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


The “Dark Side” has never been brighter!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The “Dark Side”
  • Early problems
  • Modern precharged airguns
  • Benjamin Discovery
  • Slow conversion
  • The $100 PCP
  • Other changes in the PCP world
  • Fill coupling standardization
  • Price point PCP
  • It’s no longer the “Dark Side”

I know I said there are lots of backlogged tests, but sometimes I just have to write a report like this. Today is such a day.

The “Dark Side”

Back in the late 1990s, when precharged pneumatics were still relatively unknown to airgunners, someone took license from the movie series “Star Wars” and coined the phrase the“Dark Side” to represent involvement with PCPs. At the time most airgunners identified with spring-piston guns and regarded precharged pneumatics as odd, different and too difficult to understand. And at the time it looked as if that would be the case indefinitely.

Early problems

Precharged pneumatics are not a new technology. In fact, they are the oldest type of airguns, dating back to sometime in the 16th century! Those guns, however, were made by hand and were frighteningly expensive. They existed at a time when repeating firearms were also the stuff of dreams, so in 1780 it was the airgun and not the firearm that became the first successful repeater. There had been repeating firearms before then, but they tended to explode because of the dangers of loose gunpowder, which at that time meant black powder. Indeed Bartolemeo Girardoni’s son was killed when a repeating firearm he was experimenting with blew his arm off! Incidentally, the last name is spelled GiraRdoni — not GiraNdoni! Dr. Beeman has met with the Girardoni family and confirmed this. Unfortunately, the long article on the Beeman webpage still shows the old spelling. read more


Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Speedfire
Hatsan Speedfire Vortex breakbarrel repeater.

This report covers:

  • Breakbarrel repeaters
  • So, what’s new?
  • Outside the rifle
  • Pellet feed
  • Trigger
  • Power
  • Cocking effort
  • Tests
  • Summary

Once more I’ll remind you that I am suspending the historical reports for awhile to catch up on several things I have been putting off. There are also many new airguns I want to test. Some tests of complex guns like the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP have taken me many more than the usual three reports, and this has led to the current situation. The history section will be back soon, I promise.

Breakbarrel repeaters

Today I start looking at the Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle. It’s a breakbarrel spring-piston gun that uses a gas spring (this one is a contained unit that Hatsan properly calls a gas piston) for the powerplant. It comes in both .177 (12 shots) and .22 (10 shots), and I am testing the .22. read more


Hatsan Vectis .25-caliber lever action PCP repeater: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Hatsan Vectis
Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP repeater.

This report covers:

  • Flash Vectis
  • Filling
  • Fill probe port plug
  • What is the air stripper made of?
  • Velocity
  • Second string
  • Discharge sound
  • Third string
  • JSB Exact King Heavy
  • Predator Polymag
  • How smooth is the lever?
  • The trigger
  • Summary

Well, the discussion in Part 1 ended on the topic of UFOs. Let’s see where we go today with our exploration of the velocity of the .25-caliber Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP. I will begin by addressing two comments that were pertinent. The first was from reader Willyaimright, who said he had to return his first Vectis to Pyramyd Air because he couldn’t get it to accept a fill.

Flash Vectis

Knowing that some precharged guns have to be cocked before the initial fill (i.e. when there is no air inside the reservoir), I read the manual before proceeding. It’s an unmanly act, I know, but sometimes you just gotta cheat. 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