by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

TR5
Air Venturi TR5 repeating pellet rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • A different day
  • The test
  • Get started
  • Artillery hold — no!
  • Heavy pellets?
  • Rear sight adjustment
  • The mess
  • Wassup?
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • What caused this?
  • Seen it before?
  • Discussion
  • Summary

A different day

Today’s blog will be different. Today you get to look behind the curtain and watch the wizard ply his tricks to try to fool Dorothy and her retinue. Today is accuracy day for the Air Venturi TR5 Multi-Shot Target Air Rifle, but as you will soon learn, it will be anything but!

The test

I shot from 10 meters off a sandbag rest. I used both the artillery hold and rested the rifle directly on the bag, to see which was better. I’ll describe it as we go.

I shot 5-shot groups because I was looking for one or more pellets that are the best. We’ll soon see how that turned out!

Get started

I started with the rifle held in the artillery hold. Once I got it hitting on the target paper I started testing with pellet after pellet. I initially thought lighter pellets would be best. Nope! They grouped in 2-3 inches every time.

What about heavier pellets? Nope again. They were slightly better but still not producing groups smaller than 1.75-inches. I tried domes and wadcutters. I kept going back to my pellet cabinet for something different. In the end there were 14 different types of pellets on the shooting bench!

TR5 pellets
Rather than list them all, these are the 14 different pellets I tried in the TR5. I couldn’t get any of them to shoot.

Artillery hold — no!

After several groups with the artillery hold I started resting the rifle directly on the sandbag and things got better — not a lot better, but a little better. I decided the artillery hold wasn’t for the TR-5 — at least not yet.

Heavy pellets?

The first acceptable group I got was with H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.50mm heads. It’s acceptable if you can accept 5 pellets going into 1.144-inches at 10 meters. And, they were centered 3 inches to the left and 1.2-inches below the aim point. Let’s talk about that.

Rear sight adjustment

The rear sight on the TR5 is a notch that moves inside a larger frame that stands still. It’s a sliding notch. It took me about 25 shots to figure that out. Of course I could have read the manual, but I’m a shooter — I don’t need no stinking manual! Once I figured it out I got the rifle sighted in — sort of. My point is — the TR5 sights do adjust as far as you need them to.

The mess

Instead of going group by embarrassing group with you, let me show you the product of my first hour of shooting. I had pellets wandering all over the target paper, to the point that I couldn’t separate them, because pellets shot at one target would land inside a group made by pellets shot at a different target. It was like watching a chase scene from the Keystone Cops. All it needed was a tinkly piano. If this had happened to anyone but me, it would have been funny.

TR5 mess 1
The first “mess”, with all the shots that hit the target paper. I put a box around that “best” group of Baracuda Match pellets. The aim point for them was the top center bull.

TR5 mess 2
Mess number two is fewer shots, because by this time I am wising up. Can’t pull the wool over BB’s eyes! At least not for two consecutive hours!

Wassup?

I bet you want to know what’s happening. So do I. But I promised to show you the best groups of the test, so except for that first group of Baracudas, here we go!

RWS Meisterkugeln

Resting the TR5 directly on the sandbag I put 5 RWS Meisterkugeln pellets in a tight 1.507-inches at 10 meters. The group size is very good, but the distance to the target should be 10 times greater! Ha!

TR5 Meister group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln went into 1.507-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Exact Heavy

The next group I will show was made by 5 JSB Exact Heavy domes. They went into a 2.243-inch “group” at 10 meters. I’m showing you this stuff because this is what was happening to me all morning long! Four of these pellets are in 0.963-inches and one is way off to the right. This is a clue as to what is happening today, if you have some experience shooting with open sights, but I’m not there yet.

TR5 JSB Heavy group
Five JSB Exact Heavy pellets are in 2.243-inches at 10 meters, with 4 in 0.963-inches.

H&N Baracuda Match

The last pellet I’ll show you Is the same H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm head that gave that first group I showed inside the box. This time 5 went into 1.432-inches at 10 meters. That’s so much larger than the first group that I knew I was finished shooting. And I also thought I might know what was happening.

TR5 Baracuda Match group
Five H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.50mm heads went into 1.432-inches at 10 meters.

What caused this?

What could cause today’s results? Well, first I would look at both sights. Are they secure or are they subject to move? The front sight is rock-solid with no chance of moving. The rear sight does rock from side to side, but it’s under spring pressure that holds it in place. I don’t think it’s the problem, though I will keep a watch on it.

Next, the barrel could be loose. If it were loose it could shift from shot to shot, causing what we see today. Only the barrel isn’t loose. Again, it’s rock solid.

If there was an obstruction in front of the muzzle it could touch the pellet on its way out and cause what we see here. But there is nothing like that.

The barrel could be dirty. Because the TR5 is a repeater with a tight breech and a mechanism in the way there is no easy way to just look down the barrel, but I will clean it before the next test, just in case.

Or I could be a lousy shot. Only I’m not. I’m no world champion, but I do shoot a lot better than what you see here.

The thing that I think is causing the inaccuracy seen today is one of the rarest things in the shooting world. We have seen it in other forms, but never like we see with this TR5.

I think the rear sight notch is too large! When I sight the rifle I can’t align the front sight with either the top of the rear notch nor can I accurately estimate the distance between the sides of the front site blade, to center it in the rear notch.

I will know when I mount a dot sight on the TR5 and test it again at 10 meters. Because if the rear sight isn’t it and if a clean barrel doesn’t make it better, this rifle is just not accurate.

Seen it before?

I said we have seen this sight thing before in other forms. We see it every time I shoot targets with a rifle that has a tapered post front sight and a V notch in the back. They make it next to impossible to level the sights. But a square post in a square notch that is too big like we see on the TR5 is very rare.

Discussion

I still like the trigger on the TR5. Though its single stage it’s quite crisp. The firing behavior, though, is a separate thing. Today I shot the rifle a lot and felt, by the end of the session, that the TR5 I’m testing is a little too harsh. It doesn’t vibrate, but the initial jolt doesn’t need to be as heavy as it is. I think some Tune in a Tube might do wonders here.

I certainly do not need more power! The TR5 has all the power I need to shoot at targets and for plinking. It just needs to be smoother and have better sights (if it’s accurate, which I still have to learn).

Summary

In case you wonder whether I ever report when things don’t work right — there you go! I try to test things the way users will try to use them, though I’m not going to overlook doing something that makes the item perform at its best. However, when I test them, you get to see the results.

Okay, GunFun1, I’m now turning the floor over to you. Speak freely.