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Air Guns Norica Omnia ZRS: Part Five

Norica Omnia ZRS: Part Five

Norica Omnia ZRS
Norica Omnia ZRS.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Integrix 2-12X36 FFP scope: Part 1
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Integrix to the rescue!
  • The test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • HOWEVER
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • What causes group separation
  • The Integrix
  • JSB Exact RS
  • What to do?
  • Second group
  • Is the Omnia ZRS rifle accurate?
  • Re-run the test
  • Summary

Today I have a test for you where almost everything with the Norica Omnia ZRS rifle went bad, and yet the results were wonderful! Intrigued? Read on. In a rush? Skip to the last two targets and see what can happen. If you want to know how I got there and what it took you have to read this report.

After yesterday you probably aren’t ready for another bad report, are you? I know I sure wasn’t. And, for the first half of today’s test, it looked like it would turn out that way. Have I lost it? Is BB Pelletier no longer able to shoot? Oh, my! Whatever shall we do? Get out my walker. Edith, I’m comin’ home!

Integrix to the rescue!

This is a day that was saved by the Integrix 2-12X36 FFP scope. Yes, it really was. Read on to find out how. I’m not saying that any other scope couldn’t have done the same but the Integrix I’m testing has some capability that other scopes (that I have tested) cannot match. Read on to learn what.

The test

Today was supposed to be a test of the accuracy of the Omnia breakbarrel at 25 yards. That’s pretty straightforward, no? And in Part 4 I both sighted it in and pre-selected four different pellets to test.

I shot 10-shot groups today, except for one pellet. I shot the rested rifle from 25 yards. The rifle rested directly on the sandbag, because, the way the Omnia anti-recoil mechanism works, you can do that. Let’s get started.

RWS Superdomes

In Part 4 I shot five RWS Superdomes at 10 meters and got a strange group. It was large for 10 meters, but the last three shots were in a very tight group that was worthy of the gold dollar comparison coin — five were in 0.493 with three in 0.108-inches.

I made a note to myself in Part 4 to shoot three Superdomes next time (that would be today) before starting to shoot a group, because it seemed like that pellet needed to “season” the bore. Well, what I expected didn’t happen. The first shot went wide to the left of the bullseye and high. Shot two dropped. Shot three dropped again and I thought the rest of the shots would group with shot three. But they didn’t, so I shot twice more. Shot four went into the bull where I initially expected all these pellets to go, but then shot five went left again and dropped even farther down below shot three! Five are in 1.17-inches at 25 yards. Ouch!

Omnia Superdome
Superdomes refused to group! After five shots with the Omnia I gave up! These five are in 1.17-inches at 25 yards.

Okay, this was no problem. I had just discovered that the Omnia does not like Superdomes. What does it like? The three pellets that came next all gave good indications in Part 4 at 10 meters that the rifle would do well with them. Let’s see!

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The RWS R10 Match Pistol wadcutter did really well in Part 4. In fact the first two pellets went through the same hole and I showed that to you. I figured this was a pellet that would also perform at 25 yards. And, when the first two pellets shot from 25 yards went into the same hole, I figured I was right. HOWEVER…

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HOWEVER

The remainder of the R10s spread out. I finished the group because it was smaller than the Superdome group until the end, when the final pellet went low and left. I ended with 10 pellets in 1.438-inches between centers.

Omnia-R10
The Norica Omnia ZRS put 10 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets into a 1.438-inch group at 25 yards.

This doesn’t look very good, does it? Read on.

JSB Exact Heavy

The next pellet I tried was the 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavy. They are JSBs! Surely these were the ones. But no. And, well — you know.

Ten pellets are in a group that measures 1.651-inches between centers. Hey! These groups are getting larger, BB! Yes, but this group is the one that turned the day around. Notice that there are two groups here — one on the right and a separate one with many more shots on the left. Now, listen to BB Pelletier and learn something.

The group of seven holes on the left measures 0.562-inches between centers. Yes it’s not all the shots with this pellet, but you can clearly see the tendency of the rifle to shoot to two different places.

Omnia-JSB-Heavy
Ten JSB Heavy pellets are in 1.651-inches between centers, but the seven on the left are in 0.562-inches.

When I shot my AR-15 several years ago I noticed that it wanted to group in two different places. The space between the “groups” was less than a half inch, but since that rifle could put ten bullets through 3/8-inches (0.375-inches or 9.525mm) at 100 yards, it was noticeable. And what caused it?

What causes group separation

Cheek weld causes group separation. I know that because the AR-15, like most tacticool rifles, doesn’t fit me. In fact, from what I have seen with tactical stocks — one size fits none. And the Norica Omnia ZRS has a tacticool stock. I commented on it in Part 1. I said, The tactical-style buttstock feels exactly like it looks. The straight line of the butt puts BB’s fat face too high to acquire the rear sight comfortably. I have to roll my cheek to acquire the rear sight — otherwise the front sight is too high in the notch — even with the adjustable cheekpiece down as far as it will go. I may try it with the cheekpiece removed.”

Now that I saw this I knew (or thought I knew) what had to happen. I had to get the same cheek weld (location of my face on the stock, which determines the location of my sighting eye) for every shot. Yes, this is a fundamental fact of marksmanship, but the Omnia stock fits me so poorly that I was in the adaptive mode. In other words, I was doing whatever it took to shoot the rifle. How am I going to get this fencepost stock to fit me? Enter the Integrix!

The Integrix

The Integrix scope has optics so precise they help (or force) you to position your sighting eye in the same place every time. Let’s move on and I will tell you how.

JSB Exact RS

The final pellet I shot is the JSB Exact RS dome that made the smallest five-shot group at 10 meters in Part 4 (0.299-inches). It was small, but I now wonder how much smaller it could have been.

Today I put ten RS pellets into a 0.805-inch group at 25 yards. That’s certainly the smallest group shot so far but look at it carefully. You will see on the left side under the pellet there is a hole that has had seven pellets pass through it. It looks like just two pellets went through but it was really seven. That “group” measures 0.093-inches between centers! And THAT, my friends, is a group at 25 yards! How did I do it? And that’s actually me, the rifle, the scope and the pellet together.

Omnia JSB RS1
That small hole under the pellet on the left is where seven pellets passed through. Ten are in 0.805-inches with seven in 0.093-inches.

What to do?

I had noticed that the Integrix scope was positioned too high on the rifle and too far back for my eye to see the image full-sized when I held the stock somewhat comfortably. I saw that as I placed my head farther forward a dark circle would form around the image in the Integrix lens. So, when shooting this group I tried to position my head to always get the same amount of darkness in the image — and to center the visible image inside the dark ring as well. Now, doing that is about as coordinated as running a hundred-yard dash while carrying a glassful of water and trying not to spill any. But you can see the results above. And those three stray shots are when I didn’t get it right.

If this approach really works I thought I should be able to shoot all ten shots a second time and get similar results. I must tell you that it takes a LOT of concentration! You’re not only holding the crosshairs on the center of the bull, you’re also trying to create the same size circle of darkness around the image of the target, plus keep that image centered in the scope. It’s a headache waiting to happen but if we can learn something from it it’s worth it.

Second group

I shot a second group with the same pellet while using this technique. The pellets went to the same place as the tight group of seven in the last group, more or less. And this group of ten grew very slowly. This is ten JSB Exact RS pellets in 0.657-inches at 25 yards. It’s the smallest 10-shot group of today’s test. It may not be wonderful, but I think it proves my point.

Omnia-RS2
The Omnia put 10 JSB Exact RS pellets into 0.657-inches at 25 yards.

Is the Omnia ZRS rifle accurate?

We don’t know for sure that the Omnia ZRS rifle is accurate. But today we have learned a powerful truth — that the placement of the face on the stock to locate the aiming eye the same every time is extremely important to accuracy. That’s not a new lesson. It’s not something we didn’t already know. But today the precision of the Integrix scope, coupled with the straight buttstock of the Omnia ZRS rifle, made this fact crystal clear.

Based on what I see in the last three targets I believe the Omnia ZRS is a very accurate air rifle. But I need to make it fit me better so I can shoot it accurately.

Re-run the test

I believe I need to run this test again. That will allow us to see how all four pellets respond when the rifle does its best. We will learn several things.

1. Is the Omnia ZRS rifle accurate?
2. I the Omnia rifle pellet picky?
3. How much does cheek weld/eye placement matter?
4. Is the precision of the Integrix scope a big factor in achieving accuracy?

Summary

Like I said up front, today was a bad day that turned out great. I would always rather learn things that help me be more accurate than just shoot little groups. Maybe today meant more to me than to you guys but I bet some of you have learned something.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

42 thoughts on “Norica Omnia ZRS: Part Five”

  1. Thanks, B.B., now I just feel old!
    I have zero guns with tacticool stocks; every rifle I have has a sporter-type stock.
    Perhaps I’m just living in the past.
    Or maybe Norica should drop this barreled action in a sporter-style stock as an option.
    She sure seems like she wants to shoot well.
    Thank you for all your hard work on this rifle.
    Blessings to you,
    dave

    • Dave,

      Do not feel old. It is just that so many shooters these days have shot nothing but Mattelomatics, so they have it in their heads that all guns, including airguns have to be tacticool. They just do not know any better.

      Norica is trying to break into the USA market, so they are convinced that their newest offering MUST be tacticool. This is also MUCH cheaper than a sporter stock. It is also easier to adjust to the individual, which means it does not fit anyone well.

      Yes, this is ALL my opinion. I am also an old, fat, bald-headed geezer. It does not matter that I was shooting before Mattelomatics even existed. I don’t know nothin’.

  2. Mattelomatic strikes again. I think we all agree that this innovative design needs a better stock and hopefully iron sights.
    B.B what you mentioned about the image through the scope looks like what I see when on high magnification. Could you try to use a lower setting, 5 to 8 maybe? Just to be more comfortable.

  3. B.B.

    Why didn’t you just move the scope to where you had a comfortable cheek weld AND could see the reticle with no black ring?

    I once made a similar comment that my head had to be in the perfect spot to see through my scope. Your comment was, “you have a good scope”. Still trying to figure out what you meant. Maybe today’s blog just did?

    -Yogi

  4. There are good tacticool stocks; and then there are most tacticool stocks. For the open sights (they ain’t metal!) on my Crosman SDB, the stock is great! Just holds differently than most. Need to try a scope and see if it feels just as good.

    • OP,

      Probably not, unless you can mount the scope in a co-witness sort of way.

      The only thing close to tacticool I can stand is what is done with the AF Edge. Then I fit everything to me, including adding foam under the cheek rest, and snug everything down. Even it is not “quite right”. There are aftermarket accessories that make it much better.

      Anything tacticool is usually a compromise. If you have found something that fits you, I would strongly suggest not messing with it.

  5. Tom,

    Does this mean you’ll be adding some form of padding to the adjustable cheek rest to minimize the necessity of contortions to achieve accuracy?

    Siraniko

    • Siraniko,

      I’m gonna put the factory cheekpiece back on and try it that way. I would have slid the scope forward this time, too, but sighting the rifle again could have taken me another hour I didn’t have.

      BB

      • B.B.
        Excuse me if I didn’t understand but you tested the scope without the cheek piece on? I always thought that these things are made to get a higher line of sight in order to see through a scope. Without them is, to my understanding, for the lower open sights. Am I that wrong?

    • Fish,

      Both. The “new” FWB Sport is sleek looking and the HW35 has the classic look. I know, that does not help much, but that is the way it is.

  6. BB,

    Well, everybody knows by now that I am not fond of the tacticool look. I figured out a long time ago that this is compromise in design and inexpensive in materials. Neither works well.

    You may also recall that I had an issue when I was shooting my Gamo CFX. I learned I was able to move my group back and forth by how I placed my thumb of my trigger hand on the stock. Talk about hold sensitive.

    It was also VERY pellet picky. It liked H&N FTT 4.51mm pellets. Period. It would do OK with JSB Exact, but just OK.

    It sounds like you need to add some foam padding AND adjust that scope some as suggested above.

    Did I say I am not a big fan of tacticool?

    P.S.
    Re-run the test
    2. I (Is) the Omnia rifle pellet picky?

  7. “Edith, I’m comin’ home!” Have you been watching “Sanford and Son” reruns, B.B.? No doubt you miss her but don’t rush the “comin’ home” part – let the “bad hombres” go home first. 😉 As for the Omnia, FM sinks it has the makings of a good shooter, hobbled by a “Mattelomatic” crutch – that’s his sinking feeling.

  8. BB-
    Today’s blog points out the truism that errors in sight alignment will always beat (be larger than) errors in sight picture in regards to precision. Nice to see the proof of concept of Omnia’s zero recoil system.

      • BB-

        Well, here’s hoping that it’s always a flavor of pie that you like. As it’s almost that time year, I would opt for a strawberry or strawberry-Rhubarb. I’m never too proud to get down on the floor and help the dogs clean up. Shucks, I even shoot Matty Matics.

      • B.B.,

        Do I need to begin calling you The Clarabell of Airguns®?

        Some years ago J. Bercovitz who worked at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory shared this (I edited in the side Parallax Turret since tis was shared long before most scope had them) with a few of us Colt M16A2 vs. Colt AR-15 Delta HBAR shooters:

        There may be a modest amount of confusion out there on the subject of scope parallax. Parallax problems result from the image from the objective not being coincident with the crosshairs. (On high magnifications scopes, the objective is the big end of the scope; vice-versa for low power scopes; in either case it’s the guzin end.) If the image is not coplanar with the crosshairs (that is the image is either in front of or behind the crosshairs), then putting your eye at different points behind the ocular causes the crosshairs to appear to be at different points on the target. (The ocular is the guzout end of the scope.) In fact, this is the basis of a test for parallax problems:
        Set your scoped rifle on sand bags. Align the scope with the center of the target. Without touching the rifle, move your eye around behind the scope. Do the crosshairs appear to move on the target? If they do, the parallax is not set for the range of the target you are using.

        So which way do we move the objective to correct parallax? First hold up the index finger of one hand in front of the palm of the other hand. (You don’t have to actually DO it, this a thought experiment.) Let the index finger represent the crosshairs and the palm represent the image plane. If you move your head to the left, the finger moves to the right against the palm. So if your crosshairs move to the right on the target’s image when you move your head to the left, the image plane must be further away than the
        crosshairs. What’s a mother to do? Why pull the image plane in a little by screwing the objective bell in so that the objective moves closer to you, of course. In this set up, the image is essentially tied to the objective so moving the objective 0.1 mm moves the image 0.1 mm. And no, the ocular
        doesn’t change this scenario any more than putting a weak loupe to your eye would change the sense of the thought experiment using index finger and palm. As long as we’re on the subject of scopes, I might as well mention focussing the ocular or eyepiece (same thing). The goal here is to focus the ocular, which is really just a magnifying glass, on the _crosshairs_ which are located just ahead of the ocular. To avoid the distraction of the objective’s image, you can cover the objective with something translucent like maybe a sheet of
        Kleenex. Screw the ocular out, away from the main body of the scope until the crosshairs go out of focus. Now screw it in until the crosshairs are just in focus and then turn it in a little bit more. This puts the crosshairs slightly nearer than infinity as far as your eyes can tell. Your eyes will appreciate not having to strain to focus on the crosshairs, especially if they’re old eyes like mine. Even if you have young eyes, a long day of varmint shooting will strain your eyes if you’ve focussed your ocular by reversing the sense of the above procedure.

        After you have focussed your ocular, you can set your parallax by the procedure delineated in the above paragraphs. This is quite often a more accurate way of setting parallax than setting by the yardage lines inscribed on the (edit: Parallax Turret) objective bell (on many brands those lines are approximate at best).

        Warning! Snoozer follows!

        Now can we calculate? Oh, goodie! On a short scope, the objective’s focal length must be around 0.1 m considering that there is an erector lens in that tube also. The formula for the distances from a lens of the object and the image of that lens is:
        O^-1 + I^-1 = F^-1
        where:
        O = distance from object to lens
        I = distance from image to lens
        F = focal length of lens

        What I’d like to know is how far we’d have to bring the objective lens in if we shift the parallax correction from 50 m to 100 m. Moving the objective lens relative to the scope body makes no essential change in the value of the variable, O. So how far is the image from the lens when the target is at
        50 m? 100 m? 150 m?

        I(50) = [(F^-1)- (O^-1)]^-1 = [(.1^-1)-(50^-1)]^-1 = .1002 m
        I(100) = [(.1^-1)-(100^-1)]^-1 = .1001 m
        I(150) = [(.1^-1)-(150^-1)]^-1 = .10007 m

        We can now see that we’re talking very small parallax correction movements here and that furthermore, the corrective movement required for an increment in target distance decreases rapidly as the distance to the target increases.
        So the answer to my question is, if you move the target from a 50 m distance to a 100 m distance, the objective must be moved .1002-.1001= .0001 m to correct the parallax. In Marekin terms, this is .004″. That sounds about right to me considering that the graduations on an objective bell (edit: Parallax Turret) are fairly close together and the objective bell’s thread is very fine. This also explains
        why it is difficult for the scope manufacturer to put the parallax marks on
        the bell in exactly the right place. (edit: also why the big wheels on FT shooters Scopes!)
        All eyes are closed? Have a nice sleep!

        For Ridge Runner: i hope this gives you Mattel Nightmares }⁠:⁠‑⁠)

        shootski

        PS: just in case: “However, BB Pelletier, being the boss clown of this outfit…”

        • Shootski, you are the man! In all my years of reading about hunting, guns, and related subjects, that’s the best explanation of parallax adjustment I have seen. Even if you can’t follow the math, you can still see that the results of the calculations support your point that parallax corrections beyond 50 yards are small. Which is probably why most scopes for firearms are set for 100 yards. Even if the game is closer, you won’t be off by much to miss a deer’s boiler room. But airguns are different. If you did the same calculations for the distance between 10 yards and 50 yards, the adjustment needed would be greater than from 50 to 100. Just looking at the marks on the scope shows this. Thank you.

          I will print this out and bookmark it as well.

          • Roamin Greco,

            De nada.
            Yes.
            It is a larger correction at a typical airgun’s range which creates problems inside the scope tube and wh EFR (Extended Focus Ranges) scopes cost more.
            But then i’m shooting way beyond that limited range with firearms as well as airguns. And so will more and more air gunners in the near term; at least with platform PCPs!

            I have a few more things about scopes for this weekend if my chores don’t do me in.

            shootski

  9. What about a modified artillery hold? By that I mean a sand bag rest up front like you are doing, but a very light hold at rear with only the lightest of cheek “welds.” Or, perhaps the gun wants the “deer hunter hold” (firmly pulling the buttstock back into the shoulder pocket for the recoil dampening to have full effect. On the latter suggestion, perhaps you may be unconsciously “limp wristing” the gun? Folks that shoot semi-auto pistols will know to what I am referring.

    Also a friendly reminder once you are satisfied that you have wrung all the accuracy possible out of this gun, is to test whether recoil feels differently or if accurracy suffers when the gun is shot at an upward angle.

    I’m hoping the innovation regarding the recoil mitigation system works out.

    • Roamin,

      I’m sorry. I promised to do that for this report and I forgot. I am taping a note to the rifle so I won’t forget again.

      BB

      • No worries. It sounds like you have your hands full with the scope and the stock issues..

        I’m trying to imagine how you are going to test the angled shots. Shoot down from an upstairs window or hoist a rubber much trap into a tree? My imagination is running wild.

  10. BB

    Wondering the same thing as Ade C above. Before making your final eye position adjustment would the reticle wiggle if you moved your eye up-down-right-left?

    Deck

  11. Now that it has come up in this report, I’m reminded none of my rifles really fit me all that well. And I do see POI differences due to varying holds. A good reminder.

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