Swedish Excellent: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Swedish Excellent
My Swedish Excellent CII rifle is a multi-pump pneumatic.

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Most important blog
  • Ammo variations
  • Swedish Excellent lead balls
  • Strange thing happened
  • Lobo balls
  • Known facts
  • Huge size variation!
  • Proof that size really matters
  • What could this mean?
  • Serendipity
  • Casey at the bat

Most important blog

Today I present to you one of the most important reports I have ever written. It doesn’t turn out the way I imagined; it turns out far better! Please enjoy what I feel is the most significant work I have done in a very long time.

Ammo variations

Today is accuracy day for the Swedish Excellent multi-pump pneumatic. In Part 2 we determined the velocity for both the Swedish Excellent round lead balls and also for some lead balls called Lobo from Argentina. The Swedish balls were about 100 f.p.s. faster than the Lobo brand balls, and we discovered that the Lobo balls are about one-thousandth of an inch larger than the Excellent balls. I think the size and perhaps even the uniformity of the ball sizes will play a big role in what happens today.

Swedish Excellent lead balls

First to be tested were the Excellent brand lead balls made for the rifle. I shot at 10 meters off a bag rest. I pumped the rifle 8 times for each shot, which we learned in Part 2 gives an average velocity of around 335-340 f.p.s.

The first shot landed in the bullseye, close to the edge of the black at 6 o’clock. I left the sight setting the way it was and accepted the point of impact. Then I shot 9 more shots at the same target.

Strange thing happened

On shot number 4 something very strange happened. The shot sounded different and the flight time of the ball was so much slower than the first three that I could easily discern it. The ball landed about 2.5-inches below where the first 3 balls had struck. I was flabbergasted! Three balls in a very tight group and then this anomalous slow shot opens the group like this. What should I do?

I was prepared to shoot 11 shots and show the group of 10 that was very tight and just tell you about the one slow shot, but the final shot was another slow one. It hit higher on the paper than the fourth shot, but was still over an inch below the main group. It was this shot that convinced me something strange was happening.

Excellent ball group
Ten Excellent balls grouped in 2.778-inches. Two of those shots landed far below the main group of 8. The main group measures 0.374-inches between centers.

Lobo balls

As I pondered what was causing those anomalous slow shots, I decided to shoot a group of the slightly larger Argentine Lobo lead balls. The first shot hit the bull below the point of impact of the Excellent balls, but close enough to it (within 0.25-inches) that I could tell the difference was due to a slower velocity. I figured I would just keep shooting and get a nice group that was a little lower than the first group.

Then I fired the second shot. As I loaded it I noticed that it fit in the breech snugly. This shot went noticeably slower than the first. The ball struck the target paper about 2 inches below the first shot. That was the end of trying to group with Lobo balls. Something major was happening and I needed to find out what it was!

Lobo ball group
These 2 Lobo balls landed in different places. The higher ball fed into the rifle breech easily. The lower ball was tight in the breech.

Known facts

What do we know about the Swedish Excellent air rifle? First, we know that it is not rifled all the way down the barrel. In fact is is only rifled in the last few inches of the barrel by the muzzle. This is very similar to the rifling that is proprietary to FX today and sold under the name Smooth Twist. Next, we know that the Excellent rifle produces very low velocities. And they vary quite a bit. So it’s slow and not entirely stable.

This lead me to believe that the shot might not be that uniform in size. Fortunately, Jerry Cupples has provided a way of evaluating that. His .22 caliber PelletGage has holes from 5.46mm to 5.55mm in diameter. I wondered what I would find if I gaged the Excellent shot.

Huge size variation!

Well, size turned out to be the issue. I gaged 15 Excellent balls and got 4 groupings of balls that ranged from 5.47 to 5.51mm in diameter.

lead ball sizes
Fifteen lead balls measured between 5.47mm and 5.51mm in diameter. Largest balls not shown here.

But that isn’t all. I also discovered the balls were not uniformly round. Sometimes they would be stopped by a gage hole that they could also fall through, depending on how they were rotated.

Proof that size really matters

I decided to test just one size ball, to see if they would group tighter than balls chosen at random. I shot 5 balls that gaged 4.49mm in diameter. They all shot at the same velocity (as far as I could discern) and they landed in a group that measures 0.292-inches between centers. If you look at the photos you’ll see this is a much tighter group than we got before with random balls.

;lead ball group
Five 5.49mm lead balls groups in 0.292-inches at 10 meters.

What could this mean?

The implications of this last group are enormous. If shot size is really as important as it seems, would shooting gaged pellets in a smoothbore rifle make a big difference? Would shooting sized BBs in an accurate BB gun be better than shooting random BBs pulled from the same package? Has this test shown the importance of sorting shot by size more than any other test I have run to date? The suggestion is, there is more testing to come.


What happened in today’s test is a golden example of serendipity — searching for one thing and discovering something different and wonderful on the way. Allow me to close today’s report by rewriting the end of one of the most famous poems ever written, “Casey at the Bat,” by Ernest Thayer in 1888.

Casey at the Bat

Casey at the bat is the charming story of a hometown baseball hero who often win for his team by sheer talent. Except on one fateful day, when he has the chance to win and fails. You can read the entire poem here.

The poem ends with Casey going down swinging, as portrayed by the final stanza.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
but there is no joy in Mudville โ€” mighty Casey has struck out.

Casey is a lesson in reality, summed up in one phrase –Don’t get cocky. Sometimes, though, good things do happen. Based on the today’s surprising turn of events, I have rewritten the final stanza of the poem as follows.

Somewhere in this blessed land the promise was revealed
the hope that once was tempered can no longer be concealed.
Mudville shines today; for their nine have met the call
And now the game has ended; mighty Casey cleared the wall!

81 thoughts on “Swedish Excellent: Part 3

  1. BB
    Great work! You might try lubricating the BBs with Pellgun oil and see if it reduces the effect of the variations in size and roundness.
    Also, my latest invention! A Crosman shoulder stock clamped to a solid rest as the basis of a machine rest for Crosman CO2 pistols. Some flex in the stock so it’s not perfect but it shoots a lot better than i can with my aging eyes and hands. Now ii can evaluate mods and pellets now while trying to improve my technique. Doesn’t work well for pumpers yet I really admire people who can shoot as well off hand!

    • Fido3030,

      I had to grin at your “Also, my latest invention!” comment. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have had many of those “eureka” moments,.. which then led to days and weeks of obsessive testing. Good luck with your vice set up. With all the testing you do, that should help to remove the human component from your testing, leaving you with much more conclusive testing results.

  2. B.B. Thank you for this report! I think we had a similar discovery awhile back when the BB gage came out! I had mention that I sized my BBs thru a BB CO2 magazine! The small ones would fall thru or just roll out the end! The larger would not! I shot the larger ones! I mentioned that I am no expert! But! I could get 8 or 9 inside the or around the same hole! But! Still had fliers! I talk to you about the smart lead balls! I knew they would work in the Haenel 310! Just jog your memory a bid? I am a believer in those pellet and BB gages! I also use a pellet tool that has a resizer for pellets that I got from lonewolfair@gmail.com! I am a believer in resizing any type of rimfire, centerfire or even shotgun shells! Use to reload a lot! I still shoot over 500 rounds every week on a bad week! Use to do that a day! Thank you again! Semper fi!

  3. BB,

    There is another blog I read and the gentleman who writes it always weighs, gauges and sorts his pellets. That allows him to make what many would consider phenomenal shots. Just like reloading ammunition, to achieve the best results you must eliminate as many variables as possible.

    • RR,

      I could not agree more. I do not do it, but of I had the gages and more time, I would do the same.

      One downside, once you eliminate all/most of the variables, there is only one place left to point/blame,….. ME!

      ๐Ÿ™ , Chris

  4. I am not surprised at the sorting results.

    This just reinforces my belief that difference in accuracy between quality and economy pellets is not the pellet itself but how good/stringent the QA process is.

    JSB and H&N offer pellets in 5.50, 5.51 to 5.55 head diameters… these pellets are not made to these sizes but are sorted out of the batch. That sorting process still has some โ€œflyersโ€ that can be culled with a pelletgage if you really need to get picky.

    With economy pellets there is minimal sorting (if any) and the range of sizes is reflected in the group (pattern???) size.

    Iโ€™m running low on pellets and have to order more so yesterday I bought a can of Crosman pellets for casual plinking. I did a quick test and shot 5 targets at 25 yards. The groups were ยพโ€ to 1โ€ in size with some pellets clustered but most were not touching. A small percentage actually hit the POA. JSBs at that range makes ยผโ€ holes at the POA. This is pretty much what I expected.

    The Crosmans are locally available, cheap and adequate for offhand plinking at up to 35 yards or so โ€“ great for stalking feral soda-cans. I will stick to the JSBs for serious stuff.

    Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. StevenG

    I would think that only malformed pellets would be melted down. Manufactures have production lines where the output is sorted into categories like “match” pellets, “premiumโ€ pellets, โ€œeconomyโ€, etc. in which is reflected in the quality, the price and ultimately the performance. You get what you pay for.

    In electronics we call it โ€œbinningโ€. For example, all of the processors in a โ€œfamilyโ€ are made from the same image step and repeated on the silicon wafer. The manufacturing process is not perfect so the quality (performance) of the individual chips on the wafer varies and they are sorted into โ€œbestโ€ โ€œnormalโ€ โ€œOKโ€ and โ€œrejectโ€ categories and priced accordingly. Every now and then there is a great design that works exceptionally well with the current manufacturing process and the yields of high performance chips is better than the normal ones and the consumer gets a really good dollar/performance product.

      • BB
        I’ve been improving my machine rest to the point where I can duplicate reported results by people who can really shoot. I’m also convinced now that shooting for the best groups from good guns, even with premium pellets, is almost pointless without sorting and shooting the size the gun likes the best.
        The unused pellets can be used where lesser accuracy is ok.
        You were the one who suggested the rest so thanks again.

          • Gunfun1
            Not clamped in a vise. More complicated. A Crosman shoulder stock is attached to the Crosman pistol under test. The stock is clamped to wooden frame about 2 feet wide and 5 foot high. The stock and frame give some flex but return to same position. Not a ransom rest (yet) but can shoot under .200 inch groups with 2400kt and selected jsb’s and almost that well with 2240 with LW barrel. I’m still working on protocol so each shot is fired under the same conditions of loading, time between shots, etc. Not perfect but way better than i can do offhand.

            • Fido3030,

              I am (very) impressed at your efforts. You said “ransom rest (yet)”,…. what is that? Can your rig be adapted over to other types of air gun pistols and rifles?

              I had to grin at your “stock is clamped to wooden frame about 2 feet wide and 5 foot high” comment. You mentioned in the past about the wife walking in upon your latest inspiration/project and walking away with a big grin on her face. That sounds like one of those moments. ๐Ÿ˜‰

              Again, way to go on all your testing! Removing the human component will leave you with some real solid results. At least at the conclusion,… you will know what that particular gun can do with a particular sorted pellet. Are you weight sorting yet,… in conjunction with the head sorting? My scale only goes out 1 place ( 16.X ) which should be more than enough, but I guess .XX is common as well.

              • Chris USA
                Ransom rest is gold standard for testing firearm handguns. Gun is fastened with grip inserts specific to each model (e.g. 1911) gun is fired, recoils against springs, and returns precisely to battery for next shot. All metal construction. I think about $500 but i could be wrong on that. Used by top pistolsmiths.
                My setup right now for Crosman pistols only which i like to mod and shoot. Haven’t tried pumpers yet in latest configuration.

  6. B.B.
    Very interesting data in today’s blog.
    Also, I once saw my cousin act in a play based on “Casey at the Bat.”
    Thanks for the reminder of those memories. =D
    take care & God bless,

  7. B.B.,

    Wow! I would have figured that uniformity mattered, but not by nearly that margin. Your findings here strongly suggest that even a casual plinker of air guns should invest in a Pellet or BB Gage, determine the optimum size for his or her gun, and then sort out all ammo that is not that size.


      • Sorting, including size, weight and roll testing seem to be where it’s at.
        I recently went through ten boxes of JSB Premium’s with the pellet gauge and found that eve the “best” factory sorted pellets have a decent range in head size and weight. Granted i’m doing this for bench rest and not field target shooting.

        Before sorting my best, and by nest I mean the only time I shot for groups with these ten shots fit under a dime at 50yd rested on bags front and back. Acceptable for field target, not so much for bench rest.

        The top shooters in airgun benchrest shooting do this and the difference, though only by five or six rounds is very noticeable. I’ll be attending a match this weekend to see how my sorted pellets do versus non sorted.

  8. Hi B.B,

    I hope you are feeling better after the past few rough weeks. I traded emails with Chris USA last night about a British airgun site I follow. The host, Giles Barry, has put together a pretty interesting video about pellet weight, velocity loss over distance, and foot-pounds at those corresponding distances. I would not normally link to another site from here, but thought you, and others on here, might find this interesting. The video is on both YouTube — https://youtu.be/cyTZGOMSMUk — and his website — http://thegungearshow.com/Airguns/airgun%20pellet%20speed%20test.html

    I apologize if this posting is a faux pax, and understand if you choose to remove the links.

    Prayers for your continued recovery.

    Jim M.

      • B.B.,

        It is well put together and the fellow interjects his own brand of humor, which I liked. G-rated. Like Jim said, it illustrates quite well how a heavier pellet will maintain more energy further out. The linked graphs did not come through well, but it appears that he covers all of them in his video, which is 12’ish minutes.

        I liked it and recommend it to all.

    • Jim,

      Thanks again and glad you posted it. On shooting the chrony,…. I took a 1/8″ piece of alum. sheet and bent it to match the front to rear profile. I got the remote read, but I guarantee the face could take a direct hit. The sticks that stick out of the “eyes” would be my only concern, as if hit, would transfer the energy down to the eye case and break it. You can see he solved the problem as well.

      For those that have not seen it, the guy is doing (down-range) chrony testing.

      Thanks again, Chris

    • Fido3030
      But no wood stock. And the longest barrel is only 18″ that they offer. If you want to make it a rifle you have to add the 1399 stock.

      It’s good they did that. But the longer Discovery barrel is what’s giving it better performance. A pneumatic pump gun acts similar to a pcp gun. A longer barrel usually will increase velocity.

      Plus if they offered a wood stock like from a Discovery I did its a much more solid feeling gun.

      I had a conversation the other day with Brent and Siraniko. I also posted pictures of the gun I made.

      But here’s the link to that blog. Read the comments and see what you think. Oh and check out the pictures.


    • Oh and it will fill a void between the 760 and 392/397 pumpers if they make it a production model with the wood stock and barrel and trigger from a Discovery.

      I would buy that gun off a Walmart shelf or from PA in a heart beat over the 760 or Benji pumpers. Plus the Benji pumpers are hard to scope. Or I should say cost more to scope.

      So I would really like to see a production gun made than offering it in the custom shop.

      Read the comments on the link I just posted and say what you think.

      • GF1,

        Quick update,…. “pulled the trigger” on the M-Rod and related accessories. Scope, rings, LP hose(s). LP filter and LP compressor are about all that is left. Will be doing that tomorrow. Well, pellets too + some other stuff.

          • GF1,

            Uhhhh?,…well,…..errrr,…..I,……. ya see,… I already have all of these (.22 pellets),… and I was thinking that,…… since that would be cheaper,….. I thought,……..

            Well,…. of course I did!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

            Talk later,….. outa’ here,….. Chris

            • Chris USA
              You know I didn’t believe any of that. Not even for one little second.

              Did you get it in a synthetic stock or wood? I know you said your getting things from RAI. So if you might want to make some money back. I would be interested in buying the synthetic stock from you if you want and if that’s the type of stock you got. Let me know.

              • GF1,

                Sounds good. E me and let me know details. Yes on the RAI kit. I went with the full pkg. plus a wrench, rails and folder.

                (Dave at R.A.I. was great to work with!). I wanted a package that was a bit out of his normal offerings and he was willing to mix and match components. In the end, I just went with the full package as he felt 99% sure that cheek rise would not be and issue with his adapter system. I look forward to getting and trying his products.

                For anyone that wants an M-Rod that will fit them with length of pull, stock off set and comb adj.,…. his product is the obvious choice, in my opinion.

                Speaking of fit,… the neighbor picked up a rather smallish looking AR looking something in .22. It had the 6 position stock. Fully extended and butt on inside of elbow, only the 2nd joint of the trigger finger fell besides the trigger. Not sure if his is out of the norm.,.. but I will be looking forward to having that adjustment. I figure to leave the folder in until initial adjustments are made and then probably remove it. Then again, I may leave it in.

                Long day ahead,… back much later,…. Chris

                  • GF1,

                    Got the LP compressor ordered as well today. The one we talked about and the one you linked. I am just not sure how to go on the LP filter. I do not want a big hose like you got, or a big tank like BD76 has. Std. shop filter, 5 micron, and a hose in and one out,…. on the way to the Shoebox. That I can do. Then there is the hoses,… coiled, rubber, synthetics, etc.. Then the fittings. The ones at work take a crap all the time,…so there must be some different quality aspects on those as well.

                    At any rate,…. 90% done. Pellets, scope, rings, LP hose(s) and filter,… that is about all that is left.

                    • Chris USA
                      Ours at work do too.

                      I think with ours anyway. They are constantly bent around by the quick disconnect because if the air blow nozzle and the solvents and oils in the atmosphere.

                      My air line and compressor and Shoebox for that fact looks like it just came out of the box.

                      I don’t think you will have wear problems because of those things I just mentioned.

                      And was it called a California pump that your talking about? The one you talked about and I posted the link. That was a nice compressor. If my Husky fails in a way I can’t rebiuld it I will get a California pump for my next compressor.

    • Fido3030
      Chip Hunicutt from Crosman (and I hope I spelled his name right) has posted something about custom shop 1377 over on the GTA forum.

      There is other conversation posted over there also about the wood Discovery stock 1377. Waiting to see if he responds to it or not.

  9. Gunfun1
    Thanks, Maybe Crosman is making a trial run as a Custom Shop model to see what the response is. Also, they might not want to compete with their 392/397 and 2260 and other products. I’m just guessing. I think it’s cool that a major manufacturer actually listens to customers. If I didn’t have another Custom Shop gun on order I’d buy one.
    Thanks also to serious experimenters like you for creating a new product for the rest of us. I hope they sell a million

    • Fido3030
      It wasn’t from me. They already had the custom shop 1377 ready to release before they seen pictures of my gun. I sent my pictures in trying to convince them to biuld a wood stock rifle version of the 1377.

      That’s the thing about Crosman/Benjamin guns. If you do your homework alot of their gun parts will interchange from one gun to another. They are in a sense modular guns. They just don’t promote them that way. Well until a little while back when the custom shop guns came about.

      Either way. I’m happy that the 1322/77 is now got more options with it added to the custom shop. It is easier through the custom shop because they have it all lined out in front of you. The only thing is they limit the options you can choose from. So what I hope for in the custom gun shop is that they add more available options as time passes on. That is something to look forward to if they make it happen.

      • John
        Sounds like a good guess to me.

        The 13xx guns will accept pretty much the same peices as the 2240’s.

        So that was a good choice I think for Crosman to add the 13xx guns to the custom shop.

  10. Bb,
    Thanks for reminding me of that poem. It brought back memories of a 12 year old sitting in English Literature class on that day held outside in the tropical paradise where I live! I don’t remember much poetry but i remember some of that one! I was a lesson in overconfidence I think. The poem was read to the class once and I have never read it or heard it since. Yet the lesson and that last verse has stuck with me for over 40 years!! I don’t play base ball ether. I played cricket though, similar in some ways. I was looking at a match where my home team was batting and with only 5 balls remaining with the only posibility of winning was to get the maximum for each! That poem came to mind and I was certain like everyone else in the cricket world that the home team would loose. They won against all odds confounding the lesson of that poem. Thanks for letting me read that poem for the first time. This is indeed a great blog

  11. GF1,

    Sorry ’bout that. Internet went out. Yes, California Air Tools,….2 pistons, lower rpm, lower heat, 3000 hrs. vs std. 500 hr. life, or so they say. We’ll see. 167$.

    I had the idea of putting the LP air hoses in ice water to cool the air. Just an idea,….. you know me,…. always thinking outside the proverbial “box”.

    • Chris USA
      As it goes no tell’n till you get it and try it.

      And I think the California pumps just may be the new wave of oil less compressor’s. They look like they are even going more towards the higher end market. Maybe not quiet industrial though.

      • GF1,

        A quick check at the Home Depot site had them all the way up to 2,900.00 $. They appear to specialize in oil less, which for us PCP air gunners is a good thing.

        As for the ice water idea,… I thought of using one of those coiled (like a spring) air lines that are hard plastic and putting it into a smaller cooler with minimal water to cover and a half dozen or so freezer ice packs. I would put that between the LP compressor and the moisture filter/ trap. Then it would be up to the trap to catch any moisture. 40 micron filters are common with 5 micron being the std. on the better ones. The 2 I looked at, (Ingersol Rand and Cambell Hausfield) both had 5 micron. The IR was 100$ and the CH was 30$. Both at TSC.

        The inspiration on cooling came from high end laboratory compressors that use refrigerant to cool the air. Mine is just a wee bit more “hillbilly” or “shade tree”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        The point you did drive home was that shorter run times and breaks on the Shoebox was a beneficial thing to try and do,.. if filling larger things like a buddy bottle or larger tank.

        • Chris USA
          The Shoebox went to a coiled steel line between the second and third stage cylinder’s. Plus that is where the cooling fan is at. Blowing directly on those lines.

          The older Shoebox like I have straight lines and no fan. The fan was a option. I didn’t get the fan. But I will say this. If I fill my Talon SS and then the Mrod right after the cylinders don’t get warm. But when I was feeling the buddy bottle after about 30 minutes of running the cylinders would start to get warm.

          So I would say try chilling the low pressure air comming into the Shoebox. Especially if your filling a buddy bottle or a full size bottle. A full size bottle would be the ultimate test to tell you if things stay cool for a continuous run.

          • GF1,

            You know me,… I check and clean the E-mail every few days. I will check here real soon.

            Just shot for about 3 hrs. Did some groups and a lot of tin can plinking. I was also noting the holdover at various distances, with all the other pertinent info. noted as well. Also trying some diff. pellets. Same ones, just seeing what they will do at 70.

            I got tired of re-setting the 6 oz. and the 15 oz. cans at the 70 yd. station. Them suckers are getting TORE UP! ๐Ÿ™‚

            I also mowed for the first time and did some shooting lane clearing. I had a tuff time seeing the 50 yd. last year with full leaves on the tree’s. With the M-rod, I will want to do 100 yds.. I may have to go inside the woods to do that, at least in the summer. I can see 100 yds. clear as a bell right now with little to no leaves.

  12. BB
    More testing you say. For bb guns or pellet guns or both?

    A round ball has to be measured in multiple spots around the ball to see if size is right. And all good I guess if your competion shooting.

    If your not shooting competition then why worry about sorting a bb?

    A pellet and again why sort if not shooting competition?

    I guess if you got extra free time in your life then maybe so. If it’s a BB gun that you want to try to get the best group from. Then ok.

    I’m going to say straight up front I haven’t tested many bb’s. I have tested some round lead balls. But as far as plinking goes. How accurate does a person want to be?

    And pellets. Again all depends on what I’m shooring those pellets at. Yes I want to hit. But if it’s a can I’m shooting at it doesn’t really matter if I miss. But if I’m pesting then yes it matters if I miss.

    And as you say today’s blog shows that as far as round projectiles are concerned. More testing is needed.

    And I’m going to emphasize round balls and bb’s. Pellets well they need looked at too. But they are a little different than bb’s. Wait scratch that. Pellets are a lot different than bb’s.

    It’s been talked about in the past. And it’s all about how far you want to take the subject of accuracy.

    If I had the Excellent I would enjoy it for what it is. Ok scratch that too. Yes I would try to find the best for it too.

    Man I hate being obsessed with accuracy.

  13. So, I went to the recent air gun show in Findlay and walked away with an RWS 34, largely on the recommendations of this blog. I think I’m going to hang a scope on it, but am concerned about barrel droop. I believe this model is infamous for this issue. Is there some way to measure how much barrel droop this individual model might have. If so, how does one go about “fixing” it?

  14. BB– Once again, try Burris signature rings with the offset inserts. 20 @ years ago I had a RWS 52. I used an adjustable (RWS?) mount, but it would not hold its adjustments. Loctite did not solve the problem. Ed

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