by B.B. Pelletier
Let’s take a look at close-up detail shots. Before we do, another little tip about lighting your subject that will come in handy when doing close-up shots. It’s called painting the subject with light.
Yesterday I showed you how the scope mounts went on to the Ruger Air Hawk Elite rifle. What I DIDN’T show you was the trouble I had taking those photos.
I didn’t take my time setting up the shot. As you can see, the rear ring got more light than the front, but the image that I painted with light looks far better than the one I didn’t. Rather than retaking the shot, which I would have done if the photo were going into a print publication, I accepted it when it was good enough. However, on the next shot, I adjusted what I was doing and improved the exposure.
To paint the image with light, I used a Crosman tactical flashlight that puts out a white light of 60 lumens (means it’s pretty darn bright). While the shutter was open for about four seconds, I wiped the light through the subject in about a quarter-second. By “wiping the light,” I mean I shined the beam at the subject while moving it through the subject from side to side, so it was on the subject a total of about a quarter-second. That’s painting with light.
Now we’ll talk about close-ups. This will take more than one report, so I’m splitting it into two sections. I’ll tell you what will be in the second section at the end of this one.
Close-ups are called macros, and many good digital cameras have a macro setting. You saw the dime I photographed in Part 1, so you know what I’m talking about. You will have to focus very close to your subject, and lighting will become more of a problem but painting with light will help you.
If you have a film camera, you need a macro lens. I have a special Nikon 55mm lens that lets me make a 1:2 image. That means the image on my 35mm slide is 1/2 the size of the original subject. If I have used fine-grain film, I can enlarge that image many times, so a .177-caliber pellet can appear 6 inches tall and still be in sharp focus. If I want even more enlargement, I have a special attachment called a bellows that enlarges beyond 1:1. But that one eats light like crazy, and often I cannot get enough light on the subject to get the shot. That’s where Photoshop software comes in, but I’m not ready to talk about that yet.
Now I’m talking about digital cameras, only. The international symbol for a macro is a flower, so if you don’t have the camera manual anymore, look for the symbol that resembles a tulip. It will often show in the viewing window as a yellow symbol. On some cameras, it will be the opposite choice from a mountain symbol or the symbol of a group of people. Your camera also makes sounds, if you haven’t turned them off. There is a most familiar sound that your digital camera makes when the subject is in focus. If you don’t hear that sound, the image will be blurry. However, if you don’t shoot from a steady rest or a tripod, the image may be blurry even though it was in perfect focus. So put the camera in macro, use a tripod or steady rest and make sure the feedback sound says the camera is in focus.
On my primary digital camera, a button is dedicated to the macro function. This photo was taken by my little point-and-shoot camera in the macro mode. I used a tripod. The button is 7/32″ across (5.5mm). That’s smaller than a quarter-inch.
This is the macro setting on my point-and-shoot camera. I took the photo with my primary camera in the macro mode. To set the macro mode on the point-and-shoot camera, you press on the silver ring where the flower is shown. The camera taking the picture was hand-held, because this camera is really steady! The exposure was 2.1 seconds. The button in the center is 3/8″ across (10mm).
In the next installment, I’ll cover more macro tips, including these:
- How to photograph pellets
- How to take macros without a macro mode
- What kind of camera I use
When you see features on the camera I use, you’ll see why I like digital photography so much and why I can do things that maybe you can’t. Don’t despair – my camera currently sells for as low as $335, so it isn’t a backbreaker if you need high-quality images.
98 thoughts on “Photographing airguns – Part 3”
The photography series is coming out great so far. Thanks for all the tips.
I am having a problem with the Benjamin Discovery. My groups at 18 yards can be up to 1.5 inches.
I mounted the scope on it yesterday. I chose a very light simmons scope for it and mounted it using 2 piece b-square adjustable mounts.
The rifle remains very light. – I think that’s part of my problem. I can shoot sub half inch groups with the CFX at the same range all day long. The CFX is a lot heavier, with a heavy scope and a heavy one-piece base.
When I am using the discovery, my pulse makes the whole rifle move.
I have tried breathing slowly and steadily. It does help but the groups are still crazy.
I have to note that I have checked for scope and mount tightness. All the screws are tight, nothing is moving or vibrating.
Is there anything else I can try or check?
Thanks a lot
I suspect the pellets you are using. I tested the Discovery with both Crosman 10.5-grain heavy Premiers and 10.2-grain JSB Exacts. It was superior with both.
Another problem is that you may be trying to hold the rifle too tight. Use a sandbag rest for the forearm. Rice or crushed walnut shells works well, too.
The movement with the pulse happens to everyone with all rifles.
At 18 yards you should be grouping in 1/4 inch or less.
BB, off topic a bit – do we know conclusively whether or not the pellet has typically left the barrel by the time the piston slams home on, say, a typical 12-15fpe springer?
Great article. Now i have to ask a question. You saay the shutter was open for xxx time. What does that mean? Is it the same thing as Frames per second? Maybe my cameras weird, and i should sell it and get a new one? lol. I’ll think about it.
You’ve achieved a major feat, you got me to dig out the manual for my camera and start reading it! Tough for me to do when I expect the operation of everything to be intuitive.
For the paint with light 4 second exposure, you manually set that before the shot? And you chose 4 seconds based on past experience??
And the 2.1 seconds for the orange macro pic, the camera chose and displayed that exposure?
Thanks for sharing all the great tips!
The pellets I am using are crosman 10.5 ultra magnum premiers (that’s what it says on the tin). I don’t think they are exactly the same as the premier heavys. I have tried H&N field target trophy pellets as well – same disapointing results.
I am resting the rifle on a sandbag I made, filled with sandy soil. That’s the way I shoot with the CFX.
I tried holding it tight and I ve tried holding it loosly. The loose hold has less movement.
I just can’t find the problem.
Maybe something with the scope??
This goes back to your response to Bruce yesterday:
“I can change the velocity by 50 f.p.s. just by slanting the barrel up or down.”
Because I do all my testing in my garage, I screwed my Chrony down to one end of a 5′ long board, and fabricated a wooden rest at the other so that the barrels always lie in the same position for good repeatability.
The fact that the Chrony is hinged in the middle concerned me a little because the distance between the eyes changes if I don’t have it locked open exactly the same each time. If the Chrony is only 1 degree short of being fully opened, it would make a 1000fps shot at 4″ above the eyes read as 1006fps.
With the Chrony screwed to aboard, I think I’ve eliminated that source of error. And since I really have no way to calibrate the Chrony I am plenty happy to just consider all my readings relative to each other, and not overly compare them to anyone else’s readings.
Have you ever shot through two Chrony’s end to end to compare their readings?
I know for a fact that the pellet has NOT STARTED MOVING by the time the piston has stopped. How about that?
The Cardews proved that with their tests of spring rifle back in the 1970s. You need to read the book, “The Airgun From Trigger to Target.”
Frames per second either means you are shooting in a multiple frames mode with a still camera or you are shooting with a video camera.
Turn that multiple frames (multiple exposure – exposure bracketing) function off. You only need one shot per press of the shutter switch.
I can set my camera for the length of time the shutter remains open, if I have it in the manual or shutter priority mode. But I don’t. I always let the camera’s brain set the exposure time, because it does such a good job.
I only know from the information in the viewfinder what it’s doing, or by how long the shutter is actually open – which I can tell after the fact.
The one time I override my camera is when I’m looking to control the depth of field. Now my buddy Mac, who is the lead photographer at the National Archives, takes control of his camera a lot more than I do, but he’s light-years better than I am. And he has a much better camera.
BB,you caught me being lazy and trusting my memory.my MODEL 70 has only 2 holes at the back of the sight rail.I removed the scope this morning.the trigger unit has the auto-safety lever mounted on left side.the trigger blade is hollow from back.maybe I can use this great photo tutorial to illustrate.it will take me a day or two….don’t know how to post photos yet,will read up on it.cocked action out of the stock,I think I see yellow synthetic parachute seal!!!
BB – something about that doesn’t make sense. If the pellet hasn’t started moving by the time the piston slams home, that means that the pellet starts moving at some time AFTER the piston comes to the end of its stroke.
Trouble is, the air pressure would be highest at the moment the piston hits home. After that the pressure will only go down because of leakage and the cooling of the air charge.
If the pellet has not started moving by the time the piston stops that means that the pressure (which is highest at this point) is insufficient to overcome the static friction of the bellet in the breech. Since the pressure only goes down from there, how can a lower pressure at some later moment in time overcome this same amount of friction?
I had always understood the piston to come to a stop (or a near stop) somewhere before the end of its stroke because of the cushion of trapped air – but then it would continue on with the rest of its stroke once the pellet started moving and the trapped air was released.
I think I’m gonna look for that book.
BB,do you ever use the timer to trip the shutter open when using the tripod.my tripod isn’t super-solid so I avoid the vibration from touching the camera this way…frankb
Let me think about this for a few hours.
I’m thinking of asking you to clean the barrel, but let me see if there is something else.
No, I haven’t done that. I suppose I could, though it wouldn’t be two Chronys.
Speaking of shooting chronys, have you ever tried this?
I thought maybe if you shot through a chrony, and compared that speed to the one you get with your computer, it would an interesting result.
You really need to look at the 13-p[art spring-gun tuning series.
Have you ever watched a high-speed video? Well, that’s what happens with the pellet. The piston slams home and stops against a cushion of air compressed to as much as 2,000 psi. The cushion os perhaps 2 hundredths of an inch thick. The pellet hasn’t started moving, but it cannot stay put with that kind of pressure behind it, so it pops off like a champaign cork. That lowers the air pressure, allowing the piston to come to rest more gently.
All this happens in a millisecond or two. And the air pressure in the gun is mostly normal by the time the pellet leaves the muzzle, which is why spring guns are so quiet.
Using the timer to release the shutter was the way I always photographed with my Nikon FN2, because it did not have a mirror flip-up lever. The timer automatically flipped the mirror up, so the camera was steady when the shutter opened.
You can also use this approach with a digital camera. I always do, even though I have the most rock-solid tripod in the business and the “shutter” is a software command.
Afternoon B.B. Called Erica @PA and leaking CO2 adapter has an RMA. To Andreas, I had the same problem. Check the spacing between the front sight base and the HPA cylinder with the end cap in place. Mine was touching one side of the front sight base. I loosened the barrel band and “evened up” the spacing between them. Bad groups are now on me. B.B. painting with light–thanks. What do you do about the ambient light in the room or do you do it in a dark room?
Thanks for helping with Andreas.
When painting with light, the ambient light created the first dark exposure you saw, so I just used the light with the same ambient level. The tactical light is quite a bit brighter.
Hi B.B., Andreas, Bruce,
I’m particularly interested in your discussion. Andreas, hope Bruce’s tip solves your Discovery grouping troubles.
BB, given the grouping problem being discussed, what base/rings are recommended for the Discovery?
Bruce, BB, all, any additional scope mounting lessons learned? Maybe your favorite forum for similar discussion? My Discovery is on backorder.
Also, BB you commented on possibly cleaning the Discovery barrel. I vaguely recall from somewhere barrel cleaning not being recommended. Would you recommend it as appropriate in only rare cases?
While were on the subject of cleaning, is it neccesary to clean the Barrels of new springers? I have put about 100 rounds throung my Crosman Storm XT i got yesterday, and It seems to be a really good gun. Its holding really good groups. About 3/4″ at 20yds right now. One of these days, once i complete my break in period, i may do a Guest Blog on it.
Have a good Day,
No need to worry! The Discovery is usually deadly accurate right out of the box. There are no problems with this gun. And medium height rings will work – there is no barrel droop.
No lessons learned for the Discovery. It is one of the easiest rifles of all to scope. Just be sure to use two-piece rings so there is clearance for loading at the breech.
I don’t recommend cleaning a barrel that you can’t clean from the breech unless absolutely necessary. The potential for damage to the muzzle is too great. You can achieve the same thing by shooting the gun 500-1000 times.
Cleaning a barrel is about the same as shooting it 500-1000 times. I gets rid of rust, bluing salts and metal burrs.
B.B. I’ll play with digital camera, tripod, and Surefire light. Always wanted a ring flash for my macro lense, but never made it a purchase priority–maybe now. What do you recommend? Not a brand, but the concept–Thanks. You mentioned to Andreas about cleaning the Discoveries’ barrel. How does one clean a PCP barrel? Do I have to worry about introducing petrolium based cleaners into the high presure side. Is there a way to use J&B bore paste, etc? Again thanks
Wow, this blog makes shooting with pellets sound easy compared to the shooting of film. How did you stabilize your tactical flashlight for the light sweep? Surely, you weren’t holding it by hand.
The photo of the scope stop reminded me of a question. The scope stop itself is held by clamping pressure, right? So, you’re getting more pressure but nothing structurally different to secure the scope.
Thanks for the comments about the one and two handed holds. That sounds like quite the Robocop you were shooting against, and I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions with so many variables in play. Now that I think about it, I suppose that the trace corrections required to hold the 10 ring wouldn’t be affected that much by an extra hand in support. I would have thought that the two-handed grip would excel in controlling the recoil of large caliber handguns, but your story of the officer who could shoot service .45s into 2 inches at 25 yards with what I assume was one hand would seem to show the opposite.
Are you using a scope with an adjustable objective or some kind of parallex correction?
I shoot a .22 caliber Condor that allows access to the breech for cleaning, so cleaning is no problem for me. In fact, I can remove the barrel from the rifle if I want to.
After I say that someone always asks this, “Well, I own an FX repeater that has no access to the breech. What can I do?”
Simple answer? If you want to clean a PCP from the breech, get an AirForce rifle. If you want to own an FX repeater, forget cleaning from the breech. It can’t be done.
I use JB Bore paste just as I have described. Once again, if the gun is a repeater with a transfer port port in the barrel, you might get bore paste in the port, cleaning it that way.
I would avoid the bore paste cleaning if the gun is a repeater. And I wouldn’t clean a Discovery barrel, either. Just shoot it.
How about your thoughts on the timecourse of one’s development as a shooter. Is shooting like math where people develop rapidly very early and then go into a long plateau? Or is it like literature (and wine) where you keep gradually improving? Or is it like sports where aging imposes physical limitations?
I have no backed off from my dream of somehow viewing the sights through a shooter’s eyes in real-time. But what about a simulation where you have sights (made out of cardboard or something) to demonstrate the type of movement one can expect on a target at different levels of skill. Putting this on video would be very illuminating in connecting me with the very essence of the shooting experience of others. I seem to remember in some blog post where you talked about teaching marksmanship and sight picture to kids with a model consisting of a stick and a cardboard box. I didn’t quite understand, but anyway, I don’t think my idea is original.
I presume you say the other comment about loosening the barrel band?
My recommendation is for you to push a 10.5-grain Crosman pellet from the muzzle down to the breech and out. Then look at the periphery of that pellet with a magnifying glass to determine that there are rifling marks uniformly around the pellet’s nose and skirt. The nose marks may be very faint, but the skirt marks should be very pronounced and even.
If there is a spot where there should be a mark but you don’t see one, your barrel has not been rifled completely. That condition is VERY RARE, but it could happen, and would be a reason for a lack of accuracy.
Do that and tell me what you see.
Your thoughts about pellet movement in relation to the spring piston are interesting to me as a very persuasive explanation that nevertheless seems to be at odds with credible data. I wonder about the discrepancy myself. My only explanation is that the time scales that we are talking about are so small that it is hard to adapt our intuition to them. I have wondered about a mechanism like a machine gun which, let’s suppose, shoots at 600 rounds per minute which is not particularly fast for automatic fire. That implies that each round is fired in a tenth of a second. During that time, a firing pin strikes the primer, the gun powder ignites, the expanding gases push back the bolt, the round extracts, the hammer is cocked…. Unbelievable.
As for a spring gun, I suspect that the process is happening so fast that it is coming up against the speed at which changes propagate through a molecular structure. What we mean by force and pressure is a process in which air is compressed which in turn compresses the structure of the pellet which then pulls on the electrical forces which hold the pellet in the barrel by friction. These things seem instantaneous but take on a finite value at this time scale. So maybe all of these things take up enough time that the piston can come to rest before the pellet starts moving.
The flashlight was hand-held. It’s not that critical.
Shooting has elements of all three.
Your sighting idea has been reversed with a laser tracing how the sights move around the target. The Germans use it to test both new guns and shooters.
I wouldn’t have guessed that the piston stopped moving before the pellet starts, either. Does the Cardew’s book have equations modelling the physics of springers? Aside from a few posts on the Yellow forum, I can’t find too much that’s “constructive”. While such models are alway faulty in one respect or another (sometimes simply lack of accurate inputs), they do offer a way to approach optimizations, whereas the current state seems to be that “tuners” are variously successful based on experience gained from trial and error and the quality of their implementations. I say this because you can often see two different approaches have good results. Perhaps they have a handshake and secret book!
B.B. & Andreas
It could also be the pressure that you are shooting with….
B.B. pointed out to me that too much pressure causes inaccuracy as well…
Try your test at about 1,800 lbs and only 25 shots.. I bet you’ll see a difference……I did..
Do you use sand, rice or what in your bags on the briefcase?
BB,I very much appreciate your continued patience.this model 70 seems to have dna from everywhere…re-read the R-1 tune.my airgun has the anti-beartrap mech.it has a non-articulated cocking link.there are no drift pins through the tube,like your R1 has.a small [empty]threaded hole lies between the rear triggerguard screw hole and the rear of the trigger blade.maybe the trigger adjustment screw was lost…clearly I need you to see a couple photos.please tell me if your tired of all this,I’m not trying to tax your patience…Frankb
Basically, I was just trying to find out if the forward piston slam happens early enough to affect accuracy, which it would if the pellet is still in the barrel when it happens. I suspected that it was.
In particular I was wondering about the possibility of movement in the lock-up mechanism in a breakbarrel during firing. I tried to do some rough calculations based on the torque required to open the breach and bounced that against the torque applied around the pivot by the air pressure, and my numbers are inconclusive. But I was also wondering if piston slam must be a factor in causing a weaker lockup to move a bit before the pellet leaves the muzzle.
Now there are two things we have in common. Thanks for the photography tips.
OT, who do you think is the John Browning of airguns?
B.B. and everyone:
Regarding parallax: I am using a scope with side adjustable prallax, I have it set for the distance I shoot at.
Regarding pressure: The rifle never groups well at any pressure. I have tried shooting groups one after the other from 2,000 to 1,000 psi.
B.B. Do I have to push the pellet through? Does it make any difference if I shoot and collect it?
I learned to shoot at a bottle of water trough its cap and the pellet stays inside the bottle undamaged.
Bruce, I ll check the spacing as soon as I get home. I hope the problem is as simple as this.
Come to think of it. I had this problem even before I mounted a scope. I just thought I was so lousy with open sights that I was to blame for the 2 inch groups. – I used to get 1 inch groups with the CFX’s open sights at the same range.
Thanks for the help everyone!
B.B. I shot two pellets in two bottles. They weren’t badly damaged and I could count all 10 grooves. They were even and uniform – I think there is no problem there.
Then I tried doing what Bruce suggested but I couldn’t get anything still. That’s probably because I didn’t understand what Bruce suggested exactly…
At first I thought that the muzzle and the tank shouldn’t touch. This can only be done with the barrel band loose. When the barrel band is loose groups are 4 inches wide!
When the barrel band is tight, groups are still in the 1.5-2 inch range. The muzzle is toughing the tank more on one side than on the other. Is this what I must fix? I tried to create a uniform contact between them but I couldn’t do it very well and the groups were still as bad.
Bruce, can you please give me a bit more detail on what you did?
Thanks a lot for your help
Morning Anreas: You’re right a uniform space between the cap that covers the male nipple on the end of the tank and the front sight base is what I did which seemed to change my pattern into a good group. I loosen the barrel band, top and bottom, and applied gentle hand pressure to it until the distance was uniform. Then I tightened both set screws down. Let me know if this helps.
The two must be touching right?
Andreas: Yes, the end cap is uniformaly touching the front sight base. I applied the gentle pressure to the barrel and not the clamp. That didn’t seem to be real clear in my last post. By the way what pellets are you using?
I ve made the barrel sit on top of the tank evenly and uniformly. It’s perfectly alligned. I tightened the barrel band and shot a group.
Pellets are all over the place. The more I shoot the worse it gets. I got a 3 inch group.
Did I do something to the rifle? Did I hit it somewhere or messed with something I shouldn’t?
Cardew used an oscilloscope to document all the parts of the firing cycle. It’s the first thing in the book.
That bag is filled with crushed walnut shells. Half as heavy as sand but just as dense.
Post your pictures on Photobucket and send me the links here.
The fact that the pellet doesn’t start to move before the forward recoil starts is the basis of the artillery hold.
I’m sorry but I don’t follow your second comment.
In my opinion, airguns do not have a John Browning. Some companies have periods of time during which they innovate, and Crosman is probably the all-time leader, but there are no John Brownings that I know of.
Yes it makes a difference. Plerase just PUSH the pellet through.
After some reconsideration, I guess Lefever might qualify as a Browning. He knocked out designs for Daisy throughout his long tenure there.
What should I use to push the pellet? I don’t want to damage the barrel?
Use a cleaning rod if you have one. A thin welding rod will work if it’s long enough.
Besides the rifling, you are looking for one other thing. Look at the pellet skirt for a large section of lead scraped away. It will be several times wider than a rifling mark. That would be made by a burr on the air transfer port, and it is a more common thing in a rifle like yours.
I couldn’t find anything safe enough to push a pellet through the barrel.
However I shot some groups after I made a change to the barrel band. I moved it very close to the muzzle, about an inch from the edge.
Here are the picture links:
What do you think? There is vast improvement but still not the expected results.
These groups look like you are starting to shoot better. Are they shot at 18 yards, also?
Looking at the groups, I’m thinking this is technique. When you rest your gun on the bag, how much contact is there? I’m guessing not much, and if you were to let go of the rifle it would fall. Is that right?
Let’s try an experiment. On Monday, I will post a special blog just for you and this problem. I will explain how to shoot using a double-bag technique that proved to be the most accurate method of shooting in the 19th century.
Are you up for it?
Is it possible that you could email me? I am working on a camporee project for boy scouts and hoped you could provide some information.
Hi B.B. Looking fwd to the blog on sandbag technique. Thanks.
The groups are at 18 yards as well. It’s the same way I shoot with the CFX. I rest the rifle on the bag and the triggerguard touches as well. At 24x magnification there very slight or even no movement at all. I can now get it to be really still.
What I can’t understand is how I get much better groups with the CFX which is recoiling.
I would deeply appreciate a blog on monday on shooting from a double rest. If you write it I will try it.
Thanks a lot
I’m writing it now. I forgot which country you are from and I want to acknowledge it in the blog.
One more thing. Do you have the ability to weigh pellets and sort them by small variances? Like one-tenth of a grain?
B.B., I am from Cyprus.
I only have a chrony, I don’t have a precision balance.
You might want to check the thread in this Benjamin Discovery Forum: http://www.gatewaytoairguns.com/airguns/forums/forum-view.asp?fid=44
These guys know the discovery rifle very well. They gave some good advice…
Thanks for writing a blog for me Tom. I really appreciate the help. It’s the second time that you create a blog on my question. Plus the condor MM tank blog on the way.
I appreciate the help.
BB,after much difficulty,pictures of aforementioned bsf/weihrauch marksman model 70 are on photobucket for all to see.from their homepage,just search”frankbpc” thanks again,Frankb
BB,I have a question about transfer ports.I know the piston-compressed air charge is under great pressure,but has anyone ever played with a venturi or cyclone-causing shape either to speed the air through or to reduce the volume ahead of the piston seal by allowing a smaller opening that flows with equal efficiency?I have been thinking about this since I saw A gun was furnished to you with various ports to affect power level….Frankb
I thought you were from Cyprus, but I wanted to make sure.
The guys on that forum gave you some good advice, and I know we will get this rifle shooting correctly.
Jim Maccari played with air venturi shapes. What he “discovered” (validated, really) was what has long been known about airflow. That breaking up the laminar flow can promote better airflow. So a stepped port has a better flow than a smooth one.
His stepped port was a series of circular holes of graduated sizes, instead of a straight tunnel. The holes were nested inside each other, so there was still a single port, but on the piston side it looked like a jagged funnel.
I don’t think it added much velocoty, maybe 30 f.p.s. to a rifle already shooting 850.
Okay, I looked at your Photobucket album and can tell you that your rifle is essentially a BSF S70 in a Weihrauch stock. I think Weihrauch assembled as many guns as they could from parts after gaining control of the BSF factory. That way they could offset the cost of the purchase.
When parts ran low, they began incorporating their own parts into the gun.
That’s definitely a BSF trigger. I’m not familiar with that safety, but my knowledge of BSF is limited to the guns of the 50s through the 70s. The buyout came in the late 80s, and the safety was probably on BSF guns by then.
The rifle does not have the modular assembly of a Weihrauch, except the trigger is a self-contained unit. From what I can see, you’ll have to use a slotted pusher block that reaches inside the spring tube, passing around the trigger unit, to put pressure on the mainspring retainer inside. The large bolt underneath the tube at the anti-beartrap mechanism appears to be holding the gun together.
Having said that, I am assuming that the back of the spring tube is open. Was there a cap that came off when the gun was removed from the stock?
I’m also not familiar with an anti-beartrap on a BSF, so that’s something they added later on, as well.
The rear sight is BSF all the way. They added some plastic, but the design didn’t change. The white breech seal leads me to think the piston seal is synthetic, also.
The non-articulated cocking link is a Weihrauch design. The BSF S70 had an articulated link, but I bet Weihrauch found it a lot cheaper to go to a one-piece link, because they didn’t have to weld a bridge to the mainspring tube for the link to pass through.
What else can I tell you?
John Browning of Airguns?
If BB has to think hard about that one, there may not be such a thing. I’ll throw in a vote for Sigurds Liepins. 20+ years at Crosman in engineering, then off to Daisy heading up their engineering.
BB,you are truly a gentleman and I thank you.my scope rail and endcap pics I will post in same album ASAP>the rail has one large screw with a scopestop just fore and aft, all at the rear of it.the endcap [with BSF logo w/arrow]is flush with tube end.a small spring clips to bottom of cap and pulls up the sear from its end.my theory is the scoperail screw holds in the trigger unit.should there be an adj. screw in a BSF unit?it has a threaded hole in the place a REKORD adjusts. frankb
I shot another 16 groups today. The rifle likes lower fill pressures and it grouped better with the 10.5 gr. pellets today. They are slightly better than yesterday.
I noticed on quite a number of groups that there is one hole of 3 pellets. At times I thought that I was going to create a “one hole group” as I should at 18 yards but pellets number 4 and/or 5 flew off.
I will buy two more tins of pellets on Monday to try out, and I will check the day’s blog.
I am not yet totally convinced that I am 100% to blame for the bad groups. I wish it is up to me to fix it, but I still suspect something might be wrong.
Make sure you make an effort to use the same hold and trigger pull every time. Use only the pad of your trigger finger……pressing the trigger with the end part every time.
Shooting 3 good then 2 bad repeatedly indicates that you are not consistent.
I had a Weihrauch/BSF model 70 over a decade ago. The large screw on the bottom holds the cap in place that retains the mainspring. Your gun will have a synthetic piston seal. The scope rail bolts just hold the scope rail–at least that was the case for my old gun. It was also the case on my old Beeman R10 and my current Marksman model 56FT–all Weihrauch guns made with BSF designs. The bolts come out and the rail is pushed forward then can be lifted off. There’s a dovetail that locks it to the receiver tube. I’m guessing here, but a Maccarri seal that fits the Weihrauch 50s will probably fit your gun if you ever need a replacement.
The Marksman 56 FT is also sold as a Beeman R11. The new R11’s though have the typical HW cross bolt type safety while the older BSF safety is the rocker type.
I suspect the pellets you are shooting, which you know are not really 10.5 Premiers, are the cause of the inaccuracy. That’s why I asked about a scale.
If they were sorted by weight I think your problems would disappear.
Almost forgot, that gun’s mainspring probably has about 4″ of end-cap pre-load. If I recall correctly, it was a monster. Definitely a job for a mainspring compressor. Think safety on this one.
derrick,I can’t believe you letone like this get away.You confirmed part of what I suspected because a single screw couldn’t possibly secure the rail,given the repeated shock of the firing sequence.do you recall the trigger being adjustable?how about removal procedure?thanks for the heads up[or down]about spring preload.will figure it into my compressor specs. frankb
Thanks for the link to the Discovery forum…..those were great comments for me to read also.
I have 4 CFXs in .177 and 2 of the Discovery in .22……..Our tests also show a “sweet spot” in the pressure range in the Discovery, ours is 1,000 to 1,800 for about 25 shots, we were all over the place with more pressure. We also found that the JBS Exact did best…so keep trying different pellets…….
But, I am thinking that for me, after I shoot my CFXs, ( 1 steel spring, and 3 gas springs, all with slightly different triggers and cocking pressure)…I have the hardest time adjusting from the super long second stage of the CFX triggers, to the clean crisp pull of the Discovery. For me the triggers are night and day.
I don’t shoot well in the night, so I don’t shoot the CFXs anymore, (a joke)
Other folks around here like them, because they are pretty accurate. They don’t test different guns most of the day like me, so they get use to the trigger on the CFX. For me, there is no trigger worst than the CFX, and if you learn to shoot it accurate, you might not be able to shoot other guns accurate.
My CFXs only shoot 7.0 Hobbys at 723fps, and 6.5 lasers at 762fps. The PA techs say they are supposed to do close to 1,000fps with those light pellets, so they are going back for repair or trade.
I am finding that the best speed on average for a 8.4 pellet in .177 is about 825 or so, and a 14.5 JBS or Crossman Prem. in .22 are best in my discovery at that 800fps also.
So..for me, I can’t make the trigger adjustment back and forth between the CFX and the Discovery…maybe this is your issue also.
Ashland Air Rifle Range
Frank and Derrick,
First I want to thank Derrick for all that information. The Marksman 70 disassembles just like I thought. The dovetailed spring retainer is new to me, but I understand how it works.
Second, yes, Frank, there is supposed to be a screw in that hole behind the trigger. It doesn’t hang down like a Rekord trigger adjustment screw, but it is supposed to be there.
I have removed the adjustment screw from my BSF 55N and measured it. It is metric, of course.
I will show two photos of the screw in tomorrow’s blog, but it is a 2.5mm screw with a 10mm shank and fine threads. The BSF trigger is not a safe one, so you need to always control the muzzle of your gun when the barrel is broken open. I have a hole in the ceiling of my office from a pellet that fired when I closed the barrel.
Thanks a lot for that information. I am waiting for the GTR trigger to arrive and I will mod my CFX – which is currently at the gunsmith to get its gas ram installed.
I have learned to shoot accurately with the CFX since it was my first airgun. I learned its trigger and I can contol it. It still has a lot of creep however, and that’s why I will change it.
The next step is to have the gunsmith perform a trigger mod for the discovery. You can find info for that mod in the GTA forum. It’s the “lowering link” mod. It is a horrible trigger and I personally think it’s much worse than the gamo triggers. The mod is absolutely necessary at least for me.
I cannot feel the first stage, it’s like there is only a second stage which is very heavy.
The discovery is a VERY good airgun for the price, but in my opinion it should be advertised for 25 shots filled at 1,750 PSI, plus it should come with a better trigger.
I suspect that after the trigger mod, the discovery will become my favourite airgun.
I don’t doubdt you BB. I don’t think a new orleans ceiling would like a 13+ ft lb intrusion.I own this one so I would probably get to see sky…..thank you for anticipating the next question.I had a screw pitch guage that small pre-katrina but easy come………an appreciative Frankb oh,was that thread”BSF”[british standard fine]….
The Mod 70 I had did have an adjustable trigger, but it was not a Rekord trigger unit from HW.
If BB is correct about the screw being a 2.5mm, then it’s pitch is 0.45mm which, unlike SAE, means the threads are 0.45mm apart.
If you can’t source one, let me know and I’ll send you some. Ace hardware stores seem to have the best supply of fasteners here in Ohio.
Sorry, I don’t remember the removal procedure for the trigger assembly. It’s just been too many years now.
My Model 56 FTS has a Record trigger that was factory adapted to use that BSF rocker style safety.
Derrick and BB,I am moved by your generosity and expertise.If I had a STEAK,WE would have thirds….Let me know if you’re ever in THE Big Easy! Frankb
I don’t know the metric terminology, but if this were an SAE screw it would be national fine.
Since you live in the Big Easy you have to come to next year’s Little Rock airgun Expo.
If you look at the photo on today’s post, you’ll see I was probably wrong about the diameter of that screw. It looks more like a 3mm screw in the photo.
I just ordered an RWS Panther in .22. I want to know if the front and rear sights are removable. I plan to use the gun with a scope and would prefer to remove the sights to avoid damaging them in case I decide to use them someday. I also was wondering if you know of any muzzle brakes will fit the barrel to hide any screw holes or marks left from the front sight. Thanks for your help.
There is a screw in the front sight ramp but removing it doesn’t loosen the front sight, so it’s bonded on. You will have to break an epoxy bond to drift off the front sight assembly.
The barrel is 0.632″ OD, so you’ll need a brake that will fit over that. Only the Beeman Universal seems large enough.
The rear sight removes with screws.
I wonder if I coud hijack this thread and ask you a question.
I like to purchase a Leapers scope for my Gamo CFX. The compact scope that you tested on the Gamo is not water proof nor nitrogen filled.. etc.
I found another by Leapers, Leapers 4-16×50 AO Scope 50mm or Leapers Accushot 3-12x44AO 44mm SWAT Scope. Both are 15.2″ and 14″ respectively. If I mount them on a high leapers scope ring, will I still be able to load the pellets?
Depending on where the rings are clamped on the scope, I thought even at 14″ or 15 scope length it may not hover over the pellet loading opening.
I called PA but…they advised I to go with scope of same length which is 11″ … duh, I can’t find one with water prof, nitrogen filled.
Thanks in advance.
I’m checking this with Leapers but I believe that ALL Leapers scopes are both waterproof and nitrogen-filled. Nearly every scope made today is.
Sometimes those specs get dropped from a model and don’t appear, but I think those specs are pretty much universal.
I just verified with Leapers that EVERY scope they make is waterproof, nitrogen-filled and fog-proof.
Wow you didn’t have to do that but I really appreciate your help. How can I thank you.
So the Leaper scope that you placed on the CFX while testing is nitrogen filled and water proof. Thank You!!!
If I decide on this Leaper, Leapers Accushot 3-12x44AO SWAT Scope, Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle, 1/8 MOA, 30mm Tube, it has a length of 14″, do you think I’ll have problems with loading on the Gamo?
It will be very close, if not too far. Assuming the one on the PA website is 11″ the 14 looks too long.
Also, you want to leave the rotary breech clear because it requires more fiddling than normal to load the gun.
First off I want to thank you for all the work you put into this site. I am fairly new to air rifles, and just recently purchased the RWS 350. I am very pleased with the guns performance, it shoots great from the bench, 1/2 inch groups from 25 yards easily. The only trouble I have at all with the gun is it’s weight, it seems very heavy and with the length and weight combined I find it very diffucult to hold steady enough to shoot off hand.
I interested in purchasing a .22 cal springer for hunting. I am considering the Rws 52 or the RWS 460. I am worried that they too may not be any easier to hold steady off hand than my 350. I am hoping that with the shorter barrels on the 52, and 460 this might make a big difference? Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. Also any other choice’s of springer .22 cal would be appreciated.
If you have a moment I need some help. Quite some time ago I used to shoot pigeons with my fathers air rifle, I then moved some distance from my parents and I would now like to purchase one of my own.
I have spent quite some time reading about the subject but I am still unsure about which to choose.
• I would like to shoot targets at home so would need a gun which is not to loud.
• I would also like the rifle to be capable of shooting pigeons / crows.
• I would like a .22 calibre.
• For ease, I would like to go down the spring powered route.
• I would prefer a synthetic stock.
• I live in the UK so need to stay within the legal limit of 12 ft. lbs.
• I have a budget of £350.00 all in.
I like the look of the below gun and that it comes with accessories. As this is a package should I be wary that the individual parts are not up to the standard if I purchase each part separately?
Crosman Tac 77 Elite
Does anyone have any info on this rifle or could help me decide if it is worth purchasing? Also if you have any recommendations on alternative rifles it would be greatly appreciated.
The RWS Diana is not really that heavy. You should try an M1 Garand some time! And the weight of the rifle is what helps stabilize it when shooting offhand, but you need to learn a hold that will be comfortable with that.
The 52 is better for you than the 460 magnum, because it is both shorter and lighter. It will still feel heavy, but it’s a very compact rifle.
Take a look at the RWS Diana 54 before you make up your mind, because the 54 is wonderfully accurate and doesn’t require and special hold technique.
Take a look at the RWS Diana 34 Panther. It’s wonderfully accurate, has a synthetic stock and all the power you can have at the legal limit. And for sure it will cost less than 350 pounds after all is said and done. Best of all, you can buy the gun right there in the UK.
The Crosman Tac 77 Elite is going to require an FAC. It would be no more accurate than the Panther, if as accurate, and the trigger will not be as good.
I know there is alot of heavier rifles out there than my 350 mag, in fact I own many heigh cal. deer hunting powder rifles that are heavier.
But the heavier it is the harder I find it to hold steady on the target. I was also considering the 54 as well, until I seen it was heavier than the other rifles in question.
My question is do you feel like the 52 is easier than the 350 to hold the cross hairs on the target. If so what about the 460 compared to the 52. Again I absoulutely love my RWS 350 but I am looking to get that kind of quaility and accuracy out of a .22 cal that I have my best chance of holding the cross hairs steady on the target. I did look at the spec’s of all the guns, and they all seem to be in the same weight range but I was hoping that maybe the weight in different spots and shorter barrels on different rifles might make a difference, Please let me know your thoughts, on which of the rifles mention or a totally different accurate and reliable springer for hunting, coons, squirels, birds etc..
Because it is shorter, the 52 will be somewhat easier to hold steady than the 350 Magnum. The 460 Magnum is slightly lighter, but most of the weight is towards the front. so you don’t want that.
Now the RWS Diana 34 Panther is lighter and easier to hold than any of the rifles you have mentioned. But it isn’t quite as powerful.
And a Benjamin Discovery is several POUNDS lighter than any of these rifles, just as powerful and FAR EASIER to shoot accurately.
I am now considering it between the 52 and the 34. The Discovery is pcp or co2 right?
Do you feel as if the 34 panther is as accurate as the 52?
Like any breakbarrel rifle, the 34 Panther is harder to shoot accurately than a fixed-barrel 52, but it is just as accurate. You just have to use more technique with the 34.
The Discovery is air and CO2 and requires no technique whatsoever.