Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Pelletgage
The Pelletgage comes in .177 caliber at the present. The holes are in a steel plate. A plastic plate above the gage plate helps guide the pellet head to the gage hole.

This report covers:

  • Update
  • The test
  • Blind test
  • Interpretation
  • I called it
  • What to make of these results
  • Observations so far

Update

Before I get into the test, I received a message from the Pelletgage maker, Jerry Cupples, telling me that he has measured a large sample of the gages he has made – they’re all measuring 0.01mm smaller than what’s marked on the gage. In other words, a gage hole that’s marked 4.52mm actually measures 4.51mm, and so on. This holds true for all the gage holes in a gage plate.

So, in the last report, all the pellet sizes I gave you were off by the same amount. This is not a problem. All I need to do is change my pellet sizes by reducing all on them by 0.01mm after gaging.

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Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Pelletgage
The Pelletgage comes in .177 and .22 calibers at the present.

This report covers:

  • Texas airgun show
  • Today’s test
  • The challenge
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets
  • Time to change direction?
  • Crosman Premier Supermatch
  • A chance to check the pellet skirts
  • Test 1 — youth program pellets
  • Discussion of the 3 targets
  • Coaches — pay attention!
  • Test 2 — Can you test quality into a product?
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Texas airgun show

Before we begin, I want to remind all of you that the Texas airgun show will be held on Saturday, August 29. There’s a link at the top of this blog page that takes you to the show flier for all the information.

On Friday evening before the show, the public is invited to attend a reception at the Texas Star Ranch and Retreat, located near the show. American Airgunner will film an episode of the Round Table and welcome questions from the audience.

We have dealers coming from all over the United States, including some major retailers who will have premium pellets, CO2 and other necessary expendibles for sale. A range will be available all day for the public to try different airguns, and we’re going to host the LASSO big bore airgun competition.

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Shooting Chrony Alpha Master

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Alpha Master chronograph
Shooting Chrony Alpha Master chronograph has a control box with display that separates from the skyscreens by 18 feet. These chronographs are shown with their light diffusers attached, but I don’t use them. Read why in the report.

This report covers:

  • What about the false triggering of the skyscreen?
  • Start screen — stop screen
  • Atomic blast wave
  • The solution to false triggering
  • How I use the new chronograph
  • Battery operated
  • Light diffusers
  • Summary

As you may be aware, I shot my Shooting Chrony Alpha chronograph with the Benjamin Bulldog big bore air rifle. It wasn’t the rifle’s fault — it was mine. There were other shooters on the range, so I had to place the chronograph about 10 feet in front of my position to get the skyscreens out from under the metal roof that hangs over the firing line. For range safety rules, I could not get closer to the chronograph. So, I was pointing the airgun to shoot over the skyscreens.

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Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pelletgage
The Pelletgage comes in .177 caliber at present. The holes are in a steel plate. A plastic plate above the gage plate helps guide the pellet head to the gage hole.

This report covers:

  • Introduction to the Pelletgage
  • How it works
  • How can the Pelletgage be used?
  • How accurate is the Pelletgage?
  • There is a technique to measuring
  • Is the Pelletgage necessary?
  • What comes next?
  • Where to get a Pelletgage

Introduction to the Pelletgage

The Pelletgage is a precision tool that lets you measure the pellet head sizes. The device is a metal plate with graduated holes that accept or reject pellet heads. If a hole accepts a head, the pellet falls through and will usually be caught on the skirt that’s wider than the head. The holes range in size from 4.47mm to 4.56mm.

The Pelletgage does not change the size of the pellet. That is not its function. It measures the pellet head size so you can be sure they’re consistent.

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World’s best pellet trap

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is a guest blog from reader Rod about an economical and yet very effective pellet trap he created.

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

Over to you, Rod.

This report covers:

  • Humble beginnings
  • Silent running, Gen 1
  • A better way
  • Maintenance
  • What will it stop?

If you shoot indoors or need a backyard-friendly way to shoot your airgun, then you’ve probably pondered the best way to stop a pellet. Well, I think I’ve found the cheapest, safest and quietest way to do just that, hands down. Don’t believe me? Read on.

Editor’s note:

  1. Do not shoot a firearm into the trap described in this report. While Rod has tested it with some powerful firearms, I would not recommend it at this time. I believe a lot of additional testing needs to be done before it can be pronounced ready for firearms.
  2. Rod shot directly into the center of the trap. Shooting at an angle may have the unexpected consequence of fully penetrating the box and coming out the other side.
  3. Do not shoot arrows or bolts into the trap. They could deflect and unexpectedly come out the side of the box, and you won’t know how much further they’ll travel.
  4. Lower-powered projectiles may not actually penetrate the box and could bounce back.
  5. Always wear safety glasses and stand at sufficient distances to avoid rebounds.
  6. BBs — both airsoft and steel — may not penetrate the box and could easily bounce back a considerable distance.

target box
What do you get when you fill a cardboard box with a towel and some rubber mulch?

Humble beginnings

In the beginning…there was a brick wall. I have a 30-yard run down the side of my house that ends at my backyard. It’s a nice place to shoot, but no one wants to shoot into a wall. You’ll mess up the wall! Oh, and BBs bounce back. Ouch! Still, always remember — “Know your target, and what’s behind it.”

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Back to the basics — Scope tips: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Droop — or downward slant
  • My point is…
  • I must care about this
  • Scope placement

This series examines the task of mounting a scope on an air rifle and sighting it in. Part 2 addressed mounting a scope, but it didn’t cover all of the problem areas, so today I’ll continue the discussion.

Droop — or downward slant

I will say that 80 percent of all the firearms and airguns I have examined have some degree of downward slant of their bores in relation to the line of sight of a scope that’s mounted on them. And I will go on to say that half of those are so serious as to cause problems. The airgun term for this is droop. The firearm world has no term for it and is generally ignorant of the problem. The single firearm that doesn’t seem to have this problem to the extent mentioned here is the AR platform. Perhaps the designers recognized the problem and solved it through engineering. I don’t know, but ARs seem to be relatively droop-free.

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Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Supersport SE: Part 4

This report covers:

  • Is compact good?
  • The trajectory reticle
  • Thin reticle
  • Buy this trajectory reticle for targets, only
  • And the scope?
  • Brightness
  • Image area
  • Reaction to recoil
  • Do scopes need to be broken in?
  • Evaluation so far

Today I start looking at the Aeon 8-32X50 AO scope with trajectory reticle. We actually began our look in the final section of the BSA Supersport SE review, which is why there’s a link to Part 4 of that review at the top of this page.

For starters, I said this is the shortest 8-32x scope I’ve ever seen. I showed you a picture of the scope mounted on the BSA rifle, but the only comments that picture got were about the Diana Bullseye ZR recoil-reducing scope mount. Apparently not many of you own an 8-32X scope; and so when you see one that’s several inches shorter, it doesn’t make much of an impression. So, the first thing I’ll do today is show you the Aeon scope next to a UTG 8-32X (no longer made), so you can appreciate what I’m saying. The Aeon is 13.75 inches long, compared to 17.52 inches for the UTG.

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