Picking an airgun caliber

by B.B. Pelletier

There are a lot of ways to approach this topic. I’ll try one I haven’t done before. I’m talking about the four common smallbore calibers – .177, .20, .22 and .25.

What is .177 caliber good for?
For starters, .177 caliber is the official caliber for world-cup and Olympic target competition. No other caliber is legal. I also explained why .177 is the only competitive caliber for field target, though any caliber can be used. Seventeen-caliber pellets are the least expensive, so if you plan to do a lot of general shooting and plinking, this is the caliber to get. Some airguns don’t give you a choice. The Umarex action pistols (Walther, Beretta,
Colt, Desert Eagle and S&W, for example, come only in .177. Crosman’s 1077 rifle, a 12-shot repeater, is also a .177 exclusive. read more

Shooting positions: Part 2 sitting and kneeling

by B.B. Pelletier

Start with sitting
The sitting position is one of the most stable of all, coming in just behind prone. But it can be a difficult position for many shooters to assume. The classic position is sitting with the feet planted flat and splayed apart in front of the shooter. This works okay for a very fit person; but, if your midriff is thicker, it pushes you back until you cannot maintain the position. That’s too bad because this is the No. 1 position of choice for field target shooting.

The classic sitting position has the legs splayed out with the heels dug in.

The classic sitting position with the legs splayed apart with the heels dug into the ground separately depends on finding just the right piece of ground upon which to sit. If you can’t find what you need, there is a better way to sit. read more

Hunting Master Evanix AR6: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

The rifle was scoped with a Bug Buster 2 6X scope. The scope base of the AR6 is long enough to permit the installation of very large scopes, but I find I can get the Bug Buster sighted-in in half the time, so I tend to use it a lot more.

I filled the rifle to 3,000 psi and shot it for velocity, first. I shot 28-grain Eun Jin pellets, which were made for powerful .22 air rifles like this. There were 22 good shots ranging from a low of 930 to a high of 977 f.p.s. A median velocity of 954 f.p.s. delivers 56.6 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. That’s less energy than either the Career 707 or the Condor, but nearly equal to a .22 short and well beyond anything a Swedish or British PCP delivers. read more

Hunting Master Evanix AR6: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

The Hunting Master AR6 is a much-refined version of the rifle that started the influx of Korean PCP rifles in this country in the 1990s.

One sharp-eyed reader spotted this new Hunting Master AR6 on the Pyramyd website, and I had a chance to test one, so I thought I’d give you an advanced look at a fine new hunting rifle today.

The AR6 has been around a long time
This was the first Korean PCP imported into the U.S. Back in the early 1990s, a much rougher looking AR6 surprised Americans with unheard-of power and accuracy. At a time when British single-shot PCPs developed 20 foot-pounds and Sweden was still years in the future, the AR6 popped on the scene. It offered 50+ foot-pounds and 1″ groups at 50 yards. Overnight, American airgunsmiths began modifying this bag of raw potential. read more

Walther LP53: The James Bond airgun!

by B.B. Pelletier

A deluxe LP53 is cased but does not have the optional barrel weights. Two spare sight inserts (both front and rear) compliment those already on the gun. This late model does not have the wooden cocking knob.

Fred mentioned he owned a Walther LP53, and I was reminded what a wonderful air pistol it is, so today I thought I’d share my observations.

The LP53 (LP stands for luft pistole – German for air pistol) was an early (1953-1983) attempt at making a .177 target pistol. It copied the lines of Walther’s famous .22 LR Olympia target pistol, and it used a spring piston to compress the air. When you look at the pistol, you wonder where the spring and piston could be, but they are tucked away inside the pistol grip. read more

Shooting positions: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

This one was requested by the CF-X guy, but it applies to all of us. I could draw fancy diagrams and discuss pressure points and fulcrums ad infinitum, but there are already many books on the subject that do it better. Besides – it doesn’t work! What I’m saying is that there is no “standard” shooting position that is worth the time to listen to, if you intend to “learn” the position. There are a great number of good tips, however.

Tip 1: In the offhand position, placement of the feet is important!
I learned this when I was a baseball pitcher. It’s called control. If you have a practiced pitch motion with good follow-through, how you place your feet determines where the ball goes. I could keep the ball within 12 inches side-to-side at the plate just by how and where I placed my feet. Unfortunately, my 70 mph fastball meant that I was supposed to be a teacher. read more

Can a common BB gun be accurate?

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, I’ll venture into an unknown realm – BB gun accuracy. Most shooters feel that anytime a BB gun can keep five shots inside an inch at 20 feet, it’s doing pretty good! So, let’s see if we can learn to do better.

No ringers allowed!
There are some BB guns that can hit aspirin at 20 feet regularly – from the offhand position! The Daisy Avanti Champion 499 comes to mind. In fact, it is the 499 that inspired today’s posting, because it was developed with accuracy in mind. Before it was created in 1976, shooting coaches all around America pooled their knowledge to make a shooter out of the Daisy 299 – a regular BB gun that sported target sights. There was nothing special about the 299, but Jaycee coaches re-learned an accuracy secret that marksmen in Ohio discovered around 1850: if you shoot a round ball from a smoothbore gun, the closer the ball fits the bore, the more accurate it will be. I’ve read accounts where these gentlemen shot 2″ five-shot groups at 100 yards! read more