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Ruger Impact Max 22 break in

Discussion in 'Air Guns' started by Slinky556, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    Whats going on everybody. I have a quick question about the Ruger Impact Max. I bought one a few days ago and I since I have put about 200 pelets down the barrel. How long is this thing going to take to break in. Its still grouping pretty erratic. Im shooting Gamo red fires from a Caldwell Lead Sled and at 25 yards its pretty bad, like 2-3 inch groupings. I thought my Barska 3-9x32 might be junk but its the same with the iron sights and the 4x scope it came with. All the hardware is tight, nothing is loose
     
  2. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    1. Benchrest shooting with spring-piston/gas-piston guns can be tricky. It's possible, but not as simple as with firearms.
    2. It may not like the ammo you're using. Ammo preferences can be pronounced in this kind of airgun.
     
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  3. Bill_in_TR

    Bill_in_TR Member

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    First of all 200 pellets isn't a lot of break in shooting. Hopefully you wiped down the bore before starting to shoot. Second that Caldwell Lead Sled might not be the best rest for shooting that type of airgun. The gun needs to be able to move pretty freely during the shot cycle.

    And I am sure there are people who have had success with them but I've read a lot of unhappy writeups on those pellets. You may have to try several different pellets to find what your gun likes.
     
  4. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I had issues with a Stoeger X20 from bench rest. I was shooting from a Caldwell Stinger. Break barrel rifles will not group from a bench rest of this type. First, make sure your scope is not moving with witness marks. Make sure the screws up front for the action are tight. Also the rear screw at the trigger to stock. You might consider lightly chamfering the breech or polishing it with rouge to remove the sharp edge. I finally after eight years or more have it grouping! Yesterday (partly luck and partly skill) I shot a starling out of midair at approximately 20 yards with it!

    Get some more conventional lead pellets. Also make sure there is no burr on the breech entry (thus polishing it) and also inspect the muzzle crown.

    Rule #1, it is probably you and not the rifle.

    Place a soft, folded microfiber or similar cloth under the fore rest. Do not hold the rifle tightly with your trigger hand, do not butt it up hard to the shoulder. You are replicating the "artillery" hold but on your bench. If using a shot or sand bag I would still place a cloth under the fore end. You want the rifle to be able to move naturally. Unlike a powder burner, the dwell time of the pellet in the long barrel is significant. Well, some low velocity 22 ammo like CCI Quiet spend a lot of time in the barrel also but a .22 rifle recoils lightly rearward only. Your big break barrel air rifle first recoils rearward and then (violently) reverses direction and recoils forward. And there is why I hate break barrel air rifles though I seem to keep buying them apparently as a challenge.

    I still do not know what level of accuracy should be expected from a break barrel of hunting level power myself? At 25 yards, where I usually sight in (or 20 yards) air rifles my (2) Savage .22s will shoot through the same hole from bench. So will my Marlin .17 HMR and my new Savage A17 bull barrel. In fact, they will at 100 yards near abouts. I think a quarter size or one inch group with the odd flyer out of five is good shooting with a break barrel. With a magnum air rifle maybe expect no better than a half dollar or larger. The rifles just move too much while the pellet is still transiting the barrel-------

    Rule #2, oh, like fishing for bass, you must hold your mouth just right, very important.

    I think there is a lot of witchery and BS in the air rifle world to which I am now on an adventure myself to explore. The truth is out there. And I think this is about as good as the rifles can do, five shots, bench, 25 yards, I made a donut from a clay pigeon:

    IMG-0709.jpg
    IMG-0712.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  5. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm at about the same point with mine, so I'm just responding to make this thread easier for me to find again. Glad you asked the question, OP.
     
  6. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    I'll try shooting off my sandbag to see if that makes a difference. All the hardware is tight. Several reviews Ive since come across mention that this air rifle does well with crossman premier pellets so I'll get some and try them.
     
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  7. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    So Ive since gone outside and shot up the last 3 and a half tins of gamo red fires, 125 per tin, 5 tins total. I just cocked and fired into the ground until I was out, then I got 2 tins of ruger of Ruger superpoints. Ive since tired off a sandbag instead of my lead sled. Now Ive swabbed the barrel with some solvent about every half tin of pellets. It still groups horrible and I have random flyers pretty frequently.

    For what its worth, next to my hunting property in TN is a farm and every spring me and the owners grandson get out with our rifles and shoot before the plant and every fall after the cut. I have an RPR in 338LM and a Barrett. Corner to corner is 1.17km. I have the figure in my ballistic calculator for 1172m. With 250gr Lapua brand 338 in my RPR and 750gr Amax in my Barrett I can ring an 18x18 plate consistently.

    For giggles, I like to shoot my 6in GP100 357 at the local ranges on the 100 yard range.

    I can accept that I might be doing something wrong here, Im all for being corrected, but Im starting to think this air rifle is garbage.

    The target in the pic is 33ft from my table, this is its grouping. The first shot is touching the red bullseye
     

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  8. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    Update:
    I pulled the EOtech 512 and VMX3T from my 16 in AR, my TA31RCO (M4, not M150) from my 14.5 AR, my trijicon MRO from my 10.5in AR, the Schmidt & Bender from my RPR 338LM and the Night Force from my Barrett. It still groups in a pie pan (a BIG one, mostly) and now I have 5 rifles to rezero. Good thing 338lm and 50bmg arent expensive
     
  9. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    What scope is on this rifle?

    JFYI, for a break barrel rifle you MUST use an air rifle rated scope. Not even a Nikon African can take the abuse of a break barrel air rifle. I know this as fact. But that same Nikon African stood up to full on bear loads in 45-70 Marlin which kicks back like a mule. Nikon fixed the scope even though I admitted to them I had abused it. An air rifle can destroy good scopes in just a few shots.

    It is possible the scope that came on the rifle is defective (or junk) and is drifting with each shot. I have seen this with air rifles. The double recoil is painful to scopes of any sort.
     
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    :(
    Forget about break-in. I'm not saying that break-in has no effect on spring/gas piston air rifles, but it doesn't take a gun that groups terribly and turn it into a really accurate shooter over the course of a few pellet tins. It will smooth out the firing cycle somewhat and that can help with accuracy.

    What can improve terrible accuracy is ammo the gun likes, and good spring gun technique.

    If I were in your situation, I would get some good quality lead pellets, at least a couple of different kinds and with a dome/round-head profile and an hourglass/diabolo body shape. Not sharp tips, no plastic or non-lead penetrator components, not lead-free, not copper-plated, no flat sides, not any of the "cool" pellet designs they sell these days. Something with a weight of about 14-15gr, not lighter, but maybe a little bit heavier if you want. I wouldn't go over 20gr. Something by JSB, H&N, or maybe RWS. Crosman if you don't want to order something online.

    Then I would check all the stock screws on the gun and all the scope screws to make sure they're tight. I would look at the scope mounting hardware and scope to make sure none of it is showing marks that indicate anything is slipping or moving. Generally speaking, if I have a gun with iron sights, I try to shoot it some with iron sights before mounting an optic just so I have one variable eliminated before I add in the variables of the optic and optic mounting hardware.

    Forget about cleaning the barrel. First of all, firearm solvents should never be used on airguns. Second, it's just not required. Powder/carbon fouling is non-existent, and leading is rarely an issue.

    The gun is going to move in recoil--it's inevitable. What's different in a spring-piston gun is that the movement starts BEFORE the pellet starts moving. The piston that compresses the air for the shot is what generates the recoil. Pulling the trigger releases a piston that drives forward under spring pressure to compress the air in the compression chamber. Recoil begins the instant that the piston starts moving. When the compression gets high enough, the pellet finally starts moving. The piston keeps going forward until it either slams against the front of the chamber (not ideal) or is stopped by the now highly compressed air at the front of the chamber. Either way, that causes a significant forward recoil impulse--but that part of recoil likely happens after the pellet leaves the barrel. The important part of recoil is what is generated by the initial movement of the piston as it goes forward to compress the air.

    Since the gun is moving (a lot) before the pellet even starts moving, how the gun is restrained will have a large effect on where the muzzle is when the pellet exits. And that, in turn, will have a large effect on where the pellet hits on the target.

    You can't keep the gun from moving in recoil, so the alternative is to set it up so that the movement is extremely consistent. So nothing can touch the gun that would allow it to bounce or vibrate during recoil. Nothing hard. If shooting from a bag, you want the bag to be kind of slick so that when the fore-end slides on the bag, it can do so smoothly without catching or jerking. You want to be positioned the same for every shot and the way you grip the stock to pull the trigger needs to be consistent. The pressure of the gun against your shoulder needs to be consistent as well as the exact positioning of the stock on your shoulder and the tension in your shoulder muscles and your shoulder position relative to your body. A little bit of pressure on one side of the stock while you pull the trigger can throw the shot to one side or the other. A little bit of different shoulder tension can cause a significant vertical deflection of the shot.

    Where your cheek touches the gun matters--how hard it's pressed against the stock matters. Where the stock rests on the bag matters. Some people put tape on their stocks to insure consistent positioning of their hands/cheek/bags when shooting.

    For whatever it's worth, I don't benchrest my springers. It's a hassle, for one thing, and for another, they shoot to significantly different point of aim from the bench than when shot offhand. But I guess you need to prove to yourself that the gun can group well, and maybe shooting from the bench is a way to get that figured out.

    The nice thing is that once you get your technique and consistency good enough to achieve acceptable results from a springer, shooting firearms seems much easier. You can be a lot sloppier with a firearm than with a springer and still get good results.
     
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  11. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass Member

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    Bench rest shooting with Springer's is very popular in competition. A lot depends on the gun and many can be every be as accurate as a 22.cal or better. (given reasonable distance). My first advice would be to get rid of those ridiculous Gamo Pellets and get some decent quality as mentioned above. I have enjoyed Springers equally with 22 rimfire. . Beautiful engineering in a high quality rifle. Each one will be different in how you hold it. A Treasured Beeman C1 I have for instance requires a "Artillery Hold" yet is insanely accurate. The rifle moves quite a bit, and he Pellet's Bull's eye hit is alway's amazing. I have a Walther LGV that is so quiet right out of the box, basically a dull thunk and the accuracy is always on the money. Uses a rotary Pistol and so smooth. However that particular rifle as smooth as it is, requires a a firm grip on the fore end of the stock.
    There is a lot of good advice on this forum as stated above. However, I would also join a Dedicated Air gun forum as well. Many bench Rest shooters, hunters, Field competition, target shooters etc.
    I personally am not into the bench rest shooting. Prefer just a sand bag etc.
    Welcome to the world of Air Guns. Beware, they are very addicting.

    PS Get to know your gun and what pellets it prefers. Go to Straight Shooters and look at their data. and order a "Pellet Sampler"

    http://www.straightshooters.com/straight-shooters-full-pellet-sampler-.22.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  12. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    I had my Nightforce NX8 on it but since went back to an extra EOtech 512 I had with a Vortex magnifier behind it as my Nightforce is my Barrett optic
     
  13. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    Ive been shooting the rifle similar to how I fire my RPR or Barrett with their bipods except instead of a bipod Im shooting off a sandbag on my table. Left hand under the stock leaning on my left arm. Similar to a prone firing position
     
  14. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I had no idea.
     
  15. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass Member

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    Airguns (springers) use Air gun Rated scopes.The are rated light, medium and Heavy Recoil. It is the double Recoil that kills scope. (front and rear). Straight shooters has a number of good scope. UTG True Strength makes a lot of scopes for springers which I have used on shotguns and hold up great. I even have a number of Magnum Springers with whopping recoil. But no problem with a Springer Heavy rated scope.

    In fact I have a UTG mounted on a 12ga Single shot shotgun and the only one I would place on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  16. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    Im aware of the damaging recoil air rifles subject optics to. I wouldnt put my Nikon prostaff from my ruger 243 or my Trijicon accupoint from my 308 on one but as far as my EOtech or ACOG, Im not concerned with them. Same as my nightforce. Its had close to 500 rounds of 750gr amax's under it.

    Another guy I shoot with has the same nightforce on top of a Steyr 50 and theres no telling how many rounds hes put through it. He bought both the Steyr and NX8 when the NX8 was released and has probably shot it every weekend since. I wish I could afford to shoot that much 50
     
  17. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    Yeah, it seems odd I agree. But nonetheless it is true of any break barrel air rifle. Pumper rifles and PCP rifles do not destroy scopes but break barrel springers and gas piston airguns do. The reason as mentioned is the violent recoil reversal that occurs when firing one. First the rifle recoils rearward and when the piston slams to a stop in the forward end of the compression chamber the rifle jolts forward and that is when even expensive high quality optics that are not intended for air rifles go kaput! Most quality rifle optics are not built to withstand forward recoil.

    1. Artillery hold, break barrel air rifles are sensitive to hold, some more than others. Until you give them what they want they will not give you what you want*.

    *I learned the hard way with my Stoeger X20. Frankly, it will not shoot off a rest of any sort with consistent accuracy. I have to hold it and I have shot my best groups offhand with it.

    2. Make sure action screws are tight and have thread lock on them.
    3. Proper optic air rifle rated of good quality and scope mounts that engage the stop slot or hole in the receiver and use a witness mark(s).
    4. Make sure the pellet is fully inserted, chamfer the breech if needed.
    5. Look for defect in barrel crown, loose lock up, trigger work and rework.

    It is possible the rifle is bad. You might push a pellet through the barrel and see if it has tight spots. I was advised to do this and I found no defect in my rifles. But some do find tight spots.
     
  18. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I had a Ruger Yukon don't know who made it, I ran over 700 pellets through it and it didn't shoot well. I sold it and bought a Hatsan 87 QE and I am happy with it.
     
  19. stephen cockerham

    stephen cockerham Member

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    my crossman legacy at 1000fps is very eratic also, it will shoot right on once then way off I just think the pellets are not the most aerodynamic ammunition there is I have found that the heavier the pellet the tighter the group try as heavy a pellet as you can find with a rounded to pointed tip
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  20. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    For the record hold is a huge deal especially with higher velocity springers.

    I was shooting my ProSport tonight, which is arguably one of the best springers out there and I was shooting for crap. I finally loosened up and re-found my grip and started to tighten back up. I think I am just tired tonight. I shot a FANTASTIC group with it the other day.

    Point is it’s easy to blame the rifle when it is probably you, especially with higher power spring guns. Ammo choice can matter a ton as well.

    Good luck,
    Chris
     
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  21. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    So my Barracuda match pellets came in yesterday, totally different gun. Its REALLY windy today but its still holding half an inch at 25 yards.

    First thing I noticed was how much tighter every one fit the barrel. The Gamo red fires were anyones guess and the Ruger superpoints would sometimes fall back out when closing the barrel. I actually had to pay attention when loading because these wont just drop in.

    I had to rezero obviously because of two reasons. One, I just wanted to see how they shot. Astronomical difference. After I got it sighted and shooting consistently I swapped it out for a cheaper Nightforce NXS 2.5-10x24 I found on a clearance sale. I couldnt resist it for $1300.

    All in all, I think theres a chance that I might could like this air rifle. I was pretty close to feeding it to a wood chipper to be totally honest. I had tried every hold, half a dozen optics and 95 different shooting positions. I thought about standing on my head in my underwear with a cigarette in my nose... Im glad it didnt come to that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
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  22. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    It’s amazing how much difference a pellet can make. I don’t even mean a crappy vs good pellet. You can have two perfectly well made, high quality pellets and have one shoot like crap in a given gun.

    Glad you are narrowing in on your issue. Now you can. Have fun and know that it’s your skills and not the equipment, which makes it challenging but fun.

    For what it’s worth I find H&N pellets do well in MOST of my airguns. Not all but the vast majority.

    Enjoy.
     
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  23. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    You mention something I have wondered about. Pellet fit. Pellets are larger on the skirt than the head and I figure that when zapped by the air jet the skirt is formed to the rifling. But the head being smaller diameter and usually solid does not. You say some of your pellets would fall out and were a loose fit. This makes me think that the pellet wobbles erratically down the barrel or cocks to one side never leaving the barrel in exactly the same orientation and certainly not axially centered as would be the case with a well sized bullet/boolit. I have examined pellets fired into water and I have seen deeper rifling impressions on one side of the head than the other. If the pellet where bullet shaped or the head had a tighter fit they would be difficult to load and there would be more friction and consequentially lower velocity.
     
  24. Slinky556

    Slinky556 Member

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    Reply, think 410 slug down a 45 colt barrel, like a Judge or a Governor. It meant for a 45LC, but a 410 shell fits the cylinder. When fired, the slug doest engage the rifling but rather rides around on top of it till it exits the barrel.

    I went back and forth between the H&N's, Ruger superpoints, Gamo red fires and cheap Daisy leads. None were snug at the head and skirt in the barrel except the H&N's and some of the Daisy's. The occasional Ruger would be tighter than the rest and none of the Gamo's were. All the Gamo pellets were tight at the skirt, none fell out but some of the Rugers were like throwing a hotdog down a hallway.

    I actually have some H&N Barracudas coming for an old 177 pellet rifle I have. I dont know what it is but by Google Images its a "Tactical Crusader". My gramps bought it for me when I was 12. I always shot Beeman hollow points in it and I probably dropped Rogersville, AL's squirrel population by half haha. Anyways, after 10 years of sitting, I got it out it was shooting awful with Daisy and Gamo pellets so I got my Ruger. The Barracudas made such a difference with it that I ordered some 177 for it. Gramps passed back in 2017 and I'll never get rid of it, hopefully these pellets bring it back to its former glory
     
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