by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
- RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets
- Sig Ballistic Alloy pellets
- Qiang Yuan Olympic
- Am I getting tired?
- Second group of RWS R10 pellets
- Second group of Sig Ballistic Alloy pellets
- Full of myself
Oh, boy! Today is accuracy day with the Morini 162MI 10-meter match pistol, and I will tell you right now — it was a good day! It was like meeting your high school sweetheart after many years and discovering she is still as interesting as ever.
I did a lot and I plan to show you everything. I shot 5-shot groups, as I do with 10-meter target rifles, because 10 shots gives us a hole that’s difficult to make sense of. And yes, I shot off a rest. The gun was held at arm’s length so the sights were as sharp as I could make them.
I began with a sight-in. Although I normally don’t care where the pellets land — just the group they make — the 10-meter shooter in me could not resist the temptation to sight in the Morini. Also, it has world-class adjustable sights that I knew would be spot-on. Once I was on target, though, I did not adjust for each new pellet, so there is some group movement.
The first pellet hit in line with the center of the target, but high. I shot a second shot that cut the first hole to confirm. Then I cranked in some down elevation and fired 2 more shots. They also touched each other, but were slightly off to the right, so I put in some left adjustment and fired a third pair of shots. These were both 10s and I figured I was done. I did move the group one click to the right after this sight-in was finished.
H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
The first 5 pellets were thesame H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets with 4.50mm heads that were used for sight-in. Four were 10s and one was a 9 that went high. I think that was me and not the pistol. The 5-shot group measures 0.366-inches between centers.
RWS R10 Pistol pellets
Next I tried 5 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. This is where the test got interesting, because these 5 pellets were all 10s and went into 0.231-inches! I thought that was impressive. Given this result, I will try this pellet a second time.
Sig Ballistic Alloy pellets
Next up was the most interesting test of the day. I shot Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets in a 10-meter pistol! I have tried lead-free target pellets for years, hoping for good results. Would today be the day?
I have it on good authority that H&N makes these pellets for Sig. And we already know that they know how to make good pellets. The question is — can they make good lead-free target pellets?
The first result was good but not great. Five Sig Ballistic Match pellets gave a score of either 48 or 49 (can’t tell with 4 in the same place) and went into 0.358-inches between centers. That puts them right there with the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. While this is only a good result, it is hands-down the best group of lead-free pellets I have ever shot. I’m going to shoot a second group of these, as well.
By the way, these pellets are much lighter than the lead pellets I am shooting, so we expect them to shoot to a different point of impact. If I was shooting these for score I would adjust the sights.
Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets
The last pellet I tested was the Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet. They didn’t do so well in the Morini. They made a score of 49, but landed in two distinct groups with a group size of 0.397-inches between centers. It was the largest group of the day for the rested airgun.
Am I getting tired?
It’s fair to ask whether I am tiring by this point in the test. Was that the reason the Chinese target pellets spread out? Let’s see.
Second group of RWS R10 pellets
I now shot a second grou of RWS R10 pistol pellets. The first group, as 0.234-inches between centers, is the smallest groupo thus far. The second group opened to 0.367-inches. While that is much larger than the first grouop, it is also realistic. If I shot 10 more groups with this pellet they would range in sizes between these two extremes and might even be larger or smaller. I still like the R10s in this pistol. And, before you tell me to try the Chinese pellets again, let’s try something else.
Second group of Sig Ballistic Alloy pellets
The second group of Sig Ballistic Alloy Match pellets went into 0.222-inches between centers. This is the smallest group of the day! Sig, I plan to test the heck out of these lead-free pellets in other target airguns, because they are world-class accurate! I am now solidly on your side! And I know hundreds of clubs (California clubs and JROTC clubs around the world) and thousands of competitive shooters who have been waiting for this news! As a newcomer to airguns, you may not appreciate what you have, Sig, but I do. I said I would become your cheerleader if these pellets worked and I’m grabbing my pop-poms right now!
Sure, the score (47) is lower, but this is the best group of the day. Sig Ballistic Alloy Match pellets are the first lead-free pellet I have tested that really do shoot at the world-class level! Five pellets in 0.222-inches between centers at 10 meters! This group appears larger than the first R10 group, but that’s an illusion. I measured both groups again and got the same results both times.
Full of myself
After seeing that final group of five Sig pellets, I got full of myself and did something I haven’t done in more than 16 years. I put on my shooting glasses and shot 5 shots standing and offhand. I figured beforehand if I could average an 8 that would put me at a match score of 480/600. That’s low. My average in competition used to be 535/600 and I was on the cusp of moving to 545 when I stopped competing. But 480 is a good starting point for training.
I shot with the R10s, because I hadn’t measured the groups yet and the R10s looked to be the most accurate. The pistol was also sighted-in for them and not for the Sig pellets. Well, I threw the first shot into the white — something I only did one time in 4 years of competition, and that was when my CO2 pistol ran out of gas in the middle of a match. But I continued and ended up with a score of 37/50, which is an average score of 7.4. Pretty disheartening.
Then I looked at the lateral spread. It was close! If my elevation had been on for every shot I would have shot a 49. My hand was shaking and I was wavering, but I did achieve a good torso lock — the tight lateral spread shows that. I need to strengthen my shooting arm and I need to shoot about 20 thousand dry-fires over three months and I think I could do okay with the Morini 162.
I really like this target pistol. The only thing I would modify if it were mine is the grips. And they don’t need much more than a small tweak. If you are thinking of getting a world class 10-meter target pistol, I can recommend the Morini 162MI.