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 Post subject: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:25 am
Posts: 3837
Location: Ontario, Canada
Snow Peak Airgun Model WF-600 Rifle

A few members on the forum have posted about the SPA WF-600 underlever spring rifle. Curiosity finally got the best of me so I ordered a .177cal version to test out. I already knew this rifle would be a project rather than an instant shooter. As forum member Ricksplace said it, the WF-600 is a "preassembled unfinished air rifle kit". Out-of-the-box my rifle was cosmetically fine on the outside but internally rough and in need of attention.

The Project Begins
As soon as the WF-600 arrived I unboxed it, cleaned the barrel and cleaned the barrel again and again. Mild surface rust in the barrel! The first few patches came out orange so the barrel was flooded with a few blasts of Slick 50 One Lube and set aside to soak. After continued treatments with One Lube, WD40 and some specialized gun cleaning products, the orange colour continued to show on patches although to a somewhat lesser degree. I also noticed that when pulling a tight fitting patch, the last 1/8” at the muzzle required a good yank to get the patch to exit. There was some sort of lip formed on the inside of the crown. I’m guessing a dull crown cutter in conjunction with excessive cutting pressure formed the inward rolled edge.

Even with the mild surface rust and a messed up crown I still shot some groups for a baseline. Accuracy was poor, as expected, with ¾”+ groups at 10m. Velocity clocked at a respectable 495-515 fps with 7.9gr pellets (non-PAL rated). I recrowned the rifle using the common procedure with domed brass screws and various polishing/grinding compounds. The crown turned out fine and accuracy improved a bit but not as much as desired.

Next, I disassembled the rifle and slowly pushed pellets through the barrel with a cleaning rod (breach to muzzle). A definite constriction could be felt about ½” from the breach end. Pushed pellets were very tight at first and then loose/moderate for the rest of the barrel length. During assembly the manufacturer must hammer these barrels into the receiver tube for a tight pressure fit. I spent quite a bit of time carefully sanding the bore with 400 and 600 grit sandpaper to remove some material from the breach end. I followed up with a mixture of JB paste and jeweler’s rouge followed by a good bore cleaning. Pushed pellets now felt snug through the entire barrel. The barrel is now shiny like a mirror inside with no orange rust stains shown on cleaning patches. Patches come out with a touch of light grey rather than undesirable orange. I finished up the barrel by sanding the exterior of the breach cone to remove machining ridges that would eventually eat the soft breach seal. The sharp pellet entrance on the bore was beveled a tiny bit and the perimeter of the receiver’s loading port also got some attention to remove the sharp edges.

The compression tube and piston seal look great. The trigger engagement parts look amazing! The piston looks like a rough cast iron pipe but the stretched hourglass shape ensures no surface contact except at the ends. I polished the end areas a bit and also the inside of the piston.

The OEM spring guide is a molded plastic arrangement that looked functional but had much room for improvement. I installed a custom steel guide, top hat and thrust washers made by Ricksplace. The OEM spring was 27 ½ coils of .118” wire. The substitute was a new Crosman 4B spring with 33 coils of .118” wire. As always, the spring ends were polished to remove the grinding marks. Preload went from only ¼” with the OEM spring to a still manageable increase that I didn’t measure.

While I was shooting the WF I had to max out the scope elevation in order to hit center at 10 metres. When I disassembled the rifle I looked down the receiver tube and noticed that the barrel was drooped. After completing the bore sanding treatment, I stacked three short pieces of 2x4 on the basement floor and smacked the barrel firmly about 15 times. I held the receiver tube and hit the wood right behind the front sight. This gave a mild bend that was not even visible with my old eyes. Shooting tests showed that the POI came up and gave back at least a full turn of scope elevation at 10 metres.

Moly paste was used on all friction areas including the trigger parts. Tight fitting areas such as peened pins got a mixture of moly paste and 30W oil that was coaxed into the crevices.

The wood stock on this rifle received the SuperGlue treatment to all the inletting. SuperGlue is a cheap way to strengthen up the wood fibres on these soft stocks. A thin coat of Spar Urethane on top of the glue completed the inletting treatment. The buttpad seemed to be glued on, as well as screwed, so I couldn’t seal underneath. The exterior surface of the stock looked fine so I left it alone for now.

The trigger on these rifles is non-adjustable but doesn’t feel too bad after a moly paste treatment. It’s a bit squishy while taking up the spring tension but the final movement is short and not overly heavy.

After the above procedures and about a hundred shots the velocity was checked again. It was pretty much at 600fps (8gr pellet) with a 5-shot string recorded as: 592, 588, 592, 597, 596 fps. SPA rates the full powered .177cal version at 560fps but they don’t state a pellet weight. The rifle does okay for velocity considering the short 2 1/8” power stroke.

Fit and Finish
The fit & finish on this rifle is far from a Weihrauch or Diana but so is the price. The metal barrel and receiver tube did not show any gouges or heavy machining marks. The metalwork was not heavily polished but looks no worse than some of the current Savage rimfire rifles I have seen. The bluing is fine with no unsightly blemishes or colour irregularities. The metal appearance actually looks much better than I expected.

The plastic parts include the front sight, rear sight, trigger guard and receiver end cap. These parts appear fine and without defects or colour flaws. The black plastic seems to be hard enough and durable.

The wood stock is more than just a functional handle. The contours work well and the 13.5” pull length wasn’t something that I needed to mess with. The comb was the right height for using the iron sights or optics. I mounted a 3-9x32AO UTG scope and the comb height worked great with the medium mounts. The finish on the stock is some sort of medium brown stain with a clear coating. The wood grain can somewhat be seen through the thick finish but so can many little flaws that were repaired prior to the finish aplication. It looks a lot better than some Norinco rimfire rifle stocks that I have seen.

The stock-to-receiver tube fit is quite good on my example but the trigger guard has some gap on the sides. It’s not a huge gap and doesn’t look unsightly. The rubber buttpad fits tight without the common overhang we see on cheap airguns. The rifle appearance definitely exceeds the $100 price tag.

Accuracy
Tune complete. Let’s check accuracy!

Targets are attached for 10m, 20 yards indoors and 30 yards outdoors. I’m a bit confused about the 20 vs 30 yard results. The difference is a bit less than I think it should be for the JSB pellets. I physically measured all distances so I’ll just post the numbers. I’ll test again if I can get a good day for outdoor shooting. The JSB Exact Express pellet was tested twice at 20 yards. All groups were 5 shots.

10 metres
JSB Exact (8.44gr) – .33, .36, .35 ------------ Ave = .35” ctc
JSB Exact Express (7.8gr) – .28, .26, .16 --- Ave = .23” ctc
JSB Exact RS (7.33gr) – .19, .29, .24 ------- Ave .24” ctc
H&N Sport (8.0gr) - .38, .41, .40 ------------ Ave = .40” ctc

20 yards
JSB Exact Express (7.87gr) - .58, .50, .38, .56, .33, .35 --- Ave = .45” ctc
JSB Exact Express (7.87gr) - .56, .38, .52, .47, .36 -------- Ave .46” ctc
JSB Exact RS (7.33gr) - .52, .58, .72, .40, .56, .36 -------- Ave = .52” ctc
H&N Sport (8.0gr) - .46, .66, .65, .68, .48 ----------------- Ave = .59” ctc

30 yards
Air Arms (8.44gr) - .85, .87, .82, .88, .79 -------------- Ave = .84” ctc
JSB Exact Express (7.87gr) - .53, .49, .56, .78, .80 --- Ave = .63” ctc
JSB Exact RS (7.33gr) - .70, .57, .36, .75, .54 --------- Ave = .58” ctc
H&N Sport (8.0gr) – 1.16, 1.14, 1.15, 1.27 ------------ Ave = 1.18” ctc

Notes and Final Thoughts:
• I also tested accuracy with H&N Field Target Trophy, H&N Finale Match Rifle, RWS Meisterkuglen Rifle, RWS Hobby, JSB Match, CPHP, and Crosman SuperMatch. None of these pellets shot as well as those above.
• The rifle seems to be getting more accurate the more I shoot it. I’ll likely retest accuracy after another 500 pellets.
• As a general rule, unchoked barrels can be quite pellet finicky. The WF is another example that follows the rule.
• I’m not sure if I had a fluky day when doing the 30 yard groups. I would guess the groups should have averaged around .70” or .72” at 30 yards. The .36” group at 30 with the RS was a definite fluke.
• The H&N Sport groups seemed about right for 10m and 30 yards but the 20 yards numbers seemed too low. No explanation.
• I’m still trying to figure out the accuracy and how to best shoot this rifle. I have to figure out what causes the occasional flyers or larger groups. Maybe I need to experiment with the benchrest set-up.
• I didn’t use Loctite at all because I thought the mild power wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, I had to tighten up the scope screws and stock screws a couple of times so I’ll be doing the Loctite soon. I’m sure this issue didn’t help accuracy.
• Loading this rifle is not easy like a break-barrel rifle. It requires a different technique and using a scope that stretches over the loading port creates more of a challenge


Attachments:
WF600 with UTG 013b.jpg
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WF600 parts 006b.jpg
WF600 parts 006b.jpg [ 333.41 KiB | Viewed 379 times ]
WF600 parts 019b.jpg
WF600 parts 019b.jpg [ 304.95 KiB | Viewed 379 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:25 am
Posts: 3837
Location: Ontario, Canada
Untouched crown - yuck
Polished crown - improvement
Untouched trigger parts - looked great, no work needed


Attachments:
WF600 011b.jpg
WF600 011b.jpg [ 177.39 KiB | Viewed 378 times ]
WF600 037b.jpg
WF600 037b.jpg [ 176.49 KiB | Viewed 378 times ]
WF600 parts 014b.jpg
WF600 parts 014b.jpg [ 321.15 KiB | Viewed 378 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:02 pm 
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Posts: 3837
Location: Ontario, Canada
Targets ... 10m ... 20 yards ... 30 yards

Note: POI was lower on some of the 30 yard targets because of scope slippage.


Attachments:
WF-600 Targets 004bb.jpg
WF-600 Targets 004bb.jpg [ 245.39 KiB | Viewed 377 times ]
WF-600 at 20 yards 006b.jpg
WF-600 at 20 yards 006b.jpg [ 393.37 KiB | Viewed 377 times ]
WF600 at 30 yards 005b.jpg
WF600 at 30 yards 005b.jpg [ 411.87 KiB | Viewed 377 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:05 pm 
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SPA WF-600 on bench for 30 yard shooting


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WF-600 on bench 003b.jpg
WF-600 on bench 003b.jpg [ 528.73 KiB | Viewed 377 times ]
WF-600 on bench 004b.jpg
WF-600 on bench 004b.jpg [ 388.05 KiB | Viewed 377 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:06 pm 
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Not bad. Quite the value really. Thanks for sharing your testing results.

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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:23 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Calgary
Great write up! Is there somewhere I can buy the spring guide and spacers?

I picked up the spare parts kit for the rifle at the same time and it came with a 33 coil spring. I'm curious what is in my gun now and if the 33 coil in the spares kit will be an upgrade.

_________________
Slavia 630/77
Slavia 624
1322
1377
2240
2240/2260 20"
WF600
Vantage .22
Vantage .22 (.177 if the barrel shows up)
Walther Falcon Hunter .22
Walther Talon Magnum .25


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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:03 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Headdamage wrote:
Great write up! Is there somewhere I can buy the spring guide and spacers?

I picked up the spare parts kit for the rifle at the same time and it came with a 33 coil spring. I'm curious what is in my gun now and if the 33 coil in the spares kit will be an upgrade.


I'm not aware of any dealers selling the metal guide, top hat, thrust washers and spacers. Ricksplace did the machining work for me. You could contact him (forum member) and ask.

The 33 coil spring in the kit will likely be an upgrade. My WF-600 is .177cal the the original spring had less coils than the parts kit spring (same wire thickness). Ricksplace has the .22cal version and posted that he found the original spring had less coils and had thinner wire. If SPA is consistent with their detuning method, you should see a power improvement with the parts kit spring.

topic88333.html?hilit=wf600


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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:49 pm 
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Posts: 201
Location: Lower Mainland, BC
Headdamage wrote:
Great write up!
I picked up the spare parts kit for the rifle at the same time and it came with a 33 coil spring. I'm curious what is in my gun now and if the 33 coil in the spares kit will be an upgrade.
Hey Head d. You're a lucky guy. You can't go wrong following Mr. Rick and Mr Cooper. Huge depth of knowledge there. And have a look at TC Northerner on youtube. He can outshoot most of my fine rifles . . . with a slingshot. Yeah.

I'm sort of new, only had my .22 WF for four months, haven't really shot it in the last three. The stock spring is 31 coils and .118" wire thickness.

I've tried 2 Crosman springs in it. The Crosman B spring is comparable to your kit spring, mine is 32.75 coils and .118" wire thickness.

I think that velocity increases are the last thing to work on with this rifle.

Opening it up for a thorough smooth and lube is first. It made my WF a very consistent shooter around 500 fps.

Then, work on the two front stock screws. The stock wood is a bit soft, add some crazy glue or something to the screw holes so they don't crush. I added small washers. I also filed down the ends of the screws to keep them from interfering with cocking.

Then, work on the cocking arm, it can get really clunky. I smoothed and lubed the bottom of the tube where the cocking arm rides, it was very rough. All clunks and chunks can be eliminated but for the final engagement. Look at how it wants to slide inside the stock. The shooting cycle should be good after this.

Then, work on scoping it well. This rifle wants a short scope. I found that the dovetail grooves were shallow on my rifle. There was no stop pin hole, I drilled one.

Then, if it's still not shooting straight, do any or all of the cool barrel treatments outlined in this review. I haven't done work on any of my barrels yet, but that time is coming.

And the trigger. Mine isn't so good, it seems the other guys' are better. I've only played with the first spring on my Crosman triggers. I've just taken those out this morning and added a rough bearing. I like it.


Attachments:
IMG_0619 copy.JPG
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Cometa Fusion .177 495 fps, Hawke Airmax 3-9x40
Crosman Optimus .177 495 fps, Ohhunt 3-9x32 AO IR
Crosman Phantom .22 495 fps, Hawke Vantage 3-9x40 AO
SPA WF600 .22 495 fps
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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 3:30 pm 
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Posts: 218
Location: Calgary
I find the cocking on my WF600 to be quite nice/smooth though the trigger is most certainly not what I would call smooth. I first put an old Walther (in name only) fixed 4x air rifle scope on it. I found it frustrating getting the pellets in to the breech with this due to the scope over hanging the breech opening.

Right now I've put a spare Vortex red dot on it (after emailing the maker to ask if it was ok to use on a spring air rifle, they said it was). It did seem to be shooting nicely with this for about 20 shots but then I noticed the weaver to dovetail adaptor I was using seemed to be loosing it's grip. I think a nice little prism scope would be perfect for this rifle but I don't really want to spend around $400 for glass to put on a $100 rifle.

I've ordered some molly grease and decided to buy an Air Venturi rail lock spring compressor. Seems a bit silly but I like good tools and I have a few rifles that I would like to tinker with so I decided to spend the $135ish to get one. It will fit nicely into my tool box unlike the home made unit I was considering making. I'm looking forward to learning to tune an air rifle with this WF600 being my first patient.

_________________
Slavia 630/77
Slavia 624
1322
1377
2240
2240/2260 20"
WF600
Vantage .22
Vantage .22 (.177 if the barrel shows up)
Walther Falcon Hunter .22
Walther Talon Magnum .25


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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:05 pm 
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Headdamage wrote:
I find the cocking on my WF600 to be quite nice/smooth though the trigger is most certainly not what I would call smooth. I first put an old Walther (in name only) fixed 4x air rifle scope on it. I found it frustrating getting the pellets in to the breech with this due to the scope over hanging the breech opening.

Right now I've put a spare Vortex red dot on it (after emailing the maker to ask if it was ok to use on a spring air rifle, they said it was). It did seem to be shooting nicely with this for about 20 shots but then I noticed the weaver to dovetail adaptor I was using seemed to be loosing it's grip. I think a nice little prism scope would be perfect for this rifle but I don't really want to spend around $400 for glass to put on a $100 rifle.

I've ordered some molly grease and decided to buy an Air Venturi rail lock spring compressor. Seems a bit silly but I like good tools and I have a few rifles that I would like to tinker with so I decided to spend the $135ish to get one. It will fit nicely into my tool box unlike the home made unit I was considering making. I'm looking forward to learning to tune an air rifle with this WF600 being my first patient.


You might find the trigger acceptable with some molt paste applied. It's far from sweet but not terrible either. The moly makes a huge difference, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:09 am 
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Posts: 685
Location: Thunder Bay
Hi Headdamage.

I'm happy to help out a member just getting started down the rabbit hole of tuning springers. If you enjoy wrenching stuff, there's a lot of enjoyment in the WF600!
I will make a metal spring guide, thrust washer and top hat for you. The cost to you is $0.00. I'll even pay shipping. (If many more members request a set, I may have to cheap out on the shipping...) As I said to @eSteve, rather than pay me back, please pay it forward by doing a random act of kindness for someone you care about.

I received your pm. Send me another with a shipping address and I'll ship them to you when they're finished. I'm kinda jammed up with stuff at the moment, so it may be a week or two. (reminds me of a sign in a machine shop: Fast, Cheap, Quality. Pick any two.)

A spring compressor is a necessary tool if you're going to be wrenching springers. I mount the tube on my lathe and use the tail stock to compress the spring. I had one of my B3s slip and release the spring and guide while in the lathe. The plastic guide accelerated to just under light speed, followed by the spring. Both pieces ricocheted around my shop until gravity reigned them in. I could not find the guide. I figured it broke light speed and entered another dimension. (I actually found it 2 years later). I mention this since this is what compelled me to make a metal spring guide. (I had another B3 to pull the guide out of to copy). I was surprised at how much better the gun shot with the metal guide, so I made one for my other B3 too.

Cheers!

Rick

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13 springers and a few pumpers and pistols.
2 lathes and lots of scrap metal.

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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:49 am 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:08 am
Posts: 685
Location: Thunder Bay
eSteve mentioned Todd's slingshot skill.
Todd and I were shooting at GMK's indoor range. I was shooting my 1911 .45acp powder burner. At 10 yards, I kept 5 shots in the black on a pistol target. Considering my ancient eyeballs, I was pretty chuffed. Then Todd put up the same pistol target at 10 yards and put 5 shots in the black. With a friggin slingshot. Serious WTF moment.

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2 lathes and lots of scrap metal.

Too soon old too late smart.


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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:45 am 
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Posts: 218
Location: Calgary
Wow, thank you Rick! I'll get a PM yo you shortly. I've gotten started on the pass it on to some extent, I've rebuilt a friend's 1322 for him (free of course) and I'm going to do the same for his old childhood Pioneer .177 Chinese brake barrel. Just soaking the piston seal with oil and replacing the breech seal has made a 200 fps improvement to it. Once I have a spring compressor I'll get further into it. I've even picked up a beater Pioneer for the parts. This hobby is progressing from rabbit hole to rabbit warren. If I'm not careful I'll be looking for a lathe and mill, not that I have anywhere to set them up.

My late father used to say the you can have two of the three as well, fast, cheep, or good. He apprenticed as a tool maker in the UK, he also thought me to shoot with a .22 BSA air rifle when I was four. I still have his Walther KKJ that he later graduated me on to. Wish he had kept the BSA to.

_________________
Slavia 630/77
Slavia 624
1322
1377
2240
2240/2260 20"
WF600
Vantage .22
Vantage .22 (.177 if the barrel shows up)
Walther Falcon Hunter .22
Walther Talon Magnum .25


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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:25 am
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Location: Ontario, Canada
The WF-600 usually shoots fine but I was sometimes getting unexplainable flyers. Sometimes I would get a series of frustrating groups with these flyers. The stray shots didn't make sense because the rifle was usually a great shooter. This morning I installed a piston liner, made from a large yogurt container. The annoying spring twang is completely gone, noise is way less and accuracy has improved. The shot cycle just goes thunk. Velocity dropped from 600fps to 565fps with 8 grain pellets but it was worth it. I might get some speed back when the snug liner wears in.

Unfortunately, I ran out of the 7.33gr and 7.87gr JSB Exact which were the favourite pellets for this rifle. I do have some 8.44gr Exact but in previous tests they were not as accurate as the 7.87 grain.

Previous tests with the 8.44gr Exact gave .35" ctc average at 10 metres. With the piston liner installed this pellet was tested at .26" ctc at 10 metres. No flyers. The groups below were shot consecutively.

JSB Exact 8.44gr - .31, .24, .29, .27, .21 --- Ave = .26" ctc


Attachments:
WF-600 with liner 010b.jpg
WF-600 with liner 010b.jpg [ 336.44 KiB | Viewed 217 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: SPA WF-600 Review
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:51 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I had the .177cal WF-600 out again for some 30 yard exercise today. I ran out of the favoured 7.87gr JSB Exact Express. Instead I used some 8.44gr JSB Exact and they still shot okay. Accuracy was the same as the Air Arms version of the same pellet (see review above).

The day was a bit windy so I had to shoot during the calmer times to get accuracy from this somewhat slow rifle (565fps with 8.44gr). I think the average would be .75" or maybe smaller if I was using the Exact Express on a dead calm day.

Groups from 30 yards
.91, .90, .75, .56, 1.01, .75, .57, .88, .95, .89 --- Ave = .82" ctc

Sitting while shooting the benchrest groups stiffens up the old body so I also did some offhand can shooting at 50 yards. I secured a large tomato can so only the 4.0" diameter base was showing. My offhand average on the can base was 70%. I counted hits twice and got 7/10 each time. The wind made it very challenging but the rifle did okay during the calm times. If the weather cooperates, I would like to benchrest this rifle at 50 yards.


Attachments:
WF-600 at 30 yards 001b.jpg
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WF-600 at 30 yards 004b.jpg
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WF-600 at 30 yards 008b.jpg
WF-600 at 30 yards 008b.jpg [ 338.61 KiB | Viewed 173 times ]
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