This was fun. The other day, I was going through a box of my stuff in the garage, and came across an old box of .177 cal, Mount Star, Jet Pellets. I thought I had given most all of my .177 cal pellets away several years ago.
Somehow, this box got separated from the others, and wound up in a box of other goodies all by itself. Finding this box of vintage pellets, really brought back some fond memories of California Ground Squirrel hunts with my FWB 300S Tyrolean, and these Jet Pellets.
A couple of interesting, to me, things about theses pellets. First off, the artists rendition of the pellet, on the cover of the box, shows it to have a rather pronounced dome head. In reality, it is much closer to being a wadcutter than it is to being a dome head. The head is almost flat. It does have a very slight radius to it, but in no way is it even close to being a dome head pellet. No matter, they shoot great out of my FWB 300S Tyrolean, and are excellent killers.
The other thing that I find interesting, is the fact that after sitting around for decades, they have absolutely no sign of oxidation. Whatever they are coated with, is very good at keeping the oxidation at bay. I have a couple of tins of RWS, and H&N pellets from the same period, that are white with oxidation.
Just for the heck of it, I decided to weigh some of these pellets and see what I would find. The most accurate hunting pellet in this rifle, is the JSB 8.4 grain Exact. I weighed a dozen of these Jet pellets, and they all came in at 8.2 grains, plus or minus a couple hundredths of a grain. I am amazed at how consistent they are. That may be part of the reason that they are so accurate.
After finding these pellets, and thinking about it, I realized that I haven't hunted with this combo in about 25 years. I decided that it would be a fun project to take a step back in time and do a ground squirrel hunt with the 300S Tyro, and these Jet Pellets.
The first thing I decided to do, was to sight the gun in with the Jet pellets at 15 yards indoors. I also gave the barrel a thorough cleaning before starting. It took a few shots, and scope adjustments, to get the POI where I wanted it, and then I shot five for group.
Below is the result. No surprise here. This is exactly how this rifle shot these pellets back in the day.
Next up, was to get the 300S Tyro out into the forest and get her zeroed at 35 yards. The weather forecast for the next day called for thunderstorms in the afternoon. I decided to get out early, and get done what I needed to.
Rifle on stand, with target frame and wind flags in place, ready for sight-in with Jet pellets.
As usual, I put up my shooting stand, and set out my wind flags and target frame at the decided on distance. I would be shooting her off of a Caldwell Shooters Bag up front, and my Protektor heavy bottom rabbit ear rear bag. When I started shooting, POI was a bit low, but windage was dead nuts on. There was negligible wind, and that always helps. I just waited for the streamers, on the flags, to hang limp before taking a shot.
It took a few scope adjustments to get the POI where I wanted it, and then I put five into a group at 35 yards. Below is the result. The orange dot is half inch in diameter, and my aim point was the black dot in the center. I put in a small amount of elevation correction and called the sight-in done.
It was really fun to see the old gal still shooting these vintage pellets so well. After the sight-in, I put everything away, with the intention of going back into town before the gully washers hit. But, in looking up at the sky, there were still a few spots where blue was showing through the rapidly gathering rain clouds. Granted, I could hear thunder in the distance, but it wasn't right on top of me yet.
I decided to roll the dice, and do a quick hunt, staying within a couple hundred yards of my vehicle. I didn't want to repeat the drenching I got the previous week, when I was about 800 yards from my vehicle when the sky opened up.
I was about 80 yards into the forest, when I spot a ground squirrel sitting on the end of an old blowdown Ponderosa. I was trying something new with this gun. For the first time, I had my video camera mounted on the scope. Every other springer I've tried this with, caused the camera to malfunction from the jolt of the gun firing. Since this is a much less powerful rifle than the other guns tried, (HW-97's) I thought I would give it a try.
I lasered the squirrel at 34 yards. Since my zero is 35 yards, I just held on the shoulder, and launched the pellet. Much to my delight, the camera caught the shot. There is almost no noise when the gun fires. The squirrel just drops, and rolls off of the blowdown.
This would have to do for this day. I stopped long enough for a picture, a bit more video, and then headed back to my vehicle. The thunder was definitely getting closer, the wind was picking up, and I knew it was time to leave.
The rainy season should wind down here over the next few weeks, and I'll be able to spend all day in the forest hunting with this rifle and pellet combo. I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be a ton of fun hunting with a rig that takes me back 35 plus years.
Ground squirrel, dropped at 34 yards with vintage rifle shooting vintage pellets.
Below, is a video clip of the shot. The whole thing runs about a minute.
These rifles are just amazing. I'm glad I've hung onto this one all of these years. They are true marvels of German airgun engineering and manufacturing.