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by B.B. Pelletier

I have a new toy. It’s a Remington rolling block rifle in .43 Spanish. I’ve wanted a good rolling block for 20 years, and I just stumbled into this one. Now, my world is suddenly in turmoil. Should I preserve this rifle as is or should I rebarrel it? If I rebarrel it, should it be to a caliber for which I already have the loading equipment or for a caliber I think I might like better than the ones I now shoot?

I want to shoot lead bullets, but the heavier they are the more the gun will recoil. On the other hand, a light 275-grain bullet doesn’t carry as well as a 550-grain bullet. But at 550 grains, the bullets use up my lead supply much faster.

Should I just rebarrel it to .30-30 and shoot smokeless powder, or should I put a bull barrel on to increase the weight to 16-18 lbs. and chamber it to .45-90 to reach out real far? Of course, then I would have to shoot black powder, which brings up a dozen other major questions.

What should I do?
And then it hit me. This is the same process new airgunners go through all the time. If they spend all their money on that RWS Diana 54 or TX 200 I recommend, they have very little left for a scope and mounts. However, that Gamo CFX looks pretty good, and people say nice things about it. Would they like that just as much?

Is there any difference between my dilemma and theirs? Except for the topic, I don’t think so. That’s because every time you make a choice, you always do something else–you EXCLUDE all those other choices you had right up to the moment you decided. What a terrible thing! By choosing one thing you eliminate so many others.

Here’s a good one. A guy wants a powerful pellet pistol. He examines the possibilities and comes up with this list: 

Beeman P1/HW 45
RWS Diana LP8
Crosman 1377
Evanix AR6 Hunting Master pistol

Before he did the research, he thought that 600 f.p.s. was as powerful as air pistols got. In doing the research, he learned about the AR6, which exceeds 600 f.p.s in .22 caliber and is actually three or four times more powerful than any of the other guns.

Now he has even more choices to make. Instead of narrowing the field, he broadened it.

That happened because he doesn’t know himself very well. By that I mean he doesn’t know what he likes until he sees it. And that’s at the crux of many problems we have. Let me give you another example.

John has been reading about airguns for a while and he thinks he wants the most powerful pellet rifle made. So he starts looking around. At first, he finds the Walther Falcon Hunter in .25 and thinks he has found what he was looking for. Then he learns that Gamo will soon bring out their Hunter Extreme in .25 caliber. While he’s reading about that, he stumbles across the .25 caliber Sumatra by Eun Jin and learns that it is more than twice the power of the big Gamo. Wow!

Unfortunately, John then finds out about big bore airguns and he progresses through the 9mm and .45s, on up to the 20mm super guns that are handmade to order. Now he thinks he needs a $1,500 custom big bore air rifle.

Unfortunately, John knows very little about himself. If he did, he might be surprised to learn that he lives in an apartment in Wilmington, Delaware, and seldom leaves town for any reason. If he’s going to shoot, it’s going to be in his apartment or nowhere.

But since he doesn’t know himself, and since his tax refund was only $837 this year, he settles on the Sumatra and a hand pump.

Right after that, Pyramyd AIR gets the calls:

“MAN! This air rifle is LOUD!”

Yes, it is.

“And this hand pump is hard to pump to 3,000 psi. And the gun goes through air really fast!”

Yes, it is and yes, it does.

John will probably give up airgunning and try something else pretty soon. But if he had just known a little more about himself we (all of you experts on this blog, along with me) would have advised him to buy an IZH 61. He could have safely shot it inside his apartment and his neighbors would never have known. He could have used the extra money he didn’t spend to buy a Quiet Pellet Trap and lots of good pellets. Maybe even a nice dot sight or Bug Buster scope.

The answer
I lived about 55 years before discovering that this dilemma really can be solved. You have to be honest with yourself–brutally honest. Follow me, on the question of rebarreling my rolling block:

How often will I REALLY shoot this rifle? About 100-500 rounds a year.

Will I EVER hunt big game with it? Probably not.

Will I EVER compete in a big bore silhouette match with it? Absolutely not.

If I were to rebarrel it to a smaller, lighter caliber that’s easier to reload for and easier to clean up after, how many shots per year will I probably shoot? About 100 to 500 per year.

Answer–leave the gun as is and just shoot it. If you feel the need for long-range big bore blackpowder fantasies, watch Quigley Down Under again.

For John in Wilmington–get an IZH 61 and shoot it until the barrel wears out (in 2,000 years). If you do win the lottery and move to Texas and buy a 10,000 sq. ft. house, buy a second air rifle.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

76 thoughts on “Choices”

  1. BB, couple questions. Do you think Gamo will be honest when they publish thier velocities on the Hunter Extreme .25? (At the least, you guys will give me the real scoop). Also, just what does a guy do with a 20mm air rifle? Surely they don’t hunt with it. That’s like an aircraft gun… JP

  2. JP,

    What Gamo will say I don’t know, but as soon as I can I will test a gun.

    I saw a 20 mm take a pig, and I believe one has also taken a bison. There are only a few of them in existence.
    See one in action at the end of this video:



  3. Good morning B.B.,

    Thank you for this topic! So very true for all of us. I’m going to make this a must read for my 3 teenagers and their two adult syblings.

    I’ve gone through the same thing looking at the wounderfully made and extremely accurate Freedom Arms revolvers at Atlantic Guns. Folks, if you like single action revolvers, check them out.

    Wayne, if you pick one up you’ll take it home with you.

    Thanks B.B.

  4. B.B. –

    Thanks for putting in words the kind of decision process we should be following for most everything!

    Meanwhile, you’ve confirmed that I’ve *got* to get an IZH-61 soon…

  5. Hello B.B.

    Great entry. I know what I’m looking for but I can’t find it. Was hoping you might have suggestions.

    I compete in a type of centerfire match that is almost all 25 yds., all rapid fire (on average, 2 seconds per shot or less). I’m looking for a very accurate .177 repeater that I can use to practice with. Unfortunately my budget is around $500.

    I have a Gammo Compact that I love to shoot, and it’s accurate, but obviously is not a repeater to practice rapid fire. My airgun practice range is about 20 yds. I want something accurate as it’s the accuracy that provides diagnostic info. from the practice sessions (as in I know it’s me and not the gun/ammo when the results aren’t where they need to be and can use the results to diagnose what went “wrong”).

    Any suggestions? Thanks.

  6. B.B.,

    I think the advent of the internet has made this more of an issue, because people now have almost unlimited access to information they never did before. You’d go to your local shop, see what they had, maybe look at a few catalogs, and make a purchase. Nowdays you think you want an RWS, google it, read the reviews that also happen to mention the TX200, so you google it and read the reviews that also mention the HW97, google it and read about PCP’s, google it and so on. If you ever get through your analysis paralysis, you might make the purchase. Add to the mix the typical male experience, which is when I was a kid I couldn’t afford what I wanted and now I can, and we tend to go overboard sometimes. In the end, our decision making is now really enabled by the vast amount of information available to us.

    Great post though, as I think most of us are either in this situation or have experienced it.

  7. Enjoyed your bigger point, but as the owner of several rolling blocks in .43 Spanish (an Argentine issue rifle and a carbine, plus a .50 pistol) , I think you’re on the right track to leave those pups alone and love them for what they are. I did find a gun shop back in Michigan that built the 11mm rounds for me, out of cut-down .45-70 brass, and they were pushing a 387 grain projectile around 2000 fps. I did successfully take a small deer with the rifle, and it did not explode or anything (in fact the hard lead alloy barely expanded and punched an 11mm hole clean through it). They are really wonderful rifles if you can deal with the trigger weight, and you won’t see ’em coming and going at the range! Congrats on landing one of these. PS: good luck finding the bayonet for the rifle!

  8. BB, I would have saved myself so much stinkin’ aggravation over the years if I had more frequently asked the question – “Is this trip really necessary?”. Saves the trouble of asking – in hindsight – “What the hell was I thinking???”

  9. Pensy Shgooter,

    From the distance you shoot I gathered that this is a handgun?

    Okay–I LOVE it when there is a real GOOD answer. Today we are in luck. Buy a Magnum Research Desert
    Eagle pellet pistol. This one:


    You probably know that I am a handgunner, too. This pistol is the only one that is as accurate as
    the S&W 586! That's right, it's a tackdriver.

    The only thing you can do with it is a fast magazine exchange, because it uses the Umarex 8-shot clips.
    And yes, it really is a revolver. BUT, this one has blowback that also cocks the hammer and advances the clip–so it
    FEELS like a semiauto pistol.

    It is as large as the firearm it copies, which is the only physical drawback.

    You can send me the extra $350 I saved you–or you can buy a bulk box of CO2 cartridges and a lot of pellets.
    This gun uses a lot of gas! Gamo Match pellets work great in this gun. Read these three reports:





  10. you hit the nail on the head here
    my dilema
    need a rifle for indoor 28 feet
    fairly lightweight
    most important great trigger
    must be loaded singly
    prefer least recoiling
    i think co2
    i have been on trying to figure this out for months, any suggestions, thanks in advance

  11. daveshoot,

    Yes, I will keep this one as I found it. I don’t care about a bayonet because the range I go to is pretty civilized, but a cleaning rod would sure be nice. My rifle didn’t come with one.

    I bought Croft Barker’s book on the .43 Spanish and I’m now reloading with 27.8 grains of 4198. I also have some Triple 7 to try and I hope to graduate to real black powder next.

    I am also eying a Lyman bullet mold, as these bullets are too expensive to buy. I can cast them for next to nothing.

    Yes, that trigger pull is horrible. I cleaned the action, hoping that would help, but it doesn’t seem to have.

    I may let a reputable gunsmith lighten the pull or I might get a set of double-set triggers for the rifle. Probably the former, as I don’t want to pour in a ton of money.


  12. RJM,

    Money aside (because you want a great trigger), wait for the Crosman Challenger in PCP{. It’s coming this summer. Perfect for you.

    I have tried the trigger and it’s perfect.

    Otherwise, get a used 10-meter rifle lik an FWB 150 or a 300.


  13. Pensy Shooter,

    Harder to find and pellet sensitive as can be: The vintage .22 cal Crosman 600 semi-auto. A true semi-auto, using some of the CO2 charge to cycle the action, wonderful trigger. Gets about 30 to 35 shots on a 12gram co2 cartridge. Probably more accurate than most of us are. Worth hunting one down.

  14. B.B.,

    I guess you have a bug in my basement seeing as how you heard the crack of the P1 last week and now apparently have been listening in on my thoughts:)

    I have thought that the Evanix would to be too loud for summer suburban basement plinking with open windows even when moderated – correct me if there are now moderators for this that can quiet it down to sound about as loud as a 54.

    Aside from sound, are the Evanix and Mac-1 LD comparable for squirrel hunting to 40 yards?

    How do they compare in shooting experience (trigger, balance, etc.)?

    As always, thank you for your time and if anyonge else has ideas I would welcome you.

    – Dr. G.

  15. Dr. G.,

    Asidfe from sound, how is a .22 short on squirrels at 40 yards. That is close to the Evanix pistol. The LD is much less powerful and nowhere near as loud, yet it will drop squirrels well at 40 yards.

    The kind of moderator anyone might offer for an AR6 pistol is too close to a silencer for me to recommend. Better to shoot inside a sound box. I will report on it tomorrow.


  16. B.B. said . . .

    "Pensy Shgooter,

    From the distance you shoot I gathered that this is a handgun?"

    Yes, sorry for not making that clear.

    "You probably know that I am a handgunner, too. This pistol is the only one that is as accurate as the S&W 586! That's right, it's a tackdriver.

    You can send me the extra $350 I saved you–or you can buy a bulk box of CO2 cartridges and a lot of pellets. This gun uses a lot of gas! Gamo Match pellets work great in this gun. Read these three reports: . . ."

    When B.B. says tackdriver, it's time to buy. Thank you for your fast recomendation. I've ordered the DE and a variety of tins of pellets to try in it. I have a good supply of CO2 laying around from a different CO2 gun I shot the heck out of, but it's not accurate.

    An accurate CO2 repeater with blowback sounds like the exact prescription for what I need. I was fearing that my budget was just not realistic. Thank you again!

  17. Derrick38:

    I will keep looking for a 600 in good condition. It would be worth having to shoot and to own a piece of history.

    Unfortunately, all the few I’ve ever seen were basket cases and I’m not sure if I want to tinker — my wife is very understanding of the time I spend shooting but to add gunsmithing might put her over the top, heh heh.

    Thank you for the recomendation and I will keep looking for one.

  18. Pensy Shooter.Shgooter,

    When I say tackdriver, I mean in the context of an action pistol. It will hold less than an inch at 10 meters all day long.

    Please read those reports I sent links to, because I was getting just 24 shots per cartridge. However that action and accuracy were so great that I could not complain.


  19. B.B.,

    I am glad that you clarified “tackdriver.” In this part of the country (Northeast), a 7/8″ tack is really big.

    Here, tacks are usually around 3/8.”

    – Dr. G.

  20. b.b. (or anyone). This blog came at a perfect time.
    I’ve been wanting to add a new gun to the collection…tax time was good and I have a little extra to throw around.
    I was thinking of getting my PAL so I could get a more powerful air-rifle…an RWS or Gamo, but after reading today gave a rethought of ‘who I was’.
    Live in a big city.
    Shoot lots in my basement range with my 853 and Gamo Compact.
    Go out most weekends with my boys to our shooting shot (a 45min drive) and kill as many tin cans as we can with my Slavia and their Red Ryders.
    Really don’t need a bunch of power and would actually like something that I can still shoot in my basement.
    The dealer who I support in Canada carries the Twinmaster (Rohm) Desperado (8 shot repeater, 500fps, a real cool sniper rifle that breaks down into, of all things a fitted quitar case).
    Anyhoo…anyone know this rifle??
    Thanks, CowBoyStar Dad

  21. B.B. said: “When I say tackdriver, I mean in the context of an action pistol. It will hold less than an inch at 10 meters all day long.”

    That should do the job. My standard is two inches at 25 yds, which is roughly about as good as the pistol I use in the match will do with hardball ammo (“rack grade” SIG P226 with issue ball ammo — them’s the rules). The more accurate the better, but I’m not a millionaire so right now the top of the line 4 digit price tag airgun stuff isn’t really an option. Someday . . .

    The CO2 pistol I presently have (PX4 Storm) has a very tough time holding 3 inches or usually worse than that at 20 yds. and reading the groups is not only a pain but tends to end up being worthless in the question of is it me or the gun/ammo when making minor adjustments to form and focus.

    The Gammo Compact is surprisingly accurate but doesn’t do the job in terms of getting into the zone of sustained fire rhythm needed for rapid fire practice.

    I will try the DE and give it a fair shake out and let you know how things work out. The price was low enough that one way or another it will have a place in terms of usefullness for training and to have some fun with. Less than an inch at 10 yds or so with a repeater is far better than what I have now!

    Thank you again!

  22. BB
    Seriously gotta love those rolling block rifles.Haven’t there been some pistols made in this style?
    I had never heard of the .43spanish round but it sounds sweet.Since you can reload for it and cast your own lead,keeping it original sounds good.

    Thank you so much for justifying the harsh decisions I’ve had to make about which airguns are right for me!
    Making the hard choices is just one of so many ways you earn our respect and thanks.


  23. JTinAL,

    The .43 Spanish is very close to the .44/77 . That was a buffalo gun round for Remingtons. It’s slightly more powerful than the .45/70, but it recoils about the same.

    I have always liked rolling blocks, but this is the first one I have owned. It suits me–being a single-shot that requires a slow, deliberate pace. I doubt that I will shoot my Trapdoor Springfield ever again.


  24. B.B.
    Triple 7 is a little hotter than black powder. Cleans up easier, does not leave as much fouling, and is easier to get than black.
    Black powder is also more dangerous to handle.
    You might want to stick with the 777.

    After a snafu with the condor tank (tank was marked with two different labels..one for talon and one for condor…guess what I got) I am happy with the results.
    .22 talon 18″, kodiaks, 185 bar fill, pw6, tophat left alone ….960fps. Just about right.


  25. One thing I think you left out is enjoyment. After all, very few of us are doing all this shooting because we really need to.

    I used to buy guns based on what I thought I “needed”. Once I admitted to myself that I had no need whatsoever for some guns, but I wanted them anyway I started to enjoy shooting more. About 7 months ago I picked up a replica Brown Bess musket. Now on the face of it, I can’t think of a much more useless firearm, but that thing is one of the most fun guns I have ever owned. When you bring it out to the range it’s one of the guns that everyone wants to shoot and most people have a big smile on their face after they shoot it.

    So in addition to the criteria you’ve already listed, I’d add, “is this gun going to make me grin from ear to ear?”

  26. Speaking of choices…Not to long ago I picked up a Winchester 94 30-30 and on the advice of a trusted friend outfitted it with a Williams 5D style peep sight. I’ve never shot with a peep, so I want to get an inexpensive airgun, set it up with a similar peep and use it for practice in the house. I’ve narrowed it down to two choices. The Crossman 1077 or the Daisy 953. For a sight I want to use the Daist 5899 reciever sight. Will that sight work on the 1077?

    To me the biggest pro of the 1077 is that I could shoot 12 pellets as fast as I can pull the trigger, which would simulate the fast shooting and necessary fast target acquisition of the 30-30. It sounds like that trigger is pretty heavy though? I’m not sure if that would be a good or bad thing as far as practice is concerned. Also not sure if the daisy sight will mount on it.

    On the 953 I know the sight would work, I’d get a better trigger, and there are a lot of impressive claims about the accuracy. The only real down side would be having to re-cock the gun for every shot, and it’s not the effort of cocking that bothers me, it’s having to take the gun off my shoulder and losing the sight picture. On the 30-30 I can leave the gun at my shoulder, work the lever, and maintain my sight picture somewhat.

    So what do you guys think? I guess the most important things to me are…

    1. Similarity in size, weight, action and sight picture to the Winchester 94.

    2. Cheap (hey, it’s only for practice!!)

    3. Accurate

    4. Decent Trigger

    I’d love to hear your opinions.



  27. Along the lines of today’s blog

    I am relatively new at this. I bought a CFX at the Pyramid garage sale and will try to attend ther moving sale. I put together a quiet trap and have shot several thousand pellets into it with no problem. I didn’t use any of her pans and went to Target and bought my own and then over packed it with putty to stay on the safe side figuring 4 inches would stop anything I would ever shoot.

    I will only shoot in the basement, or 95% of the time anyway and depending on remodeling the basement, I will continue shooting at 45 feet or so or may get up to 60 feet, length as opposed to diagonal

    The CFX is more accurate than I will ever be.

    Now the downside. The boss likes quiet. After 36 years of marraige she isn’t going to change. She puts up with it but I go out of may way to shoot when she isn’t around.

    I am left handed. That isn’t a downside it is a plus.

    I had wondered about a noise comparison for the Whisper, a Talon SS, or one of the Air Arms guns or any others that may be considered quiet. No need to go into wave lengths and technical data. Just what will she hear the least through the floor?

    I have the scuba tanks so that isn’t an add on to the cost if I end up with a PCP that requires it.

    Quiet is good
    Adaptability to left or right handed is good.
    At least the same accuracy of the CFX is good.
    600$ tops for cost is good


  28. BB – I saw the Walther lever action and I’m sure it would be perfect for what I want to use it for, but I wanted to get something cheaper. I guess I’m more interested in practicing with peep sight than the gun being an exact replica.

    Thanks for pointing the gun out though, they are beautiful, but cost more than what i paid for the 94!!

  29. Dr.G.,

    Around here tacks at 7/8″ are called roofing nails.

    CowBoyStar Dad,

    Did a search on your Rohm Desperado–cool looking gun. I want one, is anyone doing an HPA converson?


    Too many guns and not enough time. I am sure we, your loyal, trustworthy followers would be glad to give you some help.


    I’ll guess the Condor tank. If I’m right, are you using the stock Talon hammer or did you relace it?


    An ear ro ear grin–you’re absolutly right. A must have.


    I cann’t speak to to the Daisy 953,but we all enjoy shooting the Crosman 1077. Yes its trigger is heavy and long, but it sure teaches trigger control. Even my 12 year old grandson has mastered it. A sparrowintheyardis a goner 80% of the time. If you go that route get the AirSource adapter cause you’ll go through C02 cylinders like crazy.


    Check out the Talon SS espcally since you’ve got the Scuba tank. It’s within your price point and very quiet as sold with the possibly of being extremely
    QUIET with an aftermarket frame extender/moderator.


    Have you gotten your A/S project finished?

    Mr B.

  30. B.B.

    As vince said, price is another factor that will reduce the choices real fast.

    Aaron, the 1077 trigger feels terrible, but you get used to it, and I don’t believe that it really impedes accuracy. Mine is a very strong performer.

    On the subject of pellet traps, I have a bit of observational data on duct seal. The stuff is fabulous and is certainly well-seasoned with pellets by now. However, I’ve found that the impact of tens of thousands of rounds is slowly pushing the steel back right off my Crosman 850 pellet trap. There is a gap almost an inch wide back there. So, the energy doesn’t get completely dissipated in the duct seal after all. I guess I’ll wait until the trap falls aparts, then drop the mass of duct seal into a new one.

    I feel bound to report that I no longer am in possession of a ground detector rc airplane. I had a legitimate flight of about 20 yards which gave me a new appreciation of the first flight of the Wright brothers. Theirs probably scales down to the same as mine. Then there was a much longer flight. All was well until the airplane ended up heading right at me at which point I got confused on the directions, froze up, and nose-dived into the ground. I have replaced a wing and both tails with no small degree of ingenuity. But the reason I bring this up here is that there is a small metal nut that is supposed to slide along a control wire but somehow got frozen as a result of the crash. In its correct position, it is preventing me from hooking up the control system. So, perhaps some of you handy folks know how to loosen up severe metal on metal friction. Surely, this must be part of a larger class of problems–frozen screws and the like–for which there are solutions. I tried wrapping a rubber band around the part and pulling on it. Then, I sprayed it with Ballistol. Finally, I parted a scissors so that the divide serves as a guide on the wire and have tapped like a caveman for 20 minutes at a time, to no avail.


  31. B.B.
    Also, black powder substitutes are measured by volume…with a black powder measure and not by weight.
    You can be off a little and it won’t make a noticeable difference.
    Volume measures are all different and can be off by several grains.


  32. Mr B
    New condor tank and the AF hammer weight. Hammer is stock .

    A custom hammer might be better…
    Same weight and all in one piece, and with larger delrin slides. The original is pretty sloppy.

    No indication of valve lock with this setup. around 150 bar the velocity is running max (around 850)with pw 2.
    Not getting any wide variations in mv.

    Was cold and windy this morning. Have it in the ball park for now.On a better day will see if it will run a decent bell curve, or if I can save a little more air.

    In the 170-180 bar range was running about 10 bar for seven shots. Did not look at air consumption at lower pressures.

    Need a calm day to zero and shoot a series of targets to see where my acceptable pressure range will be along with shot count.


  33. In my post above about my mechanical problem, I meant to say that the offending metal piece in its CURRENT (not correct) position is holding up the show for me.

    John in Wilmington and others considering the question, by all means get the IZH 61. At indoor ranges, I do not believe there is any measurable/significant difference in accuracy between this and any other rifle, and you get extra training in shooting skill with a springer.


  34. Matt61
    Try a bit of clean heat (no smoke to dirty up the wire and add resistance.) applied to the nut and an icecube or spray from a can of a coolant on the wire.
    Apply some heat from a cigarette lighter or propane torch.
    Go gently so as to not melt it with the torch though! LOL!
    That may break up the bind.
    Otherwise, take it to the local R/C shop and maybe the part is not very expensive.

  35. You’ve put some light on my issue of deciding for a powerful air gun. Right now I’m favoring accuracy at long range over super high power. I wouldn’t plink or shoot paper targets with the gun very much(since I have another rifle.) so .22 caliber is an option. The Benjamin superstreak in .22 caliber is looking to be the one I’m going to buy.

    Very good post

  36. Matt61,I’m glad to hear of your maiden voyage;sorry to hear of the crash…gotta tell you ya made me laugh with my own joke{the ground detector}.Maybe you can use vicegrips clamped on the wire and those scissors or preferrably needle nosed pliers to leverage against the vicegrips.none of that will work if the surface of the wire has to remain absolutely smooth…it’s hard for me to picture the function of this wire,but I hope it helps…FrankB

  37. This post definitely hits home with me. Sometimes common sense like BB’s doesn’t come easy to the me’s of this world. Yes, I have agonized needlessly over almost every airgun purchase I have made, but bought anyway. However, I still don’t know who I am. I’m still searching…and spending. I will say that I haven’t been too sorry, yet. Except, I probably should have chosen a different entry level gun, but, see, I can say that now because of the education I have gotten from you people on this blog. The only thing I know for certain is that I don’t hunt with an airgun so I don’t need a .22. That being said, I just bought a .177 that can be swapped out with a .22 barrel if the urge arises (maybe there is a hidden urge surfacing…ooo)


  38. Matt,
    Can you explain what this duct seal is? Is there a brand name or perhaps another name it goes by? I went to Menards today and they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. They directed me to an aresol can of foam window sealant.

  39. Tom, Will Pyramyd AIR be offering the RWS Diana 56 and 47 when they come out later this year? Both good looking guns,(if you like a thunbhole style stock.) I will not weep for the loss of that front sight they used to wear. Jon F.

  40. John,

    I don’t think so. Crosman says their returns have been very low–especially with the latest version of the pump.

    I have an advantage over most folks, in that I visit the place where returned pumps are repaired. So I see the returns without prejudice. And they don’t seems bad at all. More than half have been from owners trying to work on their pumps and removing the lubricant from the outer tube.


  41. BB,
    Well if you absolutly must have a rolling block antique, (assuming you don’t have time to hand load) then the .3030 is great. Then again, why even rebarrel the rifle when knowing you, will probably turn around at some show I’ve never even heard of and sell it.

    P.S. I am thinking about selling my Shadow Express and buying a Savage BTVS (a thumb hole bolt action, particularly effective on a bench) in .22LR. Could this take .22 short?
    Shadow express dude

  42. MrB

    I finally tracked down the brass last night that I need for the valve. I couldn’t find suitable and was unwilling to spend $100+ on 6 feet.

    I’ve got 2 other airgun projects I’m in the middle of right now, so when those are clear, lookout.

    I’ll keep you updated.

  43. BB,
    I enjoyed the blog today (as usual) and envy you that rolling block, although I would have gotten .45-70 for a sweet shooting plinker:). You made the right choice (to keep it stock), especially since you can reload.

    Otherwise, you’re preaching to the choir. It constantly amazes me how people pass up or waste perfectly good shooting irons, because they aren’t willing to compromise on unrealistic expectations or admit their limitations. I would love to shoot in my basement and hunt buffalo out to 500 yards — with the same air rifle:).

  44. BB, probably one of the most important post you have done to date. I live in a Condo and have advanced my air gun collection to about 15 air guns.(Beemans,RWS,HW)
    Enough cannot be said about the Izh 61, a gun that I can shoot in my condo all day long and have a great time. I love this Little Black Russian. I now have the model 60 with steel receiver and the Baikal 46m. I owe it all to you with your original post titled “MY GIFT TO YOU” THE BAIKAL MODEL 61! THANKS FOR THE GIFT BB!


  45. Speaking of finding the right gun:
    UPS says the 490 from Vince should arrive Thurs.ohhh the anticipation!
    SED yes the savage CAN take .22 short
    BUT you’ll be giving up more than you gain IMO.The difference in length means the bullet has to jump from chamber to cone and this probably will result in loss of accuracy.Also due to the shorter length you will get more fouling in the chamber causeing feeding and extraction problems.There is really nothing a short can do that the right selection of LR can’t do better.That includes shorter range,quieter and lighter Gr.bullets.Also subsonic LR.rounds for greater accuracy.Hope this helps a little bit.


  46. Alright bb. That would make sence because all of the problems I read about on the yellow forum… Know how some of those people can be. When did the new model start circulating?

  47. Chuck,

    Sure. I couldn't tell you about the original purpose of duct seal other than what the name suggests. However, it is a sort of soft, extremely dense clay that absorbs very high energy pellets. Someone on the blog fired a TX200 (~1000 fps) point-blank at the duct seal, and the pellet only penetrated about a half inch. It is indispensable to indoor shooting with high-powered airguns. There have been extensive blog discussions about it that you can find with the search engine. PA used to sell it as the filling for the Quiet Pellet Trap, but I can't seem to find it now. You can also get it (as was advised to me on the blog) by Googling "Garden Bender duct seal". I'm also told that Home Depot stocks it.

    Thanks to all for your suggestions about the airplane part. It is a tiny metal disk about a third the size of an eraser head that slides along wires that run from the fuselage to the tail and is used to control the elevator flaps. There's a hole in the center of the disk running perpendicular to the wire that accepts a screw which attaches the wire to an elevator flap. In the crash, the screw snapped off inside this disk and somehow froze it to the wire so that it is welded on. It's placement is such that I cannot connect up the elevator flaps without which the plane cannot fly. For want of a nail…

    Lubricating and tapping is getting me nowhere. It crossed my mind that metal expands with heat. The cigarette lighter idea is good although I need to be careful not to melt the wire and the wooden airplane. I've also thought of filing the disk off although everything around it is so delicate. Filing would be a congenial activity for a mentality lost in rage. >:[

    Shadow express dude, let me know about the Savage BTVS rifle if you get it. It sure sounds good. The most accurate .22 LR ever reviewed by Outdoor Magazine; it shot a .2 inch group at 50 yards. My fantasies, though, have drifted to an Anschutz 1907 with the model 54 match action used by Olympians. Now that would be a piece of work. Too bad it's about $1600.


  48. Awesome post sir!

    It’s great to see well-reasoned, wise and pithy posts mixed in with such a load of technical info that it makes my head spin.

    Great site, great work. Not an easy combination to find.


  49. SED,

    Will this mean we have to call you Savage Dude? 🙂

    Seriously, JTinAL got it right. The .22 short won’t be accurate in your rifle. But a .22 CB Cap would work. The 27-grain bullet is seated out as far as a long rifle bullet. and the velocity is much lower so the twist rate still works, where the short will be over-stabilized.


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