How to range-find with an adjustable parallax scope

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Why know the range?
  • First point
  • Focus — not rangefinding
  • Limitations
  • Temperature
  • What scale is on the adjustment?
  • Sidewheels
  • Scope magnification
  • The average airgunner
  • Do you need a range finding scope?

I’m writing this report for a new reader — Ovid. As soon as I replied to his request last week, another reader said he wanted to know how it worked, too, which tells me there are couple thousand silent readers with the same question. So, let’s learn how to determine ranges with a parallax adjusting scope.

Why know the range?

Airgunners need to know the range to the target because of the arched trajectory their pellets follow. Where centerfire cartridges may drop 9 inches over a distance of 250 yards, an airgun can do the same thing in 60 yards. And some competitions like field target demand that the pellet pass through a small hole without touching the sides of the hole, or the target will lock up and not fall. So, we are not talking inches — we are talking fractions of an inch! Therefore, knowing the trajectory of the one pellet you shoot at all distances and knowing the precise distance to your target is critical.

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2016 Texas Airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Weather
  • Started late?
  • Flash flood of people!
  • What kind of show was it?
  • Some finds
  • The gate

Here we go! The 2016 Texas Airgun Show was the most different airgun show I have ever attended. I will try to tell you why, but as I do, you will learn that I did not see the entire show, so I’ll rely on the comments of others to assist me.

Weather

The weather was perfect! Normally Texas is above 100 degrees at this time in August, but this day was just 91. And the humidity was down, as well. Rain had been predicted earlier in the week, but the sun was out most of the day and I don’t think a drop fell.

Started late?

Every airgun show I have attended, which is over 40 by now, has had the dealers lined up at the door, pressing to get in even before it’s time. This Texas show was not like that. In fact, at 7 a.m., half an hour after the doors were opened for the dealers to set up, there were still only about one-third of the tables filled. I thought something was up. A few people said the show was hard to locate, but that was because they were using Google Maps to find it. If they switched to Map Quest, the directions were perfect.

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Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Quackenbush Number 7
Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • 4.4mm lead balls
  • 4.55mm balls
  • Final comment on the trigger
  • The end

Today we test the accuracy of the Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun. I’m not expecting much from this gun, based on its light construction and age. But it surprised me in the velocity test we ran last Friday, so maybe I will be surprised yet again. I know you want a report of the 2016 Texas Airgun Show, and I will get to that tomorrow, so sit back and enjoy this oldie with me today.

The test

I shot the gun at 5 meters, using the UTG monopod as a rest. I shot from the seated position, so the gun was about as steady as it could be. However, as light as it is (2 lbs. 9.25 oz) and with an almost 9 lb. trigger pull, it is going to be a challenge to get off a shot without some movement of the gun. It’s probably much easier to shoot it offhand, though nowhere near as accurate.

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Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Quackenbush Number 7
Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Test 1 — 4.4mm copper-plated lead balls
  • Test 2 — Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • Test 3 — 4.55mm zimmerstutzen balls
  • BBs stay in
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation

Today is more for me than for all of you. Today I test the velocity of my Quackenbush Number 7 BB gun. If you read Part 1 you know that I only discovered this gun works while researching that report. Until then I thought it shot an odd size shot that I would have to source from an industrial supply house as a ball bearing. But it was made to shoot 0.175-inch lead BBs, so all I had to do was find some of them. Well, that isn’t easy, either. Fortunately I used to shoot zimmerstutzens and other odd ball-shooting airguns, so I have some oddball stuff laying around.

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Benjamin Maximus: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Benjamin Maximus
The Benjamin Maximus.

This report covers:

  • JSB pellets are very uniform!
  • At the range
  • First test — JSB Exact 10.34-grain dome
  • Head-sized pellets
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • JSB RS
  • Predator Polymag
  • Last group
  • Final report

Today I take the Benjamin Maximus back to the 50-yard range to test a couple final things. I said last time that I wanted to sort JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes with the Pelletgage, to get the most consistent size from the tin. Then I wanted to see if 10 of those sorted pellets would shoot better than the 0.913-inch group shot with unsorted pellets in the last test. Since readers were still suggesting other pellets to try, I also wanted to test a few of them — just to say that the Maximus was given a thorough test. I have done all of that and here are the results.

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Walther Parrus with wood stock: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther Parrus with wood stock

Part 1

This report covers:

  • First test
  • Second test
  • Third test
  • Back to JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Recoil and firing behavior
  • Evaluation

I’m moving right along on this report because there has been tremendous interest in the Walther Parrus with wood stock. Remember, the rifle I’m testing is in .22 caliber. Let’s get to it.

I’m going to change the test a little today. Normally I would report the velocity of three pellets — one lightweight, one medium weight and one heavyweight. But I encountered something during this test that allows me to show you one of the tricks of the trade. Actually it’s known to anyone who has spring gun experience and a chronograph.

First test

Let me show you the first 4 readings I got when shooting JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets.

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Some frank talk about optics

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Dot sights — the good and the bad
  • The downside of dot sights
  • Dot sight summary
  • Compact scopes
  • Compact scope summary
  • High magnification
  • Summary of high magnification
  • Know the limitations of your equipment

Last week I asked for help determining how to test and evaluate a set of scope rings and a new scope. I got some good suggestions, but there was also a lot of discussion about optics that I would like to address today. I’m calling this report “Frank talk about optics” because this is what I would tell you if we were speaking privately. I’m not trying to sell you anything today. I just want you to consider some fundamentals when you select an optical sight.

Dot sights — the good and the bad

A dot sight shows an illuminated dot inside an optical tube that can be placed on a target of your choosing. Let’s start with the good stuff. I am preparing to demonstrate the Air Venturi Air Bolt system to the public at the 2016 Texas Airgun Show this coming Saturday, and I mounted a dot sight on the Sam Yang Dragon Claw 500cc rifle I’m using. I needed a sight that is quick to acquire the target and also very reliable, so I selected a red dot sight.

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