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Education / Training Haenel 303-8 Super – Part 2

Haenel 303-8 Super – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Haenel’s 303-8 Super is a large breakbarrel target rifle from East Germany.

A funny thing happened during the chronographing test. I discovered the model number written on the gun! It took the diffuse light of my reflected overhead chronograph lighting to see it, but it’s there, ahead of the Haenel name at the rear of the spring cylinder. So, then I sprayed all the metal parts with Ballistol and started rubbing the rust off and discovered the caliber stamped into the barrel and the serial number stamped into the left side of the base block. My rifle is marked normally after all.

Under the right light, the other stampings on the gun became clear.

Then it hit me! While reading the history of the Rolliflex camera, I read an anecdote about an owner who thought his camera’s focus was defective, because all his pictures were out of focus. He sent the camera to Rollei for repairs but they found nothing wrong. They returned the camera with a note to the owner to visit his optometrist. Sure enough, he needed a new prescription. He was focusing the camera to adjust for his eyes, which made the images turn out blurry.

Apparently, I’ve reached the same stage, because when I put on a magnifying hood and examined the rifle carefully, all the markings were visible. So, I’m sorry if I misled you that the rifle had no markings. The model reads “303-Super,” so the 303-8 Super that a reader had suggested must be a later version of the same rifle. I’m going to leave the title alone, because a search on either title will find this report.

Someone suggested the front sight is mounted backwards. If I reverse it, it no longer sticks out in front of the muzzle, so that’s what I did. It does look more correct that way.

Front sight looks better turned around.

Speaking of sights, I failed to mention that the rear sight has six different diameters of apertures that allow the shooter to adjust for lighting conditions. Go with the smallest aperture that you can see with and keep both eyes open while sighting. If you don’t, the aperture will appear to close partially. I covered that in a report a few months ago.

Okay, let’s get to shooting. You’ll remember that the rifle had its piston seal oiled a week before, so it was still fresh and doing its job. The breech seal was also oiled at the same time.

RWS Basic
The first pellet tested was the RWS Basic. They fit the breech very loosely. They actually fell into the breech by about 1/16″ on average. From my experience, when pellets do that, they’re generally slower, though I tested the gun with tighter-fitting pellets and found that wasn’t the case. The Basics averaged 643 f.p.s., with a range from 632 to 656. That’s 6.43 foot-pounds, which is 8.72 joules. So, this rifle is not a 7.5-joule gun.

RWS Meisterkugeln
RWS Meisterkugeln pellets were next, and they surprised me with an average velocity of 657 f.p.s. Then I read the weight of these Meisters and discovered they weigh only 7 grains, like the Basics, so the higher velocity is no surprise. The spread was from 627 to 665 f.p.s., but the 627 was an anomaly. The next-slowest shot went 657 f.p.s., which was the average. And three of these pellets dropped into the breech 1/8″, while all the rest dropped in 1/16″.

Crosman Premier 7.9 grains
The last pellet I tested were Crosman Premier 7.9 grain pellets. They didn’t drop into the breech, but remained flush with the end of the barrel. They averaged 584 f.p.s., with a range from 575 to 592.

I did try a couple other pellets just to see if pure lead pellets that fit the breech tighter would be significantly faster, but none were. Eley Wasps that weigh 7.9 grains averaged about 580 f.p.s. and 7.6-grain Chinese blue label target pellets averaged about 615 f.p.s.

Before anyone asks me to modify this rifle to be more powerful, let me say that’s not one of my goals. I don’t need more power from a target rifle. What I need is accuracy, and we’ll see how much this one has in the next report.

Bottom line
It would seem from the power seen here that my rifle is in pretty good health. Though rust is over all the metal, underneath the gun seems to be in pretty good shape. What we have here is a rifle that’s the equivalent of the HW55 in general performance and even features. Of course, the accuracy test will show how close it comes in that all-important department.

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.

63 thoughts on “Haenel 303-8 Super – Part 2”

  1. It's not just age that causes bad pictures. I constantly find myself double-checking my pictures to make sure that they're in focus. I've now even convinced myself that the autofocus on my camera is slightly off.

  2. This story reminds me of a terrible looking .22 rifle a buddy of mine has. But it's a tack driver. Looking forward to your results.

    On a fun side note, I'm organizing my first airgun event, to be held in two weeks, and there will be seven people attending. Origionally, I planned a pellet shooting event, but we had change of venue, and are now in a smaller yard, bordered on two sides by houses, so I'm scaling down to airsoft for safety reasons.

    Perhaps you and your readers could help me.

    I had planned a "combat" shoot event where shooters would first sprint to and fire a pistol at 10 clay targets 10-15 ft away, sprint to another station, fire a rifle 6 shots each standing and crouched at paper targets for accuracy, sprint to the next station and finish off by blasting clays and paper targets, and avoiding others, with 1 magazine from a Drozd.

    The pistol and Drozd portions scale back well, since I know that a Co2 airsoft pistol should break clays (heck a cheap springer almost will) and a full auto is easy to come by. But I'm not sure what to use for a rifle, and I'm not sure which guns to purchase. Since I have to buy all three (I own only 2 springers) I'd like to spend as little as possible, but still get the most *bang* for my buck.


  3. Nice! That looks like it would fit the bill. And not break the bank.

    Thinking about it now, we may be able to use a pellet rifle, since they aren't flailing it around wildly, and I have good backtops. Depends on where the neighbors are.

    But still, that a pretty neat looking airsoft gun!

  4. BB, I would love to see some detailed images of that rear sight. I used to own a Haenel 312 sidelever match rifle, and was always looking to find a Haenel diopter for it.

    Jim in PGH

  5. BB:

    Since the 303 was made before Germany reunited ; perhaps thats why its a bit hotter than the 7.5J limit.

    Actually some of the older match rifles seem to do that. My FWB 601 does about 620fps with H&N rifle match.


  6. Hi BB!

    I'm planning to buy a benjamin ss, and I'm wondering whether the 0.177 and the 0.22 had the same power plant? I'm interested on modifying it to became a dual caliber such as beeman R1/R2 dual caliber combo. I'm not talking about doing it myself though, I was thinking about taking it to a capable airgunsmith.

  7. B.B.

    I understand the wisdom on aperture sights is that you want the smallest in back and, where using globe sights, the largest in front.

    Zanbaar, sounds like a fun event. I would agree with B.B. that you should consider the EXTREMELY ACCURATE Crosman 1077. If you position your targets low to the ground, you should be all right.

    Naked dreams? What do they mean…. Apparently, there was a guy who actually went to his college classes naked at UC Berkeley. There was no explicit regulation against going to class naked, so they weren't sure what to do with him for awhile, but they finally got him on sexual harassment. He died of AIDS a few years ago.

    BG_Farmer, I had always associated cherry wood with high quality. It makes me wonder how walnut got to be so popular especially since, as we learned a few days ago, it is quite soft.

    I have an anecdote on how the trappers dealt with the shortcomings of the flintlock. There is an account of Kit Carson hunting with his rifle and taking a shot. At the report, two enraged grizzlies sprang up out of nowhere and charged him. Wayne was not around with the Taurus Judge. So, down went the rifle and Kit Carson went full tilt for the nearest tree–which he just managed to swing into with a laceration on one heel from a bear.


  8. BB, Jeff,

    I bought the UTG Master Sniper from PA, based on your article about it in SHOTGUN NEWS. I don't know if you've realized that the Gen. 3 Bolt is much harder to cock than the one you originally tested. I'd guess that PA's assertion that "Smooth cocking can be performed with just one finger" only applies if that finger belongs to Arnold Schwarzenegger. You might want to point this out to PA, BTW. Also, their WARNING about different assembly screw sizes did not apply to the gun they shipped me…the two screws were the same size, plus they included another screw as well, also the same size.

    Matt61: An interpretive ranger friend at Yosemite once told me, years ago, how to tell the difference between a brown-colored Black bear and a Grizzly. You climb the nearest tree. If the bear climbs up after you, it's a Black bear. If it knocks the tree out from under you, it's a Grizzly!

  9. BB
    I hope this one is a tack driver for ya.
    I actually like the stock figure,the
    pistol grip looks very comfy to me.Do you
    plan to refinish the stock ?The color
    just seems off to me.

    Vince or anyone
    Did you try CPHP's when you had the 490?
    I've tried some recently that made a higher pitched sound when fired and the
    shot cycle seemed harsh.(possible piston
    slam?)I tried using a allen head bit to
    seat them deeper(~1/4")and the cycle
    went back to a nice solid thump just
    like with the daisy's.POI didn't change.
    I also tried seating the daisys deeper
    and there seems to be a loose area just
    past where they sit flush,then seems to
    tighten up again.No POI shifts that I can tell with either pellet!

    I hope everyone with a 953 finds sliding
    the pellet tray useful.I guess being
    lazy,forgetful,and easily bored makes
    me always look for the simple and effective way of doing stuff:)

    sorry to hear you're not happy with the
    trigger mod,maybe the other mod will
    turn out to be what you want.Maybe you
    should pull the piston back out to see
    if there are any marks on the filling
    compound you used.It may be contacting
    the valve and putting to much pressure
    on it.I don't see how that could cause
    the pellet spiraling problem but maybe?

    Please be sure to let us know which Caps
    Powder and what charge you use in your
    new BP rifle.I for one will be very
    interested in your results and how
    happy you are with the accuracy.Also
    what ammo you choose i.e. round ball,
    sabot,pre made etc.

    Good weekend to all

  10. JT…
    Muzzle loading is more complex than finding out what one individual decides to load his own with.
    If you want to be happy then you need to learn a whole lot more than that.

    It is said that each rifle is a law unto itself. Believe it.

    I shot muzzle loaders for 30 years. I might know a few things.


  11. I always loaded my black powder pistol and rifle lighter than suggested. Seemed to me to be more accurate at under 50-yards.

    Mostly shot my black powder rifle at local shoots. So the range was generally short. Man did some of those guys have beautiful guns. Talk about skill.


  12. JTinAL,
    Do not belive the compression piston is hitting the valve. But I'll check when doing the trigger rework.

    Still though 953 is a great gun for the money. And I'm please to learn Daisy does sell a low cost peep sight. Wonder if they work?

    Started out shooting round balls in my BP. Ended up making my own conical bullets. Being heavier they seemed to be more accurate. But they sure were harder to load.

    Gave up the cloth patch and went to a red waxed wad (do not recall brand name). Seemed to work very well and sure was easier.

    You are going to love it. BP is a slow paced hobbie. The group shoots are hoot. Loved the axe head event best of all.


  13. For those who have never been to a black powder shoot. The axe head event is where you put two clay targets side by side about four inches apart with an axe between them.

    The idea is to shoot the edge of the axe and split the bullet in half to break both clays with one shot. Fun stuff.


  14. If I could chime in on this discussion, I've been shooting black powder since about 1968. I enjoy all forms except inline guns. Primitive guns like flintlocks are fascinating, but so are caplocks. I owned a vintage muzzleloading rifls from the 1850s era that was as accurate as anything made today.

    And flintlocks are not as unreliable as you have heard. In five years of shooting them I never had a single misfire, hangfire or other incident. But I was scrupulous about my loading procedure.

    My current fascination is an 1879 Argentine rolling block rifle in .43 Spanish that presented me with a 1.25" four-shot group at 100 yards last week. That was with open sights aiming 16" low. Imagine what would be possible if the sights were on!

    And black powder is an excellent teacher! The pace of the shooting is so slow that you have time to absorb the subtle lessons your gun is giving you.

    Black powder is an excellent preparation for airguns. I recommend it to everyone who wants to really learn how to shoot.


  15. Matt,
    Remember Kit Carson was lucky:).

    My first load was 50 gr. Pyrodex RS with different (wonder lubed) patches (some pre-cut and some made on the spot from cleaning patches; no difference in accuracy) and .490 ball; primer is CCI #11 until I run out and use the Winchester Magnum #11's Walmart stocks. In most of this, I was at the mercy of what I could find locally or borrow from my shooting buddy. Accuracy even at 25 yards was nothing to write home about, but that was certainly as much me as the load and rifle, since the stringing was horizontal; vertical differences were virtually non-existent. Ironically, I wish the barrel were longer and heavier:). I'm only interested in round ball shooting.

    Going to 55 grains raised the POI at just 25 yards significantly (much more than expected), so I think I'll probably end up using a 60 or 70 grain load and sighting in for 50, but there's no hurry to file the sights:).

    As you know, I'm a single-shot fanatic (I've only tried the magazine on my Savage BV in one session to make sure it worked, for example). So you know I enjoyed myself. And it appears there are lots of muzzleloading fans around me, with many nagging medical problems and marital anecdotes to fill the time between shots:).

  16. BB,
    I though you didn't blog on weekends. Great job with that hammerli razor (the Iblog thingy isn't working for that article). I thought it was just another Beeman RS2.
    Shadow express dude

  17. SED,

    Blogger is screwed up!

    I didn't publish that report today. I hardly would, since it is a part 2 and part one hasn't been seen yet.

    I'm leaving for 4 days next week and trying to bank blogs and th software is breaking up.


  18. B.B.

    Ever get a strange look from the people in the fabric department for walking around and checking all the denim and ticking with a micrometer?? I have ….many times.

    My favorites (depending on the rifle) most of the time were .015 and .017 denim. With a ball .005 under bore size. Load hard but shoot good.


  19. BB,
    Thanks for the tip. I don't think .495 was an option at the place I went (only one that had any non-conical and -sabots) and .490 was the recommended size anyway, but I'll keep an eye out for them. I can probably do something about the patches. There was almost no difference b/t benched and offhand, either, which coupled with the huge difference b/t 50 and 55 grain loads makes me think I need to do some more experiments with the fit of the patch and/or ball — I was expecting a tighter fit in the bore than what I got. Also, the trigger sear engagement is set way too hard — with a single trigger I can only do so much, but I should be able to improve it a lot.

    Aside from basic theory, I know essentially nothing about this, which is part of what makes it fun.

    I think I'm going to go to Friendship in September, and everybody says I can find whatever I want there, too.

    I'm already the guy they watch carefully in strange hardware stores, as I wander around looking for things to "repurpose":). When its a store I go to often with a regular staff (hard to find these days), they usually ask what I'm "making" this week.

  20. twotalon
    yep,I've got several family members who
    love BP and they're always arguin over
    which wt. ball on what patch over which
    load works best:)
    Me too,I've got an uncle who loves wood-
    working and can't understand why I can't
    even make a straight cut.I have almost
    no tools and 0 skill for the job.
    I was curious if you would stick to more
    traditional ammo.I bet the whitetails
    in the Bluegrass are sweatin now:)
    How about wild hogs in your area?enough
    to fun hunt fer some bacon?
    The only BP I've had was a .50 cal
    muzzle loading pistol that I got as a
    kit.Lots of folks round here hunt
    with'em and carry the revolvers for SD.
    Since they're not regulated here,and the
    loads can get pretty exotic seems to me.
    When I shoot with them I just load what
    they tell me,if it isn't over the limit:)


  21. By the way,is it just me or does it seem
    like shootin single shot springers is
    the next best thing to BP?Due to patience
    with loading,extended lock time,and
    necessary follow thru.plus adjusting for recoil.just more lazy weekend thoughts


  22. BG_Farmer…

    Patch/ball fit indicator…

    Retrieve a few fired patches.
    The outsede edge will be fuzzy, but look at the part that was wrapped around the ball.
    There should be NO HOLES rubbed or burned through the material. With a new gun there may be small cuts from the rifling until the sharp edges wear off.

    Lube your patches with just a bit of BP cleaning solvent/patch lube. JUST A little..not soaking wet.

    Do not pound on the ramrod when loading. Use something to protect your hand from the end of the ramrod. Seat the ball firmly against the powder without pounding on it. Mark the ramrod with tape or a marker to ensure same seating every time.

    Most accurate load will probably be between 75-80 gr FFG.

    50-60 gr FFG is good for plinking and squirrel hunting.


  23. Twotalon,
    Thanks for the suggestions — I'm going to try some old thin-worn denim I have been saving for who knows what reason.

    I'll check those out soon, but I like to do stuff before I read the directions: that way I know what the directions are about:).

  24. BG_Farmer

    Do not use old worn out denim.
    Patch material must be very tough or it will rip when you try to load or be blown to pieces when you fire.

    Your used patches will be found just a few feet from the muzzle . They should do a good job of telling the story.


  25. BG_Farmer
    More tips on denim patch….
    New denim should be washed a couple times before using. Do not rip it into strips….cut it with a scissors. Lubed patch can be stored in a empty 35mm film container or a pill bottle. A ziplock bag may do for now while you experiment.
    When you get a ball started, cut off the extra patch with a very sharp knife.

    Do not attempt to use synthetic materials for patch….it melts and burns. Stick with cotten.

    Denim or ticking is cheap by the yard at Wally-you know what.

    You will need some thick stuff untill you find some .495 balls…or mould your own.
    Depends on how serious you want to get.


  26. B.B.

    That's great news and very encouraging that you were able to avoid misfires with black powder. I was drawing all of my information from the big stud at my workshop who could hold a 1 inch offhand group with his blackpowder rifle at 50 yards–so he said.

    BG_Farmer, you're the opposite of me in wanting to try things before reading. I'll gladly read volumes without feeling the need to try anything. One time I deviated from my procedure with my first rc plane and look what happened–I assembled the wings wrong. I will note in passing that the world of rc cars is an overlooked source of extreme joy. And with the wear and tear involved I stand to learn fairly soon about transmissions, shock absorbers and all sorts of things.

    Anyway, here is a tip from the workshop that might be of interest. One fellow told me that if you don't take care to seat your ball firmly at the bottom of the barrel, the air spaces in the powder could cause your gun to blow up! Avoiding this is obviously a priority. But I heard at the next stage (from the super shot) that compacting the powder to different degrees as one does in hammering on the loading rod will cause differences in velocity (sort of like airgunning!) of up to 200 feet per second which is unacceptable for target shooting. His method of avoiding this rather than driving the rod down with direct force was to sort of lightly sling the rod down the barrel as if casting a spear. All the energy of his cast was used in driving the ball down and his rod would come to a dead stop each time. As soon as the rod bounced back up, he knew that the charge was seated. I suppose this moment defined the minimum force for seating the charge without excessive compacting and to a degree of consistency. Anyway, this is offered free of charge with no personal experience whatsoever….


  27. MATT61
    Yes..seating the ball against the powder is a must or the ball will act as a bore obstruction.

    Yes..pounding the powder is bad and causes erratic pressures.

    No…slinging the rod down the barrel is bad..the end of the rod contacts the ball differently with each strike and beats the crap out of the ball.
    Best way is to push the ball down in one or two shoves rather than beating it.


  28. We have two of these Haenel 303-Super rifles at my club in England. They are very good rifles for teaching beginners and most people who use them grow to like the Haenels very much. A very interesting article. Thank you.

  29. Matt,

    Your discussion of ball seating pressures is filled with correct statements from different sources. Leaving an air gap WILL cause the barrel to bulge–no "probably" about it. Hammering the ball and crushing the powder WILL cause erratic velocities.

    Sam Fadala conducted blowup tests in which he left intentional air gaps in pipes and he presents the photographic evidence of burst and bulged "barrels" in his books.

    These statements you present are not contradictory–they are simply talking about two different but closely related subjects. Seating pressure is SO important that most muzzleloaders develop a procedure of ramming the ball or bullet that they try never to depart from, even a little. Sam Fadala built a gauge on a ramrod that recorded the pressure with which he seated a ball, just to ascertain that it mattered. It did.

    If you think airguns are fascinating, you ain't seen nothin' until you discover the ways of the primitive BP shooter!


  30. TwoTalon,

    Thanks for the info on slinging. That makes sense.

    B.B., I'm already impressed with the blackpowder–especially the accuracy. But I don't think they would let Sam Fadala into the rendezvous with his gauge… It sounds like unless you commit to casting your own bullets, this kind of shooting is prohibitively expensive.

    Zanbaar, to exploit to the full the potential of the Crosman 1077, you might try a snap shooting event where the time limit forces people to shoot at a high rate. The 1077 trigger will always bring you up a little short of high quality rifles. But with its great-handling and semiauto, it really shines here. You just paste the front sight on the target and slap the trigger like a shotgun. It's great fun, and you will be surprised how much you hit.

    Joe B., grizzlies are not to be messed with, but I'm still going to wave the flag for black bears as relatively non-violent animals based on my book by wildlife researchers. They claim that black bears climb trees to escape, and will not pursue people that way. It would only be for curiosity or to scare the person. The only exceptions would be the 1 in 10,000 predaceous bears which are insane.

    You may disagree with the views here, but you can't deny these people know a lot. One of their activities is to sneak up on the bears and watch them mating from a couple feet away, then write up detailed descriptions….


  31. MATT61
    Muzzle loading need not be expensive.
    You need a few cleaning and loading accessories. Some loading accessories almost need to be made to suit yourself as things like ball starters that work good are pretty scarce on the retail market.

    A great deal of time gets spent on cleaning and loading procedures. Working up a good load can take quite a while….similar problems to what centerfire reloaders have when working up their best loads, but without the brass case.

    Ball casting accessories may seem expensive at first, but will last a long time. This can almost be a necessity, as it can be difficult to find a ball the right size over the shelf. One of the harder aspects of pouring your own is the difficulty finding soft lead anymore. You can't use hard stuff.


  32. Twotalon,
    I think I now have some ideas worth testing for patches — thanks for the help.

    Just to be safe: always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding anything that might blow up in your face:). On the other hand, I bet you know more about the r/c plane you messed up than you would have if it had gone without a hitch:).

    Twotalon is right about the affordability. I made my own ball starter that works fine after seeing one once. Remember that at one time everything about these guns was handmade or acquired in the backwoods.

  33. I have an off topic question for you folks. I am pretty new to airgunning although had a bb gun as a child, but do good (e.g. more expensive) pellets make that much of a difference?

    I am currently shooting a 953 with the avanti sights and I realize a lot has to do with the shooter; probably the largest part of the equation.

    I have been shooting Daisy Precision Max and Crosman Competitions, both wadcutters and I cannot seem to get a grouping that I believe I should be able to achieve, both off hand and bench at 10m.

    What has been your experiences?


  34. Chris,

    Good pellets make a HUGE difference in accuracy, just as good cartridges make a big difference in firearms accuracy.

    You are not using the right pellets for a 953. If you read my recent 4-part test of the 953, you saw that RWS R10 pellets (the lightweight ones) gave the best results.


    While a 953 is not a true 10 meter target rifle, it is capable of good groups. Look for 1/4" groups at 10 meters as about the best you can get. Occasionally you will do better, but that's about the standard with that rifle.

    Don't go by the groups I got at 10 meters, because I shot 10 shots, which tend to group about 40 percent larger than five shots.


  35. OK BB,
    Here comes one of this years stupid rhetorical questions:

    If I have three targets side by side, I can shoot a 1/4" 5 shot group on each of the first two, then switch to a 10 shot group for the third target, so why will my 10 shot group on the third target be 40 percent larger? Granted I'm asking this without actually trying it (but you know I will, eventually) but why, on the third target, am I not shooting two 1/4" 5 shot groups at the same bull, net result 10 shots in 1/4"? Mathematically it has to be 10 in a 1/4", eh?


  36. Chuck, take the two 5-shot groups, overlay them on each other (lining up the target bulls) and that will give you the equivalent of a 10-shot group. And almost certainly you will wind up with a total group substantially larger than either, and it will be obvious why that is.

    Or you can ask yourself the same question about 2-shot and 3-shot groups… in your 5-shot group there is one of each, but the total group size for the 5-shot will be greater than that of the 2-shot or 3-shot.

  37. Vince,

    Thanks for your clear explanation. You hit the nail on the head.

    Chuck, it has to do with statistics. Though many people don't believe statistics actually work, they do. And Vince gave you a practical explanation of why.


  38. On the group topic,

    It makes sense to me that a five-shot would be tighter than a ten-shot, but barring fliers, wouldn't the groups eventually level out at a constant size? IE, you've put so many rounds through the paper that it's basically a circular hole?

  39. Vince/BB,
    OK, you gave me a logical explanation. I saw that coming after I jumped in the car and started driving away. Justifies the first sentence of original comment. I can see the chances are that my next 1/4" group would not be centered at the same exact spot as the first – but it could be and then I will think I'm right!!!

    Jake, what you say makes sense, too, and I'm going to find out. I just got my Marauder and I'm going to break it in. Pellet selection shouldn't make any difference to the result except how big the round hole is and how many pellets it takes to make it. (well, I guess that is a big difference, after all)

    I'll be using the boxed .22 Crosman Premiers 14.3g domed. I believe these are one of the recommended pells. I will lightly oil them with Pellgun oil to prevent bbl leading.

    Two things cross my mind: will the 1 lb. pugs I use for backstop hold up and how many times will I have to refill the scuba tank?)

    Ahhhhh, it's nice to have a goal!


  40. Jake, with the exception that BB mentioned you are correct.

    If the physical (mechanical) conditions were identical for each shot, each pellet would go into the same hole. But they're not – there's a number of conditions that are inconsistent from shot to shot. Some of these are strictly mechanical – variations in pellets, or variations in powerplant characteristics as the seals eventually wear, lube migrates around in the spring chamber, or the barrel leads up. Some are environmental – wind, temperature gradients, etc. The most severe inconsistency, generally speaking, at least with better guns tends to be the shooter.

    Once you've fired enough shots to work through virtually every combination of extreme variations possible your group size will not grow any bigger.

    Unless the wind kicks up!

  41. BG_Farmer…
    You might want to stick with the .490 balls for now….with a fairly thick patch.
    A new barrel has a sharp muzzle and rifling that is hard on patches. Repeated loading and cleaning operations will smooth off the sharp edges after a while.
    Later you might try speer or hornaday .495 balls with a thinner patch. Thin patch takes more abuse when the rough spots are smoothed out.A new bore is pretty hard on them.

    .495 balls will have to be ordered from a dealer who handles speer or hornady products.
    Costs some money to buy them, but should tell you if you want to invest in casting your own.


  42. Matt61,

    I remember a hunting magazine story about a man in a tree stand with a bow, waiting for a deer. Unbeknownst to him, there was a Black bear cub above him. So the sow comes along and climbs up the tree, to protect its cub from the hunter. He got away somehow but he hit the ground in quite a snit (seems the mama bear wouldn't listen to him when he yelled at her), and ran off to get his rifle to kill the bear with. Luckily she and the cub were long gone by the time he returned.

    In my home state of east TN, there's a special place in the Smokey Mtns called Cade's Cove. There's a long circular road runs through it that in the summer has plenty Black bear along it, gorging on blackberries. Seems there were tourists placing their toddlers on the back of the feeding bears so they could snap pictures of the cute little hors d'oevres…er, babies.

    Like that fad a while back where white hunters were guiding paintballers in 'taking' Africa's Big 5. I keep thinking of a Rhino, Rhinoceri not generally being known for their patience in any case, spattered with paintballs, and that old saying, "Son, if you shoot him with that thing, and he notices, you're in a peck o' trouble."

    Joe B., grizzlies are not to be messed with, but I'm still going to wave the flag for black bears as relatively non-violent animals based on my book by wildlife researchers. They claim that black bears climb trees to escape, and will not pursue people that way. It would only be for curiosity or to scare the person. The only exceptions would be the 1 in 10,000 predaceous bears which are insane.

  43. Been gone for 4 days and really enjoyed catching up.

    Since I don't have any significant experience with black powder I really appreciated the dialogue. One of the many things I enjoy about this blog is the diversity and learning about gun related topics.

    Thanks to all the contributors that we rarely hear from including the passionate shooters from acros the pond. Please continue to contribute. You are truly welcome since we acknowledge the vast experience you have with airguns compared to our relatively new fascination with this weaponry.

    Regarding the discussion about bears, all bets are off regarding "normal" behavior in almost any animal when you come between a mother and her babies. I don't think many writers that observe these creatures in the wild and then write about it have come between a mother and her cubs and lived to tell about it.

    It's been my personal experience that even though she doesn't possess razor sharp teeth and very long claws, not respecting my daughter's mother's natural protective instinct would have undoubtedly proven fatal on numerous occasions.


  44. BB: Regarding replacement reticles for the front sight of the Haenel 303-Super — I have good news for those that may need some.

    I measured the reticle from my gun and started looking for posts on the internet that showed sizes of reticles. I felt like I was in one of Microsofts commercials for their new search engine before I was through but I did find a set of inserts from Brownells that mentioned a measurement I had gotten off of my insert. It was a "Lee Shaver's Globe Sight Insert Set" but before I bought a set just to find out if they would work or not, I called the maker to confirm measurements. The set was advertised to fit Lyman 20 and Anshutz sights — and the reply was that the OD and small tab width were identical to mine and the large tab width was only a few thousandths smaller than mine.

    I ordered the set and got it in the mail today — they are made from spring steel and fit very nicely but are thinner than the one that came with the gun. I also found I can stack them to add more variations to the sight picture. I bought the inserts with the idea of using them in the field but if these inserts don't fit ones need, I'm sure others can be obtained that fit the Lyman 20 or Anshutz sights.

  45. How does the Evanix Renegade compare with the FC Cyclone? Is one actually better in use than the other in reliability and long term life expected in field use?
    A trigger difference that makes one a better choice over the other? The renegade costs a lot less… is that an indication the Cyclone is overall better or just the result of where they are made?

  46. Anonymous regarding the Evanix Renegade vs. FX Cyclone,

    B.B. has done a 5 part series on the Evanix Renegade. You should read it:


    You're asking to compare two pcp rifles that are similar but different. The evanix is a loud, powerful hunting gun that gets fewer accurate shots (read B.B.'s article). Although Pyramyd AIR used to carry the FX Cyclone it has now been discontinued. There's alot of good info on the FX Cyclone on the web. The FX Cyclone is a lighter weight rifle, better trigger, not as powerful, better finish in wood (FX Cyclone also comes in a synthetic stock), gets more accurate shots (less power and has a Lothar-Walther barrel) and has an exterior power adjuster.

    Hope this helps.


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