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Ammo The great pellet comparison test: Part 2

The great pellet comparison test: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

• Test structure
• The pellets
• The test — starting with Crosman pellets
• H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
• Daisy Precision Max pellets
• RWS R10 Heavy pellets
• The results

A lot to cover today. Let’s get started. Remember what I’m doing is testing the accuracy of bargain pellets that can be bought at discount stores and sporting goods stores against premium pellets that are usually purchased online.

Test structure
I found out of the batch of pellets I bought that there were 2 different wadcutter pellets to test today and there are 2 good premium pellets for the gun I’m shooting. That means a total of 4 pellets will be shot, so I decided to shoot one 5-shot group, followed by one 10-shot group with the same pellet at 10 meters. The rifle was rested on a sandbag. Since there are 60 shots in this test with each rifle, I decided to shoot only one rifle at a time. Otherwise, I’ll tire and the later targets may not be representative.

I did not season the bore between pellets. This might have changed the results, but I can’t prove it either way.

Crosman Challenger air rifle
Crosman Challenger air rifle was used for today’s testing.

The pellets
The two pellets I bought came from a large chain sporting goods store. The same pellets were available at the large discount store, but no other target (wadcutter) pellets could be purchased. They were Crosman Competition pellets and Daisy Precision Max pellets. From the tests I did with the rifle I was shooting (the Crosman Challenger PCP), I knew that RWS R10 Heavy Match pellets and H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets had performed best in the past. I actually shot a 7.7-grain R10 that’s no longer offered, but it’s closer to the heavy pellet than to the light.

The Finale Match pellets have heads sized 4.50mm. The R10 pellet heads are also sized 4.50mm. Neither of the bargain brand pellets have their head sizes printed on the box.

These are the pellets used in today’s test.

The test — starting with Crosman pellets
First, the rifle was sighted-in. After that, I never touched the sights again. We’re interested in group size today — not in where the pellets land.

Following sight-in, I started with the Crosman pellets. First 5 and then 10. Five landed in a 0.198-inch group, and 10 made a group that measured 0.331 inches between centers.

Crosman Competition pellets
Five Crosman Competition pellets (left) went into 0.198 inches, and 10 went into 0.331 inches.

H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
Next, I shot 2 groups with the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet. The first 5 made a group measuring 0.116 inches between centers. Ten went into 0.157 inches. This proved to be the most accurate pellet in this test, for both the 5-shot and 10-shot groups. There’s your consistency!

H&N Finale Match Pistol
Five H&N Finale Match pistol pellets (left) went into 0.116 inches — the smallest group of this test. Ten made a group that measures 0.157 inches between centers.

Daisy Precision Max pellets
Next I tried the Daisy Precision Max wadcutter. Five of them made a 0.169-inch group, and 10 went into 0.215 inches. This was the best performance of the 2 bargain pellets.

Daisy Precision Max
Five Daisy Precision Max pellets (left) went into 0.169 inches, and 10 made a 0.215-inch group.

RWS R10 Heavy pellets
This is the last pellet I’ll test today. Once again, I didn’t actually shoot the heavies. The pellet I shot is a discontinued 7.70-grain pellet that’s closer in weight to the 8.10-grain Heavy pellet than to the lighter 7-grain R10 Match Pistol wadcutter. Five went into 0.138 inches, and 10 made a 0.228-inch group. That straddles the Daisy’s results — with the 5-shot group being smaller, and the 10-shot group being larger.

RWS R10 Heavy Match
RWS R10 Heavy (actually 7.70 grains) pellets put 5 into 0.138 inches (left) and 10 into 0.228 inches.

The results
From the standpoint of accuracy in this test, H&N Finale Match pellets were the clear winner. RWS R10 and Daisy Precision Max pellets just about tied, and Crosman Competition pellets gave the largest groups. What does all this mean?

If your youth shooters are just beginning their careers in shooting, any one of these pellets is good enough. Your shooters won’t be able to hold as tight as I did here (I shot from a rested position) for some time. None of these 4 pellets will be a disadvantage to them.

But when your shooters start posting offhand scores above 90 (out of 100), they might want to rethink the ammunition they use. A shooter who can shoot a score of 285 or better out of 300 might make 2-3 extra points if they shoot the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets in the rifle I’m using today.

As I mentioned in Part 1, things may all look very good at 10 meters. It really takes a 25-yard distance before you start to notice one pellet’s performance over another’s — that is, unless you’re a top competitor and can really use every point your rifle has to offer. When that’s the case, then thousandths of an inch start to matter.

One  final lesson — please notice that the 10-shot groups are all larger than the 5-shot groups shot with the same pellet. There’s your illustration of what I’ve been saying for many years. Ten-shot groups give a clearer picture of a gun’s accuracy than 5-shot groups.

This was only the first half of the test. We still have to see how all these pellets perform in the RWS 72.

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.

118 thoughts on “The great pellet comparison test: Part 2”

  1. So in this instance (shooting with a match grade PCP at 10 meters) it looks like the cheapos work well enough. At least for practice, for a match I might be tempted to switch to premium pellets.

    Then again what do I know. I’m happy if I can hit a soda can at 15 meters (give or take) offhand.

    • I’m surprised at the accuracy of the Daisy pellets. The Crosman ammo wasn’t exactly bad either. I’d probably use the Daisy for practicing with my trigger control etc. Then go with the best groupers there for competitions.

      • I am a big fan of Daisy wadcutters! I’ve had very good luck with them and they’re not only easy to get but cheap! They do tend to be soft and dirty(lotsa swarf) but a very gentle washing(be sure to recoat them with something to avoid oxidation if you plan to store them for any length of time) and careful handling work very well for me. My only complaint is they come in such small quantities( probably because they are so soft).I need to get some more so I don’t use up all my high dollar ones. I like the Crosman’s too but Daisy’s are my favorite by far.That could change after seeing that big box of Crosman’s


  2. B.B.,
    You said “Ten-shot groups give a clearer picture of a gun’s accuracy than 5-shot groups.”
    Should it be… Ten-shot groups give a clearer picture of the pellet’s accuracy than 5-shot groups?
    BECAUSE the gun’s accuracy capability remains constant from shot-to-shot, and what changes is the pellets, all 10 pellets that you shot with, are NOT completely identical.

      • RifledDNA & B.B.

        The 5-shot test target that you get with your Anschutz and FWB 10-meter air rifle is just to show you that the air rifle can “shoot” accurate, THAT’S ALL ! It is NOT the best group. Anschutz and FWB don’t go and test every match ammo for each air rifle and select the best group to give to you as a Test Target. To find the best ammo for your gun, you have to go to a place like “http://www.mec-shot.de/en/” in Dortmund, Germany to do ammo testing, and in a place like this where you shoot a 10-shot group, NOT a 5-shot group to find the best ammo.

        At “http://www.mec-shot.de/en/” ammo testing range, they DO NOT give you the Center-To-Center 10-shot group, instead you get the diameter of the circle that completely enclosed your 10-shot group. You can expect a diameter of 6.5mm to 7.5mm for an olympic 10-meter air rifle from Anschutz or FWB. Any diameter close to 6.5mm is consider exceptional.

        B.B. may correct me if I am wrong.

  3. Based on shape alone I would bet that the Crosman Competition pellets would not group well at 25 yards. They are diabolo shaped it is true, but I think the abrupt shoulder would create more turbulence compared to the other three. Part 3 should reveal if I am right or wrong with my theory. I cannot do this test myself since these pellets really have a high cost. In the Philippines due to import taxes and middleman pricing a tin of .22 caliber JSB Exacts run to $0.09 each compared to locally produced pellets costing $0.045 each.

    I was sort of hoping that there would be testing of a pellet with a cylindrical shape. Although these would be found mainly with Benjamin pellets. The reason I was looking for such a test is that most pellets available to me for some reason or other is based on that shape, however in .22 caliber which this test does not presently cover.

    For the long term I don’t suppose you would be including a bargain basement pellet in your round of testing various rifles in the future?

    Pardon my posting time as I am practically at the opposite side of the world from you.

    • Siraniko,

      This is only the first part of the test — where I test 10-meter guns and pellets. Only wadcutter shapes are permitted.

      For the sporting part of the test I will pit pellets that are known to be accurate, which all turn out to be domes, against everything other than a wadcutter that can be bought at a sporting goods store and a discount store. There will be a lot more pellets in that test.

      Remember — you can also do this test with any pellets you choose.


      • I do plan to do so when funds are available to compare other pellet’s accuracy and see how much I lose by using cheap pellets. I understand that the use of precision pellets will increase your score and your chances of winning a match but for plinking, practice and familiarization cheap pellets appear to have a place.

        Anyway just for fun and at close range seems like you cannot choose very wrong unless one opts for lightweight (flyweight?) trick pellets.

        Looking forward to the results on the next test.

      • Will that include the ruger pellets wally box just started carrying? Im liking the hollowpoints, and the gamo bones domes are my guns favorite and a perfect soft round nose for sm. game and overall shooting… love those now.

  4. GF1,

    It is not that I am against what a pellet is made of. It is that my experience has shown me that the lead free pellets are so inaccurate that they are not worth shooting. Now I will admit that my experience is limited to the two that H&N produces, but I strongly suspect that they are about the best out there. My goal is 1 MOA or better at 50+ yards with a PCP, which can be achieved. With a sproinger, 2 MOA is more realistic.

    Greenies cannot achieve such at just about any range at this point. I strongly suspect the very design of the pellet will have to change and/or the airgun itself will have to change. Until they figure how to give that pellet mass, Greenies will not likely be up to the task. Maybe they should consider depleted uranium? Greenies have a loooooooooooong way to go.

    • My results with them at 10 meters are a lot better. I think the low BC is the problem. Since I do a lot of shooting at 10m, the length of the unfinished portion of my basement, they work pretty well for me.

      Faster rifling for the longer for weight pellets would make sense.

      Depleted uranium poses the same heavy metal poisoning risks as lead. Which is a far larger issue than any radiological concern.

      Tungsten cored pellets might be more practical. As tungsten is denser than lead, it could make similar mass pellets that are a similar size when combined with a pot metal outer layer. That way the barrel is still only exposed to relatively soft material. This method is already used in firearm ammo. I believe cost is the limiting factor for now. As demand for lead free ammo increases I suspect this method or others like it will be tried.

      • It appears a mixture of bismuth and tin are what California based muzzle loader shooters are using who cast their own round balls for hunting in condor areas. They are losing about 10% of the mass that way. Since this material can be handled much more like lead in the forming process, it might be more promising for airgun use, for all I know this is what H&N is already using though.

      • I was kidding about the depleted uranium.

        When shooting sproingers, I usually shoot at 25 yards. The goal is a ten shot group that can be covered with a dime. I could consistently do that with my Gamo CFX. I am fairly certain that I will not be able to do such with the Greenies at that range, at least I have not been able to do such yet.

        Tungsten? I would give that a try. They would probably be $50 for 25 pellets though.

        • Have you tried the Barracuda Greens? Not saying they could do it, just that those or the Prometheus pellets are the only ones I can think of that would have any shot at it.

          I think the bismuth and tin alloy that muzzleloader shooters use might be a cheaper and viable option.

          I would hope they would be cheaper than that, but yeah they would be plenty pricy.

    • RR
      I have to disagree a bit with you.

      Do you remember when I got my FX Monsoon. I got it used from one of my buddies I shoot with. He brought it over to my house to show me it to see if I was interested in it.

      He brought some pellets and one of them was a lead free pellet. And when I say the name you will know where they came from. Dynamic pellets by Promethius. The gun was .22 cal. and those pellets did just as good as the premier’s and JSB’s I had. But they were darn expensive.

      Now on the other hand I have shot the light weight Gamo pellets and they ain’t worth a darn.

      So as it goes you can get good quality or bad quality in whatever you get. You have to find what works for what your doing.

    • My friend got a gamo bonecollector gun that came with the pba pellets, he wouldn’t listen when I said its better to stay under the sound barrier, he says they seem fine for accuracy and he likes the bang (no mans land house), well when I get out to try it and used the pbas, it was surprising the groups out to 35 yards, and not surprising after that. I guess if you are shooting within the range they are supersonic for, your ok (his gamo says 1300fps) otherwise I think they are best suited to low power pistol shooting. The trail np pistol I had would stack Lethals out to 25 yds, loved em, but breaking sonic in the blackhawk was a mess. They have a certain use but push them out of their zone and they fail consistently, they are almost like a fancy bb.

      • One thing to remember is one persons idea of accurate when sport shooting could be different than another persons.

        One person may want the pellets to drop on top of the other at 50 yards ( me). Another person may think 1 inch at 25 yards is good.

        So again it comes down to what type of shooting your doing and what you are happy to achieve.

        Then its time to determine if you can get by with the lower quality pellets or if you need the consistency of a quality pellet.

        But the thing is how do you know if one or the other is better if you don’t try them.

        • That’s a great test, another success for airgun data collection, that’s for sure. Its funny too that American airgunner episode 4 has a velocity vs accuracy segment Im waiting to come up right now, its the school shooting team on now, which is amazing, every school should do this.

        • Was that coincidence? I think not, very glad I watched that along with reading some of that test. Your explanation on the show made it all make more sense, that’s a huge test. So supersonic can be accurate, if the vibration in the gun condones it, just like any other pellet at any other speed… that explains the steel breech and longer barrel on the 1377 making it so much more accurate and less pellet sensitive, it killed the vibrations. Thanks Tom!

  5. BB,

    Nice grouping. I am sure there will be those who will whine that you did not use an AnWaBau 10000 match rifle, but they will have forgotten that the average kid is not going to be shooting one of those, and if they are, they are not going to be buying pellets at Wally World.

    These groups also make me feel better with what I have been shooting with my 1906 BSA. Maybe I can squeeze in some range time this weekend.

  6. Dear BB,
    My respect for your work as always and a quickie: What kind of front element did you use with Crosmans’ peep sight? A simple bead or a circular one (the one with the hole in the centre)? Thanks in advance.
    All my best wishes to you and your beloved.

  7. There is a basic flaw in your testing, and really there is no way around it.

    “From the tests I did with the rifle I was shooting (the Crosman Challenger PCP), I knew that RWS R10 Heavy Match pellets and H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets had performed best in the past.”

    You ran a test with several prem. pellets and found that these have done the best in this rifle. However with be “cheapo” pellets it was just what was on the shelf. Yes I know your options are much more limited but I have found, (and actually have fun) putting different pellets down guns just to see what they will do. I think you hit the nail on the head with your one comment. “There’s your consistency!” This is the key to it. I have bought several of those red Daisy dial a pellet packs at a big box store and was amazed at the differences from package to package, both in how they shot, but in weight of the pellet (yes I am that anal) and the general condition of the pellet. Some will not hit paper at 15yards…some will knock your socks off. I have tons of pellets, even some very old “bulldog” pellets that I have no idea where they came from, but they cost a $1 at a drug store at one point.

    Testing pellets is a great deal of fun to my, and I would bet if you drove to 5 different big box stores and bought the same pellets you would get 3 groupings enough to call them different. With the high end pellets you just don’t get that. You know what you are going to get out of that tin, or box, and that is really what you are paying that extra money for.

    I am going to enjoy your tests even knowing the outcome will be that the cheapo pellets are generally good enough, and will be up to you to decide if it is worth it to you.

    Thanks, I really enjoy your articles and reviews.

    • Greg,

      You make a good point.

      I’ve had some good results with crosman premier hollow points purchased off the shelf at local sporting goods stores. The quality and consistency of these “cheap” pellets varies greatly from tin to tin. Perhaps this explains the inexpensive price? Don’t know.

      For this reason I don’t believe the test is “flawed” but rather underscores my long held belief that consistency in pellet production equates to accuracy many times and one of the sacrifices we make in shooting cheap pellets is their lack of consistency in production.


    • Mike,

      I would like to “challenge” your statement. I had a buddy pick up a tin of some very popular English pellets when he was across the pond. After one particularly loud shot akin to a dry fire from a spring piston rifle, I examined the tin of pellets and found a large number of them to have no nose on them. Essentially they were a hollow tube of lead! I still have them for my collection but I believe they are a match for any garbage coming out of China. 🙂

      Fred DPRoNJ

  8. B.B. will you be doing any part of the test at 25yds.
    What I found was that at 10m I could see little difference between JSB Exact’s, RWS Meisterkhlugen and RWS Hobby’s (for example). But at 25m there could often be a much wider variance.
    I of course found the wadcutters performed poorly at 25m, but between the RWS Superdomes, the JSB Exacts and the inexpensive Daisy pointed…well the $3/tin Daisy were not even close.

    An aside. I have a subscription to SWAT magazine which reviews firearms and accessories aimed at the LE, military and said ‘wannabees’.
    This issue they have a great 4 page review of the …get this…Daisy Red Ryder. The shooter who performed the test was one of the fellows on Top Shot a couple of years back.
    Their result was that though it is a well made, fun and iconic airgun…it probably isn’t your best choice for home defense 🙂

    • Ted Nuge. says the red ryder is the mist influential of any gun ever made, starting almost every shooting career, (40 yrs from now they might say the 760, though) but yeah, definitely not home defense! Lol

      • The Red Ryder was mighty effective in Ralphie’s daydream in A Christmas Story. He drove Black Bart and his gang out of the backyard pronto, defending his home and grateful family.


      • Across the length of our shop(60′) my 618 would put 2-3 outta 5 Daisy wadcutters inside a 20 oz soda bottle. I’d push ’em to their limit. They were also very effective on collared dove behind the shop in the top of a Mulberry tree when a neck shot was employed!

  9. B.B.
    I love that you have decided to run these tests. It is something I had always planned to do myself and in fact I do use some of the discount pellets for the shooting disciplines that I enjoy but am not very good at or for the times I am just plinking.
    For those that only shoot the premium pellets please be aware that there are plenty of variation from tin to tin. If you buy 5 or ten tins at a time from the same place you will probably find good consistency but when they run out and a year or two latter when you go to repurchase be prepared to resight or retest and change brands. Crosman boxed put the die number on the bottom but when dies were retired you had to start the search for a good die number all over. Most other pellet makers dont tell you when they change dies or even what dies the pellets in that tin are from so you never know when things will change and I have had good pellets that suddenly did not shoot very well.
    When I was serious about .22 LR target shooting we would buy a box or 2 of ammo and test it, if it did well we would buy as many cases of 5000 as we had money for IF we could get the same lot number from the retailer.

  10. BB, Im compiling data on all the 177 pellets I have, which were mostly purchased before realizing domes held the key to overall happiness, but they are so called “hunting” hollowpoints for the most part, and the data is all relating size, shapes weight etc and terminal in wetpack. These are commonly purchased “hunting” pellets, the goal is to determine if fancy hollowpoints perform better. Im using a magnum 177 breakbarrel and the low end of hunting capable guns, a 1377. Since the pellets perform differently at the lower/higher velocities. Let me know if you think this would be a good offshoot of the pellet test and I’ll write it all up when its done.

  11. Wow, did I open a can of worms.

    Well guys, I guess I will just have to get one of those hyper velocity air rifles so I can see how these Greenies perform as they approach light speed. I know they do not do worth diddley in the subsonic range with anything I have to shoot them in.

    On second thought, I’ll just stock up on lead.

    • RR
      I’m with you for the most part with those light weight green pellets. But those Dynamic pellets do come in different respectable weights. And again they are expensive.

      But the question that keeps comming to mind is. If those Dynamics were stacking pellets at 50 yards. They would be written down on my list of good pellets. But they probably wouldn’t be my first choice because of cost if there was another pellet that was cheaper and performing relatively the same.

      But it would be shame to pass up a pellet that could be good just because of what its called. And I’m not just talking about the green pellets. I’m talking all kinds of pellets.

      All I can say is I probably could of purchased a few good guns with the money I layed out trying different pellet’s.

        • David
          He was a bit later than normal for some reason so I only got about a hour of shooting on it. I had to put my 1/2 mildot Hawke scope on it first.

          Its not a bad gun. It unlatches and cocks fairly easy and locks up tight. Stock is nice. It feels lighter than they say it is. To me anyway. Everything on the gun is pretty nice. Even the shroud that covers the barrel is all steel. No plastic by the breech.

          But the trigger. That’s another story. Definitely the flaw on the gun. I adjusted to were I can live with it but no kind of way can I call it a trigger I like. I want a true 2 stage trigger on it and I will be happy.

          It reminds me a lot of the synthetic stock Trail I had but with a regular wood stock. and I bet your wondering how it shot. The firing cycle is actually pretty smooth. I like it so far. But like I said I only got to shoot it for about a hour. It does like the JSB 10.34’s for sure. I sighted it then shot at 50 yards right off the bat. Right out of the box and not even broke in yet it is averaging 1.200” center to center groups bench resting it. I’m thinking after break in it will tighten up a bit more. But so far so good.

          • Keep us informed on how this thing does and any modifications you may perform. I’m interested in this gun and hope you can easily get the trigger like you want it. It’s gotta be putting out at least 15 fpe with those JSB10.34’s.


                • Reb
                  I know that’s a good easy mod of putting the bearings in. But I cant stand a single stage trigger.

                  I actually got the trigger to adjust out pretty good on the Regal for a single stage trigger. What little I have shot it so far if I liked single stage triggers I would leave it alone. It really did adjust out that good. When I’m applying the pressure to the trigger I just concentrate on hold on the target. As the trigger moves farther back the pressure increases slightly then it breaks. So like I said it did adjust out good but I like 2 stage triggers.

          • Gunfun,

            Sure sounds like a Benji Trail NP to me. The stock trigger is what I didn’t like about my .22 cal Trail but it cocks easier than both the 460 Magnum and the Ruger Air Hawk. Mine also shoots very smoothly and feels light and well balanced. That trigger runes what would be a very nice gun. My Ruger has a trigger almost as good as the T05 on the Diana. Why can’t Crosman get it right on a gun twice the price of the Air Hawk?
            If you really want a good two stage trigger I guess one of the CharlieDaTuna replacement triggers would be the answer. Buldawg’s trigger mod pretty much eliminated the first stage on my Benji Trail NP but it now breaks so cleanly I may pass on the replacement CBR Trigger.


            • David
              I had a .22 cal. Trail about 3 or 4 years ago. And I’m trying to remember but I believe it was a XL. I may be wrong though. I think the trigger was better on it than the Regal. I for sure will put a 2 stage on the Regal. I never did like a single stage.

            • Pa oldman
              I have two GRTIII triggers in 2 of my three springer’s and I have got the GRTIII adjusted out pretty good but I cannot really get them to where I feel a definite first and second stage in them and that is why I like the bearing trigger so well as it is just a light pressure on the trigger and it breaks very cleanly. I don’t have the best of feeling in my finger from 40 plus years as a mechanic the nerves have been melted, cut , blistered, ground and most any other thing that can happen while fixing cars and bike for a living so for me its just the lightest and shortest pull I can get works the best.

              I am glad you like the bearing trigger feel also .


              • I haven’t spent enough time with my GRT-III yet to find the two stages and adjust them… Part of the problem may be the geometry at the sear contact points. If the sear slides easily, there may not be much of an increase in force when the second stage screw takes over from the first stage.

                Let’s not mention my IZH 46 — where the current trigger is so sensitive I think my pulse sets it off.

                • Wulfraed
                  I was going to get one of those triggers for that Regal I just got. Maybe not now.

                  So it sounds like your saying you can’t feel that stopping spot at the second stage. That’s what I’m looking for. It doesn’t matter to me to much if the first stage only moves a quarter or half of the full trigger movement. I want to feel a distinct stop when it hits the second stage. Then breaks with just a slight amount of pressure.

                  Is that what you look for with your trigger when you are trying to adjust it? If I can’t get that with the GRT trigger than I don’t want it either. I would like to know.

                  • I only stated that I’d not done enough work with mine to find it myself… The rest of the harangue is merely a hypothesis that it may not be a great difference between stages.

                    The factory Gamo first stage isn’t — all it does is take up the spring tension until the trigger made contact with sear link (or whatever they call that part). The GRT adds two screws, the front screw moves the sear a small distance relative to the distance of the trigger (but at a light tension due to the leverage arm); the rear screw, once the trigger has pivoted upwards far enough, then contacts the sear closer to its pivot point — that would result in any given trigger movement (at that point) moving the sear a greater distance, but with an increase in force.

                    I haven’t adjusted mine much as I didn’t have a location I could do test firing in without risking complaints by the neighbors. If my parents ever finish emptying the house (two years and counting since they moved to an apartment, but haven’t vacated enough for me to move in) I’ll set up a 10m range on the edge of the basement.

                    Take the factory trigger — after you’ve taken up the trigger return spring travel, what is left should be close to what a GRT second stage would feel like if you dialed out the first stage. The first stage will take out some of the travel from the second stage but I wouldn’t expect the second stage pressure to really change much from the factory.

                    The RWS Diana m54 T01 trigger is a similar engagement to the GTR-III, but came with the adjustment screws already in place. I still want to tweak that one too, but I did finally get a distinct transition… After I’d Dremeled out a bit of the plastic trigger to get more travel for the first stage screw (something seen on some web sites) I discovered the real problem was that the liability lawyers apparently resulted in the trigger adjusted for 100% second stage (long and creepy, at whatever ugly pull weight it uses). I didn’t need more travel on the first stage screw after all — but needed to pull the second stage screw almost all the way out. Depending on adjustments, there is a possibility for three “stages” — trigger return spring, first stage sear, second stage sear. I’ve got mine set to where the first stage screw nearly touches the sear linkage when cocking — about the thickness of a piece of paper. Then a long first stage, and I’m trying to tweak its second to be a pressure build up, move about a paper thickness, release. Turning in the first stage screw would take out the spring travel and result in the sear linkage already being moved some in cocking; would require resetting the second stage lest it all becomes 1st stage pull.

                    Unfortunately, to adjust these beasts requires using a cocked action — you need the back pressure on the sear to feel the transition. At least, I’ve not seen a way for one person to visually set the engagement… If the linkages are visible and one can hold the sear in the cocked condition — and start with both screws all the way out, hold the trigger all the way back (with luck, it won’t activate the sear). Screw in the 2nd stage screw until you see the sear release. Reset the sear and this time pull the trigger back to just before the release point. Then turn the 1st stage screw in to contact the sear. Theoretically, that should result in the first stage moving the sear through most of the engagement, and the transition to second should appear just at that small edge of engagement. That /will/ be a long 1st stage since we’ve set the second stage right near the end of the trigger travel range.

                    For a shorter first stage, you’d run the 1st stage screw in further so it takes up more sear travel in the early part of the stroke; you’d then have to adjust the 2nd stage screw so it takes over earlier. Problem (in my mind) is that this will now result in overtravel of the trigger after the sear releases, unless you have an overtravel stop screw somewhere.

                    • Wulfraed
                      It sounds like from what you just said the trigger can be adjusted the way I like.

                      I think it will be no different than other 2 stage triggers I have adjusted.

                      You just have to spend a little more time on some of them.

                      I will give one a try just to see what their about.

                    • Out of reply indentation levels:

                      It sounds like from what you just said the trigger can be adjusted the way I like.

                      I think it will be no different than other 2 stage triggers I have adjusted.

                      From what I have seen, the arrangement of the screws and the trigger/sear interface is similar to the T01, and the latter I did manage to get a distinct transition.

                      Someday I hope to do the same to the GRT-III (on a Gamo NRA-1000 Special, if you want to date that unit). The unknown aspect is the actual sear contact angles which would control the force needed to release — the m54 has a very heavy stage 2 force. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the sear contact is actually undercut such that the release motion is pulling back on the main spring. A more vertical interface would have less force on both stages.

                    • Wulfraed
                      Have you tried doing anything to the spring? It seems to me that they over done it on the spring. I think a lighter spring would help but may start getting unsafe.

                • Baron Wulfraed
                  I have adjusted mine from one extreme to the other and I believe it is as you say that the sear contacts are so smooth or the spring so light that I myself cannot distinguish between where the first stage stops and the second begins and as I have said before my feeling in the finger tips of my trigger finger is just about nil from my years as a mechanic where I have the ability to pickup parts that have just come out of an engine that has just come in from 50 plus miles of driving and hold them without feeling the burning on my fingers, like changing a set of spark plugs minutes after it came in off the road and I unthread the plugs by hand after loosening with a plug socket.

                  So for me any way a first and second stage are useless unless there is a distinct difference in the level of pull required to move the trigger from the first to the second and then the trigger pull is to great to be capable of being accurate due to the influence on the gun by the excess trigger pull weight. So a very shot to nonexistent first stage and very light crisp stage is best suited to my needs to be accurate.

                  That is what the bearing on the crosman and Benjamin triggers give me is a very shot first stage with no discernable change to the second stage and release so I can just slowly apply pressure to the trigger while keeping my aim point and let the gun fire with no input from me pulling the trigger.

                  I can say I have tried a 10mm and 9mm OD bearings and while they eliminate the first stage completely and make for a hair trigger and between the 10 and 9mm the 9mm is best for a very light release much like your 46 as it feels like just the pulse in your finger will fire the gun, they cause the safety to be inoperable and that is not acceptable so the 8mm bearing is as close as a hair trigger that I can achieve with having a still functioning safety. It is just a little longer first stage than I like but the safety must work for obvious reasons. So I am going to shoot it a while with the 8mm bearing in it and see if I can do well with it and if not I think the 9mm will work with the GRTIII trigger and allow the safety to still work, but the GRTIII trigger has to be milled out at the sear pin area of the slot in the trigger as it will not accept any of the bearings in it as delivered state of design and I will have to mill out enough of the slot where the pin sits on the sear to allow the bearing to fit in the trigger. I may end up doing that at a later date and it will not negate the original design or adjustability of the trigger if done so we shall see what the final setup will be.


  12. I do almost all of my pellet target shooting at 10 yards. I shoot off a rest and shoot 5 shot groups. I can get groups like these Tom is shooting in this test. I use pellets available at Wal Mart. I live near Hilo Hawaii, and you can’t buy “premium” quality pellets here. Pyramidair.com wants a whole lot of money to ship to me. I can get Crosman Premier hollow points, wadcutters, and Destroyers, and a few Daisy pellets from Del’s Feed Store. At 61, my eyesight is holding me, and my airguns back. Bearing this in mind, I can’t justify spending the money for top pellets.
    Anyway, thanks for this interesting pellet test.

      • BB and Jon,I want to weigh in here.

        Jon.You and I are in the same boat.I am legally blind.What a joy it is that a good scope can help level the playing field for us and we can enjoy this exciting hobby.This is why I shoot tin cans.I hang them in front of a backstop and they swing wildly and make a lovely “clunk” when I hit them.This is a great positive feedback to a good shot.Buy scopes with a 30mm.tube and the largest objective lens you can stand to let in more light so you can see and get a bigger field of view.Ask for help so you’ll get the right rings too.

        BB,If the rest of your testing shows similar results,then people like Jon and I face a parallel kind of decision.Do I buy the cheapo pellets because my ability is not great to begin with or do I buy the best so I can have the best possible chance with my diminished ability?BB this is why I got a scale to weigh my pellets and do my best.I really appreciate your help here and in all your work.Thank You,Tin Can Man

        • TCM,

          Shoot the cheaper pellets. That’s a no-brainer, because you aren’t competing and you are shooting large targets. You don’t need the absolute last word in accuracy. Stop weighing your pellets, too.

          You are putting precision where it doesn’t belong. It’s like using a micrometer to measure the distance of a long jump. Wrong scale! You are shooting for fun, so stop measuring and just have fun.


  13. Interesting results at 10m. I was out with my Benji Trail NP evaluating buldawg’s trigger mod so I also did some pellet evaluating while I tested the trigger. The trigger now has a very slight first stage but it doesn’t return after you start your trigger pull. That’s why I missed it when I briefly tested the gun Monday. The second stage breaks at a average of 1lb 6oz very cleanly.

    Now on to the pellet testing. B.B. your going to love the first result, best group of the joining was a 5 shot group while using the trigger gage. I sighted through the scope just to keep the pellets in the trap and 5 RWS Superdome pellets went into a .42″ group at 23yds (I don’t have room to go 25yds and shoot safely) pure luck just proves what you have been preaching about shooting 10 shots to gage accuracy. A later 10 shots with the same RWS Superdome pellets went onto a .52″ group the best of this session. The runner up pellet today was Crosman Premier in a tin bought at wally world 8 of them went into a .57″ two that fit noticeable tighter were outside that group. I still have some H&N and JSB pellets in my bag that shot well in the past that I want to try out in the Benji but this was all I had time for today.


    • David,

      You sound like me! Shooting your best group while checking the trigger pull! That’s like bagging a deer with a feeder that falls on him as he us underneath! Or giving him a heart attack when the flash of your game camera fires! 😉


  14. B.B., Thank You so much for the “work” you do. Such great reading and information. I have some H&N and better Beeman pellets I use when I’m serious. But just for popping coke cans, I’ve been using these same Crosman Competition pellets. I’ll now try the Daisy Max pellets. Everyone talks about how few are in the box, I did find some in a “tin” (500) on PA’s site. Those look the same, but they are 7.8 gr. instead of 7.5 gr. Hmm. In the past I’ve never considered the Daisy, due to the fact that my Daisy pointed pellets are so bad. This is making me wish Daisy had a “round” nose pellet. They list one, but it has the same steel ball in the end and is 9.1 gr. Now I’m wondering about the Avanti Diablo Match pellets. Now I’m going to have to spend more money LOL. Thanks again, Bradly

      • B.B.

        The local wally world stocks some Daisy, Gamo and Crosman pellets. None of my rifles like Gamo pellets even those I got from Pyramyd AIR. The Crosman pellets seem to work OK in my Crosman PC77, Benjamin 392 and Benjamin Trail NP but not as well in the Ruger Air Hawk or Diana 460 Magnum. I may just grab me a tin or two of what ever Daisy pellets are in stock and give them a try just to compare notes with you.


    • Bradly,
      You should try the Winchester roundnose. The ones I found were in a Daisy display @ Tractor Supply. I’ve been very pleased with the results! The ones I got were 9.8gr and go into 1/2″ @ 50 yds through my Airmaster77. They are marginal in my QB- 36 that likes Stoeger Match 8.18gr, but do well in all my .177guns so far.

          • I had to buy one of those Daisy Dial a pellet, red plastic things to get my wadcutters the last time I got some. Everything else in it was junk in my guns but it was $2.98 for 300-100 of which were the wc’s so I still felt justified.

              • If they woulda included some of the roundnose I woulda found ’em about a year earlier. Wow I’ve been without any DWC’s for about 18 months! We got bamboozled at checkout so we’ve got another trip to Wally’s comin’ up soon.So long as I go they’re already paid for! If it would just lighten up a little we’ll go in tomorrow. We’ve had about 1.25″ of rain in the last 24 hrs.
                Comin’ your way Buldawg!

                • Reb
                  Been here and gone and is going to get cold for the weekend. I am planning on going shooting tomorrow with a buddy I met at the FT range I have been to and shot at last weekend. I had a lot of fun but froze the first part of the morning till it got above 40 degrees. We paired up last weekend in the match and he did pretty god with I think a 21 or 22 out of possible 48, I on the other hand got a whole 2 out of 48 but I wounded a lot of the 48 feral targets we shot at, my scope was not sighted good before the match and it was so windy that morning it was not possible to sight it any better so I just did the best I could and had fun which is the main reason I went in the first place.


      • Thanks Reb, I may just do that. I’ve never really looked at them. Looking at the pic of them on PA’s site, they kind of have that Beeman ramjet “shoulder” on them (named so for the shoulder being able to knock the ram over if close”. They do look good. Bradly

        • I bought a tin to test them, went home and ran a few through the Airmaster and returned the next day to wipe them out. Wound up with 1500 for $15.00!
          The quality control seems to be on par with other Daisy’s so they may look dirty but all I did to mine was put a oil moistened piece of paper towel in the bottom of the tin to catch and hold the swarf. I hope they work well for you!
          I’m gonna go check out that Beeman Ramjet now.


        • I’ll bet you’re right! Looks like Beeman dropped ’em when quality dropped but now they’re cheap! They could probably stand a good washing but they’re plenty resilient for that.

  15. This reminds me of a favorite B.B. passage from long ago scolding us for using notebook paper for targets and pellets from Walmart and hoping for a miracle. Heh heh. The cheap pellets aren’t that bad. While differences would magnify, isn’t it true that the Challenger as a target rifle would never reach out to 25 yards? This test is also a great advertisement for the Challenger. In the realm of non-elite target rifles, it appears to be king.


      • Wow! Thanks B.B but I guess I’ll be stickin’ with what I’ve already got for now then. I’ve been considering trying some of the cheap construction paper. Right now I print ’em on the back of the junk-mail and whatever else don’t cost nothin’.I also take Sharpies to the dividers in 12 pack beverage containers,The impressions left buy the cans make a nice border & make it easy to build an awesome 12 target card.

        • Large packs of index cards are like .90c for 500, 4×6 i think, heavy card paper. Grab a tin and scribe a circle, put a little dot in the middle, presto! I get fancy and make some cool holdover gauging targets sometimes.

  16. One problem with such testing as this is small sample statistics. For 10 shots you get one group size measurement. The repeatability (the essence of precision) of one group size measurement is relatively poor. See:
    Title : Approximate Probability Distributions for the Extreme Spread
    Author(s) : Taylor, M. S. ; Grubbs, F. E.

    The other problem is “flyers.” What % of a given batch of pellets are flyers? Again to obtain a repeatable measurement requires a lot of testing.

    The “best” group size is absolutely meaningless. (Want a smaller group? Just shoot more. Sooner or later you’ll get a unreproducibly small one. That is just the nature of statistics.) What is desired is a good estimate of the average group size.

    So rather than spend a lot of work over a lot of different pellets, I think it would be better to show how to test two different types of pellets against each other in a statistically valid method. The smaller the “real” difference between the pellets, then the more shooting that will be required.

  17. I bought 10K Daisy .177 wadcutters a few years ago as an ammunition reserve for when I retired. After 2 1/2 years of retirement, they remain untouched in my gun cabinet drawer. I have discovered so many better pellets since then. I especially like RWS R10 wadcutters and RWS Superpoints. I keep my grandchildren supplied with R10’s for ten-yard competition and the air gun school. The Superpoints work well in my Beeman pistol.

    I do most of my shooting at 25 yards. It had been several months since I had been at the range, but shot a couple targets last week with my Crosman Storm XT. After figuring out the crosswind, I shot a 282/300. Not my best score, but good enough for that day.

    The pellets I was using were Cabela’s round nose. I had a couple tins that were almost empty and wanted to use them up. The RWS Superpoints may have been a better choice for accuracy.

    For cheaper pellets, I find the Crosman Destroyers to be surprisingly good. Not only are they accurate at 25 yards, but they expend their energy real well inside a target by literally coming apart. I tested them by shooting buffalo gourds in the New Mexico desert, then cutting the gourds apart to inspect the pellets.

    The worst pellets? I saw some .177 Chinese-made pellets at a gun show. They looked like tiny trash cans. They were coated with a gray-green corrosion, and no two looked alike. Deformed skirts, some pellets appeared to have been formed lop-sided. I didn’t buy any, but maybe should have to keep as a bad example.
    Would not want them anywhere near any of my guns.


  18. I tried every pellet i could find in my izh46m it shot very well until i tried 50cent a tin pellets from the bargin shack then the groups finally opened up at 10 yards

  19. Us Brits have made some truly dreadful pellets over the years, who can forget tne Sussex Armoury Sabot’s, the Lane’s Heavyweights, Champions, Bulldogs, the Prometheus……in fact all of them except the original Eley Wasp’s and the new Defiant’s (which are getting a good groundswell of opinion as a hunter lately)
    Despite the overall quality of UK manufactured guns, our record with what we produce to shoot out of them is somewhat patchy to say the least.

  20. If you were surprised at the results with the Daisy pellets, I am astonished. They are the most inconsistent in size of any pellets I have used, a dozen or more per box simply falling through the breeches and bores of the air guns I have loaded them in. In addition to variance in size, I have noted deformities and flash which I rarely or never see in other products. To my experience, their performance has been inferior to that of the Crosman Competition Wadcutters. I relegated the remainder of my supply of Daisy Precision Max to break-in use, but still use the Comp Wads for feedback in basic marksmanship practice.

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