by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Reading room
- The absurdity of sub groups
- What lit the candle?
- 10-shot groups and dinosaur ballistics
Yesterday’s series on collecting was a story that just burst out of me. I couldn’t stop it — it’s writing itself. Well, today’s report is the same way.
Like so many of you I have a dedicated reading room in my house. It’s a small room across the hall from my office, and I go there periodically throughout the day to sit and ponder the meaning of life. I also do other things, but they aren’t the subject of this report.
I was in my reading room last Friday, flipping through the pages of the September 2017 Guns magazine, when I came across a statement that stunned me. It was the caption to a table of group sizes for the .22-caliber Ruger American Rimfire Target rifle. I’ll present it here and then discuss it.
” NOTES: Groups [ listed above ] the product or 4 out of 5 shots at 50 yards.”
Well, they are honest! That caption is below a table of group sizes for 7 different rounds. All of them were under one inch. Excuse me, but have we really sunk this low?
The best 4 of 5 shots tells me next to nothing about the accuracy of this Ruger rifle — other than the fact that author didn’t want to print the size of the group made by all 5 shots! Of course the “groups” are small. They are manufactured that way. I will explain what I mean in the remainder of this report.
The absurdity of sub groups
Sometimes when something doesn’t sit quite right for me I think about it for a while before realizing what’s wrong. Last Friday was such a time, and, because I often spend a little longer in my reading room, it was the perfect place to reflect.
I can give you three different reasons why a 4 out of 5-shot group is wrong.
Reason 1. If I take this approach out to its absurd limit, I can illustrate just how slanted and biased it is. Instead of 4 out of 5 shots, let me present the best 5 of 20 shots for my groups. Yes, that is not what the table I’m citing did, but it’s headed in the same direction.
Five pellets went into 0.354-inches at 50 yards. All 20 shots are in 2.681-inches. Which group best represents the rifles’ accuracy?
I sometimes comment on sub groups within a main group. But I never tell you that is the main group’s size.
Do you see how not including all the shots is deceptive? If you can’t see that then the rest of my report may not make any sense, either.
Reason 2. Instead of reporting the best 4 out of 5 shots, what if I report the number of bullets that land in a certain-sized group — one that we are all used to reading — say one inch? That is a take on the first idea, but with a twist. That table might look something like this.
Shots landing in less than one inch between centers at 50 yards. All these groups are based on 10 shots.
JSB Exact RS………………………………6
H&N Baracuda Match w/4.50mm hd……4
Nine RWS Superdome pellets went into 0.947-inches at 50 yards. Ten shots are in 1.443-inches. Which group represents the rifles’ accuracy? Incidentally, I can carve out a couple good 5-shots groups if I want to.
Here is the same table presented in a conventional fashion. All these groups are 10 shots, measured center top center of the two widest holes.
JSB Exact RS……………………….1.916-inches
H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm……2.73-inches
If I want to take the emphasis off true accuracy I can disguise it by the way I present the data.
Reason 3. Only report the ammunition that groups within a stated parameter. Maybe I test 5 different pellets, but only 2 give me the results I’m looking for. Those are the ones I present and the rest get shoved under the carpet.
When I write about the accuracy of an airgun I do publish the best group. I do that because I want my readers to know what that gun is capable of. But I almost always show the rest of the story, as well. I at least show other representative groups. Sometimes, if a particular pellet is going everywhere I might not show that group, but that’s more because that group is so large that I would have to shrink it to fit the size constraints of the images I am allowed to publish in the blog. When that happens, though, I do tell you about it.
What lit the candle?
I didn’t react to this magazine issue out of the blue. No — I was already spring-loaded by a certain Guns author who has been reporting 3-shot groups for years. I won’t name the writer, because in this particular issue of the magazine, sub-group reporting was across the board! Not just one author did it. It was done by no less than five different authors in as many articles. Only two gun writers in this issue reported all the shots they fired, and they reported 3-shot groups and 4-shot groups, respectively! Folks, this type of reporting is not one man’s decision; this is an editorial policy!
Why would an entire magazine format its technical reports this way? Well, you have to be around this stuff all the time to know why any writer would do this and why an editor would not only permit it, but seemingly encourage it. I know because I have seen behind the curtain. I almost want to turn this into a contest, to see how many of you can guess the reason. But I won’t make you wait.
Advertisers want to sell products. The days when a company was proud of its name and the things it made are mostly gone. They will never go away entirely, but when a company buys its principal product from another manufacturer and then sells it without laying a finger on the item; when they can push it into a high-volume distribution network, the marketing department of that company needs to be able to say something good about the product. I am not the man you want to test your gun when you want to push product. You want somebody who is willing and able to massage the data into a pleasing format that can be presented in a compelling way.
I toyed with the notion of taking a well-known inferior product and writing it up in the same fashion as the gun writers I’m slamming, but then I remembered Orson Wells’ famous 1938 radio broadcast dramatization of War of the Worlds that put thousands into a panic. I would put a disclaimer at the beginning and end of my report, but I know that some folks just read the captions. Marketing departments know that, too.
10-shot groups and dinosaur ballistics
This is why I usually shoot 10-shot groups in my tests. Because statistically, 10 shots are as revealing as one thousand shots. Not always, but a very high percentage of the time, they are. Five-shot groups are usually smaller than 10-shot groups and three shots are just a rough guess. But the best 4 of 5 shots — that’s deception at work.
Ten-shot groups were the order of business a century ago. It wasn’t until after World War II that we started seeing 5-shot groups. At the rate we are now going, by the year 2025 the one-shot group may be in vogue.
I’m calling 10-shot groups “dinosaur ballistics” because who, besides a dinosaur like me, would shoot them? They are much too cumbersome for today’s fast-paced gun writers, plus they wouldn’t put many of the guns being tested in a good light. Of course they could always just lie about the groups they shoot, but nobody wants to do that! Do they?
128 thoughts on “Dinosaur ballistics”
B.B. I expect you to report if October or Novembers letters to Guns Magazine include outraged complaints. I bet Guns Magazine isn’t honest/courageous/respectable enough to publish criticism of themselves.
Who reads Guns Magazine here? Did you notice, and were you outraged?
I always wonder if the gold standard of group measurement should include the words “standard deviation.” Rightly or wrongly I am happier with chrony results with “standard deviation” rather than “extreme spread”.
How can I send an email to Rossi at American Airgunner? To get him to mention great 3 shot groups to Tom on video, and we can see Tom almost explode 😉
I talk to Rossi a lot, plus I help write the scripts that we film. We will address it.
Great post B.B.!
In manufacturing engineering, what you are describing would be called the variability of the process we call “shooting”. Some sources of variability are machine or tooling-related, some are due to the raw materials, some to the operator, and yes, sometimes even due to management decisions.
In shooting, we have the same thing. The tooling is the firearm or airgun under consideration, the operator is the shooter, and the raw materials would be the ammunition we are using. (Does that make our spouses “management”?) The combined variations in all three are what drive the variability of the shot itself.
In manufacturing engineering, we estimate the statistical variability of the process by making multiple measurements of the output. In many schools of thought, a minimum of 33 (!!) measurements are required in order to be able to say with some degree of certainty that your estimate is close enough to the true variability of the process. (We usually shoot for 95% certainty).
3 measurements? Even 5 (I’m looking at you, American Rifleman)? Those are barely enough to estimate the average of the process, and you will probably only be about 30-50% certain that you are estimating the true variation.
3 shots are a bad joke. “Lies, damn(able) lies, and statistics”. Unfortunately, these magazines have sold their integrity, and are using deceptive testing to make their real customers happy.
In engineering we always used 42 as the sample size – 42 being, of coarse, the ultimate answer in the universe. 🙂
How many mice died to obtain that information? Were they Bothins? 😉 😉
What was the question???
I believe that the American Rifleman takes the average of five, five shot groups. That’s definitely more reliable than any one group although I couldn’t say how much. One thing I will say in favor of this method is also the basis of my only gripe against 10 shot groups. A five shot group can be compared widely since this number is popular whereas the 10 shot group is so unusual that you cannot compare it as easily.
B.B., if you’re a dinosaur then so am I! =)
Keep up with the 10-shot groups; we appreciate your honesty; it’s refreshing. =D
All the gun magazines printed today do nothing more than give glowing reviews of their advertiser’s products. The editors and writers opinions are bought and paid for and the results of any tests are predetermined. When was the last time you read a bad review of any product in a gun magazine? I gave up on all of them a long time ago.
I suppose you are right about that.
What I would love is a consumer reports of guns.
That means no advertising and no freebies. No early releases and no ringers.
The reviewers go out to the store and buy the guns like everybody else. Then they test them via a set of standards.
Years ago, there used to be a publication that did exactly that, the subscription was kind of pricy and it was in booklet form with not a whole lot of pages per issue, maybe twenty. I believe that it was called Gun Tests. I do not know if they are still in business.
Gun Tests is still being published.
I signed up for a free subscription awhile back. I cancelled the free subscription before it even expired because the writers/testers were so inexperienced, therefore biased without knowledge, did accuracy testing at sometimes 15 feet, sometimes 15 yards and sometimes 25 yards for pistols. They have youtube video’s touting a pistols accuracy at 15 feet with a 3 shot group. The rag, as you say, is very thin. One of the issues I received was comparing custom guns to off the shelf guns. Silly.
I was unimpressed with their comparisons to different but similar firearms also, apparently, they haven’t gotten any better, too bad.
Hard Air Magazine (an online publication) typically attempts to do this, usually buying their test guns at retail just like everyone else. This means that they test average guns, warts and all–though there is of course the risk of getting a lemon (which isn’t necessarily a fair representation). I appreciate their efforts to provide an objective standard in their tests, though I think that sometimes they do not always apply the correct testing standards to some airguns–such as when they test a larger caliber PCP for accuracy at only 10 yards. No one would use that sort of a gun in that manner.
like BB said the days of a company being proud of it product are gone. honest guys like BB are rare. one thing I have noticed. the shooting public are just as bad. on gun forums most guys are liars and braggart know it alls. every gun they got shoots 1/4 inch groups. they lie about feeding deer how far they shot the pet deer eating their food etc
It’s hard to find honesty these days, especially with the anonymity of the internet. Because of all the ego’s and BS I also stopped going on the gun forums. This blog is the only thing gun related I read anymore because it is honest.
I only report one shot groups. Then only with wadcutters. Nice easy hole. Everybody understands.LOL…
Yes they are shills, fake news, call it what you will. They have add space to sell and reporting favourable results makes the advertisers happy. Who cares about the consumer?
Maybe, they just are not very good shots?
Glad you have your reading room and some room for independent thought,
I’m glad you had to read that article instead of me. Sheesh! My eyes would never, ever had stopped rolling.
Could a “group” be considered a group of one? If so, I tell you what, I am a regular “Andy Oakley”!
I once had a group of one, right on the bulls eye of an Olympic 10 meter air rifle target, shot with an obsolete 10 meter air rifle from some foreign country, Germany, maybe, I forget. It was one of a number of shots. No, none of the other shots hit the bulls-eye, but one of them did! How many shots did I take? Well, I think that doesn’t really matter when you look at the subgroup (of one) smack dab on the bulls-eye! And as that old air rifle was made decades ago, the accuracy had to be me, not the equipment. Yes, I out-shot that old, out-dated, FWB 300-whatever.
I am so very proud of myself. I am still waiting for a gold star sticker to be placed on my most excellent forehead.
Very nice. I do not subscribe to any firearm magazines, but do read them on occasion when getting the oil changed, dentist appt’s, etc.. Most every product seems to get glowing reviews as you said, but I also remember seeing product comparisons like Consumer Reports would do. Even then, one must ask themselves what the testing parameters were as you pointed out. I would rather see seven 3″ groups of 10 than seven 1″ groups of 3-5.
Since getting back into airguns, right here, I have always shot 10 shot groups. You taught me that. Sub-groups of 10 do serve a purpose, if for nothing else than those 3 off shots, of 10, may have been me and not the rifle. That’s why I stress testing over multiple sessions of 10 shot groups. That will wring out the final drop of any data and evaluation. Keep up the 10 shot groups, (but I do appreciate the sub-group speculation’s as well).
Good Day to you and to all,…. Chris
No doubt about it you are a man of integrity and honesty and fully respected as a result. And it speaks highly of the company that supports you, Pyramyd Air. They obviously believe in the same values and are respected as well. You are both in the right place and time to benefit us.
It’s refreshing in todays world of deception and greed. I think one of the benefits of old age is clarity of thought. Call it wisdom if you want, but the difference between right and wrong becomes clear and easily identified. We are not so easily deceived. You picked up on that deception immediately, and I believe it upset you because it’s just another verification that the values we held near and dear are vanishing.
As to the meaning of life, simple, procreation and the overwhelming affect of love certainly pushes us in that direction.
Very well said and I couldn’t agree with you more. Being 70 years of age, I often feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I tell people that I was born too late…don’t care for all this high tech junk and I don’t even carry a cell phone with me. I do repair computers as a retirement hobby and have done that for over twenty years but that is extent of tech for me.
I for one appreciate the fact that Pyramyd Air allows you to print the truth, instead of trying to force you to discard your personal integrity. I have even been surprised by their use of videos by Tyler that are not glowing reviews of products.
Thank you Tom and thank you Pyramyd Air for daring to be honest.
There was a time when reloading firearms I would take many combinations of brass, bullet types and weights, powders, seating depths, etc to the rifle range. It was a 15 mile drive and I wanted to gain lots of info in the time I had. I became a victim of the 3 shot group statistical lie. I saw the error of my ways when I was unable to repeat the previous results.
A fellow name Darrell Huff wrote the book How to Lie With Statistics. One example given is changing either the x or y axis scale. The data can be real but the impression left on an unsuspecting mind is simply a wrong one. I see this everyday in so called news reporting. We humans want the truth to be what we wish it to be whether it is a tight shot group or some agenda we like.
… I shot some excellent one-shot groups the other day – some actually hit the target 🙂
Kidding aside, it is amazing the smoke and mirror tactics that people will use to mislead the public. To misrepresent the truth to take someone’s money is theft as far as I am concerned. Its called scamming.
About the one-shot groups, I have actually started doing that. I am working on my target shooting form so I am bench shooting at 25 yards. I found that after a couple of shots my aim-point was gone, the pellets were going through the same hole and I could not tell where the impacts were.
To resolve this I created a practice target that has eight rows of ten, half-inch circles, an aim-point dot and grid. I shoot one pellet at each circle and can easily see the deviation from the POA. Measuring the ten targets gives me my “group size” for that string. Working pretty well for me. I’ll (try to) attach an image.
Hope this is of interest.
I’ve eliminated the problem of wiping out my aimpoint by doing as BB frequently does. That is, making sure the pellets hit well away from the aimpoint. I should say that I only do this while I’m trying to determine which pellets I should feed that particular gun.( After that I rarely have any reason to measure groups because I’m usually aiming at a reaction target of some kind) I have even made it a resent practice, after reading many discussions here on scope mechanics and the value of spring tension on the erector tube, to deliberately dial in lots of DOWN and LEFT to help assure that the scope is doing it’s part during testing. Then I place a blank piece of card stock wherever the pellets end up hitting. The range is typically 10 or 25 yards. I’ve made an assortment of round black aimpoints of various diameters on printer paper that I switch out to get the best sight picture as the distance or scope or power setting changes. Of course, I have to change out the card stock after each group, but the 25yd “strolls” back and forth after every 10 shots to do that are usually what makes up my daily “workout”! 🙂
If I were to shoot for groups after I had everything sighted in for a particular scope, gun, pellet and distance combo (when opening a new tin of my goto pellets to make sure they still got it, for example, or to run a quick test on a newly acquired brand or style of pellet), then I would certainly see the benefit of your target grid. I think in the Olympics they shoot just one shot at each bull, as well. Is that on 8 1/2 X 11 printer paper with 1/2″ spaces between the 1/2″‘ circles? Thanks for the image, by the way. I believe it’s the first I’ve seen in the comments since they added the feature. Was it easy to insert?
Yup, easy to insert, just linked to the picture and it appeared right after I hit the “Post” button.
I am a “plinker” at heart and prefer to shoot at reactive targets – usually Honeycomb cereal suspended on a string 🙂
I am used to a small moving target which is easy to lock on to, I find shooting paper to be awkward as I have to concentrate harder before the target comes to me. The push-pins holding the target often become victims when I need to sharpen my focus.
The one shot per target is a special exercise. Right now I am checking how holding/gripping (tight, loose, etc.) the rifle the effects the POI so the 10 shot string, one per circle lets me see that pretty well.
Like you, if I am shooting five or ten shot groups at a single circle (usually do this when I am checking out pellets) I will sight in on the line of circles below my where I want the POI so I don’t blow away my reference dot.
I prefer to “stand down” after each shot, that way every shot is separate from the previous one and I run through a complete firing cycle (stance, lock, shoot, follow through, stand down).
I like the single-shot approach so I don’t get the idea that I have 13 more shot in the magazine to follow up with – gotta make the first one count 🙂
You are right – 8 1/2 x 11 paper, half-inch circles on a one-inch grid.
I enjoy the 25 yard strolls as well. Last night one of our deer followed me back and forth a couple of times – she seems to like the Honeycomb 🙂
I have been wanting to make a target like this for months. Something like this is fun for the 499 also as I love to see the holes in the tiny dots! I can’t get it to print clearly from your image; can I ask how you made it?
Also, I alway enjoy hearing about the deer!
I reduced the size of the image I posted so that it wouldn’t bee too big to put on the Blog. If you tried to print it on an 8 1/2 x 11 it would indeed be very blurry.
I make my targets on a CAM program designed for editing Printed Circuit Board (gerber format) files. I have several that I use all the time.
I would be glad to send you a couple (in PDF format) that you can print if you like. Let me know.
We have several deer that are comfortable with us and will often approach to within a couple of feet. I’m expecting that she will bring her fawns to show them off soon.
I shot some excellent one shot groups over the weekend.
Needless to say them starlings won’t be exsperiancing no 10 shot group’s. DOA 😉
Good one! GF1 🙂
That would be great, Hank. How do I get my contact info to you? Are you on Facebook?
I’m not on facebook, just send me a message at: hankDOTvanderaaATgmailDOTcom
Be sure nobody feeds the deer. They do become dependent. We vacation on a coastal barrier island where feeding is out of control. Even domestic kitties are wilder there.
Sorry to go off topic but I saw a chance to make a valid point with readers.
Agreed that feeding can be a problem so we are careful about providing a “free lunch”.
The Canadian winters can be harsh with heavy snows and week-long cold snaps that are -30 C so we will put out some corn for the deer then.
I have 10 acres of rural property that is ideal deer habitat with lots of natural food sources. It is a safe haven for the deer, they are welcome here (even when they eat my Tiger Lilies) so the resident does trust us.
The (nursing) does do get treats (the dog gets table scraps as well 🙂 ) but basically they have to fend for them selves.
Good that you point out the danger of making the animals dependant of human hand-outs.
I live in southwestern Michigan. We have lots of deer also. My home is only a couple miles from a small town but it is also rural. I love seeing the deer occasionally out behind our house. Ours are not as tame as yours and are pretty flighty. I used to be a avid deer hunter in my younger days but now at 70, I just love watching them and wouldn’t even consider ever shooting one. We have wild turkeys coming up to eat under our bird feeders in the early morning and late afternoon. We have name one hen gobles. She is usually alone by herself and seems to be the frequent attender.
Vana2 – meant to address you in the above post as well. Was thinking of you being in Canada.
I forgot to include that your honeycomb target is a fine idea.
Yeah, the honeycomb works great, bio-degradable as well – and the bonus is that the critters clean up.
When I am getting real cocky and need a dose of humility I will try Froot Loops or Cheerois 🙂
Try life savers .
Wanted to try lifesavers but ended up eating them 🙂
Try airsoft ammo . It stays crunchy, even in milk !!!
Like the Honeycomb idea. Tough in a breeze, I bet! I use Necco wafers held by those really tinsy binder clips. They hold still and are a little bigger than your targets. Oh, and who said I enjoy the 25 yard strolls ? 😉
I sometimes do the same thing when shooting at 45′ in my basement in the winter months. I posted the other day regarding targets and target holders but just in case you missed it here a link to some free targets you can print out. I print them and then scan them into my computer to save them. Then whenever I want to go out and shoot a session, I just print out about five targets to use for that session. The solid back 1/2″ dots are easier to focus on at 25 yards too.
My personal favorite site for targets: http://www.airgunsmith.com/target/freetargets6.htm
And another site: http://www.gr8fun.net/AirgunTargets/free-downloadable-airgun-targets-ezp-4.html
Thanks for the link.
Having the software at hand, I have designed several different targets for specific uses.
I have a 5-up target for general shooting and a 12-up target that I glue to a piece of thin cardboard (cereal box) and cut into individual targets.
The diamond frame around the target is useful for aligning the cross-hairs (reduce cant) and I will frequently adjust the scope magnification so that the mil-dots touch the frame.
If anybody wants a PDF of the targets just send me a message at: hankDOTvanderaaATgmailDOTcom
I just lost quite a bit of typing off to the either. I should learn my lesson and save somewhere else.
I am going to use your target for some bench shooting. I want to keep a list of my hold, focus, and follow though for each shot. My short term memory does not last through a 10 shot group so that I remember what is going on with each shot. I need to remember exactly what I focus on with my hold for each shot. When I have good focus and follow through I can watch and feel like I guide (and see) the pellet all the way to the target. I think those are my best shots but not sure. I also think when my only noticeable movement is my heart beat it is also a good shot. I think the target and list will be very revealing.
Speaking of one shot groups. I put a cheap Crosman 4x scope on my Apache multi-pump with a Maximus barrel. The scope was so bad I could not see anything in focus at any distance. Once I adjusted both ends of the scope it is fairly clear and useable at 25 yards. The only scope mount I have for the Apache is for the 3/4 inch tube scopes. I sighted in at 10 yards it was easy because I could bore sight the rifle with the bolt removed. The second shot was in line so I went to 25 yards. First shot was dead center. Second shot just barely enlarged the first hole (I should have stopped there I had about a .01 inch group). I shot the first six shots and the group was still under a half inch. So the gun can shoot with the Maximus barrel. I shot the final 4 shots and they made a nice group about 3/4 on an inch to the right. Then I remembered I was suppose to remember that the gun slipped out of my hand and the scope hit my shoulder hard when pumping for shot 7. With the scope on the gun I have to hold the breach from underneath the gun with my off hand while pumping. For 10 pumps this gets hard on my off hand quickly as I am pulling instead of pushing on the gun. Once I get the scope mounted more securely I will report back on the results. I also need to try more pellets.
I haven’t had the time to work on my automated hand pump yet, even though I have all the parts. I did see a very simple pump assist on U-tube where a guy just used about 6 or 8 feet of a pine 2×4 board. He had one end hinged to the wall and the middle hooked to the pump handle. The pump foot was hooked to the floor and he carved a handle in the other end of the board. Job done; simple and cut the pump force in half. The stroke doubled but hey nothing is free.
I also put a Maximus barrel on a Crosman1322 multi-pump It is shooting better than I am now but I have plans to build a shooting table into/onto the back porch. I told my wife it will also serve as a bar table, not sure that helped but she agreed any way.
Sorry I lost my carriage returns somewhere.
My best shots on paper are when my total focus in on the aiming dot on the target and all else fades out.
With the price of HPA compressors coming down to more reasonable levels I kinda shelved to automated pump project. Not much time to spare from other projects.
Glad that the Missus approved the new “bar table” 🙂 The table I built has three 6×6 legs and weighs well over 100 pounds – nice and solid, you are going to appreciate having a proper shooting bench. Guess that you could describe the construction “style” as “Early Neanderthal” LOL!
Nice, I saw something like this at the shooting range the other day. It got me to thinking about why the bull design was chosen for targets. No doubt it is because of symmetry that will equally penalize deviations from any direction. However, the circular shape does not go well with the post shooting design. Trying to make the top of a post tangent to the bottom of a bull is a difficult and imprecise thing to do, and I wonder if that’s why my groups fall off so much at 100 yards with my M1. I’m thinking of painting a heavy black line in the grid in the shape of a square that surrounds the bull and see if that changes my group size.
All I got to say to that is wild game or pests don’t have reference lines on them.
A person has to know how to hold their gun to keep the shot consistent when they aim.
Check the post I made to GEO above, If you would like those targets send me a message and I will get them to you.
Thanks for this Hank, it makes record keeping much easier–printing some of those out today!
B.B. thanks for taking the time to rant about what many of us roll our eyes at and give a negative mark to the brand because of.
Reminds me of my first .22 . Took a whole box of ammo just to get an idea where it was shooting .
Ever try to adjust the sights on a shotgun like that ???? Every adjustment required another box of ammo .
I first saw this sort of nonsense when reading the advertising claims on the box of a (cheap) American-made rifle: “Sub 1-inch groups at 100 yards guaranteed!” Then in almost unreadable fine print beneath that claim “Accuracy claims based on 3-shot group.” Now, as the case may have been, the rifle might have actually been decently accurate, but you can see how the advertising was driving the statistics. Just what a 10-shot group from that same rifle would look like is anyone’s guess.
Unfortunately, when it comes to some of the other airgun reviews I see, I find claims of amazing accuracy that are based on 3-shot groups. Then people buy the gun in the review thinking that they have they have an incredibly accurate gun, when such is simply not the case. Unfortunately, this is one way that new airgunners get turned off to the hobby, when they realize that their new plinker they bought for $119 at Walmart doesn’t in a “real world” scenario live up to the accuracy claims those reviews promised.
There is a place for groups of less than 10 shots, but take them for what they are. When I am testing out a new airgun, I always start by shooting 5-shot groups. With the number of different pellets I usually test, 10-shot groups would be too much. So I start with 5 shots. If a pellet shows potential in the gun (i.e., if it is producing an actual group and not scattered points of impact), then I can follow up with a 10-shot group to see the true accuracy potential.
That is what I did with a new .22 Maximus and 10 pellet types. One type had a 11mm group at 30 yards. The pellet that ended up winning the 10 shot show down did 22mm on the 5 shot round. The 11mm pellet just would not repeat. f time is a factor, the 5 shot group does have its place,… but 10 shot follow up is needed.
ChrisUSA, I didn’t fully follow your explanation the other night about elevation, possibly because I’m not familiar with Chairgun. If there is correlation with my monkey experiment, that is encouraging, but, ultimately what one decides is a personal decision. Choosing concepts is not unlike buying airguns: You pays your money and you takes your chance. 🙂
Then you need to get the Chairgun program an check out what happens with air gun ballistics. Chairgun is air gun related. If you don’t learn something from Chairgun there is something wrong. Seriously. It will show you alot of things.
Hi B.B. Been awhile,I still follow along regularly.I think personally, five to ten shots per group regaurdless,tells more about the shooter,ballistics,pellet,and expectations.no matter practice,one task per group, breeds consistancy.follow thru.the field being even,it helps.Have a great day! Dan
This is why reviews that come with advertising are always suspect. They can’t dare say anything bad about a product for fear of losing advertising revenue. This is the same reason why TopGear UK was a terrific show and TopGear USA was a waste of film.
Early on I viewed this blog with the same suspicion. When you started calling out the fake semi-autos I stopped doing that. I dared to point out a “semi-auto” was a belt fed revolver on airgundepot once and had my comment removed for daring to speak the truth.
By applying my magazine article truth in writing program you to can easily discern fact from fiction. First Read the article in its entirety. Second Assess what you’ve read making sure that you have absorbed all the data presented. Third Metabolize what you’ve read does it make sense. Fourth Determine which after following the three previous step should be easy.
It’s easy to remember as RAM-D.
(Yes I read Firearms News religiously. )
My gosh! RAM-D. I used to teach that at the Armor School at Fort Knox. Now I can’t get the melody out of my head!
Thank you! 😉
I didn’t know about RAM-D until I read the Kokalis article in Firearms News that gave you props for explaining it to P.K. Very interesting stuff.
You know, learning that was an education for me. I discovered how something as simple as a supply item could topple an entire system! It made me really appreciate what Volkswagen did in the 1950s and ’60 to dominate the sales of foreign cars in the U.S. They did it not by being a better designed car, but by having a superior designed support system.
Here is just one small lesson we taught. The M60A1 tank had a problem with its generator failing, causing the whole tank to be deadlined. In a redesign of the powerplant, the generator was:
1. Moved to a place on the engine where it was easier to change without removing the entire engine from the tank.
2. Cooling the generator with oil instead of air.
When that redesign was finished (there were several addition things like changing the wiring harness for all electrical connectors were moved to a single place), the M60A1 RISE (Reliability Improved through Systems Engineering) became the Volkswagen of the Army — an extremely reliable combat vehicle.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge, insight, and experiences.
Ran out of room to respond on the previous blog.
I am not very good with acronyms, what does TBR stand for?
I am in total agreement with GF1 on this one. I also believe that this applies equally to any projectile, be it arrow, pellet or bullet, regardless of what they are fired from. I also believe that the POI above the POA will be more pronounced at lower velocities.
I have an idea to verify this this which would entail sighting in on the horizontal and then shooting from an elevated position from an upstairs window at a pronounced downward angle, I will not be climbing a ladder and placing a target high in a tree! I no longer bounce as well as I used to, nor mend near as quickly and try to act accordingly.
I will be using a Bushnell Legend 1200 laser rangefinder to verify angles/distance and my low velocity, scoped IZH 61 air rifle which is not very hold sensitive as compared to my more powerful springers.
This will take awhile because I am still playing catch-up from the last flood (had two within two weeks) and my large yard had not been mowed for eighteen days due to still being too wet. I got about half of it done yesterday and hopefully will be able to finish it today.
Hey bug your not in the Hoosier state are ya?we’re pretty wet here.
No sir, I reside in Southwestern Pennsylvania, the weather sucks here also! Way too much rain over a short duration, five plus inches the first time and four plus the second over a twenty four hour period, too much! Actually, this is the fourth time this year that this has happened. Fortunately, it only effects my driveway,yard and fields and not my house.
TBR = True ballistic range. I learned that from the article GF1 linked us too regarding elevated shooting.
Hope the flood didn’t reach your house! Fortunately I am not in any flood planes here in southwest Mi.
You made me laugh when I read you don’t bounce as well as you used to
I look forward to your future experiments with shooting downhill and the effect on the POI.
I believe that the Bushnell rangefinder gives the TBR among other things.
No, the flood fortunately, did not reach my house, it only deposited mass quantities of sticks, branches, small logs, stones, gravel and several fish (only bluegills) into my yard and adjoining fields. Major clean up prior to the next mowing!
Actually, I didn’t bounce all that well when I was younger, have you ever had “the wind knocked out of you”? WOW, you cannot catch your breath and believe that you are truly going to die, at the last moment of perceived life, you are able to suck in sweet cool air, truly scary!
As I said, it may be awhile before the ballistic tests will be compleated, if this is any indication as to how often I shoot my air rifles, my new chronograph and printer are still unused in the box after about a year and a half. Please be patient.
You have my full attention and I do like your testing methodology. I for one will be (anxiously) hearing your results. Thank you for your time and effort to test this.
You did mean awaiting the results did you not? Me also, it should be an interesting experiment.
Yes, that is what I meant to say. I hate those times when the words are in my head, even during a re-read,… an then nope,….. they never made it to paper. 🙁
Looking forwards to seeing your test results.
An idea popped into my pea brain this morning. I am not sure where you live in Ohio, but, check on how long it would take you to drive to Waynesburg, Pennsylvania and get back to me. If you have ever posted your personal email address on this site, please let me know where I would be able to locate it. Personally, I find it uncomfortable to do so with all the crap that goes on the internet these days.
I just now saw your reply in my e-mail. I was not ignoring you. I usually only check it 1x on the weekends. I do not travel much. There was the P.A. event, Findlay and Grove City all within 1-2 hrs. of me and I have yet to hit the first one. I work 4 tens and by Fri. I am whooped. Then I help out my 80 year old parents on the weekend at least 1 day. Then my stuff here.
I am the same with the e-mail. If you have Vana2, Buldawg76 or GF1 e-mail, they have it. I think that Ridge Runner does too. A couple of other’s too, I think. If so, they have permission to forward mine to you.
A side portal would be nice. That way we could exchange e-mails given that permission is asked and permission is granted,.. on a one on one basis. The High Road has a feature like that where you get do side chats, but only the people talking are the only ones that see it.
Take care and see you on the current blogs. I hope that you got your yard cleaned up. Mine is soaking wet now and needs mowed. Shooting this weekend is looking real iffy. Not to mention the horrid humidity. By the way, I live about 1 hour N.E. of Columbus.
As I’m sure you are aware,”The American Rifleman” has used the standard of “average of 5 consecutive 5 shot groups” in their gun reviews for many years (at least for the 40 years I’ve been a member) and I think they are still viewed as honest, by the shooting community, at least. Do you have any insight into how they settled on this standard and what is your opinion on it’s validity/usefulness as regards firearms or airguns( if they differ)
American Rifleman used to shoot 10-shot groups but they went to the 5-shot group after WW II. I have no idea why they did.
Thanks for that tidbit. I figured they always did five 5 shot strings.
And for those who aren’t NRA members ,they show largest group, smallest group and average group size in their reviews. Oh Yeah, join if you can !!
I am glad that B.B. tells the truth, and it seems to me to be in the best interest of Pyramyd to have him do so. After all, if they sell a hundred guns, what do they care which make and model they are? It is better to turn people away from mediocre guns (or at least tell them exactly what they are getting) and have them satisfied with their purchase so they want to buy more guns, and buy them from PA instead of being turned off from the hobby/sport.
Someone who is sponsored by particular makers is in a different situation, one that I don’t envy.
B.B., et al
It looks like what this section of the blog needs right now is a Devil’s Advocate. At the risk of additional blight to my soul, I hereby volunteer.
While I am in total agreement with all the discussion on ballistics presented here, I think there are some very important points that have been omitted. To wit, the inherent differences in sighting in an air rifle and sighting in a hunting firearm. (Disclaimer: Air rifles here mean springers.)
I would venture to say that most air rifles, taken fresh from the cabinet, will not put the first pellet exactly centered on the intended POI like it did when put away. Lubrications need to be redistributed from the effects of gravity and after a few shots accuracy is resumed. The hunting rifle, on the other hand can shoot to the same POI as long as consistency is maintained between the first shot cold barrel and the cartridge. Air rifles do no have to factor in barrel heating which affects POI.
Years ago, intending to hunt whitetail, I purchased a used ’03A3 Springfield, taught myself reloading, and joined a rifle range club. I shot many rounds thru said rifle, working up my desired handloads. My intent was to get the most accurate round I could achieve, shot from a cold barrel on the first shot and be able to repeat that on every occasion. Indeed, I was “aiming” for one-shot groups. Three shot groups were sufficient for sighting in the scope. With the available hunting areas, my fixed 4-power scope and my self-imposed 300 yard limit were sufficient.
All that being said, per my DA status, my disputation is that unless a conventional rifle shooter is doing nothing more than punching paper, then standards cannot be the same as for an air rifle shooter, and vice versa.
This is all strickly presented as IMHO.
Larry in Algona
I agree that 3-shot groups are right for sighting a scope. In fact I have said so on numerous occasions.
But don’t get the test that I do confused with target shooting. Just because I use targets doesn’t make what I do target shooting.
I am testing consistency and repeatability. Also I’m testing the barrel’s ability to put all the pellets in the same place.
I agree in the cold barrel method and in fact have reported on groups obtained that way. That is the true test of a hunting zero. I just shot 10 shots from a .22 Hornet — all from a cold barrel. It’s my varmint rifle and the shots have to go where I aim.
My apologies for not making myself clearer. Your methodology and intention was never in doubt. In fact, I rely on your testing to help in my purchases of guns and pellets. You might recall I stated I read all of your previous blogs (for PA) and almost all of the comments sections before I ever made my first comment. I do know and appreciate all the testing and hard work you have vested in this skill.
My (personal) observation was as stated offered up as a Devil’s Advocate not directed toward you only but the community at large. I was noticing a trend of most people to look at, and judge, most rifle shooters with the same high standards they themselves adhere to and expect other air gun shooters to adhere to. I was hoping to point out that optimum repeatability for a firearm is of necessity slightly different from that of an air rifle. For instance, air rifle shooters are not worried about their barrels being fouled or its temperature, things that can affect a firearm.
BTW, on that ’03A3, I found it languishing in a nearby small town gunshop back in ’81. I don’t know how long it had been in the shop. The story that went with it was that it was brought back to the States by an American officer returning from duty in Germany. He had the Springfield worked on by a German gunsmith and restocked with a blond Tyrolean stock and scoped with a fixed 4 power Hensoldt-Wetzlar scope with tip-off mounts completed with a 1″ braided European sling. In short, it was everything an American hunting rifle was not and just about the ugliest thing I had ever seen. It didn’t take me long to discover that I would not be able to use that stock to any effect so as soon as possible I had it replaced with a walnut one I ordered from Reinhart Fajen.
Larry in Algona
I wasn’t offended. Just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.
An 03A3 Springfield with a Tyrolean stock?!!! Take me home and put me to bed, mother. I have seen enough to know I have seen too much!
As far as I can tell, we’ve always been on the same page. Whenever I’ve been called on something (twice now) it’s always been my fault – not getting my thoughts across in an understandable manner. I try.
Larry in Algona
Hello, No Curly Or Shep, 🙂
Am I to understand you to say that firearms testers, users, hunters or whatever, generally, will be more interested in what a gun does in it’s first few shots because A) they may only get a few cracks at game or an assailant and B) subsequent shots are potentially going to be influenced by rather random or uncontrolled barrel heating, fouling or seasoning( as some would call early fouling). If that is what you contend, I think I agree with it. As airgunners we should expect an accurate gun to be as accurate after many rounds, though and I like the 10 shot strings,personally.
Would you or anyone else, for that matter, have an opinion about the NRA preference for 5 consecutive 5 shot groups?
You know what is weird or maybe not.
I can pick up my known good shooting firearms and ammo and likewise with air guns and tell in a couple shots if they are still producing the results I know that they normally shoot at.
When I have a gun and find the right ammo after shooting multiple group’s of 5, 10 or even 30 shots. And the gun averages out to pretty much the same groups on multiple days of shooting. I then go to one shot at usually 9 dots on a 11×7 peice of paper with hitting the dot totally in my mind.
And I do that multiple days. Then I put the 9 dot 11×7 paper at different distances and then at different heights below and above level.
I guess what it amounts to is I try to practice in multiple ways with my main objective being to hit where I aim the first time in any given situation.
I myself believe that the type of shooting you will be doing comes into play of how you practice to achieve what you want from a gun.
So there’s my opinion on all this. I want to hit what I aim at. And I don’t have no set group size I call my Bible I adhere to achieve my results. I do what I need to for that given situation I want results from.
I can see where that routine would build lots of skill in you and lots of confidence in your gun and pellet/bullet combo. I think you must have easier access to long and variable ( the above and below level kind) conditions than I do. I’m doing good right now to just remember what pellets group well in my guns, on level ground, if, and it’s still a BIG IF, I do my part. 😉
Or maybe that I been doing it all my life. Not saying it sarcastically but seriously.
When you shoot air guns and firearms for along time you see things happen. Even when you didn’t realize at one time what was happening. But all of a sudden things started to click.
Again best I can say is shoot as much as you can and keep notes.
First let me state that B.B. has perfected his style of testing air gun accuracy and repeatability over several decades and I can’t find any reason to question that the ten-shot group is the best way to go. With an air rifle that is pretty easy to achieve. With a fire arm, well, that can get to be REALLY expensive, so maybe you compromise and shoot five-shot groups. Saying that, I have absolutely no idea what went on in the minds of the NRA testers. What I DO know is that the last time I went deer hunting I only took three cartridges. My expectations were one shot, one kill. I don’t count myself among the perfect so the second cartridge was in case I flinched, the deer moved at trigger squeeze, or, heaven forfend, I fall victim to buck fever. The third cartridge being extra, extra insurance.
I also know that the last time I went deer hunting the only deer spotted were on the wrong side of a canyon or out of range. I did manage to bag enough chanterelles to add to everyone’s meal that night in camp.
My next trip to the rifle range a few days later showed that those three rounds were spot on.
Larry in Algona
Did I restate your veiwpoint accurately? IF I have, then you have converted me as regards firearms accuracy testing. ( you little devil,you) Also, I’m a simple Kentucky boy and have got to ask,” What in tarnation is are chanterelles ?” Ha! The spell checker didn’t know either!
Yeah, but google does. It’s a mushroom. LMo
I know Morels, Meadows and Puff Balls. Are chaterelles tasty (and easy to identify)?
But when it comes to accuracy be it firearms or air guns. Don’t you spend the money to get the results you want.
If I can’t afford to shoot a certain gun because I can’t buy ammo that works. Well then why am I shooting.
My goal is to become as good as I can be with a given gun. I want accuracy when I shoot. And sometimes the results don’t come cheap in more ways than one.
And like you say in my humble opinion.
I keep coming back to this entry. Since you addressed it to me it deserves a response. I always read what you have to say since I consider you a very knowledgeable person and you’re comments are always pertinent. Please help as I’m not sure what your point is. At any rate, I’ll try to respond as best I can.
Spending money for results. Absolutely. One way or another you’re going to spend money for results, be it for the gun, the ammo, the knowledge and the tools to modify the gun if needed. But as they say sometimes it’s the journey and not the destination.
“If I can’t afford to shoot a certain gun because I can’t buy ammo that works. Well then why am I shooting.” This sentence gives me the most trouble and where I am asking for your help. Could you give me a scenerio? Is this in response to my comment about shooting 10 rounds of .30-’06 store bought ammo as being VERY expensive? I was looking for results that would be better than store bought ammo and also perform better at a cheaper cost. (Or, is it something else?)
Larry in Algona
My point is in general.
Whatever I’m spending my time on I want results. And I will pay to make those results happen.
If I can’t afford the results I want. Then why am I even bothering.
Point is if I have to by a tin of pellets that cost 15 bucks for 500. And my gun hits the paper how I want then I’m spending that money for that result. I won’t buy a cheap pellet to get almost as good results. I’ll spend the money for what I know works. As I said why even bother with less than what I know can be achieved with a better higher cost product. If I can’t afford it. Then I guess I shouldn’t be doing it is the way I see it.
AhHaa! Now I’m following, and I’m in complete agreement.
L in A
Many other factors aside,… 5, five shot groups (is) better than 1 five shot or 1 three shot groups.
It may take one of resident mathematicians to do the calculations, but I would venture to say that enough 5 shot groups would equal fewer 10 shot groups.
If you really want to see how accurate a gun is then you need to put it in a vise to eliminate the human error, like 10m shooters do when they are testing their gun for pellet preference. Of course, that won’ t work for a Springer. I settle for 5 shot groups there because I figure that’s the longest I can maintain my consistency 🙂
Whenever I can (CO2 guns usually and some PCPs) I vise my guns in a tool called a JAWHORSE. If you have never heard of one then you probably work days and have better things to do on weekends than watch infomercials. That’s where I first saw one and eventually Home Depot started selling them. It is a portable all steel (the jaws have hard rubber pads) tri-podded vise that is operated with a foot lever, leaving your hands free to position your workpiece or gun, in my case, and it provides a really stable platform for testing pellets. But pellets are really all you’re testing with a vise. The accuracy of the gun must, IMHO, include its shootability at least to the extent of trigger mechanics because they will cause a shooter to move the gun off target. Mounting a Lothar Walther Barrel on a gun with a long single stage trigger pull that grinds and grates and at between 10 and 14 lbs it finally breaks and overtravels 1/2″ is not going to make that gun accurate, but here will be plenty of pellets that will produce small groups from that gun, shot from a vise. Vising will hide the flaws in the gun as an entire system.
Hey! JAWHORSE. You may recall that I was using this tool as a makeshift spring compressor when I sheared off the trigger of my FWB 127. (All I can say about that is – Kids, do not try this at home.)
Good point – accuracy should be taken in it’s totality.
Larry in Algona
I don’t recall that story, but I would never have thought of using mine for that purpose had you not put the suggestion in my noggin. Now it’s all I seem to be able to think about. 🙂
NO! No! DON’T DO IT!!
I had a bruise on my gut that lasted for for days!
But, in hind sight, wrapping a strap around the barrel and cylinder would have averted that ugly incident. My hind sight has always been 20-20.
Larry in Algona
Larry in Algebra,
OK. Since you said “No” twice and used all caps and two exclamation points on “Don’t Do It” I won’t, But a fool can dream, can’t he?
I’m a big dreaming fool, myself. The only thing that keeps me from trying that again, WITH THE STRAPS, is that since that fiasco I went ahead and bought a spring compressor and then another on B.B.’s recommendation (the Rail Lock – did I mention anywhere that B.B. is driving me to the poor house?)
Chanterelles are very easy to identify and are very tasty. They MAY be a west coast variety, tho.
L in A
OK, now it seems I really can’t stop thinking about it! Did the event happen coming apart or going back together?
Event – you’re referring to the broken trigger on the FWB 127? If so, it was (supposedly) going back together. I had gotten a Maccari replacement kit.
Larry in Algebra (I just noticed that! Real cute, guy!)
Hey…I like it. Means that I can say all my rifles, air and powder are sub-MOA shooters.
And to think all this time I’ve been striving so hard to improve my shooting 😉
Can someone please give me the email address of letters to the editor at guns magazine? I have a desire to submit this
“4 of 5 shots” when measuring accuracy? Where I come from having 20% of game animals escape wounded, due to an inaccurate rifle would be horrifying. I am disgusted to find that the editorial staff of Guns Magazine don’t feel the same. Please show some self respect, respect for the animals we hunt, and deny ammunition to the “antis” by reporting where every bullet goes.
Very interesting article. I teach a college level science class where I include statistics and probabilities, and definitely the larger your sample size (number of shots), the more variation you will encounter and the better you are measuring the range of variation you can expect from a particular rifle group. A significant portion of statistical work involves determining how large your sample size needs to be to provide a certain level of confidence (usually at least 90%) that your data reflects reality. Of course, you are most efficient if you do the minimum amount of work needed to achieve a certain result.
From my own shooting, 3 shots is definitely not enough to know what you can expect from a gun (or pellet) — unless that gun is very accurate and is putting nearly all its shots into the same hole (i. e. very low variation), assuming you’re doing your part. Five shots is better, but I prefer 10. You can definitely make an argument for one-shot cold barrel testing to simulate hunting conditions, but I would want to do that cold-barrel test 5 to 10 times before I started feeling confident in a gun.
I do think sub-groups have a place — “9 shots went into 0.25 inches” tells me that I have a 90% probability of making a shot that good. However, cherry picking 4 or 5 shots out of a group is much less valuable, especially if the rest of the shots are widely spread. If you’re pulling the trigger, whether it’s a bull’s-eye or a humane kill on the line, you need to know how certain you can be that your shot will go where you point it.
I believe that pointing out a 9 or 8 shot cluster that reduces a group from 1″ to 1/4″ is more useful to most airgunners than ignoring them. The one or two pellets that FLEW are probably the anomalies.
That very thing is what holds my interest and keeps me going back out. Sometime you know when you messed up,… other times you think everything was fine. That is something that should be factored in too,.. albeit though in a very subjective manner.
Yes, Mildot52, we know what mildots are. You don’t have to show us in your comments section. (Just joking!)
My case was more of repeatable occurrences. At the time, I was going to the range several times a week and handloading for numerous firearms. I would shoot three rounds from the .30-’06 and if it was on the money I moved on to the .25-’06, and .22-250. and on to the handloads for the .44 mag, .45 Long Colt, .357 mag.
I’m not real versed in statistics and probabilities but after 7 – 8 trips to the range with repeatable results, I had a LOT of confidence in that rifle (as well as the others WITH my handloads).
Larry in Algona
There you go. That’s what I look for. Several shooting sessions that repeat the same results. Be it hit the bull with one shot everytime I take the gun out or hit the bull with 10 shots. If that gun can do that everytime out. Then it makes me pretty satisfied that it is proven accurate.
Agreed, and with your repeated trips you are actually getting those 10+ shots in. Now, if all 3 of your shots keep grouping into teeny-weeny holes you can be pretty confident.
(Trying to make more mil dots . . .)
haha – sometimes this blog is just…fun. L in A
Not sure if my previous reply to your question is getting through. The blog software seems to be doing something strange. If you didn’t receive them look in the beginning of the Scarcity Blog.
The jw25a that you said Otho has is the same as mine. They are a really nice high end bolt action rifle patterned after the K98 but in .22 cal. The originals were originally produced between the two World Wars as a way to have the German military train on a battle type rifle. That rifle was called the KKK Trainer and developed a solid reputation to ease of use and accuracy. When Norinco started to produce them many years later they kept the quality the same as those earlier models. Ten years from now they might be saying they have the ability to shoot (tic) one hole groups all day long. No mention of range or how many shots per group.
When I bought the jw25a I was actually looking at the Diana Mauser K98 and when I saw the price for the Norinco .22 cal. model was about half the price of the Diana it was a no brainer to decide which way to go!
I am going through a breaking in process with the gun right now and trying to use up the last brick of Yugoslavian ammo that I have from the late 80’s. I bought 10 bricks back then as it was only about $2.50 a brick. Cheap with one major drawback – the ammo was coated with a sticky coating which reminds me of old dry cosmoline that tends to gum everything up after 60 or 70 shots. The first 25 or 30 shots will give nice open sight 10 shot 3/4″ groups at 25 yards. I’m thinking that when this ammo is used up and I start shooting some new quality ammo everything will tighten up on this Norinco jw25a.
I have read that these guns are selling for a premium in the US now that they are no longer allowed to be imported from China. Not so here in Canada. They are still available through several importers and readily available.
If Otho ever decides to sell his jw25a you should buy it. You will not be dissapointed.
Cheers for now.
I have tried to buy that rifle from Otho several times to no avail. He usually lets me buy things, but he has stonewalled me on this issue. And the prices I see on Gun Broker are both very high, and they sell quick!
Oh well, it’s nice to have dreams and goals.
“Gun Broker are both very high, and they sell quick”
Not a place I’d shop for a bargain because they cater to the feeding frenzy or what ever the level of pain is at the moment(parting with your money). But that’s just my IMHO.
Redrafter —- KKW, klein kaliber wehrsportgewehre.— I have 4 Norinco rifles, 2 kkw, 1 g3340 ( carbine version of the kkw), and a JW 15. They are accurate rifles. I have won several benchrest matches in the economy sporter class with my JW 15. They are copies of the famous Czech Bruno .22 sporting rifle. The kkw and g 3340 models are made in the style of German KKW trainers. I have several German DSM 34 trainers, a Paatz ( rare) and a KKW. The quality of these German rifles is far above the Norinco,s.The wood used by Norinco is inferior to the walnut used by the Germans. The inletting of the stocks is inferior to the German rifles. The Norincos are wonderful rifles, but they are not of the same quality as the German rifles that they copy. ——–Ed
And there you have the real life version of this blog – Dinosaur Ballistics. My description of the rifle is close to what the Canadian adverts are saying about it and never having seen any of the German or Czech guns their description was all I had to go on. I will say though the stock is a beautiful piece of walnut and the inletting looks to be perfect. Is it possible the Chinese are turning out higher quality guns now?
My only real beef with the rifle is the omission of the muzzle guide for the cleaning rod which is a fair bit short of the barrel length when cleaning from the breech end.
The blueing is also well done and the 11mm scope rail is nice and deep – similar to the dovetail found under the Mosin Nagant 91/30 rear sight. A 3-9×40 mil dot scope is soon to be mounted as my old eyes don’t care for iron sights anymore. I have the scope now and the mil dot reticle will make it easier for me to use the longer range ballistics associated with .22LR.
At half the price of the Diana Mauser K98 I think it was an excellent buy.
“3 shots are a bad joke. “Lies, damn(able) lies, and statistics”. Unfortunately, these magazines have sold their integrity, and are using deceptive testing to make their real customers happy”
It’s the fast food, instant gratification mentality. Faster is better even if the results are less than acceptable. Just don’t tell anybody 🙂
Dinosaur ballistics – BB, I thought you were going to talk about ballistic pendulums and shooting through bars of Ivory Soap. Then there was that transparent yellow or gold soap that was good for seeing pellet expansion.
It is hard to make much use of most groups posted on forums. You never know how many groups they shot to get the one that they show.
I remember guys bragging about how well they shoot and others inviting them out to shoot Field Target. It should have been easy as well as they shot. Of course, they didn’t show up. It’s one thing to kill a crow at 60 yards and another to put 5 shots in a row through a kill zone of a field target. The fact that we sometimes do something that amazes us doesn’t mean that we can do it consistently.
LD’s 50 shot 50 yard groups from his tunnel show that most fliers are just part of the overall group size.
If you are going to shoot small shot count groups, at least show us 5 or 10 groups shot on one sheet.
Redrafter—- My Norincos are 20 + years old. It is possible that they are now using better wood and better workmanship. My JW15 was one of the first to be imported. I had to glass bed the entire stock, from tang to foreend to get it to shoot good groups. The crate the rifles came in had better wood! The Chinese copied the brno trigger, with one SMALL error–the trigger is the bolt release. Pressing it FORWARD allows the bolt to be removed. Unlike the Brno, pressing the trigger forward while the rifle is cocked and loaded, will Fire the rifle! When the American Rifleman magazine reviewed this rifle, they mentioned this in their review. However, they did not condemn the rifle for this dangerous feature, or even issue a warning. I discovered this myself when I had the action out of the stock, to adjust the trigger. I had already re-bedded the rifle and was getting .5 ” groups ( at 50 yards) with several brands of ammo. I won several sporter class bench rest matches with it, so I kept it. Besides, I would feel guilty if I sold what I consider a dangerous rifle. My son in laws JW15 and my KKW copies have a different trigger. It can only be pulled back , to fire , or to remove the bolt. Norinco changed their triggers to make the rifle safer, but the trigger pulls are not as good. My TU 33-40 had a broken stock. A large piece of the stock was broken, from the bolt cut to the rear of the tang. When I removed the action from the stock, I saw that this piece of wood was held in place with a wood screw. Glass bedding fixed the problem. Yes , I knew that the stock was cracked when I bought it, But I was sure that I could fix it, and the price was low because of the visible crack. The stock on this rifle is warped. If you remove the stock bands and handguard, the barrel is almost .5″ above the barrel channel. The handguard and bands press the barrel down. Since this rifle shoots good groups , I have not corrected this problem. It is like pressure bedding a barrel, in reverse. Re one of my Norinco KKW,s the stock wood is so soft, and the finish so poor, that I get scratches and dents from just looking at it. However, it is the most accurate of the 3. It is the only one that I bought in the original box. There is an empty compartment ( in the foam box) that is the exact size and shape of a bayonet in a scabbard. I think that Norinco originally intended to provide a replica bayonet with these rifles. I think that the cleaning rod was not intended to be used. It is just there for cosmetic reasons. The DSM 34 trainers have a dummy rod, only used to stack the rifles. The KKW, rod is
about 12″ long. Some were threaded at the inner end. Several rods could be screwed together to form a cleaning rod. Many KKW,s had unthreaded rods. You should get Jon Speeds book, Mauser smallbores if you want detailed info re German .22 cal trainer rifles. —–ed
Redrafter—Thr German KKW cleaning rod is 12.6 ” long. They had a female thread at the front end and a male thread at the rear . Page 9 of the 1939 KKW handbook shows a rifle being cleaned from the breech, with a 1 piece rod with a wood handle. There is a rod guide, but it is inserted in the reciever of the KKW. —-Ed
Redrafter—Re the “walnut” stock on the JW 25 A rifle— I checked several current adverts for this rifle. Non say what kind of wood that the stock is made of , except one add that says hardwood. 2 of my Norinco rifles ( a KKW and a TU 33/40, the same as the 25a) look like walnut, at first glance. Closer inspection reveals that they are not walnut. They fooled some of my club mates, but they also thought that my MN gletcher 1944 plastic stock was wood. ——Ed