Posts Tagged ‘H&N Rundkugel’
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
I’m retesting an airgun that I tested over a year ago. One of our readers called Daisy and said he was getting much better accuracy from his Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle than I had gotten in my test, and he asked Daisy if they would look into it. Well, they read the accuracy report (Part 3) and agreed with him that I should have gotten better accuracy than I did. So Joe Murfin, Daisy’s vice president of marketing, called and asked if I would be open to a retest.
Joe told me that Daisy engineers were getting groups of about 1.25 inches to 1.5 inches at 10 meters. I’m sure he meant 5-shot groups, and of course I shoot 10-shot groups; still, his groups were significantly smaller than what I’d gotten from the last gun. My 10-shot groups were in the 2.5-inch to 3-inch range.
I don’t like to retest
Normally, retesting airguns leaves me cold. My philosophy is that I test what users get, and it’s whatever it is. I look at the gun the same way a user would, except that I may know a few more things than the average user and am able to do things most people wouldn’t think to do. That gives the gun a fair test and also educates people who may learn a new trick or two by reading what I’ve done.
I have to admit that over the past year I’ve learned a lot about accuracy with diabolo pellets and the things to look for. More recently, I have become aware of the tremendous accuracy potential of some smoothbore airguns. From that standpoint, a retest of this smoothbore airgun is warranted.
This is not life-saving equipment, and the outcome isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things; but wouldn’t it be nice to know if this $35 airgun is really better than we initially thought? I agreed to retest the gun, and Joe sent one directly from Daisy. Instead of the black stock I had last time, this new gun is finished in camo. Other than that, though, it’s identical to the gun I tested before.
Upon reviewing the last accuracy test, I see I used the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet, RWS Hobby pellet and some vintage Daisy Superior Match Grade pellets I had laying around. At the time, that sounded like a good idea; but after spending more time with the Diana 25 smoothbore in recent months, I think there are some other pellets I ought to try — namely the JSB Exact RS pellet and the RWS Superdome.
In the last report on the model 35, I wasn’t specific about what number of pumps to use for each shot. There was nothing to go on for this test except my experience with other multi-pumps. I would only be shooting at 10 meters, and high velocity wasn’t necessary. Six pumps sounded good to me, and that’s what I used for every target. If this was a larger, more powerful multi-pump, I might have opted for 5 or even 4 pumps, but the Daisy 35 is pretty small, and 6 sounded about right.
First target revealed loading problems
I shot the first target with JSB Exact RS pellets. They did well for the most part, but 3 shots landed apart from the main group. I was having difficulty loading the gun, and I think I may have loaded several pellets backwards because of how easily they flipped around on their own in the loading trough. I was shooting in a dark place to overcome the fiberoptic open sights and was unable to see the breech when the pellet was loaded. Those 3 stray shots might be explained as loading errors. Before I move on, I should note that the size of this first 10-shot group is close to what Daisy told me to expect from 5 shots at 10 meters.
Nothing to do but shoot another group with the RS pellets — making sure each pellet went into the breech the right way this time. I used a portable spotlight to shine on the breech during loading to see which way the pellets were oriented. I think Daisy could spend a little time fixing this problem because that loading trough is almost too small to work with.
The second group was much better. Ten more JSB Exact RS pellets went into 1.108 inches. This is better than what Daisy told me to expect, and my interest was piqued. How good would this gun get?
The second pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome that so many people love. The first 10 pellets made a 1.119-inch group. It’s actually too close to the second group of RS pellets to see the difference, but that’s what the caliper read when I measured it. And these pellets hit the target in approximately the same place as the JSBs even though they’re heavier.
The second group of Superdomes wasn’t quite as tight as the first. One stray pellet that I hesitate to call a flier landed below the main group, opening it up to 1.243 inches. But that’s still the best that Daisy said to expect from this gun!
But wait –
Well — there you have 4 groups that are all significantly better than any of the groups I got in the last test. The Daisy model 35 can shoot after all — just like our reader said. I wondered if there was any more accuracy beyond what the gun had already delivered. So, I fired a fifth group, this time with JSB RS pellets. Instead of 6 pumps per shot, I gave it the full 10 pumps for each shot. This time, they all landed in 0.76 inches, or as close to three-quarters of an inch as it’s possible to get.
Obviously, using the right pellets made all the difference in the world. That’s a lesson I’ll try not to forget. Even an inexpensive airgun like the Daisy 35 deserves a fair chance to perform its best.
I would love to press the 35 into service as a dart gun, but the tiny breech prevents the loading of darts. I may be able to load them through the muzzle, but you’ll have to wait to find out because I seem to have misplaced my .177-caliber darts. But there’s still 25 yards to test, so you haven’t seen the last of this airgun.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This Diana 25 smoothbore was made in World War II.
Today’s blog falls under the heading, “It’s not always a good idea to try everything.” Back when we were exploring the Diana 25 smoothbore airgun, we saw how incredibly accurate it was with certain pellets at 10 meters.
This 10-shot group of JSB Exact RS pellets was shot at 10 meters. The extreme spread measures just 0.337 inches between centers! It made us all wonder just how accurate a smoothbore pellet gun can be.
When I backed up to 25 yards, however, the groups opened up to between 2.5 and 3+ inches for the same pellet. Obviously, the pellet needs to be stabilized by both the high drag of its diabolo shape and by the spin introduced by rifling. Drag, alone, is not enough to stabilize the pellet.
One reader then asked me to try shooting round lead balls in the gun. Today, I’ll conduct that test for you.
Beeman Perfect Rounds
I shot Beeman Perfect Rounds, which are H&N Rundkugel but under the Beeman label. They weigh 7.7 grains, which is the weight of a medium-weight diabolo pellet.
The balls fit the Diana’s breech quite well, though one was slightly larger than the others. But the rest would not drop into the breech and had to be seated with the thumb — just as a pellet would. They did seat easily, however, and I noticed the gun’s powerplant seemed harsher than it is with pellets. I suspect the balls had less resistance than a pellet since they only touched the bore at their circumference, and there’s no rifling to engrave them.
Except for one, each round ball fit the gun’s breech very well. Most stopped like this and had to be gently pressed into the bore with the thumb.
Testing at 10 meters
I began the test at 10 meters, thinking the gun was accurate at that distance with diabolos, so it should be accurate with round balls. I’m sure the reader who asked me to test round balls must have thought the same thing. But when I fired the first shot and could not find the hole on the target paper, I stopped shooting. Fortunately there were no new holes in the wall!
I then moved up to 12 feet and shot again — this time standing and using the door jamb as a brace. The shots now went to the bull at which I was aiming. But the group is hardly worth celebrating. Ten shots went into 1.166 inches at this distance. I’ve shot many BB guns that could do so much better than this that it’s embarrassing to consider.
Ten shots from 12 feet did make a group on the target, but that’s way too close for a gun like this! Group measures 1.166 inches between centers.
I guess the Diana 25 isn’t made to shoot round balls. If there was any doubt before, I hope this clears it up. I didn’t shoot any more groups because of how harsh the powerplant seemed to be. I didn’t see any reason to strees the mechanism more than I already had.
Shooting round balls got me thinking about other types of non-pellet projectiles, and of course darts came to mind. I decided not to try them in this gun,as the powerplant is too powerful for them. It would bury a dart deep in wood, causing its destruction upon extraction. But that did give me another idea.
I was recently asked to conduct a retest of a gun I tested some time ago. Apparently, a blog reader felt my results were not typical of the gun I tested, so he called the manufacturer and they contacted me. That gun in question is a smoothbore, as well, and it’s a multi-pump, so the velocity can be controlled. I plan on testing darts when I test that gun for you.
by B.B. Pelletier
Today is accuracy day, and I know a lot of you have been waiting to see what this smoothbore Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle can do. Because it’s a multi-pump, I experimented a little with the number of pumps, but all groups were 10 shots at the stated distance.
Not a rifle
Before I start the report, here’s a little nomenclature lesson. Our UK readers should know this far better than our U.S. readers since they’re quite particular about calling guns exactly what they are. Americans, on the other hand, often refer to a long gun as a rifle, regardless of whether it is rifled or not. In this day, when there are no more buck-and-ball smoothbores or muskets to contend with, I suppose it’s understandable — but it isn’t correct. And, when we encounter a real smoothbore like this model 35 Daisy, we make the mistake of calling it a rifle. Heck, even Daisy calls it a rifle, but it isn’t. It’s a gun, by the strictest definition of the term. So, I’m calling it a gun — not a rifle.
Let’s begin the report.
I said last time that the pellets were prone to falling into the BB hole at the rear of the loading trough. Reader GenghisJan said he pushes the bolt forward to block the hole after cocking but not far enough to interfere with the skirts of the pellets being loaded. I tried his method and found that it works, but the loading area is still too small for me to roll the pellet in the way some other folks advised. So, I continued to let it drop over the receiver with the muzzle pointed straight down. That works for me nearly all the time.
I thought I would first test the gun rested at 10 meters. If it turned out to be accurate, I would then back up to 25 yards in a separate test. But if it wasn’t accurate at 10 meters (11 yards), there was no hope for it at the longer distance.
I used a 6 o’clock hold; and although the front sight has a white dot, I was able to mask it entirely by lighting the target brightly and shooting in a dark room. So, the maximum sighting precision was used on every shot.
Pellets were first, and the first pellet tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier. I pumped the gun 6 times per shot because that seemed like a good place to begin.
The performance on target, however, is not very good. I’m not showing the customary dime next to the group because I had to photograph the first group while the target was still taped to the backer board. Not all 10 pellets remained on the target, and this was the only way to show the actual size of the group.
After that group, I thought perhaps my technique was bad or maybe the pellet was wrong, so next I tried the RWS Hobby pellet.
At this point, I examined the pellet holes and thought perhaps the pellets weren’t stable in flight. Each hole seems to have a tear to one side, as if the pellet passed through slightly off-axis. Next, I tried a different pellet and a different number of pump strokes.
Daisy Superior Match Grade pellets
Don’t search for these pellets online. The ones I have date back to the 1980s and have not been retained in the Daisy line. They’re starting to show signs of corrosion but haven’t turned white yet. I shot them on 5 pumps and, surprisingly, they turned in the best group to this point. They were grouped about 2-1/2″ above the aim point, however.
The “accuracy” improvement is so minimal, though, that I don’t think anyone needs to mourn the loss of this pellet. It’s a lightweight wadcutter, if you want to experiment.
Like the first two pellets, most of the holes with this one also seemed to have the telltale tear on one side, so I thought 10 pumps might solve the problem. Would going faster make the pellet any more stable? Ten pumps did bring the pellets back to the aim point — sort of.
Summary of pellet accuracy
Obviously, I’m not going to shoot this gun at 25 yards and risk putting pellets into the wall. We wondered how accurate a smoothbore might be, and I must say that I’m a little disappointed by the lack of accuracy seen here. I could spend a lot of time chasing after a better pellet, but that’s not time well spent.
On to BBs
BBs were next, and I moved in to 25 feet from the target. Eight feet less might not seem like a lot; but when you’re dealing with something as potentially inaccurate as a BB, it can be. Normally, I would have started with a shot from 12 feet just to make certain the gun was on target, but something told me it was. The first shot was from 25 feet. I shot in the offhand supported position, which means I braced myself against a door jamb.
I used Daisy zinc-plated steel BBs as the ammo, because I’m testing a Daisy gun and because I’ve found them to usually be one of the best BBs on the market. RWS BBs are just as good; but like I said, this is a Daisy gun.
This time, I used a BB-gun target, whose black bull is about the size of a U.S. dime. The normal distance for shooting at this target is 15 feet (offhand); so at 25 feet, I was under a slight disadvantage. The lighting was the same as for the 10-meter targets and the sights were just as sharp as before.
Don’t go making any assumptions about the four BBs that landed together just above the bull. They were shot and sighted exactly the same as the other 6 shots and are just a coincidence. This is where 5-shot groups tell you much less, because notice there’s a fifth shot in the black just below the group. I have no idea when that was shot in the series of shots, but some writers will make that the reality and explain away the other holes — or just not show them!
I liked the Daisy Powerline model 35 until it came to accuracy. Then, it seemed to be an adequate BB gun, but not up to par with pellets. I guess those little spiral scratches in the barrel mean something after all!
by B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll look at the velocity of the Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle. You’ll remember from Part 1 that this is a smoothbore, and as such we’re going to be testing the accuracy with diabolo pellets. One reader asked me to test the velocity of the gun with round lead balls, so I did that, as well. There’s a lot to test, so let’s get to it.
Number of pumps
A multi-pump lets the shooter select the number of pumps for every shot — up to the maximum recommended number. In this case, that’s 10 pumps. I decided to test the model 35 on 5 and 10 pumps, just to simplify the test and to bound the amount of work to be done. Five pumps takes us to the place where the gun is shooting fast, but also where each successive pump provides diminishing returns. Ten pumps takes us all the way as high as the gun is recommended to go.
Crosman Premier lites
The 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet is a good choice for this gun if weight is the criteria. Because the model 35 is a pneumatic, this pellet won’t suffer like it would in a spring-piston gun of the same approximate power.
On five pumps, the velocity averaged 478 f.p.s. and ranged from 472 to 481 f.p.s. That gives us an average muzzle energy of 4.01 foot-pounds. This velocity should be okay for target shooting at 10 yards; but if I were shooting farther than 15 yards, I would probably pump it more.
The model 35 is rated to develop 605 f.p.s. with pellets, but of course that would be with the lightest ones. I expected to see 550 f.p.s. with these 7.9-grain Premiers. They actually averaged 565 f.p.s. and ranged from 559 to 570 f.p.s. That’s a muzzle energy of 5.6 foot-pounds. I would have to say the gun meets my expectations when it comes to power.
I mentioned this in Part 1, and I’ll reinforce that now. This gun is very tricky to load with pellets. You must watch the large hole at the back of the short loading trough that’s there for BBs, or you’ll get a pellet stuck in it. I find it best to point the muzzle straight down and let the pellet tip over the edge of the receiver, where the nose will fall into the breech if you’re fortunate.
Next to be tested were the 7-grain RWS Hobby pellets. You might think that these would be a lot faster because they’re almost a full grain lighter than the Premiers; but in a pneumatic gun, velocities don’t increase that fast.
Five pumps gave an average 495 f.p.s., or just 17 f.p.s. more than the Premier did at the same number of pumps. The range went from 492 to 503 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 3.81 foot-pounds.
On the full 10 pumps, I expected to see the Hobby pellet approach 600 f.p.s., but it did not go quite that far. The average was 577 f.p.s., and the velocity ranged from 567 to a high of 586 f.p.s. At the average velocity, the muzzle energy was 5.18 foot-pounds.
BBs were next
Next up were steel BBs. I had to shoot either BBs or pellets. If there’s even a single BB in the gun’s internal reservoir, the magnetic bolt tip would attract it. I counted the BBs as I loaded the gun, because I didn’t want to have excess BBs remaining after this part of the test. Of course, I used Daisy zinc-plated BBs because this is a Daisy gun.
On 5 pumps, the BBs averaged 517 f.p.s. They ranged from a low of 505 to a high of 529 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 3.03 foot-pounds.
Ten pumps bumped the average velocity to 616 f.p.s. — breaking the 600 f.p.s. level for the first time in the test. The velocity ranged from a low of 612 to a high of 619 f.p.s., so BBs were more stable than pellets in this gun. You don’t often see that. The muzzle energy was 4.3 foot-pounds.
The trigger-pull was noticeable throughout this test because it’s so heavy in relation to the overall weight of the gun. When a 9-lb. rifle has a 5-lb. trigger-pull, it seems right. On the other hand, when a 3-lb. gun, like this model 35, has a trigger that breaks at just over 6 lbs., it’s too much. It’s a single-stage and fairly free from creep, but the sheer weight of the pull is daunting. I think it’ll affect me during the accuracy test.
Round lead balls
I tried shooting some round lead balls in the gun because a reader asked me to. Since I will also shoot them for accuracy, I selected the largest lead balls in this caliber. Beeman Perfect Rounds, which were made by H&N and are identical to the H&N Rundkugel were the ones I chose. They measure 0.176-0.177 inches in diameter and weigh 8.3 grains.
On 5 pumps, these balls averaged 414 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 396 to a high of 434 f.p.s. At that speed, they generate 3.16 foot-pounds.
On 10 pumps, they average 504 f.p.s. and range from 480 to 522 f.p.s. They produce an average of 4.68 foot-pounds. With such a large velocity spread, I don’t look for great accuracy — especially at longer distances.
Evaluation so far
To this point, the model 35 is proving to be an interesting little pneumatic. The upcoming accuracy test of a smoothbore airgun is what I’m really waiting to see. Feeding with BBs was 100 percent positive, but with pellets it was difficult to load the gun. The lead balls loaded easily enough because they have no sharp shoulders like the pellets to grab things and turn them around. After all — they are balls — so who knows where the front is?
The trigger is heavy, but the sights are crisp. I’m looking forward to seeing what this little gun can do.
I will say this. The model 35 is very quiet! It has a No. 2 noise rating on Pyramyd Air’s site, and it deserves one. Only a Red Ryder would be reliably quieter.