Sheridan Knocabout

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Isaiah Garrison is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their airgun facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card. Congratulations!

Isaiah Garrison is this week’s BSOTW.

It’s uncommon for a firearms manufacturer to make an airgun. Many of them put their names on airguns made by someone else, but not many bona fide firearms manufacturers actually produce them.

Even rarer is when an airgun manufacturer makes a firearm. It does happen, but it gives us cause to stop and wonder.

In 1952, Sheridan, the airgun maker from Racine, Wisconsin, began offering the Knocabout single-shot .22 long rifle pistol. When it was first produced, this unique pocket pistol retailed for $17.95 at the same time that the model A Sheridan air rifle was selling for $56.50! What a turnabout that was!


Sheridan Knocabout

Today’s report was requested by blog reader Robert of Arcade, who has waited patiently for this for several years. As most long-term readers know, Robert is an old-school hunter and trapper from upstate New York. One thing about the Knocabout that must appeal to him is its utility on a trapline for administering the coup de grace to any trapped animal. Of course, that’s not its sole purpose, but it’s one of the big attractions because of the gun’s budget price.

Knocabout is right
Before I continue, let’s get something straight. Knocabout is the correct spelling for this model. I’m aware that it’s not the right spelling of the actual English word. That would be knockabout. But Sheridan must have had their reasons for spelling it differently. And speaking for Pyramyd Air, we have no room to comment.

One of my little strategies for finding Sheridan Knocabouts on gun auction sites is to enter the word both ways. I often find that the seller spells it incorrectly in his caption of a photo of the box lid with the correct spelling!

Construction
The Knocabout is made in the most cost-effective way possible for the time, without stepping over the line into cheap. The barrel is a steel casting that also contains some of the features required for the breech. If it were made today, the barrel would be a thin liner pressed into an outer shell; but on the Knocabout, it’s a single, solid piece of steel with several machined areas that serve different functions.

The pistol weighs 1 lb., 7.30 oz. The barrel is 4-3/4 inches long and the overall length is 7 inches.

Two steel side plates contain all the action parts, riveted together into a working assembly. It’s not a very maintainable way to build a gun, but it sure avoids a lot of manufacturing steps. The best part is that it works very well! It’s not a minimal design that barely functions. It’s reliable, consistent and easy to operate.


You’re looking inside the grip frame at the mainspring that drives the hammer.


The pistol is upside-down, and you’re looking at the metal plates that hold everything together. The barrel release and triggerguard are at the right.

The floating firing pin sticks out of the breechblock when the hammer rests against it.. When the safety is applied, it cams the hammer slightly back, allowing the firing pin to be pushed back by its spring. For the sake of safety, you should always apply the safety before opening the gun.

The grip is comprised of two plastic shells that are screwed to the sides of the sheet steel grip frame by two sheetmetal screws in each grip. When they’re removed, you gain somewhat better access into the action for cleaning with cotton swabs, though no other parts can be removed because they’re all retained by the seven rivets that hold the sheetmetal frame halves together.

Functioning
The hammer is exposed and must be cocked manually. Then, open the breech by flipping the barrel up. Do this by pressing in on the lever sticking through the front of the triggerguard. The safety should be on when you do this. I found it best to load a cartridge, close the breech with the safety still on. Cock the gun and then release the safety when the muzzle is pointed toward the target. The instructions that are printed in the lid of the gun’s box tell you to do it this way.

The trigger-pull is single-stage and releases with 2 lbs. of pressure. There’s very little felt creep, and this trigger rates as a very good one!

The sights are cast and machined into the barrel casting. There’s a crisp, wide rear notch and a thinner front post that stands out clearly against a target with bright light falling on it. They’re non-adjustable, of course, but I admire how finished they appear to the shooter.

Shooting
I’m sure you want to know how the Knocabout shoots, so I took it to my local gun club and shot it on the 15-yard range. I used a rested two-hand hold and a 6 o’clock sight picture. The targets were 50-foot timed and rapid-fire pistol targets, and I was at 45 feet, so they were ideally sized.


I tried the Sheridan with a lot of different ammo.

I shot the pistol with high-velocity .22 long rifles, standard-speed rounds that are listed as subsonic and two types of CB capsbecause they’re made for guns like this. As an afterthought, I also included some inexpensive Russian standard-speed long rifle ammo that has proved mediocre in some of my other .22s. Who knows if they would somehow shine in this pistol?

This is a single-shot pistol that takes a lot of time to load, so I went with 5-shot groups for this test. I’m not going to show you every target I fired, but I’ll give all the results. I’ll show only the worst group and the best. The first target, however, I mis-counted and shot 6 rounds.


This 6-shot group measures 6.5 inches across — from the outside of the two holes farthest apart. It was shot with CCI CB Longs, a round that did well in my 6-part report on CB caps versus pellets. In the Knocabout, however, it was dead last.

Other rounds
Winchester Super-X high-velocity .22 long rifle rounds made a group that measured 5-3/8 inches across the two widest holes. Aguila Super Colibri made a 5-1/8 inch group. Then, CCI subsonics turned in a group that measured 2-3/8 inches across. That sounded very good in light of what had gone before. But, then, I tried the Russian Junior ammo. Amazingly, they struck the center of the bull and gave a group measuring just 1-7/8 inches across. The pistol really could shoot, after all! I only needed the right ammo.


This group of 5 Russian Junior rounds was astounding after what had gone before. It measures 1-7/8 inches across!

Two other guns
Someone who doesn’t know me might think that I don’t know how to shoot, so I thought I would shoot two other .22 handguns to put these results in perspective. One is a very early Ruger Single-Six with the flat loading gate, and the other is a nondescript Ruger Mark II Target pistol. I didn’t shoot as many different rounds in either of these guns as I did the Knocabout, but I shot enough to show that I can shoot.


This Single-Six is an older one.


Five Winchester Super-X rounds from the Ruger Single-Six made this 2-3/8 inch group that’s well-centered in the bull.


Ruger’s Mark II Target pistol is mundane, but highly accurate.


This target made by the Ruger Mark II with 5 CCI subsonic round measures 15/16 of an inch across the outside.

Compared to what?
I’ve said many nice things about the Knocabout. It probably sounds as though I think it’s almost a free pistol. The truth is, it’s a long way from that. But compared to the other inexpensive single-shot .22 pistols made at the same time, I think the Knocabout might just be the pick of the litter. It’s certainly much better than a Wamo Powermaster; and from what I know from examination but without shooting one, a Savage 101. I know there were a double handful of other cheap single-shots in the ’50s, and I’m going to guess that the Knocabout is probably better than all of them. Of course, what do I know? I haven’t tested any of them. I’m saying that based on what I see in front of me and what I know about Sheridan’s reputation at the time.


With the grips off, you can see what the pistol looks like underneath.


The barrel flips up for loading.

71 thoughts on “Sheridan Knocabout

  1. This pistol reminded me of the “Liberator” pistol featured in this month’s “American Rifleman”, except it was much better made and would last longer.

    The “Liberator” was a cheaply made, single-shot .45 that was intended to be used by underground resistance groups in WWII. The idea was to shoot an enemy soldier to obtain his weapon.

    It was so crude it included a wooden dowel to shove out the spent cartridge! The barrel was a smoothbore, like a bb pistol.

    Too bad that these “Knocabouts” were not around in WWII.

    Les



  2. Hi BB,
    I always enjoy reading about guns I don’t know about. The Knocabout is a neat little pistol. People sometimes talk about tacklebox guns and the Knocabout seems to be purpose built for that.

    David Enoch


    • David,

      That’s exactly what the Knocabout was — a tacklebox gun! As a result, some of them are in poor condition, finish-wise, and others look like mine. There aren’t many in the middle.

      B.B.



  3. It certainly is a surprisingly nice pistol. While I have seen pictures, I have never run across one. With a price of $56.50 I would think that Sheridan air rifles were not fast sellers in the 1950′s. That was a lot of money then, perhaps half a weeks work for many folks. When I got my Sheridan in 1968 it was about $38.00 with a Williams Receiver Sight. Since the Knocabout likes Russian ammo, I would try some Wolf Match Target rounds in it.
    Mike


    • Mike,

      Yes, the original model A Sheridan, also known as the Supergrade) that started selling in 1947 was a poor seller. It took six years or more to sell just over 2,000. The model C, which was the Silver Streak and then the Blue Streak initially retailed for $23.50, I believe, and was a much better seller. It is still being made a sold today.

      Your suggestion of Wolf ammo seems reasonable. I’ll pick some up at my next opportunity.

      B.B.


      • When you write “still being made today,” do you mean a look-alike from the same manufacturer but very likely with guts that aren’t the same as the original, or do you mean that the ones being made today use the same mechanics used back in the day?

        pete


        • Pete,

          Is the Colt Single Action that’s made today the same as the first generation SAA? Is today’s Volkswagen Beetle the same as what was made in the 1960s?

          Just as the Model 70 Winchester was updated over the years and is no longer the same gun it once was, so the Sheridan Blue Streak of today differs from the Blue Streak of 1953.

          B.B.


  4. I’ve never seen a Sheridan Knocabout. Looks very utilitarian but surprisingly well built.

    I’m guessing the delay in this report was because of B.B.’s internal war about shooting such a nice example that came complete with the box and holster. Glad the shooter won that battle LOL!

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      No, the delay was because I don’t want to write too many reports about firearms. Something else always got in the way.

      But, darn it, this IS a Sheridan, after all!

      B.B.


  5. BB:
    Thank you very much for writing about the Sheridan Knockabout! It would be a perfect type of pistol for my trapline use. Most of the time a gun on a trapline is just more weight to carry and cheap and simple are welcome features. I started out using a bolt action single shot Remington 514 when I was a a little kid, and then when I was old enough to get the required NY state pistol permit, used a Ruger SA .22 like you tested . Used that for years, and then went to carrying a S&W 63 for the last 20 years . A.22 that will accept any type of ammo is best for that use, and being able to unload it safely and easily is important. A semi-auto like the Ruger is a pain as you just might forget that round in the chamber ( and the safty catch!). Also, many won’t function with CB longs or shorts which are almost impossible to load into them easily with cold fingers. The tip up single shot type is a real plus in that regard. It’s too bad that a pistol like this is not made today . IMO, we still have use for a simple inexpensive gun of this type for woods wanderers, who still actually WALK, and carry their gear on their back,or in their hands.


    • Robert,

      I agree with you that a gun like this today would sell. If an innovative company like AirForce were to bring out a little single-shot like this and make it with the same ingenuity, though probably not the same methods, I think there is a market. It might be small, but I think it would be regular.

      B.B.



      • I do have a Smith and Wesson M 34 .22 LR revolver that fills the same functions. The one I have is an older one, no fiber optic sights!

        Mike


        • Mike and Derek,

          I think Robert also likes the flatness of the Knocabout. A revolver was width from the cylinder that this gun doesn’t have. Also, if there were a modern version of the Knocabout, the cost would presumably be low enough that nobody would worry about how it was handled/carried.

          At any rate, that is what I understood him to say.

          B.B.


          • BB: Your assumptions are correct. I have been an admirer of the Sheridan Knockabout since I read about it years ago in Henry Stebbins book “Pistols A Modern Encyclopedia”. Henry was a very conservative guy, and he was right about this Sheridan. He also wrote about the Wamo and the Savage 101, which were competitors of the Sheridan. It has that” point ability” that guns like the Walther PPK , Mauser, and Remington 51 have. It incorporates many things I like about a pistol for the use I would put one of these to. It is, as mentioned by BB, flat, light, cheap , safe to load and easy to maintain. You don’t need firepower in a tackle or trapline gun. The weapon can be broken open and the barrel could be cleared easily if it were dropped in the snow or mud, much like a break barrel shotgun. My S&W 63 which is the stainless steel version of Mikes 34,is a wonderful revolver,but it also is now a expensive collector’s item. A dunk in the crap will render it useless until it is cleared. In my opinion, a simple.22 pistol such as this would be a welcome item today.


  6. Another update on 200T….

    After a lot of work and some test shooting, it’s acceptable now. I could probably shave more off the groups with a scope and a full set of bags. Have a lot more pellets I can try.

    Shooting better than expected considering that I still don’t like the feel of the bore. But it’s good enough.

    twotalon



    • I watched this show. I thought it was pretty good except for the airsoft shooting contest (bouncing airsoft bbs into a target by banking them off a sheet of plywood seemed a little lame- and far too quiet).

      I really like the homemade video portion of the show- hitting jugs of colored water with a .50 cal. air rifle was really neat. The maker even showed the bullets after they had penetrated the target.

      Les


      • My wife’s cousin gave me a can of Rolling Rock one time. It sat in the back of the fridge for months. Got tired of looking at it, so I set it out back in the summer sun for a couple weeks. I shook it up real good, hung it from the bird feeder hook, and let it have a pred from the Talon. Very impressive explosion.
        Would have done the same thing with a can of Schlitz if I had one.

        twotalon


  7. BB,thanks for reviewing your Knocabout! It HAS been a long time coming.Maybe in a couple years,the
    H.M.Quackenbush Bicycle gun would make a good follow up? You have one in the closet somewhere??



      • Frank and BB:
        It’s not the Bicycle rifle with the folding wire stock, but I still have a HM Quackenbush safety rifle in .22 ,which is very similar. They are interesting little guns. Mine has the wood (walnut)butt stock with the crescent type nickle butt plate, and nickle receiver, blued barrel assembly. The breech block which was case hardened, swings to the side ,and a pin (the bolt) on the side of the breech block cocks the piece when it is pulled back, after the breech is closed. The cartridge extractor pulls out the empty casing when the block is operated(opened). It takes down into two pieces,the barrel breech assembly, and the stock trigger group assembly, by means of a knurled nut on the underside of the nickle plated receiver. It has simple open rear sights and a fixed post front sight. I used to collect single shot boy’s rifles and I have even hunted with some of them. My favorite of all of them, that I’ve fired , is the Remington No 4.


        • Yes,Robert…..I remember begging to buy it from you! I didn’t realize at the time that you are from my home turf (upstate NY).I would still be after it…..but alas,I’m eating Ramen noodles and facing parting with a substantial portion of my collection now just to survive.Let me know if you have need of a H.M.Quackenbush no.1 or no.7 for your wall.


          • Frank : I can definitely relate to your circumstances. Any income that I might have is being redistributed by NY state and being given to those who have not earned it. I’m very afraid that a Ramen noodle budget will seem mighty appealing for most of us, a few months from now.


            • I’m very concerned that the waste will hit the ventilator this winter when the drought effects EVERY rung on the ladder.I’m putting up canned food in large amounts…..!


              • Frank: I also have a large (about 1/2 acre ) vegetable garden, a root cellar , and we can a lot of stuff. You are right about the corn ,and it’s not just the drought. Last year at this time, a 100lbs of the feed I buy for the laying hens I keep was $13. Last week I paid $22 for the same amount. The doomsayers are more than half right…


                • Hmmm… I better stock up on squiddle food…

                  The 50lb feed-corn bag I bought a few months ago is 80% gone (and the 3X cost sunflower seeds are 75% gone).


  8. I have something similar. It’s a polish army 26.5mm flare gun with two different inserts for firing bullets. One insert is for .22 long rifle which gives me similar accuracy to the knocabout and function. I can remove the insert and slide in another and I’m firing .45 long or .410 shotgun shells. If I put in the correct .45 long it could literally be used to kill a bear, but I wouldn’t advise trying it since if you miss you then have a very angry bear and his full attention is on you. That’s never fun and never turns out well for you. (I’m not much of a pistol shooter so I’d never try and hunt with it.) The inserts are sold by kennesaw cannon company and the european flare guns are very difficult to find.


    • John,

      Isn’t the firing pin of your flare gun rather large? I would think that would limit the type of ammunition that could be used with it, though the cartridges you mention are all pretty low-pressure.

      What a novel idea it is!

      B.B.


  9. As I said, It’s a european military flare gun. It’s all metal with plastic grips. The insert is a steel unit that is BATFE approved. It’s not like a standard orange 12 guage flare gun like the one I keep on my boat for emergencies. That flare gun would fail with the first shot doing serious injury to me if not worse. This polish military flare gun looks very much like the knocabout mentioned. For .22 cal bullets the hammer hits a smaller off set pin that sets off the rim fire .22. For the larger .45 and .410 it is sufficient to hit the primer on those rounds. Another fun use for this thing is to take out the inserts and use european 26.5mm flares to put on a 4th of july fireworks show. Ariel fireworks are legal in michigan for the first time in my life. This thing puts on quite a show.

    Another fun thing I have done with this is use .22 caliber exploding targets. With it being so dry I make sure to set the targets in a place they cannot start a fire. Those are made by tannerite. They make some very interesting targets.


  10. I picked one up about 6 years ago, and have used it a a trainer to teach new shooters. Accurate enough to teach the fundamentals and simple enough to be safe.


  11. B.B. or comp shooters….

    I am looking for inserts for the globe on my 200T. I found some good looking sets at Brownells (not the same as P.A. sells) .
    When I measure the inserts that I have across the outside of the insert (not the retaining tabs) I get just over 17mm. This looks like I get the set for arge Lyman/Anshutz. Am I measuring the right way?
    I did note the difference in tab width and position from the other sets. This would be what I want.

    twotalon


    • twotalon,
      If you have the most common type sights (Gamo) on your 200T Anshutz, Williams, Gamo (as well as the China copy) and Avanti should fit. Sorry but I’m not sure about Lyman or Redfield.



      • No. These have the doughnut held by a leg at each side of center, and the side tabs (mounting) are of unequal widths. The bottom of each mounting tab is in line with the center of the doughnut.

        All I have are doughnuts. I would have liked a couple different sized posts too. The set I looked at was the right configuration. The other inserts I have are wrong for the sight.

        twotalon


  12. We know how NBC feels about shooting sport. Yesterday the US had two women Jamie (Beyerle) Gray
    and Sarah Scherer make it into the finals in 10M Air Rifle with no comment or coverage as we get 5 hours of mens road cycling. Today Kim Rhode sets a new Olympic record winning gold in skeet and we get less than 10 seconds or coverage as we get 5 hours of women’s road cycling. I want to throw my TV out the window!


    • caveman,

      Shooting sports have never gotten much coverage, no matter the network. If you read posts regarding Olympic shooting, lots of Americans complain that they don’t understand why “air-rifle” is in the Olympics. These posters often say that ‘it’s not even “real shooting”‘, and liken this to shooting “bb guns” (a common comment). I’ll bet that at least half of these posters are “into guns”. I hear this kind of thing VERY OFTEN from guys who like REAL GUNS, so it doesn’t surprise me to read posts that question the validity of air-rifle as an Olympic sport. What most, including “real gun” enthusiast’s don’t get is the level of performance required to compete at this level.

      It’s probably fair to say that the vast majority of “real gun” enthusiast aren’t impressed with anything that doesn’t have a BIG BANG. Also, outside of competitive marksmen, ALL “real gun shooters” have told me that the idea of dry-firing is just stupid. I don’t talk about shooting with too many people.

      Regarding Sarah Sherer, my wife and I watched the match this morning on NBC. The coverage was surprisingly good. In fact, they talked about the competitors with decent expertise of their background, including the fact that Sarah Sherer is the first US Olympian to medal in 5 different Olympics. I didn’t know that. What you probably won’t see is shooting covered during prime-time. But that goes for lots of sports.

      Victor


      • Victor
        I think you have Sarah Sherer confused with Kim Rhode. This is Sarah’s first Olympics and Kim Rhode has bin a top skeet shooter for two decades.


      • Victor…

        Just exactly how are hits scored on 10m ? Is it the highest ring that gets “clipped” or is it scored by where the center of the pellet landed ?

        twotalon


        • TT,

          In ISSF international competition, the scoring ring has to be broken by the pellet to score. In U.S. NRA competition, it only has to be touched. That’s why international competition is more difficult.

          Decades before swimmers and runners started having difficulty with close finishes, the shooting sports was having fits with scoring. Today the shots are scored by triangulation with sound transducers that place the hits to a thousandth of an inch. But such targets and the monitors and software that go with them (each shooter has a monitor of their target) are very expensive. So paper targets are still used for matches below the national level.

          B.B.


          • B.B.

            Thanks.

            I have this 200 shooting most pellets of two different kinds (5 per group) in the nine while leaving half or more of the ring. A lot of tens. This is at 9 1/2 yds so would be a little looser at a full 10m. Would probably be all 9s or 10s.

            twotalon


          • Thanks B.B.! According to the rulebook, “touching” is described as “tangent” (no space between the hole and the scoring ring), versus actually breaking the ring.



    • As much as I hate the networks, I have to give them the benefit of a doubt and say I think it is due to the sport’s lack of entertainment value for spectators. Men’s air rifle bored me to distraction (4 years ago), and I was excited to see it. Smallbore isn’t any better from the sidelines. The winter biathlon was, in contrast, quite exciting and interesting to watch as there was a more dynamic aspect to it. Shooting a match is an individual discipline and the competitors are only compared at the end of a match — there is only so much they can do to dramatize the event without getting silly. Also factor in television distances the viewer. Where I might go see a BR match or something like that, where I could mingle in the crowd, scope the targets, etc., I can only see what the TV shows me. Anyway, great individual sport/discipline, horrible television :)!


      • BG_Farmer,

        Several years ago, Bob Costas was an anchor for the Olympic events (don’t know if he still is today).

        He and his cohorts spent a morning after most of the events were over to mock the shooting events. They showed images of shooters on the line and basically trashed them.

        They commented that the Olympics were athletic events, and it was obvious that there was nothing athletic about shooting. You just stand there, point a gun (A GUN, for heaven’s sake! A GUN!) and pull a trigger. How can there be any competition? Do they exercise their index fingers?

        I really depise the mainstream networks. They’re clueless and profoundly ignorant of many things, and especially the shooting sports. Archery, on the other hand, seems more noble. Apparently, they can see the skill in that. But those athletes are not shooting the much maligned and despised GUN.

        I don’t know when the stupidity will end, but I’m 64 and don’t expect it to happen in my lifetime.

        Edith



          • caveman,

            Yes, that’s true. I’ve worked a lot of places where that’s abundantly apparent.

            I’m a firm believer in the pendulum swinging both ways. Hate guns today. Love ‘em tomorrow. It’ll happen. I don’t know when. But ignorance is with us always, no matter where the pendulum swings.

            Edith


        • Edith,
          I did not mean to cut them too much slack (you know I don’t like them either :)), just meant I wouldn’t expect them to go against their inclinations in the case of shooting matches very often because they probably wouldn’t get the viewership in return! Partly because people are ignorant, partly because the matches aren’t exactly riveting, and, truly, partly because some people are just anti-gun in any form, even women’s air rifle, sadly.


      • BG Farmer,
        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they should show a full 2 hour qualifying round. In caparison they showed live, the first 2 hours of a cycling race that all 63 riders just rode in a pac that isn’t very exciting. What I think would be good is if they spend a few minutes explaining the competition format and give some backround information on some competitors. After all many of the viewers never go to a swim meet but yet they will watch it just because it is the Olympics.


        • I think a little recap coverage would be good, for sure, especially since “we” were in it. I thought they did give smallbore primetime or at least some coverage last summer Olympics? I remember the couple (she was good shooting for some other country, he was one of ours, inept and shot the wrong target) — I think that was the kind of drama that made it palatable for TV in the sense of lowest common denominator viewership. Maybe a few viewers accidentally picked up some facts about the competition — at least that the shooters were not inhuman monsters or something like that…


          • BG Farmer,
            Yes in 2004 Athens, Matt Emmons cross fired in the final of 50M 3P (last shot) that took him from 1st to 8th however he still won the gold in 50M prone. That is where he met Katerina Kurkova a Czech shooter and is now married to her. In 2008 Beijing he was ahead 3.3 points with one shot to go and he shot a 4.4 on the last shot that moved him down to 4th however he still won silver in 50M prone. It is interesting that you remember the blunders Matt had by what was televised! Matt and Katerina will be shooting at London in several events but unless they blunder we will not see it!


      • BG_Farmer,
        I think that anything that is not understood well can seem boring. However, when you really do have an intimate understanding of something, things change dramatically. I sat directly behind Lanny Bassham during the 1976 Olympic tryouts and was completely enthralled at watching him perform. He dominated the sport that year, and went on to win Gold.

        Anyways, most people understand the obvious, like “action”, loud bangs, or explosions.
        Victor


        • I agree from a technical standpoint, you can learn a lot by watching, but with TV you don’t have much control over what they show you. Last time, the air rifle shots were mainly of the line and the targets, so you could see the result. We actually get somewhat regular spectators at MLing matches, but there is a lot going on there. The BR guys really like it for some reason, probably just because it is completely different.


  13. As far as airgun shooting events go, they are not a spectator sport. Even when you see them in person, they are about as exiting as watching paint dry!

    The guns make no sound, have no recoil and nothing can be seen when they fire. If yopu didn’t know better, you would think that the shooters were simple raising and lowering their guns without doing anything else.

    I watched 150 shooters ion the line at the U.S. Junior Nationals and the hall was so quiet that people in the bleachers were whispering!

    Shooting is a sport of participation. Only by doing it do we engage the fun. There are a few events in the shotgun sports where there is something to see, but for the most part if you’re not on the trigger you have no sensation of what is happening.

    B.B.


    • Even the Outdoor Channel won’t show things like air-rifle, 3 position (50 meter, or 300 meter), or prone competition. So the networks aren’t far off.

      But like I said elsewhere, most gun enthusiast know or understand competitive marksmanship. Plinking, or informal shooting, is about all people know. I was often told, “What’s the big deal! Anyone can point a gun and shoot it.”. Part of the problem, I think, is that to few know what real competition is like.


      • Victor,

        You’re right. People do think that it’s easy to point a gun & shoot accurately. After all, if it’s not accurate, then the gun is at fault. Certainly couldn’t be the shooter. It’s like blaming a baseball bat because you strike out.

        For example (and I may have posted this before on the old blog):

        When Tom and I published the “Airgun Letter,” a man called to subscribe and get all the info we had about 10-meter shooting. He wasn’t sure if he needed to buy a .177-caliber rifle or a .22-caliber rifle because his son was going to shoot in the Olympics. He didn’t know which caliber would be best for his kid. Of course, I was rolling my eyes at him!

        He was very, very excited and remarkably enthusiastic. I asked him about his son. He said he was a baseball pitcher (a star) in high school. And if he can send a baseball hurtling toward home base and predict exactly the spot where it would cross home plate, just imagine what he could do with a rifle in the Olympics!

        It was at that point that I decided to squash this man’s dreams of gold, fame and product endorsements for his son. I told him there’s no connection between throwing a baseball accurately and shooting a rifle accurately. I also told him he needed to do a bit more research on the Olympics becaue all the airgun discipines were shot in .177 caliber.

        I explained about the cost of the guns, which I guess must of floored him. Even with all my discouragement, he still subscribed to our newsletter.

        By the way, this was not a unique occurrence. I had a similar call from a man whose son excelled at golf and could send that little ball flying through space and make it go really far and predict exactly where it would land. He also assumed that the golf club was akin to a rifle, and that his son could be an Olympic champion. Yes, my evil twin made another appearance, and I squashed this man’s dreams of his heir’s fame & fortune by explaining more about the Olympics, competitive shooting and the expensive guns.

        I’m guessing that $3,000+ guns probably discouraged further investigation into 10m shooting for these child prodigies :-)

        Edith


        • Edith,

          Yup, $3000 rifles, plus expensive shooting jackets, spotting scope, other clothing, shoes, etc. But, again, what many do not comprehend is the level of performance required to actually compete. I read posts by people saying that the US Olympic shooting team must not be any good if they couldn’t medal. The thing about competitive marksmanship is that it is so incredibly mental that scores are pushed to a level so near perfection that it truly is outside of the realm of comprehension to anyone who’s never seriously tried. Sure, it’s not about physical performance like sprinting, BUT you can’t perform well if you’re body is a distraction, which will be the case if you’re out of shape.

          The mental versus physical dynamic in shooting, versus other sports, presents extreme challenges that aren’t so easy to appreciate. When I use to compete in Karate, I would get so nervous that my body was super fidgety. There’s an adrenaline rush that works FOR YOU because it helps to give you a burst or energy. Your mind is stressed, so the desired physical release is not only allowed to happen, but actually benefits you. Shooting is the opposite. When shooting in competition, you have to control your body’s tendency towards fight or flight. Shooting is about BOTH mind control AND body control. But, again, the top shooters are all going to be performing near perfection, so great isn’t always good enough. I won two championships where there were 3 shooters behind me by one point. All of them had more X’s than me. Had I dropped one point I would have ended up in 4th place.

          My approach to competition is simply to not think about competition and purely focus one shot at a time. Even that can fail you when you’re on the verge of doing something extra important like cleaning a match (i.e., not dropping a single point for the entire day).

          Victor


  14. Regarding this article, I LOVE my Ruger Mk II. In fact, everyone loves to shoot it. My wife bought me this pistol for my birthday over 25 years ago. I never go to the range without it.


    • Victor,

      I love my Ruger, too. I have an adapter for a legal silencer, and the Ruger is the one silenced pistol I own. For the money it would be impossible to do better than a Ruger Mark II.

      B.B.


      • Except that, if buying new, you will likely now have to get a Mark III.

        {sigh — I really need to see about joining some club so I can get access to a range; I can’t even remember if I have my Mk-II Gov’t Comp Target model [NOT a model to drop into a tackle box] set up for red-dot @ 50yards and open sights @ 25yards, or some other odd combination}


  15. BB & Edith;

    I see on my tracking for the FWB 124 I send to Pyramyd Air that arrived there on Saturday. Of course, being closed for the weekend, they did not deliver it. Tracking said that they left a note. Does this happen often? Do I need to contact USPS to have them re-deliver it? Thanks.

    Mike


    • Mike,

      You shouldn’t have to do anything. The Post Office delivers a lot of things to PA, and they know to make a call on Monday.

      But call them today (in the afternoon) or track the package, to see that it arrived.

      B.B.


  16. In the image of the ruger that is all silver grips mag and all, what is the name of the all silver mag? I want to build / customize my ruger to be all silver but can not find any one that sells all silver mags for a ruger mark 3 target pistol.


    • Matt,

      That’s a solid black gun with a solid black mag. The light is just reflecting off the mag so the details can be seen.

      B.B.


      • I had been wondering as to which image the reference had been… {blast, having trouble formulating a grammatically correct way to say that}

        The only white metal I saw was the trigger blade. Not even my stainless Mk-II Government Competition Target* model has white metal magazines. (I’m deliberately not using “silver” as the model is not even shiny chrome plated, just matte stainless steel).

        * Confusing nomenclature on that model: The markings are Mark II Target on left, and Competition Target on right — but as I recall, the stock number was an expansion of the the Government model with a C for competition appended… KMK678GC whereas the Government Target was KMK678G. K->stainless, MK->?? 6.78″ barrel, G->government, C->competition


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