Air Arms Galahad: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Galahad
Air Arms Galahad PCP in walnut is a striking looking air rifle!

UTG 8-32 SWAT Mil Dot
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Scoped
  • Swapped rings
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • That scope level
  • Crosman Premiers
  • H&N Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
  • Problem solved!
  • More on the scope
  • Evaluation

Today I started accuracy testing the Galahad-rifle from Air Arms. There were some surprises, so you’re in for an interesting read!

Scoped

I mounted a UTG 8-32 SWAT Mil Dot scope, using the high mounts that came with it. When I started sighting in the pellet was low and way left. I adjusted it up but it would not come anu further to the right. At 12 feet the pellet was hitting two inches to the left.

Swapped rings

So I swapped the rings, thinking that if they were drilled off-center this would correct the problem. I also shimmed under the rear of the scope, to give me a little more vertical adjustment. Alas, the pellet did strike the target higher, but as for the left-right, nothing changed. That means the issue is with the Picatinny rail on the rifle. I needed to finish the test, so I calculated where I could aim at 25 yards and still have the pellet strike the pellet trap.

At 25 yards the impact was on line with the bull, but 8.5 inches to the left. That kept all the pellets in the trap so I could finish the test, but before I move to 50 yards I need to do something about the left-right adjustment. Obviously I will need an adjustable scope mount that has some serious left-right adjustment. But we can proceed with today’s test.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

The first pellet I tried was the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy dome that Tyler Patner recommended for this rifle. I had the scope dialed up to 32X and because of the eyepiece adjiustment I was able to use my rifght eye for the test. The bull and aim point were in sharp focus for every shot.

The point of impact was out of my field of view at 25 yards, so once I confirmed the pellets were all going to a safe place, I stopped checking the group after each shot. When I finished I looked over and saw that 10 shots had gone into 0.30-inches. That’s pretty darn good! In fact, it’s world class!

Galahad JSB 25 yard target
The Air Arms Galahad put 10 JSB 18.13-grain Jumbo Heavy domes went into 0.30-inches at 25 yards! I made it big so you could see it!

That scope level

Remember the Galahad has a scope level at the rear of the receiver? Well, I could not even see it when I was shooting. The scope stuck back over it and covered it up completely, plus it is in the wrong place when my eye is concentrating on the target through the scope. So — nice feature but it doesn’t help.

Crosman Premiers

Never forget that the Crosman Premier is also a top pellet that performs well in a great number of airguns. I used Premiers from the cardboard box that are unfortunately no longer available, but the pellets in the tins are still doing very well. I think Crosman had to make a business decision about the boxed .22 pellets, and since people don’t shoot field target or silhouette with .22s, there just weren’t enough buyers for the premium packaging.

The Galahad put 10 Premiers into 0.393-inches at 25 yards, which is another excellent result! The point of impact raised about an inch, but stayed 8.5 inches to the left.

Galahad Premier 25 yard target
The Galahad put 10 Crosman Premiers into a group that measured 0.393-inches between centers at 25 yards!

By this point in the test I was starting to become familiar with the Galahad. I would like to raise the scope some when I remount it because the bullpup shape has me scrunched up on the stock right now. Also that trigger I liked before could now be a little lighter for me. I found my finger scraping the bottom of the triggerguard, which added to the pull weight, so I had to be careful to hold my finger in the center of the blade.

It might sound like I am being critical of the Galahad, but in fact it’s exactly the opposite. This rifle is so accurate and repeatable that I am finding my self adapting to it, rather than treating it like a generic test rifle. I’m just telling you what I’m doing to adapt better.

H&N Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads

The last pellets I tried were H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 5.53mm heads. I hoped they would be the most accurate of all, but they weren’t. In fact they were the worst. I think at 50 yards I need to try the same pellet with a 5.50 mm head, instead. Worst, in the case of the Galahad, though, is a relative term. Ten Baracudas went into a 0.575-inch group. With most other air rifles we would call that fine!

Galahad Baracuda Match 25 yard target
The Galahad put 10 Baracuda March pellets with 5.53 mm heads into 0.575-inches at 25 yards!

Problem solved!

I called Gene Salvino of the Pyramyd Air technical department to ask him about the scope problem and he suggested I loosen the barrel clamp and see if the barrel is under sideways tension. Well, of course it was! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself — it’s such a common situation when there is a barrel clamp on a PCP or CO2 gun. The barrel is now centered, and Gene saved me the problem of finding an adjustable scope mount! I will leave today’s test as it stands, but now I am ready to go to 50 yards.

More on the scope

You may not remember it, but this is also a test of the UTG scope I mounted in the Galahad. This is a new scope I am testing for you, and I would like to mention that even with my bad eye, this scope adjusted perfectly so I could see the aim point sharply.  I notice that UTG scopes are getting clearer and sharper all the time. Now, the amount of improvement is very small because they don’t have much more to go, but they also all have etched glass reticles that enhances the sharpness. The reticle lines are very fine and crisp, and there is no longer any of the target being covered up by a heavy line. I’ll know more when we get to the 50-yard range.

Evaluation

Well, the scope adjustment problem threw me for a loop today, but thankfully I was able to complete the test and then I solved the problem by loosening two clamp screws and re-centering the barrel. I no longer need to remount the scope before I go out to 50 yards. And of course I am going to 50 yards. With accuracy like this I have to see what this rifle can do. Hopefully I will have better eyes when I run that test for you, though the UTG scope pulled me through today’s test just fine.

Given the consistency of the Galahad, I think it is a very serious choice for those looking for an accurate PCP. It has a great shot count and the most reliable and repeatable power adjustments I have ever seen.

32 thoughts on “Air Arms Galahad: Part 5

  1. B.B.,

    That is some fine shooting there! How well does a Bull Pup design bench rest? That scope is quite large, like my 4-16 X 56 UTG. It would be nice to see a pic of that mounted. I would have thought that a shorter scope might be better due to eye relief. Way to go on using the 32X. 16X gives me a challenge with steady.

    The barrel band was interesting. The M-rod shroud floats through the band, but uses 2 screws at the bottom. They must be tightened in unison, or the band will shift left/right.

    Yes,…. you gotta love the UTG’s. Clear view and fine reticle. I am glad that you think they are nearing the pinnacle of quality. Definitely a great value for what you get.

    Good Day all,……. Chris



      • B.B.,

        Well,… good to know I have not lost all my marbles. I thought that I had learned,… what I thought that I had learned. I understand that you have a scope to test. I just thought that it was an interesting match up. Thanks too for the bench rest question/answer. I suspected such. It may take me awhile to warm up to Bull Pups,…. if ever.


  2. BB,

    Of the new generation of bullpups, the Galahad is one of the top contenders. Not only does it shoot, but it looks great doing it. I too would like to see a pic of this rifle with that massive scope on it. It is a shame the built in bubble level is pretty much worthless. It is one of the marketeering selling points for the Galahad. Not a deal breaker, but I thought it a nice touch.



    • >It is a shame the built in bubble level is pretty much worthles

      I looked at it at SHOT and I think it might work for me, but I need to shoot a Galahad first, as B.B. has done, to know for sure. I always view my level with my non-dominant eye (both eyes open) and I think I might still be able to see it, depending on the scope eyepiece. Also, it’s possible to view the level as one comes up to the eyepiece just before establishing a cheek weld. That’s not ideal and I still think a bubble level mounted on the scope tube or rail farther forward is better, but perhaps the Galahad level is still of some value.

      For the money, I don’t think you can beat the BKL rail and dovetail levels, except I’ve found it to be necessary to custom smith them to be level on each rail (match the rail’s degree of “level”). If you just tighten the BKL level to the gun, it is usually in large disagreement with the rail / gun.

      I also looked at the new UTG scope with the internal level but was very disappointed with the implementation. The internal level is just way too dark for me and difficult to for me to see. I’ll stick with an external level for now.


      • Calinb,

        If your scope has a long eye relief it might still be useful.

        I have the new UTG scope and I find the level works fine. It is true the bubble is not highly visible if you do not turn on the light, but becomes quite visible when you do such. With usage your eye learns to pick up the bubble readily and before long it becomes reflexive. I would like to see this level offered in some of their smaller scopes, but that may be difficult.

        Some time ago I came across a level that was designed for use on a Mattelomatic. It mounted on the last slot or two of the Picatinny rail and protruded rearward over the charging handle.

        http://xtremehardcoregear.com/arlevel.html

        I am thinking of getting one of these and giving it a try, most especially since I usually end up using a Hawke adjustable rail adapter. I have also thought of using the BKL levels that mount on the scope and can fold out of the way.


        • Thanks for the link. I’d not seen that one but have an AR hunting rifle (243WSSM) thats begging for it. I think you’re right about having enouth eye relief to view the level. Even though I view a level with my other eye, I need some distance between my eye and the level to see it.

          I played with the illumination in the UTG scope but still found the level to be more difficult to see than an external level, but that’s just me. Maybe with practice it would work for me.



  3. Off topic, but there is a question I have been wondering about. Does the thinner air at higher altitudes make multi-pumps less powerful? If they are, there is an obvious workaround, but this question was spurred because I just picked up a Sheridan Blue Streak at a pawnshop and it chronied at about 570 rather than the 670 I was expecting. Obviously, the condition of the gun is probably to blame, but I am still curious about the air density question. I am in Utah at about 4500 feet.


    • Rambler,

      I actually participated in a test of this many years ago. What we verified is that at higher altitude, and you are nearly one mile high, a multi-pump must be pumped more times to achieve the same internal pressure as it would with the factory maximum pumps at sea level. With a chronograph I would test this. I’m guessing you need two or three more pumps to get to the spec, in a gun that is up to par.

      If you don’t get up to factory spec. Stop pumping when the velocity levels off, falls or the gun has air remaining after the shot.

      B.B.



        • Rambler,

          Yes, they are. But the difference is very slight — maybe 30 f.p.s. or so.

          In a related topic, a small airplane has to go faster to take off when the weather is very warm — also because the air is less dense. I remember having to add up to 5 knots to get a Cessna 152 off the runway on a 100-degree day.

          B.B.


          • BB
            So do big planes. We had a young fighter pilot in an F14 try to do a Sera Hotel NAS Miramar CA takeoff, only he was at NAS Fallon NV on a very hot desert day where the airfield is close to 4,000 ft above sea level. The thin hot air failed to provide enough lift and he slid right down the runway when he retracted his landing gear. I wonder how long it took him to figure out just what happened?.


  4. Sorry, one more off topic. I acquired a 0.177 Beeman P1 for Christmas along with a 30 mm BSA Red Dot. I am having an issue with the sight moving forward. I tightened the mounting screws tightly, but after reading some of the reviews which talked about stripping the screws, I’ve hesitated to tighten them more. It does not appear that they are loosening, just not tight enough to keep the sight from moving. Does anyone have a suggestion other than tightening more?

    Leamon


    • Leamon,

      I always had the same problem until I learned to use the front sight as a recoil stop. The sight did deform a little from the blows.

      A small dot sight that attached where the factory rear sight goes would be the ideal solution.

      B.B.


  5. Nice shooting. Now that I know what a regulator is that is significant if this rifle has the best regulation.

    Ridgerunner, one would think that I had changed the sharpening angle. Given that I use Japanese water stones in the traditional way, there is no way to measure for sure. This is one reason why I think I may have lost the feel. But I have tried everything to fix this. First I sharpen at a very small angle to thin the blade. Then I open it up for the sharpening angle. I’ve tried variations on both, and it feels like before when it worked. But the blades just do not come out sharp. Quite baffling.

    Matt61


    • Hey Matt…..long time huh?! I will do what it takes to get you back on track and popping hairs again with your edges.First things first……mark your edge with a sharpie because it sounds as if you are working freehand (which is fine….but takes constant practice for years to master).The sharpie ink will tell you almost instantly where on the bevel you are working.I really really rely on a lighted magnifier to “read” my edge to get the best possible result.I’m talking 30X minimum.It sounds to me like a few loose strokes have widened the angle and now a proper bevel angle needs to be re-established.If you miss that fact almost no amount of fine grit work will remove the metal that is in the way.
      If,after checking this proves to be the issue…return to your coarsest stone and repair the angle.Feedback by “feel” alone can easily fool you when a blade is particularly fine due to it’s ability to flex on a minute scale.That brings me to the next culprit…..frustration can EASILY lead to excessive pressure in the strokes.Then you can descend into madness because the true edge is turning away by imperceptible flex…..thereby fooling you because what you think is the same angle isn’t. There,that’s my educated guess.Email me with any questions.I’m back amongst the living and now corresponding again..


  6. Pingback: Air Arms Galahad: Part 5 | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  7. B.B., although I haven’t had much to say for a while, I do still tune in to the blog. What I offer now, I expect you are quite aware of, but some other readers might also be interested.
    Here is your chance to drive and shoot a Sherman tank and have fun doing it. Also, shoot a number of full auto weapons.
    This is in the Texas hill country on the Ox Hunting Ranch. The postal address is Uvalde, TX.
    http://www.drivetanks.com

    In fact, the Ox ranch has much more than hunting to offer.
    http://www.oxhuntingranch.com/activities/

    I suppose, if I could afford an African hunting safari, I could go like a kid a playground paradise.

    ~ken


  8. Try some “carbon assembly paste” between the mount and the gun’s dovetails. Its used on high dollar bicycles for carbon fiber handlebars and seatposts to keep them from slipping at lower clamping pressures. The paste has a fine inert grit in it that will substantially increase the friction between the mating parts. Finish Line is a lubricant company carried by many shops that makes a carbon paste.


  9. BB
    You mentioned you swapped rings. Does that mean you swapped the out with different rings. Or swapped the same rings front to back and back to the front.

    I have one suggestion for you to try with the rings you have now. Take them off and put the the tightening nut on the opposite of the gun than they are on now.

    And you could also try leaving one the way it is now and put the tightening nut of just one ring on the opposite side.

    The nut I’m talking about is the one that tightens the clamp on the ring to the picatinny rail.


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