Blog index 1 – March through September 2005

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, I’m delivering on a promise I made some time back, that I would publish an index of the past postings. This is it. There may be a wonderfully easy way to do this, but I haven’t found it. I’ll probably do this at least every six months from now on.


1 Hunt with the Sheridan Blue Streak air rifle
3 Why can’t I go supersonic?
4 What IS a BB gun?
7 The accurate airgun
8 What about darts?
9 B.B.’s treasure chest – Picking a pellet
10 B.B.’s treasure chest – Sorting pellets for accuracy
11 A gift from B.B.! – The IZH 61 air rifle
14 What causes scope shift?
15 Synthetic skirts, steel tips and other pellet oddities
16 “Become a better shot!”
17 A serious springer for serious airgunning
18 How to shim a scope
21 Airgun lubes – the good, the bad and the ugly
22 Three types of pneumatic airguns: multi-pump, single-stroke and precharged
23 How, when & why to lube your spring gun’s piston seals
24 Another cause of scope shift: over-adjusted scope knobs
25 Everything you need to know about airsoft BBs
28 Important! How to find your way around and leave messages (How to navigate this blog)
29 Should you buy a hand pump for your airgun?
30 Which caliber is best for you? .177? .22?
31 My top 5 pellets read more

Are those advertised big bore velocities true?

by B.B. Pelletier

Today I answer a question that came in last Sunday:

Posting late…hope you still check your blog.
What kind of velocity do you get with various balls, pellets out of the 909 44? The site lists 720fps but I am interested in real world tests. Any info would be helpful.

Testing the big bores
I tested the Big Bore 909 several years ago. It’s a .45 caliber rifle that shoots 0.454 bullets the best. I shot actual blackpowder rifle and pistol bullets weighing 125, 140 and 190 grains. The 190-grain bullets were the only ones sized 0.454, so they shot the best. Velocity was 673 on high power, and I got 5 shots per charge. Max energy was just over 190 foot-pounds. I got a quarter-sized group at 20 yards with open sights. read more

Comparative pellet penetration test

by B.B. Pelletier

If you want to know how different types of pellets penetrate, here is a neat experiment you can do with very little equipment.

The test medium
I use Neutrogena glycerin facial bars for this test. You find them in the cosmetics section of the store. Use the biggest bars you can buy and orient them the long way when shooting more powerful guns. Also, back the bars with a safe pellet trap in case of a shoot-through. Naturally, you must wear safety glasses when performing this test!

Today, I’ll shoot five different types of projectiles from the same rifle—a wadcutter, hollowpoint, domed, pointed and a round lead ball. I’ll use a .22 caliber Diana model 27 spring-piston rifle for every shot. Because the rifle stays the same, we will be able to compare pellet penetration at the same relative energy level. I’ll also shoot a JSB predator, which is a specialty hollowpoint. That’ll give us the relationship between a regular hollowpoint and the new Predator round. read more

Vision and shooting

by B.B. Pelletier

I hear so often from shooters who think that because they are 40 and their vision has started to degrade, they are too old to use open sights. Hogwash! I’m 58 and wear bifocals, so don’t pull the old-eyes card on me! I think many shooters just don’t understand what sights really are and how their vision relates to them, so today I want to explore this topic.

Try shooting targets you can’t see at all!
In the Army, I lead a heavy mortar platoon. We had four tubes of 106mm (4.2″) mortars that shot 25-27 lb. high-explosive shells over 5,000 yards. We never saw the target! Forward observers adjusted our fire onto the target via the radio. What we aimed at were two metal stakes stuck in the ground about 30-40 yards from the guns. Call those stakes your front and rear sight, because that’s exactly how they work. read more

The main causes of inaccurate airguns

by B.B. Pelletier

1. The wrong pellet
Pellets make a big difference in accuracy. Some work better in some guns than in others, but here are the very best I have found:

Beeman Kodiak
JSB Exact
Crosman Premier (These come in two weights. Use the 10.5 in pneumatics, the 7.9 in spring-piston and all other guns.)

Crosman Premier
Beeman Kodiak

JSB Exact
Beeman Kodiak
Crosman Premier

Diana Magnum
Beeman Kodiak

2. Improper shooting technique (spring-piston guns only)
Hold the gun as loosely as you can and try to let it recoil as much as possible. Never rest the forearm on anything but skin (your open palm).

3. The gun, itself
You can put lipstick on a pig, but it will still be a pig. If you want to experiment with oddball brands of airguns, feel free, but don’t complain when they don’t shoot well. The barrel is the key to a gun’s accuracy. Airgun barrels made in the following countries are ranked in descending order: read more

So, you don’t like airguns?

by B.B. Pelletier

You’re reading this posting because the title is intriguing, and maybe you agree with it. You don’t understand why anyone would like a wimpy little gun that puffs out a tiny little bullet with just air. Well, partner, perhaps you don’t really know what airguns are!

They’re NOT wimpy…
Unless you think deer rifles are wimpy, airguns have NEVER been wimpy. Men have been hunting deer, elk, boar and similar large game with airguns since the 1600s. Lewis and Clark carried an air rifle on their expedition in 1804-1806, and it may have been the deadliest gun they had! It was .51 caliber and could fire 20 times in one minute. Compare that to the .54 caliber muzzleloading muskets they also carried! read more

What about those big Korean PCPs?

by B.B. Pelletier

Let’s look at some of the most powerful smallbore air rifles today. I’m talking about the big, powerful Korean repeaters.

In Korea, air rifles are serious business!
Koreans use them for hunting. Guns that are .22 and .25 caliber are stored most of the year in the local police station. A hunter can take his rifle out for hunting purposes. I’m not sure if that’s all they can do with them, but most of the time it is stored at the police station. The .177 and .20 caliber guns may be kept at home, as they’re not considered serious hunting guns. Get down on your knees and kiss the ground you’re standing on. It’s hallowed ground, and there is precious little of it remaining in the world! read more