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BB tells all!

by B.B. Pelletier

Today I’d like to answer several questions submitted last week by new reader Cesar.

What is the best air rifle, right out of the box, that you have every owned?
Spring rifle – TX200 MkIII (SEE, CF-X guy?). Actually a Whiscombe is slightly better, but since John Whiscombe has stopped making them, there will be no more boxes to take them from.

Spring pistol – Diana M10

PCP rifle – Talon SS from AirForce

PCP pistol – I didn’t own it, but I did shoot an FWB P34 that I loved

CO2 rifle – Crosman 160

CO2 pistol – Crosman 600

BB gun – Daisy No. 25 pump, 1930 model

What’s the best group you have ever made?

I once shot a 5-shot group at 40 yards that was so tight, a .22 pellet would not fall through. It was shot with a 12 foot-pound British Skan R32 PCP rifle.

What is your favorite air rifle moment?
I like the moment in the movie A Christmas Story, when Ralphie gets his “Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.” Even though no such BB gun ever existed, it was nice to see a young boy get the object of his dreams.

Now, Cesar, I’d like to answer a couple questions you didn’t ask (but I wish you had).

What’s the stupidest airgun ever made?
The Whamo Kruger cap-firing BB pistol takes this honor. If there is a weaker BB gun on the planet, it wouldn’t be able to shoot BBs all the way out the barrel. A new Kruger will fail soon enough and fall into that category.

The Kruger used toy caps to propel a BB almost as fast as a three-year-old-child could throw it! The guns usually failed after about 50 shots.

What’s the best airgun for the least amount of money?
Does anyone think there could POSSIBLY be an answer to that question?

How far will an airgun shoot?
How long is a piece of string?
No. Hao Long is a village in Vietnam.

It is often said that a powerful airgun shooting a diabolo pellet will shoot out to 500 yards and no farther. In American Rifleman, I once read that a rifled slug from a 12-gauge shotgun had a maximum range of 800 yards, so the 500-yard range sounds correct; but as far as I know, it has never been tested.

46 thoughts on “BB tells all!”

  1. dsw,

    I don’t need the Condor’s power. The SS has 45 foot-pounds when a 24-inch .22 barrel is on. But I find that 25 foot pounds from the regular barrel is good for 95 percent of my airgunning needs.

    When I want more power, I shoot a .22 long rifle.


  2. Hello B.B.
    I’ve read a lot of your reviews about air guns. I’m thinking about buy one rifle and was inclined to the Gamo CF but in one coment about CF I saw someone telling about Diana 52 and looked for more information and found the review where you said the diana looks like a John Deere compared to the TX 200. Now I don’t know what to do. I want more be a good target shooter than a hunter. This means play in target contests where the only guns allowed are the springers. What do you sugest as good rifle for that purpose?


  3. Markowic,
    I personally own the Gamo CF-X and can say that you do get quite a good gun for the money. I’m in a similar position as you are in wanting to buy an airgun to practice target shooting, and hopefully be able to compete in small competitions later. I’m not that great of a shot but considering I had no experience with shooting before, I was able to practice and decrease the size of my groupings from the initial size of a human palm down to about the size of a US quarter coin at about 10 yards with my CF-X (kneeling position, using open sights, and using RWS diabolo basic pellets). (I’m sure a better shot can get groupings of a dime or better with a CF-X at that distance, like I said.. I’m not that experienced, and it took some time to get used to the weight of the rifle). I like my CF-X a lot and have absolutely no regrets buying it. It’s a good deal ($200) for a new beginner airgunner and definitely worth trying out. My only complaint about the gun is, quality control from Gamo might not be as great as RWS diana. My CF-X came with some minor blemishes and scratches on the stock (almost unoticable at a distance), but it doesn’t affect it’s performance. Also, the cocking handle is slightly shifted to the right so that it doesn’t line up perfectly with the barrel. But that doesn’t affect the performance of the gun either. I bought this at pyramid air brand new, but it might have came like this from Gamo. Does any other CF-X owners out there have this kind of problem? I never bothered returning the gun and asking for a replacement since its performance was pretty good.
    For the money, I would recommend the CF-X because of it’s accuracy potentials, smoothness, and a joy to shoot. The gun isn’t too hold sensitive, so it’s definitely a great gun to experiment with and a great learning tool. The synthetic stock means it’s all weather and less maintenance, and almost has the look of a military sniper rifle.
    If you do have the money for the RWS diana ($400), then go for it, as I’ve heard excellent reviews for that gun. It may have much better quality control and you do get a nice wooden stock, and most likely a better trigger. I hear it’s very hold sensitive though, but that would be good for practicing consistent holds. I’ve even considered that gun myself, but decided I wanted to save up for the Talon SS at .177 caliber and start shooting PCPs later. (I figure that gun will be much easier and cheaper to fix if any repairs are needed at all, and I also like tactical looking guns)
    Ever since the CF-X, my interest in airguns only grew, and my collection of airguns grew to include the crosman 357 and most recently the walther nighthawk. I can only imagine that my collection will grow with time.
    With whichever gun you choose to buy, I’m sure you can’t go wrong with either one. But you do save quite a lot of money if you decide to go for the gamo CF-X.

    -Walther P99 Fan

  4. BB,

    SS1000 Air Rifle Combo 1056 by Beeman … the details on the description say this rifle is capable of .36 groups at 10 yards.
    Do you think this is the answer to my problems. Its really nice looking and the scope is 3-9 x 32. Remember, I want punch from long distances. Would this pop a crow at 50 yards??

  5. Markowic,

    You have confused me! What target competition only allows springers? I’ve never heard of it.

    As for formal target shooting, spring guns have been out of that for 20 years. Is there some kind of competition you are thinking about, but not saying? I know of no competition that is only for springers, but in formal paper target competition they are4 no longer competitive.

    As for the John Deere tractor remark, I happen to LIKE them! I was saying that the Diana 48/52 looks more utilitarian, compared to the sleek TX200.

    Get the CF-X if that’s the gun you want. It’s a great air rifle – especially for the money. But if you want the very best, get a TX200 in .177 caliber.


  6. Cesar,

    You are currently in the overwhelmed state. You are reading all the ads and trying to figure out what air rifle you want from the ad copy.

    Even if I answered evey question you ask, which I am not going to do, you would always have another.

    This happens to most new airgunners. What you need to do is start researching your questions using the search engines. Beware of what people say – especially on the airgun chat forums – because many who post there have no more experience than you. They are caught up in the communication, rather than airgunning.

    Do your research and before long you will narrow your search down to a couple of guns. At that point – make a choice! We all have to do exactly the same thing, because there is no way to transfer human experience. It has to be earned – one day at a time.

    But if you want my opinion, I’d suggest a Diana 48 in .22 caliber for 50-yards crows.


  7. Cesar,

    I believe B.B. is right; at some point you just have to dive in.

    My first air rifle was a RWS/Diana 36 in .177 with a scope. Very nice gun which I still have and shoot. If I did it over now, the 36 would still be a fine choice (if one could find one). But I spent way too much time buying the gun! Instead of trying to decide what to buy, I should have spent my time learning to shoot it properly, setting up the scope for 20 yards and learning more about estimating distances and trajectory, etc. Then shoot lots of pellets – they are cheap!

    You will learn so much more by shooting than reading, and you will have more fun. (This from a lawyer and perpetual student who loves to read.)

    A .22 Diana 48 is a great choice for your stated needs. Make sure you learn proper hold, how to estimate distance and know the trajectory of your pellet before you start hunting or you will get frustrated. I tried to start hunting right away, thinking I could just point and shoot like when using a nice quality scoped .22 firearm. Air guns are harder than this but very rewarding.

    Send in your money now! Get a cool package in a couple of days! Show those soup and soda cans that you mean business!

    When you get good with your first gun, you can start thinking about what you want in your second. 🙂


  8. BB
    You have mentioned a candidate for the “best airgun for the least money” question. I can’t find the posting but it was a Russian sidelever that looked a bit weird but had lots of features, was accurate, and cost ±$50.

  9. Allight im going for the ss1000 for the scope.

    I would choose the legacy but it only comes in 22 without the scope.

    “At 20 yards when sighted this gun has no trouble making very tight groups with many shots hitting the same hole or touching it” this one comes in favor of the ss1000

    “I am able to pick off squirrels at over 40 yards with ease, thanks to the exellent scope.” same for this one.

    “All this adds up to a very nice package that has a 5 shot 1 hole accuracy at 10-15yards. Brilliantly clear Beeman 3x9x32 scope and mounts. I like the trigger after adjusting it to my likely, it is two stage.” Another one in its favor.

    Im going for it 🙂

  10. B.B.
    There are a few semi-auto pellet guns out there. I once owned a Crosman 1008B which uses the rotary magazine, but in reality it’s a double action revolver if you want to get technical about it, meaning that you get a heavy trigger pull unless you manually cock the hammer between shots.
    Is there a semi-auto system that has a light trigger pull without manual cocking? How do the Steyr mechanisms work with their laterally sliding magazines?
    Also, is the rotary type system very efficient? It seems like there are alot of gaps that may be prone to air loss unless tolerances are extremely tight.
    I’m asking because I plan to build an airgun and would like to implement a semi-auto system that does maintain a light trigger pull, I guess I’m spoiled by my M1911. 😀

  11. AirForce45,

    If a true semiauto is your goal look at the Crosman 600, Crosman 451 and the Drulov DU-10. Being a 1911 lover, the 451 will be especially interesting. All three of these pistols have puls of a pound or less.

    The rotary and slide (harmonica) magazines do have to fit well, but modern CNC machining makes that pretty easy. They have seals that react to pressure and they are efficient.


  12. B.B.
    About your confusion let me explain saying I’m not American. I’m from Brasil and there are competitions where they don’t allow the called olimpic guns, those very expensive like PCP or CO2 charged, due to give oportunity to all shooters. And the competition I have mentioned are paper targets and silhouette.
    For now I’ll exaust my CBC air gun A very cheap but good air gun produced here in Brazil.
    Walther P99 Fan,
    I will consider your advice. But when I went to the gun shop I had oportunity to hold both Gamo CF and Hunter 440 and the feeling of Hunter was better than CF so I have another thing to think about. 🙂

    Thanks you two.

  13. Markowic,
    I’m sure you can’t go wrong with the hunter 440 either. Just like B.B. and ehrich said, go with whatever gun appeals to you and spend more time shooting. You’ll learn to appreciate your equipment and be able to to enjoy a long lasting hobby. I thnik I can safely assume that accuracy potentials of the hunter 440 and CF-X are very close if not the same since Gamo probably uses the same rifling on all their barrels, and all their barrels are the same quality. The performance difference will probably depend on shooting technique and hold.

    -Walther P99 Fan

  14. Walther P99 Fan,
    I was wondering about the CF only cos the fixed barrel since Hunter 440 has more power. And as I’ve held both at same time I thought the Hunter was more confortable and stable than CF. But like I’ve said before, I’ll exhaust completely my simple but eficient gun and in the future make an upgrade to the Gamo. I can’t expend money for now since I’m geting married tomorrow. I need to buy some forniture and all that house stuff.
    Thanks about your attention.


  15. Markowic,
    No problem in waiting. I waited, researched and saved up for about 4 months before getting my CF-X, but kinda wished I waited longer as I found an even cheaper, better deal after I bought it. And waited, researched, and saved up for almost a year before I saw the walther CP99 w/nickel slide on a really good clearance sale at a local sporting store before purchasing that one (50% off retail price, so it was a steal!). I bought the CF-X because it was an affordable fixed barrel, and also based on the blog about the rifle by B.B. When I was considering getting my first pellet rifle, I narrowed my choice to fixed barrel spring rifles only, and the CF-X was the most affordable to try out. I’ve read a few stories of people losing their fingers on other types of fixed barrel spring rifles due to their carelessness, but I liked the CF-X due to a lot of safety features (especially the rotary breech as it’s impossible to lose a finger from that breech). Waiting could be good sometimes, as you might be able to run into a good sale or good deal later. Congrats on your marriage by the way!

    -Walther P99 fan

  16. Just a suggestion for anyone who fancies doing a bit of airgun customisation that is not too expensive or difficult for a beginner….
    Get a Gamo 440 – then modify it with a gasram, add Maccari buttons to the piston and if you still don’t like the Gamo trigger after it’s run-in (a thousand or so shots should do it), substitute a “Charliedatuna” trigger unit as well.

  17. You menitoned that your favorite spring pistol was the Diana M10. What is that? I see on your web site the P5 (so called).

    You also mentioned your favorite PCP pistol was the FWB P34. How does this compare to the Hunting Master AR6 by Evanix? I have just discovered this gun and am interested (though the price will put it off for a *long* while).

    You also mentioned the Crossman 600. I can’t find it on your web site, is it still made? What was it like?

    Love you blog!


  18. B.B.

    I am wondering, if you consider the Talon SS as your best PCP, why is it that it is not used in FT competitions? Yes I know it is so powerful that the metal targets suffer the risk of damage, but is its being accurate not enough to be considered in competition? The power level can be turned down to safer levels while maintaining accuracy, right?


  19. Dave,

    Field target is shot from the sitting position. It helps a lot to have a heavy rifle, to steady it while aiming. The Talon SS is one of the lightest air rifle made – certainly for the power it produces.

    Shooters have used the SS in competition and it does okay. But there is no way to keep up with those $2,500 special-purpose rifles the champions use.

    Light is good for hunting but bad for field target.


  20. For B.B.

    I desperately want a Crossman 600 & I have searched no-stop since my last post above, & the only available one I have found, is going for $375.00

    All it says is “Good Condition, Seal Condition Unknown Sold As Is”

    What do you think?

    Thanks in advance for your input.


    – The Big Bore Addict –

  21. Big Bore Addict,

    You’ve been talking about this for a few DAYS on this blog. It takes MONTHS and YEARS to locate some airguns. Let’s get some perspective.

    Have you attended any airgun shows? That’s where the 600s appear. I saw no less than 20 for sale (all under $300) in 2007 at the two shows I attended.

    Are you in touch with any major dealers in collectible airguns? People like Ron Sauls at Bryan & Associates. That’s how to locate Crosman 600s.


  22. Hi B.B.

    lol… You don’t know me. Months? Years? Me? NOOOOO! lol

    $375 too much? I didn’t know their value, but common sense told that was too much, & that’s why I wanted to check with you to confirm, as well as… “Ron Sauls at Bryan & Associates” ???
    Never heard of him.

    This is exactly why I’m asking you.

    I can appreciate your frustration with a gun hoe rookie (pun intended),like me that wants one yesterday, but please understand, that I am new to collecting so please pardon my ignorance.

    Also, please understand that I HAVE been looking for a high capacity, semi- auto, powerful, & very accurate .22 cal. for a long time, & when you said that the 600 was the best gun ever made, & I found out that they can be modified to 500 fps with longer barels, high capacity CO2, & nore… Well can you imagine my frustration when I googled for hours, & found practically nothing except the one that sold in three hours!

    DOH! [smacks self in head] lol

    OK… Now you have given me “perspective” as to an idea of their value, & how to find one.

    For that I thank you. 🙂

    Now, back to my problem of patience… hehe

    I work in the casino industry & my hours vary, so it’s hard if not impossible to get to the gun shows,
    so my best chance is online, however I will look into Ron Sauls at Bryan & Associates.

    I did read your other reply.

    Thank you VERY much for your info & advice. 🙂

    B.B. You are a scholar & a gentleman!

    P.S. Just an FYI, but I am a loyal PA customer & buy everything I can from them.
    I have spoken to Josh, Gabe, & Boris, & they are great guys.


    – The Big Bore Addict –

  23. B.B.

    I WISH!

    When you work in the casino industry, the hardest days to get off are the ones when there is an event or show, that draws people here from out of town. 🙁

    Plus, & I quote per the Shot Show attendee rules;

    “Only individuals doing business in the shooting, hunting or outdoor trade or affiliated with the trade may
    attend the SHOT Show. “

    “The SHOT Show is for the trade only and is not open to the general public.”

    I’m not a dealer nor am I ffiliated with the industry what so ever. I’m just a general enthusiast.

    So how would I get in, even if I could get the days off?

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