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Optics The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 6

The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Lead Sled
  • Rifle rested on sandbag
  • The artillery hold
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I will shoot my vintage HW85 at 50 yards for you. One thing I’m testing is whether resting the rifle on a Caldwell Lead Sled will improve accurate. Reader Bob from Oz says it will. We’ll see.

The test

The day was perfect for a test like this. It was 34 degrees with just a hint of a breeze. I shot in three different positions that I’ll describe as we go. The rifle is still sighted in for 25 yards, so the pellets dropped about 3 inches at 50 yards. And I used the Crosman Premier pellet that has worked so well for this rifle in the past.

Lead Sled

First up was the Caldwell Lead Sled. It is an adjustable rifle rest that is designed to absorb the recoil of a heavy recoiling rifle. You can stack lead weights or barbell weights on the tray — hence the product name.

Caldwell Lead Sled
The Lead Sled is a rifle rest that mitigates recoil.

To shoot a breakbarrel off a rifle rest the rifle must be cocked and loaded each time, which means taking it out of the rest. With a repeating firearm or even with many single shots the rifle can settle into the rest, but not in this case. It took a longer time to get back on the target each time. But once on target, the rest holds the rifle very steady.

The rifle was difficult to shoot because the rest holds it and not the shooter. That feels better with a centerfire rifle than it does with a breakbarrel pellet rifle. The scope was further from my eye and the exit pupil was smaller by half. I just didn’t like the way the gun felt in this rest.

The HW85 put 10 Crosman Premier pellets into 3.054-inches at 50 yards. That’s not a very good group! One test may not be very conclusive, but given the way the rifle felt in the rest, I doubt I will try this again.

Crosman Premier sled group
When the rifle was rested on the Lead Sled it put 10 Premier pellets in 3.054-inches at 50 yards. The hole on the lower left is not part of this group.

Rifle rested on sandbag

In the second test I tried the rifle rested directly on the sandbag. If the rifle rest in the first test was bad, this was horrible! I can’t even show you all the shots, because 3 out of 10 missed the target paper altogether. The 7 that did hit the paper measure 5-3/4-inches between centers. I won’t even show this “group” because it was a total failure.

The artillery hold

For the third test I used the artillery hold and got what I think is a good result. Seven of ten pellets are in a group measuring 0.657-inches between centers. If those were  all 10 shots I would now be screaming, but they weren’t. The other three pellets landed some distance away from this main group, openeing it to 2.357-inches between centers. That’s not very good, but I think I know why.

Crosman Premier artillery group
With the artillery hold, 7 of the Premiers went into 0.657-inches, but the other 3 opened the group to 2.357-inches at 50 yards.

Upon re-reading my previous accuracy tests I discovered that the HW85 is sensitive about where the off hand is placed when you use the artillery hold. In this test I had the off hand back by the triggerguard, but my previous testing shows that it needs to be in the middle of the cocking slot for best results.

I consider this test a good result, even though the group isn’t that small. I think it does show the rifle’s potential.


What did we learn from today’s testing? First, that the HW85 does not like to be rested in a Lead Sled rifle rest. Second that the rifle wants the artillery hold and third, that the artillery hold it likes best is not with the off hand back by the triggerguard.

I could try to refine my 50 hold in another test, but I don’t think I will. I learned what I needed to know and I will now keep the HW85 as my go-to 25-yard pellet rifle when it shoots Premier pellets.


I’ve enjoyed this series. It allowed me to get familiar with a pellet rifle I have admired from afar for many years. I was able to discover its secrets and get it to perform quite well. Given that this rifle is quite a bit lighter than my Beeman R1, plus being more accurate, I will try to leave it scoped and sighted-in!

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.

122 thoughts on “The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 6”

  1. B.B.,

    If you put an index card with specific notes on their favorite pellets and how they like to be held next to the rifles when you store them it might be easier to achieve screamers that way. I would be ecstatic with such a group. It just means you haven’t been shooting this beauty enough. Then again we could attribute it to your eyes that are still for correction next month I believe.


    • I’ve noticed a number of times you’ve mentioned checking old blogs for reference. Even with just the one gun I’ve spent a lot of time with (the 2400KT) I do that all the time, checking velocities, accuracy with a particular pellet, etc. Just too much detailed information to remember!

  2. B.B.,

    Nice test. I like it. 7 in .657″ @ 50 yards is very respectable. Food for thought, for all, on how to rest (or) not rest an air rifle.

    Good Day to you and to all,….. Chris

    • Chris,

      Here’s a philosophical question: If seven of the ten are within .657 inches but the other three opened it up to 2.357 inches, do the seven within .657 still constitute a “group” if one or more of the other three were shot as those seven were being shot instead of after the seven were shot? Perhaps put more clearly, unless those seven shots were fired in succession, is it still really a group?

      If the answer is yes, it still constitutes a group, then one could say, The 10 shots formed a 2.5 inch group, but two of the shots, shots two and nine, formed a .234 inch group! :^)


      • Michael,

        Yes, it is a sub group and I use the same method. Pellets can always be a factor and until sorted, they can not be eliminated. Shooter variable is always a factor, perceived or not. You know of others as well.

        My bottom line is that the gun and/or pellet shows a (higher) likely hood of being a good one. Repeat testing is the only way to be sure.

    • You should get one. The HW rifles have a feel that very addictive. I have 1 each of their modern springers. Its almost as if they are alive, and you have to form a friendship with them. Once you do that, and start shooting groups like BB posts, its a great feeling. I also have tx200’s. As amazing as they are, I still prefer the feel of my Hw rifles and the 95 is the best, as far a sim concerned. I love its size, and weight.

      • R.

        What is holding me back right now is I need to sell one of my air rifles now, plus I have four project air rifles I need to get to. To top it all off is I have not had time to get to any of it. I am really hoping things are going to slow down around here some.

        • I know life does get in the way, but they are an amazing purchase. I bought several, used hw’s. All of them are worth more than I paid, 15 yrs ago, and all shoot better than they did, new, due to break in, and tuning. What else can you say that about that you bought 15 yrs ago?

    • Bob,

      Every time I try that pellet I’m disappointed. I do use them in tests from time to time and they never land near the top.

      A lot of people feel as you do about them, so something is up. Maybe I need to season the bore? I tested that a couple years ago an the results were inconclusive. But it’s not a bad idea.


      • B.B.,

        I wonder if the H&N FTT available in the US is the exact same pellet as here in Europe. There could be a difference in head size if pellets for the US market are manufactured on dedicated presses. Do you know if H&N have a manufacturing plant stateside, or is everything they make made in Germany?

      • H&N FTT’s have been the best pellet in my detuned (11.8 FPE) R1. 5 pellets in 1 inch or less if the air is calm and the shooter does his part. The R1 is so heavy that it shoots well off of a Caldwell tripod rest as long and the front bolt is behind the rest.


  3. Chris USA,

    With regards to the deformed pellets test the English shooters have demonstrated that accuracy goes away if the skirts are deformed for their 12 fpe air guns. They were shooting at targets at 25-50 meters and they found disappointment. They concluded that damage to the skirt should be avoided at all costs.


    • Siraniko,

      I am sure you are right. I do not check out any U.K. sites, but would love to if I had more time. 25-50 is some respectable testing. It could be a case of just not enough fpe to get the job done at re-expanding a damaged pellet skirt. Another option is to try and reform a skirt, thus making the gun do less “repair”.

      As B.B. has attested, before entering into a new venture, one is well served to research what has come before. If he does some digging, he may find that the question has been pretty well settled.

      Awhile back, the USA team (or?) did a test? blog. That would be an interesting bunch to tackle the question.

      Whatever comes of it,… it should be interesting! Thanks for the added insight,…. Chris

    • Hank,

      Oh, I am not so sure about that. When I think of that double barrel thingy Beeman tried to foster on the world, I have to question that statement. I don’t think it would hit the broad side of a barn if you were standing inside with the muzzles against the wall.

      • RR,

        I agree with that – wonder if they ever sold enough of those things to cover the cost of setting up a production run.

        My comment above “self posted” without it’s supporting text – don’t you love “high-tech” LOL!

        Please see my comments below…



        • Hank and RR,

          Every gun is a tack driver — if it hits a tack! ;^) Or, as my grandmother used to say, “Even a blind pig stumbles upon a truffle now and then.” Another: “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

          Please forgive me. I know this comment adds nothing to this discussion, but I just could not resist.



      B.B. I feel that your comment “I will now keep the HW85 as my go-to 25-yard pellet rifle” is a very profound statement. You accept the effective range of the rifle and are happy with that, that it is not a 50 yard rifle has no bearing on the pleasure that you have shooting your R10/HW85. Think people loose sight of that.

      If I might be so bold as to offer my perspective on this…

      Like many of us I started shooting with a sling-shot, then a bow, progressed to pellet rifles and on to powder burners. All of these “projectile weapons” had a maximum effective range – the range at which they could consistently hit the target.

      I learned to shoot by shooting at small reactive targets (bottle caps and such) and hunting small game. I quickly found out that beyond a certain range I couldn’t hit my target.

      I discovered/realized that, user skill aside, each weapon (slingshot to bow to rifle) had a maximum effective range beyond which it did not have the consistency to shoot acceptable groups.

      The definition of an “acceptable group” is up to the shooter and that is mostly determined by the situation. Obviously, there are different requirements between a 10-meter competition match, casual plinking and hunting live game.

      It seems that a 1/2 inch group (or less) is the definition of a “tack driver” and shooting dime-sized groups at 50 yards is the Holy Grail of driving tacks. There are rifles and shooters who can do the 1/2 @ 50 groups but most shooters don’t have the equipment or skill or the time/money to practice to that level of proficiency.

      The whole point to this long-winded post is to suggest to those of us who are not “Holy Grail” shooters is that within the effective range of the equipment and the shooter EVERY RIFLE IS A TACK DRIVER.

      Enjoy your shooting!

      Happy Monday all!


      • Hank,

        That was pretty good. I happen to be a bit of both. When shooting my antique air rifles, I understand their limitations and enjoy them for what they are. Now when I pull out my HM1000X I am going for sub MOA at 100 yards. I have produced a 5 shot 1 inch group at 100 yards with that air rifle. I even had witnesses. I am hoping to have time when the weather is above freezing to start working with it more and tune it in to where it becomes boring at 100 yards.

        By the way, the tacks had better watch out with these old gals at 10 yards. 😉

        • RR,

          Anyone who shoots like that with any gun impresses the hell out of me, if you’ll excuse my bump up from “heck”. Steve at AEAC did a lengthy review of that gun in .25 cal. and just absolutely gushed about it, if I recall correctly. Is that what your gun’s caliber?

          • Half,

            Mine is .357. If you dig back aways you will find that Steve also did a review of one in that caliber. It is one of the reasons I bought this air rifle.

  4. Maybe I don’t understand how this site works but why is there no link to part 2 after I’ve read part 1 of an article? There are links backwards from part 9 to part 8, etc, but there are no links to go in the forward dircection. After I’ve read part 1, do I have to find part 9, which will give me the link to part 2?

    • Doug

      Until a part is written, there will be no link to it .
      B.B. would have to go back and edit every one of the parts of a blog to put in all the links every time he writes a new part . That’s a lot of extra work .


        • Rambler

          As long as B.B. never does another blog on the same kind of gun, and that model is never mentioned anywhere else…..but I don’t think that would work real good. A search would give you every instance where that model was even mentioned.


      • TT,
        I see your point, but sometimes I have a difficult time finding part 2 after I’ve read part 1. What I’ve done in the past is find the last part and keep that as my reference to all the other parts. It gets frustrating doing it that way. I guess I thought I was doing something wrong. What you said makes sense.

        • Doug,

          What I have done to find all the parts is enter in the search box, rifle name part 1, then again, rifle name part 2, etc. This has worked for me. Then as you stated, find the last part, then open a new tab in your browser while keeping the one tab open as well. Then click on each part in the new tab. Sounds more complicated than it is. The trick is to find how many parts there are. The search box should work for finding that too. The search box will only find names in the title, not the actual blog. You’ll get the hang of it Doug.

    • Doug,

      ‘fraid so. What I do if I run across part 1 of a series is put its title in the search box right away and that will take me to the page that lists all of the parts. Then I just use my my browsers forward and back arrows to get to the parts one at a time. There may be a better way, but that’s how I do it.

  5. BB,

    I agree completely about shooting from a rest, especially one that doesn’t even allow the butt of the gun to touch your shoulder. It’s just too much stuff to work around.

    I’m not familiar with this rest. Does it just rely on the mass of whatever you stack on it to hold the in place on recoil or does some part of it slide back against springs or some sort of buffer? Also, is your sandbag an actual bag of sand or one of those formed and shaped bagLIKE rests and is it just under the fore end or also the butt stock?

    • Halfstep,

      Part 2 was written after Part 1. To link forward I would constantly have to relink all the reports.

      What I do is type the basic title in the search box, hit “go” and get the last report. Then you have them all.


      • BB,

        I think that’s what I said that I did. Perhaps you meant to send this instruction to someone else. I totally understand the extra effort that would be required for you to do differently and have not had any issues doing it my way (and as it turns out , your way) 🙂

      • B.B.,

        I swear that I was on a past blog recently and there was a forward article linked. Not all of them, just the next one,.. which took you the next one,.. and so on. I thought it odd, but did not give it much thought past that. Ex.: I was on 3, 1 and 2 were linked, but also a 4. Who knows?, these ‘puter thingy’s do some weird stuff! 😉

    • Halfstep,

      The weight and the friction of the 4 rest feet take care of recoil. No buffer springs.

      My sandbag is a real shooting sandbag (long with a trough for the rifle) but I have it filled with cracked walnut shells that are half the weight.


  6. For anyone thinking about buying a Diana stormrider I have a new reason to recommend against it. I have just discovered that the bolt has been recoiling in its slot in the receiver during every shot and has mushroomed out the slot that holds it in battery. I put my thumb on the rear of the bolt then fired the gun and that thing kicks back pretty darn hard. The receiver is aluminum so I’m not surprised that it mushroomed ( I suppose a stronger alloy may have held up ). I expect that I’ve run 700 -800 rounds through the gun.

    Here is a photo collage of the damage.

      • tt,

        If you are referring to my gun, been there, done that! Mine broke off trying to load a pellet. I ended up opening and polishing the part of the breech that I call the forcing cone. To anyone ( perhaps I should say EVERYONE ) that is having trouble loading, even with the single shot tray, doing this will give you a really nice effortless feed. Some folks( in this case I should say MOST folks and reviewers ) are reporting trouble with loading from the magazine. I bought two extras and only one out of three total fed decently. Is seems that the clear cover on the front of the mag is supposed to be held in alignment with the rest of the mag via a ball located in the mags body and a detent in the cover. The pressure that the ball will exert on the detent is adjustable via a setscrew on the rear of the mags body. If that cover isn’t held in place by the ball the cover slips sideways and there is a hard shoulder on the the bolt probe that will hang up on it. Unfortunately it only does this after it has pushed the pellet out far enough that the spring loaded pellet carrier inside the mag can rotate a new pellet into position if you try to retract the bolt to have another go at getting it to close all the way. In a gun in its original form, sans forcing cone mod, the second pellet stops halfway in and halfway out of the breech, causing a jam that is very tough to clear. With the mod you can get both pellets into the breech at least, thus avoiding the jam. The solution to the whole issue is to screw in the set screw on the rear of the mag until the front cover is held firmly in place. If you over tighten it the mag won’t go into the well because it becomes too wide. I am also convinced, based on the early signs of wear on my mags, that the problem will probably reappear as an arched groove is worn into the front cover.

        Note to Diana management : I am currently retired and have some spare time this winter to find the obvious shortcomings of any guns that you would like to send me that presented too much of a challenge to your Research, Engineering, and Development Team. I won’t be available after the end of March as that is when I go Crappy fishing in Georgia. 😉

        Here’s some pics of what I’m talking about.

        • Wow! Very poor design and that mag isn’t going to last very long. People complain about the Urban’s mags costing $50 each but I bet they don’t have this issue. Another serious weakness in the Stormrider. Pay more, get more, in this case.

          • Geo791,

            I have worked in manufacturing long enough to know that the cost of the Urban’s mag is either about marketing to make a profit on the back end or about how expensive and inefficient it is to give you employees 12 weeks of time off each year, as they do in Europe, if what I’ve been told is true. Stamping the front cover for this mag from steel with that tiny dimple that forms the detent is all it would take to make it reliable, IMO, and that would NOT raise it’s cost to $50.

            I LOVE my Urban,Geo. Why did you have to make me think about its one tiny flaw?? ( But you’re right. The Urban and Coyote mags are bulletproof…..pelletproof? perhaps??)

            • Halfstep,

              Ok,. first,.. too many “big” words which I have no time to look up! 😉

              Bottom line, your comment was spot on, very direct and every bit true. At least someone should do their pre-release testing because they obviously are not! A shame to the them and the long honored Diana brand name.

              No other way to say it or see it. I am sorry that you got stuck with it,… which from henceforth shall be known as,… “The Toad”.

              I can be funny too,.. but in this case I not in a rather funny mood on the topic. Perhaps we shall just chock it up to dry-ish English-ish “dry” humor with a good bit of subtle sarcasm tossed in?

        • Geo
          In my opinion they have to heavy of a striker spring in the Maximus. Very hard to cock compared to a Discovery.

          My Maximus is super smooth and easy to cock now after going to a lighter striker spring in when I was tuning for the regulator I put in my Maximus.

          I have put heavier striker springs in my .25 Marauder’s I modded up. But they are a more robust design.

          And if I was to get another Maximus. I for sure would go to lighter striker spring.

        • Geo791,

          The bolt handle is thin but it IS made of steel, after all. The fact that it can be broken off speaks more to how hard it is to get the pellet to go up into the darn dadburned doggone breech. Now that I’ve reworked my breech I don’t see any chance that the bolt handle would break off. There is no stress on it at all now. I seem to recall that BB had to give up on a certain pellet because it was so much effort( maybe even impossible,now that I think about it) to load.

          Diana should be telling the execs at the factory in China that makes these for them, ” We have an international reputation for excellence in airgun production. If you are going to produce this product for us, and we are going to have to put our name on it and have the world associate it with that renowned image of Diana casting down her bow in lieu of one of our guns on a product who’s number one purpose is to fire a lead pellet through the air, then we need you to make sure our customers can damn well load said pellet into that gun to begin with! ” Or perhaps Diana just don’t give a shi* anymore.

          • Halfstep,

            Do you think that the stormrider is safe, in that you say that the bolt handle is being slammed back and possibly could break off from that alone, do you think that the cocking pin would be enough to keep the bolt itself from coming out the back of the receiver? That could be kinda ugly.


            • Mike,

              I”m not sure that the rearward force is enough to break the bolt handle off. Also the underside of the bolt has a sockethead cap screw that is also rotated into a notch when the bolt is in firing position and those are the toughest grade of bolt that there is, as far as I know. Mine handle broke of from forcing pellets into the breech. In other words, on the forward stroke.

              • Halfstep
                Wow really. Forcing the pellet forward to load.

                I thought. You mentioned this awhile back. Was that because they didn’t have a big enough lead in chamfer in the barrel.

                I said it from the begining that I thought Diana was messing up having a air gun made in China. But it’s almost like this time the China manufacturer that Diana chose has never made a air gun before.

                What a shame on Diana’s part. Hopefully they learn a lesson from this. And believe me. I have been trying to have a open mind on China products. My compressor is still chugging along as well as my QB79. But it seems they let something slip in the communication of what Diana expected of the stormrider.

  7. For the benefit of those that are already stuck with one of these, here is a photo collage of mine disassembled. I’m going to be doing something to reduce the orifice size or striker spring force or both in order to reduce the velocity some. You may want to take note of the trigger pics and the fact that the sear engagement can be adjusted. I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere that I can recall. I adjusted mine to a really nice 2# pull. Also I discovered that you can increase or decrease the bolt’s sliding resistance by tightening down on a setscrew and rubber ball arrangement on the underside of the receiver. The bolt is very sloppy in its bore and this may just be a cheap way to give the impression of better fitting parts in this area.

    To GunFun, my memory of how the barrel is ported and sealed was incorrect. I WILL have to address all the issues that you pointed out in our conversation a few weeks ago about rebarreling, if I decide to try that. I did recrown it using your technique but don’t know if it helped yet or not.

    The thing on the muzzle of the gun is just for looks or balance. It is just bored straight through with nothing that even resembles a baffle inside it, although I have heard reviewers describe it as “baffled”. There isn’t even any room for baffles in there. I don’t know what those pieces of plastic were that were flying out the end of my guns and lodging in the muzzle, but I don’t see how it could have been pieces of baffles, as I originally thought. If you want to remove it, the setscrew on the underside is Loctited with the red stuff, as is the entire approximately 1 1/2″ that slides over the barrel. (maybe excess Loctite that smooshed out in front of the crown of the barrel is what was flying out, although it really did appear to be chips of black plastic) I tried several heating methods that started gentle and got increasingly more aggressive until I finally had to use a propane torch to heat the entire weight up.

    If anyone has any questions, I’ll be glad to answer them, but the best answers will probably come before I put this back together. The memory of its innards is gonna fade, I sure, over time, hence the pictures. 🙂

      • GF1,

        Nope. Pretty much just did as you advised with the centerdrill. I polished it in a couple of stages and finished with Crocus Cloth. I shines now.

        One thing that I did was look at the barrel with a number of different magnifying devices, before and after, including a Harbor Freight borescope. I don’t know enough about crowns to judge their quality, I can only say that I didn’t see any obvious nicks where the inner edge of the chamfer met the rifling and it seemed concentric to the bore and square to the face of the muzzle. My crown IS prettier though! 😉 I did see something that was odd, to me, about the rifling, though. I know about as much about rifling as I do barrel crowns so maybe its not important, but all the lands ( that’s the raised part, right ? ) had a scratch going down the middle of it. I say scratch, but it was really deep enough that it looks deliberate or, if it’s a defect from a chipped tool or something it would have been a really bad and obvious chip. I know less about how they MAKE rifling than I do about how it’s supposed to look, so if they typically use multiple cutters on a single mandrel, they ALL would have had to be defective, since all the lands are “scratched”, and that would be unlikely. Now, on the other hand, if they use one cutter and rotate it to cut each land separately, a chipped cutter could account for what I saw.

        It just looked odd. I know that there are many variations on rifling, but I don’t see how this could make a gun accurate, which might explain why mine AIN’T. Has anyone ever run across this? I’ll try to photograph it ( it’s gonna be tough, though ) before I put it back together.

        • Halfstep
          If it was on one land then I would say for sure that was wrong. But you said it was on all the lands.

          To me that’s not right to have the scratch on each. And that very well could be your accuracy problems.

          Don’t know. That is different though I think.

          • GF1,

            I couldn’t get a good picture of the rifling, but I did my best. I was able to get a good shot of a Rabbit II pellet that I pushed through the barrel. The grooves on the pellet, which would be the lands of the barrel, if I’m thinking right, actually look rounded over. That would mean the lands in the barrel are scooped out or convexed. The sheen caused by that may just look like a scratch down the middle. It’s hard to say. It would still be a peculiar sort of rifling at that ,too, don’t you think?

            • Halfstep
              I would say your right that it is a convex land type rifling.

              But in your first picture that groove that goes around the rifling bothers me. It’s like they used a wrong center drill to do the crown. Like the small pilot drill of the center drill was too big of a diameter.

              If it was me I would cut the barrel off behind that groove and re-crown the barrel. That has to be killing accuracy.

              • GF1,

                I noticed that groove, too when I was making that graphic. I am going to take a look at my centerdrill to see if it could have made the marks. I used a #4 and had it chucked up close but it was in a three jaw on a benchtop hobby lathe. I think I would have noticed that much runout though.

                  • GF1

                    If I’m thinking right, that would mark some of the lands but not the others. I’ll take a close look with my magnifier App. I think BB pointed out, once, that that was the cause of barrel droop, also. Being bored at a slant relative to the barrel’s O.D.

                    • Halfstep
                      Yep that’s right.

                      If it’s all the way around it then to me it would be the pilot small diameter of the center drill is to big.

                      Or maybe your didn’t have the center drill chucked up true in the drill chuck. If it was cocked to one side that will make it act like the small diameter is cutting over size.

                      Alot of things can make that happen. You could have dirt or grit or something in the drill chuck. Or you chucked up on one of the drill flutes and pulled it off center. That happens at times.

                      Let me know what you find.

                  • GF1,

                    My centerdrill doesn’t have flutes on the shank. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one that did. I have done that with twist drills back when I first started using them. If I decide to part the end of the barrel off, I think I might try a 4 fluted counter sink for the crown. That mark that we are talking about might be a little shiny spot where the corner of my sand paper touched up inside the barrel. It’s really hard to tell with what I have to look at it with.

                    • Halfstep
                      Here is a picture of a center drill I have. I circled the area’s in red I’m talking about. Whatever they may be called in the case of a center drill.

                      It I you close you can see how people make a mistake by chucking up on that area. You should always pull out past that and Chuck up on the full diameter of the shank.

                      And I would have to say no about the sandpaper making that mark. If it is from the sandpaper then that’s some awful soft metal they used for the barrel.

  8. Halfstep,

    I have read that somewhere else about the bolt mushrooming the receiver in the Stormrider. I have also noticed in the review videos of bolt action PCPs, the bolt jumps upward when fired on most of them.

    I see a very good price at one of the online retailers for the Gamo Urban…$226.00. What do you guys think?
    And to GF!, no, the Marauder .25 is not a consideration for my needs. It’s too heavy and way more power than needed.


    • Geo
      The reason I said that was hopefully to make someone think.

      No matter what caliber or how much power a gun makes. If you miss and your aiming up in the air at a 45° angle. Where is that pellet going to end up. Even if you do hit a sparrow the pellet will surely pass through.

      • You are absolutely correct. One always has to be mindful of where the pellet or bullet will end up. That’s the reason I can not shoot a .22 rimfire in my backyard. There are houses 1/4 mile north of me and a .22 rimfire will easily go that far and farther. The nice thing about .22 pellets is they don’t go a real long distance before dropping…500 yards max. That’s a very good point though and maybe some folks don’t take that into account.

        Funny story. When I was about 14 or 15 I was throwing tin cans up in the air and then trying to shoot them with my 20 gage shotgun. I could do it most of the time before the can hit the ground. One day a neighbor came driving in. He lived on the other side of a big hill behind my house about 1/8 of a mile or so from our house. He said that he was on his garage roof doing some shingling and all of a sudden pellets came raining down on him. Who would have thought those shotgun #6s would go that far. He was kind of upset but when I told him what I had been doing, we both had a laugh. Lesson learned. I never threw cans up in the air in the back yard again 🙂


        • Geo
          Your shot gun story reminded me about something similar when me and my buddy was around that same age.

          We was shot gun hunting rabbits. We was walking the edge of the woods by the lake. We could other people hunting across the lake but couldn’t see them. We would hear stuff in the trees and see what we thought was rain sprinkling in the water. Then we started putting 2 and 2 together. It was after we heard their shots a few or so seconds later we would hear and see the sprinkling. And it wasn’t rain. It was from their shot guns. And I’m sure it wasn’t intentional on their part cause it would be in certian areas out in the lake. Never right by us.

          But yep you never know what’s on the other side.

    • Geo,

      Before Xmas I found them for $220 and after paying $200 for the huge disappointment called “stormrider”, I jumped on it because I have a Coyote and knew what quality to expect. I went back after about a week and a half to get a second one, because, IMHO that was the best deal I had ever run across in an air gun, only to find that it had been rolled back to $219. I was trying to get everyone here and everyone that I knew outside here that might even be slightly interested in airgunning to pick one up at that price. I checked the other day and they are now $299. I personally think that they are worth much more than that and I have found quite a few reviewers online that agree with my view, so if you can get one for $226 I’m advising you to grab it while you can. I’m not going to ask and I really don’t want you to say where you found it for that price, out of respect for PA, the sponsor of this blog, but if I knew, I would buy one for a friend of mine as a retirement gift, as the Mafia would say, ” on my mother’s eyes”. I think that much of it. My $.02.

      • Halfstep,

        Not sure what the 219 vs 299 increase means,… but I do not like it one bit! Some sites will always be higher, but if that is from the same site,… then I would not be happy. If the manufacturer is doing it, then I would have to question what is behind it. Anyway,.. it does not look good to the consumer one bit. Not a good way to earn loyalty. My 2 cents.

        • Chris,

          I think it may have just been a Xmas promotion and I was just unaware.$219 was a deep discount and $299 has always been the average price. That’s why I snapped it up as I did.

    • Geo,

      I say go for it. I would say the Maximus, but I would also love a repeater. ((Consider fill pressure)) since you mentioned hand pumping. 2000 vs 3000 is pretty big, but not sure right now what the Urban operates at.

      • Chris,

        The Urban can be filled to 230 bar, which is almost 3400 psi. It doesn’t HAVE to be filled to that and mine actually does best at around 170 bar which is about 2500 psi. It has a small reservoir – about 100 cc less than its big brother the Coyote ( that’s about half ) – and that makes it easier to fill, also. 3300psi can be done with a hand pump and it does require some effort near the end, but it’s not hard for a long time like the larger Coyote is. and it really is about technique, provided you have the body mass ( I just put a big red check mark next to () BODY MASS) to push the handle down.

    • Geo791,

      I have not noticed the bolts flipping up on the bolt action PCPs that I have researched online. That is not to say that that you haven’t seen them, though. I have a number of inexpensive CO2 bolt action rifles and handguns, however, that do flip the bolt handle up on firing. It doesn’t seem to do any damage to the guns or affect their overall function and can’t really be felt if you gently place a finger on the bolt. It seems to be more of a looseness between the probe seal and the breech. If I had to characterize it I would say that the bolt gets “jiggled” up through harmonics or something, rather than forced up in any way. A common practice is to rig a rubber band to hold it down, somehow. But, then again, that’s CO2 and not PCP.

      The forces that are exerted on my stormrider don’t even make the bolt handle flip up. They just push it straight back and it even stings a little if you put your thumb on the end of the bolt and fire it during the highest powered part of the shot curve.

  9. The take home truth in this test for me is a demonstration of just how hold sensitive a springer is. I believe the vast majority of owners never come close to achieving accuracy because of ignorance regarding this. I was among this group for years.

    As Vana2 has pointed out, there are many different ways to derive pleasure in shooting airguns. Some archers will stay with recurves forever. For those chasing accuracy springer sensitivity is an obvious obstacle and I for one have no interest in refining my technique with one. That said I was curious to see the absolute best that could be done with the right hold. I guess that’s the accuracy quest in me.

    I agree wholeheartedly with whoever said that only accurate guns are interesting 🙂
    Never owned a BB gun for that reason. No interest in them.

    The best thing that’s happened to me with regard to airguns, is discovering the PCP. I suspect the majority who have the opportunity to try one will feel the same way.PCP gun prices have come down dramatically. I’m sure filling options, the tanks and pumps will do the same. Its a great time to be into airgunning.

    • True that shot for shot, springers cannot equal the accuracy of pcps. However, I don’t know that the springer technique is a deviation from from the orthodox as much as an extension. The sensitivity of the design can work as to develop your skill like resistance training with weights, and when this skill improves your game with any kind of gun, it gives you a new perspective.


      • Matt

        I appreciate the desire for many to master shooting a springer and agree that to some degree this exercise will improve shooting other types. I say to some degree because the 2 directional recoil of a springer introduces the need for technique that I do not believe crosses over to other shooting.

        I got to where I could shoot my R9 with fair accuracy, but it has been sold and I won’t miss it for the reason you stated, that while it was a good quality gun, it could never equal the accuracy of a PCP no matter how good my technique.

        • Idaho,

          I have to agree with you. A spring or even a gas piston gun doesn’t really mimic a firearm’s firing behavior, with the possible exception of a black powder flintlock or something like that ( maybe a matchlock?) They start shakin’ around before the projectile has even STARTED movin’ down the barrel. If you can shoot one accurately offhand you should do very well with a firearm, though. Your follow through and hold will be ironclad. You will probably be able to repeat them to a degree that won’t even be necessary to the average firearms user. And from what I’ve garnered recently, any position that you shoot from as a hunter- rested against the side of a tree, propped on a fence rail or against the side of your leg in a seated position- is going to change your point of impact if you can’t duplicate that magical hold on the one perfect balance point on the gun that you happen to be using THIS time. I think if I had thrown myself into springers seriously when I was younger I might have gotten the hang, but I don’t think I have enough years left now. ( And I have some PCPs)

          • Halfsttep

            I think of all the springer shooting I did as a kid. Just about every day. I’d always try to use a tree or fencepost or whatever for a rest. I had no clue how that affected accuracy.

            I imagine my shooting skills and confidence would have advanced substantially with something like a multi-pump.

            A neighbor kid had one. I thought it was kinda weird with all that pumping 🙂

    • Idaho,

      I will agree that springers can be very frustrating. I have a nice Diana RWS34P in .22 caliber. I wasn’t able to shoot groups of 1″ at 25 yards with it which was, and still is. my goal. After trying everything suggested on this blog with no success, B.B. offered to check it out for me and do a review on it. You can find his review here done in six parts back in June 2017. Tom found a broken main spring in it but didn’t know it until he disassembled the rifle. He installed a Vortec Kit in it and a new BKL droop compensating scope mount. Both items were donated for the review. Tom found that the RWS Superdome was the best pellet and he shot a ten shot 1″ group at 25 yards with it, thus proving the accuracy was very good. Then he sent it back to me.

      I have spent many many hours trying to perfect the artillery hold Tom demonstrated. The best I can achieve is 1.5″ to 2″ at twenty-five yards. Everyone says practice, practice, practice, which I have done but with no improvement in my groups. So now I am about ready to store it in my gun cabinet and enter into the world of PCPs. The cost is much higher so I am researching entry level PCPs that can be filled with a hand pump.

      The thing is with a breakbarrel airgun, by the time you adjust to make sure you have just the right hold and concentrate on all the little variables that cause inaccuracies, that sparrow or pest is long gone.


      • Hi Geo

        I recall reading that review. Interesting for sure. Tom got 1″ at 25 with your gun, so that’s as good as you can hope for.

        Perhaps you’ve seen my recent report testing my first PCP. The very first group of 5 at 25 yds was 0.27″. It’s an odd thing why placing pellets into a single hole should be so satisfying, but it just is. My goal at this point will be to do that at 50 yds. My first group at 50 was 8/10 in 0.64 with 2 apparent flyers. It can only get better as the barrel is conditioned. That was the first shooting I’d done in over 6 months. I do not shoot anywhere near enough to be considered anything but a novice shooter.

        Others can do a better job of suggesting a first gun, but I did look at what’s out there recently and in the entry category, the Umarex Gautlet, the Gamo Urban, and Benjamin Discovery or Marauder stood out as great value buys. Of these, the best built may be the Urban – basically a BSA Buccaneer. I’m fairly sure the Gauntlet with its regulator is OK for hand pump use. Not sure on the Urban. Benjamins are fine for sure.

        I believe once you try a decent PCP you will wish you had done it sooner.

        • Idaho

          Thanks for your input. May I ask, what PCP did you choose for your first one? I don’t believe the Gauntlet’s quality is up to par and I have read that Gamo’s no customer service is horrible if needed.
          Several here on the blog praise the Maximus for accuracy and decent quality and good customer service.


          • Geo,

            The .25 M-rod. I would do the Maximus. Low 2000 fill and a few of us here have them and really pleased. The parts service is great if ever needed. Yes, service/parts does factor in. Good call on that.

            • Hi Chris,

              Sorry I think I posted my comment in the wrong place. It was supposed to be for Idaho. I remember you saying your first PCP was a M-rod .25 though. You also suggested the Maximus to me last summer when I was having so much trouble with my Diana 34. The Maximus is one that I am considering. I thought that maybe the Gamo Urban might be a better bang for the buck but I am not convinced yet. The Gamo company seems a little flaky to me.

              • Geo,

                Gamo, at first thought is just that. I may be misinformed and poorly researched, which I will admit. There is always room to step up the game. If they are, then all the best wishes to them. And yes, you did reply correctly. I do (very) quick scans on workday evenings and AM. I do at least attempt to scan and reply out of shear respect, as I always hope for the same.

                Gamo might be ok on customer support. Give them a call. If you do,.. PLEASE follow up with a report on your impression. PLEASE.

          • Geo

            You are entering into a decision making process that can take you on a long journey through a sea of information because there are so many choices. That’s a good thing 🙂

            After initially thinking I would buy in the $500 to $1000 range, I chose a Daystate Wolverine which is around $1700. That said I believe there are good choices at under $500.

            My choice was based on a fairly thorough review of everything I could find regarding accuracy, and reliability, and advice from a friend who has worked on all of them doing repairs for over 20 years. I’m not in the habit of spending that amount on guns, but decided that for this purchase I wanted to minimize that chance of getting a lemon, or just feeling the need to improve it, trade up etc. After initial testing I feel satisfied that I got exactly what I paid for.

            I have to be clear that my opinions are not based on hands on experience, other than the Wolverine, but I’ll give you some feedback on my research.

            First off I have no doubt that the elite guns you pay a lot for are built to far higher standards than what I will refer to as budget guns. I don’t mean to demean them using that term. There is enough information including detailed tear downs of the guns and tours of the factories on youtube for me to be quite convinced. The manufacturers I am convinced are rock solid are Air Arms, Daystate, Weihrauch, and FX. There are others, especially at higher prices.

            They do make some very nice guns at lower prices. Examples I would seriously consider:

            Air arms – S200 – starts at $525 for single shot
            – S510 – starts at $1000 – repeater, more power, many glowing reports (almost bought)

            Daystate – Huntsman – around $1100 – nothing but excellent reports

            Weihrauch – HW 100 – starts around $1000 – everyone loves it

            FX – Streamline – $1000 or so – many use FX in benchrest competition – this is the budget version

            Brocock Compatto – starts at $700 – Brit built, worth looking at

            BSA R10 – starts at $1150 – didn’t research a lot but its highly regarded

            Then there are what I have classed as budget guns. I plan to buy one or two for grandkids and guests to use on a field target range I have planned.

            Umarex Gauntlet – the name fits – it throws down the gauntlet and wins in features for the dollar, likely performance as well. The accuracy is proven. But you are right, its done cheaply and somewhat crudely, including the machining. There’s a good teardown video on youtube.

            Various Crosmans – all kinds of info on this blog and great people to ask. Many are very happy owners.

            Walther Rotek – great features, not exactly budget at $700, not high end trigger puts it in this class

            Gamo Urban – this one catches my attention because its built by BSA. From what I can tell, they have kept the price down at least in part, using a low grade trigger. Also inexpensive stock but people like it. I checked and it is pump friendly. I may buy this and accept that support may be spotty. Major bang for the buck.

            So many variables to consider that I likely should have asked about before throwing all that out there, but it was easy since it’s all in recent memory. Feel free to keep the conversation going. Others will chime in.

        • Idaho

          Thanks for your input. May I ask, what PCP did you choose for your first one? I don’t believe the Gauntlet’s quality is up to par and I have read that Gamo’s no customer service is horrible if needed.
          Several here on the blog praise the Maximus for accuracy and decent quality and good customer service.


  10. The Lead Sled has a lot of appeal in the way of supplying a solid and immovable rest for a rifle. The only possible shortcoming I can think of is the shape–especially the rear end–which may interfere with molding the body directly around the rifle. I’ve found that, after designing a customized sandbag rest for both the front and rear of the stock, the rifle is just about immovable.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. I hope everyone’s holiday was as good as mine. For knife sharpening, I can truly say that I’m back! My Mom had a drawer full of kitchen knives that were just in appalling shape as a result of my slump. They would slide down a pen held at 45 degrees like a downhill skier with no purchase whatsoever. But by the time I finished them, they were hair-popping sharp. I’ve come to a new appreciation of that term. When the knife cuts the hair properly, it will literally pop right off the arm with no pulling. What turned the tide was dressing the stones. Once again the blog has saved the day for me. Leveling stones was vaguely on my horizon, but who knows how long I would have persisted in error. Also I found that flushing the water stones more thoroughly made a difference. There seems to be different opinions on why waterstones work. Some think that water sloughs off the stone to keep exposing a new surface. Others think that the slurry washing over the blade has an extra polishing effect. Whatever. Flushing the stone helps the process. And finally, there was the issue of regaining my feel with the equipment working properly. As Sylvester Stallone says in the film, Cliffhanger: “Sometimes, you just lose the feel.”

    Now, I’m looking ahead. I believe I’m ready to take it to the next level with the 8000 grit stone. It’s been said that for a knife sharpened on this stone, the hairs on your arm will jump out when they see it coming. Another barrier to consider is how to deal with a curved blade. While straight razors represent the pinnacle of sharpening in one way, they are easy in offering a straight edge to sharpen. Maintaining the critical sharpening angle becomes a lot tougher with a curving edge. One way to deal with this is just developing skill with the what has been described as a complicated three dimensional movement of the handle for each sharpening stroke. Or you can limit your sharpening to a small enough portion of the blade that it approximates a straight edge. Maybe that’s why some sharpening services for samurai swords charge $100 an inch. With this approach, there may be a role for edge guides like the Juranitch model which I had dismissed because they don’t work on curved edges. If you keep readjusting them as you work your way down the blade, they should work. Anyway, my knife sharpening has gone from being moribund to looking better than ever in the new year! And I plan to crack the riddle of the gas system on my M1 this year too.

    I also had a good session with rapid fire shooting. Using a Glock 17, I believe that I managed to achieve the rate of a machine gun for a few seconds and stay on target. While there is a lot of information on how to do instinct and snap shooting, I haven’t found a lot on sustaining high rates of rapid fire with a semiauto. Maybe that’s because the people with a use for rapid fire have access to machine guns. Anyway, I found that working the trigger as fast as you can while trying to keep the sights from drifting, sort of like the way you correct a steering wheel on the road, worked reasonably well. I had experimented with this using airguns, so it was nice to see the training transfer over as usual, especially with the fortune I spent with the firearms.

    Since there have been countless reviews of the AR system, it won’t hurt for me to give another one for the rifle that I shot. This was my first experience with a 9mm conversion. The magazine spring was so stiff that I could hardly load cartridges even with 230 pounds pushing down behind my thumb. While applying force, I also had to work to keep the cases from hanging up on the rear lip of the magazine. The magazine had to be seated with a robust whack on the bottom. Sometimes the bolt would lock back when you pulled the charging handle and sometimes it wouldn’t. Finally, the bottom of the magazine dropped out, spilling rounds all over the place at which point I quit. On the other hand, the rifle shot wonderfully when it worked, sometimes putting rounds in the same hole during rapid fire at close range. It could be that I just got some bogus equipment which I can believe judging by the sullen and unhelpful staff manning the desk. Still, if part of the appeal of the AR is its ability to change to different configurations, it seems that you can’t expect all these conversions to work perfectly. The blog series with B.B. as a new user of ARs said something along these lines.


    • A Pileated Woodpecker, a beautiful bird and a friend of humankind. Carpenter ants are their favorite food. I’ve read that if they open up a colony, they’ll gobble up dozens of them, including the Queen, which in turn kills off the colony.


      • Michael,

        They also seem to love carpenter bees as well, I had some wood sittin on the driveway and the bees cut in and setup housekeeping. These woodpeckers ripped into the wood, it looked like someone took a wood chisel to it. They very neatly cut open every channel in the wood had a meal. Poor bees.


    • Wow! That is a pileated woodpecter. We have a few now in west MI. They were almost extinct at one point but have made a comeback. They get to 18″ long and are beautiful to see. My favorite birds are woodpeckers and I have a feeder out front for them. We have downies, hairies, and red bellies. I really like the red belly because he is the only bird I have seen that will drive the blue jays off the feeders.

      • Geo
        Them darn bluejays. And they are just to vocal for me to tolerate.

        Got to chase them off with noise or something though. I believe they are on the protected bird list.

      • George,

        There were 3 of them, they make quite a loud noise chipping away at the trees kinda like using the sharp end of a brick hammer on the wood.

        If you are still having a problem with the comments feed I think I found something, when I am logged in I intermittently have the same problem with not getting to the right comment. I logged off closed the browser and reopened it then did not login and it worked fine after that.


        • Yes, I can tell when it’s pileated because it sounds like a sledge hammer hitting the tree. They make a hole to nest in with a 2″ or so opening. At the bottom of the tree it looks like someone used a chainsaw there are so many wood chips. Thanks for the tip about the comments too.

    • Michael,

      Very nice. I see a few smaller ones around here. I had a 100′ “twin trunk” (dead) tree cut awhile back at the edge of the woods, ( you know, chance of hitting the house in a storm and all of that other fun stuff). I told the guy to leave 25″ of each trunk standing. Attracting wood peckers was the very reason. I have seen the big ones on very rare occasion.

      • Chris,

        The large Pileated Woodpecker is hard to spot their population is not that great. But yes I have many many of the smaller guys around here.

        When I heard them knocking, more like a loud banging on the trees, I grabbed the Nikon but it had the 135 mm lens on it, took some shots and went to grab the 200 mm lens but by that time they were gone.

        Guess the pine beetles were not enough food and they moved to a more favorable feeding spot.


    • The Northern Flicker is common here. This spring a male bored a hole in the side of my office building and had a large section of lawn covered with insulation dug out of the wall. Not wanting to kill it, I searched and found a possible solution on a university web site.

      A wood nesting box was built to exact dimensions and filled with sawdust, mounted to cover the hole which fortunately was on the back side of the building. Sure enough he moved right in and pulled out about half the sawdust. Shortly he had a mate and the pair became pets of sorts for the office staff.

      The irony of the story is they were chased out and their eggs pushed out the hole, smashed on the sidewalk, by Starlings which are a much smaller but obviously tough bird!

  11. I just started to reread this blog entry when I noticed — must’ve missed it before — that you conducted the test on a 34 degree day. Might the temperature have had an effect on the accuracy (due to dropping velocity) as the rifle cooled?

    As this air rifle has been tuned for smoothness, might the tar used (if any) change in consistency as it cools?


    • Michael
      Or the barrel contracted from the cold.

      Ask Halfstep about that. We just had that conversation. He’s supposed to do some test groups with the gun after it’s been out in the cold like 30° for a while verses the group’s he shot in 60° a while back.

      The conversation we had started by me saying I noticed my guns group better when the barrel is cold and the pellets are at room temperature.

      So a little different than what you suggested with lower velocity’s. But possibly true on that account too.

      I wish Halfstep would do the test before he gets warm weather again. You listening Halfstep? 😉

    • Michael
      That’s when I brought it up to Halfstep. I have shot for a long time and in different conditions living here in the wonderful Midwest.

      From what I see acurracy seems to be better with most guns in the cold. It’s got to have something to do with pellet fit. Just like taking a half thousandth bigger head diameter pellet and trying it in a gun. It’s like a different gun compared to the half thousandth smaller head pellet. Not much of change is needed to make a difference.

      I do wish more people would make notes on that when they shoot so some data can be collected from different people. Not just me. 🙂

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