Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 6

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Kit Palencar 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.

Kit Palencar is this week’s Big Shot of the Week.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Today, we’ll complete the test of CB caps against an air rifle to show which is the better gun to use for close-in shooting. There will be a surprise in today’s report, plus I’ll summarize the entire test.

Today’s shooting is all at 10 yards. This is probably where the test should have started rather than finished. Once again, here are the players.

Air rifle — A Talon SS with 24-inch optional .22-caliber barrel and a bloop tube silencer. The rifle is scoped with a Leapers 3-12×44 SWAT scope. It’s shooting the .22-caliber JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellet.

The rimfire rifles are:

1. A Remington 521T target rifle chambered in .22 Long Rifle
2. A Stevens Armory 414 target rifle chambered in .22 Long Rifle
3. A Winchester Winder musket chambered in .22 Short

They’re shooting:

Long cases
CCI CB Longs
Aguila Super Colibris

Short cases
CCI CB Shorts
RWS BB caps
RWS CB caps

Left to right we have the RWS BB cap, RWS CB cap, CCI CB Short, Aguila Super Colibri and CCI CB Long.

Shooting indoors and the sound
I shot this final round indoors, so the relative discharge sounds could be closely monitored. There wasn’t much difference between the air rifle and any of the rimfire rounds except for the two RWS cartridges. Both of them were shot in the Winder musket’s 28-inch barrel and were slightly louder than all the others, with the BB caps being the loudest of all.

At 10 yards, the Talon SS shot all its pellets into a single hole that, until the tenth shot, was just 0.145 inches between centers. Shot 10, however, opened the group to 0.343 inches. You can see it when you look at the group. No excuses, though. I watched the last pellet drop and open the group, yet the hold on that shot was perfect, as it was for all the others.

The last shot dropped lower, opening what was a fine 10-yard group from the Talon SS.

The Winder musket has proven to be the rimfire star of this test; and at 10 yards, it did what I thought was impossible. It beat the air rifle! Ten CCI CB Shorts tore into a group that measures just 0.258 inches between centers. So, the CB caps beat the air rifle. I wouldn’t have believed this was possible if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes; but, clearly, the fact that the rimfires were shooting with peep sights against the air rifle’s scope did not sway the test that much.

The Winder musket, shooting CCI CB caps, beat the Talon SS at 10 yards.

The Winder was a star at 10 yards. It grouped 10 CCI CB Shorts in 0.258 inches, 10 RWS CB caps in 0.409 inches and 10 RWS BB caps in 1.033 inches.

Even RWS CB caps did well in the Winder at 10 yards.

All of the rimfire rifles shot good groups with CB caps and BB caps at 10 yards. The Remington 521T grouped 10 CCI CB Longs in 0.666 inches and 10 Aguila Super Colibris in 1.119 inches. The Stevens Armory 414 grouped 10 CCI CB Longs in 0.778 inches and 10 Aguila Super Colibris in 1.083 inches.

There was another small surprise during this test. The Stevens Armory 414 out-shot the Remington 521T with Aguila Super Colibris and was nearly as good as the Remington with CCI CB Longs. That tells me that the Stevens is a good-shooting rifle, after all, but maybe it doesn’t stabilize the slow-moving CB bullets well enough for accuracy at longer distances. I’ll come back to that thought in a moment.

Something I didn’t mention before
Blog reader Mike (I think) reminded me that CB caps have a pinch of gunpowder in the case, where BB caps are powered by the primer, alone. In this report, I’ve made it sound like the CB cap is also primer-powered with no powder, but that’s not the case. I took apart a CCI Long cartridge to show you the powder, and I’ve put it next to a CCI Green Tag .22 Long Rifle for comparison.

This goes in the “Don’t try this at home” instructions. At the top is a CCI CB Long pulled apart. Below is a CCI Green Tag Long Rifle cartridge pulled apart.

What I didn’t do in this test
I didn’t bust my tail trying CB caps in every .22 I have. If I had, no doubt the results might have been a little different; but I doubt there would have been anything earth-shattering. Any reader who has access to a fine .22 rimfire target rifle is welcome to try his or her hand at this test and report the results. I would really love to hear what a Remington 40X or an Anschütz free rifle could do. Until I hear different, I’m thinking these results are fairly representative of what you will see from a .22.

The results
I have formed the following conclusions from the test results.

First, a CB cap in almost any .22 rimfire rifle in good condition can be accurate enough to dispatch pests at 10 yards or less. If you have a squirrel in the attic, a CB cap might be your best solution — especially if you don’t have an air rifle ready to go.

The rifle does have to be sighted-in for CB caps. Though they will be off by only an inch or so at 10 yards, the targets are often small enough that it does matter. Having a scope that has mil-dots so you can easily shift aim points is the best way to compensate for this.

Beyond 10 yards, the CB cap accuracy starts falling off rapidly. The rifle and exact round you choose start mattering. This is not true for air rifles, because one air rifle can be good from 10 yards to 50 yards with just slight changes in the aim point.

At 25 yards, the CB caps become very chancy, and it really matters which rifle and which rounds are selected. In this test, I found that no CB cap/rifle combination was good enough to go all the way to 50 yards. Yet, the air rifle did so with ease and could go even farther.

I’m going to say the CB caps are not stabilized out to 50 yards, because that’s what it looks like from the results. I just don’t think those bullets have enough spin to keep them on track that far out.

CB caps are quiet, but not more than a quiet PCP. When you’re in close confines, they’ll sound louder than you think.

Some rifles are simply not suited to the use of CB caps. I eliminated the Ruger 10/22 from the test after experiencing difficulty loading the caps.

Stuffing those tiny CB caps into the Ruger 10/22’s deep breech is no picnic. I don’t recommend it.

CB caps are expensive; but if you don’t plan to shoot a lot of them, they’re much cheaper than buying an entire air rifle. CB caps are ideal for older .22 rifles that may not have the strength needed for today’s more powerful cartridges.

On the other hand, if you own a quality air rifle like the Talon SS I’ve used in this test, I wouldn’t think of using CB caps in its place. The air rifle is so clearly ahead of the CB caps at all ranges — the results of the 10-yard test notwithstanding — that it simply makes no sense.

Was it worth the effort?
It absolutely was worth all the time spent gathering the data in this test, because now we have some solid performance data as a gauge. No, this may not be the last test anyone ever does, but it’s the first of its type of which I am aware. From now on, when somebody gives you the CB cap excuse for not shooting an airgun, you have something to help you argue your point.

105 thoughts on “Are CB caps as good and accurate as pellets? Part 6”

  1. B.B.

    O.K., so the TSS finally dropped one. No big deal. I would not choose it for close range anyway….scope height problem. Would rather use open sights. Also depends on what I intend to kill.

    I tend to use whatever seems right at the time. Used to kill a lot of vermin with a 1400 and the old wadcutters. Never considered it for anything larger than rats and pidgeons at the time.
    I shot a groundhog at a few feet out in the barn one time with a .50 ml and a full max load. Very effective.
    Did in a possum in the garage one time with the Supermatic and a full clip of Yellow Jackets.
    Killed a groundhog in the back yard with the 521T and a subsonic LRHP.
    Vaporized a chipper with a Knight loaded with 100gr of 777 and a modified .429 Lyman Devastator (sabot loaded).
    Overkill? What’s that?

    So what would I do with a Rogue? Shoot a couple starlings with SWC bullets, then send it to Bruce.

    I figure that most “powder only” guys would use their favorite .22 with their favorite ammo if conditions permit. Otherwise they might get some CCI CBs for the occasional varmint if they want to cut the power or noise (close range only). Most of these guys have no idea what a good airgun can do. They would probably not buy one, but if they did it would probably be a Wallyworld junker and the cheapest pellets available off the shelf. After which they would go back to their rimfire.


    • twotalon:
      ‘Overkill’? no, you can’t be too careful 🙂

      My first ever air rifle hunt was on my friends cousins farm.
      We came across this small outbuilding which looked like Bonnie and Clyde had shot their way out of it.
      What had happened is,the cousin had trapped a fox in there and he had poked a semi auto shotgun through a crack in the door and let rip.
      On opening the door the fox ran out unharmed,the shed however needed major surgery.

  2. CB’s killed a load of game for me. I tried air rifles. They killed fine at close ranges but CB killed better at longer ranges and were quiet. An air gun pumped up to full power was on the noisy side, and slower than simply inserting another CB in a breech. Didn’t have PC airguns back then. I did most of my shooting with a used .22 single shot I got for $12. Very quiet, accurate enough and deadly. I did most of my hunting in city cemetaries then, so quiet was most important.

    • Hoppy,

      I can’t not comment… “I did most of my hunting in city cemetaries then, so quiet was most important.” Wouldn’t want to disturb the occupants!

      Years ago my parents had a house that backed up to a cemetery. Never thought of varmint hunting there. Looks like I missed a good opportunity.


  3. BB:
    This has been a great topic on ammo and guns I previously never knew existed.
    Not that I could afford to buy one I still decided to check out the availabilty of BB/CB cap ammo and guns in Britain plus the laws that govern them.Just in case I could own one without a licence.
    First off we appear describe these rifles as ‘Rook Rifles’ ‘Rabbit guns’ ‘Garden guns’.
    I couldn’t find anything specific in law about CB/BB cap ammo or the guns that shoot it.
    What I did gather though was that I can own a Flobert/parlour rifle without a licence as long as it is for ornamental or display purposes only and the type of ammo is obselete.
    As the rifle I want would be for shooting purposes and the ammo is available,I would require a firearms certificate….Bugger 🙁
    Correct me if i am wrong J-F but you are after owning a Flobert rifle and you are Canadian is that right?
    Just double check your laws as well as we both broadly speaking suffer under the same rules and regs.

    • It is very legal to own Flobert style rifle IF they haven’t been modified to shoot regular ammo AND they’ve been manufactured before the end of the 19th century (sorry I don’t remember the exact year and I’m away from my computer at the moment, around 1890 if I remember correctly).
      The thing is like I said last time, the availability for the .32 caliber ammo is next to none and I know BB has some but I wasn’t able to locate any of the BB or CB caps in Canada. The bigger .22 ammo can fit but with a rolling block it seems it can be dangerous to use, the empty shell is apparently expelled with great violence when shot from these.
      So it’s legal to own and used as it was intended only if you can find the ammo.

      I do not own one of these, all of this was gathered from research I’ve done and talking to a owner and the federal office responsible for everything firearm in Canada.
      The rifle I had spotted is still for sale at 250$ but with no ammo available for it, I find it a bit expansive for a display only piece…


  4. BB: One thing I wish you would have done in this test was, shot some CB longs in your Sheridan Knocabout single shot pistol. Would be interesting to see what it would do with them at 10 meters, since that guns primary role was as a close range tackle box/ trappers pest eliminator.

    • Robert,

      I didn’t forget that. I just didn’t put it into this report.

      Those Colibris that shoot 390 f.p.s. are perfect for what you want. I’m working (planning) on a number of firearm-related reports/Have to be very careful because this is an airgun blog, but when I feel I can relate the firearm to airguns in some way, I go with it.


      • BB: Thank-you for that, and this series. I think that Sheridan being a airgun manufactuer, and making this one firearm is kinda neat , although I maybe lonely in thinking so. Just got my copy of the 2012 Gun Digest ,and there on page 330 is a picture of a very ld .22 Hopkins and Allen single shot pistol, shown with a target shot with CCI mini caps. The author of the article uses them for shooting the old gun in his basement. I believe it was Volvo who mentioned on here that he uses the CB’s for basement .22 handgun practice.

  5. BB,

    Great article. I’ve been sharing this with several people during the course of your test. This topic has come up often in the last few years with my shooting friends.


  6. As I have mentioned in the past, I have used my receiver sighted Sheridan C to get rid of squirrels that got in the house three times over the past 40 years. It worked great with four pumps with the original sheridan pellets. Two were head shots. The other was a heart/lung hit as I had to shoot fast.

    I still have one old unopened round metal sheridan can of those pellets.


  7. So, what about cost? I know that was part of the original article, to determine which “made more sense.” The ammo is more expensive for the CB caps, but a cheap accurate 0.22 rifle can be had for WAY less that the gun + gear (compressor, tank, hoses, fittings) costs of shooting a Talon SS. There is a $250 difference in the cost of the guns alone (comparing Ruger 10/22 Sporter to the Talon SS).

    • JMDavis984,

      Let’s not forget to factor in cost of accuracy as well. A bigger factor for me in this comparison is whether you can legally discharge a firearm at your place of residence vs. an airgun. In my City, I can’t legally discharge a firearm but can shoot airguns all day long if the pellet doesn’t leave my property.


      • I can’t legally discharge either in my town. I was more trying to spark some conversation. The talon’s accuracy can be had for less $, and without the necessary HPA rigging (accurate springer, CO2, MPP). I am still confident that air rifles make more sense in general for “cheap” shooting.

    • JMDavis984,

      The extra cost of the air rifle is NOTHING, compared to the cost for ammo. 500 RWS CB caps will run up to $200.

      And the Ruger, as customized, cost more than the Talon SS. Standard Ruger 10/22s cannot compete with the Talon SS aout to 50 yards in calm air. But with about $800 worth of modifications, you get a 10/22 that can hold its own.

      As far a cheap AND accurate .22 rimfire shooting CB caps — try to find one. Look at how far they fell off at 25 yards. These three .22s would be $700-1,000 rifles in today’s market, for that is what you will pay for equivalent workmanship. Try to replicate these groups with a $200 Savage. Betcha can’t!


  8. B.B.

    I think you had posted you were going to try CB’s out of a handgun for an article in Shotgun News. Will you let us know what issue that will be? I would like to see how bad the over sized bore of my Single Six effects accuracy. I will of course also allow for the fact that I am a pathetic handgun shooter.


    Got the Beeman HW50 back from Paul Watts yesterday. loving it. Advance tune, his set back trigger, and gorgeous blued 5 1/2 inch break. If I had your talent I would attempt the stock myself,but their is a guy on the yellow that is pretty reasonable I think I will use. After that I will just need a worthy scope to finish it up.

    • Volvo,

      This test will be shown in Shotgun News in the September 20th issue. That’s the color issue that hits the stands around Sep. 10th. There will be more and different photos and tables and more of the story.

      I don’t have a CB cap handgun test scheduled for Shotgun News as of this time. My next feature article will be about the TalonP pistol and it will be in the January 20th color issue.

      Like I told Robert, earlier, I will test the Sheridan pistol with CB caps in this blog sometime in the future.


    • Volvo,

      Congratulations on getting the Paul Watts HW50 back in your hands. His muzzle brakes with that hard anodized bluing sure help with balance and they can withstand anything. Much better than bluing since I’ve always got my grubby paws on it for cocking.

      You won’t have a problem selling that one when you tire of it.


  9. I just pulled a CCI CB Long to see how much powder is in there – about 2X what your example shows!

    I was doing some weird experiments a while back where I was taking an X-acto knife and cutting off the part of a .22 bullet that is outside the case, in other words, leaving a little “nub” in there and shooting that. It’d end up really quiet. I dunno about accuracy, probably terrible. Honestly I don’t know why I do this stuff.

  10. It looks like the Talon wins except for the anomalous flier. Or to put it another way, I’d rather have 9 out of 10 first shots from the Talon than any other ammo and gun combination. But the .22 caps are an interesting class of cartridges. I always wondered what the .22 LR was long in relation to.

    Ms. Linnet. Your husband should be worried less about his bum than his eyes. Airsoft bbs flying at 200 feet per second can blind, and airgun pellets can not only draw blood but kill. I would make sure that everyone is equipped with good safety glasses, observes safety rules, and has a safe shooting range. There’s plenty of info on the blog about all these things and all the stuff is available at PA. Of course you are always welcome to ask about any of it.

    Car drivers, I see the problems with hooking up or not. But last night, I discovered another credible candidate for fastest production car. The word is that the latest Dodge Viper recently turned in the fastest time at some famous German track that is spelled something like Nibelung. This track has a 12.7 mile circuit and is something of a standard for testing the full range of a car’s capabilities. So, in defeating the Nissan GTR, Porsche 911 and others, the Viper makes a fair claim to being no. 1. Of course it can’t compare to my own rc car with scale speed of 300 mph…. I know all about hooking (or not) driving that car over my favorite gravel surface. But the real star of the latest car models and the one that I would like to own most is the Cadillac CTS-V. It’s a luxury car with only slightly less performance than a supercar. I believe it goes 0-60mph in less than four seconds, and when you open it up, it howls like a jet fighter. It’s like a James Bond car. But this is definitely something that will be enjoyed in the mind.


    • They stopped using the long course of the Nurbugring because it was too dangerous, F1 cars were literaly launching in the air, when you know how much they rely on downforce and how little suspension they have it must have been some HARD landings but the main concern was safety, they couldn’t have enough security personnel and fire marshals to cover the entire length of the course especially since a big part of it was located deep in the forest. Legendary road course.


  11. By the way, I tried the old toothpaste on the wall ploy to cover holes when I was in college. This was on the advice of my super-smart roommate. Well, he should’ve stuck to biochemistry because the inspectors were not fooled ane we got billed.


    • Well, heck, Spackle is cheap enough and available at any hardware store. And it’s easier to put on than toothpaste, and would probably have passed inspection.

        • I moved out of an apartment that I hated a long time ago. Unfortunately I had knocked over a can of black acrylic paint right in the middle of the new berber carpet. I was very poor at the time, and was actually homeless for several months after moving out. Because I was so broke, I really needed my security deposit back. So I put a trash can over the stain in the middle of the room. It worked, and I got my deposit back.

          • Slinging Lead:
            Not funny that you had such a hard time mate but there is an episode of a comedy show called ‘Some mothers do have em’ where the accident prone main character Frank Spencer wrecks a hotel room.
            His attempts at covering up the growing list of damage is hilarious.
            If you all can,check it out on Youtube.

  12. Thanks for the test and report on CB’s, BB! I never had much luck with them for accuarcy myself, so it was nice to see an objective report with some different firearms than I have tried. They wouldn’t cycle my Ruger 22/45 and weren’t great in my TOZ-78. I really didn’t want to use them in city limits anyway, so I have a bunch of CCI’s left over that I use at the range once in a while when the mood strikes.

    BTW, I know this is an airgun forum, but I think it all relates. We’re still discussing shooting, so for myself, feel free to bring powder burners in anytime! 🙂


  13. I took my youngest grandson (youngest in town, anyway) out to the gun range this morning. He shot a Daisy Red Ryder and a Crosman 760 at ten yards. It was his first experience at shooting.

    He did pretty well! The 760 was shot using pellets only.

    He also did well with his gun safety lesson, and handled the guns safely at he range and followed the rules, too.

    I taught him the artillery hold, and he told me why it was necessary for a springer. He also understood the difference between a springer and a multipump pneumatic. Could even tell me the difference in what’s inside them.

    When he was done shooting, I shot my trusty Daisy 856 at 30 yards. We both had a lot of fun.

    Now his big sister wants to shoot! I’ll take her out for a lesson Monday. She is big enough at 15 for the 856 or a 880.


    • Desertdweller,

      That’s the kind of news that I like to hear. Hitting our mark innate to humans, so we are born with this connection between ourselves and objects separate from us. To our ancestors, many millennium ago, the ability to hit prey with a rock was reason to believe in the Divine intervention. They believed that when they succeeded in hitting their mark that there was a force called “mana” that helped to put food on the table. Bottom line, we are born with a natural interest to hit our mark, and nothing makes this both an art and a science, like shooting. Good for you!


      • Thanks, Victor!

        I’m sure those ancestors who were good with a rock ate a lot better diet than the “nuts and berries” crowd.

        I think target shooting is important, not only for the skills involved, but for the self-discipline it requires.
        I’m looking forward to taking my granddaughter shooting Monday.

        And then, two of the grandsons have challenged each other to a shoot-off. Side by side, identical guns.


      • Victor

        You said a mouthful brother. Just about every popular sport from badminton to bocce ball involves a variation on hitting your mark. I think hitting ones mark should be specifically listed in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

  14. I promised a report on my Challenger a while back so now that I’m done traveling for a while and have my guns at the ready I’ll do some shooting with it. I haven’t shot for a couple months but my results were pretty good in spite of that. Might be a testament to a good rifle.

    I’m shooting at 10m, which is what the Challenger is made for. I’m using a new Shooter’s Ridge Deluxe Field and Range Bench, which is a very stable platform with a built in seat and a fully adjustable yoke for resting the gun barrel or stock on (see you can do that with a PCP 🙂 ).

    I’m using 7.56gr H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets only because they were at the top of the heap. The results were so good with these I should stop right here and order a case but I’m anxious to try other brands, too.

    Here is my first target:


    The real test will come later when I start shooting the Airgunarena.com bench rest targets. But first the gun probably needs broken a bit and I need to learn how to Zen shoot it.


          • SL,
            I bought the Challenger option that included the diopter sights. I wasn’t satisfied with the inserts that came with the front sight so I ordered a set from Brownells. I’m currently using the rear aperture that came with the rifle, and then put the really small (smallest I could find at Brownells) insert in the front. If you get interested I can dig up the order form that has the part number for the set, if you wish.

  15. Chuck,

    The Challenger is on my short list. I’ve not shot one, but I’ve held one, and I liked it better that other “comparable” rifles. Good shooting! 🙂


  16. Doc Beeman and I respectfully disagree with this premise. In fact if you venture over on the Talonairgun.com forum that in practice the Lothar Walther barrels Airforce use are much less pelllet finicky in the .25 caliber than the .22 from many shooters experience. More a function of the barrels possible than the pellets or caliber.

    “Before we begin, perhaps I should mention for our newer readers that .25-caliber pellets are inherently less accurate than .22-caliber pellets. In test after test, I’ve seen the .25s perform less well than a comparable .22.”

      • Chuck,

        Great looking groups! It also appears that your rifle is not all that picky about what brand or weight of pellet you use as well. Perhaps very care full sorting or maybe just some braking in will shrink your groups a fuzz. I think I’m going to predict next months e-match winner!


        • Caveman,
          I noticed, too, that the Challenger wasn’t very picky. Based on that target alone I’d have to choose the Meisterkugeln, don’t you think? But, before I do, I want to do more shooting of them all plus some others I haven’t tried, yet. I’ll bet there are even more suggestions on this blog. And another thing, I haven’t chronyed the rifle yet. I need to get that done to establish a baseline for the future.

        • Chuck,

          As I recall, you didn’t have any prior experience with target sights (aperture, front and back). Also, I believe you were interested in finding a smaller front aperture. Did you ever find one? If shooting from a rest, a smaller aperture will help tight up the groups. When shooting offhand, many prefer a larger aperture. My preference was always smaller, but I also used clear apertures. You can get them as a set from Champions Choice. In any case, that’s great shooting!


          • Victor,
            You have a very good memory. Yes, diopter sights are new to me and I did have an issue with the aperture size that came with the rifle. I ended up buying a set from Brownells. I do have the smallest one I could find, in the front, and it helps tremendously. It is just big enough to leave a small border around the bull, from the bench rest position, so if I can keep my eyes from blurring I can get a really good, consistent sight picture. I can understand where it would be too small for offhand.

            • Chuck,

              Just keep in mind that in competition you have either 1 minute per shot (NRA), or 1.5 minutes per shot (International). Use that time to allow yourself to breath and get a calm relaxed rhythm. This mental aspect alone is worth trying to achieve. Don’t force shots, or rush them to where your eyes bet blurry. Take your time, squeeze off the shot, and follow-through. Shots down range are history, and future shots don’t exist. The only shot that matters is the one you’re taking at the moment. Enjoy, and take in, each individual shot. In a away, shooting is like eating. We want to savor each bite and really taste the food. We don’t want to just swallow like a dog. There can be so much more to the experience, if we allow ourselves to have it. Just a thought.


  17. Got an air pistol ID question:

    We were watching the old William Powell/Myrna Loy flick, The Thin Man this evening. There’s a scene set on Xmas where Powell is lying on his couch plinking balloons on his Christmas tree with a long barrel break-barrel air pistol, Loy’s present to him (she got a mink coat).

    Does anybody know what pistol it was?


  18. Ya know, I was in a gun shop and bought some Aguila Super Sniper or something like that…. rounds. The guy who owned the shop raved about them and to prove how cool they are, got out the phone book and shot it! Then we had fun seeing how far in the alphabet it went. (it was the yellow pages). I remember the bullet having a large hollow point to it. It was really quiet too, and I think the bullet was actually heaver than the standard .22 bullet?

    That was cool.

    • Yes, that is an interesting .22 round. I have a box and have shot a few. Most rifles don’t shoot them very well because the rifling twist is too slow. The bullets tend to “key hole” or not go through the target straight at a distance. The bullet weight is 60 grains. Most .22 long rifle bullets will be from 29 to 40 grains with 40 grains being the most common.


  19. Scope Questions:

    Are the Leapers, Centerpoint, and UTG scopes the same ? If not, which is the higher quality ?

    Also, how do the optics and quality compare to the Bushnells or Hawke scopes in the same price range ? (ie: Bushnell Banner or Trophy, or Hawke “non-tactical”) ? By quality, I mean the scopes ability to stand up to constant adjustments, recoil and rain without problems.


    • Hi, John. It was a pleasure shooting with you at DIFTA yesterday. You’re aware that I’m a relative newbie and a cheapskate, so you’ll know what grains of salt to apply to my comments. Thanks to the generosity of our shooting buddies, I’ve had the chance to play at length with quite a few of the swankier, more popular FT scopes. And of course I’ve spent lots of time with my Leapers 8-32×56 and 4-16×50 scopes. This may sound like blasphemy, but I’d say that the clarity and brightness of these inexpensive Leapers scopes compares favorably at max. magnification with that of, say, the Nikko Diamond 10-50×60, the Bushnell Elite 4200 8-32×40, the Leupold Comp. 35, and even the Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50×56. But in each of these cases, we’re comparing the big, heavy Leapers to a scope with either a much higher magnification, or one with a much smaller objective lens.

      I have a feeling where these scopes really differ is in their mechanical precision and repeatability. Remember how we were seeing some funny high and low impacts on the sight-in range? And remember how it seemed to really help to click way too far “up” beyond the elevation we wanted, and then come back “down” to our actual click value? And how maybe there’s a tiny bit of slop in the sidewheel? I think with the finer scopes, you don’t need to deal with these shenanigans. Put Al’s USFT with the Schmidt & Bender, or Thomas’ P70 with the Nikko Diamond on the bench, range, click, and shoot, and the shot hits RIGHT where you pointed it. Every time. Even when you’re a knuckledragger like me!

      IF I could allocate the dough, I’d probably upgrade scopes. When you’re trying to learn to shoot precisely, it sure is reassuring to eliminate as many of the non-“you” variables as you can. With my modest gear, it’s usually “me” who does most of the missing, but sometimes it’s the gear. I swear. Really. I’m pretty content with the Marauder plus Leapers combo for now, though. And it didn’t do too shabby yesterday, eh?

      PS, I’ve had no experience with the lower-range Bushnell and Hawke scopes.

      PPS, UTG is a Leapers branding, and I’m pretty sure that B.B. has confirmed that Centerpoints are manufactured and imported by the Leapers folks. I don’t think the Centerpoint and Leapers models are identical, but the differences sure seem pretty minor.


    • JohnG10,

      Leapers sources their scopes from several different factories. The specs are held at different levels.

      UTG is a Leapers brand. Centerpoint buys their scopes from Leapers.

      But as for the quality, that devolves to the specs that each model scope is built to and how closely the factory is holding to those specs. In other words, don’t make generalities.


  20. I have in fact bettered these groups with my “cheap” Savage rimfire. This gun will put all rounds into the same hole out to 150 yards, AND bulk 22 LR ammo (still good stuff) is barely any cheaper than pellets, and less than premium pellets. My uncustomized ruger 10-22 shoots better groups as well. 22’s and 17’s are, in my opinion, NOT intended for the same range as air rifles when group shooting, my groups are smaller at 100 yards than 20, and i credit this to the centerfire scope’s parallax being made for longer range. I went through the airgun phase as well, but i can shoot better with a rimfire (they can have really good triggers compared to air rifles), and if you get a rimfire for $200 add a 100 dollar scope/ring cost, compared to a 600 (unscoped) dollar air rifle, you can shoot 13,000 or so bulk rounds of ammo, before you reach the price of an unscoped air rifle. Just stating my opinion, I don’t intend to offend anybody, Jim.

    • Jim,
      I don’t think anyone here will be offended. We welcome your input. I would say that my reason for air rifles is that I can shoot in my basement, not having to drive 30 miles round trip to a range that is subject to weather, and the noise level is lower. I never put much emphisis on cost in my decision but others do. I can also, conveniently, get my grandkids interested in shooting, too, with my indoor range.

  21. Also don’t forget that a large centerfire, such as the 45-70 can be reloaded (with cast boolits) for less than $1.75 a box of 20. I’d love to see what a 45-70 would do to a pest starling (:

    • In vacuum, with no gravity? Essentially until it runs into something.

      Note that your question is not dependent upon the rifle. The only criteria are ballistic coefficient (how badly does air resistance slow it down), muzzle velocity, height above ground at the muzzle, the angle of the barrel, and the acceleration of gravity.

    • Christine,

      If the bullet misses the target the energy it carries is meaningless. At 10 meters and 25 yards CB caps can keep up with modern air rifle, but at 50 yards they are well behind in accuracy.

      Also, there are some air rifles that develop a lot more energy that a CB cap. The AirForce Condor is much more powerful than any CB cap — and can be so with a 29-grain pellet.

      As the summary stated, CB caps have their place. But air rifle do trump them in all ways, if that is what is wanted.


  22. It has been a few years since I did any air rifle shooting but my early years were wrapped around a Benjamin 312. In more recent times I’ve been a volunteer for the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection in a hog eradication program in a coastal preserve of approximately 1,250 acres. By Department regulation I am restricted to rimfire weapons exclusively. Before that began I was little more than a home owner trying to keep feral hogs from destroying my yard while at the same time I sought to avoid annoying the neighbors with gunfire. The obvious choice for me was the CCI CB short as I have a T/C Contender Carbine specifically chambered for shorts. Somewhat to my surprise the first hog shot with that gun fell dead at the shot and my experience over the intervening years has consistent with the first event.

    My experience has been somewhat different from Mr. Pelletier’s. Slightly over 100 hogs have met their end with the CB Shorts, only one requiring a 2d shot. The ranges have varied from 10 to 38 yards (measured) and all shots have been CNS targeted. The combination of low power and longish barrel makes the gun quiet enough that I have, on quite a few occasions, killed more than one hog without taking a step. Two is common, the most I’d dispatched at one time is five. With that said, I disagree with the assessment that the CB short is inadequate for 50 yards shots. The gun will consistently group 5 shots inside of 3/10ths” at ten yards offhand and 1/2″ at 50 yards on a bag rest. it will do the same with CCI HVHP shorts with POI at 50 yards about 1″ higher than the CB’s.

    I think it would be less confusing when writing about this subject if the vernacular was strictly applied. Too often I see commentary which mixes “short” and “cap”. They are as different as a Ford and a Ferrari. I shoot the “Caps” (BB & CB) at squirrels and the “Shorts” at hogs.

    Interesting read otherwise and I appreciate the comparison.

  23. Dunno this will work, but here goes…



    Whether air rifle or RF, placement is key.

  24. B.B.
    Thank you very much for the very detailed interesting report on the .22 CB’s.
    Your vintage Winder musket is a really neat rifle!

    Just recently I have taken a more keen interest in this ammunition, using it in my 1948 vintage 39A Marlin. I too found the CCI CB Shorts to be more accurate than their CB Longs even when fired in a .22 LR chamber.

    A couple of 5 shot groups with the CCI CB Shor0ts have run right around 1″ at 25 yards from the Marlin. My next test will be at 50 yards, hopefully sometime next month.

    Just this past week, I tested some of the RWS CB’s and Super Colibri at 7 and 15 yards. The RWS proved to be a bit more accurate. .At 15 yards the RWS grouped 5 into 1″ with 4 in .52″ even with the l-o-n-g jump into the rifling which was a bit surprising. The Super Colibri. grouped 5 into 1.25″ with 4 in .95″. In addition, the S.C.’s dropped 1.8″ from 7 yards and the RWS was still hitting at the same point on the target.

    Next test will be at 25 yards in the near future.

    I was curious about the amount of priming compound in the RWS and S.C. so I pulled some bullets from both and weighed the cases, then fired them.
    Priming compound weight:
    RWS – 1.4 grs
    S.C.. – 1.0 gr

    I also tested the CCI CB Short and CB Long and found they contained .5 grs of white powder (as in your pic). Priming compound weight .25 grs.

    I have an interest in “the way things were”, so to speak. Thus my interest in these rounds whose roots date back to the 1800’s. To that end, I also have an interest in the early .22 Long Rifle b.p. cartridges and what kind of velocity / accuracy where they capable of so I decided to experiment. The results were surprisingly good……

    aka w30wcf
    aka w44wcf (Black powder)
    aka Jack Christian “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

    • John,

      Welcome to the blog.

      What an interesting experiment. And not without some danger!

      Casting .22 bullets for your test is real dedication. I know how difficult casting small bullets can be, and yours looked beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us and if you even want to write a guest blog, let me know.


  25. B.B.,
    My apologies for getting a bit off topic here. A faster cycle time is needed to keep the mold up to temp when casting small bullets. Thus a sprue plate with small sprue holes is needed to allow that to happen.

    Having experimented with that previously, I specified a sprue hole diameter of .062-.070″. That allows the sprue to solidify quickly with the result that 500 – 600 match grade .22 bullets can be made in an hour if I can keep up the pace. Before I make the 1st cast, I place the mold in a toaster oven set at 450F to bring it up to temp.

    One thing I really enjoy doing with the .22 LR is shooting steel targets at 200 yards / meters, the distance being the original intent for its design back in the late 1880’s. What fun!

    Back to the CB’s. The thought just occurred to me that I had purchased a couple boxes of
    > Winchester .22 CB Match ammunition <
    awhile back. I was going to put one in my .22 box collection and test the other one which I never did.
    I will add that the tests at 25 and 50 yards to see how it performs.

    Another thought I had (I have too many thoughts about things to try!) was to place a 22 pellet into the chamber of a .22 rifle and then place a primed case with a very small amount of smokeless held in place at the back of the case with a ,004" inch paper disc behind it.

    In addition, I wonder what 4.5 grs of b.p. would do (?).

    FInally, if I could find some number 1 Power Tool Blanks………

    I have seen a few videos on youtube with fellows trying the more powerful 2,3, and 4 blanks under a pellet but that produces way too much velocity (up to 2,800 f.p.s.with the 4!!!) with accuracy being pretty much non exsistent.

    The journey continues…..

    aka w30wcf
    aka w44wcf (Black powder)
    aka Jack Christian “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

  26. B.B.,
    My apologies for getting a bit off topic here. A faster cycle time is needed to keep the mold up to temp when casting small bullets. Thus a sprue plate with small sprue holes is needed to allow that to happen.

    Having experimented with that previously, I specified a sprue hole diameter of .062-.070″. That allows the sprue to solidify quickly with the result that 500 – 600 match grade .22 bullets can be made in an hour if I can keep up the pace. Before I make the 1st cast, I place the mold in a toaster oven set at 450F to bring it up to temp.

    One thing I really enjoy doing with the .22 LR is shooting steel targets at 200 yards / meters, the distance being the original intent for its design back in the late 1880’s. What fun!

    Back to the CB’s. The thought just occurred to me that I had purchased a couple boxes of
    WINCHESTER .22 CB MATCH ammunition
    awhile back. I was going to put one in my .22 box collection and test the other one which I never did. I will add that the tests at 25 and 50 yards to see how it performs.

    Another thought I had (I have too many thoughts about things to try!) was to place a 22 pellet into the chamber of a .22 rifle and then place a primed case with a very small amount of smokeless held in place at the back of the case with a ,004″ inch paper disc behind it.

    I wonder how a pellet lubed with b.p. lube placed into the chamber followed by a .22 case loaded with b.p. would do (?)

    Also if I could find some number 1 power tool blanks……

    There are several youtube videos of of fellows trying the more powerful 2,3&4’s which produce way too much velocity (over 2,600 f.p.s. with the #4!!) and non existent accuracy.

    The journey continues……..

    aka w30wcf
    aka w44wcf (Black powder)
    aka Jack Christian “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

    • John,

      I went to Midway, but the Winchester target CB shorst are backorderd again. I will try to get some for my low wall.

      I have found that lubricated pellets do not shoot accurately. Please tell me if you discover different.


  27. B.B.
    Thank you. My thought is that the forepart would ride the bore diameter and the hollow base would bump up to fit the groove diameter. It certainly would with b.p. and I’m thinking possibly with a bit of smokeless. I’ll try some with just the primer…….

    Then again I could bump some pellets up in my .225″ die.

    Here is the WInchester .22 CB Match ammo

    aka w30wcf
    aka w44wcf (Black powder)
    aka Jack Christian “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

  28. oops! My apologies for the double post above.

    I dissected one of the WINCHESTER .22 CB Match cartridges and found that it contained the same 1/2 gr of powder that the CCI’s had.

    A bit disappointing is the fact that the bullets measure .221″ at the front and .223″ at the base. Match .22 L.R.’s measure closer to .225″ so I bumped up some of the Winchester CB’s to .225″ dia and will compare their accuracy to the untouched factory rounds.

    I double checked the CCI CB Short group targets fired at 25 yards and found the actual measurements to be 3/4″ rather than the 1″ I reported previously. I had bumped up those bullets to .225″ dia according to my notes.


    aka w30wcf
    aka w44wcf (Black powder)
    aka Jack Christian “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 .

  29. B.B.
    Yes, I would be happy to if you don’t think it is too much of a departure from the “Are CB Caps as good and as accurate as pellets” subject.


    aka w30wcf
    aka w44wcf (Black powder)
    aka Jack Christian “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 .

    • John,

      Not a problem. If you scan the 10 years this blog has been in business you’ll see I often do make departures into firearms and other stuff.

      I will ask my wife, Edith, to email you the guest blogging instructions.



  30. Had a chance to test the ammo shown in the table at 25 yards. I decided to add the CCI Quiet since it is a CB of sorts since the velocity is in that same range. Also, I found a 100 round box of CCI 22 Target Shorts at a local gunshop which was a surprise. Velocity is listed at 830 f.p.s. or only about 100 f.p.s. faster than the standard CCI 22 CB Short of which I have not very many left.

    B.B. it would be interesting to see how the CCI 22 Target Shorts would group in your vintage Winchester.

    Had a chance to test the ammo shown in the table at 25 yards. I decided to add the CCI Quiet since it is a CB of sorts since the velocity is in that same range. Also, I found a 100 round box of CCI 22 Target Shorts at a local gunshop which was a surprise. Velocity is listed at 830 f.p.s. or only about 100 f.p.s. faster than the standard CCI 22 CB Short of which I have not very many left.

    B.B. it would be interesting to see how the CCI 22 Target Shorts would group in your vintage Winchester.


    The .CCI .22 CB Shorts I have are about 10+ years old and as memory serves, they were around .222/.223 diameter and shot better when bumped to .225″ diameter. It was nice to see that the CCI .22 Target Shorts did have a .225″ diameter bullet.

    I needed to save ammo for the 50 yard tests so I fired 5 shot groups with the exception of the .22 Target Shorts where I fired a 10 shot group.

    As I expected, the .22 Quiet ammunition printed the tightest group but the modified (.225″) CB Shorts weren’t far behind.

    Will post the 50 yard test results hopefully within the next few weeks after I have had a chance to get back to the range.

    aka w30wcf
    aka w44wcf (Black powder)
    aka Jack Christian “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 .

  31. Forgot to mention
    ** bullet upset to .225: diameter
    The Super Colibri’s accuracy really fell off between 15 and 25 yards. They seemed to fly straight then would curve down a bit to the right just like a breaking curve baseball!


    aka w30wcf
    aka w44wcf (Black powder)
    aka Jack Christian “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

  32. Finally had a chance to test at 50 yards with the CCI Quiets and Short Target ammo.
    I am in search of some more .22 Short CB’ since the few I now have left are relegated to decreasing the local chipmunk population. The little buggers have tunneled under the front porch and brick patio…….

    Anyway, both rounds shot reasonably well with the flat nosed Quiets produced the best 10 shot group (.91″). I updated the chart, with the results.


    Now if I can locate some more CB Short ammo……..

    w30wcf . .

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