by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• The test
• First up — RWS Superdome pellets
• Next — H&N Baracuda Match pellets
• JSB Exact RS pellets
• Firing behavior
Today’s report is for blog reader Charlotte Henry, who has been waiting patiently for it since March 25, when Part 2 was published. I must have wiped this test from my mind, though the rifle sat in the pile that awaits testing all that time.
This BSA Supersport SE is a 13 foot-pound .22-caliber spring rifle, so the accuracy could be pretty good. Today, I shot it from 10 meters, just because I haven’t shot the gun in so long that I was uncertain if there were any problems. There were none, and the test turned out well.
I shot the rifle from 10 meters off a sandbag rest using a classic artillery hold. You’re going to see today how that works very well for this kind of rifle. I shot with open sights. On this rifle, the sights are fiberoptics, but by illuminating the target brightly and then sitting in the dark to shoot, I cancelled the fiberoptics completely. It looked like a classic post-and-bead sight to me, and I used a 6 o’clock sight picture.
First up — RWS Superdome pellets
I started with the pellets that were used for the velocity test, so first up was the RWS Superdome. These struck the target to the right of the aim point, but I didn’t adjust the sight. I just shot the entire 10 shots with the sights set as they came to me. At first, all the pellets went to the same place; but at the end of the group, 3 pellets strayed outside the main group. I don’t think I was the cause of that, but I can’t be sure.
Ten Superdomes went into 1.133 inches at 10 meters, but the first 7 are in 0.466 inches. This is a pellet to try at a longer distance.
Next — H&N Baracuda Match pellets
For the second pellet, I tried an H&N Baracuda Match. Since Pyramyd Air sent me this pellet in a couple different head sizes a few months ago, I’ve been using them in every test. This time, I used 2 different pellets — the first with a head size of 5.51mm. Ten of them went into 1.073 inches. Again, the last 3 pellets opened the group. The first 7 were in 0.469 inches. I’m very sure I did not pull those last shots because I watched myself very carefully on this group.
Next, I tried 10 H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads. These didn’t do so well. They grouped in 2 different places and I made absolutely certain that it was not because of me! This time, 10 pellets went into 1.117 inches. I’m not going to measure the smaller groups because I don’t think this pellet is right for this rifle. I noted that it loaded somewhat hard, which I assume is due to the larger head.
At this point, I wanted to try at least one more pellet in hopes of finding something that shoots better in this rifle. The rifle was performing fine in all ways other than accuracy, and I hoped to correct that if I could.
JSB Exact RS pellets
The last pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. This pellet seemed to fit the breech nicely, and it also seemed to hit higher on the target. I purposely did not look at the target until the last pellet had been shot, because I could see they were all going into the black. When I went down to retrieve the target I saw the group you see below. Ten pellets went into 0.584 inches between centers. Look how well-centered the group is compared to the other pellets! This is definitely a pellet to try at 25 yards.
I hadn’t shot this rifle in many months, so it was like shooting it for the first time. I note that the trigger does move in stage 2, but the movement is smooth and the release is crisp. This is a trigger I can work with.
When the rifle fires, the action is quick. The Baracudas slowed it down a little, and the JSB Exact RS sped it up a lot. It feels best when shooting the RS.
I read Part 2 of the report before conducting this test and was surprised to see the rifle needed 39 lbs. to cock. It didn’t feel that heavy this time. So, I ran the test again. The Supersport has an incredibly long cocking stroke that must be over 120 degrees. This time, the effort registered 34 lbs. — a loss of 5 lbs. since the last measurement. I said at the time that I thought the gun was very stiff, so perhaps it broke in over time.
This was pretty good shooting, though I’d like to see groups of the same size at 25 yards. Perhaps, with a scope, we will. I think I’ll mount a scope and test it at 25 yards next. Stay tuned!