Millita breakbarrel rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Millitia rifle
Millita air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Adjusted the sights
  • H&N Finale Match light
  • Artillery hold
  • Summary

Okay, it’s accuracy day for the Millita. Time to see what the old girl can do.

The test

I shot the rifle off a bag rest at 10 meters, using open sights. I also tried it one time using the artillery hold, so we can compare.

JSB Exact RS

First up were 10 JSB Exact RS pellets. This is the one pellet I shot both ways — rested directly on the sandbag and also held with the artillery hold. All shots were with a 6 o’clock hold. This first test was rested on the bag.

Ten RS pellets went into a group that measures 0.929-inches between centers at 10 meters. The group is a little low and to the right of the bull. I decided not to adjust the sights yet.

JSB RS group
Ten JSB Exact RS pellets went into a group measuring 0.929-inches between centers.

Qiang Yuan Training pellets

Next I tried 10 Qiang Yuan Training pellets. They landed in a group measuring 0.975-inches between centers. This group is somewhat vertical, which means I was having difficulty sighting. The front sight on the Millita is a small bead that is very hard to see, so perhaps that is the reason for the verticality?

Qiang Yuan Training group
Ten Qiang Yuan Training pellets went into 0.975-inches at 10 meters.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Next I tried 10 Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. This pellet sometimes does surprisingly well in lower-powered airguns. In thew Millita 10 went into a group measuring 0.781-inches between centers. That’s significantly smaller than the first two groups, plus this group is rounder. I’m going to say the Millita likes this pellet.

Sig Match Alloy group
Ten Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets made this 0.781-inch group at 10 meters.

Adjusted the sights

At this point in the test I noted that all pellets were going to the right, so I adjusted the sights. The rear sight was already drifted to the left in its dovetail, but so was the front sight! I drifted the front sight to the right before shooting the next pellet.

H&N Finale Match light

Next up were H&N Finale Match Light pellets. These grouped 10 in 0.822-inches. The group is to the left of the bull, so my sight adjustment probably went too far.

Finale Light group
Ten H&N Finale Match Light pellets made this 0.822-inch group at 10 meters. This group looks smaller than the Sig group, but the Sig group has a large tear on the right pellet that make it appear larger than it is.

Artillery hold

I didn’t adjust the sights again, but I wanted to try the artiller hold with at least one pellet. Since the groups are all pretty close in size, I went back to the JSB Exact RS, only because as dome they were a little easier to load. This time 10 went into 0.775-inches at 10 meters. That’s a little better than before, but still not that much different, so I’m calling it a wash.

JSB RS group 2
When the Millita was held with an artillery hold 10 JSB Exact RS pellets went into a group measuring 0.775-inches between centers.

Summary

Well, the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets produced the smallest group by a slim margin. Generally speaking, the Millita was about as accurate with each pellet. Run the same test again and the results might change.

This is as far as I will take the Millita. I think it is a fine air rifle, not only for the 1930s but also for today. It has just the right amount of power and accuracy to be fun to shoot, and isn’t that what airgunning is all about?

33 thoughts on “Millita breakbarrel rifle: Part 3

  1. Like I said before, it must be a real thrill to shoot something that old and have it do that well.

    (As a side note), yesterday I shot the Avanti 499 at 41′, rested, with the Red Ryder spring installed. Results at the (end) of weekend/prior blog.

    Good Day to all,…. Chris


    • Chris,

      That is pretty good. I may just have to run my 99 over the chrony and see what it is doing, although I am not so sure I want to change anything on it. I have the sights tuned in real nice and it has an awesome trigger on it.


      • RR, If I may offer an unsolicited comment, the spring change alone on your repeater will not give anywhere near the same results as it does in the muzzle loader 499. In fact, unless your original spring is distorted and rubbing against the plunger tube or otherwise damaged or worn out, changing springs would be a wash. Should you decide to change the plunger head, the model 25 part fits, not the part for the Red Ryder.


        • Cobalt,

          Thanks for that tidbit, however I do not think the model 25 part will fit. The reason I say this is mine is a 1959 model 99 and has a removable barrel and holds hundreds of BBs. In 1960 Daisy changed the design to use the spring fed rig as in the 25.

          As I said, I would have to test it before I would even consider doing anything.


          • I’m sorry if I miscommunicated what I was trying to say. I was talking about the internal piston (Daisy calls it a plunger head) that rides back and forth in the compression chamber, not the actual shot tube. IIRC the 99 was an upscale gun compared to, say, a 95. In any event, I really like the wide body Daisy lever guns. (*insert thumbs up here*


        • Cobalt,

          I have a few new comments on the 853. I put a better scope on it. ( I have two 853s, one has red tape on it and the other has yellow tape. I’m testing Red now) When I say better, I mean A $30 scope(Winchester 4X32 AO with rings and “suitable for most spring piston airguns”) Pretty darn good scope for the money. I’m using them on inexpensive Co2 and pneumatic guns, with great success, but I digress! I reshot all the RWS pellets that I listed before and most of them grouped better than before. All of them except Hobbies were .300″ and change at 12 yards this time. I also found some RWS Super H Points from circa 1982 in my stash. You asked about thin skirted pellets and these are made just like the Superdomes. They had an ES of 41(Yuck !) and an AV of 444. They went in .320″ at 12 yards and 1.11″ at 20 yards, but 8 went into.500″. Additionally, I shot 23 other pellets and found a few that were outstanding,IMHO. A big surprise came from Crosman Premium Hunting Pointed pellets, the ones in the milk cartons, with an ES of 11, an AV of 472,a group of.455″ with 8 going into .257″ at 12 yds and a 20 yd group of .670″ with 8 in.450″ !

          If you search, you can find Remington Express Hollowpoints for $5 per 500 and you should get some since they went ES 22, AV 450, and grouped.363″ at 12 yds and .435″ at 20 yds. The best came from Ruger Hollowpoints. They went ES11, AV 448, and grouped .270″at 12yds and .432″ at 20 yds.

          Hope this aids your Quest.


          • Sorry I’m so late to reply, I have a roof going on and it’s been pretty chaotic around here!

            Your info couldn’t be more welcomed! I have made note of ALL of it and I’ll update my progress when there’s something to report. Please do the same if you can.

            Thanks again, Mark


            • Cobalt,

              Glad to help. Have a whole nother gun to test. I lovingly call this one “Dandy” for the yellow tape it sports on the end of the barrel.(short for Dandelion. Was going to go with “Daisy” but that would have been sooo obvious! )



    • Chris, WOW…great results. Very interesting….I love the power and accuracy you are getting. Daisy should take note. I love plinking, and I like to push the plinking range a little….

      Doc


      • Doc,

        As you know, not everything can be pushed. It does seem however that there (was) room to “push” with no adverse effects and really only positive ones. I think that it really brings out it’s full potential.

        All of the credit goes to Cobalt though. Him and his “crew” do all sorts of things with bb guns.


      • Just a short fyi, I sort of got the ball rolling on modifying a couple of the Daisy lever action BB guns in a thread over at thehighroad.org, but a member there, hinz57, has exceeded even my wildest expectations by a wide margin. He has a Red Ryder based repeater that shoots about 420 fps, and it would not surprise me if he gets more out of the platform.

        I should mention that the only “one-off” part is the air tube. It’s made from a piece of stainless steel tubing we found online (eBay, $10.00, enough for 6 air tubes) that has an inner diameter larger than can be had by drilling a factory part oversize. But everything else- spring, plunger tube, piston, shot tube, etc. are all factory parts. Not necessarily Red Ryder factory parts, but they are Daisy factory parts. *wink-wink* (the shot tube is from a 499, machined to fit the Red Ryder abutment assembly).


  2. BB,

    It is truly a joy to shoot these old gals and when you spend a little time with them they really begin to show you what they can do. There are no finer plinking rifles than these oldies. They are superb for killing feral soda cans at 25 yards or more.


    • “They are superb for killing feral soda cans”
      Well said, RidgeRunner; I’ve got backyard full of those evil beasties,
      and it would be nice to have an old gal like this to take them down. =)

      B.B., as per your usual, great report; thank you. =>


      • I also like to use a 3/4″ spinner. When you flip that little bugger time and again with open sights while standing at 10 yards while someone else is watching, they are quite impressed.

        These old gals turn up at airgun shows regularly and quite often they can be quite reasonable as long as you stay away from the “collectors” who are trying to finance their retirement.

        Really, the quality of many of these old air rifles is incredible. Almost every single part on this air rifle is machined steel or walnut. To build this air rifle today would cost in the thousands.




      • BB,

        If you have time and interest can you make a special series about the historical roundball, bullets and pellets which were used in the last one or two centuries? I would appreciate that information quite a lot as I have quite a lot older guns and it is always handy to know which pellet was current when the rifle was designed.

        Basically I am just plain curious. If possible with photo’s. I can contribute some odd 6,3 mm for the Oscar Will rifle.

        Thanks in advance,

        August





    • Matt61,

      I thought the same at first,… but it “grows on ya'” the more ya’ look at it. There is some fine lines and style there and you have to admire the craftsmanship.



  3. Got to spend some quality time today with my “Made in Spain” Gamo Hunter. Just to review, I was not able to get any kind of consistent groups with the gun and scope combination. B.B. graciously devoted a blog to respond to my concerns. I acknowledge my frustration with the gun. However, I find that like the German Sargent in Hogans Heroes,, “I know nothing.” As with icebergs, only about 10 percent of knowledge is obvious, the rest comes with lots of reading, much experimentation and just plain patience.

    Selecting a gun and making the purchase is only the first step on the journey. I opine that because the power behind the pellet is lower, the pellet is so much more affected by many things that are not a problem for firearms.

    I’ve removed the scope and I bought and have applied TIAT (Tune In A Tube). I set up a portable shooting bench and a rest for the gun. This afternoon I set up at a ten yard distance and began shooting. It took a few tries but finally “moved” the group onto the bulls-eye. I’ve been shooting the 15.43 gr,, Gamo Hunter pellets that I bought with the gun.. Tomorrow I’m going to get out the trial pack of JSB pellets and the selection of pellets that thedavemyster sent me.

    I’m pleasantly surprised by some small (for me) groups. A few five shot groups I could cover with a quarter, ~2.5 mm. The “feel” of the shooting cycle is so subjective. It does feel that the gun is quieter. More a “pop” than the loud noise it produced early on.

    I didn’t notice until I put everything away, that the rear sight has an insert with four notches of varying widths. I’m going to change out the rear sight for a wider notch. I was having difficulty with the sight picture using the standard notch. I’ve ordered a two-piece scope mount to replace the one-piece that II was using. After I’ve sorted out the pellet that the Gamo likes I’ll tackle mounting the scope.

    Finally, most advice includes the suggestion to shoot the gun. lots of shooting. I didn’t appreciate the magnitude of that suggestion until I read some of the comments about the number of shots taken. When I was a youngster, shooting a whole box of .22s on a Saturday was a lot of shooting. Here iI find, that’s not even warming up.

    Learning, learning…

    GrandpaDan


    • Grandpa Dan,

      Good to hear from you,… surprised to hear from you! 😉 Glad you got to try out the springer. Yes, feel is subjective. I had/have had 3 tunes in the TX and it was a bit tuff to tell the difference, but there was some to be sure. The POI showed the most.

      You do not even want to know what kind of groups I was getting with a TX200 when I first started, It does get better. 😉 A whole lot.

      No mention of the Maximus,… but I am sure that you are on top of the pump situation. I can assure you,… get that Maximus pumped to 2000 and that Gamo will be collecting dust so fast that it will make your head spin.

      (Thanks) for the update,.. but I must sign off. Good luck and best-est of wishes,… Chris


    • GrandpaDan
      Stay tuned, B.B. is going to show how to mount a scope on my RWS 34P. I bought it with an RWS one piece droop mount and B.B. says that he does not like that mount. He is going to use a different mount and scope and then shoot more groups to see which pellet my rifle is most accurate with. I have watched B.B.’s video on mounting a scope but I do not understand his procedure to align the reticle with the barrel. Hopefully he will demonstrate how to correctly mount and adjust a scope in his review.

      As you may recall, we have had similar issues with shooting good groups with our springers. I have had my RWS 34P since 2013 and have shot over two thousand pellets through it but still have never been able to shoot 1″ or less groups at 25 yards consistently. B.B. offered to review my rifle and post his findings in this blog for everyone to learn from. He demonstrated that he was able to shoot less than a 1″ group with 10 shots and using open sights. So, the biggest problem is ME but I don’t know that I will ever be able to duplicate his results. I am going to give it a real good try when I get it back but then if I still have issues I will be looking at that Maximus as my next purchase. ChrisUSA has very highly recommended the Maximus to those of us not able to shoot a springer accurately.


  4. Greetings from Colombia. I need to say that Grandpa Dan is right about the need to shoot a lot to learn how to shoot in the right way. In my personal case, my father teach me to shoot small weapons a long time ago (he is a former Colombian army Sargent, 25 years on active service) but shooting rifles is other thing!! To be honest, I need 2000+ shots in my hatsan 95 to begin consider myself as a competent shooter!!.
    BB, this reports that you do about the history of airguns are amazing!!! Thank you very much!!


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