A few bricks short…

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

This report addresses:

• The .22 rimfire ammunition supply problem in the U.S.
• One possible solution for an ammo supply
• A great substitution for .22 rimfire

22 bricks
Bricks of .22 rimfire ammo usually have 500 rounds, except the value packs that contain a little extra loose ammo.

The rest of the world may not be aware, but there’s an extreme shortage of .22 rimfire ammo in the United States at the present time. In my 66 years, the last two are the only time I could not walk into a gun store or even a discount store and buy a brick of .22 ammunition.

What’s a brick?
A brick is a carton of 500 rounds. It holds 10 boxes of 50 rounds and is called a brick for the general size, shape and weight of the box. There are also loosely packaged value packs that contain a few more than 500 rounds.

In 2012, a brick of inexpensive .22 ammo cost around $9 to $10, depending on the sale. The nominal price was about $20, but everybody knew that was too much to pay, so we all waited for the sales. Only when our backs were up against it did we bite the bullet (pun intended) and pay full price.

Today, the street price of a brick is $50, but that’s only when you can find one for sale. Many of the stores are now rationing sales with limits on the number of smaller boxes you can buy at one time. Buying whole bricks is pretty much a thing of the past.

I’ve purchased single bricks from Midway for $29 in the past year, but they limit your purchase to just one; and when they add the mandatory $27 HAZMAT fee and shipping, the price increases greatly. If they would sell entire cases of .22 (5,000 rounds), the fees and shipping would disappear in the volume. But that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Plenty of .22
There’s no shortage of .22 rimfire ammo in the U.S. The ammo plants are working 3 shifts each day to supply all they can. And the government is no longer buying everything they make. What we have is a run on ammo that cannot be satisfied in the near term. The so-called shortage is being caused by hoarding. This is the reason I reload. I can load .45 ACP rounds for much less than the current cost of .22 long rifle. But .22 is a lot of fun to shoot!

Strategies for getting bricks
You can watch the obituaries and attend the estate sales, but that’s where everybody goes. I would make friends with the supply sergeants! That’s what I did in the Army. Supply sergeants are in control of everything, so go right to the source!

In the civilian world, the supply sergeants are the clerks who work in the gun stores and sporting goods departments of the larger stores. Cozy up to them, and they may let you jump to the front of the line when ammo comes in. I’m not talking about stealing here — I’m talking about being first in line — even before the line forms! When you want something that’s hard to get, this is how it’s done.

But wait — there’s hope!
Actually, this report isn’t about .22 ammo at all. It’s about what can substitute for it. When I was at the Flag City Toys That Shoot airgun show last Saturday, a lot of people were talking about it.

If you just shoot to plink, an air rifle is just as good as a rimfire out at 75 yards. You can go out even farther, but I’m trying to stay conservative. Yes, a lot of air rifles are single-shots, but there are also a lot that are repeaters. And the cost, while higher than the cheap rimfire rifles, isn’t that bad. Especially, since the guns you get for that price will shoot rings around most rimfires out to 50 yards.

A couple years ago, I remember listening to some airgunners bemoan the fact that Crosman Premiers in the cardboard box cost more than $20. You get 625 pellets in that box if they’re .22s and 1,250 if they’re .177s. That was when budget bricks were still selling for $9-10. But those days are over and will never return. When this shortage is finally over, I predict the price of a budget brick will be somewhere around $29-$36, and the sales may lower that to $25 on occasion. That’s just a prediction, of course.

Can a pellet rifle equal a .22 long rifle?
The answer is both yes and no. The new Escape survival rifle from AirForce Airguns produces almost 98 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle when the heaviest .25-caliber Eun Jin pellet is used. That compares favorably to a standard speed or subsonic .22 long rifle cartridge. It’s not quite as powerful, but it’s very close. So, yes, a pellet rifle can equal a .22 rimfire.

But, when you drive that pellet that fast, you don’t get all the accuracy that rifle has to offer. You saw that when I tested the Escape. At max power, that large pellet gave me a 2.48-inch 5-shot group at 50 yards. But when I throttled the gun back and shot JSB Exact King pellets, 5 of them went into 0.715 inches at the same 50 yards.

The fill pressure for that smaller group was just under 2,000 psi, and the power was set at 6 — so the rifle was probably producing around 40 foot-pounds. Before you sneer with derision, because that’s less than half what the gun can do at its best, remember that 40 foot-pounds is still more than a lot of PCP rifles can get when they’re shooting full-out. And that’s my point. Understand what it is that you’re talking about. Yes, a pellet rifle can meet the power of a .22 long rifle, but no, it can’t do it with the same accuracy. Maybe someday in the future, but not today.

Do you really need all that power, or have you fallen into the trap of defining your minimum shooting experience based on what’s out there? Are you a guy who just has to hunt deer with a .30-06 because that’s what “everyone” does, or are you someone who thinks a .28-30-120 might just be the best deer cartridge ever for shots under 100 yards? Don’t ask me what a .28-30-120 is — look it up on the internet and gain some wisdom.

Do airguns replace rimfires?
No! And they never will. There will always be a place for a rimfire or two (or more) in my gun closet. But I’m not going to go out and shoot up all my ammo and then whine about it when I own a battery of fine pellet rifles.

I shoot from 100 to 1,000 shots each and every week of my life, with few exceptions. Most of those shots are with airguns. I do enjoy firearms and I frequently shoot them, and rimfires are among the most fun of all; but I don’t allow the current ammunition shortage to hinder my shooting one bit. I’m an airgunner!

156 Responses to “A few bricks short…”

  • cmz128 Says:

    Just a heads up, there is no hazmat fee on loaded ammunition, only on powder, primers and percussion caps.

    • kevin Says:

      cmz128,

      The hazmat fee depends entirely on the shippers fees and how honest the seller is about the contents of the container.

      kevin

      • cmz128 Says:

        I’ve ordered ammo from several retailers (including Midway USA) and have never paid a hazmat fee. Ammo orders ship UPS and the boxes have a blue sticker with “ORM-D Small Arms Cartridges” placed on them. UPS DOES NOT charge a hazmat fee for ammunition, if you are paying that fee on an order that doesn’t contain power, primers or percussion caps you are being ripped off.

        • Fred DPRoNJ Says:

          I have to agree with CMZ. I’ve ordered from Midway and (shudder) Champions’ Choice (very pricey but at least they had what I wanted or needed when I needed it) and never paid a separate Hazmat fee. However, the pricing is high enough that perhaps that fee is included but it’s never been separated out on my bills. I’m good for this year for .22 for the weekly competition I’m in but practicing in between is reduced to pellets. This situation, shooting pellets for practice for my .22 25 yard bullseye competition should be the worst thing I put up with in life!

          Fred DPRoNJ

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      cmz128,

      It’s possible I was mistaken about that. Sorry!

      B.B.

    • Anonymous Says:

      I’ve only paid hazmat fees to Midway for powder, and I noticed the difference!

      Matt61

  • Gunfun1 Says:

    BB
    So I guess its probably nothing to do with people that did the mods to shoot the .22 cal. rimfire rounds in their automatic guns, semi- auto’s and pistols. That was the cheaper way to go if you wanted to shoot your bigger cal. guns all the time. I know that was a option over shooting the bigger cal. more exspensive rounds. Everybody was talking about it one way or another.

    Guess what Im laying money on it that they saw what somebody was doing to make it a bit harder to have a supply of a cheap round that could be fired automaticaly.

    So multiple types of .22 cal. rimfire owners started buying them up along with that other somebody.

    I’m trying to be very diplomatic here when I talk about that other somebody.

    And soon as I saw what the topic was I scrolled down to the last paragraph and read it. Then went back and read the rest.

    But yes. For now we are safe with owning pellet guns. And we still have a variaty of choices of pellets. But I do know this most of the better shooting pellets have been going into back order more often here lately. So what does that mean?

    • kevin Says:

      Gunfun1,

      Public hoarding is the reason for the current ammo (rimfire & center fire) shortage. There were congressional hearings last summer that dispelled the rumor that the Feds were to blame.

      Suspect the same thing is happening on a lesser scale that is depleting the stocks of better airgun pellets. Hoarding.

      kevin

      • Gunfun1 Says:

        Kevin
        I will say it straight up. Hording is what has happened. But why did it happen and what do you think is going to happen.

        How do you ghange the thought process once it has happened. If you got a cure Im listening. If people enjoy doing something they dont want it taken away.

        • StevenG Says:

          The cure is good old capitalism.
          If at the prices today people are still lining up around the block, the price is not high enough. This sounds bad, but remember once the price is high enough, more production will come online. So long as the price stays artificially low via stores selling below the price the market would bear and rationing no new production capacity will be created. With the prices where they are now running 3 shifts makes sense, but building more capacity does not. If the prices go up and people are still buying, then more capacity will be created.

          This is a classic example of what this kind of artificial market restraint always leads too. Capitalism already has a perfectly good form of rationing (allocating resources) that is via price, it uses that for feedback. Restricting sales and leaving the price low prevents the market from working.

          • kevin Says:

            I’m happy to hear that capacity is increasing. Last fall Remington Arms Co. announced that it will spend $32 million to expand its Remington Ammunition Plant in Lonoke, Ark. The expansion includes the construction of a new building, which is projected to be in operation by the second quarter of 2014.

            kevin

            • Michael Says:

              Michael

              Hoarding of a particular item by a large number of people is a “scared herd” psychological phenomenon. One large group hears something, spreads the rumor, soon everyone in the group has heard and believes the rumor. Fear spreads, even beyond the group, and the instinct to protect oneself and immediate family takes over.

              Hence the clearing of grocery store shelves when a bad storm is predicted, mass sell-offs of certain types of investments, mass investment in commodities people can hold in their hands and bury in their crawl-spaces, and runs on banks when dire rumors swirl.

              In the six months before Y2K was supposed to bring the modern world to its knees, Sears, Wally World, big box and small chain hardware stores, and large outfitters could not keep up with the demand for gasoline electric generators.

              Once Y2K ended up being not a bang but a dud, thousands of generator purchasers — some of whom hoarded generators speculatively, so that during a crisis they might gouge neighbors for their “extras” at exhorbitant prices — found Sears and some other retailers had in the months before the predicted breakdown quietly changed their refund policies for generators to an “All sales final” policy. The used market for new-in-box generators got flooded, and I picked a 3.5 kilowatt generator brand new and unused for 25 percent of its original MSRP. Of course I never ended up using it, either, so a few years ago I sold it off Craig’s List, still unused, for $100 more than I bought it for.

              It might take a hoarding of this magnitude a couple decades to smooth out to natural market conditions (i.e. normal demand determines a normal supply), which means in the meantime ammo makers basically have a license to print money.

              Michael

          • B.B. Pelletier Says:

            StevenG,

            Excellent observation. That’s exactly what is needed. It worked so well with the centerfire shortages that are now all but over.

            B.B.

            • Michael Says:

              The couple of times in the past year that out of curiosity I’ve looked in the firearm ammo case at my local big box (I’m an airgun only guy, but it’s right next to the Copperheads and Daisy Premium BBs), they have each time had probably a hundred boxes of 12 gauge shells with seven or eight empty shelves below that, followed by maybe one forlorn box of .44 magnum cartridges.

              On the shelf ends are labels for 9mm, .38SPL, 45ACP, .22LR, but that’s it, no ammo.

              The big box outfitter down the road has everything, probably; their ammo aisles are full, but I’ll bet a box of .45ACP or 9mm is pretty pricey. I’d be surprised if they didn’t have some .22RL. Maybe with a purchase limit and a high price, but they must have some.

              I have to drive by there on the way home later today, and I’ll stop by, and check and report back. Maybe because I’m out of touch on this I am totally wrong, but that would be something I’d have to see with my own eyes. I used to see huge cases of .22RL on their endcaps when I’d go in there to get camping propane

              Wasn’t .22RL once the cheapest and most available ammo of all, about the same as .22 caliber pellets?

              Michael

              • B.B. Pelletier Says:

                Michael,

                22 Rimfire ammo was always just a little more than pellets. And when the dust settles again, it probably still will be.

                B.B.

                • Michael Says:

                  the college where I teach has always had a large and successful crinminal justice program, and our full-time faculty have always been retired law enforcement officers. (Our part-timers are either that or are still “on the job” but moonlighting as educators with the approval of their commanders.)

                  I remember one of my colleagues in criminal justice years ago telling me that once he really discovered THE service handgun for him, which for some reason I recall being a .357 magnum revolver, he bought two of ‘em to rotate in his holster and at the range, and two identical models chambered in .22RL to rotate between the range and his locked bedstand drawer.

                  B.B., do I recall correctly that you have a PPK in .22? That is supposed to be THE gig bag choice for blues harp (harmonica) players as their “dispute-ender.” I can hear it now: “I’m Bond.” Duh-dah-duh-dah-duh. “James Bond.” Duh-dah-duh-dah-duh.

                  Michael

  • Bub Says:

    Funny you mentioned Midwayusa. I’ve had a 5000 round case of CCI Mini Mags backordered for 6 months or so. Really don’t expect them anytime soon.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      B ub,

      Midway has backed out on a number of good deals after I ordered them. I lost a couple bricks that way, too. Never could order a case, though.

      B.B.

  • RifledDNA Says:

    I don’t expect to match a .22 rimfire with an airgun, but what I do want to match is the confidence of knockdown while small gaming. And actually the lower velocity of an airgun can probably perform superior on occasion because of over penetration in the LR rounds. I don’t know where I want to be for velocity but I know I need enough to easily knock a raccoon or fox. That seems to require 1000 fps with a 14.3grain .22 pellet, or more. Am I wrong? Where should I be? That is determining the gun I need, then its which are accurate, nice trigger, short length, and price. I have a long time to figure out what will fill these criteria best, which is bitter sweet. The NP is close, and with a better stock might get it to about 90%, but 800fps with 11.9grains means Im only getting around 700-750 at most with heavier pellets(no chrony!ahhh!!) which is not enough for me to feel confident on anything larger then rabbit. Id like a 16 or 18 grain hollowpoint pushing as close to 1K as possible. Do I have to go pcp to find this? Multiple shots wouldn’t hurt either I guess. Does anybody have an “overkill” airgun they don’t use? Something sitting around because it bruised your shoulder? Let me know…..

    • /Dave Says:

      RDNA,

      Try realigning your thinking to muzzle energy and terminal performance of the projectiles for hunting instead of muzzle velocity. That will get you a little closer to the info and confidence you’re seeking. Dr Beeman recommended 6-8 ft/lbs for squirrel.

      /Dave

      • RifledDNA Says:

        Energy is exactly what Im thinking…. high ME requires a high velocity and heavy projectile weight, Im saying I want both. To get 30ft/lbs takes a 14.3g to go 1000fps, or an 18g to go around 875fps. Right now getting somewhere around 725 with a 14.3 means only about 17ft/lbs.. My goal is to get 1K with 14.3 or 900 with an 18, all based on the goal ME.

        • kevin Says:

          RifledDNA,

          Several observations.

          StevenG was spot on when he said a 30fpe springer is a challenge to shoot accurately. They’re also a bear to cock.

          I don’t remember good accuracy in any of my airguns, including pcp’s, when pushing a 14.3gr pellet 1,000fps. I’ve usually found best accuracy with 18.1gr pellets shooting 850-925fps. so this would fit your criteria. You’re talking about a pcp IMHO.

          kevin

          • RifledDNA Says:

            I totally agree with you, I don’t want to shoot 14.3 at a 1000, I want the gun to do that so an 18 will go 900, relatively. See below about lovin a bear… lol, that sounded bad.

            • Wulfraed Says:

              Problem is that spring guns are not efficient with the heaviest pellets. Within the power-plant peak range, one will get practically the same ft-lb out the muzzle regardless of pellet weight (slightly higher energy for the lighter pellets). Go above that efficiency range in pellet weight, and suddenly the velocity drop is unable to counter the mass increase.

              On my m54, shoving a 28gr Eun Jin results in a sub-500 fps velocity, and less than 14ft-lbs at the muzzle. A .177 Gamo NRA-1000 Special (~Gamo Shadow) shooting 7gr RWS Hobby almost matches that.

              • TwisterDM Says:

                A tuned flying dragon .22 $100 PCP will give you speeds in the mid 900′s and send a 14.3gr pellet down range with 25 to 28 ft/lbs. with only 1500 fill it will give you 10 high power shots. Which is the same number of shots as most .22lr repeater rifles will give you before reloading.

                TwisterDM

      • J. Says:

        Actually Dr. Beeman said 3 ft-lbs of impact energy was adequate for squirrel provided you limit yourself to head-shots.(1) My experience hunting with low-powered air-rifles backs that up. Though I’ll admit I normally recommend doubling Dr. Beeman’s minimum impact energy figure if you’re not planning on limiting yourself to head-shots.

        (1). http://airguns.net/general_field_use.php

        • Gunfun1 Says:

          J.
          That was the best reply I have heard yet about FPE and dispatching animals.

          As you said.
          “(1) My experience hunting with low-powered air-rifles backs that up. Though I’ll admit I normally recommend doubling Dr. Beeman’s minimum impact energy figure if you’re not planning on limiting yourself to head-shots.”

          The part about doubling the needed energy is what Im talking about. Better safe than sorry you know.

        • Wulfraed Says:

          Note that this was also terminal energy, not muzzle energy… One may need to use something like Chairgun Pro and chronograph to set the velocity and pellet ballistics, and then run off the table of retained energy.

          (Hmm, appears when I updated the computer and installed the latest version of CGP, I lost my old pellet database… only one H&N .22 pellet listed, and it ain’t the baracuda match)

    • StevenG Says:

      How many rounds to you use on something like that?
      If I kept my rimfire shooting down to 50 for sighting in and targets, plus another 50 for hunting things larger than rabbit, I would have more than 25 left at the end of the year.

      Plinking and punching paper is where the vast majority of it went until this last year. This year that will be taken care of with a low cost PCP(not even close to $500 for the gun and pump and second caliber barrel). If you want to know more go investigate the normal forums, I will not mention a product sold on another website here. I did that since they supposedly shoot like normal firearm, without a need for an artillery hold.

      • RifledDNA Says:

        I think you must be talking about the disco? If you are, well, the disco’s just not my style. Im trying for a 30ft/lb springer, in a nutshell. If not then a pcp, but the old school muzzleloader look of the disco turns me off, and its a single shot, if Im going to go pcp I might ad well get all the benefits of it with multiple shots. Im really taking my time to find what I want and when the time comes I won’t be limited by price as much as I just won’t want to go nuts.

        • StevenG Says:

          I am not talking about a Disco. I am talking about a $100 pcp that is for sale right now. You can use a search engine to find it. It would be rude to discuss a competing product here so I will not.

          I own muzzleloaders, and I don’t see any resemblance to the disco.
          The disco looks like .22 rimfire single shot rifles, to me. I personally detest the “tacticool” look so many rifles have these days. I like wood furniture and if I can’t hit it with the first shot I am not a happy man. Personally, if you are hunting anything other than a dangerous critter you should not need more than one shot.

          A 30lb springer sounds like a real bear to shoot accurately and overkill for what I consider standard airgun game.

          Price was for me a limiting factor as I was replacing one sort of low cost shooting with another. No point in cutting the cost of ammo in half or less if the gun costs so much I will never recoup it.

          • RifledDNA Says:

            I hear you, I’ll look it up. Not that the disco doesn’t look good, but if you’ve seen the steyr sm12 .308, that is more the style Id like. The tacti-cool crap is not my cup of tea, but modern flash doesn’t always have to look cheesy.

          • RifledDNA Says:

            A real bear! You got it! I love the challenge of hitting your mark with a gun that does everything in its power to stop you. Not in the trigger though, that needs to be smooth regardless. Overkill on a squirrel is the same as being confident for a heart and lung on a coon or woodchuck is my reasoning.

      • RifledDNA Says:

        I don’t shoot rimfire or any powder anymore, as I’ve never legally done so. I’ve shot plenty with friends and had my own time to rebel, but that was long before the shortage or price increases.

    • Wulfraed Says:

      At the muzzle energy you are requesting, you are pretty much limiting yourself to PCPs…

      My Diana m54 .22 averages about 19.5ft-lbs muzzle energy with pellets from 14-18gr… and falls off rapidly above the 18gr weight.

      AirForce Condor .22, high power tank, dialed in at 8-0 starts at 42ft-lbs at 14.5gr, and hits 60ft-lbs with 30gr.

      • RifledDNA Says:

        Awesome, thanks for letting me know those real life numbers and model examples, that’s the kind of hands on info that is what Im asking for. I could go read reviews but that’s not nearly as fun as talking to you guys and hearing about the guns people here have.

        • Gunfun1 Says:

          RDNA
          Here is what you said when we was talking on the topic about airsoft guns.

          “Vibration, no. Insane kick? Yes! That’s exactly what Im looking for in a quality springer. I want a beautiful .22 breakbarrel solid craftsmanship that’s gonna bruise my shoulder!”

          And you mentioned before that you wish you shouldn’t of let your Walther Talon magnum go. And you thought the RWS 350 may work. Well it sounds to me like you do know what you want.

          Why don’t you throw a list together of the guns you may be interested in. You never know somebody here may have one they may want to sell. I gave Dave with RAI a heck of a deal on some guns. And I know he has other guns for sale. So let me know what you think about that Idea.

          • Gunfun1 Says:

            I don’t know if this link will work. Its a chart by Crosman for what fpe it takes to dispatch animals.

            Also you will have to make the chart bigger to see it.

            http://www.crosman.com/pdf/CrosmanAirgunPelletCapabilitiesChart20120713.pdf

            • J. Says:

              I think Crosman’s numbers for how much energy a given animal takes are high. I could be wrong about that, but the numbers I’ve always seen (and referenced) for hunting purposes tend to be Dr. Beeman’s.

              • Gunfun1 Says:

                J.
                At least you referenced something. You know there might be people that don’t even reference any info about what foot pounds of energy it takes to dispatch a animal. And I’m sure nobody would object if you posted a link with usable info. More the better you know.

                • J. Says:

                  I posted the link(1) in my previous comment. I’ll include it again in this one since it gives not only a ballpark figure of energy needed with head-shots, but also some other rough figures on things like retained energy. There may be some minor errors, but they should be close enough to give a rule of thumb, which is how I used that source on Yahoo Answers back in the day.

                  (1. http://airguns.net/general_field_use.php

                  • Gunfun1 Says:

                    J.
                    I know you posted it above but I just thought it was funny that you said you thought the Crosman chart was high on the fpe chart compared to the chart you gave. Then up above you stated that you double the numbers on the chart you gave?

                    Any way there you go more info for people to see. ;)

                    • J. Says:

                      Sorry… I misunderstood your last comment. As for the bit about doubling the chart and Crosman’s numbers…. The chart I referenced is specifically for head-shots. I double the figures for body-shots to be safe since I was usually dealing with kids asking about using airguns for hunting on Yahoo Answers. So what I would usually do is give Dr. Beeman’s KE figure, explain that was with head-shots and tell the kids to double the figure for a body shot.

                      When I looked at Crosman’s chart, it initially looked to me like they were saying that a 12-15 ft-lb gun would only take a rat or squirrel at 25-30 yards. I overlooked the bit about them saying they’re including energy and accuracy. That’s why I said their numbers looked high.

                  • Gunfun1 Says:

                    J.
                    This is probably going to post in the wrong place.

                    But I know what you mean now. Maybe the chart I posted goes into a little to much detail. And I will say that actual experience tends to help out also. Either way seems to be better to have a little more than not enough power to be on the safe side.

                    And I got a airgun book that was written by if I remember right Jim Chapman that had info about the fpe the gun needed to produce for different animals. I will have to see if I can find it.
                    Yep here it is.
                    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/The_Practical_Guide_to_Airgun_Hunting_by_Jim_Chapman_2nd_edition/4181

          • RifledDNA Says:

            You know, you are absolutely correct. I know the Turkish talon was pushing 14.3s past the sound barrier, so there’s my 30+/- ft/lbs, and it was about 200$ when I looked em up when I got it about 3 years ago. That’s reasonable. If I don’t find one and have enough together by the time its buying time I’ll see about pcp… sounds like a plan… thanks guys, you really have helped!

          • RifledDNA Says:

            I haven’t seen RAI, store or a tuner guy? Does he have a hatsan 135? The WTM is discontinued, I’ve found the reviews for the 135 calling it my “bear” and saying good quality, Turkish like the Walther, and a walnut stock that looks great. Know any reason that wouldn’t substitute, and even best the Walther?

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              RDNA,

              I tested a Hatsan 135 and found it so grossly over-stressed that I wouldn’t even write about it. The one I tested must have taken over 75 pounds of cocking effort6. The firing cycle was like getting punched by a professional boxer.

              Yes, the wood was pretty, but that was as far as it went.

              If you value my opinion, stay away from that one.

              B.B.

              • RifledDNA Says:

                Oh man. To be honest, your description of its firing has me a little more interested… but I certainly value your opinion. If the 135 could be tamed down some, and keeping in mind a real whapper is what Im seeking, it wouldn’t be good still? Have you ever shot a walther talon magnum? I couldn’t find any, gunbroker just sold one but everything else was from 2012 or earlier. That WTM was my “one that got away”.

        • /Dave Says:

          RDNA,

          My HW90 is a real bear to cock, is fairly accurate and has a lot of movement when it’s shot so it’s hard to shoot. It also generates around 20 fpe. I wouldn’t want more out of it. However, opposing pistons like in a Whiscombe can get you more without all the violent behavior…

          /Dave

        • Wulfraed Says:

          Note that my m54 has never reached the “advertised” speed (as I recall, the advert was for 900fps if not 950). The 14gr RWS Meisterkugeln (target flatnose) was 810fps for 20ft-lbs. 18gr pellets were only 700fps for ~19.5ft-lbs.

          The Condor, using 21gr Baracuda Match, and dialing from 8-0 down to 4-0 was still pushing 937fps and 41ft-lbs. At 8-0, 1010fps @ near 48ft-lbs.

      • Feinwerk Says:

        I agree with this completely. You would not be able to shoot a 30 ft-lb springer accurately. Look at the awesome RWS 54 air king, which has a built-in slide system that eliminates recoil. They are very accurate and especially since you can use a rest or bipod. My 54 generates 21 ft lb: jsb 18.1@730fps and premier 14.3@815fps. This is after Molly lubing, barrel brushing, and pellets lubed with Krytech wax.
        Don’t obsess on velocity. 730 fps is still plenty for hunting. My tx 200 mkiii generates 16.5 ft lb (.22 FTT 14.66@710fps) and I have taken more squirrels with it than any other gun, as far as 55 yd. As mentioned before, rabbits have a much thinner hide and don’t require as much energy for a good kill. I don’t know about coons and foxes but suspect 16-20 ft lb in .22 with a head shot inside 20 yards would do the job.

        Beyond this power level and distance I’d say you’re looking at a PCP in .25 cal. (Marauder perhaps).

        So RDNA, check out B.B.’s review of the 54, and start saving up. Buy nice not twice. I know what it feels like to be so itchy to get something and to be disappointed by a lesser offering. It’s so gratifying to work towards a goal and get something really nice. You will get there.

        • Gunfun1 Says:

          Feinwerk
          Its like you took the words right out of my mouth. :)

          • Gunfun1 Says:

            Man I’m on this music word kick thing today. Thats what happens when you stay up late listening to rock and roll. All these songs keep pop’n into my head today. Anyway.

            You took the words right out of my mouth.

            I know who I got that one from. Meat loaf. I believe it was from the song “Like a bat out of hell”.

  • J-F Says:

    So would crossing the Canada/US border be a pain with a bunch of loaded ammo? Stores have plenty of them available here. It may not be convenient for someone in Texas but if you’re in one of the closer states…

    J-F

  • chasblock Says:

    When I read the forums, the Yellow, GTA, etc., and see where some people brag about having 100 tins of such and such, or where they’ve just ordered a case of JSB’s, I cringe. Or they post photos of 500 pounds or more of pellets, I think…”You’re an idiot.” Replace the word “idiot” with a less than family-friendly word.

    All this is, is selfish indulgence.

    My first experience with hoarding was during the 1974 gas shortage. I don’t know how many fights I broke up over people trying to get gasoline, filling 10 gallon jerry cans. There would have been no crisis, had there not been the mass hysteria.

    That’s what we have today with pellets and ammo…mass hysteria, because people think that they won’t be able to shoot their guns for a week.

    Stepping off my soapbox now…

    • kevin Says:

      chasblock,

      Selfish indulgence?

      When I find the best pellet, rimfire, etc. for my guns I buy that ammo by the case. It’s cheaper in large quantity and it’s important to me that I get it from the same lot/batch since quality can change. Because of this I’m still shooting and not whining about a lack of good pellets or good rimfire ammo.

      kevin

    • Derrick Says:

      I buy pellets from a local brick and mortar airgun shop. Known the owner for almost 20 years now and it always seemed natural to buy a couple or five tins with each visit. Over the years, that became quite an accumulation and an interesting collection, too–yet I never thought of myself as a collector of lead. Some of the tins are quite interesting though. I was knowingly buying more than one could shoot, but I knew he needed the cash flow more than I needed those few dollars. I valued his friendship and it was important to me to see his business survive.

      As far as being an idiot, well, that’s true as my wife will often point out.

  • Mike Says:

    There is no real shortage of .22 LR. Just check out “Gunbot” on the Internet. There is plenty IF you want to pay the price!

    Mike

  • Mike Says:

    These days, I shoot mostly handloads with home cast bullets. I do shoot some .22 LR since I always had a supply on hand. Of course, the air rifles get a lot of work too!

    Mike

    • Bub Says:

      Mike makes a good point .22lr is out there, but the price is often higher than most are willing to pay.

      I know a gun store owner who keeps .22 in the back room to offer a couple boxes to folks who buy a rimfire firearm from him. To his credit he sells the ammo at his normal markup.

      The number one reason for the current shortage is hoarding. Hoarders and scalpers line up every morning at the our local Walmart and buy up whatever hits the shelf. Our local Walmart limits rimfire sales to three boxes, but no longer has a limit on centerfire ammo which I take as a good sign.

      Another reason is demand. More people a shooting these days. I’ve been to some steel matches and you can run through 250-300 rounds fairly easy and it’s not uncommon to have 50 to 60 people show up at just a small local match.

      Another factor B.B. mentions in his article is that we think rimfire ammo should be cheap. It’s my understanding rimfire ammo does not have very good margins for manufacturers and it would be logical to conclude few are willing to invest in capital expenditures to expand production if they are unsure demand will stay strong or that customers would be willing to pay up. Plus with companies running around the clock what more can we ask of them short term.

      A guy once told me a .22lr will do 95% of what he wants to do with a gun. Maybe it’s time we admit an airgun will do 95% of what most of us want to do.

      Happy Easter.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Mike,

      You just described my shooting habits, except I shoot more airguns than centerfire. But I still pop at least 200 caps a month of some kind of centerfire ammo.

      B.B.

  • dangerdongle Says:

    How about an article on the powder shortage next?
    I’d guess hoarding is the reason for that as well.
    What strikes me as kinda funny is 1. More rimfires are being made, and presumably sold, than ever before. Pistols like the 1911, M9, PPK, etc, all available in .22lr, and practically every SMG or military weapon can also be had in the same chambering. I suppose peeps are buying them for display, because unless they had a supply on hand they can’t get any .22lr.
    2. Anyone else notice the GREAT deals on loading equipment these days? Seems the manufacturers can’t GIVE the stuff away fast enough! Again though, no powder=no hand loading. I know BB has mentioned he’s been able to purchase plenty but I’ve been on several mailing lists for months and have yet to be able to replenish my supply.
    If I could, it is actually cheaper now to shoot .40 S&W than it is .22lr. Even factory loads are only a few pennies more per round than rimfire and available pretty much everywhere.

    I managed to pick up 2 boxes of Eley “match” at a Big 5 a month or two ago, 50rds ea for $6.50 per.
    That’s crazy!
    I still have half a Bucket O Bullets (1000 rds Remington .22lr) purchased before the shortage for $8.99!

  • Feinwerk Says:

    Air Arms TX200 Breech Seal Replacement.

    I want to pass this along to the readership after some recent work on my own tx200 mkiii. I think all the tx200 family uses the same seals. I experienced a relatively sudden and significant loss off velocity that turned out to be from a leaking breech seal, which is located in the forward face of the sliding compression chamber. The factory seal appeared to be two common o-rings stacked and glued together. The glue was a little crusty, and there was a small sliver of seal material peeling off of the front surface. The seals appeared to have taken a squarish set shape and were no longer making good contact with the flat breech face on the barrel.

    My internet search did not turn up any satisfying sources of factory seals, and I suspected that 2 standard o-rings would probably do the job. I did find one message on another forum that faucet repair o-rings would do the job. This is correct! The seals are standard oring dash number -108: 7/16 OD, 1/4 ID, 3/32 cross section. I found them in the faucet repair section of the local home store, in packs of 10 by Danco. Danco has their own numbers and this one is Danco #78, but the dimensions are on the box so you can confirm the size. My shop oring kit didn’t have this size so I was delighted to find such an inexpensive domestic source.

    I used a small 90deg shop pick to remove the seal. BTW, the next time you go to the dentist, ask for old or broken picks/scraper tools. They will give them away and they make excellent seal pullers. You could also make do by bending a large safety pin into a hook.

    To reinstall the seals, I just coated the orings lightly with automotive dielectric grease (silicone) and pressed them into the seal socket without messing with any glue.

    Hope this helps someone else with their tx200.

    • Feinwerk Says:

      Followup;
      I eventually found these available from Pyramyd, part # PY-A-4078. They are listed as “barrel seals” and a pack of 2 individual orings is $4.95. The text on the page says to buy 2 but the package already has 2 orings in it.

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        Feinwerk,

        Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I corrected the description. I was originally told Pyramyd Air was selling just one o-ring. At some time, it was changed to two o-rings, and no one changed the text about needing to buy 2 packs.

        Thanks,
        Edith

      • Feinwerk Says:

        Very good Edith, you guys are the best.
        A Google search for ‘tx200 barrel seal’ will bring up the pyramyd part but ‘tx200 breech seal’ will not. I think breech seal is the most commonly used term but maybe barrel seal is what the factory calls it.

        • Edith Gaylord Says:

          Feinwerk,

          Actually, we state in a special section for Google searches that it’s also called a breech seal (and we’ve added common misspellings just in case someone thinks it’s a breach seal). So, it should show up when things refresh. I’ve added “breech seal” to the actual description, just in case that’ll help it get found via Google.

          Thanks, again!
          Edith

  • chasblock Says:

    When I first started shooting .22 rimfire, many years ago, a box of 50 Remington .22 Long Rifle cost 29 to 49 cents a box.

    But everything else has gone up also.

    Here in Maryland, our nanny-state legislators made buying an SBR (scarey black rifle) illegal. There was plenty of notice, but it was amazing how the price went up for an M4/16, IF you could even find one! Our State Police has a firearms licensing division and they couldn’t investigate all the applications in a timely manner. At one time there were tens of thousands of firearms applications waiting to be investigated. If you bought a pistol, a normal 10 day waiting period turned into a 9 month to 1 year waiting period.

    Buying a case of pellets is reasonable, especially if you find that lot particularly good for your airgun. But buying 10 cases is, in my opinion, a bit extreme.

    • kevin Says:

      chasblock,

      You want an indication of how old I am?

      I have a brick of “PETERS 22 RIM FIRE HIGH VELOCITY CARTRIDGES SOLID POINT” in my gunsafe. They never shot well in any of my rimfires. The price tag on the box is from a sporting goods store that’s been out of business for over 25 years (Dave Cook Sporting Goods). The price on this brick? $.99 (99 cents)

      kevin

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        I lived in Denver & Boulder for about 8 years. Sad to hear that Dave Cook’s is out of business!

        Edith

        • kevin Says:

          Edith,

          Back when you were in Colorado we were spoiled by the two big, family owned, sporting goods retailers with multiple locations. Cooks and the Garts. The Gart family bought all the Dave Cook locations. Not long ago Gart Brothers sold/merged with Sports Authority. They’re no longer great sporting goods stores but sell mainly clothing for those wanting the hottest styles. Sad day when all we have to choose from are the big box national retailers that don’t have a clue about outfitting a true outdoorsman.

          kevin

          • Edith Gaylord Says:

            Gart Bros. gone, too? Oh, man, what is happening in Colorado?! Sad. These stores were the first major sporting goods stores I ever went into. I was 22 years old & had never been in a sporting goods store before :-)

            Edith

            • kevin Says:

              Edith,

              Yes, it’s sad. End of an era.

              ps-You’ll always be 22 in my eyes. Think I’ll nickname you Rimfire. ;-)

              kevin

  • Michael Says:

    B.B. and others,

    I have over the years purchased a very large number of lead pellets, although not in huge numbers of any specific model/caliber. I simply have many thousands of pellets which are divided into a LOT of different models, brands, and shapes, weights, etc., for trying out in different airguns to see what a given airgun “likes.”

    I presume that as long as I keep them in an airtight seal and out of a humid environment that they will last indefinitely. Is that true?

    Just curious, what about those who do have old rimfire cartridges stored away? Do they have a long shelf life? How ought they be stored properly for the longest possible shelf life?

    Michael

    • twotalon Says:

      Michael…

      Replied in the wrong place. See below.

      twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Michael,

      Keeping them sealed is the best way — short of preserving them inside a sealed container filled with nitrogen.

      B.B.

      • Michael Says:

        Thanks. I have not put electrical tape around opened tins and dropped in a couple dessicant “squibs” like Twotalon advises below, but I might do that for good measure. I’ve put my CPLs and CPHs in tightly sealed small screwtop jars, and the rest are in their tins carefully partitioned and stacked in small, military-grade, airtight gasket-ted shipping trunks, the kind the military uses for delicate gear on cargo planes. I leave just the outer layer of foam inserts inside and then use a few others as partions. Thjen they go on heavy/industrial wire shelving in my dry basement.

        Gotta get some high-grade electrical tape and dessicant soon, though.

        As for the gunpowder ammo, I’ll keep the nitrogen in mind if ever I accidentally get shipped a bunch someday, LOL! (I do work at a place with chem labs, welding shops, and industrial labs, and every tire shop around here has it, too.)

        Michael

        • Michael Says:

          Um, by “has it” I mean nitrogen, not gp.

          Michael

        • RifledDNA Says:

          I have a question you might know the answer, or maybe B.B., how many pellets can be stored together before your squishing the ones at the bottom? Will that happen with enough or will they just continue to dissipate their weight for enough of stack that that would never really matter? On average, not hard or soft lead but the difference might be 6000 pellets for soft and 10000 for hard but what would it be, thousands, ten thou?

          • Michael Says:

            RifleDNA,

            First, I just figured out the clever puns in your handle: rifles are “in your DNA” and smoothbores are cool (“Rifled Not Applicable”). Sometimes it takes me a while.

            Anyway, I purposely bought a bunch of smaller cases rather than only a couple big ones for a few reasons, even though it cost a bit more to do it that way.

            First, smaller ones with fewer tins in ‘em are easier to take down off of the shelf and move around.

            Second, if there are too many tins in a storage case, then I’d worry about the the ability of the handle and bottom of the case to withstand the stress.

            Third, smaller cases force me not to stack more than four tins on top of each other once I’ve fitted some closed cell foam both on the bottom and in the lid. More than that, I’d worry about the bottom tin, although I’m sure five or even six would be OK, better to be safe than sorry. Besides, I do not have more than four tins of any one model of pellet in a given caliber, so with more than four tins per stack, sometimes I’d have to do a LOT of digging to get what I’m looking for sometimes.

            Finally, having smaller but more cases figures into my preference to have more but lower height shelves and place the pellet cases on the shelf ends, close to the uprights.

            Michael

  • Edith Gaylord Says:

    se mn airgunner — I removed your comment. Even though you said you don’t want to start a huge political debate, your comment will do exactly that.

    dangerdongle — Because the original comment was removed, your reply was also removed.

    This blog will be the current one over the weekend and will most certainly result in a political debate, hurt feelings, people leaving the blog in disgust, etc., if these comments remained live.

    It’s been amply proven by prior comments on other blogs that we’re unable to have a polite political discussion without personal attacks and accusations. Please reserve those comments for websites specifically built for them.

    While we monitor the blog comments on the weekend, we don’t want it to devolve into a fight.

    Thanks for understanding.

    Edith

    • dangerdongle Says:

      No problem Edith, and my apologies.
      I consider myself properly chastised, and will flog myself heartily this afternoon. : -)

      • RifledDNA Says:

        Don’t flog too hard, with the state of politics today, I don’t think any discussion of them could remain polite very long…

  • twotalon Says:

    Michael

    You should be good if you wrap a strip of electrical tape around the tins.
    If you have enough room, you could drop in a bag of dessicant first. McMaster-Carr has it in all different sizes and quantities.

    twotalon

  • Joe in MD Says:

    My “solution” is to require that purchasers turn in at least as many casings as they buy. If you aren’t shooting it, you can’t buy it!

    • StevenG Says:

      You are forgetting one little thing, then people will buy casings.
      All that does in create a market for casings. People will collect them at ranges, possibly trim similar casings to fit since no clerk will look that close, or buy them from those shooting. Thus complicating the whole thing more and making the market even less functional.

      The solution is to simply increase price until the hoarding ends. Increasing prices will increase production as well as decrease demand. Ammo is a very elastic market. That is what this entire blog post is about, a “Substitute Good”. People reading this who follow his advice will be adding more elasticity to this price.

      • Michael Says:

        Don’t reloaders need empty casings? (Or have I just embarrassed myself by showing my firearm ignorance.)

        Michael

        • StevenG Says:

          Reloaders do indeed reuse casings, .22lr is a special case though.
          No one reloads .22lr. I don’t believe there are a lot of reloaders for any rimfire, since you can’t just replace the rim like you can a primer.

          In a rimfire, the primer is in the rim and when it is crushed the round goes off. So one would have to clean out the case, and put in new primer material. Primer powder is very reactive stuff. It makes black powder look stable as a rock.
          In a centerfire that is boxer primed you can remove the primer and replace it. Berdan primer cases can have the primer replaced with a boxer primer, but it is much more work.

          The only use I know for .22lr casings right now is folks who swage their own bullets will use spend casing for a metal jacket on the new bullet. The place a cast bullet with the spent casing on it in the swaging die and crush it on.

      • edlee Says:

        Better yet, Steve,, is to alter the OTHER side of that equation. If we convince more people to become airgunners,, the demand for the ammo will be reduced,, the price will drop,, and all those butthat speculators will be stuck with ammo they can’t sell.

        I know,, I know,,, but a guy can dream can’t he?
        Ed

        • StevenG Says:

          Yup, and increasing the price will do that faster and faster. The best scenario is the price shoots up only speculators keep buying. Then like any bubble when it busts they make up the majority of those who lose their shirts. I think however in this case we have a lot more year 2000 type crazies than true speculators looking to make a buck. I could be wrong though.

          I know people who got into the sport for that reason(me) and folks thinking about it for price savings alone.

          • Michael Says:

            As someone who has more than once looked at a really scary weather report and gone out before the blizzard and bought extra bread, milk, candles, cat food, and kerosene (space heater, dontcha know), I do not judge those who get nervous about preparing enough for bad times. That whole psychological thing works on us all. No one is immune.

            But as for people who speculate by buying up stuff associated with preparedness, I equate them with war-profiteers. They are scummy, and if (when, I hope) the ammo bubble bursts, be it slowly or fast, I hope they lose their shirts AND that honest and not-rich folks who have been gouged all this time are able to get some of their artificially high expenses returned to them in the form of dirt cheap rounds. (Of ammo AND drinks!)

            Michael

            • Desertdweller Says:

              Buying up food and supplies in advance of a big storm is only common sense if you live in a place where supplies can be cut off for days in the wake of a big storm. This actually can happen where I live.

              Sure, I go to the store along with everyone else. The idea is not to buy more than you would need for 3-4 days, and certainly not to be speculative. Even so, the shelves empty pretty fast.

              Our country has become so dependent on road transport, it has made us vulnerable to be in small, isolated communities.

              Les

  • Rob Says:

    IMHO, the reasons for the shortage were first, a paranoid fear of loss (someone was going to take the ammo away…), second–a paranoid Prepper phase that was statistically irrational (yeah, I said it…no zombies), and thirdly, hoarding for profit. .22 Plinkster explains the latter very well on his youtube videos (he’s an amazing shot btw and if you haven’t seen him shoot, give him a look.)

    I’ll say as well that the paranoia didn’t come out of the blue. There are individuals, corporations, and politicians who have built fortunes manufacturing paranoia and selling it with gusto. Don’t jump on me without looking up at the prophets (profits) of doom. This same paranoia continues to drive demand, manufacturing, and profits in other sectors–not just ammo.

    My point–irrational fear and greed is the basis of this shortage. There is no manufacturing, materials supply, or political hinderance to production.

    • chasblock Says:

      I think you’ve said it all Rob! :)

      • Michael Says:

        Agreed.

        And no one, right or left, is spared when it comes to the most powerful of emotions — fear. Hey, when high quality CD players and high quality DVD players are on the cusp of being no longer manufactured, I’ll buy three of each to see me through my old age. I’ve already done it with NOS vacuum tubes of certain models and with turntables. (I’m an audiophile. Talk about a dying breed!)

        Death to the MP3! Stamp out earbuds!

        Michael

        • Rob Says:

          Ha! Cracked me up. I guess I would hoard pellets if I thought we were heading for a lead shortage!

          • MIke Says:

            Well……..get ready. The last lead smelter in the USA has closed. So, prices of bullets, lead shot, and pellets may well go up over time. On the other hand, lots of good pellets are imported anyway.

            Mike

            • Edith Gaylord Says:

              Mike,

              It’s my understanding that most of the lead came from overseas, and the last U.S.-based smelter was a very, very small piece of the pie. However, it would have been a nice domestic resource if the gov’t ever successfully limited the importation of lead products.

              Edith

            • Anonymous Says:

              The one that’s closing smelts “new” lead,,, from ore. The lead used in our pellets and bullets is ALL what is called “old” lead.. which is essentially recycled material. Lead is the most universally recycled material there is,, in fact,, lead acid batteries are where the vast majority of lead is used,, and there is a 98% recycling rate for them.

              By the way,, the same company that is closing it’s smelter,, has another facility a bit farther south, that processes the “old” lead,, it’s doing fine. So raw material won’t be the problem if the pellet supply runs low.
              Ed

    • RifledDNA Says:

      Don’t you read the news?! The U.S. is full of zombies already!

  • Bradly Says:

    B.B., again, a very good read, fitting of the times. I know of a person buying 3 bricks (there was a limit of three boxes, but the lady there I don’t think knew a brick was more than a box) of rimfire ammo that had just came in. Asked him does he shoot that often. He said hardly ever. That is just wrong. But when you say shortage of something and people can’t have/get it, then that tends to make them want it.
    Also, I loved “searching and seeing pics” of the .28-30-120. Wow was that a long round. At $15 a round of old, not too good of shape rounds and $29.95 per round for what looked like new rounds, I don’t think I’ll be buying any soon LOL. Really though, were these good under 100 yard deer rounds? My search didn’t bring up much history of them. I’ll do more research on them later, just don’t have time at this minute. Thanks, Bradly

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Bradly,

      The .28-30-120 cartridge is a classic schuetzen round. And, yes, it would be an ideal round for deer in the hands of a meat hunter, but not in the hands of the once-a-year kind of hunter.

      They cost around 5 cents per round when you reload.

      It’s power lies closer to the .32-40 than to the .32-20 cartridge.

      B,.B.

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        BB: Perhaps, we need to resurrect the British “Rook Rifle”‘ idea of the past , and apply the concept and the practice to airguns. Reasonable velocity , reasonable range, and woodsmanship. This “meat hunter” thinks the .32-20 is a wonderful short range ,lead bullet , black or smokeless powder , woods cartridge that can be loaded for pennies. It’s my Rook rifle , and yes you can kill a deer very dead with it …

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Robert,

          I’m all for that! I would love to own a rook rifle. Many years ago I did own a BSA Martini cadet that had been rechambered in 32/20. I’m sorry I got rid of it.

          B.B.

  • Beazer Says:

    Howdy Mr. BB, Ms. Edith & the Gang! No shootin’ for me for awhile. Just remembered I’ve got ALOT of bum fodder (toilet paper) & tuna fish buried deep in my backyard from the Y2K scare. Dog ate my map so I gotta lotta diggin’ ta do ta try ta find it!?! Might get some fishin’ in, as I figure I’ll find a good supply of worms & maybe even a Chinaman or 2. Have a great weekend al’la ya’ll. Shoot/ride safe.
    Beaz

    • Gunfun1 Says:

      And I know you will have fun every scoop of the way. :)

      I kind of added some words from that song. Every step of the way.

      And I can’t remember the name of it or who sings it for the life of me.

  • Rob Says:

    Hey BB, you asked me to remind you on Friday my suggestion from the other day (while you were traveling). My suggestion was a review of the Ruger Airhawk .177. I just got one and mine is a heck more than I expected for the price. The stock has a rich grain and no flaws; it looks better than the picture on the package. And the metalwork is all very well done. Even the trigger on mine is sweet– long with a strongly discernible 2nd (adjustable) stage.

    Anyway, I’m not the only one who has a good experience. I bought it on the numerous 5 star recommendations on PA. You are surely busy, but this is a gun that deserves a review because I think people would appreciate it.
    Rob

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Rob,

      Thank you for reminding me. I will order a Ruger Airhawk for testing.

      B.B.

    • RifledDNA Says:

      My blackhawk is an awesome, awesome, airgun, and for 98$, you bet I was pleasantly surprised, especially since I got it from returning a crunchy broken dirty overly heavy piece for the same price. It is ridiculously easy to work on too, it opens right up. I love my blackhawk and it will the first I have vowed to keep and not sell to finance the next, which has always been the way. Ruger has a winner with the hawk series, I’ve been tempted to try the Yukon and air magnum because of the quality of my hawk, eventually will once I really start collecting.

      • Rob Says:

        Hey, RDNA, I think you asked me the other day what scope I was using and I forgot to get back with you. It’s a Leapers 6×32 mil-dot AO. A nice bright scope.

        Remember I said I was shooting ok with the scope on my Airhawk but better with open sites. I must have had a loose ring…or I just got better at eye placement behind the scope (I think it was eye placement), but my scope shooting greatly improved yesterday. Hitting things I couldn’t see with the naked eye–you need a scope to do that!

        Re your Blackhawk, I would appreciate one of those as much as my Airhawk. The airhawk is a heavy gun, and the stock is so pretty that I devote a lot of time to keeping it safe. That’s difficult to do when you are shooting around sand, gravel, and cactus.
        Rob

        • RifledDNA Says:

          The synthetic stock on the blackhawk(elite) helps with not worrying, but I still baby it cause I like it so much, did you read my post below about the kid I talked ti that was buying one? That was awesome. I did a full clean/lube tune, trigger job, 13″ barrel. It is so smooth and clean firing now, feels like a much more expensive gun. I saw the wally near me has an x-2 beeman dual cal with wood stock, looks much nicer than the grizzly2 I traded for the hawk. Might add that ti the collection in the mean time of a big money gun. Definitely gonna clean it all out before I even rock it this time.

          • Rob Says:

            That’s funny that you talked to the WW kid. I talked to a guy in Bass Pro who was about to buy his 12 year old a !1500 fps! Springer (the guy was so excited.). I tried to chill him out a bit. I’d have bet money the kid couldn’t cock the rifle.

            I wish you could show me how to do the trigger job. Don’t you need a spring tensioner (or something) to catch the spring and replace it. I read that and didn’t want to take any chances messing with it. Anyway, can you mess with the Hawk with regular, not specialized, tools?

          • Rob Says:

            I’m with you. This is the best gun I’ve had. Maybe others have had expensive guns, but I haven’t. Regardless, I was plinking a can from 75 long paces today. That was fun. I can hit a larger object (small propane tank) regularly at a hundred paces, but not a pop can. To me, that was pretty ideal given the winds.

            Oh, I got some crosman heavies and they are good at a distance. The rws domes (8.3) are better (1 hole) at 15 paces. Nothing lighter than 8 grains groups at all.

            • kevin Says:

              Rob,

              Pardon? You’re shooting at a propane tank?

              kevin

              • Rob Says:

                Ha! Hey Kevin. Shooting at a propane tank sounds bad, doesn’t it? Yeah, I live where there are thousands of miles of BLM land. People use about every mountain as a firing range. Unfortunately they litter the place to no end with shells, cans, broken bottles, and targets (including TV sets, computers, and propane tanks in this case). So the tank I was shooting at had already been executed a couple of hundred times.

                Of course I never bring targets when shooting. I just line up whatever trash other people have brought and left. It’s pretty disgusting really that shooters have made such a stinking mess of so much pristine land. Just taken advantage of their right to shoot there. Gives everyone a bad name for people who only want to come out and hike. It’s Nevada btw.
                Rob

  • RifledDNA Says:

    Dave, Gunfun1, Feinwerk, and Wulfread- thanks for all the great advise and saving once to pay twice, should be a proverb in B.B. airgunning bible he’s writing…. I will certainly take my time and narrow it down, on another note, I was so excited to have been in wally land at just the right moment we earlier when a newbie was picking out pellets with his brother and father to load in to the new blackhawk he had in his hands. I gave them the full gospel on pellets and weights and what was available in the stores and about pyramyd air. After all the explaining about what was good and why and why the 5.56grain lethals were not the best for that gun, he was so happy to here all this info and was all set with a tin of cphps and gamo rockets, ready to get that rabbit in their yard, but had one more question he says, where does the air go…. no kidding, I was then honored with the chance to explain what his new breakbarrel was and how it worked, and what the rest of the shelf was real quick. They were all hyped up and ready for the start of their airgunning adventures,and I got to be there to give them a huge headstart! And promote pyramyd! What a treat.

  • john Says:

    I have some home defense rounds in 380. When I load then into my semi-auto magazine, the last round takes so much force against the spring that sometimes the bullet gets pushed somewhat into the shell. So now that last round is a slightly shorter length. Should it be discarded or can it be fixed without special tools? The magazines have remained loaded during pistol’s ~20yr life.

    • /Dave Says:

      John,

      If you have a friend who reloads ask him to fix it. He can carefully tap it out with an inertia puller. If not, discard it. Don’t fire it since it may over pressure and spontaneously disassemble your gun… If a mag doesn’t want to accept that last round, leave it out and accept the 1 round reduced capacity. That’s easier on the mag spring of you’re going to leave it loaded for long periods anyway.

      /Dave

  • nowhere Says:

    Ok, I’ve never had to buy firearm ammunition as so far all my firearm shooting has been when a friend invited me out to try their guns and they never took me up on my offer to pay for the rounds I shot so I really didn’t know what the various types of rounds cost. I’m a bit surprised: .22LR went for less than $0.02 per round on sale when bought in a 500 round brick?!?! How can they break even let alone make a profit at that price? A .22 rimfire is pretty simple and I can see how ammunition lends itself well to mass production but I never would have thought that a price that low was feasible. It must have been a reasonable price but I would love to read up on the economics of manufacturing these items that allowed a nominal $20 brick and a sale price of half that just to see how it’s done.

  • Rob Says:

    Nowhere, read this article from the Washington Post. It details what makes, especially recently, the gun and ammo industry so lucrative.

    Pertinent to your question about ammo, I will paraphrase a corporate analyst. He says in the article that ammo is one of the most profitable parts of the industry, “you sell a gun for $3000 and by the time the owner is 80, he’s spent $10,000 on ammo.”

    The article really shows an industry in glowing health.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/19/seven-facts-about-the-u-s-gun-industry/

  • Jerry in Texas Says:

    I am about ready to “pull the trigger” on a high-end PCP rifle, my first. I still don’t have the “air supply” issue settled. I am looking at an Air Arms S510 Xtra FAC Sidelever. It meets my wants/needs. I just visited my neighborhood fire station to see if they would fill a 4500 psi carbon fiber tank. Nope. Too much liability. The SCUBA shops won’t fill it either. I found a paintball shop that will fill it with nitrogen. Is that OK to use?

    Thanks
    Jerry

    • kevin Says:

      Jerry,

      Where in Texas are you?

      Why won’t your scuba shops fill your tank?

      I found my latest fill station by asking the local fire stations, that don’t have their own compressors, where they get their tanks filled to 4,500 psi.

      kevin

    • Gunfun1 Says:

      They probably aint figured out yet there is a market in it. Where they could make money filling them.

    • Gunfun1 Says:

      Jerry
      I started out with the Benjamin hand pump. Mostly because I didnt want to depend on other resources. It didnt take me long to figure out that I needed a ShoeBox compressor because I realized that pcp’s was going to be the next big thing in airguns and that was the type of gun I was going to concentrate on getting.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Jerry,

      Yes, nitrogen is safe to use. As you know, air is comprised of over 78 percent nitrogen and nitrogen is an inert gas. It’s used as a long-term preservative.

      B.B.

      • Michael Says:

        Pure (well, you know, mostly pure) nitrogen molecules are also larger than air, so it might even not leak in a tank that is otherwise an EXTREMELY slow leaker. Tire centers will sometimes try to sell a nitrogen tire fill with a new set with the pitch that it is less likely to develop a slow leak.

        Usually, however, nitrogen would be more expensive than HPA. If you could rent long term (from a welding supplier) a BIG tank of nitrogen with a fine regulator and the proper hoses and connectors at, say 6000 psi you probably could get one heckuva lot of fills. This would be one extremely heavy steel tank, however.

        Just be sure the tank of nitrogen you have isn’t LIQUID nitrogen, LOL, which in an insulated vacuum cylinder is around 320 degrees below zero!

        Michael

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Michael,

          Nitrogen is an element. It isn’t a molecule, it is an atom, like oxygen.

          B.B.

          • Michael Says:

            B.B.,

            Ah! I stand corrected. Science was never my forte. (I also was never much good at it. ;^)

            In my defense, I had been told that nitrogen stuff by an atom, but you can never trust ‘em — they make up everything.

            Michael

          • Wulfraed Says:

            Though free oxygen usually appears as an O2 molecule (rarer: O3 “ozone”).

            And if I understand Wikipedia (and no one has erred), the common form of nitrogen is also as a diatomic molecule: N2

  • Herb Says:

    LOL – Hoarding Shortages

    I always think of Johnny Carson when I head about a hoarding shortage. He had a monolog where a bit was about the toilet paper shortage. Well folks went to the store and bought twice as much. The next folks noticed noticed that the shelves were a bit more empty than usual, and bought three times a much as normal. All of a sudden the shelves were bare. A couple of days latter Carson had a better monolog about how he had inadvertently caused the toilet paper shortage. He urged folks to just buy what they needed and that the shelves would be full again soon. As I remember through it took a couple of weeks for the whole thing to settle down.

  • Anonymous Says:

    When you say hoarding, I cannot help but think of the dragon, Smaug. It’s not hard to think of the gold coins he sits on as brass shell casings. Anyway, the Benedict Cumberbatch voice-over I’ve been listening to is just hysterical. “I know the smell and taste of dwarf! No one better!” This is British English at its best.

    Seriously, the hoarding is a massive inconvenience. I thought this country was hurting economically. Where do people get the money to buy all this ammo which is not cheap? I rejoiced to see that Wolf match ammo was on-sale again, though not from Midway, but perhaps that’s gone as well. Thank goodness I bought a case a few years ago. The way to beat hoarding is to hoard…

    Gunfun1, yes I have seen videos of the goshawk like you showed. What a projectile coming out of that tube with its beaks and claws. And I understand that goshawks are incredible vicious and tenacious and will run their prey down when the undergrowth gets to thick even for them to fly through.

    Matt61

    • Gunfun1 Says:

      Matt61
      I really hope the hording thing dont take off with pellets. One of the reasons I shoot airguns is because how reasonable the cost is. Its a shame how when something is in demand somebody will find a way to make money from it.

      And we have a variaty of hawks that are in my area. I love watching them hunt. They get pretty agresive at times. We have I think big turkey hawks. Even for thier size they can still manuever good.

  • J. Says:

    I’m probably going to date myself a bit, but I can remember buying .22 rim-fire when I was a lad for $1 for 50 shots (before taxes). That works out to about $.02 per pop. A couple weeks ago I priced .22 rim-fire at a local gun store that wanted $3.50 for 25 shots, or $.14 per pop. That’s the first time I’ve seen .22 rim-fire in a local store since 2009 or 2010, but its too rich for my blood.

    That limited availability (and high price when it is available) is one reason why I shoot 4.5mm pellets for my plinking. I don’t really want to pay more than $.01 or .02 per shot (which is why I shoot cheap pellets and BBs) when I’m plinking soda cans at 50 feet.

  • Fr3d Says:

    Why are PCP Airguns so expensive compared to .22 rimfires? Does NOT seem to make economic sense, just bad value.
    I’m a hunter and .22LR has better range, better knock-down, cheaper mods, all for a lot less money.

    Ruger 10/22 .22 long rifle $250
    Marlin 795 .22 long rifle $160
    Benjamin Marauder PCP .22 air rifle $520
    AirForce Talon SS PCP .22 Air Rifle $590
    Hand pump $180

    Yes I know that it is very difficult to make an airgun, requires space age technology and exceptional craftsmanship … BUT … I can buy 4 Marlin 795 .22 rimfires for the price of 1 PCP Airgun and hand pump.

    Can anybody make a reasonable case why a PCP is better value than 2 .22LR rifles with scopes and gun bags and cleaning kit and bricks of ammo.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      FR3d,

      I can answer that easily!

      First, a PCP does not cost 4 times as much as the Marlin 795. The Benjamin Discovery sells for just $260 — less than twice what the Marlin costs. Yet the Disco will out-shoot a tuned Ruger 10/22, until more than $600 addition has been poured into it.

      Next, the Disco shoots ammo that costs much less than .22 rimfire rounds cost today. True, it doesn’t develop the same energy, but for plinking and target shooting, it doesn’t matter. And, when ammo is hard to come by, pellets aren’t. And air is free.

      Yes, there are start-up costs, and every person has to decided whether airguns are for them. But once decided, the airgunner has far more opportunities to shoot these days than the rimfire shooter.

      That’s why the PCP is so desirable.

      And, welcome to the blog.

      B.B.

      • Fr3d Says:

        Thank you for the welcome B.B. I appreciate your insightful blog and the great roundtables on American Airgunner. Wish I could just get the roundtables without all the other gumf and adverts.

        Marauders are good value when compared to other airguns (thats why I bought 2) but lousy value compared to rimfires IMHO.

        As for the first post introduction, I couldn’t think of anything relevant or that would add any value to this topic.
        Last year I treated myself to a PRod and a .22 MRod. I imported about $2000 worth of airgun, pellets, scopes, laser range finder, gun bags and hand-pump because everything costs at least double here in Africa. I have had some fun with the PRod, accutrate in close, light, highly portable but it is a little limited in range and too noisy for covert urban feral pigeon thumping.

        The MRod is way too heavy and cumbersome and visible, I haven’t put more than 10 shots through it yet. I really wanted it as a crow basher but it too big & heavy to schlep around in the car. I thought of getting a bullpup stock but they are $375 or $465. Folders and bullpups for the 10/22 are less than half that price, $100 to $150.

        Does anybody know if there has been a shoot off competition between off the shelf Marauders and rimfires?? Field Target competition for stock airguns vs stock rimfires? I’d love to see that.

        • Edith Gaylord Says:

          Fr3d,

          Years ago, I shot BRV (benchrest), and the organizer originally had competitions for both airguns & rimfires. If memory serves, he discontinued the rimfire competition because their accuracy couldn’t hold a candle to airguns.

          Edith

          • Fr3d Says:

            Hi Edith
            I agreed with everything BB said in his post but his (and your) comment that airguns are more accurate than rimfires really caught me off balance. I would never have guessed that and now I have new eyes for my Marauder :-)

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Fr3d,

          I haven’t done that, but I did just finish a .22 rimfire test with a target rifle. It did about as well as a Marauder, but certainly no better. I have done a series of features on the 10/22 for Shotguns News and the best I ever got with a tuned and accessorized rifle (and a 10/22 Target) was just over half and inch at 50 yards for 10 shots. I’ve done the same with a Marauder in calm weather.

          B.B.

    • Wulfraed Says:

      Unmentioned:

      Economy of Scale…

      Given how much airguns are viewed as “toys” by much of the US market, while .22LR guns are seen as the entry-level “real gun/firearm”, many more .22LRs are sold than hunting grade airguns — and they are easier to shoot with some accuracy (vs “artillery hold” spring gun). That means the makers recoup the costs of machinery much sooner, and the rest is all profit.

      Consider the Rascal http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/savage-rascal-22-single-shot-youth-rifle-review/

      About the price of many mid-range spring guns, and even less than a Daisy 853 (a single stroke pneumatic designed for 10m target use; no capability for squiddle hunting).

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