by B.B. Pelletier

Today, I’m going to share with you what happens when things don’t work out as planned. You know, all my days aren’t sunshine and bluebirds. I had fully intended to do part 4 of the Benjamin Katana test for you today. So yesterday I went over to the AirForce factory, where I can shoot long ranges undisturbed. I set up my MTM shooting bench and proceeded to finish the 50-yard accuracy test–or so I thought.

At first, I couldn’t get either the Gamo TS-22 pellets or the Crosman Premiers to group at 50 yards. In fact, I couldn’t even keep them on paper! You may recall from the last test that those were the two pellets I said I was going to test for you in the Katana before finishing the report.

I dragged the target in to just 20 yards to see where the rifle was shooting. Lo and behold, I then shot a 7-inch three-shot group with Premiers at 20 yards! End of shooting. End of test. End of good day.

Had this been the first time out with the Katana, I might have thought the rifle was lousy, but this is the same airgun that put 10 Beeman Kodiaks into a group less than six-tenths of an inch in size at 50 yards just last week. Something was wrong, and it probably wasn’t the rifle.

Just to be sure, I removed the small, decorative muzzlebrake from the rifle’s barrel, though it showed no signs of touching the pellets after they left the muzzle.

I then checked the scope and found that it was tight in the rings, which were tight on the rifle.

HOWEVER…

This is the same scope that caused me to walk away from the Norica Massimo test a couple weeks ago after I got lousy groups with a scope. You may remember that my open-sight groups with that rifle were MUCH better than after I scoped it.

So what?
Here’s what I want to get across in today’s report. Sometimes stuff happens, and you have to deal with it. With me doing accuracy testing on a lot of airguns and then publishing the results, the worst thing that can happen is for me to get a scope that cannot hold its zero. It doesn’t happen often, but I think it may have happened this time.

I don’t care about the scope, but I absolutely cannot be doubting my test equipment. Too much rides on the outcome.

And this is where learning takes place
I’ve never claimed to be an airgun guru. My claim is that I’m an average guy who shoots a lot; and, through years of experience, I’ve observed some things that seem to work for me. One of those things is that simple scopes are usually tougher and more reliable than complex scopes.

So, after suffering the loss of a full day at the range, like I did yesterday, I want to make certain that the next trip to the range is not wasted. Simple works better for me, so I will scope the Katana with a dead-simple scope for the return trip. The complex scope that I think may have failed will be set aside until I know the results of the next accuracy test. If the rifle works as I believe it will (i.e., it’s accurate at 50 yards), the other scope will be tossed and the accuracy test will be written.

Then, I’ll scope the Massimo with the same trusted scope and re-run that test for you.

More so what?
For those who keep score and “just HAVE to know,” the scope that MAY have failed is an AGS 8-32X56. It’s a nice-looking scope, but I cannot remember when or where I got it. It’s not a brand that Pyramyd Air carries, so either it came on a gun I was testing or I got it in a trade.

For the record, I have also broken Leapers, Beeman, RWS, Burris, Bushnell, Tasco and other scopes over the years. So, this isn’t a bad reflection on AGS, if it turns out that the scope is broken. It happens.

I’m going to also take a spare scope along to the next test. Regardless of the obstacles in the way, the Katana is going to be shot with a good scope, and I’ll finish my report. And that’s how I make lemonade. 8KAABSC48DEE