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Optics Air Arms S410 TDR precharged pneumatic pellet rifle: Part 3

Air Arms S410 TDR precharged pneumatic pellet rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Arms TDR rifle
Both side of the Air Arms S410 TDR.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The G6 pump has a luminous dial!
  • Many things to test
  • The point of the test
  • Third group
  • Analysis of the first series
  • High power
  • Air Arms dome
  • End of the test

Today we take the Air Arms S410 TDR Classic to the range. If you recall, I got good stable velocity with the power selector set on medium power, so I left it set that way for this test.

The G6 pump has a luminous dial!

You may also recall that I am filling the TRD with an Air Venturi G6 hand pump. I do that because the TDR has an Air Arms proprietary fill adaptor that nothing else fits, so I attached it to the G6 for this test. The velocity test suggested there may be as many as 30 good shots from a fill to 2900 psi, and filling the rifle to that pressure isn’t hard to do. But the morning I was at the range I discovered something curious. The G6 pump I’m using has a dial that glows in the dark!

I was at the range about a half hour before dawn and noticed the dial on the G6 glowing faintly when I set it up, So I hit it with my Pelican model 1920 flashlight for about 10 seconds and the dial lit up like Broadway! I was able to fill the rifle to almost full and only had to check the dial with my flashlight for the final few pump strokes, because I could see the needle against the dial so clearly.

Many things to test

The S410 TDR has variable power, so testing it gets complex quickly. Not only do I have to test several pellets — I also have to test them at different power settings. To simplify things I started the test with the JSB Exact Jumbo 15.89-grain dome and the rifle set on the medium power level from the velocity test.

The rifle had not been sighted in yet, so the first shot landed off the target paper at 50 yards. I always back up my targets with a larger piece of paper when sighting in, so I found the pellet hole and made corrections to the scope. Shot 2 landed 2 inches to the right and 2.5 inches high, so I counted the clicks on the scope and adjusted it to what I thought would be the center of the bull. My next shot hit within 1/4-inch of the center of the bull, so I stopped adjusting and fired the remaining 7 shots into the same group. The rest of the test was shot with the same scope setting.

The 8-shot group that resulted measures 1.079-inches between centers. It’s a little to the right of center.

Air Arms TDR rifle medium 1 group JSB
Here are 8 of the first 10 JSB Exact Jumbo domes in 1.079-inches between centers.

The point of the test

The whole point of this test is to see if the pellets strike the same point for all three magazines. We know that on medium power the velocity starts to drop on the third magazine, so this will show on paper what that does.

The second group on the same fill also struck the target slightly to the right, but this time the center of the group was about a half-inch lower than the first group. Even though the average velocity is the same for both magazines (from the velocity test in Part 2), the impact point dropped one-half-inch at 50 yards. This group of 10 pellets measures 1.436-inches between centers. The lowest shot in this group was the last shot, so I know the rifle is slowing down at this point.

Air Arms TDR rifle medium 2 group JSB
The second 10 JSB Exact Jumbo domes on medium power went into 1.436-inches between centers at 50 yards. The center of this group is about one-half-inch lower than the center of the previous group.

Third group

We know from the velocity test that the third group is losing velocity, and it also has the biggest velocity swing between the first and last shots. On paper that looked like a very vertical 1.982-inch spread for 10 shots.

Air Arms TDR rifle medium 3 group JSB
The third 10-shot group of JSBs at 50 yards is 1.982-inches between centers and the point of impact has dropped about 2.25 inches from where the first magazine hit. The dime is on the aim point.

Analysis of the first series

The first series of the threeTDR 10-shot groups tells me two things. First — there aren’t 30 good shots with this JSB pellet on medium power. Second — the JSB Exact 15.89-grain dome is probably not the best pellet in this rifle on medium power. Remember this rifle has adjustable power, so there is a lot more to test than just accuracy with different pellets.

High power

Next I filled the rifle again and adjusted the power as high as it would go. Then I shot one more 10-shot group with the JSB pellet. This group landed about 2 inches above the aim point and just to the right. It measures 1.602-inches between centers and is more vertical than I like. That ended my tests with the JSB pellet.

Air Arms TDR rifle high 1 group JSB
Ten JSB pellets on high power went into 1.602-inches at 50 yards. The POI is about 2 inches above the aim point, which is beneath the dime.

No sense shooting this pellet any more. Clearly it is only okay at best in the TDR. I think the rifle can do better. Time for a change.

I had brought a tin of H&N Baracuda Match pellets, hoping to test them next. But when I tried to load them they wouldn’t go into the magazine. Oh, no! They were .25 caliber pellets that had been placed in my .22-caliber pellet pile. I didn’t have my glasses on when I packed the ammo, and I brought the wrong caliber. I bet some of you have done the same thing a time or two.

Air Arms dome

Not to worry, because I did have another pellet to test. The 16-grain Air Arms dome is very similar to the JSB pellet I just tested, but enough different that I thought I would give them a try. This would be the second magazine on the fill with the rifle set on high power.

Ten Air Arms domes landed in a group that measures 0.889-inches between centers, which is the first encouraging 50-yard group I have seen from the TDR. Perhaps I have found the right pellet — or at least one of several the rifle likes. The point of impact is 1.5 inches above the point of aim and just as far to the right as the JSB pellets have been striking.

Air Arms TDR rifle high 2 group Air Arms
Ten 16-grain Air Arms domed pellets went into 0.889-inches at 50 yards on the second magazine after the fill. This was on high power. The POI is about 1.5 inches above the aim point ( under the dime). This is the kind of group I was hoping for.

End of the test

This is where I stopped testing the rifle on this day. Now that I have one good pellet the plan is to return to the range and re-run the test with high and medium power using the Air Arms pellets I now know to be good. I will throw a couple other premium pellets into the box next time, so we get a better look at the rifle’s potential.

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.

43 thoughts on “Air Arms S410 TDR precharged pneumatic pellet rifle: Part 3”

  1. BB, though Im not a pcp-man, I was asked to to test some pcps for accuracy at the gunshop. I noticed that the hw100 is VERY sensitive for pellet headseize.
    The 15 grain jsb 5.52 would not group well. But the 5.50 jsb grouped very well.
    So maybe you want to try different headseizes. I would not be surprised you shot the S410 with a 5.51, 5.52 or 5.53 pellet.

  2. The 12 ft/lb guys would want to see what 1/4 power does, probably the FT shooters too, no? If medium is 760 and low is 390fps then med/low or 1/4 power would be right on the money around 575-600 fps.

    • So the man who has All The Time In The World 🙂 now also has to test for the sub 12 fpe? Im with you on that one. May be he should test all the different powersettings with 10 different pellets en 4 different headseizes. That will keep BB off the streets! !

  3. I got to thinking about those spudguns I used to see in the back of comic books and wondering how they operate.
    I couldn’t get satisfactory results without the search box so I’m guessing there’s not been a writeup done here can anyone send me in the right direction?
    I’ll try Google until I get wore out enough to sleep.


    • Reb,

      Air-fuel mix combustion > sharp rise in pressure > spud flies out.

      Fuel is most times lighter gas or aerosol solvent, combustion volume is ~3 liters, ignition via sparkplug or by hand, through a thin pipe.


      • I know how those work..I found a couple places to get different types and I’ll probably be ordering one before long. I just couldn’t believe B.B. hasn’t found one he wanted to write about. I’m betting they’re either catapult design or maybe spring piston.

  4. B.B.

    Ok, some news to report.
    Half of the job is there – lathed some plugs, both pistons are lathed and milled, but not yet heat-treated. Found that lever picture (our world is not devoid of kind people 🙂 ) and now I’m working on my receiver.


  5. Tom,
    Are you planning to do a review of that Gamo Bone Collector cadet MP air rifle anytime soon? Pyramyd AIR didn’t have very much to say about them except they haven’t had any returns yet. It would be nice to have something fresh in the multi-pump world. That’s as close to a precharged pneumatic as I’m going to get in the near future.


  6. B.B.
    Sorry to be a little off topic here, maybe could be a basis for an article.
    When you sight in a rifle and scope at 20 yards, how do you know that you have not sighted in at 15 and 20 yards and not 20 and 30 yards?
    I do a lot of plinking with a LP8 Magnum, open sights. I have got the “hold under” sight picture down, but am struggling with the “hold under” sight picture.
    When you move from 20 to 50 yards for a test, do you re-sight the rifle and scope in again, do you do “hold over”, do you use the ballistic charts to tell you the click change?
    As always,

      • Sorry 3 separate questions.
        1. When you sight in a rifle with scope you have 2 places where the pellet path and the scope sight line cross. When you are “dead on” sighting in, how do you know that you have not found that furthest intersection and not the nearest?

        2. With open sights, how do you do hold over? The front sight and barrel obstruct your sight picture.

        3. When you take a gun that is sighted in at 20 yards and you start shooting regularly at long distances.
        Do start all over and re-sight in your gun at the new distance? Do you figure out pellet drop and windage and adjust your sight picture?
        Or do trust the ballistic charts and just change clicks per the table?
        Maybe everyone does it differently?

        Was this clearer? Sometimes my brain works differently that my mouth or hands do…


        • Okay, I got one.
          Hold under/ over with open sights is best accomplished by using more or less depth of the front sight blade in the notched rear sight.
          My QB-88 has scallops on both sides of the front sight blade providing a dual plane front sight, kinda neat like that.I almost wish the rear were fiber optic and may try the one off my Impact.

        • Yogi,

          Thank you.

          1. Experience is how I know I have the near intersection. I’ve done this so many times that I know where the near intersection should be, based on the velocity. There is no way I can think of to get a rifle hitting the target at 20 yards and not hit it again farther out. The closest you can come is to adjust the scope to only intersect once. That is possible, but you have to know what you are doing.

          2. One easy way to hold over with open sights is to aim above the target. Another way is to put the front post high in the rear notch. I actually do that in tomorrow’s report, so watch for it.

          3. What I do is sight in at the distance I am going to be shooting. That’s 50 yards lots of times. The rifle will be very high at closer distances. Yes, there are several different ways of doing it and people do use all of them.


          • If you zero at 50 yards, you should be low at closer distances, not high. Is that right? That’s what I found with my agonized sight-in procedure at the last range sessions.


            • The ONLY way that it would be lower at all shorter distances is if the velocity of the pellet were sufficient to allow the trajectory to peak at 50 yds or beyond. With air rifles,, it is almost a certainty that this is not the case,, and therefore at the distances between the second intersection and first, the pellet would strike higher,, and before the first intersection it would strike lower. Establishing the trajectory of you combination of airgun and pellet will tell you where each intersection should be.

              • So the first zero is very close, 10-15 yards, then over all the way to 50 or second zero. So to zero for 20 and and what the second zero is ia determined by trajectory. Knowing the trajectory is key if you cant actually shoot to the further distance but if needed to shoot to the second zero better to get some groups at that range because all the chairguns and charts in the world wont put you perfect ten ring if zeroed to the closer and not checked further out. Nature of the beast.

  7. I never followed the Air Arms S series pcps, but it seems like only the last group is the kind that Wayne used to rave about.

    B.B., actually I don’t know that acronyms are the only reason why people use all caps for a word. That is certainly the expectation, but figuring out what is in people’s minds is a risky thing. 🙂 I think Michael is correct in that acronyms can be adapted for different purposes such as proper names or even branding which seems to be the case here where the word is more of an attention-getter than a vehicle for meaning. The search engine name Yahoo is actually supposed to be an acronym for Yet Another Hierarchically Officious Oracle, but most people don’t know or care. (This name actually reflects the geeky culture of the founders which may be one reason for Yahoo’s long and steady decline.) The name is probably more understood as a pun on an expression for enthusiasm and the name for the cavemen in the Fourth Voyage of Gulliver’s Travels. But this example raises an interesting point which is that if you don’t want your acronym to designate a phrase than it should have some meaning as a word. MODOC doesn’t do either and remains inscrutable.

    Michael, not having reached a state of enlightenment, I don’t know the sound of one hand clapping. But if I did, I bet it wouldn’t be satisfying. The purpose of these koans seems to be to get people thinking outside of normal logic. So, it can be different in various cases and is generally nonsensical. The face you had before you were born in one case is such a deep and visceral scream of pain that the zen master was physically knocked backwards. Another koan asks that if you have a goose in a bottle, how do you remove the goose without killing it or breaking the bottle. The answer is: “There, it’s out.” He he. The answer to these kinds of questions can even consist of hauling off and smacking the zen master. But presumably he will be able to tell if this is real insight or whether it’s not in which case you are in trouble.

    Gunfun1, yes I’ve gotten self-conscious with the green laser realizing that everyone on the firing line will be able to see me shaking. Oh well, that’s only fair since I have done my share of covert snickering at the other shooters. This certainly can be a tool for examining the technique of a new shooter. And it’s certainly better than a device I saw used by the British army during the World Wars. There’s a photo of a rifle with what looks to be a kind of periscope device mounted on the receiver that bends light so that an instructor can peer through it from the side and see how the sights are moving. That would be pretty intimidating to have the instructor standing right next to you during the shot.


    • Matt61
      That British periscope thing is interesting. Would definitely make for some one on one training though.

      And you know how it goes when your shooting. Don’t worry about what the other people think if they see you shaking with the laser. Ask them if they tryed it.

      But I will have to say try it bench resting and it might surprise you how steady you become. And on another note. If you shooting out at 30 or 50 yards. The shake won’t be as noticeable on the target unless a person is looking through a scope or some how at a closer position to the target than you. The naked eye won’t see the shake at those distances. Well you might see some at 30 yards but the farther out you go the shake will not be able to be seen as easy.

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