Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 7

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Before we begin today’s report, I want to reflect on a truth that helps explain why we’re sometimes dissatisfied with things when we get them. I was at the range last week testing some airguns, and I was using my Celestron 70C spotting scope, like I always do. This scope is good at 50 yards, but becomes marginal at 100 because it cannot resolve the smaller bullet holes. I don’t mean pellet holes, I mean .22-caliber bullet holes in the black bullseye at 100 yards.

A friend brought his Burris spotting scope to the range for me to compare, and the difference between the two was night and day. His scope was sharp enough to see small spiders walking on the target paper at 100 yards!

That same day, I shot a couple rifles my other friends had brought to the range. One of them was a fantastically accurate custom 6mm/.22 that can shoot a half-inch, 5-shot group at 100 yards. But it’s scoped with a BSA 4-24X scope that isn’t available at Pyramyd Air for good reason. It’s so dark and muddy that I couldn’t see the bullet holes as I shot this very accurate rifle. And I was shooting at a bright orange dot on white paper! I couldn’t see bullet holes on that! The scope was set at 16X because anything above that caused the image to go white from flare, and we were shooting in total shadow under a covered roof!

Another friend had a Lyman Super Targetspot scope that was 10X, and I could easily see all the holes his .220 Swift was making at 100 yards on the same kind of targets. So with six fewer magnifications, I was able to see the holes because of the superior optics. The Lyman scope is no longer made and a good used one will fetch about $800, while you can probably buy the BSA for under $200 all day long.

Back to the spotting scopes
My Celestron spotting scope has 30X, 60X and 90X power available. Where do I have it set? Between 30X and 60X, which is about 45X. Because anything greater than that muddies up the image too much — even at 50 yards. My friend’s Burris spotting scope only goes up to 45X maximum, yet it’s many times clearer than my Celestron. And I found on this day that only 10X was actually required to see .22-caliber holes at 100 yards on a light target. A black bull is probably harder to see with just ten power, but with 45 power it is easy!

So, I went home and researched that Burris spotting scope. It sells for about $175 at Midway, where the Celestron C70 Matsukov I have sells for about $80. But what good is it if it doesn’t do its primary job?

That got me thinking about shooters who purchase air rifles on the basis of velocity, alone, without appreciating all the other variables that come in the package. Things like smoothness, a good trigger and, most importantly, accuracy are pushed aside for velocity and low price.

I rant on about these things because they are also among my personal flaws. I’ve always tried to buy the cheapest of everything, and often the “mostest powerfulest,” too. So, I’m constantly drawn back to them whenever I find that I have made another dumb blunder.

On to today’s report
This was a day of great learning. When I summarize this series of tests, today will mark a big turning point, I believe. I learned a lot of things — all of which I will now show you.

Beeman Devastators
As always the first pellet tested was the lightweight Beeman Devastator. I’ve been amazed at the performance of this pellet from the start of this test, and last time I predicted that it would shoot even smaller groups this time.

Sorry, but that didn’t happen. The first four shots seemed to confirm the need to “season” the bore before shooting each new pellet. I’m showing that target here so you can see what I saw.


This sight-in target for Beeman Devastators fooled me. Shot one was the upper right. Shots two and three were in the same hole on the left and shot four was between that group and the first shot. At the time, I felt this was demonstrating the need to “season” the bore before shooting a group with this pellet.


This group of Devastators seemed to suggest that the barrel wasn’t fully seasoned yet. Group measures 0.956 inches between centers.

Shot one was the on at the high right, then the tight group of shots at the left were the next seven shots. Just when I was about to proclaim a universal law of bore seasoning had been discovered, shots nine and ten fell between the first shot and the group at the left.

Now, I was in a quandary. If the last two shots had strayed from the group in the same direction as the first shot, what was it telling me? Maybe the bore didn’t need seasoning. Maybe the Devastator just doesn’t like this velocity. Only another group would tell me for sure.


This second target of 10 Beeman Devastators shows that the barrel didn’t need to be seasoned. It simply isn’t responding well to this velocity. Group measures 0.724 inches between centers.

I believe that this particular velocity is one the Devastator pellet doesn’t like. As you know, I haven’t touched the Harmonic Optimized Tuning System (HOTS) on the barrel of my Whiscombe during this test. And I won’t. I don’t really care how accurate the gun is with a certain pellet. I was trying to see if there is a linear relationship between velocity and accuracy, and these two groups suggest that there isn’t. You’ll have to read the rest of this report to fully understand what I mean.

Crosman Premier lites
Next, I shot 10 Crosman Premier lites at 25 yards. This time, the target was very good, but the point of impact moved about a half-inch higher than last time. I was prepared to shoot four shots to season the bore, but the pellets kept going through the same hole, more or less, so I just completed the group without any seasoning.


This is a nice group of 10 Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets at 25 yards. It measures 0.747 inches and is actually slightly larger than the smallest group of Devastators. It’s almost identical to the last group shot during the previous test, so no big change in group size with this pellet.

The change of impact point was another big lesson this time. I’d seen it earlier, but not as dramatically as this time. The overall size of the group remained the same as before. That’s another indication that this is a barrel vibration issue and not one that’s driven by a change in velocity.

Beeman Kodiaks
The next pellets I tested were the Beeman Kodiaks, which have performed so well to this point. This time, the point of impact shifted up about three-quarters of an inch, but the group remained very tight. This time, 10 shots went into a group measuring 0.472 inches at 25 yards, which I believe is currently the best group of this entire test. Last time, they gave us a group measuring 0.628 inches.


Kodiaks continue to be the best pellet of the test. This group of 10 measures 0.472 inches between centers.

Eun Jin
And, now, it’s time to report the performance of the super-heavyweight 16.1-grain Eun Jin pellet. Last time, they made the worst showing and that continued into this test, as well. What was different was the fact that the point of impact dropped more than two inches with what was just a slight reduction in velocity.


I was aiming at the center of the bull above, where they impacted! This was a dramatic change of impact point from the last test. Group size for these 10 Eun Jin pellets was 1.27 inches between centers. That’s a little larger than last time, but the change of impact was far more noticeable.

What have we learned?
Well, nothing has been linear in this series of tests — the way I expected. But what the vibrations are doing seems pretty obvious. So, the next test is both needed, as well as anticipated.

84 Responses to “Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 7”

  • Wulfraed Says:

    A catadioptric spotting scope? (I’m ignoring the typo in the design, the K comes before the T)

    Refractors typically hold the record for resolving ability over catadioptrics, and even over plain reflectors. Catadioptrics tend to have the largest central obstruction (the secondary mirror) and said obstruction causes diffraction effects (what catadioptrics gain over Newtonian reflectors is the lack of “spider vanes” holding the secondary — the vanes tend to cause “star” patterns in the diffraction effect).

    Cats are a compromise design — they pack a relatively long focal length into a short enough tube to be portable (the common 8″ diameter [200mm] f10 Schmidt-Cassegrain is less than 24″ long, but encompasses an effective focal length of 2000mm). A simple refractor would be over 6feet long! Without looking it up, a C70 is likely 70mm diameter — not quite 3″ diameter; on the small side for a cat design… Even the Questar runs around 3.5″ (and $3000!) [Then again, Questar has always been priced for the Rolex/Bentley crowd]

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      One reservation: resolution strictly depends only on aperture. Contrast depends on unobstructed aperture. The practical result is the same, though, so that unobstructed aperture appears to have better resolution; the difference is academic for small spotting scopes.

  • Carel Says:

    Hi BB,

    Nice blog once again. I just wanted to ask how it can be that although the velocity is lower, the kodiaks point of impact has shifted up? I recently had the same experience with my FWB 150 where the heavier and slower the pellet I shot, the higher the impact would be. This just does not make any sense to me. How can this be? Is it all harmonics?

    Carel

    • twotalon Says:

      Expect it to be a combination of vibration patterns and gun movement during recoil.

      My .177 R9 throws FTT anf JSB heavies to the same place at 35-37 yds. They are not going to shoot to the same place at any other distance that is much farther or closer than that.

      twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Carel,

      The gun recoils with the pellet still inside the barrel. Even the 150 recoils. The longer the pellet is inside, the bore the barrel moves (obviously up) and the higher it will strike at short ranges.

      B.B.

    • kevin Says:

      Carel,

      Re: Harmonics

      I’m a simpleton. When I look at a gun, especially a springer, I see a musical instrument. During and after firing it plays a series of notes that vary based upon the variation of vibration. Harmonics.

      These harmonics can be changed by me in any gun with a change of pellet weight, pellet fit, where the gun rests in my hands and/or on a bench and of course the harmonics can be changed with a HOTS, BOSS, limbsaver, etc. With the right combination of pellet weight, fit and hold the harmonics allow the gun to be it’s most accurate. Yes, I’m a simpleton.

      My goal is to get that gun playing the most beautiful song it’s capable of.

      This perspective has helped me forge ahead when I’ve had difficulty getting a gun to shoot its best. It’s also made me realize that just because you bought a stradavarious it won’t make you a concert level musician.

      kevin

    • Herb Says:

      I don’t think that the pellet movement is all due to harmonics. Some certainly. No doubt there is some aerodynamics involved here too.

      I’ve seen a lot of left-right movement with a Daisy-22SG when using different numbers of pumps. The harmonics of a multiple pump would be much less than that of a springer.

      I think that I have this figured out right. For a bullet the center of pressure (CoP) is in front of the center of gravity (GoG). For a pellet the center of pressure (CoP) is behind the center of gravity (GoG).

      So spin pulls the nose of a bullet up and to the right. Spin pushes nose of a pellet down and to the left (by pulling up at CoP).

      A bullet with a right hand twist (RHT) precesses and nutates in right hand direction as well. So viewed from rear all three motions are clockwise.

      A pellet with a right hand twist will precess in opposite direction, and nutate in the same direction. So spin will be clockwise viewed from rear, but the precession will be counter-clockwise, and the nutations will be clockwise.

      If the pellet maintained exactly the same velocity for a whole precession cycle, then the pellet wouldn’t have a net movement to the left or right after a whole cycle. But the pellet loses velocity as it travels downrange. The overall result is that a ccw precession would cause the pellet to have a net drift to the right.

      Now add barrel harmonics, different velocities, different head sizes, different kinds of pellets and you have a very convoluted system. It is really impossible to just vary one factor at a time.

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    Unless you have been stringing us along with the intent of showing us things other than what the original test was supposed to show, it looks like you might end up showing us a few things that prove different points.

    At this point I am more interested in what your final summary will be when your test is completed than the results you are getting as the test goes along.

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      twotalon,

      There’s been no stringing. I’m learning this stuff as you are. And the results are different than I expected them to be. But that’s why we do it.

      B.B.

  • BG_Farmer Says:

    Regarding the spotting scopes — Wulfraed’s point on the cat. design is probably what is going on: loss of contrast due to central obstruction. If you want something good, try a Takahashi refractor, probably even one of their lower cost small apochromatic doublets would be OK for range use, but get a triplet just so you won’t have to second guess yourself. Just kidding, but it will make the Burris look cheap and shoddily constructed, and I have not seen the Burris. You get what you pay for. The trick is knowing what you want and then finding out how much you need to spend, not just spending more money.

    I don’t think the Devestator and CPL targets prove much regarding velocity and accuracy this time, as they are both in transonic region near the muzzle; next test may tell the tale. I think you are jumping to conclusions about barrel vibrations, though.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      BG_Farmer,

      I might be. Or not. This test isn’t long enough to prove anything — just to suggest things that could be looked at in greater detail.

      B.B.

    • /Dave Says:

      BG,

      Tak, no less!! You are a farmer with good taste! I don’t think I’d be taking one to the range myself though. I would think that 70mm should be enough resolution to see the spiders crawling on a target at 100 yds. Maybe Tom got one that’s out of collimation, or has cheapo eyepieces…

      /Dave

      • BG_Farmer Says:

        Dave,
        Yes, it was a tongue in cheek, but I got a kick out of thinking about it. You are right, the C70 collimation may be the issue — I seem to remember that Maksutov designs are particularly sensitive in that respect. They do have small central obstructions, though, so 70mm should be more than adequate if its working right. There was a lot of talk about them several years ago, and I thought the consensus was that the optics were pretty good, but things can change, fall out of alignment, etc. I can also be getting old and mis-remembering stuff :).

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          BG_Farmer,

          Don’t overthink this. This particular Celestron is an el cheapo. They are all made in China, but this one is made to very low specs so it can be sold for cheap. That’s why I gave the cost in the text.

          It’s like when Walther bought Hammerli and slapped their name on cheap Chinese-made airguns. Suddenly the world’s most renowned name in target guns became a schlock shop. Like Rolex asking Swatch to make their watches.

          B.B.

        • Wulfraed Says:

          Small Mak’s usually don’t have collimation controls. The secondary is a silvered (aluminized?) spot on the actual inside surface of the thick (but simple to make) corrector plate.

          Schmidt-Cassegrain designs, having that complex (think the gap between two doughnuts stacked) corrector plate, are the ones with a clamped on secondary holder and collimation screws.

  • Davex Says:

    What is the possibility that you will review for us the FX Independence in the near future?

  • cowboystar dad Says:

    B.B….I have a request (suggestion??) of a test to do with accuracy that I, and I imagine others would be interested in. Perhaps it has already been done and you can direct me where…but I’ve searched and can’t find anything.
    Anyhoo…an anecdote that explains some of my reasoning. I’m a reasonable shot with in 10m pistol. I’m part of a local league that shoots a scaled down course of fire based on a postal match I used to compete in. 20 shots in 20 minutes. I shoot in the low to mid 180′s (out of 200) which puts me in the front half of our group of 17 shooters.
    My ‘shooting buddy’ of many years has joined us a few times and has done poorly…140′s.
    Thing is he is one of the top ranked IPSC shooters in Alberta.
    Go figure.
    Anecdote two…from my father years ago. He had a custom Remington 700 in 22-250 that could literally core an apple at 100yds on the first shot with a cold bore.
    But as he said, when he was out hunting moose…if you could hit a pie plate at 100yds you had meat in the freezer for the next year.

    So…my frustration. Out again this past weekend with the Slavia, new Theoben trigger shoe and scope level attached. Best group (10 shots) at 30m…just under an inch.
    I shoot seated at a bench, the only support is my elbows on the bench…no bags, no rests, nothing like that.
    So I know I probably shouldn’t expect 1/4 groups.
    But I do…because that’s all I see on all the various forums.
    But I feel that though sighting in a rifle from the bench with the gun rested isn’t how one hunts or plinks. Then it’s, if your lucky the nearest tree trunk or fencepost to lean against.

    So..the test I suggest. Take a known accurate gun…the R7/HW35 or TX200 (PCP’s not apply…we know they’re dead accurate and need no special hold ;-) )
    Do a test from the bench…but then shoot some groups the way one would in the field…kneeling or prone or using that fencepost to lean against.
    But no fancy rigs.
    I really think it would help a lot of people who haven’t spend tons of dollars on rests and such realize that without said rigs…those 1/4″ groups are well nigh impossible.

    Anyone else interested??

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      CSD,

      First, your IPSC friend is used to pulling the trigger fast — not on precision sight alignment. Bullseye target shooting isn’t his cup o’ tea. And that leads me to my second comment. You always do better when you do what you practice. So I’m better off a bench, where I spend 95 percent of my time, than I am in any other position.

      I know what will happen, because I used to shoot field target from the sitting position. My group sizes will increase.

      B.B.

    • Slinging Lead Says:

      CSB

      That sounds like a good idea to me. Just for shoots and giggles. It wouldn’t mean beans across the board, but it would be instructive to me to see how big a difference, and what the difference would be. It would help me, and I would probably comment about it for the benefit of others…unless of course, my groups are so bad I am too embarrassed to talk about the whole thing. In that case there will be silence.

      • Carel Says:

        Yes there will be silence from me too for quite some time until I master that position. But I am sure I will do it some day. Do you still have that HW55 and Diana 27 by the way Slinging lead?

        • Slinging Lead Says:

          Carel

          I was hoping that was you. Yes, of course, I still have both guns. I was going to shoot an HW35 today, but now I think I will be going to the HW55. It is just a shame I will be shooting alone, as no one else we be around to appreciate its beauty. I posted pictures of it after I first got it, and got many cat-calls and whistles!

          Thanks again, for selling these nuggets of gold stateside. It is great to see you on the blog.

    • cowboystar dad Says:

      I know it wouldn’t be definitive. As b.b. points out some shooters are just naturally inclined to one kind of shooting over others.
      I’m just trying to address the fact that nearly all test of airguns seemed to be off the bench. I read lots of PB tests that will tell you what the gun is capable of (meaning benched)…and then what to expect when fired in a real life scenario.
      I know a few of my friends are frustrated by this as well…they think they have a ‘dud’ gun because it doesn’t shoot as the tests indicate it should and get discouraged.

      • B.B. Pelletier Says:

        CSD,

        I have seen exactly what you are saying played out in real life. Someone comes to a field target match and does poorly with a rifle, then a good shot shoots the same gun and does well. Or perhaps the most common one of all in the handgunner who keeps shooting to the left (or right, if he’s left-handed) and thinks his sights are off. Then a real handgunner takes the same gun and drills the center of the target.

        The problem is, regardless of whether it’s shot off a bench or in the hands, if the shooter is better than the reader, there will always be a difference. I shoot off a bench to take myself out of the equation as much as possible. I want to know what the gun can do on its own.

        But when I hunt I don’t shoot off a bench. Then my challenge is to find a rest wherever I am that’s as steady as possible. This is where buffalo sticks come into play. Maybe there is something here, after all. I know that Jim Chapman hardly ever takes a shot unless he is resting on sticks, and he is considered to be a good hunter.

        Maybe I will do a report on using sticks and improvised rests in the field. Is that what you wanted?

        B.B.

        • cowboystar dad Says:

          b.b., sorry but not really (the test on sticks).
          I guess what I’m looking for is just something in writing on the airgun forums that basically say…”hey, this is off the bench and is the best the gun can do, minus the guy behind the trigger”.
          For example in an issue of ‘Tactical Weapons’ I was recently reading they tested an upper end black rifle (AR). In the test, off the bench it was under 1″MOA at 100yds. Then they proceeded to say that in the field they had not problem holding a 2″ group.
          This is what I’m looking for, I guess…not hints on how to jury rig rests out of stands or sticks (Mike), but just an idea of what the gun will do in the field in the hands of the average shooter. When I’m out with the boys wandering a field looking for leaves and such to shoot at…I’m not about to carry and extra 5ibs of sand to get that utmost accuracy.

          I think what frustrates me is that airgunners actually seem a little jealous of their BP counterparts…so it’s as though we’re always talking about how much we can wring out of our latest acquisition with rebuilds, lubes, custom triggers and the such. All well and good. But sometimes I’d just like to see what an average gun is capable in the hands of an average shooter…where the shooter does come into play.

          I’ll leave it at this. I may not be making myself clear, but I hope you get my drift.

          • BG_Farmer Says:

            CBSDad,
            Honestly, the “average” shooter is so lousy offhand that no one would buy the gun if they found an average shooter to shoot them that way. I think you are above average and don’t need to worry. BR groups are tiny, offhand and groups from other positions are a little or a lot bigger. I know one 60 something year old who can hold well under 2″ regularly at 50 yards with a flintlock and open sights; I’ve even seen him hit the X on 1 second delay(hangfire). He is not average: using his rifle, I perhaps could hold 2 or 3 inches on a really good day at the same range, and I would bet that there are still others not even that good. Do the best you can from whatever position you need to use and that will answer your question the best way possible, right?

        • Matt61 Says:

          My Dad will really disturb your sense of reality of what a gun can do. With his sharpshooter rating in the army from 1960, he took up the Garand for the first time in half a century and methodically fired off a clip from a rest at a target 100 yards away. Not a single shot hit the target! Finally, I discovered that he wasn’t using the rear sight! Then, he tells me that the trigger doesn’t work on my Savage 10FP. But I see that he is only pressing the leaf down to the trigger face and not pressing the trigger. One session after another passes with him not hitting the target at 25 yards with my Ruger Single Six. First, he claims that the caliber is too light and that with the .22 magnum cylinder, the gun has better “balance” although he doesn’t hit the target with that either. Then, he says that he needs a pair of leather shooting gloves. Finally, he claims that the Ruger Single Six is just not a target pistol. But I finally learn that the real problem is that he’s not using the rear sight again! He’s always been a wild one and must clearly be watched on the shooting range. :-)

          Matt

    • Mike Says:

      You don’t need a high dollar rests to shoot 1/4 inch groups if the rifle is capabile of it. You can do it with shot bags filled with sand. My old Remington 788 in .223 would do it. There are others in our gun club that can do it too with their guns. Now I don’t mean that every group is that good but it can be done.

      Mike

      • Matt61 Says:

        That Remington 788 sounds like some kind of a rifle–cheap and accurate which is just my style. I used to fantasize about one in high school, and I can’t figure out why they banned it. But I doubt it would displace my Savage 10FP anyway.

        Matt61

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Matt,

          All sorts of rumors about why Remington dropped the 788.

          It was too accurate and made too well. It hurt the sales of their more expensive rifles.

          It was too marginal. The bolt flexed with the shot and it could barely handle the .308 round.

          I own a 30-30 788 that I enjoy very much. I used to own a .308 that I hated because of the heavy recoil in that light rifle.

          They probably stopped it because the sales figures just weren’t there. If you look at all the calibers they made it in, it didn’t die from Remington not trying.

          B.B.

          • cowboystar dad Says:

            The only centerfire I’ve ever owned was, surprisingly, a 788 chambered in .222.
            It really annoyed good old dad…at 100yds my 788 could shoot as well as his custom 700. Now at 200 yds or with a breeze things changed…but for 1/3 of what he paid for the 700 that 788 was pretty amazing.

            So. I guess I just need to live with the fact that I (or anybody it sounds like) can’t shoot 10 shot 1 hole groups at 30m offhand ;-)

  • Slinging Lead Says:

    Volvo

    Your post yesterday inspired me to look up your review on the Webley Raider and read it again.

    Classic. I would know that writing style anywhere, even if it was in Sanskrit. I hope that you are writing the brochures for those housing developments you are selling. I just picture a young(er) Volvo, grinning ear to ear, with his very first PCP, even if he did buy and sell it faster than a Kim Kardasian marriage lasts. Inquiring minds want to know, what are you shooting most these days?

    For me, oddly enough, the rifle I shoot most is a TF99 I bought from the Yellow Classifieds from Vince. It is a gun that I don’t keep tucked away wrapped in a gunsock, with a case over it. I am lazy, therefor I reach for the gun I paid less that $100 bucks for, rather than a multitude of other options, due to convenience. It shoots damn good. And BG_Farmer might be happy to know that I am still shooting it with the open sights. I am certain you would be horrified by it.

    How is your Benjamin Discovery working out? If you sold it already, I must have missed it.

    • Volvo Says:

      Slinging,

      Glad to see you shooting HW’s, everyone should try one.

      The Disco is still around, I was waiting for an add on from Mike T so I could shoot it outside. Just came last week. If it will group well at 45 yards with any pellet, I’ll keep it – well, at least until I need lap dance money. For some reason they get upset when you make it rain nickels and dimes.

      The HW50M should come together tonight, as I have scope number two coming. The first one had too limited elevation movement. I also picked up the mount twotalon suggested.

      I dare say it may be blog worthy.

      • twotalon Says:

        Volvo..
        Watch how the scope fits, so the bottom of the turret does not hit the mount. File or Dremel as necessary.

        twotalon

  • Mike Says:

    BB, what was the velocity of today’s test?

    Mike

  • Desertdweller Says:

    A little off-topic question, but it ties in with yesterday’s blog.

    I got in a little late to post on it. But, I have been watching the new cable series about the gold miners in Alaska and the Yukon. Made me think of Whacky Wayne.

    We haven’t heard from him for awhile. Wayne, what is the rest of the story on your gold mining adventure?

    I started on this forum before Tom’s denouement as BB. But it wasn’t hard to figure out. Especially when BB would turn the blog over to Tom, and the writing styles were identical.

    Thanks for a great forum, Edith, Tom, and Josh.

    Les

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Desertdweller,

      Here’s a tidbit no one knows but Tom & me…and now the world :-)

      When Tom was hired as the editor of Airgun Illustrated magazine, the president of the company was disturbed that Tom did 99% of the writing. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth :-)

      So, Tom started submitting articles under pen names. That seemed to make them happy. Apparently, they didn’t notice that the writing styles were identical.

      Then, when they emailed him out of the blue one day and said they didn’t need him anymore (since the publication was on a roll and doing well), they probably assumed those other writers would continue to submit articles :-)

      Edith

      • J-F Says:

        That explains a LOT, thanks Edith.
        You know I kept all of these Airgun Illustrated mags, I never got the first one with Lou Ferrigno. But I think I have all the other ones.
        It’s a shame people act like this… how does you next job interview goes when your mag just went belly up because you’re too dumb to keep good writers on the payroll including THE airgun star of the business.

        J-F

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          J-F,

          It goes like this:

          Me: “John, I just got fired by email! I’m no longer the editor of Airgun Illustrated. Just when we decided to move to Texas they pulled the rug out from under me.

          John: “You want a job? Come to work for me.”

          Me: “Okay.”

          B.B.

          • J-F Says:

            LOL I wasn’t talking about you Tom, I was refering to the guys who were publishing the mag… When you fire the editor who also happens to be the guy writing so many articles in your mag how could you expect the mag to survive? How did HIS next job interview went?

            Probable employer : so what happened at your previous job?

            Dumb magasine guy : I have no idea, my editor was writing almost the mag by himself, we could have called it Tom Illustrated but I fired him instead.

            Probable employer : so how did the mag go after that?

            Dumb mag guy : not se well, a few more issues came out with a bank of articles we had then it died.

            Not so probable employer : well that sure was interesting… We’ll keep you informed

            J-F

      • Mr B. Says:

        Edith,

        If I only knew how to put a smiley face here–talk about poetic justice! Sure is nice to see it happen.

        Thanks for that tidbit.

        Bruce

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Bruce,

          I was cheering from the sidelines. :)

          Just make a space after the end of the sentence then type a colon, followed by a right parenthesis. :)

          Use a semicolon if you want to wink. ;)

          B.B.

        • J-F Says:

          Bruce (and others who would like to use emoticons) you can go here : http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Smilies
          it’s a list of smilies code that are available on WordPress.
          There’s 20 something of them to choose from. My personnal favorite is this one :twisted:
          There’s more available but I think it has to be programmed by the bloggers.
          Speaking of WordPress and the blog why don’t you guys put the verification word back on? It’s not hard, you don’t have to subscribe or anything and it keeps most spammers away (I had over 40 this morning when I woke up, but I don’t mind as I read every comment, I wanna keep receiving them).

          J-F

  • Wacky Wayne Says:

    Howdy Hey Folks!

    I haven’t been here in a LLOOONNNNNGGGG time.. A new shooter at our club, Allan Heggem, told me, as we shot Pistol Field Target on Saturday, that Tom had mentioned me in the weekend blog… and I should drop by and say hi… so here I am. How very interesting that Les asked about me too, just as I came in to say howdy..

    Lots to catch up on. Our club is doing well… we were just awarded the 2012 AAFTA National Field Target Championships! It hasn’t been on the west coast since 2005, so it was about time. Our venue here in Ashland, is too small for 100 contestants, so we’ll be hosting the event at the Josephine Co. Sportspark, in Grants Pass, Or. about 45 miles north of us here in Ashland, Or. if anyone here is interested in attending, go to our website http://ashlandairriflerange.com/index.php for registration forms and more info about the shoot. It will be on Sept. 28th thru the 30th. Pistol FT will be on Friday, the 28th, and Rifle on the 29th and 30th.

    I bet Tom had no idea more than two years ago, when he wrote an article about “Starting a Field Target club”, he’d be getting a club started that would be awarded the AAFTA National Championships! … Especially since, I was the only one to sign up for the class to be held in Ohio.

    We shoot a lot here in Ashland, and I’ve made friends with the Grants Pass, “Wild River” club that shoots bench rest every other Wed. and silhouette the other Wed. We shoot FT on every Sat. and Bench rest on every Sun. here in Ashland. I still travel to most major shoots on the west coast as well, so, I’m a busy little Oregon Duck.. (I would have said “Beaver” but I’m an avid Duck fan… how about that win over Stanford on Sat!!)

    I’m still managing the raised bed business too, and between match announcements and reports, and answering questions about upcoming matches on the forums, I’m maxed out on forum posting… but I’ll try to stop by more often.. sorry it’s been so long.

    The Gold Mine… It’s an incredibly beautiful place with old growth and springs in abundance. We haven’t done any mining yet, just exploring the 80 ac. claim and checking out the existing hand dug holes left by the last miners in the 70s. We plan to drill some 6″ diameter holes and see what comes up from that material. With all the springs in the area, they will most likely fill with water, which will help add to the seasonal creek, for running the “Gold Genies” and material sorters.

    The place is really full of wildlife too; bears, elk, deer, cougar and much more. A great gravel road goes through the top part of the claim, which is at 3,400′… the lower parts of the claim are around 1,700′.. so it’s very steep mountain side and hard to get around on… but OH so beautiful! The claim is only 25 mins. from the I-5 freeway at exit 61, which is also the exit for the Josephine Co. SportsPark where the AAFTA National Championships will be held. How’s that for a package of fun.. Are ya’all coming now? You keep half of the gold you find on my claim!

    I would also like to warn you folks, that lots of other forums are not so nice to comment on… one can run into all sorts of nasty battles over ego stuff, that really take the fun out of commenting… but as a match director, I have to hang in there and get the info out. I’d much rather hang out here, but this is not the official Field Target or Bench Rest Forum… to my dismay:-)

    My collection has migrated to almost exclusively USFTs.. Still have #6 that Billy Lo won the 2005 FT nationals with, and #44 a 12fpe rig that he won at that event as a prize to have a go at the world Championships, #27, a 30fpe .22 cal “Open” class bench rest rig, #57, my favorite FT rig, and two 12fpe bench rest outfits, one that Tim (Mac One) shot at the World Bench Rest Championships, and the other one that I shot there. At least I know what I’m buying when I get a USFT… I made some really poor choices in my early collecting days.. but.. bygones:-) And I can shoot all of this collection, and if I do well, maybe add some value to them. But mostly, there is just so few of them out there, in ten or twenty years, I bet….

    Oh, and I got my first buck this year, with my Marlin 336 in 45LC.. an open site shot from about 35 yards right through the lungs and heart.. practice is a good thing:-) I let him hang and age for a week and wow, is he good!.. don’t rush your meat folks.

    Anyway… howdy hey, and bless you all, may your pellets find their mark and love be in your hearts!

    Wacky Wayne,
    Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Wayne,

      Welcome back! I think I will remember you always for that statement, “Don’t rush your meat, folks.”

      I hope you’ll stop by occasionally and say something, so we know how you are.

      I remember that course Mac and I wanted to run, and you were the only person who wanted to take it. I had guys in Pittsburgh telling me Cleveland was too far away, and there you were — willing to drive from Oregon to be with us.

      You have done remarkably well in field target and I hope you are now passing on what you know to other guys who are new.

      B.B.

      • Wacky Wayne Says:

        Tom,

        Yes, I guess I’m pretty crazy in my willingness to drive distances… must be a holdover from my days delivering my pagoda bird feeders to nature stores around the country. I use to drive over 50,000 miles a year in my Volvo wagon. I got over 550,000 miles on that four banger, 82′ 240, 5 speed, and that was on the original engine and transmission! I pulled a 3,000 lb. trailer most of the time too! … and still got over 25 mpg.

        I’ll check back in this evening.. gotta go for now..

        Wacky Wayne

        • Slinging Lead Says:

          Wayne

          It is great to read from you. Do you still sell the pagoda bird feeders? None of the birds in my neck of the woods are dying of starvation, but I could always use another bird feeder. Best regards.

          • AlanL Says:

            SL,
            I shudder to imagine why! ;)
            AlanL

          • Fred PRoNJ Says:

            Wayne, great to hear that things are doing well. I figure you’ve come back really to plan your next subterfuge to get BB to sell his USFT rifle. I’m available :)

            Fred PRoNJ

          • Wacky Wayne Says:

            SL,

            Haven’t made any Pagoda Bird Feeders in five years, but we might add them back into the line on a retail level on our raised bed website.. It might work better as a profit center on that level.. Wholesale was break even at best. I’ll let you know if we get back into them again.

            Les, It would be great to have you stop by on your vacation, we shoot here just about every weekend and Weds. in Grants Pass, so bring them air guns! And you can try out mine too. Plan around the end of Sept. and really have some fun! With the price of gold and the beautiful places we have to search for it, lot’s of folks are getting into spending time trying their luck. The newer spiral gold dust and nugget separators make panning a waste of time.. spend more time collecting the good stuff to separate, is the idea.

            Fred, so you think we should revise the tunneling effort, even with the nests of fire ants we ran into last time?

            Wacky Wayne

        • Desertdweller Says:

          Wayne,

          Really good to hear from you! Good luck on both the mine and the FT meet.

          I’m retired now, so I hope to get around more. Oregon is on my list to visit: I already have friends in Portland. I’ll touch bases with you when I eventually get out there. And bring my air rifles, too.

          Maybe even a gold pan.

          Les

    • /Dave Says:

      Wayne,

      Nice to see you’re still hanging out too! You’ve been busy! Great job! If I ever get up that way, I’ll for sure look you up AND bring my pan!

      /Dave

  • Matt61 Says:

    For the pellet velocity test, I never imagined a linear relationship between velocity and accuracy. That would mean the pellet gets more accurate with velocity (or less accurate), presumably below the sound barrier when turbulence kicks in. The only rationale for that would be that flatter shooting pellets would be more accurate which makes a certain sense. But it is already disproven by target guns, the most accurate of airguns which all have low velocities. I thought the question was whether there was a sweet spot for velocity and accuracy (which would not look like a linear graph). I’ll admit that with all the different pellets and velocities and surprising results that I am unequal to putting this all together, so someone will have to explain the results to me. But out of my reading experience, I will repeat an earlier point that I made that since we know that guns behave differently for different pellets in a way that is too complicated to predict, I don’t see how we can disentangle the effect of velocity on accuracy from all the other factors due to a given pellet choice.

    Thanks for the responses on paddle shifting although I believe that I started another off-topic thread. :-) If you guys had not dispersed your energies in these various interests, you could probably have won a Nobel Prize. Incidentally, on the subject of being off-topic, I will say that the one topic that is out-of-bounds is shooting deer with airguns. That’s what caused the blow-up that caused Henry/Sumo to leave (although he said that he didn’t do it himself). I don’t think it’s a good idea for the sake of the deer and not something that makes airgunning look particularly good which was one point raised in that discussion. I don’t bring this up to accuse but just to point out that one person’s idea of an appropriate topic is not another’s although I agree that we should make a collective effort not to go too far astray.

    Volvo, that’s quite an intense story. Glad you’ve hung in there with us.

    Matt61

  • Frank B Says:

    Does anyone have any advice for me regarding digital pictures and the Internet.I am encountering great difficulty using images captured using a Kodak EZ-share (NOT!) 10.1 MP 10X optical Retinar aspheric lens
    camera.I am OK with the pics I take,though always working on improvement.I’m running into difficulty using my AOL Mail…..single picture takes 5 minuites or more to add to an Email.When I upload to Kodak’s gallery to share that way……25 minuites to upload 21 pictures,and when I send an Email “link” so friends can see them on Kodak’s site,many report back problems.Do I need to resize my images? Is 10MP too detailed for email? Ps.PCP4ME,these are airgun pics……

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Frank,

      You need to resize those pix to 72 dpi in whatever software you use. I use Photoshop, which also allows me to optimize images for the internet, but more pic programs can at least give you 72 dpi (it’s actually pixels per inch, but you know what I mean).

      B.B.

      • Slinging Lead Says:

        This is photographer talk for, “yes, you need to resize your images.” ;-)

        I had the same problem when trying to email photos of a stray cat I recently adopted. When the photos were displayed actual size, they were absolutely huge. It just shows you what these digital cameras are capable of.

        • Frank B Says:

          Thanks to both of you> I’ll work on it!

          • Fred PRoNJ Says:

            Frank,

            you can contact me via e-mail but basically you can reduce your images, as BB said, by using free software. I like very much Picasa which you can download from Google. It has a resizing option for e-mail as well as other options – resizing being reduction in “density” or information of the photo but does not affect the physical size of the photo – not to be confused with cropping. But in deference to the blog, lets take this off-blog if you’d like and I’ll try to help you out.

            Fred PRoNJ

    • twotalon Says:

      Frank…

      Man, a 10 megger is a huge pic. MASSIVE file ! Don’t send one to someone on dialup. They will die of old age before it all gets there.

      I don’t like to send a pic as large as 300K. Don’t know anything about your camera or software.
      I usually start with the smallest pic the camera will take. If it is still bigger than I want, I size it down…..quite a few times to a 800×640 or something like that…and use max compression.

      Depends some on which program I load up, and what kind of edit features it has. I keep forgetting which program will do what.

      Sometimes you can crop away some of the pic, then size the remainder down.

      I am not an expert on pic manipulation. I fumble around a lot. I should either take notes, or do pics often enough to remember where to go and what to do.

      twotalon

    • Wulfraed Says:

      For display on a web page (or /in/ an email) I tend to hold images down to around 640×480 or up to 800×600 at maximum. See:
      http://wlfraed.home.netcom.com/gallery.htm
      Those were shot with an old 4 (FOUR) MP camera, and were still resampled down to about 1/4 of the original dimensions (640×480 is just over 307k pixels, 16X is 5MP [16X is 4 times the width & 4 times the height]).

      Personally, I find advice saying to resize to some DPI value misleading. 1) it assumes everyone has a monitor with the same resolution specifications — which is obviously not true: my 40″ HD TV has 1920×1080 pixels, while my old 20″ Dell UltraSharp monitor has 1600×1200 pixels. 2) I can set the SAME image file to 72DPI, 96DPI, or 300DPI without making a single change in the file size. DPI specifications are used by PRINT layout software to map the pixels to linear paper dimensions (72DPI became popular as printing “points” are ~72 points per inch, and original Macintosh monitors were built at 72 pixels per inch — hence the WYSIWYG of desktop publishing; however, NatGeo quality photos are 300 pixels per inch via a halftone line screen of 150 lines per inch)

      At “72DPI”, my 640×480 screen images would /print/ as 6.66×8.88″ prints — and would look quite ugly. At photoprint levels (300PPI), the same image would only be 1.6×2.13″; small than a business card.

      Your 10MP files contain enough data to print, at 300PPI, images over 10″ long — a 4×6″ print only needs just over 2MP (1200×1800 pixels), an 8×12 is only 8MP (2400×3600 pixels).

      What you need to do is make a copy of the files, and resample the copies down to some reasonable pixel dimensions (you want a copy as resampling will throw away data you won’t be able to recover later; unlike setting a DPI “print size” suggestion)
      http://www.photoshopessentials.com/essentials/image-resizing.php

      Note how the keys for web use are “constrain proportions”, “resample”, and the pixel dimension on top — the document size/DPI aren’t even touched.

      • B.B. Pelletier Says:

        No, pixel width doesn’t refer to monitors. It refers to what you are calling the SIZE of the photo. How large it looks when you display it is when the monito come into play.

        All optimized internet images (those that are correctly sized for optimum performance) are 72 dpi.

        On this blog the images I display are all a maximum of 560 pixels wide. But ALL photos are still 72 dpi.

        B.B.

      • Wulfraed Says:

        What my point “1)” left out… My computer monitor runs 100DPI, the HD TV is only 55DPI (and, as mentioned, original Macintosh displays were 72DPI; Windows OS default assumes a display is 96DPI regardless of the actual attached display size).

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Wulfraed,

          My monitor is running 1,280 X 1024 pixels at this time. That used to be high-rez but it’s medium-rez now. But it has nothing to do with how many pixels are put into images that are displayed on the internet.

          I’m really not lying to you about this. All internet-optimized images have 72 dpi resolution. If you were to view the resolution of the images on the Pyramyd Air website, they would all be 72 dpi – or they should be. Anything greater than that slows down transmission, because it creates too much information to send. The monitor only controls the size they appear on the user’s end.

          B.B.

          • Edith Gaylord Says:

            All images on Pyramyd Air’s site are 72 dpi. We try to keep most images to less than 30K. Some older images may be larger, but none are more than 40K.

            Edith

          • Wulfraed Says:

            Well, I just took a 15MP Canon RAW image through Photoshop.

            Resampled down to 600×400, leaving the PPI value at the default 300, converted to 8-bit mode (can’t save 16-bit as JPEG), saved as JPEG with quality 10/Baseline

            Then took the same original image, resampled down to 600×400 and changed the PPI to 72, converted to 8-bit, saved as another JPEG Q-10/Baseline.

            The properties of the files, as shown by M$ Photo Editor are:

            Resolution: 300 Pixels/Inch
            Size: Pixels Inches
            Width: 600 2.00
            Height: 400 1.33
            Bytes: 720000

            vs

            Resolution: 72 Pixels/Inch
            Size: Pixels Inches
            Width: 600 8.33
            Height: 400 5.66
            Bytes: 720000

            Properties in Windows:
            Size: 128 KB (131,779 bytes) [300PPI file]
            vs
            Size: 131 KB (134,868 bytes) [72PPI file]

            The 72PPI file actually came in 3KB larger!

            In all my experience, the embedded PPI “resolution” is only used as a suggestion to the rendering software, primarily for print media. My web browsers don’t use it and just display the pure image pixels at whatever resolution the display is capable of. If the browser did honor the PPI value, these two test files would render at widely different sizes, but they do not. I am not familiar with any server that attempts to rescale images in accordance with a PPI setting during access — they just copy the file, as it is, to the destination.

            • Herb Says:

              Wulfraed,

              I think that you nailed the reason for setting the images to 75 dpi. I’d agree that it is for printing webpages so that the printed page looks reasonably close to the webpage.

              Herb

    • Herb Says:

      RE: reducing picture size….

      It depends.

      If the idea is to share pictures just to view on computer monitors, then yes you can reduce them in size so that the overall file size is smaller. If you expect the pictures to be downloaded to a thumb drive for your relatives to take to a local store for prints, then they will need the larger pictures so as not to lose resolution.

      For computer monitors there are a number of factors going on.

      (1) The overall size in pixels per inch for a computer monitor is much lower than the pixels per inch that printers use.

      (2) As BB has noted the standard blog photo here can be no more than 560 pixels wide. So to post a photo here you’d need to resize it to that width in pixels. You could either trim the picture to cut out a part 560 pixels wide, or you could resize the whole image to reduce the size say from 1000 pixels in width to 560 pixels.

      (3) Monitors also are much more limited in dynamic range than prints. A typical computer monitor can only set RGB from 0-255. So monitors use a “gamma” setting which is basically a log scale. This allows for greater contrast in dark and light sections.

      (4) There is another bit of magic – file compression. JPG files are compressed and with most software programs you can set the compression rate. Basically you compare colors from one pixel to the next and use some mathematics to reduce the file size. Typically the idea is to reduce the file size so that you wouldn’t notice any degradation (or only very slight degradation) when looking at the whole picture. However if you look at the picture at 16X normal then the effects of digital compression are obvious.

      Careful though with cropping and resizing jpg images. Typically every time you resave the image, the image gets compressed more. (Learned that tidbit the hard way.)

      It is quite possible that some software programs use dpi setting vs pixels to set some sort of default compression. I don’t know of any specific examples.

      The whole dpi or pixels per inch is sort of complicated. In essence you can think of 72dpi or 72 pixels per inch as 72 “cells” per inch where each cell in the X-Y grid has some effective color. But it really isn’t quite that simple. For printing you have to consider half-toning. For computer monitors you have to look at the pattern of RGB spots that make of a “cell,” and how the cells are laid out on the screen. The simple idea of “cells” per inch though will get you in the ballpark.

      We can discuss color calibration between monitors another day. ;-)

      Hope that helps,
      Herb

      • Frank B Says:

        Everything you wrote is helpful in my overall understanding Herb.It really fills in the picture of what I am dealing with (pardon the pun) and now I grasp the ramifications of different methods,plus their critical applications! I have an awesome friend in New Orleans that I rely on for technical advice when printing is the task at hand.You just now taught me things he never got around to when I lived there.I thank you sir.

      • Herb Says:

        Sorry should have pointed out that file size is measured in bytes. There is really no good conversion between bytes and pixels due to compression.

        But if you have a file in BMP format which is not compressed, then an image which is 500 pixels wide and 250 pixels tall on a monitor would have:

        500*250*256*256*256/256 = 8,192,000,000 bytes or 8.2 gigabytes in size.

        256*256*256 for RGB since each color can have value from 0 to 255.

        /256 since there are 8 bits in a byte.

        • Wulfraed Says:

          Pardon…

          While 8-bit color can represent 256 values, and you have 8-bits for red, 8 for green, and 8 for blue… That’s 24-bits per pixel, or just THREE BYTES per pixel.

          Your 500×250 pixel image is using just 500*250*3 BYTES => 375,000 bytes (or ~375kB).

          • BG_Farmer Says:

            Actually, a kilobyte (KB) is normally 1024 bytes, so 375000 bytes is a little over 366KB.

            Also, processor word size makes 32 bit xRGB (or sometimes ARGB if there is an alpha channel) preferable at times, even though it wastes some space (assuming there isn’t anything in the fourth byte). That would make the 500×250 picture an even 500,000 bytes or something over 488KB if stored as a raw bitmap in 32 bit format, which many programs do. Otherwise, you are quite correct.

            • Herb Says:

              Wulfraed & BG_Farmer – Thanks for cleaning up my mess! You are absolutely correct. I calculated wrong. Thanks for pointing out the error.

              Seemed large at the time and I so doubled checked the calculation. Guess what? You put in the numbers wrong twice and the answer is wrong, even though you got it twice. :-) Reminds me when I was teaching a chem lab. “Didn’t 108% iron make you suspicious that there was a mistake somewhere?”

            • Wulfraed Says:

              While a binary kB IS 1024 bytes… When you start sizing hard drives and flash memory, you’ll often find the manufacturer has stated a size in decimal kB… And I did have a ~ in front to indicate “approximately” (I’m not going to see if I can pass value from a character map look-up in a routine message. Besides, while “Windows: Western” has a +/- symbol ±, it doesn’t have a proper “approximately”; and raw Unicode may not pass the symbol ≈ )

  • Frank B Says:

    Thanks to all that responded to help me.I now have things straight.I have sent test images to a few of you to enjoy.That is all I wanted to do is share some of the beautiful work I’ve indulged in.I have so much still to learn……after my nap.TwoTalon,can you email me so I can share some pics?? I’m at aol.com and my adress starts with frankbpc.

  • flobert Says:

    The Celestron name is being put on some pretty cheapo stuff these days.

    Back in the 90s the spotting scope to have was a big green Kowa, they ran about $350. They were wonderful. Fixed 20X I believe.

    In other news, I built a PVC flute, went out busking yesterday, and made three-fitty. I really actually made three-fitty! It’s so funny!

  • Bob Says:

    For fast resizing of photos just download from Microsoft “Image Resizing Powertoy for Windows” it’s from Microsoft.
    All you do is right click on photo and then click size you want. Takes about 5 seconds total.
    Or you can also use free Google Picassa.

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