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Education / Training Christmas gift list 2009 – Part 2

Christmas gift list 2009 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This series of reports is for those who are airgunners and wonder what to ask for this holiday season and for those who have to buy presents for their airgunners. There are many ways to present this list: by price, by experience, by type of powerplant (spring, pneumatic, CO2, by age, etc. I have decided to present it by price and to include a comment line at the end of each item that lists any special applicability.

In part 1, I listed several items I feel all airgunners eventually need, so most of what I list now will be airguns. However, there may also be the odd item of equipment thrown in.

Under $50
Crosman 760. A perennial favorite, and Crosman’s best-selling airgun. This is the gun that keeps the company humming several shifts each day! It’s a smoothbore that can shoot both steel BBs and pellets. Great starter airgun for youngsters 9 and older. Buy Crosman steel BBs and Crosman pellets for ammunition and never shoot the gun without safety glasses on everybody in the vicinity.

The Daisy Red Ryder is the Holy Grail of an airgunner’s Christmas! In fact, I’ll also recommend the video, A Christmas Story, to go with it. For young shooters ages 6 and up, but always with parental supervision. Remember that steel BBs bounce off hard targets, so everybody in the vicinity wears shooting glasses. Buy Daisy steel BBs for it. And, let’s not forget the young girls , who might like the Daisy pink 1998, a Red Ryder by another name and color.

The Daisy 880 Multi-pump is another classic air rifle. This one is rifled, but can also shoot steel BBs. Appropriate for kids 9 and up and adults. Use Daisy steel BBs and Daisy lead pellets.

The Beeman P17 pistol is for adults. It’s an inexpensive Chinese copy of the more expensive Beeman P3which is made in Germany. This is a target air pistol. It’s a single-shot and quite accurate. Buy some good target pellets for this gun. Gamo Match pellets will work very well.

The Crosman 357W revolver is a classic CO2 air pistol that squeaks under the price limit for this category. Suitable for kids 10 and older and also adults. You need target pellets for this one. Try these. And you also need the 12-gram CO2 cartridges that power the gun.

For BB pistols, I recommend the Smith & Wesson M&P, the Tanfoglio 1911 and the PPK/S with pink grips, which is the only PPK/S that makes it into this price category. Of these three, the Tanfolglio did best in my accuracy test. They all need steel BBs and 12-gram CO2 cartridges. These guns are BB guns, so eye protection for everyone in the vicinity and parental supervision for all kids under the age of 16. No shooting at hard targets!

I’m also going to recommend a pair of BSA 10x25mm binoculars. I own so many pairs of binocs that I’ve lost count of them all. They’re just too handy for when you really need to see things like pellet holes on targets far away. Suitable for everyone.

For those who want to try their hand at field target, the Gamo squirrel field target is very affordable. This target gets you into the game and comes with kill-zone reducers, so as you improve you can make the target progressively harder to hit. Suitable for teens and adults. Buy a length (55 yards, at least) of Dacron line at the hardware store to use for a reset string when the target falls.

Stocking stuffers
Crosman Pellgunoil is used to maintain all CO2 guns and most pneumatics. A small tube will last a shooter more than a year and probably several years after that. Other products such as 20-weight, non-detergent oil will also work, but for the best results, this is the stuff to use.

One of the best products to oil pellets is FP-10. One bottle will last for years.

If you want to tune a spring gun, the best lube for the compression chamber is Beeman M-2-M moly paste. It also works on places where there’s lots of metal-to-metal contact. Every airgun enthusiast needs some of this stuff.

The Crosman 850 BB/pellet trap is excellent for shooters of all ages. This is one of the few pellet traps that safely stops steel BBs, and it’s the only one in this price range.

125 thoughts on “Christmas gift list 2009 – Part 2”

  1. I posted this because he sent it to the Blogger account.

    Hi B.B,
    In your view would a Hawke AirMax 3-9X40 scope be suitable for a Diana 350(full power version, in .22.). My primary concern is the reliability of the scope in long run while subjected to the recoil of the 350. As i am living overseas if a problem arose with the scope, sending it back to the States would be quite a hassle so i would rather purchase a quality product right now and avoid any problem in the future. Also if you feel that the Hawke AirMax is not up to the mark, could you suggest few alternatives. Another question i have is about the UTG base, i have not been able to discern any significant barrel droop for my gun by just eyeballing it(is there a better method?). So is it ok to go ahead and get the base that is built with no droop compensation, or should i play safe and order both (the other being the base for breakbarrel Diana's). Great blog by the way, it’s an amazing resource for any airgunner.

    Thank You
    Anirudh Anireddy

  2. BB,

    FYI, The Gamo Squirrel comes with 55+ yards of line, no need to purchase separately. In addition, if you get a few of these, Gamo has an additional kit of faceplates (turkey, rabbit, etc) so you don't have to be thinking squirrel all the time.

    PS – Why doesn't someone offer a low cost (but not cheap construction) set of silhouette targets? I now almost have a complete set of the expensive ones, so it's about time!

  3. Anirudh,

    The 350 isn't known for breaking scopes and the AirHawke is a good scope. So I think it will hold up.

    Yes, the 350 is different from all the other Diana breakbarrels by having no droop. The base with no slope is the one you want.

    I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. Good luck with your rifle.


  4. Anirudh,

    This is the mount/base that is suitable for your 350 that B.B. mentioned:


    I'm a huge fan of these mounts/bases. I had a Diana 54 that broke bases, rings and scopes before this base, specifically designed for the Diana airguns, was invented.


  5. PurcHawk,

    RE: question about the P17 from yesterday

    Judging by the pile of emails and comments I've gotten from the blog posts, your concerns about the P17's durability are well-founded. If you just want to buy it and shoot it and the thought of having to work on one annoys you, this is absolutely not your gun.

    Both P17's I've owned required semi-regular tinkering to keep them running. I think the design is right on the edge of function. Still, it's so inexpensive and shoots so well, I can overlook some faults. The gun IS easy to repair if that's any consolation. At this price range, this is probably the best trigger going. Mounting a red dot is dicey on a P17. I know it can be done, but the plastic groove is soft and will be permanently marred. Cocking the gun (on the closing stroke) also becomes difficult as there's little space left to put your hand.

    Personally though, I'd still buy another without a second thought if I lost mine with the knowledge that the trade off for the low price is time and effort.

    If cost becomes less of a concern, the Gamo Compact and the Baikal IZH 46M are standout choices with the nod going to the 46M. But neither is easily equipped with a red dot.

    If noise becomes less of an issue, the CO2 pistols like the Crosman 2240–or better yet a Crosman Custom Shop 2300–can be red dotted quite easily.

    Can't yet speak personally about the Daisy 717/747 guns. I know they're extremely quiet and we can trust Matt61's rave reviews about his. I don't think they're red dot compatible.


  6. If someone wanted to just spend a hair over $50, I would recommend the Crosman 2100. It's a great rifle for the price and one of my most accurate air rifles. Out to 25 yards, mine holds its own against my old model HW 50S. It just takes a bit of finagling to load the pellets.


    I recall that years ago everyone was testing pellet performance on soap. Haven't seen much in the way of that recently. Are the days of soap over?

    Al in CT

  7. Been hoping to see some tactical flashlight suggestions on the Christmas Gift Lists.

    I don't need a tactical flashlight as a weapon but would like one to help taking close up photographs (remember B.B.'s article about "painting with light"?).

    B.B. uses/used a crosman 60 lumen that takes two CR123A batteries. IF POSSIBLE I'd like a tactical flashlight that takes cheaper batteries or is rechargable.

    Come on you flashlight guru's and give me some suggestions. Please.

  8. Kevin,

    Target was selling a 180 lumen 6" tactical LED light for about $40 (don't know if they still stock them) and it uses AA's. I couldn't resist and bought one. My flashlight collection is winning over my air rifle collection.


  9. @Kevin,

    May I suggest the Fenix E20?

    It outputs 100 lumens for 4 hours on 2 rechargeable AA batteries. The beam is focussable for a tight spot or reasonable flood. It comes in type 3 hard anodised finish which can take bumps and scrapes shamelessly and can take a dip anytime cause of being waterproof to IPX 8 Standards.

    The best part is that it costs $38.00..

    I have a huge collection of flashlights. Whats your budget? I can suggest you some nice ones within that range.

  10. Fred & Mo,

    Thank you. Just the kind of input I was hoping for.

    My budget for this flashlight is under $200.00. Keep in mind the primary use is not stopping intruders in their tracks but in using it to aid in photography.

    Do you think 180 lumens would be too much for that use?


  11. Kevin,

    I've been into photography for over 6 years now. Using a flashlight that makes any more that 50-60 lumens will cause the camera to compensate the exposure.

    The LED lights have a bright hotspot that will confuse the camera's sensors and over expose the images.

    Moreover, the hotspot will cause sharp shadows behind the image.

    If I were you, I would use a flashlight with a diffuser tip attached. This would remove the hotspot and give you a nice dispersed flood, at the same time lighting up the subject well. Sorta like a lantern.

    Incidentally, the E20 has a diffuser tip attachment for $5.00 🙂

    With a budget of $200 you can get some serious tactical lumen. But for your purpose, this would be a waste of money. Especially so, since the more advanced lights usually use CR123/18650 cells.


  12. Gee, thanks, guys!

    It's not as if Tom doesn't have enough flashlights. When he gets back from the range and sees all these flashlights that he doesn't already have, I'm sure he'll be adding them to his Xmas list. Although I'm done shopping for him, I suppose there's always room for another flashlight. In fact, I find myself saying that there's always room for another airgun, firearm, binoculars, scope, knife and metal detector. Of course, the list doesn't stop there!


  13. Mo,

    Thanks again for all your advice.

    The link you provided (we're gonna get in trouble linking to other retailers that compete with Pyramyd Air) took me to the Preon 1 and Preon 2 flashlights.

    In your subsequent comment you mentioned that I should consider using a flashlight with diffuser and the E20 (Fenix E20 I assume?)has one. There are actually four different diffusers for the Fenix light on that site. A "Headlight Diffuser lens", two different "White Diffuser Tips" and a red one. Even a photographic idiot like me must assumme you're not recommending a red diffuser but which of the other 3 diffusers do you think is most suitable for my use?


  14. BB

    1. What up with the Crosman PCP pistol?

    2. When oh when will Crosman add a 1377/1322 option to its custom shop?

    Right now the choices are a base 1377, a DIY project or a custom from a vendor. I suspect that there is a large part of the market that wants something more than a base model 1377, something less than a custom and do not have the skills and/or time for a DIY project.

  15. Kevin,

    Mo's given you some pretty good advice but may I suggest waiting for Cowboystardad to weigh in with his opinion (he sells cameras for a living). There are other problems with using an LED for your photography. The white LED is actually a mixture of different light waves (to get white, the manufacturers have to build an LED that puts out the colors of the rainbow) but very heavy on the blue wave length (since there are no indigo and violet LED's to my knowledge). What this will do is cause your photos to show with heavy blue tint requiring some "photoshoping" to get them to look natural. I don't know if the white selector on a camera would compensate but only the more pricey digital cameras have a white balance feature that the photographer can control for different lighting.

    Perhaps just considering an incandescent spotlight is the answer for painting the image of the rifle or gun or, you might be able to get the effect you're looking fo via software. Of course, that's still no reason not to buy a flashlight. You can never have enough.


  16. BB, about the recommendation for the Crosman 760… I think it might make more sense to replace that with the Crosman 664SB since its a much better gun. Though you might have had your hand forced by having to rely on Pyramid Air's prices for stuff…

    Basically the reason I'm dubious about the Crosman 760 recommendation this is we get a lot of questions about it at Yahoo Answers hunting section (for both hunting and target shooting). Almost invariably the the the consensus there is that there are better options in the sub-$50 category for both target shooting and hunting. I usually recommend the Daisy 880 ($45 at Walmart) and Crosman 664SB ($47 at Walmart) since they're both far more accurate in my experience, with the additional comment that if a person can afford the little bit of extra money the Crosman 2100 is a far better option (for both hunting and target work).

    Basically what I usually tell people concerning the Crosman 760 is that in my experience the gun tends to pattern more than it groups with both BBs (typically 3-inch or larger) and pellets (2-inch or larger) at 50 ft or beyond. I figure that's because its extremely light weight and a smooth-bore gun (with the short sight radius for the iron-sights not helping anything).

    You may blow this off, but I figured I'd just mention it since when people buy kids Crosman 760s, we invariably get a bunch of questions about "Can I use the Crosman 760 that Mom and Dad bought me for Christmas to shoot squirrels/rabbits/crows/pigeons…".


  17. Fred,

    Good suggestion. Hope CowBoyStar Dad weighs in.

    I'm trying to minimize my interaction with photoshop so if a 60-80 lumen flashlight is going to create more problems that it solves I'm not interested.

    In B.B.'s multi-part series on photographing airguns he sure got good results using a 60-65 lumen light that he painted the subject with. Don't know if he had a whiz bang camera that has a "white selector" button or not. My leica may have that setting but I've only read the first 100 pages of the manual (LOL!). I'm a point and shoot kind of guy when it comes to camera's.


  18. Kevin, I'd agree with Fred on a couple of counts. Firstly LED spectal output will affect your camera in two ways. Firstly camera sensors are not designed to work with LED and, as Fred mentioned you will have color shifts that will be pretty dramatic. As well the output of the LED lights is out of the range of what you're light meter is designed to measure…so your meter will give erratic readings.
    I have a client who has had numerous gallery exhibits of his light paintings and he strongly feels that the Xenon lights are best.
    Now…onto the batteries. Lithium CR123 work out to about 2.5 times the price of premium Alkaline AA's.
    But they last 7 times longer under use.
    As well they loose very little when stored. Unused, in a flashlight, after year the Lithium will still have 90%+ of it's original power…an alkaline less than 70%.
    The most economical of course are rechargeables…the problem is that under high drain situation, which tactical flashlights are, a charge will only last about 1/4 as long as alkaline, and correspondingly less than lithiums. Unless you are going to be doing a LOT of light paintings I think you will find the PITA factor of how often you'll need to recharge outweighs the cost saving.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  19. BB,
    Recall the garage sale $5 Stevens Model 73 that needed a firing pin. Funny thing turned out to need a bolt too.

    You recommended e-gunparts.com back then so I've been watching the site for the parts to be in stock. And this week they showed up. $50 for complete breech bolt assy. So now I have a $55 Model 73 which is probably worth $50 or so. Not much a find after all.

    Hope it shoots cause I ordered the parts anyway.

    Thanks for the tip on e-gunparts.com.


  20. CowBoyStar Dad,

    Thanks for chiming in.

    Everything you've said makes sense to me.

    So, I need to focus on a flashlight with a Xenon light and it's ok if it is powered by Lithium CR123 batteries?

    Seems you've got me on the right track now. Any suggestions? Anyone?


  21. Kevin,Please wait a few days before you spend any money.I will cull one from my herd that should be perfect.It is a Walther tactical light,xenon bulb and cr123 batteries[2].at no cost to you…My way of saying thanks for such a good price on the FWB! Frank B

  22. Kevin, check out the TacStar T6.
    15000cp, Xenon bulb, takes 2 CR123 batteries. Aircraft aluminum, waterproof, has the usual twist on-off cap plus the push button tailswitch.
    I picked mine up for about $35 two years ago, use it on a regular basis and I've been very pleased with it.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  23. Al,

    RE: testing pellet performance on soap

    Doubt that testing with soap bars is over. But the soap bar is harder than flesh or ballistic gel. So soap exaggerates the mushrooming of pellets. It isn't just how fast you shoot them that causes mushrooming, it is really more about the deceleration of the pellet. Even a very low power rifle will mushroom the pellet if you shoot it into concrete, or a hard metal surface.

    My personal opinion is that a 5 gallon bucket of water works pretty well. I float a thin foam sheet on top so I don't get splashed. The water decelerates more slowly than ballistic gel, but shooting at point blank range the pellet has more velocity. To me it seems to about even out.

    All in all, I'd guess that you need something like 700 fps or so at the target to get most pellets to mushroom to any significant degree. BB pointed out to me a while back that you need to think like a buffalo hunter. In other words, shot placement is key. First you need to worry about hitting a vital spot, and expansion as a secondary factor.


  24. Derrick:

    Now I'm really confused. B.B.gives the P17 his unequivocal endorsement. You echo what you indicated on your blog about having to repair them all the time.

    I am no good with anything that involves messing with the innards.

    I don't mind marking the dovetail if I can get a red dot on the pistol.

    I want to use it to practice for the rimfire part of Conventional Bullseye competition, which is with a Ruger Mark III with a target trigger and sear and a red dot, so the P17's shooting characteristics sound perfect.

    Perplexed, perplexed.

  25. BB,
    What kind of a salesman are you, anyway? You manage to sell me an item that's not even mentioned on your list; i.e. flashlight? Yes, I blame you, you're indirectly responsible, you and your minions. It's a conspiracy, I say, a conspiracy! Don't even start on knives, now. I'd better not see a knife anywhere on your list.


  26. Edge,

    Is the Edhe still on schedule? Yes, it is.

    The range Edith mentioned I was at earlier happens to be at AirForce, and I went inside and photographed a production Edge. They are building the boxes for them and finishing the manuals. In fact, I took some pictures for them to use in the manual.

    So yes it is on schedule.


  27. Kevin,

    I second CowBoyStar Dad. You can't beat that Walther deal. Xmas is in the air!

    Tacstar makes reliable models. And the T6 is one of their best. I got one as a gift. But I prefer the LED versions, cause I'm a sucker for white light. Even my car has HID head lamps 🙂

    But to answer your question, the diffuser tips come in 3 sizes (dunno if they're added more) and its best to order the two together and mention in the notes. They will ship you the right size. And not the diffuser cap. But the wand type.

    Also, if you have access to a lathe, you can make your own using nylon. Thats what I do. Takes 5 min and you have a custom product.

    The preons will not be suitable for your use as they have a really small reflector and can throw a very bright hotspot from close. Will not help you in photography at all.

    The only reason I prefer LEDs to Incandescent is the fact that they're virtually indestrustible. They dont break if dropped, use less power and maintain constant brightness in most regulated models.

    Tinting will be a problem. But I'm assuming that you're going to use it for impromptu photo sessions and not for professional uses. In which case, color rendition should not be a problem. Either ways, all available software, including the free Microsoft Office Picture Manager that comes with your computer can fix it with just one click.


  28. Kevin,

    I'll chime in on the tactical flashlight discussion now.

    I just used the Crosman light to paint a couple of shots I used for my intro photo for a large Shotgun News article. The trick is knowing how long to pain the subject. I would recommend not using more than 60 lumens, because even that can be difficult to control.

    With a digital camera set right, the camera's software will color-correct the exposure for you, as long as it doesn't have to go beyond its built-in parameters.


  29. Kevin,I sent the flashlight ,it will arrive the same day as the other correspondence.it has all the features of that light Cowboystardad mentioned.from a foot away I can feel the heat of the beam!the bezel focuses,I've prefocused it for the widest spot with no dark spot in the middle.that ought to be good for photos…hope you like it! Frank B

  30. Frank B, you're a true gentleman. Its always nice to see friends help out friends.

    And B.B., did you take a look at that link? I'm sure the red one would be a perfect Xmas gift for Edith to carry in her purse 🙂


  31. Kevin

    AA powered flashlights still have their place as the batteries are much easier to find, especially in a pinch. The Fenix LD20 is a perfect choice. A reported 2 hour burn time at 180 lumens, but also 4 different power levels, 180-94-47 or 9 lumens. I'm sure one of these power levels will allow you to paint with the right amount of light. Get the diffuser too if the color isn't right. All this from 2 AAs. About $60

    Want to burn some retinas? The Fenix TK40 uses 8 AAs to make 630 lumens. 630 lumens. You can use 4 AAs if you dont have 8. Variable power levels blah blah blah $160. 630 lumens.

    If you want to go the lithium route the Nu-Flare 77R92L luxeon Rebel 90 LED police flashlight is a winner. A reported 6 hours at 210 lumens.

    Frank B

    What are you doing? Can't you see Kevin has $200 burning a hole in his pocket?

    If we're going to be talking about tactical flashlights we would be remiss if we didn't mention that BB wrote and article on just this subject not long ago. It's some of his best writing if you ask me. If you don't LOL reading it, go see a doctor.

  32. RE:Soap- I hope that you use the soap in the shower BB:-)
    Haven't caught the show yet, don't have the channel. Wish I did.

    Herb- Thanks! I brought up the subject half-jokingly because I remember it seemed like everyone was raiding their bathroom for soap to shoot, especially the clear bars.

    Perplexed- I'd look at the Crosman 1377. It shares a similar profile to the Ruger Mk series. If you don't mind C02, look at the Crosman 2240 pistol. Same grip frame as the 1377. The stock triggers can be tuned if that's your thing.

    Al in CT

  33. B.B.,

    Thanks for the answer. I was concerned about a point where number of lumens wash out the photo.

    Settings on my digital camera? You're talking about taking this thing off auto?


  34. Slinging Lead,

    Thanks for all that great first hand knowledge on flashlights. I have an old mag light and some $1.50 grocery store flashlights. Guess it's time to move into the 21st century.

    Your recommendation of the Fenix LD20 is the second one today. I need to look further into this flashlight.


  35. Slinging Lead,

    Forgot to mention. I agree with you about the tactical flashlight article B.B. wrote back in June. Re-read it yesterday. Very funny. Unfortunately it didn't address my silly need it was more about the weapon aspect.


  36. Flashlights and BB guns — we're all grownups here:).

    Don't forget the Hornady .50 caliber round balls. I was researching my Xmas pellet requests and noticed them on the PA sight! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like buy 3 get 1 free applies:).

    That was some nice shooting, but you need to be careful with your logic. Soon you'll be like me, looking for often ugly, always utilitarian rifles:). I can get you into a 36-2 and bedline a customized stock for about the price of one of those flashlights:). Seriously, I've been abiding by the 1 safe rule for years. If it doesn't get out 1x per month at least, there's no reason to have it. Just make sure its a big safe:).

  37. I want to second B.B.'s recommendation of the Crosman 357-SIX. I've owned five of them over the years. It has a superb trigger pull. Although the S&W version is heavier and feels like obviously higher quality, the 357-SIX gets you into the game for far less money and will still improve your aim with handgun firearms.

    Use new and shiny pellets late in the day with the sun low and behind you and the pellets shine like tracers…it's a good way to practice shooting from the hip with this pistol!

  38. Chuck, yep, that's the one.
    It's a great little knife in my opinion. It holds an edge well, is easy to sharpen and looks…cool.
    The only way that it isn't 'tactical' is that it is meant for day to day camping chores and such. It doesn't have the blade width to use as a break-in tool, and if you were trying to seriously 'dispatch' someone the blade may not be heavy enough to pound through bone…which is most definitely not high on my list…or anywhere near my list.
    But as a good general purpose knife with more heft than my folder, with a tactical look, it is hard to beat…especially at the sale price you've quoted.
    I know that I've made a few remarks on my 'issues' with chinese merchandise. They really do make some good blade steel (the Whiplash is made in China) at 1/3 the price of something made in America/Europe.
    An aside…the XS-B9 (the chinese airgun I bought last week)…I cleaned up all the grease, properly lubed it, loc-tited the screws (as many on the chinese yellow forum advise), and have put about 300 rounds through it.
    The first day shooting it stunk up the basement…the grease I hadn't managed to clean…but now it seems to have settled in and is shooting really nice. Not as smooth as my Slavia nor as accurate as my Avanti…but when the Nightstalker returns from warranty I think it will become part of the boys (6&8) arsenal.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  39. BG_Farmer,

    I did have a brief awakening. How brief remains to be seen.

    I've got far too many nice guns that I don't shoot. I've spent the last two weeks tagging those that will be sold. Would you believe that one of my safes hadn't been opened in a year? Found a gun in there that I swore I took up to my other place and stashed it somewhere and I just couldn't find it.

    I need to get realistic and get these guns into the hands of those that will use them. Found an H & R Sportsman in it's holster that I forgot about and don't think I've shot in 30 years. Bit overwhelming.


    So easy to buy so hard to sell.

  40. Al in CT

    Perplexed, also known as PurcHawk is well accustomed to the 1377c, as he already owns one. Sounds like he's a darned good shot with it too.


    Crosman will seemingly never add the 1377 to the custom shop, much to their detriment. I have made the request, as I am sure thousands of others have.

    Do not worry about working on this pistol yourself. I am as good a gunsmith as a drunken monkey with a ball peen hammer. I have made a few simple changes that have transformed this plinker into something else entirely. Everyone who sees it must pick it up. Just watch out for the tiny ball in the safety, I have a bruise on my forehead from mine.;^)


    Do you have much experience with the 2100b vs. the 880 powerline? I have a neighbor who brags constantly about his 880. It is crude but shoots pretty good. I can out shoot him with my TX200 but you don't compare Yugos to BMWs. I would like to outshoot him with a rifle cheaper than his and would love to do it with a Crosman.
    Alternatively, how would you compare the quality of the 2100b against say, a Daisy 901?

  41. Kevin,

    No, the auto setting may be the best. I use the Aperture-biased setting at 80 ISO and I have the white balance set to auto. That's pretty close to point and shoot.

    The flashlight is just a little colder than the room lights or a Tota light I use, but the camera balances that nicely.

    As far as the time goes, in a 2-second exposure, the flashlight is swept over the subject for perhaps 1/8 second. I don't turn it on and off, I sweep it through the area of interest–hence "painting with light."


  42. SlingingLead: My fault on PurcHawk. 🙂 I've follow this blog since it started, but don't post too much. Sometimes I forget who's who.

    I know you asked this to J, but I have some experience with the 2100b so I though I'd chime in if you didn't mind. Take this for whatever it's worth:-)

    Dude, you won't go wrong with a 2100b. They are great rifles for cheap. I've had one for nearly 10 years now and I love that sucker. Bought it for $55 or so with the cheapie scope. I've dropped squirrels at 35 yards with head shots. Every squirrel I took, I put a hash mark on the plastic butt. Looks like a prisoner's cell wall now:-) It has a metal receiver where I believe the newer 880's are plastic (if that even matters). It has a good heft to it, but not heavy by any means.

    The trigger on mine isn't light, has lots of pull, but is very smooth and lets off at the same point so I know when it's going to break. I've never shot bb's in it, only pellets. At 10 yards from a rest I can make ragged holes in paper.

    Also, you can leave the 2100 pumped, whereas I don't think you can with the 880.

    The only cons that I've come across with the 2100b are as follows:

    1) Loading pellets can be a pain until you find out a good method. I think BB had his way with a 2200 that worked good for him. I have banana hands and it's a bit tough for me.

    2) Rear sight notch is narrow, front site is wide. Tough to use stock, but if you have a file…

    3) The barrel in the 2100b is surrounded by a sheet metal sleeve. This sleeve can be loose in some 2100's and can hamper accuracy. As long as it's snug, you should be fine.

    These are great rifles for the price and I recommend them to anyone wanting a good gun on the cheap. I have rifles that are worth more than 5 times the price, but not five times the performace. It's easily my favorite.

    Al in CT

  43. Secret note to Edith,

    I think Tom might like a Fenix TK40 for Christmas.

    While you are at it, pick up something nice for yourself. Along with a very dark pair of sunglasses.

  44. Kevin,
    I was just ribbing you — no one would want to live like I do–ask my wife:). Given the current financial outlook (without being political), I've been considering converting currency to hard assets, although spending money goes against my religion. Those firearms may be worth more than the selling price in the not-so-long term. I'm not predicting the end of the world, by the way, just inflation:).

  45. Slinging Lead, I don't have a lot of experience with the Crosman 2100. (I've gone through a mess of reviews, talked to a couple fellas who have a good bit of experience with it, looked at every chronograph listing for it I can find, and run the power numbers which is why I'm comfortable recommending it on YA. Plus I've shot Crosman guns for years so I'm confident that mechanically their stuff is better than Daisy's, but like I said, I don't have a lot of personal experience with the Crosman 2100.) I mainly shot a Crosman 664 back a couple years ago. Then a Crosman 760. That said if you want a good review including commentary about accuracy, the folks at AirgunWeb.com reviewed the Remington branded version of the Crosman 2100. They managed to shoot 3-shot, clover-leaf groups at 10 yards with the included scope on a windy day. I can't see the groups opening up much more at 20 yards if you take the time to zero the scope and shoot pellets the gun likes. Add in the fact its a Crosman multi-pump (which means mechanically they're as reliable as AK47s…) and I'd say its a good choice.

    However I've owned a couple Daisy 880s and will comment about them. I wrote-up a pretty complete review and commentary about the Daisy 880 so I could save typing at YA, which can be found here: (http://kirschy.angelfire.com/Daisy880.html)

    The short version is the Daisy 880 is reasonably accurate (especially when scoped and shot from a bench) with pellets that it likes. I've shot 3-shot groups that can be covered by a dime at 50 feet that way. However its just not very durable. I've had my current gun less than 2 years, I followed the manufacturer's maintenance instructions, and the seals/valves are already crapping out. That's why I'm switching to a Crosman multi-pump this X-mas.;)

    As for beating your friends Daisy 880 with a less expensive gun… I don't see how you're going to manage that with a Crosman 2100. The Daisy 880 retails for $45 at Walmart. The cheapest new Crosman 2100 I know of is right around $60 (at Pyramid Air). When you add in the cost of shipping (and sales tax) the Crosman 2100 comes out to $73.;)

    If you really want to out-shoot him for the same basic price… If the Crosman 664SB is anything like the modern version of the Crosman 664 that I shot back in the day, it should be just as accurate as the Daisy 880 (possibly more so seeing as how I remember hitting soda cans at 40 yards offhand when my eyes were a bit younger.)


  46. I guess I'm old school, I just carry a 2 cell AA Mini Maglite and a swiss army knife with me. The only upgrades is now I sharpen my blades from time to time and use rechareable batteries. I do make sure a spare bulb is in the base of the flashlight. Apparently, dropping the flash light while driving a motorcycle isn't good for the bulb.

  47. hitari0,

    No oil is best of all. I have to ask, why do you think your gun needs oil? Most of the new ones don't.

    Now we have to know, what model airgun are you talking about? Because the type of oil depends, in part, on what gun it will be used in.

    However, for all spring guns except those special target types like the FWB 150 and 300, silicone chamber oil will work. One drop not more than every 3,000 shots.


  48. BB,

    I'm always saving my change:).

    Been meaning to ask what you did with the Hawken, if you had any time. I worked my way up to 80gr of Pyrodex RS and my rifle and I are finally starting to shoot the way I envisioned. You'll be happy to know that I've got the cutting patches at the muzzle from a strip down now — just took me a while to see the light:). It is really fun to go buy cloth (ticking for shooting and white cotton for patches) at Walmart — I can tell the lady there wants to know what I'm doing but is afraid to ask:).

  49. J

    Thank you for both of your very detailed posts. This is the marrow of the bone so to speak.

    The plastic receiver on the 880 matters plenty, seeing as braggarts are very shallow generally speaking. Metal > Plastic

    I can beat him price wise because he got suckered at some overpriced retail store with the whole kit (crappy scope, pellets etc) for around $100 or so.

    I was actually looking at the Remington Airmaster 77, which you shrewdly mentioned is the same as the 2100 mechanically. Pyramyd AIR has remanufactured ones for $49, with the crappy scope.

    This may seem petty to alot of people. I am actually humble by nature (experience has robbed me of my pride.) I hope to give him the same experience:)

    Have you used a Daisy 901?

  50. PurcHawk,

    Well, I'm glad BB didn't say all the P17's are the bee's knees. Many of the Pyramyd customer reviews mention having to work on the gun–including several who also gave it very high marks despite the mechanical issues. That's the camp I guess I'm in.

    I'm not sure there's another gun that's both as quiet and red dot-able in that price range.

    Is not having the red dot a deal breaker? I don't know how you can attach a red dot to a Daisy 717/747. I think B-Square used to make an adapter a couple years ago.

    I shot national match pistol for several years too, and used a Gamo Compact (later an IZH 46M) for practice. The trigger pull of either airgun is substantially better than what one typically encounters on a Ruger–even one equipped with a Volquartsen or Clark trigger. Knowing now what firearm you shoot and what you're practicing for, if you could accept a bit more noise, a Crosman 2240 that's been customized a bit could be the ticket. If you want to consider this, say so and we'll come up with some options that will make the gun feel like your Ruger.


  51. B.B.,

    Thanks again for the photography input. Maybe someday I'll learn how to take macro pictures inside. The sun has helped me so far but we're entering the deep freeze phase of our year and I really need to learn how to take good pictures of guns.

    Your experience well is deep.


  52. BG_Farmer,

    I will hopefully get the Hawken to the range next week. Gonna shoot it with Triple Seven–another new experience for me. It's made from sugar!

    Hey, my carry gun is now a Micro Desert Eagle–the .380 they make. Do you think I dare blog it? I've already got some stories.


  53. B.B.,

    Another vote for a blog on the new .380. I told the blog quite awhile back my carry is a browning .380.

    Never thought you would stoop to such a lowly caliber considering your affinity for the .45.

    Be interested in hearing about the transition and why (other than lighter, easier to conceal, lots of fire power). 😉


  54. Kevin,

    Okay, macro photos indoors. Again the key is light. Most digital cameras will remain open long enough to get the right exposure down to a surprisingly low level of light–like a single candle. All you have to do is let them.

    But you need a good tripod to get good macros. The camera has to be rock-still as those few photons make their way onto the CCD.

    Tell me what the problems are and we'll fix them together.

    As for .380 vs .45 ACP, I find that the caliber I like doesn't work nearly as well as the caliber that I will actually carry.

    You know, I see these guys with lightweight snubnosed .357 magnum revolvers and all they talk about is how reliable they are. Yeah, but do they ever shoot them with .357 Magnum ammo? Heck no! Because it hurts! So they shoot loaded-down .38 Special for practice (still stings!) and carry the .357 mag. I'd hate to see them in a pinch.

    Me, I can dot an I with the .380 at 25 feet. Yes, it is a mouse gun, but I pity the mouse.


  55. B.B.,

    I'm looking forward to experimenting with indoor photograpy and the new flashlight. I've got a tripod and have been using it. I need to get the manual out and read about your aperture override something suggestion. I'll keep you posted.

    We seem to be on the same page on ccw. A pocket gun called the Desert Eagle short circuits me but I'll get over it. Your micro is the smallest .380 I think. The majority of the time a carry gun only needs to be accurate to 25 feet. I never understood the obsession of big heavy guns for ccw for that reason alone. Looking forward to the blog on the micro.

    Don't think you'll ever run out of topics. Sorry. No retirement for you.


  56. Guys:

    Thanks a million to all of you who took an interest in my problem.

    Derrick: I had wanted to stick with a pump pneumatic if possible, but it sounds like a P17 would just be a waste of money and time.

    I have a 1377c (as noted by Slinging Lead, who must have a photographic memory!) and I mounted a red dot, but the balance feels a lot different to me than my Ruger. I went back to shooting it as a carbine.

    Would a 2240 be less front heavy?

    Even though my Ruger has a bull barrel, it settles back in my hand nicely.

    By the way, I do have a Volquartsen trigger that has been further tweaked by my friendly local gunsmith–a retired police captain and amourer. It has a smooth first stage and then breaks crisply at a small squeeze (can you tell I love this trigger?).

    The price of a 2240 is certainly not bad, and I already have the intermounts, although a steel breech would be nice.

    Is the trigger mod the same as the 1377c, which even I could do? Squeezing down the spring in the grip?

    Certain sounds better than the P17, which you guys have ganged up on pretty completely.

    If you think a 2240 with a lightened trigger would come close to my Ruger, I certainly have trust in your opinion.

    Thanks again!

  57. BB,
    There's no way you could have known, but I have been researching CC, just because I want to exercise every right I have these days, though as you know I would prefer my 12G in a social situation:). The .380 came out looking like a solid choice; I read somewhere (perhaps more than one place) that out of a compact, the .380 is pretty close to a .38spl from a snubby. So blog away. I'm still not convinced the world is ready for my handgun skills, but I'll be happy to read:).

    I'd like to see a blog about the T/C on black sugar also, but I don't know if that many others would be interested. Cleaning is just something you have to do — almost fun if you factor it into the time you need to spend shooting. I've been buying white cotton and cutting squares for cleaning patches — seems like I go through more in one "BP" shooting session than in a year of c/f and r/f shooting!

    Its a matter of availability. The Pyrodex RS (or 777) is at Walmart 24×7 much of the year, whereas the other choices are more opportunistic. I will keep an eye out for Select, and Goex BP is on my list for sure, but I've got to get "the guy's" number again:). At this point, I think my bore has smoothed out nicely and I'm comfortable — and possibly competent — enough to change variables.

  58. BB,

    Here's the different Gamo Target Faces for the Squirrel Target I talked about earlier: /product/gamo-target-faces-fits-squirrel-field-target-mechanism-6-pk-4-kill?a=2241

    Re the 1377c custom: too bad. They discontinued the 1322 barrel parts, so you really gotta go custom if you want to make your 1377c a 1322+ (ream out the front sight and get a longer barrel from a different gun). My minimum set of mods is a steel breech, a better sight (LPA MIM or Red Dot – Red dot gives more options for silhouettes – can't get the MIM adjusted down low enough for 5 pumps on chickens, but the Red dot will do that and then you can do 6 pumps for Rams!) also, RB grips and super pumper (so you don't pinch your hand) and a brass adjustable piston for more power per pump and more consistency. Weakening the trigger spring seems kind of lame, but my 1377's have better triggers than the adjustable ones from the custom shop???

  59. Kevin,I'm not classically trained in photography,but I have a great tip for your macro with tripod.get acquainted with your camera's timer trigger.the directions are somewhere in that hundred pages you've read…and make sure the camera is set to make sounds {beep}when the timer triggers.the timer will eliminate any vibration from pushing the button and the beep will cue you when to "paint"with the light! Frank B

  60. PurcHawk,

    I've got a P17 that came with a red dot on it–one of those deals in a mail order wish book. Ended up taking the red dot off cause it made the gun a pain in the butt to cock.


    I bought one of the LED drop in replacement bulbs for my 3 D cell Mag-Lite for $18.00. Money well spent. Excellent out put and battery life.


    I've been looking for the perfect pocket knife for ever. I'll give you a couple of knives to look at, both regular and tactical (whatever that means). The knife currently living in my pocket is a SOG Spec Elite with the 4" blade.

    A Rainbow Kershaw Leek is my dress knife. I like and sometimes cary a Cold Steel Ti-Lite. Went through a security check point and had to leave it at the door. The guard gave me a knowing smile when he returned. Spydero is also well represented. We won't go into the full auto's cause they're illegal to own or carry.


    I like my KEL-TEC P-3AT loaded with Federal Premium Personal Defense ammo. It carries unnoticed in my right front pants pocket. When that's too big I go to my Turn Me Loose Gun, a North American Arms .22 long rifle 5 shot revolver. Which I bought from the long gone College Park Hardware Store. Did you ever shop there?

  61. Mr. B, around here at least Lowe's had the 2-and-3 "D" cell LED Maglights – complete – for $15. Bought 2, shoulda bought 4.

    You're right – the LED Maglights are fantastic. Never imagined they'd have as much light as they do…

  62. Slinging Lead, I haven't used a Daisy 901. I considered it when it came time to replace my current Daisy 880, but I opted for a Crosman gun instead. That's mainly because I have suspicions that the Daisy 901 is very similar to the Daisy 880 mechanically.


  63. Ryan,
    I think you made a good choice, but I'm partial, since that was my first "real" air rifle a couple of years ago. Please let us know what you think when you get it. There's quite a few of us with them, so don't be afraid to ask if you have any questions or problems, either.

  64. Ryan,
    I use RWS Basics with it almost exclusively at 10M– they seem to be about the right weight for it and pretty decent, consistent quality. Groups on mine are slightly better with Meisterkugelns (rifle, 8.2g?), but since I usually shoot offhand and outdoors, the difference isn't really worth the money:). BB had good luck with Hobby's, but they aren't as good as the Basics in mine.

    Pretty much anything in the 7-8+gr. range works decently — I've even shot Daisy P-max's in a pinch, but I don't enthusiastically recommend them because there are some clunkers. If you want to shoot "long" ranges, try Superdomes and JSB Exacts (both work well for me), as well as the cheap Crosman points (my favorite plinking pellet — more of a dome than point) and Crosman Premier Lights (CPL's). BB had great luck with the CPL's, but I haven't tried them — my 490 stays in the under 20 yard range most of the time, where it is most effective; if the range is farther than that, I'm just messing around, not shooting for score or groups.

    Hope that helps more than it confuses:).

  65. Ryan,
    Congratulations on your new girl friend! And don't think she's your last. You will likely end up with several of these gals in your life time all wanting your attention. Just beware they are demanding and high maintenance and oh so much fun!


  66. PurcHawk,

    A 2240 with the optional Crosman steel breech would be a better start than using the intermount. My gripe with the intermount is that it puts the dot way too far forward on the pistol.

    There are several ways to mount a dot, but this combo works well for me:

    Attach this to the steel breech first
    Put the overhang over the loading trough. It fits like it was made for it.

    Then use a red dot for a Weaver base (Yep, a Weaver base)

    I've mounted many red dots on Crosman 22XX guns. This combo works really well and allows the dot to be more rearward on the gun for better balance and gives you some extra loading space under the mount.

    The 2240 trigger/grip/frame is exactly the same as your 1377, so the trigger job is the same.

    If you want to make it quieter, consider a lighter hammer spring. You'll lose some velocity, but you're just punching paper. You can also make (or buy) a power adjuster if you want the spring tension adjustable.

    I think there's about $140 in the gun, mount and red dot from Pyramyd. I think you need to call Crosman for the steel breech. With some relatively straightforward work, this should shoot as well as your Ruger on the 50 foot indoor line.

    There are tons of aftermarket parts available as well to let you build the gun into whatever you desire.


  67. When I ordered the rifle I got Basics, because others commented that they worked well, Gamo Match to see if they did well because they are cheaper, and Crosman Destroyers to see how those did. I'm also curious, how often should I oil it and is Crosman Silicone oil good for it?

  68. Ryan,
    Crosman Silicone Chamber Oil is fine, but only when it needs it. Just give it a drop or two when it starts honking (it will "squawk" when you cock it, if its dry:)). Those pellets sound like good choices to start with.

  69. B.B.,

    I am about to drop the hammer on a Gamo CFX and a Bug Buster Scope by Leapers. I have researched this carefully and feel quite comfortable with the decision to buy this setup. Your blog has been a tremendous help with a wealth of good and pertinent information. I have a few questions remaining that still concern me with this decision:

    (1) What is the best pellet selection for this gun? I will be getting the "buy 3 and 1 free" from Pyramyd AIR, so I have the option of mixing and matching pellets for field targets, hunting, etc.

    (2) What is the best scope mount for this gun with a Bug Buster scope?

    (3) My dream gun at present is the TX 200. Since I will already have the CFX in .177 cal, is it a wise decision to get the TX 200 in .22 cal. for small game?

  70. Derrick:

    Great sounding advice. I already have a couple of good red dots with Weaver bases and the dove tail to Weaver adapter base (I used them on my 1377c), and I know how to do the trigger spring business to fix the trigger.

    It sounds like all I need is a steel-breech 2240 and a supply of .22 pellets and some CO2.

    I'm still leery of trying to install a breech myself, giving my fumble-fingered gunsmithing–I loved Slinging Lead's characterization as "a drunken monkey with a ball peen hammer"–but your blog instructions are so clear, I may be bold and try it.

    This will have to wait until after Xmas, but I think it will pay big dividends when the Bullseye competition starts up again next May. I have used some publishing software to reduce the official targets to fit my 6 meter basement range,so with a slightly modded 2240 I should be in business.

    (By the way, noise is not a big factor.)

    Thanks again. This blog generates friends the way drunken monkeys produce chaos,

  71. RickO'shea,

    On the question of scope rings, the thing to remember about the Bug Buster scope is their barrels are very short, so fat rings have almost no room for back and forth adjustment. The CF-X doesn't recoil much, so two-screw rings might be best. Try these:


    For pellets I'd get the Crosman Premiers in 7.9-grain weight, and the JSB Exacts in the 8.4-grain weight.

    I personally would not buy a TX200 in any caliber except .177, because it is the best in the world. For .22 I'd get an RWS 54.


  72. Mr. B,

    That link worked. The last 8 and 9 were being left off the original link.

    Thanks, Rick

    P.S. There is a rumor floating around that not only is B.B. Pelletier a more accurate shot that Tom Gaylord, he is also better looking ("they" say it's the Austrialian bush hat that makes the difference).

  73. RickOShea,
    I've met both Tom Gaylord and BB at the same time (Actually they look like twins) and I can tell you Tom is really the better shot whereas BB is a much better blogger (with the help of his wife Edith who, it sounds, after reading his latest post, should also be helping him with his range work, too). Tom and BB are both pretty good lookin guys, though, but then, since I'm straight, I'm not the right person to judge that.


  74. Mr. B.,

    The cat's don't even know that we have heads, much less that we wear hats. They DO notice what's in our hands, though…and it had better be a can of food to feed them, a treat to delight them or a toy to entertain them.


  75. Mr. B.B.,

    Well, I changed my mind on the CFX when I caught a glimpse of the RWS 48 Striker Combo on Pyramyd's site. This looks like a great deal as well as a good entry level gun for me as a new airgunner.

    I also like the thought of owning a well made German air gun. The historical background of German engineering and gun manufacturing makes for good conversation.

    Once again my question is centered around pellet choice. I watched Paul Capello's video and his tests with the RWS pellets and feel these are probably the pellet of choice for this gun. Do you agree or do you suggest some other brand as well as type of pellet for the RWS 48?

    Thanks so much for your helpful advice and expert opinions on this blog. You are my go-to source for anything concerning airguns. Your enthusiasm for the sport and patience with newbies such as me are very appreciated.


  76. Yes sir Mr. B., the 22. cal is the one I'm considering.

    Do you recommend the JSB exact as an all around pellet for most applications, or should I mix and match a few different kinds of this brand?

    Thanks again, Rick

  77. BB,

    I keep reading "Pelletoil this" and "Pelletoil" that, and it sounds like a necessity for powerlet-powered CO2 guns. However, I own and use a somewhat elderly FWB C20. Should I use Pelletoil on that gun? If so, where, how, and how often?

    Feinwerkbau says not to lubricate the gun.

    Thanks much,


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