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Is a single-shot loader more accurate than a mag’?

PUBLISHED: 15:17 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:21 09 November 2017

The single-shot loader fits in seconds and is a joy to use

The single-shot loader fits in seconds and is a joy to use


I steadily shot five-shot groups, first from the mag’ and then from the single-shot loader

Over the years I’ve heard many people claim that using a single-shot tray or loader improved the accuracy of their rifle by quite some margin. Recently, our own Mark Camoccio noted that the Brocock Compatto Target improved its accuracy when using a single-shot loader from those lovely chaps at Rowan Engineering, so I called them to ask if I could try one for myself.

I’ve been using the latest Daystate magazines, which have been rock-solid and reliable for me, and accuracy has been superb, so they’re the obvious competitor for the single-shot adaptor. I also have the tray supplied by Daystate with the rifle for a further comparison. I haven’t tried this with the Huntsman, but I did with my high-power Mk4 and saw no difference. My Huntsman Regal XL launches 16 grain Air Arms .22 pellets at 900fps and is stunningly accurate.

The single-shot loader sent by Rowan Engineering fills the slot left by the mag’ with a simple, yet clever mechanism. As you cock the rifle and withdraw the bolt, it flips up an arm that carries the pellet.

With the high power gun I could see no difference. I'll find out next month what happens at 12 ft.lbs. With the high power gun I could see no difference. I'll find out next month what happens at 12 ft.lbs.

Good weather

I needed a day with as little wind as possible so that the performance of the rifle/scope/pellet combination was examined, not how brutal the effect of the wind is on our pellet’s accuracy, and for once, the weather gods shone on the editorial effort. Gentle breezes greeted me as I settled down to find out the facts.

With the rifle carefully zeroed at 50 yards, I steadily shot five-shot groups, first from the mag’ and then from the single-shot loader. I repeated this over and over until I’d fired some 200 pellets and refilled the rifle’s reservoir many times. All the pellets came from the same tin and not one adjustment was made to the rifle or scope for the duration of the test.

I measured the group sizes carefully and averaged the results, so you’ll want to know what I found. The answer is that I could see no difference between the magazine, the single-shot loader and the tray. At this extreme distance the weather plays the biggest role in group sizes.

It must be remembered that this result is only one gun with one tin of pellets, and the chaps at Rowan assure me that the benefit is shown far better in 12 ft.lbs guns, so I’ll repeat the test next month with my standard Huntsman and report back.

RRP for single-shot loader shown: £44.95

Available from the Rowan Engineering website.


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