Posts Tagged ‘Beeman Trophy pellets’
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
I usually have a handle on the gun by the time Part 4 rolls around. But, today, I’m still stymied by the Tech Force M12 breakbarrel. I’ll tell you all I’ve done to make sure this rifle is on the beam; but when I tell you my results, I think you’ll see I’m not there yet.
I discovered in Part 3 that the M12 I’m testing is a big drooper. That means it shoots very low relative to where the scope is looking. For today’s test, I installed a B-Square adjustable scope mount that has a huge downward angle to bring the point of impact back up to the aim point. It worked well enough for the test, so I proceeded to shoot several different types of pellets — trying all kinds of hand holds and even resting the rifle directly on the sandbag.
Here’s a list of the pellets I tried: (10-shot groups with each)
Beeman Kodiak Hollowpoints
Crosman Premier 10.5-grain
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain
JSB Exact RS
JSB Exact 8.4-grain
JSB Exact 10.3-grain
Beeman Trophy (an obsolete domed pellet)
Eley Wasp (an obsolete domed pellet)
With most of these pellets, the rifle teased me with several pellets in the same hole — but a 10-shot group that was 1.5 inches and larger. A couple were all over the place and simply would not group at all. The Hobbys were probably the worst.
Only one pellet put 10 shots into 1.038 inches at 25 yards. Those were RWS Superdomes, and the hold was with my off hand back by the triggerguard, leaving the rifle very muzzle-heavy. The rifle was somewhat twitchy but not overly so.
The encouraging thing about this group is that I didn’t have to use a lot of technique to shoot it. I know it isn’t as tight as others I’ve shot at the same distance, and you’ll compare it to them, but I compared it to the other groups I was getting with this rifle. In that comparison, this was the best one and it was also relatively easy to shoot.
What all did I do?
For the record, here’s a list of all the things I tried to get the M12 to shoot.
Cleaned the barrel
Tightened the stock screws (they were tight)
Installed a drooper mount with a lot of down angle
Tightened the scope mount screws (and they were loose on the B-Square adjustable mount!)
Tried resting the forearm of the rifle:
On my open palm in front of the triggerguard
On my open palm under the cocking slot
Directly on the sandbag
Tried shaking the barrel to test the breech lockup (it is tight)
Tried extra relaxation with the artillery hold — which worked for a few shots, but never more than four
Tried attaching an extra weight to the barrel during each shot (with a large magnet)
So, where are we in this test?
I still think the M12 can shoot because there’s evidence of it wanting to stack its pellets. It might be that this is a rifle that needs more than a thousand shots to break in. I’ve owned a few of those. The Beeman C1 from Webley that I used to own was such a rifle. At first it was a royal beast; but as the shot count passed 2,000, the rifle began smoothing out and transforming into something very delightful to shoot. By 4,000 shots, the trigger was very nice and the gun had no vibration to speak of. It was this very rifle that caused me to give the artillery hold its name, and I wrote the first article I ever wrote about airguns for Dr. Beeman. He didn’t respond to my submission, so I saved it and eventually wrote it up in The Airgun Letter.
I wonder if this M12 needs that kind of break-in? That’s something I haven’t done in a good many years because it takes so much of my time. But it might be interesting to see if the rifle responds to a long-term break-in. I think I’ve certainly shoot 250-300 shots at this point, because I also tested the gun at 10 meters and one time at 25 yards (it wasn’t reported). Maybe I’ll rack up some more shots to see how that affects a longer-term break-in.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll learn an important lesson in spring-gun management. This report was supposed to happen yesterday, but the rifle wasn’t cooperating — and I had to spend an extra day testing it. I’ll explain what haoppened and tell you what I did to fix it. It was simple, and the results are astounding. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
As you know, I elected to test the .177-caliber Tech Force M12 4-12x40AO air rifle combo. I chose the package that came without the illuminated reticle but with the best scope.
I mounted the scope with no difficulties. The two-piece rings went on the rails easily and the rifle’s end cap was used to block the rear ring from moving during shooting. I can tell you at this point that you have nothing to fear using the cap this way. The end cap holds the ring positively and doesn’t seem to move.
Trouble in paradise!
But at 25 yards, I found I had difficulty shooting a group that was reasonable. The best I managed to do was 10 shots in an inch and a half, but I also had some that went two inches. It was discouraging, to say the least. I sat back and examined the groups to see what could be learned.
And one thing popped out. Each group of 10 was actually two very tight groups of pellets. There was enough dispersion that at first they just looked like a large group; but since I’d seen every shot go through the target and I remembered them going from one side to the other, I was able to see that there were actually two separate groups. And you know what that means, don’t you?
Let’s look at this from a different perspective. Let’s say a new reader wrote a comment and complained about the lack of accuracy in his new rifle. We might have to go back and forth several times before he mentioned that there are really two smaller sub-groups in the one group he shoots. But that would be the key that triggers a response.
Many of you would advise this reader to remove the scope from his gun and shoot a group with open sights. That’s what I would do. Only in the case of this rifle, there are no open sights. What do you do then?
There is a “secret.” It really isn’t a secret; but from experience, I’ve found that only a few people know about it.
The secret is this: When you get multiple groups like this, the problem is usually caused by a floating erector tube inside the scope, assuming that all the mounting screws are tight. And in this case, I checked them and all were tight. The stock screws were also tight. So the erector tube is the suspect. The thing that sets it up to move like that is when the scope is adjusted up too high or too far to the right, so the erector tube spring (the spring that pushes against both adjustment knobs) has relaxed to the point that the tube can move. It’s a common fault when using a scope, and I’ve been seeing it more and more often with firearms, too.
What I would tell a new reader is to crank a LOT of down elevation (at least 60 clicks — more is better) into his scope and shoot a group. I don’t care that the pellet is now striking the target low. What I care about is the size and shape of the group. That’s exactly what I did. I cranked in 5 or 6 full rotations of down elevation into the scope.
Because the rifle was now shooting very low, I decided to test the rifle at 10 meters just to keep the shots on the paper. I’m not going to tell you the pellets that were tried at 25 yards because what follows explains why they were not tested fairly.
The first pellet I tried in this experiment was the 10.3-grain JSB Exact dome. Inside of 3 shots, I knew I’d found the problem and was fixing it. The 10-shot group I got is not that small for just 10 meters, but it was relatively easy to shoot, meaning that I did not have to use more than the usual amount of artillery hold technique.
Next, I tried Crosman Premier heavies, thinking that the rifle was going to lay them in no matter what it was fed. But not this time. When 4 shots gave me almost 1.5 inches, I stopped! Clearly, this 10.5-grain dome is not the pellet for the M12.
Then, I tried a pellet that has never worked in any test I’ve done. The Beeman Trophy pellets I have are so old that they come in the old-style Beeman tin. But, I thought, what the heck — this is just a test. Let’s see what they can do. And, of course, they were stunning. Ten made a group that measures 0.458 inches, but 8 of those 10 shots made a 0.253-inch group that’s very round and encouraging.
Not only did the Trophy pellet make a nice round group, it also required very little special shooting technique. The gun felt like it was in the zone with this pellet.
I have to say this 4-12x40AO Tech Force scope that came with the rifle is a pretty nice optic for being included in a combo package. It focuses clearly and seems bright enough for general use. Once I found the problem, this scope performed as well as any scope would under similar circumstances. If you plan to purchase an M12, I would recommend getting it the way you see here.
Where are we with the Tech Force M12?
Obviously, I haven’t finished the test of the M12. I still need to shoot the rifle at 25 yards to see how well it does. And I know the groups are going to be larger than what you see here. Before I do that, I need to mount this scope in a good drooper mount so I can get the gun shooting to the point of aim, again.
Today’s report is a valuable lesson in what to do when you’re having problems getting a scope to work. The diagnostic for this is when the rifle wants to shoot several groups that are each respectable; but when taken together, they’re too large. In the situation I’ve shown here, we didn’t know if the problem was the rifle, the scope or something else. By dialing in a lot of down elevation and sometimes some left elevation, we put tension on the erector tube springs, taking them out of the equation. If the gun then shoots well, as this M12 clearly did, then you know you have a droop problem that’s easy to solve.
by B.B. Pelletier
Before we start, Edith has some announcements about some new promotions at Pyramyd Air.
Guys and gals…Halloween isn’t even here, yet, but I’m going to tell you about some early Christmas shopping ideas that will save you some money and get you some free goodies. For starters, you can get some free clips when ordering the Walther PPK/S CO2 BB pistol.
Want a free rechargeable flashlight? Get one when you order one of these Umarex CO2 guns. The really neat part about this flashlight is that it plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter and stays there, charging while you drive. Turn off the car, and it stops charging. Click here to read about this clever little flashlight. Keep the flashlight for yourself or save it for a Christmas gift.
Lastly, prices on some Umarex guns have dropped. An opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping and save some money, or maybe an excuse to buy something new for yourself. Whatever you decide, my lips are sealed.
Now, on to today’s blog.
Today is accuracy day for the TF 89 Contender test. I expected the test of this rifle to be a walk in the park based on my previous experience with it, but it wasn’t. In fact, I’m going to do a part 4 with additional accuracy testing, because I think the rifle has more to offer than I saw during this test.
What do we know about the TF89? Well, it’s a very powerful .177 spring rifle, and that means there’s a lot to be overcome. The fact that it’s a breakbarrel means it probably requires a very sensitive hold. Apparently it does, and I haven’t quite found it yet.
Since it’s very powerful and also in .177 caliber, most pellets will go too fast for the best accuracy. I’ll have to shoot heavier pellets to get the velocity down below the transonic region.
I knew going into the test that the trigger wasn’t the best — and it isn’t — but you can adapt to it. The second-stage pull is long and creepy, but not so much that it affects accuracy.
Before the test, I reread Part 2 to see how fast the rifle shoots. It’s a real scorcher! I started with Beeman Kodiak pellets, and in the end they turned out to have the greatest potential of all the seven pellet types I tried. Remember that I’m shooting 10-shot groups, and I shot four of them with Kodiaks, alone; so this test went through a lot of pellets and targets.
The test was at 25 yards. The rifle was rested, and I tried several variations of the artillery hold, as well as resting the rifle directly on the bag and also holding the rifle firmly. The best hold, which was confirmed several times, was resting the stock on the flat of my palm as it touched the triggerguard. I shifted the open palm forward on the stock, but all that did was open the groups and move the point of impact.
I scoped the rifle with a Leapers 3-9x50AO scope with a red/green illuminated reticle and mil-dots. I like the clarity of this scope for the price and also the fine reticle wires that don’t obliterate too much of the target. Though I shot this test at 25 yards, I would use this scope out to 100 yards with few reservations.
I mounted the scope in BKL 2-piece high rings that gave more than enough clearance for the large objective bell over the spring tube. I might have gotten by with BKL medium-height rings of the same configuration, but it seemed too close to call. Actually, because the TF89 comes with a scope stop on the spring tube, I didn’t need to use BKL ring; but since I switch around scopes so often, I keep this one in those rings in case the extra clamping power is needed.
As I said, the first group was shot with Beeman Kodiaks. They acted like they wanted to group well, but there was something I wasn’t doing quite right. A second group with the same pellet gave similar results. Then I started experimenting.
The other pellets I tried were these:
The Beeman Trophy pellet is no longer available, but it’s the same as the H&N Field Target Trophy. At 8.4 grains, this dome goes too fast for accuracy, which is why it shot groups larger than one inch at 25 yards.
Beeman Kodiak Hollowpoint
The Beeman Kodiak Hollowpoint pellets fit the breech tighter than other pellets. I hoped that would make a positive difference, but it didn’t seem to. However, even though the group was over one inch, it was while I was using a hold that turned out not to be optimum. In the next test, I’ll try this pellet again.
Crosman Premier heavy
The 10.5-grain Crosman Premier pellet is normally not used in a spring gun, due to the weight, but I tried it this time, just to see what it might do. The group was larger, but round enough to make me want to try this pellet again.
Crosman Premier lite
As fast as the TF 89 shoots, I figured there was no chance for accuracy with the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet, but since I was experimenting, I gave it a try anyway. As suspected, it was no dice. The pellets were all over the place. But I had to try.
JSB Exact 10.2-grain domes
Sometimes, when the Beeman Kodiak does well in a rifle, it also shoots the JSB Exact 10.2-grain dome pellet. Not this time, though. I didn’t even finish the 10-shot group.
Eun Jin heavies
Just to say I did, I also tried the Eun Jin 16.1-grain dome. Once again, it was no dice, as the 10-shot group measured over an inch at 25 yards.
I returned to the Beeman Kodiaks, thinking that, by this time, I surely was in the groove with this rifle. But my last group wasn’t as good as my first, which is an indication that I’m getting tired. After shooting more than 100 shots on a rifle that cocks with 42 lbs. of effort I would say I had cause to be a little tired at this point.
The final group was large, but it also tantalized me with six shots that went into a very tight sub-group measuring 0.413 inches between centers. That’s what convinced me that this rifle wants to shoot, but I haven’t quite got it together, yet. I’ll do another accuracy test after cleaning the barrel with J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound and giving the rifle a once-over checkup to see if I’ve left any stone unturned. It seems only fair in light of the evidence.