Single mom teaches children to shoot – Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Despite the title of this report, it’s actually written for anyone who’s trying to teach a new shooter, child or adult how to shoot. The age of the shooter is unimportant. The first four parts of this report have dealt with setting up the range, class discipline and how to conduct a shooting class. Today, we’ll get to the actual teaching.

The triangulation system
When I was a youngster, my mother enrolled me in an NRA-run course that taught me how to shoot. This was in the late 1950s, and the techniques used to teach us back then were those that had been popular both before and during World War II. I’ve researched both the modern U.S. Army and Marine Corps marksmanship syllabi and find that what I’m about to show you is, unfortunately, no longer taught — but it should be! Today’s lesson could turn out to be the most valuable teaching technique for training new shooters that you ever learn.

We’re going to teach the new shooter how to use sights through a method called triangulation. Although we’ll be using aperture sights, which are the easiest to learn and the most precise to use, any type of non-optical sight may be taught by this method. Read the entire report before asking any questions. This method will immediately reveal whether a student understands how to use sights, plus it will show the student’s level of skill in sighting — all without the use of a rifle.

Making a triangulation sighting bar
You can make a simple training aid to teach the student how to use the sights. It consists of a straight bar with open “sights” on each end. An 18″ strip of wood will suffice for the bar, and you can fashion the “sights” from paper index cards. If you’re the coach of a shooting club and plan to teach a lot of kids, it might be worth the effort to mount real sights to the bar, though that isn’t necessary. Simple card-stock sights taped to the bar as shown in the drawings will work great. If you cannot find a piece of wood to use for the bar, a long ruler works well as a substitute. The dimensions of this training aid are not precise and critical, as long as it’s made reasonably close to what’s described here.

Poke a small hole through the rear “sight” for the student to peer through. The front “sight” is just a square post. Fasten both front and rear sights so they cannot move during the exercise, as repeatability is important. Place the sighting bar on a box so the student can use the sights without touching or moving them.

The instructor stands or sits 33 feet away and holds a black bullseye target against a large white piece of paper that’s attached to a wall or a large box. In the center of the black bullseye, a small hole has been made for a lead pencil to poke through to mark on the white background paper.

Conduct of the exercise
The student looks through the sighting bar and tells the instructor how to move the bullseye target until it’s positioned perfectly against his sights for a 6 o’clock hold. It’s important that the sighting bar does not move during the exercise — only the target, as adjusted by the instructor. When the sight picture looks right, the student tells the instructor to mark the target and the instructor makes a mark on the white background paper by pressing his pencil through the hole in the center of the target.

Repeat this exercise three times and there will be three pencil marks on the white background paper. The closer these marks are to each other, the better the student has adjusted his sights. This gives both the student and the instructor an excellent idea of how well the student understands the sight picture.

The results you want
What you are looking for is three dots on the background paper in the form of a triangle. A good result is if the dots are all within one inch of each other. Don’t be surprised if they are within one-half-inch of each other. The closer they are, the better and more precise the student is seeing the sight picture.

But if the dots are several inches apart, the student is not yet seeing the sight picture correctly. They may not understand all that is required of them in the exercise, or they may not appreciate the precision they are expected to achieve. Also, this could be an indication of a vision problem. Once you determine the problem(s), you can run the exercise again until they get it right. When the student can place three dots close to each other, they will instinctively know how the rifle sights should look, and you can rule that out as a problem area.

A simpler, faster way to begin
You can avoid making the sighting bar if you want to by simply using the rifle itself. Simply rest it so the student can see through the sights without touching or moving the rifle. This will be more difficult because of the stock, which is why the bar was created, but it is possible. However, many people don’t like the idea of being downrange with a rifle pointed at them, and the sighting bar makes it unnecessary. I think the sighting bar is a much better training aid that takes only a few minutes to create.

Style of the sights doesn’t matter
Don’t worry if your rifle’s sights don’t look like the sights I’ve shown here. You can make them any kind of style you desire. Just cut them out of card stock and color them black to help the student define the sight picture. If you plan to use open sights with a rear notch, be sure to allow enough room behind the rear sight so it appears reasonably sharp to the student when aligned with the front sight. And remember to tell the student that the front sight is what they must focus on. Both the rear sight and the target will appear slightly out of focus when they sight correctly.

I have wanted to share this technique with my readers for years, but I always held back because I felt it might be too difficult to follow. I hope this report has made it clear and that this exercise helps your students learn how to use open sights as it once helped me. One week after completing this exercise successfully, I was shooting five-shot, dime-sized groups at 50 feet from the prone position, which was the first position the NRA taught.

114 thoughts on “Single mom teaches children to shoot – Part 5

  1. My daughter had friends over until about 11:30 pm so that meant I was unable to try the Logun Solo out after work until 11:45, and drum roll… it leaks!

    The air hisses out of the cylinder continually, but I did mange to get a shot across the Chrony that went 955 fps with .22 cal Crosman Accupels and an impressive 5 shot goup that showed promise if it only held air!

    Looks like I’ll arrange a return in the AM and see if I can rent a Shetland Pony from the County Fair to take her back. Sad face. Worst part is I ordered the $59.00 barrel band support from another vendor today from work, at least I didn’t get the air tube extension too.

    Wayne, Kevin, FrankB, Derrick38, etc any recommendations on a PCP for about the same price? (with tax I have about $530.00 in it)

    Volvo


    • Sorry to hear that you got a leaker.
      If a Talon leaks, it is usually going to be a bit of dirt in the valve that sometimes can be blown out by dry firing a few times. Otherwise it is a cooked valve, which usually happens after a couple tank dumps. Tank dumps are usually caused by operator error.

      You could dry fire it a few times to see if the problem clears.

      twotalon


      • Twotalon and FrankB,

        This one is leaking from the fill area, not the valve. Being a used item I’m not sure of its history, but it is different than what was shown in the PA photo and described. The barrel is not shrouded plus it does not have the support band, however since they are all gone they pulled the description.
        It’s too bad because I really like the FX triggers and in my eyes you can’t beat a 5.7 lb rifle that is putting out 29+ ft lbs.

        Frank, I’m sure I’ll find something that will tied me over, but many thanks.


    • Volvo,

      That’s a great buy on a wonderful new gun. Before you write it off let’s fix the problem.

      You may have a dirty valve so try dry firing as twotalon suggested. My guess is that since it’s nos the o ring in the outlet valve and/or the o ring in the cylinder endcap have hardened (parts 27 and/or 28). Schematic calls for 2.5 x 1.5 nbr90 and 22 x 2.5 nbr70. These shouldn’t be hard to find at your local hardware store or harbor freight. Not a tough fix. Remember to put silicone grease on the o rings.

      As you already know your logun solo is aka an fx typhoon. Here’s a link to the fx owners forum. Half way down the page click on “Diagrams and stripdowns” then click on the “fx typhoon” diagram to bring up and exploded view. Goes without saying but shoot all the air out of the gun before you take the end of the cylinder apart:

      http://www.fxoc.info/

      Keep it clean. One grit of dirt in that valve and you’ll be disassembling and cleaning again.

      I’m guessing it’ll take you about 10 minutes if you already have an assortment of o rings.

      kevin


    • Volvo,

      I’m more than happy to let you try out the Evanix Rainstorm for a week or so. It’s just sitting these days, with me shooting/practicing so much FT. I really don’t know why I have it, it’s just such a nice gun and Ed likes his so much, I wanted to try one first hand.

      Try it and if you like it, we will work out the money later. I’d really like your review of it, considering your vast experience. Maybe you can do the guest blog I promised, but didn’t come thru on. The price is very similar, so you could try it, blog it, and send it back to me, if you don’t want to buy it.

      You can borrow my burro if you need to:-)

      Wacky Wayne,
      Match Director,
      Ashland Air Rifle Range


      • Wayne,

        Thanks for the offer, but I need to ponder which beast of burden I would need for such a long trip: donkey \ pony \ mule to make it all the way to Oregon.

        In all seriousness, I appreciate the offer but I am going to just do a little
        more research before I pull the trigger on anything.

        I did see the Rainstorm on PA’s site. The power is crazy if it is correct and the price seems good, so I will add it to my possibilities list.


        • Volvo,

          I got one for Ed and this one. Ed’s is getting the 40fpe and mine about 37. I think a tinker could do what he wants with it, including the trigger. But I adjusted it about as light as it should be for a hunting gun. I remember the trigger on the Blizzard being very nice and the Rainstorm is just a carbine Blizzard.

          PS..
          I still smile when I bring up that photo in my mind of your daughters grinning ear to ear in the back seat of your car. They just beam LOVE! Been awhile but it pops up in my mind all the time:-)

          Blessings on your families path my friend..

          Wacky Wayne


  2. I totally share in your dissapointment.I bought a .308DAQ through someone as part of a larger group.Some time passed before I got to shoot such a large loud rifle.When I charged it up,same problem.The good news was Dennis has offered excellent guidance via tele. Is it leaking out the inlet or the firing valve??Dennis’s inlet is just an o-ring 1/4 OD,1/8 ID.I bought a Daystate Harrier with a Gary Cane stock,Steve Korric reg. & LDC for around that price that’s superb.Only thing is it’s .177.That and a Condor are my darkside….unless you count all them bigbores! Email me if I can help a little…


    • I should mention the o-ring did not fix the DAQ .308…somehow where it seats there is a blemish.Dennis said if I pay shipping,he’ll fix it free! I told him I would have to give him something….he said if I did he would just send it back.The man has old school integrity!I have found that alot with our sport/hobby.


  3. BB, would this method be useful in checking the relative precision of different sight types (scope vs peep vs traditional notch/post vs “fiber optic”)?

    Are there any types of vision problems aside from poor focus that could cause the dots to be far apart?

    Paul


    • My take…and B.B. might add to the list…

      A scope is always intended to be aimed at a very precise spot, as opposed to other types of sights. The aiming procedure is different.
      You could compare open/peep with front post or fiber optics fairly well.

      Peep and globe with aperature is still another different animal.

      Vision problems could be astigmatism or cataracts. Either one makes a good focus about impossible.

      twotalon


    • Paul,

      twotalon got a lot of the eye problems. I would add floaters and left-eye dominance. Those are problems that sights, alone, cannot solve.

      Yes, this procedure will show the relative precision among the various types of non-optical sights. Of course it was means as a target shooting training tool and so aperture sights were used most of the time. In my day, the front post was the most popular front sight element, but 15 years later the front aperture took over. And in the ’90s, the clear aperture that FWB and AirForce put into their front sights replaced the older black aperture element.

      B.B.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        I tend to forget about the floaters.
        I have a couple small ones that I usually don’t notice, until one of them gets in just the right place.

        By the way, the cataract surgery fixed the problem with peeps…no more white dot in the peep sight.

        twotalon


  4. Volvo,
    What a great way to begin your new gun experience. Very sorry to hear that. Dry firing it isn’t gonna help if it’s leaking at the cylinder. It’s likely just the seal at the end of the cylinder and should be a quick fix if that’s any consolation. Yeah, I know. It’s not.

    My sole PCP is a .22 cal Marauder. It’s ugly, but incredibly accurate and easy to use. I’m having a hard time warming up to PCP guns. Like you, I cut my teeth on Beeman catalogs back in the 1980′s and still gravitate toward Weihrauch springers.

    And old Walthers.


    • Volvo,

      I also commiserate with your bad luck on getting a leaker. I, too have a Marauder and it really is a neat rifle. It’s more accurate than I am and I really like the 10 shot magazine. Only problem is I shoot so fast with it, I have to re-fill the air supply much more frequently. Should make the local dive shop happy, however. Good luck with getting it straightened out.

      On another topic, Roanoke is just around the corner. BB – any chance you’ll be able to make the trip?

      Fred PRoNJ


      • Fred,

        I’m planning to be at Roanoke this year. In fact, Mac is driving out to Texas to help me load my truck, which he will then help me drive back to Roanoke for the show. We plan to arrive a day early to help with the setup of tables and chairs. We will also stay late to help with the knockdown.

        Fred Liady, the show’s promoter, has been in the hospital even longer than me this year. He is back in with pneumonia right now. So a number of us older guys have promised to help out at the show, so Fred can sit back and relax. Davis Schwesinger will handle the major coordination of work for us.

        However, I still have a drain in my side and a bag that has to be carried everywhere I go. It’s connected to my pancreatic pseudocyst and cannot be removed until the cyst is dead. The bag looks gross in public and it limits my ability to climb into the bed of my truck and to handle things with two hands. If I still have that bag in October, I doubt I will be able to attend.

        So things are still iffy at this time.

        B.B.



        • BB,
          Excellent blog article. I just know it was aimed (pun intended) at noobies like me. I remember saying a while back that my eyesight was so poor I couldn’t get any two elements to be in focus at the same time, so that’s why I always use a scope. Well, thanks for clearing that up. According to your rules, I’m not supposed to, necessarily, be able to get two elements in focus at the same time, only the front sight. Hot dang! Back to the range I go with this piece of info! If I can psychologically adjust to this piece of physical info I may become an open sight shooter, yet. Thanks for giving me hope.

          Re: drain bag. You are already dressing like a concealed carry gun licensee, can’t you dress like a concealed carry bag licensee? I mean no disrespect. Won’t October be cooler to allow baggier clothing? Hate to see you miss out because of what others may think.
          -CJr


          • Chuck,

            I went for a short walk today. Probably less than 1/2 mile in total. During the walk I felt groggy and fuzzy and afterwards I was definitely tired.

            BUT, an hour later it was like I had awakened again. My tiredness had rolled away and I feel positively charged. This is the best I’ve felt since March 29, when all this started. Today is the first day since I’ve been out of the hospital that I haven’t needed at least one nap during the day. I think I’m on the mend!

            So I do believe I will be coming to Roanoke, after all. I hope I won’t have my bag with me then, but if I have to, I’ll even come with it, if I feel as good as I do right now.

            B.B.



            • BB,
              That sounds sooooooo good!! Been waiting a long time to hear this as your progress has developed. I sure hope you can go.

              Edith,
              We all know you have the final say. I trust your instincts and I’m really sure Tom does too by now. Keep spotting for the artillery man!
              -CJr



              • Edith, I promise to look after Tom and Mac – they’ll eat healthy – nothing but cheese burgers, Mexican food and beer, the three basic food groups. I’ll even make sure he has nothing but light beer.

                Fred PRoNJ



                  • No need to thank me, Edith. But I will be sure not to bend over when you’re standing behind me and happen to be holding one of those air soft BB guns :)

                    Hey BB, I just returned from Germany. My father-in-law wanted to show the wife and kids where he lived before being chased out by the Nazis in 1938. I’m now addicted to German Summer Wheat beer!

                    Fred PRoNJ


                    • Fred,

                      That’s Weitzen Bier mit Zitrone. My absolute favorite of all beers!

                      In the U.S. Blue Moon beer with an orange slice can rival it when the beer is fresh, but Blue Moon is so iffy. Half the time it’s gone bad.

                      B.B.


                    • Wish my father-in-law were alive. He, too, was run out in 1938, but this summer the state of Bavaria and his home town did a large exhibit on local Jewish doctors who were forced out of work. They used his picture on the cover of the brochure and our son visited as a guest of honor. Yes, when we’re in Germany we’ll visit too.

                      The organizer heard from one woman who claims she had been engaged to the guy (possible, I suppose) and another who worked for him.


                    • Pete,

                      Many of us lost relatives in Germany. My mother refused to ever set foot back in Germany. She said they didn’t want her, and so she never wanted to set foot there again. She was true to her word. Both my parents were born, raised and lived most of their lives in Germany. That is, until they were forced to leave. Well, at least they got to leave. Some of our relatives did not.

                      Edith




            • I’ve been looking forward to Roanoke for months, and now I realize it’s smack in the middle of my German vacation planned for months, and not movable. Pity; it’s only 3 hours or so from my home.


            • Yeah!!

              B.B. that’s the best news of the century! Gaining back your strength is such great news!

              Our prayers are answered!

              Wacky Wayne


    • Derrick38,

      I think you might enjoy some of the more refined PCP’s, my attraction mainly is the power to weight ratio. The only Springer I had capable of 29 ft lbs was my Patriot, and it was a beast.

      Since Wayne has had about a hundred PCP’s I’m hoping he can suggest a winner. I’m looking for about 26 ft lbs in .22 caliber with a decent trigger. If not shrouded it needs to have ½” 20 thread set up.


      • Volvo,

        I heard you when you said lightweight/power ratio.

        So that’s why you need to try the Rainstorm.

        About 6 lbs and 40fpe! It’s got a fragile stock, but your a careful guy, and PA will give you a new one if it breaks within 30 days. This one seems like there is no particular weak spot like Eds’ first one, so you’ll be fine.

        A Marauder is too big for your taste. Great gun for the money, but not the carbine your asking for.

        20 shots without much loss of POI, and 10 more with a 1/2″ drop at 50 yards. 1/2″ 5-shot groups, good shroud, (got to do the depinging thing maybe).

        The balance offhand is super for me. I’ve got a Simmons Pro Hunter 4-12×32 on her now and I’ll leave it for you to test too. Hardly adds a pound, but great clear glass.

        The trigger might be the killer for you, but it’s pretty nice for a hunting gun. I don’t have a tester, but I’d guess about 2 lbs tops, since I adjusted it.

        You should try it, I could ship it tomorrow, and it’ll get there faster than you can ride your donkey to PA:-)

        Keep the Logun Solo for a few days, to compare the two. Leaking or not, you can test a little with it.

        Just an idea… up to you.

        Wacky Wayne


  5. Tom,

    Some time in the past you put a link (I think) to this exercise and I have used it at our 4-H club. I like using a 853 in a vise with a piece of weed whacker line threaded thought the barrel so nobody gets nervous about being down range. This training aid really points out the importance of sight alignment and helps out some more advanced shooters as well.

    To all,

    Just wanted to get your thoughts on this statement in the Pennsylvania “Advanced Air Rifle” project book.

    “If possible, all beginning shooters should learn to shoot a rifle with the stock in their right shoulder and aim with their right eye. Rifles are designed and manufactured for right handed shooters. There is little apparent concern for the left handed shooter. Converting a rifle for left handed use is often expensive and not always satisfactory. Therefore, it is easier in the long run for individuals with left hand and/or eye dominance to learn to shoot from the right handed position. Left eyed shooters who aim with the right eye must wear a blinder.”

    Caveman


    • Caveman,

      I like how your club has made the 853 safer.

      And I gather from what you say that you are using this method of teaching in your club? Have you found that it is a rapid way to learn whether students are “getting” the sight picture down?

      B.B.


      • Tom,

        Yes, for some kids this seems to be the only way for them to “get” what the sight picture should look like. It is fun to see their confidence once they get it.

        Caveman


    • Caveman,

      this same philosophy is used in golf. Left handed clubs are typically more expensive and harder to find than right handed clubs but they are out there. The Pennsy book is, I think, just trying to save the shooter some time and trouble. If you can’t adapt to shooting righty, then you’ll either have to spend the money to get a stock made for shooting lefthanded or buy a rifle in the first place that is adaptable to left or right handed shooting, such as Crosman’s new Challenger rifle.

      Fred PRoNJ



  6. This was the method that my father used to teach us. but it was an open notch instead of an aperature on the sighting bar. The gun we shot was a Crosman 99 lever action that had a square notch rear sight, and a square post front sight.
    My own kids started with a Daisy cub, but soon graduated to a scoped QB-78. They really had the sight picture idea down already so I didn’t have to make a sight bar, I just drew a mock up of the sight picture on their back board. Then I asked them where the bullseye should be in relation to the sights I drew. It was more so I knew that they understood. I think they got the idea quickly, because they and their friends are nerf gun addicts, and those have a square open notch rear sight. What is interesting is that their nerf guns don’t have a front sight ,but it was not hard for them to get the idea of using one. I’ve noticed that they also shoot with both eyes open and are very good at quick target aquistion when using open sights. Robert


  7. Volvo,

    That’s a great buy on a wonderful new gun. Before you write it off let’s fix the problem.

    You may have a dirty valve so try dry firing as twotalon suggested. My guess is that since it’s nos the o ring in the outlet valve and/or the o ring in the cylinder endcap have hardened (parts 27 and/or 28). Schematic calls for 2.5 x 1.5 nbr90 and 22 x 2.5 nbr70. These shouldn’t be hard to find at your local hardware store or harbor freight. Not a tough fix. Remember to put silicone grease on the o rings.

    As you already know your logun solo is aka an fx typhoon. Here’s a link to the fx owners forum. Half way down the page click on “Diagrams and stripdowns” then click on the “fx typhoon” diagram to bring up and exploded view. Goes without saying but shoot all the air out of the gun before you take the end of the cylinder apart:

    http://www.fxoc.info

    Keep it clean. One grit of dirt in that valve and you’ll be disassembling and cleaning again.

    I’m guessing it’ll take you about 10 minutes if you already have an assortment of o rings.

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      Thanks for the info, but it leaks from the fill port area. I am sure it is reparable, as just like with the Cyclone the entire air tube is removable \ slash replaceable but I really don’t want to get into all that.

      I was I little disappointed when it was not the shrouded model with barrel band that was shown, but now that it leaks also I am going to throw in the towel. I’m sure I can return the barrel band I ordered and will just be out shipping on it and the rifle.

      The ironic part is that I picked between going for this or a nice R8 on Gunbroker the same week. Wrong again.

      http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=183852929

      Volvo


      • Volvo,

        The fix I detailed is for the fill port area. Not hard to do. Shoot the gun out of air, minor disassembly, take the o rings to the hardware store to match and reassemble.

        Did you look at the diagram?

        kevin


        • Kevin,
          I am a member on that forum already.

          This bad boy leaks so fast that you hear a hiss like I bike tire with a nail in it. It is not from around the area where the seam is, but inside the fill hole.
          Keep in mind I use a HAND pump, so nothing is more frustrating than to work up a sweat as the air pours out at the same time. No need to shoot it empty – all the air is gone!

          When I removed the end cap it seems way over greased, like someone has messed with it before.

          I really do appreciate you trying to help, but I‘m done with it.


    • Kevin, or anyone

      You mention silicone grease, you wouldn’t happen to know if dielectric connector grease (versachem brand) that is available in most auto parts stores is OK to use? It claims to be 100% silicone and is much cheaper than the grease I get from the dive shop.

      Caveman


      • Caveman,

        I know that dielectric grease has been talked about but I never paid much attention as to whether or not it’s a good substitute for what I use. I bought a small tub (lifetime supply) from the dive shop that fills my carbon fiber tanks (to be a good customer) for $5.00. My attitude is that even if I could find a substitute for half price it wouldn’t be worth the experiment for me.

        kevin


        • Kevin,

          Actually I was thinking more for convenience than savings. For me the closest dive shop is over 50 miles away but fortunately the local fire Dept. fills my air tanks for me. Also the fact that it comes in a squeeze tube there is less chance of contamination from dirt and such.

          Caveman


          • Caveman,

            Yes. The Dow-Corning 320 dielectric grease I mention below also comes in a squeeze tube. I think it’s pretty similar stuff.

            B.B.


      • Caveman,

        When I assembled air reservoirs at AirForce I used Dow-Corning dielectric silicone grease on the o-ring that seals the valve against the aluminum reservoir. As long as it is 100 percent silicone it should work fine. I know Dow-Corning 320 grease does.

        B.B.


  8. Edith or B.B. I know this has probably been addressed before (I’ve searched but can’t find anything). Is there a way to embed photos in a post?
    Last evening I photographed what is possible with my XS-B9. It may not be Weihrauch performance…but it definitely shows that Chinese guns have improved since the time that the B3 tested earlier this week was built.



      • Edith, a friend at Boeing Co. had a technical blog he ran (for awhile) on jet engine performance. He finally had to shut it down after he allowed posts with pictures.

        Reason? He couldn’t afford the exponential growth in computing power required to manage pictures and data tables and other techy stuff that was posted.

        Imagine the off-topic thread from a few days ago with pictures and audio files added!


        • Too bad.
          Not that I’m trying to persuade anyone that the chinese guns are the best thing since sliced bread, but….
          I went to my range last night and fired up the B9 http://www.xisicous.com/xs-b9-1.html
          (hope this is okay, it’s the manufacturers website…not a dealer)
          I have mine set up with a Vortex Strikefire red-dot…actually worth about $75 more than the rifle. The gun in the photo supplies by the manufacturer is pretty much ‘real’. Blueing is good but not great. Fit and finish are nearly as good as my Avanti (which is not as good as my Slavia IMO) and the plastic furniture is way heavier than that on the Crosman Nightstalker this gun replace.
          Anyhow…what I was hoping to show in my photo was the target I shot, which is what I usually get from this gun.
          Standing, offhand.
          10 shots at an ISSF pistol target (looks identical to the target used in the test of the B3 earlier this week…in a timed 23 seconds (the gun is a 10 shot repeater).
          5 shots are all in or touching the ’10′ ring. 4 are well within the ’9′ ring.
          One shot was a ‘flyer’ and ended up in the 8 ring.
          But the 9 other shots have a spread of just under .75″
          Offhand in 23 seconds.
          No way I’m complaining about my $100 Chinese gun.


        • Brian,

          When I ran our Airgun Letter forum a decade ago, we had yokels who deliberately uploaded lots of gigantic images and crashed the site. It erased all the postings. I know who did it–twice!–and its sole purpose was to remove the postings. I banned those people from the forum. That memory sticks in my mind. I don’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night to monitor the blog to see if someone’s trying to undermine it. Nevertheless, I’ve asked Pyramyd Air if they have plans to allow images. I’m guessing there will be many safeguards in place if they allow it.

          Edith


          • Edith, I know that most photo posting websites now allow a maximum picture width (or depth) of 600 pixels on whatever is the longside. This means that the biggest image the system will accept will be in the neighborhood of 2-300 kilobytes.


    • cowboystar dad,

      Upload your photo’s to a free web host (like photobucket) then post a link here. I’d be very interested in seeing what you did to your XS-B9.

      kevin



        • yup…if you type in the above (no www) it gets you to the two images.
          The first is the XS with accessories (I know…it looks kinda mercenary).
          It is a bullpup design, so it is short, only about 30″ long. It is a sidelever repeater. A 12 shot clip slides down through the loading port into the handgrip behind the trigger.
          I’ve done little to the gun itself. As with any Chinese gun you need to stip it down a bit to get the cosmoline (or whatever the heck it is that they slather on these things) off. A bit of moly lube on the spring, than put it all together, being sure to locktite the screws…the Chinese guns are notorious for a harsh firing cycle that loosens things up pretty fast.
          Then pellet testing. The clip supplied likes very few pellets I found. Anything with a rounded or pointed nose will cant in the clip and cause misfires (not good with a springer). I settled on the Miesterklugen 7.0gr pistol, which feed well and seem pretty accurate.
          Next I got rid of the scope. The gun comes with a fairly descent scope that actually gets pretty good ratings…on the bow review sites. Right on the scope it says it is a crossbow scope and it just doesn’t have enough eye relief to work well on the air rifle it comes on.
          I replace it with a Red Dot. One of the brands of bino’s we carry where I work is Vortex and the rep gave me a good deal on the Vortex Strikefire. It was a demo, so in esence a $180 red dot sits atop my $100 rifle (though in reality it was demo and I got if for 1/2 price).
          Anyway, it works well and fits the looks of the rifle.
          As I mentioned fit and finish is genuinely nearly as good as my Avanit.
          Except on the insides ;-)
          The seals, bushings and the rest inside do look rougher than the Avanti or Slavia. If I was more mechanically inclined it could probably do with a good tune, which I’m sure would smooth out the firing cycle…but hey, I bought it for it’s ‘fun factor’ and it lives up to that very well.
          But I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy. No, it’s not as accurate as the Avanti or the Slavia. Just as a stock M4 is not going to be as accurate at 100 yrds as an M24 sniper rifle.
          But I don’t think the B9 was made for accuracy…it was made for fun, which it delivers in spades.
          And, as the target shows (I feel)…10 shots at 10yds offhand in 23 seconds in under an inch (except for that damn flyer) is nothing to sneeze at.


          • cowboystar dad,

            Photo’s are great!

            I like that gun. Very intrigued by the vortex strikefire. I was red dot shopping a few weeks ago and overlooked that one.

            That’s some good offhand shooting. 10 shots in 23 seconds?!! My offhand shooting stinks. Bad form. Been informally working on it this summer. Last summer was long distance bench resting and got tired of doping wind, which almost always blows at my cabin. This summer we’ve been shooting the caldwell shooting gallery targets offhand while they’re moving. At 20 yards these 2 1/2″ targets seem dime size to me. I’m getting better but I’m still not in your class.

            Thanks for the pictures.



    • CSD,

      Please understand that I am not on a campaign against Chinese airguns. And, in the past I have readily acknowledged that some Chinese-made guns are indeed remarkable. In fact, I believe I warned Weihrauch to be aware of the excellence found in the Beeman P17. And I also praised the QB 89, which Vince told us is a derivative of the Chinese AR 1000.

      BUT, and this is the whole point I wanted to make in that report, just because the Chinese CAN make a good airgun does not mean they always do. And the B3-1 I tested is a classic example of what a mediocre one looks like.

      I was writing for readers like C-S/Milan who have never shot these rifles themselves and may never get a chance to. I wanted them to see exactly what they are (or are not) missing.

      I have no doubt that your rifle can deliver, because I know what a good shooter you are. You shoot target rifles way better than me, and I would never doubt your opinion for a moment. So as far as I am concerned, pictures are not necessary. I will take your word on whatever you tell us.

      B.B.


  9. B.B. Please don’t misunderstand me.
    I feel you did an honest test of a crappy rifle. And at no time do I recall you saying that all Chinese rifles were bad. And boy…as I mentioned you definitely have a far greater chance of getting a ‘Friday Afternoon’ rifle (even on a rifle that has a reasonably good reputation) with the Chinese than anything else.
    I was aiming this more at a number of responders that were taking the ‘anything Chinese is bad’.
    That I feel is not the case.
    I want you do know B.B. that I consider you to one of the fairest product testers I have ever encountered…no matter what the field. In my area of extpertise (photography) I cannot think of one tester who does as good a job as you.


    • For clarification sake, I do not have the opinion that ‘anything Chinese is bad.’ The only thing that hit a sore spot with me is the clones because, like I said, I run into the same thing in my business and experience first hand the impact it has.

      I am officially stepping down from my soap box now, let’s get back to enjoying airguns and shooting!


  10. Two thumbs up to PA on the return service, it went quicker than placing the order! Also, they are paying return shipping since it is defective, which was a pleasant surprise.


    • Good for You Volvo

      Despite other, recent posts to the contrary, PA has always done right by me as well. They missed a 4th tin free of pellets on an order and after it shipped, called me about it! They sent a tin of 500 versus the 250 I ordered as a make-it-right gesture. My post yesterday is another example of their help with Umarex warranty issues.

      I think what PA has going for it is a REAL business model, as opposed to other airgun websites, many of whom won’t email or phone or even answer phones.

      In other words, PA is a professional outfit.


  11. B.B., I can see how this method would be good for diagnosing vision problems, but is it really so difficult for people to learn what a sight picture looks like? I understood right away when I learned it in high school. The problem was holding the sight picture steady which was probably more a maturity issue. I’m very intrigued by methods of teaching the approach to the sight picture, and I think the idea you mentioned about having the shooter use a laser which can be seen by others is the best one I’ve heard yet. Also, for teaching new shooters I think that variable distance is a much under-utilized technique–the same one you described for teaching people to shoot pistols. It’s a hassle and even impractical to change the range for a group of shooters, but I bet it would solve a lot of individual problems. If I could have used a variable range when I was learning it would have been so much better than shooting the same crappy scores at the regulation distance.

    What’s your impression of the difference between the old military marksmanship teaching methods and the new? Given that the older weapons were heavier caliber with greater range and that the U.S. military has always had a strong tradition of marksmanship prior to the assault rifle doctrine, my guess is that the older methods are more detailed and sophisticated. The newer methods should only be superior in snap shooting and close quarter battle techniques if anything. I expect that it’s just like boxing manuals which were much superior in the early 20th century than now.

    Matt61



  12. Kevin,

    Thanks, but I like thinking she is happy in her new mountain home, although if you ever grow tired of the Cyclone and decide to sell her please let me know first.

    Once I get the refund from PA I will stalk another “deal”.


  13. BB, Boy I had almost forgotten that method, I remember doing that exercise in basic. I seem to have been in the transition
    phase of training, we started with KD , then trainfire , then quick kill so I guess I got all the benefits ?? :-) :-)


    • Shakey,

      I learned the same way! I went through ROTC summer camp, which is basic for ROTC cadets, at Fort Lewis, WA, in the summer of 1968. We qualified with M14s on a KD range. Then, for those who wanted, they allowed us to qualify on a trainfire range with the early M16s. they were so inaccurate that at 300 yards the range NCOIC told us to strike the berm in front of the target to shower the silhouette with gravel. That did the job!

      And we ran the bayonet course with Garands, because they didn’t want to hurt the M14 stocks and the M16s couldn’t take the course at all.

      B.B.


  14. BB:
    What a clever method for being able to see through the eye’s of others.
    Assumption being the mother of all cock up’s I assumed that my friend knew how to use open sights.WRONG
    Even at only 6 feet distance he managed to miss a phone book,a 2×2 ft archery backstop and put a crossbow bolt into my back door.(Yes,the same back door I shot a lump out of but that was different lol)
    I can see this training method also giving the trainer some confidence that the pupil will not shoot out the ball park when firing live for the first time.
    DaveUK


    • Dave,

      You may be interested to know that I discovered when I did my research that archers have a variation of this.

      B.B.


    • DaveUK

      “mother of all cock ups” ???

      That is great!

      Now you are on the spot (or is it spot-on?)

      Here’s a few I would like to know the real meaning of, if you will be so kind?

      Chip-Butty

      Bob’s your uncle

      Council estate

      Bollocks

      Sod-it-all


      • If we had a few Aussies on here too we could compile a cross reference between 3 different versions of english.
        But then there are also the local variations.

        twotalon


        • twotalon:
          When I came to the USA I was often mistaken for Australian.
          I have a cockney London accent you see not the Hugh Grant bumbling buffoon posh English accent.
          DaveUK


          • I would not know one from the other.

            Of course we don’t speak proper english here anyway. At least not the ‘Queen’s english’.
            We take too many things from other languages, hack it up, and come up with new stuff all the time.

            twotalon


            • twotalon:
              Accents fascinate me and I can mimic quite a few very well except American accents for some reason.
              I would do for American accents what Dick Van Dyke did for Cockney.Ooh No.
              DaveUK


  15. cyclealleyrider,

    re: “Edith, I will be sure not to bend over when you’re standing behind me”

    You just reminded me of a story my friend Dan told me about his Uncle.

    His Uncle had a farm and on his farm he had a pellet rifle, e.i.e.i.o. (Oops wrong story) and they were shooting at the barn. His Aunt was weeding the garden nearby. His Uncle took the pellet rifle from Dan and shot his Aunt in the behind then handed to rifle back to Dan. He said his Aunt jumped a mile madder than wet hen and when she turned around there was Dan holding the rifle and his Uncle was looking at him with a scowl on his face. She read him the riot act right there on the spot. It wasn’t until after dinner that night that his Uncle finally came clean.
    -CJr



  16. Brian in Idaho:
    My pleasure Brian.
    Chip Butty= chips(Fries)in a buttered bun or bread sandwich.

    Bob’s your uncle (or also)Bob’s your uncle,fanny’s your aunt=job done,there you go,bada bing.

    Council estate= social housing, the projects.

    Bo**ocks=is a bit of a swearword over here but not too bad= get stuffed,no way,a gentleman’s under carriage,sod it.

    Sod it,sod off,silly sod=Damn it,go away,klutz.

    I am also quite well versed in cockney rhyming slang unlike Dick Van Dyke LOL.
    For example,
    Butchers hook= ‘Look’ but would be used “Let’s have a butchers at that new rifle”
    Hope that helps.
    DaveUK


    • Dave,

      There is a really funny part in the movie “Ocean’s 11″ in which the explosives expert, “Basher”, uses this shorthand speach and mystifies the team and the audience. “We’re in Barney!” “Rubble.” “Trouble?”

      Are there standardized phrases, or do you just make it up as you go?

      B.B.


      • BB:
        Most of the rhyming slang is well established but it is evolving all the time.
        My mates who still live in London,when we speak on the phone, they pop out a new terms which I don’t know.
        No hard and fast rules though.
        A lot of folk outside the south east of England are equally perplexed too.
        My missus is Lincolnshire and once when she asked me what I wanted for lunch I said.
        “Loop the loop”(Soup)
        She didn’t have a clue lol
        DaveUK



          • Never hurts to ask! I’ve never heard of it referred to as “poor” form though, but rather as “bad” form. As in the movie “Hook”, but I’m probably wrong, as always :(

            “Peter! Where are you going? Come back here and fight me! Or I’ll find you wherever you are, you hear me? Bad form, Peter, come back!”

            Hey, I’ve been bored had to look something up! :)

            rikib



  17. All,
    My Beeman C1 shoots good. I have not tried too many pellets yet, but it is a keeper. I mounted BKL scope mounts and a Bug Buster scope. So far, the mounts have not moved. Since the breech block was loose, I took the action out of the stock, but there is only a pin holding it. How do I tighten it? I was going to shim it, but I might be missing something here. Any help is appreciated.


    • Chris,

      Are you talking about the rifle’s base block, into which the barrel is pressed? Because that is a flaw of the Webley design on the C1. There is no really good way to tighten it without some extensive machining, I believe.

      You might pinch the action forks in a vice and brinnel them into position with a sledghammer blow to the vice jaws. That’s an old 1911 slide-tightening trick, but I caution you that it takes a lot of skill to do it right and it’s easy to screw up.

      Or you might have an airgunsmith machine a pivot bolt and corresponding nuts to replace the pin. But I imagine a job like that would cost more than the C1 is worth.

      Does anyone have any other ideas?

      B.B.


      • BB,
        Thank you for your reply. I think I will just leave it as is. It isn’t bad, I just wanted to squeeze the last bit of accuracy out of it. to me, it seems that thin washers or plastic rings of some sort could go on both sides of the base block with the pin going through them to tighten it up.


        • ChrisK,I’m glad it shoots good as it is.I’ve no great Idea for improving the fit except those .001 steel shim washers.Most important is make a conscious effort to break it truly square each time…I’m sure that is the inevitable cause of looseness in non-adjustable designs.When you wear it out I’ll sell you a brand new one!:]



  18. B.B.,

    I appreciate learning about this technique. It’s simple, practical, safe, and really does capture what the student sees (not otherwise so easy to capture).

    Great job!

    Victor


  19. @ BB

    I would LOVE to tell you that me and my 8 year old son are thoroughly enjoying the Ace Venturi Bronco!
    It is our very 1st Air Rifle that we have ever used and he is already doing well with it.
    It shoots great groups once sighted.
    ONLY thing I really don’t like about it is how you adjust the windage on the rear sight.
    Wish you can click it left or right instead of unscrewing it.
    Maybe I can find a nice replacement rear sight that has clickable elevation and windage to replace it.

    My son has a little trouble cocking it most of the time so I do it for him.
    He was able to cock it a couple times himself though, which surprised me!
    The rifle itself was not hard for him to shoot as we are using a gun rest seated on a shooting bench.

    A friend of mine that was shooting with us is actually very impressed with the Bronco as well!
    After reading all the reviews about air rifles, I am happy I chose the Bronco for my son and I to target practice with.

    This teaching series really helped me in getting my 8yo son in the right road to success!
    I already bookmarked a bunch of other helpful articles you have wrote here!

    I know I should have waited a bit to let him shoot with a scope but he did so well that he beat a friend of mine in a short competition @ 10 meters with and without a scope!
    My son actually was able to get the bullseye 1st before anyone else in both open sights and scoped!

    What we used:

    * Ace Venturi Bronco: definitely accurate and easy to use, even for an 8 year old! Would like to replace the rear sight though with one that has clickable elevation and windage.

    * Crosman 850 Pellet & BB Trap: works as advertised. The outer red polyester fabric died today though but it still worked with no problem for what I needed it for. I also had a secondary backstop just in case right behind the trap. Note: Keep the original Cardboard and make cutouts for use. Make several at a time as you will go thru ‘em like pancakes :D

    * Shooters Ridge Monkey Bag Gun Rest: We all liked to use this. Worked great for what it is.

    * National Target 12 Bull Center Air Rifle Target: Just like the earlier article, we cut it in 1/2 and have 6 targets to shoot at a time. I like it better than the targets that came with the Crosman pellet trap.

    * Smith & Wesson Magnum Series Mini Clear Lens Safety Glasses, Fits Kids: We had no incident occur but better safe than sorry. Definitely fits my 8yo well!

    * CenterPoint 8×21 Binoculars, Military Green: Worked well. Needed something to view the shots at 10 meters.

    * Leapers Golden Image 3-9x32AO Rifle Scope, Mil-Dot Reticle, 1″ Tube with Leapers Accushot 1″ Rings, Medium, 3/8″ Dovetail, 4 Screws/Cap: Good scope for the 1/2 the day we used it. Only complaint is the flip-up cover sucks! Get the 4 screw mount instead of teh 2 screw that is in the recommended page for the Bronco!

    * Plano Vertical Rifle Case – Single Scoped: Case seems secure and durable. Able to put various other items in it also (ie: safety glasses, binos, pellets, etc). Really does hold the gun secure even with the scope I have mounted on it.

    * Franzen Security Gun Combination Trigger Lock, Universal: I like the combo lock so I don’t have to worry about losing a key. Works well so far.

    * MTM Predator Portable Shooting Bench: I was going to make my own “Booger Bench” but with the materials I needed, it was cheaper to buy this one. Its sturdy and VERY light weight. I think it would even be lighter than the “Booger Bench” I was planning to build!

    * Drum Throne: Very comfortable to use and adjustable height is perfect for adult use and also with my 8 year old son. Very easy to move around also.

    Ammo:
    Crosman Premier Light: This seems to shoot better with the Bronco.
    Gamo Match: Got this with the package deal. Its an ok pellet but the Crosman Premier Light seems to be more accurate.

    PS:

    Right now I am debating about getting a MTM Predator Shooting Rest.
    Also, I told my son about Air Rifle tournaments and he want to do ‘em sometime!


    • Kilim,
      This will not be a popular opinion, but if he is unable to cock the gun he should not be shooting it. Regardless of how accurate he is with you cocking it for him this is not something he should be doing. But like the old saying goes, opinions are like …

      rikib



      • rikib…yup, I disagree.
        Not only did my sons require me to cock their Red Ryders the first year they had them and I guarantee they are safer shooters than many adults I know. (I’m assuming you feel that if they are too young to cock…they are too young to learn safety)
        I know a few adults, easily able to cock an air rifle that I would not shoot with because I’d fear getting a pellet lodged in my carcass.
        And I sure wouldn’t go hunting (firearms) with them.


    • Kilim,

      Congratulations! Your patience and research paid off. That’s a really good shooting package you assembled right off the bat.

      I’ve been shooting all my life with all ages. Some have it right off the bat and others struggle to be mediocre. Your son sounds like a natural!

      Although my daughter can cock a breakbarrel I still insist on performing that task most of the time. She cocks her gun one out of 5 times on average and I’m fanatical about just barely breaking the barrel (don’t cock it yet), inserting a pellet, then breaking the barrel open completely and re-cocking. It’s still a stretch for her to close the barrel but her arms are growing.

      We sure enjoy our “bonding sessions” shooting at balloons, cans and stale hard candy set on golf tees. I drilled holes in a 2 x 4 and stick suckers in those holes. She loves exploding the tops on those suckers.

      Thanks for the update.

      kevin


      • I am going to have to steal that idea and get a 2×4 and some suckers :D
        Me and my son did “bond” real well on our shooting session today (5 hours!) and would have probably shoot longer if we didn’t have to pick up my wife from work! lol


    • Kilim,

      Now, THAT is feedback! I remember how you agonized over your choice, but now that you have it and see how well it fits your son you have the basis for future comparisons.

      Thank you for giving us such a detailed report. That was a guest blog in the comments section.

      B.B.


      • Thanks BB!

        BTW, any suggestion for a replacement rear sight for the Bronco?
        I was reading the article you wrote about the bronco and you placed a couple of rear sights on it.
        Most of them are discontinued in the PA Website and I don’t think I want to trim the stock wood for a rear sight.
        Then I got confused about a “spacer”?

        I just want something that has both elevation and windage knobs :D



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