How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Dealers matter!
  • Let’s resume
  • Sharpening
  • All blades honed
  • Something new
  • Results
  • Care for the stones
  • Dress all waterstones?
  • How does it shave?
  • Proof of sharpness
  • Summary

Note to readers: This report was written over time and I was learning as I went. Parts 1 through 3 were written before I had done enough research to know what is right and, more importantly, what isn’t. Read them for enjoyment, but begin with Part 4 for the serious information of sharpening straight razors.

Boy, there were a lot of questions and discussion on Part 2 of this report! Today I will tell you how to both hone the razor and also how to take care of the waterstones that are so essential. And I have some things to clear up and correct.

As you recall, I’m writing this report to put myself in the shoes of a new airgunner. What is it like to not know what you don’t know, and don’t even know who or where to ask? That’s what it was like for me, learning how to sharpen a straight razor!

Dealers matter!

I have been spoiled by the service Pyramyd Air gives their customers. I forgot that most web retailers do not do the same. For example, I found one website — shavenation.com — that is laid out well and easy to navigate. The owner of the site, a man who calls himself geofatboy, makes great videos about topics that deal with shaving. Those videos are a lot like this blog, except he doesn’t have any easy way on his website for viewers to comment.

I bought a lot of supplies from his site initially — shaving cream, a badger shaving brush, pre-shave, after-shave, several waterstones and many other things. I spent a lot of money with him. Then I decided to get a new straight razor to compare to the vintage ones I bought off Ebay and sharpened myself. I was prepared to spend at least another hundred dollars with him, but first I had several fundamental new-guy questions. So I wrote him and asked. Three weeks later I’m still waiting for a reply.

Since he did not answer me I went elsewhere and saved 30 percent! The razor he wants $108 plus shipping for I was able to get for $76, shipped. I will continue to shop with him for things I can’t get elsewhere, but he will never again be my first stop.

What I am saying is that when you are a new guy, the dealer really matters. I don’t shop price anymore. I shop service.

Let’s resume

Last time I left you right after finding that my expensive vintage dubl duck razor had numerous nicks and pits in the edge of the blade. Oh, by the way, the company’s name is dubl duck — all lowercase and duck is spelled out. This new guy was fooled by some Ebay vendors who misspelled the name — just like they do Crossman and Daisey.

I ordered a Norton 220/1000-grit waterstone (not from Shave Nation) to augment the stones I already had. When your blade has nicks and pits you have to use a really aggressive stone to remove them, and 220 is where it starts.

Sharpening

I also did more research on sharpening straight razors. The picture I showed you of me sharpening the blade last time was incorrect. You don’t push the razor away from you and pull it toward you over the stones. You move it across the face of each stone in a sideways motion, holding onto the tang of the blade, only. It’s like stropping, only when honing, the blade leads, rather than follows. While the first way sounds like you can maintain better contact with the blade against the stone, the second way does much better. It’s counter-intuitive and you won’t know until you try it.

Sharpen razor
The right way to hold the blade is by the tang. Move it an equal number of times in each direction. At the end of each pass, roll the blade on the spine to reverse it.

I also learned to use a magnifying app on my smart phone to magnify the edge of the blade, so I could inspect it better. Unlike a jeweler’s loupe that is difficult to keep in focus, this is like watching the blade on television!

I started with the 220-grain stone, then progressed to the 1,000, the 4,000, the 8,000 and finally the 12,000-grit stones. On the 220-grit stone I sharpened until all the nicks disappeared — using the smart phone. On each of the finer stones I sharpened 10 times in each direction.

The 220 and 1,000-grit stones make a lot of noise as you work the blade across. The 4,000 is quiet and I can’t hear the 8,000 and 12,000-grit stones. But on all of them I can see black streaks forming on the stone, which is steel being removed from the blade.

All blades honed

I honed each of my three blades. The one that had nicks also has the tip broken off. I plan to grind a new contour into that end to make a shorter blade with a rounded tip — something to get into the tight places on my face like under the nose. The dubl duck was already shaving sharp, but the bevel on the edge wasn’t a consistent width. It was narrow in the center and wider at both ends. I hoped this new method of sharpening would even it out. And, it did! It also taught me something new about sharpening razor blades.

Something new

The shape of the blade determines the size of the bevel! You can see this better in an exaggerated illustration.

Sharpen straight razor
A thick spine makes the bevel angle steep (bevel will be short).

Sharpen straight razor 2
Thinner spine makes the bevel wider/longer.

Each razor comes with a specific spine and they are all different. This is a subtlety of straight razor design, just like the type of piston seal is spefcific to a spring-piston air rifle.

Results

When I was finished, all three razors were shaving sharp after a good strop. They should stay that way for the next 6 months of shaving. I looked at all the bevels and saw that they were now more uniform, though not entirely. The dubl duck bevel is the most uniform of the three, and it also shaves the best. In fact, it shaves as well as the new Dovo, but its longer blade with a pointed end doesn’t fit my face as well as the Dovo. I guess it’s a learning curve from this point on.

Care for the stones

We are not finished. Waterstones wear much faster than oil stones, and they must be dressed flat to work their best. For this you need a special flattening stone.

dressing stone
This stone is for “dressing” the waterstones.

Each stone needs to be “dressed” or flattened, to work its best. To do that you draw a grid pattern of pencil lines on the stone.

grid pattern
With a pencil, draw a grid pattern on the face to be dressed.

To dress each stone, rub the dressing stone against the face of the stone to be dressed. Do this under running water. Scrub straight back and forth, along the axis of the waterstone.

Scrub stones
Scrub the two stones back and forth under running water.

grid vanishing
As you scrub, the grid pattern starts disappearing. When it is gone, the stone is dressed. The coarse grit stones dress fast. This 12,000-grit stone takes about a full minute to dress.

Dress all waterstones?

Before you ask, I don’t know if waterstones that are used to sharpen knives need to be dressed as often as stones that are used for straight razors. Flatness is vital to the sharpening process for a straight razor, as you have seen. Of course it is important to knives, too, but maybe not as important. Knife edges — even sharp knife edges — are many times larger and coarser than razor edges.

How does it shave?

Shaving with a straight razor is exciting. First, there is the preparation of your face and beard that benefits all types of razor blades — even cartridge types. Preparation is 75 percent of the job — just like the artillery hold makes most spring guns accurate.

As the razor moves across the face you feel and hear the whiskers being cut, but there is no pain. Even in the sensitive areas under the nose and in the corners of the mouth there is no pain when the razor is sharp and the blade is held at the correct angle. It’s learning to hold the blade at different angles, depending on which part of the face you are shaving, that takes time. It’s like learning how to hold an air rifle in all situations, both on the bench and in the field. As you gain experience, it gets easier and you get better at it.

One thing is dangerous and that is speed. You don’t shave fast, because that’s just asking to be cut. Take your time and consider each stroke of the blade.

I am not good at this yet. I’m better than I was two weeks ago, and I can now shave 90 percent of my face well, but for the other 10 percent I have to follow up with a safety razor and a double-edged blade. Hopefully I will reduce that to nothing after a while.

Proof of sharpness

Shaving proves the razor is as sharp as it is supposed to be. Therefore I have accomplished my mission of learning how to do something brand new. I spent too much money doing it and I discovered the importance of good dealers who communicate. I also renewed my understanding of how it feels to be a new guy.

Summary

I think this will be the final report in this series. Unless you have questions I haven’t addressed, I’ve done all that I set out to do.

As you may surmise, I will continue to shave with a straight razor. After perhaps 40 years of shaving with indifferent electric razors that produced so-so results, I now look forward to shaving every morning. It’s like a spa for my face. This is a result I didn’t see coming. Talk about a trip to Serendib!

115 thoughts on “How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 3


    • Yogi,

      Yes, I do. I try to use hot towels for about 3 minutes, then I follow them with a pre-shave cream that opens the pores and softens the whiskers further.

      Under the chin is relatively safe territory. It’s under the nose and around the corners of the mouth that are the most dangerous, as far as cuts go.

      B.B.


  1. G’day BB
    Your keen or I’m lazy.
    I shave in the shower, shampoo/conditioner on hair and face, shave my face with 20 cent Bic double blade and still occasionally nick the sides of my nose. The 20 cent Bic lasts a few months, and yes that is daily!
    Do you use pieces of tissue to stop the cuts bleeding like our little aussie battler Norman Gunston? I do!
    Cheers Bob


  2. B.B.,

    So, I take it that metal is (also) removed from the sides of the spine as well? From what I understand, it is necessary that spine also be in contact with the stone during the sharpening process.

    I could see a case of a wide width spine and a wide width bevel, sharpened by some other method. The opposite could be true as well, where a narrow width spine has a short bevel, again, sharpened by some other method. I am wondering is if the method you show is an absolute, both in correct maintenance and also how a new blade comes from the factory? So, 2 questions.

    Chris


    • Chris,

      Yes, the spine does lose metal also. You can see that clearly on older razors that have a lot of use. Their spines have flats on both sides.

      As far as the way I show doing it, I’m sure there are other ways and variations. This is what I have been able to learn thus far. I’m going to continue doing this because I like the results, but I may not write another part for a while. This part pretty much sums up everything I have learned so far.

      As for the new blade from the factory, that’s why I bought the Dovo razor new. They are considered a good brand today and I wanted to see if they were any better than what I could sharpen a vintage razor to. So far the answer is no. My dubl duck is as sharp as the new Dovo.

      Frank and I have been communicating and he is sending me some things to carry my experiments out farther. I am also buying other vintage razors to try to round out my knowledge. For example, the British razors sometimes have a rounded edge they call a “chopper.” It’s supposed to have advantages, plus Frank says their steel is the best. So I am still learning.

      B.B.




      • BB
        You mentioned in the comments in the other part of the reports that dressing the stone would be similar to how I do it at work.

        And it basically is. The only difference is the wheels I use are usually only a 1/4″ to 1-1/2″ wide and about 6-8″ in diameter. And what I look for as I’m going across the wheel when I dress it is a line turning the wheel down smaller. And to make sure it’s flat all the way across. Basically a true flat surface.

        Do you know what the dressing stone you use to dress your sharpening stones is made out of? Maybe you said. If so I missed it.



          • BB
            Ok was just wondering.

            I do like how they put the channels in the stone to keep the particles from the stone your dressing flushing with the water. Plus allows for more cutting edges in a sense.

            That dressing stone should last for a long time I’m thinking before it needs dressed with the sandpaper.

            You know after you sharpen your razor over time and dress all your stones and such you should do a follow-up report of how often you do have to dress the stones. And which ones need dressed more often.

            To me that would be interesting to know also.


  3. B.B.
    As a knife guy, I found this most interesting, especially the part about the water stones and dressing them.
    Thank you for this series; I learned a lot! Keep up the good work. =)
    take care & God bless,
    dave


  4. B.B.,

    Great series.

    Don’t think enough emphasis was placed on drying your knife/razor blade after use. Too many people fail to realize the threat that rust is to an edge.


    • Kevin
      You are correct. I use a Gillette Pro Fusion razor. When I have finished shaving I dry my razor by blowing the blades off by mouth, then towel dry, and finally using a hair blow dryer for 10-20 seconds. My blades normally last two months. I have a small eraser board in my bathroom and I note when I install a new blade. I can tell though by the end of the second month, the razor has more drag. A new blade feels so nice. The hair dryer trick was something I learned from listening to Clark Howard’s program on the radio.

      It was stated that by using the blow dryer, the blade could last up to a year. Well, my beard is pretty heavy and two months is the extent for me. I tried going three months but it was not a comfortable shave at that point.



  5. BB

    Great series. Many parallels to my early involvement with air guns ( some even true today) Having always shaved with electric razors ( heavy acne scars on face and neck) and not really being a knife person, learning the “art of the straight razor” would probably reveal me as an even bigger Newb. I had been a big “gun nut” for many years before I got my first airgun.


  6. Anyone,

    I just picked up a Beeman Silver Kodiac X2 for a whopping $49 and have found several pellets in .22 that have proven accurate at 12 yards, but the trigger is not very good. I would like to have it better before I shoot at longer distances. The videos and such that I’ve found seem to be dealing with a different trigger than what is on my gun. Mine has a small slotted set screw going through the trigger and a slotted cap screw behind the trigger. Any thoughts on how to adjust would be appreciated.


    • Halfstep

      I also have a Beeman Silver Kodiak X2 which I bought brand new for a slightly more whopping $99. There are three different types of literature that come in the box, but unfortunately none of them even mention trigger adjustment much less how to do it. (lawyers)

      From what little I was able to find on assorted forums I was able to surmise that earlier versions of this rifle had a different trigger, or at least different adjustments to the trigger. The older trigger had two set screws going through the trigger at the front (I’m assuming to adjust first and second stages), and the slotted screw behind the trigger. My trigger, like yours, only has the one set screw in front and the one slotted screw in back.

      Amusingly, the owners manual states that “many who try [ two stage triggers ] for the first time believe [ the first stage ] is ‘creep’. It is not.”

      HAHAHAHAHA! Dear Beeman corp: Yes, it most certainly is creep. The first stage is nothing but creep. It feels like dragging a grappling hook down a gravel road.

      This is how I adjusted my trigger:

      I could not easily access the screws with the tools I have, so I had to remove the trigger guard. The slotted screw behind the trigger I believe to be the trigger weight adjustment, so I backed that one out CCW until it fell out. I dabbed a little blue loctite on it, and screwed it back it CW just enough that it was at the end of its adjustment (lightest weight) yet still attached to the gun.

      The set screw in front of the trigger I believe to be the first stage adjustment screw. Since the first stage is so incredibly horrid, I decided to adjust it out completely. To do that I screwed it in CW. How much to do that will depend on your rifle and your preferences, but I tried a multitude of positions before settling on the one I liked best. The thing that is so tedious is that I had to reinstall the trigger guard before testing each adjustment of the trigger pull when cocked and loaded or else the trigger guard screws would not line up with their threaded screw holes after firing.

      Now the trigger is crisp and predictable. I wouldn’t call it light exactly, but I am spoiled on triggers from some of the best springers ever made. It is now actually a very nice trigger, and I don’t miss the first stage at all.

      Some words of caution: I believe that you might be able to adjust that front screw to the point that the gun would have an unsafe hair trigger. I did not test that hypothesis. I just adjusted it until I liked it, then did the drop test and the slap test to make sure that it would not go off without squeezing the trigger. For your safety I would recommend that you do the same.

      I hope this is helpful.


      • Slinging Lead,

        I have the version that you have and when I didn’t get a response from the readers here I just jumped in on my own. I made the same initial adjustment on the rear screw as you did, except that I was careful to make sure that the screw was backed out far enough that it vibrated loose and is now somewhere in trigger screw heaven. LOL Dragging the trigger across all that grit and gravel apparently makes the preload feel insignificant because it felt the same screwed all the way in or Lost ! When I saw it described as a two stage trigger I assumed that I have been mistaken about what that meant so I’m glad to learn that its just a really baaaad two stage. Then I used a cheapo jeweler’s screwdriver to adjust the other screw in. I guess it has something to do with the sear engagement because it can be run in until the gun won’t stay cocked. I backed it back out until the trigger was nice and light.

        I have only used the .22 barrel so far ( may never use the .177 as I have plenty in that caliber) and was wondering if you have any tips on hold or pellet choice. Found an 8 parter that BB did some years back on a different flavor of RS2 where his gun needed a very light hold, but mine doesn’t seem to be that picky. The POI changes but the group size doesn’t seem to. Any insights will be appreciated and thanks so much for answering my request for trigger info.

        So far the gun is easily worth what I paid for it. I didn’t NEED another gun but I couldn’t resist at that price.


        • Halfstep

          You definitely got a steal. I think the gun is more than worth it at full retail.

          The barrel swapping is a bit of a gimmick, but it does give one the option of choosing one caliber or the other.

          I thought that the gun would diesel quite badly when new ( I was right ) so I installed the .177 for the break in so that I wouldn’t foul up the .22, which I plan to install eventually and keep it there if it is accurate. So unfortunately I don’t have any pellet recommendations for .22, and I have been sticking to the cheepo Crosman premier HPs for break in.

          Man, when I first got it the cocking stroke felt like the compression tube was full of rocks and broken glass! I thought for sure I would have to break it down and do a lube and polish tune. But after a short break in period it cocks smooth as glass.

          I wish I had the time to shoot it more, but I have too many guns. Poor me!!

          Let me know what .22 cal pellets you find to be accurate in this beast.


          • Slinging Lead,

            My gun detonated for about 20 rounds (higher velocities over chrono) then settled down to give pretty impressive numbers,as in small SD,ES,and MAD for many pellet types and brands.( even more impressive considering the price) It still diesels (smoke with no bang) but I thought that was normal and even engineered into piston guns. I did clean my .22 barrel before I installed it. I started with just patches soaked with an odorless (my wife hates the smell of #9, if you can imagine that craziness) Hoppes foaming barrel cleaner, but after 6 or 7 filthy patches I decided to get medieval on it with Non-embedding Bore Paste. There was a lot of crud in there and I can’t help but believe that the gun shot better from the start with it out of the barrel. You might want to do that before you switch over. I will certainly pass on my results to you when I have some that I am confident of. Springers give me fits and it’s hard to know when its me or the pellet.

            You said your’s cocked hard/rough and I’ve seen a couple of videos where the reviewer seemed to have to put considerable effort into cocking and the gun required a smack to break it open. Mine is easy, start to finish. Sub $100 QC, I guess. I’ve also seen the gun characterized as heavy and long. I disagree. How do you feel about that ?

            One last point, I tried to remove the muzzle brake so I could inspect the crown (just tryin’ to see what I got for my 49 bucks) and even after backing out the THREE set screws they use to hold it on I could not hammer it off. And speaking of set screws, most everything I’ve read or seen has insisted that it is a constant battle to keep the barrel to breech screw and the stock to action screws tight. ( I’m talkin’ every 20 shots, by some accounts) I’m old and not all that strong, but after an initial tightening (no Loctite) they have not loosened. What has been your experience?

            Now, one last question. Can you speak to the muzzle energy of your gun? Mine is 16 -18 fpe with the 30-odd pellets I’ve shot over the chrono so far. BB if you’re reading this, that’s with lighter pellets giving higher energy, unlike the results that perplexed you in your 8 part series from ’08

            Thanks again SL. It was good to find someone with some interest in this cheapo gun !


            • Halfstep

              Yeah, mine detonated like TNT! I had at least one shot that went 1300+ fps! Mine too seems to have settled down to become stable though.

              Who doesn’t like the smell of #9? It must be a female thing, crazy creatures.

              The cocking was horrible at first, but now silky smooth for a gun that has never been worked on. It does take a mild smack to open it up, but the cocking effort is not difficult. Then again I have the strength of 10 mortal men, so I have never felt the need to complain about cocking effort.

              Is it heavy to me? Not with muscles like mine ;^) I like heavy springers, the weight seems to convey quality and it helps with tempering the recoil. As far as being long, it is very long. It is longer than my Diana 34P (full length version, not the hunter carbine) by almost two inches. It won’t even fit in any of my soft side rifle cases. So it’s a big’un.

              As far as the screw that holds the barrel to the breech block, mine has never loosened and I didn’t use any locktite on that screw since I knew I would be switching barrels at some point. With the power this rifle generates, that is pretty impressive.

              As far as muzzle energy goes, I only cronied my first shooting session and haven’t done it since. But this is what I got using 7.9 grain Crosman hollow points:

              1143 detonation
              Error detonation
              1325 detonation
              Error detonation
              967.4
              917.6
              958
              957
              937.4
              947.1
              872.9
              939.1
              753.3
              964
              959.2
              806.5
              903.4
              944.8
              919.6
              953.6
              923.1
              964.1
              964.2
              809.8
              960.1

              I am also happy to see that you are happy with this cheapo gun. As BB would say, for the price this rifle is a world beater. I never expected that it would be as good as it is (now that the trigger has been adjusted) It looks good, it feels good, and it shoots good.

              Best regards Halfstep!



  7. B.B.
    Regarding ebay buying and selling. I have done both for several years. I will always check the feedback % and only deal with those 98% or above. I also take note of the number next to the username which is the number of items the seller has bought and sold. Sometimes I will read the reviews on a new seller too. I have never had an issue buying or selling and sometimes you can save a lot of money. Some sellers will list a “low ball” price on an item and then inflate the shipping to some unreasonable amount to make up for it. Sometimes you can find the same item on Amazon for a lower price. I usually check both places. I will often buy computer hardware on ebay, especially for an older system where the parts have become obsolete. I recently helped a friend list his 2003 Thunderbird on ebay but so far it has not sold. We did sell his 29 Chevy on ebay though.



  8. B.B.,

    I don’t know if anyone has made this comment during this series or not, but if so, well, then add mine.

    I highly recommend that every guy, even those who are perfectly happy shaving as they have been, and even if that method is with a straight razor, go to an old-fashioned barber shop on an off-hour on a slower day, and get a real, pro shave from a trained and experienced professional. Check out online reviews for shops in your area, even to the point of recommendations for specific barbers working in (often owning) the shop.

    It is an incredibly pleasurable experience, much in the way a good light massage is pleasurable, and your skin will be like silk afterwards.

    Michael


  9. B.B.,

    You have mentioned at least a few times that you are doing this to relate to the experience of a new airgunner going through the process of learning beginner sorts of things.

    Here’s a newbie question. If one were to be willing and able to afford a brand-new, high-end straight razor from a high-end dealer, is it possible to purchase one that is the equivalent of an Air Arms TX200 MKIII right out of the box? (Granted, it must be maintained properly as you have shown.)

    Michael


    • Yes there is a good quality Dovo or Thiers Issard. 200 will get you a fine one. Classic Shaving .com has been very good for me. Care must be taken not to wreck a razor, so practice on an inexpensive one first. I think a good strop and good technique will serve most well for a good while, then good stones are in order. It takes a lot of thinking and practice.


    • Michael,

      I think I don’t know enough yet to say that there is a TX200 straight razor on the market. But the Dovo Best Quality that I just bought for $76 is certainly a Diana 34, if not more.

      Here is what I see with new straight razors. They get into the premium/excellent class and beyond that they add unnecessary things like etched blades and gold plating. There is some of the same thing in airguns, but accuracy and smooth operation are quantifiable, where what constitutes a a smooth and comfortable shave may differ from person to person.

      B.B.



      • Gunfun1,

        Well, in this particular case I think they go hand-in-hand. It should perform well while new but be of high enough quality to be maintained to that level for many years. A three-dollar steak knife could possibly be sharp right out of the box, but it won’t be sharpen-able when the time comes.

        Is it possible to purchase a brand new straight razor with a very high quality steel and which is totally free of divots and burrs, essentially perfectly honed to begin with. (Proper care and maintenance, like with a new TX200 MKIII, is up to the owner, of course.)

        Of course “Fancy Dan” stuff like gold plating and engraving mean nothing to me.

        Michael


  10. Great series Tom. At present I’m sporting a beard but I do expect to get back to daily shaving at some point. This series will come in VERY handy!!

    Off topic but I’m currently eying an S&W .500 maggie. I have no intention of doing much, if any shooting, with full house loads but I see that “.500 special” brass is available. That along with a powder called Trail Boss, looks very promising for reduced loads.

    Kevin in CT


  11. I would just like to chime in if I may, I found that having rotation of three good razors helps in the edge longevity dept. Six months is a loooong time for an edge to keep super keen, especially on the “affordable” blades. The favorite blades of mine are easy to sharpen, but do not last anywhere near six months. The super steels are very difficult to sharpen and may take an entire evening, but you probably all know this in the knife world. My case cv pocket knives are always razor sharp, but the vg10 blades once they loose it it is a chore to get them back in shape.
    I found that using camellia oil on the edge after each use helps immensely. I think ballistol would work just as well.
    If on a budget, there is a technique to use the superfine grits of wet dry sandpaper glued to glass, I never tried it but it should work.


    • Rob,

      Excellent advice about sandpaper! I see that a lot in my research.

      You may have just answered the question I had about why there are 7-razor kits — one per day of the week. Of course I have nowhere near enough time on either of my two good blades to know how long they will last between honings. I was just restating what I read on the shaving websites.

      I have no experience with VG10 knives, but every D2 tool steel blade I own is extremely hard to sharpen. But then it holds an edge a long time.

      B.B.


  12. Thank you Tom. Question: Do you know of a comprehensive CO2 valve troubleshooting guide? Iv’e been working with two discontinued pistols, the Daisy Powerline 008, and the Crosman1600 BB-matic. I can strip and assemble them both easily, including the valves. But I can’t make the valves behave yet and I would like to know why…



    • Springleader,

      If you ask some (specific) questions, with some (specific) symptoms, with some (specifics) of what you have already tried,… there should be some help for you here. There is a lot of smart people here that have a whole lot of experience with a whole lot of different airguns. Trust me, people here want to help, but you got to give us something to work with first.

      Chris



  13. Ok here’s my target for the day. All shot today.

    I know it looks like a football play. But only way I could distinguish the group’s.

    Calm, very calm. But changed tins of pellets today.

    Right now that is only 20 shots out of the Tx of the new tin. And only 10 shots out of the new tin for the HW30s and FWB 300. I think the barrel needs to get use to the new pellet on each gun.

    In other words season in the barrel. I don’t know if I’ll get more groups tonight to see if more shooting improves the group’s or they stay the same. If not I’ll continue tomorrow. But hope the wind is the same tomorrow. But here it is.



      • TT
        Haha.

        50 yards. That’s the way I do it. 🙂

        Look at the top row of the targets. That’s the old tin of pellets. You can see what groups changed when I switched pellets.

        I bet the guns will start comming back in after a little more shooting.

        Guess you haven’t been following all the targets I been posting with different holds and wind conditions and such. You can go back through the comments if you want on previous blogs or I can post all the pictures of the groups I been shooting in different circumstances. Still got all the pictures.





          • Chris
            Pictures man, pictures. We got this luxury to post now ya know. 😉

            And just mess’n with ya. 🙂

            All I can say is I’m surprised at myself of overlooking how much trigger hand grip affects the shot. I think for the most part I was naturally holding that grip right. But when I became aware recently I found out how much it has changed my groups.

            Last night when I shot my wind flags didn’t move. It hung straight down without even a motion. Here’s a picture of it. And I make them from small plastic trash can bags. I cut the bags in half then use my Exacto knife to make about 1″ wide strips. So very sensitive to wind.

            And really you should try some group’s with your springs and different trigger hand grip on a nice calm evening. Maybe it will improve your group size on those gun’s.

            What’s to loose if you try ya know. Plus it’s shooting time which is a good thing in more ways than one.

            This is about a 3 mph wind and see how it changes direction.
            https://youtu.be/hij2JHCsHgY


            • GF1,

              Very nice on the wind indicator. I like the sensitivity of it. I might set out a few in the woods. 30, 50,75 and 100. 32 is about the limit to the edge of the woods. The woods is mature and there is much open up to 20-30 feet up. There is enough scrub at the edges and some under,.. that for the most part,.. my 32-100 is pretty well wind free, or near it,.. on most days.


              • Chris
                Definitely helps with the wind flags.

                And hope you try some different hand grips with your springers you have. You always report honestly what you find when you try something I mention.

                I really would like to know what kind of results you get with your .22 Tx and .22 Walther LGU.





      • Wow, that’s a dramatic improvement, it took what about 60 pellets to season the bore? So I’ve put about 100 down the pipe so far, must be seasoned by now. I was gonna shoot around 500 then clean per your technique maybe I should rethink this.


        • Coduece
          I would just keep shooting. To me way to early to clean. Even if it’s a new gun.

          Remember you got a high quality Weirauch now. Not a China made gun. For the most part it’s been the non German guns that seemed to need to be cleaned right out of the box that I have had in the past. Well maybe I should word that different cause the Tx is a English made gun. And of course a very high quality gun.


  14. I just can’t believe that switching tins has that much impact on groups. did the pellet tins have the same die number or is it more about the alloy of a particular pellet batch


    • Coduece
      The change in groups don’t happen all the time when I change tins.

      The thing is I shoot the guns so much that u can see when there is even a little change in performance.

      I was talking to Dom a while back and mentioned I use to always shoot at least a couple groups when I opened a tin just to verify how they were shooting. But I hadn’t done that in a long time. Was just plinking basically at my spinners and some aluminum and tin cans.

      What you will start seeing when you shoot your 50 enough at some targets with different brand pellets and multiple tins. Some brands kind of need those first couple groups to come in. Other b and pellets less. And another thing some guns show it more than others.

      What I see with my 3 springers I been shooting and especially now after I learned just recently how important trigger hand grip is. The FWB 300 doesn’t usually need a warm up shot and it doesn’t seem to be affected by pellet tin change. Then I believe I can now say the HW30s is the next best gun when it comes to hold and pellet tin change. The .22 Tx is the picky one of the bunch. It’s by no means bad but it does show the group differences more than the other two guns.

      So basically as I said in the past. All guns have their own personality. You have to shoot them and pay attention to what they show you. And then as it goes each of us have our own personalities. So add that in and what works for one person might not work for another.

      As always. The more you do something the more you will find out.



        • Coduece
          10 mph crosswind never does me any good. That’s pretty much heavy wind in my opinion. Now if it was a straight consistent head or tail wind it wouldn’t bother me as much. Crosswinds are a bummer.

          And I posted a short video below of my wind flags below. And that’s only around a 3 mph crosswind. But check how it changes direction’s. That makes it harder to get a good group even at lower mph winds.

          Oh and get you a red Sharpie like this for your dots. And since your using open sights at 50 yards you might want to get a quarter and trace around it and fill it in. That should help make your aim point more precise.


        • Coduece
          I meant I posted the video above of the wind flags. Sorry.

          And you might need something bigger than a quarter at 50 yards. Try to find something that matches your front globe sight on your HW50S out at 50 yards. That’s called sight matching your target. That will help tighten up your group’s.


    • Coduece
      Here check this out. Here’s one of the things I was trying to point out about all this also. How things can change from day to day.

      This is with a 5 mph head wind from the left to right 45° of the target.

      Notice how it affected the HW30s the most. The 30 can shoot good out to 50 yards if the conditions are right. But it’s just a little low on power for that distance. Today I bet I would have to come into 35 yards to get it to group good with this paticular wind.

      And the FWB I believe is still making enough power for the distance and wind condition. And remember the gun is shooting probably 175 fps faster than a factory stock gun from the modifications I made to it.

      Now the Tx. You can see the wind is messing with the group’s today from it. Maybe it needs to be shot at 40 or 45 yards to get the good groups like I got at 50 yards yesterday when it was calm.

      So those are things to look at if your gun don’t seem to be doing what you want. And if you are pesting or such you need to know how the wind will effect your shot at the distance your shooting at. That’s something us air gunners have to pay attention to more than the firearm rifle shooters do I need at closer distances. We just ain’t making the velocity they are and with the heavier bullet they shoot. 50 yards to a centerfire rifle is like 10 yards to our air guns.

      Just something more to think about. 🙂




          • Coduece
            For some reason I shoot my best group’s in the evening.

            I’m more relaxed it seems. And I’m not as twitchy I think I’ll call it. It’s like the gun just sits right on aim point.

            I think the dimmer evening lighting shows me less of my scope wiggle. It’s there still I’m pretty sure but I don’t see it so distinctly. Kind of like turning scope magnification down.

            Oh and pardon me. But I should say thats a pretty darn good group at 50 yards open sights and those wind conditions. Probably not many could match it. Makes me wonder what you could do with a scope on your 50.

            I know. One step at a time. And tell me. Could you do that good with your np?


        • My shooting project this week is to build a shooting bench. I’m not able to get in a really comfortable position shooting off the patio table. Using a 6/6 block with a vee shaped bag on top. I should have already built one so I’m looking for some ideas.


  15. I am just now getting my Crosman 1322 with the Maximus barrel sighted in It is giving my Marauder a run for the money at 25 yards.

    Below is a picture of the targets from today. For some reason it tends to vertically string the groups more with 10 pumps vs 11 pumps. I need to get the crony out and check on what is happening. I will try using Vana’s one shot targets along with the crony and will report back.

    Don


  16. Here is a picture of the 1322 with the Maximus Barrel. This is the barrel that was sticking our of the shipping box and was noticeably bent for the last three inches at the muzzle. I straightened it on my drill press as best I could.

    The other Maximus barrel I have is on the old Apache Fire Ball rifle (that may not be the best match still working out the kinks on that one.

    Don


    • Benji-Don
      Nice. That’s how their suppose to shoot.

      And don’t know how many 1322/77 and 2240’s I had set up that way with Discovery barrels

      All I can say is very accurate guns for the cost .


      • GF1,
        I wonder what they did to the 2260.Discovery barrels that is suppose to make them better. I bet that they just adjusted the length to reduce some inherent harmonics.

        From what I have seen the Maximus barrels are a more accurate at least enough to be noticeable. What is your opinion?

        Don


        • Don
          I don’t know if the 2260 is more accurate. I haven’t had one.

          But I for sure know the Discovery .177 and .22 barrel is accurate. As well as the .22 Maximus barrel.

          Don’t know about the .177 Maximus barrel. Haven’t had one of those yet either.


          • GF1,

            My statement did not make much sense, sorry. I was wondering if you think the Maximus barrel is more accurate than the Discovery barrel.

            Crosman told B.B. that they had improved the barrel on the Maximus.

            I have not tried a Discovery barrel but made the assumption that it was the same as the 2260.

            I have a steel breech 2240 with the 2260 barrel that is free floating and it out shoots my wifes 2260 most of the time. And the power curve seems more stable on my 2240. More testing for the crony.

            Don


            • Don
              From what I understand the 2260 barrel is what you could always order like the Discovery barrels.

              The Maximus barrels are the new technology. Yes I do believe they got it figured out with the Maximus barrels. Plain and simple better barrels.

              What I want to know is if that technology filtered into the Marauder barrels.


              • GF1,

                I don’t know what the difference in the technology is for the Maximus barrel. It would be a big mistake not to use it on the Marauder barrel if possible especially in .22 cal. I gave up on the original barrel on my .22 Marauder and went to a MM hammer forged barrel. I never seen a gun more pellet sensitive than my Marauder with the original .22 cal barrel.

                I was shooting my 4 inch spinner 8 out of 10 shots at 90 yards last week with the Marauder with the hammer forged barrel. And that was with cross wind gusts to 10+ mph.

                Don


                • Don
                  BB answered the question about the Maximus barrel.

                  And I know. I had all Marauder’s in all calibers. That’s including the 1st and 2nd generation synthetic and wood in gen2 and all wood gen1 Marauders. And even 2 Marauder pistols.

                  All f them have been exceptional shooters except for the .22 Marauder gen1 and 2 rifles.

                  I hav had no good luck with them. Makes me think they dimensioned them wrong or something.


            • Don,

              They told me they are now reaming the seamless tubing they make their barrel from. Before they were just drawing the button through. That irons out most imperfections, but a reamed tube will be more consistent — both within that barrel and also barrel to barrel. Of course it’s an extra step that costs time and money.

              B.B.


              • B.B.

                Ok thanks for the info. That is very good to know. That technology would go directly to the Marauder barrel.

                Have you heard if they are going to use that technology for the Marauder? If so I will buy a new barrel to test out.

                I still think the .22 Marauder barrel has some inherent harmonics/dynamics problems. That may be fixed with weights or ??

                I have been very happy with the two Maximus barrels I have. They are not very pellet picky either.

                Don


  17. And here again. Look what happens.

    My wind flags is totally relaxed and straight down.

    How and the heck come did the HW30s just shoot this group compared to the FWB and Tx tonight. This is he same condition I had last night.

    I don’t want to say it. But the HW doesn’t stay on the game. As well as the Tx. It changes around too.

    But the FWB 300 always is the same. I think I still got a picture from back when I had my .177 Tx. And to note. It was a shooter. But the FWB 300 always did better.

    I want to say it’s me shooting the Tx and HW. But the FWB always does good.


  18. I guess that everyone is watching Irma. I have been. (Instant) reporting is something to behold, compared to the Ol’ Days. God’s help and prayer’s be with them. Houston too. Ohio here, but we will get some left overs. The last “left overs” that rolled through knocked out power for some in the area for 10 days due to wind.

    I did make it out and shot some 30’s with the TX, LGU and Maximus. The TX and LGU held under 1″, flyers included, with the LGU winning out on grouping. The Maximus did 8/10 shots in 5/16″. Pretty much a no brainer on that show-down. All .22’s. All 15.89 JSB’s.


    • Chris
      One of my buddies that I grew up with lives in Daytona. Actually about 5 or so miles from the speedway. Tryed calling him but can’t get through. So don’t know what’s up. But they say it’s covering a 400 mile area. Like the biggest hurricane in a hundred years.

      We are suppose to see the effects Tuesday afternoon of Irma. And we had limbs and branches knocked down when Harvey made it up here to Illinois at the beginning of the week. Windy as heck and rained like I don’t know what.

      So did you pay attention to your grip on the guns when you shot this time. Did you try different grip pressure? Or did you just use your same old hold?


      • GF1,

        I (did remember) and was aware of it. I did play with it a bit. Not enough to make any kind of call. The springers have not been shot in quite a few. From today’s results, you can see why. I am not sure that micro-sensitive hold’s are something that I want to fool with. As long as I do my part, the Maximus is a no-miss gun,.. without even trying too hard.


        • Chris
          All true. But isn’t the object to get the most out of a gun no matter what kind of power plant it has.

          Maybe trigger hand pressure just might make you shoot your Maximus better.

          You ever think of that.


    • Chris,

      Likewise on the folks experiencing these storms, wow. Many will have their lives changed for years to come. And way too many wont make it. A very sad time for those in these storm paths. These folks will need all the help they can get. I will be contributing some funds.

      Good shooting looks like your Maximus did great.
      Good shooting also with the springers. Are all yours underlevers?

      Don


  19. Today I used Vana2’s Target along with a cronograph to record each shot in two 10 shot groups at 25 yards. I used my Crosman 1322 with a Benjamin Maximus Hunter barrel (it is the same barrel as on the Euro Maximus). The first set is with 11 pumps and the second set is 10 pumps (set = row on the target). I think I learned a few things and ended up with even more questions. Here is the velocity results along with a picture of my target based on Vana2’s.

    I can no longer blame all of the vertical spread I was getting with 10 pumps on the gun. I think it has something to do with my pumping technique; do I pause at the top of my punp stroke long enough for the air in the pump chamber to reach atmospheric? Looks like more chonograph work for that one. There was a larger spread of velocity for 10 pumps I don’t think that is the whole story.

    It makes sence that as you reach the maximum pressure in the pump chamber for a pump with a fair amount of dead space less and less air will be pressed into the compression chamber.

    Upgrades to reduce the dead air space in the bottom ot the pump stroke would change this equation. I have noticed some guns get much harder to pump towards the end of pumping and some just reach a point where the pumping effort just levels out. Adjusting the pump rod can reduce the dead space on most multipumps but the stock 13xx pump rods are plastic and not adjustable. Upgrades for the pump are available and may be in my future.

    Another thing I realized as I was writing down comments on each shot is that I was not focused on the trigger and was not pulling straight back. On this gun with a bit of a creep to the trigger I was actually rotating the gun as the trigger broke. I focused on the trigger pull starting on shot 8 of the 11 pump 10 shot string and I think it helped my shots.

    I did not have any shots that I would call pulled in this whole set I usually do for 20 shots.

    Just for ducks I canted the rifle counter clockwise on shot one of the third row and clockwise on shot two third row. The lines on the target are linged up with my vertical cross hair angle.

    Below are each pellet velocity.

    JSB Diabolo Exact Jumbo .22 Cal, 15.89 Grains, Domed
    10-Sep-17, 25 yards
    …………..11 pumps…….10 pumps
    Shot …….Recorded……Recorded
    Number….Velocity……..Velocity
    ……………….fps…………….fps
    1……………..575……………567
    2……………..567……………563
    3……………..570……………560
    4……………..569……………565
    5……………..569……………560
    6……………..570……………557
    7……………..573……………559
    8……………..569……………557
    9……………..568……………555
    10……………563……………548

    Average……..569…………..559
    Low Vel……..563…………..548
    High Vel……..575…………..567
    Vel Spread…12.0………….19.0
    Std Dev…….3.23…………..5.40

    Pellet Wt…..15.89………..15.89…..grains
    Energy……..11.44………..11.03…..foot-pounds

    These are my notes from each shot: The ones that are not listed I called good focus and follow through for that shot. In hind “sight” none were perfect but a coulple felt really good and I did not write that down.

    With eleven pumps:
    shot 4 I felt a little jittery as the trigger broke
    shot 10 I lost focus (I do that often on shot 10??)

    With ten pumps
    I focused on the trigger; pulling straight back each time.
    shot 3 slight breeze right to left
    shot 5 lost some focus
    shot 8 jerked/fliched as trigger broke.

    There is alot more to write down for each shot as I gain more experience with this method. I have a very bad short term memory so this may help. I think it has already.

    I would call shot 3 in the 10 pump row 2 a flier. There was not enough breeze to make that differecne and I had good focus and follow through.


    • Just to let you know I painted the bullet holes so they were easier to see. Should have put them all dead center!

      Oh and the target centers are one inch apart for reference, I forgot to use a coin.

      Below is a chart of the velocity with 11 pumps and 10 pumps.

      Don



        • Chris, Thanks,

          I don’t know why but the velocity distribution on both sets of data from shots 6 through 10 are similar. Is it my pumping technique??? hard to believe it is a coincidence.

          Don


          • Don,

            I do not have any pumpers (anymore), but I think that you might be over thinking the whole pumping thing. In my opinion, as long as you do full out and full in, the end result should be the same. As long as your gun can handle 11 pumps, I would stick with that unless future data shows otherwise.


      • Done I noticed on your targets you posted yesterday that your group’s were better with 11 pumps than 10.

        I think that the 11 pumps and velocity is right for that gun. Probably the little extra velocity is helping buck the wind better.

        And yep trigger pull rotation will go away if you grip a little tighter with your trigger hand. It has helped me with not having to try to pull the trigger true. I do know that a slow steady pull after I stop at stage two helps also.

        And yes I know the 1322/77’s don’t have a stage 2. But if you shorten the trigger spring by about a coil the trigger will break crisper and you can feel a little freeplay in the trigger as you pull back. In other words you can feel the trigger stop moving. And it will break right after that with a little more pressure.


        • GF1,

          Yep I made some adjustments on this trigger as you suggested. I also tried to use a two spring set up with a small spring inside the larger one. I could not find a small spring that did not get wrapped up in the larger spring on the 13xx trigger. This one is going to come apart soon for some more trigger tuning. I was able to get the trigger on my 1377 much better than this gun has. I think it will just take a little more tinkering and a few more shots for this one to smooth out. Not sure if I put some moly on it yet either.

          Don


          • Don
            I would be very happy to own that gun as it is.

            And if I remember right I used a ball point pen spring. But that was on a Discovery trigger. Can’t remember if the Discovery trigger has a different size spring than the 2240, 1322/77 triggers. But it worked good for the Discovery trigger.


          • Don,

            For me,.. plastic to plastic = silicone grease. Metal to plastic = silicone grease. Metal to metal = moly. Anything subject to compression pressures = pure silicone oil. For trigger springs in your case,.. I think that about anything would work just fine, though I would lean towards a grease.


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