Home Blog  
Education / Training 2009 Roanoke Airgun Show

2009 Roanoke Airgun Show

by B.B. Pelletier

Well, it was a good one! In fact, it was the best one I have ever been to! Let me describe it for you and tell you why I liked it. But let me also tell you what wasn’t so nice.

Pyramyd AIR was not there. They usually send their techs and top sales persons to man the tables, but this year they are so swamped with they couldn’t spare the people. A few people lamented the loss–especially one man who wanted to buy a Crosman NPSS. There were none there, so for him the show didn’t pan out. Several other people mentioned wanting to see a Marauder, so I guess Crosman Corporation should team with Pyramyd AIR to man a smaller sales booth in the future. I don’t know if that’s possible, but they were missed.

The show opened to dealers before 7 a.m. on Friday and to the public at noon. By 10 a.m., there was a brisk business going on among the dealers. That’s normal for a show. Dealers are buyers, too. Because they’re there before the doors open, they get to see the buys first.

Mike Driskill (left) was recognized as an outstanding airgunner for his selfless service to other collectors. Mike is pictured with award presenter Dennis Quackenbush (right) and show organizer Fred Liady.

Mike holds a Benjamin 392 that’s been modified to shoot .320 caliber ammo! This unique rifle was built by James Perotti of NC. It generates 70 ft-lbs of muzzle energy with 12 pumps, which is 3x the power of a 392.

Blog reader Fred Nemiroff found this Crosman 99 lever-action at a garage sale for $25.

Collector/shooter Joe Giunti found this FWB C10 at the show for a song.

Blog reader Mike White brought this Walther LGR Universal to sell.

But don’t think for a moment they bought it all, or that there weren’t plenty of great buys left for the public. Let me just list a few and you be the judge.

1. A 99 percent BSF 55 in the Air Rifle Headquarters box with all the shipping material and paperwork for $250! Suddenly, it was 1974 all over again. When I pointed out to the man who was examining it ON DAY TWO OF THE SHOW…that it came in the box…he didn’t believe it. The dealer had to convince him that it was included. He then sprained his wrist getting his wallet out!

2. A Working Crosman 116 pistol with a Working 10-oz. tank IN THE FREAKIN’ BOX for $100. I know it’s a shooter because I used to own it, though it wasn’t mine at this show. And here’s an anecdote that will bring a tear to your eye. A man about my age asked if I would remove the pistol’s end cap so he could try one he had that was just like it. I knew what was about to happen, and I couldn’t stop smiling. His cap fit the gun, of course, and he proceeded to tell me the story of how he had been given a Crosman rifle just like this pistol when he was a little boy. I told him he had a Crosman 114, and he was amazed that I knew. So, I pointed him to this blog and airgunning grew by one more little boy. He then bought that boxed pistol, which was a great deal.

I used to own this 112. It didn’t sell at the show.

3. Across the aisle, a Working Crosman 112 pistol in the box with a Working 10-oz. tank and all the papers. Also a gun I used to own! The price? $115.

4. A new-in-the-box Erma ELG-10 lever-action spring rifle owned by Toshiko Beeman for $615. I don’t know where you can get ANY ELG-10 in like-new condition for any price, so this was a good one.

5. A Beeman R7 in like-new condition for $300. Suddenly, it’s 1997 again. Plenty of used R7s priced at $400, but this was the only one for $300.The blog reader who wondered whether Roanoke was worth attending bought it.

6. A Weihrauch HW35 with the thumbhole stock, new-in-the-box! They didn’t even import that model into the U.S. When I told a show attendee about it (after listening to how nice the others in the room were), he found himself standing three feet from the very airgun he had come to the show to find.

7. Not ONE but TWO working Crosman 451 semiautos for under $250 each. The 600 gets all the attention, but the 451 is the real prize. Trouble is, nobody can ever find one.

8. A complete Daisy 325 2-Way Target Outfit for $200! I asked the buyer if he reported the theft after buying it, and he asked me if I did the same, which shut me up. Seconds later, a dealer presented me with a Red Ryder target set in the box, minus the scope for $100! This is the same set as the 325, only with the Red Ryder as the gun. The boxed Daisy Quick Skill set he sold me cost $5. Yes, I am not making this up. This really happened!

9. A fine working Diana model 60 recoilless target rifle for $325. I missed it by five minutes, though I did have my hands on it earlier. Too many guns, too little money!

10. An entire 40-year collection of cast-iron and folded metal BB guns, dating back to the first model Daisy. The advanced collectors in the room went berserk and spent tens of thousands of dollars in just a few hours. I watched it happen, because my table was across the aisle.

Oh, there was much, much more, but this gives you a quick taste of what went on. I traded for a SAM 10-meter pistol (made by Anschutz and designed by Cesare Morini). This is the first PCP 10-meter pistol I have ever owned and I will now try to get back into form. The trigger on this pistol is beautiful, which will help me immeasurably. I will blog it for you some time.

Yes, there were some new guns in the hall. Yes, there were some PCPs. Scott Pilkington sold 10-meter rifles and pistols, plus the accessories as well as his own Vogel pellets (he makes them in Tennessee).

A great many blog readers came up and introduced themselves, though not some of the ones I was expecting. But I got to meet many who just read the blog. I hope they’ll write some comments someday soon.

Everybody at the show talked about how the economy is in the tank. Two people told me they are out of work. Yet I saw people spending money without reserve at this show. Perhaps the prices were that much better this year, but you could not tell that the times are tough from what went on in that room. I don’t think I’ll every forget Roanoke 2009.

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.

86 thoughts on “2009 Roanoke Airgun Show”

  1. Hi, folks. I've been lurking here for a good while, but haven't posted before now. It's not that I'm antisocial – I just try to know when to pipe down and soak up some wisdom. I thought you all might like to know that you've contributed to yet another adult airgun reawakening.

    A year or so ago, my air rifle collection consisted of a Daisy 880 sitting dusty on a shelf. The Daisy last saw serious action in the '90's doing urban rat control duty here in Baltimore. But in the summer of '08, it was a huge hit when I brought it on a lark to a family camping trip – even more popular than our venerable old tin-can-blasting .22's! So, I find myself innocently wondering whether I might find something a bit more accurate, maybe with less pumping hassle, for the following summer. Innocently, I find myself following B.B.'s blog with rapidly increasing enthusiasm. Suddenly, I find myself with a .22 Discovery that must have cost 10x what I paid for the Daisy in '91. After the Discovery debuts at the family camping trips in '09, nobody wants to shoot the .22 RF's anymore. Next thing I know, intrigued by B.B.'s descriptions and inspired by Wayne's enthusiasm and Wackyness, I find myself in B.B.'s old stomping grounds, shooting my first field target match at DIFTA. Now, after just one FT outing, I fear that I am hooked. And since the DIFTA crowd so generously encouraged me to sample their rifles, Paolo with his TX200, Joe with his insane Steyr, etc., etc., I fear I'll need some 12-step program to avoid a costly arms race. (I'm already ordering a new scope, having shot the FT match with the same fixed-objective (ouch!) 3-9x Leapers that used to grace the Daisy, but will try real hard to limit myself to $two figures – honest!)

    So, thanks to B.B., Edith, and the rest of the group here for what is always a fun and informative read. And extra thanks for maintaining the civility that can be such a precious commodity in many circles these days. You've got me pretty deep into this airgun thing; maybe too deep; but I think I can forgive you.


  2. Jan,

    There's no hope for you now. A 12-step program is useless. There is no retreat or way to back up even one step. I've seen this scenario repeated many times over the years. You're hooked. Welcome to the club!


  3. Jan,

    In case you feel the need for yet another gun, a Baikal IZH-61 makes for a very inexpensive ($110 or so)
    fun gun. The kids will think it's cool looking and find it easy to use, while the adults will hit everything they aim at.
    The sidelever is very easy to cock and you'll end up with a gun for your growing collection that is far
    more accurate than the price would even begin to suggest.


  4. BB,

    Congrats on the Anschutz 10-meter pistol! Sounds like it's time to get the Knoblochs out again. I don't know how you can go to Roanoke every year w/o cashing in you 401K, IRA, Roth…

    Guess I'll have to start planning for next year, unless I can just send you a blank check and a priority list.

  5. BB : Really enjoyed the report! As you mention. It's really amazing how even with the economy the way it is, how gun (any gun) price have soared. We are in a period of time right now when air gun prices and availability are where fire arms were 15 years ago. This won't last much longer though. Back then for example, I was buying nice Mauser rifles for $50 to $100. Many excellent Ruger and S&W handguns sold in the $100 to $300 dollar range.People would walk right by NRA excellent Swedish 6.5mm's that went for $75! Just like those folks walking by those old Crosmans you saw. Even with the new stuff. There are some things that will not be available in just a few short years from now. That is what you need to be able to see if you want to be a serious trader, as you alluded to a couple blogs ago. Take care, Robert

  6. A correction for you. That man with the Benjamin 392 picture needs to be revised. The man if you can call him that is Mike in NC on the Yellow. He'd be me. The gun is a James Perotti gun. We call it many things. Here are a few. Perotti .32, JPSAX .32, The Holy Grail, or Ubergun. It's based not on a 392, but probably a 342. The only Benjamin heritage it really has is the stock and maybe trigger guard. The rest is all James. Hope this helps. This comment will appear as anonymous because I don't have a user name. Thanks, Michael

  7. BB,

    It was a pleasure meeting you in person, and I want to thank you for pointing me to that R7. It shoots as good as it looks – exactly what I wanted. Though I was bit disappointed to hear PA wasn't coming, other dealers brought virtually everything I was hoping to see. I'm looking forward to next year!


  8. B.B.

    The Bavaria 55 is nice. What actually made me decide to buy it was the fact it was .22 cal. Much rarer than .177. The ARH box was a nice extra.

    Did you notice Ron Sauls was selling a complete upper assembly for the Disco PCP in .32 cal? Supposedly the last ones available due to the price of the barrels. Supposed to deliver 9 or 10 shots around 740 fps with the stock valve and a 2K fill. He had 2 left.


  9. Jan,

    If you are looking for a good scope under $100, may I suggest the Leapers 4-16x50AO?

    I purchased one recently and it is an impressive piece of work.

    I would have purchased the Leapers 6-24x50AO,

    but the lowest it will clearly focus down to is 15 yards, whereas the one I purchased goes down to 10 yards, a much more usable scope for typical airgunning ranges if you ask me. Which you didn't.

    These both lack the sidewheel AO adjustment (nice to have for FT), but to get that you'll have to rethink your current budget restraint.

    Slinging Lead

  10. As Mike in NC said, the picture of the .32 pumper needs a correction – or two.

    The rifle is a totally unique, scratch built design by James Perotti of NC that generates nearly 70 foot-pounds of muzzle energy from only 12 pumps between shots – 3 times the power of even the most tricked-out 392! It accomplishes magic this through many innovations that have never been seen before.

    It is definitely not just a modified 392, and deserves a correct description and attribution.

    Steve in NC

  11. I sure wish I could have been in Roanoke to soak in all the airguns. I hope to make it next year. I have called a couple of people that I saw in some of the pictures from the show with rifles I was looking for. But, in each case the rifles sold at the show. I would sure have been a buyer for the NIB BSF55. I wish the Little Rock show could be in such a nice place with good lighting and a waterproof roof.

    David Enoch

  12. Steve/Mike in NC,
    I'm sure there are a lot of readers here that would love to see a guest blog on that rifle! I know I would. Seems like an interesting story. If your interested, contact B.B. he's always looking for guest bloggers.

  13. I'm the guy that bought the HW 35 at Roanoke. It's a very nice shooter. Just shot a 3/8 inch group of rws supermags OFFHAND at 25ft. I guess it made the 10 hour drive(one way) from NY to Roanoke worth it!!

    BB, is this the subject rifle for the blog article in April 2008??

    It was a pretty productive show for me this year. Also found a very nice Crosman Mark 1 ($100) and a like new Crosman 38T in the box with paperwork for $65. It's a good thing Pyramyd wasn't there, my pocketbook would have really suffered !! 😉

    It was a pleasure talking to you. Thanks again for pointing out that HW35!

    JDB in NY

  14. Savagesam,

    None of the airgun mfrs attend these shows. If you go to a gun show, you won't see Beretta, Taurus, Colt or any other firearm mfr having a table. These are shows where collectors display. Generally speaking, Pyramyd AIR has been one of the few retailers who has ever attended a show. I can recall only one other retailer who attended shows, and they went to only 1 or 2 of them.


  15. Hi,
    I have been hearing a lot about this guy named Greg Davis. People say that he is better than Tim at Mac1. Is this true? And also, does he have a website or something? I tried to google him but it didn't work. (too many greg davis's out there). If somone could show me how to find him or contact him, thanks.

  16. Edith: Gulp.

    Derrick: you are not helping (signs into PA to augment wishlist)

    Slinging: that is exactly the $two-figure scope (the 4-16x50AO) that is in my PA shopping cart. Spooky.


  17. As you might tell from my last couple comments I'm a real PCP fanatic right now. I don't know exactly when I became such a PCP bigot. I suspect when I bought the Talon SS, and the Marauder sealed the deal. I do go back and shoot my springers from time to time but I enjoy the PCPs so much more.

    I have not spent as much money on a springer as I have on the PCPs so maybe that's the difference. I have toyed with the idea of buying an NPSS but can't figure out why since I'm so satisfied with Ms. M. Maybe, after we've grown old together, I'll go looking for something with a little more spring in her step :>)


  18. Jan,

    Great idea from Derrick about the IZH 61. This is the perfect rifle for family gatherings and first-timers, and I predict will displace the Discovery. Just make sure to tell people about the artillery hold.


  19. Jan,

    Welcome to the airfun world!!!

    Like Edith said there is no way back… so don't even try… you'll find yourself trading up for the rest of your life..

    "up" can be a tricky thing.. But with the crowd your in, it won't be so tricky for you!.. listen and continue to try out what the top shooters are using.

    Air Arms S400 is a great starter gun.. and some would say a great finishing gun too!!!

    I'm also finding the new Marauder will work for FT.. Ray and his father Hans shoot the Marauder in a crosman challenger stock… of course they shoot for Crosman.. but, Ray said it's a stock Marauder, except for the re-crowning of the barrel he did.

    Ray came in second with 103/120 to Paul Cray's 109/120 with his Steyr LG110.. this is in the 12fpe international class, no harness… Ray has cleaned courses with his 11.5fpe Marauder.. so they are accurate!! (with my 12fpe, USFT#44, I came in 8th with 92/120)… newbies can play too!

    I made a deal with a custom stock carver to make some field target stocks for the Marauder.. I have a couple for sale now… and as Peter has time to make the stocks… I put them on a new Marauder action… (anyone need some new factory Marauder stocks?).. so that's another choice.. I can email some pics if your interested… they really are pretty!!! and fit nice!

    I also traded for Tom's old FT rifle.. it's a Daystate Harrier… I'd trade it off, even though I haven't shot it yet! Want a piece of history???


    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  20. CJr,

    A question about the Talon SS. Mine is suddenly shooting patterns rather than groups. The only thing the shots have in common is that they are usually some where betweeen 3 and 6pm on the target.

    The gun does that running on either CO2 or HPA. I'd like to replace the O ring that seals the breech to the barrel, but cann't get the handle out of the bolt. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Mr B.

  21. Mr B,
    I have no experience with that. How many shots have you put through the SS? Am I looking at my future?

    However, I have a question for you. Since you have both CO2 and HPA capability, is there any reason for me to switch to HPA? I do only 10m target in .177 on CO2 and have been thinking of getting the air tank but at $185 have been slow to decide. I'm wondering if it would be worth it, you know, what would I gain for my intended use.

    Also, for you clean gun people, I need some cleaning tools for my .177 and .22 air rifles. Anybody have any comments on the Dewy cleaning rods, which seems awfully expensive for a cleaning rod at $35? The Gamo cleaning kit got such negative reviews I'm staying away from that.


  22. BB,
    I like the ERMA, but at the price it wouldn't exactly be a shooter. Perhaps the same could be said for Mike White's LGR Universal; beautiful rifle, though. Thanks for reminding me about the Red Ryder scope — got to get me one of those someday:).

    That 99 is a nice find — looks a lot different from what I expected. How about writing it up as a blog for us? The picture was worth a thousand words in this case, but a thousand words and a few pictures would be priceless:).

  23. Wayne – Air Arms S400 is a great starter gun? That's why we love you!! I'm still moving into your gun range, don't forget. "Will do range work for food" will be my motto. Here is my opinion on a few different "starter" guns.

    Single Stroke – Daisy 953

    Springer – RWS 34

    PCP – Benjamin Discovery

    Multi Pump – Crossman 1377

    CO2 – Crossman 1077

    I'd love to see everyone else's list.


  24. CJr,

    Most of my shooting is done running CO2 shooting targets in my back yard from inside the house at about 16 yards. The gun has enough power to humanly kill crows at 26 yards. I use the HPA when gun and I go hunting.

    If I were you I wouldn't do the HPA option.

    I haven't heard anyone mention bore snakes for routine cleaning of air rifles. I've got an air gun dedicated snake for .22 and .177 that I use as is, by that I mean with no solvents etc. Seems to work ok for me.

    PS the scope with the level is still great!

    Mr B.

  25. Cjr,
    Bigot is an ugly word. How about PCP snob.

    I'm a self professed cookie snob. My wife make home made cookies that are so good. This has turned me into a cookie snob.

    Can not call myself a PCP snob. But just can not see myself running back to springers in the near future. Maybe a nice 392 but not a springer.


  26. Chuck and Mr. B,

    I don't think you're supposed to clean your airgun barrels at all unless accuracy degrades. They don't need the cleaning since there is no powder residue, and running an object down the bore risks damage that is not necessary.

    Aaron, I'm still on my starter list which is:

    IZH 61 for everything

    Crosman 1077 for rapid fire

    B30/RWS 48 for high-powered springer

    Daisy 747 for match pistol

    Walther Nighthawk for tactical pistol

    Marauder for PCP (some day)

    All, I feel bound to report my delight in getting my prone position nailed down with a sling. Let us now recall my highly incompetent and obnoxious rifle team coach from high school who told us that we had to get used to the misery of prone. "Look at so and so," he said, "whose hand is turning purple from the sling." But Nancy Tompkins says that while your supporting arm may fall asleep from a sling, that your prone position should basically be stable and comfortable, otherwise it will interfere with your shooting. That makes sense to me. She claims to have sometimes even dozed in her prone position without changing it. Anyway, I finally got my natural position last night with the Savage 10FP in a sling. What matter that I was surrounded by furniture and dry-firing at an ink spot a couple feet away. It feels great, and I can't wait to try it out on the range. (The big secret was placing the sling loop as high on the arm as it will go.)

    So, I'm led to wonder again why such a great position is not used for field target. I think I asked this once and got an answer that made sense at the time, but I can't remember what it was. It can't be the dynamics of field target since the sitting harness that is used is a sling in principle. (Wayne, why don't you try out the harness?) The barrier can't be the design of the guns since I see that the Marauder has sling swivels installed. Why no prone with a sling in field target?


  27. I know that airgun/firearm storage in cases with foam has been done before, but I'd like to relate a conversation I had on the weekend.
    I have a small gun safe but it is too short to be able to install the upper tray and clear my Slavia, which has a really looonnnggg barrel. So I've been trying to come up with an alternative way to store our pistols.
    One of the things my company is a seller of is Pelican cases for cameras. I got to wondering just how safe cameras are that are stored long term in these cases, so I gave Pelican's head office a call (they also carry an extensive line of firearms cases…the one to carry 16 M16/M4's is cool).
    Anyways…when I questioned their service dept about long term storage in foam I was told that all there cases can be ordered with closed cell foam (standard is open cell foam) and that long term storage would be no problem. The only time a problem could arise is if water entered the case because, as they are completely watertight there would be no evaporation of the water.
    Their larger cases all have a humidity indicator that turns color when 40% humidity in the case is reached. On the smaller cases she recommends putting in a packet of dissacant which absorbs moisture.
    According to her they are a supplier for the US military and their cases are recommended for long term storage. She relayed that they had never had a complaint due to moisture in any of their cases when supplied with the closed cell foam.
    As well if you supply a drawing to scale of your handguns they will even precut the foam so that you have exact fits for all your gear.
    I ordered the Pelican 1450 with closed cell foam and it neatly holds my Gamo Compact, PPK, CP99 and Beretta Elite II. It is lockable, and the handle is strong enough that I can run a chain around it that is then run around a telepost in my basement.
    It's pretty much theft proof and, even though their 'just' airguns I don't have to worry about my 6 and 8 year olds deciding to try and play army or spy with them.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  28. Matt,

    Prone doesn't work for field target because of the foliage. You can't see over most of it. And that is intentional. I have shot one or two lanes prone and as long as the rifle or your hand isn't supported by the ground you are okay.

    Remember, this is a competition–not a hobby. So putting in spoilers like underbrush is part of the sport.


  29. JDB in NY ,

    Your rifle is indeed the subject of that blog! Mac (the guy who sold you the rifle) tested it for me and supplied me with the photos for a huge article I wrote for Shotgun News titled "The Four Horsemen". It was about the very first magnum spring rifles that were attempting to break the 800 f.p.s. "barrier" in the 1970s.


  30. Robert,

    We may be in a bubble for firearms dealing right now. People are selling them super-low because of the "bad times." Even people who are not affected financially.

    I could tell tales, but I'd be called a liar for the prices I would quote.


  31. RE:Prone in field target

    Two reasons seem possible.

    First, prone really wouldn't work the very best way if moving from station to station. You don't zero at each station.

    Secondly, I'd wonder if the tradition got started because the prone position wasn't practical with the some (?) of rifles at the time.

    It would seem that for whatever reason using a harness to form a more stable sitting position was substituted. Particularly for old farts like myself who aren't still very flexible.

    I'd be curious as to when FT got started and what rifles were used at the time.

    From my few experiences trying to shoot prone with a sling, I remember prone as being a position from which you didn't want to move. The shoulder, hand on foregrip, and the elbow form a triangle which needs to remain stable. What I remember doing is shooting, adjusting the sights with my trigger hand, then taking the shots at the target. My elbow remained firmly on the floor in the same spot. The rifle stayed on the same spot on my shoulder, and in my support hand. The targets I remember shooting had twelve spots, two of which could be used to adjust the sights.

    So, from the prone position, you could adjust the sights, or load a bolt action. However I wouldn't think that you could use a break-barrel springer or a pump a rifle without moving too much.

    I'd guess that shooting over foliage is more effect than cause. Once shooting in a sitting position became the norm, the targets would be setup accordingly.

    Are there matches where you can't shoot at a "spotting" target when in the prone position? In other words, you just shoot shots which are scored with no chance to adjust the sights?

  32. Gengis – my downfall was a crosman 2100 to replace my 766 which I sold in my teens many years ago. Now my airgun collection looking like Aaron's starting airgun list…lol!!!

    I wish I knew a little more about the older airguns, I like the older styles and solid construction.

    The yellow forum is a great place to learn about mods and keep up on airgunning's latest and greatest. Although, becareful not spend too much in the classifieds. Unfortunately, "too much" is probably a lost concept for most airgunners.

    I think the 12 step program has morphed into the 1 step question: Cash or Credit?

    Mike, it would be great if you could write up a guess blog here on the wonderful air rifle made by James Perotti. If not, we'll keep any eye out for one in the yellow forum.

    Steve, it's nice to here from you too. You seem to have a lot to offer the world of airgunning and we would also be glad if you had time to do a guest blog here too.

    Way to go WACKY WAYNE!!!!! Does the beard help in determining the windage?…..Now I'm considering growing a beard….lol….
    Too bad it's not telivised, or least not for us. I would much rather watch shooting sports over bowling, golf and a lot of other sports.

    Wow, Paul Cray, that guys unbelievsble and crosman having a Maruader placing 2nd in one class is pretty cool too.

    With a good price and awsome performance, the Marauder seems to be doing well and I have only heard of a few minor problems so far. Hopefully they will continue to improve their pcp lineup to help keep USA as a contender in the PCP game.

  33. Jan,

    You live in Baltimore? There is a super large airgunning community there. I used to live in Ellicott City and I shot at the Isaac Walton League in Damascus. In fact, we had an airgun show until I left in 2003.

    You are in the best airgun territory in the whole United States.


  34. DB,
    I can't use snob because that implies that I think I'm better than you, which, I'm sure, isn't the case. If you knew me better you'd come to the same conclusion, too 🙂 What I need, then, is one word that means I don't want to shoot anything other than a PCP for whatever reason even if it's not a good reason. How about zealot?

    I agree with your barrel cleaning statement but it does imply that cleaning will be necessary sometime in the future, therefore, I'd like to get something now before the prices go up.


  35. CowBoyStar Dad

    RE: foam for storage

    I'm not an expert of foams, but I'm certain there would be multiple variates. Some foams might be hygroscopic, or made from precursors which would not be sensitive to moisture content. In either of those sorts of foams, water would be present.

    Obviously if you're going to use a desiccant pack, then there shouldn't be much moisture content, and the case must be sealed with some sort of a gasket. In such a situation the wooden stocks that so many of us love would be a significant source of water. Wood cabinets and floors will expand and shrink with the seasonal changes. It is due to water adsorption. Rust however is chemically irreversible. You can turn all of the rust back to metal with some complicated chemical processing, but atoms of metal don't relocate where they were originally.

  36. Jan,

    Yes, generally I'm not of any help when not spending money on a sport or hobby is concerned.

    A higher power scope like the Leapers 6-24 gives you a slight edge in range finding but as Slinging Lead points out, the close focus isn't there. I've got both the Leapers 6-24X as well as a few of the Leapers 4-16's and I can get the lower power model (set at 4 power)to focus sharply down to about 22 feet.

    The Leapers 6-24 (as well as a Centerpoint 6-24X–they're the same scope) doesn't focus close enough for me to use anywhere but outdoors. It is an exceptionally good scope for the money, but it does indeed limit the places you can use the air rifle.

    Of course, you can just buy more rifles so you have more options…


  37. B.B.,

    Glad you had a good show sir and got to meet some of the guys.

    I have an OTQ if you have the time. My beloved Talon SS has decided to shoot patterns rather than groups. Where should I look for the problem? CO2 of HPA same results.

    Took gun appart and didn't see anything that looked out of wack. The gun has shot a little more than 6,000 pellets.

    Thanks for your time. Bet the cats went nuts when Daddy got home.:)

    Mr B.

  38. Jan,
    I have a Leapers 4-16X50 5th Gen
    ($81.75) and a BSA 4-16 that focus very well at 10 yds. I also have an 8-32×56 Centerpoint ($250) that focuses to 10yds with much clarity at the 32 setting.


  39. BG Farmer,

    Thanks for the interest and compliment on the Crosman 99. It is a neat rifle to shoot. With all the westerns I watched as a kid growing up, I always wanted a lever action rifle and now I have one.

    At the show, I was considering selling it if I could get my price and then trade up for that Crosman Nitro but as BB said without naming names, I was disappointed Pyramyd AIR didn't/couldn't show up. As respects a Blog, I don't know that there would be enough interest plus I don't consider myself to have enough knowledge base to do a credible job.

    BB, I see that no one walked in with that IZH 46 after I left so I'm breathing a sigh of relief. There was that Beeman P1 in the box for $300 at Kurt's table but I exercised significant will power and decided to wait for the IZH to either pop up somewhere or I'll buy new.

    You know, if enough of you folks come to Roanoke next year, maybe we can consider a group dinner at a local restaurant?

    Glad all made it home save and sound.


  40. Prone Field Target…

    We have been debating this on the FT forum… Like B.B. said, some of the time the targets are too low in the ground cover.. but prone is allowed and some folks shot it as much as possible at the nationals… just a few mind you.

    ..side note… One guy, who I shot with the second day, shot the whole course standing up offhand!!! He is an offhand shooter that just started FT.. I think he scored about 60%.. which was incredible to me! … but I digress..

    As mentioned above not many people are in good enough shape to be comfortable in the prone position, or in the sitting position without a harness.
    The harness is allowed in the open 20fpe class only. The international 12fpe class doesn't allow one, but does allow a shooting jacket… no straps to the knees.

    After the worlds, and the USA's poor showing, there seems to be a lot of the open class folks dropping down to…or saying they are going to start shooting 12fpe no harness…. now!!! to be ready for next years worlds..

    40% of the shots were standing or kneeling and over 40 yards with small kill zones!!! Our shooters were just not prepared for that level.. especially with 12 fpe!

    There was only 12 international shooters at the nationals… newbie me… one of them!

    So, the moral of the story is DON'T GET STARTED ON A HARNESS… unless you really, really have to.. and never plan to give it up!!! better to get into shape so the sitting position is comfortable… then shoot, shoot, and shoot some more!!!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  41. RE: Prone and Competition(?) matches

    Am I right in assuming that:

    (1) Competition (firearm ?) matches in which prone position is used do have spotting shots?

    (2) The "best" prone position would have the option of adjusting sights to tweak physical setup.

    I have never done competition shooting, but I'd assume that it was likely that sighting would change between standing, kneeling, and prone. Hence spotting shots would be allowed for each position.


    BB – Thanks for the point about FT and spotting shots. I didn't think that FT allowed them.

  42. B.B.,

    I took off the AirHog shroud cleaned the barrel and tried shooting with the AirForce supplied end cap. My tack driver is back. Put bloop tube back on and got patterns again.

    New question–did my bloop tube go bad? Sorta seems that way, but what would cause that. Is there something that I should be able to see, besides the rotten groups?

    Again thanks for your time.

    Mr B.

  43. Herb,

    Terminology. A spotting shot isn't a sighting shot–at least not to me. A spotting shot would be a .50 caliber subcaliber bullet used to determine if a recoilless rifle is on target for a main gun round.

    In paper bullseye competition, sighters are allowed in each position. In field target, no sighters are allowed once the match starts.


  44. Fred,
    I suspect there would be more interest than you think and that you would have no trouble writing an interesting article about it.

    Once again, I'm proud of you for going at FT without harness or excessive power. While I have about as much use for FT as for golf personally, I can respect the skill necessary.

    A good thing happened to you yesterday while I was practicing with the BP rifle — I couldn't hit the side of a barn! Plenty of excuses, wind, cold or flu, late in the day, etc., but I could just barely figure out where the shots were going. A far cry from last time, where if the shooting wasn't "excellent", I at least thought I was within shouting distance of it:). It will probably take another session or two (and maybe some therapy) to figure out what was happening. The only thing I can point to is a suspicious cleanout screw (in the powder drum) that seems to be leaking excessively, and I can't find a precise replacement locally yet; may have to order it.

    That means I'll probably just use the first 3 groups I collected a week or so ago, and that if you show up, you'll probably win:). I would offer to use yesterday's, but not enough of them hit paper:).

  45. Hello all! starting to get (?) a scuba tank for my
    Benjamin discovery. First pump went bad and I don't want to be bothered with it. When purchasing a new scuba tank online, do they come with a hydro? How long is a hydro good for, and what is the ballpark price for one?

  46. B.B., I plan on getting a Marauder but I have been reading on some forums about a large amount of people who had problems with it out of the box regarding poor accuracy. When will Crosman fix this issue with the new Marauders? If they plan on fixing it that is…

  47. Mr. B.,

    The solution is to align the hole in the bloop tube with the exiting pellet. The silver mark is evidence that that isn't happening at present.

    Check the security of the mounting before doing anything. Maybe the tube has to be turned (rotated) to a certain spot so the hole aligns correctly. You assume the hole is concentric with the tube, but maybe not.

    Any way you can align that hole with the exiting pellet will solve your problem.

    BTW, drilling out the hole is the LAST resort! That tube is made so well I wouldn't do it at all.

    And do contact Airhog to see what they say.


  48. John from jersey,

    B.B. has done some good articles on scuba tanks and carbon fiber tanks. Use the search box on the right.

    Then read this:


    Some tanks come with current hydro test some don't. Beware. Carbon fiber tanks hold more air, are lighter weight, are more expensive, only need to be hydro'd every 5 years but so far they are only good for 15 years. There's talk that might have their life extended.

    A good way to compare cost of tanks is to calculate price per year of remaining life in the tank.


  49. John,

    It's only an "issue" if it's true, and I would have to say that, in the case of the Marauder, it's not. So Crosman has nothing to fix.

    If an individual Marauder screws up, they fix it.

    But they can never fix the spoiled dreams of armchair shooters who spend most of their time at the keyboard, instead of shooting.


  50. Anonymous asking about poor accuracy in Marauders,

    I too have been following the evolution of the Marauder.

    I haven't read about a " large amount of people who had problems with it out of the box regarding poor accuracy." I have read about a few that had pellets clipping baffles and a couple that had barrel band issues. Not a large number of people and not major issues. Also read about the trigger issue but this seems to be solved.

    Crosman has been exemplary about repairing even replacing guns and the turn around has been quick for those few guns that had these minor problems.

    I wouldn't let these very few guns with minor problems sway you from buying what you want.


  51. B.B.

    Well, the foliage would be a good reason.

    Wayne, as far as being in shape, it doesn't feel like the prone position requires that much. It's a pain to get into but once there, you just lie flat. But it sounds like you're best off using one position the whole way and because of foliage alone, it should be sitting.

    BG_Farmer, ah the pesky blackpowder is running into problems. Well, take your time. I won't go out until the end of November. Meanwhile, I have tweaked my offhand technique yet again. 🙂


  52. John from jersey,

    If you call Crosman at 1-800-724-7486 and explain your problem, they'll replace/repair your pump at no charge. That has been my experince with three pumps.
    they stand behind what they sell.

    It's someetimes a hassel, but they have good stuff at a great price points and EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE! They have replaced or repaired for me 3 HPA pumps, one Discovery, and 2 CO2 Benjamin Discovery Premium Adapters.

    As to your SCUBA tank questions my knowledge is way outdated. However, I can help you with the hydro question. It is a test of the tank's structural integrity which all new tanks have to go through before they can be sold. It has to be repeated every so often to get it filled.

    Mr B.

  53. B.B.,

    I was talking with Martin at AirHog, while you were posting your last answer to me, he checked with Van and said that I should send it back and they'd enlarge the hole a little bit.

    After reading what you said I'll try rotating it a little and see what that does.

    However, I don't understand why it would start doing that now. It's done well for all those thousands of shots.

    Mr B.

  54. John from Jersey,

    I went the used SCUBA tank route to supplement my Disco pump. After going through the routine, my suggestion would be to stop by your local Dive shop. They may have a used tank for sale or even a new, hi pressure aluminum tank for around $150. The tanks have to be hydrostatically tested every 5 years by law and visually inspected once per year. Typically, the tank you buy from the Dive shop will already have this done so you save money. New tanks don't have to be tested, my understanding.

    However, now you have to get a yoke for the tank, a fitting to screw into the yoke with gage, pressure release screw and steel braided hose with Foster fitting to attach to your Benjamin PCP. The dive shop may or may not be able to do this but PA will be able to supply these fittings.

    Fred (also in NJ)

  55. Edith, ajvenom, & Co. are right: there is no hope; cash or credit? Eight months ago, I had a $40 gun from K-Mart, and now Wayne's got me in an S400 and B.B.'s old Daystate.

    Wayne, it's lucky for me (and probably you) that I have absolutely nothing to trade! And if I did, I figure I should skip the smalltalk and make an offer on USFT#44, eh? On second thought, I think you ought to keep #44, seeing how I'm pretty sure the humble Disco out-shoots me every time. Visions of getting the groceries in an F1 car.

    Sounds like we're forming quite a consensus on my massive upgrade from my Leapers 3-9×42 to the Leapers 4-16x50AO. Though I must admit that while groking the ring height for the 4-16x50AO on the PA site, I found myself browsing the Nikko Stirling catalog in another window, wondering whether that 10-50×60 would be a suitable alternative. Sheesh.

  56. B.B.,

    Yep, Baltimore. The Isaac Walton League in Damascus is exactly where I've been recently. A week ago, Phil Dean showed me around the place, and then on Saturday I shot my first-ever FT match with DIFTA. It was a good week.

    BTW, folks, I still can't get over the Isaac Walton League's air rifle range. It is an absolute candy shop: paper targets, field targets, silhouettes, spinners, shatterblasts, tin cans hanging from strings, etc., etc.; all set in the lovely Maryland woods. Had I seen this place at age twelve, I believe my head might have exploded. It nearly did at age N*12. I tend to believe B.B.'s assessment that I am in prime airgun territory.


  57. GenghisJan,

    Welcome sir, glad to have you aboard. A thought on scopes–you can put more scope on a gun than you need or want, depending upon what you're going to do with the gun.

    I had a big old scope on my Disco that was great from the bench, but hell to cary while hunting. Gun was way too top heavy. I've found that my hunting scopes seem to all end up on 5 power any more and the magnified movement drives me nuts when shooting off hand. Just a litle something else to factor into your purchasing decisions.

    The only 12 step program that's worked for me is a new gun every month for a year.:)

    Mr B.

  58. BB; You may be right about the bubble, but nothing is going very cheap here (NY). Despite very high taxes and un-employment. Fred, I also have a Crosman 99. It's been in the family for forty four years now. My father taught me and my brother to shoot with it in our basement. When dad passed a couple years ago, I found it in a closet. Did the same as you and gave it a soak of pell gun oil. It has held ever since. When I was a kid , the only problem we had was that the feed mech. ,would get fouled by the old ash can pellets. Then there were spectacular jams. Really fun gun though, and mine likes Hobbies. I like the two levels of power it offers also. Robert

  59. Jan,
    I have the Leapers 3-12×44 with side AO on my Disco and love it.

    Also have Leapers 3-9 BugBuster with AO and it is fantastic for medium power airguns. It will focus down to like 3-yards or so.

  60. Herb,

    In field target there is usually a sight in section where folks test their settings on paper targets set from 10 to 55 yards, before the match. If one gets there early, you have up to an hour to sight in before a match.
    Then, every shot counts, as a hit or miss, unless you call a "blow off" shot into the ground…

    So you best be ready for anything when you start down the trail to the lanes..

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  61. Jan,

    Careful with the Nikko… the Diamond is the one.. not the Nighteater.. skip that one.. it's very fuzzy on high power and bad in dark situations on high power… I've got a used one for half price if you want it… it's good for 30 power and under, really 20 power and under.

    I upgraded to a used 10-50×60 BSA platinum, which is the same as the Nikko Diamond, just the older model made in Japan.

    The funny thing is I only use it at 22 power, even though it is very clear on high power and in darker situations.

    Since finding the target in a timely manner is part of the game, a high power scope makes that harder, with the smaller field of view.
    Also, dark targets are actually much brighter and easy to find…

    I use holdover, not clicking, and my BSA is a target dot, not a mildot, so I'm visually measuring the faceplate on the target for the right amount of holdover…. ie. 1" at 11 yards, 1/4" at 16 yards, zero at 19 to 28 yards, 1/2" at 35 yards, 1" at 39 yards, 1-1/2" at 42 yards, and 3" at 53 yards… naming a few to give you an idea of the 12fpe holdover with 8.4 JSB

    I have to keep it set on the same 22 power setting so my measurements are consistent.

    The leapers 4-16 also comes in a 30mm with side focus.. very good choice for the money, even a little better than the 3-12×44 which is a little more fuzzy on higher power.. I like to use the leapers 8-32×56 on 24 power as a starter scope myself.. it's large, but bright and pretty clear for the money.. better than the Nikko Nighteater!! .. for $200 less!!

    I haven't tried them myself, but the Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24 or 8-32, with end bell focus is used by some of the best and most knowledgeable FT shooters.. that's in the $500-600 range.

    anyway.. there are some choices..

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  62. John..
    About the scuba tank, I found that you really want to buy the tank from the place you plan to have it filled!

    Filling scuba tanks is not.. mind you NOT, a profitable part of their operation.. selling gear is.. and if you think they are going to take time to fill your tank instead of helping a customer… think again. And for sure not… if you didn't buy the tank there!

    Buy two tanks, and drop off the empty when you pick up the full one… and let them fill it in their time frame.. get a punch card also, so it's easy for them to deal with you…

    .. also pretend like you might buy some scuba gear someday… hey you might…

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  63. Hello all,

    Well… I "pulled the trigger"… I went with the Super Streak. I consider this my first of many purchases in the airgun dept. I work at the fire dept here in Madison and have access to scuba tanks, filling compressor etc… So I see a pcp in my very near future. Not to mention continuing to collect Racine made Sheridans. I was really drawn to this rifle and for the price I figured what the heck.
    I wanted to thank everyone for all the advise. This is extremely friendly & informative blog.

    Would anyone care to comment on ammo now? After reading several blogs I ordered some 14.3 JSB exacts, JSB predators and some Kodiaks just to try a few out.


  64. The only real possible issue with the Marauder I've heard of is the bolt handle popping out of the bolt on earlier models. Crosman has replaced any if needed and any Marauder that has needed attention has was taken care of by their service department under warranty.

  65. B.B.

    I'm getting ready to tune the R7 I picked up in Roanoke, using a Maccari kit, Beeman piston seal, and your tuning instructions elsewhere on this blog. I noticed on your AA episode on tuning that you ran a dowel with sandpaper attached through the chamber – a step that is not in your blog instructions. Crosshatching to better hold onto the lube around the piston/spring? Could you comment on this step (my DVR deleted that episode)?

    I've been enjoying the R7 tremendously, thought it still diesels. Soon to be fixed.



  66. Jay,

    That step really isn't necessary. Paul was just looking for some more action to put into the segment, and we used that. It isn't wrong. It does help hold lubricant in the walls of the compression chamber, but that isn't as desirable today as it was back in the 1970s, when chamber lube was more important.

    Today we burnish the chamber walls with moly and the lubricant can be very sparing, so smoother chamber walls are what we want.

    By the way, your gun will continue to diesel if you hone the cylinder walls like that.


  67. B.B.

    Just wanted to let you know the tune was successful. No more dieseling, and the spring buzz is completely gone. There was an impressive amount of factory grease in there (both sides of the piston).

    I've certainly gotten to know the rifle better, but I couldn't have done it without all the information on the web (much of it on this blog). Now, I'm working on getting better groups. Thanks for the help!


Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

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

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

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

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

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

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

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

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

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

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

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

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

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

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

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

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

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

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

    Learn About Returns

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

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

View Shipping Info

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

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