Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Recap
  • Tune in a Tube
  • But the rear sight…
  • The rifle is fixed!
  • Breech seal shim
  • Pivot bolt locking screw
  • Accuracy
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • RWS Hobby
  • Then I read…
  • Michael’s rifle is accurate
  • The big surprise!
  • Next

Today was a long time coming — much longer than I anticipated. But I learned a lot about problems with the Diana 27 that I have never encountered before, and I now believe I can tune one with ease.

Recap

Just so you remember, I am tuning reader Michael’s Winchester 427 that is a Diana 27 by another name. It looked good on the outside, apart from missing things like the rubber button on the butt and a locking screw for the pivot bolt. The rear sight was a kluge of backwoods “repairs”, but that didn’t impress me until the very end of the job. In fact, I will tell you now that I should have started there first. It was the main source of the rifle’s issues. read more


Hatsan Vectis .25-caliber lever action PCP repeater: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hatsan Vectis
Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP repeater.

This report covers:

  • Scary!
  • Open sights?
  • Powerful rifle!
  • However…
  • Read Part 2
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • Benjamin domes
  • Predator Polymag
  • JSB Exact King Heavy
  • Baracuda Hunter Extreme
  • JSB Exact King
  • Discussion
  • How’s the lever?
  • Summary

Today we start testing the accuracy of the new .25-caliber Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP.

Scary!

I love my job, and why not? I get to test and handle so many different kinds of airguns all the time and then tell all my friends about them. What’s not to like. Well, sometimes there are things I’m not sure of. Like today.

Open sights?

The Vectis came to me with folding open sights. I would call them iron sights but both are made of plastic, so that seems wrong. I guess non-optical sights would be more correct but I’ll just call them open.

Now the Vectis is a PCP, and because it’s made by Hatsan there’s a very good chance that it’s an accurate PCP. Who in their right mind puts non-optical sights on an accurate PCP these days? Oh, I know there are a few, and we’ll hear from them. These are the guys who live off the grid, butcher their own cattle and drive cars powered by the fumes of a coal fire. No, wait — that was what the Germans did in WWII. Well, they butcher their own cattle. read more


Testing H&N Baracuda FT pellets: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The Baracuda FT
  • Head size
  • The test
  • Start 4.50mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.50mm head
  • 4.51mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.51mm head
  • Discussion of today’s test
  • Summary

Part 1 contains much of the background information for this test. Today I will add some more, to round out your understanding of the pellet I am testing.

The Baracuda FT

The Baracuda FT is a departure from the standard H&N Baracuda that was developed in the 1950s expressly for the Weihrauch Barakuda EL54 rifle. The EL-54 was an HW35 with an ether injector to purposely detonate when the piston went forward. It only shot round lead balls, because it blew the heads out of all diabolo pellets until the Baracuda pellet was created. The Baracuda pellet had a very thick head of pure lead that resisted the additional pressure from the ether explosion. read more


Diana Chaser air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Diana Chaser air pistol
The Diana Chaser is a new CO2 pistol.

This report covers:

  • Mount the sight
  • Front sight?
  • Cut to the chase
  • The test
  • The trigger
  • Dialed the dot way down
  • First target
  • Second target
  • Summary

Today I test the Diana Chaser air pistol with the UTG RDM20 Reflex Micro Dot sight we have been reviewing. The last test was done with the sight mounted on a Beeman P1 back in January, and it did quite well. I told you I wasn’t going to run a special report on the sight, but instead I would be testing it on several airguns as time went by. The Chaser test is today.

Mount the sight

The Chaser’s rear sight had to be removed to mount the UGT dot sight. There is a short rail in front of the pellet trough but I didn’t think it was quite long enough for this sight base. read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen .25-caliber precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Not the accuracy test
  • Man plans…
  • Testing as a PCP
  • Filling
  • Mounting the scope
  • Sight-in
  • Back to 10 meters
  • Back to 25 yards
  • Scope adjustments
  • My test plan
  • First group of five
  • Shots 6 through 10
  • Second group
  • Third group
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Get ready to learn something, kids, because school is in session!

Not the accuracy test

Today would normally be the start of the accuracy test for a normal PCP air rifle, but the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP is anything but normal! I did shoot a lot of targets today, but there aren’t going to be any dimes in the pictures. I was just trying to figure this rifle out!

Man plans…

I figured I would mount the 4X32 AO scope that comes bundled with the rifle and at least start to shoot for accuracy. Well, there is a saying about thoughts like that. Man plans and God laughs! If you don’t believe it, read the book of Ecclesiastes. It was written by King Solomon, who was the wisest man ever to have lived. Near the end of his life he figured out the meaning of life and boiled it down to just that. Oh, he didn’t say it that way — he was more reverent and polite about it, but in chapter 12, verses 12 through 14, he pretty much sums it up that way. read more


Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Webley Mark VI
Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish. This one is rifled and shoots pellets.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Adjusted sight picture
  • Why not fix the front sight?
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • H&N Finale Match High Speed pellets
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Next — more sight corrections
  • Summary

Today I test the accuracy of the Webley Mark VI with battlefield finish. I decided to test it with all 5 pellets that were used in the velocity test.

The test

I shot from 10 meters, using a sandbag rest for the butt of the revolver. I held the gun with two hands for a steady hold. I shot 6 pellets at each target and I will describe what happened as we go. Let’s get started.

JSB Exact RS

The first pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS. The first three shots landed low, with one below the target paper. The group had to come up somehow. read more


Testing H&N Baracuda FT pellets: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Test plan
  • How many tests?
  • Backwards planning
  • Test design
  • Start — 4.50mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.50mm head
  • 4.51mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.51mm head
  • Discussion of today’s testing
  • Summary

On Friday I told you I wanted to clear a backlog of reports. This is one of them. When I was at the Pyramyd Air Cup in September of last year, I was given two sample packs of a new .177-caliber pellet from H&N — the Baracuda FT (for field target). Florian Schwartz, the director of H&N, told me this new pellet was designed for air rifles shooting at 12 foot-pounds and less. But new airguns and other equipment kept pushing the test back until last Friday, when I decided to suspend the history section for awhile to catch up.

Test plan

Many people think that testing a pellet involves putting a PCP into a vise and shooting it at a fixed target. Do you know what that will tell you — how well a PCP in a vise shoots the pellet. Will there be correlation between that kind of test and the real world in which a living person shoots the same pellet from the same gun that’s not in a vise? Yes — SOME. But not as much as many people think. read more