Scopes for field target – Part 2

by B. B. Pelletier

Part 1

Today, I’ll discuss big parallax wheels, including those that are custom-made for field target, reticles and the effects of temperature on a field target scope. Let’s start with parallax wheels.

You know that parallax adjustments are used for rangefinding. The shooter focuses on something close to the target or perhaps on the target itself. Then he reads the yardage to the target from the parallax wheel on his scope. So, my first piece of advice is this: Get a side-focus parallax scope! Back before they had sidewheel scopes, we all had to reach way out in front where the objective bell was to focus the scope. In the first place, that’s a long way to reach while holding an 8- to 14-lb. field target rifle with one hand. Second, many of those bells were hard to turn. On cold days they all were. All of us embraced the sidewheel scopes when they first came out in the mid-1990s. You only have to shoot half a match to understand why you want a sidewheel parallax-adjusting scope.

It was airgunners who gave the world sidewheels to begin with! Oh, side FOCUS parallax adjustment was first offered by Hakko, but it was a field target competitor who enlarged the small focus knob and turned it into a huge wheel. Why did he do that?

The evolution of the big wheel
It didn’t happen overnight. It took about three years for the huge sidewheels to come into vogue. But once they did, small knobs became things of the past. It was like the day after the Colt Peacemaker hit the market–nobody wanted a cap-and-ball revolver anymore.

Field target competitors do not use the numbers the factory engraves on the parallax adjustment wheel or objective bell. They learn real quick that those numbers are ballpark numbers only, not precise estimates of distance. For deer hunters, it doesn’t matter. A deer can’t tell when it’s hit an inch high or low, as long as the bullet is in the breadbasket. And a varmint hunter can miss his mark by a half-inch and never be the wiser. But a field target competitor has to hit within hundredths of an inch of where he aims at all times. So it matters to him whether the target is 44 yards or 47 yards away.

That huge sidewheel lets a competitor mark the smallest range differences on a piece of tape wound around the rim of the wheel. The larger the wheel, the easier it is to see differences in range after focusing the scope.

2007 National Field Target chamption and 2007 World Field Target champion Paul Cray has a huge sidewheel for parallax adjustment so he can read fine differences in the distance to the targets.

Before the side-adjust scopes came out, we put white tape around the objective bells of our scopes and calibrated them manually yard-by-yard on a range where the distances to the targets were measured. Duffers like me who were just out for fun, not blood, sometimes squeaked by with five-yard increments–at least in the middle ranges of 20-35 yards, where the trajectory was relatively flat. But to be perfectly honest, I was using a Bushnell Trophy 6-18x scope in those days, so I couldn’t really determine ranges past about 35 yards anyway. I marked out five-yard increments on the objective bell all the way out to the end of the course and had all my fun just looking at the pretty targets and talking to everyone.

However, those who adjusted the elevation for every shot–the clickers–had special elevation knobs made of Delrin. They were bigger, so they could fit a scale of yardages around the periphery of the knob, thereby being able to tell exactly how many clicks they needed for every shot and any range. Remember, field target takes place between 10 and 55 yards, and it was 50 yards in the old days when I first competed. So, there were a lot of lines on those big knobs, and they had to be made larger than standard so we could see the small lines and yard markings we had to put there.

This A-Team elevation knob is for Bausch & Lombe scopes. I had one similar to it. Put white tape around the knob and mark off the places where every range to the target is located. Use several different colors to indicate different temperature ranges! It’s taller than a conventional knob, too, and accommodates even more marks.

You learned a lot about ballistics while doing this. For example, you learned that for every close range marking on your scale there was also a long-distance yard marking at exactly the same point–the 23-yard mark may also have worked for 39 yards, and so on.

Back when I shot field target, the mil-dot reticle wasn’t common. The most favored reticle was the duplex. The holdeover crowd got five aimpoints out of it, and the click adjusters found it was easier to locate the thin central crosshairs in a dappled light situation. If you don’t know what a duplex reticle is, read this and this.

A plain reticle isn’t suitable for field target use. It will either be too thin to see in poor light or too thick for aiming precision on small kill-zones. Mil-dot reticles are fine for field target. They make the thin lines easy to see and give the holdover crowd plenty of auxiliary aimpoints.

There is no “best” reticle to use in this game. It all boils down to personal preference and your ability to see the reticle under various light conditions. It can take years to find a scope you like; and when you do, the specifications will probably mean less to you than intangibles like the reticle type, the exit pupil criticality and clarity in low light. For me, either the duplex or the mil-dot reticle seems to be the ticket.

The effects of temperature on a scope
You get all sighted-in, your scope is optically centered and you think you’re ready for the big dance. Then the temperature drops 20 degrees during the match and throws off all the careful work you did to calibrate the range scale. Yes, temperature has a dramatic effect on a scope, and field target will bring that out like no other sport I know.

The top shooters don’t have one range scale on their parallax adjustment, they have three–set up for gross temperature ranges! And they may have two or three different range scales set up on the vertical adjustment knob, as well. The course I used to run in Maryland hosted many of the top shooters in the nation, and I got a chance to see the incredible lengths to which they went to know the last foot to every target.

With all this anal work involved, it’s no wonder that I competed as a holdover shooter for the first two years I shot field target. However, one day I thought about how nice it would be to actually win something, so I bit the bullet and bought both a better PCP and a bigger scope and decided to adjust for each shot. Today’s report has actually been a brain dump about adjusting the scope for every shot. Next time, I’ll tell you what all us holdeover piggies were doing in the background while the prima donnas were winning our matches.

65 thoughts on “Scopes for field target – Part 2”

  1. Very interesting blog. This field target stuff fascinates me to no end. I am excited about learning more. I’ve read all the blogs I can find on it and still love to read more. I don’t think there is any significant airgun community near where I live (Central Florida), but I have about three acres that I could make my own course on.

    On another topic, I was thinking about putting a different stock on my Discovery. I had first thought about trying to buy a stock from a Crosman Challenger when they become available, but I like the look of wood. Then I found a place that sells a target stock for a QB79. The stock looks really nice, and actually, so does the target version of the QB79, I think it’s an AR something. If anyone owns both, a QB79 and a Discovery, could you please tell me how much work you think it would be to fit the Disco into the QB stock? I may end up purchasing the QB79 also, but the stock is only about $70. That’s a lot cheaper than anything else that I can find. The stock on the Discovery just positions my eye too low for the scope, so I want something with a higher cheek rest.

  2. I’ve Shot 3D archery shoots (just like FT, but with bigger foam animal targets)… range estimation is the name of the game for the same reasons. You could be an Olympic level shot, but if you mis-range by 1m you are going to miss.

    In 3D archery, they go to great lengths to outlaw range finders of almost any sort. (although there are always rule benders.)

    These big FT scopes are so obviously range finders, I wonder why they just don’t admit it and either allow any range finding technology, or just publish the distance to the target. The rules aren’t generating better tools for the field, but better tools for bending the rules. What is the point? I think it is a waste of our $/£ to invest in these developments. If de-facto range finders are legal, then why not build real range finders into scopes… that would be truly useful when hunting. How about an electronic reticule too, that automatically for range?

    If we are using competition to improve our tools, then allow for true innovation. If it’s about testing human ability, then level the playing field by minimizing the effect of technology. The middle road seems pointless.

  3. BB, You covered a temperature change affecting scopes. I know a couple years ago, I kept bugging you about how my rifle gets inaccurate for different reasons. Could scope temperature be a main culpret? I also remember asking if a rifle needs a “warm-up”: fire a few shots until the shots stabilize. I’m going to do some testing and stuff, but maybe consider a post about the weather-related effects on a rifle? I’ll let you know what I find. JP

  4. Denovich
    I find myself totally agreeing with you.The way this sport is setup now,it seems more like a test of how well you can use the technology, rather than how well you know and can shoot your rifle.Like so many other things it’s become about who can afford the best toys and not who has the most skill.Too bad we have to have secondary events limiting the cost of equipment just to have a true friendly competition of shooters skills.
    But then maybe I’m just jealous of their toys:)


  5. BB- The discussion on the effects of temperature on scopes reminds of something a surveyor told me. Back in the old days, survey crews included an “umbrella man” whose job was to shade the instrument. The old levels had a long tube that was essentially flat black. The sun shining on the top would distort the tube enough to affect the accuracy.

    Wayne – I want to be like you when I grow up.

  6. Kevin, BG_Farmer, BobC and Matt61 – I’ve left responses to your comments on yesterdays blog. I didn’t want to take up any more room on today’s blog that was off topic. Sorry.

  7. What I know about FT scopes:

    1. Very hard to beat a Leupold Competition 35X with a (my preference) Heavy Duplex reticle. No real need to refocus if it will focus to 10.5yds or so. Rick Lake side wheel. This is the only scope I know of that will expand the range from 45-55yds to about an inch on the wheel while others give you a 1/4″ at best no matter how big a wheel.

    2. IMHO, temperature effects on scopes are vastly over-rated. I believe that the vast majority of temperature effects are really scope/gun system effects. If one decouples the scope from the gun, the effects disappear (for the most part, anyway). To “decouple,” I loosen the front mount (BKL) just enough so it will slide while the rear mount is tight. My temperature problems went away once I did this.

    3. Optics are more important than zoom or magnification or rangefinding. I find fixed-power scopes to be better than zooms for this reason. The downside is finding the target but practice makes this easier (as does a finder system to aim the scope with the unaided eye).

  8. Got it, Kevin – silicone, no pellgun oil. Interesting that on that Yellow Forum, one of the commenters believe this rifle should be shooting in the mid-700’s with that 10.5 gr Premier (we’re talking .177 cal). The other site I was using as a standard (it’s another vendor so I won’t list the site) believes this rifle should be shooting this pellet at around 900 fps.

  9. UW Hunter,

    Rather than put a new stock on the disco, have you considered an intermediate fix that raising the cheek rest. Cheek rests/cheek pieces like the ITC and US Leather aren’t that expensive and work well to raise your eye level.


  10. Fred,

    900 FPS with what pellet though? That 900 fps has got to be with the lightest pellet on earth. I think your lube tune has created a more realistic velocity with the crosman premier heavies you’re shooting based on everything I’ve read about the 350. I think you did a good job as far as velocity. I also think there’s a good chance the velocity will increase after you break it in.


  11. Kevin,

    the really light pellets are going over 1000 FPS per this other website’s testings. I’ve been using 10.5gr Crossman Premiers. Again, this is one of those Magnum rated air rifles and should be putting out 18 to 20 ft. lbs of energy. At 735 fps, I’m barely breaking 13 ft. lbs of energy.

  12. Fred,

    In most spring rifles, heavy pellets will be the weakest. It all depends on the weight of the piston, but it often works out that way. So if your rifle is supposed to be capable of 18-19 foot-pounds, I would expect it to shoot Crosman Premier Heavies at 14-15 foot-pounds.

    You should chronograph a lighter pellet before you write off your tuneup.

    Also, Vince has demonstrated the importance of a good breech seal. Your rifle may need a shim under the seal to work as it should.


  13. B.B.

    Thanks for the post today… it’s helping me understand where I might fit in..

    a “holdover piggy” … in the background…. or a prima donna winning a match… HHHMMM that’s something to think about!!

    Randy in VA,

    First thing.. don’t grow up all the way… keep part of that child inside of you..

    My trick is to stay in touch with that child that only sees the fun stuff in life… while allowing the adult to do the stuff one has to do as a adult..

    Just the right amount to feel alive and looking forward to another day of life on Earth!! A tricky balance to be sure… especially in my position, growing a couple businesses.. well, one serious and one fun business..

    Wacky Wayne
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  14. Finding an old Crosman pump in my dad’s estate evolved into a totally fun experience. Finding B.B.’s PA Report evolved into a fun AND educational experience. Finding both…Pricey 🙂

  15. I agree with denovich and feel there should be two separate series, pro and amateur for lack of better terminology.
    I’m also an auto-race fan. Many complain that Formula 1 (or Indy Cars/Nextel, etc) have become too expensive for anyone other than the rich. In 2005 Ferrari’s F1 budget was nearly 1/2 billion dollars.
    But, just as in the military, a lot of the technology that goes into these cars ends up a few years down the road in the racing series’s and cars that are affordable.
    I would imagine it the same here. One of these guns/scope combo’s might seem astronomical (pricewise), but the technology ends up in guns and scopes used at club level 5 years down the road.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  16. B.B.

    Are those USFT rifles in the photo?

    UWHunter, Kevin beat me to it. Hunting for a wood stock that fits you exactly seems like the long and expensive way to go. I had the same problem with the stock for my Savage 10FP which is widely condemned for being cheap. However, a $25 cheek rest from Blackhawk has solved the problem, and the rifle is shooting like a champ. The cheek rest has foam inserts so that you can build it up to the exact level you need. Besides, it looks cool and tactical. Also, I understand that one of the nice features of the Discovery is a genuine walnut stock even though it may not be finished that well. If you’re like Vince you can finish it yourself as a project or it wouldn’t be hard to send it to someone who can.

    Fred, I do sympathize with the NJ laws. The guy with the FFL who took delivery of my Savage rifle was a real creep who doubled the transfer fee on me.

    Kevin, wow, a Colt Python in .357. I am impressed. But wouldn’t firing shot out of it ruin the barrel? I read about a secret anti-aircraft weapon that the Japanese developed in WWII to protect their super-battleship, Yamato. It sounded like gigantic shotgun charges for the 18 inch guns that would create a huge shellburst but ruin the rifling in the guns. I believe they got a few off, but they didn’t really work.


  17. CowboyStar Dad and Denovich,

    It is almost inevitable that competitions turn into equipment races. That is what competition breeds–better equipment and better competitors.

    The Kentucky rifle was a vast improvement over the European Jaeger rifle and no doubt people complained when it showed up at early target matches.

    That’s how mankind advances.

    And CowboyStar Dad has it right, that this kind of thing is what advances the technology. That GPS in your car or your phone didn’t just happen by accident. The military created it at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars and decades of improvement.

    There are very few competitions where the equipment is controlled, but let’s look at one classic–the Soap Box Derby. Derby wheels are made to spec and given to each qualified competitor. And, supposedly there is no technology advantage in the race.

    But there have been scandals where race cars used prohibited technology to enhance their performance. And instead of maintaining the requirement that the kids build their own cars, the race has evolved into three divisions, to allow increased participation with enhanced designs that are not created by the builders, themselves.

    The bottom line is that life is a competition. You can try to level the playing field, but human nature will find a way to tilt it again. Always has-always will.


  18. BB – I haven’t even begun to examine the breech seal. Thanks for pointing me in that direction. I have a company function that I have to attend for the next two days and won’t be able to get to this site so you all behave yourselves.

    Back Friday nite (I hate these “feel-good” corporate meetings).

  19. Level fields…

    on a round Earth?…

    might make for lots of standing stagnant water:):)

    I share your feelings, though… and could picture contests where the rifle or pistol is laid on a stand, and the competitor picks it up, has a moment to adjust the highly adjustable gun, and does their best… then moves to the next different rifle or pistol… and position.. and target type.. all high quality guns at each station, so it’s not the rifle or pistol as much as the shooter.. and their ability to adapt to the situation and still hit the target..

    The overall type test.. what do they call that?.. a something athon…

    I’ve been thinking of such a game for a while now.. that’s the only reason I’m collecting these different type guns… right?

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  20. Wayne doesn’t want level fields,it’s a conflict of interest!He’s all about them nice RAISED beds!!!seriously Wayne,that game sounds like it would be alot of fun.please keep us posted…how can you be a “holdover piggie”with such a badass USFT gun? FrankB

  21. BB,

    Put me in the dissenters camp (of course). Just because people try to buy their way to the top of every competition doesn’t make it right or enjoyable. FT looks like a case of a sport that developed that way before it even became popular. Every sport or hobby has this happen to it, because relatively new people get into it and want to advance faster than their skill level alone would allow, so they compensate with equipment. FT is supposedly based on hunting — you couldn’t tell that by the current state of the sport.

    If FT is widely popular as is, then great; otherwise, it might benefit airgunning in general to make classes where normal people can compete with a minimum of equipment for pleasure and skill development. If the top competitors would really suffer in placement from losing equipment advantages, that is pretty compelling evidence.

  22. JTinAL – What part of bama are you in? I live in MI, I think you said you used to also, but I go down to Athens every now and then for work. It’s a lot different there but I like it. You guys have great pawn shops and I bought my RS2 at the Gander Mountain in Huntsville. Don’t see too many airguns in the pawn shops though, at least the one’s I go too.

    Last time I was down I went to Gander to buy a Crossman 2240 but they were sold out. As I’m sure you know we can’t get .22 cal air pistols in MI without ffl and I was hoping to be the “coolest kid on my street.” Maybe next time.


  23. Level field..

    think about the stagnant water..

    stagnant brains too!!!

    we need both events..

    Wide open budget contests and maybe something like I’m describing with the guns at the station and people moving through them..
    I guess that the adjustable issue is the greatest.. but that’s part of the game too.. isn’t it?.. if you can’t make it work for you, like everyone else, to bad… maybe the next one will work to your advantage..

    Anyway, one could practice at the station before the contest… (hee, hee, that’s the rub folks… you have to come to the range to practice for the contest.. I smell a franchise coming)… or own a lot of guns.. PA should like that too!!

    But wouldn’t that be fun to try out all the best guns in the world at one location.. and compare your score against the top shooters for the course over a long period of time..

    Please say it’s a good idea.. so I can have a great reason to keep buying quality rifles:):)

    Wacky Waynes’ Wonderful Whooting Wrange..

  24. Wayne,

    I’m not sure where you’ver ever seen water standing on a levelled field:). Some people spend a lot of money to create them.

    We don’t all shoot to advance science nor compete to see has the best equipment. I would be embarassed to think I beat a better shooter just because I had spent more on better equipment. Now, if I had made better use of similar equipment or even stretched inferior equipment to a better level of performance, that would be different.

    Give us or specify to us all something reliable and suitable, and the best/luckiest shooter for the day should come out on top.

  25. Fred, you’re in Radnor? Media was one of my old stomping grounds, and I know the guy you’re talking about – his shop used to be Auto Electric right off of Baltimore Pike (different location). I’m in South Jersey now, but I’m frequently in that area.

    The breech seal is something to check, if you want I can send you some seals and shims to try out.

    Also, when you had it apart you didn’t measure the overall spring length by any chance, did you?

  26. Fred,

    Sounds like you’re in a better mood about it than last night. Give it a little time before you admit defeat and send it off to a tuner…you’ll learn a lot more about how your rifle works that way. Then if you still send it off to Vince or the guy in Radnor or someone else, you’ll have a yardstick to measure the work by and learn something extra.

    Definitely take Vince up on the breech shim/seal deal, and he’s right to measure the spring. Even though I’ve only done one tune, I don’t think I’d do another without changing the spring to a JM — the quality is worth the price he charges.

    By the way, the cocking symptom you describe is probably a tight seal or rough chamber. Try the chamber oil, it may be all you need. I put a drop on the seal perimeter before reassembly and only add more if the cocking behavior indicates it. The more you shoot, the better the seal will fit in there, also.

    Thanks for the save on “silicone” oil — I should have made that plainer.

  27. That’s an interesting proposition by BG_Farmer to wonder if top FT competitors would not stand out if reduced to a common standard of equipment. But I am with B.B. that the people who put out for that kind of equipment are the most competitive and they would find a way to win without it.

    I think too that the rest of us benefit from the trickle down effect of their technology. Look at the Discovery as the bridge between the elite world of PCPs and the rest of us. So more power to the competitors, but don’t try to shoot with them.

    It seems like the best situation is more or less what we have which is a mixture of both. The Little 500 bike race at Indiana University made famous in the film Breaking Away requires a common bike. And I do very much like the ideas of Wayne’s stations. The only reservation is that I think people build up a very strong personal bond with their guns, and if they don’t have a chance to practice at home and run through a whole course with one, they might be less enthusiastic.


  28. Aaron
    I lived in oshtemo township just outside Kalamazoo for 3 yrs.in the 70’s.Still have lots of family in that area.Now I live in Moulton in the NW part,45 min. from Athens 60 min.from Huntsville.I’m only 15 min. drive from Bankhead Ntl.forest:)

    I like Wayne’s idea for a comp.That’s sorta the way we do it when friends and family get together.We all shoot each others toys.
    I know that competitive people always want the best equipment and that we all benefit in the longrun from their efforts,but sometimes I just like to see or participate in areas where luck and skill and training count for more than equipment does.
    I guess thats why I like olympic games,equipment is controlled and it’s “supposed”to be based on the individual.
    sorry I got so long winded:)sometimes I just get wound up.Hope yall weathered the storms O.K

  29. Matt61,

    I wouldn’t make a habit of shooting the bird shot shells in any rifled barrel. I’ve probably done it 10-15 times. Don’t know if it hurt long distance accuracy in the gun since 95% of the time I shot the gun at point blank range.


  30. B.B.,

    Per your recommendation I purchased Brad Troyer’s P1, and I will let you know what I think in a couple weeks.

    Normally I would never buy used, but I have successfully done business with David Slade (who tuned it), and Brad has an honest reputation, so the gun sounds better than new to me.

    Please suggest a few pellets (.177) to try with this pistol and can you please recommend a scope that yields more than 2x? And where I might purchase the scope?

    Thank you.

    – Dr. G.

  31. Aaron,is there anything you’re currently interested in at Gander mtn.?I’m currently 1 mile from the one in Huntsville.I can check on anything you like and post whether it’s in stock…I have my Condor with me,IZH46M,webley tempest,and a brand new Gamo hunter extreme.If any of those are new to you,I’d be glad to let you shoot them! FrankB in Huntsville

  32. Dr.G,just to clarify,BB suggested “a P-1”.it was me,Frank B. that mentioned Brad Troyer’s P-1 because I have one and love it and Brad’s was such a good price!I don’t want to put words in BB’s mouth!!!just trying to be helpful. Frank B

  33. Dr. G,

    Pyramyd carries the Leapers 4×40 scope (https://www.pyramydair.com/product/leapers-5th-gen-4×40-tactedge-rifle-scope-1-tube-11mm-dovetail?a=1683) that BB used in his review of the Evanix Renegade (/blog/2008/10/evanix-renegade-double-action-pistol-part-3/). I don’t know whether it would be suitable for the P1 though.

    I am kind of in the same boat. I have a nice PCP pistol, but am figuring out whether to stay with open sights or try something else. Pyramyd doesn’t seem to carry much in the way of pistol scopes.


    What are your recommendations for pistols scopes? The Leapers you used on the Renegade only has a 5″ eye relief. The BSA scope has 11-20″ relief but is only a 2×20.

    .22 multi-shot

  34. Wayne,

    I felt like I was forgetting something after reading about your new shotgun (sounds great by the way). Finally remembered: Make sure 3″ shells are OK. The chamber on 2.75 guns will most of the time accept 3″ shells — its a little long to accommodate the crimped end of the shell which expands outward when the shell is discharged. However, that doesn’t mean its safe to shoot 3″ shells. Perhaps Kevin can add something or allay my fears, but I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t mention it!

  35. Wayne,

    One more thing — I wouldn’t shoot steel shot in it, either, until someone smarter than I am told me it was OK. Not trying to be a jerk, just don’t want you to get hurt or damage the gun. I was doing some research on the gun (we all live vicariously through you:)) and referred back to your post.

  36. BG_Farmer,

    Thanks I’ll check on that before shooting the 12ga more..

    I didn’t see the post..

    send me an email if you want with the links…

    I agree with you about the level field..

    and I think we need the unlevel field too..but really..
    It’s not that unlevel, one who wants to sell their video games and mow lawns can buy a USFT, EV2, P70 or the like.. and a workable scope..(maybe not 10 of them like some competitors)…

    The larger expense would be the traveling involved to compete, and probably the time commitment to practice and travel…

    That could be why the franchise idea of all the top guns at one spot for folks to come to is better than the own one to ten guns and travel around the country competing model..

    just ideas… what da think?

    Wacky Waynes Wonderful Wair Wun Wange?

  37. B.B.
    Thanks for the pic of Paul Cray, BTW.. and who is that behind him? All I see are USFTs in that pic.. Was it a sweep in that contest?

    Paul took my 12 ft lb. USFT to the 2005 world contest, when Billy Lo who won it in the US nationals, couldn’t make the journey because of medical issues (that’s how I got to buy it from him).. so thanks for the picture of Paul to go with that story.. I have wondered what Paul looked like..

    That is a real cool knee rest on Pauls’ gun.. that’s what I call adjustable!! I’m calling Tim to get one of them there dudes ya all!.. I reconin that’s the only difference between me and Paul as far as knockin over them targets:):)

    Very, Very, Very Wacky Wayne.. and dreamin too!!

  38. B.B. and others,

    This is off-topic, but I’d appreciate any inputs offered. When people say that a Beeman R7 is quiet, how quiet is that? For comparative context, I’ve heard non-springers (CO2 and multi-pump, even a Benjamin 392) with European style moderators that are almost as quiet as a make-believe silenced gun in a movie, perhaps similar to a .22 RF with a silencer shooting subsonic ammo. I don’t need it to be that quiet, but would like it to be quieter than my broken-in Mendoza RM200, which sounds like a medium-sized power stapler/nail gun — not bad if I were doing the occasional home repair project, but probably somewhat odd to hear day after day in a townhouse garage (shooting from about 10 yards at 30 pounds of Duct Seal in a steel case, so virtually no sound from the trap). Would the R7 be less jarring than even the low-powered RM200? I’d like to get the R7 for its many virtues, but don’t want to waste my time if there’s no sound improvement over the Mendoza. Thanks in advance for any responses.

  39. Just a few thoughts.Maybe an article on an airgun for a survival tool? As in keeping someone in the widerness for extended periods from starving? Maybe about why an airgun rather than a .22LR? I would think the ability to easily carry 1500 pellets in less space a .ssLR shooter could carry 200 rounds would be one plus for the airgun.And how about a takedown model like the Beeman 1024? A test of that gun would be great to see.
    How about an article discussing airguns from a decibel standpoint for those of us that shoot in our back yards and don’t want to bring down the swat team? Are any types of airguns inherently quieter than others? Is higher velocity louder?
    Maybe an article comparing the longevity of springers vs multi pumps, vs CO2 airguns? Ease of maintenance of the different types?

    Thanks , Jon in Puyallup, Wa.

  40. Wayne & BG_Farmer,

    The Hunter Arms Fulton is stretching to be Waynes duck/goose/deer gun. Wayne, I assume since you didn't buy a shotgun that accepts 3" shells and has interchangeable chokes that this is your "get acquainted with a shotgun" gun. This gun will be fine for shooting 2 3/4" shells for trap and/or skeet and it would be a good grouse gun. At short ranges it could be a good duck gun.

    I assume that the Fulton has a full barrel and a modified barrel? If you want to shoot waterfowl I assume your state requires steel shot? If so I would suggest shooting Bismuth shot BUT NOT STEEL SHOT IN YOUR FULTON and keep your shots close (35-40 yards). I've heard various opinions about old FULL CHOKE barrels swelling if you shoot steel in them and I've heard people say it's hogwash. I never took a chance. On my vintage parkers I shot bismuth over decoys (close range) and for geese and cold weather ducks that typically require longer shots I took the Brownings with invector plus tubes and shot steel.

    I do know from patterning that steel shoots tighter but doesn't have the range of lead. I use one less choke for steel than I would for lead and usually increase shot size for steel since the carry isn't as far in my experience.

    I never did much research on this. 20+ years ago when steel was mandated I bought brownings that were rated for steel shot and chokes that could handle steel shot. Never had a problem with the parkers shooting bismuth other than the range with non-lead sucks (since they're 2 3/4" and I never shot very hot loads in them) and it was frustrating figuring out a lead on a bird after so many years of shooting lead. Usually ended up taking the brownings with 3" shells and all the chokes so no matter what the day turned into I was prepared. Hated to hang up the parkers. They fit so well.

    I'm by no means an expert on this subject. Maybe B.B. could give his opinion.


  41. Kevin,

    I almost had a heart attack when I realized what I was missing:). How was a gun of that vintage shooting 3″ shells?…then I remembered that they’ll fit, just will not be safe. Even hot 2.75″ loads may be pushing it.

    Do you know when 3″ 12G came into being? I’m guessing 50’s? Couldn’t find it online for some reason.

  42. Kevin & BG_Farmer,

    Thanks for the info on the Fulton!! great links..I'm convinced!!.. I'm going to only shoot the lite lead loads for upland birds & clay.. I like it a lot & I'm glad lite loads are best for it!!

    and maybe I'll go back for the rem 870, for geese and turkey?

    Thanks so much for your help guys..


  43. How quiet,

    Sir, the SHOOTER cannot evaluate how quiet the gun is, because it sounds louder to him than to anyone else. The sound of the powerplant is conducted through the stock to the bones in the shooter’s face. Even deaf people can hear that way.

    The Mendoza RM 200 is a quiet gun. You just need to let someone else shoot it.

    A tuned R7 is extremely quiet. A TX200 is also extremely quiet. But the human ear isn’t sensitive enough to tell the difference between quiet and extremely quiet. So for all practical purposes, it doesn’t matter.

    An untuned R7 is louder, because of the spring vibration.

    Also, the level of noise diminishes with the square of the distance from it’s origins. So a sound heard 50 feet away is vastly different than one heard 10 feet away.


  44. Dr. G.,

    Most quality pellet will work good in a P1. So that means JSB Exact domes, and always the lightest ones because the P1 is a springer. The Crosman Premier 7.9 is an excellent choice. And I have found that the RWS pellet don't do as well in Weihrauch barrels. Ditto for Gamo pellets. But H&N pellet should do very well, including the Beeman brands.


  45. Wayne,

    I’be been laying off the shotgun discussion because I am no shotgunner. But a gun as old as your cannot have a modern chamber length. So 3-inch sheels are out.

    They may fit in the chamber, but when the gun fires, the part of the shell that opens gets caught in the chamber that isn’t long enough (the forcing cone) and the pressure of the shell goes up off the charts. Bam! The gun blows up!

    There isn’t sufficient forcing cone clearance in an older gun like yours and the shot column hasn’t got enough room to clear the shell.


  46. B.B.

    Thanks for the links.. yes, I’m gonna half to either change my USFT to 18-19 ft lbs or get another one.. I’m not sure about changing the tune that LD did for the 2005 world contest… is there a length of time that a tune lasts in a USFT?.. It shoots so well at 25 yards, I’m thinking of just using it for benchrest contests.. they are shot at 25 yards.. she would be hard to beat in that contest!!

    Thanks for the Fulton shotgun advice too, I also read further in those links the guys gave and I will for sure use the lite loads only and maybe try to find the 2- 1/2″ shells..
    I’m still real glad I found it as a collector and lite weight shooter!!


  47. B.B.,

    Thanks for the input on the R7. I’ll try to get someone else to fire some of the air guns, including the Mendoza (and probably the R7, which I’m likely to get anyway), while I listen from outside. Someone other than my wife, who thinks everything is loud (and it sounds like she will think it even louder if she does the firing herself). I show her how cool it is every time Edith writes a guest blog…(hint, hint). The ironic thing is that she grew up shooting and her octogenerian dad still likes to take out a rat whenever he can!

  48. R7,

    Okay, you have buttered me up sufficiently that I will share the secret of quiet in a spring gun. It is a combination of low power and zero vibration. That can be achieved with an R7 pretty easily.

    The R7 is fairly easy to work on, so you might want to tune it yourself. Have you read my 13-part spring-gun tune series and my HW 55T series?




  49. B.B.

    Thanks again for the R7 input, including the links. I’ve searched for and found a lot of useful info on your blog recently, but had not come across this series. Thirteen parts! Is that a record? I’ll be reading this weekend…

  50. Just a quick question. I have a Leapers Golden Image scope on my RWS 34 Panther. The scope is working great! My question is with the crosshairs. They seem to be seperating at the exact center as I can see a gap in the center caused by the upper hair retreating northwards. Is this normal or is there something wrong? The scope is still shooting straight. Thanks for any input you guys might be able to provide.

  51. UM Hunter said there were no Field Target Clubs in central Florida! Not so! I go to FT matches at TBA(Tampa Bay Airgunners)in Odessa, DSA(DeSoto Airgunners)in Arcadia and HRPC(Hollywood Rifle & Pistol Club) in Dania. If your in central Florida it's all driving distance for you, I do it all from Palm Coast.

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