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Education / Training Haenel 310 – Parts 2 & 3

Haenel 310 – Parts 2 & 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Parts 1 & 2

That’s right, Parts 2 and 3. I reserve the right to go back and revisit velocity, though I’m going to focus on the accuracy of the Haenel 310. I also want to add a little more background on the rifle.

Haenel 310 is an upscale BB gun that shoots lead balls. It’s also a rifle.

It’s a rifle!
You don’t expect airguns that shoot round balls to be rifled–at least I don’t. And there is the precedent of at least two smoothbore guns that are incredibly accurate. The Daisy 499B, which is now called the Avanti Champion, is a single-shot BB gun that has a smooth bore. What keeps the BB on track is the precision of the bore, plus the fact that 5 meters or 16.4 feet is about the greatest distance this gun is expected to perform. While the 499’s bore is a simple piece of tube, it is very precisely sized inside, and, when coupled with Daisy’s number 515 precision ground steel shot, it provides all the guidance the shot requires for extremely careful shooting. In international competition, the 499 in the hands of a champion can keep all of its shots on an aspirin at the given range.

The other super-accurate gun most airgunners know about is the Diana model 30 arcade gun. Its accuracy is due to both a precise barrel and ammunition that is even more precise than Daisy’s 515 shot. Apparently, the Diana shoots balls that are as good as ball bearings. I have heard tales of this gun being as accurate as the 499, which is to say nearly flawless.

Diana model 30 gallery gun was used in public shooting galleries in Europe. There are two shot counters on the left side–one for the lifetime total count and the other for the gallery operator. Accurate gun and also a smoothbore.

There are other ball-shooters that are rifled, but I don’t want to turn this into a huge history lesson. However, to complete the circle, the Czech Vz 35 and Vz 47 are both rifled and both shoot 4.4mm balls. They’re accurate, as well, though not quite up to the 499.

Having said that, I’ve thrown down the gauntlet for the 310. We know what a 499 can do, and I know that the Czech rifles will group about half an inch at 5 meters. So, the question is, where does the 310 fit? There’s only one way to find out.

The acid test!
This one is a toughie for me because I do it offhand. I’m not a good offhand rifle shot, and this light little rifle waves back and forth like amber waves of grain as I try to maintain my balance. Actually, more like a hippo on a pogo stick.

What I’m about to show you isn’t the best test of just the rifle by itself. There is a lot of me on these targets, too.

A good group for me, but not quite as good as a 499 at the same distance.

Another good group.

Modesty demands that I also show this group to you. It is as representative as the first two targets of how well I shot.

So, the 310 is about as good as the two Czech rifles, but not quite up to the Daisy 499. That’s still pretty impressive, and I don’t think anyone would be dissatisfied with this rifle.

I wanted to check velocity again, now that the piston seal had a week to absorb the oil and distribute it. Also, I shot the rifle many times in the accuracy test, so things should be well-mixed in the compression chamber by this time.

This recovered ball is almost a perfect hemisphere, so we should be able to apply splatology to learn how fast it was going when it hit the backstop.

Remember splatology? It’s the science of determining how fast a lead ball is traveling when it hits a steel plate by examining the deformation. I did a report on it back in September. If you try to read this ball, it looks like it was traveling 250-275 f.p.s. when it hit the backstop. A couple things to take into account are the backstop in the bullet trap is on a slant, so it robs the ball of some energy when it hits, and also the fact that the ball had to travel 16.4 feet plus go through target paper before it hit. That’s going to subtract a little more of the velocity. Let’s see what the chronograph says.

Well, surprise, surprise! The balls were averaging 250 f.p.s. at the muzzle. That’s egg on my pompous face from three different directions. First, the fact that spatology predicted the terminal velocity EXACTLY, and I didn’t have to temporize with all the reasons it might not.

Second, the piston seal was dry after all and the velocity did increase after oiling. Initially the balls were going only about 200 f.p.s., until I oiled the piston seal and let it sit for half an hour. Then, the velocity jumped up to 250. So much for what I think I know about the frequency of oiling airguns!

And finally, you may not remember, but in Parts 1 & 2, I said, “And a certain sized sphere made of pure lead tends to be pretty much the same from brand to brand.” Well, they aren’t! The balls I had not yet tested were the ones that shot in the 250s or the 280s after oiling. But the bulk balls I used in the velocity test generated an average of 355 f.p.s.–very close to what they did in Parts 1 & 2 (351 f.p.s.).

We live and learn…
So, shut my mouth! You do have to oil the leather piston seal before shooting every time, and round lead balls are not all the same and splatology does work exactly as we said.

It’s a lotta fun, this little gun. If you ever had a notion you wanted to shoot accurately in a short space, a Haenel 310 might be the gun for you. And for you apartment dwellers, I’m reminded of the u-boat captain who was found with a Haenel model 2 pistol in his cabin on board a captured submarine. I doubt your efficiency flat is any smaller than than a cabin on a sub.

43 thoughts on “Haenel 310 – Parts 2 & 3”

  1. B.B.,

    "You do have to oil the leather piston seal before shooting every time…"

    Do you still recommend Crosman Pellgunoil for lubricating leather piston seals prior to shooting every time?


  2. Morning B.B.,

    An interesting air rifle for sure. You've got it titled Parts 2 and 3 and just berlow that it's labled parts 1 and 2 so which is it?

    Sorry for being such a nit picker, but I'm still working on my first cup of coffee.

    Why doesn't your fired lead ball show any signs of passing through a rifled barrel?

    Yes splatology was a fantastic blog and is surprisingly accurate.

    Mr B.

    PS Why didn't you shoot from a bench?

  3. Kevin,

    Not exclusively. I just used it the first time because I recommend buying it so often that I wanted to give guys another good reason to use it. It works fine for this purpose, but it isn't the only thing to use. Pellgunoil is on the viscous side, as far as household oils go, so you might want to try something a little thinner.

    This second time (for today's test) I used 3-in 1 oil, just for some variety. It's thinner, so it runs down the barrel faster. I didn't see any difference in performance, though.


  4. Mr. B.,

    The parts are labeled correctly. I normally do three-part reports that go description, velocity, accuracy. For this gun I overlapped by joining the first two and the second two. That's 1&2 – 2&3.

    The fired ball DOES show the rifling, though I admit it's hard to see in the photo I published. That band around the center of the dome is the rifling. On the side turned away from you, one of the rifling lands can be seen. That dimple near the top if the dome is just a handling mark, I think.

    I didn't shoot from a bench because when I tested the 499 I didn't shoot from a bench. Well, that's not entirely true. For the one real good target I did shoot from a bench. But most of the other times I shot offhand.

    The 499 is so light that if I am steady on my feet, I can muscle it to do what I want. The 310 is too heavy for that, so I was forced to use a real offhand position. I think that is why the groups are a bit larger.

    Do you want to see a benched shootoff between the two guns?


  5. B.B.,

    That's a generous offer, based on your time–yes I would. It would be interesting to see if the Haenel's rifled barel gives it an advanage over the 499's know accuracy.

    Mr B.

    PS Please tell Edith that the third cup of coffee did the trick.

  6. I tried to tie the 499 with a LNIB 99 from 1967 I found at a garage sale last year. It was not even close with regular BB’s and the included sights, so I switched the rear aperture sight and went to the precision shot. That made a 70% improvement, but still not an equal. I was shooting them at ten meters however, not 5. The 99 did sound better but that was it.

    The 499 is still here, and the 99 found a new home in Kentucky.

    As far as rifling and round balls, they do seem to go together. My little smoothbore Diana 25 was terrible with round balls but stacked pellets at ten meters. To be fair the only lead rounds I have are Gamo’s, so this could be part of the issue. I tried them in many rifles and it was the odd rifled bird that shot them well.

    Long answer to a short question, but sure see if you can beat the 499 off the bench.


  7. I just started working on a 310 (well a 310 – 2), will have a strip down up on the blog sometime in the next week.

    Anyway, I'm getting velocities of about 280 fps after disassembly and lubing, compared to 250 before. I'm trying to figure out why it isn't shooting in the 300's at least. Right now I'm thinking the seal needs more oil and that the spring may be tired. We'll see. I can now strip the 310 in about 5 minutes so there is a benefit to tweaking I guess.

    One thing about the 4.4mm ammo. The ball ammo that came with the rifle and a bag that Derrick sent me were both sourced in the US. The balls aren't balls! I measured diameter around the periphery of the balls and found that they varied as much as 4.18mm to 4.45mm on a ball. Most exhibited that same out of roundness. I'd be curious to hear whether you find the same thing with your balls.

    I pushed one of the balls through the barrel and found only two spots on the surface where the rifling was engaged, instead of what should be a full circle of engagement. I imagine this does rob some of the power. At least I hope so…


  8. Nick,

    It's been a long time since anyone has asked me to check my balls! In fact, I believe the last time I was asked to cough, but someone else did the checking.

    I am signing in as anonymous because I've been working in other Blogger accounts and haven't signed back in, but with a verification word of BULESHE I knew I had to sign in here.


  9. Volvo,

    Okay, I will test the 499 benched against the 310.

    I will also measure the uniformity of the 4.4mm lead balls

    My 499 gets 2476 f.p.s. velocity, and I will confirm that in the next test.

    The 99 was a regular Daisy with either a 50-shot forced feed shots tube (the more common model) or a 1000-shot gravity feed tube (one year only). These shot tubes vary a lot more than the tube in the 499. As far as I know, the 299 that preceded the 499 also has the sloppier shot tube. So it's the 499 or nothing.


  10. One of the great joys of self employment is the freedom to procrastinate. I just chronied the 310 this morning and found velocity had climbed to the 300-320 range with most being about 310-312 fps. So letting oil soak into the seal is a good idea!

    I think I'll try lubing some of the balls (there's really no way to write that so it sounds good, is there?) and see if that improves velocity as well.

    I think there's a "check your balls" song somewhere on the internet, but I sure as heck won't be googling for it…

  11. B.B.,

    I would like to ask you a question about firearms if you do not mind. I have a Russian Mosin Nagant, which I have not fired. The bolt works well without ammo. With Wolf ammo (steel casing) it does not lock. I tried seating the cartridge directly on the bolt face, which requires prying the extractor with a screwdriver. Once the rim clears the extractor, I can slide the whole thing into the action and no problem closing. So, I think that the extractor is just too stiff or the rim is too wide and the extractor does not clear it.

    Am I looking into getting another extractor you think? or is it just the ammo. I do not think the extractor can be adjusted in the Mosin bolt.

    I posted this question on a couple firearms forums and keep getting the same answers that are not correct (it's dried up cosmoline, it's a burr, it's grit, it's the martians…). It is just the extractor not clearing the rim…



  12. B.B. and all,

    Re: problems with Disco.

    Finally got around to do some careful tests with teh Disco. If you remember, I was not able to get a 0.5 inch group at 10 yd. I would start with a nice two hole group and then it wpould open up wildly (0.5 inch) to the left or the right, or up or down.

    I removed the scope and sighted with open sights last night. Three times I got 3/8-inch, five shot groups at 13 yd. So, my conclusion is that the problem was the scope (supplied as the combo).

    Either it was not well attached (I checked that repeatedly) or is it barrell droop? (working at the far end of the adjustment range?). I mounted the scope on my .22 lr and will see if there is degradation of accuracy.

    Anyway, I just wanted to give a follow up on my little issue. Good news is the Disco rocks!!!!


  13. B.B.

    I love this. Shooting offhand at my distance of 5 yards, and there's even a sub captain who could make do with smaller.

    Tunnel Engineer, Mosin-Nagant, eh? How does she shoot for you?

    All, I read last night from David Tubb that firearms barrels last for just 4 seconds of use. 4 milliseconds per shot times 4000. I'd say that airguns compare pretty favorably.

    Wayne, I'm reading more about the lore of estimating wind. What techniques. You should consider yourself a lucky fellow to be able to practice this stuff!


  14. tunnel engineer,

    Sounds like maybe a chamber on the minimum size with ammo on the maximun length of ok. I'd run a set of go, no chamber gauges through your gun. Let us know what happens.

    Congrads on getting your Disco shoot the way it should.

    Mr B.

  15. TE – Do you have another scope you could try on the disco? Also, you should check to see if the two bolts that hold the breech in place are snug. Look here -https://www.crosman.com/pdf/manuals/BP1K77xx%20&%20BP9M22xx%20EVP.pdf

    The 2 screws are # 27 and 29. IF those are loose your scope could be moving potentially

    .5 groups at 10 yrds should be no problem. Good luck


  16. Tunnle Engineer,

    Well, you cannot lay a cartridge in the open bolt path and expect the extractor to clear the edge. The cartridge MUST be fed up from the magazine, to allow the rim of thew cartridge case to get underneath the extractor claw. This is especially true with rimmed cartridges, like the 7.62X54R.

    Are you feeding ammo from the magazine? If not, that is your problem.

    If you ARE feeding from the magazine, is the cartridge pushed all the way to the rear of the magazine? Because, if it is too far forward, the extractor may miss the rim, giving you the same problem as I mentioned before.

    Please answer those questions before we precede.


  17. B.B.
    I was listening to talk radio the other day and a guy was telling the DJ about his .220 Swift that only dropped two inches at 1000 yards. This came to mind when I first saw the numbers your 499 is putting out. Sounds like my 499 is ringer as it is always well over 300 fps. It is however the most twangy anything I have ever owned. It would seem to need Mr. Watts’ advance tune, but a $265 I’ll have to let it go.

    While I am no longer amassing a collection I am rotating out rifles. I have a new old stock Izzy 61 coming this Friday. If I recall correctly you were a fan of this at one time. Did you scope yours, or can a scope even be added? Any other thoughts?

    If B.B. can work you in the queue, how about a guest blog on that R-8? Did you Chrony or test shoot any groups before sending it off to Paul?


  18. That is good news about the sub captain! I usually like to read while answering nature's call but now here is a new dimension to my favorite participative sport. I think it'll be easier to check roundness, too, while sitting down. However, I need to look for a way to warm up those dang calipers first.


  19. BB,
    Cool gun! And good shooting. I appreciate the full disclosure — its what separates reality from literature.

    Regarding TE's question on barrel droop, I think he's asking whether the scope can be unstable when the adjustments are at or near the end of travel (to compensate). In my experience, yes. If not immediately, sooner rather than later, the POI will get random because the erector tube is not held firmly. I.e., the center of the group may be roughly correct, but the group gets much more dispersed.

    I put up the offhand groups, just because I'm probably busy and may not do any better or have a chance later. Let me know when you're ready.

  20. B.B.,

    Re: Disco
    I was thinking that barrel droop may have caused me to click the scope way out there and may have issues with the internal stability of the cross hairs. If that makes sense…

  21. B.B.

    I never thanked you for the tip on the new Christmas Story 25 year anniversary BB guns. I picked a few up this past spring. I just sold one on GB for $185.00 plus shipping. These were $79.00 new 6 months ago. Wish I would have bought a few dozen of them.

    That said, it will be awhile until we are even. : ) The first money you cost me was a new barrel for my R-1 when your book said they were best in .22 cal. Funny thing was I had used it for years and taken a ton of game and had been completely satisfied, but suddenly felt it was inadequate. Never underestimate the power of the written word I guess.

  22. B.B.,

    Re: Mosin Nagant.
    I fed them from the magazine and one by one. However, I was not paying topo much attention to location in the magazine. I just made sure three casings went in the magazine. I was never able to lock the bolt and had to extract them by hand

    What you say is that as the casing comes up the magazine and is then pushed by the bolt, somehow the rim slips under the extractor and the casing then turns to be flat against the bolt face. If this is the case, that is definitely my problem.

    I was thinking this would be similar to the .22 lr where you can insert the casing by hand and the extractor clears the rim as you push the bolt


  23. Nick,

    Hey, now that's just slanderous! I checked each and every single lead ball that I sent you for sphericality. Each was hand selected and individually wrapped after ensuring it was at least a grade 25. Whatever happened must have been from transit. You did get the optional ball insurance didn't you?

  24. Tunnel Engineer,

    With rimmed cartridges you have to pay extreme attention to how they are fed into a vertical box magazine, because if a cartridge on top gets caught on the rim of a cartridge underneath as it tries to slide forward during feeding, it won't work. That's why vertical box magazines are usually reserved for rimless cartridges, and also why .357 and .44 Magnum cartridges make for great feeding difficulty in semiautomatic pistols.


  25. Unrifled barrels. I found out a lot about these with my childhood Benjamin 100 shot bb pump gun. Try as I might to adjust, refine sights, I could not get good groups. I went from bb's to round lead shot, but no joy. Can you guess it….The Benjamin was a multipump gun and of course, I wanted max power; end result, knuckleballs! Back off on the power to find the sweet spot and you get nice, accurate little lobs. Too fast and each one will go a different place. Of course, those builders of accurate smooth bore air rifles, don't typically give you that choice.

  26. B.B.,

    Re: Mosin
    tried again this evening. I fed 5 casings in the magazine and looked closely at the bolt face during cycling.

    From 20 cartridges, 4 or 5 did engage the extractor, and I was able to easily lock the bolt and then extract the cartridge. The rest did not. I then disassembled the bolt, pushed the extractor a little bit sideways (if it moved was a very small amount). The re-assembled and tried again. This time, 3 of the cartridges that did not enegage previously, did so.

    So, it is either that the extractor is to tight against the bolt or that the ammo (steel casing) presents this issue and maybe brass would make engagement easier.

    If weather cooperates tomorrow, i will head to the range and try again.

    Thank yu for your help


  27. Well this question is going off topic, but… A month or two ago I was going back through a bunch of these articles, and someone mentioned a source for .20 cal lead balls. Try as I might, I can't find it again. I believe the source sold the lead balls by the pound.

    I have a Sheridan that I'd really like to try lead ball in. Partly because I'll be teaching my son to use a "grown up" air rifle and the ball would be easier.

  28. Jim,

    Please describe your airgun. We don't know whether it is a rifle or a handgun.

    How does it cock? Breakbarrel, underlever, sidelever, push barrel? How does it load? breakbarrel, sliding compression chamber, taploader?

    Until we know some of this, it's hard to say anything.


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