Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel air rifle: Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

The Hatsan 95 came through in the end!

This is part 5 of what would normally be a three-part test. If you’ve followed it, you know all I’ve gone through to let the Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel look its best. And today’s report was no exception. I spent more time with the rifle than I usually do in part 3 of any other airgun. I guess I had a burr under my saddle blanket about this rifle from the start. It was so nice-looking, and it was also a spring rifle that most adult men can cock, which isn’t that common when it comes to Hatsan breakbarrels. So, I wanted it to succeed.

Cleaned the barrel
The first step for today’s report was a thorough cleaning of the barrel with J-B Bore Paste on a brass bore brush. From the way the friction lessened the more times I brushed the bore and the black gunk that soon filled the bristles, I knew it was the right thing to do.

Mounted a scope
After the barrel was clean, I set about mounting a scope with droop to compensate for the barrel droop the test rifle has. I had planned to mount the Hawke Sport Optics 4.5-14×42 Sidewinder Tactical rifle scope, but it has a 30mm tube and nowhere in my inventory of available scope rings could I find a droop-compensating mount with 30mm rings. I have them, but they were all doing other jobs. Fortunately, when I was working with Leapers to create their UTG droop-compensating base for RWS Diana spring rifles they sent me a couple samples without the recoil shock shoulder, so I can mount them on any conventional 11mm scope dovetails. Since the Hatsan 95 comes with a scope stop plate already installed, I just backed the base up to it and I was done.

The UTG scope base gave me all the droop compensation I needed to get the scope adjusted properly.

Because the UTG base raises the scope high above the spring tube, I used a set of the lowest Weaver rings I have. With them I was able to mount the AirForce 4-16×50 AO scope with plenty of room to spare. This AirForce scope is the brightest of my one-inch tubes. I don’t usually have it available because it’s mounted on my Talon SS, but the recent test of the Micro-Meter tank has freed it up.

Time to test!
Then it was time to test the rifle at 25 yards. I can report that the droop-compensating scope base did its job and put the scope’s adjustments down into the bottom quarter of the travel range. That means there was more than enough tension on the erector tube return spring, so that can be ruled out as an excuse for inaccuracy. After a quick sight-in at 10 feet, I went back to 25 yards and started shooting.

Beeman Kodiaks are out!
The first pellet I tried was the Beeman Kodiak. But no matter how I held the gun, they simply would not group. I fired about 30 rounds, trying all sorts of holds without success. I tried the Kodiak first because back in Part 3, they seemed to do well at 10 meters. I’d hoped that solving the scope problem would also make them group at 25 yards, but no dice.

So are JSB Exact 15.9-grain domes!
Next up was the JSB Exact Jumbo that weighs 15.9 grains. Like the Kodiaks, these had done well at 10 meters, and I just knew they would shine at 25 yards. But, once again, in hold after hold, they disappointed me. I would put three pellets into the same hole, then throw one an inch away. That could not be blamed on the scope this time.

I even tried shooting the rifle with the forearm resting directly on the bag. Though that seldom works…when it does, it works quite well, and it was worth a try. Once more, the groups were large and open. The shot count was now above 60 without success. I began mentally composing the report that was to say I had failed to get the Hatsan to shoot at all, but something inside kept me at the bench.

Perfect artillery hold is required
By shooting so many pellets, I did discover the best place to put my off hand. The heel has to touch the rear of the cocking slot. If I can feel that, I know the stock is always in the same place. Also, there can be absolutely NO tension when shooting! I have to be entirely relaxed and my shoulder cannot put any pressure against the buttpad. If there’s any tension or if I am holding the rifle in place instead of letting it just rest on target with me relaxed, the shot will always go wide in the direction the rifle wanted to go as I was holding it.

The next pellet I tried was the JSB Exact Jumbo that weighs 18.1 grains. This pellet often shines in certain PCPs, and I wondered if it might make a difference here. But when shot two landed two inches from shot one, I stopped.

Next up was the RWS Superdome that has surprised me in the past. Several readers say this is always a good pellet for them, and I thought it needed to be tried. I got 8 shots into 1.164 inches between centers, but that just wasn’t good enough to satisfy me. So, they were out, too.

Eight RWS Superdomes made this 1.164-inch group at 25 yards. Notice the shot that barely clipped the bottom edge of the target paper!

RWS Super-H-Points
While I was looking through my .22-caliber pellets I saw a fat tin of RWS Super-H-Points. This is a 14.2-grain hollowpoint pellet that also cuts a hole in the target like a wadcutter. It shouldn’t be accurate in a spring rifle of this power, but nothing else was working so I decided to give it a try. When the third shot made a cloverleaf with the first two, I felt this might be the one. And it was! Ten shots gave me a group that measures 0.792 inches between centers. Looking at this group, I see the promise of even better grouping once I become more familiar with the pellet. But even if this is the very best it can do, it’s good enough for me.

There is the 25-yard group we have been looking for! This Hatsan 95 likes RWS Super-H-Points. Ten made this 0.792-inch group. See the two holes made by the 18.1-grain JSB? No wonder I stopped shooting it!

The last word
So, what do I think? Well, the Hatsan 95 is definitely an accurate spring-piston air rifle at a great price. BUT — and this is a big “but,” — if you want it to perform you’re going to have to learn how to shoot a rifle. And I don’t mean shooting Uncle Jim’s 30-30 a couple times, either! You’re going to have to learn how to apply the artillery hold to the very best of your ability because this rifle does not forgive laxness.

Cosmetically, this rifle will give you more than any other air rifle in its price range. The trigger is disappointing, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just not real good. But you can adapt to it and if you learn to hold the rifle right and use the right pellets, it will perform. Based on this test, I think the Hatsan 95 is one of the best buys in a spring-piston air rifle today.

Does hand position affect springer accuracy?

by B.B. Pelletier

We have a guest blog from regular blog reader and commenter Fred DPRoNJ (Democratik Peoples Republic of New Jersey). He’s tested an interesting concept that will be beneficial to all you spring gun shooters. I’ll let him tell you about it.

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

Take it away, Fred!

by Fred DPRoNJ

Spring-powered air rifles are the hardest guns to shoot accurately. At the top of this list are the magnum springers (those that generate 15 or more foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle). Once the trigger is released and the spring propels the piston forward, the rifle shoves back against your shoulder. When the piston stops, its forward motion transfers to the rifle, which then moves forward. This is the jarring motion that turns scopes that are not airgun-rated into castanets. Also, as the spring is uncompressing, a torque is produced which tries to twist the rifle about its longitudinal axis. It’s next to impossible to control these three forces the same way every time and obtain consistency. The pellet will strike the target at a slightly different place than your point of aim.

As long-time readers of this blog know, the trick to wringing out the utmost accuracy from a spring-piston rifle is to use the artillery hold that B.B. Pelletier has popularized. It allows the rifle to recoil as it wants, while achieving consistency in the point of impact. In the artillery hold, the forearm of the rifle rests lightly on your palm or the back of your fingers or top of your closed fist so the rifle can move how it wants. You do not grasp the forearm with your fingers. That technique is explained here.

However, additional accuracy can sometimes be obtained by positioning your hand under a different point on the forearm. There’s no tried-and-true position since each rifle has its own characteristics, and that requires experimentation. I thought I had the most accurate hold for my .177 Diana RWS 350 Magnum, which is the hardest recoiling and one of the most powerful spring-piston air rifles in my collection. Its recoil makes it one of the hardest rifles to shoot accurately. But I wondered if varying my hand position might improve the results. And that’s the subject of my report.

What I did
I marked the forearm of my rifle in four positions, shot a number of different pellets at a target, rested the rifle at each of the four points and then measured the groups. Distance to the target was 28 feet — the maximum limit of my basement target range. The rifle has an optional peep sight — the Beeman version of the Williams model 64 receiver peep sight — and a hooded front.

Williams peep sight.

I quickly found out that my arm was too short for the farthest position, which would have been at the end of the forearm, so the experiment was revised to three positions.

The RWS 350 Magnum stock is marked for three positions.

Even position one (shown above) was too far out for me to comfortably hold the rifle, and that probably contributed to the poor results obtained in that position. The rifle was rested on the top of a closed hand (the top of my fist), with my elbow rested on a flat surface. The rifle did tend to move with the movement of my body, hand and arm. [Editor’s note: The rifle will always follow the body. That’s why the stance is so important for an offhand shooter…and a baseball pitcher.] I’m afraid these aren’t one-hole groups.

Falcon pellets
My first pellet was the Air Arms Falcon domed pellets that weighs 7.33 grains. The smallest group I got with all but one pellet was with my off hand in position three, which is closest to the triggerguard. For the Falcon pellets, that group measured 0.6355 inches between centers. Positions one and two resulted in groups that were larger than one inch across.

The first three groups were shot using Falcon pellets. They’re arranged in this way — upper left from position one, upper right from position two and lower left from position three. Position three gave the tightest group.

At this point, I’d like to apologize for the wrinkled targets. Spike, my pet cockatiel, overturned a glass of water and soaked all the paper targets prior to my taking photos of them. He was sternly spoken to and told to straighten up and fly right.

Spike posed for this picture, but he tipped the glass on the targets before I could photograph them. As you can see from the look on his face, he has a mischievous streak and he won’t allow me to photograph him when he’s misbehaving! His favorite TV sitcom character is Eddie Haskell.

Crosman Premier Ultra Magnum
Next up were 10.5-grain Crosman Premier Ultra Magnum pellets, and, once again, the smallest size obtained was position three — 0.698 inches between centers. As you can see, positions one and two produced groups in excess of one inch, total spread.

Crosman Premier Ultra Magnum, 10.5 grains. Once again they’re arranged — upper left from position one, upper right from position two and lower left from position three. Position three gave the tightest group.

RWS Super H-point
The third pellet I used was the RWS Super-H-Point weighing in at 6.9 grains. The rifle didn’t like these at all. This target produced the only anomaly of the entire test – position one had the tightest group of 1.198 inches between centers, while position three was 0.125 inches larger. Perhaps, this could just be a measurement discrepancy?

The RWS Super-H-Point target was the one anomalous target in the test. They’re arranged — upper left from position one, upper right from position two and lower left from position three. In this case, position one beat position three.

H&N Baracuda
My next pellet was the 10.65-grain H&N Baracuda Match pellet. Once again, the third position produced the smallest group of 0.698 inches between centers.

Finally, with the H&N pellet, I was starting to get some decent results. Again, they’re arranged — upper left from position one, upper right from position two and lower left from position three. Position three gave the tightest group.

JSB Exact 8.4-grain dome
The JSB Exact 8.4-grain dome produced a grouping that was equal for positions two and three, with position one being roughly one inch across.

Even better results than the H&N Baracuda. The RWS 350 likes the JSB Exact 8.4-grain pellet. Groups are arranged as before, with positions two and three being identical. Position one is larger.

JSB Exact 10.3-grain dome
My last pellet was the JSB Exact 10.3-grain domed pellet. This pellet was the most accurate of the test with a best group of 0.573 inches between centers, which was almost a one-hole group.

Groups were fired in the same sequence as the others. This is obviously the best pellet for this rifle, and position three is the best place to hold

What I can deduce from my testing is that position of the hand on the forearm certainly affects accuracy. With one exception, the groupings did get tighter as my hand position was moved in from position one to position three. Position three was nearly always the best place to rest the rifle on my hand, irrespective of the pellet used.

[Editor’s note: Fred’s findings correspond with my own. Placing the off hand back by the triggerguard is nearly always the best place for a spring rifle. There have been exceptions, however, so it’s good to test all positions with every rifle.]

Fred does some accuracy testing

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we start, I have a couple new things for you. First, February podcast is up. Yes, I said February! March’s podcast will go up shortly. Sorry February’s late, but we had technical glitches and some time issues.

Next, there’s a new article on Pyramyd Air’s website from one of my Airgun Revue magazines. It’s about Zimmerstutzens, which are in a class somewhere between airguns and firearms.

Blog reader Fred decided to see how his guns shot. So he took ’em all out and…well, that’s really the blog. I’ll let him tell it.

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

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Fred Nemiroff, aka Fred PRoNJ

My collection of air rifles is growing. This sport truly is addictive; and while I don’t have nearly as many rifles as some others, I shoot the ones I have on a regular basis. My philosophy with motorcycles is to ride ’em and not hide ’em. I feel the same way with my air rifles –- use them and don’t let them gather dust. While I know which of my rifles are supposed to be the most accurate, it wasn’t clear in my mind how they stacked up to each other. With snow on the ground and my local range closed, I was reduced to shooting in the basement, a 28-ft range. That is, with the target at the extreme opposite diagonal and me squeezed into a corner between a bookshelf and the electric panel access, shooting carefully past the lolly column and the treadmill. Not the best way to analyze accuracy, but it’s what I have to work with.

One of the first things I do when I purchase a rifle is to determine which pellet provides the greatest accuracy. Armed with that knowledge and the pellet supply on one of the bookshelves, my contest started. I relegated the competition to 7 scoped rifles. My shooting technique involved standing with my left arm resting on a makeshift stand and the rifle resting on my left arm. I found that this was superior using my left hand to support the rifle while the elbow rests on the solid stand. Plus, this seems to be the method most used in field target competition. The competitors are sitting on the ground, their left arm is resting on their knees and their rifle is resting on their arm.

RWS 46 air rifle

First up was the first spring-piston rifle I purchased, an RWS 46 in .22 cal. For those that may not be familiar with it, the 46 is an underlever rifle with a unique pop-up loading port.

Here’s the loading port, but the transfer port is extremely long. Shown open.

My 46 prefers RWS Super-H-Point pellets weighing 14.2 grains. Average muzzle velocity was a surprising 682 fps which translates to 15 ft-lbs. With that very long transfer port, this is supposed to be a moderately powered rifle producing around 10 ft-lbs. When I tested it several years ago, that’s what I was getting. I was so surprised by the velocity and power, I shot another series of 5 pellets past my Chrony Alpha and recalculated the results. Why this rifle is shooting at this level, I can’t explain — but I’m not complaining! The rifle produced a group of .452 inches. Subtracting the width of the pellet head (.22 cal) produced a center-to-center group of .232 inches.

RWS Super-H-Point pellets from my RWS 46.

RWS Super-H-Point pellets shot from by Discovery rifle.

The next rifle I tried was the .22 cal Benjamin Discovery. I’ve modified the Discovery with the TKO trigger and Mike’s muzzle brake. It’s made the rifle into a great shooter -– superb trigger now and no hearing protection required when shot in the basement. This rifle shoots RWS Super-H-Points, Crosman Premier domes and JSB Exact (Jumbo’s) all equally well. Muzzle velocity is 791 fps and with the JSB Exact Jumbo pellets, produces 22 ft-lbs at the muzzle. However, in my test, the Discovery using Super-H-Points gave me a group of .52 inches. Center-to-center spec is .30 inches. Not what I expected, but perhaps the TKO muzzlebrake has something to do with it. I’d take it off to retry, but it’s so darned loud that I decided to leave it alone. I’ll retry when I have more time without the brake and with other pellets. On to the next rifle.

My re-calibrated Benjamin Marauder in .177, shooting Crosman Premiers Ultra Magnum pellets (10.5 grains ) at around 810 fps, produces approximately 14 ft-lbs of energy. It’s the winner. I detuned the rifle to obtain up to 50 shots at this velocity +/-25 fps. The group was .348 inches or .171 inches center-to-center.

That’s 5 .177 pellets from my Benjy Marauder.

One of my newest acquisitions, the Benjamin Nitro Piston XL Trail Hardwood, gave me a lot of grief trying to find a pellet that it would like. I finally discovered the .22 cal. H&N Baracuda pellets. The pellet weighs 21.14 grains and exits the muzzle at 620 fps (average) and produces 18 ft-lbs of energy. Great — if I could hit what I was shooting at.

At the distance of 28 feet, it produced a very poor group of .833 inches. Center-to-center is .613 inches and would prove to be the worst of the collection.

Ouch! This is pretty big.

OK, time for the next German rifle, my RWS 52 in .177. This is a magnum-powered sidelever with a moving compression chamber.

RWS 52 air rifle

It was the most accurate spring-piston rifle, but I hadn’t tested it against the HW’s. Using JSB Exacts weighing 10.35 grains showed 887 fps on the Chrony Alpha, which translated to 18 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. The 52 gave me a group of .412 inches. Center-to-center measurements were .235 inches. A big, heavy rifle, and it can shoot.

JSB Exacts from my RWS 52 sidelever.

Next came the Beeman R9. This is the Goldfinger model in .20 cal that I bought at the Roanoke Show last year. The R-9 likes JSB Exacts, which weigh 13.8 grains. Pushed out the barrel at 716 fps, they produce just under 16 ft-lbs — but couldn’t catch the RWS 52. The group I got was .442 inches (.242 inches center-to-center). Well, we’re talking .01 inches difference here, which can easily be attributed to my measuring technique or the way the paper target tore. Plus, the R9 doesn’t have near the pellets down it’s barrel that the RWS 52 has. I figure it’s a toss up with the R9 only going to get better as more pellets travel down it’s barrel.

The bottom most hole just to the right of the number 8 –- within the 8 ring — I’m calling a flier.

Last up was the HW50S, the newest spring-piston rifle in my treasure trove. With a Leapers 5th Gen Bug Buster scope and exhibiting the most “twang” of all my springers, it put 5 .177 cal H&N Baracuda pellets into a .424-inch group (.247 inches center-to-center). Velocity for this pellet is 704 fps, and energy was just under 12 ft-lbs.

I think I can do better, but still — I’m happy with this group

To me, the Marauder is the most accurate PCP I have with the RWS 52 and HW50S vying for top honors in the spring-piston class…being pushed by the R9. Why did the Benjamin Nitro Piston produce such a horrible group at 28 feet? This started me on the path to research accuracy and what, if anything, I could do for it.

I’m from China. Do you know my name?

by B.B. Pelletier

Blog reader Vince has been very busy! Last week he gave us a 2-part guest blog, and this week he’s given us another blog. Like mysteries? Get out our magnifying glass and help Vince uncover the name of this air rifle.

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

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Vince

I know there’s something to be said for mystery, even when it’s balanced by intimate familiarity. Still, I REALLY want to know what to call you.

‘Twas a dark and stormy night — or not — when she came along in as innocuous a manner as possible. I had spotted a “dump sale” on one of the sites (don’t remember which), where a fellow was getting rid of four bottom-feeder Chinese guns. I believe he had a business, and these guns didn’t move — but I’m not positive about that. In any event, the airguns included a pair of Industry Brand B3 rifles (.177 and .22, a cult gun if there ever was one), an old half-eaten Industry B7/QB51 (folding-stock breakbarrel missing the stock) and this orphan. It’s a nondescript Chinese sidelever that I thought at first might be a KL-3B Fast Deer (another cult gun that was sort of a flash in the pan about 5 years ago). But no, there was no safety on the starboard side above the trigger. Then, I thought it might be an old TS-45, which I always wanted for no particular reason. But the stock shape didn’t seem quite right. No matter, I’ll find out when it gets here, right?

The package finally comes into my possession, and I start going through the box. The B3 rifles were what you’d expect — ugly. Turns out that the .177 version has about the same velocity as the .22, and the accuracy with either was rather tepid. The .177 was sold off for $15, and I kept the .22 just to have one.

But that sidelever….

Well, the price was cheap enough. Are those serial numbers? Who knows!

Even up close, I’m not sure what it is. There are some numbers stamped into the wood near the buttplate. Whatever it is, it certainly isn’t a model number of any sort. I looked on the compression tube and found the obligatory Made In China (NO! REALLY?) stamped in the metal along with the just-as-obligatory Chinese characters. Above that is some sort of mountain range motif. Maybe Snow Peak? I don’t see any snow. Don’t see any scope dovetails, either.

The logo isn’t exactly on par with Diana throwing away her bow and picking up an air rifle.

So, I’m thinking, “I shall call you Pointy, and you shall be mine.” But that’s kind of a stupid name for a gun, so I’ll continue examining the rest of the rifle for clues.

I was always under the impression that Snow Peak was an early manifestation of Industry Brand, but the gun does NOT seem to have that special lack-of-attention-to-detail that distinguishes (extinguishes?) the early Industry guns. Even the stock — while the varnish on it is applied unevenly and is a bit orange-peeled — isn’t hosed down with that orangish-brown goo that Industry used in abundance.

Next, I looked at the sights — the AK47-style sights. The rear has a push-button slider with markings at each position for elevation, and no windage adjustment. While the front sight is adjustable for windage (with a punch or an AK47 sight tool) and elevation (again, with the AK47 tool):

Front sight is fully adjustable, rear sight is adjustable for elevation only.

For afficionados of cheap Chinese (guns, not food), this smacks of the old BAM B4-2 underlever that bore a passing resemblance to the inferior Industry B3. That makes me think about the BAM XS-B7 — the sporter version of BAM’s old XS-B3-1 AK47 lookalike sidelever:

The new gun sorta looks like this…in some ways…but not really. (Photo courtesy of the former Pellettrap website)

No, the stock shape is all wrong. The XS-B7 does NOT have the AK-style sights, but it does have a safety in the triggerguard. Pointy doesn’t have one at all. It makes do with an interlock that keeps the shooter from pulling the trigger when the arm is open, but that’s about it.

One last detail. My gun has a fairly substantial set of sling swivels mounted on its underside.

The gun comes with a full set of sling swivels. The rear screw on each swivel is actually one of the bolts that holds the action to the stock. I don’t thing they’re going anywhere. Despite the differences in stock shape, with these swivels I’m again leaning toward calling it a TS-45.

X-ray of the TS-45 trigger shows it’s the same as the B3.
(from Tuning a cheap Chinese airgun – Part 2)

The TS-45 has the same trigger as the B3, which has the trigger blade holding the sear in place until it’s pulled. Even without taking the gun apart, I can tell that Pointy has a simpler direct sear.

At this point, I’m flummoxed. So, I set the whole ID issue aside and just started shooting it.

The gun itself is very much full weight and size at 6 lbs., 14 oz., and 41 inches overall. As you’d expect from a sidelever, it balances well (since the cocking linkage is close to the shooter), and the pull length of 13.5 inches is well within the average range for adults. The sight is clear enough, with plenty of depth to the slot in the rear sight, although the notch is a bit too wide for the front post.

Side note: Why do some manufacturers get so danged stingy with the depth of the rear sight notch? Am I alone in finding that an open-leaf sight with a really shallow notch is a pain to use?

Anyway, holding and shouldering the gun doesn’t feel bad at all, the stock seems well proportioned. Meaty without being fat, it’s probably a good compromise for a variety of hand sizes. The not-so-smooth finish on the stock actually makes it easier to grip. Poor man’s checkering? Uh, yeah…that’s it.

Of course, old Chinese guns aren’t known for mechanical refinement. Pointy’s direct sear trigger (with a 6-lb. release), graunchy cocking cycle and dry, hollow-sounding firing cycle do nothing to dispel this reputation. And, I discovered something else the first time I cocked it — this gun is SHARP! Literally. They didn’t do much to bevel the edges at the end of the cocking lever. Ouch! Not rough or uneven, mind you, and not enough to cut skin, but darned uncomfortable. Glad it doesn’t take more than 20 lbs. to cock it.

I started punching paper at 10 meters so I can start adjusting the front sight windage. And, that’s when the rifle started doing things like this:

Just when you think you know how a gun’s gonna shoot…it does something like this.

Hmmm…. that’s about a .32″ group with Crosman Premier Hollowpoints. With open sights. Guys, laugh if you wanna, but this passes as a very good open-sight group for me at this range. It did the about the same thing with a group of 5 Gamo Match pellets and a little worse with RWS Super-H-Point and RWS Diabolo Basic pellets

So, whatever it is, whoever made it — they certainly paid attention to the barrel. What else did they pay attention to? Well, now I’ll get down and dirty to find out.

The action is dirt simple.

What am I seeing? The mechanism is certainly basic enough, with the direct sear trigger pivoting on the same pin that holds everything together. The stampings are straight, and the spot welds all seem to be spot-on.

Out come the main pin and parts.

Once apart, I found the expected leather seal, and the general mechanism is reminiscent of the horrid Industry B1 and B2 rifles I’ve worked on. But wait! Something’s different! That pin! That 5mm pin that holds everything together and holds the trigger!

The 5mm pin that held it all together.

Notice anything strange about the pin? It’s STRAIGHT! That’s strange, because every old Industry gun I’ve worked on with the same arrangement also had a bent pin (metal too soft). But not this one. What else did I notice? The sear mating surfaces weren’t significantly worn.

The sear mating surface wasn’t worn to a nub.

My experience indicates that would CERTAINLY be unusual on an Industry rifle. In fact, the sear faces on the old Industry B1/B2 guns can wear so much that they start shooting without you.

That rear guide seems to be machined out of a solid piece of steel, rather than fabricated from a sheet metal tube and a washer.

The rear guide isn’t the usual cheap manufacturing process I’m used to seeing.

The piston seems well made, and the piston rod is STRAIGHT and centered in the bore of the piston. All in all, I’m now certain that Industry didn’t make this gun.

Pointy was dry as a bone when I took it apart, so the gun goes back together with the typical moly goo I use. Since it’s a lower-powered gun, I didn’t bother with tar on the spring, but the leather seal did get roughed up and soaked in 30-weight oil. Cocking and shooting behavior is smoother, and the velocity seems to have stabilized in the mid-500s with Crosman 7.9-grain pellets.

But, I’m no closer to identifying the gun. So far, the sights and general build quality still make me think that it’s related to the old BAM XS-B3/B7 rifles, but now I’ve got pictures of the innards! So, I go perusing the internet til I find an exploded view of the XS-B3 variant so I can compare the general construction.

Exploded view of the XS-B3.

After noting some of the details — the rear guide and spring retainer, the trigger, the construction of the beartrap and of course those sights — I believe I now have part of the puzzle. Pointy is probably a product of the BAM factory before it was actually called BAM and provided the basic design for some of their subsequent rifles. I’m also guessing that this gun was produced at a less frenzied pace than their guns today, affording them a bit more time for QC.

So, I know where you’re from, and I know where you went, and I know you shoot well. But, I still don’t know your name. Who are you?