Treasure hunting for great airguns

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Charly Arias 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!

Pyramyd Air's Big Shot of the Week

Charly Arias is this week’s Big Shot of the Week on Pyramyd Air’s facebook page.

I seem to be on a kick talking about finding great vintage guns these days, so today I thought I’d share a couple secrets that really work. In the past, we’ve talked about making the rounds of pawn shops and small gun stores. You readers have told me your tales of miracle acquisitions, and I’ve shared mine with you.

My Texas shooting buddy, Otho, said yesterday, “A lot of fellers sit on their couch in the cabin and talk about deer hunting. But only the ones that actually get out into the woods seem to get deer.” Another way of saying that is the old salesman’s proverb, “If you want to make the sales, you have to make the calls.”

What does this have to do with you? Well, perhaps you would like to acquire a nice airgun — an old one or maybe something relatively new — but maybe you don’t think you have enough money. Or you don’t know where to look for such a gun. Or you’ve looked and found nothing. That’s what I want to talk about today.

Trading is up
Let’s start with the money issue. Almost none of us have enough money to satisfy all our desires — especially if some of those desires are for airguns. What can you do? Well, consider this. In the last three years, I’ve noticed that trading has increased to the point that it’s a booming business today. The economy is one big driver of this trend. As it becomes worse, people have to barter more to get the things they need. There’s craigslist.com and other websites where bartering goes on, but you don’t even need a computer to do a trade. All you need is something the other guy wants. Then, he needs to be convinced to give you what you want for it.

Often, the barter is an item for a like item — for example, my airgun for your airgun. That’s one-dimensional trading, and it is so basic that I believe we’re all genetically coded with it at birth. But you can do even better if you start thinking in more dimensions. For example, my camera for your airgun or my bass boat with trolling motor for your 10-meter target rifle. The way to find deals like this is to talk to people and let them do 75 percent of the talking. My friends Otho and Mac are both highly skilled at this. As a result, they both have firearm collections that make mine look like a starter set. But only in Texas! In California, my collection would be called an arsenal!

Make it a game!
What I’m about to tell you is the absolute truth. You veteran readers know that I owned a Peabody dropping block rifle a few years ago. Here’s a picture of it:

Peabody rifle
Peabody dropping block rifle.

I’d acquired that rifle just after returning home from the hospital, and I wrote one or two blogs about it. Then, at the 2010 Roanoke airgun show, Mac needed some cash to make some kind of deal and I bought a collectible rifle from him. And finally, while browsing through a local gun store, I picked up a Winchester model 72 semiauto in .22 short that was chrome-plated. Not nickel — chrome. I thought some good old boy had buggered it up, and so did the store owner, but a little research revealed that it was a very rare gallery model of the gun that was made in the first year of production.

Long story short, I was able to trade all three guns for the Marlin Ballard. Here’s what that one looks like.

Marlin Ballard
Marlin Ballard.

The bottom line is this: Through these trades, I have just over half of the asking price in the Ballard. The store owner felt he got a good deal and so did I. It hurt me to let go of the Peabody, but I wanted the Ballard a lot more; and as I told you the other day, I have to own these things sequentially.

The lesson is that you can turn that unused drill press, canoe and two-wheel utility trailer into the nicest Weihrauch or Feinwerkbau gun you ever saw. But you have to leave the cabin to do it.

Hunting for buried treasure
I used to be a fairly regular treasure hunter. I used several different metal detectors to find my treasures in a segment of the hobby known as coin shooting. One day, I got bored with just finding modern money and the odd silver coin, so I decided to change my searching technique. I told Edith, who accompanied me on these hunts, that this day we would cover an area just 20 feet by 30 feet. We would lower the discrimination on the detector to reject only rusty ferrous metal and pick up everything else. And we would search the ground very slowly instead of covering a lot of ground fast.

We found all the aluminum pull tabs, chopped-up soda cans, pop bottle caps and wadded up tinfoil from chewing gun that had been dropped on that college ground over the past 60 years. We also found plumbing fixtures, odd bits of metal and other stuff too weird to identify. At the end of our two-hour search, my trash bag was full of this kind of garbage.

We also found a handful of American nickel coins — coins I almost never found before. Two of them were Buffalo nickels, and one of those had a date. I also found a small silver earring, a silver mezuzah and three small silver rings.

A photo of all my garbage would have turned off most inexperienced treasure hunters, but several photos of my good finds made it into the first magazine article I ever published – A Carpet of Nickels. That hunt opened my eyes to what’s possible; but because there was so much trash, it also wore me out!

Several months later, while hunting the same college campus, I asked Edith if she wanted to try that technique again. She did and within an hour we had another pile of garbage and the first gold ring Edith ever saw come out of the ground. I’d seen others, but never as small as this 10-karat woman’s class ring.

If you change your search strategy, you’ll find things others missed. Here’s how doing exactly that worked for me this month. I was looking for a nice .22 Hornet rifle with a modern .224-inch bore. I have a vintage Savage 23D with a .223-inch bore, but today’s bullets are so superior that I wanted a rifle with a .224-inch bore to shoot them in. I did a long involved trade that landed me a Winchester model 43 in .22 Hornet that I intended to scope and use. But after examining it, I could not bring myself to ruin this pristine and collectible Winchester by drilling and tapping it for a scope. So, I kept looking for a modern Hornet on GunBroker.

I looked there every day until I’d memorized all the Hornets they had. Each one had something wrong or was too much money for me to pay, and they didn’t want to trade anything for it. Then, on a whim, I did a search on the name Weihrauch. I knew there would be some airguns and a few cheap revolvers under the Arminius brand. I also knew there were two .22 Hornets that were built on Weihrauch HW 52 dropping block actions. They were both too expensive for me, and I had already seen them during my earlier searches for Hornets. But I hadn’t seen the one HW 52 in like-new condition and .22 Hornet caliber that was listed at HALF the price of the others — because, for some reason, it hadn’t come up. The auction was one without a reserve and I was the only bidder — probably because I was one of the very few people who could see the listing.

In case you’re wondering where all my money comes from to buy these guns, this year it came from selling a bunch of airguns for cash at Roanoke. I sold them for what I had in them or at a loss. Yes, I said a loss. I got the cash, plus I added a little to it when I got back home by selling another firearm at a loss, too. But the loss I suffered was more than recovered in the one purchase of this HW 52.

HW 52 rifle
An HW 52 falling block rifle in .22 Hornet caliber.

HW 52 falling block rifle action1
I don’t yet know how many HW 52s were made in .22 Hornet. I plan to ask Hans Weihrauch, Jr., at the SHOT Show.

Other strange searches turn up great results
My success with the HW 52 prompted me to try some other odd searches on GunBroker. You know how some people pronounce Anschütz as Anschults? I searched on that spelling and came up with a short list of guns. The only people who will see them are those who also misspell the company name that way. Since that worked, how about Leopold instead of Leupold? It works! Try it and see.

Most airgun collectors know that a great many people spell Crosman as Crossman. Do that on GunBroker, and you’ll get a very long list of guns. But most airgunners know to do that, so it isn’t a great advantage. Nor is misspelling Daisy as Daisey.

But here’s something that REALLY works! Try searching on just the name of a scope, like Lyman. Among the hundreds of scopes you find, there will be guns listed with Lyman scopes mounted on them. And every once in awhile, you’ll find something like a Mossberg 44US that has a Lyman Super Targetspot scope on it. You’ve found a $200 rifle with a $800 scope. And the listed starting price will be $175. I’m not kidding about this. I found a Winchester model 52 with a Super Targetspot listed at $800 and the seller obviously felt bad because the target sights were’t included. I also found a Remington model 37 target rifle with some kind of scope on it (and the original target sights) that was stated at $700 for the package. The rifle with sights is worth $1,200-1,500 by itself!

Look for the rebadged guns
When it comes to airguns, I find better-known models that are usually overpriced because gun dealers really don’t know the airgun market. I doubt you’ll get a deal on an Anschütz 250 target rifle these days. But a Diana model 27 that sells under the name Hy Score 807 or Beeman Original 100 might just be a bargain.

Buy collections
This is something I’ve done only once, but I did quite well with it. Mac and I went together and bought two collections that we sold off for a handsome profit. But I know guys who make a great business of buying and reselling collections as individual airguns. The problem with doing this is what keeps people like me away. It takes a large amount of money up front. But you do get your money back with a great profit as long as you buy the right things. You have to know your market and know where you can sell most of the things you buy or be willing to sit on the guns a long time to make the full value on them. When Mac and I did it, we both plowed the profit back into our personal collections so there was no money left for any future deals, had they come along.

My Texas gun buddy, Otho, does this mass buying in a rather interesting way. Besides guns, he also buys related stuff. Here in Texas, Otho has a reputation as a hobby gunsmith; so when someone has a pile of gun-related things to get rid of, his name often comes up. This year, he bought over 50 rifle barrels along with holsters and other gun parts in one such collection. He made his money back on about half the barrels, then had a field day selling holsters, revolver cylinders and gun barrels at several gun shows. Of course, that brings not only buyers but also more people who are looking for an outlet for what they have to sell. So, it’s sort of self-perpetuating.

Sporting goods stores
Some of the big sporting goods stores do a brisk trade in used guns. They’re one of the first places where the estate lawyers know to go when the widow of a gun collector is looking to cash out. These places employ some pretty savvy people, so most of what you’ll see there will be priced at or above fair market value. You can offer them less for anything and if they have had it too long, they usually will sell it. And every once in awhile they will let a diamond slip through. I bought my Winchester High Wall in .219 Zipper Improved at a local store for about half of what it’s worth. But like Otho says, you won’t kill any deer just sitting on the couch! You actually have to go to thee stores and go frequently enough to catch the buys when they come through.

Pawn shops
Last bit of advice also comes from Otho. He hits the pawn shops like a biker hits a roadhouse! He actually has a route that he runs frequently. Here’s his tip. The pawn shops that are owner-operated are far less likely to have a good find than the big chain pawn shops. We have a chain called Cash America here in Texas. The little dealers take the time to research what they have, but the chains are operated by employees who don’t do as much research. They mostly sell things based on what the store paid for an item. Sure, everybody knows what a Colt Python is worth and is unlikely to sell it for a bargain price, but how many would be familiar with an HW 50S? I’ve made some real scores on lesser-known airguns in pawn shops that couldn’t be bothered to check out “BB guns.”

That was on my chest for the past few weeks, and I had to tell you about it today. If you do decide to do some of these things, or if you’ve been doing them all along, I’d sure like to hear your story.

104 thoughts on “Treasure hunting for great airguns

  1. I got a good deal on a Tanfoglio Witness 1911 because it was listed as an airsoft gun, it was for sale for a long while before the seller agreed to my price.
    I also got a GREAT deal on a FAS target pistol. I got it on a french canadian similar to craiglist and not a lot of people trade or sell target airguns. The seller listed it for less than half what he probably paid for it and I took a chance and explained how much I was willing to pay and I understood he would want more money for it and a little while later he emailed me back and we agreed on a price, he received NO other offers, not one!
    I got some good deals now all that is left is selling or trading some of my guns. If that darn border wasn’t between us, it would make shipping so much more easier :(

    Now a bit off-topic (OK a lot), here’s a vid I was sent this week, it shows testing done on different firearm ammo and how they behave when not inside guns. It’s a little bit long but totally worth it (and there’s always fast foward).
    http://youtu.be/3SlOXowwC4c

    J-F


    • J-F,

      The mis-listed gun! That was the case with my Winchester High Wall, as well. And the gun listed on the wrong type of site is almost like finding one at a garage sale, among the baby clothes and cheap end tables.

      B.B.


  2. B.B.

    Just my to cents to your article – I don’t know if it’s applicable in

    FWB C62 rifle that I own now was bought in 1996 and since then was buried in some storage room in the training center. Mothballed and without a single shot made from it since it left the factory’s gate. So I guess human forgetfulness and everchanging conditions may be collector’s best ally. Of course that requires some “hunting” skills and good knowledge of “terrain”, but sometimes it brings overwhelming results.

    “Terrain” is big sports schools, training centers and so on, everywhere where words “extra” or “surplus” may sound. E.g. 20 years ago they planned their youth team to consist of 12 – but since then too much time have passed and the team was always 10 people, but tell me, where are 2 more rifles they bought 20 years ago? ;) Are there any locked (and never opened since) storage rooms?

    IMX it’s a great way to obtain some real classy airguns real cheap. Just do not get yourself tricked into buying something that served for training purposes for generations :) (however with proper care and maintenance airguns can serve for an overwhelming number of years – I know some Suhl or Walther 10m rifles that have some hundred thousand shots on their score and still they work like Swiss watch and make “single hole” groups).

    duskwight


    • Sorry, the first sentence was to be like:

      “Just my two cents to your article – I don’t know if it’s applicable in US, but who knows”


    • duskwight,

      Your places to search sound promising — I just don’t know how to find them. Unless I just came upon one by accident, I don’t know what I would be looking for.

      But if you found one, it could be a gold mine!

      B.B.


  3. why does it look like PA is going to discontinue the HW brand? What would it take to make a deal with Diana to carry their nicer stocked actions (they have laminate,premium,superiorand exklusive stocks) as well as carbine 34s and 350s. How about getting them in 20 cal.


  4. BB does the Tanner gun show make it to Texas? I’ve found that the typical firearm dealer tends to dismiss airguns as toys and have run across some truly great deals at gun shows. My biggest regret is passing on a pair of Beeman P1s a gent was selling for $200-apparently they’d lanquished in his shop for over two years and he was anxious to get them off the shelf. I had only just become interested in airguns at the time and had no idea what an incredible bargain I was passing up!

    On a semi-related note, I scored an H&K MP5 A5 rimfire last weekend for $330, and I’ve got to say, if you ever get a chance to shoot one do so. It certainly changed my mind about how accurate the .22lr can be!


    • dangerdongle,

      I’m not familiar with the Tanner gun show, but I will look for it. We have a large (1,000-table) show in Dallas several times a year, and you can find just about anything there.

      B.B.


    • dangerdongle,

      I think the Tanner Gun Shows are only in Colorado (Denver, Loveland, Pueblo). Are you in Colorado?

      If so, have you ever attended the CGCA gun show? Best gun show in Colorado IMHO. It’s going to be on May 18th & 19th next year.

      kevin


      • I had no idea! I was under the impression they travelled since several of the dealers I’ve spoken to mentioned they were rarely home. Tanners never had 1000 tables though, so it looks like BB’s got us beat anyway. : )
        I hope I can make CGCA this year…it always happens at the beginning of my busy season at work and I rarely get to go. If so , keep an eye out for the guy standing in a puddle of his own drool-that’ll be me!


        • dangerdongle,

          When Tanner is at the Merchandise Mart they average about 400 tables. In Loveland, when they’re at the fairgrounds, they average about 250 tables. Pueblo is around 200 tables.

          The CGCA gun show this year had 1130 tables this year. Looks like the 2013 show will have even more. It seems to me that a combination of gun collectors that have died combined with those that are trying to liquidate their collections rather than let their ignorant heirs give away their fine collectibles is growing exponentially. It may just be the economy and lack of return on money that is motivating the sale of fine guns that I haven’t seen for sale in many, many years. Whatever the reason it’s interesting to note that from 2003-2006 the number of tables at CGCA went down. From 2007-2012 they increased. 2013 is on track for another increase.

          My sense is that quality vintage gun collectors are an average age of at least 70 now. A few are younger and many are older. The smarter ones realize that now is the time to sell since they know what their guns are worth and know where to sell them. Many won’t consider selling anything since their collections represent who they are and what they’ve done that mattered most to them. Those are the collections that end up in estate sales/bulk collection sales or auctions.

          This touches on the subject of when I die who have I reached an agreement with to aid in the disposition of my gun collection. Someone that not only knows current values but knows where the best place is to sell a colt bisley, the best place to sell a webley service rifle set, the best place to sell a AA S410, etc. I digress.

          Did you know I live in Wheat Ridge?

          kevin


  5. Interesting post, as usual…
    My own Diana 35 came in as part of payment for a Mauser rifle that a friend wanted so badly. Apparently, although very knowledgeable about all things related to firearms, his view on the Diana wasn’t that great. Only after having this rifle in my possession I would learn that it was built in the early 1930′s, and it became one of my proudest items in my modest collection of airguns.
    BTW, I never heard any comments on the “Check Spelling” feature, but it does help a lot. English is not my mother language, so I always use it.


    • Fred,

      Now that is a tale I have never heard. Getting a fine airgun in trade on a firearm, when both parties were unaware of what it was at the time. I think that happens as a part of luck, and some people seem to have more of it.

      Yes, the misspelling is a wonderful way of finding things and also of having exclusive access to them. For me it started when I was looking for a Sheridan Knocabout, and I tried spelling it Knockabout. There were more of them spelled that way than the correct way!

      B.B.


  6. I don’t care if it’s for animals, airguns or a great deal on a car….It’s all about the hunt. Go get ‘em boys!! (and girls) :)


  7. BB: Your advice about looking for scopes brings to mind one of my better deals.When I got my 16X Fecker it was mounted on a very rough Winchester low wall. I admit I was looking for the scope, but then again I only paid $175 for the whole package! Another thing that gun traders should look for are working guns with vintage iron sights on them . Only buy the guns to get the sights ,and then trade or sell the sights and the guns separately to buy BETTER guns. Many old , well used,.22 RF’s and deer rifles have open and receiver sights on them that are worth a third or more of the value of the entire package. Some have both vintage open sights and receiver sights on the gun, so you can double the parts money. Also, another overlooked source of cash for gun acquisition is buying guns for parts not just gun parts. Shotguns are a particularly good source of parts to be sold for money. Tom, you should really try a .218 Bee rifle and compare it to the rifles chambered in .22 Hornet. I think that you will find the Bee to be a better cartridge in use than the Hornet. Look for a nice modern Marlin CL or Ruger #1,#3 in ,218 Bee. Or a strong vintage SS like a Martini .You were right to stay away from that Winchester 43, it may be collectable , but it is inferior. Just a .22 RF platform that wants to be a centerfire rifle. I ‘m very jealous of the HW, great find!


    • Robert,

      My shooting buddy, Otho, owns a .218 Bee. True, it is on a Winchester 43 action, and I find it mediocre in accuracy. The 43 trigger is quite a letdown, as well.

      I guess I’m attracted to the Hornet because I find it so easy to load. In about 500 reloads I have never damaged a single case. Compare that to the 25-20 that I lost about 10 percent of the new cases reloading!

      B.B.


      • BB: Agreed, the Winchester 43 always struck me as an up-sized Winchester 69 .22 RF rifle. Many develop excessive headspace in .22 Hornet and .218 Bee. It can be corrected by shimming the bolt ,but it is still a weak platform . I find that I can utilize a heavier bullet in the Bee and get the same velocity as the Hornet . It has more pop. I can also use pointed bullets in my Martini that are better than the run of the mill Hornet bullets. You are right about the cases also,They are very soft and you have to be careful when sizing them. I crush a couple every time too. My solution was to buy about 2-3 thousand cases a few years ago when they were cheap, so I just don’t care anymore.


  8. B.B. -
    I couldn’t agree with you more about the big chain sporting goods stores. A very close friend is involved in mounted cowboy action shooting, and was looking for a well-used lever action carbine just a few years ago. About that time, one of the largest of these chains opened a location about three hours away. Michael was browsing the used gun counter when an old revolver caught his eye. After he examined it, he asked the young salesman who made it. The salesman said that it was a counterfeit copy of a Colt, but he didn’t know who actually made it, as there were no other markings on it. He knew that it wasn’t an actual Colt, because the name stamped on the barrel was wrong. Michael knew better, so he bought the worn looking old sixgun for less than $300. Subsequent research proved that he knew what he was doing, as Colt changed the barrel stamp in the third year of Peacemaker production. Since that time, the piece has been appraised (by the same chain) as an original, worth over ten thousand dollars. My friend had bought one of the first Peacemakers for the price of a junk copy! All of that being said… as I browse through counters and tables for the next treasure in my own collection, I try to stay observant and flexible, because I know that the bargain I find may not be the one that I started out looking for!
    - Jim


    • Jim,

      Now, THAT is a story! Good for your friend.

      Another thing that can happen is the old guns get rebarreled. I had a Gen 1 SAA Colt that had a 1917 Colt barrel on it. Sure, the collector value was destroyed, but it was still a Gen 1 Colt that I could shoot. I used it in the gunfights at Frontier Village amusement park in the 1960s.

      B.B.




    • twotalon, the link worked. That was some delay between pulling the trigger and the actual shot. I have not had a problem with this (at least not yet). Are you aware of others who have the same delay. I am curious to know exactly what causes the delay and whether it is something that can be correctly without purchasing a better air rifle. But yes, that delay is dangerous to be sure. Thank you for sharing this information; I will be wary. ~Ken


      • Ken…

        I understand that they can get worse. Some won’t cock and others won’t fire.
        In this case….rifle cocked for one day. If left cocked for just a few hours, you might hear a delay between the sear release and the shot. In this case, the piston is too soft. The sear bites into it and hangs up.

        You notice anything that seems not right, you be careful. New parts ? maybe some from crosman, but still come from the same place.

        This is one of the rifles that I will “disable” and junk so it will not hurt anyone. It has so many bad parts that replacing them would not be an inexpensive solution.

        twotalon


        • I just took a look at the Crosman site. It says there are no parts available through Crosman for the Titan, but parts are available for the Trail (except for the one with the camo stock, but I think the rest of the gun is the same as the hardwood Trail and the all weather Trail without the camo stock). Still, this may suggest that the Titan is different inside, and likely it is. ~Ken



    • OUCH !!!
      That never happened to me, I had to pull the trigger more than once and/or harder when adjusting it but I never had it stick like that (then again I never left it cocked for long).

      J-F


  9. off topic. I was talking to a friend about his new rifle, a Marlin lever action in .218 Bee. Above BB talks of rifles in .219, and .224 caliber. My question is, how in the world did all these calibers come about? At only a thousandths or 2 different, why? Did someone make a barrel that was so superior that they had to make new bullets to fit it? Or did the bullet come first and they had to make a barrel for that superior bullet?

    Gene

    full of questions.


    • Gene,

      They are not different sizes. All of these guns measure 0.224″ across the bore. The older ones might measure 0.223″, like the early Hornets.

      The different names are given to distinguish the calibers from one another. Just as the .38 Special is really 0.357″ and is identical in bore size to the .357 Magnum, there are also many rifle calibers that are not what their name implies.

      B.B.


      • well, this sure makes me look silly. I was asking this for a friend, of course I knew this all along. (as lightening strikes me for lying) . Thanks BB.

        Gene

        will go sit at the kids table. lol


      • Hold on. Gene I’ve wondered the same thing myself. Surely the .218 Bee is not the same caliber as .223. The .222 is not the same as the .223. And there is some kind of difference between .223 and 5.56 to the point that interchanging the two can be dangerous. I’ve even heard that .308 and 7.62X51mm are not exactly the same. Also I understand that the bores of SMLEs which are nominally .303 can go up to .314. Mine turns out to be .311. And I shudder to think of the subtleties of the Mauser calibers which are called either 8mm or 7.92 and which can have bore diameters of .318 and .323 which require different ammo. So while there are a lot of alternative names for the same calibers, aren’t there also calibers which are within a few thousandths of an inch which are not the same and for which exchanging ammo can be dangerous? As for why all of these differences, I’ve attributed it to the entrepreneurial nature of the gun industry with people trying to squeeze just a little more out of the product to make it better.

        Matt61


  10. Tom,

    You’re giving away too many secrets to finding good gun deals ;-)

    Since you’re in the mood to be transparent how about telling us the trick to attract guns with single set triggers and double set triggers because lately you seem to be a magnet for these rare gems. That HW52 looks new in the box! “THE FINEST FALLING BLOCK ACTION IN THE WORLD”

    I don’t know if the chuckj that posts here is the same as Chuck Jordan that posts on the vintage forum but he did a neat write up this past summer on the HW52:

    http://www.assra.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1341432106

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      Thank you for that link. I’ll read it later today.

      That rifle is the .22 LR target model. It differs from the rifle I got because mine doesn’t have the flat base on the tang for the rear peep sight.

      It will be interesting to read what Chuck has to say, since anything right now will be more than I know.

      As for my secrets, More stuff keeps pouring out of the cracks. I don’t think this entire blog readership could keep up with it.

      B.B.


    • Kevin,
      Sorry, I started out on this blog as CJr and migrated to just Chuck until another Chuck joined the blog recently and to minimize confusion I migrated to Chuckj. We haven’t heard from the other Chuck since but I’ll stay Chuckj in case we do.

      Would that I were as knowledgeable as this Chuck Jordan, but not so. On this airgun blog I’m just a pea-shooter. If this were a golf blog I’d be a duffer. If this were a social blog I’d be a nerd. If this were a Pro Sports blog neither Tops nor Fleer would have my picture. If this were a stand-up comedy blog I’d be the drunk heckler. I’m out of feeble metaphors.
      -Chuckj


      • Chuckj,

        Hey! Keep up the feeble metaphores! I will steal them and call them my own someday.

        Getting old means everything is always new again. :D

        B.B.



      • Chuck,you are STILL the sharpest knife in the pencil drawer! No matter your ever changing pen name,your wit is unimitable…….and I’m certain it’s the envy of the Chuck Jordans of the world.


        • FrankB,
          I don’t like metaphors so I never, never use them because they’re like a politician’s campaign promise: I never know if what he says is going to be good for me or if he’s merely taking advantage of my ignorance. Like, exactly how sharp are the other knives in there. What are knives doing in the pencil drawer, in the first place? Isn’t that dangerous? Who has pencil drawers any more? Don’t get me wrong, I have pencils, but they don’t get used very often anymore, and they are in drawers, but not dedicated ones – who has that kind of money?
          -Chuckj


          • LMbuttO……I’m amazed we weren’t on the same tiny bus going to school.A “politician” is someone who will gladly lay down your life for his country.



            • FrankB,
              They didn’t have buses when I went to school. Everybody walked to school. Kindergarten through Highschool graduation. Rain or shine, sleet or snow. You would have to have been my neighbor.

              Frank/Vince,
              Unfortunately for us those two statements are real life (or real death).
              -Chuckj


  11. I found a Haenel air pistol, it was made for the Hitler Youth training made from 1929 to 1939
    I found one in a little sports shop in New York State and no matter what I offered him
    he would not sell.This one was in perfect shape I went as high as $200.00 but he wouldn’t budge
    that was in the eighties I have been after it since 1966. WhenI first saw it in the 1939 Worlds fair
    Stoger Arms repro catalog which they sold out of their Fith Avenue Store by mail order.It
    sold for $40.00 a very high price for the times,the orig. catalog sells for $500.00 or more.
    Finally I was surfing the web and on Air GUNS OF Arizona there was one but in very bad shape
    but it was intact with logos on it’s wood grips,I bought it for $75.00 and I didn’t care if it
    didn’t work I will take of it I got the specs and parts list From Numerich’s web page it was very
    basic but with usual German Precision quality.I notice more and more sellers are aware of this
    new interestin air guns,I just wish they would buy or read The Blue Book of Air guns so that
    just because an air looks old,that doesn’t mean it’s worth what they ask once in a while I’ll find a bargain or a super collectable that I won’t dispute the price if I want it bad”
    It is an addicting hobby but I love it” I notice in FL there is not the array that I used to see in
    the North East,BUT i KNOW THEY ARE OUT THERE”


    • NNJ Mike,

      From what I see on Gun Broker, the odd guns are in Florida, but they are selling them over the internet. You need to look into that. There is a big dealer in Braden, Florida, who always has nice off stuff. He’s always high, but his stuff often doesn’t sell.

      There is another good dealer in Clearwater, that I see all the time on Gun Broker.

      Check it out.

      B.B.


  12. Hello B.B. Pelletier, I have an early BSF Bavaria 45 #899, there seems to be very little written information on this specific model and just about Never see one for sale, is this a collectable?…and how much would it be worth? Thank you, been reading your blog for years, appreciate very much! PhiL


    • Phillip,

      Is it a Bavaria 45, or is it a Bavaria 54? Is it a breakbarrel or an underlever?

      I know the 54 very well. I had never heard of the 45 until today. It does exist. It’s a lightweight breakbarrel that I would guess is in the Diana 27 range for power (650 f.p.s. in .177). The Blue Book puts a 95 percent gun at $140, but I think that’s undervalued. I think it ought to be worth $175 in 95 percent condition.

      In 60 percent condition, which is what most people would call a good rifle, it’s probably a $125 gun.

      B.B.


  13. B.B.,

    I worked at Fort Hood for a couple of years back in the early 90′s and found that Pawn Shops were one of the larger industries there, along with “clubs”. You always saw commercials in theaters for “Action Pawn”, among others, but it seemed that Action Pawn was the big advertiser.

    Where I live there are lots of pawn shops, but only one sells firearms in-house. The other big chain pawn shops only sell firearms online. Probably the best places to find used firearms here is through some of the older, more established, gun dealers. I don’t know if they trade, but one place that I like to buy guns from generally has good prices on guns. Not so good on everything else. I don’t own enough guns to have anything that I want to trade. When I do buy a firearm, it’s a keeper. I guess I’m not one who would qualify as a “gun collector”. Maybe in the next 10 or 20 years, when I’ve bought everything that I could want, I’ll have the kind of “collection” that would qualify me as a “gun collector”. In any case, this article sure is valuable for those of us who may someday be inclined to trade. Thanks!

    Victor


    • Victor,

      Pawn shops that are close to military bases are always the best because their customer base rotates often and they travel the world. So you never know what’s going to surface.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Yeah, I figured that because of this rotation, and the fact that lots of young men blow their money in “clubs”, that there would be a healthy inventory of just about anything that a young person might want, if only temporarily.

        Victor


  14. Another on line site that can be good is “Auction Arms”. It’s smaller than “Gunbroker” but can have some good deals. I bought a Crosman 160 in very good condition there.

    Mike


    • Mike,

      I have found that the same guns appear on both sites. Are you saying you have found some on Auction Arms that were not on Gun Broker?

      B.B.


      • I do see some that aren’t on “Gunbroker”. A couple years ago I was looking for a Winchester Model 12 in 16 ga with an Imp. Cyl. choke. The listing were not all the same on each site.

        Mike


  15. B.B., I want to report a modest gain shooting the Crosman 357. I have been doing some reading and I was attempting to practice what I was learning. It appears I was doing much it fairly well, however, I finally notice that if I raised the revolver higher I could line up on the sights without contorting my neck so much. What a relief to discover this. Plus I actually started getting a bit of a group. I have a long way to go and I will continue to learn. Thank you for your support. ~Ken


  16. That guy in the photo is pretty geared up. What do you call the platform under the fore-end of his rifle? A knee rest? I saw someone use something like that for offhand in high school competition.

    For all of you wheelers and dealers in guns, my suspicious mind has a question for you. When you make these trades, without knowing the history of the gun or much about the seller, how can you be sure of what you’re getting? With the age of the some of these guns, they could have gone through all sorts of things. I’m supposing that you don’t generally break down the gun and inspect it prior buying. Do you just size up the credibility of the seller on the spot and give him a once over? I’ve taken scrupulous care in researching everyone that I buy guns from. Whenever I don’t and sometimes when I do like with the recent gunsmithing of my SMLE, problems happen. And if you get stuck with a lemon, I guess you could always sell it off to somebody else, but that’s not too cool.

    Regarding the double-action handgun, B.B. that’s interesting that the European tradition doesn’t really emphasize handguns. Could it be that the cowboy tradition in America has led to a bigger role for handguns in America? What are the British handguns of the early 20th century? All I can think of is the Browning Hi Power but that came along in 1926. Before that wasn’t it Webley revolvers? In films of WWI, I see the British soldiers carrying revolvers. Also, even if the Europeans were not that interested in handguns, I believe that the Waffen SS equipped every single soldier with a Luger. And to compensate for its unreliability, they had it fitted with a specially molded leather holster to keep out the dirt. Those boys were interested in results and had some amazing gear. On the other hand, the SS were full of ideological mumbo-jumbo too so it’s not impossible that the pistol had some symbolic purpose as a badge as much as a practical purpose.

    Vince, what an interesting point you raise about the carry mode for a semiauto pistol. I can see the reasoning you describe but it has some real drawbacks. I thought that carrying a round in the chamber with the hammer down (Condition 2) was not advised because a chance movement could draw back the hammer and release it, firing your gun. So in chambering your round for a double-action pull, you are disabling the convenience of a single-action pull for the sake of an unsafe carry condition and a hard trigger pull that will be different from the subsequent trigger pulls. Doesn’t seem worth it. I can see an argument being made for the simplicity of operation for people who aren’t well-trained that might make the disadvantages worthwhile, but if you’re that untrained, you’ve got other problems anyway.

    On this subject, I ran into a guy who pulled aside his jacket with a big smile to show me a 1911 in an inside holster on his hip with a round chambered. He was carrying it at a half-cock. That doesn’t match any of the orthodox carry positions of conditions 0-3 that I’ve heard of. I asked him why he did that, and he had his rationale all ready. He said of course you wouldn’t carry it in Condition 1 cocked and locked because it was to complicated to work the safety in the heat of combat. What you wanted to do instead was to draw the gun and thumb back the hammer–as if that was any easier. Of course there was a danger of your thumb slipping on the hammer causing an accidental discharge while cocking it. But he had an answer for that too. Instead of thumbing the spur of the hammer, you’re supposed to wedge your thumb onto the face of the hammer and pull it back that way…

    Wulfraed, I’ve heard plenty of times about the theory that military guns are designed to wound instead of kill and from some knowledgeable people, but I have my real suspicions that this is an urban legend. The design of full metal jacket bullets so that they don’t expand was supposed to be an attempt to restrict the barbarism of war by the Geneva convention and to avoid additional mutilation. That would be a sufficient reason for the full metal jacket design without any theory about designing to wound. That idea has some problems too. Everybody knows that shot placement is at least as critical as ammo. So, if you are designing your ammunition to wound with a correct shot, you are guaranteeing a lack of effectiveness with anything less than a correct shot which is generally the case on a battlefield. Perhaps this theory went into the design of the 5.56 round but it has had its lethality problems. Otherwise, armies are not prone to minimizing the damage that they do but just the reverse from my experience. The wounding theory has another problem. I think it assumes that when a soldier is wounded his friends will all drop their guns to carry him to the rear. But I thought soldiers weren’t supposed to do that. They’re supposed to keep charging and let the medical personnel deal with the wounded. So ammo designed to wound would not have much effect on battle tactics anyway.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      You’re correct. It’s called a knee rest or more commonly a knee riser. The “evolution” of palm rests from days of old ;-)

      I don’t consider myself a “wheeler and dealer in guns” but I’ve bought, sold and traded a few. Here’s my take on your questions. The best way of being sure of what you’re getting is to inspect it in person and then be able to shoot it. Easy if you’re able to find what you’re looking for locally from an individual. With rare exception even a local gun show won’t allow the gun to be fired but close inspection, including disassembly of the gun (with sellers permission) isn’t unusual. Yes, it helps to know who you’re dealing with but even they may have overlooked problems.

      Buying guns long distance, even with great photo’s, is a risk. Risk translates into price I’m willing to pay for a long distance gun that I can’t inspect personally. Being able to talk to the owner over the phone helps. Unfortunately, many sellers are gun shops, pawn shops, etc. that have never fired the gun and don’t know squat about the history of the gun or weaknesses of the model.

      No matter how much I know it seems I learn something new with every gun I buy. There’s value in that for me. I also remind myself that if I get one keeper out of 5 purchases I’m doing well. Just my personal philosophy based on my experiences.

      kevin


    • Let’s hope I can keep the quoting straight as I snip through this…

      Vince, what an interesting point you raise about the carry mode for a semiauto pistol. I can see the reasoning you describe but it has some real drawbacks. I thought that carrying a round in the chamber with the hammer down (Condition 2) was not advised because a chance movement could draw back the hammer and release it, firing your gun. So in chambering your round for a double-action pull, you are disabling the convenience of a single-action pull for the sake of an unsafe carry condition and a hard trigger pull that will be different from the subsequent trigger pulls. Doesn’t seem worth it. I can see an argument being made for the simplicity of operation for people who aren’t well-trained that might make the disadvantages worthwhile, but if you’re that untrained, you’ve got other problems anyway.

      Unfortunately, the four “Conditions” seem designed to apply to the single-action m1911… Double-action semi-autos tend to have enough differences in operation to counter them…

      For example, the older S&W models (x39/x59, 390x/590x/400x — I have 459 and 4006) have safeties which both drops the hammer AND rotate a block between the firing pin and the hammer. There is no way to do “cocked & locked” with this design, not to mention that pulling the trigger will not cycle the hammer when the safety is on (the trigger bar/sear is disengaged). That leaves “empty chamber” with/without safety applied, “loaded chamber” with safety applied (hammer down and blocked), loaded chamber with safety off and hammer down, and loaded chamber with hammer cocked. I doubt if any training firm would recommend/condone the use of the latter two modes.

      The more modern striker fired models don’t have an external hammer tend to have decockers but not manual safeties (they may have “automatic” trigger safeties — using multi-part triggers so that the main trigger [trigger bar/sear] does not function unless something is pressing on the trigger to unlock the inner part; most modern holsters don’t expose the trigger so nothing snags on it). To external hammer to snag on anything. Carry modes are: empty chamber with/without cocked striker, loaded chamber with cocked striker (single action first shot), loaded chamber with decocked striker (double action first shot)

      Many semi-autos use inertial firing pins — if the hammer/striker is down, the firing pin is still too short to touch the primer (so hitting the hammer of an m1911 when it is down won’t activate the firing pin).

      On this subject, I ran into a guy who pulled aside his jacket with a big smile to show me a 1911 in an inside holster on his hip with a round chambered. He was carrying it at a half-cock. That doesn’t match any of the orthodox carry positions of conditions 0-3 that I’ve heard of. I asked him why he did that, and he had his rationale all ready. He said of course you wouldn’t carry it in Condition 1 cocked and locked because it was to complicated to work the safety in the heat of combat. What you wanted to do instead was to draw the gun and thumb back the hammer–as if that was any easier. Of course there was a danger of your thumb slipping on the hammer causing an accidental discharge while cocking it. But he had an answer for that too. Instead of thumbing the spur of the hammer, you’re supposed to wedge your thumb onto the face of the hammer and pull it back that way…

      OUCH!

      The purpose of a half-cock notch, on a semi-auto (and revolvers), is to CATCH the hammer if the full-cock sear should fail or slip when the trigger has not been pulled. (Single action revolvers also use the half-cock as a point that releases the cylinder to rotate for reloading; hammer down has the hammer blocking the cylinder, and full cock has the cylinder stop blocking it)

      Wulfraed, I’ve heard plenty of times about the theory that military guns are designed to wound instead of kill and from some knowledgeable people, but I have my real suspicions that this is an urban legend. The design of full metal jacket bullets so that they don’t expand was supposed to be an attempt to restrict the barbarism of war by the Geneva convention and to avoid additional mutilation. That would be a sufficient reason for the full metal jacket design without any theory about designing to wound. That idea has some problems too. Everybody knows that shot placement is at least as critical as ammo. So, if you are designing your ammunition to wound with a correct shot, you are guaranteeing a lack of effectiveness with anything less than a correct shot which is generally the case on a battlefield. Perhaps this theory went into the design of the 5.56 round but it has had its lethality problems. Otherwise, armies are not prone to minimizing the damage that they do but just the reverse from my experience. The wounding theory has another problem. I think it assumes that when a soldier is wounded his friends will all drop their guns to carry him to the rear. But I thought soldiers weren’t supposed to do that. They’re supposed to keep charging and let the medical personnel deal with the wounded. So ammo designed to wound would not have much effect on battle tactics anyway.

      It’s about the same effect… A well aimed shot is going to be fatal, but shots off-center will tend to produce less damage — where a modern defensive load would expand and transfer energy throughout the body. And even if front-line troops ignore a wounded person, you still need to allocate personnel to retrieve/treat a wounded. That puts the medics into the line of fire — or you deliberately leave someone to bleed out… Okay, something like D-Day may work — since the goal was to advance fast and far; the medics could follow in a “safe” zone, hopefully fast enough to catch up with the left-behind wounded. From what I know of Viet Nam, this probably wouldn’t apply… Small squads in jungle? Medics aren’t following — you have to get to an extraction point where a helicopter can land to pick up the wounded.


  17. By the way, the tactic of Mac and Otho to let the other side do the talking in negotiations reminds me of some older techniques. Apparently, when the Japanese were making such great progress in business and economics in the 1980s, some of them were drawing lessons from The Book of Five Rings, the manual written by Miyamoto Musashi, all-time great samurai duellist from the 16th century who distilled his wisdom into this book. American businessmen bought up this book to try to learn the secrets as well. One of their conclusions was that Japanese businessmen had a habit of going into negotiations and not saying anything. This would unnerve the garrulous Americans who were accustomed to talking and were afraid of losing the deal. They started talking and the effect only increased as the Japanese maintained silence. The next thing you know the Americans had talked themselves into a losing bargain all by themselves.

    I don’t know how they got all this from the book which I’ve read a number of times and which is mostly nonsensical (except for the occasional insight). But this is a tried and true method.

    Matt61


  18. HELP! A friend used gun solvent and gun oil to clean his air-rifle!

    I know your not suppose to use gun solvent to clean your airguns. I don’t know that this will hurt the barrel, but I imagine that this will ruin the seal. Is this the only reason why gun solvents are bad for airguns?

    Will something like Pellgun oil fix a dissolved (I assume) seal?

    What damage might this have caused by gun solvent and gun oil, and what are the solutions?
    (I can’t think of anything, other than replacing a seal.)

    Thanks,
    Victor


    • What sort of gun was it? The barrel should
      be OK unless it’s brass, and he used a
      copper-dissolving solvent.
      Also, what sort of cleaners did he use?


      • Vince,

        It was a Ruger Air Hawk break barrel.
        I’ll need to ask exactly what kind of solvent he used. I imagine something like Hoppe’s 9 solvent.
        This was his first air-rifle. He owns lots of firearms.

        Are springer barrels typically made of copper?

        Thanks,
        Victor


    • Victor…

      As long as the solvent was only used on the barrel, I would probably clean the barrel with straight alcohol. I would also soak the breech seal in it too.

      If the seal rots, then replace it. Finish up with some gun oil, then wipe it off/out good just leaving a thin layer for protection.

      There may not have been any damage. Pellgun oil will not fix a decomposed seal. Some seals are rubber, while some are plastic. There is less chance of ruining a plastic seal.

      twotalon



      • twotalon,

        I mentioned a few weeks ago about how accurate this rifle was. The next time we went out, the accuracy was horrible, so I had my friend bring his rifle over to my place yesterday so that I could check it out myself in my back yard. My yard was about 5 yards closer in, so I didn’t expect the impact point to change, but it did by close to 8 inches. Even worse, the rifle would not group consistently.

        At first I suspected that barrel droop was an issue (because didn’t know that he had cleaned it with gun solvent, yet). I allowed it to shoot very low, and still it would not group. Then I took an identical scope that I own, it still wouldn’t group. Then I took an entirely different scope, and it still shot wild flyers.

        I then told my friend that I was going to clean it for him. That’s when he told me what he had done. I think I’ve ruled out the scope as an issue, so the problem is with the gun, I think. The question is, was the seal ruined?

        Regarding the use of alcohol. Wouldn’t alcohol dry up the seal, possible making it more brittle?

        I don’t know if it’s made of plastic or rubber yet. I haven’t looked. I planned on using JB bore paste, along with the cleaning solution from my Game airgun cleaning kit.

        Should I use the alcohol first, or after using the other things?

        Thanks,
        Victor


        • Victor…
          If alcohol hurts a rubber seal very fast, then maybe a rinse with soapy water and then a bit of pellgun oil might do.

          The seal should stick up above the breech face a bit and should be pliable to at least some extent.

          Please do not tell me that he put gun cleaner in the compression tube too. I hate to think….

          You have adequately tested for a bad scope. Everybody should have a spare that is known to be good.

          Might be good to know what kind of gun oil that he used.

          twotalon


          • twotalon,

            This situation got more complicated than it may have originally sounded. You see, whatever the problem is (e.g., ruined seal), it caused the impact point to drop significantly, effectively introducing a “barrel droop” like condition, which wasn’t originally there. That scope was working perfectly before the gun was incorrectly cleaned. This is why i suspect that the issue is with the seal. I think that air is escaping, causing a loss in pressure, and thus velocity and corresponding drop in impact point. Man! This sounds like blog material to me. Thanks again!

            Victor


            • Victor, we need to know a couple of things:

              1) Did he clean the barrel with it open or closed? If he did it open, did he run dry patches through it before closing it? In other words, could any solvent have gotten into the spring tube?

              2) What exactly did he oil and how? Same thing – any chance it got into the spring tube?

              3) Do you actually SEE any barrel droop now that wasn’t there before?

              The breech seal is basically a #109 O-ring, 70-75 Buna-N (Nitrile) is fine.


              • Vince,

                I’ll look into this further. I assume I can find these o-rings online, or maybe local, now that I know what they are referred to as.

                Thanks,
                Victor


                • They’re cheap. You can get them at Mcmaster for a smidgen over $2.00.

                  But then you have to figure out what to do with the other 99 of them, ’cause that’s for a bag of 100.


                  • Vince,

                    I don’t see anything to complain about here. If they are somewhat of a standard, then I’ll be the set and just give my friend what he needs. Thanks again!

                    Victor


                  • McMaster-Carr came back with the following.

                    5018T168

                    AS3578 Buna-N O-Ring AS568A Dash Number 109, packs of 50

                    $17.84 pack of 50.

                    I liked the close to $2.00 per 100. :)


              • Vince,

                Found the model you recommended (9452K172).
                Wow! What a difference in price!
                The model McMaster-Car recommended (5018T168) is very expensive.
                We’re talking $2.21 per 100, versus $35.68 per 100.

                I expect that the more expensive one is MUCH better than what is used by air-gun manufacturers?
                I wonder if this affects pressure better, resulting in better accuracy?

                Thanks,
                Victor


              • Vince,

                That’s an excellent blog on shimming the O-ring! It really helps that you also specific a suitable washer.

                Thanks again,
                Victor


  19. Matt

    Staying silent during a negotiation is the best illustration of the old axiom “less is more.” Some people get nervous while negotiating and start babbling to fill up the silence and then shoot themselves in the foot by spilling the beans.(Sorry to mix my metaphors.) It is one thing to be prepared for the other guys arguments, it is another to state them outright for him, sometimes revealing something they had not considered. I can tell you one thing for certain, if I am negotiating price with someone, I always try to get them to throw out a number first. Often it is higher than I was going to ask when I’m selling, or lower than I was willing to pay when buying. You will see this all the time on Pawn Stars if you have ever seen the show. It is always “how much do you want for it?” rather than “we will give you X for it.”

    Another interesting tidbit about American vs Japanese business is that the U.S. State Department sent Dr. Edwards Deming of Western Electric Co. to Japan after WWII to help revitalize their war ravaged economy. The Japanese enthusiastically adopted his statistical process management model, now known as TQM in the states, or Total Quality Management. The model stresses quality and productivity and uses statistics to predict when management should get involved in a process, and when they should keep their meddling to themselves. A few decades later, Japan was an economic superpower, rivaling the US in several industries.

    As for a blog on the AA S200, I wouldn’t hold your breath for too long. If I remember correctly, I believe Tom once said that Air Arms would not send him one to test. This is astounding considering all the TX200s that have likely been sold partly on his recommendation. Until then… Nigel Allen, a good bloke from the UK, does a nice video review of the S200 + 10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96dR8JESCPM



      • Hi, folks. I had also looked up the old S200 review, and also could find only parts 1 and 2.

        I sure wouldn’t mind seeing a contemporary S200 review. B.B., since you have unlimited time, how about you work up the T200 for us, and then show us how you swap the peep sights for a scope, and crank up the power closer to standard S200 levels?

        -Jan


      • Kevin,
        I have that S200 that Tom tested. He only did the two parts and I bought the rifle two years ago at the Roanoke show. The rifle can easily shoot 3/8 in 25 yd. groups from the bench and I’m sure it’s capable of better then that.
        Loren



          • Kevin,
            Maybe it was 2010 anyway it was the last year the show was in Roanoke, after that it was moved to Salem. Sorry I missed you there I guess I was just kind of in and out since my wife was with me. But I did get away with a pistol & two rifles.
            Loren


            • Loren,

              That was 2010. I had just gotten out of the hospital a few months before and Mac drive out to Texas to drive me back to the Roanoke show. Then he drove me home again and then returned to Maryland. How’s that for a friend?

              Loren, how about you doing a guest blog on this rifle like Jan wants?

              B.B.


              • B.B.
                Mac is a super friend for sure. As for the guest blog on the S200. I just don’t have the equip. or the know how to do the photography part. But I know who does. How about it Twotalon? You have the rifle and the camera.
                Loren


                • You want to stick me with that ?
                  The original barrel has been worked on. The present barrel is a LW that I fitted.

                  There are a lot of things I would like to try with it, but it is not exactly sun bathing weather out there anymore.
                  I could probably go through a pallet of pellets working on the velocity curve. Of course this would be different velocity ranges too. AND what velocity ranges are most accurate with what pellet . AND if the position of the thing on the end of the barrel has any effect on accuracy (it could).

                  The LW is still “white”. Accuracy is good in the back yard and lethal on starlings, although it is not killing them as good as something bigger. The little Exact RS blow around in the wind at 560 f.p.s..

                  I just looked back and saw what Jan was looking for. I could provide that. Easy as can be. But not tonight. Just getting over something. not pleasant. A couple days barfing and pooping. Lost at least 10 lb.

                  twotalon


  20. I’ve looked into vintage air rifles and found that I personally don’t like them too much. I have a customer that just loves the old guns but he sends them all to me when they finally break to be repaired. I found some of these things are impossible to get parts for. I often call these old guns “Uncle Pappy’s Root Cellar Specials” since I don’t know where these guns came from or how they were stored or how many hundreds of thousands of shots they have fired or even if someone used small rocks instead of lead pellets. (I have a friend that fires small rocks out of a daisy that’s older than me.)

    I find my shooting pleasure in things like my tricked out condor. I’m currently waiting on a hatsan 125th. I heard the things are very good guns. Anyone here ever fired one?




      • That’s a pity. I have been looking for a springer that can handle close to my condor. I love the condor but in 95 degree weather like we had last summer I found pumping up the condor to 3000 psi was a bit more than I could handle. I was kind of hoping the vibration dampers in the thing might smooth it out a bit. I suppose it will be relegated to the armory after a test firing then. That’s where my airguns basically go to die if I find they aren’t good performers. It will be in some fine company though.


        • Any spring gun with Condor-like performance is going to need three people to cock (one to hold the pivot, one to hold the muzzle, and the last to hold the end of the stock).

          My Condor, with the low power Micro-meter tank was challenging my RWS Diana M54 “Air-King” for velocity/muzzle energy. With the regular tank, the Condor was tossing Gamo TS-22 pellets at three times the muzzle energy (and the power setting was only at 8-0 [aka: 7-16]). Okay, only two times the muzzle energy if using 14gr pellets instead of 22gr pellets (spring guns lose effectiveness with really heavy pellets — my M54 likes 14-18gr pellets, and then starts dropping muzzle energy with the 20-28gr; the Condor loves heavy pellets producing four times the energy of the M54 with a 28gr pellet).


  21. I figured it will be nowhere as powerful as my condor. I was thinking more along the lines of downrange accuracy. My condor is .22 cal and this hatsan is .177 which is sufficient for my purposes at the moment. But I can see there is no way I will want to take this beast with me on my next pest removal job on the farms around here. Mostly because of the weight. I’m definitely not going to want to lug this monster around.


    • John,

      If you want a less powerful air rifle, just put a standard tank on your Condor. You’ll reduce the top power to about 45 foot-pounds and double the number of shots. You should be able to adjust the power down as low as 20 foot-pounds with the standard tank installed.

      B.B.


    • I’m wondering if you’d have been better off with a Diana rifle – one of the model 34 variants or the 350 Magnum. Price is in the same ballpark, but I believe you’d be able to have more confidence in the quality.


      • From what I see the quality is acceptable on the hatsan. Weighs a ton but I suppose I can deal with that in some cases, like when I have something to support it on. No way this thing will be used free standing.


        • I was thinking about the quality of the barrel. We’ll be curious if you have any better luck than BB had with the example he tried.

          Oftentimes the springers from China or Turkey are inconsistent – one is very good and the next is very poor. The Hatsan’s I’ve had (Daisy Powerline 1000′s) were absolutely brutal to shoot and had unreliable triggers. But both exceeded their advertised velocity with 7.9gr Premiers and were awfully accurate even in my hands.


          • I just did a test firing since all my neighbors are out at the moment. It took quite a bit of effort to get that break barrel all the way down and I’m not a 100 pound weakling. I was happy with the anti vibration and recoil reduction. But boy that’s one heavy beast firing freestanding! The Turks must be some very well built people to to make such a heavy handed weapon! I won’t be able to take this to my outdoor range until spring so no accuracy tests anytime soon. For what it’s worth, I have a 1000 fps gun, a savage enforcer, that has way more kick than this thing does. And I believe my test shot was every bit of the 1250 advertised with a crosman pointed pellet. It was quite loud. So I’ll have to think BB has an accurate accuracy test since he has more years on me and has tested out far more guns than I have ever owned. I don’t know what kind of shooting pedigree he has, so I don’t really know if my results will be any better. For what it’s worth I am the military equivalent of an olympic silver or gold medalist. (They only compete for one prize in the canadian army trophy… a huge silver cup and when I competed we took that cup.)


    • I was thinking more along the lines of downrange accuracy.

      combined with

      my next pest removal job on the farms around here.

      makes me think you want a high-speed gun…

      Flat-trajectory from high speed means you aren’t tied to specific distances. The slower guns may be more precise (defined as shot-to-shot repeatability) but require lots of hold-over/hold-under depending on target range. (I highly recommend going through the hassle of obtaining Hawke ChairGun Pro — just for the fun of playing with pellet/velocity/sight-plane to see what the trajectories look like)


  22. I wasn’t really looking for less power, but an accurate spring gun. I know I can get less power out of my condor by changing tanks or just dialing it down to dead low. I was looking for a springer that might be able to do a bit of pest elimination when it’s just too hot and miserable to take out the condor and the pump since I sometimes get bored and do a bit of target shooting too if I’m not seeing anything. The condor is a magnificent gun for power and distance, but in the heat of a drought it can be a miserable job filling it to 3000 psi and target shooting.

    Sadly I cannot test fire this hatsan today. We had an attempted murder next door a few weeks ago and the guys that did it are still not in custody. Letting a pellet loose inside at 1250 fps will be getting me a visit by every cop in town looking for another shooting victim at this time. Last thing I need.


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