by B.B. Pelletier

Good morning. In a few hours, I’ll be on my way to Orlando and the SHOT Show. I just wanted to congratulate our own Wacky Wayne, whose raised beds were the editor’s choice in the current issue of Organic Gardening magazine. Wayne is now beside himself, having one of those bittersweet moments in life when the walls fall down and the dancing girls come in. I’m speaking of more success than a business can stand.

He’ll survive, because everyone does. On the other side, he’ll be wearing a broad smile on his sleepy puss. Right now, though, he’s busy putting out the fires he started. Well done, Wayne!

For today’s blog, Mo asked if I would change anything in a post I made back in June 2006–BB tells all. It was an answer to a new reader named Cesar who had the same kind of questions I often see from new readers. I don’t know if Cesar still reads this blog, but since Mo wanted to know if my answers would change today, and CJr seconded his request, I thought I would update that blog post for you.

Here’s the original post, with my updates in italics:

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

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

Still holds true

Spring pistol – Diana M10

Still true

PCP rifle – Talon SS from AirForce

Today it’s a tie between the SS and the Benjamin Discovery.

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

Still true

CO2 rifle – Crosman 160

CO2 pistol – Crosman 600

Yes to both

BB gun – Daisy No. 25 pump, 1930 model

No change there, either

What’s the best group you have ever made?
I once shot a 5-shot group at 40 yards that was so tight, a .22 pellet would not fall through. It was shot with a 12 foot-pound British Skan R32 PCP rifle.

That’s still the best group ever.

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

That’s still the best airgun moment I have, however, I forgot to mention that my wife, Edith, made a moment like that for me years ago. I knew I was receiving a Beeman R1 for Christmas (the rifle that gave me the idea for the R1 book). What I didn’t know was that there was going to be a SECOND air rifle under the tree that year. It was a tuned Beeman HW77 carbine that I had agonized over after seeing it at Atlantic Guns. I really wanted it but thought that one air rifle was enough. Edith obviously thought otherwise and completely surprised me that Christmas.

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

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

Now that I have written a big article about Wham-o airguns and firearms for Shotgun News, I have to temper my remarks about that BB gun. It’s still the stupidest one ever made, but now I like it a lot more


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

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

I still feel the same about this question. It’s like trying to say that if they are cheap enough, lima beans taste just as good as Godiva chocolates. No, they don’t, and no amount of money will ever change that.

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

Same thing. There cannot be one right answer to a question like this. And, after you explain in detail why that is, the questioner says something like, “I understand all of that. I just wanted to know how far my Gamo Hunter Extreme would carry.”

Then why didn’t you ask THAT?

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

DON’T FORGET
Tomorrow’s blog will be published later than usual. It will go live at 7:30 a.m., Eastern, to coincide with the Airgun Breakfast, where we will reveal our secret to the airgun community. You will be the first to learn about it among those who are not at the SHOT Show.

Also, I will try to publish Friday’s blog from the SHOT Show. There won’t be many words, but pictures of some of the interesting things I see during my first day at the show.