Shooting target pistols with one hand

By B.B. Pelletier

It’s rare to see someone hold a handgun with one hand anymore. Yet the one-handed hold used to be the most popular way to shoot. In official target events, it’s still the only hold allowed. Here are some tips.

Tip 1 – stand like a pitcher
A major-league baseball pitcher orients his feet to control the direction of his pitch. So do handgunners. By placing the feet just so, you can control the left and right orientation of the barrel so your shot placement will be inside a 12″ span at the target distance of 10 meters (which is close to 33 feet). Twelve inches sounds like a lot, but we’ll reduce that in the next step. read more

How to pick a spring rifle

By B.B. Pelletier

Every airgunner, and I do mean EVERY, has asked this question at one time or another, “What should I look for in a spring air rifle?” After a few transactions and some experience with various models, you will get the hang of it, but a new person always finds the world of spring guns very puzzling.

A spring rifle must be COCKED
Cocking effort should be a major deciding factor. A lot of shooters want all the power they can get, but they forget (or perhaps don’t appreciate) that spring rifles have to be cocked. That usually means you have to supply the effort! The most powerful rifles, such as the Webley Patriot Export, usually take the greatest effort to cock. A Patriot takes about 50 lbs. of effort to lever the barrel down to the cocked position. read more

Does cocking a breakbarrel gun bend the barrel over time?

By B.B. Pelletier

The myth goes like this – “If you cock an airgun by its barrel, surely the barrel will bend over time.” This is an urban legend and is completely false! But, it illustrates that some shooters are thinking about the strength of the barrel, and that can lead to some dangerous “experiments” that could bend a barrel in an instant.

Airgun barrels are strong!
To prove my point about the strength of airgun barrels, consider this. A Haenel barrel on a breakbarrel model made in the 1930s is still straight today after hundreds of thousands of shots and even some accidents over the years. What about a Diana model 65 target rifle used by a shooting club? Still in service after several MILLION shots by hundreds of club members since the gun was new in 1970, the barrel remains straight enough to win an important match. The mainspring may have been replaced 20 times by now and all the bluing has been worn off the barrel at the front sight where hands have grabbed to cock over the years, but the barrel is still as straight as the day it left the factory. Breakbarrels don’t bend with normal usage. read more

The differences between .177 & .22 – and which jobs they do best

By B.B. Pelletier

There are two other smallbore pellet calibers, but in terms of sales and recognition, .177 and .22 are the major ones. For three-quarters of a century, .22 was the sales leader in America, while .177 lead in Europe nearly all that time. In the 1970s, when many British and European models started being imported to this country in large numbers, the preference for .177 came along with them and now the U.S. is in line with the rest of the airgun world. But newcomers often ask, “What are the significant differences between these two calibers, and why should I care?”

In any airgun, .22 is always more powerful
This is true irrespective of the type of powerplant, length of barrel or anything else. Twenty-two delivers about 20% more punch in any given airgun. The technical specifications for the Air Arms Pro Sport illustrate that. Instead of giving velocities for the guns, Pyramyd gives the muzzle energy, allowing you to clearly see the difference in power. read more

Rock & roll with an airsoft submachinegun

By B.B. Pelletier

You owe it to yourself to check out the M11 A1 by KSC, an airsoft replica of an Ingram M11 A1 .380-caliber submachine pistol used in the movie True Lies. Jamie Lee Curtis wiped out a squad of terrorists attacking her and her secret-agent husband (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by dropping an M11 down a flight of stairs. As the pistol bumped and rolled down the stairs, it fired and killed all the bad guys while Curtis screamed and waved her hands helplessly in excitement.

Empties your mag in less than 2.5 seconds!
This nifty green gas gun fires a whopping 1,200 rounds a minute! The stick magazine holds 48 airsoft BBs. At 20 rounds a second, you’ll be empty in 2.5 seconds. I defy you to shoot just 2 rounds in full auto. Your finger isn’t fast enough! read more

Why I like big bore single-shot air rifles

By B.B. Pelletier

I promised a reader of the April 11 blog that I would explain why I like my big bore airguns to be single shots.

Big bores can be VERY accurate
And, single-loaded bullets are also VERY accurate. Ask anyone who reloads ammunition for firearms why they do it, and one of the answers is they can make better ammo. Better means more accurate.

Single shots out-perform repeaters
I’m not making this up – check it out. For the best accuracy possible, always use a single-shot. This is very important in pellet guns. By inserting a pellet directly into the bore, rather than letting a mechanism do it for you, you are cutting down the chance for damage to the pellet. read more

5 more tips to improve your accuracy

By B.B. Pelletier

1. “Aim small, miss small”
That’s a quote from the movie Patriot. It means that if you aim at a small enough target, even a near miss might land your pellet (or bullet) where you want it.

Here’s how it applies. If you are shooting at targets, don’t shoot out your aim point. Adjust the scope so your shots land somewhere other than at the intersection of the crosshairs. That way, you’ll always have the fresh spot on the target to aim at.

Many shooters don’t know this and they think they can just guess where to aim when the aim point is gone. That increases the size of their groups by an enormous amount. Of course, after you’ve shot your super-tight groups, don’t forget to readjust your scope so the aim point and point of impact are the same. read more