Evanix Blizzard S10-Part 4
by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I'll show you the results of testing the Evanix Blizzard S10 with the barrel shroud removed. I tested it against the CB cap-firing Winchester Winder musket and will show you those results, as well.
You may remember that in Part 3 I was disappointed with the accuracy of the rifle and thought that the baffles in the shroud might be touching the pellets on their way out. In fact, I implied that rather strongly. Today, I'm not so sure. I think I have discovered what was wrong--because when I fixed it, the rifle suddenly became much more accurate.
So, we have a lot in store for today's report. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
Pride goeth before a fall...
I was SO CERTAIN that the pellets were touching one or more baffles on the way out of the shroud that I couldn't think of anything else. I fully expected the first group at 50 yards from the unshrouded barrel to be a pleasant surprise and a welcome relief to this problem. I selected the new 18-grain JSB Exacts because I also "knew" that they would be the most accurate pellets in this rifle.
The machine worked fine until we turned it on!
The day was breezy, but the breeze came in gusts and it was possible to wait them out. I took great care to shoot only when the wind was calm. But even with all that care, my first group of 10 with the JSBs measured 1.658". That's only a little better than the last time I tested it, which surprised me a lot. I expected a sub-inch group.
Switching to Beeman Kodiaks, the groups got larger. Ten shots went into 2.25". Sorry, Kevin, but that's the truth.
The big Eun Jin dome shrank the group back to 1.716", but that's not what I was hoping to see. After that, I just sat for awhile and examined the rifle. Was the scope tight? Yes, it was. Was the barrel well-anchored in the receiver? Yes, it was, but when I checked that I felt a bump of something else shifting.
The action was loose in the stock! I felt like such a rookie for not checking the stock screws--except that's a problem you normally associate with spring guns, not PCPs. And, when I tried to tighten the stock screw, it was already tight. But the action was definitely rocking in the stock.
There was no way to tighten the action, so I reverted to an old-time standby--shimming! I folded a foot-long length of duct tape into a two-inch pad and stuck it between the front of the forearm and the reservoir tube. It went in and stopped when there was no more room. Now, the action and stock were tight--no rocking movement.
The next group of 10 JSBs went into a group measuring 0.862." That was exactly the level of accuracy I had been expecting from the Blizzard S10. Remember, these are 10-shot groups and will be larger than a 5-shot group from the same gun.
Before and after
The difference before and after the field fix is obvious. From 1.658" down to 0.862" for the JSBs is nearly a 50 percent reduction in size! The Eun Jins dropped from 1.716" down to 1.106," another significant reduction. Kodiaks and Air Arms domes had reductions as well, though not as large. Kodiaks went from 2.224" to 1.735" and Air Arms pellets dropped from 1.125" to 0.973."
These reductions in 10-shot group sizes are both immediate and quite dramatic. And this is just with my quickie field fix. If I bed the action correctly, we could expect at least this and maybe even more.
I contacted Pyramyd Air. After they researched it, we learned that they had received an initial lot of guns that were missing a washer for the stock screw. All were loose in their stocks. The Pyramyd Air technicians added the necessary washers and the rifles tightened up just as mine did. So, I went to the hardware store and bought some washers to fix my rifle permanently.
This has been an interesting test for me. First, I was surprised by how quiet the Blizzard is, even though it puts out a lot of power. Second, the accuracy thing was a learning experience. I always default to my experience--which in this case was with baffles that nick the pellets on their way out. This strange turn of events really surprised me, which is a good cure for hardening of the attitudes.
Lest I forget--the Winder musket and CB caps
I also had the Winder musket at the range to test the accuracy of CB caps against the Blizzard. I wasn't able to fool you guys about CB caps. Most of you already knew their capabilities and their shortcomings. And this is not a report on them--just an update as they play against the Blizzard S10, since I introduced that topic last time.
At 50 yards, the CB cap bullet drops a lot more than a pellet from the Blizzard--even a heavy one. While the advertised velocity is 710 f.p.s., that has to be with a short barrel. The Winder has a 28" barrel, so it should rob some velocity from that bullet. CB caps are so low-powered that I can test them in my office, just like pellets from a powerful rifle, so that's what I did.
They averaged 696 f.p.s., with a spread from 659 to 720. They were faster than I thought they'd be, so apparently the long barrel doesn't slow them down much. But they're also quieter than most PCPs. The impact of the 29-grain bullet makes more noise than the muzzle blast.
CB caps are not a match for an accurate air rifle like the Blizzard. They're lower in power and far less accurate, plus they cost a lot for anyone with access to a powerful air rifle. I suppose that if all you own is a .22 rimfire, they make sense as long as thousands of shots aren't in order. However, with the huge difference in price over pellets, you could buy a Discovery and soon make up the difference.
CB caps did pretty much what I expected at 50 yards, but that's not the end of testing them. I'm going to try them in a number of accurate .22 rifles, including the CB longs that fit long rifle chambers. When I'm finished, we should have a pretty good idea of where CB caps fit into the big picture.