SIG Sauer P226 X5 BB pistol: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


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

This is an extended report to cover the use of 4.4mm lead balls in the SIG Sauer P225 X5 Open combo pistol. I don’t know if you caught it, but while writing Part 3 we discovered that this pistol is also called the Open model here in the U.S., as it is elsewhere in the world. That has been corrected on the website and we will now refer to this model as the Open combo. It’s also called the X-FIVE and not X-5 or X5. However, that would involve correcting a whole bunch of links, and we’ve opted to not make those changes at this time.

I mentioned in the comments on Part 3 that I’d forgotten to test the pistol with 4.4mm lead balls, as I’d promised, so today’s report will cover that. However, while researching the material for today, I discovered some other related things that you may be interested in.

Why 4.4mm and why lead?
The reader who asked for this report shoots in his garage and wants to reduce the BB bounceback problem. Lead balls will certainly do that, but not all BB pistols are able to shoot lead. Some guns rely on the magnetic properties of the steel BB to hold it in place during the firing sequence, but this pistol isn’t one of them. It looked like it would handle lead shot just fine.

Another time we use a lead ball instead of a steel BB is when the barrel is rifled. The Russians did that with their Makarov BB pistol; and after I saw the rifling, I tested it with lead. EAA, the importer of the gun at the time (Pyramyd Air now imports all IZH-Baikal airguns directly from the manufacturer), was very adamant about not using lead balls when I reported it back in the late ’90s. They went to great lengths to disparage what I said about using lead balls in IZH BB guns with rifled barrels, claiming that the manufacturer expressly instructed them to advise using steel BBs exclusively. When I went to IWA (the European SHOT Show) in 2006 and spoke directly to the IZH engineers, they acknowledged that their rifled bores did work best with lead, even though they also worked well with steel.

Size matters, too
Another thing that enters into this discussion is the diameter of the ball. A steel BB these days measures around 0.171″ to 0.173″ in diameter. The Daisy zinc-plated BBs I used to test this pistol for accuracy in Part 3 measure 0.172″. They’re very uniform, which contrasts sharply with BBs of the past.

Lead balls that are 4.4mm should measure 0.173″ in diameter, so they would be one-thousandth larger than the Daisy BBs I just mentioned. And this, my friends, is why it helps to understand a little of the firearms world; because in a firearm that uses lead bullets, you usually want the ball or bullet to be at least the diameter of the grooves or one-thousandth of an inch larger. There are exceptions to that rule, of course, but I’m not going there today.

Putting it simply, a 4.4mm (0.173″) lead ball should fit the bore of a given gun better than a BB that measures 0.172 inches. If the bore of the gun is very tight, the larger ball can cause problems since CO2 guns do not have the same level of propulsive force as firearms. There are limits to what they’ll shoot.

I know that most BB guns are smoothbores. This one certainly is. And I also know that the bores of these guns are slightly oversized to cut down on jams. You could live a lifetime and never see a BB get stuck in the bore of a BB gun if you live in the U.S. and use Daisy, RWS or Crosman BBs; but there are other places in the world where the tolerances of BBs are not held as tight, and you get them both oversized and undersized. Manufacturers allow for this by making their smoothbore barrels just a trifle larger on the inside.

In a nutshell, those are the considerations I took into account when deciding to test this pistol with 4.4mm lead balls.

Not all balls are the same
Sometimes I get surprised in the strangest ways. I already had a lifetime supply of 4.4mm lead balls that I purchased back when the Haenel 310 trainers were coming into this country in the mid-1990s. I wanted to make sure at that time that I wouldn’t be cut off, so I went a little overboard and bought a case of ammunition. Let’s call that 50,000 balls.

A few years ago, while walking the aisles of an airgun show, I saw some tubes of generic 4.4mm lead balls for sale. I picked up a couple tubes for various reasons, including today’s test. Little did I know until this very day, though, that those balls are not 4.4mm, but rather 4.25mm and rather slipshod at that!

Who cares? Well, 4.25mm to 4.3mm (if that is what they really are) measures 0.167″-0.169″ in diameter. Not only are these lead balls undersized, based on what I was told when I bought them, they’re also quite variable, which is the kiss of death if you want to hit anything.


The 4.4mm lead balls I bought at an airgun show (top) are actually a lot smaller than advertised. They’re really 4.25-4.3mm. Bottom picture is a copper-plated 4.4mm ball from the Czech Republic —  and it’s right on the money.

The test
The test was 10 shots from 25 feet with a strong-side barricade hold. I’m grabbing the door jamb and using my left arm to support and steady my shooting hand. It’s the most accurate hold I can use for this test.

The eyes have it
One more variable was my eyes. Just the day before I tested this pistol I was at the rifle range with Mac and another friend trying out some different guns. Mac had just cleaned my clock by shooting a half-inch five-shot group of .17 HM2 from a single shot target rifle at 50 yards. I shot the same rounds from the same rifle into just over an inch.

My other friend suggested I put on my bifocals so I could see the front sight of the O3-A3 Springfield battle rifle I was about to shoot. I did and proceeded to shoot five .30-06 rounds into a group measuring 0.49 inches. I used the regular combat sights that came with the rifle and shot factory 150-grain Federal ammunition. This is the best open-sight group I have shot at 50 yards in many years, and it cemented in my mind the need to wear my glasses whenever I shoot with open sights.


The smaller group of five rounds (excluding the separate shot above the group) was fired from an 03A3 Springfield rifle at 50 yards with issue sights while wearing my glasses. The lone hole was the first shot, taken with the rifle’s front sight protector still on the sight. It hid the target so I had to guess where it was. The six holes in the bull were shot with peep sights on a .17 HM2, but I wasn’t wearing glasses.

For today’s pistol test, I shot the first 10 shots wearing my glasses. The results were not any better than what you saw in Part 3 with steel BBs.



Shooting the P226 X5 with glasses made the front sight fuzzy. The 25-foot group wasn’t a good one.

After seeing the group shot with glasses, I knew something was wrong. The front sight simply was not clear at arm’s length. I took off the specs and just used plain safety glasses for the next group. The results speak for themselves.


Without glasses, the front sight sharpened considerably, tightening the group. However, regular steel BBs made even better groups in this pistol.

Summation
This SIG Sauer BB pistol continues to delight me. This time, I learned a very important thing — don’t trust that something is what it is represented to be. If it’s ammunition, measure it.

This pistol offers the most realistic training of any air or BB pistol I’ve tested. While there’s always some training value for firearms with any airgun, with this one there’s quite a lot. This is an airgun I would recommend to my friends.

44 Responses to “SIG Sauer P226 X5 BB pistol: Part 4”

  • Bob from Oz Says:

    G’day BB
    Bit of a bugger the wearing out eyes and open sights. A lot of the older lads are having laser eye surgery in the shotgun game and never have to wear glasses at all. I am very tempted as my young 70 year old mate (buddy) can read the newspapers and still shoot 50 straight without glasses.
    Cheers Bob

    • Matt61 Says:

      Bob, laser surgery has my full recommendation. I struggled for most of my life with glasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems before getting laser surgery. The result is completely transformative even beyond vision, and I feel like a new man. Vision is tied so closely to cognitive function, that vision problems can impose a huge burden on the mind. I feel like a new man. I even feel smarter. So, I would look into the laser surgery.

      Matt61

  • J-F Says:

    I don’t know if you had a look at the pic I posted in the third part of this pistol but they were quite different from one BB to the other. I was surprised because when I measured different brand they didn’t show much of a difference. Could it have been luck? My SIG groups with copperhead seem pretty similar to yours but the GSG92 with the Beeman BB’s was really suprising and I only saw it after the 10th shot because it was shooting a bit low and the gun kept me from seeing what kind of groups I was getting.
    I felt comfortable so I just fired (can we really say fired since it’s not a firearm?) one shot after the other.

    Here is the pic in cased you missed it so you don’t have to go back to part 3 :
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/lX85yLA27_4XUeNnu8kugg?feat=directlink

    J-F

  • kevin Says:

    B.B.,

    That .49 group at 50 yards with the 03-A3 just blew my mind. Original Combat sights, factory ammo, 50 yards??!! Guess that partially explains why these Remingtons have skyrocketed in value.

    I have trouble picking which bull to shoot at 50 yards with open sights since the front sight is in focus and the target is out of focus. A 1 1/2″ group is good for me at 50 yards with open sights. I’ve never shot a 1/2″ group. What am I doing wrong? Assume you usually take the hood off the front sight to shoot with open sights?

    kevin

    • Mike Says:

      As long as the front site is clear, it doesn’t matter if the target is fuzzy. As long as you keep the front site in the same place for each shot, the hits will be there.

      Mike

      • kevin Says:

        Mike,

        I think I need to borrow your eyes or make my targets for open sights larger at 50 yards. I’ll confess, I can’t do under 1/2″ at 50 yards with a lyman peep sight. A scoped rifle is a different story.

        kevin

    • Kevin,

      I know what you mean! My mind was also blown and I actually screamed about a group for the first time in certainly over two decades.

      I will now move to the 100-yard range to test this rifle against my Ballard. This Remington barrel has four grooves, by the way.

      Speaking of which, I have been learning lots of helpful stuff about the Ballard and what it may take to get it to shoot. I’m going to have a Hoch nose-pour bullet made to my specifications, so I can manually seat the bullet in the barrel ahead of the cartridge. That will do away with the tight chamber I am now experiencing. I expect to get sub-inch 10-shot groups at 100 yards by the end of this year, when I will move out to 200 yards and attempt the same thing.

      I’m documenting everything for a feature article. It will be like one of those long features you often see in Gun Digest.

      B.B.

      • kevin Says:

        B.B.,

        Your excitement in shooting and optimism in future accuracy is contagious!

        The thrill of your accuracy discoveries are palpable. I’m re-energized to go back to several guns that I’ve taken a break from because of set-backs and frustration and give ‘em another go.

        I live for those moments like you recently had at the range when all the time, effort and frustration pay off.

        You’ve re-kindled my drive and determination. I needed that.

        kevin

        • Kevin,

          I have recently discovered what may prove to be the secret to fine accuracy in my Ballard. I was enthused about the idea until I saw that group that the Springfield made. Now I know that I can still shoot when everything goes right and I can’t wait to see how this new discovery affects the Ballard’s accuracy.

          It’s hard not to get excited when something works as advertised.

          B.B.

  • Slinging Lead Says:

    Off topic…

    I wonder what I guy like this could do with an airgun.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/sportsrisq?blend=2&ob=5

    • pcp4me Says:

      Holy toledo batman! Is that guy amazing or what?

      I would liken what he does to an air gunner who could arrange three matches in a staggered row so the first is the center, the next one .5″ to the right of center and last one .5″ to the left of center and then being able to light all three from a benched postition 200 yards away with one shot!

      Simply AMAZING!

  • Matt61 Says:

    B.B., magnificent group with the Springfield. I’ll see if my Mosinka sniper rifle can approach it, even with the scope. By the way, I wonder if you have any figures on how accurate the storied Finnish Mosins were supposed to be. The Russian sniper rifles were supposed to shoot 10 shots into 1.25 inches at 100 meters which I’m calling about MOA. I don’t see how any rifle with open sights could consistently be better than that.

    So, bifocals worked for the Springfield but not the pistol? Is that because you were focusing at different distances? Don’t rule out laser surgery.

    Victor, hadn’t thought of practicing offhand with the lower body supported, but it makes sense as a means of progressive training. Would it work to shoot seated in a chair? How about this offhand challenge? Dry-firing my Anschutz off hand while barefoot, standing on my shooting mat which is on top of a thick rug. A lot of rocking and rolling and that target bull is mighty elusive. :-)

    I envy anyone who has a desert to go out to shoot in. But you better make sure you’re alone. I’ve heard of informal shooting ranges out in the country where the people are completely wild, shooting after getting tanked up on a case of beer. Much lunatic behavior on YouTube is done out in the desert.

    On the subject of follow-through, suddenly my IZH 61 groups starting acting weird the other day. The groups retained the same diameter but were suddenly about 3/4 inch above the aimpoint. This is a lot of deflection at 20 feet, and I couldn’t believe how the scope had suddenly lost zero by that much. I began dialing the scope down. But then I realized that I had been neglecting my follow-through and the IZH 61 had responded to this by keeping the group size the same but revealing how I was yanking the rifle upward. Now how about that as a shot feedback device…. :-)

    Mike, yes the Rolls-Royce Merlin equipped P-38 is one of the might have beens of the war, especially if you think of how the Merlin transformed the performance of the P-51. On the other hand, one engineer claimed that it wouldn’t have made much difference. The discussion was too technical for me to evaluate.

    Wulfraed, we covered some of the same ground on projectile behavior with Jane Hansen, and I agree with everything you said. The devil is in the details and the simplifications. According to Jane, because of principles of conservation of momentum, any projectile that does not follow an absolutely straight line and arcs (which is all of them) will precess while spiraling. The optimal spin rate of a projectile balances the need to stabilize it with the ability to respond to the wind rushing past it and keep its nose pointed at the flight path sort of like a football thrown as a long bomb. Anyway, I agree that out of the welter of details that flat trajectory is very important for accuracy which translates into a relatively heavy powder charge for a bullet which should also have a good ballistic coefficient. Bullet weight to provide inertia against the wind is important too but less so. I suspect that the 7.62X39 could be massaged to very good accuracy within its range with the right handload and its relatively heavy bullet could compensate somewhat for its shortened case. But, other things being equal, it will be at a disadvantage against a flatter shooting cartridge to the same degree that the flat trajectory is more important than bullet weight.

    Matt61

    • Victor Says:

      Matt61,

      Yes, it is a way to do progressive training, but I also like this approach to isolate specific issues, by limiting the problem to upper body issues, including arm, hand, head, and everything else that could be contributing to poor shot execution. Yes, a chair is more stable. Compare aiming at a target standing versus sitting. You’ll see that sitting has less body sway, as you might expect. Dry-firing as you described definitely presents stability issues. Possibly a more advanced, and accelerated approach to obtaining body stability would be to stand on perfectly smooth, but rounded, platforms (i.e., flat on the top side, but rounded on the bottom). It’s like learning how to skate, or riding a unicycle. You eventually gain the body control needed to do it.

      The desert spot that we go to is very safe. It’s very flat for miles going both east and west, with sparse vegetation that doesn’t exceed more than maybe 2 feet high. There’s a dry mountain backdrop about 300 yards down-range that’s probably over 300 yards high at the lowest point. There isn’t anything behind it for at least another mile. There are no trails between the firing line and this mountain. There’s a dirt road that runs parallel to the mountain, that goes on for many miles. The firing line is just a few yards off this dirt road. Only once have we seen others out there. We were there first, so they picked a spot about 100 yards lateral to us. I wouldn’t stay anywhere where I saw both alcohol and guns. Guns and alcohol don’t mix, EVER.

      What’s very cool about this spot is that it’s closer to my home than any outdoor range. The shooters who use this spot are very considerate. You won’t find a single piece of broken glass, or trash, and everyone is able to leave their target supports and other useful things without any issues. We all just lay them down flat when we’re done. While the vegetation is sparse and low, you can’t see any of our stuff from the road. For instance, I have a metal target holder that I leave out there. It’s pretty big and heavy. Someone else leaves an upper torso that they shoot at. Someone else leaves a tripod. Kind of what one would hope to expect from responsible shooters. I think that the shooters who use this spot appreciate it so much that they are just very conscientious about it’s use. Yes, I am very lucky to have found this spot. BTW, You won’t see this spot from any paved road. It’s a little tricky to find it. My wife and I took our 4×4 and went exploring one day, and that’s how we found it. To get there without damaging your care, you need a vehicle with fairly high clearance. Fortunately, the worse part of the path is very short. This is a very dry desert, so there’s a lot of powder. When I’m by myself, I setup a table on the bed of my truck. If you’re ever in southern Nevada, let me know, and I’ll take you out there. I’ll supply the guns. Woo-hoo! :)

      Victor

  • Jim Says:

    Hey Tom,
    thanks for taking the time to test the lead balls. I the tighter fit in the barrel and the fact that the lead might conform to the shape of the barrel sealing better might have made a difference. I don’t have the facilities to do this type of test. I’m glad you are here to take up the slack

  • Matt61 Says:

    I wonder if I could get some rifle bore evaluation from a distance. While cruising websites for military surplus rifles, I have become very enamored of the “perfect mirror-bright bore” in old rifles–some built in 1916. I could really see how you could let fiscal discipline go to pieces and lose yourself in this stuff. Anyway, while looking down the bore of my recently acquired Mosinka (Duskwight is this really the Russian nickname for the Mosin-Nagant?) and admiring the 4.45 degree rifling angle (probably a little less), I see that the rifling is strong. But the bore is not quite mirror-bright. If I turn it to the right angle in the light, it looks smooth, but there isn’t that same beaming reflection as in my Anschutz barrel. So, I’m wondering if you could estimate the level of use by this appearance. Can we say that a few hundred rounds have gone down the barrel (to who knows where) a few thousand? And is it possible to characterize phases of deterioration of a barrel? I’m guessing the bore surface gets less and less reflective. Then people talk about the bore looking dark and rough. At some point, simultaneously or in sequence, the rifling will start to go. As I inspect the muzzle of the rifle with my Surefire flashlight, the rifling does seem to look a little shallow although, thankfully, it is not counterbored. I’ve also heard some people say that these appearances don’t mean anything and that you can have a mirror bore that has had severe throat erosion and will not shoot while a dark rough bore has an intact throat that shoots well. How you could have this very uneven wear of the bore is a puzzle to me, but that’s what I hear.

    Matt61

    • Matt,

      You are seeing the micro-pitting results of corrosive ammunition. Very common in some guns because all their ammo was corrosive.

      Worry not — they shoot just as well.

      Clean the bore with JB Paste in the beginning.

      B.B.

    • Mike Says:

      One thing a Merlin equipped P-38 wouldn’t do would be to blow an engine on take off as the Allison liked to do. As to the expert and “it wouldn’t make a difference”, a bumble bee can’t fly and a Sharps Rifle won’t shoot an Indian off a horse at a mile according to experts.

      Mike

      • Wulfraed Says:

        How difficult is it to make said Merlin engine run in reverse?

        The P-38 used counter-rotating propellers — without a reversing gearbox; from what I’ve read, all it took for the Allison was to change the order of the spark plug cables to produce a “reverse” engine.

        • Desertdweller Says:

          My late father (who was a civilian pilot and WWII vet) told me one of the early problems with the P-38 was if it lost power in one engine on takeoff, the torque from the remaining engine would flip the aircraft over with fatal results.

          I’m no aircraft engineer, but from my experience with marine engines, you cannot produce a reverse-running engine by changing the firing order. You have to change the camshaft or else you would have the exhaust valves opening when the intakes should. You also need a different distributor, water pump, and starter.

          Twin-engine boats use contra-rotating engines and propellers for the same reason twin-engine aircraft do: to cancel out torque effect. There is also a “torque steering” effect caused by the interaction of the propeller blades and the water (or air?). The propeller wants to move the stern of the boat in the direction of rotation as if the prop were a wheel. So a boat with only one propeller wants to swing its stern when running straight, and it is easier to steer one direction than the other.
          Like aircraft, boats are equipped with trim tabs to correct for this.

          On aircraft without propellers, I don’t know if this torque effect exists. At least some of it should, from the weight of the rotating mass of the compressor and turbine. Maybe they use contra-rotating engines to allow for this, I don’t know. It should be easy to produce a reverse-running gas turbine by reversing the pitch of the compressor and turbine blades.

          Les

          • Wulfraed Says:

            Okay, the first site apparently oversimplified…

            I’ve hit another site that states the spark wiring was kept the same, but the crankshaft was flipped end-over-end for the main job (starter motor and accessory outputs may have needed idler gears, but the main block and manifolds stayed the same)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allison_V-1710

            Another feature of the V-1710 design was its ability to turn the output shaft either clockwise or counter-clockwise by assembling the engine with the crankshaft turned end-for-end, by installing an idler gear in the drive train to the supercharger and accessories and by installing a starter turning the proper direction. So, there was no need to re-arrange the ignition wiring and firing order, nor the oil and Glycol circuits to accommodate the direction of rotation.

    • duskwight Says:

      Matt,

      It’s rather sort of common “easy name” like “jeep” for GPV. Berdan rifle – “berdanka”, Mosin rife “mosinka”, AK-”kalash” and so on.

      duskwight

  • Mark N Says:

    B.B and All,

    I just wanted to say how cool it is that responses to my posts on this blog get sent to my email. I don’t know how long this has been the case since I don’t often post but I think its a nice feature. I just received a response to my post on Tuesdays blog about the sound barrier. It was a very good explanation of my question/point from another poster. Had it not been sent through my email I would have never seen it since I only check in on the current days blog. Cool new (at least to me) feature.

    You, Edith, and everyone else make this a cool place to hang out. Thanks.

    Mark N

    • Pete Z Says:

      Well, had to turn in key & badge today & carry stuf outta da office. Felt rather sense of relief. Best part is that the British journal “nature” just signed off on a fer-pay article I couldn’t have filed yesterday. All I do is propose that the USG spin most of the I’ll fitting mix of groups out to concentrate on what works well together.. To be in October 8 issue. Anybody who writes and asks will get a link from me.

      Laid. Off! Onward to better work.

      Pete z

      • Pete,

        Hang in there. I know how horrible it feels to be let go, but it can also open new doors that would never have been seen otherwise.

        Good luck and keep up your spirits. God tested Lot before He restored everything he had lost, sevenfold.

        B.B.

        • I meant Job. Sorry!

          B.B.

          • Fred PRoNJ Says:

            Pete,

            very sorry to hear you got caught up in the “RIF” at whatever government agency you work for (assume it’s an agency since you mentioned “badge”). Of course, I’d like to get a link to your article when it’s available. You can send it to cyclealleyriders@gmail.com. I go back to work Monday assuming my building doesn’t flood (in NYC on Water Street – typically with storm surge, the basement fills up with water destroying all electrical service) and will contact my buddy about Turkish laws.

            Fred PRoNJ

      • Wulfraed Says:

        Hope your searches go better than mine usually do…

      • AlanL Says:

        Pete,

        Talk to Wacky Wayne– go open an airgun range, teach kids, teach grandmas, hold competitions. Surely someone will let you use his forests and fields in between fox hunts…

        Best of luck and may Fortuna smile down on you pronto.

        AlanL

    • Mark N.,

      I’m glad you are getting what you need from this blog. That’s the only way it can be useful, if everybody helps everybody else.

      B.B.

  • Ton Says:

    BB
    The Gamo round balls that Pyramyd sells are 4.4 aren’t they? Well I measured a couple and got 4.4 but it was with a shoddy caliper. I also measured some Copperhead BBs with the sane caliper and got 4.3. The thing is, I have a Gamo P23 which would jam on the Copperheads but shot the 4.4 lead ball great. Can you shed some light on that? Gamo did say that steel BBs must not be used in the P23 by the way.

    • Tom,

      No, Gamo round balls are 4.5mm and are too large for most BB guns, including this one.

      Sometimes a round ball or BB isn’t round enough. It may measure one size at one spot and another size if the calipers are shifted. Out-of-round BBs have plagued airgunners for 125 years, but I thought they were a thing of the past. A bad one must have slipped through for the Copperhead to jam in your gun.

      B.B.

  • Ton Says:

    BB,
    The Gamo P23 is designed only for lead ball and pellets. It is written on the gun that steel BBs must not be used, I think it’s because the barrel is rifled. This Gamo is a great shooter. Had it for more than ten years, never did anything to it except shoot. It leaked once and on your advise some Pellgun oil fixed it. It shoots Gamo balls better than H&N though.

    • Ton,

      I tested the Gamo P23 more than 10 years ago, and at that time you could use either steel BBs or lead balls. It may be that Gamo has brought out a 4.4mm lead ball that I am not aware of, and that they have also made some changes to the P23. That happens a lot, because certain active manufacturers like Gamo are always coming out with new products.

      B.B.

  • Chris Says:

    Hi BB

    A question I’m hoping you may be able to help with. Do you know whether the grips in these can be swapped with aftermarket grips for the (real) P226. KWC who make these seem to be fairly good with this as their 1911 A1 model has the same screw hole placement as the actual pistol and will take aftermarket grips (with a small amount of modification).

    Thanks

    Chris

  • Chris Says:

    Thanks BB, got that query re the grips sorted.

    I see that with this gun you shot both zinc plated and copper coated BBs. With a brass barreled gun like this would you recommend the regular use of zinc or copper coated BBs for prolonged barrel life?

    Thanks,
    Chris

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Chris,

      I’m pretty sure this pistol’s barrel is steel.

      B.B.

      • Chris Says:

        Interesting, other sites reviewing this gun (and the standard non-combo or ‘open’ version) list the inner barrel as (smooth-bore) brass, which is definitely the case for other Cybergun products like my 1911 (http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Tanfoglio_Witness_1911_Pistol/2534). Anyway, I’m still interested in your thoughts about the best BB option for brass-barreled airguns.

        Thanks,
        Chris

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Chris,

          You’re right, it is brass! I looked this time.

          My thought is, if the manufacturer recommends a steel BB there must be a good reason. Unless the pistol shoots better with lead, I would use steel.

          B.B.

        • Wulfraed Says:

          So far as I understand it, zinc or copper plating is mainly there as a rust-inhibitor so the BBs don’t get fuzzy and swell up. I doubt either has any noticeably different effect on the potential wear of a barrel — other than a potential build-up if the plating scrapes off in firing.

          Now, if you have an old stock of BBs with extrusion spurs, you may want to avoid those…

  • Chris Says:

    Hi BB

    thanks, I’m actually interested in the difference between zinc plated and copper coated BBs. One suggestion is that copper coated BBs (like the Crosman Copperheads) are easier on brass barrels than the zinc plated. Any thoughts?

    Chris

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Chris,

      I don’t see why that would be. Both BBs are steel underneath.

      I do know that the Daisy BBs are larger and also more uniform.

      B.B.

  • Chris Says:

    Thanks for the comment Wulfraed. I wondered if the coppers would mark less but leave more residue, which might defeat the purpose a bit. Re old BBs with corrosion, I went to our local gunshop last week to buy Copperheads and when I got them home found I found lots were either spotted or completely black with corrosion. When I took them back the seller looked at the rest of his stock – same fault.

    Chris

    • Wulfraed Says:

      I’d never encountered copper corrosion “in the wild”; guess I used to shoot them too fast.

      However, the only BBs I’d purchased in the last 30 years (prior to being inspired to buy the X5 a few weeks back) were used as agitators in jars of acrylic paint for lead gaming figures… bad idea — the copper coating reacted and left a black mess in the jars. I suspect the current Daisy “silver” BBs might have been better.

Leave a Reply


+ 6 = 12

Swiss Arms P92 replica pistol
Swiss Arms P92 CO2 BB pistol

More and more, we're hearing that airguns are ideal for firearm training when it comes to improving trigger control, acquiring a target and increasing accuracy. While all those are big pluses, let's remember the other reasons: (1) Save a fortune on ammo (if you can even get firearm ammo!). (2) Shoot at home. (3) No hearing protection needed. (4) Airguns are a fraction of the cost of firearms. So, click on the image & add this to your gun vault.

New .22-cal. Sheridan!
Sheridan 2260MB CO2 rifle

Sheridan has always made .20-cal. airguns. So, this new .22-cal. rifle is particularly exciting. And, it's available only in limited quantities. If you collect Sheridans (or just love them for their quality), you MUST add this to your gun vault. It's a single-shot CO2 rifle with a metal breech. Bolt-action single shots like the 2260 are ideal for teaching proper gun handling. Everything you love about Sheridan guns…and more. Get yours NOW before they sell out!