by B.B. Pelletier
There’s a new airgun social website to see! It just went live yesterday.
Today, I’ll test the rifle for velocity. Remember, this is a .22 caliber breakbarrel in the same class as a Diana 23, which is to say a top-of-the-line youth model. I have to add that at 23-24 lbs. cocking effort, this one is a little hard for really young shooters, so I think of it more as an economy adult model, but it clearly isn’t in the same power class as the Diana 27. I would expect velocities in the low to mid-400 f.p.s. range with light .22 pellets. With lighter .177 pellets, that would translate to the low- to mid-500 f.p.s. range.
The rifle shoots without vibration; just a solid thump. The trigger is single-stage and movement can be felt, but no creep. It releases suddenly, which feels crisp. As light as the rifle is, there’s a forward jump at firing.
The RWS Hobby averaged 385 f.p.s. The spread was from 381 to 391, only 10 f.p.s., which is very tight for a spring gun.
Beeman Silver Bears
Beeman Silver Bear pellets averaged 373 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 369 f.p.s. to a high of 377 f.p.s. Once again, just eight f.p.s. separates the high from the low.
Daisy Precision Max
Daisy Precision Max pointed field pellets are made in Spain and are not as precise as the other two. They weigh 14 grains, nominally, but the weight spread is broader than other premium brands. They averaged 317 f.p.s. and the total spread ranged from 310 f.p.s. to 326 f.p.s. Even a 16 foot-per-second spread is pretty remarkable in a spring gun.
Clearly, this rifle is well-tuned, because it shoots so consistently with all pellets. The velocity is a little less than I expected, but I don’t have as much experience with guns at this level as I do with Diana 27-level guns. However, there was one thing left to do. The breech seal looks on the low side, so I thought I would put in a spacer and see what it does to the velocity. Before doing this, though, I felt around the breech when the gun fired, and there was no indication of air leaking.
The first test was with a plastic spacer and a new o-ring. That combination was too high, because the gun opened at the breech when fired about half the time. The average velocity with Hobbys climbed to about 396, so there was a slight speed-up.
Then, I removed the spacer and just left the new o-ring. The velocity remained the same. Next, I oiled the synthetic piston seal with a couple drops of silicone chamber oil. After a velocity drop for the first few shots, the average picked back up to 402 f.p.s.; so another small gain. On this string the low was 395 and the high was 406, so an 11 foot-per-second spread. That’s almost exactly what it was before, except now the gun was 17 f.p.s. faster.
With the mainspring and piston seal in the gun right now, I believe the optimum velocity has been reached. It’s a little slower than expected, but only a couple dozen feet-per-second. And like I said, I don’t have much experience with spring guns at this level.
Next time, I’ll shoot for accuracy and general enjoyment. I can already tell you this is a very quiet airgun, as you might imagine from those numbers. What’s not to like?