by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
The reaction to the accuracy test with the Cometa Fusion Premier Star air rifle brought a lot of feelings to the surface. Those feelings impressed me to the point of writing this report.
I don’t like all airguns equally. And there are some airguns that I really don’t care for at all. But I can’t overlook any of them because someone does care. Someone does like exactly the gun I don’t like, and to them that gun is a delight in many ways. So, regardless of how I feel, I try to put my feelings aside when I look at an airgun for the first time.
Let me get specific without naming any names. Some of you dislike spring guns. You find them difficult to shoot and not as accurate as you would like.
Then there are others who like only spring guns. The rest of the airguns can go to the landfill, as far as they’re concerned.
I could go on and do the same for each powerplant, but I think you get what I’m saying. Each type of airgun has its fans and also its detractors. Nothing new there!
But what if there’s a wonderful experience awaiting you, and it’s buried deep inside a pile of airguns you’re not interested in? What happens then?
Many years ago when The Airgun Letter was still being published, a local reader called me to “pick my brain.” That was what they always said — they wanted to pick my brain. But after a couple hundred times of getting my brain picked, I discovered that wasn’t what they wanted at all. They could care less about what I thought. What they really wanted was for me to agree with them that what they thought was right.
So, this one reader told me that he’d just bought an RWS Diana 34. He thought it was very expensive for what it was, but maybe I could help him understand why it cost so much and was so inaccurate. Well, it turned out that this guy had read all about the artillery hold in my newsletter, but he never tried it. Naturally, he wasn’t getting any accuracy from his new rifle. Once I convinced him that the artillery hold really worked and he should try it, he did. Then, he was delighted with his new airgun! For awhile, anyway.
A couple more weeks passed and I got another call from the guy. Had I ever heard of the Beeman Crow Magnum air rifle? Yes, I had. Then why, he wondered, had I not told him about it when he called to tell me about his Diana 34? What do you say to that?
I think I then told him that the Daystate Huntsman pellet rifle was extremely accurate, to which he responded that he could never be interested in a precharged airgun because of all the other stuff you had to buy to go with it.
This man was not ready to hear about precharged air rifles, so nothing I said was going to have any impact. At this point in time he was in the midst of his spring-gun days and that was all he was interested in, thank you very much. If he then took up precharged guns a year later, he would probably wonder where they had been all his life; but until he made the decision to change, they were invisible to him.
We have the same thing going on here on this blog. Some of you are interested only in 10-meter target guns and find the rest of the stuff we cover to be a bore. You tolerate the other stuff out of politeness, waiting for your turn in the sun. As far as you’re concerned, I don’t address the most important topics often enough because I’m always wasting my time on things nobody cares about.
I get that. I understand it, and I don’t want to change you one bit. However — please acknowledge that there are airgun-related things that you might find very enjoying, but they’re buried deep in the bowels of the stuff that doesn’t interest you right now. My job is to show you everything, so you can see if any of it is of interest.
Okay, here is something else that’s hard to deal with. Two men talk about accuracy and one says something like, “I don’t like it when an airgun is too easy to shoot accurately. I like it to be a challenge!”
Then I see a group that pleases this shooter — 5 shots at 20 yards that can be covered by a quarter. He thinks that’s accurate. And I’m not going to argue with him. If he thinks it’s accurate, then it is.
But the other fellow wants to put 10 shots inside a quarter-inch at 40 yards. That’s his definition of accuracy. He would not think much of a 20-yard, 5-shot group that fits under a quarter. In fact, he would think it was a failure.
I have to talk about accuracy to both these guys, as well as to the guy with the abacus in his hand who always couches everything he says with the term “for the price.”
If I could transport some of you to my range and put a Fast Deer or an Evanix Conquest in your hands and let you experience what I have, I bet I’d see the smiles on your faces. Even you diehard spring-gun chaps would have to admit that putting 10 pellets into a half-inch at 50 yards with a Condor is fun stuff. And those who think the Benjamin 392 is all they’ll ever need still find a Diana 27 captivating the first time they shoot one. Shooting one after shooting a multi-pumper feels like walking across a carpet in your stocking feet after trudging 10 miles through deep snow.
I guess what I am saying is that most of us need a bucket list of things we’re going to do before we leave the range for the last time. Even if chocolate-covered baby bees do not become your personal favorite snack food, it’s good to say you’ve tried them one time. Not all chicken tastes like rattlesnake, you know.
I’ll leave you with this. I didn’t say it — blog reader Victor did.
I was just explaining to a friend this Sunday that you have to take customer reviews with a grain of salt when it comes to new springers. I told him that a lot of customers write bad reviews because they simply don’t know some basic things about technique, but that once they know…everything changes. Suddenly, that inaccurate rifle that they hated becomes accurate. He said that had it not been for me teaching him how to shoot a springer, that he would have been one of those negative reviews.
Relating to this article, the first time I let him try a few of my air rifles, one of them had a freshly installed scope, and we experience the “floating erector tube” issue. Like this Cometa rifle, my groups just wandered about. It wasn’t until the next session that it started to work. Now, that scope and rifle are performing very well.