Winchester M14 .177-caliber dual-ammo air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Winchester’s new M14 dual-ammo rifle looks very much like the military rifle it copies.

Redemption is a powerful experience, because it comes only after suffering and anguish. Redemption is what I longed for with the Nelson Lewis combination gun and with my Ballard rifle. Today, however, I’m going to talk about another redemption — that of the Winchester M14 dual-ammo rifle.

In Part 1, we learned that this rifle is nearly all plastic — which for many, including me, is a put-off. We also learned that it uses two 12-gram CO2 cartridges instead of one, and that assaulted the the miser in all of us. Accuracy is the only thing that would make it worth the extra cost.

When we looked at the velocity in Part 2, we discovered that the rifle does not begin to achieve the advertised velocity of 700 f.p.s. That’s not a bad thing, except it leaves us disappointed from unrealized expectations. The velocity should prove high enough, though, as long as the rifle is accurate — which brings us to today’s test. Part 3 — accuracy day.

The Winchester M14 is both a BB gun and a pellet rifle, so I had to test the accuracy of both types of projectiles. BBs get tested at the standard 5 meters (just over 16 feet) distance, while pellets were shot at 10 meters. And each target got 8 shots instead of 10 because of the capacity of the circular clip at either end of the stick magazine. Trying to load just two more of anything in one of these clips is annoying and troublesome at the least.

So, it was BBs first, as they’re shot at the closer distance. I shot the rifle using Daisy zinc-plated BBs offhand at 16.5 feet.

I left the sights as they came out of the box. With a 6 o’clock hold, the first BB struck the target at the exact aim point, so I stopped checking and fired 7 more shots. This rifle is super-easy to shoot, as there’s nothing to do but pull the trigger. The cocking and advancement of the cylinder are all taken care of by the gun. And as light as the rifle is, it’s easy to hold it on target for all 8 shots.

After the clip was empty, I walked up to the target to see the results, which is when the word “redemption” came into my thoughts. The group is very round and measures 0.532 inches between centers! This is a group I might shoot with a Daisy 499 Champion — the world’s most accurate BB gun. I’ve never shot a group this small with any other long BB gun, that I can remember.


The first group of Daisy BBs made this dime-sized group at 5 meters. It measures 0.532 inches. Pretty encouraging!

What if it was just a fluke? What if the next 8 BBs went into a group twice the size? Only one way to find out. I shot a second group. This time, it was positively fun — as the confidence of an accurate gun poured over me! I adjusted the rear peep up three clicks and shot again.

The second group was easier to shoot because I now knew the gun was accurate. I only hoped I could repeat what had been done before. Alas, that didn’t happen, as the second group was smaller than the first. Eight shots went into a group measuring 0.472 inches!


This second group of BBs is even better! It measures 0.472 inches.

What now?
Here’s a BB gun that rivals the most accurate BB gun ever made! And this one has M14 sights that encourage target shooting. Look at the center of the second group. It’s just a little higher than group one, which is exactly how the sights were adjusted.

Now I moved back to 10 meters where I could shoot pellets from a rest. Again all the groups will have 8 pellets because of the mag capacity. The rifle was rested on a sandbag positioned under the forearm just in front of the magazine that hangs down. Although this rifle is very light, I found it to be very steady in the rested position, and the trigger-pull did not disturb the aim point.

The first pellet I tried was that champion of lower-powered spring guns — the JSB Exact RS that Kevin turned me on to. It struck the target higher than the BBs, but did not group very well. Eight pellets made a group measuring 1.384 inches between centers. That’s not good for 10 meters.


JSB Exact RS pellets blew up at 10 meters! Group measures 1.384 inches between centers.

I followed the JSB pellet with our new friend — the H&N Baracuda Green that we’re learning to love. As light as it is, I wondered if it might be suited to the lower power this rifle generates. Apparently it is, because 8 of them went into a tight group that measured 0.739 inches. This is only 10 meters; but if you look at this group, I’m sure you’ll see the potential the rifle promises.


H&N Baracuda Green pellets made this tight 0.739-inch group at 10 meters. You can see how tight it is. This shows real potential.

Next up were some H&N Match Pistol pellets. I chose them for no special reason, other than I am trying to mix up the pellets I usually test with. They printed a group that measures 0.694 inches between centers — so just a little smaller than the Baracuda Greens. The rifle just keeps on doing better!


H&N Match Target pellets made the best group of pellets, measuring just 0.684 inches at 10 meters.

The final pellet I tried was an RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. This pellet is among the best target pellets I have available, and I wanted to see what it could do in this rifle. The 8-shot group measures 0.722 inches across, so it’s between the Baracuda Greens and the H&N Match Pistol pellets.


This group of RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets is also very tight — at 0.722-inches.

Evaluation
Do you notice we have three groups that are very similar in size? I think the rifle is capable of this level of accuracy all day long, and perhaps there’s another pellet I haven’t tried that’s even better. The gun shoots easily and very much resembles a fine target rifle when I shoot it. The sights are easy to see, and very crisp, plus they seem to adjust with precision.

As I shot this rifle I thought of blog reader Matt61 and his new Garand. Here’s an apartment-sized airgun that he could use to keep his skills sharpened for those days when he can’t get out to the range with the large firearm.

I was also reminded of when I was a youngster, shooting the NRA’s beginner training course. There’s virtually no resemblance between this rifle and the Winchester 52, but the shooting experience seems so similar that it’s scary. I understand why all those customer reviews have praised the accuracy so highly, and also why they’ve forgiven the plastic and light weight for the most part. The Winchester M14 has redeemed itself in my eyes!

The last word
I used the Winchester Airgun Target Cube to stop the BBs and pellets fired in this test. Because this rifle shoots faster than 350 f.p.s., the cube was turned to the side for higher-velocity rounds. As before, the cube caught all BBs and pellets with no mess and nothing got through. I will continue to report on the performance of this cube backstop as I use it in future tests, with an eye to discovering just what it will take.

50 Responses to “Winchester M14 .177-caliber dual-ammo air rifle: Part 3”

  • J-F Says:

    Good looking, accurate, inexpensive, what’s not to like?
    Since it’s priced low if you’re that bothered by the plastic you could spend a little bit more money on a wood stock and have an awesome CO2 rifle! Maybe the weight would squeeze even a little more accuracy out of it?
    I wish I could buy one.

    J-F

  • kevin Says:

    Redemption indeed. Impressive. Stock sights too.

    Well…I just forwarded a link to this article to Jack. We’ve both been patiently waiting for this accuracy test.

    I understand his obession with the looks of this gun given his military background. I’m now taking notice of this gun because of the accuracy.

    kevin

  • Wulfraed Says:

    To quote a striped bipedal mephit…

    Le Sigh!

    Pity it couldn’t pull closer to the advertised speed — it appears to have the accuracy for pest elimination, but not quite the power.

    I already have an electric AirSoft M-14 (I’m not going to check the box, but UTG sticks in mind), so am not sure I can justify spending half a week of unemployment on this model.

  • NotRocketSurgery Says:

    B.B., I have no love either for plastic or even fiberglass stocks. Wood is the only choice, as far as I am concerned. But, if wood is not an option, what do you think about adding some weight to the gun? I have heard of others used anything from modeling clay to expanding spray foam to fill a hollow plastic stock. Would that add anything in this case?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      NRS,

      If the rifle were heavier I think it would definitely feel better. Also if the hollow-sounding stock could be damped to not sound so empty, that would be a good thing.

      B.B.

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    I for one am not a fan of CO2 or lookalikes. I do not have an indoor range so when the weather cools down, CO2 is out and the lookalikes are asking for trouble.

    I am impressed with how well it did though. The accuracy it can produce will most definitely get the fence sitters in motion. It has turned out to be an interesting air rifle.

  • twotalon Says:

    BB…

    A pleasant surprise in the accuracy department . For some reason this brings to mind a Daisy pumper that I have in the closet…..
    The bb/pellet model. I also have the .22 version with the manually advanced clip like the M-4 .177, and the single shot tray. But back to the .177….
    It was a shotgun when I bought it. So I just shot a lot of steel through it for a while, mostly at tomato worms. It got to shooting pretty good with bbs. One day I trried lead again, and it shot the pellets really good then. Makes me wonder if the steel shot rubbed the fuzzies out of the bore.

    On the expensive side of today’s worries…..
    I have a Steel Storm, a laser , and a 40 pack of CO2 coming this morning for my wife. I told her that I almost bought a T200 also, but changed my mind at the last moment. She said I should get it.
    Well, I think she has talked me into it. I have bounced back and forth a lot of times on the S200/T200 issue. At least the shipping will be free.

    twotalon

  • chasblock Says:

    Darn it all, B.B.! I had written this gun off my list after your last report on it. Now I have to seriously reconsider. You reported in part 2, about 100 useful shots from a set of CO2 cartridges… are you still finding that to be true? I think anything less would be a deal breaker for me.

    I’m glad to see this gun living up to accuracy. No matter how much a gun costs, or how good it looks, without accuracy…it’s not worth even having.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      chasblock,

      Yes, the gun does still get 100 plus shot per fill — but I nursed it to get that number, and you have to bear that in mind. When I shot it for accuracy I shot faster than I did when I tested for the shot count and velocity, so it probably didn’t get over 85 shots out of two cartridges.

      Don’t go into a relationship with a gun demanding that the gun meet some minimum performance level or you’ll just set yourself up for disappointment. That’s true of velocity as well as accuracy.

      B.B.

  • no new jersey Mike Says:

    i am dissappointed with the gun,two co2′s don’t add anything to it ,power is almost half
    of advertised speed, it cost a lot to shoot.The cheapness of the gun is very apparent,I’m surprised
    at the accxuarcy though.I know near the end of co2 the gun won’t cycle unless it’s done manualy
    I think normal use will wear it out a lot sooner than most guns of this type and hyping the power
    at 700 fps when you can barely get five hundred is at best”Shoddy,I will relagate it to the back
    of my collection and hope to find and I would spend a lot more for a real M14 copy with decent
    |power and metaland wood.
    They could have had a big hit here,but they missed the boat churning out this turkey.

  • Desertdweller Says:

    Edith,

    My Skitchers finally fell apart last weekend while camping in Western Colorado. At least, the sole of the right shoe came off, like a truck tire shedding a recap.

    I’ve has these shoes since the summer of 2006, so that is six good years (no pun intended). At $50, these shoes only cost a little over $8/yr. for daily wear.

    The uppers remain in good shape.

    BB,

    This M14 does not rate high in my opinion, even though it is more accurate than expected. Consumes too much CO2 for no apparent gain. Does look good, though.

    Les

    • chuck Says:

      Desertdweller,
      Which model Sketchers did you have? I bought the Shape-up XT ($54) on BB’s advice and good advice for me it was. The Shape-ups have the most unusual sole design that I don’t see on their other model shoes and I wonder if the other designs will be as beneficial to me.

      It acts like it has a high arch but it doesn’t, however, walking in them puts pressure on your arch as your step rolls over the sole. It feels good to me. I like wearing them a lot and can hike better in them than I can remember from other shoes. Until you get used to them you do feel as if you are leaning forward when you first put them on.

      I take them with me on multi-day motorcycle trips because I wear cowboy style boots for protection while riding but I could never walk very far in them without messing up my feet and knees. I feel like I could walk all day in the Sketchers. I once remarked that they weren’t good for shooting shoes but after wearing them and getting used to them I feel stable shooting with them on.

      -Chuck

      • Desertdweller Says:

        Chuck,

        My Skitchers are slip-ons with uppers made of both leather and synthetic material. I don’t recall the model name, and it is not shown on the shoes (although a serial number is).

        I am going to try to glue the sole back on.

        They are extremely comfortable.

        Les

        • chuck Says:

          Les,
          I suggest you take your Skitchers to a pro shoe repair guy. Those people can do miracles to old shoes.
          -Chuck

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Desertdweller,

      I LOVE my Skechers Shape-Ups. I haven’t worn out a pair, yet. I’m thinking of attending next year’s SHOT Show, plus the NRA show is in Houston next year and I may attend that…so my Skechers should get a good workout in both places. Standing/walking on concrete floors for 7-8 hrs a day is hard. Since he started wearing Skechers to SHOT, Tom has never complained about sore feet, again.

      Edith

      • Desertdweller Says:

        Edith,

        The shoes I bought to replace the Skitchers are called “Stepmasters”. They use an unusual sole design, in that the sole is rocker-shaped: they curve upward at both ends. This is supposed to do all kinds of wonderful things for the wearer, but I think it is mostly hype.

        They are comfortable to walk in. The shape of the soles give an interesting boost when walking.

        I hoped these shoes would be good to wear aboard boats but I haven’t tested them to make sure they won’t leave black marks on a fiberglas hull. I do have reservations about wearing the rocker soles in a wet environment. By design, they have less surface in contact with the ground/deck/sidewalk than conventional shoes. That could be bad news on a wet deck or in snow. These shoes have solid uppers that are a lot hotter than the Skitchers.

        Les

        • Wulfraed Says:

          Smaller contact patch on snow means more weight per square inch pushing into said snow. If they have a decent open grid tread that should be a boost.

          {Tall narrow tires work better for snow/mud conditions than the low-profile wide tires all those luxury SUVs come with… The stock tires on my old Jeep are tall enough that one can NOT use snow chains with it, without risking ripping the fender liners}

        • chuck Says:

          Les,
          I wore mine on a “cattle boat” fishing for halibut off Homer, Alaska. I did not have a problem with traction and those decks were very wet. It was even in a drizzle rain.
          -Chuck

      • Wulfraed Says:

        Ah… But are they available in mens 8 1/2 EE? (one would expect me to be able to swim like a duck)

        For the last decade I’ve been buying shoes from Cabella’s since they were the only place with a reliable source of really wide short shoes…

        • chuck Says:

          Wulfraed,
          They do have many shoes in 8 1/2 and they do have them in extra wide. They don’t use the EE designation but they do say extra wide. Go to http://www.sketchers.com, look at the shoes there and select one you like then click on 8.5 size to see if they have them. I don’t think you even have to click. If they don’t have your size it will be X’d out.
          -Chuck

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    chasblock,

    Sometimes when I say things like that I’m really talking to myself — not the person I’m addressing. I do that all the time, and it just leads to disappointment.

    The worst, though, is when I get rid of an airgun that somehow disappoints me, only to discover after the fact that I didn’t really know how it was suppose to work. I am having this exact experience today, with a .22 Hornet rifle that upset me a few weeks ago. After thinking it through more, I realized that it was me and not the rifle that was in the wrong. And hopefully I have stopped in time to retain the rifle longer.

    B.B.

  • Mike Says:

    That looks great. Accuracy trumps a lot of issues.

    Mike

  • peterz Says:

    Well, both the oncologist and the surgeon have cleared me to try shooting again. Now, if the muscles will cooperate….

    DaveUK, any thoughts on the G4S security fiasco at the Olympics? I would have been more pungent in my description, but Edith would have bounced anything accurate. Isn’t g4s the old Wackenhut? I’ve worked in places they “guarded”, and they struck me as total incompetents. Who were in charge of security at one and another nuclear and intelligence sites.

    –pete

    • twotalon Says:

      Pete….

      I have found that I do much better if I eat more than I really wanted too. It can be difficult when you only want to eat a couple times a day, if that often. Go for the max calories you can get in a day with a fairly balanced diet.

      twotalon

      • pete zimmerman Says:

        Food isn’t the problem any longer. except that some things I liked before I can’t eat now.

    • Fred DPRoNJ Says:

      Pete,

      excellent news! I’m very pleased for you. I have two meetings next week with radiation guys and oncologists to see if I really need to be bombarded with 40 to 60 gray per session (I’ve been studying as you can see).

      Fred DPRoNJ

      • pete zimmerman Says:

        Do look into “cyber knife” vs regular radiation. It only takes 5 sessions and surely is not as bad at IMRT or any other kinds of radiation!!

        Of course, no radiation is w/o some kinds of problems.

    • Mike Says:

      I remember the old Wackenhut, they ran the one “Private Prison” we had in our system for a time. It didn’t work. Lots of problems. It’s long gone now.

      Mike

  • Colt Says:

    What about bbs at 10m?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Colt,

      Because BBs are round and do not take the rifling, they lose accuracy quickly. The groups at 10 meters would be larger than pellet groups, which is why I kept BBs at 5 meters.

      B.B.

  • chasblock Says:

    I couldn’t resist…I ordered one today….should be delivered tomorrow….I’ll have most of the day on Saturday to put it through it’s paces.

  • gray Says:

    i bought this rifle last week trying two different pellets i found it liked the MEISTERKUGELN PROFESSIONAL LINE AT 7.0 gr. . shooting out doors at approx. 11 yards with the wind that comes with outdoor shooting , and a folded vest as a rest i was easily shooting 16 SHOT GROUPS UNDER 1/2 INCH every time . is this rifle a good shooter Y E S ! ! !

  • William Says:

    BB I have this rifle too and am getting great groups at 30 feet but would like to get out to 45, 60 or even 75 feet but not sure how well it would do. I’ve tried a few times but there was some wind and having just got the gun I don’t really know it that well or what pellets to use for getting out to 60 or 75 feet. So far I’ve been using wadcutters at 30 feet with good results. Any advice on the further distances?

    • Vince Says:

      William, 75 feet isn’t an unreasonable range for a moderately powered pellet gun and I’d think it should do reasonably well.

      One thing you have to consider is the effect of velocity variation on accuracy, which gets worse at greater distances. Taking, for example, a variance of about 50fps with a muzzle velocity of around 500fps, the vertical spread due to velocity variation alone would be about .015″ at 10 meters. Hardly worth mentioning.

      But stretch that out to 25 yards and we’re now up to about .125″. Still not much – but while we’ve only increased the distance by a factor of about 2.27, the increase in group size goes up by a factor of about 8.3. If you tried really longer range shooting – 50 yards or so – you’d start finding really significant differences.

      So I suspect there’s nothing inherent in the performance of the rifle that would badly affect accuracy at 25 yards… but a lot depends on how well the barrel stabilizes the pellet as well as the characteristics of the pellet itself. At 25 yards, you might start seeing the effects of poor aerodynamics from wadcutters, for example.

      Ultimately, though, you don’t know ’till you get there. But it’s certainly worth trying…

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      William,

      Yes. I’ve found that domed pellet are best for long-range shooting. Wadcutters peter out past 25 yards, but at the velocity of the Winchester I would try the domes.

      Goof luck,

      B.B.

  • William Says:

    BB and Vince…thanks alot for the headsup. I’ll hold off on the wadcutters and check out the domed pellets…sounds encouraging for sure!

    William

  • William Says:

    UPDATE…Did some test shooting at 60 feet and while a few pellets flew off a bit most hit dead-on the bullseye. I used the Gamo Hunter Domed .177 pellets and no-wind conditions. I uploaded 3 videos to “youtube” so you can see for yourself. This gun is becoming impressive.

  • Lampy Says:

    It’s a little late for a comment on this report but I just verified yesterday, a scope mount for an M14 will bolt up to this air gun. I found a reasonably priced M14 scope mount on line, and it bolts up and mounts solidly. The mount hole on the Winchester is a metric thread so I couldn’t use the fastener that came with the scope mount but it was easily replaced with a metric bolt.

  • William Says:

    I’m interested in a scope but still not sure how or where it bolts,screws or attaches to the gun. Can you give alittle more detail or the name of the scope?

  • William Says:

    I read that BB but he mentioned it could. I was pretty sure it couldn’t be either but didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. I sure don’t see any place a scope could be attached…I”ll just pretty much forget about it and thanks for the heads up.

  • William Says:

    BB…was wondering if you’ve shot the M14 at ranges more than 30 feet and what were the results. Kind of looking for a realistic distance to stay within for target shooting. Also any advice on shooting when the temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees? I’d like to do some shooting but not sure if those temps would be suitable…kind of cool these days.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      William,

      No, 33 feet was as far as I shot this rifle. Given the results, though, I would think it would be fine out to 25 yards with pellets — as long as the air is calm. These are 8-shot groups, and a couple of those pellets were pretty consistent.

      B.B.

  • William Says:

    Thanks for the swift reply BB. How about shooting with temperatures in the 50s? Should I?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      William,

      You can shoot at 50 degrees, but the rifle won’t recover at all. Be prepared for a 100 f.p.s. velocity loss.

      B.B.

  • William Says:

    I’ll wait then until it gets up around 60…don’t want that much of a loss. Thanks BB.

  • chris Says:

    I am making mine into a bull-pup. video will be up when the project is done.

  • AirGunWarrior Says:

    I’m sure you all know by now that the M-14 can be scoped? There are several mounts available made specially for the M-14 and mount in seconds. I am customizing mine and will show it with Scope mounted to it asap.

    Thanks!

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