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Ammo RAW MicroHunter PCP air rifle: Part Two

RAW MicroHunter PCP air rifle: Part Two

MicroHunter
RAW Micro Hunter.

Part 1
P8 prismatic optic P8-Part 1

This report covers:

  • Stuff in the box
  • Fill
  • Load the magazine
  • Falcon
  • Discharge sound
  • Quality
  • Air Arms 16-grain dome
  • JTS Take Down
  • H&N slug
  • Shot count
  • Second string
  • BarkStripper air stripper
  • Accuracy?
  • Summary

Today we’re going to find out how the RAW MicroHunter pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle shoots. This is velocity day, but there are a couple points to cover first.

Stuff in the box

Normally I don’t cover the stuff that comes in the box with the airgun, but there are a couple interesting things with this one. First is a small package of O-rings that I confirmed with AirForce is one set of replacements.

The other thing that’s unusual is a set of 11mm to Picatinny scope ring base adaptors. Normally I would have said these are the UTG set, but I was informed that AirForce now retails these for $15.95 a set and every MicroHunter comes with a set. You may remember in the report on the Lucid Optics P8 prismatic scope I had to use adaptors to fit the P8 base to the MicroHunter 11mm rail.

MicroHunter box stuff
Among the stuff you get with the MicroHunter comes a set of O-rings and two Picatinny to 11mm dovetail adaptors.

Fill

I filled the MicroHunter to 3,000 psi which is very close to 207 bar, so that number works. That makes the MicroHunter friendly for high-pressure hand pumps.

Load the magazine

The rotary magazine of the .22 caliber rifle I’m testing holds 12 pellets. But I only loaded ten of each type tested. I found the first pellet needed a slight push to drop in and after that all the pellets dropped in readily.

My magazine inserts from the left side, which is easier for a right-handed person to do. But if you have a sidewheel on your scope, a right-handed mag is also available.

Falcon

The first pellet tested was the Air Arms Falcon dome. This one weighs a nominal 13.43 grains. Ten pellets averaged 821 f.p.s. The low was 817 f.p.s. The high was 824 f.p.s. for a total spread of 7 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 20.11 foot pounds at the muzzle.

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Discharge sound

At 106.7 dB the MicroHunter is not quiet! But it does have threads for aftermarket silencers.

MicroHunter discharge

Quality

I have to comment on the quality of this PCP’s build. Everything feels right and well thought out. The rifle’s sidelever cocks butter-smooth and the rotary magazine slides right into place. Also the magazine indexes each pellet correctly, which doesn’t always happen with rotarys these days. Of course, at the retail price the MicroHunter commands, we expect it to be flawless. And, can that be the last time we mention price? This is an airgun like any other and we are not looking at it to save money. We want to know how it operates and also how well it operates.

Air Arms 16-grain dome

The Air Arms 16-grain dome was next to be tested. It averaged 773 f.p.s. for 10 shots, with a low of 767 and a high of 777. That’s a 10 f.p.s. spread. At that speed this pellet develops 21.23 foot pounds, on average.

JTS Dead Center

JTS Dead Center pellets weigh 18.1 grains and averaged 732 f.p.s.The low was 729 f.p.s. and the high was 735 f.p.s. That’s a spread of just 6 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet develops 21.54 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

This pellet loaded hard in the breech. And speaking of the breech, take a look at the bolt probe.

MicroHunter bolt probe
The bolt probe is hollow and rounded at the tip to guide the pellet from the magazine into the breech without distorting or tilting it.

H&N slug

The last pellet I tested was the 0.218-inch 23-grain Slug from H&N. These may not be that accurate, given their low velocity, but we shall see. I will show you and average for 10 pellets, but I want to show you the first string I shot.

Shot……….Vel.
1…………….640
2…………….642
3…………….642
4…………….636 — off the reg. at 145 bar
5…………….634
6…………….637
7…………….633
8…………….did not register
9…………….628
10…………..631

Shot count

The MicroHunter is regulated, so when I saw the velocity drop into the 630s I knew the rifle had “fallen off” the reg. I continued the string to show what happened after that. The velocity didn’t drop that fast, and I wanted to know that. And I know that from full at 207 bar down to 150 bar, the MicroHunter has the air that’s needed. So no need to count shots, Yogi.

I had shot one extra pellet in the first string, so before the Slugs there were 31 shots on the fill. Since the rotary magazine holds 12 pellets I would say there are three complete mags per fill.

Second string

You wanted to know the velocity of the H&N Slug so I filled the rifle again and shot another string. Here are the results.

Shot……….Vel.
1…………….646
2…………….647
3…………….643
4…………….648
5…………….642
6…………….645
7…………….651
8…………….650
9…………….645
10…………..645

The average for this string is 646 f.p.s. the extreme spread runs from 642 up to 651 — a difference of 9 f.p.s. At the average velocity the Slug generated 21.32 foot-pounds.

As it is adjusted right now this MicroHunter puts out something in the 21 foot-pound range. I do plan on adjusting the power, but not before we look at the accuracy. Velocity without accuracy is meaningless. Accuracy is first, then comes power. The same holds for the air stripper that I haven’t yet told you about.

BarkStripper air stripper

In addition to what I have told you about the MicroHunter it also has an adjustable air stripper they cal the BarkStripper. It allows the shooter to control the amount of turbulent air that gets behind each pellet, and it is pellet-specific, so I will have to report on it in the accuracy test(s). How much of a difference it makes is yet to be seen, so my plan is to test some pellets I know will be accurate (Martin Rutterford told me) and take the best of those to make adjustments. Obviously with adjustable power plus the BarkStripper I could work on this rifle until retirement and never finish. I just hope I can come close in the time I have.

Accuracy?

Ton Jones shared the video of a shot he made offhand at a 2-inch explosive target 200 yards away. I think it took him three shots to make it go boom. That beats Kirsten Joy Weiss, though she shot the egg at 300 yards and I would MUCH rather watch her shoot than Ton!

Trigger pull

DO NOT ask me to adjust this trigger! Just take my word that it is perfect.  It is definitely two stage and on the rifle I am testing it breaks crisply at 6 ounces. I have a feeling it is one of the reasons behind the extreme accuracy. Of course we don’t yet know what that is, but here’s hoping.

Summary

So far so good. The test rifle functions flawlessly, feels great, has a wonderful trigger, is very adjustable and gets lots (36) of shots per 3000 psi fill. 

We start accuracy testing next and that will; also test the P8 reflex scope. I can’t wait!

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.

31 thoughts on “RAW MicroHunter PCP air rifle: Part Two”

  1. B.B.

    Truer words were never spoken, “Obviously with adjustable power plus the BarkStripper I could work on this rifle until retirement and never finish.”
    When the serious PCP guys start talking at the range, my head starts to spin…..
    My math skills end at the third integral. KISS

    -Yogi

      • OP,

        Do not tell me sproinger folks do not go through various gyrations in the pursuit of accuracy. I have adjustable air strippers, vibration buffers, etcetera here at RRHFWA. Yeah, some of the PCPers dream of competing against those folks that have devoted their lives to shooting PCPs.

        The reality is, if you want long range accuracy, you are going to have to go PCP.

          • OP,

            A little advice on going to the Dark Side. Do not be “sucked in” by all of the high pressures, high shot counts, etcetera. AirForce, TCFKAC, Hatsan, etcetera, are companies that have shown the world you do not need to have air pressures at well over 3000 PSI, which is easily achievable by today’s hand pumps. I myself did not get a compressor and CF tank until I went for big bore. The only reason I did then is big bore uses a LOT of air to get those huge projectiles up to useful “velocities”.

            Short barrels need a lot of air to get their projectiles up to useful “velocities” also. If this MicroHunter had a twelve-inch barrel, it could almost double the shot count or greatly increase the “power” or both. If you dig back into this blog, you will find where BB did a good bit of experimentation with an AirForce Edge and Talon SS to illustrate such. The whole idea of the bullpup is to give longer barrels to increase power and efficiency.

    • Yogi,

      For most people PCPs shoot perfectly fine with the “good for most pellets” factory tune right out of the box. You go through the search for the golden pellet the same as you do for springers.

      But for those who want the best performance, PCPs can be (harmonically) tuned to a specific pellet. Sub-MOA groups are typical. A well tuned PCP will rival a 10M match rifle at that range, stack (literally) pellets at 25 yards and shoot dime-sized groups at 50 yards.

      I enjoy tuning, it’s like a game of “what if” you can play with every pellet brand/weight you own to see how good you can get it to shoot in that particular airgun… just because you can. No math required, just an understanding of how to approach balancing regulator pressure to hammer strike and finding what the gun likes best. There’s hours of entertainment if you chose to go there.

      The flip side to tuning for fun is that (for most of my PCPs) I fine tune the airgun to the pellet of choice and never change it.

      If I’m uncomfortable with something/anything I tend to challenge it, confront it and work until I understand the subject and get at least some level of comfort. Might I suggest that you look into a “project PCP” to play around with, you can always sell it once you’re done.

      I’m sure that the guys at the range would be happy to help with your education if you asked. If you explained that you were curious but didn’t want to invest in tanks and such at this time they might even fill your PCP. I know that I would help a potential convert to the dark side 😉

      I enjoy all my airguns and accept that they have different capabilities.

      Happy Friday!
      Hank

      • Hank

        Amen!

        The joy of unpacking (almost) the infinite number of variables affecting accuracy for any airgun is why I shoot. This includes steel springers, gas springers, CO2, single stroke pneumatics, multi pump pneumatics and PCP pneumatics. My inventory goes from discount store grade to vintage world class competition grade. After carefully playing with each and every one I get to wipe them down with Ballistol or silicon which is another joy.

        The popular priced Air Venturi Avenger in .25 caliber delivers the accuracy you mention above. With both adjustable regulator and hammer spring I’m getting 35 fpe at low settings for both regulator and hammer spring tension. Wasted air is at a minimum so lots shots per fill.

        Deck

      • Hank,

        The serious guys at my range shoot sub one inch at 300 yards! They participate, and often bring home prize money at RMAC. I know all about PCP’s abilities. Still a little disappointed that B.B. does not do a deep dive into 100 yard++ shooting. FWIW-the darkside is not for me. I just like to see how dim it really is….

        -Y

        • *** FWIW-the darkside is not for me ***

          I respect that Yogi… but I’ll still tease you any chance I can 😉

          About the 100++ yard stuff, I’m just starting to explore that discipline. While anyone can put a target out at 100++ and blaze away it’s not something for the casual shooter. My interests are in how far away I can consistently (10 for 10) hit a 1 inch spinner. Like always, I’ll start “close” and work my way out as skill allows. Expect that it will be a while before I can break 100 yards.

          As you’ve seen from the guys at your range, long distance shooting is a real challenge, requiring specialized equipment and a lot of time/dedication.

          Don’t know if BB is up for that, you should ask him directly.

          Maybe there’s a reader that would be interested in doing a guest blog on long distance shooting, what’s required and how to get into it.

          Hank

          • Vana2,

            Not a blog about: ”…on long distance shooting, what’s required and how to get into it.” PA has this:
            /best-long-range-air-rifles
            for the readers interested in at least what air rifle(s) it takes. That LINKED page certainly should be updated every few months IF PA wants to stay in the game but it hasn’t been!
            There is a LINK buried in the above by someone we all know: /blog/2005/12/long-range-shooting-with-airguns/
            Certainly could use an update but it does explain long range requirements quite well even IF the airguns have for long range competition have come a long way since Tom wrote it.
            The basics have changed only a little the interest seems to have seen substantial growth over the FOUR (4) replies B.B. got for his efforts.

            shootski

            • Thanks for the links shootski, an interesting read!

              As you mentioned, things have changed a lot over recent years and revisiting the subject of long range shooting would be a good idea.

              From interviews of long ranger shooting competitors it seems that most set up their airguns for 850 to 890 fps when shooting pellets.

              I also noted (with interest) that the 25 grain JSB Monster Redesigns seem to have a wide stable velocity range, shooting well at anywhere from the mid 800s to mid 900s depending on the barrel and tune.

              Think that tuning for efficiency (minimal wasted air and turbulence) has a more important roll in stability/accuracy than most people realize. You can hear when you get the tune right and see it in the group size.

              Fun stuff!

              Hank

              • Hank,

                Working your way out beyond 100 is certainly a way to do it. I would just add this: Don’t be to SLOW in pushing the distance higher at a good clip. You can always dial it back a little if you have a number of sessions that are not up to snuff. I find that most of us are either TOO timid or flat out Delusional in our Goal Setting. Neither approach is good!
                I remember my first tries at 700 yards with my DAQ LA .458 were totally delusional. Then i got my scope bases +40 MOA and scope sorted and actually started hitting a 4’×4′ target rather than just make dirt splashes all over the place.
                RAW has an interesting pair of LINKED articles by Terry Doe, Editor of Airgun World airgunshooting.co.uk
                https://www.rapidairworx.com/category-s/146.htm

                But got to keep moving; if i don’t the HIIT workout i just finished this morning will seize my muscles up. Have a 24+ Nautical Mile paddle scheduled for tomorrow morning at first light that will keep me moving for some Active Recovery.
                If I get kayak preps and loading done i may get to shoot a few rounds before dark.

                push yourself to 100! Have FUN stretching your skills.

                shootski

  2. BB,

    I am glad that John still keeps Martin in the loop with these things. I may have to sell off some of these old gals around here and get another of Martin’s creations.

    • RR,

      John can’t get rid of Martin! He always want to know what’s happening and even though all manufacture is now transferred to AirForce, Martin wants to be in on everything. He met me when I picked up the MicroHunter and we discussed ammo for it.

      BB

      • ROTFWL! These are Martin’s babies! Of course, he wants to be in on it! He still builds them, you know?

        Not only is the hammer spring adjustable, but you can adjust the regulator also. At least you could on the HM1000X, which this is not.

        Part of me still wishes I had my HM1000X, but the stock .357 was not powerful enough to hunt with. Golly gee whiz was it accurate though.

        P.S. Martin still makes his HM1000X models.

    • RR, is this where I am supposed to shamelessly say that the gals at RRHFWA may find some new friends here at RGIFAA (Roamin’ Greco’s Institute For Airgun Appreciation)? I learn from the best!

  3. BB,

    I got a pain in my chest when I saw your wording include retirement. What would we all do every morning. You just can’t. Hopefully that day is far off.

    Speakski

    • Speakski,

      I am one of those who are fortunate enough to “work” from home these days. Retire?! Are you kidding me?! Seriously?! This is the best thing since sliced bread.

      BB may retire one of these days, but I do not think you will need to worry about the near future.

    • RR,

      I looked through the barrel yesterday. It has lands and grooves.

      As for a choke, I don’t know, but I’ll try to find out. I kind of doubt it because these days chokes are rare. They are for uniforming pellets just before they go ballistic and I think the premium ammo people shoot in these doesn’t need it.

      BB

  4. PCP READERSHIP,

    STOP THAT!

    We must not let THEM find out how much FUN the Dark Side Can have.
    Let the folks who want to prove everything with MATHAMATICS have their way; in the end if THEY cannot read the WIND all the formulas they spout mean next to nothing.
    Practical shooting skills are where the projectile meets the POA.

    Shhhhhhh!
    HUSH NOW.

    shootski

  5. B.B., Yogi, Ohio Plinker, and Readership,

    Yogi wrote: ”When the serious PCP guys start talking at the range, my head starts to spin…..
    My math skills end at the third integral. KISS”
    OhioPlinker wrote: “Yeah, I read some of the stuff PCPers go through, and I decide to stay with pumper and springers.”

    LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL,LOL! Read this LINKED article: https://airgunshooting.co.uk/article/the-most-important-element-affecting-springer-accuracy
    Kein MATHEMATIK (No MATHEMATICS) LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL!

    shootski

    • Shootski

      Useful read for us all. How do you do all you do in your short time (even 100 years) on planet earth?

      Best reminder for me:
      “ In practice, most of us both support and grip the rifle to varying degrees, and the slightest change in support/restraint can vary the recoil displacement by a small amount, and what makes that a problem is not the change in recoil itself, but the fact that the rifle is pointing in a slightly different direction when the pellet exits the muzzle, which means that the pellet point of impact (POI) shifts – we miss.”

      Gunfun 1 and Yogi are likely well aware of the above. The first due to comments he has made about detailed right thumb placement, etc. RR because he shoots along side some serious long range dark siders but doesn’t get humiliated.

      Deck

      • Yogi & RR

        There is a typo error in my comment above. Somehow RR was typed instead of Yogi. This correction does not imply that either of you don’t hold your own in shooting expertise. You both count as long time mentors for me in airgun matters.

        Deck

  6. Decksniper,

    I read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse in German when i was a young boy and learned:
    We Can Learn Something From Every Moment
    …experience is the only teacher that matters.
    Later i learned from a Japanese friend in college:
    ichigo ichie
    And as a Naval Aviator the life in the moment was truly learned to the bone.
    Every moment matters once it is gone it is gone forever.

    Tom Cruise in Top Gun used the line: I feel the NEED for SPEED!
    Trite compared to how it really IS felt as it happens.

    May God grant me more moments to live!

    Charism

    shootski

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