Diana 34 Easy Modular System (EMS) Synthetic: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 34 EMS
Diana 34 EMS with synthetic stock.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Scope
  • The test
  • Pellets
  • Sight-in
  • JSB Exact Heavy domes
  • Crosman Premier Heavy
  • Trigger
  • Heavy pellets
  • H&N Baracuda with 4.50mm head
  • Evaluation so far
  • Summary

Okay. Today is the test many have been waiting for — the Diana 34 EMS at 25 yards. How accurate is it?

Scope

I scoped the rifle with an older  UTG AccuShot 4-16X50AO scope, mounted in BKL 2-piece double-strap one-inch rings. Since the scope was already shimmed in the rings I figured they would adjust to the point of aim relatively easily.

The test

I shot from 25 yards with the artillery hold and my off hand rested on a sandbag. I will note that with the thumbhole stock I’m testing a true artillery hold isn’t possible, but I held the rifle as loosely as possible. My off hand was at the rear of the cocking slot.

I shot 10-shot groups today. I have to say the EMS is easy to cock and you don’t have to slap the muzzle to break it open. This is a very well-behaved air rifle.

Pellets

I selected JSB Exact Heavy domes from the test at 10 meters. In that test we learned that the 34 EMS likes heavier pellets that are also larger. So I also selected two heavier pellets that I hadn’t tried before. When you see the results I think you’ll agree I picked two good ones.

Sight-in

I shot a single JSB Heavy pellet at 12 feet and confirmed that the scope was close enough on for me to back up to 25 yards. Once there it took me three more shots to get on target. Of course I didn’t want to hit the center of the bull and destroy my aim point, so all groups will be at the edge of the black.

JSB Exact Heavy domes

First up was the sight-in pellet. The first shot landed in the top of the bull and I thought it was perfect, but the next several landed high and outside. When all 10 had been shot I had a somewhat vertical group that measures 0.675-inches between centers. It’s a little larger than I would like from this rifle, but there were no shots that were called pulls.

Diana EMS JSB Heavy
The Diana 34 EMS put 10 JSB Exact Heavy pellets into 0.675-inches at 25 yards.

Crosman Premier heavy

The second pellet I tried was the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier heavy. These pellets are sometimes the best of all, and today was one of those days. The 34 EMS put 10 of them into a tight 0.619-inches at 25 yards. 

Diana EMS Premier heavy
Crosman Premier heavys wanted to stay together when shot from the Diana 34 EMS. Ten went into 0.619-inches at 25 yards.

Trigger

You may recall that the 34 EMS has a different trigger that is not crisp like the Diana T05 or T06. This trigger has a second stage through which the trigger blade moves considerably. It’s light enough, but not crisp. I have said that it feels like a single-stage trigger, once you get to stage two. I got used to it in Part 3 and today I was able to do good work with it. I still can’t tell when the rifle is about to fire, but pulling the trigger has no adverse effect on the stability of the crosshairs.

Heavy pellets

I think there is something to this thing about heavy pellets and the EMS. It seems to like them a lot. If you get one of these, try it with heavy pellets first.

H&N Baracuda with 4.50mm head

The third pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda with a 4.50mm head. I just knew this one was going to shoot well and it did. Ten of them went into 0.634-inches at 10 meters.

Dioana EMS Baracuda
The Diana 34 EMS put 10 H&N Baracudas with 4.50mm heads into a 0.634-inch group at 25 yards.

Evaluation so far

I really like the Diana 34 EMS. It is different than the Diana 34 of the past that we knew, but it is a worthy air rifle in it’s own right. Yes, Diana shouldn’t have touted the barrel shimming and caliber swaps before they worked out the details, but that marketing blunder has no bearing on the rifle’s excellence.

I don’t often select spring rifles to shoot at 50 yards, but I’m choosing this one. With luck I’m thinking we could see ten pellets in less than one inch.

Summary

If you have been waiting to see whether the Diana 34 EMS was a worthy air rifle, I think that point has been proved. I would recommend getting the wooden stock just so you can shoot with the full artillery hold, but if money is an object this synthetic thumbhole stock can also shoot. Today demonstrates that.

I just hope Diana makes the gas pistons, barrel shims and different caliber barrels available soon. I would sure like to try them out!


Get your Weedies!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Bug Buster spawns crabgrass killer
  • Da bomb
  • Weedies
  • A side benefit
  • Safety
  • Dandelions may be possible
  • Summary

Most of you are aware of the UTG Bug Buster line of compact scopes from Leapers. They got their name from the practice in which some airgunners shoot bugs in their yard with pellet rifles. All the Bug Buster scopes parallax adjust (focus) down to 3 yards or nine feet, which makes them perfect for this pastime. Well, now they have spawned a new airgun product — the Weedie!

Bug Buster spawns crabgrass killer

Leapers owner, David Ding, was working in his yard pulling out crabgrass by the roots when it dawned on him that there must be a better way. Could an airgun somehow be converted into a crabgrass eliminator? He already had a line of scopes that was backyard-friendly; could they be used to also get rid of the tenanceous weeds?

David’s wife, Tina, knows quite a few people in local colleges and one of them is a young biochemist graduate student who is working on his PhD research project in herbicides. He is specifically interested in weed tolerance and their resistance to herbicides. More importantly for what is to follow — he is also an airgunner!

Da bomb

What he discovered is the absolute best way to eliminate crabgrass after it emerges is to inject a concentrated solution of of Quinclorac (3,7 dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid) into the center of the stolons, or tough round runners that give the weed its name. Where they come together is the top of the root of the plant. By breaking through the tough sheath of the stolons at this root, a very small amount of the concentrated Quinclorac will quickly absorb into the root bunch and kill the mature plant before it sends out seeds.

The amount of solution required is smaller than a drop from an eye dropper, and, because the solution has a high surface tension, the drops it forms are very small. The researcher discovered that he could put the right amount of solution into the hollow of a .177-caliber hollowpoint pellet, and just two pellets were all that was needed to kill each crabgrass plant! The process is 100 percent effective and results will be seen in less than 48 hours. The solution is solidified with a bonding agent, so the pellets can be handled safely. Exposure to the liquid in the crabgrass root turns the solution liquid again and the crabgrass root absorbs it readily.

One pellet will kill about 60 percent of all plants. Two pellets are absolutely positive. When hit in the right place with two of these pellets, no plant will survive. Now, you may think that it’s possible to just walk around the yard and shoot the plants at point-blank range, but where’s the fun in that? You can also poke holes in targets with a pencil and use your finger to knock down field targets, but it’s much more fun to do it with an air rifle.

All 2018 the researcher, Roger, killed crabgrass in David Ding’s backyard, and by the end of the year he had perfected his delivery system that consists of a Benjamin Marauder set to deliver the .177 hollowpoint pellets at 650 f.p.s. at the muzzle. Out to 35 yards that delivery system is effective. It does help to get some elevation over the lawn, to get the pellet down into the root bunch, and Roger found that a small stepladder worked well. But a deck is the perfect place from which to shoot.

In 2019 Roger took aim at the crabgrass in David’s front lawn and achieved 100 percent success. The next year the front lawn had less than 10 percent of the crabgrass from the year prior, and that was around the borders — undoubtedly from windblown seeds originating in the lawns of neighbors.

David was impressed by both the performance of the treatment and also by its application. Because some of the shots were very close, Roger mounted a Bug Buster 3-12X32 on his rifle and he let David share in the fun. Crabgrass may not move like an insect, but it is far more difficult to kill. Those pellets have to hit right in the center of all those long arms, which is the top of the root.

When a Weedie kills a crabgrass plant, the entire plant withers and dries out. You can leave it in the ground and it will be replaced by desirable grass or when you see that it’s dry you can pull it out of the ground easily. The root looses its purchase on the ground when the plant dies.

David Ding was so impressed by the success of this treatment and also by the unique application method that he commissioned Roger to hand-make 300 pellets for further trials. He then got three airgunners, including old B.B. Pelletier, to try it last year and each of us had the same results as he and Roger. I don’t know what guns the others used but I used a .177-caliber Diana 27S with open sights that is accurate enough out to 20 yards to deliver the pellets to the center of the crabgrass clumps every time.

Diana 27S
I used a Diana 27S to shoot my Weedies. So a spring-piston air rifle works just as well as a precharged rifle.

Weedies

David was encouraged by our early reports and he convinced a small U.S. pellet importer to make tins of 150 Wheedies that will retail for $15.95. While that sounds expensive (it’s just under 11 cents a pellet), compare it to the cost of commercial crabgrass killers that really work! They sell for a lot of money and usually get results in the 30-50 percent range. Weedies are 100 percent effective when used correctly! Because of the limited supply available, Weedies will be sold exclusively through Pyramyd Air.

A side benefit

While I was playing with my Weedies I discovered that they also kill St. Augustine grass that, in my opinion, is just as much a weed as crabgrass. My neighbor’s yard is St. Augustine and it was creeping over and replacing my Bermuda grass that looks better and which I spend a lot of time and money to keep up. St. Augustine creeps along the top of the ground like a weed and crowds out anything it contacts. As long as you water the heck out of it, it stays green, but the fat leaves look like crabgrass to me. And Weedies get rid of them! Oops!

Safety

Because you are handling a highly concentrated herbicide, each tin comes with the recommendation to wear latex or nitrile gloves when shooting. At the minimum, if you don’t wear gloves, you have to wash your hands with soap and water after each use.

It goes without saying that Weedies are not to be shot at any living animal. Your only target is crabgrass (and St. Augustine). Roger says the pellet delivery system itself is more dangerous to mammals and rodents than the solution in the hollow point, but the solution is so concentrated that it will not do an animal any good.

Dandelions may be possible

Roger found that his formula isn’t as effective on dandelions that also infest yards, but he is working to perfect one that is. However there is a problem with that. So many people eat dandelion plants that he has to make his formula safe for human consumption. Because, if a person ate a dandelion plant after it was treated by a Weedie, the herbicide would be throughout the plant. So the dandelion Weedie may take a while to develop. On the other hand, Weedies for most types of thistles, including Canada thistle, are almost ready for market.

Summary

This report is unique in that an unlikely airgun product, the UTG Bug Buster, served as the foundation for another unlikely airgun product — the Weedie. Will Weedies prosper? That’s difficult to say and only time will tell for certain. I remember Flava Shots .

“Chef de Cuisine Antonio Bologna of the world-knowned Aria Diabolo Pallina game restaurant has created Flava Shots, the first edible pellet. It takes advantage of a new compression technology that creates a dense pellet that will not fall apart or crumble during loading and shooting. It’s so rock hard that it has the same penetration effect as a lead pellet. The Flava Shot pellet dispatches the game and later infuses it with savory herbs and spices during the cooking process.

To maximize the cooking process, Chef Bologna suggests that airgunners lube their airgun barrels with food oils. This reduces friction, delivers a small boost to velocity and brings a delicious flavor to cooked meat. His favorite oil is macadamia nut, but he’s also experimented successfully with plain and roasted sesame oils.”

Today we have learned about Weedies. They could be the next revolution in lawn herbicide treatments. We all laughed when chef Tony Bologna came out with Flava Shots, but who’s laughing now?


What you know

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Everybody’s a prepper — let’s get an airgun!
  • What you know
  • The BIG one!
  • Clean that barrel
  • You can shoot quietly at home with the right airgun
  • A powerful air pistol
  • Bullets have to fit the barrel
  • A cheaper way to shoot at home
  • How did you know that?
  • Summary

The current world situation in the year 2020 has caused many people to become preppers. People who are not mentally suited to preparedness are doing things these days that they have never done before. I saw the same thing happen in 1977, when I returned from Europe and watched the aftermath of the 1973-74 gas crisis. People were eschewing land yachts in favor of more economical automobiles that they could sustain in times when there wasn’t enough gas to go around.

Everybody’s a prepper — let’s get an airgun!

Now that ammunition and even reloading supplies are unavailable (in the United States) I hear people talking about getting an airgun. But what they don’t know, and you do, is going to hurt them!

What you know

You know instinctively that higher velocity is meaningless without accuracy. Those new to airguns are attracted to the velocity figures, and the highest one must be the best. You know that if your pellet doesn’t hit the target, all the velocity in the world is meaningless.

You know that breakbarrel springers can be extremely accurate. The uninitiated think that because the barrel moves when the rifle is cocked, it must be less accurate. And the kinds of breakbarrels they buy at the discount stores will only confirm their beliefs! You know that a SIG ASP20 can have the same high velocity they seek, yet also outshoot anything they can find in the big box store. See what you know?

The BIG one!

You know that ALL rifles, both air-powered and firearms, are very subject to barrel droop. These new guys don’t. They buy their $1,500 AR-15 and then go through scope after scope and mount after mount until they either give up, or resign themselves to the fact that an AR-15 isn’t accurate, or they blunder into one of the drooper scope mounts made for AR-15s and they correct the situation.

At present these “downward-angled” scope rings are being sold under the auspices of making rifles that are sighted for 300 yards suitable to shoot 1,000 yards — you know — macho stuff! The truth is, guys are using them to correct barrel drooping (and scopes not holding zero) issues a lot closer than that. They just don’t like to talk about it in public. But you guys know all this and don’t have to pay the price that the newbies pay! See what you know?

Clean that barrel

B.B. Pelletier is a proponent of never cleaning an airgun barrel — unless it needs it! When does BB say to clean a barrel? When accuracy drops off. Now, I would love to pretend I’m Mr Miyagi and that I was just testing my students, but the real truth is — reader Yogi recommended that I clean the barrel of the Beeman 900/Diana 10 target pistol with a brass brush and JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound! Good work, Yogi. I needed to be reminded of that. I will clean it before the next shooting session. See what you know?

You can shoot quietly at home with the right airgun

Think this is a well-known fact? Think again. The others go to the box store and choose a rifle from the three or four on the shelves. They choose it on power (velocity) and price. You know they do because that was once you and me. Then they discover that all that power brings on vibration, hard cocking, loud noise and horrible accuracy. Oh, you could teach them the artillery hold and cut the size of their groups dramatically, but even more so by showing them your Price-Point PCP. Your rifle is more powerful, more accurate and quieter than theirs. They complain that they don’t want to buy all the other stuff that your rifle needs to work and you teach them about 2,000 psi being just as capable as 3,000 psi, and what a hand pump can do. See what you know?

A powerful air pistol

“They” want an air pistol that’s just as powerful as their air rifle. All they know about are the few CO2 pistols they’ve seen at the discount store. You show them your TalonP pistol in .25 caliber and tell them that it’s 2-1/2 times more powerful than their .177 Gato Buzzalot breakbarrel. They say that’s fine, but can they get one that powerful that also fits in their pocket? Sure. Have them transport to Jupiter Station and the replicator there will build it for them.

You try to explain that with pneumatic and gas guns, the length of the barrel plays a huge factor in determining the velocity. They wonder why, because they have read that a Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum revolver produces the same energy as a 30-06 rifle (2,800 foot-pounds). And “they” can get one with a 3.5-inch barrel from the S&W Custom Shop. You ask if “they” have ever fired one of those revolvers and they start giggling. They haven’t, but they’ve watched several videos on You Tube of people shooting them.

Then you inform them that a 3.5-inch barreled revolver won’t get anywhere near the power that the standard 8.38-inch barrel will — probably less than half as much. They want to know how you know that and, because you are an airgunner, you can explain it to them in detail. See what you know?

Bullets have to fit the barrel

A buddy of yours just found an almost-full box of 130-grain .30-30 bullets. He sold his .30-30 ten years ago, but he has a 7.62X39 upper for his AR. He reloads for that caliber but these bullets turned out to be lousy in his gun. His five-shot groups at 100 yards are larger than 12 inches! You told him that the .308-caliber bullet for the .30-30 couldn’t possibly be accurate in the .310-inch bore of his upper. He asked why. Aren’t they both .308s? You explained that not all 7.62 mm cartridges are .308, just like a .38 Special is really smaller than .36 caliber and a .38-40 is really a .40 caliber.

You know this because you know all about the fit of the pellet to the bore. You even sort pellets by head size with the Pelletgage. See what you know?

A cheaper way to shoot at home

A guy at work told you he wants quieter .22 ammo so he can shoot his pistol in the basement without disturbing his family. You made him aware of the Beeman P17 and then turned him on to the 2-part resealing series for that pistol. He was able to buy a pistol and 500 pellets for less than what he would have to pay for a brick of .22 CB caps on Gun Broker. He’s shooting again very safely in his basement and having the time of his life! See what you know?

How did you know that?

Your brother-in-law showed you his aging Benjamin 392. He said it doesn’t work anymore and wondered if you would take a look at it. He said he has always pumped it 18-20 times for more power. The manual said to stop at 10 pumps, but that was just lawyer-talk to keep it safe. He knew what he was doing. The last time he pumped it he was watching TV and lost track of the count. But it had to be 25 pumps or more. When it didn’t fire he pumped it 10 more times, but nothing came out. So he brought it to you.

You asked him when was the last time he oiled it and he told you that nothing squeaks. The felt ring in front of the pump cup is bone dry. You partially disassembled the action and tapped the valve stem with a fat punch and a plastic hammer to release all the air. Then you oiled the pump cup and pumped the rifle 8 times and voila — it shot like new. All the while you did this you instructed your brother-in-law on the fine art of operating a multi-pump. See what you know?

Summary

You may not consider yourself to be an expert on airguns or on shooting in general, but through this blog and the comments we read every day, you really are!


The Diana model 10/Beeman 900 target pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman 900
The Beeman 900 pistol is another form of Diana’s model 10.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • RWS R10 Pistol
  • Qiang Yuan Match Grade pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Light 
  • No crazy person here!
  • …or?
  • Summary

Today I’m going back to the Beeman 900 that is a rebadged Diana 10 target pistol. I didn’t do so well in Part 3 and you readers were all over me to not rest the gun directly on the sandbag, but to rest my forearms on the bag and hold the pistol loose in front of the bag. So that’s what I did today — sort of. This turns into a much larger test than planned, and isn’t that always a good thing?

The test

I shot from 10 meters and at the start of the test I rested my forearms on the bag and held the pistol in my hands in front of the bag. I shot 5-shot groups because I wanted to test a lot of different pellets and the way things turned out, I’m glad I did!

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

First to be tested were the pellets I used to shoot in my original Diana 10 — RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle wadcutters. I bought a sleeve of 5,000 with the pistol and, except for my father-in-law shooting several thousand while I was on manuevers with the Army, I shot them all in that pistol.

The Beeman 900 put five Meisters into a 0.742-inch group at 10 meters. The group is horizontal and I don’t know why.

Meister Rifle group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln made a 0.742-inch group between centers at 10 meters.

RWS R10 Pistol

Next up were five RWS R10 Pistol pellets. One of them sailed through the 10-ring while the other four grouped in 0.565-inches at 4 o’clock on the edge of the bull. The 5-shot group measures 1.251-inches between centers.

R10 Match Pistol group
Four of the five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets went into 0.565-inches at 10 meters, but the 5th shot opened it to 1.251-inches.

Qiang Yuan Match Grade pellets

The next pellets I tried were Qiang Yuan Match Grade pellets that Pyramyd Air no longer stocks. Four of them went into 0.478-inches at 10 meters but the fifth one went low and to the left, opening the group to 1.14-inches.

Qiang Yuan Match group
Four Qiang Yuan Match pellets went into 0.478-inches in the bull, with a 5th one landing low and to the left and opening the group to 1.14-inches between centers.

H&N Finale Match Light 

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the H&N Finale Match Light pellet. When I saw the group I couldn’t believe it. Was I shooting a Chinese B3-1?

Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets landed in a group that measures 1.657-inches between centers. Yikes!

H&N Finale Match Light group
The Beeman 900 put five H&N Finale Match Light pellets into 1.657-inches at ten meters. Cowabunga!

No crazy person here!

Okay, enough of this! I had to try something different. I would rest the pistol on the bag and see how that went with the same pellet. Well, it wasn’t great but this time 5 shots went into 1.127-inches, so it’s tighter. SO MUCH FOR NOT RESTING THE PISTOL ON THE BAG!!!

H&N Finale Match Light group rested
Resting the Beeman 900 directly on the sandbag reduced the size of the group to 1.127-inches between centers — a half-inch improvement.

However, I was still unsatisfied. I can outshoot that group with a Crosman Mark I, so what’s the deal? Time to drag out the heavy artillery. I got my FWB P44 target pistol. And I rested it on the bag because this pistol does not move in the slightest when it fires. Surely it can do better with any pellet than the Beeman 900, but at this point it was this one pellet that was in question. So, for the third time I put five H&N Finale Match Light pellets downrange. 

This time five pellets landed in a group that measured 0.644-inches between centers. It’s half the size of the best Beeman 900 group with this pellet, but still nothing to write home about. So perhaps this pellet isn’t good in either pistol — or…?

H&N Finale Match Light group rested P44
The FWB P44 cut the group size in half. Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets went into 0.644-inches at ten meters.

…or?

Or, was I the weak link? One way to tell was to bring up the best group I ever recorded with the P44 and compare it to a group of the same pellets today. On June 9, 2016 I shot this pistol and put 5 Vogel target pellets with 4.50mm heads into 0.242-inches at 10 meters.

FWB P44 Vogel target best
Back in June of 2016 I put 5 Vogel pellets into this 0.242-inch group at 10 meters, shooting the FWB P44.

On this day. shooting the same pistol in the same way, my group of five Vogels measures 0.575-inches — more than twice the size of the group from 4-1/2 years ago. Clearly I am off my game today and it is showing up in the results of this test. A little of this may be because I’m already 35 shots into the test and somewhat tired, but I don’t think all of the difference can be explained away.

FWB P44 Vogel target today
On this day I was able to put 5 Vogel pellets into a 0.575-inch group at 10 meters with the FWB P44.

I was either off my game or tired or both. Only one thing remained — shoot a group of 5 Vogels from the Beeman 900. This I did and when I saw it I knew the test was over. Five pellets went into 1.231-inches at 10 meters.

Beeman 900 Vogel target today
Well, I’m done! The Beeman 900 put five Vogel pellets into a 1.231-inch group at 10 meters.

Summary

I’m not finished with the Beeman 900. I know it must shoot better than it has and I just need to find the right pellet to do it.

Shooting the FWB P44 was a blast, as well. That pistol has lapsed into history and been replaced by the FWB P8X target pistol. That makes the P44 an historical airgun as well! Goody!


Umarex Fusion 2 CO2 rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Fusion 2
Umarex Fusion 2 CO2 repeater.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • A dime spacer
  • It worked!
  • Velocity
  • No feeding problems
  • Trigger pull
  • One final tip
  • Where we stand
  • Summary

Today we look at velocity of the Umarex Fusion 2 repeating air rifle again. After Part 2 I considered all the remarks carefully. I wanted to test the rifle’s accuracy but not before knowing how many shots I could count on.

A dime spacer

Reader EricfromSC said he used a dime as a spacer between the two CO2 cartridges and it worked. He also mentioned that he had the same magazine feeding issues I encountered and that by holding the rifle level when working the bolt they were resolved. When I test velocity I often cock the rifle with the muzzle up, so this time I was careful to hold it level.

I first dropped about 10 drops of automatic transmission stop leak into the CO2 tube before dropping the first CO2 cartridge in. Then I dropped in a Crosman CO2 cartridge. Since they were the only brand that actually worked in Part 2 I felt I needed to stay with them.

The I dropped in the first cartridge, followed by a dime. I wondered whether the dime would tilt sideways in the tube and mess things up, but it fit like it was made for it.

Fusion 2 dime
You are looking halfway down into the Fusion’s CO2 tube. The dime is resting on the wide end of the first CO2 cartridge. The fit is perfect.

For those in other countries who don’t have American dime coins, I used a new coin. The diameter is 17.91mm and the thickness is 1.35mm. The dime fits loosely enough that sticking won’t be a problem.

It worked!

I’m pleased to say the dime trick worked and both CO2 cartridges were pierced quite well. Look at the holes.

Fusion 2 cartridges
This time both CO2 cartridges were pierced well. The bottom one that had all the trouble before is on the left.

Velocity

I decided to only shoot the JSB Exact RS pellet, as it has no feeding issues last time. The first 9 shots gave an average 640 f.p.s. The low was 634 and the high was 652, so a spread of 18 f.p.s.

The second 9 shots averaged 642 f.p.s. The low was 633 and the high was 651, so  another spread of 18 f.p.s.

The third 9 shots averaged 623 f.p.s. The low was 605 and the high was 641 f.p.s. So the spread this time was 36 f.p.s.

The fourth 9 shots averaged 553 f.p.s. The low was 506 and the high was 590 f.p.s.

I will show you the fifth string.

Shot……..vel.
37……….439
38……….404
39……….366
40……….316
41……….255

I ended the test at this point to keep from sticking a pellet in the barrel. Without a doubt the Fusion 2 uses a LOT of CO2!

No feeding problems

Once I held the rifle level as EricfromSC suggested the feeding was perfect. But I will say that every time the bolt passes through the magazine you can see the mag move a little. So watch this!

Trigger pull

I didn’t give you the trigger pull in Part 2. The trigger is single-stage with a long smooth pull that maxed at between 3 lbs. 3 oz. and 3 lbs. 8 oz. The average was 3 lbs. 6 oz.

One final tip

It occurred to me that since I had removed the CO2 adaptor tube to try the 88-gram cartridge, it was now coming out of the rifle every time I installed new cartridges. Looking at the manual I see that it’s not supposed to do that. So here is my tip. First, screw the adaptor into the rifle as far as you can, then load the two cartridges with the dime between. When you screw the knurled end cap down, leave the relief valve open so you can hear when the lower cartridge is pierced. The knurled end cap will allow you to screw the adaptor down as far into the rifle as it will go. When the hissing starts, screw the relief valve down as far as it will go. The hissing stops right away but keep turning the valve until it stops to pierce the top cartridge fully. I conducted several experiments to determine this was the most reliable way to pierce both cartridges! I do not care for this design! 

Where we stand

Now that the rifle is working and I know its quirks I’m ready to move on to accuracy testing. I hasve read so many good things about the accuracy that I’m looking forward to it.

I would like to thank EricfromSC for his comments to Part 2. Without them I don’t think I could do an accuracy test on this rifle.

Summary

I have this to say about the Fusion 2. It has some shortcomings that I was able to overcome with help. I wish the magazine was more positive and why can’t I still get the 88-gram CO2 cartridge to pierce. Those things need to be addressed. But if you own one, I hope today’s report helps you.


Sig Sauer P365 air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P365
Sig Sauer P365 BB pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test
  • The first shot
  • Sig BBs
  • Discussion
  • New CO2 cartridge
  • Crosman Black Widow BBs
  • What I’m up against
  • The trigger
  • Dust Devil BBs
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Sig P365 BB pistol. So far this gun has been performing as it should. I just hope it will stay on the paper at 5 meters. There are two reasons I say that. First, with guns that have a short barrel, ANY movement of the gun/barrel causes large movements of the shots downrange. Short-barreled handguns are just as accurate as handguns with long barrels — they are just harder to shoot accurately. And second, with a sight radius (distance between the font and rear sight) of just a few inches, ANY amount the sights are off will be exaggerated downrange.

The test

I shot from a UTG Monopod rest at 5 meters, the same as with any BB gun. I debated how best to hold the gun and decided on a two-hand hold with the bottom forward portion of the frame resting on the monopod rubber sling. Except for the first shot, all others were shot that way.

I shot 10-shot groups because the P365 is semiautomatic. That didn’t make it easy, just easi-ER.

The first shot

Given the shortness of the barrel I was really concerned about missing the BB trap altogether, so I loaded 11 BBs and fired the first shot from ten feet. I used a two-hand hold and my hands were resting on the foot-rail of my bed.

I held a 6 o’clock hold on the black bull and the BB hit the paper 1.7 inches below the center of the bull and 0.9-inches to the left. Given that I am human, I thought that was close enough. So I backed up to 5 meters and fired 10 more times.

Sig BBs

The first BBs I shot were the ones Sig provided with the pistol. I got an 11-shot group that measures 3.217-inches between centers. The center of the group is 2.4-inches below the center of the bull and 0.8-inches to the left of center. The first shot from 10 feet is inside the group, though not centered.

Sig P365 Sig BB group
The P365 put 11 of the Sig BBs into 3.217-inches at 5 meters.  I marked that first shot from 10 feet.

Discussion

Don’t think this is a bad group! I am dealing with both those issues I mentioned earlier — a short barrel and a short sight radius. Instead, I draw your attention to the group of 4 shots at the bottom, under the BB. This P365 pistol has ULTRA-CRISP sights, front and rear! When I do my very best this is what happens. The problem is, it is difficult to maintain that level of concentration. I actually watched that little hole grow, shot by shot.

What you are seeing in this target is 3 shots plus the first shot up high and then the final 7 shots on the bottom, when I settled down. What this really is, is a (lower) group that is very horizontal — once I got my act together.

New CO2 cartridge

I loaded 10 Crosman Black Widow BBs next. I selected them because, of all the premium steel BBs on the market right now, I am having the most consistent success with them. After the first 4 shots, though, I noticed the power was dropping off. The gun was running out of gas. Since I tested it in Part 3 and know that it runs out of gas very quickly at the end of the cartridge, I knew that the first group of SIG BBs was okay. But it was time to change the CO2 cartridge.

I also know that the first 3-4 shots from a new cartridge will have some liquid in them and will be much faster than the 45 shots that follow. Since this is an accuracy test, I blank-fired the gun 5 times with the fresh cartridge before loading 10 more Black Widow BBs.

Crosman Black Widow BBs

Because the Sig BBs hit low on the paper with a conventional 6 o’clock hold, I raised the front post above the top of the rear notch and still used a 6 o’clock hold that is the most accurate with this type of sight. If that sounds confusing, let me show you what it looks like.

Sig P365  sight picture
This is the sight picture I used for the next 2 groups.

That looks like a difficult sight picture to maintain, so some really good pistol shooters used to have a gold wire inset across the front post to show them the same amount of elevation on every shot. Elmer Keith was famous for it. On some of his sights there were several wires.

Sig P365 Keith sight
Elmer Keith’s front sight was used for distance shooting.

What I’m up against

Now you understand, I hope. Not only do I have to maintain a 6 o’clock hold on the bullseye, I also have to hold the front sight above the top of the rear sight by the same amount each time.

This time with careful aiming I managed to put 10 Crosman Black Widow BBs into 1.96-inches. The group is fairly well centered on the bullseye. I gotta tell you, guys. This group is a combination of me trying real hard and the Black Widow BB being as good as it is.

Sig P365 Black Widow group
Ten Crosman Black Widow BBs made this 1.96-inch group at 5 meters.

The P365 deserves credit, as well, for it functioned properly all the time. Again I remind you how difficult is is to shoot a short-barreled pistol with accuracy. Yet, I can shoot my Sig P365 9mm handgun with astonishing accuracy. Why?

The trigger

The secret behind the accuracy of my 9mm pistol is the trigger. The 9mm trigger is light and very predictable. The BB gun trigger is not that heavy, but I haven’t learned it yet. When I have to keep the bullseye on the tip of the front sight, both sides of the front sight equidistant from the sides of the rear notch, AND keep the front sight at the same height above the top of the rear sight every time, it gets difficult.

The P365 BB gun trigger pull is just a little too heavy, at 5 lbs. 12 oz. for me to do all this. The firearm trigger breaks at 5 lbs. 6 oz, but it’s a very crisp pull that can be anticipated. The BB gun trigger feels similar, just not as predictable — yet. I just shoot better with the firearm. I can’t explain it, other than to say the concentration on the sights needed to get the group up into the bullseye is probably what’s throwing me off.

Dust Devil BBs

Next I loaded and shot 10 of the new Dust Devil BBs. Yes — these are the Mark 2 Dust Devils, but since the box isn’t marked that way, I will just say these are the Dust Devils you get when you buy them today.

Ten Dust Devils went into 3.356-inches at 5 meters. It’s the largest group of the test. I held the gun with the same care as with the Black Widows, but I may have been tiring out.

Sig P365 Dust Devil group
Ten Air Venturi Dust Devils went into 3.356-inches at 5 meters.

Summary

The Sig P365 BB pistol is a remarkable feat of engineering. It is the smallest repeating BB pistol on the market with full blowback. The appearance is an homage to the P365 firearm that is undoubtedly one of the most successful concealed carry arms even built.

If you want realism, this is it! If you want to learn how to use your pistol’s sights, there aren’t many better trainers than this. If feral pop cans have invaded your yard, this’ll get ’em! Just remember — you have to do your part, too.


IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH MP532
IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle.

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

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • UTG Micro Reflex doesn’t fit
  • Millett dot sight
  • Dot sights
  • Sight in
  • The test
  • Group 1
  • H&N Match Green
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy
  • Best group
  • GunFun1 — this one’s for you!
  • 25 yards
  • Summary

Today is an unplanned report on the older IZH MP532 target rifler. Reader GunFun1 asked if I could shoot it with a dot sight. So I’m doing that today and this is definitely the last report I’m doing on these two air rifles.

UTG Micro Reflex doesn’t fit

I wanted to test it with the new UTG Micro Reflex dot sight, but with the 11mm dovetail adaptor installed in its clamping jaws the base is too flat to fit down around the rounded top of the MP532 barrel shroud. That prevents both jaws from entering the dovetails at the same time and of course that means you can’t mount that sight on this rifle. No problem, though, because I have other dot sights that do work.

Millett dot sight

I recently tested the Beeman P3 with a Millett dot sight that came with the used pistol I purchased for the test. It was a $200+ sight in its day, so it has plenty of quality. And, best of all, the underside of its clamping base is rounded for rifle dovetails like these.

IZH MP532 Millett
The Millett dot sight went right on the 532 barrel.

Dot sights

Dot sights bring a couple things to the table that we need to appreciate. First, because they typically do not magnify the target, you can wear your everyday glasses. That means you can see both the illuminated dot and the target as good as possible. Dot sights also don’t typically have the erector tube problem that plagues scopes, so they don’t droop. I didn’t sight in at 12 feet like I normally do with a scope. I sat down at 10 meters and fired the first shot, just like I would if I were using open sights. It hit the target backer board 4 inches below and two inches to the right of the aim point, which was the center of the bull.

The next dot sight advantage is they have large adjustment intervals. Instead of 1/4-inch movements per click at 100 yards, they typically move the dot a full inch or so per click at that distance. I’m shooting at 10 meters so I have to adjust about 10 times as many clicks, but it still is a lot less than I would have to do with a scope.

Sight in

The first adjustment brought the next pellet up a little too high and a little to far the left of the aim point. One more adjustment and shot number three scored a solid nine in the center of the bull. So I made it the first shot of the first 5-shot group.

The test

I’m shooting 5-shot groups off a bench at 10 meters with the rifle rested on a sandbag. I’m shooting the same three pellets that were tested in Part 6 last time. The first pellet up and also the one I sighted in with is the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle, an 8.2-grain wadcutter.

I pumped the pump handle partially 10 times to flex and warm up the pump cup and then once before pumping for each shot. I’m getting used to that with these rifles.

Group 1

Five Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets went into 0.264-inches at 10 yards when I sighted with the dot sight. Compare that to the 0.253-inch group I got from this rifle when using a scope in Part 6.

IZH MP532 Meisterkugeln Rifle
Five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets went into 0.264-inches at 10 meters when the MP532 was sighted with the Millett dot sight. That hole in the white at the upper left is sighter shot number 2. I left it in the picture to show how quick this dot sight gets on target. The next shot is in the 9 at the top left of the group.

That was a good start to the test. I felt this was going to be a great day.

H&N Match Green

The next pellet I tested was the H&N Match Green wadcutter. In the last test with the scope five of these went into 0.224-inches at 10 meters. This time five went into 0.582-inches. It’s the largest group of the test and I have no explanation of why it is so large. I didn’t pull any of the shots.

IZH MP532 H&N Match Green
Five H&N Match Green pellets went into 0.582-inches at 10 meters. I have no idea why. The four that are in the same hole measure 0.294-inches between centers, but that is still no excuse for this group.

H&N Finale Match Heavy

The last pellet I tested was the H&N Finale Match Heavy wadcutter. In the last test five went into 0.147-inches at 10 meters when the scope was used. This is also the pellet that made a 0.072-inch group when shot at 10 meters with the peep sight in Part 5, after I figured out how the sight worked on the newer 532. Based on that I hoped the dot sight could also do well.

Best group

I didn’t look through the spotting scope for any of these shots, and even when I finished all five of them I didn’t look. I just went downrange to retrieve the target. There, to my utter surprise, was a single hole in the bull through which five of the same target pellets had passed. It measured 0.260-inches across the widest outside measurement and, when I subtracted 0.177 inches to remove half the pellet’s width from each hole, I was stunned to see a 0.083-inch group! I thought “No Way,” so I did the math again. I even measured the hole again to be sure. Then I photographed my phone to share with you what I saw.

IZH MP532 H&N Finale Match Heavy calculation
This is what I saw when I calculated the group size.

IZH MP532 H&N Finale Match Heavy
And this is the group. Five pellets went into 0.083-inches at 10 meters.

Do you recall what I said when I shot that 0.072-inch group back in Part 5? I said, If that isn’t the smallest 10-meter group I ever shot, it’s certainly one of them. How much luck was involved? Probably quite a bit, but more testing will sort that out.”

Well, today’s test is more testing and I guess we have sorted it out. These Russian target rifles really do shoot that well! It isn’t just luck. Isn’t that nice to know?

GunFun1 — this one’s for you!

I may be the Great Enabler, but some of you guys are getting pretty good at it, yourselves. Here is part of what GunFun1 said to me in the comments to Part 6.

“As you say it’s obvious only certain scopes will work on it. It has a factory peep sight. So really what was the purpose of the dovetail on this gun? I guess in the end what I’m saying is a dot sight would give a purpose to the dovetail. And I think it would actually make it be a nice little plinker out at 20 yards or more with the dot sight.

“If I was thinking about buying a gun like your testing, for me it would get a dot sight and it would be used at farther distances. Otherwise, if that option won’t happen, then it would probably not end up in my hands.”

I underlined certain portions of his comment for you to take special note. That is a cry for me to test this rifle at more than 10 meters if ever I heard one. Well, he doesn’t have to ask twice!

25 yards

I backed up to 25 yards, and of course I used the best pellet, which is this H&N Finale Match Heavy. I shot at a 10-meter pistol target because at that distance it looks about the same as the rifle target looks at 10 meters. I left the sight set where it was at 10 meters. This time five pellets went into 0.529-inches between centers. That’s not bad and it’s even better than I did with H&N Match Greens at 10 meters.

IZH MP532 H&N Finale Match Heavy 25 yards
At 25 yards the 532 put five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets in 0.529-inches between centers.

Summary

We have now certainly learned more about this air rifle than I have ever seen in print. There may be a lot more in Russian somewhere but not in English, I think. Once again, these are scarce rifles everywhere and they are getting harder to find all the time. I am so glad I got to test this for you. I hope you enjoyed the series.