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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All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

503-1 target
The All American Target Concepts 503-1 target is like nothing you have ever seen.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The target under fire
  • Operation
  • Airgun power
  • .22 rimfire
  • What you didn’t see
  • Paddle hits
  • Evaluation

Today I’ll show you how this big Texas Star target works. In Part 1 I mentioned there were numerous patents on the target, but the maker informed me there is just one patent that’s currently in force.

I also have the manufacturer’s pricing now. One target will be $509, with free shipping. That may sound high, but this is a club-grade target and much better built and more rugged than most of us are used to. I think today’s report will show you what I mean.

The target under fire

You should read Part 1 to refresh your memory. This target is built for safety first and also for ruggedness. All the angles on the parts are designed to direct the pellets and bullets away from the firing line. And they are built to take punishment!

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Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan Bullmaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Scope performance
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • Scope adjustment
  • Group two
  • Group three
  • Evaluation
  • Group four
  • Group five
  • Summary

Today I take the Hatsan Bullmaster out to the 50-yard range. I might have said in the past that I would attach a bipod for this test, but instead I rested the rifle on a sandbag.

Hatsan Bullmaster Tom at range
I shot the BullMaster off a sandbag rest.

The test

It is important to remember that the BullMaster is a semiautomatic. However, it is also a repeating pellet rifle. It doesn’t handle the pellets the way cartridges are handled in semiautomatic firearms, so that’s one accuracy-killer that can be discounted. It feeds from a circular magazine. The bolt that pushes the pellet into the breech is operated by air instead of manually by a bolt. Therefore we can expect airgun repeater-level accuracy.

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The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Premiers are best
  • By the triggerguard
  • Extended hold
  • Resting on the bag
  • Getting tired
  • Evaluation
  • Summary

Today will be something a little different. In the previous report reader Siraniko asked me why I changed my artillery hold when I moved from the 10-meter accuracy test to the 25 yard test. Reader GunFun1 picked up on that question and wondered how we would know which hold was best. That made sense, plus I enjoy shooting this rifle, so I promised to do another 25-yard test in which all I change is the hold. That’s what I’m doing today.

Premiers are best

Without question Crosman Premiers turned in the tightest group in that last test, so they were the only pellet I used for this test. I began the test with the same artillery hold I used in the last report — my off hand held under the middle of the cocking slot. No particular reason for holding it there last time, except the farther out I hold it the more stable the rifle seems. By that I mean that the crosshairs don’t dance all around the target. It makes the rifle easier to hold, which is as good a reason as any, I guess.

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Feeling the Christmas spirit yet?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What do you want for Christmas?
  • What’s the point?
  • So — what do you want for Christmas?
  • You are the key
  • Speed sells
  • Accuracy
  • PCPs
  • Handguns
  • One last thing
  • Summary

Well it’s upon us, that time of year when everyone’s thoughts turn to… avarice! Last Friday was Black Friday — originally named for that shopping day when retailers count on their bottom lines turning from red to black for the year. In the beginning, it was whispered behind closed doors, to keep from informing the public of the delicate nature of business. Today it’s shouted through every advertising media channel for weeks before the day arrives — in the hopes of whipping up a buying frenzy. And it does. Some stores that are known for their deeply-discounted loss leaders have lines that form hours before the insanely early hour that their doors open.

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The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Beeman P1
Beeman P1 air pistol.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • RWS Hobby
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • RWS Superdome
  • Getting tired
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Something different
  • Summary

Today I will test the accuracy of my new/old Beeman P1 pistol.

The test

I shot from 10 meters and rested my hands on a sandbag, but the gun was hand-held. I held it with two hands for the greatest stability. My days of shooting perfect scores one-handed are about over. Instead of 10-shot groups I shot 5-shot groups, but I tried a lot more pellets than usual. I also did something neat at the end of the test.

Sight-in

When sighting in, I started out shooting on high power. The first pellet hit the target very low. I played with the sight adjustments until I got the pellets up into the bull, but a thought occurred to me. What if the pistol did better on low power? That might explain why there is a hesitation going past low power when cocking.

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Weihrauch’s HW55SF: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 55SF
HW 55SF.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Readers impact
  • The test
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Now, I zeroed the rifle
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic match pellets
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • But wait —
  • Summary

Today we look at accuracy. Because several readers have asked for it, I will re-test the rifle after I have tuned it. I have not decided yet whether I will do a full parts replacement tune, so there may be nothing to compare a Tune in a Tube tune to (say that quickly three times), but I will at least return and re-test the accuracy with the same pellets after I have quieted the action.

Readers impact

Several readers believe that making a spring gun’s action smoother will improve accuracy. It certainly won’t hurt it, but I have never found it to improve. However, I did an extra test today to see if I am doing all the things I can to get all the accuracy this rifle has to offer. We will get to that after the main test.

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