by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The test
- RWS Hobby
- H&N Match Green
- Falcon domes
- Gamo Match
- RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
- JSB Exact Jumbo
- RWS Superpoint
Today we test the Slavia 618 breakbarrel’s accuracy. I have described the rifle in Part 1, and in Part 2 we tested the velocity before and after it got a freshened breech seal. The one I’m shooting today could be considered a “hot” 618.
I shot the rifle off a rest at 10 meters. Even though I tested 7 different pellets I shot 10-shot groups because the rifle is so light and easy to cock. Let’s get started.
The first pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby wadcutter. Right off the bat during sight-in I determined that the 618 does not like to be rested directly on the sandbag. I suppose it is so light that the force of the piston throws the rifle off target when it fires. The rifle is so small that it’s difficult to hold with the artillery hold, but I did the best I could. Ten Hobbys went into 0.91-inches at 10 meters.
I noticed right away that they hit the target about 1.3-inches high, though they were fairly well centered left and right. I was using a 6 o’clock hold and the rear sight was adjusted as low at it will go, so there is no opportunity to lower the group, short of adding height to the front sight post or bending the barrel down. Well, perhaps another pellet will shoot lower. Or, if I get a superb group with another pellet, maybe it’s worth doing something so it hits where it’s aimed.
H&N Match Green
The second pellet I tried was the lead-free H&N Match Green. Their group is centered about 1.7-inches above the center of the bull and is nearly centered for windage. It measures 0.918-inches between centers, so not much different than Hobbys.
The third pellet I tested was the Air Arms Falcon dome. At ten meters 9 of them landed in 0.773-inches, but one shot opened the group to 1.253-inches at 10 meters. Looking at this group I am inclined to believe that wide shot was an aiming error, because the other nine are not just close to each other — they are also in a nice, round group. The center of this group is 1.8-inches high and well-centered, left and right.
Pellet number four was the Gamo Match wadcutter. The 618 put 10 of them into 0.767-inches at 10 meters. There were no wide shots with this one. Though a lot of the other pellets put 9 together like this, this is the best 10-shot group of the test. It’s center was 1.6-inches high.
RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
At this point in the test it seemed that heavier pellets were landing lower on the target, so I started to use pellets that are heavier than the low power of the 618 seems to suggest. Next up were RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. Ten of them went into 1.185-inches at 10 meters. It’s probably not the pellet for the 618, though it did impact at the top of the bullseye I was aiming at instead of much higher. So the bit about heavier pellets shooting lower is correct.
JSB Exact Jumbo
The next pellet I tested was the 10.34-grain JSB Exact Jumbo dome. In my opinion this is way too heavy for the 618, but I wanted to know how it would do. Ten went into a group that measures 1.237-inches between centers. Like the Meisters this one is also hitting lower on the target than the rest of them.
No reason other than curiosity to shoot the RWS Superpoint, but they sometimes surprise me, and this was such a time. Nine went into 0.725-inches at 10 meters, but the other pellet opened the group to 1.032-inches at 10 meters. Once again, that wide shot appears to be the shooter’s fault, not the gun’s.
That’s 70 pellets downrange. What’s the verdict? The Slavia 618 is sure easy to shoot. It doesn’t do that bad, though I did a lot better with the Diana 23 back in June.
The 618 cocks easily and everything seems positive — as in no loose parts. The trigger is solid, though heavier than I like.
That’s all for this rifle but I still have a Slavia 618 to rebuild and test. That rifle is one I’m calling earlier because of the front sight blade instead of just a pin/post. It also has a slightly thicker barrel, so it will be interesting to see what differences there are, if any.