An air rifle for a new airgunner

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Accurate gun
  • Who you gonna call?
  • Maybe this isn’t for you
  • When airgunners mature
  • What brought this up?

Today, I want to talk about air rifles that I recommend for new airgunners. Young or old, these people all want the same thing, whether they realize it or not. They want an air rifle that’s fun to shoot. They want a springer for the simplicity, even if they don’t know what that means. And, they want a rifle that’s relatively accurate.

Accurate gun

Some of you probably think I’m an accuracy snob — that small groups are all that matter to me. It’s true — I do like to see small groups. But do you know what my favorite air rifle is? It’s a Diana model 27 in .22 caliber that probably can’t shoot better than three-quarters of an inch at 10 meters on its best day. For the new readers, that means putting 10 shots into a target 33 feet away, in a group that can be covered by an American quarter. I have air rifles that can do the same thing at 50 yards — 10 meters isn’t that far.

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More great expectations

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

Great expectations
Great expectations

Great expectations!

Sometimes, you find something works, and you stick with it. Apparently, the title of this report is one such thing. I seem to keep coming up with this title, yet my reports don’t seem to be related. Oh, well, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

Today’s report is going to sound like a Friday blog, but that isn’t intentional. I just have a couple random things to say, and it’s going to come out that way.

I’ll start with the real reason for today’s report — new airgunners. Five years ago, we also got new airgunners; but back then they came from everywhere — not from one particular place. Some were people wanting to learn the basics of shooting, others were firearm shooters who wanted to try airguns for a change and others were people who had shot airguns in their youth and wanted to see where things had progressed since then.

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Are you new to airguns?

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

Today’s report is for those readers who are coming to this blog to find out what airguns are all about. We try to keep things open and free on this blog so you can ask any questions you might have at any time. There’s no need to remain on topic, like many forums demand.

I’m seeing two different types of new readers these days. The first is a shooter with a lot of firearms experience behind him. He knows his way around guns, but he’s heard some interesting things about these modern adult airguns and is curious to learn more.

This person already has a good foundation in the shooting sports, so a lot of things will seem very familiar. He will understand about the effects of weather conditions when shooting. He knows the importance of a good sight picture and trigger control. So he is already well-grounded on the basics, yet there will be some things that completely surprise him.

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I’m so frustrated!

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

Today, I’m going to vent a little and tell you what disturbs me about airgunning.

This began with a letter I received. The writer spent two pages telling me why the Crosman M4-177 is not a good airgun and how unfair it is that it costs so much.

EXCUSE ME?
Yep! Apparently it’s unfair because it takes 10 pump strokes to pump the rifle completely, so for 15 shots he has to pump 150 times.

HUH? So what?

Well, according to the writer, that’s unfair, because, when you add sales tax to the price of a new M4-177, it comes to almost $100, which is a lot to pay for something that requires so much work.

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Learning to shoot with open sights: Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: William Davis is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card! Congratulations!

Willliam Davis is this week’s Big Shot of the Week. Here he’s showing off his Crosman pistol with shoulder stock. He says he gets one-hole groups with it.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

It’s time to advance through the 20th century and look at open sights as they evolved. We now know that by the beginning of the 20th century almost everything that could be done to increase accuracy with open sights had already been done. There were a few nice touches that were added, but most of the hard work had already been done. But that didn’t mean the gun makers were finished. There were always new embellishments that could be added. Yet, some of the sights that were most popular in the 20th century actually got their start in the 19th century.

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Learning to shoot with open sights: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This series began with the earliest sights that were both primitive and simplistic. Then, we looked at the evolution of peep sights, starting back before 1840 and progressing to around 1903.

There’s a lot more to be said about both open and peep sights. It was at this point in time that they each began to develop along separate lines. I think I need to concentrate on one type of sight per report to keep things straight. In today’s report, I’ll look at open sights from around the middle of the 19th century until today.

Open sights evolved rapidly after the American Civil War, which ended in 1865. Not that all the innovation was done in the U.S., mind you, but that was a time when the world of firearms was advancing though technological stages, and the sights kept pace with everything. Other wars around the world at the same time drove the armies of many nations to push the limits of firearms; and we got smokeless gunpowder, fixed cartridges, breechloading arms and eventually repeating firearms from this era.

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Learning to shoot with open sights: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

In Part 2, we learned that the peep sight has been around for a very long time. But following the American Civil War, the entire world became intensely interested in shooting for about 60 years, and target shooting was at the top of the list. World-champion target shooters were regarded like NASCAR drivers are today.

Because of all this interest, the common peep sights that were already at least 50 years old, and perhaps as old as a full century, started to change. By 1870, designers were innovating again. One of the most famous innovators, and the man whose designs are still impacting battle rifles 125 years later, was Col. Buffington of the Springfield Armory. In 1884, Springfield selected his sight for the U.S. .45-caliber, single-shot military rifle — the gun we call the Trapdoor.

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