Engineered plastics, synthetic stocks and modern materials in airguns

by B.B. Pelletier

Blog reader Brian Saada has written a guest blog for today. He wrote one the end of May (More on manufacturing tolerances), and it caused a lot of you to comment. I feel certain today’s blog will do the same thing.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Bloggers must be proficient in simple html, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Brian Saada, aka Brian in Idaho

“The best airguns are made from metals and woods.”

The above statment may well have been true years ago; but, during the past 20 years, we’ve seen increased use of plastics and synthetic materials in the airguns we shoot, and some that we have yet to buy or shoot.

The word plastics is a hugely broad and generic term that is often misused and even more often misunderstood. Even 30 and 40 years ago, plastic was being used in airgun pistol grips, some sights and other non-critical components (non-critical to the bean counters, anyway). Still, we often equate plastic to cheap, but that’s not always a fair equation. Words such as lightweight, durable, impervious to oils and acids are more in line with the use of well-made plastic parts. Many of you may remember the Remington Nylon 6 rifles — a noble but less than satisfying attempt to make a plastic stock on a firearm (Nylon ages and deteriorates in some applications and does not do well in severe cold).

Today, the term synthetic materials is much more appropriate to these so-called plastics, as many of these are highly evolved materials or fairly recent developments. Since the gun makers don’t do a very good job of describing these materials in their advertisements or literature, I thought that I would do my best to describe what some of these materials are and what their purpose is.

Thermoplastics
As the name implies, thermoplastics = thermo (heat) and plastic (moldable or malleable material condition). The difference between these plastics and the cheaper and more brittle styrene-type plastics that are injection-molded or cast is in the types of resins used and the material properties. Thermoplastics typically have greater surface hardness, greater density and can often be remolded or bent/shaped under heat. These materials also drill and machine reasonably well and are not prone to cracking like their cheaper counterparts. A well-made synthetic pistol grip would be made from thermoplastic or, as seen below, so would a Crosman 1077 rifle stock.

Crosman’s 1077 incorporates modern synthetic materials.

Engineered Plastics
This, too, is a fairly generic label or term that can be applied to a lot of materials however, it implies that the selection of resins and additives were engineered or thought through based on the application of the material to a specific part of the airgun. The breech of a Crosman 2240 pistol is one example.

Breech of the Crosman 2240 isn’t made of metal.

Somewhere back in the day, some engineer needed to reduce costs, simplify manufacturing and also pop out hundreds of these breech parts per day. That engineer also had some level of durability and surface hardness to achieve in this plastic part. Keep in mind, this is a wear area or wear surface part that will see thousands of bolt actuations over the life of the product, so the actual plastic maker had to select a recipe of resins and possibly some filler additives (solids) that would make a reasonably functional part. It’s likely that this resin already existed in a DuPont or an ICI catalog and no R&D or great development was needed. The engineer looked at a table of properties in the catalog and picked the material that met the need for cost and usefulness.

Another group of materials that fit into this category is the reinforced plastics or molding compounds. As the name implies, the plastic is reinforced with a variety of other materials. Chopped or shredded fiberglass is very common, so are carbon fibers and even nano-particles for very small parts that require long life cycle or use. Titanium particles and other metals can also be used as reinforcement or for machinability on a mating surface of a part. The higher-end airguns, such as the FX brand, likely use these types of materials in their gun stocks as they are very, very strong and their density can be “heard” by the solid thud made when tapping on the stock. More frequently, we would see these types of material under the hood of our cars in air cleaner boxes, ductwork and even intake manifolds on fuel-injected engines (my Mitsubishi V-6 has one of these).

If you’re turned off by plastic use in an airgun, think of the level of durability needed to meet low CTE (expansion by heat) and resistance to all the nasty stuff going on under the hood of a car or truck, including oil, gas and road crud. An airgun is a hospital operating room environment by comparison!

I, too, was once of the “give me metal and wood” school of thought on this issue of plastic parts. But, I can shoot my Gamo Whisper .22 with the camo synthetic stock all day long. Not so my HW97K. About 3 hours of lugging around that 9-lb. monster, and I’m done for the day! Hooray for plastics!

70 thoughts on “Engineered plastics, synthetic stocks and modern materials in airguns

  1. I guess as with everything complex,it’s all about the details.The real problems occur when the Engineer meets the Bean-counters.I liked your point about longevity under the hood of the car[bonnet for some here!].Airguns do live a sheltered life in comparison.I know nobody whined when synthetic piston seals yeilded performance increases,although the first generation didn’t stand the test of time…..


    • Great point about the early synthetic seals. The broad selection and performance of synthetic seal materials today are light years ahead of where it all began.

      Similar to metal vs. plastics, the leather seal proponents scoffed at some of the earlier synthetic seal attempts. “darn things won’t soak up any oil!”


  2. Great article Brian.
    My buddy had a Gamo Vipermax(Whisper) when we went on that recent field shoot.
    All the advantages of a synthetic stock came into play.
    The light weight plus not being worried about damaging the stock.
    Laying in soggy grass and ploughed fields,passing through brambles and hedgerows.
    Bring it on :)
    The only trouble I have found with some synthetic stocks but easily remedied,is noise.
    Like on an acoustic guitar the hollow stock can amplify sound.
    I used to stuff mine with cushion foam but don’t tell my wife lol.

    BB:
    Well done on getting back out and about and what a rifle(The R8)to get your teeth into.
    Beautiful.
    DaveUK


    • Mornin Mate

      Yes, the Gamo stocks are a little hollow sounding due to the ABS resins they likely use and the thinner wall thickness in the butt-stock area. I have also heard of shooters using the aerosol foam insulation to fill up the cavity and deaden the acoustic “potential” of the plastic.


  3. One thing I’ll say is that I don’t find myself fighting rust on my guns with plastic trigger gaurds. The metal trigger gaurds tend to rust up pretty quick if you don’t keep them oiled. I’m not a huge fan of synthetic stocks, but I think plastic in the trigger gaurd is an okay compromise.

    Aaron


  4. Brian,

    Thanks so much for another fine article. My boys and I are continually debating wood and steel verses synthetics. I shoot a Browning High Power while they shoot Glocks.

    One of the popular mods to Crosman’s 2240 is a steel breech. You’ve got me wondering now if it’s worth doing from an engineering point of view. I’m not talking about mounting a scope on the gun.

    Bruce


    • Mr B

      Despite my understanding of plastics, I just this week put a steel breech on my 2240 pistol. I did this for scope mounting as the stock plastic unit works just fine. The $29 price is well worth it and it is much longer than the plastic breech which allowed me to do away with the barrel band too (the barrel fits into the steel breech much further and is secured with a set screw). The breech kit includes a new bolt handle and probe with a new seal too. A very good value for $ spent IMHO and it installs super easy.

      Crosman could have easily molded an 11mm dovetail into the stock breech, not sure why they don’t, cost is likely the issue because the mold that makes the plastic breech has paid for itself a 1000 times over after these many years.


      • Note to self, my Beeman P3 polymer molded “slide” has an 11mm dovetail molded into it and I have had several scopes on and off of it over the years with no visible sign of marring or other wear from the mounts. Pretty tough and durable material on that P3 (Glock-like polymer).


  5. Brian in Idaho,

    Thanks for the contribution.

    Plastics/synthetics have become a huge part of our lives and certainly have their place.

    You mentioned the reinforced plastic/molding compound likely used on FX synthetic guns. Reminded me of a synthetic stock tarantula that I bought used. Arrived with the stock snapped into two pieces at the pistol grip. Certainly could have happened even if it was a wood stock but the FX synthetic stock material was very hard and as we all know with very hard you usually get brittle.

    Please keep us updated about the HW 100 and AA S410 campaign.

    kevin


    • Glad to contribute Kevin.

      Interesting about the Tarantula stock. The pics I have seen of it, show a very streamlined (narrow) pistol grip and backbone and during molding, this area could (potentially) cool at a much faster rate than the surrounding, heavier sections. That could leave residual stress at some point or a stress riser as engineers call them. Still, it is surprising to open a package and find a stock broken in half?

      Was the package damaged too? Was there any sign of impact damage to the stock from the previous owner?

      More pondering!


      • Brian in Idaho,

        Packaged was damaged in shipping (Fed Ex). You could hear the parts rattling in the box prior to even opening. Took pictures of the unopened box and sent them to the seller asking what he wanted me to do since I could hear and feel multiple parts inside the box. He said to open it and confirm. Ugly.

        Packing could have been better but not sure it would have helped much since the box looked like it was dropped out of a fifth floor window. Fed Ex was a pain in handling the claim but that’s another story for a different day.

        kevin


        • Re FedEx delivery care

          Picture the box with the FX rifle near the bottom of one pallet of packages which are on top of it. The FX box is not stacked in line and flush with the other boxes on the pallet so a good deal of it protrudes form the stack. The driver makes a sudden stop and pkgs from an adjacent pallet or stack come flying off and land on the protruding length of the FX box. (think lots of leverage and load)

          Crack, smash, extra parts?


    • Nobody much worries about the stresses and strains on the wings and fuselage of the B-2 bomber, an aircraft made almost entirely out of “composites.” Come to think of it, the fiberglass body of the Chevy Corvette does pretty well too.

      But I like my match guns to have wood wherever the gun contacts skin (except for the trigger, of course)


  6. Several years ago I noted complaints (on reviewcentre.com) about Diana’s T05 plastic triggers. There were even claims that the triggers routinely broke and that Diana was aware of the problem. Anyone familiar with the T05 knows that the trigger is really under very little stress, ao I can’t imagine that these complaints had any basis in fact.


    • I don’t buy it either.
      I guess that you could break it if you removed the action from the stock, then beat it against a tree for a while…..or let a gorilla try to shoot it with the safety on.

      twotalon


      • “let a gorilla try to shoot it with the safety on”

        I think you are on to something there and… I can’t feature a plastic trigger breaking unless the pull weight was 50 pounds or more!

        “Breaking” is like saying “the car won’t start”. No gas? No spark? Dead battery?, What!?

        Where did the trigger break happen, at the finger pad?, at the hinge pin hole?, none of the above? Gotta love the in-depth technical descriptions on some of the internet sites. Best advice I ever had given too me about web sites was… read it all, throw away 1/2 of it and only believe 10% of what is left.

        I go through this at work all the time… “my computer isn’t working”

        Guess I have been an engineer for waaaay too long!


        • All too often when troubleshooting aircraft wiring problems it went like this….

          Q…What have you done so far?
          A…Checked wiring.

          Q…What did you come up with?
          A…I don’t know.

          Q…Which wires did you check?
          A…I don’t know.

          Q…How did you check them?
          A…Meter.

          Q…How did you have it set up?
          A…I don’t know.

          You can see right here that the whole shift was wasted with no results of any kind. Someone who knew what they were doing had to go out and start from scratch. That usually meant me.

          twotalon


          • I love it!

            We had a vice-president of operations who posted problem-solving 101 charts across the plant, ie state the problem, not the solution!

            When people would say things such as; “what we need to do is…” he would just point to the chart and tell them, state the problem as you know it, don’t jump to solutions.

            I think incremental testing and diagnostic skills should be taught in high schools as life lessons but then again, the students might miss out on important things like Lindsy Lohan’s driving skills and who won American Idol last week.


    • That reminds me of when I was a kid. My friend bought a new bo staff and I was jealous but not about to let him know it. I took the stance – big deal it’s just a piece of wood just like my broom stick. Oh no it’s not, I’ll prove it! How? Let’s try to break it. Ok…

      We eventually broke it, unfortunately, and I regret acting like such an idiot to this day. It was really, really tough wood and we broke my broom stick several times trying to break his bo just once. Point being that people often set out to prove something for various reasons and thus bias drastically the outcome. So it can be with plastic. But plastics vary drastically by formulation – how can we tell up front the relative quality and durability of airgun components?


      • “how can we tell up front the relative quality and durability of airgun components?”

        If only we could on so many products we purchase!

        Even in firearms metallic parts, you will find tons of comment and critique on the web regarding metallic parts such as receivers and breech bolts etc. Owners and shooters of these firearms often complain that the “bolt is not hardened enough” or the breech is “taking a wear pattern” or galling. They often go on to say that so-and-so manufacturer should do this and that to improve the quality of the parts, and these are metals not plastics.

        I hesitate to say this but, we have to have some faith in the mfgr. to select the right material for the application or intended use (at least that faith has some merit in the higher end guns). One of the problems with the lower end airguns (even when they were wood and steel only) is; they were thought of more as toys or disposables, so not much thought was given to life of the parts or extended durability. Not a 100% rule, as proven by Crosmans $60 2240 pistol, but typically it applies.

        The Benjamin Marauder has a plastic magazine, I wonder how those are holding up and functioning after two years and 1000′s of rifles later? Any comments from M-Rod owners?


  7. I was, am, and always will be a metal and wood person when it comes to guns. Much more pride of ownership with my all metal Springfield Armory Trophy Match with nice wood grips than any Glock! Ditto for an all metal and wood Beeman R9 versus a Gamo Big Cat!

    Unfortunately the bean counters got into the gun business and immediately started doing what bean counters do. Figure a way to give you less and charge you more! So alas the “less for more” concept brought us “plastic guns”!

    That said, synthetic stocks do have a place in the field where a gun will be subject to a lot of every day use and wear.


    • I can certainly agree with you from an aesthetic point of view at least. I dote over my HW97 stock and metal work and take pride in it’s appearance. I do keep my Gamo camo-stock maintained and the metal work oiled but, I don’t polish and admire it the way I do a finely wood stocked and deeply blued steel rifle.


  8. B.B.
    I do like the traditional wood and steel guns. I don’t even care for thumbhole stocks or pistol grips. But I can see that there are some practical considerations for ‘plastic’ in some places.

    Plastic stocks do not change POI easily due to humidity. It is some really tough stuff if made of the right formulation. Other parts seem to be fine when made of ‘plastic’ provided they are not subjected to severe stress or shock. Parts such as sights that are likely to be bumped against things should not be plastic. No pot metal for these parts either!

    twotalon


    • All good points and, you may know that on products such as high-end bicycles, the carbon fiber and polymer parts typically have the wear points reinforced or c0-molded with bronze bushings or metallic reinforcements. The upside to synthetics are their “static” properties, low CTE and resistance to environments. Some of the downsides are wear and surface hardness or impact resistance depending on the material.

      I still struggle a little with some of the polymer sights on my pistols versus the metallics I’m used to but, they have all held up well and none have shown any sign of wear across the corners or in the drive mechanisms.


      • Brian in ID

        As far as high end bicycle parts go, I will buy the carbon fiber handle bar every time. None of the ones I am familiar with are reinforced with anything, and they will handle stresses that would shatter an aluminum bar in seconds, and are much much lighter. The only problem is that there is usually no indication of imminent failure other than stress cracks. Steel will bend. Aluminum will crack. Carbon fiber will snap. Fortunately for me, I don’t do 30 foot drops that would put the strain necessary to even test the limits of these bars. They also have inherent vibration reduction properties that reduce hand numbness.


  9. It’s not just all about aesthetic’s though. As a skilled trademan I see something else to wood and metal in gun building. While the lure of no maintainence technology is wonderful and of practical benifit in some applications, it has also eliminated the craftsman, with the hands on, I can try to fix that mentality. It has fostered a throw away generation that will accept an inferior product because it represents technology,even in flawed applications.Something we as an economy, are about to find out, as many of todays techs can’t rig their way out of a wet paper bag, much less a simple air gun, Robert.


    • This could get lengthy but I’ll try to be brief…

      Back before solid-state ignition systems, we filed the points inside the distributor to remove any pitting and then re-used the points (a kind of rotary switch for you guys under 40) Problem was, the mechanic had to file them flat and parallel to each other…

      Back when there were still appliance repair shops, we would take the burned out toaster to the guy and he would put in new tungsten wire for coils. Problem was, not every appliance tech used the right gauge wire (cheap) and the toaster burned out again only sooner…

      And on-and-on, pick a topic and there is an analogy to go with it! “Tradesman” and hand-crafted parts began to die with Henry Ford’s production line and they were near death after WWII. It may have all accelerated these past 10 years, but it started long, long ago. Add China into the mix and…well you know.

      Just read some of the editorials from the guys who own mom & pop airgun modification and tuning companies. You will see some variation of the following statement on their home pages “my prices are very reasonable when you consider that everything I do is hand-crafted and I actually lose money on…”

      As BB and others have noted here about the Chi-com AK47 look alike pellet rifles, that customer base or market wants that $70 rifle because it looks “cool” and they have no basis or reference to anything better, let alone $700 for an AA or HW rifle.


      • So Brain ,then folks like me are dinosaurs? I wasn’t in dis-agreement with the use of plastic materials.I know in the work I do, I am interested enough to do a good job, use good materials. I can solve a problem, and I can start with nothing and end with something. I also knew enough to file the faces of the points flat, without needing the mechanic.


      • Brian, I’m probably the guy you’re talking about (the ‘coolness’ factor of the BAM AK lookalike).
        Actually it is my 7 and 9 year old who think they look cool…so they’re not quite at the point where they appreciate a fine HW stock or a Paiaget watch.
        Thing is…so what?
        Not everyone gets the same thrill out of fondling a fine walnut stock as some do. And I’m not trying to be persnickety…my most ‘chereished’ cameras are my Leica film cameras because they are precision built ‘old-world’ instruments. Only problem is my ‘throwaway’ digital cameras are much more capable image makers and in the long run it’s all about the photograph.
        The analogy is the same for airguns/firearms IMO.
        My father owned a lot of guns (by anyone standards), including a Purdy shotgun and a brace of Weatherby’s in 4 different calibre’s that weren’t from Japan. His favoite hunting rifle by far was a synthetic stocked Rem 700 that was dead sharp and hand more than a few gouges out of the plastic stock where it had been abused when hunting. Though he had a lot of nice guns he wasn’t a collector…and often said that if he could only have one gun to put food in the larder he’d pick that beat up Remington over all his ‘range queens’.
        I like the looks and feel of fine wood and steel as much as the next guy. But in the end what really counts is how close to the 10 does the thing shoot.


        • CSD,

          Amen!

          A long time ago, a man by the name of Townsend Whelen said, “Only accurate rifles are interesting.” He was right, and all true marksmen agree with that sentiment. In the case of the Beeman R8 I just tested, though, I get both — beauty and accuracy. And I think that is the best of all.

          B.B.


          • Colonel Whelen was one of my hero’s and I have very few.

            He was a very prolific and colorful writer and I grew up reading him. Sports Afield and Field and Stream would often have condensed versions of his stories of wilderness wanderings and amazing shooting feats. He was the ultimate outdoorsman that I would think about when I was caught with my pants down in wilderness situations. He always had a cool head and seemed to welcome his trials and tribulations.

            He said many times that there’s no point in owning a gun that won’t shoot straight. I must agree.

            kevin


          • BB,

            Amen to that. I never kept any gun which was not capable of great accuracy. But the one I remember most was a Marlin 39M carbine. Had a straight “western style” stock and a bull barrel and was extremely accurate.

            I bought a AAA fancy stock for it, lovingly hand inleted it to the gun, then lovingly sanded and finished the stock. It was a thing of beauty and shot extremely well. You could turn the gun in the sun light and watch the swirls of the fancy pattern ripple and change colors as you did!

            I used it almost every day squirrel hunting for about 10 years and it still looked like new as I was very careful with it. But alas I fell on hard times financially and needed a truck to use and traded it for a truck. The new owner had it stolen from him a few years later.

            That is the one gun I miss to this day.


  10. Its valid to say that plastics in some cases can be more durable than wood. In my opinion if you took care of your airguns and firearms you wouldn’t have this problem. Wood is not going to rot easily and the best example of this is in antique firearms, or guns from ww2.


  11. Brian,

    Great post! I am kind of 50 – 50 on composite vs. wood stocks. Love the durability but a lot of these composites are cheap. A quality wood stock on a highly polished blued steel gun is hard to beat, though. But that gun usually ends up a cabinet queen anyway.

    Anyway, thanks for the read.

    KA


    • Brian, let me add my kudos to you. Very good blog with just the right amount of tech re plastics. With engineered plastics, greater indepth knowledge and variety, plastics have certainly come a LONG way from those plastic airplane models we put together in the ’50′s. What’s real scary isz doing a loss prevention inspection of a petrochemical plant where they crack the hydrocarbon to make the basic plastic resin!

      BB, how are you doing today?

      Fred PRoNJ


      • Ya and boy-howdy!

        That’s why Shell Chemical and Monasanto built most of their plants out in the mud-flats around Houston. If they blew up, it would only kill the shift on duty and the local craw-dads. Problem was, they couldn’t control the real estate developers who built too close to them. Zeneca used to made a dry form PEEK (poly-ether-ether-ketone) polymer that could level a building if the dust cloud ignited!


        • Brian,

          I’m remembering 1947 when a shipload of ammonium nitrate fertilizer blew up in the harbor of Texas City, Texas. The explosion was similar in nature to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, though smaller in scale. One-thousand buildings were leveled. It still ranks as the largest industrial accident in U.S. history.

          B.B.


          • Read some old newspaper accounts of that one, what a disaster!

            Have a friend who just had micro-surgery to remove gall bladder, she said it was (almost) painless and for her, was an outpatient procedure. In at 9am and out by 2pm.

            Hope yours will be as easy!


            • Brian,

              The surgeon thinks it will be. Only if he can’t remove it that way will he cut me open.

              All my other endoscopic stuff has gone well, so here’s hoping the record holds.

              B.B.


              • B.B.,

                Your other procedures were, indeed, endoscopic…through the mouth. They can’t remove a gallbladder that way. Well, maybe they can, but certainly not in America :-)

                Your gallbladder will be removed through your belly button…a laparoscopic procedure.

                Edith


      • Fred,

        Doing great and just made an appointment to have my gallbladder removed. A gallstone was what caused this whole thing to begin with, so getting rid of the offending organ should keep me safe.

        Still planning on attending Roanoke in October.

        B.B.


  12. After a week away without being able to access the PA blog, I am finally caught up with all my reading. It took me awhile because I read slow (Georgia public schools). I could have just read the articles but then I would have missed:
    At least a couple of Tom-isms.
    Entertaining stories from both Fused and Volvo.
    Rikib stirring up trouble again ;-) (just kidding Rikib)
    Frank B accruing ever more airguns.
    An astonishing but not unusual demonstration of friendship when several airgunners jumped at the chance to send Volvo a choice PCP for free evaluation due to his frustration with his abomination.
    And Edith helping out everyone in between.
    Saving the best for last was Wacky Wayne’s story about the the three poor boys who grew up to be upstanding young men that showed their appreciation to their philanthropic grocer in the most touching way. That was a beautiful story, and told with such eloquence. It was pure poetry, and usually I HATE poetry.
    Man, I love this blog.

    BB

    Hell yeah! Once you get out on the bike your recovery will be exponential. I hate to walk. All I can think is, “if I was on my bike, I would BE there by now.”
    This news has lifted my spirits. You will emerge from this leaner and stronger than before. PS can I borrow the R8? I’ll give it right back. ;-)

    Brian in Idaho

    Thanks for the great blog. I prefer wood and metal as most gun snobs do, but then again I own a Glock, an IZH-61, and a Daisy 953. Oh yeah, also the Crosman 1377 converted to a 2289 backpacker. What category would the Glock ‘plastic’ fall into? And the IZH-61? I really like the tactile feel of the IZH.

    Volvo

    Sorry to hear about your Logun. If you want, I can lend you a very fine PCP with great accuracy and you only have to pump it to 2000 psi. Turn your nose up if you want, but at least it doesn’t LEAK! OK, that was uncalled for. I have copy for you, but need better photos than I have to make it less lame. Sorry for the delay, but my life is in disarray.


    • Silnging Lead

      Welcome back. The Glock people love to call the material high-performance polymer. And it is just that. Extremely durable stuff with some secret recipe of fillers and magic-dust that makes it very strong and impact resistant.

      Chemists can create some amazing products form their formulae and time, pressure and heat.

      Still… at the end of the day you cant make a gun barrel or a firearm chamber out of the stuff!

      The Beeman P3 is made from a variation of the Glock polymer.


    • Slinging Lead,

      Nice to have you back! Georgia reading? You should have gone to school in the sticks of Colorado. My 6th grade class had 14 kids (largest in elementary).

      kevin


  13. Okay, boys & girls, I think we MAY have found a solution to the IE8 problems. IE8 users have not been able to see the right-hand column, which contains links to other places on Airgun Academy as well as the archive of blogs on this site and the historical archives for pre-2010 blogs still residing on the old Blogger site.

    They think it’s because Tom and I are old fuddy-duddies. We’re still using the same html for coding the blog when we were using Blogger. There’s a newer html, and apparently we’re just too old to figure that out by ourselves :-)

    I’ve been told how to do it! So, at 3:28 PM Eastern today (8/26/10), I reconfigured this day’s blog. Hopefully, we’ll have some feedback from IE8 users that today’s blog no longer covers up the right column. If it does, I’ve told the programmer at Pyramyd Air that I’m going to come up there and slap him a couple times :-)

    Let me know if things work out for the IE8 users.

    Edith



    • Problems here too. Have Windows 7 and probably IE8.
      The blog page comes up for a split second with all the right stuff, then the stuff on the right side disappears.

      twotalon


    • For those of you have IE8 and cannot see the right-hand column:

      Has it always been like that? If not, when did it start? A month ago? Last week? Two days ago?

      If it’s always been a problem, then we may have to dig a bit deeper to see what we can find.

      Thanks,
      Edith



      • I am still having the same problem. I mean that the right hand menu is being covered, not my many other problems… It is 5:55pm EST right now. So it looks like you’re gonna slap somebody silly! Ooooh!


      • We’re doing some things with software that we think will make the blog play nice with IE8. We’ll let you know when we’re done. Better yet, why not post if you’re one of the IE8 users and all of sudden notice that you can see the menu on the right-hand side.

        Edith


        • Late to the party…but I was up commenting at 4am.Ditto for me,the margin disappeared after loading as of tuesday.
          Inept with computers as I am,I assumed I clicked something on my laptop that forever changed it’s view of the universe!
          Slinginglead,glad your back….let me know if you want an inventory update on the air arsenal.I’m getting ready to liquidate about 30% to make sense and room….for anyone interested from the blog,I will offer special deals for us prior to going public.I’m eating Ramen noodles after the Whiscombe purchase!!!Time to get out my squirrel recipes.


          • Airguns for sale ! The wife is gonna be soooo happy, I’m sure.
            I’ll be in the US in early October so if you decide to sell a few airguns before that date I might be interested… keep us informed.

            J-F



  14. It all goes back to my favorite film, “The Graduate,” with the line: “I have one word to say to you, ‘Plastics’…Enough said.” I actually never had a problem with synthetics. I’ll even confess to liking the tactical look. It was more a question for me of coming to appreciate wood which I surely do. One case in point is the factory stock on my Savage 10FP. All of the dismissive snobbery toward Savage rifles for several decades seems to now be concentrated on its “cheap, plastic stock.” Well, mine shoots like a house a fire, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

    But plastics are not all created equal. As some blog commenter noted awhile ago and Slinging Lead today, the IZH 61 has a very substantial type of synthetic stock that feels great to me. That’s one of the reason I mourn not being able to get a Saiga which apparently has the same type of stock. Looking ahead, I wonder what the future is for metal stocks like you see on the TUBB 2000, the flagship Savage police rifle, and the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR). The metal stocks are more rigid BUT heavier. They also impart a distinctive “ping” sound to the discharge. I also wonder about the future of adjustable stocks which seem to be the new rage for accuracy. Surely, this doesn’t have to cost $500 like it did for my Anschutz! Low cost adjustability or “modularity” as it’s called might be cost-effective.

    I think it’s about time we hear Edith’s survivalist story. (Edith, Edith.)

    Matt61


  15. Looks like some poor programmer is gonna get a beating… 3h45pm here and it’s still not showing with IE.
    I cleared my temporary internet files to be sure, then opened a new window, reloaded and it’s still not showing.

    Sorry

    J-F



  16. Greetings from College Park,MD where I’m about to start hanging pictures in my daughter’s dorm. The Ruger 10/22 I bought my son hasv a synthetic stock that I thought was fine. He’ll have. Hard time destroying it as opposed to wood! By the way, he just bought a 11 year old Toyota Tacoma,much to his mother’s dismay. I’ve stirred the pot a bit more by telling her we can now call him Bubba and I’ll start looking for a rifle rack. Talk about evil stares. I love it but she’s talking to me today.

    Brian, one of these days I’ll tell you and the blog about the Hoechst Celanese vapor cloud at their plant at Port Arthur, Tx. That insurance claim went for about $1Billion.

    Fred PRoNJ


    • Fred – you’re in Maryland? Sounds like you’ve got your hands full, but if you can find the time, let’s go shooting! The Damascus IWLA air rifle range is about an hour from College Park. And I think Mr. B and his range are closer still. I happen to be taking the week off of work, so I’m a free man. Impromptu PA blog fun shoot?!?

      -Jan


  17. When I lived in New Orleans I was shopped to head a special project involving Kevlar matrix cloth,Etheline amine resins,and other secret stuff….this ties in here because my job was to fix wood power poles that had succumbed to insects,woodpecker nests,and general rot.I was able to repair even severed poles….testing showed our methods not only stabilized the poles,but made them 5-10 times as strong as a new wooden pole.
    Also,lets not forget how guns with wood stocks are made more accurate by “bedding the action”.My big concern is when things are engineered to fail after so long.That will be inevitable when engineers and bean counters start seeing eye to eye….IMHO


  18. Brian,

    I had a plastic intake manifold on a Chrysler somewhere around 1983. The manifold warped and the only way to get it going was to push it in neutral. My neck still hurts from the ex wife ramming it at 20 mph every day, and I still owe the dishwashers that would push it after work to get it going the other way. The backorder on the aluminum replacement manifolds was about 5 months.

    Sure I have had synthetics arms, but I have never stared at them and admired the craftsmanship and I would guess that few will be family heirlooms. I think plastic has moved from being thought of as “cheap”, but will be stuck at “utilitarian” for some time.

    The HW97 and Gamo Whisper example seems a little apples to oranges.

    Edith,

    The format on the blog change about 3 days ago, it was fine with IE8 before that.

    Slinging Lead,

    No rush on your piece, and I’ll take a rain check on the Discovery. Kevin was nice enough to sell the FX Cyclone back to me for what I sold it to him for. Perhaps, you can buy it next as long as you sell it back?

    Volvo


  19. This is my first airgun since my Crossman 10-pump as a little boy. I really don’t have anything else to compare it to; however, I really like this gun so far. Thumbhole stock is easy to handle. Scope is really good for this price range (coming from a guy who only shoots Leupold). Scope mount is excellent and includes an anti-slide screw to lock it to the action. The reticle can be lit with 4 stages of green or red light for nighttime use. The gun seems tight–I’ve had no problems with loose screws on mine. Rifling was clean. The safety is in an odd place (within the trigger guard in front of the trigger) but is totally manual and does its job. I’ve tried pulling the trigger with the safety engaged and there’s a nice, solid block. I’ve tried 8 different kinds of pellets so far. As expected, pellet choice offers a wide range of accuracy–anything from 2″ at 25 yds down to 1/2″ groups. I get dime size groups at 25 yards with Gamo Match Diablo, but I still have some fliers that take the groups to 1.5″. Barrel droop doesn’t appear to be an issue: There’s a significant locking lug under the breech. Plus, all of my stringing is left to right, which seems to rule out any droop. Noise seems reasonable though I have nothing to compare it to. It sounds like a smaller air nailer. Recoil is noticeable but isn’t buzzy. Stock and cocking parts appear beefy. I like the barrel shroud…it gives the gun a bull-barrel look…although there is no crown at the muzzle.

    Wow…the trigger is terrible on this thing. I love the two-stage trigger concept (I have it on a couple smokeless rifles), but the 1st stage is way too heavy. It’s probably around 3-4 lbs. Plus, the fist stage has started binding on mine after approximately 250 shots. If I pull the 1st stage until I meet second stage resistance, the first stage spring will bind and the trigger will then just flop around within the 1st stage zone. The 2nd stage is adjustable and came from the factory at around 6 lbs. I’ve got mine set to somewhere around 2-3 lbs. Trigger break is pretty clean and has just a little bit of overtravel. I have a Charlie Da Tuna replacement trigger on order.

    The gun did need a 100-shot break in period. Accuracy improved noticeably after that. Accuracy swings wildly with different pellet types. Wadcutters seem to shoot the most accurately in mine. I’m still searching for the best pellet because I expect a gun of this caliber to shoot dime sized groups at 25 yds all day long. Although I can put 7-8 Gamo Match Diablo pellets through 1 ragged hole, I get 4 or 5 flyers in a 20-shot string that opens the group up to 1.5″ or 2″. That’s no good when trying to pick rats off the bird feeder without putting holes through the feeder. The trigger housing and safety lever are plastic but the trigger is metal. The manual says to add 1 drop of Crossman Silicone Chamber Oil every 100 shots in order to retain accuracy. The scope has an adjustable objective that works quite nicely. The target turrets work nicely as well and can be adjusted to three different styles: loosen the set screw to reset to zero, leave the set screw a couple turns out to allow the turrets to be adjusted on-the-fly, or lock the set screw all the way down to lock the turrets in place. Note: the original scope battery was DOA, which might be why Remington included another one in the box.


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