SIG Sauer P226 X5 BB pistol: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The SIG Sauer P226 X-5 combo BB pistol comes as an adjustable-sight version for just a few dollars more than the same gun with fixed sights.

Today, I’m testing the velocity of this SIG Sauer P226 X5 combo BB pistol. There are several claims about this pistol that I was encouraged to check in my testing. I’ll hit all of them as I go through the gun for you, and perhaps I’ll bring in a few questions of my own.

Discharge noise
The first claim that some owners of the pistol had was it is very loud. I read that from a lot of test reports and owner reviews, so I was curious to see for myself.

In my opinion, this CO2 pistol is no louder than any other CO2 BB pistol of similar power. I just finished testing the GSG 92 a couple weeks ago, and it’s certainly every bit as loud as this one. That left me puzzled as to why so many reports of the gun’s loudness appear on the internet. It’s true that I’m older and have lost some of my hearing sensitivity, so perhaps there’s something in that. I remember many years ago when Jim Maccari said that gas spring guns all had a crack to their report that I was absolutely unable to hear. So, I conducted a small comparison test between the SIG Sauer P226 X5 and an Umarex Makarov.

To my ears, the guns were equally loud. The Makarov has a deeper report, probably because it lacks the blowback feature, so I can hear a difference in the reports, but one gun seems just as loud as the other.

At any rate, the SIG P226 X5 is not a loud air pistol, in my opinion, and I’m going to advise Pyramyd Air to change the noise rating from four down to three. Now, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. This pistol does make noise when it shoots. I’m just saying that it is no louder than any other CO2 pistol of similar power.

Lead balls?
Blog reader Jim asked if the pistol could use lead balls and how they might affect the performance. I normally don’t shoot lead in BB guns unless there’s a compelling reason to do so, such as the gun has a rifled barrel or, in the case of antique guns, a larger bore. Then, I’ll try lead balls instead of steel BBs. Fortunately, I’ve also collected and shot zimmerstutzens over the years, and I have a small stash of lead balls in some of the 30 different sizes they once came in. So, I can pick and choose my sizes to a certain extent.

The smallest balls I have available are 4.3mm in size, which is the No. 7 on the new ball size chart for zimmerstutzens. If you’re interested in learning more about zimmerstutzen rifles, I wrote a large article about them for the 1998 edition of Airgun Revue. You can read that article here. This ball converts to 0.1693 inches in diameter, and it weighs 7.2 grains.


Here are two sizes of lead balls I tried in the SIG Sauer P226 X5 pistol. The 4.3mm balls (left) are for zimmerstutzen rifles. The 4.4mm copper-plated balls are for various vintage BB guns that use lead balls…like the Haenel 310 and others.

The next convenient ball size I have are 4.4mm copper-plated lead balls that I bought in bulk many years ago so I’d have a lifetime supply for my Haenel 310 rifle. They also work well in the Mars-series of smoothbore BB guns, as well as the very fine Czech VZ 35 and VZ 49 bolt-action BB rifles. These are 0.1732 inches in diameter and weigh an average of 7.70 grains. They’re the balls I often use in older (1910-1925) Daisy BB guns that were made to shoot air rifle shot of 0.175 inches.

But this pistol doesn’t have a rifled barrel or an odd-sized bore, so why is Jim interested in shooting lead balls in it? Well, he shoots in his garage and he wants to avoid bounceback, which steel BBs are noted for. After examining the magazine and determining that it will feed the lead balls properly, I conducted a small test to see if they would work. Both sizes worked fine and I will report the results after the steel BB velocities.

Velocity test
I tested the gun with Daisy zinc-plated BBs only because extensive testing has proven them to be the most uniform and the largest BBs on the market today. Both uniformity and diameter are important to accuracy and velocity in smoothbore guns.

Thirteen BBs averaged 345 f.p.s. on a fresh CO2 cartridge. The range of velocity was larger — from a high (first shot) of 376 to a low (10th shot) of 321 f.p.s. This is way above the advertised velocity of just 300 f.p.s., which is something I also experienced with the GSG 92 pistol a couple weeks ago. These pistols are being reported by their manufacturers at lower power than they really have, for some reason. The muzzle energy of the average velocity is 1.35 foot-pounds. [Edith changed the Pyramyd Air page so it now shows 376 f.p.s.]

The 4.3mm lead balls I only shot three times, just to test the feeding. They went 324 f.p.s., 294 and 303 f.p.s. Let’s say they average 308 f.p.s. That gives us an average muzzle energy of 1.52 foot-pounds.

The 4.4mm balls I also shot just three times and they functioned perfectly. They went 295, 288 and 303 f.p.s. The average is 295 f.p.s. and the muzzle energy works out to 1.49 foot-pounds.

Blowback
This pistol has blowback and the slide is metal, so the impulse ought to be substantial. I can’t say that it is, however. You do feel it, but not as readily as the GSG 92, which seems to jump a lot more. Maybe that impression will change once I shoot the gun for accuracy because that’s when I really noticed the GSG 92′s recoil for the first time.

Compensator
As far as I am able to determine, the compensator does nothing. It’s just there for looks. That could be misleading, though. If the compensator works as it should, it could explain why I think the recoil is lower than it should be. The comp may be holding the gun’s muzzle down when it fires.

Trigger
The trigger continues to be delightful. It’s a two-stage unit with a definite stop at stage two. Then the stage-two pull-through is long, and you can feel the blade move, but it’s free from creep. Creep is the sticky start-stop movement some triggers have. It’s not a target trigger, but rather a good fast-action trigger that seems in keeping with the rest of the gun.

Performance to this point
Thus far I would say I’m still impressed by this pistol. While it isn’t as loud as some folks said, I don’t see that as a bad thing. And although the blowback recoil isn’t as prevalent as that of the GSG 92, it does recoil some and does represent the realistic feel of a small-caliber firearm. And that’s all I think blowback has to do, besides cocking the hammer.

It’s accuracy that I am most interested in, after hearing all the reports. That test will be next, and I’m eagerly awaiting it.

64 thoughts on “SIG Sauer P226 X5 BB pistol: Part 2



      • In England,it is sometimes customery for the birthday boy/girl to bring in cakes and buns for eveyone.
        Is it the same in the USA?
        If so,I’d better give you my address to send it to. lol

        Have a happy Birthday Edith and thank you for all you do.
        Dave


        • DaveUK,

          Thank you!

          Usually, the birthday person is surprised with gifts & a cake. In my case, I will get to eat dinner at Outback Steakhouse tonight. We spent the entire weekend…starting late Friday morning…celebrating my birthday.

          It’s great to be alive and living large :-)

          Edith



            • Celebrated the entire weekend?! It is good to know that BB is back in prime form, but that is still too much information. ;-)

              Mrs Slinging Lead and I prefer the porterhouse at Longhorn Steakhouse, but to each their own.

              Congratulations birthday girl!!



                • Edith & Tom,

                  Interesting. My wifes birthday is August 28th and our anniversary is August 30th.

                  Now you know why neither of you will get gifts from me in August. :-)

                  kevin


      • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EDITH!!. Why, you young whippersnapper, I remember when I was just 63…

        P.S. I like Krispy Kreme doughnuts.


    • J-F, how did you come across this interesting piece of information? Happy birthday, Edith. Diana Nyad currently embarked on swimming from Cuba to Key West, a distance of 103 miles that will take her 2.5 days, has some words just for you: 60 is the new 40!

      Matt61


      • Matt61,

        Thank you!

        When I see my reflection, I’m surprised that I’m not 30 years younger. And that’s not a joke. It’s a surprise because I don’t look as young as I feel :-)

        Edith


      • I took good note of it when it was mentionned last year, put a reminder on my phone and waited for 00:01 for todays blog to be published and be the first one to wish Edith a happy birthday.

        J-F



  1. B.B.

    Percieved sound levels are a subjective thing in the first place. That’s even when people making the comparison have perfect hearing. Often it has a lot to do with making some kind of comparison to something else.
    For example….
    Making the comparison to the sound of gunshots in the movies on TV. Just about anything will sound louder.

    The location that you shoot at makes an awful amount of difference in how it sounds to the shooter. And others.
    Example….
    Shooting in wide open flat areas where there is nothing for the sound to bounce back from as opposed to shooting near a lot of large hard surfaces for the sound to reflect from. Then there is shooting in an enclosed area like the garage or basement with all those hard flat surfaces.

    A gun that sounds very quiet in the right place can make your ears ring when shot in the wrong place.

    It can also sound much different between the shooter and others within hearing range because of how the sound is projected.

    twotalon


    • twotalon,
      What you say is very true. I experienced this first hand. I have learned to not stand next to a wall or partition at the shooting range because of the higher noise level. My .38 Special is loud but standing next to a wall it seems twice as loud.


      • From what I have heard, it takes about ten times as much difference in sound to give the average person the impression that something sounds twice as loud or half as loud as something else.
        Half or twice is a 3 db difference but you need a 10 db difference to make it sound like half or twice as much.

        twotalon


    • When I said it was loud I was comparing it to the Tanfoglio Witness 1911 http://new.pyramydair.com/s/m/Tanfoglio_Witness_1911_Pistol/2534
      Could the extra length of the pistol with the compensator help muffle the sound of it? Maybe the CO2 level was lower on the 1911 compared to the SIG…
      I shot both pistols at the same time on more than one occasion and at more than one location and noticed it was louder every time.
      I’ll compare them to the PPK which also has blowback but a shorter barrel to see if it makes a difference.

      I hope your pistol will be as accurate as mine is, I was able to take the bull completely out at 20 feet with one mag without waiting between shots, the 1911 groups looked more like they we’re shot from a shotgun compared to it (but to it’s defense it lost the front sight so it was quite a bit harder to aim).

      J-F


      • I don’t have one of these pistiols.
        However I have shot a few different ones over the course of my life. There can be a difference caused by caliber, barrel length, or the amount of CO2 used for each shot. A compensator can make it sound louder because some of the pressure at the muzzle is directed back toward the shooter instead of straight ahead. Please note that I am NOT talking about silencers, no matter how altered terminology is often used on some websites.

        This is why a real brake, Magnaporting, combinations of brake/air stripper/flash surpressor make the gun louder to the shooter. Then threr are firearm revolvers…. the gas leak at the junction between the front of the cylinder and barrel sipt high pressure straight out the sides right in front of your hand.

        twotalon


  2. B.B.

    I tried lead BB shot in an old Benji smoothbore pumper I had a long time ago. It was a real shotgun with steel BBs, but shot the lead very well. This was a bag of old shotgun shot that was larger than steel BBs and fit the bore tightly.

    twotalon


    • twotalon,

      Those old Benjis were made for lead, if they are old enough. And in the more modern ones the slightly larger lead helps seal the bore better. You may have had some shotgun shot size BB, which is 0.180″, nominally.

      B.B.



        • twotalon,

          Yes, I understand they were shotgun pellets. I’m saying they might have been shot size BB, which is where the BB gun came from, because shot size BB was what the earliest Daisy BB gun used.

          Shot size BB is in-between size B (smaller) and BBB (larger).

          B.B.



          • Back at the time I got that old Benji the also had repeaters for shooting lead balls and rifled guns (non repeaters) for single shot. I guess you could load pellets singly in both .177 and .22…..or lead balls.
            Been a long time , but I think I am right. There was a magazine tube along the side of the gun to hold the balls if it was a repeater.

            twotalon



  3. Edith,

    My Birthday wishes to you (courtesy of Bob Dylan):

    May God bless and keep you always
    May your wishes all come true
    May you always do for others
    And let others do for you
    May you build a ladder to the stars
    And climb on every rung

    May you grow up to be righteous
    May you grow up to be true
    May you always know the truth
    And see the lights surrounding you
    May you always be courageous
    Stand upright and be strong

    May your hands always be busy
    May your feet always be swift
    May you have a strong foundation
    When the winds of changes shift
    May your heart always be joyful
    And may your song always be sung
    May you stay forever young

    A very Happy Birthday.

    kevin

    ps-sure wish someone would take me to outback steakhouse tonight.


    • Kevin,

      Thank you! I grew up with Bob Dylan songs. While he’s an oddball, I liked many of his songs. Thanks for the serenade :-)

      I love birthdays. It means I’m still kicking. Getting old is GREAT and sure beats the alternative!

      Edith


      • Edith,

        Happy Birthday! May you be blessed with many more!

        Outback Steakhouse! What a place! Unfortunately, the nearest one to me is 200 miles away.
        But we do have some very good local steakhouses where the food compares well.

        Your presence on this forum adds immensley. Thanks for all the work you do.

        Les


        • Les,

          Thanks for the b-day wishes. I guess we’ve never lived far enough into the countryside to be more than a few minutes from an Outback.

          I love the blog and the family-like feel it has. You can speak your mind and not get trounced, ask questions without someone making fun of you and meet airgunning friends across the globe that you never knew you had :-)

          Edith


  4. I’m a little impatient with devices like the faux compensator on this pistol that is there only for looks. I should acquaint them with a new gun that I saw this weekend while catching up on my Safeway reading of gun magazines. The new weapon is a bullpup .50 cal rifle with an obscenely large compensator, but I’ll bet it works or the shooter wouldn’t be around very long. All the same, I believe this bullpup company would do well to rethink the difference between a genuine new product and a marketing ploy.

    Wayne, wow, I am impressed with your wind-reading abilities. David Tubb and Nancy Tompkins talk about finding the cycle of the wind and shooting at the same time. However, waiting does have its price. If you wait too long, you have to rush your shots in the remaining time. But they don’t talk at all about updrafts and curls to the wind. My two ranges have either tall berms and trees in the one case which pretty much screen out the wind or in the other case a howling wind that makes it pretty much impossible to shoot anything other than high power rifles. What would it be like I wonder to pull out all the stops and design a course with all the area except for shooting lanes to the targets seeded with little flags? Then, you could just read off the wind patterns. But I suppose that would decrease the challenge too. Say, how did the U.S. do overall in the competition? I may have missed that in your description. And that’s great shooting with the .343 inch groups. I don’t believe I’ll be challenging you any time soon.

    Wulfraed and Victor, you are both correct with your rifling angle of 4.4 degrees. But Wulfraed, why flagellate yourself with the calculus program? You’ve got it licked. The toilet roll approach leads to a solution that is simplicity itself. Slit a 9 inch section of barrel lengthwise (in such a way that the rifling–defined either as a land or a groove–corresponds to a diagonal of the resulting rectangle). Then calculate the rifling angle theta from the equation tan(theta) = width of the rectangle/length of rectangle. Victor, I too had the question of whether rifling really does correspond to a straight line under this transformation, but the answers seem to indicate that it does. Besides, it seems to me that if your rifling was other than a straight line, that you would not get a regular helix or a constant twist rate.

    The problem with my .7098 angle was not from my resource but from me. He just ran the numbers I provided for my equations and actually came up with an answer which is more than I did. But the information I gave him was not correct. My equation for the helix was

    x(t) = (-asin(t), asin(t), bt)

    where a is the radius of the circle and b measures the “stretch” of the helix. a is easily read off from the caliber of the bore. For b, I naively filled in the value 9 based on the 1:9 twist rate, but it is not that simple. Upon looking again, it would be more correct to calculate b based on the equation

    s = sqrt(a^2 + b^2)t

    where s is the arclength of the helix and t is time. There is in theory enough information based on the speed of the projectile although one would have to fudge this since muzzle velocity is not the same as the increasing speed down the barrel…. Anyway, this is not even in the same league with your solutions. Victor, I see that you dealt correctly with the stretch of the helix with your calculation of period. I was never that comfortable working with periods of sine and cosine curves, and anyway, you’ve obviously got it right. :-) As a librarian, I thrill to continuing education and self-study. I never did that great at calculus myself in my formal schooling.

    Now, then, as to the arc length of the helix in a 9 inch section of barrel, you’re on. Or should I say, borrowing from Star Trek:

    “Mr. Spock, calculate the arc length of a helix in a 9 inch section of a rifle barrel of caliber .223 with a 1:9 twist rate.”

    I don’t have my book handy and the equation for arc length that I recall is not something I’m enthusiastic about. But how about this. Pretend to be a little man on a fixed position of a bullet as it spins its way down 9 inches of barrel and see how far he goes. He definitely travels 9 inches, and he also travels the circumference of the bore as the bullet completes one revolution around its axis. And I don’t believe he does anything else. So that would be 9 inches + .223(pi) inches = 9.70 inches. Could it be this simple? I’m sure that you can verify.

    On the subject of numbers, how sad to see the reduction in the U.S. credit rating. But can we take consolation in this demonstration of democracy that a U.S. company is downgrading the credit rating of its own government…. More seriously, this is an unfortunate thing since the notion of being solvent and good for your debts is a very deep part of values of independence and free trade, and it is not fun to be reamed out by the Chinese, makers of bad airguns. On the other hand, if the reason why Standard and Poor downgraded the government’s credit rating is a lack of confidence inspired by the embarrassing and dysfunctional debt negotiations…well, I can’t say I exactly disagree. The fact is that AAA or even AA+ are not exactly the terms that come to mind. Nevertheless, working the silver lining for all it’s worth, perhaps this move is a positive development in showing politicians that their childish behavior and fantasy calculations do have consequences in the real world.

    Matt61


    • I don’t have my book handy and the equation for arc length that I recall is not something I’m enthusiastic about. But how about this. Pretend to be a little man on a fixed position of a bullet as it spins its way down 9 inches of barrel and see how far he goes. He definitely travels 9 inches, and he also travels the circumference of the bore as the bullet completes one revolution around its axis. And I don’t believe he does anything else. So that would be 9 inches + .223(pi) inches = 9.70 inches. Could it be this simple? I’m sure that you can verify.

      “Could it be this simple”

      Of course not… Your summation is the spiral stair equivalent of a planar (?) walk down the block, turn left, and walk to the end of that block, and stating the crow flies that distance…

      If you use the sqrt(sum of squares) you get the closer value (back to the the givens being two sides of a right triangle, and computing the hypotenuse).


    • Matt61,

      Back in the day, when I use to do math intensive stuff for a living, the problems were rarely so simple that intuition could be so easily relied upon. The best approach was to just to the math, which is what I did in this case. Many problems required a lot of information gathering to know what was available. As an example, missing a single piece of available data, one guy wrote a books worth of solution based on approximation techniques, whereas I reduced the problem to half a page of derivation and a closed formed solution, because I found that one critical pieces of information. The reason that people do “research” is because intuition often fails when problems reach a certain level of complexity. You have to be highly skilled, and have a wealth of knowledge and resources in order to know what to even consider. I’ve never considered myself a genius, so I have always relied on a disciplined approach to things.

      As for our government, the only real concern they (both sides) had was how to protect the interest of ultra-rich. We no longer have a government “of the people”, nor “for the people”. More and more, “we the people” are being reduced to eating scraps that fall off the table. That’s what this whole debate was about, what scraps were THEY going to drop, or not drop. THEY only serve themselves, and their associates (who don’t even have to be constituency). It’s also becoming rare that our “captains of industry” are interested in investing in the country that gives them corporate welfare, I mean incentives (payed for by the rest of us). America is in serious decline because “we the people” no longer have any real say in ANY matter. I find it to be absolutely stunning! Divide and conquer really does work.

      Victor


    • Matt61,

      As for our government, the only real concern they (both sides) had was how to protect the interest of ultra-rich. We no longer have a government “of the people”, nor “for the people”. More and more, “we the people” are being reduced to eating scraps that fall off the table. That’s what this whole debate was about, what scraps were THEY going to drop, or not drop. THEY only serve themselves, and their associates (who don’t even have to be constituency). It’s also becoming rare that our “captains of industry” are interested in investing in the country that gives them corporate welfare, I mean incentives (payed for by the rest of us). America is in serious decline because “we the people” no longer have any real say in ANY matter. I find it to be absolutely stunning! Divide and conquer really does work.

      Victor


    • Matt61,
      I tried to reply to your comment about government in more detail, but it was apparently censured. Maybe I’ll have more luck this time by just saying, we get the government that we deserve.
      Victor


  5. Just trying a few things out since no one answered about the quotes thing… I also found a few smileys I wanted to try. This post can be deleted.

    {trying to quote} :oops:
    :evil:
    :twisted:
    :shock:
    :rolleyes:


  6. Matt61,

    Back in the day, when I use to do math intensive stuff for a living, the problems were rarely so simple that intuition could be so easily relied upon. The best approach was to just to the math, which is what I did in this case. Many problems required a lot of information gathering to know what was available. As an example, missing a single piece of available data, one guy wrote a books worth of solution based on approximation techniques, whereas I reduced the problem to half a page of derivation and a closed formed solution, because I found that one critical pieces of information. The reason that people do “research” is because intuition often fails when problems reach a certain level of complexity. You have to be highly skilled, and have a wealth of knowledge and resources in order to know what to even consider. I’ve never considered myself a genius, so I have always relied on a disciplined approach to things.

    Victor


    • Of course there is the minor unintuitive result that, if one uses enough significant digits (and given the presence of Pi, that could be MANY), the calculation of the crossing angle for the rifling will give a different angle for the grooves than it will for the lands — yet we know they must be parallel to each other.

      The only visualization I have is that, if one were to “shave” the barrel outside so that the metal remaining from the grooves is only a few angstrom’s thick, then do the split and lay flat, the top of the exposed lands would have to break open every so often to account for the shorter helix (top of lands) being stretched to the same length as the longer helix (bottom of grooves). (Or the longer grooves would have to buckle and wrinkle to match the shorter lands).

      So for simplicity, one should maybe just pick the average between lands and grooves:

      angle = arctan((radius_land + radius_groove) * Pi / length)

      (I’m playing off a textual optimization here — rather than specify
      (diameter_land + diameter_groove) / 2
      as one would expect to see for the mean, I took pre-divided and just added them)


  7. Off topic question:
    Do the following “target shooting” techniques work well when shooting a break-barrel, or do you need to maintain the same hand position, and no sling “anchoring” due to the rifle’s hold sensitivity ?

    Technique 1. When firing from prone, more the front hand forward and back on the forearm of the rifle until the sights are on the target.

    Technique 2. Use a sling that goes from the front of the rifle’s forearm, over the shooter’s front hand, and then behind the shooter’s upper arm to ensure the sling and not the muscles of the shooter’s front arm are holding the weight of the rifle.

    Thanks,
    John


    • I’m not a competitive shooter, so my few times enwrapped in a sling may have been misuse… But I don’t recall a sling ever supporting the weight of the rifle… The sling pulls the rifle into my shoulder (look ma, no right hand) while the weight is balanced in the palm of my left hand.

      I’m trying to visualize how my hand is wrapped with the sling (all my “sling”ed rifles carry leather two-piece military style slings — even the .30 M1 Carbine)… Let’s see… muzzle up, sling to left; left arm through loop up to biceps; swing forearm deosil between sling and stock until sling wraps from outside elbow to inside wrist; sling should fall between thumb and forefinger; rest stock on palm, slide hand back to tension/pull stock into right shoulder; stock rests on sling which rests in palm of hand.

      BTW — it’s not just break-barrels… it’s spring/piston guns other than those supposedly “recoil-less” models that are supposed to be hold sensitive. Since many of them have a stock attachment screw near the pellet end of the tube, any sling would be pulling the spring tube in a different direction to free-floating…

      Hmmm… Has any company ever tried to design a spring/piston gun using an under-barrel piston, where the cocking lever operates like that of the Daisy x53 models? The release mechanism would be the trick — since the piston/sear hold would have to be near the muzzle end of the stock you’d have to have some sort of stiff rod linkage (maybe an internal striker — the piston/sear end latches during spring cocking, the trigger/striker is cocked by opening the bolt to load; on release the striker hits the rear of the transfer bar knocking the far end out of the piston)

      Would be able to put a full-length barrel (or longer — 24″ maybe) on a full-length spring tube, and keep the whole thing the length of a carbine model.


    • John,
      What you described, regarding the use of a sling as target shooters do is almost right. Target shooters use a different kind of sling than, say, hunters. We don’t use a sling for carrying the rifle, but rather to help hold the rifle up, so that we don’t use muscles. One other difference is the rifles themselves. Target rifles have an accessory rail that allow you slide your hand-stop up or down until you find the right position for you. Some shooters prefer to hold the rifle higher, so they move the hand-stop in closer. Other shooters (most) like a lower position, so they move the hand-stop out. Target slings attached to the hand-stop. The hand faces up, and is cornered into the stock for-arm and hand-stop. The sling is wrapped around the back of the wrist at one end, and wrapped around the back of the arm at the other end. There’s a buckle and that allows you to adjust the length of the sling, and a tension stop that can be tightened by a knob, allowing the sling to stay put, usually near the arm-pit. So you form a triangle between your wrist (hand-stop/forearm), your upper arm, and the butt of the rifle into your opposite shoulder. Of course, you have to adjust your entire body so that you end up with a position that is both comfortable and correct. You form a foundation between both elbows and your mid-section. Most raise their dominant leg to raise the mid-section to reduced the effects of blood pressure (pulse). But in the end, you should not be using muscle to hold the rifle up. I, personally, prefer to shoot with a sling, as described above, than use any kind of rest.

      As for using a sling with non-high-end target rifles, including springer’s (i.e., your more typical springer), that’s a good question. The reason that the “artillery hold” helps is because springer’s tend to resist hold. I can only imagine that using a sling to hold a springer still will only lead to more resistance, but I’ve never tried that, as none of my springer’s came with an accessory rail. I have been curious about this very thing myself, so I ordered an Anschutz compatible accessory rail from Champion Shooters Supply. They are easy to find on-line. Now all I need is a gun that I’m willing to “modify” to add the rail. That is the only way that I know of to test whether a sling is any better than using the artillery hold off a rest (which I doubt). In addition to rails, Champion shooters also sells slings and hand stops. These rails can be cut to fit in the limited space under the forearm, but some break barrels go pretty far back, making it a tough fit. Something to try.

      Victor


      • Target shooters use a different kind of sling than, say, hunters. We don’t use a sling for carrying the rifle, but rather to help hold the rifle up, so that we don’t use muscles.

        Hence my mention of using “military two-piece” slings… While capable of being used for carry, the longer piece is in front and forms a complete loop with sliding keepers, using claw-hooks for length adjustment. By moving the bottom keeper up a ways you create a “biceps” shooting loop. The second piece has a sliding ring fitting, going back to the rear swivel, and up to attach with claw hooks to the front looping part. Adjusting the length of the front part adjusts the position of the shooting loop, adjusting the second piece controls the length of the non-shooting part/carry-strap (and by tediously shifting the front part through the swivel you can snug up or loosen the carry length without changing the shooting length).

        One other difference is the rifles themselves. Target rifles have an accessory rail that allow you slide your hand-stop up or down until you find the right position for you.

        There’s the main difference — you’ve got a hand stop you preset; I’m using the sling strap in my palm and by sliding my hand toward the trigger snugging up the shooting sling, rather than “pushing forward”… Like I said, I’m probably misusing the sling Considering I have to take them off when using the sandbags or bench rest at the range.

        Hmmm… My “US Shooting Team” bastard Daisy 953 came with the canvas shooting sling (look at the 853 accessories, that’s what I have with a cheaper barrel/receiver)… I wonder if there is enough play in the cocking lever to permit clamping the sling closer to the trigger and using the clamp point as a hand-stop.

        I can only imagine that using a sling to hold a springer still will only lead to more resistance, but I’ve never tried that, as none of my springer’s came with an accessory rail.

        I’ll have to check… I think my Gamo NRA 1000 Special has a swivel stud at the butt, but nothing for the fore-end… Think one is supposed to use something that either clamps to the base of the barrel, or the mid-end of the cocking linkage. Neither of which seems conducive to using a target hold — carry sling yes, but trying to snug up a target hold and having the barrel unlatch is just not something I want to see.


      • Victor,
        I’d like to teach my 11 year old son 3 position non-rested shooting techniques (ie: using a sling, and a variable forward hand position). Do you know of anything that works better than the Daisy x53 ? I’m hoping to find something easier cocking than the 853, and less expensive than the Daisy 88x. I hear there used to be daisy XSV40′s that were good for smaller kids, but they aren’t made not anymore…
        Ideally, I’d like accuracy and power suitable for 3P (10m) and silhouette (10-18m), and at the lower end of the sporter target rifle price range (ie: $200-350).


        • John,
          Thanks for those details. An 11 year old typically isn’t ready for high end sporter class rifle anyways. In the under $350 side, there are a couple options in the Avanti series. You’re requirements are good, as you are preparing him for competitive marksmanship at the higher levels, including smallbore competition.

          You’re basic requirements are:
          1. You want him to learn to use aperture sights.
          2. You want him to learn to use a target sling for prone, and kneeling positions (sitting for 4-P).
          3. You don’t want something that requires a lot of effort to cock,
          or that interferes too much with his position.
          4. You want the gun to fits him (not to long, or heavy).

          The only gun that I know of that satisfies all of these requirements is the Crosman Challenger, which costs about $550.00. The one thing that’s missing from guns that cost under $350 is the accessory rail, and thus the ability to use the desired sling. I thought about this detail when you posed your initial question. Maybe B.B. can recommend a good starter target rifle that satisfies the first 3 requirements?

          However, there is a work around within the Avanti series. That workaround is to add the accessory rail to either:

          1. The Daisy Avanti 888 Medalist, starting at around $310, plus the cost of air (i.e., scuba tank).
          I could be wrong, but I don’t think this has an accessory rail. One advantage of the 888 is that
          it doesn’t require much cocking effort, it’s a PCP. Of course, by the time you’re done buying
          everything, you’re probably looking at close to $500.00 (maybe others can better steer you in
          this regard).

          2. The Daisy Avanti Champion 499, at a total cost of $116.00.
          This rifle is fairly light at just over 3 lbs. It’s a BB gun, but is suppose to be the most accurate.
          However, it does have aperture sights, and it does have a short cocking stroke. With the right
          targets and distance, you can determine your sons true abilities.

          I don’t know how handy you are, but the accessory rail looks like it might be easy to install. You’re looking for the “Champion Blank Rail Section 15″ European”, which will cost you $11.95, plus shipping. If I were adding a rail to a gun like the 888, or the 499, I’d add a little puddy, or even wood around the length of the rail, effectively fattening up the forearm section. However, you may want to enter your son in sanctioned matches that use this exact gun, as is, so you might want to build something that attaches to the gun, allowing you to opt for the original configuration.

          Hope this helps!
          Victor


  8. The sling technique you describe is the same as the one I was describing. By over the front hand, I just meant that the hand was between the rifle forearm and the sling. (ie: the sling lays across the back of the hand).

    If you tighten the sling more, and then wedge the butt of the rifle into your shoulder, the front arm can be completely relaxed :)

    The “target” variation is to disattach the sling from the butt of the rifle, and insert the upper arm into the loop, and readjust the sling until it’s really short.

    Both are going to anchor the forearm of the rifle…


    • John,

      What you might try, in addition to using a non-target sling (or no sling at all), is to use a small rest, or bag, under your wrist, or back of hand, to further hold the rifle up. Of course, you seem to want to use a sling, so you’re talking maybe using a sling and soft rest.

      Victor


  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EDITH! Enjoy the lobster and drawn butter. You are so absolutely right when you say that it’s how old you feel and not how old you look. Yes this a much better year for both you and Tom. A lot of prayers were answered then.

    Bruce


  10. Edith,I’m ashamed of joining so late today.It would normally go unnoticed,were it not for your birthday! May I add my “Happy Birthday” to the growing heap.I hope you are FULL of lobster by now.


  11. BB, thanks for trying the lead pellets. if they have any kind of accuracy, they may be an interesting choice for this pistol


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