Posts Tagged ‘UTG Weaver-to-11mm or 3/8″ dovetail adapter’
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the Disco Double. Before that, however, I mounted a scope, a TKO airgun silencer that they call a muzzlebrake or a lead dust collector, and something I’ve never seen in print before but something I’ve used on many precharged air rifles over the years — a bolt keeper!
What’s a bolt keeper?
First, let me tell you that when I mounted the TKO silencer, it fit the barrel perfectly. There were no barrel alignment issues that I was warned about, and I checked closely. This unit is very well made and looks beautiful on the gun. The unit I’m testing is 8-1/4 inches long; and, yes, Lloyd, I checked that it indeed is a .22 caliber before mounting it. However, when the silencer is on, the top end cap does not fit.
When I shot the gun with it on the first time, I have to say I was underwhelmed. It was quite loud. A second shot confirmed this. Then, I held the rifle to my shoulder and fired a third shot. That’s when it hit me — a blast of air in the face not unlike the glaucoma test eye doctors do. The bolt was opening and discharging compressed air with each shot!
This happens a lot with precharged guns and it doesn’t matter how cheap or expensive they are. The bolt handle lifts up and air comes back through the action. On the lightweight Disco Double, it only begins to happen when the rifle is at the bottom of the power curve, which is where it was when I tested it this time.
A simple fix is to fasten a rubber band around the bolt handle to hold it closed during the shot — a bolt keeper. Once on the gun, I just leave it there. Even though it’s not needed until the end of the power curve on this rifle, I don’t want to worry about it. You can cock and load the rifle with the band in place.
With the handle held closed in this fashion, the rifle suddenly became very quiet — as in Benjamin Marauder quiet! I now understand why shooters have been so excited about this unit. It really works!
NOTE: Due to several reader questions about this silencer, I am removing it from the rifle and returning it to Lloyd. Silencers are a very touchy subject, since owning one that will function on a firearm requires a license for each specific silencer. I don’t want to mislead any reader, so in the interest of clarity I am simply not going to use or possess this item any longer. I wrote an article on silencers that can be accessed here. If you have any questions on the subject, I recommend you read that article.
The rifle now weighs 6 lbs., 11 oz. with everything installed. That’s very light for a serious air rifle.
I mounted a UTG True Hunter 3-9X40 scope on the rifle. Since UTG packs rings with this scope, I used them, but they’re Weaver-style mounts. So, I had to use a UTG Weaver to 11mm dovetail adapter to make them fit the dovetails on the rifle’s receiver.
I’ll be shooting from a rest at 25 yards today. The range is indoors, so wind is not an issue.
Sight-in was accomplished with .22-caliber Crosman Premiers; so after I was on the paper, I shot the first group of 10 shots at 25 yards. The hole they made is a little taller than it is wide, but it measures 0.569 inches between centers. While that’s okay for 25 yards, it isn’t great. I’d like to see something a couple tenths smaller.
Next up were Beeman Kodiak pellets. They’re identical to the .22-caliber H&N Baracuda pellets that Lloyd tested the rifle with, and they were what I had available. They put 10 into 0.655 inches between centers. Like the Premiers, that’s not bad…but not as good as I’d hoped.
Beeman Kodiaks opened up more, to 0.655 inches between centers. Only use them if you need a heavy pellet.
JSB Exact RS
I followed the Kodiaks with some JSB Exact Jumbo RS pellets. They’re even lighter than the Crosman Premiers, and sometimes they can be very accurate in precharged rifles. This was one of those times. Ten pellets went into 0.365 inches, which is exactly what I’d hoped for the Disco Double. This is the pellet for this rifle!
Nex, I tried the RWS Superdome pellet that’s always recommended. I don’t often have good luck with them, but a lot of shooters do. I stopped after just 4 shots, though, and you can tell from the lateral spread that measures 0.634 inches between centers that they weren’t going to perform.
JSB Exact Jumbo
The last pellet I tested was the JSB Exact Jumbo. These are usually among the top pellets in .22-caliber precharged air rifles, so I felt they deserved a chance. The first 2 shots were on a fresh 2,000 psi fill, and I’m not sure the rifle wasn’t overfilled by a slight amount because they both landed away from the main group. Shot 9, however, was shot while the rifle was grouping well, and I have no idea why it’s above the main group. The 10-shot group measures 0.647 inches between centers, making this the second-best pellet I tested in the rifle.
These 10 JSB Exact Jumbos measure 0.647 inches between centers. The first 2 shots are the holes at the right and bottom right of the main group. Then, the rest of the pellets went into the big group, except for shot 9 that went high. There is no explanation for that one. This is a pellet I would keep trying.
Filling from a hand pump
The biggest feature of the Benjamin Discovery, aside from the low price, is the fact that the maximum fill pressure is just 2,000 psi. It’s full right where other PCPs have run out of air. And that makes the Discovery extremely easy to fill with a hand pump.
Using the Discovery factory pump, I began the fill at just under 1,000 psi and pumped until the onboard pressure gauge read 2,000. It took exactly 100 pump strokes to fill the gun; and, until the final 20, they were as easy as inflating a bicycle tire. Only when the pressure passed 1,800 psi did I notice an increase in pump handle resistance.
One tip when filling with a hand pump is to go slow. Allow time at the top and bottom of each pump stroke for the air to flow through the various stages inside. If you don’t, you just waste energy and heat up the pump unnecessarily.
Observations so far
So far, I’m thrilled by the performance of the Lightweight Disco Double. The number of shots I get on a fill is large enough for serious shooting before it’s time for a refill and the rifle’s performance leaves nothing to be desired. A glance at the onboard gauge needle, and I know the status of the fill.
When I tested the original Benjamin Discovery rifles in both calibers, the guns I used were pre-production prototypes. I shot groups under 0.6 inches with both calibers; but at that time, I was shooting only 5-shot groups. The JSB Exact RS pellet did not exist at the time of that test. So, it’ll be interesting to see what this rifle can do at 50 yards with 10 shots. Remember — this is the first Benjamin Discovery production rifle I’ve ever shot!
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Today, I want to tell you about the scope I mounted on the .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder. It’s a Leapers UTG Accushot 6-24X56 scope that comes with a 30mm tube, adjustable objective with sidewheel focus, and an illuminated reticle with 36 different colors and shades. Packed inside the box are a set of UTG 2-piece high rings that have Weaver bases. These bases present a problem for mounting to most airguns because 11mm dovetail grooves are far more common these days than Weaver dovetails on airguns, but Leapers does make an optional UTG Weaver-to-11mm adapter that fits inside the jaws of the scope mount base and makes it fit an 11mm scope mount. This adapter costs only $10, so it really isn’t a big deal; but you must have a set to fit this scope to your 11mm scope rails if you have them. Luckily, I have a set, so mounting the scope to the Marauder was no problem.
The UTG scope fits the Marauder well, and the power is suited to long-distance shooting. Lower rings were used to bring the height of the exit pupil down to eye level. These rings are also adjustable, and the scope is slanted downward to correct a barrel droop problem.
The one problem I did have was the scope is too high when mounted with high rings. I had to hold my head too high on the stock for a natural fit. The Marauder already has a receiver that’s above the barrel, so the scope doesn’t need as much extra clearance at the objective lens.
I discovered this problem while shooting those groups at 25 yards that were shown in Part 3 of the .25 Marauder report. I was able to hold my head high enough to shoot well; but it wasn’t comfortable, and I knew that for 50-yard testing the scope had to come down some.
Also I had to put a lot of elevation adjustment into the scope knobs to bring the groups up to the target. When I swapped rings, I intended to put a shim under the rear ring to offset a drooping situation. Fortunately, though, I found a vintage set of 30mm B-Square adjustable rings that could be adjusted in the rear to fix the droop. For most people who will use a fixed ring set, I think one shim would work fine.
Locking adjustment knobs
In the bad old days, our scope knobs did not lock. If someone were to give your adjustments a twist, you were thrown off target easily. I saw this happen deliberately on more than one occasion in a field target match.
This scope has a simple solution for locking the adjustment knobs that I’m growing very fond of. A knurled ring at the base of each knob is screwed down to lock the adjustments or up to loosen them. It’s quick and it works. There are other ways to lock scope knobs, including those that need Allen wrenches, but this UTG way needs no tools and is very quick, yet positive.
Adjustment knobs are clearly marked. The locking ring at the base of each knob is simply loosened to make adjustments, then tightened to lock it down. An Allen screw in the center of the knob allows the scale to be slipped to zero and locked down once the scope has been adjusted.
A single Allen screw in the center of each adjustment knob loosens to slip the adjustment index scale around to zero once you have the scope where you want it. That’s perfect for hunters who want to have several zeros on the same scope because they can always return to the starting point. For example, if you zero your scope’s elevation knob to impact the point of aim at 20 yards (as I do), then that becomes the zero point. The pellet may be back on zero at 32 yards, and all distances in between 20 and 32 yards are less than two pellet diameters above the intersection of the crosshairs.
But what if you want to take a shot out at 45-60 yards and not lose this zero? By knowing the trajectory of your pellet, maybe you know that if the pellet is set to impact on the point of aim at 55 yards it will be one inch low at 40 yards, a half-inch low at 50 yards and 3/4-inches low at 60 yards. And you know that 16 clicks of elevation will raise the impact point from 20 yards to 55 yards, so all you have to do is click up from the zero point by 16 clicks to set the new point of impact. When you’re finished shooting at that distance, you know that returning to the zero on the scale puts your gun back on at 20 yards.
This explanation has been just an example of how this process works. You have to find out for your particular rifle, power setting and pellet where the actual adjustments must be made.
This scope has superior glass. All the lenses are high-quality optical glass and, because the scope tube is 30mm in diameter, the lenses inside the scope are all larger than similar lenses inside a one-inch tube. Larger lenses mean more light can pass through, so your image appears brighter. Blog reader GunFun1 asked me to address low-light optics a couple days ago. A scope like this one is always going to be brighter than a scope of similar power but with a one-inch tube.
The mil-dot reticle is comprised of 2 parts. The outer lines are thicker and draw your eye into the thinner central lines. The thin central lines are separate from the outer ones. It looks like a duplex reticle because of the thick outer lines, but it is the inner lines that do all the work. They’re not wires and are not even drawn on the lens. They are etched into the glass. What that means is that when the illumination comes on at even its brightest level, there’s no flare of light on the inside of the scope tube. Those who have used illuminated reticles in the field will appreciate that, and those who haven’t won’t understand why it’s important.
If you hate illuminated reticles and never turn them on or even put a battery into your scope, you lose nothing with the UTG design. The reticle appears black all the time and needs no battery to be seen. And the battery compartment and electronic switches that operate the lights are miniaturized, so they add very little bulk to the scope’s profile. But if you need them, they’re there.
When I hunted in Germany in the 1970s, I once had to skip a perfect shot because I couldn’t see the reticle. The silhouette of the deer was centered in my field of view, but I wasn’t going to take a shot if I didn’t know exactly where the bullet would go. That’s a situation where an illuminated reticle would have been useful.
How clear are the UTG optics? Well, I have a test. There’s a house behind me whose roof is about 27 yards away. I look at the that roof’s shingles on a scope’s maximum magnification to see if the asphalt granules are sharp and defined. And I compare all scopes against the Hawke 4.5-14X42mm Tactical Sidewinder. I’ve rated some scopes down in the past based on this test, including some lower-end scope made by Leapers. This scope, however, shows an image that’s just as sharp as the Hawke and slightly larger. No Leupold scope that I own is sharper than this. I can clearly see common houseflies walking on the shingles.
The last thing I will say about the UTG optics is that they’re extremely adjustable. My shooting buddy, Otho, has been getting rid of his fine vintage scopes for several years because he can no longer adjust them enough to see the reticle lines. This includes Leupold scopes that many shooters regard as the best optics on the market. But all Leapers and UTG scopes have enough eyepiece adjustability for Otho to sharply focus the crosshairs both with and without his glasses. Because of that, he’s now able to shoot many rifles that he’d set aside for several years.
I haven’t thoroughly tested the accuracy or reliability of the adjustments, but so far they seem to be right on. Since I had to remount the scope to lower it, I’ll be sighting-in again, and perhaps that will afford the chance to check the adjustments once more. I can say that, up to this point, the adjustments have always moved the reticle without needing to fire the gun or bump the scope. There’s no reticle stiction to speak of.
This is not an inexpensive scope. Yet, compared to the Hawke or Leupold scopes with similar features, the UTG scope is budget-priced. At $230, you get a lot of performance — enough to start competing in field target, for example.
And don’t overlook the fact that the scope does come with some nice 2-piece rings. If they suit you, they do shave some money off the total price of scoping your airgun.
I would recommend this scope to anyone who wants a good long-range sight. It’s ideal for the Marauder on which it’s mounted.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report is an emotional one for me. The last time I tried to report on the .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder, I became very ill and it took me two years to complete the test. In fact, I never did complete the test myself because I was in the hospital part of the time. My buddy, Mac, drove from his home in Maryland to Texas to test airguns for me so he could bank a lot of data and pictures that allowed me to write my blogs from a hospital bed. Mac is now gone, and I’m starting all over again with this rifle.
I’m revisiting the .25-caliber Marauder because I never really got to test it properly the first time. Also because having tested the .177 Marauder, I felt this big gun needed to be reported at the same time. You see, Marauders are good sellers at Pyramyd Air, and several blog readers asked for this specific report.
There’s one more reason for testing this particular Marauder. It’s an entirely different rifle than the .177 we’ve been testing. Yes, all the controls work the same on both rifles and the external dimensions are the same, but a .25-caliber pellet changes the very nature of the rifle in the same way that a one-ton pickup truck differs from a compact truck from the same manufacturer. The .25 Marauder is a BIG air rifle! Big in terms of the magazine and the hole at the end of the barrel. So, this isn’t the quiet little sniper rifle we’ve come to know. This is a hunting air rifle.
I linked to the recent tests of the .177 Marauder simply because I won’t be covering all of the same ground here that I already covered there. This report will cover new ground.
The lauan stock
We are fortunate to have a test rifle with the much-maligned lauan wood stock. It may be made from lauan…I don’t know, but I’ve read so many bad remarks about this stock that I was shocked to realize that this test rifle has one. Shocked because it isn’t bad at all! It has a nice plain grain. It feels lighter than the beech stock on the earlier .177-caliber Marauder we’ve been looking at, and it’s shaped just as nicely. The checkered areas have grown smaller on the new stock, but the cheekpiece still rolls to both sides of the butt, making this an almost fully ambidextrous rifle. Only the location of the bolt handle, which cannot be changed, favors right-handers over southpaws.
By the way, another name for lauan wood is Philippine mahogany. I’ve seen this wood used in furniture, and it doesn’t receive such a bad rap. It’s a hardwood, but it grows fast enough to be a renewable source of wood for many markets, including plywood products. I think the bad reputation comes from the fact that lauan is often used to skin low-quality hollow-core interior doors. People see that these doors can’t stand up to outside environments, and they think it’s because of the wood used in them. But lauan is not especially weak when used by itself.
I do find this wood to be thirstier than beech when I rubbed the stock down with Ballistol. So far, it’s soaking into the pores quite fast, leaving a dry, matte surface behind.
The test rifle has no scope mounted, so I’m taking the opportunity to install a new UTG 6-24X56 AO Accushot SWAT scope that Leapers sent for me to test. I’ll give you a separate report on the scope, so I’ll just mention it for now. The scope comes with 30mm rings that have Weaver bases, and the Marauder scope rail is for 11mm bases; fortunately, I also have a set of UTG Weaver-to-11mm or 3/8″ dovetail adapters that allow Weaver rings to fit on 11mm rails, so these rings will fit.
Power and setup
I can tell you right now that this Marauder rifle is shooting in the 38-40 foot-pound region, so it’s a proper thumper! I know that from the last set of tests Mac ran in 2010. But I plan to run the tests all over, just as if I never tested the gun at all. I probably won’t tune the rifle to shoot with less power or at a lower maximum fill pressure because we’ve already seen how that goes in the test of the .177 Marauder. I do plan to adjust the trigger to be as nice as the one on the .177 rifle, but I doubt I’ll say much about that because it’s ground we’ve already covered.
The rifle is set up to work with slightly less than 3,000 psi right now, and I don’t see changing that. I’ll confirm what the max pressure is, and only if it’s several hundred pounds below 3,000 will I make any adjustments.
The accuracy test is where I plan on spending most of my time. There are so few accurate .25-caliber pellets, so I’ll do some comparison testing with several pellets at 25 yards. The best pellets from that test will make it to the 50-yard test. I’ll modify my 25-yard test to include more pellets than I normally shoot because the world of .25-caliber pellets is so small that we really can’t afford to overlook a possible good one.
.22 caliber Marauder
While I test the .25-caliber rifle, I’m awaiting the arrival of the new Marauder with synthetic stock. I hope to get one of those in .22 caliber, which will give me my first chance to test this rifle in that caliber, as well as testing the new configuration stock and the altered trigger.
The rifle I’m now testing is 3 years old and was made in .25 caliber from the beginning. The magazine is therefore much thicker than one made for a .22-caliber or .177-caliber rifle. Instead of holding 10 pellets like the 2 smaller calibers, the .25 caliber magazine holds 8.
The rifle’s remaining dimensions and specifications are the same as those of the smaller-caliber Marauders. The overall weight will vary with the density of the wood in the stock, but this new wood seems to be less dense than what was used in the past.
When I picked up the test rifle, I noticed that it’s still holding a charge of air. The last time it was shot was in April 2012, so how’s that for holding a charge?
So, sit back and relax. There’s a lot more Marauder coming your way!