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Starting your own field target club: Start with one friend

by B.B. Pelletier (AKA Tom Gaylord)

This series is for Wayne in Ashland and for anyone else who thinks that he or she is the only airgunner on the face of the earth. I don’t care where you live, you can start a field target club. Okay, you guys in New York City and Chicago will have to drive a bit, but I had to drive 27 miles to my local FT club.

I identified myself today for two reasons. First, we have a lot of new readers, and I just wanted them to know who is behind the keyboard. More importantly, I was one of four guys who started the DIFTA field target club in Damascus, Maryland. You can check out what I tell you with current DIFTA members, one of whom – Joe McDaniel (signing on as Joe in MD) is both the match director at DIFTA today and the webmaster and one of the governors of AAFTA.

Here’s how we started. Phil Dean called to ask if I would come out to the Damascus Izaak Walton League to set up and run a demonstration adult airgun range during the 1996 Chevy Sportsman’s Team Challenge. My wife, Edith, and I had just returned from a disastrous public event at Aberdeen Proving Ground, where we had been asked to do pretty much the same thing. At Aberdeen, we were left on a range by ourselves (just Edith and me). The show’s promoters were announcing elsewhere that we were running “BB-gun competition for the kids!” So we got nothing but 4-10 year olds and their moms to shoot TX 200s and super-tuned R1s at field targets. Talk about a mismatch!

I finally gave up and went home when a boy who was helped by his father got hit in the eye with the scope of my recoiling R1 and THREW the rifle on the concrete pad! That rifle and stock still bear those scratches. Dad offered to pay, but when I told him what the highly modified gun was worth (about the same as his Chevette) he excused himself and, as they say in the fireworks industry, “retired quickly.”

So, I put Phil Dean through hell on the phone. I DID NOT want a repeat of that disaster! Had I known Phil, I would have known he would never let something like that happen on his watch.

We reluctantly went to the Chevy Sportsman’s Team Challenge, ran our public course (with Phil’s help, I might add), and we enlightened a bunch of old farts. Phil then asked if we could start a field target club at the Izaak Walton league. Inside one month, we held our first match, and I learned how a club gets started from nothing. For the record, the two other DIFTA founders are Jim Piateski and Ed Burrows.

You need three things to start a club
You need shooters, a place to shoot and targets to shoot at. Surprisingly, it’s easier to solve all three problems at the same time, than to tackle them individually. Here’s how you do it. You start with one friend. Now, don’t tell me you don’t have any friends, because I’m the original loner. You gotta find a friend.

Before Phil, Jim and Ed came into my life I had found a shooting friend at a local gun show. We were just talking and the conversation got around to airguns. I owned a Career 707 but had no place outside my basement to shoot it and Wayne owned a farm and had always wanted to see one of those big pellet rifles shoot. Long story short, we went to his farm and shot – a lot. Then we each bought a field target that was made for a .22 rimfire, believe it or not. It has a 2-inch kill zone which is perfect for two old doofuses (doofi?) like us.

Anyhow, I owned this one totally inappropriate field target (plus four legitimate ones), but I’d shot with a field target club in Virginia a couple of times. Their match director, Trooper Walsh, offered to lend our new club 20 old targets his club no longer used. Wayne didn’t want to shoot with us, but Trooper put the word out in Maryland and Virginia and we had about 10 total shooters show up at the first shoot.

So, to summarize, find a friend, he’ll bring in his friends and one of them will know of some land you can use. And here’s a tip when meeting the landowner for the first time. Don’t take your Career 707 along. Let him see your Gamo Whisper or RWS Diana 34 Panther – a gun that doesn’t sound like something a sniper might use.

Let’s pretend your friend is the loan officer at your bank. His sister’s husband’s parents own a cherry orchard about 35 miles from where you live. They will let you use five acres of brushland situated off to one side of the orchard, plus the landowner husband is sort of interested to see what these adult airguns can do. His best friend is a home remodeler who has a woodworking shop, so he gets the plans for field targets off the internet and quickly builds 10. You pony up $30 for target reset strings and related materials and within two weeks you hold your first match. Three other shooters show up and you squad the five new shooters (the landowner, his best friend and the three new guys) with you and your buddy, so everyone can share the two air rifles you have between you.

The landowner is hooked and buys a TX200 for the next match. Your pal suggests you charge everyone $10 per match and give a $5 discount to the people who help set up the course. He tells you those funds will offset the $200 he’s going to put up to buy 10 field targets from Pyramyd AIR.

For match No. 2, you have 20 targets (the 10 he bought plus the 10 the guy made). Two more new guys show up (one of the three new guys from last time invited them), plus your friend’s sister’s husband, so now there are 10 of you. The landowner’s wife barbecues hamburgers and hot dogs for which she charges a very low price, plus there’s a cooler full of sodas and iced tea.

Honest-to-gosh, this is how it’s done! I didn’t make up anything to write this blog – just changed an occupation or two. Phil Dean really did buy a TX200, after I let him shoot mine at the Chevy Sportsman’s Team Challenge. Ed Burrows bought a Maccari custom TX200 a couple months later, and Jim Piateski was our carpenter. I used to let guys shoot my TX or my FWB 124 until they got rifles of their own. We didn’t have to make our own targets, but another club that formed in northern Virginia did just that. And it was at Trooper’s club in Virginia where the barbecue was served.

The most important part of starting a field target club is to find a friend.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

92 thoughts on “Starting your own field target club: Start with one friend”

  1. Hey B.B.,
    Great write up. i would love to start a FT club around here, but no one really buys into airguns. Also i was wondering, when you planned on finishing the 10 meter pistol article? Or did you already finish? Oh yeah, and i know ive asked a million time, but can you think of a gun that can take out coon sized animal out to about 20yds, for under $400 besides the Disco, and The Falcon? Thanks,

  2. B.B.

    Great story, It does sound possible, now to do it on the 12 ac. we have here……..we have all three things you say we need….people, rifles, and land…….just need targets, ( we are thinking of the electronic targets some day soon, so we can stream the video online of the shooter and the guns performance)

    The details of the administration stuff…and linking with the DIFTA, is the missing link….

    Kind of cool that your friend is also named Wayne..

    Hope to meet you at the class this year and be your friend as well….


    I want to learn this first hand, not by the internet..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range & Rentals
    (soon to open……..we hope)

  3. Wayne,

    The American Airgun Field Target Association (AAFTA) is the U.S. governing body for field target. They have dozens of member clubs. The Damascus Ikes Field Target Association (DIFTA) is one of those clubs,. It’s based in Damascus, Maryland. It’s sponsored by the Damascus chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, or Ikes for short.


  4. Wayne,

    Yep, Wayne Fowler was my shooting buddy in Maryland.

    It doesn’t look good for a field target course this year. I will push it several more times, but so far you are the only guy to show interest in coming this year.


  5. B.B.

    So if you become a member club, you get “authorized” to have an official meet?… Is there a news letter or something that lets people know a meet is coming up..

    What a bummer………….no one is signing up…..

    Oh well, we will do our best on line.


  6. Wayne,

    I don’t think you’ve noticed that I link to AAFTA in most reports where they are mentioned.

    Go here and all your questions will be answered. Note: the website has poor navigation tools, so look around a bit.


    For example, you won’t see the site links until you click on the words at the top of the home page.


  7. Mr. Pelletier, a while back you reviewed the RWS 850 airmagnum in .177 and on the Pyramyd AIR site they have an offer on FREE Co2 and pellets in .177 only, is the .22 THAT much better to pass up the .177 despite the total cost (w/ pellets and Co2) of a .22 is $30 more? Put simply, is the .22 good enough to warrant the price difference?


  8. B.B.

    Off topic, thanks again for the free advice on collector guns and good used ones……can I get more?

    The guy just 300 miles north of me, that has the 300r, I know I want, also has a HW77MKII like new in box, with 300 shots on it…$460

    and a Diana 46 stutsen, same cond. $446

    I can now buy these wholesale at PA for just a little more…they don’t look that old….

    and more important, are these good for the range, or should I just buy some TX200s for the high end renters and forget all the others for field target….

    It is better to buy new ones or slightly used not too old ones…

    Were there better years or production runs on these models?


  9. ExplodingSquirre,

    That’s a promotion offered by the importer of the rifle – not Pyramyd AIR. It is only offered on the .177 caliber gun. You have to decide what you want to do with the gun and which deal seems right for you.


  10. B.B.

    A martial arts master once told me, “Who needs friends? I can get into trouble all by myself….”

    That story about the kid throwing down your rifle is pretty outrageous. I think the market is on the other side of the age spectrum. If I were an independently wealthy venture capitalist, my pet project would be to introduce airgun clubs to residents of nursing homes. I worked for a time as an activities assistant at a nursing home trying to dream up things for them to do which, as much as any medical treatment, seemed most important to their overall health. You wouldn’t believe the amount of intelligence and interest sitting around in these homes with nothing to do or the appalling gap between the things available to them like buttered toast and bad singing by volunteer groups and what they are capable of. One resident precipitously wheeled herself away from singing by one volunteer with just about the worst voice I’ve ever heard.

    Just to show that their fires are still burning there was a case of one female putting in a temporary stay as the outcome of an abuse case. She caught the attention of one guy and affected a complete transformation. From being almost catatonic he was dancing at functions, cracking jokes and becoming quite the man about town. Then when her time was up, he slipped back into the hulk of his former self.

    My dream is of a team of nice-looking young folks in monogrammed uniforms showing up at the nursing home on a regular schedule with the very latest in airgun equipment and trained to teach the residents the finer points of the artillery hold. The residents would go wild. And the pool of elderly is only going to get bigger….


  11. B.B. (and firearms enthusiasts),

    My test for a handgun safety card, required to get my 1911, is coming up soon and I could use a bit of tutoring. My question has to do with the case of a failure to fire and is motivated by a story I heard as a kid. It is so grotesque that it could be an urban legend, but it was reported to me as truth. The story goes that at a local range, these guys were blasting away with 1911s. Suddenly one of them experienced a failure to fire. Before he could even think to access his knowledge of safety procedures, he instinctively looked down the bore for an obstruction and BOOM.

    The proper procedure that I’ve gleaned for this kind of malfunction is that you are supposed to keep the gun pointed downrange from anywhere between 10 to 30 seconds. Then, you rap the bottom of the magazine to make sure it is seated, cant the pistol over to the right, rack the slide to eject the round and chamber a new one.

    The question is since the round is liable to go off at any time, isn’t it still a danger when it is ejected? And what if it happens to be pointing at me when it is ejected? Even if it isn’t pointed at me could the discharge in the open air cause damage? And what about when the cartridge hits the ground? I’ve read that centerfire cartridges are less susceptible than rimfires to going off when they hit the ground. But all bets are off with a faulty round, and since the primer is filled with a shock-sensitive explosive, it seems like any impact is dangerous. One remedy might be to eject the round very slowly and carefully onto a surface, but that means keeping it in closer proximity. So what’s the story here? This type of malfunction seems to be far and away the most dangerous.


  12. B.B.

    You’re right, the liability is a huge problem. Once I rescued a resident just in time before he tried to wheel himself down a staircase to get to a Coke machine. Hence the need for the very expensive, personalized attention of my team. Maybe a service organization like Teach for America could do it, and I would be willing to give up on the monogrammed uniforms. Another problem is that most people old enough to get into a nursing home are women.

    Wayne, if there is a nursing home in your area and you could figure out a way around the barriers, the opportunity is there for spreading a lot of good publicity quickly. My experience is that the relatives of the residents in most cases wouldn’t or couldn’t make regular visits and weren’t sure what to do when they did. They were very grateful to anyone who could take their place.


  13. Hey B.B.,
    I cant seem to find the Best airguns for the maoney articles, ao if you could give me the link to the final report, then i can access them all. Thanks,

  14. When using someone’s farmland or orchard for field target competition, how do you address the owner’s concern with lead contamination and toxicity? Are there standards or best practices for minimizing lead entering the environment?

  15. Matyt,

    The only reason to wait with a modern firearm is for a cookoff. Few people shoot long enough to get a gun to the cookoff heat.

    However, a hangfire (primer taking time to ignite) is still possible, I suppose. Ejection after 30 seconds lowers the cookoff risk immediately, and after 30 seconds the hangfire risk is abated.

    Ammo that goes off outside the chamber of the gun poses a minor danger, but generally not lethal. Modern gunpowder needs to be contained to ignite properly.


  16. Hey B.B.,
    Do you know of anyone who still sells the HW 50? It looks like an excellent air rifle, and it seems to be perfect for what i want it for. If not, i may just have to post a wanted on the classifieds.

  17. Lead hazard,

    Lead isn’t a problem like you might think. Yes, lead it toxic, but it isn’t the deadly poison the media makes it out to be. We shot firearms, shotguns and airguns at the Izaak Walton League chapter in Maryland, and the only concern they had was that the shot size be small enough to not carry too far.

    The Izaak Walton League of America is a conservation organization that is extremely concerned with the environment. Yet they had zero concerns about an outdoor airgun range.

    Lead doesn’t “enter the environment.” It’s mined FROM the environment!

    The dangers you have read about concerning lead in the environment were centered in wetlands, where certain species of birds are bottom-feeders and were scooping up birdshot with the mud when they fed. So hunting in wetlands now requires the use of non-toxic shot.

    But the lead that goes into a safety berm is far less of a hazard. Witness the approximately 7,000 public and private ranges that operate in the U.S. If lead were a real danger, wouldn’t there be a uproar about that?

    The key is to have a safety berm on your sight-in range to trap all shots. The lead stays there. Some of it oxidizes and the rest just remains as lead.

    Behind the field target lanes it’s best to have at least 200 yards of distance where food animals don’t graze.


  18. Awesome. Will they still be in the $200 to $400 range?
    Thanks a lot,
    P.S. i agreee on the lead being a hazard to waterfowl. Thats the resaon you must use either still, or tungsten shot. But what i dont get is the ban of lead in californias condor area? Can you explain that?

  19. Thanks B.B.

    I will check out the AAFTA site….


    I share your concern for the exploding elderly population and their healthy last years…..our parents….and we too are headed that way…..so lets’ make it better for them and us while we can…..

    But how? Liability, Liability, Liability, what to do about it?

    A LLC company like our business uses, is a possibility, if you want to do books on a large group of investor/end users…

    sounds like a club might be better….but B.B. or someone will have to tell us about the Liability in club structures.

    Maybe a room can be setup for 10 meter gallery shooting with some small light pcp like the discovery on c 02, (might still be too loud, but the right gun should not be hard) in a harness…then you might get away with with one instructor for two customers….

    If we could convince the owners of the rest home that there is a market for such a room…and they can charge xtra for use of the room…. and they might get more customers to their home, with the added features….then the liability would be theirs, I think….(or am I dream’in again?)

    Lead hazard,

    We have grazing and wild animals close by…. so we plan to have sheds that people shoot from ( to control where they can aim) and sheds that get shot into…collecting the lead for remaking into pellets or rounds..( still researching that)


    Glad to hear that the small amount of lead I have been shooting around the property is not doing harm….

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  20. brody,

    The condors eat dead animals that might have been shot with lead…
    tests have shown that lead is ending up in the Condors, and it reduces their ability to reproduce.


  21. Love the blog, it’s become my regular lunch break read.

    I recently overhauled my Daisy 880 and have starting shooting again for the first time in several years. I found a set of Daisy brand bb/pellet profiles that I’ve had since I was kid and was curious if you know what range they were intended to be set at?

    Saving my pennies for that air arms S410…

  22. Wayne,

    I think you’re dreaming in the case of “elder care” establishments building ranges, but they might provide transport and some non-technical support for residents to go off-site to an approved location.

    Its impressive that you care — some of what our elderly experience is truly mind-numbing, whereas stimulation (i.e., “something that’s interesting”) is just the thing to keep their minds sharp. Airguns could be just the thing for them, although Wayne is right that co2 and PCP would be best for the majority. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, to find a few old guys from various professions that would enjoy the tinkering aspects “off-hours” as well, thus providing even more value to them.

    Are you planning to launch a trial program of some sort?

  23. bg_farmer

    You’re right that liability is the killer for the nursing homes. The best bet would be exactly what you describe which is controlled visits to offsite facilities which they actually had at the place where I worked. That wouldn’t reach some of the people who are confined in house or wouldn’t be motivated to get out, but it is something.

    About the only thing that could possibly get in the door would be the Daisy 499 with careful supervision, but that would still be unlikely.

    There’s another possible outlet. One solution I’ve heard to the burgeoning population of elderly is to keep them at home as much as possible; most don’t want to go to a nursing home anyway. These individuals who often sit around with nothing to do might benefit. They wouldn’t be inhibited by physical limitations as long as the eyesight is intact. There was the case of my late grandfather who moved in with his daughter for the last few years of his life and spent most of it in a complete funk. All he did for amusement was indulge his lifelong passion for sweets and once after eating 11 pastries in a row gave himself a terrible stomachache.

    I’m afraid that there is no trial program planned until I receive a sudden windfall which I am not expecting any time soon. I’ll have to leave the details to someone else….


  24. I worked in a nursing home as an orderly, the summer before I was drafted and sent to Vietnam. It was one of the better such homes in Delaware, and it was still pretty depressing.

    I remember trying to interest the manager in letting me run a swimming program there, and getting sarcasm for my efforts (“Swimming? That’s just what we need here…more liability.”). So I doubt if the airgun thing would work in-house. More likely, as was pointed out here, driving the ones who could still function to an off-site range would be (possibly) feasible. It might be more likely to sell the directors on in-house, low-powered airsoft shooting…if it didn’t cost them anything. In my experience, nursing homes are a business like any other, and the bottom line is profit margin and low liability programs.

    In my nursiing home was an elderly woman tied to a schoolchair and left outside her room. Her constant mantra when you passed her was “turnmeloose turnmeloose turn…” Another gentleman gave me a dime once and asked me to call his son to ask for a visit. He said he was too old to see the dial anymore. So I dialed the son and told him his father would like him to visit. There was a long silence, followed by a vitriolic “What the h..l do you think I’m paying YOU for?!” Oops.

    We had one gentleman who still had his wits (you tend to lose your will pretty quickly in such environments). He and I had great conversations (most of my patients needed most to be listened to…to tell their stories to anyone who would offer them the dignity of active listening) while he carved intricate wooden art. He left suddenly after his relatives visited and saw the kind of hell they’d mistakenly consigned him to.

    Another…I could go on for quite a while. The important thing is, the nursing homes I’ve been involved with (including the ones here on Maui that I helped sing Christmas carols for — on key), are run by an administrative staff that still believes in a warehouse-and-forget-them outlook. I’m sure there are exceptions to this but I admit I’ve never run into one. And I’m afraid the urge to shoot the administrators in the butt with plastic BBs would prove overwhelming to both patients and nursing staff as well….

    Just my rather ‘vitriolic’ point of view…driven by a vague fear of somehow winding up like that as I get older.

    –Joe B.

  25. Joe B.

    First I cried, then laughed……..
    what a comment……

    I love it……..
    I am going to open a chain of elderly owned LLCs’ that give each and every customer an air soft gun to shoot the administrators in the butt……..
    The rules of the LLC doc will say that administrators have to visit each customer once a day….

    Want to be a founding member?


  26. BG_Farmer,

    All the better for the “Ashland Air Rifle Range & Rentals”…
    If we can figure out how to service them, safely and within reasonably liability constraints, when they get transported….

    Maybe we can get a contract to provide the service or something…..

    But, what about all the folks left behind…..AIR SOFT…


  27. Wayne,

    I think it could be an excellent “outreach” for you and fun activity for them. Not to mention, they would be happy to come during off-hours (for most of your clientele), so it wouldn’t be disruptive, either.

  28. Tom, Scott298 reporting in-as always give you wife my rgards and I hope all is well. The reason for the blog- are we going to be hearing anything from you in regards to the leapers mounts for the rws guns with barrell droop? Are they any quicker to adjust than B-Square 1 piece adjustable or do you just attach them and that’s it?

  29. Anonymous,

    Not sure what you thought I meant, but I wasn’t being sarcastic. Sometimes you do things that don’t make money or save you time just because its the right thing to do. Barring that motivation, some people/businesses do the right thing because they want to seem to care. As long as something gets done, it may be OK either way.

  30. Hausners–

    Hmmm, I never thought of them as particularly German, but then I started eating there as a kid and might not have noticed. The first time my parents took me we stood in a long line outside, waiting to be seated, while a drunk threw leftover biscuits at everyone (good thing he didn’t hit my dad: Irish, short temper, very muscular). When you went in, there was a big case filled with deserts in front of you (OMG! The strawberry shortcake was ENORMOUS!), the dining room to your left and a bar with a huge painting of a reclining nude (I always admired them for that) to the right. In the restaurant part, the menus were a page each of small-typed meat, fowl and fish. And you’d eat with a bust of Caesar or some other statuary staring over your shoulder, because the restaurant doubled as the owner’s private museum. There were more art works upstairs you could go look at.

    When I first went, in the early ’60s, they were located in the Polish end of Baltimore. As the years went on, this became a Black neighborhood.

    I brought my fiance there the end of 1969, before I went to Vietnam, and some friends from a Peace Walk that was passing nearby in 1981. That was the last time. My wife and I stopped by one last time on our way to Boston, but by then they had closed forever. That was around 2002, as I remember.

    Robert Ruark talked about his grandfather taking him there during the Depression, in one of the two The Old Man & the Boy series.

    When it closed, it was the end of an era for me, and the loss of a fine restaurant and a tradition of excellence. I’m so sorry you missed it. I miss it still.

    –Joe B.

  31. BB,

    I read somewhere that propane is hard on gas Softair guns. Now I sprayed the recommended lubricant on the inside of the fill adapter that goes on the campstove-sized propane bottle. But what is the best way to continue to get lubricant into the firing mechanism of my WE Tech 1911A1?

    Is there anything else I should be aware of when using propane in a gas softair gun (other than not smoking…)?


    Joe B.

  32. BB,

    What I meant was: can you spray silicon lubricant in the magazine’s gas well or on the tip of the propane adapter nipple, much the same way as you would put a drop of Pellgun oil on the tip of each CO2 cartridge before piercing it? Can you put a drop of Pellgun oil on the nipple or in the well (seems like I remember being warned somewhere not to use Pellgun oil on a gas gun)?


    –Joe B.

  33. Joe B.,

    To get oil into your pistol, put it inside the fill nipple before connecting the gas. It will be blown through the gun and get onto every sealing surface.

    I’ve heard that propane is hard on gas guns too. It comes from the vendors of green gas. Just read what shooters say about it and you’ll see there is no harm done.

    Just make sure you only use propane in green gas guns, because they operate at 115 psi (which is propane’s pressure). Red gas guns operate at 100 psi and will be harmed by the higher pressure of propane.


  34. Brody,

    In the RWS Diana 34 Panther, the Crosman Premier pellet worked very well. So use that or the Premier hollowpoint that flies the same.

    Yes, the 34 Panther is great for small game. Limit your range to the distance at which you can keep all your shots inside one inch (which is about one-half inch or less from your intended target.


  35. San Rafael is an older address for the Beeman Company. An HW 50S sold from there will be the true HW50 and not the one that is on the market today. The S means the rifle will have a Rekord trigger.

    Good condition is pretty bad, so I will guess you really meant very good to excellent condition. A 50S should sells for $250-300 in that condition.


  36. Brody

    The HW50S is a great rifle. The newer versions are the equivalent of the older R6 or HW99, which were very dependable. The reason for the appeal of the HW50S for me is
    its “just right” mid size and power.

    More robust than the R-7 which will give you about 7-8 ft lbs, the 50 gives you about 11-12 ft lbs, so it can do double duty and be called on for pest and some small game hunting,
    while still enjoyable for target or indoor shooting.

    As you move up in power, length, weight, recoil and noise increase exponentially. The HW50S in .22 caliber would be my number one pick as an all around air rifle. I have come to this conclusion after 30 years of buying and selling airguns. Needless to say, I am a very slow learner.

    Sadly, I think many start air gunning with lower quality or ultra high power springers, which can discourage them from continuing with the sport.

    Sounds like Pyramid Air will caring them again soon………
    worth the wait.

  37. RE: oiling a gas pistol when using propane

    BB, how often should I do this? F’r instance, you put a drop of Crosman Pellgun oil on each CO2 cartridge…should I oil inside the adapter tip each time I insert it into the gas well of each magazine (I have 2), or less often? Sorry to be so dense. Would Pellgun oil be as effective as Crosman SIlicon spray in a gas gun?

    There were 2 Ruark books as I remember: The Old Man and the Boy, and The Old Man’s Boy Grows Older. Personally I love discovering a series after most of them have already been written. Like Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover books, I get to consume them without waiting for the next one to be written.

    I bought an AEG Thompson M1A1 and the 300 rd mag from PA last week…it’s due here Tues. Buying these things and then waiting for them to show up is like Christmas all year ’round! [Being 61 has definite advantages over being a kid…except for the creaky joints of course.]

    –Joe B.

  38. B.B.,

    Should I use pellgunoil on my condor when I get the co2 adapter? If so, do I need to clean anything off before going back to HPA? I guess I’m asking should I just go back and forth between the two without any changes with or without pellgunoil? Thanks.

    The Man

  39. The Man,

    Use the Pellgunoil when you fill the CO2 tank. That way, the oil goes where it is needed – to the valve seals – and you don’t have to worry about the difference of operating with air or CO2. The valve is inside the tank, so switching between tanks is no problem.


  40. It seems to me that the biggest problem when starting a FT club would be the “where” part. For one thing it will need lots of room for safety. It will belong to someone and they need to be convinced. If it belongs to a club member great but what does he do about insurance? Does he just let a bunch of strangers to shoot guns on his land and trust that if one gets hurt they won’t sue? Seems to be the hard part to me.

  41. B.B. & All

    That is what I like about the Limited Liability Company model……
    It can be used for a business or (non profit, I guess, just spend all the profits on new stuff)…

    Each members liability is limited to there investment..
    Each person who wants to be a “member” ( I don’t think there is a limit), buys in, and sells out at the value of the company when they sell. So the members gain in equity, as the company grows, or loose equity as the company goes down. But no member can loose more than they invest….

    Taxes are like a general partnership, without the liability… All members are responsible for their own taxes, so there are no payroll taxes on the members, and the members payments can be deducted. (Check before using my experience)

    It is a great model for business, as far as I can tell, every one is motivated to create profit while providing the best possible customer service we can with the cash flow available) ( after two years, we have grown very fast, and all members are very happy)…

    I still say this is the way to protect against being put away in some place where you have no control….
    Picture a retirement home where you buy in while you have control of your affairs, and the estate sells when you die. As soon as you arrive you get a “Air soft Pistol”.
    The Administration has the biggest targets on their butts, because they own 10% of the company. The more you own, the bigger the target….

    How is that for motivation….

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  42. “You can’t over-oil.”

    That’s what I thought about my Belgian Browning O/U, until the forearm fell apart from a lifetime of over oiling (it got all spongy inside, which I didn’t notice until it splintered when I reattached it one day). Of course, by then the sight rail had fallen off and Browning refused to deal with any of it because I had Briley install chokes and that voided the warranty…[sigh].

    Airsoft is sooo much less expensive to deal with (and the neighbors don’t complain as much…)

    –Joe B.

  43. Wayne,

    Motivation is hitting their butts, no matter HOW small the target is….

    Of course, if they turned their attitude around, there’d be no more motivation to shoot their little piggy butts (other than pure cussedness, of course).

    –Joe B.

  44. Shadow Express dude
    How do you crown a barrel? What purpose does a barrel crown serve. The end of the plastic muzzle (shadow express) has a crater that somewhat resembles a barrel crown. For 150$ it should have a barrel crown.

  45. Wayne,

    Are you in Ashland, Ohio? If so I live in Cleveland and shoot Field Target. I often go to WWCCA in Michigan to shoot and shoot locally at West Branch Rifle and Pistol Club near Grafton, Ohio.

    If you need targets, you could try making some wood ones like Brad Troyer shows on the AAFTA link.

    I have made about 25 targets and have held informal 50 shot matches at WBRPC.

    I would be interested in shooting with you in Ashland if you get something together.

    Jeff P

  46. Hello BB !

    I know this is not the right place to ask you my question but I must confess that I couldn’t find any other better place to do that.

    I would like to know if the air venturi gas spring for webley patriot fits only in the new models made in Turkey or it also fits in the old models made in England.

    Please if you have that info let me know. As I live in Brazil and here we don’t have any kind of info about this product I decided to ask you.

    Once again sorry for inconvenience you with my question.

    Thanks in advance and have a nice Week.


  47. Roger,

    There was a gas spring made for the British Webley Patriot. I tested it and it was great. But that was back in the 1990s.

    I doubt Air Venturi will make one, because the Patriot wasn’t made in numbers great enough to warrant the expense.


  48. Hello BB !

    Thank you so much for your fast reply.
    Yes I noticed that theoben made this gas strut for Beeman Kodiak an Webley Patriot in the past but right now it isn’t available any more.
    The gas strut made by air venturi you can find in the pyramyd air web site the following link:


    This is my doubt: Does it work only in Turkey made patriots or it also works in old models made in England ?

    What do you think ? Any guess ?
    Thank you very much for your help.
    Sincerely, your Brazilian mate.


  49. BB… Thank you very very much !
    You have not an idea how your reply made me happy !

    If you need anything from my country don’t hesitate to contact me anytime, anywhere. I’ll help you with pleasure.

    Kindest regards.

    Roger Padovan


  50. Roger,

    If you do this project, why not take some pictures and show everyone how it went? As a guest blogger?

    Don’t forget to chrono the gun before and after and let several people sample it for shooting behavior.


  51. Ok BB, I’ll !

    Unfortunatly I don’t have so much data before its seal piston brake I have only chrony data about 5 diferent pellets and a testing group around 15m.
    As soon my gas spring and new piston seal arrive I’ll redo the chrony and grouping tests and send to you by email and then we can share with the blog members :).
    Once again thank you very much, sorry for my bad english and have a nice week.

    Roger Padovan

  52. Hello B.B. good morning!
    Good news for you:
    The piston seal for patriot and the air Venturi gas spring arrived safely last week and I already assembled them together into the Patriot.
    My early scoop is:
    The muzzle velocity is almost the same as spring was. With the normal spring I had an average velocity around 628fps with Beeman Kodiak 31gr pellet.
    With the air Venturi gas strut I’ve got an average of 616fps with the same pellet. It also gave me more consistent shots like the 5 string bellow:
    1- 616,5fps
    2- 621,0fps
    3- 612,3fps
    4- 616,4fps
    5- 613,5fps
    Min= 612,3fps Max=621fps Spread=8,7fps Std Dev= 3.366 fps Ave= 615.9 fps, Pretty good, don’t you think ?
    I also got groups more tight than I had with the normal spring. I didn’t measure them yet, but the accuracy was increased for sure! I’ll get the right data and sent to you later.
    B.B. I also have one doubt and I think that you could help me. I just did that modification (substitute the spring for a gas ram ) because my seal piston broke after few shots. I believe that I spent only 3 cans of Kodiaks. I consider myself a guy over the average about air gun knowledge and I only lubricate my gun with Weblube as advised in owners manual. I always disagreed with this advice because the gun always diesel (not detonation) and the muzzle velocity were more or less constant.
    Well once I had to open the gun to change the piston seal I decided to put the gas ran in the place of original spring. Thus I decided to clean the compression chamber and lubricate the seal with Crosman Silicone Chamber oil. I notice that the gun still diesel but just little amount and no more smoke appear in the bore.
    My question is: Do the Crosman Silicone Chamber Oil is recommended to the Patriot Piston seal?
    What was the possible reason to my patriot had its piston seal disintegrated in the first time with so few shots, even not over lubing the gun? I can just imagine that the temperature in compression chamber was to high and this combination (high temperature and high impact with the piston and the end of the chamber) did this terrible job!
    Thanks in advance, and have a nice week.

  53. Roge3r,

    You are getting very good performance from the gas spring.

    Why did the piston seal fail? Like you, I don’t like lubing the gun like Webley recommends. Under-lubed is better than over-lubed in a powerful spring gun.

    The Crosman oil is silicone and perfect for your gun. Stay with it and forget both the Weboil and Webley’s instructions.

    You can’t avoid a diesel, but what you now have is how I like spring-piston guns to operate.

    Keep shooting.


  54. B.B.

    I really don’t know what happened! I suppose that the seal piston was damaged by the high temperature achieved inside the compression chamber, plus, the high impact, the piston against the chamber’s wall. I took some pictures, but if you wanna have an idea what happened, I can tell you how the piston seal was, after I’ve opened the gun.
    First of all I stopped to shot when I noticed that my shots didn’t hit the paper target. It took 2 rounds and, the third round the pellet was jammed into the barrel. I passed a cleaning rod and took pellet out the barrel. For my surprise it came out with pieces of the piston seal that had the consistence of a Rubber Band after long time of use…. Completely Melted!
    When in home I’ve opened the gun took of the main spring, the entire trigger block and when I turned the gun with barrel pointing up the piston dropped out with no seal. I got a flashlight and looked inside the chamber and the seal, or what rested of it, was “glued” in the end of compression chamber.
    To remove the seal from there, cost me lot of work because it was really melted in the end of the chamber. After took the pieces out I pressed them with my finger and thumb and it has the gelatin consistence….Very strange, don’t you think?
    But no problem! I’ve promised to myself open the Patriot only when one internal part brakes. Once it happened I decided upgrade the gun with a gas-spring and I am very happy now  !


    PS: Thanks for the Crosman silicone chamber oil tip!

  55. Hello B.B., Good morning !
    Hope that you had a nice Christmas and have a success 2009 !
    I know that’s not the right place to ask you one question, but I must confess I haven’t found a better place.
    Before do that, just a little observation about the patriot piston melted above. Those one are perfect compared with mine. It’s a shame I don’t have a picture to show you, but what rest from it was just few pieces with the maximum size of 3mm length.
    Well but let’s talk about my problem. I bought from Pyramyd AIR a Daisy 953 target rifle and it worked fine for few days but now what’s happening with it is quite strange.
    When I pump it slowly the air escape through the barrel. If you put your ear on the muzzle you can hear and feel the air flow escaping for this way.
    When I pump the rifle fast there is a little leaking the same way, but the pump lever become heavy and the air is trapped into the chamber as it should be, and them I can fire the rifle.
    I Didn’t disassembled the rifle to check what’s happening, but I believe that should have inside it a valve that has the function of be closed when it detects a little pressure inside the chamber and this valve is not working fine. ( just my feeling ).
    Do you have any information about a problem like that ? If you have what the guy did to fix the problem? If you haven’t…. well .. any advice ??
    Thanks in advance, and sorry for my bad English.

    Roger ( Brazil )

  56. Roger,

    Your rifle is leaking air – probably at the pump head end. The pump head seals the inlet side of the air chamber.

    The solution is to oil the pump head with 20-weight non-detergent oil, as it say in the owner’s manual:



  57. BB, I’m thinking that Roger might need to generously lube his gun with Crosman Pellgun oil and fire it off a few times to work it through the valve. Do you think that’s right?

  58. B.B. and Vince:

    Thanks for your fast reply. I’ll overoil it and test again. I Hope this procedure can fix it.
    But I have one new info for you: I oiled the pump felt with crosman pellgunoil and it didn’t fix the problem.
    I believe if the problem were in the pump head as you told the air would leak through the pump head, not through the end of rifled barrel (muzzle).
    I don’t know if I was clear because of my bad English. But the air is NOT leaking through the pump. IF the bolt is closed and you put your cheek in front of the muzzle and pump the gun you feel the air hitting your cheek. Did you understand me?
    Sorry for bothering you guys with my stupid question!
    Kindest regards


  59. Roger,

    Shoot, shoot, shoot that gun! The oil will be blown through the valve and get on every surface. If it isn’t sealed after 100 shots, it may have to go back for an overhaul. Just one tiny piece of hard grip on a valve surface can ruin the seal.


  60. B.B

    I really enjoy reading your articles and tips they informative and entertaining.

    I live in Northern Virgina and shoot Field Target at DIFTA a (50 mile drive). It would be nice to compete in Virginia also. I saw that you mentioned Trooper Walsh has a club in Northern Virginia. Do you have any contact information for Trooper Walsh’s Club.

  61. Big A,

    Trooper’s club has gone, I believe. But there were two Virginia clubs formed after we founded DIFTA.

    Come to the current day’s blog and ask Joe in MD what clubs are still operating. Or go to the DIFTA website and see if they are listed.


  62. Hello B.B.

    Well three months passed and I shot every weekend almost one pellet tin per weekend and also lubed my gun before and after each shooting season, but my Daisy Powerline 953 Target Pro is still leaking air when I pump the gun slowly. This not happens when I do that fast.
    So I decided to disassembly the gun and check what´s the problem next weekend.
    Do you have any advice for me ? Anything I must take care with ? What do you think be the problem ?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Kindest regards and have a nice week.
    Your Brazilian mate:


  63. Roger,

    I have never worked on the Daisy single-stroke mechanisms, but I do have some advice.

    CLEAN EVERYTHING! The number one cause of leaks is dirt.

    Then use a good silicone oil or a clean motor oil to wipe everything before assembly.

    Wear a magnifying hood if you have one, because cleanliness is everything in a pneumatic.

    Good luck!


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