What do pellet head sizes mean?

by B.B. Pelletier

This question came in last week in the form of a comment about pellet sizing. Pellets are sized by pushing them through a die, and it used to be popular to do it in the 1970s. Shooters eventually realized that the bores of their airguns were doing the same thing, and sizing wasn’t really necessary.

Pellet head size is a different topic that’s still very relevant, so today we’re going to look at what’s involved. It all begins in the past, when conical bullets were first used in firearms in the 19th century.

History
Conical bullets are longer than they are wide, so they weigh more than the round balls that served as bullets for several hundred years. But because they’re longer, they can also create more friction with the bore. When they’re loaded from the muzzle, this is a problem because it takes so much more force to seat them down on the powder that the effort will usually distort their noses, adding nothing to accuracy.

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The spring-piston powerplant

by B.B.Pelletier

Today, I’m going to do a fundamental report that I promised some time back. I’ll show you how a spring-piston powerplant works. I’ll also show you how to measure mainsprings so you can find replacements when yours wears out. We had a question yesterday morning from a blog reader named Peter:

Hi Tom! Been trying to locate a replacement spring online for about the last six months. What I have is a pre-war Diana model 45 underlever. I have read on different blogs that springs from other guns can be used; but when contacting these spring suppliers, they say that if it’s not in their online catolog it’s not available. At any rate, there must be someone, somewhere that would be willing to sell a spring that would work in this gun. What baffles me most is there must be hundreds of other people who have located springs for their old airguns, but in six months of searching have had no luck in locating their source. Tom, I need your help before I go completely bazonkoos!!!

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Evanix Conquest PCP air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


The Evanix Conquest has features that set the bar very high for air rifles.

Today is velocity/power day for the Evanix Conquest PCP air rifle. In a reversal of the norm, I tested the rifle for accuracy first, and this is a follow-on to that. Of course, now we do know which pellet works the best in the test rifle, but I will also test it with a couple others to get the true power potential.

First test: JSB Exact 15.9-grain domes
The rifle was filled to 200 bar before the test began. The first pellet I tested was the one we know to be the most accurate — the JSB Exact 15.9-grain dome. Since this is the pellet I would chose for this rifle every time, the results of this test will give me realistic performance parameters of the rifle as I would use it. I’ll be testing velocity, which translates to power, and also the useful shot count. Velocity comes first.

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FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

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

Shivashankar says this is his 4-year-old son with his dad’s Diana Model 23 on the boy’s first day at their club!

Part 1
Part 2


The FWB 300S is considered the gold standard of vintage target air rifles.

We’ll look at accuracy today, but this isn’t our last look at the 300S. You convinced me to take this rifle to the range and test it at 50 yards. I’ll do that, but I have to have a perfectly calm day for it. Kevin also convinced me to test weight-sorted pellets against pellets straight from the tin, so that’s how I’ll do the test. I want to use domed pellets at that distance, so today I’ll be looking for a good one that the rifle likes.

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Industry Brand B-7

by B.B. Pelletier

Our favorite guest blogger, Vince, is at it again. Today, he shares his experience of testing a Chinese airgun.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Now, take it away, Vince!

Ahhh… the way we were! The way some of us were, anyway. By “us,” I’m referring to those of us who first got into airguns (or came back to airguns) after being seduced by those irrascible Chinese. I’m going back about, oh, 10 years or so ago, when, waltzing through the internet, we would find all sorts of places selling “The Chinese Can Opener” or the “High-Power Military Training Air Rifle.” What a deal they were — my goodness, why on earth would ANYONE spend $100 or more on one of those high-falutin’ overpriced airguns when these $25 Chinese models were obviously just as good? And we knew they were just as good because that number said so!

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Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver is a classic for airgunners who like shooting pellet pistols.

I’m starting a report on a classic air pistol. It’s one that is so well designed that it has caused a stir in the firearms community. I’m looking at Smith & Wesson’s 586 revolver. The 586 exists in S&W’s line as a .357 Magnum revolver, along with its stainless cousin, the 686. The pellet gun also comes in both black and silver finishes, and the silver finish is named the 686, just like the firearm. Both guns are .177-caliber pellet guns with rifled barrels. No other calibers are available.

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Quackenbush .308: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Quackenbush .308 is handsome even in this lowest-grade version.

Today’s report will be quite different from the norm. This is Part 2, which is normally where I test velocity. I did that, and you’ll see it in today’s report — but you’ll also see some targets, because I tested accuracy, too.

When I test a smallbore pellet gun, I know at the start how the gun should perform, more or less. Yes, there are some surprises; and yes, I do make some mistakes — but a lot of what happens can be predicted pretty accurately. But not a big bore!

With a big bore airgun, I’m almost starting from scratch. Sometimes, I will have tested something similar and can use that experience as a starting point, and there’s some of that in today’s report; but this .308 rifle is unlike any other big bore air rifle I’ve ever tested. There are more .308 lead bullet designs and bullet molds available than there are .177 pellet types on the market. Out of all that, I have to select some designs that make sense.

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