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Ammo โ€บ Weihrauch Barakuda 54EL ether-injected breakbarrel: Part Three

Weihrauch Barakuda 54EL ether-injected breakbarrel: Part Three

Barakuda 54 EL
Weihrauch Barakuda 54 EL.

Weihrauch Barakuda Model EL 54 guest blog
Repairing a Rekord trigger
Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • JSB Jumbo RS pellets
  • Five RS with the artillery hold
  • Five RS resting on the bag
  • The rest of the groups
  • Explanation
  • Next
  • Summary

Today we begin looking at the accuracy of the Weihrauch HW 54EL Barakuda air rifle. As smooth as it is shooting I expected to shoot some great groups.

The test

I shot from 10 meters from a rest, but used two different holds that I’ll describe as we go. I used the sights that came on the rifle. The front sight is a tapered post and the rear sight is a sporting sight that adjusts in both directions. I did wear my reading glasses to see the front sight clearly.

I thought I would shoot 10-shot groups but after the first one I decided to shoot five with the rifle resting on the sandbag and a second five with the same pellet using the artillery hold. I’ll tell you why in a bit.

Sight in

The first shot for the sight in went off before I was ready, so I adjusted the trigger pull much heavier. That left me with a stage two I could feel and a trigger pull I could work with.

JSB Jumbo RS pellets

I shot 10 JSB Jumbo RS pellets at the first target with the rifle resting directly on the bag. They gave a group that measures 1.381-inches between centers. Yuck! That wasn’t what I expected. I expected all of them to go into three-tenths of an inch. 

Barakuda RS 10
The Barakuda put 10 JSB RS pellets into a 1.381-inch group at 10 meters when shot off the bag. Not what I expected.

At this point I resolved to shoot five shots off the bag and another five of the same pellet using the artillery hold to see if one hold/rest was better. I started with this same JSB RS pellet after adjusting the rear sight up three clicks.

Five RS with the artillery hold

Next I shot five JSB RS pellets using the artillery hold. They made a group that measures 1.397-inches between centers. That’s larger than the group of ten shot off the bag. So the artillery hold isn’t right for this rifle. Let’s try the bag rest again.

Barakuda RS arty
Five shots with the JSB RS pellets using the artillery hold went into 1.397-inches at 10 meters.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Five RS resting on the bag

I shot five more pellets with the rifle rested directly on the sandbag. They gave me a group that measures 1.154-inches between centers. While that is better, it isn’t much better. And look at both groups — how vertical they are. That told me something. 

Barakuda RS 5 bag
Five JSB RS pellets are tighter when shot from the bag, but not that much. The group measures 1.154-inches between centers.

The rest of the groups

I’ll now show the rest of the groups with no comment, other than the photo caption. I will explain the reason for doing this after you see all the groups.

Barakuda Bar 5 arty
When held in the artillery hold the Barakuda put five Baracuda 15 pellets into 1.028-inches at 10 meters.

Barakuda Bar 5 bag
When rested on the bag the Barakuda put five Baracuda 15 pellets into 1.267-inches at 10 meters.

Barakuda JTS 5 arty
When held in the artillery hold the Barakuda put five JTS 18.1-grain domes into 0.91-inches at 10 meters.

BarakudaJTS bag
When rested on the bag the Barakuda put five JTS 18.1-grain domes into 1.002-inches at 10 meters.

Barakuda Falcon arty
When held in the artillery hold the Barakuda put five Air Arms Falcons into 0.818-inches at 10 meters.

Barakuda Falcon bag
When rested on the bag the Barakuda put five Air Arms Falcons into 1.002-inches at 10 meters.

Barakuda JSB Jumbo Heavy arty
When held in the artillery hold the Barakuda put five JSB Jumbo Exacts into 0.76-inches at 10 meters.

Explanation

Whew! That’s a lot of groups! Why did I stop? Because I saw what I think was happening. Sometimes the bag-rested group was smaller and other times it was the group shot with the artillery hold. The artillery hold seems to be slight better for this rifle but really I think how the rifle was held didn’t affect the outcome that much. I think it was me not seeing the sight picture very well. To continue would be a waste of time if I’m right.

It was the verticality of many of the groups that tipped me off to the sights being the problem. I obviously could not perfect a 6 o’clock hold with them.

And Yogi — hold your tongue! This HW35 (the basic rifle that became the 54EL) should not be inaccurate. And I’m not that bad a shot. This is one time when the sights got me — I think.

Next

The next step will be a disassembly of the powerplant to examine the condition of the parts. I want to get some Tune in a Tube grease on the mainspring to stop the slight buzzing. And anything else I see that’s wrong I will correct.

After that I think I’ll mount a scope on this rifle. Yes, a dot sight is easier and a peep sight at the rear with a different front sight element would be fine, but I want to know how absolutely accurate this rifle is, because today has frustrated me!

Summary

The HW 35 rifle that forms the basis of the HW 54EL is a winning air rifle. That (the HW 35) is what I am testing because I will not subject this fine mechanism to the abuse of chemical explosions. It may be a Barakuda 54EL, but while I own it, it’s an HW 35.

59 thoughts on “Weihrauch Barakuda 54EL ether-injected breakbarrel: Part Three”

  1. B.B. I’m glad I didn’t try to put ether into this gun when I had my mitts on it, since you will not be doing so, either. I had similar trouble with the front sight. I had switched it with a square post for testing. I didn’t have a peep that would fit on the dovetail and I was babying a broken trigger. Remarkably, I got some decent groups. Good luck with the scope, but watch that dovetail, I think it is wider (12.68mm) than today’s standard 11mm.

      • Hi everybody,

        shooting for ultimate accuracy with open sights is pretty hard, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

        Speaking of that, I *was* in fact able to improve my Diana 27. The piston seal holder was loose and I fixed that (I could write a short guest blog about that and some other stuff I did if you’re interested). The gun cocks more smoothly now and it doesn’t smoke anymore. I’m doubtful I will get much better groups with open sights, though.

        My HW35E likes the “rested on the shooting bag” hold, by the way. I got excellent results that way (on par with the HW30S). But then mine is a .177 with 7.5 joules and without the extra “hardware”. So things might be a bit different.

        Stephan

  2. Tom,

    Seems like you are hitting the limits of your Mk1 eyeball. Make sure to keep yourself properly hydrated. Have you settled whether it is better for you to shoot with your reading glasses or with your regular everyday pair of glasses?

    Siraniko

  3. BB,

    It has to be your inability to get a good sight picture, because I am quite certain that this air rifle should do much better. I had a similar problem with the Diana 34 with open sights. The bottom of the target would “disappear”. I have shot it with a scope mounted and rested directly on a bag, but I was not impressed. Next time the weather around here is more cooperative, I will give her a try using the artillery hold and see how she does.

    By the way, I have a seal kit on the way for the Crosman 150.

      • BB,

        I went to the ophthalmologist the other day and am now wearing my new glasses. I cannot wait to try them out with some of these sights hanging around here.

        I am looking forward to its arrival. I am going to enjoy getting that “old gal” back up and running. I do hope my reports will be up to snuff.

        • I used to shoot competition, and one day I found I needed glasses.

          I could not get my new glasses to work with the iron sights.

          It dawned on me that I was looking through the upper left corner of the lenses, instead of the optical centers in the middle of the lenses.

          I met with my optician, discussed the problem, and he had me bring in my rifle to measure my eye position.

          He had a second prescription made with the optical centers in the top left of the lenses.

          They worked great, but had to mark them as they were in identical frames as my regular glasses, and could only see clearly in the top left corner.

          Ian.

          • Ian,

            I noticed a while back that when looking through a scope while wearing my glasses that I would see a “ghost image” of the reticle unless I would use the top left of my lens. I have not tried it with my new glasses yet. My distance vision with my new glasses is now 20/15.

            By the way, being an old geezer, I use progressive bifocals.

              • I had always had pretty good distance vision but had noticed that everything distant had become soft and blurry in the past year. My ophthalmologist told me that my cataracts had actually improved my distance vision and my old glasses were making things fuzzy. Now, I can make out the individual trees on the next ridge over.

                I think I will keep these peepers for a while. ๐Ÿ˜‰

              • I’m sorry, Ian, I was just visualizing you wearing the wrong glasses and walking around a supermarket, for example, trying to focus on stuff out of the upper corner of your glasses. Folks would perhaps get the idea you had two lazy eyes. I’m sorry if I offended. I’m sorry to others with that condition as well. It was just something ridiculous that popped into my brain, and I didn’t catch myself before hitting Send.

    • RR

      Since no two barrels are the same it stands to reason no two Diana 34โ€™s are the same. Having gotten that out of the way my Diana 34 type 06 Classic is not very hold sensitive. By that I mean the POI on targets does not change much using different holds. If a clear scope with minimum parallax is mounted your best groups will be with the rifle balanced on a narrow saddle rest shooting 10.34 grain JSB or AA pellets.

      Iโ€™m trying to help your 34 get a permanent residency.

      Deck

  4. I have read so many different blogs by BB that I donโ€™t remember exactly which one it was. But some of the groups that he shot with good target (peep) sights in at least one series astounded me. The groups were so tight that it appeared to me that a scope couldnโ€™t have made an improvement unless the distance of the shots was dramatically increased. There is a small series of blogs on peep sights that (as a result of being astounded) I read that is very educational. It will be interesting to see how the Barakuda rifle does with a scope.

  5. Yes, I have very limited experience with only one rear peep sight that I put on a Crosman 362 rifle. Once I started following the methods of using them that BB describes in his peep sights series, my results improved considerably. Target shooting at 10-meters with the more sophisticated front sights and different inserts is something I want to explore further.

    • Elmer,

      Go for it. Rear peeps with front globes are awesome. I put a Williams target knob rear peep and a TruGlo front globe on the HW30S here at RRHFWA. I just cannot miss a feral soda can with that thing. I just throw it up to my shoulder and pop it.

      I may have to try this setup on the 34.

  6. I know a bunch of you folks out there in La La Land are thinking “Now wait a minute! I thought RidgeRunner hated glowy thingy sights?” Normally you would be right. This TruGlo front globe sight is perhaps the exception to the rule. Combined with the Williams rear peep, it makes for a very quick, close range plinking sight setup.

    The intensity of this glowy thingy can also be varied, which means you can turn it way down to where it is only a small, green dot. Mounted on an air rifle, this sight setup turns any air rifle into an awesome close range plinker.

    Now, if you are wanting to shoot at longer ranges with any kind of precision, fagetaboutit. Glowy thingys just ain’t gonna do it.

    • RR
      The other day I noticed that letting the fiber optic of the Truglo get full lighted allowed the extra thin top of the post to provide a very exact point of aim. It might turn to be useful (accurate) for longer distances than ten yards.

      • Bill,

        It might. I have not tried it on anything but the HW30S which does not have the power to reach out far.

        If I am shooting for accuracy at long ranges, I personally prefer a scope. Most of the “old gals” around here are pretty low powered and will not accept a scope anyway.

        • RR
          I just came home with an FWB 300S Junior in my hands. “Old Gal” she is but aging beautifully, as far as I can tell.
          I wonder if she was worth the โ‚ฌ 200.
          Oh it really doesn’t mind just for the way it comes to my shoulder and eye line.
          You understand that I, once more, tease you for being my Enabler in the world of quality vintage springers.

      • FM.

        I do not think being “vertically challenged” has anything to do with it.

        You may need to try a “lower” rear sight or get a riser block for your front sight such as is found on some 10-meter air rifles.

        Of course, you could just send it to me and not worry about it anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. This rifle may have some good ancestry, but if it does 10 MOA at ten meters, I’d feel like I had taken a test drive in a Yugo, and move on. But our BB does not give up, does he? ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. “…I think Iโ€™ll mount a scope on this rifle…I want to know how absolutely accurate this rifle is, because today has frustrated me!”
    BB,
    I can feel your frustration from all the way over here. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    And I pray that scoping the rifle (after you clear up any possible powerplant issues) will allow her true accuracy potential to shine through. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Blessings to you,
    dave

  9. B.B.,

    i could NOT resist!
    Tom you are the quintessential Straight Man!

    “The front sight is a tapered post and the rear sight is a sporting sight that adjusts in both directions.”

    Is that to the Left and to the Right, or is that just Up and Down? …adjusts in all four directions…?

    Hope the scope you mount has Elevation and Windage turrets.

    As JerryC said: …10 MOA at 10 meters…

    You do own shooting glasses.
    Get a new lens Rx this trip to the Eye Doctor.

    shootski

  10. I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but I just read something that is important enough to share, especially since I have been a big fan of the rubber mulch pellet and BB trap in my comments to this blog. Apparently, recycled tire rubber can give off potentially harmful substances into the air. See the Newsweek article here:
    https://www.newsweek.com/kids-playing-toxic-chemicals-artificial-turf-playgrounds-pollution-1804734
    Talk about a rubber mulch “trap” for the unwary.

    • Roamin Greco,

      I wonder…

      I would really like to try rubber mulch in a target backstop and my girlfriend would use it as a riding surface in her dressage arena.

      … if the health aspect is part-reason for no rubber mulch being available anywhere in France?

      Maybe, keeping our car, motorcycle, scooter and bicycles in our garage with the doors closed is a contributor for ill health, eh?

      At least all the football grounds I’ve bothered to notice here in France, look like they have genuine grass. However, I would be surprised if they kept them in good shape by not using Roundup (supposedly a seriously carcinogenic-to-humans product, that is still widely used on all sorts of crops)!

      _________
      Not all vehicles are visible but there are at least 14 rubber wheels in our garage…

        • shootski,

          I wonder why people want to live where so many things are banned, ie what’s the attraction of a restrictive society like California?

          In fairness, the French are not much better, which is probably why I fantasize about a utopian place without authoritarian control, merely public servants who serve the public… ๐Ÿ™‚

          Anyway, back to rubber and it’s slow release of toxic fumes: in the article there is concern about children eating playground rubber, while well maintained grass is offered as a superior alternative.

          Happily I don’t have to worry about my kids because I don’t have any.

          But I shall heed the alarm for myself, go on a rubber free diet and eat more greens instead, which shouldn’t be too hard. Sorted. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • hihihi,

            First and foremost we were talking abouta pellet trap filled with rubber mulch into which we can SAFELY shoot typically Lead (Pb) projectiles. Yes we should protc children from eating rubber mulch and perhaps even inhaling amounts of it.
            As far as living in places that ban and otherwise restrict the lives of people i wish i had a good answer; i would immediately impose that after the people elect me as World Emperor For Life… AND, promise to serve the people benevolently ;^)
            Eating and drinking good food is always on my good list; I paddle to eat!

            I’m glad we SORTED another of the WORLD’S issues.

            shootski

    • Roamin Greco,

      So what happens to all that same TOXIC rubber that is scrubbed off all those millions/Billionen of tires that travel our streets and highways?
      Why aren’t there big black berms of tire dust all over the place?
      Maybe just maybe for the same reason that the spilled coal and coal dust from all the coal trains disappeared/disappears to this day!
      I know for a fact that EVERYTHING in California has been found to be TOXIC when test fed to lab rats by the ton.

      shootski

        • Siraniko,

          Totally.

          I certainly think protecting children (all people at true risk) with selective and clearly defined guidance is critical to good stewardship of the Common Good. However, politicians and scientists looking for donations and research grants from those same politicians need not apply.

          shootski

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