Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Today we look at the groups made by the four pellets used in this test at 25 yards when the velocity is diminished. Part 4 covered the velocity for each pellet, so go there to see where each one is.

If you like nice linear results, prepare to be disappointed. Today’s target do show changes, but they may not be in the direction you expect. Let’s get right to it.

First up were the 7.1-grain Beeman Devastator pellets. These pellets have been a real surprise in this test, because they have proven to be accurate at supersonic velocity and they are not sensitive to bore conditioning. Shoot one and it tends to go to the same place every time. They also do not show any first-shot tendencies that so many other pellets do. This is a real plus for hunters, who are always shooting the first shot. I will have to return to this pellet sometime soon and test it in other guns, because it seems to be a real winner.

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TalonP PCP air pistol from AirForce: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

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


This is Mark’s winning photo. I really like his caption: “Shoot like a girl — if you can! – My daughters.”

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


TalonP air pistol from AirForce is a powerful, new .25-caliber pneumatic hunter.

It was a blustery day at the range this past Wednesday. Texas is noted for being windy most of the time, and this day was a classic. I noticed it while loading my truck at the house, and when that happens it never gets any better. Today I would be shooting the TalonP air pistol at 50 yards — a challenge to any airgun, and certainly in this wind it would be an acid test.

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Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Today we lower the velocity of the Whiscombe and test each of the four pellets, in preparation for the next accuracy test.

One reason I selected the Whiscombe for this series of tests is the fact that I can control the power output over a wide range of velocities by installing various transfer port limiters. For those who are new to airgunning, every spring-piston airgun like the Whiscombe generates a brief blast of compressed air by means of a piston racing forward in a compression tube. In the Whiscombe’s case it is actually two pistons racing towards each other. At the exact end of their travel a small air tunnel called an air transfer port conducts the compressed air from the compression chamber to the base of the pellet, where it blows it out the bore.

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How shot groups are measured

by B.B. Pelletier

Believe me — there’s enough information on this topic to fill many reports. I will do that if there’s enough interest; but if interest is confined to just one or two people, I’ll recommend that you read several of the gun books that I listed in my Building an airgun library blog.

Those books present and discuss several ways of target measurement that are considered outdated today, but which hobbyists keep trying to reinvent. One is the old string measurement in which a piece of string is stretched between the center of the target and the center of each bullet (pellet) hole. The cumulative length of the string then determines the cumulative distance of all the shots from the center point of the target. This system of measurement was popular in the late 19th century, having replaced a simpler method in which the string was stretched around pegs placed in all the bullet holes and gave the “circumference” of the group.

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Smith & Wesson M&P 45 air pistol: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Smith & Wesson M&P air pistol is highly realistic. It shoots both pellets and BBs.

Today is the day we answer the long-awaited question of how accurate the Smith & Wesson M&P 45 air pistol really is. Is it capable of shooting out a one-inch bullseye at 23-24 yards, as one owner claimed, or does it conform to what we know about this level of air pistol?

Two different types of ammo
For starters, this pistol shoots both BBs and pellets. Usually when a gun does that, it has to give something away for the compromise, because BBs are much smaller than pellets. They are also made of steel and cannot take the rifling; so when you shoot a BB, you have to shoot it as a smoothbore. I tried them first.

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Why do you need a scope level?

by B.B. Pelletier

I’m writing this report because I saw from the comments on the accuracy versus velocity test that several readers do not know what a scope level does. And where three people speak out, there are three hundred who are reading and remaining silent.

They say that there’s nothing more zealous than a convert, and I expect that is true of me when it comes to scope levels. I have understood their need for a long time and even conducted a fairly extensive cant test back in my Airgun Letter days, but it was my .38-55 Ballard single-shot rifle that really drove the message home. That rifle came with a bubble level, and it’s far more precise than the levels we find on air rifles today. The bubble moves very slowly, making it important to check the level just before you begin the squeeze; because what looks like a level gun one moment can change slowly to a canted gun if you don’t watch the level. By contrast, the scope levels I’m using with airguns have bubbles that move very fast, are much easier to see and are far simpler to work with.

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Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

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


Jerry Strong, winner of the Big Shot of the Week, holds a Stoeger X50 and wears a Beeman P1 on his hip.

Part 1
Part 2

What a day we have before us! I relearned a valuable lesson in accuracy and got some very surprising results.

Increasing accuracy by an order of magnitude
Before I launch into today’s report, a comment I made a few days ago has raised some interest and I thought I would explain it now. I happened to mention that a new loading technique that I was trying on the Ballard .38-55 rifle had given me the promise of an accuracy increase of an order of magnitude. Instead of 10 shots going into one inch at 100 yards, it looks like this new technique will be capable of putting those same 10 shots into one-tenth of an inch at the same distance. Whether I ever accomplish such a feat is immaterial as long as the rifle demonstrates it can do it.

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