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Education / Training Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 4

Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • Daisy Match Grade shot
  • Shot uniformity and dimensions
  • Summary

Before we begin I want to alert you to the Friday blog. It’s going to be most unusual and unanticipated. It will be an historical report, but one I don’t think make of you will expect.

Today I will test the Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol all the ways you readers asked me to after the last test. This pistol has created a lot of interest because of its grouping ability that differs widely with the BBs used.

I shot the same way as in the last test — hand rested on the UTG Monopod. I was seated and the distance was 5 meters.

Hornady Black Diamond

The fiorst group I shot was with Hornady Black Diamond BBs. I figured since we already know how accurate these BBs are in the Stechkin, this would baseline the shooter for this day. Ten BBs went into a tight 0.776-inches that landed in the same place as the other two groups of the same BBs that were shot in the last test.

Gletcher Stechkin BB pistol Hornady group
Ten Hornady Black Diamond BBs landed in 0.776-inches at 5 meters.

H&N Smart Shot

Okay, the gun, BB and shooter are all performing well. Now let’s see what these other BBs can do. I’ll start with H&N Smart Shot. These BBs went to almost the same place as the Hornadys. Ten grouped in 1.588-inches, with 9 going in 0.96-inches. Chances are good that I was responsible for the lone flier. So, Smart Shot are nearly as good as Black Diamonds,

Gletcher Sechkin BB pistol Smart Shot group
Ten H&N Smart Shot lead BBs went into 1.588-inches at 5 meters, with 9 of them going into just under an inch.

Daisy Match Grade shot

The other BB I tried was the Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision Ground Shot. Ten of them went into 1.403-inches at 5 meters.

Gletcher Sechkin BB pistol Daisy Match group
Ten Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision Ground Shot went into 1.403-inches at 5 meters.

Shot uniformity and dimensions

Someone asked me to check the uniformity of the shots so that was next. I took three random measurements of each of 5 BBs from a sample of five.
Hornady Black Diamond
0.172, 0.172, 0.172
0.172, 0.172, 0.172
0.172, 0.172, 0.172
0.1715, 0.1715, 0.1715
0.1715, 0.172, 0.172

H&N Smart Shot
0.171, 0.1715, 0.171
0.171, 0.172, 0.1715
0.1705, 0.171, 0.171
0.1705, 0.1715, 0.1705
0.1705, 0.171, 0.171

Daisy Match Shot
0.1735, 0.1735, 0.173
0.1735, 0.1735, 0.1735
0.174, 0.1735, 0.1735
0.1725, 0.173, 0.173
0.1725, 0.173, 0.173

After measuring these three BBs, I measured the Daisy Premium Grade BBs that gave such a large group in the last test.

Daisy Premium Grade
0.173, 0.173, 0.172
0.170, 0.170, 0.1695
0.1715, 0.171, 0.171
0.1715, 0.1715, 0.1715
0.172, 0.1725, 0.172

As you can see, the Daisy Premium Grade BBs range from 0.1695-inches to 0.173-inches. That is the largest range of sizes for all the BBs I measured. Hornady Black Diamonds were the most consistent with a range of only a half-thousandth of an inch!

I think two things drive the results I have gotten with the Stechkin. One is consistency, with the Hornady BBs being the most consistent. The other thing is size. Daisy Match Grade shot was the largest I measured. Even though they are not as uniform as the Hornadys, their larger size must be what contributes to their accuracy in the Daisy 499 Champion.


We are now finished testing the Stechkin, and I think we have learned a lot. This time we learned about more than just a BB gun. What a wonderful test this has been!

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.

15 thoughts on “Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 4”

      • Siraniko and B.B.,

        I read a brief mainstream press article about 499 competitions for serious young shooters, and that gun and Avanti Match Grade Shot are required by the rules. The coaches painstakingly sort the BBs, even as uniform as they are, and have predetermined which size is most accurate with each individual 499. They also lighten the triggers and shape the butt-stocks, both of which are typically allowed.

        As B.B. has reported more than once in past reports, the best of these kids are VERY good and train diligently, so in their case every little extra consistency does matter in their skilled hands.


          • RR,

            You should see all that goes into preparing to compete in Pinewood Derby these days!

            If it helps, think of it this way: the children who compete in Jaycees and other BB gun competitions quickly learn more about gun safety than most adult gun owners will ever know.


  1. I like the fact that we learned what 4 different brands of bb’s measured. For those that have a lot of bb shooters, it makes a good argument to have a bb gage and a good stash of different brands of bb’s on hand,… just like pellet shooters do. The 499 IS a super sweet shooter by the way.

    Good Day to all,…. Chris

  2. I’m curious why the pure lead bbs are never used in BB gun testing. I understand that some guns use a magnet to hold the bbs in place for firing,but don’t most of these blowback pistols magazines use what are basically feed lips to hold the bb in position for firing?

    • Coduece,

      I don’t use them that often because I feel that BB-gun owners will not pay what lead BBs cost. My position is why test a gun with something few will ever try? But in today’s case I was asked specifically to test it that way, and other times there have been reasons to test with lead BBs.

      Just personal, I guess.


      • “But in today’s case I was asked specifically to test it that way…”

        Yes, you were, and we appreciate your extra efforts, B.B.; this was all very interesting, especially the shot consistency of those Black Diamonds; thank you! =)

  3. This being an action pistol article brings to mind an idea I’ve been deliberating for awhile. How about a way to introduce these fine action pistols to the people who can put them into use for training and weapon familiarization. By that I’m thinking stand alone displays in Firearms stores serviced by possibly franchisees for lack of a better term. Most Firearms shooters I know aren’t even aware of these airguns and the benifits they offer. I also have a feeling that many airgun shooters would like to find away to participate in retailing and promoting airguns. I realize that the margins are pretty tight in these products but it could be away to expand the market for airguns , while providing an entrepreneurial option for airgunners who are so inclined.

  4. BB—- I will not buy new pistols that do not have adjustable sights. If the pistol is used and out of warranty, I might buy it and try to install better sights, if they are needed. —–Ed

  5. BB
    I had mentioned the Wild Fire had better groups at 10 yrs withe the CPH.I finally got it out side Sun.Shot at 20 yrds.Used a red dot scope and bench rested.the CPL a little over 1 inch groups.The CPH were half inch.

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