Posts Tagged ‘fiber optic sights’

Umarex MORPH 3X CO2 BB pistol and rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Umarex Morph 3X rifle
The Umarex MORPH 3X is many airguns in one!

Today, you’ll get a twofer — thanks to blog reader Les, who asked about adjusting dot sights and lasers. I said I would test the Umarex MORPH 3X with a dot sight, so I thought I’d combine that test with instructions on how to adjust the sight to hit the point of impact.

I hadn’t considered testing a laser on the Morph, but I can certainly describe how to do it. I’ll get to that at the end of the report.

The dot sight
What is a dot sight? Well, once you understand what it is, you’ll understand that adjusting one is the same as adjusting a scope. Because that is what a dot sight is — a scope without the magnification (usually) or the crosshairs!

HUH?

On scopes, the crosshairs or reticle are lines that you see through to see the target. By adjusting where the lines are, you can adjust where your shot strikes the target. I think most folks understand that.

All a dot sight does is substitute a glowing dot of light for the center of the crosshairs. In other words, the intersection of the crosshairs is replaced by a glowing dot of light. Put that over what you want to hit; and if the sight is adjusted properly, it works the same as a scope. No one other than the shooter can see the dot.

The glowing dot is different than the crosshairs because it isn’t a solid object. It’s a reflection on the surface of a lens that appears in your line of sight. You can see it because the reflection is physically there, but it isn’t anything that can be touched, anymore than you can touch an image in a mirror. But you can adjust where the dot is seen by adjusting the lens that reflects it.

Try this
If you have a dot sight, try looking through it and moving your head around from side to side and up and down. You’ll note that the dot moves against the target quite a bit. That’s because you’re moving your eye, and that changes where the reflection of the dot appears to be. You can do the same thing with the reticle of a scope, but not to the same extent. Where a scope reticle will appear to move just a little against a target, a dot appears to move more. That’s the difference between looking at something that is physically there and something that’s just reflected off a curved piece of glass.

That should warn you that dot sights have a lot of parallax problems and require consistent eye placement for every shot. The same is true with open sights, but open sights give cues when the alignment isn’t right. The front sight moves relative to the rear sight. But a dot sight is just a single point of reference, so you can’t see the misalignment as easily. Therefore, the placement of your head is extremely important if you expect to hit the target every time.

What I’m saying about dot sights applies to the older tube-type sights, like the one I’m using in this test. I suspect, like all technologies, dot sights have become more precise in recent years. But my experience is with the older style.

Don’t get the idea that dot sights are impossible, though, because they’re not. Though they are somewhat dicey to use. It’s not as bad as ice skating on stilts.

Dot sight adjustment
Now that you understand what a dot sight is, you should know that it adjusts in the same way as a conventional scope. One knob controls the up and down movement, and the other controls the left and right. Sighting-in a dot sight is no different than sighting-in a scope. You select a point of aim, which you hope will also be the point of impact and hold on it as you shoot. If the pellets strike the target low and to the left, the sight has to be adjusted up and to the right.

Like a scope, it helps to begin sight-in of a dot sight at a close target. I like starting at 10 feet away, and I adjust the sight until the pellet is striking the target on the centerline and as far below the point of aim as the center of the sight is above the center of the bore. Then, I know I can back up to 10 meters, and I’ll be on paper. I may need to refine my sight adjustment a little when I shoot at 10 meters, but this is the fastest way I know to sight in an airgun — especially one that cannot be boresighted.

But what if you’re at a public range and can’t shoot at 10 feet? That’s when I put up a 2-foot by 4-foot light-colored paper backer and staple my target in the center of that. Even at 50 yards, there’s a good chance my shots will land somewhere on that big piece of paper if I shoot at the center of the target. When even that fails, I enlist the help of a spotter to watch the berm. I shoot at a dirt clod we can both identify and he watches through the binoculars that I always carry to see where my bullet strikes relative to the dirt clod.

Tasco Pro Point
I mounted a Tasco Pro Point dot sight to the rail on top of the Morph and was ready to commence sight-in. The Pro Point is a dated design, but it was good quality 15 years ago and still works well today. The amount of parallax is small for a dot sight, but I still watch my head placement every time.

It was very easy to install the Pro Point on the Morph. The Weaver bases on the Pro Point clamp right to the Morph’s rail, and clamping pressure plus the keyed cross-slots hold the sight in place.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle with Tasco dot sight

Tasco Pro Pont dot sight fits the Morph quite well.

Target setup
I think it was Victor who asked me how I stop the BBs from bouncing back, so today I thought I’d show you. I photographed my target setup, so you can see the light and the Winchester Airgun Target Cube with the Shoot-N-C target pasted on its front.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle target setup
This is my target setup in the bedroom. The target cube is backed by a thick plastic cutting board, so nothing will hit the wall. The light is a 500-watt quartz incandescent camera light.

Absolutely no BBs bounce back using this setup. The target cube is starting to slough off small pieces of styrofoam, now that over a thousand shots have hit it, but nothing gets through it and nothing bounces back.

On to the shooting
At first, I shot the Morph in carbine form offhand at 15 feet (I’m using Umarex Precision steel BBs). I dialed the red dot intensity up to No. 8; because when the Shoot-N-C target turns green, it’s so bright that it masks the dot. Even at the 8 setting, I could barely see the dot against the target, once it changed from black to green (or yellow — I can’t tell…I’m colorblind.). Of course, when you shoot offhand, the dot seems to move all over the target — even at 15 feet.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle offhand target
Ten shots offhand from 15 feet with the Morph carbine. That’s not too bad! Yes, I used flash.

Seeing the accuracy of the carbine made me want to shoot the gun rested. I brought in a kitchen chair, turned it around and used the back as a rest for my next group.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle rested target1
Ten shots rested from 15 feet. Obviously, the gun is shooting to the left — something that shooting offhand did not fully reveal. All the shots in the cardboard are part of this string.

Seeing this result made me want to see just how good the gun could shoot. So I adjusted the dot to the right and shot another 10 rounds.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle rested target2
Wow! The sight adjustment didn’t go far enough, but look at how small this group of 10 shots is! The Morph can shoot!

Let’s back up
Seeing how good the Morph could do at 15 feet prompted me to back up to 25 feet and try again. This was also a rested group of 10 shots. I adjusted the sight a little more to the right for this one.

I was running out of the smaller bulls, but with a dot sight that poses no problem. Since the BB goes where the dot is, the size of the target has no influence over where you hit, as it would with a peep sight or a post and notch using a 6 o’clock hold.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle rested target3
At 25 feet the group opened up a bit, but it’s still respectable. There’s a single BB above the bull in the cardboard. This is a larger bull; but with a dot sight, that doesn’t pose a problem. The sight is still not far enough to the right, and notice that the impact point has climbed just a little. The orange dot in the center of the bull was the aim point.

A laser
I don’t have a laser that will fit on the Picatinny rail of the Morph, so I can’t mount one, but let’s talk about how a laser differs from a dot sight and a scope. A laser actually shines a light on the target. What you see is reflected from the target — not from a lens inside an optical device. The laser dot can be seen by everyone — not just by the shooter — the way a dot sight can. And because the laser dot actually hits the target, there can never be any parallax. What you see is actually there, on the target.

With a laser, there’s nothing to look through. Think of a laser as a very powerful flashlight. It isn’t actually a sight. It’s more of a designator.

A laser is adjusted just like a scope or dot sight, except you’re adjusting where the light actually falls. So, the procedure is to use a separate sight to sight-in the gun, then adjust the laser so it’s on the target when the other sight is.

Adjusting a laser is usually different than adjusting a scope or a dot sight. There aren’t click adjustments, as a rule, but there are screws that push the laser tube in the direction you want it to go. This may be backwards of how a scope’s adjustments move, so read the laser’s manual before you start adjusting.

Distance is limited
Lasers can’t be seen very far on bright days, so they’re limited in distance. You can look at them through a scope which increases the distance at which the dot can be seen, but even then the laser is a limited-range sighting aid. A 50-yard shot is very far for a laser. Most shooters set them up for very close shots, like 20-30 feet. They use their other sights for longer distances.

Les — I hope this helps you with the sight-in procedure for dot sights and lasers. Let me know if you have more questions.

Final evaluation
The Morph 3X rifle and pistol is a unique airgun that’s accurate and powerful at the same time. The double-action trigger-pull may take getting used to, but it poses no problem as far as accuracy goes.

I find the Morph accurate, conservative of gas and trouble-free to operate. If you want an accurate BB gun that also has power, check this one out.

Umarex MORPH 3X CO2 BB pistol and rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Umarex Morph 3X rifle
The Umarex MORPH 3X is many airguns in one!

I didn’t realize how many readers were watching the Umarex MORPH 3X pistol and rifle until I read some of the comments. Apparently, many of you must use smoothbore BB guns for various reasons, and a long-barreled gun is something you like. Since this one can change from a pistol to a long gun, it’s of particular interest.

As you will remember, the Morph not only has two barrel lengths — it also has two power levels. Each of those conditions had to be tested. I shot at 15 feet, which is one of two established distances for BB guns — the other being 5 meters or just over 16 feet.

The gun has fiberoptic sights, but they do not illuminate well in room lighting. In essence, they were a sharp set of post and notch open sights. That’s better for accuracy, because fiberoptics are less precise since they cover a lot of the target.

Pistol
The gun was loaded with 30 Umarex precision steel BBs and fired in its pistol form first. I started with low power and put 3 shots off the bull before I got the sight picture correct. I had to hold on the center of the bull with the Morph. Then, they went to the center of the bull but made a vertical dispersion. I believe the verticality is mostly my fault, as I’m not yet used to the double-action trigger-pull.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle pistol target low power
The first 3 shots went below the bull. After that, I found the sight picture and drilled it. Ten shots from 15 feet offhand on low power.

Next, I adjusted the pistol to high power and shot a second target. This time, the shots all went lower, as they often do when they go faster. They also went to the right for reasons I cannot explain. The group is even tighter, so I’m thinking this is where the pistol wants to shoot for me.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle pistol target high power
On high power, the pistol shot demonstrably tighter and also lower. This turned out to be the best group of the test.

Pistol with long barrel extension
Someone asked if the barrel extension could be added to the pistol without connecting the longer forearm, and it can. They then asked me to show a picture of what that looks like. Here it is.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle pistol target with barrel extension
Yes, the barrel extension, alone, will attach to the pistol.

Carbine
It was time to test the carbine. This is the forearm and barrel extension plus the detachable butt. I decided to test the gun this way and not just with the barrel extension by itself since the butt would give me greater stability. It also placed the rear sight too close to my eye for good aim, but I’ll address that at the end of the report.

On low power, the carbine shot slightly low and to the right of the aim point. I must report that shooting with the double-action trigger, while not as precise as shooting single-action, is not that difficult when the carbine butt is attached.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle pistol with barrel extension target low power
On low power, the carbine shot slightly low and to the right.

Then, I adjusted the gun to high power and shot another group.

Umarex Morph 3X rifle pistol with barrel extension target high power
On high power, the carbine gave good results. It also shot to the right and almost to the same place as on low power.

Observations
Several owners have said they like their Morphs because they’re accurate, and I think this test supports that. The gun seems to be equally accurate as just a pistol or with the barrel extension installed. But high power does seem to improve things in either mode. Four targets aren’t enough data to prove anything; but since these are 10-shot groups, they do give a pretty good indication of how the gun is shooting.

The sighting situation was a compromise, as I mentioned earlier, so I do plan on another test of the gun. That one will be with a red dot sight attached. Then, I think we’ll see everything this unique BB gun has to offer. So far, though, the Morph 3X is a winner in my book.

Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel air rifle: Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


The Hatsan 95 came through in the end!

This is part 5 of what would normally be a three-part test. If you’ve followed it, you know all I’ve gone through to let the Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel look its best. And today’s report was no exception. I spent more time with the rifle than I usually do in part 3 of any other airgun. I guess I had a burr under my saddle blanket about this rifle from the start. It was so nice-looking, and it was also a spring rifle that most adult men can cock, which isn’t that common when it comes to Hatsan breakbarrels. So, I wanted it to succeed.

Cleaned the barrel
The first step for today’s report was a thorough cleaning of the barrel with J-B Bore Paste on a brass bore brush. From the way the friction lessened the more times I brushed the bore and the black gunk that soon filled the bristles, I knew it was the right thing to do.

Mounted a scope
After the barrel was clean, I set about mounting a scope with droop to compensate for the barrel droop the test rifle has. I had planned to mount the Hawke Sport Optics 4.5-14×42 Sidewinder Tactical rifle scope, but it has a 30mm tube and nowhere in my inventory of available scope rings could I find a droop-compensating mount with 30mm rings. I have them, but they were all doing other jobs. Fortunately, when I was working with Leapers to create their UTG droop-compensating base for RWS Diana spring rifles they sent me a couple samples without the recoil shock shoulder, so I can mount them on any conventional 11mm scope dovetails. Since the Hatsan 95 comes with a scope stop plate already installed, I just backed the base up to it and I was done.


The UTG scope base gave me all the droop compensation I needed to get the scope adjusted properly.

Because the UTG base raises the scope high above the spring tube, I used a set of the lowest Weaver rings I have. With them I was able to mount the AirForce 4-16×50 AO scope with plenty of room to spare. This AirForce scope is the brightest of my one-inch tubes. I don’t usually have it available because it’s mounted on my Talon SS, but the recent test of the Micro-Meter tank has freed it up.

Time to test!
Then it was time to test the rifle at 25 yards. I can report that the droop-compensating scope base did its job and put the scope’s adjustments down into the bottom quarter of the travel range. That means there was more than enough tension on the erector tube return spring, so that can be ruled out as an excuse for inaccuracy. After a quick sight-in at 10 feet, I went back to 25 yards and started shooting.

Beeman Kodiaks are out!
The first pellet I tried was the Beeman Kodiak. But no matter how I held the gun, they simply would not group. I fired about 30 rounds, trying all sorts of holds without success. I tried the Kodiak first because back in Part 3, they seemed to do well at 10 meters. I’d hoped that solving the scope problem would also make them group at 25 yards, but no dice.

So are JSB Exact 15.9-grain domes!
Next up was the JSB Exact Jumbo that weighs 15.9 grains. Like the Kodiaks, these had done well at 10 meters, and I just knew they would shine at 25 yards. But, once again, in hold after hold, they disappointed me. I would put three pellets into the same hole, then throw one an inch away. That could not be blamed on the scope this time.

I even tried shooting the rifle with the forearm resting directly on the bag. Though that seldom works…when it does, it works quite well, and it was worth a try. Once more, the groups were large and open. The shot count was now above 60 without success. I began mentally composing the report that was to say I had failed to get the Hatsan to shoot at all, but something inside kept me at the bench.

Perfect artillery hold is required
By shooting so many pellets, I did discover the best place to put my off hand. The heel has to touch the rear of the cocking slot. If I can feel that, I know the stock is always in the same place. Also, there can be absolutely NO tension when shooting! I have to be entirely relaxed and my shoulder cannot put any pressure against the buttpad. If there’s any tension or if I am holding the rifle in place instead of letting it just rest on target with me relaxed, the shot will always go wide in the direction the rifle wanted to go as I was holding it.

The next pellet I tried was the JSB Exact Jumbo that weighs 18.1 grains. This pellet often shines in certain PCPs, and I wondered if it might make a difference here. But when shot two landed two inches from shot one, I stopped.

Next up was the RWS Superdome that has surprised me in the past. Several readers say this is always a good pellet for them, and I thought it needed to be tried. I got 8 shots into 1.164 inches between centers, but that just wasn’t good enough to satisfy me. So, they were out, too.


Eight RWS Superdomes made this 1.164-inch group at 25 yards. Notice the shot that barely clipped the bottom edge of the target paper!

RWS Super-H-Points
While I was looking through my .22-caliber pellets I saw a fat tin of RWS Super-H-Points. This is a 14.2-grain hollowpoint pellet that also cuts a hole in the target like a wadcutter. It shouldn’t be accurate in a spring rifle of this power, but nothing else was working so I decided to give it a try. When the third shot made a cloverleaf with the first two, I felt this might be the one. And it was! Ten shots gave me a group that measures 0.792 inches between centers. Looking at this group, I see the promise of even better grouping once I become more familiar with the pellet. But even if this is the very best it can do, it’s good enough for me.


There is the 25-yard group we have been looking for! This Hatsan 95 likes RWS Super-H-Points. Ten made this 0.792-inch group. See the two holes made by the 18.1-grain JSB? No wonder I stopped shooting it!

The last word
So, what do I think? Well, the Hatsan 95 is definitely an accurate spring-piston air rifle at a great price. BUT — and this is a big “but,” — if you want it to perform you’re going to have to learn how to shoot a rifle. And I don’t mean shooting Uncle Jim’s 30-30 a couple times, either! You’re going to have to learn how to apply the artillery hold to the very best of your ability because this rifle does not forgive laxness.

Cosmetically, this rifle will give you more than any other air rifle in its price range. The trigger is disappointing, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just not real good. But you can adapt to it and if you learn to hold the rifle right and use the right pellets, it will perform. Based on this test, I think the Hatsan 95 is one of the best buys in a spring-piston air rifle today.

S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


S&W 327 TRR8 is an exciting new BB revolver.

Today is accuracy day for the 327 TRR8 BB revolver, and there’s an additional surprise in this report. I was glad to get another chance to shoot this interesting BB revolver that feels so good in my hands. It actually has made me curious about the .357 Magnum firearm. Ain’t that always the way?

I inserted a fresh CO2 cartridge for this session, and we know from the velocity test that there are at least 65 good shots from a cartridge. I’m talking about the best part of the power band, where no excuses for accuracy can be made. So, I could conceivably fire 10 cylinders (60 shots) and be safe. As it turned out, I didn’t even need to shoot that many.

Before the cartridge went in for piercing, it got a couple drops of Crosman Pellgunoil on the small, flat end. That ensures some of the oil will be blown through the firing valve, where trace oil will coat every surface, including all seals and valve seats. I want this gun to hold gas forever, and this is cheap insurance!

I used Daisy zinc-plated BBs, which have proven to be the most accurate steel BBs I’ve found. I was recently surprised to learn that Daisy imports these BBs from China in 55-gallon steel drums, but I do know that they then put every BB through a sorting process here in the U.S. before packaging. Whatever they’re doing is working, because these are the most accurate standard steel BBs I’ve seen. Only the Avanti Precision Ground Shot is more accurate — and you’ll probably only see the difference in a precision target gun like the Avanti Champion 499.

I shot the gun at 5 meters, which is the international distance for BB gun competition. I used a rested two-hand hold with my forearms resting on a sandbag. I don’t believe I can hold the gun any better than I held it for this test.

I had said earlier that I thought I’d be using the bright green fiberoptic sight for this test. This revolver has some of the brightest sights I’ve ever seen. But when I lit the target with the 500-watt lamp, I found that I had to use the conventional sight picture of the front post level with the rear notch and lined up at 6 o’clock on the black bull. The bright light on the target made the fiberoptic tubes of the front post and rear notch go black. It was as if this was a conventional set of sights. The sights were crisper than I originally thought when the target was lit this brightly, so everything worked out quite well.

First group
The first group was shot single-action, which proved to be the most accurate way of shooting this revolver, as expected. I was so close to the target that I saw the first shot rip through the black bull. After that, I fell into a rythym and didn’t check the target again. I shot 12-shot groups, since the cylinder holds six loaded cartridges. When all 12 shots were fired, I checked the target through binoculars and couldn’t believe my eyes! It really appeared as if only 6 shots had been fired, because nine BBs all went into a single tiny hole. I doubt very much that I could repeat such a grouop if I tried 100 more times.


The first group was phenomenal! It appears that 9 of the 12 shots went into the tiny group at the lower right, though the hole just above it may have more than one shot. Entire group measures 0.685 inches between centers.

Second group
With the success of the first group under my belt, I thought it prudent to shoot a second group single-action, just in case the first one was a fluke. As it turned out, it was. But I could see this group as it formed, and it looked better than the first one from the firing line. I wasn’t until I examined it in the binoculars that the whole story became obvious.


The larger hole in the center of the bull was visible from the firing line as I shot, but the holes that aren’t in the main group were hidden until I looked through binoculars. This is a more representative 12-shot group and measures 0.858 inches between centers.

I’m satisfied that the 327 TRR8 is an accurate BB gun. I was very relieved that the fiberoptics didn’t have to be used, because look at the precision I got. Combat sights (fiberoptics) aren’t ever going to give you that kind of group.

Double-action
Next, it was time to try my hand at double-action shooting. This is more difficult, because the longer, heavy trigger-pull causes the gun to move in the hand as the trigger is pulled.

The first 6 shots went so well that I thought I’d be recanting my position on double-action shooting, but the first shot from the second cylinder fired before I was ready and as a result it went wide. It was a called flier that I could see because I was concentrating on the front sight so intently.

The rest of the shots went into a fairly nice group, except that there was one high shot that I cannot account for. But when you’re pulling a double-action trigger and the gun shifts by just a few degrees of angle, it’s enough to throw you off target.


Not bad for a double-action group. Only the shot at the low right, next to the BB was a called flier. Group measures 1.44 inches between centers.

The surprise
I used the quick-loading procedure that was reported in Part 2 of this report. That’s where you press the mouths of the 6 shells into a layer of BBs, and they all pop into the cartridges. While doing this, I noticed one time that two of the BBs had not popped into their cartridge all the way. That would cause them to have less friction than the other four BBs and that could cause a variation. In handloading firearm ammunition, it would be called neck tension — and it’s a vital component of accuracy.


This is what happened when the cartridges were not pressed down evenly on the layer of BBs. Two BBs are sticking out the top of the cartridges and will have less friction than the other four that are deeper. When they were pushed into the cartridge, a noticeable pop was felt.

The bottom line
This completes the test of the S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver. We’ve seen how it works and all of its good features. It is a very well-made BB gun that looks like it will give good service for a long time. Accuracy is above average, and the power is well above the modest advertised velocity.

S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


S&W 327 TRR8 is an exciting new BB revolver.

The 327 TRR8 BB revolver is distributed by Umarex, which claims the muzzle velocity is 400 f.p.s. In fact, they print it right on the box!

To appreciate what I’m about to tell you, there are two things you must bear in mind. First, the manufacturer of an airgun has to publish the top velocity that gun could achieve. If they don’t, and if there’s ever a lawsuit, it would be bad if the gun was more powerful than advertised. A plaintiff could argue that they bought the gun, thinking it was capable of shooting at a certain velocity, when in fact it was actually capable of higher velocity. They could then argue that they would never have allowed their children to shoot (they may say “play with”) that gun, if they had known its true power.

This argument sounds bogus to a shooter, who would know that any gun is potentially dangerous, regardless of its velocity, but jury selection teams work hard to keep people with such knowledge off the jury, if they can. And to the uninformed, hearing that the gun is more powerful than advertised somehow makes it more evil, if the facts are presented in the right way.

Second, if a manufacturer advertises a certain gun to have a certain velocity and it clearly does not, they have just scored a black eye in marketing and public relations. They are called liars who just want to skew the facts in favor of their product.

This is the dilemma every manufacturer and distributor faces when they advertise their airguns. So what I am going to tell you today must be considered in this light.

Loading the CO2
I showed you the CO2 compartment in Part 1. The cartridge goes in easily, and the piercing screw is turned until a hiss of gas it heard. I then turn the screw just a little farther to make certain the hole in the cartridge is large enough. The pressure of the gas will prevent you from screwing the piercing screw too far.

I should add that, as always, I put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the cartridge before installing it. The oil gets blown through the gun’s valve and gets onto all the seals. It’s the best thing you can do for your CO2 gun.

The 327 TRR8 BB revolver has both a single-action and a double-action trigger-pull, and each must be tested for velocity. Sometimes, they’re fairly close, but there have been guns where the way the trigger was pulled made a 100 f.p.s. difference.

I used Daisy zinc-plated BBs for all shooting in this test.

Fresh CO2 cartridge — single-action pull
The first 10 shots on a fresh CO2 cartridge averaged 447 f.p.s., which is well about the advertised velocity. The string ranged from a low of 431 to a high of 462 f.p.s. That’s considerably above the advertised velocity and produces an average of 2.26 foot-pounds.

Then, double-action
Next, I fired 10 shots double-action and got an average 441 f.p.s. The low was 428 and the high was 445 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 2.2 foot-pounds. So, there’s not too much difference between single-action and double-action in this revolver.

Trigger-pull
The trigger-pull seemed heavier than I remembered from the first report. It averaged 6 lbs., 4 oz. in the single-action mode, which is on the high side. However I must report that the trigger-pull is very crisp. It’s a single-stage trigger in this mode, which means there’s no travel before the trigger stops at the break point.

In the double-action mode, the trigger is easier to pull than on many other revolvers. It breaks at an average 9 lbs., 5 oz. on the test gun. When it’s pulled, there’s a definite stop point where the pull force increases before the release. It feels very much like a Colt double-action trigger from the 1920s rather than a Smith & Wesson trigger — because the Colts always stacked at the end of the pull, while the Smiths did not.

Loading BBs
The 327 TRR8 comes with a speedloader, and Paul Capello showed us in his video of the Dan Wesson BB revolver how to quickly load the BBs. The 6 cartridges are loaded into the speedloader, which is then pressed down onto a layer of BBs held in the lid of a pellet tin. All 6 cartridges will be loaded this way, and it works perfectly every time.


To load the cartridges, lock them in the speedloader, then push them into a single layer of BBs held in a pellet tin lid like this. They load perfectly every time.

Shot count
As powerful as this revolver is, I was concerned about how many shots a single CO2 cartridge would give. And I wanted to stretch the number to as many as I could get, so I paused a minute between shots. Doing it that way, the first 25 shots were all in the 430+ f.p.s.range, regardless of whether they were fired single- or double-action.

After 46 shots had been fired, the velocity remained in the 412-425 f.p.s. range, again with a minute’s pause between shots. After 62 shots, the velocity was definitely falling and ranged from a high of 397 f.p.s. to a low of 286 f.p.s. at shot 85. In other words, there are plenty of shots in this revolver for the average backyard plinker. The high number of shots surprised me a bit, given the high velocities we saw at the beginning, but I did nurse the gas by pausing so long between shots. If you fire faster, and most shooters will, you can expect at least 10 percent fewer shots and all at a lower velocity. You’ll be able to hear when the velocity trails off and can stop shooting before you jam a BB in the barrel.

Observation thus far
So far, the 327 TRR8 seems to be holding up well. It’s powerful, reliable and gets a good number of shots from a cartridge. The trigger seems good, if not very light. The sights are fiberoptic, but have the brightest green tubes I’ve ever seen, so they’ll be used for the accuracy test, which comes next.

Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


The Hatsan 95.

Today, I’ll shoot the Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel at 25 yards with the scope that comes in the package. This is the day we find out what a value the Hatsan 95 combo really is.

The first step was to mount the scope that came in the Hatsan box. It’s a 3-9×32 fixed-parallax scope that carries the Optima brand name. The scope mount is two-piece, and their straps have two screws each. The rifle comes with a recoil stop plate on top of the spring tube, and two different threaded holes so the plate can be moved forward or back. It was in the rear position on the test gun, and that proved best for the eye relief.


This recoil plate fits behind the reat scope ring to prevent movement backwards from the rifle’s recoil. The threaded hole to the right allows you to move the plate forward to reposition the scope rings.

Next, it was time to sight-in the rifle. I do that at 10 feet, which is very quick to get on target, yet gets me on target at 25 yards. If you would like to try my method, it’s explained in this article. I used Beeman Kodiaks for sight-in.

The first things I noticed
Right off the bat, I noticed the rifle shot very low at 10 feet. I expect it to shoot about as far below the aim point as the center of the scope is above the center of the bore, but this was twice that far. That means the rifle probably has some barrel droop, and that can be a problem. If the scope has to be adjusted up very high, the vertical erector tube return-spring relaxes and the tube starts to float. That means the point of impact will move around. That’s not good, and I’ll return to it in a bit.

The second thing I noticed was the image in the scope was very fuzzy. I had to set the scope’s power to 3x when I was at 10 feet, and even then the image was very fuzzy. That was the problem of the fixed parallax. When I backed up to 25 yards, the image cleared up quite a bit — but not completely. At 25 yards, I had to shoot on 5x, which was as high as I could go and still see the black bullseye clearly enough against the reticle to make the shot with any precision.

First group — last group
Since I sighted-in with Kodiaks, they were also the first pellet I tried at 25 yards. I experimented with two variations of the artillery hold — one with the off hand touching the triggerguard and one with the off hand under the rear of the cocking slot. The cocking slot hold is more stable; and with this rifle, it seems to produce the best results. That was the hold I used for the first group.

I fired only 8 shots because I couldn’t see the pellet holes through the scope. When I finally used binoculars to see the group, it was so large that I became discouraged and stopped shooting. In retrospect, that was a bad decision; but I’m getting ahead of myself. Eight shots went into a group that measures 1.218 inches between centers.


Eight Beeman Kodiaks made this 1.218-inch group at 25 yards.

I was now faced with a rifle that performed poorly and a scope that was unusable. I’ll get back to the rifle, but I was finished with the test scope. It is completely inappropriate for an airgun because of where the parallax is set, which is probably 100 yards. The optics are clear enough and the scope does adjust correctly, but if you can’t see the target even at 25 yards, the scope has to go.

The dilemma
If you’ve read this whole report til now, you know that I want this rifle to succeed. Of the three Hatsan-branded spring guns I’ve tested this year, this is the only one that shows any potential for decent accuracy. But as we learned in Part 3, the open sights on this rifle are not that useful, so a lot depends on using a scope. And the scope that came with the rifle is unusable.

So, I needed a better scope. I needed the best scope I have, which long-time readers will know is the Hawke Sport Optics 4.5-14×42 Sidewinder Tactical rifle scope. I use this scope all the time when I want to give the airgun every chance for success, so it was already mounted in two-piece 11mm scope rings. Mounting it on the Hatsan 95 was fast and simple.

I sighted-in the new scope at 10 feet, which proved uncharacteristically difficult. The pellets were wandering around the target and moving away from the group without reason. They were also hitting low, so I attempted to adjust them up; and that’s when I hit the top of the vertical elevation adjustment! The scope was adjusted as high as it will go, and it doesn’t matter how much quality the scope has, no scope does well when adjusted either too high or too far to the right.

The solution
The solution is to crank in a bunch of down elevation adjustment, which I did. The impact point didn’t drop that much, which is indicative that the erector tube had been floating before.

But the next group of Kodiaks was only slightly better than the eight shots fired with the cheap scope that came with the gun! What to do? I know the Hawke scope is good, and I know the rifle can shoot better than this — even with the open sights that aren’t very good.

At this point, I switched over to the JSB Exact Jumbo that weighs 15.9 grains. In Part 3, using open sights at both 10 meters and 25 yards, this had been the best pellet in this rifle. So, I cranked in even more down elevation (perhaps a total of 80-100 clicks at this point) and shot another 10-shot group. You can see from the photo that it isn’t very good. You can also see that it isn’t much lower than the first group. The Hawke scope was definitely adjusted way out of its useful range when it shot the first group.


Ten JSB Exact 15.9-grain domes made this 1.208-inch group at 25 yards. It’s ever-so-slightly smaller than the group made by eight Kodiaks.

What happens next comes from all that firearm shooting I’ve been doing — so, those who don’t like me talking about “powder burners,” listen up! I have a good group at 10 meters and poor groups at 25 yards. Something is not right — with the test, or the way the rifle’s been set up — not with the gun. With the Nelson Lewis combination gun, I know that Nelson Lewis didn’t make inaccurate guns. If I can’t get mine to shoot, the problem lies with me — not with the gun. In the case of the Hatsan, I don’t know whether they can make accurate spring rifles or not — that’s what this test is all about. But if I get good groups at 10 meters, and I did, then I should not get poor groups at 25 yards. Things do not change that radically from 33 feet to 75 feet — they just don’t.

There’s one good reason why I tell you about the challenges I face when shooting firearms that are unfamiliar to me: So you’ll see what can happen and (hopefully) can be resolved by changing the conditions one variable at a time.

We’re not finished!
I think this poor rifle has been sabotaged by a lot of barrel droop and a cheap scope that’s useful only as a tent peg. Under all the mistakes, I think there’s a good rifle in the Hatsan 95. I believe it enough to give it another special accuracy test, and this time I’ll use good drooper mounts to get the scope back into its accurate range of adjustment.

The next test
The next time I test the Hatsan 95, I’ll have the Hawke scope mounted in drooper mounts. I’ll make certain that the scope is near the middle of its adjustment range — if not below. I’ll begin testing with the JSB Exact 15.9-grain pellet, and go from there. I’ll try a couple of the very best pellets I know, including the Crosman Premier, in an attempt to give this rifle every chance to succeed.

I’ll even clean the barrel with a brass brush and JB Bore Paste before testing. I think this is an accurate rifle. If it is, it’s also a real value among powerful spring rifles. If it isn’t, you’ll know that I gave it every chance to succeed.

Crosman 2100B multi-pump air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Crosman’s 2100B is a full-sized multi-pump that delivers power and accuracy with a few economic concessions.

Yesterday, I told you that today’s test was coming; but because I needed to mount a scope for this test, I was prompted to also test the UTG 3/8″ dovetail-to-Weaver/Picatinny rail adapter. There was some interest in this adapter; so I’ll continue to test it with other airguns so we get a good look at the performance. Today, I want to do Part 4 on the Crosman 2100B multi-pump that I promised back in March.

I reread Part 3 of this report to see which pellet(s) did well at 10 meters. From what I see, only 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers did well in that test, so I added a couple pellets I had not tried before to today’s test.

The scope I used is an Osprey 2.5-10×42 that has its parallax fixed at 100 yards. It’s a firearm scope, pure and simple. At full magnification, the target was fuzzy, so I set it to about 5.5x for this test. It has a duplex reticle with mil-dots on the vertical reticle, which is about medium thickness. The optics are very clear, and I think the gun got all the help it needed from this scope.

For the 10-meter test, I pumped the rifle 5 times for every shot. Today, I’ll be shooting 25 yards. Now that it has a scope mounted, pumping is more difficult because I cannot hold the gun at the optimum place, which is on top of the receiver. The scope is in the way, and don’t you dare try to pump the rifle while holding onto the scope! Your hand has to hold the gun farther back, which winds up being the pistol grip of the stock. That isn’t the best leverage to pump the rifle, but fortunately the 2100B has a short, easy pump stroke.

For today’s 25-yard test, I pumped the rifle 6 times for every shot. My thought was to shoot the rifle 5 shots with each pellet and see if it was accurate enough with that pellet to warrant the work of shooting the second 5 shots. This would also tell me whether the shots were walking because the bore needed to be seasoned with each new pellet. As it turned out, though, all three pellets were worth the effort to shoot a full 10-shot group, so that’s what you’ll see.

Crosman Premier lites
The first pellet I tried was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier dome. The first 5 shots seemed to group okay — about what I expected from the earlier results at 10 meters — so I just kept on shooting and finished the 10-shot group. Ten shots landed in a group measuring 0.809 inches between centers. The group is a little wider than it is tall, but you’ll notice that 9 of the 10 shots are actually in a group that is fairly round.


Ten Crosman Premier lites didn’t do bad at 25 yards. Nine of them made a nice, round group. Total group measures 0.809 inches between centers.

This was better accuracy than I expected, based on the results of the 10-meter test. The group size there was 10 Premiers in a 0.539-inch group; and, at over twice the distance, the group only opened another three-tenths of an inch. I think that demonstrates how much greater accuracy is provided by a good optical sight.

The pace of shooting is slower
One thing about shooting a multi-pump is that everything slows down. It takes a while to make each shot ready, which is similar in concept to shooting a muzzleloading rifle that has to be loaded separately with powder and ball. That slower pace forces the shooter to concentrate more on what he’s doing — or at least that’s how it affects me. That’s why I like single-shot rifles so much — for what they bring out in me.

RWS Superdomes
The second pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. This 8.3-grain domed pellet is one I don’t try too often — for no particular reason. It’s made from pure lead and has a relatively thin skirt that takes the rifling very well. I really didn’t know what to expect from it, but it’s different enough than a Premier lite that I wanted to see how it might do.

Ten Superdomes made a rather open group that measures exactly the same as the group of Premiers — 0.809 inches between centers. It looks like a larger group, and there’s undoubtedly some error in the measurement of both groups, but I cannot discern any difference between them with the dial calipers.


Ten RWS Superdomes made this open group at 25 yards. It seems to measure the same 0.809 inches between centers as the Premier group, above, but there is always measurement error.

H&N Baracuda Greens
The last pellet I tried was an afterthought, based on the success of the other day. H&N Baracuda Greens made such a great initial showing that I thought I would include them in this test, just for fun. Boy, am I glad I did!

I was unable to see the pellets that landed inside the black bulls because of the parallax setting of the scope, so it wasn’t until I walked downrange to retrieve the target that I saw what the Baracuda Greens had done. Ten went into a group that measures 0.48 inches between centers! Not only is this the best group of this test, it actually outshot the M4-177 I tested at the end of 2011. That’s Crosman’s other hot, low-cost multi-pump, so don’t get it confused with the MAR177 PCP. That kind of performance says a lot about this air rifle and the accuracy that it offers for very little money.


In light of the first two groups, this 0.48-inch group of 10 H&N Baracuda Greens seems amazing. These non-lead pellets are making a name for themselves!

This will be the last time I look at the 2100B, but it’s been an interesting test. After Part 3, I didn’t think the gun had much more to show us — but this final accuracy test changes everything.

We’ve looked at a fine multi-pump air rifle in addition to the UTG scope ring adapters that let you use Weaver rings on an 11mm airgun dovetail. They proved very easy to install and worked exactly as advertised in this test.

And the Baracuda Green gets another pat on the back. This is a pellet worth considering when you search for the best ammo.

All things considered, I would say this was a fine end to the test of a really great and also inexpensive air rifle!

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Swiss Arms P92 CO2 BB pistol

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