. 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 10/22ís were reporting groups of .32Ē and .36Ē at fifty
yards with this stuff. Others were reporting groups in the 4ís 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 itís 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 Iíd 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 Iíve 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
Iíve developed a safe method to pull bullets on 22ís. As you might guess,
legal reasons prevent me from passing the technique on to you. DO NOT
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 cartridgeís 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 ď4Ē are put into one group. All those measuring ď5Ē 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. Iíve 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. Itís 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. Iíve measured
Eley ammo whose bullets measured as much as .226Ē. The Wolf bullets varied
in diameter from .223Ē to .224Ē. On the other hand, the Federals varied
from .221Ē to .222Ē.
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, itís 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. Itís
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-Squareís Lynx stainless
22 scope mounts. Shooting was done at 50 yards because of gusty weather
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. Wolfís 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 ammoís 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.
WOLF TARGET MATCH
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 werenít 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 Iíve been hearing about Wolf, Iíd 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.
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.
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.
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 www.clymertools.com. 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
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.
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.
that?Ē 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 ďshortĒ. When used
with rifle scopes (usually preferred by air silhouette
shooters) the longer tubes canít clear the 46Mís 2Ē flip up
loading port or its tall front sight. In other words, the
mount just isnít high enough.
this isnít a problem with the 747. The Daisyís loading port
doesnít flip up like the 46Mís 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 46Mís and so
interference at that point isnít a problem either.
Mounting the B-Square mount on the Daisy is very simple.
First, Iíll 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 Daisyís 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.
can see in the photo, the B-Square is not a ďhigh riseĒ. 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
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 donít 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 shouldnít 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.
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.
that Lynx uses to achieve this strength for the 22ís 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, ďrecoil
keyĒ. 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 donít see why it couldnít be used for big bore
applications just as well.
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 Iíve
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
youíre looking for an inexpensive variable power air gun
scope, you should consider the BSA. Iíve seen it selling for
around $85 from the catalog retailers. Thatís about as
inexpensive as it gets for a weather proof variable in that
power range and with target knobs to boot. Iíve found the BSA
to be a very functional product. The brightness of the optics
isnít the best Iíve ever seen, but theyíre bright enough to
get the job done at airgun distances. Once more, the clicks
are reliable and the eye relief is very usable. Iíve used this
scope on a spring piston rifle, on my Savage 22 Striker, a 22
rifle, and my Daisy 747 air pistol. Itís still doing the job
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
XP-100 Low Profile
XP-100 or Rem 700
These are fully
adjustable, hardened stainless steel, three lever design
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. Youíll 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. Mikeís triggers have a
strong following on the West Coast and Iíve got one myself. I
know they work and are totally reliable.