A range day with BB

by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

• Some new big bore bullets
• How I test big bore bullets
• The 405-grain standard test
• Testing the 192-grain semi-wadcutter
• Testing the 350-grain conical
• Testing the 8mm Egyptian Hakim
• Testing the new Luger
• Summary

Sometimes, I have little things to tell you that don’t add up to a whole report. These things get worked into other reports where possible, but sometimes they just miss the boat. Today, I decided to tell you about several unrelated things that happened to me on the range last week. I’ll start with the big bore bullet test.

Some new big bore bullets
A local bullet maker who runs Tin Star Bullets in Weatherford, Texas, was put in touch with me by the gun club where the Ft. Worth airgun show was held. Of all the airguns displayed at that show, the big bores took the club members most by surprise. So, I was introduced to Johnny Hill of Tin Star Bullets — a maker of bullets for cowboy action shooting.

Johnny talked to Dennis Quackenbush and me about what we’d like to see in some bullets, and then set out to design and make some molds for testing in my Quackenbush .458. We told him that the closer he could get to pure lead, the better it would be. Well, he experimented and was able to cast perfect bullets in pure lead — something that’s supposed to be impossible. Pure lead measures 5 on the Brinell scale, and so do Johnny’s bullets. My bullets, which are cast 40:1 lead to tin, measure 6, so they’re a little harder.

Johnny gave me 8 bullet types to test, and I took 2 separate days testing them all. In the end, 2 bullets stood out as accurate enough to pursue further. One is a 192-grain (nominally a 200-grain) semi-wadcutter, and the other is a 350-grain conical.

How I test big bore bullets
The Quackenbush .458 shoots the first bullet to one place and the second to another. The rifle uses about 750 psi per shot, so 2 good shots are all you get from a fill. For each bullet, there’s an ideal fill pressure and a place on the mil-dot reticle where I sight for shots 1 and 2. When I figure that out — and it’s unique to every bullet, I can usually put 5 shots into one inch at 50 yards. But that takes so much time that I don’t test that way. I test by filling the gun and shooting 2 shots, refilling and shooting 2 more, refilling and shooting a fifth shot. The aim point remains the same. When I get bullets that seem to want to land in the same place, I spend the additional time and develop the exact loading procedures to get the best groups.

What you are about to see is the result of the first, or raw, test that sorts the wheat from the chaff. I use my own 405-grain bullet that I cast as the test standard, because I’ve shot many one-inch groups with it. But for the raw test, I shoot all 5 shots using the same aim point.

The 405-grain standard test
The first group was shot using my 405-grain bullets that I know shoot well in this rifle. The aim point was the same for every shot, regardless of how much pressure was in the gun. Five shots landed in 2.645 inches. They hit below the bull but don’t worry about that. Once I have the bullet I want, I sight-in the rifle for that one bullet and then determine the hold-over or hold-under needed to group the shots together.

458 405-grain target
This is my 405-grain lead bullet that I use in the Quackenbush .458 air rifle. This 2.645-inch group at 50 yards was shot using the same aim point. When I compensate for the shot, I get one-inch groups more often than not.

Testing the 192-grain semi-wadcutter
Next, I shot the 192-grain semi-wadcutter using the same aim point. I only had about 10 of these bullets to test, but I did chronograph one at 942 f.p.s., so they produce 378.41 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The 405-grain bullet puts out about 540 foot-pounds; but as I discussed last week, it over-penetrates light game like whitetail deer. So, the lighter bullet might be better if it extends the useful range by 25 yards because of a flatter trajectory. I might feel comfortable out to 75 yards with this bullet on deer-sized game — at least until I get some field experience with it.

This bullet put 4 shots into 2.585 inches at 50 yards. There was a fifth shot, but it landed off the target paper. It did not open the group size, so really there were 5 in this group, though the picture shows only 4.

458 192-grain target
Four holes hit the target. The fifth was off to the right, but didn’t enlarge the group. Five 192-grain semi-wadcutters went into 2.585 inches at 50 yards with no aiming correction. This bullet is worth more work. It would be a great bullet for thin-skinned game under 200 lbs.

Testing the 350-grain conical
The last potential new bullet was the 350-grain conical. Four landed in 2.018 inches, but the fifth shot dropped low and opened the group to 2.949 inches. Those 4 that are so close together without me doing anything special gives me hope for this bullet. It might surpass my 405-grain bullet once I figure out the starting fill pressure and the scope positioning.

458 350-grain target
Four 350-grain pure lead bullets from Tin Star went just over 2 inches, but one opens the group to nearly 3 inches. This bullet is worth consideration.

Summary
We now have two new big bore bullets to try, and these are both made of pure lead. They’ll be smoother and faster in the bore and will lead the bores of the rifle less than the alloyed bullets we’ve been shooting. Of course, there’s a lot more testing and fine-tuning to do with these two bullets, but at least the process has begun.

458 Quackenbush on the range
It’s been a while since I tested the Quackenbush .458, but it still shoots well.

Testing the 8mm Egyptian Hakim
After shooting a Swedish Ljungman semiauto several weeks ago and discovering that it was a violent rifle that throws its brass 30-40 feet to the side, I was excited to test the 8mm Egyptian Hakim I recently acquired. The Hakim has a gas port adjustment that allows the shooter to control how much gas impinges on the bolt and, therefore control, how fast the bolt opens. The Hakim has been called the Egyptian Garand, and I wanted to discover why.

Hakim and Garand
The Hakim (top) is larger than the Garand, but not as effective in many ways, as my range testing discovered.

Hakim brass deflector
The Hakim’s sliding dust cover has a heavy wire brass deflector on the right side that flips the cases forward.

Well, I did discover things! Mainly that all the hype about the Hakim is mostly that — hype! The first cartridge my rifle ejected went out so fast that my shooting buddy Otho, who was positioned 20 feet to my right, never saw it! The next case we both saw. It landed about 40 feet to my right front! When we collected it, we found the first case, as well.

I expected the rifle to give my shoulder the gentle shove of a Garand. Instead I got kicked in the teeth by a massive recoil and my eyes were filled with excess smoke from the burning powder leaking back through the action — something a Garand would never do.

Worst of all, the cartridge case was mangled by the shell deflector to the point that I doubt the case can be reloaded! I thought the Ljungman was rough on brass, but this Hakim has it beat! Well, the gas port adjustment is there to correct that, and the literature tells me I can adjust the rifle to drop the cases 6 feet away, so I started adjusting. But even at the lowest setting, where the bolt would not come back far enough to hold open after the last shot, the cases still went 25 feet from me and got mangled. So, that’s the end of shooting the Hakim. I’ll keep it as a lookalike, but it’s certainly no Garand — not even close!

The one thing I will say is that the rifle’s accurate — even Garand accurate. It put 3 shots together on the target at 50 yards, and another 2 together after I adjusted the gas port. But even this level of accuracy isn’t enough to keep me interested in a rifle that mangles its brass.

Hakim target
The Hakim was accurate, despite the violence of its action. Top group of 3 measures just an inch at 50 yards and the bottom 2 were shot after the gas port was adjusted. Cartridge case at right shows the dent caused by the brass deflector. Even when the gas port was adjusted very low, it continued to do this.

The bottom line is that the Hakim was designed for battle, and nobody cared whether or not the cases it ejected were reloadable. As a battle rifle, it failed because its intricate machining didn’t tolerate the dust and sand of the battlefield. About 70,000 were built in Egypt over a 10-12 year period. The Egyptians chambered it for 8mm Mauser ammo because of the huge ammo surplus they inherited at the end of WWII. Later, they downsized the Ljungman action for their Rasheed carbine, which accepted the smaller 7.62X39mm cartridge the Soviets were using. While that cartridge was a huge success, the Ljungman action was not. After about 8,000 Rasheed carbines were built, they give up altogether and adopted the AKM, a much more robust and reliable design.

Testing the new Luger
As you know, I don’t like silver guns, but I decided to test-fire the Luger pistol I acquired at the Ft. Worth airgun show the week before. Just in case — you know? I showed you the pistol in a show report, but here’s another look at it.

Luger
This new-in-box American Luger climbed right into my hands at the show.

Before shooting, I researched it on the internet, finding one “expert” who claimed the metallurgy of this American-made pistol was inferior to the German guns (probably true, but not necessarily pertinent), and the headspace would often be excessive. I’ve learned through many experiences that these couch coaches often dream up the stuff they write without ever seeing the guns they talk about — kind of like the airgunners who shoot one-inch groups at 100 yards with their .177 breakbarrel springers.

So, I took the pistol over to the 15-yard handgun range, where another shooter had been standing 15 feet from a paper plate target and 2-handing his Glock into the plate. My arrival meant there were 2 of us on the range, so I shot from the 15 yard line where he was standing, reloading his many magazines. My target was a rapid-fire pistol target with a 3-inch bull. And, being a showoff, I shot the gun one-handed.

The Luger did the rest. The first several shots went to the same place on the paper, then I pulled one to the right. A couple shots later I pulled another one to the left. But 8 of my 11 shots landed in the main group that measured 1.591 inches between centers. That’s not good — it’s great. For me, it’s as good as it gets! There’s one low shot that I did not call, but 8 out of 11 shots tell me this Luger is a real shooter.

Luger target
There are 8 rounds in the main group, fired offhand at 45 feet. The 2 shots that are wide were called, but the low shot was not called.

I still don’t like silver guns in principal, but I’ll make an exception for this one. It shoots as well as my 1911 Wilson Combat CQB and puts my Erfurt Luger to shame! And all of this shooting was with my reloads that cost me less than 5 cents a round! They have lead bullets that don’t wear the bore at all and are apparently quite accurate. I can’t wait to shoot this pistol from a rested 2-hand hold, to see what it’ll really do!

Summary
That’s my report from the range. I plan on testing the big bore bullets a lot more after I install an upgraded striker spring that Dennis Quackenbush gave me at the airgun show. It’ll be nice to have more than one accurate bullet for this rifle, in case I want to hunt smaller game than buffalo or elk.

The 8mm Hakim now becomes a wall-hanger. I’ll hold on to it to compliment the air rifle trainer that I’m currently tearing down for you. But when shooting a military semiauto, I’ll stick to the Garand.

My new American Eagle Luger will probably take the place of my 1917 Erfurt P-08. It’s more accurate, plus I’m not risking a valuable historical arm when I shoot it. Thank you Johnny Kitchens for selling me a surprisingly nice 9mm pistol!

71 thoughts on “A range day with BB

  1. BB
    That sounds like you had a exciting day of shooting. And with a big bore at that.

    And that’s a beautiful stock on the DQ. A heavier striker spring you say?

    Maybe that deflector needs to go on the Hakim. What about a catch bag for the shells?

    Ok yes you were showing off with the Luger. But sometimes its just got to be that way. 🙂

    And if anybodies interested I changed lots with the box premier 10.5 heavy’s Sunday and the sighting did not change on my Hatsan. And I shot the best groups with the gun yet. Thought I was missing the paper at first. but it was stacking them on the bull at 50 yards. Man I like when guns shoot. 🙂




      • BB
        I never said anything about cutting it off.

        I don’t know how the gun disassembles. As long as it dont mess up the operation of the gun I would take it out.

        But I think that would be a better way then cutting it off. 😉



          • BB
            That changes things then. And that’s a bummer that the gun has to sit because of that. But on the other hand it sounds like its a violent gun to shoot. Not something I would want to shoot everyday. Imagine how them guys felt carrying them out on the battle field.



              • BB
                I always wanted a Garand and a Mosin Nagant but I’m afraid that I wouldn’t get to shoot them much. I would have to go to the shooting range or out to my brothers to be able to shoot them.

                So I think it will be air guns for me still. Just love the fact that I can pick one of my air guns up and shoot right out in the back yard. I don’t think that will be possible with a big bore air gun either unless its a well shrouded air gun.


                • Remember, you can also play with them and pose in the mirror like I do, and imitate action figures. And you can fire them with snap caps to get the virtues of dry-firing. The history is the fun part. If there was ever such a thing as pride in ownership it applies to these guns. Besides, the few times I go out with the military rifles makes it all worthwhile. The Garand in particular is like a symphony. Once you feel that recoil you appreciate the design of genius in a way that you could not otherwise. I’ve never attended a rock concert but I’m told that you don’t listen to them so much as feel them. Well, that’s true of the Garand. And this gets back to history. For the millisecond when that rifle fires, your nervous system will be identical to all the thousands of soldiers who have fired that rifle before in all kinds of environments. So, it would not be too much to say that you are back there with them. The same is true of the Mosin which is an even more historical rifle.

                  And if you can’t shoot them as much as you want, consider it a savings on ammo. Take my advice and pick up these gems. The Mosin is at airgun prices although they are creeping up. The Garand is more but it flies under the radar of the assault style rifles and is still a bargain at a little over $1000. You can reduce the cost by avoiding the World War II vintage rifles with their collector value and getting a Korean era rifle. They are cheaper and apparently the design is slightly improved.

                  Matt61


                  • Matt61
                    I really should get me at least one of the two.

                    I believe I saw a Mosin advertised for around 180 bucks. The Garands I haven’t really looked into one of those yet.

                    I think I will check more into them and see what I can find.


                  • Matt61
                    Your comment about being at a rock & roll concert is correct because they have towers of speakers that are so loud you can hear your ear drums touching each other. I have been to more than I can count in the 70s and it is worth every penny I spent to attend them. They are like you say in that you would feel the music rather than hear it and that is probably why I am partly deaf and have ringing in the ears, although the years of riding loud motorcycles did not help either. You only live once so go for all the gusto you can and enjoy every minute as if it were your last.

                    Buldawg


                  • I have not had the opportunity to shoot the Mosin Nagant. Do they feel similar to the Garand? I would think that they would be a much stiffer recoil. How are they accuracy wise?

                    David Enoch


                    • David,

                      A Mosin Nagant is a different animal. The stock drops away at the cheek, resulting in a sharp rise when the gun fires. It’s like getting socked in the kisser. The Swiss Schmid Rubin is similar in that respect, except it has a very short pull that lets the rifle take a running start at you.

                      The Schimdt Rubin is as accurate as a target rifle. The Mosin not so much. It’s more of a common battle rifle, no different than an SMLE, accuracy-wise.

                      Come down and visit me one day and I’ll let you shoot all of these guys (except the Schmidt Rubin that I sold).

                      B.B.


              • I really like the way a Garand feels when you shoot it. It almost feels like a muzzle loader, just a big push. They are the most gentle battle rifles I have ever shot. I guess the M14 would feel the same but I have not shot one of those.

                David Enoch


                • David,

                  Yes, an M14 feels just like a Garand, except the flip-up[ butt plate goes over your shoulder and helps hold the rifle in place. I can’t feel a nickel’s worth of difference between the 30-06 of the Garand and the .308 the M14 shoots.

                  B.B.



                • GF1,

                  The M1A, which is the civilian-legal version of the M14 is the better rifle, in my opinion, because it has a removable box magazine that can be topped off at any time and also holds more rounds.

                  Both rifles operate the same way, and the .308 is very popular and nearly as powerful as the 30-06.

                  I own a Garand for the history.

                  B.B.,



  2. BB, The 192gr bullet looks just like the Lyman # 452488 for the .45 ACP , which is supposed to weigh 195 grs., when cast of # 2 lead alloy that would have a brinel hardness of 15. As you un-doubtbly know, #2 alloy is about 90% lead, 5% tin ,and 5 % antimony. The 350gr bullet you have from Tin Star is the Lyman # 457122 design which will weigh 322grs when cast of #2 alloy. Your bullets would be heavier when cast of purer lead , but these designs are nothing new, and not exclusive to your friend. i disagree that the lighter bullet would be better than the heavier on deer, as two holes , an entrance , and exit , are always better than one entrance with a non-expanding bullet at such low velocity. It would seem that pure lead in a well supported bullet design in a big bore airgun,would not have the problems that such bullets have in firearms where bending can open groups because of too soft an alloy. The #2 alloy is usually too soft for bullets of less than 35 cal and velocities of more than 8-900fps. in firearms, The hardness of linotype when it was commonly available is needed for the longer smaller cal bullets, and higer velocities. The group with the new Luger are great! Maybe the arm chair pistol designer was referring to the problem of galling in guns made of SS steel?


  3. B.B.,

    It would be interesting to know what you and Dennis would like to see in the designs of big bore bullets. Appears that you two have a variety of ideas since Johnny Hill presented you with 8 and two of these “best bullets” are dramatically different in style (semi-wadcutter vs. conical) and weight.

    You’re not just fantastic airgun professor of “what is” but also a professor of “what could be.” Are you willing to share what’s been percolating in your brains about bullet designs?

    kevin



      • B.B.,

        Think your blog would be fascinating since you not only have shooting experience but casting experience.

        In my mind the parallels of pellet design and lead hardness (bhn) are numerous between big bore and small bore airguns. JSB pellets vs. Crosman premiers, cylindricals vs. diabolo vs. semi-wadcutters etc., etc.

        Once upon a time I read an enormous amount about the DAQ 458 and Haley 458.

        Lots of debate and testing on what hardness works best. Sizing is key? Seth Rowland specialized in solid points that worked well while Robert Vogel specialized in hollow points for the 458’s.

        Saw some impressive groups with vogel’s 422 gr and 356 gr hollowpoints shot from a DAQ 458. Now vogel has a new 330 gr for the 458’s. Doesn’t look like he makes the 422 gr or 356 gr anymore?

        Seems the world of big bores is advancing quickly since major manufacturers like FX and Daystate have entered the market. Lots more big bore shooters these days.

        I think all of us airgunners could benefit from a better understanding of “projectile basics” for airguns. Even those of us with extensive firearm background since very little of that experience with firearm projectiles translates to airguns IMHO. Lower velocity of airguns and their inability to obsturate being just two reasons.

        kevin


  4. Tom,

    Great to see you like the Luger.

    First, how is the trigger pull? I remember that was one of the major reasons you like the 1917 Erfurt.

    Second, wouldn’t a little bit more headspace make the pistol less prone to jamming?

    Michael


  5. Wow, that’s quite a spread of interesting topics. That Quackenbush is a beautiful rifle. For the Hakim, it took me a little while to realize we were talking about the firearm and not the airgun. It’s shortcomings remind us of how hard it was to build a semiauto and what the Garand accomplished. I’m still not clear on why this was so difficult since the machine gun was invented a long time before and was considered the more potent weapon. I also don’t believe it is that difficult to modify a semiauto action to full auto, so was it so hard to go the other way? Apparently so if it took a genius like John Garand over 20 years of single-minded work. That also suggests to me that new designs that diverge much are not a good bet. Even now, I believe that the latest generation of rifles have settled on a gas piston design that is probably traceable to the Garand.

    The business about ejecting cases reminds me of a scene in the film The Gods Must Be Crazy where terrorists in Africa are blazing away at government troops. The terrorists are lighting up everything in sight including a banana tree. Then one guy gets tired of the torrent of brass hitting him in the face and shoves the guy next to him. You would think this would be a problem with any semiauto, and I have been hit with brass on the pistol range. I believe the Garand avoids this by ejecting the cases slight forward. And the 1911 ejects them slightly backwards.

    Nice shooting with the Luger at 15 yards and something to aspire to.

    103David, interesting about your parents on the front. It seems like the .38 special had more luck in the Pacific against the Japanese than the .38 caliber used in the Spanish-American war in the Philippines that was pronounced inadequate. Was the difference the “special” designation and the plus P load? I still don’t know why someone would take the trouble of acquiring a .38 special from home and dealing with ammo shortages when the front was awash in weapons. There is a memoir of a Marine landing on Peleliu who said that he was swapping guns on the battlefield as the situation changed–tommy guns, BARs, M1s, carbines. It sounds like the ultimate flea market.

    I’ve had a surprisingly difficult time getting light for my gun range which is the only piece missing. I’ve finally swum out from the torrent of cardboard boxes and have converted them, in flattened form, to soundproofing that is second to none on the wall I share with the next apartment. My first light advertised as natural daylight looked like a fluorescent light. In fact, a lot of what is advertised online as “daylight” is actually fluorescent according to the specifications. So, I went to a store to verify the light quality in person. But things just got stranger. It seems like there is a species of bulb called a compact fluorescent that is technically fluorescent but casts a yellowish light that I associate with a conventional bulb. The power ratings were completely bewildering with some kind of conversion factor for converting compact fluorescent to natural lights. 13W in one scheme corresponded to 60W in another. I tested something called a Verilux light that is supposed to be engineered to reproduce natural daylight. It looked exactly like a fluorescent light. Then, I began to wonder what exactly is natural light. I had been associating it with yellowish indoor light from a standard bulb. But this may have been inspired by the yellowish flame of candles and even a fireplace which were all substitutes for daylight. Natural outdoor light really is white as I verified while walking around outside afterwards. So, what exactly do I want? Ignorance was bliss when I shot from the installed light of my old place without giving it much thought. I’m betting on yet another “daylight” lamp that I have on order.

    Matt61


    • You would think this would be a problem with any semiauto, and I have been hit with brass on the pistol range. I believe the Garand avoids this by ejecting the cases slight forward. And the 1911 ejects them slightly backwards.

      One of the accessories I bought for my HK-91 was the ejection port deflector (steel clip with a rubber chunk the snaps over the top of the receiver and on the rear of the ejection port). Instead of ejecting fully to the side, the empties now bounce about 15-20 feet forward and about 10 feet to the side. I don’t recall the rubber causing dents (I’ve only fired 50 rounds through it before the PRCa required me to be fingerprinted for it; never took it out of the apartment since — and current Blue Book makes it my most valuable gun).

      Of course, the fluted chamber creates brass that is practically impossible to clean and resize, so reloading is pretty much out for it.

      {I have the deflector, the $20 [late 80’s price] sight adjustment screwdriver, 2 20rd and one 5rd magazine — but never did get the special bipod}


    • I’ve had a surprisingly difficult time getting light for my gun range which is the only piece missing. I’ve finally swum out from the torrent of cardboard boxes and have converted them, in flattened form, to soundproofing that is second to none on the wall I share with the next apartment. My first light advertised as natural daylight looked like a fluorescent light. In fact, a lot of what is advertised online as “daylight” is actually fluorescent according to the specifications. So, I went to a store to verify the light quality in person. But things just got stranger. It seems like there is a species of bulb called a compact fluorescent that is technically fluorescent but casts a yellowish light that I associate with a conventional bulb. The power ratings were completely bewildering with some kind of conversion factor for converting compact fluorescent to natural lights. 13W in one scheme corresponded to 60W in another. I tested something called a Verilux light that is supposed to be engineered to reproduce natural daylight. It looked exactly like a fluorescent light. Then, I began to wonder what exactly is natural light. I had been associating it with yellowish indoor light from a standard bulb. But this may have been inspired by the yellowish flame of candles and even a fireplace which were all substitutes for daylight. Natural outdoor light really is white as I verified while walking around outside afterwards. So, what exactly do I want? Ignorance was bliss when I shot from the installed light of my old place without giving it much thought. I’m betting on yet another “daylight” lamp that I have on order.

      Classic incandescent bulbs have a color temperature between 2800degK and 3400degK (photo floods tending to be the higher numbers). 2800 is rather reddish, 3400 more yellow.

      Sunlight is around 5500degK (strong yellow leading to blue) and, believe it or not, /cloudy/ light runs 6500degK (bluish white).

      Incandescent and sunlight (clouds) are CONTINUOUS spectrum; they contain all frequencies of light (just are stronger in different areas of the spectrum).

      Fluorescent bulbs, “warm” or “daylight”, old style or CFL, normally produce only small chunks of spectrum — they have gaps. These gaps result in some colored objects not reproducing properly (if the object is primarily in a part of the spectrum the lamp is not producing, it will tend to look “black” under that lighting. The strongest part of them is a bright green (in the days of film, special magenta filters were sold to reduce the intensity of the green — no one made fluorescent balanced film; whereas daylight [less blue sensitive] and tungsten [less red sensitive] were standard)

      I still haven’t tested my one photo-grade CFL to see if they managed to fill out the spectrum more; it was billed as a full spectrum bulb.

      All fluorescent bulbs are lower wattage… Roughly a 3-4x factor to convert to equivalent incandescent. The proper way is to compare the lumens output, not wattage.


  6. Hello B.B.,

    I recently bought a Benjamin HB22 air pistol and given that it should always have at least a pump or two of air inside it, would it be alright for me to store it with 7 or 8 pumps of air? Also, can its bolt be decocked by retracting it and easing it closed after squeezing the trigger while holding the bolt back?

    -Ron


    • Ron,

      I would say no to the 7 or 8 pumps of air, because the seals in those pistols are somewhat soft and may deform if left under that much pressure for a long time. I don’t know that — it’s just my opinion.

      Yes, the gun can be decocked the way you describe.

      B.B.


  7. BB
    That is a good day of shooting with you big bore air gun and your new Luger that I happen to like very much.
    I wish my 22 version of the Luger was a 9mm also.

    That DQ is a fine looking gun and it looks like it groups better with the mid weight bullets right out of the box, but I am sure like you say that once you find the bullet you like for what you are hunting its just a matter of sighting in for that bullet.

    I am working towards getting into the big bore guns as time passes, just gathering all the info I can so I can pick the right one for my needs since Alabama passed hunting with 30 cal and bigger for deer.

    Buldawg


  8. Thank you for the advice, B.B.,

    I read from your review of the Weihrauch HW40 that 5 minutes is your recommended maximum length of time to leave it pumped with air. Should I also follow the 5-minute rule for my HB22? Or can I leave it pumped 8-times for longer than 5 minutes?

    -Ron



    • Racer X,

      Nah — nothing so fancy and devious as that. Most semiautos will dent the case mouth, but that is fixed easily enough by the reloading dies. But noting can fix a dent in the case body like the one above. It’s simply the result of a violent ejection.

      The CETME rifle has a fluted chamber that grabs and retards the case to prevent a violent extraction. But that damage is also hard on a cartridge case.

      B.B.


      • The CETME rifle has a fluted chamber that grabs and retards the case to prevent a violent extraction. But that damage is also hard on a cartridge case.

        If I recall my history, that was the precursor of the G-3, which showed up as the HK-91 in civilian guise.

        The fluting is not to retard the case, but to let it slip free easier, as the action is a roller-block delayed blow-back. There is no external mechanism (gas port/piston) to start the ejection cycle by unlocking the bolt; the cartridge has to move back against the bolt from the moment of firing — the (two-piece) bolt is slowed as the front part (pushed by the cartridge) has to push a pair of roller bearings against the end of their channel, and as they squeeze into the front of the bolt, they press against a wedge which moves the rear part of the bolt faster than the front.


  9. I’ve seen those experts who put down the stainless steel Lugers. They are lumping them all together without realizing they did change over time, with one company making all of them. Stoeger forced the most changes, so that parts were not interchangeable with older classic Lugers. Did you notice that the grip fills you hand more that the Erfurt? It certainly is bigger than my 1942 Luger. It is great to see it shoots so well. The only time the stainless steel Luger was mentioned in “Gun Digest”, the author of the story, said it was the most accurate 9mm he had ever shot…


    • Johnny,

      Yes, I did notice the thicker grip. I put that down to thicker wood grip panels.

      The trigger is quite good. I can’t wait to bench this pistol, as I really didn’t expect it to shoot so well. I’m definitely hanging onto this one!

      It absolutely loves my loads of 125-grain lead bullets and 3.7 grains of HP-38 powder. I use Fiocchi small pistol primers that were the cheapest I could find. The cases drop at my feet, so there is no scrambling around to find them.

      I haven’t bought a box of ammo in 9mm Luger — ever! I had a couple hundred rounds of factory ammo from previous trades, but all my reloads are in cases I have picked up at the range over the years. 9mm is so plentiful that I wouldn’t bother to pick them up until about 2 years ago — kind of like .223 brass. Now I do pick them up and I have several hundred cases with mixed headstamps. And that is what made that group I show above!

      Thanks, again for a wonderful gun!

      B.B.



  10. Just a brief change of subject. I’m back and getting stronger every day. You cannot imagine the difference having a real kidney makes from limping on 2 nearly dead ones or (WORSE) having to get dialysis treatments 3 days a week. My son’s generous gift of one of his kidneys means I can enjoy living again.

    I’m back shooting a pistol again. I still have medical orders not to pick up anything over 5 pounds for another month. While I was not watching my wife took my desk from the basement and replaced it with a table. Means I lost the drawers and, as it has turned out, all the pellets in the drawer of the desk. So PA got a modest order today.

    To all who sent prayers and good wishes my way, thanks! BTW, I knew this had worked and was remarkable within 4 hours of coming out of the anesthetic.

    Best to all!

    pete


  11. B.B., somehow the picture of the Garand reminded me of a movie I saw when I was about 14. That was “Carbine Williams” with Jimmy Stewart, playing the part of David Marshall ‘Marsh’ Williams, the inventor of the M-1.

    I don’t have much to add, other than to say I continue to appreciate your contribution to the art of airgunning.

    ~Ken


    • Ken,

      Good to hear from you again. Isn’t it interesting that you and Pete wrote on the same day. I pray for your health every day, as well.

      The M1 Garand was not designed by Carbine Williams. Neither was the M1 Carbine. What Williams invented was a short-stroke piston that was used by Winchester in their design of the M1 Carbine. Williams came in with his own design for a carbine, and it may have been better than the M1 Carbine, but it came too late for the Army to use it. That left him bitter for the rest of his life.

      B.B.


  12. A HK-91 without a port buffer will dent cases like that. While not pretty, they can be reloaded, most of the time. The dent will fire form out when fired. I have reloaded military cases for the HI-91 four times without a problem.
    Once I obtained a port buffer, no more dent.

    That 350 grain bullet looks like the ones that I cast from my Lee mould for my two 45-70 rifles. Lee says it is their most accurate .45 Rifle bullet. They do shoot well.

    Mike



  13. B.B.,
    You said “The Quackenbush .458 … rifle uses about 750 psi per shot, so 2 good shots are all you get from a fill.”
    Wow, only 2 shots! What is the volume of this rifle’s air reservoir?






            • Joe,

              No.

              I was talking about the quantity of air that was used from the reservoir — not the pressure that air was at. You are getting things mixed up.

              It’s like saying if a car runs on gas, fill it with nitrogen, because that’s a gas.

              B.B.


            • That 750psi is the DROP in pressure between shots, probably from a 3000PSI reservoir… So after two shots the reservoir is down to 1500PSI.

              The other problem with CO2 is that, given the volume of gas that would produce a 750PSI drop in a high pressure reservoir, you’d have to be able to vaporize a full (12gm?) cartridge at the instant of firing… Remember, CO2 is a liquid in equilibrium with a small gas bubble — everytime you fire, you release the gaseous part, and have to wait for the liquid to vaporize to repressurize the cartridge; and that causing cooling. You’d need a CO2 fire-extinguisher as the reservoir just to get enough gas volume.


  14. Ton echoes my first thought on the pure lead–seems like a softer metal would be more likely to leave residue behind. And higher velocities also contribute to more leading, or am I recalling a different situation?

    Any chance that something is just not functioning correctly on that Hakim, the way it throws brass around?


    • Hiveseeker, I’m thinking the softer lead forms easier to the rifling so it gives less resistance and leaves less of a trail. While harder ammo causes more resistance to form the rifling leaving more bits behind during it’s travel. Just thinking.


    • Hiveseeker,

      Nope! Hard cast bullets with antimony foul a bore faster than pure lead and lead hardened with tin.

      The Hakim is function as it was designed. They all throw their cases out like that. The Ljungman has a reputation for it.

      B.B.


  15. B.B., glad that you have your fingers, nose, eyes and ears still!!! Great blog topic and keep the stories coming we can always talk airguns but I appreciate the side stories a lot.
    My experience with firearms and bigbores is limited so any knowledge I can glean is great. That wadcutter cuts pretty clean on paper for it’s size and power I think it would do some damage even if it doesn’t exit the the animal.
    PeteZ and Kenholmz glad your doing well, and you to Reb, hope your doing well.


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