The Texas airgun show is a one-day event. Everyone knows they have to get in quick, set up quick and get everything accomplished in one short day. The Parker County Sportsman Club that hosted the event provided dozens of volunteers to run the ranges, park cars, sell tickets, prepare and serve food and drinks, and generally help anyone who needed it. As a result, the event was set up and running smooth when the doors opened to the public at 9 am. But, unlike last year, there was no line at the door. The tickets were sold at a gate outside the compound because we had vendors in two different buildings this year. Even so I was surprised and a little disappointed when I didn’t see the immediate crush of people at 9.
The history of airguns is fascinating to those who enjoy applied creativity. But sometimes when creativity is carried too far it becomes a liability. And that’s the case with today’s guns.
Rocky Mountain Arms Corporation
In the 1970s the Rocky Mountain Arms Corporation (RMAC) created a little gun for kids who wanted to shoot with their fathers. They referred to it as a .22 caliber, though it shot a number 4 buckshot that is really 0.24 inches rather than 0.223 inches in diameter. That didn’t matter because a 5-pound bag number 4 buckshot was available for a few dollars. For that you got thousands of shots. Nobody worried about the size of the ball that much.
A couple weeks ago, several readers had a discussion on the blog about shooting the Colt Single Action Army BB revolver with pellets. I didn’t read everything they said in detail, but the basic idea stayed with me for several days until I began to wonder, “Why not?” Back in 2013, I tested the Diana model 25 smoothbore pellet gun and discovered that it’s very accurate out to 10 meters — even though there’s no rifling to spin the pellet. Why wouldn’t this BB revolver also be accurate?
Today I’m taking a break to be with my relatives who came to celebrate the Fourth of July with Edith and me. This report was written back in June 2005.
There have been some great airguns in the recent past, and today I’d like to take a look at one of them: Crosman’s Mark I Target pistol.
Crosman copied the Ruger Mark I semiauto rimfire handgun.
Ruger Mark I copy
Crosman copied Ruger’s most famous handgun, the Mark I semiautomatic .22-caliber pistol. Ruger introduced this pistol, which built their company, in 1949; the Mark I dominated the handgun world by the time Crosman first offered their Mark I target pistol in 1966. The Ruger is a 10-shot semiauto, while the Crosman is a single-shot.
I’m writing this report for German blog reader Stephan and for all of the readers who don’t know what schuetzen rifles are. Today our superstars come from film, music or team sports. In 1900, they were all shooters — schuetzen shooters, to be precise. The sport of offhand target shooting took off worldwide when breechloading rifles came onto the scene around the 1870s, and offhand target shooting became the sport of kings. Names like Pope, Hudson, Neidner and Farrow were on every kid’s lips in those days, and prizes that totaled $25,000 were awarded at matches at a time when the average annual family income was under $500.
This is Part 1 because there is are additional parts planned. I have wanted to write this report for many years, which will come out as the story unfolds.
Mention interesting gun design to anyone 60 years and younger and sooner or later the AR-15/M16 will enter into the discussion. They’ll call it the Mattel-o-Matic and other derogatory terms. It deserves much of that derision, not because of the gun’s design, but because of the unsuccessful way in which it was launched. It was tested in just a cursory way and then quickly modified and shoved out the door to satisfy political pressure. It was proven (field tested) in battle, where tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines paid a very high price for the shortcomings of the initial design. In the half-century since that time the design has evolved into something robust, reliable and very adaptive.