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When things just don’t work out

MicroHunter
RAW MicroHunter

Part 1
P8 Prismatic optic P8-Part 1
Part 2
P8 Prismatic optic P8-Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Scoping the RAW MicroHunter was different

This report covers:

  • Test the Bug Buster Accushot Pro
  • Different scope
  • Unsupported barrel
  • What to do?
  • Summary

This is a strange report that I didn’t see coming. I’m going to let you peek behind the curtain today and show you things from my side. This report may be more helpful than some of the tests I write up.

Test the Bug Buster Accushot Pro

Remember all the things I told you Monday about mounting the new Bug Buster Accushot Pro on the RAW MicroHunter? All that you read was exactly as it happened, but there is more to the story — things I didn’t realize at the time. All of the shooting you are about to read about today was done with the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellet.

I spent all yesterday working on mounting and zeroing the new Bug Buster scope. No matter what I did I couldn’t make it work. That’s why I ran Part 4 of the Webley Mark II. It was late in the day and I needed something to publish.

 But I finally got the Bug Buster mounted and shooting where I aimed. I then shot several groups and the best I could get for 10 shots was 0.798-inches at 25 yards. At the end of the day I gave up trying to shoot decent groups and figured the Bug Buster was somehow faulty.

MicroHunter BB group
When the new Bug Buster was mounted, the best ten-shot 25-yard group the MicroHunter made with JSB Jumbo Heavys was 0.798-inches at 25 yards.

When the Lucid scope had been mounted previously, ten of the same Jumbo Heavy pellets went into a 0.741-inch group at the same 25 yards. I didn’t think that was right and I even said so in Part 4. “I sighted in with JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellet, so I shot the first group with them as well. Ten pellets made a 0.741-inch group at 25 yards. I think this pellet should be more accurate in the MicroHunter at this distance … .”

But, as large as that Lucid P8 group was, it was still better than the best group shot with this new Bug Buster scope! I know this is a preproduction prototype but I expected something much better than this. And I thought I knew what to do. I needed a scope whose history I knew.

Different scope

Early this morning I mounted a UTG 4-16X44 Mini SWAT scope that’s no longer current but is very similar to this one. This is the scope I used on the JTS Airacuuda Max .25 caliber and I got a 0.29-inch ten-shot group with that one at 25 yards. So I know this scope can deliver the goods. 

I sighted this scope in and shot one 10-shot group. That one measures 0.824-inches between centers for 10 shots at 25 yards. That ain’t right! This is a RAW that should put 10 pellets into around 0.25 to 0.3-inches or better at 25 yards.

MicroHunter trusted scope
With the trusted scope mounted the MicroHunter put ten into 0.824-inches at 25 yards.

Unsupported barrel

Okay, it isn’t the scope. Now, what do we do when the muzzle of the rifle isn’t sticking out in the air but is buried inside a shroud or something? We look inside for streaks of lead, to see if anything is touching the pellet after it exits the barrel but not the rifle. So I looked inside, but nothing was visible. So I removed the muzzle cap and the air stripper.

MicroHunter end cap and air stripper
The MicroHunter muzzle cap on the left and the air stripper on the right. Neither piece has a trace of lead. But with the air stripper and muzzle cap out of the rifle the muzzle of the barrel is unsupported at the muzzle end.

Hey airgunners, have you noticed anything? There is a pattern in the groups I have presented here. Actually there are two patterns. One is physical. The two groups I have shown you today are linear rather than round. But there is an even more dramatic pattern in the size of the groups. With the Lucid P8 — the first accuracy test — the group was the smallest. With the Bug Buster Accusport Pro the group was larger and with the UTG 4-16X44 Mini SWAT scope, which was the last test group, the group was largest of all. In other words, the size of the groups is increasing on every test. What could it be?

It could be a dirty bore. But I think it’s something else. When the end cap and air stripper were off I shot another group of 10 of the same pellets. This group measured 2.094-inches between centers. That suggests to me that the barrel is loose in the frame.

MicroHunter loose barrel group
The last group I shot looks to me like the barrel is loose.

What to do?

I took the rifle to AirForce to let them look at it. When it’s fixed I feel I need to test the rifle again with the Lucid P8 and the new Bug Buster. I don’t have a problem with that because it gives me more time on the MicroHunter.

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

Summary

Today you got to look into my world where things don’t always go as planned. In a situation like this you can either curse the darkness or light one little candle. It’s situations like this that make us stronger and more knowledgeable airgunners.

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.

52 thoughts on “When things just don’t work out”

    • OP,

      Humans make mistakes. When you have a mass production, sometimes something does not get tightened as it should. Three screws? That is a bit of a stretch, but I have seen worse. It must have been assembled on either a Monday or a Friday.

  1. B.B.,

    Tom wrote: “That suggests to me that the barrel is loose in the frame.” What is frame? The barrel is (should be) Free Floated without the end cap and air striper.
    Questions
    The barrel is held in the receiver by set screws (grub screws) or is it threaded and screwed into the receiver? If set screws how many? Linear or radial?

    Interesting!

    shootski

  2. BB and tomek,

    You are both so right! We each walk a different path. Sometimes along that path we have similar experiences and others are willing to share their solutions. It is reassuring to be reminded at times that we are not out here alone.

    BB,

    You are located close to AirForce and have an envious relationship with the people there. Other people do not have that fortune. We would just tighten the screws some and see if that helped. If not, we would then send it back to AirForce or whomever they purchased it from. Some would include a rather nasty communication, the jist of which would inform AirForce or whomever to just keep it and refund the money.

    Now, back to this particular issue. I and others believe that by tightening the screws, this air rifle will settle down into the accurate little hunter it should be. If not, it will be most interesting to see what the problem and solution will be.

  3. BB,
    Why wouldn’t you have tightened the screws yourself? Are they not accessible? Is it difficult to disassemble this gun?
    After each shot, did the scope remain on the bull, or did it end up on a line parallel to the shot pattern? If the former, there seems to be a disconnect between barrel and scope, e.g., receiver screws. If the latter, perhaps the receiver is not properly connected to the chassis.

    • R Scott,

      Great question!

      I took it to AirForce because:

      1. I don’t know the torque specs of those screws.
      2. I don’t currently own a torque wrench calibrated for inch-pounds — though I’m looking at them.
      3. I don’t know if those three visible screws are the only ones that need to be tightened.
      4. I don’t know the standoff (distance from the back of the receiver) the rear of the barrel has to be, and
      5. I wanted AirForce to see this problem and learn what they need to do to correct it.

      The scope remained on target after the shot. This rifle has no recoil.

      BB

  4. BB,
    This report is continuing to be interesting, on several fronts. It appears to be a really high-quality unit that comes with its own carrying case. You may have mentioned that you thought that it was good looking. Mounting a scope might cause some head scratching. Aaaand, the barrel might be loose.
    How many new owners would wonder what they were doing wrong, instead of deciding that it was the rifle that had a problem?
    I have to admit that many of the problems that I encounter are due to “operator error” but might eventually have figured out that it wasn’t me.
    Thank you for pointing out that even the high end products can be less than perfect.
    Bill

  5. So something is moving around when the rifle is fired. If a breakbarrel, I would be looking first at the stock screws. From there, is the scope mounting tight (rings on the scope, mount to the rifle rail), is there stiction in the scope (I know you eliminated any scope problems by changing and remounting scopes but how about the mounting rail on the action?), and since this is an interchangeable barrel like most of AirForces’ products, are the mounting screws tight. But what about that magazine? Any possibility of firing single pellets fed by hand into the breech? Very interesting to see what AirForce reports.

    Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now happily in GA

    • Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ,

      You have the trouble shooting sequence for Spring Piston guns down COLD.
      After decades of pneumatics, to include MAGNUM Big Bore PCPs i’ll share my experience based trouble shooting progression.

      Given no obvious reason like a bump or drop i do these field checks in the following order:

      1. Check main barrel attachment point to airgun. On my Quackenbush (DAQ) airguns which have threaded barrels and receivers I have WITNESS MARKS to clearly show any rotation.
      If set/grub screw installation check for proper barrel position and fastener tightness to correct torque value.

      2. Check Sighting System for loosening at attachment
      points as well as adjustment knobs. If torque fitting
      check value(s) and correct

      3. Silencer equiped then check for rotation if threaded.
      a. Check for clipping.

      4. Barrel Band equiped check for misalignment.

      5. Check Receiver attachment to
      grip frame/chassis/stock/fore end.

      Anything more usually results in the end of a range/shooting session/hunt with that gun. I typically take at least two guns to the range and on a hunt
      (one at camp) to avoid the disappointment of having one go down with no backup.

      The additional checks are better performed at home or in camp to avoid the/any frustration getting in the way of clear trouble shooting thought process.

      Just my way of doing it with pneumatics.

      shootski

  6. B.B. and Readership,

    This blog today is interesting at many levels but just yesterday i shared a Link that says it all:

    At CW Marsh, we’ve learned a few things about success in the last hundred years: You’ve got to make a better part, you’ve got to offer the most responsive customer service and on-time delivery, and you can never forget that the customer on the other end—whether it’s the other end of a telegraph, the telephone, or over the web—that customer is a person who’s depending on you to get it right, this time, next time, and every time. That’s our promise.

    Hopefully AirForce will come through on the RAW.

    shootski

    • Shootski and, hopefully, AirForce
      Your field checks along with your summary above is the epitome of today’s blog. Something that expensive, relatively speaking of course, deserves that approach.
      We must also thank and respect Tom for publishing today’s blog despite his relationship with AF.
      Yogi I am with you all the way about the K.I.S.S. rule, especially when it comes to guns, but a good seller’s attitude deserves some credit.

  7. I don’t have the micro hunter but do have the Hm1000x chassis gun ,at 55ftlb in .22 it can do .971 at 100 yard with my hollow point boat tail slugs .
    Can’t really fault Airforce RAW

  8. Thanks BB for showing us a bit of what happens behind the curtain. I expect that the resolution of this issue will be very interesting for all: you, us readers, and particularly to AF.

    To be clear, I do not find fault with AF. No matter the cost and quality of a product sometimes a gremlin hides in the works. The difference is in the response of the company behind the product, and I expect that AF will act in accordance to their name.

    I like this micro hunter, it checks most of the right boxes. My only issue is with the grooves. I would suggest that they replace it with a picatinny rail. It shouldn’t add significantly to the cost or weight, and would provide a much more solid and repeatable mount, particularly for a hunter. My $0.02.

    Henry

  9. Hi BB,
    This may be a little off target and not sure if this is okay to ask but here goes…. I recently purchased a Beeman 250 from the RDB auction collection.
    This rifle is without a front sight and while I was conducting a google search looking to find a front sight, I came across your post of Part 1 Diana 45 from August 2022.
    In the post you mentioned the rifle you were writing about was also missing a front sight.
    In the following comments you received an message from a “mikeiniowa” who said for you to email him as he had ” two or three on hand”.
    I would be grateful if somehow you could get me in touch with Mike so I could ask if he has another one those front sights available.
    Respectfully,
    Tony

  10. BB,
    I have included a picture of the Beeman 250 from the RDB collection and included a question regarding this collectors item.
    Should I leave stock as it is, unfinished, or have the stock refinished, professionally as I am certainly not qualified.
    You input or thoughts would be appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Tony

    • Bondman01,

      My question — Is it a collector’s item? I wouldn’t be to me. But any Diana front sight should fit. You do know it’s a Diana 45? That stock seems to have been butchered. I’d say you have a nice shooter there.

      BB

      • BB,

        As a fan of Dr. Robert Beeman, I am also a fan of yours, I participated at the auction to own a piece of his legacy.
        The auction lot contained 2 rifles the Beeman 250 unfinished and a Beeman R8, and more than likely because of the unfinished rifle I was able to buy the lot at my offer.
        As pacoinohio one of your followers said “it is like a museum display” and I will keep it as is.

        Thank you again for your reply

        Tony – Bondman01

    • I saw that gun for sale, too. Glad it found a good home. Sometimes you can find a stock from folks that buy vintage guns then “chop shop” them and sell the individual parts. In the mean time, I don’t see any down side to trying your hand at some sandpaper and stain. You can find some videos of stock refinishing step by step. Also, don’t laugh, but Sig’s ASP20 had a wood stock painted black. Have you considered priming and painting the stock? You can get really creative, and then when a wood stock becomes available, replace it. BB just had a stock made for his HW30S. https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2023/09/what-a-difference-a-stock-makes-part-six/

      On the front sight, measure the front sight dovetail. You might find that not only a Diana front sight will fit, but other brands, too, like Anschütz, FWB, etc. You might call P.A. and then Umarex as well. Perhaps the TruGlo front sight will fit if you like fiber optical glowy thingies. There are folks that deal with airgun parts like JGAIRGUNS, and Chambers in the UK.

      Ironically, I am about to embark on a new mission, to become a source for orphaned Diana and Weihrarch front and rear sights. Because I am in the same boat as you with various guns in my growing collection. And I just know the sights are lurking in a lot of junk drawers somewhere. I was just trying yesterday to put a wanted ad on American Airguns classifieds. But I’ll keep my eye out for a front sight for you.

      • Roamin Greco.

        I appreciate your reply.
        I will keep the gun as is, as pacoinohio mentioned ” it is like a museum display” showing Dr. Beemans process from idea to “new model”.
        I measured the front dovetail and it is 8.2mm so I am on the look out for a front sight any help would be appreciated.
        I also purchased 2 FWB 300S from the RDB collection which need front and rear sights. One has the barrel slot on the top the other is on the bottom.

        Thank you
        Tony

    • Bondman01-

      I look at your rifle two ways-
      1) You own and are now the caretaker of a bit of airgun history. This was a ‘try stock’ during product development for Dr Beeman. They took a standard stock and added the forearm extension to cover the breechblock and used Bondo to sculpt the cheek piece and grip extension. As is, it is like a museum display allowing the viewer to see inside the ‘process’ from idea to the ‘new and improved’ model. Ideally, the display would include an example of the original model, this one and then one of the Beeman marketed ones. You have a ‘one of one’ airgun and that has value.

      2) It is your gun and if the looks bother you- sell it or cover it up. Paint allows all the creativity in the world. If it were me I’d contact a local autobody shop and talk to them about your project. They can direct you to who may be the artiste you need to bring your vision to life. You could end up with a piece of art.

      • pacoinohio

        Thank you for your very helpful and supportive reply.
        I love the Dr. Beeman story and wanted to own a piece of his legacy and as you have mentioned this rifle “it is like a museum display” and I should maintain the look to show the “process” from the “idea'” to the result.
        I will do exactly that keep the rifle as is and as soon as I have some extra dollars available, I will be in search for a Beeman 250 with an extended cheek piece.
        Again, thank you for the courteous and encouraging reply.

        Tony – Bondman01

        • Tony- Bondman01-

          I was hoping that would be your choice. We consumers usually see only the final results of the design process. This is a snapshot of the give and take that goes on between the maker and the one placing the order.

          In order to preserve the unfinished wood, I would recommend a coat of paste wax. I have used Briwax Clear for decades and have been very satisfied with the results.

  11. Just a thought on the issue. I noticed that “a little rock in the stock” cause me some accuracy issues in my p-rod. I had a RAI adapter on it for a collapsible AR style stock. As soon as there was any play in the adapter, accuracy issues ensued. I guess it acts like a springer with a loose stock, a little unpredictable.

  12. One thing I don’t think anyone mentioned is possible misalignment if the magazine to the bore creating larger than expected groups. Or maybe, a barrel not fully seated would leave a gap between the magazine and breech. Do you have a single shot tray? I have trouble thinking barrel harmonics would cause the problem. I also doubt that all 3 screws are loose in the breech.
    David Enoch

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