Air Venturi Seneca Aspen .25-caliber precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Interest
  • Oiling the pump head
  • Not changing the scope today
  • Shooting at 2700 psi
  • The test
  • Benjamin domes on low power
  • Benjamin domes on high power
  • Predator Polymag on high power
  • JSB Exact King on high power
  • JSB Exact King on low power
  • Discussion
  • Pumping is easier
  • Summary

Interest

Wow! We didn’t get many comments on Part 3, but those who did comment had a lot to say. Reader shootski wants me to try 5 shots at 2700 psi, maintained by the onboard pump. He said I could pick whether to shoot on high or low power. Tyler Patner told me to try JSB King pellets. Bob M wants me to change the scope. And August reminded me that the pump head may need to be oiled more frequently.

Today I am going to do everything you readers have suggested. This is still not the 25 yard accuracy test, though I will be shooting from that distance again. read more


Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 9

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
Part 8

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Historical baseline data
  • Preparing the rifle
  • Michael’s 427 shooting RWS Superpoints
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • RWS Hobby
  • Discussion
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger
  • Michael’s barrel is choked
  • What have I learned?
  • A hidden gem
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of Michael’s Winchester 427/Diana 27. This will be the end of this report.

I used to think that Tune in a Tube (TIAT) grease increases velocity but now I know from testing that it decreases velocity. Yes, it is a type of grease, but it is so tacky that it slows things down just a little. In rifles of medium power (.22-caliber rifles shooting 750-900 f.p.s.) it can drop the velocity by as much as 40 f.p.s. I haven’t really tested it in a Diana 27 before, so this test will be an eye-opener. read more


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


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


Diana Chaser air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Diana Chaser air pistol
The Diana Chaser is a new CO2 pistol.

This report covers:

  • Mount the sight
  • Front sight?
  • Cut to the chase
  • The test
  • The trigger
  • Dialed the dot way down
  • First target
  • Second target
  • Summary

Today I test the Diana Chaser air pistol with the UTG RDM20 Reflex Micro Dot sight we have been reviewing. The last test was done with the sight mounted on a Beeman P1 back in January, and it did quite well. I told you I wasn’t going to run a special report on the sight, but instead I would be testing it on several airguns as time went by. The Chaser test is today.

Mount the sight

The Chaser’s rear sight had to be removed to mount the UGT dot sight. There is a short rail in front of the pellet trough but I didn’t think it was quite long enough for this sight base. 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