Posts Tagged ‘H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets’
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Before I begin today’s report, I have sad news. Our friend Earl “Mac” McDonald passed away on Sunday, May 5, at 4:30 a.m. He was surrounded by his family.
Mac was diagnosed with a prion disease in April of this year. I don’t want to discuss it here, but if you want to know more, here is a link. This disease affects one person in a million. It is not only very rare, but the cause wasn’t even discovered until the 1980s. Scientists are still unsure of all the details.
I was aware of the probable diagnosis when I went to visit Mac last month but was asked not to disclose the details. Fortunately, when I arrived, he was able to recognize me. I sat with him and talked about old times whenever he was awake. My wife, Edith, and our friend Otho Skyped with Mac. Via the computer, Edith showed Mac the SHOT Show report in Shotgun News, which was the last thing he photographed for me.
Like everyone who knew him, I’m saddened by his passing — but that is more than offset by the pleasure of knowing him as long as I did. The fact that he was able to attend this year’s SHOT Show was especially rewarding.
As this blog moves forward, I will occasionally refer to Mac and some of the things he did. The best memorial I can give him is to never forget the time he was here.
I left you with a cliffhanger last Friday — more than I imagined, as it turned out, because I thought I was writing Thursday’s report and would publish the second part on Friday, rather than today. I know you all want to know what happened when I seated the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets deep in the bore with the cocking aid attached and rested the pistol directly on the sandbag.
If you were expecting a Cinderella story, it didn’t quite happen. The group got measurably better — in fact, it was the second-best group of the test to this point. Ten shots made a group measuring 1.105 inches between centers. Compared to the previous group, which was larger than 2 inches, it seemed clear that this was the best way to shoot this pellet — deep-seated, gun rested on the bag and the cocking adapter attached.
Ten shots with H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets seated deep with the cocking aid attached and the gun rested directly on the bag made this 1.105-inch group. So, deep-seating these pellets reduced the group size by half.
Did you possibly think that it put all 10 into the same dime-sized hole that the 5 good ones went into on the previous test? I hoped that would happen, too, but it didn’t.
Not H.P.White Labs
Before you start looking back at all the testing done on this pistol to-date to recommend different things for me to test, let me say I am not H.P. White Laboratory, and the goal of this test is not to see how accurate the Benjamin Trail NP pistol can possibly be. My purpose is to evaluate the pistol as it comes from the box, so those thinking of making a purchase will have something to go on. I think I’ve done that already, and the gun is definitely worth the money. But the test is far from finished.
Air Venturi Pellet Seater
Blog reader Nomobux asked me how deep I seated the pellets with the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Pellet Seater. Well, that varies, based on how thin the pellet skirts are. But I measured the seater with the pin protruding by 0.163 inches, which seated the pellets about 0.125 inches deep.
A blog reader asked me to test Crosman Destroyers — a new hollowpoint that has a large open cavity in the nose. Since I was playing, I decided to shoot 5 shots and see if it was worth finishing the group. With the pellets seated deep, the cocking aid attached and the gun rested directly on the bag, 5 shots made a group measuring 2.546 inches, so I stopped there. Since that was already very large and 5 more shots would not make it any smaller I decided to save my time and effort.
Five shots with Crosman Destroyer pellets seated deep with the cocking aid attached and the gun rested directly on the bag made this 2.546-inch group. I stopped after 5 shots because the group was already too large.
But I also figured some of you wouldn’t let me rest if I didn’t test at least one more variable with this pellet, so I shot it seated flush, as well. Surprise! It turned out better. Ten shots went into 2.086 inches. That’s not a world-beater group, I know, but it is better than the 5 shots with deep-seated pellets. It points out that deep seating has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Ten shots with Crosman Destroyer pellets seated flush with the cocking aid attached and the gun rested directly on the bag made this 2.086-inch group. Though it’s not a great group, it is better than the 5-shot group with deep-seated pellets.
Michael, Michael, Michael!
Blog reader Michael saw that I hadn’t yet tested the best-shooting RWS Hobby pellets from the rested position with the cocking aid attached, but he was standing on my shoulder as I played with the pistol. I knew you would want me to go back and test it this way, so I did. This time, the magic didn’t work, however, and the 10-shot group size was 1.536 inches, so no improvement.
Isn’t it interesting how changing one variable will change the entire performance of the gun? I think so.
The bottom line is that the Benjamin Trail NP is still a whole lot of value for the price tag. And I’m not finished, yet. There’s still another accuracy test to go with those lead-free pellets; and then I want to recheck the velocity of the gun, now that several hundred shots have been fired. There’s more to come, so sit back and enjoy.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Today we’ll make blog history. This is the first half of a 2-part report on the Benjamin Trail NP pistol. I was shooting it yesterday and found myself going in so many directions that I collected too much data for a single report. So the second half of today’s report will come on Monday.
I told you in the last report that I decided to “play” with the pistol rather than subject it to a rigidly structured test. Well, that must be catching because I did it again today. Something about this air pistol seems to invite experimentation.
It doesn’t have to shoot low!
I said that it shot too low in the last report. It did, but I was using the sights in a way the manufacturer did not intend by using the tip of the front sight for a 6 o’clock hold. That caused the gun to shoot a little low by itself. But, today, I replaced the rear sight with a red dot sight and found that the gun can shoot to the point of aim with ease. In fact, I had to adjust the sights down, but I will talk about that later.
I mounted a Tasco Pro Point dot sight on the 11mm dovetails that are on the rear of the spring tube. You could use anything that has a decent amount of adjustability.
It’s so much easier using a dot sight because there’s just the dot and target to watch, instead of the sight alignment. Shooting the pistol was much easier.
The first pellet: RWS Hobby
In the last test, RWS Hobby pellets were the most accurate, so those were the first pellets I tested this time. That made it simpler to test the gun because I knew I was starting with a reasonably accurate pellet.
And because this will become important in a while, let me tell you that these first groups were shot without the cocking aid on the gun. It’s a little harder to cock without the aid, but installing and removing it for every shot takes too much time.
The first group surprised me, because it wasn’t as good as it was the last time I tested this pistol. The first shot was a low flier caused by my unfamiliarity with the dot sight; but after that, all the rest of the shots were the best I could do. I think the measurement for 9 shots is more representative in this case, and let’s exclude that one low shot.
Nine shots went into a group that measures 2.04 inches between centers. That’s still larger than the group I got with open sights, which is 10 in 1.155 inches. I wondered if some of the stock screws might have loosened in all the shooting. I checked, and they certainly had. I tightened all stock screws; but instead of running the same test again, I proceeded to the next test. How would the pistol respond to pellets seated deeply with the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Pellet Seater?
Not only did the group improve measurably, the point of impact rose by two inches when I seated the pellets deep into the breech with the pellet seater. This pellet seater is really proving to be a valuable piece of equipment when used on certain guns — like this one. And this rise in the point of impact is why I say there’s no problem with the Trail NP shooting low. You simply need to seat the pellets deeply.
This time, 10 RWS Hobbys went into 1.025 inches between centers. That’s remarkably close to what I did last time with open sights, but just a trifle better.
Since deep-seating seemed to produce such good results, I decided to seat all pellets from this point, on. For my next test, blog reader Victor suggested that I try some good competition pellets. He recommended some H&N pellets, so I selected H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. I seated them deep and proceeded with the test. But, oh, my, they didn’t do well at all! At least not when taken as a whole.
Five of those pellets managed to make a very tight little group. They gave me hope that this pellet wasn’t as bad as the numbers said. Perhaps something more was required?
The dot showed that I was shaking a lot more than I was comfortable with, despite using a two-hand rested hold. My forearms were resting on a sandbag, and the pistol was held in my hands, just in front of the bag. It sounds like a solid rest, but the dot said otherwise.
Since I was playing with the gun anyway, I stopped shooting for score and started experimenting with different holds that were firmer. I tried using my off hand as a modified artillery hold, but that was just as shaky. Then, I laid the gun directly on the sandbag and had a go. That proved to be the best way to hold it, as all shaking stopped and the pellets landed together again.
I also thought that if I was going to rest the gun on the bag, I might as well use the cocking aid again, too. I had now fired the gun about 50 times in all and wanted to relieve some of the strain on my hands. So the cocking aid went back on the gun.
And that’s all I’m going to tell you today. Tune in Monday to see if this new position paid off.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Bill Cardill is the Big Shot of the Week on Pyramyd Air’s facebook page.
This same scenario will be repeated in countless homes this coming Christmas!
The Chinese Fast Deer sidelever air rifle is attractive. Does its performance live up to its looks?
This is a fourth look at the intriguing KL-3B Fast Deer sidelever from China. We saw some pretty good 10-meter results in Part 3, and I said I’d be back to expand on that. I didn’t mention a scope was coming in part 4, but that’s what I had in mind. However, when it came time to shoot the gun, I decided to see how well I could do with the same open sights I used last time.
Today, I backed up to 25 yards which always reveals things that were perhaps masked when I shot at 10 meters. Twenty-five yards is a middle distance for a spring gun — at least for one in this power range — and you can count on the shots opening up.
The first thing I noticed right away was that heavy trigger! I’d forgotten about it. I don’t think it disturbed my accuracy, since I shot from a rest, but neither did it enhance my shooting.
The second thing I noticed was the size of the rifle’s breech. Three times in 55 shots the pellet fell out, and I didn’t notice it. The result was always a surprising detonation, and once I found a squashed pellet still in the receiver, where the sliding compression chamber had flattened it.
Other than those two distractions, the Fast Deer is a nice rifle. The stock is the right length and size, and everything fits me quite well. If I could mount a peep sight on the gun, I think it would be just about perfect. In fact, I’m going to look into the possibility of doing just that!
The first pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby that did so well at 10 meters. After confirming they were still on target at 25 yards with the same sight setting as 10 meters, I stopped looking through the spotting scope and just shot the group. But Hobbys didn’t do so well at 25 yards. Ten of them made a group that measures 1.918 inches between centers. As you can see, the shots are scattered and show no tendency to go anywhere, in particular. I noted that Hobbys were loose in the breech. Also, the Hobby is a wadcutter pellet, and wadcutter accuracy usually starts falling off around 25 yards.
The next pellet I tried was that remarkable lead-free dome, the H&N Baracuda Green. They’ve surprised me on more than one occasion, and they looked good at 10 meters in the Fast Deer. At 25 yards, they were a little better than the Hobbys, but not that much better. Ten of them made a group that measures 1.815 inches between centers. The Baracuda Greens fit the breech rather well.
JSB Exact RS
I tried JSB Exact RS pellets next, and I got an interesting result. First of all, this was one of the pellets that fell out of the breech. When I tried to compensate for the lost rounds, I shot 11 rounds instead of 10. The entire group was large, at 1.918 inches between centers. Before you comment, I’m aware that’s exactly the same as the RWS Hobby group, but please remember that there’s always a built-in margin of error when measuring these groups. So, they probably aren’t exactly the same size — that’s just how it looked to me.
The interesting result was that 6 of the 11 shots were in a smaller group that measures 0.475 inches between centers. That hints that this pellet might actually be the best one for this rifle, though the overall group doesn’t show it.
Next I tried the heavyweight Beeman Kodiak pellet. Although many would not try it in a rifle as low-powered as the Fast Deer, I’ve often found that Kodiaks are some of the most accurate pellets in lower-powered spring guns. Not this time, however. Ten went into a group that measures 2.134 inches between centers. That was the largest group of the test.
Air Arms Falcon
The final pellet I tried was the Air Arms Falcon. These are made by JSB; and, often, if other JSB pellets do well, these will, too. Ten Falcons made a group that measures 1.497 inches between centers. It’s the smallest group of the test, though it doesn’t have the same tantalizing group-within-a-group that the JSB Exact RS pellets had.
I don’t think we’ve seen the full potential of the Fast Deer, yet. The groups from the JSB Exact RS and Air Arms Falcons seem to promise a higher lever of accuracy if things were somehow different. I’m going to think about that for a while and see what I can do about it. Yes, I think there will be a Part 5 of this report at some point.
One thing is very interesting and that is what the 25-yard shooting and 10-shot groups have taught us about this rifle. Some things to think about in the future are better sighting possibilities and perhaps expanding the skirts of the two most accurate pellets — to see if that has any bearing on the outcome.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Kyle MacLeod is this week’s Big Shot of the Week on Pyramyd Air’s facebook page.
The Chinese Fast Deer sidelever air rifle is attractive. Does its performance live up to its looks?
Today will be both a report on the Fast Deer and a rant. The report comes first.
This is accuracy day. Since the Fast Deer has open sights, I thought 10 meters would be a good test distance. You may remember that in Part 2 I told you that I turned the rear sight around to get longer eye relief. Well, that really paid off big time in this test. I found the rear notch to be sharp and well-defined, making alignment of the front and rear sights easy. Blog reader Matt61 asked why good eye relief is necessary for an open-sighted rifle. It’s because you must align the front and rear sights with each other and with the target. If you shoot with a peep sight, no front and rear sight alignment is required — just look through the rear hole and align the front sight with the target. The peep sight is more like a scope in that respect, while the open-sighted (notch and post) sight requires good eyesight for the alignment of the two sight elements.
I started with 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lites. They fit the breech on the loose side but good enough to shoot. The first shot was high and wide to the right, so I adjusted the rear sight down and also to the right. Because it’s turned around, I have to adjust to the right to make it go to the left. And you always want to adjust the rear sight in the same direction that you’re trying to move the pellet.
The group of 10 shot with Premiers was average. It measures 0.756 inches between centers of the two widest shots. That’s not wonderful for 10 meters, but it’s a start.
Ten Premier lites made this 0.756-inch group at 10 meters. Although it does have a large group of 6 or 7 at the right, it’s a little too open for my tastes.
Next, I tried H&N Match Pistol pellets. During the velocity test, I found them to be very consistent in this rifle. I also said this pellet seemed to fit the breech well; but as I loaded them for the accuracy test, I felt they were still somewhat loose. But look at what they did on target! I did adjust the sights after the Premiers, but I didn’t check where it got me — I just shot 10 of these target pellets and let them land where they would. I didn’t even look at the target through the spotting scope until all 10 had been fired, and in retrospect that was a good decision. I could see the dark hole growing in the center of the bull from where I sat, but I didn’t know if there were any pellets outside the main group. This 10-shot group measures 0.48 inches between centers and is centered in the bull.
Now, this is what I was hoping for! Ten H&N Pistol Match pellets went into 0.48 inches.
Next, I tried RWS Hobbys. They seemed to fit the breech very well and just look at the group they gave. The sights were not adjusted after shooting the H&N Match Pistol pellets but notice that the point of impact shifted slightly to the right. Ten of these pellets gave a super-tight 0.38-inch group at 10 meters. That was the best overall group of the test.
It just gets better. Ten Hobbys went into 0.38 inches.
The last pellet I tried was our new friend, the H&N Baracuda Green that has done so well in recent tests with other air rifles. I did so for two reasons. First, the weight of this pellet, at 6.5 grains, is light enough to be effective in the Fast Deer. And second, because I wanted to see one domed pellet do well in the rifle and because I may want to shoot it at 25 yards. At that distance, the will start to fight me on accuracy.
This pellet did well, but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. And there was a problem. I was shooting the lower right bullseye with this pellet, and a piece of Scotch tape I used to hold the target tight to its backer was reflecting brightly. Was that causing aiming errors? I can’t say for sure, but I can say that this one target was harder to aim at than all the others because of that reflection.
Baracuda Greens gave me a 10-shot group that measures 0.902-inches between centers. In the center of the group, though, as seven shots in just 0.353-inches. So maybe this is a great pellet and maybe it isn’t. But I think I know a way to find out.
Not the best group, but does it contain the best pellet? The Baracuda Green was hampered by aiming difficulties. Would that have made a difference?
The Fast Deer has earned a Part 4 accuracy test with a scope. I find the heavy trigger is not as much of a problem as I thought it would be. And I really want to see how those Baracuda Greens do when I can aim precisely. So, there’s at least one more report coming on this unique Chinese sidelever.
On to the rant
Why can’t airgun manufacturers recognize that spring guns running at this power level (650-700 f.p.s.) are more accurate and have the least problems with hold? That was what gave me the idea to develop the rifle that became the Air Venturi Bronco — because I couldn’t find enough good, accurate airguns that aren’t Olympic-grade target rifles or top-end PCPs.
Everyone seems to think the market will not support a 700 f.p.s. spring rifle that also has great accuracy. They all point to the Beeman R7 and say that it isn’t selling that well. But the R7’s price has left three-quarters of the market behind. To succeed, a rifle needs to cost under $200, like so many of the mega-magnums now do.
No — airguns have to hit the magic 1,000 f.p.s., and the faster you go the better! I appreciate that new buyers are swayed by velocity, and so are some who should know better; but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for a few super-accurate guns that don’t take 50 lbs. to cock. And just so people in all the marketing departments around the world get my meaning: by “a few,” I mean a few tens of thousands per year.
The current horsepower race in airguns reminds me of the muscle car days of the 1960s. Sure, everyone wanted power and speed, but Detroit completely ignored that segment of the population that just wanted reliable transportation. Even after Volkswagen poked a finger in their eye, the fat cats in Motor City thought it was just a blip on the radar that would eventually go away.
Well, it wasn’t a blip, and it was Detroit that went away, instead, when the Japanese snuck quietly into the American car market with their little cars that were what the majority of buyers really wanted. Call them names if you must — we certainly did back in the late ’60s — but acknowledge that they took over the world of automobiles from the Big Three.
People will tell you that it was the gas crisis of 1973 that boosted Japan to the top. Well, I was there and that wasn’t it at all. The Japanese were already entrenched when the gas crisis hit. Sure, it put them over the top, but they were already poised to win before the gas stopped flowing.
The same thing exists right now with spring-piston airguns. Everyone, and I mean every single company who builds or imports spring-piston airguns today, will tell you that a gun HAS to go a thousand feet per second or they can’t sell it. That is the kind of reasoning that drives people like me to the Diana 27 air rifles and Hakims of the world. And I shoot airguns all the time. The folks in the airgun marketing departments play golf and fish and have lives outside of the airgun realm. To them, this is just a job — a paycheck.
Well, I see ways of making that paycheck bigger and fatter than ever, and nobody’s paying attention The Bronco is just one such gun. This industry is starved for more like it. But until we learn the hard way that monster vibration machines are not what the world needs more of, the status quo will remain.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
The Chinese Fast Reed sidelever air rifle is attractive. Does its performance live up to its looks?
Today, we’ll find out if the Fast Deer lives up to its name. In other words, how fast does the Fast Deer go?
As I thought, I am one of the last people on earth to learn about this rifle. Several of you have owned a couple of them and had lots to say about them. They are good — but don’t expect perfection. The trigger never does get too good. Or the one from Vince that said — turn the rear sight around on its rails, and you get a little more eye relief. That one was most helpful, and that’s how my rifle is now set up. By doing that and also moving the rear sight far forward on the rails, I gained an additional 2.5 inches of eye relief to the rear notch, sharpening it considerably.
Vince’s suggestion of turning the rear sight around on its rails provided more than two additional inches of eye relief. That should help during accuracy testing.
The trigger also became noticeably lighter as I conducted the velocity test, which leads me to believe it was just dirty when I got it. It now breaks cleanly at 8 lbs., 6 oz., which — though far from light — is at least manageable. Before, I estimated it took more than 12 lbs. to get it to break!
The dealer who sold me the gun said it was an honest-to-goodness 715 f.p.s. rifle. But he qualified that statement. It was with a Chinese pellet I don’t have. So, I tested the gun with some good standard pellets — both to see the power and also to assess the barrel in anticipation of accuracy testing.
The first pellet I tried was the lightweight RWS Hobby — a 7-grain lead pellet that’s often accurate and also one of the fastest lead pellets available. The first shot from a cold gun went 658 f.p.s., then the velocity jumped up to 684 f.p.s. By ignoring the first shot, I got a string that averaged 674 f.p.s., with a spread from 670 to 684 f.p.s. That puts the Fast Deer in the same power class as the Air Venturi Bronco, and that’s a good place to be. It means the gun should be easy to shoot and not need a lot of special technique.
At the average velocity, this pellet produces 7.06 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. I also note that the Hobby fit the breech of the rifle very well.
JSB Exact RS
The second pellet I tried was the 7.3-grain JSB Exact RS pellet — a lead dome that delivers superb accuracy in some air rifles. But I don’t think that’s going to happen with the Fast Deer. With the RS pellet, I got a bi-modal distribution, with one mode being about 650 f.p.s. and the other mode being 623 f.p.s. The average for the entire string was 635 f.p.s. — a velocity the rifle never actually shot. The spread was a large one — ranging from 606 to 658 f.p.s. The final shot was 658, and I influenced it by enlarging the pellet’s skirt with the ball tip of a pellet seater. These pellets fit the bore very loosely, and I think the velocity was greatly influenced by this poor fit. FYI, there were also two pellets that left the muzzle at 657 f.p.s. and were not flared, so I left the velocity of the flared pellet in the string.
At the average velocity, the RS pellet generated 6.54 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. I would be afraid of these pellets falling out of the breech before the sliding compression chamber is closed, so they’re out of the running for the accuracy test.
H&N Match Pistol pellets
The last pellet I tried was the H&N Match Pistol pellet. At 7.56 grains, it’s heavier than the other two I tried but is still a relatively lightweight pellet. They averaged 634 f.p.s. and ranged from 630 to 637 f.p.s. Flaring the skirt made no difference to velocity, and this pellet seemed to fit the breech well.
At the average velocity, this pellet produced 6.75 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Since the velocity spread was tight (only 7 f.p.s.) and the fit was good, this will be a pellet to try in the accuracy test.
The rifle is definitely smoking as it’s shot, giving off the unmistakeable odor of a Chinese springer — or what I like to call the “frying bacon” smell. If I were going to tune the gun, I would replace the lubricant with moly grease that would stop the smell and also change the dieseling characteristics. It would still diesel, of course, but it probably wouldn’t be so noticeable.
Update on the Falke 90
Several readers expressed their concerns that I said I was going to refinish the Falke’s stock. It seemed to me that your fears sounded sort of like reacting to the little boy who wants to help his dad by painting murals on his bedroom wall. You may be glad to know that Kevin recommended a good stock restoration man by the name of Doug Phillips, and I’m now talking to him about this project. So, all is not lost for the Falke just yet.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Photos and report by Earl “Mac” McDonald
This is the final report about Mac’s vintage steel-breech IZH 61. We are only doing two reports — partly because the rifle performs just like the one that’s being sold today, but mostly because Mac sold this rifle at the Roanoke airgun show this past weekend. He also bought one just like it that was like new in the box because he got a super price at the same show. That one will be given to some fortunate youngster, as part of Mac’s “Arm the Children” program!
As I reported in Part 1, this vintage rifle has a truly adjustable two-stage trigger, instead of just being able to reposition the trigger blade like on the current gun. Mac had it set to release at 27 oz., and he says it was crisp.
Someone wanted me to post a photo of the entire vintage rifle, but there isn’t that much difference between it and the current one. I didn’t think it was worth showing. Yes, if you’re a fanatic collector, there are some small differences; but I spent the weekend with the vintage gun before it sold, and it’s pretty much the same as what they sell now except for having a steel breech and metal clips.
On the subject of the metal clips, Mac says he has had some plastic clips that got worn to the point that they would no longer stay in the gun as they should. They’re supposed to advance one pellet each time the sidelever is pulled out to cock the rifle, but he said some of his would shoot out the side of the rifle because they’re under spring tension.
I showed the sights on this rifle in Part 1, but Mac tried both the peep sight that comes with the rifle and also a Tasco Pro Point dot sight with a 4 MOA dot. At the 10 meter distance he shot, the dot covered about 0.35 inches He e got equal accuracy with both types of sights, but all the groups seen in this report were shot with the Tasco.
He rested the forearm of the rifle on the palm of his hand and shot off a bag rest at 10 meters. We wanted to keep the results equivalent with those I recently got with the new rifle. And he also shot at 10-meter rifle targets, which is why he elected to use the dot sight. The hole in the factory peep sight is so large that there’s a loss of precision when using the smaller 10-meter rifle bulls. They get lost in the hole (meaning you can’t tell when they’re exactly centered). He could have used pistol targets that have a much larger bull, but he wanted his test to look just like mine.
Mac shot 5-shots groups instead of 10-shot groups. Things got confused in our talks, so we didn’t shoot the same number of shots per target. Still, I think you will see some interesting things as we go.
JSB 8.4-grain Exacts
The first pellet tested was the JSB Exact that weighs 8.4 grains. Five shots at 10 meters produced a group measuring 0.95 inches between centers. That’s pretty big for just 10 meters!
There are some indications of tumbling with the JSB, so it’s possible the rifle wasn’t stabilizing it. That would account for the large group.
Next he tried RWS Hobby pellets. These are often among the most accurate in a low-powered rifle, but not this time. Five Hobbys made a 0.90-inch group.
H&N Finale Match
Next up were H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. Five of them made a group that measured 0.80-inches, but notice that one is apart from the other four. If there was something wrong with that pellet, it could explain why it’s apart. This might be the right pellet for the rifle, and it’s a good example of why one 10-shot group tells you more about accuracy potential than three 5-shot groups.
The next pellet Mac tried was one you can’t buy anymore. The Eley Wasp has left the stage, at least in the version Mac was shooting. It was an oversized pellet that sometimes cured accuracy problems for rifles with larger bores. In this rifle, 5 shots made a group that measures 0.70 inches. You’ll also notice that there don’t seem to be any signs of tumbling like there were with the JSBs.
Five Eley Wasp domes made a group measuring 0.70-inches. This group also has a single stray pellet, which means it might also have more potential than seen here.
RWS R10 Pistol pellet
The last pellet Mac shot was the RWS R10 Pistol pellet. These grouped best, with 5 of them making a 0.50-inch group. While that looks good in comparison with the other groups, it doesn’t begin to equal the groups I got with the new IZH 61 shooting 10 shot groups! That means is we have to revise our thinking about the old steel-breech/metal clip guns, don’t you think?
Mac and I discussed these results at length, and we believe that the steel breech IZH 60/61 has perhaps become more accurate through the long lens of memory. Just as a walk to school was always 10 miles uphill in both directions when we were young, so it’s possible that these rifles were as variable back then as the new ones are now. From the results, we have to say that it looks like the current version of the gun is at least as accurate as the old one, if not more so.
We think that there were probably some very accurate rifles with steel breeches, and then the rest — which our test rifle seems to be — were only good plinkers. I know this test was hardly exhaustive, nor was it entirely without bias. Even so, I think we must admit that the new rifle beat the old one in this case.
What do you think?
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
It’s accuracy day for the IZH 60 Target Pro and this is the big test that everyone has been waiting for. And there are a couple of things that have to be cleared up, too. So let’s get started.
Cosmoline in the bore
Blog reader chasblock mentioned finding Cosmoline in the bore of his rifle and asked if I would take a look at the test gun’s bore. I don’t think he really meant Cosmoline, which is a range of military long-term metal storage lubricants. He probably just meant excess grease or oil. At any rate, I ran a patch through the bore, and it came out dry. There was some anti-oxidant compound on it, but no oil or grease. So, that’s one down.
Front sight element not centered
Then, we had a discussion about the front sight element not being centered in the globe and wondered if that wouldn’t that throw you off. Or at least wouldn’t it be annoying? Well, I shot 82 shots in this test and the front sight position was a non-issue for me. Once I had the black 10-meter bull centered in the front aperture, I forgot about everything else. But I’m posting a photo of a Winchester model 94 front sight so you can see that this is a very common phenomenon, and it isn’t troublesome in the slightest.
Rear sight doesn’t adjust low enough
Another issue that was raised is that the rear sight doesn’t adjust low enough to get on target at 10 meters. I didn’t find this to be a problem, as you will see. I also found the rear sight to adjust very positively in all directions without any backlash. So, that’s now laid to rest.
I was told by the folks at Pyramyd Air that the IZH 60 Target Pro can put 10 pellets into a quarter-inch at 10 meters. The gun they sent to me to test had a 5-shot group of H&N Baracudas with it. It was fired into a Shoot-N-C paster, so measuring is difficult, but as near as I can tell, it measures 0.268 inches between centers, so even these 5 shots grouped larger than a quarter-inch, though not by much. But we expect a 10-shot group to be 40 percent larger when the same pellet is used.
The rifle was shot from a rested position at 10 meters. The targets were standard 10-meter rifle targets, and they fit well inside the front aperture. It was very easy to hold on target with this rifle. I laid the stock on the back of my hand that was resting on a sandbag.
The trigger-pull is single-stage and vague as to the let-off point, but it’s light enough to work very well in this rested position. The rifle is very light, but it didn’t seem to move around as much as I’d feared it would.
The first target I shot was with the H&N Baracudas. It took me several shots to get on target because the sight adjustments work backwards of U.S. adjustments. Turn the windage knob in (to the left) to move the pellet to the right, and so on.
The first group of 10 Baracudas measures 0.546 inches between centers. It was larger than expected, but not too bad for the first group.
As you can see from the pellets I had chosen to use, I expected to shoot a lot in this test, so I thought I would speed things up by firing 5 shots and then seeing if it was worth firing 5 more. The next pellet up was the RWS Hobby that sometimes surprises us with great accuracy. This wasn’t one of those times, however, because the first 5 pellets made a group that measures 0.482 inches between centers. No sense finishing that one!
Five RWS Hobbys made this 0.482-inch group. No sense finishing it.
Next, I tried the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet that I thought might be the most accurate in this rifle. It wasn’t, as 5 made a group measuring 0.452 inches. Once more, no sense going on. So I stopped at 5 and moved on.
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets made this 0.452-inch group. No sense finishing it, either.
Then, I tried the H&N Match Pistol pellet. Something was different with this pellet, because the rifle recoiled noticeably less. It was easy to feel, and I could follow-through much better because the sights remained on target after the shot. The feeling was so good that I didn’t check the target after 5, but went all the way to 10 shots before looking. The 10-shot group measures 0.391 inches between centers and was the tightest group (10 shots!) to this point in the test! It’s not a quarter-inch, but it’s a very good group, nonetheless.
Ten H&N Pistol Match pellets made this 0.391-inch group. This pellet felt like it made the rifle recoil a lot less, so I finished the group without checking.
Next, I tried the JSB Exact RS pellet that often surprises us. This is a domed pellet, so it can’t be used in a formal match (impossible to score), but most shooters won’t care about that. Ten pellets made a group measuring 0.284 inches between centers. It’s a nice, round group, and it’s the best 10-shot group the test rifle shot all day!
Ten JSB Exact RS pellets made this 0.284-inch group. This pellet also felt like it made the rifle recoil a lot less, so once again I finished the group without checking. This is the best 10-shot group of the test.
This pellet shoots so well that I shot a second group with it. That one didn’t turn out as good, at 0.502 inches between centers. Perhaps I was tiring out?
I then turned to H&N Finale Match pistol pellets, which I thought would be better than the Match Pistol pellets. Alas, that wasn’t the case. Ten of them made a huge 0.675 inch group, which turned out to be the second largest of the entire test..
Then I tried five RWS Superdomes, but when I looked at the group they made I stopped. It measures 0.646 inches between centers, so no point in continuing.
By this point in the test, I knew how the rifle shot. I was also very accustomed to the trigger. So, I thought I’d try another group of Baracudas — just to see if I could improve things from the first time. Ten went into a group measuring 0.702 inches, which was larger than the first group.
By this point I knew I was tired. But was that the cause of the group sizes? Was I no longer able to lay them all in the same hole? To see, I grabbed my FWB 300S, which is the most accurate 10-meter rifle I own. I put 10 RWS R10 pistol pellets into a last group that measured 0.135 inches. That’s for 10 shots. So it wasn’t me!
The IZH 60 shot about as well as I remembered. It certainly cannot group 10 shots in a quarter-inch at 10 meters in anything other than a chance encounter. So, there’s a hat to be eaten!
On the other hand, for what it costs, the rifle is reasonably accurate and the target sights make it even easier to shoot well. I don’t think it can out-shoot a Bronco, but it’s certainly worth considering for informal target shooting.