Semiautomatics and accuracy

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Trolling for questions
  • Why are semautomatic firearms less accurate?
  • Semiautos are accurate!
  • Why?
  • Matt’s Garand
  • My Garand
  • When you fire
  • Not even a Garand!
  • Why does it matter?
  • Airgun accuracy
  • Pellets are plastic
  • Seating consistency
  • Summary

Today’s topic was suggested by some comments from reader Matt61. He says, “The comparisons at the beginning of the post between firearms and airguns and semiauto vs. bolt-action raise a lot of questions for me. I take it that airgun repeater level accuracy is better than firearm repeater accuracy. Why? If it’s because the round is moved by air instead of a bolt, what difference does that make? The bolt seems like it would be more secure. This all has to do with the mechanism of operation so I guess it really is one question about the difference between semiauto and bolt actions. Once the bolt chambers the round into the chamber, what difference does it make whether the round comes single-shot or from a magazine or whether the bolt is operated by hand or by gunpowder gases (firearm) or air? This history would seem to be erased once the round is in the chamber. So why the differences in semiauto, firearm and airgun accuracy?”

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Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan Bullmaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Mounting the rings
  • Problem
  • Enter BKL
  • Two strap rings
  • More to mounting a scope
  • Shim the rear mount
  • Position and level the scope
  • Adjust the eyepiece
  • Thickness of the reticle lines
  • Is this scope clear?
  • Scope mounted — what’s next?
  • Summary

Today is Part 3 of my report on the new Hatsan Bullmaster precharged pneumatic airgun, but you may recall that I introduced two new products in Part 2 — the new UTG 3-12X32 AO Bug Buster scope and some UTG Accu-Sync scope rings that are so new they aren’t even on the Pyramyd Air website yet. Normally in Part 3 I start testing the accuracy of the airgun under review, but today I’m going to discuss mounting this new scope and getting the rifle set up to test. With all the new readers that have joined us over the past several months it seems like the right thing to do. Let’s get started.

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Hatsan BullMaster PCP: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan BullMaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

This report covers:

  • Like the Sortie
  • Comparisons?
  • Companies change over time
  • Description
  • Fill
  • Pressure gauge
  • Magazines
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • So much more to tell
  • Next

Today I start my review of the Hatsan BullMaster precharged pneumatic air rifle. This is a repeating semiautomatic air rifle in bullpup configuration. It is available in both .177 and .22 calibers and the published energies, 21/31 foot-pounds, respectively, are right where they should be for a handy hunting air rifle. I am testing the .22, but since it was sent directly from Hatsan, I won’t publish the serial number. Your chances of getting this particular airgun are slim.

Like the Sortie

I tested the Sortie semiautomatic air pistol for you in a 5-part review back in September and October, and I did it intentionally. I had this BullMaster at that time, and since the actions of the two airguns are so similar, I wanted to start with the smaller one first. Testing the Sortie got me ready for the BullMaster.

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Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Hercules 45
Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore rifle.

This report covers:

  • Big gun!
  • Description
  • .45 bullets and “pellets”
  • 1000 cc reservoir capacity
  • Onboard air gauge
  • 250 bar fill
  • Adjustable stock
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Barrel
  • Sights
  • I shot the Hercules
  • Sound
  • Evaluation

Big gun!

I’m starting a report on the Hatsan Hercules QE .45 big bore air rifle. First let me observe that this rifle is BIG. And I mean big in all ways. It’s 48.4 inches long and weighs 13 pounds before a scope is attached. I was surprised by that number, so I put it on a balance beam scale, and the rifle I am testing came to exactly 13 lbs.

The Hercules rifles come in the following calibers: .22, .25, .30, .357 and .45. Some of the specifications like magazine capacity differ by caliber (the .22 magazine holds 14 pellets), but the length and weight remain the same throughout the range.

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Shooting with a scope
  • Sight-in
  • The test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • H&N Sniper Light
  • Last pellet — Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • Summary and evaluation

Today we see how accurate the new Hatsan Sortie pistol is at 25 yards. Remember, this is a true semiautomatic .22-caliber air pistol that looks ideal for hunting.

Shooting with a scope

Several readers wondered how the pistol could be held to shoot with a rifle scope attached. I said I didn’t want to try a pistol scope and readers know the eye relief with a rifle scope is about three inches or less, so how can that work? I promised to show you in this report, so let’s do that now.

I mounted a UTG 10X44 Mini SWAT scope on the Sortie. That scope is either discontinued or out of stock, but it looks quite similar to the UTG 10X50 SWAT scope. All the features are identical.

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Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Stormrider
Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Rear sight comes off
  • The test
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Next up — JSB Exact Jumbos!
  • One more pellet
  • Conclusion

Let’s get right to it. Today we learn just how accurate is the .22-caliber Diana Stormrider I’m testing. In Part 3 I probably had difficulty seeing the open sights, but today I have scoped the rifle with a UTG SWAT 3-12X44 sidewheel scope. I have mounted it in BKL 30mm high rings. These are the thin rings with two screws per cap, because the Stormrider receiver doesn’t accept rings with a long base.

Rear sight comes off

The rear sight had to be removed for the bell of the scope to clear. The sight base, which is also the barrel band, remained on the rifle — just the adjustable rear notch had to come off.

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Gamo Swarm Maxxim: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Maxim
Gamo Swarm Maxxim repeating breakbarrel air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The issues
  • Things I like
  • Recoil Reducing Rail
  • The scope
  • Sight in
  • First group
  • Second group
  • Third group
  • The best hold
  • Evaluation and summary
  • 2017 Texas Airgun Show
  • Pyramyd Air Cup

Big day, today. We learn whether the .177 Gamo Swarm Maxxim multi-shot rifle I’m testing is accurate, or not. You may recall in the last test that the scope was the big issue. The one that comes with the rifle isn’t very clear and I attributed at least half the group size in the last test to that.

The issues

There are two issues to examine today. This first is that scope I just mentioned. The second is what kind of hold the Swarm likes. Several owners have said their Swarms like to be held firm — not with the artillery hold. A couple say it doesn’t seem to matter which hold you use. I will try holding the rifle firmly today and we will see how that affects things.

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