by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
The Pelletgage comes in .177 and .22 calibers at the present.
This report covers:
- Texas airgun show
- Today’s test
- The challenge
- Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets
- Time to change direction?
- Crosman Premier Supermatch
- A chance to check the pellet skirts
- Test 1 — youth program pellets
- Discussion of the 3 targets
- Coaches — pay attention!
- Test 2 — Can you test quality into a product?
Texas airgun show
Before we begin, I want to remind all of you that the Texas airgun show will be held on Saturday, August 29. There’s a link at the top of this blog page that takes you to the show flier for all the information.
On Friday evening before the show, the public is invited to attend a reception at the Texas Star Ranch and Retreat, located near the show. American Airgunner will film an episode of the Round Table and welcome questions from the audience.
We have dealers coming from all over the United States, including some major retailers who will have premium pellets, CO2 and other necessary expendibles for sale. A range will be available all day for the public to try different airguns, and we’re going to host the LASSO big bore airgun competition.
This year’s show promises to be the largest airgun show ever held; and, if last year’s show is any indication, it’ll be well worth attending. Dealer tables are available for $30. Early buyers may also get in before the doors open for the price of one table.
As more information becomes available, I’ll keep you informed.
This test has already become one of the most interesting things I’ve done in the last 10 years. It’s as interesting as my 11-part Pellet velocity versus accuracy test.
Today, I’ll consider 10-meter target guns and the pellets they shoot. This may be one of the most challenging tests in the series, because the wadcutter pellets made for 10-meter target shooting are very consistent. I was concerned I wouldn’t find any deviation in pellet head size at all!
Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets
The first pellet I measured was the Qiang Yuan Olympic target pellet that did so well in a recent test. I shot it in my Crosman Challenger PCP target rifle that I also plan to use for this test. And my fears about uniformity were realized! After measuring about 25 pellets and finding them all to have the same 4.51mm head, I stopped measuring. I could be there for hours before finding even one different head. I had to try something different.
This is the problem I had feared from the beginning. Match pellets are all very uniform, so they shouldn’t really vary at all. What could I do?
Time to change direction?
I thought I might switch horses in midstream and test domed pellets at 25 yards, but that didn’t go well, either. I looked at Air Arms Falcon pellets, which are supposed to have a 4.52mm head. After measuring 21 of them I had 20 that were head size 4.51mm and one that was size 4.50mm. None measured the 4.52mm that’s marked on the tin.
Out of 21 Falcon pellets measured, only one had a head that was not 4.51mm. Below is a short video showing you how I measured the Falcons:
Clearly, premium pellets other than wadcutters have uniform heads, as well. So, I rethought the test. I still wanted to test 10-meter target rifles and pellets, and I thought of a way to do it. In fact, this was the ideal test to conduct.
Crosman Premier Super Match
Many youth shooting clubs use target pellets given to them by both Crosman and Daisy. Both companies are huge supporters of youth marksmanship programs. I had a fresh tin of Crosman Premier Super Match pellets on hand. These pellets sell for very little money (for target pellets), so I wondered how consistent their heads could be. And I had the perfect instrument to find out!
As it turned out, Super Match target pellets had heads that were sized either 4.50mm or 4.51mm, and the distribution of both sizes in the tin was about equal. That lead me to construct the first test. I sorted a total of 30 pellets and put them into 3 labeled containers. There were 10 4.50mm pellets in one container, 10 4.51mm pellets in another container and 5 of each head size in a third container.
Crosman Super Match pellets came in 2 head sizes and nothing else.
I would shoot three 10-shot groups at 10 meters to see what happens. First, we’ll see if the Challenger PCP has a preference for pellets with 4.50mm or 4.51mm heads. Second, we’ll see how a mix of both head sizes does. That will represent picking pellets from the container at random.
Ten meters is extremely close for any irregularities to show up. I know I’m shooting 10-shot groups, but to convince me that sorting head sizes is necessary, there will have to be a visible difference in the group sizes — one that can be attributed to something other than a measurement error.
A chance to check the pellet skirts
Before I packaged them for testing, I looked at each pellet skirt critically. As all the pellets were standing skirt-up, I took a tactical flashlight (a very bright light) and shined it at an oblique angle while I examined all the pellets. There were 32 pellets that had been measured, and one of them had a flat spot on its skirt. I disposed of that pellet and put the one extra pellet back in the tin after putting the 30 sorted pellets into 3 marked containers.
Test 1 — youth program pellets
Next, let’s shoot these 30 pellets and see what we get. The range is 10 meters, and I’m shooting off a sandbag rest. I don’t care where on the target the pellets go — just how close to each other they hit.
This first target shows where 10 Crosman Super Match pellets with 4.50mm heads landed at 10 meters. The group measures 0.485 inches between centers.
This second target was shot with 10 Super Match pellets that have 4.51mm heads. It measures 0.144 inches between centers.
This third target was shot with an equal mix of Super Match pellets having 4.50mm and 4.51mm heads. These 10 pellets went into 0.282 inches at 10 meters.
Discussion of the 3 targets
Clearly, there’s a big difference between the results of the 4.50mm heads and the 4.51mm heads. There’s also a significant difference between the 4.51mm heads and the target that was shot with an equal mix of 4.50mm and 4.51mm pellets. That target represents what will happen when the pellets are taken directly from the tin without regard for the head sizes. Right there, youth shooting program coaches can see point gains of 5 points per match per shooter! And I’m being extremely conservative with that estimate. Your best shooters will gain close to 10 points per 40-shot match by shooting pellets with the correct head size.
Now, for the tough question. Why is the group of 4.50mm pellets larger than the mixed group? I can’t tell from these few results. If I had to guess, I would say that while 4.50mm pellets are less accurate, some of them do go to the same place as the 4.51mm pellets. Just not all of them, which is illustrated by the first target. There were absolutely no called bad shots in this test. All shots broke with the bull centered in the front sight aperture.
These results are from one specific Crosman Challenger PCP target rifle. Other rifles, including other Challengers, may prefer the pellets that have 4.50mm heads. This is something that has to be tested to know for sure.
Coaches — pay attention!
Many of the 74,000 youth shooting programs in the United States are given free pellets by Crosman and Daisy. If they’re not completely free, they’re supplied at a very low price — so low the clubs cannot afford to ignore them. This test has just demonstrated how to take these bargain pellets and turn them into something that will make more points for your shooters. If I were involved with a youth shooting program of any kind that used these pellets, I would get a Pelletgage, post haste!
Test 2 — Can you test quality into a product?
Now we come to the big question — the one most of you have been pondering, myself included. Can non-premium pellets be sorted with the Pellegage into batches of superior pellets? I didn’t know, and after my experience measuring the very uniform Crosman Super Match pellet (it was far more consistent than I was expecting), I knew I had to go way down the quality scale to find a suitable pellet, i.e. one that has pellets with heads of multiple sizes in the same tin. I did find one.
This pellet is an Industry Brand pellet that is made in China to dubious quality standards. I keep this tin in my junk pellet drawer, thinking maybe a day will dawn when I need 500 split-shot sinkers for fishing. You get the picture. These aren’t pellets I ever shoot.
I started sorting these pellets and got some dramatic results — the results you were probably expecting from this test — I sure was. The head sizes were all over the place. They ranged from 4.51 to 4.56mm. After I got them grouped on a paper by size, I saw what was happening. It looks to me like the Chinese plant was using several dies to make these pellets. Some of the dies were new and others were old and wearing out. But they just dumped the entire output from all the dies into a single bin and then packaged all the pellets from that one bin. At least, that’s what it looks like.
Let’s see if we can sort these pellets into quality batches by head size. Most of the pellets had a 4.55mm head, so I kept sorting until there were 10 of that head size and 10 more with head sizes ranging from 4.51mm to 4.56mm (but no 4.55mm heads). That gives me 2 groups of pellets to test in the rifle — one with all their heads the same size and the other with heads of mixed sizes. I don’t care whether or not 4.55mm heads work well in the Challenger. I’m interested in seeing how pellets with mixed head sizes compare to the same pellets with a single size head. If head size matters, this test should bring it out. The group shot with mixed head sizes should be significantly larger than the group shot with identical head sizes.
I used most of the gage holes for these Industry Brand wadcutters. Though only nine 4.55mm pellets are shown, I gaged another one for the test.
This target was shot with Industry Brand pellets having a consistent head size of 4.55mm. It measures 0.323 inches between centers.
This target was shot with Industry Brand pellets of various sizes — from 4.51mm to 4.56mm. It measures 0.314 inches between centers.
The results of this test surprised me. I expected the pellets with varying size heads to do worse than those that were consistent. My interpretation, which doesn’t have enough data to support it, is that 4.55mm heads are so wrong for this rifle that even variable sizes are not worse. I would have to shoot many more targets with Industry Brand pellets of consistent smaller sizes, and I would think the 4.51mm head size might do best. But that’s just conjecture, and I’m not going to test it, because there aren’t enough smaller-sized pellets in the tin. I do plan on testing uniformity versus variable-sized heads in a later test when conditions are more favorable.
Well, I certainly learned a few things today. First, I learned that many name brand pellets are more uniform than I thought. I expected the premium 10-meter pellets to be uniform, but not the other ones. As you read, I really had to search to find a pellet with variance. That tells me that sorting by head sizes isn’t necessary when you shoot premium target pellets. I don’t expect World-Cup 10-meter competitors to use the Pelletgage.
I didn’t know if 10 meters was far enough to discern differences between the consistent pellets and the pellets with mixed head sizes. But the first test proved that it not only was far enough — it actually makes a huge difference when you use the right pellet in a Sporter-Class target rifle like the Crosman Challenger PCP. I would expect to see similar results with the AirForce Edge and the Daisy Avanti 853, but neither of those rifles is available to me.
Next, I learned that my Challenger prefers pellets with 4.51mm heads. The Qiang Yuan pellets that it shot so well during that test have a 4.51mm head (all of them!), and the best target shot with the Crosman Super Match pellets was also with the 4.51mm heads. So, I think this rifle is telling me that it likes pellets with 4.51mm heads best.
Today’s report took me 2 days to complete. There was the measuring and sorting, the photography the shooting and of course the writing. I’m telling you this so you’ll understand why I have to space these reports out a bit. There just isn’t enough time to do them as fast as I would like.
I am done at 10 meters. The next test will be shot from 25 yards with a more powerful spring rifle.
I consider this the start of one of the most important test series I’ve ever done, because today’s results suggest the Pelletgage works very well. If things continue in this direction, this will be the most important invention airgunning has seen in a decade.
80 thoughts on “Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 2”
I’m looking forward to the next part. I hope you can give the Walther LGV a try at sorted pellets. It may respond to sorted pellets even more than other rifles in its class. Regardless of what you use, it should be interesting…
Your challenger might be sizing the industry pellets all to 4.51.
If you had industry pellets in 4.49 that shotgunned in this rifle- that might further support this theory.
Since I got a gun that ran on co2 & converted it to HPA my interest has gravitated back toward your Challenger
I wonder how it would get along with heavier pellets? I believe it was “spo*ter-class target rifle” that caught my attention again.
Very accurate little gun that had me wanting to convert my 953 to co2.
Excellent test! I’m a believer but I don’t see myself competing in10m so I really have little interest in the .177 model but I am very interested in hearing about the .22 and what other sizes will be available.
I have a couple of pellet sizers, but they aren’t graders, they push through at 4.52 and 4.51 respectively….you can only tell if one is too small if it falls through or too big if they are harder to poke in the top….they all go in the plinking tin.
Doing that and weighing them is the bread and butter of competition shooting, including FT….some shooters go a step further by washing and lubing their pellets….with a variety of potions…though sizing and weighing was always enough for me
Now you could be hooked up with one of these for a little over $50!
I’d really enjoy knowing the bore sizes of all my guns but I’m starting with my .22’s first.are there .22 Sixers available?
I’ve been trying to figure out how to access the archives on this phone for about a month now Has anyone ever figured out a way? I’ve been searching the internet and picking up one article at a time
Hey Reb, if you have an android and you’re in chrome all you have to do is hit the menu button and scroll down and look for the “Display Desktop site” check option and it will load the normal site. If you’re on a iPhone or a windows I don’t really know what to tell you if you’re not using chrome.
Thanks for the guidance!
ll try that as soon as I can get proper supervision.
I found it that time.
No problem Reb,
Some sites work flawlessly switching from mobile and desktop, others not so much.
This is my First smartphone and I don’t still have no idea how to get it to do all the cool stuff I know they’re capable of so you hhelped me clear tha hurdle and I’ve been using it enough of the day that I really should be able to repeat.
Thanks for the announcement!
I’m considering a 2240 in .26 as my next project including BNM repeating breech and shroud as y next project so I’m glad one will be available for that cal.
Of course,this is a long term projection and subject to change because it’s probably gonna be at least a couple months before I even get the 2240.
It’s grear to be on the dark side!
.20, .25, and .30 caliber are now available online
My own measurements and user reports show that even quality diabolo pellets can have significant head size variance.
BB, and all, thank you for your interest!
This is fascinating. Do you think the degree of benefit of this tool for sorting pellets might be even greater (i.e., bigger percentage difference in group size) at longer distances?
Also and incidentally, I see that the Pelletgage is also available in .22.
That is exactly what I intend testing.
I am positive that you will find a bigger difference at longer distances – I have been sorting head sizes for a while by “roll sorting” (first size the skirts all the same with an large die in a Beeman sizer, then the roll test groups the pellets into different consistent head sizes) and have noticed a bigger difference from sorting by head size than by weight variation (although both is even better).
I believe this is because the degree of head deformation from being shot out of the barrel is proportional to the head size going into it – and the deformation impacts the BC of the pellet (via shape change and redistribution of mass), thus leading to more variation in performance at distance.
I ordered one of these gages in .22 and will be testing it as well – it will likely be a quicker way to determine the expected variation in tins of pellets than my current method. At a minimum it will tell me what my gun really likes, as the roll sorting is only a relative sizing and does not tell me what the head size actually is.
WOW. This is an excellent report and one that I’ll definitely share with the youth in the crew and the other coaches. But it would seem that the pelletgage isn’t just for youth shooting crews. It would also seem to be a valuable addition to the kit of any adult shooter who competes in 10 meter NMAR events.
The alternative take away from today’s report is sort if you want to but it’s better to always “shoot quality pellets” from the get go. That 50-50 percent distribution between 4.50mm or 4.51mm in the same Crosman Premier Super Match tin was really surprising.
In the future, will Pyarmyd Air be stocking this gage and offering it for sale?
Thank you for the time and effort that went into todays report.
Venture Crew 357
I thought of you when I wrote this report. You are exactly the kind of coach who will benefit from this gage.
As for other types of competition, if the shooter are using premium pellets the gage may not be of much use. The little testing I did shows that the best stuff is already very uniform.
I have no idea of Pyramyd Air’s plans, as far as this gage is concerned.
Off-topic, but I have a casual observation I’d like to share.
Among other subjects, I teach film studies. Among the films I have my students screen are only a few in which guns are involved, but I have noticed something that as far as I can tell is without deviation: good guys and gals ALWAYS have blued or black handguns, and bad guys and gals have — with only one exception — have nickel-plated handguns. This rule is consistent for films set in the 19th and 20th centuries. (I have not yet had a film set in the 21st century in any of my film classes.) As I look at publicity stills (as opposed to production stills) this does not hold true, but publicity stills do not count as the props are more likely to have been provided by the photographer than the film’s prop-master.
For example, in High Noon Will Kane (Gary Cooper) shoots blued Colts, but the Frank Miller gang shoot nickel-plated Colts.
How does stainless steel fit in to your observations, which could be mistaken for nickel plated???
In the three different film courses I teach, the movies that have handguns in them (all revolvers, incidentally) are High Noon (late 1800s), Touch of Evil (1950s), Double Indemnity (mid-1940s), The General (1860s), Like Water for Chocolate (1910s), and Body Heat (1980). Stainless steel revolvers first appeared in what, the 1960s? 1970s? Only in Body Heat, in which Oscar (detective, good guy, blued .38 snub-nose) and Edmund Walker (semi-mobster, bad guy, brightly high-gloss nickel-plated snub nose .38 or .357 magnum) was set in the stainless steel era. So, I can’t comment on stainless, but I’d imagine that is a bad guy finish, too.
Only in Touch of Evil does a bad guy, Uncle Joe Grandi, brandish a blued handgun, a snub-nose .38.
I just looked it up. The first revolver in stainless steel was the S&W Model 60, in 1965.
How about the Clint Eastwood movies such as “Dirty Harry”. He used a stainless steel Model 29, and the stainless steel .44 Automag. The Desert Eagle in stainless has showed up. Charles Bronson used a stainless steel Wildey in Death Wish 5, just to name a few…
Maybe that is the point 🙂
Dirty Harry is an anti-hero. He is one of the good guys, but he is certainly not a nice guy or a role model.
As for the Death Wish series… The first film is ok as a revenge flick, but the sequels get sillier and sillier. Of course, Paul Kersey is also an anti-hero.
Maybe there is something to the “bad guys use silver guns” theory 🙂
Eastwood’s m29 was blued.
Thanks, now we have changed his theory around. Now he is a bad guy with a blued gun.
I could throw in Bat Masterson, known for his short barreled nickel plated Colt, and see what side of the fence he falls on…
BW and Michael and Johnny
I will agree with BW as I have a 1977 model 29 Dirty Harry Smith & Wesson gun which is the exact same gun that Clint Eastwood used in the original Dirty Harry movie as that is why I bought it.
It is a 8 & 3/8 inch barreled Blued 44 Remington special magnum six shot revolver and came in it own wood case with cleaning brush and mop.
I bought it in 1977 for 450 dollars from a gun shop in Orlando Florida.
It was one of the earlier model 29s that were still being hand assembled and every part was fitted by hand in the factory. Its tolerances are so precise that you can barely get a piece of plain paper to fit between the barrel and the cylinder and was far superior to the Ruger blackhawks of the same era. The old blackhawks would shave part of the bullets off when fired and end up stuck in your hands as I had a friend that bought a Blackhawk due to the model 29s being so hard to come by back then ( it took me two years to find mine ) and he would come home from a day out shooting his Blackhawk with us and have to pull the shavings of lead out of his right hand.
My Smith would barely make a flash around the cylinder to barrel when shot at night versus his Blackhawk putting out a 4 foot diameter flash around the cylinder to barrel gap along with the flash out the muzzle.
Sorry, buddy, Clint uses a blue steel model 29, not nickel, stainless, chrome or any other color than blue. As far as I can remember, the Auto-Mag only came in stainless.
They didn’t work very well either.
FYI, Jamie Lee Curtis later on did make a film appropriately entitled “Blue Steel,” and in the ’60’s High Standard marketed a series of revolvers in a number of attractive colors including anodized gold, blue-green and…pink.
Can you imagine Clint’s famous “…do you feel lucky..” soliloquy while trying to look threatening with a pink revolver? In .22 caliber no less?
To may of us, it would have been a life changling event.:)
Somehow Jamie Lee Curtis always comes up around here! The last time, I believe, it was her Mac11 in True Lies. She could arrest me even if she didn’t have a gun!
As for Paul Kersey in Death Wish (I pretend the-sequels do not even exist), he did not choose his weapon. His nickel-plated, .32, 4 inch barrel Colt Police Positive was a gift from his client, played by the excellent character actor Stuart Margolin.
I remember the “Death Wish Gun” very well, because that exact same model and configuration was my great grandfather’s service weapon in the Milwaukee Police Department.
If use of the Pelletgage becomes widespread, it may force manufactures to tighten up their quality control in their top lines of pellets.
That’s a very good. Reason to support this effort!
B.B. is dead. Was fortunate to see him live many times. Influenced so many musicians. Arguably B.B. changed music. Great guitarist and family man. Think he had 15 kids. Lucille will never sound the same.
B.B. King is dead — not B.B. Pelletier, in case someone’s not familiar with the jazz music legend.
Long live BB
“The thrill is gone / The thrill is gone away / . . . The thrill is gone / . . . The thrill is gone away from me / . . . Although I’ll still live on / . . . You know, I’m free.”
Long live the King.
I have both .177 and .22 and will be testing the Defiant 18 gr. that I shoot out of my Hw100/STB knit. The pellets are all ready shooting well with a 10 shot group at 78.8 yards of 1 inch CTC. off a bench. Sizing should be very interesting.
Thanks Jerry for the fine tool!
The above comment is not from the “Mike” that normally posts here.
Sorry, there are alot of Mikes in the world. From now on i’ll use PM
All good that ends good!
A bill was just signed into law a day or two ago in Michigan. Under it, airguns are no longer considered firearms. This is long overdue and a welcome change. I haven’t seen the details yet but it looks positive.
The changes go into effect July 1, 2015. Til then, the old laws are still in force.
Interesting. I never thought of absolute uniformity of pellets as a problem, just the reverse. 🙂 But I can see that it did not serve the immediate purpose. It looks to me like the group sizes in the first series are explained by a mix of pellet fit and uniformity with fit being the most important and a pre-condition for the second. The best group in the first series of test had both. The worst group had one of the two factors, uniformity, but it lacked the prior condition of fit so that it never got started. The mixture group lacking uniformity was almost the mathematical average of the two pellet fits which worked out to be better than uniformly bad pellet fit. One could almost imagine a chart…. The coaches will need a real love of the game to spend time sorting all those pellets. 🙂
Mike, your standing competition is a game I could play. Congratulations on your success. So, tell me about your target. How big? What shape? What material? I can’t shoot rapid fire at my range but I can at least shoot for accuracy. So far, my military rifles can at least stay on a paper target of about 18 inches on a side with the Lee-Enfield doing particularly well.
Let us now honor Sergeant Henry Johnson who has been retroactively decorated with a Medal of Honor for service in WWI.
He certainly doesn’t look like a tough guy. He sort of reminds me of the second-generation (Nisei) Japanese in Hawaii who made up the 442nd Regimental Combat Team which was the most highly decorated combat unit in the American army in WWII. Very small, unprepossessing, ordinary, and polite folks. Here’s further proof that you never know who you might be messing with.
Anyway, there is no doubt about the achievements of Sergeant Johnson. His own account of the battle is hilarious. Apparently it went on for some time with the two sides breaking to rest. During those intervals, he would call out, “Hey, there Bushies (Bosche meaning German).” When his ammo ran out, in addition to using his knife, he said that he “whanged them on the dome.”
The smart coaches with train several team members to sort pellets.
That places high quality in the confidence of the workforce. A relation of mine spent her career inspecting the tail lights of automobiles in an assembly line for imperfections like air bubbles. She said it was very demanding. The assembly line was relentless and the management would come down hard for any errors. That sounds about like sorting pellets by weights. Maybe that could be an assigned punishment. Ha ha. A boxing trainer taught his college team to keep their hands up by filming their fights. Afterwards, the whole team watched and anybody dropping their hands got to wear a big “Tag me” sign around their necks for a period of time. On the other hand, if pellet sorting was constructed as a punishment, that would be a chance for the culprit to strike back by sabotage….
Mike, to follow up on your M1 contest and to further honor great military feats of the past, we want to send a shout out to Sgt. Snoxall of the British Army on the eve of WWI. He was instructor of musketry (They still called it that!) and he set the all time record for the Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mark III by hitting a target 300 yards away with 38 hits in one minute including reloads. I assume that was prone and I don’t know what size the target was, but that is pretty impressive.
That is something. Even starting with 10 rounds in the rifle it is flying. I don’t think I could do better than 24 with my M-1………….on a good day.
The target is a full sized torso. It’s paper, any hit on the torso counts as a hit. The same one is used in some other stages as well. Another is timed fire. You have five minutes for 5 shots rested on bags, 5 shots rested with hands/elbows on a table only, and 5 unsupported standing. A sling can be used. Here the scoring rings on the torso are used for score.
BB, another pellet tool that is very good is Joe Peacock:s Speedy Pellet Inspector http://www.airgunproducts.com/ .
Together with Jerry’s Pelletgauge, you have an easy way to inspect and measure your pellets.
Yes, I have heard about the Speedy Pellet Inspector. I looked at his website and it looks like a good thing to have.
I have been looking at this Speedy Pellet Inspector also. I’m on the verge of buying it but still thinking about it. I have the Pelletgage in .177 and .22 already. I wish the .20 caliber one was already out when I got mine. Now I have to make another order. Oh well.
B.B., David, and G&G,
Unless I’m missing something, which happens a lot, the Pellet Inspector eliminates pellets with heads below a certain diameter and those with an irregular waist, but it does not measure the pellet’s head size or even eliminate pellets with heads above a certain diameter.
It looks like those Industry Brand pellets shot pretty well. At least they blew out the bullseye. I was very surprised at that but I realize it was only 10 meters. Still, not bad for poorly Q.C.’d pellets.
I am assuming that you have not normally had this much success with them as you put them in the junk drawer. Maybe the Challenger just liked them for some reason?
That is a HORRIBLE group! It’s one-third-inch at 10 meters. That’s no accuracy at all.
The fact that there is a hole in the center of the bull is beside the point. I use the sight adjustments to move that hole wherever I want it. But as large as that group is, at least 7 pellets never touched the 9 or 10 ring. That is a lost score.
I guess I need to blog this, because this isn’t the first comment I have received about groups hitting the center of the bull.
There is accuracy,, and then there is ACCURACY. Not everyone has the same standard. 10 meters may sound awfully close,, but when a millimeter difference per shot can mean the difference between first and last place,, it can be very far, indeed.
That’s about.What I was getting outta my 760 when I realized that there was just enough left to see.
Rifling was supposed to be in there somewhere
“That’s no accuracy at all.” I know guys who could THROW the pellets at that distance and get a tighter group!
Consider that an Olympic medalist using competition grade pellets could shoot a group at 10 meters that you could not drop a .22 pellet through. And that would be 60 shots off-hand.
For ME, however, that Industry group would be pretty good! LOL.
Really good info. Thanks for this report.
Of course, now that we are sorting by head size, it is time to dig out the jeweler’s scale and sort each head-size group by weight…
Looks like the dedicated shooter can have four steps to finding the perfect pellet to shoot for a particular rifle. First sort by weight, then the Speedy Pellet Inspector to weed out imperfect pellets, then the Pelletgage to check for head size and the shooting to see what weight, size combination works best for a particular airgun. Then setup a place for the pellet sorters to get together and say I’ve got some Brand X with a headsize of X.XX and weigh this much, that I will trade for Brand Y with this headsize and this weight. It could alo lead to someone advertising Perfect Pellets, in every way, only $20 for a hundred!!!
I ran a head size sort with my new .22 PelletGage on a subset of weight sorted pellets that I had available. These were from a batch that I ordered from PA a while ago, when I sorted five tins of 500 count pellets using a digital gage that I bought a while ago. Here is what I found:
Weight range of pellets is 18.26-18.27 grains, total count = 176 pellets
Head size / count / percentage:
5.49 / 2 / 1.1%
5.50/ 23 / 13.1%
5.51 / 107 / 60.8%
5.52 / 35 / 19.1%
5.53 / 9 / 5.1%
The head size listed is the smallest size hole that the pellet fit into – the next smallest hole was too small to let the head pass, so the head size is actually in between the value shown and the next smallest size. Of course the tins that went into the weight sorting were all supposed to be 5.52 mm head size, and it is clear that the vast majority are smaller than that. A spot check on a different tin (unweighed) purchased at a different time has most at 5.54mm head size – also supposedly 5.52 head size.
I would imagine the producers of pellets with headsize marked on the tin probably try to regulate the the head sizes as opposed to actually sorting them.
this product could have an immense impact on quality control, albeit maybe not directly but in changing the ways pelltmakers QC even if they build their own. Of course we’ll be paying for that extra attention to detail
Thank you for reporting this. I hope everyone who has a Pelletgage reports their findings.
Why bother to put head sizes on tins if there’s no way you can possibly meet those specs? Do they think the customer is too stupid to figure things out? The jig is up!
The Pelletgage may very well do for ammo what the chronograph has done for velocities. Fewer and fewer manufacturers are listing only absurd velocities and pretending that those are speeds you’ll get with ammo you’ll actually use. More are either reporting velocities with alloy and lead ammo, or they’ve converted to listing velocities with only lead pellets. I would say 2015 has been the turning point for that change.
I think the variation in pellet weights is just as out of sorts as head sizes. What’s promised is not necessarily what’s delivered.
When you treat customers as though they’re fools and highly gullible, it won’t be good for the company. A ruined reputation is very hard to rescue.
Holding feet to the fire is sometimes the only way to effect change.
So be ti pellets manufacturers!
We’re watching you and keeping notes!
I do agree with you, and I hope this will be one of the main impacts of this gage – nothing else I have tried is as accurate or repeatable. Given your interest in the variability of the pellets, I’ll add a link to a post I made a while ago on the Marauder Air Rifle forum on the weight sorting I did. It was quite revealing about the variation in a shrink wrapped pack of 5 tins. If I recall correctly, the max was around 18.56 grains and the lightest was around 17.88 grains – of course this was across 5 tins of pellets, but it is a pretty big range. But the sort gave me lots of similar weight pellets to test. I did update it with the results of the PelletGage too. http://www.marauderairrifle.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=10696
Thanks for the link. I read the entire thread. Very interesting!
No wonder I never got that H&N sample package that the puppies knocked off my shooting bench and crunched open sorted out with my micrometer!
Sounds like we’re gonna get hammered again,I I was carrying out laundry when I noticed a strobelight effect in the sky. Looks like it’s almost all North so maybe B.B. and Edith could use a little rain but I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of wind to go along with it. And it sounds like a vortex breeder but so long as it’s falling up North of us the corps of engineers will be too busy measuring the lake level to enact further water rationing.
I got a chance to shoot a NP pistol today and was pleasantly surprised by how well mannered it acted but it did have too much muzzle flip for my taste. Terry wants to pull the sight off, as they’re too distracting and we talked about a dot sight as opposed to a scope. He gets real excited and I have to calm him down so I can get the questions answered before he asks another. I also took the2400 and pump so he could get a taste of a PCP
He’s another one that suffered from what co2 guns were coming out on the late ’70’s & early ’80’s so he didn’t shoot it much while it was still on co2
I had a question for B.B. and/or maybe one of the more experienced airgunners. I have an RWS Diana 34 I bought some time ago. I’ve struggled a bit with the accuracy of the gun, but I put it down to my inexperience. I have gained some experience and the groups have gotten tighter, but the gun still seems somewhat erratic. I’ve noticed in the past the holes in the paper aren’t always nice and round, and seem torn beyond what you would expect for a pellet going through paper. But today I shot and I got a couple of holes that seem like perfect little pellet profiles – from the side! It occurred to me that the pellets aren’t going in head-first but are tumbling once out of the gun and going into the paper sideways! I was just wondering if anyone had seen this before and knew the cause of it. The obvious reason is that something is not right with the rifling and the pellet is not spinning, but I don’t know why that would be. I did do the bore clean with the JB bore paste when I first got the gun but I followed B.B.’s instructions so that should not have made any difference. Any suggestions?
Welcome to the blog.
Tell me what pellets you are shooting. They are the problem, I believe. I doubt there is anything wrong with the rifling in your gun. Let’s look at the simple things first.
I have witnessed this in 2 of my guns
one was a Crosman 760 with worn out rifling and my Power line 953. While using wadcutters @ around 36 -40yds
Keyholing from wadcutters at those distances could be understood… Remember that they are designed for 10m paper punching, and you are looking at over 3X that distance.
For the OP, there is the faint possibility of a damaged crown inducing upset as the pellet leaves the muzzle.
Hi B.B. and Reb! Thanks for the quick replies! Today I shot Crosman Premiers (14.3 gr in the box); JB Exact Jumbo (15.89 gr); and JB Exact Jumbo Heavy (18.13 gr); Benjamin Discovery (14.3 gr). (See, I’ve been reading your blog. ;o) To me it looked like all four went through sideways (from the hole pattern). Not sure if it would help but I could post a picture of the target somewhere maybe.
Is your rifle stock? Have you installed a muzzle brake?
What timeframe was your 34 made. Was it in the 1990s? Does it have a wood stock?
p.s. shooting at 20 yards. A little wind but not enough to account for sideways pellets.
The rifle is all stock – no mods. I purchased it (new) in Jan 2006, so I assume it was made around that time. It has a wood stock. One thing I thought about last night was using a heavier target paper, or paper backed up with cardboard, or even shooting into some soap (cheap ballistic gel!) just to be sure that the pellets are really going in sideways. Anyone know of some good relatively transparent soap for shooting?
Neutrogena soap is what to use. Or any glycerin soap that’s transparent.
Great writeup as usual, BB. Looking forward to your results at longer ranges.
Well it looks like this was a false alarm. I just got done shooting through some soap and all I got was perfectly round holes just like you’d expect. I made about 10 shots into the front and into the side of th soap.I guess it was just how the pellets were going through the paper (though some of those holes looked like perfect pellet profiiles)! I did figure out the .22 cal pellets go through soap like warm butter! Thanks for trying to help me out!
maybe the reason for industry brand mix head size results is even thought there is large size variation they were all at or above the 4.51 that the gun prefers. maybe they are swedging down to the 4.51 or close as they are being fired