Posts Tagged ‘RWS Match Grade BBS’
by B.B. Pelletier
Before we begin, I have an announcement about Pyramyd Air’s holiday operating hours. Pyramyd Air will close at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, December 23. They will remain closed Friday, December 24, through Sunday, December 26.
FedEx will not make deliveries on December 24. So, if you’re going to pull that trigger on an airgun buy, guys, the clock is ticking.
Today’s report series was inspired by a report from last week — Roundball accuracy in smoothbores. I wrote that one while I was in the hospital, mostly because I didn’t have much access to airguns. But, whenever I start writing about the fundamentals of stuff…like accuracy, my juices start flowing.
To tell the truth, I was so impressed by the smooth, uniform appearance of the RWS BB that I promised myself that I’d do this report. In the past, I pitted both Daisy zinc-plated BBs and Crosman Copperheads against Daisy’s Avanti Precision Ground Shot in a test using the Daisy Avanti 499 — the undisputed world’s most accurate BB gun.
Another thing I really wanted to do this time was shoot my targets offhand from the regulation 16.4 feet (5 meters). I’ve often rested the 499 when I used it in the past, but today I want to see what a 63-year-old man just out of major surgery could do while standing on his feet. Since this will not be the only testing I’ll do with this BB, I figure it doesn’t make that much difference.
Now, for the bad news. I’m not that stable, yet. I was weaving around so much while standing offhand that I finally rested the side of my right arm on the top of a dresser to stop me from weaving around too much. The rifle wasn’t rested in any way, but I was touching some furniture, so I wouldn’t have been in a legal stance for a match.
My heart rate is normally 55-65 bpm when shooting offhand. During this test, it was 88 bpm and hammering hard because of all the medication I’m taking (fortunately, that’s temporary). That would be my heart rated two minutes after the end of a short but hard bike ride, when the breathing had just returned to normal.
The gun weighs about 3.5 lbs. so it was no challenge to hold. And, the cocking effort is also just over 3 lbs., so again, no strain.
Now, for the BBs
I normally don’t do comparisons, but since that’s exactly what this report series is about, I have to. Daisy’s Avanti Precision Ground Shot, which I have also called by its older name in past reports, No. 515 precision Ground Shot, is exceptionally smooth and uniform. The reason Daisy wouldn’t sell the 499 gun to the general public for many years was because they felt they couldn’t keep up with the demand for ammo. This shot is made by processes not unlike those that make regular BBs, but the level of tolerance is held closer to that of ball bearings.
The 499 is loaded singly at the muzzle, and it takes Avanti Precision Shot three to five seconds to roll down the tube and seat against the magnet. I’ll admit the time is most often closer to three seconds than five, but once during the session I had one take the full amount. So, this really is precision shot — it’s not just a name.
This is the Avanti Precision Ground Shot that makes the 499 do what it does. I know this photo isn’t the sharpest, but you can still see enough to make a rough comparison. I’ll try to get a sharper image for a future report.
RWS Match Grade Precision Steel BBs
The RWS BB caught my eye because I noticed during the BB submachine gun tests how uniform they look. They appear to be even smoother than the Avanti shot under a 10x jeweler’s loupe. Of course, that could just be how the plating makes them appear, but I wanted to conduct this test to find out if they were indeed more uniform.
They roll down the 499 barrel in 1.5 seconds. So, they’re ever-so-slightly smaller in diameter. I think we’re talking one ten-thousandth of an inch and no more. The sound they make rolling down is very different, too. They sound smoother, while the Avanti BBs sound like they have a tiny bit of roughness.
The reflective index of the RWS BB is higher than the Avanti, and it’s impossible to see any imperfections on the surface of the ball at 10x. Again, I’ll try to get a sharper image in the future.
My test plan was real simple. I would shoot several 5-shot groups at the target with each BB, alternating them so I wasn’t tiring as I went. Then I would select the best group from each BB to show. I will also comment on the rest of the groups.
The rifle turned out to not be sighted-in, but I didn’t worry about that. I was looking for grouping over score in this test. Right from the start I discovered that even an old sicko can still shoot this marvelous BB gun. My best groups are all half the size of a dime and the worst are only slightly larger than that coin.
Five RWS BBs did very well, but they’re not quite equal to the Avanti shot.
All the groups, save the first, were very nearly the same size. And, it was clear that the worst group of 5 Avanti BBs is about as good as the best group of 5 RWS Match Grade BBs.
What surprised me the most was the consistency of both BBs in this gun. Their groups were not that dissimilar from one to another. Except for the very first group where I was still learning the gun, all are far smaller than an American dime.
Testing doesn’t end here, though. I still want to test both BBs in the No. 25 pump gun to see if a non-target gun can detect a difference.
by B.B. Pelletier
Before I start, I wanted you to know that the December podcast posted yesterday.
Today, I’ll test the Marlin Cowboy for accuracy. It’s a good-looking new BB gun but a couple issues like hard cocking, a heavy trigger and a couple failures to feed have me riding the fence on its success.
We have three BBs to test in the gun: Daisy zinc-plated BBs, the Crosman Copperhead BBs and the RWS BBs that Pyramyd Air doesn’t currently stock. Testing is offhand, standing 15 feet from the target and using a Crosman 850 pellet and BB trap because it traps most of the BBs.
Trouble from the get-go!
First out the spout were Daisy zinc-plated BBs. They tended to group near the point of aim, which was a 6 o’clock hold on a 10-meter pistol target. When I went up to the trap, I found only 5 of the 10 holes in the target. So, 5 BBs missed the 7″x8″ target paper altogether. From 15 feet! Now, I’m not a great marksman by anyone’s definition, but at this same distance shooting a Daisy Avanti Champion 499 BB gun, I can keep all my shots on an American dime, which is 0.705 inches. So, missing a target that’s 10 times larger is pretty bad.
I moved up to 12 feet and shot again. Now, all shots landed on paper. In fact, they were in a pretty good group. If I had shot that target from 15 feet, all would have been right with the world; but having to stand 3 feet closer was a bummer!
I wanted to blame the wide rear sight notch for my accuracy problems until I checked a Daisy Red Ryder. My vintage No. 111 model 40 Red Ryder has a rear notch three times wider then the one on the Marlin Cowboy, so no complaints, there. Not because a Red Ryder is all that accurate, but because it has been the gold standard for the past 60 years.
Following Daisy zinc BBs, I loaded up with Crosman Copperheads and tried again. This time, I started at 12 feet, which was a good thing, because Copperheads were not as accurate in the Cowboy. There were also more failures to feed with Copperheads than with the other two BBs, though the gun did have feeding problems with all three.
Following the Copperheads I loaded some of the new RWS BBs in the Cowboy and shot once more. Again, the distance was 12 feet. The RWS BBs fed better than the Copperheads and grouped almost as tight as the Daisy zincs. I think this is a BB that needs more testing, because they seem to run neck-and-neck with Daisy zincs in most guns, and who knows what they would do in a 499? In fact, that sounds like a good test to me.
I also think I might test an original Red Ryder this same way, just to get a comparison between vintage and modern. Because the Marlin Cowboy has a gravity-feed magazine it wouldn’t be fair to test it against a Daisy No. 25 with its forced-feed magazine, but a vintage Red Ryder might be very interesting.
Back in the 1950s, I can remember wanting to mount scopes on my BB guns, because I was under the impression that a scope would somehow make the gun more accurate. The Daisy guns of that age were just beginning to come with scopes, so it was very possible to get them that way, though I never had one. But, I’m mentioning it because I can see no similar provision to mount a scope on the Marlin Cowboy. Have we forgotten the lesson of the upsell?
Wood and metal seem to be the Cowboy’s strong points. Functioning and accuracy are its drawbacks. Only time will tell if this new BB gun will take its place alongside the classics.
by B.B. Pelletier
Well, we’ve certainly heard a lot of passionate comments about the new Marlin Cowboy from the Part 1 report! Today, we’ll test velocity, and I’m including the new RWS BBs in this test. You can’t buy these from Pyramyd Air as of this date, but perhaps if they test out well in a couple guns we’ll give them a reason to stock them.
Somebody commented that the Cowboy looks like theDaisy Red Ryder, but I don’t think it does. In fact, there’s very little resemblance between these two BB guns, other than the fact that they both have levers. The Marlin is a little larger, overall, and perhaps not as refined as the Red Ryder.
Cocking the Cowboy will seem strange to anyone familiar with American BB guns. It has a ratchet that incrementally grabs the cocking lever as it’s pulled away from the gun, hence a ratcheting sound accompanies every shot you make ready for. It’s more of a TX200 sound than a BB gun sound, and I’m still not used to it. It does no harm, but it does remind you that this is a different kind of BB gun.
Thankfully, the safety is manual, so it doesn’t come on when the gun’s cocked. However, the ratcheting mechanism is an anti-beartrap device, so there’s no uncocking this gun. If you cock it, you must fire it. Cocking is hard enough that I think smaller kids will be challenged.
The trigger-pull is single-stage and breaks between 6 and 7 lbs. That sounds heavy –and it really is; but when you’re shooting the gun, it doesn’t seem as bad as it sounds. I guess you can get used to anything. I don’t know what effect it’ll have on youngsters, though.
There’s also not a lot of room inside the triggerguard for your trigger finger. Adults with normal-size hands will find it tight, and large hands may find it impossible.
Velocity with Daisy zinc-plated BBs averaged 328 f.p.s. The spread was very tight, from 324 to 332 f.p.s. Pyramyd Air says these BBs weigh 5.1 grains, but I weighed mine and they averaged 5.3 grains The average muzzle energy works out to 1.27 foot-pounds.
Crosman Copperhead BBs really do weigh 5.1 grains, and in the Marlin Cowboy they averaged 331 f.p.s. The spread went from 327 to 335 f.p.s., so once again it was tight. They averaged 1.24 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
And, now for the RWS BBs. They look so uniform; and when I weighed them, they all weighed 5.3 grains. The average velocity was 335 f.p.s., for the fastest of the test. The spread went from 333 to 339 f.p.s., so another tight distribution. The average muzzle energy was 1.32 foot pounds — the highest of the test.
There were several failures to feed during this test. They happened with all the different brands of BBs. It seemed that if I jarred the gun when it was held level, I would get a failure to feed. So, I’m thinking the BB is falling off its magnetic seat.
Thus far, I’m on the fence about this BB gun. The looks are good and the power is right where it should be, but the trigger’s heavy and there have been a few failures to feed. The accuracy test should tip the balance.
by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I’ll finish the test of the Umarex Electronic Burst of Steel — the Umarex EBOS. This is accuracy day, and the test runs exactly as it has for the other two BB submachine guns I’ve tested — the HK MP5 K-PDW and the Umarex Steel Storm. That means 10 aimed shots at 15 feet on semi-auto, followed by several bursts of full-auto fire.
I have three BBs to test today, and the EBOS brings us a complex set of operating parameters. You can select from either one shot, which simulates semiautomatic fire, a 4-shot burst or an 8-shot burst. But there’s also the rate of fire to select. It can be set for 300, 400 or 500 rounds per minute (RPM). I discovered very quickly that 300 RPM is too much like shooting an M3 grease gun, which bounces around in your hand without much possibility for accurate aimed fire. So I did what every EBOS owner will eventually decide to do. Set it to 8-shot bursts and 500 RPM. Once I did that, I made no attempt to test the other rates or the lower burst count. Nor would a cigarette boat owner use a trolling motor for better fuel economy!
In the beginning, I was just trying to adjust the rear sight so the groups would be centered on the bull. The rear sight is fiddly and I found it difficult to adjust. When I shot, I felt the rear notch was too close to my eye for good accuracy, but the gun proved me wrong on that count. I’ve had the same problem with 9mm MP5s, and they always seem to hit their target as well. Apparently, mine are just the ramblings of an old dog who cannot learn new tricks.
Once the rear sight was centered in adjustment, the gun shot to the point of aim. I wish there was an elevation adjustment on the rear sight as well, but I suppose most owners will slap a red dot on the top Picatinny rail and be done with it.
Crosman Copperhead BBs
The first BBs I tried were Crosman Copperhead BBs. As I fired 10 semiauto shots, I was impressed by how smooth the EBOS trigger is. That’s no doubt due to the electrical drive unit in the pistol grip. All the trigger has to do is make contact and the gun fires.
The first group was impressive, especially in light of the tests of the other two guns. You can’t even see 10 holes in the target, but one hole at the bottom of the group is clearly larger than the rest, and apparently swallowed four BBs.
Then, I switched to rock ‘n’ roll. I first tried 300 RPM rate of fire and a 4-round burst, but it soon became obvious that wasn’t the way to go. So, all the switches were set to the max, and that’s the way the rest of the test was conducted.
Daisy zinc-plated BBs
Next, I loaded Daisy zinc-plated BBs and ran a second 10-shot semiauto test. Oh, my gosh! I got accuracy that’s not too far from the Avanti Champion 499 target gun! And this was with the sights I was complaining about! Imagine what this gun could do with dot sights!
At this point, I was wondering what would happen when I switch over to warp drive. Well, you know the answer. I switch and the gun continued to group tight. I kept shooting and reloading, shooting and reloading. At this point, my test design was blown because I hadn’t tested the other two guns the same way, nor am I going to. But I figured a part of this evaluation was the fun factor, and any day you can keep my finger on the trigger of a full-auto gun, you know I must be having fun!
Finally it came time to test the new RWS BBs. You may recall from the Steel Storm test that these BBs were almost as good as the Daisy zincs, and I said that more testing would be needed. Well, look at what happened with the EBOS.
When I switched to overdrive with the RWS BBs, something wonderful happened. The group stayed the same size. It just has about four times as many BBs through it. I could not stop shooting, and I know the full-auto group has at least 40 rounds in it.
Crosman 850 trap
Wow! It’s been a while since an airgun made me smile like this one does! And do you remember that I said I would be using the Crosman model 850 BB trap for this test? Well, I did, and despite the power of the EBOS, the trap did not suffer one bit.
So, now I’ve tested all three BB submachine guns completely. And here’s my assessment. The Steel Storm is the best value, but the EBOS is THE boss!
by B.B. Pelletier
Well, this report is somewhat overdue, but I’ve been waiting for some of the new RWS BBs to test for you, because of some good things I’ve heard about them. Looking at these BBs under a 10x loupe, they appear smoother than even the Daisy precision ground shot made for the 499 BB gun.
I plan to test this shot in several ways for you with guns we have a baseline on. But that will be later. Today, we’ll look at the Umarex EBOS velocity. And velocity it has! The specs say 540 f.p.s. and by golly that’s what I saw!
The EBOS is run by a battery-powered electric motor, so many of you are considering it as a replacement for the Drozd. I’m no expert on the Drozd, but I’ll report on the EBOS as it operates similar to the Drozd and let you judge for yourselves. What I mean by being run from a motor is that the firing function is controlled by that motor. The power that propels the BB comes from CO2, of course, and the EBOS uses the big 88-gram CO2 cartridges that give hundreds of shots. But the electric motor takes care of firing the gun once you pull the trigger.
A word on loading
The EBOS has a large BB reservoir that’s used to fill up a smaller forced-feed magazine located on the left side of the gun when you take action to fill it. When it’s full, you have up to 24 shots available. After that, you must manipulate the larger reservoir to refill the magazine. This process goes very quick and easy with no jams noted in my test. If you take the time to look inside the large reservoir when it’s empty, you can see the hole that connects it to the BB magazine, so you’ll know what to do to load the gun. But no worries — both loading and unloading are easy!
Get ready for magnum power with the EBOS, because it really delivers on its promises. While that may evoke some smiles, it also means you must take extra care to prevent ricochets and bouncebacks, because they’ll be both painful and dangerous. Eye protection is mandatory for everyone in the area and the eyewear MUST be a pair of certified safety glasses. Regular prescription glasses will turn to dust with a single shot from this gun.
For this test, I shot into a Quiet pellet trap, because a regular BB trap like the Crosman model 850 is a little on the light side for a gun this powerful. Please understand that I was shooting at less than 24 inches from the trap in my office. When I move back to 15 feet for the accuracy test, I DO plan to use the Crosman 850. But, at this close range, the velocity is too high for a steel BB that could rebound. I waited between 15 seconds and 30 seconds per shot. The one time that I shot a shot right away, the gun lost 20 f.p.s. Remember the lesson of the cooling effects of CO2.
Daisy zinc-plated BBs
The first BBs tested were Daisy zinc-plated BBs. They averaged 539 f.p.s., and the spread went from 528 to 548. So, right there, the EBOS met its advertised velocity. By the way, that works out to a muzzle energy of 3.29 foot-pounds.
Crosman Copperhead BBs
Next to be tried were Crosman Copperhead BBs, which are a little smaller and a trifle lighter than the Daisys, though both are listed at 5.1 grains. Copperheads averaged 523 f.p.s. and ranged from 503 to 532 f.p.s. This was the BB that I shot right away after the last shot, which gave me the low reading of 503 f.p.s. They produced an average 3.1 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
RWS Match Grade BBs
That’s quite a claim in the name of these BBs, but after examination I must say they look as uniform as ball bearings. Pyramyd Air doesn’t carry them at the moment, but that could change. These BBs all weigh 5.2 grains, with no variation. In the EBOS, they averaged 504 f.p.s., with a spread from 498 to 521 f.p.s. We’ll see how well they shoot in the accuracy test, plus I’m going to test them in the Steel Storm and the HK MP5 as well.They produced an average of 2.93 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
The EBOS trigger is very smooth. It’s a long single-stage pull with no warning before the break. You’ll feel some recoil with this gun, as there’s so much gas pushing out the barrel with every shot. The fastest rate of fire goes higher than an M3 grease gun, so the gun is very controllable. I believe it’ll be an easy gun to hit with. And I like the sights. Although the stock pull is okay at 13.75 inches, the rear sight notch is too close to the sighting eye. However, I think I may get some good accuracy from this gun because of these sights anyway.
The EBOS is powerful and loud! Respect the power and shoot safely at all times. Don’t use hard backstops such as trees, because the BBs will bounce back wildly. And, enjoy the noise! On the fastest rate, which is 500 rpm, the bursts sound very realistic.