Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G target pistols: Part 3
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
My S&W 78G pistol.
This report covers:
- Blog data helpful
- The test
- RWS Meisterkugeln
- Air Arms 16-grain dome
- Air Arms dome group 2
- Air Arms dome group 3
Today we look at the accuracy of my S&W 78G pellet pistol. Normally this would be the final report in the series, but reader 45Bravo has given us a guest blog that shows the difference between the S&W pistols and the pistols made by Daisy, so there is at least one more installment coming.
Blog data helpful
I find the blog is a good place to make notes for the future, so today I looked over Part 2 to find out what sort of shot count I could count on. And also in Part 2 I showed you the manual that says to leave a CO2 cartridge in the gun for storage, so I knew there was a fresh CO2 cartridge inside, because last time I exhausted the gas at the end of the report. Today I can shoot at least 20 good shots from one cartridge.
I shot targets at 10 meters. I rested the pistol on a sandbag, with the bottom of the pistol grip tight against the bag. That put the front sight as far from my eyes as I could get it. This pistol has wonderful target sights, so this test was shot under the best circumstances.
Since the pistol is a gas-guzzler I decided to shoot 5-shot groups. Let’s get started.
The first pellet I tried was the RWS Meisterkugeln. I had no idea where the sights were set except I knew I had shot the pistol in the past, so they were probably close to being on. They will change for every pellet, of course, so let’s see what happened this time.
The first shot hit high and right, but it was still inside the bull. Then I settled in and didn’t look at the target through the spotting scope again. When five pellets had been fired I went downrange to change the target. Then I saw the group — five pellets in 0.806-inches at 10 meters. Not terrible, but it’s an open group, so not that good, either. Time to move on to the next pellet.
Air Arms 16-grain dome
I thought a reader had recommended the Air Arms 16-grain dome pellet, so that was what I tried next. I can’t find where that recommendation was made, but sure enough, it is the pellet for this pistol! Five went into 0.468-inches at 10 meters, with 4 of them clustered in just 0.239-inches. I had other pellets to test, but when I saw this group I knew this was the one. So the rest of the test was shot with this pellet.
Since this pellet was so accurate, I decided to adjust the sights to get the group closer to the center of the bull. A former owner of the pistol had made a note inside the lid of the box on how to adjust the rear sight, so I followed that. It’s a lot better than the manual!
This might not look like much, but these directions for adjusting the rear sight came in handy. Yes, they are also in the manual, but hardly this clear!
Air Arms dome group 2
This time the group was larger and more open. It measures 0.938-inches between centers, but it confirms the sight adjustment was almost perfect. I just needed to try harder on my concentration next time. That, and a slight tweak to the left for the rear sight.
Air Arms dome group 3
This one was almost a screamer. The pellets went close to the center of the bull, with 4 of them in 0.214-inches. One shot opened the group to 0.841-inches.
This S&W 78G can shoot! And I found a great pellet that proves it. This rebuilt gun has been modified for power so it uses gas quickly, but it also gets results downrange.
This isn’t the end. We still have a look at the Daisy pistols yet to come. Stay tuned.