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Education / Training The Red Ryder – Part 1

The Red Ryder – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Can you believe it? In an airgun blog, I went for almost four years before blogging the Red Ryder. This is an early (1947) model.

Well, here we go. The Red Ryder is the American icon of BB guns, and some would go even farther to include all airguns. Daisy still makes a Red Ryder than can trace its lineage back to the original model made in 1938, but what I am testing for you now is an original. Well, I need to qualify that a little.

The first model Red Ryder was a No. 111 Model 40. There are at least eight major variations of that model, of which mine is No. 5. It has a wood buttstock and a plastic forearm, with no barrel band around the forearm. The steel is blued in the old way, and the gun was definitely made in Plymouth, Michigan, around 1947, which is also the year of my birth. A steel shortage in 1947 forced Daisy to make the cocking lever from aluminum, and it was painted black.

After the No. 111 Model 40 had finished its run, Daisy switched the Red Ryder name over to another model called the 94. That one ran from 1955 until 1962. Then, the model switched again to the 1938. The model 1938A came along in 1978 and was immediately followed by model 1938B in ’79. If you buy a Red Ryder today, that’s what you’ll get.

So, the Red Ryder is a concept rather than a specific design, a lot like a Ford Mustang. The name has stayed the same, but a lot of different models have slid underneath it. Currently, Daisy does their best to preserve the retro look and feel of the BB gun that has been their cash cow for so long.

I’ve owned this model in the past, as well as model 1938 Red Ryders, and I once owned a model 94 that was in like-new condition. But at the 2009 Roanoke Airgun Expo, I came into possession of a beautiful No. 111 Model 40. In other words, a vintage gun. That’s what I’ll test for you here. I don’t want to be crass and say that it’s a “real” Red Ryder, because they’re all real. But this one is closer to the model that first came out in 1938.

My Red Ryder is a little different that the rest of the No. 111 model 40s, though, because it came to me as part of an incomplete boxed set called the No. 311 Target Outfit. That outfit included a long model 300 scope, a BB trap, a cork barrel and some other small things. Mine is missing the scope, but it’s still a valuable set. The gun still has the hard-to-find rear scope mount that’s different from the rear mount found on the Daisy No. 25 pump gun that used the same scope.

Lightning Loader
One cool feature of an older Red Ryder is the Lightning Loader–a tube running under the barrel where BBs are loaded. The No. 111 Model 40 guns were all 1,000-shot models, despite what author Jean Sheperd believed when he wrote his book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, that inspired the iconic 1983 movie A Christmas Story. He said they were, “…200-shot carbine-action range-model air rifles.” He was also wrong about the sundial and compass in the stock; those things belonged on a Buck Jones trombone-action BB gun. But Daisy was so pleased with the publicity from the movie that they released a special edition Christmas Story Red Ryder with those features. And here’s a trivia tidbit. Peter Billingsley, who plays Ralphie in the movie, is left-handed, so the gun(s) (there were about six used in the movie) that you see in the movie are all reversed from the guns Daisy made for sale. The compass and sundial are on the other side of the stock. Also, the “copper” bands around the forearms are actually painted. Orin Ribar of Daisy told me they couldn’t get the metal plated in time, so he just painted them and it worked.

Turn the muzzle and the Lightning Loader is open.

Shot tube
Another feature of the vintage Red Ryder that’s gone from today’s BB guns is the shot tube. It still exists, but today it’s amalgamated into the overall gun and isn’t meant to be removed by the shooter. And there truthfully isn’t any reason you would want to remove a modern shot tube. Because modern Red Ryders don’t jam. Or at least they jam so infrequently that the shooter doesn’t need to think about it. But in the 1950s, jams were more common, because BBs were less round in those days. Then, too, the shot tube had to be removed to oil the piston seal, which had to be done frequently.

Little boys from the 1950s and ’60s know what this is, but we don’t see shot tubes anymore. They’re inside the guns and don’t need to come out.

Red Ryder was a mythical western hero who appeared in comic books in the 1930s and later. Daisy licensed certain rights to the Red Ryder character to go with their gun, but even the most insensitive person knows that cowboy is the central theme. So, Daisy put a saddle ring on the left side of the gun and tied a leather thong through it. Mine had the original leather thong on it when I got it, but the leather was so dry-rotted that it crumbled off during handling. It left the saddle ring heavily rusted through years of exposure to tannic acid, and the places closest to the saddle ring on the receiver are the most rusted on the entire gun.

The saddle ring rusted heavily from the acid in the original leather thong. Stalk sticking up from the receiver is the rear mount for a Daisy model 300 scope.

A real Red Ryder from back in the day was considered to be a powerful and desirable BB gun, perhaps second only to the No. 25 pump. It was a status symbol of youth in the 1940s and ’50s. If parents had only known! Their $4.50 purchase would propel their offspring from one of the nameless horde to the rank of privileged progeny. It was the youthful equivalent of having an extension phone in the home, in the day when Ma Bell owned everything.

The vintage gun looks robust to contemporary eyes. We would have shunned a plastic forearm in the 1950s, and, indeed, today’s Red Ryder has an all-wood stock, but the thought of 1947 plastic is becoming kitchy. It wasn’t until the 1967 movie The Graduate that actor Dustin Hoffman learned for all of us that plastic was going to be the great secret of the future, and yet here is a plastic part that was already two decades old.

The bluing runs deep and even by today’s standards. Heck, a modern Savage centerfire rifle would have to improve significantly to be as good. The black paint on the cocking lever is chipped and looking scuzzy, but the plastic forearm looks surprisingly fresh. Apparently, it never came in contact with the heat that destroyed these early synthetics so quickly.

Today, we would say this gun is hard to cock, because the mainspring is a vintage one with lots of pepper in the pot. Today’s guns are all tuned down with thinner coiled wire mainsprings that don’t develop the same velocity as the old ones. Having said that, I expect a good Red Ryder of this vintage to make 325-350 f.p.s. Only the No. 25 went faster, so far as I know, and it’s the 13-year-old in me saying that. I’ve done very little velocity testing on BB guns, other than the No. 25, the Crosman M1 Carbine and the Daisy 499. And my prediction assumes a good leather piston seal, which in this gun is now 63 years old.

I remember back in the day that we worked hard to cock our guns. Watching little Ralphie in A Christmas Story gives the impression that these were fast-shooting guns, but as I recall they took some work to operate. I remember putting the butt between my legs to anchor the gun as I hauled back on the cocking lever.

The sights are fixed, but you could adjust windage by bending the front post with pliers. Most kids just corrected with Kentucky windage, though, because nearly every gun shot to one side or the other. Elevation was handled similarly. You soon developed a good feel for it because you could often see the golden BB in flight.

The Red Ryder logo is stamped into the left side of the wooden butt. On gun versions 1 and 2, the logo is burned into the butt. On gun version 3, it’s silkscreened on because of problems with the logo-making machinery. The Blue Book of Airguns isn’t clear on this, but it appears that version 5 is the first version to have the logo stamped on. Minor point but, oh, so important to a Red Ryder collector!

Famous Red Ryder logo was found on the butt.

So much has changed in the decades since this gun was new. The tin pop cans we used to test BB-gun power have morphed into thin aluminum cans that most modern BB guns can rip through. I don’t have a vintage pop can to use for my velocity test, so I will try to do something else creative for you.

As for accuracy I recall these guns were hard-pressed to keep their shots under two inches at 25 feet. It should prove interesting to see what effect, if any, modern BBs will have in this vintage shooter.

I’ll do both of those things in Part 2, which will be the finish to this report. So, if you have any strange cravings to see something out of the ordinary done to Ralphie’s Old Blue, now is the time to speak up.

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.

194 thoughts on “The Red Ryder – Part 1”

  1. B B,You brought back incredible memories of wonderful Christmas mornings with your blog this A.M.Being what my parents called "a spirited kid" my parents would not buy me anything that would shoot a projectile.They did get me several Daisy rifle "pop guns which were fun at the time.Wish I still had them.Can"t wait for part 2.Jersey Boy

  2. Jersey Boy,

    I was similarly spirited, and like you, all projectile-launching products were kept from me. Look at what that's done!

    This Red Ryder is my little celebration of the kid in me. A sort of belated Christmas present to myself.


  3. Hi B.B.,

    Just out of curiosity, what do you mean when you say, "…the mainspring is a vintage one with lots of pepper in the pot"? Emphasis on the "pepper in the pot".

    Ben B

  4. B.B. I completely understand.I did'nt deny my son though.Got him a model 25 pump when he was 10,to be used under my supervision.By the way I was born in 47 also,so I know you remember Chuck Connors "The Rifleman".I always wondered why I could'nt flip the one my parents got me like Chuck fipped that Winchester.LOL.Great talking with you.Jersey Boy

  5. BB:

    You are likely to be flooded with nostalgia stories!

    My parents wouldn't allow a Red Ryder (I'm three years older than your model, by the way), but my best friend had one and if I bought the BBs, he'd share it with me. No pop can was save.

    Wonderful stuff.

  6. This is the kind of articles I most enjoy, being an old fart (70). I got my Red Ryder when I was about 6, in 1946. I remember it well. Had it a long time. It had a wood forearm and the barrel band.
    A few years ago I got one of the newest versions. I mounted a peep sight on and used BB's meant for the 499, hoping to get more accuracy. It helped some, but it will never be a 499.
    Thanks for the article.

  7. Great post BB. Been getting ,more and more interested in bb guns as of late. Why? You don't have to worry about speed, pin point accuracy and what not. You just use them for fun.
    I already have a Daisy 499, and have another bb rifle that is one my list.

    I noticed earlier today that you can still get the Daisy Model 25 new. Or at least I saw a few sites with them selling the reissue. Do you think they are comparable with the old ones? They look like it.

    Al in CT

  8. Does anyone have any details on what the new Benjamin Pistol will be like. Will it be available in .22 caliber. Will it be a single shot or have a rotary magazine. Will the power range be the same as the discovery or lower. Anyone having any info please let me know.

  9. Old fart,

    I wrote today's report for you, and for me and for all the other guys who remember those days. I remember them in snapshots that turn into short videos of this or that event. Strangely, these memories are always in color, though I could swear that color wasn't invented until the early 1960s.

    My desire was for a Daisy No. 25 pump. I knew about the Red Ryder, but until I heard Ralphie explain the historical significance of the gun I never appreciated it. My first store-bought "real" BB gun was a Daisy No. 110 Rocket Command gun. It was blue and white and was immediately branded a girl's gun by my friends. I couldn't get rid of it fast enough.


  10. Hey BB,

    I was curious if my purchase of the Red Ryder target kit gun (you generously let me place it behind your table at Roanoke this year) piqued your desired to buy one for yourself?

    By the way, my friend loves the rifle and facetiously said he intended to have it by his side when he watched "A Christmas Story".


    You'll shoot your eye out, kid –

  11. I have a picture of Matt61 in my head.

    He's hunkered down in his favorite reading chair, has a WW2 helmut on complete with camo cover, his M1 is leaning against the chair, his book is open and the TV is playing an old war movie.


  12. Are you interested in increasing the odds of American Airgunner Show returning next season?

    It's a tight race between all the new shows on the Sportsman Channel as to who will get picked up next season.

    I would encourage you to show your support for American Airgunner by taking 60 seconds to cast your vote for Best New Series. The polling closes in 3 days. By taking part in the poll you could win a prize package worth $1,000.00 from Cabela's. Here's the link to vote:



  13. BB

    How old were you when your parents finally relented on the BB gun thing?

    We had a Crosman 1377, phase II I think, that was cocked in the rear. It was to be used to kill woodpeckers only, for destroying the cedar siding on the house, and not by me.

    No go carts either.

    Somebody cue the tiny violin.

  14. You know, petting a Winchester while watching Miracle on 34th Street just doesn't make it for me. Now if you were watching a Jimmy Stuart or Richard Widmark western (my favorite western is "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence"), then I'd have to say there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with having a lever action Winchester on your lap. Just don't shoot the TV out, Kid.


  15. I often sit with a M-1 garand or Carbine watching BAND OF BROTHERS or SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. My always indulgent wife is OK with that, but if I slide a bayonet on the end , that creeps her out!!!

  16. My wife is fine with any and all of my guns, but we have a large male cat who freaks out whenever I bring out a military rifle. A 1917 American Enfield or SKS is freak city but a Thompson Center Hawkin is okay. I don't know how he knows.


  17. B.B.,

    Renaissance Wax is a new one on me. Read the history and instructions. I ordered some and am anxious to try it. Thanks.

    Sharpening knives, oiling and cleaning guns along with waxing everything that needs it are great indoor winter projects.


  18. BB,
    The newer RR's don't jam, they just fail to feed as easily as the older ones, at least on mine. I do remember removing the shot tube on my old one now that you show that picture, but can't remember why (except perhaps that it was possible).

    Now go for the utlimate Christmas BB gun faceoff — RR vs. 760: accuracy, rate of fire, style! I don't think we ever resolved the question as kids, aside from being happy with whichever one we got:).

    RE: the cat. Is he a shorthair or a longhair:)?

    If you want to see passion regarding finishing techniques, peruse a violin making forum — they take it to a completely different level.

  19. BG_Farmer,

    Roy Rogers is a tiger-striped silver tabby shorthair. He's a big Baby Huey with a tiny kitten voice that doesn't match his 25-pound bulk. When he sees a military rifle come out he hunkers down and starts slinking around the room, keeping the old fish-eye glued on me, to see if I'm the threat he imagines.


  20. B.B.,

    Wellll, thanks for re-posting. Looks interesting.

    My mothers third marriage lasted during the time I was about seven until I was about twelve. He was the "dad" imprint. Didn't see him again until I was able to drive a car and tracked him down. After reconnecting we had a wonderful relationship that lasted until his death in June (he had all the camera equipment that Mac helped direct the disposition of).

    He was an architect by profession. National reputation. Great photographer too but that was a hobby and none of it sunk in to me. He was unbelievably gifted in the visual arts. He took a haitus from architecture (mid life crisis) and started building banjo's. To challenge himself he built guitars, violins and even a hammer dulcimer.

    I spent a lot of time in his shop watching him steam wood, inlay ebony, mother of pearl etc., prep for spray and then apply laquer like an old world craftsman.

    Within a few short years he had almost 5 years of orders (primarily for banjo's). He said it had turned into a job and was no longer fun so he went back into architecture.

    I know what you mean about "taking it to a completely different level".


  21. New shooter,

    I believe hdd stands for Hammer Deceleration Device. It's supposed to make the hammer less prone to rebound off the valve stem, thus giving a more positive and uniform hit to open the valve. At least that's what I think it is.


  22. B.B.

    That was one of your best blogs I've read! I so enjoyed it, even though my first bb gun is the 499 I bought after your blog on it. (age 59) The second was the one Ray and Hans donated to the auction at the national field target contest this Nov. It's a special run crosman made, but I didn't get the details. Mine is #4, I think of 15. It's all shinny red butt and forestock is striking… I haven't shot it yet.

    My first gun, I think now, was a Hy-Score 806 (Diana 22 or Winchester 422). I know mine was a Hy-Score, because I remember the gold circle on the butt stock.

    My dad gave me a job killing cotton tail rabbits that were eating the bark on our newly planted citrus trees. (I got .25 cents per rabbit!)

    I had to crawl very close to get a head/eye shot.. Those were great times at 8 yrs old with my dad.. Even though we lost that 6 ac ranch in Fallbrook Calif. after 2 years of games the packing houses played.. and won.

    My next gun, many, many years later was that same .22 cal semi-auto 551 rem. that dad shot if I missed with my Hy-Score… I thank the Lord I still have dads' old .22… I got it when he passed.. some years ago now..

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  23. BB

    Nice to hear of your enormous cat. I would not be disappointed to see Roy show up in a blog photo some day or perhaps as a guest blogger?

    We have a 20+ pounder as well. She's a tortoise-shell Maine Coon named Yeti. Some cats will bite you if you try to pet them. This one will bite you if you try to stop.

  24. Slinging Lead,

    We used to have a Maine Coon cat. We adored him. Incredibly intelligent. Smarter than some people I know.

    As far as Roy is concerned, I wouldn't hold out any hope that he'll do a guest blog. He's not the sharpest tool in the drawer, but I love him just the same. Sometimes, those with the least talent and the least going for them tug the strongest at your heart.

    Maybe we'll put a composite picture of our 3 kitties on the blog on Xmas day. It'll have to Photoshopped because there's no way we could get all of them to sit still next to each other at the same time.


  25. I remember my first air-rifle…and ealy Slavia, a 618 I think, from about 1965. I was 10, my dad was hugely into shooting (some may remember the arsenal he had that I listed a few months ago).
    Dad had all his reloading gear set up in his mothers basement (my mom was frightened to death of 'all that gunpowder'), and he set up a little 20' shooting range. He would be in the corner reloading while I plugged away with the Slavia. This of course was the main reason why I hunted out the Slavia 630 for my first 'adult' air rifle two years ago.
    I can only hope my two boys have the same kind of memories surrounding their Red Ryders in future years.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  26. B.B.

    The Red Ryder has been on the short list to enter my pantheon for nostalgia alone. But the relative inaccuracy would frustrate me and those 600 bbs would be a pain to clean up.

    Kevin, you're close but I put all the gear on my action figures and look at them. Speaking of which, I have a favorite movie scene from the film Small Soldiers about action figures come to life with the aid of a new prototype computer chip. A guy is relaxing in his suburban home with a big screen tv that is playing an old war film. He muses contentedly, "I think that WWII is my favorite war," unaware that the small soldiers are creeping up on him. By the time they're through, his whole house has collapsed. Fantasy is a dangerous thing….:-)


  27. That's pretty funny about your Cat. We had a Golden Retriever who just passed away. Everytime I would take out a gun to look at it the dog would shake and tremble. Then the dog would almost have a siezure and run throughout the house and leave "deposits" here and there. It got so bad I would take a gun out of the closet and hold it behind my back so I could sneak into the other room to look at it. The Dog would eye me suspiciously and try to look behind my back. My girlfriend would tell me to keep them in a case so the Dog would not have a nervous breakdown. That worked for awhile until the Dog saw me taking a gun out of the case, then just the sight of an empty gun case would send the Dog into flights of terror. The last time it happened the Dog ran through the house bouncing off furniture and left "deposits" in many places. My girlfriend yelled at me and handed me a bucket and a brush and told me to clean it up since it was "my fault". I looked at the Dog and said, "some hunting Dog you are". I swear that dog was smiling at me while I was down on my hands and knees cleaning up. Now when I get home I'm going to pull out my old Red Ryder and see what I have here. Thanks

  28. Matty61,

    We have a small indoor RC helicopter. I just bought an RC hovercraft this week to further entertain the furry masses. Their most-loved toys? Plastic shopping bags (handles must be cut open first), boxes and laundry baskets (either full & empty). We have a houseful of tiny play mice (at least 2 dozen) that entertains the kitty we adopted this summer. Also, string and shoelaces are immensely fun.


  29. Golden Retriever,

    We used to have a female cat named Mitten who was one of the few liberal cats I ever knew. She would follow me down to my basement range and start protesting whenever I started shooting airguns. All the other cats left the area, but Mitten was determine to make me feel her pain whenever I shot.

    One time when she was feeling especially bold, she went and sat in the bullet trap, daring me to shoot. I had to close the door to the basement if I wanted to shoot unscolded.


  30. Frank,

    The prices at this year's Roanoke were down a bit. Maybe 15-20 percent off a year ago. So a nice 1936 engraved 25 might bring $80-100, where a year ago it was $90-125.

    Red Ryders of the 111-40 variety were selling for $60-90, where a year ago they would have been $75-110.

    That's not to say that there weren't $300 No. 25s and Red Ryders. But at that price they had to be really good.


  31. BB, did any of the earlier RR models ever wear a plastic buttstock? I remember mine (bought for me when we lived in Houston in the mid-'50s) did, but I may have it confused with the Model 25 that followed it. I remember the plastic buttstock had the 10 safety rules on the butt.

  32. BB
    Hello My Name is Jim, and I have a book. "It's A Daisy", 1976 Original don't think is has been opened much, still In great shape.I am Interested In selling it. Do you have any Idea what It's worth I have heard Little under a $100. any advice you can give me ?Thanks

  33. Jim,

    Sorry to tell you this but the bottom has dropped on the price of that book. It did get up pretty high, but when Daisy reprinted it a couple years ago the price collapsed.

    I have both and the old book has problems because of being printed on acidic newsprint.


  34. BB,
    That cat sounds like a whopper. I had a grey tabby barn cat named Trouble (affectionately), but she wasn't that big. That's a good thing, since she used to jump off the top rail of the fence and onto my shoulder for a ride:).

  35. Thank you BB,sounds like a buyers market…If my Dad could see me now! Kevin,Again thank you,that was the best informational link yet,AND I learned how to search a whole link without transcribing it! Frank B

  36. Ha! The memories of the RED RYDER are of pain and blood! My blood…I was maybe age 5-7 and that was the First air rifle that I ever pulled the trigger on–WITH THE LEVER DOWN!! It fired, mangelling some fingers. My Mother was almost hysterical, seeing all the blood… I later had a Benjamin pumpup, fond memories of that one.

  37. B.B.

    I watched Gunbroker and the pawn shops for a long time and found another Rem. 551 and bought it as a spare… It's in better shape than dads is by just a little…

    I'll put it in the pile that will eventually trade you out of your USFT 🙂

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  38. Wayne,

    I know it must be easy to shoot 2 USFT's at once but it takes a real man to shoot 3 at once.

    Are you just hoarding these?

    Should have known B.B. would have a USFT stashed somewhere.


  39. Kevin,

    Hoarding…. well yes, I'd like to.. but selectively!

    ..let's call it narrowing of the collection.

    See my add for most of my classic springer collection on the yellow! .. well it's way back now, but a new ones a comin..

    Since Tim makes the USFTs all himself, one at a time. There is now, and will always be a very limited number of them.

    But I'm not going for a lot of them…just special ones, given as prizes at national contests, owned by winners and very wonderfully famous people, like our master here… drum roll please.. Tom Gaylord!

    I let him see my Air Arms Shamal, but pulled it off the table.. as Edith was telling me how sorry Tom was he sold the one he had…

    When Toms' USFT is on the table that will be part of my pile to get it!!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  40. Kevin

    Another thank you is in order for the oil-rubbed finish link you posted. I had googled this very topic and found nothing this informative. Most of the results I found were for furniture. This is perfect. Thanks again.

    PS – Done any of this yourself? I would be interested to hear your experiences.

  41. I wonder if some peoples indoor pets were afraid of of guns before airsoft became popular? 🙂
    I had a friend in grade school that was a little on the unruly side with his first bb gun, no porch light was safe.

    David Brown

  42. Paying it foreward;Matt61 You must read the sharpening tips at Ebladestore.com…several pages adressing everything!!you will soak it all up quick,probably explained better than I can show you in person! P.s.I bought a German Wolff ball bearing sharpening machine with all jigs and extra wheels for scissors and knives at the local flea mkt. FOR 25 bucks!!!!!!!cost 800 or more!

  43. Wayne,

    Saw your classic springer list on the yellow a week? ago. Had to yank on my leash to keep me from pulling the trigger on several of those classics. Was surprised at the slavia's being on the list since you spoke so highly of those early in your airgun career.

    Heard nothing but good things about the shamal. Never owned one but seems to fall into the same catagory as a tarantula. Overlooked, accurate sleepers. Everyone wants newest and often overlooks better.


  44. Here's an update on my experience with my new Hammerli 490 Express:

    After getting used to how it fires, I finally found enough time to sight it in. I did it inside with a heavy duty plastic barrel that I tested beforehand to see if it was heavy-duty enough. I didn't have targets, so I decided just to use printer paper, as I am not looking for pinpoint accuracy (yet). After sighting it in for about 20 feet (not a lot of space indoors, and it is REALLY windy out right now). Much later in the day (nighttime), I decided to do some plinking, since I sighted it in earlier. Well, it seems I can at least hit general areas like blocks of ice or hunks of wood. If only it wasn't 10 degrees (F)! Since I didn't put a circle on my targets, I can't tell if I need to improve my hold or sight in more properly, as I was just shooting at general area targets for fun. However, once I have more time when it's not dark out, I'll use some smaller objects as targets and see how that turns out.

    Hope you enjoyed it,

  45. Slinging Lead,

    Glad you found the oil finish tutorial beneficial.

    Yes I've refinished firearm stocks. Made lots of mistakes.

    I'll share one thing. The latest buzz on airgun blogs is wipe on poly. Yippee. Not much different than urethane that's been around forever. Everyone goes gah gah over how easy it is and how nice and glossy it looks reflecting the light in pictures. But what they don't know or won't acknowledge is that when you scratch it and try to repair it or blend it you've got a mess to deal with. Ignore the scratch and moisture could get to the wood and start rotting since you've only put a finish ON the wood not IN the wood.

    The one thing I'm trying to share is the benefits of a fine oil finish versus encapsulating your wood in plastic (poly/glass/urethane). In my eyes a good oil finish is a classic look and the bonus is the functional beauty. Oil finish is easy to repair scratches even gouges. In addition poly/glass/urethane finishes get scratched and scuffed and end up hiding the beauty of the wood.

    The link of the tutorial is a good place to start. Wood finishing is an art. Introducing stains isn't even addressed and that is an art form unto itself.

    I'm a hack at best and could write a small book titled "Gunstock Re-finishing Mistakes I've Made". I'll add one more thing that wasn't addressed very well in the tutorial.

    Prep is key. Before you start applying any finish, sand until the stock feels like glass. Then raise the hairs and start cutting.


  46. Ryan,

    Thanks for the update. Glad you're getting to know that new gun.

    Keep shooting indoors. One of the many great things about airguns is we don't have to wait for a break in the weather to shoot.

    Two suggestions for your indoor shooting. First, shine some light on your targets if they're not bright enough to see in your sights/scope. Second, don't draw a circle on your targets draw a dot. Aim for the dot. Aim small miss small is an old cliche'.


  47. Yeah, I drew a circle because I was afraid I wouldn't have been able to see the target (I wear glasses but I think I need new ones :P). But since I'm not looking to shoot 0" groups I'm fine with that for now. Peep sights would also help, but I don't know of any that go on the 490.

  48. Kevin,

    I didn't know how few were made or how early the Shamal was in Air Arms product line when I got it. Some one told me a little about it at the Nationals… but they didn't know much about it either..

    All I know for sure is.. Tom wants another one… hee hee..

    I wonder if Tom will tell us about the one he had…. please.. please.. please! …

    a comment, if not a 2 part blog.

    But, B.B. you might wait until you've traded me… and own one again! .. so rush that trade, send me the USFT and I'll send Shamal, my first born and make up the difference later.

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  49. Kevin,

    I'm in 100% agreement with you. A hand rubbed oil finsh is the way to go. It's got all the bases perfectly covered: protection, beauty and repair.

    You're also right in your statment that an excellent final product requires impeccable preparation.

    I've got a stock that seems like it lost 1/4 of a pound from my sanding, refinishing and then starting the whole thing over cause I wasn't satisfied. Course there wasn't a google anything 49 years ago to help a kid out.

    Mr B.

  50. When I had a Daisy 1894 as a kid I, too, wanted to see what would happen if I pulled the trigger with the lever down. So I did just that – but I had the presence of mind to keep my entire had off to one side 'just in case' something bad happened.

    No guts or taste for adventure at all!

    But nothing happened. The 1894 won't fire that way.

  51. Ryan,
    Give it some time — your eyesight and the open sights should be fine for respectable groups if you can at least see what you're shooting at! Make sure your sight picture is correct (search the blog, BB has discussed it many times) and consistent from shot to shot, as well as your hold (BB again); try to use the best technique (breathing, trigger, stance, etc) you can early on, so you don't learn bad habits. I wish I could start over sometimes! I would avoid a scope until you have gained competence (or better mastery) with the open sights.

    Don't think you are going to get great groups on your first outing: Shoot a group and then try to shoot a better one; repeat 1000x while constantly evaluating your technique.

    I think you are underestimating polyurethane when used over a properly applied stain, but I also think that if you're talking about the easiest way to get a decent finish, the oils are that.

  52. BG_Farmer,

    Tell me more about your poly experiences.

    Mine are the opposite of yours. I've found that it's easier to get a decent finish with poly than oil since poly floats on the surface and can hide/fill imperfections. Although oils can be built up they never hide anything.


  53. Mr B.,

    I'll bet good money my first refinished stock looked worse than yours.

    I was in jr high and knew everything. Took an old single shot .410 and sanded and sanded. Bought a gunstock refinishing kit that included mahogany stain and poly final stage. Stock turned out red. When the poly was applied it made it bright red.

    Didn't attempt to refinish another gun stock for many, many years after that.


  54. B.B.

    So what else should I be collecting in my pile to trade you out of your USFT?

    Think large and small.. I'm loaded with stuff here!

    The Shamal seems special to me.. but I can't figure out why. I haven't shot it hardly at all. And I won't let the guys take it down to the range, unless I'm watching.
    It's beautiful, well shaped, balanced perfectly, shoulders me really well.

    I really feel it should stay in the safe instead of seeing use. Right next the new RWS Excaliber prototype for import, that never happened… Early PCPs both.

    Please tell us a good night story about these daddy????

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  55. Wayne,

    A good night story it will be. My Shamal surprised and even shocked me with its accuracy. It was a .22, but shot to one hole out to 40 yards.

    It was the rifle on which the performance curve of an overpressurized valve was demonstrated in a huge way. I clocked 100 shots while discovering that the fill pressure wasn't 3,000 psi but about 2,600.


  56. Actually, the 1894 isn't even cocked with the lever down. The cocking stroke isn't complete, and the piston catch does not engage until the lever is back home. They did that to ease the cocking effort with the shorter lever.

    And even at that – the 1894 uses a real hammer. The trigger doesn't do anything but trip the hammer, and the hammer knocks the piston catch off.

  57. B.B.

    Great teaser for your story on the Air Arms Shamal.. I'm even more hooked!

    The start up of the Air Arms company is a great story too.. I've only heard tidbits..

    Give us some history please?

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  58. Ryan,

    here's a website to go to if you want to print bulls'eyes on your printer paper. When you consider the effort of printing, ink used, taping the back of the targets, and paper, it's almost a wash ordering targets here at PA. Up to you.


    For a homemade pellet catcher, I bought two really cheap foam pillows from Wal-Mart and stuffed them in a carton box that a ream of printer paper comes in, then duct taped it together and finished with a safety piece of plywood behind the box. It's worked for me for thousands of shots.

    Stay warm.


  59. I have a question about homemade pellet traps (to be used indoors).

    What materials should I use to construct one, and how should I set them up? (As a final backstop I have a metal locker-type cabinet that only has one layer of metal, but my gun is only 500 fps, so it should fine)

    Thanks, Ryan

  60. Wayne,While you're putting the full court press on BB for that USFT…maybe we could twist your arm a little to give us a heads up on the blog [so we have a chance in heck]Before you sell any more of your collection??I would love to buy a Wacky Wayne gun!!!I'm not looking for a discount,just a little preferential treatment pleeease…..LOLTMS Frank B

  61. Ryan,

    There are a lot of plans on the internet on building a pellet trap. Here's a good one:


    I really like the bullet/pellet traps that PA sells. Especially these two:



    I bought a large metal electrical box (was designed for housing sprinkler controls) off of ebay with a locking front door. It stays outside along with my champion bullet/pellet trap. I filled the electrical box with duct seal (electrical conduit seal) and put a layer of duct seal on the roof of my bullet trap to quiet it down.

    The key to safety and quiet enjoyment for indoor use is duct seal. Visit your wholesale electrical supplier in town for the best prices on bulk purchase of duct seal.


  62. Wacky Wayne,

    You'll have to deal with me if you want our USFT. Like the Winchester 1894 rifle I mentioned in a previous guest blog, the USFT was bought through our business account. Tom doesn't own it personally.

    If you want that gun, you'll have to sweeten the pot a LOT more. I'm not easily talked out of anything and I'm not a good negotiator, but I do know enough to hold on to a good gun 🙂


  63. Kevin,

    Are you sanding wet with the oil to fill/seal the pores? The "brush-on" poly's will indeed fill any pore or cover any finish with a couple of coats, but they require a lot of practice to get applied without looking plasticy.

    My experience with poly is that a lot of the failures are due to improper stain application underneath, as well as putting too few thick coats on. I've never had a commonly available stain (oil- or water-based)work according to directions (they blotch), but given some elbow grease and surface prep (conditioning), they can all be made to work very nicely, helping to enhance the grain and control the color. In my experience, it takes a really deep scratch or gouge to show through, even on light wood (e.g., poplar) stained dark. I'm using this example because I used that combination on my son's toy rifle a couple of years ago. His usage makes anything short of warfare look tame, and the finish is holding up well.

    I really like the wipe-on satin poly (for a less glassy look), although you can get a similar result with the gloss by sanding it. When the poly is thin and applied in thin coats, the difference from oil in appearance tends to evaporate. There is no need for the work piece to look like it is sealed in plastic, even though it is:).

  64. Kevin,
    Thanks for that link!! I immediately went to cast my vote. I was disappointed not to see Krystal's name for favorite personality. Or is it Crystal. Can't remember. Sorry BB, yours wasn't there either but I would have voted you #2. 😀

    BTW, haven't seen Krystal/Crystal lately.


  65. BG_Farmer,

    Yes, I highly recommend wet sanding with THINNED oil initially to build a muck and fill pores.

    Seems the most common mistakes with staining are not knowing your wood (beech is a beoutch typically to take stain) and not building stain. Most treat stain as a one step process.

    Thanks for sharing your poly process.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record I much prefer the look and wearability of oil. It's also the feel of wood in my hands versus plastic. Yes, I'm very shallow and tactile.


  66. Edith,

    Oh!!!.. this just became too much fun!

    I love to dance!

    Give me hints, large and small, to make the pile more to your liking!

    And just think how lonely that USFT is all by itself. It's brother and sister are lonely too.

    It really belongs on the west coast anyway, it's way to close to that "other" manufacture in Texas.. I'm sure it has nightmares every night!

    That ugly thing doesn't even look like a gun.. I'm sure all it's neighbors want it out of the neighborhood.. bringing down the property values.. don't ya know!

    It's the right thing to do!

    … I'll think of more later..

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  67. CJr,

    Great! Wish everyone that want to see the American Airgunner on the Sportsman Channel next season would vote. Takes less than 60 seconds AND you have a shot at winning $1,000.00 worth of Cabela's stuff.

    I know what you mean about Crystal/Krystal. Was B.B. on that show?


  68. Ryan,
    You have a good gun. Don't get discouraged if you think your shooting is not as good as you think it should be. I know my first month was puzzling to me. It takes time to be consistent. Even now after over a year I am still puzzled about the way I shoot a couple of my guns. I just know it's my fault but can't figure out what's happening.

    Don't be down on shooting 20 feet, either. You can still learn a lot and train yourself at that distance. Then, come spring you'll amaze yourself.


  69. Kevin,
    Just give the wipe-on poly a try (prefererably in satin) for a small project sometime. I think you'll be impressed. I don't like the "donut glaze" look or feel either.

    I don't know which is worse, blotchy stain or the recurring craze of blond wood:).

  70. Edith,
    I know I have a long way to go and a large pile to build up.

    I need hints… your desires… your needs.. you can include firearms.. I'll bring them personally again.. I love the fire ants! … they don't scare me anymore.

    Everything is on the table except my other USFTs…

    and I thought Tom was tough…

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  71. Ryan,
    Another target alternative. Go here:


    Click on eMatch Info in the left column, scroll down until you see Target Sources, click on Printable 10 Meter Silhouette and/or Printable 10 Meter Benchrest target and print those with scaling set to NONE. They are fun targets.

    Also, there is a target making software link right under these target links.

    And, if you can find 10 meters somewhere you can join in on the competition, too.


  72. Kevin,
    Yes BB is on that show. The same episode airs about three times through out the week. The last three or four episodes it's been him and Paul. The last episode I saw they were shooting paint balls off golf tees with CO2 guns. Looked like a don't-try-this-inside-your-home thing.


  73. Kevin,
    One more thing — a favor if you don't mind. Could you go to http://www.kentuckylongrifles.com and look at the pictures of antique rifles and tell me what kind of finish you think they were using? I keep coming up with some type of varnish, but most of the new ones are done according to currently accepted wood-finishing techniques . Many of them look fine, but not quite right, even discounting age. I would appreciate your insight.

  74. BG_Farmer,

    What do you use wipe on poly for?

    I'm planning on working over my first airgun stock. A custom carbine stock that has a lazy finish. I've always used linseed and tung oil but never used the waterlox brand. I really like the way that the custom airgun stocks turned out that several local airgunners showed me. Since they used waterlox and finished with royal london oil I thought I'd try that.

    I'll try the renaissance wax that volvo pointed to at the end. Be an interesting experiment.


  75. Kevin,
    I used the wipe-on poly for my long rifle stock, although I had to add a tint to it (over the stain) to get the effect/color I wanted. As the weather degrades, I'm taking it back down to hack some more on the stock, but I'll probably use the same stuff, although I can't resist messing around with things. Previously, I've almost always used brush-on semi-gloss for stocks, which is a bear to apply properly.

    Will be interested to hear how Waterlox works for you.

  76. Kevin,
    I understand. In order to see BB, you must first tear you eyes away from Crystal. You'll recognize him as the guy who looks like Tom Gaylord, then you can look back at…whatever.

  77. BG_Farmer,

    I looked at those vintage finishes and they all look like hand-rubbed linseed oil finishes. My grandmother owned an antique store and when I was young she told me about hand-rubbed finishes. You can get a beautiful finish on hardwoods by simple rubbing them with your hand. By adding a small amount of linseed oil the finish penetrates deeper and faster into the wood. The key is the amount of time you put into the job.

    I now do just that on my vintage rifles (hand-rubbing only) that have walnut and it really works.


  78. Buggy,
    Sorry to keep going on about this but, do read the online directions and do read down to where it describes how to adjust the newly installed trigger. Your expectations might be greater than the actual adjustment range. I have not tried any adjustments yet. If I can get around to it I'll let you know the outcome. Currently my new trigger doesn't seem to have any 1st stage travel in it.

  79. BG_Farmer,

    Assume you meant the rifles on the opening page of that link?

    Tough to tell without a closeup but they look like hand rubbed oil. As fanatical as the builders and restorers are of these longrifles I doubt if any use poly. I know some of the older rifles had alcohol and acid based stains that were used before an oil finish was rubbed in.


  80. BG_Farmer,

    I was torn away in the middle of answering your question.

    Meant no offense at your use of poly on your longrifle.

    Seems B.B. has the same impression of the finish on those fine looking rifles.


  81. I looked at the examples for sale,and the prices….closeups clearly show these to be hand rubbed.I don't think those makers believe in the easy way,and oil rubbing leaves NOTHING to be desired.Plus some are period pieces,so poly would stick out like bluing IMHO

  82. BG and Cjr,

    if you guys go the route of linseed oil, beware that this is the oil that will spontaneously combust if the rag used is left in a pile. This was what steel, lidded, springloaded wsste material cans were developed for.

    Not many folks are still aware of this since the prevalent use of plastic based finishes. If anyone on the East coast remembers the Meridian Bank Building fire in downtown Philadelphia back in the 90's, this was found to be the cause of that small fire (only affected 2 or 3 stories of the 40 story building) that caused the entire building to be torn down.


  83. BB, Kevin,
    Thanks. I can believe that hand rubbed linseed oil is a viable candidate, except there is a lot of red and a little too much shine in many of the rifles, but the finer grain structures seems to be obscured somewhat (perhaps simply by age), thus my varnish conjecture.

    I did find this:
    Looking at the section "violin red finish". I note that he also used tinted poly to reproduce the finish on some untouched originals which had a violin red varnish. He would seem to be a fairly credible finisher:). Obviously there were probably more than one type of finish.

    Kevin, if you look on the title bar of that long rifles page, there is a "button" which takes you to a page where you can then go to pictures and descriptions of antique rifles, if you're interested.

    I was referring to the originals, made long before poly! The one for sale is just OK at $18.5K:). Track of the Wolf has a really nice contemporary one for $7.5K, and many are much cheaper:).

    Fire safety warning noted. My granny's porch caught on fire (no damage) due to a sloppy painter one time, I think.

  84. Edith,

    Rc hovercraft is a great idea. I'll have to look into that. Your cats sound fully "enriched." I'm using this term as the latest in zoo theory on how to keep animals engaged and active.

    Frank B., thanks for the sharpening reference. I'll have a look. Meanwhile I am honing and honing with more attention to angles. No hair shaved yet, but in my imagination the blades are a tiny bit sharper.

    Ryan, the advice you hear about shooting is right on and will help immensely. I'll just recap and add a few things. 20 feet rocks as a shooting distance unless you want to read wind. What I do with my 490fps springer at 20 feet translates exactly into a 30-06 M1 Garand at 100 yards. Shine the brightest light you can on the target. For an indoor target, you can use the Crosman pellet trap on PA filled with impact putty or duct seal. That stuff will stop the most powerful air rifle. Dots are better than circles. Mine are about the width on eraser (which, by the way, looks at 20 feet like the regulation high power target at 200 yards). For your shooting technique try the following: solid body position with natural point of aim so that your rifle points on target without muscular effort; loose hold; full breath in and half breath out as you take up the slack on the trigger; move the sights on target from the same direction; hold briefly on target as you press the trigger; eyes on the target as the gun recoils. This is just to give specifics for the principles that everyone has been talking about. And, followed scrupulously with no significant pauses between steps should save you from poor shooting. The rest is up to you.

    BG_Farmer, today was the big day for my range outing but rain has moved in. Tomorrow, the forecast shows possibly a brief window, but with the money I spend on each range trip, I can't afford to get rained out. I also don't want to get my guns wet. Have a look at the weather forecast for Davis, CA and you will see I speak the truth. Monday I'm off to Hawaii with plenty of guns but the rifle range has no 25 yard line. Looks like our showdown will have to wait for the New Year. Once I get back in early January, I will go out to the range on the first available weekend come what may.

    Wayne, why do you want another USFT?


  85. Matt61,

    I've decided to narrow my collecting to the field target guns… famous ones.. my first choice.

    One can really spread oneself thin in the world of collecting!

    Since my new found love of field target, that's my current fantasy.

    I'd much rather now have a few special collectors from the FT game than the pile of early, low to mid power springers and pumps.

    I just don't have room to store it all or time to enjoy them all.

    And, I can set up one USFT for bench rest shooting, one for 12fpe international class, and one for 20fpe open class.

    All three should hold or gain in value, even if I use them. They are pretty tough, "ugly old things" anyway…

    ..are you listening Edith? (not the gain in value part, just the ugly part) The USFT doesn't fit in with the others, you need more wood stocks around you, it just ain't natural!.. let me save you from that robot looking thing… I know the cats don't like it around, they told me so!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  86. Ryan,

    The Gamo Cone Pellet Trap works well with the 490. It's not too expensive and it will handle the velocity of the 490. I shoot indoors at 5-6 yards. With a scope, you can shoot out the numbers on the Gamo target.


    Go ARMY! Beat Navy!

  87. Ryan,
    If you want to make your own trap it's pretty easy to do.

    I would recommend using a strong cardboard box for indoor use. The main reason is that you are much less likely to get ricochets off cardboard than you might off wood. Metal may have less rebound because it flattens the pellet more and that absorbs a lot of the energy but there will still be some rebound. Behind the box place a 3/4 inch sheet of plywood with carpeting covering it, again to prevent ricochet and to protect your basement paneling.

    The Duct Seal you are hearing about is readily available at Menards, Home Depot, or Lowes, or even your local hardware store for about $1.50 a brick. It is sometimes in the plumbing area but not always. It may be in the area where they sell furnace/AC metal sheeting or ducts.

    When I first started looking for it I got a lot of dumb looks because most clerks have no idea what you're talking about. They usually tried to give me a tube of something. Everyone of them asked me what I wanted it for as if that would help them find it. When I said I wanted to use it to trap pellets from a pellet rifle I got even dumber looks and they seemed to not want to help so much anymore. Stick with them until they find the right person who knows.

    Duct Seal comes in one pound bricks called pugs. They're there if you can find someone who knows anything. The brand names I have found are Gardner Bender (GB) and Ideal. Duct Seal is a putty like substance that will capture the pellet and not allow it to rebound. And, it's quiet.

    My .177 rifles will embed about a 1/4 inch into the pug. I have a .22 Marauder that shoots around 900fps and it will penetrate a pug, so double pugging should be done there.

    The advantage of making your own box is you can make it whatever size or shape you want/can afford. A pug is 2" X 6.5" so to make an 8.5 X 11 target you'll need about 6 or so pugs.

    Cardboard box – free (grocery store)
    6 pugs – $9-$10
    plywood – $5
    carpet – free (when your parents aren't looking)

    If you use the carpet under your living room sofa no one will ever know the difference. JUST KIDDING!!!!!


  88. Ryan,
    I should point out that when I talk about ricochet and rebound I talking about when you miss the pugs and hit the frame of the box. It can happen.

    If you hit the pug there will be no ricochet even if it goes all the way through into the back board.


  89. Matt,
    Don't worry — whenever you get to it is fine; I'd be in much more of a hurry if I thought I was going to beat you:).

    Fred, CJr., FrankB,
    Somehow I confused and conflated or omitted you in my previous comments, sorry.

  90. CJr.,
    Don't talk to me about burritos! The wife and child are at the inlaws for holiday visit. I've been eating frozen burritos off of paper plates to avoid running the dishwasher:). My digestive system forced me to surrender!

  91. BG_Farmer,

    May be correct for the period but that longrifle has too much red it the finish for me.

    Your link sent me on a whirlwind tour of longrifles. Stumbled across info on Hershel House and his brothers. These guys are committed to building the old way! Make their own tools that are period correct, make their own barrels, etc. Some real fanatics in the longrifle arena!


  92. BGFARMER, I am deliberately avoiding any further browsing of long rifles!Although I've no doghouse concern,I have fully sprained my wallet lately.NO SWELLING,but it needs rest…Thank you and everyone else for giving my wood finishing research so many valid perspectives.The Himalayan{english]Walnut stock blank should arrive tomorrow.I'm gonna give her what she needs! Frank B

  93. Red Ryder parts,

    The only place to find vintage Red Ryder parts is at one of the recognized dealers or repairmen. Here are three of the best:

    Jim Dry Claremore, Oklahoma (918)341-9104

    Larry Behling
315-695-7133 or  co2bbjlts@juno.com

    Jim Coplen, PO Box 7297, Rochester, MN. 55903 (507)281-2314.
    5522 Clearwater Rd. Rochester, MN 55901


  94. BG –farmer,
    Looks like I will not be reporting on the Diana 24C. The seller was unable to find the rifle. I would guess that since they have a brick and mortar store they sold it without updating their web site. They were kind enough to offer a RWS 34 at the same $139.95, but it is not something I am interested in. Since my latest pursuit is “new old stock” I picked up a Crosman 1077W as a consolation prize. I believe the W means walnut and not just wood, but that remains to be seen. I think the 12 shot capability will be fun for the kids and give me another use for the small CO2 cartridges I have.

    I have left over air source cartridges from my RWS 850 also, and wanted to know what you thought of the Benjamin 392 that used them? I would be able to buy one of those up at a descent price also. I would guess that they were discontinued when the Discovery came out?

  95. Wow,BG Farmer…That stinks that they couldn't find it.What a letdown! I hope you get a 1077 walnut.I didn't know they were out there.Won't you want the airsource for it? Frank B

  96. I like the fact that some of the PA pages still exist even when I rifle is discontinued.
    Besides getting a little data on it, this leads people to their site that search for it online –
    and may do some shopping once they get there. So PA please continue if you can, they are almost
    collector items in their own right.


    Frank B – I want something that uses the 12 gram size in the 1077, don't like the look of the ** on it.
    But the 392 takes the big one.

  97. Volvo,

    Funny you should mention the 392T in the same message as the Discovery. The 392T was already obsolete when I pitched the idea that became the Disco to Crosman. I went there thinking the 392T was the rifle they would convert. I even bought an air-to-AirSource adapter for my 392T, but I could never get it to work.

    I went to Crosman thinking I would show them how to convert a 392T and they would do it while I was there, but Ed Schultz had already converted two 2260s, one in each caliber, to air and had tested them. The 2260 was by far the better gun to convert, so I dropped the 392T idea.

    Yes, a 392T is a great CO2 rifle. Get one if you can.


  98. Gotcha…I wasn't thinking.after my post I found where someone reshaped a walnut 1077 that actually came out sweet!My big thing with my synth. 1077 was the mile of dirt road trigger feel…and the piercing seal.Great can-hopper though! 🙂 sorry about the name mixup!

  99. B.B.

    When holding an air rifle offhand, which hold is better: keeping the stock in the open palm of my hand (which I find a bit uncomfortable), using a hold that I was taught when shooting a .22 which was keeping the stock supported on the tips of my fingers (usually just 3), or supporting the stock on my hand and keeping it in front of the trigger guard? Or if there is a better hold, what is it? (Note that I have a Hammerli 490)

    Thanks, Ryan

  100. Kevin,
    I thought you might enjoy that. Imagine starting with a stick of wood and some iron and brass and ending up with a rifle, and a good looking one at that! I think JS Brooks lives out your way…maybe you could go look the Christian Oerter documentary rifle he made — its not so red, but the griffin carving is incredible; start a collection:).

    Have fun with that walnut. It would make me nervous to work on something that nice, but if you take your time and don't do anything halfway, it will come out fine. I think oil is your best choice, just wanted to present the flip-side. Keep us informed of your progress.

    That's too bad. Hopefully the "W" is not like on Marlin 60's, where many neophytes get excited only to learn that the "W" apparently stands for "Walmart":).

  101. Ryan,
    Your off hand position on the forearm will depend on your physique: you want your elbow resting against something solid, in my case the rib cage, but for others, its the hip. I don't think how you hold the rifle will matter as much as whether you are being steady and consistent in terms of position and pressure — although usually a springer does require very light hold. The 490 isn't that sensitive to any particular hold in my experience, but it will reward consistency.

    I've never owned a silicone cloth, but I wipe down everything externally with 30W oil whenever I use a gun, unless it is getting used daily, in which case every three days or so usually. Probably others take better care of their rifles and own silicone cloths.

  102. Ryan,

    Only your Hammerli 490 can tell you the best hold. Through trial and error you will find where a springer wants to be held to make the tightest groups.

    Finger tips, backs of fingers, open palm (have you tried reversing your supporting hand so that your fingers are facing left when you hold the forstock, assuming you're right handed?), support close to the trigger guard, support away from the trigger guard, support far away from the trigger guard, light cheek weld, light against the shoulder, etc. Trial and error will teach you what your gun wants and that may change with different weight pellets.

    Always wipe a gun down after shooting. You're replacing the protective barrier that you're broken by placing your fingers, hands and cheek on the gun. The moisture in our bodies are very corrosive to guns especially blueing. Corrision means ultimately rust. A silicone cloth is good for wiping down. To determine what you feel would be best for your gun you may want to look at this:



  103. Nervous will be me cutting the checkering or stipling it…I think there's only so much damage one can do with 320 grit on up.Plus I have this Blog for moral support and wisdom.What more could a guy want! Not to mention Kevin informed me that Jim Maccari remembers this rifle well!…that should be good for guidance in a pinch.I live 5 hours drive from him. BG Farmer:contrasting opinions are ALWAYS welcome.they are essential to my thought process!

  104. BG_Farmer,

    I'll check out JS Brooks.

    Although I'm fascinated by the history and greatly admire the craftsmanship I've never been drawn to blackpowder. I've shot a few and the experience is thrilling it just never caught on with me.

    Might be because I'd need a real tall gun safe.


  105. Frank B,

    Doubt if Jim Maccari knows that gun. Paul Watts tuned the gun and remembers it.

    Please tell me you're kidding when you say you're considering stipling that exhibition grade stock. That piece of wood cries out for hand checkering and because of density should take checkering very well.

    I'd design some panels and send it out for 22 LPI.


  106. Bg Farmer,

    W for Walmart. I like it.


    What oil do you use on your .22 LR?
    That and an old t-shirt will work fine on the outside of the 490.

    It will take awhile to master a spring rifle, unlike a Daisy SG 22 – but it will be more rewarding.


  107. It's funny that you are reviewing this air rifle right now. I just went to an antique store and found a similar model for sale for about $60. It was rusty and well loved.

    Oddly enough I found an older Daisy for about the same price there too


  108. Kevin,I don't know how I got those two confused,maybe the website. Also I will defer to your wisdom.I didn't know stipling was "low rent".I think I can do the checkering,I was leaning that way because the tools I'll buy should be usable to clean and crisp up other stocks I want to refinish for practice.Thank you!

  109. BG_Farmer,

    I see that you are already beginning to psych me out. Okay, not to worry. I will come up to scratch in the New Year. I actually love burritos in all forms and believe I could subsist on frozen ones almost indefinitely.

    Ryan, the specific hold can make a difference, but I have a suspicion that it is much less important than making sure the hold is loose (for a springer). I've never bothered finding a particular hold on any of my rifles, and it hasn't made any difference that I could see. I kind of doubt this is a coincidence.

    Off to Hawaii tomorrow where I have no internet access. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. When I get back, I will be looking for that report on the Edge. 🙂


  110. pz,

    I answered this question earlier today on this report. But since this report is a record for the most responses, I guess it's getting hard to read.

    YES, you DO NEED to use Crosman Pellgunoil, which you called Pelletoil the last time you asked the question.

    What Feinwerkbau is telling you in the manual relates to the action of the gun. That doesn't need oil. But the seals inside the CO2 mechanism are the same as those inside all other CO2 guns. If you don't want the guns to leak, they need to be oiled with Pellgunoil as the tank is filled and the tanks should always be stored pressurized.


  111. Frank B,

    Stipling is functional and isn't low rent. But with a nice piece of figured walnut, that can nicely take checkering, why stiple it?

    I must confess I really like fine checkering. It's a prejudice not wisdom. Continuing with my opinion, not wisdom, I feel that on the right wood 22 lpi is the ideal for function and beauty.

    It's your stock and whatever you decide I'm anxious to see the progress and finished product.



  112. Edith,
    PA has a glitch. At checkout the Marauder in 177 includes a gas spring (PY-A-2117) for free. Not really much of a need for that on a Murauder.

    Also includes a Gamo Gun Buddy Rifle Sling (PY-A-2227) for free. Which I guess works… just odd to bundle a Gamo part.

    22cal Marauder does not include the gas spring.

  113. Old blue jeans make a fine silent pellet trap. You several layers for high powered airguns. But low power stuff can be stopped with just a few layers. Dead quiet and no paper mess.

  114. Frank B,

    I've never checkered anything. Never-the-less I've read about it and the only two things that I remember are practice on a piece of wood the same type as your stock and borderless checkering done right was always favorably commented on.

  115. Mr B,you're killing me…checkering without a border !The border is there to cover screw-ups.and unfortunately I don't have any Himalayan walnut scrap lying around…I'm wingwalking without a 'chute over here:)….But I know you mean to help so thank you!

  116. Update on the magazine silent pellet trap:

    It turns out that wadcutters going around 500 fps takes almost nothing to stop. Most only went through the cardboard and dented the first magazine, some bounced back entirely, and very few embedded themselves. They were out enough so that I had to pick them out. When I tested Crosman Destroyers for penetration, they went through about the first 2, maybe 3 magazines. Apparently 500 fps is way less than I thought, or Game Informer makes an impenetrable magazine! 😛

  117. Matt,
    Not trying to psyche you out, just want you to relax and have a good holiday. Funny you mentioned living on frozen burritos, as my son did essentially that for almost a year. He went from a surprisingly well-balanced diet to spicy red chili burritos exclusively, and would have starved rather than vary his diet:).

  118. Ryan,

    Something doesn't sound right. Concerned about your gun.

    What distance are you shooting the wadcutters? Do I understand your comment to say they're going through one layer of cardboard and bouncing off a magazine?

    Please also tell me that you're searing shooting glasses.


  119. Ryan,
    I left a rather lengthy comment for you back about 5:02pm on this post about how to build a trap and where to get the materials.

    Did you miss that comment or didn't it answer your question?

    Let us know how you build yours. Fresh minds are a treasure.


  120. Ryan and all,

    I found a great site for duct seal – five or more pounds for $1.50 per pound; 30 or more for only $1.00 per pound. I went ahead and ordered the 30 and with shipping it was only $43 total. This let me build one trap with plenty to spare to seal leaks in my ducts! I'll probably build one for my dad with the extra after that – just couldn't pass up that good a deal.


    I made what I consider an awesome silent pellet trap combining many features I read online. It was made from scrap wood I had laying around, with 3/4" plywood in the back, a steel backer plate (from BB's blog on it), and a space at the bottom in the trap to capture paper and cardboard "shrapnel" from use for convenient vacuum cleanup. The overall size is a large 11.25 x 17.25 inches, but the duct seal only covers about the top 9 x 12 inches below the 2×4 header peice. It took 15 pounds of duct seal at this size, and the only draw back is that it weighs in at a hefty 20 pounds total. It should withstand the Marauder that I plan to eventually get!

    I made is this big for two reasons: 1) my 11 year old boys will be able to shoot at it indoors with confidence of not missing it and hitting the safety backer board, and 2) (the best part) I cover it with the lid off copier paper boxes which I get for free from work (they fit snugly and won't blow off in the wind). I then tape printed copier paper targets on them and I shoot without ripping the paper. As the box lid gets shot up, I cover the damaged spots on the lid with masking tape a few times (cheaper and easier than taping each target) and recycle them when they get too beat up. It works wonderfully -wadcutters make perfect holes in the copier paper this way, and even round pellets have an easily identifiable POI.

    I also ripped a piece of 1×4 at 45 degrees and mounted this on the back of it, with similar mating parts on my indoor backer board and on a post in the ground outdoors. I can easily move and hang it in either spot. Since it is so heavy, I also put one of these mating parts where I store it so that it won't fall over on anyone's foot. All with scrap wood and metal and the low cost duct seal.


  121. I removed my leather string and turned the closest bolt/screw around on the receiver (the one my right hand kept rubbing against)on my Red Ryder.

    I shoot a Red Ryder, Buck 105 and a Mendoza 650 and like them all for different reasons.

    The Red Ryer may be the most consistant.

    The Buck 105 has a fiber optic fron sight the helps for darker lit indoor shooting.

    The mendoza is mostly made of wood and metal and feels nice and solid when shooting.

    Quick loading lever action BB guns are great to have around when the kids come over to visit. Always remember to use soft targets and traps and don't forget the safety glasses.

    For safety and sound control, my pellet trap is stuffed with old rags and towels. I plan to try out duct putty in the future. It sells for about 2 dollars a pound at Mendards.

  122. Frank B,

    No I didn't expect you to have a piece of the Himalayan walnut scrap. Maybe a piece of wood with the same "hardness" of your wood and a similar grain structure.

    Mr B.

    PS That's why well done borderless checkering always gets the favorable comments.

  123. I'm just pointing out the obvious.I'm a babe in the woods here.what do you call second thoughts the sixth time you have them?Iguess "misgivings"might be what I'm having! The only sane thing might be to outsource the checkering?! I don't know yet…I really wasn't dumping on your comment Mr.B Frank

  124. FrankB.,
    My thoughts (which I was trying to keep to myself) were if you want to do it yourself and you can do stippling but not fine checkering, do stippling. Not much fun or pride in pointing to some checkering that you bought, in my mind. I actually think stippling looks and works better most of the time, anyway — but you all know I'm low rent:).

  125. BG Farmer,My original feeling was that stipling had a more "organic"look!At least compared to checkering,which can seem to sit on top of some stocks and clash with mother nature's artwork!!I guess the blank will know what it wants.I think I can finish it and then decide?Anyone know if you can finish and then checker???

  126. Frank B,

    I know you weren't dumping on my comments. Sometimes a tongue in cheek or perhaps in this case a rasp on wood don't read the way they sound in the writer's brain.

    No offense intended or given my friend.

    Mr B.
    PS WV is rejock. A mid life crisis for a former athlete?:)

  127. ajvenom,
    High power springers most likely abuse a scope more than a 50-cal or at least in a diffent way.

    Springers snap it back and forth. It is this snap in both directions that breaks scopes. A powder burner only bangs the scope in one direction.

    Of course I'm just being Mr. Obvious. Likely you and everyone else already knew that tid bit of info.

  128. Kevin, I am shooting at about 20-25 feet. I am saying the wadcutters are going through the target, the cardboard the target is being held on, and one or two magazines. Cjr, I just still need to get duct seal, which I might be able to do this Friday.

  129. Ryan,
    When I build my trap I don't take the plastic wrap off the bricks. I slant the cardboard box back a bit and stack the pugs one on top of the other until I reach the desired height.

    It helps if you take some of that transparent packing tape you get at the post office and put a couple strips across the back of three pugs to tie them together. This makes a larger brick that holds together better but is still easy to stack.


  130. I just inherited my grandfathers old 1938 red ryder BB gun, it still fires but the outside is in rough shape. the butt it is broken but is still intact because of where the screw is. the barrel and lever are very rusty, any suggestions on fixing it up?


  131. I just inherited my grandfathers old daisy model 94 red ryder carbine, but I'm missing the piece that screws on to the end of the barrel. can anyone hook me up with one for a good price?(if you can hook me up with one for a good price, email me your your name and your phone number at bergie12345@gmail.com). thanks.

  132. I know this is an old post but I wanted to share my latest find…a Daisy no.111 model 40! Picked it up for $40 tore it down best I could and cleaned /oiled it up and it shoots great!!! It had the plastic fore and rear stock, the leather on the saddle loop is gone as is the leather stock cover (if it ever had one) the band is also missing on the barrel but pics I’ve seen they didn’t have one either so I assume it never had one, I’d share some pics with you but don’t know how to post them up. Keep up the great work on the blog!!!

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