Home Blog  
Education / Training VZ35 and VZ47 – two interesting military trainers

VZ35 and VZ47 – two interesting military trainers

by B.B. Pelletier

I promised this report to Chuck late last year, and now we have another annonymous reader who wants a military “BB gun” with more power than the Crosman M1 Carbine. Well, neither one of these rifles is really a BB gun, but the round lead balls they shoot look enough like BBs that many people think of them that way. These two air rifles are perhaps the finest military trainers of all time!

Please forgive the black and white photos. I took them from the files of The Airgun Letter, because the color slides are too time-consuming to locate. But the color images I show convey the warm look of the VZ35.

VZ35 is a handsome full-sized military trainer. This one is missing the upper handguard.

VZ47 looks nice by itself, but suffers next to the older 35.

After World War I, the allies imposed restrictions on the defeated nations regarding the firearms they were allowed to make and use. They also imposed limits to the types of forces they could raise and maintain. At first there was strict adherence to the rules, but over time the guard was relaxed and creative things were done to circumvent the restrictions. The military training airgun was a direct result of this, though there had been a BSA artillery trainer several decades earlier. But the two Czechoslovakian airguns we will see today are intended as airgun analogs for military service rifles. They look the same, and the earliest one–the VZ35, could accept the same bayonet that was standard on the CZ 24 Mauser rifle of the era. I owned an example of both rifles for several years, which gave me the opportunity to test and shoot them at my leisure.

VZ35 has a bayonet lug that accepts the same bayonet as the CZ24 rifle. Note the robust end cap!

In contrast, you can see how the 47 was made to be cheaper to produce. No bayonet lug and look at the stamped-metal end cap.

The VZ35 was made by the Czech State Arsenal in Brno before World War II. The label VZ35 means model 35, or something to that effect. It was a stand-in for the Czech service rifle, the Mauser CZ 24 that some experts consider one of the finest model 98 Mausers ever made. Certainly, no one can fault the Czech arms-making ability then or now.

The air rifle is full-sized, weighing over 9.5 lbs. and measuring 43.5″ overall. It’s the same size as the Mauser it copies. The stock on mine appeared to be made of blond ash or oak, but many of them seem to be made of dark beech. All the metal is highly polished and deeply blued except for a few parts, like the rear sight leaf, which are left in the white. The stock has two sets of sling swivels, allowing the soldier to sling it underneath or along the left side.

The VZ35 butt has two sets of sling swivels

VZ35 forearm has a matching set of swivels. You can see the place at the top of the band where the upper handguard goes.

The bolt-action is unique. At rest, the bolt sticks straight out to the right side. When you want to cock the rifle, swivel the handle straight up, where it aligns with another length of lever concealed inside the stock and action. Aligned like that, they make one longer lever that is pulled back and down to pull the powerful mainspring and piston into lockup with the sear. It takes a powerful pull to cock this rifle.

Lift the bolt handle up like this, then rock it straight back to cock the rifle.

Gravity-feed magazine
Both rifles have a gravity-feed magazine that I used when helping Daisy fight their lawsuit from the Consumer Products Safety Commission, which tried to claim that Daisy’s gravity-feed BB magazine was flawed. With these two examples and a Gatling gun, I showed them the weakness of that argument, which proved to be the last argument in their case. They reached an out-of-court settlement shortly after their lawyer was shown how reliably such mechanisms work. Since you have to hold the rifle in a certain position to work the bolt when cocking, the BB was always ready to drop into the loading trough once it opened. On the 35, the magazine is a fancy steel funnel located atop the receiver. You pour 4.4mm lead balls into the space until it’s filled, then snap the spring-loaded cap in place to secure them. After that, the rifle can be fired as fast as the shooter can work the bolt.

VZ35 magazine is gravity-fed through this hopper. Those are 4.4mm copperplated lead balls.

On the 47, the makers simplified the flip-up magazine cover to a sliding sheet metal cover.

The firing mechanism is a classic BB gun type–part catapult and part spring-piston. The catapult gets the ball moving, then a sharp blast of air accelerates it to its 425 f.p.s. top speed.

A rifled barrel imparts a spin to the ball that delivers half-inch groups at 5 yards and decent groups at 10 meters. The rear sight is graduated out to 25 meters, but I found accuracy dropped off pretty sharply after 10. Since everything works on both models, they can be used to teach safe gun-handling techniques with far less danger, not to mention cost. When the soldiers were ready to graduate to their 8mm Mausers, the 5-lb. trigger-pulls must have seemed light compared to the 11-12 lb. pulls on the air rifles.

Airgun writer and collector Larry Hannusch wrote about seeing a sporter variation of the VZ35. It lacked the upper handguard and the military end cap/bayonet mount. He thought that was a special model, since the ones he’d seen were missing the national crest, but my own 35 was also missing the crest and the upper handguard. And mine had all the military mountings on the stock. I think there was some kind of soldier send-back program that caused the rifle to be disassembled and that’s where the handguards went. As for the missing crest, I can offer no explanation.

I had occasion to completely strip and overhaul the VZ35, which is how I learned about the BB gun nature of the internal parts. The mechanism is very complex, and I don’t recommend anyone following in my footsteps. No velocity improvement seemed possible at that time.

After WW II, the Czechs produced a simplified second model they called the VZ47. In function, it copies the VZ35 closely, but many corners were cut to lower production costs. The 47 does not accept a bayonet, and all the hardware is made from stamped metal instead of forgings. Everything is thinner and lighter, resulting in a rifle that weighs about 8.5 lbs.

The finish is also noticeably of a lower standard on this rifle. The bluing is matte and not as deep as on the older airgun. The wood finish seems lacking and nondescript. However, if a VZ47 was all you saw, you’d be impressed. Only by association with the 35 does it suffer.

An importer brought in several hundred VZ47 rifles in the 1990s, and I helped them spread the word. The first batch retailed for $225 and the last batch for $260. The rifle was just as accurate as the older airgun, and many of them had unit markings on the stock.

Production air rifles will never again be made to this quality level, which is why I go to the airgun shows as often as I do. You wanted to see some bolt-action air rifles? Well, here are two of the best.

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.

126 thoughts on “VZ35 and VZ47 – two interesting military trainers”

  1. Hi B.B.
    I own a Benjamin Discovery and want to mount a scope on it. Is the scope rail an 11mm or 3/8″ on the rifle. Every where I look or call I get conflicting answers about which size it is.

  2. B.B.

    Talking about military training airguns makes me wonder if the military will use the new AR-15 upper that you saw at the SHOT show. That, to me, is the ultimate trainer since it could use the soldiers actual lower. Do you think you will be able to test that rifle? I will never own one, but I’d love to learn about it.


    I spoke with Sandra at Pyramydair and she told me that the scope rail is 11mm.

  3. Hia Jeff,
    I have a Discovery and use the B-Square Air Sporter medium rings. The are listed as 11mm and the work great.

    Here is the link:


    JoeG from Jersey

  4. CJr,

    I read that post you made last night about gas-spring equipped airguns.
    I agree, there’s no way that a gas spring will be any harder on the compression chamber. It still develops similar compression, so it also produces that same cushion in front of the piston.

    If it didn’t, that means it started the pellet moving much, much earlier in it’s stroke (compared to a metal coil spring) and the pellet had to be essentially out of the barrel well before the piston had moved completely forward. That would drop the pressure on the front of the piston to the point where it COULD batter into the front of the chamber. Yet, the transfer port would still have a huge effect of constricting the airflow and slowing down the piston.

    The shot cycle would be so bad, I think you’d have the old steel spring back into the gun in a heartbeat.

    The only other way the piston would have less deceleration: the piston seal was damaged and was not trapping the air in front. But then the blow by would affect both velocity and accuracy at distance.

    I have no idea who the tuner is. I’ve got no ax to grind. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt as to what he saw. It’s not likely he made up his observation. He’s not gonna get rich working on airguns and he’s gotta be proud of his work and constantly concerned about his reputation. He likely DID see cracking in a gas spring equipped gun. Maybe a few. Was the gas spring to blame? If you’ve got a reputation as an airgun tuner, you tend to specialize in a breed of gun. Your experience is sometimes pretty deep, but may be narrow in scope. You see a gun or two with a serious problem? Forget about it! You shun them. This has been my experience with GAMO rifles. The limited experience I’ve had tells me that they have a 100% spring failure rate. Don’t they? That’s all I’m saying. Could also just be comfort level. I LIKE working on spring guns. I know where the problems tend to be and how to fix them. Hand me a multi-pump pneumatic to fix and I want to hit you over the head with it. You do need to practice voodoo to fix them, don’t you? Just some ideas to chew on for the weekend…


  5. b.b., do these come up for sale often?
    Gotta admit, I like them. Even if the power isn’t great the quality looks exceptional and I like the ‘old world’ quality.
    Amazing…50 years is now considered old world.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  6. Terrific post B.B., thanks much! Your lever action recommendation was so spot on that now I’m searching for that bolt action one. This post showed me one unique configuration. As soon as I decide on the firearm that satisfies my bolt action fantasy I’ll ask you and others here if there is an air rifle equivalent I can buy. Reminds me of a country western song I heard the other day, “If my nose was running money I’d blow it all on you.”


  7. Derrick,

    Gas springs – my only one was in a CFX I purchased from Wayne that originated at PA. It gave less power than a spring and was twice as loud. I understand the CFX was probably not the ultimate platform to test a gas spring, but in that set up it was thumbs down.

    I kept the rifle for about a week until it was off to Rich in Mich as payment on a BSA tune. He chopped the barrel on it and planned on keeping it as winter starling gun. I guess the cold effects the gas rams less then springs. (Fyi – most tuners will take rifles in trade for work as long as you match the brand to what they are known for. ¾ of my tunes were funded this way)

    I believe Paul Watts will work on rifles like the RX-2 but states the changes won’t be as dramatic as with a spring. They can still have trigger work and the like. I have not heard the “ bad for the rifle” before other then a post that said guns not intended for gas rams like an R-1 can end up with a bent barrel due to the extra effort.

  8. B.B.

    I have become a great believer in just how much airgun marksmanship reproduces firearms, seemingly regardless of caliber. In fact, it was only when I started to reproduce exactly my airgun techniques (rather than invent something new) that my firearms shooting started to improve. So, it seems that much of these fine trainers are wasted since their round balls don’t allow much accuracy, and the operation would have some real differences from the service rifle too.

    For an AR-15 lower, my research seems to indicate that Rock River Arms and Stag Arms have some of the best AR-15 gear. But it may take awhile to get them. Rock River Arms was backordered for up to two years with requests from the military, and according to the colorful writers on the GunBlast site, the election of President Obama has caused skyrocketing sales of semiauto weapons and ammunition so that they are quite hard to get. I’ll be interested to see which lower you choose.

    BG_Farmer, how did you calculate flight time without using muzzle velocity? Calculating actual velocity under the influence of air drag sounds very difficult.

    In the American Rifle book, I was reading last night about the famous Creedmoor shooting match in the 19th century in which the American team vanquished the Irish world champions when one of the Irish shooters shot the wrong target. The match was at 1000 yards with a bullseye that was three feet across. I make that to be about 3.5 MOA. Given that they were using open sights and had to account for wind and mirage, it was impressive but not like Quigley. I’m not sure of the shooting positions but at least one of them was shooting prone.


  9. BB,

    These are right up there with the Hakim trainers, and its a military look that should never have gone away, in my opinion. Trigger weight aside, the trainees were in for a lovely surprise when they graduated from these rifles to a real 8mm:).

  10. Matt,

    RE: flight time. From ballistics tables (most have time of flight) and Chairgun. They do the math to incorporate the decreasing speed of the projectile into the time of flight calculation. The math is not easy for most, but time of flight is important.

    That Creedmoor match is legendary. You have the angular size calculated correctly. I think the position was “freestyle”, as long as no support was used. The picture I’ve seen had some of them on their backs with the barrel on their legs, but the final shot was some variant of prone.

  11. BB,
    As always, another very interesting report. The old trainers have always fascinated me. And, from looking at the above it’s easy to see that I am not alone in this.

    Going off-topic for a moment; have noticed that the availability of 4.4 mm round balls has fallen off, somewhat. At one time Rundkugeln could be purchased in lead and copper-clad lead round balls. Now, it seems one must bulk order these, from Europe (pricey). Discovered this through correspondence with a German representative of the company.

    Beeman Perfect Rounds were the next to disappear.

    It seems that Gamo is the only company around, which still offers the lead round ball in .177 cal.

    I have two Makarov MP-654K’s (one still boxed). As you know, their diet consists solely of lead round balls, in .177 caliber.

    So the question: Are you aware of a direction one might take, in order to further the search for alternatives to the Gamo lead rounds? Or, should I start stocking up on the Gamo’s before they go the way of the others.

  12. BB,
    The training factor reminds me of the 1077. I really wish crosman would make a bolt action co2 replica of a k98. I got around to shooting my first 300 rounds in the Smith&Wesson Sigma .40VE yesterday. Great gun; no jams, 2-3inches at 25yards, able to be dry fired, low percieved recoil. Something wierd did happen though, it shot 8 inches low at 10 yards when I held it tight (muzzle doesn't seem to rise much at all). I let a little slack on it, then it got better but now it takes longer to aquire a sight picture. Also, the brass ejects in a much more controlled direction than my RIA1911.
    Shadow express dude

  13. BG_Farmer,

    Prone with a sling would be pretty solid, but if the sling was disallowed that really would be difficult in my opinion. I don’t know why anyone would use the prone in that case.

    Wayne, since all things are possible at your range, how about this. I just learned that one of my granduncles was a flight engineer and turret gunner on a B-17 and got shot down over Germany and captured. Wow. In his memoir that he recently wrote, he claims that air gunnery training in WWII started with riding around a track in the back of a pick-up shooting at clay pigeons with a 12 gauge shotgun. The idea was to learn how to lead a moving target from a moving position. Sounds like fun, and my uncle claims that he could hit 73/75 targets by the end of the training. Unfortunately, air shotguns are not capable enough for this and I don’t know if air rifles are up to it either. It sounds like a Quigley shot.


  14. Also on the subject of military trainers, there was a peculiar incident when I introduced a private in the U.S. Army to the wonders of airgunning. The course was in a basement with the target at a little less than 10 yards and the IZH 61 was fired offhand. Our soldier claimed to have done well with the M-16 in basic training which he had just completed and threw himself into a military-looking stance with a pronounced forward lean. But with his very tall and blond fiancee watching next to him, he could not hit the Beeman pellet trap which is about 8 inches on a side even once with a 5 shot clip. I felt kind of bad for him, and I think the problem was his ignorance of the artillery hold.


  15. Guys,
    I had a vision yesterday. It was beautiful and I must share with you. You might even call it an epiphany directly from the patron saint of beer.

    My wife had me shopping for a new refrigerator and that is were something beautiful was discovered. A beer Kegerator with a really big CO2 tank included with the fridge.

    Now imagine a tee in that CO2 line. One side feeds the keg of beer and the other… yes… for feeding a PCP airguns. Life would be so sweet.

    OK guys tell me is this really possible?


  16. …Whiscombe Notes…Supersonic…

    I just posted a long note accidentally on the 1/20/09 blog, so if you want to read about what is promised in the above title, you’ll find my comment posted 1/23 around 9 p.m..

    – Dr. G.

  17. DB,
    Re: Beer visions

    Don’t think it could work as you describe it. The CO2 tank for the beer keg would would have a regulator attached to reduce the CO2 pressure to 10-12 psi to the beer keg. Also that CO2 tank would not have a siphon tube because the beer keg needs gaseous CO2, not liquid CO2.

    Now you could use the tank as a bulk CO2 source, but you would have to disconnect the regulator, invert the tank to fill your gun or small CO2 bottle with liquid CO2.

    See: http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/faqs/Co2+Tank+FAQs.shtml


  18. Hey BB,
    I had a thought, might sound crazy, but I would do it if I could. I found a piece that the airgun community lacks. We have people who professionally test guns, people who (this is one of the newer things)listen to consumer reports on the product, and shows that advertise all the neat toys. What we need is…an expedition shooter like Tom Knapp. Maybe the person could use a small air rifle to shoot baby asprin, or shoot clay pigeons with a CP88.
    Shadow express dude

  19. BB,
    Thanks for the heads-up, guys. Hadn’t realized that the 4,4 mm lead rounds had gotten so rare, of late. Why, it seems like it was only a year ago that… …oh. Yes Derrick, a’buyin’ we will go…

    I live in the “Rural” outskirts of our city. Still, the local outdoor range is only open during the winter months (wild fire hazards, they say). So, the Makarov pellet gun gets a pretty good workout as a trainer for a large portion of the year. Helps keep the hand in, so to speak.

    Am in contact with JG Airguns about some particulars and will probably go with them. Don’t know if I’d have found ‘em without you, BB.

  20. OldOne,
    Knew it was too good to be true. Thanks for the info. Guess I’ll keep my beer in cans and use my HPA hand pump for the PCP.

    Discovery Crown,
    Do not believe the Disco has a problem with bad crown. I polished mine… but that is not a recrown.


  21. Rabbit, Volvo & BG_Farmer

    Great links today!!
    I didn't read through the whole sites yet… but I will… and sign up for airgun benchrest contests… We can do that… Interesting that they do 25 shots at 25 yards in 20 mins. with air guns… 1,000 yards with the black powder guns… That should help us choose our Quigley distance..

    I'm getting your idea of a very high peep sight of sorts.. I have never tried anything like that.. so, you guys try it and tell me how to set it up..

    I think I'll practice the circle the pickup idea Matt61 brought to the table… How about the Wazyboy recliner in the back of a Volvo wagon with the sides and top cut out.. and the dogs chasing sticks & balls around the infield with strings of 4" helium balloons every 2' on 100' (starting at 50') lines attached to their harnesses…
    Just like the "Wild Bill Cody" show!!

    Wacky Wayne

  22. Wayne,

    Matt’s “training regimen” sounds a lot like Saturday afternoon in the good old days:). Make sure you put yours on YouTube.

    Check out the drop figures for 1000 yards with the black powder cartridge guns — unbelievable. I’m toying with the idea of a Creedmoor style sight on one of my clunks:).

    I played with the Hammerli 490 at up to 60 yards with Superdomes today. Shooting with my kid and an irregular wind, so I had to be content with hitting a coffee can and getting some experience with the trajectory; also close to end of the stock sight adjustments. Not only were the Superdomes delivering a thumping (estimated) 1.6 fpe to the target, the delay felt so long that I almost dismounted the rifle before they hit a few times:). The wind effect was not trivial either.

  23. There was an extinct air gun factory Tell Venuswaffenwerk, located in Zella-Mehlis, Germany. Tell Venuswaffenwerk made very Mauser-like 4.4mm ball bolt-action “Mars” air rifles in the 1930’s. The models were “Mars 85” and “Mars 115”.

  24. Wacky Wayne

    What a wonderful way to start a Saturday. The mental picture of you, sitting in your wazyboy recliner, bouncing over your range in that chopped up Volvo, wacking away at a tomasto paste can 127.36 yards away with your beloved S410 is too much! Hope to see this adventure on U Tube and not read about it in this years Darwin Awards.

  25. Kevin

    This is in reference to your advice to C11 to leave all CO2 guns stored with gas in them. I sent a Crosman 1077 to Rick Willnecker to be resealed cause it was leaking. He told me not to store it that way because of the way the seals are held in place. Leaving them charge 24/7 will cause the 1077’s to leak. Just thought I’d pass on his advice. What do you think? Mr B.

    PS DB, try Van at Air Hog he can make an adapter to hook up anything. Your idea might just work.

  26. The guy looking for an R9 tune… what do you want done to it? Is there something wrong with it, do you want Maccari parts installed, or do you just want a basic cleanup, deburring, and so forth?

  27. Perk, I just heard back from John Groenewold, he has a continuous supply of 4.4’s (he’s not just selling off old stock). They’re 800 rounds for $5.82, which is quite reasonable.

  28. Mr B,

    Both Rick Willnecker and B.B. know more about CO2 guns than I ever will.

    But regarding the 1077 these two experts differ on opinion of whether to leave the guns charged or not.

    What makes the seals on a 1077 different than other CO2 guns?


  29. R-9 tune?

    Vince does good work, very good work.. He is just starting his air rifle fix up business, but he has done great work for me!! I’m a very happy camper!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

    Great Guys, glad you like the idea…
    I’ll have the millwrights start on my volvo wagon Monday:)… I’ve been wanting a volvo pick up for a long time anyway!!

    Today, we are having another informal Field Target contest.. we got the targets setup without much thought to the overall difficulty factor… we have to rearrange them today to fit the “standard”..

    I got the single shot mag adapter for my Air Arms S410, so I can load one at a time, and be legal in a contest now.. So, we shall see how she does..(or how I do) against the more expensive rifles and the young bucks with good eyes.. I’ll tell the bad news tonight!

    Speaking of Tell air rifles,

    here is one I’m thinking of bidding on, that is not in the Blue Book of Air Guns… How high is high?… How blue is the sky?? why oh why do I think I need it?


    Wacky Wayne..

  30. Derrick38,

    I’ll keep you posted!

    The bidding on the CZ vz35 is up to $305 now… and by it’s condition, according to the Blue Book, that is about right.. maybe up to $350-$400 or so… 5 hours left folks!! I’m out of it..

    I did the “$250 buy it now” on the Tell that’s not in the Blue Book..

    Get ready Vince.. We’ll have you check it out, and report first on it for us..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  31. Vince,
    I just want a Basic tune done on my R9. I love the gun- had it 2 years, killed 200+ squirels. It has that annoying twang, so may need a better spring guide? I'm hoping for a quieter, slightly faster 20 cal.- so would want a Macari spring & seals, with deburing, lube and polish. Neither Paul Watts nor Charlie Tuna do 'Basic tunes' any more- can't find 'Rich in Michigan' Thanks for any help- Rniner

  32. Kevin,

    My 1077 developed a leak. B.B. recommended Rick to fix it. Talked with Rick about the gun and he asked me if I kept it charged all the time. Yes said I. Not a good idea with that gun said he because it’s design is such that the seals will shift and cause a leak. That’s all I know and I am way out of my league to get between those two gentleman. Mr B.

    Derrick38, e-mail me, Dropdog2@Aol.com, and I’ll send you some AirSource cylinders that are just gathering dust here.

  33. C11 and everyone,

    Rick and I have gone around on the CO2 storage issue for years. He has certainly seen more guns than I have.

    The issue is how the guns are designed. If there are small pipes carrying the gas, they can move and warp and cause leaks. If not, if the seal is more straightforward, then the gun doesn’t suffer from gas storage.

    One way to do it is the shoot the pressure down so there is just enough remaining to keep the valve closed. That keeps the seal protected from dirt.

    Bottom line is you have to do what you feel comfortable with. Just remember, B.B. Pelletier doesn’t know everything.

    Also, when Crosman writes those instructions they are concerned with what is essentially a loaded gun. Because leaving CO2 in a gun means that it can fire. That’s a liability concern for them.


  34. Regarding the missing handguards on the CZ military trainers, as I understand it, GI’s could not have a “bring back” gun protruding from their duffel bag. Many had the stocks cut near the handguard or under a barrel band so the gun would fit disassembled. These have come to be known as “duffel bag cuts” and are, perhaps, the main reason so many handguards and trim pieces are missing.

  35. B.B.
    Thanks for checking…

    I can love .22lr too… super fun and inexpensive too!!… see what happens when you have more time to shoot… we miss you.. but STAY AWAY!!! and have more fun shooting like you should….

    I guess I’m going to have to build a room just for guns!!!

    Wacky Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  36. BB,this is in reference to a different blog.Your 1 on scope sighting.2 intersecting spots on the trajectory.I shoot a 2250,stock with bunt line grip,Crosman 4X scope.I pshoot 10yds.mainly.So if I’m sighted at ioyds.,I should also be sighted at around 20 also,or there abouts?Or,I should sight in at 20yds.,than I would also be sighted at around 10yds.?

  37. 2250,

    Ten yards is about the worst distance to sight-in, because it throws all other useful distances off.

    If you sight-in at 20 yards, you will be low at 10. How low depends on how high the scope is above the barrel.

    However, because of the lower velocity of the 2250, you may want to sight-in at 15 yards and probably be back on at 21-1243 yards. At 10 yards you won’t be quite as low that way.

    Try it and see for yourself.


  38. BB or anyone else…

    RE: Pellet center of mass

    Anyone ever measured the center of mass for pellets along their length?

    I noticed that the JSB Diabolo Exact Jumbo Express, 14.3 grains, and the JSB Diabolo Exact Jumbo, 15.8 grains, are quite a bit different in height. There seems to be more separation between skirt and head. I wonder if any gun shoots the lighter pellets better. The longer length would seem to move mass out in front more and thus stabilizing pellet better.

    I also have some 0.22 Mendoza Hollowpoints which have a solid skirt. I wonder if any gun could shoot them better than any other pellet. With all the weight in the skirt the pellet is tail heavy. That seems to inherently lead to instability problems.


  39. SED,

    I have given exhibition shooting a lot of thought. There IS a problem. An air rifle is gentle by nature, where a 12-gauge shotgun is violent. When Tom Knapp does his shooting, it's big, it's loud & it's impressive. I don't know if an airgun can hope to compete on that scale.

    I have watched field target matches where SWAT team members missed the kill zone by half a pellet diameter. It was extremely dramatic for them and for the 2 or 3 people who saw what was happening. Twelve feet away, people weren't even aware that a shot had been fired.

    That's the nature of airguns. I don't think exhibition shooting can be made dramatic enough. If you think otherwise, please tell me how.


  40. Since this is open blog weekend a question please. Who is shooting a Talon SS with a regulated HPA tank? What pressure is it regulated to? Where did you get the tank. What is the fps with Beeman Kodiaks? How many shots do you get? Do you like the set up? Thank you all Mr B.

  41. “I don’t think exhibition shooting can be made dramatic enough. If you think otherwise, please tell me how.”

    Try the Hong Kong Action film way: every time the pellet hits the target–even a miss of the center part–dupe in the sound of a real bullet being fired and hitting the target…maybe with that fake ricochet sound Hollywood is so fond of. Remember the Bruce Lee films where every time he hits someone with his fist there’s this really loud sound, with echoes? Like that.

    [You know I’m kidding, right?]

  42. Dramatize it, yes. Two boys sent to prison for running their uncle’s shine return home to face an unjust sheriff and county “boss”. They need to defend themselves and shoot stuff, but the terms of their parole forbids firearms, so they shoot airguns that somehow do not violate their sentence but will cause cars to explode. Imagine rubber burning on a gravel road: while one drives, the other hangs out the door and cocks an R1, shooting a bridge support cable out from under the inept sheriff’s car. They drive home casually and are served rabbits and squirrels(which they shot earlier) by their attractive female cousin.

  43. B.B.

    Has anyone tried close up of the shooter and the field target on a split screen? Shooter technique, and the hit or miss.. side by side..

    Field Target is very exciting for the people who can see whats happening.. especially as one shooter is making a run at the leader..
    In this world of video.. It doesn’t seem that hard..

    We haven’t tried it yet… I guess I should be getting some cameras, instead of more rifles..

    If the targets are freshly painted, so the pellet POI can be seen easy, then the camera will catch all..

    Try it for just part of one show.. please….

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  44. Mr. B.,

    Re: Questions on Talon SS

    Your questions are confusing. I don't have a SS, never even seen one. But look through BB's blogs.


    The Talon SS has an internal regulator of sorts that allows you to adjust the power of a shot.

    If you're talking an extra tank from which to do refills, BB has blogged on tanks too. There are several different kinds. The gist though is you need not only a tank, but somewhere to get it filled. Find a source for refills, and then get chummy with them.

    FPS with Kodiaks depends on power setting on gun.

    Number of shots depends on power setting. The higher power shots use more air per shot.

    From what I've read the gun is B-O-R-I-N-G!! Who wants to just shoot one hole groups one after the other? How can you demonstrate your manlyness by shooting a gun that any fool can shoot well? 😉


  45. rumor has it that crosman is coming out with an affordable electric hand pump, is that true?
    Also, anyone with the discovery, what pellets have you found to be the most accurate?

  46. Herb,

    Thanks for your reply. I am interested in a regulated air supply, ie, the pressure in the tank might be 2600psi but the regulater only releases air at 1800psi which means the air pressure powering each shot is the same. I think that should increase the shot count and accuracy of the gun since the same volume of air, controlled by the valve assembly, at the same pressure, controlled by the regulator, will be powering each shot until the pressure in the tank gets below what is needed to operate the regulator.

    That’s what my thoughts are, but am I barking up the right tree? Thanks Mr B.

  47. I’ve looked at mosin nagants 91/30 and the 91/44 carbines rifles. Lot of power for the money. I like original military version with cleaning kit and bayonet was pretty neat. Now many are converted to sport models with camo sythetic stocks and new sights. It’s shame they conver M-1s too, but I guess if they can get more life out of them then that’s good too.

  48. Mr. B.,

    Now that thhe confusion is cleared up. I think you’re absolutely right.

    I remember Jane saying that she was told by the gentleman who gave her the gun that is what the power adjustment is for. You shoot lower at first then “increase” power to keep power at same level.

    There must be some gun out there that has this feature. I don’t know which. I would also expect such a feature only on a very expensive gun. You’d need two pressure reservoirs. Large is fill reservoir at highest pressure. Second one is “shooting” reservoir which would be smaller in volume, and at the regulated pressure.

    One of the other readers must know of such a gun.


  49. RE: Regulated Rifle

    BB's blog, December 11, 2008

    "Comparing regulated and unregulated airguns"


    !@#$%^&*( Is there ANY topic on which BB has not done a blog !?!


  50. Herb

    Yes I think I’ve got the regulated vs unregulated straight in my brain. The above mentioned blog was in answer to my question, again my/our thanks to B.B.

    The “wheel” that Jane was talking about controls the preload on the hammer spring. The AirForce guns have that feature also, but they do not have a regulated air supply.

    My question, in a nut shell, was does anyone have any experience with a Talon SS running with a regulated air supply? Again thanks for your rely. Mr B.

  51. Is there any topic that B.B. has written on that Herb cannot find in under an hour?

    By the way, I think that part of the reason that the RWS h.p. pellets were so accurate even though they went supersonic in the Whiscombe was that they stayed supersonic throughout the whole 10 meter distance. If I have time I will experiment using the power restrictor and see the effects on accuracy when the pellets are subsonic.

    – Dr. G.

  52. RE: Drop of Beeman Kodiak 800-850 fps at 40 yards

    Ran some numbers through Chairgun2.

    As fps drops from 850 to 800 fps for Kodiak, at 40 yards there is a 1 inch drop between the two velocities. An experienced shooter would have to compensate for that power reduction.

    The point is that the power wheel could compensate. You set it at 4 for first shots, then after like 5 shots you go up to 5. After next 5 shots you go to 6. You’d have to make your own table, but It seems a straight forward method to use for compensation.

    Assuming you’re shooting 1/2 inch groups anyway, you wouldn’t need much compensation so that the drop due power changes was insignificant.


  53. Herb & Mr. B.,

    Some PCPs have a regulated air tank.. the Daystate, and I have a P70 with a regulator on it.. The regulator is set for 1,700 lbs.. It is very steady..

    Dr. G.,

    I wonder what would happen at 50 yards with that pellet at that speed… I bet it just didn't have time to "tumble"… at 10 meters..


    I get it now, your not talking about video at all.. your talking about a football stadium like affair… OK.. I see that as a problem (unless you used the split screen video on a large screen, so folks can see what is happening..
    But why are we talking about that, when you are doing a video show.. I thought we were giving you ideas that people might watch on TV…

    And, I like Derricks solution:):) I would help with that awful chore too!!!

    When the crowd gets restless, the cheerleaders pull their S&W 586 revolvers from their holsters, and shoot released balloons.. If they hit the balloons, they keep their clothes, (or most of them anyway, just enough to be legal) if they miss.. the real show, the folks came for, begins…:):) Sex, or skin in this case, sells!! …always has… always will.. not that your show should stoop that low… right guys????

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  54. B.B.

    Okay, how about the old Lucky McDaniel trick of throwing things up in the air and hitting them? Along those lines I read that the Remington Nylon 66 now discontinued held some record for hitting 70,000 consecutive blocks of wood thrown in the air. Too bad they discontinued that rifle. I wonder how they divided up their shooting sessions.

    Wayne, I thought I saw some show advertised on an obscure channel featuring bikini-clad women firing .50 caliber rifles. I think I would just laugh.


  55. Matt,

    I shot buddies Nylon 66 many moons ago. I think the shooting stunt was just to show durability. The ads for the rifle showed the huge pile of lumber left from the outing. At the time people were skeptical of non- wood stocks. I’ll admit to being one of them. I passed on the 66 when I had the chance to upgrade to semi-auto .22.

  56. BB,
    Have you seen the video of the guy shooting the clays with a FX semi auto (I question the validity of that). That’s exiting to me. Or you could throw up 5 clays and knock em down with a SW 586-8 revolver (or some other high velocity pistol repeater).
    Shadow express dude

  57. RE: Exhibition shooting

    All depends on how much you want to spend.

    You could have a the “real” target for shooter at a low position then a larger “spotter” target for crowd up higher. I remember movie “Sargent York.” A pole with a dot on end was used to show shooter where he hit. Low tech, but it would work.

    On same movie the targets actually went up and down. The spotter target could go down and have position of shot marked with orange dot on the much larger target.

    You could of course have a giant LCD screen above each target. Need to protect LCD screens with glass of course. Maybe projection system to have expensive part out of line of fire.

    Maybe a use for some of the old movie theaters. Lower level for shooters, then upper level for spectators. Giant LCD screens for spectators out of line of sight for shooters. In such a theater the pow-pow-pow would reverberate making the shooting noise seem “real.” Up to a 50 yard distance would seem obtainable.

    Got a couple of empty theaters downtown here. Imagine howl of art council, which wants theaters for live performances, if theaters were instead bought for indoor shooting ranges.


  58. Matt,
    As Volvo pointed out, people were really skeptical about synthetic stocks and other “plastic” (e.g. shotgun barrels). I think the 66 was unremarkable in performance except for its materials, but the real concern for durability was probably the nylon receiver. Here’s an article on it from one of my favorite non-BB P. gun writers:


    There were some other interesting plastic variants, some which were before their time. My uncle had one, but had no regret selling it in a garage sale (or something similar) when he moved, bummer.

    BTW, if you don’t know the Chuck Hawks site in general, you might just enjoy it at lot.

  59. ajvenom – if you mean overheat through excessive operation, and you’re talking about springers, then the answer is ‘no’. They just don’t generate enough heat quickly enough to build up and sustain the temperature of the action at a significantly elevated level. True, the air does get very hot at it’s most compressed state, but

    1) it’s a very small volume that is exposed to very little surface area of the compression tube

    2) it gets released (unpressurized) almost immediately which drops the temperature back down

    3) there is so much time between shots that the little bit of heating that takes place gets dissipated.

    If you shoot on a hot, sunny day the gun will get a lot warmer from the sun than it will from being fired.

  60. John,

    If you’re correct, I’ll be the first in line. The scuba tank idea doesn’t turn me on. Hand pumping is ok, but after 3 fills I always wish it was an automatic. Definite need exists. I would be willing to pony up $550 – $750.

  61. Frye used three Model 66’s to hit 100,004 wooden blocks out of 100,010 thrown. To do it, Frye shot 1,000 shots an hour, eight hours a day, for 13 consecutive days without one malfunction or misfire.

  62. Volvo think you got what I meant, I said electric “hand pump” and meant electric pump. Crosman rather hapily admitted that they could not “confirm or deny this rumor”. Another fun fact I found is that with the marauder, they modified the valve so you can fill it to 2 or 3000psi with the only difference being the number of shots. Major turnoff for me is that I did not notice anywhere for a front sight on this gun :-(. I was having fun picturing myself target shooting with the marauder and air force sights 😉

  63. JT,

    Thanks for those links. I hadn’t seen the second one, but I’ll read it several times for sure.

    I’ve been following those FWB long range shot threads with interest. Even though Yrrah is a different (and better) shooter, I respect his skills tremendously and have learned a good bit from his threads.

    The second thread is really close to what I was trying to do, and I could jump for joy to see that others considered the time of flight in the equation rather than just the angular size. Good points made on “lag time” of bullets versus pellets. I don’t feel so bad about the reduced flight times we seem to have been settling for. The reference to the article quoted for 17.5″ bucket at 550 yards yeilds and angular size of 3 moa. I disagree about the distance and perhaps not adjusting the size of the bucket for the effect of taper, but it doesn’t seem like a huge disagreement. Of course, the flight time of Quigley shot is reduced a good bit at 550 versus 650+ yards. I don’t want to give up too much, because it seems like the shots would get too easy:).

    My current thoughts are about 80 yards/2″ for R7 class and lower, 100 yards/2.4″ for high powered .177 springers and PCP’s and 127 yards/3″ for .22’s. Offhand, “iron sights” (no scopes), and, ideally, with at least a 5mph crosswind:).

  64. BG_Farmer

    I,ve had an interest in this type of
    airgunning for a couple years now,
    ever since reading about mini sniping
    by those African big game hunters.
    Been practicing in the back yard with a 953&1377 @60-75'measured.

    Never even thought about the math involved till you guys brought it up.
    Since I either have to travel or build a huge backstop to get even 40 yds.(close neighbors)I haven't
    thought seriously about the max effective distance of my little

    I've had a heck of a time finding
    accurate low powered shooters<500fps. That's one of the reasons I love BB's blog.He keeps me up to date on the goodies.I don,t need higher power as I don't
    hunt anymore:( but I really have learned a lot of tech.stuff

    I really enjoyed Quigley, but some of those shots like the long range fast moving targets were just too hollywood to believe.
    Keep us posted on your progress
    my curiosity is wound up.

    P.S. the mental picture of Wacky Wayne in his round track wagon firing away, with his dogs as shootin judges keeps me rollin:)

  65. Vince,
    Thank you. Tried contacting them myself, via e-mail. No response yet, though. Good to know that the pound of pellets isn’t being offered as just a close-out sale.

    (Am writing this as “Anonymous,” because Google won’t recognize my password for some reason. Cheeze und crackers. nothing works anymore!)

  66. I have a CZ 35 in perfect condition missing only it's cleaning rod. Where the hail can I get 4.4 mm (.175 cal) pellets? I've managed to shoot rabbit food pellets, not much else. I'm anonymous for now – too much to do to establish an identity.

  67. You want round lead balls–NOT pellets! Using the correct term is very important in this case, because you could end up with a boatload of something that doesn't work.

    This man will sell you 4.4mm round lead balls:

    You don't need to establish an identity to sign a name at the end of your message.


  68. Dad brought a VZ35 home from wwtwo up till now I had never seen anything in writing about the relic. I shoot .177 lead balls out to 25 yards, and it shoots a little to the right. The rifle is a real piece of craftsmanship. Anyone know how many were made, or how many made it to the USA?

  69. Hi, greeting from Czech 🙂
    Airguns vz35 and vz47 are 4,46mm that's caliber .176 and are still produced by czech Foundry Kovohute Pribram like "Round Balls No. 10"
    check the link:

    the 4,4mm fits the Haenel/Suhl airguns like mod 310, 311, 49a etc.
    the classic lead balls 4,5mm (.177) can block the barel.
    You can buy the vz47 in Czech Republic for $150-300 (gun set up from new parts!!!), the vz35 is very rare to find.

    Sam Jr.

  70. I have a VZ 35 with the upper hand guard, doesn't have a hooded front site, and missing the ramrod. I suspect this was the original version. Some folks are interested in buying it but I have no idea of it's value. Super condition, serial #9816 with all the markings. Any ideas?

  71. Okay, "super condition" means 100 percent deep blue with no rust or missing spots. You are missing the front sight hood and the cleaning rod, neither of which is a big deal, though they will be hard to find.

    That airgun market is flat right now, but I think your gun is worth $450-500 all day long.


  72. Hey Tom,
    There’s a 35 in that same group I messaged you about. Its currently at 200 and goes live tomorrow.

    I love military rifles, especially the ww2 variety. This is seriously cool.

    Have a great day,

  73. As usual late to the party! Lol. Just acquired a CZ VZ35 Sporter and have been all over the internet researching these guns. From your write up:

    “Airgun writer and collector Larry Hannusch wrote about seeing a sporter variation of the VZ35. It lacked the upper handguard and the military end cap/bayonet mount. He thought that was a special model, since the ones he’d seen were missing the national crest, but my own 35 was also missing the crest and the upper handguard. And mine had all the military mountings on the stock”

    The Sporter was a regular part of their offering but in much smaller numbers. I think later guns didn’t have the “Crest” because that was their national symbol that wouldn’t be appropriate after Germany took over the country in 1939? Thus later model had Crest removed?

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.