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Education / Training Merry Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

by B.B. Pelletier

Merry Christmas!

I was interviewed on the Arizona radio program, America Armed and Free last week. You can listen to that interview here, if you like. It will be available for one more week.

Today I’ll share a couple of my favorite gifts with you, and maybe you readers can let us know what you got. For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, you can either tell us about your most recent acquisition or just sit back and enjoy the party!

The man who has everything
What does Tom Gaylord’s wife give him for Christmas–the man with the entire airgun world at his fingertips? While that’s not entirely true, a lot of people think it is. They think I can have anything I want.

The truth is, I’m a lot like the rest of you. I do get to test a lot of exotic airguns and related stuff, but my own collection is based more on reality.

However, this year I asked for firearm reloading equipment. Now that my wife and I are shooting 100-200 rounds of .45 ACP every month, I can no longer keep up with my Lee 1000 turret press. So I asked for and received a Dillon Square Deal B press that makes 400-500 cartridges an hour without rushing. Instead of three hours of reloading I will now spend one hour at most to get better ammo than ever before! I also got a bunch of accessories that weren’t included in with the press.

Dillon Square Deal B progressive reloading press makes up to 500 cartridges per hour with minimum effort.

Airgun gift?
I didn’t receive any airgun gifts from the family this year, but I did get a peach of an aperture sight from reader Kevin, who wanted me to try it on a Diana 27. I plan to test it for you in a special report, but I wanted to show it to you today, because it is my one airgun gift this year. And isn’t it sweet? My thanks to Kevin for this beautiful sight.

Kevin sent me this beautiful Diana aperture sight that will fit on a Diana model 27. It has a neat feature about it that Diana owners should know about. I will review it for you in detail.

I’m stopping here, but I want you guys to take over and tell us what you got. I’ll be back tomorrow.

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.

53 thoughts on “Merry Christmas 2008”

  1. Just stopping by to say merry christmas to all. thanks for another great year of blogs BB, hope for many more in the future.

    Ive got a RWS 34 panther waiting for me under the tree, cant wait to shoot it!

    Merry christmas!

  2. B.B.,

    Congrats on 1000. You are right, there is so much going on in the air gun world there is no end in sight. you've done such A great job this long, I know you can handle the next 1, 2,…….. 3,000 easy (:>)

    Since PCP rifles seem to be at the forefront of many of the topics on this blog, it seems to me that there is one particular PCP that has not been reported on enough or reviewed.

    That PCP rifle would be the AA S200. I believe this rifle deserves its time in the spot light. Personally, I would love A test on this PCP rifle.

    Thanks B.B.

    Merry Christmas ALL, and A Happy New Year!!!

    BObC NJ

  3. BB,
    Merry Christmas to everyone, and thanks for all your fine reviews and comments.
    BB, I have been using a Dillion press for about 14 years now and can tell you, you wont be disappointed. My wife and I were shooting cowboy action for 5 or 6 years and were going through 200 rnds of 38 spec a week 9 months a year, that on top of the 45,44 and 9mm it has easily seen 70,000 rnds and it still works like the day I bought it.
    I did not get any airgun stuff this year either but got 3 nice Pentax eyepieces for my telescope.


  4. B.B.
    I could not find any info on DC 327. Sure that number is right?
    I know AF uses a different o-ring lube. Had to do a lot of looking to find it, and was not available locally.
    Have no idea if “diver’s grease” is always the same stuff.
    Intend to ask Culligan some day what they use for o-ring lube. They have told me it is DC in a big tube and is very expensive.


  5. Merry Christmas one and all! My gifts to myself are still on the way from New Zealand: a Grant Stace brass rear sight and winged gas cap. Thank the Lord for aftermarket parts!

  6. Merry Christmas BB!

    I received something just as good airguns for where we live – a Stihl 250 C-BE chain saw with 18″ bar! Easy2Start and quick chain adjuster system! Cool!

    I received one airgun gift from myself. I finished my 2300KT CO2 pistol to PCP pistol conversion. Haven’t had a chance to try it out because of the weather this week (actually couldn’t resist shooting one pellet just to see how loud it was).

    .22 multi-shot

  7. Twotalon,

    I was wondering about the diver’s silicone myself, but it is 100% silicone grease. It is used for everything from o-rings to sealing masks around beards/mustaches to underwater camera sealing. All the brands are probably pretty similar.

    .22 multi-shot

  8. Hey B.B.,
    Merry Christmas, how much do save on reloading your ammunition (in relation of getting boxed ammo), I was thinking to become a reloader. Also what kind of brand ammo has good enough brass that I can reload? I shoot about 500-600rds a month in .45acp, my gun is the rugged Dan Wesson “Pointman Seven” 1911. Never let me down.

  9. Josh,

    You will never wear out a .45 ACP case, so the brand makes no difference. Even after 20 reloads the case will still be good.

    I also cast my own bullets, so I can reload 100 rounds for about $5.00. Buying them would cost $38-50. So you would pay for the press in four loadings of 500 rounds.

    If you buy bullets, expect to pay $7.00 per hundred, which has to be added to the cost.


  10. Merry Christmas Everyone,

    B.B. Congrats on 1,000 blogs!!
    Yes it is a very deep and wide subject area. The more one looks into it, the more there is to learn… much fun..

    With all the air guns I've bought, no one gave me air gun stuff.. but of course I gave myself a start down a new path… Co2.. The like new, tuned trigger S&W 586 revolver. It's for sure lots of fun, and accurate too.. but what do I know about pistol accuracy.. nothing.. but at 20 yards, with my elbows on my desk, I put almost all 50 JSB 8.4 on a 3" dot (with a lot of them very close to center).. It came with 5- 10 shot mags. That was all the CO2 cartridge was good for, they started falling off.

    The quality of this pistol is very good, but I've nothing to compare it too. It feels like the real thing, the sights are great, even for my old eyes. I can actually focus the dot and the sights on the gun at the same time, which I can't do on most rifles at that distance. The trigger is very nice, on double or singe action. It's about 1-2 lbs on single and a longer pull, 2-3 lbs maybe on double.. It just feels so good in my hands.. very solid..

    I did your learning program with the pistol, B.B., starting out real close, and slowly moving back, then I tried a new CO2 cartridge from 20 yards, and got those results. So thanks very much again!!

    The big problem is, now that I have another fun air toy, I won't be having as much time for FT practice on the USFT… a problem made worse by switching from the Air Arms S410 as my practice FT rifle… The S410 side lever can put out 100 accurate shots in 13 mins… 200 accurate shots on the USFT takes a couple hours.

    Such a problem.. what can I do..

    BTW, I'm about to put in a dealer order with PA.. if anyone wants in on dealer pricing, as a Christmas gift I'll pass on my discount and pool the order.. It's not a big discount, but every little bit helps.

    Blessings everyone, and many, many, thanks for all the great, FREE info you have given me!!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  11. The kids gave me a 20-60x spotting scope. Well, I bought it but I wrapped it up with a note that said "For Daddy, from your punk ingrate kids". It confused the heck out of my 3 and 6 year old.

    Derrick also sent me a lovely sampler of oddball, vintage pellets along with the tiniest 10M target backstop & targets.

  12. No huge airgun items this year, some pellets, “official targets”, and a Mendoza aperture sight, which I managed to mount on my QB36-2 (hard time finding something to fit the rail mount hex bolts). Should work well with the post and dot front insert…going to go try it out this afternoon.

    Oh yes, my son got a lever action cork gun, which my wife managed to find somewhere online. It is a very retro toy, horrifyingly unsafe in many ways and to many parents (I would guess), and he couldn’t be happier, being the owner of a Red Ryder class (lever action) weapon.

    Again, Merry Christmas to all: don’t forget to watch Ralphie at least once.

  13. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and a jouous Festivus for the restofus (it’s a Seinfeld thinkg). We’re off to the movies and Chinese food dinner – it’s tradition.

    I have an IOU from my wife for a gun safe. Any suggestions from the crew will be greatly appreciated.


  14. B.B.
    Congrats on your dillon press.
    I too got myself a dillon press for christmas… except I got the Dillon XL 650 with the casefeeder. I’m fairly new to firearms, and had only been shooting for a couple months. Got myself a springfield 1911 in .45ACP as my very first firearm a couple months ago and knew I needed to get a reloading press because going to the range was addicting and new factory ammo is pretty expensive. I have zero experience in reloading, but with encouragement from firearm friends and lots and lots of internet research, I convinced myself the dillon 650 as my first reloader was worth it because I knew I was going to be reloading in large amounts in the future. Today will be assembling my reloader day. I still have to buy components for ammunition.
    I haven’t bought myself any airgun stuff yet, but would like your opinion on what I should get. I was debating between two airgun pistols: beeman P1 and IZH 46M. I considered the beeman P1 in .177 because it would be a good pistol to practice inexpensively at home with since it closely resembles the 1911 firearm. The other option is the IZH 46M. I read your review and was amazed at the potential accuracy of the IZH-64. Which of the two is more reliable/robust and will last a long time? Which one is easier to fix if it ever needed fixing? Is the Beeman P1quieter since it’s a springer?

    Thanks and merry Christmas,
    -Walther P99 Fan

  15. Fred,

    Gun safe theory: You pick a size based on the number of guns you have/are likely to have. You’ll also want to consider fire and water resistance. If you’ve ever had a burglary, that’ll impact your decision making in a hurry.

    Gun safe reality: Too big doesn’t exist. A safe that is claimed to hold 20 long guns really only holds about half that once you install optics. If you have some handguns, then the shelves eat up storage for long guns. Buy way bigger than you think you presently need. They also fill up with jewelry, checkbooks, watches, knives…
    And don’t forget a desiccant to keep things dry.
    I’ve never met anyone who later didn’t wish they had gotten a MUCH larger safe.
    That said, even a 550 lb safe is a SERIOUSLY heavy and very dangerous thing to get down a flight of stairs. 2 normal sized guys are not able to safely move a 550 pound, smooth metal box down a set of stairs. Believe me on this. If it weighs more than 400 lbs, Give considerable thought to paying someone to install it for you.
    The size of the safe (and weight) will also be dictated by the layout of the house and the obstacles (stairs) that you’ll have to negotiate.
    Consider a second, smaller safe in the bedroom if you keep a handgun “handy” and maybe for that checkbook.

    If I ever sell my safe, the house comes with it.

  16. P99 fan,I own one of each in .177.TheP1 is moderately louder,very robust,and offers more power.it also accepts 1911 handles from COLT and HOGUE.thats a big plus.My P1 is 6yrs old.my 46m is two months old.I like it as well,but its purpose built for 10m. target.both have triggers that are adjustable,the 46M has 4 different adjustments.I have trouble reading the manual to adjust it.the P1 is much easier to get right.the best I’ve ever used…the answer is really in what YOU want out of your pistol.read BB’s review of each,then look at specs again. enjoy whichever you choose! FrankB

  17. Merry Christmas Everyone!

    My lovely wife got me a nice telescope since she knew that I always wanted one. I love you sweetie.
    I ordered an IZH 61 for myself but at the last moment, canceled the order and decided to go with a Daisy Avanti 499 and 1,000 Avanti precision BB’s. It’s out till the first week of January, but that’s ok. I haven’t shot a plain ol’ BB since I was a kid. I can’t you how happy I am that in a couple weeks, I’ll be the proud owner of “the World’s Most Accurate BB Gun.” Hopefully, my beautiful baby daughter will learn on it when gets older.
    My mother treated my father to a 1942 M1 Garand in sweet condition. You have no idea how much I want to shoot that one:-)

    Bless you all.

    Al in CT

  18. Frank,

    I’ll tell you how I started gathering information. I went back to the beginning of the blogs and would read one set everyday. If I had time, I’d also read the comments. Occasionally we post websites that have good information. One of them is http://www.arld1.com.

    Go look for books on airguns on the website here – Pyramyd AIR. I have Pete Wadeson’s “Total Airguns, James House’s American Air Rifles and Steve Hanson’s “Airgun Odyssey”. If you really want the theory of airguns, then get the Carew’s book, “Airguns from Trigger to Target”. Unfortunately, you have to go to the UK to buy it but you can still buy it in hardcover direct from the Carews. If the bug bites you, you won’t be able to learn enough.

    Look back in the past blog of this month for BB’s ideas for Xmas gifts. You won’t go wrong buying something he recommends and you even get a price range to boot.Finally, exactly what do you want to do with the air gun? Plinking? Target? Animal Control? Hunting? All of the above? Let us know and we’ll all give you our opinions.

    Hey, about that safe, how much is your house going for?

  19. Prices of gun safes has come down a whole bunch. Now is a good time to buy.

    For justification consider dropping your bank safe deposit box. Over time that savings will help justifiy the purchase.

  20. Frank,

    Fred’s advice is good.

    Tom’s Christmas lists are a real good starting place. The most important thing for me was defining what I wanted to in an airgun and then looking at interesting guns to see if they matched my highest priority things. Any time in the process, ask questions on the blog and someone will answer.

    Have fun!

    .22 multi-shot

  21. B.B.,
    I have to tell you about the one that got away. We’ve been looking for land to build a new house on and found a 10 acre parcel with two abandoned, but clean and weather tight, chicken houses. Each was 40 feet wide and 260 feet long with concrete floors and lights. Unfortunately it did not work out. My wife offered her comfort when she saw the tears welling up in my eyes. Sigh.
    Merry Christmas to all,

  22. P99 Fan,

    Well, your 650 is the best Dillon makes for private reloaders. You should be very happy.

    Concerning the two pistols, I would get the P1 first. You see, the 46M is a 10-meter pistol and that’s an entirely different shooting discipline. It’s one-handed and there is a special procedure used fo0r sighting and squeezing off the shot.

    But the P1 is just like you .45 though a little more accurate to 50 feet. The P1 is quieter, though the 46M is not that loud.


  23. Cocked spring,

    I did a comparative test on 4 different mainsprings when I wrote the R1 book. Here is the link:



    BTW, I wasn’t writing as Tom Gaylord here at the time those two reports went live.


  24. Way to go BB!!!!

    I’ve been checking in here every so often for a little over two years. I’ve tried to start from the beginning to see what else was on your mind. I’ve only made it through the first year. Lot of good stuff. Keep up the good work.

    Also, thanks to all the other bloggers who came up with good ideas too. Really makes for a valuable blog.


  25. Well I received three books for Christmas. Two were used , “Total Airguns ” by Peter Wadeson, and “The Complete Book of the Air Gun ” by George C. Nonte. Also I got a new copy of “Ken Waters Notebook” from Wolfe Publishing. The Nonte book is from 1970 and is, of course , quite dated, but still interesting. We sure have come a long way in air gun technology! I would recomend Ken Water’s Notebook to anyone who has followed his writings over the years. The man is probably one of the most knowlegable gun writers ever. His book “Pet Loads” is indispensable to handloaders. The Wadeson book is slanted towards UK style hunting , but much applies to airgunners everywhere. Also, I received a Mendosa peep sight for my RWS 34. BB, Good luck with the Dillon press, I have a old 450 , and it still turns out great ammo. Robert

  26. Santa was so nice to me this year! He brought me a Daisy 953. That’s right, a beginner competition, inexpensive ($70+), composite stock with a pneumatic engine. I had read some recent posts about it and thought I’d ask Santa for one. This gun should be at the top of any beginner’s target shooter list. I have a multi pump pneumatic Crosman and don’t like it because it wears me out. A single pump pneumatic sounded more my style.

    Much has already been posted about this gun so my following praises for this gun will be old news for most of you but for the new comer they might be helpful.

    I also have a Ruger Air Hawk and an IZH-61. The Ruger and the 61 are spring pistons where the Daisy is a single pump pneumatic. Did you say night and day? I SAY WOW! This is going to get me on the road away from springers. Absolutely no recoil, NO RECOIL. VERY QUIET. NO VIBRATION. It’s amazing how much more accurate one can be when there is no recoil or vibration. The Ruger has more recoil than the 61 but I didn’t think my 61 had that much recoil until I shot the 953. Now the difference is dramatic.

    The 953 is amazingly accurate. Much easier to shoot than either of my other guns. I was surprised at how much better my groups are. And such an inexpensive gun, too.

    I read previous posts by a certain person where the 953 was not as accurate as the 61 and then a year later this same poster was saying the 953 is more accurate than the 61. I bought the 61 before reading that last post. But, I’m not sorry now because I’m glad I have the 61. The change in opinion with the 61 came because it started shipping with cheaper plastic parts which affected its then superior performance. Mine has all the plastic. So, for now, I’m sad to say, it is true that the 953 is more accurate than the 61. I’m sad to say it because I still really like my 61 and it is still fun to shoot. I think the 61 handles its 5 shot magazine better than the 953 handles its 5 shot magazine and you can shoot the 61 faster, if that’s your thing. The 61 is pretty accurate, but it’s the most accuracy I’m after.

    In conclusion I’d like to say the 953 is better because there is no recoil and I can hug the daylights out of that little critter. Not that I really think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Just none of that “artillery hold” stuff. I still can’t get the hang of that. I may be on my way to compressed air.

  27. BB, The RL 450 C Jr. is the predecessor to the 550. Mine dates from about 1989. There are few parts available for it now, but Dillon has been super in regards to customer support when I needed help. Robert

  28. B.B.,

    Just returned home from the Holiday. I’m enjoying catching up on your articles.

    You’re one of the few that would appreciate the hunk of metal I dumped on you. Merry Christmas. Your photo’s and kind words bring joy to my heart. Hope it brings you many hours of enjoyment. If it doesn’t, throw it in the trash and blame the sight for not being accurate.

    My best Christmas presents were the time spent, uninterupted, with my wife, daughter, relatives and friends. No phone, no computer, great food and drink. Very relaxing.


  29. Hello,

    I’m a newcomer, and I really enjoy the blog. I’ve been using the search feature to find “quiet” guns and reading thru the blog…but just now realized that you can search for guns directly from the Pyramyd site.

    If you want to find the quietest guns, search for 1-low, 2-low, 2-medium, etc. It gives some great choices! I bought a Gamo 1200 and Crosman Quest for Christmas. Both have been returned because they are too loud. I want something to shoot in the yard and not disturb the neighbors. Hmmm. Actually, I don’t want the neighbors disturbing my shooting! Thanks again for a GREAT site!

  30. Seacow,

    Those numbers on Pyramyd’s website are very arbitrary. Try a Hammeri model 490 rifle. It’s a breakbarrel spring rifle that isn’t very powerful but is quite accurate. The trigger is heavy, but it will break in a little.

    Wonderful rifle for trhe money.

    Try a Mendoza model 200 for something a little more powerful and almost as quiet.

    The spring piston guns are the quietest, thought the powerful ones can be noisy.


  31. Hi B.B.,

    Thanks for the recommendations, those are both nice looking guns, and priced well. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a rifle. I read your blog on the Daisy Avanti 747 and am considering that pistol.

    Specifically, I am looking for something about as quiet as my son’s Red Ryder, but with enough accuracy for Dad! We’re having fun shooting that in the yard. Thanks again for the heads up on the “loudness” rating on the site. The Gamo was a 4-medium-high, the Crosman Quest a 3-medium.

    I used to be able to group 1 or 2 inches at 10 meters with a Crosman 760 with iron sights 20 years ago. I’d like to see what I can do with a modern gun!

  32. B.B.,

    Great recommendation. We got the 490 today, and it is quiet. I mounted a 3x9x50 full size Leapers 1 inch scope on it…and it barely fits. The rear sight just lets the scope squeeze in. Since the scope is mounted, I can’t return it, is there something I can do to remove that rear sight? The elevation screw feels like it’s locked in and won’t budge. Otherwise, we love the rifle!

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