This report covers:
- What went wrong?
- JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
- Air Arms 18-grain dome
- Baracuda 18
- Baracuda 15
- Why show all this?
- The final humiliation
- BB goofed up!
Today I will tell you about a failed 50-yard accuracy test of the RAW HM-1000X. There are several lessons in this for everyone, so listen up.
I didn’t intentionally set up the RAW for failure. But as it turned out, there wasn’t much more that I could do to ensure it — other than shooting from the bed of a moving truck.
I’m not telling you this tale because the test rifle is a RAW. Any airgun that was unlucky enough to get into today’s situation deserves a break, and I would give it.
What went wrong?
Here is a picture of me shooting. See if you can identify what’s wrong.
For starters I forgot to bring my sandbag rest. So I had to improvise. I opened my range box and put a half-full box of facial tissues on top. Ahead of that there is a spongy bag supporting the reservoir. The rifle was not that steady. But that was not the biggest problem.
The wind was almost zero on this day. That’s why I tested the rifle when I did. A couple times the breeze kicked up to perhaps two m.p.h., and that was it. I waited that out and shot in the dead calm.
Anyone who has shot benchrest or field target should be able to look at the picture and spot what went wrong. See where the sun is? It’s in my face. That means it’s also coming in the objective lens of the scope, which creates a muddy, hazy image. It was so muddy I couldn’t even focus the scope on the target because it just looked like a big black dot. The rifle is scoped with a UTG 8-32 scope and I can usually see the white lines in the bull at 50 yards, but not on this day.
I was so flustered that I forgot everything. I could have wrapped a paper target around the objective bell of the scope to make a tube and fix the sun problem. But I didn’t. I just shot and shot, hoping for some luck. Luck I had, but all of it was bad.
JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
The first pellet I shot was an 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy dome. At 25 yards five of them made a 0.103-inch group. I loaded 12 into the RAW circular magazine and I expected to see 10 of them go into 0.375-0.40-inches at 50 yards, after I refined the point of impact with the first two shots . Instead the first shot hit just to the right of the bull I aimed at, so I shot all 12 without adjusting the scope. My group of twelve at 50 yards measures 1.519-inches between centers. Not good.
I couldn’t believe the first group so I shot the same pellet again. Before doing that, though, I adjusted the elevation up 4 clicks, which would he a half-inch at 50 yards.
This time 10 JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy domes went into 1.345-inches at 50 yards. It’s an improvement, but hardly what I expected. I was pleased to see that the group did rise by about a half-inch.
Air Arms 18-grain dome
The next pellet I tested was the 18-grain Air Arms dome. This one was surprising, because they all seemed to be going into one hole. But of course I couldn’t see the target that well. This time 10 pellets went into 1.04-inches at 50 yards. It was quite an improvement over the first two groups, so I think I will test this pellet again, when I do it right.
The next pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda 18. I never tested them in this RAW before and I wanted to know how they might do. Ten went into a 0.992-inch group at 50 yards. This was the smallest group of the test. And by the way, at the end of this group I had fired 42 shots on the fill, so it was time to fill again.
The Baracuda 15 was the last pellet I tested. Ten of them went into 2.613-inches at 50 yards. All bad things aside, this is not the pellet for the RAW.
Why show all this?
You might ask why I showed all this — and I haven’t even brought up the final wrong thing I did in this test. So, why show it. I think there are a couple good reasons to show this. First, that business about the sun on the objective lens is something that will mess you up every time. You have to be aware of it or you’ll think your scope is broken when it isn’t.
Then there is the thing about resting the rifle on a half-full tissue box. Guys, my goal is to take as much of me as possible out of the test, and this wasn’t the way to do it. That’s a note to myself as much as it is one to you.
Then there is the retest — when I have all these things under control. We should see a dramatic improvement in the grouping of the RAW when the right things are done. I know I’m talking a real chance when I show you things that go bad, because some readers are spring-loaded to build their universe around failure, when the RAW HM-1000X just might be the most accurate precharged pellet rifle I have ever tested.
And lastly, I want you to see what it looks like when things go bad. Because they sometimes do. That’s why I shoot 10-shot groups instead of five.
The final humiliation
I didn’t even test the RAW with the most accurate pellet. I completely disregarded the JSB Monster and JSB Monster Redesigned that was shown to be the most accurate in Part 6. Would those pellets have done better on this day? Well, they probably would have been closer to the performance of the Baracuda 18 than to the performance of the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy.
BB goofed up!
There’s no other way to put it — BB Pelletier messed up in every possible way on this day. And so there will be another 50-yard test coming. I know you guys want me to shoot the RAW at 100 yards and I plan to, but first I have to get the 50-yard test right. ‘Till then.