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NeilMac

Smooth Twist

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I am presently messing with and reviewing an AERON / FX Streamline. It is a nice little rifle with the action housed in the FT version of the AERON (ACZ) stock, so lots of adjustability to play with. The action itself is well made, quite lightweight but not delicate and with a good adjustable trigger that puts the HFT500 / S400 / MPR to severe shame. Its weakness is a very fiddly single shot loader, but Matt at Sure Shot tells me there is an improved version on the way.

 

After shooting the rifle for about a few weeks I am getting some pretty good groups out of it and I expect them to improve with time.

 

But.

 

It is pellet fussy and really lets you know which pellets it likes (pellet on pellet at 30 yards), and which it doesn't. Plus it appears to take just as much wind as anything else I have shot. It is not as sensitive as some Steyr's I have owned / used but I thought that the principle of the smooth twist barrel would mean relatively little deformation / damage to the pellets and so possibly less for the wind to grab hold of.... but it would appear not.

 

I am therefore left asking, if there is no advantage over conventional barrels, then what is the point? At least at UK legal velocities.

 

 

I'm going to shoot it for a while as it is a nice fun rifle to use and with the right pellets seems capable of sensible performance, I just can't figure out what the smooth twist thing is all about.

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You would probably be better of with a tau brno 300 sniper at half the price. Real tack drivers if mine is anything to go by. No smooth twist only a CZ barrel :)

Edited by DTM

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I've shot a Tau, really good accurate little rifle, but I was specifically after the smooth twist as the whole concept has intrigued me from the start.

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Like your subtle suggestion. The smooth twist is more suited for fac rather than U.K. power limits. They have produced impressive results with fac rifles

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My thoughts Neil are that the process is Cheaper and quicker than a hammer forged Barrel ? watching the process of making a smooth twist barrel on you tube . it takes just a few seconds to do . since you have a bit of clout as reviewer maybe you could get in contact with the owner and explain that his rifles over hear at least would sell better with a rifled barrel . i have to say i would like one of there pups ( all supposing the reliability issues i hear about on the BBS were sorted ) with a decent trigger ??? HOLLY

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You are right Stan, at FAC levels the barrels have been impressive, I think FX rifles have pretty much won everything there is to win in extreme bench rest for years, they are also said to be much better in larger calibres. .30, .25 and .22. But as I had heard a few good reports about the barrel in .177 more recently, and seen that the Streamline was raved about in the USA, I thought it worth a punt just to see what was what.

 

Holly, the barrels are still precision made although as we have both seen on line the actual application of the lands seem pretty straightforwards. I am also pretty sure the Streamline is available with a conventional barrel and the fun would of course to try both actions side by side, but I don't have the money or the inclination.

 

Like I say, it is a nice rifle, well made and nice to shoot. I will put an HFT scope on it once I have the review photo's taken and I think it will make a useful rifle to have about. Maybe in time the advantages of the smooth twist barrel will start to show up, the thing has hardly had a tin of pellets through it yet, but at this early stage I'm having trouble seeing any advantage... at least to me, the shooter.

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I played with one of the early smooth twists and at sub 12ft/lbs it wasnt at all pellet fussy. Wouldnt group with any of them :)

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Neil, if you can make it to Iceni most weeks (or, hopefully, Springfield next week), you can try both types of barrel on a FX Typhoon - Son shoots a L/W barrelled one, I shoot a Smooth Twist version.

True, there's little difference in performance (though, like yourself, I find the S/T pellet fussy - JSB 4.53, same as all the other S/Ts I've tried)

Think Holly is right about cost of manufacture - but if the rumours that I've been told are correct, then all of them are tested by Mr. Axelsson personally, and any that don't make the grade aren't put out to the public.

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Thanks for the offer, but I'm 20 miles the other side of Bristol, so both Iceni and Springfield are a bit of a drive.

 

I believe you are right about each barrel being tested, that is on you tube somewhere direct from the horses mouth.

 

It's interesting, at least to me, that all the advantages I thought a S/T barrel would have, due to the depth and nature of the lands turn out to be the reverse... I wonder why.

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I, personally, put it down to the smooth-bore part of the barrel, years of riding two stroke motorcycles taught me a fair bit about piston slap & my theory (I will hasten to add that it's only a theory) is that the pellets 'slap' their way down to the smooth twist area, hence getting slight deformation to the heads, however I do know that there is another development going on in the factory regarding the S/T barrels, but not knowing when it's being released to the press/public I can't say nuffin

If I get a chance next time I'm visiting my sister, I'll drop you a pm & perhaps we'll be able to arrange a testing session - she lives in Okehampton, so I'd be passing you on the way

Edited by SuffolkRifle

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Well, it is a thought.

 

I know the unrifled part of the barrel is precision bored, but then so is the barrel of an engine. Perhaps that is why a friend of mine has pretty good success using JSB exact heavy pellets, as they are longer.

 

Yes, let me know when you are about and we can arrange to meet up at one of the local clubs.

 

In the meantime I am trying to locate JSB's and Air Arms pellets that have been rejected, as my Streamline seems to love them. I have a batch of very good AA's and another of good JSB's and the FX hates them both, other tins left over from testing, which through a variety of different rifles always came out badly seem to work extremely well.

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As a thought hearing what the suffolk gent say's . why not try a bigger pellet like a bisley magnum neil to see what they go like ??? HOLLY

 

PS how did your lad get one with a W/L barrel ?

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I've always been sceptical of ST barrels at 12fpe but had a week with a Wildcat when they first came out and never found a pellet that worked so back it went.

Ramp up the calibre to .25 or .30 and up the power to 30fpe and it's a completely different story as Ted winning the extreme Benchrest in the US proves.

It would seem that to have half a chance of accuracy the pellet has to be tight fitting so I wonder how something like a sniper would perform?

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I will try it again with snipers, but initial accuracy testing was not impressive.

 

I had read and heard the same thing about accuracy in the early days, but more recently FX seemed to have got the S/T working at lower velocity and in .177 which is the case with mine. The pellets it currently goes best with are the Air Arms that came in the mini tin we got given at the Worlds, obviously they are a rapidly depleting resource.

 

I do wonder if there is an ultimate goal which the factory are working towards, but needing the finance generated by sales in order to get there. In other words we are paying for the incremental R&D and in a few years time S/T will finally deliver all of the advantages that theory says it should. At present I'd say the key is having a pellet that has the right head size to fit the smooth bore and a long enough body not to topple / slap as it heads down the barrel towards the lands.

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I really cannot see why they can't offer a rifled barre as an option ??? HOLLY

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Well i can't find one Neil ? where are they ??? HOLLY

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Google is your friend.

 

Try BAR, Solware and the other 'usual suspects'.

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At larger calibre's and higher velocities S/T nails it, and FX must feel they can do the same in smaller calibre's and lower velocities otherwise why bother with the R&D time and the tooling to produce such rifles.

 

My feeling so far is that the S/T barrel is nearly there when it comes to UK velocities and .177 pellets, maybe once the barrel is properly shot in the groups will tighten and the rifle will take less wind, but from the reading I have done I don't think it will get less pellet fussy as there are guys in the US who have shot over 10,000 pellets and are still having to choose their ammo carefully.

 

Full review should appear in CompAir, possibly in the next edition, I just need a few more photo's to finish it off.

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Interesting thread, I've been following the success of the FX guns in BR.

 

Me too. I think that Ted's result with his Impact was something else.

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Yeah, I keep looking and thinking I'll get a gun just for BR but the pot always seems to be empty, interesting to see what people are doing mind.

Edited by PelletOnPellet

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Yeah, I keep looking and thinking I'll get a gun just for BR but the pot always seems to be empty, interesting to see what people are doing mind.

 

I think that you can do it a lot cheaper than an Impact. I would have thought that pretty much any PCP will do as long as it's in a heavy stock.

I take it you use your FWB for BR at the moment, surely that's pretty good at 25yds indoors, I mean you should be nailing it every week....:grin:

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Yeah, I keep looking and thinking I'll get a gun just for BR but the pot always seems to be empty, interesting to see what people are doing mind.

 

I think that you can do it a lot cheaper than an Impact. I would have thought that pretty much any PCP will do as long as it's in a heavy stock.

I take it you use your FWB for BR at the moment, surely that's pretty good at 25yds indoors, I mean you should be nailing it every week.... :grin:

 

 

I'm just shooting off a bag at the moment but I would like to move to a proper front and back set up with perhaps a correct fitting stock. I get close then always blow it, too much steering of the gun really. Nothing makes you doubt your barrel like BR :)

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I sold my 2002 to a bench rest shooter as it was the most accurate rifle (bar one) that I have ever shot... but, only with 7.9grain Lazerpells.

 

I need to do a lot more work with the S/T before I can draw any real conclusions, with the present pellet tray it would be no good at all for BR as the rifle needs to be rolled to one side to get the pellet in reliably.

 

However, it might be worth considering a .22 calibre version and then messing with pellets and velocity, something I want to do with mine at some point.

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I sold my 2002 to a bench rest shooter as it was the most accurate rifle (bar one) that I have ever shot... but, only with 7.9grain Lazerpells.

 

I need to do a lot more work with the S/T before I can draw any real conclusions, with the present pellet tray it would be no good at all for BR as the rifle needs to be rolled to one side to get the pellet in reliably.

 

However, it might be worth considering a .22 calibre version and then messing with pellets and velocity, something I want to do with mine at some point.

 

I like your thinking Neil, maybe consider .50 calibre and guarantee knocking that pipper out each and every shot...:grin:

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Oh oh , colin is off on a 50 Cal trip Again ??? HOLLY

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