The art of collecting airguns – Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

In case you haven’t had a chance to view Pyramyd Air’s 2010 Xmas video, here it is!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Before I start today’s blog, please note that I’m undergoing another outpatient procedure this morning and will be out of the loop much of the day. Edith will monitor the blog and answer comments as she’s able. I would appreciate it if the blog readers could help out by answering the comments from new people and others who might usually get an answer from me.

The covert deal
I call this report the covert deal because that’s what it’s about. I’ll explain a few of the uncommon deals I’ve made as an airgun collector/buyer and seller. I’m doing this to encourage those among you who want to get out and try this for themselves but haven’t gotten up the courage to try it, yet. Hopefully, you’ll see from what I am about to tell you that there are plenty of great airgun deals still to be made. Okay, here we go.

While you’re standing at your airgun table at an airgun show, someone comes up and offers you a firearm. He tells you that he knows nothing about firearms and he recently inherited one that he wants to get rid of right away. Without saying so, you gather that he is uncomfortable around firearms, and he sees you as his chance to get rid of this one.

Think it can’t happen? I’ve had it happen many times at different shows; so much so, in fact, that I am now prepared to talk to this person, because I know exactly what he wants and where he’s coming from. I won’t bore you with all the details; but the quick and dirty is that he somehow feels owning a firearm makes him a marked man, and he wants to keep this transaction as quiet and private as possible. That’s what you need to know — keep things quiet and private and let this fellow go his way, unencumbered by any firearms.

He says he has in his car what looks like a Civil War musket, and the plate on the right side just says Springfield with an eagle and the date 1873. There appear to be additional words on the gun, but they’re impossible for him to read. You can relax, because what he has is not considered to be a firearm by the ATF. It was made before 1898 and is classified as an antique. This is no M4 that was used to rob a liquor store last week, then thrown into the bushes during the getaway.

Also, if you know that the American Civil War lasted from 1860 until early 1865, you know that this isn’t a Civil War gun. With that date of 1873, it’s most likely a Trapdoor Springfield.

Now, this could either be the real deal from the late-19th century, or it could just as easily be a modern reproduction. You won’t know until you see it. The genuine rifle in overall good condition should be worth about $700. A modern replica in excellent condition is worth about $800-900.

You wander out to his car which you notice he’s parked far from the show entrance. He asks you to get in the back seat, where you find the rifle wrapped in a dirty beach towel. It turns out t0 be the real deal, so you ask him what he wants. “I saw something on your table that I’d like to trade for, if that’s okay. He describes it and you know he’s interested in an IZH 61 that you have priced at $75.


This is a real Trapdoor Springfield.


The nickname “Trapdoor” comes from the way the breech bolt operates. This one is in just good condition, because all original finish is gone. But, the barrel is clean and shiny with sharp rifling. That means that if the rest of the rifle is in good condition, it’s safe to shoot with vintage-powered ammunition.

You answer, “Sure, I’ll do that, plus I’ll throw in some pellets and targets to get you started. Let’s go back inside, and I’ll show you how it works.” You take the Trapdoor over to your own car and lock it in the trunk. Then the two of you head inside to finish the deal.

Have you just taken this guy to the cleaners? I used to think so, until I came to realize that he has absolutely no interest in guns, and you’ve just done him a big favor. That Trapdoor Springfield is worthless to him, and every time he has to venture out in public with it is a big risk, as far as he is concerned. Besides, you may not get a fair market price for it if you decide to sell it, because the market is severely depressed these days. Yes, you’re going to make money on the deal, but since you didn’t define the terms of the deal and, indeed, didn’t look for the deal to begin with, accept what has happened as a little windfall.

Now, had the gun been a prime German Jaeger hunting rifle with engraving, gold inlay, fluted barrel and bas-relief carving on the wood, it would have been worth four times as much, and then I think you should have given him some money to boot. But the point is, you didn’t seek this deal out. He came to you, and if you have satisfied his needs, then you have done him a kindness.

Here’s the big question. Why did he come to an airgun show? The surprising answer is that people who don’t like firearms also can’t discriminate between them and airguns. Everything at your show looked like a firearm to him. He doesn’t know exactly why airguns are not regulated the same as firearm, but he does know that they aren’t, and he just felt under less pressure at your low-profile airgun show. Bottom line, he had a gun to get rid of and he knew that you were the right guy to turn to.

The desperate seller
It’s getting on toward the end of the airgun show and a man you don’t know walks briskly up to your table. He’s holding several boxes, plus a nickel-plated Daisy Targeteer. “I want to sell you all of this stuff and I’m going to price it right. How about $100 for everything?”

“That’s all the money I have at the moment. I’m flying home in three hours and I’ll need some money in my pocket for that,” you respond.

“Aww, you can probably resell this for three times a hundred dollars in the remaining time the show is open. Come on!”

What he is offering you is a nickel-plated Daisy Targeteer in 98 percent condition, a blued gun that’s in 80 percent condition and a very early 100-percent blued gun in the box with everything. On top of that there are seven red-white-blue metal tubes of Daisy .118 copper-plated steel shot. Each of the shot tubes is worth at least $10 , the boxed gun is worth $150, the nickel-plated gun is worth $90 and the other blued gun is worth at least $50. This whole package is worth $360, or just a little more than he estimates.

You pull out all your money and buy it. He is happy because he needed gas money to get home. And you now have a quick sales job to do. Just because something is worth a certain amount doesn’t mean that anyone at this show wants to buy it. Mr. Desperate knew that when he came to you.

So the safest thing to do is lowball the whole deal away. You sell the Nickel Targeteer, the 80-percent Blue Targeteer and six tubes of steel shot to a Daisy collector for $100. You keep the boxed pistol and one tube of shot for yourself. Mr. Desperate hasn’t left the building before you have your money back and people are wondering why you are selling so cheap.


The boxed Targeteer is worth more than the asking price for the whole package.

The buyer with specific tastes
Here’s another one that I don’t have a picture for. A guy comes up to your table and offers you a Weihrauch HW 55 target rifle for your Diana model 24 youth rifle. You tell him that his gun is worth five times what yours is and he responds that it’s okay, because he still has three more 55s and he has been searching for a 24 like yours all year. You do the trade and everyone is happy.

Sound impossible? I can assure you it isn’t. Sometimes having a surplus of certain models can devaluate them in the owner’s mind. Familiarity breeds contempt.

In fact, all of these stories are true ones and the guns shown are the very ones that came from the deals described. I have changed the description of the deals to disguise the other party, but these exact things have all happened to me.

Things like this can happen to you at an airgun show, so always be ready to step into prosperity.

Now for a small homework assignment. I’m going to show you several bad images that were recently used in auction sales. I want you to discuss them amongst yourselves, and be ready to critique them so we will be ready for the next part of this report.


I see three things wrong with this picture. It’s so insulting that it might stop me from doing a deal with this seller.


The photographer was so close on this one. He just missed one thing.


This photographer has made the classic mistake. Can you tell what it is?


Another classic gun photo mistake. What is it?

Alright, that’s a wrap for today. In the next report, I’ll get into the fundamentals of taking good pictures to sell airguns.

52 Responses to “The art of collecting airguns – Part 4”

  • Frank B Says:

    Well,lets see…..The Savage in the first photo has the butt of the stock covered up? Plus the photo may as well be a line drawing.The Inline Remington buttstock looks ok,but that’s ALL I see.The Colt
    is all washed out from flash…..probably not deliberate but an outdoor picture would have shown more.That Colt in the last picture is hard to see mostly because of the picture angle.
    I don’t know much….but I can take reasonable pictures,and I won’t stop until I have pics that I would like to see if I were the BUYER.
    Good luck with the procedure,and hurry home BB….I don’t like to worry :)

    • Milan Says:

      I would say that last picture is also ruined with the contrast between black and dark blue- also angle is bad ,first picture is the worst because it is too fogy ,blurry -hard to see any details ,on second one you can see the stock but gun barrel is almost unnoticeable on picture (in fact anything except the stock is hard to see ),third picture -well i am not sure but i would change the angle and put the pistol on top -my opinion only …

  • twotalon Says:

    The pictures…
    The problem that I see is that….I can’t see anything!!!
    Too light, too dark, out of focus, bad angle, flash glare…….can’t see anything!!!!
    Guns, yes. Condition, impossible to tell. Fast and sloppy, intentional or not.

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      twotalon,

      These shots are all on Gun Broker right now, trying to sell those firearms.

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        B.B.
        In all fairness to the sellers who posted the rather poor pictures…
        It is possible that they have not played around enough with their camera to learn how to get the most out of it. They may also have been in a hurry to get something posted and thought that the pictures were good enough. They did not take time to put some thought into it.
        Then, too, some cameras are hard to do much with. Some just plain suck. Sometimes a fairly cheap camera does a pretty good job without much help….others hopeless. Expensive and elaborate cameras are no better than the cell phones with cameras built in if the user does not have a clue how to use it.
        No matter what…poor advertising.

        I have posted pictures here and there that were fast and dirty because detail was not that important. Other times I put some thought into it to get the best effects. Then took multiple shots with a little variation in composing the shots so that I could pick out what looked best. With digital cameras there is no reason to not experiment. No film to buy or process. I went through a lot of film with my Canon A1 and took a lot of notes while I was learning it.
        I use a Coolpix 3200 now for web pictures. Nothing fancy. Bought my wife something that does a lot more and does it a lot better, but I really want to slap her for using her crappy cell phone for pictures.
        Been looking at the Canon and Nikon offerings at Wally world. Same price for both top end units that they have. Same price for the telephoto lenses too. But what would I do with them? Sure, they would beat the socks off my little Nikon, but do I really need to. I don’t know yet if either can do a good macro without extender tubes.

        twotalon

      • pcp4me Says:

        BB,

        If I had the digital images of those pictures I could correct what is wrong with the most of them using photo shop or any other good photo editing software. How ever the first one may not even be salvageable.

        I prefer to use after noon indirect sunlight through my window onto a bed in my upper guest bedroom to take my pictures. I usually take two of each, one without flash and one with out and photoscape both of them and pick the best. It is seldom I get unusable pictures this way, but with my computer in an adjacent room it is a simple matter to pop the card back in the camera and go in the next room and take it over.

        I prefer photoscape over photoshop as it is free, much easier to use, extremely versatile and did I mention free download? I can produce better results with much less time and experimentation with it over photoshop. Photoshop allows you to manipulate your pictures in many more ways, but it has a very steep learning curve. I have photoshop but since down loading photoscape I hardly use it!

        So for those of you out there who don’t have a photo editing software package I highly recommend photoscape. It is intuitive to use and easy to learn and produces excellent corrections on photos with a wide latitude of range in how much correction you need. Here is the link: http://download.cnet.com/PhotoScape/3000-2192_4-10703122.html

        Merry Christmas all!

        • pcp4me Says:

          By the way, I do not mean to say photoshop or photoscape and make any of those pictures look like they should had, had the photographer taken care to get correct focus and lighting and background that it takes to get a good picture.

          What I do mean to say is they can be made to look better. Glare from flash is VERY difficult to remove and the first picture is so underexposed it would probably be impossible to get much detail from it. Out of focus is also almost impossible to fix completely.

          Here is a link to three of the above pictures which have been “cleaned up”. I did not spend much time with any of them, just made some quick and dirty corrections so don’t expect them to look perfect.

          http://s1134.photobucket.com/albums/m607/bencisco/Test%20pictures/

          Btw these were done in photoscape at perhaps 30 seconds spent per picture and another minute or two each to save them and upload to photo bucket!

          • kevin Says:

            pcp4me,

            Very well made point. A few minutes manipulation makes a lot of difference. Starting with a good photo, priceless.

            kevin

  • twotalon Says:

    A brain teaser…
    Yesterday I noticed a bunch of small dings in the stock on my 48. All on the left side in the area right in front of the butt pad. Could not figure out where they came from. After two cups of coffee this morning I figured it out.
    What do you think?

    twotalon

    • Loren Says:

      Two talon:

      The marks on your48 probably came from cocking your riflle on your belt buckle. Same thing hapened to my rws 54.

      Loren

      • twotalon Says:

        You got it.

        twotalon

      • twotalon Says:

        I never tuck in my shirt, so I never thought about the belt buckle. The damage would have been worse if my shirt were tucked in, but I also might have heard the stock tap the buckle.
        Possible solution…
        Move the belt around so the buckle is to the left side. Might catch on as a new fad.

        twotalon

        • Bobby Nations Says:

          twotalon,

          I have seen plenty of auto mechanics do the side buckle thing to keep from scratching a customer’s car while working on it. Most also keep their shirt untucked (unless working close to moving parts such as fan belts and such).

          Suspenders might be an option worth trying as well. Plenty of them have no metal whatsoever.

          • twotalon Says:

            I think that the repositioned buckle will work best for me when shooting the 48.
            Must get the 97K out and go to work. The starlings are out in force, so I will not be at the keyboard for a while.

            twotalon

            • lloyd Says:

              twotalon,
              I’ll have to check my 54 when I get home this evening. I cocked mine the same way until I had hernia surgery in the lower right area and had to put all the springers on hold for several months. Then I started bracing the 54 on the outside of my right leg while standing and am still using that technique. It doesn’t feel awkward anymore, but when I show someone else (a non-shooter) and they try it, they are always suprised at the effort it takes.

              I am curious about the starlings with them being so skittish and “flocky”. Do you have a favorite clean shot that drops them like a rock without panicking all the rest? Or is such a thing consistently possible?
              Thanks,
              Lloyd

              • twotalon Says:

                I just use as close to dead center as possible. Been using the 97K on them for a couple days, but it scares them off for quite a while. Have used the TSS before and have sometimes not had them all fly off. If they do, they usually come back pretty fast. The sound from the rifle makes a lot of difference. So does the impact sound. Stay with domed.
                It depends too on how cold and hungry they are. If you have about the only food source they can find, they get braver because of their need to feed.
                Got better than a dozen yesterday. only 4 so far today. Got twitchy and missed one. Time for the TSS to go to work.
                Beer break over . Time for Air Force to rack up a body count. Must have killed 400-500 of them in the fall and winter a couple years ago.

                twotalon

                • Chuck Says:

                  twotalon,
                  How do you dispose of the carcasses? I thought about plinking Starlings in my back yard but having carcasses lying about would worry my neighbors and bagging 20 or so for the garbage man might get me arrested for something, who knows, there’s probably an ordinance somewhere about dead carcasses in your garbage can..
                  -Chuck

                  • lloyd Says:

                    Chuck,
                    Where I live out in the woods, we’ve got the night time cleanup crew of ‘coons, ‘possums, and foxes, plus crows and vultures in the daytime. Doesn’t matter if it thrown from the kitchen or falls from a tree, it’s gone by the morning.
                    Yes, best to exercise descretion in the neighborhood, though.

                  • twotalon Says:

                    I usually wait until I get a bunch of them bagged up, then toss them out in one of my father in laws fields. They could go in the trash….they are vermin so nobody of importance would care.
                    My neighbors don’t mind me plugging them. I leave the snow covered with them when the action gets heavy. Nobody nearby likes starlings. I do walk around and pick up the ones that get poor hits and land in my neighbor’s yards. One neighbor don’t even care about that. He just runs over them with the lawn mower in the spring.

                    Since earlier…
                    One lone starling came in. The TSS dropped a CPH right in the old boiler room, and it was dead as it’s fossilized predatory ancestors before it’s feet left the tree branch.
                    A lot to be said for a rifle that makes a sound that is dull and muted when it bounces around off of buildings instead of making a sharp loud sound.

                    twotalon

                • lloyd Says:

                  Like duck hunting from a good blind. I understand about the food availability issue. Seems to influence how fast they return after being spooked. Sometimes during migration season the flocks are so thick that they’ll all fly up without even knowing why and then settle right back down. An interesting study in their behavior. Keep up the good fight!

  • kevin Says:

    My neck hurts.

    I re-read this article twice and can’t stop shaking my head over a trade of an IZH 61 for a 1873 Trapdoor Springfield. I bought a mint diana 27 from a gun dealer once for $60.00 and still feel a little guilty. Remember that one Vince?

    The lead in for the updated photo tutorial is excellent. The only thing worse than seeing those types of photo’s when you’re interested in buying a gun is not seeing any. Photographs that are taken from a mile away, bad lighting, using a flash, black backgrounds, close ups that show nothing relevant, improper focusing or improper setting on the camera (macro setting for macro photo’s please), etc. etc.

    I’m allowed to rant since I’m not a photographer, never wanted to be a photographer but by taking a small amount of time to learn about a few settings on the camera and lighting even I can take decent pictures. pcp4me made a very good point. Photo manipulation using free software programs eliminates the excuse for bad pictures. Almost any error in picture taking can now be corrected with a few clicks of your mouse. The days of the darkroom are long gone and any idiot, like me, can “develope” a good picture.

    A couple years ago I was overwhelmed with the idea of having to learn how to operate a camera, how to use photoshop (or a free online software program for modifying photo’s) and transfering them to the internet via a host like photobucket. With some hand holding by B.B., some links to photoshop by Mrs. Gaylord and input from other blog readers I know just enough to take a decent picture, crop the picture, adjust the color, adjust the lighting and post it on the web. I’m still not a camera person but it used to take me hours to shoot a series of pictures, manipulate each one, post them to a host site then post them on the web. Now I can do all that in about 10-15 minutes.

    If you want top dollar for your airguns and/or firearms you will find it through selling online IF, IF, you provide good photo’s. This is so important if you intend to sell or trade for more airguns.

    kevin

  • Jim in KS Says:

    When it comes to the role that photos play, selling a gun in a classified ad is not that much different from selling anything else. In this setting, the photos are taking the place of getting to actually examine the gun. Details are everything. Ask yourself… What am I prepared to buy without seeing it? Realtors have known for years that better photos can speed the sale of a house, and can even increase its market value. The same thing can apply here.

    Some folks complain that they can’t get good photos because they “aren’t a photographer”. I don’t recall reading posts from those people explaining that they can’t get good groups on target because they “aren’t a shooter”. It seems that they can learn to shoot their guns. Actually. I think the reason that they don’t get good photos is more likely that it just isn’t important enough to them to learn how to do it. Well, how important is it for you to sell your gun? If you can learn to shoot your gun, then you can certainly learn to shoot your camera.

    As a professional photographer, I applaud BB’s “how to” blogs. One of the things that I like the most about this series is that BB is using equipment that most people already have, and techniques that anyone can do. No need to spend big money to get better photos, although a few basic pieces may be necessary… like a tripod. Without going into details that I’m sure that BB is going to explain, a lot of improvement could be seen if people would just think about what they are doing. Cameras need light. Movement causes blur. Metal is reflective. Tiny pictures are hard to see. If you wouldn’t buy a gun based on the photo that you just took, then consider it a “miss” and try again. That’s how the pros do it.

  • kevin Says:

    When you have 9 minutes and 30 seconds please click on the you tube link below.

    “The thing that sets an American Christian apart from all other people in the world is that he will die on his feet fighting before he will live on his knees.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Iwa-lSVqA1M&vq=medium

    kevin

    • Orin Says:

      Thank you, Kevin.

      - Orin

    • pete zimmerman Says:

      It remains a good poem set to the unsingable tune of a British drinking song. I guess if you’ve had a few pints of bitters, it sounds better and when you sing it you think you sound better. ;-) Professionally photographed clip, but absolutely lacking in context. Who is the guy? Just for example.

      Me, I prefer God Bless America if you want a bit of religion mixed in, or America the Beautiful for a slightly lower dose. Whatever; just pick something even Americans with lousy voices can sing.

      -pete

  • Chuck Says:

    My position on “what’s the matter with these photos” is that I would be foolish to buy anything based on that one photo no matter how good it was. I would be communicating with the seller and asking questions and asking for more photos before sending any cash. If you buy a gun based on just the one photo you deserve what you get and the seller deserves what he gets. Buying an item with no dialog is not the proper way to negotiate an exchange.

    About the three examples: The second and third are OK because the parties are all aware of the transaction values and insist on doing the deal anyway. The first still doesn’t sit right with me. It seems too much like taking advantage of someones ignorance. Also, one thing to consider is that the item could have been hot and explain why the seller was so discreet and willing to make such a lopsided deal. Had the seller been informed of the value and still wanted to deal I would have been suspicious but probably done the deal anyway with a clear consionse

  • Chuck Says:

    Oops, clicked the wrong button and slaughtered my “consionse”.
    -Chuck

  • Dick Whicked Says:

    I’m no photographer. All I can say is on all the pictures, its hard to see details. The first one is too far off and out of focus, on the second one its impossible to see the barrel, the third one theres a bit too much flash, and the fourth one you can’t really see the hammer area.

  • Brian in Idaho Says:

    Off Topic:

    First: Merry Xmas to everyone on the blog.

    Second: Anyone here have experience with the Tech Force 79 Competition rifle, aka Archer AR2078A, et al.?

    Comments, tips, mods etc etc?

  • BG_Farmer Says:

    The Springfield deal sounds rotten to me, one way or the other. The other deals sound like luck, which in turn was a result of being at airgun shows, so it would be a wash in my opinion, considering the cost and hassle of getting there.

    Not being a collector, there’s very little I would want to buy online in private transactions, and if I were to sell something, it is likely to be a POS and described as such, so the pictures will work either way :).

  • Dick Whicked Says:

    A firearm produced before 1898…Even if not considered a gun by the BATFE, you’d still need a license to own it, or not?

    Forgive my ignorance

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Dick Whicked,

      No license needed even in the most restrictive states that we’ve lived in before moving to the land of free (Texas). No one robs banks or holds people hostages with the older guns. Gangs don’t use vintage guns. So, no one really cares if you have them or not. I suspect you still can’t own one in NYC or Chicago, but I’m guessing the rest of America doesn’t have a problem. Again, just a guess.

      Edith

      • Vince Says:

        Edith, you guessed wrong. In all of NJ a vintage gun is considered just as dangerous as an AK47 or a Red Ryder BB gun.

        Wanna trade states???

        • Edith Gaylord Says:

          Vince,

          Wow! Won’t trade states. I suggest you move to Texas. Live free. Own guns. Buy land.

          Edith

        • Fred PRoNJ Says:

          Vince, It’s getting close to the time to get out of this State. I retire in 4 years, 9 months and 12 days, but I’m not counting :) One of the first things on my bucket list is to leave the People’s Republik of New Jersey far, far behind.

          Fred PRoNJ

          • Vince Says:

            Good luck to ya… and think of me when you’re enjoying your constitutional rights. As for me, with custody of my 5 year-old grandson, I’m stuck here for a loooooonnnnnggggggg time.

  • Slinging Lead Says:

    For a limited time only…

    Have a Baikal IZH61 in 99% condition.

    Will trade for

    Trapdoor Springfield
    M1 Garand
    Winchester 1894

    • Fred PRoNJ Says:

      Ah, too bad. I know someone that has an immaculate, hand made Field Target rifle in Texas that might be interested in this trade…….:)
      E
      Speaking of which, how’s the old boy doing, Edith?

      Fred PRoNJ

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        Fred,

        Tom’s doing great and feeling fine. The procedure went very fast. No pain, no ill effects. He’s a happy camper. Me, too!

        Edith

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Slinging Lead,

      In your dreams :-)

      Edith

  • ajvenom Says:

    I just want to wish Everyone a Happy Holiday!!!!!

    Tom, glad to hear you doing fine after your procedure.

    At work I throw my dead mice outside near the trees next to a river. There are many hungry animals out there. Most of the time you can hear the crows fight over the dead mice in the morning. The crows really get mad when the cat steals their prize.

  • pete zimmerman Says:

    I expect no sympathy for my current predicament. The wife and I were watching Antiques Road Show last night and somebody walks in with a really attractive Derringer-style pistol. Wife looks at it; admires details. Then she says but there aren’t any air guns that age. When, she asks, were air guns invented?

    Long discussion follows.

    Then she says “Wouldn’t it be nice if you collected antique air guns and we could set up a little display?” Mind you, I’ve never collected anything but stamps as a kid, and Minox spy cameras as a grown-up. So now the question which BB has been answering these last few columns: How would I get started? (Thanks, BB!!) I would also have to find a universe of air gun types I wanted to collect. They would have to be beautiful, unusual, and probably not mass produced. So you see the predicament. Left to my own doings, I might look into pre-1990 match rifles and pistols. Any other better ideas?

    Oh, I do have to get back to writing a guest blog about the Steyr pistol. Last night I shot my first ever 90 at 10 meters and was at 87 today. It’s really a marvelous piece of kit.

    pete

    • Lloyd Says:

      Pete,
      Yes, this is supposed to be a season of joy, but we are faced with constant reminders of the sadness around us. The stress you must be feeling now that your wife has “suggested” that you should collect antique airguns. I know you said no sympathy, but my heart goes out to you. I bet she has even offered to fund the sickness.
      I hope you make it through the holiday season,
      Lloyd

  • Mike Says:

    The deals do come along from time to time. I bought a very nice early war M-1 Carbine for $225.00 about 10 years ago because the seller needed that much to buy two other guns he wanted at a gun show (They were a 1892 Mauser and a Chinese SKS, both kind of rough). The seller of the other two guns wouldn’t trade! He wanted cash. I was happy to help.

    On the other hand, last fall I missed out on a nice Poly Tech Legend AK for $550.00 (Value about $1000.00 or a bit more) because I just didn’t bring enough money with me. That won’t happen again!

    Mike

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,

    My impression is that the Ruger Air Magnum didn’t exactly impress. I wonder if the Ruger Air Hawk Elite (also in .177) would fair any better.

    Do you know anything about this rifle, or have an opinion from personal experience?

    Also, do you know if the advertised velocity of 1000 fps is with lead, extra light pellets?

    Thanks,
    Victor

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Victor,

      If 1000 f.p.s. is the highest velocity advertised, then you can be sure it was achieved with non-lead lightweight pellets.

      I haver no experience beyond what you read in the blog.

      B.B.

    • Vince Says:

      Victor, the Air Hawk is a semi-clone of the RWS/Diana 34, excepting that the powerplant is just a little smaller. In my experience with them around 900fps is closer to a real number with normal pellets.

      There are relatively few springers capable of wacking the 1000fps barrier with lead, even with light lead. The Air Magnum is one, as is the original (Diana 350). A good running AR1000/TF89 can do it, ditto for the old RWS94 and BAM B21/B30. The RWS sidelevers are also in this category, as is the IZH MP513 and the Hatsan-built Daisy Powerline 1000. That last one’s a beast – a horrible gun to work with, but very powerful and a lot of examples have proven to be very accurate.

    • Victor Says:

      B.B., Vince,

      I was asking about the velocity just out of curiosity. Based on everything that’s been said over many blogs, you really don’t want a .177 shooting to close to 1000 fps. Aside from the velocity, but being that it still is a powerful rifle, I wonder how accurate Air Hawk Elite is. We know that the Ruger Air Magnum recently tested was hard to shoot well. I just wonder if the Air Hawk Elite is a good rifle overall, and in particular, accurate. I’m of the school of thought that accuracy is a must.

      Thanks,
      Victor

      • Vince Says:

        Victor, I’ve tried 2 Air Hawks and a B25S (which is a BAM rifle, the Air Hawk is merely a repackaged and rebadged B25) in that order. None of them were particularly good. The first Air Hawk was horrible, the 2nd better, and the B225S perhaps the best of the lot. But from what I’ve seen it takes a lot more care to get poorer results – especially at longer ranges – than one gets from the Diana original.

      • B.B. Pelletier Says:

        Victor,

        If accuracy is paramount, skip the cheapies and go straight to the RWS Diana 34.

        B.B.

  • kevin Says:

    Well, it’s almost the end of the day and I think pcp4me deserves an award.

    Since this is Part 4 in the series of the art of buying and selling airguns (guns) in my opinion pcp4me made the most significant contribution.

    There’s a dimension in buying that is often overlooked. Terrible photo’s = opportunity. Many folks will gloss over these photo’s since you can’t see anything. B.B.’s 4 examples in todays article are all too typical. With the right click of a mouse you can copy the photo and easily paste it into a manipulation program such as photoshop, photoscape, etc. (just like pcp4me did today. see his link). With very little time and minimal skill you can see things that others can’t. This quickly allows you to dismiss the gun or identify it as a potential “buy”.

    The seller has eliminated competition because of bad photos. Less competition increases the potential for “deals”.

    kevin

    • J-F Says:

      Exactly what I’m trying to do right now…
      I just wrote to a local guy selling a Umarex made Beretta replica and a P1 for 225$ each but he only posted one bad pic for the Beretta telling us the P1 is VERY powerful but no pics. The add has been there for over a month now… If it’s in good shape a P1 for 200$ sounds like a good deal to me.
      I’ll also offer 100$ for the Beretta and will pay up to 150$ for it.
      What do you guys think?

      JF

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