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.

Sig Match Pb

Next I tried 5 Sig Match Pb (lead) pellets. I was still pumping a partial pump before each complete pump, and the pistol grip is still resting on the sandbag. These five pellets strung out horizontally in a group that measures 1.435-inches between centers. I think this is not the pellet for this pistol.

Super Target Match Pb group
Five Sig Match PB pellets went into 1.435-inches at 10 meters.

I did try a second group with this pellet, using a different hold, but it was larger and more open than this one. This just isn’t the right pellet for this Super Target.

Okay, it was time to break out the big guns — premium pellets I know to be accurate in lots of different target guns. And perhaps I would also play with the hold. I adjusted the sights five clicks up at this time. I can’t hear the clicks and I think nobody can, but they are large and distinct.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

Next to be tried were five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets. I was still holding the pistol with the bottom of the pistol grip resting on the sandbag.

The Super Target put five R10s into 0.543-inches at 10 meters. Now, we are talking! And look — my sight adjustment was almost perfect for this pellet!

Super Target R10 Match Pistol group
That is a group! Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets are in 0.543-inches at 10 meters.

H&N Finale Match Light

Since the R10 did so well I thought the next pellet — an H&N Finale Match Light — might do as well. So I changed the way I held the pistol. This time I held it off the bag with a two-hand hold and my hands were resting on the bag. Five pellets went into 0.432-inches at 10 meters. This is the group that convinced me that the Super Target can hold its own with any target SSP in its category!


The Super Target put five H&N Finale Match Light pellets in 0.432-inches at 10 meters. This gun can shoot!

That group was so impressive that I decided to give the R10s a second try with the new hold. I was getting tired from all the concentration, but I knew I could hold it together for five more shots.

R10 second try

This time, with the pistol handheld, I put five R10 pellets in 0.682-inches at 10 meters. Four of the five are in 0.376-inches, so I think I’m getting past my expiration date on this day.

Super Target R10 Match Pistol group
This second group of RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets was shot with the pistol handheld. It measures 0.682-inches between centers, with 4 or the 5 in 0.376-inches.

Discussion

It appears this Super Target pistol likes lighter target pellets over the heavier ones. But my test wasn’t very thorough, was it? Sig will just have to wait to get this pistol back, because I want to do more testing.

The trigger is an absolute delight to shoot. However, it is not a conventional target trigger. Stage two does not have a definite stop — at least not the way I have it adjusted. It’s a soft stop and stage two does have a very little movement. I can tell where it is at all times and it’s wonderful to work with. I know exactly when it gets ready to fire, and I can concentrate on the front sight for the release.

Pumping this pistol is so easy! It’s like eating peanuts — Hubs peanuts at that! I just can’t stop. It’s so much fun to shoot and I think most adults and older kids will be able to pump it.

The sights adjust exactly as they should. And they are crisp to see. I hope to zero them for the best pellet at some point in my testing, but that will be in the future — ha, ha!

Summary

The Super Target is an air pistol I have been waiting two years for. It’s everything I hoped it would be and even more. You Sig P210 firearm owners have got to add this to your collection. I am not done testing it yet. Stay tuned!


Walther LGV Olympia: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LGV Olympia
Walther’s LGV Olympia is one of the last recoiling spring piston target rifles.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • RWS Superdome
  • H&N Finale Light
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • And then a miracle happens
  • RWS R10 Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • One last thing

Thanks for being patient. I still have more articles to be written about current airguns, but today I will address the accuracy of the Walther LGV Olympia at 10 meters. Remember — I’m doing this because I want to test the rifle with some modern pellets that weren’t around years ago. Let’s get to it.

The test

I shot the rifle off a sandbag rest at 10 meters with the airgun resting directly on the bag. The LGV is so smooth as to almost be recoilless, so a direct bag rest helps the accuracy. I shot 5 pellets at each bullseye, which is how many shots are in the test target that comes with 10-meter target rifles. I didn’t adjust the sights throughout the test. Let’s see how she did.

RWS Meisterkugeln

First to be tested was the RWS Meisterkugeln rifle wadcutter. I normally wouldn’t use this pellet in a target rifle, but in the LGV it did pretty good. Reader Yogi asked me to try them. Five pellets went into 0.193-inches at 10 meters and the group is nice and round, in addition to being small.

Meisterkugeln group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln rifle pellets went into 0.193-inches at 10 meters. At less than 0.2-inches between centers it merits the 13mm gold dollar.

We’re off to a good start. Next up is a pellet I would never choose for the LGV, but I thought a reader had asked for it. Upon inspection, though, I can’t find anyone who did, but just the same I tested it.

RWS Superdome

Next to be tried was the RWS Superdome. Imagine my surprise to see 5 of them disappear into a 0.185-inch group! Of course this pellet cannot be used in a match because it isn’t a wadcutter, but it’s still very accurate.

Superdome group
Five RWS Superdome pellets went into 0.185-inches at 10 meters. Another gold standard. This target appears smaller than it is because domed pellets don’t cut round holes.

H&N Finale Light

Here is a pellet that didn’t exist when I last shot the LGV. The H&N Finale Match Light is labeled as a match pellet and Finale is the name that H&N uses for their match pellets, so I wondered how it would do. Five pellets went into 0.131-inches at 10 meters. This pellet is worth consideration for the LGV.

Finale Match group
Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets went into 0.131-inches at 10 meters. One more gold standard!

It’s getting better and better! This is quite different from the test I did with the Beeman P17 pistol yesterday. I think the sights have a lot to do with it.

Qiang Yuan Olympic

The next pellet I tried was the Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet. This is another one that wasn’t around years ago. So this is the first time I have tried it in the LGV. Five pellets made a 0.113-inch group at 10 meters. This is serious accuracy!

Qiang Yuan Olympic group
The LGV put 5 Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets into a 0.113-inch group at 10 meters. Gold for sure!

And then a miracle happens

You have probably noticed that every pellet tested so far has produced a group that’s smaller than 0.2-inches. Now we come to one that goes even farther.

RWS R10 Pistol

The RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet was the most accurate in today’s test — putting 5 into 0.098-inches at 10 meters. That is quite a bit smaller than the next smallest group! When you test pellets in target rifles this is what you look for.

R10 Match Pistol group
The LGV put 5 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets into this 0.098-inch group at 10 meters. This group is considerably smaller than the next largest group! This one is solid gold.

When 10-meter rifles are shipped they come with a test target that has been shot with them at 10 meters. This is as small as some are. Sure there is some luck in the group, but it was shot after 20 other shots for record had already been fired, so it wasn’t like I was fresh. And, when you see the next target, I think you will see the value in testing pellets this way — no vise to hold the rifle is needed.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The last new pellet I tested was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet that Pyramyd Air no longer carries. This pellet is usually at the front of the best pellets for any airgun, but today in a rare departure from that record it turned in the largest group of all. This was the only group where I used the dime in the picture for scale. Five pellets made a group measuring 0.345-inches at 10 meters. {Ironically, had this been any other air rifle this group would have been considered good.}

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.345-inches at 10 meters. Clearly this pellet is not right for this Walther LGV. Sorry for the blur. I took this picture with the camera hand-held.

Discussion

All but one of the 6 pellets tested shot groups smaller than 0.2-inches. One group was smaller than one-tenth of an inch! That’s very small.

Did you notice how the pellets moved around the center of the bull? Only the Meisterkugeln were more-or-less on target. The others went where they wanted, and all them went together.

This LGV Olympia is performing as well as it can. For a recoiling spring-piston air rifle from the 1960s to shoot a group that’s smaller than 0.1-inches is astounding! As I mentioned the rifle does recoil, but only slightly and obviously that doesn’t affect accuracy negatively.

One final point. The LGV is a breakbarrel, yet it just out-shot many PCP target rifles. I’m not saying it is better. I’m just saying that a breakbarrel can be just as accurate as any other kind of rifle.

Summary

Okay, the fun stuff it out of the way. I guess the next time I shoot this rifle it will be scoped.

One last thing

I have one last target to show you. Reader Skillet asked me to try the Smith & Wesson 77A multi-pump with an RWS Superdome pellet. So I did that today at the same 10 meters. Resting the rifle on the sandbag and using 6 pumps per shot, the scoped 77A put five Superdomes in 1.757-inches at 10 meters. I guess Superdomes are not the pellet for my rifle, Skillet.

Superdome 77A group
The Smith & Wesson 77A multi-pump put 5 RWS Superdomes into 1.757-inches at 10 meters. Another hand-held photo.


Beeman P17 air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman P17
Beeman P17 air pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Falcon
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • Discussion 1
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Discussion 2
  • RWS R10
  • Discussion 3
  • H&N Finale Light again
  • What now?
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the accuracy of my Beeman P17 pistol. Remember — there’s still a lot more to come in this series. We started by learning how to fix and reseal the pistol, thanks to reader 45Bravo, and now we are looking at the P17 in its own right.

The test

I shot off a rest at 10 meters. The pistol was rested directly on the sandbag, as a single-stroke pneumatic has very little recoil. I shot every target in this test with open sights, which I will discuss at the end of the report. I shot just 5 shots at each 10-meter pistol target.

Sight-in

It took eight shots to sight in, where I’m normally on in two or three. I thought the pistol would be pretty close to on, but it wasn’t. And I discovered that the rear sight really moves the pellets around fast.

H&N Finale Match Light

First up were 5 Finale Match Light target pellets. They went into 0.712-inches at 10 meters. The group is a little to the right of the center, but I left the sights where they were because the pellets that follow will all shoot to different places.

Beeman P17 Finale Light group 1
Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets went into a 0.712-inch group at 10 meters.

Falcon

Next up were Air Arms Falcon pellets. I knew some of you would want to see how a dome did, so this is for you. Five pellets went into 0.906-inches at 10 meters. I will have more to say about it at the end of this report.

Beeman P17 Falcon group
The P17 put 5 Falcons in 0.916-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

The next pellet I tried was the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle. This 8.2-grain wadcutter is a little heavy for the power of the P17 but I thought at least one reader wanted me to try it. Five pellets made a group that measures 1.142-inches between centers at 10 meters. It’s a little large but the pellet holes are nicely punched out.

Beeman P17 Meisterkugeln group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln went into 1.142-inches at 10 meters.

Qiang Yuan Olympic

Next I shot 5 Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets. These sometimes shoot surprisingly well and other times not so well. This was an “other” time, with 5 pellets going into a 0.983-inch group at 10 meters.

Beeman P17 Chinese Olympic group
Five Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets went into 0.983-inches at 10 meters.

Discussion 1

At this point in the test I was starting to wonder if the larger groups were my fault and not that of the pellets. I found the P17’s sights hard to align for some reason. The rear notch seems a bit too wide and not deep enough. I will say more about this at the end of the test.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The next pellet was my great hope for the P17. I figured Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets would drill a tight little hole and I might have to bring out the trime for photography. But when I went downrange I saw an open groups that didn’t look that good. It measures 1.035-inches between the centers of the two holes farthest apart. Bummer!

Beeman P17 Sig Match group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets made this 1.035-inch group at 10-meters.

Discussion 2

Now I was more certain that I was right about what was happening. All the groups except the first one are close to the same size. It looks to me like I am the problem and not the gun or the pellets. Apparently I am either having an off day or the P17 sights are not working for me. Maybe the last pellet will tell?

RWS R10

The last pellet I tried was the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. I really expected it to give me the tight group that was missing from the test. But it didn’t. Instead, five pellets went into 0.966-inches at 10 meters — about the same as all the others!

Beeman P17 R10 group
Five RWS R10 Pistol pellets went into 0.966-inches at 10 meters.

Discussion 3

Okay — it was time to test old BB! If I was the reason all these groups except the first one were so large, I would shoot a second group with the Finale Light pellets and it would look like the rest of the groups. If it was small like the first group, then BB was shooting well and the pellets were the problem. I did adjust the rear sight two clicks to the left for this one. The adjustment doesn’t really click, but there are marks on the sight that I’m calling clicks.

H&N Finale Light again

This second group of H&N Finale Match pellets made a 0.976-inch group. It’s a very round group, but also an open one.

Beeman P17 Finale Light group 2
The second five H&N Finale Match pellets went into 0.976-inches at 10 meters.

What now?

Either I had a bad day or these sights are fighting me. Either way I can solve it if I shoot the pistol with a dot sight, using the exact same pellets. The UTG Reflex Micro dot sight seems like the ideal sight to try, so next time that’s what I’ll do. I fully expect adding that sight will reduce the size of these groups by a significant amount — similar to what we saw with the Buck BB gun that was scoped. If that doesn’t happen, then old BB just had a bad day.

Summary

Even with today’s groups the Beeman P17 is still an accurate air pistol. I just know that it can be more accurate and I hope to show that to you next time.

Only when editing this report to publish did I realize that I failed to test the difference in accuracy between flush-seated pellets and deep-seated pellets. So I will add that to the test with the dot sight.

Then we have the Beeman P3 pistol to consider. I’ve always wanted to compare these two air pistols that look so alike. But how close are they really? We shall see.


Walther LGV Olympia: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LGV Olympia
Walther’s LGV Olympia is one of the last recoiling spring piston target rifles.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Velocity
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Discussion
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Scope rail?
  • Rear peep
  • Summary

Well, well. There is a lot of interest in this vintage target rifle. Some of you want to know if I plan to shoot it at 50 yards. I hadn’t planned to do that. I was planning on shooting it at 10 meters and seeing how accurate it might be when used for the thing it was created to do. But I do listen to you guys, so I’m open to exploring other things.

Velocity

Today we look at the power of this air rifle. I know it was just rebuilt when I got it and I really don’t remember much about the performance, except to tell you that Walther spring target rifles in general were never as powerful as FWBs. An FWB 300S might shoot at 640 f.p.s. A Walther tops out at 575-600 f.p.s., as I recall.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

First to be tested were 10 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets. They weigh 7 grains and should be the fastest pellets I test today. Ten of them averaged 600 f.p.s. The spread went from 592 to 606 f.p.s. — a difference of 14 f.p.s. This is about where the rifle should be, in my experience.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets are made of tin and weigh 5.25-grains, so they will be quite a bit faster than lead pellets. In the LGV 10 of them averaged 686 f.p.s. The range went from 673 to 690 f.p.s., which is a difference of 17 f.p.s. In past tests we have seen this pellet at the top for accuracy, so it will be exciting to see what the LGV does with them.

Qiang Yuan Training pellets

Chinese Qiang Yuan Training pellets have also been something of a surprise. In some airguns they are the most accurate, overall. They weigh 8.12 grains, so I expected them to shoot slower. But they averaged 588 f.p.s., which is almost as fast as the 7-grain R10, so perhaps they fit the gun better. The spread went from 576 to 593 f.p.s., which is a difference of 17 f.p.s.

The more expensive Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets weigh exactly the same as the training pellets, so it will be interesting to see what they can do for accuracy.

H&N Finale Match Light

The final pellet I tested was the H&N Finale Match Light. At 7.87 grains it’s lighter than the Chinese training pellet, yet it turned in the lowest average velocity — a mere 550 f.p.s. The spread went from 544 to 556 f.p.s., so a difference of 12 f.p.s. This average is slow for an LGV, so I’m thinking this pellet may not be right for this rifle, but now I have to test it for accuracy to know if I’m right.

Discussion

This rifle is a little faster than I expected. It should be able to shoot both rifle and pistol target pellets.

I thought I remembered that the rifle was buzzier than it is. It’s pretty calm. I’m glad because I didn’t want to take it apart, and now I don’t have to!

Cocking effort

This LGV cocks with 17 lbs. of effort. It feels like less because the 2.5 lb. barrel sleeve helps pull the barrel down to cock. I’m usually seated when shooting and I rest the butt on my leg, so that barrel weight does help.

Trigger pull

The two-stage trigger has a 6-ounce first stage. It’s followed by a glass-crisp 12-ounce second stage. The only thing it lacks is a positive trigger stop. It’s not as light as a modern target rifle trigger or even as light as an FWB 300S trigger, but it’s right there with the best of the rest.

Scope rail?

Some of you wondered if a scope could be mounted to the LGV. Well, it would be possible but also marginal.

The LGV has an 11mm scope rail that has been applied to the outside of the spring tube. It’s probably silver-soldered or welded on — not cut into the tube. It’s 2.3-inches long and not really suitable for a scope of any size. It’s just for a peep sight, though a short and lightweight scope could be made to work. I think it has to be welded because hot bluing attacks silver solder, but still, this rail is pretty small.

Walther LGV Olympia scope rail
The peep sight is attached to a short rail that’s attached to the outside of the spring tube, rather than being cut into it.

Rear peep

The picture of the peep sight caused some confusion last time. I was asked if there were additional adjustments for the sight. I had not examined it then, but I did for today and I can tell you that yes, there are some gross adjustments for the rear peep sight.

There are 4 screws on the front of the sight that allow you to reposition the sliding parts of the rear peep in both directions. Loosen two of the screws and the entire peep slides either horizontally or vertically, depending on which screws are involved. In the picture below you can see a little of the slots in which the body of the sight slides.

Walther LGV Olympia peep adjustments
The peep sight slides in both directions just a little. Loosen two screws and slide the sight in the direction you need. Then lock it down and let the fine adjustments take over.

Summary

So far the LGV is living up to my fondest memories. It’s solid, smooth cocks easily and has a delightful trigger. I can’t wait to see what it will do with modern target ammo!


Diana 35: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 35
Diana 35 pellet rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Falcon pellets group 1
  • Falcon group 2
  • Falcon group 3
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellet
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Falcons with a different hold
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the freshly lube-tuned Diana 35. This is going to be a good one!

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 10 meters, using the rifle’s open sights. I used three different variations of the artillery hold that I’ll describe as we go. I shot 5-shot groups, just so I could stay fresh for all the targets I planned to shoot. Let’s go!

Falcon pellets group 1

I shot the first target with Air Arms Falcon pellets because they had been the most accurate back in Part 3. After the first shot I looked at the target through my spotting scope that’s a pair of MeoStar 10X42 binoculars. For close distance these binos are quicker to set up and all that I need.

I’m shooting with the artillery hold for the entire test. Right now the rifle is resting on my off hand where the cocking slot ends (closest to the triggerguard) on the forarm.

The first shot hit outside the bull at 3:30. That puzzled me until I remembered that I had disassembled the rear sight to remove the protective sheetmetal ears. So I finished the 5-shot group with the sights set where they were.

The first group measures 0.345-inches between centers. Looking back at Part 3 I see that of two groups with Falcons the best was 0.396-inches, so today’s first group is already better. But this was just the start.

Falcon group 1
The very first group of 5 Falcon pellets measures 0.345-inches between centers.

I adjusted the rear sight three clicks to the left and one click up to move the point of impact into the center of the bull.

Falcon group 2

I used the same artillery hold for the second group. This time I was very sensitive to letting the rifle move in recoil. I also squeezed the trigger until the sear broke — there was no “ambushing” the target.

This time 5 Falcons went into 0.194-inches between centers. That group is worthy of the trime, so I used it instead of the dime!

Falcon group 2
When five pellets go into less that 0.2-inches at 10 meters, it’s trime-worthy! Five Falcons are in 0.194-inches at 10 meters. And this was done with the open sights that came on the rifle!

Falcon group 3

Well, the second group was certainly good, but it wasn’t as high in the bull as I had hoped. So I elevated the rear sight three clicks and shot a third group of Falcons. I also moved my off hand to the end of the cocking slot for this and the next two groups.

This time the pellets did hit higher but the group had one pellet landing outside that opened it to 0.536-inches. Four of the five shots are in 0.211-inches.

Falcon group 3
These Falcons opened up a bit, to 0.536-inches at 10 meters. Four are in 0.211-inches.

Qiang Yuan Training pellet

Next to be tried was the Qiang Yuan Training pellet. It’s also a wadcutter and, if you recall from Part 5, this rifle likes it for power. Five went into 0.481-inches at 10 meters. That’s not too bad, but in light of what the Falcons do, it’s not the best, either.

Qiang Yuan Training group
Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets made a 0.481-inch group at 10 meters. Not bad — just not best.

H&N Finale Match Light

The final new pellet I tried was the H&N Finale Match Light pellet. Unlike the other two, this pellet did not do at all well in the Diana 35. The rather open group measures 0.66-inches and is the largest group of the test by far. Just looking at the target tells you it’s wrong for this rifle.

Finale Match Light group
Do I really need to say anything? The group of 5 Finale Match Light pellets measures 0.66-inches between centers, but look how open it is.

Falcons with a different hold

For the last target I went back to Falcon pellets but put my off hand touching the front of the triggerguard. It’s harder to stay steady holding that way but some rifles respond to it. This time five pellets went into 0.371-inches at 10 meters. Look how round this group is.

Falcon group 4
Five Falcons are in 0.371-inches at 10 meters. Apparently this rifle loves the Falcon pellet regardless of the hold.

Discussion

I got exactly what I was looking for in this Diana 35. It cocks easier than my model 27 and shoots smoother, as well. And — this is a .177 — the first one I can recall that was accurate for me. Doggone-it-all — I want to keep shooting it! And I will, but maybe not to write about. You see — I still have a Diana model 27S to test for you!

Summary

I wanted a Diana 35 that cocked light but still shot with power. I got it. The best part of the tune was the Tune in a Tube grease that smoothed the action without robbing velocity. A model 35 is probably harder to find than a model 27, and an older 35 like this one is positively rare — at least in this country. All I can say is, wait for my estate sale, because this one will be in it.


Diana model 26 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 26
The Diana 26 air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • Falcons
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS Superdome
  • Trigger is great!
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Match Green
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm head
  • The final test
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Diana 26 I have been testing. Two things are different about this air rifle. It’s a Diana 26, which I didn’t hear of until recently and it’s a .177, which I haven’t had much luck with. So I chose 7 different pellets, in hopes of finding one or more than were accurate.

The test

I shot from 10 meters off a bench using the artillery hold, though I had to hold the rifle tighter than normal because the butt is so slippery against my shoulder. I shot 5-shot groups to speed things up, but decided I would shoot a final 10-shot group with the pellet that was most accurate.

Sight-in

I sighted-in with Air Arms Falcon domes. The first shot hit 1.75-inches above the aim point and a little to the left, so I adjusted the rear sight down and right. Shot two landed a little too low and still to the left so I adjusted again. Shot three was in the bull and close to the center, so sight-in was finished.

Falcons

The first group was shot with Air Arms Falcon domes. Five pellets made a 0.444-inch group that was right on for elevation and just a little to the right. After this group I adjusted the rear sight one click to the left and never moved it again for the rest of the test.

Falcon group 1
The Diana 26 put 5 Falcon pellets into 0.444-inches at 10 meters.

This group isn’t bad. It’s just not great. I had hoped for something tighter.

H&N Finale Match Light

The second pellet I tested was the H&N Finale Match Light with a 4.50mm head. Five of them went into 0.666-inches at 10 meters. The group is vertical — a phenomenon that plagued me throughout the test.

Finale Light group
Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets went into 0.666-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superdome

Next I tried RWS Superdomes. RWS pellets often do well in vintage Diana airguns for some reason. This time the 26 put 5 of them into 0.743-inches at 10 meters. That’s not a good group. And notice that it is also vertical. I will discuss that at the end of the test.

Superdome group
Five Superdomes went into 0.743-inches at 10 meters.

Trigger is great!

I have to comment on the trigger on this rifle. It’s 2-stage and very crisp. I pull through the first stage and the blade stops at stage 2 positively every time. It’s not a target trigger, but for a sporting trigger it’s fine.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The next pellet I tried was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter. In this group there may have been an aiming error, because 4 pellets are in a tight round group that measures 0.39-inches between centers, and then one stray opens it to 0.923-inches. If I’m still shooting well at the end of this test I may return and shoot a second group of five Sig pellets.

Sig Match group
The Diana 26 put 5 Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets into 0.923-inches at 10 meters. Four of them are in a much tighter 0.39-inches.

JSB Exact RS

The next pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. The 26 put five of them into 0.846-inches at 10 meters. Once more the group is vertical.

JSB RS group
The 26 put 5 JSB Exact RS domes into 0.846-inches at 10 meters, and once more there is some verticality.

H&N Match Green

Next I tried five H&N Match Green target pellets. At 10 meters they landed in a group that measures 0.65-inches between centers. This group isn’t as vertical as many have been .

H&N Match Green group
Five H&N Match green target pellets went into 0.65-inches at 10 meters.

H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm head

The last pellets I tested were the heavy H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads. They are really too heavy for the power of the 26, but in .22 caliber Diana 27s I have found heavy pellet to be accurate. Five of them went into 0.655-inches at 10 meters. It’s not a great group, but for the 7 pellets tested today, it’s not that bad.

H&N Baracuda Match group
At 10 meters the Diana 26 put 5 H&N Baracuda Match pellets into a group measuring 0.655-inches.

The final test

I said I was going to select the most accurate pellet and shoot a 10-shot group with it at the end. That pellet is the Falcon — the first pellet I tested. Remember after that first group I did move the rear sight one click to the left.

This time 10 Falcon pellets gave me a 1.089-inch group that is almost straight up and down. This is not the pellet — it’s me. I am clearly finished shooting!

Falcon group 3
I’m done! I put 10 Falcon pellets in 1.089-inches at 10 meters.

Discussion

I tested 7 pellets in all. I expected there to be one or more that would group well. Falcons did the best and even they were just mediocre. But let’s talk about those vertical groups.

One vertical group in eight is probably the pellet. I had four out of eight and that starts looking like the sights. This 26 has a tapered post front sight and a vee rear notch — about the worst possible sights for precision. They are quick to get on target and fine for plinking, but not suited for shooting targets.

That said, when I shot Michael’s .22-caliber Diana 27using similar open sights I put 10 Air Arms Falcon pellets into 0.595-inches at 10 meters.

Falcon group 2
Ten .22-caliber Falcon pellets from Michael’s Diana 27 went into 0.595-inches at 10 meters — proving a .22 Diana can shoot!

This is one more episode in my ongoing saga with the vintage .177 Dianas. I just can’t seem to get them to shoot!

Summary

There are many more things I could do with this Diana 26, but I’m going to stop here. I still have two more vintage Dianas to test — a 27S and a .35. I also have my own .22 caliber Diana 27 to tune with Tune in a Tube, to see how nice I can make it.

It’s been fun testing a vintage rifle I had no idea existed until recently. I will set this one aside for now and move on to my other projects.


Air Venturi TR5 Multi-Shot Target Air Rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

TR5
Air Venturi TR5 repeating pellet rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Something’s coming!
  • A target rifle?
  • RWS Hobby
  • Discussion
  • Trigger
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Pressing in the pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • Summary

Today I test the velocity of the new Air Venturi TR5 Multi-Shot Target Air Rifle. Reader GunFun1 has been chomping at the bit to talk about this air rifle, but he has restrained himself until I reported on it. Today I will talk about the power you can expect from a factory gun. I know from reading the comments that you readers are way ahead of me in this discussion, but I have purposely avoided reading your comments, as I didn’t want them to color my opinion of the gun.

Sometimes when I test a new (to me) airgun I read up on it before I start testing. Most of the time, though, I don’t do that. I want to experience the airgun exactly as a first-time buyer would. Not everyone reads this blog, and, of those who do, not everyone tunes and modifies their airguns. Some readers just shoot the guns the way they receive them, and I want them to know what they can expect.

Something’s coming!

For those who do like to tinker, there is something major on the horizon, and I will begin telling you about it this Thursday, if all goes according to plan. But today I’m testing a TR5 straight from the box. Let’s get started.

A target rifle?

Air Venturi calls the TR5 a target air rifle, so I have to test it with target pellets. We know that it’s rated to 500 f.p.s. (Pyramyd Air says to expect a little more) which means lighter pellets will be the way to go. Quick — what’s the lightest pure lead wadcutter you can think of? There are a few, but the RWS Hobby comes to my mind first.

RWS Hobby

I loaded both magazines for this 10-shot string. Hobbys averaged 548 f.p.s. with a spread of 16 f.p.s. from 539 to 555 f.p.s. At the average velocity Hobbys generated 4.67 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Discussion

If I hadn’t talked to Pyramyd Air about this TR5 before receiving it I would think they had hand-selected this one, just for me to test. But Val Gamerman told me all the rifles he is seeing are shooting close to 550 f.p.s. They aren’t guaranteeing that velocity; it’s just what they are seeing and also what is coming out the gun I am testing.

The rifle shot Hobbys with very little vibration. There is a little, but its minor. I hate to make comparisons, but it’s about the level of a new Beeman R7.

At the start of the test the cocking lever did not want to come away from the receiver unless I jiggled it up and down as I pulled it back to cock. And, when it went forward again I sometimes had to jiggle it to get it to seat on the stud that holds it. I got used to this in a couple shots and after that I didn’t notice it.

TR5 cocking
The cocking lever locks down on the stud sticking out from the receiver.

After 30 shots the lever started functioning normally, with no jiggling required. So this was just a break-in thing.

Trigger

I was surprised by the trigger! It’s better than it should be at this price point. I will test it for you today.

All of that came from the first 10 shots! I was pleasantly surprised by the TR5.

H&N Finale Match Light

Next up were H&N Finale Match Light target pellets. The ones I shot had 4.50mm heads, but they do come in other sizes. Ten of them averaged 506 f.p.s. in the TR5 with a spread from 500 to 510 f.p.s. So, 10 f.p.s. in total. That’s tight! At the average velocity this pellet generated 4.48 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Pressing in the pellets

If you read Part 1 you noted that pellets were falling out of the magazines unless I pressed them in. So I did that in this test and then tested every magazine afterward. Not a single pellet fell out!

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

You know I’m going to test this rifle with Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. I have to! And they were interesting, to say the least. They averaged 638 f.p.s. in the TR5! Wow! The spread was 12 f.p.s., from 633 to 645 f.p.s. Wow!

However — the TR5 powerplant made a strange noise with every shot. It sounded like it didn’t like shooting a pellet this light. I will still test it with this pellet for accuracy, and probably I’ll also test the H&N Match Green pellet. And, only because some of you commented on the green-stocked version of the TR5 (yes, it does remind me of the Umarex Embark), I will also test the accuracy of the TR5 with the SAR Journey pellet.

Air Arms Falcon

I thought I would also test the TR5 with a domed pellet, and the Falcon from Air Arms seemed like a good choice. Falcons averaged 532 f.p.s. from the TR5 with an 8 f.p.s. spread — from 529 to 537 f.p.s.

Trigger pull

Okay, the TR5 has a single stage trigger that has a release that’s fairly crisp, which is unusual for a single stage trigger. The release comes at about  3lbs. and is easy to  get used to.

It does have adjustments for sear engagement and pull weight. I adjusted the pull weight down from 3 lbs. 2 oz. to 3 lbs. That seemed like as light as it wanted to go. There are no holes in the triggerguard for the adjustment wrenches, but the Allen screws are offset to one side so the guard doesn’t get in the way.

Also — hurrah! The safety is 100 percent manual — as in, you decide when it goes on!

Cocking effort

I can’t believe what I’m about to report, but I tested it and saw the number. The TR5 I’m testing cocks with 11 lbs. of effort! That’s right — eleven pounds! Given the geometry of the sidelever linkage, it does feel a little heavier, but this is a spring rifle a kid could learn to cock.

Summary

I’m impressed. This TR5 is stable, relatively free from vibration, feeds reliably and has a very nice trigger. I sure hope that it’s accurate!