I was speaking with a group of very advanced airgunners recently and found myself amazed by what we all took for granted. The subject was airgun accuracy and topics like distance, powerplants and pellet shapes came up, but no one in the group seemed to remember the time when none of those things made any difference. They didn’t because there weren’t any pellets on the market that took advantage of them. Until around the 1960s, accuracy with airguns was iffy, at best. The problem was not the guns — it was the ammunition!
Crosman 160 opened my eyes!
I remember buying a new-old-stock Crosman 160 target rifle that had been produced and sold to the U.S. Air Force. The rifle hadn’t been fired since Crosman tested it with CO2 at the factory some time in the 1970s. The Air Force bought an unknown number of 160s that came with slings and the Crosman S331 rear peep sight. Presumedly there was a plan to use these rifle for some type of training, but that must never have happened, because hundreds of them were found in a military warehouse in the 1990s in unused condition. When I opened the gas reservoir to install 2 fresh CO2 cartridges, I found the original cartridges Crosman had used to test the gun before packaging in the 1970s! The rifle was brand new, as were hundreds of others just like it!
We’re back with the Hatsan 85 Mossy Oak Break Up combo, and today we will look at changing those screws in the trigger unit, plus get an update on the bipod. This is turning into a long series, and I hope that newer readers appreciate the depth of detail they are seeing. I normally do not look at any one airgun this close.
I was contacted by Hatsan USA and informed that bipods have been removed from these combo packages. They said that decision was made two years ago and were surprised that I got one, but sometimes decisions proceed actions by a very long time in retail. If the supply chain is a long one, as it certainly is in this case (Turkey to the U.S. to the dealer to the customer), then it takes a long time for things to rectify. But the bottom line is there shouldn’t be a bipod with the gun anymore, so I will forgo that test. I did not hold out much hope for it anyhow!
Today I present to you one of the most important reports I have ever written. It doesn’t turn out the way I imagined; it turns out far better! Please enjoy what I feel is the most significant work I have done in a very long time.
Today is accuracy day for the Swedish Excellent multi-pump pneumatic. In Part 2 we determined the velocity for both the Swedish Excellent round lead balls and also for some lead balls called Lobo from Argentina. The Swedish balls were about 100 f.p.s. faster than the Lobo brand balls, and we discovered that the Lobo balls are about one-thousandth of an inch larger than the Excellent balls. I think the size and perhaps even the uniformity of the ball sizes will play a big role in what happens today.
I’m stepping away from my usual report style today by asking the question, “What does it take to make you happy?” And by that I mean airguns. If you want universal enlightenment and a restored ch’i, that’s the class down the hall. What kind of airgun makes you happy?
Lookers and shooters
I break my airguns down to those I think are beautiful and those that shoot well. For instance, the TX200 Mark III from Air Arms is a wonderful shooter, but it has all the grace of a cattle truck! It’s not pretty. Now, it is possible to stock one with a gorgeous piece of wood that will distract the viewer from the humpbacked profile of the rifle for a long time. But eventually people see the shape of the air tube as it morphs into the barrel and realize it isn’t very stylish. It’s a shooter, not a looker.
We will shoot the .22 caliber Hakim trainer today and see what the old classic is capable of. I think you will be surprised.
Shoot directly off the bag
Because the Hakim is so mild-mannered and also because it weighs 10 lbs. 7 oz., which is heavier than an M1 Garand, I rested it directly on the bag rather than use the artillery hold. I shot at 10 meters and put 10 shots into each group. The first group landed in the bull but a little to the left, and I just went with that sight setting for the rest of the test.
This is the continuation of a fictional guest blog about a man teaching a woman how to shoot a gun. Our writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.
Teach me to shoot
by Jack Cooper
This report covers:
Don’t rush it
Three in one!
She can shoot
I called Jill on Monday evening to see how things were going and was surprised to hear how much she was looking forward to our next session. She had been holding the Daisy 499 I left with her and looking through the sights, wondering how it’s going to go for her. Of course she doesn’t have a target yet, but she looked up the target specs online and drew a circle on a white piece of paper, just so she could get the feel for how it should look. That made me realize just how seriously she was taking this training!
Today we look at the power of the Swedish Excellent multi-pump rifle I recently acquired. Remember that this rifle is an oddball caliber that shoots lead balls measuring 0.213-inches in diameter. I discovered that Argentinian lead balls branded Lobo measure 0.214-inches and will work in the rifle, too. Today I will test them both at differing numbers of pump strokes.
6 strokes are minimum
Right away I discovered that 6 pump strokes are the minimum necessary to shoot this rifle reliably. I stuck several balls on 4 pump strokes. But that was not the only discovery I made.