by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Install CO2
- Daisy BBs
- Air Venturi Copper-plated steel BBs
- H&N Smart Shot BBs
- Shot count
- The sling
- Trigger pull
In Part 1 I told you the true barrel length of this Mosin Nagant M1944 BB gun is around 5 inches. Someone called me on that so I measured it again today. Now I am reading a length of 15.5 inches. The real barrel is buried deep inside an outer jacket that conforms to the appearance of the firearm barrel, so measuring is done by means of a thin cleaning rod. I’ve gone back and corrected Part 1 to reflect what I’ve learned.
Today is velocity day. This BB gun is rated to 427 f.p.s., which is very brisk, so take precautions to eliminate bouncebacks. Let’s begin by installing one 12-gram CO2 cartridge.
First, I want to note that there is an Allen wrench inside the magazine for tightening the CO2 piercing screw. That’s always a nice touch. This one fits flush with the mag in a special compartment made just for it.
The cartridge pierced with no hiss of gas. It sealed, though, as attested by the resistance when I tried backing the screw out again. Let’s shoot!
First to be tested were some Daisy Premium Grade BBs. I noticed right away that the M1944 drops velocity fast if you don’t allow it to warm up between shots. Daisy BBs averaged 436 f.p.s for 10 shots. The spread went from a low of 421 f.p.s. to a high of 452 f.p.s. That’s 31 f.p.s., but as I noted, I wasn’t allowing enough time between each shot.
Air Venturi Copper-plated steel BBs
Next I tried 10 Air Venturi Copper-Plated Steel BBs that are not in stock at Pyramyd Air. I would guess they are similar in performance to Air Venturi Zinc-Plated Steel BBs. These averaged 433 f.p.s. with a spread from 422 f.p.s. to 444 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 22 f.p.s. It’s a little tighter than the first BB because I was allowing more time between each shot.
H&N Smart Shot BBs
The last BB I tried was the H&N Smart Shot lead BB. Pay attention to the link I just gave you — it’s for a small tin of 150 BBs, for those who want to try them but not spend a lot of money before knowing if they work.
This time I really tried my best to allow the gun to warm between shots. The average was 387 f.p.s. with a spread from 376 to 393 f.p.s. That’s 17 f.p.s. and I think it’s about as good as we’re going to see.
I want to say that the larger velocity variations with the first two BBs were due to how they were tested — not due to any flaws in the BBs themselves. I think this will be interesting when I test accuracy. At 10 meters it may not make a differencer, but at farther distances it probably will.
Okay — how many shots can we expect from a single CO2 cartridge? Because this is a bolt action rifle, I worked the bolt and shot as fast as I could and chronographed every 5th shot. There were already 33 shots on the gun when I started, and I used Daisy BBs for this test.
Shot 38 went out at 404 f.p.s. Shot 53 went out at 371 f.p.s. Then I paused for about 5 minutes to let the rifle warm up again. Shot 54 went out at 426 f.p.s., so the velocity recovered after a warm-up. I then fired four shots fast, and shot 59 registered 398 f.p.s. Then I shot four more fast shots and then reloaded. Shot 64 was 431 f.p.s., with about a minute’s pause during reloading. Then four more fast shots were fired, and shot 66 was 394 f.p.s.I thenI waited five minutes and shot 67 was 425 f.p.s.. This puppy still has gas!
Then I put 10 fast shots through the gun, followed by waiting five minutes for it to warm up, and shot 78 registered 380 f.p.s. The gas is running out now. The next shots looked like this.
I stopped recording after shot 87, but there were more shots in the magazine so I shot them. About 4 were powerful, then the velocity dropped like a stone. Based on this test I would say there about 90 good shots on a CO2 cartridge. If you don’t like to count, stop after the fifth full magazine, which is 80 shots. That should be very conservative.
I told you I was going to show how that dog collar sling attaches. The two leather collars pass through the stock at the butt and forearm, and the sling attaches to both of them. It’s a strange arrangement, but it works. And the sling is stout enough to be used as a hasty sling for shooting offhand. I don’t like a sling for anything other than carrying a rifle in the field, but I have to admit this one is the real deal!
The trigger is single stage — just like the firearm. It releases at 3 lbs. 3oz. on the test rifle. You can feel it move until it releases, but there’s no creep (a jerky catch-and-release movement).
I’m liking the realism of this BB gun, so far. The power seems great and the discharge noise is minimal because the barrel is buried so deep inside the outer jacket. Accuracy testing comes next!