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Ammo Best of B.B.: Spring gun performance as caliber changes

Best of B.B.: Spring gun performance as caliber changes

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Spring gun performance as caliber changes
  • .177 caliber
  • .20 caliber
  • .22 caliber
  • .25 caliber
  • Results

This is a report I wrote in 2008. I selected it for today’s blog because we have so many new readers that I felt it would be good to go over the basics, again. We’re going to discuss the basics of spring-gun power. This report demonstrates how the muzzle energy of a spring gun increases as the caliber increases.

Spring gun performance as caliber changes

This is an indoor test I’ve wanted to do for more than 10 years. Because I own a Whiscombe JW 75 with all four smallbore barrels, I can test how each caliber performs with the rifle set at one specific power level so I can control as many variables as possible.

Whiscombe with barrels
My JW75 has barrels in all 4 calibers: .177, .20, .22 and .25.

Popular theory says there should be a power increase as the caliber increases. Velocity is unimportant, as we’re looking at power, only.

I also learned last year that .20 caliber is less efficient than .22 caliber when pellets of the same weight are used. I have a supply of 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers in .20 caliber, so when I tested the first .20-caliber Condor I was surprised to see it shoot slower than the .22-caliber barreled Condor with the same pellet. I don’t think it’s friction with the bore, but rather the .20-caliber pellet has a smaller surface area against which the compressed air can push. This test with the Whiscombe should be interesting from that aspect, too. Let’s begin!

I removed the transfer port limiter for today’s test so the gun would run on full power in all calibers. The temperature was 70˚ F, and the humidity was 55 percent. [Note: The Whiscombe rifle has different sized air transfer ports. I was running the gun without them, which means it is wide open — as powerful as it can get.]

Whiscombe transfer port
That hole in the receiver with the Allen wrench sticking in it is one of the transfer port limiters. For this test I removed it and shot the rifle wide open!

transfer port limiters
These Allen screws are the transfer port limiters. The one with the tiny hole at the bottom is the 12 foot-pound limiter that was in the gun when I got it. By removing all limiters and leaving the transfer port wide open, you get the maximum power the rifle can deliver. That was how I ran the rifle for this test.

.177 caliber

RWS Hobbys averaged 1221 f.p.s. They ranged from 1191 to 1238. The average energy was 23.18 foot-pounds

Crosman Premier 7.9s averaged 1139 f.p.s. The range was 1136 to 1142. The average energy was 22.76 foot-pounds

Beeman Kodiaks averaged 959 f.p.s. The range was 948 to 971. The average energy was 21.65 foot-pounds.

Eun Jins averaged 719 f.p.s. The range was 709 to 727. The average energy was 18.49 foot-pounds.

Let’s look at the same rifle in .20 caliber. Nothing but the barrel was changed for this test.

.20 caliber

14.3-grain Crosman Premiers averaged 847 f.p.s. The range was 839 to 860. The average energy was 22.79 foot-pounds. In .20 caliber, the Crosman Premier weighs 14.3 grains — the same as .22 caliber.

Beeman Kodiaks averaged 858 f.p.s. The range was 851 to 863. The average energy was 21.75 foot-pounds. In .20 caliber, the Kodiak weighs 13.27 grains, making it a light- to medium-weight pellet.

Eun Jins averaged 539 f.p.s. They ranged from 518 to 554. The average energy was 15.29 foot-pounds. They were very tight in the breech and hard to load.

Next, I swapped the .20-caliber barrel for a .22. Again, there were no other changes to the gun. This is what I got.

.22 caliber

Crosman Premiers averaged 906 f.p.s. The range went from 904 to 908. The average energy was 26.07 foot-pounds.

RWS Hobbys averaged 983 f.p.s. The range was from 975 to 990. The average energy was 25.54 foot-pounds.

Eun Jins averaged 580 f.p.s. They ranged from 571 to 590. The average energy was 21.22 foot-pounds.

Finally, I installed the .25-caliber barrel. Again, nothing has been changed except for the barrel.

.25 caliber

Diana Magnums averaged 813 f.p.s. They ranged from a low of 807 to a high of 819. They produced an average energy of 29.36 foot-pounds. Diana Magnums weigh 20 grains. They were tight in the breech and loaded hard.

Beeman Ram Jets averaged 725 f.p.s. The range was 719 to 728. The average energy was 28.25 foot-pounds.

Beeman Kodiaks averaged 571 f.p.s. The range was 549 to 592. The average energy was 22.45 foot-pounds. They were an extremely tight fit in the breech and had to be hammered in with a rubber hammer. I would not have used them, had I not been doing this test.


Here are the top energies observed for the four calibers tested in this rifle.

.177: 23.18 foot-pounds
.20: 22.79 foot-pounds
.22: 26.70 foot-pounds
.25: 29.36 foot-pounds

So, except for the .20-caliber barrel, there’s a linear power increase as the caliber increases. I have no way of knowing if I’ve hit on the most powerful pellet in each caliber — in fact, the odds are against it, except perhaps in .177. There might be a much better .20-caliber pellet that would vault the .20 above .177, where we all think it belongs. The relationship between the calibers, however, (.177 lowest and .25 highest) will probably remain in this order when the best pellet for power is determined.

The .20-caliber barrel for this rifle seems to be on the small side, as two of the three pellets were snug. Only the Kodiaks fit well. The .25-caliber barrel was also snug. Of all four barrels, the .22 seems to fit the most pellets.

I was surprised that .20 caliber was less efficient than .177, but that’s just in this particular rifle. However, .20 caliber is also behind .22, where I expected it to be. In the late 1990s, the British airgun magazines had an ad campaign that touted the .20-caliber Crosman Premier as more effective over longer range than the .22. I think my experience with both the Condor and now the Whiscombe disproves that, or at least makes it suspect. In the same powerplant, I have twice seen .20-caliber Crosman Premiers go slower than the .22-caliber Crosman Premiers of the same weight.

If this same test were run on the AirForce Condor, I would expect the relationships to remain as they are, with the exception of the .20 caliber that I think would surge ahead of .177. However, the heavier pellets would produce more energy than the light pellets, in all likelihood.

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.

137 thoughts on “Best of B.B.: Spring gun performance as caliber changes”

  1. If your .20 caliber pellets weigh the same as your .22 pellets, they should be slower because your surface area for pushing them down the barrel is only 82.6% as great, all other things being equal.

  2. .20 is probably touted as better at longer ranges because of the more favorable ballistic coefficient, provided you can launch them at the same velocity as a .22 (given the same weight.)

  3. Sounds like whoever you got that Whiscombe from liked shooting through that .22 barrel. 🙂 I’m sure availability of accurate pellets had something to do with how much tighter the.20 & .25 are on their pellets. Good test by the way!

  4. B.B.,

    Nice (re)-report. Of interest, a test, within a test, was done at the same time…that is the effect of pellet weight vs spread, avg., energy. Pellet weights are missing from the test for the most part.

    As a rule, given the same caliber, in the same gun,….as pellet weight increases,…one would (expect) velocity to drop and muzzle energy to increase.

    I did a test of 8 pellets, all different weights, in the .22,TX200 awhile back. As the weight increased, there WAS a (general) decrease in speed and a (general) increase in muzzle energy.

    But,….there was anomalies that occurred in the data….
    – In 3 cases, a heavier pellet shot faster than a lighter one
    – In 4 cases, a heavier pellet decreased in muzzle energy when compared to a lighter pellet.
    – Spreads of the 8 varied from 7~27 fps.
    – Avg. speeds of the 8 varied from 691~584
    – Muzzle energy of the 8 varied from 12.8~16.0

    As an extreme illustration,..
    – HN, 14.66, 691avg.,15.5 m.e.
    – JSB, 18.13, 611avg., 15.0 m.e.

    When arranging the data from lightest to heaviest pellet, my 3rd. lightest pellet had more m.e. than the 7th. heaviest. ( as noted just above ).

    Anyway, all interesting and all informative, however neither of the 2, group the best.

    Perhaps, the most important thing, you won’t know any of this, without a chronograph.


    • One correction, the JSB, 18.13 are showing the best at 25 yards along with AA, 13.43

      Both are doing .750 at a measured 25 yards. 10 shot groups.

      Note the weight difference,…m.e. is 15.0 and 12.8 respectivly, which would be of interest to a hunter.

      • Chris, USA
        I just texted with GF1 and he stated that you were interested in my email and phone info but that he had not gotten the ok from you to give me your info to me as of yet so if you are interested just let him know by text and I will send you a email with my info once you tell him it is ok to do so.

        Hope to hear from you soon


        • Buldawg,

          Vana2 posted his e-mail the other day to me and again to Gunfun yesterday. My first one to Vana contained a wrong letter, so I re-sent one yesterday. I did mention that he could give my address to Gunfun. ((You are welcome to have it too)), whoever gives it to you. I have not re-checked it.

          I do not e-mail much at all. I check it about 1x per week to “dump” replys to blog post and misc. But,… maybe you all, or,…(ya’ll) for you Southeners,… will get me into it. 😉 Chris

          • Chris, USDA
            I check email everyday but then I have much more time on my hands than you and find that if I don’t check it everyday the there are several hundred that I must sift thru so it is easier to check every day. I much prefer to text than email as I am a index finger typer so it is easier to text than email.

            I will look at yesterday posts to get the info and send you a message with mine


            • B.D.,

              Several hundred,…really? I would shut the ol’ “puter” down for good if that happened to me. But, that’s me.

              As for a phone, I got a “dumb” one. I don’t text at all. Matter of fact, it is only on about 4~6 hrs. a day as it is. Take as long as you want for an e-mail. Chris

              • Chris, USA
                Gunfun just text me your address and I left you mine just below your GF1 last post to you so I am going to send you my info and I do also prefer good old fashioned phone conversation as well.

                In fact I am still mainly old school in that face to face or over a phone is the best form of communication there is and all the new technology only serves to create discord and mistrust which in turn escalates into the shooting and crazy events we see on the news every day. So I have yet to see more benefit than destruction from it in my opinion.

          • Chris, USA
            I looked for your address in some of the earlier blogs and could not find it in a response to vana2 so here is mine so that you can email me at your convenience.

            You can contact me at buldawg76 at cableone dot net

            Talk to you soon

  5. G’day BB,
    How about doing that same test at 50 yards with an AirForce with pellet drop recorded. The Brits were rabid about how flat the .20 cal shot comparatively. That should put the icing on the cake.
    However, the last time I checked my Eliminator it was in your range of FPS with Crosmans, maybe a smidgen higher.
    Cheers Bob

  6. I think pellet fit has to be the defining factor in why things were different than expected. I have looked at this test before and just always wonder how significant the fit of pellet into barrel is when determining the final FPS and FPE of a pellet in a particular gun.

    I know it is wishful thinking, but running tests of each of these pellet/barrel combinations along with additional pellet testing varied by head and skirt size, in addition to weighing the pellets used in the various combinations would be one very time-consuming way to check things in order to remove another variable from the equation.

    I have just seen many tests in the past year or two where a post was made showing a pellet of the same weight with a different head diameter resulted in better performance. One was earlier this week, I believe…

    • Qjay,

      I recently did a test on 3 pellet types, all domed. I weighed and head sorted them and then shot them through a crony. 10 each.

      All 3 shot a greater fps spread than random picked pellets of the same brands. 1,2 and 11.

      I can not explain it. I figured that the power plant must have more of a variable effect than consistant pellets,..for the better results not show themselves.

  7. BB,

    Ive got 2 questions for you regarding my hw80.
    1 does it need a 10.000shot maintenance? The rifle never had any maintenance except the outside being oiled everytime I shot it.

    2 maybe the spring needs some gunoil. Can I take the stock off and apply some gunoil to the spring….WHTHOUT taking the spring out of the action?

    • Dutchjozef,

      I find that ther R1 tells me when it needs something. The piston squeaks when it gets dry, and the mainspring makes noise and more vibration when it needs oil.

      It couldn’t hurt to look, though. Here is the series in which I took my R1 apart.



      • BB,

        Ive read the report again, and there is no mention of gunoil application to the spring. I dont wanna take it apart myself and put tar on it. By all means…..im no handyman
        I can take anything apart….. but putting it back together is an other story:)

          • BB,
            Thats a clear answer.
            I thought I noticed a little change in the cocking behaviour. … just at the last 4 inches of the stroke.

            But in between our blog posts, I shot several 100 shots keeling. ….and I noticed nothing. But your right… thr rifle tellz you if it needs something.
            If it needs anything. …ill bring it to my gunsmith.

            Thanks and have a nice weekend for all of you.

            Ps: I wanna remind you: you bought a hw35, Its somewhere in your house… just in case you forgot!!

              • BB,

                Make sure you check the 35 when Dennis Q. gives you back that nice little .177….. cos chances are its now spitting out .50 cannonballs! Youll probably blow your pellettrap trough the kitchenwall.

                Then you got some explaining to do.
                It wont be the first time though. …Edtith? 🙂

  8. I just received the last of my parts to build my .25cal 2240 carbine on hpa. I have already built very similar ones in .177&.22, so my chrony comparison should be interesting.

    • I’ll be anxiously awaiting your results!when I get done building my 3400 I plan to get a2240 and do one from the ground up with one of their breech/barrel/shroud kits.

      • You’ll be very happy with the quality of the product, but prepare yourself to be patient when it comes to communicating with BNM. Sergio will get your order through, but it may take some time, and he’s not the best communicator…

          • Yeah I almost pulled the plug on this last one, but I’m glad I knew what I was dealing with…a loooong wait, almost no communication, but finally beautiful parts that work very well arriving on my porch. I wish it was easier to post pics on here, but I guess we get what we pay for, eh?

    • DS
      I am about to get my tubes back for my two 2240s to get some tune and testing time on them and have been considering converting one to a 25 cal as they are both 177 now with a 24 inch and 20 inch barrels.

      I would most likely convert the less accurate of the two as one has a disco 24 inch barrel and the other is a Daisy Avanti 853 20 inch LW barrel machined to fit in the crosman breech.

      Is the 25 cal barrel a custom machined barrel to fit in the 2240s steel breech or have you had a custom breech and barrel made to possibly be a repeater as well. I have seen DAQ and BNA setups for this conversion but am not in a position to spend the money those conversion will cost. any info you could or will provide would be useful and appreciated.


      • BD,
        Sorry it took so long for me to see your comment. I have the BNM kits in all 3 calibers. I haven’t tried the .25 cal kit yet but I hope to build it today. It takes a 20″ Marauder barrel, which appears to have a few extra reliefs machined into it for the set screws. This will replace a stock steel breach and 24″ barrel that I’m currently running on this gun. I’LL let you know once I shoot it over the chrony. If I had the resources that you do, I think it would be fun to machine a single shot steel breech to accept a .25 cal barrel (I have a spare one if you want it).

        • DS
          I would be interested in I am assuming a spare steel breech you mentioned to be able to machine to accept the 25 cal barrel. my question is if the OD of the 25 cal barrel bigger than the 2240 steel breech and if so is there enough material to machine out the breech to fit or do I have it backwards and you are meaning you have a spare 25 cal barrel that could be machined to fit in the 2240 breech.

          If it is a spare 25 cal barrel I am most definitely interested as I have steel breeches on my 2 2240s now so I could just machine one of them, but I have no 25 cal barrel so that would make it even easier and better to just make the barrel fit the breech as I do have access to a lathe and mill.

          If it is a barrel you are talking about then just let me know what you want for it. it may be a few weeks before I can be able to pay for it as I have my disability hearing this Wednesday and until I know the outcome of it my money is limited at this time, but I am interested in a 25 cal barrel for sure so do not get rid of it before contacting me ok.


          • Didn’t mean to mislead you…I just have an extra Crosman steel breech in .22 cal. I’ll measure the od of the .25cal M-Rod barrel if you’d like. But I’m using the only one that I have.

            • DS
              I have two steel breeches on both my 2240s so I am not in need of the steel breech and there is no difference between a 177 and 22 cal steel breeches from crosman other than the bolt probe and o ring for the probe to fit either the 177 or 22 barrel.

              I would be interested in the OD of the 25 cal barrel at the breech end to see if it could be machined to fit the stock crosman breeches that you have and where you purchased it from so I could look into it for a future possible upgrade to one of my 2240s depending on how they do with the disco tubes and 177 barrels as my main goal was to have two light weight FT guns to use at my monthly matches.

              But a nice 25 cal thumper would be nice also if the shot count was in the 8 to 10 shot range per fill and had decent velocities and fpe numbers.

              So any info on the 25 cal barrel would be very appreciated and helpful for a future project.


              • The OD of the 25 cal barrel is .499″ all the way down. I think the transfer port lines up differently but I’ll compare it with a 2240 barrel when I can dig one out. The flooR of the Crosman breech is thin (.047″) so it seems like it would be easiest to machine down the barrel to make it fit. Also, the Oring is located in a channel in the barrel breech rather than on the bolt probe. Hope this helps!

                • DS
                  The crosman breech is machined to accept a 7/16 barrel or .4375″ diameter so it would be easier to machine the barrel down to fit and the o ring on the barrel would only help to seal the barrel to the breech along with the probe o ring.

                  It does not sound as to big a project and actually the hardest part would be modifying a barrel band to secure the barrel to the front end of the air tube or it may work just as well free floating.

                  You still have not provided your source for the barrels so that I can purchase one when it comes time for the start of the project.


                  • Buldawg and DS
                    That barrel sounds like how the 60c Barre’s are made.

                    That’s what I basically had to do to that 60c barre I did on that one 2240 hi-pac gun I had.

                    Plus I had to put a lead in chamfer in the barrel for the Crosman bolt probe o-ring to seal. and spot face or counterbore the transfer port hole to accept the Crosman transfer port bushing.

                    But yea the 60c barrels use the o-rings on the barrel to seal the transfer port area.

                    Mike has .25 caliber barrels available for the 60c also just incase you can’t find a barrel to modify. Oh and also the FX smooth twist barrels can be bought separately.

                    Just thought I would throw that info out if you wanted to go that route.

                    • Gunfun
                      I remember when you turned that 60c barrel down to fit your 2240 setup and the extra two o rings would just help seal the barrel and as far as the leade for the probe o ring I have already done that with the Daisy Avanti barrel in the one of my 2240s so it no big deal to do that as well as spot face the barrel to accept the 3/16 ice maker tubing as a transfer port since for a 25 caliber gun you will need at least that big if not maybe a little larger.

                      I had thought of those barrels but I believe that they are bigger than the .499′ barrels the DS was using so there would be less metal to remove than a 60 c which is 15mm or just over ,590″ so the smaller barrel would be easier to modify a front band to fit than the 15mm barrel.

                      I had not thought about the FX smooth twist barrel and wonder what its OF is in stock trim.


        • DS
          I to am only tuned for 2000 to 2200 psi fills on my disco tubes that I should have soon so I would be very happy if I could get 10 very accurate shots from one fill just as you state being a very accurate slingshot. I don’t expect to get any more than that at any type of decent velocity and my tubes will be 105 cc and 85cc respectively for a 16.5 inch tube and a 14.5 inch tube so if one were to be modified for a 25 cal it would most likely be the 16.5 inch tube but I am awaiting the result you get to make any decisions at this point.


        • DS
          I’m with you on the 2000 psi fill.

          And you know that is a good way to think about how the gun should perform. That .25 caliber pellet has some mass to it plus it should retain its energy.

          I never tryed chronying a sling shot so I don’t know what fps they will produce. But I bet if you shoot a 1/2″ diameter steel ball it would make some pretty decent fpe. Plus the mass of that big diameter ball hitting something is going to do some thumping.

          I do still have one of those Wrist Rocket sling shots somewhere. I may just have to dig it out and chrony some different types of ammo. That could be interesting. I never thought about fpe with a slingshot.

          • I took an armadillo with a wrist rocket and a penny back about’98.caught him right between the eye and left ear on a fishing trip.it slowed him down enough for me to get.My hands on him.the part I really like about hunting them is if you know what you’re doing you can get within arm’s reach of them but if you don’t incapacitate them first you gotta fight on your hands an maybe all the way up the front too!
            Kinda like a little armored pig that can’t see 3’and can’t look up.gotta check your footfalls and keep the wind in you r face as well as not block what’s left of the sun.

          • Gunfun
            I to have a wrist rocket slingshot and used to get the ball bearing from axles and trans input and output shaft at work to use as ammo and I have no chrony numbers or fpe numbers but I can say a 1/2 inch ball bearing would easily fly 1/2 mile in a upward arch with ease and aiming at old car door and fenders out in the boonies where we hunted a 1/2 inch ball bearing at 50 feet away from a car door or fender would penetrate it with ease and if both doors were on the car it would pass thru both leaving a 3/4 to 1 inch hole thru both sides and I shot one at an engine block in the old car at 25 feet away with it drawn back as far as my arms would stretch and it put a hole thru the cast iron Chevy V8 block from the front right below the cylinder head.

            So while I was never that accurate and much more than 50 feet they will make some very good power numbers especially with hardened steel ball bearing as that is just about as hard of a steel ball you will find for free. Still have mine and it just needs new surgical tubing on it to be back to brand new condition.


            • Buldawg
              I’m sure the tube needs replaced on mine too.

              I never shot at no engine block but yea I could see it penetrating if you hit the water jacket area around the cylinder. And we had some old cars out on the farm and I know I could shoot threw one side of the metal door with my wrist rocket.

              I use to shoot rabbit with mine out on the farm and pest birds. It would knock them about a foot back when I would hit them out to about 25 yards.

              I use to practice shooting at the old thick glass Coke and Pepsi bottles. It would shatter them at 25 yards.

              But yea I really do wonder what kind of fps and fpe they really do make. I

              f you get yours out and fixed up. Chrony it. I would like to know the numbers.

              • A .50 inch steel bearing weighs about 75 grains, and some of the world’s best shooters get them up to about 275-300 fps, so your lookin at 12-13 fpe. You can also use 50 caliber lead balls, which really have a thump factor. I have 9 custom slingshots (some of which I’ve built), and it’s amazing just how accurate you can become when you learn the proper technique. There’s a lot of slingshot videos on YouTube that will amaze you like people who cut playing cards and light a match with one shot at 30 feet. For sheer entertainment plus some good slingshot capability info look up “jorg sprave” on youtube.

                • DS
                  If they are shooting 300 fps with a 75 grn ball that’s right at 15 fpe. Plus that big .500″ diameter ball is going to place that 15 fpe in a big impact area.

                  And I haven’t checked out any sling shot video’s so I will search that info you gave. Thanks.

                  • DS
                    129 grn. I knew them things packed a wallup when I was a kid shooting them.

                    I haven’t really shot mine that much. Just here and there.

                    Now I got a good place to shoot.

                    I think I get me a bag of that Eco friendly ammo and see how far I can stretch out some shots. You know gumball or jawbreaker ammo.

                • Speaking of which,, google slingshot mishaps,, and you get to see this gentleman knocked off his feet and bleeding profusely from the forehead. I explained what you get to see for those who don’t like to google. He came very close to killing himself and he is an extremely experienced slingshot user. These are not toys, either.

                • DS
                  the .50 inch ball I would think could exceed the 300 fps mark but then I have no data to support that either so I will assume you have obtained some data.

                  I would think that the lead ball would possibly be somewhat slower but develop more fpe due to the extra mass of lead versus steel.

                  I have never really done much experimenting with my wrist rocket other than some mediocre hunting as a youth with it and as I said I never developed any real accuracy with one versus a pellet gun so, it was more for just destroying things than actual precision target practice. But I know that with practice they are a very deadly weapon that needs nothing more than a person and some form of ammo to be very deadly and stealthy.


              • Gunfun
                it would be interesting to see what kind of number they would produce that’s for sure I am not sure I could pull one back my arms length of almost six feet anymore with the shape I am in as that is how I would shoot one was with the hand holding the slingshot outstretched and rigid then pull the pouch with ball bearing all the way back till my other arm was completely outstretched as well so me being 5′ 10 ” tall it would bne loaded to that distance when released.

                I will get mine out as I know right where it is and see just what kind of shape the tubing id in and try to get some numbers if possible my only fear is my aim not being what it used to be and it destroy the chrony with a misplaced shot. A 1/2 ball bearing will do way more damage than a little 177 or 22 pellet would do the mass and weight of the ball bearing.

                but I will try on a non rainy day which should be Tuesday or Wednesday here.


                    • I’ve got one that made it through the move but needs new tubing and I’m not good enough to shoot it inside.

                    • Gunfun
                      You can go to any health care supply store and buy the surgical tubing that is used as tourniquets and I know my tubing was the light brown color and am not sure if there is much of a difference as long as it is a tight fit on the arm of the sling shot and mine was just tied around the slot in the pouch for the ammo.

                      good luck and shoot safe.


                  • Reb
                    Believe me that happened more times than not as you get used to shooting one and it is always painful most especially with 1/2 steel ball bearings and it is a wonder I did not knock out some teeth in the learning process.

                    I never was a very good shot with one and as long as the target was at least 4 foot square I was ok in hitting it.


                  • Gunfun
                    Yea it will be one day after Wednesday and I know where the slingshot is but have to round up some ammo as I do have several old ball bearings that only take a cutoff wheel to obtain quality ammo.


                • Buldawg
                  I think mine was more yellow colored.

                  But yea same stuff.

                  And the guys that are doing RC gliders that are not powered by fuel or electric launch their gliders the same way. Matter of fact that was how I learned to fly RC was with that kind of launch system back in the late 70’s with 2 channel gliders. (rudder and elevator control) then I started flying the gliders with rudder, elevator and alerion control. Then used the Cox .049’s and the OS .10 engines to power them.

                  Before I knew it I was flying them around like a airplane.

                  Then the stunt planes came about and just like cars or airguns it was all over. It was full speed ahead after that.

                  I’m like that for some reason. Its either a blessing or a curse. I haven’t figured that out yet.

                  • Gunfun
                    I did just about the same thing only I got hooked on dirt bikes before my glider/line controlled planes morphed into RC planes. The actually enduro bikes which are now called dual sport bikes took over my whole life and time availability from 14 to 24 or 25 years old. they only had lights on them until I got my drivers license and a truck to put the bike in and then the lights and anything that added weight was removed and scrapped for plastic fenders and full knobby tires instead of those dual purpose wannbe knobbie tires.

                    It was 85 when I got hooked on RC cars as my body had been wore down from years of hard dirt biking and high speed eats so I could still experience the thrill of racing but not suffer the aches and pains that went along with real racing. My car might come home in pieces but at least I was still in one piece and un harmed.

                    I believe it was a blessing for me as if I had all to do over again the only thing I would change is buy as much Microsoft stock as I could afford in 85 so I would be a multi billionaire right now other than that it has all been a wild and crazy ride I would never have wanted to miss for anything else .


                    • Buldawg
                      We did the same with the Enduros. But we found out real quick to keep the head light on the bike and the fenders too. Dirt don’t taste good.

                  • Gunfun
                    We had high mounted front fenders with a 1/8 inch thick rubber flap riveted to the front of the high front fender that rested on the top of the front tire to deflect any mud or dirt down and away from our face and after 100 miles or so the rubber flap had worn to fit the radius of the front tire and was a very good mud and dirt deflector.

                    We still removed the headlight and just rode by the moonlight which did not always prove to be sufficient light to avoid trees and in particular one 15 foot deep drainage ditch that since it was my turn to lead that night I had the luck of finding it at 45 mph and ended up hitting the opposite side about 10 feet up from the bottom and just kind of slid very slowly to the bottom and laid there till my buddies got down there to get my bike off the top of me and drug it up out of the ditch. We straightened up the handlebars and twisted the front wheel in the forks to a somewhat straight ahead position and went on about our midnight ride.

                    We always had one cardinal rule that we followed religiously and that was to never ride alone when out in the dirt riding at full throttle and as fast as your angels could fly that way if one of us got hurt there was someone to load the bikes and drive to the hospital. I was lucky in that I was never hurt bad enough to need a hospital but my best friend that is the actor now ate it on his SC500 at 80 mph and got his right foot caught between the rear tire and the frame as the bike did more cartwheels than I could count and took his foot right around with it. We managed to get his foot loose from the frame and luckily we always wore motocross boots so it was still attached to his leg, I rode back and got the truck and trailer and went and picked him up and loaded this bike and headed to the hospital ( this was before cell phones ) when the doc removed the boot his leg and foot swelled to fill the void of where the boot had been. He broke 6 bones in his foot and ankle and was on crutches for 8 weeks and we cut the cast off as he was not going back to the doc just to have him cut it off and right back on his bike and off we went just like it had never happened.

                    Its the old saying if the horse throws you off get back on until he doesn’t throw you again.

                    Man I miss those good ole days when fun was actually free and true fun.


      • Gunfun1,
        Thanks, but BB just gave me an answer to my previous question that contradicts your comment. I asked
        So the size of the Transfer Port limits the guns power regardless of caliber? and BB said “Yes”.

        • Joe
          BB’s answer is right.

          What I meant was that one size transfer port hole like the .050″ hole won’t mean that air gun is for sure going to shoot at 12 fpe.

          The power plant design of the gun will make a difference. Also pellet weight.

          So what I’m trying to say is a long stroke spring gun verses a short stroke spring gun will possibly make different power so the transfer port hole of .050″ will produce different velocity with the same pellet being used. Then throw in the thought of a bigger or smaller diameter piston and cylinder.

          Then take a pcp or pneumatic pump gun and have .050″ hole in the transfer port and the same pellet and I bet you will have a different result then the spring guns.

          Then see what happens if we start changing barrel legnth on the spring guns and the pcp and pneumatic guns with the same .050″ transfer port hole and same pellet.

          I bet every gun and combination I just mentioned will produce a different fpe with the same pellet and .050″ transfer port hole.

          So that’s what I mean is that .050″ transfer port hole will produce different fpe with different setups of a gun and using the same pellet.

  9. B.B.,

    Your experiment is extremely illuminating. And I find it a bit ironic that .20 caliber, thought by Sheridan and Beeman to be a “happy medium” between .177 and .22 is actually the opposite in terms of ballistic performance.


  10. Hey BB,

    Thanks for the informative report. My questions is what happens when using a CO2 or PCP gun? Will there be an increase in energy as the caliber increases or a decline in pellet energy? It seems the same would hold true but you never know til someone tries.


    • BB,

      Great report. I’m a bit surprised about the results of the 0.20 caliber pellet.

      Yesterday I received a new scope from Uramex for my RWS model 34. It was a replacement scope because the original scope that came with the gun shook apart. The crosshairs in the new scope shook apart after 25 shots. Back to Uramex today.

      The RWS model 34 at 10 meters up to about 25 meters shoots almost as accurate as My Talon SS with the 12″ 177 barrel.

      Springers are great airguns but mine is a scope eater. I can’t shoot it with the open sites because the elevation spring isn’t stiff enough and the screw backs out after a few shots. It got sent back to Uramex also.

      You’ve owned a tested a lot of Springers. I’m just concerned about how long mine will last. I even shoot it off the paint roller shooting rest I made.

        • Hi Joe,

          Sorry for the late reply. The scope is an RWS 4×32 AO. It’s okay but I’ll probably upgrade. I really like the AirForce 4-16×50 scope on my Talon. It’s rated to shoot on a Springer so I may use it. It’s just inconvenient to swap scopes every time I want to use a different gun.

          The RWS is fun to shoot. It is very accurate, easy to cock, and a great target gun. It is a beautiful gun. It just eats the RWS scopes. I think I’m going to upgrade the scope, use the RWS scope on my Benjamin 392 which has no recoil, and enjoy all my airguns. By the way, the RWS scope came with the combo package so I know it’s not the best. What surprises me the most is the rear open site won’t stay in place so I sent it in. When I get it back, I’ll probably try and loc-tight it in place if Uramex doesn’t fix it.

          • Spidey,
            Thanks, I have a Bushnell 4x-12x power on my RWS 34 and never have a problem yet. I did have a Bushnell trophy scope on my RWS 54 but that 54 destroyed it, so now the 54 is sitting in my closet until I figure out which scope and/or scope mount that can handle the 54.

      • Thanks for the information BB. This may be simplistic thinking, but it does seem like the heavier pellet may get more of a push right before it starts to move down the barrel. The heavier pellet will take a little longer before it starts moving. It may sit there just a little bit longer. The little extra time may cause higher initial pressure and give the heavier pellet just a little more push. Anyway, interesting information. Have a great weekend.


      • Hey BB,

        I have a 3 year old Crosman 1008, used very rarely, with a problem. I can’t seem to get a CO2 cartridge to load – I’ve tightened down the screw as much as I can but no CO2 is going into the gun – when I pull the trigger nothing but a click. Any ideas?



        • Jeff,

          Yes. Your piercing screw isn’t piercing the cartridge far enough.

          Have you always used a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each new cartridge?

          The gun probably needs a new face seal and perhaps a new piercing pin.

          Can you back off the screw and get the gas to flow? That sometimes works.

          Otherwise, the gun needs repairs.


  11. Spider,

    That’s why I bought a Nitro Piston gun instead of the Diana 34 I had a chance at for a little bit more money. Now If that 34 would have had a gas piston, I would have bought it. Come to think of it, what is the average spring life of a Diana 34 anyway? Probably not even close to that of a good gas piston.

  12. I’ve had my 34 since 1998 and with RWS Supermags (.177 cal, 9.3 g pellet) shoots 820 fps all day long. More importantly dime size groups at 20 yds. It ,however, had two issues which now solved made it one of my favorite break barrel AG.
    1) Recoil- like shooting a forward recoiling 20 gauge. Solution was a simple slip on recoil pad that makes the rifle alot more user friendly.
    2)Scope issues(breaking them, staying zeroed, staying mounted). Solution is the RWS lockdown mount that solves the mentioned scope issues.

    • Kev:

      I have the RWS droop compensating scope mount. When things are working, it’s an excellent shooting airgun. What I probably need to do is buy a better scope. Uramex said I shouldn’t be having issues with the RWS scope that came with the gun.

      I just question the long term durability of a Springer. The rear sight won’t stay fixed in place and the gun has broken 2 scopes. The RWS is a beautiful airgun. However, what good is it if it shakes itself apart?

      My AirForce Talon SS is way more accurate, has more power, and I can get 55 shots only using 400 psi. I have the Micro-meter tank being shipped right now from PA. To me, I wish I had gotten the PCP gun first and passed on the Springer.

      • Spidey,

        I can only say that my Leapers/UTG works great on the TX200.

        It’s a 4~12×44, SWAT, 11.1″ long, glass reticle and even lights up. Over 1000 shots. The 34 advertises at 800fps and the TX at 755, ( in .22 ), so they are of similar power range.

        I do not remember who, but one poster swears by the Leapers brand.

      • Spidey

        I hear you on the Talon SS. I shoot PCP 90 percent of the time with my RAW 1000X a favorite. Springers have their place especially for a self contained system.

        My problem with PCP has always been air supply where I live until I purchased a Raptor Super Charger. It’s way quieter than a shoebox and faster. With your Micro-meter tank that might not be an issue.

  13. B.B.,

    The “air transfer ports” talk got me to thinking,….( B.B.’s thinking,..oh what now? ) 😉

    Can the TX 200’s “air port” be modified for more power, as the JW75’s various air ports do?

    It is “tuned” for the U.K. after all, is it not? ( 12fpe ) Chris

    • Chris, USA,

      The FAC version of the gun that is shipped here to the US is somewhere between 15 and 16 fpe. I have a factory stock .177 TX200 HC that shoots right at 15 fpe. I think the Mark III’s usually do closer to 16 fpe.

      As far as tuning goes I would be very hesitant to mess with the transfer port. There are much safer (reversible) ways for tuning for more power. If you alter the transfer port and don’t get it right, it would be a “bugger” to fix it back.

      That being said, I really don’t think it needs more power than that anyway. The law of diminishing returns starts to apply very soon beyond about 16.5 to 17 fpe, at least in my experience with .177 springers (and that refers to well made springers). Many like the TX200 at 14 fpe and less.

      David H

      • David H,

        Thank you for answer. It is interesting that gun is in fact different from the U.K. to the U.S.
        I would not have expected that. Upon accepting that, one would have to ask,..what,…is different?

        Mine is the .22 version and B.B. stated awhile back that it uses the same power plant as the .177, as a “special” power plant for a .22 would be too costly. I did some research on the Vortex tune kit and even spoke on the phone with one of the recommended “tuners” listed on their site. He stated that the kit would (not) increase the power, but would make the shot cycle smoother. He stated that he did not know of any TX tunes that would give it any more (significant) power. My post, towards the top, gives you an idea of what I am currently getting with regards to fpe.

        Your comment of the law of “diminishing returns” beyond 16.5~17.0 fpe got my interest. If you could expound on that, it would great. I know of velocity/stability issues with regards to the 1100 fps range and super-sonic and sub-sonic,..but,..had not heard it stated with regards to fp(e). Thanks, Chris

        • Chris, USA
          I will have to disagree with whomever told you that tuning a TX will not increase power by any measurable amount. I have a B40 which is the Chinese clone of the TX and when I got it there was a Vortek 12fpe kit in it and it shot CP 10,5s at 661 fps for 10.19 fpe. I have since swapped to a Vortek HO kit and it has increased to velocity of the CP 10.5s from 661 fps to 750 fps with an increase to 13.39 fpe. and it is not completely seated or broken in yet and the chamber being out of round buy .080″ is also causing some velocities drop as well. I am planning on buying a new TX chamber to replace the old worn B40s chamber and fully expect to see the velocities of the CP 10.5s to exceed the 800 fps mark so there are tune kit that will increase the fps and fpe by significant amounts.

          The recoil difference between the 12 fpe kit and the HO kit is so negligible that I honestly cannot feel any real difference in felt recoil and only really feel a slightly faster lock time but the gun is still shooting with only a slight bump and is far better than the stock spring in the gun. Just ask GF1 as to the difference between the stock setup and the 12 fpe kit that he has modified to his liking as to why he put the stock components back in the gun only to realize the harshness of it in stock trim and promptly reinstalled the vortek kit with some more mods to regain some lost velocity that was lost as the gun and tune kit broke in more. so there are ways to increase velocities and FPE with also improving the shot cycle in the process.


          • Buldawg76,

            Thanks for that solid stat. backed info.!!! Very hard to find. So….the HO kit is not “off the table”. I’d settle for a 100fps boost. Plus any tune tips to push it just a wee bit more. Sounds like a ’15 Winter project in the works.

            Thanks, Chris

            • Chris, USA
              Having had both the 12 fpe kit from vortek in my b40 and now the HO kit I can say there little to no difference in felt recoil or bump when fired between the two kits and the only real differences are the 12 fpe kit has a .113″ wire size by 28 coil spring and a 1/2 inch thick front guide for the spring that’s sits inside the piston. The HO kit has a .118″ wire size by 31 coil spring and no front nylon spring guide that would sit inside the piston, I did put a 1/16″ guide washer in the front of the spring just to insure it stays centered in the piston but added no real extra preload to the spring.

              Just remember that my compression chamber is worn out of round by.080″ so you will see better gains than me since I am using a slightly oversize seal to help compensate for the worn cylinder and plan to install a TX chamber into my gun to correct the wear and then should also see a marked improvement my self as well and I am hoping for the low to mid 800 fps with CP or JSB heavies.

              That will all happen after I know my fate from my disability hearing Wednesday especially since my so called supporting doc now wants 488 buck for my medical records to supply to the judge and I don’t have that kind of money so it is likely the judge will have no supporting documentation to back up my claims. I have contacted my congressman’s aid to help me obtain those records at no cost to me but have not heard if they were successful in doing so yet. I have an appointment with the doc Monday so I will see if it is him charging that much for the records or his evil money hungry wife that just happens to be the office manager. if he cowers down to her wishes then I will be finding another doc and make some phone calls to initiate fraud claims against him that have been billed to my insurance that have not been performed such as “Swollen lymph nodes following surgical removal of my right breast ” and two surgeries that have not occurred which have allowed my deductible to have been met.

              I assure you I have both my breast still intact on my body and have had no surgeries in the last 12 months, I gave him copies of the fraudulent charges so he could have then corrected back in December of 2014 and they have yet to be corrected but there has also been new charges appear that are not correct so if he want to play hard ball by all means lets do so and we will see who comes out on top when he is investigated for submitting fraudulent charges to the insurance company.

              He has been a good doc until a year ago when he married his evil number 12 wife that thinks she can make any rule or charge whatever she wants so if my hearing does not go well because I leave his office with out my records Monday all bets are off and I will come out full bore with all the fraud info I have stored in my computer. I was born at night but it was not last night and I am at the point that if I go down he is going with me as well.


            • Chris, USDA
              Just remember that those numbers are with a compression chamber that is out of round by .080″ so your numbers with either kit will likely be much better and especially if you go with the HO kit as it much prefer it to the 12fpe kit since the gun is already tuned as a 12fpe gun just not as smooth as a vortek kit makes it shot.

              The kits are the same price and if you don’t like the HO kit just call Tom gore and he will be glad to exchange it for the 12fpe kit. I got mine already installed in the B40 and did not like the power and velocity it was providing so I called Tom as I was ordering a kit for my RWS 48 and mentioned the low output of the kit in my b40 and he said just package it up and sent it back to him and when he received it he would send my kit for the 48 and the HO kit for the B40 at one shipping cost with the B40 kit being just an exchange with no additional charge for it. So I only paid for the HO kit for the RWS 48 and got the HO B40 kit exchanged for free and I was not the original purchaser so if that is not above and beyond service I don’t what could be considered any better.

              The only difference between the Vortek 12 fpe kit is the spring is .113″ wire size with 28 coils and a 1/2 nylon front spring guide that fits inside the piston. The HO kit uses a .118″ wire diameter and 31 coils with no front spring guide inside the piston although I did install a 1/16 inch thick flanged washer on the front of the spring just to keep it centered on the shaft and allow for spring wind up and unwind when firing but it added no real added tension to the spring at all.


  14. BB,
    Long time since your last scientific report about twist rate in velocity. Interesting report today. I believe every caliber need optimal transfer port size to deliver their best energy efficiency from the same power plant. A quick question. How’s the twist rate for every JW’s barrel you used? Is it similar?

  15. >There might be a much better .20-caliber pellet that would vault the .20 above .177, where we all think it belongs.

    Yes, B.B.–I suspect the same, and I’m sure it would be easy to find such a pellet, if 20 cal. options and offerings were as plentiful as .177 and 22 cal. in the marketplace.

    In general, your testing revealed that energy increased with caliber, but it also revealed that the lighter pellets in each caliber tended to produce the highest energy within that caliber. 14.3 gr. .20 pellets are simply somewhat “heavy for caliber” for the gun, and that’s why the trend of increasing energy with caliber didn’t quite track–with the 20 cal being the fly in the ointment. Energy transfer is maximized by matching load impedance to the power source impedance. This works for both electrical and mechanical systems. Modelling power sources and loads is a challenge, however–especially for mechanical systems (speaking as an electrical engineer here ;)).

    • Calinb,

      Power transfer is the gist of the problem as you noted. As you also pointed out modeling the system is very complicated. It involves using factors for which there is no obtainable data to use in modeling.
      – The piston slams forward creating a pressure pulse
      – Passage of air from compression chamber to barrel is a function of air flows through a “port” of some sort, and then how air swirls around when entering barrel.
      – At some point the pellet “breaks free” and starts to slide down the barrel
      – As pellet travels down barrel volume in bore increases dropping pressure
      – Piston starts to retract reducing pressure

      The overall point is that there isn’t any “equilibrium condition.” The whole firing process is very dynamic.

      BB has noted many times that for a springer that energy is transferred to the pellet only in the first 6-9 inches. After that the pellet decreases in velocity due to friction. This is different in a pneumatic rifle in that the pressure behind the pellet is always greater than the atmospheric pressure, so the pellet is accelerated throughout its travel down the barrel. The acceleration slows of course as the pellet goes further down the barrel and the pressure drops due to the volume change.

  16. Just realized I’m gonna have to demoing my scope to have both mounts in front of the loading port on my 2400,the windage turret is impeding loading too much.
    sounds like a good opportunity to install that hammer spring adjuster! Only problem is I don’t think I’ll be able to chrony it today die to it being so overcast her today after heavy fog last night.

  17. B.B, or anyone else who can answer.

    I read your article in the PA catalog about “Survival” airguns. and I was wondering what recommendation you’d suggest for a .25 caliber multi-pump. i have a .25 Synrod and love it! the 16-20 decent shots limit it to not being a survival air rifle imo, considering you’d need to carry the pump also.
    Interested in seeing what everyone recommends!


  18. Sorry to interrupt the conversation. I need some advice on a FWB 65, loaned to me by a friend to try. First time pulling the cocking lever back, it now appears to be stuck in the rearward position. Any idea on how to return it to normal? Any help or advice would be greatly appriciated.

  19. I remember this report when it first appeared!

    I’m a week late due to unforeseen circumstances, but I still have my big announcement. I am the proud owner of a Saiga AK 47 in 7.62X39mm! This brings many things to a closure. It is from the same factory as my IZH 61, and with the synthetic stock it feels like a blend of that and the Crosman 1077. It is also, I believe, the summit of development in military rifles. The history is clear. The sights have the same crisp outline as those on my Mosin-Nagant rifle. The charging handle is identical in look and feel to the M1 Garand whose piston system it also copies. History class was never so fun! And it looks like I, who cannot stand to bargain, just managed to score one of the last of these rifles before supplies ran out.

    And now, after umpteen publications, you will finally know the true merits of the AK 47 direct from me… It seems to handle and point fine to me. I notice that it is a little front heavy. I don’t have an AR to compare it to. But I do have a 94 Winchester which is one of the supreme ergonomic designs of all time. The 94 Winchester whips around a little faster. But what the Saiga loses in quick handling, I suspect it makes up for in stabilizing the heavy cartridge. If smooth is quick and slow is fast in a gunfight, I suspect that the extra weight in the front end would not make a big difference.

    The other issue is how easy it is to mount optics compared to an AR. I am using UTG mounts which is like a plate that attaches to the side rail and then bends over the top of the receiver. The horizontal surface has a rail as well as the surface on the side. I can mount optics on top and a flashlight laser combo on the side. (Also UTG.) That’s pretty much everything I need except for a nightvision scope and red dot magnifier. Basically everything that is said to compare the two systems is correct. It’s just a matter of proportion. The Saiga is a little heavier and more forward balanced and a little harder to mount accessories on although you can easily get what you need.

    I have yet to test accuracy. With a Bug Buster scope, I’m hoping that I can break 2 MOA at 100 yards. That would be plenty accurate for me with this kind of gun. The trigger is easily the equal of my single stage Winchester 94 and far better than the descriptions of the standard AR trigger.

    The only area that slightly concerns me is the placement of the magazine. The factory has thoughtfully supplied a NATO length stock. But this has effectively pushed the magazine forward so that it contacts my supporting arm. Could this be the reason for that bizarre technique whereby people hold assault rifles with their lead arm almost fully extended? I wonder whether this kind of magazine contact on the arm will degrade accuracy. It seems equivalent to the idea of a free floated barrel: Any incidental contact with the gun’s structure seems comparable to contact between a barrel and stock. However, I’m not expecting this to be a target gun.


    • I find that a head mounted light works as well or better than a weapon mount. A plus is that it will work with any firearm or air rifle. One I like is the Fenix HL55. The brightness is adjustable up to 900 Lumens. At the top setting it is really, really bright!


  20. Matt61
    I wish you the best of luck in your quest for 2 MOA with that Saiga!
    The one I had I could never get better than 6″ groups from a rest
    and that was with handloads from someone who had a an SKS that
    they hunted with and was into reloading.I don’t know about now but
    at that time it was difficult to find reloadable brass in our area.
    I’m not a reloader and didn’t want to depend on him for my rounds
    so I tried every brand that I could get locally and online,Sadly the best
    I could do was about 8″ with factory loads.I use a Marlin 30-30 that performs
    much better on targets plus has better ballistics for hunting so I sold the Saiga
    to someone who only wanted a close range home defense weapon.
    He also got quite a few boxes of unused ammo in the deal lol.
    I let several people that I know to be good shooters try the Saiga and they didn’t
    have much better results than I did so I may have just gotten a dud.
    I hope they’ve improved or that you get a good draw in the accuracy lottery.
    Best of luck to ya and I hope you really enjoy your new rifle.

  21. I was just looking on eBay and someone just won a Daisy No. 1938 made from 72 to 78 for $150 + $25 shipping. Said very good + and it did look like new in the pictures. There was only one bidder.

  22. B.B.

    When the transfer port limiter was removed, was it replaced with the largest one (if so what diameter)? If not what was the diameter of the threaded open port?

    I ask because it seems to me that there are often times of “sweet spot” when it comes to transfer port size, whereas opening of the port has a diminishing return as far as energy, in fact muzzle energy decreases at a point and beyond. This makes me curious (and obviously a much larger test to run) if the energies would be closer together or farther apart if each caliber had its own optimally sized transfer port.

    Thanks for any insight.

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