The best way to discover your own limitations in airgun shooting…

Forums Field Target Field Target Talk The best way to discover your own limitations in airgun shooting…

  • Views : 932
  • Link

    fe7565
    Participant
    Member

    The best way to discover your own limitations in airgun shooting…is an airgun consistently capable of half-inch groups at 50 yards.  

    For some of you this is nothing new, but for me it has become acutely apparent just now after I did a partial-rebuild of my aging (year 2008) Daystate Airwolf FAC MVT.   I didn’t do anything earthshaking (details on the DOC) , but it’s amazing how worn o-ring(s) on the pellet probe and transfer port and a bent/misaligned pellet probe on an Airwolf FAC MVT can  affect accuracy and consistency significantly.   

    Now, with the rifle and the wind (indoor range) eliminated as variables, the only thing I have left to blame is my scope, the pellets, or me.  I have a new scope on the way just as an added measure.  I will need to study my scope’s settings and have some of the ballistics (Chairgun) memorized.  Still sorting through dozens of pellets in an almost masochistic way to find the best for this rife.  It’s a pain, because I already found three pellets so far that perform half inch groups at 50 yards all day with only a few moderately opened up groups.  But don’t want to take a chance on missing a possible gem pellet,  The best pellets so far up to 50 yards were the JSB 18.1g, 15.89g in 5.51mm and the AA 16gr 5.51mm.  Interestingly, the AA 16gr performed well both at the 75 yard and 100 yard ranges at my set 905fps.  

    But again, I think I need to first improve my own skills to gain the most benefit from the accuracy of the rifle.  My skills (that I always admired and flaunted around with pride) starred me in my face at the 75 and 100 yard after the last shooting range visit. My work is cut out for me…practice, practice, and practice.

    One question: “is bigger always better” when it comes to scope magnification?   I am shooting at 50x or 60x zoom with my Tasco Custom Shop 12-60x56mm (using it as a spotting scope at the same time), but I see others using 12x scopes at 100 yards distances with great accuracy.  I know for FT you need a high mag scope for ranging, but for long distances is there a “rule” that can be applied to each distance for a sight picture?

      

     

    Link

    mobilemail
    Participant
    Member

    Just shoot with another person…. the unedited truth.

    Link

    fe7565
    Participant
    Member

    Here is one of the 50 yard targets during my pellet search/testing. There was no real method, I stopped to take five groups of 5-shots when the pellets seemed to perform well (the two large marks at #5 were sideway pellet landings not groups).  They grouped well with very few flyers that may have been me.  At 75 and 100 yards my best groups opened up to over 1.5 inch or 2 inches usually because of one flyer, except group one that was around 3/4 inch. Could have been a lucky shot :)  But far distances showed me that I need to work on breath-control, proper rifle-hold, and consistent eye-relief. The 50 yard was much more forgiving.


     

    Link

    JoeWayneRhea
    Participant
    Member

    As far as the scope goes . Everybody will have a slightly different opinion . But bigger does NOT mean better !! Super high magnifications exaggerate mirage, and also show the limitations of the glass and coatings , as well as scopes other imperfections .
    Every scope line has a point where the trade off to magnification becomes clouded by optical quality. This is not a knock on any particular line of scopes , just a fact . I have a very accurate Ernest Rowe tuned 25 caliber . and several nice scopes of different magnification . The best groups I have shot with it all have been shot with a 10X or my 16X .
    I have higher mag scopes but the poor quality of the sight picture bugs me and I catch my self wanting to just get the shot over with to relieve the eye strain . Part may be because of my only having one good eye . But a very well respected dealer of optics I personally know says similar thing

    Link

    fe7565
    Participant
    Member

    Thank you. I figured that it would help at great distances looking through the cross-hairs at at a quarter-sized target that is magnified by a scope to the size of a quarter instead of a small dot at much lower mags But I will dial back to lower mags and see how I adjust to shooting with a smaller target picture. I gather that the scope needs to have a fairly fine reticle at longer ranges. 

    Also, just to eliminate the scope from the variables, will also do the four corners elevation/windage test because I often change from 50 to 75 and 100 yards during my pellet search. 

     

    Link

    DuncanHynes
    Participant
    Member

    Joe said it really well. A scope is set for optimal magnification at the facory, usually has a dot on the power ring. So my Sightron SIII is a 10-50 power, 24x is the setting where the mil dots are true. More than that you will change POI unless you sight in at another magnification. Even then you have to see what the hold over is on a higher magnification for that scope. And yes, the SIII is over a $1,200 scope made in Japan but on 50x it looks like a cloudy mess. 24x or sometimes 30 is what I shoot at paper with. It is clear and even easier eye relief at lower mags. If you think about any scope generally speaking (I havent seen US Optics) the max setting will be finiky, not as clear and an eye strain. Stay within the power range noted (will usually be in the middle of the high and low).

    Link

    JoeWayneRhea
    Participant
    Member

    The is a forum on SWFA called optics talk . One of the moderators is a guy named Ted that goes by Rifledude.. He has virtually every scope made , except for the cheap ones . Message him , he is VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE. Think of it like this , a new Gamo can move a light pellet at 1300fps but can’t hit a car door at arms length. A FWB 300 moves a pellet so slow you can almost see flies light on it in flight , but is capable of incredible accuracy … Speed is like magnification, Big numbers mean nothing without quality. I owned briefly a Super high end high mag scope . At 100 yards on a cloudy day you could not see bullet holes clearly at 100 yards. It was a 1600$ scope and it was useless unless power was low to mid power range . I have a 150 dollar refurb I bought that’s 3-9 that blows it away

    Link

    fe7565
    Participant
    Member

    Thank you both. I will check out the SFWA forum. 

    I know what you mean by a cheap $120 scope outdoing more expensive ($400) ones. Recently bought a Simmons 44mag 6-24x,made in China but has a decent clear sight picture at maximum 24x mag and weighs only 14oz.  Wish I had one of the older models made in Philippines.  

    I am not new to the hobby but was shooting a medium range airgun at limited distances and had very limited free time for many years until now.  With my Daystate MVT I am now able to see how good the high-end rifles are and how good/bad I am.  One reason I like to use my super high mag scopes is: I need to improve my shooting technique and with the high mag scope used also as spotter scope I get instant feedback of my mistakes such as rifle hold, etc. Until I am searching for best groupings during my pellet sorting quest true mil-dots should not matter that much, but you are right once I have my best “goto” pellet(s) I will need to find a clear middle of the range magnification setting and learn the hold-over/ballistics for the most common distances I shoot at. Chairgun helps a lot with plugging in the scope and pellet parameters.

     

    Link

    Windmeister
    Dealer
    Dealer

    On optics, I will say that keep it reasonable, there is no need to zoom in so you see the grain of the paper, you only start chasing your tail at that point. Because, on top of what has already been explained, you also exaggerate movement to try to arrest other things, like hold, hold over, eye relief strain.
    So zoom out until you still reasonably on target, clear optical target acquisition, and comfortable eye relief.
    That way you will be less tense, but comfortable and calm which aids in breathing control, hold control and trigger control.

    I have, and I am sure everyone else, done the zoom all the way in believing it will help in accuracy….it does not.

    Link

    fe7565
    Participant
    Member

    Thank you gents…   I see your points and must trust your advice as you speak from experience.  Will try with a much lower mag next time I am at the range and see how it turns out.  The good things is that the range is indoors (even at 100 meters) so no worries about the environment as a variable.   When I was up in Canada for a while I could never tell if it was me, or the rifle, or the wind…   :)   The indoor range is a huge help with testing what this rifle and I am capable of before eventually using it outside. 

    Link

    Zephyr
    Participant
    Member

    Don’t know if this is of any use – for HFT type shooting (metal silhouette) out to about 70yds (push out to that distance during practise and psychologically 45yds becomes close) I use a 3-12x scope set on 10x. This gives, for me, acceptable image brightness and size to use the mildot reticle engraving. Yet, when I shoot benchrest, I cannot see any rings inside the ‘6’ ring with it. For BR I have a 36x fixed mag Sightron, with which I can see the 10 ring. Why don’t I use the 36x for HFT? The field of view is so small you can spend an age just trying to find the target and the POI can be can be out of the FOV!

    As I very rarely use the variable mag at anything other than 10x I know feel I should have bought a fixed mag scope. It is generally reported you get better optics and lower cost with a fixed mag scope.

    Link

    Alan
    Participant
    Member

    I agree with Joe. I had my 6.5 to 20, 40 mm Leupold power boosted to 32 power, and that turned out to be a big mistake! (Yes, it was mounted on a firearm, not a pellet gun.) 

    If you hunt where I hunt (firearm or pellet gun), the summertime surface temperature during the day hovers around 100°F. The mirage can be so bad, that even 10 power is a bit much. And, even though the Leupold is a very high quality scope, the power boost showed up every flaw it had (has). I’ve learned my lesson: If I have to see that far, I’ll use my spotting scope!

    Just to put a little meat on this…

    In 1998, I made a one-shot kill at 1,710 yards on a prairie dog, in eastern Colorado. There were several other members of the Varmint Hunters Association present, so I have the witnessed certificate to prove the fact! And, the scope atop the Ackley improved 22-250? A dead stock VX3 set on 10 power! 

    Link

    JoeWayneRhea
    Participant
    Member

    Oh man that blows my prarie dog fecord away !!! 1248 yardsin E New Mexico !!! Mine was a 6-284 improved with a Swarovski 10X . I miss those days , but ammo cost put that sport outta reach for me

    Link

    fe7565
    Participant
    Member

    OK, guys so reading your posts…now what kind of motivation is it for me to go out on the range and shoot at 50 yards when you guys are dropping targets well over a thousand yards away! :)   Just kidding…  But I can imagine the amount of serious ballistics calculations that must go into making such amazing long range shots!  

    Attached a couple of shots from my last shooting. The first one is at 75 yards after getting some consistent close to half inch groups at 50 yards with AA 16gr. I only shot this 7?-shot group before moving on to 100 yards, so not sure if the next groups would have been this good.  At 100 yards, the AA 16gr pellets (best performing so far at 50 and 75) opened up  quit a bit compared to the 75 yards groups.  Not sure if the same pellet that is fine at 75 yards starts to spiral past that range?  Or is it the scope, or me?   At 75 yards I did a 4 mil-dot holdover at the 50x mag, and at 100 yards I had to use the turret clicks. So, here we go again, the 50x scope mag could be the issue and I need to cut it back down to 10x or close to it. And I need a slow-mo cam. 

    75 yards indoors


    100 yards indoors

    Link

    JoeWayneRhea
    Participant
    Member

    Actually the hard part is finding a setup early enough on the day where the mirage isn’t in play . by midday on level ground its not possible because you can’t see far enough to try it . What surprised me most about prairie dog hunting was how hard it is on optics . The scopes most of the Air gunners here rave about are almost useless on a prairie dog town . Cheap quality optics will drive you crazy when you set behind a scope and binoculars for several hours at a stretch . The ONLY sub 700$ scope I’ve ever seen up to it is the SWFA SS LINE . And we tried them ALL !!!

    Link

    DuncanHynes
    Participant
    Member

    Thanks Cricket for the Strelok app suggestion. I got it and it is more in depth than Chairgun. I think Chairgun has the edge for just simple fast calculations and easier UI…but Strelok SHOWS you how magnication changes the POI. I didnt see any air rifle pellets [*Correction, air rifle is under Cartridges Database] but guessed on the length of the ammo. I will measure a JSB 18gr and see how long it is. Thanks again.

    Link

    Alan
    Participant
    Member

    Joe, you and I need to swap stories. 

    My email is wide open: [email protected]

    My web site is too, but it is about amateur radio, not airguns. 

    http://www.k0bg.com

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.