UTG Master Sniper – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

On to the range. Because the UTG Master Sniper is an airsoft gun, I started shooting indoors to keep the winds from affecting things.

How good do airsoft sniper guns get?
I tested a Classic Army M24 sniper rifle a few years ago. It had been highly modified, which included a power upgrade, a tighter barrel and the addition of an adjustable Hop Up mechanism. That gun could hold all its shots in less than one inch at 10 meters. If you were lucky and selected the right BBs (those without voids in them), a half-inch group was possible. It shot 0.25g BBs faster than 400 f.p.s., so it was really rockin’. But the 190 percent mainspring made that gun much harder to cock, and the investment topped $500, with all the work and parts. Here, we’re looking at a gun selling for less than $100, so a direct comparison isn’t fair. read more

IZH MP 513M air rifle – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

In our last look at the IZH MP 513M air rifle, I noted several quirky design details on the gun. The safety, which works like an exposed hammer, is the biggest, but there are others.

Air transfer port seal
Another strange detail is the location of the seal for the air transfer port. On all other breakbarrel spring rifles that I can think of, the seal is on the breech surrounding the barrel. But on the 513M, it’s located on the compression cylinder located behind the barrel. I don’t suppose that it matters where it is, but it seems strange that only one air rifle would do it differently.

Scope mounting problems
This rifle has a dovetail base that accepts the scope rings. Instead of being cut into the cylinder, it stands proud of the gun, just like the RWS Diana springers. And, like them, the Russians have made poor provisions for a positive scope stop. I did the same thing as when I mounted the scope mount to the RWS Diana 54I used a one-piece scope mount and hung the stop pin in front of the rifle’s base. The 513M has a steel base instead of the aluminum one Diana uses. There are three small holes in the base, which I suppose are for a scope stop pin, but I’ve not see one small enough to fit them. read more

How are barrels rifled? – Part 3Hammer-forged barrels

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hammer-forging, also called rotary forging today, is the high-rate production way to make a rifle barrel. The process takes three to four minutes, start to finish.

The hammer-forging process itself is actually close to two centuries old. It was used by gunsmiths in Appalachia, who hand-hammered steel barrel blanks around mandrels to make barrels for the famous Tennessee Poor Boy rifles of the 19th century. They used a special “gun anvil” that had a special hammer fitted to it. The barrel blank was placed between the hammer and anvil. The special hammer was struck by a conventional hammer to form the steel. read more

What are airsoft guns used for? – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

This one is for DSW, who was surprised by the high prices of certain airsoft models. He asks what these guns are used for.

The origins of airsoft
Airsoft, or soft air as it is also called, originated in Japan some time around 1980. Firearms are unavailable to most people in Japan, and those interested in guns were looking for a legal way to enjoy at least some of the attributes. I understand this entirely, as there are times when I take out a particular firearm, be it a Garand or my Trapdoor Springfield, just to hold and mentally connect with the gun. Many women cannot walk through a fabric store without feeling the various fabrics and many men have a need to connect to things mechanical. For me, it is firearms, even when I’m not engaged in shooting them, so I understand the need to just hold something in my hands and let my imagination wander where it will. read more

Why are some PCPs so darned expensive?

by B.B. Pelletier

Merry Christmas!

Don’t worry. I wrote this post last Friday. I’m enjoying the day with my family.

Glen asked a question that comes up all the time. I have tried to answer it individually before, so now I’ll just blog it to everyone.

I read your articles and had decided on which springer to buy when I found your article addressing springers at altitude. Whoops! I’ll be shooting at about 8500 feet. Guess I need to look for a PCP instead.

I’ll be exclusively target/FT shooting and refilling from my scuba tanks. But which rifle? I’ve never shot pellets before but have shot skeet/trap and rifles/pistols at targets. A shrouded Logun Solo sounds like a fine rifle, but what improves as one spends up to say $1200? Do you have a favorite rifle or manufacturer? You haven’t devoted much space to PCPs and I could sure use some additional, independent advice.
read more

UTG Master Sniper – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Boy, you guys sure didn’t cut me much slack on the scope I selected for the gun! Of course Leapers 6-24×50 costs $20 more than the gun, but I was just trying to have a little fun. A real sniper rifle would have a 10x scope on it, so what I set up was somewhat overpowered.

In this report, we’ll take a look at shooting the UTG Master Sniper. From some of the comments, I know a thorough explanation is in order.

The gun comes with two magazines and a very nice speedloader. I found it a breeze to load without spillage. Once loaded, the magazine is slipped into its well under that stock. A word to the wise here. You have to deliberately push up the magazine until it clicks into place. If you don’t, it’ll work intermittently and you’ll be removing it all the time to clear a mis-fed BB. So, push it up flush! read more

Beeman Pell Seat – does it work?

by B.B. Pelletier

Beeman’s Pell Seat is a simple tool, but sometimes very useful.

Quick question
This question came from Phil last week. He asked if the Beeman Pell Seat was really useful for straightening the skirts of pellets. Since I have personal experience using one, I told him I’d blog the answer.

Quick answer
Yes, to answer the question outright. The Beeman Pell Seat does open the skirts of damaged pellets, providing they haven’t been damaged too much. But how does it know when to stop? Better yet, how do YOU know?

You don’t HAVE to know!
The beauty of this device is that you don’t really have to know how far to go when opening and reforming a pellet skirt. You have a wonderful pellet sizer called the barrel of your airgun. It will swage the skirt down to size if you’ve been a little too aggressive in using the pell seat. read more