Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Mauser 300SL
Mauser 300SL. There are three finger scallops along the cocking lever.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • The trigger
  • Firing cycle
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets
  • Last pellet was a dome
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Evaluation

We start looking at the accuracy of the Mauser 300SL target rifle today. This may be the first time this air rifle has been tested this thoroughly and also  documented, so I want to cover as many of the bases as I can.

The test

I shot the rifle off a bag rest at 10 meters. I rested the rifle directly on the bag because of its gentle shot cycle. I used the sporting open sights the rifle came with. They are easy to see when the target is lit by a 500-watt photography light. I do think I would like to test this rifle with a rear target peep sight and, because the front sight accepts inserts, I would like to try installing an aperture insert in it. I think the accuracy might improve with these things, and we will have today’s results to compare to.

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Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Mauser 300SL
Mauser 300SL. There are three finger scallops along the cocking lever.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Sights
  • Taploader
  • Trigger
  • Not much information
  • Summary

Here we go! I told you I would be reporting on those airguns I acquired from the Gun Broker website. This is the first of them. The Mauser 300SL is an underlever spring-piston target rifle that is almost a 10-meter rifle, but not quite. After examining it, it appears the people who made this rifle were concentrating more on the style of the zimmerstutzen, rather than a modern 10-meter target air rifle. I’ll explain as we go along.

Description

The 300SL is an underlever that looks something like a Feinwerkbau 300. But there are many differences. For starters, this is a recoiling air rifle. No attempt was made to cancel the recoil. Given that it was sold in the 1980s, that takes it out of the running for 10-meter competition. The FWB 300 was already obsolete in the ’80s.

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The Daisy 853: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 853
Daisy 853.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Before the 853
  • Daisy and the NRA
  • The 853
  • Specs
  • Lothar Walther barrel
  • Peep sight
  • Front sight
  • Single-stroke pneumatic
  • Trigger
  • Overall evaluation

Wait a minute, B.B.! This is supposed to be an historical article. How can you write about the Daisy 853? It’s still being made and sold today. Yes, it is, but this is still an historical report. Why? Because the Daisy 853 is more than just one 10-meter youth target rifle. It’s the rifle that started it all for American youth shooters!

Before the 853

Before the Daisy 853 the youth shooting programs in the U.S. were fractionalized. They did exist, but mainly they shot .22 rimfire target rifles at 50 feet. The arrival of the 853 unified the American youth shooting programs under the auspices of the National Rifle Association. The 853 was (and still is) an affordable target rifle that was/is sized for youth shooters.

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The purpose of a military trainer

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

Airguns as military trainers

This report covers:

  • The first trainers
  • Model trains
  • Bayonet
  • World War II
  • MacGlashan Aerial Gunnery trainer
  • Hakim
  • Quick Kill
  • What else?
  • Many connotations

I was going to report on several military trainers today and it dawned on me that maybe we don’t all think of them in the same way. What is a military trainer? Why do they exist? Or, do they have more than one purpose? Once we better understand what they are, my future reports will make more sense.

The first trainers

The earliest military trainers are probably the half-scale muskets that officers had custom-made for their sons. I mentioned this in an earlier report. They were smaller than the muskets they resembled, but very close copies. They existed for multiple purposes. First, they were to allow the boy to learn the manual of arms while holding something very heavy and real. Second, they allowed the boy to shoot with a suitably sized weapon. And finally, I believe these trainers were talismans that the fathers wanted their sons to get used to holding — like batons of office. Don’t overlook the importance of that. It’s like a cowboy father getting his son his first pair of working boots. It’s a small rite of passage.

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POI shift when changing the scope’s power

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The last test
  • TX200
  • First group at 14X
  • Second group at 6X
  • Third group at 14 X
  • The final group at 6X
  • Conclusions
  • Summary

This report is an unprecedented final look at how the point of impact (POI) changes when the power of a variable-power scope is changed. I linked to the 3 earlier reports in which this phenomenon was tested (it wasn’t tested in the first report of the Aeon scope, but I included it for continuity). The scope used in today’s report is different, so we will see whether that makes a difference to the results.

I had no intention of conducting this test, but then reader Silver Eagle asked this:

Can we try this same test with a airgun that does not have the variable pressure that a PCP has?
An accurate springer such as a TX200 or similar would help narrow it down if it is the scope or the rifle.

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Sterling HR-81 .177 underlever air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Now that Vince has tuned the Sterling, it’s time to see how she shoots.

It’s time to see how the Sterling underlever rifle shoots. Benjamin put Lothar Walther barrels on these rifles, so I’m hoping the pedigree will show in today’s test. Vince got the velocity back up to a respectable level, as we saw in Part 3 (and Vince showed you what he did to the gun in his guest blog about the Sterling), so there should be nothing to prevent the gun from shooting its best.

When I went to mount a scope, I saw that the Sterling has two vertical holes that can be used for a scope stop. They’re located where the front ring needs to be, but with two-piece rings that presents no problem.

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2012 SHOT Show: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1

This is the second of my reports on the 2012 SHOT Show. There will certainly be at least one more after this, and perhaps even more, as there’s simply too much new information to pack into a single report.

The state of the airgun industry in 2012
Before I get to some specifics, I want to make a general observation. This year’s SHOT Show was different for me in a major way, because I saw for the first time that firearms shooters are beginning to understand airguns as never before. In the past, I always had to start my explanations with the cooling of the earth’s crust and then progress through the age of the dinosaurs because each firearms person I talked to thought of airguns as either toys or BB guns. This year, a lot of them were clued-in on what’s happening. They weren’t surprised by the accuracy we get, and they knew about big bores. A lot of them had some airgun experience and more than a few asked me the same kind of questions that I get from long-time readers of this blog.

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