I have to check the twist of the barrel on that one now that you mentioned what your Hornet has.Your project has me thinking I may have to try again with those. I just never got accuracy as good as my rimfires with the cast bullet loads in .22 Hornet at 100yards. But good luck with your shooting and project. Robert


  34. Robert,

    That Loverin bullet fascinates me. Harry Pope always liked it because it is well-lubricated. Do you happen to know whether Lyman still cuts that mold?

    Never mind. I found one.

    B.B.


  35. Just caught the last for or so video reviews. Liked the TX200 review very much.

    For some reason I needed to watch the Desert Eagle review twice. You guessed wanted to see how they made the ballons smoke when shot. Looks like the ballons had a little powder in side. Clever effect.

    Thank you PA for posting these reviews.
    DB



  36. PurcHawk,

    I shoot a Ruger SA with CB Longs into a Beeman pellet trap all the time. It has the heavy ballistic putty, not the soft duct seal. I have only missed once, and the damage was no worse to my block basement wall than what my Patriot did.

    You need ear protection, and afterwards I open a window as the smell is a little strong.

    Volvo


  37. BB,Robert,
    I got an e-mail ad from a sporting goods place that had a .32ACP insert for .30-06. Didn't take too much research to figure out that is not going to happen in my rifles, but I ran across a post somewhere where a guy made a rifle for .32ACP. .25 ACP might work, too, and its reloadable — definitely not overpowered for many rimfire tasks, I would think:). No point, just seemed like it was relevant to what you were talking about. Might work great in a lever action:).


  38. Matt,
    25 yards is fine, but groups only — my sights are being adjusted for 50:). B30 is fine — maybe I'll try the 36-2 at 25 yards also — sights are easy to adjust on that, although the Mendoza peep that's on it now won't go down below 30.


  39. hello all I've been reading this blog for a few months now because of my growing interest in getting a airgun a benjamin discovery to hunt and shoot. today i was on utube and i saw a two vids by the same person with this rifle. his name was nw something and he could shoot a quarter with it from really far and he could target shoot good to. in his vids the rifle seems more acurate than other online places like your blog. he groups really small at 30 yards and can hit a quarter. can a discovery really do this.
    thanks tim


  40. Tim,

    When I tested the Discovery for this blog I shot a half-inch group with both calibers at 50 yards. The average group at that distance was about one inch, which is just larger than an American quarter. Yes, the Discovery is a very accurate air rifle.

    However, there is something new on the horizon if you can wait. It may be more accurate than the standard Discovery–it certainly will not be less accurate. And it will have some very n ice features besides.

    It will be out very soon and you'll see it here first.

    B.B.



  41. BB,

    Interesting article regarding CB's vs Pellets. I shoot both in my back yard on a regular basis, 1377c & JC Higgins Model 31 22lr. I use the CB's at 100' and the Pellets at 10m and the neighbors don't know I am shooting. I like both because the CB's allow me to use the rifle at home without the expense of buying a new rifle airgun for the 100' shots.


  42. B.B.

    That's odd about the military rifles. You would think that they would have plenty of reason in all eras to shoot below 100 yards.

    Is this new secret of yours going to surpass the Marauder?

    I just ordered a bunch of original Springfield Armory USGI clips, and I'll see if they do better than the Greek ones. Clint Fowler claims that his USGI clips never bent.

    BG_Farmer, okay, I'll practice my offhand with extra gusto.

    Matt61


  43. BB and Volvo:

    Thanks much. I have been looking at the old blogs (I just started air guns less than a year ago), but I missed the Mark I account. What are the odds of finding one today?

    I really appreciate the account from V. about his basement CB shooting. It sounds like it might work, and I could still use my same target trigger, special grips, and red dot.

    My wife and dog may not like the sound and smell, but what the heck.


  44. PurcWawk,

    I always wait until the wife and kids are at the mall for the CB Caps. I also do a little quick draw I would rather no one see.

    (miss and you can spackle and paint the blocks, my dog hides under a bed while I shoot, plus I always have my back to the stair case so no one could ever come home, go down stairs and walk between me and the target)

    : )

    Volvo




  45. Volvo,

    Don't have a clue who made it. Just glad he was pretending to shoot at something rather than pretending that thing could substitute for a real shotgun (gamo revisited!).

    Airguns shouldn't cross my imaginary line and try to replace shotguns.

    kevin


  46. BB: On the 32 ACP insert for the .30-06. I have one, and also one in 220 Swift that takes .22 RF. The 32 ACP one is OK for 25 yards or less in my Sringfield and shoots to the same point of aim as my 1900 fps. 173 gr. cast bullet load for that gun, which is sighted in for 100 yds. That heavier bullet is the Lyman 311291. Go figure! I haven't messed with the one for the Swift yet. A couple months back, the gunsmith column in Shotgun News had a piece on the inserts . He said the .32 ACP bullets got stuck in his guns bore. I have never had that happen in my guns. The Springfield mentioned above is a re-modeled Remington , and still has the original two groove barrel. BTW, 32ACP , 32 S&W shorts and longs, and I would imagine, 32 H&R Mag cartridges, will all fire when loaded singly into many of the 32-20 guns. You probably would need a rod to remove the empty's though. Not something I'd do except in an emergency.There was a guy on the Rifleman staff years ago, that made up a .32 S&W long or .32 H&R mag rifle on a Remington action. I think he used a 788. I almost had my H&R handy rifle re-bored to .32 mag from Hornet, after reading that article. I have a handgun in that caliber, and it is one of my favorites.As far as the .25ACP goes, I guess you could make a rifle for it, but an insert for it wouldn't work very well, as the .25ACP uses a .251 dia bullet. All the .25 cal rifles I have are .257 dia bores. I have , however, wondered if the bullets for the .25ACP would work in .25 cal airguns. That is, if you could get a mould for it. What size is the groove dia of the .25 airguns? This has been an interesting blog. Robert



  47. Robert,

    Although I don't know the bore dimensions of the .25 air rifle I can tell you that one custom .25 PCP has been built to use standard .25 centerfire jacketed bullets. It generates 125 foot-pounds at the muzzle, so it is a good short-range rifle, approximately equal to a .22 LR. Of course it has the same ballistic characteristics, too. That rifle was built in The Netherlands, I believe, and cost $8,000. It was gorgeous and well worth the price. I saw it in Nuremberg, at the 2006 IWA show.

    The .22 LR insert in your Swift should not work too well, since the Swift has a .224 bore and the LR is a .223. That's what's wrong with the adaptors they make for AR-15s.

    B.B.



  48. Robert,
    The .32 (S&W ?) is my only favorite handgun cartridge. My uncle borrowed one from my aunt to take my brother and me shooting when we were kids.

    BB,
    AR15 — those .22LR conversions are horrible. I've seen several people trying to shoot them at my shooting club, and they haven't done anything to change my mind about AR's or AR shooters:).


  49. B.B.
    "after many shots the hot gasses will erode a small ring in the chamber, just ahead of the end of the brass cartridge case"

    Will this happen when using the 38 special cartridge in a 357? ..if so, you are talking about many thousands of shots, right?
    Thanks, I.B.McGinty


  50. There is one advantage of the CB Long or Short over a pellet gun that no one has mentioned. You can legally hunt game with a rimfire in a state where it is illegal to hunt with an airgun, such as Texas. No way around that, it is a big deal.

    David Enoch


  51. I.B.McGinty,

    The same thing happens with a .38 Special in a .357 Magnum. It happens faster. I have a couple .357s with "ringed" cylinders.

    But the extraction isn't affected. The revolvers have a much more positive extraction system, plus their cases are far stronger than .22 rimfire cases, and thus they continue to function even with the rings.

    B.B.





  52. Tim,

    The Disco is indeed very accurate. If you watch Paul Capello's excellent videos on PA's website, on the disco review you will see him put many pellets through the same hole, with the rifle's open sights! B.B. is apparently too modest to mention he helped to develop the Discovery with Crosman.

    B.B.
    You seem to have revealed your cards. You said "standard Discovery." I have inferred that there will be an improved Discovery. What is it, choked barrel right?

    DB,

    I also watched the desert eagle review several times. It wasn't because of the balloons however. I wonder if she's looking for a shooting buddy.

    My favorite part of the TX200 video is when B.B. busts in like the Cool-Aid man! Oh Yeah!!

    Slinging Lead in Powder Springs


  53. Lead-slinger,

    Yes, it is a variant of the Discovery. I know that it has the Marauder trigger and a stock that is more Marauder-like, but not quite as nice as the full Marauder stock. It is not baffled, but I hope and believe it has the Marauder choked barrel, as well. It is a single-shot and will be priced less than the Marauder–which makes it VERY affordable!

    I have seen and held this rifle but not tested it, However, I will be getting one very soon.

    B.B.


  54. I used to shoot CB Short out of an old single shot Remington and all I'd hear was the bolt click, quieter than and bb or pellet gun. I spent that summer at my uncles orange grove so I got pretty good. I actually shot a crow dead while in flight. When I tried to shoot them in an old semi auto pistol they were lowered and they had some jamming issues.


  55. Cb caps will only ring your chamber if you don't clean the gun after you fire it.Shorts will ring it too if chambered for the long rifle.Shot them for years with no problems.Clean the gun after.Or at least clean the chamber BHW


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