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.
Today I’ll talk about Edith’s shooting. When I met her in 1982, she wasn’t a shooter. She was very neutral on the subject of shooting. When we started talking about marriage I told her I was an active shooter and there would be guns in the house. She said she didn’t mind, but I had to teach her how to handle them safely. She told me the only shooting she had ever done was with a .22 rimfire Ruger pistol owned by her first husband. She said she didn’t feel one way or the other about the experience, but the little shooting she had done seemed like fun. So we started slowly on my Sheridan Blue Streak, learning the basics of safe gun handling.
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.
This report tested the relative accuracy of an AirForce Talon SS against a Ruger 10/22 rimfire. I went to the range several times to shoot all the 10-shot groups I needed, so it took some time to get to today’s report.
I had a preconception of how accurate a Ruger 10/22 was, and I knew very well how accurate an AirForce Talon SS was. I figured the Ruger didn’t stand a chance against the air rifle. If I’d used any of the standard Ruger 10/22s I have shot up to this point, things would have worked out as I expected.
Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle
But the rifle I used in this test was chosen because it surprised me with its accuracy. I got it in trade at a gun show and was surprised when I saw how well it shot. In fact, it was the accuracy of this rifle that inspired this test to begin with. I have owned a number of 10/22s and shot many others; but until this rifle came along, I’d never seen a standard Ruger right out of the box that shot this well.
• Tom is on the air this Sunday
• The gold is in there
• The question
• Best casting method
• What’s in it for me?
• Ballard breaks my heart
• Bottom line
Tom is on the air this Sunday
This Sunday from 12 to 1 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, I’ll be interviewed on America Armed and Free, a talk radio program on Liberty Watch Radio (AM 1030 Tuscon) out of Tuscon, Arizona. I’ve been doing this program several times a year for the past few years, and this Sunday the host, Charles Heller, asked me to talk about my two favorite blogs. They are about my favorite airgun (the Diana 27) and my The Invisible Airgunner blog report.