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Education / Training Diana 27 – Part 3

Diana 27 – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

If you can remember back to the .177 Diana 27 I started testing in December, you’ll remember that the breech seal was destroyed and needed replacing. Several readers suggested I use a modern synthetic breech seal, but I wanted to keep the look as original as possible, so I opted to try a leather breech seal first.

This is the old breech seal. Bits of leather have torn out and an oil spray comes out of the breech with every shot.

You can see the groove the new seal must fit. This photo is like an Escher print until you decode it in your mind. We’re looking at a breech that’s pointing up–away from us. The groove for the seal is wide and flat and there’s a stub of the barrel in the middle. This is where the new leather seal has to fit.

I was going to cut out the new seal with a razor knife, but someone pointed me to a set of nine punches that Harbor Freight sells for $5, and I could hardly argue with that price. Of course, shipping more than doubled the cost, but it was still a no-brainer. What I wasn’t prepared for was how nice the punches would be. They are well beyond my expectations and went a long way toward making this job an easy one. They took a couple weeks to arrive; and when they did, I went straight to work.

Nine good punches for five dollars is too good to pass up.

I knew the leather belt I used would work for this job because I’ve used it for similar projects in the past. But for those who wonder, I measured it with a dial caliper and found it was thicker than the depth of the breech groove.

I measured the leather belt to make sure it was thick enough to make a good breech seal.

I foolishly thought this job was going to be straightforward and quick. Boy, was I in for a learning curve! The hard leather belt chosen for the seal material resisted the punch, making it impossible to cut. However, I’ve worked leather before and know wet leather works better than dry, so the belt went into the drink for several days. After that, the punches cut it like warm butter. I backed it with a 4×4 timber when punching, and that soaked up the force of the blow so the punches didn’t dull.

The outside diameter of the seal was easy to cut, and there’gs a punch in the set that is within a few thousandths of being the exact size. When I tell you how I work the seal into the groove, you’ll appreciate that a few thousandths is immaterial–it’s an exact fit. So, the outside was easy to punch out. It was the inside hole that fought me.

There’s an inside punch that’s also very close to the outside diameter of the breech stub. That one will cut the inner hole–making a leather doughnut to fit into the groove at the breech. But this time there was a real problem. The outside of the punch is tapered. When it cuts the hole, it also squeezes the leather away from the hole it has just cut. That makes the hole too large. It took several attempts to discover this.

The taper on the outside of the punch spread the inner hole too much when cutting the leather. I had to use a smaller punch to get the hole the right size.

Once I discovered how the job was done–a thoroughly wet leather and cutting the inner hole first–the job went fast. Notice that the bottom three seals are torn. That’s because I cut the inner hole last and used too large a punch. The top three seals don’t look nice, but any of them will work well, because they will be mashed into the seal groove.

Also, no matter how carefully I worked, I could never get the center hole in the exact center of the outer hole. It just didn’t want to cooperate. So I sat there wondering what to do next, and that’s when it hit me. I was working with leather! Good old pliable, malleable leather. It didn’t HAVE to be centered! The way to finish this job is to pound the leather seal into the groove and trim it to the right height. The wet leather will flow into every crevice that way, and when itll be the perfect shape when it dries.

To get the best possible shape from my work, I cut the inside hole first. If it looked good, I then cut the outside. Doing it the other way ruined every seal I made.

I selected a seal that was close to the fit I wanted and pressed it into the open breech seal groove of the gun, with the finished side of the leather down toward the bottom of the groove. I used a plastic mallet to hammer the seal into place until it seemed to go in no farther. The hammering spread the leather in all directions, so I know it fits the groove perfectly. At that point, I had a mass of leather spread out all over the breech, but you would have thought from a glance that it would never fit properly. The final step was to trim the leather flush with the breech face, giving me the fit you see here. For this trimming, you need a razor-sharp knife, and maybe some of you will remember that we had a lively discussion on this blog about sharpening knives. I used an Opinel kitchen paring knife, sharpened on my Warthog sharpener that I reported on at the end of this report.

This is what is in the gun now. It’s flush with the breech and looks good.

After trimming, I oiled the seal heavily over the next several days. The oil soaked into the new seal, giving me what you see in the photo.

And how does it work? Well, you’ll just have to wait for the next report to find out!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

83 thoughts on “Diana 27 – Part 3”

  1. BB – if the seal is flush with the breech face, how is going to seal properly? Doesn’t it have to stand proud of the breech face so that it can seal the gap between the breech and the compression tube?

  2. Good morning B.B. Guess I’ll be heading to Laurel, MD to visit Harbor Freight. Have been meaning to ask you about your opinion of the WartHog sharpener now that you’ve had it for awhile. Did you get the steeling rods also?

    I’ve got a Pioneer pistol and rifle from 1985/86 that I will reseal this way. Thanks Mr B.

  3. I wonder if leather would work for blown synthetic seals.

    Oh well, I’m going to mark the days off on my PA refridgerator magnet until I get my tax return. Then I will see about getting a Marauder, a Disco or possible a stainless steel Savage Mark II .22LR or .17HMR Target Rifle. A .223 would be nice too. Then again I wish they would improve the .270, the best round ever.

    I blew my savings on a 7 passenger minivan. My wife and little one loves to ride in them and my poor Thunderbird is on it’s last legs. I made it almost 10 years on a 300 dollar 1987 Thunderbird. I bought it to get me by in the winter and I just kept driving it.

    As for the 10M crosman sights, they work pretty good, but not as good as a good as an AO scope. The sights make a nice box grouping when moving the each adjustment around a set number of clicks. It returned to the original POI when finished. It’s hard to tell if there is any slack, because of my poor groupings sometimes. My guess would be 1 extra click when reversing directions if ever needed. Once you dial in the sights, it does stay put.

  4. Mr.B.,

    Laurel! My old stomping grounds! I lived in Ellicott City.

    I did get the steeling rods for the Warthog, but I’ve never used them. I wouldn’t bother.

    The sharpener is the best one I have ever seen. I recommend it to everyone.

    Photograph that Pioneer fix, because you never know!


  5. I bet alot of the readers don’t know about Opinel knives.do you have one of the folders with the 1 piece handle and the ring lock at the top of the handle/base of the blade?when I was a young boy[early 70’s]I saw one in a country store for a couple bucks and thought it was brilliantly simple!truly a fine mousetrap…FrankB

  6. Good morning,

    I was wondering if a seal could be made out of cork?
    Wouldn’t cork make a great seal?
    It’s a durable material and it’s pretty easy to cut, it can be compressed yet it retains it’s shape.


  7. Frank B.,

    Opinel knives are STILL only a couple bucks at Smoky Mountain Knife Works! I do own the folder you mentioned, plus my wife has the multi-knife sets for the kitchen plus five or six individual knives.

    But the knife I used looks like a regular paring knife you would fins in most kitchens.

    Opinel uses the finest carbon steel of any manufacturter I have found.


  8. BB,thank you for reminding me about these little gems…my grandfather made Case knives from 11 yrs. old until he retired at 65!!Pocket knives and airguns speak directly to my “y”chromosome. I rescued 7 Henkels Friodor 4star kitchen knives from a flea mkt. in Huntsville AL this weekend.got them all for 23$.FrankB

  9. Frank B.,

    Let me add my praise for the excellent carbon steel blade and the functional simplicity of the Opinel knife’s design.

    B.B. Ok to the pictures. Will do. Now I have to decide on a scope for my just tuned Diana 35 or the Warthog sharpner. Or maybe I should stimulate the economy and buy both!

    What a great idea folks. Ok dear, I am going to step up to the plate and do everything in my power to stimulate our economy and buy… that should get the Wacky Wayne seal of approval. Mr B.

  10. . . . .Airsoft Question

    Does somebody know how much more accurate a Pulse R76 is versus the R72? If you could tell me some numbers it would be very helpful. Thanx.


    With your most accurate air rifle and unsorted pellets at 10 meters in the sitting position in the comfort of your own range and with nobody watching (i.e., no pressure), how often can you put 5 .177 pellets in a row through the same .177 hole? …..
    …In the above scenario, how often might you put 5 .177 pellets in a row through a .25 caliber hole?

    Thank you

  11. BB,each knife =40 steps to make.blade blank heated to 1000 C.cooled to-70 C.Heated again to 500 C. cooled again to -70 C.you can see a great video of them being made at the Henkels website.I can make them sharp enough to safely shave my face.E-mail me at frankbpc@aol.com and I’ll send you a paring knife.FrankB

  12. LOL groupings,

    With scope on 953 10M 5 rounds 1 to 5mm (.039 to .197).

    With 10M sights 5 to 10mm (.197 to .394).

    I measure in MM beacuse it just seemed to make sense for a 10M distance. In the UK, I chat with 10M air pistol shooters who use mm. With a 1377 and scope I was around 5mm and with open sights around 10mm. I started at 50mm with open sights when I first bought the air pistol. A lot of practice a few mods helped.

  13. RE: “5 .177 pellets in a row through the same .177 hole…”

    Dr. G,

    You’re asking for a 0.000 inch group size. It isn’t ever going to happen. “One hole group” ok, but through EXACTLY the same 0.177 hole – never.


  14. J-F, I don’t think that cork is generally considered a high-pressure seal material, and it isn’t terribly resistant to abbrasion. The breech seal on any reasonably stron springer is exposed to both.

    Solid rubber O-rings work well, and are used in the more modern Diana breakbarrels. Considering that good quality Buna-N O-rings can be had for about $3 per bag of 100 I don’t think it makes sense to get into too much fabrication in this area… unless you’re looking to replicate vintage stuff like BB is doing.

  15. 4.5mm in 6.35mm would that be like about 2mm ctc with .177 cal. pellet?

    With a scope if I tallied my 5 round groupings c-t-c at 10M it would look something like this:

    1mm – 1
    2mm – 2
    3mm – 25
    4mm – 10
    5mm – 7

    oh no – 5 Where I did something wrong, more or less.

  16. RE: “5 .177 pellets in a row through a .25 caliber hole…”

    If a 0.250 inch hole just completely circumscribed the entire one hole group then the group size would be:
    0.250-0.177 = 0.073


    also part on calipers in:


  17. B.B.,

    The next time you make a seal, would covering the breech with magic marker then pressing the leather belt up against it give you a good template to cut against? If not, since you are using a mallet to hammer the seal into place, would indenting the belt against the breech give you a template instead? Just some thoughts.

  18. I Ordered some more pellets for my new Crosman 1077 Combo I got from PA. They were out of the Crosman Premier wadcutters, and I had orderes some of the RWS Hobby wadcutters, but they accidentally left those out of my order and sent another pellet instead.
    The gun functions fine, and I actually like the plastic stock. It seems super durable and has a good feel. Nothing like the thin plastic, brittle and hollow stocks on some low end guns.
    Due to the cold weather I haven’t been able to get serious about bench resting the gun and shooting for group to find the best pellet.Too cold for the gun, too cold for the shooter (I tend to rush my shots too much when cold).I’ve been shooting at a measured 31.5 feet.I’ve got a couple of groups I can cover with a dime, but I’m hoping for better when the weather warms up. Also, that trigger is going to be tough to get used to!!I’m hoping it gets better with use as per B.B.’s blog.


  19. Dr. G,

    You are a man after my own heart. Shooting one-hole groups at slightly over 10 meters is one of my favorite pastimes. The reason for this is simple. I can do it in the comfort of my own home.

    As far as the single hole definition goes, yes it will be larger then the caliber but will not appear like a nasty cloverleaf or two touching holes at that modest distance. No need to measure and fuss the naked eye can make the determination in a heartbeat

    That ability was a huge factor in selecting my two “keepers” out of about twenty rifles and 30 years. I think many are capable at that distance, but some are much much more difficult to achieve it with due to design.

    While there is no such thing as a sure thing, the two spring rifles I would bet money on are my HW30S and my HW97K. The HW30S has a Paul Watts advanced tune. It is a low power shooter and loves H&N match, which it spits at about 575 fps. I think some of the reasons for its accuracy are the modest speed that a match pellet likes, the wonderful light trigger that Paul tuned, and the lack of any noticeable vibration. I give it a 4 out of 5.

    The HW97K also has a Paul Watts advance tune plus the setback trigger and more. It was meant for field target with JSB Express or CP lites. It shoots those pellets about 930 fps. The reasons for its ability I credit to extremely heavy weight, 12 inch fixed barrel, and way sweet trigger. Of course the PW tune deserves much credit. I give it a 9 out of 10 times.

    Please keep in mind I take no credit for either of these rifles abilities. All my break barrels above match power could not guarantee that single hole and all hated being touched. Theses two are simply so good. For example, I had a Beeman R-7 that could not come close to what the HW30S can do. Both HW rifles can be gently rested with no ill effect.

    Long story short, an A + rifle can turn a B student into an A and I’ll take all the help I can get.

  20. John – My favorite 2 pellets for the 1077 are RWS Hobby and Gamo Raptors. They do well for me. Good luck and have lots of fun. It may not group like a 10M rifle, but boy is it fun to plink with. I also, bought a barrel spacer to added behind my front sight that’s a little tighter and helps a little. Some people have made there own spacers and modded for that military look.

  21. For making concentric washers, look at the Mayhew hollow punch kits. They are spendy (made in USA)! But they have a mandrel that allows you to stack cutters and cut concentric ID/OD. There may be a cheap knockoff from HF, I can’t remember.

  22. Herb/B.B./ajvenom,

    Thank you for your responses.

    I am aware that I was mostly asking for very close to 1/16″ ctc grouping by wording the 2nd question the way I did.

    I stand corrected re. my 1st question…by asking re. 5 .177 pellets through a .177 hole, I actually do mean to ask probably through a .180 hole (or mebbe even .183)…The point being so that there is enough clearance to pass through yet not enough clearance to make the hole look like anything other than a perfectly round .177 hole. I don’t know actually what this clearance would be, but perhaps you could educate me.

    Based on asking the question this way, how would you fellows respond?

    Thanx again.

    – Dr. G.

  23. I just got the Sig-Sauer SP2022 BB pistol. I thought I might share some impressions and ask a question or two since this is the first BB pistol I have handled extensively.

    I have the version with the metal slide. Weight is listed at 770 grams on the box. It feels like a real firearm. The trigger is very decent. I managed to freeze the valve by shooting too fast so that it started to leak. After it warmed up a bit, worked perfectly again. It is more accurate than I expected and very addictive. Only bad points for me are that there are no white dots on the rear sight, while there is one on the front, and that the mag is loose and moves as I pull the trigger.

    My question is this: I am using a cardboard box stuffed with old towels as a backstop. Since the BBs are decelerated without impact, is there any reason not to reuse them? Thanks alot!

  24. B.B.,

    Well-done. The info about the punches is especially useful for making slings out of leather pouches.

    FrankB. At last, how do you make your knives shaving sharp? I can get them to the point where they cut tomatoes well, but the shaving edge remains elusive. I just end up rasping and reddening the skin on my forearm. But my one experience with the shaving edge was very compelling. It was with my new Cold Steel Voyager folder out-of-the box. Just sliding it down my arm with no pressure shaved the hair so cleanly that I had a noticeable bare patch for some time. Even Cold Steel was not able to reproduce this edge on resharpening.

    What puzzles me now is that the Cold Steel method calls for creating a burr and then removing it, and when the burr is gone, you’re done. Further sharpening will just remove metal to no purpose. So, it’s not a matter of just continuing to hone the blade. Well, I can create the burr and remove it, but I don’t get the shaving edge, so I’m not sure what to do next. My only ideas are to try out micrograin sandpaper as the final honing surface then finish with a strop and green compound (all suggested by the memorable henry/sumo from this blog). So, what’s the secret?

    Jon, I would also recommend RWS Hobbies for the Crosman 1077–a wonderful rifle which shoots like a house afire. Even with the mushy trigger, it is comparable with open sights to my best springers with scopes.

    Volvo and Dr. G, try standing at 10m, and you won’t have to worry about difficulty in measuring group size. Actually, the groups shrink faster than you might expect. Ragged holes with ten shot groups are not that hard to do.

    On CTC versus actual group size, I go with CTC. It makes more sense to me and it sounds better.


  25. B.B.

    Help please. I cann’t see how the air can move the leather washer because there is nothing for it to push against since the washer is flush with the face of the breach. If you have the time would you please explain the dynamics of the seal when the pressure hits it in greater detail?

  26. Comment on Chinese made goods.

    I have a Swiss army two knife set my wife brought home from Europe…the same set you can get for 30 bucks at Wallyworld.

    I was looking at a chinese knock off for for 10 dollars. It was the 2 inch multi-use Royal Crest 16 function pocket knife. For hunting and fishig I didn’t want to lose the one my wife bought me. I searched the wholesalers and bought 15 knock-offs for 45 dollars including shipping.

    I cleaned, sharpened, refit the tooth picks and lubed the knives. I gave them to the guys at work and kept one for myself. I’ve used it often for a year and no problems. I get a lot of good comments from the guys at work how often they’ve used their knives. They often said, because of the work I did on them they would have easily sold for ten bucks.

    The materials and assembly of the knives are fine, it’s just that they don’t fine machine the some things as good as other manufactures. Three dollars for a stainless steel 16 function knife set with mylar covers isn’t a bad deal I guess.

  27. RE: 5 shots and “circular” hole

    If the five shots are the same distance from the center, and the shots are 72 degrees apart, then the shots will be over the points of a pentagram. Depends on how good your eyes are, but with paper tearing a bit too, the hole could get pretty big before you would notice.

    If shots made in sequence around pentagon, the c-t-c would be between shots 1 and 3 (or 2 and 4 and so on…) Since 1 and 3 would not be on the same diameter of the circle through the five points, the c-t-c measurement would actually underestimate the size of the circle. Hence another of the holy wars in group size measurement.

    For all practical purposes the c-t-c measure is straight forward, reproducible, and “good enough.” You’d have to shoot a lot of groups to show that the circle method is actually a better statistical estimator.


  28. Aloha B.B.

    Just a reminder about our conversation about Korean PCP & use of the power wheel. Also Looking forward to the conclusion the the Career Infinity review.


  29. BB,
    Perhaps you could make some sort of center guide for the punches to help keep the holes concentric. As you say, though, it should work fine, anyway.

    Dr. G and Volvo,
    You’re both obviously good shooters, but once the accuracy progresses to the point where measurement is difficult, where is the fun? Its probably just a matter of personality, but once I’d done that kind of group a few times under basically perfect conditions, it would seem like operating a machine. Just interested in your points of view. Even though I don’t really hunt anymore, I still like the feel of variable conditions, random ranges, and imperfect environments…do you ever feel the same way?


    Jim said…
    I have a cheap chinese 22( b-3 underlever)the only things done to it are a cleanup and .375 spring shim. The spring shim and cleaning gave it an additional 30 fps from stock of 420. I have found that by sizing the pellet skirt(increasing it in diameter to .257 from .224) I can get an additional 50 fps. On the chrony it goes from 454 unsized to 510 using the 14.3 grain daisy wad cutters which is a pretty good change. I have tried several different pellets and found this works every time to some degree. With some pellets it makes a bigger difference. The daisy wad cutters makes a full 50 fps but the crossman field points only make a difference of 35fps and with the 28grain enjin they gain only 15fps from 330 to 345fps. I am doing this by hand at this point and the enjin and the crossman have thicker skirts and I am not able to get them to the .257 mark without damaging the rest of the pellet. To make things easier I am looking into making an insert for the barrel chamber. I have spent a lot of time on this to determine why and unless I am wrong it allows the pressure to increase to a higher level before the pellet begins to move. I measured the force to start the pellet moving without skirt sizing to be 12lbs and with it expanded it goes to 16 lbs. I think I may be incorrect in my thinking on making a barrel insert as it will size the pellet smaller than the rest of the barrel and have leakage. What do you think?

    January 26, 2009 11:49 AM

  31. Jim, that is a real bad idea.

    You’re right about the buildup of pressure before the pellet starts moving. But using an insert to size the pellet down means that it’ll be smaller than the bore, it won’t engage the rifling, and the pellet will literally bounce around inside the barrel destroying accuracy. And yes, you’ll have lots of air leakage to boot.

    It’s possible that the barrel breech (where you load the pellet) on yours is a bit oversized. Those Shanghai-built B3’s are very popular, but they are not exactly precision air rifles. But in ANY event you don’t want to do ANYTHING that sizes the pellet down smaller than the barrel bore.

  32. Matt61,I will gladly pass on all my secrets about sharpening.the only hitch is I intend to do it comprehensively as a guest blog.will include pictures and why these methods work…as well as sharpener maintenence.To quote BB,and Dr.G:please be patient. AjVenom,while I think any assumtion of worth or lack thereof based on country of origin is a flawed theory…the market is awash with merchandise that barely accomplishes the intended goal.your effort is what made those knives worthwhile!a blank piece of paper makes a great map once you draw accurate lines on it,but if you sell a blank piece of paper as a map,you’ll make no friends here….just my two cents! FrankB

  33. Bg-farmer and Matt,

    For me the idea of the 10-meter shooting from a rest is to establish the potential of the rifle. Yes, I shoot standing, sitting, knelling and prone also, but those are a test for me not the rifle.

    I think it is an important exercise with a Springer because of the vast individual characteristics they show. For example my .22 HW50S also had a PW tune and could group most pellets in a single hole, but was more hold sensitive. That meant more bad shots. The .25 cal BSA Lightning XL was twice as difficult as the HW50S to shoot accurately. I’m sure other factors come into play like caliber and so on. The FWB 124 took too much concentration with its trigger; I had to be 100% in “the zone”. The Webley Patriot just wore me out too quick, and so on.

    The bottom line is once you find a nice one-hole bench gun; your confidence in yourself grows when you need to shoot off hand.

    As far a PCP’s go the search was not nearly as difficult. I rate the rifles in multiples off five due to my target of choice. I use the Gamo targets in their trap filled with duct seal. I add 4 orange black target dots at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. (I hate real 10-meter targets, can’t see the aim point with 6X). My set up gives me a target I can take 25 shots at. By coincidence I just shot a 5 out of 5 with the .177 FX Whisper and Kodiaks.

    Bg-farmer the need to test and seek perfection is certainly some personality quirk. I average about 6-8 hours of trigger time a week.
    I also can’t stand sweeper marks in carpet and so and on. I know they make pills for it, but I don’t want to be cured. Currently my .22 cal PCP slot needs improved. I can’t get the 4 out of 5 from the Raider I demand. I think it really just needs trigger work, but I may change rifles this year instead.

  34. Mr. B.,

    Air under pressure can do strange things. It could extrude a wave of leather against the opposite steel face of the compression chamber, the way it does with a synthetic breech seal. It would happen in a few milliseconds and the movement would only be a few hundredths of an inch.

    Wait until Wednesday and see what happens.


  35. Hey guys, first comment on blog!
    Is there any pellet rifle that will produce 1 hole, on the smaller side of the margain of interpretation, groups at 10m and be a capable hunter out to fifty
    Yards? Also it has to be under $550total

    Thank you

  36. Volvo,

    Your attitude doesn’t seem off-base to me. I also benchrest to see the potential of the rifle and sight-in, etc., but I was getting the impression that you both were bench-rest shooting at 10M for the perfect group day after day, which would be a recipe for going nuts to me, although many people seem to enjoy that type of pursuit. You don’t seem nuts, so I thought I’d ask:).

    OT: I don’t know if you’re still keen on the Quigley experiment, but JT added some nice reference posts from the YF to last night’s blog.

  37. Jared,

    If you truly need to hunt out to fifty yards the best answer is the Crosman Discovery in .22 cal. Fit and finish will leave a bit to be desired, but really close to a one hole shooter at 10 meters and my example hit 26 ft lbs plus with Kodiaks. With $550 you’ll have room left for a decent scope also.

  38. Bg-farmer,

    It is a fine line. I will sometimes obsess trying to get five perfect bulls and stay up way too late. Tweak the scope, the pellets, the hold and so on. You may occasionally notice posts I make long after more sane people have probably retired for the evening. Business folks call this high drive.

    My issue with the Quigley experiment is when I have the opportunity to shoot at longer ranges I typically want to use a firearm. I did read all the links yesterday. Cool stuff.

  39. ….. … . .Re. 10 meter groups…

    Although I have tried to enjoy shooting from a standing position, as well as from the wrap around sitting postion, my lower back discs complain too much, and it becomes unpleasant. I do not wish to give the impression that I am crippled or anything…far from it, I play tennis at a highly competitive level. It’s just that I cannot do these shooting positions for more than a few minutes before I will pay for it later.

    So, I am left with a sitting position that is comfortable yet makes it very challenging to shoot a 5-shot 10 meter group of 1/16″ ctc and requires concentration to shoot 1/8″ ctc. I cannot put them all in the same perfectly round hole from a sitting position wtih any rifle.

    However, to make sure that my rifle can put them all in the same hole at 10 meters, I must bench rest the rifle, as Volvo writes.

    There is no challenge at all for me in bench resting a PCP rifle (of good quality) and putting 5 pellets through the same hole if the rifle is capable of doing that, as the rifle is just sitting there. But it is absolutely necessary to know what the rifle is capable of so that I can judge my own performance.

    I cannot bench test the spring rifles, the 54 and the 80, because they yield worse groups when that is done versus holding the rifles.

    So, at 10 yards scoped, the best I can do with either springer is 5 pellets 1/16″ ctc. I remember sometimes putting 4 through the same hole, but never 5 sitting with any rifle (I stopped weighing the pellets, and so I can always blame a “flyer” on a different weight).

    Target shooting is obsessive and isolatory in nature, especially for those that do it alone in their basement (everyone reading this). It attracts a certain type of character. You can read it very plainly in these comments, including my own.

    – Dr. G.

  40. Dr. G, seems like you fit the general stereotype of Doctors playing tenis;-). It’s funny you should mention, “obsessive and isolatory, my life-long friend (USSF) used very similar words to describe sniping years ago. I will agree that any shooting sport performed with any level of dicipline requires immense amounts of mental focus, and the ability to focus on only you and the target.

    In doing some research, I stumbled upon quite a few videos that promote strong dislike towards the airgun community (one that comes to mind is discovery pig hunter). I think you will really have to stress the fundamentals of shooting, especially responsibility, in your upcoming show.
    One more thing. I mentioned the marauder’s ability to function on 2 or 3k psi. Does this suggest a regulated rifle? I also heard of an internal power adjustor of some sort but doubt it.

  41. BB,
    Could you do an artical about the BSA made, Gamo hunter elite? It looks like it has some nice finishes, but I think it only has the same power plant as the shadow 1000 series. Could you find the similarities? I was considering a Hunter elite or a RWS 34, I just can’t stand barrel droop.
    Shadow Express dude

  42. HERB,I just re-read your post from earlier.this comment just for laughs,don’t think I’m serious….you said “shots in sequence around the pentagon”and later on;”holy war”.put clean jammies on tonight,just in case you got yourself on the watch list…LOL,FrankB

  43. Dr. G. —
    Again, that makes sense…shooting from that position is testing you and can be challenging. The isolatory nature of shooting is beneficial, at least in moderation, and the obsessive trait is good in a shooter, also in moderation. Just glad to hear you aren’t going overboard, although I would be fascinated to get insight into someone who did:).

    Sorry to hear about your back. Have you tried a target stock with shorter/adjustable length of pull? It can make a huge difference in comfort offhand. I never had any trouble with rifle LOP until I took up air rifles, where there seems to be some sort of “Napoleon” (you know what I want to say) complex about stock size:).

  44. Matt,

    While I am a fan of slings on firearms, I don’t feel on Springer’s they are a benefit other then as a source of carry. I seldom go prone in the field so I practice it the least. The deterrents are my age and a tick I still recall picking up on my neck.

    Bg-farmer explain “moderation” : )

  45. BB- (or anyone who might have some insight)

    I took my Diana 350 Magnum out of the stock today, to make sure the bottom of the receiver tube was free from rust since I had carried it hunting in the rain recently. I have put approximately 1,400 pellets through this gun, and at around pellet 1,000 it became difficult to overcome the ball bearing detent and open. So I put a drop of oil on the detent and worked it (on you suggestion, I believe) and the detent has worked well ever since.

    But what has me puzzled now is that after returning the rifle to the stock, cocking it makes a great deal more noise than it did before. Whereas before the mainspring was nearly silent while cocking, it now makes a significant amount of noise while cocking as well as while decocking without firing. I have had no opportunity to fire it since then, so I cannot comment if there’s a change in firing behavior.

    I was wondering if any of you folks had any idea what could be causing this? I tightened the screws snugly, but not absolutely as far as they’d go. I make no claim to having a great knowledge of airguns, but this really doesn’t make sense to me.

    Daniel M.

  46. Volvo,

    I was going to ask that too… “moderation” … is there such a thing with airguns… how many times did I say “All I need is this one” ($149 avenger 1100)… on the way to $2,000 field target rifles…

    The illusive one hole pellet size group… ain’t it nice to have something to “shoot” for….

    I notice that you and I are both up late most nights.. my best practice sessions are while the others are watching TV..

    I did get a 5 shot 1/8″ group at 19 yards in the FT sitting position the other night here in the pool room, with the new Air Arms s400 MPR FT.. I got the knee rest, which really helps, this rifle is built for a small guy like me… It is a lot smaller than my AAs410, and not even close to as quiet, or powerful..(14 foot lbs. even though they say it’s only 12..), but it really fits nice and the knee rest makes it more steady for me, being a shorter rifle, I can still wrap my left arm around the knee rest and lock back to my right wrist.. The USFT lets me do that too. and I’ve done that same 1/8″ 5 shot group with it several times.. but that’s like out of 50 groups per night, it’s bound to happen sometime.. if I could only average 1/4″ I’d be a happy camper..

    what was that about “moderation”:)

    Wacky Wayne

  47. Volvo & Wayne,
    If I'm in charge of moderation, you guys are in trouble:).

    Volvo & JT,
    I was oblivious and perhaps insensitive to the space issue in the Quigley stunt. 0.25" at 10 yards and 0.5" at 20 yards are close enough for practice. The flight time is inadequate, but perhaps there could be an adjustment of some sort, like more shots or something. Not that I could do it, but it seems too easy at those ranges without adding some contortion.

  48. Wayne,

    I enjoy “quiet time” with my rifles after the kids are bed. Hence, one of the reasons for my fixation on low discharge noise. I am not familiar with your new AA rifle but I will look it up.

    I like carbine sized arms too, which is why I asked about the shorter S410 version in .22 cal. before. I believe you were not as fond of the carbine as your rifle? The new BSA may also be a contender. Alternatively I might just have Rich in Mich work on my Webley’s trigger. I think my Raider may be a “Mamba” edition – that would explain all the brass and gold parts.

  49. Bg-farmer,

    I have 50 yards to work with, unless I shoot on a diagonal. The other issue is none of my rifles have open sights, except the 499. Last time I put it across the Chrony I think it was about 320 fps.

    It is meant for 5 or 6-meter target shooting so 50 yards is like tossing softball underhand at the can.

    The other issue currently is “baby it’s cold outside” – not even the ghost of Dean Martin could get me outdoors right now.

  50. BG_Farmer and all

    If you haven’t read the article on African hunters mini-sniping game,the premise is that
    hitting a 9mm empty brass at @
    35 yds. is equal to hitting a
    man size target at @ 1000 yds.

    The airrifle used is ~600 fps.
    target guns.I don’t think the
    firearm equivalent was mentioned.
    Been @ 2 yrs.since I read it.
    This doesn’t equate well with
    blackpowder but it gives us
    a place to start.

    If you’re interested in the article
    or other info just google
    minisniping lots of good stuff.

    I have been practicing this using
    a bottle cap measuring 1 1/4″
    wide by 1/4″ tall.At 20 yds.
    with an unmodded 1377 at 4 pumps
    and at 25 yds.with a 953.uneven
    ground, outdoors, obstacles and
    dopin the wind is a
    fun challenge.Watching those caps
    fly is great:) pickin up the pieces
    later not so great:(


    P.S. glad I’m not the only night
    owl on here:)

  51. Thanks B.B.,

    I know you're a busy man, so get to it when you can. I'm saving for the new Marauder so I'll be waiting for your evaluation on it & any info on in the near future so my Career III 300 will take a back seat for awhile. Man!, this a addicting hobby & your daily blog just adds fuel to the fire. Keep up the great work!


  52. Jersey John,

    The Marauder is not regulated. It has a proprietary debouncer on the hammer that can adjust for greater pressure. I’m not sure greater pressure gives more shots or more powerful shots, either. It probably does something, but I’ll just have to test it to find out what.


  53. SED,

    I would advise you to go with your gut on this one. There are so many new guns I have to get to, plus the TV show, I’m not sure when I could get to the Hunter Extreme.

    The new Gamo trigger is a plus, and they have always made a good barrel. My preference would be the 34, but that’s just a personal opinion.


  54. Daniel,

    I have seen some guns become noisy like your and them quiet down again after another 50 shots. But I’ve also seen others that never became quiet again. Usually they needed something like a lube job or a new spring guide.

    Shoot your rifle several more times before making your final decision. Even if you have a broken mainspring, shooting won’t hurt the gun.


  55. Great blog.
    I find 10m shooting to be very ‘zen’. Just me, the rifle (Avanti 853c), targets and pellets.
    I find it (target shooting) theraputic. After a stressful day I like nothing better, after the boys are in bed, to spend an hour or so in the basement.
    It’s been interesting to watch the progression. I shoot the 10m air-rifle targets with 5 bulls (the one with the 1/4″ 10 ring).
    Two pellets at each.
    A year ago when I started this anything better than a 90 was a keeper. Now anything less than a 97 goes in the garbage. I find that 98’s and 99’s are common with the odd 97 or 100.
    I shoot standing with a sling and am noping the Air Force sights, when I get them will improve things a bit (I now have the upgraded Daisy sights).
    Now with the Gamo Compact I have started all over…using the larger pistol bull (single bull/sheet), anything with all 5 shots in the bull is a keeper.
    I’ll spend the next year improving on this, hopefully.

    Yet for all the pleasure I get out of this, it pales in comparison to a day out with the boys, their Red Ryders, my Slavia and a bag full of pop cans set at varying distances.

    It’s a great hobby.
    CowboyStar Dad

  56. Volvo,

    That's for that link.. I can't stop playing all the different versions.. But I think I like Dean, Ricky, and Chester (isn't that his name).. with John Wayne watching & smiling best!.. not often we saw him smiling..

    Now you got me looking for a pony on craigslist!!! not that I could ride one… maybe I'll just walk along side.. singin.. with my 30/30.. following Kevin to the Elk hiding spots.. they'll come running to my singing, because I sound like a rutting bull… (Kevin help me on the spelling) ….(interest payment:)

    just lovin it.. thanks again!!

    Wacky Wayne

  57. Wayne,

    Your spelling is fine.

    If you’re not able to hunt elk in your area during the rut you may want to consider traveling to your hunting grounds, without a gun, and bugling to determine where the elk are and where they usually come from to answer your calls. You’ll probably have to go higher, in elevation, since the rut is earlier than the season you hunted last year, but it’s a good way to learn where the animals are.

    Did your diana 27 arrive yet?


  58. Kevin,

    Great idea, I think Josh does stuff like that, but he doesn't talk about it much… he just says, "Let's try over here.. but he and Nate have explored these hills/mts quite a bit…. but so much more to go.. I'm going to start joining them!!

    No, the diana 27 didn't arrive, and, I actually got two over the weekend, one goes to Vince first, for repair, and the other has just been rebuilt and looks beautiful.. it should be here by the weekend…

    Also picked up a Hy-Score 800 pistol.. I thought I wasn't getting into pistols!! and I thought I wasn't getting into CO2 pistols… but.. now a crosman, 2300s, 2240, 2210, 150K, with a 600 and mkI on the way too.. but so far my favorite is still the S&W 586-8.. and I've got a 6" barrel one on the way too!!.. and on the shelf sits 240 – CO2 cartridges!! Never say "I don't think I will go there".. It must be some kind of challenge to the Air gun Gods!!!

    Thanks, Walter Brennan was one of my favorites!!

    UTube is very cool!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

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