Faced with a challenge from a friend, the editor seeks hard proof about strippers
Phill takes up the challenge to strip - or not to strip?
Last month, Neil Price threw down a challenge. He claimed that an air stripper on the muzzle of your pre- charged pneumatic will improve your group sizes and retain more energy in your pellet. I like the theory and understand that it could well be correct, but I’m the kind who likes to see for himself. Neil built me a stripper to fit my Air Arms S410 which looks lovely, so it was time to head to the range to get the hard facts. He has run tests at 45 yards, which is the maximum distance in an HFT competition where he’s seen pellets retain a whole foot pound more energy when shot through a stripper compared to a bare barrel.
The theory goes like this: As the pellet leaves the muzzle, the highpressure air behind it blasts out and around the pellet’s skirt. This upsets its flight, causing it to wobble rather than fly true, adding drag and slowing it down. The true flying pellet gets to the target quicker, so it’s less affected by the wind, which means tighter groups. As I said, I liked the idea, but could I prove it? Luckily, I had a Caldwell chronograph in on test that works well outdoors, no matter what the light conditions, so the first job was to fill the 410’s reservoir to 180bar and then fire 10 pellets from a bare barrel, and then repeat with the stripper fitted. Keeping the reservoir topped up eliminated a variable. I used pellets from one tin of Air Arms Field Diablo, unweighed, but visually inspected for damage.
Main: All set up and ready to test
Below:Some groups were tighter than others