Determining Pellet ...
 

Determining Pellet Head Size...  

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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-11-09 16:21:37  

I recently installed an Air Rifle Headquarters (James Maccari) Pro-Mac Kit in my FWB-124 and did some testing shooting with Crosman Premier Lites (7.9 gr) pellets that I had handy (Die #4 1999)... I got pretty consistent results on my Beta Chrony, but would get a shot or two almost 100 fps less then the other normal consistent shots every so often... and the low velocity shot was noticeably harsher...  I thought maybe I screwed something up, like the piston seal when I installed it, so I disassembled it, expected everything, and all looked good.

Thanks to JM, he said that I the first thing I should try is a different tin of pellets, as the ones I was shooting may have different head sizes and weights... so I did, trying a tin of Beeman Crow Magnums (8.8 gr) pellets, and they all shot pretty consistent with no low velocity shots... I smiled, because it was the stupid pellets not my limited airgun-smithing skills !

So I got out my old BIC pen tube that has a tapered inner tube (clear plastic) that was recommended for checking .177 pellet head sizes many years ago (these pens were hard to find back then since BIC changed this style pen and the inner tube was no longer tapered)... and discovered many variances in the size of the CPL pellet sizes... this is a pretty quick tool to check pellet head sizes, but you don't know the actual size unless you use calipers, and I'm not that anal to sit and do all that.

But was still curious as to whether there was an easy and quick tool to use to determine the head size.

Discovered the Pellegage tool online that has various head sizes to measure the pellet head by finding the correct size by dropping the pellet through it... still kind of tedious, but then I thought that it would be a great way to calibrate the BIC pen by marking the head size on it.

Heck even better would be a manufactured one that has a clear tapered tube already marked with the various sizes, and in different gauges for .177, .20, .22, and .25 calibers... if the tube was long enough it could do all the calibers... maybe there is one ?

Think I will get the Pelletgage tool to try it out, and calibrate my BIC pen tube !

Anyone else remember trying to find the clear tube BIC pen to check pellet head sizes ?

Here is a photo of some of the variances that I found in the CPL pellets that I was using to test my FWB-124... the red tape was kind of arbitrary from what I remember... accepting the ones on or above the red line, and reject the others for plinking tasks.

CPL Pellet Head Measures All

 

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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Hector J Medina G
(@hector-j-medina-g)
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 337
2019-11-16 21:33:23  

@nervoustrigger

Try to get a copy of Fletcher's book, it's really interesting.

If we get a bit philosophical, quality in a company is like happiness in a person: a conscious decision that takes energy and determination to implement.

While it's true that one person doesn't make a company, one person can set the bar for the general culture of the company.

With so many changes in the corporate world, it's not surprising that old expertise is irremediably lost.

Crosman COULD produce a quality pellet and the design of the original machine was exactly what was needed to produce two, or even three different quality levels.

But, someone has to take the decision to separate that capacity for production from the mainstream and dedicate the effort to test, promote and achieve the market perception that can make people re-accept Crosman as a quality contender.

As with many things, if there is a will there's a way, but if there's a way, it doesn't necessarily follow that there will be a will.

😉

 

Keep well and shoot straight!

 

 

 

 

 

HM


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-11-17 10:12:43  

I got my Pelletgage tool the other day, and have been checking various Crosman Premier Light (7.9 gr) pellets that I originally had an issue with as mentioned in my original post.

After checking the head size of a pellet in the Pelletgage, I was then checking the size in my BIC pen tube...  a head size of say 4.53 seemed fairly consistent in the BIC pen, but did vary a little, probably due to exact roundness, or even the size of the skirt.

But I found this one very peculiar... the pellet would measure 4.52... not fitting into the 4.51 hole... but in the BIC pen tube, it falls below the red mark that I was using to basically judge a pellet as "acceptable" or "not acceptable".

Other 4.52 pellets would be more in the "acceptable" range on the BIC pen.

So it probably has something to do with the roundness and/or the skirt... but if I was just using the Pelletgage, I would probably accept the pellet.

At this point, I think the BIC pen may give me a better selection of pellets than the Pelletgage...

Comments are always welcomed !

Here are two photos of the 4.52 pellet in question, and an acceptable one for comparison.

Too big for the 4.51 hole, but fits in the 4.52 hole, but clearly below the acceptable range in the BIC pen.

CPL Pellet Head Measures 14

 

 

Measured to 4.52 and in the acceptable range in the BIC pen...

CPL Pellet Head Measures 15

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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doninva
(@doninva)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 144
2019-11-17 17:43:30  

I could be wrong but l think the pellet gauge was to measure head size and not to measure the skirt. Don


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-11-17 18:02:26  

@doninva

Yes... that's what I was attempting to measure with both the Pelletgage and the old BIC pen... but with different results, compared to a pellet with the same 4.52 head according to the Pelletgage and the BIC pen... see the photos.

I will eventually shoot both, and similar discrepancies over my Beta Chrony to see what, if any, major differences in the FPS are...

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-11-19 20:06:43  

Pretty sure the shape of the pellet skirt is affecting the position in the BIC pen... used a Beeman pellet seating tool (the pointed end near the pocket clip) on the pellet skirt and the pellet will drop further into the tube...

The Pelletgage tool seems to work well for sorting by head size... the BIC pen can tell you which skirts are out of round...

Gotta play some more with this when I select some pellets for shooting and testing again.

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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GLPalinkas
(@glpalinkas)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 91
2019-11-30 06:16:51  

Man I love this stuff..... I'm still learning more everyday approaching 73 yoa quickly.... LOL

GREAT discussion from some very well respected individuals in our little airgun world. 

Gary
Venice, FL


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-11-30 06:52:37  

I think I found the "group" of CPL 7.9gr pellets that caused my initial concern (drop in velocity after installing new seal/kit in my FWB-124).

Any head size of 4.52 or under  had a much lower velocity, and harsher shot cycle than 4.53 and over.

I'm going to sort through a "fresh" box of CPL Die #7 Oct 17, 2006, and see what the various head sizes are... I'll probably do some testing with the FWB-124 reject sizes in some of my other rifles and pistols to see what happens... probably just use them for plinking, as long as they don't damage the gun.

I've got 12 boxes of 1250 pellets of CPL's to use up, or I would just switch to a better pellet.

The JSB Exact Diablo's 8.44 gr seem to shoot very well and a more consistent size from the one tin that I have on hand... purchased several years ago... I'm going to order a few more tins to have handy.

The Pelletgage is a great way to sort out the pellets... better than the old BIC pen, which is still kind of handy, but the skirt sizes can effect the results, and pellet brand as well.

CPL Pellet Head Measure 4.53a

 

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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Hector J Medina G
(@hector-j-medina-g)
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 337
2019-12-02 11:06:03  

@airmojo

Excellent!

You could probably separate the 4.53's for serious shooting, and use the 4.54 and higher for practice or plinking.

Just an idea.

 

 

 

 

HM


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Gratewhitehuntr
(@gratewhitehuntr)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 388
2019-12-02 21:51:43  

I wonder how many members have dug through drawers after about reading this pen tube dealio?

 

A bit back we were talking about measuring.

Today I was using shiny new (uncontaminated) plastic digital calipers to prevent boogering something delicate.

After a moment of clarity, I closed the jaws, held them up to the light, and found a BIG gap at the front and back of the jaws.

 120g paper folded and clamped, then pulled from the jaws, just a few times more with 400g, they were GTG with zero light visible.

This post detailing how I conquered the Chinesium was brought to you by CyberMonday, I didn't buy a dang thing!

 

 

 

There you have it, the world according to John.


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-12-02 21:59:16  

@hector-j-medina-g

Yep, that's my plan for now... wondering what the ratio of good size to not-so-good size will be on the other boxes of CPL's that I have.

I better start taking better care of myself, so I can live long enough to shoot them all ! 😀 

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-12-02 22:03:51  

@gratewhitehuntr

I don't have the patience to measure with calipers... with the Pelletgage, you develop a technique of placing the pellet in the most likely hole and go in the direction of going bigger or smaller by feel... much quicker !

Always good to improve a faulty tool though !

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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Gratewhitehuntr
(@gratewhitehuntr)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 388
2019-12-02 22:15:55  

Oh yeah, the pen looks super slick too.

Unfortunately I am vicious in my culling of defective pens, even in public places. I consider it a public service.

 

Maybe this is a dumb question but, wouldn't it just be easier to buy better pellets?

I was gonna say which pellet I like, but that would only muddy the water. Either way, I don't miss.

With another pellet, maybe some misses, and I wouldn't shoot it (egg shoot!)

Is this the best pellet in whatever gun, and you're making further improvement?

Or, just being cheap? Stockpile/hoard? Too much time?

There you have it, the world according to John.


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nervoustrigger
(@nervoustrigger)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 201
2019-12-02 22:30:14  
Posted by: @gratewhitehuntr

wouldn't it just be easier to buy better pellets?

^ This.  

I've spent a lot of time over the years inspecting and measuring and sorting and testing out of an interest to understand why some pellets do better than others, and to see if there is anything I can do to eek out a little better result from them.  But the biggest takeaway from it has been that there's no way to "inspect in quality".  It's either there or it's not, and no amount of futzing about will make the mediocre brands perform as well as the good ones.  Doesn't mean I'll stop trying, at least not entirely...but I do find it less compelling to do as time goes on. 


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Gratewhitehuntr
(@gratewhitehuntr)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 388
2019-12-02 22:59:00  

When I throw away the empty/non-marking pens, I always thing for a sec "Who is the cheap bastid squandrin' my lifespan with junk?" I promise if you grab it from the trash I'll have a harsh word.

 

Applying this sentiment more broadly can be rewarding, don't waste time trying to make chicken soup with chicken poop.

EDIT, I meant to myself, I've been forcing myself to admit when I'm allowing junk to waste my time. Be gone!

There you have it, the world according to John.


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Hector J Medina G
(@hector-j-medina-g)
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 337
2019-12-03 06:40:35  

MANY years ago settlers that wanted to go west would end up making their own clothes.

What existed in Europe, and in the "New" England simply did not work.

Some started using aboriginal (ab-original means peoples that have originated from an area, it is not a despective) clothing: Buckskin and plant fibers.

In the end a whole industry started from someone observing what the people needed/wanted and providing it for them: Jeans.

Airgunning is changing,  has changed enormously in the last 20 years, and will still change a lot in the coming years.

For the time being, sorting pellets by weighing, head sizing (or swaging), glass rolling,  BIC-penning, air gauging, or any other way, is part of the hobby for some shooters.

Modern metrology and optical measuring machines that can sort heads to the thousandths at about 300 pellets per minute (5 per second) are already in the works.

Some pellet manufacturers have already achieved consistencies that are way beyond anything we have seen before. It started in the Olympic Match Wadcutter style/world, but it is progressing to other head shapes, weights, calibers, and in the future it will go into different body styles. FX's slugs are the beginning of the 10,000 mile trip, the first solid step. Perhaps technically skewed but they are, after all, a profit seeking company.

Will they cost more?  Of Course! Do we need to use them for EVERYTHING? Nope! Should we keep on searching? ABSOLUTELY!

We cannot demand 100 yard sub-MOA performance from a squirrel gun and/or a pellet that is designed and made for minute-of-tin-can at 25 yards.

The current trend of uncertainty that is bringing the economic slowdown and the political upheavals all around the world may throw a wrench in the path to progress, but in the end it will come.

And it is the trip that will be worthwhile. Whatever destination you set for yourself and your rigs/systems will only be a way-point to the next one.

Have FUN and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

 

HM


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-12-03 06:44:17  
Posted by: @gratewhitehuntr

Oh yeah, the pen looks super slick too.

Unfortunately I am vicious in my culling of defective pens, even in public places. I consider it a public service.

 

Maybe this is a dumb question but, wouldn't it just be easier to buy better pellets?

I was gonna say which pellet I like, but that would only muddy the water. Either way, I don't miss.

With another pellet, maybe some misses, and I wouldn't shoot it (egg shoot!)

Is this the best pellet in whatever gun, and you're making further improvement?

Or, just being cheap? Stockpile/hoard? Too much time?

Well when one has been into airguns the past 30 years, you see good, better, and best pellets come and go...

Fortunately, I had a local airgun shop not too far from where I use to work (I'm retired now), so I would try and make a visit and a purchase there whenever possible... and also talk airguns with the owner, if possible and he wasn't too busy... I never walked out of there without a few tins or box of pellets... and he had one of the best selections anywhere, in the common calibers, .177, .20, and .22... so yeah, I accumulated a nice hoard of pellets... I should never run out, but that doesn't stop me from trying other pellets... all part of the fun.

That shop is long gone now, and I have to admit that it was my favorite place to ever go, shop, socialize, and spend my hard earned money... today, I often pause and think of Chuck when shooting, and often say a little prayer, especially when I open up my pellet storage trunk.

Of course back then, there was also a local firearms gunshop, who was also a Beeman airgun dealer... that's where I bought my first few airguns, when I could afford one... and of course the Beeman labeled pellets... and of course, that is long gone too... the owner was an a-hole, but I still went there, because there was nothing else around and before I discovered the airgun shop... bought several firearms and ammo from him too... I did find some amusement talking to the owner, and hearing his other conversations with other customers.

These days you pretty much have to order pellets online unless you want the lower grade pellets at Walmart, which are probably fine for most people who don't know any better, or want any better... and it helps to read/hear about what pellets other airgunners like and recommend... that changes over time too.

Heck, I may not have even noticed the result of a smaller head size pellet, if I hadn't just replaced the seal & kit in my FWB-124, and was checking it with my chronograph, although I could also feel the difference between the firing of a good pellet and a bad pellet.

I accumulate a lot of junk too that I toss in a box with the intent of "re-purposing" it or using it in some tinkering project... I recently had to toss out a bunch of old Rx bottles that had piled up... sign of getting too old, I guess... I really hated getting rid of ones that I had removed the sticky paper labels on... and they do make pretty good plinking targets too !

That old BIC pen is kind of legend in the airgun world... maybe for a short period of time, but I remember it being highly sought after, and it took me awhile to find one... but glad I found the Pelletgage to sort things out... not sure I need one yet in .20 or .22, but who knows ?

 

 

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-12-03 07:03:00  
Posted by: @gratewhitehuntr

When I throw away the empty/non-marking pens, I always thing for a sec "Who is the cheap bastid squandrin' my lifespan with junk?" I promise if you grab it from the trash I'll have a harsh word.

 

Applying this sentiment more broadly can be rewarding, don't waste time trying to make chicken soup with chicken poop.

EDIT, I meant to myself, I've been forcing myself to admit when I'm allowing junk to waste my time. Be gone!

LOL!

I usually save and salvage my own junk... however, there have been times when I go on my daily 3 mile walk on my rural country road and see what some people toss out on trash day... actually we have multiple trash carriers, and they pick-up on different days of the week.

Nice pieces of boards, cutoff pieces, wood dowels, stuff like that... someone threw out a pair of oak wood bunk beds that had sideboards, headboards, slats, a small ladder... I had to run home and get my pickup truck (while carrying a couple of pieces), before the carrier showed up ! HAH!

I don't rummage around in trash cans, but if is laid out next to them or the overflowing out of the can, I always look the mess over !

I also figure I'm doing a community service when I take my daily walk... I always carry a couple of plastic grocery bags to pickup trash along the road... I hate the sight of litter, especially on my own road... and amazed what shows up just overnight or after a few days when the weather is bad or I'm out of town... gotta admit that I probably live on the cleanest road around !

 

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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Gratewhitehuntr
(@gratewhitehuntr)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 388
2019-12-03 07:32:23  

Pilot BPS-GP

vs

Bic Crystal Biro

 

Which do you have?

There you have it, the world according to John.


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airmojo
(@airmojo)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 188
2019-12-03 07:51:35  
Posted by: @gratewhitehuntr

Pilot BPS-GP

vs

Bic Crystal Biro

 

Which do you have?

Just says BIC and Made in USA on it... may have been my favorite spit-ball shooter back in grade school... probably due to the tapered barrel choke !

Ken H in OH -- Life is One Hole After Another...


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