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Accessories Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 3

Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

The Pelletgage comes in .177 caliber at the present. The holes are in a steel plate. A plastic plate above the gage plate helps guide the pellet head to the gage hole.

This report covers:

  • Update
  • The test
  • Blind test
  • Interpretation
  • I called it
  • What to make of these results
  • Observations so far


Before I get into the test, I received a message from the Pelletgage maker, Jerry Cupples, telling me that he has measured a large sample of the gages he has made — they’re all measuring 0.01mm smaller than what’s marked on the gage. In other words, a gage hole that’s marked 4.52mm actually measures 4.51mm, and so on. This holds true for all the gage holes in a gage plate.

So, in the last report, all the pellet sizes I gave you were off by the same amount. This is not a problem. All I need to do is change my pellet sizes by reducing all on them by 0.01mm after gaging.

Jerry measured the holes with gage pins traceable to NIST standards. Before that, he was using an optical comparator that might be uniformly off for various reasons — with the edge of the kerf being a prime suspect.

I’ll continue to use my gage, as it’s the uniformity that I’m looking for. I can simply adjust the numbers now that Jerry has informed me. This changes nothing, except how I record sizes.

The test

Today’s test is as different from the last test as I can make it. Today, I shot 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lite pellets from my TX200 Mark III at targets 25 yards away. I know this rifle likes the Premier lite, and I thought this would be a good test for the gage.

Since I have no idea how uniform Premier lite pellets are, the first task was to sort them and see what I got. As it turns out, Premier lites in the cardboard box are very uniform. Most of them had a head size of 4.54mm (yes, that is after I corrected for the gage). But every once in a while, I got one that was smaller or larger. They only differed by 0.01mm each way. At the end of my task, there were 111 pellets with 4.54mm heads, 11 with 4.53mm heads and 10 with 4.55mm heads.

Pelletgage sorted pellets
I found 111 Premier lites with 4.54mm heads, the most common head size. Eleven had 4.53mm heads and 10 had 4.55mm heads. An egg carton makes a good recepticle for sorted pellets.

I decided to shoot 4 10-shot groups at 25 yards off a bag rest. We know the TX200 Mark III does well when rested that way. Two groups would be with the most common 4.54mm heads, and the other 2 groups would be with an equal mix of 4.53mm and 4.55mm heads. There are several ways to ldo this, and today I just wanted to see how uniform pellets did compared to pellets I knew were not uniform.

Blind test

To keep my bias out of the test, I gave the pellets to my wife, Edith, who marked them in bags that I gave her. She knew which bag was which; I did not. As it turned out the results were dramatic and obvious — just not what I was expecting. I have a theory about that which I can test next — thanks to the Pelletgage. But for now, let’s look at the results I got.

I will now show all 4 targets in the order in which they were shot. Then, I’ll discuss what I think may have happened.

Pelletgage target 1 Premier lite
The first 10 Premier lites went into 0.648 inches at 25 yards.

Pelletgage target 2 Premier lite
The second 10 Premier lites went into 0.508 inches at 25 yards.

Pelletgage target 3 Premier lite
The third 10 Premier lites went into 0.654 inches at 25 yards.

Pelletgage target 4 Premier lite
The fourth 10 Premier lites went into 0.625 inches at 25 yards.


Looking at the groups, I don’t see what I expected — which was 2 very small and round groups and 2 groups that were larger. But I do see differences that allow me to place these 4 groups into 2 categories. There are 2 larger groups and 2 other groups that both have small main clusters of shots with one or 2 outlying pellet holes. The second group and the last group have these small clusters.

I know for a fact that, in the second group, the 2 pellets that are not in the main group were fired number one and two in the string. On the last group, I think the one low pellet was one of the first 3 pellets shot, but I’m not sure.

The smaller group in the second target contains 8 pellets and measures 0.253 inches between centers. The small group in the last target contains 9 pellets in the main group that measures 0.286 inches between centers. In the last group, it looks like one shot may have gone between the outlying pellet hole and the main group. That would make the main group 8 shots rather than 9.

I called it

I told Edith that I suspected the second and last targets were shot with pellets having 4.54mm heads and targets 1 and 3 were shot with the pellets that were a mixture of 4.53mm and 4.55mm. She told me I was exactly wrong. Targets 2 and 4 — the targets that contain the tightest groups within the main group — were shot with the mixed head sizes! And groups 1 and 3 were shot with the uniform 4.54mm pellet heads.

What to make of these results

It looks like Premier lites with 4.54mm heads are not the optimal size pellets for my TX200 Mark III. It further looks like either 4.53mm or 4.55mm heads may be the ideal size. This test did not test for that.

If you can think of anything I’ve overlooked, I’m open to your thoughts. My plan is to rerun this test and shoot 3 more 10-shot groups — this time with 10 pellets of each head size — 4.53mm, 4.54mm  and 4.55mm. I hope I have a better idea of what is happening after that.

Observations so far

I’ve now run 2 tests using the Pelletgage, and both times I got demonstrable results. In today’s report, the results were not what I was expecting, but that’s why we test. And the Pelletgage makes testing possible, where before it existed it wasn’t possible to measure pellet heads this precisely. It’s an instrument like a chronograph. No, you don’t need one to shoot airguns and have a good time; but if you want to know more about how your gun works, it’s starting to look like a Pelletgage is essential.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

91 thoughts on “Testing the .177 Pelletgage: Part 3”

  1. This is interesting… Maybe the number of samples was too small or head size is not the (only) dominant factor here… We’ll have to see.

    Maybe the expansion of materials due to temperature is relevant… The gage, the pellets and barrels are all made from different materials. Could this play a role?

      • BB,

        you’re probably right about the thermal expansion.

        I used a thermal expansion calculator on the web and looked for the coefficients of lead and steel (I’m not an engineer and also not very good at math).

        If the temperature rises by 40°C, a piece of lead that is 4.5mm long would increase its length by 0.000504mm
        For a piece of lead, this would mean a change of 0.000216 mm.

        Of course, pellets and barrels aren’t just pieces of lead and steel, but if I used the correct values, this would probably indicate that the difference is negligible. Lead also seems to expand more so the pellet is probably just squeezed a *tiny* bit more if the temperature rises.
        Maybe the same thing applies to the pellet gage since the actual sizing holes are steel as well.


      • B.B.,

        I don’t know about the susceptibility of lead pellets or steel measuring instruments or steel barrels to expansion/contraction, but I can add this, for whatever it might be worth (or not). Aluminum is quite susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Perhaps the following can be tacked on to other reasons alloy trick pellets are a bad idea.

        One of my other hobbies is vintage guitar collecting, and five or six long gone electric guitar manufacturers made electric guitars using aluminum as either the majority material or sole material in their guitar necks. All of these guitars became infamous for going greatly out of tune when they were moved from one temperature to another of as little as 10 or so degrees Fahrenheit difference, a characteristic not true of electric guitars in general, the vast majority of which have necks made of a hard wood with a thin rod of steel (a “truss rod”) running inside the neck lengthwise.

        These extremely rigid aluminum necks would quickly shrink in a colder temperature, making the strings looser and their pitches lower, and a higher temperature would have the opposite effect. The neck would lengthen, and the strings would pull sharp.

        As an owner of a at least a half dozen aluminum-necked guitars over the years, I can report the effect was pronounced, not subtle, and less than a half hour in the different temp would be enough to notice the effect.


        • When the inspectors check the parts at the machine shop that I work at the parts are checked as they come off the machine.

          Then they set them in a area to be checked around two hours later when they cool down to outside temperature.

          Then the sample parts are left in a inspection room over night that is air conditioned. And then they check them in the morning with the cmm and super mic and gage pins and true position gauges.

          Then they ship parts out the door. And forgot one more thing. The operators running the machines do spc (statistical process control) on key characteristic dimensions on the part.

          The reason why is there are so many variables that can change the dimensions of the parts.

  2. Good test. I do not know of much I would have done different. I do think that when results are not what you expected, that weight has to be considered. But,…that takes away from the “purity” of testing the gauge only.

    Another test to consider might be to do 10 individual shots at 10 different bulls. It would be the same as a 10 shot group, but would show how each pellet landed with relation to the bull. (4.51= low and right, 4.53=high and left, for example ).

    The egg carton made me laugh. Been there. A spoon works well to get those little suckers out.
    Tedious work,..ey?

    Thanks for doing it,…Chris

    • I was smiling at the egg carton as well. I always have a couple in the workshop.

      I put colored self-adhesive dots on the edge of the cups and put the matching dots on what I am disassembling – makes putting the right screw in the right hole much easier when reassembling things like Lap-tops which may have 3 or 4 lengths/sizes of screws holding the thing together.

    • BB & Chris USA:

      To follow up on Chris’ comments about shooting individual bulls, there is a software package called OnTarget Target Data System that combines holes from multiple groups into a single virtual group and will give statistics about the group as a whole and each individual shots. There is a free trial copy on the web at http://ontargetshooting.com/tds/

      I have downloaded the trial copy and found the software to be buggy, often crashing. It took me a while to figure out the program. If you use it, make sure to print one of its targets out in color. One shot is fired per bull. When scanning the target back in for analysis, use a sheet of paper in a contrasting color back of the target so it will read the pellet holes. It seems to work best reading wadcutters. I’ve tried it using one of the 25 bull targets (#18 or #19 – don’t remember which one I used). It took me several tries to get it to read the scans properly but I ended up with some useful information that caused to adjustment my scope slightly. For the first two targets that I shot, the program showed that I was hitting at 1/10″ left and 1/10″ low on average (10 meters). After changing my scope, the program indicated was .01″ low and dead on vertically. For the type of shooting that I do the 1/10″ inch adjustment does not make any difference but for a target shooter. . . ??


      • Hey there Jim,

        I use OnTarget all the time. Definitely get with Jeff (he provided his email) as he’s very proactive in making sure that his software is working properly for folks. I’ve found it to be very simple to use and relatively accurate when used properly. Maybe I’ll put some time into a couple of videos on the topic.



  3. BB,

    This can be really scary. Perhaps I should not buy a chronograph. If I do, then I will have to buy a gage and then a scale. It is bad enough that I will quickly give a visual inspection of the pellet as I am shooting. Once I start down this road, will I have to buy an electron microscope? What of it’s composition? Do I need a spectrometer?

    I can see where this would be a very useful tool, most especially if you are shooting competition and you are very serious about that competition. I do not compete, but I am very serious about my plinking. My plinking pistol is an Izzy 46M and I feed it RWS R10 Match. My plinking rifles are my BSA and my Edge and I am feeding them top shelf pellets also. I can see where it could end up being very expensive. You are showing with this test that your TX200 is only liking about 11% of the CPLs. Out of a box of 1250, you are only going to use 113? And that is assuming none of those have damaged skirts.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am going to buy a chronograph. That is just too handy a tool. Plus with my tinkering with air rifles, it is essential. As far as a scale and a pellet gage though, I will just have to hope a friend buys them so I can borrow them on occasion so I can play with them a bit. With the way I can be I would end up pricing used spectrometers.

    Perhaps ignorance IS bliss. 😉

    • RR,

      You’re right — this is only for competition and for finding the absolute best pellet.

      What I will do if the TX likes one of the other head sizes is find a different best pellet. There wouldn’t be much chance with this one.


      • B.B.,

        “Only”,…??? In my opinion, this is not only a (((tool))) for serious competition, BUT,…also for the home “plinker” that wants to eliminate as many variables as possible. Call him an “anal plinker” if you will.

        What I have found, is that (I) am the biggest variable. Yes,..I am new and still learning all the “finer” points of shooting. I have head sorted and weighed. And, will do again.

        What I did find in all of my “anal” searches is that,…..despite eliminating weight and head size variables,…is that (I) can not shoot well enough for the sorting to show itself.

        Lesson learned ? Despite eliminations of variables, which I believe 100% makes a difference, I need to work on (me) first.

        That information, Sir,…is priceless !

        Thanks again, good topic, article and replies,…..Chris

        • Chris,

          I agree that the biggest variable is the shooter, especially in my case, as I am a lousy shot. (I have a great time shooting air guns, but to be honest, I have little if any talent for it.)

          Nevertheless, I still find that I shoot slightly less horribly with excellent equipment than I do with good equipment.


          • Michael,

            True,….been there done that with other things. No worse is the regret that you are always wishing that you you “bought up” instead of a lot of less expensive steps along the way. Which,….by the way,…cost MORE than if you had got the better from the start.

            My first airgun from PA was a TX200III and I am SURE has served me better than 6 Wally World mega blasters.

            Buy the best you can afford. No regrets that way and you won’t be always wondering,…”What if” ?

            Chris (And of course, do your homework here at the Airgun Academy. 😉 )

        • Chris, I don’t really know where you are at in your shooting development. I’d like to try and help. I believe that you can read certain books and get a good understanding of the many things that you can do to be a better shot. I recommend the NRA Junior Rifle Shooting book. Just to name a few topics. It covers many important topics such as breath control and how to achieve it, positions, and scoring the target. I re-read my shooting books all four of them every once in a while and I learn even more.

          • Peter.Nelson,

            It is 6-4-16. I just had your response show up in my in-box. Go figure. I have come along a bit since then, yes, it is good to revisit the basics. I for sure need to do that, even today. I have not seen you here before that I re-call. Join in on the current comments.

            Thanks, Chris

            • I see you are aware of the basic’s, well that’s really what my post was about. I have met many shooters who are not.
              BTW I do post here just not very often. I am not someone who comes to this site to post every day or every week or every month. But sometimes when reading an article and the comments I do make a contribution.
              I agree it’s a good idea to constantly revisit the basic’s, like I said I do that a lot.

      • Got it. When I’m concerned that actually knowing what I’m shooting might affect my test performance, I usually have my wife randomize Ziplock bags A, B, and C into bags 1, 2, and 3. I don’t think it would make any difference, but I don’t usually tell her what I’m testing so it’s double blind. Of course, this only works if the ammo types are visually indistinguishable.

  4. I have been watching this thread on pellet diameters vs accuracy for several weeks/months.

    It occurred to me that no one has brought up the subject of slugging the barrels to determine the diameter the functional ID of the air gun barrels and matching this diameter to the optimum match of barrel size to pellet size.

    I would suggest that for PCP and multipump this should be fairly easy to do. The method that I would suggest is to progressively increase the air pressure in the gun until the pellet is just pushed out of the barrel. Then use the Pellet Gage to measure the slugged pellets.

    On CO2 guns you could use an almost spent powerlet. On break barrels and single pumps, special fixtures could be made and then use a PCP pump to push the pellet through the bore.

    Catching the pellets as they come out of the barrel might be a bit of a challenge. Maybe this could be done by using a large wad of cotton balls. Remember that the pellet would not be going very fast at very low pressures.

    Any thoughts on this subject would be appreciated.

    • BW-Dtx,

      My thoughts are, why do it when I am already establishing which head size the rifle likes? What do I care what the bore size is?

      I care about bore sizes when I can control the bullet size while making them. And then I have to do lengthy testing to establish the proper size bullets for the bore — once I know its size. In other words, some guns may like bullets that’s one thousandth over. Others may like them bore-sized.

      The only things I know for certain is that no bore will shoot undersized bullets well, nor will they shoot bullets that are too greatly oversized. Maybe that was why you suggested slugging first?

      My thought is that I have to measure the heads anyway, and doing that establishes the size heads the gun likes anyhow, so why bother slugging the bore? I will get the information indirectly in a bit, anyhow.


  5. Everybody,

    I better tell all of you this before somebody calls me on it. There are 11 pellets in the 4.55 head size group in the photo. That’s because I dropped a 4.54mm head into that cup just before taking the picture. I then resorted those pellets until I found the small head and put it into the correct group.


    • B.B.

      Just some food for thought. Could you run 10 pellets of size 4.54 and 10 of 4.55 thru a pellet sizer of 4.53 and make them all 4.53 if that size is consistent when shooting your TX

  6. What I like most about this blog (Testing the .177 Pelletgage, Part 3) today, it’s playing out like a movie script? Quite an educational blog! I really like the in and out reply’s!! Like a boxing ring? A lot of research and effort by both sides of the match! Semper fi!

  7. Chris–I now use forceps ( tweezers) to pick up pellets. I am loading rotary magazines (1077, Crosman 357, Daisy M14, S&W 587) and find it easier to pick up the pellets with forceps. I use the ones with fine curved tips, the ones I use when rigging ship models or picking up decals. BB–For several years I was shooting rimfire bench rest. I read many articles re measuring , weighing , using voodoo, etc to select the best rounds for the match. I also discussed this topic with several dedicated shooters and gunsmiths. Most of us gave up these methods in favor of just shooting different brands and lots of ammo until we found ammo that shot well in our guns. So now we use the”hit or miss” method of selecting ammo (pun intended). Ed

    • Z. Ed.,

      I use some craft tweezers that I picked up at a craft store. They work oppisite of most tweezers as they OPEN when you squeeze, then clamp when you let go. Very nice and very handy. Maybe the same ones. Curved and finely pointed tips.


  8. Hello B.B.,
    What you’re planning for next time seems to me to be the best approach; use the device to sort by individual head sizes and then shoot groups with one size at a time to determine which is best for a specific gun.
    I found it interesting that the premier head sizes run so large according to your particular gage and the calibration/correction factor recommended by the manufacturer. As you pointed out, what it really comes down to is which size shoots best. Competition shooters might take it even further, sorting by weight AFTER sorting by size.

  9. I know that pellet head size has proven to effect accuracy and that bullets and pellets work differently but in all my testing with soft cast 45-70 bullets for an old Remington rolling block I found that the nose of the bullet could have fishers and blemishes that seemed to not have any effect on accuracy but even a small blemish on the base would open groups noticeably. I also found that I had to shoot .459 as cast because if I sized a .460 to .459 the groups opened up. It was also noted that the mold cast line had to be oriented the same when loaded and that meant I had to make a small cut on the nose to orient them as I loaded. The nose cut had NO effect on accuracy. What this means to me with reference to pellets is that the head size has to be right and the skirt size and condition are at least and maybe more important.

    • Same
      You brought up a good point about the head of a bullet having blemishes.

      I have seen the heads of pellets with blemishes also. And even the skirts of a pellet.

      One thing the pellet gauge won’t check is if the head of the pellet is out of round. Or what we call at work egg shaped. It checks the biggest distance across the head of a pellet.

      When I was measuring head and skirt sizes of pellets I also checked for out of round. I didn’t only measure in one place of the head or skirt. I measured in 3 places of the head then 3 places of the skirt. That way you could see if the pellet was true all the way around the diameter of the head and skirt.

      And I do like the pellet gauge but honestly it doesn’t check everything.

        • G&G
          No I don’t work for PA.

          Back when I got back into air guns I messed around with sorting pellets, different types of sights and different types of guns. I wanted to see what all the different types of things was about and learned a lot. And I should mention started reading the blog and learned more.

          But the measuring pellets in multiple spots around the diameter and head comes from my years of machine shop exsperiance. And one more thing I failed to mention that I also measured over all height of the pellets too.

  10. Two cents from a recovering pellet sorter.

    Just like in cooking/baking you need all necessary ingredients in proper proportions.

    You can use the best scale on the market that is recommended by the finest pastry chefs but if you only weigh your flour and sugar and ignore all the rest of the necessary ingredients you cannot be surprised by the results. You will have cakes and cookies that no one can eat.

    It appears that the Pelletgage is the finest “scale” on the market to aid airgunners in sorting head size. This one ingredient, “variable”, is now easily achieved for the recipe of sorting pellets.
    Based on my experience sorting pellets it’s also important to inspect pellets for flashing (inconsistent finish or excess material) on the inside, bottom of the skirt. It’s also important to inspect the “fingerprint” that is left on the underside of the pellet head. Crosman Premiers have multiple “dots” of excess material on the underside of the pellet head and being uniform in which pellets you choose minimizes those flyers. It’s also important to discard pellets with badly dented skirts or reshape them to uniformity with something like the ball end of the beeman pellet tool. No, the shot cycle will not UNIFORMLY resize your skirts. My speculation is that flashing, dented skirts and/or excess material on the underside of the pellet head destabilizes the pellet in flight and causes flyers (see photo’s 2 & 4 of B.B.’s groups above).

    I only used a magnifier and strong light to inspect the underside of pellets. Today I would buy a Speedy Pellet Inspector to accelerate this process.

    Once these pellets are sorted I would suggest that they be inserted one at a time into a Match Pellet Box so your sorting efforts aren’t erased by pellets banging into each other during transport.

    Then we have the variables of wind, dirty barrel, loose stock screws, parallax in your scope, the shooter, etc.………………..

  11. BB,

    there are still many variables involved here. We have wind to take into account, air currents (rising off the ground from being heated by the sun – assuming you are shooting outdoors), the expectation that the gun’s spring will deliver the exact same amount of energy every time, lubricants in the compression chamber being distributed differently every time, the seal’s properties – sealing the same every time, dirt on the pellets, shape of the pellets (is every skirt and every head identical), error through measurement plus the difference in paper that the targets are made of (how they tear when hit) and probably other factors that I have not listed here. Keeping in mind that the groups’ sizes vary by a miserly .117 inches , I wonder trying to get to find the reason for this small a difference may be like trying to count snowflakes in a blizzard? There is a mathematical theory titled “Chaos” which I know little about but suspect someone like Pete Zimmerman is more familiar with, might be the reason for the variations. Just my ruminations.

    Fred DPRoNJ

    • Fred DPRoNJ,

      Unfortunately, in Benchrest competition .117″ will make all the difference in the world as frequently the match is determined by the number of X’s and not the total score. In F.T. that difference means splitting the kill zone rather than clearing it.

      I agree that it doesn’t make much difference when plinking or maybe even hunting depending on the game.


      • G&G,

        The tin can wouldn’t mind, but the game might. Would the difference between death in 1/10 of a second versus death in 10 seconds matter to a critter that is going to end up dead regardless? (Smiley Face)


  12. I think this test confirms that the group size parameter has reached its limits in evaluating performance of a rifle/ammo combination

    We are in the territory of extended testing and statistical analysis. In other words, what is the probability of hitting a certain size target at a certain distance.

    I do agree that for completeness, the weight variable must be eliminated. Use same diameter and same weight pellets vs random diameter and weight. If a consistent difference is seen between ten-shot groups with each, then that would be a pretty good indicator of reality

    You could also add one test with same weight regardless of pellet diameter


  13. Folks,

    I have a stupid question regarding something entirely different. This is probably extremely obvious for anyone who has ever competed in formal shooting:

    In 10 meter air rifle or air pistol, what are the exact rules for standing behind the firing line? I tried googling this, but I haven’t found an explicit statement…

    The way I figure it, your feet must be behind the line that is 10 meters away from the target, but your gun may cross the line, right?

    If that is the case, then my home range is in fact a 10 meter range because I can keep my feet more than 10 meters away from the target. That would be cool…


    • Stephan,

      I competed inn 10-meter pistol for several years.

      The exact rules are the muzzle of the gun should be 10 meters from the target. Obviously differences in human physiology make this impossible.

      So what is done is make certain that the firing line is straight and that no muzzle is closer to the target than 10 meters. Smaller shooters’s muzzles may be several centimeters back. But the difference is not important. Everyone sights in before the match starts.

      It is the muzzle of the gun and not the feet that determine the range distance.


      • Thanks for the info!

        Ok so I’ll have to live with 9,5 meters or try to rearrange my stuff.

        I suppose when you test things, you also measure the distance from the muzzle, right?

      • BB,
        This is funny. My .50 caliber flintlock though nicknamed long tom is only a modest 42″ barrel, but one day when I was shooting uncharacteristically well, a competitor was grumbling that I had an unfair advantage! Of course, they had high competition sights, shaders, and were wearing iris. I feared that if I were to ever shoot consistently that well that more historically oriented muzzleloaders and shooters would be banned or penalized:).

        • Sounds like you and I share the problem of being too good for our own good.
          Any recommendation on a bolt action .22 rimfire that will handle .22 S, L, and LR?
          It could be of recent or past vintage, as long as it is known accuracy.
          I have so much odd .22 ammo that I need to use up and no longer have my BL 22; and of course my old Ruger 10\22 only eats the long rifles.

          • Volvo
            Thats funny you say that. We just moved out in the country.

            I have been shooting my old semi-auto Winchester 190 that I got when I was a kid growing up on the farm here lately. I got a bunch of the regular velocity stuff and also some of the low velocity 710 fps CCI shorts that are 28 grn. And also the 710 fps round nose 40 grn long rifle rounds. And some of the Aguilla 60 grn 950 fps sniper rounds.

            My old Winchester will cycle all the rounds semi automatic except for the CCI 710 fps shorts. So I wanted a bolt action .22 that would fire all the rounds I have.

            I ended up getting a new Savage stainless steel barrel with black synthetic stock bolt action. It’s got a clip that holds 10 bullets in line stacked one on top of the other not staggered.

            But its actually shooting nice groups at 50 yards. Under a inch and I got one of my Hawke sidewinder scopes on it. It doesn’t have a dovetail for the scope rings though. Its threaded and tapped for those little Weaver adapter’s.

            Oh and it has the accu-trigger that is adjustable. But it will shoot all the .22 rimfire stuff from the low power all the wah up to the Aguilla 1700 fps long rifle rounds with no problem.

            • Sounds nice, I was looking at the Savage web site and they offer a bunch of possibilities. Do you recall your model number? Also I wonder why they no longer mark the guns S, L, LR like they used to.

              • Volvo
                Mine is the 93R Mark ll. I also have the same model in .17hmr. Its a twin to the .22 I just got. But has the Bushnell Banner dusk to dawn scope on it. But I’m very strongly thinking about taking the Hawke scope off my Winchester 190 and putting it on the .17hmr. Then both of the Savages will be indentical twins on the outside but with different personality’s on the inside. I think the 190 is going to o get a red dot back on it for some fun rapid fire plinking.

                But the long rifle only designation on the .22 Savage had me worried too. I got the gun from the gun shoo by my old house that I have gone to for years and he assured me that the clip would even feed those Aguilla primer cap rounds. They are a short brass that has a 20 grn bullet that shoots at only 400 fps if I remember right. But I have some of those to and it will cycle them fine through the clip and eject fine every time.

                So don’t be afraid to get one because of thLR designation. I know for a fact that all the .22 rounds I stated will function in the Savage 93R. Thats what I was doing over this last weekend was playing with it.

                  • Volvo,
                    My response got eaten twice, so I’ll try shorter. Savage mkii best thing going, should be ideal if feeds shorts. Old tube fed marlins and Mossberg’s could be bargain leaders.

                    • Good to hear from you, hope you are well.
                      I am looking on Gun Broker right now. I think I can pick up a Savage Mark II at a pretty reasonable price. I have a couple scopes left to pick from already and a ton of ammo, should be fun.

                    • BG farmer
                      Happy with both of mine so far.

                      Matter of fact thats why I got the .22 version. I liked my .17hmr version so much. Nice guns.

                      And yep I was being modest but it will make groups under a inch with all the different .22 ammo I have with the exception of the Aguilla caps that shoot at 400 fps. I think they verily got enough power to make it out the barrel. But they are ok plinking rounds at 25 yards and under.

                  • Volvo
                    Titaly like the trigger even right out of the box. And thats unusual for me. I like a long first stage and then the slightest amount of pressure and the shot goes off. I can say that its close to the trigger feel of my Tx. It puts the Winchester 190 trigger to shame. Its very easy to make a shot without pulling the gun around when I apply the trigger.

                    • Everyone that tries a mark2 smiles when they pull the trigger in my experience! Ive got a 6-24x42ao Tasco Varmint scope on my bv. I haven’t shot it in a year or so because it was Boring after a while. At 50 yards, you have to have really bad ammo to shoot over inch.

              • Also I wonder why they no longer mark the guns S, L, LR like they used

                Not enough demand for short and long I suspect (I can’t remember the last time I saw a store stocking longs; shorts might have still been around though CB caps were just as likely for the carnival trade).

                So far as I know, bolt actions with vertical (and maybe rotary) magazines don’t have any problems with mixed length so if the chamber is sized for LR they handle the others.

                Tube magazines tend to be the problem with mixed lengths — put a short in the tube and the lever that lifts the round up to the bolt could easily impact the primer/rim of the next round up; make the lever short enough to be safe with shorts and it may not lift the nose of a LR properly, resulting in a /live/ round stove-piped when the bolt catches the rim and the bullet is still down in the action.

          • Volvo,
            I didn’t specify “uncharacteristically well” to be modest — it really is a blue moon condition with me anymore :)! You however I know to be an excellent shot.

            I have a savage mkii bv (heavy barrel, laminated stock) that shoots excellently. There are several newer models that should be as good or better. I only shot single shot b/c that is what I enjoy. I don’t see why it wouldn’t handle longs and shorts that way as long as you cleaned the chamber throat occasionally, but I doubt it would feed them properly from mag, but not sure. I recently had my grandfathers .22 and it shot well with lr’s even though he rarely if ever anything but shorts and longs… I would offer to try non LRs in my savage, but I don’t have any, and these days it might be a while to find them!

            If I’m not getting senile, I’m pretty sure many tube fed .22s handled all three. I would be partial to a marlin or mossberg or maybe a store brand like JC Higgins. Most of the old ones shoot pretty well if in good condition. Actually, it looks like the new marlin xt22 currently handles all three…just saw that looking for older model, so know nothing about it, but looks decent, except for microgroove, which I’m not hugely passionate about. It seems like savage lit a fire under all the makers with the mark 2’s and there are several nice ones, but I would think the ammo shortage is limiting them.

  14. Edith:

    If you have a chance, please see if an earlier post of mine in reply to Chris USA wound up in spam. It contained a link to another website, so I suspect that it did. Sorry about that, I wasn’t thinking when I posted it.



  15. Holy Yikes,
    You all forgot to factor not only the tide tables, but the phases of the moon. Not to mention if there were beans consumed during last nights din-din, which can alter the meaning (and possible qualification) of “gas-gun.”
    I can see where this is headed, actual machining of individual lead pellets for competition purposes.
    What could possibly be next? Micro nukes in .177 cal?

      • Howdy Ms. Edith, This has been a secret of mine for many many moons, but I’ve decided to share. I’ve always found I get much more out of my pellets if I name each one, then take them out for an expensive dinner & don’t scrimp on the wine.
        Please don’t make me sit in the corner.
        Shoot/ride safe ya’ll

    • David,

      While not sure about airguns,… tides and moon phase, which are related,…have been (well) proven in fishing/record catches/size.

      Exploding/tracer pellets,..??? Nuke pellets,.??? Naw,…’nuff of those nukes already ! 😉


  16. Do you know if current tools are being correctly marked for diameter or do they provide a note with the correction factor?
    Either way the tool will be accurate for sorting but it would be helpful to know the correct diameter.



    • I had also gotten this quick response from Jerry at Pelletgage.
      It is good to see a US made product with great customer service.

      Thanks for your interest.

      The gages made until today have a +0.01 mm labelling error. That is, apertures are exactly that much smaller than engraved marking.

      I have first articles for the rev A version, that will be completely accurate. I checked with class X plug gages, they were within +/- 0.0025mm.

      The same can be said of the stock gages, they are simply mis-labelled due to the CAM software interpretation of the cut line, and the kerf of the fiber optic laser. If you have a Pelletgage, you should correct your measurement by adding subtracting 0.01 from the indicated aperture size your pellet clears.

      I have a large order of new gage plates being produced tonight in all five sizes. My intention is to ship all new Pelletgage orders with these plates beginning tomorrow.

  17. Bought .177 and .22 Pelletgage. Surprising diameter variation for some mid to upper grade pellets. A few are near perfect. Love the Pelletgages, reduces one variable and will influence buying decisions for trials. Readers point out the many variables that influence accuracy and I too wonder if the Minie ball expansion effect is a bigger player than we recognize.

  18. It seems what we are now searching for is the magic – magic pellet, which is great.

    It would be interesting to see what effect Mr. Gaylords pellet head sizing would have at longer distances (50-100 yds.), with an accurate, larger caliber PCP.

    The point being to apply the pelletgauge to variables you find interesting.

    • Kev,

      I do plan on moving out in range, but that will be after I find pellets that make a dramatic difference at closer distance — like 25 yards. From the tests I’ve done so far, it looks like I will get those results.


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