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Education / Training Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 3

Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gletcher Stetckin APS BB pistol
Gletcher’s Stechkin blowback BB pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Daisy BBs
  • Correction to the hold
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Air Venturi Copper-Plated Steel BBs
  • What gives?
  • Last group
  • Summary

This will be an interesting report. I had something astounding happen in this accuracy test, so let’s begin! Today we are looking at the accuracy of the Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol.

The test

I shot from a seated position at 5 meters from the target, using a UTG Monopod as a hand rest. Each group was produced by 10 BBs. I shot the pistol in the single-action mode for every shot.

Daisy BBs

I consider Daisy Premium Grade BBs to be a standard among premium BBs. They are no better than other BBs, but I have confidence that they are uniform and usually perform reliably.

In this pistol, however, that wasn’t the case. At 5 meters, 10 Daisy BBs went into a scattered group measuring 4.431-inches between centers! Look at the arrows in the picture to see where the outliers hit.

Gletcher Stechkin pistol Daisy target
Ten Daisy BBs made this 4.431-inch group at 5 meters! The arrows indicate BB holes. Not so good, is it?

Correction to the hold

I had been resting the front part of the pistol’s frame on the rubber band sling of the monopod, and, when I saw this target, I thought that might not work so well. So, with the next BB I changed my hold. This time I rested my wrist on the rubber band sling and held the pistol freely in front of the monopod. Let’s see what happens.

Hornady Black Diamond BBs

Next up were Hornady Black Diamond BBs. As these shots were fired I saw a hole to the right of the bull growing slowly. Was that where all the BBs were going? Surely not! That is as accurate as any BB pistol I have ever tested.

When the 10 shots were finished I went down to the target and saw all 10 had hit within a 0.735-inch group. That’s not just good — it’s phenomenal! Obviously (I thought) the new hold was what made the difference. I started inventing new universes for us to inhabit and prepared a long lecture on the importance of testing different holds. I love my job!

Gletcher Stechkin pistol Hoprnady target 1
Yep — that’s 10 shots in 0.735-inches at 5 meters. This Stechkin pistol can shoot!

Air Venturi Copper-Plated Steel BBs

The final BB I tried was the Air Venturi Copper-Plated BB. After seeing the previous group, I was now prepared to finish my lecture. I would even shoot another group of Daisy BBs after that, just to cap things off.

And then it happened. The Stechkin put 10 Air Venturi BBs into 5.198-inches at 5 meters. That’s using the new hold I was going to lecture on! What was going on?

Gletcher Stechkin pistol AV target
Well, that didn’t go like I expected! There are 8 or 9 BBs in 5.198-inches at 5 meters. Where the other(s) went is anyone’s guess.

What gives?

Shucks! I hate it when I have a whole lecture prepared and then it turns out not to be relevant. What is happening? If I was shooting pellets I could believe that one pellet shoots a lot better than the rest, but a steel BB? I’ve seen some steel BBs do a little better than others before, but never as dramatically as this time. Only one thing to do now. Shoot another group with those Hornadys. If it is tight as well, then it’s the BB and nothing else.

Last group

This group was of greater interest to me than any group I have shot since I tested George’s Diana 34P for the last time. I was very careful, but I had been careful on all the previous groups, as well. And that 5+ pound trigger wasn’t helping things, I can tell you.

This time 10 Hornady Black Diamond BBs went into 0.821-inches at 5 meters! Astounding! It’s the BB, and nothing else!

Gletcher Stechkin pistol Hornady target 2
This time 10 Hornady Black Diamond BBs went into a group that measures 0.821-inches between centers at 5 meters. The BB hole on the right is torn out toward the right (arrow), as are several other holes. This was the first BB to hit the target and I saw the tearout happen, so the group appears larger than it is.


First I will say that this Gletcher Stechkin BB pistol is one of the most accurate BB pistols I have ever tested. The pistol is a gas hog and has a heavy trigger, but it can shoot, with the right BB. Will all Stechkin BB pistols shoot this well? Who knows? If you like this gun, get one. I think it’s a good one.

Next I want to say that I never stop learning in this hobby. If I hadn’t seen the results of this test in person, I don’t think I would have believed them. I won’t hold it against you if you don’t believe them, either.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

63 thoughts on “Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 3”

  1. “And then it happened. The Stechkin put 10 Air Venturi BBs into 5.198-inches at 5 meters.”

    Funniest thing you have ever written 🙂

    With results like that, I would be VERY wary of buying one of these pistols, except the one in B.B.’s hands. My spidey sense says that the average Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol is far more likely to be a 4″ to 5″ gun with all brands of BB, than to shoot sub .9″ with Hornady Black Diamonds.

    • Sean
      That’s why I would like to see a side by side test of to of the same guns. Maybe a couple higher end guns and then a couple lower end guns.

      See if both the high end and low end guns get similar results to there catagory. I don’t mean compare the high end guns to the low end guns.

      • GF1,
        Although B.B.’s reviews are the gold standard, we can all think of ways to spend a lot of his time to improve them slightly. Personally I would like him to waste his time shooting a group with his most accurate gun, to eliminate the variable (always a good thing) of his shooting on the day, so we reaaallly know how good any results are.

  2. B.B.,

    Siraniko’s comment acknowledged, I boldly predict H&N Smart Shot will rival the performance of the Black Diamonds.

    I just now reread your “The BB gage: Part 1” /blog/2015/12/the-bb-gage-part-1/

    H&N Smart Shot were almost as uniform as the Hornady Black Diamonds (the most uniform of the five BBs tested) and were in the same size range. (Daisy Premium Grade BBs were by far the least uniform.)

    C’mon, 10 more shots with H&N Smart Shots to see if they give the Black Diamonds a run for their money. Please?


    • Michael,

      This has to be some sort of record on C to C spread comparisons at 5 meters. I am with you,.. have B.B. do a quick 10 with the Smart Shot and maybe even the Avanti’s and,.. just post the results in the comment section. Or not. It is not like he is currently lacking for things to write about.

    • Michael,

      Here is the deal. People who spend $92 on a BB pistol are not likely to spend $10 for 500 BBs. So I tested it with the ammo I thought people might use. Even the Black Diamonds are a stretch.

      But since you asked so nicely, I will do it for you. I will do an unprecedented 4th report on this BB pistol.


      • Agree with that. I owned one of these for 24 hours, a leaker that was returned . A good idea poorly executed. Back to the drawing board. My Colt 1911 co2 pistol puts ten dead center in the black . This pistol doesn’t come close

      • B.B.,

        Thank you! :^)

        I have been periodically pondering all day why this particular BB pistol would favor one BB and spray two others like a scatter gun. I’m a sucker for a good mystery.

        Could the Stechkin have an unusually tight and/or precise barrel?


          • B.B.,

            I have a Daisy 1894 that was made for Sears. It’s the one with the octagon barrel and gold receiver. I’ve read Daisy 1894s are notoriously inaccurate, and for the most part mine bears that out, spraying all brands of BBs into shotgun-like patterns. Except it is very accurate with Crosman Copperheads! Those little Copperheads group tightly even out to 10 yards. Even at 50 feet it cannot miss (or do more than make dimples on) a pop can.

            I can only assume it has an atypically tight bore.


      • B.B.,

        As for your take on the “deal”,… I agree for the most part. 92/10/500 do not sound like bad numbers to me.

        Being that we are on P.A. and given their vast offerings,.. and your audience is a bit more mature and educated in matters of air guns/ammunition,.. the thought of 10/500 is not such a stretch.

        I figure that if I spend 18$ on a 300 tin of 33.95’s for my .25 M-rod,… (.06 cents per pellet) and I could buy a 10 cent pellet that would “drill” a target at 70 yards,… then I would buy the 10 cent pellet.

        You know the “in’s and out’s” of the air gun industry more than I. Just my 2 cents.


  3. BB pistols are fun…but this is why I prefer pellet pistols. I think a couple inches or so at 10 yards is the widest difference I’ve seen with pellet pushers.

    I do like the colored background paper B.B. has been using to highlight the groups! The lime green is manlier than the hot pink I used… 😉

  4. I would say its somewhere in between the two. Some colors don’t photograph well or at the very least scan well, I was trying to use hunter orange as a background on some targets I shot then scan and it kept coming out a weird sort of beige.

  5. BB

    Over the last 3 days I have been wringing out two new Umarex Colt Python BB revolvers ( the ones that just shoot BBs) and they both prefer the Hornady BBs as well. The differences are not nearly as extreme between them and Copperheads or Daisys as your blog revealed.

    I had the guns in a vise and shot them at a target 12yds away in my 70 degree basement. I just slow fired them SA with a 10 sec delay ( I know they’re for fast shooting action fun but I was just using this as one test) to see the effects on target as the co2 ran down. They both shot nearly ten 10 shot clips at this rate and I used a 3″ and 4″ plexiglass circle to see how many shots fell outside the circle. Both guns kept between 65 and 85 pellets in 3″ and 83 to 94 inside 4″. I also have a soda can sized cutout and both guns kept 70 to 93 shots on the can. All of this depended on the BB, of course.

    The guns shot an average velocity around 335-340 and seemed to group best at around this velocity. The thing that surprised me, and maybe you can explain this, was that the groups got bigger around as the gas ran down, not just vertically elongated as I expected. I really don’t have a good feel yet for what is acceptable accuracy from a BB gun, but I knew that I wasn’t likely to want to stand too close to my targets ( I know it’s a silly thing but I just don’t feel like I’m accomplishing much If I’m close to my target.) so I wanted to know what the smallest target I was likely to hit, if I did my part, at a decent distance. All of this was with a mind towards setting up a bowling pin match with my grandson. The pins I’m using are those plastic scaled down ones you find in the toy department of your local drugstore. Mine are 3 1/2″ wide and 12″ tall and these two guns will hit them accurately enough and hard enough to topple them at a distance of 15 yards 70% of the time, over about 80 shots ,shooting slow DA. So the guns are going to be fine for my purposes but would you consider these especially accurate? After reading your blog today I shot one of them at 5 yards SA rested on a tripod and got two consecutive groups of 1″ and each of the two groups had a sub group (don’t everyone out there hate me for playin’ the “sub group” card) of 7 shots under 1/2″ But, and its a big but, those groups came on shots 31- 40 and 41- 50 (that’s also around where the gun would be shooting at that 340 fps average) the other strings were more like 1 1/2″ – 1 3/4″.

    I think these are going to be a lot of fun for the cost. How would you rate the accuracy? The average velocity is way below the advertised Max velocity but am I correct in understanding that slow projectile speed will force me to pay attention to follow through?

    • Halfstep,

      I think your accuracy is fine — better than average.

      As far as velocity goes, it doesn’t matter until you hit the target. Eighty million bison were slaughtered in 10 years with single-shot rifles, none of which shot as fast as 1500 f.p.s.


    • Halfstep
      Here’s the fun I have. It shoots bb’s or pellets. Mine is very accurate with pellets. Is this the gun you have.

      • GF1,

        No, mine are the $45 BB only versions by the same company. A .177 pellet won’t fit the barrel or the rotary clips. I have two of them that are only 2 numbers apart on their serial numbers and they seem to perform alike so far. I think the triggers are pretty good myself but I don’t know much about DA guns so I’d be interested in your opinion on the trigger and accuracy of your gun on BBs. After seeing how well this dedicated BB shooter does ,I might be in the market for the one you’ve got, later Do you think this gun could provide serious practice for DA powder burning revolver shooting? I like the weight too. I know a firearm of this size would be much heavier, but I can shoot this one all day and it never feels tiring. My grandson is going to like the weight too. He’s 13 but pretty slight for his age.

        • Halfstep
          Mine has a rifled barrel. Shooting bb’s it’s not very accurate. But shooting pellets I can hit a 1-1/2″ spinner at 20 yards off hand with pretty much success all the time. And that’s with Daisy wadcutters.

          And I like shooting it both dual and single action. Plus I made a trigger stop so the shot breaks a split second before the stop. It really sped up the girls n and made it more accurate I think.

          It’s right in there it my Wild Fire as my favorite plinking guns. Plus I get right over a 100 shots per Co2 cartridge. Oh and my Wild Fire gets 72 shots per 12 gram cartridge since I did that trigger lightening mod. The trigger return spring is the one I’m talking about.

          • GF1

            I may need to get one for the pellet shooting aspect of it. That sounds like good accuracy. I was thinking about a trigger stop myself. That over travel on guns throws my shots off as much as anything. Most of my guns have a wad of tape or something stuck behind the trigger to act as a stop. I always say I’m going to go back and do it right but as long as the prototype keeps working I never get around to it. I just shoot ’em with the tape. 😉 I remember the mod you did on your WiFi. Cut that spring to where it fit in its channel with no compression, if I remember right. I was thinking about modin the python by drilling and tapping the hammer where that button is inset in the face of the hammer. A small set screw would allow you to stick out farther or less so, to control how far the valve opens when the hammer strikes it. I’d like to try to get more shots in the 240 fps range because both my guns seem to shoot best there. Or I may do nothing. they’re pretty sweet little guns just as they are.

            • Halfstep
              You remind me of me. I got the many things on my mind all the time.

              So trigger stop yes definitely is a help with the double action and single action triggers. I did mine by using a hot glue gun on the back of the trigger. Not on the trigger but behind it on the pistol grip frame. Then taking a exacto knife to trim it back. I know it’s crude. But alot of things in the way to to drill and tap for a set screw and such.

              And yes on the Wild Fire trigger return spring.

              And yes that would work as a striker stroke adjustment on the hammer out n your pistol.

              • GF1,

                I have seen over travel stops added to guns by drilling UP through the trigger guard behind the trigger. Because the trigger is curved, as you run the screw up higher, the side of it will make contact with the trigger at different points on the curve, thus letting you have more or less over travel. It would be easy to reach with a drill and tap without taking the gun apart. I assume that’s why they did it that way. Might not hold up with a plastic guard, though.

                • Halfstep
                  Yep I have done with a set screw too. Matter of fact I think that’s how Chris U did his Tx 200 and Walther LGU after I mentioned to him that it helps with trigger follow through.

                  Definitely something worth while to do though.

                • Halfstep,

                  Like GF1 said, I did it on both rifles. It is well worth it if you can pull a trigger guard. The LGU is plastic if I recall correctly and has held up just fine. A piece of weed eater gas line tubing over a 4-40 screw is all you need. Tap out the guard and cut the gas line to give just the right amount of “squish”. No nuts, washers or lock washers.

                  As for the Maximus, you can just work with what is there and add a 4-40 screw that will be the stop. All hidden.

    • Halfstep,
      I have two, a Dan Wesson (old version, with the cylinder latch where Smith & Wesson puts it), and a Colt Python with the rifled barrel like GunFun’s. I’ve shot the DW a lot, but the Colt has problems.

      I shoot in my garage, at about 7 yards, and I use H&N Smartshot only, as I have too much stuff in my garage to risk the ricochets that come with steel bb’s. I have yet to do a one-inch group. My best are about 1 1/4, and most are 1 1/2 to 2 inches. So your groups are good. That’s offhand, single action. Double action goes about 2 1/2 inches when done deliberately, and 5 in rapid fire. That’s with a 2 1/2 inch barrel.

      This is a good way to practice for double action in a firearm. I have to make a little adjustment when I switch to my Ruger: the trigger pull is longer on the Ruger. But the pull weight and break are similar. And I can practice rapid fire, which the firearm range that I go to doesn’t allow.

      As to the Colt Python, the smart shots don’t work, they fall out of the disk before I can even get it into the gun. And pellets don’t work well. Hobbys are too large to load easily, and when I “deep seat” them with a pen, they fall out in the gun and jam the cylinder. GunFun1, if you are here, what pellets do you use in your Python?

      • Flintrocker,

        Above I believe GF1 says he uses Daisy wadcutters (Precision Max, I assume) . I can’t account for his accuracy because I’ve never found anything that shoots them well. I’m stuck with 10 plastic boxes of them and I try them in every gun I get my hands on ,but no joy, yet. I have a Crosman Mark II that loves Daisy Quicksilvers but they haven’t been made for years, so I’ve been looking for them on the web and found a photo of them at Academy Sports and went to their websight and ordered 15 boxes. When they arrived they were just the easy to find Precision Max. So now I break in new guns with them. They are misshapen enough that they will probably stay in your clips, though! 🙂

        Do you think the trigger on the Colt Python mimics a DA firearm as well as your Sam Wesson?

        • Halfstep,

          Thanks for the tip on Daisy wadcutters.

          The Python trigger feels much like my Ruger trigger, possibly even better than the Dan Wesson, which as a little play or looseness in it. But the Python is much lighter, being mostly plastic, so that aspect feels less like the firearm, unless you are comparing it to one of the super lightweight firearms like the Smith & Wesson aluminum frame models.


  6. Probably the strangest set of targets I have ever seen on this blog. They are interesting, but it just seems easier to shoot a pellet gun. Handguns remind me of the two John Wick movies I saw recently in a movie marathon. They passed my generally low bar for action films and were a lot of fun; they’re really quite entertaining. I’ll say for John Wick that he is an awesome brawler but a very poor tactician who ends up fighting hordes of people at the same time. As the saying goes, if you are in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    Another thing that caught my attention is his habit of canting his guns in the ready position, both rifles and pistols. What’s up with that? I’ve heard of the high ready and the low ready but never a tilted ready with the gun rolled around its long axis. It is vaguely reminiscent of the gangsta method of shooting with the gun on its side which I think has been exposed as an affectation. On the other hand, I’ve seen sights on rifles that seem designed to be used when the rifle is tilted sideways. What’s the point?


  7. Unlike pellets, steel BBs are pretty darn easy to measure accurately with a micrometer. I’d be very curious to see if measurements (diameter and consistency–both between pellets and roundness) correlate to the groups!

      • Thanks, B.B.! You’ve unearthed some pretty wild findings already and I’ll add this review to my list of links that I send to friends who think everything about accuracy is scientific and predictable (which includes nearly all of your Harry Pope stories and a couple of your accuracy “shoot offs” too).

          • Ha! Yeah–I don’t know, Gunfun1. We know that head size can be important, but experience seems to indicate that larger is no more likely to be better than smaller, in practice. With the very simple BB, the large group size differences B.B. discovered here are very surprising. This pistol is obviously very BB picky!

            • Cal
              Yes about the the fit.

              That’s what I mentioned below about how the Daisy 499 barrel is.

              A precise made barrel and fit of the bb is what it’s all about.

              Think about how you load a Daisy 499. Drop the bb down he barrel and see how long it takes to get to the bottom. The longer. The better.

    • Calinb,

      In the two revolvers I spoke of earlier, the BBs are loaded into 10 shot rotary clips .The Daisys and Copperheads pellets fit those holes with a wide range of variance. Some will hardly press in( and sometimes can’t be shot out” and others fall out in the floor when you are trying to put the loaded clip in the gun. The hornadys, on the other hand, all rest at the same level when you lay them over the holes and press in with the same gentle pressure each and every time. I personally think that is why they are the most accurate in both my guns.

      • Halfstep
        That’s exactly what happens with my Wild Fire clips and my Python pellet clips.

        The pellets that push in with my finger is the most accurate. If i get a tin of pellets that need seated with my Bic ball point pen cap. They seem to be not as accurate. I think it’s cause they don’t fit right and are harder to seat. Plus they don’t shoot at the same speed.

        I’m sure that happens with bb’s and the variations that the clips are made. Alot of variables is what seems to always be the cause of accuracy issues.

  8. BB
    Really eye opening results and may lead to more categorizing of bb’s for the intended use.

    Good news for BB gun shooters but now we have to reconsider the accuracy of every BB gun ever made !
    All we need now is some dimples like golf balls to take advantage of Magnus Lift and increase the distance fired. Just need a little backspin on the BB.

    • Bob M
      Had some pretty good discussions about the dimples and back soon in the bast. Air soft guns with the adjustable hop ups was one thing that was brought. Where and how to do it on a smooth bore fun like a Crosman 760.

      I’m really surprised the hop adjustment for back spin has not caught on in bb guns. After all I do remember BB saying that the air soft manufacturers are the ones making some of these bb pistol. I would like to see what happens.

      But on the other hand. Maybe a more precise smooth bore barrel is needed like the Daisy 499 on one of these bb pistols. Probably wouldn’t b a repeater though. Probably a single shot because of clip or magazine alignment. That would probably make a accurate bb pistol.

      • GF1,

        Remember that I did the super strong button sized magnets on the 499 barrel? Super easy and did improve the accuracy, but I forget how much without checking. Instead if doing a mechanical interface to induce backspin, magnets could be used. Until now, I had forgotten it. I have not tried anything new with it since the Cobalt Hyper Magnum Tune. Being 150 fps faster, the magnets would have less effect though.

        That thing just “drills” bb’s now. It might help for longer ranges though???

        • Chris U
          Could probably use two of them magnets and at different locations or next to each other. But maybe that would not increase the back spin. It might stop it at the next magnet to a extent. Then also if the magnets weren’t placed directly on top of the barrel and inline to each other it would be like making the bb rotate more to one side. Kind of like a rifling or a canting effect.

          I think the best would be some type of mechanical adjustment that could be made to lighten or make the hit harder as the bb passed by like a airsoft gun does.

          I myself think that would be the best because it would be adjustable.

          • GF1,

            You got me at adjustability, other than the locations. I varied that and the # ( up to 5) of magnets. If the only concern is to induce backspin, then it works. The magnets were always at top dead center.

            I might give it a go this weekend. Hey,… put 20 or so magnets in a spiral pattern around the barrel and induce rifling spin,…. without rifling. ? 🙂

            • Chris U
              Right or does the next magnet cancel out what the last magnet did.

              Heck if you had strong enough magnets maybe you could have a perpetual motion gun.

              But you know what. I know I heard of air craft carrier launchers that use magnet’s.

                • Mike,

                  Thank you for that. I have seen that before, but in a different video. I want one!!!! 😉

                  Simply amazing. I wonder if there is a something of a scaled down hobby version is possible? A friend at work that was/is heavily into firearms said that his kid made one that shot projectiles powered by a donut shaped electrical coils. Sounds like the same principle. He no longer works there, so any further questions are not possible.

  9. B.B.

    It was hot and humid here in west Mi today so I decided to go down to my basement and work on remounting my Hawke 3-9x50AO scope on the Diana 34P. As I stated the other day, shipping knocked the back scope ring out of position so I had to loosened the screws to realign it. They must have really jarred it hard because those screws were very tight.

    I wish you had mounted a 50mm Objective scope on my rifle. When I positioned my scope in the rings the front bell interfered with the barrel and the scope did not seat down into the ring. Then I discovered that the front ring does not adjust up or down. It only pivots to be in alignment with the back ring when raised. I had to disassemble the mount before I figured this out. So my only option was to slightly lower the back ring until the front of the scope cleared the barrel. I had to have room for my lens cover too. I screwed the elevator screw back down about 1/4 of a turn. I am hoping that there will still be enough droop compensation. I had to move the mount back to the end of the dovetail so my lens cover did not interfere with the rear sight when putting it on. I needed to do that to adjust for my eye relief too.

    When the temperature and humidity come back down I will take the rifle out to my range and see where she shoots. I have centered my scope both for elevation and windage, so fingers crossed it doesn’t shoot too low.

    • George,

      A quarter turn shouldn’t be too bad. But I did use a 40mm objective and there was 6-7 mm under the bell, so it should have cleared. Unless you shoved your scope forward..

      I never use scope caps on scopes. All they do is contain the dirt.

      Can’t wait to see your groups!


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