FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


The FWB 300S is considered the gold standard of vintage target air rifles.

Before we start, a word about some of the airguns shows that are coming up. First there is this:

Pacific Airgun Expo
March 10 & 11, 2012
Placer County Fairgrounds
Roseville, CA (just NE of Sacramento on Hwy 80)
Contact Jon Brooks Don Reed (corrected 3/6/12)
Call 916-564-5225 (corrected 3/6/12)

LASSO big bore shoot
March 17, 2012
Terry Tate’s farm
Near Sulphur Springs, TX
This one isn’t well advertised.

Flag City Toys That Shoot
April 14, 2012
Lighthouse Banquet Facility
10055 S. R. 224 West
Findlay, OH 45840
Contact Dan Lerma, 419-422-9121
 or [email protected]

NRA Annual Meetings
April 13-15, 2012
St. Louis, MO
This is like a mini SHOT Show that’s open to the public. It has a 10-meter airgun range (run by Pyramyd Air) for shooting manufacturer-supplied airguns (there’s a charge for shooting). Free to NRA members, $10 for non-members.Β Click for website. Pyramyd Air is giving away free tickets to the show. If you’re not an NRA member and want to get in for free, read the announcement on their facebook page and follow the directions.

Airgun Extravaganza
April 27-28, 2012
Malvern, AR 72104-2005
Contact Seth Rowland, 501-276-1535 orΒ [email protected]
Seth is still accepting table reservations, so contact him if you want to reserve a sales or display table.

Okay, on to today’s report.

I didn’t think this day would come so soon, but I’m going to show you what happens when you shoot the FWB 300S at 50 yards. Or more correctly…when I shoot it! I say that because 50 yards is a distance at which all false pretense of accuracy falls away. Fifty yards is a harsh challenge for a 650 f.p.s. air rifle like the 300S. All the wonder of those tiny groups at 10 meters becomes doubt that you can even shoot this far when the range stretches out more than four times as far.

I needed a windless day and as luck would have it, I got one. Or at least one where what little breeze there was could easily be managed. When I got set up to shoot, it was about 8:15 a.m., and the breeze was running from still to an occasional puff of about 1 m.p.h.

I used the sandbag rather than the rifle rest because I already knew the 300S did well on it. I first fired about four rounds to warm the action and to “awaken” the mechanical parts. I’ll talk a lot more about that in a PCP primer I’m writing, but even spring-piston guns have to wake up if they’ve sat for more than a couple hours.

I’m shooting the JSB Exact RS pellet for this test. We all agreed that to test the gun with wadcutters at this range would be unfair, because wadcutters are known to be inaccurate after about 25 yards. And the RS pellets proved to be the most accurate domed pellets in the accuracy test I did.

For targets, I wanted to use the 50-foot timed and rapid-fire pistol targets that I always use at 50 yards. The bull measures just larger than 3 inches, which is a good size for most peep sights at 50 yards. I like these targets also because they measure 10.5″x12″, which gives a lot of room for the pellets to miss the mark and still be seen. I knew the pellets would drop when going 50 yards, and I’d planned to stack two targets — one above the other, so I could aim at the top bull and possibly hit somewhere on the target below. But I only had two of these targets! I’d failed to pack enough of the right kind of targets in the range box. Though I had plenty of targets, only two were what I wanted.

No problem, I thought. Years ago, I figured if this ever happened I would use 10-meter pistol targets instead of these larger targets. They’re on smaller paper, but I could still place one above each larger target to use as an aim point. Ten-meter pistol targets have a bull that measures 2.35 inches across. It looks similar to the larger bulls when you look at them casually, but at 50 yards the difference through the sights is noticeable. They’re too small in the front aperture, which leads to possible aiming errors. I could see that on the first group I fired and also when I examined the group afterwards.


The first target suffered from an aim point that was too small for precision. It measures 2.407 inches between the centers of the two holes farthest apart.

As I predicted, the group dropped about eight inches at 50 yards, so the group was printed on the target below the one I aimed at. I knew that the smaller bull was too small to work well at this distance. But there was another way of doing this.

I still had two of the 50-foot timed and rapid-fire targets stapled to the target backer; and underneath everything, I’d stapled a 2’x4′ sheet of plain target paper. It’s the back of a silhouette target that I always use when I’m unsure of where my bullets or pellets will go. The plain light paper allows me to see the holes even though they don’t strike the intended target. Because it’s so large, it covers the entire target backer; so, unless the rifle is really out of whack, I’ll see where the pellets are going.

Then, I proceeded to shoot another 10-shot group of unsorted pellets at the larger bull on the left, knowing that they would strike the plain target paper below this target. They landed about two inches below the target and gave me a perfect group of 10 on the plain paper.

This time, the bull was filling the front aperture as it should, so the group was much better. It measures 1.689 inches between centers. Remember, this is a 10-shot group. It’s about 40 percent larger than a 5-shot group fired under similar conditions. That doesn’t mean that it’s exactly 40 percent larger; and, yes, it’s possible for the first 5 shots to land the farthest apart, so that a 10-shot group doesn’t grow any larger. But the probability that you’ll do that is very low. If you keep on shooting after 5 shots, it’s more likely that your group will continue to enlarge until it’s, perhaps, 40 percent larger after 10 shots than it was after the first 5.


Ten-shot group at 50 yards with unsorted pellets. Ten shots made a 1.689-inch group. Nine of the shots went into 1.015 inches. The larger aim point helped reduce the group size.

Some notes on sorting the pellets
I had sorted the JSB pellets the evening before going to the range. Because JSB pellets are so accurate, I thought they’d also be very uniform, but they weren’t. To get 20 pellets that all weighed 7.30 grains, I had to sort through almost 40 pellets! The weight ranged from 7.10 grains to 7.40 grains. While that isn’t as large a spread as other pellets, it was still a surprise. I thought I might find two or three pellets that didn’t weigh the same, but it was worse than that.

By this time it was around 9 o’clock, and the breeze was picking up. I had to wait for breezes of 3 m.p.h. to die before shooting. When they did die, though, the air was perfectly still again. This time, 10 pellets that were sorted by weight grouped in 1.383 inches. That isn’t much better than the unsorted pellets, and it was not the result I’d expected.


Ten-shot group of weight-sorted pellets at 50 yards made this 1.383-inch group. Not much improvement over the unsorted pellets! You can see a very small 5-shot group at the left of the larger group. That group measures 0.577 inches between centers, but I can’t say that it indicates anything.

What happened?
This test didn’t turn out as I’d expected. Either the weight of the pellets doesn’t matter that much, or something else was happening to skew the results. I think I may know what that something is. It was apparent as I shot that I was unable to detect any slight canting of the rifle. There’s no bubble level on this rifle. And look at all three targets. They’re all wider than they are tall, which is a giveaway that I was canting the rifle randomly. In fact, this is such a telling result that I believe I have to rerun this test, just to eliminate the cant!

I’ve conducted a host of special cant tests in the past to learn about the effects of canting the rifle; plus, when I shoot my Ballard rifle — which has a bubble level attached to the front sight, it’s always difficult to center the bubble because it’s so sensitive. So, canting is a known problem with which I have some experience.

By the time I completed the group of weight-sorted pellets, the breeze had picked up and the day of testing this pellet rifle at 50 yards was over. But like I said, I’m not satisfied with these results and will have to run the test again. Next time, I’ll mount a scope, just for the additional precision it will give, plus it’s lot easier to use a bubble level with a scope than with a peep sight.

57 thoughts on “FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 4

  1. At first glance, this does not seem to be as good a grouping as would be expected, but with what little experience I have with 10 meter sights tells me the size of the front aperature in relation to the size of the target is so critical. It is also different with each person and lighting conditions and…

    With a scope and a level, we will likely see a marked improvement in the grouping.


  2. B.B.

    Not all that bad looking. That’s an awful long way to go with a light pellet at a low speed.

    I know you did not post any chrono numbers with the RS pellets. Would like to know what kind of spread they give.

    twotalon




        • TT,

          Well, I guess I’ll have to chrono the pellets to find that out. Maybe I should chrono the sorted pellets and then the unsorted. Since I’m going to shoot the rifle at least once more, that’s what I’ll do.

          B.B.


          • B.B.

            Just info (almost related, but not quite)…..

            I have noticed that pellet fit can do some unexpected things.
            If I am running a chrono string or shooting paper, once in a while I get a pellet that feels a little looser or tighter than the norm. The first thing I think is that it is going to blow the string or group, but it does not. This has to happen with the kind of pellet that the rifle is liking in the first place. It should make a difference, but does not for some obscure reason.

            twotalon


            • Another conundrum.. I have found that when shooting my .177 cal. low powered air rifles, that pellets reserved for high velocity guns (like the harder Crosman pellets) that are lubed ,are always better as to accuracy and sustaining a certain level of accuracy ,than the un-lubed pellets when used at longer ranges.


              • What are you lubing with ? I have tried wax dry lube (avoiding oil), but only at close range. I was only looking at accuracy, not chrono.
                Too much time spent indoors. It’s still winter. Much to do on the right day if it ever gets here.

                Another oddity…
                My .22 R9 and Diana 48 both like the RWS pellets over the chrono, and in the vibration departments. I expect there will be a tradeoff to FTS, CP, Exacts, or FTT once I get them outside.
                Been making lists of the power plant preferred pellets. Those that make the power plant unhappy are not under consideration.
                I already knew some of the pellets that the .177s liked. Have added a few more to try, and a few more to rule out.

                Also another thing….
                Running Vortek kits in some to kill the residual buzz has helped a lot in determining how bad the rifles feel with different pellets. I get to feel and hear more of the real shot cycle than the overbearing twang following the shot.

                twotalon


                • TT;
                  I use the Whiscombe Honey , one part STP and two parts Hoppe’s gun oil, or Pledge. I don’t clean the pellets and I don’t sort them ,except the culling of challenged ones that have obvious damage as I shoot them. I think that the head size , and the skirt diameter and thickness determines if the pellet will shoot well in a springer, not very tiny variations in weight. My .177 R10 doesn’t like any crosman pellets and my .177 R9 clone, a RWS 320, absolutely loves Crosman HP ‘s lubed with the honey. I lucked on to a batch of the cplhp’s that fit tight inthe 320’ breech and I bought up a bunch of the same lot.Groups increase by double without the honey lube in the 320. Both guns have Maccari after market kits and I detuned the R10 to 850 fps. My Dianas are all .22’s except for the 24 and all have been tuned and lubed by me, but I haven’t tried the Vortek kits yet. My Diana’s are a 46, 48 , and iron sighted 34. I very interested in possibly trying the Hector Medina O-ringed piston with a harder breech seal in my 48.The 48 is the other gun I shoot at 50 yards most often, and it likes the JSB Jumbo’s. Pledge lubed JSB’s shoot better than un-lubed ones IMO.I cannot get a good idea of accuracy from shooting at 10 meters inside. The RWS pellets shoot outstandingly well from all my Dianas indoors but at 25 yards outside, they fall behind the Crosman premiers, and JSB’s. I don’t use them , but I wonder if copper plated pellets leave behind copper fouling just like harder antimony un-lubed pellets do? That would screw up a bore for lead pellets .


                  • Sometimes I get a fairly good tin of cplhp, and then there are the times that I don’t.

                    What flavor of Pledge do you use when you use it ? I have seen the question put to those who claim to use Pledge, but they never respond. Could be they were handing out bunk and were afraid of getting caught ?
                    There are a bunch of different kinds of the stuff. Does it matter ?

                    twotalon


                    • Just the stuff my wife buys for the wood funiture ,the lemon scented stuff that’s been around forever. Spray it on a old towel until you get a wet area and roll the pellets gently in the towel . Then let them air dry.


                • TT,
                  Ya know, it’s too bad Wacky Wayne is an infrequent visitor now. I’d love to know how the Coconut oil is working for him now that he’s been using it for over a year. I still have a jar ready to use should he still speak favorably of it. Currently, I still use the Pelgunoil formula for lubing the Crosman Premiers.
                  -Chuck


                  • Chuck

                    A visit from Wayne is definitely an increasingly rare treat. I hope it is do to the huge success of his business and his Field Target shooting efforts, which are astounding. Wayne is a class act, to put it mildly.


  3. BB:
    Based on what I’ve seen with some highly touted RF’s at that range , you did really well with this iron sighted target airgun at that velocity with light pellets. Also , I think that sorting pellets by weight is as counter productive as sorting RF ammo. With pellets, skirt damage ,like tiny splits in RF bullets bases, cause more of the fliers that open up groups than the very minor weight variations between bullets. This test shows that you do not need to be limited to ten meters for airgun shooting at paper targets, and that you can learn much about shooting from these low powered guns.


    • Robert,

      You seem to be one of the very few shooters who understands that most rimfires don’t shoot that well at 50 yards. I cannot believe how many folks think their 10/22 can put ten shots into a half-inch right out of the box. Mac even thought that about his before we tried it at the range. One inch is the best a factory semiauto can usually do, even when it has been worked on.

      And the “target” rimfires aren’t as accurate as I have heard, either. I keep hearing about these three-tenths-inch groups, but they all seem to grow to a half-inch on the day when I witness them.

      Yes, the groups above aren’t too shabby. I do think they will get smaller when I use a scope and a bubble level. But the reality is, 50 yards is a heck of a long distance to shoot such lightweight projectiles at such a slow speed.

      B.B.


      • BB:
        I just sigh and get glassy eyed when folks who have say, a auto-loading .22 RF like the 10-22, a Marlin mod 60 , or a old Remington mod 550 or similar ,that shoots shorts, longs , and long rifle , and state(INSIST!) that it will shoot any RF ammo into an inch or less at 50 yards. If they would just take into account the difference in length between brands and types of RF rounds and how fouling can affect headspace, how bullets are damaged by magazines and feeding systems, and on an on, they would come to realize what a treasure a RF is that will stay in an inch with ten shot groups at 50 yards really is. Lately I’ve been shooting my Diana 24, using just a 4X( mil dot reticle) AO BSA scope at 50 yards , at my Devin BT-200 target ( a minature biatalon target with a 1 3/8″ bull) , using JSB Exacts. If I get five hits in a row at that range with that gun , that is good as it gets for me , and way more interesting than shooting at ten meters with .22 RF’s


        • Robert,
          Semiautos and rimfire ammunition have to be the height of folly! Not only is the ammo usually a crap shoot, the semiauto functionality requires that tolerances be somewhat sloppy to be reliable. I’ve got a couple of ammo types that will shoot MOA or close out of my Glenfield 60(best 5-shot groups with extreme attention), but more boxes that it will happily spew over a 5MOA circle :)! I never did get the 10/22 target rifle concept; it was a handy, rugged little rifle with mostly mediocre accuracy; useful for what you could use it for. Why spend hundreds of dollars to make it more picky, less handy, and only about as accurate as the entry level bolt action?


          • BG:
            I have two of the 10-22’s and both are from the mid 1970’s. I liked mine so much I latter bought a used spare one ,and a well used look alike Ruger .44 mag version too.You are right ,their most endearing quality is that they handle well and are rugged and easy to repair. They are not target guns, but I will say that my Ruger .44 is a lot more accurate and useful than a Ruger mini -14 to an outdoorsman . It’s significant to realize that when Winchester and Remington first designed a reliable.22 auto -loading rifle, that they realized the importance of uniform ammo and made a special round for them!


            • The 10/22 was something I could only dream about as a kid, but I had the G60 and that was one more semi than I ought to have wanted. I actually found out after I got it that I have a single-shot personality, anyway, although as it was my .22 I could shoot it well enough when I was young! I had forgotten all about the .44 Ruger — that sounds like fun.


  4. Heck, I’ll take that 1.6″ group @ 25 yds and be tickled with it! πŸ™‚ It’ll be interesting to see how much the level will take off, because you’re really lobbing them out there at 650 fps…

    /Dave


    • /Dave…

      I would expect the width of the group to tighten up to about what the height is, then the whole group to tighten slightly as long as there is no wind when the scope and level are used.

      twotalon


  5. BB:

    I tried shooting an IZH-46M at 25 and 50 yards using a 2X BSA pistol scope. At 25 yards I could get 5 shots under a half-inch, c-t-c. At 50 yards the best groups were 2.0 to 2.25 inches. The best pellets at that range were the JSB Exact RS and RWS Superdomes.

    You are right about needing still air when shooting 50 yards with a low-velocity airgun; any breeze at all doubles or triples the group size for me.

    Paul in Liberty County


  6. B.B.,

    Very impressive.

    The only guns I’ve shot recently at 50 yards with peep sights are the 521T and 513T. For those that aren’t wowed by your groups they either haven’t shot a low powered airgun at 50 yards much, don’t shoot 10 shot groups or have never tried shooting long range with peep sights. I use the shoot-n-c 3″ pasters as my aim point at 50 yards for peep sights and it seems to intermittently shrink and grow when looking at it through my lyman peep sights LOL!

    With all due respect when you revealed on Friday that you were going to shoot the FWB 300 at 50 yards with the match sights I expected 3″+ groups.

    Did you use an iris with an adjustable aperture?

    I completely agree about cant being a culprit. If I read correctly, your POA (Point Of Aim) was eight inches from your POI (Point Of Impact). In my experience this dramatic difference in distance between POA and POI amplifies cant.

    FWIW, I’m absolutely convinced that weighed and sorted pellets at longer ranges shrink groups. I’m also convinced that bent skirts can negate the benefits of weighed and sorted pellets.

    Thanks for your willingness to mount a scope and shoot the FWB 300 at 50 yards. Your FWB 300 deserves at least a 5 part series.

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      I didn’t know what to expect. I remember the first time I ever tried shooting a pellet rifle at 50 yards. It was my R1 and I think my 5-shot groups were close to three inches. Then came the PCPs and I got spoiled by their inherent accuracy.

      B.B.


  7. That last group has a hole that looks like a bird! Cool!

    I didn’t know we had airgun shows in California. Conceivably, I could go to the Roseville one, but even though I just got a car (after about 5 years w/o one) I can’t really afford to go.


  8. BB,
    Actually, I am surprised that you got groups as good as you did. Even a puff of wind will blow a tiny .177 pellet off course, all the more if it is going slow. I had to hold “2 coffee cans to the left” when shooting my 490 at 60 yards in a fairly slight breeze! My guess is that you may be able to break 1″ with scope/level for a “best group” or so under near-perfect conditions, just based on current groups and the improvement that a scope usually makes to groups (that is the main use of a scope :)).


  9. BB, LASSO will also have a small bore range full of fun targets spaced from 20 yards out to 100 yards.
    We have enough target to litter a field with. So, if you are like me and don’t own a big bore, come on out and shoot small bore. It’s a fun day for everyone. How many fun shoots have Crosman and Airforce in attendance. How many have 3 or 4 big bore manufacturers on hand. Bring anything you want to sell or trade as well and a table to put it on. I also recommend that you bring a chair, some kind of rest (I use a tripod rest) , water to keep you refreshed, a bench or table if you want one, shooting glasses, some ear protection if you will be near the big bores, and a hat to keep the sun at bay. I have three gun racks to hold some guns off the ground.

    David Enoch


  10. So that ‘Quigley’ shot is pretty much out of the question πŸ˜‰
    I read somewhere a year or so ago about someone doing the ‘ciphering’ that a soda can at 100yds with a 500fps airgun would be the same as the Quigley shot.
    I worked up to it last year with my Slavia 631 and found the same as you have here. At 30m I could keep 10 shots under an inch (a little over 1/2 when I tried the RS this past Feb).
    But when I try 50yds (the next distance at the range I shoot at), no matter how hard I tried, even on a windless day a 2.5-3″ group is about the best she’ll do.
    I can only imagine what the spread would be like at 100yds.


  11. BB,
    Off topic, I meant to tell you that if you want to try BP in your Ballard, you might want to get Swiss. It is more expensive, but as such surely you know I wouldn’t recommend it unless there was a difference. Much cleaner than other powders and the fouling is soft, a good bit more powerful (which helps with the cost), and amazingly accurate. It is pretty popular with RB shooters, but apparently even more so with BPCR shooters. I’ve been worried about your using smokeless in it (apparently it works great for a lot of folks until it blows up one day), so I want you to have a good BP experience. Regarding wiping, BP fouling is completely soluble in water — it is the lube that may require more effort. Roberts suggestion of alcohol is what I use most of the time because it will cut oil better, plus it dries quickly and won’t foul your charge.


    • BG_Farmer,

      I have tried to get Swiss powder but no luck yet. So I have two pounds of fresh Goex that should at least tell me whether this is something to pursue.

      B.B.


      • If Goex works (I also use it, and Schuetzen as well — no cartridge to limit me :)), that is good, but if it isn’t entirely satisfactory don’t give up on BP until you’ve tried Swiss. It is not even subtle what a difference there is. Did you try 777 in it or is that even a possibility? I use that in my caplocks (saving black for the flintlock) based in large part on your feedback and found it is almost a dead ringer for Swiss (or vice versa) of same granulation in terms of power and clean burning, with Swiss being a little more consistent/accurate if there is any difference at all, but I only shoot round balls and don’t know anything about BPCR’s, except that they usually look neat :).


        • BG_Farmer,

          I’ve tried Triple 7 in a muzzleloader and found that it doesn’t work as well as black. It does burn cleaner, but black is superior is every other way.

          I’ve never tried it in a cartridge.

          B.B.


          • How about Pyrodex?

            <sight> Someday I’ll actually fire my Italian made clone of a Remington New Army (I’ve even got “target sights” on it, and a second cylinder, but getting the cylinder pin out is a pain). Have /four/ canisters of Pyrodex P since the mail-order firms only shipped it in cases.


          • BB,
            You might have been blowing patches with the 777 — it is quite a bit more powerful if you use the same volume of it as something like Goex (same goes for Swiss, also, as it is pretty hot), and a lot of patching is pretty thin. I used 777 regularly (2 or three matches/month) for a year or so and was/am impressed with it in caplocks, and a friend of mine has had the same experience. We started playing with it because the local BP supply was just about non-existent (still is — it comes in on the truck), and the Pyrodex can be corrosive and is definitely dirtier than most black powders. 777 can be hard on brass, apparently, but doesn’t seem to have any effect on steel as long as it is cleaned reasonably, same as black powder. Of course, your mileage may vary — ironically it was because you initially had good things to say about it that I tried 777.


  12. Actually at 625 fps, I thought this rifle was completely out of the picture (with iron sights no less) at 50 yards. So, I think 1.3 inches is extremely good. Also, I understand that extreme long range shooters will often count only the vertical spread to discount things like wind (and canting). So, if your group is wider than it is tall, you can probably quit now.

    /Dave, you mistake your man with the trigger job. No stoning. It’s a drop-in design. πŸ™‚

    Kenholmz, therapy for the silence gun? How about noisy students, library patrons, hecklers… I like the cool little laser sight.

    No idea what’s up with Slinging Lead, but I trust that he will pop up again with one of his hilarious comments, preferably sooner rather than later.

    Mission accomplished! I saw Act of Valor. Well, they were certainly playing to the converted; that is quite the action film. In addition, I thought they did a good job of evoking a modern warrior persona characterized by coolness, technical savvy, teamwork, and a rapid operational tempo. And I liked one of their lines: “The most powerful person in the world is the one who can channel his emotions.” That rings true, and I’m sure there is an application to shooting. I noticed that in stand-up firefights, the enemy would drop with regularity but not the Seals. I attribute that to their body armor and marksmanship training…. The M4 did well in all sorts of environments including being submerged underwater. Hmph. I understand the Seals use a piston-operated version.

    Acting was painful. They need to do more work on that in Seal training. It was intensely melodramatic among other things with long shots on people’s faces with plaintive music and rhetorical voice-over that did not make a lot of sense to me. On the other hand, it could be that the emotions of the battlefield do not translate well to someone sitting in a theater and eating $12 worth of buttered popcorn and coke (made me fairly sick). The Seals live in a different world with some really terrible people. Let’s keep that budget money flowing!

    All the same, I thought it was also a little crass for the Seals to make a movie about themselves. I don’t have special training, but even I know that if you are trying to be stealthy, you don’t show yourselves on screen. I hope they kept the important stuff secret (and I will say that I didn’t see anything that I haven’t seen plenty of times on YouTube). And I hope some smart guy was using the chance to spread disinformation to help the cause just like the ninjas would spread exaggerated stories of the abilities as a form of psychological warfare. (But I hope that the cool remote-control observation drone is real.)

    Anyway, afterwards, I found myself doing my grocery shopping with Navy Seal efficiency….

    Matt61


  13. B.B.

    Nice groups! Many cannot achieve this under roof with optics and more powerful rifles.
    Just speculating – maybe you should try that gold-plated Gamo monstrocity (in case they are uniform enough), to gain some more speed and flatness and less “barrel time”. Maybe that’s their predestination?

    On my project. Things are going well, however there’s a medium-sized setback. My upper receiver turned out to be too demanding for turning (pun?). Too long and too precise boring needed, too thin walls, too much fluting.
    All right, if I cannot do it round, I’ll make it square and may God have mercy upon all that opposes me. So now I’m finishing new drawings, and it is all one-setup production piece of 7075, all made mostly with “finger” cutter in straight and brutal. I had to say goodbye to dovetail and introduce MIL-STD-1913 rail – as the dovetail cannot be made with straight cutters. And there will also be minus 1 detail – receiver rear plug. The result, eeer, well I suspect the result will look very Russian and a bit space-gothic. I just pray that it could be produced.
    I hope that by the end of this month I’ll be able to show you complete lower section. I hope.

    duskwight


    • duskwight,

      You know, a lot of airgunners think that a design team sits around and debates how the finished product should look. They never consider the things you have, such as the extra cost the extreme precision machining required, etc. In fact, having to choose the Picatinny system over the 11 mm dovetail would be something most folks would assume you did just to make the gun look cool — not something you were forced to do.

      What an education you are getting!

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        Sometimes they do. And this is called “Izhevsk design bureau giving birth to yet another picassoan-gigeresque incarnation of MP-512” πŸ™‚
        I thought about such folks and came to a thought that they can think whatever they want. I’ve got my rifle, thought, constructed and (all right, not made) assembled by myself. And they’ve got nothing except for the echo from their own barking. Fair enough.
        Picatinny it is cool indeed. It’s flexible, it’s solid, it’s simple – minus stop pin or scope arrestor – and it can take tons of load. And it is cool if you look at things through the holes in your own pockets like me πŸ™‚

        Oh yes, that’s a real school, the only thing I can complain is the price of education.

        In 1709, Peter the Great won a tremendous victory over Sweden in the fields near Poltava. Swedish army in that time could be compared to Wehrmacht of 1940’s – it was a highly trained professional war machine that made Baltic sea “Sweden’s inner lake” and Sweden pretended to be a European superpower of late early XVIII century, rivaling Louis XIV’s France in power. Swedes gave Russian army one hell of a beating in early 1700s, but since that time Russians learned a lot. In 1709 Swedish army’s backbone was broken, king Charles XII was wounded and narrowly escaped and Sweden had to forget about European domination.
        When the battle was over and Swedes were running (we still have a saying – “beaten like Swede near Poltava”) Peter ordered to start a feast and he ordered to bring captured Swedish generals and king’s ministers to his tent to feast with the Czar. The first cup Peter raised, he dedicated to them. “To my teachers – you, gentlemen. Your science was rough and painful as you gave me lots of rods, but now I think I finally passed the exam, did I?”. I hope I will be able to quote this some time πŸ™‚

        duskwight


        • duskwight,

          Have you considered thin-wall DOM (Drawn-Over-Mandrell) seamless tubing and just honing the inside? I don’t know the availability of it there, but you might find some that the bore is just a few thousandths undersize and be able to achieve a nice fit for your pistons by honing it. At any rate, best of luck with the project!

          /Dave


          • Dave,

            That’s exactly what I used for the “powerplant” part – piece of calibrated 28×3 steel pipe with mirror inner surface finish. It’s done and you may have seen pics. Today’s trouble is that I want to make an upper receiver part – a piece to be milled from a solid slab of 7075, and made to keep bypass piece, bypass control levers and barrel together as well as to serve as a base for the scope. It’s crucial for it to be one piece and preferrably one-setup milled, as its integrity will affect barrel/scope alignment. Making it out of DOM tube is possible, however I’ll have to find a _very_ thick-walled tube of 7075 or 2024 say 24×16 or even x20 and still have a problem to plug it from the front, so I could screw the barrel in. I think this solution will bring more hardships than results. So I decided to set things square and order it milled from a single piece πŸ™‚ Let’s see if I’ll succeed.

            duskwight


            • For some reason I though you were talking about the lower, and the compression tube came to mind. Sorry duskwight, my misunderstanding. I was giving advice where the problem was already solved…

              On your square or rectangular stock upper, you can always knock the corners off at 45 deg to make it look cool when finished!

              /Dave


        • duskwight,
          You have a good sense of humor.

          “…they’ve got nothing except for the echo from their own barking…”

          “…look at things through the holes in your own pockets…” (I assume this means lack of money?)

          I anxiously await your pictures.

          -Chuck


  14. OK, I usually don’t shoot for groups. But recently I shot a group of Crosman Hunting pellets (yes, the cheap pointed kind, 7.4 grains) at 20 yards with my new Nitro Venom (so evil sounding!!). Group of 5 less than 3/4 inch, but more than 1/2 inch CTC. Shot off a shooters ridge monkey rest bought from Pyramyd Air. I was pretty happy with the result, and I did it first try. I expect the Crosman Premiers might do marginally better, or perhaps the Crosman Magnums (10.5 grains). They say heavier pellets would do better. But I stick with the 7.4 grains as I really like their flat shooting between 20 and 40 yards. ANYWAYS….my point is why isn’t anyone extremely impressed with BB’s less than 1.5 inches at 50 yards using diopter sights?!?! Holy crap!?! That’s crazy good in my opinion.

    I know I’m a bad shot. But now I wonder if I’m even qualified to LOOK at an airgun?!?!?


    • se mn airgunner,

      Thanks for that compliment, but I’m not a great rifle shooter. I know because I’ve seen people who are. I think I rank about average for those guys who shoot a lot and who try their best.

      And a peep sight makes shooting accurately that much easier. Later this week I’ll be shooting a more powerful rifle at half the distance with post and notch sights and then you’ll see how I really shoot. Not pretty.

      B.B.


      • Hopefully better sights than a rifle I looked at while wandering Gander Mountain — think it was the Henry lever-action .22 “target” model.

        With my regular glasses on, and using a white backdrop for contrast, I only found the rear notch (U-shape I think) by wiggling my head back and forth to see where that skinny front bead disappeared. The front bead looked smaller than the head of a sewing pin (and the “post” it was on looked like the sewing pin itself after a bluing job).


      • B.B.,
        Post and notch at 25 yards? I’m taking a wild guess and say you had trouble with the Hatsan’s scope on range day, no other glass with you, and wanted to get something on the board. Am I close?
        -hm


  15. Hi Tom, regarding your list of airgun shows at the top or your article, I just wanted to point out that any show coming up this weekend in Roseville, CA is not the Pacific Airgun Expo and I personally don’t have anything to do with it.

    For information regarding that March10/11 show in Roseville, contact Don Reed, his number as shown in Jan/Feb/March Airgun Hobbyist magazine is 916-564-5225.

    Thank you, Jon Brooks


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