Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wicked Airrifles .25 Single Shot Tray

My last post was about shooting ground squirrels in Idaho's western desert with my Generation 1 Marauder. Recently, I have been shooting metallic silhouettes with my new synthetic stocked Gen 2 Marauder. My ultimate goal is to shoot the rapid fire silhouette match at Extreme Benchrest in Arizona this coming November.

Rapid Fire Silhouette

Last November, I hadn’t realized what I had gotten myself into in the rapid fire match. I knew that the object was to knock over 16, 1/5 scale silhouettes in the least time. Targets were set from smallest to largest at 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards, respectively. I had no idea how fast the pace of fire would be. I started with chickens and, about the time I got to the rams, they called time. The winning time was 1 minute 5 seconds. If you look at video of the match https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYJsK-cFrvw you will see how fast it really went.

EBR 2013 photo by Arimo Dave

My S400 Extra Fac

My .177 FT rifle was accurate and powerful enough for the match, but the tiny pellets and high magnification scope didn't work in my favor. My solution is a .25 Gen 2 Marauder tuned to about 35 foot pounds, twenty-five caliber pellets to fit my fumble fingers, and a hunting scope set 6.5 X.

Of course, every air rifle has some traits to overcome. The Benjamin Marauder is magazine fed and single loading is slow, slow , slow, unless you use single shot tray. The tray fits into the space in the mortice for the magazine. Without this raised groove, single loading is nearly impossible. Crosman has stopped making their tray for the .25 and existing stocks are hard to find.

Wicked Airrifles

front facing surface with cut out for barrel

I ordered a .25 single shot tray from Wicked Airrifles, https://www.wickedairrifles.com/ . On the web site it says, "Wicked Air Rifles is the exclusive distributor of Marmot Militia Machine Works parts and accessories." You can read all about it on Widked's site.  The tray, in a business letter envelope, came through the mail unharmed.

The tray is made from delrin, and does not snap in like the magazine. It fits very snugly in the magazine mortice. The one I received was a little too snug and would not go in. A file would not bite in to the delrin but a new sheet of 100 grit sandpaper did the job in less than ten strokes. Once the tray is in, the bolt moves without binding. You have to be careful to make sure that the pellet lands in the trough with the point facing forward. The steep interior sides help insure that pellets do not have to be placed exactly into the trough which would slow down loading speed. 

rear facing surface with  sanding marks

It is possible to get the pellet in the trough backwards or point down, but that happened only when I was sloppy about dropping the pellet into the tray. The tray's high sides are steep, and the pellet rolls to the bottom, making it hard to see the pellet. Shooting fast, you can't take your cheek away from the stock and look down into the breach to check pellet alignment.

How Fast Could I Shoot?

The first time out using clips, my time for 16 critters (I think it was 18 shots) was 4 minutes 4 seconds. Loading the clips took nearly two minutes. Arimo Dave helped by hiding behind me going “Bang Bang” while I loaded. With the tray, my times ran from 10 to 12 seconds per hit. My goal is 16 targets in a minute and a half. At Extreme Benchrest you start with empty magazines, so if you take the time to load your magazines, the match will be over before you get through your chickens.

Wicked Airrifles Single Shot Tray

I like the single shot tray from Wicked Airrifles. It works just fine aligning the pellet with the barrel without binding the bolt. The high sides and steep slopes work with my rapid fire technique. Sanding to make it fit my Marauder was easy. The design is simplicity itself and the material is first rate. I am looking forward to more products from Wicked Airrifles.

50nYard Target

I'll write about this target on the next post.