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Education / Training Sometimes, close enough IS enough: A tale of pellets

Sometimes, close enough IS enough: A tale of pellets

by B.B. Pelletier

While I was visiting Pyramyd AIR earlier this week, I happened to speak to Ariel, customer sales and service manager, about the problem of pellet supply they sometimes have. You see, Pyramyd AIR ships hundreds of tins of pellets every week and sometimes the manufacturers cannot keep up with the demand. Often it is JSB that’s backordered, but this time it was Beeman.

“No problem,” I told her. “H&N makes many of Beeman’s pellets. Just recommend a substitute H&N pellet.”

She tried that already, but the customer wanted only Beeman pellets.

Most of us are aware that Beeman manufactures nothing. They are a distributor who has manufacturers make things they can sell under their own name. This is a pretty common business practice–especially these days, with China acting as the “shop” for so many American companies. Most people are aware of this practice, but they still think there might be something in the purchasing specification that will make this company’s product different than the original manufacturer’s product, even though they’re nominally identical. Sometimes that’s true, sometimes it’s not. Let’s start with Beeman and let’s talk pellets.

Beeman Kodiak pellets are identical to H&N Baracuda pellets. And there have been times when other airgun companies also re-branded Baracudas. Webley, for instance, at one time sold their Baracudas as Webley Magnum pellets. The reason I’m so sure they are all Baracudas is because the Baracuda is one of the finest heavy pellets on the market. A company would be insane to screw with that success as long as they can get H&N to put their label on the tin, which they apparently can in the case of Baracudas.

I’ve used Baracudas under all three names and gotten identical results. So, I shop for my Baracudas by whoever has the best price. Or, as is the case at present, by whoever has them in stock. If there are no Beeman Kodiaks available, I’m going to use H&N Baracudas without a second thought. Or Webley Magnums, during the time they were offered. Pyramyd AIR currently does not stock H&N Baracudas in .177 and .22 calibers, but this market is always in flux.

Let’s look at another one. How about Beeman H&N Match? Well, there you go! Beeman actually includes the H&N name on the tin with their own. So there’s no doubt who makes them. But, H&N Finale Match pellets come in different weights, don’t they? And Beeman H&N Match pellets come in only one weight. The solution, of course, is to match up the Beeman pellets with the H&N Finale Match whose weight comes closest. In .177, that would be the heavy one, whose 8.1 grains is close enough to Beeman’s pellet weight of 8.09 grains that we can be pretty certain they’re the same.

There are some Beeman pellets for which there are no H&N equivalents imported into the U.S. The Beeman Crow Magnum, for example is not brought into this country as an H&N pellet. It may be available elsewhere in the world under the H&N name or Beeman may have an agreement with H&N that the design is theirs, alone. In the latter case, you either have to buy Beeman or do without.

Let’s turn that around the other way. Are there H&N pellets for which Beeman does not have an equivalent? Yes, there are. I’ve already mentioned the light H&N Finale Match, but there are others. They show up from time to time, but unless there’s a continuing demand they’ll go away without any fanfare. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me with other brands labeled with airgun manufacturers’ labels, rather than pellet makers’ labels.

Want some more? Okay, here’s a helpful one. Any active U.S. airgunner knows the supply of JSB pellets is finite and limited. So, what if there were pellets under other names that were actually the JSBs we all want. Well, in some cases, there are! Take the .177 JSB Exact that weighs 8.4 grains. It’s the same as the Air Arms Diabolo Field pellet that weighs 8.44 grains. It’s also sold elsewhere as a BSA Wolverine pellet. Same weight, same shape, same pellet–different names. Good to know if it’s a pellet you really like and the supply of one brand dries up.

What ELSE do we know from this?
Okay, this is simplistic, but if you don’t know it, it’s worth hearing. If a company makes several good pellets, like JSB and H&N, they probably make most or even all of their pellets to the same standard So, if you’ve grown to trust Beeman brand pellets and are now learning for the first time that they’re mostly H&N pellets, it’s probably a safe bet that most or even all H&N pellets are equally good. The same could be said of JSB pellets and the other labels we know they’re sold under. It isn’t Air Arms’ name, as respected as it is in the airgun world, on the outside of the tin that makes the pellets inside good. It’s the fact that JSB makes them.

Just like Winchester didn’t make the air rifles that carried its name, neither do Air Arms and BSA make the pellets they sell. Winchester arranged for Diana to make their air rifles, and you can’t do any better than that. Just as you can’t do much better than JSB or H&N for pellets.

89 thoughts on “Sometimes, close enough IS enough: A tale of pellets”

  1. Morning B.B.,Take a bow on this report.Very informative and interesting.By the way a friend of mine was visiting in Texas recently and said the heat was incredible there.Stay cool.Jersey Boy

  2. All Bisley brand pellets sold in the UK are also made by H&N. Their Pest Control is the same as the Crow Magnum, the Premier is identical to the Silver Jet, and the Magnum is the same as the Kodiak/Baracuda.


  3. Morning B.B.

    The Air Arms brand offers a slightly fatter pellet along with the regular copy of the JSB…. does JSB make that one too? I wonder why they don't offer it. Air Arms (PA) is out of it most of the time.

    Wayne, Ashland Air Rifle Range

  4. BB:

    Great blog. Only someone in your position in the airgun world could write it.

    Question: Does the same situation hold true for the cheaper .177 pellets? For example,if the Gamo Match supply dries up, is there another brand that's the same?

    To take your blog to an even higher level, you could list additional companies that actually DO make pellets.


  5. PurcHawk,

    I don't have any more inexpensive pellets for the list as of yet. There are other expensive ones, though.

    Pellet-making is not a cottage industry, because the machines are specialized and expensive. So the number of makers is smaller than the number who make airguns.


  6. Very good article…now when is that pellet cross reference guide going to be published? I waited a very long time for life blood JSB Exacts to become available from PA when I could have ordered AirArms?! My god man, how long have you been sitting on this article?! 🙂


  7. Purchawk, Gamo USED to make pellets for Daisy. The Gamo Match was known as the Daisy MaxSpeed, and the Daisy Pointed Field Pellets where Gamo Magnums. Ther emay have been others as well. But now Daisy gets 'em from China.

    Gamo pellets are also sometimes sold as 'Ruko' brand pellets (I've seen the Match and Hunter pellets packaged that way), and although they sometimes pop up on sportsmansguide.com I've not found any consistently reliable source for Ruko's in this country.

    There is a pellet sold by bestairgun.com that looks to be identical to the Beeman 'Sportsmans Series' wadcutter.

    So yes, it sometimes happens with cheap pellets as well.

  8. Vince,

    You made am interesting comment and I quote,"Your Benjamin SS uses an inferior copy of a Gamo-style trigger mechanism, and it isn't 'self-returning'. If you pull the trigger almost to the point of firing the gun and stop, the trigger BLADE returns to the normal position but the trigger SEAR inside the gun DOES NOT. Which means that the sear sits there just at the release point… and jarring the gun (as you found out) can make it go off."

    What other triggers are non self returning? Sounds to me like that is a very real safety issue.

    Thank you sir!

    Mr B.

  9. Actually, the easier question to answer might be 'which ones are?'. The only ones that come to mind are the Rekord, the B20/B26 copy of the Rekord, the Norica 2-stage (like the Razor) and the AR1000 copy of it. If the tension springs aren't adjusted too light, that is. No doubt there are others – the Cometa 400/RWS94 may be one (I don't recall).

    The problem is this – you really need minimal friction at the trigger end of the mechanism, otherwise you need a lot of 'return spring' pressure to make it truly reset. That makes the trigger pull tough.

    Some triggers (like the Gamo) have a trigger return spring that only acts on the blade, and makes it seem like it returns when it doesn't.

    In the Gamo there really is no 'first stage' to the trigger, what feels like a 'first stage' is really just spring-loaded slop in the mechanism. Since you need a fair bit of effort to pull through the whole trigger pull, it is highly unlikely that you're only going to pull through part of the actual sear release motion. Once you get up the effort necessary to START releasing the sear, you're probably gonna keep going until it releases.

    In Luke's case it sounds like he has a bad trigger – and that the trigger simply didn't lift the trip lever quite enough to trip the lever. Unless there's a defect like this (which is rare) it's likely he would shoot it for years without having this problem.

  10. No wonder some folks buy pellets by the
    thousands.IT seems like I've read that
    some brands started out with one MFR.then
    switched to another,confusing to me.

    Hi all,
    I'm about to start a remodel on the 490:
    remove the cheek piece from the stock and
    shorten stock ~1",shorten and change the
    shape of the fore stock,take ~5" off the
    bbl.and recrown.Hopefully drill and tap
    for front sight re install and possibly
    stippling on wrist and forearm(not sure
    about that yet)and restain stock will let yall know how it
    turns out,may even be able to get a
    few pics:)


  11. B.B.

    This clarifies my impression that the rebranding of pellets and guns is hugely complicated. I'm reminded of the term "org-off" from a novel by Tom Wolfe called Man in Full. This is a contest to see which company's organizational chart looks most like spaghetti.

    The point I take away for the practical shooter is that between rebranding, deterioration over time, and variations between lot numbers that there are diminishing returns to selecting the ultimate pellet. It's like a little-known feature of the novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jekyll finds that he is turning uncontrollably into Mr. Hyde and the only way to get himself back is to take his special potion. But when he tries to replenish his supply, he finds out that the secret ingredient was some unknown impurity in the old stock which he is unable to reproduce. He runs out and gets absorbed into Mr. Hyde. (Herb, watch your experiments.) If you find a good pellet like the RWS Hobbys or the JSB, I'd say that the burden of proof should be on some other pellet to show it's better.

    As to smoothbore accuracy, I don't have any figures, but I did run across some interesting data about Civil War rifled muskets. It's from the memoir of a Union veteran named John William De Forest who, among other things, took part in the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana. He claimed that both sides got very good at shooting people above the crown of the hat if it showed for even an instant at about 40 yards. One Confederate held up a spade handle at 150 yards to test the Union marksmanship and it was hit several times within minutes. A rolled up blanket containing a number of items so that it might have looked like a human being at distance was hit regularly at over 800 yards away. Most if not all of this was done with issue rifles and not sniper versions; no scope was ever mentioned.


  12. New benchmark, new personal best:
    Marauder .22,
    10m indoor range,
    Crosman Premiers 14.3 lightly oiled,
    sitting at table,
    front stock arm on shot bag,
    stock butt on shoulder,
    air fill 2500psi,
    last shot 2000psi,

    24 shot, one hole group, .341 inches, c-t-c measured on digital caliper.

    I'm spoiled now!!! Gotta get out to the range now to see what 50yds does to me.


  13. For all interested in pellet ballistics (internal and external), I ran across these.


    Here is a summary, from the above links, of three causes for bullet/pellet path deviation. Note the explaination for helical paths (bolded).

    'If the bullet yaws coming out of the muzzle, you can observe three distinct errors or deviations from the "perfect" trajectory. The first is "Aerodynamic Jump", which is a complicated way of saying that the bullet will go in the direction of the tip as it yaws at the exact moment of exit. This causes the majority of the deviation from the "perfect" path that we see. Just what causes the bullet to yaw at that exact moment is what I am most interested in studying, and is the essence of the research into the Acoustic Shock Wave theories.

    The second error is a "Epicyclic Swerve", which is a fancy way of saying that the bullet chases its tip as it wobbles (precesses, like a top) as it flies along. This causes aerodynamic forces to make the bullet travel in a helical path around the now disturbed path

    The third error aptly called "Drift", is a steady (and increasing with range) drift of the flight path to the left or the right as a result of gyroscopic precession from the aerodynamic force applied as the bullet drops.'

    Also group size analysis:


  14. CJr,
    Nice shooting. Hard to beat CP’s at that speed. I shoot 24 or 32 shot groups a good bit also due to the 8 shot magazines for my PCP. I took the FX outside today and at 50 yards had a nice one hole group. I’d bet you’ll find the same. But only used 5 shots as to not draw any attention, then everything went back in the house. : )

    While I am cheap enough to have figured out the pellet manufacturing thing awhile ago, the one thing that still mystifies me is the whole Crosman Premiers in a box or a tin. Some guys act like the ones in the tin are the bottom of the barrel. I have had good look with both personally. Anyone have any thoughts?

  15. I have seen JSB with slightly different sizes on Euro websites.

    When adjusting the Discovery .22, I found 20 revolutions on the hammer ajustment screw. Here are the results and some setting I've used with cm domes.

    Basement shooter = out 7 ftlbs 470fps (no shot count yet)

    Quiet Hunter = in 8 revs 12 ftlbs 640 fps (50-60 shots)

    Max Quiet Hunter = in 15 revs 18ftlbs 753 fps (40-50 shots)

    Max = in 20 revs 240pp 24 ftlbs 24ftlbs 870fps (30-40 shots)

  16. Volvo, I've been doing some comparison shootin' at 60 yards between the Crosman Domed and the HP's.

    In .177 it appears that the current production HP's I have tend to outshoot my brown-box Premiers that are a couple years old. I suspect Crosman was having some QC problems back then so I'm not entirely surprised. What really surprised me is that the POI doesn't change much – I figured that the less-aerodynamic HP's would drop more.

    In .22 I never bought the brown-box Premiers, but I DID buy the Benjamin-Sheridan Domed (now discontinued) in that caliber, which I believe are the same. I've only done a comparison with one rifle (a Sterling HR81), but in that gun the Benjamin HP's (Premier HP's) also outshot the domed pellets.

    I really don't think that there's something about the HP that makes 'em more accurate, but I am sure led to believe that there's nothing that makes them significantly less accurate.

    As for the slight but consistently better accuracy of the HP's, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Crosman had some QC issues a few years back that they straightened out when they put in those big price. All my domed were made prior to the price hike, and all my HP's were made after.

    But in any event, I'm sticking with the HP's!

  17. Volvo,
    Ms. M is so powerful I just have to take her outdoors. Plus, most everyone here keeps talking about 30 yds and 50yds so I guess it's time. The weekends at the range are usually crowded so I plan on going Monday.

    My odd 24 shot group was because on the second 10 round magazine I got a pellet jam after about four shots. Somehow two pellets got jammed in the barrel. Must have cocked twice without firing, and after clearing it I re-loaded the missing four and kept shooting. I kept thinking, "Oh, man, if I screw up this barrel or damage the crown clearing this jam…" But my subsequent shots were right in the hole. Whew!


  18. BB,
    I don't mind exact substitutions, but how do we know that company X's rebranded JSB exacts are the same head and skirt size as the ones we have that shoot well? Even if we order JSB exacts, there still might be a problem. JSB makes a least three different variations of .177 in the same nominal weight, for example. You know my pet peeve is that it is almost impossible to get that information from vendors anyway. Except for Hobby pellets, which I think are worse in my rifles than Daisy Precision Max's, I've always had decent results with the RWS pellets.

    The only viable reason I can think of is that the boxes are bigger, so if the lot is a good one, you're in the money longer. Downside is, if the box happens to perform poorly, its just that many more wasted pellets.

    Also I don't want to be too cynical, but I think that expectations play a big part in how well people can shoot a certain pellet. I've found that even "crappy discount store pellets" can many times deliver much better accuracy than they are given credit for. It is really easy to ruin a good group with sloppy technique, and I suspect that without confidence in the pellet, many people do not shoot their best. I almost did this today with my .22, shooting a brand of ammunition that I've had real problems with before. The first couple of groups were pathetic (probably a combination of low expectations and new lube), but after buckling down, I found that it shot the same 50 yard groups as the "good" ammo, to exactly the same POI (now that I can't explain:)).

  19. BG_Farmer
    You are lucky that it only took a couple groups for it to settle down.
    Often it takes more ammo than that when wou switch kinds. If you clean the barrel it will take even more.


  20. Twotalon,
    You're right. I've seen it take almost a box in some cases, but this BV is like a dream…it shoots clean, dirty, and in between, and I never wonder what is wrong with it. The only problem is that it makes me complacent and sloppy every once in a while:).

  21. OT – results after two days of advertising here in NJ for old BB or pellet rifles – one Crosman CO2 – unknown model – may look at tomorrow. One Daisy Eagle – model 80?. Caller confirmed no scope, no sling but "like new" and wants $100. Says it's 50 years old which jibes with the Blue Book. Told him thank you but a bit pricey for what he's describing.


  22. ajvenom,
    I am intrigued by your hammer adjustment on the Discovery. I always just thought that the Discovery was too loud, I never thought about lowering the power to make it more quiet. I don't really need the 24ft/lbs anyway. 18ft/lbs would do just fine. And I'd get more shots per fill, especially when adjusted down to 12.

    Now you've re-added another gun into the mix for my next purchase!

    When you say that 18ft/lbs is Max. quiet hunter, does that relate to say the noise level of a higher powered springer?

  23. Vince,
    You're on your game this weekend.

    Trigger comment was a great response. We had a guest blog several months back the diagramed a good self returning trigger. Everything else would have the problem discussed. Even my loved Discovery.

    Bang on again with the CR HP. I have about 3,000 of the pre-price increase version in 22 cal. And they stink in every gun tested. My Disco will create a nice 8-inch hole after 100 round of HP at 30-yards.

    I've got a home made adjuster on my Disco and it is not working nearly as nice as yours. I can tune the gun down to a nice quite 50-shot gun. And turn it back up again for 20-foot pounds. But the in between seems to be less predictable.

    Can you share a bit of info on your adjuster solution?


  24. DB, I'm glad I got some confirmation on the pre-price-increase .22 HP's. For now I only buy the Benji branded ones – because I know that they are newer production. There might be some of the Premier branded tins still laying around in vendor's warehouses that came out of that bad batch.

    I had bought about 4000-6000 of those and went through a couple of tins before I figured out what was going on. I've spent the past few years using them and 'throw-aways'(warming up an airgun, working the lube out of a compression chamber, that sort of thing). Thankfully, I'm almost done with them.

  25. ajvenom,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of the PCP. I'm surprised that Wayne hasn't said the same thing to you. He's been the blog's staunchest advocate for the PCP.

    Would you please explain the power adjuster you're using on your Discovery. Sounds like it's something that I'd be interested in adding to my Discovery.

    Exactly what is your power adjuster, how does it work, is it something you made or bought, and does it have any down side? Thanks for your help.

    One more question–have you looked at any of the after market stocks for the Discovery?

    Mr B.

  26. Vince,
    I also have another 2,000 CH HP Benji brand in the black tin that i picked up as soon they were released. Same bad quality.

    I've been pushing them through that TF97 you and Wayne are lending out. They are good enough for minute of pop can gun.

    Sometimes knock a pop can off a stump is just fun.

  27. DB, there were 2 styles of black tin for the Benjamin Discovery .22 HP pellets… one had a lot more silver in it. The later ones have more black. So far, the later ones have been fine.

  28. Fused, yes I would say it's probably equivalent to my Quest 800 at 18 ftlbs. I think the Discovery .22 overall is pretty quiet or similiar to CO2. I have a .177 barrel and I'm sure with some light pellets or non-lead pellets it could get pretty loud.

    I didn't ask the previous owner about who did the mods, but it has a simple hammer spring and trigger mod. Those two mods make it very nice. I wouldn't go higher on power, because it could be hard the the valve.

    The minimum averages 8ftlbs, about 502 fps. So far at this setting, I went from 1800 psi fill down to 1000psi with hardly a shift in the POI or loss of power after 90 shots. I got tired, so I will shoot some more later today.

    The Discovery probably won't be as quiet or as accurate as a Marauder, but the air rifle alone is half it's price.

    Finding the right pellet is the key. So far JSB jumbo and jumbo express are ok, but it seems to shine with RWS Hobby, RWS Super Dome, Beeman Silver Bears and Eun Jin 28gr pellets.

  29. BB,
    I need to amend a statement I made earlier about the Crosman Challenger. I'm sure I did see it at the Phoenix show but it was the one with the normal looking trigger guard and no pressure gauge and not the one you show in your article. I was looking at them on the Pyramydair web site today and saw the two different pictures of it. Is there some functional reason for the open trigger guard or is that an aesthetic thing?

  30. Ajvenom,
    Try Kodiak Heavy pellets in your Disco. Mine likes them much better than JSB heavy.

    And now we know you can buy them under a couple of brand names and shop by price.


  31. I tried H&N Match Wadcutters 13.75gr in my Marauder today.

    Indoors, 10m range.

    I shot two groups of 10:
    Group 1 was multi hole .63" c-t-c,
    group 2 was multi hole .74" c-t-c.

    Then, I did a 10 shot group with the Crosman Premiers 14.3gr and made a one holer .20" c-t-c.

    The head of a .22 Crosman Premier pellet is .215" in diameter, according to my digital caliper, my net poi was effectively the size of a pellet head (probably still too large for competition).

    To verify physically, I took two pellets and tried to fit the heads into the hole. The hole was too small.

    Can't wait to see 50yds outdoors. I'm bracing for reality.


  32. CJr,

    Nice shooting! I can see the smile on your face. Outside and 50will continue it. If you can, try for 75 yards and then a 100 also. You'll be surprised when you shoot the later because of the time lag between the ping of the spring and the thwack of the pellet hitting the target. Eungins seem to take forever.

    Mr B.

    Word verification is restrays. Moon beams maybe?

  33. A.R.

    Thanks for your links. I'm interested in this topic and have no attachment to any particular answer–just the right one. These links, though, bring out the librarian in me. Who is the person writing all of this? He or she uses a lot of technical terminology about "jump error," "the epicyclical swerve," "drift error," "acoustic shock wave theory," but I looked all over the site and could not find any information about who this person or their training on these questions. Sifting through some of this language, one finds some very odd statements. The author claims that the helical path of a bullet "INCREASES" in size as it goes downrange. Then, a couple lines later, by way of example, he claims this flight path can produce a .5 inch group at 100 yards and a .5 inch group at 200 yards. Can anyone make sense out of this? How does a helix increase in size while maintaining the same diameter?

    Beware of the internet, young man. It's like the Wild West. And beware especially of those who speak in esoteric languages. One rule of style I've found very reliable and certainly applicable to myself is that if I actually had a good idea, I would be knocking myself out to communicate it as simply and clearly as possible so that other people would understand it too. So, if you encounter a lot of obfuscation, you start to wonder if there's anything at the bottom of it.

    Chuck, that shooting is pretty hot. Tell us how you make out at 50 yards.

    I finally came across David Tubb's practice regimen: exercise bike every day and shooting twice or three times a week. Nancy Tompkins is also very big on the physical conditioning. So, as the drill sergeant says in the film Wild Geese (quite a good one with Richard Burton, Richard Harris, and Roger Moore), "Gentlemen, shall we try for our first heart attack! Down! Up! Down!…"

    I'm more interested in what seems to be the relatively low level of shooting among top people. David Tubb goes a couple times a week (not including all of his visualization), Elmer Keith said 50 shots at one time, handgun wizard Thall Reed practiced three times a week. Tubb claims that more might burn him out, and Keith said that more than 50 could do the same. There's a significant difference between them and the rest of us pouring in the lead hurricane every night into the duct seal, and I don't see how we can all be right….


  34. wtg chuck!!!

    About CM P, I have had some hp out do the cp, but do they really look that different?

    I've noticed a lot of Disco owners like 13 to 15 ftlbs 50+ shots and like the accuracy.

    Disco/2260 3 screw trigger mod.


    mines a two screw mod similiar to this


    TKO does trigger mod assemblies, shrouds and probably power ajuster/spring guides etc…


    check out mods and supplies for a disco at

    Big Ed

    and such. Ask them what you want to do and see what they recommend.

    I bought my Disco used with the mods from a person who knew alot about working on them. I waited 1.5 yearss to finally get a Disco. Many are selling theirs to get a Marauder now and the prices for Discos are finally dropping.

  35. Mr B,
    I can't get rid of the smile. The only other time I had this problem was the day I retired.

    I only have the two brands, CP and H&N, in .22. I feel kinda cheated that I don't need to search for the right pellet for the Marauder like I have had to do with my other guns. I got this one right right out of the box.

    I picture 5 pellets each striking the target when they are at the same spot on the helical curve. Or at least within .5" of the same spot. So it doesn't matter how large the curve is as long as each pellet is at the same location when it strikes the target. Now, if the bull is the poa I would expect, on the 100yd target, for the 1/2" 5 shot group to be farther away from the bull than the 50yd group would be if the helical curve get larger at 100 yds. The group size of each group could still be the same .5. Does that make any sense, or do I just not know what the heck I'm talking about?

  36. OT – That unknown Crosman CO2 rifle turned out to be a Model 99. This is a copy of the Savage lever action repeating rifle. The Crosman is also a repeater with two power levels. I just put a CO2 cartridge in it and of course, the valve body (in the rifle) started leaking after the first shot. I've put a good amount of silicone oil on it and will let it sit for tonight. The rifle has wood stocks, is in very good condition (I'd say 80 to 90%) other than the leak and the price was right – . I got some old Sears pellets in a tin, wad cutters and what we figured out were .22 cal tear gas cartridges! Made in "Western Germany", no less! What the heck do I do with these? They look like CP caps.

    BB, I'm undecided whether to keep this or sell it at Roanoke in October.


  37. Chuck – The Marauder is the ticket. A choked barrel and no mods needed. I bet you can get it down to .100". As far as helical paths, it's possible, but imagine your note cards for all the ranges.

    JTinAL – I often wonder that a 490 could be turned into a smooth paper puncher. I have stippling on my Discovery wrist area and it's nice when your hands get sweaty. Are the triggers adjustable on the 490 or can it be easily modified? With a good trigger set up, I think the 490 would really rock.

    DB – On the Modified Discovery, removing the rear air bleed cap screw on the Discovery I use the same allen wrench to remove a longer screw that pushes again the spring. As it comes out it lightens the hammer. Probably similiar to yours. After about 20 revolutions it came out. I just filed a mark on the end of the screw and keep it pointed up and count revelutions going back in. I have some places I wrote down. Not always exact, but close. You would have to tune with a chrono to be exact. As for the the all the way out position being 8 ftlbs, it could be a lighter spring was put in to give lower ranges to the air rifle. The hammer seems to run the smoothest about 8 to 20 ftlbs.

    Anyone with a Discovery – Using HPA, how low do you go before refilling? My POI consistancy has made it to 90 shots(1800psi down to 1000psi) set at about 8ftlbs or 502 fps.

    Just started reading Ed McGivern's Fast and Fancy Book again. Pretty interesting. I don't know anything about pistol shooting. Maybe it can help me with my Daisy 622X. I have been getting pretty good with pop cans.

  38. Chuck,

    Your guess about the helical path is as good as mine. The website claimed that a helical path is one factor in pellet dispersion. Did that mean that the diameter of the helix corresponds to group size or that a whole group will deviate from POA by the radius of the helix? It wasn't clear. I don't want to bore people who have heard me on this topic. But taking your interpretation, my objections, briefly, are as follows. Not only would the pellets have to be precessing around the axis of flight, which no doubt happens, but they would all have to be precessing in exactly the same way which is a much stricter condition. Secondly the helical path, which implies an expansion beyond muzzle diameter, would suddenly have to stop spreading out to get the results from the website which seems very implausible. Finally, if you calculate his helix size after a few hundred yards (assuming that it does not magically stop spreading) it doesn't make sense.

    Undoubtedly, there is precession and a helical path but exactly what role this plays in group size, I haven't seen any convincing information about so far. I think it very unlikely that the axis of the pellet as it precesses corresponds exactly to the flight path.

    But, getting back to the website, I will say that I like very much the idea of applying the Gaussian probability distribution to the dispersal patterns of groups.


  39. MATT61
    If you want to have your head hurt some more, read on…..

    Let's add in more gremlins….

    Barrel vibration keeps the muzzle constantly moving in different directions, and also keeps the pellet moving in different directions as defined by the axis of the bore and the direction and amplitude of vibration at any given instant. In effect, the vibration pattern is constantly attempting to sling the pellet in the direction that the vibration pattern wants to push it.

    So what happens as the pellet exits the muzzle? Pretty obvious that the muzzle movement will point the pellet in the direction that the muzzle is pointing at that instant.

    Let's say that the head of the pellet has broken free of the muzzle , but the skirt is still engaged. ….

    The muzzle is still moving in direction and amplitude from vibration that still defines which way it is trying to push the skirt end of the pellet which is still in the bore. The pellet gets shoved off it's rotational axis, right?

    Then another…
    The instant after the skirt of the pellet breaks free of the muzzle, the barrel is still in motion. The muzzle blast that the pellet is caught in will be applied to the pellet from a constantly changing angle due to barrel vibration.

    Any guess what is going to happen then?


  40. Matt61,
    I'm thinking, in a perfect world, for helical dispersion, that each shot in the group will take the same helical trip to the target and strike the target when the pellet is at the same point on the path. So the group size is not determined by the size of the helical cone but by it's deviation from the initial point of shot #1 on the path.

    It appears there is also a cone effect influencing each pellet but that's another variable I have separated from my helical discussion.


  41. BB.. Just want to say i really LOVE your airwaves podcast.. I listen to them all the time&always excited when u post a new one.very informative&descriptive.. About the pellet.. Does RWS make pellets for other too? Havent got any info about it… Btw,would u please be kind enough to write about SHARP airrifle. I'm a big fan of these japanese MSP &would like to know your review thought about the classic Innova&ACE.. I wonder your hands on experience with them.. Thx alot BB. I really appreciate&gives my best salute for your GRAND&longevity contribution in the airgun world. God Bless. *your BIG fan from indonesia *iyonk.

  42. Matt,
    A strange but useful fact is that the result of complex phenomena can often be characterized by simple representations, such as a Guassian distribution for shot dispersion. That does not mean that the causal phenomena are equally simple.

    I read further than the links, and the poster is an "electronics and radio engineer" who has been involved in precision shooting for some time. I'd be inclined to give his thinking some weight, although your caveat about the internet is true as well.

    One thing to keep in mind when it comes to the "helical component" is that, depending on the stability of the projectile (which in turn depends on its velocity, spin, mass, and length, not to mention the prevailing wind, etc.), it can get bigger (understabilized), smaller (overstabilized), or stay the same (stabilized, aka "asleep"). I believe he has a stabilized projectile with little to no displacement in mind when he gives the example where the dispersion is .5" at 100 yards and 200 yards, although he has confused the issue by citing an example of an understabilized projectile in the text just prior to his statement.

  43. Thanks alot BB! I'm looking forward for the blog about sharp airrifle.. Btw,one thing that i love about the airgun podcast is the pronounciaton for some airgun terms that i have no idea how to spell just by reading the words! Also,why are the older podcast (2007-2008) have clearer audio quality than the recent one? I download all your podcast to my phone&listen to them over&over during driving&my activity.helps me practice alittle bit for my english hehe. Btw,if one day you&your wive ever have plan to come to the jakarta – indonesia– i'll be more than honored to sincerely over you some humble acomodation.. Keep up your awesome work! Best regards *iyonk

  44. BB,

    thanks for Rick's number. I'm going to do a bit of research on the takedown and assembly of the Model 99 before making a decision on whether to replace the o rings myself or let someone who knows what they're doing, do the work for me.

    I'm happy with this purchase but a bit disappointed that I hadn't gotten any cslls to date on European products that someone might have bought while stationed in Europe in the 50's or earlier.

    Well, like the blogger from Virginia said (my apologies, I can't remember the name), it's like fishing….


  45. iyonk,

    The sound quality is better on the older podcasts? I should be better now. I am using a new microphone that delivers clearer speech. The last two podcasts numbers 33 and 34(to be broadcast in a day) have used this mike.


  46. I want to make some Whiscombe Honey. So, I went to the auto store to get some STP Engine Treatment. Wouldn't you know there are several different types of STP but nothing called Engine Treatment. There are Diesel Fuel Treatment, Gas Treatment, Fuel Injector Treatment, Fuel Injector and Carbureter Treatment, Oil Treatment, Octane Booster, Water Remover, Fuel System Cleaner, Engine Stop Leak, Smoke Treatment, Power Steering Fluid, and Brake Fluid.

    So…you may anticipate my next question…help!!!


  47. twotalon,
    Thanks! Oil Treatment it is. I expected as much, but I have made wrong guesses a couple times in my life so wanted to be sure.

    I've noticed that the boxed .22 CPs don't stain like the boxed .177s. Anybody else notice this? I haven't any experience with the tins.


  48. CJr
    May take a few shots for the gun to settle down until the bore coating becomes stable in thickness.
    Same applies any time you change lube or have cleaned the barrel.


  49. twotalon,
    Now you got me worried. I'm shooting with such pin point accuracy I'm afraid to change anything. I haven't taken a bath and I've been wearing the same clothes for a week now 😉

    Just kidding. I'm not worried. I started using Pellgun oil on my pellets then I saw the disclaimer on PA about not using it on PCPs. Then, I switched to silicone oil on my pellets and have been using that ever since. Then, I read an article by BB that said Whiscombe Honey was safe to use on pellets if used as he recommended. So that's what I want to do. Do as BB says!


  50. Chuck,

    In a perfect world, I believe you would be right about exact repeatable precession. But, I call TwoTalon as my witness that there is so much going on with a shot that it's very unlikely that you would get this kind of perfection. Another problem, in principle, with a large helical path is that you would get randomly varying points of aim as you moved further out. If I understood TwoTalon's comment the last time we had this discussion, I believe he made this point. I agree. And nowhere have I seen this mentioned as a factor in sight adjustment at extended distances. Even the maniacally-detailed David Tubb has not touched on this at all. Maybe I haven't reached the right part in his book; I'll tell you if I do. Some have reported POA deviations at different distances suggestive of movement around a clock face but I attribute this to parallax problems or some other factor.

    TwoTalon, Oho, I see you are casting me as the young Mr. Spock faced with multiple impossible questions from computers. Could it be this was always my fantasy deep down? Can he survive the barrage…?! YES! 🙂 Whatever would happen with your scenario, the second law of thermodynamics about increasing disorder in the universe as well as, probably, chaos theory says that it is very unlikely that such a range of uncoordinated forces could produce such a well-characterized and stable movement as a helical flight path that is significantly larger than the projectile diameter. The scale would correspond pretty closely to a fighter plane at Mach 1 doing an advanced aerobatic maneuver known as a barrel roll. Even if this happened once in a blue moon, I can't see it happening consistently.

    BG_Farmer, I award you an honorary library degree for finding those credentials. The engineering background elevates him considerably above a crank which is how I took him. Then, the question is how much knowledge transfers across fields (in old age I may dissolve from cynicism). The precision shooting background weighs in his favor. But do the twain, in fact, meet? I can only evaluate his text. I actually took by the horns his "jump factor" which seems to refer to the angular deviation of a projectile axis from flight path. For his example, the jump factor is .25 inches meaning that is the right angle distance from the tip of the projectile to the flight path. That is huge. To get his .5 inch groups, he has his projectile following a perfectly straight flight path while gyrating around and tunneling out a passage .5 inches in diameter through the air. This is an impossible situation since a pellet in that orientation would not even hit the target. Maybe he's using this as a hypothetical example to illustrate some other principle. What, I wonder. Stabilization is surely a relevant concept that I don't begin to understand. Maybe when I close my eyes on this terrestrial scheme some day (hopefully) far in the future, I will actually know how much pellets spiral.


  51. B.B.

    There are assaults on my beloved M1. I read that the tip of the barrel was constructed of stainless steel from which the finish would tend to rub off leaving a gleam that would reveal soldiers in the field. They took to wrapping the end in rags to camouflage it. The muzzle end of my M1 is kind of shiny, but Clint Fowler said that was due to some modifications that he made.

    More seriously, G.I.s were supposed to have referred to the M1 as "old smokepole" because of the pronounced muzzle flash. This made them vulnerable to Japanese soldiers shooting an otherwise inferior Arisaka rifle but with a invisible powder. I thought they got over smoke signatures with the Spanish American War.


  52. Matt61,
    I wish I could have had a visual to go along with my explanation. Also, I was addressing only the one issue of the helical path, standalone, with no other issues considered. as you say, there are so many other variables that affect the pellets flight path, but I only wanted to talk about the helical one without muddying the water with all the others.

    There have been others on this blog who are claiming to have seen the pellet spiral to the target. This would tell me that the helical track is much larger than the diameter of the pellet. Am I on the right path here. (pun or no pun? you be the judge)

    Ha! Word verify – tracksa


  53. BB,perhaps you're using different method in the MP3 conversion? The recent podcast seem a bit noisy,especially in soft passages.. Are you using LAME encoding or Fraunhofer? The latter one used to be better. What recording software do you use? I'm a studio musician&recording artist.i got tools in my home studio for noise reduction&quality confersion.i'll be glad if i can offer some favor or info about recording. Contact me anytime at wilyjanto@yahoo.com. Looking forward for your new podcast,i'm excited to hear the new microphone in action. Thx BB. *iyonk.

  54. Well I got 140 shots at 8ftlbs with the Discovery before losing a significant amount in the POI. It took 75 cycles with the pump to go from 800 to 1800 psi. Not bad, almost 2 shots per pump.

    So saving a buck or two on Co2 is nice and pumping to 1800 psi is pretty easy.

    I did add a second barrel band that came with the rifle and put in near the fill nozzle.

    If I up the fps or put on the .177 barrel, I may have to make a batch of Whiscombe Honey Lube.

    One thing to note, the Disco did get louder as the psi dropped. I think it's a longer valve opening that made the air rifle sound louder like a powerful springer or CO2. Depending on how the Discovery is set up it can be from a 2 to 4 on on the PA sound scale.

  55. Mel, the Hatsan Winchesters are a fairly recent development. Back about, say, 35-40 years ago (not sure exactly how long), Winchester was importing Diana rifles. I believe that these are the first airguns bearing the Winchester name.

  56. I'm aware that H&N get their pellets rebranded by others but a few things astound me and beg an explanation. Why for the life of me Beeman taking forever to get .25 cal FTS and Kodiak pellets in the country? If current trends continue Pyramyd's backorder will go into next year.

    Why does Pyramyd carry the H&N Barracuda but not the Field Target Trophy (aka Beeman FTS)in .25 cal? The FTS must be amongst Beeman's top selling pellet! It appears on of Pyramyd's competitors has shown some initiative and has bee able to source H&N Barracuda's and FTT pellets direct.

    Pyramyd should consider doing the same because it appears to me that Beeman customer service is declining and they don't seem too bothered about it!

  57. Hi B.B,
    with regards to the Air Arms field and JSB Exacts the two pellets are definitely different. They look slightly different and shoot to a different point of impact in my HW50s.


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