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Education / Training 10-meter pistol shooting – Part 7

10-meter pistol shooting – Part 7

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Today, the Olympics began in Beijing. The Chinese selected this date for its luck. Being fascinated with numerology, the Chinese believe the number 8 to be lucky (sounds similar to the word for wealth, and today is 08/08/08 – a supremely lucky day! The 2008 Olympics will open precisely on 08/08/08 at 08:08:08 pm. That’s what I call planning ahead! The shooting events start tomorrow, with the Women’s Air Rifle going first on Saturday, 8/9. Men’s Air Pistol will also be shot on that day. Women’s Air Pistol happens on Sunday. and Men’s Air Rifle on Monday.

So, today is a fortuitous day to talk about 10-meter air pistols. I promised to review some of the guns for you, and that’s what I’ll do.

Beginning on a budget
My own experience was probably different than that of many others. I bought a 10-meter pistol while on tour in Germany and I started with a pistol near the top of the heap. This was in the 1970s, so the heap wasn’t very high yet, and my Diana model 10 cost just a little over $200. Today, you would have to spend at least $1,400 to start as high as I did. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

You can start at the bottom with either a Daisy 747 or a slightly more expensive Gamo Compact. Both will get you into the game, and since practice makes perfect, it’s better to start somewhere than to save up for the very best. Of the two guns, the Gamo has a far better grip, a slightly better trigger and slightly better sights. The Daisy is probably just as accurate and has more weight, which many shooters need to steady the gun. For the person who already owns a Daisy 717, yes you can use it, but don’t buy it for this purpose if you don’t already own one. Spend a little more and get the 747, because only it has the Lothar Walther barrel.

Now, for those who want to know if a Beeman P17 or even a Beeman P2 is okay for practice, the answer is “no.” Those guns are fine for informal target practice, but their grips are wrong for 10-meter shooting. If you have one and don’t want to spend any more money, nothing prevents you from using it, but there will not be as much transfer of the training benefit if you do. That’s all. Of course, anything is better than nothing.

Stepping up a notch
In the next price tier, we find the IZH 46M and a whole bunch of CO2 guns such as the Tau 7, the Chameleon (which I shoot), the Alfa Proj and different variations of those guns that have been marketed under other names over the years. In this group we find better everything – sights, grips and triggers. But not one gun among them is perfect in all aspects.

Some of the generations-old guns are now affordable as used guns. The FWB 65/80 is an example. It has almost no recoil and a decent trigger. You should be able to find one for $500. A Diana model 10 is another. A good one goes for around $450 and is completely recoilless. Either of these is as good as a second-tier pistol.

There’s a class of sport pistols like the Drulov DU-10 and the B-96 that are .177 caliber 5-shot semiautomatic repeaters. They’re accurate enough to be in the second tier of guns, but their triggers are generally creepier than the single-shots in this group. And, remember that a 10-meter pistol has to have at least a 500-gram (17.67 oz.) trigger-pull to be used in a match.

One pistol that I cannot yet classify may actually belong in the next tier, but if not, it belongs in this one. That’s the Air Arms Alfa Competition PCP pistol. I’ve held the gun, and it feels like it should be in the next tier but I haven’t tried the trigger enough, yet. That’s what it comes down to.

The third tier
These are pistols with new prices under $900, or all used air pistols. Some of the guns you used to find in this price tier have almost all the features of a top-tier gun. The Benelli Kite used to be available in this category. It has no frills, but the grips, trigger and sights are all first-rate. It was selling for $850 two years ago, but now it’s over $1,200 and no bargain at that price. For my money, a used pistol is a better deal.

There are a great number of former top-tier CO2 guns that now sell for $500-700. I would place them in with the third-tier guns. They’re Steyrs, FWBs, Walthers and others. They have great triggers, grips and sights – their use of CO2 is all that holds them back, besides the fact that they haven’t been updated in the past 15-20 years. After dropping 6 points in a match when my CO2 suddenly decided to give out, I no longer feel comfortable with CO2 in a match – even though my competition gun still uses it. That’s why I don’t rate these former winners any higher.

The top tier
When you get into this tier – guns over $1,000 – be prepared to spend a LOT more money. The best world-class pistols now top $2,000, or come close enough that there’s no change. If you’re going to spend this kind of money, be prepared to shop for the latest features. That means two air tanks (CO2 is dead at this level), a super-adjustable grip, fully adjustable sights and a fantastic trigger. Speaking of the trigger, I would avoid the electronic triggers. They feel no better than the best mechanical ones, and they use batteries. Nothing worse than a dead battery or a failed electronic module at a critical time! People may argue that mechanical triggers can fail, too, and perhaps they can (I’ve never seen one). If they do, a human being can fix them.

While there are a great many makers of pistols in this tier, three stand out – Feinwerkbau, Steyr and Anschutz. Feinwerbau’s latest offering is the P44. This pistol excels in every department, and it has anti-recoil technology. While air pistols don’t recoil very much, they do move, so anti-recoil technology is a non-trivial feature. Steyr and Anschutz have the same anti-recoil technology, which they claim stays cleaner longer than Feinwerkbau’s. I count Dieter Anschutz as a friend, but as a competitive air pistol shooter, I have always favored Feinwerkbaus. There’s no good reason for that, and I’ve certainly shot just as good scores with both Anschutz and Steyr guns, but I feel the FWB just fits me better. However, with my 535 average, I’m not a posterboy for anyone, so get what you want.

One last tip
If you do find yourself lusting after a top-tier pistol, those that are a generation old are now incorporating all the latest features. So the FWB P40 is every bit as nice as the P44. And, the P34 isn’t far off the pace, either!

81 thoughts on “10-meter pistol shooting – Part 7”

  1. Even with all the different NBC networks going all Olympics all the Time I still can’t find the schedules for what I’d be interested in watching.

    Anybody have an idea if the shooting will be covered or will it be all gymnastics and synchronized swimming?

  2. Bruce,

    They very rarely show the shooting sports as anything but a two-second video byte while some commentator makes a glib remark. The truth is, shooting is hard to follow. Sporting clays moves too fast for a single camera and the rifles and pistols don’t seem to do much. Airguns are the most boring of all, because the sound is low and there’s no movement of the guns or shooters.

    But they’ll install an eight-camera array in the gymnastics hall.


  3. Mornin’ B.B.,
    Gald to see you got around to it. I think after i save my money back up, im either going to get a Dasiy 747, or the Gamo Compact. Then comes the months spent hunched over a table shooting. Do you have a review of the Dasiy?

  4. Hi B.B.,
    do you know the MP-672 PCP Target Pistol from Izh-Baikal?
    It seems nice and knowing izh it could be more affordable and still be pretty good.
    I currently own (following your great advice) a 747 it’s working great, I love it and I feel like I’m ready to upgrade but I’m not ready to spend 2000$ and since I wanted to get into PCP’s it seems like a good idea to me.
    Here is the link : http://www.baikalinc.ru/en/company/124.html



  5. Brody,

    I like your web site.

    “Hunched over a table” shooting a 10 meter pistol? No way, man. You’ll be shooting that thing standing up with one hand in no time. That’s what they’re all about.

    I bet that you’ll prefer the lighter weight of the Gamo Compact over the heavier Daisey 747. You’ll not like the Gamo’s grip, though–it’s huge. Be prepared to rasp, file or dremel tool it down to fit your hand. Once you’ve done that, it becomes an extension of your arm.

    Let me know when/if you get one and I’ll give you some hints on how to re-stipple the grip so you can put the texture back on the wood you’ll have to remove.


  6. Brody, I have the Daisy 747 and I’m very impressed with it. Just so you know, the trigger is “ok”. Nothing great or special. I’ve never tried out the Gamo. I don’t think that you’d be giving up too much with the Daisy and you could use the difference in price to buy a boatload of pellets.
    Also, if anything goes wrong with the Daisy, I have found their customer service to and repair department to be top notch.

    Al in CT

  7. J-F,

    I saw that pistol back at the 2006 IWA in Nuremberg. They didn’t make it for a long time after showing it, and then I think the price was so high everyone doubted there would be any sales.

    I will check on it and see where it now stands.


  8. B.B.,
    I was using Pyramyds new feature of comparing airguns, and i was comparing the Dasiy, and the Gamo, and it said the Gamo’s sight is adjustable for windage only. How is this? Also if you had to choose between the Daisy, and the Gamo for comfort, accuracy, and reliability, which would you choose?

  9. Brody,

    I’ve had a Gamo Compact for probably over a decade now, It’s been very reliable. I think I’ve had the compression assembly apart twice and that was just for routine maintenance to lightly grease the seal.

    The rear sight is adjustable for windage, elevation and notch width.

    The front sight is fixed and on the narrow side for my taste. I’d prefer that the front sight appear to be the same width when aimed at the black bull on the 10 meter pistol target, but it’s workable.

    I’ve found that it’s an 8-ring gun or better–when I’m in the groove–in my inexperienced hands. It could stand some more velocity as the pellets too often tear their holes into the target rather than leave razor clean holes to score. A very thin piece of cardboard backer behind the target helps considerably. I’d guess that the Daisy 747 is similar in that respect.

    The IZH-46M is better in every single category than either the Gamo or the 747 except price, length and weight.

    I’ve not shot the Daisy’s enough to be of much help with them. Perhaps Matt61 or Nick can a give you some more feedback on the 747’s.


  10. Derrick,
    Thanks for that short review.
    To me, being olympic accurate, does not matter, as i just want to punch a few hole, in taregt. I want it to be accurate eneough that if i did find air pistol competition, i could be competitive. Would you say, that if i could cock my break-barrel air rifle, that i could cock the Compact? Since it is Smaller, i sorta prefer it. Also is the trigger really 9 pounds?
    I really am going to have to go back, and read the reports on it.
    Thanks again,

  11. Brody,

    I saw your video posted on your web site. I think you’re strong enough to cock the Gamo. The 21 lbs of force required to cock the gun seems high to me. I doubt it’s that much. Since the force is all on the closing stroke, it’s not difficult. Close the gun with your palm using an open hand to keep your fingers out of the way so they don’t get pinched.

    Pyramyd has the trigger pull weight listed at 9 lbs. That would be a misprint–I think they mean 9 ounces.

    One last thing: Are you right handed? If you’re a lefty, the Gamo’s grip won’t fit you at all.


  12. Derrick,
    Thanks yet again. I am right handed. I will have a tough decision to consider.
    Do you have any complaints on the Izzy? Seeing as its listed just a tad higher in price than the gamo, it is also an option. I was wondering, if you have ever had anything wrong with it?

  13. Dear BB,
    From: Stingray

    I have owned the Daisy 717 since 1986 and acquired the 747 last March. Both pistols are accurate but of course the 747 with the Lothar barrel and adjustable trigger is better for 10 meter shooting.

    After several months of shooting, the trigger of the 747 is now very smooth and crisp. Accuracy is excellent. I shoot standing with two hands and average 85.

    Using a low temp. plastic compound (Friendly Plastics or Shapelock) I modified the grip and it now fits like a glove.

    The only problem I have with the 747 is that the air pump leaked after 3 months. I sent it back and Daisy Service Dept. repaired it quickly and I had it back in two weeks. However, after about 100 shots the newly repaired 747 once again had a leak. It is now back with Daisy for repairs.

    I am now concerned about the quality and reliability of the parts in the new Daisy pistols. I bought my 717 in 1986 and have had no problems with it. I hope my fears are groundless… can anyone comment? By the way, the Dasiy customer service is excellent !!!

    Another topic, I also have a Diana 6G air pistol. This has a much better grip than the 747. I am thinking of using this pistol as my trainer for single hand 10 meter shooting. What do you think BB. How does this compare with the Compact or the IZH 46M?

    Thank you again for your informative blogs.


  14. B.B.

    Glad you mentioned the Olympics. I saw a heart-rending video on the Yahoo news recently about how the Chinese are handpicking six year old kids and putting them through torture training to find their future Olympians. The kids–mostly girl gymnasts–were gasping and pouring sweat. It was hard to watch. On the other hand, it made you think that these kids are no worse off than the majority of kids in the developing countries whose hardship is not metered out in a training program.

    Perhaps the sad part is also knowing that only an infinitesimal will become Olympians much less gold medalists and the rest will be discarded with their injuries. On the other hand, that does bear some similarities to the American scholastic/professional sports industry.

    Anyway, what was going on was not good, and behind it lay the fact that China is going berserk over these Olympics. Because of an inferiority complex or some other reason, they apparently are pushing their athletes beyond human limits. Their runners run a marathon every day, one-quarter of their divers have retinal damage, foreign coaches say that their athletes look overtrained, and their gold-medal winning hurdler from the last Olympics–a national hero–was told that his achievements would be meaningless if he doesn’t win gold again.

    I was wondering how all of this affects their shooting training. The equivalent would be that they must have shot off a mountain of lead. On the other hand, they do seem to have gotten results. The Army Marksmanship Unit says that the Chinese team has won more gold medals than they have. Are the Chinese the dominant shooting power? Perhaps shooting is of a nature that if you just keep putting rounds downrange, you will get better. Of course you can train smarter, but maybe the bottom line is that if you aren’t asleep, and keep shooting you will eventually get there. I understand that Korean women have revolutionized pro golfing by just ratcheting the training up to a higher level; there’s no other secret. It will be interesting to see what the Chinese come up with.

    Brody, I can only speak about the 747 based on what I’ve experienced and read and without any direct comparison with any other pistol. It’s a great gun for me. I like the accuracy, weight and trigger and the grips feel fine to me. The only drawback I can think of is that if you are thinking about getting seriously into match shooting, B.B. said that the 747 among all of the legitimate low-end target pistols does not have some kind of shelf in its grip that allows you extra stability with the cantilevered hold. I like the way the grips feel, but judging by how effective the rest of the cantilevered stance is, this could make a big difference. Also, while the trigger is very crisp, it is a little hard. I do believe that it is adjustable, but mine is good enough now that it is not worthwhile to change. You won’t regret the 747 if you go with it.


  15. Brody,

    The IZH-46M solves the narrow front sight issue by coming with 3 different width front sights. You just bolt on your sight of choice. The pellets also cut very nice clean holes in the target due to the increased velocity. The main issue you’ll likely encounter is the 46M’s overall length makes the gun quite muzzle heavy.

    The only issue I had with mine was the finish on the compression tube was rather thin in spots. I have a really early model–the newer ones that I’ve seen are now better finished. I tore my gun down and gave my compression tube an epoxy based paint coat.

    The 46M also has a dry-fire feature that the Gamo and 747 lack. Probably not a deal breaker at this price level.

    My gut feeling is that the Gamo will be easier for you to handle.

    Derrick yet again.

  16. Derrick,

    The trigger on the Compact I tested broke between 48 and 52 ounces. That’s four pounds. I measured the cocking effort the same way I measure a spring rifle and it came out at 20 pounds. The Daisy is considerably easier, and the IZH 46M is in-between.


  17. Stingray,

    Are you oiling the pump head on your 717 and 747? And are you adjusting the pump head periodically, as it says in the manual?

    Your Diana 6G is a less-expensive version of the model 10 I mentioned in this report. The 6G has sporting grips, which is why I didn’t include it, but it is very accurate. It’s probably the equivalent of a Gamo Compact, though harder to shoot because of the grips.


  18. B.B., Derrick, Al in CT,
    Thanks for your input. It is greatly appreciated. I think at this moment, i am leaning towards the Daisy. But who knows maybe tomorrow, i will lean towards the IZH. But as of right now, i am mainly looking at the Daisy 747.
    Thanks again,

  19. Brody,

    The IZH 46M trigger is good, but has some creep. The grips are also good, but they flex and could be better. The sights are good, but the read blade screws are held on with left-hand threads, I believe.

    Did you notice that I put the 46 in the tier above the Compact? It’s there because it’s better, not just for the price.


  20. B.B. thank you very much for the info on the izh.
    I think I’ll wait before investing in a more expensive gun and stay with my 747.
    This 10 meter pistol is the greatest series of blogs ever.

    Thanks again,


  21. MCA,

    Thank you! I didn’t realize that you could cycle the trigger on the 747 like that.


    Also thanks for the info. I couldn’t figure out how to measue the cocking force on the Gamo. You braced the grip against the scale as you closed the barrel assembly?


  22. Brody,

    It works on breakbarrels, sidelevers and underlevers, alike.

    Put the muzzle in the center of a bathroom scale after the gun is broken and press down until it cocks.

    It takes some practice but after a little while you get very good at it.


  23. Dear BB
    From: Stingray

    Thanks for the quick response.

    Since the Diana 6G is a springer, how tight should I hold the grip? Is there an equivelent “artillery hold” for sping pistols?

    Between the Diana 6G and the 747 I prefer the 747. But because the Diana 6G has a palm shelf it may be the better pistol to use for the one hand grip.

    Yes, I regularly lubricate both 717and 747 pistols with pellgun oil every 1000 shots and also adjust the lever as per manual.

    The 747 which I got back from a warranty repair last week, failed the second time after less than 100shots!! I was just re-adjusting the sights. The custumer service person told me to request for a TESTED unit since this is will be the 3rd pump that will be installed. Makes me wonder if like their diopter sights the pumps are now made in China and are not as robust as before.

    Thanks again for the terrific 10meter pistol blog. You have rekindled my love for the sport and have helped greatly to improve my score.


  24. BB,

    I tried the bathroom scale technique. You’re a genius! I also came up with about 20 to 21 lbs of force to cock the Gamo Compact. I wouldn’t have thought it was that high. It feels much lower.

    I made hook from a bicycle spoke to raise known weights to measure my trigger pull. Mine is breaking at 13 oz. Looking back, I do remember doing a trigger modification to lighten the pull. There was a simple mod that was detailed years ago in a now long out-of-print airgun magazine.

    I can’t believe how well the bathroom scale technique worked. Thanks for that.


  25. BB,

    I know you have discussed it somewhere but I could not find that post. I am looking for the list of airgun friendly states in the USA. Now with the Olympics going on, I am also interested in knowing which countries are friendly with the airgun hobby. I know of one country which has more strict laws pertaining to air rifles compared to lr22 rimfires.

    If I have the choice to emigrate, that will be high on my checklist.



  26. B.B.,
    LIVE Olympic shooting!!
    I am very excited about being able to watch the airgun competition on the internet. The have it both live, and then it is archived for viewing anytime. Watching this really reinforces what you have been saying about world class competition in your blogs. Maybe you could give us your comments or commentary based on the video timer on the screen?

    I’m sure most of you have already found the site, but if you haven’t, here is what you have to do:

    go to http://www.nbcolympics.com

    click on “TV and online listings”.

    click on “online listings.”

    Then, to view events already completed, scroll down to, and click on, “shooting”. Move across to the event and click on “rewind”. There will be a brief commercial (of course) but then the whole event is there for you to watch. VERY COOL!!

    To see the live events, you have to scroll across in the time slots to see what is coming up. It is kind of cumbersome, but maybe someone else has found an easier way.

    These live and archived feeds really give us a chance to see the best in the world. Very humbling. B.B., if you watch these and have your own comment, I know that I am not the only one who would love to hear them.

    The womens 10m rifle finals are now archived, and the next live event looks like womens pistol at 1:00AM eastern tonight. Its great that they have them all archived for instant viewing at a later time, too.
    Best regards,

  27. Lloyd,

    Thanks for the link, unfortunately the NBC requirements for my browsers are older software that I have long ago upgraded. So I can’t see the video on my main computer.

    Later I’ll look on my laptop and see if I can see it.


  28. B.B.,
    Software can be so annoying!

    After watching the womens 10 meter finals rifle video a few times I went back and re-read your “10 meter pistol part 6”, and how the shooters have kind of modified their behavior. The women looked totally oblivious to what was going on around them, almost as if they were in a hypnotic state. They don’t seem to be distracted by the audience, or the other shooters, or anything else at all.
    I also found it very interesting that as they are acquiring the target (my guess, I am ignorant on the subject) the muzzle seems to sway around slightly. Then everything becomes rock solid for a few seconds, and during that few long seconds, the shot is fired. I am in awe.

  29. Stingray,

    You have a 6G with an adjustable grip? I didn’t know that. Then your pistol is just as good as a model 10 for 10-meter pistol competition.

    Your problems with the 747 make me wonder if it isn’t the gun and not the pump that’s a problem. If there is a nick or deep scratch in the wrong place no seal would be able to keep the air inside.

    Next trip back to Daisy, ask them to test-fire the gun several times before sending it back to you. They should be doing that every time they fix a gun.


  30. Derrick,

    I thought my old Compact had a lighter trigger pull. Maybe I modified it. You know, 13 ounces is too light for competition – not that you plan to compete, but if you want to pit yourself against everyone else, that trigger needs to be about 18 ounces.

    For The Airgun Letter I modified my Beeman P1 trigger and took it from a decent 28 ounces, which I loved, down to about 11-12 ounces, which I find too light. Light triggers are fine on some rifles, but on pistols I think they are overrated.


  31. David,

    Most of the United States is free from airgun restrictions, so it’s easier for me to list those states for you to avoid.

    Michigan doesn’t permit any air pistols without a legal transfer and in some areas, air rifles over .18 caliber.

    Illinois doesn’t allow airguns over .18 caliber of any over 700 f.p.s. without legal hoops.

    New Jersey declares airguns to be the same as firearms, and requires them to be sold and transferred through licensed dealers.

    As for countries, most permit airguns except for Asian nations.


  32. WOW! i tried my friends gamo compact 10 meter pistol and it is awsome. that is really accurate. and 10 meter is a LOT harder than i thought it was. though after about 2 hours of practice iwas getting better. no where nere good but better. i would LOVE to see what some od these expencive 10 meter pistols can do. ive always been decent at air rifle shooting but i didnt realize what it took for pistols!

    air rifle addict

  33. BB,

    I had no idea my Gamo Compact’s trigger was that light. I’ve shot 10 meter rifle in the past so those were the triggers of reference. I’ll bump the trigger pull weight up to 18 oz. and go from there.

    Does a P1 trigger adjust down THAT low with just the 2 trigger adjustment screws?

    I was looking back at past Pyramyd blogs and couldn’t find a P1/HW45 review. Did I miss it?


  34. 10 meters is so close and I’ve seen the targets and they are to small. The rings are way to close togeter. They should be biger at like 15 or maybe 20 meters. Ten meters makes it a joke.
    P.S. what about rifles.

  35. B.B. & All

    Off topic…I tested the new Air Arms S410 .177 beech stock, I got Friday, to see if it was shooting the same as the .177 walnut stock I got last month…

    I'm glad to report they are both as accurate and get the same 100 plus shots per tank… but the beech stock one has a "springy" twang type noise when fired, that is not at all there with the walnut stock one.. Is it something to worry about? any ideas.. do PCPs need tuning? Other than the noise it's the same, except it weighs about 1.25 lbs lighter, which I love.. not as pretty for sure, but still beautiful..

    I also tested some other pellets, while on the crony… I was surprised that the Eunjin 16.1 gr .177 cal came out at 853 avg with the bar at only 165, which is where it would be normally after about 30 shots. I wanted to test it there, because I only had about 50 of the Eujins left… they won't be in stock for awhile either..So I think they would be at 900fps plus with a 220bar fill, which they both take fine without any valve lock…Yeah!!

    The question is at 900fps with 16.1 gr, isn't that about the same or a little more foot pounds ( how many is it? about 38?) than the .22 cal S410 you tested, with any of the pellets? I thought the .177 and .22 cal both had the same power plant.. Any way it looks like the .177 is great for hunting too. Would it be just as deadly to a squirrel in .177 as .22 if the foot pounds were the same? Or does the hole size make a big difference, if all else is the same..

    The Eujins were accurate also I got 1-1/2" 10 shot groups at 50 yards off my knee, in the chair.. not as good as the 8.4 JBS Exact or 10.2 JBS exact heavy, or the 10.6 kodiak extra heavy.. all got 1" or less consistently with the 10.2 JBS only slightly better…

    The H&N Silhoutte 8.49gr and F&T Trophy were terrible, with 8" groups at 50 yrds. don't even try them in this gun… the premiers were pretty good about 1-1/2"..

    Ashland Air Rifle RAnge

  36. B.B.,
    I think watching the Olympic competitors has reinforced something you said about not actually being aware of when the gun would fire as you held it on target. With every single competitor, neither their faces, nor their body language let you know when they had actually fired the shot. Stone cold expressionlessness, if that’s a word. The only way I could tell they had fired was when they laid their gun down. I think of all the physical and facial contortions I go through sometimes and feel rather silly. Night and day, but at least now I’ve seen how its supposed to be done.

    I also had to chuckle thinking back on your comments about equipment requirements for rifle vs. pistol. The rifle shooters have all these special big, bulky, expensive, stiff jackets and pants, and the pistol shooters have a T-shirt and a pair of jeans with a hip pocket for their extra hand.

    I hope you were able to watch on your laptop!


  37. Wayne..
    With a brain shot, it does not matter to a tree rat which calibre you use.
    On boiler room shots the .177 will punch right through without expending much energy, while the .22 will thump them hard and expend nearly all the energy plus making a bigger hole.
    Last fall I shot a few fox squirrel with my .22 Talon. About half of the Exacts ewnt clear through, while the rest stopped just under the skin on the other side. That’s just about perfect for a body shot. I nailed one with a head on shot with the .177 SS with a CPH and had a complete pass through. The pellet hit along side the nose, went down through the neck, through a lung and the liver, then exited low on the belly. Lots of penetration but little internal damage. The angle of the hit and the path of the pellet is what brought him down fast. A broadside through the lungs would have taken some time to kill.
    Do brain shots or nothing with a .177.

  38. Derrick,

    You can’t adjust a standard P1 trigger down that low, but an Airgun Letter reader of mine developed a new adjustment screw that made it possible. Believe me, it’s too light for the gun.

    Here are 2 articles on the pistol:





  39. B.B.

    I recently acquired a Diana model 25. I am guessing it is an earlier example. It has no plastic parts, a rather short stock with finger grooves, and a post front sight in a dovetail type set up. No provisions for a scope whatsoever.
    The butt of the stock has a 4 digit number stamped in it. The last two digits are “34” Any chance this is the year of manufacture? The metal appears 90%, but the little stock is about 60%.

    The biggest surprise, (it came from gunbroker) is the gun is a smoothbore. Do you think round balls would be appropriate for this instead of pellets?

    While I have never attempted to work on my airguns, I would like to give it a try on this one. The cocking effort is far less than an R-7, do you thing I would need a spring compressor? It shoots CP’s at about 550 fps.

    It has an odd looking front screw set up also, with notches out of a large screw and two small screws on either side. Anything I need to know about this?

    Would PA have the replacements springs and seals?



  40. Wayne,

    If I have followed your entries correctly, you have an S410 in both a carbine and rifle configuration.

    Do you feel the discharge is appreciable louder in the carbine or about the same?

    I continue to sit on the fence as far as a PCP purchase, and would value any feedback you can offer as far as noise level is concerned.


  41. Volvo,

    A Diana 25 can have a simple trigger or it can have a very complex trigger will lots of loose parts that are difficult to assemble. If your is the latter, I wouldn’t advise working on the gun as a first time.

    All Dianas require a mainspring compressor.

    I don’t understand the front screw remark. The front screw for what? Are you describing the baseblock pivot bolt? If so, that’s normal on an older German gun.

    You gun is prewar if it has no forearm. If it has a forearm, it was made in the 1960s or later.


  42. B.B.

    Thanks. I was not going to attempt any trigger work. I thought maybe I could just replace the mainspring, breach seal, and piston seal? The trigger is not bad.

    I think my bravery in direct correlation to the cost of the airgun. I only Pd $63.00 for it, so sending it away for a $265.00 tune seems silly.

    The screws I were referring to are on the base block. While it does have a forearm, it is very short with finger cut outs on either side.

    I did try both your blog and the Blue Book of Airguns first, but the rifle looks nothing like the 27in your blog or the 25 pictured in the Blue Book.


  43. Volvo,

    The point wasn’t the trigger, but that you have to remove it to get to the mainspring. It looks like this:


    If it is a simpler trigger, the job of disassembly is not too difficult.

    I think you have a a post-war Diana because of the forearm. Perhaps it’s from the 1950s.


  44. B.B.

    Thanks for the info on the noise in the S410 beech stock, sounds like it’s nothing and it seems to be lessoning with the 500 shots I put though it this weekend….


    Thanks for the info about the hunting with the .177 cal


    I don’t have the Air Arms S410 .22 cal carbine yet, just two of the .177 cal, one beech stock and one walnut.. I am hoping it will ship Monday the 11th….
    But the S410 .177 cal is very quite… a little like a kids cap gun…. I think the .22 cal should be the same noise level, don’t you think so B.B.?

    I did shoot an Air Arms S400 .22 cal over the weekend, (the non repeater version of the same gun) and it was just as quite as the .177 cal, a very nice carbine… but I have the repeater coming so I didn’t buy it, we almost traded for my HW-77 and a little cash, but I decided not…

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  45. B.B.

    Okay, I understand about the trigger now. I tried to find a photo of the 25, but without luck.

    I did find a 27 that could be its big brother. Same oak stock, front sight, two sets of double screws, etc.

    Here is the link if you want to check it out. It would be the second from the top. If you scroll farther down he has a photo of the screws.

    The butt is stamped in the wood 11.34 – possibly the date? Or do you still think 1950’s?

    I understand trying to ID something you cannot see is difficult at best.




  46. Wayne,

    Thanks for the update. I like the idea of the carbine in the S410, but think maybe the shorter barrel will result in a louder discharge?

    If you get the chance, let me know what you think after you receive it.

    Thanks again,


  47. Volvo

    The Air Arms S400 I shot Friday, was a single shot carbine in .22cal… Identical I believe to the .22 cal S410 carbine 10 shot repeater, except it’s a single shot..

    The discharge was very close to the same as the Air Arms S410 .177 cal longer barrel.

    It had a bolt instead of lever, but other wise it’s a lighter (5 1/2 pounds about) shorter s410, just no magazine…

    I hope to let you know for sure, about next Friday, when the Air Arms S410 .22cal carbine is mine all mine….

    Oh, I guess I do have to share it with anyone who joins the Ashland Air Rifle Range LLC…..

    I hope PA can ship tomorrow like they predict…..


  48. For the cheaper approach and for a rank beginner like myself, the P17 (formerly known as the Marksman 2004 – which I own) remarks about the grips being wrong for 10 meter is certain.

    What I did was add some bondo in steps to build up the grip to custom fit my hand. That has made a huge difference in my improvement. I am very happy with this cheap approach. The bondo doesn’t permanently adhere to the grip, which is a nice feature I found by surprize; it pops on and off much like dentures (as I understand, not from experience).

    It’s still a cheap pistol, but wow what a difference a better fitting grip makes.

  49. Jai,

    The 10 meters is supposed to be “measured” from the end of the barrel, but in competition every shooter’s arm is a different length. So the shooting tables are placed so ALL shooters’ muzzles are farther than 10 meters.


  50. Dear B.B. Pelletier,

    What exactly do you mean when you said Steyr Absorber stays clean longer? Does this mean Feinwerkbau has a problem?

    I am planning to buy a P44, it does jump a little. But I dont care. Feinwerkbau is the leader.

    Please advise.

  51. P44,

    That P44 you have tried was not adjusted correctly, because when it is there is zero movement. You cannot even feel the firig impulse. All you sense is the sound of the shot. Perhaps it had the problem I referred to.

    FWB uses a sliding weight to offset the firing impulse. Apparently when the air blast pushes against the weight it carries tiny lead dust particles that build up over time and eventually have to be removed for the mechanism to work correctly.


  52. Sorry to revive an old thread but this article is very helpful especially for a beginner.
    Do you think beginning with a Crossman 1377c will beneficial in terms of “transfer of training”?

  53. Hi BB
    in part 2 you mentioned that you use a pellet counter to keep track of the shots, and that you will detail about it in part 3. you never did.

    can you explain/show exactly what a pellet counter is?

    thank you

    • Azmodan,

      Welcome to the blog.

      I looked in Part 2 for a pellet counter and didn’t see anything. I did say this in Part 3:

      “Next time I’ll talk about awareness during a match, which involves pellet count, keeping track of targets, watching the time and managing your air pistol.”

      Is that what you mean by pellet counter?

      The box of target pellets I use in the match is arranged in rows of 10 pellets each. Those rows help me count the number of shots I have fired in the match. There are 60 shots in a men’s 10 meter match. So, 6 rows is 60 shots.

      That was important because I was shooting a CO2 pistol that only had maybe 70 shots per cartridge. I knew when I was running low on gas, rather than discovering it like I did in one match when I held for a 10 but shot a 6 because the gas had run out.


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