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Sheridan Supergrade: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sheridan Supergrade right
My new Sheridan Supergrade is in fantastic condition, despite the wood check at the butt.

Sheridan Supergrade
The cheekpiece makes the Supergrade stand out!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sheridan Cylindrical
  • JSB Exact
  • Adjusted the sight
  • Velocity
  • Crosman Premiers
  • H&N Field Target Trophy
  • Next

Today we test the accuracy of the Sheridan Supergrade at 10 meters. Let’s get started.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 10 meters. The rifle was pumped 4 times for every shot. As you learned Friday, the trigger was set as light as it will go, which is 4 lbs. 10 oz.

I decided to shoot 5-shot groups and then to select the best pellet to shoot a 10-shot group. I went that way because a multi-pump takes so long to get ready for each shot.

Sheridan Cylindrical

In their day Sheridan Cylindrical pellets were the finest pellets available in any caliber. They were only made in 5mm or .20 caliber and the Sheridan rifles were the only airguns currently being produced in that caliber. Since there were no other .20 caliber pellets available at the time (late 1940s through the 1960s), it’s fortunate these were so good. They were also the only game in town!

Five Sheridan pellets went into 0.44-inches at 10 meters. I expected the other pellets to do better because these pellets haven’t been as accurate as the best premium pellets since the 1990s, in my limited experience with .20 caliber.

Sheridan group
Five Sheridan pellets went into 0.44-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Exact

The pellets I expected to do the best were the JSB Exact domes. I don’t have much experience with .20 caliber, but most of it is with a Blue Streak where these pellets shine. In the Supergrade 5 went into 0.193-inches at 10 meters. In the end this turned out to be the best 5-shot group, although I didn’t know it at the time. I was looking at the target through the spotting scope and got fooled by a different target.

JSB group
Five JSB Exact domes went into 0.193-inches at 10 meters. This was the best 5-shot group, though I didn’t know it at the time. It looks worthy of the trime!

Adjusted the sight

Both groups landed in a similar place — to the left of the target and slightly high. I will leave the elevation where it is because at farther distances I will need it. But I decided to adjust the rear peep sight to the right.

This kind of sight simply slides and gets locked down, so it isn’t a precise adjustment. Also, as you are screwing the locking screw down it sometimes slides the sight a little. These can be fiddly to adjust.

Crosman Premiers

Next up were the Crosman Premiers that are no longer made. I thought they would group like the Sheridan pellets but they surprised me by going into 0.235-inches at 10 meters. Through the scope they looked as good as the JSBs.

Premier group
Five Crosman Premier domes went into 0.235-inches at 10 meters.

As you can see, the Premiers landed a little to the right of center, so I tried to adjust the rear sight back a little. It did slide around as I tightened the locking screw, so I did the best I could.

H&N Field Target Trophy

The next pellet I tested was the H&N Field Target Trophy. Five of them made a 0.327-inch group that looked much smaller through the spotting scope because a flap of target paper went back in place.

HN FTT group 5
Five H&N Field Target Trophy pellets went into 0.327-inches at 10 meters.

At this point in the test I resolved to shoot 10 pellets with the pellet that did the best 5-shot group. At the time the FTT pellets looked like they were the best, so I went with them.

Ten FTT pellets went into a group that measures 0.33-inches between centers. That’s a 10-shot group that’s almost the same size as a 5-shot group with the same pellets. This is the unicorn of groups because 10 shots are almost never as good as 5, if everything else is the same! It also speaks to the consistency of this Supergrade.

HN FTT group 10

Ten H&N FTT pellets went into 0.33-inches at 10 meters. That’s almost as small as 5 shots!


With results like these I think I have to take this rifle to 25 yards. So that will be next.

40 thoughts on “Sheridan Supergrade: Part 4”

  1. B.B.,

    Considering the differences in size and the fact that you were a little rushed I see no problem in missing the 0.134 inch difference between the JSB and the H&N FTT. It does give you an excuse to shoot both to determine which is better at the 25 yard range.

    How was the NRA show during the weekend? Anything of note to report? Probably tomorrow?


  2. BB
    Nice shooting.

    Now what if the group’s stay the same or get better at 25 yards. That would be a head scratcher wouldn’t it. Or would it. 😉

      • BB
        You did shoot good groups this time for sure.

        But what if you didn’t shoot the best groups at 10 yards yet. Then you go out to 25 yards and your really on the game that day. And you just so happen to shoot some group’s the same or bigger. But also a couple groups smaller.

        Things change on different days. And that’s why I say I have seen better groups sometimes out at farther distances than up close.

        And of course the odds are against it. But as it goes. Never say never.

  3. BB,

    It is a rare air rifle that can give such great results across such a variety of pellets. Even the cylindricals are not that bad. The point of impact is even consistent across the spectrum, which is a rarity itself.

  4. BB

    How many pumps were you using? I think a case could be made for shooting all of the pellets, except the Sheridans, at 25 yards, if your arm can take it.


      • B.B.,

        I am going to try to start an internet myth: The great fitness legend Jack LaLanne, who died at the age of 96, maintained much of his fitness by shooting a multipump air rifle 100 times a day, every day, over his lifetime. Despite being only 5’6″ tall LaLanne insisted on 10 pumps per shot. NOT TRUE. JUST SOMETHING I MADE UP.

        LaLanne did die at 96 and probably could have done hundreds of pushups not long before his demise. He was as great an example of exercise and sensible diet as life-enhancements as there ever was.


  5. That is some fine shoootin’! A Sheridan was the holy grail of pump pneumatics when I was a kid. I could never afford one, even though they were much more in reach than the other rifles in the Beeman catalog. My Crosman 760 did well enough, and though I finally realized I could “shoot better than my gun” I wonder what that old 760 could have done with modern pellets?

    • HiveSeeker,

      A friend of mine inherited a Sheridan from his uncle (way back when) and offered it to me for $10. It was a fine rifle so I called all over Montreal looking for a source of .20 pellets without any luck. No ammo available so I passed on the purchase.


      • Hank,

        While we are slapping our foreheads, I wish I still had my post war Webley Mk1 air pistol from when I was in the 2nd and 3rd grade. It disappeared from my life after that and has probably rusted away to nothingness in some landfill by now.

        • RR,

          Had the same kind of thing happen with cameras as well.

          I was saving pennies to buy a 35mm SLR camera when my friend inherited a bunch of camera equipment. He wouldn’t consider parting with the Nikon stuff (a couple of bodies and all kinds of lenses) but he offered me a big “box camera” with several lenses for $200. I had the money but wanted an SLR, besides I didn’t recognize the name – Hasselblad – made by some company in Sweden. Was not really interested but called the camera store out of curiosity – almost passed out when I heard the prices! Turns out I had a large camera bag full of gold!

          I returned the Hasselblad and all the accessories to my friend and told him what he had – the look on his face was priceless. He ended up becoming a professional photographer.

          Them’s the breaks eh?


  6. B.B.,

    Those targets have me thinking that this Supergrade is also a Supershooter!

    You have always wanted a Supergrade, and you have satisfied that desire more than once. Each time (if memory serves), for different reasons, you parted with your Supergrade.

    Maybe this one is the one to keep for good?


  7. I wonder if the cylindrical ammo would do better if it were sorted by weight and pellet gauged?Maybe just do 20 or so..
    Also, pure lead might be a better material choice now, considering advances in manufacturing tech. They might do better at longer ranges? It would be nice if there
    were more choices in non diablo style. I havent fired my Sheridan co2 pistol since the 80’s or or 90’s.
    may just git some new .20 cal. pellets. Have a nice day folks! R

      • B.B., as someone who shot over 10,000 cylindricals back when that’s all there was to shoot, I’ll be curious to see how they do at a distance! =D

      • B.B.,

        Very good! 🙂 That is something we do not get see too often. (Time consuming task). Looking forwards to that. That will be a bit of a treat. I appreciate the added effort. Hopefully they are not all over the place.

        Per 1stblue,… (weight) and (head sort)???? That could be a can of worms if you are trying to get 10+ with both categories in the same 10+. Best wishes that it goes quick.


    • 1stblue,

      You didn’t ask for my advice, but that has never stopped me in the past! ;^)

      I’ll bet the seals on your pistol will hold regardless, but if I were you, before I put a new CO2 bulb in it, I would hold the pistol in bright light and aiming carefully put a few drops of Pellgunoil directly on the seal inside the tube. My personal belief is that if one drop on the end of the bulb is good, three drops directly on the gun’s seal before the bulb goes in is even better.

      If I am shooting a CO2 air gun for the first time in a long time, and it has a new CO2 bulb in it, I like to see a spray of Pellgunoil come out of the muzzle the first shot. Then you know the insides are just bathed in the stuff.

      My two cents,


  8. B.B>,

    I will never own a .30 air gun, but I’ve read that the .30 springers by Hatsan shoot .30 pellets, which seem to come no lighter than 44 grains, at well under 600 fps.

    If a quality maker like JSB were to produce a 30 or so grain pure lead diabolo (it could be done — .177 Super-H-Points are 6.9 grains of pure lead), I have to wonder if the Hatsans might not pick up another five or six foot-pounds of energy.


  9. B.B., just kidding, man! You are “the man” when it comes to airguns!
    Without you, I wouldn’t even know what to want, hahaha!

    When you write about old guns like you did here…



    …it makes me want guns I didn’t even know existed…which is cool, of course.

    Below are two I picked up after reading these articles from you.
    The Crosman 130 is no powerhouse (270 fps for 2.57 fpe with JSB Jumbo 15.89g pellets),
    but it’s a ton of fun to shoot; and it’s a one-hole shooter on my 15m range.

    The Crosman 38T was a find from your article about searching alternate name spellings;
    hence, it was found under “Crossman 38T;” it was a hurtin’ pup,
    yet it was restored to life by our old friend, Rick Willnecker
    (as mentioned in your vintage airguns article),
    it now puts out 367 fps with H&N FTT (14.66 g for 4.38 fpe).

    These are both cool old guns, tons of fun to shoot, for which I owe you the thanks, B.B.! 

  10. BB,

    Sorry our paths didn’t cross at NRAAM. I watched for you all weekend. I even asked Tyler if you were scheduled to be at the PA booth. He said I missed you at the Sig booth by an hour on Friday.

    I’m curious if you have one of those big yellow, “world’s largest” gun safes to store all your toys?


  11. Hi BB
    A quick question re: storage of the Daisy Winchester M14 now converted to Hpa.
    If I take the mag, still connected to HPA, out of the mag well it obviously removes all pressure from the valve. Is this OK?
    Now, with the mag out of the gun, can I leave the mag connected, under pressure, and not do any damage.
    The reason I ask is that to remove pressure from the mag the coiled remote hose has to be bled off, and not being microbore, wastes a lot of HPA.

  12. Great Review of the Supergrade its amazing how accurate the jsb’s are.Is there a review of the Diana Mauser AM03 air rifle coming up down the pike sometime seems like a well made airgun?

  13. BB and Fellow Airgunners
    I’m so glad you decided to do a blog on this vintage Supergrade gem. It seems to put my much newer Weihrauch .20 calibers to shame (HW80, HW98-tack driver, and HW45). And I have quite an assortment of discontinued .20 cal pellets I managed to purchase from a variety of on-line stores while they were old stock, and not being replaced. Another .20 cal pellet thats still available that has given me consistent small groups, is the JSB made Predator Polymag at 13grains. However, they can be considered quite expensive when you take into account the tins only hold 150 pellets. My groups with Polymags equal those shot with H+N FFT’s. I have found I can’t go wrong with the domed .20 cals by JSB Exact, and H+N Barracuda’s. I also managed to scrounge 3 boxes of .20 cal. Crosman’s that give me tight, consistent groups. I believe these were, and are the three heaviest .20 cal pellets available. It sure would be nice to get my hands on a box or three of the old .20 cal cylindrical pellets that gave you a decent .44 in group. If only for posterity sake.
    Yes, it should be interesting how they stack up to the newer domed pellets at 25 yards.

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