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Rifles with varying degrees of accuracy

Forums PCP Airguns PCP Airgun – Discussion Rifles with varying degrees of accuracy

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    Cliff_Allen
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +34

    I just read another one of those “what is the most accurate gun” threads and it got me to thinking, I can’t really recommend any of them as a 100% guarantee for great accuracy. I posted a reply, most of which I’m going to copy here so that I could hear what you all think about the subject.

    Thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated! 

    Here is the response I gave him.

    A few years ago I asked basically the same question. (what is the most accurate gun?) After much reading and consideration and thought I bought a FX Royale 500. It shot lights out accurate. I mean 40 shots in a dime at 50 yards with no fliers. I never should have sold that gun. I know that sounds like crazy talk and like I’m just pumping the brand, but please read on. If you look at one of Ted’s first Bobcat video’s with the old stock, he does basically the same thing and does it on camera. I thought this is how most high end PCP’s should shoot and decided I wanted to try others and sold the Royale as a means to fund other purchases. After going through many other rifles over the next few years I’ve come to one conclusion. All brands are going to produce some rifles where everything from the fit and finish to the mechanics and quality control all just “click” and they will be fantastically accurate. Coming off of the same assembly line, due to inconsistency in manufacturing, the human element, whatever else, etc., some of the guns will not “click” and will be less accurate.

    Since my first amazingly accurate FX, I’ve had two more. A .25 Bobcat MKII and another Royale 500. The Bobcat was no where near as accurate as the Royale, despite sharing the exact same action. The second Royale, the jury is still out. I haven’t had it long enough to put it through the paces but it certainly isn’t inaccurate. I can definitely shoot 1/2″ groups at 50 yards with it. 

    I bought a .25 Cricket Rifle and was very underwhelmed with the accuracy. It took me a long time to want to try another one but I eventually got a good deal on a second hand Cricket in .22 later on and it is wonderfully accurate, I still own it and love shooting it. 

    I had a .25 Marauder where I again was very underwhelmed with accuracy but I know from seeing videos of others shooting their Marauders that some are quite capable of great results, better than I got out of mine. 

    I’ve had 2 Air Arms S510’s, and again, one was more accurate than the other, both were the same caliber, .22. 

    I had a RAW HM1000x that I couldn’t get better than 1″ groups at 50 yards with and was very disappointed in the quality control of it because I know from the wide spread reports online, they are better guns than the one example that I got to try. I would really like to try another one some day and may, but I haven’t gotten there yet.  

    I guess what I’m saying is that my belief is that while you can certainly increase your chances of getting an accurate gun by choosing a reputable manufacturer, it certainly doesn’t guarantee great accuracy. Some folks are very handy and can work on their guns and tune them to overcome deficiencies in the manufacturing process. It would be nice if you could go the factory and shoot several of the guns to find an accurate one to choose for yourself.

    I think some of these things may be what contribute to so many threads spiraling out of control of what the best gun is. Two different people having two different experiences with guns that came off the same assembly line.

    Additionally, as if all of that wasn’t enough, I think that one guy will be able to pick up gun “A” and shoot it very accurately, but not be able to shoot gun “B” with good results. Then a different guy could shoot gun “B” accurately but not gun “A” and in this case the difference in accuracy may have nothing at all to do with the capabilities of the gun but the compatibility of the gun to the shooter. Supposing you could cherry pick the most accurate guns from the manufacturers, it would still be better then to try each manufacturer to see which one was best for yourself.  

    Once again, any thoughts or opinions greatly appreciated!! Am I just a nutbag? haha

    Regards,
    Cliff

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    enkey
    Participant
    Member
    Spain
    Accuracy: +9

    My thoughts are very similar to yours

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    Strikey
    Participant
    Member
    Accuracy: +5

    Yes, Cliff, you are a nutbag, LOL, but I think the human element can be the most influence on  accuracy. Myself, if I am not in the right ” headspace” no matter  what I do on the bench the rifles will shoot crap so sometimes it is better to leave them for awhile before getting frustrated and blaming the rifle, scope, pellets,etc.

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    APerfectMiss
    Participant
    Member
    Accuracy: +6

    That is a very well said write out. I have to agree 110%. I am not a brand junkie one way or the other. I could care less if it were made by daisy. If the gun has what I want in a gun (accuracy, fit, finish etc), I am inclined to take the plunge and try it. I think everyone has to remember that just because a special forces sniper can hit a 36″ target at 1800yds with one certain gun doesn’t mean that you can do it too. Accuracy, more often than not, comes heavily with vested time and research.

    Thanks Cliff for, at least what I think to be, a well said bit of info. 

     

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    ajshoots
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +77

    Even eliminating the human factor, there are still some constants that dictate precision. You have to start with a good barrel. This has proven to be easier said than done and brand does not dictate anything. Stock Hatsan or Marauder barrels have shown accuracy on par with Daystate, FX, Kalibregun, etc. By the same token you can get a junk barrel even in the high end brands.

    A precision airgun has a good barrel and a tune that provides a very tight spread, or the shooter only shooting within the sweetspot with high quality pellets.

    What really separates the upper from lower class brands is a regulator. Barrels can be equally well made and finished, but even an untuned regulated gun is tough to beat with a highly tuned unregulated gun.

    The recipe will never change when the shooter is removed as a variable. Good barrel and tight ES coupled with high quality pellets equal precision.

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    FunGun
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +34

    Good points all around so far.  I too would have to agree with Cliff and his assessment of the situation.  Especially the point about two different shooters having different results with two different guns.  Sometimes it seems a certain gun just fits a shooter.  I know for me if I have confidence in the gun, I will usually shoot it well.  If I have lost the faith in the gun, I probably wont have too much success with it.  just my 2cents.  But very good point cliff and thanks for sharing, it’s good to hear someone having similar results.

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    fmglass
    Participant
    Member
    Accuracy: +2

    Some days I can’t miss, other days the harder I try the worse I get. I believe when you are shooting your worst stop shooting. I believe if you continue to shoot you build muscle memory and it is harder to retrain you musle memory. This is just my thoughts on this there is no science as far as I know.

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    Andy
    Participant
    Member
    Accuracy: +4

    It’s my understanding that tooling wears out, has a certain lifespan and parts made at different times are slightly different. I’m no machinist or gunsmith but there must be a bunch of variables in the manufactureing process which is how I’ve always explained the phenomenon you’re talking about. If you own enough guns over your lifetime you will come across a few that just SHOOT. Better than they should. And, man, you better hang on to those! But, I feel your pain, Cliff! I’ve done it. The pain of selling that Royal will dull after a while, but it will never go away! And, as time goes by memory will likely make the gun better than it really was like lost innocence… LOL just realized how crazy that sounds! The good news is though, looks like the discovery I just bought is special. Not sure how special yet, still dialing her in.

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    hsnmz
    Participant
    Member
    Pakistan
    Accuracy: +6

    Great writeup. Since we can’t cherry pick, I always say that it all depends on your luck. Also as you said not every shooter can shoot every gun accurately.

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    steeve
    Participant
    Member
    Accuracy: +3

    It’s no fun agreeing, but It’s hard not to here.  the only thing I might ad; re cherry picking> I heard about a guy that bought a marauder and 15 extra barrels; tested every one and kept the best. (there was quite a spread amongst them). His final result was a cheap gun that was on a par with the best of any brand, but at a very low cost, due to the low-cost 20$, or thereabouts, Benjamine barrels.  The clinkers, he probably sold on the yellow board. .

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    nvelkhunter
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +5

    What about scope magnification? Guessing it’s a lot easier to find the exact same aim point if you have 24x versus 9x. Especially at 50 yards or more. 
    Assuming everything is perfect except your aim point. If you miss aim at 100 yards by a 1/4″ well that’s 1/4″. Cross hairs at 9x might be 1/4″ wide or more at 100 yards. 

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    JDShapp
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +7

    I agree as well. I’ve found that my rifles on any given day are only as accurate as I am once I have the scope zeroed. Also what AJ said is true. My AT44 was good to start with, but once I got the regulator set and took the time to start dialing it in my grouping became much better. Shooting from a single bag, and offhand my range pretty much tops out at 40yds. I imagine if I were to ever own a high end air rifle I’d probably end up with the same results.

    Just recently sold my Benjamin Trail NP .22 to a co-worker. I sent a good sampling of pellets with it and I’m glad I did. A week later he told me the pellets I said would give him the best results he couldn’t get to group at all. The best ones for him ended up being the Crosman domes and hollowpoints of the bunch.

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    Cliff_Allen
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +34

    “APerfectMiss”That is a very well said write out. I have to agree 110%. I am not a brand junkie one way or the other. I could care less if it were made by daisy. If the gun has what I want in a gun (accuracy, fit, finish etc), I am inclined to take the plunge and try it. I think everyone has to remember that just because a special forces sniper can hit a 36″ target at 1800yds with one certain gun doesn’t mean that you can do it too. Accuracy, more often than not, comes heavily with vested time and research.

    Thanks Cliff for, at least what I think to be, a well said bit of info. 

     [/quote]
    
Thank you Perfect, I think you are correct. Accuracy comes with lots of time and research. Sometimes I almost wish there weren’t so many guns that I wanted to try or that were available to me so that I could spend more time with just one gun and become a master at shooting it.

    “Strikey”Yes, Cliff, you are a nutbag, LOL, but I think the human element can be the most influence on  accuracy. Myself, if I am not in the right ” headspace” no matter  what I do on the bench the rifles will shoot crap so sometimes it is better to leave them for awhile before getting frustrated and blaming the rifle, scope, pellets,etc.[/quote]
    
Lol, I guess I asked for that, Thank you Strikey

    “ajshoots”Even eliminating the human factor, there are still some constants that dictate precision. You have to start with a good barrel. This has proven to be easier said than done and brand does not dictate anything. Stock Hatsan or Marauder barrels have shown accuracy on par with Daystate, FX, Kalibregun, etc. By the same token you can get a junk barrel even in the high end brands.

    A precision airgun has a good barrel and a tune that provides a very tight spread, or the shooter only shooting within the sweetspot with high quality pellets.

    What really separates the upper from lower class brands is a regulator. Barrels can be equally well made and finished, but even an untuned regulated gun is tough to beat with a highly tuned unregulated gun.

    The recipe will never change when the shooter is removed as a variable. Good barrel and tight ES coupled with high quality pellets equal precision.[/quote]
    
AJ, I think you are absolutely correct about the barrel. If you get a gun with a great barrel, hang onto it because I think that may be the one variable that is the hardest to work with or correct if it isn’t 100%. Thank you for bringing that up!

    “FunGun”Good points all around so far.  I too would have to agree with Cliff and his assessment of the situation.  Especially the point about two different shooters having different results with two different guns.  Sometimes it seems a certain gun just fits a shooter.  I know for me if I have confidence in the gun, I will usually shoot it well.  If I have lost the faith in the gun, I probably wont have too much success with it.  just my 2cents.  But very good point cliff and thanks for sharing, it’s good to hear someone having similar results.

    
Fun, thats also a really good point, I never considered that it might just be me when I’m having an off day shooting a gun that I’ve shot well before.
    [quote=”Andy”]It’s my understanding that tooling wears out, has a certain lifespan and parts made at different times are slightly different. I’m no machinist or gunsmith but there must be a bunch of variables in the manufactureing process which is how I’ve always explained the phenomenon you’re talking about. If you own enough guns over your lifetime you will come across a few that just SHOOT. Better than they should. And, man, you better hang on to those! But, I feel your pain, Cliff! I’ve done it. The pain of selling that Royal will dull after a while, but it will never go away! And, as time goes by memory will likely make the gun better than it really was like lost innocence… LOL just realized how crazy that sounds! The good news is though, looks like the discovery I just bought is special. Not sure how special yet, still dialing her in.

    
LOL thanks Andy, my pain is dulling. I’ve been lucky to find a couple other really accurate guns to hang onto. I haven’t found one to rival that Royale yet but I’m still looking 😉  Good luck with the discovery!
    [quote=”steeve”]It’s no fun agreeing, but It’s hard not to here.  the only thing I might ad; re cherry picking> I heard about a guy that bought a marauder and 15 extra barrels; tested every one and kept the best. (there was quite a spread amongst them). His final result was a cheap gun that was on a par with the best of any brand, but at a very low cost, due to the low-cost 20$, or thereabouts, Benjamine barrels.  The clinkers, he probably sold on the yellow board. .

    
Now THAT is what I call a FANTASTIC IDEA!! In the future, maybe rather than moving on from the gun completely, I’ll try ordering and extra barrel or two for it first. Steeve, thank you for chiming in with that little gem, you may have just altered my airgunning future forever haha
    [quote=”JDShapp”]I agree as well. I’ve found that my rifles on any given day are only as accurate as I am once I have the scope zeroed. Also what AJ said is true. My AT44 was good to start with, but once I got the regulator set and took the time to start dialing it in my grouping became much better. Shooting from a single bag, and offhand my range pretty much tops out at 40yds. I imagine if I were to ever own a high end air rifle I’d probably end up with the same results.

    Just recently sold my Benjamin Trail NP .22 to a co-worker. I sent a good sampling of pellets with it and I’m glad I did. A week later he told me the pellets I said would give him the best results he couldn’t get to group at all. The best ones for him ended up being the Crosman domes and hollowpoints of the bunch.

    
A perfect example of the same gun being in a different persons hands. Validation like this almost makes one think that watching gun reviews should be taken with a grain of salt knowing that the performance one guy gets in a video may not be what you can expect

    kris
    the standard is for a good pcp and pellet combination, 5 shots, at 50 yards, half inch center to center. no wind. gun clamped down.
    if you have got a currently great shooting one, that’s good, best is to benchmark them when new. If you have got a great one it does not mean it will always shoot like that, it may still play up.

    
Also a great point Kris, just because it shoots perfectly at one point doesn’t mean it always will. Maybe the Royale I sold a couple of years ago isn’t shooting all that well any more. All these points together make me feel like it’s nearly impossible to recommend any single brand to someone who asks what the most accurate gun is. I certainly makes me want to avoid threads that break down into heated brand wars. Daystate vs FX or whatever. It seems they’re both reputable companies and if someone buys a gun from brand “X” and it isn’t that accurate, maybe the first thing they should do after exploring other possibilities before giving up on it should be to try another barrel from the same company. 

     

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    spinj
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +20

    I must say that the biggest impediment to precision shooting is the shooter.  While it is true that a good barrel and pellet combination is one key to precision, 97 percent of the time, however, it’s the person pulling the trigger that determines whether a pellet will hit where he intends it to or doesn’t.  Bar none!  In my early days of problems with accuracy, I would blame the barrel (when all other things have been ruled out) for my shot groups not matching what I saw and read about on the expensive guns I owned (and still do).  However, after lots and lots of practice and expended pellets, I discovered that the problem was never from my scopes, ammo, stocks, screws, mounts, and you guessed it, my barrels.  The real problem was me.

    Let me tell you, out of severe frustration in my rifles, I became quite rough with cleaning the heck out of their barrel.  On one occasion, I was at wit’s end with my S410 that I took a cleaning rod with a wire brush and rammed it back and forth through its barrel thinking that there might have been stubborn lead on the grooves.  And that was from the muzzle end!  I was so annoyed at the gun that I became careless with the strokes, and for that I dented a particular region of the crown.  I then took a dremel and stone-grounded the heck out of the crown in a desperate attempt to try to remove the dent, and obviously, obtain the accuracy the gun is famous for.  Let me just say that I failed miserably and only worsened its finish as it looked like a kid took coarse sandpaper and went to town with it! 

    Very close to selling and locking up my guns and never shooting again, I decided I was going to give it one last try, but not after pondering really long and hard about my shooting technique and learning about the physics behind shooting in general.  The years that followed showed promising shot groups, and constant practice and learning the ways of the gun thereafter brought me closer to consecutively-produced hole-in-hole groups until I was able to repeatedly achieve them.  Needless to say, shooting became much more enjoyable.   To this day, all the guns I own are equally as accurate to one another regardless of their (barrel) make.

    Perhaps as many of you know by now, putting the crosshairs on your point-of-aim doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’re always going to place a pellet on it every single time without the implementation of proper shooting technique.  Not accounting other factors like wind, shooting angle, distance, etc., and the mechanical side of things on a gun, it takes strict discipline and a healthy understanding of the science aspect of shooting to really shoot with extreme accuracy.  Just to keep this post short, from my trials and tribulations then developing huge improvement in shooting ability thereafter, I was inspired to help struggling shooters also develop proper shooting technique and improve upon their abilities by means of the articles I posted here a while back (link to article: http://airgunnation.dev/topic/shooting-with-or-without-a-rest-that-is-the-question/).

    So what of my S410 and what became of it after I thought I ruined the barrel?  I still have it, and despite what I had done to it, it shoots with the same precision as all my other guns; that is, same-hole precision.  Using my S410 as an example, I must say that one cannot quickly jump to the thought of needing a superior barrel in order to get the world-class accuracy seen from guns with such “perceived” ones.  Shooting technique and knowing about how physics govern what happens during the moment of a shot trumps all else when it comes to shooting with precision.  Having said this, I had decided to leave the condition of my S410’s crown to serve as a reminder that it hardly ever is the fault of the gun…or its barrel.

    Just to show how far I’ve come, below is an eight-shot group at 50 yards.  For those who may have doubts that a 12 FPE gun can shoot accurately at 50 yards, maybe this will make you eliminate them.  Please bear in mind the group was shot after waiting for wind to completely die out.  As I always emphasize in a lot of my posts here and others forums, correct shooting technique is everything when it comes to precision.

    Shoot safe and have fun, guys!            
         

     

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    Bwalton
    Participant
    Member
    Accuracy: +12

    Barrel is the key, a good barrel , a low es, right pellet fit going at the right SPEED and you have a winner. A lot of ppl do not understand a pellets speed and barrel length go hand in hand. My barrel of 19.5inches does well from 870-880fps while my barrel of 23inches does well at 930-940fps. If you take a look at FX and other rifle in the high end market you can see that they have also done there home work. You would be hard press to find a FX rifle shooting 950fps out the box in .25cal or any cal. I spend a lot of time at the range seeing how various speeds affect the pellets accuracy. Into the wind as well as with the wind and with no wind. As far as the most accurate rifle goes, this is a very tricky subject. The rifle that was accurate for you may not be accurate for another. The barrel can have a burr, or the speed is not tuned the same. The list goes on. We must remember that all pellets are governed by the same laws, and physics.

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    StormSunny
    Spectator
    Spectator
    Accuracy: +2

    The reason for inaccuracy is related to the customers. They are not aware how the guns should perform. They do not have any access to 50 meters indoors. They watch YT reviews with selected guns producing perfect groups and whenever they cannot obtain that consistency they blame themselves.

    My approach is simple. I ask about accuracy in perfect conditions providing the pictures of my indoor 50 meters hall. If the gun cannot produce declared group with different pellets, speeds after cleaning the barrel I send the gun back and receive my money back. If everyone followed that approach the manufacturers would have to produce perfect guns.

    No magic here, easy. It is all about knowledge and awareness.

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    JoeWayneRhea
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +245

    I agree with SpinJ on the shooter part …I havea shooting buddy that honestly couldn’t tell you an accurate gun from a broom handle . His technique is so poor and sloppy that when he hits the center of the target he regards that as accurate. In his eyes a gun being zeroed is what accurate is , not consistent group size .
    He shoots probably as much as I do and I’ve never once seen a group I would feel good about . I’m not like a championship shooter or nothing but I have posted enough good groups to be at least competent in my shooting :)
    Guys take Guitar lessons , Golf lessons, hell even dance lessons ….But try to help a guy improve his shooting g and it’s often like it’s a challenge to his manhood !!!
    The only difference between me and some of the guys at my local shooting range that simply pepper a target with lead is I approached a local shooter when I was a teen that was clearly the best shot I had ever seen and asked him could he show me how he was able to shoot like that .
    If your struggling swallow alittle bit of pride and ask the guy two stools down who is cutting one ragged hole in the target how he’s doing that …Not what kinda gun he’s using ..Most likely he can do it with the one you have also :)

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    StormSunny
    Spectator
    Spectator
    Accuracy: +2

    Man, if you perform your testing indoors with a gun clamped in a vice – shooter error is minimal then.

    I can ask the best shooter in the world to produce a tight group and that person will fail if the gun is not perfect. You are unable to predict the trajectory of the pellet if it spirals in some chaotic manner.

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    spinj
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +20

    Even a clamp is not going to show a gun’s true accuracy, especially if it isn’t one that doesn’t allow for recoil movement (even a 5 FPE PCP recoils).  The rifle needs to be allowed to move straight back with respect to Newton’s Law of Physics. Yes, pellet spiral cannot be predicted, but it can be prevented by eliminating its causes, which usually are shroud baffles that clip the pellets, incorrect velocity of pellets, incorrect technique, etc.

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    StormSunny
    Spectator
    Spectator
    Accuracy: +2

    Or poor barrel.

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