Are you new to airguns?

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is for those readers who are coming to this blog to find out what airguns are all about. We try to keep things open and free on this blog so you can ask any questions you might have at any time. There’s no need to remain on topic, like many forums demand.

I’m seeing two different types of new readers these days. The first is a shooter with a lot of firearms experience behind him. He knows his way around guns, but he’s heard some interesting things about these modern adult airguns and is curious to learn more.

This person already has a good foundation in the shooting sports, so a lot of things will seem very familiar. He will understand about the effects of weather conditions when shooting. He knows the importance of a good sight picture and trigger control. So he is already well-grounded on the basics, yet there will be some things that completely surprise him.

The other new reader is new to the shooting sports. Maybe he chose airguns as a good entry point for getting into shooting; or maybe, for various reasons, airguns are all he ever wants to shoot. This reader is trying to learn the basics, as well as trying to keep up with the reviews and tests we do.

What can I do? Make things clear
The first thing I can do for both these readers is recognize who they are and try to write to keep them both engaged and interested. That sounds difficult but turns out to be a blessing in disguise because the veteran shooter may understand some things differently than I do.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean. Yesterday, I was on the range with a shooter I don’t know and we talked about shot groups. He was surprised that I shoot 10-shot groups. He said that he shoots 3-shot groups to determine accuracy. To adjust his scope, he shoots only one shot. He’d never heard of Dr. Joseph Juran’s analogy of the management technique where all changes to a system are based on a single observation.

Chasing the ever-increasing failure rate
Dr Juran developed a short demonstration of the absurdity of using a single data point to make corrections to a system. One person stands on a chair and looks down at a piece of paper on the floor beneath him. There’s a dot on the paper. Looking straight down, the person holds a lead pencil to his nose and drops it, hoping to hit the dot. Another person we’ll call a “data gatherer” then notes how far from the dot the pencil hit the paper and records that information in X-Y coordinates. The paper has a grid pattern on it for this purpose. That information is then given to a group of people in a separate room who use it to prepare instructions for how to move the paper to correct for the error — so the pencil will strike the dot on the next try. Those instructions are then given to another worker, who must follow the instructions exactly to reposition the paper.

This experiment is repeated several times: drop the pencil, note the impact point, prepare the correction instructions and move the paper. After 5 or 6 iterations, the dot has been moved so far from the impact point that it is impossible to even hit the paper with the pencil!

Then the entire group of people is assembled to critique the experiment. They see that by reacting to a single data point, all their corrections did was move the dot farther from where the pencil impacted! For some people, this is a real eye-opener because it flies in the face of what they thought was true.

And, when you adjust your scope based on one pellet hole, that’s exactly what you’re doing — moving the dot based on a single observation.

Dr. Juran used this demonstration in his management classes when he taught the process that is known today as Japanese Management. This lesson is applicable to both the new shooter and the veteran who’s been doing it this way for decades. Even though both shooters are at different levels of experience, they can still be interested in the same things.

Behaviors that are peculiar to airguns
Both shooters can also benefit from learning about things like the artillery hold. What the new shooter learns is obvious, but it’s the veteran shooter who stands to gain the most from this lesson. He’s been holding his firearms tightly all his life, and it’s worked well until now. How is he to know that a lightweight Gamo spring-piston rifle will have to be handled like fresh eggs, if his most recent experience has been with a 7mm Remington Magnum that kicks like crazy? If he were to hold that rifle loosely, it would kick his teeth out! But we all know that the Gamo breakbarrel will not perform unless it’s held softly. So, this is a huge lesson for all new airgunners — experienced or otherwise.

We also know that diabolo pellets are partially stabilized by spin and partially by air drag. We’re currently conducting an investigation to determine what the optimum twist rate of rifling might be. I think we’ll discover that the effects of twist rates vary with velocity, like anything else. And that leads me to my summary comment for today.

Think like a buffalo hunter
I’ve read about the buffalo hunters who operated in the Plains States from around 1872 through 1880. They used single-shot rifles and tried to make each shot count because they were running a business that had very tight margins. Each round of ammunition cost about 25 cents to prepare, and each buffalo taken was worth between $2.50 to $3.00. The runners, as they called themselves, employed a small team of workers that had, as a minimum, a driver, two or more skinners and the hunter. The driver drove the large wagon that carried the buffalo hides, plus he was the cook; the skinners removed and preserved the hides (not much to it, other than scraping the insides and then rolling them very tight); and the hunter scouted the herd the evening before the hunt, reloaded his ammunition then did all the shooting the next day.

The goal of all these people was to make as much money as possible in the shortest time. The work was horrible, long and very tiring. Plus, there was always a threat of Indian attack. The hunter tried to shoot as many animals as his skinners could handle in one day, and he wanted to keep his costs to a minimum. The entire outfit — horses, wagons, equipment and supplies — was provided by the hunter.

The successful buffalo hunter had only one load for his rifle. One bullet, one charge of powder. And his cartridge had to perform well for him to hope to make a profit. That shooter is the one we want to emulate. He didn’t know what a chronograph was, yet his bullets did what they were designed to do and went where he aimed them.

I know there are things other than accuracy. In fact, accuracy is only the beginning. But without it, there can be no beginning, so that’s where I spend most of my time.

67 Responses to “Are you new to airguns?”

  • Bob from OZ Says:

    G’day BB
    Just read an interesting article on accuracy in this months “Australian Shooter”. The writer claims a tightening of groups and less fliers when a torque wrench is used to tighten all screws. Torque is different on different screws types.
    Cheers Bob

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Bob,

      I know that Walther includes a special set of Allen wrenches with their Olympic target rifles. They are made to facilitate torquing the stock screws to the correct torque.

      B.B.

      • cowboystar dad Says:

        I learned that lesson last fall.
        One of the things that was mentioned to me when I was trying to get my Savage .22WMR to shoot straight was how important it was to tighten the stock screws to the proper torque (15in.pds).
        I checked them and from the factory they were anything from about 15 to 30. I backed them all off and tightened them to spec and their was an immediate accuracy improvement.
        I would never have thought that 10 or 15in.pds (not ft.pds) could make that much difference.

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          CSD,

          Wow! That large a difference from just a few inch-pounds? Now you have me wondering.

          B.B.

          • twotalon Says:

            B.B.

            I found with my 97k that screw tightness changes accuracy. Too tight or too loose makes it shoot like crap compared to “just right”. It must have something to do with considerable interraction between the gun and the stock. The vibration indicates that the stock and gun do not like each other very well. Maybe a different piece of wood would change this.

            twotalon

          • cowboystar dad Says:

            Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either…and I don’t know if all guns are this sensitive.
            But on Snipers Hide (the other place I hang out…just in case I need to know how to make that 600yd shot with my Slavia 630 ;-) ) there is a whole raft of info on stock screw settings.
            According to them a torque wrench measuring inch pounds is as important as your cleaning rod.

            • twotalon Says:

              cbsd….

              If you have a wood stock, it can get worse. Humidity changes over time will move the POI. The better a stock is sealed, the better. That sucker will go out of zero on you over time. It need not be an airgun either.

              twotalon

              • Robert from Arcade Says:

                Have noticed that quite a few air rifles with both wood and composite stocks have nothing but wind around the rear end of the compression tube. Glass bedding them at the contact points, and using thinned out accra glass inside the stock helps with some of them.

                • twotalon Says:

                  Robert…

                  I had foreward and backward movement on the 97k , and also an up and down motion on the forend when cocking. Could feel it. Shimmed the back tight behind the compression tube and used a couple strips of the double side tape on the front end. Did not remove the backing on the gun side. Did not want to stick them together. No discernible movement now.

                  twotalon

                  • Robert from Arcade Says:

                    TT, I really like your idea of the double sided tape. I also use small brass washers under screws , and replace the screws on the chicom stuff with decent hardware. It all helps…

                • twotalon Says:

                  Robert…

                  Thread getting a bit thin down there…

                  That double side tape is the stuff with the foam center. It will squish down without giving a really hard contact. Like any other bedding in a squirrely vibration pattern system, there is probably a right place and a wrong place to put it.

                  twotalon

        • Aj Says:

          Cowboystar dad

          Very informative, but how do you know how much torque to apply to different guns?
          I checked my user manuals and don’t see any in/pounds indicated. Hard to believe that it would be the same 15/in pds across all platforms. Maybe call each manufacturer?
          Tx200, talon ss, marauder, savage 12, fx

          Thanks for any help

          Aj

          • cowboystar dad Says:

            Aj…usually you’ll have to contact the gun manufactureres service centre.
            I visit a number of precision shooting forums…it’s amazing how much impact proper tightening of the stock screws matter…yet they never mention it in most gun owner manuals.

            • aljoh Says:

              Thanks for the reply, I will start calling the service centers as soon as I finish researching these in/pd torque wrenches. There doesn’t seem to be any standouts in the reviews I have read so far. The Weaver gun smith wrench seems to be just ok at $60 online.

              Again, thank you very much for the help….

              AJ

  • Loc Da Smoke Says:

    I’m not new to Airguns, but this was a good post

  • t-bird Says:

    Timely post, I’m new to airguns starting today, when I received my first shipment from Pyramid Air.

    Wanted to start target shooting again, after a forty-year break, but things are a little crazy right now. Enjoying your blog.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      t-bird,

      Welcome to the blog! And to airginning, in general.

      What kind of airgun do you have? Maybe we can help you get started.

      B.B.

      • t-bird Says:

        I got the Daisy Avanti 499B for marksmanship fun and the Colt Special Combat CO2 1911 for pistol practice. I’ll do 10m pellets sometime, too. Nice to be able to practice indoors at home. Wish I could do it outdoors, but that’ll never fly.

        • twotalon Says:

          t-bird…

          Maybe an 853 ? I really hate to suggest that because if you get one based on my suggestion, you will probably get the worst one ever made.

          twotalon

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          t-bird,

          I presume you have seen my most recent test of the 499? I’ve written a lot more than that over the past 7 years. The 499 is the most amazing BB gun you will ever shoot. You are going to find yourself shooting it offhand better than you ever imagined you could in a very short time. Good purchase!

          I’ll bet the Colt Special Combat pistol will be accurate, too. I recently tested a Winchester Model 11 BB gun that is a 1911 copy and I found it so impressively accurate that I bought the test gun for me and my wife to use to keep our firearm skills sharp.

          Please tell us what you think. “Aim small — miss small.”

          B.B.

          • t-bird Says:

            The 499 is amazing. Have only had time for a few shots as I set up my 5m space, but everything goes thru the same hole. It’s rather confusing, “did I entirely miss?!” is my first reaction, but the BB’s are in there. Not even using special BB’s.

  • goatboy Says:

    I’ve been into air guns since i was a kid so i wouldn’t actually SAY i was new to airguns, but when i read all these blogs and comment on this and some forums i sometimes FEEL like I’m new to airguns.There is so much information, knowledge, and personal experience out there, it can leave me dazed and confused for quite a while.

    TTFN

    Best Wishes Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Sir Nigel,

      There certainly is a lot of information, isn’t there? I feel like the more I learn the less I know.

      B.B.

    • /Dave Says:

      I know that feeling, Sir Nigel! Seems like the knowledge of the hive is much greater than this individual can absorb. New surprises all of the time! (Which is why I’m still here after all the years…)

      /Dave

  • dangerdongle Says:

    So, what ARE these airguns all about, anyway? : )

    The unfortunate part is, for many new to the sport, hard-earned cash will be wasted at a big box store before they find this blog and realization dawns.
    At least, it was that way for me. I was picking up primers and asked the sales guy if he had something I could use to get rid of tree rats that were eating my house. He sold me a PX4 Storm. HA! I laugh about it now, but at the time…..

    • Chris Legate Says:

      Please tell me you are joking! A PX4 Storm? Really?

      Wow.

      • Matt61 Says:

        I haven’t had the greatest experience dealing with gun store personnel about guns, so I can imagine their performance on airguns. I had some guy tell me that the 12 gram CO2 powerlets were obsolete.

        Matt61

  • Neil in VA Says:

    Today’s blog brings to mind a question I’ve been wrestling with lately, and I’m hoping some of the more experienced folks around here will share their opinions.

    I grew up learning the “hold it tight” method for all rifles (airguns and powder burners). Over the past few years I’ve done a lot of air gunning with springers and learned to love the artillery hold. Then recently I started shooting firearms again with a local club. One of my favorite events is shooting 4-position rifle with my old .22 rimfire Marlin 39. It’s not a target rifle, but it’s the gun I grew up with, and it’s extremely accurate for a lightweight lever gun. So here’s my question: For a .22 rimfire rifle, where there is no painful recoil to worry about, am I better off with the artillery hold or with a firm “firearm” grip?

    I have a guess what the answer might be, but I’ve tried both ways and so far the results are still inconclusive.

    Thanks for your thoughts,
    Neil in VA

    • MIke Says:

      A number of the folks shooting .22 Rimfire Benchrest use the Artillery Hold. It seems to work there.

      Mike

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Neil,

      Most rimfire target shooters I have talked to favor the artillery hold — with the exception of 10-meter target shooters. They use a sling to pull the rifle in very tight when they shoot.

      So I guess it works either way. But when shooting from a rest, the hold should be loose.

      B.B.

    • Matt61 Says:

      For what it’s worth, all-time shooting champ Nancy Tompkins who shoots 6mm rounds at 1000 yards says that your hold on the rifle should be like holding a glass of water. So, I would say that the tight hold is out of the window for a .22.

      Matt61

  • westernPA Says:

    Hi BB,

    I read your review of the Walther LGV and wondered how it compared to a proven break-barrel performer like the R11 with the Rekord trigger? It sounded great, but for the money – R11, the TX 200 & HW 97 (great “investment rifles”) are not all that much harder to stomach from a monetary standpoint.. I’ve been shooting club rimfire events, and while I thoroughly enjoy it – the shortage of ammo has turned me back to my air rifles – which is a good thing. Just wish there were more organized events locally, I occasionally bring a target springer to the rimfire relays and show off during the breaks (the HW 55 shoots rings around a lot of competition rimfires even at 50′), there’s a lot of interest and hopefully it drummed up some business for Pyramyd Air.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      westernPA,

      I have shot them all, and in my opinion the new LGV will soon be in the same class as the rifles you listed. I wish it had a better trigger, but even as it is, this is the rifle to get. Among breakbarrels, there is nothing better.

      B.B.

    • Chris Legate Says:

      I want to thank you westerPA! Thank you for bringing you air rifle and getting the work out!

      Wonderful!

      ATB,
      Chris

  • Western PA Says:

    BB,

    Those are strong words – considering your affinity for the TX 200. Let me know if the top-of-the-line model LGV has any improvements in the trigger area – I may have found my next “investment.” I’m very impressed so far with your description of “tuned” out-of-the-box. When I recommend an air rifle to someone who is used to quality firearms – I point right to the TX 200 since there is no surprise or letdown from all of the claims (it does everything just as it says and then some). Adding a well-known name like Walther to that mix should help even more.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Western PA,

      I said “Among breakbarrels…”. The TX200 is an underlever, and I still rate it as the top spring rifle in the world.

      B.B.

      • chuckj Says:

        Tom,
        I’m glad you made that point about the TX200 as current overall top spring performer, very clear. My forehead was beginning to wrinkle and my neck muscles were starting to tense up.
        -Chuckj

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    When you mentioned shooting one shot to adjust the scope, I presume you mean that this is used to make the final adjustment from the previous group position. This would be a big mistake even if that group was a 10 shot group and not a flaky 3 shot group. Never expect a scope to move by exactly how much the click value is supposed to be. It can be wrong by quite a bit.

    About the only time I shoot 1 shot groups is when walking a scope into close proximity to the aim point. Then I start shooting more shots before making adjustments. When I think I have it dead on, I shoot a whole bunch of shots to verify. Sometimes you will also detect a sticky scope during the process.

    Of course if I am just testing pellets, I just walk it in somewhere close to zero and shoot a bunch of shots with each kind of pellet under test. Being fairly close to the aim point helps reduce canting effects .

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TT,

      No, no no! I mean this fellow was shooting one shot, then adjusting his scope FROM where it impacted. Period!

      Does that strike you as a bad idea? It is exactly the same as the demonstration Dr. Juran had his students do, and, believe it or not, some MANAGERS and SENIOR EXECUTIVES didn’t know why it wouldn’t work until they did the exercise and had it explained to them!

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        B.B.

        I see now. That would be even worse.
        You would think that the results of this method should alert the guy that his thinking may be a bit impractical. (Being nice about it).

        twotalon

      • chuckj Says:

        To restate the obvious: A shooter who does this is not aware of the variables involved in his sport.
        -Chuckj

    • /Dave Says:

      TT,

      I use your same procedure now. When I was a kid and didn’t know anything about the variability of groups I used to do the one shot walk with no verification group at the end. I always wondered why my buddy was out shooting me with his iron sights while I was using a scope on the same gun (we both had Crosman 760′s which didn’t help matters for me much…).

      Coming from firearms I also used to shoot 3 shot groups a lot when I got back into airtime. That was what all the experts shot so the poi wouldn’t move as much from thermal expansion. Now I’ve gotten so used to 10 shot groups that when I see a 3 shot group in a picture, it looks like something is missing…

      /Dave

      • twotalon Says:

        /Dave…

        I get carried away at times. Sometimes I shoot 20 or more into the same group. Leaves just a hole, without looking like a group. Can’t count the holes. Also helps see if there may be a bum pellet every so often. I shoot straight from the tin with springers. No lube other than any that comes from the factory. I only toss the ones that have a visibly blatant defect.

        twotalon

  • Volvo Says:

    They say timing is everything, and mine is usually off by at least a few clicks. After the great firearm \ airgun sell off 2009, as I rebuilt I have focused more on powder burners. Not that I don’t still enjoy air rifles, it’s just that I have done so much with them already.

    For example, I had a smooth-bore 1934 Diana 25 that I compared pellets to round ball with along with a 499 that I shot for accuracy testing from 10 to 40 yards with. Sound familiar? Unless it is a new pistol \ rifle review, even Tom’s brilliant blog is often old hat. The list of my random and sometime infamous testing is nearly endless.

    So it seemed to make sense to focus on ordinance with a little louder bang when the trigger is squeezed. Centerfires are a bit pricey to shoot, so I also picked up some new .22’s. You most likely see where this going already. One of my favorite new big boy toys is a Browning BL22. It has a satin nickel receiver along with a satin finish on the wood instead of the usual Browning high gloss. It will digest 22 shorts, 22 CB’s, sub-sonic’s, longs, long rifles and all other .22 ammo made. (with the tiny exception of the primer only rounds that should only be shot out of a pistol – for fear they won’t exit a longer rifle barrel). Capacity runs from 21 to 15 rounds depending on the flavor. I even picked up a Ruger .22 Mark III for the wife since she now wants to learn to shoot.

    I use the BL22 sans scope, so at an indoor range it still can be a bit of a challenge and the look is as it should be. The rub of course is that suddenly .22 ammo has become as rare as hens teeth at the local gun shops, and I refuse to pay the silly prices you see on Gunbroker. I bought shares of the old GM stock in early 2009…..

    So I am back in the basement again, devising my next great air rifle experiments. One of my latest is a .22 Marauder that I put a Blaster thumbhole stock on. While still heavy, it really changes the feel and of course the look for the better. Also the JM kit is on order for the HW55M. I guess history does repeat itself, so I am sort of new – again.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Volvo,

      “Everything old is new, again.” That isn’t just a song title.

      When you get a little more mileage on the odometer you will start discovering things you used to distain are now fascinating. Couple that experience with a loss of memory and life will be brand new all over again.

      See what you have to look forward to? :D

      B.B.

      • Volvo Says:

        So very true, I had no love for my parents Cadillac back in the 1970′s. Could not figure out why anyone would drive anything other than a Camaro. Now an STS sits in my garage.

        Some dozen years ago I longed for a springer over 30ft lbs, so I bought a .25 cal Webley Patriot – now it would be my last choice in an air rifle.

  • triniair Says:

    as an analyst i never approach a study with a bias i always consider all factors even those i disagree with also considering irrelevant ones the opinion then most likely becomes unbias. this is one of the few blogs in the world that will help persons new and old to make a guided discision when purchasing air guns. for me i grew up with a diana smooth bore .177 only .177 smooth bore allowed in our country since then i have added hw 90, birmingham webley patriot, evanix ar4, sumatra 2500 all are used strictly for hunting wanted a tx200 untill the dealers closed shop and parts became a real problem keep up the good work pelletier

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      triniair,

      Welcome to the blog. I try to be unbiased, but it doesn’t always work. But maybe now you can watch me and remind me when I start leaning in a certain direction.

      B.B.

  • jon Says:

    To old shooters like me, air guns let me keep myself tuned up in shooting condition without having to load up, drive to a gun range and spend the whole day shooting. I have an acre, so could easily shoot at 50 yards or so. I can practice sight alignment (and scope target/crosshair alignment), trigger control, breath control, follow through, etc., etc., with my air rifles and pistols almost any day I want. And, these days, I am shooting at least a little bit, almost every day. And, you can shoot relatively cheaply. Most pellets start at about two cents a pellet. If you shoot BBs, you are really having some inexpensive fun. And, as I found out, with a good setup to catch the BBs, you most certainly CAN reshoot them. And that, without any detectable loss of accuracy.

    As for the air guns? You can get shooting on even a squeaky tight budget. I found a cheap smooth bore BB and pellet shooting multi pump rifle that I can get, if I work hard on all aspects of my technique, tiny one hole groups from a rest at 10 yards and pretend I’m a bench rest shooter (and I am FAR from a bench rester).

    Want to do some practicing of defensive type shooting? Pick up a cheap (or expensive!) CO2 BB shooter and you’re off and running. I used to shoot bowling pin matches, and I’d like to come up with a way to simulate that type of shooting, as it was addictively fun to do. One could even get together with a friend and do timed competition.

    And IHMSA or NRA Hunter Pistol type shooting like I used to enjoy? Very easy to set it up, and I have a set of the metal chickens, pigs, turkeys, and rams to do it.

    I do find spring piston air rifles a challenge, but CO2 shooters and multipumpers couldn’t be easier. Open sights, traditional scopes, dot sights. Even if your eyesight is bad like mine, there i a way to keep you shooting. And all the time I used to spend hand loading ammunition. I still have a few smokeless powder shooters (and one black powder shooter), but I don’t shoot them much any more, and yet I’m shooting more than ever with my air guns. It’s fun, relaxing (except when I’m shooting very badly!), inexpensive, and practical.

  • Matt61 Says:

    All newcomers who are firearms enthusiasts just need to know one word: ammo. Even when firearms ammo was available, the price and convenience could not compare to airguns. With your plinker in the basement, you will rapidly put far more shots downrange than your geared up person with the Tubb 2000 rifle.

    B.B., I find the Dr. Juran experiment astounding. I see the problems with correcting for one data point, but I see at least equivalent sources of error in the method of pencil dropping and the complicated sequence of communication. This is like the elementary school experiment about passing down information and getting the original message back all distorted. So, the complicated chain of communication by itself could have caused all the problems. If there had been an instant feedback system by someone on the spot to move the paper, I suspect that outcomes would have been different so this sounds like an experiment in communication as much as anything.

    What is the Japanese management system? The Japanese partly lost WWII because of their horrendous management practices, not just their lack of resources. Poor communication based on saving face and inflexible obedience to superiors is not a recipe for success let’s say. If you mean the cooperative ideas of J. Edwards Deming, that had an American origin, although it’s fair to say that the U.S. auto industry rejected Deming’s ideas to their eventual grief.

    As far as sighting procedure, if you were to make your correction based on one shot at a time while excluding called fliers, shouldn’t your zero converge to the right place over time? Just a little slower than if you were correcting based on groups. I thought there were some shooting competitions that only allowed something like two sighters so this method must work.

    Okay, fin-stabilized rounds are not fair. But getting the price down on those would be quite a challenge.

    J-F, reproduction of tigers is part of the purpose. But collateral damage with the cows is a problem. I had sort of pictured them fenced in, but if allowed to graze openly, they would make for a more attractive target.

    Mike, yes, I had noticed that the 7 shot cylinder brought the capacity up to the traditional 1911. So, I’ve got the revolver advantages with only a slight cost in reloading and firing speed. I’m curious about why you gave up your Mauser. Beautiful gun. I had scoffed at it before as a standard that was less interesting than some variations on bolt-action design but the gun itself has swept me away. But beautiful as it is to hold and dry-fire, I’m having my doubts about recoil. It fires the biggest bullet of all my surplus rifles with the shortest length and the least weighting to the front (an aspect of its super balance) and that steel-shod buttstock looks to be a hammer to the shoulder…

    Matt61

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Matt,

      The Japanese lost World War II, partly because they were out-produced by the United States. The two men given the most credit for that success are Dr. W. Edwards Demming and Dr. Joseph Juran — men trusted by the U.S. War Department to organize this nation’s industrial complex and to prioritize the various programs of the war logistical system at the wholesale level,.

      After the war, both men remained in Japan to help with the reconstruction. The Japanese listened to both men and rebuilt their industrial complex to the point that in the late 1960s it overtook the U.S. industrial complex, from the standpoint of efficiency if not sheer volume.

      The success of Japanese automobiles and electronics is attributed to both men and their system of management. They invented Just In Time (JIT) delivery of supplies. The rest of the world coined the term Japanese Management, in honor of what that country had done.

      The Japanese government awarded both men the title Japanese National Treasure before their deaths a few years ago.

      Motorola’s own reorganization in the 1980s, called Six-Sigma for the place on the bell curve where they wanted every measurable process to reside, is based on the teachings of Demming and Juran. When Harley Davidson reduced the build time of their motorcycle from 6 months to an hour, Demming and Juran were followed.

      That is just a nutshell of what it means.

      B.B.

      • Fred Says:

        BB,

        Being a Six-Sigma Black Belt and former Motorolan, I really never expected to see this in your blog, but I happily surprised!

    • Mike Says:

      I did sell the 8 mm Mauser. It was a Spanish M43 Post War that had been partly sporterized. Nothing special there. I still have a 1930′s vintage Brazilian (Made in Germany) 7 mm Mauser with a 29 inch barrel. It is great and very accurate. It will shoot groups approaching 1 in. at 100 yds with my handloads. That is off the bench of course but still using the issue sights. Our club is planning on having a bench rest military rifle match this summer. I will be shooting the Mauser.

      Mike

  • Rob Norris Says:

    While you are properly torquing the screws, a drop of low or medium strength Locktite on machine screws or Vibra-tite VC-3 (keep off plastic and finished wood, it may cause damage) will keep them from loosening. Don’t use high strength.

  • James Moreau Says:

    Just got my first serious adult air rifle and have only casually shot before that from time to time. Trying to get as much practice as I can while versing in theory as well. Grateful for this blog!

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      james,

      Glad to have you as a reader! Welcome to the blog. I hope you enjoy your airguns.

      B.B.

      • Greg Says:

        Hi, B.B. – I just joined your blog last night… I have learned more about air guns from reading your blog these last 2 days than… Well, EVER!

        I’ve been trying to get half-decent groupings from my Daisy 860 multi-pump BB/pellet rifle since I I’ve been trying to get half-decent groupings from my Daisy 860 multi-pump BB/pellet rifle since I bought it back in 1987. Every Spring, the starlings come back to nest, and every Spring I think, “This will be the year this P.O.S. will hit some of those turd birds…” And every Spring, I get groups the size of saucers – and no dead starlings!

        After reading about the ‘artillery hold’, I tried again on Friday evening, but the best I could get were 6” groups at 10 meters, using Crosman Premier pellets and 10 pumps of pressure. However, I did get a pellet jammed in the chamber. I never took apart an air rifle before, and had no idea what to expect. Your blog was the only place I could find any photos or other details about taking apart air rifles. (I never did find any information specific to Daisy 860s.)

        I got it apart without losing any pieces. As I worked, I took closeup photos in case I had trouble getting it back together again. I cleared the jam, got it back together, and amazingly, it worked! It still won’t hit a starling at 10 feet, but it didn’t explode, either, so thank you very much!

        In return, I wondered if you might want to use the photos I took for a future “How to take apart an airgun” blog? I couldn’t figure out a way to email sample photos to you from the blog, but I wanted to offer them, in case they will help someone else. I’d hate to think I wasted all that time for nothing…

        Thanks again for all the great info on your blog!

        Greg

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Greg,

          You have a unique perspective. As a new airgunner, or at least one who is new to this blog, you see things in ways I don’t. I would like to read about your experiences with that 880, and how you solved your problems.

          And maybe we can get that gun shooting for you!

          One thing, though. We haver families reading this blog and we don’t want to offend any parents with our language, so please watch that.

          Send a request to do a guest blog to:

          blogger@pyramydair.com

          And welcome to the blog!

          B.B.

  • john Says:

    It wasn’t too long ago i was watching a target shooter on you tube with a friend of mine. The camera was on the target and we were watching his results. I noticed 2 things when watching the results on the target. One was you can see the shooter’s breathing when the shots were landing up and down of the mark and I could see his trigger squeeze in his left to right shots. I pointed this out to my buddy that is a bit new to shooting. I’ll share what I told him because this is what i had learned in the military. First on breathing. Take a deep breath, slowly let it out until it is comfortably gone. take your shot. Second just use as little of your trigger finger as possible on the trigger. With your breath out slowly squeeze the trigger. Let the gun going off be a complete surprise. Then take another few breaths and repeat the process. That will eliminate shots going off the mark from breathing and trigger squeeze. And third, make sure you build the exact same sight picture every shot. What you see on shot one should be the same on shot 5. That should in theory be putting your shots in the same spot every time. Building the same sight picture you always need to be holding the gun properly for that gun.

    For those getting into airgunning, you don’t hold an air rifle like a deer rifle. And you never hold a deer rifle like an air rifle unless you really like to take a beating which that deer rifle will give you if you don’t brace it properly.

  • kevin Says:

    Sure is nice to see so many shooters posting for the first time.

    Really appreciate the information you guys are sharing.

    kevin

  • Patrick S Says:

    Interesting topic, My first gun was a Red Ryder bb gun, which my father had bought for me to introduce me to the shooting sports, From there I have gotten into multiple guns/airguns and have found that each has special applications as air guns are usually quieter than firearms ie shrouded barrels, noise dampeners and overall different operations. Handling in my experience is varied within each category of air guns or firearms. When shooting handguns I usually use the classic weaver stance, but with a revolver especially .44 mag I use the “Dirty Harry” stance. With my 1377B Crosman I find a light grip is best. Long firearms I usually am proficient using the mag well as a forward grip increasing accuracy, but with a spring airgun I like to hold it firmly but lightly. PCP or multi pump pneumatics are usually best held light as well. But both air guns and firearms are great for recreational use and other applications including protecting the 2nd amendment! Keep shooting and stay safe.

  • Todd Says:

    My rise from powder?? A few years ago I saw a youtube video of this guy shooting an odd bull pup air rifle at distance. The groups were amazing and he was able to replicate his shots in the field. I come from a hunting, sporting clay, and target background. PCP’s were just starting to take hold but I didn’t see spending the money for air charging after I had spent the money on the file. Most rifles were more that my AR’s so I bought a couple springers. I was frustrated and started reading. I found a guy in Ireland that hunts with air and BB who had good accuracy with a US made gun. I bought a couple talons and put in the work. By work let’s be clear. Air is mechanically driven they take some time and a little labor. Nothing too intense but time and effort.
    Climate?? Today gun owners are worse than crack heads. We help crack addicts tell them it’s genetic and not their fault. We ban over the counter cold medicine and spend millions to fix their teeth. Gun owners are labeled and in some states listed on a map like sex offenders. I sold my AR’s because of the noise and the ammo hoarding made it impossible to buy bulk or reload. When you send a few hundred rounds down range a week you can ruin a sport with rhetoric. I have a 40 odd year addition to hunting and the cure is nonexistent. My home protection relegated to the wife’s Springfield XD.
    I have read, watched and listened for a while now and I have enjoyed the learning. From my early frustrations of 3” groups at 20 yards I now have a youtube video shooting shot shells at 50 and 100 yards with my .22 Talon. My small game hunting is all air now and hopefully in a few days my order for the elusive .25 bull pup will arrive from pyramydair. Thinking outside of the box here but I’m hoping that I can mount a flashlight on the picatinny rail of said bull pup and prevent her from teasing so much. Colonel Colt made all men equal but a 100lb red head with a gun is the trump card.
    Support shooting sports. Airgunners if you are not a member of the NRA look at the laws overseas pertaining to energy. We are not bad people, we have children, hold jobs and pay taxes. It’s possible to love America and hate the destruction of the constitution. Shoot, enjoy, safely, download a gps app on your smartphone and put social networking aside. Get outside!

  • Pancanaka Says:

    Hello Mr. Gaylord.
    Reading your works and quote it in my student notes (I re-write what I have learnt on my open blog, and mostly came from your writings) really open my vision on this wonderful world of air gunning. I started this hobby about 6 months ago and really got fast accelerated on my knowledge by learn what you’ve wrote in your reports. I’ve change my paradigm on what is the best air rifle to have and intentionally became collector of what you called the good air guns to have. In last 6 month, I’ve owned Sharp Ace Hunter, Weihrauch HW 77, and Benjamin Sheridan 397 PA (all in .177″, due to restriction to own larger caliber above in my country). That’s way far from my past eager to have such a powerful rifle like a Diana 350 or Benjamin NP XL. Nothing wrong with it I think. But maybe I’ll regret from expense my hard earned money for something I can’t handle (we get a brand new air rifle by triple price you have in PA price lists here in my country due to import restrictions). And now, I really have good times plinking, paper target shooting, and small animal/pest hunting in my narrow urban environment while try to improve my shooting technique.
    And today on my blogger buzz I see how flexible and not squared by topics you are. I saw you answered any questions off topics. You don’t mind to greet the newbies like me and encourage us to master the basic things. It’s interesting to find some new points from your writings even from the articles I’ve read before. Such a bless from me to live in this time and having this hobby because I can find some one with trans-generation experiences and powerful writing skill. Pray for your health and happiness for years ahead and season greetings.

  • Pancanaka,

    Welcome to the blog!

    Thank you for all your kind words. I’m glad you like the blog and I hope you will be a reader for a long time. Together we can learn something.

    B.B.

    • Pancanaka Says:

      It’s my pleasure and honor B.B. And for so many pictures I had acquired from your blog and copy it to my study blog, I ask for your permission now. I hope you don’t mind. You can find it in my blog http://pancanaka-airgun.blogspot.com/. I hope google translate works fine to bridge our language. I took it with credits to your blog.
      And sure I’ll be a long time reader because there’s so many topics and interests rise everyday during my learning. Miraculously, I found your writings pop up in the first pages of my search engine. I hope you still be a writer for a long time.
      And please take time to greet your silent readers here in my country by write down a word or two through my humble blog. It’s begin to catch attentions and grows its popularity in the middle of Bahasa Indonesia reference desert. Although our culture in air gunning here is old enough, but our poor writing culture not supports us to know our own history and understand the aspects of air gunning. No wonder your writings inspire us a lot in the air gun forums here since great guns came from all around the world and you covered it all in your writings.

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