The invisible airgunner

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

You always think the rest of the world thinks like you, until something shocks you awake. I’ve experienced this repeated times when it comes to airguns. I guess the first time was at the NRA Airgun Breakfast at a SHOT Show about 10-12 years ago. I was standing in the room talking to the late Bill Saunders of Air Arms when I noticed that a couple other gentlemen had silently walked up and were listening to us. Then, Ken asked me the question I have since come to recognize as a serious plea. He asked me where all the airgunners were in America.

He said his company had only been able to connect with about 30,000 serious airgunners, and he wondered where all the rest of them were. The look in his eye, and in the eyes of those around us, told me this was a very serious question. I told him that I knew of only about 15,000-30,000 serious airgunners (at that time), but that probably half of all firearms owners also owned at least one airgun. There are over 10 million firearms owners in this country, but most of them don’t think of themselves as airgunners. After a few more polite questions, the breakfast began and I thought that was it.

But the same thing has happened to me countless other times. Usually the person doing the asking is from the UK or Europe, but more recently I have had American gun company executives ask the same question.

So, about five years ago I took it upon myself to ask someone from the UK what the big deal was. Why was everyone concerned where the American airgunners were? And he told me! And I was stunned!

The whole world apparently thinks there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of active airgunners in the United States, and that people like me are keeping the lid on who these people are and where they can be found. Why I would do that is a mystery; but since I can’t tell them what they want to know, I must have my reasons.

The NRA does me no favors in this respect because at these Airgun Breakfasts (which are, unfortunately, no longer held), they used to tell all the airgun manufacturers about the tens of thousands of active shooting clubs and the hundreds of thousands of youth marksmen (and let’s be honest — just as many markswomen) there are in the United States. They weren’t lying, either. At the last breakfast ever held, they briefed us that there were over one million youth shooters in 74,000 clubs in the U.S.

If I were a UK airgun maker and heard that, I would assume that either the NRA is making this up or that Tom Gaylord is keeping secrets. Well, here’s the thing. The NRA is not lying — there are, indeed, that many youth shooters in this country. But the moment they graduate from their marksmanship programs, almost none of them continue to shoot! They go on to have lives and develop other interests, but shooting isn’t often one of them. Be honest with yourselves — have you built a Pinewood Derby racer recently? We grow up, and our interests change.

Looking for airgunners in the United States by examining numbers like these is like trying to find snowflakes in Miami in July. You’re looking in the wrong place. But at least the weather’s warm!

But wait!
Here’s the rest of the story. There really are hundreds of thousands of active airgunners in the United States! But you’ll see about as many of them as you do herds of Sasquatch. They’re invisible!

By invisible, I mean these people do not identify themselves as airgunners. If you ask them, they probably don’t even know that they are.

Europeans like to define themselves by what they do. Sports are big in Europe; and if you engage in a sport, that’s one way you see yourself. If you play football (and I mean soccer), you’re a football player. I don’t care if you play in pickup games that are randomly organized, although knowing the European bent for organization, I don’t even know why I said that. A group of 50-year-old European footballers is just as likely to have flashy new uniforms and matching Adidas as a college team.

Not so, the American airgunner. He is more likely to shoot his airguns by himself, where nobody can see or hear him. I once knew a fellow who owned as many as 10 vintage 10-meter target rifles. Know what he did with them? He shot at fluorescent light bulbs in his basement! He liked the way they popped!

The vast majority of American airgunners are not in the sport for camaraderie. They’re in it for personal satisfaction; and the less others know about it, the better. I’m sure those who spend time on social networks will squirm like salted slugs when reading this, but a lot of people do not like the other fellow looking over their shoulder. So, there are a couple thousand vocal U.S. airgunners on chat forums and maybe more than a million hiding in the closet.

The European manufacturers keep looking for that vast group of people who surely must exist in this country, and they’ll have as much luck as someone who hunts for cockroaches with a searchlight. Yet we all know cockroaches exist — just like American airgunners exist. What gives?

Finding airgunners
You want to find cockroaches? Leave food out and they will find it. You want to find U.S. airgunners? Build the kind of airguns they want to own, and they’ll find you.

Crosman knows this. Their new Nitro Piston 2 is like a pool of honey spilled on the kitchen floor. It’s gonna be swarming soon. Their Marauder rifle is already covered with writhing airgunners!

AirForce Airguns knows it, too. Their airguns are like American iron. Ain’t nobody don’t like a GTO or a Harley — or a Condor!

And there are others. Umarex tempts us with the new Walther LGV. Sure it’s expensive for a breakbarrel and sure, everyone will complain about the price on the internet. A lot of them will buy one, too.

I could go on this way for a while, because some other airgun companies are discovering the secret and are starting to do something about it. I can’t name them all, but let Hatsan USA be the example. They started in this country a few years ago with a stable of overly powerful spring rifles that all cocked like the bow of Hercules. They were the airgun equivalent of Raid! But this year, they’re bringing out their new AT-44 Long QuietEnergy — a powerful, accurate, quiet repeating air rifle with a light trigger and a low price. That’s honey on the floor!

That’s the message
That’s my message today. The American airgunner is invisible for the most part. You can draw him out with guns of quality, but you can’t flush him out with high velocity, camo paint and bundled “deals” on things you can’t sell through normal channels. Yes, velocity sells, but it isn’t the recommended way to go. Pogo sticks work well in minefields, too.

What now?
After pouring a lot of thought into this report, I’ll now go somewhere and be buttonholed by another airgun manufacturing executive who will ask me in hushed tones, “So, just how fast do our airguns have to shoot to sell them to all these hidden airgunners?”

Indeed! How dim must a searchlight be to keep the cockroaches from scattering?

180 thoughts on “The invisible airgunner

  1. There are lots of reasons no one sees the airgunners in the U.S., you named a few, peace and quiet, self sufficiency(a survivalist knows two is not company), satisfaction of YOUR groups on the paper,can,pine cone, etc… But a major factor you’ve overlooked is that while many firearm owners may also own airguns, the number of people who own airguns firstly don’t own firearms. Some may not have the right to, some don’t have the resources to or access to places to shoot them, I am one of the cockroaches your speaking of, and these are my reasons for not having firearms and many of my friends that are airgunners share them. The view on guns in this country right now is horrible, the U.S. does not share the UK’s feelings on airgunning being a”sport”. I have to worry when I go out to shoot(always legal land) because I can not legally own a firearm and an air rifle can cause a bit of confusion whether people no anything about airguns or not. So where are the airgunners? Trying ti enjoy a sport that’s unrecognized unless your in the Olympics with no resources, very places to do so and the stigma of shooting guns in a country that’s losing a battle to keep guns in”free” peoples hands because children are being mowed down in there classrooms by psychotics. I hope this sheds some light on the fact that not everyone can walk around with custom 1911s in highly recommended holsters fir all to see. I know a ton of airgunners that are not on that side of the fence and the fact that the “cockroaches” statement is sadly accurate makes me wonder if you are fully aware or if your view on the “cockroaches” is slightly underinformed.


    • The gentleman who sold me my first condor flat out told me that many, if not MOST of the people he sold condors to were prohibited persons . . . Ex-cons, if you will. In the State of California, that is a dangerous game, because the arresting officer is not going to question the felon, he is just going to call it a deadly weapon and let the courts sort it out. Living in the Emerald triangle, I know many prohibited persons who still need to protect their family, farms, and pets. Bows are a better bet risk wise, but take much more strength training and skill to hit a dinner plate at forty to fifty yards. I have handed my condor to nine year olds and have them hit paint balls at fifty feet more than half the time–offhand!

      Just because a prohibited person CAN buy an air rifle doesn’t mean they should, in at least a half dozen states I can name. On the other hand, states that allow it, should make the law clear enough for patrolman to understand it easily.


    • The gentleman who sold me my first condor flat out told me that many, if not MOST of the people he sold condors to were prohibited persons . . . Ex-cons, if you will. In the State of California, that is a dangerous game, because the arresting officer is not going to question the felon, he is just going to call it a deadly weapon and let the courts sort it out. Living in the Emerald triangle, I know many prohibited persons who still need to protect their family, farms, and pets. Bows are a better bet risk wise, but take much more strength training and skill to hit a dinner plate at forty to fifty yards. I have handed my condor to nine year olds and have them hit paint balls at fifty feet more than half the time–offhand!

      Just because a prohibited person CAN buy an air rifle doesn’t mean they should, in at least a half dozen states I can name. On the other hand, states that allow it, should make the law clear enough for patrolman to understand it easily. Here’s to air gunners everywhere!


  2. I have always liked air guns.

    Liked em better than shot guns, liked them more than most powder burners since I was a kid.

    I hunted with various types of rifles when I was a kid. To me air guns are a smoother more relaxing gun to shoot. You can shoot them in places where a fire burner could be dangerous to shoot or not allowed to shoot because of thier power. And the accuracy in most air guns is just amazing.

    So why do people keep quiet about air gunning? Maybe it is to protect something they enjoy.

    Now days if you talk about anything you like to do. Somebody will probably have something to say about it. They will say it ain’t right. Or who knows how far that could go. We DON’T live in the land of the free anymore. And brave now has a different meaning. Now you have to be brave to do something you like. I remember when people said before you know it we will not be able to smoke in our own cars or our houses ( I use to smoke when I was young; but haven’t for a long, long time) And now you can’t even smoke in some public places! And I know somebody out there ain’t liking me talking about smoking.

    You know what I say. Sorry but a big OH WELL. I work hard every week and make sure I try to survive. I pay my tax’s. And do all the things that we are supposed to do. My kids and wife get what they need and want. My wife works hard at work and home. And they have so many activities that I cant keep track of them. And for one thing if I dont like something. Guess what. I won’t be around it. And if somebody wants to smoke. Thats fine by me. Im not worried about what you do. And you better not worry about what I do.

    So you know what when all the things are said and done. Me and my family and friends do what we enjoy. We get together and shoot guns. And as strange as it may be but the air guns usually out number the firearms.

    Well you know what. Maybe airguns could be related to raising kids. You want to let them venture out so they see what the world really thinks about things and what the world is like. But you also want to protect them and keep them hidden from all those things out there so you can enjoy your time with them. But also you know one day they will be seen in the world and you wonder what way they will go. I really wonder what my kids will be like when they grow up. And I wonder what will happen to airguns in the future also.


  3. I love shooting. Unfortunately, the only time I ever got to do it was at semi-annual qualifications for my job. About 3 years ago I discovered air guns. I ordered a pistol from Pyramyd (a Beretta Exxtreme). I had a blast with it. Since then I’ve added 25 or 30 pistols and rifles, including inexpensive Crosmans and expensive Feinwerkbaus. I chose airguns, because at any given time I can satisfy my cravings by only having to wander into my back yard.

    I shoot by myself at paper targets; by myself only because my limited circle of friends aren’t interested in “BB guns”. So consider me a silent airgunner. I don’t need to modify my guns like so many of the readers here. For one, I really don’t have the time, and for two I’m not interested in gunsmithing. Give me an accurate rifle (or pistol) and I’m happy.


  4. Every time a person buys a firearms from a dealer, background check is run. If you think more laws will work, they won’t. They can’t keep tons and tons of drugs out now. It would be the same with guns.

    Mike


  5. I’d ask the manufacturers if they’re seeing more units sold recently. With the price and scarcity of ammo they must be enjoying some sort of increase.

    Exposure seems to be the biggest issue. How do you reach out to firearm owners? Are the airgun guys advertising in Guns & Ammo, Shotgun News, etc? Do they frequent the many firearms forums to make their pitch? Most of the powder burners I know haven’t touched an airgun since they were kids and aren’t aware of the advances that have been made. Which leads to another sticky point…

    While quality may be up, it’s still not where it needs to be to attract the serious gun collectors. My constant beef with the much-lauded Marauder is the price-I can buy a mid range S&W, any number of Rugers, Berettas or what have you, for the same price. And what I receive can generally be passed down or resold at not too much of a loss. Oh, and those firearms will have SIGHTS. Sorry Crosman, but if you want me to drop $600 on a gun you’d better at least make it shootable out of the box. I don’t buy cars without steering wheels either.

    A lot of people are under the misconception that firearms owners like guns because they go bang and can blow up watermelons. But without exception, every one I’ve known or have met appreciates the craftsmanship and build quality of these little works of art. With a few exceptions, airguns aren’t there. You can find plenty examples of gun owner’s being turned off by the toy-like feel and appearance of airguns right in PA’s own review sections.

    The days of little Johnny peering through a shop window and lusting over that Red Ryder are long gone. Today’s sophisticated buyer is savvy enough to steer away from junk, for the most part, and their idea of perceived value is going to prevent them from dropping $350 on a CX4 replica when the real deal is only $300 more.

    And don’t even get me started on springers! It would be interesting to know how many potential airgunners have dropped the sport because they were sold a finicky, hold-sensitive gun rather than something easy and fun to shoot in the backyard.


  6. Invisibe is spot on ! I find email pals that are into air gun..Big Time. By the way, Tom. As a direct result of your Christmas list and the review of the Marksman pistol, I bought a Beeman P17 and an email pal did too ! He has more air guns than Pyramyd Air does..it would seem.
    Looking forward to receiveing it next week.
    Pete Hallock
    Old Orcutt, California


  7. If anybody in Europe could get a .22lr Ruger rifle around $200 then they
    all would pass on super expensive airguns. Airgun prices are out of
    control.


  8. The other day a friend and his wife were at my place. They are heavy into the shooting sports with firearms. While there, they shot my Diana 34. I showed them how to hold it and how to load it. They loved it! They are buying one next week. I’ll help them set it up with a mount and scope. So, another airgunner is born!

    Mike




  9. Bear with me, i started out at 12 with a Crosman AIR17 that i traded who knows what for, loved that gun, but at some point i traded it off years later and got into cars and girls. Over my whole life i saw inexpensive airguns in the department stores and never got back into it because they seemed like kids toys. Then about 4 years ago i purchased a co2 bb pistol on a wim and i was hooked again and since then i’ve bought a few rifles some quality some not. I notch that up to buyers learning curve as you do more and more research on guns before you buy them. The average person thinks what i did all those years, kid’s toys, and the stigma of any guns in general in our society today, never mind the airgun stigma of nerdyness. I barely know anybody who shoots powder burners and the ones i know who do think airguns are “toys” and wouldn’t consider buying one especially when they hear the prices! So airgunners are stigmatized even more than powder guys so we shoot alone and hang out on the net with our virtual friends. I live in the NorthEast USA and nobody shoots airguns that i know and clubs and such or shows or expo’s are scarce. I will say this about the prices, there pretty ridiculous honestly for some of these products, i have a very good amount of knowledge in production and sales and metal work and such and things are definetly overpriced. I know people have to make money and keep the wheels turning here and i’m all for it but some manufacturers/companies need to put on the brakes a little bit. Make a good product for the right price and we’ll buy it…


    • TF,

      Welcome to the blog! So, you live in the northeast, do you? That is airgun central for he United States. There are more airgunners there than anywhere else in the country.

      Where exactly do you live? Maybe I can connect you with some clubs and other shooters.

      B.B.


      • First and foremost i’m honored to talk with you B.B., i live in the Central Massachusetts area, i’ve lived here my whole life. Like i said in my first ever post i have only been back to airgunning for about 4 years now and have only recently started to try and find other airgun enthusiast’s because of the cock roach effect. It just seems like nobody is into ag’s around here and people frown upon it my whole life even when i wasn’t shooting which is part of why i got out of it to begin with. I hate negativity but to often let it affect the things i like. Anybody i know that shoots powder burners think airguns are for kids, and there are no good shops/stores to get hands on time to see what you like. Any help in finding some like minded positive people or stores/shops would be grately appreciated, i just can’t find these airgunners you speak of on my own. I’m better with a gun or a bow than a computer or smartphone, thank you BB.


        • TF,

          I was hoping you lived in the New York area, because I know we have lots of activity here. But Kevin Hull is an airgun dealer in Connecticut. Is that too far?

          http://companies.findthecompany.com/l/14156348/Connecticut-Air-Guns-And-Accessories-in-Vernon-Rockville-CT

          Windsor, CT
          Contact Kevin Hull 860 – 649 – 7599
          snugria@comcast.net

          I’m sure Kevin can get you started.

          Then there is the airgun show in Baldwinsville, NY in July.

          American legion Post 113. Junior Air Rifle Team
          Baldwinsville, NY
          Contact Larry Behling
          315-695-7133 or co2bbjlts@juno.com

          You’ll probably meet Ray and Hans Apelles there. They run a field target match in New York, and hey are also organizers of the field target match at Crosman in Rochester.

          B.B.


          • Thanks BB i appreciate the info sir it all looks very interesting, and the good thing about the Northeast is no place is to far to drive really. I would like to visit the Crosman facilities if they do tours this summer road trip maybe? It’s relatively close and would make for a nice little trek with other stopping points along the way. Thanks BB and you will definitely hear from me in the future!


            • TF,

              Crosman hosts a field target match in August that is organized by the Apelles men (Ray and his father, Hans). Or, if they don’t organize it any longer they are at least a major force in making it a success. This match is three days long and held at the Crosman campus — so it is a wonderful way of getting to know hundreds of airgunners from the east coast.

              B.B.




          • Thanks Kevin good info and sounds interesting, i might just have to check that out and pick the guys brains for my ideas and Holbrook is not to far and i have a friend out that way.


        • Hi, Terd. And here’s a map of nearby Field Target clubs, comprising the Minutemen FT League:

          http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=215719044028103451545.0004cf91ddf3bf9dd0051&ie=UTF8&ll=42.391009,-73.443604&spn=4.366719,6.527076&t=h&source=embed

          If you’re interested in a Crosman factory tour, Crosman hosts an annual, three-day Field Target event that Ray and Hans Apelles run. I haven’t been there yet, but I hear it’s a complete hoot, and it includes a very nice Crosman factory tour!

          Don’t feel like you have to be all serious about Field Target to enjoy one or more days of an event like this!

          -Jan


          • Thanks everyone, i’m glad i took the plunge and decided to talk with you all finally after observing from the outside for to long. This article of BB’s in particular really struck a cord with me, everybody should have a voice and not have to sit in silence because something they like might not be welcomed by a majority. I really would like to see airguns become accepted as well as any shooting sports, it just seems that society is concerned with people using this equipment as weapons, the only time you hear about guns,airguns,bows,slingshots, is when someone uses them in a negative way and that keeps us hiding in our own backyards or basements and that just ain’t right anymore. Acceptance of these sports and disciplines should be a good thing, get your kids outdoors and challenge them! Or anyone for that matter! Lifes to short enjoy what makes you happy….


  10. In my opinion, a lack of exposure to quality airguns and having rimfire/centerfire options for shooters hunters are the primary reasons that U.S.A. consumers are hard to locate en masse.

    Airguns have been part of the European/UK dna for generations because firearms are not a practical option. Limits on power for their masses has further focused and concentrated their airgun options. As mature airgunners they know quality, demand performance and expect accuracy. They’ve learned that this comes with a price.

    U.S.A. airgunners are teenagers in comparision. We’re easily distracted by shiney, cheap, powerful and buzz words. Substance may come later but many U.S.A. airgunners leave the hobby before evolving to the level of airgunning that costs real money but provides real rewards.

    Beeman educated America about quality airgun options. That generation of airgunners are saavy about airguns but with rare exception are no longer airgun consumers. Pyramyd Air is obviously committed to reaching the latest generation of airgunners but it seems that with the enormous spectrum of airguns it’s easy for most newbies to get lost in the choices.

    Price is not as big an issue to retarding the growth of U.S.A. airgunners IMHO. We know that the initial cost of the gun is only one piece of the equation in determining what the cost of shooting accurately really is. When you factor in the cost of high end pellets shooting an airgun is significantly cheaper than an inexpensive rimfire with middle of the road .22 rimfire loads and the right airgun can outshoot the rimfire at typical rimfire ranges. With the recent rise in ammo cost, increase of range fees, cost of gas to get to the range, etc. the gap between the cost of shooting a rimfire/centerfire vs. a quality airgun with quality ammo is widening. I hope this continues to increase the numbers and concentration of airgunners in the U.S.A.

    kevin


    • Kevin, Well said, as I mentioned the other day here in NY ,RF ammo is impossible to find . It is very bad here. There is only repackaged junk, or the cheapest plinking grade bulk RF being sold at ridiculous prices. Also, we may have to be registered to purchase ammo here soon, and have a background check for any ammo purchase. Because of this , there are lots of guns for sale but nothing to shoot in them. This should encourage airgun shooting, but there is some truth to the” invisible ” part in regards to the politics of shooting for any reason . Many shooters are going to ground as RR put it…


      • Robert,

        A disturbing trend in the USA for sure. Hope together we can turn this tide. I donated to the NY cause and hope to see benefits. Assume their plea came via the NRA.

        I know you’ll never give up this fight.

        Be well my friend.

        Kevin


    • I respect your opinion and agree with most of it. But . . . A young adult walks into Cabellas, Walmart, or a Big 5 chain. A Marlin 22 is under two hundred, sometimes a good 10/22. $250 will get you a 17 HMR. While rimfire ammo is difficult to obtain, it isn’t any harder to find HMR rounds than the heavy pellets that the Condor loves. The kid shoots open sights for a while, buys a scope later, spreads the pain. Or, he can order an MRod, or a Condor. He can’t shoot one, because no one he knows has one. He probably doesn’t know about pyramid air, BB Peltier, or any of the other outlet. He has to buy a pump and a scope because the gun won’t work without one. His friends tease him about how he could have bought three “real” guns for the same price. He pumps five to ten times and realizes he either has to start working out or get and source Scuba air, for another three to five hundred.

      The guy with Walmart or Big 5′s $200 dollar nitro piston isn’t a young air gunner, it is a middle aged or older guy who wants a way to take care of the raccoon that is dumping his garbage and terrorizing his wife’s Mini Pug, and he wants to solve the raccoon probably QUIETLY.

      BB and Dennis are on the right track with the $100 per charged and the 200 psi pump. I believe most avid air gunners are the result of a happy accident, and not the result of good air gunning adds or limited choices. My happy accident thirty years ago was a gun store owner who told me he would sell me the RWS Diana for half of his sticker price if I could out shoot him at forty yards. Ten shots, him open sights, me a scoped 10/22, and the target at forty yards. He covered his ten with a quarter. Mine . . . Ehh, lets just say the US didn’t mint coins that big. I paid full price for the Diana, and have it today.

      When we walk into Walmart, and the CrossaQuackaPeltier precharged is sitting there for a $99.99, and a little sign says Co2 is ten bucks, but buy this pump and never pay for co2 again, there are going to be A LOT MORE good air guns sold. Because every Red Blooded US lad had a cheap .22 before we spent the few grand we have tucked into our gunsafes. And that CrossaQuackaPeltier is going to be the gateway drug for a flood of new US airgunners!


  11. Price is definitely a problem, especially when compared to firearms.

    I shoot a .22 Savage Mark II in benchrest competition that cost me $225. I’m a very mediocre shot, but it delivers 20-to-25 shot quarter-inch groups at 50 yards with good ammo. The Ruger 10/22 that I customized myself for less than $300 will do the same.

    Maybe I’m just uninformed, but I don’t believe I can get accuracy at that standard from comparably priced airguns. It seems like every thing B.B. reviews enthusiastically for accuracy costs a lot.

    I feel as if I spent over $100 on an airgun I’d be wasting the money that could go toward one of the new Ruger American .22s ($250 on sale), which are terrific guns, or another great Mueller target scope ($165).

    Moreover, like dangerdongle, I don’t want to learn an entirely new way of shooting with a noisy springer. Nor do I want to invest in the equipment needed for a PCP just to get ten good shots at a twenty-five bull benchrest target.

    I’d be happy if someone can set me straight.



    • Leon,

      I tested a Ruger 10/22 for “Shotgun News” in five different articles, because I wanted to see just how accurate it could be. My stock rifle wouldl put 10 rounds of target ammo into 1.5 inches at 50 yards. That’s rested! Then I had a target chamber, a target trigger and a headspaced bolt put on that rifle and it still puts 10 target rounds (Eley Match, RWS Match or Wolf Match) into about 1.1 inches.

      When I put on a 20″ Badger bull barrel and put the rifle into a custom stock I can get 10 rounds into 0.56-inches at 50 yards.

      What have you done to your 10/22 to be able to group 20-25 shots into 0.25-inches at 50 yards? I would sure like to be able to do that, because even the 10/22 Target I used to own wouldn’t do it.

      B.B.


      • I had a serious 10/22 addiction around 20 years ago. To get anywhere near the accuracy I was after I had was always trying every lot of every decent ammo I could find and then buying all I could get of that brand and lot. Federal premium gold was seemed to be a frequent winner.


      • I have a Ruger 10/22. After having trigger and barrel work it’s best group so far is 3/4″ edge to edge or about 5/8″ center to center with match ammo. My pigeon gun or Discovery with no modifications shoots as well if not better.


  12. It’s a multi pronged problem that needs to be addressed in multiple areas which makes things difficult for the manufacturers all the way down to the little guy looking for a place to buy and a decent price for quality ag’s. I think things are getting better but education and advertisement in various areas could help bring airgunning into a positive light. When i was a kid in highschool we had archery class and i would bring my compound bow in and it started conversation that got other kids interested so why not a more accurate and more instant gratifying co2 rifle or something. Just saying, i would like to see more growth for the sport and there are all sorts of ideas out there. Like i said it’s a multi pronged situation…


  13. I hope air rifles gain popularity in America. My place has long been a gathering place of fairly serious shooters. However none of them will give an airgun a try, their loss, this winter has marked my biggest improvement in marksmanship skills in decades. This rings pretty true to me. Both my rifle and I have been shooting really well lately and I haven’t had the time or need to post questions. I got one today though. I slipped on some ice leading to a fairly rough fall for me and a savage crash for my rifle with the windage turret on the scope taking the brunt of it. It’s a Leapers scope and it still works it’s just hard to zero. Would Leapers warranty this?



      • I left a phone message at Leapers and I’m waiting on a call. The warranty on the manual said you need a receipt and a warranty return slip from the retailer prior to return. Leopold has always been great to me. I am a loyal customer. I had VariX III back on a rifle faster than I thought logistically possible after an incident involving a moose buggy and a rock slide. There are better scopes but I don’t like spending four figures on a piece of glass to pack up mountains that are prone to destruction. However this is my first Leapers and so far I am impressed. It’s not as nice as any Leopold I own, but it’s a better sight than any I’ve tried for twice what it cost. That recent accident would’ve been the end of almost any scope and it still holds a zero on my heavy break barrel rifle. I just started using the IR and I love it. Put a few targets up and a cheap mini flash light on each one. Tap the color on the scope and have fun even in winter. Even if their warranty doesn’t cover Murphy’s law, I’ll buy another one.


        • Ben,

          Ummm…did I misunderstand you? Your scope got messed up because you slipped on ice, and you’re asking Leapers to cover this under warranty? If they cover it, they’re the best company in the universe.

          Warranty coverage is for regular wear & tear and manufacturing defects. If I buy a car, lose control and wreck it, should the mfr’s warranty pay to have it repaired/replaced?

          Edith


          • I absolutely do not expect what happened to be covered by any warranty. I have been completely impressed with scope and the rings that came with it also exceeded all expectation I had. I apologize again for any confusion. I lack almost all formal education and I’m literally learning both how to use a computer and basic English composition skills via this blog. I’m just curious about the return policy due to being spoiled by Leopold since the early 90′s. And let me be clear, the leapers is really well made scope. It is amazing that it is still working. It’s the hardest hit any gun has ever taken in my hands and I hunt Dahl Sheep and Goat. I will let you know what they say. I’m guessing not many people break these things. There customer service department might make the Maytag man look busy.



  14. Why are we invisible, here in the US??? Because we are ashamed of “playing with toys”. We can’t help it. It is the American mindset. BBguns are toys for children so they can learn to use a “real” gun. I know, I know,, a bb gun is different from a pellet rifle,, but be honest,, of any random 10 people that you know,, how many of them will really know the difference.

    The price vs quality is certainly a factor among the few of us who know the difference. While I really enjoy my airgun competitions,, it isn’t likely I’ll invest in any more airguns until and unless they become legal to hunt with where I live. Until then,, much as I enjoy them,, they are still toys,, at least in the eyes of our legislators.
    Ed


  15. BB,
    This is going to be a great weekend blog! You really should send a link to this to all of the manufacturers you can contact. If they take the time to look this over, they will have a much better understanding of the market they wish to reach.


    • RR,

      Thanks for that. I feel that the manufacturers who will listen to this sort of message are already reading the blog every day. The ones who won’t, will not take the time, and would be offended by the tone of this message. I actually think about this as I write.

      I know my audience, and each year I gain a few more of the people who can influence this niche of the market. Things like this are intended to confirm heir own thoughts about where the market is and where it’s going.

      B.B.


  16. Hi BB. First I rarely write, but I’ve been reading your blog daily for several years…and I thank you for that. Not only is it congenial and professionally written, it has also taught me about airguns and to love them.

    It seems to me there are three questions. 1) where are the air gunners? 2) why aren’t they more visible? 3) why aren’t there more air gunners?

    As to the first question, I’m sure that Wally World could tell us a very close approximation of how many air gunners there are and all of their demographics. After all, probably all of us enthusiasts have bought at least one airgun from Wally World, and they keep records of such things…including our addresses. And Wally World caters to the mass of its shoppers, selling a few rifles and pistol types-none selling for more than 150 dollars (in the store). MOST people do not currently want to buy more costly “exotic” airguns such as pcps (that Wally World does sell through their website.)

    Regarding the second question-why do airgunners hide? First, because they want to! Most airgunners, I’d guess, buy their airguns to be shot secretly in the backyard/basement where they won’t disturb others (as they would shooting powder burners). Why manufacturers haven’t built and emphasized the silence of air gunning until recently is entirely beyond me. Because we shoot hidden away, we’re not forced into a range where we might socialize. Also, our sport is quasi legal in most jurisdictions (don’t bother the neighbors and there is no problem), we haven’t been forced to form an NRA…who to my eye have turned their backs on air gunning rights anyway.

    As to the third question, why aren’t their more airgunners? I went to Cabellas to inspect in person an expensive airgun. The salesperson literally laughed at my stupidity and mocked me for buying a “toy” and not manning up to a “real gun”. Even though most “real gun” owners shoot for the same reasons we do and in the same manner (sans back yard), they currently laugh at BB guns and consider them emasculating. Until manufacturers do a better job (as good as you and PA) of getting the word out about the potential high quality and special benefits of airguns, they are not going to be a public sport that draws hundreds of dollars per sell. And finally, what is with the costs? I’m with several other writers here in that I believe manufacturers take advantage of our obsession by charging ridiculous prices for plastic-based and other guns lacking quality control. And worse, they charge even higher prices for guns that do demonstrate real craftsmanship.

    A positive note. When some miracle occurs and airgunners become informed, united, and public, the prices will come down and quality will surge. I’ve done my part by hosting airgun parties for family and friends (with me supplying all the airguns) and you and PA have your parts wonderfully. We will see if the manufacturers can do their part by giving gunners what they want at a reasonable price while explaining the benefits.

    My two cents.



    • Rob,

      Thanks for weighing in on this. No doubt you are right about much of what you suspect. As for the “salesman” at Cabellas, that should be grounds for termination!

      A salesman’s first responsibility is to listen to his customer. They may not come out and tell you what they really want, but it is buried in the things they say. It is the salesman’s job to ferret it out and then provide it, if he can. “To sell John Brown what John Brown buys, you have to see the world though John Brown’s eyes.”

      A salesman should never put his own personality before the customer’s. That’s what taverns and Sunday afternoon football parties are for. Sales is about the other guy. He is the one with money in his pocket that could eventually wind up paying part of your salary!

      But I must disagree about your comment on Wally World. They can tell you a lot about the sort of customers they attract — what they want and buy, but they know very little about the real market — especially for airguns! What they know about is the specialized niche of the market they have created for themselves — through the lens of inexpensive products, salespeople with little knowledge of the products they represent and return policies that sterilize their management from any association with the things they carry. Wally World is its own laboratory of human interaction and a great place to buy brand names cheaper, but no place at all to shop for real quality.

      B.B.


      • Hi B.B.

        100% with you on sales persons. Always shocking to me when sales people are rude or ignorant of their product.

        Regarding W.W. (Wally World), well, ignorance of the products at the sales level is to be expected. I doubt they receive any training on their airguns at all! But, your take on managements understanding of their customer surprises me. You may very well be right, and I agree they filter through a lens, but I would have thought they’d have us statistically calculated to the .05 all around.

        Anyway, I’m sure Pyramydair and you are helping this sport to grow. Maybe W.W. will take you on as a consultant and you can set them straight.

        Rob


        • Rob,

          Oh, they DO have us calculated! Make no mistake about it. They have devised a winning formula for sales that has astounded the retail world!

          But it doesn’t fit all needs — and especially not the ones we are addressing today. That was all I was saying. I cannot criticize their success, because it stands on its own. But I can and do believe there is more to retail than just the one approach.

          B.B.


          • I also went to Cabela’s with 100% intentions of buying an air rifle. I didn’t get ridiculed but a shrug of the shoulders was the only answer I got to any questions I had so I left empty handed and decided to buy online. Which reminds me, the only thing I learned after a couple hours of checking out dozens of rifles was I sure like the way the Gamo rifles shouldered. I would like to know first hand how they shoot.


            • Wouldn’t it be great if you could go to a store specializing in airguns–much like PA, but brick and mortar?

              I have this fantasy that some day I’ll open that store. There will be a range. People can hold and try out the guns–maybe rent the expensive ones. And it will all be kid and family friendly. By that, I mean I wouldn’t try to sell powder burners at all. “Real guns” scare a lot of people, but I think most of those same people could embrace airguns that are universally marketed for sport and not as defensive weapons (killing tools).

              Maybe I’m wrong. Probably am. I don’t know of any such store. Would any of you take your family to a store/range that only sold airgun-related items???


              • You build it, we will come! I have dreamt of such a store, its a shiny place in my mind. I would be there for mass every Sunday and put my tithes to the church faithfully!


                • I’d be happy to find any store with an inventory of air rifles and pellets and knowledgeable staff I don’t care what else they sell. Does anybody know of such a place in preferable in south central Alaska or more realistically around Minnesota?


                  • Cabela’s headquarters and flagship store is about an hour’s drive from here, so I get there occasionally.
                    I find their staff to be courteous and helpful.

                    They have a reasonable assortment of low and medium priced air guns. They also have a very complete line of firearms, and a big assortment of used firearms.

                    Since they have such a large assortment of used firearms, I asked about used air guns.
                    “No, it’s against our policy to sell those.”

                    I know PA sells used, refurbished, and open-box air guns. But I like to personally hold and inspect guns I buy, especially used ones. It’s not that I distrust PA, it’s just the way I am.

                    Les



                • B.B.!
                  Tell P.A. to make it happen! I’d put at least one vacation/trip together to include their sales floor. And if they need a cashier–or a product demonstrator–tell them to call me up!
                  Lol.
                  Rob


                • They could partner up with R.E.I.! The company is well established, already has testing and demonstration facilities and airguns would fit in perfectly.


                  • Sorry, what is r.e.i.? And can we start an organization to the promotion and preservation? The American Airgun Sports Association? I am an official member of the A.A.S.A. it just needs to be made…. B.B, little help here? What does it take?



                    • One word per line…

                      REI is Recreational Equipment Inc.

                      But I don’t see them adding airguns anytime soon… The stores I visited were more in the camping (tents, sleeping bags, etc.), climbing (many have a two story climbing structure for demo/training), bicycles, and running gear. Compasses/GPS and trail maps. And clothing.

                      Take a Cabela’s or Gander Mountain, remove the guns/archery stock, and fill it with bicycles… That gets you close to an REI.


              • Rob that store existed in Long Island NY. The owner let you shoot before you buy and basically cherry pick. But internet competition killed it.



              • I will gladly start this organization, was saying do you have any tips on how, what it requires and why did the ones you tried to rear fail to survive? Im thinking pretty seriously about doing this.



                  • Ok thank you B.B, I have found my purpose in life. I’ll keep you posted. Anybody else that has tips or ideas are welcome to chime in, I’m absolutely serious and starting now.


  17. BB,
    I think that if a company such as Air Arms were to advertise in American Firearm and Hunting magazines and bragged on accuracy instead of velocity they would get the proper kind of attention. Most firearm owners I know have some kind of springer and can’t shoot it very well. I think the proper kind of advertising emphasizing accuracy would impress these guys.

    David Enoch


    • Since most people hunt targets and walnuts (not elk), I totally agree with you. Emphasize accuracy, and I’d add silence. I used to shoot powder burners Until I found out that that today’s airguns are certainly powerful enough for my needs, can be very accurate, and are much more enjoyable as a quiet sport.


    • Rifle firepower magazine has had a couple articles in the last year about the benefits of airguns, the only problem was they took the most powerful they could find and only did a penetrating test to compare against a 22cb, I’ve owned the gun they tested and if anyone were to buy it as there first airgun it would quickly be disposed of.


    • David,

      That might work — or not. It is extremely expensive to find out. Gamo has reached a huge segment of the “pig market” this way. The pig market is wannabe hunters who follow the game hunting TV shows and read the hunting articles, believing most of what they see and hear. Things like velocity kills, so a 1,600 f.p.s. airgun must be terrific.

      Selling things that are based on quality in magazines is difficult to do. I could write ten thousand words on why this is so, but it boils down to one thing — magazines sell advertising and advertising sells guns. Quality doesn’t have much purchase in advertising, because anyone can claim anything. So there is no basis for comparison.

      B.B.


  18. Definitely a us (North American) vs them (European) issue to some degree.
    I have a subscription to the ISSF newletter (they are the governing body for Olympic and Worlds shooting competition).
    I remember a story of a few years back, an Polish woman shooter who won the womens 50m 3 position event at (I think) the Athens Olympics. It showed her return after the games and how she was swamped…and I mean swamped at the airport.
    This was a BIG deal.
    I don’t know what it’s like in the U.S., but I guarantee that 99% of Canadians don’t even know we have a squad competing in the Biathlon in the current Olympics.
    Another thing I’ve noticed at the range is how many people don’t consider themselves to be ‘serious’ shooters. Though they may be out there every weekend, they don’t consider it a ‘hobby’ or such. In their minds (and I’ve asked a few of them) they’re just out there to practice for hunting…and they don’t consider that a hobby or pursuit…it’s just…hunting.



  19. An excellent subject for a weekend blog!

    We were discussing the problem of the “disappearing airgunners” at our 4H airgun practice last night.
    The 4H has a very good airgun program here, beginning with Daisy 499′s and going to Avavti PCP’s in both sporter and precision classes. But what is there for young adults (and older ones, too) after they are too old for the 4H traveling series?

    I found there actually is an adult competitive airgun shooting series in this state, but it takes place at the eastern end of the state (300 miles away). Other than that, we are on our own or have to be satisfied coaching youngsters. Gee, we want to have some organized fun for ourselves!

    Individual adult airgunners have to shoot as individuals. Many of the families involved in the youth competitive shooting program out here live on ranches. No problem for those guys finding a place to shoot. The rest of us (small town dwellers) have to find different venues. For me, it is the local rifle range (I am the Rangemaster). I miss going out on the BLM land in New Mexico and hiking/shooting all day in the desert. We really need some organized outlet. Here in town, we cannot legally even shoot on our own property unless it is indoors.

    I would bet that 95% of those ranches keep a firearm handy to shoot predators. Probably most of those also keep an airgun around to shoot pigeons, etc. These “Wally-World Specials” would be found in barns and other places where they could blow away pigeons or bats without putting holes in the roof, or discourage a prowling coyote or fox. What happens to the airgun program graduates who are proficient in shooting, then get too old to participate? I’m going to have to find out.

    We do have many rural volunteer fire departments where one can get a scuba tank filled for the asking. If someone wanted to invest in a PCP rifle and a scuba tank, the problem of HP air should not be a problem.

    Les


    • Les,

      The remoteness and tendency to not know any other airgunners is the reason postal matches started up. Jim Morrison in Papillion, Nebraska, ran a very large postal match for a long time…I think, he did it for decades (and it may still be going on). I thought postal matches have actually increased because the internet has drawn them out and allowed them to connect.

      Edith


    • Les,

      What we did when I lived in Maryland was start a field target club of our own. It took off and is still a vital FT club today. But as an adjunct, a number of those who started the FT club also started a Monday night 10-meter pistol competition. It was indoors, so it went on round the year.

      Within the first year we found another similar club about 30 miles away in Rockville, Maryland, and we began having inter-club competitions. This other club was affiliated with the NRA, which is how I became ranked as national air pistol competitor.

      Best of all, I met a guy at the Monday shoots who became my best friend — Earl (Mac) McDonald.

      Start your own adult club. You never know where it can lead.

      B.B.


  20. I think that for us Americans, the proper type of advertising would go a long way. When was the last time anyone here saw an airgun TV commercial? Something along the lines of “This is not your childhood airgun!” to ‘de-toy’ and eliminate the childish aspect of the hobby.

    Guys who fly RC planes and helicopters run into that all the time, but modelers are where a lot of the new technology for full sized aircraft takes place and the full size guys there realize this as opposed to where we are as a sport/hobby where the full-size guys think we are just playing with toys. Every time someone asks me how I am able to get good groups with a firearm, I tell them I shoot airguns a lot to work on technique and then look at the puzzlement and amusement pass over their faces. A lot of them look at me as if I’m pulling their leg until I explain that I’m serious…

    /Dave


    • An airgun commercial…

      Heck, the only gun commercial I’ve seen in years appears on one of those side-channels on digital broadcast (I forget if its on MeTV or RetroTV — both channels that run shows from the 50-70s), and its from the current Henry repeater maker. Does Henry make anything other than lever actions?



        • They also make a the mini bolt youth .22. Basically an old chipmunk but stainless with a synthetic stock and they are great to start teaching young kids.


      • That’s exactly what I’m saying, Wulfraed. People are so used to being spoon-fed their opinions from the boob tube that it could be a great educational tool as well as a commercial advertisement. Now, if air time didn’t cost so darned much….

        /Dave


  21. I find airgunning is a journey. I started out with a Crosman 760. I also had a Daisy which quickly fell apart so I never bought another one. Eventually I grew up, left home and left my airguns behind in the attic. I was in the army and had no use for anything but my M-16. Eventually I came home, got married and started a family. I had a Crosman 1077. This was the beginning of my CO2 days. For years that was all my wife would permit me to have. So I used my 1077. Eventually I rebelled and bought an Egyptian AK47. It was a fine gun but when my wife found it she destroyed it to teach me not to go around her and buy things she did not approve of. Eventually I ended up divorced and came to discover break barrels. My first was a Ruger Airhawk. It was still a .177 and I learned to use the heavy beast. Eventually I discovered Gamo and all the other airgun makers. I got a Gamo shotgun. I still have it, a Gamo whisper, which I still have. The Gamo shotgun was the beginning of the next stage. I eventually discovered the power of a .22 with that gun. From then on I determined .177 doesn’t have the power I need. I made a few mistakes along the way. I did not like the Tech Force 99 Premier I accidentally bought. It spent a few years in the closet of regrets before I finally sold it. I thought it was too heavy, too complicated to cock, and too bulky to take out hunting. I really hated the gun. About the time I discovered .22 I also discovered Airforce airguns. I really liked the Talon ss, but Michigan had made it so I needed to get one through a FFL dealer and I really did not have the money. Eventually I saved up and someone at Pyramyd Air suggested that I’d really like the Condor since I could turn it into a Talon ss with a 12 inch barrel and end cap. At first I resisted and bought a Discovery. That was a great gun. It was even better when I had upgraded the thing. That was the beginning of my PCP era. Eventually I got my condor and found out just how great the guns and company is. Now I won’t have anything else. It’s the finest airgun I could find. Along with that I started building my own guns. So my stable includes some legendary guns like the AK47, AR15, AMD65…..I’m sure I am not done on my journey but I don’t know where I’ll go next.



      • The divorce was kind of an emergency thing that was done in record time. Nothing was fought over. All I wanted was my life and sanity. Both things the ex could not take. For what it’s worth the ex did not get two of my airguns that I got back before my dad sold the place I grew up in. The 760 I gave to another kid who I hope will find his own amazing adventure behind the trigger and the other is a now vintage AIR 17. It had a bit of rust on it, but I cleaned that off and it sits in my gun rack at the top which is kind of a place of honor since I got it just before I got on the bus to go to basic training.


        • Thats also the kind of thing that makes airguns/gunning a private affair often times memories and nostalgia make the guns and shooting a very personal thing. Luckly that ak47 wasn’t a treasured hierloom, but even the least accurate problem guns can hold a place as challenges if nothing else. Glad to hear the seperation was smooth, I think “she wrecked my gun” is enough to get you alimony, at least in the shooters imaginary court system!


          • Well I have a very nice Romanian AK now that fires smooth as soft butter. I made it. So I replaced what my ex destroyed. I’ve added a really nice AR15 to the stable too and others since. The downside is the fact that I have a collection of what liberals view as fierce deadly weapons, dating has been a bit problematic. Haven’t found a single woman that can sleep a full night here in my gun filled “house of horrors” even though not one of them has jumped out of the racks and stated shooting.


            • John, sounds like we had some similar airguns, i started out as a kid with a AIR17 for 5 or 6 years and modified it a couple of different ways before selling it and getting out of ag’s for to long. Then i jumped back in with a co2 crosman c11 bb pistol which is fun but not very accurate and also not a rifle which i was really looking for. I then bought 2 Gamo shotguns one viper express and one shadow express and learned quickly that they still lacked some true accuracy and also were a gimmick/niche gun that isn’t very well constructed. I think i’m going to send the shadow to PA for a Crosman gas ram! ,yup you can do it. I sold the Viper and have bought 3 other quality rifles since and have no sign of slowing down.


              • Most of my guns are relegated to a rifle rack now. I still like the viper express since without it I couldn’t take Joe Biden’s advice and solve all my problems magically by shooting them twice with a shotgun. I admit it doesn’t work. All it did was further destroy my broken smart phone. But it was worth a try. I have yet to find an airgun that can our shoot my condor. My only real want is that crosman AR15 upper they put out a while back. That way I can still shoot my AR even with the loss of my range and hunting area. We’ll see what else comes out I might lust after.


  22. B.B.:

    You had all the right elements in the 10/22 you describe, but groups of 1.1″ at 50 yards must have been disappointing.

    I know I’m not a better shooter than you.

    I started with a standard Ruger receiver, to which I added a Green Mountain bull barrel with a Bentz target chamber. I installed a Volquartsen hammer and a Volquartsen trigger assembly, and I had the bolt machined and trued. The gun has a Hogue stock that free floats the barrel.

    I usually shoot Wolf Match or Wolf Match Extra, which is what this gun likes. I’ve gotten it for $50 a brick, although it is probably higher now. I haven’t had to buy any for a year or so. I’ve tried Eley and several other target rounds, but this gun shoots best with Wolf.

    I shoot this gun almost exclusively in benchrest competition from completely stable, permanent benches with a Rock BR adjustable front rest and a rear rabbit-ear Protektor bag.

    Our benchrest targets (standard USBR) have a .101″ ten ring, which must be obliterated to score an X. The nine ring is .30″. The outside four ring is 2″.

    One round of target competition is 25 bullseyes for a possible 250 score. A low-end average score is in the high 210s to the mid 220s. A shooter must hold most of his or her shots to the nine ring in order to be competitive, with only one or two “flyers” out to the eight or seven rings. The better shooters usually have a lot of tens and a few Xs.

    Any gun that will not consistently shoot .25″ groups will not be worth much in this kind of competition.


    • Leon,

      Thanks for giving all that detail! I know my first 10/22 barrel is not better than average, because I have just acquired another one that is much more accurate. Although it oddly only likes Remington Yellowjackets! Go figure.

      My Butler Creek barrel is good, but obviously not the best. I did once test a Magnum Research .22 WRM barrel that was a tensioned barrel. That one was phenomenal, but it was a magnum, and who has that kind of money for ammo?

      The Bentz target chamber sounds interesting. My chamber was done by Connecticut Precision Chambering, but it was done on the mediocre factory barrel, so that’s like putting lipstick on a pig.

      Edith used to compete in BR-50, which evolved into BRV. She shot an airgun, and they nearly always dominated the rimfires. But the sport died with the organizer.

      How do you like the Volquartsen trigger? I have considered putting one on my new 10/22 because the factory barrel seems to warrant something better. Or perhaps I should take a second look at my built-up gun?

      B.B.


      • I get what your saying about the Wally World thing Rob, because it’s cheaper and easier and some what incognito for someone to purchase there. When i jumped back in it was Wally world and i suspect that it was for others too. Wally world could easily keep track of records and improve their sales tenfold on conveinance alone! But their not into that and don’t pay attention to the numbers otherwise we would see better quality at affordable prices instead of “Zombie Apocalypse”. Some day some smart guy who likes ag’s will look at those numbers and his chin will drop, but by then i suspect Wally World will be on the outs because of their lack of understanding and true salemanship.



          • Thanks Ben, it’s actually my work nickname so i used it on a review and now on here. Hopefully nobody takes offense if they didn’t know the SNL reference, i’m thinking of just going by Ricka because thats whatmy friends call me, even my mom!!!


      • BB, I have the Timney 10/22 trigger. It is the best. The only down side is that it is spendy! But, you can move it from gun to gun if you want to since it is a drop in unit.

        Mike


  23. I’m invisible too. I’m new to both the airgun and firearms world since discovering my brother’s old 1973 Daisy 880. That discovery led to a Benjamin Discovery along with a 397, a couple of 22 rifles, and a couple of centerfire rifles. Since guns are a huge industry in the USA I expected to find a lot of fellow enthusiasts, but I never see them. I’m fortunate to live in a state that has a couple dozen state run rifle ranges, but the rules are shoot from the bench or standing only. (No prone, sitting, or kneeling) There is a local rifle and pistol club, but you can only go there if you are a member. You can’t become a member unless you are invited. They have an air rifle range, but it is in ruins. If I could get in the gate I’d be glad to fix it up, but that won’t happen soon. Shooting sports are difficult for city or suburb dwellers. Even rural Americans may only shoot often enough to sight in a deer rifle. When I became interested in marksmanship I sought to buy a shooting sling. All of the sporting goods stores had twenty or so different slings that were really just carry straps-unsuitable as a loop sling. I eventually mail ordered USGI cotton slings from CMP. Another item that the local Cabelas, Bass Pros, etc, do not stock is 10 meter air rifle targets. Nope… none. Btw. Does anyone know which of the air rifle targets sold by CMP are the same as the ones designated AR-5 and AR-10 as used in the NRA/Winchester qualification program? CMP stocks about 5 different air rifle targets. Back on topic–As a new enthusiast I joined NRA, and the club that is a CMP affiliation in my state. It seems that most of the people in the state club are pistol shooters who probably own rifles and air rifles, yet shoot them rarely. Where would they shoot? I’ve solved the problem for myself by building an air rifle safety range on my 1.4 acre lot complete with shooting platform, movable target stand, and backstop. I intend to work my way up the qualification ladder on my own remaining invisible for now, and then perhaps showing up at a match somewhere. On the subject of matches it seems to a new shooter as if Camp Perry is the only place on earth that has matches. I bought a somewhat accurate takedown 22 sporter thinking that I could travel around the country to various rimfire sporter matches. These matches are held by various local rifle clubs, but they are not well publicized. I had expected rifle shooting to be a lot like motorcycling to build on Tom’s Harley analogy. A motorcyclist can find a rally to attend pretty much any weekend somewhere and make new friends to ride with. Even a Moto-Guzzi rider can find more activities to attend than most new adult shooters. The shooting sports seem to be more like bowling where everything is local and provincial. You don’t typically go league bowling on vacation, and I like bowling a lot. (It is a lot like target riflery in a way) RVWA Appleseed does a great job of posting their schedule and I expect to attend one soon, but they seem to the exception. NRA does a lot as an organization, but they could learn a great deal from the HOG. (Harley Owners Group) My brother in law was paralyzed a few years ago and he used a wheel chair. I was delighted to discover the NRA disabled shooters program, and I gave them a call. They never called back and my brother in law died so I did not follow up. My understanding is that NRA has a huge convention or two and various banquets, but they are content to support local rifle clubs instead of building a national rifle club that actually goes shooting. They may be correct about this, but it was all a surprise to me.


    • Ray,

      I don’t know where you live, so this answer may not be ideal for you, but let’s hope that it is. Is there an Isaac Walton Leagues chapter near you? They are a conservation organization filled with sportsmen and sportswomen. Many of them have rifle ranges on their property.

      That was where I helped start a field target club that has grown to be a large and active club today. It was also where we had a Monday night 10-meter pistol club that shot indoors, which is easy to do.

      Do you have a chapter nearby?

      B.B.


      • Thanks BB. The closest one that I know of is in Iowa. I live a couple of hundred miles south in Missouri. I read about the IWL online and it does seem to meet my needs perfectly and it teaches good values. They are all over Iowa. If I lived there it is an organization I would support.


  24. B.B.:

    There are many good aftermarket 10/22 target barrels these days. A browse on Rimfirecentral.com will give much information on them. I think that Green Mountain barrels are pretty good, but I also think I got very lucky and drew an especially accurate one.

    The Volquartsen trigger is excellent–crisp with no creep–but it is not as light as I would like for benchrest. The very best 10/22 triggers–everyone agrees–are Kidd triggers.Kidd makes a two-stage trigger, and they will set both stages at the factory to your specifications, as light as two ounces. I’d love to have one, but they cost $300, and I can never quite justify spending that for possibly a few more competition points.

    The best thing anyone can do to start a 10/22 accuracy custom job is to replace the stock hammer with a Volquartsen or a Power Custom hammer–both are excellent, and just the hammer will bring the stock Ruger trigger down to about 3 lbs., which is a big improvement. Adding a custom trigger in addition to the hammer makes the gun a pleasure to shoot.


  25. Can anyone tell me if heavier pellets will damage the spring on a spring piston rifle? Lighter pellets tend to be more accurate, but I want to up the ft.lps of my RWS 48 in 22 cal to cleanly take nuisance raccoons in my trash. I’ve been shooting 14 gr pellets, but am considering 16 or 18 gr round nose.


    • R9er

      More pellet weight does not always give you more power in a springer. My 48 shows me that the pellet that gives me the most power is also not always the most accurate. You can lose a couple foot pounds or a bit more by using the ones that shoot the best . A couple foot pounds is not going to be much difference to a coon when running around the 20 foot pound range. Getting the shot on target will be most important.

      My 48 likes pellets that run a bit on the fat side . It does pretty well on 16 gr Exacts and 5.53 FTT , with CP (box) coming in third. Most power from RWS Superdomes, but accuracy is not there with them.

      How much damage is going to happen with heavy pellets is questionable. If they are killing the power or are not shooting well, then it is better to go back to plan “A” anyway…..shoot the most accurate pellets in the first place, and don’t worry about the power.

      twotalon


    • R9er,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Heavy pellets give less energy in a spring gun, as a general rule. They only increase the energy if the piston is heavier than normal.

      Stick with the most accurate pellets.

      B.B.


    • My tests with an RWS/Diana m54 .22 (highly unscientific — one shot with each pellet so I don’t have a sense of variability) came out with 19ft-lbs with pellets from 14.0gr (RWS Meisterkugeln) to 18.2gr (JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy) [the H&N Crow Magnum at the same weight only broke 18ft-lbs]. Above 18.2gr, the energy fell off fast. H&N Baracuda Match 21.1gr almost made 18ft-lbs, Gamo TS-22 22.0gr just broke 15ft-lbs, and a Eun Jin round nose 28.5 didn’t make 14ft-lbs.


  26. A Ruger 10/22 costs $200 or so new. That trick trigger is another $300. Now you have a stock that will allow the barrel to free float and on top of that, a Green Mountain barrel for $145 and don’t forget shipping on all this. Plus if you want, machine work on the chamber at the breech. So a competitive Ruger is what, $700 to $800? Seems to me that a TX 200 or AirForce Talon plus pump comes in under or just at this price and the accuracy is on par. Now keep adding the cost of .22 RF versus H & N Field Target pellets or whatever your favorite pellet is. I don’t see that airguns are more expensive than powder burners, all things being equal. Or am I missing something?

    Fred DPRoNJ



      • Or as one of my favorite comedians, Curly, would say, “of course we’re related. His mother and my mother are both mothers. Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck”.

        The Three Stooges – it’s a guy thing.

        Fred DPRoNJ


    • Fred,

      I think you got it right. That was one of the things I took away from the 10/22 series I did for Shotgun News. Another was the variability of most .22 rimfire ammo. It can be incredibly accurate EXCEPT for an occasional flyer than nobody can account for. A pellet rifle with the right pellets doesn’t do that.

      On he other hand, I like my 10/22s a lot. They are very enjoyable to shoot, when I feel like shooting them.

      B.B.


    • There is pretty much total overlap in the prices of guns for airguns and firearms, but the undisputable difference is in cost of ammo, especially extended over time. Even for rimfire, there is no comparison.

      Matt61


  27. Fred etc., A Ruger 10-22 can be put together in stages, over a period of time. At any stage you still have a rifle to shoot. A tx or Talon has to be paid for at once. You can get used stocks, barrels for less. My 2 Rugers use the original triggers, but gunsmithed for far less than a Kidd trigger. Since I can only get to a range once or twice a week, I shoot fewer rounds than I would shoot through an air rifle( I shot 400@pellets through my Daisy M14 in my basement range , in the last 2 days.) I have been getting .22 ammo through my club at around $250@ per case (although that might change now).The rifle matches in my area (Hudson Valley, N.Y.) are for the most part, NRA sporter rifle and both indoor and outdoor silhouette. They are shot with .22 cal. rifles. There is only one club shooting field target matches in my area. So what you are missing is that a Talon or TX would be an expensive rifle with very limited use for me in my area. Less expensive springers and CO2 guns serve my needs for my basement and backyard 10 m ranges. I will not be buying Talons, etc unless the local clubs develop air rifle programs and matches . Ed


    • Zed,

      that is a perfectly acceptable way to look at this issue – buy used, upgrade when you can or want and come in at less money. However, the same can apply to airguns – buy used. Upgrade barrels or triggers (cost me, if I recall – $15 for an upgrade to my Disco trigger and that’s because I bought a kit rather than shop at the hardware store) and that can be used as well. When my father in law graduated from HS here in the US in the early part of WW II, he was an auto/truck mechanic. He bought tools as he needed them – not a complete kit at once and I’m talking sockets and screwdrivers. He gave me them and they’re still serviceable – names like S.K. Klein and others that have long since gone out of business. Not a Snap-on or Craftsman tool in the bunch.

      Fred DPRoNJ


  28. B.B.

    I’m a lone wolf shooter simply because I have yet to meet another airgun shooter here. Here is Jacksonville, Florida. I have checked in with the largest shooting ranges in the area and have not located any existing airgun shooting clubs or shooters. I would love to be in a club.

    I noticed above you were willing to give possible contacts in the area to another blogger. I was wondering if you might know anyone in my neck of the woods? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, I am one of those buyers who is willing to pay the price for quality and accuracy, even if it is a bit excessive. Problem is since I know no other shooters I have no way of knowing if the claims of makers like Daystate and FX are true. Do you know if these maker’s guns are as accurate and well made as they say?

    Anyone reading this blog should feel free to help me with the above issues if you can. Thanks

    G&G


    • G&G
      I don’t yet own a Daystate so I can’t say how good they are. But I do have in mind to get one at some point in time.

      On the other hand I do have the .22 cal. FX Monsoon. And they are on the expensive side. I was a bit sceptical about them wondering if what they were asking for them was worth what they wanted for them. And the best answer I can give is yes.

      The Monsoon I have is a very solid gun. And the gun operates very smooth. I’m talking about the semi-auto action. It will pop shots off just as quick as any rimfire semi-auto will. And as far as accuracy is concerned. It will shoot if you can control yourself and slow down and not empty the magazine with its semi-auto feature. I sometimes say the group size about a gun I have. But I don’t like to because there is so many variables that take place that it ain’t funny. But since you asked. I can hold a average .520″ group at 50 yards now with 16 or 18 grn. JSB’s. And 36 usable shots from a 3000 psi fill is respectable.

      Also the gun shoulders good. It has a natural balance to it which makes it comfortable to shoot. And I always have at least 2 guns with me when I shoot. I rotate each gun by taking some shots off one gun then do the same for the next. And the Monsoon is always there in a shooting session. And I think I have said this before. I wish I would of got it along time ago. If I did I would of bought a lot less guns and would of saved myself some money in the long run. But oh well I learned some interesting things along the way.


      • Gunfun1,

        Thanks for your reply. Sorry I’m so late getting back to you. I suspected what you said about the Fx Monsoon would be the case. I’ve been researching the FX Royale 400 Sport and the Daystate Wolverine B . I suspect I may pull the trigger on one very soon.

        G&G


        • G&G
          I couldn’t respond yesterday. Had a busy day at work.

          I’m sure whatever brand you choose you will have good luck with it. Both brands are high in quality.

          I’m actually thinking about changing my gun inventory around. In other words some guns are going to get sold. And some new ones are going to get bought.

          Well I actually started already. Pretty well sold the ones I wanted to sell already.

          And actually just got to put a Hawk scope on the new gun last night when I got home from work and I shot it in the garage for a bit. Wasn’t going to say anything about it yet till I had some more trigger time on it. And I wanted to post some of that info when BB does the next part of the test on his gun. But here it goes. I got a synthetic stock .177 cal. Marauder. And all I’m going to say now is the gun has already amazed me after only shooting 6 magazines through it (60 shots) . Its going to be a good one.

          And on the other hand. I will have to save up some more funds to go along with the gun money but the FX Independence is on my radar screen right now for the next one. I may even sale some of my RC airplane stuff to get this one.

          Either way I think both of us will have some fun times to look forward to when we get those dream guns we choose. Don’t you. :)


    • G&G,

      Well, let’s start down in Miami. That’s where Jorge Chavez hangs out. He had an airgun store — Sunshine Airguns and Collectibles — but I believe they are now closed. Still, there should some clubs down there!

      Up north of you around Atlanta is an active clue called Airgunning Atlanta. They are a big field target club.

      http://www.airgunningatlanta.com

      Maybe some of our readers can fill in the blanks?

      B.B.


    • G & G,

      There’s an airgun shoot for all types of airguns and all types of airgunners monthly in Yulee, Florida. I’ve seen pictures of a few of their get togethers and some nice guys and really nice guns show up. Al is the organizer and can be reached at tacyhr “AT” yahoo.com

      As for FX and Daystate airguns……try ‘em, you might like ‘em.

      kevin


      • kevin,

        Sorry about the late response. I really appreciate the info about the shoots in Yulee. That’s about an hour away from me. I will be getting in touch with Al. Again, thanks so much. I’m excited about the prospects.

        G&G


  29. The problem as I see it is two fold. As has been stated previously, we as Americans have not as of yet been fully disarmed by the government and thus forced to find alternatives.

    Secondly, the high end quality airguns do not have much in the way of face time with American shooters. Many Americans think Gamo makes top shelf air rifles. Why? Because that is the most expensive ones they see. That is what the manufacturers are really saying. They want to find a way to let the American shooter actually look at their wares. They can target organizations with ads, reps and such. Unfortunately, so can others and “We The People” are a bit leary of such things right now.

    The American Airgunner is a step in the right direction, although they need to spend more time doing serious reviews and interviews and a whole lot less time shooting explosive popsicles. Why do the airgun companies sponsor people like BB? So we the ignorant masses can learn about what they have to offer. It is a whole lot less expensive to send BB an air rifle to blurb about and then sell it for used then to buy boob tube time. This reaches the targeted audience, while the other is just spray and pray.

    We can do our part. If the homosexuals can come out of the closet and convince everyone that they are normal, so can we. Many of us know that quality air rifles can out shoot most .22 rifles. So do it. Go to the rifle range and plop down beside the dude plinking away with his pride and joy and bend his eyeball with what you can do with an air rifle. You will not only have his attention, but everyone else will stand up and take notice when you shoot a 1 inch or better 10 shot group with a sharp looking rifle that does not make much noise. Pull out that big bore and bust a soda can wide open at 100 yards and you will have their attention.


    • Hm, I’ve never thought of myself coming out of a closet. But I have learned to be cautious about who I tell about my shooting interests, so you’ve got a point.

      Matt61


  30. John, tried to reply yesterday but it disappeared. Im very lucky in that my wife might not score many tens on the paper (she’s a ten in my book) but she’s sure given it plenty of tries and can laugh at herself, not interested in becoming proficient. She appreciates my interests and is happy to enjoy my successes as I do hers. That’s how it outta be, and you’ll find someone that thinks your “house’o’horrors is the house of awesomeness it is. If they don’t accept you for you then its a speckled fish you don’t want in your cooler! Friendly good lucks to you!


  31. Ben,

    Leapers is looking for your case report and cannot locate it. Maybe you need to contact them again and explain what happened in different terms.

    They are trying to find your case, so they can respond to you.

    B.B.


  32. B.B.

    I really liked this blog topic. Like some others who replied, I too am a mostly silent and invisible airgunner. I bought my first CO2 pistols almost two years ago at the age of 52, a Crosman 357 and Beretta PX4. Since then my collection has grown to 23 CO2 pistols (both pellet and BB) and 2 CO2 pellet rifles. I shoot exclusively paper targets indoors in my basement because I can do it year-round whenever I have some time. Local ordinances also prohibit shooting in my backyard because the houses are too close together to shoot outdoors safely. I don’t have any airguns more powerful than CO2 because my pellet/BB traps can’t handle the higher fps. I’ve told a few people at work about my hobby, but except for a couple of them, no one else shares any interest in any kind of shooting sports. One person I work with still holds an outdated stigma about airguns being toys for kids, and he sometimes asks me when I’m going to “get a man’s gun” (meaning a firearm). I don’t know how widespread that attitude toward airguns is, but it is one reason I don’t try to find a local shooting club to join. Since I don’t own a firearm and don’t think I want to own one, I have no other reason to join a shooting club. If there were a local airgun shooting club focused on more than just field target competition, I might be interested in joining them. But I haven’t found a club like that locally. So put me in the category of those who for the foreseeable future will remain mostly silent and invisible.



      • Great idea! Even though very many would be envious of the shooting space I have, I am not aware of any airgun clubs/organizations in my area with the exception of the local 4H or Boy Scouts and most of them graduate to firearms by time they are tweenies. As you have seen there is a good number in my area with an interest in these things, but they all seem to be “invisible” most of the time.


        • RidgeRunner

          Like you I don’t know of any airgun clubs in my area (St. Louis, MO). The one that I did find some information about was called the St Louis Air Gun Club that focused exclusively on field target competition, but recent blog entries at Gateway To Airguns suggest that they have since disbanded. Field target competition is not one of my interests primarily because of the larger monetary investment required for the better field target rifles, scopes, etc.


          • That is why some field target organizations set up the hunter class. They too noticed a declining number and figured out that the guy who owns a Gamo sproinger doesn’t stand a chance against someone who has a $5000 custom air rifle with a $3000 scope and all that fancy harness and gear and spends several hours a week practicing so he can win a small wooden plaque. He, or she for that matter, is also hoping to receive sponsorships. That means money. When they start taking this stuff too serious, they take the fun out of everything.

            The hunter class goes back to the beginnings of field target. The rifle is restricted to a sporter class and has a weight limit and the scope is limited to 10X. The hunter class competition is run more like a hunt.


      • B.B.

        When you write that blog about airgun shooting clubs, be sure to highlight the club’s primary activity. As a middle-aged person, I obviously am not looking for adolescent / youth airgun programs, and that may apply to most of your readers. Some may be more interested in a focus on field target competition. Folks like me are more interested in an open airgun classification in which you bring and shoot whatever you have, and everybody has a good time of fun and fellowship.


  33. Of course we are invisible. When you shoot firearms you have not much choice but to go to a range to shoot, range at which you meet other shooters, where you may make a friend or two, meet people who enjoy firearms like you etc.

    What is one the biggest advantages of airguns ownership we talk about so often? Shooting them in your garage, basement or backyard. The point of shooting airguns is personnal enjoyment, you shoot it alone at your own pace, against yourself. You DON’T WANT other people to know you’re shooting in your backyard!

    So we are invisible.

    I’d love to go shoot with other shooters once in a while but most of my shooting will still be done by myself.

    Everyone in my familly knows I own and shoot airguns, not many friends or co-workers know about this. I don’t think they’d understand and when you think about it, unless you’ve tried it it seems a little dumb.
    -”so you own a bunch of guns”
    -”yes, I do own a bunch of AIRguns”
    -”do you hunt?”
    -”no I don’t”
    -”what do you do with them? look at them?”
    -”no I shoot at targets in my garage or backyard”
    -”????”
    -”empty soda cans, paintballs, golf tees etc. The smaller, the better”
    -”????”

    That conversation actually happened between me and a coworker. How does someone who hasn’t tried it know where the challenge is in doing that? Most people only know guns from what they see on TV where the bad guy assembles his rifle from a small suit case and adjusts the scope on the fly, aims, take one shot and makes the kill and leave. Unless you’ve tried it you think it’s just a question of putting the crosshair on your target and pulling the trigger. They don’t know how a great trigger feels compared to a crappy gritty one.

    J-F


    • J-F,

      Quickest way to find guys like us is to go to the shooting booth at a carnival. Anyone that has shot at a carnival and tried to win a stuffed animal is an airgunner at heart.

      kevin


      • Kevin…totally cracked me up. You are right exactly. The gun booth is always my first stop in the fair. Even the bent barrels and sites and the chipped cork can be figured out after a couple of minutes watching. More than once I’ve been told, “Enough for you. Let’s give someone else a chance.” Being asked to leave is always the biggest prize.


  34. A list of available air gun ranges would be a real handy list to have. Especially if traveling.

    Or even if a person wanted to make plans for a summertime weekend mini vacation to go visit other places to shoot.

    That would probably be a time consuming thing to do. To put a list together like that. But If that list was published somewhere it could help to spark a persons interest to checkout the air gun hobby.


  35. All right, I may as well get on record the most extensive video I’ve seen of Russians swimming outdoors in the middle of winter.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/dotworld-abc-news/secret-russia-power-064501397.html?vp=1

    Here’s the durability of the AK for you. It is almost inconceivable. Once in Minnesota, against my better judgment, I sat in a sauna until I could hardly stand it then went outside and dipped myself in a lake through a hole cut in the ice. I could stand it just for the few seconds it took and then my body involuntarily ejected me out of the lake never to return. Here are people swimming away without any sauna! Does this mean they could breeze through Navy Seal training? I guess it speaks to the power of acclimation and training, but still….

    Matt61


  36. Another invisible airgunner here. I rediscovered airguns seven years ago when I bought a house with a yard infested by burrowing critters. I found this blog, bought an AirMagnum 850 in .22, spent a dozen weekends practicing, then cleared the yard, but not before becoming hooked. I’ve since acquired a few more airguns, including a Walther lever action and an Mrod.

    Like many, it’s the invisibility of airgunning that I appreciate. I can practice in my backyard. I can ship an airgun right to my door. Airgunning is an inconspicuous, solitary pursuit. It doesn’t require that I visit a range, join a club or become a member of an advocacy group.

    There’s a downside to this. A senator in my state, Kevin de Leon, has proposed a law (SB 199) that bans all pellet guns, BB guns and Airsoft guns except those painted primarily in bright colors like pink or orange (I posted on this a week ago). A hearing was held a few weeks back in Sacramento. Those speaking against the legislation included the NRA’s CA representative and a kid who plays AirSoft. I was surprised that no one spoke on behalf of airgunners. Is there no lobby for airgunners?

    One other comment, SB 199 stems from the misperception, by the firearms community and general public alike, that all airguns are toys.


    • Bob,

      There are people in California working hard against Kevin de Leon. He has been trying to ban airsoft for many years and has been stopped by several people, including a lawyer who knows his tactics well. The problem is, the voters in California keep electing de Leons, and they keep attacking our rights.

      I won’t tell you not to worry, because California politics is pretty far gone. There may not be a solution. And your state government is also bankrupt — so look for more federal influence, which these days isn’t a good thing.

      On the other hand, welcome to this blog and to airgunning in general.

      B.B.


  37. MATT61-Have you heard of the Polar bear club? They swim in the winter at Coney Island N.Y. When I was a child, my relatives told me that they saw them in their childhood. That takes the Polar Bears back to WW1. I don’t know if the Polar Bears were originally from Europe, or were starting a new tradition. Ed


    • Ed,

      I think it’s back to Russian Middle Ages and even before :) Many people here break ice and swim in rivers and lakes in the winter, especially after a steaming bath (that is why bathhouses are usually built close to the river).

      duskwight



    • Hello Zimbabwae ed
      One of the reasons I enjoy this blog so much is you never know what the topic will be from one comment to the next. Polar Bear swim clubs seem to exist in most northerly cities that lie next to a sizable body of water. Seattle and Vancouver have an annual Polar Bear swim every new years day(Jan1). There is also one in my city of Kelowna B.C. which is situated next to Lake Okanagan. A large body of water that I have never seen ice forming on in the 25 years I have lived here. There are pictures in the city museum that show large trucks driving across the lake before a bridge was constructed. The climate here seems to be warming, although you could not convince anyone the last couple of weeks. Temps of -10 celcius (+14 Fahrenheit) seemed to be the norm. This would have seemed balmy to people living here in the 30′s and 40′s. who endured weeks of – 30 to -40 c. Minus 40 celcius and -40 Fahrenheit are equal and equally COLD.
      Ciao
      Titus



      • You darn left coasters and your warm temperature… how can you have a polar bear club when the weather barely dips under the freezing point? :-P

        YES, I’ll admit it! I AM jealous of your warm climate!

        J-F


    • Ed,

      My father was athletic in his youth, ran track & field and belonged to the polar bear club. He lived in Charlottenburg, Germany, which was incorporated into Berlin in the 1920s. He was very engaged in athletics in the 1920s & early 1930s. In fact, I still have his participation certificates from official or sanctioned events.

      He loved cold weather so much that when we lived in New Jersey (1950s-1960s), he’d take a walk in the dead of winter in the middle of a snowstorm without a jacket, hat or gloves. He would wear an old pair of leather shoes (not boots), regular pants, a long-sleeved flannel shirt and long johns. The temps would be in the 20s or low 30s. Whenever neighbors saw him walking, they always stopped to offer him a ride. He would tell them he was walking on purpose and didn’t need a ride. He wasn’t even walking to go run an errand. It was walking in a freezing cold snowstorm just for the pleasure of it!

      Edith


  38. B.B.
    Perhaps you can encourage the airgun makers to install sound suppressors in their airguns so that we can shoot them in our backyard or property, without waking up the neighbors.

    Thanks for this great article.
    Joe


    • Maybe you could tell airing makers that margins are inherently quiet enough and that these silencers are going to draw negative attention and as soon as someone who mods takes one off and gets caught with it there going to shut them down anyway and have the feds controlling how our guns are made. Im dumbfounded “silencers” are being sold to us airgunners and were buying them without a thought to the consequences it will eventually have! Wake up! These things ARE going to take airguns out of the gray area we should be cherishing they are in and kick them down the well. Does no one else see this? Its frustrating to see we are being set up and no one sees anything other than “oh cool its a silencer”, well guess what, you can’t own it without a specific licence! Any one buying one is taking home a trojan horse. Don’t buy them please!


      • Anyone doesn’t believe me just remember I said this, and from my point of view if your buying or selling silencers your an enemy of airgunning.


      • RifledDNA
        I have to ask first something about the reply you left above after Joe made a comment about silencing devices.

        “RifledDNA Says:

        February 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm

        Anyone doesn’t believe me just remember I said this, and from my point of view if your buying or selling silencers your an enemy of airgunning.

        Reply

        RifledDNA Says:

        February 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

        And yes I an aware PA has some ags with the sound dampeners, I honestly think they should not carry them for the good of our sport.”

        I think you may need to contact a few manufactures of air guns first. Lets see, Air Arms, Fx, Crosman, Benjamin, Gamo and so on. They all make guns with silencing devices.

        I think what he was asking is if the manufactures could start incorporating silencers in the design of their guns.

        And next what kind of success are you looking for in your airgun association. Let me know so I can decide if I would like to join. Details please.


  39. first,here”s you one more newbie for this blog.next BB you are my mentor of the airgun world.I have followed your blogs for two years of more and i find you to be fair and honest up front and not swayed by any certain airgun or product.Just tell it like it is for the rest of us to judge for ourselves,so thanks for your time for giving us the foresight in making wise decisions when it comes to letting go of many hundreds of dollars for a airgun.Next I really enjoy what the rest of you have to say about anything related to the airgun world cause i consider myself a airgun “junky” and your talk just fuels my addiction to this sport.I’m not ashamed to admit it but i live,eat, and breath airguns and what they are capable of in respect of accuracy and the almighty foot pound and all that with no powder no brass no ammo sir! I’m in northern KY. on my farm in a cabin i built myself just the wife and me with seven cats a dog and squirrels that live on edge here and know me buy my first name,Something like “@#%***!” that is correct 98 kills with the 22 cal. marauder in the freezer two years ago.Last year 60 plus with the talon P.I live under a tree during hunting seasons. I make my own gun stocks from the wood off my farm for my airguns.Now that’s enough about me,I am buy not a great means a me,me,me person so lets talk about you and this subject at hand.BB looks like you caused a great inter most subconscious sleeping concern that crosses all of our thoughts at times and we think were alone with it just keeping to ourselves.You kinda threw a rock at the hornets nest getting alto of people stirred up and swarming all around but in a good way. I have often wish for a buddy to come and play with me and me airguns just target shooting here on a still afternoon and hunting with me in these hills but only with a airgun.Then getting together and just talking airgun stuff kind like Bub talks about shrimp ,shrimp boats,shrimp recipes,,,,,,,,,,etc.There’s one i know of and that’s the old gentleman that gave me my first beeman R1 “new” 22 cal. He always bought two of every airgun.He said just in case something broke he”d have a stand by to fall back on.I know what most are thinking “must be nice to be able to do that” Any way a great person to give that new airgun.He said he did not like the way the 22 cal. shot so he kept the 177 and give me that wonderful gift.By the way it is a tack driver in its own rights at 20 yrds.off handed.So there began my interest with the wonderful world of projectiles blasted threw space and time with nothing more then a breath of air.I listen to all of you gents talking of only the back yard or basement shooting range and believe me you make me really understand how lucky I am to have this farm to shoot at will without concern of Dudley do right next door upstanding looking out for all and everybodys best interest cop calling hero.Yes I”ve been in these hills to long and don’t think I would do so well with people tending to what i like to do.But many of you don’t have a chose and must comply to the rules of good citizenship and don’t make waves with our hobby,sport etc.That’s because there”s always someone out there lurking behind the bushes drooling at the mouth fantasizing about how they could make headlines by putting a stop to anything that even resembles a Red rider,so please do your part staying in the lawful guide lines so these dogs wont have there bloody bone to chew on.! Sometimes when ya fell like goggle up “crimes with airguns” then “deaths by airguns”There are bad apples and stupid rotten apples to some even with worms in them” in every aspect of human intertest applying to guns,cars,ball games you name it there’s one that appeared here on planet earth and we did not even invite him or here and the really bad part is we all have to live with um for the rest of “their”life.So were sorry but we gotta deal with um,so hats off to all of you try to do the right thing and keeping it respectful to the next door neighbor.NEXT ,I can not “EVER” see Wally Wonder World” employing a well informed employee taking pride in his or her vast knowledge of the sporting goods area.Ain”t ever going to hap ping! If there is one out there,please forgive me go i have never met one of yet.Clean up in the sporting goods section please.I can say this because myself do have a outstanding education,so if I were to go to work at”WWW”my paycheck would be lets just say below the poverty line at starting pay.That’s why we or most of us go there to continuously help China to take us over someday cause their the only game in town these days.Wonder full place to shop but a double edge sword at the same time.Simply if everybody was highly skilled in their field at “WWW” they would close their doors cause prices would go threw the roof paying high payrolls,kinda like the medical Field if you get my drugs,excuse me I meant drift.Silly me.Walmart employees are good folks for the most part and it takes all kinds of people to make this world spin but their are a few I have had to ask a question,and noticed they were breathing our air.Sorry had to say that it”s a fact.But hey,don’t we all see that every were we go,waiters,etc.Next,Gamo.some made mention here.STAY AWAY! Who am ! to even say this? my neighbor bought one two years ago cause he not knowing fell for the fps.stuff and hog killing propaganda not to mention a Gamo could protect us all from Zombies probably head shot gnat 225 yrds. with a alloy pellet shooting over your shoulder using a mirror at a gnat head using alloy pellets.Remember Yugo cars? If ya never lived in the country and heard a screen door slam then you might have a hard time understanding the sound of a high line Gamo when you pull that close pin,I mean trigger,sorry I got confused.By the way it got hung up like two dogs a week later and he just gave up on it.It is that kinda first time purchased sub standard airgun that you got wonder how many folks would have become airgun fans and contribute to our sport but got headed off at the very beginning by Gamo and their huge advertising campaign and there superman airgun clams.I wish I knew he was going to but that cause i could have lead him a better choice! To late,He back to powder burning.NEXT,fair airguns with pos.scope supplied.””””””WHY?!!!!!! why would one think its a good selling gimmick to sell me fair airgun and include this damn scope that cost me alot pellets and time before I realize its the scope.Don’t dishonor your product by putting us threw this nightmare only having to send it back,only to receive another piece of shiny junk.Ya get what you pay for so leave the scopes back in china and we can choose the quality scope we can afford within our personal budget.BB can can help us out there to along with other reviews. think I may have worn out my welcome here so maybe its time to close.Again enjoy you all whether i agree or not.Were enjoying the same thing here “AIRGUNS RULE!” good day.


  40. I have really enjoyed reading all of the comments on air gunners and this pursuit’s value and I include myself among the number. But there is something very amusing in all this as well.

    Have you ever been at a gathering of relatives when you are cornered by cousin Arthur who starts going on about his comic collection, or Uncle Stew pulls you in ONE MORE TIME to show you his latest stamps. Or you go out with some new employee at work to find yourself considering salt water aquariums. These are all fine pursuits, but you may know the zone I am talking about. And I have found myself recently talking to my relatives about air guns and, when I am not totally lost to myself, I can see them smiling and fading from consciousness. They are most certainly polite, but they are not fully there.

    This makes me think of the greatest Hobby Horse rider of them all, Uncle Toby in Tristram Shandy. His particular interest is sieges and he is obsessed with bastions, demi-bastions, gabions, counterscaps, ravelins and so forth and never misses any opportunity to expound on them. He even builds models of various sieges on a small plot of land he owns.

    Sterne says of his Uncle Toby’s hobby horse, “In good truth, my Uncle Toby mounted him with so much pleasure, and he carried my Uncle Toby so well,—that he troubled his head very little with what the world said or thought about it.”

    Clearly, for B.B. and a few other lucky few out there this is a vocation as well as an avocation and for the manufacturers it is a serious business. As for me, I earn my bread elsewhere and air gunning is my hobby horse and I so enjoy it–mostly invisibly. Would that I were more like Uncle Toby ready to mount up and ride about “leaving the world after that to determine the point as it saw fit.”

    Tim


  41. Could the people that live in Massachusetts please e-mail me at LarsonFam888@yahoo.com if you are interested in joining my venture of a successful airgun association. I am absolutely serious and will take any and all advice to make sure this happens. Your email will be responded with the name and mission statement for the proposed association. Please include an approximation of where you live so We can find the best place to hold our first meeting. Thank you to all that support airgun sports and can join this cause.


  42. Dear Ball Turret, I loved it when Toby stole a pair of boots, and cut them down to make Coehorn mortars for his siege. I seem to remember he even got them to smoke by blowing pipe smoke into them. Thanks for reminding me about a book that I enjoyed reading some 60 years ago. Toby inspired me to turn my train board into the battlefield of Gettysburg in the 70′s when my son was growing up. Ed


  43. This is very interesting.

    In less than 72 hours the invisible airgunner became visible. I’m greatly impressed by the spectators that have been reading this blog for years and were compelled by this article to come out of the shadows.

    A big welcome and a big thank you!

    Kevin


    • Kevin,

      I told Edith the same thing. Of course the new posters we got are but a fraction of the tens of thousands of readers we have, but what a surprise it was to see even these few become active.

      B.B.


  44. Massachusetts Airgun Sports Association- The M.A.S.A. will be a nonprofit organization, it’s goal is to protect and promote the enjoyment of airgun shooting sports in all its forms. To encourage the teaching of safety practices, and to provide resources and information pertaining to airgun sports activities in the state of Massachusetts. Our hope is to one day be united with all positive organizations devoted to airgun sports on a national level and to be those organizations parent company under the title of American Airgun Sports Association.



      • Oh and you must of read the comment I left above about the airgun association. But what about the silencing devices. I myself think its great that a company can incorporate that into their thought process.

        That could be something that may need looked into when/if you get things rolling. Maybe somebody that understands silencers and air guns as much as you could help to make the big guys understand them more clearly. And I’m always willing to be more educated about something.

        Well maybe this ain’t the time or place for this discussion. But if things work out for you and this is a topic your willing to address I’m listening.


  45. Gunfun1, I assumed Joe meant to incorporate them into the designs but they already are so In not sure . I believe contacting the companies would be unproductive as they must be enjoying the profits, at out expense, I feel positive this will cause harm to our ability to freely own airguns, if distributors felt the same and chose not to carry those models that would be a step towards battling the type of commercialism that lusts for the cash and to hack with the customer. If these companies really cared about airgunning they wouldn’t put it at risk like this. Just saying an airgun would need a silencer is the opposite of keeping them differentiated from firearms. They are not, they don’t need them and we want own them!(well maybe some of you can) so why/how are they selling them?



    • RifledDNA
      Fair enough for me. But remember if what you do isn’t fun. Why do you do it? And by the way I think politics s-ck. I know I should just say it but I’m try’n to keep it clean here. And good luck everybody needs some.


  46. I hear what your sayin, got carried away, the way of the world has me worried is all. Luck? Yeah a little luck never hurt, but it never will sustain anything. Im going on a vacation this week, was invited to Georgia! That’s lucky if you ask me, anyone know of any “you got tos” down there?


  47. This blog and the comments are great, B.B. You set off a lot of thinking.

    When I checked back on these comments after the weekend, I saw that Fred DPRoNJ and zimbabwe ed both corrected my brash statement that I built my competition 10/22 for less than $300. My memory was selective–several shooting-club friends traded components with me for little or no cash outlay.

    I started with buying a used 10/22 and sold off everything but the receiver. The Green Mountain barrel came with the Bentz chamber and was cheaper when I bought it than it would be now. The Volquartsen hammer was very inexpensive.I traded an old scope plus a very few bucks for the Volquartsen trigger assembly. Another friend sold me the lightly used Hogue stock. I installed hammer and stock and then added the barrel and trigger assembly in stages.

    Thinking more clearly, I realize it would cost $600 or more to make this build all at once today.

    B.B.: By the way, one inexpensive improvement in accuracy I forgot to mention is a Limb Saver Deresonator. This a piece of dense rubber that fits tightly around the barrel. You move it back and forth while shooting groups until you find the sweet spot. It really does tighten groups. It only costs around $12-$15. I think of it as a poor man’s barrel tuner.

    Rimfire ammo is always a puzzle. You never know what your gun will shoot best. Sometimes it’s the cheap stuff (as you experienced); sometimes it’s the expensive brands. Really serious rimfire benchrest shooters buy only the most expensive Eley by the case, and they demand products only from their favorite machines in the Eley factory in England.These guys laugh at my Wolf Match.


  48. I suppose I’m one of these “invisible air gunners”. I love to shoot. And want to locate more folks in the Dallas Ft Worth area. Maybe a club to join? Any info would be appreciated. Thank you. Jeff Hunter


    • Jeff,

      Welcome to the blog. I live in the same area as you. So does David Enoch, who can connect you with an active shooting club.

      We will be holding the first airgun show in this area later this year.

      You are in a great area for airguns!

      B.B.


      • I would consider my self a rookie to “Air gunning”. Born and raised “afield”. I just love to shoot. Never was allowed to have a Bob gun growing up. Dad….. “You’ll shoot your eye out boy. I’ll buy you a .22 before you get a bb gun”(co-workers son shot his eye out). Being side lined from a few hunting seasons from a lower,three level spinal fusion. I purchased an “adult” air rifle. From that I’ve been inspired in this sport. I think I’ll be pretty good, ha. I live in Azle. How do I go about getting in contact with you for more info? I don’t want to post my email or # on the blog.


        • Jeff,

          David Enoch can link you to the airgun club. They meet in west Ft. Worth, so you are within striking distance.

          No need to post your email or phone number here. There are ways around that. Stick around. We’ll have some fun!

          B.B.


          • BTW. On March 22nd,along with some help. I’ve organized a air rifle competition among friends. The event has grown from an idea to having possibly 30 competitor’s. Among these will be five plus kids(my main focus for event). Its going to be in the Axle area. Plans are to have a entry fee and payback 100% back. I’ve asked this company for donations such as a few banners to form shooting lanes. And whatever might be fesiable to donate. We are all pretty new to the sport,so any and all form of donations are needed. That includes info on event structure, rules. If your interested,I’ll filll you in more via email/or call.


          • Being this “Invisible Air gunner”,I’ve got a few questions. Rookie questions,and not wanting to waste your time if this is the wrong place to ask them. But here I go…..

            1st-How long can a “springer” be left in the loaded position? Seconds,minutes? Before spring damage occurs?

            2nd-Does a pellet sizer increase accuracy in mass produced rifles?

            I’ve read a lot of info stating that most air rifles improve accuracy after many 100′s of shots. With this my…

            3rd-How long (shots) is the averge life of stock spring and piston before they loose power?

            Thank you for your time and attention.


  49. Perfect reference link!
    Can’t help but wonder if periodically rotating the spring in quarter incurments would prolong spring wear? Or does the spring spin(which I would think it does not due to the fact that it is under tension).
    I’d also be interested in donating some of my time in exchange for knowledge.
    And try that pellet.I never looked to see if yall sell that specific brand.


  50. I often wonder at a thing I have encountered. the guys in the usa think if its not a powder burning gun its just a “BB GUN” I go to a gunshow ,see a pellet rifle I like n buy it I get lots of comments like this “kids gun?” “cant shoot a real gun?” “haha little toy gun” I have had lots of comments like that. but I just say it takes a better skilled person to shoot a precision pellet rifle. I rebuilt a pellet rifle for our local gun store owner. now im finding lots of people near me that are shooting air guns. matter of fact a man I know well ask me if he could try my Diana 54 so he can decide if he wants 1 to got with the 6 other Diana guns he has. the answer is yes just name when. but think about that and it might shed light on why airgunners are quiet


  51. First post, 28 month newbe, continue to enjoy reading this blog and the threads.
    Past experiences in other domains suggests that 40,000 is easily 4 million. Millions of silent airgun owners, probably, but what percentage were purchased with the intent of using as a tool and not a toy? Data from both Association and affinity groups provide insight, and GIS adds geography to demographics; all of the preceding is pretty common for adding voice to the silence. But practically speaking, it will take the right price point for Crosman’s Nitro2 to sell in sea change numbers instead of MBA predicted curves. Many cottage industries have remained hobbies forever, others have become part of every American’s experience. With urban dwellers having just passed 50% the time is ripe to expand next generation adjustable powerful quiet self-contained 22 caliber pellet guns.
    Yes, the FX Independence, Indie and Springer’s are interesting as a primer on the future and past, but it is new technology, production, materials that will put competent riflemen in 115 million homes which is as much of a public asset as communities of faith, bridges and highways.
    I am thinking that the pellet gun industry is an interesting canary in the cage as we fight to keep our way of life, uniquely American, free from the cancer where lies left unchallenged become the truth. Did Vladimir Putin really say that Americans have to stop thinking of themselves as special?


  52. TCO – total cost of ownership
    A so-called “real” gun may cost the same as an airgun but what will it cost to become good with it.
    I am in the Midwest city and an hour on a range is $20 plus ammo. As to ammo even if it was cheap it is sometimes impossible to get. Even 22 shells are rationed and nowhere as cheap as they once were.
    Last time that I checked dealers were not rationing pellets in fact Pyramid air gives away the 4th tin free.
    So for target shooters an airgun is a cost effective way to learn how to handle a gun and have some fun at the same time.


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