Semiautomatics and accuracy

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Trolling for questions
  • Why are semautomatic firearms less accurate?
  • Semiautos are accurate!
  • Why?
  • Matt’s Garand
  • My Garand
  • When you fire
  • Not even a Garand!
  • Why does it matter?
  • Airgun accuracy
  • Pellets are plastic
  • Seating consistency
  • Summary

Today’s topic was suggested by some comments from reader Matt61. He says, “The comparisons at the beginning of the post between firearms and airguns and semiauto vs. bolt-action raise a lot of questions for me. I take it that airgun repeater level accuracy is better than firearm repeater accuracy. Why? If it’s because the round is moved by air instead of a bolt, what difference does that make? The bolt seems like it would be more secure. This all has to do with the mechanism of operation so I guess it really is one question about the difference between semiauto and bolt actions. Once the bolt chambers the round into the chamber, what difference does it make whether the round comes single-shot or from a magazine or whether the bolt is operated by hand or by gunpowder gases (firearm) or air? This history would seem to be erased once the round is in the chamber. So why the differences in semiauto, firearm and airgun accuracy?”

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All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

503-1 target
The All American Target Concepts 503-1 target is like nothing you have ever seen.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The target under fire
  • Operation
  • Airgun power
  • .22 rimfire
  • What you didn’t see
  • Paddle hits
  • Evaluation

Today I’ll show you how this big Texas Star target works. In Part 1 I mentioned there were numerous patents on the target, but the maker informed me there is just one patent that’s currently in force.

I also have the manufacturer’s pricing now. One target will be $509, with free shipping. That may sound high, but this is a club-grade target and much better built and more rugged than most of us are used to. I think today’s report will show you what I mean.

The target under fire

You should read Part 1 to refresh your memory. This target is built for safety first and also for ruggedness. All the angles on the parts are designed to direct the pellets and bullets away from the firing line. And they are built to take punishment!

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Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan Bullmaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Scope performance
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • Scope adjustment
  • Group two
  • Group three
  • Evaluation
  • Group four
  • Group five
  • Summary

Today I take the Hatsan Bullmaster out to the 50-yard range. I might have said in the past that I would attach a bipod for this test, but instead I rested the rifle on a sandbag.

Hatsan Bullmaster Tom at range
I shot the BullMaster off a sandbag rest.

The test

It is important to remember that the BullMaster is a semiautomatic. However, it is also a repeating pellet rifle. It doesn’t handle the pellets the way cartridges are handled in semiautomatic firearms, so that’s one accuracy-killer that can be discounted. It feeds from a circular magazine. The bolt that pushes the pellet into the breech is operated by air instead of manually by a bolt. Therefore we can expect airgun repeater-level accuracy.

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Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Hercules 45
Hatsan Hercules .45 caliber big bore rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Magazine problem
  • Relative size
  • .Magazine works fine
  • Filling
  • Lots of shots
  • Hatsan bullets
  • Power
  • Cocking
  • Useful power?
  • Cowboy Action bullets
  • Use of air
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will test the velocity and power of the new Hatsan Hercules .45 caliber big bore air rifle. Because this is a big bore, I have to take it to a range to test the velocity. No shooting big bores inside my office!

Magazine problem

I actually had the rifle out for testing a couple weeks ago, but at that time I was unable to load any of the bullets Hatsan provided into one of the 7-round circular magazines. That ended that test. I was actually testing three other things that day, so I didn’t spend any time looking into the problem, but after talking to Hatsan about it online I tried the other magazine that came with the rifle and it worked fine. Apparently I just got one bad magazine.

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The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Premiers are best
  • By the triggerguard
  • Extended hold
  • Resting on the bag
  • Getting tired
  • Evaluation
  • Summary

Today will be something a little different. In the previous report reader Siraniko asked me why I changed my artillery hold when I moved from the 10-meter accuracy test to the 25 yard test. Reader GunFun1 picked up on that question and wondered how we would know which hold was best. That made sense, plus I enjoy shooting this rifle, so I promised to do another 25-yard test in which all I change is the hold. That’s what I’m doing today.

Premiers are best

Without question Crosman Premiers turned in the tightest group in that last test, so they were the only pellet I used for this test. I began the test with the same artillery hold I used in the last report — my off hand held under the middle of the cocking slot. No particular reason for holding it there last time, except the farther out I hold it the more stable the rifle seems. By that I mean that the crosshairs don’t dance all around the target. It makes the rifle easier to hold, which is as good a reason as any, I guess.

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Owning vintage airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Only new for me!
  • The RidgeRunner story
  • Kevin’s story
  • Whacky Wayne
  • Hey, BB — where are the airguns?
  • A lot of them can be fixed
  • Vintage pneumatics
  • Shaving is the best test
  • Blade shape and thickness
  • Don’t forget CO2
  • Summary

Reader Michael gave me the idea for this report when he made a comment to yesterday’s blog, referring to my discussion of the bent versus unscragged mainspring.

“I suppose, too, that if a particular air gun is firing or cocking abnormally, a bent mainspring is one of the usual suspects.”

That comment is so true that it started my brain firing on both cylinders! The bottom line is — what’s it like to own a vintage airgun?

Only new for me!

Some of you steadfastly refuse to look at vintage airguns, for fear you will encounter some problem that can’t be fixed. Does that ever happen? You bet it does! Have a look at my greatest failure — the pogostick repeater. Read that report and look at the pictures. After I wrote that I gave the rifle to former reader Vince, who attempted to put it back to being a vintage Diana. He failed, too, and today it’s just a pile of parts somewhere.

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