B25H breakbarrel rifle with a bamboo stock: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

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

John McKinney is this week’s BSOTW. Looks like he’s holding a Benjamin Marauder.

Part 1


The B25H breakbarrel air rifle looks striking with its bamboo stock.

I know there’s a lot of interest in this air rifle. It came through in the passionate comments made to Part 1. Today, I’ll complete my test of the B25H breakbarrel from Xisico with an accuracy test.

I installed a Leapers Golden Image 4×32 rifle scope in a BKL 1-piece cantilever mount. I used the cantilever (an extension of the scope mount that goes beyond the base) feature of the mount to move the small scope back far enough on the scope tube that it was positioned correctly for my eye.

The scope has fixed parallax set at 100 yards. That may sound bad to those who are familiar with adjustable parallax scopes, but I’ve used scopes with fixed parallax for years and not had a problem with them. Shooting at 25 yards, it’s possible that some accuracy was sacrificed, but not so much that this test was compromised. I’ve shown half-inch 10-shot groups in the past that were shot with 4x fixed parallax scopes, so we know they do work.

Very sensitive to hold
My shooting was done from a rest at 25 yards indoors. I know from experience that most breakbarrels are sensitive to how they’re held, and this one is no different in that respect. The shape of the stock invites a hold with the off hand placed just forward of the triggerguard, where the stock drops down. Holding there makes for a rifle that’s very muzzle heavy and that usually helps the groups. But not this time.

I found that holding it there caused the pellets to walk up and down vertically, though they grouped well left to right. So, I slid my off hand out to the point that it was under the cocking slot. The rifle was now neutrally balanced and sat better in my hands, and the groups tightened. But any slight adjustment of my off hand that was not exactly where it had been for the other shots could throw that particular shot two inches away from the group. That’s not unusual for a powerful breakbarrel like this one, so don’t read it as a condemnation. It’s just a reflection on what hold sensitivity means.

Accuracy test
During the velocity test, I’d noticed how smooth Beeman Kodiaks shot, so I used them to sight in the rifle and for the first group. All groups are 10 shots unless otherwise labeled.

The first group of Beeman Kodiaks was not a complete group. I’m showing it here so you can see what I saw when the rifle was rested on my palm placed just forward of the triggerguard. What you see are six shots that landed in a vertical line that was almost straight. They did not land in vertical sequence, however. They landed randomly along the line. They told me that either Kodiaks were not right for this rifle or my hold was wrong. Since the width of the group was very tight, I concluded that the hold was the problem, and for the next bull I changed my hold so my hand was forward, under the cocking slot.


See how tight these pellet holes are, left to right? This is what convinced me that the rifle might like Kodiaks, but it did not like the way I was holding it. Six pellets in this group.

Once I saw how the pellets were stringing vertically, I knew I had to change my hold. So, I slid my off hand forward and shot a second group.


This is more like it. Ten Kodiaks went into this 0.981-inch group. Notice the much smaller group of six shots within this group. That tells me I haven’t quite got the hold perfect yet.

The second group was very revealing. It showed me that Kodiaks were indeed good pellets for this rifle. The hold just needed to be right. And within the fairly round 10-shot group is a much smaller 6-shot group that’s a little vertical but still quite round. That smaller group tells me there’s more accuracy in this rifle than I’ve seen to this point.

The stock screws were then checked, because they seemed to be loose. Upon inspection, I discovered they were. All three screws had to be tightened considerably before I resumed the test.

Next, I tried 7-grain RWS Hobby pellets. I seasoned the bore with five shots that were fired while I rezeroed the scope just a bit. Hobbys were hitting the paper two inches below the Kodiaks because of their higher velocity. However, Hobbys did not group well. I stopped shooting them after fewer than 10 shots showed they were not going to be accurate in the test rifle.

After Hobbys I tried some Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domes. Normally this is a pretty good pellet for a breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle, but not this time! The B25H didn’t like Premier lites at all, even though I seasoned the barrel before starting the group. After four shots went way over one inch, I stopped shooting.

Back to Kodiaks
Since the first group of Kodiaks had been shot with loose stock screws I decided to give them another chance. So I seasoned the bore with five more rounds and then shot the final 10-shot group. Since I didn’t re-zero the scope after the Premiers, the group went low; but it was the best group of the test by a slim margin. Ten pellets went onto a group measuring 0.882 inches between centers.


The best group of the test is this final group of Beeman Kodiaks. It measures 0.882 inches between centers. Like the other good group, there’s a much smaller five-shot group inside the main group that measures 0.41 inches.

For the record, I’d like to note that the smaller group of five shots within this final group are the first five shots fired. Had I stopped there, the group would have been a phenomenal 0.41 inches, but not representative of what I was able to do with this rifle at 25 yards. That’s why I shoot 10-shot groups.

Final evaluation
I am surprised by the apparent accuracy of this Chinese breakbarrel. The trigger is still very vague and not up to the task, plus the scope I used probably enlarged all the groups just a little — but the rifle, itself, did pretty good.

I like the smoothness of the powerplant that rivals an RWS Diana 34 in both the shot cycle and smoothness during cocking. The bamboo stock is beautiful, and I wish other brands like Weihrauch would use it on some of their better rifles.

At the end of the day, I’ll give the B25H a gold star for holding its own in a tough test. I think anyone who owns one of these has a rifle worthy of a lifetime of shooting pleasure.

27 thoughts on “B25H breakbarrel rifle with a bamboo stock: Part 2

  1. Hi BB

    I am very sorry to bother you with something completely off topic, but I need your advice. You may recall that I contacted you a while ago about the suitability of a FWB CO2 target pistol for modern 10 m competitions. Well, although the pistol looks and shoots great, it seems as if the supply of CO2 will be a problem. Apparently, there is only one supplier of CO2 in South Africa (Afrox) and the smallest quantity of CO2 they sell its 32 kg. You obviously need a truck to carry that around and we have canned that idea. New precision match pistols are extremely expensive in South Africa and something like the FWB P44 will probably cost in the region of $3000, or even more. My question is whether the Baikal 46M is adequate to participate in events at the national level and if not, why do you suggest? My son, now almost 18 years old, would really like to move from 10 m sporter to pistols, but I would not like to spend a fortune before he has proved himself; at the same time I would like to give them a sporting chance to prove himself with adequate equipment. If you do think that the Baikal is adequate, would you recommend the trigger upgrade?

    Your input, as well as anybody else’s, will really be appreciated.

    Regards
    Vasco


    • Vasco,

      The IZH 46M is not suitable for competition at the national level.

      Get a used FWB 101, 102 or 103 for him. They are single-stroke pneumatics that can compete at the national level.

      By the way, the cost of an FWB P44 isn’t much better here in the U.S.

      B.B.


  2. It’s really to bad the adjustment screw for the trigger is messed up, it runs through a nylon plug so must be locked up somehow in the metal part of the unit. The trigger working correctly would make the rifle nicer to shoot don’t you think? You can contact me for a replacement…


    • Mike,

      Thanks for your offer, but this is the last I’m going to deal with this rifle. I wanted to test it and I finally got to. Now it’s time to move on.

      B.B.


  3. BB,
    Your testing of the B25H raises two questions that I would like your input on. I’ve been testing the new gamo bone bull collector with gas spring. I’m actually starting to like the SAT trigger (about time gamo). I never installed the supplied scope, and instead installed a Leapers 3-9X 40mm. At 25 yards, I’m grouping 5 shots at 3/4″. I had a similar vertical issue like you did on the B25H, which improved using the same approach you discovered on the B25H. I’m also learning that Kodiaks (H&N Baracuda Match) are wonderful pellets that shoot consistent at 880 fps. To improve my results, I tried a Bushnell Trophy 3-12X 40mm, and using the same power set at 7X, groups improved to 1/2″ with some at 5/8″. I know it is not fair to compare an $80 scope to one costing twice, but I did not expect this degree of improvement.


  4. BB,
    My questions…
    1. When holding the rifle this way, is this defeating the artillery hold?
    2. What guidance do you have on the cost of a scope vs. the cost of the rife?


    • TC,

      If, by “this way” you mean the way I described my hold, then no. That actually is a variation of the artillery hold. There are many variations that can be applied, depending on circumstances.

      Your question number 2 is worthy of an entire blog! I have installed $400 scopes on air rifle that cost less than $100. That was because those rifles were accurate enough to benefit from the better scope. The Bronco is in that category.

      But the reverse is also true. Some air rifles are never going to be that accurate and any old scope is good enough for them.

      B.B.


  5. I’ve had a number of variants of the B-25, starting with a Ruger Airhawk. Even though they mimic the RWS 34 series, I never found them to shoot well as easily. My latest, a .22 B-35S, CAN do almost as well as my ’34 in the same caliber… but it is a lot fussier about hold and pellets. The ’34 is definitely easier to get good results with.

    My experience seems like it might be consistent with what you’re seeing here.


  6. Once again, your blog has come to my rescue! I had purchased one of the Hawke scopes but with the 30mm tube. I didn’t realize the 4″ eye relief of the scope would present a bit of a mounting problem on the Marauder but the scope is a bit too close to my eye and I have to move my head back to obtain the optimum sight picture. It’s not a natural position for me. But today, the light bulb went off – a cantilever BKL mount will fix that problem. Too bad the 30 mm ring mount is so pricey.

    Fred DPRoNJ


  7. Do you think this gun’s accuracy would benefit from detuning it to lower fps and, if so, how would you do it? I was able to lower (read inadvertantly lowered) my Trail NP .22 from ~725fps to ~700fps (~14.4grain pellets) with some improvement in accuracy by gluing JM teflon(?) buttonss to the piston which I assume slows its forward motion by increasing friction…which is amusing since I had thought I was installing them to reduce friction. Now of course I could have sanded them thinner.

    john


    • John,

      As smooth as this gun is, I don’t think it needs to be detuned. But If I wanted to I guess I could make a thicker piston seal to decrease the stroke and of course use a super-light mainspring. The buttons don’t add much friction when they are fitted correctly, but they do reduce vibration.

      B.B.


    • Those buttons probably reduced the total air volume in the firing pulse — if they are on the chamber side of the piston you have less air at full cock (by the volume on the buttons); AND you have a shorter stroke as the buttons stop the piston (by their thickness) when it bottoms out.

      The reduced air volume may account for the velocity drop.


  8. BB,
    Not a bad little rifle, it looks like to me. I like the Ruger Blackhawk which looks related, but don’t need it and not available in .22! While I was looking at that (after seeing Vince’s reference to Airhawk), I saw the Umarex Ruger LGR — is that a QB78 derivative? It looks nice, maybe worth a look/review? I’m not big on CO2 because my temperatures outdoors are never “room temperature”, but it might make a lot of people with basement ranges happy.



    • Victor,

      Here is the shot cycle of a recoiling spring-piston air rifle.

      1. The sear releases the piston. As it starts to move the mainspring also pressed back against the rest of the gun, resulting in a little recoil.

      2. The uncoiling of the mainspring causes small vibrations to begin to transmit through the metal parts of the spring tube.

      3. The piston comes to an abrupt stop against a cushion of compressed air. It may push through this curtain and hit the front of the compression chamber, or it may stop against the air, alone. Either way, a forward thrust is transferred to the entire air rifle. At this point both ends of the mainspring are free of the gun and are causing larger vibrations to be transmitted through the metal parts of thew action and barrel.

      4. The pellet starts moving, causing a sudden drop in air pressure behind it. The piston is now free to come to rest against the front of the compression chamber.

      5. The pellet leaves the barrel. The gun is now vibrating and recoiling forward as much as it ever will.

      That is the shot cycle of that type of airgun.

      B.B.


  9. That is a nice bamboo stock.Will it fit diana 34(rws)? Im going to the Baldwinville NY air gun show july ill try to make the one in Roanoke VA in october,are you attending either of two?Yeah you dont need that B25H any more (ha ha..).No i know you bought it cause of Bamboo not that it resembles “34″or expectations of surpassing german enginering. I agree with you on Wiehrauch offering Bamboo.I wish I could cherry pick my rifles. I bought two R7 this month one nib second just because of high figure grain on stock,it was beech but I bet beeman probably check it off as sellect wood on the box(I bought it used without original packagin or the iron sights) the box it comes with makes it so much more better find.


    • Chris,

      I won’t make B’ville, but I’m planning on attending Roanoke. And the B25H will probably be on my table.

      B.B.


  10. Not a bad performance thanks to the patience of B.B., but I’m a little patient with hold sensitivity. The B30 seems fairly indifferent to the way it is held. Or, maybe you can reduce hold sensitivity on any gun by standing up…

    B.B., I didn’t realize that the opposed spring pistons in the Whiscombe were actually crashing into each other. I can see how that would do the job. Vince, I must take issue with your statement that crashing into an immovable brick wall at 50 miles an hour is equivalent to crashing into an oncoming car at 50 miles an hour. (By the way, I’m assuming all brick walls are immovable.) It looks to me like like two cars that approach each other at 50 miles an hour and crash have a combined speed of 100 miles an hour. The crumpling business has to do with the elastic nature of the collision or how the energy is transmitted–the difference between two billiard balls colliding and one ball hitting a mound of clay. The crumple business is an important offsetting factor but it is so complicated with so many different factors that I don’t know how you can make any comparison with a brick wall. Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that you wouldn’t want to be involved in either of the scenarios.

    Twotalon, thanks for the explanation about dieseling and detonating. But is there any way to control the combustion of oil in an airgun? In an automobile, as far as I know, the explosions are regulated by the amount of fuel that is sprayed into a chamber where it is ignited to move a piston. In an airgun, once the oil goes, it goes whether in the chamber or the bore. Does the difference have to do with the amount of oil being combusted?

    Victor, wow, competition with .45s eh? Can you tell me about the course of shooting at the competition level? Also, what weight of bullet did you shoot? I would think all the advantage would go with the lighter 185 gr. load that I’m very fond of now as opposed to the milspec 230 gr.

    Bub, I was thinking also of the difficulties of handloading the 9X18, but if the ammo is plentiful and cheap, then that’s not a concern. I buy all my ammo online anyway. Now that you mention it, I don’t actually plan to shoot people with my guns, just targets. So, the stopping power is somewhat moot (although my imagination enjoys guns that could shoot people if there was a need…) :-)

    Matt61


    • Look at how much fuel is available, and how flammable it is. Then there is the air/fuel ratio. Then the pressure involved.
      It can be controlled fairly well unless there is too much of something. Then, BANG.

      twotalon


    • Matt,

      I think the idea that oncoming cars at a combined closing speed of 100mph impact harder than one car colliding with an immovable object at 50mph is a misconception. Common sense would tell you the former is true, but it is not. You cannot hit anything “harder” than an immovable object.

      It is the same thing in the case of a “tug of war” between two vehicles. No matter how powerful either vehicle, the force on what ever joins them (rope, cable, chain, draft gear) cannot exceed the force between one vehicle and an immovable object.

      Les


    • Matt61,
      I didn’t compete with 45′s, but I did with air-pistol. The fundamentals are the same. Back then, air-pistol was the only viable option for juniors. However, we were allowed to try various types of shooting like; running boar, high-power with M1′s, and hand-guns (.22 and .45). Everything that we did included formal training. So in effect, we were allowed to do a survey of different types of events to expose us to future alternatives. But in truth handguns were frowned upon for juniors. In fact, some ranges didn’t allow anyone under the age of 18 to shoot handguns except for air-pistol. But, we did have one of the all-time best pistol shooters as our personal coach, so we learned a lot anyways.

      But going back to your original comment about recoil with the .45, I don’t let recoil dominate my thought process when shooting any kind of gun. When I shoot, I try to imagine that I’m dry-firing, or imagine that I’m shooting an air-rifle, like an FWB.
      Victor


  11. Pellets…………

    Recieved some .22 FTS last week. Went out and shot some this morning (just plinking) with the R9. Loaded much easier than it did before with FTS. A little easier than I liked with one of them. Power plant was running with no problem, and seemed to shoot good.

    Checking pellets….
    Old FTS from quite a while back, and from different S/Ns are 5.56 head size. The newer ones are 5.50 as advertised (S/N 20314).

    Have not tried them in the 49 yet.

    My R9 gets along with the new ones fine. If you have been getting FTS because you need fat pellets, then you may have a problem. Some rifles care about size more than others do with any individual kind of pellet.

    twotalon



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