When shooting a rifle such as this it pays to be realistic about what you have in your hands. It’s not a precision pellet-firing air rifle. You’re not going to win competitions with it – and you’re definitely not going to use it to shoot German officers taking a shower at their field HQ! Being realistic means shooting at a realistic range and having realistic expectations. With this in mind I set up a Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C target (birchwoodcasey.com) at 10 yards. My initial results were disappointing, with BBs splattering all over the place, but this was due to my shooting too rapidly.
When I slowed down and paused between shots, letting the CO2 settle, the M44 responded in kind. I was able to shoot a 17mm centre-to-centre five-shot group with four BBs through the same hole with the fifth just outside. I extended the range to 15 yards and, as expected, got a wider dispersion of 25mm c-to-c, which isn’t bad for a smoothbore plinker. The trigger was pretty good. It did have some creep, but broke at 2lb 13oz according to my Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge (www.lymanproducts.com). The M44 is a bit of a gas guzzler, though, and I got only 30 good shots per CO2 capsule. The sights are of the notch and post type, and adjustable for elevation but not windage. My rifle shot 20mm to the left at 10 yards so I had to hold off. The rear sight can be adjusted, and the 8 setting was just about right for elevation over this distance.