by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• Shooting off the bipod
• The scope could be better
• RWS Superdome pellets
• H&N Baracuda Match pellets
• What comes next?
Today, I’m backing up to 25 yards and shooting the Umarex Fuel air rifle for accuracy with its scope mounted. You may remember that this rifle slipped off the bathroom scale during the cocking effort test, and the muzzlebrake with front sight hit my leg, shattered and was lost. My leg is almost healed from that. But the scope is now the only means I have of sighting the rifle.
Two pellets stood out in the 10-meter test, so they’re all I’ll shoot today. Just bear in mind that there may be one or more pellets out there that are much better than either of these.
Shooting off the bipod
All shooting today is off the built-in bipod. It worked so well in the 10-meter test that I felt I could just continue with it at 25 yards. In the 10-meter test, I shot off both hard and soft surfaces, but today I just rested the bipod directly on the shooting table — so that was a hard surface. Too many variables to test everything at one sitting, I think!
The scope could be better
At 25 yards, the scope that came with the rifle isn’t clear enough for good results. When the power’s increased to 9 magnifications, the bullseye becomes too blurry; so, I had to run the scope at 4X. Even then, the image wasn’t sharp. I think the Fuel deserves a scope that’s clear from 10 yards to infinity.
RWS Superdome pellets
The first pellet I tested was the RWS Superdome. In the 10-meter test, it gave me good groups that had a few outlying shots. I think 25 yards will show a clearer picture of what this pellet can do.
Although the rifle was sighted for 10 meters, I still had to shoot 6 shots to get it back on target at 25 yards. When I did, it was time to test the airgun.
The first group of 10 Superdomes went into 1.714 inches. That’s hardly a group! I felt that maybe the scope needed to settle down after I’d adjusted it during the sight-in, so a second group was shot with the same pellet.
The second group of Superdomes measured 1.96 inches between centers. So, Superdomes are out of the running.
H&N Baracuda Match pellets
That leaves H&N Baracuda Match pellets. The first group struck the target lower than the Superdomes. Ten pellets went into 1.281 inches, but 9 are in 0.742 inches. You can see the tendency for the pellets to cluster for yourself. Baracuda Match pellets look like the ones to try in the Fuel.
I thought that maybe the bore might like to be “seasoned” (same pellet shot continuously conditions the bore for more consistent results), so I shot a second group of 10. This time, 10 are in 1.429 inches, with 9 in 0.933 inches. That’s not as good as the first group, and it tells me that I might be getting tired in this shooting session.
What comes next?
Normally, I would end the report here, but the Fuel is such an interesting rifle that I think it deserves a longer look. I want to replace the scope that comes with the rifle with something clear and sharp, plus I want to try shooting the rifle with the artillery hold at 25 yards. So, there will be at least one more part to this report. I plan to stay with Baracuda Match pellets, so seasoning the bore becomes a non-issue. Stick around!