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Book look

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

• Tom is on the air this Sunday
• The gold is in there
• The question
• Best casting method
• What’s in it for me?
• Ballard breaks my heart
• Breech-seating
• Bottom line

Tom is on the air this Sunday
This Sunday from 12 to 1 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, I’ll be interviewed on America Armed and Free, a talk radio program on Liberty Watch Radio (AM 1030 Tuscon) out of Tuscon, Arizona. I’ve been doing this program several times a year for the past few years, and this Sunday the host, Charles Heller, asked me to talk about my two favorite blogs. They are about my favorite airgun (the Diana 27) and my The Invisible Airgunner blog report.

If you’re not in the broadcast area, stream it live on the internet. The show also accepts calls: 520-790-2040. Okay — on with today’s blog.

I’m going in a different direction today. For many of you, this will be the first time you’ve seen me do this, but old-timers like Kevin Lentz and Robert of Arcade have seen it many times before. I’m going to talk about the value of good books.

The gold is in there
In the past, we’ve had discussions about the great gun authors of the past. Men like Elmer Keith, Phil Sharpe, Julian Hatcher, Harvey Donaldson, John Dutcher, Bud Waite and Ned Roberts have written wonderful books about the shooting sports that every serious shooter should read. I already had a good library when this blog began; but through the recommendations of blog readers such as Kevin and Robert, I have added many important books to my library. In one of these, I recently found the answer to a question I’ve been asking for almost a decade.

The question
Can a lead bullet be breech-seated with an air gap ahead of a black powder cartridge? We know that one way to blow up a black powder gun is to leave an air gap between the powder and the bullet. Indeed, in another good book on the subject — The Complete Black Powder Handbook by Sam Fadala — the author experiments with air gaps between the powder and bullet and ruins several test barrels.

I certainly didn’t want to test this breech-seating approach with my beautiful 1886 Ballard rifle, so I asked many people if breech-seating was possible with black powder, but no one knew the answer.

Breech-seating is a way of overcoming the tight chamber and overly-large bore the Ballard has. But, because I didn’t know if this method would damage anything, I never breech-seated bullets in the Ballard when I was using black powder. I’ll return to this topic in a moment, but now I’m changing the subject.

The veteran readers remember when I got my 1886 Marlin Ballard. It’s a beautiful original black powder single-shot rifle that’s in 95+ percent condition.

Best casting method
A week ago, while reading Cast Bullets for the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, which I recently bought, by Paul A. Matthews, I came across a section dealing with the rate at which bullets are cast. I was faced with casting some .25-caliber bullets to shoot in the Hatsan BT-65 QE that I’m testing, and I’ve never had much success with that particular bullet mold. The bullets are small and never seemed able to get the mold up to casting temperature until over 100 had been wasted. I won’t bore you with the details, but a couple paragraphs in this book told me what I was doing wrong and, by making changes, I was then able to cast perfect bullets.

After reading a book on the subject of casting bullets, I was able to change my method and produce good .25-caliber bullets for the first time.

Part of the problem was the heat of the melted lead, and part was the pace at which I was casting. Changing those 2 things got me perfect bullets after only about 6 wasted bullets had been cast to heat up the mold, and the bullets I got are the best ones ever from this mold.

What’s in it for me?
I know you’re not interested in casting bullets. So, what am I rambling on about today? Not bullet casting — that’s for sure.

Maybe you’re a guy who’s never been able to get his breakbarrel rifle to group until you read about and tried my artillery hold. Suddenly, your world of airgunning turned around. Your rifle is accurate, after all. All it took was a few instructions about how best to hold the rifle — instructions that seemed counter-intuitive when you read them, but which you discovered actually do work.

Or, maybe you own a Diana 52 sidelever that shoots well when you use the open sights; but when it’s scoped, it shoots all over the place. Then, you read where I say the Diana 52 is a notorious barrel drooper. Its barrel points down — away from the scope’s line of sight — forcing you to crank in almost all of the elevation adjustment the scope has. You reason this cannot be true because the 52’s barrel is fixed in the action. Surely, only breakbarrels can be droopers. Right?

But I come right out and say that the 52 IS a drooper. Despite having a fixed barrel, this sidelever rifle’s barrel often does point downward. Because of that, the scope will have to be adjusted very high in elevation to bring the point of impact back up to the point of aim at 20 yards. You look at your scope and, sure enough, the elevation is cranked up to 7/8 of its travel. Could it be that I knew what I was talking about when I said your rifle’s a drooper?

Just to find out, you try my fix, which is to place a thin shim under the back of the scope — between it and the rear ring. Lo and behold — your Diana 52 becomes the tackdriver everyone said it should be. Maybe that information was worth it? Maybe you will now buy a UTG anti-droop scope base (for rifles with T05 triggers, only) and maybe now your 52 will become your favorite airgun.

Perhaps, you’re the guy who buys pellets like cattle ranchers buy animal feed. Nothing but the cheapest for you! Then, you read where I tested bargain pellets — the very kind you buy — against premium pellets in the same airguns. Son of a gun if those more expensive pellets don’t do better!

If saving money is your primary goal, cut a slot in the top of your head and become a piggybank. If you want to shoot — do it right!

Ballard breaks my heart
That’s enough self-promotion. I make the same mistakes all of you do, which is where today’s blog topic comes from. For the past 5 years, my 1886 Ballard 38-55 single-shot rifle has been breaking my heart. It looks like a million dollars and shoots like — well, you be the judge. This rifle looks like something Annie Oakley might have owned, but it’s been frustrating me at every turn.

Five shots at 100 yards. Every group I have shot from my Ballard has been disappointing like this. Four shots are well under one inch (below the dime, and one shot opens the group. I’ve shot dozens of targets that look like this — both 5-shot and 10-shot  groups — and there’s always one bullet that fails to stay with the main group.

I finally discovered that the Ballard’s rifling twist rate is 1:20″, while most 38-55s are 1:18″ — so most bullets made for this caliber are too long to stabilize unless they’re driven very fast. That leaves me with two solutions. Either I load the cartridge with as much black powder as it will hold, or I shoot shorter bullets. And that brings us to the part about breech-seating.

Breech-seating means shoving a bullet into the rifling ahead of the end of the cartridge. There’s usually a 1/16-inch gap between the cartridge and the base of the breech-seated bullet. Because of that, the cartridge case can be filled to the brim with black powder. A 38-55 cartridge normally holds only about 50 grains of black powder — depending on how deep the bullet’s seated in the case. But when you seat the bullet in the breech, you can get 55 grains and more into a case! That will drive the 250-grain bullet as fast as black powder will push it from this rifle, and that may stabilize the longer bullets I currently use.

I recently acquired a Schuetzen rifle in 32-40 caliber, and it came with a bullet-seater. I haven’t been to the range with it yet; but if it does as good as I expect it to, which means 10 bullets in less than 1 inch at 100 yards and 2-1/4 inches at 200 yards, then I’m going to try breech-seating bullets in the Ballard. I won’t alter the Ballard by installing a breech-seating pin (to hold the seating tool) on the receiver, but I think I’ve figured out a way to breech-seat without altering the rifle.

breech seater
This breech-seating tool came with a Schuetzen rifle I recently acquired. It’s a lever to push a lead bullet into the bore.

Schuetzen with breech seater
The breech seater pushes the bullet into the rifling so the lead isn’t damaged. It’s anchored by a pin that sticks out of the left side of the breech.

If I do breech-seat bullets in the Ballard, perhaps I can use the several molds I already have instead of needing to buy another one for shorter bullets. But — will I blow up the gun?

The answer came in a 64-year-old book written by Ned Roberts of 257 Roberts fame. It’s called The Schuetzen Rifle and was first published in 1951, 3 years after Roberts’ death. It’s really just a compilation of Roberts’ magazine articles and not a very good book on the title subject because it has very little to do with Schuetzen rifles. It’s mostly Roberts’ memories of various black powder rifles he owned over the span of his life. But in one place, he answered my question.

He states that he did breech-seat lead bullets in a 38-50 Remington Rolling Block. He got 55 grains of black powder into the case and seated the bullet 1/16″ ahead of the case, so there definitely was a gap between the cartridge and the bullet. This is the first time I’ve seen breech-seating used with black powder in writing, and it puts my mind at ease about doing it.

Bottom line
The point of today’s report is that books are often the best place to find those arcane, yet vital pieces of information you need to enjoy your sport to the maximum. Because of that, I’ve made a decision.

I have been working on a general book about airguns for almost 20 years, but it has been on the back burner for much of that time. The problem is that the topic is too large to tackle in a single book. But these small books I mentioned today, the one about cast bullets for black powder cartridges and the Roberts’ book about Schuetzens, have inspired me to break the large subject into smaller topics that are more manageble. I’m working on the first one now.

I realize that a small book that gets right to the point and only deals with one topic will be very valuable to someone who needs the specific information — someone new to airgunning, for example. Instead of a lexicon of knowledge, I can package each topic into smaller books that are more concise. I’ve already finished the first chapter, so I know it can be done.

I get questions every week that require a lot of my research in the blogs to find all the answers. It would be so nice to be able to point to a  book that covers everything.

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.

200 thoughts on “Book look”

  1. Knowledge is power! I enjoyed the black powder discussion and maybe I’ll be able to pull it off again.I was really interested in acquiring one of the Remington replicas prior to my hospitalization I sure hope they’re more accurate than the open top Colt designs!

    • Reb,

      Am I correct in my assumption that you are referring to the Navy Colt, etc.? I have a replica Navy that I bought when I was 18. I would not dare shoot it now, however I do recall being able to turn soda cans inside out with it at 25 yards.

      I too have been thinking of adding a Remington to my collection. I think it would be a blast, pun intended, to go to the range and show up some of the modern black pistols.

      • U first one was a .36 CVA 1851 Navy Colt replica that I quickly put 250 rounds through,I bought it brand new for $125 somewhere along the trips we made outta Fla. Up to NY. while my second was a Pietta Dragoon that was as long as my thigh that I caught attack Pawn shop next door to our shop on Burney road in Austin for $40 due to a broken handspring. Never got a chance to shoot that one but got the $40 back outta it a year later at another pawn shop. So my toes have been dipped but space to shoot one is becoming hard to find,no indoor range that I checked would permit BP and land ain’t getting no cheaper.

  2. B.B.,

    I like your idea of smaller books on single/related subjects. Also, your statement of “get’s right to the point” struck a chord as well. That is invaluable.

    While the internet is a great tool for research, when searching, one is faced with a myrid of choices and a whole lot of BS. The printed word is nice in that you can take your time, read and re-read if you want. Nothing to turn on,..just pick up and read.

    At least on Airgun Academy, you can be pretty sure that what you looking for is in here somewhere. Even so, depending on topic of interest, it can still take quite awhile.

    Of most interest to me, and I’m sure other readers, would be basic (outline) of the topics planned for each book in the series. Planned size and length would nice as well. Of course,..all things subject to change. Just a general idea.

    Curious,..if were to do one book,..just how big would it have been? As big as the “Blue Book” ?

    Thank you, Chris

  3. BB,

    Add me to your book of the month club list. A series of smaller books on specific subjects is a great way to make such a daunting task manageable.

    Now, although I am interested in the Schuetzen and do wish to hear more about it, I am knee quivering excited about the scope that is sitting on top of it. Do tell me more.

  4. What’s in it for me….truer words were never spoken.
    B.B. here is my version,
    I have a RWS LP8 and Hatsan 95 Vortex .22 on their way. Great! One is .177 and the other is .22. I should have bought BOTH RWS cleaning kits! However, I bought the Umarex-.22-.177 cleaning kit, J-B Non-embedding, Ballistol, Crosman RMOIL.
    LP8’s Manual says NEVER use a bronze brush in it’s bore, nylon OK? What should I use on cleaning patches? I am in a humid marine environment, what should I put through the barrel for long-term storage(6 months of longer.
    I should have just bought the 2 RWS kits.

    B.B you have a way of explaining human nature that is pretty unique!

    Happy Friday the 13th everyone!


    • Yogi,

      You will probably never have to clean either of those airguns. And a brass brush is what you want when using JB Bore Paste. It doesn’t damage steel barrels, which both guns have. Nylon is okay, but brass or bronzer is best.

      Run a patch soaked with Ballistol through the bore for protection.


  5. Hi BB,

    Actually I am interested in casting bullets and would appreciate if you would share some of the details from the paragraphs that you mention.

    I have cast hundreds of small to tiny jigs for Smallmouth Bass and pan-fish and learned that lead temperature, mold temperature and casting rhythm were the key to perfect jigs. A bit of water-soluble flux (the flux used for stained-glass work) on the hooks made for a good lead to hook fillet.

    I was wondering if my 6-ton electric wood splitter could be pressed (pun intended) into service to swage bullets from cast slugs. Any thoughts?


    • Since I heat with wood and have split a few dozen cords a year,for many years, with a old 20 ton splitter I have some experience with them. I would say absolutely not, because you cannot control what pressure you are delivering at the swagging die.Then you have to make something to hold a die ,and a swagging die. If you want to mess around with simple dies to swag slugs, get a decent hydralic arbor press with a quality gauge . I use a very niceUSA made, 12 ton that McMaster Carr sells, but it isn’t cheap. About 1600 bucks, and then you need to make the dies. I use a 10″ 1939 Atlas for that, and I’m restoring a slightly newer Atlas QC54 with a turret tail stock to make better stuff.Maybe finish that project in a couple more winters.This shooting stuff tends to lead to other stuff…

      • You are right, it would be quite a costly and involved project to setup a rig for swaging pellets at home – casting would be more practical. I was more wondering is 6-tons would be enough pressure to make the lead flow. It’s a hour commute home through farm country. With the car on “auto-pilot” there is time to speculate on things.

        An Atlas!! My Father refurbished a 6” Atlas (probably of the same vintage) when I was a kid. I had to stand on a box to be able to see what I was working on – used to make all kinds of stuff on it! I often miss not having access to a lathe or a mill.

        Yeah, this shooting does lead to other stuff  Working on a wood stock for my AR20 while I am waiting for decent weather.

        • Vana2,

          Have you ever checked out Corbin swaging dies, they can furnish you with anything from pellets to bullets. If my memory serves me correctly, they can be used in a strong O-frame reloading press.


            • Vana2,

              You are welcome! A friend of mine bought some of their dies back in the late seventies, early eighties. Initially, he was able to manufacture jacketed .357 caliber pistol bullets, then he bought the dies to manufacture jacketed .22 caliber rifle bullets using fired .22 long rifle cases as the jacket. Pretty neat! I believe that this was how Speer got into the bullet business during WWII when the metal required for the jackets was scarce. We did some experimentation with the .357 bullets, making our own version of a Glaser Safety Slug, it was devastating! I never tried any of the .22’s. If you would be interested in hearing more, I will gladly expound on the subject.


    • Vana,

      Here’s an article about swaging bullets:


      And here are some articles about casting bullets:




  6. BB: I will also be looking foward to your results with the Ballard and the .32-40. On the books,your idea of breaking down the subjects into smaller books is a great idea.You could have a series of BB”s notebooks on specific airgun topics. Also don’t forget the firearms subjects with your book idea.

    • BTW BB, I still think your flyers in your loads for the Ballard are due to voids in the bullets, much like an unexplained flyer with .22 RF . With the RF bullet there is often a nick in the heeled base of the bullet,especially in cheap ammo, where material is missing causing a lighter bullet. Of course you can’t see this unless you pull some bullets. Getting back to casting bullets for the Ballard:When you strike the sprue plate on your mould ,DON”T!, push it with your gloved hand (welding gloves work for me)or a stick, after it cools throughly. Paul Matthews book also mentions that, and a little experiment to see if you have voids in your bullets.

  7. I have read about breech seating in the past. I understand that it was commonly done for target matches of the past.
    As to preheating moulds, an aluminum mould can be dipped into the lead to preheat it for casting. Iron/steel moulds can be preheated by setting them over the lead pot as it heats up.


    • A temp gauge for the lead pot is also a handy thing to have, as the size of the pot, the amount of lead left in it, and the heat source all play into it.

  8. I have Sam Fadalas black powder book and was amazed how much it takes to cause a failure in a copper tube w black powder.. while an air gap is risky I believe we are talking about 1/2 inch or greater. I suspect most BP failures are from unseen obstructions or several inches of air. Going outside the convention with such beautiful rifle would certainly give me pause!
    New book by you is always a good idea.
    I’m one of lucky faithful who bought the R1 book when it was just minted. Consult it often.

    My tests with the Qiang yuan trainers yielded a .27 inch one hole ten shot group at 26 ft!
    With an hw 35 and iron sights. Incredible pellet!

  9. Hi B.B.

    I really enjoyed today’s article Sir. What you said about books is so true. I’m real happy to hear that you plan to write a complete volume on the subject of airguns. Please let me know how I could purchase them. To me its the equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica,a lifelong reference for my favourite subject!


  10. I have very little experience with Scheutzen rifles, however, I did try to breech seat without modifying my rifle. I use a cartridge case filled to the brim with lead to seat the bullet into the leade. Then after removing that case, use the normal case and load. I have not used black powder for this method, so I don’t know how it would work but the gap between the case and projectile is minimal unless using a long “seating case”.

  11. B.B.,

    Off-topic, but I have a question. Reading about both the Diana Model 27 and the artillery hold has started me to wonder about what I would consider top be my dream air rifle, essentially an underlever version of the 27. As far as I know, no such air rifle has ever been made, but if there is/was one out there, I’d love to know about it. It would be an underlever with direct-loading to the breech (not a taploader). Imagine a Diana Model 430 (non-Stutzen) but about one pound lighter, with a lighter cocking effort, and shooting with less power, ideally 7.5 – 8 FPE. Must have a crisp two-stage trigger, be and an accurate, smooth shooter.

    Has such an air rifle ever been produced?


      • B.B.,

        The Diana 430 is a pretty expensive rifle to purchase to be converted into an all-day plinker. Nevertheless, would a powerplant mod to detune the air rifle by about 20 percent (less velocity, shorter stroke, lighter cocking effort) be possible? Difficult?

        Thanks for your insight,


        • Michael,

          Unless you really have your heart set on an underlever, here are two sidelevers I would highly recommend. The IZH 60 (single shot), IZH 61 (5 shot repeater) or the QB58FC, you can shoot them all day long, especially the IZH series (490 FPS) and the QB58 750 FPS). Check them out.


          • Bugbuster,

            Sidelevers are the worst for me as I am left handed. Because it is so special my FWB 300s Jr. is the only sidelever I’ll keep and shoot, but it is heavy.

            I’m looking for an underlever equivalent to the R7/RWS 27/HW30s. An all day shooter underlever.


            • Michael,

              I am also a lefty, rifles only though (unfortunately, I am left eye dominant) and all of my air rifles are fixed barrel, two underlever and the rest sidelever. With your weight criteria and dislike of sidelevers, the QB58FC would definitely not fill the bill due mainly to its weight of 8lbs. 9oz. with a Bugbuster 3-9X32 scope and UTG cantilever mount. The IZH61 however is another story. It weighs 4lbs. 3.5oz. with a Williams aperture sight. To cock it, I drop it from my shoulder still holding on to the pistolgrip with my left hand and pull the lever to the rear with my right. You could actually do this with the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, the cocking effort is that light! Good luck in your quest!


    • The closest thing to your dream rifle as far as I know is the Weihrauch HW57.
      It`s relatively small and light (but probably larger and heavier than a diana 27, never handled one myself),
      but you can`t load the pellets directly into the barrel, you load them into a slide behind the barrel.
      The trigger is the famous rekord and I`ve read that the gun is supposed to be accurate.
      It is a Weihrauch so build quality should be top notch. The HW57 develops around 12 FPE though.
      And it has very good open sights, as long as you don`t get it with the truglo sights.
      Sadly, I`ve never actually tried the HW57 myself.

      • Jet1991,

        That would be pretty close except for the loading mechanism. I would really want it to be straight into the actual breech, a la the 77. Otherwise, I’d get a vintage BSA Airsporter with its taploader.


  12. Hello All,

    First to B.B., I also think the idea of basically one book, one subject is excellent. As the reader I think such an airgun library will make it much easier to access the subject you are looking for and in this format will make it easier (for me anyway) to retain the information as I read it. Sometimes with one big book things start to run together. As the author I think it will be easier to sell the books and in the long run will be more profitable since you can proportionately charge more for a smaller book without running people off with the price. I think you have the right to make some money from the project. Not just break even. I will buy them.

    Off topic. I have been sick much of the week and have just caught up on this weeks blogs. There are two of this weeks subjects I would like to address. First is the Benjamin Bulldog. As many of the other folks here feel, I think this rifle is very unattractive. The primary reason as I see it is the shape of the shroud. However, I know I have read somewhere recently, but for the life of me can’t remember where, that the trapezoidal shape of the shroud is the major reason this rifle is so quiet. So there is a practical reason for the guns appearance. In my mind that is cause to cut the rifle some slack in the looks dept. Benjamin had to know this rifle was not very attractive but went with it as is for a reason. I think some have referred to it as nearly backyard friendly. I find that hard to believe but we’ll know soon enough from B.B.’s tests.

    Last, I was terribly disappointed with the accuracy of the CZ P-09. I really enjoy collecting and shooting these replica and action handguns but I still want decent accuracy keeping in mind that these guns can only be somewhat accurate. This pistol was not. I expect minute-of-prescription bottle or 1/10th turkey silhouette accuracy at ten yards with pellets. It’s too bad cause this one was on my list.

    Have a great weekend.


      • Vana 2,

        I am much better thank you. I really do use prescription bottles for targets. Good size and they really pop and fly when hit right. Plus, unfortunately, I get a lot of them.


        • Yes, know what you mean. I have a collection of those prescription bottles as well and use them for my fly tying – great to keep hooks and small stuff in.

          My favorite target is Honeycomb cereal suspended on a string – they can be challenging to hit when the breeze is blowing them around.

          Have a great weekend!


          • Vana,

            How original !!! “Edible Targets”. Feeling low?…munch a few targets for a sugar buzz. ( and squirrl friendly )

            I got a steel bottle cap and plastic drink bottle cap collection saved for such occassions. Tub lids also, dip, butter, etc.

            How ever did you come up with cereal? Let me guess…” one morning while eating my cereal,..I thought,..what if….” 😉

            PS…Thanks for the the pellet making comment from the previos blog

            • Hi Chris,

              As a kid I used to shoot at pop-bottle caps all the time but they were a pain to cleanup because they would fly all over the place when hit. Like you I always had my eyes open for suitable targets that were readily available. Yeah, so one morning when eating my cereal I suddenly saw Honeycomb for what it really was: a small bio-degradable reactive target with the added bonus of that they floated (used to shoot at pine cones and chips of wood thrown in the river).

              The portable “target range” consists of a couple of yards of heavy twine with 12” dropper strings tied to it with bent-open paperclips on the ends of the strings. Tie the cord between two trees in front of a suitable backstop, hook the Honeycomb onto the paperclips and blaze away. A can of pellets, a box of cereal and you were good for a couple of hours fun. Very convenient to setup and take down and the birds cleaned up for you.

              Still like shooting Honeycomb… maybe one day I will get good enough to graduate to Froot-loops :-)

            • Chris, USA
              Finally got some of those binder stickers tonight. Not going to be able to try them till Sunday. Got to work tomorrow.

              My wife picked them up at wally world. They come in packs of 924 and they had white which is ok because I will color them with a paint marker. And the other pack has the 4 neon colors; green, orange, yellow and pink.

              So looking forward to trying them Sunday. But from what I see they are exactly what I want.

              • Iran some more through my2400 yesterday and couldn’t find my tape to measure with but I just don’t see the groups getting much smaller with .22 @ such close range and trying to get a field trip together for my last two co2 carts to try it @ 25 yrs,that’ll be about as far as I’ll be able to pull off with my new eyes and the buckhorn rear sight off the 760.Still working on the 4×32 I put on the QB-36

              • Gunfun,

                Glad you got some. They are cool and easy to use. I put ’em on quality graph paper. Draw some cross hairs and stick ’em. The crosshairs make for a nice “cant” check.

                Remember the electric fence post’s as well. Have not not tried ’em yet.

                It’s chrony “play” this weekend. Quite a lot of functions, if you use them all. First try will be indoors with the 92FS sitting at a table with notepad and coffee at the ready. It’s lasered, so shooting through the chrony and at a target at the same time won’t be a problem.

                Don’t want to blast it to pieces. 😉

                • Chrony questions,…

                  Just tried the chrony. Could not get readings at first. Two 75 watt incandescents over head on ceiling. Diffusers on.

                  Next added two 75 watt lamps at sides. Did not help.

                  Tried diffusers off,..did not work.

                  Diffusers back on, cardboard on top with a cut out for a 75 watt lamp in a aluminum “bowl” reflector. Did not work.

                  ( manual states shooting 4″ above “eyes” for unscoped and 6″ for scoped. This was the “zone” I was shooting in )

                  Getting frustrated, and pondering the chrony’s soon to be immediate demise via close range, direct shots……I tried lowering the muzzle to 2″ above eyes. IT WORKED. (Chrony’s immanent demise post-poned.)

                  I was able to get a 10 shot string and then “play” with the stats modes. 🙂

                  This was with a .177, 92FS Co2 pistol with muzzle 18″ from first eye

                  So the questions,…1) Why did the 4-6″ zone not work? 2) Do the “eyes” see only straight up, or, does their “sight” fan out at all?

                  Thanks for any input, Chris

                  • Chris,

                    I shoot indoors a lot of the time. I just shine a 500-watt light on the ceiling, and then I can shoot at up to 6 inches above the skyscreens.

                    .177 is harder to see than .22. Try .22 and you’ll see what I mean.


                    • B.B.,

                      Thank you very much for those 2 tips. I have some notes I made before purchase, and have your suggestion of a 500 watt halogen lamp pointed at the ceiling noted.

                      As for the “eyes” on the Shooting Chrony, they are 1″ wide. So going back to the question,..”do they see straight up, or, does their sight “fan out” the further from the eye”?

                      If they do not “fan out”, then the “zone” would be 1″x6″ for example.

                      On the other hand, if they DO “fan out”, then in theory I could shoot at 6″ high, but, also 1″ left or right of center and the sensors would still pick it up.

                      Given the shape and size of the rods and sky screens, I suspect that the latter is true.

                      Depending on the projectile and given the large area created by the rods and sky screens,…is there as something like a 6″x6″ area in the center of the that triangular zone?

                      Don’t mean to be a “pain”,….I think these are good questions though.

                      Thanks, Chris

                • Chris, USA
                  Sometimes I draw a cross to check cant. But most of the time I don’t. If you shoot field target the kill zone is a round circle with nothing on it to reference cant. Same if I’m taking a shot at a starling or mouse.

                  I try to make sure I hold the gun in its and my natural position.

                  But I for sure that the cross hair reticle is as level as I think it can be. They make bubble levels that have a scope ring type mount that clamps to the scope tube. That’s also a good way to reference that your hold is the same. The better your level is lined up with the reticle is just all the better.

                  And didn’t you say your gun has a laser on it. I never shot through a chrony while a laser was on.

                  I wonder if that will affect a chrony?

                  • Gunfun,

                    Interesting thought on if the laser on the pistol would affect the chrony.

                    In the end, I guess it did not. You can read my comments and B.B.’s on some of the trial and error I went through. Sounds like the .22 will “pick up” much easier.

                    I ordered the laser the same time I got the 92FS, and glad I did. I also painted the sights, as noted in the 92FS Nickle/Wood customer comments on the P.A. site. You’ll get a look at a REAL “newbie”.

                    (Really, look it up.) Was at the top last time I looked. You will get a laugh. I laugh at it myself. 🙂 Be sure your on Nickle/Wood and not on one of the other variations of the 92.

                • Chris, USA
                  Been out shooting since 9:30 this morning.

                  Tryed out the binder stickers. I like the orange and pink the best. When I put them on a white piece of paper it was very easy to see where the pellet hits on the sticker or the paper. The pellet hole looks like a black dot. The green is so, so to see. The yellow is hard to see.

                  And I had my wife pick me up the white binder stickers also. I colored some black and some red. The black is easy to see but if you hit the black part of the sticker its hard to see the pellet hole. The stickers that I colored red where real easy to see.

            • When I was a boy the favorite targets in my neighborhood were Necco Wafers. We used to tie lengths of thread to a convenient tree branch and then use a bit of scotch tape to fasten the wafer to the thread. With the slightest breeze the targets would twist and swing making it more of a challenge to hit them.

              Kevin in CT

              • Kevin in CT,

                Glad you “chimed in”,….got a chrony, as you probably figured out. Got a total of 7 pellets now, (4 tried), + the Predators. We can swap some chrony results and pellet likes and dislikes for the .22 TX’s whenever you want. Not too many people got ’em in .22. Plenty of .177 TX info. though.

                • Hiya Chris, that sounds like a very good idea. I’m try to make some room in my own basement to setup a trap the only problem is that I live in a Cape style house and the footprint is rather small so the shooting distance will not be very long. For those of you that may appreciate vintage sound equipment here’s a shot of some of it. that’s a full restored TEAC reel to reel and a pristine Marantz receiver as well as some other little goodies.


                  • Kevin in CT,

                    Sweet stereo stuff. My Dad was into all that. Now he’s got the i-pod thing and mini high tech. speakers.

                    I got to shoot the 3 new pellet types yesterday. Got the stop beefed up to handle close range TX shots for chrony purposes.

                    Of the 7 types I got, I am doing some weigh and head sort data. I’ll do 1 type and chrony with sorted and unsorted. Spreads should be much tighter with the sorted ones.

                    And since head and weight should affect groups, try that as well. Of course, there in enters the “human factor”.

                    Just some stuff I’m working on.

                    • Chris

                      Got some quick questions for you ….

                      How far are you shooting ?
                      How are you shooting ( bench or other) ?
                      Are you getting any smoke ?


  13. B.B.,

    I can’t help but say that every time I read something you have written about the Diana 27 (one of this weekends radio subjects) that the Weihrauch HW30S keeps coming to mind. It just seems to me that every description you write of the Diana could very well have been written for the HW30S. Do you disagree?

    I feel the same about the HW30S as you do about the Diana 27 by the way. Both are wonderful rifles. The HW30S is still being built though.


  14. G G–In my opinion the most un-attractive thing re the Benjamin Bulldog is the price tag! I use empty pill bottles for targets, but I hang them from a line tied to 2 trees. They dance when I hit them, I don’t have to bend over to pick them up, and they cant run away! Ed

    • zimbabwae ed,

      Yeah, the price is up there but still much less than all the other truly high quality bullpups out there. Let’s hope the Bulldog turns out to be one of those high quality options. If the accuracy is outstanding and the rifle is as quiet as I have been led to believe this rifle will be a steal. We’ll see.


  15. BB,

    (1) Do you weight cast bullets afterwards?
    (2) What would be chance of having a small bubble in casting?

    It just seems to me that there would be a high probability of a small void in a casting which would result in a bullet precessing more, hence going wide.

    • Hi Herb,

      If your mold and the lead are at the right temperature the casting will be very smooth without any voids. Even complex shapes like fishing jigs come out with fine details reproduced.

      Because of its density (clean) lead tends to pour smoothly from the ladle and isn’t prone to bubbles.

      If you use the same alloy and fill the mold properly the results will be very consistent.

      • I’d guess that if voids are present within some bullets then some bullets would have noticeable surface imperfections.

        “Clean” lead is another problem. Using a ladle to fill a mold would seem more problematic than if the melt pot had a bottom hole through which the lead would pour. Even a small amount of scum within a bullet would result in an unbalance.

        • Agreed, one of those commercial lead-pots with the bottom spout are ideal but I never had the cash for one.

          I have poured many pounds of lead jigs and sinkers using a modified soup ladle or soup spoon without problems. With lead the imperfections float to the top and are easily skimmed off. Melt a bunch of car wheel-weights (degrease them first and do this outside!!) and you will see the steel clips floating on the surface – takes a bit to get used to 🙂

          Some heavy wire (coat hanger) flattened a bit with a hammer and lashed to the ladle with wire can be positioned to form a skimmer that works pretty well.

          For melting lead the setup doesn’t need to be fancy, I have always used a thermometer, propane torch, a Coleman camp stove and a cast iron pot.

          Use the appropriate safety equipment for working with molten lead. Don’t ever try to move a pot of molten lead because it is much more difficult to control than other liquids.

          And the biggest caution is to keep water (or other liquids) away from molten lead! The water will flash to super-heated steam and throw hot lead several feet… don’t ask me how I know this 🙂

  16. What a coincidence! I have just read in the course of reading all the previous blogs and comments (November 2010) the article on how you managed to obtain that very rifle by trade to the gunstore that had it. This is quite a good illustration that no knowledge should be lost and overlooked. Those nuggets of information are really very useful when the proper time comes. Please do finish that book of yours as that it is guaranteed to be on every airgunner’s shelf along with the Blue Book.

  17. BB, So glad to hear that you are finally going to write the book,even if it may turn out to be books.

    Thank you for the extra extra work you had to go through to test the Hatsan with solid lead.I really hope it works,or at least provides answers for future situations.Smaller calibre solid projectiles in this or the Hatsan .30 cal.Carnivore would would suite my needs far better than larger big bores as I really don’t need all that much power.

    P.S. How are the cats getting along with a Bulldog in the house anyway?

    Tin Can Man

  18. Bugbuster—–20 @ years ago I bought 300 .22 cal. bullets that had been made from fired .22 longrifle cases during WW2. You can still see the letter H on the base. They were the old copper cases. I reloaded some of them for my .223 rifles. Even at low velocities, they left a lot of copper in the bore, and the accuracy was poor. I show the leftovers to new shooters who are starting to reload. They don’t know very much about the history of reloading. Ed

    • Zimbabwae Ed,
      Wow, those were very old cases which I believe were of Winchester manufacture. At present they must be close a hundred years old. I have only seen one of these old bullets which I acquired back in the seventies, it was made from a brass jacket however and I don’t recall what the headstamp was. Were yours spitzer bullets weighing around 50-55 grains? What was the rate of twist in your rifle and your estimated MV? Years ago, I had loaded some .22 caliber varmint bullets which were 50 grain flat base spitzers of unknown manufacture. According to the manual I was using at the time, they were probably clocking around 3200-3300 MV. As near as I could guess at the time, the jackets were so thin that the bullets were literally disintegrating in flight, leaving a vapor trail behind them, needless to say, they weren’t very accurate.


  19. This is off subject, but noticed the last review Paul did on the Dan Wesson, the closed caption link was there. Edith if that is your doing, thank you very much !
    Best wishes Folks

    • Harvey,

      I mentioned it to Pyramyd AIR, and they say they’ve never had anything to do with it and didn’t know how it was added. And, I had nothing to do with its return. I assume Paul adds the CC script himself.


  20. Predator Metal Mags,

    I got some in .22 recently. I have yet to shoot them, but did “dissect” a few to see how they where made.

    In .22, the pellet measures .425 in length. The tip, taken out, measures .255 and has a “post/pin” on the bottom that measures .100 long and .060 in diameter, which is included in the over all length.

    I took a razor knife and sliced down along the side of the tip to reveal a cross-section. The tip is pressed in and not glued in as you might expect.

    Go on P.A. and look at the comments on them and you will read a few comments about finding pellets missing their tips and the tips are in the bottom of the can. Well, me being me, I dumped them out and found 3 (of 200) missing there tips and the tips in the bottom of the can.

    As for appearance and finish, they are as nice as any I have and have foam in the bottom and top of the can.

    Just some info.,…for anyone interested.

      • Gunfun,

        Why? What do you think would happen? I imagine that it would just get pushed out ahead of the pellet and,…….uhh……mmmm…….maybe go off in a 45 degree angle un-aimed?

        Is that what your thinking of?

        • Chris, USA
          I’m in visioning the worse.

          What if the point hits the rifling and kind of gets caught then the lead pellet trys to push over the top of the metal point.

          • Gunfun,

            So your not going to try ’em?… Ahhhh,….I see,… let me and the TX be the “Guinee Pigs” 😉

            From reading the customer comments on P.A., no such “disasters” occured. Not much other than griping about some loose tips in the can. Accuracy comments varied, of course.

              • Gunfun,

                🙂 Yeah, watch and learn. Some day, I’ll hit you up on some TX tunes. I really would like to see the .22 pellets at about another 150 fps to push ’em out a little further and flatter.

                From some of the gains on tunes I’ve read, 150 probably won’t ever happen. If it did, the shot cycle would get pretty harsh, I would imagine.

                Let me guess,…”Well..if you got this PCP, you could……” Close? 😉

      • Gunfun,

        Tried 5 shots with the Predators. First 3 went into a 4mm. center to center group. Then 1 off. Tried 2 more shots and ended up with 3 at 10 mm. 6 shots total were 18mm.

        I shot the other 3 new ones. I was in the “zone” today with some of my best groups. 🙂
        The Predator test was at the end of shooting and the eyes were getting tired.

        Just an update, since you are considering them.

        • Chris, USA
          The real test of the metal mags is when you start stretching them out past 30 yards.

          If I’m shooting at something at 30 yards. I have more confidence if they group good at a distance farther than I will take my average shots at.

  21. Chris,

    Skyscreen sensors probably do fan out as the distance increases. That’s something that never occurred to me. And each machine would be different in that respect, because the sensors are different.

    I will ask Dr. Oehler, but perhaps I will also test this. I’m guessing that if they do fan out, the amount of difference is negligible, but who knows?


      • B.B.,

        Yes, side to side is what I meant. That gives me some confidence, in that using it wil be easier and does not have to be so precise.

        And,.. knowing that shooting (straight through) in (all) aspects of direction is key as well.

        I need to beef up my stop before shooting the .22 at close range indoors. At 41′ it’s no problem. Since I don’t plan to scope and chrony at the same time,..I will rest the gun 1′-2′ from the chrony and pull the trigger at a stop only about 5′-6′ away.

        Thanks !, Chris

  22. BB,Maybe I’ve been sleeping too much again.P.A. now offers 5 replacement stocks for the FX 2000.I don’t remember seeing anything about that rifle.Is it related to the TX 2000?

    Also,for rifles exceeding 750 fps.and firing lead/antimony pellets.If I run a tin of pure lead pellets through once in a while can I avert,or stave off the need to clean the barrel?Is there a general shot count where cleaning is usually needed?I do remember that you said that a declined accuracy is an indicator.

    Tin Can Man

      • Edith
        I guess I should search FX parts on the P.A. website and see what comes up.

        I would be interested in replacement parts for my Monsoon for just incase purposes.

        Do they have other parts available for the FX guns other than the stocks.

        I never bothered to search for FX parts because I knew they didn’t carry them anymore.

  23. If your going to seat the bullet away from the powder you better have a wad or you will destroy that rifle, NO AIR! But in a rifle length black powder and 250 gr bullet 50gr of black is a lowly load the gun might not like. I would forget the seating/spacing and just play with the loads and bullet weights.

  24. My sympathies with the Ballard. Having one flyer in every group must be exasperating. But if you can count on one flyer per 10 shot group, doesn’t that guarantee some tight five shot groups?

    If it is established that breech-seating will blow up blackpowder guns, why investigate this question, much less try this method? I don’t see that your book source explains how to avoid blowing up the gun. Sounds risky to me. I’m reminded of Little Bill (Gene Hackman’s) description of such an event in the film Unforgiven:

    Little Bill: So, English Bob fires, but he’s so drunk that he misses and hits a mirror. Then, Two Gun Corcoran fires, but his Colt Walker blows up in his hand which was a failing common to that model.

    Reporter: English Bob didn’t shoot an unarmed man did he?

    Little Bill: He wasn’t going to wait for Corky to grow himself a new hand.

    Anyway, caution is called for in the breech seating technique. As a practical question, how does the powder stay in the case if the case is filled to the brim and there’s a gap separating the bullet?


  25. Target Scoring Question,

    I got some Champion “Score Keeper” 50 ft. airgun targets with my last P.A. order.

    The question is, what if a shot lands on the line between 2 numbers. (say 8 and 9) How do you score it?

    Or,….lands (more) on the 8, than the 9. How do you score that?

    Other than measuring group size, this would seem to be another form of fun, informal competition.

    Just curious.

  26. Just a couple of suggestions on the “old guys,” you know the Keith, Hatcher, Sharpe, etc crowd that had more actual working experience with the powder, lead, and hardware than any extant current computer equipped “expert” we know.
    —We must not forget Ed McGivern and his “Fast an Fancy Revolver Shooting” published in 1938. If you learn nothing else from Ed, it’s why just because he’s old, short, and kinda fat, you really don’t want to mess with him. Really.
    —But for a real treasure, custom made for BB’s black-powder quest is actual work(s) of fiction.
    Published in the “Saturday Evening Post,” back when it was worth reading, alongside Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradberry, James Warner Bellah, and CS Forester, was a fellow named Lucian Cary.
    To most of us “of a certain age” all these names, including Lucian Cary should ring a bell. He’s the guy that wrote the series of fictional short stories about “J M Pyne, Master Barrel Maker and Shooter.” Pyne was a very thinly disguised characterization of the real life Harry Pope, who really was the “Master of hand made etc etc.” You may remember these stories republished in several of John Amber’s annual “Gun Digest” publications.
    Well worth a little more research, now that we have the internet. Not quite as much fun as the used book store, though. You might want to search “The Rifleman’s Journey.”

  27. Twotalon,

    Answers to you above questions 1) Indoors at 41′ 2) Bench with bags 3) No visible smoke at all,ever. Can smell something like oil burn when shooting continuous, but only after 30 or so shots. I’ll do 60+ within an hour sometimes.


    • Chris

      I have found that any indication of burning lube will open up velocity spreads.
      When testing pellets, I have found that shooting pellets that do not get along with the power plant very well will cause lube to start burning. When switching back to a “good” pellet, it can take quite a few shots to get the lube burning to stop again.


      Your chrono is very short. Use a front rest and shoot at the same point on the target for all shots. It takes very little change in rest or aim point to cause a very noticeable change in velocity readings. Just that small angle change over the chrono will do it.


      • Twotalon,

        Thanks for all that insight. Notes will be made!

        What do mean “a pellet that does not get along with the power plant” ? Too heavy, what?

        My chrony is short? Range maybe? As for method, I will rest gun in good holder, put chrony 2′ away, heavy stop will be 3~5′ from that. I dont want to scope and have the barrel pointed at the chrony unknowingly. I’m after chrony data at that point only. Should also steady gun well enough that all shots will straight through every time.

        I really would like to keep talking as your comments brought up some questions. I need to get out and do some shopping so I will check back in around 2-3 PM. EST

        Going to get some sweet adj. saw horses for indoor and outdoor bench, plastic but well made.

        Feel free to comment more, Thanks, Chris

        • Chris

          A springer power plant can be very touchy about pellets. We are not talking about accuracy, but how the pressure (power) curve is developed. There is a lot more to it than pellet weight. Two different kinds of pellets of nearly the same weight can cause very different reactions from the power plant.

          Short chrono… not much distance between screens . slight change in angle causes very noticeable change in readings.
          I set up my bench in the basement with all the distance I can get from the muzzle to the pellet trap . Only 9 1/2 yds, but works for most purposes. I measure the distance from the barrel to the floor with the rifle laying in the rest. I set up the pellet trap (center) to the same distance to the floor.
          The chrono is on a tripod a couple of feet in front of the muzzle. The chrono is set up with a level across the top to get it as level as possible, then the height adjusted to about 3 inches closer to the floor than the rifle barrel and the center of the pellet trap .
          Getting the chrono lined up right requires looking down the top of the rifle and at the center of the pellet trap while adjusting where the chrono is. I want the pellet direction to go right over the center of the chrono, and the chrono to be lined up straight. The rods on the chrono should do a good enough job for getting a visual placement.

          So…. rifle, chrono, and pellet trap should be in a straight line, with the chrono 3 inches below the line of fire. As long as I aim anywhere near center of the pellet trap, there is no way to shoot the chrono.


          • I tagged mine the first time the other day.I guess I’m gonna have to find a way to track my shotcount on this 2400, the report was still quite loud but the shot dropped about 3″ and bounced back at me. I don know if it woulda been enough power to dinar the readout but I sure was glad I’d spent the extra dough to get a Master!

            • Reb

              I made a protection device for mine a few years ago when I did some B.C. testing.
              I cut a piece of sheet metal the width of the chrono and enough longer that I could bend the front of it up at a 45 degree angle for deflection while hiding the front of the chrono. This was for 25 yd shooting. Hole in the center. Chrono mounted on the tripod with the plate in between. Had the printer plugged in to catch the readings.
              Also used wooden dowel rods instead of the metal ones in case of hitting a rod. The wooden ones will just snap off instead of transferring too much energy into the plastic mounting fixture.


              • Sounds like a great setup! I wanted to cut a couple pieces of 5/16 plexiglass to guarg the sensors until I realized how much I had let to work with after that last hospitalization. That TV I dropped last night actually caught both feet and had them both pinned while I stumbled and fell onto the airmattress,weighed momentarily and bounced back up to get the bigger off an. The trip to the restroom Thu morning will haunt me for a month or two… Ouch! And another!

          • TT
            What’s up. Have you checked any pellets for fit of pellet to the barrel with chrony results.

            Like use the same type of pellet and brand but different head sizes and see if velocity and spread changes.

            • GF1

              Some times I can change head size on my favorite pellet and see no difference in chrono or accuracy. Depends on how much head size difference there is. The biggest aspect is difficulty in loading.


              • TT
                What do you mean by difficulty in loading? Just in general you like a smaller fitting pellet because its easier to load?

                And how about different weight pellets of the same design and brand.

                Verses velocity and spread against accuracy?

                • Gunfun,

                  This “heading” in the direction of stuff we just talked about, (next pellet choices), and the testing I am/will be doing on pellet sorting and accuracy and chrony results. And, near same pellets with diff. head sizes (factory).

                • GF1

                  There is a limit to loading difficulty that I will put up with . I like it to be within a certain range.
                  Different pellet weight of the same kind ? There is a difference in shape of course, besides weight. A change in skirt thickness might be used to change weight in part .
                  This can change the force needed to get the pellet started moving, even ignoring weight.
                  So the pellets are different and you can expect the gun to respond differently.
                  Velocity spreads and accuracy do not always go together , but sometimes do.
                  I have rifles that prove this either way depending on which rifle chosen.


          • Twotalon,

            Great advice. I like your detalied gun, chrony, target set up. Sounds easy.

            Do you aim/scope a target, or just a trap? Is there a reason you would ever want to target and chrony at the same time, other than to save work and lead?

            And the “biggie”,….PLEASE elaborate on your thoughts on power plants and pellets, I do not ever recall reading this. Even 2 different pellets of near the same weight? I would not expect that.

            I like the wood rod idea. Believe I read it before. And yes,..100% care on shooting straight through. The shield idea was good too. I can make one at work, no problem. Mine has remote read unit.

            On the oil burn, I could see the oil getting thinner and more slippery, thus faster readings. But, I would not expect the “spread” to move to the (bottom) end of the FPS spread. For a test, from cold, I would “warm it up” with 5 and then do 10 shots.

            Wow,…good comment !!!

            Please share more,

            Thank you, Chris

            • Chris

              Edith saved it for you. Thanks, Edith.

              I tack a target or a sheet of paper ( cheaper ) on the trap for a spot to aim at. I don’t do groups when doing chrono. I just aim them to the same spot. Groups take more care , so I keep things to a fairly single purpose.

              You might have lost me with the oil question.
              Dieseling is a somewhat inconsistent animal, and tends to increase velocity spreads. It Does increase velocity a bit from what I have seen, but not enough to be worth worrying about.
              It may be possible under the right conditions that lube burning could even reduce velocity a bit, although I have not seen it happen yet.


              • Twotlon,

                Wow,….lot’s to learn! Sounds like you can not “go in” expecting or predicting results. Very strange. I like to think that things like that can be quanitified with testing,…I guess not.

                As for the “burning”, I probably should have said diesel or some thing. Mine does not do that. I figured that you meant that the oil/lube is just heating up from use and getting thinner. Kind of like shooting in 20 degree weather vs 80 degree weather.

                B.B. says a TX needs “no, notta, zero” lube, as it comes good to go as is. I find that hard to believe, but I got to go with it ’till I hear better.

                As for the short chrony, are you saying that all chronys are short, so be carefull on shooting straight through,…or,…are you saying that there is longer ones? Mine is 12″ eye to eye.


                • Chris….
                  I think there have been longer chronographs made. The shorter they get, the more error you get . This includes problems with lighting. Things get touchy.

                  Keeping your shots as straight through as possible will give you the best results . Keeping it CONSISTENT is important. You will never be able to get straight over the sensors, but doing it consistently will give the best results.

                  By the way, avoid stray light getting in from the sides. You want stray light to be insignificant compared to the light that the sensors see from straight above.


                  • TT,

                    Picked that up from GF (the TT) 😉

                    Yeah, chronys seem to be finicky little devils for sure. You probably read my first test somewhere up in the middle ( pondering the chronys soon to be short life) vs (chronys immenant demise post poned). Would not have done it, but,…I did think about it! 😉

                    I’ll play with lighting. What I did, worked. Picked up 2 Halogen 100W today for above table. Will move to the alum. light if that does not work (1).

                    I swear that I saw a picture in my studies here in one of B.B.’s past blogs that showed a chrony that looked like 20 FEET long or something. NO B.S.

                    Maybe if BB see’s this, he will link it. Probably Military use I would guess.


                    • Chris

                      I do the chrono two different ways in the basement.
                      One way is with the lights hooked onto the diffusers. The other way is with a 500 watt halogen work light pointed on a piece of white display board stapled to the ceiling directly above the chrono.

                      Other lighting…Only other light on in the basement is at the pellet trap in the far room. There are two small basement windows that do not cause a problem until later in the afternoon when the sun comes in and hits the chrono. Drives it nuts with bad readings. I stick a piece of cardboard in the window to fix that problem.
                      Want to hear about a lighting problem ?
                      When first running a chrono check on my Talondor I had a different lighting setup. The velocity started out about right, but kept climbing with each shot . Too high to be right. When it jumped to over 3,000 fps, I knew the lighting setup had to go.


            • Chris

              Another thought…
              I have seen pellets of different weights do what you would not think. The lighter pellet shoots slower than the heavier pellet .
              You pick the right two to compare, and it ruins “the rules” .


              • TT
                That’s where I was going with the questions above.

                You can not always base chrony results with how accurate a gun will shoot a pellet.

                There are way to many variables with the shape of the pelket, skirt sealing and other things come to mind.

                The thing I see I chrony is good for is to test and see if the performance of a gun has changed. Like slowing down or speeding up after tuning. Or if the gun changes over time due to wear.

                I have been surprised many times with chrony results of pellets verses actually shooting the gun at targets.

                The chrony is a good tool but again only true results will be what the pellet produces at the target.

                • GF1

                  I have some rifles that produce the best chrono results, including fpe that also shoot best with a particular pellet. Wish it worked that way all the time but it does not.


                  • TT
                    That’s the truth. Some times all that data gathering will drive you crazy.

                    I found I like to chrony a gun with a known good performing pellet just so I know what the velocity is the guns shooting at.

                    Then I shoot the pellet and see the results. If its not the results I’m looking for I try another pellet.

                    Its to easy to get caught up on the number and data thing. When the only way you will know the true results is shoot.

                    I have not yet found a rule of thumb what is the best type of pellet is to use. If I think its one it will surprise me everytime.

                    • GF1

                      Different ways of getting information will tell you different things, and surprises abound. All information may be useful at some time.
                      BUT remember that each gun makes it’s own rules . It’s just as true today as it was back in the muzzleloader days.


                    • GF1,

                      Got that from TT,…(GF1)….. 😉

                      You shoot today or what? Try them stickers yet?

                      I would shoot some myself, but I can’t seem to pull myself from the on going topic! Darn this blog anways!

                      Oh well, the airguns are getting less wear and I AM learning something! Close to 1000 shots. Not really trying for anything, that’s just what it is.

                      🙂 Chris

                    • GF1

                      I don’t know how many times I have seen someone on another website fighting (and spending money) with a rifle trying to get it to shoot a particular kind of pellet. Some times they succeed with enough time and money spent, but other times they just sell it because the rifle does not like their choice.
                      Someone else will be happy as long as they listen to their gun.


                  • TT
                    You got it.

                    Speaking of airguns. Did you ever get anything figured out with your Air Arms 500.

                    Did that power adjuster help or hurt when you were trying to find the right pellet for it.

                    • GF1

                      The power adjustment does not seem to make any difference on group size With the Exacts. Sure does with wadcutters.
                      Will probably continue just shooting the 18 gr Exacts the way it is.


  28. Bugbuster–I located the box of .22 cal bullets that had been made from .22 LR cases. They have a P on the base( Peters), not the H (poor memory). Some of these projectiles have a firing pin mark (round pin) visible at the edge of the base. I did not ……….22.22load any that had a pin mark. The hand made label on the box is marked 55 grains . I weighed a few and they vary by one grain.They have a deep hollow point cavity. I do not have a record of the loads that I used. The 2 rifles that I used had a 1in 12″ and a 1in 14″ twist. Using good quality match and varmint bullets (50-55g)these rifles grouped 3/4 to 1.5″ groups. The 50 and 53 g bullets gave the best groups. I took the Ruger 77mkll to Albuquerque NM in the summer of 1993 to hunt prairie dogs. I shot several 3.5″ groups (bag rest) at 300 yds . The temp. was 103 in the shade and there was some mirage to contend with. The load was 27.5g 748, bench rest primers and 50g blitz bullets. I could not get the .22 LR case bullets to group under 4″ at 50 yds! Ed

    • Zimbabwae Ed,

      I apologize for taking so long to respond to your reply. I had to do a little research on the available twists for the .223 cartridge. My initial thoughts was that the twist in your barrel was too fast, but I don’t believe that is the problem, if anything, the 1 in 14″ may have been too slow for that weight. It would be interesting to dissect one of the bullets by chucking it (a collet would be even better) as lightly as possible in a lathe or drill press and severing the jacket as far below the ogive as practical with a thin (light duty) cut-off wheel in a Dremel tool. Once separated, which you may be able to do by hand (fingers) with a twisting motion, preferably without pliers, you will be able to examine the inside of the jacket and core. My current thought is that the core is slipping inside the jacket. That’s just me, I have to know how or why things work or don’t work as they should, it’s terrible to be “anal”!

      103 in the shade, I know mirage had to be bad, especially using optical sights. I remember the Blitz bullet but don”t recall the manufacturer of it, in my rifles I used mostly Sierra SBT’s, 101 to the box!


  29. Twotalon,

    Just posted a rather long response. ( I really need to get on that “list” ) Help!, Edith

    That aside, please elaborate more on your comment of how two different pellets with near weights can react so different.

    If the pevious post does not show, I may have some more questions.

    Thanks, Chris

    • Chris

      Looks like your post flew away.

      I went through a lot of pellets testing some of my rifles . Some were pellets I would not consider shooting anyway (wadcutters). Some of these rifles would shoot a round nose pretty smooth, but go beserk with a wadcutter of near the same weight.
      Some round nose of one kind would drive the rifle nuts while a different round nose of close weight would shoot smooth.
      We are dealing with pressure curves generated by the power plant. How hard it is to get the pellet moving, and then the resistance to movement will affect the curve.


      • Twotalon,

        Edith saved the day!,….it’s back (above).

        With your response to Gunfun and the one to me, you gave me a pretty good idea of what your talking about (skirt, wad, round, etc.)

  30. GF1,

    I am really glad you tried the stickers! Makes me happy. 🙂 X3

    I do not know about you,..but I am getting motion sickness from all the scrolling, trying to keep track of who is saying what and where! Guess I messed up by shopping. 😉

    By the way, got the saw horses and will set them up soon. I also got another 100′ steel tape for measuring outside, Komelon, at Wally World and only 9.99$. Got one at work I use all the time. I highly recommend them!


    • Chris, USA
      I haven’t used it for a long time. But my dad gave me a tape measure that has a flip open handle that you real the tape back in. And don’t ask me what brand it is. I will have to get it out and see. But its all could metal. And its somewhere around six inches in diameter and its a brown color. I have no idea how old it is. But it always has worked as if it was new. Matter of fact I’m going to put up a privacy fence for the kids with their swimming pool and trampoline.

      My dad farmed but he also surveyed part time with the state. So I’m guessing that tape measure was used at times for that. Wish I knew more about surveying. I bet that could be used some kind of way for air gunning and scopes.

      And yes totally happy with the stickers.

      And yes still shoiting. Matter of fact with both of my neighbors on the left and right if me.

      Were ringing out the Monsoon. They luv it.

  31. TT
    What power setting worked the best for the wad cutters? Low or high?

    And I forgot was your 500 .22 or .177 cal. If its .22 I tried the 15.89’s and the 18 exacts and they seem like the same pellet to me. The FX Monsoon and the Walther LGU both like both weight exact pellets and shoot the Sam groups with each gun.

    And the Monsoon needs its fill pressure to be different for different weight pellets but not with the two different weight exact pellets.

    • GF1

      Wadcutters had to be slow to be useful . Around 600 fps. Might have been better even slower.

      The 16 gr Exacts did not shoot as good as the 18s. Have some Monsters that I did not try. I don’t think that a S500 has the guts for pushing that much lead.


      • TT
        I have the best luck with slower velocities with wad cutters.

        And I’m surprised how well the LGU shoots the heavier exacts.

        Just another one of those pellet things. And you should try the monsters. Could be a surprise. Well hopefully a good surprise.

  32. BB,

    The disruption of barrels does not only occur with black powder. There is a British article written in the years 1930/40 dealing with this subject. The reference and an excerpt of the study was in a green band Penguin detective of that time. I can not locate the book at the moment but probably will be able to do that in the begin of May.

    The article states that the disruption occurs when the room between the cartridge and the obstruction (they were researching a slightly different situation) is large enough to develop a disruptive self amplifying wave between the cartridge and the obstruction.

    That explains why a small gap will not cause a disruption; the cavity is to small and only higher harmonics can develop which (I presume this, as the article does not go into this specifically) are not strong enough to blow up the barrel.

    What a small enough gap is to be save is also not clear, so it pays to be quite careful with this experiment with your Ballard. Maybe one of your British readers can find the reference.

    Your choice of breaking up you book is a good one. If I may suggest something: Can you begin with a book for beginners? From your columns it is quite easy to distill a set of chapters setting out the basics of airguns, ways of shooting, safe shooting practices, setting up a scope, uses of airguns etc. It would be very handy for the starting young air gunner (and older too!) to have that in a small book which can be easily given with the first airgun.



  33. BB,

    On your comment, on my comment, (above), of the 20′ long chronograph,….I searched all my favorites and searched “chronograph” in the search box,…and turned up nothing.

    If you saw it, you would remember it.

    Maybe some one will see this and post it. If I was to guess, I saw it here.

    P.S. Thanks for all you do.


  34. Twotalon,

    Talondor? (from above somewhere) Is that a high-bred between a Talon and a Condor? I think I asked that before, but don’t remember an answer. 3,000 fps on the chrony? NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A TUNE ! 😉

    Just curious, at what point did you get suspicious of the results,…1500?, 2000? 😉

    • Chris

      Talon (.22)running on a Condor power supply.

      When It went a bit over 1,000 I was suspicious. At 1,000 I knew something was wrong for sure. It kept climbing in larger and larger steps.
      In reality, 950 fps average for 30 shots with Kodiaks. Nice curve .


      • TT,

        Great story though,…..now be honest,..I’ll bet there was a minute there, where yours eyes got wide, your head started spinning, and you wondered,…..WHAT IF?

        Ahhhh,….I’ve discovered the “magic tune”,….a real “break through in air gun tech”

  35. Chris

    Really…when it hit 1000 without any sign of peaking out, there had to be something wrong.

    What was happening was the muzzle blast was bouncing a sheet of cardboard on top of the chrono. I had the work light above the chrono, and a sheet of cardboard with slots cut in it over the diffuser screens. Too much muzzle blast.


  36. Mr. Gunfun1,
    Air guns are a renewed hobby, my shooting skills were developed as a child by air guns. I held a 298 avg. in competition with small caliber (.22Lr)
    I’ve learned a great deal on this site and wanted to share the 880 mod I’m developing.


    • Trim Tab
      Your air gun story sounds similar to mine.
      I shot out on a farm growing up. From air guns to firearms. And a little while back got into air guns again. And very glad I did.

      And I would be interested in seeing your 880. Can you post something here on the blog?

  37. I’m going back to open sights for a bit, having too much trouble with head position repeatability with the scope. adjusting a 100 yard scope for 10 is like a dog chasing his tail for me, poor eye sight doesn’t help any, Experimenting with clamping a chin rest in place, which seems to be the way to go but the hollow stock is another challenge in itself. looking to buy another butt stock and do a major reconfiguration to it such as adjustable chin rest, hand grip position. any Ideas? not ready to trade in my 880 yet.

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