What’s for Christmas? Part 2

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

Part 1

This topic was received well last week, so I’m doing the second list today. Several readers have reminded me of other gifts I should mention, and some of them will make today’s list. If I don’t list something you suggested, there’s a reason. These are the things I recommend without question.

Stocking stuffers/small, neat gifts

Gifts in this category don’t cost a lot but will have great meaning to airgunners. Some of them are things that shooters won’t buy for themselves.

Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Seater
Someone suggested the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Seater, and I have to agree. This is a great gift, and it’s one that a lot of shooters won’t buy for themselves.

EyePal Peep Sight Master Kit
The EyePal Peep Sight Master Kit is another gift that people may not think about; but when they have one, they’ll love it. I chose the Master Kit so you can use it with both rifles and pistols (and bows if you’re an archer, too). Even if you don’t wear prescription glasses, the EyePal is a great aid for your safety glasses to sharpen your vision and make that front sight clear!

Eyepal peep sight master kit The EyePal makes the front sight appear razor sharp. Use it on prescription glasses and non-prescription safety glasses, alike.

Pellet selection
Here’s a gift I’m putting in this section, although it will cost you some money. Pyramyd Air offers 4 tins of pellets for the price of 3. Your favorite airgunner has pellets he or she really likes, but they don’t buy them all the time because they may cost too much.

Consider this gift similar to one of those fancy boxes of candies or Christmas smoked meats that are given this time of year. Nearly everybody likes them, but we don’t spend money on them for ourselves. So, this is an opportunity to buy something your airgunner wants but will never buy himself. The one problem you have is finding out which pellets to buy. Rather than try and guess what your airgunner wants, I’m going to leave this up to you. You need to do a little investigation, maybe look at the pellets that he has on the shelf, or just talk to him and find out what he really wants but hasn’t bought.

Gifts under $50

Crosman 357
For a pistol shooter the Crosman 357W is a great idea. It’s a revolver, so you get multiple shots per loading; and for the money, it’s an accurate little air pistol.

Walther Multi-Tac tactical knife
If your airgunner is a gadget junkie, you can’t do much better than a Walther Multi-Tac tactical knife. It’s a tool kit for your pocket. And it has a 440C stainless steel blade to cut whatever you need.

Walther multi-tac tactical multi-tool and knife Walther’s Multi-Tac knife is a toolkit in your pocket!

Walther Xenon Tactical flashlight
Can’t have too many flashlights! Not when you need one! The Walther Xenon Tactical flashlight uses two CR123A batteries to cast a 60-lumen light. That means you get both good battery life and a powerful light.

Gifts under $100

Some of these gifts are just over the $50 mark, so look at them carefully. This category holds some of the most surprising values in airguns.

Legends Makarov
The Makarov from Umarex is a wonderful BB pistol that I just can’t stop talking about. I bought one for myself after testing it! It’s extremely accurate for a BB pistol, which means you really can use it for target practice. It runs on CO2, so don’t forget to get some CO2 cartridges if you give this gun as a gift.

Legends Makarov CO2 BB pistolSimply one of the best BB pistols you can buy at the price, the Legends Makarov is accurate, well-made and inexpensive.

Crosman 2240
Another fine CO2 pistol is the single-shot Crosman 2240. It’s a .22-caliber, bolt-action pistol that’s powerful and accurate, plus it serves as the basis for many aftermarket modifications.

Ruger Mark I
The Ruger Mark I air pistol is powered by a spring-piston. It isn’t very powerful, but it’s a great companion for the handgun shooter who only wants to poke holes in targets and plink with a pistol that’s easy to cock and accurate.

Stoeger X5 air rifle
The Stoeger X5 air rifle is a wonderful, youth-sized, spring-piston rifle that has enough quality to make my list. The trigger is a little stiff, but the accuracy is there. It reminds me of the Hämmerli 490 that is, sadly, no longer available.

Gifts a little over $100

I created this category for those items that are a few dollars over $100 but are still within the realm of economy. Sometimes, the things you want are just over the line — no matter where you arbitrarily draw it.

Shooting Chrony Alpha chronograph.
The Shooting Chrony Alpha chronograph is the instrument I use to document 98 percent of the work I do. I use it because it’s small, portable and very reliable. Sure, there are reasons to use my Oehler 35P chrono, sometimes; but most of the time, this is my choice.

Shooting Chrony Alpha chronograph
Though it’s just $10 over a hundred, the Shooting Chrony Alpha has everything you need!

Daisy Avanti Champion 499 BB gun
I have to recommend the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 BB gun because it is the target shooter’s dream. Where other BB guns will put 10 shots into three-quarter of an inch at 16 feet when all is right, this one will put 10 into a quarter-inch at the same distance. This is a shooter’s tool, not a hunting gun or bragging-rights gun. Be sure to stock up on the special Avanti Precision Ground Shot if you get this gun because it definitely adds accuracy! And order some special 5-meter BB targets that are sized right for this gun!

IZH 60 air rifle
I am also going to put the IZH 60 air rifle on my list this year. Though the accuracy slipped when the gun’s design was changed several years ago, this is still a delightful youth rifle that’s easy enough for even smaller kids to cock. It has reasonable accuracy, and the sidelever design means that fingers can’t be pinched in the mechanism like they would on guns having sliding compression chambers. I recommend the single-shot over the repeater for reasons of safety.

Daisy 953 TargetPro
I normally don’t recommend combo guns, but I’ll make an exception for the Daisy 953 TargetPro. It’s a pellet rifle with enough accuracy to get you into the game without spending a bundle.

Gifts under $300

Gifts in this category start to take on the aura of personal taste. My recommendations may not be what your airgunner wants, so you need to find out if they are before you buy anything.

Benjamin 392 pump
This one is very personal. You airgunner will either like it or not. So, check first. The Benjamin 392 pump is the best multi-pump rifle going, these days. Its heritage dates back to the late 19th century, so there’s a lot of history there. I also chose the .22-caliber 392 for its power; but if your airgunner only wants to shoot at targets, then the 397 is the same rifle and shoots cheaper .177 pellets.

Daisy Avanti 853
The Daisy 853 is right at $300, but its a great buy even at that price. It features a Lothar Walther barrel and has been used by millions of kids for competition in the decades it’s been around. The trigger is rough, but there are several websites that tell you how to fix it. To get anything with better accuracy, you’re going to need to spend several hundred dollars more.

Diana RWS LP8
Want an air pistol that shoots like a rifle? The Diana RWS LP8 is the one to get. It just may be the best value in a really good air pistol these days. It has plenty of power and is very accurate. The breakbarrel cocking is on the heavy side, but an adult male shouldn’t have a problem.

RWS Diana LP8 air pistol
For the price, the Diana RWS LP8 air pistol can’t be beat.

Gifts without limit

Now, we can spread our wings a little. This is where many of the better airguns live.

HW 30S
Let’s start with the HW 30S. You know this rifle as the Beeman R7 when it’s in a different stock, but airgunners know the HW 30S has the same powerplant and the same adjustable Rekord trigger as the R7. If your airgunner likes the styling of the HW 30S, it’s less expensive; but if he wants an R7, it’s also a wonderful spring-piston air rifle.

Diana RWS 48
If you want a big bruiser spring-piston air rifle, the Diana RWS 48 is one I would recommend. And, I recommend it in .22 caliber, where you get all the power it can develop. The 48 is a sidelever that’s surprisingly easy to cock, despite the level of power it delivers. It’s also very accurate. One thing, though, the 48 is a big air rifle, so be sure your shooter knows what he’s in store for. Definitely for adults, only.

Diana RWS 48 air rifle
Diana 48 sidelever from RWS is large and in charge!

TalonP air pistol
There’s no other smallbore air pistol that can hold a candle to the TalonP air pistol from AirForce Airguns. It comes in .25 caliber and has 10 shots per fill at over 50 foot-pounds of muzzle energy! Many rifles can’t equal it! When I tested it for accuracy, I got sub-one-inch groups at 50 yards. It’s a hunting air pistol extraordinaire.

AirForce TalonP air pistol
The TalonP pistol from AirForce Airguns leads the pack for power and accuracy.

Walther LGV Challenger
If you want a really fine breakbarrel spring rifle, you can’t do better than the Walther LGV Challenger. I recommend the .22-caliber gun because it was so smooth when I tested it.

31 thoughts on “What’s for Christmas? Part 2

  1. TX 200 Mark III
    .
    .
    .
    I know! I know!
    It was on the part 1 list.
    .
    .
    .
    But I want one.

    So Mr. Big guy buddy in the red suite. If your listening. I have been tryn’ to be good.
    So Please, Please bring me a TX for Christmas if you can. :)

    And since we are talking about Christmas. I have heard different versions of (The Night Before Christmas) in relation to the hobby I was into at the time.

    Does anybody know a version related to Air guns, Guns, Archery, or Hunting? Or good at making up poems. (And by the way. I’m Way No Good at poem writing) I always thought the different versions were cool to hear though.


  2. There are a few things on the list today I would not mind getting as a gift. As for the LGV though, why would anyone want to buy a nice air rifle with those glowy thingy sights when they can buy it with real sights?



  3. I’ve owned a Crosman 1322 pistol for or 30 yrs. Decent accuracy and not pellet picky, not that hard to pump and shoot, and lasts a long time if taken care of with a little oil! For less than a hundred, you can get the gun, targets, pellets, and some duct seal to make a silent trap.

    /Dave


    • The 1322 is also a good gun for tuning. If done right they can be a slick little carbine that hit good and hard. I build those quite a bit for people.


  4. I really like the Crosman pellet pouch. The belt loop has a Velcro closure also, allowing it to attach to objects such as the lower rung of the Crosman stock adapter on pistols.

    My favorite way to use it is to put a neck lanyard on it. It goes on in seconds and then hangs at the perfect height.

    And as far as flashlights go, I would always go with an LED type that uses standard type batteries. CR123 batteries are harder to find in stores and usually overpriced.



    • No, but if you have the Robo cop internal leg holster it should fit. If not, with a little cobbling it can be outfitted with a single point tactical sling like my AR15 has.


  5. Just cost me another $150 + thanks allot Tom, still with the Halloween coupon those Walther tools are a great inexpensive gift for Christmas.


  6. Given something Tom said a while ago, I’m a bit surprised that an Opinel #6 or #8 isn’t on the list in the fun stocking stuffer category. Granted its not a multi-tool, but they seem to be great little pocket knives for around $15.


    • They’re great, I’ve had one since 1982 (I went to France to visit family and my great uncle gave one to me) and it works fine despite being dropped in water, sand, mud and every thing you can think of.
      A sharpening job, a pressurized air shot around the safety ring to remove any dirt or pocket lint trapped there, a drop of oil and you’re good to go.

      J-F


  7. The talon P is on my most wanted list but since it is a rifled bore pistol it is heavily regulated here requiring background checks, permits etc as if it were a “real” pistol. I just can’t see jumping through all the hoops for a pellet pistol no matter how much I want it or how good it is. So I have one real option. I have to buy a talon and rip it down and make it into a talon P. The result will no doubt be a bit better than a stock Talon P since I’ll build it to my specs. It will hit a bit harder, have the same accuracy, and maybe be a bit quieter depending on what I can think of to make it quieter, Right now, I just can’t get what I want since I’m currently in the middle of a new airgun build and just starting a .50 cal beowulf build. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a .50 cal ar15 capable of stopping cars and trucks, and it will no doubt be quite a deer rifle. I figure if you are going to build it, build it as big as you can.


  8. BB,
    Regarding the pellets, as I said the other day, I’m not above compiling a wishlist on PA and forwarding it to a loved one looking for gift ideas :)! It is equally fun to get “new” pellet variants to try for ultimate accuracy or big old boxes of plinking pellets — or some mix of the two. Nor is any pellet so horrible that it can’t be used for something in one of my air guns, so some of it can be left to chance.


  9. Just when I thought my jaded eye had seen everything, I’m quite taken with the Makarov pistol. A lack of accuracy is one of my gripes about bb guns, but this one doesn’t seem to have that problem and my shooting distance is so short it probably doesn’t matter. And bbs are much cheaper aren’t they? How does the cost per bb compare with the cost per pellet? My objection to the Makarov firearm is partly the lack of stopping power (although I would just use it for target shooting) and also the rather uncommon ammunition. Neither are problems for this gun. Thanks!

    I see that the IZH 60 made the list! Hmph, it’s not the magazine version, but you can’t argue against safety considerations. Don’t give up on the accuracy of this model. Last night I was starting to throw them out, and doubts began to creep in. But I was actually starting to snipe based on my previous good results. Once I got back to focusing on technique, the rifle really laid them in there in unsurpassed fashion. It’s almost like a moral thing, like trust and confidence. When Moses was instructed to strike a rock to find water, he had doubts so that he gave the rock two licks with his staff instead of one. For this, he was banned from entering the Promised Land. But on another occasion, when he held up his hands (with a little assistance), “all day long Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” Maybe the accuracy of the IZH 61 is a little more buried than earlier versions and takes a little more technique. It’s not as forgiving as Slinging Lead’s TX200, but it’s still there. And it’s nice to see the Daisy 953. I believe in head-to-head competitions it actually comes out a little more accurate than the IZH 61. :-(

    Wulfraed, thanks for the info on stoning the trigger. To what end is this stoning activity? Are you polishing surfaces so that they ride more smoothly over each other? Or are you removing metal so make a shorter let-off?

    Matt61


  10. I have a question to those who bought that Makarov pistol. I bought one but the trigger is HARD and I do mean HARD to pull and I was wondering if I was the only one like that. If my gun was defective or if they were all like that. It’s harder than most double action triggers BB gun I own (over 20 of them).
    Is there a way to smooth the thing out?

    J-F


    • J-F,

      I own a Makarov pistol and my trigger is not hard. It does stack in double-action though. Maybe that’s what you mean? Stacking means an increase in the pull towards the end of the double action trigger pull. It’s common for many revolvers and also for some DAO pistols.

      B.B.


      • I don’t think it’s just stacking. I have a over a dozen action CO2 pistols and this one is by FAR the hardest trigger of the bunch. It’s like the spring is bent sideways or I’m scraping/grinding against a piece of uneven metal. It’s harder than all the other CO2 action BB pistols I own (around 2 dozen), it’s harder than the ones where you’re pushing to get the barrel out the front of the pistol and when it lets go it hits the valve like the Colt Defender and harder than the revolvers I have.
        Is it hard to take apart?

        J-F


  11. Twotalon
    I read with interest your reply about the chrome washer that fits the hole in the anti bear trap, and how you thought I might have forgotten about it during assembly. Little things like this bother me, so last night I dis-assembled my HW97 once more to check if this washer was indeed there. The washer was in attendance, so I took the opportunity to have a good look at the anti- bear trap mechanism itself. What I found now lets me believe that at some time during an assembly I had over tightened the stock lug (thanks for the web page on HW parts) until it bent the bear trap. This made the hole bigger then it should be, thus allowing the end of the bear trap to move back and forth and hitting the trigger rather then fit around it. There is one good thing that has come about as a result of this frustration. I have an increased knowledge of the inner workings of Weihrauch’s, and pellet guns in general. I also possess the confidence needed to tackle most airgun related problems that may crop up in future.
    Matt
    I too have been giving the Makarov pistol a good look, with a thought of purchasing one. The thing holding me back is the Makarov that is sold today, is not the same Russian refurbished gun sold 10 years ago. A fellow I knew back then bought one. What he received was an actual Russian Makarov service pistol refurbished and turned into a co2 bb pistol. The Makarov offered today is made under licence in Taiwan. I would like to believe the accuracy of the original Russian refurbished co2 Makarov would be handed down and included in today’s offering from Taiwan. It would be nice to come upon a 2000 or earlier Makarov that was for sale, and in pristine condition. I can always dream.
    Ciao
    Titus


    • Those Makarovs were very good looking but that’s about it. You had to pull the slide back for each shot if I remember right (or was it on the CO2 pistol made on TT33 frames?) but accuracy wasn’t a forte.
      These made in Taiwan are one of the most accurate BB action pistol BB tested.

      J-F


    • Titus…

      That little washer has to go through the hole in the outer piece , not under it by the way. It’s a tight fit. I also read something one time about not over tightening the rear trigger screw.

      twotalon


    • I must amend the statement concerning finding a 2000 or earlier pristine Makarov pistol. These guns were not sold new, but rather were assembled with refurbished parts of real Russian Makarov pistols. You could receive yours with multiple scuffs and scratches. However, they were the real deal. Just not shinny new.
      Titus


      • I know the guns you’re talking about, they sometimes come up for sale on the forum they can usually fetch 6 to 7 times the price of this one. There were some new/old stock and some refurbished ones. They’re still being sold “new” on the russian airguns stores but I don’t speak russian and the shipping must be monstrosity (hey it IS halloween after all ;-) )

        J-F



  12. Knives are great stocking-stuffers for the outdoorsperson on your list. But when you use them they get dull. The good ones take a little longer.

    How about some suggestions for edge maintenance?

    Dave



      • Slinging,

        That V-Sharp looks like a seriously cool jig. And it’s on sale at the moment!

        I have knives that I sharpen at a skinnier bevel than the V-Sharp site mentions. Do you know if it can adjust down?

        Happy Halloween!

        Dave


        • Dave

          It appears that the XE adjusts down to 17 degrees, so I think that is as thin an edge as you will get from this device. But I would think that would be close to what you would want. If you go much thinner it will be sharper, but wont hold the edge for long. You end up sharpening with every use.

          I’m not the knife expert here however. Frank B has forgotten more than I will ever know about knife sharpening. Matt61 knows a good bit as well.

          Happy Thanksgiving


          • The 17deg is probably their nod to the angle used on Santuko (or other Japanese) blades. European/US kitchen knives run around 22 deg, Santuko run around 16 deg.


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