BSF S70: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Here’s this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 gift card.


Christopher Schaefer holds his favorite target pistol — a Crosman Mark I in .22 caliber.

Today’s report begins with a bucketload of irony.

I told you about acquiring this BSF S70 breakbarrel air rifle at the Malvern airgun show about a month ago, Today, I’ll start a three-part report on it. Those of you who are interested in BSF air rifles might also wish to read the report on the BSF 55N I did three years ago.


The BSF S70 was the deluxe version of the BSF 55-series of spring-piston air rifles. It’s the grandfather of the Beeman R9.

BSF stands for Bayerische Sportwaffenfabrik (Bavarian Sporting Arms Manufacturer). They operated in Erlangen, Germany, until some time in the late 1980s, when they closed down and sold their tools, parts and equipment to Weihrauch. The extreme irony of that fact is that I was stationed in Erlangen for nearly four years in the mid-1970s, during which time Robert Beeman of America got me interested in precision adult airguns after I found and bought a Diana model 10 target pistol in Rothenberg ob der Tauber, a walled historic city I visited often. The fact that I lived in the same city where BSF airguns were made did not dawn on me until I began writing about airguns in the 1990s.

I actually saw a used BSF S-20 air pistol for sale in my favorite antique shop in Nuremberg (talk about leading a horse to water!) and passed on it because it looked to me as if old Hans had taken a breakbarrel air rifle and cut it down to fit into a pistol stock. Of course, that was actually what happened, only “old Hans” was a group of engineers at BSF. Today, I own a BSF S-20 Match pistol, as well. That report can be found here.

Back to the main story. So, three years ago I’m at the 2008 Little Rock Airgun Expo, poised to buy this beautiful BSF S70 rifle, and a young man swoops in and buys it out from under me. If you follow the link I provided, scroll down to the final two paragraphs and read the lamentations of a collector who has just lost a treasure. It’s under the title “The one that got away.” I didn’t tell the story about having the money for the gun back then because I guess I didn’t want to feel worse about it than I did. Read those paragraphs; you’ll understand.

Things change
Time has a way of bringing change, however; and though I’ve never been very patient, there are situations where I can’t do anything but wait. Like last year, when I missed the first Malvern show because I was in the hospital. The owner of this S70 went to that show, also trying to sell his gun but he didn’t connect with anybody.

Oh, here’s another important point. He’s not 14 anymore. He’s now 17, a lot larger and the look in his eye tells me he’s interested in things other than airguns.

I, on the other hand, am a wizened, shriveled-up old raisin with little to look forward to but the dust of my fast-fading dreams. Oh, and I also have a little extra money to spend. In other words, I’m the perfect airgun collector. On the other hand, Don Juan is focused on his next tank of four-dollar gas.

He came by our table at this year’s show and Mac, remembering how I had whined about this rifle, transfixed the youth with several of his engaging but pointless stories until I could return. Ten minutes later, I became the next owner of this nearly new vintage German breakbarrel.

But wait — there’s more!
However, the irony in this tale doesn’t even end there. After Weihrauch bought BSF in the late 1980s, the first thing they did was assemble the parts they had just purchased into new models of airguns. For example, they took the S70, found a way to put a Rekord trigger in it and re-named it the Marksman model 70. How about that? After Beeman shooed Marksman out of the high-end airgun business, they changed the name once more to the Beeman R-10 to please their No. 1 U.S. customer.

I am taking extraordinary license with this story, because Hans Weihrauch, Jr., didn’t tell it to me. I pieced it together over many years of collecting catalogs and connecting the dots. If I’ve made some erroneous assumptions, I apologize, but my main point still stands — that BSF was absorbed into Weihrauch and some of their guns eventually morphed into some Beeman R-series guns. I’m not saying that the BSF S70 parts will interchange with those of the Beeman R-10, or that you can remove an S70 trigger and drop a Rekord in its place, but if you had the parts to build 5,000 rifles, you would find a way. How’s THAT for a lead-in?

The BSF S70 general description
This is what used to be considered a large air rifle in its day, but in the shadow of the Walther Talon Magnum and the Benjamin Trail NP XL, it’s more medium-sized today.

The rifle is just less than 43-1/2 inches long with a 19-inch barrel, and it weighs 7 lbs., 4 oz. That puts it into the same physical category as the Beeman R9, which descended from the R10, so the bloodline still runs strong.

The beech stock is stained medium brown with impressed checkering on the forearm and pistol grip. A plain dark-brown rubber buttpad is separated from the buttstock by a white line spacer. The overall shape of the stock with its Monte Carlo butt, straight comb and raised cheekpiece is very American.

There’s no plastic on the gun anywhere, and all the barreled action parts are finished in a deep semi-gloss black. The finish on this particular gun is as close to 100 percent as it gets. The two pieces of aluminum I can find on the gun, besides the optional Williams sporting aperture sight, are the trigger blade and the scope base.

My rifle has no factory-installed sporting rear sight. Instead, it has a Williams aperture sight that was obviously made for this model. I searched in both the Air Rifle Headquarters catalogs and the early Beeman catalogs to see if either of them offered this sight, but neither did. At least, they don’t show a picture of it anywhere. While searching, I did discover that when Beeman sold the S70 in the company’s first few years of operation, it was actually marked as the BSF 55D. They mention in the description that the same gun is called the S70 in Europe. There’s a bit of trivia for you serious collectors.


My rifle came with this beautiful Williams aperture rear sight that fits the receiver profile perfectly.

The front sight is a tall post and bead surrounded by a huge sheetmetal globe that’s removable. Most sporting BSF rifles and pistols have this same globe.

Trigger
The trigger on the S70 is two-stage and adjustable for release weight. In both the ARH and Beeman catalogs, they describe it as “wearing-in” over time, but I would put a caveat on that. What this trigger actually does is get lighter and smoother the more it is used. Older Gamo sporting triggers and the triggers in vintage Webley airguns did the same thing with one important difference. They eventually settled into a fine pull, where the BSF triggers do not. They keep right on wearing-in until they become unsafe. When that happens, it’s possible to adjust them back to a safe level, but usually the unsuspecting owner will just let the trigger go, thinking it’s getting real nice — until the gun fires on its own. You’ve now been warned by the man who has a pellet hole in his office ceiling.


Turn the screw toward the + to increase trigger-pull.

One other curious thing about BSF triggers is that they’re all made from multiple plates of steel sandwiched together. Then, the metal parts are formed to their final shape. It is a construction method that obviously reduces the cost of materials, but it works far better than it sounds or appears.


Instead of using one piece of steel, they sandwiched four thinner plates together to make the same part. It looks crude but works surprisingly well.

Unusual features
I may have a straight European airgun because there is no importer’s name anywhere on it. However, Air Rifle Headquarters didn’t put their name on either the BSF S20 Match pistol or the BSF S55 rifle I have. Since I have the boxes they both came in as well as some of the sales paperwork, I know their pedigrees. This could be an ARH gun, however, I don’t think it is because there’s a German Freimark on the left side of the baseblock. The letter “F” inside a pentagon signifies the gun is limited to a power level of below 7.5 joules, making it legal to own as an airgun in Germany.


The letter “F” inside the pentagon is the German Freimark, designating this airgun as having less than 7.5 joules of muzzle energy. It’s put only on airguns that meet this legal definition.

If this is a real Freimark gun, and there’s no reason to believe otherwise, the velocity of light .177 pellets should be in the high 500 to almost 600 foot-second range. If it were an airgun made for the unrestricted U.S. market, the velocity would be closer to 800 f.p.s. with the same pellets. A Freimark gun will have the piston stroke shortened, because simply changing mainsprings does not limit power that much.

Either way, I still love the gun, though the heavy cocking effort won’t be as much fun if the velocity doesn’t match. My BSF S55N rifle averages 773 f.p.s. with RWS Hobby pellets, which is about where it should be for a rifle intended for the U.S. That rifle does not have a Freimark. Knowing what sticklers the Germans are for marking things correctly, I’d be willing to bet this is a lower-powered rifle. I haven’t chronographed it, yet, so I’m just as curious as you are right now.

A second unusual thing is something I’ve seen many times before, but maybe it’ll be new to you. When World War II ended and the Allies divided Germany into different sectors, they named them East and West Germany. From that time forward until 1990, there was no Germany per se; there was East Germany or West Germany. I’m not dredging up bad memories to insult anyone here, but you do need to know that there were two distinct countries.

The items manufactured in those countries had to reflect where they were made. The stamps that said Made in Germany before the war were no longer correct. In many instances, the word West was simply added after the country name for West German goods, so the stamping would read Made in Germany West. If you examine these stamp marks on various articles, you even see that the word West has been added after the main stamp was produced because it doesn’t appear the same as the other letters in the stamp. And, so it is on this rifle.


The word “WEST” is clearly different than the rest of the stamp. It was added later.

The company was founded in 1935 and continued after the war until the remains were sold to Weihrauch in the late 1980s, so they would have used a Made in Germany stamp before the war. The gun exporter Wischo, also based in Erlangen, put their name on many of the guns that were exported, in the same way that RWS does with Dianawerke airguns. The Wischo name is missing from this one, leading me to conclude that the rifle was made for the German market. That makes the Freimark correct.

Articulated cocking link
Instead of a single steel link between the barrel and piston, the S70 has a two-piece link that’s hinged toward the front. That allows the link to be long but the cocking slot in the forearm to be short. A short cocking slot helps dampen any spring vibration, making the rifle seem smoother than it would if the cocking slot were long.


This two-piece articulated cocking link allows the stock’s cocking slot to be short, thus reducing vibration.

Final thoughts
At this point, I believe that what I have is a German-power BSF S70. I also believe that fact is what has preserved the rifle in near-new condition for all these years. According to the latest Blue Book of Airguns, 9th Edition, my rifle probably shoots around 600 f.p.s., where a U.S.-spec. rifle would shoot near or even over 800 f.p.s. We’ll all find out together in Part 2.

113 Responses to “BSF S70: Part 1”

  • Z from India Says:

    Hello
    I will be soon ordering the TX200. As you might know it will be difficult to get spare in India, so i want to order what ever little the TX will need in near future such as seals O-rings or anything else. Please guide me in this regard

    Thanks

    • Lloyd Says:

      Z,
      The TX200 is an excellent choice, and one of B.B.’s favorite guns. Some of the TX200 experts will recommend what extras you should consider. Of course, plenty of pellets will be first on the list.
      Lloyd

      • Z from India Says:

        Thanks for the advice. Pellets are restricted item for import in India. Yes i know , we can import a Porsche but will have to run it on adulterated petrol and not Octane 98.

        Thanks

      • MCA Says:

        The TX comes with no open sights so you need a scope. That is all I’ve needed for mine in 5 years.

  • Orin Says:

    Hi Z,

    According to Jim Maccari, Air Arms mainsprings are prone to failure. I can’t really disagree because the tip broke off of mine within the first 1500 rounds, and it started buzzing something awful. If getting parts is going to be an issue, I would go ahead and order a replacement mainspring, or you might consider one of the spring/guides tune kits that Maccari or Vortek offer (huge improvements, in my opinion). I installed the Vortek kit in mine, and I can’t speak highly enough of it.

    If you’re looking for excuses to spend money, I would recommend picking up a spare piston seal, some breech seals (mine likes eating these), and perhaps a lube/tar kit from Maccari. Here are some links…

    Piston Seals (two sizes included)
    Breech Seals (much more durable than factory seals)
    Lube Kit (pretty much a lifetime supply, unless you’re a gunsmith by trade)

    Maccari Tune Kit
    Vortek Tune Kit

    Congrats on your upcoming purchase decision!

    - Orin

  • Z from India Says:

    Thank you very much Sir
    That was very helpful. The links provided eased my work

    thanks again

    • Slinging Lead Says:

      Z from India

      You have made a wise purchase decision my friend. I own many airguns at this point, and the TX200 is probably my favorite. It is so accurate, I almost think that it knows how bad a shot I am, and compensates on its own. It is also absolutely gorgeous. Everyone I have shown the gun, is in awe of the finish. “Can I pick it up?” Sure, just put on these gloves, and stand on this mattress.

      Pellet choice is very important. The first two pellets I tried, Gamo Match and RWS Superpoints, were horrible in my particular gun. I almost started to worry. Then I tried Crosman Premier Lights, in the brown box. Eureka! Since then, I have found JSBs in larger head sizes work equally well and won’t lead the barrel. I shot a 6 shot group at 10 yards that looked like one pellet. The first time I shot at a squirrel, I hit it at 50 yards. This is very long distance for me. Orin is a better shot.

      My spring is still OK, but you can’t lose with a Macarri or Vortek kit. Also, the rifle is a breeze to take apart. BB did a blog on it.

      http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/?s=TX200+disassembly&search=Search

      Enjoy your rifle, and don’t be a stranger. (American slang for keep in touch)

    • Orin Says:

      Z,

      Don’t let Slinging Lead’s humility fool you. Hitting a quarter size kill zone at 50 yards is not an easy shot with a springer, even for a smooth shooter like the TX. I suspect he’s a better shot than he’s letting on. :)

      To complement the link he provided to B.B.’s disassembly blog on the TX200, here are a few more references that I’ve found really handy…

      Powerplant Stripdown
      Trigger Adjustment Procedure
      Trigger Diagram Demo

      As S.L. mentioned above, TX’s tend to love JSBs and Crosman Premiers. I’ll add Kodiaks/Baracudas to that list as well, if you’re not opposed to trying heavier pellets. Against popular advice, I usually shoot the JSB 10.3 heavies (they shoot even better than the 8.4′s in my gun). Perhaps that’s why my mainspring had a short first run, but they have given me minute of squirrel noggin accuracy out to 85 yards, so I can’t really complain.

      - Orin

    • Matt61 Says:

      Wise choice. Enjoy your TX200.

      Matt61

    • Z from India Says:

      Thank you to all of you
      The links will come handy when i get my TX.

      Thanks again

  • Mr B. Says:

    Good Morning B.B.,

    That Williams peep sight sure looks right at home on your rifle! I just gotta think that she’ll shoot as good as she looks.
    Bruce

  • Paul Says:

    BB,

    Looks like an interesting gun. The lack of plastic parts is also appreciated. So many airguns are not well treated and it is nice to see one this old in great condition. How common are these in the US?

    Your photography is top-notch today. The shot of the rear sight shows all of the parts clearly. The last photo even lets you see the clean milling inside of the stock with minimal shadows and glare.

    Paul

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Paul,

      Based on how many turn up for sale I’d have to say the S70 is pretty rare in the U.S. Of course now we know there are two power levels, so there are really two different guns by the same name. The European version is probably less common than the full-powered model.

      B.B.

  • Fused Says:

    Nice old classic! I was interested to see the trigger parts built up of several thinner sheets, probably so that they could stamp them out of larger sheets and be more efficient In a back door kind of way. The trigger on the Chinese AR1000s (Tech Force 89) are the same way. When I rebuilt mine, at first I thought it was terribly cheap, but I honed all of the contact points very carefully and afterwards that trigger has been the best one I’ve used so far! The blade still had too much side to side play which I never corrected, but if I had it would have been a fantastic trigger on a very inexpensive rifle. In my humble opinion much better than the T05 which I didnt care for. It has been a little funny that some of the assumed quality markers like a steel trigger blade or solid billet parts or etc have had little bearing on the actual functional quality in my experience. My two least favorite triggers have been all metal ‘quality’ and of my two most favorite, one has a plastic trigger and the other is a cheap Chinese trigger with a pot metal blade. Just food for thought.

  • DaveUK Says:

    BB:
    ‘Don Juan’ lol
    I hope she is worth it?

    Had a great shooting session with my son in law recently.
    We tried 10 shot strings of five different pellets at about 15 meters using his Webley Raider PCP and my HW springer.
    The pellet choice was made up of the usual suspects JSB Exacts,RWS super H Points,H&N hollow and coppa points but the real surprise were the H&N Diablo Spitzkugeln 5.5.
    An unremarkable looking pointed pellet but it produced the tightest group from my Son in laws scoped PCP.All ten shots fit under a penny(1 cent)no problem.
    A Fluke?
    The next ten produced more or less the same result allowing for the fact there were quite a few pellets with squished skirts where one might have slipped through.
    Out of my HW the Spitzkugeln were crap,producing a two inch spread.I had been shooting sub one inch groups all day with the other pellets so I’m sure it wasn’t me.
    Good to be shooting again.
    DaveUK

    • Slinging Lead Says:

      Dave

      He is 17 years old, so we know darn well she won’t be worth it. He probably won’t remember her name in a few years.

      I must say this young man does seem somewhat exceptional however. He bought the rifle 3 years ago as a 14 year old, and it is still in pristine condition. Everything I owned at that age was either broken, stolen, or worn to a nub.

      Cheers.

      • DaveUK Says:

        Slinging Lead:
        I remember her name…Marney.
        If you are reading this Marney,can I have my money back? :)
        DaveUK

        • Slinging Lead Says:

          Dave

          I am certain she remembers your name too. ‘Prince David Peat, Duke of Winchester’. It’s OK to lie a little, they do it at well. “My parents won’t be home for a couple of hours.”

          I am sure you have told me, but I drink alot of beer, so… what caliber is your HW99/HW50S? And what pellet does it like? Mine is .177 and likes H&N FTTs.

          Also, lucky me I picked up an HW57 recently. It is not available here in the colonies anymore for some asinine reason. Its like an HW99 with an underlever. I took out a squirrel this morning at about 20 yards with open sights. I usually leave the cute little buggers alone, but persistent bird-feeder raiders get what’s coming to them.

          God save the Queen,

          Slinging Lead

          • DaveUK Says:

            Slinging Lead:
            ‘Duke,Prince’…’Lord of the flies’ possibly lol

            My HW99/50s is in .22 calibre.
            It loves the JSB Exact Jumbo’s.So do I.
            Best for accuracy, penetration is not bad either.
            As recommended by you and BB in fact.
            Cheers fella’s.

            Dave(EU District 9)

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Dave,

      Those pellet skirts are being blown out by your springer. The rapid blast of air does that to thin skirts.

      B.B.

      • DaveUK Says:

        Thanks BB.
        I wondered what was going on.
        This tin of H&N Diablo Sptizkugeln were a real unknown quantity,bought for me for my birthday.
        My son in laws PCP rifle shot them really well,so I gave him the tin.
        JSB’s are the one’s for me.
        DaveUK

  • Tom @ Buzzards Bluff Says:

    B.B.,
    Thanks for reviewing the Marksman M-70. My very first higher powered European springer was one of the rarer versions of that model—the .20 caliber offering. You may find it interesting to know that on my rifle the trigger group (Rekord) had a pressed steel trigger blade and NO adjustment screw. Nor was the pressed steel trigger guard drilled with an adjustment hole. Both deficiencies were soon corrected. ;o)
    Mine stayed with me until the “Great Gathering at the Bluff’ in 2004 where Marty McNaughton of Silver Streak Sports fell in love with it and took it back to St. Louis with him. It was, to my knowledge, the only springer he ever owned because he gave up on ever learning to shoot springers and re-sold it shortly.
    Selling the M-70 was only one of many error judgments about airguns in my past.;o( Tom

    • Frank B Says:

      Hi Tom! I found this blog thanks to a .22 Marksman 70.Are you talking about a steel trigger blade hollow from the back? And did the trigger guard have a dimple where it would have been drilled?
      I used a screw from a Gamo in the trigger,it actually had the threaded hole ,just no screw.My ’70 came to me well broken in……could cock it with my index finger.(still can)Derrick from this blog and
      Anotherairgunblogspot scored me a NIB Marksman 70 in .177,which he expertly tuned before sending it to me.I absolutely love them both.I also have a BSF 70, NIB! It has hardly been shot by me,but is very nice too.I can’t warm up to the trigger enough to wear it in.FWIW

  • kevin Says:

    What a stunning airgun.

    No doubt in my mind that this gun was always destined to spend some time in B.B.’s care.

    This type of airgun article is at the top of my list of favorites.

    The history not only about general manufacturing and manufacturers but details about an important airgun from that era. It’s interesting that the BSF S70 is a root from which the R10 and R9 emerged. I remember reading and re-reading the article about the four horsemen and the BSF 55N. I tried for the longest time to buy that pristine fwb 124 from the same estate where B.B.’s BSF 55N came from.

    I really like this BSF S70 on so many fronts. The amazing condition sends me into orbit. I like all airguns with articulated cocking links. The major attraction for me to this gun is the peep sight that does appear designed for this gun. The open sights on the BSF 55N put me off and the inability to properly scope was a deal killer. Since these guns were designed to have peep sights and not scopes if I saw this BSF S70 with the period correct peep that fits so perfectly I’d buy the gun for that alone. The freimark may add value in many airgunners minds because of rarity but for me it adds value because this could potentially be a restricted gun that shoots in my favorite springer velocity range of around 600fps. Home run if it’s true.

    Can’t wait for part 2.

    kevin

  • Slinging Lead Says:

    BB

    Today’s article is a perfect example of why I MUST read your blog each and every day. Not only is it informative, but fascinating (to people like me.) I love your articles on guns I can buy retail, but the older guns and the history behind them seals the deal.

    I bet she was just as disappointed as you were when she went to someone else several years ago. Obviously, you and this gun were meant to be together.

    “…engaging but pointless stories…” I LOVE it! Why is it so much fun to jab at your best friends?

    “I, on the other hand, am a wizened, shriveled-up old raisin with little to look forward to but the dust of my fast-fading dreams.” –could anything be further from the truth?

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      SL,

      I read/edit/format the blogs. I howled when I read these statements :-)

      Edith

      • Matt61 Says:

        Yes, I like this as much as “the bluebird of happiness slaps me in the face” and the overripe fungus on the sidewalk that must be washed off with a pressure hose. I’m still waiting for the promised nymphs for those who become sufficiently wise in the ways of airgunning.

        Matt61

  • Fred PRoNJ Says:

    Hi all,

    have a few minutes so I thought I’d throw this in the mix. I usually am able to go to my basement range and shoot about 20 or 30 pellets. The other night, I had a paper silhouette target up (4 rows of 5 little critters with the birds being the most difficult) and using my RWS 52, missed one target – a bird ofcourse. Last night, I took out the HW 55S and being a bit on the lazy side, used the same target. All was going well until I came to that one untouched bird. I put a pellet in the same pellet hole. I finished the target list and went back to that same, untouched bird and purposely aimed squarely at the bird, slow squeeze on the trigger increasing pressure, follow through and a third pellet through the same darn hole! Reading this, I have half a mind to go back this evening and try to put two more pellets into the same hole for the best group ever obtained with this rifle!

    Now I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing? Subcounsciously aiming at that pellet hole? Is my hold and position on that particular point on the target being forced off to that point by my position? What gives? Maybe it’s a Zombie?

    Fred PRoNJ

    • Chuck Says:

      Fred,
      I am so glad to hear this. I have experienced the same thing while shooting the airgunarena.com competitions. I have no exlpanation. Were you using a scope? The only thing I can think of is parallax. I use an 8 1/2 x 11 target with 30 circles arranged five to a row, 6 rows. For some reason one row or a couple circles in a row will have that problem. It’s usually one of the last two rows on the paper. I won’t rule out the subconscious factor you mentioned, either, but it has happened too many times to be accidental. I have had almost a whole row do that. It’s not fatigue because I can go back and stack a shot in the first row. It is spooky.
      -Chuck

      • Chuck Says:

        Fred, You got me thinking…the next time it happens to me I’m going to turn the target upside down and try it again. If it still goes into that same hole I’m calling the Ghost Busters.
        -Chuck

      • Fred PRoNJ Says:

        Chuck,

        yes, I was using a scope and I double checked for parallax but then why only this rotten bird and not the others? I also have that target with the 30 circles but prefer the silhouette target, at least this month. It’s designed for 10M rifle shooting and I’ll be glad to send you the PDF file, if you want.

        But Chuck, three times I missed. It’s like there was a invisible hand guiding the pellet to that spot. Maybe my house is built on an Indian graveyard and they didn’t move the bodies? (For those that don’t make the connection here, it’s from the movie “Poltergeist” with Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Willaims and directed by Stephen Spielberg).

        Fred PRoNJ

        • Chuck Says:

          Fred,
          Yes, that is exactly my experience, also. I would miss the same target multiple times in the same spot.

          I still wonder if there can be an imperfection in the scope glass that can cause that, although, I like the Indian burial ground explanation better. Very plausible.
          -Chuck

          • Fred PRoNJ Says:

            Chuck and Victor,

            you both have experienced this before and were aware of it while I just noticed it last night. So how many others have this problem? Anyone else aware of this? This phenomenon has obviously always been present but only now are we bringing it to the attention of the rest of the blog? BB, with your superior experience in airgunning, have you any thoughts?

            Chuck, what bike are you getting?

            Fred PRoNJ

            • Chuck Says:

              Fred,
              I’m replacing my 2003 Heritage Classic Harley with another, 2011 Heritage Classic. I had 78,000 miles on the old one plus I want the ABS that comes on the newer ones. I’ll also gain 96ci vs.88ci and I’ll get a 6 speed tx vs the 5 speed on the old one. It was an emotional event as I became very attached to the old bike. We’d been everywhere, man.
              -Chuck

              • Fred PRoNJ Says:

                Chuck,

                good luck with the new Hot Dog. My buddy is picking up a new Victory 8 Ball in a week or so. I’m hearing some very good thinks about the Polaris/Victory machine and they apparently just bought out Indian. Not sure what their motive was – who wants to try to sell $35,000+ machines at this time.

                Victor,

                I appreciate your comments and was starting to work this through in my mind that by tilting the rifle for the lower target images, I was holding the rifle slightly differently thus accounting for the differing POI’s. What’s got me thrown is that I’m achieving this POI on the same target but with TWO DIFFERENT RIFLES (RWS 52 and HW 55S). It’s actually very interesting and something worth investigating a bit further.

                BB, OK if it’s not the ghosts of Indians past then it must be those cute little gremlins or SL’s zombies.

                Fred PRoNJ

                Fred PRoNJ

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              Fred,

              Nope. I am just as stumped as everyone else.

              Gremlins? ;)

              B.B.

              • Frank B Says:

                It seems obvious enough…..the target was giving you the bird.By not letting you have….the bird.

    • Victor Says:

      Fred PRoNJ,
      This most likely is a function of the particular targets position on the paper. Springer’s produce very repeatable jumps. I see exactly the same thing with my test targets. All I have to do is move down one bull, and everything changes, unless I take considerable care in finding my natural point of aim again. In my experience, going up is easier (fewer issues) than going down.
      Victor

      • Fred PRoNJ Says:

        Victor,

        I had considered this but the fact that I shot at the target three different times and had to vary my position and hold somewhat had caused me to discount this but it seems the best, viable explanation advanced so far. Chuck may be on the right track by, I assume facetiously, suggesting he was going to turn the entire target paper upside down and shoot again at the missed circle.

        I’ll try something like that, too, to see if that is indeed the cause. Next is to figure out if it’s me or the rifle as if I ever go into competition, it’s something I want to address. I don’t need any help missing targets. I do fine on my own.

        Fred PRoNJ

        • Chuck Says:

          Fred,
          No, I was dead serious. This is an anomaly that has bugged me for quite some time. When it happens again I’m going to turn the target upside down, putting the last two rows at the top. I’ll shoot the new top and bottom rows again and check the difference. Another variation would be to just hang the target higher placing the offending row in the location where the good shots were.
          -Chuck

          • Fred PRoNJ Says:

            Chuck and Victor,

            I’m supposed to be doing some file reviews for an audit but I can’t stop thinking about this anomoly. I also noticed last night that as I aimed lower, ie, picking off the silhouettes (rams) at the bottom of the target paper, my shots were hitting lower as compared with the top two or three rows. I always atributed this to either the scope shifting on my rifle or some type of thermal expansion of the barrel going on that was altering my POI from POA. Have you two noticed this shift as well?

            I really have to get back to my paying job….

            Fred PRoNJ

      • Chuck Says:

        Victor,
        Do you think this would apply to the pneumatics also? Because that’s what I shoot and they do it, too. My Talon does it and my 953 does it as well as my Bronco does it (with glass anyway). I haven’t shot these kind of targets with the peep sight yet. Sounds like a challenge.
        -Chuck

        • Victor Says:

          Chuck,
          Yes. There are several reasons for this. It depends on how you are resting the rifle, and your grip. A slight change on rifle direction causes a corresponding change in the effect of your entire trigger finger hand, and of course, trigger pull. So, the solution is in being very careful about how you squeeze your trigger, and hold the rifle. Follow-through often gives an indication of how you are “biasing” the entire execution. Just keep VERY focused throughout the shot, including a second or two after. I tend to rest my rifles on a small rest that isn’t particularly soft, but is a bit slippery. I have to do EVERYTHING perfect in order to get good shots, as my system is not very forgiving. In particular, when I change my aim up or down.

          But again, springer’s are very consistent in their jump, and so will react precisely against any bias that WE introduce. But I don’t believe that the effects of this bias that WE introduce are exclusive to springer’s. That last once of performance that top competitive marksman extract is often in perfecting thier “natural point of aim” (i.e., that hold/aim, where the “wobble area” is precisely centered around the center of the bull).
          Victor

        • Wulfraed Says:

          While I’d think at short (10m or less) airgun ranges the effect would be minimized (heck, for multi-bull targets at any normal ranges I expect it to be minimal… we’re talking minutes of angle, not degrees), there IS still the potential angle against gravity…

          When shooting up or down hill, the effective trajectory is longer, meaning longer in-flight time, and hence more bullet drop.

          Let’s see… 10 yards (I think faster in US/English units)… Assume top and bottom rows are 5 inches above/below horizontal midline…

          10*3*12 =>360″

          hypotenuse of 360×5 triangle is sqrt(360*360 + 5*5) => 360.0347… or 0.0096% further… How much drop does your pellet have in 0.034″ at the velocity at the target?

          • Victor Says:

            Wulfraed,
            I don’t think that the issue is one of trajectory. I shoot at 20 yards, normally, but even at 10 meters, the bias that we introduce can be significant. At the range I shoot at 50 yards, and I see the exact same thing, whether shooting an air-gun, or my Ruger 10/22. My targets have at least 4 rows, and I have the most difficulty at the lowest bulls. I think that we really do have to make more adjustments than just pointing slightly different. The whole body needs adjustments. Again, the issue is more pronounced as you go lower (if you use a rest like I do), because you are (at least, I am) increasing the pressure between the rifle and the rest. At least this is how things seem to work for (or against) me. Of course, one important detail is level of accuracy we’re trying to achieve. If we’re trying to plink cans, then no big deal, but if we’re trying to shoot sub-half inch groups, then it matters quite a bit.
            Victor

            • Wulfraed Says:

              I did comment that I didn’t think it would be a factor at the angles involved…

              OTOH — if the bottom row were in a pit, and the top row dangling from the cross beam of a pole vault, the angle difference could be significant factor on time-of-flight, and hence degree of drop/rise in the trajectory.

              • Victor Says:

                Wulfraed,
                Understood. But at longer distances, these problems would get more complicated, and harder to ascertain the real cause. So your theory does matter, it’s just more a function of distance. That’s why it’s good to test for certain problems at shorter distances, but not too short.

                Before I ever owned a springer, I had my 397P pumper. I think it took me some 3 months to really master, and get to the point where I felt confident that I knew it’s accuracy potential/limitations. What I came away with was a real appreciation for the art or trigger squeeze, and hold. the 397P is light, and with a heavy trigger (at least heavier than the target guns that I was use to). So it isn’t just springer’s that express certain errors.

                On the other hand, when I fist started shooting springer’s, I found that if I CONSISTENTLY made certain mistakes then I had as many TIGHT groups as those mistakes. Towards the beginning, I was blaming my errors on the scope, but it was always me.

                In the end, the solutions to the problems that we have with any rifle are essentially the same. The problems are almost always mental, so when we overcome ourselves, and execute shots well (i.e., with patience, discipline, attention to detail, and belief in the process), we get good results. It’s so easy to rush, anticipate, or give up on our focus. Sometimes the reason for this is that we simply don’t believe that the process actually works. Or when we are impatient, we just want to get the shot over with, like when we hold our breath for too long.

                I think that part of the problem is that pellets are cheap, so we feel that there’s no real cost to our practice (of what become bad habits). I was taught that long practice sessions were good for building up endurance, because some matches are very long. But there’s another complimentary goal, of SOMETIMES shooting for perfection. The late, great, Malcolm Cooper (multi-Gold medalist and world record holder in 3-position smallbore) did exactly this, and shot at a level that few could believe possible. Malcolm Cooper would shoot only 30 shots (as opposed to the 120 shot course), BUT he’d put EVERYTHING he had into those 30 shots, and performed at a level that if he could duplicate 4 times over, he’d do the virtual impossible. When asked about specific goals (scores), he would answer that he had no particular number in mind. Those 30 shots, usually almost all perfect, effectively eliminated mental boundaries.

                Victor

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              Victor,

              I agree that the body does have to be adjusted for every bull, almost no matter how far away it is. When I was developing the artillery hold I discovered that if I closed my eyes and relaxed, then opened my eyes, if the sights had strayed off-target and I still corrected the alignment to take the shot without adjustment (what we would call “muscling” the shot), the shot would often stray off target in the same direction the sights had moved when I relaxed.

              All this getting into position is a real pain when you are trying to shoot a 10-shot group, because it means that you have to make minor adjustments for each and every shot, since removing the gun for loading ruins your hold.

              B.B.

              • Victor Says:

                B.B.,
                I believe that this is why when shooting to determine the accuracy of a gun, it’s fair to take the best 10 shot group, and not factor in all bulls. If we were shooting a competition, then all bulls should count.
                Victor

              • Chuck Says:

                BB and Victor,
                I’m thinking the body position idea is the culprit in my case – the “muscling” BB is talking about. And I believe this muscling is so subtle that I don’t detect it during the setup and taking the shot. It doesn’t answer all the questions but I think it is a major contributor because I can remember instances where I’d really concentrate, take the shot and follow through but the point of impact will be off target. The sight will still be right on the target after the follow through but then I’ll kind of relax and the sight will move right over to the errant poi. If I move the sight back to the poa and relax again, it shifts back to that errant poi. Now, what am I going to do about it? I know, I know, work on the setup as you’ve described.

                -Chuck

          • Chuck Says:

            wulfraed,
            Good logic but the distance from the midline to the center of the 6th row bullseye is only 3 1/4″ so the result is even smaller and the problem starts to occur with the 5th row where the center of the bull is only 2″ below the midline making an even smaller yet.
            -Chuck

    • lloyd Says:

      Fred,
      Possibly change the lighting and see if the result is different?
      Lloyd

      • Chuck Says:

        lloyd,
        That’s a good suggestion but in my case I have an overhead light plus two spot lights shinning on the target. The bulls are fully and equally illuminated. We will get to the bottom of this.
        -Chuck

    • Orin Says:

      Fred,

      I can’t vouch for offhand groups, since mine aren’t very “groupish” at all. But if you’re talking about benched or rested, I have always had the same problem. My assumption has been consistent with Victor’s statement, that the natural point of aim is influenced when the gun is moved.

      I notice it most when shooting groups at longer distances, like 50 yards. If I shoot all the bulls on one side of the paper, making only elevation changes, I notice it less. If I shoot at each bull on the top row and “carriage return” back to the second row, my groups are likely to shift one way or another on each bull, sometimes 1/4″ or more. This is especially noticeable when switching rows, and particularly on the first shot when the bag is still adapting to my changes.

      Between groups where there is a horizontal shift, I try to really focus on “settling in.” Aside from ensuring a level and parallax-free sight picture, I try to locate the position where there is no lateral pressure on the stock (from the rest) that I am compensating for, and that I’m not altering my weight on the bench to compensate for elevation changes. Even with a repeater, this has to happen before each shot, since cycling the action nearly always influences my POA. I’m sure something similar applies to offhand shooting using body mechanics, as Victor is probably referring to, but like I said, my offhand shooting is hopeless.

      When bench shooting, I always re-parallax adjust the scope between each group. I also shoot with extended eye relief to make use of that black circle that helps further reduce parallax errors. I’m far from perfect, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t a parallax-related phenomenon… at least not at my house.

      - Orin

  • Tunnel Engineer Says:

    All,

    I am back. Well, not really, I read the blog daily, just have had little time to post.

    I have a question that sort of bothers me from time to time. It bothers because it shows my ignorance. I see the aperture sights on the BSF S70 and on the FWB 150 that B.B. posted today and yesterday, respectively. What are the operational differences between them? and when does one want to use one or the other? I would think the sight mounted in the FWB 150 is better because it has a cup and allows a clearer image of the post and target? Why wouldn;t they all look like the FWB 150 sight?

    Cheers
    T.E.

    • kevin Says:

      Tunnel Engineer,

      Good to see you posting.

      Just got back and noticed no one had answered your questions. I’ll give you my two cents and hopefully those with more experience will chime in too.

      “What are the operational differences between the sights on the FWB 150 and the BSF S70?” The williams rear peep sight has coarser adjustment and a larger aperture that makes it useful for informal target shooting, plinking and even hunting. Peep sights limit your field of vision so they’re not ideal for hunting but have been used successfully for many years. I’d call the williams sight a “sporting peep sight.” The match sight set on B.B.’s FWB 150 was designed for 10 meter shooting. The adjustments are very fine. In other words many,many clicks to move the pellet 1/4″ at 10 meters. His FWB factory correct sight also has the ability to accept adjustable iris’s. B.B. has an add on iris in his that has polarizing filters and undoubtedly also has the ability to adjust the size of the rear peep hole (aperture). Other iris’s are available with magnification. You can buy iris’s with the kitchen sink, i.e., multiple polarizing filters, almost unlimited adjustment for rear peep hole size and magnification. Gehmann (big manufacturer of iris’s) recently introduced another add on attachment for an iris called the CLS (Cylindrical Lens System). This attachment fits to an existing iris and will compensate for shooters with astigmatism and will balance size and optical axis of the eye up to 2.0 completely.

      “I would think the sight mounted in the FWB 150 is better because it has a cup and allows a clearer image of the post and target?” An eyecup certainly is an aid since it helps in eliminating glare and allows more consistent cheek placement since the cup can be positioned to touch your brow or nose making a repeatible cheek weld easier.

      “Why wouldn’t they all look like the FWB 150 sight?” Quick target acquisition is one reason as mentioned above. Target sights are typically heavy and with rare exception not many people want the additional weight on a sporting rifle. The other reason is that match sights are usually a set. The front sight needs to be a compatible height for the rear diopter to align. A match rear diopter sight may align with some sporter front sights but not all.

      kevin

  • Chuck Says:

    Even if I didn’t like airguns the “Things Change” paragraph would be reason enough for me to continue visiting this blog. LOL! :-)
    -Chuck

  • AlanL Says:

    TwoTalon:

    You are merciless. Let me get my spinach cans.
    SL, No- don’t even go there!

    AlanL

  • Chuck Says:

    I just noticed something odd about my pellets (and I may be the last one to find this out). I’ve been trying to zero in my IZH-46M more precisely when I found a pellet with an almost square shaped skirt. I started checking other pellets in that tin for skirt shape and decided to roll the pellets on the table top to try and detect out-of-round skirts. I know pellets aren’t perfect but I expected the good pellets to roll evenly across the table and, eventually, come to a gentle stop. But in reality, they roll to a stop and then wobble back and forth rapidly until they stop solidly indicating a flat spot on either the skirt or the head. I tried three different brands of pellets this way and the final wobble was dramatic with all of them.

    I thought maybe the table top had rough spots or grain causing this so I got a piece of glass and tried it again and got the same results. They did roll longer on the glass but in the end they all wobbled back and forth rapidly at the end.

    I put a mark on a pellet and rolled it several times to see if the flat spot was in the same place but the mark did not show up in the same place each time. This rules out a pellet being more dense on one side.

    I thought, then, that maybe the pellets were just trying to seek the bottom of a arc caused by gravity but the ending wobbles are too rapid and positive for that to be true. There is a definite imperfection around the pellet.

    (I know… I gotta get a life. In my defense, I’m waiting delivery on a new motorcycle and can’t stand to sit still for too long.)

    So, to me, this means there are significant, detectable, multiple imperfections in pellets skirt or head roundness and that may affect accuracy along with the hundred of other things we’ve considered.

    I think pellets being out-of-round was also demonstrated when someone recently tried to measure head diameter with calipers.

    A couple years or so ago this blog went through one of those pellet accuracy debates where someone else tested for variations in pellets by using a ruler to make sure the pellet’s arch ended up at the same place on the ruler as they roll into it but I think his test was for variations in length and not roundness.

    -Chuck

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Chuck,

      Now THIS is a prime example of what I wanted to do in the Great Accuracy Test. Test perfect-skirted pellets against imperfect pellets from the same tin.

      Let’s do it. If you find that the perfect pellets always outshoot those with flaws, then a procedure for testing pellets would be beneficial to all who want to shoot better groups.

      B.B.

      • Chuck Says:

        BB,
        I’ll see what I can do with this pellet skirt test but you better pray for more rain in the Midwest because I just got my new Harley tonight and it’s begging for the open road. No, don’t pray for rain. But if you do just be forewarned there are some really unhappy people along the Mississippi River who will be lookng for you if they get any more. As a matter of fact I even had to ride my new bike 15 miles home in the rain tonight.

        HEY UP THERE. IT RAINS IN THE SPRING. OK! I GET IT. NOW CUT IT OUT!

        -Chuck

        • rikib Says:

          Chuck,
          Congrats on the Harley purchase I’m sure you’ll love it!

          rikib

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Chuck,

          When we were first married I promised Edith I wouldn’t ride motorcycles any more, even though to that point I had owned a great many of them. But my life was changing and I thought I could do without them.

          This is the one thing I wish I could take back, because I find that I still want to ride.

          Eevery time I see a bike or hear about someone getting one, it hits home with me. I hope you really appreciate what you have.

          I have nothing to complain about, because in all other ways my life is complete. But I daydream of riding all the time. Edith can tell you that I even criticize the riders who drag their feet when leaving a stop. I was at home on a bike and rode like a Trials rider.

          And I have a You Tube page bookmarked with an Asian guy starting his BMW R27 and just letting it warm up. To me that is like shooting an HW 55 that’s well broken-in.

          So ride on, my friend.

          B.B.

          • Chuck Says:

            BB, Fred, rikib,
            Thanks for the encouragement. This is my third bike. After I retired, I thought I’d try a motorcycle for fun and travel. My first one was a Kawasaki 1500cc Vulcan Classic. It was my intro bike to see if I even liked riding. Turns out I liked it. I really liked the bike, too, but I rode it for only one year because it wasn’t a Harley (my haydays were in the late 50s so I was imprinted the big H, but my parents…you know…my dad called them meat grinders).

            I then bought a brand new Harley (Heritage Classic) in 2003 and put almost 78,000 miles on it. It took me to Fairbanks Alaska, Phar Texas, Santa Rosa California, Halifax Nova Scotia, and all parts between. One of the benefits of living in the Midwest is that you’re almost equidistant from everywhere else. My new one is still a Heritage Classic because it’s the only one that comes already equipped for traveling and will fit my God given short legs (with the help of a lowering kit and a Signature seat). I would rather have gotten a Road King but I couldn’t get it lowered the 4 inches I needed.

            The 2011 Heritage comes with a lot more bells and whistles than the earlier ones. I’m sure I’ll like it as much as I liked the ’03, which I dearly loved, as much as a human can love a machine, anyway. I never did get used to dating a lawn mower. :-)

            -Chuck

            • Fred PRoNJ Says:

              Chuck, I started riding back in 1968. I couldn’t afford a car while going to college and I rode that little 50cc Honda throughout the year. Today, my fingers and toes still show the affects of the numerous cases of frostbite I suffered. I still can’t ride a bike with a radio, preferring my own thoughts. I still ride and have two bikes in the garage but find I have less time to go for a ride.

              Keep it on the wheels.

              Fred PRoNJ

              • Chuck Says:

                Fred,
                I’m with you on the radio thing. I’d rather be alone with my thoughts and nature. The only radio I use is called a Chatterbox which is like a CB on a motorcycle for communicating with another rider when I need to take a pit stop, or need to send an alert about a log in the road ahead, or a deer, or a raccoon, or a pile of shredded truck tire debris, or a lion or a tiger or a bear, Oh MY! :-)
                -Chuck

                • Slinging Lead Says:

                  Low Rider…oops I mean Chuck

                  Many happy trails my friend and keep it between the ditches. Congratulations.

                  • Chuck Says:

                    SL,
                    Ha! Speaking of Low Riders, I looked at them thinking they might be an alternative even though they are more on the street side rather than for touring. But by the time I outfitted one with windshield, saddle bags, and engine guards (the engine guards aren’t stock but I kept them from the old bike) the cost came out close to a Heritage with all the stuff already on the stock model, plus the Heritage is more suited for all day riding.
                    -Chuck

                    • rikib Says:

                      Chuck,
                      Your one fortunate SOB to have that bike. I’m on about my 9th bike but never invested enough to own a Harley. It’s always been a dream a Harley or Indian, finances always win out though. I wish you all the best on your new ride!

                      rikib :)

                    • Chuck Says:

                      Thanks, rikib! I wish you the best in all you do, too. And thanks for the quotes.
                      -Chuck

            • Chuck Says:

              Wulfrard,
              I want to design a bike with hydrolic shocks that settle the bike down to 24 inches at the stop sign but raises to 36″ as it approaches 10mph.
              -Chuck

        • Chuck Says:

          Wulfraed,
          I heard this somewhere but never really checked it out but at 60mph, at 60 degree farenheit the wind chill is 32F. So wear a liner in the jacket for another week or two.
          =Chuck

          • Wulfraed Says:

            If the temp is 60 or less, I stay on the city streets for the commute — 45mph max (the nasty stretch is if I’m returning from a (non-practiced) guitar class… Then the guitar case (back-pack straps) sticking over my head directs the air into the back of my neck… Becomes a case of: keep head up for comfort and ignore speedometer, or tilt head to glance at speedometer and get the chills.

            http://www.ridemyown.com/windchill.shtml give windchill between 41 and 53 (depending on model) for 60 @ 65. (Not that 45mph has much difference: 42-54 by model)

            The dung-beetle is fairly well shielded at the mid/upper speeds. The day I drove it home I was surprised by where I felt the wind… I was not being pushed /back/ in the seat; rather windscreen and deflectors (in front of the grips and down the sides of the front fairing) resulted in a subtle low pressure zone in front, with the air pushing me on the back!

            But yeah… it’s a pity half the driving time here is in that dreaded 65 day/55 evening swing zone; too warm for the cold weather jacket (an older style First Gear Kilimanjaro model –even with the lining taken out and sleeve vents open if the sun is out it gets warm at 60); but a bit cold for the ventilated mesh without the sun.

            • Chuck Says:

              Yeah, I’ve seen guys riding down the street with the back of their shirts up around the back their heads.
              -Chuck

    • lloyd Says:

      I roll pellets across a piece of glass, or even the front of an 8 x 10 picture frame with glass. You can actually roll several at once to cull out the deformed and demented ones.
      Lloyd

      • twotalon Says:

        When I was fooling around measuring and weighing pellets this last week (scales and caliper) I found that it was often easier to look for dinged skirts by placing them in the pan of the scales toward one side and letting them roll back and forth until they came to a rest at the bottom of the pan. The ones that were closest to round smoothly (or almost smoothly) rolled back and forth until they stopped. The dinged ones rolled with a kind of thump-a-thump-a motion and came to more of an abrupt stop.
        Then you have to figure out where you are going to draw the line at how bad they have to be before you reject them.

        twotalon

    • Herb Says:

      RE: Roll test

      Chuck,

      I think you are probably referring to Yrrah’s (Harry’s) roll test. He has improved it a couple of times. The gist is to roll the pellets in an arc. The diameter of the arc depends on the ration between the head and the skirt. If you size the skirts to an absolute size, then the roll test would give true relative head sizes. Start at:
      http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/thread/1301761433/The+definitive+Yrrah+Roll+Tests

      Harry has been trying to perfect long distance shooting – 50+ yards. So really consistent pellets are a much.

      Regards,
      Herb

      • Chuck Says:

        Herb,
        Thanks for that. This looks somewhat familiar. I noticed this link is dated April 2011 so he must have written a repeat because I remember seeing his technique last year or before.
        -Chuck

  • Matt61 Says:

    B.B., nice to see one of your successes in the commerce of airguns. This really is a type of hunting in its own right. I’ve enjoyed the airgun contest pictures, but today’s leaves me at a bit of a loss. Our man is obviously very happy with his pistol. He’s in sort of a Dirty Harry pose but with the wedding ring displayed, so a strong family man too…?

    Robert from Arcade, right you are that I worry too much. Spoken like a man who fights wild animals for a living and quite correct. :-) That explains my early difficulties with marksmanship. The game is to shut out the hypersensitivity or use it productively. And thanks to everyone else for weighing in. It appears I was the victim of internet mythology. The incident in question that set me off was some guy on a discussion board describing in great detail how his Mosin blew up with the breech open sending shrapnel into his face. One commentator wrote that he would certainly find that his firing pin had broken and stuck out up to an inch which was not uncommon with Mosins. Well, on another discussion board in space and time it turned out that the original reporter said that a gunsmith had found no problem with the firing pin and that the problem was some kind of crap surplus that he had loaded. There does seem to be an issue with adjusting your firing pin properly but no cases of the firing pin breaking and sticking out an inch or bolts getting blown through people’s heads. So, nice job librarian in swallowing that cock and bull internet story. I’m reminded of the cult movie Office Space which I recently saw. A character who is supposed to be a dried out old raisin looking forward to the dust of his dreams has an idea that will make him millions which he shares timidly with his co-workers. The idea is modeled on the “pet rock” idea and involves a “Jumping to Conclusions Mat.” You have a mat with squares like hopscotch and you jump on them to various conclusions. Fade out fade in to his prototype which has a square labeled “Loose one turn”….

    Anyway, as for the real state of the Mosin and my plans that is not entirely settled. Yes, I knew from the beginning that the odds were on my side. But when the chunk of a receiver ring buries itself in my skull as actually did happen to one fellow firing an 1895 Lee Navy in 6mm, the odds go to 100% Besides, I have a terrific arsenal of firearms and airguns already as well as many airplanes and helicopters to fly and books to read, so I want enormous redundant safety in place. Boy would I feel dumb as my last thought as the gun blew up…

    I would feel a little better understanding the structure of the Mosin. (Thanks for the Haas reference. I will follow up although I already have the Wayne Van Zwoll reference on bolt-action rifles and it is mighty dense reading.) I have called in experts, one of whom has fired thousands of rounds of all kinds through Mosins for 30 years, and he says that he will occasionally get a a gas leak through the cap on the cocking piece. Actually, he says that he’s had equivalent gas leaks with Mausers so they are about equal on that score. My sense is that while the Mosin design may give up some refinements of gas venting, it is so solid with its thick receiver and massive bolt that it is as safe as anything else out there. The design reminds me of the IZH 61 which dispenses with a safety but is built like a tank. As many pointed out, a society that built the T34 tank and the most reliable rifle in existence in the AK 47 and also quickly got rid of unreliable designs like the SVT 40 is not likely to retain a rifle for 100 years that wasn’t very, very reliable.

    I’m still fixated somewhat on the 1/50 inch clearance for the firing pin outside of which could be death! However, there are probably all sorts of tiny tolerances in the most modern firearms as well as modern machinery like cars which I have been blissfully ignorant of. Thanks, Duskwight, for the info about how the skull-breaking power of the magnum springer is restrained only by a pin. I feel so much better. :-) But really it does put things into perspective. Besides there is a lot I can do to increase the 0s on my probabilities like just dry-firing the $500 sniper rifle for instance or getting a kevlar helmet.

    There is one final issue that is a little broader that I’m curious about. In the inspection of guns, is it possible to detect metal fatigue as distinct from wear? One can obviously see worn out parts but what about metal that is so stressed at the molecular level from overuse (like one of the big WWII battles) that it just goes all at once?

    Slinging Lead, I wouldn’t deprive you of the blessing of seeing Natalia Kovshova. Just do a Google image search on her name. If you mouse over the images, you should see her name pop up. Look for the beauty in the little sailor suit. No swimsuit I’m afraid, but she looks quite striking in another shot with her fur hat tilted rakishly to one side. Reading about her deepens the impression inexpressibly. She and her partner Maria Pavilovna together had a score of 300 which almost reached that of the incomparable Lyudmila Pavlichenko. However, Kovshova and partner were inserted into intense fighting at the Demyansk Pocket. They were cut off and surrounded and when their ammunition gave out, they gave each other a farewell kiss and blew themselves up and numbers of the enemy with grenades. Seeing as their antagonists were probably the SS Totenkopf Division, I can understand their decision. There is also the story of Tanya Baramzina. She’s not in the class of Kovshova and Shanina but a nice-enough looking girl and a kindergarten teacher. She too made a heroic last stand guarding wounded soldiers and was then captured when she was badly wounded. After refusing to give up information while having her eyes gouged out, she was executed by an anti-tank rifle. My God….

    Matt61

  • Victor Says:

    On an off-topic subject, “The Killer”, Harmon Killebrew is giving up his fight with cancer.

    “Killebrew’s eight seasons with 40 or more homers is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth. He won the American League MVP award in 1969, when the Twins won their division and lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the AL championship series.

    The 49 homers, 140 RBIs and 145 walks he compiled that season remain Twins records.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-twins-killebrew

    I was able to appreciate Mr. Killebrew as a very young boy back in the 60′s, and never forgot him.

    Victor

  • Frank B Says:

    BB,I just discovered something kinda weird while examining my NIB BSF 70…..it actually is a B70?!
    It has the beech stock,so it’s not a “nussbaum”…..no Freimark,but the added “WEST” after made in Germany.Is the B prefix odd to you? This one came with a 20mm 4x scope mounted,as well as a trigger shoe.I sure wish it had that beautiful sport aperature!

    • Frank B Says:

      Duh! Nevvermind…..it’s a B55.That makes more sense.Sorry,I have a lot on my mind.

    • kevin Says:

      Frank B,

      Shoulda known. You’ve got one of each.

      Your B70 beech stock is actually a reproduction by Gamo and sells at our local Walmart, with trigger shoe and 4X scope, for $49.95. They’re all marked West Germany and don’t have a Freimark. Since you’re a great friend I’ll offer $80.00 if you’ll include insured shipping to my address. I owe you that much.

      kevin

      ps-I wanna be like you if I decide to grow up.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Frank,

      Before I saw your next remark I checked for you, but I was also confused, so I looked at the 55 designations. Beemans sold an 55 S, N and D rifle. But the listings of the S70 were all the same. I also glanced through the old ARH catalog, but no joy there, either.

      B.B.

      • Frank B Says:

        I do hate that I sent anyone on a wild goose chase.I swear it said B70 the first time I looked.B55 makes more sense……they’re held in very high esteem in the UK.It’s no secret I like the Marksman 70 better.I put my well tested .22 barrel on the action Derrick expertly tuned…..making it the best shooting .22 springer I have,short of the Whiscombe of course.

  • rikib Says:

    Just another off topic quote describing the way I’ve felt several times in my life:

    “Basically you have to suppress your own ambitions in order to be who you need to be.”
    Bob Dylan

    rikib

  • Chuck Says:

    Well, whomever did the praying for rain, cut it out. It’s been raining all day. So with nothing else to do here’s the results of the GAT Damaged Pellet Skirt Test:

    I shot indoors at 10m using my Bronco with the Beeman peep sight and JSB Exact RS 7.33gr pellets.

    This first link is to two targets.

    The target on the left shows a 10 shot group using the JSB pellets in good condition. They all rolled freely on the table top with no discernible wobble. I didn’t wait for them to stop and do that little rapid wobble I reported yesterday. In this test, if they rolled good I used them. The second target shows a 5 shot group using the JSB pellets but with damaged skirts. I only did 5 shots because it was obvious how bad things were. However they weren’t as bad I thought they would be. I thought at least one would miss the paper completely.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/DamagedPellets?authkey=Gv1sRgCI2219rxzIDY_gE#5606694397311691890

    This second link is to the picture of the damaged pellets I made with a pair of pliers. The results are in the second target of the first link.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/DamagedPellets?authkey=Gv1sRgCI2219rxzIDY_gE#5606694393471156322

    Mr. Obvious’s Conclusion – Yes, damaged pellet skirts kinda mess thing up.

    -Chuck

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Chuck,

      That’s a good start to this test. Now we need as many people as possible doing it, and doing it with pellets straight from the tin. We want to see if we can identify the bad pellets by rolling them on glass.

      Thanks for your efforts. This may turn out to be a great discovery.

      B.B.

      • Slinging Lead Says:

        Chuck

        I thought the conclusion I was supposed to draw was, ‘Don’t insert pellets into your rifle with a pair of pliers.’ I am always missing the point.

  • Herb Says:

    RE: Victor’s comments above at May 14, 2011 at 11:13 am
    “I believe that this is why when shooting to determine the accuracy of a gun, it’s fair to take the best 10 shot group, and not factor in all bulls. If we were shooting a competition, then all bulls should count.”

    Victor was in essence referring to “flyers” while shooting at a target with multiple bulls. The problem being that one of the bulls on the targets is at a more natural position than the rest, and the shooter muscles the gun to the other bulls on the target causing poorer aim (relative POI and/or group size).

    I’ve come more and more to thinking that “flyers” control group size more than most of us casual shooters suspect. Here “flyer” simply means a shot with a much larger deviation than possible (normal) for whatever reason.

    I played with calculating the binomial probabilities of getting a flyer. If you have only a 7% chance of a flyer, then it is about 50/50 that a given 10-shot group will have a flyer. Thus for a “few” 10-shot targets, the best target might just be a reasonable estimator of group size “when everything is going right.” It isn’t the gun and the ammo, but the absence of shooter errors. To have a 95% chance of a 10-shot target without a flyer requires about a 0.5% chance for a flyer. That is a skill level that I certainly don’t have.

    “Few” here is key. Obviously if you shoot a thousand 10-shot targets, then the target with the best group size will have no flyers and some luck. But for say less than 10 group size measurements, there aren’t really enough measurements to analyze for flyers and determine an average. Small sample statistics just stink.

    Obviously nearly anyone could shoot a “lucky” 3-shot target fairly often. But, for most of us, it would seem that a “good” 10-shot target would be more due to the absence of a flyer than it is that the 10-shots in sequence were “lucky.”

    So there is a very subtle shooter bias creeping into the number of shots in a group. A poor shot such as myself wants needs fewer shots in a group to avoid getting a flyer in the group. But with less shots in the group, the probability of getting what is just a “lucky” good group increases. It takes real experience and honed technique to have the mastery necessary to put 10 good shots in sequence into a target. A 10-shot group isn’t just testing the weapon and the ammo, it is a real test of the shooter’s proficiency as well.

    Regards,
    Herb

    • Victor Says:

      Herb,
      Yes, as B.B. and I have noticed, a slight change in point of aim requires a complete adjustment of the hand, and even body, relative to the rest. But it doesn’t stop there. As B.B. additionally noted, every time you cock the gun, you then have to find that consistent hold and trigger placement. Consistency is everything, if you want repeatable performance. Competitive marksman know not to lose their position, especially footing. Air-pistol shooters use PCP’s so that they don’t have to lose their grip.

      And YES, it also comes down to the ability of the shooter. But that ability is often a result of attention to these details, and as I wrote previously, faithfully executing the entire process (i.e., belief in the process). Impatience, anticipation, and even desperation, are the enemies (or opposite) of this faith and belief. Worse case (where we shoot with a desperate mindset), we might as well be throwing the pellets at the target. :)

      Victor

      • Herb Says:

        Victor,

        I agree with you. Sorry that my wordiness seems to have obscured that message. I was trying to clarify a couple of points along your line of thought.

        (1) Shooter inconsistencies create abnormal shots which could be considered to be fliers.

        (2) Flyers are hard to analyze with limited amounts of data.

        The percentage of flyers and the relative degradation of a flyer are unknown quantities for the most part. Difference sources of flyers would each have their own relative fraction of occurring and average effect.

        It would take a lot of groups to figure out those quantities for flyers. Off the top of my head I can’t think of a “reasonable” way to evaluate flyers using group size. It would just require too many group size measurements to be practical.

        (3) Given that you accept that the average shooter is inconsistent, then his best 10-shot group size may be a reasonable estimator of the best performance possible when few 10-shot groups are available. Here the best group is assumed to the one with the least shooter mistakes, not the group with the luckiest string of 10 individual shots.

        The “best group” concept is murky. The fewer shots per group, or if a large number of 10-shot groups are shot, then the idea isn’t valid. For those cases it is possible to shoot at least one “lucky” group.

  • Chuck Says:

    Here is today’s GAT test with damaged skirts.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/DamagedPelletSkirts2#5607050512364657586

    I found by accident what I think is a good way to test for damaged skirts. I wanted a surface what was smooth but would not allow my pellets to roll off onto the floor. I noticed a 1,000 piece puzzle box on my coffee table that had the ideal lid large enough to do this test. With the lid upside down on the table no clever pellet could escape and fall on the floor to be stepped on. I swear they do this intentionally. They go somewhere they can’t be seen yet somewhere they can be stepped on.

    I found out something in the process of using this lid. The lid is slightly bowed cardboard and when the pellets roll across the top of it they make a noise. They make a noise as the roll across my table top and a piece of glass, too, but the cardboard lid actually amplifies that noise.

    In looking for bad skirts, I didn’t see any noticeable wobbling but I could hear a ticking sound as the bad pellets rolled along. Upon examining the ticking pellet skirts I could see that they had flat spots causing the noise. These are the ones I set aside in the bad pile for this test. The pellets that rolled easily and didn’t tick I put in the good pile.

    After comparing the results I have decided that someone else needs to grade the shots because I don’t see enough difference to form an opinion. This myth is busted. At least at 10m.

    If anyone else has a Bronco and some JSB Exact RS 7.33 pellets I’d sure like to see the results at 25 yards.

    -Chuck

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Chuck,

      Yes, the range needs to be at least 25 yards for any difference to show. And farther is better.

      What we are trying to see is if this procedure adds anything beneficial to the process of selecting long-range pellets.

      B.B.

    • Herb Says:

      RE: Damaged Pellets

      I think we have all played with this. To a large extent rotation helps mitigate damage to the pellet. With no ration damage would probably change groups into patterns.

      Yrrah (Harry) on the yellow has done some nice work on this and has video! See this thread on how he damaged heads and skirts with a triangular file.
      http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/thread/1304207072

      Here is koljo posting on yellow shooting damaged pellets at 44 yards. Noticeable damage to skirts but he still got a good group.
      http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/thread

      So Yes, damage will cause group size to increase. But hard to quantify either the amount of damage to a pellet or how much effect the damage will have on group size.

      Regards,
      Herb

    • Herb Says:

      Chuck,

      Forgot to say that was an awesome observation with box and noise. Makes me want to go out and buy a drum!

      LOL,
      Herb

      • Chuck Says:

        Herb,
        I didn’t think of that. The drum would also prevent the pellets from falling on the floor, too. My youngest son is a drummer and he used to keep his drums in my garage. I just looked when I read your comment but they’re gone. All that’s left are a couple cymbal stands. I could have done a comparison for you. Maybe he has an old one he doesn’t use anymore. It’s be a hoot to see how it works.
        -Chuck

  • rikib Says:

    Well it’s been 3-4 months since I’ve shot my modified 2240 due to health & vision problems. CO2 was still good for about 15 shots, I thought it would be dead. Can’t say as I hit much, new contacts. Need to readjust scope, felt good to shoot again though.

    Can’t leave without a quote :)

    “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
    Buddha

    rikib

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