.22-caliber Browning Gold air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Browning’s Gold breakbarrel is a beautiful new spring-piston rifle.

Well, Mac has returned home and left me to finish this report on the Browning Gold breakbarrel by myself. Some wonderful things have happened and I’m going to write another part to this story tomorrow, only I will not link it to this report, because it applies to general airgunning.

What’s happened has come about in many parts. First, we had a comment on Facebook where I was asked if I really meant to include firearms in my comments on the Artillery Hold video. I definitely did, because target shooters use essentially the same hold when they shoot from a bench, if they want to get the best groups. They call it “follow-through” and I call it the artillery hold, and when we use it we are doing many things at the same time. Well, today’s report brought that out as few past reports have, because the Browning Gold is very sensitive to hold.

But I was also reading the Harvey Donaldson book (Yours Truly, Harvey Donaldson) at this time and even he mentions the same thing. If you want accuracy from the bench you must hold your rifle as loosely as possible, even if it’s a .30-06! The object is to let the firearm or airgun move in the way that it wants to, so that when the bullet or pellet exits the muzzle, it (the muzzle) is always in the same place.

So today I’m going to tell you what I did to re-test the Browning Gold, but tomorrow I’m going to expand the subject to encompass all spring-piston airguns. Let’s now turn our attention to today’s subject.

Revisiting the Browning Gold
I said at the end of Part 3 that I felt the Browning Gold needed to be given another chance to excel, and that I would do certain things to ensure that every possible thing was done to help it shoot. First, I would clean the bore with JB-Non-Embedding-Bore-Cleaning-Compound. This I did by running a brass brush loaded with JB bore paste through the bore 20 times in each direction. This rifle’s bore provided the most resistance to this procedure that I have ever experienced. Usually the brush becomes much easier to push after 10-14 strokes have gone through, but although it did get a little easier, there was still great resistance on the last stroke.

Following the cleaning, all residue was removed from the bore and clean patches were run through until they came out clean.

The second thing I did was check the stock screws and of course they were all loose. So I tightened them and checked them during shooting after each five shots. The triggerguard screw did loosen several times again, but the screws in the forearm remained tight for the remainder of the shooting.

I checked all the scope mount screws and they were tight. Now the rifle was ready for the re-test.

H&N Baracuda Match pellets were the best
Another trick I used was to begin with a known good pellet. because Mac had tested several pellets in Part 3 and found the H&N Baracuda Match pellets to be the best, I didn’t waste any time with other pellets. This would also “condition” the bore, for those who say that is an important step to achieving accuracy.

What Mac found was that by holding the rifle on the flat of his open palm placed under the rear of the cocking slot gave the best accuracy, so that was how I began the test. And the first group I got was remarkably similar to the best groups Mac got when he shot the rifle. So I was not able to make any improvement, but I also didn’t do any worse. After I explain how the rest of the test went I will tell you about the special holding technique I mentioned last time. And, no surprise, my technique is identical to the one used by all the benchrest champions back in the 19th and 20th centuries! In other words, nothing has changed.

Back to the test. At this point I was back to the baseline Mac established and wanting to see if I could push the limits forward (achieve better accuracy). I never did, but oh, boy, did I prove a couple things that you will find interesting.

Was it scope shift?
Even shoot a gun and get two groups from the same scope setting? I did with this rifle. And the scope is not to blame, because it was still performing as it should — a fact I proved AFTER shooting the double groups.

What caused my double groups, and probably also causes the ones that you shoot with your rifles, wasn’t a scope shift but a subtle change in the hold. That’s all it took to land the pellets in a tight group an inch away. Most of the time these groups were separated laterally, but once they were vertical, and I will tell you how that happened in a moment.

Ten pellets went into these two groups. They look like the scope shifted during shooting, but all that changed was how the rifle was held.

A group of ten landed in two distinctly separate locations. This is not “scope shift.” It’s the result of a very hold-sensitive rifle being held two different ways, with each hold being repeated very carefully. If the two different holds were not repeated carefully these pellets would be al over the place!

Moving your hand as little as one-quarter-inch or changing the way the rifle balances on your hand is all it takes to shoot a split group like the one above. Fortunately there is a way to cancel any effects.

The “secret” hold
Okay, now let’s hear from Harvey Donaldson, the man who invented the .219 Donaldson Wasp, and who, at 85 years of age, could still put five bullets into a group that measured three-tenths of an inch at 100 yards. Here, in February, 1972, Donaldson is writing to Dave Wolfe, the former editor of Handloader magazine.

I find that a lot of shooters put more pressure on the stock than is necessary. When you can shoot with no pressure you sure have it made. Of course your sandbags will have to be right and one has more trouble with a rifle that has a lot of recoil.

That, my friends, is the artillery hold explained in different terms, except that Donaldson is shooting directly off the bags, and not off his hand. But the essence of the artillery hold is explained in that paragraph.

He gets away with resting directly on sandbags because of the velocity of the centerfire rifles he is shooting. Almost everything he shot went over 3,000 f.p.s., so the bullet was out the muzzle before the barrel started to move. With a spring-piston gun that cannot happen, because the pellet doesn’t start moving until the piston has almost come to a complete stop. The gun has already started moving before the pellet begins its trip down the bore, which is why we airgunners have to take extra pains to allow the gun to follow its own recoil path every time.

How to apply the secret hold
Here is how you apply the secret hold to a sensitive spring gun. After you have the crosshairs on target, close your eyes and relax. Then open your eyes and see where the crosshairs are. If you are right-handed, the chances are they will have moved to the right and up. The opposite for lefties — left and up.

When you see this, adjust your hold until the gun no longer moves when you relax. At that point the gun will shoot the best it is capable of from a rest.

After you practice this for a few hundred times you won’t have to close your eyes anymore. You will be able to relax and just watch the crosshairs move, if they’re going to. They almost always do move, so I go with the times when they move the least of all, remaining inside the bullseye but perhaps moving up just a bit.

What I’ve just described is the true artillery hold, and it’s something more than that. It’s really something called follow-through, in which the shooter is so relaxed that he remains on target for some time after the shot is fired. How many times have you caught yourself popping up like a gopher immediately after taking a shot? You know you aren’t going to hit anything if you do that, yet it’s a bad habit we all have to unlearn. If you think it is difficult for an airgunner, try sitting there and taking it on the chin when you get slugged by a .30-06! Even my gentle .38-55 is still a big old cow about recoil. It will figuratively jam you into a fence and step on your feet and you have to just grin and bear it if you want all the bullets to go to the same place.

Back to the Gold test
I shot and shot, trying different holds and once even resting the rifle directly on the bag. that was the only time I got a vertical shot displacement.

It was very easy to put two or three pellets into the same hole, bit try as I did, I found it impossible to get all ten in the same place. In the end my best group looked a lot like the one Mac shot in Part 3.


By applying the best dead-calm hold, I managed to shoot this group of ten H&N Baracud Match pellets.

The results
Here is what I think this means. Some airguns are not meant to be shot from a bench. The Browning Gold might be one of them. It’s a rifle that needs to be held, just like several other powerful breakbarrel springers I could name. So while it may never turn in a screaming-good group on paper, hunters will find that it delivers on game. That is my impression of this airgun.

Tomorrow I’m going to address how to tell whether an airgun is a shooter before you try it. It’s risky, I know, and I’ll admit that I have made a few huge mistakes over the years, but more often than not I can now tell when a gun will be difficult or easy to shoot accurately.


.22-caliber Browning Gold air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

With the assistance of Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2


Browning’s Gold breakbarrel is a beautiful new spring-piston rifle.

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the Browning Gold air rifle. I think many of us have been eagerly awaiting this report, so we can evaluate this rifle in terms of a future buy.

Mac did the testing for me because the Gold cocks with a little more effort than I want to handle at this time. The cocking effort is still about 45 lbs., although you can tell that the action is breaking in and getting smoother as it does. The barrel lock, for example, is now very smooth and requires just a light touch to open. I’d hoped that both the cocking effort and the trigger would both lighten up as well, but so far that hasn’t happened.

I asked Mac to test several pellets for me. He got all the pellets that were used in the velocity test in Part 2, plus we added an interesting one for flavor.

Sight-in with Crosman Premier pellets
Not knowing which pellets the rifle would like, Mac sighted-in with the classic 14.3-grain Crosman Premier. The sight-in distance was about 15 feet; but when he backed up to 25 yards, there was still a lot more work to get the rifle safely on paper.

Normally, a rifle can be sighted-in at 10 feet and you’re assured it’ll be on paper at 20-30 yards, but this time it didn’t work that way. I don’t believe the rifle is different in any way from other powerful breakbarrel spring rifles, but I do think I need to spend a little more time with it. I get a vibe that there is more to the Gold than I’m seeing in the standard three-part test, so at the end of today’s report I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it.

Crosman Premier pellets
After sight-in, Mac backed up to 25 yards and began the test. The first pellet he tried was the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier he’d used to sight in the rifle. But at 25 yards, Premiers were all over the place. After eight shots, he had essentially a three-inch group, so he decided to stop that target and more on.

H&N Baracuda Match pellets
The next pellet Mac tried in the Gold was the heavy H&N Baracuda Match. This is the same pellet as the Beeman Kodiak, and it turned in the best group of the test. Ten shots went into a group measuring exactly one-inch across the centers of the two widest shots. Within that group, though, is a smaller one containing seven shots that measure 0.52 inches across. That tells me that Mac hadn’t discovered the exact hold for the rifle. Indeed, he shot two 10-shot groups with Baracudas, and the first one was 1.5 times larger than the second. It was during the second group that he discovered the way the rifle likes to be held.

The best hold
The Gold requires the artillery hold. Mac started out by balancing the rifle on two fingers placed just in front of the triggerguard. That makes the rifle very muzzle heavy and is usually the best way to hold a sensitive springer, but not this time. Mac discovered the Gold wanted to be placed on the flat of his open palm in the classic artillery hold. His off hand was forward, where it just touched the back of the cocking slot. All the rest of the hold remained the same, which means no pulling into the shoulder and no heavy hand on the pistol grip.

Follow-through is a huge part of the artillery hold, and there’s a relaxation technique I sometimes use on extra-sensitive spring rifles to calm them down the maximum amount. I will explain it in part four of this report, because that’s where we’re headed.

While this 10-shot group of H&N Baracudas isn’t exactly tight, it does show promise. Seven of the 10 shots went into about one-half inch.

JSB Exact Express pellets
The next pellet to be tested was another one that I had high hopes for. Just like the Premier, the JSB Exact Express 14.3-grain dome is a classic pellet that usually does great things in spring guns. But they didn’t like the Browning Gold, grouping in over two inches before Mac stopped shooting the group. By this time, he knew how the rifle liked to be held yet this pellet still wouldn’t group. So, he moved on.

RWS Hobby pellets
Neither Mac nor I held out much hope for the lightweight RWS Hobby pellet in this powerful spring rifle. And this time our predictions came true. This was another pellet that didn’t finish, after several shots went into almost three inches at 25 yards.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets
The last pellet Mac tried was the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy 18.1-grain pellet. Because the heavy Baracudas were accurate, I figured these would be as well. They gave a best 10-shot group of 1.167 inches, which isn’t great but, once again, showed some promise within the group.

Ten JSB Exact Jumbos made this group, which measures over an inch but still shows promise.

Let me now try to make sense of what’s happening (I believe), and we’ll see where we go from here.

Powerful spring rifles are hold-sensitive
From hundreds of tests of different airguns, I’ve observed that powerful spring rifles are usually very sensitive to how they’re held. Sometimes, there are exceptions; and in one case, the exception gives good insight into what may be happening with the Gold.

Let me tell you about the Beeman R1 that I used to write the Beeman R1 Supermagnum Air Rifle book. I tested that rifle both before and after a 1,000-shot break-in period and what I found was interesting. When the gun was tuned with most conventional tunes, including the one that came from the factory, it was extremely sensitive to hold. I would get 3-inch, 5-shot groups at 50 yards. But the most powerful tune I could apply to that rifle, which came from Ivan Hancock, proved to also be the least sensitive to hold.

With the Mag-80 Laza tune in the gun, I could get 1.5-inch, 5-shot groups at 50 yards with the same pellets that gave me groups twice that size with all other tunes — including a gas spring! That told me that it wasn’t just the power of the rifle or the fact that it was a breakbarrel springer that made it touchy — it was also the specific tune on the gun.

I don’t have the time or inclination to tune this test rifle, nor do I want to go inside for that matter. I do want to give the rifle another chance to do well on the test. I want that because I sense there’s more here than I’m seeing from the brief test I normally do.

You might think I could say the same thing about all powerful breakbarrel springers, but I can’t. If the manufacturer didn’t bother making the barrel pivot joint adjustable with a bolt that allows the user to adjust the breech as the rifle breaks in, then nothing can be done that’s economically realistic to make it a better shooter. I’m referring to the current crop of Chinese-made magnum blasters that have plain pins for their pivots. But this Browning Gold has a bolt that can be adjusted, and I think this is one of those air rifles that will wear in, not out. I could be wrong, and I’m certainly not going to test it for several thousand shots to find out, but I do think the rifle deserves a second chance to succeed.

Part four — a plan for the future
I’ll do a Part 4 retest of accuracy, where I’ll shoot the rifle myself. Mac is on his way back to Maryland, unfortunately for me.

I plan to clean the bore with JB-Non-Embedding-Bore-Cleaning-Compound, the same as I have done in the past for other air rifles that I felt had more potential than they were showing. I’ll also tighten all the stock screws, because Mac noted that they loosened during testing. He tightened them as he went, but I’ll keep a watchful eye on them. Lastly, I’ll apply that special follow-through technique I alluded to earlier. When I do it, I’ll talk you through how it’s done so you can try it yourself. I have written about this technique several times in past reports, but it’s time to focus on it once more, I think.

I’ll start the test with Baracudas and then test some other good .22-caliber pellets to see if there are some that could prove to be accurate. When all is said and done, I want this rifle to have had the best chance to shine because I have a strong feeling that it’s a good one.


.22-caliber Browning Gold air rifle: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

With the assistance of Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1


Browning’s Gold breakbarrel is a beautiful new spring-piston rifle.

Today, we’ll test the velocity of the Browning Gold. Mac is here and did the shooting for today’s test. He was surprised by the 45 lbs. of force needed to cock the rifle, just as I was; but by the time he finished the test, things were moving right along. So, you do get used to it.

Firing behavior
Mac notes that the rifle fires briskly, which means with noticeable recoil but without excess vibration. It’s a solid feel. You could say it feels much like the old British-made Webley Patriot, though not as intense.

The trigger was a problem on the first gun that Mac tested, but in this rifle it’s fine. Of course, we’ll find out more when I test the rifle for accuracy because that’s when the shooter is forced into a close relationship with the gun. The trigger on this rifle breaks uniformly at 3.5 lbs.

Power
Browning advertises the rifle at 800 f.p.s. in .22, which is stout and also right where you want it to be for hunting. I asked Mac to test it with three popular pellets, and I shot a couple rounds with a fourth just to see for myself how the rifle behaves.

The first pellet tested was the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier. Based on the advertised velocity, I expected to see something around 750 f.p.s. from this pellet, but the average was actually 729 f.p.s. That gives us a muzzle energy of 16.88 foot-pounds. Velocities varied from a low of 724 f.p.s. to a high of 733 f.p.s., so the total spread was just nine f.p.s. For a brand-new gun that hasn’t been broken in yet, that’s very consistent.

Next up was the JSB Exact Express 14.3-grain dome. Because this pellet is pure lead, I would expect it to go slightly faster than the hard-alloy Premier, but it actually went a little slower. They averaged 721 f.p.s. for 10, with a spread from 716 f.p.s. to a high of 731 f.p.s. The total spread was 15 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they generate 16.51 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

The last pellet tested was the old standard H&N Baracuda Match, which most of you know is the same as the Beeman Kodiak Match. In the Gold, they averaged 594 f.p.s., which generates a muzzle energy of 16.57 foot-pounds. The spread went from a low of 586 f.p.s to a high of 600 f.p.s., so the total spread was 14 f.p.s. Because the Baracuda/Kodiak is such a great hunting pellet, I’ll be sure to test it for accuracy.

And, lest you lament that an 800 f.p.s. rifle is shooting at under 600 f.p.s., welcome to reality. This has been going on for as long as there have been pellet rifles and it in no way disparages the Browning Gold.

However…
But I know human nature, and there will be some readers who fixate on that 800 f.p.s. number, so I also tested it for a couple shots with .22 RWS Hobby pellets. At 11.9 grains, Hobbys are the lightest lead pellets around, and I always use them to test top velocities.

I fired three rounds that went 788, 778 and 783 f.p.s. So the rifle is spot-on where it is advertised to be; because, with a thousand-shot break-in, we expect it to increase by 20-30 f.p.s., at least.

Like Mac, I also found the gun to be authoritative but not overbearing. It’s not one bit like a long-stroke Chinese spring rifle that is shooting for the sound barrier. I noted that stage two of the trigger is long and a little creepy; but as I said in the beginning, the accuracy test will bring that out all the way.

Impressions thus far
At this point, I still think the Gold is a rifle that needs a proper break-in and will last. I wish I could say that cocking has become easier in the few shots we’ve fired thus far, but it hasn’t. However, the barrel lock is definitely smoother and lighter after these few shots. So the break-in continues.


.22-caliber Browning Gold air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

With the assistance of Earl “Mac” McDonald


Browning’s Gold breakbarrel is a beautiful new spring-piston rifle.

Let’s begin our look at an air rifle that a lot of readers have been waiting for — the Browning Gold. I can tell you right now that this is a different spring rifle that deserves very close examination. I’ll try to point out as many of the unique features as I go through the gun and the test.

I’ve waited to begin this evaluation until my buddy, Mac, can be here with me, for he’s already started a test of this air rifle and stopped short when some mechanical issues were encountered. I’ll tell you what they were, and I’ll also examine the test rifle while looking for signs of those same issues.

I waited for Mac because this rifle is a powerful one that will require some strength to cock. Until the past month, I was unable to handle tasks like that because of an inguinal hernia. My hernia surgery was at the end of April, and since then I’ve been exercising every day, plus doing upper body bodybuilding three days a week. Recently, I’ve begun some modified sit-ups that are beginning to strengthen my abdominal muscles, and I think I’ll now be able to cock the Gold without any problem as long as I use two hands. Just in case that’s incorrect, Mac will be here next week to back me up. So, the time to do this test is right now.

The Browning name
First, let me acquaint you with the Browning name as it applies to airguns. Browning has never made an airgun in their factory. Every airgun that carries their name is made by someone else under license.

I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that the Browning company is world-famous for the many fine firearms they have made. John Moses Browning was an American whose early body of work gave us such American classics as the Colt 1911 pistol; Winchester’s model 1885 single-shot (the so-called Low Wall and High Wall rifles); the 1886, 1892 and 1994 lever-action rifles (and all the variations that followed); the military Browning Automatic Rifle that still sees limited use in some far-flung parts of the world; and several famous machine guns including the .50 caliber M2 that has now returned to supplant more modern designs and continues to be the free-world’s heavy machine gun of choice. It’s the big gun that gave the first Iron Man suit so much trouble in the hills of Afghanistan.

But, then, a curious thing happened. Browning, who was more prolific an inventor than any one company could tolerate, took a world-beating shotgun design to Winchester that they did not act on. He took it to Remington and sold it to them. The year was 1905, and the gun was the model 11 semiautomatic shotgun. You probably know it better as the Browning Automatic Five. Can you say, “Stick a finger in their eye?”

From that point on, Browning took on a more worldly viewpoint, and some of his best designs were actually made by companies outside the U.S. The Belgian company that took his name as a subsidiary of their own (Fabrique Nationale) continues to make world-class firearms under the Browning name to this day.

But they don’t make airguns. So when it came time to put their very prestigious name on some airguns many years ago, they were forced to find a company to build the guns for them. They chose Rutten of Belgium, and over the course of several years they offered such innovative models as the underlever Windstar that cocked with both the opening and closing stroke of the underlever. The sales patter said that because you were cocking in both directions, the effort was cut in half, but the truth was that you had to apply the same cocking force through twice as much of an arc. The Windstar and all of its relatives were mid-powered spring-piston rifles that were very buzzy, even for their time.

The other highly innovative rifle Rutten put the Browning name on was another spring-piston design that was cocked via an electric motor. You simply pushed a button in the stock and a high-torque electric motor drew the piston back against the coiled mainspring. Armchair airgunners everywhere hailed this new rifle as the salvation of the spring rifle, but were appalled when they saw the price tag. I tested the gun for The Airgun Letter and heard that high-torque motor in operation. It sounded like someone was torqueing lug nuts in the pits at Indy on Memorial Day!

The Browning Gold
The times have changed and the Browning Gold we’re testing is made in Turkey. It’s a breakbarrel with a barrel lock! I haven’t seen one of those on a new airgun in years.


A barrel lock under the barrel holds the breech shut during firing.

This is a large air rifle. It’s 48.40 inches long and weighs 8.40 lbs. The website lists the cocking effort as 38 lbs., which they got from the distributor; but after cocking our test rifle twice, I knew it went beyond that. The test rifle cocks with 45 lbs. of effort, though the sounds it makes while being cocked suggest a dry poweplant. I think that if it was properly lubricated it might well cock at 38 lbs. after a 1000-shot break-in.

The beech wood stock is stained the most beautiful amber/honey brown that will make you think of fine Turkish walnut. The stock (and gun) is 100 percent ambidextrous, with a high Monte Carlo comb that has a rollover cheekpiece, so its the same on both sides of the butt.

The stock is checkered with panels on both sides of the pistol grip and forearm. The checkering is extra fancy, plus the Browning logo is carved into the stock on both sides of the butt as well as just above the trigger on both sides of the stock, where the Browning name also appears. The stock is also shaped differently than anything you’ve ever seen. It has contours that are pleasing to look at and, with a single exception, to hold. I do find the pistol grip to be a little too long, front to back, which gives the grip a blocky feel in my hands. Other than that, the balance is perfect, with a definite weight bias toward the front of the gun. Whoever designed this stock was a shooter.

Before I leave the stock, I want to say one more thing. Just back of the pistol grip is a half-round cutout that seems to be shaped for mounting the rifle over a peg on a horizontal rifle rack.


A notch behind the pistol grip seems perfect for the rear peg on a wall mount.

The metal is finished smooth and glossy on the spring tube but left rough from the tumbler on the outside of the barrel. I’m sure they’re going for a tuxedo contrast of finishes here, but to my eye it looks like more of a clash.

Trigger
The trigger is adjustable for pull weight and, for once, they tell you exactly how to adjust it in the owner’s manual. None of this “adjustment of sear contact” or “adjustment of second stage creep” garbage. To make it lighter, do this!

The automatic safety button is mounted on the tang like a shotgun safety. The rifle is large but not overly heavy. The stock just in front of the triggerguard is shaped perfectly for the flat of your hand while using the artillery hold. I like the straight line of the stock. If this was a centerfire rifle, the felt recoil would be much lower than one whose butt drops several inches.


The automatic safety is located in the tang, just like a shotgun safety.

The triggerguard has an angular appearance to it and is made from synthetic, though the trigger blade itself is metal. There’s a raised scope base on top of the spring tube that incorporates no fewer than seven holes for vertical scope stop pins. I think they missed a good bet by not incorporating a Weaver-style base into this one, so many more good scope mounts could be used. The base is wide enough for it, which is what brought it to mind. However, with seven holes to position the scope stop pin, I don’t think you’ll need anything more than what they’ve given you.


The scope base provides plenty of holes for positioning a vertical scope top pin.

In a rare happenstance, the rifle I’m testing is even more beautiful than the one shown on the Pyramyd Air website, which tells me a lot of care went into the finishing of each and every gun. If you’re a person who loves good looks, the Gold may be a gun to consider. I’m testing serial number 00000536.

Sights
The Gold comes with fully adjustable open sights. Yes, there’s a lot of plastic, but it’s the right kind and the fiberoptic tube in the front sight is properly protected from damage. That tube is also not bright, so under the right lighting it appears as a sharp square post that’s quite a bit more precise.

The rifle I’ve elected to test for you is .22 caliber, which is proper when you consider the power potential. They say it gets 800 f.p.s. in this caliber, and I’ll be testing for that. I will also be testing for accuracy; because if this rifle is accurate, it’ll be a wonderful new addition to the market. However, I have to caution you that this is a breakbarrel. That means it is the most difficult kind of rifle to shoot accurately. So, it’s not only a test of the Gold, but also of Mac and my ability to shoot.