Testing H&N Baracuda FT pellets: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The Baracuda FT
  • Head size
  • The test
  • Start 4.50mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.50mm head
  • 4.51mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.51mm head
  • Discussion of today’s test
  • Summary

Part 1 contains much of the background information for this test. Today I will add some more, to round out your understanding of the pellet I am testing.

The Baracuda FT

The Baracuda FT is a departure from the standard H&N Baracuda that was developed in the 1950s expressly for the Weihrauch Barakuda EL54 rifle. The EL-54 was an HW35 with an ether injector to purposely detonate when the piston went forward. It only shot round lead balls, because it blew the heads out of all diabolo pellets until the Baracuda pellet was created. The Baracuda pellet had a very thick head of pure lead that resisted the additional pressure from the ether explosion. read more

Diana Chaser air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Diana Chaser air pistol
The Diana Chaser is a new CO2 pistol.

This report covers:

  • Mount the sight
  • Front sight?
  • Cut to the chase
  • The test
  • The trigger
  • Dialed the dot way down
  • First target
  • Second target
  • Summary

Today I test the Diana Chaser air pistol with the UTG RDM20 Reflex Micro Dot sight we have been reviewing. The last test was done with the sight mounted on a Beeman P1 back in January, and it did quite well. I told you I wasn’t going to run a special report on the sight, but instead I would be testing it on several airguns as time went by. The Chaser test is today.

Mount the sight

The Chaser’s rear sight had to be removed to mount the UGT dot sight. There is a short rail in front of the pellet trough but I didn’t think it was quite long enough for this sight base. read more

The “Dark Side” has never been brighter!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The “Dark Side”
  • Early problems
  • Modern precharged airguns
  • Benjamin Discovery
  • Slow conversion
  • The $100 PCP
  • Other changes in the PCP world
  • Fill coupling standardization
  • Price point PCP
  • It’s no longer the “Dark Side”

I know I said there are lots of backlogged tests, but sometimes I just have to write a report like this. Today is such a day.

The “Dark Side”

Back in the late 1990s, when precharged pneumatics were still relatively unknown to airgunners, someone took license from the movie series “Star Wars” and coined the phrase the“Dark Side” to represent involvement with PCPs. At the time most airgunners identified with spring-piston guns and regarded precharged pneumatics as odd, different and too difficult to understand. And at the time it looked as if that would be the case indefinitely.

Early problems

Precharged pneumatics are not a new technology. In fact, they are the oldest type of airguns, dating back to sometime in the 16th century! Those guns, however, were made by hand and were frighteningly expensive. They existed at a time when repeating firearms were also the stuff of dreams, so in 1780 it was the airgun and not the firearm that became the first successful repeater. There had been repeating firearms before then, but they tended to explode because of the dangers of loose gunpowder, which at that time meant black powder. Indeed Bartolemeo Girardoni’s son was killed when a repeating firearm he was experimenting with blew his arm off! Incidentally, the last name is spelled GiraRdoni — not GiraNdoni! Dr. Beeman has met with the Girardoni family and confirmed this. Unfortunately, the long article on the Beeman webpage still shows the old spelling. read more

Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Speedfire
Hatsan Speedfire Vortex breakbarrel repeater.

This report covers:

  • Breakbarrel repeaters
  • So, what’s new?
  • Outside the rifle
  • Pellet feed
  • Trigger
  • Power
  • Cocking effort
  • Tests
  • Summary

Once more I’ll remind you that I am suspending the historical reports for awhile to catch up on several things I have been putting off. There are also many new airguns I want to test. Some tests of complex guns like the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP have taken me many more than the usual three reports, and this has led to the current situation. The history section will be back soon, I promise.

Breakbarrel repeaters

Today I start looking at the Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle. It’s a breakbarrel spring-piston gun that uses a gas spring (this one is a contained unit that Hatsan properly calls a gas piston) for the powerplant. It comes in both .177 (12 shots) and .22 (10 shots), and I am testing the .22. read more

Hatsan Vectis .25-caliber lever action PCP repeater: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Hatsan Vectis
Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP repeater.

This report covers:

  • Flash Vectis
  • Filling
  • Fill probe port plug
  • What is the air stripper made of?
  • Velocity
  • Second string
  • Discharge sound
  • Third string
  • JSB Exact King Heavy
  • Predator Polymag
  • How smooth is the lever?
  • The trigger
  • Summary

Well, the discussion in Part 1 ended on the topic of UFOs. Let’s see where we go today with our exploration of the velocity of the .25-caliber Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP. I will begin by addressing two comments that were pertinent. The first was from reader Willyaimright, who said he had to return his first Vectis to Pyramyd Air because he couldn’t get it to accept a fill.

Flash Vectis

Knowing that some precharged guns have to be cocked before the initial fill (i.e. when there is no air inside the reservoir), I read the manual before proceeding. It’s an unmanly act, I know, but sometimes you just gotta cheat. read more

Air Venturi Seneca Aspen .25-caliber precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Not the accuracy test
  • Man plans…
  • Testing as a PCP
  • Filling
  • Mounting the scope
  • Sight-in
  • Back to 10 meters
  • Back to 25 yards
  • Scope adjustments
  • My test plan
  • First group of five
  • Shots 6 through 10
  • Second group
  • Third group
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Get ready to learn something, kids, because school is in session!

Not the accuracy test

Today would normally be the start of the accuracy test for a normal PCP air rifle, but the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP is anything but normal! I did shoot a lot of targets today, but there aren’t going to be any dimes in the pictures. I was just trying to figure this rifle out!

Man plans…

I figured I would mount the 4X32 AO scope that comes bundled with the rifle and at least start to shoot for accuracy. Well, there is a saying about thoughts like that. Man plans and God laughs! If you don’t believe it, read the book of Ecclesiastes. It was written by King Solomon, who was the wisest man ever to have lived. Near the end of his life he figured out the meaning of life and boiled it down to just that. Oh, he didn’t say it that way — he was more reverent and polite about it, but in chapter 12, verses 12 through 14, he pretty much sums it up that way. read more

Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Webley Mark VI
Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish. This one is rifled and shoots pellets.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Adjusted sight picture
  • Why not fix the front sight?
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • H&N Finale Match High Speed pellets
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Next — more sight corrections
  • Summary

Today I test the accuracy of the Webley Mark VI with battlefield finish. I decided to test it with all 5 pellets that were used in the velocity test.

The test

I shot from 10 meters, using a sandbag rest for the butt of the revolver. I held the gun with two hands for a steady hold. I shot 6 pellets at each target and I will describe what happened as we go. Let’s get started.

JSB Exact RS

The first pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS. The first three shots landed low, with one below the target paper. The group had to come up somehow. read more