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I recently had a Sheridan Model C converted over to a Steroid version at Mac 1 Airguns. I had a chance to try it outside to see what it would do today. I figured I would try it at 12 pumps using Crosman Premier Pellets at 25yds. I have a older Tasco Propoint mounted forward on the barrel to make it easier to pump up. I and another fellow tried it each with 3 shot groups. One group all 3 shots were touching the other had 2 in one hole with the 3rd shot about 1/8" away.I don't know what the velocity is but judging from what the literature states it should be over 800 fps. This in my opinion would make an excellent airgun to use for small game hunting out to 30-35yds perhaps farther. The thing I like is that there was no change in point of impact even though 2 different shooters fired it. Much easier to control in terms of hitting where you aim than using my Beeman R9. Its's a little work to pump up to that level but not terrible. If a person doesn't need that much power you could always lower tha number of pumps and re-sight it in again. It definitely has more penetration power at the same given distance than my Beeman R9 or a Standard Sheridan at 8 pumps. Very pleased with it so far. I feel the one I have is perhaps more accurate than most judging from past experience with other Sheridan Model C's.
 

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Those Premiers (I am most especially speaking of .20 Premiers) are great pellets, especially when you need LOTS of penetration and/or deep penetration past 60 yards. If this is what you're looking for, also check out the Beeman Kodiak, the JBS dome and the Benjamin/Sheridan pellets. These are all excellent dome for long-range shooting and you can be assured that one of this group (to include your Premiers of course) will shoot better than the others.

You mentioned 30-35 yards. Actually, that's where most hunting opportunities take place. I would suggest that you also check out three other pellets. The Beeman Crow Magnum in .20 has a well earned reputation for expansion even in stock Sheridans, let alone what you now have. They are extremely deadly and in shoot pretty good in alot of rifles,especially for 30-40 yard ranges. The next pellet I'd look into is the Predator. These ARE expensive but they're said to have match-like accuracy and from my initial tests on Ivory soap bars using a stock Sheridan at 3 & 8 pumps (3 pumps simulates a stock Sheridan's ballistics downrange whereas 8 pumps is more akin to my RX-1 downrange), they were somewhat more explosive than even the Crow Mags (something I never thought I'd see). These should be nothing short of awesome in the field! Finally, I would suggest the FTS pellet. This little 11.5 gr. dome is, IMHO, a bit of a sleeper. It is to my way of thinking a .20 Premier-lite. What do I mean by that? The .177 Premier-lite is relatively light in weight (7.9gr.) but with a high (for the weight of the pellet) ballistic coefficient. Some pellets have high BC's but are very heavy in weight. This hurts their muzzle velocity which in turn also hurts their trajectory. Other pellets are light with a high muzzle velocity but with a low BC, they fizzle out downrange. Surprisingly, there are pellets (silver arrows fall into this category) that are very high in weight but low in BC. This is the worst possible scenario. Lastly, there are some (.177 Crosman Premier-lite, .25 RWS dome) that are both light AND carry a relatively high BC. The .20 FTS pellet is in this group. (BTW, .22, while having some great pellets in it's lineup, still doesn't have this particular niche pellet). The FTS in .20 is a better performer on squirrels and rabbits than the Premier .20 (and I love the Premier .20 just so that's clear). It shoots shoestring flat, is extremely accurate in alot of guns, has more than enough penetration and carries with it a bigger wound channel. After 50 yards, this advantage dwindles. Past 65 yards, the Premier takes over in deadliness due to it's retained energy, momentum and the extra penetration that comes along with it.
If you're doing most of your hunting under 40 yards, I'd check out the pellets from that second group I mentioned very closely. Choosing the best pellet for best terminal performance is extremely important if you want all that your gun is able to provide. Sometimes it's that extra terminal performance which can be the difference between putting the critter in the pot or having it die in the field.
Yes, I KNOW accuracy is important too but this post assumes SUFFICIENT accuracy for the job at hand. That always has to be checked out firsthand at the range. Assuming sufficient accuracy, I want a pellet that gives me the BEST chance of bringing game home. Some pellets make better use my gun's power (terminally speaking) & allow me more flexibility as to what shot placement I can take. Can I take a lung shot squirrel OR do I have to take brain shots even with my extra powerful rifle (some pellets in .20 are much, much more efficient than others for this shot placement). If I do take a lung shot, do I have to hit dead center through both lungs OR does my pellet create ENOUGH tissue/organ damage to cleanly & quickly kill even a squirrel with one lung being hit (some pellets DO allow this while most don't). If an airgun hunter takes the time to get really clear about his hunting needs, he sometimes CAN have his cake and eat it too. Hunting UNDER 40 yards is one of those times. Hunting crows, pigeons and ground squirrels in the fields where the shots can easily run way over 50 yards does change things. There you need more penetration so that a pellet that enters on a quartering away shot still has enough OOMPH by the time it reaches the animal's lungs. The pellet needs to be IMHO a minimum of .20 for best results because at those further ranges, you won't be able to count on any pellet expanding with any consistency.
Good luck with your Steroid Sheridan and keep us posted on your experiences with it! --- Mike
 

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A footnote...the purpose of the Steroid really is to pump less and get the same power...hence 6 pumps on a Steroid is the same as 8 pumps of a regular.

Why not over pump? Because the gun's metal is soft and will tend to bend the action upwards.
 

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Mr. Pearson / varmintgetter, a question from the back . . .

. . . if you please. Based on your past experiences, what range of velocity would you consider a good compromise if you had a .177 or .22 rifle. I realize the size of your targets bears a large part of the answers, as well as the range - just trying to get a look at 'the big picture'.
 

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With the .177, I like to stay within 40 yards of crow and pigeons. I know that they can be taken further but using Crow Mags or Predator pellets, 40 yards with a frontal or back shot (stay away from side shots with the wingbone acting as a shield and of course Texas heart shots). I don't like domes or pointed heads in .177 for these birds because of the small wound channels. For birds of this size, a good dome of .20 or
.22 gives you sufficient penetration at any angle with sufficient wound channel. The difference between .20 and .177 may seem slight but it's actually 21.7% in frontal area and my results through the years have shown it to be that point where results are visibly apparent. A powerful .20 or .22 with a flat trajectory (say about 18-20ft.lbs.) can take said crow/pigeon out well past 60 yards.
JR, I keep my squirrel hunting range to a max of 30 yards. I hunt tree squirrels in thick brush and keeping the range to 30 yards helps me to place the pellet with some sort of precision (under sometimes tough hunting conditions) with lots of punch left over at that range. Rabbit (cottontails) can be taken to at least 40 yards with a powerful .22 but I like to keep it to 40 yards. You see, I like using hollowpoint and match pellets so that I'm not as dependent on head shots. Domes will allow, in too many cases, an animal to make tracks. In thick brush, it doesn't take too many tracks for an animal to be lost.
For the bigger stuff like '****, skunk, woodchuck, oppossum and feral cats, a .177 with a dome works as good (no better but just as good) as any of the bigger bore air rifles. Reason? Because unless you're using a very high powered pcp, particularly one in a larger than average bore, you are going to need a precise brain shot and .177 will penetrate the brains of these animals just as well as any of the other calibers. The flat trajectory of .177 makes hitting the brain easy to do. The .177 is not my favorite for tree squirrels or rabbits taken with chest shots (it will do in some cases with a good hollowpoint but there are better calibers for the job) but for small stuff like starlings and sparrows (where flat trajectory is important) and for the larger stuff I just mentioned, .177 is tough to beat.
If you are faced with a choice between .177 and .22, I'd go .22 everytime where hunting is concerned. The .22's superior 35% initial frontal area means that for every increment of penetration, the .22 will crush 3$% MORE tissue, bone and organ. That's an advantage that can really be the difference in many cases. I would take an especially close look at the JSB dome, Crosman Premier, RWS H-Point and the Predator. Hope this helps! --- Mike
 

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Why not over pump? Because the gun's metal is soft and will tend to bend the action upwards.
Mike at Mac1 told me that this bending does happen with the recently built rifles
but not with the ones built earlier due to thicker steel used in the pressure tube.

That's why I had it done with my older Sheridan. I see no bend at all even with 14 pumps.
 

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. . . if you please. Based on your past experiences, what range of velocity would you consider a good compromise if you had a .177 or .22 rifle. I realize the size of your targets bears a large part of the answers, as well as the range - just trying to get a look at 'the big picture'.
Many people have different answers to this one....

PERSONALLY if you are talking about Field usage...like outdoors hunting to say 45 or so yards.

Mid 500s to mid-high 700s for .22.

High 600s to Mid 800s for .177 is my preference.

Once it's past 900 fps...it gets sketchy. Though if it is that velocity...this is not scientific... I shoot a longer length pellet if it can get to that "ballistics"...and it has proven to work decent with that concept.

I have my sweet spot for springers and light PCPs doing high 700s or for me between 15-18 fpe for .22. And my sweet spot for .177 in the 800s or around 11-14 fpe. I use airguns in that speed/power range the most. I don't vary too low nor too high.

Only exception is when I'm Short range and plinking obviously...I grab my 10-11 fpe Xocet .22 or the LD Almost everytime! That one I don't think tops past 600fps. Nonetheless, I have made one of the longest airgun kills at 75 yards with the Xocet....dropped it stone cold and witnessed.
 

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Mike at Mac1 told me that this bending does happen with the recently built rifles
but not with the ones built earlier due to thicker steel used in the pressure tube.

That's why I had it done with my older Sheridan. I see no bend at all even with 14 pumps.
There is bending MORE and bending LESS....take the pick...the gun is made of bronze/brass...it may be a little harder barrel and tube but it's not steel. Nonetheless..all my modified Dans, I see absolutely no need to pump past even 10 pumps.
 

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Dang but that was fast. :) Thanks for the good advice / comments above - I'm learning a lot.
You're welcome JR! You've written plenty of quality posts yourself, especially on the .22 Mag forum as I recall.

I agree with VarmintGetter that answers will vary somewhat. Heck, if you saw my battery (past and present), you'd see firsthand how much it CAN vary and that's just the stuff that works well I'm talking about! Still, conditions, game, ranges and hunting methods vary and so does the equipment needed to do the job.
One thing about airguns that I think is fascinating is how EXTREMELY effective they can be in their use of stopping power. Most hunters wouldn't think twice about a deer going 50-100 yards with a good lung shot, even a heart shot. Do that with a squirrel or rabbit and you get a better chance of winning the lottery than you do recovering him. If he makes it even 25 yards, your chance of recovering is pretty much nil. So the STANDARDS for a clean kill are actually higher than they typically are for a centerfire and with airguns, you're doing these very clean and quick kills at a fraction of the energy derived from even the lower end rimfire loads!
Placement is, of course, the most important thing--always will be. But along with placement, there ARE pellets that CAN work with alot of species for lung shot animals. These pellets add a bit of insurance IMHO because sometimes a shot can go a bit awry under hunting conditions. Some pellets will still get the job done while others won't.
My own guidelines I gave you work for me in my hunting in Michigan. I'm sure that in Texas you'll be tweaking them to fit yours. In any case, I hope they help and welcome to airgun hunting! --- Mike
 

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There is bending MORE and bending LESS....take the pick...the gun is made of bronze/brass...it may be a little harder barrel and tube but it's not steel. Nonetheless..all my modified Dans, I see absolutely no need to pump past even 10 pumps.
VG, what is the Mac-1 line about 14 pumps. I mean, I DO understand and appreciate what you're saying about 10 pumps being sufficient for most uses but I think the lingering question here is this, are these newer Steroid Benjamins/Sheridans capable of doing the 14 pumps that they are advertised at without problems or is even 14 pumps courting disaster? The reason why I ask is because some of the earlier posts mentioned things like "using more pumps". Well, that wording IS vague. MORE pumps could mean 15 pumps, 30 pumps or 50 pumps. What I am NOT sure of though is what can the airgunner expect from 14 pumps---reguarding reliability? Some airgunners are most definitely going to want to use their Steroid Benjies at the full 14 pumps. After all, that's what they are bill at. Are they courting disaster if do OR are the guns built sturdy enough to handle 14 pumps indefinitely? (I had an early Steroid so I can't answer this one but am curious.)
Thanks in advance.
 

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392

Although not a Steroid gun this unit is very precise in stock form.Took this bird[Grackle] at 20yds,headshot above the eye.I've become very confident with this unit to make the shot,it can take successful longer shot but I try to stay within a reasonable comfortable range.I'm mediocre at best:( .Benjman 392 w/Williams peep sight using .22 Crowmagnum .I may get a new/used Benji in .20cal and do Steroid conversion.Squirrel was taken at 15yrds[after tearing up the attic]by my 392 using Benji Domes.Again not a far shot but successful with no drama,gun pic'd is my 1377c[just for show].I've pushed it[392] out to 35-40yds humanely taking grackles,starling and the occasional squirrel using the Williams peep and my less than stellar vision[glasses].Good hunting!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v234/angelzwings/sell018.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v234/angelzwings/deadanimals001-1.jpg
 

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Brings back alot of memories! I have a '66 Blue Streak standing up against the wall behind me and have also had a '70 Blue Streak. Excellent guns in stock form.
What were the details on the squirrel? You said he was shot at about 15 yards? Through the chest? How many shots? What kind of pellet? And what was the animal's reaction after the hit? Is the pistol stock too?
 

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Squirrel-long post

Shot with a Benjamin 392 w/williams peep using Benji .22cal Domes full 8 pumps.Pellet mushroomed quite well[dug out] and did not pass thru but left a huge bulge on the opposite side.Knocked it on its side with instant and complete cardiac and pulminary [Spell?] shut down,desroyed did not even move.By the time I walk from my inside bedroom[shot thru window] to my fence line it was 100% no longer among the living.That was my 8th squirrel by this gun,most are taken between 10-30yds in the trees or on the ground.It has also taken numerous grackles,blackbirds and the occasional starling[Too dang hoppy!!].The 1377 in the pic with squirrel was just for show,it is externally modded with a recrowned bbl[biggest improvement], RJMachine full dovetail long breech/extended probe bolt kit,Williams click adjust sight and RBGrips w/S-Pumper.I mainly use it for,cans,paper,ping pong balls[excellent for practice], mice and house/english sparrows.I plan on getting a modded valve and piston for it too. Thanks!
 

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VG, what is the Mac-1 line about 14 pumps. I mean, I DO understand and appreciate what you're saying about 10 pumps being sufficient for most uses but I think the lingering question here is this, are these newer Steroid Benjamins/Sheridans capable of doing the 14 pumps that they are advertised at without problems or is even 14 pumps courting disaster? The reason why I ask is because some of the earlier posts mentioned things like "using more pumps". Well, that wording IS vague. MORE pumps could mean 15 pumps, 30 pumps or 50 pumps. What I am NOT sure of though is what can the airgunner expect from 14 pumps---reguarding reliability? Some airgunners are most definitely going to want to use their Steroid Benjies at the full 14 pumps. After all, that's what they are bill at. Are they courting disaster if do OR are the guns built sturdy enough to handle 14 pumps indefinitely? (I had an early Steroid so I can't answer this one but am curious.)
Thanks in advance.
Any time you increase stress loads on anything..they will wear away faster...so expect that with constant 14 pumps...it will wear faster than 10 pumps. Obviously Mac1 has strengthen the weaker points thus minimize the wear and tear.

I guess anyone can just continue 14 pumps..though to be honest, is there going to be consistent accuracy at that power level? That's the main question really as you can have power...but without accuracy..it's just useless in the airgun world..especially when hunting. This goes with old and new Steroids.

The new Steroids from what I can gather and I can be wrong...has an increase in volume.
 
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