Reclaiming lead from used pellets

by B.B. Pelleiter

Many of you have indicated an interest in this topic, so today we’ll do it. This is what you do after the shooting is over.

I shoot anywhere from 10K to 25K airgun shots each year–mostly in the course of my profession, but sometimes for pure recreation, as well. I shoot into several portable bullet traps as well as outdoor dirt berms, and a couple of those traps catch the pellets for recycling. So, every year or so I have several pounds of lead waste to recycle. When this report began I would estimate the total weight of material was 20 lbs.

For this report, I also had about 40 lbs. of wheelweights to turn into ingots, but that’s another story. The pellets went very well–the wheelweights did not.

Melting lead is low-tech
If you watched the movie The Patriot, you got to see lead-melting first-hand. That’s about as technical as it gets. You need about 600 degrees which a campfire can provide and the lead gets all puddly pretty quick. All we have to do to reduce the pile of pellet waste is to do the same thing, magnified a few hundred times.

Like many of you, I save my pellet waste from the Outers bullet trap. I also have another bullet trap that gets cleaned out every other year or so. I used to own a plumber’s furnace that made short work of the lead, but I stupidly let it go and have never been able to replace it. Heck, you can’t even find one on eBay anymore. People have been dumbed-down to the point that you have to look for a “lead melter” to find one. I’m not kidding! That’s what they call plumbers furnaces.

So, I just let my lead waste accumulate for several years, because I couldn’t find the furnace I wanted. Then it hit me. I watched The Patriot, too. All I needed was a source of heat that could be safely sustained for an hour or so. In my neck of the woods, we call that a barbecue grill!

I’m starting the charcoal to reduce that pot of lead waste to useful ingots.

About the same time I had my epiphany, Edith gave me a large cast-iron pot she didn’t want. If she hadn’t, I could have bought one like it on eBay for $10-20. That and the grill was almost everything I needed to process the pellet waste I’d been saving. I did buy a cast-iron lead ladle ($13 with shipping) and a long-handled spoon ($2) to round out my lead-melting tools.

Yeah, but will it work?
Is a barbecue hot enough to melt lead? Well, mine certainly is! In fact, it only took 30 minutes to melt that 20 lbs. of lead waste and to cast shiny ingots from the lead. Before I get to that, though, a few safety tips.

Work outdoors, so the lead fumes are not an issue. Remember that lead is hot, so wear a long-sleeve shirt and eye protection. Do not allow a drop of water to enter the lead pot. If it does, there will be a small explosion and lead drops will fly everywhere. And finally, don’t cook food on this grill after using it for this purpose. It’s just not a wise thing to do, because the lead gets on every surface through the fumes. Better safe than sorry!

The melt
It took 10 minutes for the fire to become sufficiently hot for the lead to start melting. Once it did, the pile in the pot started to shrink. As the lead chunks melted, the air spaces between them disappeared and the pile naturally got smaller.

When I started, the pile in the pot was high.

The heat had been on about 10 minutes, and the lead on the bottom had liquified. In another 20 minutes, it will all be melted.

The area initially smelled like a barbecue, naturally enough. But after 10 minutes, I smelled the familiar odor of melting lead, which smells like melted candle wax. My grill allows me to raise and lower the charcoal fire, so I can control the heat. If you have a grill without that capability I recommend setting the pot directly on the charcoal. Just be prepared to move the pot with pliers if you do, because when the lead is gone you’ll want to take it off the fire.

These are the tools I used. The ingot mold holds two one-pound ingots and two half-pound ingots. The spoon is for skimming the lead pot, the cast-iron ladle is for pouring lead into the mold and the large pliers are for handling the lead pot.

By 30 minutes, the lead was all melted and the considerable paper was all charred to ash. It formed a layer about a half-inch thick on top of the molten lead because it’s lighter. The bullet jackets and steel BBs are also lighter, so they were mixed in this layer, too.

The junk on top of the lead is called dross. Here it forms a thick layer. A long-handled spoon is used to skim it off.

I skimmed the dirt, called dross, off the top of the lead. I had a cardboard box handy to contain it. While it is hot when it comes out of the pot, the heat goes away quickly after it’s out, so the box doesn’t catch on fire.

This is dross. It consists of charred paper, dirt, some molten lead and a bullet jacket.

Much of the dross has been removed and the molten lead can be seen. If there is a non-shiny gray scum on top, it is molten tin. You want to retain as much tin as you can, because it helps the lead fill a mold and is more expensive than lead.

When I got down to the melted lead I saw a gray scum on top. That’s molten tin and it’s very desirable to retain. Don’t skim it off.

Once the lead was skimmed of dross, I started dipping out molten lead to fill the ingot mold. It produces two one-pound ingots and two half-pound ingots in a single pour.

The level of lead in the pot gets low, so I use the pliers to tip it up so the ladle can scoop the lead.

Fill the ingot mold, then dump out ingots like these. It takes about 20 seconds for the lead to completely harden in the mold.

The beauty of ingots that weigh either a pound or a half-pound is they can be added to a bullet alloy in exact amounts. So, these ingots are desirable, but they aren’t absolutely necessary. I’ve used muffin pans and small pie tins in the past to mold my lead ingots. But these ingots are much easier to use later on. I got a total of about 18 lbs. of ingots from my waste lead.

Next I dumped about 40 lbs. of wheelweights into the pot and tried to melt them into more ingots. However, I met with an unexpected problem.

I filled the pot with about 40 lbs. of wheelweights.

Each wheelweight is attached to a steel clip that holds it to the wheel rim. Those clips conduct heat better than the lead and have great mass with a minimum of weight. If there were enough lead, they would float on top, but in this case they formed a honeycomb mass that rose as high as the molten lead. It was impossible to deal with them. I tried picking them out of the pot with pliers, but there were too many. It’s also necessary to remember that antimony in the lead raises the melting point, and wheelweights have a lot of it. So, the fire has to be hotter. I tried to melt the wheelweights for two hours and all I succeeded in doing was burning up the last of my charcoal.

I solved the problem the next day by building a hotter fire with more charcoal and by adding another 20 lbs. of lead to the pot to get the level of the molten lead higher in the pot. Then the steel clips floated as they should and were easier to skim from the pot. The wheelweights yielded about 35 lbs. more lead, bringing the total for this exercise to over 50 lbs.

Now I have a pile of new ingots to add to my supply. The next step would be to use them to cast bullets. For that, I use an electric lead pot with much better temperature control.

193 thoughts on “Reclaiming lead from used pellets”

  1. BB
    this is a subject I’ve been waiting for.We normally use a propane or electric deep fryer base out doors.these have adj.temp settings.
    This recycled lead is good for black powder round balls and practice/plinking rounds in the firearms.
    Are there commercially available molds for .177 round balls? I’ve tried a few homemade without success and I like rounds for sub 30 yd.plinking.but the price and availability aren’t very good.
    I know casting diabolos isn’t practical but always thought rounds should be do able.
    Just haven’t figured out an easy mold yet.
    By the way,anyone thinking of using .22 blackpowder molds for your .22 airgun should reconsider.They are not the same caliber:(

  2. Would a largish magnet be useful for pulling the steel clips out of the molten lead?

    Some of us are pretty much restricted to shooting airguns, and it would be a hoot if we could reuse our squished pellets to make airgun ammunition. I wonder if round balls might be the only practical shape for that. I seem to recall that they used to make round lead balls by dropping molten lead through calibrated orifices and letting it harden as it freefalls. Am I remembering correctly? I assume that it’d be difficult to control the size of the ball with any real precision that way.

  3. As far as I know, there are no good homemade solutions to make pellets. You can buy a wrench to press pellets with, but they are only suitable for plinking, not good enough uniformity for precise shots.

  4. JT in AL, Frank B – Next time I’m down that way we will go shooting for sure. Sometimes I fly, sometimes I drive. I’ll try and make my next trip a driver so I can bring some guns. Here’s my email if you want to send some of the Dr. Hook pictures, I’d love to see them – hazenadog@yahoo.com

    Wayne – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, You Are The Man!!

    B.B. and everyone – What a great thing going on here with this blog. Just a great group of people.


  5. I recently recycled some of my used pellets – to make weights for my son’s Pinewood Derby cars!

    It was easy: Start with a good-sized hole in the bottom of the car (I made them do it with a bit and brace, just to ensure a complete experience!). I put a screw in the middle of the hole, just to make sure the lead couldn’t move. Then I melted used pellets using an old spoon and a propane torch, and poured it in the hole. We added these lead-filled holes until the car met the official 5 ounce weight.

    It didn’t use that many pellets, but it was a fun educational opportunity for my sons.

  6. B.B.

    hey whats up great blog best collection of information all in one place, before i found pyramid air i had know idea what a blog was know i wake up everyday monday thru friday just to see what bb had to tell us all ive listened to all of your podcasts several times and think u are a genius and thats why i wanted to ask you if you knew of a guy named roy at mountain air. He sells a pcp conersion of the 2260 for 375 w 16-18 shots in the 20fpe range with accuracy out to 50 yards if i understood that right then he is saying that his rifle is capable of grouping at about 1″ at that distance or closer ive also been falling in love with the new marauder but its twice the price of the discovery with a few really nice features such as being a repeater along w barrel shroud, adj trigger, and power adj but i think i could get all that stuff for the discovery and still save money with the pump too so as u can see im in a little bind and another point of view would help me out tremendously, anyone one out there happen to have a .22 panther and know if it gets the same accuracy as .177 i know it loses a little fpe wise but if its still accurate maybe a short range hunter, by the way thanks for finally getting leapers on the ball to fix the barrel droop that was the one thing shying me away from all the diana rifles thanks again


  7. B.B. – I wondered about this before but forgot to ask. How’d you come up with so many tire weights? I thought only the roads here in Michigan could shred that amount of rubber!!


  8. B.B.,

    Thanks for the article. You’re really good about rekindling old memories. I used to cast bullets and used my recycled lead. Never shot firearms into a trap so I had to find lead elsewhere.

    One of my favorite places was used building material centers and redevelopment sites where buildings were being torn down. I looked for window weights. Older vertical windows have counterweights that are hidden in walls and help raise the windows for opening them. They usually weigh 4-10 lbs apiece (depending on the size of the window), 2 on each window and are thrown away by demolition contractors and sold very cheap at used building material centers (or at least used to be). I also used a cast iron, dutch oven that had lips for pouring. Connected a chain to a ceiling hook in my garage, then connected the handle of the dutch oven to the end of the chain. The dutch oven sat about 10 inches over the concrete. Heated the lead with a propane torch that was typically used to heat rubberized roof membrane in order to seam (I use mine for melting ice off my north sidewalk and driveway). Once the lead melted I just tipped the dutch oven, still suspended by the chain, and filled the molds.

    Gave all my molds and lead away to a friend years ago since I don’t shoot firearms much anymore. Very satisfying to make your own bullets and then crank out those special loads that you know will be the most accurate in your gun. Never worried about quality control when I was shooting my reloads.


  9. Aaron,

    Re: Tire weights

    Any store that sells and mounts tires will have a stockpile of tire weights that they take off rims prior to mounting and balancing a new set of tires.


  10. Good morning B.B.,

    I’ll bet you that the propane burners used with the deep fat fryers used to cook turkeys would do the job along with that neat cast iron pot Edith was nice enough to give you. I see those pots in the thrift stores for around 6 or 7 bucks.

  11. Orozco,

    I have ceryainly heard of Mountain Air conversions, but I am not familiar with them.

    However, anytime someone says they can shoot a one-inch group at 50 yards, I become skeptical. It’s too difficult to do with a great air rifle, and impossible for something that’s not right.

    I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I’d sure be a doubter until I saw it in person.


  12. Kevin,

    I used to be in the bullet-casting business pretty heavily. At one time I had half a ton of lead on hand. My first score was 300 feet of lead-sheathed phone cable — three inches thick. The sheathing was about 1/8″ thick and I cut it off with a cold chisel. Then I burned the paper insulation off the copper wires inside the cable and made about $100 selling them for scrap.


  13. Great morning Everyone!

    Were shut down with 6" of new snow.. It's a good thing and a hard thing.. need the water.. need to ship orders.. I still love it!! It's so beautiful!!

    When I was a kid….

    I helped my papa Joe lead the sewer pipes.. I used the "plumbers furnace" and provided my papa Joe with ladles of hot lead. We worked under houses of course…

    Come to think of it.. maybe that's where I caught the Wackyness.. DO LEAD MELTING IN THE OPEN AIR, OR YOU MAY BECOME AN AIR GUN ADDICT!!!!

    We were just doing remodel on houses we were adding on to, or rebuilding…
    before plastic you say… yes some people are still that old!!!

    I've been saving my 30/30 and now .38 & .357 mag empty shells now… And we are planning some large pellet traps for sight in, and already testing a skylighted A frame little house for the field targets.. works pretty darn well.. but I feel bad about shoot the steel critters while they're having breakfast or dinner!!

    Wacky Wayne

  14. B.B.:
    Excellent report… I knew there was something else I could do with my “used” pellets instead of throwing them in the trash…. I own a furnace in which I bisque clay… I can easily control temperature with it… Thanks!! Take care!!

  15. B.B.,

    A half a ton of lead? You are committed. Or should be committed. I get those confused.

    I’d get a pile of maybe 200 lbs. of ingots and would feel obligated to start casting.

    300 feet of 3″ thick lead coated phone cable??!! Brilliant! Never thought of that. That was a lot of cutting and hauling. The copper today would probably be worth $500.00 or more! Wow.

    Great article. Brings back very satisfying memories.


  16. Wacky Wayne,yes,those were the good old days…I’ve been a service plumber for about 20 years.I turn 42 tomorrow,and lead and oakum{oil soaked wool wadding}pipe joints are becoming very scarce.some younger plumbers don’t carry any lead or oakum,or even a ladle on the truck.maybe that is our problem,lead fumesssss…Ha FrankB

  17. BB,
    Interesting article. Put it on my list of things to do.

    You need a shot tower to make lead pellets (round shot): better check your zoning ordinances.

    I put some more Fulton links in yesterday’s blog. I don’t think they marked the chokes.

  18. BB.,

    LEE reloading, which also made your
    ingot mold, sells the
    production pot IV, which can hold
    10.lbs of lead,and will melt the
    10.lbs of lead IN ten minutes!
    it’s 44.99 on Cabelas.
    food for thought.

  19. RE: Lead work and food

    I wouldn’t recommend using a BBQ grill which you use to cook to also melt lead. It just seems like a unnecessary risk. When you melt the lead the paper burns and you get soot with small amount of lead. You might spill a bit of the junk you skim off the top, or the lead itself into the grill. It is not the lead metal that is a problem. It is all the lead chemicals that are the real problem. Swallow an ounce of lead shot, no problem. Swallow and ounce of lead acetate and you have big problems.

    Don’t get me wrong, the calcium tablets that you take also have lead in them. I used to do chemical analysis, and anywhere there is calcium there is also lead. Lead and calcium behave very similarly chemically – that is the problem.

    The point is simply instead of trying to convince yourself that the risk is reasonable, why take the risk at all? Keep anything that you use for lead work away from anything that you use to eat. Have totally separate equipment.


  20. B.B.

    A little off topic. I’m looking for accuracy tests for the P1. I know somewhere in my copies of the Airgun Letter there is such an article. Do you have an index handy? A match shooter and his friends can’t do better than 1.2″ groups at 10m and so the P1 is apparently less accurate than your average Crosman. After 10 years of practice my HW45 groups are more like .5″ but…. I’m a liar, it’s just not possible.

  21. B.B.

    Fascinating. Questions leap to mind. Are you sure it’s okay to do that lead melting in a device used for food preparation? I know that most of the fumes will blow away, but with all of that heat, who knows what sort of reactions are going on with the grill metal.

    Those ingots look pretty cool, like they belong on a Spanish galleon. Do they just fall out of the mold when they cool? I sort of picture them melting into the container. So, how do you turn the ingots into bullets? I would guess that it is by melting them and putting them into a correctly shaped container.

    The Elmer Keith article on Thell Reed in the current issue of Guns and Ammo–which is as much about Elmer–says that his Dad would get him 200 lbs. of lead at a time in 25 pound bars….

    Wayne, it occurred to me that you are an IZH 61–modest and approachable but of endless depth. I can’t imagine a higher compliment. 🙂


  22. FrankB

    I’m not sure if the plastic cement fumes are not worse.. and when that stuff gets on your hands…
    it’s designed to penetrate..

    It’s ok, every generation are field testers for the next.. we will show them what not to do as usual..

    Anyone remember when we made a house with wood and plaster? It’s not a toxic method in any way I can think of.. except plumbing and painting.. they have been an issue for ever.. but do we need the floors and walls offgasing.. and the places that make these great new building products are nasty to work at and bad for the local streams and air..

    sorry for the digression.. my personal issue.. being a wood products guy..


  23. bb thanks for the input it helps to have another persons advice when ive been goin a little crazy not bein able to get out and shoot due to winds and snow melt (north iowa weather sucks) cant wait till taxes come back Orozco

  24. bb would it be practical to use scrap lead for sinkers. i have several molds that i use for weights 1-4 oz but wasnt sure if antimony would make them set different or get sharp when damaged orozco

  25. Benny,

    A half-inch group at 10 meters sounds right for a P1 in the hands of a shooter. Your match shooter friend must be a scattergunner if he can’t get a P1 to group under an inch!

    I lie too, but there is less need, now that PhotoShop is so powerful.


  26. Guys,

    Of course I don’t cook food on this grill anymore. I guess I should have said so in the report.

    Matt, that is exactly the way the ingots fall from the mold, unless the lead is too hot when it’s dropped out. Then they sometimes break or smash and freeze instantly, like modern art sculpture.


  27. Query: I just acquired a REALLY cheap by new Daisy 880s that shoots BBs and single-shot pellets through a rifled barrel.

    Can I use .177 round lead balls through the BB magazine in place of the slightly smaller steel BBs?

    I can’t find anything in searching the blog or Google to answer this specifically.

    By the way, I collect lead from my indoor pellet trap for my son-in-law, who reloads .45 revolver rounds for Cowboy Action shooting.

  28. Matt61,
    Lead is a very soft metal, so when the lead ingots cool you can tap the mold on something hard and they will pop out, I think.
    Now for the bullet mold, it’s basically a small mold on a pair of pliers, and there is a little hole on top that you pour lead into and it forms a bullet inside. Once it’s cooled down, the bullet mold opens like a pair of pliers, and the the bullet falls right out.
    Hope I helped,

  29. Leon,

    The .177 lead balls may jam in the 880’s BB magazine, but they should work okay loaded singly. They are heavier than most lightweight pellets. I think they weigh 8.3 grains, or so.

    Those .45 cowboy bullets will burn through a pile of lead fast, at 200-250 grains each. I used to reload a lot for the .45 Colt. My only bullet was the Keith 454424.


  30. Leon,

    RE: BBs, balls, and pellets

    This ought to be an interesting one.

    (1) BBs are steel and there is a magnetic tip in the breech probe to hold the BBs in place since they are significantly undersized. Because they are undersized for the bore, BBs shoot patterns not groups.

    (2) I’ve tried lead balls, and they do shoot, but not well either. I loaded the lead balls individually. I had contacted Gay Barnes about his technique to screen lead balls to make the surface rougher.

    Although we didn’t discuss specifically shooting 0.177 leads balls in a 0.177 barrel, he indicated that you need to shoot larger balls than pellets so that the ball grabs the rifling well. That way the ball gets spinning well, and it becomes reasonably accurate.

    (3) The steel BBs are reputed to damage the rifling of a barrel. Not sure if this is true or not. But since BBs don’t shoot worth a flip why shoot’em?

    I was trying to see where the point of aim was. Average a lot of shots and correct for gravity. Since BBs are small they wouldn’t have any spin from the barrel.

    All in all, I’d say shoot pellets in the 880. It seems like Daisy should really have two guns. An 880 with a rifled barrel for pellets, and a “881” – with a slightly smaller smooth bore for BBs.


  31. BB & all,

    I do a lot of fishing, especially salt water and have been making my own sinkers for over 25 years. I use a propane tank turkey cooker base to melt my lead, works very well.

    You guys that fish know about split shots. I'm thinking that a split shot mold might have one of the cavities that might be very close to bb in size.

    I go to rocky beaches at low tide and get all the lead I need. I've gotten 20-25 lbs on a couple of occasions.

    BobC NJ

  32. Wayne,I couldn’t agree more about building materials.And since your digression is founded in caring for the environment and the people in it, HOW DARE YOU APOLOGIZE!we live in a society where things can be harmful to you and the profitting corporate entity may be required to inform you of the dangers in letters so small you can’t read them with an electron microscope…all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men{and women]to do nothing! there’s my rant! FrankB

  33. BB,

    I know you don’t generally modify your blog articles, but could you make an exception in this case? In your section on safety please add a sentence or two that the same BBQ grill should not be used for lead work and cooking.


  34. RE: 880 and accuracy

    I’ve been looking at my 880, and I wonder if a slight modification would make it more accurate. The barrel is just a thin tube inside the larger outside tube. The outer barrel is “capped” with a one piece plastic part that is a bushing for the inner barrel, and the sight. The actual barrel ends 3/4 inch inside the plastic part on my 880.

    It seem like it would be better if the actual rifled barrel ended close to the end of the plastic part, inside of so deep inside. The bushing is only 0.240 inches ID on my 880. Not a whole lot bigger than the ID of the rifled barrel. the notion is that the muzzle blast would reflect back and disturb the pellet flight.

    The most accurate pellets for me seem to be the Beeman Silver Arrow which are both heavy and long.


  35. Ian,

    Check out these posts on the Crosman 2200 (.22 version of 2100).


    Yes, non-detergent motor oil is basically what pellgunoil is.

    .22 multi-shot

  36. Thanks for the advice on the .177 lead balls. I was hoping they would feed OK through the BB magazine, and then I’d be able shoot 50 rounds. If I need to shoot lead round balls as single shots, I’d rather shoot pellets–I’m shooting targets, so there’s no advantage to greater penetration from the round balls.

    I’m new to airgunning (and just returned to rimfire gunning, for that matter), and I’m wowwed by the comeraderie and good spirits of the community as demonstrated on this blog/forum.

  37. BB,

    Sun showers? Thanks, you must have sent some our way. The sun is out for a few minutes, but we got 7″ of snow this morning (Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento, CA).

    .22 multi-shot

  38. B.B:

    Yes…those .45 cowboy guns blow through a ton of lead and powder! My son-in-law lets me fire off his single-action Rugers once in a while, but I feel guilty about how much it costs. I’m shooting high-quality .177 airgun rounds for much less than a penney a round if I use PA’s 4 for 3 pellet offer. Can’t beat it.

    Thanks again for the help.

    By the way, has anyone tried stuffing a regular Beeman indoor pellet trap with duct seal and making it capable of catching BBs safely?

  39. Leon,

    RE: Pellet trap and BBs

    I’m sure the pellet trap would well for the first layer of BBs. The problem is that after you shoot a while a “layer” of the ammo develops. Thus when a BB hits a couple of BBs already stuck in the trap – Ping!! and out it flies.

    The lead pellets will actually melt and fuse together if shot with enough energy.


  40. Vince,

    Auto Electrics – you’ve got him. John used to own a NAPA store before going into his present line. I’ll go to him eventually if I admit defeat. As to measuring the spring, I thought about it at first but then realized I have nothing to compare it to. JM’s website states his springs are usually shorter than stock so unless I have a new spring to compare the length or factory specs (like I would for a clutch spring or a fork spring on one of my bikes), there was no sense. I couldn’t tell if the spring had sacked.

    It’s easy enough to take it apart and measure again and I think I will because the spring guide (exterior one on the front of the spring) seems to be the culprit here, rubbing against the cocking lever as I return the lever to it’s secured position. I had found this piece of sheet metal was crimped at one end and had straightened it out but may have enlarged the entire perimeter of the guide so it’s rubbing now. I’ll check and then check for leaks at the breech seal.

    More to follow.

  41. B.B.:
    Lately I have been noticing that when I close the valve on my scuba tank after reaching approx. 2800 psi in my Talon tank… I can hear a little whisper of air coming out from the Airforce scuba adapter and at the same time I can see the pressure indicator coming down… Is that normal?? Is that making my tanks lose some air or is it only the pressure inside the adapter system decreasing?? What can I do??

  42. BB,

    Yep, our address is Hangtown, but we are actually about 7 miles east of it. I’m sure things have changed a little around here since the 60’s. We just moved here about 8 years ago.

    Did you used to stop here on your way to Tahoe, or just drive through?

    .22 multi-shot

  43. .22 mulit-shot,

    Does the term “Hangtown fries” mean anything to you?

    I always stopped there and ate on the main street of the old town.

    My aunt and uncle had a place at South Lake Tahoe on the lake, and I also spent a lot of time in Virginia City.


  44. .22 Multi,
    Thanks for the link on making shot. I thought there probably wa an alternative to the shot tower, but couldn’t get the image out of my mind of Vince building one in his back yard (what a blog!).

    No problem, I was having a good time looking up stuff. I might have to find me a Fulton or Hunter Special…too bad you can’t buy one for $36 dollars, anymore:).

    You might have enjoyed this afternoon, bringing down a few cedars — too bad they weren’t Port Orfords:).

  45. Ian,

    The Blue Book lists a 100 percent M1 Carbine with the plastic stock at $150, and there is nothing listed for the box. That price is low. A gun like that is worth $200 easy — IF it is perfect. But if there are any scratches around the barrel at the place it pushes into the stock, the gun is not 100 percent. The condition then drops rapidly.

    Other places to look for wear are on the barrel behind the front sight, where hands have grabbed the barrel to cock the gun. Look for paint missing from the receiver and from the magazine.

    Most excellent guns I have seen are really just very good or in 70-80 percent condition. They would be worth $100-140.

    The box adds $25-35. The manual adds $10-15.

    A wood stock adds about another $100 to these numbers.


  46. Fred, the free length of the factory spring in the 350 I had was just about 13 1/4″. Springs do not get ‘soft’ as such, but the metal in them does eventually yield and they start getting shorter reducing the preload and thus the average spring pressure (which reduces available powerplant energy).

    My 350 had 2.8″ of preload, which means that the spring had an installed height of about 10.45″. Subtract out the stroke of 4.8″ and you wind up with a compressed height of 5.65″. That spring reaches coil bind at around 5″, so there’s some room for spacing if your preload is a bit weak.

    So take some measurements and get back to us. If there’s anything I can help with (suggestions, information, whatever), you can email me at vfblovesnancy@yahoo.com

  47. Cool Blog about recycling lead BB.

    I traded my old lead pellets along with old auto batteries & engine oil for some work on a vehicle I am buying.

    LOL!!! I remember climbing trees to get fishing lures that people left behind. We also scavanged for aluminum cans, golf balls and hockey pucks. Back in they days of mowing lawns, recoating tar driveways and shoveling snow.

  48. Ian,

    My daughter keeps our lawn clean of dog doodoo for $5/week and my son keeps our litter box scooped for $5/week. They have also collected aluminum cans, fed the neighbor’s pets while they were on vacation, raked leaves and other odd jobs.

    When I was a kid I helped out at a Radio Shack (I don’t even remember what I did) and the manager traded me parts for my time since I wasn’t old enough for him to hire me. Other jobs I did were: mow the lawn, rake leaves, dig weeds, wash cars, pick apricots at an orchard and clean my dad’s office (yep, I was a janitor – did it in high school and college some too) until I went to high school.

    Basically think about things that your parents or neighbors do that might be worth something to them if they didn’t have to do it.

    If you are into some hobby that you are good at, you could also use that too. For example, I liked slot cars and one of the cars us kids bought had silver brushes. The problem was the silver brushes were expensive. Well, I had some silver solder, so I drilled a hole in a block of wood (made a mold) and melted the solder into it. All the kids told me it wouldn’t work, but after shaping it with a file, they worked great. I didn’t think of it then, but perhaps I could have sold my brushes to the kids at a lower price than the commercial ones.

    I’m sure others here have jobs they can mention too.

    Hope that helps some.

    .22 multi-shot

  49. Ian,

    Southern California is where I was born and grew up..
    Things have changed… “When I was a kid” there was a much higher percentage of micro and small business…

    These were usually managed by the owner.. so if a kid showed promise, meaning showed up 5 days in a row at 3:00 after school, saying “can I sweep the floor or wash the windows”, on the 6th day, chance are 90% he’d be doing them both…
    But, that isn’t possible as often now… A similar plan can work though.. show up at one of your friends or your parents friends house, (talk over with your parents who you are allow to ask for work from), who’s yard needs mowing or weeding…. or patio needs sweeping or fence painted.. just look and ask.. that shows people your serious about work and giving production for some money..

    Let them decide what your labor was worth.. They can’t say no to that.. and 90% of the time, you’ll get more than you would have asked for!!

    Wacky Waynes’ business consulting

  50. Ian – my first job, and I was probably 12 then, was to help clean up a residential construction site. My parents had me walk up to the job by nyself and ask if they could use any help. So for a few weeks, a couple hours a day after school I got to use a hammer to pull nails out of boards and then burn the scrap wood. I was 12 years old and getting paid 5 bucks a day to burn stuff. The world was my oyster…. or should I say my oyster and bacon stuffed omlette?!?!?

    I think that was the point Wayne was trying to make with you yesterday buy offering to buy you a gun. If there is something you really want to pay for (air gun, bike, ferrari) or even better, something you have to pay for (kids, bills, air guns:) you’ll find a way, maybe even a great way, to come up with the money. And then you’ll begin to realize that, as the saying goes, when you put your mind to it……

    Oh boy,… I think I just turned into my dad. The point is, if you want something bad enough, you can always find a way to get it.


    P.S. My word verification is holed, I’m going to type in one-holed (like a group) and see what happens

  51. Vince, I appreciate all your input as well as Kevin’s and the rest of your folks. I just took the rifle apart again and found that sheet metal spring guide was pretty much trashed. It appears the cocking lever was pushing down on it when I returned the cocking lever to it’s set position. I think this was restricting the spring as my velocity measurements with the Chrony started at 748 fps and started going down with each shot.

    Spring length is 13 1/4 inches approximately. I’m not sure why that guide destroyed itself other than when I installed it, I might not have placed the seam straight along the grove in the piston, which was the way I found it or it might have rotated slightly. Anyway, I have it back together again without the guide(starting to get good at this) and I’m going to shoot a couple pellets for s@#ts and giggles and see what the velocity is now. I’ll order another guide from PA tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll have it in stock.

    If I start to annoy the others on this blog with my trials and tribulations, I’ll start contacting you directly via Yahoo.

    Thanks everyone for your patience in putting up with me and the RWS 350.


  52. Ian,

    Your wise to ask B.B. for his value estimate.. I ask him all the time too.. and what I do is go for a little higher.. B.B. is a little conservative.. if he would pay $200, then a fool like me would pay $250..

    just too let you know how he thinks..
    and how I don’t!!!

    Wacky Wayne

  53. Ian,

    You are wise beyond your years. Your willingness to earn your own money rather than cry to mom and dad are great traits that will be rewarded now and later in life.

    What are the chores that you do now around your home and what are the chores you could do? Mow the lawn? Rake the leaves? Clean windows? Water the yard? Take out the trash? Trim bushes? Get the mail? These are also things that your neighbors need to do regularly and some of them may want to pay you to do them.

    I would suggest making a flyer that you could hand out to your neighbors after you knock on their door offering to help them with their chores. If they’re not home leave a flyer in their door. The flyer should be hand written by you (not typed) and you should make 50 copies at the store. It needs to be short and say something like this:

    My name is Ian. I live in your neighborhood and am 12 years old. I am looking for work and am willing to____________________(mow lawns, rake leaves, whatever you are willing to do put it in the blank). Please call me at 714-555-1212 for a free estimate.

    Whatever you decide to do for work and pay, be on time, do what you promise and be pleasant. You will be rewarded.

    Ian, good luck and please keep us posted.


  54. The rifle is together and shooting around 745 fps which is where it was before my takedown. However, I put silicone oil around the breech seal and what a display! Oil spray all over the place!

    So, it’s off to my local NAPA store for a new o ring and see what that does for me. This could be “THE ANSWER”.

  55. B.B.,
    Thank you fro this lead blog. I’ve not had a chance to read any of the comments from others… so this may be repeat.

    I use a Coleman camping stove. Works well and will not be leading may BBQ grill.

    The next part… turning lead bars to builets is next. Will be great.


  56. Fred, it sounds like your spring is fine. Unless you’ve got a bad piston seal, the breech seal sounds like your culprit.

    The O-ring you want is a #109, and the standard Buna-N (Nitrile) should work OK.

    But you should be aware that Diana breakbarrel breech seals are frequently undershimmed – and even a new seal might not fix your problem if it doesn’t protrude enough from the breech face.

    I don’t remember if this blog was pointed out to you before:


    The 350 uses the same setup and sizes as the 34/Panther. Some people (including me) have seen gains of over 100fps just from shimming the seal properly – even on relatively new guns.

    One trick – if you have a dial caliper – is to place a thin piece of electrical solder in the breech as you close the barrel. It’ll get pinched between the breech face and compression tube, and by measuring the thickness of the squished solder you can determine the clearance. The breech seal needs to protrude, I think, about .015″-.020″ more than the clearance.

  57. Yep, Vicnce, I remember reading your blog. There were two shims under the O ring I removed but the O ring did not stand proud of the breech. I’ll get that new o-ring tomorrow and if necessary, make another shim from an aluminum can.

    Stay “tuned” as the BB would say.

  58. If the O ring didn’t stand proud of the breech at all you’re probably gonna need more shimming than a soda can will give you – you might have to make several or find something a bit thicker. In any event I suspect you’re on your way to solving the problem.

  59. Ian and All,

    I don’t watch many movies, but one I was convinced to watch, made me glad I did… “The Ultimate Gift” with James Garner.

    Seems to fit with the topic of life’s lessons that help in the long term…

    Well, enough of the history of the Fulton shotgun, and preaching to the youth of the world.. I be shootin for a while before bed..


  60. B.B. (and Other 54 .177 Owners),

    I happened to chrony my tuned .177 54 and saw that at 10 meters it was shooting 8.6 grain pellets (JSB and Air Arms) at 770-790 fps, which yielded 11-12 ft./lbs. at that distance.

    I have not chronied it in awhile, but I seem to remember it being a 17 ft./lb. rifle at 10 meters, which would have meant that it was sending these pellets about 950 fps at that point. But maybe I am wrong in my memory, and I am getting it mixed up with the Whiscombe pellet speeds.

    Does this current speed sound right or is this 54 air rifle shooting slowly? The rifle is more than adequately accurate and smooth for my purposes, yet the squirrels don’t seem to drop nearly as quickly as they used to, a few seasons back… 5 ft. lbs. difference would explain a lot to me.

    Thank you.

    – Dr. G.

  61. Ian,

    Let me add my two cents to the good advice everyone has been giving you. Vacation season will come soon and people will be looking for reliable people to sit with and feed their animals while they are gone. I did this as a teenager in San Jose. It worked into a housesitting job one summer, where I fed and played with the dog, got the mail; and mowed the lawn for several weeks while the couple was away. I was older than you then, but an animal sitter/walker doesn’t take an older person.

    Add that to your list. My wife and I would be thrilled to find a reliable pet sitter for our cats.


  62. Kevin/B.B.,

    I live 35 feet above sea level, according to Google earth, which is correct, as I am on the East Coast a few miles from the ocean.

    How fast should the rifle shoot, and what can I expect in the coming months/years if it is as BB says it might be? Any simple diagnostic tests?

    I know my Chrony is working because I was evaluating other air rifle pellet speeds which came up as expected.

    – Dr. G.

  63. …..Oh, yeah, the rifle is about 2-3 years old, and was tuned by Rich of Mich. last year.
    Since the complete tune I have shot about 3,000-4,000 pellets through it.

    I know that most of the $200-$300 or so air rifles that I have owned (Drozd, Tech Force, Crossman, Beretta) never even got to 1,500 shots before breaking, which is in large part why I went to the “over $500” range, in hope of greater life expectancy.

    So, maybe 4,000 shots is starting to push it with this strong spring gun. I’ll no doubt phone Rich and see what he thinks.

    – Dr. G.

  64. B.B.
    Off topic , but as a fellow cat lover I would like to ask….
    Do you have a good supply of nip for them? I grow enough to keep my cats happy, and to share with a few other people who don’t grow their own.
    I pick and dry the leaves, sort out the weeds and grass, dry it, grind it up in a food processor, sift it through a collander, then bag it up and store it in a dark place. Looks like green tea or oregano. Stays good for years, and not much is needed at a time….just a pinch will do.
    If you need some, let me know and I will give you my e-mail add. so you can send me mailing info.


  65. Dr. G.,

    I think your memory is intact.

    I had an older (pre-2008) .22 RWS 54 that was shooting jsb’s and cph’s at 640-665 fps in Colorado (5,280 feet elevation). A friend of mine still has his pre-2008 model 54 in .177. We shot a variety of pellets through the gun at my place and he took the chrony sheet home. Just got off the phone with mac and the jsb’s (blue tin) shot 783-797 fps. 5 shot string.

    I agree with B.B. Your gun is shooting slow considering your elevation. The pre-2008 54 models were advertised as shooting 780 fps in .22 and 900 fps in .177. The new models are advertised to shoot 950 fps in .22 and 1100 fps in .177. B.B. did an excellent article on springers losing velocity at elevation. At 5280 feet you can expect to lose approximately 10% power so mac’s gun is shooting near the advertised range (900 fps less 10%). Even if your 54 is the older model it’s shooting a little weak.


  66. Dr. G.,,

    4K shots is not a lot on a good tune. I wouldn’t be concerned un til 10K.

    I still think it’s the breech seal–now more than ever, knowing the gun was tuned.

    I guess you don’t have the former velocity to compare to? Please chronograph it at the muzzle, because that is the only point at which the data is all standardized. We may be chasing out tails on this one.

    I would expect 900-960 f.p.s. at the muzzle for an 8.4-grain JSB dome.


  67. twotalon,

    Well, you just made two fans for life. Edith and I baby those two cats like spoiled children. In fact, when we adopted each of them we informed them they had just won the kitty lottery!

    We give them Sonic catnip about once a week or so. We used to grow nip, but the cats dug it up and made a mess, so we went to the dried stuff. Sonic is real good, but I bet we now look into the organic stuff again.


  68. B.B.
    Forgot to mention, I do mostly spring/early summer nip. Smells much more minty and does not have the really strong almost unpleasant smell of late summer/hot weather nip. The cats don’t seem to care, but to the human nose the early harvest stuff is much nicer.

    Pointblue@bright.net to email me your address. Love to spoil cats.
    Can get some in the mail next week if my new blood pressure meds don’t kill me first.


  69. .22 Multi,
    Thanks for the shot tower links. My favorite was the one in Wythe county, Virginia.

    Keep on it…maybe I’ll send my next rifle to “Fred”:). I completely misunderstoood your cocking sound, but you figured it out. With Vince’s help, you’ll have the breech seal optimized in no time.

  70. B.B./Kevin,

    Thank you very much for your guidance. I will measure at the muzzle ASAP later today, as right now my 12-year-old has a play date in the basement/shooting range, and the air rifles (only Airsoft) do not come out until the little friends leave.

    The gun was tuned for smoothness and trigger work, not for power. I remember that after the tune the power was a little lower than what would be expected from stock. If I had to guess, I would say that after the tune it was about 40 fps slower.

    Of course I looked through my target/data collection going back 3 years, but all I found so far has been accuracy results for the 54 at all sorts of distances with all sorts of pellets, both pre and post tune. No chrony results, although I know that I did take measurements…I'll look again (they're organized pretty well, but not like in an office exactly).

    The problem/challenge with this level of power is 1.) there seems to be a slight curving of what formerly was a very flat trajectory shooting 20 – 45 yards, and more importantly 2.) unless I hit a squirrel at the base of the brain or where it meets the cord, the little fellow hops and dances a brief jig before expiring.

    What I have now is equivalent to what all Englishmen have to put up with, plus a little more (I guess that 10 meters will cause a power decrease of =< 7% vs. power at muzzle…we will see later today). It is more challenging.

    I prefer that the animals drop dead when they are hit, or better yet that they should die before hitting the ground. I see that at this energy of POI < 12 ft/lbs., with a squirrel sitting and facing dead on at the level, the only immediately deadly shot seems to be aimed between the nose and the throat. Above the nose (e.g., between the eyes) or below the throat (e.g., heart) seems to yield an extra few seconds of life at this power, whereas when shooting with a Higher Power (e.g., Whiscombe .177, about double the power of this 54), such shots will result in instant demise.

    Why does B.B. think it's the breach seal, "more than ever now that I know it was tuned"?

    – Dr. G.

  71. Re……..Airsoft

    I thought that you might want to know the status of the Pulse R72, which cost around $80.

    That gun has been shot and shot, for sure way more than 4,000 shots, probably more like around 5,000, and it continued to work!

    Now that is impressive, and makes me think that Crossman might be a good company from which to buy another product. I understand that this Airsoft gun is way less powerful than the inexpensive pellet and bb guns which I have owned and which broke within 1,500 shots…

    ….But then again, this Airsoft gun cost about 1/4 – 1/2 of what the pellet and bb guns cost, and yet it has lasted more than 4X as long as they ever did! Plus, the full auto action is a stressful mechanical device which one would expect to break down faster than semi-auto.

    Finally, the Airsoft Pulse is starting to meet its maker..

    …more later.

    – Dr. G.

  72. Dr. G.,

    I would assume that B.B. thinks the breech seal is the culprit since a recent tune (4,000 shots still qualifies as a recent tune) by someone like Rich in Mich. would minimize the possibility of other problems that could result in lower velocity like a broken/canted spring, torn piston seal, lack of lube, etc.


  73. Reading about all of the velocity woes a few of us have been having, a thought struck me. Isn’t it amazing how a Chrony can spoil our impression af an otherwise excellent air gun?

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m the biggest techno-geek I know, and if I had a Chrony, I would be doing some amazing shot analysis on a couple of low-end rifles and pistols. That’s one of the reasons that I have put off buying one. (I lusted after the blue one, and found out where I could get the computer interface.) I see where you need one to figure out air pressure for a PCP. For my springers, a Chrony would just feed my OCDs.

    Does the gun feel good when you shoot it? Does it group consistently? I think those are more important questions than how fast the pellet goes.

    Thanks. I feel better now.

  74. All,

    I’ve been distracted the last week or so due to a number of concerns. The greatest of which is just having found out my daughter will need an extensive surgical procedure. In order to focus on family, I have decided to forgo this and the other airgun forums I usually frequent.


    Not sure if I read this correctly as I was just skimming the past week, but did you get an LC Smith? If so, you finally have me green with envy. I’ve owned enough airguns, albeit over a few decades, that your vast collection didn’t evoke much of a response. But I have always wanted a nice LC Smith. The local gun shop had a beautiful example awhile back that I visited at least a half dozen times. But the timing wasn’t right. Anyway, you can now add me to the list of Wayne wannabe’s.

    I hope you enjoy great-continued success.


    Yes, I saw the review before, the black and nickel HW30S is a favorite plinker of mine. I also had an R-7 that I picked up in the ‘90’s that held that spot until the HW30 came along. They are virtually identical other then cosmetic differences.

    Any word on your PCP yet? The two FX’s are meeting my needs so nicely; I sold my Webley Raider on the yellow. The Hawke scope is also very good; my only complaint is that it won’t focus at less then 10 yards. I just hope an reliable electric pump will be available soon.

    I’m sure you will thoroughly enjoy the S410.

    In your faultless mountain retreat even a slingshot would bring most great satisfaction. Take care.


    If you would like the QB-78 for warm weather shooting just let me know. No charge. Maybe just e-mail Wayne your address and ask him to forward it to me? Thanks for your support and all the smiles. Keeps these guys in line.

    All the regulars,

    For fear of leaving someone out I will not list names, but I have enjoyed all your observations and comments. I don’t think you could find a better group of people.


    Thanks for making this all possible. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

    I guess that’s it.

    Godspeed to all.


  75. Kevin,

    I see – how much does it cost to fix this problem, about? Can it be solved by just putting oil at the end of the barrel and upending the gun overnight?

    I just chronied the 54. Since I had not shot it since last night, and since it was sitting in a 58-62 degree environment, you will see that it takes some shots to warm up. This warm-up phenomenon of spring guns may explain in part the initail POI shift so often observed with this type of power source.

    I understand from talking with other Whiscombe owners that the Whiscombe is also temperature sensitive. Although I have not measured its warm-up curve yet, I will probably do so later and report it here. I suspect that it is much less, probably 3 shots, and probably much smaller percentage.

    At less than 2 feet, JSB 8.5 grain…

    775 (97% fully warmed up on 10th shot)
    777 ………… As I thought, there is very little difference between 2 feet and 33 feet. If I had time to shoot another 10 pellets, I suspect the gun would eventually hit close to 800 at this distance, which indicates a slightly smaller than 3% drop in power over the first 33 feet.

    All of these “error” readings reminds me why I always take measurements at 10 meters…at that distance I can also take groupings at the same time, and by having a precise aim point I get way fewer error readings.

    So, there’s the data…B.B./Kevin, what is the verdict, and what can I expect in the coming months if I do nothing but continue shooting several hundred shots per week?

    – Dr. G.

  76. Kevin,

    Rich from Mich gave me both power and smoothness. By fixing a broken spring, he took my B30 from 500fps to 900fps. Firing behavior is smooth, cocking effort is non-existent, and the trigger is very crisp and retains adjustability. This man is a diamond in the rough.

    Thanks to all for the info about lead ingots.

    Regarding Ian’s job situation, I’m told that the little odd jobs are not as plentiful as before. In Minneapolis they are getting forty applications for a single opening for a bus driver.

    Any thoughts on Ian’s first airgun? I would have said the HW30 before they priced it out of sight. Now it seems like the venerable RWS 34 is the way to go.


  77. BB,
    I just broke the factory spring in my StormXt. With the rifle only being a 100$,should I pay for a tune or just send it to PA for a gas spring? Do gas springs wear out? Are they loud? Why does it say on the PA website that “they can be left cocked for hours”, why hours and not days?
    Shadow express dude

  78. re. …..Airsoft Pulse

    Over the past few hundred shots, the gun misfires every 10-30 shots, at which point it must be wound, shaken, fired on auto, then begin again with semi-auto…very sad.

    I think that all the hundreds of little hairs (we have two long haired dogs) and specs of dust that were attached to the 1000s of recycled plastic bbs rescued from the floor have finally started to gum up the works. Quite a hardy gun though, that it lasted this long with so much dust and assorted crap from the floor in its innards.

    In the future, only new airsoft bbs will be used, and I will be very curious to see if that affects the gun’s longevity.

    Do you think this Airsoft gun will fix itself now that we are using only new bbs, or do you think that after 4,000 shots (about 2 cents per shot for the use of the gun, meaning not including the costs of electricity and bbs) it is time to send it to that great recycling bin in the sky?

    Randy of Virginia:..I agree with what you write, except that the squirrels’ impressions of the 54 certainly started to change before I chronied the gun…which is maybe why I chronied it again, as I was noticing a significant difference in their reactions to being shot anywhere except the lower part of the brain. Other than that, the gun is perfectly accurate, and I may simply choose to continue using it without further adjustments…pending B.B.’s/Kevin’s responses.

    – Dr. G.

  79. BB,
    I had another thought about the gas spring. Are they effected by the weight of the pellet as much as steel springs? I only used pellets from 8.4gr to 10.5gr in the Storm XT.
    Shadow express dude

  80. Volvo
    All my best wishes for a successful procedure for your daughter.
    And don’t forget to include yourself on the list of good people here.

    Kevin BB and All
    Considering the cost of a good springer which most say still needs a good tune,I’m thinking of getting a 40$
    TF15 similar to but lower quality than BG’s H490.Then trying to do the smoothing myself.Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.
    Ive tried this on a cummins b-3 with limited results but I’ve got a lot more info to work with now.
    A new Remmy huh,sounds like I’ll be investing in some clays again:)
    If we can co-ordinate with FrankB and others in or passing thru this area we might just turn this into a pot luck!
    Ahhh the sun is shining the wind is calm it’s warm and the lead slingers are calling,I’m out the door:)


  81. Volvo,
    Blessings on your daughters fast recovery..
    if sometime in the future, you could let us know how she is doing…

    I’m so sorry… she will be fine soon.. that picture of them in the back seat, is one of my all time favorites!!


  82. Volvo,

    You may or may not read this, but Edith and I will keep your daughter in our prayers.

    Focus on your family and forget the unimportant things. But know that when things get better, we will all be here waiting for you again.


  83. Wacky Waynes' first clay target hits..

    Well Josh & Nate had told me they'd be here this morning, and they were.. I had the millwrights( not gunsmiths, but they shoot centerfire and shotguns, and fix their own guns).. check the Fulton 12 ga. as per Kevin and B.B. instructions.. It's solid.. safe for lite 2 -3/4 loads…

    They want me to practice before they take me out to the field and mess things up.. I know..

    So Josh says: "You get three shots, if you get two out of three, then you get to shoot again.. if you miss two, then you toss the clay..

    Nate went first… 0 for 3… the Josh 1 for 3.. I decided to throw for the first couple rounds to watch their movements.. Josh got 2 for three second round, Nate still virgin.. 3rd & 4th round Nate got 1 for 3 twice, and Josh 2 for 3 once and 1 for 3.. Then I tried the double barrel Fulton with the lite 1 oz target loads.. 0 for 3.. three times..

    Then Josh said "try my Bertinelle? pump".. he showed me how to load it.. it shoulder nice when I pulled it up.. he tossed.. I missed.. he tossed I hit it!!!!
    after a few more rounds..I ended up getting Two out of Three twice!!

    Help me understand how to sight the double barrel.. the front sight and only sight is in the center… I think the front trigger is the right barrel and back is the left.. it's a dream to shoot, but I would like to hit things with it!!

    What do you think of Josh's and Nate has the shorter barrel version.. Italian 12ga? Josh had the 20ga Rem 870 youth as a kid and he loved it beyond belief.. but he said the Bertinelli?? has the feature of stopping the pump from advancing the next shell, so you can eject a shell and change to a slug or whatever..

    He has never had a jamb up, except when he cycles 3-1/2" shells too slowly.. he said he has had a lot of different shotguns, and he likes this one the best.. the local BiMart has them at $339.. Josh got his on sale for $289!!

    What da ya think guys?

    BTW.. if I never shoot or hit anything with the Fulton, I'm still glad to have her in the family..


  84. SED,

    Days are made up of hours. That’s why it says they about gas springs.

    If you like the gun otherwise, and it will accept a gas spring, then yes, that is the way to go.

    Gas springs are not louder than steel springs. I think they are a little quieter.

    Do gas springs wear out? Well, they can leaks gas, but that’s rare. I still have one working fine after about a decade of use. And they can be rebuilt.


  85. Wayne,

    Edith and I went to a gun show today and I saw quite a few Savage model 24s. They were all in very good condition with one having very vivid case colors. The .22LR and .41o was $495, and the .22 Mag X 20 ga. and the .357 Mag X 20 ga. were both $465. A saw another .357 X 20 ga. elsewhere for $495, also in VG condition. So those prices last week were high.


  86. B.B.

    Thanks, I had passed on it.. but it did sell for the $580 something.. with only one bid… shows that gunbroker is a good place to sell and not always the best place to buy!!.. sometimes it’s good though!

    I might go for a collector like that sometime… and I’m getting the idea about one type of hunting at a time..

    What a nice way to spend Valentines Day with your wife.. at the Gun show..

    That might not be my wifes’ first choice..

    Although, she might have found it better than taking orders all day…

    Wacky Wayne,.. on his way to dinner with his even wackier wife for staying with him for 38 years!!!

    Do you think I could pretend the Fulton was for her????

  87. Volvo,

    My sister’s grandson Daniel spent 2/3rd’s of his 12th year in St Jude Hospitol being treated for ATRT (Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor) which is a very rare brain cancer. My prayers are with your family. Mr B.

  88. Dr. G, BB might very well be right about the breech seal. And if it is, you really should get it taken care of… the air leak could very well cause a bit of piston slam.

    The seals are $4.75+S&H from Umarex, and I believe you can replace them without disassembling the gun.

    Another culprit in the sidelever is the spring… they can get short, which causes a loss of preload and thus pressure. How hard does it cock? If you have a simple bathroom scale, try the following:

    1) Place the scale on a table or workbench

    2) Start cocking the '54, and stop when you hit the first ratchet point.

    3) Point the gun down, put the end of the handle on the scale and start pushing downward.

    4) When the cocking arm starts to move, not the reading on the scale.

    5) Tell us what it is and I can compare it to the readings from my '48 with a fairly new factory spring. This will tell us if your spring is weak.

  89. Volvo,
    I forwarded a message via Wayne. It might scare the younger readers if I show too much emotion here, but my thoughts are with you.

    Message headed “volvo/bg_farmer”.

  90. Wayne,

    That was probably a Benelli Nova that you shot. The one’s I’ve seen had a clacky forearm and a Battlestar Galactica design, both of which turned me off, but they’re supposed to be serviceable. The 870 has the more extensive support in terms of barrels, chokes, stocks, etc. In my opinion, the situations where you need to change shells instantly are few and far between, but you can add that to your list of considerations. Most importantly, go to a big store and try them all for fit: when it swings up easily into firing position and your eye sees nothing but the bead, it’s probably the right one.

  91. Cosmin, BB I’m not but I do have a few suggestions. I assume you’re looking for lowish power and for a .177:

    1) Daisy 953

    2) Hammerli 490

    3) Gamo Delta (the Recon is the same gun, but no sights)

    4) Crosman 1077 (CO2)

  92. I’ve used a Delta, good gun for the price. Lightweight, easy to cock and lots of fun.

    You can also look at the Crosman 1377 with a shoulder stock will give you a nice li’l carbine for indoor use.


  93. Chris W. in Ohio,

    Be strong for her. Be positive for the both of you. Be open to the strength and healing that is on its’ way to both of you.

    This is the time to not be afraid to ask for help. From family, neighbors and friends.

    These are the times you will need and find courage.

    May your daughter be healed quickly and may your family be stronger.


    It’s been a very long day, forgive me everyone, I’ll try to answer tomorrow.

  94. Here’s a consideration for everyone who enjoy’s low power plinking the way I do.
    I’ve been using CPHP in the tins because they are one of only a few which are available both at PA and the local wally’s mart.(they are the only local source of pellets).I do this to reduce the need for re-zeroing.
    Here’s the rub:I started noticing pellets shot at lower vels. had a tendency to ricochet more.Although still less than bb’s.With mt 1377 the POA/POI stays close at 2-3 pumps for 8-10 tds.and 4-6 pumps at 15-20 yds.but on the lower power the pellets wont deform and stop as well.This doesn’t seem to be a problem with my 953,I guess it’s over the limit for this problem.I’m sure all you experienced shooters already knew this but I wanted to warn any newer folks that don’t have as much time in with pellets or lower power shooting.
    Basically I just wanted to re-emphasize the importance of a good backstop and pellet trap.especially for indoor use.
    Thanks for letting me ramble again,good day to all.


  95. Cosmin,

    Well, the readers gave you all the recommendations for accurate rifles under $100. All I can add is that a used airgun often allows you to own more than you can afford new. A used CZ 630, for example, should sell for well under $100.


  96. Matt 61,

    That’s another endorsement for Rich in Mich. You hit the tuning lottery for your B-30 to come back with that kind of increase in velocity AND be smooth.

    I’ve turned into the springer guy that want smooth even if I sacrifice power in the tune.


  97. Kevin/B.B.,

    No, Rich provided no numbers.

    When he tuned the 54, was it customary and usual to overlook the seal that apparently even then was not working 100%? .. Or when one tunes a rifle that has only been shot a few hundred times would it be customary to simply assume the seal is fine?

    – Dr. G.

  98. Hello, I have been having some issues with my 1970’s Sheridan Blue Streak, and I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice.

    I believe that the gun can only store one pump of air, and that when I open the pump handle fully the air pressure from the previous pump action escapes.

    In order to test this hypothesis, I pumped the rifle once and shot it. Everything went as expected. Next, I pumped the rifle once and then opened the pump handle fully, and took a shot while the pump handle was open. No air was discharged.

    Now I believe that the problem is a faulty check valve. Would you guys be able to verify my diagnosis?

    On another note, what tool would I need to remove the pins that attach the pump arm to the lower tube?


  99. Wayne,

    Re: Advice on shooting a shotgun

    My first suggestion is find out what you and your gun does. It would be helpful for you to pattern the gun. Patterning a shotgun is shooting poster board size targets at various distances. Patterning can tell you what brand of shells your gun performs best with, what the difference is between your barrels (choke) and where the gun shoots for you (high, low, left, right, on target?).

    Buy several different brands of 2 3/4" 7 1/2's, 8's & 9's (buy some 6's if your range will allow it). Different brands of shells (just like different types of pellets) will group/pattern differently in your gun. Buy a roll of butcher paper or a roll of stiff wallpaper. Mount a poster size of this material at 20 yards and another at 35-40 yards. Put your front bead in the middle of this poster size paper and fire. One shot per piece of paper please. Clearly label each target with distance shot, brand of shell, shot size and which barrel was shot.

    Shoot each different brand of shell's you brought, each different shot size with both right and left barrels all at both distances (later you can get crazy and pattern at 5 yard distances). Draw a fifteen inch diameter circle around the densest area of shot in the pattern. Count the number of holes in your circle. We can correct for a dense pattern right, left, high or low so don't worry. Get back to me with results. Feel free to email me.

    Basic shotgun shooting at clay pigeons (moving targets)…a shotgun isn't a rifle. You don't aim a shotgun you point it. You don't squeeze a shotgun trigger you slap it. Place your cheek on a shotgun the same place with the same pressure every time, ideally your sight view is down the entire length of the rib and ends at the bead. Patterning will teach us both if you need to cover your target with your bead or place it low. The biggest mistakes that poor shotgun shooters make in my opinion is not leading the target enough or leading too much and/or they stop swinging the barrel on target before they pull the trigger. The "follow through" on shotgun shooting moving targets is to continue to lead the bird even after you've shot.


  100. Wayne,

    A couple more things if I may.

    A common mistake I used to see at the range was people lifting their heads off the stock right before they shot. This is the same reflex people have shooting high power rifles, lack of follow through. When shooting the pattern boards concentrate on fighting the reflex to lift your cheek off the stock. Follow through.

    If I remember you’re throwing clay pigeons with a hand thrower. Buy an automatic trap thrower that can be mounted on a tire and can be adjusted to throw the pigeon high or low. They only cost $30.00- $40.00 (or used to). Probably a little more. The tire can be repositioned easily to throw clay right, left or straight away. An automatic thrower replicates an actual field shot better than a hand thrower.


  101. Dr. G.,

    Without chrony numbers it’s tough to determine if the breech seal was not completely sealing at the time of the tune. I would assume that as part of the tune he would have checked it. I would also assume that he would have chronied the gun before and after the tune.

    Shimming then replacing the breech seal is not difficult. In the meantime I’m anxious to hear about your cocking force as Vince suggested.


  102. Wayne,
    I love my Benelli Nova pump. It has all kinds of special features. The locking bolt rotates to lessen recoil (see Beretta Px4 storm), you can install a mercury filled recoil reducer, the little chamber switch feature, and it has a very fast action. I bought mine in 20ga (better than 12ga for wing shooting) for 400$ at my local store.
    shadow express dude

  103. Dr. G, the breech seal on the sidelevers works a bit differently than the seal on a breakbarrel. When a breakbarrel closes, mechanical pressure presses the seal in place and firing pressure tries to force it open. If the seal isn’t under enough compression there will be air leakage and power loss.

    The sidelevers are different, though. When you close the breech there is little pressure put on the seal, but firing the gun forces the cylinder forward and increases the pressure on the seal, making it seal better. As far as I know the only way that seal will fail is if it either disintegrates or takes a heck of a compression set.

    If you want, email me at vfblovesnancy@yahoo.com. Maybe we can talk about this in more detail.

  104. Dr. G.,

    Vince has answered most of your question about the breech seal. The only thing I would add is that a seal on a sliding compression chamber can crack from repeated stress during firing. That means it can fail at any time. It’s very possible it was working well when Rich worked on the gun but failed sometime during those 4K shots you put on it after you got it back.

    I am not 100 percent certain that the problem is the seal, but since Rich worked on the gun I have to assume he didn’t use a Diana mainspring in it. Diana springs are notorious for cracking at the ends of the spring. About one inch will break off, then wind itself back into the coils of the spring and remain perfectly smooth. That was very common for Diana sidelevers in the 1980s and ’90s.

    If Rich used a Diana mainspring in his tune, that could also be the problem.


  105. Kevin,

    Thanks for explaining shotgun patterning.. and aiming.. that helps a lot!!

    I’ll do it and send them off to you by email… Maybe with my photos and your writing.. it’ll be a blog..B.B.?..

    I have to admit that I was way to afraid of the recoil issue!! Not even sore a little this morning..

    That was a “blast” seeing the clays explode.. way too much fun..

    Thanks for the feedback on your Nova.. that is the model Josh and Nate have.. did you get the longer barrel? I tried Nate’s short barrel, and couldn’t hit anything with it.. but Josh’s longer barrel let me score almost as often as Josh.. and Nate is a good shooter too.. better than me with a shotgun I would think.. so, I think that a short barrel makes it harder… because I did better than him, when I used Josh’s long barrel..

    What do you guys think about barrel length?

    It’s hard to have fun talking guns.. I keep thinking of your two beautiful daughters.. blessings bro..
    I almost feel like pause on the blog is in order..


  106. Wayne,

    A blog on patterning shotguns is fine with me. There are those who own air shotguns who could use the information.

    As for your success with the longer barrel over the shorter–I am no scattergunner, but I think the barrel length ties into your swing rate. It sounds to me like you swing fast and may need the longer barrel to slow your rate a bit.

    Just a thought.


  107. Wayne,

    Barrel length. A longer barrel has advantages and disadvantages. A longer barrel usually makes aiming easier since you have a longer sighting plane. Even if you only have a bead at the end of the barrel (instead of a bead mid-point on your rib as well as a bead at the end of the barrel) the additional rib length will make aiming easier. A longer barrel adds weight and therefor makes your recoil less. I like a longer barrel for hunting, trap and skeet. There is also a school of thought that a longer barrel increases velocity but I think it’s minimal. A shorter barrel is more manueverable. A shorter barrel shotgun is better for home defense.

    You asked about trap vs. skeet. Sorry I forgot to answer. In both trap and skeet you are shooting at moving clay pigeons. In trap you usually are in a wide open space and have a “house” located in front of you that is stationary and that’s where the clay is thrown from. There are ususally five stations (different places that the shotgunner stands) behind the house. The clay is thrown right, left and straight away. After a certain number of shots you change stations and shoot again until you’ve shot from all five stations. As you can appreciate, the placement of these stations force different angles of shots since the trap house is stationary.

    Skeet is more like field target but the target is moving. Better Skeet ranges are usually set up to mimic hunting situations, i.e., some shots are in the trees, some are over water, some are thrown from open field into trees etc. The clay is also thrown to mimic differenct field shots, i.e., clay flying for cover into trees allowing only brief “open” shot, clay skittered/rolling along the ground to mimic a rabbit running, etc. Very addicting if you have a skeet range close by.


  108. B.B. & Kevin,

    Swing rate… ahh.. another factor!

    Well… I wasn't swinging very much.. more like lift and aim.. not much side movement.. they were tossing them right in front of me!!.. it was mostly shooting at the peak of the toss or going away from me.. I hit them most at the peak of the toss of course!!.. must have been about 30-40 yards or so..

    Lucky Wayne..

  109. Herb,
    Sent email concerning TF97. Just in case you do not get it. My email is disco.2.2@sbcglobal.net

    Ajvenom & All,
    One of my favorite comedians was Red Skelton and the thing I remember best about him was his TV show. At the end of the show the last thing he would say was, “May God bless.”

    One time he responded to a question he got… why he always said “may God bless.” His answer was saying just “God bless” was like giving God a command and he believed asking for blessings was more appropriate. So since that day I’ve used his phrase. Goes along with all the common curtsey rules we live by.

    Just something to ponder.

    Went through my PA questionnaire about the new social website and then thought of something important that was omitted.

    The new site needs a comment edit feature so we can fix typos and delete comments if we regret pressing enter.


  110. Wayne,

    Even with a clay tossed in front of you (or a grouse, duck etc. flying straight away from you) you need to “lead” the target. If it’s still rising (and live birds usually continue to rise in their effort to get away from you) you need to pull your trigger with the bead above the clay/bird or by the time the shot reaches the target you will have shot behind the target. Unlike a rifle shooting at a fixed piece of paper or a standing animal, you must shoot a shotgun with the thought that I must place the pellets where the clay/bird will run into them. How much to lead takes practice since different birds fly at different speeds, wind is a major factor since all birds can fly and do fly with the wind when they get up and the velocity of your load can vary greatly (not only because of the amount of powder, amount of shot the powder must push but whether your loads are steel or lead). There is no substitute for practice in learning how to shoot your shotgun. You’re on your way though!


  111. Wayne,

    Practice, practice, practice. I know I said make sure your eye is on the bead (and not a big expanse of rib) when checking for fit, but I don’t advocate looking at the bead ever again, much less lining up a double bead.

    Look at the target. When you pattern and shoot stationary targets, you will get a good idea of how the barrel and target line up…let it sink into your sub-conscience, but don’t dwell on it. Looking at the bead is aiming; aiming takes time; if you want to hit something in the air — perhaps clattering up just in front of you with a sound like a bag of tin cans, you don’t have time to aim.

    Barrel length is really arbitrary, with advantages for either long or short. Pick whatever feels most comfortable to you for what you want to do and practice with that; I would suggest “average” length (28″ for most pumps and semis) to start. Shorter barrels handle better, but don’t swing as smoothly; long barrels swing better, but can get in the way in tight quarters and may be harder to mount. As far as “accuracy” and velocity, the difference is insignificant.

    One thing that might have made the difference is choke. Start out practicing at short ranges with Cylinder, Skeet, or IC chokes, then move out to longer ranges with modified and full. The more open chokes give you a wider pattern but reduced range (you can still go hunting if you know your limits at any time).

  112. Kevin, as BB says it is a bad check valve. You need to get a seal kit and the special tools for working on the valve (a hollow square driver for unscrewing the valve retaining nut and optionally a valve puller) . Once you have those it’s pretty easy, I just resealed one myself (although I made the tools and seals because I’m nuts) I should have it up on my blog sometime later next week.

  113. Volvo,

    I hope you check back in to see all the thoughts, support and prayer that is with you.

    I am sorry to hear about your daughter and will pray too. Hang in there!

    .22 multi-shot

  114. BB / Wayne
    I reload my shadow express with 13 #7 1/2shot, this gets amazing 4inch groups at 10yards. My Benelli is a 26inch. The patterns with the inluded IC skeet choke are 10inches at 20yards, but I bought a ported extra full choke and now it does 4-5inches at 20yards.
    Shadow express dude

  115. BB,
    There is a circular bar wrapped around the spring that giggles. I think this is how the spring is cocked, but if I have a broken spring, is this supposed to move freely. I was thinking at the possibility that I may have broke other parts and that installing replacement parts would be a waste of $$.
    Shadow express dude

  116. RE: Clay pigeon sports

    Actually three different sorts of shooting

    Trap – 5 stations with “house” in front of you. Clays thrown high and low but mostly away from you.

    Skeet – 6 stations arranged in a semi-circle. 4 shots from each station. High house on one side, low house on other. One shot from each house, then a double. One shot “extra” that can be taken anywhere. Usually taken at last station which is low house going directly away from you. Sort of like field shooting since there are a lot more angles to ponder.

    Sporting clays – as far as I know the design is up to the range owner. Can have clays rolled along ground, not just flying.


  117. One of my neighbors invented a sort of organic skeet shooting, using hedge apples, easily thrown by hand.

    If you don’t know what a hedge apple is, you’re probably thinking road apple, which is too organic:).

  118. Wayne,

    The definition of skeet that herb and B.B. gave is correct. Out west (Colorado) we had “sporting clay shoots” that were labeled skeet shoots.

    Sorry for misleading you. We’re a backwards sort out here. I never shot skeet with two different houses and eight stations. Sounds like fun.

    Sporting clays is what I was referring to that is similar to field target but the targets are moving. Lots of fun. Addicting. Not sure why the clubs called it skeet. Sporting skeet? Hell to get old and senile.

    I have to tell you Wayne be careful. After a rifle was sighted in wasn’t that much fun to keep shooting. You knew what it could do if you did you part.

    But shooting a shotgun was always fun especially at sporting clays because the course could be changed from morning to afternoon and mirrored real hunting more than any other target shooting that I’ve done.

    Be careful, this could become a fun and healthy addiction.


  119. Thanks all, for the shotgunning info!!

    yup!.. one time out with Josh and Nate.. and I’m hooked.. and I loved shooting the old Fulton.. just can’t wait to “pattern it” and learn how to shoot it accurately… I probably shouldn’t shoot it too much though if it’s for collecting.. what do you think?

    I’m torn between the like new walnut stock Rem 870 12 ga at the pawnshop for probably $350 and the Nova like Josh has..

    Kevin, the double barrels you mentioned are way up there.. you got the good ones!!! Any double barrels in the $500-800 new or used range, you’d advise to buy..

    How do I spread time apart to fit more into an hour… anyone got a link for a time spreading tool? I heard they are like a cement trowel… but with grooves in the edge..

    Wacky Wayne

  120. Wayne

    If you want to shoot a lot of shotgun for fun at clays, I’d suggest a 20 gauge. Shoot four-six boxes of 12 gauge in an afternoon and your shoulder gets beat up. A couple of the old geezers at the ranges would shoot 0.410s (22+ out of 25) with me just to humiliate me. I was doing 15 to 20 with my 12 gauge.

    Various skeet and trap competitions have 12 and 20 gauge sections.

    And I disagree about not aiming. If you plan to hit anything you need to aim.

    When field hunting with a shotgun, I’d hold the gun in front of myself at a 70 degree angle or so to the ground, and barrel slightly forward. Your eyes watch the target, and you have to be able to quickly and automatically shoulder the gun to a position underneath and behind the target. You swivel at the hips while shouldering the gun so that your upper body has the same position to the shouldered gun. After shouldering gun, (1) you put you finger on the trigger, and (2) you move barrel faster up and past the target. You have to come from underneath so that you can track target and barrel. You have to shoot where the target will be, not directly at the target. So you’re moving the barrel slightly faster than the target to get “in front of” the target, “in front of” being relative of course.


  121. …..Re. 54…

    No need to put it on a scale, I’ll just have it repaired and find out what it was and report back someday.

    I see from Rich’s site that he does chrony before the tune, and it is my recollection that it was only a little slow after the tune.

    In any case, Rich will repair it at no cost other than the cost of mailing the rifle back – a Righteous Dude, eh?

    – Dr. G.

  122. I just got a Crosman 2100 from PA and I was hoping you could write a post on it. Off
    topic, is it ok to use 30.wt
    non-detergent motor oil in it?


    Yes, but you should change the oil every 3,000 miles or every 500 shots…whichever comes first.

  123. if my new blood pressure meds don’t kill me first.


    When you switch bp meds, does your bp initially skyrocket? That’s what mine do. Thought it was just me. I switched from Kaiser (or was switched by them) to a local doc, and the Lisinopril is clearly a different manufacture (triangular, white, instead of round and orange). Had to take three times the amount plus a water pill to get my bp back down off the ceiling.


  124. Cosmin:

    Here’s my indoor, low-power setup, which I love and find addictive.

    It’s in my basement, where I have only 15 feet to work with.

    I have a Beeman pellet trap in front of a large box with couple of old blankets draped over the box. I seldom get ricochets.

    I mostly shoot a Crosman 1377C with a shoulder stock and a decent but not expensive red-dot sight.

    The iron sights that come with the gun are really accurate, especially the peep sight that you can flip over into place, but they can’t quite be adjusted to shoot low enough, and my eyesight is poor (64 years old and bifocals), so the red dot is nice. It is not as accurate as the iron sights, but plenty good.

    The gun, plus stock and red-dot, comes in at under $100 and is an incredible bargain.

    I shoot commercial targets sometimes, especially Shoot N-C, but I mostly make my own on my computer, using Microsoft Publisher. This allows me to make targets with lots of small bulls–1/2 to 1/4 inch–which are needed at this short range. Large bulls are not much of a challenge at 15 feet, but small ones are fun and rewarding. Get some light card stock at your local print shop, which will work better with wad cutters than regular copy paper. I like ivory colored stock, which shows the hits better from a distance.

    (I should also add that I’m disaabled and can’t stand or walk very well, so I have a nice, big easy chair and a table at the shooter’s end of the range, plus a CD player and a coffee thermos.

    Hours and hours pass very rapidly in this environment–ask my wife!

    A 250 tin of diabolos seems to disappear very rapidly.

    I also shoot a Daisy 953 in this setup, but it is too accurate to be much of a challenge at close range. The Crosman 1377 is just right at 3 to 4 pumps.

    This kind of shooting is purely recreational and doesn’t have much in common with you guys who hunt with big-power springers and PCPs or shoot field target competition, but it is excellent practice and training in basic technique, including a lot of carryover to rimfire shooting. Breathing, sight picture, trigger control, etc. are all involved, even with an inexpensive gun and a short range.

    It’s also there whenever I need it, rain or shine, day or night.

    (BTW: B.B. has a great article on setting up an indoor range. Don’t have the link at hand.)

    Best to all. I’m very happy to have stumbled into the electronic company of all you blog commenters.

  125. Wayne,

    Re: Which double barrel

    Not sure if you’re asking about a trap gun now or a hunting gun. If it’s your hunting gun that you can also effectively shoot trap with I stand by my recommendation. A 12 gauge that will accept 3″ shells and has interchangeable chokes.

    I would suggest that you go to a large sporting goods store and shoulder lots of guns. Fit is very important. Wear the coat you will be shooting with and bring the gun up 3-5 times quickly and see how easily you acquire the sight picture, how the gun swings and how it fits you. In newer double barrels I’m partial to browning citori’s WITH THE INVECTOR PLUS CHOKE TUBE SYSTEM because they fit me well and have five different choke tubes. With two barrels and five chokes this gives you 25 different barrel set up options. Covers about any situation you need. I don’t know what a good used citori with invector plus choke system is but they’re not very expensive guns.


  126. Hi Leon,

    Does your 1377c have a steel breech? Which red dot are you using and how do you have it attached to the gun? Thank you Mr B.

    PS you arn’t different from the rest of us cause I sure felt your paaion for air guns in you post. I’m glad you found us. Perhaps you and Wacky Wayne can do a joint blog on the pro’s and cons of certain “shooting chairs” 🙂

  127. Mr. B:

    No…my 1377c is the straight-from-the-box plastic version with no mods to the working parts. I’m not into tools and machining, so I could not attempt the complex airgunsmithing most of you guys do.

    I looked at a lot of relatively expensive red dots, but finally (don’t laugh!) bought a $25 off-brand from China, called Tuff Field Tested, at my local farm supply store.

    It mounts on Crosman’s intermount dove tail with no problem, and I’ve not had the difficulties of some reviewers in the mount or the sight moving.

    This sight is a little toward the blob side (B.B. pointed out to me recently that expensive sights have better dots), but once I got used to the sight picture, it is accurate, and I can see everything despite my poor eyesight. I think red dots are a GREAT invention, and I wish I’d had them when I was young and learning to shoot.

    Despite the low price, this red dot is rugged and precise. The adjustments are clean clicks that hold despite the impact of cocking the 1377c. My guess is this company makes red dots for some “name” brand but sells a few under this name to big box farm supply stores. It costs only $10 more than the crummy cheap Crosman red dot that has no click control.

    The only other modification I made is to wrap a hand wash cloth and an old black, neoprene elastic knee brace around the stock and tape them in place so as to give me a higher cheek weld. It looks crude, but does the job. I may soon break down and spend more to get a lace-on cheek pad, just in case I take the gun out in public!

    The stock trigger on my 1377c is only one stage, but it is nice and crisp, so I don’t seem to have problems with it.

    I’d brag aabout my groups, but I don’t know enough about airgun accuracy to know if I’m doing well. I do know that the gun shoots where I point it, if I use good technique, especially follow-through, and occasionally I get 4 or 5 shots in onr ragged hole.

    I could probably make the 1377c shoot better with changes, but it seems to me to be just the right level of power and accuracy for my circumstances.

    I have been a very active and relatively successful tennis player all my life, until last summer, when the late effects of polio (which I originally had in 1945) crippled me and ended my tennis career.

    Airgunning has saved my sanity and given me a wonderful outlet and recreational activity. You areright, I do love it.

    Thanks for the encouragement and interest.

  128. Leon,

    Thanks for getting back to me. Some of the guys sure are into modding in a big way. I like to read about it, but I’m not a machinest at all.

    One ragged hole is always a good thing. I truly enjoy my 1377 which is 100% stock. She has killed two crows with one shot each at 10 pumps. I really like to be able to control the power and taylor it to the task at hand.

    I just explained to my teenage kids about polio and what it as like when I was a kid in the 40’s. Sorry about your forced retirement.

    Most of my shooting is from inside my house into my back yard at about 16 yards. OOPS gotta get daughter of to babysitting later sir. MrB.

  129. B.B.
    Thanks for the post. I am considering buying a new air gun and the Benjamin Super Streak looks intresting. However, I am quite sure you know more than I do, so would you suggest any other air guns in this price range? I would be using it mostly for shooting targets. Thanks again for the great post.


  130. Charles,

    Here’s a 2 part article that B.B. did on the Super Streak (you’ll need to copy and paste),


    At what distance are you planning on shooting targets?


  131. Charles,

    Try these blogs that BB has done on this subject.

    You will have to copy and paste the links.

    The current post is available every weekday at
    where you can get the latest information and the more people can see your questions.

    Hope to see you there!

    .22 multi-shot

  132. Sorry Charles,

    I skimmed too fast and thought you said the Silver Streak, not Super Streak. Kevin has posted a link to the list of best airguns in your price range.

    It depends on exactly what you want. The Super Streak isn’t a typical target airgun. As you browse Pyramyd’s web site (www.pyramydair.com), when you are looking at a specific gun, you will notice a “Model Assistant” section to the left. If there is an “Articles” tab there, click on it. A link to an article should show up that you can click on. This will be an article written about that gun (usually by BB).

    .22 multi-shot

  133. Charles,

    The Benjamin Super Streak is a big raw spring gun thats heavy and hard to cock. If that’s what you want then this is the gun for you.

    But it wouldn’t be my first choice. If you want power and smoothness, I would recommend an RWS Diana 48. I know they are more expensive, but the difference in shooting is worth it.

    Before I recommend another rifle I’d like to know the caliber you are interested in. I have several rifles in mind, but most are available in .177 only.


  134. .22 multi-shot,

    You’re not getting in my way! You’re doing a great job of helping B.B. I’m happy to see you stepping up and being such a big asset to this wonderful blog. I’ve been a little too busy lately to give it my all. Thanks


  135. Charles,

    Okay, then I recommend as Gamo Whisper or a Gamo Big Cat or an RWS 34 Panther. Any of these three are easier to cock than the Super Streak and also more accurate.

    The Super Streak is not worthwhile in .177 caliber, because the gun cannot use the velocity it generates. It is inaccurate at the approximately 1,400 f.p.s. maximum ir generates.

    How a gun handles is at least as important as how powerful it is. And each of these three will out-handle a Super Streak any day.

    At least that’s my opinion.


  136. Thanks for the help. I had considered these also, but did not know how they had compared to the Super Streak. And for air guns, I’ll take your opinion over mine any day.


  137. Some belated thoughts on this topic:
    1. if your lead is full of wood chips and paper parts and other wood products you can clean it very quickly with a large shallow pan and a garden hose. I sue a plastic lid from a 40 gallon storage bin.

    Set the lid on the driveway and prop up one end with a 2×4 to cause it to drain quickly to one side. Then spread your lead out and run a steady stream of water (not a jet of water) over the lead and stir it with your hand or a stick. The wood, leave, paper, etc. will float to the top and get washed out of the pan.

    It is just like panning for gold. It is very fast.

    Leave the pan of lead in the sun to dry before adding it to your storage bucket. Never put wet anything into a pot of molten lead.

    2. If you do not have a lead ingot mod a soda can cut in half works well enough.

    3. Need a small anchor for you river canoe trips? get an eyelet bolt and put it in the top of a soda can – just punch a hole and set it in. Then fill the can with molten lead.

    If you put the can in a pan of water and fill it slowly the paint will not burn off. OK this is dangerous – but it works.

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