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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:21 pm
Posts: 431
Location: Ontario
I will start with some background informations.

In the summer of 2015, I purchased a Crosman Trapmaster model 1100. This is an air shotgun that uses disposable plastic shells loaded with tiny lead balls. At least that was the idea when it was initially released but since it has been manufactured for only a few years, from 1968 to 1971, those shells are getting difficult to obtain. Some people are recycling them and are able to refill the shells. The problem is that after a few cycles the plastic can split.

I posted an article on metal shells in March 2016.
post482915.html#p482915

Because I shoot mostly inside, I didn't want to use the original ammunition (and have a mess of little lead balls all over the place in my house) so I experimented with other types of projectiles.
post468999.html#p468999

Lets say that I tried everything: wood dowel, wax, foam earplugs, plasticine ( modelling clay), I even bought a .380 round ball mold and casted some plastic balls with a glue gun but in all cases the results were not completely satisfying. The best projectiles from the lot were the wood dowels and the plastic balls but in both cases, after several shots, the groupings were looking more like shotgun patterns than anything else.

As for the modelling clay, it was so soft that it got elongated on its way to the target. It can be seen in the following picture.

Image

Anyway at some point I saw that Mr Marvin had the Hornady .375 lead round balls on his site and I decided to buy a box to try them. This made a world of difference. It is probably due to the weight but this time I had a projectile that was accurate for my indoor ranges (25 feet in the garage or 31 feet in the basement).

I already had the mold so It was time to bite the bullet (pun intended) and I purchased a lead casting pot. This picture shows the .380 round balls that I made. They are in the container on the left.

Image

The barrel of the Trapmaster is .385 so my round balls at .380 are a slightly better fit that the .375 Hornady and in my garage (at 25 feet) I get good accuracy. Based on a splatology chart, they probably travel at about 400 fps or a bit less at the point of impact with a heavy metal plate.

In December 2016, I discovered that Mr Marvin had a Crosman 1100 for sale. It seemed to be in very nice shape (better than the one I already owned) and since I had made spare metal shells and I was all geared for casting I decided to go ahead and get it as a Christmas present.

This picture shows both. The Christmas present is the one at the bottom with the stock that hasn't a shiny finish. After examination, it seems that it is practically new because I could't see any wear mark on the barrel where it slides in and out. Also the ejector plate inside the breech is pristine.

Image

After this introduction, I am now getting to the core of the subject indicated by my title. After Christmas, there was a day when the temperature was a bit milder and I was able to shoot in my garage.

It took me a first CO2 cartridge to get the feel of this airgun compared to the other one and by the end of it I was having similar results. Unfortunately the conditions were not exactly the same because, with all the tires stored in the garage for the winter, the available range distance was about 22 feet instead of the 25 that I normally have.

Nevertheless, at that point, I was confident that both airguns have the same level of accuracy and this is what mattered. Now that I was on a roll, I started a new CO2 cartridge for another session. I was still shooting my big heavy plate and all my shots were consistent and close to the same impact point, so I decided to switch to some smaller targets that I had just made before Christmas and had never used yet.

Because it is a small round plate attached to a metal angle, it is a lot lighter and it is flying around when hit. Looking at the traces on the surface I was able to see where the round plate was impacted and it was close to the center.

At some point toward the end of the session, due to a combination of factors (maybe slower velocity and rougher surface) my ball stuck to the plate and it was really close to a bull's eye. When this happens, subsequent shots will probably dislodge the stuck projectile.

But to my surprise, the next shoot covered exactly the the squished ball stuck on the plate. When an arrow splits another one already on the target it is called a "Robin Hood" so I think I had achieved a lead "Robin Hood". I didn't want to spoil it so I switched to the other target I had and, guess what, I got another "nearly" bull's eye.

This picture shows both targets side by side with the result of the 3 consecutive shots.

Image

The target on the left is the double impact "Robin Hood" and the one on the right is the 3rd shot of the series. On the single, the deformation of the ball is the equivalent of a bit less than a 300 fps impact. This target being lighter, part of the energy is lost when it is moved around.

Image

For 2017, I wish a lot of shooting to everybody on the Forum.

R -Gun Pete


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:35 pm
Posts: 5908
Location: P.G. B.C.
R-Gun Pete wrote:
I will start with some background informations.

In the summer of 2015, I purchased a Crosman Trapmaster model 1100. This is an air shotgun that uses disposable plastic shells loaded with tiny lead balls. At least that was the idea when it was initially released but since it has been manufactured for only a few years, from 1968 to 1971, those shells are getting difficult to obtain. Some people are recycling them and are able to refill the shells. The problem is that after a few cycles the plastic can split.

I posted an article on metal shells in March 2016.
post482915.html#p482915

Because I shoot mostly inside, I didn't want to use the original ammunition (and have a mess of little lead balls all over the place in my house) so I experimented with other types of projectiles.
post468999.html#p468999

Lets say that I tried everything: wood dowel, wax, foam earplugs, plasticine ( modelling clay), I even bought a .380 round ball mold and casted some plastic balls with a glue gun but in all cases the results were not completely satisfying. The best projectiles from the lot were the wood dowels and the plastic balls but in both cases, after several shots, the groupings were looking more like shotgun patterns than anything else.


Good shooting - must be murder on the sheet-rock if you miss - some day?
As for the modelling clay, it was so soft that it got elongated on its way to the target. It can be seen in the following picture.

Image

Anyway at some point I saw that Mr Marvin had the Hornady .375 lead round balls on his site and I decided to buy a box to try them. This made a world of difference. It is probably due to the weight but this time I had a projectile that was accurate for my indoor ranges (25 feet in the garage or 31 feet in the basement).

I already had the mold so It was time to bite the bullet (pun intended) and I purchased a lead casting pot. This picture shows the .380 round balls that I made. They are in the container on the left.

Image

The barrel of the Trapmaster is .385 so my round balls at .380 are a slightly better fit that the .375 Hornady and in my garage (at 25 feet) I get good accuracy. Based on a splatology chart, they probably travel at about 400 fps or a bit less at the point of impact with a heavy metal plate.

In December 2016, I discovered that Mr Marvin had a Crosman 1100 for sale. It seemed to be in very nice shape (better than the one I already owned) and since I had made spare metal shells and I was all geared for casting I decided to go ahead and get it as a Christmas present.

This picture shows both. The Christmas present is the one at the bottom with the stock that hasn't a shiny finish. After examination, it seems that it is practically new because I could't see any wear mark on the barrel where it slides in and out. Also the ejector plate inside the breech is pristine.

Image

After this introduction, I am now getting to the core of the subject indicated by my title. After Christmas, there was a day when the temperature was a bit milder and I was able to shoot in my garage.

It took me a first CO2 cartridge to get the feel of this airgun compared to the other one and by the end of it I was having similar results. Unfortunately the conditions were not exactly the same because, with all the tires stored in the garage for the winter, the available range distance was about 22 feet instead of the 25 that I normally have.

Nevertheless, at that point, I was confident that both airguns have the same level of accuracy and this is what mattered. Now that I was on a roll, I started a new CO2 cartridge for another session. I was still shooting my big heavy plate and all my shots were consistent and close to the same impact point, so I decided to switch to some smaller targets that I had just made before Christmas and had never used yet.

Because it is a small round plate attached to a metal angle, it is a lot lighter and it is flying around when hit. Looking at the traces on the surface I was able to see where the round plate was impacted and it was close to the center.

At some point toward the end of the session, due to a combination of factors (maybe slower velocity and rougher surface) my ball stuck to the plate and it was really close to a bull's eye. When this happens, subsequent shots will probably dislodge the stuck projectile.

But to my surprise, the next shoot covered exactly the the squished ball stuck on the plate. When an arrow splits another one already on the target it is called a "Robin Hood" so I think I had achieved a lead "Robin Hood". I didn't want to spoil it so I switched to the other target I had and, guess what, I got another "nearly" bull's eye.

This picture shows both targets side by side with the result of the 3 consecutive shots.

Image

The target on the left is the double impact "Robin Hood" and the one on the right is the 3rd shot of the series. On the single, the deformation of the ball is the equivalent of a bit less than a 300 fps impact. This target being lighter, part of the energy is lost when it is moved around.

Image

For 2017, I wish a lot of shooting to everybody on the Forum.

R -Gun Pete

_________________
Best Wishes
Daryl


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:38 am
Posts: 3
That is really cool. I've never made my own ammo, but they look great and I'm impressed!


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