by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Stoeger S4000E breakbarrel rifle.
This report covers:
- Mount the scope
- RWS Superdomes
- Rested on the bag
- H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads
- Oh, oh!
- First group
- Sharper sight — second group
- Superdomes again
Today will be a different sort of report. I tested the Stoeger S4000E for accuracy at 25 yards.
Mount the scope
The scope that came with the rifle came with the rings already attached. Even the scope stop stud had been lowered on the rear ring by exactly the right amount. It took about one minute to mount the scope because so much had already been done.
I began to sight-in at 12 feet. It took three shots and I was on close enough (meaning the pellet struck as far below the aim point as the center of the bore is apart from the center of the scope’s optical path) to back up to 10 meters. There, I was almost perfectly on (meaning one inch low and centered left and right), so after two confirmation shots I backed up to 25 yards.
I refined my sight-in and started shooting at 25 yards with the RWS Superdome pellet. I used the artillery hold I described in the last report (off hand touching the triggerguard) I would get three pellets that were close or even touching and two others that were far away. So I switched to holding the rifle like a deer hunter (grasping the forearm with the off hand and holding the rifle firm but not tight). Oddly, that seemed to work until it didn’t. I will come back to that in a bit.
Rested on the bag
Then I rested the rifle directly on the sandbag and was rewarded with three shots in 5 inches at 25 yards. Okay — that’s out! I even tried shooting with my off hand open under the cocking slot — in other words, far forward. But I still got wild shots.
So, after about 30 shots I switched pellets.
H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads
We all saw how accurate H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads were in Part 3. So I switched to them now. The groups were smaller, but they were still larger than they should be — especially after the Part 3 test results. And there were still wild shots.
Why it was almost like…
And that’s when it hit me — shots spraying wildly around like that. What would I tell you if you complained about that? I would tell you that your scope’s elevation adjustment was set too high and the erector tube was floating. Only I knew that this one wasn’t! I had the elevation dialed almost as low as it will go — and, yes, also far to the left. There was plenty of tension on the erector tube spring.
Only two other things could be wrong. The scope could either have moved in the mounts during shooting or it could have broken internally from the forward recoil of the rifle. I was paying so much attention to shooting groups that I hadn’t watched the orientation of the scope. So I looked through the scope and discovered that the elevation reticle was no longer straight up and down and centered on the spring tube. It had shifted 5 degrees to the right at the top and 5 degrees left at the bottom. Either the scope had twisted inside the rings or the erector tube has broken. Also, the scope adjustments now didn’t seem to move the impact of the pellet.
I fired 50+ shots trying to get the rifle to group. One target is missing from this picture. The rifle would put three pellets close together then spread out the other two. I used both pellets (Superdome and Baracuda Match) and all the holds that are described in the text.
I had been shooting for 90 minutes by this time and didn’t want to mount and sight in another scope, which would lake another half hour. So I removed the scope and shot the rifle with its open sights. I had been shooting with Baracudas at the time, so I continued with them.
The first group was shot with a deer-hunter hold I mentioned earlier. For some reason that seemed to be the best for this rifle on this particular day. I was still wearing my normal glasses and the front sight was slightly blurred for this group.
The S4000E put 5 Baracudas into 1.74-inches at 25 yards. Now, I know that isn’t the best group, but look at it. Four of the five pellets are in 0.777-inches. That ain’t too bad! So I wondered what I could do if I could see the front sight better. As you know, seeing a crisp front sight is the key to real accuracy — not a clear target!
Shooting open sights and a deer-hunter hold tightened the group considerably. This one measures 1.74-inches between centers with the 4 on the right in 0.777-inches.
Sharper sight — second group
With my 1.25 diopter reading glasses the front sight sharpened crisply. The second group of Baracudas went into 1.378-inches, with 4 in 0.936-inches.
This group was shot with my reading glasses on. I could see the front sight more clearly. It’s five shots in 1.378-inches with 4 in 0.936-inches.
Now it was time to try it with the Superdomes. Shot 1 was high and to the right, so I adjusted the rear sight down and to the left. Shot two was a 9 that’s close to the center of the bull. But the group? Oy!
Five Superdomes went into 2.417-inches at 25 yards. But those three that are together on the edge of the bull are in 0.481-inches. This is what the rifle had been doing all day and it’s indicative of a variation in the hold. Because it has a gas spring it is super-sensitive to the hold. However, once the right hold is found, rifles that show this kind of promise can become tack-drivers.
The upper right hole was made before the scope was adjusted for Superdomes. Five Superdomes went into 2.417-inches at 25 yards with three in just 0.481-inches.
The S4000E is telling me that it’s an accurate rifle and I just haven’t found the right hold yet. I think it’s some variation of a deer-hunter hold that I haven’t tried yet.
The rifle is also telling me that my eyes aren’t helping. Well, I have a solution for that! And it isn’t another scope. See if you can guess what I’m going to do next.
This rifle is telling me that it can shoot. I know today’s results don’t seem to support that, but I ask you to trust me. For the low retail price plus the accuracy we saw at 10 meters, I see a lot of potential. The S4000E is an incredible value and I want very much to see what it is capable of.
53 thoughts on “Stoeger S4000E Black Synthetic Suppressed rifle combo: Part 4”
Interesting sight in procedure. I guess that is one way to verify if your scope really is vertical.
Peep sights next? Or maybe a dot sight?
And glad you tryed the deer Hunter hold.
Got this question. After the shot are you still on target with your follow through or is the gun off target after the shot? That might help tell you something about what hold you need.
There is too much recoil for that. But you do bring up an interesting point. I have one more hold trick that I didn’t try yet.
Yep that’s the thing about it. The heavier recoil. But that’s the guns usually that need to be watched to try correcting with hold.
What I do is if my follow through moves me off the aim point to the left or right I will usually just tighten up my trigger hand grip. If it still happens I lay my pointing finger of my off hand on the top of the stock with my hand rested on the bag.
If it’s a up or down movement on my follow through I use more thumb pressure on my trigger hand. And I always try to place my thumb on top of the stock and touching the action too. That keeps the gun from jumping back or up.
I know you are all for the artillery hold. But I have had luck like I mentioned above and that’s with the gun rested directly on the bag. Not to say it works everytime but it gives you somewhere to go.
And those higher fps guns like this one tend to always be a bit more difficult to shoot in a springer or nitro piston.
Oh another thing is my follow through on the trigger has helped me with this type of gun. In other words don’t stop the trigger finger movement when the shot goes off. Keep moving till the trigger finger won’t move anymore. Then hold that pressure till you check your aim point follow through.
I know you know all this but figured I would say while we are on the subject.
Maybe you will pull a rabbit out the hat yet? Best wishes on that. I would be inclined to go with a scope that you know you can trust. Beyond that,.. I think the average consumer will want something they can bench or use off hand. Assuming you find that secret hold,… that would seem difficult to replicate both ways.
As a last resort,.. I will share what I do when faced with a difficult shooter.
1) Take 3 deeps breaths, hold the last one for 30 seconds
2) Pull the left ear lobe 4 times
3) Rub the top of the head in a (clockwise) motion ( not counter clockwise,…. important)
4) Place a 1974 shiny penny in your right shoe
Simple as that. I can say that this has always worked me for in the past. Well,…. it always worked,… until it didn’t! 😉
Good Day to you and to all,…….. Chris
I have my own method for dealing with a difficult shooter.
1) Sell it.
Seriously though, I have been pretty fortunate with the gals that have come to live at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. Over the years there have been a few that have come and gone, some of which I was most reluctant to see leave. Then there were those that could not move out fast enough. Even for those girls the door is open. You never know, sometimes they can be guided along and turn into quite a lady.
Ha this is kind of airgunner hell isn’t it? I have been there also, with fancy match rifles and bargain ones too. It almost always is something dumb like a snagged baffle in the moderator, iffy crown or dirty barrel. One of the weirdest I have had was a not tight enough barrel detent in a break barrel. You can’t really check the crown or baffles on this one can you? That is a drawback of the integral suppressor.
I second trying a dot sight on it. And maybe a pullthrough through the barrel. If all else fails you always have your JB borepaste recipe. It has saved my accuracy a couple times already, thanks for that one.
The baffles are removeable on this one. Check Part 1. Simple to check if you are clipping them. Though it will not be easy, you can still likely check the crown.
Ah yes I see, pretty over the top silencer when you look at it, for an airgun anyway.
That does make it more practical than the x20 S2. But I still think that one looks better 🙂
I like the looks of that one also, but I do like the looks of this stock. Is it practical? Probably not.
That’s another accuracy tip I haven’t tried yet! JB Paste!
Don’t thank me, it’s your tip! lol =-)
Oddly, I hope you are right about how well this rifle can shoot. I need another sproinger here at RRHFWA like I need a hole in my head, but for some reason I have always wanted a Stoeger. I think it is the looks. I know it is not the trigger. That is what has kept me from buying one.
Mount the scope section – It look (took) about one minute to mount the scope…
Got it. Thanks,
It looks like a blunderbuss and shoots like one too. Just the thing to put a beginner off airguns for life.
I’ve recently discovered a hold that works best for both of my gas springers. I place the rifle on my open offhand at the rear of the cocking slot, and hold the grip firmly as well as pushing the whole rifle down onto my offhand with my grip hand. Doing so shrunk my groups at least 50% at 30 yards outdoors. Possibly give it a try if you’re going to do another report on this rifle.
Have you tryed that hold with the gun directly on the bag? That’s pretty much what I do also with the exception I place my gun directly on the bag.
That’s a new one on me. I’ll try it.
Have thought about checking the stock screws? I know this can affect group size. With a piston rifle the shot cycle is more violent/abrupt than a tuned springer.
BB should answer but your right. I have had that happen before.
Just checked them. Forearm screws were okay but the triggerguard screw was loose. I’ll watch it.
Lots of good reader tips to file away for future reference in today’s report.
RR, my Stoeger ATAC consistently puts Field Target Trophy 5.54 mm or greater pellets into a 1 inch circle at 25 yards. I have said this before on this site; this rifle likes to be held like a magnum firearm. I call it a strangle hold. It wants to be pulled tightly into my shoulder by my non trigger hand gripping the far end of forend.
BB, I think a good many of us want to see you discover what allows this rifle to reach its potential.
Okay — I’ll strangle it next time!
“Strangle hold,” Heh, heh. How’s this one — I just changed mustache waxes to a brand called “Death Grip.” :^)
There is a man on t.v. from the Quad cities who says he uses Elmers glue on his handlebar mustache.
Yeah, but is it just that his name happens to be Elmer and it is his glue? ;^) I wouldn’t do that on a bet. How would a guy wash his mustache? If you went that far, you might as well use clear, matte finish polyurethane resin.
He’s the gardener on WQAD tv. If I remember correctly, he says the glue washes out easily with soap and water. I(meaning my wife makes me ) keep my stache trimmed short. I ALWAYS get in the last word ” YES DEAR”
Like you never strangled a gun before. 😉
That’s what I mentioned on the report before this.
Matter of fact here’s my comment.
“Ok good. Hold it like your shooting a 12 gauge shot gun with a slug target shooting. Or something like that anyway. Not no whimpy hold. Put it to it. 🙂 “
Yeah, I overlooked your comment somehow.
BB, I also rest the ATAC on one bag while using the “strangle”. It is a solid aiming setup with little wiggle. I hope it works for your rifle but not many of mine like it.
And won’t it cause a revolution if it works. Not that I want that. BB’s artillery hold does work on some guns. I have used it.
But on the other hand I have seen different holds work for different things.
I think the best thing is be open minded and try different things. You know how it goes. Something that works for one might not work for another. It can get complicated sometimes that’s for sure.
Like Carel’s coffee story I enjoy many guns, some are old match rifles with wonderful triggers. But some others have triggers that behave as if the safety stays on even when it is off. Some of these springers have accuracy potential if you can master the gorilla trigger. I usually try my “strangle hold” on these because it is hard for me to get the trigger pulled without excessive wiggling using the artillery hold. Worth trying but doesn’t help normally. My Stoeger ATAC trigger is not that bad. I rate it a 5 on a 1 to 10 scale. It just enjoys being choked.
I suppose that there is a lesson in there somewhere,… eh? Maybe?,…. keep a few troublesome/problem shooters around in order to be able to appreciate the truly great ones. Not bad! 😉
The troublesome guns will make you a good shooter.
I wonder if having the scope on its side as you shot somehow caused the internals to go South on you. One would think that would not be possible, what is sturdy in one attitude should be sturdy, period, but might that be it?
After close examination I see that is the way Stoeger laid out the scope. It’s backwards from other scopes, but the windage was where it was supposed to be.
Can you take a picture of the scope today and post it in the comments so we can see?
Read my comment to you. I was wrong.
Don’t most scopes have the windage turret on the right and the elevation turret straight up.
Here’s what you wrote.
“It came mounted in the rings with the elevation adjustment sticking out to the right and the windage sticking straight up.”
That’s kind of different. On all the scopes I have seen that would put the windage adjustment on the bottom of the scope if the elevation turret was mointed on the right of the scope.
Maybe the turrets on your scope are mislabeled. All in all it should not cause erector float the way your scope is mounted or adjusted. Kind of a weird one here.
Yes, they do. B.B. is just getting old. I took that part out.
So which way are the turrets right now in the scope rings. Like a normal scope. One turret up and one to the right.
Now if the elevation turret was positioned to the left and the windage turret straight up that would cause a erector float if you adjusted the turret on the left all the way to the left.
Are your sure this isn’t what happened. That would cause a problem.
The turrets before I removed the scope were one up and one to the right.
Ok thanks. Don’t mean to be bothering you. Just trying to get a clear picture.
So that means on to the next piece of the puzzle.
Just asking. Did you check the side to side play in the breech when the gun was in the open cocked position. That could be a problem even if it seems like the breech locks up tight when closed.
I’m sure you checked that out. Had to ask.
There is zero side play with the barrel open — or at least I can’t measure any.
Kind of thought that.
So what do you really think is causing the groups the gun is getting?
Why not rule out the scope first?
I have seen new scopes that were bad, or went to crap after just a few shots.
Yep that’s kind of what I was getting at with the top of the comments.
A red dot just might be the ticket.
GF1 suggested that a red dot might help. I am new to shooting and have no experience with red dot sights. It seems like it would be more accurate than fiber optic open sights. What kind of accuracy can you get with a 3 moa red dot at 25yds? – Don425
Unless you are shooting a super-accurate rifle you can’t hold as tight as that dot can place you.
The dot is better than the shooter.
At 25 yds, even though a 3 moa red dot covers 0.75 inches, it can be aimed accurately to some portion of that? Maybe 0.375 inches? – Don
Yes, it can do that and even better. The secret isn’t the size of the dot — it’s putting the dot in the same place every time.
It’s the reverse of an aperture front sight that 10-meter target shooters use. The opening may be 10 mil wide and yet produce 5-shot groups of 0.09-inches.
That makes sense. Thanks. – Don