by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Texas Airgun Show
- Pyramyd AIR Cup
- Am I done?
- My thoughts
- Readers’ thoughts
- Crosman Premier Copper Magnum
- Baracuda Match 4.53mm head
- Does sorting help?
- RWS Superdomes
- JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets
- The trigger
- Evaluation so far
Texas Airgun Show
The Texas Airgun Show is fast approaching! It’s held on Saturday, August 27 and opens to the public ($5 admission) at 9 a.m. Dealers and early buyers (cost for early buyers is one table — $30) can get in to set up at 6:30. Bring eye protection if you have it, because you have to wear it all the time you are outdoors. The hall is next to the skeet ranges and shot sometimes falls (like rain, with very little velocity) where people are.
AirForce Airguns has donated a Texan big bore in the winner’s choice of .35 or .45 caliber for the door prize, so anyone who buys an admission ticket is entered for the drawing. Airgun Depot is sponsoring the show and has donated one of their .40-caliber Badgers rifles for the raffle. Hatsan donated a Bull Boss PCP, Umarex USA donated a .22-caliber Octane, a $100 gift certificate, an S&W MP40 blowback pistol and 6 hats, Pyramyd AIR donated a Benjamin Maximus rifle and a Zombie Slayer Paper Shooter, and American Airgunner donated 6 hats. Buy lots of raffle tickets and increase your odds at all these prizes that will be raffled from 10:30 until 1: 30.
Nobody knows how large this show will be, but it draws on the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex of 6.6 million people that is the 4th most populous area in the United States. So we could see a huge tidal surge of attendance!
Pyramyd AIR Cup
Don’t forget, too, the Pyramyd AIR Cup will be held September 9-11. There will be competitions of all kinds, as well as a chance to see, handle and shoot some airguns you have only read about until now.
I will be there, so please come out and say hello if you can. Click on the link at the top of this page for more information.
Now, let’s get into today’s report. Yes, this is Part 6 and there will be a Part 7! Why? Read this report and you’ll find out.
Am I done?
I asked in Part 5 if I was finished with this report. Of all the readers’ comments, Chris USA hit the nail on the head. I was asking whether I should test the Maximus some more. I had shot it at 25 yards and again at 50 yards, and many readers thanked me for taking it that far. But Chris saw what I was asking. I thought the rifle deserved more testing and I wondered if you could tolerate it.
I wondered if sorting the best pellets (of the ones I have tested thus far) would produce better results at 50 yards. I already had a baseline for them from the last test, so this would be interesting to find out.
You readers had some suggestions for me, as well. You suggested I try JSB Exact 8.4-grain pellets, RWS Superdomes, Gamo Rockets, H&N Field Targets and JSB Exact 10.34-grain pellets. I wasn’t going to test both the head-sorted pellets and all those new ones, but I did add a couple of the more likely new pellets to today’s test. Let’s look at the head-sorted pellets first.
Crosman Premier Copper Magnum
The first test was of the 10.6-grain Crosman Premier Copper Magnum pellet at 50 yards. When I sorted them with the Pelletgage I found head sizes ranging from 4.51mm to 4.56mm. The bulk of them were 4.55mm, with the next largest group at 4.54mm. Since this is a new pellet, I decided to test a group of 10 in each of the two principal sizes.
The first test was with pellets having a 4.55mm head Ten landed in a group measuring 1.636-inches between centers at 50 yards. Previously ten of the same pellets that were unsorted went into 2.105-inches at the same distance, so this is an improvement of approximately one-half inch. That’s significant.
I next tried the same Copper Magnum pellet with a 4.54mm head. Ten of those made a 1.999-inch group at 50 yards. That’s a lot closer to the unsorted group size of 2.105-inch group, so I would say the 4.55mm heads are best with this pellet.
Baracuda Match 4.53mm heads
I tried the H&N Baracuda Match pellets with the 4.53mm heads next. Of course just because they say 4.53mm on the bottom of the tin doesn’t mean the Pelletgage is going to agree. In this case it said that most of these pellets had a head size of 4.55mm. There were a few that were smaller and maybe one that was larger, but the bulk of the pellets measured 4.55mm with the Pelletgage.
Ten pellets went into 1.638-inches at 50 yards. In the first test with unsorted pellets, 10 made a group that measured 1.852-inches. While that’s larger than the group I got with these sorted pellets, it isn’t that much larger. It could just be due to a difference in my aim on the two days.
Does sorting help?
Sorting the pellets by head size did produce smaller groups with all three pellets I tested, but the amount of improvement in two of the three tests is so small that it isn’t significant. Based on the target I shot with the Crosman Premier Copper Magnum pellets with the 4.55mm heads, however, I have to say sorting does help. But none the groups thus far are spectacular. Let’s see what different pellets can do.
Someone suggested I try RWS Superdomes, so I did, They hit very low on the target and also way to the left. I can’t be certain that all 10 pellets actually hit the target paper. What I have looks like a group of 9 holes that measures 1.83-inches between centers. Based on that, plus the fact that all the holes are torn on the left side (indicating tipping at the target), I think Superdomes are out.
JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets
The last pellet I tried was the JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome. This is where it got interesting. Ten pellets went into a tight 0.913-inch group at 50 yards. It was vertically centered on the bull, but about 3/4-inches to the left.
This is accuracy similar to that of the Benjamin Discovery! This is great accuracy for the price. I know of nothing that can beat it in this price range. It’s why I say I am not finished testing this rifle. If it can do this well, it deserves a closer look. But wait — there’s more!
While I was shooting the rifle I noticed that all creep has left the trigger. It still pulls too hard, but now it has no creep that I can detect. That makes the job of modifying it so much easier. It is now a two-stage trigger with very little travel in stage one. I could easily reduce the pull weight if the rifle were mine to modify. Even some moly grease in the right place might make a noticeable difference.
Evaluation so far
I was both surprised and extremely pleased by the accuracy demonstrated in this test. Apparently the Benjamin Maximus rifle is picky about the pellets it likes, but given the accuracy that we see today, I don’t think that really matters.
A single group isn’t enough, thpough. I want to see more. Next time I will shoot these JSB pellets, both unsorted and sorted, to see how they do. I will also try a few other pellets I haven’t yet tried. I’m not going to test every pellet I have, but I’d like to get a sense of the potential for the Benjamin Maximus. So stay tuned!