Finding that silk purse

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • A break
  • The real story
  • Fell into it
  • Oh, no!
  • The real story
  • Back to the future
  • The lesson
  • More
  • The point
  • Summary

A break

I need a break from punching holes in paper. Been doing a lot of that this week. Today I was all set to test the Slavia 618, but the next test is accuracy and like I said — I want to do something else.

As I was sitting at my computer trying come up with an idea for today, I got messaged that the parts for my .22 rimfire High Standard Sport King pistol had arrived in my mailbox. What’s the story there?

Fell into it

Many years ago I was at one of the last gun shows I ever attended. I had two tables full of guns to sell and one of them was something I had priced at $450. I forget what it was — it was that unimportant to me. But my price was reasonable and there was some interest. One guy came by and asked if I would come over to his table and see if there was anything I would take in trade for it. So I did. read more


Crosman Mark I and II reseal

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is a guest blog from reader Ian McKee who writes as 45 Bravo. He’s going to tell us about the Crosman Mark I pistol he recently acquired and what he did to fix the leak it came with.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

A history of airguns

Over to you, Ian.

Crosman Mark I and II reseal

by Ian McKee
Writing as 45Bravo

This report covers:

  • Just kidding!
  • Four major changes over the years
  • I got this one cheap
  • It’s mine!
  • Bringing it back to life
  • BB’s end cap
  • Resealing both caps
  • How did it go?
  • Outer barrel removal
  • Wrong o-rings

Back in December 2018, and January 2019, B.B. reviewed a classic Crosman Mark I pistol in .22 caliber.

There were many comments about how it worked internally, and how the power adjuster worked, so today I thought I would give you a little peek inside the gun.

Mark II disassembled
Here is your peek of a disassembled pistol. This is actually a Mark II I photographed some time back. The parts of the two pistols are identical except for those pertaining to the caliber.

Thank you, that concludes today’s blog.

 

Just kidding!

I could not do that to you. Here is a synopsis to refresh your memory.

The Crosman Mark I and Mark II (.22 and .177 calibers, respectively) pistols are airgun versions of the classic Ruger Mark I and Mark II .22 rimfire pistols. They share the same grip angle, sight profile, and overall profile of the iconic Ruger rimfire pistol.

Ruger Marl 1
Ruger’s Mark I pistol.

All Crosman Mark air pistols retained an adjustable trigger throughout their production run, which was 1966 to 1986, but had other changes in their design over the years.

Four major changes over the years

The flip-style piercing cap was changed to a button-style piercing cap, similar to what’s found on the Smith & Wesson 78/79-series air pistols.

The metal bolt guide that was secured in the frame by a screw on either side below the rear sight was changed to a plastic bolt guide that is retained by 1 screw that’s hidden under the rear sight blade.

The power-adjusting screw that was located under the barrel was eliminated.

And to hold the grips they changed from using screws with countersunk heads to screws with flat heads, as shown.

Mark I grip screws
There are two different grip screw head profiles and grips that match them.

If you use the countersunk screws on grips made for flat-head screws, you will crack them, and it is not easy to find replacements.

There were some other minor changes over the years, but these were the big ones.

I have been a big fan of these pistols over the years, and have owned and resealed more of these than I have of the Smith & Wesson 78/79G series. In my opinion, the adjustable triggers of the Crosman guns are better than the adjustable triggers of the S&W guns. The engineer that designed these air pistols later had a hand in the design of the Smith & Wesson guns.

I got this one cheap

I saw this pistol online with a $50 or best offer price tag, and no photo. These two things together usually tell me to run away and let someone else take the chance.

I got to thinking I could always use it for parts, so I took the bait and contacted the seller. I found out he lived not too far away, and decided on a face-to-face look at the pistol.

He sent some fuzzy photos by text, that didn’t help my feelings about the deal.

In the ad he said the gun had leaks. When I finally saw it, it was one of the roughest Mark Is I have ever seen. It had been repainted several times, and at some point, someone had covered the bare spots with a permanent marker to make it all black again.

Mark I right
Right side.

Mark I left
Left side.

I put a CO2 cartridge in it and it vented all of the gas out of the piercing cap while I shot it a few times. [Editor’s note: Doing this in front of the seller is a big negotiating tip, because it emphasizes the fact that his gun doesn’t work!]

From this short examination I knew 3 things:

1. This was an early model Crosman Mark I in good mechanical condition.

2. All of the parts were there.

3. It did NOT leak out of the barrel, when it vented the gas.

It’s mine!

I made a ridiculously low offer, and he accepted. When I got it back home and on the bench, I started by cleaning off the permanent marker with alcohol.

I knew it was an older model, but did not realize how old, as in serial number 000659! There is not even a date code.

Mark I serial number
This is an early Mark I.

I now own one of the first ones made and also one of the last ones made.

Bringing it back to life

I put a second CO2 cartridge in it to check it out on the bench. It vented the gas in about 30 seconds and it all came from the piercing cap. That told me the valve seal was still good.

I shot it over the chrono as it was venting. The gun was cold from the CO2 cool-down, but it still registered 485 f.p.s.

Most times the leak is because the tiny o-ring in the piercing cap deteriorates. The piercing pin moves up and down in the older models by a lever. You flip the lever one way to pierce the CO2 cartridge, then return to its normal position to let the CO2 into the gun.

Some online disassembly guides say you have to remove the snap ring at the bottom of the cap and then drive out a roll pin. That is the hard way. The easy way is to use a 3/8-inch wide (9.5mm) screwdriver blade in the slot inside the piercing cap. Use it to unscrew the cover that contains the 006-sized o-ring.

This cover is threaded and acts as a screw to hold the small o-ring in place. It looks in the photo like the piercing pin will prevent unscrewing it, but the end of the pin is actually below the screw slots. Remove this cover. In a moment I will describe and show a newer style end cap that has some different parts and comes apart differently.

With the cover off, use a dental pick to remove the old o-ring. It is probably hardened and will break into fragments when you pick at it. It may not even look like an o-ring, but it is tight around the base of the piercing pin.

Once all the small pieces are out of the cap and the o-ring groove is clean, lightly lubricate the new o-ring with your choice of lube, center the new o-ring over the piercing pin, and push it into its recess. Then screw the cover back into place over the o-ring.

Mark I cap 1
The screwdriver fits into the slots on either side and unscrews the cover. The tip of the piercing pin is below the slots. The cap looks brassy in this photo but it is really steel.

Mark I cap 2
This picture with a different angle shows how the o-ring sits at the base of the piercing pin. read more


Springfield Armory M1 Carbine BB gun: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

M1 Carbine
Springfield Armory M1 Carbine BB gun.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • 10 meters is hard for BBs!
  • Groups don’t double with the distance
  • Today’s test
  • Starting with a fresh CO2 cartridge
  • Air Venturi Steel BB
  • Smart Shot
  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • Dust Devils
  • Last group
  • Summary

Last week reader Thedavemyster asked me when I was going to do the final test with the Springfield Armory M1-Carbine. I said last April that I was going to shoot the Carbine at 10 meters since it was so accurate at 5. Well, I forgot all about that and never did the test — until today. Today I back up to 10 meters and shoot the Carbine at

10-meter air rifle targets read more


Springfield Armory M1 Carbine CO2 Blowback Airsoft gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Springfield Armory M1 Carbine airsoft
Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Airsoft gun.

This report covers:

  • History
  • M1 Carbine production
  • Carbine performance
  • Carbine requirement
  • It lives on
  • M1 Carbine airsoft gun
  • M1 Carbine BB gun
  • Two stocks
  • Expected power
  • Adjustable Hop Up
  • Which model Carbine?
  • Sights
  • Can’t be disassembled
  • So much more!
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine airsoft gun. It’s not rifled so no matter what anyone says, it’s not a rifle. It’s a smoothbore airsoft gun.

The M1 Carbine is a favorite of B.B. Pelletier, so this blog may sound a little different — as in having a lot more history attached to it. In fact, let’s go there now.

History

Ask any red-blooded American shooter what was the standout soldier’s weapon in World War II and they will not hesitate to say it was the M1 Garand. Canadian-born firearm designer John Garand (pronounced GAR-und, with Gar rhyming with care) worked for years to perfect a design that was initially created in the late 1920s or early ’30s by firearm company, Irwin Pederson. By the late 1930s the design was accepted and in September 1937 low-rate production (10 rifles a day) began. During the war 3.5 million-ish Garands were produced, and production continued into the 1950s. It is believed that a total of approximately 5.4 million Garands were eventually produced.

M1 Carbine production

In sharp contrast, the requirement for the M1 Carbine first saw the light of day in 1938. It was formalized in 1940. Two tests were run in 1941 and on October 22 of 1941 the Winchester design that is called the “13-day rifle” (because of the accelerated time in which it was developed) was accepted for production.

David Marsh “Carbine” Williams had little to do with the development of the Carbine beyond his invention of the short-stroke gas piston that made the entire concept feasible.

The Carbine production program was one of the high points of the war, from a logistical standpoint. In 38 months 10 prime contractors and hundreds of subcontractors produced over 6 million Carbines — nearly twice as many as Garands during the war and in far less time. Ironically, the only prime contractor that never had a Carbine accepted by the government was Irwin Pederson, whose production methods were decades out of date and were thus incapable of meeting the requirement for parts interchangeability. Their contract was cancelled and their plant was taken over by Saginaw Steering Gear — a division of General motors.

Carbine performance

The M1 Carbine had performance requirements that were not equalled for decades after production ended and, indeed, are not being equalled even today. The primary one is weight. The carbine had to weigh no more than 5 lbs., yet had to handle the pressures associated with a centerfire rifle.

Carbine requirement

The Carbine was created because the Army felt its soldiers were not well-equipped with the M1911A1 pistol. Too many soldiers had problems shooting the pistol accurately, and the Army felt a small light rifle would be more effective. That sounds reasonable but two things worked against the notion. First — they named it the M1 Carbine and by the time it got to the field the Garand had already entered its days of glory. It was even made in the same .30 caliber! Too many people expected it to be a “baby Garand,” which it is not. And the second reason for its unpopularity is very similar. The Carbine looks like a rifle (which it is, of course) so people expected it to perform like one. But it didn’t. It’s cartridge is more closely related to a powerful pistol cartridge than to a rifle cartridge. The bullet is lightweight and it leaves the muzzle 700 f.p.s. slower than the Garand bullet. Instead of almost 3000 foot-pounds of muzzle energy the Carbine bullet develops less than 1,000. And the lighter bullet sheds energy rapidly, so beyond 100 yards it hits like a .30 caliber pistol.

For the purpose it was designed the Carbine is a brilliant weapon even today. But when it is compared to a powerful .30 caliber rifle cartridge used by the Garand it falls short.

It lives on

However, with all the downside I’ve just mentioned, people love the Carbine when they get to handle and shoot it. It’s just right for carrying all day and for certain tactical situations. For example, a fully automatic M2 Carbine is quite handy in close-quarters engagements. As a result of the popularity, more than 30 commercial gun manufacturers have copied the Carbine since government production ceased, and it is still in commercial production today!

The M1 Carbine is the father of Ruger’s popular Mini 14 and the grandfather of the Army’s M16. I own a Carbine that has been converted to shoot the 5.7mm Johnson Spitfire that Melvin Johnson created in the 1950s. The Army used that as the starting point in the development of their 5.56mm cartridge that’s still used today.

M1 Carbine airsoft gun

Today we will start looking at the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine airsoft gun. It is a CO2-powered semiautomatic 6mm airsoft gun that features full blowback of the bolt. It holds 15 rounds, just like the firearm it copies. Don’t let anyone tell you that the M1 Carbine holds 30 rounds, because it doesn’t. The M2 Carbine holds 30 rounds in a curved magazine that is called a “banana mag”, but nobody who knows the rifle ever carried a banana mag fully loaded. They start having feeding issues when fully loaded. The 30-round mag does fit the M1 carbine and soldiers would stock up on as many of those mags as they could get, but they loaded them with around 25 rounds to be safe. What I’m saying is the 15 rounds in the airsoft mag are correct for the firearm it copies.

M1 Carbine BB gun

We looked at the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine BB gun last year in a three-part test. In that test we learned that the BB gun is extremely accurate — to the point of being not too far behind the Daisy Avanti 499. Can this airsoft version that looks incredibly similar be far behind? I hope not!

Two stocks

You have a choice of stocks when you buy the airsoft gun. I’m testing the synthetic stock that is available right now for $199. Add $100 and you can get one with a hardwood stock.

Expected power

The description page on the Pyramyd Air website says the velocity is 470 f.p.s. which I think is too fast for airsoft. Reader Michael asked me to test the M17 airsoft pistol with heavier 6mm BBs because when I tested it with 0.25-gram BBs it became more accurate than with the 0.20-gram BBs Sig recommends. I ordered in a slew of heavier BBs for that test that’s still to come, so you can be sure I will try them in this gun, too.

Adjustable Hop Up

The Hop Up (method of putting a backspin on the BB for improved accuracy) is adjustable, but it isn’t mentioned in the manual anywhere. I went online and could not find it anywhere — including in the information on the Asian models this gun is based upon.

So I asked Tyler Patner to show me and he was kind enough to send a video. The adjustment is a tiny 1.5mm (I measured it) Allen screw that’s located at the top rear of what is the chamber in the firearm. Just pull the bolt back and lock it, then there is access for the wrench.

Springfield Arm,ory Carbine airsoft Hop Up
The Hop Up adjustment is a 1.5mm Allen screw deep inside the receiver, at the top of the chamber.

Springfield Arm,ory Carbine airsoft Hop Up wrench
The Allen wrench is set to adjust the Hop Up.

The wrench for this doesn’t come with the gun, nor are there instructions in the manual. I think that is an omission that should be corrected — however, I haven’t yet seen if the adjustment really affects anything. If it doesn’t then the adjustment isn’t helpful and you should just consider the gun to be not adjustable. As long as we can find a BB that’s accurate, I don’t care about the Hop Up unless I need it.

Which model Carbine?

The Carbine evolved over its life cycle. Some things, such as the stock changed right away, while others like the bolt, the bayonet lug, the rear sight and the flash hider, came toward the end of its production cycle.

This Carbine represents the final configuration of the Carbine. It has the “low water” stock that shows a lot more of the operating rod handle than the first “high water” stock.

Carbine right high water
This Winchester Carbine was one of the first 15,000 Carbines made and subsequently was not interchangeable with all other Carbines because Springfield Arsenal changed the drawings after Winchester began production. Consequently these rifles never went to war and are often found in excellent condition like this one. This one has the early “high” water” stock.

Universal Carbine
This “Carbine” was made commercially by Universal. It shows none of the operating rod — something genuine Carbines never did. There is that 30-round banana mag, by the way. read more


What about dry-firing?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • History
  • Luger
  • Soviet SKS
  • One more common problem
  • Designed to be dry-fired
  • Airguns
  • BB — get real!
  • Sillyiess
  • And the others?
  • Under The Gun
  • An aside that is pertinent
  • Pneumatics and gas guns
  • BB’s rule of thumb
  • Summary

Time for another basic report. We discuss dry-firing airguns a lot and things get out of control pretty quick, but I guess that’s the nature of the Internet. My wife, Edith, used to have a little saying about it. She said people would post:

“I have an HW77 that I enjoy.”

“Yes, Weihrauch airguns all nice, aren’t they?”

“I shoot my Gamo Expomatic in the basement every day.”

“I like ice cream!”

I’ll come back to that, but today I thought I would dive into the subject of dry-firing a little deeper, since it’s one that seems to affect all of us to some extent. I think I’ll start with firearms.

History

I’m going to begin with guns that have firing pins, though the subject of dry-firing does go back much farther than that. Older guns are usually not made to endure much dry-firing, if any. Their metal parts are hardened to withstand a lot of use without wearing, but hardness does tend to make metal brittle. The better guns have firing pins made from tool steel that can be both hard and also resistant to breakage from impact, but gun makers didn’t always do that because dry-firing was considered a no-no a century ago.

Luger

The German Luger, for example, had parts that were heat-treated (hardened) and then tempered (treated with heat for ductility) to a medium straw yellow color. The maker wanted the firing pin to work without wear, and also to not deform the parts with which it interacted. But the metallurgy of Luger parts was less complex 100 years ago than it is today and it is not recommended that you dry-fire a German Luger — especially if it is one from history. It can be done if the gun needs to be uncocked, but you run the risk of breaking the pin and other parts in the firing mechanism.

Legends P08 Erfurt Luger
The Legends P08 pistol with blowback is shown beneath a 1914 Luger made at the Royal Arsenal at Erfurt. This century-old pistol should not be dry-fired.

Soviet SKS

The Soviet semiautomatic rifle we call the SKS is another example of a gun that should not be dry-fired — though not because of the metallurgy.

SKS
This Soviet SKS was manufactured at the Tula Arsenal in 1953.

The reason you should not dry-fire an SKS is the tapered firing pin can get stuck inside the bolt in the fired position — protruding from the bolt. If that happens the gun can fire every cartridge it chambers. It’s essentially firing from the open bolt, which it is not timed correctly to do. It will shoot full auto until it runs out of cartridges and the action can blow up if a cartridge case lets go before it is fully chambered and the action is locked shut (that’s the timing). This is a common fault with the SKS and owners are cautioned to keep their bolts and firing pins clean and to not dry-fire their rifle. A firing pin return spring was installed in the earliest SKS bolts and can be retrofitted into guns without it to protect against this.

One more common problem

So, breaking parts and sticking parts are two of the most common reasons why dry-firing firearms is not recommended. And there is one more common reason. Many rimfires are designed so their firing pins will make contact with the edge of the chamber if there is no cartridge rim there to cushion them. This makes them fire more reliably. However, if guns like these are fired a lot with no cartridge in the chamber a groove or depression will form in the rim of the chamber and the gun will no longer fire reliably because there is nothing backing up the cartridge rim. Therefore the cartridge rim will not be crushed reliably to set off the priming compound and the guns either start to misfire a lot or they quit working altogether. It’s a real problem with older rimfires made before about 1960, and even some of the less expensive ones that are made today still have the problem. But many do not.

I’ll use the Ruger 10/22 as an example of a rimfire that can be safely dry-fired. The Ruger website even has a video that says so. And so can the Ruger Mark pistols. Their firing pins are purposely designed to stop a tiny fraction of an inch away from the rim of the chamber. You readers who understand manufacturing know how difficult it is to maintain those kind of dimensions across multiple parts so it always works out right after assembly!

I only use Ruger as an example. Many rimfires are designed this way today. But don’t take my word for it. Find out if YOUR rimfire is so-designed before you start dry-firing!

Designed to be dry-fired

Then there are the firearms that are purposely designed to be dry-fired. I’ll use a free pistol for my example. Because bullseye target shooters shoot many times more shots dry than with ammunition to train their eye-hand coordination, their guns have to be designed for it.

Hammerli 100 right
This Hammerli free pistol is a .22 rimfire pistol used in 50-meter bullseye competition.

The Hammerli 100 was produced from the late 1940s until the middle 1950s, when the model 101 superseded it. It has a lever on the left side of the receiver that cocks the trigger but not the firing pin. It allows you to practice with the trigger all day long without ever chambering a live round or cocking the gun.

Hammerli 100 dry-fire
That lever cocks the trigger of the pistol. It works regardless of the action being cocked.

Airguns

Let’s now turn our attention to airguns. I will begin with the target guns that have dry-fire devices to allow practice for the same reasons as the free pistols just mentioned. The top 10-meter rifles and pistols all have them, but so do the informal airguns (mostly pistols) that are designed for informal target practice. Take the Beeman P1 for example. If you lift the top strap, but not far enough to cock the pistol, you set the trigger and you can dry-fire it in the same way as a more expensive target pistol. The trigger feels exactly the same as when the pistol is fully cocked, but no pellet is shot when the trigger falls.

BB — get real!

All of that is nice to know, but it doesn’t answer the question that is in your mind, does it? You want to know about spring-piston air rifles, don’t you?

Silliness

Remember what I told you at the start of this report about conversations on the Internet quickly getting silly? It happens here sometimes, too. I mentioned a few weeks ago that Gamo at one time advertised that their spring-piston air rifles could withstand 10,000 dry-fires without damage and they had even tested for it. Well, that statement morphed into Gamo testing all (as in each and every one) of their spring-piston air rifles by dry-firing them 10,000 times! No — they don’t. If you think about it, they really couldn’t. That would add so much cost to each gun (the time spent putting them all into the cocking/firing fixtures then waiting for them to be cocked and fired 10,000 times, not to mention the vast number of fixtures they would need for a 40,000-piece model run) that a $200 air rifle would have to cost $400 or more.

Gamo doesn’t do that and they never did. But maybe the person who said that only meant that Gamo tests each type of gun (one test per model type — not each and every gun) with 10,000 dry-fires. They don’t do that any longer, either — or at least it’s no longer a part of their advertising campaign. Maybe they still test them that way — but they don’t talk about it as much. I said what I said in an historical context in my report titled, Does dry-firing damage airguns?. In that report a reader mentioned that Gamo addresses dry-firing in their frequently asked questions on their GamoUSA website. I went there to check and they no longer address it.

So, Gamo isn’t telling customers they can dry-fire their spring-piston guns. Except that I did find in the manual for the Swarm Fusion 10X they said that one way to safely test whether the rifle has a pellet in the barrel after it has been cocked is to fire it in a safe direction. If there is no pellet that would constitute a dry-fire, so they are okay with that.

And the others?

What about the rest of the spring-piston airgun makers? Are their rifles and pistols proofed against damage from dry-fires? Yes and no. Yes because of the materials being used today and because of the changes in design that lend themselves to more reliable performance, and no — because in a lot of instances this hasn’t been deliberate. I will illustrate with a scope analogy.

Under The Gun

Spring airguns break scopes. We have known that for a long time. But in 1998, when Leapers learned that was the case, they set out to design airgun scopes that could not be broken that way! They even designed test fixtures to test scope designs over the long term. During the same timeframe they added the name Under The Gun (UTG) to their scope line. Hence today UTG scopes are pretty much bulletproof. They are designed with Smart Spherical Structure (SSS) — a scope body that’s inherently stronger than other bodies because it addresses the interaction between the inner and outer scope tubes.

Now along come all the other scope manufacturers in the world — from the biggies like Leupold, Burris and Hawke to the little guys that make scopes for cheap. The biggies watch the scope market closely and, when some bozo named B.B. Pelletier starts waving his pom-poms, they purchase a couple of the UTG scopes he is raving about and examine them — CLOSELY. They discover that, indeed, there are some design features that are quite worthy and they find their own ways of emulating them. Next thing you know ten years have passed and all of the brand-name scopes are spring-rifle proof or, as in the case of Hawke, they know that certain ones in their lineup aren’t and they tell buyers up front. This migration doesn’t just happen through copying, either. Engineers change jobs and the word spreads.

Last to change are the cheapies, but they do change, because at the same time the manufacturers were getting smarter — so were the buyers. Maybe a full two decades have to pass before there are no more scope problems with spring-gun recoil, but it does happen.

An aside that is pertinent

Back to dry-firing. When major airgun manufacturers like Feinwerkbau, Diana and Walther used piston seals that are made of a synthetic that dry-rotted over time, they all got a black eye when the ship hit the sand. Quick as a bunny and with ZERO fanfare they all switched their formulas for their synthetic piston seals! What else could they do — advertise that their airguns now come with piston seals that DON’T dry-rot?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is why dry-firing should not hurt a spring gun today — but don’t do it regularly. Now — what about the other powerplants?

Pneumatics and gas guns read more


SigAir Super Target: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Super Target
SigAir Super Target (photo provided courtesy Sig Sauer).

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Adjusting the trigger — first
  • Adjusting the trigger — second
  • Accuracy
  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Let’s examine that group
  • Hobbys again
  • Sig Match Pb
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Discussion
  • R10 second try
  • Summary

Here we go, guys. Today we look at the accuracy of the new Sig Super Target single stroke pneumatic (SSP) target pistol. I’ll tell you right now that it’s accurate. But there is a lot more to cover today, so let’s begin.

Adjusting the trigger — first

Two words of advice. First — don’t adjust the trigger — at least not until you shoot the pistol a little. Second — if you do try to adjust it — GO SLOW! I know that most adjustable airgun triggers require a lot of adjustment before anything can be felt. This one is different. Please listen to BB.

I tried each of the adjustments for you and wound up removing the pull weight adjustment screw from the pistol. It wasn’t easy to put it back in again — it took many tries over several days to get it back. It passes through the trigger return spring that puts tension on the screw as you are trying to start the threads.

I thought I would be the only one to do that until a reader contacted me and said he had done the same thing with his Super Target. When he contacted me I had already replaced the screw, so let me show both you and him what it looks like when it’s in the gun correctly.

Super Target trigger
The big slotted screw on the left is the one that adjusts the pull weight. I turned it out too far and it popped out of the trigger. I then spent a lot of time trying to get it back. See the U-shaped wire spring that it passes through? That’s where the difficulty lies.

There is no hole through the triggerguard for a screwdriver to get on that screw, so the screwdriver has to come in from the side, yet still turn the screw straight into its hole. I even have short screwdriver bits and a sideways ratchet mechanism, but there isn’t enough room in the triggerguard for them.

Adjusting the trigger — second

Once the pull weight screw was back in place I found that all my “adjustments” were so far out of whack (my fault) that the trigger would not engage. So I cried, “Help!” to Sig and Ed Schultz sent me the following graphic.

Super Target trigger adjustments
This graphic is very helpful getting the trigger back into adjustment. The manual has a drawing that is clearer, but I like this one better.

The manual says to adjust each screw slowly (in small increments, like a quarter turn) and they mean it! I started out adjusting like an airgunner, which is to say more is better, but this trigger is very sensitive and needs those small movements of each screw. Also, adjusting one screw affects all the others, so check after each small adjustment. I went from a 15-pound pull (estimated) to a 2-pound pull in just five or six quarter-turn increments!

There! I have told you what to do and how slow to do it. If you get in trouble now, it’s your fault. I learned the hard way, as did one of our readers. Pay attention and you don’t have to.

Accuracy

Today is accuracy day and we are all curious how the Super target shoots. This will tell you whether this is the air pistol for you.

The test

This is a 10-meter target pistol so I shot from 10 meters. I shot off a bench with two different holds that I’ll describe as we go. I shot 5-shot groups so I could shoot more targets. And, since an optical sight cannot be mounted on the Super Target, I shot with the adjustable sights that comes on the pistol.

RWS Hobby

First to be tested was the RWS Hobby pellet. I shot this group with the bottom of the pistol grip rested directly on the sandbag. Because the Super Target has open sights I started right at at 10 meters and the first shot landed in the black of the bull. Four shots later and I had a 0.89-inch five-shot group at 10 meters.

Super Target Hobby group
From 10 meters the Sig Super Target pistol put five RWS Hobby pellets into 0.89-inches between centers.

Let’s examine that group

That group tells me two things. First — why do pellets string vertically like that? That’s right — because the velocity varies from shot to shot.

Next — why do wadcutter pellets tear target paper? Right, again. Because they are traveling slowly. Target paper is designed not to tear.

Now for the important question. The Super Target is an SSP. How do we speed up the pellets from an SSP and also make the velocity more consistent, shot-to-shot? We do it by pumping partially before pumping the gun completely — to flex and warm up the pump cup or other piston seals. I really want to know how this Super target performs so I shot a second string of Hobbys while warming the pump cup this way. I’m still resting the bottom of the pistol grip directly against the sandbag.

Hobbys again

This time I partially pumped the pistol five times. Then I loaded a pellet and gave it another partial pump that was quickly followed by a complete pump. I could hear that the pellet flew faster this time. After five shots I had a 0.57-inch five-shot group that exhibited zero tendency to string vertically. That’s a group size shrinkage of more than three-tenths of an inch by just changing how the pistol is pumped.

Super Target Hobby group 2
A second group of RWS Hobbys proved everything I said about velocity and consistency. Five shots are in 0.59-inches between centers at 10 meters. read more


Considering the calibers

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • BB’s gun wall
  • .177 caliber
  • Are steel BBs 4.5mm/.177 caliber?
  • Can you hunt with .177 caliber?
  • More good pellets
  • Higher velocity means flatter shooting
  • Twenty caliber
  • Twenty-two caliber
  • Hard-hitting
  • Cost
  • Target shooting
  • Twenty-two caliber
  • Hunting
  • The big .25
  • Expensive pellets
  • Fewer pellets to choose from
  • Big hole!
  • Only one good handgun
  • .30 caliber
  • What does BB recommend?
  • .30 caliber
  • HOWEVER
  • Summary
  • read more