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 Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Magazine problem
  • Relative size
  • .Magazine works fine
  • Filling
  • Lots of shots
  • Hatsan bullets
  • Power
  • Cocking
  • Useful power?
  • Cowboy Action bullets
  • Use of air
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will test the velocity and power of the new Hatsan Hercules .45 caliber big bore air rifle. Because this is a big bore, I have to take it to a range to test the velocity. No shooting big bores inside my office!

Magazine problem

I actually had the rifle out for testing a couple weeks ago, but at that time I was unable to load any of the bullets Hatsan provided into one of the 7-round circular magazines. That ended that test. I was actually testing three other things that day, so I didn’t spend any time looking into the problem, but after talking to Hatsan about it online I tried the other magazine that came with the rifle and it worked fine. Apparently I just got one bad magazine.

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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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Checking out a Diana RWS 34P: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Diana 34P
The Diana RWS 34P is a classic breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Drooper
  • Sight in
  • The groups
  • One last time
  • Different pellets
  • RWS Superdomes
  • BKL adjustable scope mount
  • Summary

Today I scope Geo791’s Diana RWS 34P and shoot it for accuracy at 25 yards. We already know this rifle is accurate from the test with open sights. Today we discover how much it droops and whether enough correction is possible. Let’s start with the scope mount.

Drooper

I suspected this rifle was a drooper just because it’s a Diana 34. Most breakbarrels droop and all of the Diana 34s I have seen have had severe barrel droop. With some breakbarrels you can put shims under the rear of the scope to elevate it a little, but with this model shims usually don’t work — the droop is too great. If you used enough shims to raise it as high as it needs to go, you would damage the scope tube. So, I start out with a scope mount that’s made for a drooper. In this case I used the BKL 1-piece adjustable scope mount with 1-inch rings, because George has a scope with a one-inch tube. If this works I plan to send his rifle back to him with this mount installed, so all he has to do is mount his scope in the rings and sight in.

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Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P320 pistol
Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol.

This report covers:

  • Start with the package
  • The pistol
  • Many P320s — which one is this?
  • Light rail
  • Trigger
  • Magazine
  • CO2 cartridge
  • Blowback
  • Large handgun
  • No disassembly
  • Evaluation so far

Start with the package

When is a clamshell package not a clamshell package? Answer? When a Sig Sauer P320 pellet pistol comes inside! Guys, Sig has done the impossible. They have created a clamshell package that does not have to be cut apart to get the product out! What they give you is a cardboard box with a two-piece plastic case inside. It makes a transparent window that shows off your new Sig P320 pellet pistol, and, like other cardboard boxes, the gun can go back inside and be stored until you want it again. It’s reusable. They ought to get an award for this!

The pistol

The Sig P320 pellet/BB pistol is a 30-round semiautomatic repeater that mimicks the new Sig 320 firearm the U.S. Army recently selected to replace the M9 pistol. In the world of firearms the 320 is making news because it is an inexpensive Sig pistol. Of course that’s relative, since most Sig sidearms are costly, but the 320 is hundreds less than the norm, and it is modular. Parts can be swapped to give a sidearm in different caliber and one with different ergonomics.

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Ballistic coefficient: What is it? Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Last week I republished Part 1 of this discussion about ballistic coefficients because I was out of town helping my sister. I’m back in the office, but Part 2 of this report is necessary to close the loop. So here we go.

This report covers:
• Review
• Today’s discussion
• Round balls
• Conical bullets
• Smokeless powder
• A big point
• Shape
• Round balls — again
• The bottom line

I’ve taken 11 months to return to this subject of ballistic coefficients (BC). That was in spite of some tremendous interest in Part 1 of this report last May.

I’m purposely avoiding all discussion of mathematics, which is difficult, since ballistics is a discipline that heavily employs mathematics. But I’m not qualified to write about the math; and, more importantly, I know that 99 percent of my readers would be turned off if I were to write the report that way.

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Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 11

by B.B. Pelletier

I’m posting a Best of BB today because I had cataract surgery yesterday and I couldn’t see the computer screen to write. I selected this article from December 30, 2011 because it’s the last of 11 experiments I( did on spring gun accuracy and pellet velocity. We seem to be interested in tuning spring guns, and this is a good one to read. Remember — there are a total of 11 parts. So enjoy!

I see it seems to indicate there will be another part to come at the end of this report, but I never wrote it. This is the last in the series.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

Happy New Year from Tom & Edith!

One nice thing about watching a TV program is that it only takes an hour or less to view. You have no sense of the man-weeks of work that go into a short production on screen. Sometimes, the same thing happens in the world of airgun blogs.

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