The Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Haenel 311
Haenel 311 target rifle.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Today’s report
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets
  • RWS Basic pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Light pellets
  • What about Gamo Match pellets?
  • How about synthetic pellets? 
  • How does it cock and load?
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

If you were expecting me to disassemble the Webley Hurricane today, I’m sorry. Yes, it is a great Friday subject that would give you lots to talk about, but if I run into trouble I might not have time to fix it and get the blog published on time. So today we are looking at the Haenel 311 target rifle again.

Today’s report

I will report on the rifle’s velocity with three pellets. I’ll also tell you how hard it is to cock, and I have a video to show how that is done. I’ll also cover the other things I normally do when we test velocity.

Probable velocity is low

I know going into the test that the 311 isn’t powerful. I will therefore select lighter pellets to test. Also, since this is a target rifle I’m going to use wadcutters, only. I wouldn’t shoot domes at a target unless there was a special reason.  Let’s get started. read more

Air Venturi Dust Devil Mk2 Frangible BB: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dust Devil
Dust Devil Mk2.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Daisy 499 shooting Crosman Black Widows
  • Daisy 499 shooting Precision Ground Shot
  • Daisy 499 shooting Dust Devils
  • M1 Carbine shooting Crosman Black Widows
  • M1 Carbine shooting  Precision Ground Shot
  • M1 Carbine shooting  Dust Devils
  • The verdict?
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the new Air Venturi Dust Devil Mark 2 BB. From this point on I will just refer to them as Dust Devils.

The test

I shot from 5 meters, using the UTG Monopod as a rest. I was seated, and using the monopod is almost as stable as a sandbag rest.

I only shot 5-shot groups today, so I could test more BBs. I decided to test accuracy with the two most accurate BB guns I have — the Daisy 499 Champion and the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine. When you see the results I think you will understand why I picked them.

I shot three BBs today. The first was a conventional premium BB, and I selected the new Crosman Black Widow for that. The next was the Avanti Match Grade Precision Ground Shot that’s made exclusively for the 499. You guys always want to see how they do in tests, so I almost always include them. And finally I shot the new Air Venturi Dust Devil Mark 2 BB — the one this report centers on.  read more

Rifling revolutionized!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Outside the box
  • Rosenthal award
  • Rifling
  • How it works
  • Outside rifling?
  • Accuracy
  • Range increased by orders of magnitude!
  • Trouble brews
  • What is to come?
  • Rumors are flying!
  • Summary

Outside the box

I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “Think outside the box.” Many organizations don’t really want their people to do that. The organization just wants their employees to enlarge the box a little, but to continue to respect the time-honored principals that got the organization to where it is today.

Rosenthal award

But there are exceptions. In engineering there is an annual Sol Rosenthal Award for the creative idea that best advances its technology that year. Unlike many awards, there is only one caveat to this one. A prototype of the idea must be implemented, so it can be compared to an existing reality that can be measured. read more

Springfield Armory XD-M Compact blowback BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The XD-M BB pistol from Springfield Armory.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Compact pistol
  • The grip
  • Installing the CO2 cartridge
  • Not a small pistol
  • The loading assist — doesn’t!
  • Velocity Air Venturi Steel BB
  • Dust Devils
  • Slide does not remain open
  • Smart Shot
  • Shot count
  • Blowback
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation
  • Summary

I don’t encounter many airgun copies of firearms that I am unfamiliar with, but the Springfield Armory XD-M Compact blowback BB pistol is one. So my report will be a first hand observation of all the features I notice about this handgun.

Today is the day I test the velocity of this BB gun and we will get right to it, but first I need to make a couple observations. They came from installing the first CO2 cartridge in the pistol.

Compact pistol

In Part One I told you I was testing the smaller version of the Springfield Armory XD-M pistol. There is a larger pistol whose barrel is 4.5-inches long. The pistol I’m testing has a 3.8-inch barrel. On the cover of the owner’s manual Air Venturi refers to this one as the Compact. The other one they call Full-Size.  read more

The Webley Hurricane: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Webley Hurricane.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Air Arms Falcons
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • What is the Oh, oh?
  • Galling
  • Wrong lubrication
  • Change in direction
  • What’s next?

Today I’m going to test my Webley Hurricane’s velocity. Like I said in Part 1, I have never tested the Hurricane in my standard way. This series is an attempt to correct  that. However — I have tested the Hurricane’s velocity before and I recorded the results. I will now show a table of those results that I recorded in August of 2014, so I can do some baseline testing as I start the velocity test.


As you can see from the table, Air Arms Falcon pellets are the fastest and also the most consistent in the Hurricane. If I shoot 10 more today, how will those results compare to the numbers I got six years ago? read more

The Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Haenel 311
Haenel 311 target rifle.

History of airguns:

This report covers:

Not the Hurricane today
So what?
Haenel target rifles
The 312
The 311
Different way to oil the piston seal

Not the Hurricane today

I was going to do a Part 2 velocity test with the Webley Hurricane today but this is Friday and I wanted to give you guys something to talk about over the weekend. Velocity tests of airguns I have tested before aren’t usually that exciting, so I looked for a different topic for today.

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you but I have forgotten something. I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true. I have forgotten that my Haenel 311 bolt-action target rifle from East Germany shot the smallest 5-shot group I ever shot at 10 meters. Let me show you. read more

What is a BB gun?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Intro
  • Wow!
  • Red Ryder
  • BBs have changed
  • Safer BBs
  • Modern BB guns
  • Conclusion


This blog went live on March second, 2005. Two days later, on March 4, I wrote this report that I am reprinting today in total — just as it was published then. After you read it, I have a few updates at the end.

A BB gun is the fundamental starting point in our hobby. We shoot them, talk about them, collect them, and, for most of us, just hearing the term “BB gun” evokes a flood of memories. But what we think of when we think of BB guns depends largely on how old we are and where we came from.

The most common BB gun known today has got to be Daisy’s Red Ryder. It was the first BB gun many of us had or wanted and, since it has been around almost continuously since its introduction in 1938, that includes nearly every airgunner alive today. read more