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Ammo Larger pellets — why not?

Larger pellets — why not?

This report includes:

  • In the day
  • A call to our engineers and machinists
  • Went to see Denny
  • On the other hand
  • Why is this important?
  • We did something similar
  • What’s to be done?

Last Friday, reader Bob Ryan asked a question about an air rifle he owns.

“Is there any oversized .177 pellet on the market that might work with this thing? I’m willing to give it one more chance to redeem itself, before admitting defeat and flinging it on the scrapheap.”

To which I replied:

“I wish I had a pellet for you but in .177 I know of no oversized pellets. Sorry”

Reader Michael chimed in, “Like B.B. I can’t think of any oversized pellets.  However, you might try, if you have not already done so, RWS pellets.  Try both their .177 Hobby and .177 Superpoint Extra (8.2 gr.)  Those two have the thinnest skirts of the affordable, non-target RWS pellets in both .177 and .22.  And they are soft pure lead (or close to it).

If you are lucky, the skirts will blow out and engage with the rifling.”

What I said was true. I didn’t know of any oversized .177-caliber pellets then or now. I know of a few .22 pellets that are oversized, with the Eley Wasp 5.6mm pellet being the poster child.

In the day

Back in the day when I was writing The Airgun Letter I thought that if the .22 Wasps were oversized the .177 Wasps must be, as well. But they weren’t. They didn’t shoot well in certain airguns that I felt or knew for sure had an oversized bore. That’s when I discovered how accurate the .177-caliber RWS Hobby pellet can be.

Eley Wasps
The .22-caliber Eley Wasps (blue tin) were made in 5.56mm to fit the oversized bores of certain vintage Webley and BSA airguns. But the .177 Wasps (red tin) were sized normally.

A call to our engineers and machinists

What we need is a good way to bump up the diameter of certain pellets to fit the oversized bores that are out there. Oh, we can ask the manufacturers to stop making their airgun bores so large, but that doesn’t help the guy or gal who already owns an airgun with an oversized bore. 

Now the question(s) is/are — do we enlarge the skirt, the head or both?

Went to see Denny

At this point I stopped writing and went over to Denny’s house to talk about the concept. Remember, guys, Denny was a pattern maker. We discussed the idea for several minutes and he politely informed me that it can’t be done for cheap. His idea is a two-part die that’s split vertically, so that two sides come together. He was focused on size increases down to the thousandth of an inch while I was telling him that a tenth of a millimeter or even two, which is 0.004 to 0.008 thousandths of an inch, is sufficient.

I was thinking of a vertical die that’s cylindrical — a tube. The pellet nose would stop against a base that the die would sit on. A flaring tool would enter the skirt that sticks out the other end of the die and a tap with a hammer would flare the skirt. Precision isn’t important for this operation but pellet uniformity is. I’m referring to the long axis of the pellet. I doubt that a cockeyed pellet would fly straight. Obviously for either of our ideas to work the dies would have to be for specific pellets.

On the other hand

Or, we could just flare the pellet’s skirt. A flaring tool could be something as simple as a ball bearing, according to my idea. But I also acknowledge that Denny might be right. If he is, then such a tool wouldn’t be practical or cost-effective.

I have already flared pellet skirts freehand, and I reported on that to you in Part 5 of the report titled. Webley Senior spring-piston air pistol. I’ll save you the trouble of looking that report up. As it turned out It didn’t seem that flaring the pellet skirts did much for the accuracy of that pistol one way or the other — HOWEVER! It does seem to beg for another test to be done with just that pellet, and one in which several groups are fired — both with flared skirts and with skirts that are unflared.

Webley ball bearing
To flare the skirts of the Baracuda 15 pellets I pressed a ball bearing against the bases of their skirts and rotated them several times.

Build a Custom Airgun

Why is this important?

This is important because we airgunners have many airguns that seem like they should be accurate but when we shoot them they aren’t. Is there a way to increase their accuracy? This “way” has to be both simple and cost-effective, or it isn’t worth the time and effort. Is using a ball bearing to hand-flare pellet skirts worth the effort? Or is it possible to invent/create a tool that can do the job and be cheap enough to buy?

I can tell you that a .177 pellet isn’t easy to hold as you flare the skirt with a ball bearing and those with sausage fingers aren’t going to want to do it — or to even be able. A tool or way to hold the pellet would be desirable — if the ball-bearing method is proven to work and is also something we think we want to do.

We did something similar

Back in the day we used dies and swaging presses to size pellets SMALLER. I wrote about this back on May 4, 2005, and here is what I said:

“Pellet sizing was hot in the 1970s, when pellets weren’t as uniform as they are today. I own a Beeman sizer and I’ve used it to compare the accuracy of sized pellets against unsized pellets from the same tin. I have never seen a difference in accuracy, but I have heard of one reason for sizing that might make sense for some shooters. I’ll get to it at the end of this post.”

pellet sizer
A pellet sizer squeezes pellets smaller as they are pushed through a steel die.

Even a world champion can’t tell the difference!
The late Don Nygord, world champion air pistol shooter in the 1980s, once wrote that he could not see any difference between sized and unsized pellets. Don sold target airguns and pellets to shooters for many years and perhaps had the opportunity to test this theory more than many people in his quest for perfection.”

One REAL advantage of pellet sizing
If you’ve tried Pyramyd Air’s Predator heavy pellets, you know how hard they can be to chamber. Predators are solid and must be engraved by the rifling in order to enter the bore. Many repeating rifles have difficulty feeding them. AirForce recently relieved the breech of all their barrels to allow easier loading of these pellets.”

“Some shooters are running Predators through a sizing die to reduce their outside diameter by one-thousandth of an inch. This makes them easier to load. Keep in mind that sizing much more than one-thousandth can also render them inaccurate. I only have this secondhand and have never tried it myself. But it does make sense. If it works, this is a legitimate use of a pellet sizer.”

What’s to be done?

Okay guys, are there any ideas out there about INCREASING the size of pellets? And are there any tests that show that a size increase would be worthwhile? You can bet that I am going to do at least one test, but has anyone else done so? If so, with what results?

77 thoughts on “Larger pellets — why not?”

  1. BB,

    I think that resizing a pellet (and retaining its accuracy) would require them to be reswaged in an expensive die.

    At that point, I’d say it would probably be more practical to get a proper die and swage a pellet directly from lead wire.

    I’ve seen commercially made pellet dies for home use. Matt is showing one in this video :
    https://youtu.be/UeWtE70GXBU

    Hank

    • I totally agree with Hank. I’ve related the problems I’ve had with an Hatsan 135 in .25 caliber finding any pellet, itself oversized, to fit the oversized bore in past posts, here. I went through fits, including a return of one rifle, and a trip to Hatsan USA with another before finding that the usual pellet, save for the JSB Monster Heavies Mark II, just ‘rattled down the bore’ wherever the last rattle of the head hit, the pellet skewed off in the opposite direction.

      One can expand a skirt all one wants. I suspect that the end result is better SEALING of the pellet into the rifling, but if the head is NOT riding the lands smoothly, it is still a crap shoot, or is that crappy shooting? A “reverse pellet sizer” to turn all the domes and flat heads into ersatz hollow points in order to expand the head would likely need a suitcase full of fitment pieces to fit the profile of the waistline of the diabolo round. Anything less would likely result in inaccuracy from forcing a non-concentricity of the round?

      The real issue is to call out the manufacturers who are NOT making bores in the true sizes. I think that the Hatsan was probably a .255 or .26 or something – but that is a guess since I lack measurement capability. Alternatively, purposeful oversize pellets could be made, but what maker is going to set up his shop for what, hopefully, is a smallish trade in them and a large expense for the manufacturer.

      I was persistent enough to overcome Hatsan’s bore management problem with stubbornness and finding a JSB pellet that worked. I can resize .177 pellets, writing in the opposite direction, with a venerable sizer that has always been necessary for my Beeman P-1 pistol; the sizer is very necessary for the feed stock to the P-1 as the very small O-ring breech seal on the P-1 will literally blow out if a pellet is too tight. What all this teaches me is that one can make things smaller with enough force and a precision die, but, making things bigger (beyond my waistline or Alice of Wonderland fame) would seem a bit unlikely there are too many things to control, it would seem.

      I suggest, in the end, that if the big order accounts by such places as Pyramyd AIR, Airguns of Arizona, Airgun Depot, et.al., would start giving stats on bores by some standardized tests, the manufacturers might (maybe?) get the idea that the consumers are watching, and worse, measuring their truth claims about their bore sizes. By this I mean more than the .177, .22. .25, etc. but if the bores are ACTUALLY those sizes. We have enough kinks to iron out when purchasing a new air arm to find what pellets please the arm even when the bores are nominally correctly sized; it’s just a real PITA when the bores are not even close to what the manufacturer claims…

      • LFranke,

        Interesting to hear that the problem with oversized Hatsan bores is not just confined to their nominal .177 barrels and confirms my suspicion that I would be throwing good money after bad were I to buy a .25 or .22 barrel for my Scopebuster 3000.

        I think you are right that expanding the skirt is not enough. If the head is not engaging the rifling also, there is no guarantee it will remain concentric with the expanded skirt and the pellet will likely wobble and corkscrew when it exits the muzzle.

        “Overbore barrels are the result of a too-large rifling button that is selected to prolong the life of the tooling. The button wears and must be sharpened periodically, which reduces it’s size.

        It’s a manufacturing economy step that unfortunately has this affect.”

        I wonder if there is enough customers browned off with Hatsan selling them false calibers to start a class action lawsuit against them.

        I reckon there’s enough evidence to charge them for breach of the Trade Descriptions Act, or the US equivalent thereof.

        • Bob: I suspect you are correct about the button rifling; which seems to be the mainstream in most commercially large-scale barrel building. Plainly, one would want a barrel made for one’s own at the END of the production run rather than the beginning as the tool would be worn down in diameter toward the end of its service life. Of course, the rifling grooves might then be a real piece of slop so one would lose in the end.

          The problem with a team of lawyers going to bat for us airgunners is that I don’t know of many lawyers who are airgunners, although I suspect there are some who might understand and have some passion about such an issue. Then follow the problems of getting a gathering of plaintiffs to join in a suit that will likely not bring enough reward to make the lawyer’s time and expenses practicable. And….lest we forget, Hatsan is in Turkey and the winds of politics, particularly anti-American ones blow there from time to time.

          I suspect that the REAL pressure is that of the customer base and its allied product suppliers making a big stink about the bore issue. That’s why I occasionally make complaint about the specifications on the P/A web pages; simply put, we need more actual measured samples to tell the truth about the products. If it was noted, for example, by Pyramyd AIR, Airgun Depot, Airguns of Arizona, et. al., that Hatsan’s bores are poorly made and due to oversize highly inaccurate, I suspect that Hatsan USA might begin to talk to the folks in management in Izmir, Turkey that they are taking considerable heat.

          I doubt that the Consumer Protection folks are much inspired by complaints about bore sizes and would likely suggest that the “real answer” is getting arms out of the hands of the public in the first place! If the Consumer Protection folks even thought to get engaged, they would probably run into a fire-storm of criticism from the anti-arms folks – a P/R nightmare.

          Returning to my take on it, I think that the big mail order houses for air arms need to get involved, here. Yeah, I know that they would not do this for free – this would require a buck or few attached to each gun purchase to pay staff or hired extra people to slug the barrels or whatever they do to ascertain barrels and compile the data. However, if the big mail order houses ALL did this it would begin to send a message, in this case, eastward that we are on to the quality control issue – especially if sales began to tank. Add to that negative reviews as I am very capable of writing, as are so many writers here in the blog, and maybe it would blow an ill wind in the face of such problems? Nothing makes a manager listen like a dip in sales.

    • Hank,

      That’s fascinating to see pellets made by hand. Those dies and presses sure are expensive though, $800 and $600 respectively according to a commenter on that video from 4 years ago.

    • Yogi,

      Here’s what BB had to say about the Scopebuster 3000 back in 2012: “How large? The rifle I’m now testing has the largest bore of any .177 air rifle I’ve ever examined!”

      4.53 head size ain’t gonna cut it.

      What size will, is yet to be determined.

      • Ha RidgeRunner, mere details! 🙂

        Let’s see, where is that devil… oh yeah! 🙁

        So I gave it a go:
        Found a rusty old fat nail and cut the head off so that I could use my electric drill to quickly file it’s point round.

        Then, with the nail in the vice, I placed a pellet on it, using a wire stripper hole around the pellet waist. With my other hand I whacked the pellet on the head with my littlest hammer: pellet skirt split, head squashed very wide… 🙂

        Erm, needs less whack, more tippy-tap and no need for the wire strippers either, just hold the pellet skirt onto nail with finger tips. 🙂
        The amount of reshaping is easy to see, by how much of the pellet’s dome is flattened, ie the more tippy-taps, the bigger the flat disc becomes. 🙂

        Another thing to remember is, that the wider the pellet, the shorter it’s body, which must affect flight stability/ precision… so much experimenting to do (when I too get myself an old Airsporter or similar airgun with slightly oversized bore). 🙂

        pictured are my experiments…

        • hihihi,

          I tried a carefully drilled/polished hole in a steel block and machined mandrel mounted in my drillpress for resizing the pellet… the results were no better than a hammer and tippy-tap. I ended up with “sinker larva” 🙂

          Hank

          • Ah Vana2, I think you’re on to something! 🙂

            Even if (?) tippy-taps achieved the same pellet shape, using a press has to be quicker and easier.
            I wonder what one might achieve if your system were fine tuned, and maybe even adapted to ‘fatten’ multiple pellets in one go? 🙂

            Well, at least we know how to be serious when making sinker larvae, eh?! 🙂

            • hihihi,

              Yes, I’m very serious about sinker larva 🙂

              I reclaim all the lead that I can as I cast my own slingshot balls and a variety of jigs, lures and sinkers to support my other addiction!

              I’ll see if I can find that resizing thing that I cobbled together… I might have repurposed the repurposed parts into some other creation.

              Will post a picture if I do.

              Hank

              • Thanks Vana2, but what do you mean by “..a variety of jigs..” ?

                Pictures are always good, at least according to commenter hihihi. 🙂

                I too collect my lead, but I pour mine into round ball moulds. 🙂

                • Fishing Jigs come in a wide variety of shapes for different uses ( like fishing right on the bottom or up in the water column) and different environments (wood, weeds, rocks or open water).

                  They are a very flexible type of lure to use for different (static to slow to fast) presentations, and can be used “bare” with live bait or dressed with fur, feathers or plastic decorations. The fish like them so I do to.

                  The thing with jigs is that they go to the bottom quickly (this is good because that is often where the fish are) and often get snagged and lost. Hence the need for lots of lead to make more 🙂

                  Hank

            • Found it.

              The “ram” at the left is shaped to match the inside of the pellet skirt. The depth the swage is set with the spacer and nut.

              The die is mounted into the drillpress table (between the two washers), centered to the chuck and locked in place with the coupling nut.

              The black bolt and the white plastic thingy (from a broom holder) are part of the spring loaded plunger used to push out the sized and flaired pellet.

              …drop in the pellet, pull the spindle handle down untill it bottoms out, then press up on the white knob to eject the pellet.

              This gizmo worked OK, but I found that sorting pellets with a Pelletgage was more practical.

              Fun little project though.

              Hank

              • Interesting Vana2.

                I wonder how that white plastic ejector works, ie does it have some sort of push rod inside (never seen anything like it, not even for holding brooms)?

                So, at an extreme setting, ie maximum pressure, what would a pellet look like afterwards? I imagine a mangled little shuttlecock shape. 🙂

                • hihihi,

                  The white plastic is a just knob attached to a spring loaded push rod to eject the pellet.

                  I guess that there’s enough leverage in the drillpress spindle that you could mangle a pellet pretty well. I prefer mangle my pellets by shooting them through tin cans 😉

                  The ram is limited in travel to control how much the pellet is pushed into the sizing die which is tapered. With a bit of tweaking you could get the correct head size and once locked down the pellets were quite uniform.

                  Attached is a picture of the broom holder…

        • Bob: I suspect you are correct about the button rifling; which seems to be the mainstream in most commercially large-scale barrel building. Plainly, one would want a barrel made for one’s own at the END of the production run rather than the beginning as the tool would be worn down in diameter toward the end of its service life. Of course, the rifling grooves might then be a real piece of slop so one would lose in the end.

          The problem with a team of lawyers going to bat for us airgunners is that I don’t know of many lawyers who are airgunners, although I suspect there are some who might understand and have some passion about such an issue. Then follow the problems of getting a gathering of plaintiffs to join in a suit that will likely not bring enough reward to make the lawyer’s time and expenses practicable. And….lest we forget, Hatsan is in Turkey and the winds of politics, particularly anti-American ones blow there from time to time.

          I suspect that the REAL pressure is that of the customer base and its allied product suppliers making a big stink about the bore issue. That’s why I occasionally make complaint about the specifications on the P/A web pages; simply put, we need more actual measured samples to tell the truth about the products. If it was noted, for example, by Pyramyd AIR, Airgun Depot, Airguns of Arizona, et. al., that Hatsan’s bores are poorly made and due to oversize highly inaccurate, I suspect that Hatsan USA might begin to talk to the folks in management in Izmir, Turkey that they are taking considerable heat.

          I doubt that the Consumer Protection folks are much inspired by complaints about bore sizes and would likely suggest that the “real answer” is getting arms out of the hands of the public in the first place! If the Consumer Protection folks even thought to get engaged, they would probably run into a fire-storm of criticism from the anti-arms folks – a P/R nightmare.

          Returning to my take on it, I think that the big mail order houses for air arms need to get involved, here. Yeah, I know that they would not do this for free – this would require a buck or few attached to each gun purchase to pay staff or hired extra people to slug the barrels or whatever they do to ascertain barrels and compile the data. However, if the big mail order houses ALL did this it would begin to send a message, in this case, eastward that we are on to the quality control issue – especially if sales began to tank. Add to that negative reviews as I am very capable of writing, as are so many writers here in the blog, and maybe it would blow an ill wind in the face of such problems? Nothing makes a manager listen like a dip in sales.

  2. Michael,

    Yogi has it right. JSB pellets usually have very thin skirts which will deform to fit the bore easily. The JSB 8.44 grain .177 pellet comes in 4.52 and 4.53mm head size. I myself use the 4.53mm all the time.

    /product/jsb-match-diabolo-exact-177-cal-8-44-grains-domed-500ct-4-53mm?p=1487

    The JSB 8.4 grain .177 pellet is only 4.5mm. Look at the H&N Baracuda and FTT line also. They used to offer these in various head sizes.

    • RidgeRunner,

      There was, marketed by Beeman, if I recall correctly. I saw one on the ‘bay a few years ago for well over $100! One could instead try a swizzle stick. They are even made in stainless steel if plastic doesn’t seem sturdy enough.

      Michael

    • RidgeRunner,

      Glad you brought that up!
      I have both Beeman products the Pellet Pen and the Beeman Pellet Sizer with a bunch of Dies in stepped sizes…almost forgot about them; been at least three decades since they have seen the light of day!
      Did they work? They functioned well but work? No!

      shootski

  3. BB-

    Sounds like a perfect application for a hammerless punch. Check out the Spring Tools (the originator) website. Probably need to reduce the power of the extension spring. I would doubt the need for 3500 pounds of force for a lead pellet. Couple the hammerless punch with a small pellet holder ‘die’ and the package would sell like the proverbial hotcakes. After all, ‘accuracy’ enhancing gizmos, gimmicks and gewgaws are like fishing lures. They don’t have to catch fish, only the fisherman (air gunner).

    Paco out.

  4. *** gizmos, gimmicks and gewgaws are like fishing lures ***

    Paco,

    Just because my tackle boxs are too heavy to be safely lifted by their handles there’s no reason to imply that I’m wooed by gizmos, gimmicks and gewgaws… well, maybe I am, but just a little bit 😉

    Hello, my name is Hank and I’m addicted to shooting airguns and fishing LOL!

    Happy Monday all!

  5. With my small bench press, I can splay pettet skirts to desirable diameter. Once I decide what that diameter is, a block of wood of appropriate height is placed along side the pellets to prevent over-shmooshing (its a technical term).

  6. I have put a lot of effort and time into sorting pellets by weight and head size, as well as sizing pellets over the years, and I’ve reach two main conclusions for me:
    – Sorting absolutely makes a big difference on paper down range
    – It’s just not worth it most of the time

    The best results I ever obtained were not from trying to modify the pellets, but from sorting them for head size/shape by a very specific method after modifying the skirts. Here is how that worked, all done with .22 caliber pellets:
    – I inspected the heads and skirts for any damage or issues and discarded pellets as appropriate
    – I sorted for weight, and worked in batches of common weights to strive for as common a BC as possible
    – I sized the skirt in a Beeman pellet sizer with a 5.56 die – this sized the skirts but left the heads untouched
    – I then roll sorted the pellets on glass to find a common head size – all pellets had a common skirt size, so variations in the arc in which they rolled meant a different head diameter. This also allowed me to “hear” if the head was round or not and weed out heads that were not as good.
    – This gave me batches of nearly identical pellets to shoot, and these always gave the best ten shot groups

    No amount of fiddling with head sizers matched this – which makes sense in that the leade and barrel will size the head “down” further when shot anyways. Sizing up first (which is hard to do repeatably) only matters if the head is too small to begin with – better to just find identical head sizes and go with those, as one is going to have a hard time modifying heads to be identical after the fact.

    The main thing that I learned through all of it is the development of a theory I have that nobody else ever talks about, but I think it absolutely fits what I have learned. Here it is: the key driver in variability in POI at distance is variability in the BC of the different pellets after having been shot out the gun. And the size of the pellet head, including the depth and length of rifling marks after being shot is a big element in the shape and drag profile of the pellet in flight. This was verified by looking at the variation of ES of speed with a Chrony downrange at the target, which I find is always higher than at the muzzle for pellets shot straight from the tin (which should be less as the speed falls, if everything else was equal – so clearly the BCs are not constant) . But that downrange ES was significantly less on the sorted identical pellets, indicating a more consistent BC after being shot.

    Anyways, it was a lot of work and just not worth it for anything other than maybe benchrest competition – and even then wind is a much bigger factor . . .

    • AlanMcD, I think I understood most of it, but please, would you confirm for me the meanings of the acronyms BC, POI and especially ES, thanks. 🙂

      I like your pellet rolling idea to establish uniformity in roundness and size, brilliant! 🙂

      • hihihi,

        Permit me to answer for AlanMcD:

        BC = ballistic coefficient
        POI = point of impact
        ES = extreme spread (i.e. difference between highest and lowest velocity measurements in a shot string)

          • Hihihi, don’t feel different, or awkward. Just ask. 2 years ago, I was scratching my head at some of the lingo and abbreviations. This is a very collegial group. Always willing to help out, not judgmental, and only good natured joking. A true family friendly blog. I love hanging out here.

          • hihihi,

            My pleasure. I’m always happy to help a fellow traveller on this our shared journey through the weird and wonderful world of airgunning 🙂

            Like RG says, this is a true family friendly blog. No one needs to be shy here, just ask away. I’ve been visiting since 2013 and not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new on here.

        • Bob,

          Thanks for answering for me. You nailed it.

          hihihi,

          No problem in asking – you are right to do so. Maybe next time I’ll remember to use full words instead of acronyms . . . .

          Alan

    • AlanMcD,

      Yes!
      I think (theory) if projectile (head/body) wobbles into the grooves it will wobble more on the External part of the trip to target because of the off axis spin imparted by the Bore and the unsymmetrical engraving on the airflow and the spin dynamics.
      The LabRadar would be (have been) perfect for your work…Enable, Enable, Enable….

      Thank you!

      shootski

      • Shootski,

        Honestly, when I first learned of the lab radar years ago, that was the first use that came to mind – individual BC calculation, instead of averages like I had to do back in the day, each pellet could have been its own data point.

        Maybe someday . . . 😉

        Alan

        • AlanMcD,

          “…with a Chrony downrange…”
          Those trashed Chronographs cost me more than the LabRadar after I started shooting Big Bore with big FPE (Foot Pounds Energy) that would smash bricks/blocks and give those electronic devices concussions even if they were NOT reduced to piles of bent steel, optical sensors, oscillator, and a few transistors.

          Grandson is shooting his biathlon airgun! He is using the Champion Steel Trap and paper Summer Biathlon Airgun Training Targets,.
          Time to order his Devin, Mfg., Inc. 10 meter 5 Hole target!

          shootski

  7. Sometime in 2021, I spent a few hours and tried to tabulate all the US sources for what I considered to be “target grade” pellets in .177 caliber. The link is to an Acrobat (pdf) image of the spreadsheet. It shows what was available online and who carried them. Some dealers don’t differentiate between head sizes, even for the manufacturers who produce them (according to the OEM websites). I am not aware of any pellets nominally larger than 4.53 mm. I have had correspondence with Pelletgage customers who told me that their rifles (I believe they were FX brand) shot the 4.53 pellets extremely well, and they were trying to sort for 4.53 and 4.54 if/when they could get them. The information may be a bit out of date, but it could be relevant.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1krpb5hwNL3xuxouXv-sAQ3gHtfazgj2b/view?usp=share_link

  8. Rob Ryan,

    There are many slugs available now in .177 maybe that 3000 scopebuster would like them. At least worth a try.

    I would push some pellets and slugs through the barrel to check them out. If none engage the rifling, a new barrel in a larger caliber would be the way I would go if practical. The new barrel may not be available other than a custom one, and that may cost too much.

    Another thought, no experience with the idea, would be to size some .20 caliber pellets down to fit the barrel.
    Don

    • Don,

      That’s a good idea. I must see if I can get some slug sample packs to try out.

      Sizing .20 calibre pellets down to fit might be worth a shot also. If I recall correctly, when BB reviewed the .177 Scopebuster 3000 a decade ago, he first thought it might have been fitted with a .20 barrel by mistake.

  9. B.B. and Airhead Engineers,

    Are you all certain you didn’t get a bottle of Nitrous Oxide instead of air on your last fill at the paintball shop!
    IF the bores are really oversized and you know the actual dimensions you may find as I have through experience that Skirt Size almost does not make any difference to POI. Head or body diameter on bullets (slugs) however is CRITICAL. Just having the pellet Head riding the Lands helps a little but engraving to the base of the Grooves is needed to ensure (have half a chance) of consistent spin revolutions at the end of the barrel; that is the last chance to impart that all important stabilizing spin.
    IF your Bore really is oversized by more than pellet bullet (slug) manufacturers are willing to make you have at best three options:
    1. Buy a replacement barrel.
    2. Swage or Cast your own in a a custom/off the shelf Die.
    3. Choke your barrel or have it done by someone who can. Interesting read before you go down that rabbit hole.
    https://www.snipershide.com/shooting/threads/choking-the-muzzle-bore-on-a-rimfire-barrel.7092533/
    Actually there are at least two other options: accept the level of precision the oversized barrel Bore is capable of; remember well for your next purchase. And finally, get rid of the gun in a satisfying way.

    shootski thinks re-barrel if possible or Cast/Swage your own ammunition is the way to go IF the purchase wasn’t a GIANT complete mistake to begin with.

    Putting it in a dark corner of the gun safe, gunroom, or closet is BAD idea because it plays HAVOC with your JOY!

    shootski

    • Shootski: Putting airguns in the back of the closet is not a novel experience for me. I have made a few airgun mistakes in the past. Notably was the Benjamin Trail Pistol and the UMAREX Trevox. Both of those pieces, in my opinion, were a total waste of my cash and patience. The Trail has so much droop and so much trigger pull as to be useless. The Trevox has potential if he don’t mind trigger pull weight in the severe range. After fiddling and plotting with these two things, I finally consigned them to the dark corner awaiting a police buy-back program. At least a few bucks is better than having them haunting the cabinet….

        • Shooski: Buy-backs are yet another reward to the arms industry, of course, but they do take down some of the illicit or unwanted arms from the economy. I could not in good conscience sell those POS pistols to someone else or use them in trade. They are just frustratingly bad. I could at least recuperate some of the lost coin by a buy back.

          There just is no fixing these things for the average non-tool & die journeyman. I did solve the hyper-droop problem with the Benjamin Trail by filling down the front post by at least half its height, but the trigger pull was and is beyond me. The Trevox has power, I suspect some degree of accuracy (despite a cheap and horrible rear sight with more wiggle than a happy puppy) but its trigger pull is measured in the tens of pounds (maybe even hundreds?). That trigger pull reduces what is likely an accurate pistol to nothingness.

          BTW, Hatsan’s Model 25 Super Charger is the pistol that Benjamin and UMAREX should have made and it costs just a bit more than those two. It has a buttery trigger, is far more powerful and it dead on accurate. The same goes for its “big brother” the Browning 800 Mag. now that I have a dot sight on it.

          The Turks have made two fine less-expensive pistols nearly measuring up to my venerable RWS 5G-TO1 (how old is a “1?”) and the Holy Grail (per BB) the Beeman P-1. These two will never leave my arms locker and will likely be passed on down to my son, the Lt. Colonel in due time. They join an originally much cheaper Gamo P-45 single pump pneumatic that, being totally recoiless, may be their equal (and now, under the Air Venturi label costs a whopping lot more).

          So, Shootski, I don’t give up easily on my purchases (I’ve been married for 51 years so you know I stick around in the face of challenges!), but when I give up on them, they are ready for the recycle bin…

          • LFrank,

            Agreed but also a reward to the politicians who are clueless on the real cause of the violence.
            Hope you future airguns all shoot straight and have the triggers of your dreams!

            shootski

    • Mel83,

      Depends on the wall thickness of the barrel; if thick enough then time and money.
      Money to buy equipment to do it and buy the liner.
      Time to do the work if you have the equipment.
      Or, time to get to the gunsmith and the time until you get to the top of the gunsmith’s do now list…could be months or much more money to get faster service.
      In most airgunner’s cases the money to pay a gunsmith to do it and buy the liner.
      Wow! They must love everything else about that airgun!

      shootski

  10. Coincidentally yesterday took out the HW30S for some plinking exercise and found Gamo Match .177 flathead 7.56 grain pellets hard to load – the heads seemed to be engaging the rifling tight before FM’s non-sausage fingers were able to push the pellets into the bore; the skirts slightly deformed on a couple from the pressure but shot them anyway. Funny thing, out of five fired, two hit the 2.5″ diameter can lid being used for a target, at 25 yards between 8 & 9 o’clock positions. Before that, had fired five RWS Supermag Field Line 9.3 grain flatheads with no hits.

    Bottom line – maybe these Gamos are oversized enough to work better with some airguns. No calipers or pellet sizers at Casa FM at this time, so that is the best FM can do to help today, amigos.

  11. Sorry this comment is late, and I don’t know if anyone will read it, but it seems that it is fairly straightforward to increase the diameter of a pellet skirt B.B.’s ball bearing will do). The challenge is the head. What if you started with a deep hollowpoint pellet and swaged it between two steel cones > >c c represents a hollowpoint pellet like a Baracuda Hunter, then one might be able to widen the head diameter and the skirt diameter at the same time.

    • Roamin Greco, I followed your call for airheads to read your comment above. 🙂

      I see that maybe I should have explained the numbers/ measurements in the picture below the second comment that I posted.

      Basically, tippy-tapping a roundheaded pellet on that nail, widened not just the skirt but the head too. Upper numbers are head diameters, the lower, skirt diameters.

      So, from left to right: the 4.46mm head diameter of a normal pellet gets progressively wider, the flatter the head is tapped: 4.52mm, 4.85mm and 5.28mm head diameters.
      (0.1756″ -> 0.1780″ -> 0.1909″ -> 0.2979″)

      Quite some differences in these pictured examples, don’t you think? 🙂

      • When I get my oversized-bore airgun, I too will be looking for big headed pellets. And I shall shoot some home-squashed ones too. 🙂

        However, as well hammer flattened ones, I shall also try hollowed heads, ie ones that I bulge by driving some sort of cylindrical shape into them. 🙂

        I imagine that the latter pellets, by better retaining their overall length, will fly more stably… 🙂

    • RG,

      I think you are onto something there with your idea to swage hollowpoint pellets between steel cones.

      It shouldn’t be too difficult to rig up a press to give consistently resized pellets that way.

      • Bob: Maybe if you have the skills to do some tooling. The problem is, as I conceptualize it, to expand the head of the pellet while not disturbing the axial concentricity of the round. That means keeping the pellet radially intact and not bending it NOR expanding the skirt radially.

        One also is going to need far more force/pressure to expand the materially heavier/thicker head than so doing to the thin skirt. That force can to bad things where one does not want them.

        The trick is to find the right diameter pellet. I have whined to PA in the past that we get the weights of pellets, the style of pellet, sometimes the length of the pellet but the diameter? NOT SO MUCH, particularly head diameter. When there is an head diameter, it is because its usually a wad cutter that is sold in different sizes – but we don’t get statistics from a measurement of a sample of them to see how conforming they are.

        So…we are left to chance and experimentation. That’s okay, but I now have many tins of .25 lead pellets that my Model 135 Hatsan will “pray and spray” down the 10 M basement range. I ventured forward at the purchase of the 135 with a moment of “stoopidity” and ordered pellets with the gun instead of ordering several individual tins or a sampler. The pellets are all H&N quality pellets so i know that the problem is not with them.

        In point of fact, some years ago, H&N changed their dies on the Baracudas in 2015 to enlarge them as Hatsan was distributing their pellets (as I understand it) and any Baracudas made after 2015 will shoot in the 135 – just not as well as the JSB. H&N, as a supplier to Hatsan, apparently was well aware of the oversize problem with their purchaser and acted accordingly? That little bit of trade knowledge was not widely known by those of us who buy things. I can’t recall, today, where I learned this bit of information, but it rings true in my 135 as evidenced by the different results between the Baracudas made BEFORE 2015 and the ones purchased thereafter….
        I suppose that gives me a reason to buy a different maker’s .25 and hope for the best? That doesn’t seem all that sensible although it is tempting.

  12. B.B.

    The only flaring tool I can think of is the one pictured that is used for flaring the end of copper tubing.

    Could this tool or something similar be used to increase the flare of a pellet skirt?

  13. My reply got lost. Not going to retype it all again.

    What about knurling the outside diameter of the pellet.
    That should increase size and reduce drag as well. But to figure out how to do it needs to come first.

    I thought about putting the pellet on a hard flat true surface then take a file and roll it over a pellet. Then measure it to see if the size does increase.

    Just a thought.

    • Gunfun1, to my mind, rolling a pellet between file and glass sheet (simple “..hard,
      flat true surface..”) with sufficient pressure to imprint the file pattern into the lead, has to reduce the pellet’s diameter/ circumference, whilst the knurled sections should elongate. One would likely have to roll the skirt and the head separately to retain their different diameters.
      In a matching barrel, such a longer pellet of slightly reduced calibre might well aid in accuracy! 🙂

      What I can’t quite grasp, is, how, roughing up some of the pellet’s surface is supposed to reduce drag, ie do you mean, in the sense of dimpled golf balls (that fly further than smooth surfaced ones)?

      • 3hi
        No not like a golf ball. More like the raised bumps of the knurling would engage the rifling deeper but there would be the lower spots of the knurl that might not engage the rifling or not engage the rifling as much.

        Thats what I was thinking about with less drag on the pellet.

        Think of the old Sheridan cylindrical pellets getting knurled. You would have a bigger area of contact to the rifling on the sides of the outside diameter of the pellet. Plus the diameter would have raised spots on it from the knurling as well as the lower spots.

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