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Ammo Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 3

Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Jerry Strong 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.

Jerry Strong, winner of the Big Shot of the Week, holds a Stoeger X50 and wears a Beeman P1 on his hip.

Part 1
Part 2

What a day we have before us! I relearned a valuable lesson in accuracy and got some very surprising results.

Increasing accuracy by an order of magnitude
Before I launch into today’s report, a comment I made a few days ago has raised some interest and I thought I would explain it now. I happened to mention that a new loading technique that I was trying on the Ballard .38-55 rifle had given me the promise of an accuracy increase of an order of magnitude. Instead of 10 shots going into one inch at 100 yards, it looks like this new technique will be capable of putting those same 10 shots into one-tenth of an inch at the same distance. Whether I ever accomplish such a feat is immaterial as long as the rifle demonstrates it can do it.

The technique is one I found in the book Yours Truly Harvey Donaldson. He reported on it in the 1930s, and it’s a technique that was used before the start of the 20th century. And this only applies to lead bullets — not jacketed bullets. The technique is to load the bullet directly into the bore of the gun so that it stops about one-sixteenth of an inch in front of the loaded (but bulletless) cartridge. You do this with an empty case into which a hard wood dowel is driven, then cut off one-sixteenth of an inch longer than the end of the case.

Then simply drop the lead bullet into the chamber with the muzzle pointed down and insert the doweled cartridge behind it. A tool with a lever can be made to seat the cartridge deep enough into the rifling that the rifle’s breech can be closed, camming the bullet the last bit of the way into the bore. Extract the doweled cartridge and insert a loaded cartridge behind the bullet.

The loaded cartridge is reused for every shot — thus eliminating one variable. The cartridge is de-primed, the primer pocket cleaned, re-primed, loaded with a light charge of powder (10 grains of Unique for my proof of concept test) and the balance of the case is filled with Cream of Wheat cereal. Shooters have been loading with Cream of Wheat this way since at least the year 1900, and it works. I put a cork wad on top of the Cream of Wheat, and the cartridge is ready to fire. The cream of Wheat keeps the hot gasses from the base of the lead bullet, so you can use very soft lead that fills the bore better.

It takes approximately 5 minutes to go through the entire loading process; but in that time, the barrel has an opportunity to cool down. Thus, giving stability to the rifle. Because it will go back into the same chamber from which it was extracted, it doesn’t have to be resized. I filed a notch on the rim of the cartridge and this notch is oriented to the 12 o’clock position, to allow the cartridge to enter the chamber the same way every time.

As I mentioned in my comment, the first two shots from my clean rifle went about three inches apart, with the next three going into two-tenths of an inch. That’s at 100 yards with open target sights and a bubble level. I will be reporting on this process in much greater detail, and I’ll have photos for you to see what’s going on in a future report; but I wanted to satisfy the curious who have been asking me about what I’m doing.

On to today
Well, the stuff you just read had a lot of bearing on today’s test. You may remember that this is a retest of the four pellets at ultra-high velocity — which is as fast as any spring gun can propel them. The objective of this test is to see if lowering velocity has any effect on the accuracy of these four pellets.

I’m doing a retest because I thought that the first time around I detected some evidence of group shifting as the bore got seasoned to each pellet. Two of the pellets seemed to act that way, while the other two didn’t.

But as long as I was doing the test again, I decided to use the scope level that’s mounted on the Whiscombe rifle I’m using. I have learned from shooting my Ballard rifle, which has a bubble level on the front sight, that leveling the rifle for each shot makes a huge difference in accuracy. However, that’s at 100 yards, and I’m shooting the pellet rifle at 25 yards. Could a level help much there? I wondered, so I tried it.

I shot the pellets in the same rotation as in the first test — lightest to heaviest. So first up was the Beeman Devastator.

Beeman Devastator
You may recall that I selected the Devastator because it’s the kind of hyper-fast pellet I figured guys who buy hyper-velocity air rifles might choose. I didn’t expect it to be accurate, but you’ll remember that it was.

The Devastator was also one pellet that showed no need for bore seasoning. In other words, it was ready to go from shot one. I was prepared today to shoot four pellets (three to season the bore and a fourth to check where the group should be) before moving to a fresh target, but the Devastator shot so well that I didn’t do that. Today’s group is the first 10 shots out of the gun.

Ten Devastators went into this tight 0.743-inch group at 25 yards. This is phenomenal accuracy for a pellet moving over 1,200 f.p.s.!

By leveling every shot, I got better accuracy. This has been proven many times before.

Incidentally, the shot that strayed from the main group was No. 4. But all the others were even tighter than the group size indicates. I hope you can understand why I did not feel the need to shift this pellet after the first three shots.

Devastators still crack like a .22 rimfire because of the sound barrier thing, so they’re not the pellet to use in the backyard. At least not at this velocity. But they’re accurate. In the first test, the group measures 0.903 inches, so this isn’t really that great a reduction, but I do believe that the small improvement was due to my using the scope level on the rifle for every shot.

Crosman Premier lites
Next to be tested was the Crosman Premier lite pellet. In the first test this pellet was the one that gave a huge difference between where the first couple shots landed and the main group went. So I did season the bore with three test pellets and a fourth check pellet, just to see if the group moved. And it did. It moved about a half-inch upward.

What a difference from the first time! The first group of 10 Crosman Premier lites at 25 yards measured 2.385 inches between centers. This one measures 0.778 inches. Seasoning the bore with four warm-up shots before shooting the group made the largest difference, but the scope level also helped.

Beeman Kodiaks
Many of you expected Beeman Kodiaks to be the best in this test the first time. They were good, but not quite the best. Well, this time they turned the tables and made the best group. I seasoned the bore as described with four shots before starting this group; and although it was small, I did see some movement from the first shot to the second. It’s difficult to say whether that was due to seasoning the bore or just general dispersion, so I’ll withhold comment.

Now, that’s a group! Using the scope level, I put 10 Beeman Kodiaks into this 0.633-inch group at 25 yards. That’s way better than the first group that measured 1.055 inches!

Eun Jin
The last pellet I tried was the 16.1-grain Eun Jin dome. In the first test, this was the most accurate pellet, but this time they slipped to last place. Ten went into a group measuring 0.798 inches. However, that’s very close to their first group of 0.755 inches, so they really didn’t change that much — if any. The others just passed them by.

The worst group of this test was turned in by the pellet that shot best last time. Ten Eun Jins went into 0.798 inches at 25 yards.

Bottom line
I now feel confident that I’m getting everything this rifle has to offer from these four pellets at this velocity. Seasoning the bore remains iffy. It seems to help Premiers, but pure lead pellets don’t seem to need it as much — if any. However, adding the scope level made a big difference in group sizes.

Now the bar has been set; and according to my expectations, it’s set high. Every time I run this test, I’ll have to shoot my very best if the results are to mean anything.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

154 thoughts on “Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 3”

  1. Dowels and cream of wheat. Amazing. So….. you don’t end up with Cream Of Wheat gunking up your bore? Or does it gunk it up in a *good* way? (Don’t laugh, some very good rifle shooters I’ve known *never* cleaned their rifles, they shot better dirty.)

      • 1st I’ve heard of the cream of wheat trick, I’m adding that as a note in my schuetzen book

        But you didn’t mention paper patching the bullet

        Another trick to test out, is to muzzle load the bullet using a ram rod that has a calibrated stop. The stop will be set using your dummy cartridge. When the bullet reaches the wooden dowel & begins to push out the cartridge, you use the dummy cartridge to push the bullet back forwards and then set the ram rod stop to that point

        The trick here is that when the bullet is set into the grooves of the rifling, it will wind up with burrs trailing behind where each land has grooved the bullet. If you allow these burrs to occur at the tail of the bullet as happens in normal breech loading fashion, you get a condition where the burrs act to tip the bullet as it exits the muzzle. The burrs will not be perfectly even, and act like tiny little rudders that the propelling gases push against as they flow sideways into open air

        If you muzzle load the bullets, the burrs will all be at the front, where they will have no effects from exiting gases

        I suspect this will also hold true for airgun pellets

  2. For those that haven’t used an anti cant device I’ll speculate that it will be a humbling experience since many of us seasoned shooters think we know when a rifle is level. I was wrong.

    In my experience the affects of seasoning an airgun barrel with pellets aren’t dramatic but can be measured. I and some airgun friends spent quite a bit of time shooting at 50 yards with multiple guns and multiple pellets and took the averages of our groups since the shooter error is the greatest in a test like this. Results? The groups shrank immeasurably but the groups poi shifted. The shift was universal between shooters. The problem with a test of this sort is that IMHO you need at least 50 yards to detect variation BUT when you can get a group of airgunners together for this TESTING EVENT you often have a breeze that arrives soon after you begin shooting. I’ve never talked much about these “results” since a little wind, even when you try to shoot during lulls, makes it inconclusive.


    I hope you will elaborate on the “A tool with a lever can be made to seat the cartridge deep enough into the rifling that the rifle’s breech can be closed, camming the bullet the last bit of the way into the bore” when you write the report you promised.

    We’ve got a flush of coyotes at the club this year. Saw 5 last weekend. The majority of our residents are summer only. Since the snowbirds have left and the activity is minimal the coyotes are moving in closer. Saw two within 100 yards of my front door. I traded several guns this week for a .22-250. I’m leaving early in the morning to sight in the new gun at our range. I looked for two days to find my coyote calls. Finally found them. Reeds are dried out. Of course. Should be an interesting weekend.


    • Kevin and BB: The lever tool that is used for seating bullets into the brech uniformly is described in the book “The Breech Loading Single Shot Match Rifle” by Major Roberts and Ken Waters that I mentioned a couple days ago. It was used to seat bullets made from a hard a harder alloy than pure lead, which had over sized driving bands which required more force to seat than the hand tool pictured in the book , or by the method BB used that he describes above. It also required that a 1/8″ hole be drilled and tapped into the left side of the receiver of the gun for a steel stud for the link of the lever to fit over. BTW, Kevin ,I just read where a good western coyote pelt may fetch up to $60 bucks apiece this year. Could help with the shooting expense fund.

      • Robert and Kevin,

        I have just ordered what will be a major Christmas present for me. A nose-pour Hoch bullet mold for the Ballard made for a .38-55 bullet designed by Dr. Hudson — a world champion shooter of a century ago. The driving bands in the back are bore-sized while the forward bands ride on top of the rifling.

        All of this — the special loading techniques and the bullet mold — are playing into a feature article I am writing for “Shotgun News” next year (I hope). I want to shoot a 10-shot 100-yards group smaller than a half-inch before my eyes get so bad that I can’t use the peep sights anymore. People have forgotten that these old rifles are super-accurate and can still wow us with what they can do. As a certified geezer, I am in the perfect position of rediscovering all that Pope, Roberts and the others told us so many years ago.


        • BB: In my book it is mentioned on page 182-83, that the Ideal No 1 (Schuetzen Bullet Seater ) was used specifically for seating the Hudson style bullets for the .38-55. It was supposedly described in the Ideal Handbook No 17. Maybe if you can dig up a picture of it ,youcan have one made. I do not have that book ,but will look for a picture. Major Roberts indicates that the No 1 is the easiest of the tools to make and the sturdiest of the bunch, Ideal models 1 .2 and 4. The Ideal No 4 one is the one that requires the stud modification to the rifle that I mention above, and was used with the hard cast oversized bullets that are like the Hudson type . The No 2 Ideal bullet seating tool was meant for seating softer alloy grooved bulletsand paper patched bullets of standard dia.

            • BB: Further research in Sharpe’s “Complete Guide To Handloading” indicates that the bullet seaters were pictured in the Ideal Manuals from No’s 17 thru 26. The oldest I have is a Ideal No 37. Interestly ,Sharpe writes that the best accuracy he obtained in any of the Schuetzen rifles was with breech seated bullets when using smokless powder. Bullets seated by using false muzzles did not do as well for him. Quite a few good tips on loading and shooting them are also found in his book. Good luck with your new bullet mould.

              • A slight correction to my reply above. The information I wrote about was actually written by Roberts and is included in Sharpe’s book in a chapter on shooting Schuetzen rifles.

              • Robert,

                I had read that statement. It was what pushed me into my proof of concept test so fast. I had always thought that nothing could beat a muzzle-loaded bullet in a gun made for muzzle-loading and breech-loading (like Pope’s guns), and this seemed to run contrary to that.

                I have only done one proof of concept test and that was only five shots at 100 yards. But seeing that super-tight group of three really impressed me. I’m all fired up for more.


    • Kevin,

      I don’t have such a tool yet. I now seat the bullet by banging on the end of the doweled case with a plastic hammer. My shooting buddy (the man who made the accurate .17 HM2 rifle I shoot) is watching me and evaluating the action to see what kind of tool can be built that will not require the modification of the rifle.

      Congrats on your new .22-250. When I was young and dumb I once owned a custom .22-250 that was so accurate I could hit hovering bees at the 100-yard target. I foolishly let it get away from me — thinking that I could always buy another one. Always hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still waiting. 😉

      Anyway, I’m predicting that you’ll soon grow to love that rifle and round.


    • Kevin,

      “two within a 100 yards”

      You should try a .22 Hornet one of these days. Anschutz made \ makes some real beauties that I think would suit your tastes.

      A guy was selling off his collection from the 1960″s on GB a couple months ago. Double set triggers, gorgeous wood, 95 % overall – they went pretty cheap. But still a little high for me, I will probably go for a Ruger like the one I sold off a couple years ago and just hope it shoots.

      The Timberline comes today, but I think the mounts won’t be here until Monday. Hard to believe I bought the rifle in May and it is still a work in progress. Hopefully I can get the Beeman HW50 all put together before the snow covers the ground.

      If you get a chance can you link your tutorial on how you re-stored the stock on your R-8 ?


    • Kevin,

      The 22-250 is great for ‘yotes. It’s what I was looking for when I stumbled across my .243 for $299 new. I still don’t have a 22-250 and it’s still on my list, but never looked back with the .243 for coyotes either. Good luck this weekend.


  3. Morning B.B.,

    Yes an anti cant device is a good thing that, as Kevin put it, is a humbling device.

    Wow on that group at 1200 fps. Might be new ground being broken here.


    Good choice with the 22-250. Let us know how well it shrinks your coyote population. What is the cure for a dried reed.


    • Mr B.,

      The cure for dried up reed is to make another or buy another. I’m going to update my varmit hunting techniques and buy an electronic caller. I like that you can have a call away from your stand and most are remote controlled so you can turn it off and on at will. I think being away from the call will allow me more movement (raising a gun) without being observed. Don’t know. We’ll see.


  4. B.B.

    I was not surprised that you saw some group size differences with shooting a few “warmups” first.
    I have seen some chrono difference with the first one or two pellets not fitting into the string when simply switching pellets.
    I have seen a few pellets needed to get a group stabilized when switching pellets.
    I have seen a few pellets needed to get stabilized when switching lubes. Sometimes quite a few.

    Some rifles are more particular about it than others. You have to know what each rifle will let you get away with.

    Some of these quirks can be very significant in effect…….and not necessarily at long distances either.


  5. B.B.

    Surprising accuracy with the wild hollow points. I suspect you were shooting indoors. I have seen some pellets (nerf pellets, wadcutters, and extreme hollow points ) shoot pretty good under calm conditions, but throw in some wind and they go nuts.

    I am beating the spam filter right now by staying logged off. No e-mail notification of replies, but not a big thing.


  6. BB:
    Well these groups may or may not turn out to be the most accurate of your tests but for hunting,where extra power is always welcome,they are accurate enough.
    Call it sour grapes I was kind of hoping at 1200 fps the pellets would be all over the shop.

      • I agree, this is a real ‘double take’ for me on the fast, light pellets. Not that I’m going to be up around the sound barrier, but at least I can push .22 pellets a bit faster without accuracy concerns that I had before.


      • B.B.,
        Surprised by the accuracy of the light weight Devastator? Well, the Beeman Devastator does have a “patented design”. Maybe these pellet manufacturers really do know what they are doing?

  7. Good morning all,

    while getting coffee at the train station, my buddy (who sold me that Diana 5V pre-WW II pistol) told me about a news article concerning Canada. It seems Canadian officials confiscated a shipment of Chinese made AK-#47 (hopefully my nomenclature is correct 🙂 ) air rifles or BB guns that, according to the Canadians, “can be easily converted into the real thing”. Anyone come across this news article? Seems you would almost have to build the darn thing from scratch w/r/t the barrel change, loading and ejection mechanism, receiver machine work. Anyone have an opinion?

    Fred PRoNJ

    • This is BS, these AK’s can be converted into the firearm as easily as it would be to turn a tanfoglio witness 1911 into it’s firearm sibling. Yes some of the part are from the real thing but you would still need many hours of machining and gunsmithing to make it work, you’d probably be better off starting from scratch then with one of these 300$+ BB guns.

      We’ve been ralking about this for a few days on the Canadian Airgun Forum.


    • Fred PRoNJ:
      It will probably be that there is nothing about these air rifles that make them more easy to convert but just the fact that an individual or individuals has attempted to convert them in the past.
      There is a particular model of blank firing pistol banned for the same reasons over here which I fail to see as being any more easy to convert than other blank firers.
      What it is though is cheap to buy and less of a loss to chew up with a drill by someone wanting to convert it.
      That appears to be more a determining factor as to what airguns/blank firers people try to convert,not any particular design feature.
      I hope the cops never cotton on that you can turn any hollow tube into a firearm.
      We would have to rip out all our water pipes because they would want to ban them.

      • J-F,

        Thanks for that. it’s refreshing to know that your media is as clueless as ours. They take at face value anything authorities with an agenda, spew out regardless of it’s veracity.

        DaveUK, we don’t have that problem here. Copper piping is so expensive that when it’s stolen off of new construction sites or even ripped out of abandoned or vacant buildings, it’s sold for scrap. I don’t know about the black steel gas pipelines, though….

        Fred PRoNJ

        • Fred,

          My family lived in Brazil for 3 years when I was a child, and the poor folks over there do indeed make rifles from old water pipes. My Dad bought one and brought it back knowing that no one back home would believe him without an actual rifle as proof. They did have a tendency to blow up a lot, though. As a result, they developed a unique method of shouldering their rifles: they would hold them out at arms length with the butt-stock held in the palm of one hand as far away as their trigger finger on the other hand would allow. Needless to say, shooting them that way tended to affect their accuracy, but it did result in less damage if the chamber blew.

    • Fred PRoNJ,

      Last year or earlier this year, the U.S. Customs dept. confiscated a shipment of airsoft rifles that could be converted to shoot firearm ammo.

      I suspect the same company shipped a load of these guns to Canada to see if they could slip ’em by.

      The seizure of the shipment to the dealer in Oregon was a BIG deal in the airsoft community and was widely reported. Unless you’re interested in airsoft (I am simply because of my affiliation with Pyramyd Air), you may not have read the story. I have not read of the seizure of a shipment to Canada, but I haven’t had a chance to read all my email this morning. The story might be among them.


      • Yup…I’ve been following this pretty closely. There was talk a couple of years ago that the RCMP (our countrywide police force) was looking at the B3 AK lookalike because supposedly it could ‘easily’ be converted to .22.
        Seems these guys watch too much TV…only the guys on ‘Sons of Guns’ would consider this to be easy.
        As was pointed out (though of course the RCMP disagree) it would be far more cost effective to just smuggle in real AK’s then convert a b.b. gun.

        • CBSD,

          I suspect that these decisions are made by someone sitting behind a desk somewhere with a law degree and no practical tradesman experience. They might also be watching too many McGuiver reruns while sitting behind that desk…..


        • It would probably be more cost effective AND SAFER.
          There’s a guy on the CBC website (where the article came out) that claims it can easily be done, that he only need 3 parts… they should give him the 3 parts he’s asking for and have him shoot it, that will change his mind LOL.


  8. Two talon is correct. Corn Meal will compress more than Cream of Wheat. I use it all the time in my .45-70 lead bullet handloads and light .45 Colt loads. It may be something to try.

    I’ll be missing this Blog for the next week as I’ll be hunting Pheasants in South Dakota. I don’t have a lap top or other device for accessing the Internet on the road. So, I’ll catch up when I return home.


  9. BB,

    Regarding droop from yesterday’s blog and your helpful answer, I can easily understand the reasoning that says “we understand that the alignment between outside of barrel and the rifled barrel itself is never going to be perfect, but it might be easiest to recognize the misalignment and set the misalignment in the same way for every gun we assemble.” And then I can easily see the decision to put it in the vertical plane as the easiest to correct with the rear sight or a scope.

    Most of this falls out if you examine the problem from an engineering standpoint!


    • This would make sense. But aren’t most barrels screwed into a receiver? If so, that seems like quite a hassle to measure the threads so that the droop is directly below the barrel axis. It sounds like custom work.


      • For an airgun? Probably swaged and sweat-soldered, if not just pressure fit with a cross-pin fitting a key-way. (Let’s ignore AirForce, whose barrels have built-in bushings and are held by set screws)

        Only airgun I can definitively state has a screwed on barrel is the Daisy model 25 — since to fill the BB feed you had to unscrew the feed/barrel assembly from the outer tube.

      • If you look at the breach block on a break-barrel, you’ll most likely see that the barrel is pressed in pretty squarely. It’s the huge breach seal that holds it at the droop angle. This is why a little droop is acceptable in a break-barrel. To allow for seal compression over time. On my TF99 (underlever) and on a couple of break-barrels I’ve looked at up close, the breach block on the compression tube side had pulled out of square while they were welding it, thereby contributing to the droop. This is what disturbs me as someone who has welded and machined for years. It just doesn’t have to be so when you use the proper jigs and techniques.

        It’s not the barrel being drilled off center that bugs me. That is usually barely noticeable even in a cheap barrel and they don’t even try to “time” that out with respect to left or right on a production run of an inexpensive gun. I was talking about the droop of the entire barrel with respect to the action when I opened this can of worms again. Off-center drilling is much more difficult to deal
        with than assembly problems like out of square welding.


  10. BB,
    You said you have marked your case so it was always oriented the same. do you do the same with the bullets when you remove them from the mold? I read somewhere years ago that some of the old time shooters did that so any imperfections in the mold always started from the same place.

    • Shakey,

      Thanks for asking. Actually the procedure with bullets is much more anal. You shoot them in the oder that you cast them, so the temper of the bullet (the ratio of lead to tin) doesn’t change radically during a string. And many do orient the bullets the way they came from the mold, as well. I am not there yet.


  11. Levels don’t improve the gun’s accuracy, they allow you to establish uniform sight cant from shot to shot. We know that canting the rifle moves the POI significantly. For those who care, a level is a legal accessory in Free Rifle (what isn’t?), but they are not permitted in 10 meter air rifle. I don’t know what the NRA rules are.

    • Pete,
      I doubt that the rules have changed, but I used a level for every type of small-bore competition that I shot. Never used one in air-rifle, including NRA. I personally believe that using a level matters, and I noted level on every shot. I wouldn’t go into competition without one, if legal.

  12. pete,
    I think you may have revealed the mystery of why barrel droop is only in elevation. I don’t know where you got the quote but it certainly makes it look like the barrel assemblers recognize the direction of misalignment and make sure it is in the vertical during assembly. And I agree it will be easier to shim for vertical than for horizontal.

    However, it seems like, from reading comments on this blog, the scope tube floating problem only happens with extreme up because of the way the tube spring is constructed? If that’s true wouldn’t it be better to install the barrel droop going up because the extreme down adjustment on the scope doesn’t cause scope tube float?

    • However, it seems like, from reading comments on this blog, the scope tube floating problem only happens with extreme up because of the way the tube spring is constructed? If that’s true wouldn’t it be better to install the barrel droop going up because the extreme down adjustment on the scope doesn’t cause scope tube float?

      If the barrel/pivot block were only going to be used with scoped rifles, perhaps…

      But I suspect the assembly jig is common to most of the line, including the ones primarily meant for open sights. The sights only have so far down they can go — and trying to use them at full bottom already means a very low eye-level and “cheek-weld” to the stock. Can you visualize having to raise the shoulder end so you can just glance over the rear of the receiver to pick up the rear sight notch?

      If the inverted droop were bad enough, the rear sight would be in a valley (a straight edge between front sight and receiver would completely miss a pivot block rear sight). You can always raise a rear sight to make the sight plane parallel to the barrel, but lowering one is not always possible.

  13. Well, I’m afraid these targets for this test may to be too accurate for measuring future improvements. I think a less accurate rifle should have been chosen. A 10% or 20% improvement would show up better on a less accurate rifle that this one. As is, with .8″ groups we may be looking at only a .08″ to .16″ difference in group sizes. Even a 30% (.24″) improvement will be hard to see. If we can find a rifle that shoots 2″ groups then measuring a .2″ to .6″ improvement would be easier to see.

    • Chuck,
      You may be right about a lessor gun showing more significant improvement. I don’t have as good a sense about this as you, but I’m inclined to agree that seeing these tests done with a more common off-the-shelf gun would be interesting. I’m also starting to consider that maybe I need a level on some guns more than others.

      • I would tend to agree with that line of thinking except that during the experiment you need to change only one variable. The velocity. The barrel, power plant, trigger, weather and all other variables must be kept as constant as possible for the results to have any meaning. I don’t see how the velocity could be changed as easily with a cheaper gun. Unless, one built custom pistons for it that would vary the swept volume, thereby varying the velocity while using the same gun. But that would require a piston change each time, which necessitates a rebuild and subsequent re-break-in each time you change velocity. I think BB has chosen the best gun for a testbed for this experiment. In hindsight though, he might have had a crappy barrel fitted to his Whiscombe (Gasp!!).


  14. Well, I yield to Harvey Donaldson as the master of overall cartridge length. That is quite a procedure he dreamed up although only for the shooting range. It sounds like the procedure which I don’t fully understand is a highly developed version of David Tubb soft seating his bullets into his cartridges when he closes the bolt on them.

    Regarding droop, I think part of the confusion results from the fact that we are talking about two different angles. The deviation of the bore from the true barrel axis is one angle (the polar angle) and where the angle falls on a clockface as you look down the muzzle is the other (the azimuthal angle). It sounds like we’re supposing that the droop is at 6 o clock because of manufacturing procedure. But that requires manufacturing your barrel receiver threads very precisely. If Savage does semi-custom work in screwing barrels down onto minimum headspace gauges individually for each rifle, the measuring of threads and fitting of barrels to get droop oriented at 6 o clock sounds like a much more involved procedure than manufacturers are likely to do.

    Have a look at this.


    We should recruit this guy for airgunning. I can’t figure out how the car keeps up its speed. I don’t believe that any potential energy configuration starting with a car on the upper floor could keep the car going that fast. Those little black stations that are spaced along the track must give it an extra boost, but there are limits too. So maybe the potential energy is also important.

    Has anyone figured out the make of Qaddafi’s golden gun?

    When you have crowds cheering at your untimely end, I’d say that’s a sign that you have messed up somewhere.


    • That’s an awful lot of batteries and Hot-Wheels accelerator units… Those black-boxes have foam rubber wheels spinning; they press on the sides of the car and boost its speed. Can not be used with open-wheel (Indy/Formula 1) type cars as they’d put the wheels out of alignment.

      • What I don’t actually believe is that the car made the entire track continuously without jumping the track here and there. There’s just too much vibration when it loops and jumps and so on. I wasn’t aware there was a Hot Wheels accelerator box. Thanks for pointing that out.

        • pete,
          I tend to agree because there are too many camera angles for him to be jumping around on one try. Either that or he bought a lot of cameras along with the car boosters, or a lot of friends helping him shoot vids. None the less, I’ll bet his kids had a lot of fun helping him make it.

          • The car did derail at one point (1:33 into the video) but miraculously went back into the track with no prompting. The car jumped the track at several points, but landed back in the track. I don’t doubt that the car can complete the entire circuit successfully, but I do doubt that the video was shot in one take, no matter how many cameras there are.

            What I find myself thinking about was that they must have had to try several different Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars to get the right blend of size, weight and distribution of mass.

            Thanks Matt61 for the link!

    • That man clearly spends lots of time with his children.He has my vote at least for #1 Dad.He brought back memories of boyhood…..how many album covers bear the markings of use as improvised ramps for Matchbox car jumps?? Good stuff,thanks Matt.

    • Ha! That was cool! I did see the car come off the track momentarily after going through an accelerator but correct itself and made it to the next accelerator. So like Pete, I’m skeptical about the car making it all the way w/out derailing. Especially the jump over the spa in back yard, which left my jaw dropping leaving my mouth wide open! Thanks for sharring that Matt.


          • Jumps have long been a part of the HotWheels track systems. This one is, granted, a long one, hence the capture cone — as long as the car landed on wheels /in/ the cone, it should be funneled to the track.

            And, as pointed out, given the number of camera angles needed, it’s quite likely they did a number of mid track restarts to get things right.

              • Yeah… I won’t repeat the long harangue but… decided I’d try a cheap replacement DSL modem (repackaged yet — ALL the $50 DSL units at Fry’s Electronics had been “as new” returned items) rather then spend hours on the phone persuading Earthlink the problem is in the modem/line, not my computers. The new DSL modem seems to be be passing all traffic.

    • I believe everything in this vid, having made a few hotwheels tracks (I have an extensive die-cast car collection and some HotWheels track to go with it), I think it’s very plausible, and if he had enough tracks and accelerators the car could almost circle the house non stop until the batteries in the accelerators die. HotWheels tracks are like wood rollercoasters, they flex but keep together pretty well, eventualy the tracks end up seprating at the joints and the gap makes the car jump and derail.
      The funnel is pretty easy to do, usually these cars are bottom heavy and have a very low center of gravity, he seems to have picked a pretty heavy one which is why the loops move so much.

      If someone send this to my kids (or dad as he can be as bad as the kids somethimes) I’m personnaly coming over to kick some butts.


  15. My comment on it being Browning P35 was in response to Matt61’s question. Forgot to add the quote.

    “Has anyone figured out the make of Qaddafi’s golden gun?”


  16. B.B.,

    “The objective of this test is to see if lowering velocity has any affect on the accuracy of these four pellets.” Should be “effect”.

    Happy chidings from your grammar police,

    • I think it should say, “The objective of this test is to see if lowering velocity affects the accuracy of these four pellets.”

      My version is more economical. 🙂 Happy chidings from your alternate grammar police.

      (I know, slow day isn’t it?)


      • Yes, yes. BB sometimes makes mistakes. But lookee, he’s turning out about 4-5000 words a *week* for this blog, shooting to give him the data he needs to build on (which takes time and energy), and then he probably writes another several thousand words a week under the Tom Gaylord byline.

        And given the number of clowns who will write a “blog” post, what we used to call an op-ed (see for an example HuffPost or any other aggregator), free, even well known writers have to work twice has hard to make less money.

        Effect for Affect or vice versa is what I call a spell checker error. They’re both words, so “check spelling” doesn’t help you, and frankly since it became so easy to write and edit we’ve all gotten a bit sloppy about proofreading. Even the NYTimes which once prided itself on having very very few typos per issue is getting pretty bad (this is independent of whether you like their standpoints, reporting, and views. The copy editing has gotten much worse).

        • I know it sucks having someone correct you and catch a mistake you made but if Tom doesn’t mind I’d like Alan to keep on correcting his (and my) mistakes as I get a free english lesson out of each one and if my english is better it’ll be less painful for you guys to read my comments.

          This is unbelivable not only am I learning about airguns, firearms, antique, collecting, knives and a ton of totally off topic but often very interesting stuff but I’m also refining and perfecting my english!

          I feel like I’m cheating or robbing someone… How can I be getting all this stuff for free?


          p.s.: anyone have news about Rikib or have his email adress? Haven’t heard from him in a while.

          • J-F

            I have Rick’s email address. e mail me at campcreekwrf at yahoo and I will pass it along.

            I have emailed him a few times, with no response. That is not like him.

            I too hope he and his are fine, maybe taking a well-deserved vacation.

            I hope to hear from him sometime soon. He’s a really good guy.

    • AlanL & everyone,

      It’s not that we don’t know the difference, it’s that we’re working at warp speed. When you type faster than you can do so accurately, your brain says one thing and your fingers type something else.

      Sometimes, I don’t have any time to proof the blog except when I’m trying to relax in the evenings (yes, I also need some down time after 12-15 hours at my desk). So, I multi-task…phone calls from family, watching a favorite TV show or a video, playing with the cats, letting a cat use me as his bed and doing the blog…all while answering emails from others at Pyramyd AIR who also have mountains of work and have to do them after regular hours 🙂

      On the other hand, I have no issues with people correcting us. I want the blog to be right. If I don’t catch it, someone else will. I do the best I can without having to work 24/7.

      Tom & I work every day of the week, and we don’t take off on holidays. Vacations? Let’s not go there. Every vacation requires daily work on the blog and on other matters. Neither Tom nor I complain because we love what we do. Still, we find ourselves multi-tasking, which means some things slip by.

      Thanks for helping us make the blog perfect. We couldn’t do it without the devotion and help of all of our readers. We appreciate you very much and don’t want anything to change! If you find a mistake, let us know. I’ll correct it asap.


      • Not to sound too much like a shameless boot-licker but…

        It is you and Tom and the nameless techies that make this blog happen. Us pea-brains from the peanut gallery pipe in when we find the time. And we take great delight in pointing out errors. Give us a cogent blog to write five days a week, with the testing it demands, plus responding to crack-pots such as myself in the comments, and we would end up in the corner rocking back and forth and muttering gibberish about ballistic coefficients.

        This blog is unequaled in the entire internet universe. Not too shabby.

        • This is a very good point that I’ve been wondering about. What was B.B.’s goal in the very beginning when he was writing ceaselessly for the first two years without getting many responses? I believe he said that’s how long it took for the blog to assume it’s present form. And I bet that the failure rate for blogs is even higher than that for small businesses. Those first two years were like Hannibal crossing the Alps with his elephants or the pilgrims landing on the shores of Massachusetts; that is, staking everything on what seems like a totally hopeless and quixotic venture. I am just astounded.


            • I think we’re just glad you’re here with all this great writing and info! And all for free too. In a way it’s great for readers, but it’s sad that no one gets paid for writing on the Internet. I’ve had a friend say I should “use my real talents” for making a living, by which he means writing, rather than buying and selling junk, recycling metals, the rare odd job, etc. I had to break it to him: making money as a writer died with Philip K. Dick, no one makes money at it any more because everyone’s writing on the internet for free.

              If there was money to be made writing, I think I’d be doing it, it can’t be harder than taking a rattling, clanking, load of aluminum past every mean dog in town on a bicycle, to the recyclers.

              • making money as a writer died with Philip K. Dick, no one makes money at it any more

                J.K. Rowling?

                Mercedes Lackey (hawks and falcon’s ain’t cheap to maintain, once one obtains a falconer’s license)

  17. Would a level still make a difference to accuracy if you’ve optically centered the scope ? If so, Why ? (ie: Since the center dot remains in the same place as the scope is rotated, why would it matter if the rifle is canted ?

    • I think it might be good for me to do a report on this. In the past I have covered this in depth in this blog, but the blog is now so large that it’s difficult for even me to find things like this.

      Thanks for the good idea. I will use the Whiscombe rifle that is already sighted-in and has a level mounted. I think what I will show you will amaze you.


      • I would love to see a report on that. The demo that Duskwight put up seems me to show just the opposite of what happens with cant. The point of IMPACT stays relatively the same, but the point of AIM is what is off in a canted situation. Right? Seems to me the reticle and the ‘X’ should move together, leaving the bbl and the POI in direct relation to each other. Sounds like I’m in for another lesson in gun physics.
        CANT wait!!


      • B.B.,
        The most critical element that makes the effects of cant more pronounced is distance. The implications are enormous for shooting over a wide range of distances with the same gun, and the same zero, and in particular when using mil-dot a reticle. On the other hand, it’s important to note that provided that you cant at precisely the same angle every time, canting is fine. Sometimes you have to cant to get exactly the right physical setting of your cheek, eye, and other parts of your body in relation to your rifle, including for a comfortable hold. So it would be helpful to know what the trajectory of a particular pellet (or bullet), in a particular rifle, might be over a set of usable ranges.
        Very interesting and IMPORTANT stuff!

        • Victor,

          And here comes the insidious part. At close range you don’t notice the affects of cant. What you get is just a bigger group, because the pellets spread out without a definite clustering.

          My first set of targets had some of that. Did you notice? I think it was due to cant.


          • B.B.,

            Because at close range, the pseudo-parabolic trajectory is almost linear, I suspect that other things are coming into play that contribute to wider groups. In other words, it really matters how you hold a particular rifle, and more specifically, a springer. Your find is significant, however, since if canting a rifle cause unpredictable jumps that affect accuracy at close range, the problem will become virtually impossible to interpret at longer distances. This is all very important stuff!


    • Yes… but if you cant the rifle you are not rotating it about the center of the barrel, but rather about your hand (or some other axis). Anyway, scope (or other sight) and bore are spaced by some distance and you cannot cant [ 😉 ] around both at the same time. The POI moves; generally it moves down and in the direction you are tilting. Yur’yev’s book has a great diagram.

        • That’s basically what I said, but in fact with iron sights I sometimes catch myself correcting my orientation by raising one or another knuckle in the fist that I use to support the forestock. That turns out to be rotating the rifle around a point passing roughly through the lower forestock.

          The important thing is that you don’t rotate around the bore! And even if you could, the POI would still shift if you were aiming at the target. Now, if you could aim by looking through the barrel of the gun, things would be different. But you would need a single-bore-reflex-rifle, analogous to an SLR camera. Seems unlikely.

          • pete,
            Is even this true? Because, wouldn’t it depend on how the pellet exits the barrel? What I mean is, do pellets really exit the barrel in a perfectly aligned orientation to the bore? Rather, are there minute imperfections at the crown that might cause the path to be ever so slightly off as the pellet exits thereby changing its path if the barrel is rotated/canted?

            • Basic geometry… In “perfect alignment” the barrel is aiming upwards to counteract the pull of gravity on the pellet so that it intersects the line of sight at whatever zero-distance was used.

              When canted, but with the sights still on the same point of aim, you’ve translated part of the upward angle into a side angle — the projectile will hit lower (less upward angle to counteract gravity) and to one side.

              A laser boresighter (not used for boresighting in this example — we presume the sight is already set for actual point of impact) would be above the line of sight at the zero range, and would inscribe an arc over the point of aim as one modifies the cant angle.

            • “The important thing is that you don’t rotate around the bore! And even if you could, the POI would still shift if you were aiming at the target. Now, if you could aim by looking through the barrel of the gun, things would be different. But you would need a single-bore-reflex-rifle, analogous to an SLR camera. Seems unlikely.”

              Chuck, I can complicate anything with the invocation of second order effects. But if the crown were that bad, you would barely be able to hit the broad side of a barn with the gun, because such irregularities would tip the pellet fairly randomly. Let’s consider a perfect barrel and crown — 10 meter competition rifles come very close to that; it’s part of what you’re paying for. So let’s take a perfect rifle sighted in at 10 meters and with the muzzle 1.4 meters above the floor (competition height, but we could take other cases with no loss of generality)

              The crucial thing to note is that the bore is not pointed straight at: The sight line is. The sight line is above the bore, so the bore is pointed slightly upwards. Gravity will pull the pellet down slightly during its flight. All being well done, the flight path of the pellet will intersect the sight line at the bulls eye at 10 meter distance.

              Rotate the gun. Because of the effects of gravity, the sight line and flight path no longer meet at the bull. The effects are different depending on the rotation axis, but in the end it’s clear: cant matters.

              Victor wrote that whenever possible he used a level on small bore shooting. Amen. I rigged a level to the side of my sight for a long time, even if illegal in competition, to get my muscles used to a zero cant situation. Then my coach pointed out I was straining in my position, and that a small can to the left would make my head position much better and more comfortable. So I learned how to cant slightly, *but consistently*. It works, but you must be consistent. A good level attachment would let you set the level’s angle to compensate for your tilt.

  18. B.B.

    There’s a great temptation to use HOTS for these tests 🙂 Well, of course that would ruin “fair play” for all the pellets but it must also be taken into accout.
    Today I’m going to go to the works and make some photos. I hope my accumulators will hold, as they tend to be somewhat loose – guess I’ll have to buy new ones soon. Photos are all for the future report.
    I’ve made a sort of tender for cocking, loading and piston interceptor set of parts, so I’ll have them in near (I hope) future.


    • Duskwight,

      First, thanks for the link on the scope level comment. I’m going to do a test to demonstrate why it matters.

      Next, I decided not to do the HOTS because of the time it takes. It can take hours before you get just one pellet tuned, then you have to destroy that setting as you do another. And you would never be able to find those sweet spots again at the lower velocities. Or they would change. I think they would change with velocity. Too much for my pretty bald head!

      As your project advances and I see the possibility of initial testing looming in your future, I’m going to pass along a little advice John Whiscombe gave me when I received my rifle from him. NEVER load the pellet first and then cock the rifle! That sets up a vacuum in the compression chamber and it will destroy the two piston seals in one shot. And of course dry-firing is only slightly better.


      • B.B.

        Thanks for the tip. It was among the first guidelines I wrote down in red after I’ve read your and John Whiscombe’s articles.
        I thought about some sort of “safe breaking” to save the rifle in case of dry-fire, but that would be in next models – too complicated for now. I was contemplating on fitting Mod. 2 with “autoload” function – automatic bypass opening and closing on lever action, to get rid of that side loading lever and possible “vacuum shots”.
        Right now I’m stinking with burnt oil, steel and sweat 🙂 : milling long channels for piston rods and pins in the main coupling and then lots of rough deburring. I guess there will be lots of sanding next weekend, as Mod. 0 comes closer and closer to life.


  19. BB

    I hate to complain, but it seems as though Josh Ungier has been reading my diary. As proof, here is a link that he sent to my email address:


    Tell Josh to cut it out. There is some personal stuff in there!

      • The beta version of the website states that it has a rifled barrel.

        The 760, as everyone knows is a smooth barrel. Is the info on PA’s page wrong? Because if the barrel isn’t rifled… aww hell, I’ll probably buy the blasted thing either way. Dang you, Josh Ungier! You’ve won again.

          • Great news. Thank you Edith, for your prompt reply as always.

            Any chance you can move this one to the top of the blog inbox when he’s not looking?

            I don’t particularly like ‘black rifles’, but this one speaks to me. Any suggestions on where I can hide it once it arrives?

    • Yes, I got that today also. BB, drop everything and do a review on this. My gut reaction is I WANT IT!!! But not if it’s junk. Or maybe even if it is because … never mind I WANT IT!!!

      I wonder, is this M417 actually a repackaged 760 Pumpmaster?

    • Augh, I was going to complain that Crosman has succumbed to the AR-15 craze. But at least this one is a lot cheaper than the Anschutz version. Besides the airguns don’t have the dubious gas system, and the AR-15 ergonomics are supposed to be pretty good.


    • See, if you guys were on facebook you would have seen this rifle a few months ago, when Crosman posted “spy shots” of it. Crosman and Pyramyd are pretty good facebook friends with promos, contest and previews of future products.


  20. I’m interested in what anyone else has as a favorite pellet for their Crosman Challenger. I have tried several brands but am still not satisfied that I’ve found THE one.

  21. BB,
    Good shooting, and I think this test and whatever successors you might run to address concerns will end up being some of the more important tests you run. Certainly the Devestator results alone are shocking.

    Re: the new 5 minute loading procedure. I like accuracy, but that sounds like it borders on the kind of tedium that would prevent me from ever being a bench rest competitor, and the additional steps would make me fear it was just that much more vulnerable to mistakes. Interesting to see just what type of group you can get out of it though. The level is a good thing, but it also goes against my minimalist approach. Another necessary evil, as I see it :)! Looking forward to seeing your progress.

    • Yes, I’m a minimalist too. Maybe there is a reason why this 5 minute technique has been lost to the world. Also, I wondered about this conclusion that I drew from the blog. .2 inches for a 10 shot group is at least as good as the best I’ve heard for today’s most modern benchrest rifles. According to David Tubb, the best ones will occasionally do a 5 shot group under .2 but not all the time. So does this mean that in 100 years, the benchrest technology has not really advanced? Or maybe it has by benchrest standards which is to say at a microscopic level that is not discernible to anyone else.


    • BG-Farmer,

      That’s what Edith said when she read and understood what I wrote. It does take a long time, but rather than bordering on tedium, I find that it sharpens the senses. Since I have to take great pains to execute every step perfectly I have time to dwell on what I am doing. Consequently when I get behind the trigger there is absolutely no urge to ambush the target. I take my time because it took so long to get there.

      I wish I had saved that target! I threw it away because it was only a proof of concept, but heck — I even did it in a swirling wind! I can’t wait to get back to the range to shoot ten good ones and see where this thing wants to go.


      • You threw away the target??!!

        A key photo op for the upcoming PA and Shotgun New articles.

        Even IF I weren’t going to write articles about the Ballard I would have saved that target.


  22. Glad you all enjoyed the hot wheels video which I have circulated to some parents of young children. But a strong competitor with that and its like for my attention on YouTube is the escapades of the Lizard Lick Repossession Company. Can anyone fill me in on the legalities of the repo business? It is patently illegal to go on to someone’s private property and take their possessions–like their car or their hot tub. But the repo men always talk about some signed papers that they have. If this makes what they do legal, then it is the owners who are outside the law as they come in swinging, more often than not with clubs or bricks. Video footage of them should be enough to throw them in jail and serve as a deterrent to anyone assaulting repo men. Yet time and again the repo men are fighting pitched battles and accelerating away with a car in tow. There seems to be a legal gray area where there should be none.

    And what of guns? With the abundance of buffed out muscles in the series, surely someone has a gun. As long as they are going to break the law by assaulting the repo men, why not display a shotgun? That ultimately won’t save their car but at least it would save a lot of brawling. Perhaps the show as I suspect is not entirely genuine. But I expect that the anger and irrationality that people demonstrate is real. Cars are one thing that make people completely irrational when you lay hands on them.

    Also beware, like in a big city, one casual turn on YouTube can lead you to a very ugly place. While in the vicinity of the Lizard Lick videos I somehow clicked onto a bodybuilding contest. One of the contestants was not happy with his third place finish and assaulted the judge right on the spot. The next thing you know you had oily buffed out bodybuilders rolling around on the ground wearing bikinis that were so tiny you would never see them in Waikiki. Yucko, man.


    • Does scripting come to mind? Sorry, but I believe there is no such thing as a TV reality show. They are all scripted, without exception. Kinda like the reality of professional wrestling.

      • Chuck,

        I agree with you about “reality TV”. I have serious doubts that Jake on Top Shop was no less than a plant to stir up emotions for higher viewer ratings. Like a formula based movie script, the outcome of him quitting like he did must have tasted sweet for many viewers. The effect of this on viewers is predictable, namely, they won’t want to miss next seasons drama. I personally just saw him as a distraction. I want to seem some real competition by real Top Shots. I personally don’t need the drama. As I’ve said many times before, for someone who knows the sport of shooting from the perspective of a real competitor, the real drama is in watching individual performance, one shot at a time.


        • Victor

          I agree with you, but must admit to watching and enjoying Top Shot.

          Regarding it’s reality, I wonder how well someone like Tom Knapp would do on the show.

      • I’m not sure it’s scripted as much as it’s edited in a way to make someone seems like an a-hole and somebody else like a poor victim, they use DAYS of filming to make a 20 or 40 min show.
        On a show like the lizard lick guys, they must be repossessing a 100 cars a day, they have many guys and trucks. They probably go in and ask for the keys first and a lot of people probably end them over as fighting is pretty useless so they can keep the ones that didn’t hand over the keys when they tried nicely for the camera crew and the big guy as they know these will probably put up a fight, this must happen once or twice a week over the hundreds of car they seize. I don’t think anyone would put up with crap like that everyday (would you? I sure wouldn’t).


    • Can anyone fill me in on the legalities of the repo business? It is patently illegal to go on to someone’s private property and take their possessions–like their car or their hot tub. But the repo men always talk about some signed papers that they have. If this makes what they do legal, then it is the owners who are outside the law as they come in swinging, more often than not with clubs or bricks.

      In the case of vehicles, most jurisdictions acknowledge two types of owners.

      Registered Owner: person who pays the road tax/license fee and is responsible for any damages/fines resulting from operation of the vehicle

      Legal Owner: person/company that has legal title/ownership of the vehicle.

      Typically, until the vehicle loan has been paid off, the legal owner is the finance company. If the RO falls behind payments, the LO has the right to reclaim the vehicle and sell it to cover the unpaid loan.

      California; the bank actually holds the title until the loan is paid off, then they transfer it to the RO (who now becomes both the RO and LO).

      Michigan, in the 70s at least, RO received the title, but it was prominently marked with a list of lien-holders (the bank unless you’ve also got major repair shop reconstruction going on). Even with the title, you couldn’t sell the vehicle without getting the lien-holders to sign off on the transfer.

  23. I have an idea for a test that would probably be best if left for Mythbusters…

    Take the current test and add in a crosswind gust to see what happens to groups at different velocities with the different pellets. Shooting distance of 25 and 50 yds.

    Shooting through the air stream of a leaf blower or a large capacity squirrel cage fan set to 90 degrees from pellet flight path at….let’s say…..6ft from the muzzle.

    What would pellet stability look like with a test like this?
    Might need some very large targets for this one. Talk about corkscrewing and keyholing.


    • JohnG10,

      At the risk of cursing my good luck,….. I haven’t broken a Leapers Tru-Strength or 5th Gen scope yet. And I have 3 of them mounted on 14 to 20 ft/lbs springers for a few years now. I have broken a BSA pistol scope on a Desert Eagle .44 mag. I can’t speak for or against the Bushnells.


    • John
      I shoot hunter class, and I know that you need mil dots or balistic dots in your reticle because you are not allowed to adjust you elevation knob during the match. The Banner is a fairly good scope but has no mil dots and niether does the BSA. So you better go with the Leapers 3-12. But I use and prefer the Hawke 4-12 x 40 just a little more expensive. I have a Leapers that is fairly clear and bright. Just make sure what ever you get has adjustable objective and mil dots or balistic reticle.


    • The Bushnell is probably not rated for a spring airgun (though I do have a 3-9 [I think, might be a 2-7?] mounted on my Ruger 77/17 .17HMR).

      I used to have a BSA /airgun/ scope on my RWS Diana mod 54… Its reticle is currently at least 15 degrees rotated relative to the turrets — I dropped it onto my AirSoft M14 AEG, and put either a Leapers or a Centerpoint branded scope (along with different mount base) onto the m54.

      Too bad my Leatherwood Camputer Sporter doesn’t have <100yard parallax adjustment (and probably can't take a spring recoil either). Rather than try to compute hold-over (using mil-dots) for distance, you adjusted the zoom setting to bracket known size objects [though, again, bracketing field target items would get tricky — its currently designed for things like coyote bodies at 2X@100yards, or so. As you adjust the zoom to bracket the known target size, an eccentric would raise the rear of the scope to compensate for distance. You did have to preset the eccentric for the ballistic coefficient of the round.

      • JohnG10,

        when I was at the Roanoke airgun show the other week, I bought a target for FT from Dick (?) Otten and spoke to him about FT. He recommended the cheapest scope he would buy is the 4200 series from Bushnell. The scopes you have listed don’t have the clarity for shooting out to 40 and 50 yards. The downside is that this scope also doesn’t have a sidewheel AO, just a top turret but you get what you pay for. You are going to want the most magnification you can get.

        BB has been very impressed with Hawke scopes for their clarity but again, I don’t know if the scope you want will have the sidewheel focus or even if Hawke or the 4200 have mildots on the reticles. Finally, if you do a search on this blog, you should be able to find a blog that BB did about FT competition.

        Good luck to you!

        Fred PRoNJ

        • Fred
          John asked about a scope for hunter class field target. You need to carefully read the rules for field target. Apparenly Dick Otten has not shot in the hunter class before, or he would know that hunter class is for those who do not want to spend $2000. for a rifle and $1000. for the scope.


          • Loren,

            thanks for catching that and correcting me. I only saw “FT” and did not realize the H was for Hunter Field Target but in any event, I still wouldn’t have realized the rules for that class only allow you to hold over and under and not adjust the scope. Assuming you are still shooting out to 50 yards, I think I would spend a bit more and get the slightly better scopes available in the $400 range plus, it appears Bushnell no longer makes that 4200 series scope.

            Fred PRoNJ

    • Loren, I’m pretty sure that Dick knows a thing or two about FT. Lower cost equipment might be in the spirit of the HFT rules somewhere, but if you consult the AAFTA Handbook (http://www.aafta.org/Assets/handbook/2011/aafta_handbook%202011.pdf), you’ll see that there is no mention of cost in the hunter class rules.

      I think HFT shooters are just as finicky about equipment as anybody else, though with the HFT scope magnification limit of 12x, HFT shooters *might* spend a bit less on average for scopes.

      John, I can’t offer much first-hand advice on scopes, since I haven’t shot in the Hunter Division, and I’ve always used one relatively el-cheapo Leapers scope or another. If you look at recent DIFTA results, you’ll see that Ed and Jeff have been trading the HFT wins. Ed uses a Bushnell Elite 4200 (I think the 4-16x, but don’t quote me on that), and Jeff uses the Leapers 8-32×56.

      If you look at this year’s Nationals results, the HFT winner used a “Nikko 8-32x” (doesn’t say which model, Nighteater v. Diamond v. ???), followed by a Bushnell Elite 6500 in 2nd place, followed by a Centerpoint 4-16x. http://www.network54.com/Forum/451309/thread/1318954311/


      • snipthe HFT scope magnification limit of 12x,snip

        snip (I think the 4-16x, but don’t quote me on that), and Jeff uses the Leapers 8-32×56.

        snipthe HFT winner used a “Nikko 8-32x” snipfollowed by a Centerpoint 4-16x.

        Pardon? Sure doesn’t look like a 12X limit in those listings?

          • Like I said just go to the AAFT site and read the hunter rules. It’s true you can use any power scope it must be set to 12 power or lower for range finding and shooting. You are required to use holdover.
            therefor you will need mil dots or a reticle such as the Hawke airmax 4-12 has. this scope is clear from 10 yds. all the way to infinity.

          • Seems there’d be a chance to “over zoom” during a shoot then — as the instructions for the mil-dot scopes I’ve seen indicate the dots are only calibrated at 10X (or the maximum for scopes that stop below 10)… So if one is cranking down to 10X to range, and then up to 12X for shooting, one could ease a bit over…

            May be unintentional, but unless some official is checking the scopes before each shot… Ah well, another reason I don’t compete…

        Did I spell that right? I did not mean to imply that there is a price limit on hunter class rifles, allthough I wish there was. I just feel more comfortable shooting against hunting rifles when thats the name of the game.


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