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Pellet preparation

Update on Tom/B.B.: Woohoo! Things are looking better and better. Now that some infection issues are diminishing, Tom appears to be improving at an accelerated pace.

Today’s blog was written by B.B.

We’re going to get crazy and do some anal experiments that I know you guys will love. This one is a test, so you have to do the shooting and get back to the rest of us in the comments. The first thing we’ll test is sorted pellets vs unsorted.

Pick your best-shooting single-shot airgun. And pick the best pellet for that gun. It can’t be a repeater because I want you to put the pellet directly into the rifling. A breakbarrel would be ideal.

Sorted by weight vs unsorted
Unsorted: Once you’ve selected the best pellet for your gun of choice, randomly pick 10 pellets out of the tin. Set them aside and do nothing more to them.

Sorted: For this part of the test, you need the ability to weigh pellets. From the same tin that you picked the unsorted pellets, pick out 10 pellets. Before weighing them, examine each one very closely and remove any lead flashing you find inside the skirt. Now, weigh the pellets. They must all weigh the same. Pellets that vary by any amount will be put aside and not used for this test. Keep on going until you’ve come up with 10 pellets that have the same weight. Depending on the brand you selected, you may have to go through quite a few pellets before finding 10 that weigh exactly the same.

Do not reverse the order of this process. I don’t want you to do the sorted pellets first and then use the rejects as your unsorted group! The unsorted pellets must be selected totally at random. Also, don’t inspect the unsorted ones for flashing, etc. (otherwise they won’t be unsorted). The reason I want you to select the pellets from one tin is to ensure they all come from the same die lot.

Ready, aim, shoot!
Now, shoot the best two groups you can (one with sorted, the other with unsorted) at a reasonable distance that will show accuracy tendencies. I would say 20-25 yards would be a good distance. Shoot two 10-shot groups rather than four 5-shot groups.

While one or two readers may report anomalous results that do not agree with the hypothesis, in all likelihood most of you will shoot tighter groups with the sorted pellets. The further the distance you shoot, the more obvious this will be.

Report your findings in the comments section of this blog. No need to go formal, but it wouldn’t hurt to tell us the model of rifle, caliber, pellet type and actual distance shot. If you are experiencing a bad weather day in your area, please don’t run this test. That’s another variable we cannot control.

Test No. 2: oriented pellets
As a black powder cartridge shooter, I know that the best accuracy in my rifle comes when I orient the bullet. That means I need to know the position of the bullet in the mold before it comes out. And I need to always position the bullet in the same way relative to the barrel when I insert it in the breech. Most shooters have a means of making a mark on the bullet so they can do this rapidly and easily. What we’re doing with our pellet orientation is as close as we can come without being the actual manufacturer of each pellet.

These Crosman Premier Super Match wadcutters aren’t that clear, but you can see the join mark where two halves of the pellet come together.

What to orient
We have to pick something that’s found on the pellet. For example, Crosman Premier pellets are made by two halves of a die coming together. So, they have fins at the join line that runs perpendicular to the diameter of the pellet. Picking one of these would be ideal, except how do you know which one you’re picking. In other words, is the fin that you put at 12 o’clock for pellet No. 1 the same fin you put at 6 o’clock for pellet No. 2. You’re going to have to be a detective and find an iron clad way of knowing that each pellet is oriented the same. I can’t tell you how to do this; just work carefully, and it should come to you.

Once, again, I’ll ask you to shoot 10 shots of oriented pellets at a reasonable distance. And another 10 shots of pellets you pull out of the tin and pay no special attention to. Do not make any attempt on this random lot to control the degree of randomness. Just pick ’em, load ’em and shoot ’em.

Report your results the same way, and we ought to have a nice little body of data built up by the end of the day. Though, it may take several days because of peoples’ schedules.

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.

126 thoughts on “Pellet preparation”

  1. Hey Tom. I have a Benjamin Trail NP (not the XL). I am wondering if I can use the RWS superpoints in my gun, or will the skirts be deformed by the nitro piston, as in the XL? Or is the piston in my gun less powerful, such that it will be OK? I am asking because I just ordered a tin of the RWS superpoints. I will get them in a few days. The advertised power of my gun is 24FP, not sure what it really is. Can’t be 24FP, if the trail was listed at 30, and comes in at 24.5FP. Curious what you think. I love your blogs. Very informative. Thank you for all your contributions to Airgunning.

      • Ryan,

        we’re not ignoring you, it just appears no one on the Blog has your rifle and can answer your question. I will say that my Discovery PCP shooting 14.3 gr. RWS Super H point .22 pellets, pushed them out at 818 fps which translated to 21.25 ft.lbs. For a spring piston or gas piston power plant to beat a PCP, well I’d take the manufacturer’s claims with a grain of salt. As for deforming the skirts, I wouldn’t worry. The only think to worry is if you shoot too light a pellet and it doesn’t build up enough resistance of air in the compression chamber thus allowing the head of the piston and seal to strike the end of the chamber.

        Fred PRoNJ

        • Thank you for your thoughtful reply Fred. On the note of too light pellets in a spring gun. Would these pellets at 11gr be too light for a springer?


          I used one so far, and it shot OK, but I can’t tell just by listening if there was any damage. Wondering if its advisable to stay away from these pellets or not? Understanding you don’t have my gun, but a general view for springers is OK.


          • Ryan, if your pellet is too light for your gun, you will hear it – the rifle discharge will sound like a .22 long rifle being fired. I once mistakenly slipped a .177 pellet into my RWS 350 and shot it in my basement. Scared the crap out of the wife and cockatiel.

            I don’t think 11 grain pellets are too light for your use, however.

            Fred PRoNJ

  2. B.B.,

    Glad to hear that you’re doing so much better.

    You know, these really sound like fun and interesting tests, but as I’m still kind of new to this whole airgun thing, so I’m not sure what scale to use. Can you recommend something, or is this something that I should be able to find easily at a drug store or Wal-Mart? I realize that my question may sound like of lame, but I don’t think I’ve bought any kind of scale in over 30 years, and it’s been even longer since I was last in any kind of college lab. 🙂


    • Victor,

      I don’t want to step on B.B.’s toes, but I’ve been researching a grain scale for myself lately, and here are a couple I’ve got my eye on:

      [Edith, I looked on PA’s website for scales and I couldn’t find any, so I don’t think these are in direct competition with anything they sell. If I’ve crossed any lines of etiquette, I’m sorry, and I’ll understand if you delete the post.]


      These scales both have .02 grain resolution – probably overkill for the task at hand – but for the price, a nice feature. Grain scales are sometimes referred to as “diamond scale,” in case you’re not getting the search results you had hoped for. The specific features I looked for were <$100, calibration weights, measurement in grains, and a carrying case. I also like that the 2nd one has a backlit display and what looks like (but does not specify) a removable tray. Both come with tweezers.

      If you're going to be weighing bullets or throwing a whole tin of pellets on the scale at once, make sure you pay attention to the rated weight capacity. One of these tops out at 154 grains while the other can handle 308. Obviously, neither one is suited for more than a few pellets at once. The higher the resolution, the lower the capacity will be, so you might need something with a .1 grain resolution or less for heavier applications.

      – Orin

    • Victor,

      Scales accurate enough to weigh pellets meaningfully for B.B.’s test are expensive. They are typically jewelry scales. Not worth buying one if you are not going to shoot competitively on a regular basis. The scale must weigh grains (abbreviated gr) and not just grams (abbreviated g).

      Suggestion: visit your friendly neighborhood coin dealer (who almost certainly will have such a scale because coin dealers usually buy scrap gold and silver regularly) or a jeweler in a small strip mall (avoid the fancy big name jewelers in the big malls) or a pawn shop. They will surely let you use the scale to weigh a few pellets. Prepare ahead of time a little box lined with soft cotton to carry home your sorted pellets, so that they will not be damaged en route.

      Oh, and while you’re at the pawn shop, look around for any old airguns or toy guns they might have…


      • Anywhere that sells cartridge reloading equipment will have grain scales. Perhaps they will have used scales at a reduced price. The two grain scales that I use were not that expensive. The first is an [url=http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=605320]RCBS balance beam powder scale[/url] I got mine used for around $30. Lee also makes a [url=http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=712103]balance beam scale[/url] that is much more affordable. My second scale is an {url=http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=785229]Electronic scale[/url] made by MTM Case Gard.

    • Victor,

      any gunstore that sells reloading supplies will have digital electronic scales for sale at reasonable prices. The scales will weigh to tenths of a grain as well as other denominations such as grams, ounces and troy ounces. For mail order, try


      I bought a scale on sale (nice alliteration, huh?) for reloading and it will do the trick nicely for this task. Don’t bother with a manual beam balance scale as, while more accurate, this type of task will take a very long time using the manual scale.

      BB also uses this store as do quite a few others on this blog.

      Fred PRoNJ

  3. I know you have all missed my middle of the night quotes, lol. Been out of sorts lately but here is one:

    I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.
    Winston Churchill

    I’ve heard variations of the quote but never realized it was attributed to Winston Churchill.


    • rikib,

      To understand the reason for this quote (which is attributed to one of Churchill’s bodyguards by the way) you have to know the circumstances under which it was uttered: Late one evening, as Churchill (who was famous not just as a master politician and British patriot, but also notorious for drinking too much) was walking (stumbling?) down the street, he was accosted by a woman who purportedly said to him, “for shame, you, sir, are drunk. Very very drunk.” To which he instantly replied, “I may be drunk, Ma’am, but in the morning I shall be sober while you will still be very very ugly.” This interchange could be apocryphal, however it is widely regarded to have occurred.


  4. B.B.,

    I’m very relieved to hear you are doing so much better!

    Is that actually you providing the health status update and referring to yourself in the third person, or is Edith still dictating? 🙂

    – Orin

  5. Tom,
    I’m glad to hear that your heath is improving and continue to pray that you will be better than normal.
    I have sorted pellets for the 4-H kids that I work with and without their knowing had them shoot for score. With the cheap pellets (like Daisy precision max) it makes a big difference, 5 to 10 pionts per 100! However the better pellets (like R-10 or any “match” grade) the weight is very consistant so only sort the deformed pellets out and it dosn’t help but 2 or 3 points. All this was done at 10m but I can’t help but think that at a longer distance it would make an even larger differents.
    BTW I did this to prove to my fellow leaders that the cheap pellets was a bad place to try to save a few bucks. They also are very dirty and leave lots of crud in the guns.

      • Herb,
        The most sucsessfull blind test was putting a filter screen on the lens of their non-dominent eye shooting glasses. On the first relay it dosn’t help much but when they shoot a ful match (4 relays) by the last relay it really helps with eye fatigue.

    • Caveman

      I like your experiment. It reminds me of those old commercials where they went into fancy restaurants and replaced their expensive imported coffee with Folgers Crystals. I guess you did the reverse though.

      Interesting about the Daisy pellets. Not the results of sorting, but the fact that you would even use those nasty old things. ;^)

      What rifle are most kids shooting with? Daisy 853?

      • SL,
        The kid are spoiled. We start them out with 853s because we work one on one at first till they get the basic safety thing down pat so pumping the gun for them isn’t an issue. We shoot 8 lanes in a relay so as soon as they can handle themselfs we move them to a PCPs for the leaders conveinance. Mostly Anschutz 2008s and 2002s we don’t mess with co2. We have one 2008 Jr. that is a great fit for the younger kids and I’m keeping my eyes open to try and pick up a couple more. I do have one young girl that loves #19 (a club 853) and only wants to shoot that gun and she is very good so one of us has to pump for her every relay!
        I do blind test to the kids all the time, it’s so I can learn how to set up the guns in general for the kids to have the best chance for good scores.

  6. Regretfully, I will not be participating in this experiment due to historically large standard deviations in my statistical sample which render my data insignificant.

    This has been a computer-generated response from SlingingLead.

  7. While this does not involve the actual weighing and visual inspection of pellets, it does serve as a good example.

    I got hold of a bad tin of CPHP. My 853 was shooting them all over the place. Had trouble keeping them in the pellet trap when shooting in my living room.
    The pellets did not show any obvious defects like crushed skirts or severe deformities of any other kind.

    I sorted them out by head size by using the muzzle on my Marksman 0035 as a go/no go indication. If the head of the pellet fell into the muzzle it was rejected. If the head of the pellet did not fall into the muzzle then it went into the accepted pile.

    The accepted pellets shot into the same hole, while the rejects shot all over the place.

    I have also noticed with my TSS that if a CPH falls into the breech end a bit farther than usual, it will usually miss the mark. Pellets that seem to fit a little extra tight still seem to shoot OK.


    • AlanL,
      Funny you should ask. Well with spring in the air that youg man’s interest have changed from shooting to girls (i have no idea how long it will take to out grow that) but, his younger brother would like to come up to the club and try it out. His mother has promessed to bring him up but with spring we have switched to small bore (only have practice for competitive air shooters right now) and I haven’t pushed it because I realy don’t like starting new kids with small bore. If they do show up I will most likely work one on one with him on indoor range with air and not make him wait till next winter but I have six kid sign up for shot gun this year too so time is going to be a factor.
      Thing never go the way you exspect them to do they?

  8. I’ve never been very fond of most “anal experiments”.

    I like this one that B.B. suggested since the results have been significant especially in my springers.

    A few observations. Decent “digital grain scales” suitable for sorting pellets are no longer expensive. I paid around $10.00 shipped for mine. Search ebay. Before you choose from the many options look for a scale that has the grain weight option not just gram. A scale that goes down to .1 grains is good enough for this work. Mine goes down to .01 but I only sort to .1. Make sure it comes with a calibration weight. Recalibrate the scale frequently. I check mine every 30 pellets. You need to let the scale warm up (at least 30 minutes) prior to use and place the scale in a location where there’s no air movement when you’re using it. Never touch the calibration weight with your fingers.

    A nod to volvo on this one….To remove another key variable from this experiment I would suggest that you use a pellet seat to consistently seat your pellet to the proper depth. The cap on a ballpoint pen (while still affixed to the pen) works well but a beeman pellseat works best (round end not pointed end. Pyramyd AIR sells these. Best investment you can make for accuracy in springers in my opinion).


    • Kevin,

      I spoke to Tom and mentioned that a comment was made about how expensive the scales can be, and he disagreed that you had to buy expensive stuff. There are always bargains to be had, but getting one for $10 shipped has got to be the best price I’ve seen, short of getting one as a gift.

      Regarding a pellet seater. I don’t know if they’re useful or not. I’m basing this on my observations at field target matches in the 1990s. This was a time when most people used springers because PCPs were still expensive. I saw a few people using pellet seaters, but they never seemed to win. It could be they just weren’t that good at shooting (and knew it) and were just trying to gain an edge by using a pellet seater.


      • Mrs. Gaylord,

        There are two circumstances present when a pellet seater has definately improved groups in my springers. One is based on how your gun seats the pellet upon closing the barrel and the height/type of breech seal seems to be a factor. The other is the type of pellet and/or whether it has a thin skirt.

        I’ve found that primarily in older springers with leather breech seals that don’t stand proud (my diana 27 and lg 53 come immediately to mind) it’s hard to consistently deep seat a pellet by hand without damaging the skirts. When using soft pellets (like most jsb’s) it’s common to fold a skirt over when seating by hand. If you’re lucky not to fold the skirt over by hand but still don’t seat it deeply when you close the breech you will usually smash an edge of the pellet skirt.

        It took me awhile to discover the reason for improved groups (dramatic improvement in the above mentioned guns) when seating by hand vs. using a pellet seat. I remember the “ah ha” moment when I seated by hand, closed the breech, then reopened the breech and examined the edges of the pellets. I’m convinced that the thinner skirt that’s created by smashing one side of the pellet upon closing of the breech, that wasn’t seated deeply enough, causes additional destablization (yaw) in flight and therefor affects accuracy.

        I would encourage everyone to check their pellets for skirt uniformity prior to closing the breech AND after closing the breech ESPECIALLY if you’re using pure lead pellets and/or if your choice of pellet has a thin skirt.


      • Yeah, no doubt about that $10 steal. I looked around for a 1/100 grain scale and couldn’t even find one online, for any price. And I didn’t even limit my searches to grain scales. I also looked at reloading scales and jewelry scales. The highest resolution seemed to be 1/50 (.02) grain (also 1/1000 gram, 1/100 carat).

        I noticed a couple of days ago that the Beeman Pell Seat was discontinued on PA. In fact, I couldn’t even find it using a search. I had to go to one of Tom’s old blogs and use the link he had previously posted. Is it coming back?

        – Orin

  9. After following your ordeal closely, it’s great to hear you are on the comeback trail. You have been in my thoughts and prayers, friend. Best to you and your lovely wife, as you have a fine one.

  10. An update on “how far an airgun will shoot”.

    I went out to my old man’s farm this morning to laser the distance to the old barn that I had bounced bbs off of when I was a kid.

    The barn was gone, but most of the other buildings were still there. I lasered the garage and got 325 yds. The side of the barn roof that I used to shoot would have been about 50 yds closer than that. Not much doubt that the bbs would have gone another 25 yds if the barn had not been in the way.

    In conclusion….
    A seriously over pumped smoothbore Benji bb/pellet rifle can throw a steel bb 300 yds.


  11. Diana rifles!
    Was there ever a Diana model 40? a nearby store has one they labeled as such. Wood stock, muzzle brake. Looks like a MeisterSchutze
    Also, is there a Diana model 34 Carbine? I know the regular 34 rifle but have not found a carbine in PA’s website.
    Are these older models not produced anymore, or do they simply not exist and were mislabeled?

    Thank you!

    • Tunnel Engineer,

      The diana model 40 began production in 2002. According to the blue book it produces 950fps in .177 and 780fps in .22. 90% condition it’s worth $145.00.

      Yes the diana 34 comes in a carbine version (known as the 34C). Barrel length on most 34 models is 19″-19.75″. Barrel length on the carbine is 15.5″. Stocks are the same.


          • Volvo,

            I literally left my office and jumped in my car to go buy the RWS 40 rifle after I read your comment. It turns out it was a new-in-the-box rifle. No visible dents, or scratches. My feeling is that it might have been returned and whatever problem it had was resolved. Anyway, I could not say no to that pretty thing for $100.


  12. BB and Edith:
    Sorry I can’t add to the data.
    After I tipped 16stone on the scales they went out the bathroom window:)
    Talking of preparing pellets though and seating them as well.
    What difference to performance does sizeing a pellet make?
    And are there any DIY devices I could use to size the pellets?
    All the best,

    • My two pence.

      Don’t know of any DIY pellet sizers. Beeman sold a pellet sizer once upon a time with many different die sizes.

      If a pellet fits snug in your barrel I’ve found that sizing them is a waste of time. The barrel will ultimately size the pellet. Seating the pellet uniformly makes a difference in many guns.


  13. Benjamin Marauder Single Shot Tray, .22 caliber $14.99.

    Excuse me! I don’t want to sound ungrateful but don’t you think this is like ripping off the customer, even a little bit?

    • Chuck,

      If you think the price of the single-shot tray is high, then you need to bark at Crosman, as they set the wholesale cost to retailers. I think you might be appalled at how little retailers make off these products. I know I am!

      A Google search shows that $14.99 is the retail price everyone is charging for these. It’s not essential to the Marauder, so you can still shoot the gun without it.


      • Edith,
        I’m sorry, I need to apologize. I did target that gripe at PA and I realize I am picking on the wrong people. I shall commence barking at Crosman.

        • Chuck,

          I’m not sensitive, so no apologies needed. Stuff rolls of my back real easily 🙂

          Although Crosman is very interested in what airgunners think, they may not be able to do anything about the cost of manufacturing without sacrificing quality. I’d rather pay a bit more and have something that has a really good chance of working than save $2 and find out it doesn’t work well (or at all).


          • I think Crosman is chiseling their customers by not including a single shot tray with the rifle. Same thing goes for the degasser for the Discovery. Luckily there is an easy work around for that one.

            As far as manufacturing costs go, I don’t think it could cost more than a few dimes to manufacture something made out of molded plastic, and certainly not whatever Crosman is charging for the tray wholesale. Daisy’s single shot tray for the 953/853 costs $5.99 retail and includes five five-shot clips!

            Crosman is usually very good about providing value to their customers. The two examples cited above might lead someone to believe otherwise.

            I realize PA has nothing to do with this practice.

  14. Sorting pellets has always been one of my least favorite ideas, although washing pellets would have to be at the top of my “won’t do” list while there is still grass to watch growing or paint to watch dry:). Caveman’s blind test was interesting, however: consistency is the main thing you should be getting more of with better pellets. The only pellets I sort in any way a the cheapest Crosman Field Hunting Points and similar pellets — there is the occasional “runt” that is grossly undersized, and that one can be counted on to go awry. I shoot it anyway, but don’t expect much out of it:).

    Just so I don’t offend anyone: sort your pellets if you enjoy it. For me, it just takes away more from the enjoyment of the activity than it gives in return. If I were shooting benchrest air rifle, I might change my mind, but as long as they are informal, offhand shooting tools, decent pellets out of the tin are good enough.

    • BG_Farmer,

      So you’re saying that you wish to excuse yourself from this anal experiment? LOL!

      Weighing pellets is a good snowy day project when you’re done cleaning the guns and sharpening all your knives. Otherwise, at my house, you must vacuum.


      • Kevin
        Yes, no anal experiments for me, please:).
        That’s funny about the vacuum. For some reason, the whine of a vacuum drives me up the wall, so my wife doesn’t even run it when I’m around, except in “emergencies”. When it snows here, I usually have to run outside to plow…before it melts!

  15. I just wanted to weigh in on pellet scales 😛 (sorry, couldn’t resist) Here are my opinions. Yours may vary. And, if Tom ever addresses this in a blog again someday, he will probably debunk everything I say. I say that’s good because that’s why we need him. One addition I would make to BB’s post is THE BLIND TEST – that either someone else should do the weighing, or someone else should hand the shooter the group without letting them know which, point being the groups of 10 should be mixed up somehow so that the shooter doesn’t know which group is being shot.

    Ok, my thoughts:

    The idea of weighing a pellet is to find its relative weight compared to the others in the tin. It doesn’t really matter if the number on the scale matches what’s printed on the lid. It is to put all same weight pellets together. During a shooting session you don’t want to be shooting pellets of random weight. Once separated by weight, shoot 10 from each group and see if any one group is better than the other. Go with the best group for the test.

    Using a scale that measures to .1gr is sufficient for this and need not be expensive.

    The scale can always be checked for accuracy by periodically re-weighing a previously weighed pellet from a different weight group. If it still registers the same as before, the scale is still calibrated the same.

    Avoid balance scales. I hear it takes too long for them to settle down before weights register. Digital tray scales register almost immediately. You are going to be bored out of your gourd as it is. You don’t want to be waiting for a scale to settle down. Do your weighing while watching TV. It’ll relieve the boredom.

    Make sure there is no external breeze blowing in the area. Don’t be breathing on them. These scales are very sensitive. Even the slightest breeze will affect the reading.

    Pick up the pellets with your fingers. Do not use tweezers as they will deform or scratch the skirts.

    That’s about it.

  16. This is an interesting test. I did another test yestrday at the shooting range with my Disco and H&N Crow Magnums at 25m. The results were astounding. And it is something that I never thought would make a difference in an airgun. Fouling shots when switching between pellets. I tried a group right after another pellet, then took another group. The difference was about a half inch group size. I also visually inspected the pellets before shooting, but did not weigh them.

  17. B.B.

    I think your idea is great, except why only 10 pellets? I would think that at least 50 of each group and 5, ten shot groups of each, would be needed to even out other factors.

    I’m also thinking a PCP would be the best gun to test with, since it should eliminate the recoil/hold factors. But, of course you have to be sure your in the steady part of your shot curve too, with the PCP.

    I’ve found in the past that the JSB 10.2 vary from 9.75 to 10.70 with maybe 5% of a tin of 500 in that extreme range. The chances of picking one of the extreme pellets when only choosing 10 unweighed is slim. But shoot one of the extreme pellets at a 50 yard target and your in big trouble… been there, done that:-).. I only shoot weighed pellets now.

    I found only slightly less variance in the CPH 10.5, and I’ve sorted and weighed two and a half 1250 ct. boxes.

    I was shooting the JSB unweighed last year. I started weighing the JSBs and testing them for accuracy indoors at 19yards. In testing the weighed pellets for accuracy, I found that they still didn’t group as well as I thought they should. They fit loose in the breech of USFT#6, while the CPH are so tight they HAVE to be inserted with the help of the round end of the pellet seater.

    The JSBs also have thinner skirts and are softer, so more care must be used in loading and handling them. But, I noticed that many of the winning FT shooters are still shooting JSBs in their USFTs, but I’ve switched to CPH, because they do shoot very, very, very consistent in #6, where as the JSB don’t, even when weighed.

    And since I’m washing and lubing with coconut oil, I haven’t needed to clean my barrel with the CPH, like others have had to.

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

      • Kevin,

        Welcome back indeed! I’m so glad you got your computer issues worked out!

        The blog is just not the same without you. I see on the yellow, your swapping around your collection a little:-) What pray tell, is filling in the new space?

        Wacky Wayne

        • Wayne,

          The primary motive for the 6 guns that I’ve sold recently is redundancy. Too many guns doing the same job. Got most of the bases covered. I’m thinking about adding a .25 caliber so I’ve been watching for the right wolf or rapid. I’m following the new reports on the new .25 cal marauder with great interest as well.

          Did you read B.B.’s review of the revolution in shotgun news? Very interesting.


          • Kevin,

            I haven’t had much time for outside reading, with the raised bed business growth, getting ready for, and reporting about field target matches each weekend… and preparations for the big Regional north/south match on Memorial day weekend. Barely time to join in here.

            I’ve been so busy, that the .25 cal Marauder I got in from PA, last Friday, is still in the box! Maybe I should forward it to you to test:-).

            I planned to compare it against the Evanix Rainstorm carbine, that I sold to Ed before it arrived. He was going to do the testing of both guns for me, since I’m so swamped. But Ed is a little under the weather this week, and the Rainstorm stock broke at a weak point in the design at the pistol grip. PA is sending a new stock, of course, for no charge.. (thanks again Paul).

            Ed says the Rainstorm is very, very accurate with JSB 16 or 18 grain. 5/8″ at 50 yards with 5 shots, (outdoors!) and even one group of 1″ at 100 yards. That will be hard to match or beat for the .25 cal Marauder, but based on the .22 & .177s we tested, it could happen.

            You could do the guest blog for me:-)

            anyway, email me if your interested

            Wacky Wayne
            Match Director,
            Ashland Air Rifle Range

            • Wayne,

              You’re such a generous gentleman. Thank you. I don’t have the time lately to shoot all my guns let alone test a newly released pcp and then write a guest blog.

              I’ve seen 1/2″ groups at 50 yards by the .25 cal marauder posted on the cf and yf. Haven’t seen any 100 yard groups on either forum yet.

              I’ve heard the evanix rainstorm carbine is loud compared to the new marauder. Be interested to hear your opinion of the noise when you have time to shoot them both.


  18. I have just re-introduced my brother in law to air gunning. He had an RWS Diana 350 in .177 years ago but was never too happy with it, and I discovered that this was probably due to his choice of pellets. He has tins and tins of old Beeman pointed Silver Jets. I brought him some Baracudas and Premiers and the right mount and scope and he discovered his air rifle was actually much nicer than he thought. Then I made the grave mistake of mentioning PCP rifles for higher power. He has heretofore been a centerfire freak who reloads, tweaks and weighs every 7 mm round (his favorite caliber, producing 3350 fps at the muzzle) and takes pride in his 5/8″ groups at 200 meters.

    He has fallen in love with the idea of an Air Force Condor and has asked my advice. Now you know me and PCP’s! I’m a springer guy! But I’m inclined to agree with his choice (in .22), in HPA and not CO2. He does intend to hunt with it. Any advice I can pass on appreciated.


  19. AlanL,

    I had a Condor in .22 cal. A very accurate gun with the right pellets. I had to adjust the power wheel down a little to get the JSB 16 gr. down around 900fps to get good groups. I really like the gun other than I could just barely get eye relief with my cheek pressed very hard on the air tank/stock. I was using high mounts and a leapers 8-32×56. Other than that, I really, really, liked the gun, especially the super easy to load breach.

    It would be great if your friend could try one out first, and see how it fits him.

    Wacky Wayne, MD.
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

    • Wayne,

      Thanks. He lives out of the country so that’ll be difficult.

      I gather from what you say that the eye relief problem is more one of getting the eye properly lined up behind the scope due to the diameter of the cylinder, rather than getting the correct axial distance, right?


      • AlanL,

        Yes, with that scope, and rings, I could only get eye relief when I very firmly press my cheek down on the air tank/stock. That’s a high scope and mounts, so, it seems to me to be an issue… but lots of folks on this blog have these fine guns and have worked out the issue I guess. Two Talon? Mr. B?

        Wacky Wayne MD.
        Ashland Air Rifle Range

        • You have to learn how to tip your head to the side a little.
          Some guys also add a Tri-rail or another one piece base to get the scope up some more. I get by with just high mount rings.


  20. Paper target question:

    I prefer the dedicated targets from National, but I am playing around with sclaing a target for my exact use – Air Rifle at 20 yards. Since nobody makes one, I scaled the official 10 meter target in powerpoint, and it looks and prints good, but the paper is the issue as it tears so easily. So thus my question – does anyobody have a suggestion for the best paper to use for targets we print ourselves? If not, I guess I could just put masking tape over the back of every target, but that is almost as much of a pain in the you know what as weighing pellets 🙂

    Alan in MI

    • Maybe try the “construction paper” they use for kids in schools — I think you can get it in a near-white color at craft stores. I assume that target paper is light card stock, which you should be able to find at an office supply store. Tearing is minimized if the target is placed over fresh cardboard — I don’t get holes torn in regular paper usually until the backer is all shot up.

    • Alan in MI,

      I don’t know what kind of trap you have behind your paper, but buying expensive heavy paper for your printer is not worth it. I bought a 4′ × 8′ sheet of thin fiberboard (very similar to the stuff clipboards are made of) and cut it into many rectangular pieces that I can clamp in front of my wooden silent trap. I then clamp the paper targets over it with the top clamp. This has the great advantage that on windy days I can tape the target on whatever side needs it, and it makes a nice firm backing that seems to make for neater holes (less tearing) in my paper.

      I also use the thin cardboard (heavy cardstock really) that backs every legal pad. My kids use the big 24″ × 36″ sketch pads and I make sure to steal the cardboard from those every time they get done. That makes for at least 4 backing pieces for my targets.

      Lastly, I bought a box of red 1/2″ dot stickers at the office supply store and paste those on the bull. Easier to see on white paper.


      • I just use a 12 pack of beer/coke box. Add an inch or so of magazines, they fit perfect, in the center and crumpled newspaper to hold the magazines in place. I placed 5 trimmed “NRA 5 meter BB Gun Targets” in the copy machine with regular copy paper. I tape a copy on the box and shoot away. Replace the copy paper target a few times. When I make too many holes in the box I turn it around and start over. When that side is done throw it all away and get another box.

    • I also use a backer to minimize tear-out, and then just print on regular paper. I have hundreds of those corrugated plastic signs from when I was doing some real estate work, and they work perfectly for the job. Unlike wood or hardboard, they seem to almost “self-mend,” resulting in fewer change-outs.

      – Orin

    • National targets got thinner every time I bought them, and the tearing problem is really serious. Switch to Krueger or Edelmann targets, widely available on the Web. Very good, never tear. Very clean.


  21. Allan,
    I have tried 20 bond, 28 bond and 110 bond weights paper and they all tear. But, here is a good solution: I buy the wide transparent scotch tape and put a strip of it over the center of the targets. For the eMatch bench rest targets, which are 5 across and 6 down, a strip covers the vital parts just fine. Anything outside of the 8 ring I couldn’t care less about. The pellet, whether domed or wad, makes a real nice clean hole in the tape. The paper behind the tape may still tear a bit but the hole in the tape is clean. Try it. It’s a cheap trick.

  22. Good suggestions from all on the paper targets. I have tried the cardboard backer approach – I designed my silent pellet trap with outside dimensions of 11×17 so I can use lids from left over copier paper boxes from work – but I didn’t find that (or taped paer) as good as the National targets taped over a hole in the lid. The problem is from close shots at the same target.

    I guess cardboard will be my fall back, but I have high hopes for BG_Farmer’s construction paper idea – that might even be better than the National targets. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    The paper plates sound good too, but I bet hey jam up my printer 🙂 My idea is to be able to accurately score the results with the scaled targets.

    Thanks again to all!

    Alan in MI

  23. Sorted Pellet Test #1

    Pellet Used: 7.0gr RWS Hobby
    Rifle Used: Bronco
    Range: 10m benchrest
    Target: 10m Airgunarena.com benchrest target – 5 bulls across, 6 bulls down
    Warmup Period: 0

    Set aside 10 random pick pellets, then

    Weighed pellets, making separate piles of each weight, until one pile had 10 that weighed the same. Weighed 24 pellets before 10 of equal weight were found. Reweighed all pellets to ensure accurate weights. Ended up with 4 at 6.9gr, 9 at 7.0gr, 10 at 7.1gr, 1 at 7.2gr.

    Set up benchrest target at 10m

    Shot the 10 sorted pellets first and scored 86 points.

    Shot the 10 unsorted pellets next and scored 89.

    Yes, you read that right, the unsorted scored better.

    One of the unsorted pellets even scored a 10. (dang, I wish I knew what weight it was.)

    Conclusion: eh?! (wish I would have weighed the unsorted ones after picking but before shooting)

    • Chuck,

      What were the last pellets shot in your Bronco? If they weren’t the RWS Hobby’s and the barrel needed a few rounds to season, it’s possible that your first group didn’t achieve its fullest potential.

      – Orin

      • Orin,
        The last pellets shot before the test were Hobbys. I might think that I got warmed up by the second round. Next time I could reverse the order to see if there is a difference. But, to be fair I plan to do more Hobby tests with 6.8, 6.9, and 7.0gr pellets. I don’t know if I can come up with enough 7.2gr ones to do a test but if I do I will test them. Also, I just got some Crosman Premier boxed 7.9gr pellets. I’m anxious to try them also.

    • Chuck,

      I think that you grossly underestimate the variability due to chance alone. The difference in group size between a score of 86 and 89 is minuscule. It is highly doubtful to me that you’d shoot 86 and 89 respectively if you repeated the experiment.

      With only two 10 shots groups the group sizes would have to be different by something like a factor of two to be statistically significantly different. You have to understand that the the human brain is geared to find patterns even when no such pattern exists. The reason to use statistics properly is to prevent you from fooling yourself.


  24. I don’t have a scale to weigh pellets and the JSBs I use for the B30 don’t have a seam or any other detail for orienting them consistently. But I can offer predictions on the result.:-) I think weighing has been pretty well established to have some effect on accuracy although the effect is probably small. I kind of doubt that orientation will have any perceptible effect.

    Duskwight, did you know that Stalin’s bodyguards were called “Stalin’s Hawks”? 🙂 If they were anything like the guy they were protecting they must have been plenty mean. Surely, they passed on their knowledge to somebody. Maybe it was Mikhail Ryabko. 🙂

    Seriously, you’re right that martial arts history and promotion is incredibly complicated and confusing. Tae Kwon Do, the world’s most popular martial art is claimed to be the national art of Korea. In fact, most of it is Karate borrowed from Japan and grafted onto some indigenous kicking traditions. Karate itself is not really Japanese but borrowed by them from the Okinawans who, in turn, adapted it from Kung Fu masters from China. The authentic Japanese style is Jiu-Jitsu which was probably borrowed from the Asian continent, probably China or Korea. There is so much counter-claiming and flat-out lying that no one knows what the truth is. My conclusion is that everyone is borrowing from someone else just like the legendary traditions were probably doing to each other (that’s what I would have done in their position) so in that sense the modern styles are probably “traditional.”

    Vladimir claims that one of his teachers was some obscure old man from Russia, perhaps like your grandfather, so he’s ranged pretty widely as well. All I know is that from everything I’ve seen and experienced, he is extremely good. I’ve corresponded with Mike Janich on this subject. Mike is a well-known authority on point-shooting, knife-fighting and just about every dimension of violence (you can Google him), and he tells me that he knows Vladimir and has worked with him and he is of exceptional capability, even at the elite level. As far as I’m concerned, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck or it may as well be. If Vladimir is a sample of the regular Russian conscripts, God help us all.

    I won’t argue with a shotgun defeating a Kung Fu expert, but you cannot deny that concealment would be a problem.  There is a Stephen Hunter character who wears a cut down shotgun firing double 00 shot in a shoulder holster. But still… As for the more concealable guns, that raises another more germane issue of concealed carry. Knowing how to conceal your weapon and how to shoot it accurately are all to the good, but judging from martial arts, I suspect that is a long way from knowing how to use the weapon in a real violent situation. Even in a very controlled sparring situation where a student of mine knows that I am going lightly and not going to hurt them, more often than not, they will go wild and forget everything they are supposed to be doing and hit at full power. Most of them are nice enough. Just the sight of someone setting up across from them sends them into a panic. By analogy, I know there are practical shooting courses that go beyond target shooting at a range, but I’ve heard of very few that simulate a violent encounter with someone in your face in a dynamic environment and possibly threatening a companion as well as yourself. Would one really know how and when to draw, how to clear a jam, where to shoot, how to keep moving at the same time? And what about when not to pull the trigger? Shooting someone and getting a lengthy prison term is much worse than almost anything else that can happen. Let’s say that I tend to doubt that the vast majority of graduates of shooting training are really ready for a violent encounter which is certainly true of most martial arts students. I was working with a policeman, and he wasn’t any better than the norm. I was showing him a simple escape from a rear choke by driving your elbow into the assailant and executing a shoulder throw. He refused to elbow me. Then, when I insisted, he hauled off and hit so hard that it knocked the wind out of me (although without the oddly penetrating quality of the Vladimir strike). There was no sense of control. What’s he going to do when it comes to lethal force? So anyway, guns can win the day, but I think there is much more to realistic training than is practiced. Supposedly, an opponent of legendary gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok told him that he could hit a bird on the wing. Hickok replied, “I be that bird wasn’t shooting at you like I will.”

    Orin, 33 is a mere child. I was 28 when I started training seriously in the martial arts. It’s a matter of adjusting your expectations. You’re probably not going to be a grandmaster, but neither am I or most people. Just because one is not going to be a concert pianist doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t learn to play the piano, and just because you can’t be Mark Wall doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy shooting. With halfway intelligent training, you can get usable defense skills within a year and the exercise benefits just keep growing. I would say that the greatest benefit is probably the unique exercise culture that has to do with conditioning the whole body and learning to coordinate it rather than bulking up a few muscles and learning a limited skill set as you do in Western style competitive sports. Edith, with her holistic orientation and tennis background would be a natural, and I expect great things from her. (Incidentally, Kevin, the hiking tip you mentioned is exactly the kind of physical culture I’m talking about.) As for getting started, hitting a bag boxing style is easy to learn and terrific exercise; the speed bag even more so. Just make sure you protect your hands properly, and under no circumstances do contact training. Boxing is much more damaging than most people realize. For a formal martial art, the teacher is more important than the style. Find someone who (1) knows what they are doing (2) is not a sadistic idiot and egotist of which there are many and (3) does a style that you enjoy. I wouldn’t expect too much from any one teacher or style. Once you get the basics down, you can educate yourself by going to any number of seminars or buying instructional material.

    • Matt61

      Sorry, I was out – a weekend at countryhouse every week are such a refreshing thing.
      Stalin didn’t have any “hawks” 🙂 Soviet fighter aces were often called “Stalin’s falcons” but nobody gave any bird-of-prey names to his bodyguards. Nobody even knew if there were any and who they were 🙂 Their are just “devyatka”, department #9 🙂
      Well, considering shotguns and martial arts – of course it’s a matter of preparedness. One must be ready to use it.

  25. BB – GET WELL SOON!!!!!!!! WE MISS YOU A LOT!!!!

    I too have noticed that the less expensive pellets have more improved results from both sorting by weight and consistant orientation in the barrel. The r-10s, jsb exacts, and some H&N pellets do pretty well without and a couple of good reasons why I like them. I like to just pull pellets from a tin and shoot. Although, if I were to compete then I would probably have a million things to experiment on.

    My 853 seems to shoot pretty consistantly with a lot of different kinds of pellets just pulled from the tin. The choked l/w barrel is a dream come true.

    I’ve been pretty busy at work lately and hopefully things will slow down soon. Sometimes being a manager is great and sometimes not so great. I love the fact that I can contribute my own ideas and build a successful workforce, yet sometimes the workload can be challenging and stressful. From time to time, I’ve had to run our transportation terminal on my own and have trained a couple of others to help out when needed. Unfortuanatelly most of these people are on vacation and the other manager has been seeing the doctor a lot and now has jury duty. On top of all this, I am still fortunate enough to be able to take care of my son while my wife is at work. This helps save money, but the greatest reward is the time I get to spend with my son.

  26. I was interested in buying the Remington Airmaster 77. I was looking for a BB gun that is not that expensive, but at the same time, is powerful and durable. I was wondering what your thoughts were on that, whether you think it is a good buy for me or not? I was also wondering if it was possible to attach a bipod to that gun, and if so do you have it in stock? Also, how is the scope? Can you see a good distance away? If you could give me some information on the gun, and scope, and offer your opinion, I’d really appreciate it. I was also wondering if there is a warranty on that gun? If someone, especially Tom can reply to my comment, I’d really appreciate.

    Thank you

    • C,

      Let me try to help Tom out a bit. He is in the hospital right now and not able to answer questions with his usual gusto. Tom loves to bring youngsters into the fold, and is especially fond of answering their questions. But I’m not as diplomatic as Tom, so bear with me.

      RE: Remington Airmaster 77

      Any airgun that shoots BBs and pellets is a compromise. BBs are slightly smaller than pellets, so BBs don’t shoot as “well” out of a combo gun as pellets. Even cheap Walmart pellets are probably better than BBs.

      I bought Airmaster 77 to compare to some multipump Daisy rifles. My Remington leaks air when shooting. You can feel the air on the trigger finger when shooting. It seems that the bolt doesn’t seal really good on this model.

      If you really want accuracy then shoot good lead pellets not BBs. The lead pellets at Walmart are by and large junk. Mail order some good ones from our friends at PA. (JSB’s are probably a good guess at a gold standard, but who knows what pellets are best in your particular gun.) You might be able to find Crosman Premier Hollow Points at a good local sporting goods store. They will be more expensive than BBs, but shoot much much better. See for example:


      The idea is to find the “best” possible pellets for a gun, then buy pellets that are “good enough.” The way my hands shake when standing I shoot “patterns” not “groups!”

      Steel BBs will also wear out the rifling on a barrel. So if you shoot a lot of BBs, then going later to pellets for better accuracy isn’t really an option.

      The scope on the airmaster is pretty well – cheap. You need a lot of light, and there isn’t a lot of magnification. I played with a number of such scopes because the scope is close to the boreline. That is good for point blank shooting. In bench rest shooting, to test the limits of the overall limits of shooter-gun-ammo-scope, then a good scope makes a world of difference.

      Lastly as BB has noted, you are unlikely to get what you didn’t pay for. The Remington Airmaster 77 isn’t going to shoot as well as a $1000 PCP rig with a $400 scope.

      – – – – –

      Frankly the quality of inexpensive airguns is not world class. So save the receipt. Also ask about the return policy for airguns wherever you buy one. Some stores will swap a “bad” gun out and some won’t.

      – – – –

      Being a multipump it is nearly impossible to attach a bipod.

      _ _ _ _

      Now, having ripped the airmaster, let me also hedge my remarks. I’m guessing that you’re a youngster on a budget. Starting out with a BB gun is a fine way to begin. You do have to adjust your expectations. Shoot at 5 yards, not 30. Shoot from a bench rest to see how good the gun-ammo-scope combination is, then shoot standing, sitting and prone. Prone should be about as good as bench rest. Standing worse. The idea is to trying to improve you standing technique to get something closer to bench rest. When you’re ready then you can move up. The sky is the limit. Some of the guys here have thousands of dollars into their gear.

      – – – –

      There are some REALLY good smoothbore BB guns. Look at the Daisy Avanti BB guns at PA for example. For example see:


      • C:

        Don’t have BB and pellet targets for the Airmaster.

        I just looked though some of my targets that I saved to give you some idea of the difference. With my Daisy 880, I was shooting 6 inch groups at 30 feet with BBs. I can easily do less than a inch with “good” pellets in the same gun with the same scope. That is an awful big difference!


    • C,

      I think Herb already pretty much nailed this one down for you, but here’s my experience with the AirMaster 77

      My dad bought one when I was probably 13 or 14 years old. I never shot anything but BB’s and cheap pellets in it, so I can’t vouch for its “true” accuracy. But I can say I never had any problem hitting soda cans or small wood blocks from 50 feet away. Actually, come to think of it, the AirMaster 77 was my first ever exposure to an air rifle.

      I believe the scope is adequate for the accuracy, weight, and velocity of this gun. This isn’t the type of rifle you would probably want to spend lots of money buying expensive accessories for. A high power adjustable scope might let you see further, but it won’t make the gun more accurate. The 77 is a great first shooter or casual plinker, and that’s where I would leave it. That said, a bipod is probably very unnecessary. It is already so lightweight that that would only add extra bulk. This is not a hunting rifle, so a bibod would really only serve to add “coolness” factor.

      Don’t forget that steel BB’s really ricochet, so if you are going to be loading up that 200 round magazine, make sure you’re shooting at something soft with an appropriate backstop, and safety glasses are a must.

      – Orin

    • I don’t have experience with the Rem 77, but do with the virtually identical Crosman 2100.

      I never had a BB gun as a kid, but my best friend had a 2100. We spent many hours on many days having lots of fun with it, but we gave up on BBs early and used pellets almost exclusively – it was the only way to hit what we aimed at beyond about 15 or 20 feet.

      Fast forward about 30 years, and I buy a 2100 as the first gun for my twin boys. Not surprisingly, they experience the same thing with BBs. But more importantly, they also have the “benchmark” of my Crosman 1322 pellet pistol (no longer made, but same as the 1377 in .22 cal). Long story short, the 1322 is easier for them to cock, pump, and load a pellet (a pain in the butt in the 77/2100), plus it is a lot more accurate. So the 2100 pretty much sits neglected – they would rather shoot their airsoft guns than it, although the 1322 with the shoulder stock is very much loved (I don’t let them shoot it as a pistol much yet).

      The bottom line is that when I was a kid, the 2100 was all we knew and thus the greatest thing on the planet. But in today’s world where it is easier to experience other options, it ends up being a short lived item.

      My suggestion is to think carefully about why you want the gun, and then pick the gun accordingly. If it is plinking and learning, the 1377 (with stock) could be a great low cost path, for a little more the Bronco would be better. Either would leave you with a gun that you will likely keep for years (I have had my 1322 for almost 25) where the Remington 77 will be something that you won’t reach for once you get your inevitable next gun.

      Alan in MI

  27. Well – I REFUSE to take part in this experiment. My sanity hangs on the thread that my marksmanship problem is due to my use of unsorted pellets. If I burst that bubble I’m doomed!! 😉

    All in all I’ve caused more squirrels to laugh themselves to death than I’ve whacked with a pellet.

    In reality, I’d guess that for a “good” brand of pellets that casual inspection would be OK. If I were a FT target shooter however who had a $3000 rig and I spent several hundred dollars to travel to a match, then I’d weigh the pellets to squeeze out the best possible performance.


    I’m a chemist by training and used a lot of analytical grade balances which weighed to 0.0001 grams or better.

    * You need a reasonably vibration free table. (can’t weigh pellets in a car bouncing down the road…)

    * You need a windshield to get to +/- 0.1 grain which is only 0.0064 grams. (The pan is a big sail. Invert a plastic container over the balance if nothing else is available.)

    * You will need to use tweezers to not add oil or moisture to the pellets. Plastic tweezers, not metal ones.

    * Look in the tin to see if there is a lot of flash. If so wash. I opened a couple of tins of pellets to look. The tin of Gamo Hunters is full of flash on the bottom of the tin. The pellets don’t preform well enough to be worth washing, but you get the idea.

    * I like the smaller weight gem scales that Orin posted. The +/- error won’t be consistent over all weights. More likely the error depends on the weight (Think 0.1% instead of +/- 0.1 grain absolute. So a scale optimized for a smaller weight will probably do a better job of weighing airgun pellets. Not much good for weighing rounds for the 50 caliber rifle though… )

    * You can test the balance’s reproducibility by weighing the same pellet 10 times and see if you get the same result. You should of course.

    * Absolute error isn’t as important as relative error between pellets. In other words if balance was 0.5 grains high – so what?!? But the balance must be consistent. All the “good” pellets should end up in the same stack, and the very light ones or the very heavy ones end up in a different stacks.

    * To test the scale’s linearity, weigh two pellets separately, then together 10 times. So average of A ten times is 10.1 grains and B is 10.2 grains, then average of A+B should be 20.3 grains.


    Lastly remember that the scale is just a tool. A fool with a tool is still a fool. 😉


  28. Off topic…I see the 70th edition of the Red Ryder on sale. It’s advertised as a rifle. I always thought these were smooth bores…
    Also, your help please. A dear friend has a RR with a smooth action similar to a 499. When did Daisy change to the ‘cranking cog’ style of cocking. MANY apologies to you and the blog if this has been answered before. I don’t seem to find this in the blog.

    All the best!


  29. Well, this fool is starting the weighing and sorting. I’m going to use RWS Super H points, .22 cal and shoot with either my RWS 46 or 350, just to be different. Probably report back tomorrow.

    Fred PRoNJ

  30. I know that the vast majority of you are rifle shooters, I’m a beginner pistol shooter. I am probably going to word this wrong, but what would be an average distance for target shooting to determine if you are shooting accurately? Maybe I should ask what is the accuracy limit/distance of a 2240? I don’t know how to ask, when have I exceeded any reasonable expectations?


    • You do not have a match grade pistol, so you won’t get olympic pistol performance.

      You have to determine what kind of accuracy that you would consider acceptable at whatever distance you want it. What is good enough for you?
      Depending on how good your gun is, it may or may not do what you want no matter how well you can shoot it. Both you and the gun have limitations.


      • twotalon
        I know the 2240 is not a match grade pistol. I was just wondering what would be consider a reasonable accuracy range for the pistol rated at 460fps, which I know or feel are over estimates. Would it be 10, 15, 25yds before the capabilities of the pistol have been exceeded. I realize that I am a major contributing factor.


        • What you are really trying to ask is….
          “What could this gun really be expected to do for group size at different ranges —all by itself—and under perfect conditions?”

          Is that it???

          Otherwise, it looks like you are asking how far it would be good enough without telling us what ‘good enough’ is.


          • I guess your first statement would be more of what I’m looking for an answer to. I know that with rifles people are talking 40-50yds, which I know is beyond the capabilities of a 2240. So I was wondering what range I should be looking at. I am mainly plinking cans or plastic bottles, also shoot paper targets.


            • Unless you put the gun in a vise or machine rest, you will not know what it could really do.
              If you could aim and shoot it good enough, you could possibly plink bottles and cans at 40-50 yds if you get the right holdover figured out. A lot of the gun’s actual ability depends on how good the barrel is and shooting the best pellet for that barrel. You get a good barrel and pellet working for you and it will shoot as good as a rifle if you can hold it. With Co2 you would need to give it enough recovery time to keep the pressure stable. With such a low MV you need to keep the pressure as constant as possible.

              I would think that an average barrel should give you at least 25-30 yds for plinking the size targets you suggest. What you expect to do on paper targets I don’t know.

              I frequently plink at targets that are way beyond what I normally would do for serious shooting. Other times, I keep within my normal ranges but will shoot in some nasty cross winds. Works best on open, bare ground so I can see the misses.

              Other times I plink targets so small that they challenge the ability of the rifle alone. A piece of string at 20 yds. The head on a buckhorn at 25-30 yds.
              I always use a rest of some kind for difficult shots. I take every advantage when hunting.


                • RikiB,

                  I started writing this reply before I saw TwoTalon had beat me to it. So it’s redundant, but I’ll post it anyway…

                  On B.B.’s review of the 2240 here,
                  he says “you can expect some very decent accuracy.”

                  To find out what your gun is capable of under ideal conditions, here’s what I would recommend: on a calm day, clamp it down (in a vice, to a fence post, etc.)
                  and shoot 10 shots at a target. Start with 10 yards. Since it’s CO2 powered, wait at least a full minute between each shot and don’t use the first 5 shots from
                  a new cartridge. That will tell you pretty much what the capabilities of the gun and your chosen ammo are at that distance.

                  Repeat the test using different ammo, if you have any. Repeat the test at different differences.
                  The gun might behave very differently in your hand, but this will give you a general starting point. Then it’s just up to you to start practicing. 🙂

                  – Orin

  31. Target paper update:

    Tried out some construction paper that we had at home – light weight stuff left over from when our boys were little – and the results are almost as good as my National targets. Very similar holes with only slight tearing. I tried to get a few lateral and linear lines of impact and the results were very close.

    Thanks, BG_Farmer – that was a great idea. I’ll be shopping for some heavier weight construction paper that I can pass through the printer for my scaled 20 yard version of 10 meter air rifle targets!

    Alan in MI

  32. AlanL,

    I’ve got a Talon SS and a 24″ barrel also. A great combo for plinking or shooting targets when run on CO2 with 12″ or 24″ barrel. If your brother-in-law wants or needs more power the Condor is for sure the way to go. I’ve got a Wokbut on mine, see talonairgun.com, got no problem with using scope with high rings. If quiet is necessary or wanted I’m using an AirHog Shroud for the 12″ and another for the 24″. Love them, money well spent work great.

    Yes, he’ll love the Condor with a WOKBUT, the AirHog Shroud and the CO2 adapter. Oh almost forgot a source of HPA ending in a female foster fitting.

    Mr B.

  33. I got the stuff today to convert my CO2 Talon SS to HPA. I think this was a really good idea, however, it sure made the gun a lot louder even on the low 2 power setting. With the air I have left in my scuba tank I was only able to fill it to 2,500lbs. With Crosman Premiers 10.5gr the fps went from a high of 650fps on CO2 to over 900 on air on the 8 setting. I dialed the power down to the 2 setting and was getting middle 800’s until after 47 shots and now CP 10.5gr are getting 750fps and CP 7.9 are getting 825fps. The CP 7.9 seem to be more accurate than the 10.5gr but only a couple sessions with the Airgunarena bench rest target will tell if that stays true.

  34. Mr B,
    I’ll be shooting both my Bronco and my HPA equipped Talon SS, 12″ barrel, in the Airgunarena benchrest matches. Then, I’ll be able to tell you if you should get your Talon a new barrel.

  35. I have the Gamo Whisper air rifle and I want a bipod to go with it.
    I was wondering if they make clamp-on bipods that would fit onto my barrel?
    I found a couple on the internet. I know there not the best products, but
    I was just wondering if one of them would work. If you guys could tell me the best one out of the three,
    or recommend another brand of bipod, I’d really appreciate it.





    Thanks, C

    • C,
      Keep in mind that the Gamo Whisper is either a spring piston or gas piston rifle and works best most accurate with the artillery hold. A bipod attached to your Whisper may affect your accuracy, so be prepared for that. Test it out by firing from a bench rest then using the artillery hold and see the difference. If you don’t see a difference or don’t feel the difference is very much then a bipod shoud do ok for you.

  36. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

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