The Webley Hurricane: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hurricane
Webley Hurricane

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Remember
  • The test
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy 
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Firing behavior
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Gamo Match
  • H&N Baracuda with 4.50mm head
  • Summary

Today we see the accuracy of the Webley Hurricane. I have to tell you, this has never been a particularly accurate airgun in the past, so I’m not looking for much today. I will do my best though.

Remember…

No — I am not carrying Mr. Spock’s katra — Star Trek III, The Search for Spock. I want you to remember what I am trying to do with this report.

One thing I’m especially interested in with the Hurricane is how well the Extreme Weapons Grease performs. I used it on all the places where there was galling of the metal. You can read about that in Part 3. Normally I would have used moly grease, but I had a small tube of this stuff that was given to me at some SHOT Show and I decided to see if it was really up to the task. So I’m watching how smoothly the pistol cocks. read more


The first Smith & Wesson 78G air pistol(s): Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

02-S&W 78G
A very early S&W 78G air pistol. Though the picture looks matte because of the cloud lighting, this one has glossy paint. It’s like new!

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Behind the curtain
  • This pistol
  • How early is it?
  • Refinished?
  • Let’s look
  • So what?
  • Trigger
  • Interests?
  • Summary

What? Another S&W 78G? BB — we know you love this air pistol but you just finished a 5-part blog on one last June! Enough already!

Behind the curtain

There is a good reason why I needed to write this blog. I spent 10 hours yesterday (all day Friday) and this morning (Saturday) trying to tune my Diana 27S air rifle so I can report on it. At this point I have one piece of advice to anyone trying to tune one of these rifles. DON’T REMOVE THE TRIGGER BLADE ASSEMBLY!!! Eight and one-half of those ten hours have been spent trying to reinstall the trigger assembly and it still isn’t in! I will get the rifle back together and give you a great report on the tune and troubles I had in good time, but if a blog was going to be published today it had to be something else that was quick and easy. read more


Diana Bandit PCP air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Bandit
Diana Bandit precharged pneumatic air pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Leaded muzzle
  • Removed the barrel
  • Removed the silencer
  • Natural healing
  • Proof of the pudding
  • JSB Hades
  • First target
  • Sound
  • Hades target with 185-bar fill
  • Hades with 190-bar fill
  • Hades pellets with a 170-bar fill
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Last pellet — RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Discussion
  • Warning
  • Summary

I have a lot to tell you today, so let’s get started.

Leaded muzzle

It has been almost a full month since I last wrote about the Diana Bandit PCP pistol, so let me give you a brief refresher. In Part Three I was getting horrible groups at 10 meters, and they were caused by the pellets hitting the inside the muzzle cap. Let’s look at the picture again.

Diana Bandit lead
That pile of lead told me the pellets were all smashing into the backside of the muzzle cap.

Any time an airgun is inaccurate at short range and it has a muzzle break or a silencer, you start investigating there. When I saw that mound of lead I knew I had found the problem. There is no way this pistol could be accurate with all the pellets hitting at that spot. read more


Gamo P-25 air pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Gamo P-25 air pistol
Gamo P-25 is a 16-shot blowback pellet pistol.

Today is accuracy day with the Gamo P-25 air pistol. I inserted a fresh CO2 cartridge into the gun, loaded both of its 8-shot rotary clips and then slid the magazine into the grip.

I shot the pistol at 10 meters, which seems appropriate for a gun of this type. I shot it rested with a two-hand hold and my arms resting on the sandbag but the pistol free to move.

The pistol has open sights that are not adjustable. They have white dots, both front and rear, but that was cancelled by lighting the target brightly and shooting from a dimly lit place. I used a 6 o’clock hold, and the sights were very sharp and easy to align.

Because each rotary clip holds 8 pellets, I shot 8-shot groups instead of the usual 10. I don’t think it makes a big difference; and when you see the targets, I think you’ll agree.

The P-25 has blowback, so every shot except the first is single-action. I therefore cocked the hammer for that first shot, so all shots were single-action. It’s the most accurate way to shoot any handgun.

RWS Hobby pellets
The first pellets I shot were RWS Hobbys. Because they’re wadcutters, they left good holes in the target paper that were visible from the firing line. The pistol shot Hobbys to the left, as you can see, but the elevation was pretty good. The pistol’s sights are not adjustable, so to move the shots means you have to either aim off or use some Kentucky windage.

The group isn’t very impressive — 8 shots in 2.169 inches at 10 meters. Perhaps one of the other pellets will do better.

Gamo P-25 air pistol target with RWS Hobby pellets
Eight RWS Hobby pellets went into 2.169 inches at 10 meters.

Gamo Match pellets
The next 8 pellets I shot were Gamo Match wadcutters. These pellets will sometimes be very accurate in a particular gun, but the P-25 I’m testing isn’t one of them. Eight shots went into 2.894 inches, though 7 of them are in 1.846 inches. Still, neither group size is especially good. They did go to approximately the same point of impact as the RWS Hobbys, however.

Gamo P-25 air pistol target with Gamo Match pellets
Eight Gamo Match pellets went into 2.894 inches at 10 meters.

Crosman Premier lites
Next, it was time to try some 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lites. These domed pellets are sometimes the very best in certain airguns. And this was one of those times. Eight of them went into 1.624 inches, though they also went way over to the left.

Gamo P-25 air pistol target with Crosman Premier lite pellets
Eight Crosman Premier lites went into 1.624 inches at 10 meters. This was the best group of this test.

Gamo Raptor PBA
The last pellet I tried was the lead-free Gamo Raptor PBA. We know from the velocity test that these pellets go the fastest in the P-25, but now we’ll see how accurate they are.

And the answer is — not very. Eight PBA pellets made a shotgun-like pattern that measures 4.036 inches between centers. Interestingly, they did tend to group in the center of the target — the only pellet of the 4 tested to do so.

Gamo P-25 air pistol target with Gamo Raptor pellets
Eight Gamo Raptor PBAs went all over the place, making this 4.036-inch group. I had to reduce the size of the photo to get all the holes into it. read more


Gamo P-25 air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Gamo P-25 air pistol
Gamo P-25 is a 16-shot blowback pellet pistol.

Today, we’ll look at the velocity of the Gamo P-25 air pistol, and something interesting that happened. Normally, I report on the velocity of 3 or 4 pellets and leave it at that, but a strange thing happened with the first CO2 cartridge in the test pistol.

I didn’t screw the piercing screw deep enough into the CO2 cartridge, resulting in the gas flow being hindered. I’ve experienced this a few times in the past, but this time it was very pronounced. After each shot, there was a period of time that ranged from 5 to 10 seconds, during which the gas flowed audibly from the cartridge into the gun’s valve. It sounded like a leak in the gun, but I noticed it only lasted a few seconds before stopping, so it wasn’t venting to the outside. It was the gas flowing from the cartridge into the gun’s valve, where it would be used for the next shot.

Gamo P25 air pistol piercing problem
The piercing screw wasn’t turned in far enough to properly pierce this cartridge. You can’t even see the opening through a 10X loupe, but it’s there. This was operator error.

Shooting the pistol in the rapid-fire mode proved impossible with this first cartridge. The first shot went out at the normal velocity, and shot 2…fired immediately after the first shot…clocked 88 f.p.s. through the chronograph.

It was my fault
So, I screwed the piercing screw much deeper into the next cartridge. Problem solved! Don’t be tentative when piercing a cartridge in this pistol. Do it like you mean it. After I pierced the second cartridge correctly, the pistol performed exactly as expected. Rapid-fire worked as you would expect, and the gun kept up with my trigger finger.

Hobby
The first pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby. Weighing 7 grains, the all-lead Hobby pellet tells me so much about an airgun’s powerplant. For starters, it tells me what needs to be done to get the 425 f.p.s. velocity that’s claimed for the gun.

Hobbys averaged 353 f.p.s. in the P-25. They ranged from a low of 333 to a high of 379 f.p.s., and some of that large variance may be due to the gas flow problem I mentioned. At the average velocity, Hobbys were generating 1.94 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

The Hobbys told me what I wanted to know. This pistol wasn’t going to get its rated velocity with a lead pellet. So, I needed to try it with a lead-free pellet; and since this is a Gamo gun, the Gamo Raptor PBA sounded like a good selection.

PBA
The Raptor PBA pellet is made from metal that’s harder than lead. It weighs 5.4 grains and will generally boost the velocity of an airgun above what a lead pellet will, though the hardness of the metal actually slows it down sometimes. But in the P-25, the Raptor PBAs worked just fine. They averaged 412 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 395 to a high of 432 f.p.s. So, the ads are right on the money. At the average velocity, this pellet generates 2.04 foot-pounds of energy.

Gamo Match
Next up were the lead Gamo Match wadcutters. They weigh 7.56 grains and are sometimes quite accurate in some guns. In the P-25, they averaged 348 f.p.s. with a spread from 329 to 357 f.p.s. The average energy was 2.03 foot-pounds. This will be a pellet to try in the accuracy test.

Crosman Premier 7.9-grain lites
The last pellet I tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lite. They fit in the circular clips of the magazine rather easily, which caused some concern they might fall out; but the way the magazine is designed, only 2 pellets at a time are exposed in its clip. So the worry was for nothing.

Gamo P25 air pistol clip closeup
The way the magazine is designed, the pellets are not exposed until they’re ready to be shot. This one needs to be pressed into the clip.

Premiers averaged 344 f.p.s. in the P-25, with a spread from 330 to 360 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they generate 2.08 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Trigger-pull
The double-action trigger-pull broke at exactly 8-1/2 lbs., which is light for a DA pull. On single-action, it broke under 4 lbs., with a huge creep at 2-1/2 lbs. That creep is consistent and lets you know when the gun is ready to fire.

Shot count
While I got just 50 shots on the first cartridge, I got more with the second one. Besides the velocity testing, I did another test with an entire cartridge, just to see how the pistol operates in the rapid-fire mode. So, the correct piercing is very important. I fired an entire cartridge, just to see how the pistol handled. Everything worked smoothly until shot 48, when the blowback failed for the first time. After that, the blowback would work if I waited long enough between shots, but not if I shot rapidly. However, if you allow time for the gun to warm up, it keeps right on shooting.

There are certainly 75 or more powerful shots in the gun if you allow the gun to rest between shots. The blowback will work reliably past shot 50, as long as time is taken between shots. Shoot fast, however, and the gun cools too much and wastes gas.

Impressions so far
So far, I like the P-25. I like its simplicity and the light single-action trigger. If it’s also accurate, this might be a best buy.


Gamo P-25 air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Gamo P-25 air pistol
Gamo P-25 is a 16-shot blowback pellet pistol.

Okay, now for something a little different. The Gamo P-25 air pistol is a 16-shot pellet pistol with blowback and a rifled barrel. This pistol operates on CO2, and the 12-gram cartridge is hidden inside the grip.

Normally, a gun like this is a BB gun, but this time there’s a rifled barrel — and the chance to shoot many different lead pellets, plus a trigger that’s both single-action and double action. Because of the blowback action, you’re going to shoot this gun single-action most of the time.

The P-25 is a 21st century handgun is every respect. It’s nearly all synthetic, entirely black and the grip is fat, as though enclosing a double-stacked magazine. The fixed sights feature three white dots — like night sights, but without tritium inserts. Align the three dots and put the center dot over your target…and I assume you’ll have minute-of-soda-can accuracy at 25 feet. We’ll find out more about that when we test the pistol for accuracy.

I like the fact that this pistol comes with blowback. That gives a realistic feel to each shot, which makes this a good trainer for maintaining firearms proficiency. When we get to the accuracy test, I’ll let Edith shoot the pistol and give her assessment, too. The gun I’m testing is serial number 12F31301.

The P-25 is a large pistol. Maybe it looks like a pocket pistol in the photograph above, but in person it’s larger than an M1911A1 in all ways, save length.

Trigger
The trigger is very strange. Usually a single-stage trigger is crisper and lighter than a 2-stage trigger, but this one isn’t. While the pull weight isn’t that heavy, there’s a country mile of takeup even in the single-stage mode — i.e., when the hammer is already cocked. Once the takeup is done, though, the trigger breaks cleanly enough. It isn’t exactly crisp, but it is light and very predictable. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble with it.

The double-action pull is relatively light, though you’ll only feel it on the first shot after installing the magazine. Once the gun fires, the slide blows back, cocking the hammer for every successive shot.

The trigger blade is very wide. I find that gives a nice feel to the pull when I’m trying to control the let-off or point at which the trigger breaks.

Safety
The safety is another matter. It’s one of those Euro-lawyer safeties that have a center switch that’s pulled back before the lever can be moved. There’s no way to operate this kind of safety with one hand. It blocks the trigger when its on.

Gamo-P-25-air-pistol-safety
The toothed bar must be pulled back (to the left) before the safety lever can be moved.

Magazine
The magazine is a stick type with two circular pellet clips — one on either end. It’s a drop-free design, and the release button is on the left front of the grip frame, where a right-handed shooter expects it to be. The mag has to be ejected and turned around for the second 8 shots.

CO2
This gun runs on CO2. The manufacturer says it gets up to 425 f.p.s. with pellets, and we will test that for you in Part 2. The cartridge is hidden in the grip, and this time the enclosure is different. The bottom rear of the grip is pulled away from the rest of the grip, and two-thirds of the CO2 compartment is exposed. When the cartridge is installed, a conventional piercing screw tensions and pierces the cartridge. Don’t forget to put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each new cartridge as it’s installed. That will keep your gun sealed for many years.

Recoil
The P-25 is moderately heavy, at 29 oz., so the blowback action causes a fair amount of bounce. It feels not much different than a medium-weight .22 rimfire pistol shooting standard-speed long rifle rounds.

Barrel
The barrel is rifled steel. That gives me some hope that this pistol will also be accurate. If the blowback feature doesn’t use too much gas, the P-25 could turn out to be a very nice plinking air pistol.

All things considered, at this point the Gamo P-25 air pistol looks like a good one. I hope it delivers on that promise.


Quackenbush .25 pistol: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Test data and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Nobody played!
First of all, we got no answers on last Friday’s question at the bottom of the blog. The answer is: it’s a catapult gun, and it shoots steel BBs. It was offered by the same company that built the Johnson semiautomatic rifle that was used as an alternative by the Marines in World War II, but at the price of $15 in 1948, it never stood a chance.

Today, we’ll shoot the Quackenbush .25 pistol for velocity and accuracy. There was a surprising amount of interest in this pistol, though much of the talk took place on Pyramyd Air’s social network sites. But even here, many readers know about this airgun. Just as a reminder, this isn’t a fire-breathing PCP. It’s a CO2 gun that uses the same stock valve as a Crosman 2240.

This pistol bloops them out at less than 400 f.p.s. because it’s a .25 and shooting pellets far heavier than the valve was designed to handle. Mac says he loves watching them arc out through the scope and drop through the aim point at the last instant. When the sun is behind you, it can be quite a show.

Velocity
We’ll start with the velocity first. A couple of readers guessed that this pistol would shoot under 400 f.p.s. and they were right. The fastest average velocity Mac recorded came from Diana Magnum pellets — an obsolete brand that used to be the best .25 caliber pellet on the market. Until now, Mac has found that it shot best in this pistol. Although Diana Magnums came in both 20- and 21-grain weights (they varied over time), Mac says these weigh an average 19.90 grains, so these are the lighter ones.

Because this is a CO2 gun, Mac had to allow for cooling — so he waited 15 seconds between each shot. That allows the gun to warm up. He also replaced the CO2 cartridge after 24 shots, even though he says the gun gets up to 40 shots per cartridge. That gave every pellet the best chance to perform.

Mac recorded an average 378 f.p.s. with this pellet. The total spread was 7 f.p.s., which is pretty tight for such an inexpensive airgun . At the average velocity, this pellet generates an average 6.32 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Because this is a gas gun, it’s probably going to get more energy from heavier pellets.

Next up was the Beeman H&N Match wadcutter pellet. Weighing 21.6 grains, they averaged 370 f.p.s., with just a three foot-second spread. The muzzle energy was 6.57 foot-pounds.

Mac upped the ante with one of the two new .25-caliber pellets. The Benjamin dome weighs 27.8 grains, so it’s a heavier pellet in this caliber. It averaged 323 f.p.s. with a 7 f.p.s. total spread. The muzzle energy was 6.44 foot-pounds, so less than you would predict; but because it’s a Benjamin pellet, there’s antimony in the alloy, and that may slow it down just a little.

I told Mac that this pellet and the next one are the two most accurate .25-caliber pellets on the market. I expected both of them to beat the Diana Magnum in his pistol.

The final pellet he tried was the new JSB Exact Kings that weigh 25.4 grains. This is the other very accurate pellet that Mac tested. It averaged 346 f.p.s. and generated an average 6.75 foot-pounds. The total velocity spread was 9 f.p.s.

Okay, now the velocity testing is out of the way, and what do we have? The pistol averages under 400 f.p.s. but over 6 foot-pounds of energy. So, it isn’t a weak air pistol. Slow, perhaps, but not weak. So, how does it shoot?

Accuracy testing
Mac shot the pistol at 25 yards. I asked him to shoot 10-shot groups instead of the five he used to shoot with this gun. That made a difference in the group sizes, of course. But another dynamic emerged during testing that I think you’ll find very interesting. I’ll explain it as we go.


Ten shots at 25 yards. Believe it or not, the first four shots are all strung apart from the main group, where the last six shots went. Group measures 2.16 inches between centers.

Do you see the dynamic? The group forms around the final shots. Mac did “season” the bore between targets with two shots from each new pellet; but, even so, the pellets walked into the group at the end of each 10-shot string. I suggested to Mac that this might be due to seasoning the barrel, but he thought it was because the gun cooling down as it was shot.

The heavy JSB Exact Kings were next up. Mac found them to also string vertically for the first three shots, then bunch together at the end, just like before.


Ten JSB Exact King domed pellets made this 1.09-inch group at 25 yards. The first three shots are vertical, then the final seven are bunched together below. There’s one straggler out to the right, but this is a much better group than the wadcutters produced.

Thus far we have seen an interesting dynamic of the pellets moving to a place, then grouping tightly. So how do the formerly most accurate Diana Magnums react? They’re next.


The Diana Magnum pellets didn’t act like the first two pellets. They all landed at the same height on target, without an vertical stringing. Group size was 1.09 inches between centers. read more