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Ammo Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 2

Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Jakub Łabędź is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd AIR gift card.

We’re not sure which rifle Jakub is holding, but it looks like the Walther 1894 lever action rifle. We’ve asked him but did not receive a response prior to the blog going live.

Part 1

There was a lot of interest in this subject when I posted the first report. Some of you have had experiences with CB caps and others hadn’t heard of them until now.

Just as a refresher, I’m testing the theory that you can shoot CB caps in your .22 rimfire and get results that are about as good as those of a good air rifle. I’m interested in accuracy, power, discharge noise and the cost of ammunition.

I selected several good .22 rimfires to test the CB caps, but for the air rifle I’m using only the AirForce Talon SS with a .22-caliber, 24-inch barrel. The reason is that this is not a shot-for-shot comparison, just a general one, and only a representative air rifle is needed. The Talon SS is very representative of what you can do for a relatively modest amount of money when you want to maximize performance.

Power test
I could test each round in each rifle, but that would take a long time. And, what value would the data have? So, I’ll tell you which rifle I used to test each cartridge and give the velocity spread for that one rifle, only.

I’m not going to bother reporting on the Talon SS performance, since it has adjustable power and varies widely with every pellet used. Just know that it can go from about 425 f.p.s. to about 970 f.p.s. with the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo dome. For this test, I’m shooting it at around 850 f.p.s. That delivers about 29.05 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

What do they look like?
I received a request from a blog reader to show the ammo, but I wanted to wait until I had the RWS rounds to show. They came in this week, so let’s take a look at what we have.

The CCI rounds appear similar to conventional .22 Short and .22 Long (not Long Rifle, because the bullets are shorter) rounds. If you didn’t know what they are, it would be easy to get confused.

Aguila rounds come in what appear to be conventional .22 Long brass cases, but their semi-pointed bullets set them apart. Both types — Colibri and Super Colibri — appear identical.

The RWS ammuntition is the one that really looks different. Both are cased in pure copper cases, with the only difference being the shape of the bullets.

From left to right: CCI CB Short, CCI CB Long, RWS CB cap, RWS BB cap, Aguila Super Colibri and Aguila Colibri.

And this is how they’re packaged.

The CCI CB Long has a Long/Long Rifle case with a 29-grain plain lead conical bullet. The velocity on the box says 710 f.p.s., which would generate 32.47 foot-pounds.

I tested this cartridge in the Remington model 521T and got an average velocity of 686.38 f.p.s., which is an energy of 30.34 foot-pounds. The spread for 10 shots went from 626 f.p.s. to 758 f.p.s., so a pretty broad spread of 132 f.p.s. That’s to be expected, because these cartridges are powered only by priming compound. And, priming is the most variable part of any cartridge — especially the rimfires that have the wet compound injected into the rim of the case, where it must dry in place. As we’ve discussed in the comments section under Part 1, some companies, especially Remington, are getting more and more careless in the priming of their rimfire cartridges. Sometimes, you have to extract a dud cartridge and turn it slightly so the firing pin can strike the rim at a different place, where, hopefully, there will be priming compound.

I found these CCI cartridges to be completely reliable in the Remington 521 as well as the Ruger 10/22, but the muzzle velocity was a large variable.

The CCI CB Long is quiet, but no more so than the Talon SS with the bloop tube silencer installed.

They come packed 100 to a plastic box and sell for $9.95. I found that price firm regardless of where I looked.

CCI CB Short
Like the CCI CB Long, the CB Short cartridge also launches a 29-grain plain lead bullet at an advertised 710 f.p.s. Of course, it’s loaded in a case that’s identical to the .22 Short case. Here we encounter an unavoidable variable of the test, because I didn’t want to shoot the Short cartridges in a rifle chambered for Long Rifle. Both the chamber and the rifling twist rate would be wrong.

I used the Winchester Winder Musket with a 28-inch barrel, compared to the 25-inch barrel of the Remington 521T. If there’s any slowing of the bullet in the barrel due to friction, we should see it with this rifle.

The Winder shot 10 CCI CB Shorts at an average 708.33 f.p.s. That works out to a muzzle energy of 32.32 foot-pounds. The velocity went from a low of 679 f.p.s to a high of 769 f.p.s., for a spread of 90 f.p.s. That result surprised me, as it was faster and more stable than the CB Longs had been in the rifle with the shorter barrel.

The sound of the CCI CB Short is very comparable to the discharge of the Talon SS as tested. It delivers slightly greater power than the CB Long, though that may just be the dynamics of the test. In reality, these two cartridges (the Long and the Short) may perform exactly the same.

These caps come packed 100 to a box and list for $9.95. That price is fairly standard, regardless of where you buy them. My thanks to CCI for providing 1,000 rounds for this test.

Aguila Colibri
I was confused by the Aguila ammo because of what Mac had said to me. He said the Super Colibri is lower velocity and made specifically for use in handguns, while the Colibri was faster and made for rifles. The names of the two cartridges, however, made me think just the opposite, so I was very curious to see how things would turn out.

Colibris are a Long/Long Rifle case loaded with a semi-pointed plain lead bullet of 20-grain weight. I tested them in the Remington 521T rifle. They averaged 391 f.p.s., which means a muzzle energy of 6.79 foot-pounds. The velocity went from 365 f.p.s to 415 f.p.s., for a total spread of 50 f.p.s. And they were quiet.

In fact, Colibris were so quiet in the Remington 521T that I wondered if the gun had discharged at all. My shooting partner wondered the same thing. I even went so far as to check the barrel to see if the bullet might have gotten stuck. Of course, I was outdoors and I did have hearing protection on, which for once was not my fabulous Dillon electronic earmuffs that I forgot to bring, but a cheapie pair of sponge-rubber earplugs that come a dozen to a pack. So, I wasn’t hearing very well that day.

However, I also tested them at home and when I heard how utterly quiet they are I invited Edith into my office to witness the firing. These cartridges are quieter than a Diana model 27 discharging. They are not silent, as all the chat forums claim, but they’re the closest thing to it. Even my silenced 10/22 shooting standard-speed ammunition is much louder than this. Of course, they are also under seven foot-pounds at the muzzle.

This is obviously the cartridge intended for .22 handguns. Be careful when shooting them from rifles, as they could easily stock in the barrel.

Colibris came 50 per box, like .22 Long Rifle ammo. The list price for a box is $3.29, which seems extremely low, but the supplier, Natchez, even lists the velocity as 375 f.p.s., indicating that they know something about what they’re selling. Ammunition to Go has them for $6.95 per box, so there’s a lot of price variation. I found Colibris very difficult to locate, compared to Super Colibris that everyone seems to stock.

Aguila Super Colibri
Having tested the Colibris, I knew that the Super Colibris were going to be faster. They have the identical semi-pointed 20-grain bullet and the identical Long/Long Rifle case. Even the headstamp is the same for both cartridges, so you better keep them packed in the right box. Once they’re out, you can’t tell the difference.

And faster they are, averaging 615 f.p.s. in the Remington 521T. That works out to a muzzle energy of 16.8 foot-pounds.The velocity went from a low of 597 f.p.s to a high of 635 f.p.s. That’s a spread of just 38 feet per second, which approaches air rifle stability.

The Super Colibris seem just as loud as both Long and Short CCI CB caps, which just means it’s too close for me to call. They’re definitely much louder than the Colibris. This is obviously the rifle cartridge, although I see no reason why it wouldn’t also work well in handguns.

Super Colibris come 50 to a box and list from $3.19 to $4.99 per box. You have to be careful, as many of the retailers sell this item in bricks of 500 only and not by the package of 50.

RWS BB caps
RWS BB caps were tested next. I remember these from my youth in the 1960s, when I bought a box just because they looked so much like the ammo for the 4mm zimmerstutzens I wanted so badly. They also came in handy for testing old shot-out Saturday Night Specials with little danger to the shooter. I still have that box I probably purchased back in 1961; and when I find it, there will still be a few BB caps slowly oxidizing to death.

RWS USA was kind enough to send me three boxes of these BB caps for this test. All I’ve been able to do thus far is test the velocity. Now I have to take more license, because not only do I not own a Flobert long gun for testing these short rounds that are even shorter than a conventional .22 Short case, but I’m also going to shoot them in a .22 instead of the 6mm they’re designed for. It’s perfectly okay to do that because their soft lead ball conforms to the bore diameter with no problem. I checked with RWS USA before running the test, but I’ve also shot plenty of these rounds in multiple .22s down through the decades. So, it’s a little late to stop now.

The BB cap holds a perfectly round 6mm lead ball in a copper case. The ball weighs 15.8 grains. Surprise, surprise, as small as they are, these BB caps shoot just as fast as the CCI rounds. They make nearly the same discharge sound as a conventional .22 Short, being considerably louder than either of the other two brands of ammunition. I remember the sound from the past, so it came as no surprise, although in the quiet of my office it was very much like hearing a magnum spring rifle with a detonation.

Here are the conical bullet (left) and ball pulled from the two RWS cartridges. Notice the deep hollow tail in the conical bullet that allows it to weigh about the same as the ball. The conical bullet was deformed during pulling.

The velocity in the Remington 521T averaged 714 f.p.s., for a muzzle energy of 17.89 foot-pounds. The spread went from a low of 684 f.p.s. to a high of 749 f.p.s., so a total of 65 f.p.s.

These caps are sold 100 to a round box that looks like a pellet tin. The listed price is $30 per box, and I found street prices for a box of 100 ranging from $23.50 to $39 per box.

RWS CB caps
The RWS CB caps were the real wild card. I wasn’t even aware of their existence before starting the research for this article. RWS USA was kind enough to provide me with three boxes for this test.

The projectile is a pointed lead bullet that’s actually conical in shape, but with a deep hollow base that trims the weight back to 15.7 grains. Actually, because I weighed only a single projectile (removing them was difficult), I don’t doubt that RWS intended the weight to be identical with that of the BB cap ball.

The velocity, though, is much higher. The CB caps averaged 974 f.p.s. They’re the real speed demons of this test. Given the weight of the bullet, the muzzle energy is 33.08 foot-pounds, which is the most powerful of all six cartridges being tested. The spread went from a low of 933 f.p.s. to a high of 1003 f.p.s. and was done with the Remington 521T rifle. The total velocity spread was 70 f.p.s.

The sound was the loudest of all six cartridges tested. I would rate it as equal to the discharge of a standard speed .22 Short cartridge.

The price for a box of 100 ranged from $29.51 to $39.99.

What’s next?
I’d hoped to show you some targets today, but this report is already too long. I do have some targets and there are some very interesting results, but one more trip to the range will allow me to also test the RWS rounds at least once. The next report will be full of targets and accuracy observations.

Although it’s early for any conclusions, we know the pricing isn’t going to change that much. It appears that the Aguila rounds are priced much like regular .22 Long Rifle rounds, if a bit on the high side. CCI rounds carry a premium price but are still affordible for shooters who own vintage and even antique .22s that they still wish to shoot.

I hope this series continues to interest you. I know it departs from airguns, but from my vantage point the departure isn’t that great because shooters lump CB caps in with air rifles and .22 rimfires whenever they talk. I just thought it was time to record some actual results with this curious type of ammunition.

122 thoughts on “Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 2”

  1. This has promise of being interesting. “I’ll just shoot CB caps” seems to be a common response to air rifle shooters from firearm shooters on the internet.

    When you get a chance, could you review Umarex’s Ruger Mark 1 air pistol? It seems to be relatively inexpensive for a “magnum” air pistol.

        • BB,

          Looking forward to that Ruger MK I test. I was at Wal-Mart yesterday looking at their air guns and there was a blister packed pistol I did not recognize.

          Yep! It was a Ruger Mark I. Looks good in the package. Price did not seem out of line if it performs reasonably.

          So yes, I am looking forward to what you find out about that gun. Particularly interested in cocking effort, velocity, and accuracy and you opinion on durability.

          BTW, I read this blog every day, but I only comment when something is of more than ordinary interest to me.

          Thanks in advance BB.

        • I’ve been wondering about the Ruger Mark I-III series of rimfire pistols. They look awfully similar to Lugers which I understand have just about the greatest pointability of all time. That would make them ideal target pistols. Are the Rugers, rimfire or airgun, trying to imitate the Lugers?


        • I bought this pistol yesterday. It’s still smoking quite a bit though, as these things have tons of oil in them. I’ve read mixed reviews on other forums. The trigger pull is long and pretty heavy. It’s got quite a bit of kick to it. I haven’t run it over the chrony yet, no real use in doing that until the oil is gone. Hopefully after it settles down it’ll shoot more consistently– right now sometimes it’ll be close to my aim point, then the next couple of shots go high and left. No doubt there is going to be some technique required for holding this huge pistol as well– in additional to the dieseling I’m sure inconstant hold contributes to the issue.

      • Also…
        Did you ever have trouble with the POI shifting over time? Mine would require re -zeroing after every few months until I refinished the stock and got it sealed up good.


          • Mine is not free floated. Would take some modification.
            The only screw holding the action in is in front of the trigger, and is not a stable spot for free floating. It’s just too close to the front of the action. It is bedded at this point, and at the end of the forearm with some upward pressure against the barrel.


            • twotalon,

              Well, maybe mine isn’t free-floated, either. It just looks like it is, so I assumed it was. I never bothered to check it with a dollar bill.

              A friend of mine has been doing some accuracy improvements by rebedding a Mossberg 44 action is a sort of pillar bedding situation, then attaching a .17 HM2 barrel with three screws. To date we have gotten groups of ten as small as 0.67″ at 100 yards, which tells me he is onto something, because the stock .22 will only hold in six inches for ten at the same range.


      • BB,

        How does the 521T compare to the Remington 541 S? Are they cousins or is there any similarity at all between them? I owned several 541 S over the years and found them to be extremely accurate.

        I shot all my .22 rim fire silhouette matches with one. First match I ever attended a guy came over to me as I was readying at the firing line and said “You are new here. That’s an odd gun to use. Think you can hit any of those targets?” My reply was “I regularly hit squirrels off hand at 75 yards. Let’s see what happens.” Ten shots later all the chickens were down. Same guy walked over and said “Damn, you country boys can shoot!”

        I won that match with a 38 of 40 so I will always have a found place in my heart for the 541 S Remington.

        I have NO idea why I ever let that one go! It was one of only three .22 lr rifles that I ever owned that was capable of shooting primers out of shot gun shells at 100 yards from a good solid bench rest on a windless day! And I now own none of them! Stupid, stupid, stupid! One got stolen, so that was not my stupidity, but the other 2 I could/should kick myself every day for letting them go.

        What about you BB? How many of those “ones that got away” do you think you have had in your long and illustrious career?

        I can come up with seven real fast and probably 10 – 12 if I gave it some more thought!

        If we only knew then what we know now!

        • pcp4me,

          “The ones that got away” is a wonderful title for a blog. Monday’s blog, because I’m spending all day Saturday and Sunday at a gun show and I have to write my blog while there.

          Thanks for the inspiration,


    • g. austin,

      Thanks for that info. I expected something like that, or even a little more velocity from a handgun. I was planning to test all the cartridges in my Sheridan Knocabout, which has a fixed breech, and also in a Charter Arms pathfinder with a 3-inch barrel, to see what a revolver might do.


  2. I learned about the CB rounds from one of the air gun forums. It took me awhile to find anyone who carries them. I get my PB ammo from luckygunner and convinced them (it didn’t take much convincing, as they are very consumer friendly) to carry the round. I got 500 rounds of the CCI CB Long from them and put a dozen or so thru an old (1980’s model) Remington .22 semi-auto rifle that I have.

    I fired way too few rounds to even guess how accurate they are, but seemingly they appear to be just ok out of my gun. I was more interested in how loud they were. Comparatively, they seem to be as loud as any of the lower end Crosman springers you can pick up at Walmart, Dick’s or wherever.

    I do have to manually cycle the bolt in my Remington to extract the spent shell.

    I’ve found that I’ve given away more rounds to my dentist, co-workers, etc., than I’ve actually fired myself. They were all looking for a “quiet” round with which they could dispatch some woodland denizens. They report pretty good success and generally like the CCI CB long round.

    Thanks for continuing the research on this ammunition and I look forward to your accuracy report.

      • Robert from Arcade,

        Looking at the barrel protruding beyond the magazine indicates it’s probably not a Walther 1894. Certainly could be a Marlin 39. Could also be a Erma ELG-10/Webley Ranger based on the profile.


        • This exchange reminds me of the recognition drills pilots had to pass to identify different models of enemy aircraft from their silhouettes. Now how about a guess as to what pipe he’s smoking? 😉

            • I think you’re right! I missed that, but it fits. In fact, if you look close enough the “pipe” is probably a little high on his face to be in his mouth.

              That picture is a great creative piece. The competion for the prize is clearly heating up . . . .

              Alan in MI

            • Edith,

              You and Tom are wonderful people. But I must respectfully disagree with you. Cause if it is a street light, where’s the light?

              You could of course be right, but I have studied that photo and I don’t think I have ever seen a street light looks like that.

              Second, it would be either an amazing coincidence for the alignment to end up exactly as it is to give the illusion of a pipe or it is a deliberate attempt at misdirection.

              Perhaps Jakub could weigh in on this one?

              • pcp4me,

                I’ve seen street lights that look like that. I didn’t say the light was turned on, though 🙂 That’s why you don’t see a light beam around it. The photo was clearly taken at a time when the sun was very low. Notice the large lit spot in the lower right corner. That would be the sun. At least, that’s how I see it.

                I’ve seen many, many photos where people accidentally stand in front of an object and it looks like it’s growing out of their bodies. I’m guessing someone took an image in that spot before and discovered the likeness of the street light to a pipe.

                Of course, everything I said could be a bunch of hooey 🙂 We’re still waiting to hear from Jakub.


              • An incredible coincidence for that to be a street light, and the shape is rather odd. But I’m inclined to believe that it is. Have you ever seen a pipe of that size?


            • I’ll nominate a traffic signal (maybe the back side, so no red/yellow/green showing). Though what district mounts them to the horizontal bar between the lower two bulbs rather than the upper two (where gravity would keep if from trying to flip over… perhaps needed more ground clearance? but the foliage in the background seems to indicate a second story balcony/railing)

          • Alan L.: Good anology, as gun traders/collectors are indeed like that.I ‘m real good at recognizing guns from a distance or by a glance. To be successful at a show you have to learn to recognize the creme from the crap at a glance. I’m absolutely ruthless when it comes down to acquisition. He who hesitates is lost. BTW,If that was a pipe it would be reminiscent of the corn cob pipes associated with General Douglas Mac Arthur, of WW2 and Korean war fame.

        • Kevin : Look close at how and where the lever is attached to the receiver of that rifle. Also notice the squarish profile of the lever. There is also a glint of light coming off the trigger area which would indicate that it could be a Marlin gold trigger, common on some versions of the 39. The Erma looks more like the Winchester 94 ,no bump out where the lever attachment is.

  3. Zimmerstutzen.

    I knew Neal Stepp (International Shooters Service, Ft. Worth, TX) carried lots of airguns and related supplies but until this morning I didn’t realize he also had zimmerstutzen stuff.


  4. B.B.
    Just had UPS drop off my new Crosman Nitro Venom last night …. Thought it was VERY cool that there was a supplemental sheet about the “artillety hold” by Tom Gaylord included with the owners manual.
    This is my first gas piston and can’t wait to try it out this weekend. Wish they would have included the artillery hold instructions about 5 years ago when I bought my first springer 🙂 Would have saved me a lot of pellets and frustration…… Have been hooked on your blog for over 4 years now and you have influenced several of my air rifle purchases over that time. Just wanted to give you and Edith a HUGE THANK YOU for all that you both do for this sport. I could almost write a novel about all the things I did wrong with my first rifle with over-oiling, wrong pellets, wrong hold, etc….
    I was almost ready to give up on air rifles and just shoot the CB caps 🙂
    Glad I found your blog instead and have been hooked on air rifles since.

  5. For those who are asking B.B. questions but haven’t been getting answers today: He’s setting up his tables at the Dallas Arms Collector’s show, which is also a big NRA-endorsed show. There will be 2000 tables. The show is held at the Dallas Market Hall on Saturday and Sunday. He’ll be back this afternoon to answer any outstanding questions.


  6. So, there is a difference between Long and Long Rifle cartridges. There is a whole world in those rimfires. I’m looking forward to the big surprise in the performance of the rimfires relative to airguns, and I haven’t missed it yet have I? I didn’t see any Jurassic Park surprises in the velocity and sound data.

    Wulfraed, maybe you’re right about arrows getting more accurate. The beef with increasing accuracy of bullets with distance is that if they are deviating from straight at the muzzle, there is a constant velocity sideways, and there is no physical force known to reverse that sideways motion and move it back to center. The biggest argument against was that the bullet might stabilize as it flies as you described with arrows. But the problem there is with how much bullet wobble affects the flight path. If this wobble is so great as to determine a corkscrew path of any size then yes, stabilization could make the the bullet gain accuracy. But a corkscrew of a size to be detectable at short range would scale up to be so enormous at long-range rifle distances as to be incredible. The projectile would have to be barrel rolling like the Thunderbirds. Anyway, such is the picture as I understand it. But the arrow is aerodynamically quite different and its wobble can clearly be seen with the naked eye much better than a pellet or bullet. So, maybe between air drag, spin rate and other factors, you’ve got arrow stability contributing enough to the flight path where you could gain accuracy. I don’t know if we could go further without data.

    Duskwight, I understand that polar bears are the most aggressive of bears, pure carnivores, and the most dangerous of bears for this reason and their size. However, you might want to look up a YouTube video of polar bears cuddling with sleigh dogs. Very cute. The polar bears can be nice, but you will never know when. And since they routinely kill each other, you can imagine what they would do to us.

    Mike, ah there is the question. Why would a bent bolt make it easier to work a Mauser style action? The Mauser is distinct with its cock on opening action with the heavy initial resistance, so does the bent bolt generate more force to overcome that resistance? But how since a straight bolt handle that projects radially out from the bolt body should, according to the physics of torque as I understand them, be more efficient than a handle that comes out from any other direction. By the way, I don’t know if you heard that I got a Lee-Enfield No. 4. That action is a dream, and makes you want to work it fast. I had to get used to it because the grasping ball is quite a bit smaller than the large one on my Savage. But now I’ve got the hang of it, and that bolt is really flying.

    Victor, much-trumpeted strides have been made in stock technology and maybe there’s something to them. As an example, there is a new stock by Troy Industries to update the M-14 platform called the MCS which has gotten rave reviews. It is machined out of aluminum following the trend towards metal stocks that we see on the Feinwerkbau competition air rifles. But in addition it has a buttstock that is above the line of the bore. Tradition has the buttstock lower. The AR-15 platform put it in line, and now we go above. The reason is to tame the powerful recoil of the .308 on rapid fire which was uncontrollable with a traditional stock. Apparently the raised buttstock does the job. That issue has no relevance for airguns, but maybe there are other ones that do. I don’t know if there’s really anything else to do with barrels and actions in the current technology. So, maybe the next frontier is stock design, ergonomics, and the rifle-shooter interface.


    • With the bent bolt on the Mauser, you don’t have to move your hand as far up to work the action. It eliminates the need to roll the rifle to the right as is needed with a straight bolt to gain speed. Yes, the Enfields are great. Probably the best all round military bolt action ever.


    • Wulfraed, maybe you’re right about arrows getting more accurate. The beef with increasing accuracy of bullets with distance is that if they are deviating from straight at the muzzle, there is a constant velocity sideways, and there is no physical force known to reverse that sideways motion and move it back to center. The biggest argument against was that the bullet might stabilize as it flies as you described with arrows. But the problem there is with how much bullet wobble affects the flight path. If this wobble is so great as to determine a corkscrew path of any size then yes, stabilization could make the the bullet gain accuracy. But a corkscrew of a size to be detectable at short range would scale up to be so enormous at long-range rifle distances as to be incredible. The projectile would have to be barrel rolling like the Thunderbirds. Anyway, such is the picture as I understand it. But the arrow is aerodynamically quite different and its wobble can clearly be seen with the naked eye much better than a pellet or bullet. So, maybe between air drag, spin rate and other factors, you’ve got arrow stability contributing enough to the flight path where you could gain accuracy. I don’t know if we could go further without data.

      For the arrows, it is possible as the shaft was flexed by the force of the release and gradually dampens into a straight line. There’s also the fin stabilization which “slows” the back end to bring the tip into alignment (especially if the launcher allowed the fins to brush the side of the bow, pushing the tail to the side).

      Most bullets getting out of alignment would tend to increase the yaw due to uneven air flow around the tip.

    • RE: “increasing accuracy of bullets with distance”

      I know I’m just picking the phrase out of context but it is absolutely the wrong notion. The right idea is that the “cone of fire” doesn’t increase geometrically with distance. This implies that there is some sort of instability which is damped at some distance past the muzzle. So 1″ at 50 yards will never become 1/2″ inch at 100 yards. However it is possible that 1″ at 50 yards is 1.6″ at 100 yards. So with 1″ vs 1.6″ it isn’t that the “accuracy improves with distance”, it is that the “inaccuracy doesn’t increase geometrically with distance.”

      • That example: 1″ @ 50yd, but 1.6″ @ 100yd, if true, would be showing an apparent “increase in accuracy” just on the basis that pure straight projection of a 1″ circle at 50 yards onto a surface at 100 yards should produce a 2″ circle.

        Or, your example is of a gun that shoots 2MOA at 50 yards, but improves to 1.6MOA at 100 yards.

      • Yes, I have been following the reviews of the Accu-Stock and the response is underwhelming. The idea seems good in putting notions of bedding to rest. The Accu-Stock not only holds the action but squeezes it. Savage reports tests of significantly improved accuracy, but I don’t believe I’ve seen them repeated elsewhere. The improvement, if any, is slight and not on the scale of the Accu-Trigger by any means. This would seem to confirm that the core of accuracy lies in the quality of the barrel, the headspacing, the floating bolt head, and the trigger, and stock innovations–at least this one–come in behind.


        • Matt,
          I think the Accustock’s benefit is more in eliminating problems in manufacturing and assembly (both at the factory and by the user) that can cause accuracy problems than in increasing absolute accuracy, i.e., it is more stable and repeatable. With some of the Savage C/F’s I’ve seen, I don’t know how much more accurate you can get with a factory barrel and ammo.

  7. Conan the Barbarian opens today! “I live, I love, I slay–I am content.”

    Also, I received the following from California Assemblymember Diane Harkey in response to the PA petition over SB798. Encouraging. Go Diane.

    Thank you for contacting my office regarding your concerns for Senate Bill 798, I appreciate the opportunity to know your perspective.

    SB 798 was introduced by Senator Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles) and would remove the regulation of imitation and BB firearms from the state authority and place it in hands of local governments. All current local laws regarding the manufacture, sale, or possession of these types of firearms are superseded by the state.

    SB 798 would allow for broader regulations on these firearms such as bans on possession, which directly violate the Second Amendment. The statewide regulations prevent confusion between different communities and cities when it comes to the sale and possession of these firearms. Statewide uniformity of these laws is vital to police agencies being able to enforce the laws of the state regarding these types of firearms.

    Although I have not yet had the opportunity to vote on this bill, the current language is very troubling and could cause confusion within the state of California.

    I truly appreciate you taking the time to make your voice heard. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff at (949) 347-7301 or http://www.assembly.ca.gov/harkey if I may be of further service. It is an honor to represent you in the State Assembly.


    Diane L. Harkey


    • Matt61,

      California could stand to learn from the mistakes of others. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it:


      The above relates a new state gun law in Florida. Read the entire article, and you’ll see that the problems Florida experienced SINCE 1987(!) are the same issues that California will experience if SB 798 passes, which is why Florida passed a revised gun bill that says only the state can make gun laws. The penalties for local officials who violate the state law are very significant.

      Next week, I’ll be asking Pyramyd AIR to send out an updated letter with the above info to all California Assembly Members.


      • That’s great. Count me in. I’ll look for the letter. I believe the most effective case will rest on both an appeal to the principle of the Second Amendment and significant plausible harm with the appropriate evidence like Florida’s history.


          • Which, on one hand, is maybe good… OTOH, it is bad when it comes to arguing on the state level.

            But consider the recent CB Cap discussion… Where does one break them apart, when a “non-firearm” Condor using compressed air can launch a heavier pellet than a “firearm” .22rimfire’s CB Cap bullet, and at a higher velocity for greater impact energy (and possibly more accurately too).

            Getting airguns classed as “firearms” on the Federal level /would/ permit using 2nd Amendment arguments… But would likely also lead to immediate applicability of “one gun a month” statutes, waiting periods, background checks on them for purchase; illegal to hand to a minor unless fully supervised.

            Whereas by not having them classed as “firearms” Federally, we now have a mish-mash between Michigans “treat pellet pistols as firearms” even if pellet rifles are “instant sales” items and the California “over-the-counter” treatment under risk by poorly thought out “we need to make them stand out as toys” bills.

      • Edith,

        The part of the Assemblywoman’s reply that kept jumping out at me was the repeated use of the word “firearm” to describe air guns. As you know (because it was you who brought it to my attention) Federal Law specifically removes air guns from the category of firearms.

        Any rational discussion of laws regarding air guns must recognize that air guns are not firearms.


        • Well… Then the second point of attack must be the state of MI…

          Wherein rifled barrel or >.177 in a pistol requires the application for a permit to purchase (see you local police station; hopefully the form is not still the “triplicate, no carbon”, which must be notarized, that was in use in 1979). One then has (had) 10 days to use the permit in-state. One then has (had) 10 days to return to the issuing station to complete the “Handgun Safety Inspection” (AKA: registration; which was also, back then, in triplicate, with each copy thumb-printed, you got a copy, station got a copy, state got a copy)

          This is why PyramydAir can’t ship pellet pistols to MI residents — they have to go through a licensed dealer. Smoothbore BB guns are okay, however. {This is also why I did such a mad rush on air guns this year; buy them while I live in CA; good thing the Marauder doesn’t need to undergo the “safety inspection” as shrouded barrels are supposedly prohibited too}

  8. 541’s are indeed very accurate, with excellent triggers. There’s the S which is the sporter, and the HB which is the heavy barrel version. My buddy had an S with a beautiful quilted maple stock, and my HB had a very plain-Jane uhh, wood, stock.

    I have a fair amount of CCI CB Long and Short ammo, although so far the one thing it’s proven useful for is killing semi-feral and thus very hard to catch, roosters without ruining the meat. Shoot ’em through the middle and they take a few steps and make a few sad sounds, and “go to sleep”. The liver and heart and delicious sauteed in olive oil, and the rest is used to make a very nice coq au vin. Tastes so good you’ll like that it takes a bit longer to chew than most dishes.

    I suspect the CCI CB’s could be likewise useful for harvesting squirrels, but they just don’t have the power to kill possums humanely, even with the tips dum-dum’d. Not that I eat possums! Yuk! A Remington Subsonic is my ticket for putting down those pests.

    Anyone, if ya can get a Remington 541, get it. They’re the Marlin 39A of .22 bolt actions.

      • Free-range chicken liver and heart are DELICIOUS.

        I once tried kidney pie in a pub and well, it was OK after I took the kidneys out and sort of hid them in the garnish.

        • Among the places I’ve traveled, New Zealand wins the award for the worst food. Great place, great people, lots of creative entertainment, but the food was generally poor. I’m not a picky eater, but there was one steak place that was so bad it was laughable. The meat was one mass of bone, gristle and fat. And there was another place where the smiling pub waiter asked me if I wanted a “small salad” to go with my pub dish. Sure. This turned out to be dried out little garnishes. It reminds me of a Ziggy cartoon where Ziggy is sitting at a bar and a huge,tattooed cook with stubble on his arms pulls a hot dog out of a pot of boiling water with a fork, grabs the hot dog with his bare hand and puts it down on the plate and says, “We are pleased to serve this for your dining pleasure.”


          • LOL and they call napkins “serviettes”.

            I was living in Waikiki for a few months and used to get really decent NZ lamb in the market there for dinner. It was less expensive than most meat. I guess they exported all the good stuff.

  9. BB,
    Seeing as your the only person I know of that I can contact who owns a .38-55 Ballard target rifle, I figured you would be the best person to ask. We have one of these rifles which has been in my family since my great great grandfather bought it some 120 years ago, and I was considering reloading some cartridges and putting the old girl to good use. I was planning on loading it pretty light, mainly to prevent wear on the rifle, but I also don’t want too much kick. Anyways, I was wondering if you know of any suppliers of cases (the .38-55 winchester cases would work in a pinch, but I’d really rather not), what powder I should use (as far as I have been able to discern, FFG should be the best for the application, but you know more than I do), primer types, and possibly where you get reloading values. Any help would be appreciated.
    Many thanks,

    • Nathan,

      Use cast lead bullets, only in your rifle. And only load soft-cast bullets, never those with antimony that will lead the barrel. I cast them 40:1, tin to lead in mine. Slug the bore and shoot a bullet that is one-thousandth larger, if you can. If you use black powder, the explosion obturates the base of the bullet, filling the grooves, but smokeless powder doesn’t do the same.

      You can load with black powder if you want, but the cleanup is a problem. I would suggest starting with 16.5 grains of 4198. It burns clean and does not produce pressure. If you shoot a 255-grain lead bullet, this charge will stabilize it out to 100 yards, which is a good place to begin. The loading manuals all suggest starting loads in the 20-grain range, but I find that too stiff and inaccurate in my rifle.

      No wad is needed with this powder. Just pour it into the case and then load the bullet on top. I have to crimp the bullet to get it to chamber in my rifle, which is why I will be loading the bullet separately.

      Before you fire the rifle each time, elevate the muzzle and then lower it slowly to the bench. That allows the powder to settle to the back of the case for greater uniformity.

      Any non-magnum large rifle primer you can find will work. I happen to use Federals because I have a few thousand that are getting old and I need to use them up.

      I will soon be experimenting with seating the bullet into the bore separately from the cartridge, which is how the old records were made. When I do, I will report on it and tell everyone how it works.

      Midway U.S.A. now has Starline cases for the Ballard. They are 2.125″ long, where the Winchester cases are 2.087″, I believe. It’s difficult to see the difference, and I think the Winchester case work fine, but there you go.

      Congratulations on having a fine old rifle. Keep it in the family and learn how to use it best.


      • Thank you very much for the advice. and I will be sure to put it to good use. I was a little concerned about the pressure levels from using smokeless powder, but I suppose you do know best, and I guess the guideline of not using smokeless was for factory loaded .38-55 Winchester. Anyhow, thank you very much for your expert advice.
        Many thanks,

        • BB,
          I have one more question I forgot to ask. Would you use a press to load the cartridges or simply handload them, as I need to know what equipment I need to get started. Obviously, bullets, primers and powder, but what else? Also, how would I go about getting a mold in the exact caliber I need?
          Hoping to hear your advice,

          • Nathan,

            You will need a press to handload the cartridges.

            What you are asking about is a huge new undertaking, for you are not only new to handloading bit also to bullet casting. Each is a very large undertaking.

            I recommend that you buy your bullets already cast for now and just learn how to handload the cartridges for the present.

            As for the pressure of smokeless powder, what I have told you does not generate as much pressure as a cartridge loaded with black powder. plus ypu do not need to completely disassemble the rifle every time you shoot to clean it. And the cartridges cane be cleaned relatively easily, as opposed to cleaning black powder cases.

            I didn’t know that you weren’t already a handloader, so let’s take this one step at a time.


  10. Bolt body people, I believe I have figured out the physics of the bent and straight bolts which are one component behind their engineering along with ergonomic concerns as has been pointed out. The puzzle for me was that the definition of torque as I understand it seems to favor a straight handle rising radially outward from the bolt body. The bent handle by the same torque equation would seem to compare by projecting it onto a straight handle rising from the same attachment point on the bolt body; that is, it would generate equal or even less force. This seems to clash with the intuition that the longer bent handle, which has completely superseded the straight handle, would be easier to operate.

    The answer emerges from considering a flat piece of metal as the bolt handle. Positioning the piece so that it radiates out from the bolt body (perpendicular to the tangent of the bolt body) would model a straight handle. What if you kept the same attachment point but rotated the piece through 90 degrees so that it would coincide with the tangent of the bolt body. The torque equation as applied above would suggest that you could no longer generate any force at all when this is clearly wrong. The issue is that the radius of the bolt body is relatively small compared to the length of the bolt handle. So a bolt handle bent through 90 degrees at the bolt surface is very close in function to a straight bolt parallel to the handle and originating at the bolt axis. So, the best approximation of a bent handle is with a straight handle that originates from the origin and forms the smallest angle with the bent handle. Since the two are so close, it makes sense to bend the handle so that you can add much more length down the side of the rifle than you could by extending it sideways away from the rifle.

    On the subject of rifling, I just realized that the famous image at the opening of the original Bond films where Bond is walking in profile in the middle of a moving circle (he turns at the last instant to fire towards the audience and the screen is drenched with red) bordered by an exotic swirling pattern is supposed to be a view from down a rifle bore. Seemingly obvious now, but I can’t be the only one who didn’t realize this.

    Does rifling dig into a projectile to the full depth of the groove?

    How about this for a self-defense scenario inspired by a movie with John Travolta and Halle Berry. You are imprisoned aboard a helicopter with a sinister guard. He looks like an ex-athlete stuffed into his suit. His face is a wind-beaten mass of crags etched permanently with rage and his eyes are full of cold fury. He whispers into your ear to the effect that when it’s all over, he will look forward to giving you a suppository with some ridiculously large object like a surfboard. Events transpire in the helicopter so that you are hanging off the skids with a tentative grip while this person below clutches one of your ankles with both hands. You’ve also got hold of a large caliber handgun like a 1911 .45 ACP. The question is whether you point down and pull the trigger. The impulse would be yes. But couldn’t his hands go rigid on impact so that the force of the bullet striking at close range would be transferred to you and pull you off the helicopter with him?

    And now, there is a new gun sitting in my living room, and if you knew what it was you would freak out. I’ll end the killer suspense tomorrow….

    Enjoy the gun show B.B.


      • You are correct of course. However, the original reason was to make the rifle easier to operate and to make it fit better in a saddle scabert while mounted on a horse. Scopes weren’t an issue back then.


        • I don’t know much about the history of bolt-action rifles and cavalry. I belief both the Lee-Enfield and Mosin-Nagant have “dragoon” versions but I guess all that ended with World War I and definitely with the Polish Lancers going up against the Wermacht.


          • Yes, it was prior to WW I. Armies went to “Short” Rifles so they could be used for both. These short rifles aren’t really that short by todays standard. Examples would be the Springfield 1903 and the Enfield SMLE. The barrels run about 24 inches. I guess that’s short compared to the 29 inches of the standard infantry of the time.


      • Entirely true and a totally self-sufficient reason although the mass of service rifles were converted to bent handles even without scopes, so that probably wasn’t the only reason.


      • And even with a curved/scalloped bolt handle, my 77/17 ticks the ocular housing if I’m over eager (that is, am holding the handle full rotation rather than letting it into the free-play zone while pulling back).

      • Interesting idea about aiming for the elbow but with the guy hanging on with both hands, his elbows would be contained within the outline of his torso and wouldn’t present a clear shot. However, that is how the fictional sniper hero, Bob Lee Swagger, defeats a hostage situation where a villain has a shotgun pressed against his girlfriend. Swagger fires of the elbow and destroys it before the guy’s brain can send an impulse to his trigger finger.

        ‘Fraid I didn’t realize that about the Bond sequence. I thought it was a groovy 60s pattern. But I formed my impressions when they first came out, and I was very young and knew nothing about guns.


    • On the subject of rifling, I just realized that the famous image at the opening of the original Bond films where Bond is walking in profile in the middle of a moving circle (he turns at the last instant to fire towards the audience and the screen is drenched with red) bordered by an exotic swirling pattern is supposed to be a view from down a rifle bore. Seemingly obvious now, but I can’t be the only one who didn’t realize this.

      <shocked look>

      That iconic opening is what, 45 years old? I’d figured it out in the early 70s (I wasn’t old enough to watch a Bond movie before then — even purged for broadcast TV; I think Moonraker was the first [of maybe two] Bond films I’ve paid to see in theaters]).

      Does rifling dig into a projectile to the full depth of the groove?

      If it didn’t, you’d have gas blow-by

      couldn’t his hands go rigid on impact so that the force of the bullet striking at close range would be transferred to you and pull you off the helicopter with him?

      Remember Newton… If you’ve got enough grip to hold on through the recoil you should have enough to withstand and jerk at the other end (besides the one dangling below you already <G&gt). Also take into account the size of the projectile — (hypothetical) which is going to do more felt damage: a 10lb hammer landing on your foot, or a 10-penny nail with a 10lb weight behind it landing point first on your foot. Me, I think I’d rather have the nail pin me to the floor over having a flat foot and broken bones…

      And now, there is a new gun sitting in my living room, and if you knew what it was you would freak out. I’ll end the killer suspense tomorrow….

      Whereas mine is sitting next to the bed… But no suspense… After part 3 of the P226 BB pistol review I ordered one… Took a magazine or so to get the sights somewhere near point of aim at ~15 feet. They arrived screwed all the way down, and far enough to the right that I was considering seeing if my bicycle chain tool could be used to drift the front sight over a bit.

      No bench rest, just a poor modified Weaver stance with my shoulders backed against the living room door. Managed to get 12 of 15 into the black of a 10m RIFLE bull at 15ft. Then the power level was noticeably dropping. Trigger pull was somewhere around 2lb 11oz when I checked, which was much lighter than I expected (or was it 3lb 11oz — either way, it was sure nicer/lower than the CP99 with precocked striker). I don’t think I’ve pulled off that tight a group (if something between a 50c piece and a Kennedy dollar qualifies as a group when using unstabilized BBs) with a target pellet pistol yet!

  11. Totally off topic…

    I’m looking to convert a certain rifle to peep sight. There’s 2 kits – one mounts it in the normal rear sight position several inches in front of the shooter’s eye. The other mounts it at the rear of the action.


  12. OK, here’s an almost dumb question. How much affect do rings have on a springer? Can we expect huge differences in accuracy between cheep, single pair of screws per ring, rings, versus good quality rings with two pair of screws per ring? I know it makes a difference, but how much? Can I expect cheep rings to cause the groups to open up by several inches?


    • The answer to your question is somewhat conditional. There is more to it than you are thinking.

      First, with a springer or a hard recoiling firearm the rings must hold securely to both the scope and rifle so that nothing moves during recoil. Otherwise the POI will shift from shot to shot.
      As long as nothing moves, there would be no difference in accuracy over more expensive rings with more screws. Please note the “nothing moves” part. There’s a “gotcha” hiding there.

      So what if the scope slips in the rings or the rings slip on the mount or grooves….or both?
      More clamping pressure is needed! So you use more screws and in most cases a stop pin .

      Other considerations….
      You also have problems even with 4 screw caps. When mounted, the rings are not perfectly aligned with each other. The scope does not lay perfectly in them. So when you tighten them down, you also bend the scope to conform to the shape of the rings. The tightness of the screws has to do two jobs instead of just one. This is also causing torque on the ring clamps where they hold onto the grooves or mount. Those screws also have to do double duty.

      So now we have everything under stress and fighting with each other. On top of that, you have dissimilar metals between rifle, rings and scope. Different metals with different expansion coefficients with respect to temperature. More stress buildup with temperature change. Change of POI. At some point between stress buildup and recoil, something may slip. Now you have to zero again. Then temperature changes again……

      Scopes will shift POI with temperature change anyway. That’s without any “extra” help from the other gremlins.

      So what can you do to stop these problems from happening?
      Well, you can’t do anything about the scope itself.
      Rings with more screws can hold tighter.
      One piece mounts may hold tighter and also may be better machined to have the rings in better alignment for the scope to lay in (less stress).
      You can lap the rings to get a better fit to the scope (less stress).
      You are still going to have some stress buildup and scope shifting with temperature change, but you can keep it minimized as much as possible.

      I would suggest you start off with rings that have 4 cap screws, 2 base clamp screws, and “no slip” tape in the rings. Don’t forget the stop pin.
      See how that works for you and if it is adequate, you don’t need to go to any more extremes.


      • twotalon,

        Thanks for your details response! Everything that you wrote makes sense.

        The reason I asked the question is that I recently gave a scope and rings to someone, and hadn’t realized that I was out of rings, except for this one pair of really cheap rings. Anyways, later, after buying a new scope for my Ruger 10/22 Target, and doing some scope shuffling, I moved this one scope onto my Titan, but only had these really crappy rings. At 20 yards, I can normally shoot very tight groups, but with these cheap rings, my groups suddenly opened up to between 2 to 3 inches, versus 1/4 inch.

        I’m a very patient and careful shooter, so I really watch what’s going on. I was blown away to see pellets go nowhere near where the sight picture was showing. What really blew me away was that the pattern was almost random in all directions. I tightened and re-tightened the rings, and nothing changed. Knowing that the gun can perform, it makes sense to me that these rings have to go. The first time I every shot this rifle was in public lands, just outside of Salt Lake City. I was shooting shotgun shells at 30 yards, with the cheap 4x scope that came with the rifle. With these rings, I doubt that I can hit a magnum beer can at that distance.

        I asked the question just after testing the rifle for the first time with these rings. I was in absolute horror to see the results!

        Thanks again,

        PS: Apparently we now have two Victors posting. I wasn’t the one who first responded to your reply (unless I did it in my sleep).

        • You say you did some scope juggling. You might look there first for the problem.
          My Titan is a scope eater. It’s something to think about. A really bad set of rings could also bend the scope so much that it has to be adjusted beyond limits to zero. They will shotgun when that happens.
          Also, is this a non-AO scope by any chance?


          • The scope is AO. In fact, it’s an Center-Point 4-16×40 AO Adventure Class, so it’s suppose to be able to handle a springer. Supposedly, these Nitro Pistons are not has harsh as a true springer, so I wasn’t expecting the rifle to damage the scope. Obviously, I could be wrong.


            • Ouch!
              Mine ate the same kind of scope in the length of time it took to get it zeroed. My 97K ate one in just over a tin of pellets.

              Watch those Wally Centerpoints! If you look in the front end, you will see a big coil spring that goes between the front lens and a narrow shoulder down in the tube. Recoil will jump the spring off of the shoulder and it will start working cockeyed down the tube.
              They also can get sticky when cold. I have a pair of them on my Talons. They adjust fine in warm weather, but get down to 60 degrees or less and the adjustments don’t work right. I need to toss them and get something better.


              • No kidding about these scopes. They aren’t just inexpensive, they are CHEAP by ANY definition! This one is a replacement for one that I tried on my Ruger Air Magnum. The lens cracked on the inside! They are NOT shock proof, apparently. I’m lucky that the glass shattered on the inside, and not on the outside. Goes to show that you really need to wear eye protection.


          • I did in fact open a new tin, but of the exact same model pellet (Crosman Premier Hollow-Point .22). However, one thing that is obvious about this particular tin is that the pellets vary widely. Some barely fit (I have to force them in), while others drop in way too loose. But I’ve seen that before without such extreme inaccuracy. For sure, this particular tin is among the worst, so I’ll factor that in as a contributor to inaccuracy.

            I do have a bunch of tins of JSB Match Diabolo Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets that I normally use exclusively in my Hunter Extreme, with extremely good results. The combination of the Hunter Extreme with the JSB’s is so good that I find it boring to shoot them at any distance closer than 50 yards, and they even do well at 100 yards! I’ll try those as well.


            • You are in one of those situations that make me cringe. I have been there myself.
              Different rings.
              Different scope.
              Different pellets.
              ALL at the SAME TIME.

              I have had some of those CPHP tins that are highly variable too. And CP can lead the barrel very fast once it starts.

              You might want to clean the barrel, or at least push a tight fitting pellet through it to see if it has developed any bumpy spots from leading. Also a little lead buildup at the muzzle can really blow the groups.

              You will have to weed your way through this one step at a time to see what can be eliminated.


              • I’ll first try a new set of rings. Then try different pellets, even if just a different tin. Then the JSB’s. Then an entirely different scope. BTW, this is the first time that I’ve seen this kind of horrible performance (totally new territory for me). I simply was not expecting this, which is what prompted me to ask here.


                • It can happen even when you changed nothing. All of a sudden you have to figure out has gone wrong, and hopefully only one thing.

                  You could try centering the scope, then try different pellets. Clean the barrel next and try different pellets. Don’t worry about where you are hitting the target. Look at the groups.
                  If it will shoot tight with the scope centered, but needs a lot of adjustment to center and the groups go to crap, then you are looking at rings and scope possibilities. Try this before you spend any money.
                  If it shoots like crap no matter where the scope is adjusted, then it could be the scope or something else.
                  Also, look at the breech faces. Any lead flakes stuck to the surfaces?

                  Just trying to help without telling you to spend a lot of money if you don’t need to.


    • Twotalon – gave a very nice response.

      I would just like to reinforce that a once piece mount is best on a powerful springer. They are not the prettiest, but hard to top the results you will get.

      • Something to watch out for..
        I installed a one piece drooper on R7#2. The bottom of the Hawke turret bottomed out against the mount. Had to file down the mount so that the turret was not touching it.


  13. Way off topic:
    Judging by the amount of plastic BB’s in my garden,I’m guessing the kids next door now have an airsoft gun.
    A ideal time you would have thought to introduce the parent to BB’s excellent series ‘Single mom teaches her kids to shoot’.
    Knowing this mum in question though,I think ‘Single mom teaches her kids to use a knife and fork’ would be a start.

    • This doesn’t sound good, but it could be worse. There was a show recently about how people are using surveillance devices and even cell phone cameras to expose hostile neighbors. Among the samples was one where an irate old man charged the camera holder who kept filming while the old guy swung away and missed. Another more frightening one was of a very large woman hanging over a fence using a small chainsaw to cut into flower bushes. With her other hand, she gestured at the camera and said, “Come a little closer a—-e.”


    • Prior to the cutlery comment I was about to suggest introducing them to biodegradable airsoft ammo (the cheap stuff I have will actually dissolve within 24 hours of a rain storm — since I keep forgetting which canister has the biodegradable [I’d transferred from zip-lock to a pour spout and silica gel] and which has the .20 high density plastic, I have to drop one each in the bathroom sink, run some water, and come back an hour later to see which one is flaking). I think most brands now claim more like 6 months to decompose — but that means longer shelf life after opening the sealed bags.

  14. A scope question:

    When using a scope, there aren’t front and rear sights to line up. So, does this mean that the cheek weld must be totally consistent to get consistent shot placement ?

    The reason I ask, is that my scope is a bit higher than ideal, and if I relax into my typical cheek weld then the top part of the scope picture goes grey. Sometimes, I also get grey-out on the left hand side of the sight picture (until I move my head more into the center of the comb).

    So, if I can still see the cross hairs, but have grey at the top or left of the sight picture – will I still get a consistent POI ? (Some of my groups are bigger than I’d like, but I don’t know if it’s all my technique, or some of it is a POI shift due to not having my eye aligned with the scope perfectly).


    • JohnG10,

      You’ve asked a very important question about cheek weld.

      Cheek weld is a common term but Eye Placement is more accurate. Whether you are using open sights or a scope it’s critical that your eye return to the same place each time for accuracy to be consistent. Being concious of where your cheek is placed on the stock and the same pressure being applied each time has become known as Consistent Cheek Weld that leads to repeatable eye placement.

      Any “greying” at edges of your scope is robbing you of accuracy. If the grey edge is consistent around the entire inside perimeter of your scope , as long as you repeat the same grey thickness each time, will not cost you any accuracy.

      Adjust your buttplate to try and get a more comfortable/repeatable cheek weld and full field of view through your scope. If that doesn’t work get lower scope rings or consider installing a comb riser. My test is to close my eyes, bring the gun up to my shoulder then open my eyes. I want a perfect field of view with perfect eye relief.


    • I’d be concerned about an unevenly illuminated field of view, as that is significantly off-axis. (if the view is a smooth circle of grey-out I’d try moving the scope forward or back to get a full field of view (on my oldest scopes, when centered at the right distance, one does not see ANY of the inside of the scope, just a sharp transition from view to black ring… of course that’s from a non-zoom scope with a low power level — but would probably be a $400 scope if made today [ca. 1970 Weaver K1.5, before Weaver changed hands a few times and outsourced]).

      Another consideration is focal plane. The cross-hairs are, theoretically, set to the same focal plane as the subject. If the subject is not at that focal plane, head movement will result in the cross-hairs moving relative to the subject. Not that much of a matter when one is working centerfire beyond 100 yards, but at airgun distances it becomes serious. One reason for the “adjustable objective” (I recall reading suggestions in the late 70s, early 80s that, if one were mounting “centerfire” scopes on .22 rimfires, they should have the scope parallax reset to 50 yards or less). Yes, adjustable objectives give you a means of estimating distance as part of the focusing, but the real aim wasn’t distance related hold-over, but parallax correction, so the cross-hairs don’t “move” from changes in eye position.

      The cheap red-dot sights sold for aiming low-mid grade telescopes project the dot to infinity — for the most part, no matter where your head is, if the dot is visible at all, it is on the target in space.



  15. A butt-plate question:

    What is the purpose of adjusting the butt-plate higher or lower on a rifle that has an adjustable cheek-piece ? Is it just to keep the cheek-piece from having to be really high ?


  16. A 10M question:

    Which is better: the FWB 700 Basic, or the Anshutz 8001 Club ? How would they compare to the Marauder (with target sights) or the Challenger 2009 ? Can any of them be used as a 12 FP FT rifle ? How hard is it to adjust the velocity from 6 to 12 FPs ?


    • If you’re good enough, the FWB Basic and Anschuetz Club 8001 will blow away the Challenger and Marauder (and Edge) for 10 meter competition. I don’t think either can be adjusted to 12 foot-pounds, but I understand that people do compete with both in FT.

      Butt plate adjustment is absolutely critical to getting the rifle in the right position to get a good cheek weld. You need to have both adjustments because you need to be able to get eye, chin, left arm/hand and cheek in the right places with a comfortable bend of the neck. My butt plate is all the way down. It took hours of fiddling to get cheek piece and butt plate right — and this includes tilt of cheek piece and moving it left and right, forwards and back, on its attachment.

    • I believe the FWB 700-Basic is just the 700 w/o a few external bells and whistles, which means, with that you’re shooting the 10m gun that will be in the hands of I’d say at *least* 6 out of 8 shooters at Worlds this year.

      • How good are you? I don’t mean that snarkily. The question is whether you could see the accuracy difference (if there is any) between the FWB and the Ans. I know I could not. So it comes down to which feels best on your shoulder, and which trigger feels best under your finger. The gun that fits you best is best for you when you get to that level.

        I would probably opt for the FWB because I like FWB, and the one I have is very pleasant. If you can stand the extra cost, the Evolution Top has almost All the bells and whistles of the top models including an aluminum stock; I would stay away from the 500 because it does not use the P700 action. Did you notice that the 700 Basic is an ambidextrous stock?

        Better rifles in the same price range? Yes, a used P700 with the aluminum stock or a used 8002. They turn up occasionally on Target Talk.

  17. On the price of CCI CB Longs, they’re cheaper out here in California. $8.95 most places and I believe they were $6.95 a box that time recently I found them at wal-mart.

  18. Okay, my killer new acquisition is…a Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle. (Yes, Loren a prime example of how the straight bolt handle on the service rifle was bent to accommodate the scope.)

    PeteZ, here is your alternative to paying $5000 for a trip to the battlefields of the Eastern Front. It’s all condensed right here. Getting the thing was a saga in its own right. It took about 2 months after my order. Since the place I bought from advertises restoration work, I asked for some cleaning, very basic gunsmithing of the rifle, and function testing. I called a week after the order and they said they’d been busy but it was coming right out. I called the next week and they said that there was a misunderstanding and that they wouldn’t do anything other than function-testing. I asked how this would work since their warranty was voided if any other gunsmith did the work but they wouldn’t do it themselves, and they said, “That was a chance I took.” I asked about the terms of their return policy, and they said that maybe I didn’t want to buy from them since it took them a lot of work to ship it out…

    I had a flashback experience. One was the delivery of my Savage 10FP from the lunatic dealer who closed his business before delivering my rifle and wouldn’t return my phone calls. The other was to Bruce Willis in Die Hard II who crawls along a tunnel chasing terrorists and saying, “How could the same s—- happen to the same guy twice.” I had promised myself never to deal with troublesome sellers again, so now what to do? Well, the rifle was pretty nice from what I could see, and then I got to thinking. Just as rifles can be more accurate than the people who shoot them, could it be that rifles are better than the people who sell them and worth persevering for? Bad as the Savage dealer was, that rifle has been a dream and worth the ordeal in the end. It was all summed up for me by a passage from The Forgotten Soldier by a German soldier on the Eastern Front. He is confronted by an old-style Prussian officer who hits him in the head so hard that the cap that he has pulled down against the cold is knocked flying. Then, “‘You scum’ he went on with a petrifying expression. ‘You are not worthy of the arms you bear,’ and he walked away without saluting.” A bit harsh, but in a different application, maybe the old guy had a point.

    I continued. More weeks passed. Finally, I got hold of the boss of the company who told me that he wasn’t going to sell the rifle at all because he was too busy. But then, he agreed to send the rifle only without function testing. As the final straw, when I arrived at my local dealer to do the transfer paperwork, I was met by the same Planet of the Apes character as before whose tiny belligerent eyes showed no trace of recognition that I had just transferred a rifle through him a few weeks ago for over $100. This time it was closer to $150 although a lot of that was the California sales tax. Well, the Planet of the Apes is premised on the idea that the apes become intelligent but it appears that they are not so smart after all.

    Now as to the rifle, it became clear quickly why the Polar Bears, a little known American unit that went to Russia after World War I to fight Communists detested the Mosin-Nagant rifles they were issued and longed for their Enfields and Springfields. The trigger pull is one of the worst, heavy and creepy with no defined point of release, and my trigger finger was beat up after a few pulls. Mike, you’re right about the Mosin-Nagant’s placement of the bolt handle in front of the trigger making it hard to do rapid fire, but that isn’t a big issue since the cocking effort is so great that no rapid fire is possible with this rifle. There are stories about soldiers, fitting a pipe over the bolt handle, to gain extra leverage to operate it. And then there are the little leather dog collars to attach the sling into holes in the rifle stock and the way the end of the bolt bends when you pull the trigger. Overall there is a quirkiness about the piece that reminds me of other Russian designs. The IZH 61 does look a little strange much as I like it. And I think that B.B. pronounced the IZH 513 too quirky to include in his list of best rifles at the price range despite its accuracy. Oh yes, there is also the Mosin-Nagant safety which operates by pulling the back end of the bolt to the rear under enormous pressure and rotating it. I sort of thought the Mosin-Nagant would be my chance to redeem myself after being to timid with my M1 Garand and Lee-Enfield. Not a chance. The firing pin spring in that bolt must be comparable to the mainspring in a spring piston gun. It would take a gorilla to operate that safety, and I was only able to do it by removing the bolt, wrapping a towel around the end and pulling with full force. If the women snipers could operate that safety, I’d say that was more amazing than anything else.

    Anyway, plenty of features on this rifle to mislead you into thinking that it is a poor design, but not so. The scope is very clear, and this is the only rifle I’ve come across where the mount allows you to easily see the open sights as well, and the open sights are clear and easily adjustable. And when you shoulder the rifle, it all comes together somehow. The length of pull is surprisingly long and comfortable; the sights line up; and somehow the trigger pull does not hinder and the dry-firing was quite solid. I’m betting that the Russians have done it again with this one. Actually, this rifle completes a circle that B.B. began long ago when talking about the IZH 513 when he said that it was Russian and therefore accurate since the Russians had been making quality guns since the time of the Czars. Maybe I too will be kissing this rifle before I’m done like the Russian women snipers.

    On another note, this collecting can drive you nuts. Having with great effort laid out about $500 for this rifle which was rearsenaled and rebuilt after the war, I found myself pining for an original WWII sniper rifle that goes for almost $1000. Crazy. But the individual parts of my gun were in the war even if the whole thing wasn’t together, and this rifle has a very nice laminated stock and strong rifling (if not exactly a mirror-polished bore). And if it wasn’t carried by one of the lovely women snipers it was likely assembled by one of those cute factory girls. You can see in the old war films how sincere they were. Besides this was Lyudmila Pavlichenko’s model of rifle….


    • Matt61,

      Funny you should bring up this topic. I just saw the movie ‘Enemy at the Gates’ this weekend. If you haven’t seen that you’re in for a treat. It’s the story of the brutal contest (during the siege of Stalingrad) between the legendary Soviet sniper Vasily Zaitsev and the German sniper instructor sent from Berlin to hunt him down.


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