FX Dreamlite precharged air rifle : Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FX Dreamlite
FX Dreamlite precharged pneumatic rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 1 UTG 4-16 OP3 Compact scope

This report covers:

  • Mounting the scope
  • Sunscreen
  • Clear, clear, clear!
  • First target
  • Target two
  • JSB Beasts
  • Crosman Premier Lights give strange group(s)!
  • Crosman Premier Heavy
  • Second attempt
  • Summary for the UTG scope
  • Summary for the FX Dreamlight

Today is really two reports in one. I’m covering the new UTG 4-16 AO Compact scope and this is also the fifth report on the FX-Dreamlite precharged pneumatic air rifle. I’m glad I got back to it because I found a second good pellet for the rifle today. But first the scope.

Mounting the scope

Because the FX Dreamlite is such a drooper I tried to use the Sportsmatch 30mm high adjustable scope mounts. The would have been ideal, but they don’t work because of the FX 21-shot magazine that sticks up so high above the top of the receiver. I ended up using the True Strength mounts that came with the UTG scope and I shimmed under the scope on the rear ring. The scope barely fit so the magazine can be installed. And yes, I am aware there is a Mini FX 10-shot rotary magazine available. I just don’t have one. But that’s what this rifle needs.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 scope
The new UTG OP3 scope mounted on the Dreamlite looks like it was made for the rifle.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 clearance
The 21-shot magazine just clears the scope. A 10-shot Mini Mag would be better.

Sunscreen

This UTG scope comes with a separate sunscreen that screws into the objective end of the scope. It’s three inches long, so it provides good protection from the sun. If you have never experienced it, when the sunlight falls on the objective lens it flares up as a bright spot that ruins your aim. You loose the reticle and sometimes even the target when this happens. But this new scope has you covered.

Clear, clear, clear!

Sight-in started at 12 feet and then moved to 10 meters. When I got back to the shooting distance of 25 yards I got the scope fully adjusted and the image was crystal clear. I could not see the thin black crosshair over the bull, so I turned on the illumination — exactly as I did with the Meopta Optika6! Then it was clear as a bell and I could also see the 10-dot of the bull. This scope is as clear and sharp as I told you yesterday. Now I’m going to switch to the report on the rifle, but I have more to say about the scope as we go.

First target

I sighted-in with 8.44-grain JSB Exacts that so far were the most accurate pellets for this rifle. So, the first target was a group of 10 of them. The group measures 0.454-inches between centers. It’s higher than the center of the bull to preserve my aim point. It’s also a little left of center.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 JSB 844 group 1
The first 25-yard group of JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets measures 0.454-inches between centers.

Target two

I adjusted the scope several clicks to the right and several clicks down and shot the second group with the same pellet. This time 10 JSB 8.44-grain pellets went into 0.388-inches at 25 yards. This group is also rounder than the last. I think I was getting into the groove. The FX trigger is light and crisp, but I shoot so many airguns that I forget how each one likes to be held and shot, and it takes some time to remember them. The Dreamlite holds steady and the trigger is superb!

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 JSB 844 group 2
This 25-yard group of JSB 8.44-grain domes measures 0.388-inches between centers.

I would also like to point out that this UTG scope is displaying absolutely no stiction. When the adjustments are made the pellets go to the new location on the first shot. That is something I seldom see in a scope test. It usually takes one or two shots to jiggle the erector tube to the new setting.

JSB Beasts

I tried the JSB Beast pellet again. This time they were all over the place and only 4 of 5 hit the target paper. They measure 2.215-inches between centers, but without shot 5 they aren’t a real group. I quit this pellet after 5 shots.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 JSB Beast group
JSB Beasts are not for the FX Dreamlite.

Crosman Premier Lights give strange group(s)!

Next I tried some 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lights. Would their harder lead be better in the Smooth Twist II barrel? I only loaded 5 pellets after seeing what the JSB Beasts had done.
The first 5 Premiers went into 0.371-inches. Huzzah! Had I finally found the second good pellet for the Dreamlite? I do note that these pellets shifted off to the left on their own. The scope adjustments were not touched.

I then loaded a second five Premier Lights to complete the 10-shot group. The first shot hit the target paper an inch to the left of the last group. Huh? I had not changed a thing — and for those wondering about the barrel stability, I had not bumped the barrel when I reloaded.

These 5 Premier Lights went into an IDENTICAL 0.371-inch group whose center is about nine-tenths of an inch to the left of the first 5 shots. This is the strangest group I have ever seen and I wouldn’t believe it if I had not been there to see it! Obviously something is up, but I don’t have much to go on yet. I checked the air pressure in the reservoir and it was sitting around 180 bar at this point. That should be good. The 10 shots measure 1.158-inches between centers.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 Premier Light group
Twin 0.371-inch groups of Crosman Premier Lights are 0.9-inches apart at 25 yards. The entire groups measures 1.158-inches between centers. I have no idea what happened, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the pellet.

Crosman Premier Heavy

 
The last pellet I tested was the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier Heavy. Because of the previous strange double group I refilled the FX to 250 bar. I know from all the testing that’s been done that the regulator is working well in this rifle and I can trust it when it’s full.
I loaded 5 pellets and shot at the bull on the left of the paper. The first pellet barely nicked the left edge of the target paper. I shot the other 4 and got what appeared to be a tight little group that was right on the edge of the paper, but the pellet shift was noteworthy — very similar to that of the Premier Light.

Second attempt

I cranked a lot of right adjustment into the scope and shot a second group. This time 10 pellets were loaded into the mag. And, shot after shot, they kept going to the same place! After the fifth pellet I couldn’t see the hole grow any larger. Ten Premier Heavys went into 0.353-inches at 25 yards. Folks, we have a winner! This is the second pellet that the Smooth Twist barrel likes.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 Premier Heavy group
Ten Crosman Premier Heavy pellets went intro 0.353-inches at 25 yards. Yeah — that’s a group!

Summary for the UTG scope

The UTG Scope is everything I thought it would be. It’s clear, the reticle is very useful, the illumination works great (yes, I turned it off after shooting!), the mounts work great and the scope has zero stiction. The only concern is that this is a compact scope, so there are fewer placement options when mounting. Should you get one? Only if you are looking for a superlative small scope that won’t break the bank!

Summary for the FX Dreamlight

I am so glad I did today’s test. The Dreamlite is still sensitive to what pellets are used, but it now likes at least two.

The issue of the double group of Premier Lights needs to be investigated. I won’t tell you what I suspect so you can discuss it without any bias. But I do plan to test the rifle again to see if I am right.

If I hadn’t done this test I would have written the Dreamlite off, and that would have been unfortunate because there is a lot of innovation here. This rifle needs to be played with to sort things out as our friends in the UK would say. But there is a worthy air rifle here. It reminds me of my TalonSS with so many features and adjustments that it takes real dedication to get to know it. But the journey is worth the effort.


Diana 35: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 35
Diana 35 pellet rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Season the bore
  • Other pellets
  • RWS Superdome
  • RWS Superpoint
  • Discussion
  • Summary

I’m testing the accuracy of the Diana 35 today. I hadn’t planned to do that before I opened the rifle and at least lubricated it, but I’m now glad that I did. The trigger on this rifle is adjusted as good as I can get it, but it’s still a bit vague where stage two begins. I think a good lubrication of the trigger parts will help that a lot. So, what you see today could improve.

Also, I note that this rifle is cocking as easily as a Diana 27, yet it is more powerful. It isn’t up to the full spec of a 35, but the cocking effort is so much less that, unless the mainspring is severely canted, I might just leave it as it is. It’s sort of exactly what I was hoping for when I dreamed the whole thing up while working on Michael’s Winchester 427/Diana 27.

The test

I’m shooting off a sandbag rest at 10 meters today, using a modified artillery hold. I’m holding the rifle more than the classic artillery hold, but not as tight as a conventional hold. With the shape of the buttstock and the slipperiness of the plastic buttplate, I can’t really hold it with a conventional artillery hold.

I’m shooting 5-shot groups, so I can shoot many more types of pellets before I get tired. That really paid off.

Sight in

I had the rear sight completely off the rifle and broken into all its parts, so a sight-in was necessary. I sighted-in with Air Arms Falcon pellets for no particular reason. The first shot hit 2 inches high and slightly to the right. It took two more shots to get in the center of the bull. After that I never adjusted the sights for the other pellets.

Air Arms Falcons

First to be tested were the Falcons I sighted-in with. The first group was well-centered but vertical. It measures 0.442-inches between the two widest shots of the 5-shot group. Not a bad start!

Falcon group 1
Five Falcon pellets went into 0.442-inches at 10 meters. Very encouraging!

Season the bore

I was so impressed by the first group that I thought I needed to shoot a second one. Then I heard you guys telling me I needed to season the bore for this pellet. Well, I won’t shoot enough for that, but I might as well shoot that second group right now.

The second group of Falcons went to roughly the same place and was even more tantalizing. Four of the pellets are in 0.123-inches. But one additional shot opened the group to 0.396-inches. I have no idea which of the five shots that one was. This rifle likes Falcon pellets.

Falcon group 2
Five Falcon pellets went into 0.396-inches with 4 in just 0.123-inches. Almost a screamer!

Other pellets

Then I tried a host of other pellets that all gave good groups but not great ones. Rather than flood you with a bunch of mediocre pictures, I’ll just list the pellets I tried.

RWS Hobby
RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
H&N Baracuda Match with 4.53mm heads
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain
JSB Exact RS
JSB Exact Heavy pellets

The largest 5-shot group made by these pellets measures 0.718-inches between centers, so we are not talking about poor accuracy. I’m simply cutting to the chase and showing groups made by the best pellets, because we all know they are the only ones I will try, out of this batch, from this point on.

RWS Superdome

I hope you’re paying attention here, because the next two pellets both come from RWS. I think I mentioned awhile back that vintage Diana airguns favor RWS pellets. The current Diana guns do, too, though they also like other premium pellets, like those from JSB.

Five RWS Superdomes went into 0.553-inches at 10 meters. The group shifted its point of impact a little, but that’s to be expected when a heavier pellet is fired.

Superdome group
Five RWS Superdomes made this 0.553-inch group at 10 meters.

RWS Superpoint

The last pellet I’ll show was made by the RWS Superpoint. I wasn’t going to test it until I remembered that in my .22-caliber Diana 27 the Superpoint is one of the very best pellets. So, I gave them a try and, lo and behold, they turned in a 0.459-inch group that was just behind the two groups of Falcons.

Superpoint group
Five RWS Superpoints made this 0.459-inch group at 10 meters.

Discussion

This 35 is one of the first, vintage .177 Dianas that has proved to be accurate for me. I include in that list the underlever Diana 50 that I tested for you a couple years ago. It did well at 10 meters, too, but fell apart at 25 yards. Of course that rifle is a taploader and I know that has some bearing on the accuracy. I haven’t shot the 35 at 25 yards yet, but I’m hoping it will do okay.

Now, as for this 35, I like it. I like the size. I like the shape of the stock. I like how easy it cocks. And I like the accuracy.

I don’t care for the trigger — yet, but I think I can do something about that. I also don’t care for the vibration and jolt when it fires, but again I believe I can fix it.

Summary

I set out to get a Diana 35 working as smooth as I could, so I would have an adult-sized air rifle that was also pleasant to shoot. So far this one is better than I was hoping for. Now — if I can just do my part!


Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle
Ruger 10/22.

This report covers:

  • Mounting the dot sight
  • The R47 sight
  • Can you see the front sight through the dot sight?
  • Sight-in
  • The test
  • First group
  • RWS Superdome
  • Crosman Premier Light
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Ten-shot group
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I will test the Ruger 10/22 at 25 yards. I’m doing this so the rifle can go back to Umarex, because they are apparently waiting for it. Other writers, I suppose.

Mounting the dot sight

As I mentioned in Part 2, Umarex sent an Axeon R47 dot sight to test on the Ruger, and today I will mount it and sight it in, then test the rifle at 25 yards. To mount any aftermarket sight to a 10/22 you have to first install Weaver bases. I showed you the factory-drilled holes for those bases in Part 2. I took a new package of two-piece Weaver bases and screwed them to the top of the receiver. That took 5 minutes.

Ruger 10/22 Weaver bases
The Weaver bases screwed directly to the 10/22 receiver.

Ruger 10/22 R47 sight
The Aexon R47 holographic dot sight was attached to the Ruger.

The R47 sight

The Aexon R47 dot sight is a holographic sight that offers a choice of 4 different reticles and 7 levels of light intensity. It adjusts via Allen screws (booooo — I would rather have controls that don’t require tools), but they have the same 3mm heads as the scope base. At least one tool does it all!

The reticles are very bright, so I used the lowest illumination for the greatest precision. I used a plain dot that is best suited to a bullseye.

Can you see the front sight through the dot sight?

No. The R47 is so much higher than the standard rear sight that it looks over the front sight altogether. You don’t need to remove anything when using this dot sight with the 10/22.

Sight-in

I sighted-in at 12 feet, then 10 meters, using RWS Supermag pellets. After three shots I was on target, and back at 25 yards it took 2 more shots to refine the zero. I wasn’t worried about an exact zero as I am testing the rifle with 4 different pellets. Group size is important — not the score. When I finished the shots were hitting the bull. I will add that the dot sight is so high that my head had to be higher on the stock to see it in line with the target.

The test

I shot 5-shot groups with each pellet and decided to use the best one to shoot a 10-shot group at the end. I shot from 25 yards with the rifle rested directly on a sandbag. I cocked the bolt before every shot to get the trigger as smooth and light as possible.

First group

The Supermags did well at 10 meters with open sights, so I hoped they would do well at 25 yards with the dot sight. Five pellets grouped in 1.406-inches in a horizontal group.

Ruger 10/22 Supermag group
Five RWS Supermag wadcutter pellets grouped in 1.406-inches at 25 yards.

RWS Superdome

The next pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. It gave me a strange vertical group of 4 that measured 0.968-inches between centers, with pellet number 5 opening the group to 2.221-inches between centers. I have no idea which of the shots that one stray pellet really was, because I was shooting with an unmagnified dot. I held perfectly for all shots and did not call a pull.

Ruger 10/22 Superdome group
Five RWS Superdomes went into 2.221-inches at 25 yards, with 4 in 0.968-inches.

Crosman Premier Light

Next up were five Crosman Premier Light domes. They grouped in 1.074-inches. That was the smallest group of the test.

Ruger 10/22 Premier Light group
Five Crosman Premier Lights went into 1.074-inches at 25 yards.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The final pellet I tested was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter. It did so well at 10 meters that I thought it would also do well at 25 yards. But not this time. Five pellets grouped in a vertical 1.751-inches at 25 yards.

Ruger 10/22 Sig Match group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into a 1.751-inch group at 25 yards.

Ten-shot group

I said I would shoot a 10-shot group with the most accurate pellet and that looks like the Crosman Premier Light. So I loaded a final magazine and proceeded to shoot. Ten shots went into 1.755-inches between centers, with 9 in just 1.343-inches.

Ruger 10/22 Premier Light 10 group
The 10/22 put ten Crosman Premier Lights into a 1.755-inch group at 25 yards. Nine of the pellets are in 1.343-inches.

Discussion

I expected better accuracy at 25 yards, based on the results from 10 meters. All the shots were good on my end today, so the pellets went where they wanted to go. I note a dramatic flier with Superdomes and again with the 10-shot group of Premiers. Is there one chamber in the mag that doesn’t align with the breech that well? The pellets are being blown out of the magazine and into the breech with each shot; any small misalignment would be magnified.

Would the rifle shoot any better with a scope? Probably. But I doubt if it would improve by that much. And, on a rifle this small and light you would want to mount a lightweight scope to match it. In my mind that’s something like a Bug Buster. The groups might improve by a quarter-inch or so, but I wouldn’t expect much more.

Summary

This Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle is the real deal. It’s very reminiscent of the firearm, and it performs well. Power is right where we expect it to be for a .177 CO2 repeater. The trigger is heavy in double action, but manageable when the bolt is cocked.

If you like the Ruger 10/22 firearm this may be an air rifle for you.


Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle
Ruger 10/22.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • H&N Baracuda Green
  • Sights are challenging
  • Crosman Premier Lights
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS SuperMag
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Qiang Yuan Training
  • H&N Match Green
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we start our look at the accuracy of the new Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle from Umarex. This was an interesting test, to say the least!

The test

I’m only concerned with one thing today — the potential accuracy of as many pellets as possible. So, I shot 5-shot groups from 10 meters using the open sights on the rifle. I shot with the rifle rested directly on the sandbag and I cocked the bolt for every shot to make the trigger as light as possible. Let’s get started.

Sight-in

The rifle was shooting high and left when I started sighting in. I could lower the rear sight okay but there is no easy way to adjust it right and left. So all my groups are to the left of the bull today. After sight-in the sights were never touched again.

H&N Baracuda Green

The first pellet I shot for a group was the H&N Baracuda Green dome. Five of them went into 0.52-inches at 10 meters. That’s not terrible, but it’s also not great.

Ruger 10/22 Baracuda Green group
The 10/22 put 5 H&N Baracuda Green domes in 0.52-inches at 10 meters.

Sights are challenging

The open sights on the 10/22 are challenging for me. The front is a bead and the rear notch has to be so low that the entire rear sight frame looks like a huge notch to me. So there are some aiming errors in today’s test. Fortunately, Umarex sent me a red dot to test the rifle with and I will get to it next time. But what that tells me is that any pellets that group well today are REALLY accurate in this rifle!

Crosman Premier Lights

Next up were some Crosman Premier Lights. These 7.9-grain domes did a little better than the Baracuda Greens. Five of them went into a group that measures 0.489-inches between centers. Maybe I was just learning how the sights work, but this is a better group.

Ruger 10/22 Premier Light group
Five Crosman Premier Lights went into 0.489-inches at 10 meters. I see some potential here.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The third pellet I tried was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy target pellet. You know that I like to test these as often as possible. This time it paid off with a 5-shot group that measures 0.346-inches between centers. It’s the smallest group of the test!

Ruger 10/22 Sig Match group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.346-inches at 10 meters.

Undoubtedly I am getting better with my sighting, but that’s not the principal reason why this group of Sig pellets is tight. Look at what happened next.

JSB Exact RS

The next pellet to be tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. Five of them went into 0.878-inches at 10 meters. After shooting that tight group with Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets, I think I can rule out this pellet for the Ruger.

Ruger 10/22 JSB RS group
Five JSB Exact RS pellets went into this open 0.878-inch group at 10 meters. Not a pellet to trust in this rifle.

RWS SuperMag

The fifth pellet I tested was the heavy RWS SuperMag. It’s a 9.3-grain wadcutter that can be quite accurate in some airguns. In the 10/22 it was a teaser. Five pellets went into 0.734-inches at 10 meters. That’s not good, but 4 of the pellets are in just 0.41 inches. I think that’s good enough to try the pellet at a farther distance.

Ruger 10/22 RWS SuperMag group
The 10/22 put five RWS SuperMags into 0.734-inches at 10 meters, with 4 of them in just 0.41-inches.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The sixth pellet I tried was the RWS R10 Match Pistol target pellet. The Ruger put 5 of them in 0.532-inches at 10 meters. There is a smaller cluster of three pellets but I’m not sure that it constitutes enough credibility to give them another test.

Ruger 10/22 RWS R10 Pistol group
Five RWS Match Pistol pellets went into a 0.532-inch group at 10 meters.

Qiang Yuan Training

The seventh pellet I tested was the Chinese Qiang Yuan Training pellet. This one sometimes gives surprisingly good results. This time 5 pellets went into what looks like 3 holes whose centers are 0.472-inches apart. Not bad, but there are several pellets that did better, so I won’t pursue this one any further.

Ruger 10/22 Chinese training group
Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets went into a 0.472-inch group at 10 meters.

H&N Match Green

The last pellet I tested was the H&N Match Green that I have begun testing. I know from their performance in other tests that these are not the same as the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets, though many people think they are. Five of them went into 0.954-inches at 10 meters. That is the largest group of this test. The Sig pellet gave the smallest group — more proof these two aren’t the same.

Ruger 10/22 H&N Match Green group
Five H&N Match Green pellets went into a 0.954-inch group at 10 meters — the largest group of the test.

Discussion

 

I now have a couple pellets that are worth testing in the Ruger at 25 yards, once the dot sight is on and sighted-in. And I also know that the rear sight on the rifle leaves me wanting something. That would be adjustability. I would at least plan on getting a peep for this rifle if I were you, but a dot sight is probably much better.

The trigger pull isn’t light when the bolt is cocked, but it is crisp. That’s the way to shoot this rifle if you’re going for accuracy.

Summary

The Ruger 10/22 is testing well so far. I see no reason why that won’t continue at 25 yards. If you are considering this rifle I hope I’ve given you what you need to decide.


The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 12

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11

Beeman P1.
Beeman P1 pistol.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight adjustments
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Crosman Premier Light
  • What is happening?
  • Discussion 2
  • Summary

Today we will look at the accuracy of the Beeman P1 pistol on high power with the UTG RDM20 Reflex Micro Dot sight that Pyramyd Air doesn’t currently stock. This sight is quite small and light and I thought it would be ideal for the P1, which we proved in Part 11, when the pistol was shot on low power. Today’s test on high power will test both the accuracy of the pistol as well as this sight’s ability to remain in one place. Dot sights that are larger have to be butted against the front sight to stay in place, but so far this one doesn’t have to be.

The test

The pistol was fired from 10 meters off a sandbag rest. We learned in Part 11 that if just the butt of the pistol is rested directly on the sandbag, it shoots well. I did try a couple of different rests, but none worked as well as the butt rest I described in Part 11.

Sight adjustments

The first shot was fired with the sight set for low power. I knew it would hit low and it did — about 4 inches low. I had to crank the elevation up a lot to get on target, but the sight had all the adjustment I required, plus I could listen to the tiny click detents to know the sight was adjusting.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

I began shooting with Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets that did so well on low power. On high power, though, they didn’t do as well. Five went into 1.166-inches at 10 meters. There are three shots in the center of the bull that are just 0.336-inches apart, but I don’t want to make any claims. I will have more to say about this after we look at the next two pellets.

Beeman P1 Sig Match group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 1.166 inches at 10 meters, with three in 0.336-inches.

H&N Finale Match Light

Next up were Finale Match light pellets. I didn’t adjust the rear sight for these, though I expected them to hit lower on the target. When the first shot went high left on the bull I thought vindicated for that choice. But as you can see, the group is blown open.

As open as this group is, I think this pellet is ruled out for the P1 on high power. The group measures 2.199 between the centers of the two shots farthest apart. It’s centered on the bull — sort of — but nothing to write home about.

Beeman P1 Finale Match group
Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets went into this open 2.199-inch group at 10 meters.

Crosman Premier Light

The final group was shot with Crosman Premier Light pellets. Once again I did not adjust the sight. I expected these pellets to hit even lower on the target but the first one tore through the red spot in the center of the bull. Was I onto something?

Sadly, no. Shot two also hit high then shots three through five grouped together at the bottom of the bull. This group measures 1.666-inches between centers, with the bottom three pellets landing just 0.533-inches apart. I will now say something about that.

Beeman P1 Premier Light group
And five Crosman Premier Light pellets made this 1.666-inch group with three in 0.533-inches.

What is happening?

Thanks for waiting until now. What I am about to say applies to the entire test, so I waited until you had seen everything. I think high power affects the pistol a lot more than low power, and subtle variations in my hold are causing the groups to open up. In other words, I think if I got the hold right the Sig pellets would all go to the same place, and so would the Premier lights. Not so for the Finale Match though.

A second reason I believe I am right about this is the last target. I told you where all the shots hit because I watched them. I was also paying a lot more attention to the hold by this time.

A third reason is I had already thrown some shots all over the place while experimenting with different holds and rests before starting the test. Some of them missed the backstop altogether! Apparently the Beeman P1 is extremely sensitive to hold when it’s on high power.

Discussion of the UTG RDM20 Reflex Micro Dot sight

Oh, boy, is this a great little dot sight! Okay, it is very small and that means finding the dot will take longer than with a larger dot sight. It seems simple — just point the pistol straight ahead. Well, you try it sometime! But the biggies that are easier to see through just won’t stay in one place on a P1 unless they are butted against the front sight as a stop. You can put this sight anywhere you like and just tighten it down. There’s not enough mass to worry about.

The adjustments for both elevation and windage have very fine clicks that even an old guy can hear in a fairly quiet room. The dot is quite small when you reduce the illumination. I wouldn’t want it any smaller because it would be hard to see. When it on full power it is a bit distorted, but maybe on a sunny target that won’t be the case.

I wore my regular bifocals for this test and my distance vision is 20/25 after cataract surgery, so evaluate things from that. I looked at the sight through the distance part of my glasses.

Summary

This little sight did well on the P1. I have lots more plans for it. The Diana Chaser will be next. This sight will now be one of these piece of equipment like certain scopes, that I always turn to.


Benjamin Fortitude precharged rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Benjamin Fortitude
The Benjamin Fortitude precharged air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Second rifle
  • Crosman Premier lites
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Trigger
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Premier lites again
  • Shot count
  • Discharge sound
  • Test target
  • Evaluation

Today we resume our look at the Benjamin Fortitude precharged air rifle. I will summarize where we have been, so folks reading this report for the first time will understand what is happening.

Second rifle

This is the second Fortitude I have tested. Parts 1 and 2 of this report belong to the first rifle. The first rifle’s inlet valve locked up at the end of the velocity test and remained open when I bled the air after the fill. The entire gun exhausted all its air. I tried to fill it several times, just to be sure. So I stopped the test at that point and requested a replacement rifle in the same .177 caliber. While this is Part 3, I will actually run another velocity test today, since this is a brand new airgun.

There have been no changes to the rifle. This is just a different airgun. So I will test it the same as I tested the last rifle, with one exception I will explain when we get there.

Crosman Premier lites

The first test string was with 10 Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domes. They averaged 896 f.p.s., which compares to 885 f.p.s. for the first rifle. The spread went from a low of 889 to a high of 907 f.p.s., which is a spread of 18 f.p.s. That’s the same as the first rifle. At the average velocity this pellet generated 14.09 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Starting with a fill of 3,000 psi,  at the end of this string of 10 the pressure gauge read 2600 psi.

JSB Exact Heavy

The second pellet I tested was the JSB Exact Heavy dome. In this rifle they averaged 826 f.p.s., while the previous rifle averaged 817 f.p.s. with the same pellet. The spread this time went from a low of 818 to a high of 845 f.p.s., so a spread of 27 f.p.s. HOWEVER — this time I was aware of the slow recovery time, so during the string I paused after the shot that went 818 f.p.s. I waited for about two full minutes and the very next shot went out at 831 f.p.s. The large velocity difference is caused by that slow transfer of air from the reservoir into the firing chamber I mentioned and even tested in the last velocity test with the first rifle. Apparently that is common to this model.

At the average velocity this pellet produced 15.67 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. The starting air pressure was 2600 psi and at the end the gauge showed 2300 psi.

Trigger

I said in Part 2 that the previous rifle had a definite 2-stage trigger pull. I still have that rifle and it does indeed have a 2-stage pull. This rifle, on the other hand, has a single-stage pull like the description claims. It is not too heavy, despite what the reviews say. It is also not a refined trigger like you will find on more expensive rifles and even on some of the other PPP rifles. It breaks crisply at 5 lbs. 12 oz. The first rifle’s trigger broke at 5 lbs. 7 oz., so they are roughly equivalent.

Air Arms Falcons

Next to be tested were some Air Arms Falcon pellets. They averaged 898 f.p.s. in the Fortitude, with a spread from 875 to 919 f.p.s. That’s 44 f.p.s. between the low and the high. As before, the first shot was always the fastest in the string. The first rifle averaged the same 989 f.p.s. with this pellet with a 37 f.p.s. spread.

I’m going to show this string, because I will come back to it.

Shot……..Velocity
1…………..919
2…………..908
3…………..905
4…………..909
5…………..903
6…………..903
7…………..900
8…………..875
9…………..878
10…………876

The Falcon pellet was harder to load than the first two, which is identical to what happened with the first rifle and its mag. I had to press each one into the mag or the skirt would have jammed the mag.

The air pressure at the start of this string was 2300 psi. After 10 shots the onboard gauge registered 2100 psi.

Premier lites again

The first rifle fell off the reg around 35 shots. At this point in this test the rifle has fired 30 shots, so instead of loading RWS Superdomes I loaded another 10 Premier lites. We can compare this string with the first one. This time I’ll show the entire string.

Shot……..Velocity
1…………..861
2…………..854
3…………..861
4…………..845
5…………..846
6…………..846
7…………..845
8…………..848
9…………..850
10…………852

Shot count

The average for this string is 851 f.p.s., so the rifle has fallen off the reg. Looking back at the third string that were shot with Falcons I am guessing it happened on shot 28, when the velocity dropped from 900 to 875 f.p.s. So, being a little hotter also took away a few of the shots. The first rifle fell off the reg at shot 33. And, if you wait about 120 seconds between shots the rifle will shoot its fastest. It seems to take that long for the reg to equalize.

I will also say that even with the rifle off the reg the valve seems to be well balanced. Notice that it doesn’t start shooting wildly, but decreases on a steady curve.

Discharge sound

The Fortitude is relatively quiet. That’s due to the power level, as much as the shrouded barrel.

Test target

There was a test target in the box with this rifle, just like the first one. The group is larger than the group made by the first rifle but still very respectable. This one is 0.354-inches. The first rifle’s test group was 0.136-inches between centers.

Benjamin Fortitude test target
These 5 Crosman pellets shot at 10 meters measure 0.354-inches between centers.

Evaluation

This Fortitude is holding air fine and seems up to the task ahead. This brief interruption has just been a blip on the screen. The test results are close to those of the first gun, which is what we want to see. We can now proceed to test the accuracy.


Crosman 105 “Bullseye” multi-pump pneumatic pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 105
Crosman’s 105 is a .177 caliber multi-pump air pistol.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Test 1. How many pumps?
  • Test 2. RWS Hobby pellets
  • Test 3. Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • How stable?
  • The pump stroke
  • Pump force
  • Rear sight fix
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we look at the power and velocity of the vintage Crosman 105 Bullseye multi-pump pneumatic pistol. I said in Part 1 that I would be surprised if this pistol breaks 450 f.p.s. Well, surprise, surprise! It didn’t even go that fast. And, that is what today’s report is all about, so let’s get started.

Test 1. How many pumps?

I looked through my library and didn’t find a manual for the 105. Crosman has a PDF online, or what they call a manual, but it’s just  a parts list and disassembly procedure. But in that document they do say to test your valve by filling the gun 6 pumps and then looking for bubbles around all the exit places. Oddly I found that 6 pumps is one too many for this particular gun. Let’s see now.

Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
Pumps………Velocity
3……………….187
4……………….224
5……………….246
6……………….254 air remaining
7……………….241 a lot of air remaining

The first test tells us that this pistol wants no more than 5 pumps per shot. You can pump the gun with or without cocking the bolt — it makes no difference to the velocity. Also note that the velocity fell back with 7 pumps. That means the valve is locking up from too much pressure inside. Also notice that after 5 pump strokes the velocity went up slowly.

This test also demonstrates the value of a chronograph. If the gun performs this way with one pellet it should perform the same or close with all pellets. But just to find out, I conducted tests 2 and 3.

Test 2. RWS Hobby pellets

Pumps………Velocity
3……………….202
4……………….242
5……………….267
6……………….276 air remaining

Test 3. Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets

Pumps………Velocity
3……………….228
4……………….267
5……………….304 air remaining
6……………….326 more air remaining

So, the gun does act pretty much the same with other pellets, though with lighter pellets more air remains inside after the shot. That’s because a heavier pellet provides more back-pressure on the valve, keeping it open longer to exhaust more air.

How stable?

To find out how stable the gun is I conducted another test. I pumped the gun the maximum number of times, which we determined was 5 strokes, and shot the same Crosman Premier Light pellet 5 times. Look at what I got.

Shot…………..Velocity
1……………….245
2……………….246
3……………….239
4……………….233
5……………….236

The average was 240 f.p.s. for this string. The maximum spread went from 233 to 246 f.p.s., which is 13 f.p.s. That’s not terrible, but it’s on the high side for a multi-pump. I expected 4-5 f.p.s. maximum.

The pump stroke

Reader Siraniko asked me what kind of sound the pistol makes when pumped. I told him it’s smooth and nearly silent. But he was also asking about when the brass pump lever hits the gun at the end of the stroke. That makes a click, just like you might expect. So the 105 is not silent.

Pump force

The pump force required is not that much, even with 5 strokes. It takes maybe 20 pounds of effort to close the lever at that point.

Rear sight fix

Several readers noticed that the rear sight blade is bent back and down. They guessed it was done by a former owner who was trying the bring down the shot group, because you always move the rear sight in the direction you want the shots to go.

I needed to fix this, because as it was I could not see through the notch. The adjustment screw filled the notch. Reader GunFun 1 suggested that I just remove the adjustment screw, which I did. Now I can see the front sight clearly in the notch and this is how I will test the gun for accuracy.

Trigger pull

The trigger on this pistol is single stage and pretty stiff. It released at between 6 lbs. 3 oz. and 6 lbs. 10 oz. That is amplified by the thin trigger blade. As I mentioned in Part 1, it is a direct sear trigger and pretty easy to access and work on. I might put some moly on the contact surfaces if I decide to keep the pistol.

Summary

Am I pleased with the 105 so far? Yes, for the most part, I am. I knew it would be weak, although not quite as weak as we have seen today. Like I said in part 1, owning a vintage airgun like this is like owning a vintage car. There are quirks you need to learn and to tolerate to operate it. But it rewards you with the satisfaction of having something few other airgunners can boast. I sure hope it’s accurate!