Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Today, I’m testing the accuracy of my Whiscombe running at full bore. This is the end of Phase One of this experiment. Next time, I’ll reduce the velocity of the rifle and retest all four pellets.

The shooting was done indoors at 25 yards. The Whiscombe is scoped with a Simmons 4-12x scope, and I did use the artillery hold, even though the rifle is recoilless, because John Whiscombe told me to.

Beeman Devastators
KRAAK! That’s what the Beeman Devastator pellet says when it goes downrange at 1,200 f.p.s. It sounded as loud as a .22 long rifle shot, though I’m sure it wasn’t.

I was all set to show you a blown group and then lecture you about the evils of diabolos breaking the sound barrier, only these pellets didn’t seem to cooperate. They all wanted to go to the same place, which upsets all sorts of apple carts.

How about that! Apparently, these Devastator pellets missed the memo that they aren’t supposed to be accurate at high velocity. The 10-shot group at 25 yards measures 0.903 inches. While it’s not a super group, it’s also not bad for a hunting pellet going 1,200 f.p.s.!

Crosman Premier lites
Next up are the Crosman Premier lite pellets. They had the good manners to behave as a diabolo pellet should, by grouping 10 shots in 2.385 inches. Though only a single pellet opened the group to that size, the other nine were still more scattered than the Beeman Devastators.

Crosman Premier lites show the blown pattern of velocity that’s too high. Ten pellets made this 2.358-inch group at 25 yards.

The Premiers also broke the sound barrier, but the sound wasn’t as loud as the Beeman Devastators. I’m thinking the Devastators were also detonating, which is something the JW75 hardly ever does.

Beeman Kodiaks
If you will recall, Beeman Kodiaks brought the rifle’s velocity down to just under 1,000 f.p.s. That’s still in the transonic region and too fast for optimum accuracy — at least according to the popular theory. Kodiaks turned in the second-largest group of this test, though it was much closer to the best group than to the worst. Ten pellets went into a group measuring 1.055 inches.

Beeman Kodiaks didn’t do too bad, considering the velocity they were travelling. Ten went into this group, which measures 1.055 inches between centers.

Eun Jin heavies
The last pellets I tested were the 16.1-grain Eun Jin pellets. Usually, I think of Eun Jins as an okay pellet that delivers maximum power; but in the JW75, which is a spring-piston rifle, they’re the weakest by a considerable margin. However, they’re also down out of the transonic region where all the bad things happen, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when they turned in the best group of the test. Ten pellets went into a group measuring 0.755 inches, or just about three-quarters of an inch. And 7 of those 10 pellets went into a smaller group that measures just 0.413 inches across.

Not bad! Ten Eun Jins made this group, which measures 0.755 inches between centers; and seven of those pellets went into the tight 0.413-inch group on the left.

An observation
While I was shooting, I noticed that with both the Premiers and the Eun Jins, the first few pellets landed away from the principal group. That lends a lot of support to the viewpoint that barrels have to be conditioned by shooting a few pellets through them before they can be expected to perform at their best.

A resolution
As a result of this observation, I’m going to run this exact test one more time with a slight change. Before I shoot a group for the record, each new pellet will be fired three times. That way I can be sure we’re seeing the absolute best this rifle can give us at this power level with these pellets.

I was very surprised by the performance of the Beeman Devastators. They didn’t act as I felt sure they would. And I will be very curious to see what they do in the next test. I don’t know what’s happening, because I’ve seen high velocity scatter pellets in the past; but perhaps the introduction of the Whiscombe has changed something. We shall see.

44 thoughts on “Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 2

  1. I read the comments from yesterday, and I’ll point out that the name of the test is “Pellet velocity versus accuracy.” So BB’s intent is obviously to try to test the pellet not the rifle per sey.

    There are several things that immediately come to mind. First the test does not include anything on pellet head diameter. I’m convinced that head diameter is one on the many factors involved.

    Second, it seems that group size with distance should be measured. It does not seem that the notion of a geometric increase of group size with distance holds.

    Third, it is close to impossible to vary the twist rate of the barrel. Again I’m convinced that at some distance downrange that the spin rate causes the pellet to yaw to a critical angle and the pellet’s path turns into a helix of increasing diameter.

    All in all, I think BB’s standard advice holds. There are about a dozen good pellets and the only way to find the best one is to test them all.

    • Herb,

      I didn’t report pellet head diameter because I will be using the same tins of pellets for all the tests. Remember, I’m not really looking for accuracy here. I’m looking for changes in accuracy as the velocity changes.

      As for your second comment, if I were vetting this rifle or these pellets, your suggestion would make good sense. But as I am only looking at change, I’m just taking the empirical data.

      As for comment number three, I will soon (within the next year) be able to test the same pellet from the same gun at three different twist rates. Dennis Quackenbush is making me two barrels to go on the Condor for this. But of course that will be with three different barrels.

      Heisenberg! We hardly knew ye!


      • BB,

        First let me thank you for all the work you put into the experiments that you do. I always learn something. That is why I enjoy your blog so much.

        The problem is that I don’t think that you can really vary one factor at a time. For instance with the three different twist rates. You really have three different barrels, not just one barrel with three different twist rates. From all the experiments in the past we know that there are good barrels and bad barrels. So if you see a difference, it is due to the particular barrel being used, or due to the twist rate?

        • Carrying your argument ad absurdum, there is no valid reason to perform ANY tests with ANY gun; as the next one off the line will behave completely differently.

  2. BB, thanks for taking the time to run the test. I know it is a lot of work but apparently, there are things to be learned. It’s funny how things are almost always different than we might suppose. I look forward to seeing more of the test.

    Good luck at the show. Bring back something to write up that I have never seen or heard of. I always enjoy the exposure to new and different things.

    David Enoch

  3. I wonder if the spike in the center of the Beeman Devastators is functioning like an aerospike and decreasing the drag enough that the pellet stays supersonic to the target.

    BB, we need to get you a Doppler radar setup for tracking velocity. What’s $10,000 in today’s economy?

    • Not going to happen.
      Compare the Devastator shape to the Destroyer shape. Very close to identical. The Destroyer is most of a grain heavier than the Devastator, and should have a higher BC.
      Shooting Destroyers with my R9, the chrono gave me 969fps at the muzzle and 909fps 5 yds farther. That’s about 60fps drop in that short distance.
      BC goes down as velocity goes up, so there would be even more loss at higher speeds. I would guess that the Devastators would drop to subsonic before they get to 10 yds.


  4. Interesting that that first group was so accurate. While I don’t think that blows the theory out of the water yet, it sure does give us something to think about!


  5. All,

    Well this certainly did not in any way come close to what I expected it to be.

    First, I expected the devastators to group horribly, and they did not.

    Second, I expected the CPLs to group horribly, but better than the devastators. Half right here!

    Third, I expected the Kodiaks to group really well, and they did not!!!

    Fourth, I expected the Eun Jins to do really well, and they did! I expected them to be the best group of the four and I believe they are.

    So what I believed would happen only did in one of the four cases. I believe BB may be on to something with the necessity to season the barrel between shots. Will 3 shots do it? I am skeptical. I think 5 or 10 shots would be more reasonable. But with only 1 of 4 right in my previous guesses, what I know?

    I have another thought though. Could the HOTS system actually be contributing to the poor performance of the Kodiaks and the relatively good performance of the devastators? Like maybe the HOTS is almost exactly where it gives best performance with devastators and the worst spot for the Kodiaks?

    OR could it be something we ALREADY know? Like that each gun has different pellet preferences for accuracy and we won’t get ANY valid data out of this gun or any other gun? Except to maybe find out which pellet(s) each gun prefers?

    For right now, I am only going to conclude that when you get a new gun you test it with a wide variety of pellets to discover which it prefers. But then we already knew that, didn’t we?

    • For the life of me I cannot think of a reason why “seasoning the barrel” matters unless the alloys in the different pellets are very different, and the first few shots coat the barrel with a new layer — and that matters. The only real difference (if the coatings are symmetric around the barrel) would be the friction between pellet and barrel, and that would likely still be colinear with the bore.

      Anyway, if you think the bore needs “seasoning” the right way to do it might be to run a couple of patches through or to shoot a couple of cleaning pellets to take the barrel down to metal, and then build it up with the seasoning shots. I know that after 60 shots, 2 felt pellets take my pistol down to metal (meaning that the second pellet comes out as white and unmarked as it went in).

      I don’t want to start a huge argument about statistics again, BB, but I’m not at all sure what you mean when you quote group sizes to the third figure after the decimal, that is to 0.001 inch. I don’t see how you can even find the center of a hole that accurately, let alone measure it, particularly since your pellets aren’t cutting particularly clean holes in the paper. If you rounded to 0.01 inch, it would be more meaningful. Although I’m not really sure anyone without a digital scanning table can measure to much better than 0.05″ on torn paper. That’s part of the reason I wanted to see a wadcutter in the mix — the holes are cleaner.

      Have fun at Roanoke. I had planned to go right up until I lost my job in early September. Now conservation of cash rules. Pretty part of my home state.


      • Pete,

        You don’t have to find the center of the hole. You measure outside edge to outside edge, then subtract the diameter of the pellet.

        It is good when you can measure to more significant figures than the precision of the experiment itself. It simply means that measurement errors are insignificant in the overall experimental error.

        Of course it is a total delusion to confuse the repeatability of the measurement of a single group with the expected repeatability of the shooting a group.

        • I really disagree. If you will look at the pictures BB has posted, you’ll see that the holes are very ragged. It’s just not possible to identify the limits of the hole (outer or inner) by looking. That’s a problem with most of the targets sold in the US: they tear. I think you would do vastly better trying to find the apparent centers using some kind of curve fitting algorithm. In any event, it is 100% clear that you cannot find the edges to better than 0.01 inch (BB has not told us what he’s using to measure with, of course).

          You measure to the limits of your measuring equipment, of course, but you don’t report figures to exaggerated precision. That’s Physics Lab 101. You can in fact get into some trouble by trying.

          It’s also pretty clear that measuring the extremum c-t-c (or any other) diameter of a group (whether max or min diameter) is an extraordinarily poor way to characterize the system performance, given that many things could cause a single flyer after shooting four shots on top of one another. But it is the traditional way these things are reported. A better measure would be the rms value of the spacings of all possible pairs of shot holes. That’s about 10 measurements for a 5-shot group, and one outlier doesn’t affect the result unduly.

          Any reasonable measurements depend on good targets that don’t tear; that means shifting from National Target Co. products to Edelmann or Krueger — or first drying out the NatTargCo stuff in a 150degree oven for an hour and then storing inside 2 zip-loc bags

          • Pete,

            I do measure that way. There is usually a lead ring around the ragged hole to use as a reference, but as I have said many times in the past. his method is not that precise.


            • BB,

              I’m being thick and crotchety today, but I didn’t understand what you meant by “I do measure that way.” Which of the 2 or 3 ways to measure that I mentioned do you use.

              Sometimes there’s a lead ring; sometimes there isn’t. I can’t see many in the pictures above.


      • I’ve been wondering about this seasoning stuff myself. But apparently it’s true at least as much for firearms. David Tubb talks about this effect with new batches of cartridges although his warm up is mixed in there too.


        • Prove it. Give a reason. Let’s get some quantitative measurements; the easiest would be to mark the first three shots after a change in pellet. If their dispersion is significantly different than the next three, I could be convinced. Otherwise it’s just anecdotes.

      • Pete,
        Regarding seasoning the bore. It is a difference in lubes, I think. Some pellets lubricate themselves by virtue of being pure lead (JSB, RWS, etc.), while Crosman pellets, for example, are a harder compound and apparently need graphite (which people often mistakenly call “lead dust”). Ironically, the harder compound seems to be worse for leading the barrel than pure lead, and that is compounded, I suspect, by people “washing” their pellets to get off the dirty lead dust. For those that wash and lube the pellets with something else, who knows? Anyway, it seems to take a few shots with a certain pellet to remove any traces left behind from the previous pellets, although in my experience you can go from RWS to Crosman, for example, without issue; it is switching back that causes the problem. At higher power levels, with bare hard pellets, leading can be a concern, and that requires more aggressive cleaning still. Just my conjecture/observations based on experience.

        • I can’t rule it out, but I think that these lubing effects will be parallel to the bore and shouldn’t impart any perpendicular velocity to the pellets. The friction effects might cause fairly small (repeatable???) differences in muzzle velocity, but that should result only in a very small vertical dispersion.

  6. BB,
    I don’t think you’re objectives are being understood, yet. It is my impression that today’s test proves nothing, yet, because today’s test was not to prove which pellet is the most accurate in this rifle at this speed. Today’s test is a baseline to be used to measure the results of the future lower velocity tests. The idea is to see if the lower velocities using the same pellets and same rifle will produce smaller and smaller groups as the velocity decreases.

    Even though the Devastators showed a reasonable group this time I would expect them to show an even better group at a lower velocity, if the results hold true to our expectations.

    • I’m sorry I should not have said, “…is the most accurate in this rifle at this SPEED”. I should have said, “…is the most accurate in this rifle at this SETTING”. Obviously, each pellet being different weights produced a different speed at the max setting. Now their baseline has been established at the maximum setting, let’s see what each one of them does at a lower setting.

  7. BB,
    The group of pellets neatly brackets subsonic, transonic, and supersonic MV’s. It does look to me like the Devestators either stayed supersonic for all or at least most of the 25 yards or something about their shape makes them less sensitive in the transonic region. The second option seems more likely. Perhaps the shape creates more drag, resulting in a larger bubble of air being dragged along with it, preserving laminar flow (i.e. less turbulence affecting flight). It will be interesting to see the progression of velocities.

    On seasoning the bore — probably a good idea. Shooting Crosman pellets and then switching to soft lead ones always causes me a few wild shots, even in low powered springer.

  8. B.B., all very interesting. But in evaluating pellet accuracy, how do you separate out the velocity from the intangibles of the pellet rifle interface? We all know that rifles like specific pellets for a bunch of unknown reasons. So given a certain accuracy level how do we know it’s because of the velocity and not because the rifle likes or dislikes the pellet? I guess the way to remove this uncertainty is to shoot a lot of different pellets at given velocity ranges and see if the trends hold up. If they do–different pellets following trends within one rifle, I think you have reasonable grounds for presuming that the trends will also apply across different rifles.

    Victor, not sure if I follow the issue with eye relief, but you’re on the ground and able to see for yourself. I’ll just say again that the Blackhawk cheek rest is a mighty versatile and useful product. Now, let’s hold up on something else. If B.B. says that the SW M&P is to big for concealed carry, I believe it. BUT what about the compact version? One exists with a three inch barrel (in 9mm). For a full review, you can listen to the soft-voiced mystery woman who can by found by searching YouTube with the terms “SW M&P 9c …full review…excellent handgun”. I was convinced. The review is all about grip and ergonomics which is fine since there is plenty of info about accuracy and performance elsewhere. I would give this a very hard look. I’m also interested in what training program your wife plans for her concealed weapon. All important to me seems to be to decide when to pull your weapon. A quick draw in the close contact position is your ultimate nightmare. On the other hand, pull your gun too soon and you risk unnecessary escalation and possible legal trouble. There are also at least two divergent schools of thought on gunfighting. Jeff Cooper is the big pioneer of a few well-aimed shots with a big caliber. (No shooting at godzilla with a .38 special like you see in the old horror movies.) I like his vision very much. However, the Russian practitioners of Systema have a significantly different strategy of using a 9mm with a lot more movement that includes not only changes of position but unusual body postures of ducking, sidestepping and even rolling. The emphasis is to get out of the way. As they say, if you keep moving, you stay alive. I like this very much too! Of course there is overlap between the two systems, but real differences too. The big caliber requires a pretty stable shooting position to hit anything. The Russian method is designed in part around their 9mm service caliber and good as they are, even they don’t recommend trying it with a .45. As you might know, it is rare for significant crossover between martial arts and firearms. The martial arts enthusiasts tend to trust in the spirit! Firearms experts, mostly from the military, tend to use a simplified and functional versions of martial arts. I’ve never seen martial artists as good as the Systema people use firearms as they do extremely well. I’d take a look at their ideas. Vladimir can work a slide on a Beretta by kicking it!?! Anyway, the whole business of using a concealed carry arm seems to me as complex as any martial art.

    Duskwight, thanks for the info. But it’s too late. The “AK47″ is on the flag of Rhodesia and diffused in popular culture…. What do you make of the AK200? That 60 round box magazine looks pretty unusual. And what of the new model assault rifle called something like AK95? I believe that it had a new and complex mechanism but didn’t prove satisfactory. Interesting about AK74s and the DMR. This proves that the AK system can be accurate. I’ve always suspected that if you give the AK system even a fraction of the ammunition choices and tweaking that are lavished on the AR system that the difference in accuracy would be negligible. And what are your views on the effectiveness of the 5.45X39mm “poison bullet”? I believe the poison business refers to the same kind of tumbling damage that the M16 was supposed to produce. I’ve heard Mikhail Kalashnikov say that he wishes they would have stuck with a .30 caliber cartridge and I believe him. For those wishing to pick up an AK, the Arsenal brands have a muzzle brake that, from what I can see, reduces recoil and muzzle flip to just about zero.

    While scouting around YouTube, I came across this gem on a review of the Mosin-Nagant for first time buyers. “The length of pull is pretty short. It is too on the AK 47. I guess them Russians must have short arms or something….Don’t you pay any more than $120 for a Mosin unless it’s —– gold-plated….Is the Mosin a sub-MOA crap rifle? NO! Can it shoot deer at 300 yards. HELL, ya! This is a —- great gun!!” The enthusiasm was infectious and I was pretty well doubled over the keyboard for some time.


    • Matt,

      You talk about AN-94 Abakan. Think of it as of Diana-54. It’s an artillery hold of its own with impulse accumulation principle, designed to send 2 bullets @ 1200 prm into almost the same hole. Then it shoots @ 600 just like AK-74. Cuckoo clock inside if you ask me. “Experienced shooter with high culture of weapon handling” – must be stamped on it. If you want – I can give you a disassembly photos, but first you’ll have to get yourself some Prozak :) 5.45 is typical for .220 long boattail bullets – under-stabilized and fast, however I would divide all those scary tales by 10 :)


    • The length of pull on the AK and Mosin is short because it has to be used by all soldiers. A large person can shoot with a short stock but a small person has real trouble with a long one. Also, if you need winter clothes (It gets cold in the North) and body armor, you will need a short stock for sure.
      Most military rifles tend to have short stocks for these reasons. BTW, the Enfield No. 4 could be had with different length stocks.


  9. I have been thinking for sometime I would like to see you blog about what a people should consider acceptably accuracy on a given type of gun and maybe even skill level. I think a lot of people including myself might have higher expectation then what is reality when it comes to acceptable accuracy.

    Just a thought I have had going around in my head for sometime mainly because I have been disappointed in a couple of the pellet guns I have, finding out later that at least one of them is just lack of knowledge and ability (Springer) but the other I think should do better then it is and I’m waiting on a LW barrel to put that to rest.


    • Jason…

      What is “acceptable” is up to the shooter. Some are happy to hit an oil drum more than half the time at 50 ft. Competition shooters usually want the gun to be more accurate than they can possibly hold it.

      What would make you happy?


  10. Just an off-topic advisory (which may please some)

    I will become rather scarce after today. The guillotine at Lockheed falls today and for some unknown reason there are some IP addresses that my DSL service just fails to transfer data from. The blog/comments is one of them (along with, believe it or not, my ISPs own home page, webmail page, POP3 and NNTP servers, “my account” at Amazon, and possibly some problems with eBay/PayPal). With luck, when I move to Michigan I can get Earthlink to supply a new DSL modem (theirs died two years ago, and the unit I bought at Fry’s Electronics is the one with the hic-cups). In the meantime, since I’m only allowed 20 hours a month on dial-up and the blog takes 15 minutes to load (each time) I’m going to be limited to when I drag a WiFi laptop out to Barnes&Noble or Starbucks (or activate the AT&T data card and pay $50 a month for airtime).

    • Wulfraed,

      Try reading the blog and comments via the RSS feeds, using some tool like Google Reader. Should be much more lightweight than loading the web pages.


      • I tried, but it doesn’t seem to be protocol but IP address based — with some other oddities on the side (for example, I enabled full logging of POP3 in Eudora. It shows that I can connect to the POP3 server, /log in!/, request the mailbox status (how many messages are in it) , and then when it goes “RETR n”, data fails to flow, eventually Eudora times out waiting — and it’s a long wait).

        • Wow, it seems we’re all going back to the 1990s internet-wise, but you’re even ahead of my Wulfy!

          I’d like to mention I have a decent fiddle right now, I’m renting it for $28 a month and can apply it to buying one later. I think it’s the best solution for now. Lots of small muscles and nerve pathways to get trained up again but I’ll stand by it: If you can whistle, you can learn to play the violin.

          You might want to work up skills on whatever instrument appeals to you; an internet friend lucked onto a late-1800s barrel organ and is now a musicians’ union member with $200 a day gigs at the local museum. The accordion, concertina, banjo, harpsichord, doesn’t matter ‘long as you love it and are having fun, all work well.

        • Talking to myself in public — a bad sign

          Mentioned on the most recent threads, but my comments about my flaky DSL were prophetic. Some 75% of my normal IP addresses are now failing to transfer data. Guess I’ll have to spend a day on the phone trying to persuade tech support that it is NOT my computer (Not when I unhooked the router froom the DSL modem, hooked the NEW laptop to it, and had the same behavior: Different OS (Win7Home vs XP Pro), different architecture (64bit quad-core hyper-threaded vs 32bit hyper-threaded single core), different firewall (MacAfee vs ZoneAlarm Pro), different versions of browser, email, and newsreaders)

  11. Okay…I’ve tried doing a search on every concievable spelling variation I can think of and am coming up with NADA.
    I know there has been lots of discussion on the merits of the Russian Nagants. I seem to recall that they could be quite problematic.
    I have friend who has a chance to purchase an ‘armoury grade’ Nagant 91/30 for $110.
    Is this something he will likely be able to shoot ‘out of the box’. I seem to recall lots of discussion about most of them needing a bit of TLC from a qualified gunsmith (or at least someone very handy) to make them reliable.
    Or did I just dream the whole thing ;-)

  12. The “Armoury Grade” Mosin Nagant should work “out of the box”. Most will feed and shoot. As with most Russian firearms, they tend to work and work. The down side is that they often don’t have the best ergonomics and can be hard to use. Accuracy often is fair to good but not great. Mosins are slow to operate since the bolt handle is too far forward and too short.

    But, at the end of the day they gets the job done.


  13. Dear BB,
    re, pellet velocity accuracy and effectiveness.
    I have read your opinions of the Gamo .22 Viper Express Shotgun, and consider your opinion to be exactly correct.
    The only flying targets that will succumb will be grasshoppers at close range while using the Gamo 0.22 shot shells, the patterns of which are badly blown from your reports.

    I live in South Africa , and recently bought a Gamo Viper Skeet in 0.177, as the licensing requirements for 0.22 air-rifles here are stringent because the authorities here somehow believe that a 0.22 H.V. L.R. cartridge can be fired through the air-rifle barrel. I addition the 0.177 rifle is fairly flat shooting albeit the calibre is small.

    Using H & N Barracuda 10.5 gr pellets I am reckoning on getting about 10 F.P.E. at about 30- 40 yds at a velocity of about 600 Ft/ sec., which is more than ample for flying pigeons here( or for that matter guinea -fowl).
    I am not certain this is the correct way to go , and maybe it would be better to get an increase of muzzle velocity closer to a 12 ga.velocity of about 1250 Ft./ I can use the established methods and calculation of lead that I have established over many years of wing shooting experience. I do not believe there is a lot of merit of punching calculations at this scenario, but in the balance the 12 ga. shot loses velocity and energy at a far higher rate than an 8 gr. air rifle projectile out at 30- 50 yds, especially with the loads of no.7, 8 and 9 shot shells that I often use here successfully. Your opinions will be valued.

    I have removed the red dot sight supplied by Gamo, and intend to use the gun as a shotgun is used, but firing a single pellet at a time, and sighting down the barrels with a small supplied brass bead sight at the end of the barrel, and my eye as the back sight.

    I have also acquired a Daisy Red Ryder and studied ”point shooting “and “Lucky McDaniel “and the “Quick Kill” programme of the U. S. Army that you have written about in detail.

    In addition I obtained a copy of “Robert Churchill’s Game Shooting” , which I last read some 40 years ago, which is considered the classic instruction book for shotguns written in England in 1955. These Robert Churchill methods are still currently faithfully followed by the Orvis Shooting School in the U.S.A . today.
    Robert Churchill owned the famous shotgun and rifle firm of Churchill in London, and is known for his 25 inch barrels, and “pointshooting” with a 12 ga.shotgun. At a point of time prior to writing his book he made a number of side by side 0.22 L.R. chambered double -barrelled rifles, with the same weight and balance as his famous shotguns. These were also used in America for long -distance waterfowl shooting. He said that a competent shotgun shot, could hit most of the clays in a round of trap shooting , using a single “ pellet”, and he also used this double rifle very successfully for the same purpose of shooting trap clays. He added that a good shot could expect about a 30 % success rate with a single “pellet” at fairly long distances on game birds, as compared to his success rate at normal shotgun ranges of 10 -35 yards .

    One of his American customers reported that he was pleased to get a left and right on mallards at a range of 100 yards with the 0.22 Churchill double rifle , which is far beyond the normal range of a 12 bore shotgun, even using 3 inch magnum shells.

    I have had to re-learn shotgun shooting when I lost a retina in my right and master eye, and intend to use the Gamo for wing shooting the wild Cape Rock Pigeons, in the manner of shotgun sighting.

    I am very excited about the Viper Skeet potential, as static target shooting with an air-rifle and iron or telescopic sights does not excite me at all.
    kindest regards,

    • David,

      You posted this twice, and both ended up in the spam folder. Don’t know why. I’ve added you to the whitelist, which will (hopefully) prevent your posts from being labeled as spam in the future. I approved one of the posts and deleted the other.


    • David,

      How would you go about increasing the velocity to 1,250 f.p.s.? That’s a big jump for a spring gun.

      Are you actually going to try to shoot birds on the wing with a single pellet? That sounds next to impossible at the ranges you give. Maybe 20 yards at best. But who am I to say what is possible? As you indicate, Churchill said it could be done, so who am I to argue?

      I would start my training on the rabbit (ground) target from International Clays. Then when I started to have some success I would graduate to wing shooting.

      You don’t need 10 foot-pounds for doves and pigeons. I had two writers in California who were killing dozens of the sitting birds at ranges out to 56 yards with rifles that barely had 6 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

      So, the extra velocity may be hard to achieve, but I don’t think you need it — other than to preserve the same lead you are already used to with shotguns.


    • I live in South Africa , and recently bought a Gamo Viper Skeet in 0.177, as the licensing requirements for 0.22 air-rifles here are stringent because the authorities here somehow believe that a 0.22 H.V. L.R. cartridge can be fired through the air-rifle barrel. I addition the 0.177 rifle is fairly flat shooting albeit the calibre is small.

      Well… I suppose one could bore out the chamber some to take the case (since most pellet bores seem to be rifled nearly to the breech, and .22 rimfire bullets are the same diameter as the case, you’d be engraving the rifling onto the cast). Drill an offset hole on the piston chamber to fit some sort of captive/loose pin that the piston will strike to trigger the primer…

      But given how many barrels are brass, I wouldn’t expect such a modification to last long.

      And what about .17HM2? If the .177 barrels have metal out to the diameter of the .22 barrel, you could do the same modification.

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