Sunday, 23 June 2013

Airgun Action: Pellet Traps

Last week I went down to my local gun club at Solihull to shoot a few targets with my recently acquired HW100T. As I stood at station four, loading my magazines and waiting to shoot, I noticed that all the pellet traps, a bit old and battered after years of use, had been replaced by brand spanking new ones

The new ones in question are bright yellow, made by Bisley, and manufactured with a perfectly flat, double thickness back plate. Here is a picture of one

Made to accommodate the larger size NSRA and Air Gun card targets they look fantastic and are very easily fixed to an upright post or target gantry by means of the hole at the top. Not so good, however, was what happened to the targets I shot at

I was shooting with .177 Daystate heavy weight pellets [made by the same company that make Exacts] at around 25 yards and you can see what happened. As soon as they struck the plate they fragmented and were spat right back at the target, peppering the back of it like buckshot and in some cases ripping ruddy great holes in it

Only the day before I had taken a trip out to The Countrystore [where I bought the gun from] to purchase a couple of pellet traps for the garden. They had these bright yellow monsters hanging up on one of the racks, priced up at £18.99, and I very nearly bought one.  Suffice to say, I'm glad I didn't

I walked out of the shop with two 14cm square Stoeger pellet traps, made with a more commonly found slanted back plate, and painted a much more sensible blue colour. Brand new they look a bit like this.....

.....and once they've been shot at a couple of times they look like this

Along with the pellet traps I also bought a pack of Bisley paper targets to slot inside them. I didn't get a chance to try them out before going to the club on the Sunday but as soon as I got back I went straight out into the garden to see if the same thing was going to happen. Well, here's a picture or two of the targets I shot, with exactly the same pellets, at a distance of just over 25 yards

The pellet traps, just like the ones at the club, were brand new, 'never before been shot at', target holders but as you can see from the pictures above the targets came out much, much cleaner and the pellet traps cost £12.95 rather than over £6 more

Earlier today I went to the club again, and shot at exactly the same bright yellow pellet traps. Here are four of the targets I shot

As you can see, there's still a fair amount of 'rebound damage' being done to the targets but they look better than the ones from last week, so maybe the traps just needed 'wearing in'? Maybe it's got more to do with the thickness of the steel, or the fact that the back plate is flat as opposed to slanted? Who knows?

Another thing I was keen to find out this week was just how many pellets I could get out of the gun before my cylinder needed a refill. The answer? Eight complete magazines, or 112 heavy weight pellets, and the last one flew just as true as the first, which I was absolutely delighted with. Fun and games!

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