Hercules Bully owners- I may have solved the flex scope rail issue

Forums PCP Airguns Hercules Bully owners- I may have solved the flex scope rail issue

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    Bigragu
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    First off, I want to say I love this gun. Great medium priced pcp that packs a whalop, especially in 30 caliber and up. But, like all guns, there are flaws. The main complaint that I’ve shared and others have shared with me, is that poorly designed scope rail. If you look really close at this pic, you will see two barrel shroud bands picked up by the forward bottle cover piece. The stock assemble is in two pieces. The scope rail is attached at four points, and the other two are at the receiver and the first shroud band, which is all tied into the main stock. Great. First two at the start are like most typical bull pup designs. However, the last two bands, attached to the bottle cover, I have never ever seen any manufacturer tie in a part of the stock to the barrel shroud. In fact, just in the hatsan lineup, these Bully’s are the only ones. The supposedly cool feature about a 21” long scope rail was to be able to mount extra accessories like range finders, nigh vision, etc. I don’t think I know of a bully user who uses this long scope rail for these type of accessories.

    Now, the problem. Underneath the bottle cover is a typical hatsan picattiny rail made to catch a bipod. Works great, as far as attachment. But… when on the bench, with a non tilt type bipod, if you were to tilt the gun in any way(say to make sure your vertical crosshairs is plumb), flex is introduced, which transfers onto the barrel shroud bands(these shroud bandsare a slightly tight fit, unlike the Marauder barrel shroud bands), and introduces a flex onto the scope rail. The scope rail is made out of aluminum, but it is hollowed out with slotted channels underneath, which I assuming for weight reduction savings. This scope rail, with its extremely long length, transfers the flex onto the scope, and causes poor accuracy.

    To test my theory, I removed the bipod, and laid the main stock on a rest, behind the bottle cover. Accuracy improved. One other member caught the flex when he picked up the rifle by the scope, and made a point to tell the few bully owners about it. 

    So, now, what to do. Yeah, I could just cut the scope rail off, and leave the bottle cover off. But when I try pushing down at the area of cut, the scope flexes downwards. It’s just too weak, with the hollowed out design. So, for the past few weeks I’ve been stewing on it, trying to find a way, and still keep it clean looking.

    i searched all over the web, looking for complaints on this design, looking for ideas, and nothing came up.

     

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    Bigragu
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    Well, as you all know, PCP and video guru Hajimoto recently released his own video review of the Bullmaster semi auto bullpup rifle. He did a great job, and I would have gotten one if I had the play money sitting around(best price right now on midway, btw, in 25 caliber!!} 

    I studied that video, paused it, and zoomed in close. Wow, I said, that attachment design sure looks like what’s on the Bully rifles. I had to verify, so I called on the guru himself, and asked him to pull measurements for me and close up pics of the scope rail and how it was attached. Hajimoto, if your out there, thank you! 

    So, I called on Hatsan and spoke to them over the phone. I told them to take a Bully, go out to the range, and shoot off a bench with a bipod. Watch the flex. I don’t know if they did, but they allowed me to buy a part from the BM to try out. Yes, I bought the scope rail. Based on Haji’s dimensions he sent me, all I would need to do is slide my scope forward a bit, while moving the scope mounts back, to get the same eye relief I had on my Bully’s factory rail.

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    Bigragu
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    Scope rail from Hatsan came in. Wow! A one piece, solid bar design! Next to the new rail you can see the hollowed out slotted channels with blue tape, that’s the factory bully rail. Wish Hatsan would have made it solid like the Bullmasters. 

    I say one piece on the Bullmaster, cause the bully uses two pieces for the scope rail. A plastic riser piece that attaches to the receiver, and the rail goes on top of that. Underneath of that plastic rail is an alignment lug, to keep the plastic riser from twisting sideways. The bullmaster rail is exactly 10 1/2” in length. 

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    Hajimoto
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    Awesome work and excellent paint job! That thing looks BEASTLY!  I think I will be contacting Hatsan to see if I can warranty the flimsy two piece rail they have on the Bullmaster.

    I look forward to you sharing some video of that beautifully colored Bully in action!

    Oh by the way, Yup I'm out here ;)

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    Bigragu
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    Here you can see the length of the bullmaster rail, and when I attached the front of the rail to the first barrel shroud clamp(oh, by the way, the center to center holes for mounting is perfect. Exactly same as the Bully’s)I saw a glitch. The attachment riser block was short by just under 3/16””. I found a piece of steel stock exactly 3/16”, and actually it came out perfect, giving a slight rise at the rear and tipping the front of the scope downwards just a hair. No biggie, I had a plan.

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    Bigragu
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    Haji, i appreciate it, but that’s an old photo of the second paint job that failed, and all that came off with a power sprayer, lol. Stupid information on prep work was given to me at the paint shop, so a great fella named Chuck helped walk me thru proper prep of plastic painting. I’m actually installing the stock back on tomorrow, and I’ll post pics on my other tread.

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    Bigragu
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    So, off to Ace Hardware where I bought a bar of 3/16” steel stock, and some hardware. I had to make a shim, and get the alignment right on the mount screws. The factory screw was too short, so I had to hate longer ones also. I bought 3/16” long 8-32 grub screw and drill/tapped that into the underside of my shim to act as the alignment lug. Came out sweet. Tonight I painted the shim, and tomorrow it goes on with the new Bullmaster scoperail and my newly painted stock.

    so, yes, I am losing the bottle cover. There was no way to save it. But, I have plan B in the works. My uncle is a machinist down south from me in San Jose, and I mailed him the factory bully rail along with the plastic riser. He is going to make me a one piece, all picatinny(I’m getting rid of that dovetail option that hatsan incorporates into their scope rails) and I asked him to make it out of solid billet aluminum, no hollow channels and no more plastic riser. I want a single unit scope rail like on this Bullmaster. 

    I found a guy on eBay that makes 3D printed bottle clamps that have picatinny rails on the sides and the bottom. If I yearn for the use of a bipod I’ll order that up from him. The one that Bob makes, the one called Bobs bottle clamps(can be bought thru Best Fittings) is made with a bipod attachment only. I like to have a pic rail in case I want to mount flashlights and what not.

    all in all I’m happy with the modification. If my uncle doesn’t come thru, I’ll still be okay, with no more flex, and a solid rail.

    oh, Haji, by the way, I called hatsan asking them why your pic that I sent them had a set up exactly like my Bully does, but they sent me a one piece, all aluminum. They said the two piece is the latest design, and the single piece was old stock that they still have based on original designs. So, you have the latest and the greatest. Personally, I would want a one piece solid bar stock. What they went to a two piece, I’ll never know. Probably manufacturing cost and weight savings.

    if my uncle does come thru, I’ll go back to the bottle cover, but it won’t flex anymore cause I know he’ll build that rail stout.

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    Imold
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    Bigragu. Nice job on figuring it all out and a I should give Haji a thumbs up for his helping you also 👍, can’t wait to see it all back together. So I take it you didn’t need the plastic riser from the stock Bully because the Bullmaster rail all ready had it machined in to that rail, my question is where did you use that piece of 3/16 stock(round or square stock)? Was it to keep the rail riser centered on the action and from moving, kinda got lost on that part, thanks.

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    Imold
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    Ha you posted while I was typing my questions, I see what you did.

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    Imold
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    So if you have a new rail machined you would need to make the rear riser about 3 – 3.5 mm taller to make the rail sit level with the front and you could eliminate that piece you put in there which is roughly 4.75 mm thick and it looks to lift the back up a bit so just by eyeing it I guessed 3-3.5mm taller on the rear riser would eliminate it, close without using calibers. Just a S.W.A.G on my part.

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    Bigragu
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    At the top on one of my posts you’ll see the bully rail with the riser yellow taped to it. That’s how I shipped the rail to my uncle. That factory rail is like at 21” long. I asked him to stop just one picatinny lug after the last bottle shroud mount, which will put the new rail at 18 1/8”. If I do get that made and go back to the bottle, then I’ll just remove this shim and the bullmaster rail. So, no shimming needed on the stock set up. 

    Im just glad that hatsan sold that rail to me. I’ve heard stories where hatsan doesn’t like to sell parts to folks that don’t own the gun for the parts wanted. Hatsan has been very customer friendly, well, to me anyway. 

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    Imold
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    Ok, ya the shim is what I was referring too. To be honest I never noticed the twisting of the rail when I shoot off bench but I have a bipod that cants so I don’t get that side to side pressure, I can see where that would be a issue, I still like the shorter rail with or without bottle guard, I can’t wait to see yours back together it’s going to look sweet.

    Getting my stuff all together for when my Mega Marine .25 shows up from Troy. Another project to do while I wait patiently and I’m also going to work on thinning out my airguns due to health reasons, going to keep my AV compressor and air tanks, Wildcat .25, Mega .25, Bully .30, Texan .357 and then sell the two RAW HMx’s and the .45 Texan and then I have some odd and end things to let go, few extra scopes,bipod,a mix of scope rings and some ammo.

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    Imold
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    Bigragu

    At the top on one of my posts you’ll see the bully rail with the riser yellow taped to it. That’s how I shipped the rail to my uncle. That factory rail is like at 21” long. I asked him to stop just one picatinny lug after the last bottle shroud mount, which will put the new rail at 18 1/8”. If I do get that made and go back to the bottle, then I’ll just remove this shim and the bullmaster rail. So, no shimming needed on the stock set up. 

    Im just glad that hatsan sold that rail to me. I’ve heard stories where hatsan doesn’t like to sell parts to folks that don’t own the gun for the parts wanted. Hatsan has been very customer friendly, well, to me anyway. 

    Your turning into a spokesman for them of course they will be good to you 😉.

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    cootertwo
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    Nice work!

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    Bigragu
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    Thanks, Cooter. I ordered this last night from a seller on eBay named JB3DPD. He makes these thick plastic bottle clamps that are three sided picatinny rail. This is the widest he sells with five pic lugs at 45mm wide. It it held tightly onto the bottle by the adapter that you would clamp on to go to a bipod mount or flashlight holder(main reason I got this was for flashlight use).

    if you or any decide to get this from him, on his message section prior to checking out, make sure and note the size of your Bully’s carbon fiber tank is at 61.50mm, so he sends you the right one.

    So, aside from everything I’ve posted on here, there are other options I’ve found out thru research. If you type in 18” long picatinny rail there is a guy named TURBO410FE on eBay that makes an 18” long solid flat bottom rail, with no holes drilled. 18” will just get you to the last bottle shroud clamp. It is made of steel, so it’ll add weight. If your shooting off of a bench mainly, then no biggie, and that flexing will be gone and you can still retain the bottle cover. I want to add that I messaged this guy asking if he does the extra work on predrilling holes if I provided pics of my factory rail along with dimensions, and he said he would do that.

    There are sellers that also make aluminum, anodized, no holes pre drilled, 12” long pic rails, in case the Bullmaster rail at 10 1/2” isn’t long enough for your scope and/or eye relief. You will lose the bottle cover with a 12” long one, also.

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    Imold
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    Our Rifle deer season starts tomorrow for two weeks so I’m not going to be shooting my Bully for a bit. The neighbors are all gone for the winter so I might set up a 40-50 yard shooting lane at my home this afternoon if I’m feeling better, this is why I need the lake to freeze over so I can get back to shooting this way from my living room, the Bully will get used a lot for sure.

     

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    Bigragu
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    What caliber re you using for this deer season? Do you load your own, Imold?

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    Imold
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    I’ll be using my Savage 308 this year, not sure if my son will take the 270,30-30 or 30-06, if Mn changed it’s hunting refs to airguns I’d take the Texan .357, I know I can get a 50-75 yard shot if I do my part, 35 + years of bow hunting has taught me well.

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    Bigragu
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    New scope rail off of a Bullmaster all on. Man, feels more solid. No more bowing or flexing. My scope now sits too high visually. The mounts that came with the Monstrum scope allowed the objective to just clear the factory long rail just perfect, but now with no rail below the objective end the mounts seem high. Oh, well. That’s what the adjustable comb is for, right? 

    I like the looks without the bottle cover. Don’t get me wrong, the bottle cover is cool looking and all, but it just seemed like so much plastic on a gun. Seems most bottle fed bull pup designs I see have a bottle hanging out there, so this is now no different. 

    Just assembled everything, the newly painted stock to match the scope. Chuck here on AGN sure was a big help on painting plastic stocks. Big thanks to him.

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    Imold
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    Looks Nice, sure changes the looks of the Bully, have you thought of using a offset scope mount like this. Might bring the scope height down a tad bit.

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