Author Topic: smooth bores (long)  (Read 4090 times)

Offline ribbonstone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 801
    • http://
smooth bores (long)
« on: October 29, 2006, 05:28:17 AM »
Thought I'd post this back here...no one is going to really believe it anyway, so posting along with editiorial opinions seemed about right.

Freind gave me an old Benjamin 310 (how old...don't know..serial number is an H23XXX) smooth bore that wasn't working.  Finish worn off to a bright brass, wood not cracked or dented, just gray with age and dryness (it came back just fine).  He'd bought the little gun used in the middle 1950's.  Swore he's killed a pile of squirrels with it in Oregon during that time, taking them out to 25-30yards.

Resealed it, made new pins, tapped the end cap for new screws and got her running again. Figured the main seals were still good, if I pumped really-really fast it would get some air and hold it for a day...was the pump-seal that was keeping air from compressing.  Kept the old intake and exaust seals in place, changed  only the pump seal, cleaned it (wow...50+ years of use can collect enough crud to grow cabbages).

Tried "perfect rounds".  They ain't perfect, finging everthing from .175" to  .181" in the mix. Sorted them...resorted them...and ended up with groups of pretty exact diameters.

The best of the best would average 1 2/3" at 20yards...which kind of sucks and made me doubt his tales of the past.  Not bad accuracy, might be good enough to shoot squirrels at 15 yards at best.  Figured it was a case of an old guy letting distance grow with the passing years.

So, with nothing to lose, tried pellets.

First pellets tried, the modern type with a nearly soild base and short length, suck about as bad as round ball.  Kept trying different pellets. PRobably  have 13 or 14 differnt types on hand, but it didn't take long to find the trends.

Trends was that  accuracy was getting better as the pellets (1) grew longer  (2) had more and more of a hollow base and (3) used a pinted or round nose shape.

The limit of this came with Beeman's Kodiacs...long pellet, hollow base, round nose.  First 3 shot group fired at 20yards went 3/4".  had to be a fluke, so fired six more goups.  OF those 7 3-shot groups, the largest was 1" and the smallest were 3/4".  Call it 7/8" average.

Which IS good enough to shoot game at 25yards...so the old man wasn't disremembering, a smooth bore can do the job at that range.
----
Guess the moral is that if you find a good deal on a smoothbore Benjamin (or other good make) might consider it if most of your shooting is done at short range.  I'd have though pellets would have tumbled, but evidently they don't...that weight to the nose balance =eveidnetly keeps them point on out to 20-25yards at least.  the target holes are round, not oblong or keyholed, and recovered pellets show they stayed point on in the target backing.
Robert

Offline daved

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2093
    • http://
RE: smooth bores (long)
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2006, 08:31:53 AM »
I don't have any trouble believeing it.  The diabolo shape by itself is sufficient to stabilize the pellet.  The usual comparison is the badminton birdie.  I think the rifleing adds some stability, especially at longer ranges.  Other than that, as long as the barrel i.d. is sized to allow the pellet skirt to seal, there's no reason I can see that they wouldn't be accurate at medium range.  So thanks for the post, and don't tell the friend what a good shooter it turned out to be, he'll probably want it back :-).

Dave

Offline ribbonstone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 801
    • http://
Re: smooth bores (long)
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2006, 11:28:51 AM »
Old guy is the last of my father's old hunting buddies...he's 87 and won't be using a pumper. He will sit out in his back yard (where  he still keeps an airgun range) and shoot his CO2 guns and easy to cock springers.

That's one of the nice things about airgunning...you are never too old.
Robert

  • Guest
RE: smooth bores (long)
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2006, 06:05:42 AM »
You know that's interesting about pellets not tumbling with a smoothbore gun.  As a newbie at this it never occurred to me that they might tumble.

I was shooting my smoothbore Crosman 760 pump last week at some plastic water jugs at about 20 yds using Beeman Silver Sting pointed pellets and getting  nice round holes in the jugs and nose first entry into the plywood backstop.  The pellets are very snug in the chamber - you need to seat the pellets with the bolt.   The seal and the pellet shape must be the keys.

Offline ribbonstone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 801
    • http://
Re: smooth bores (long)
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2006, 11:07:08 AM »
From my test, can promise you that there are pellets that will tumble at 20yards...good fitting, but short body pellets with little distance between the head contact point and the skirt base.  Haven't yet had a chance to shoot the smooth bore at any real distance; it possible that all pellets will get unstable at 40 or 50yards.

I'd have thought the synt. pellets would have had a better showing...metal at the front, plastic at the back, LOOKED like they'd be point-heavy. Waste of effort...keyholes at all speeds.

Ball just eventaully "slides" off on a tangent...it picks up rotation, and like a curve ball, eventually "breaks".  Even if you manges to find just the right size that doesn't pick up barrel rotation (they have a "rub line" like a ring around the middle...which they won't have it they were rotating when passing through the barrel) they still "break"...just a bit latter. Given a good background, can watch low speed lead balls kind of hook like a badly hit golfball.

NOpe...not attempting to promote smooth bores...just metnioning this as many of us like to have a "just in case" gun leaning against the back door, and some good deals on classic old Benjamins can be had (the smooth bore guns generaly don't sell nearly as well or as high as the rifled ones).
Robert