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Ammo Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 3

Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

The Haenel 311 is the world’s only bolt-action spring-piston 10-meter target rifle.

Today is accuracy day for the Haenel 311, and the day holds a couple surprises and should be a fun read. Because of the crude design of this rifle, I don’t shoot it that often and I forget just how well it shoots.

The 311 is a recoiling spring-piston air rifle and, as such, has to be held with the artillery hold for best results. I needed to be reminded of that.

Also, I tend to shoot smaller groups with the Ballard .38-55 rifle at 100 yards when I wear my glasses. But when shooting a 10-meter rifle I tend to do best without them. Since I haven’t shot at 10-meter targets in a while, that was another point that needed to be remembered.

Finally, the 311 rear sight adjusts for lighting conditions. But it only works if you remember to adjust it.

So the first few groups I shot were horrible because I held the rifle too tight, wore my prescription glasses and didn’t adjust the peep size. Then, I figured out all three things at about the same time and the rifle caught fire — at least with one pellet. And that was the other thing that surprised me in this test. The cheap eastern-European target rifle scorns high-priced target ammo from the best pellet makers. Instead, it loves the cheapest wadcutters on the market. I know that will disappoint many of you, but that’s how it is.

RWS Hobbys
I sighted-in with RWS Hobby pellets. Why a 10-meter rifle ever needs to be sighted-in is beyond me, because what other things would you do with them besides shoot them at 10-meter targets? Well, maybe not you. I guess I’m talking about me. Nevertheless, the rifle was hitting the edge of the bull when I started and required about 30 clicks of left adjustment to get the pellet close to the center. As I’m not really keeping score, I stopped when the first pellet was close enough.

Five RWS Hobby pellets at 10 meters. Not very impressive for a target rifle. This was shot when I was doing everything wrong.

And this is the very next group of Hobbys after I took off my prescription glasses and made the rear sight aperture smaller for greater depth of vision. This is still not a good group, but it does look better than the first one. Hobbys are probably not a good pellet for the 311.

H&N Finale Match Pistol
The next pellet I tried was the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet. This pellet has always been good in my 10-meter rifles. Maybe it’s not the best in every rifle, but it’s among the top three almost every time. Well, I used perfect technique to shoot the group you are about to see.

H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets did this at 10 meters. It looks like a group fired by an Avanti 853 to me. It would be acceptable for a junior target rifle, but not for a precision-class rifle. The technique was perfect, so this is not a good pellet in my 311.

Gamo Match
I said I would try the new Gamo Match wadcutter in the 311, even though I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for it. As I shot the first group, I was holding the rifle in a good soft artillery hold and pulled the fourth shot. It was so obvious that I exclaimed, “Oh no!” aloud and Edith heard me in her office. You can see the results of pulling that shot on the target.

And that’s what it looks like when you pull a shot and are able to call it. The four are in a very nice group, however, so I decided to shoot another group using (hopefully) perfect technique.

Since the four shots were in such a tight group, I decided to shoot another group, and this time watch both my technique and the sight picture very carefully. Before I show you the group, I want to answer the question that some readers are asking right now. Isn’t this what I’m supposed to do every time I shoot? Yes, it is; and if I were a world-class shooter, I would be able to do it. However, that takes a state of concentration that I’ve never achieved. Shooters who compete will understand.

And there it is. This is the best 10-meter group I’ve ever shot with any target rifle. It’s so close to zero that I won’t even attempt to measure it. Five Gamo Match pellets went through that little hole.

I told you there were some surprises in today’s report. Will I ever be able to repeat that group? Probably not. Is the group representative of what the 311 can do? No, I don’t think that it is. Everything had to be perfect for a group like that to be shot — even from a rest at just 10 meters! But I was curious about the possibility of repeating it, so I shot another group of Gamo Match, just to see.

Here’s the very next group. I held just as steady and sighted just as well. This is probably representative of what the 311 can do with these Gamo Match pellets. This 5-shot group measures 0.163 inches between centers.

So what can I say about the Haenel 311 target rifle? Well, it’s more accurate than its styling would seem to indicate, but it’s a crude rifle from the standpoint of ergonomics and powerplant operation. Yes, it can shoot alongside the FWB 300S, but it takes a huge amount of technique to do so. The 300S is easy to shoot, in comparison.

The Haenel has a heavier trigger than I like in a target rifle. It’s very positive, but I would like it to be a few ounces less and have a positive stop after the release.

All things considered, the Haenel 311 is a swell target rifle for just $59. That was all it cost when they were first available to American buyers. You’ll now pay $250 and up for the same gun, and I think that’s still a bargain.

For shooting while standing, this is a great and inexpensive way to go.

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.

60 thoughts on “Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 3”

  1. I’ve really got to stop reading this system after 9PM Pacific… It seems that’s when the spammers strike the old comment threads…

    Ah well, on to the latest installment… I suppose if one NEEDED an over-travel stop, and wasn’t worried about reducing the value of a collectible, one could drill & tap the back of the trigger guard and fit a long set screw… And Loc-Tite it (My T/C Contender came with such a stop — I had fairly tight tolerances on it… and recoil backed it out far enough to prevent the pistol from firing!)

  2. B.B.

    You really got that rifle talking ! But with Gamo pellets? That might ruin my day.

    Your last group looks too much like a lot of my basement R7 groups. I have this lefty-righty wobble that screws me up. I can see the scope going off to the side just as I shoot, and know I will overlap the hole…usually to the left.


  3. B.B.

    Vision problems are fun, right? The only problem I have had since I got the initial cataract surgury was the developement of secondary cataract in my right eye, and a bit of uniform fog in my left eye. The right eye had a cataract that was not uniform. It had horizontal lines in it that caused some strange problems that made shooting really hard. Imagine multiple crosshairs, mil dots, and targets that are not supposed to be there. How can you aim at anything when you have “multiple choice” ?
    The doc zapped off the problem with a lazer, so that’s fixed now.

    Since we both lost a lot of weight I think you can relate to this…heartbeat bounce. Sometimes vertical, sometimes diagonal. I found that wearing a medium thickness jacket cleans it up pretty good. Kind of a pain in warm weather. Think I need to find or make a shoulder pad .


      • Cowboystar dad,

        Years ago, I was getting some work done at the dentist and she accidentally knicked my gun. Blood profusely gushing. She said she couldn’t finish until it stopped bleeding. I closed my eyes and concentrated on my heartbeat and slowed it down enough that the bleeding stopped. It took less than minute. She said she’d never seen anything like that. Mind over matter. The brain is the most powerful tool and most potent medicine in the world.

        Anyone can do this. I’ve had no training or coaching. Some time in the 1950s or 1960s, I’d read about that there were people in India who could drop their heart rates down very far and control their body in ways that others thought impossible. From that article, I experimented with different ways to do things and was immediately successful in dropping my heart rate.

        Just before Xmas last year, I had two wisdom teeth pulled. The blood pressure cuff showed that my BP was a bit high. Tom had just had two of his surgical procedures shortly before that, and I had a lot on my mind. I usually have low (2-digit) blood pressure, so I was alarmed at the readings (which would be in the normal range for most people). I concentrated on the matter at hand…lowering my BP…and the extractions went as planned while my BP dropped to normal levels.

        Mind over matter. It works.


  4. BB, that one hole group is worthy of that silver dime! I don’t think I have ever seen a tighter group.
    I talked my brother out of buying a Haenel 311from Big Bear (??the place that imported them and the IZH 60) because the rifles looked so crude. I probably mislead him on that one.
    David Enoch

  5. Nice to see that ‘ol thing shooting so well…..the Haenel I mean.You must have been really shocked to shoot Gamo wads into that little hole.I just know if I put three into that little hole my heartbeat would have betrayed me.

  6. Morning B.B.,

    Congratulations, this is Number Two in your best groups ever shot with pellet rifles. You recently claimed one shooting at 25 yards with your Talon SS if my memory is working this morning.


    I certainly can relate to heart beat bounce, but for me, only in the vertical plain which on a good day I can wait out before taking the shot. Thanks for the suggestion about wearing a jacket. I’ll give my recoil pad a try and let you know how it works, when I remember where I put the darn thing. How about those moving mill dots that turn into floaters?


    • Bruce..
      I see that Cabelas has the …I hate to use the term…”strap on” recoil shoulder pads.

      I had to look at twice as many mildots on the vertical crosshair and had two horizontal crosshairs. Was not sure how many smeared together vertical targets I had. Have 20/15 vision in my right eye now.

      Never mistook floaters for mil dots, but mistake them for bugs all the time.


  7. I would like the blogs opinion on a few things I do to test pellets on 10 meter target rifles (and small bore as well).

    1) I use a fixture that consists of a ground round steel stock that attaches to the accessory rail of the rifle that has a ground pin that extends out of the bottom. The rifle with attached ‘bar” then sits on a heavy steel plate with a machined slot that the pin rides in between two vee blocks that the bar rides on. This arrangement allows for the rifle to “float” up and back with recoil (I think of as a mechanical version of the artillery hold). What do you think of this fixture design?

    2) Often at 10 meters the test groups are so close that I’ll test them at a longer range (normally at the 50 foot line). Do you think this could actually not represent a way to fine tune pellet performance for 10 meter competition?

    3) When pushing a pellet into the breach (on rifles without a bolt probe) not started and pushed in squarely I have noticed this to open up group. Have you ever experienced this as well?

    Wow!BB that is an amazing group for any 10 meter gun much less a “crude” Springer!

    • Caveman, I would be interested in seeing a picture or two of your shooting sled. It sounds interesting.
      I don’t have any way of knowing if the sled will give results consistent with a standard 10 meter hold. I wouldn’t be surprised if the shot placement on target are different between the sled and hand held.

      David Enoch

    • caveman,
      If you need a second for Dave Enoch’s request for a picture you’ve got it. I am sure more than just the two of us would like to see some photos of your fixture.

      Does the POI change when you shoot the gun normally verses using your fixture?

    • I’ll go a step further. Please write a guest blog about your pellet testing technique and throw in some pictures. I think we’d all like to see how someone is actually doing it rather than just theorizing about it.

      I’d be curious about how you test for flyers. Since “good” pellets will have so few, how do you determine a % of flyers for a given brand of pellet?

      Getting back to your questions-

      (1) Using a fixture to hold a rifle is very dependent on the rifle. You didn’t mention what rifle you were testing, but it seems that virtually all 10m target rifles are PCP these days which have a low recoil.

      In general, I’d say that this is just an experimental factor that you’d have to determine for yourself and your rifle. If you can’t shoot as small a group holding the rifle as you can shooting the rifle on the sled, then the sled isn’t adding significant experimental error.

      (2) about testing pellet out at 50 feet.

      This is hard to pin down. There is a range dependency on group size. That is to say that if you measured group size at some distance D1, and then did a geometric correction for some distance D2, then the results won’t be correct for all distances of D2.

      There seem to be two effects. One is that the pellet is perturbed when shot and it takes some distance downrange to stabilize. Since 10 meters is a couple of thousands of calibers downrange for a 0.177 pellet, the pellet should be stabilized by the time it reaches 10 meters.

      The other effect is due to the pellet’s spin. Harry on the yellow put forth the idea that downrange all pellets will be come unstable and start to fly in a helix. The gist of the notion is that the pellet’s forward velocity decreases much faster than it’s rotational velocity. So at some point downrange the rotational moments become so great that the pellet starts to yaw at an increasing angle. This creates a negative feedback loop because greater yaw also increases the drag.

      Harry was shooting out to 200 yards. So if you collect data at 10 meters (33 feet) and 200 yards, I very much doubt that the geometric relationship would hold. But it seems unlikely that increasing the distance to 50 feet would cause this problem.

      So all in all, I’d think that you’d be a “sweet spot” between these two effects where the distance extrapolation would work. In other words, it would be nearly impossible to collect enough data at 33 feet, 41 feet, and 50 feet to show that the relationship between group size and distance was non-linear, or that the relationship had a non-zero intercept.

      (3) I had wondered about my RWS-34 and inserting the pellets. The breach is cut at an angle to the boreline, and it is easy to get sloppy and try to insert the pellet perpendicular to the face of the cut, rather than parallel with the bore. If you cut the groves into the pellet head too deeply on one side, then it would seem that the pellet’s head would be ever so slightly off center in the barrel.

      So this would certainly be a theoretical problem. how you would actually design an experiment to discover the magnitude of the problem is beyond me. There are also aren’t any good calculation programs available to us which would allow theoretical calculations from first principles. I’m sure that some of the fancy ballistics programs used could do such a calculation, but the price range is way beyond what any of us can afford.

      I really hope that you’ll think about a guest blog. BB very much likes to have other folks share experiences. He likes to learn too. That is what keeps this blog so interesting.

      • Herb,

        Thank you for the detailed reply, lots of things for me to think about.
        You did give me something I will try the next time I test pellets. I normally test at 10 meters and then only test the best 3 or 4 at 50 feet. In the future I’m going to test some of the other pellets to see if there is a Linear connection to the groups (an assumption I have just made). So far the rifles I’ve tested this way are PCPs, SSP, CO2 and small bores as long as they have a rail. I don’t change any of the stock adjustment or weights on the rifle, I leave it the same as the shooter’s set up. As far as “flyers” are concerned; I exam aim all pellet for deformation or obvious defects so if that lot doesn’t group well with the gun I’m testing it gets put on the shelf to try with another gun or gets burned up by the new shooters for practice. This may sound “anal” but we have shooters that make it to the finals at state and large open matches so I’m trying to give them the confidence in their equipment that when they’re shooting deep 10s it’s not by accident.

        As far as a guest blog I’m not a writer and a worse photographer so I’ll post some stuff in the comment section for now and in the future if there is enough int rest I will give it a shot. After all the stuff you folks have shared with me it’s the least I could do.

        • RE: group size linear with distance

          If you test at 33 feet and 50 feet you could check for a non-zero intercept. The problem is that the intercept is extrapolated from quite a distance so the statistical precision is going to be poor. So it would unlikely that you’d get good enough data to show that the relationship is non-linear by determining that the intercept is statistically significantly different from zero.

          The fact that you’re testing your sled with multiple rifles is very interesting. I can assure you that folks here would be most interested in the information you have to share and would not be concerned if your grammar, punctuation or pictures were less than perfect. I’ll also assure you again that no one is more interested in airgun experiments than BB.

          Also no one here would label you anal for trying to help kids achieve the best possible setup and pellet for their rifle. Rather we all admire the dedication.

        • Wow! That is a solid looking rig. Let’s slap on a rifle and fire that puppy up!!!!

          I love esoteric discussions about theory (in part because I can’t shoot worth a !@#$%) – but before I get you working on a bench rest with computer controlled stepper motors, and a camera telescopic sight, let’s think abut the goal. It would seem that the ultimate goal is to help the kid’s with their competition. So how do the results from the bench rest compare to the results that the kids can achieve?

          The obvious advantage is that the bench rest won’t get tired. I’m guessing that one source of difficulty is that the kids shoot multiple bulls for score whereas you shoot groups with the bench rest. So are you looking for some help to convert the statistics of group size with the sled to shooting multiple bulls for score?

          I am sure that I couldn’t shoot as well as the sled. Old shaky hands and bad eyes just couldn’t win.

          But if the average group size from the sled is greater than the average group size that a particular kid can shoot, then the sled can’t help. In other words if there are two pellets A and B, then the kid shooting might show a difference between types A and B that shooting from the sled wouldn’t be able to “readily” determine.

          “Readily” is a somewhat fuzzy point, since the sled can be used to collect massive amounts of data since it doesn’t get tired. The first ten shots from the sled shouldn’t be any different that the last 10. I don’t think that a human could maintain such constant concentration for hours. So instead of 5 five-shot groups that the kid might shoot, the sled could shoot 50 five-shot groups and overwhelm the kid’s performance with massive amounts of data.

          If the sled is as good as or better than a particular kid can shoot, then test shooting from the sled can “readily” help. Obviously some kids are going to be better than others. So the poorer shooters might be outperformed by sled, yet there might be some really good shooters who can on average actually outperform the sled.

          For wringing everything out of the pellet and gun, there are a lot of sources of variations.
          (1) Variations between types of pellets.
          (2) Variations between tins of pellets
          (3) Pellet-to-pellet variations within a given tin of pellets.
          (4) % flyers in a tin
          (5) shot-to-shot variations within the gun
          (a) based on string position from a full fill with PCP.
          (b) for a single pump variations in reservoir pressure with single pump.

          Adding the sled
          (1) variation of mounting rifle to rail for sled
          (2) variation of mounting rifle&rail to bottom stand of sled
          (3) Shot-to-shot variation of rifle mounted in the sled.

          So to systematically look at the various variation sources and estimate the particular error source is a lot of work. The essence of what I am trying to say is that it is hard to know how to make the sled “better” (or the overall testing better) if you really don’t know what is NOW causing the most variation.

          There is one thing that I want to test that would seem odd. I wonder about the velocity variation at the target for pellets versus the velocity variation at the muzzle. For target pellets that come in different head sizes, a too small head won’t line up with bore line perfectly. So it should precess more than a pellet that does line up well. So although the muzzle velocity of the two pellets might be the same, the pellet with the too small head should have a greater variability in the downrange velocity measured at the target. If the head size gets too big, then the “absolute” muzzle velocity of the pellet would drop. (Obviously there might be weight variations between pellets of different head size, so you’d have to make corrections for that to determine the “absolute” muzzle velocity.)

          Hope this helps. If you’ve read many of BB’s columns you can see that he is a boots on the ground type of guy. He wants to talk about real guns and real data. Theory that helps understand a problem is OK, but he doesn’t want just esoteric theoretical discussions that degenerate into word wars.

          Since you are contributing real world experience with airguns, helping you with ANY questions that you have is absolutely within the bounds of the blog. You are not “bugging” anyone. Ask away! You will not find a group anywhere that likes to discuss airguns more. A “real” problem? Ever see hungry piranha feed?


          • Herb,

            There are a lot of question marks in your reply that have me thinking. Not sure how to logically reply but I’ll do my best.

            “Ever see hungry piranha feed?” NO, but I imagine it looks a lot like my kids at the dinner table.

            OK… The reason I don’t want to post out front (currant day’s blog) is that most people are not into the 10 meter competition sport not to mention low power PCP (dark side) rifles. I guess the only thing worse than an off topic post is a long detailed off topic post. I receive an email when someone responds to a post and assume that is standard so anyone interested can follow behind the scene.
            I was going to do some testing and take some photographs Saturday night (open youth shoot at the club) but too many kids showed up and needed help and extra attention. I did however find an old quick and dirty test target I did with a Walther LGM-2 (SSP) a few weeks ago. So I took some pictures of that and the slide attached to the rifle and up loaded then to the potobucket link above (a picture being worth a thousand words). If you look at the slide you see the pin that projects out the bottom; that pin guides in the machined slot on the base plate. Before each test shot I slide the gun/rail assembly to the front of the slot. This arrangement I believe is more consistent than 99.99% of shooters. You are right not only does the sled not get tired but you can test very fast.

            As far as groups vs. 10 shot on individual bulls…. I don’t know how familiar you are with electronic targets (used on almost all collegiate, national and international matches as well as the CMP ranges at Camp Perry and Aniston). Essentially you are shooting groups the POA never changes and the 10 shot string is superimposed on a single bull (magnified) on your monitor as seen on this link http://clubs.odcmp.com/cgi-bin/invEventScore.cgi?matchID=7578&eventID=1&contactID=66743 that is the score card for the winner of the October 2011 CMP monthly match. Even though the score card shows the factional score for the first 60 qualifier record shots only the whole number and Xs (10.2 or better) counts to make it into the finals. If you look at page three (final score card) of the link the fractional score total determines the winner. (Boy if you know all this I feel like an idiot trying to write this with 3rd grade writing skills.) So….My first concern if to make sure the gun and pellet combination con “hold” 10.2 zone to get into the finals then if possible have a combination that is capable to hold the 10.9 zone. This of course is only for the top shooter in the club. I’ve also worked on a TF98 (I think that’s the right number, a Chinese made CO2 target rifle) for a kid that didn’t have much money and wanted to use his own gun and to be honest the best I could do with it was hold the 10 ring (dot) 98% of the time and we are happy with that.

            Now for me to go off topic of my own topic… The thing that I try to teach the kids the most is…

            Success is not measured by the height obtained but rather by the obstacles overcome.

            In other words not everyone is going to be the best in everything they do but most the time they can be better than what they thought by setting, meeting, and surpassing their personal goals, this includes shooting as well.

            If you still insist that this is interesting enough to write a guest blog I would like if you write it with me. I think you are better at organizing and communicating things. Just tell me how I can help!

          • Caveman,

            Some quick comments then I have some errands to run.

            I’m absolutely willing to help you write a guest blog(s). There is more than enough material here for numerous blogs.

            I knew roughly how the electronic target system worked from comments that BB made. I’ve never seen one. I doubt that many of BB’s readers have ever seen or used one either. Just the electric target system itself would be an interesting blog.

            It seems that you just shoot groups on just paper targets to do your testing. The X-Y deflections from the kid’s targets can obviously be used to calculate a “group size” even though they are shooting for points.

            I applaud that you are not just pushing score. It really is about doing the best you can with what you have, it is not about just about how much more money you could spend on vastly better equipment. I can assure you that an Olympic quality rig would be money wasted on me.

            Teaching the kids some of the math to evaluate their performance would be fantastic. Shooting is a lead in to numerous scientific and engineering fields.

            Couple of quick questions.

            (1) Do the kid’s practice with an electronic scoring system, or it that just for matches?

            (2) Do the kids practice at home? If so, what kind of targets do they use?

            Off for my errands, I’ll be back later tonight to re-read all of this…

            • Herb,
              1) No we use paper targets as most small sportsmen’s clubs do. I am taking four kids Sunday to the Pa. state champion match (small bore) that will be shot on paper. The cost of electronic scoring is coming down all the time so maybe in a few years we may get them. We do however have a RIKA trainer that tracks your hold, shot, and follow through; here is a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOnz_9SaujM
              2) Some do and many hunt and shoot archery that helps them. Some also work on conditioning and mental training. We have practice Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and I do 4-H shooting on Saturday nights. This may sound strange but my daughter doesn’t practice at home even though we have 10 meters in the garage and I have to drive 30 miles to the range. I think going to practice help make it more purposeful.

            • Herb,
              1) No we use paper targets as most small sportsmen’s clubs do. I am taking four kids Sunday to the Pa. state champion match (small bore) that will be shot on paper. The cost of electronic scoring is coming down all the time so maybe in a few years we may get them. We do however have a RIKA trainer that tracks your hold, shot, and follow through; here is a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOnz_9SaujM
              2) Some do and many hunt and shoot archery that helps them. Some also work on conditioning and mental training. We have practice Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and I do 4-H shooting on Saturday nights. This may sound strange but my daughter doesn’t practice at home even though we have 10 meters in the garage and I have to drive 30 miles to the range. I think going to practice help make it more purposeful.

              Lets take this off the blog, you can get me gregoryhear at g mail.

    • caveman,

      I’ll second Herb’s suggestion for you to do a guest blog on your sled. Sounds really interesting and you’ve already done half the writing for it in your comment here. Just add in some pics and some results!


  8. OT.
    Here is a great little demo that perfectly shows now much affecting cant has on your shooting.

    I was going to head to the range this weekend to try out my new scope level and trigger shoe that I just installed on the Slavia.
    Average daytime temp for Edmonton is just below freezing. All around our area it has been snowing or freezing rain the last few days but they’ve been forecasting temps of around 40F for the weekend.
    I figured it would be the last weekend of outdoor shooting for awhile, but now they’re saying that along with the nice temps we’re going to have winds of 30-40mph all weekend.

    • CSD,thank you very much for that link….not only is the cant illustration model very cool,there is an OUTSTANDING macro digital photography tutorial at the bottom of the page! I have already tripled my knowledge on the subject.The best part is that just about anyone with a digital camera less than 10 years old can benefit from much of it.The author uses flash diffusers that are common in most households.
      I’m quite excited to have this resource to learn from.

  9. B.B., wow, the fabled zero group. That is something to frame. I’ve actually been having some difficulty myself. I’ve lost the connection to the Jaws of the Subconscious; it’s been like a holy man suddenly deprived of faith. The decay was not immediately obvious. Suddenly, the groups began drifting low although they remained tight. Then flyers began to appear so that the nice tidy shape began to look more grape-like. The problem appeared to be overthinking. Just when I thought I had achieved true detachment, a secret lust to be more accurate had me forcing the shot. No doubt increased concentration and technique will work to an extent from a rest as we see from today’s groups. But in standing, at least for me, that will become quickly counterproductive. On the other hand, one doesn’t want to rush shots and try to hit on the fly. To achieve a bullseye in standing is truly trying to drive the Jaws through the eye of a needle. Anyway, with my last group, it looked like I was getting it back and regaining my serenity.


  10. B.B.,

    In all the time that I’ve been with this blog, I believe that I’m the only person who has spoken favorably about Gamo Match pellets, and you’ve just demonstrated why. Maybe its just the old batches, but they’ve worked fine for me. In fact, I had such good luck with them that I bought about a hundred tins!

    Also, that one super tight group that you shot is what I expect from a precision class air-rifle. However, I’ve done pretty close to that with my Gamo CF-X at 10 meters, and close with couple other air-rifles. That’s why I also talk about how a lot of air-rifles (springers in particular) are very accurate (at least at 10 meters).


  11. B.B.,

    You’re conspicuously absent today. Hope everything is ok.

    I had to leave town early this morning and just got back home. Long day of travel.

    To say I’m surprised at the ultimate groups you shot with the Haenel 311 is an understatement. Loose fitting breeches like the old walthers and weihrauchs seem to benefit most from the gamo match and old style rws pellets.

    Beyond experience is there anything you attribute your very recent best groups ever to? You’ve shot multiple impressive groups with airguns and firearms in the last few months and I’m very curious if there’s a secret in the offing. I know quite awhile ago you gave us a tip on getting closer to the rear diopter for a better sight picture but these groups you’ve been shooting lately indicate something greater than that. Any tips for us mere mortals?


  12. Pity my blue-book is in a box, awaiting Allied to come pick it up (along with the othe 6000 lbs of book, 1000 lbs of book cases, and 1000 lbs of magazines) — I encountered a rather flea-bitten (finish needed a good steel-wool session followed by some sort of bluing) under-lever at the annual Treasure Hunters of SCC flea market.

    I might even have bought it if it were cheap enough (I think I overheard “twenty” from the owner, but not sure if that was $20 or $120). However, he hadn’t realized the club charged $10 a table to sell stuff, and when the collector came around, picked up his stuff and left.

    Couldn’t find a name; checked both sides of the barrel, receiver, lever… Even tried to see if the rust spots were hiding an RWS logo on top. Used a sliding chamber loading port, similar to the RWS side-levers. Stock was distinctly one-sided (left side cheek/monte carlo). Actually, stock looked a lot like the one at the top of this page — squared off fore-end with single deep groove on each side. Had sling swivels on the right side — not the bottom edge of the butt, but in the side of the wood!

    I’d have had to replace the rear sight. It had a dovetail-mounted open notch sight at the REAR of the receiver, and no evidence of a sight mounting near the loading port (where most notch sights are commonly located). With my eyesight the notch was invisible — I’d need to put a receiver peep on it. Front sight was a hooded post. Barrel seemed to have exposed threads at the receiver interface, and either threads or just grooves at the end where the front sight wrapped about it.

    • Don’t you have the owner’s guide? If not, download the PDF from Pyramyd…

      Though the one I just downloaded shows THREE screws.

      #1 (closest to muzzle): clockwise reduces pull weight “for discharge”
      #2 (middle): clockwise for shorter trigger travel length “prior to discharge”
      #3 (behind trigger blade): first stage trigger pull weight — clockwise to INCREASE weight.

      I’d interpret that to mean #1 & 2 are second stage adjustments. My preference would be a rather stiff #1 (or, counterclockwise adjustment) — something that one can distinctly feel as a “stop”, and a very short #2 (if it moves after hitting the #1 stop, it goes off). And I’d prefer #3 to be very light, so it moves easily to take up most of the motion.

      I think the only ones I have with pull-weight adjustment are the Baikal 46M and Crosman Silhouette pistols. The RWS M54 and Gamo NRA 1000 I believe just have adjustments for first and second stage length (where first stage length shortening means the screw has “pre-pulled” part of the trigger travel. Probably more difficult to adjust as shortening the first stage might change where the transition to second stage takes place. I still need to work the Gamo/GRT-III to find the distinction. Probably damaged the piston of my M54 discovering that the lawyer setting basically had ALL the pull on the second stage. It may still need tweaks on length of second stage — first stage screw is basically set to just take out the free-play.

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