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

The importance of bullet-to-barrel alignment and fit: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Balls
  • Patched balls
  • Results of patching
  • Conical lead bullets
  • Pellet head
  • An experiment
  • Pellet skirt
  • Summary

Before I begin, I am enroute today to the Sig factory, here in America. They are bringing in a number of writers to show us their airguns and see their factory. I will take lots of pictures and tell you all about it when I return.

But I will not be able to attend to the blog the way that I normally do. I ask those readers who have been here awhile to help the new readers, just like you always do. I will be back in my office in Texas on Friday and things will hopefully return to normal.

Today I will finish the discussion of bullet-to-barrel fit and alignment. I will begin with bullets and then transition to pellets. read more

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?” read more

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. read more

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. read more

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.


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. read more

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. read more