USFT rifle Part 3

by Tom Gaylord

Part 1
Part 2

A natural hold needs a gun built on an angle
The USFT is built in a canted configuration, so the seated shooter doesn’t have to adjust his body. It did make aligning the scope more of a challenge, since I normally align the vertical reticle with the receiver. On this rifle, the receiver is offset to the side until I am seated and holding the gun properly. The scope had to be aligned with me in the seated position. I still don’t have it exactly right; but, once I do, the scope will force me to shoot without a cant. There is no problem in the offhand position, either, because the reticle of the scope aligns you to level. The pistol grip is canted to the right side for a more natural grip angle. Plus, my rifle’s grip has a target palm shelf for stability.

I opted for 30mm Leupold quick-disconnect scope rings, so the rifle came with a Weaver base. I used a Hakko 8-40x56mm scope dialed all the way to 40x. This is a dark, muddy scope that usually cannot be used at this magnification, but I had bright sunlight on the target, so it was fine. Although there is no scope level (yet) on the gun, I used reference points on the target to level every shot.

This is what you have all waited for, I know. How bloody accurate is this thing? To find out, I shot from a bench. I used the bipod as a rest and I tried both Beeman Kodiaks and JSB Exact diabolo heavies (10.2-grain) that McMurray told me were among the best pellets. Pyramyd has a super deal on H&N Baracuda Match pellets, which are identical to the Kodiaks, so you can save several dollars per tin by buying them. I only shot the gun about 50 times, so what I’m about to show you is very preliminary. The day was windy, with gusts over 15 mph from 6 o’clock. The distance was 50 yards. I sighted in with Kodiaks and then shot the best groups with JSBs. The best five-shot group of the session measures 0.355″ c-t-c, which is smaller than 3/8″. But all JSB groups were under a half-inch.

Best group of JSBs at 50 yards measure 0.335″ c-t-c.

I also show the test target sent with the gun. It is 25 shots with Kodiaks at 51 yards, and measures 0.663″. Twenty-five shots is nearly a large enough number that this group is not a statistical prediction at all, but a true validtion of this rifle’s accuracy. The small size of the group speaks volumes about the pedigree of both the system and the barrel.

Test target sent with the rifle shows 25 shots at 51 yards passed through a 0.663″ group.

Do you need the USTF?
I am not a national-class FT shooter, yet I own this rifle that could easily win at that level. Am I foolish for owning it, since it is a dedicated competition rifle and not just a general-purpose airgun? I don’t think so – any more than I think you need to be an Olympic competitor to own a world-class 10-meter target rifle or pistol. I got it to explore the possibilities of pneumatic airguns…how accurate they can be, how ergonomics affect shooting and how efficient a pneumatic valve can be.

This rifle has no regulator, yet it performs as though it had one. Regulators are high-maintenance items that are the weak link in the guns that have them. The USFT is a breakthrough mechanical technology that combines efficiency with reliability and great precision. Even if you never own one, you’ll benefit from it because other manufacturers are looking at what it can do and will be influenced by it for decades to come.

28 thoughts on “USFT rifle Part 3”

  1. BB,off topic sorry, but can you tell me if polygon rifleing is any good,iam loocking at a 24″ walther barrel for my rapid in .22 cal what can you exspect in accuracy terms or is it not worth thinking about i have seen pictures of the shape but thats about it, please could you tell me any more on the subject do you no any manufactuers that use it in ther barrels.

  2. So the gun has a “target palm shelf.” What does that mean? I assume it means that forearm has an ergonomic shape but I’m not sure. Can you or someone illuminate the difference between “target” or “competition” versus “sport” for me? Also, since these terms confuse me, can you provide a good profile shot of the gun? All the shots of the gun are either detail shots or don’t provide good detail.


  3. Polygon,

    I assume by a Walther barrel you mean Lothar Walther? Anything they make will be good. Polygon rifling isn’t usually used for better accuracy, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t be good.

    I have no experience with a Lothar Walther polygon rifled barrel, but I would trust the name.


  4. Question on scope stops. Don’t know how the internals are, but on an R1 for instance, if there is room why can’t a hole be drilled in the stock next to the receiver for a screw to be used for a scope stop?

    And would a Leaper Tactedge 4×40 make a good hunting scope? What are some good hunting scopes under $75? THANKS

  5. oldhootowl,

    Since stocks change dimensions when wet, you never want to have a sight touching them. Besides, the R1 has one of the best scope stop systems around.

    Yes on the Leapers Tactedge for hunting! It is a wonderful scope.

    The bug busters are also good, as is the CenterPoint Adventure class 3-9X40 with illuminated mil dot reticle and the same spec Leapers scope.


  6. BB,
    I was just wondering if you could give any tips on shooting in unsupported (standing, sitting, and prone) positions. I have a whole lot of trouble keeping on target, and can’t shoot accurately at all. Is there a secret to it? or do I just need steadier hands/arms? I shoot a CF-x w/ a bsa 2-7×32 if that info is helpful.

  7. sorry to be off topic but how do you know if your a left or right handed air rifle shooter? I use my right hand for the trigger and my left hand for a rest. PLEASE HELP I’M CONFUSED!

  8. eye confused,
    its not about hands but about eyes. to figure it out put you hands together to form a small triangle and look at a friends nose. your friend will see your dominant eye. this is the eye you should use for sighting
    Nate in Mass

  9. Update on the 2260 set: it’s {2260, Kodiaks, Beeman Silicone Cloths, gun case, Dragon Claw bipod, and Pelletholder}. So is there ANY notable accuracy differences between the .177 lead balls? Which do you have more experience with: Beeman or Gamo lead balls?

    Much obliged,

    14 in Fla

  10. Polygon,

    I almost made the same mistake. Lothar Walther uses “polygon profile” to describe the outside of the barrel. Like an octagon barrel.

    Shooter- Another /Dave

  11. bb,

    i am currently looking at buying a patriot(and i’m loving the price cut!), but i really want a walnut stock for it…was that limited edition or something? if you can help me find one, that would be great(.25 preffered, but ill take it in .22)…idc how much it is really…i just want it with walnut. thanks, and also, anyone can chime in on this one…HELP ME!!!


  12. DED,

    Call Pyramyd Air to see about a walnut stock. I’ve not heard of one for the Patriot, but there probably is one. Walnut is a softer wood than beech and with a powerful gun like the Patriot the stock grain will have to be correct or the gun will break it.


  13. Tom,
    Do you still shoot your USFT? I have the dual regulator version on order from Mac1 for benchrest. Would love to also find an unregulated USFT for FT. If you ever decide to sell yours, let me know.

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