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Education / Training A blast from the past: Balderdash, March 1994

A blast from the past: Balderdash, March 1994

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we begin, I’m heading to Ohio today to be at the Pyramyd AIR moving sale tomorrow. Please stop by if you can, and please introduce yourselves, so I know who I have met.

The early issues of The Airgun Letter had a “Balderdash” column, where I would quote a widely held/believed myth and present evidence to either prove or refute it–a sort of early Mythbusters. Here’s the first one I wrote in March 1994.

MYTH #1:
The .22 pellet is inherently less accurate than the other calibers.

I love this one. “Why is it less accurate?” you ask.

“Well,” they say, “it just is. That’s how things go, sometimes; you know how it is. Bigger calibers are less accurate.”

Balderdash, balderdash, balderdash, balderdash! Don’t you believe it for one second! As a former U.S. Army mortar platoon leader, I can assure you that my 4.2-inch (106mm) mortars out-shot the 81mm mortars every time. And don’t tell me that it was due to the larger weapon being rifled; because on the M68 gun cannon, which is the main gun on an M60-series tank and a rifle far more accurate than any you or I will ever own, the most accurate ammunition, APDS (armor-piercing discarding sabot), is fin-stabilized to STOP the spinning induced by the rifling!

Any artilleryman can tell you that the most accurate ballistic field artillery piece the U.S. ever had is the 8-inch (210mm) gun. In fact, it’s far more likely to hit its mark than the 155mm or the 105mm–both smaller bores. And, for real accuracy, there’s the incredible 15-inch naval rifle fired from our so-called obsolete battleships, that seem to get recommissioned every time there’s a crisis.

I once had a .458 Winchester Magnum that fired 558-grain Lyman cast bullets in front of a pinch of 2400 powder. It was like shooting a big .22. Ten of those leaden footballs would spiral through a ragged 2-inch hole (outside diameter) at 100 yards any time I cared to try. I bet you could have done even better.

The reason people don’t use .22 cal. target air rifles is because we don’t have .22 cal. target air rifles. They aren’t made, so they aren’t going to be used–period. There’s simply too much inertia to overcome. If you’re still in doubt, then answer this for me: Why is it that a Beeman .177 and .20 R1 will out-group a .22 version–but so will the .25? Those are Beeman’s figures from their 1994 catalog (remember–this Balderdash was written in 1994). Is the .22 pellet, perhaps, a handier perch for demons to sit upon as they steer the pellets astray? Should smallbore cartridge match weapons also be made in .18 caliber? Or possibly .12 caliber? Or maybe 0.0 caliber? Would 0.0 caliber guns be infinitely accurate? Science demands an answer.

“Well, with all the technology available to the airgun manufacturers in the world today, don’t you think someone would make a .22 if they were as good?” Right! With logic like that, American car manufacturers would have made quality cars all along, wouldn’t they? And our educators would have insisted on a quality education for American kids, and….

Nope–it’s inertia all right. Someday, some genius is going to “discover” that the .22 pellet is accurate; then we’ll have known it all along. Meanwhile, my iron-sighted Anschutz model 1954 .22 underlever (see page 144, Airgun Digest, Second Edition) that was salvaged from the Egyptian Army continues to poke .10-inch center-to-center holes (and under) at 10 meters–off a wadded-up down comforter rest!

66 thoughts on “A blast from the past: Balderdash, March 1994”

  1. I like using ctc in my pellet gun journal because it’s easier to compare as my 2nd and 3rd ranking airguns on a good day can hit at 10M:

    Crosman 2100 hitting .118 ctc with .177 RWS Superdomes

    Daisy 22sg hitting .118 ctc with .22 JSB Jumbo Express

    althought my daisy 953 ranks at top around .079 ctc with .177 with JSB Exact Heavies , but this airgun was made for 10M shooting.

    These three are pretty much off the shelf with 4x32AO scopes and with a little trigger work done on the 953. As for open sights, my groupings tend to double or triple in size.

    Speaking of artillery, are we going to see some good examples of the artillery hold in the TV shows?

  2. ajavenom,

    Tom & I will be making an artillery hold video article for the Pyramyd AIR website. I believe it's planned for the month of June…if the weather cooperates & things actually slow down so we can get to it.

    Edith (Mrs. B.B.)

  3. I like this “Balderdash” idea. This looks like fun. Maybe one a week or one a month. Even go back over old columns if it’s legal. How many other myths are floating out there, or old ones that could be repeated and/or busted/re-busted?


  4. This is a good article for discussion B.B.
    I think people mainly see it as the .177 starts smaller, so it will make smaller holes. And technically their right. If you shot wadcutters through an official 10m target. With an olympic rifle will shoot a 1 hole group. That would be .177 or smaller due to a choke in the bore, or to rifling grooves. If you made the same accurate gun in
    .22 the hole would be .22 or smaller. But in reality, there are quite a few 22’s that are definately more accurate than .177 cal guns. Why do you think people that shoot smallbore centerfire competitions shoot 223, or 220 swift or 22-250 rather than 17 remington? How come the 50BMG is as accurate if not more than the standard long range round the .308? The 50 is definately bigger, but its groups are smaller. I dont think it has anything to do with caliber. I think it has more to do with the shooter than the gun really. But it helps to have a gun that will shoot good groups. I say Balderdash.

  5. CJr,

    Tom’s asked me several times to post the old Balderdash columns from the Airgun Letter, but I never got around to it. Because of his crazy schedule with filming the TV show, we may have to use more Balderdash columns & other articles from those days gone by.

    Edith (Mrs. B.B.)

  6. Lets see the .22 is less accurate – because it said so in the Beeman catalog.

    Just like PCP’s were bad until they had them to sell.

    And the list goes on. Not invented here. Marketing strategy.


  7. Please forward this article to Crosman so it will again produce its 1322, or at least offer it as an option in the custom shop.

    By the way, isn’t Crosman’s use of the terms “custom shop” an oxymoron if the only platform it offers is CO2? Kind of like Ford offering Model T’s in any color you want, so long as it’s black.

    Marc Tull
    Elizabeth, Colorado

  8. Good morning B.B.,

    Marc Tull, you’ve got it right. Crosman, please a 1322 from the custom shop at least–THANK YOU!

    Balderdash, it has the right, appropriate sound for it’s meaning. I vote for one blog a month.

    Mr B.

  9. Today’s blog mentions 15-inch guns on our retired battlewagons. Although the British navy developed and used 15-inch guns, our WWII-era dreadnaughts mounted 16-inch guns. The Japanese Yamato had the largest “standard” guns, 18.1 inches.


  10. 0.22 not accurate? Tell that to my Feinwerkbau 127. Shoots CP’s at 640 FPS very consistently. Slower than my FWB124d (shooting 8.42 gr. JSB’s at 805 FPS) but just as accurate. I hold over at 30 yards by a little yes but it is always consistent.

    Both guns are tuned with the same JM old school kit and and seal, both guns were made within 12 months of each other in the early 1980’s and both have the same stock and scope on them, with me the same shooter and technique shoot equally one hole group in the 0.014″-0.021″ @ 50 ft. benched with standard artillery hold, depending on me the most influential variable in being able to mess up a good group in the process.


  11. Funny indeed. Any caliber is accurate. It will depend on the gun, application, and the SHOOTER. My .457 DAQ will knock down a 6″ steel target at 300 yards. Try to do the same with .177! On other hand, I can’t use my .457 at 10 meter competitions…hm…I wonder why.

  12. I’d agree that intrinsic accuracy based on caliber is balderdash, but there are pretty good reasons for the beginnings of these types of myths. Try .270 vs. .30-06, which is really a fairly pointless debate. However, the generally higher sectional density and generally better BC of .270 bullets gives them a significantly flatter trajectory, which in practical terms (field use) does make them seem “more accurate” as it minimizes errors in range estimation.

    I suspect a similar logic behind the .177 vs. 22 debate. While the potential for grouping at the sight-in range is exactly the same, the .177 generally has a flatter trajectory over its useful range, due to a higher initial velocity. There is an obvious difference between accuracy and trajectory to the educated shooter, but to most of us, an extended point blank range is just as helpful as absolute accuracy.

    Sorry to state the obvious, but I thought my confused ramblings might add another dimension to the discussion.

  13. Guest bloggers,

    I was looking at the guest blogs & noticed that there are several I'd like to use. However, none of you have signed your names to them. Please indicate on the first line of the blog how you'd like us to credit you. You can use your real full name, just a first name or any screen name you prefer. Please email me when you've done that or just post here that you've labeled your blogs. I plan to use several guest blogs over the next couple of weeks. Thanks!

    Edith (Mrs. B.B.)

    Word verification was bersent. Berserk would have been closer to the truth!

  14. Hi B.B.,
    I have been using my Benjamin Marauder for several weeks and I am very happy with it. The only problem I have had was trying to attach a sling to it. The sling fittings on the rifle were built for Crossman by a third party and they were made poorly, with the diameter of the hole too small to accomodate Uncle Mikes sling swivels or anybody elses. All Marauder owners should check for this defect and contact crossman for replacement parts. Crossman will replace them with Uncle Mike studs at no charge. Also, Please advise Crossman to make a PCP Pistol with built in fixed sights. This would complement the Marauder nicely.

  15. Lot of windage in those old 81’s our platoon sgt. said thats what made them so effective, the enemy could never figure out where the next round was going to hit. By the way when did tankers start using mortars,an old infantry man.

  16. There’s a simple reason why .22 target rifles are so rare: Most target shooting tournaments, especially the Olympics, Nationals etc, only allow this caliber. This makes sense, as a larger pellet would leave a larger hole, thus making it far easier to nick the bullseye…plus, there is no real point in producing a purebred target air rifle in a more expensive caliber, if power and terminal ballistics are no topic anyway.

    And this, in turn, lets people believe that .177 is favoured for having some kind of advantage over the .22

  17. I read the article “single action vs. double action” so let me ask the question another way, in two or three sentences, what is the functional difference between a single action repeater and a double action repeater airgun?
    Since I have never shot firearms, some of the terminology was unfamiliar, but from reading the article, this is what I derived, however, I am still not sure. My preference is to buy the Evanix Renegade double action repeater which I think means, put air in it, load the maximum 6 pellets, pull the trigger six times in a row, fast and furious. But because the doggone thing is so loud, 5 on a scale of 5, and a bloop tube or its equivalent is unavailable….. I believe, and because the quiet AirForce Talon is not a repeater, my alternatives seem to be a Benjamin Marauder or Air Arms S410, for a single action repeater that is. So with either my new Marauder or S410, I fill her up with air, load the maximum 10 pellets, and here is where it gets fuzzy, I 1)cock it, shoot it, 2)cock it, shoot it, 3)cock it, shoot it, on & on for the 10 pellets. Or is there some variation here? Please clarify.

  18. John R.

    Double action refers to the triggers ability to fire without pulling back the hammer… or cocking the gun.. pulling the trigger cocks the gun.. a double action trigger takes more effort to pull than a single action trigger..

    Single action, you have to pull back the hammer, which will cock the gun and set the trigger for firing..

    So, yes, with the Marauder or AAs410, you just cock and pull the trigger and it shoots.. but that is really single action..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  19. John R,

    I’ll try and answer your question. I think single and double action usually refers to handguns. In a single action the shooter has to cock the gun before he can fire it. In a double action the gun will fire the first shot simply by pulling the trigger. In both cases the gun has to have a round chambered before either one will work.

    To add to the confusion single and doulbe action applies to both semi-auto and revolver type pistols. A Colt .45 can be a single action revolver, a double action revolver, a single action or double action semi auto pistol.

    The single action requires the shooter to physically pull the hammer back before he can fire gun, while in a double action that is not necessary, just pulling the trigger will fire the gun.

    Yes with the Marauder or S410 cock and shoot. Think of them as a normal bolt action rifle.

    Hope that helps you. Mr B.

  20. John,

    Because most double action triggers need so much more effort to pull them, it becomes difficult to shoot accurately.. pulling the trigger moves the gun as you shoot..

    Most double action guns can also be shot in the single action mode, where the trigger is less than half the effort.. making accuracy easier..

    Did you notice the Evanix Blizzard? It’s a 10 shot side lever with shroud, like the AAs410 for half the price.. I’ll be getting one next week and I’ll let you know how it compares with the AAs410.. my personal favorite!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  21. Thank you both gentlemen for the particulars.

    Wayne, since Pyramid Air had no user reviews on the Blizzard, i searched other blogs finding two different people, who had just gotten theirs from Pyramid, had such severe problems at the outset with quality, i.e. things falling apart, both returned their Blizzards.

    Now that i am clearer on the double/single action thing, my next research is to distinguish the difference between the AAS410 and the Benjamin Marauder. If a person subtracts out the approximate cost of a Marauder air pump that comes with it, the Marauder is about one third the cost of the AAS410. I would imagine there is a very good reason beside looks and smooth weld beads. I have read the sequential articles on each but a direct comparison would be illustrative. Many times i shy away from the more expensive toys because of the Lamborgini syndrome, i would rather maintain a Honda than deal with the headaches of a high strung piece of machinery. Having said that, neither do i want the parade of miserables related to low-end junk, er stuff.

  22. John R,
    BB is the owner of this blog and an incredibly knowledgeable air gun resource, as you probably already know if you have been following his posts. He is doing a review of the Marauder that he will be publishing “some day”. I would suggest you wait and read his review(s) before making a decision. I know I am.

  23. All… it is the weekend. Time for some off the wall stuff.

    Was using my new Chrony a few minutes ago fired about 30 shots over it and only hit it 5 times. Fear not the Chrony still works and didn’t even suffer a scratch.

    Was testing a low cost air pistol; it was an Air Blasters Tak Six. Which is a six shot revolver, spring piston, top lever with a very heavy trigger. My two year old grand daughter was shooting with me and she could hit the kitchen wall every time. And once in a while the egg carton set up as a target. Fun stuff.

    OK this thing shoots rubber tipped foam darts that shoot about 50fps. This account for the lack of damage to the Chrony.

    Was actually surprised it was shooting as fast as it was. Results for 30 shots were:
    45fps min
    56fps max
    49fps avg

    In my hands at 5 feet it within a 6” pie plate if you sort out the darts with child bites. Those with bite marks and the ends chewed off are not accurate at all.

    Fun stuff.

  24. DB,
    The best thing about having kids is getting to do silly things while teaching them some “serious” lessons. We spent last summer shooting the rubber suction cupped dart guns ($1 each). My son could hit flying insects with them, if the bugs were big and slow enough:). Have fun.

  25. ok, i know this is totally off-subject, but i really need to know your opinion, B.B.

    i’m thinking of my next air rifle, which should be between 400-500 dollars, and i’m thinking of a Beeman R9. but, you said it takes a lot of practice to shoot well, which is something i’m already suffering with my other Beeman springer, an RS1 from Academy Sports. (actually, i think it’s an RS3. it has an RS3 trigger, but the rest of the gun is identical to the RS1 sold at Pyramydair.) i’m having to decide whether to buy a Beeman R9 in .177 or a Benjamin Discovery in .22… which do you think is the better gun? if any one? i am on the tip of learning how to hold my current springer (it behaves VERY close to the Beeman SS1000-H with an RS3 trigger that you tested some time ago.) , but i’m just wondering if it’s worth it to get another one that’s even harder to shoot straight. i want the best quality possible. hunting power isn’t a problem for me. which do you think is a better buy? the Discovery or the Beeman R9. i’m sorry if this was a confusing or long post.

  26. Anyone attend the PA moving sale? What surprise items did they have for sale? I just came back from the pre-prom party my daughter attended. Now it’s prom night and I hope I’ll be able to get a good nights sleep. I doubt it.

  27. How do you set out your aiming stakes so that your mortor is orientated properly to hit a target behind some terrain feature.

    I suppose now it is all done with GPS. But back in the old Corps we we had to use map and compass. I always worried about were the “sighter round” was going to land!

    By the Way, this is my first time ever “Blogging”

  28. John R.

    Bummer about the reviews on the Blizzard… soon you’ll have one hear on the blog..
    I should get an Evanix .22 cal blizzard early next week.. and a .177 cal Marauder later in the week, so I hope B.B. gets his reviews done soon!!!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  29. I’ve had a .22 cal Marauder for a few days now. Anybody on the fence, just get your order placed. The gun is a complete home run. It is everything that they promised it would be. Remember that it will not come with a pump like the Discovery kits do.

    I’ll have a quick Marauder blog up on http://www.anotherairgunblog.blogspot.com in a day or so. I’m not trying to scoop BB here–it’s more just a long time airgunner but first time PCP owner’s impressions of the gun.

    I met BB (AKA Tom Gaylord) at the Pyramyd moving sale today. He’s REALLY a nice guy. It’s impossible to not instantly get along with him.

    I must have heard Marauder discussions going on almost everywhere during the sale.

    John Goff , Crosman’s el Presidente was also in attendance. He’s very justifiably proud of Crosman and clearly seeks to establish their place in the market. A very down to earth guy. He should write a blog or two here.

  30. Beeman R9 vs Discovery,

    The Beeman (Weihrauch, actually) R9 is several magnitudes better than a Beeman RS1. There’s just no comparison. It’s Yugo vs WRX. The Rekord trigger unit in the R9 has long been considered one of the finest triggers made and will greatly improve your accuracy. Spring piston guns in general require some technique to shoot well. It’s not hard, it’s just different. They tend to group better when you use a soft hold and allow the gun to recoil as it wants. Try just setting the forend on your open hand, or even on top of your knuckles (make a closed fist).

    The Discovery part will probably best be answered by someone more familiar with them. MrB maybe? I think he might even have barrels to change between both calibers.

    In general, PCP guns are recoilless which makes them easier to shoot. PCP’s are also really loud unless the gun has a baffle/shroud.

    By the way, I think the .20 cal is the best pellet choice in an R9. Again, just my opinion.

  31. Hey need some advice. I bought a Diana 34P. I shot about 200 shots. My spring makes noise when breaking the barrel. You can hear it being stretched. What do I do to fix it?

  32. Hello BB:

    The new forthcoming optics line and their features: Is there anywhere I can read about the new features?

    Do any of these new features pertain to Field Target applications?

    I am growing into FT and have reached the limits of my 4-12 X scope. I am just about ready to buy a better scope and I am wondering if these new lines are worth the wait for my purposes in FT shooting.

    What say you my good fellow?


  33. Tom Is there any way to not have the system send a notification for every reply? If there is please do that, if there isn’t, please unplug my e-mail. From SavageSam.

  34. John R.,

    I do have a Blizzard S10 that I will soon review for the blog. The difficulty is I am shooting a lot of television episodes this summer, so I’m seldom here to do the testing. I’m sorry for the delay.


  35. Beeman R9,

    I have to read between the line of your question to note that you want quality over functionality. Both the R9 and the Discovery are fine rifles. The Discovery is easier to shoot accurately and will shade the R9 at 50 yards, but once YOU learn the proper artillery hold for the R9, you can give a Discovery a pretty good chase.

    In terms of materials and finish, the R9 is the clear winner, despite the Discovery having a walnut stock to the R9’s beech. And the Rekord trigger is far superior to the Disco trigger.

    So I think you want the R9.


  36. Argonaut,

    Welcome to the blog!

    Here is an easy way to think about those aiming stakes. Imagine you and a buddy are shooting and you both discover that if you aim at a certain leaf on the tree you are resting under, your 4-inch .38 Special revolver will hit a car-sized rock 700 yards away. The air is still, so the leaf never moves. It is your aiming REFERENCE point to hit that rock. Even if your buddy pulled his pickup in front of you so you could not see the rock, you could still hit it by aiming at that leaf.

    That’s how indirect fire works. You aim at something other than the target, and hit the target. Your buddy is your forward observer, by the way.

    Now, to understand how this all works and how to adjust your leaf so you can hit other targets, I’ll need a couple days of one-on-one instruction with you!


  37. Ishaq,

    Your mainspring isn’t being stretched–it is being compressed. And the noise you describe is normal. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to.

    But if this bothers you, your rifle should be disassembled and lubricated by a professional.

    The longer you shoot the gun the less noise it will make this way. After 2,000 shots it should be noticeably quieter.


  38. Eric,

    Also, compare the Centerpoint or Leapers (same basic scope) 8-32x56AO side wheel focus.. I’ve got that one on a lot of our Field Target rifles.. It’s a very good FT scope for the money!!.. I’ve found you need to double the cost of that scope to get anything close to better..

    But.. I haven’t tried this new line your talking about.. tell us more B.B.

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  39. ok, thanks a bunch for the information, and sorry i didn’t include a name at the end of my post. this is about my Beeman vs. Benjamin dilemma. i don’t think i’m gonna get the Disco anymore. however, i did some research right after i posted my first comment, and found myself looking at the Evanix airguns. after looking into it, i finally decided that Evanix was going to be too expensive for right now. maybe another time. but, i did go back to the Benjamins, remembering the Marauder. i had by that time already looked up an article at Pyramyd about hand-pumps and found them to not be that bad. after doing tons of research, i think maybe the Marauder is the gun for me, but i’m not sure. so now it’s a tie between the Crosman Marauder and the Beeman R9. i’ll explain in a bit more detail what i want in an air rifle this time. i want the very best quality rifle for a reasonable price (under 600 for the straight gun), something that i can hold onto for decades later and still trust, have admirable power for both plinking and hunting at good ranges, have a fast cocking method (not a fan of the big multi-pumps; they wear me out in a jiffy.), have a light weight that can be carried around in the field (which kept me out of the R1), and finally, of course, having phenomenal accuracy for its class. both the Marauder and the R9 seem to fit that bill perfectly, but i wanna know if either is completely worth the price payed. they appear to be, but i’m asking you. (my buy for the Beeman adds up to 600 dollars with a Leapers 6-24 scope, and the Marauder adds up to over 800 with the Leapers scope and a hand-pump.) thanks for the help.

    -John W.

  40. John W.,
    I don’t know anything about the nicer guns, but my advice is relax a little and give up on the idea of a keeper — you’ll drive yourself nuts. The Marauder looks like a solid rifle, but there’s no data to say how it will hold up for decades. The R9 is also nice, and well established, but you already have expressed dissatisfaction with the hold sensitivity of springers.

    Either one can probably be resold quickly and with minimal loss, and you’ll learn a lot more shooting a rifle than reading about it. Flip a coin?

  41. John W.,

    A gun you can hold on to for decades changes your equation for me. The R9 will go the distance. My Diana 35 went 2 decades before it was sent off for a tune by Curtis.

    I had some trouble with HPA pumps, on number three from Crosman–all under warrentee but without one no shootie gun. I personally don’t know about the PCP’s and decades of use.

    Would someone please speak to PCP’s and decades of use. I’m sure alot of us would like to know about that topic. Thanks!

    Mr B.

  42. I moved this question over for Stan from BB’s 953 posting and directed him here. Hope you can help him out with his question.

    Hello guys, I’m still a newb at air gunning, and picking the right guns, particularly a .177. I had a crosman nightstalker, but the co2 mechanism just never functioned properly, and i oiled the co2 tip. now, i have interest in this daisy 953, and also the 901 powerline. the pumps: 901 is multi, while the 953 is single, but i don’t worry about that. I just have a question, which gun would be more accurate? does anyone have either gun and can compare the pros and cons? thanks very much. stan

  43. Hello Stan – 953/901,
    I don’t have a 901 nor have I seen one, but I do have a 953 and it is accurate. Mine loves JSB EXACT 10.5gr pellets and RWS R-10 8.2gr. However, the JSB EXACTS work the best for me. The 953 has a lot of plastic but it is a solid gun and at 33feet it is pretty accurate.

    I think you should go to the current day’s post with this question so more people can see your question. Some readers don’t go back to review older posts.

    I will move your question over there for you.

    Go to:


    to see it. This address will always take you to the current posting.

    I hope we can help you out.


  44. John W.,

    The Marauder will be much more accurate than the R9 at long range. The Marauder trigger will be much better. The rifle will be quieter, too.

    The R9 will certainly last for decades and so will the Marauder.

    The R9 might need a new mainspring and the Marauder might need some new o-rings over that time.

    The question you are asking is like comparing a Ford F-150 STX 6.5-foot bed truck to a Cadillac STS.

    Each one does different things and must be evaluated by different standards and criteria. A spring rifle should never be compared to a PCP, because each has different strengths and weaknesses.


  45. So, Yes BB,,,please tell us a little more about this new line(s) of optics. You obviously know something since you are going to buy one. Or at least give us a link of some place to read about these.

    Enquiring mind(s) REALLY want to know.


  46. Eric,

    Okay, since you asked. These new scopes have a bubble level inside the scope. In an 8-32 scope, that is an advantage in field target because you don’t have to look at another scope level when sighting. It’s more foolproof–more precise.


  47. Matt,
    I’ve got a little more feedback on the MkII BV, after prepping it and taking it out for a few rounds.

    There were a couple of minor annoyances in assembly, namely the stock clearance for the free-floating barrel was not up to my expectations and the safety was hard to switch into “fire” mode. I widened the barrel channel until the barrel was unambiguously free-floating and re-shaped the safety spring so that the safety operated smoothly. I also added a few ounces to the pull weight and lubricated the trigger mechanism while the action was out of the stock, mainly because I just had to mess with the trigger tool:).

    The good things: the stock works well and looks much nicer than the website picture, which makes it look too brown. A laminate stock will never be exhibition grade walnut, but its weight and stability seemed worth the trade-off. The fact that its not hideous is a nice benefit. The comb height is fine for use with a scope and the length of pull is about 13 3/4″ by my guesstimation, just a little longer than I would like but probably a little too short for some:).

    Regarding scopes, there are Weaver bases installed (yay). I used Quad Lock rings in extra-high because all I have in the spare scope bin is an AO scope with a large knurl on the bell. High should work as well and maybe even medium with a slimmer objective, but I’m not going to worry about 2/10″ until I get a “real” scope dedicated to it.

    The Accutrigger was up to its billing. I wasn’t worried about pull-weight but had seen some complaints about grit and creep. Mine didn’t have any problems of that sort, and if anything is still too light for me:).

    The first outing was really just to sight in the scope and start breaking in the barrel, so I mainly went with single shots. Extraction and ejection were perfect. I did run a few through the magazine just to check it out, and it seems to work fine as well.

    Firing CCI minimags, just because they are dead reliable, and shooting in variably windy conditions I didn’t get any groups to brag on (and wasn’t trying), but the groups were well-formed and predictable, about 1 inch or so at 50 yards from a rest.

    Anyway, I’m pretty pleased with it on the first outing and look forward to shooting it more.

  48. Stan
    I’ve been interested in the 901 too.
    Can’t seem to find much info on it
    though.the few write ups I have seen
    have been favorable except that some
    don’t like the soda straw bbl. Pumping seems to be one of it’s
    good points because like the 880 it
    doesn’t get that much harder the more
    times you pump it.Trigger pull is reported to be long but not too heavy
    As for the 953 that’s one
    of my all time favorites.Mine isn’t pellet fussy at all so I’ve
    never even tried any hi-end
    pellets.It does great with CPHP in
    the tins from wally world.The
    trigger wears in to be very nice
    and there’s a trigger mod that can
    make it even better.AS long as you
    remember that it was designed almost specifically for 10 meter
    and only gets ~500 fps or less
    with avg.wght.pellets you’ll
    probably enjoy it:)

    BG congrats on the Mkii sounds like it’s gonna work out well for ya.Don’t forget to try Aguila and
    Eley sub-sonics in it for really
    swwweeet groups:) if ya can find any nowadays:( have fun


  49. John W

    BB’s dead on about the Marauder being more accurate–esp. at longer ranges. The quick follow up shots are really slick, too.

    There’s a pretty noticeable weight difference between an R9 and a PCP gun. The steel power plant in a springer adds some real heft compared to a tube full of air. humping gear through the woods all day might give the nod to the PCP.

    The only potential downside I can see to the PCP is the need for that external power source-be it a pump or a tank. Once you shoot your 50+ shots, you need that top off. With a springer, you just keep shooting. For many, this will never become an issue. But for a few, it could be a deal breaker.

    Truly a tough choice. I’ve got an R1 and a HW 97K. I wouldn’t want to part with either. The rifles you’re looking at are both worth the money. My best guess is that you’ll end up with both guns (and more) given enough time. It’s far easier from a convenience standpoint to shoot an airgun than a firearm–that alone makes spending the money worthwhile. The days of airguns just being training aids before you moved up to a “real” gun are dead. You’ll shoot the airgun thousands of times more than a firearm if you’re like most of us.

  50. Oh, forgot to mention: That Leapers 6-24X is a really nice scope, but it’s also really big and heavy. Unless you’ll be taking a lot of sitting shots, the 10–24X will perhaps never get used. If this is a woods gun, a fixed 4X or 6X like a Leapers Bug Buster will pull some carrying heft off the gun.

  51. JT,
    I’m happy just to find working .22LR these days, but the good ones are all on the agenda after break in. I bought some bulk last fall, but have had nothing but trouble with it — good thing I was too cheap to hoard as much as I was thinking I should:).

  52. John W.

    Just go down the PCP road and never look back!! … you’ll thank me later..

    ya’ll a get there sooner or later.. so go now and start a shootin accurately now!!!

    And if you want to save a little money..get a used scuba tank and a 4×16 side wheel AO leapers and move up on the scope as you can afford it..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  53. BG
    I gave up on the bulk stuff a couple
    years ago.Now I stick with CCI mini’s
    for dependability and super colibri
    for quiet plinkin.Never bought one of the super accurate .22s but the
    subsonic stuff gives much tighter
    groups even in my low end RFs.
    The CCIs were also the only ones
    that would reliably cycle my
    Berretta 22 pocket pistol.


  54. Well, it seems everyone knows what they’re talking about when it comes to springer vs. PCP. i think i agree, i’m probably gonna end up with both before the end of time, and that’s the road i’m going to take. assuming the Maudy is the Cadillac STS, i think i’m going to get that one first. i’m not one for Fords right off the bat. the reason i wanted the Leapers 6-24x50AO scope is because more often than not, i’m into long range plinking. since i’ll be using a hand-pump that takes 5 or so minutes to fill, i’m probably not going to be doing much pest control with the gun, unless i have the patience to stand out for a few hours. (i normally only find pests as a spur-of-the-moment thing.) and i’ll probably be doing any real hunting with my current springer, which has a better-equipped scope on it. i’m more of a target shooter, and that’s what i plan to do mostly with whatever PCP i choose, unless i get an Evanix, which can’t be ignored for hunting. thank you all so much, i think i’m gonna get a Marauder first, and maybe the Beeman next year. no matter what, i’m sure i’m gonna end up with both within some years. again, thanks for your input and help,

    – John W.

  55. I have the 901 with a 4 x 32 leapers and think that this is a fine rifle for the price range. It’s accuracy will amaze you with the scope. Shoot only pellets and move the bolt forward of the BB port before loading to avoid jamming pellets in the breach. If using only fixed sights the front is loose and moves. I used super glue on an old 880 to fix the problem which made it shoot well. The 901 is much better than a 2100 in my opinion and very solid compared to an 880. I also have the 22sg and look for a .22 caliber in the 901 configuration but expect nothing of the sort from the FOSSILIZED Daisy company.

  56. .22 was probabaly more acccurate back in the day, and possibly still would be if someone made two identical target grade arms in 177 and 22. The art of pellet manufacture may not have been quite up to making a really small, accurate pellet.

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