by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • Single Stroke Pneumatics
  • Velocity
  • RWS R10
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Accuracy test
  • RWS R10
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Chinese match wadcutters
  • Summary

Today is a mistake. Reader RidgeRunner asked me if I intended to finish this report from 2008. I looked at his link to Part 5 and, sure enough, it looked like I had intended to. I even promised a reader back then that I would. Well, WordPress software is at fault this time, because I did not find a later report when I entered it in the search box at the top of this page, but when I went to publish this report number 6 I found that one had already been published — on July 22, 2008. But that was after I did the complete test plus some extra things, so I’m going to finish it again. It’s actually a good report. And by the way, I just entered the title in the search box again and this time it came up. Of course it did!

Single Stroke Pneumatics

A single stroke works by compressing enough air for one shot with one pump. The pump cup also acts as the inlet seal, so if you try to pump a second time, all the air from the first pump escapes.

To do its job, the pump cup has to be very flexible and pliant. If it hardens over time, as some synthetics do, it will be less efficient and the velocity will drop. The cure for this is to pump several times but don’t complete the stroke. That flexes the pump cup and warms it up, bringing back flexibility. Read about that in Part 4 of this report. On the first season of American Airgunner I got this same IZH shooting 490 f.p.s. with RWS Hobby pellets, which is way beyond its rated power.

All single strokes operate this way. They all get faster as they shoot, from the pump cup warming up. You may not notice it in a real match pistol like a Feinwerkbau, because when you pause for a minute or more between shots, the pump cup cools again. But my IZH was getting long in the tooth, so several years ago I sent it to Pyramyd Air for a complete reseal. Today’s test is with a gun that has fresh seals.

Velocity

Because of that I did a velocity test first. I pumped each time with two warmup pumps, followed by a complete final stroke.

RWS R10

RWS R10 Pistol pellets averaged 462 f.p.s. The spread went from 452 to 469 f.p.s. That’s a range of 17 f.p.s., which is high for a single stroke. That’s probably due to my pumping method.

H&N Finale Match Pistol

The next pellet I tried was the H&N Finale Match Pistol. They averaged 452 f.p.s. The spread went from 444 to 460 f.p.s., so a 16 f.p.s. difference between the slowest and fastest.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The last pellet I tested was the SIG Match Ballistic Alloy pellet that did not exist in 2008. These are lead free pellets that hold their own with world class target pellets. I had to test them. They averaged 521 f.p.s., with a spread from 512 to 530 f.p.s. That’s 18 f.p.s.

Accuracy test

Next I shot the pistol from a rest at 10 meters. The gun was rested on a sandbag for every shot, so I am testing just the pistol and not the shooter. I fired five shots with each pellet. I sighted in for the RWS R10 and left the sights where they were for the rest.

Five R10 pellets gave me a 0.512-inch group at 10 meters. While it looks okay, it’s an open group and I would never consider this pellet for this pistol. It produced a score of 49 out of a possible 50.

scoring
This is how a 10-meter pistol target is scored. In American NRA competition the pellet must at least touch the line to get the score; in international competition the pellet must clearly break the line for the score.

R10 target
Five RWS R10 pellets made this 0.512-inch group at 10 meters. The scope is 49/50.

H&N Finale Match Pistol

Next I tried H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. Five of them went into 0.591-inches at 10 meters. My eye tell me this is a score of 49, and again the pellets are too scattered for this one to be chosen.

Finale target
Five pellets made this 0.591-inch group at 10 meters. The score is 49/50.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Next up were the SIG Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. Five went into 0.461, which was the smallest group of the test by far! You can see the pellet hole that scored nine clearly, so this is also a 49, but give the tight group of 4 shots, this pellet warrants further investigation for this gun.

Sig Match target
Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets gave the smallest group of the test.

Chinese match wadcutters

The last pellet I tried was a Chinese match wadcutter that, as far as I know, is no longer available. In my Chameleon target pistol this was the best pellet. The Chameleon is now gone, but I have a few tins of these remaining, out of the 40,000 pellets I bought at the end of my competitive career, so I thought I would try them. They did lousy in the IZH46. Five pellets landed in a 0.619-inch group at 10 meters. And look how open the group is. I would never trust a pellet that did this poorly. The score was a 48/50.

Chinese match target
Five Chinese wadcutters went into 0.619-inches at 10 meters.

Summary

Today’s report was a mistake, but it is one that I hope a lot of people can learn from. I retested a single stroke pneumatic target pistol 10 years after testing it the first time. In that interim it was resealed, plus I used a special technique to pump it for today’s test.

What was proven? Well, the Gamo Compact came out pretty good in this series. It’s as accurate as the IZH 46, but it is very light, so some people may have a hard time holding it still. The IZH has the better trigger and pumps with roughly half the effort that the Compact takes, but most people, including me, find it too heavy for competition. Since it is no longer available in the US, that really isn’t a problem. The Compact is still available as the Air Venturi V10 Match Pistol