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Air Guns RAW MicroHunter PCP air rifle: Part Six

RAW MicroHunter PCP air rifle: Part Six

MicroHunter
RAW Micro Hunter.

This report includes:

  • Clean the bore
  • Mount the Lucid
  • JTS Dead Center
  • Filled the rifle
  • H&N Baracuda 18
  • 0.218-inch H&N 23-grain slug
  • Now, for the reason
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we shoot the RAW MicroHunter for accuracy with the Lucid P8 prismatic scope mounted. That was already done in Part 4. I got some good groups but the JSB pellets lead me astray and it was many days before I got back on track.

Clean the bore

I was told by AirForce that the MicroHunter bore gets dirty pretty fast. Then, at a fun shoot two weeks ago, I saw three MicroHunters shooting accurately after many hundreds of pellets had been shot through each one. Reader Ian McKee will tell you all about that tomorrow, but after many hundreds of pellets went through it I saw one MicroHunter hit a pellet at 15 yards. That’s right — a pellet that was shot hit A PELLET that was standing on a post without touching the post! It was a trick shot and many more trick shots were made that day, including one made by yours truly who split a pellet on the blade of a machete at 15 yards.

John McCaslin of AirForce told me that the MicroHunter has a regular rifled Lothar Walther barrel — not the polygonal barrel found in the RAW HM1000X. So, what I was told about frequent cleaning must apply to the full-sized RAW HM1000-X and not the MicroHunter.

However, I cleaned the barrel with JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound before the last accuracy test, so I did the same thing today. While cleaning I confirmed that the barrel is choked at the muzzle.

Mount the Lucid

Next I removed the scope that was on the rifle and mounted the Lucid P8. That took a while because with the Lucid the MicroHunter was shooting very high and right. I remounted the scope and adjusted the reticle several times before being satisfied things were right.

After that I sighted the rifle in at 12 feet. Then I backed up to 25 yards for the test. At that distance I had to refine the sight-in. In all I shot 24 pellets getting the scope mounted and sighted in. That left me with enough air to shoot the first 10-shot group before I had to fill the rifle.

JTS Dead Center

In the last tests .22-caliber 18.1-grain JTS Dead Center pellets were the most accurate. Today the first five went into a group that might have been a screamer. Then the second five pellets opened the group to 0.691-inches at 25 yards. This group is larger than I expected, but I have an explanation for it that I’ll save to the end of the report.

MicroHunter JTS
The MicroHunter put ten JTS pellets into 0.691-inches at 25 yards.

I know this group doesn’t look as small as groups shot with the same pellet before. Hold your horses, though, because I will explain why at the end of this report.

Filled the rifle

After the first group (plus the 24 shots to sight in the Lucid scope) the rifle was down to about 150 bar, so I filled it using the RovAir portable compressor. The 210cc reservoir went from 150 bar to 206 bar in two minutes five seconds.

Hunting Guide

H&N Baracuda 18

Next I shot ten H&N Baracuda 18 domes. They made a 0.545-inch group. It’s a lot closer to what the MicroHunter did previously with the same pellet.

MicroHunter Baracuda 18
The MicroHunter put ten H&N Baracuda 18s into 0.545-inches at 25 yards.

This is a good group. You can see that nine of the pellets are in a smaller group that measures 0.346-inches between centers. That fact has bearing on what I will say at the end of this report.

0.218-inch H&N 23-grain slug

The last pellet I tested today was the 0.218-inch H&N slug that weighs 23 grains. Ten of them went into 0.605-inches, but this time the first five shots were scattered and the last five made the smaller group. Of course with the first five, they didn’t help matters.

MicroHunter H&N slug
Ten H&N 0.218-inch 23-grain slugs made this 0.605-inch group at 25 yards.

Now, for the reason

The reason I have said things are going very well in today’s test is because, as I said way back when we first looked at the Lucid P8 scope the first time, it is a hunting scope. The dot in the center of the reticle is too big for precision aiming. But it is perfect for drawing down on something you want to hit. It is an ideal hunting scope but not as good for shooting tight groups. That being said, the MicroHunter is a hunting airgun, so the P8 is paired with the rifle perfectly. But the MicroHunter is extremely accurate and the P8 just isn’t the best to shoot small groups.

As for cleaning after shooting, I want to skip that for the next accuracy test, which will be shot with the UTG Accushot Pro scope. But maybe I should do it anyway, just to keep all the tests consistent? I expect to see slightly smaller groups next time because the Accushot Pro scope has a fine etched reticle that is capable of precision aiming.

Discussion

What have we learned today? For starters we have learned that the barrel on the MicroHunter is rifled in the conventional way and should not need frequent cleaning like polygonal barrels do.

Another thing we have learned is that the Lucid P8 scope is a great hunting scope, but isn’t the scope to use for shooting groups. The reticle is too bold for precise aiming.

The RovAir portable compressor is doing just fine. It’s quiet and quick. I’ll keep using it for most of my testing.

What I haven’t been able to convey very well is just how nice the RAW MicroHunter feels when you shoot it. Everyone, and I do mean everyone who has shot it has said the same thing. It’s not a great benchrest air rifle, but when you pick it up it feels right.

Summary

We have a number of tests in today’s report. The MicroHunter is the main one, of course, but the P8 scope and the RovAir compressor are also being tested. Now that I’ve learned that the MicroHunter’s barrel doesn’t need to be cleaned as often as I was told, this test should progress smoothly.

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.

48 thoughts on “RAW MicroHunter PCP air rifle: Part Six”

  1. B.B.,

    RovAir Portable Compressor…you need to get rid of the N and then ROLL ze Rs.

    Notice even with the smallish air cylinder to fill it still interrupted shooting for 2 minutes and 5 whole seconds!
    Just intolerable…joking of course; but TIME is money and tethered with or without an in line regulator you could have gotten at least 10 more rounds down range.

    It will be interesting to see if you prove your accuracy increase hypothesis with the finer reticle.

    shootski

    • Remember too that Tom also SPLIT a pellet from the edge of a machete at 15 yards. Now that’s a trick shot worthy of mention!
      On a more serious thought: can you explain to me what advantage a polygonal barrel has over a regular rifled barrel? Or is there any benefit to having one for we paper punchers or bench rest shooters? Orv.

        • BB and Orv,
          I am not sure about the benefits of polygonal rifling over traditional rifling. I only know that my .177 RAWs have traditional rifling, are choked and shoot pellets, while my .22 and .25 RAWs have polygonal rifling, are NOT choked, and shoot pellets or slugs. I also know by practical experience that my polygonal barrels lead up quickly (my picky self sees group size growth after a couple of hundred shots) and require cleaning often. Looking at the rifling designs, traditional rifling has lands and valleys. The projectile only touches the tiny lands and NOT the valleys. Polygonal rifled barrels don’t have lands and valleys; the barrel cross-section is a polygon. The projectile will be in contact with more surface area of the barrel than traditional rifling. I believe that the greater contact area between the projectile and the barrel on a poly rifled barrel is the reason they lead up more quickly.

          • Cloud 9,

            This is what Wikipedia says about poylgonal barrels:

            Polygonal rifling – Wikipedia
            Less bullet deformation, resulting in less frictional resistance when the bullet travels through the barrel, which helps to increase muzzle velocity. The lack of sharp surface deformation on the bullet (rifling marks) also reduces drag in flight.

            Less friction should =less cleaning of barrel?

            -Y

  2. B.B.

    There is a guy at my range who splits the end of playing cards at 200 yards! 15 yards seems like a slam dunk!

    Why does a polygonal barrel need to be cleaned a lot?

    -Y

  3. I also am curious concerning the polygonal barrel versus the regular rifled barrel. I acquired an Armada at the NC Airgun Show and am considering a regulator and another barrel.

    P.S. You apparently did not catch shootski’s reference to your calling the RovAir compressor the NovAir compressor in your spiel. 😉

    • RidgeRunner,

      now you mention it, I too wonder about polygonal versus rifled barrels.

      ———
      Following are merely my speculations:
      In my mind, shooting a projectile through a rifled barrel resembles cutting a thread in lead.
      The ploygonal barrel is used with pre-shaped projectiles, ie no reshaping required during use.
      Therefore I imagine that upon exiting the barrel, the polygonal bullet has a more aerodynamic shape than the freshly cut, sharp ridged other.

      In other words, I would expect the polygonal bullet to undergo less friction, both in the barrel and in the air, travel with higher kinetic energy and altogether with less interference to target, thus be more precise than a rifled projectile.

      The devil, however, will be, as ever, in the detail.
      For example, the rifled projectile, by the time it’s about to leave the barrel is the perfect fit, right down to matching microscopically small contours, while that kind of perfection has to be achieved beforehand with a polygonal projectile. So, maybe the advantages don’t outweigh the challenges and costs of manufacture?
      I can imagine that a profit driven industry, such as arms manufacture, will cater to numbers where the bottom line weighs heavily in decision making.

        • Yogi,

          remember I was merely speculating. 🙂
          That disclaimer says I am unlikely to have guessed correctly. Also, I hoped it would get others to offer their thoughts.

          Therefore, maybe the need for more frequent cleaning lies completely elsewhere.

          ———
          The following is pretty much all I have so far learned and it does not even come from the world of airguns:

          I remember reading that the Whitworth rifle, a black powder, muzzle loading, long arm, had specially cast bullets to fit it’s polygonal barrel that look like twisted slab sided slugs. It was considered highly precise and yet, was rejected for regular military use, in part due to the more frequent need for cleaning. Conventionally rifled barrels allow more shots between cleaning.

          Something to do with there being no grooves for the black powder fouling to be squashed into and bypassed when muzzleloading/ pushing the tight fitting bullet down the barrel onto the propellant.

          For sharp shooting, ie for best accuracy, the Whitworth barrel wants to be swabbed clean of any and all black powder fouling after every single shot.

          Also, I remember reading that the Whitworth rifle slugs want to be lubricated.

          ———
          I do not know what exactly is actually shot out of polygonal airgun barrels.

          Maybe one need not have special ammunition and can just shoot regular waisted airgun pellets or maybe, depending on a suitably high-, stabilising twist rate, specially shaped to fit the barrel slugs perform best?

          I look forward to reading a comment from someone who has actual knowledge, or at least different ideas… 🙂

          • 3hi,

            The round projectile is squeezed to fit the polygonal and traditional rifled barrel. Supposedly there is less force required to assume the polygonal shape versus the cutting of the rifling into the projectile. I also have been led to understand that there is less air friction the projectile must deal with once leaving the barrel.

            Does the barrel need to be cleaned more often? Since I have no experience with such, I must defer to those who do.

            I strongly suspect that the primary reason for the reintroduction of the polygonal barrel is the ease of manufacture versus the traditional rifled barrel. I am curious as to whether there is a round, tapered lead-in to these polygonal barrels. I am not sure how Lothar-Walther manufactures such, but it is my understanding that FX presses in the “rifling” from the outside of the “barrel liner”.

  4. Tom,

    This is the first time in years I believe you have made reference to a choked barrel. Previously the choking was attributed to the placement of the front sight. This rifle doesn’t have a front sight therefore they deliberately installed a choked barrel. Hopefully the accuracy when you use the UTG Accushot Pro will show whether this feature contributes to accuracy.

    So this is the PCP equivalent of the Diana 27?

    Siraniko

  5. From the description in PA’s web page for the RAW Microhunter:

    “This air rifle features a BarkStripper adjustable air stripper that yields an incredible degree of control over the amount of air turbulence that affects a shot.“

    Have you considered what adjusting the BarkStripper might do for the accuracy? Would it be different adjustments for different types of ammo?

    I’m just curious. Also can you describe what you think makes the gun feel good when using it? I know it is small, lightweight, adjustable, and has a nice grip.

  6. If you don’t mind, I will chime in with my two cents on the feel of the Micro Hunter.

    The stock is adjustable for length of pull, and can be changed to a style you like personally.

    The pistol grip is also interchangeable, the rifles they had at the fun shoot each had different grips and stocks, so you got to experience the different styles and feel, while still shooting the same platform.

    One had a rubberized larger pistol grip, another had a slimmer hard plastic grip with a small thumb swell (that one felt right to me).

    One had a butstock that was along the lines of a standard AR pattern stock, another had a cheek riser.

    One had a Lucid P8, optic, while others had different optics, like an LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic) with a 1-6 or 8 power magnification. Others had more traditional Airgun optics we are used to.

    In doing this, to me, one gun seemed to feel better suited for shooting from a bench or a rest, while another just melded with your hand and was ready for a long walk in the woods.

    Another felt very utilitarian, it’s hard to describe, but when you picked it up, it felt like it was time to get down to business..

    Being all Micro Hunters the ergonomics of the rifles never changed, but the way your body interfaced with them did.

    Ian.

  7. Shootski,
    I often take more than 2 minutes between shots. I like to savor the outdoors, the gun, just the whole thing. But, for me, shooting is about relaxing and enjoying myself. I don’t shoot for a living like BB does. I am sure there are times when he needs to get it done quickly, before it gets too hot, too windy, or too late to finish a blog.

    We used to have a lot of fun shoots around here. But, we no longer have a place to do it. I miss those shooting days with a bunch of friends. If someone in the DFW area has a place, I can provide enough fun targets to fill up a field.

    David Enoch

  8. Breaking NEWS!

    Guest appearances by two of our regulars!

    “When thedavemyster shoots his Ravin 500E it is always quite an occasion.”

    and

    “When 45Bravo brings out his assortment of archery targets, especially his Real Wild 3D Boar it gives occasion to a gathering of like minded sportsmen called archers.”

    You guys need to collect your Appearance Royalties!

    shootski

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