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Volume 12, Issue 10 Nov/Dec
  The Ranging Shot Email Todd:
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Todd Spotti

     There’s a new low priced 22 ammo floating around out there that seems to be causing quite a stir. It’s called Wolf Target Match. I first heard about it last September while chatting with Muggs Tyler. Muggs was using it in his guns and said it shot pretty well. Now Muggs is a pretty experienced shooter, so if he says something is working, you know it is. He said the new ammo was imported from Germany and the price was around $1.79 a box. Having a broad streak of cheap in me, I was immediately interested and started to check around to see what I could find out about it.

     The first thing I learned is that the guys who like to shoot competitively with highly customized Ruger 10/22’s were reporting groups of .32” and .36” at fifty yards with this stuff. Others were reporting groups in the 4’s at the same distance. I even saw the groups, so I knew it was no baloney. I was definitely getting even more interested now.

     I then found out that the ammo is made by SK Jagd-und in the old Eastern part of Germany. If you can believe it, this outfit has been making ammo since 1829 which means it’s one of the very oldest ammunition manufacturers in the world. They also make the shotgun ammo that the German Olympic team uses and which was used to bring home a silver medal recently.

     Even more surprising, I also discovered that their 22 ammo uses VihtaVuori powder. That definitely got my attention, I was getting more and more impressed.

     Fortunately for me, my good friend Jim Williams bought a case of the stuff and gave me a box to play with. First, I decided that I’d do a technical evaluation of the ammo before I got around to the shooting part. For comparative purposes, I also decided to do the same with another low priced ammo which has been generating a lot of favorable attention - Federal 711B Target. Besides doing the normal things that I do in a technical evaluation, I decided to go a couple of steps even farther and would break the cartridges down in order to examine the individual components. I wanted to see how consistent they were. This is something I’ve never seen anyone do in print before so I was breaking new ground.

     At this point, I should emphasize very strongly that I do not recommend that you do this on your own. Tearing apart 22 ammo is normally extremely dangerous. However I’ve developed a safe method to pull bullets on 22’s. As you might guess, legal reasons prevent me from passing the technique on to you. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS!

     The very first thing I did in the evaluation was to check the headspace on the two different brands. As you know, 22 rimfire ammo headspaces on the rim, so by measuring rim thickness you measure headspace. In order to accomplish this, I used my trusty Neil Jones headspace gauge. This is a very ingenious, simple tool that is both accurate and very fast to use. Just drop a cartridge into the recess in the tool and slide a tapered bar over the top of the cartridge. A list of graduations on top of the bar indicates the relative thickness of the cartridge’s rim.

     The concept behind the gauge is to separate the cartridges in a given lot into groups with the same headspace. For instance, all the cartridges with a headspace of say “4” are put into one group. All those measuring “5” are placed into another and so on. The idea is that a group of cartridges, all with the same headspace, will shoot more consistently, and therefore more accurately, than a group of cartridges whose headspace varies all over the place. I’ve checked out the Neil Jones gauge extensively and have reported the results several times in the past in these pages. I use it and I know it works. It’s a good way to get the best accuracy possible out of modestly priced ammo.

     Headspace for both the Wolf and Federal ammo were surprisingly consistent. 25 cartridges of each were randomly selected and checked. All the cartridges from both brands measured either 1 or 2 on the gauge. 75% of the Wolf cartridges measured 2 on the scale while 80% of the Federal cartridges measured 1, indicating that the Federal rims were slightly thicker.

     I then measured the diameter of the bullets. SAAMI specifications for 22 long rifle bullets is .221 inches. Most quality bullets will exceed this diameter. I’ve measured Eley ammo whose bullets measured as much as .226”. The Wolf bullets varied in diameter from .223” to .224”. On the other hand, the Federals varied from .221” to .222”.

     I then pulled the bullets from their cases and weighed them. During the course of the operation I noted that under their graphite lube coat, the lead used for the Wolf bullets was dull gray and was relatively soft. On the other hand, the lead used for the Federal bullets was a brighter color and seemed to be a harder alloy. Interestingly, only one bullet from the two groups weighed 40 grains. All the others weighed just slightly over 39 grains.

     I then weighed the powder charges from each of the groups on my RCBS electronic scale. For the Wolf cartridges, the charges ran from 1.0 to 1.1 grains. While this variation in weight seems to be very small, it’s actually a 10% difference which would be significant in any cartridge case but could be especially significant in something as small as a 22. The Federal powder charges were very consistent. Each measured exactly .9 grains.

     During the course of the examination, I noted that the structure of the powder granules of the two different brands were very different from each other. The VihtaVuori powder in the Wolf ammo was dull grey and consisted of very fine extruded, tubular granules of varying lengths - obviously a blend. The Federal powder was shiny black in color and resembled the flattened balls that you seen in magnum pistol powders such as H110, only they were much, much smaller in size.

     I also noted that the primer material in the Wolf ammo was red in color and had the appearance of thin varnish or lacquer. When fired, the Wolf cartridges smelled the same as Eley ammo. In contrast, the Federal primer material was yellow in color, appeared to be a much denser material, and that there was a lot of it as it completely covered the interior cone formed by the dimple on the head of the case. 

     For the shooting portion of the evaluation, I used my Savage Striker equipped with the Rifle Basix sear. The gun was also equipped with the superlative Burris 8 X 32 airgun scope. If you want this kind of high power for air gun shooting at 10 meters, this is the only scope on the market that will do the job. It’s also a great scope to mount on a 22 or any other firearm that you may choose. The scope was also mounted in a set of B-Square’s Lynx stainless 22 scope mounts. Shooting was done at 50 yards because of gusty weather conditions.

     The chronograph revealed some interesting characteristics of the Wolf ammo. For one, the velocity was unusually low. Most target grade ammo will usually have a velocity of just under 1100 fps. Wolf’s average velocity measured 1027 fps. In fact one of the shots in the string being measured only registered a scant 1001 fps. The standard deviation of the velocities in the string was a nice 17 fps. In comparison, the Federal 711B ammo’s average velocity also showed an unusually low reading of 1052 fps and a even better standard deviation of 11 fps. I wonder if these two brands represent a new lower velocity approach for target ammunition by the various manufacturers.

Diameter Weight Head Space
223-.224 39.4-39.8 1-2
Powder Weight Velocity Group
1.0-1.1 1027 .806

     Of course the thing that counts the most is the accuracy. The Wolf product punched out a group measuring .806 inches. I would have like to seen better results, but as I mentioned, wind conditions weren’t the best. Indeed one shot seemed to be blown out of the group. Without that one shot, the group would have been more like a half inch.

     At any rate, considering all of the good reports I’ve been hearing about Wolf, I’d say it would definitely be worth your while to invest a couple of bucks to buy some and try it in your own guns to see how it does.

Clymer Reamers, A lot has been going on at my favorite reamer manufacturer since my last story on the company and its products. The new owners are definitely not the type of folks to sit on their laurels. For one, they've become registered as a ISO 9002 firm. That means they've set in place state of the art quality control procedures to insure a world class product is delivered to their customers. In light of this, it's not surprising that they've added five additional distributors to their line up - two in Germany, one in Switzerland, one in Australia, and one in the U.S. It says a lot when you can successfully compete in Germany and Switzerland in the machine tool business.

     As part of the continual improvement in their capabilities, they've added a ton of new machinery. They already were using a Bohle Flutemaster five axis CNC spiral and straight cut flute milling machine. To that they've added 2 new Walter five axis CNC grinders, a new Mazak Quick Turn 20 three axis machine, and a new K.O. Lee high speed heavy duty cutter grinder.

     Of special interest is their new Brown & Sharpe Pro 25 two axis inspection machine. The Brown & Sharpe can take measurements down to .00004" in length and .00001" in diameter on every feature of your reamer. (No, I didn't make a mistake on the number of zeros.) That means that their products will be exactly as ordered. It's amazing that such an incredible degree of precision can now be achieved on a routine basis.

     Clymer will be publishing a new catalog at the end of the year in a CD-ROM format. Be sure to look for it. You also need to check out their web site at If you or your gunsmith need a reamer for that special gun you've always lusted for, definitely consider Clymer. 

B-Square Air Gun Scope Mount. The Daisy 747 is undoubtedly one of the very best air gun bargains in the world because of its first class accuracy and extremely low price. At ten meters the gun will literally stack pellets one on top of the other with regular monotony. At 18 meters, the story is almost identical. Indoors, groups well under a quarter inch can be confidently expected with quality pellets. 

     However, there is one obstacle to the air silhouette shooter who wants to use this gun in any serious competition requiring a scope i.e. neither Daisy nor any other mainstream airgun manufacturer makes a scope mount specifically for the 747. This is very surprising as inexpensive scope mounts are widely available for any number of far less capable air guns.

     One perfectly acceptable solution is to use the B-Square mount made for the Russian manufactured Bykal 46M Olympic styled air pistol. The B-Square mount fits the Daisy perfectly. In fact, when using a rifle scope, the mount is actually better suited to being mounted on the 747 than it is on the 46M.

     “Why is that?” you might ask. Well, when used with the Russian gun, the mount is really designed to accept only short pistol scopes, or red dots. Not surprisingly, it does just that very, very well. However, the key word here is “short”. When used with rifle scopes (usually preferred by air silhouette shooters) the longer tubes can’t clear the 46M’s 2” flip up loading port or its tall front sight. In other words, the mount just isn’t high enough.

     However this isn’t a problem with the 747. The Daisy’s loading port doesn’t flip up like the 46M’s but rather slides back somewhat like the bolt on a XP-100 i.e. lift a lever and pull back. The Daisy front sight is also much lower than the 46M’s and so interference at that point isn’t a problem either.

     Mounting the B-Square mount on the Daisy is very simple. First, I’ll lay a strip of masking tape down on top of the barrel to protect it from getting scratched or marred. The B-Square mount is essentially two clam shell halves, that when bolted together, grip the Daisy’s barrel like a vice. The top of the aluminum mount is slotted to take standard Weaver style scope rings. Attaching the B-Square mount took no more than 2-3 minutes tops. It fits perfectly and provides a rock solid base for your rings and scope. The price is also relatively modest as well - typically around $21-$25.

     As you can see in the photo, the B-Square is not a “high rise”. I know that some standing shooters prefer using that style mount, however the necessity for having such a set up is not as great when shooting air gun as it is when shooting center-fire guns.

     One of the primary advantages that a high rise mount gives the rimfire or center-fire competition shooter is the fact that the gun is held lower. When that happens, there is less muscle strain when holding up those heavy gun and scope combinations. However, competition air pistols don’t weigh anywhere near what a center-fire pistol does. The significantly reduced weight of the air pistol therefore greatly alleviates the need to get the gun down to a lower position in order to reduce muscle fatigue. Consequently, anyone using a 747 with a B-Square mount shouldn’t feel the slightest disadvantage when competing in any of the scoped standing categories.

     Lynx Scope Rings & Mounts Lynx, which is now owned by B-Square, is not a widely known name in the United States. It probably is better known in Europe and especially in South Africa where they are used by professional hunters and guides on big bore rifles like the 416 and the 458. What makes the Lynx system for center-fire guns so unique is that the rings slide onto a vertical steel stud which is shaped like a giant air gun pellet or spindle and which is permanently mounted into the scope base. The rings are then secured on the stud with a couple of opposing screws which also can be used for windage adjustment. The system is said to be the strongest there is.

     As you can see in the photo, I mounted a set of stainless steel Lynx 22/airgun rings on the B-Square mount I have on my Daisy. The Lynx obsession with strength still comes to the fore even in this relatively undemanding application.

     The method that Lynx uses to achieve this strength for the 22’s and airguns is totally different from that used for center-fire and is very unusual. The 22 rings have a hole completely through the base and inside this hole is a removable, steel,  “recoil key”. The key is shaped like a round pillar with a  projecting tennon on the bottom which fits into the mortise-like recess slot on a Weaver scope base. A long clamping screw goes through the scope base and the recoil key both, securing everything in place. This is a very impressive system, and I really don’t see why it couldn’t be used for big bore applications just as well.

     Another major difference between these 22 airgun rings and most others is that the top straps are secured with two screws versus the usual single screw. Additionally, the top straps are secured to the base in a lower than normal position making it more of a wrap-around design for greater stability. These are really very nice rings and deserve a look.

     Mystery Scope I’ve been asked by a few people to identify the scope and rings in the front page photo that I used in my story about the difference between air gun and rifle scopes last October. The scope is a BSA 4 X 12 airgun scope in high BSA airgun scope rings. I also used a Gamo scope stop mounted in front of the BSA rings to provide an extra measure of insurance to guarantee that things would stay in place during the double recoil of the spring piston air rifle that they were mounted on.

      If you’re looking for an inexpensive variable power air gun scope, you should consider the BSA. I’ve seen it selling for around $85 from the catalog retailers. That’s about as inexpensive as it gets for a weather proof variable in that power range and with target knobs to boot. I’ve found the BSA to be a very functional product. The brightness of the optics isn’t the best I’ve ever seen, but they’re bright enough to get the job done at airgun distances. Once more, the clicks are reliable and the eye relief is very usable. I’ve used this scope on a spring piston rifle, on my Savage 22 Striker, a 22 rifle, and my Daisy 747 air pistol. It’s still doing the job just fine. 

Dewey Triggers. Mike Dewey, West Coast custom trigger meister, has expanded the number of models that he has available. The new offerings include the:

  • Kevin Randolph Anschutz Exemplar center grip conversion
  • Stole Cub
  • XP-100 Low Profile
  • XP-100 or Rem 700

     These are fully adjustable, hardened stainless steel, three lever design triggers. 

     Mike is also working on his own design to put together an Anschutz center grip conversion kit. The kit will be composed of an aluminum bedding block, a match grade trigger, and all the necessary linkage and parts to hook everything together. You’ll have to come up with a XP-100 center grip stock to mount the gun and the mechanical parts into and do the installation. Price at this time is projected to be $350.  Mike’s triggers have a strong following on the West Coast and I’ve got one myself. I know they work and are totally reliable.

Good luck and good shooting. Todd

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Warning: All technical data mentioned, especially handloading and bullet casting, reflect the limited experience of individuals using specific tools, products, equipment and components under specific conditions and circumstances not necessarily reported in the article or on this web site and over which IHMSA, The Los Angeles Silhouette Club (LASC), this web site or the author has no control. The above has no control over the condition of your firearms or your methods, components, tools, techniques or circumstances and disclaims all and any responsibility for any person using any data mentioned. Always consult recognized reloading manuals.