What we need now: A look at some possibilities

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

This report covers:

• What airgun manufacturers ought to do
• Fix only what is broken
• What do we need next?
• Accurate barrel
• Good sights
• Better triggers
• Better bedding
• Take out the vibration
• Lighten the cocking effort!

When I first encountered the new Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 at the SHOT Show this year, I remember how impressed I was that an airgun company was able to put so many spot-on innovations into a single airgun. One or two of them, perhaps, but not all of them.

Yesterday, I read two comments that started the wheels spinning in my head. One was from a new blog reader named jerbob, who told me his Air Venturi Bronco is more accurate with open sights than with a scope because the barrel moves sideways at the pivot point. Since both the front and rear open sights are mounted on the barrel, it doesn’t matter when it moves from side to side — sighting will correct for that. But a scope mounts on the spring tube behind the barrel; so when the barrel moves, the sight doesn’t and that throws the accuracy off.

After that, blog reader Gunfun1 asked what will be the next thing to improve accuracy in airguns. That catalyzed the thought for today’s report. This is an open letter to the airgun industry. It could be titled, “What they ought to do.”

Fix only what’s broken
When I worked on the Air Venturi Bronco, I noticed that the rifle it’s based on (also called the Mendoza RM-10 Bronco) was accurate, so I didn’t touch the barrel. It also had a wonderful two-stage trigger, so I left that alone.

On the other hand, it had fiberoptic open sights, which I changed into plain sights, because shooters who shoot targets prefer them. Fiberoptics are okay for close-range shooting, but for precision — they’re not good. The muzzlebrake on the rifle was too short, so it was doubled in length. An oil hole on the spring tube was not drilled, eliminating the temptation to over-oil the gun and cause detonations. Finally, the horrible wood stock that rendered the gun unsalable in the U.S. was swapped for a Western-style stock that’s an island of style in a sea of lookalike breakbarrels.

In short, the original rifle had good points that were retained, but it also had bad points that were eliminated.

What do we need next?
This is the open letter portion of today’s report. It’s a free consultation on airgun design, so you can see what airgunners want and are willing to pay for. And that last part is important because it’s no good to give someone what they say they want if they have neither the means nor the inclination to buy one.

1. We need an accurate barrel. American barrelmakers have the ability to make accurate barrels, if they would just pay attention to what works. What makes a barrel accurate is the following:

• Uniformity
• Dimensions that compliment the available pellets
• Stability

Uniformity means the inside dimensions of the barrel are held to close tolerances throughout the barrel’s length. How the barrel is rifled can affect this: Rifle it too fast. Or use the wrong barrel steel. Or use poorly made or worn tooling (buttons and broaches) that will cause the tolerances to grow. But there’s something that can be done to improve almost any barrel, and that is to choke it at the muzzle. Pay attention to a uniform crown, too, and the barrel will benefit.

Pellets come in certain standard sizes, so the barrels for them should, too. But there are barrels on some guns that are so oversized they have no chance for accuracy. They may be very uniform and even have a good choke; but if they’re too large on the inside, they aren’t going to work.

The barrel needs to be stable at certain times. On a spring gun, it has to be stable when the breech is locked. So put the means of tightening the barrel lockup into the gun. In short — stop using pins at barrel pivot joints. Use bolts that can be tightened and give some thought to the side-to-side play at the breech. An airgun doesn’t have to cost $200 for the breech to lock up tight if some thought is given to the design before it’s produced.

On a precharged pneumatic, the barrel has to be free from the influence of the reservoir. If the barrel moves as the reservoir flexes with changes to internal pressure, the gun will never be accurate.

2. We need good sights. They don’t have to be expensive, but they do have to be good. This is such a large area of concern that I can’t cover it in several blogs, so I’m not going to be specific now. What I will say, and what has to happen, is for the manufacturer to shoot their own guns and see how good (or bad) their sights are. Not just how they look when passing the gun around the conference table, but when you try to shoot a tight group at long range. How do the sights help or hinder you then?

3. We need better triggers. Fortunately, I see some companies doing something about this. AirForce Airguns introduced their new trigger a year ago; Hatsan, Gamo and Crosman have all come out with better triggers in recent times. But there is still room for improvement. No one can afford to produce a Rekord-type trigger these days, but the two-bladed unit in a Mendoza rifle is pretty nice. If your company employs an engineer on staff, make better triggers part of his or her job. If you don’t employ one full-time, consider hiring consultants.

4. We need better bedding. This complaint is as old as airguns. Airguns shoot loose. You have to tighten the screws often. And the screws often bear unevenly on wood stocks, compressing them so they will never get tight. Why is that? Why hasn’t some company come up with a way to bed an airgun action so it doesn’t move around? Maybe AirForce has done it by eliminating the stock altogether; but for conventional guns, the problem persists.

5. Take out the vibration! Crosman just gave us a huge lesson in removing vibration from a gas-spring gun. To see what they did, read my first 2014 SHOT Show report. It’s obvious this can be done with careful design. It’s a cheap way to make a gun better, but those who don’t want to do it will say they can’t hold manufacturing tolerances that close. Well — Crosman did it. I you look at what they did, the tolerances aren’t that close! Stop making excuses for what can’t be done and start figuring out how to do it!

6. Lighten the cocking effort! This one is key, but you’ll never get a focus group of shooters to say it. But what do they buy after learning their lessons with hard-cocking spring rifles? They buy guns they can shoot — over and over. Let the youngsters play with the portable exercise machines, real airgunners who shoot a lot and like their sport come back to guns they can handle.

That’s what I think. We don’t need a lot of gee whiz technology. What we need is some serious attention to detail.

92 thoughts on “What we need now: A look at some possibilities

  1. Lots of food for thought there. A lot just comes down to good qc by people who care about the product and are not just looking for another paycheck or how this job title looks on their resume/CV…

    Airguns are and always have been a pile of compromises that are hopefully piled together weighted on the proper sides. Mfg’s seem to be slipping a bit off balance these days, but you can’t really blame them when that’s what sells. We “real” airgunners are really a minority part in their market share. Too bad they don’t listen to this minority though,… I think if they did they’d be surprised at what happens to their reputations and sales figures.

    /Dave


  2. My most favorite saying of all time has been. “Simple but effective”

    I think the less things you have to worry about the better off you are. I believe if they would concentrate on the ergonomics of the stocks more we would have better shooting guns. I think that’s pretty simple.

    And they don’t need to put a crazy expensive trigger in the gun, They just need to have one in the gun that has a lesser pull weight than what the gun weighs. I’m serious how do they think a gun can be accurate when you pull a 8 pound trigger on a 6 pound gun. Yes the nice sharp break is nice; but not if it takes me almost 2 fingers to pull the trigger.

    And barrels that’s a whole nother story. The barrel has to be right for what they want the gun to do. And everybody knows there are company’s out there that can make a barrel. I would think that somebody would take note and start getting those barrels in their guns.

    And BB I had to laugh when you talked about setting around the table and passing the gun around. And you said they should get out there and shoot it for themselves.

    We went through that at work. And for the people that don’t know me I’m a machinist. But we would get a new product that we were supposed to make. Or the customer would be having a problem with a part. Maybe it was in assembly or even part failure. So we all would get together at the table in the conference room and they would ask how are we going to improve our process.

    Different people at the table would say well we need to go to a different type of tooling. Or possibly make it in a different machine, or even break the process up into different steps with multiple machines.

    You know what the first question is I asked them when the part got in my hands and it was my turn to talk. I asked what exactly does this part do in the product that it is assembled to. How and what is that part that it mates to like. Then I would ask how does this product get used. Then I would ask how does it get assembled. I remember one of the engineers at the table asking me why and the world was I wanting to know that. He said we make the part we have to figure out how to produce it better.

    I told him real quick that we should already be producing a quality part. And I started to tell him it makes all the difference in the world how this part is used we are making. And the owner of our company interrupted me while I was finishing my sentence as we both said the same thing together at the same time to that engineer. The owner of our company came in at the point were I was saying it made all the difference in the world how this part was being used. So you know were that went. Meeting over and new meeting with the correct information the next go round. And It ended up that they were stressing the parts when they got assembled. A Denason multi-press if I’m remembering right assembled the parts and the pods wasn’t holding the part correct when it stamped. There was no fracture at assembly but it must of been there and not visible till they put it to use. I suggested a a ultrasound water test after the parts were pressed together and that’s how they found the cracks.

    And I totally believe the best way to improve or learn about something is that you have your hands on that object and you are learning what its made of. And before you change something understand totally how one thing changed could affect multiple things in the end. And remember that simple designs some times work better than complex designs. And sometimes them simple designs do cost more when you buy them but your not seeing what goes into whats making that design simple in the end. I call that ghost operations. Things are happening that you will never ever see or know about when you get your product that you think somebody is charging to much for.


    • GF1,

      I have been at those roundtable discussions and I have seen many of the people at thew table who were not shooters. Yet their voice and opinion was given equal weight with those who were.

      B.B.


    • Great story, GF1. Now the re-engineering can begin once the problem has been revealed. The solution has to be the cheapest and easiest (sometimes not the same) to solve the problem of the stress fracturing.

      I’ve always observed that if your CEO and staff are not enthusiasts of the particular product being made (anything from cars to cameras to bowling pins), then the interest will not be there to have pride in the product being produced. Only the bottom line is important. Don’t get me wrong, bottom line is very important but if the enterprise is going to survive, the product must be quality and competitively priced.

      Fred DPRoNJ

      Fred DPRoNJ.


      • Fred thanks. And you wont believe how many more times I sat in that conference room discussing issues.

        And I think it took about 6 months and that engineer found a different job. I just smiled and said to him when he was leaving that day. Just remember what in the world matters. :)


    • I know just what you mean, I’ve been thinking hard about the mrod and its price, and I finally realized a gun that wins you on paper is not the same as the gun that wins you in your hands, and that’s where it counts. People love the marauder and are glad they bought it, that automatically proves it is worth the price, its an owner determines a things value, buy it or don’t, like you said. Thanks gunfun1, I come for the wisdom, got to keep that in mind!


      • RDNA
        I found out for me anyway the more open minded I am. The happier I am at the end of the day.

        And heres a saying Im sure that has been heard before. “live and learn” Its when yor not learning is when the problems happen. :)


        • I don’t think its coincidence that when we think we know everything we are infallibly proven wrong, there by learning, as long as we learn from our mistakes. If we are always learning, and learn most from our mistakes, its a wonder Im not smarter… lol. That’s where the “as long as”, comes in I guess! ;)


          • RDNA
            Oh yes I know exactly what you mean by mistakes.

            I know for sure there are things I wont do again.

            Thats why I hope these air gun companys are listenig like BB says they are.

            The quicker they learn and start to implament the changes the better off they will be. The longer they take to make things right. The more fuel they are adding to the fire. And you know what happens when there is a forest fire. Its hard to put it out.


            • I agree, airgunners deserve to have products that are up to the same strict scrutiny of firearms or tools for that matter. Rarely have I seen a firearm without sights, and we know its to save a buck. Its almost like a simple screwdriver, you can buy the cheap finnagle ones where you put the tips on, but the plain old screwdriver will never fall off. I don’t like having to find a tip for a screwdriver, and I honestly hate zeroing in scopes….. maybe they didn’t hear, I HATE ZEROING IN SCOPES!! Lol, I do hope the companies pay attention, I know of few other places they could get better advise on how to satisfy the customers, in turn increasing sales, regardless of price increases, we understand inflation, we will work with you!


              • Rarely have I seen a firearm without sights,

                Neither my Ruger 77/17 nor my Browning A-Bolt II Varmint came with sights. It is expected that one is going to install a scope on them.

                While my Ruger MK-II Gov’t Comp Target model came with adjustable sights, it also came with a scope base (though it turns out I had to buy the extended base in order to fit a red-dot sight — the space between the rings on the stock base didn’t allow the the extended “turret bulge” of a red-dot).

                My Father’s Sako Finnwolf does have iron sights — but only the front sight is actually “part of” the gun; the rear sight is a peep sight the fits on the scope base.

                And I believe current production M4/M16 don’t come with fixed-to-gun sights either — even the open/peep iron sights are modules that clamp to the Picattiny “scope” rail.


  3. Well B.B.–really?

    I am astonished. Can you have an airgun manufacturing company without an engineer? I’m just surprised. I would have thought they were bustling with engineers. It sounds like Old Rob could start his own company…for no particular reason.

    And your suggestions? Are these not things that are fundamental to design? Barrels, triggers, stocks? I’m just amazed if they’re not.

    The other day I had to carve niches in my stock so that I could tighten my barrel hinge joint without removing my stock…and I was like–why can’t I access this bolt that is only half visible? Why am I having to hack up my stock? It was because no one thought to make the bolt accessible!

    Well, I learn something new everyday here. Often, I learn how cleverly a rifle is fitted. Today, I learn that at least some manufacturers give their rifles no thought beyond sales.

    Can I add some of my own gripes? I’ve heard them before so I know a focus group has iterated this at least once to the manufacturers.

    1. Add steel sites to every rifle!
    2. Don’t make the rifle so heavy–that’s worse than cocking weight if you are doing anything other than bench shooting.
    3. Stop making sixteen styles of the same power plant…it’s a waste of money and it confuses me! Make one or three solid valuable types of airgun and save the ‘styling’ for the salon. Learn from the car makers and consolidate (Crosman).
    4. Take BBs advice and integrate the stock to the power plant. I get so irritated thinking I’m wrong…when really my rifle is just falling apart! Fix it! I could design it and I’m not an engineer.

    I could add a lot more, but one last peeve..

    4. Don’t brag that your pellets/guns break the speed of light when they actually do not. I don’t want them to break the speed of light and you look like prevaricators when you make false claims…and THAT makes you look UNTRUSTWORTHY.

    A positive note, Airgunning has been revolutionized in the past 10 years. That’s a very good thing. Technology breakthroughs that help the sport are welcome. Thanks to those who have helped make those technologies real.
    Rob


    • Rob,

      Surprised you, did I? Well, get ready for more! Some airgun companies have no one that shoots on staff! That’s where the guns that weigh 10 pounds and cock with 58 pounds of effort come from. And you talk to them at the SHOT Show and they are talking cars and golf!

      B.B.


      • “Surprised me” is a massive understatement. I had to check–literally–because I first read this in the middle of a dreamy night…is this an April Fools joke?

        I just really thought the market would clear out the inefficiencies that are tied to ignorance (yeah, was an economics major). I’m really gobsmacked. How in the world do these companies begin and maintain? Do they literally buy all the component parts and have them assembled with marketing Made in America? I just really don’t know how they do it.

        NAME NAMES, B.B. :) I never want to buy anything from such a soulless company.


        • Rob,

          prior to Harley Davidson being bought by AMF back in the late 60′s, their engineering staff was composed of shade tree mechanics, self taught engineers and motorcycle enthusiasts. Not a fluid dynamics or metalurgy engineer to be found in Milwaukee. AMF brought them up to almost modern manufacturing standards but without quality control but at least they had manufacturing engineers on staff. When HD was bought out by the employees and Vaughn Beals ran the company in the mid 80′s I believe, engineering took front and center and worked arm in arm with the stylists (Willie Davidson, the grandson of the founder who recently retired as the lead designer). Who needs engineers that are passionate about their work?

          Interesting, no?

          Fred DPRoNJ


        • Rob,

          I’ll tell you why I don’t give out names. People change. Good people come and go, and so do bad people. Sometimes the whole management changes and that can go both ways, too.

          So I will continue to look at the products and not who is putting them out. That way I do my job and they can do theirs.

          B.B.


      • B.B. and Rob,

        If a lazily-engineered, low quality, magnum spring air weighs well over 9 pounds with a scope, one of the things I suspect is that some of that weight is there intentionally, to reduce recoil, barrel rise, vibration, hold-sensitivity, etc.

        Michael


      • BB
        You know that is the truth. How can something be good if there is no passion there. You have to want something and have a desire for it to make it happen. If that’s not there the product will get made. But I know from what I have seen through time. It wont be long before that company or person is done and out of business if the passion and desire is not there.


    • Hi Rob

      You said it for me man. Agree with you on all. Just hate it when I have to take off the stock to tighten the barrel hinge. Also the plastic rear sights. I store the gun in my cupboard & if the sight touches the side I have to twist the blade in the opposite
      direction as it has taken a set. Just hope they listen to BB and do things right if they want to attract genuine customers.

      Errol


      • Like Rob and you and others have said, I cut out the half circle from over the barrel screw, it doesn’t tighten enough to eliminate wobble because the breech block is not fitted tight enough, (np), but the fury2 blackout np I had did not have this problem. Im contemplating shimming it but will need a paper thin steel washer Im figuring, anything else will be to fragile that thin, get mangled.


  4. G’day BB,
    Just noticed that Crosman have a 12 shot C02 semi auto in .177 available for AU$200 in Oz. That is a bargain! What are they like?
    Apart from air rifles, semi autos are illegal in Oz unless you have special license. All because of that maniac that shot all those people in Tasmania.
    I had to hand in my Ruger 10/22 which I adored.
    Cheers Bob


    • Bob,

      Please get me a model number or name. Crosman has several guns they call semiautos, but only one I know of really is. At the price you quote, I think that may be it — the Nightstalker (in the U.S.). If so, that is a wonderful airgun!

      B.B.




        • Bob,

          Okay, the 1077 isn’t really semiautomatic. Crosman calls it that, but they are being somewhat vague. It’s a double action revolver, so you are going to feel the trigger cock the hammer each time you pull it. So the trigger pull is long, hard and creepy.

          That aside, the rifle is accurate and a lot of fun to shoot. I own two at the moment.

          B.B.



      • G’day Robert,
        Longarm firearms are divided into 4 categories A B C D.
        A Air rifles, Rim-fires B/A, Shotguns B/A
        B Centre-Fires B/A
        C Self-Loading Rim-fires and Shotguns less than 5 rounds
        D Self-Loading Centre-fires unlimited rounds.
        Pistols are another category.
        The further you go down the list you have to have stronger and stronger reasons to acquire what you need. If you cull camels from a helicopter category D is handy.
        Cheers Bob


  5. Good morning all,
    I would like to add one more thing that should be improved on and that is the barrel lockup issues with most of the break barrels out there. Crosman still uses those cheap plastic pivot washers and other companies do the same thing. Go to any airgun forum and search for lockup issues to find out 99% of shooters either make their own or buy after market brass washers. Also, it seems like the older Crosmans with the 2 chisel design locks up tighter over the crossbar and chisel design. No wonder people mount a scope and then realize their groups scatter like a shotgun. The barrel has to repeat to the same lockup point or it will never be accurate with a scope.


  6. The way I see it…..

    Airgun companies have no incentive to fix anything. They know how to shovel the hype and gimmickry to get sales. They offer the illusion (or is it delusion) that the latest model is the most fantastic thing on earth, and the public sucks it up over and over and never learns.

    twotalon


    • I think Gunfun has stated the main problems very clearly and I to have had some of the same discussions in a conference room full of upper management and engineers while working at Harley. They would call them town hall meetings. The management and engineers would ask the same questions as to why we were having troubles in testing some of the new design parts we were sent or why we would report that a new prototype parts did not fit with out us having to modify the part or change the procedure fro installing the part from what the work order from the engineer stated for a installation procedure.

      When several of the test mechanics including myself would ask if these new prototype parts were even test fit to a motorcycle in Milwaukee first before they were sent to us to install and test on our durability fleet bikes. We would either get dumb looks and comments that stated that it worked on CAD drawing mock up in the computer program or we were not installing per instructions. Heaven forbid if we would state that the part did not fit or could not be installed per their instructions due to one or another part of the bike interfering with the fit of the prototype part or having to remove other parts to put it on and then modify the removed parts in order to reassemble the bike back to a safe functioning machine.

      It happened way more than most people would think and really seemed like some young engineer would design a new part to get the highly sought after praise from Willie G. Davidson for making a cheaper better design. They would never even check to see if it actually fit on the bike in Milwaukee before it was sent to us to test. There were about 5 engineers that had been with Harley for 30+ years that would actually bring their parts down to us in Talladega to make sure that they did fit right and help supervise/understand what if any issues were encountered. There was two that had started as experimental mechanic’s at Harley and went to school for their engineering degrees while at Harley. their part most always fit and performed properly and when they did not or we saw something that could be changed to improve it they listened and responded openly to our input. That was one of the best reasons/ incentives the test mechanics had to perform at 100% all the time because when the good engineers would listen and respond to our suggestions and implement them into the parts you felt like you were making a difference. I know there were several parts/designs that I had a direct influence on by reporting my finding/suggestions to those few engineers that realized their test mechanics were a very valuable tool in their design and production of new prototype parts.
      Buldawg


      • buldawg
        You got it dead on also. It just. drives me crazy when they put the stuff on paper and say here you go.
        What we have learned to do overtime is let them give us the the parts and pieces and then before we even touch anything we all get together out on the shop floor and have are own little conference.

        We then outline the problem areas that we see and take it back to the owner of the company which luckily is very involved in engineering of projects and things that are going on in the company. He will actually come out and help. He is now well in his upper 70′s also.

        But what happens then the owner has a conference with the engineers and things come back out to us more in line with what we discussed and saw between us on the floor. We done it the engineers way in the past and it costed the company alot of money. So that’s why it works this way now.

        But it just amazes me how; well no way to say it but ignorant how somebody could think something would work right with out knowing how and what all was involved with the parts and products when they were together and finished.


  7. Regarding PCPs: Keep/bring the fill pressures down. We don’t all have access to HPA and pumping to 3k+ can be grueling if you intend to shoot for long sessions.


    • +1 to that Danger. That is one good thing about the Crosman Discovery (I believe B.B. had a hand in that). The fill pressure is just 2000 psi. There is also someone out there doing a QB PCP around 1500 psi.


  8. Spot on free advice.

    The manufacturers of entry level springers should copy todays article and replace their mission statement in the company manual with it.

    The reason most won’t is because the majority of entry level springer manufacturers have convinced each other that maximum velocity should be the goal. Until one of them breaks from the herd and makes their primary goal ACCURACY from the new springer they’re designing none of this spot on advice will register.

    Only when accuracy becomes the goal will you recognize that most items on this list of “What you ought to do” are what the aftermarket almost always addresses as the shortcomings in most entry level springers.

    Look at the the aftermarket for triggers. Consider the old 3 ball diana or whisco pressed plate trigger as examples of design for your new trigger.

    “Stop using pins at the barrel pivot joints” is critical advice to heed. Even the best aftermarket modders can’t fix this.

    kevin


  9. Well, there ARE companies out there who make a refined accurate gun. They must know how. That gives them a huge advantage in the marketplace.

    I guess I finally understand why their airguns are so danged high priced–they’re taking the time to do things right. And there’s not much competition at that strata.
    Rob


  10. A bit off the topic at hand …

    I received the Pyramid catalog late last week and as usual I especially enjoyed BB’s articles. Recently I had an old catalog with the Rekord trigger article on the workbench as I worked on an old Beeman I’d purchased. Those catalog articles can be real gems.

    One thing in the new catalog that caught my attention was the new FWB Sport. Eye-watering price and seems a bit heavy but is this a new version of the 124?

    Any more info you can give us on this airgun? Will it be reviewed at some point?



      • Edith,

        Since you’re not busy……………..

        In the PA description of the new FWB Sport it says, “11mm dovetail grooves with 5 scope-stop holes”.

        This is misleading and will potentially result in customers purchasing scope mounts that have vertical scope-stop pins thinking they will work on their new FWB Sport. They won’t but they will gouge the bluing/finish on their new, expensive FWB Sport.

        “11mm dovetail grooves with 5 shallow slots for proprietary scope mounts” seems closer to accurate. In this same vein, PA needs to consider carrying the sportsmatch mounts that were made for the FWB guns with the cross slots since they’re planning on carrying the new FWB Sport.

        kevin


        • Kevin,

          I changed the description per your direction, found 3 mounts on the Sportsmatch website made for the Sport (and the Webley Patriot), and sent an email to Pyramyd Air’s president and purchasing agent. No moss gathers on this rolling stone :-)

          The scoped Webley Patriot we’ve been selling for years seems to be doing just fine without Sportsmatch mounts, even though it has the same slots for those hardened crosspins. And I know the Patriot has some serious recoil (and probably a LOT more than the FWB Sport). BTW, Tom also said he thought the BKL mounts should hold due to superior clamping pressure.

          Edith


          • Edith,

            Agree completely that the BKL’s are a good “work around”. On magnum springers they’re often the only solution IF YOU KNOW THE TRICK.

            Out of the box the BKL mounts work well on low-medium powered springers. BUT, for magnum springers even the BKL’s will walk if you don’t do the following.

            Take your BKL’s out of the box and tighten the bottom screws (the ones that secure the mount(s) to the dovetail. This is a critical step.

            Let sit for an hour.

            Loosen the screws. The mount will no longer fit your dovetails (if it does fit you bought a BKL set of mounts for a 13mm dovetail for your 11mm dovetail gun. Buy the correct 11mm BKL mounts for your gun).

            Take one of the lower screws out of the bottom of the mount, insert it into the threaded hole on the opposite side of the BKL mount and tighten until the mount can slide onto your dovetail. Inserting this screw into the opposite side of the BKL mount to “SPREAD” the feet of the mount in order to get it onto larger than average dovetails is common knowledge. What isn’t common knowledge is that if you don’t tighten the bottom screws first before mounting and you have an average or undersized dovetail on your gun (like aa pe’s and fwb’s) BKL’s won’t be secure and they’ll walk.

            kevin


      • Edith I was going to let you know this the other day and I forgot. Remember when I said I was getting multiple emails that were the same. Never got multiple same ones again after I said that.

        And then you said the other day that the new catalogs were in the mail and everybody was saying they were getting theirs already. Well I still didn’t have mine today. My wife was off work today and I asked if she seen it. She said no. So I asked my daughters if they seen it. My oldest daughter said yes I was looking at it when it came in the mail the other day but I put it on your desk. Well then the youngest daughter said yea dad I got it in my room I forgot to put it back on your desk when I was done reading it. Kind of reminds me of myself when I was a kid waiting to get my ARH catalogs.

        And how could I get mad about that. And I asked if they liked it. They both said yes. But the youngest daughter asked why it takes so long to get the next one. I told her because it takes a long time to get all that type of good information together and I’m sure that person is awful busy all the time with all types of other things to do also. And I guess I will just have to take it to work tonight and look at. Of course when I get a chance. :)




        • Gunfun
          You made any more progress on fitting the disco valve in the FDAR gun. Just got finished making two new spring seat/guides for the two B3s I got from gun broker. I made them out of black delrin and drilled them down the center and pressed a 5/32 steel rod thru the center to keep them from breaking when the spring goes sproing. Got to put them back together so I can test them to see which one I will keep and which one I will sell to make my money back from buying them for 20 bucks. I know they are nothing special but I will a least be able to say I own a sproinger. You will have to sneak off in a corner to read your PA catalog at work LOL.

          My last project for next week is to make a fill fitting for my FDAR with a gauge in it.
          Buldawg


          • buldawg
            I got the two holes marked out. Going to drill them tonight at lunch I hope. I should get it back together before the weekend is over I again hope.

            We got the BBQ and refreshment thing going on Sunday for fathers day if you know what I mean.

            And I hope they dont call me into work tomorrow or Saturday. If I dont have to work I want to get it back together and shoot it Sunday.

            Will see how that all ends up. But I will let you know.


            • Gunfun
              Yea I got the fathers day thing going on to so that’s why it will be next week to finish my fill fitting project.
              hope you don’t get called into work tomorrow or Sat so you can get yours done. talk with you later
              Buldawg




  11. Being an old engineer and working for several different companies over the years, you see companies that produce products that the customers love or companies that produce products that may satisfy but lack long lasting appeal. The former is run by folks who care more about the product than the bottom line. The motivation is to be the best, not necessarily the money. However, by being the best, the earnings come. The latter company is run by those who only look at the bottom line. They are not concerned with the product and do not have the motivation to make it great. Just make sure that quotas and earnings are met every quarter. Newer companies started by entrepreneurs who love the product they make will give the customer the best and most innovative stuff. They also push the bigger companies who have lost their edge to rethink their business practices.

    BB,
    Thank for your reviews and information. Just got back into air gunning and the information and insight you provide is priceless. Please keep up the good work.


  12. B.B.

    You said it all Sir. Just hope to God those who matter take SERIOUS notice of what you say for the benefit of the sport & all of us.

    Errol


  13. Ms. Edith

    I can’t access the old archives. I love to go thru them occasionally. Wonder why it says not found when I try.

    Errol


  14. Keep it simple.

    Crosman — initiate a small subdivision, charged with doing what HW and Air Arms now do much, much better than any US manufacturer — producing high quality, adult airguns.

    Produce quality at such a high level that price becomes less relevant. Go for QUALITY, not a huge market.

    Charge this division with sales to Europe, and to the small gang of enthusiasts here.

    Capture the cache of having a ‘Corvette’ line of guns for people to transition to.
    Let what you learn ‘trickle down’ to your main mass-market business.

    Don’t be scared off by the Rogue debacle. That was overreach in a virtually non-existent market area (big-bores). Go for competence, not Star Wars.


  15. Here’s my few “wonder why they do this ?” Why do they put those CHEAP scopes on those $250 airguns? It would seem to me that this cause more unhappy customers “like me” because it take some time and ammo to figure out HEY this scope is a piece of JUNK! I’ve wasted a few days figuring this out in the past when I was sorta new to the airgunning thing.It could have easily turned me off to air guns if this had been my first with one and the wonderful PA would never received those few thousand dollars I did spend with them down the road.I am not boasting about money spent here I’m say PA or any other sale company could be losing sales because of these gimmicks that the airgun company’s try to pull on us and not to mention that PBA ammo that so many airgun sales boasted about.True some enjoy how fast there gun can shot and fine,just as a hunter and paper puncher ya had watch these stuff because it can be misleading and I’m mostly talking newbies here. Most of us learn how to sort threw the bull after being into the sport for awhile.My concern is turning of the new comers on a first airgun that won’t hit a coffee can at 20 yards.But then again ya get what you pay for.I will not give the name of the airgun had and it was two of them and some would get offended so I’ll just say it was the $250.00 class guns that are so popular.I got taken with the hype and no longer own this two Nitro’s.Lets hope they can offer a keeper when BB test the newer models in the near future.All I’m wanting for is that the new people can get to were I am and really enjoy this airgun sport as much as I do! But with the wasted money to get there.So take note all you airgun makers and hire someone like BB that knows and can advise you and build $250.00 gun that is a tack driver.I promise there will be plenty of us still left to step up and spend $500.00 and more one PCPs and higher end airguns.Just give the new guys and gals something to get exited over!


    • steve,

      Maybe, vendors don’t care what you think about their useless, cheap scopes: Buy this scoped gun. The scope cost less than putting open sights on the gun because they bought 250,000 of them from a factory that made them for somebody else but they renegged on their contract — and the scopes with mounts cost them only $5 apiece. Now, that scope comes with all their scoped models for the next 2 years.

      Edith


      • Edith,Hi,perhaps they should run a sell on there junk scopes for a grand total of $29.99 while supplies last,but wait ,were no threw yet we’ll throw in these one of a kind rings for FREE! And then they could profit off there $5 scopes.Then sell the rifle with no iron sights and let the people put the scope on that they bought.Who knows maybe they could even check for still burs on the gun so it don’t cut you and your bleeding as I did with this new gun.I like when I don’t get those nasty cuts from a new gun makes for a better let down.



          • Edith,Funny thing is once I realised the scope would not hold zero,I threw it in the trash can on the front porch.Then I thought hey this will be a good scope to watch deer and birds with because the lens are really clear.So there it sets on the porch and I pick it up from time to time and use it for that purpose but wonder to myself why is something like this that has a very clear lens,mil dots and looks pretty good was made in the first place knowing it will never hold a zero for any length of time.Why if your going to take the time and trouble to produce something as simple as this and just not go that little extra step and make it to were it WORKS! Edith,I was a goldsmith wax cutter and designer in my day.I can tell you that I did not design anything that I considered substandard.Even the less expensive jewelry was done with care and my pride.I cared what people thought of my work and still do.I would like to think anything I do with my hands is the best I can do.So when one has that mind set its really hard to understand why company’s produce junk when there name is on it? I get that they must make a profit but cant they just step up the quality control some what.


            • Steve,

              Not everyone cares. All you need is one weak link — one person who doesn’t care — and that person could ruin a product that’s stellar in all other areas.

              Some day, someone will invent a way to add open sights to guns that don’t have them. Tom and I have discussed this at a surprisingly great length over the years. No mfr gives a flip even though we’ve had some implementable ideas. While some have shown polite interest, it’s going nowhere. If such a product ever gets produced and the big manufacturers start seeing how thousands or tens of thousands of their guns are getting these add-ons, then they’ll take an interest.

              A good example is Charlie da tuna’s trigger. A LOT of Gamo rifle owners replaced their factory triggers with the aftermarket trigger. Now, Gamo’s come out with a great trigger that rivals the aftermarket version.

              Another example is Crosman’s Nitro Piston. It’s so fabulous that Pyramyd Air started inserting it in the guns made by other manufacturers. Before you know it, all those other manufacturers started inserting their own gas rams in their guns. No need for Crosman’s to be inserted!

              Sometimes mfrs can learn. I wish they’d learn about offering open sights.

              Edith


              • Edith,Good talking to ya about these matters.And now I must take my dog “best Friend” to the fishing hole for his daily swim then run around the farm while I ride the ATV and hope he trees a squirrel so I can take with my TalonP.Enjoy-life is short.


            • Steve
              I agree with you on doing your best work whether its a five dollar item or 5000 dollar item. I worked as an auto tech for 25 years in a Cadillac dealer, where the people that brought their cars to be repaired were placing their lives in my hands on many occasions. if I failed to repair their car correctly, ie brake work, steering, engine or trans repairs were not done correctly and something failed it could result in some one being injured or worse losing their life. I took that very seriously and would not repair any vehicle in a way that I would not feel safe putting my own family in it without fear of an failure that could cause injury to someone. Then at Harley as a research and development mechanic the riders that test rode on the prototype new model bike literally placed their lives in my hands believing that the repairs/ inspections of the bikes were safe to operate at severe and /or high speed duty cycles to gather the needed test info for engineering to fix and redesign system and parts that did not meet quality standards.
              There are still people out here in our world that believe that if they are going to do something that it should only be done at the very best of their ability. There is an old saying in the vehicle repair world that states, ” If you don’t have the time to do it right the first time, how will you find the time to do it right the second time”. We only have one life to do the best we can at everything we do and enjoy every moment be it good or bad.
              Buldawg



  16. Only place I have to disagree is with Crosman’s triggers. For the crosmans I have bought I have discovered the triggers were wretched. So if that is an improvement then Crosman needs some serious schooling. I did what I could replacing triggers but you can only polish a turd just so much and you can never change what it is. In my opinion Crosman has serious quality problems that have forced me to seek out better quality elsewhere. I tend to buy airguns on a regular basis. I have quite a collection. But until Crosman starts to bring up the quality from cheap injection molded parts and outsourcing to China My money is also going overseas to other countries that make a better gun. I hate to say it but that is what is happening as quality of American companies dip below what I will accept. That doesn’t include Airforce which is a wonderful company with a superior product.


    • I don’t buy a great many guns,, air or powder,, but I have bought two Crosmans. One is the Challenger 2009 ( the one with the LW barrel) and the other is a Maurader in 22 caliber. I have found both to be excellent products with triggers that, when adjusted, are favorably comparable to any airgun I have used in competition. ( I shoot in 3P and 4P matches at both my club and at the Veterans Wheelchair Games),, and I have used FWBs, Anshutz, and Walthers. I shoot with my Crosman,, because I win with it.

      It is wise to remember that you get what you pay for,, but only if you are careful.
      Ed


      • I just do not see the quality I demand in crosman. So I switched over to Hatsans for my reliable standby gun. But when a shot counts and I really need to make that shot I rely on my Airforce guns. The price is just a bit more than a marauder but the quality is there. I have a disco. It’s accurate as can be but I had to do a lot of work on it to get it there. I had to totally gut the gun to get it where I wanted it. With all my rebuilding I turned a volkswagen into a tuned porsche. But I like a gun I don’t have to totally rip apart and make correctly.


  17. BB,

    Rob earlier hit the nail on the head. There are several companies today who are making beautiful, well-built, almost mind boggling accurate guns. But he is right. For just these reasons they can and do charge dearly for them. Until others start building the type of guns you’re talking about these premium guns are going to stay out of the reach of most shooters. It is a shame. I wish everyone could experience shooting(owning) one of these marvels. By the way, the Marauder comes very, very close and is, I think, very reasonably priced. I would encourage any “serious” shooter to do what they have to do to at least get a Marauder if they haven’t already. (I recommend the wood stock in .177)

    G&G

    G&G


    • G&G
      I have owned and shot a good number of air guns through out time and I totaly agree with what you just said.

      And I have worked on and modified my fair share of them also. And like I say with the old muscle cars. They all could be made to run. And they all had their little flaws also.

      All we can do right now is like what you just said. Take advice about a gun from somebody that has actually touched and owned and spent time with that gun. Im pretty sure that most people are happy to tell about the air guns they have. Thats the people I want to hear from anyway. And thats how Im sure I will learn the most.


      • GF1,

        I have recently purchased a couple of these wonder guns and they are a pure joy to shoot! They are amazing in every way. Unfortunately, they are probably out of the reach of most of the readers of this blog. But it wouldn’t hurt to inform them about them just so they know what’s out there. I would tell anyone interested anything they want to know. All they have to do is ask.

        G&G


  18. I couldn’t agree more about both sights(with particular prejudice to fiber optics) and stock bedding. I’m still fairly green to air rifles and so far the synthetic stocks seem sub par. It seems(springers at least) they would benefit from some integral metal for solid consistent mating to the action and rigidity engineered to the rifles recoil. Ruger has been producing such stocks well and economically for well over a decade. I won’t start on modern sights, the resulting bulging forehead veins and furrowed eye brows are a turn off to my lovely woman.


  19. B.B.,

    In your item #4, you said “Why hasn’t some company come up with a way to bed an airgun action so it doesn’t move around?”

    How can an airgun action move around when 2 or more bolts are used to attach and holds down the Action to the stock?





          • B.B.,
            I watched a video on Pillar bedding a rifle. If this enhance the accuracy of a rifle, why doesn’t gun manufacturers do this to most of their rifles?

            I don’t know of any airgun manufacturer that Pillar bed their rifles.


            • Joe,

              Cost. It would add hundreds of dollars to the purchase price, because each gun has to be done individually. That’s one reason why real sniper rifle cost $4,000, and commercial copies of sniper rifles sell for $1,000.

              B.B.


              • B.B.,
                Thank you for your informative replies. Why doesn’t FWB or Anschutz of Germany pillar bed or bed their high-end Olympic smallbore rifles and air rifle? They certainly charge enough money.


                • Joe,

                  This is where technology comes into play. Those rifles are all PCPs, and as such, have no need for better bedding. They neither recoil nor vibrate, so they don’t have any bedding problems. They would be fixing something that isn’t broken.

                  B.B.


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