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What I got for Christmas 2009

by B.B. Pelletier

With a title like that, I’m sure you expect a laundry list of fine airguns, but the truth is, I didn’t get a single airgun for Christmas. In fact this report is not really about airguns, though it will touch on them more than a little. What it’s really about is contentment, because that is what I really got for Christmas this year.

Although I try not to work on airguns and firearms any more than necessary, there are times when it cannot be avoided. My tool kit is small, as a result of this policy, but this Christmas it received some important additions.

Edith did a lot of online shopping for me at Duluth Trading Company this year, and I received three zippered pouches full of magnets, dental tools and small screwdrivers. I wept! I had been slowly putting a tool kit together because I always needs things like these and in one day with three presents she quadrupled my inventory. What thoughtful gifts.

These tools and lights make my fixing jobs easier.

Along with my tools came several handy lights I can use for those nasty places where the room light never shines. The inside of spring gun compression chambers, for instance. Now, I can look inside and shine a light inside at the same time, where before my own shadow was my worst enemy. I’m always working some place dark, and I can never have too many powerful lights.

Big gift
Not many people would ask for a work-related item for Christmas, but then not many people have the perfect job. For several decades, I have secretly harbored the belief that the .30-30 Winchester cartridge is the most accurate cartridge ever created. That belief, for which I have zero proof at this time, is not a popular one. I daresay I am one of the few shooters on planet Earth who believes that. But not the only one. My best bud, Mac, admitted this year that he harbored a similar belief. That admission, coupled with a single, probably atypical five-shot group shot at 50 yards from a Winchester model 94, four of which are very close, stoked up my interest to the point that I just HAD TO KNOW! You guys know how that feels.

Four of the five shots are grouped pretty tight–especially for coming from a 94 Winchester!

So, I’ve set before me a multi-year project that will involve reducing the error of the .30-30 round until I reach the point where I can’t go any further. I won’t say just how accurate I think it can be, but it’s way less than a one-inch 10-shot group at 100 yards. Way less.

With that as a goal, Edith gifted me with a Remington 788 in .30-30. Now, for those who are unfamiliar with that model, the 788 is to accurate rifles what the Corvette is to fast cars. By that, I mean that you hear a lot of stories, not all of which are true.

I will start testing my theory with a Remington 788, a rifle that’s an urban legend in its own right.

There’s a complete book of urban legends about the 788. It was too accurate and hurt the sales of the more-expensive Remington models, so they killed it. It has bolt-locking lugs in the rear of the bolt, so the action is springy and cannot take the strain. It was the best bolt-action ever made for rimmed cartridges, and so on.

So, not only am I about to test a theory that will be considered by most to be highly improbable, but I’m starting the test with a rifle that lives under its own cloud of superstition. Controversial, to say the least. And that’s probably why I like it.

I love controversy. I love hearing why Crosman could never make a PCP in the United States, and then listening to the crickets chirp when they made not one but four in two years. I loved reading on a popular forum in November of 2009 that AirForce would probably not bring out the Edge for another year. I smiled when some person wrote a story about hunting deer with a Career Dragon Slayer, in which he said he was probably the first person in history to have killed such a large animal with an airgun.

And, in three weeks I’ll be in Las Vegas at the 2010 Shot Show, trying to stir up more controversy in the airgun world. I can’t wait!

So, were does contentment come it? Why, with you guys, of course. This blog has evolved into the nicest place on the internet, in my opinion. And I no longer have to know everything, because you guys cheerfully chip in and help the new airgunners find answers to their questions. I’m finally involved with a website where people are more intent on enjoying their hobby than with passing rumors and sniping at each other.

Thank you!

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.

132 thoughts on “What I got for Christmas 2009”

  1. About your work with the 30/30. Some time back, way way back, I read an article in a gun publication about a fellow who did much the same. He used a Marlin lever action, 336 I believe. It had a heavy, bench rest type barrel on making it a single shot.
    Wish I could remember the magazine and author. He got some fantastic groups, as I recall.
    Be interesting to see what you come up with.

  2. Morning B.B.,

    Please keep us posted, or in your case blogged, on your .30-30 experiment. I think you're on to something.

    Nice tool kit Edith. Everything in one place. You almost cann't have too many sources of bright light.

    Mr B.

  3. BB,

    I like the .30-30 project. The cartridge is certainly underrated currently in terms of suitability for the way most people hunt, with recoil that doesn't hurt most people. I assume you are going to use a spitzer and possibly a boat-tail if possible for accuracy, but that may just be a preconceived notion. I like bolt actions, but a rotary mag. lever action would be even better:). Unfortunately, I have to tell you that the .30-06 is the most accurate and versatile cartridge on earth:).

    On the other hand, don't let this take too much time away from the other project that you mentioned a while back — the quest for rimfire power level and good 100+ yard accuracy in a reloadable (small) centerfire cartridge. I think that project is a great idea also, especially since the quality of rimfire ammo is going down quickly while the price goes up.

  4. Snipe! Snipe! Snipe!

    Anyway, with regards to airgun accuracy… to what problems do you see extrapolating short-range accuracy (10-20 yards) to something sensical at longer ranges? Seems to me that this would be strongly related to power – the faster the gun, the better the correlation that can be derived.

  5. BG_Farmer,

    Nix to the boattails and spitzers, unless they are accurate. And nix to jacketed bullets.

    I'm going back in history and trying to shoot a two-tenths-inch 10-shot group at 200 yards with a lead bullet. Harry Pope proved that it can be done, and I think the .30-30 is the cartridge to do it.

    I don't know if I will have to muzzle-load the bullets, the way Pope did with his muzzleloading breech loader. I'm hoping I don't have to, because I don't want to go to the trouble of creating a false muzzle.

    We shall see.


  6. Vince,

    Power to a limit. Not unlimited power. The .45-70 is a wonderfully accurate bullet at 500 yards, but only when it's loaded right.

    For airguns I'm thinking of a heavy JSB or a pellet of my own design flying at about 900 f.p.s. And no need to extrapolate because this pellet would be accurate at all distances.

    If it's problems you are interested in, however, instability is the big one, followed by precession and cant. Any of those can open a group up by inches at just 50 yards, to say nothing of long range.

    So set power aside and concentrate on finding a stable pellet. Then check for spiraling (precession). After that, long range accuracy depends on how well you shoot each shot.


  7. B.B. Pelletier said…
    Please try to remember what magazine that article was in. Or when it was written.

    The 788 is just the first step in this experiment. I will eventually have a custom single shot made, if my findings warrant it.


    B.B.- I could be wrong but I believe it was in either a Guns or Guns & ammo. Late 50's or in the '60's. I'll check with my son. He inherited my magazine collection when I got divorced. I had the very first issues of Guns, Guns & ammo, Gunworld and Shooting Times. Maybe he still has it and can find it.

  8. BG_Farmer,

    I just noticed your commend about a reloadable .22 cartridge. You know I'm working on one, right? It's a .22 Hornet with a fast-twist barrel that will allow me to shoot 50-55-grain lead bullets at 1,200 f.p.s. with accuracy.

    I had a barrel custom-made and now I'm looking for a good bullet–hopefully of the Lovern design.


  9. BB; Look in Handloader & Rifle magazines for information on your 30-30 and loads. Ken Waters may have been the author of the information you seek. There were also articles in the American Rifleman on cast bullets and the .30-30 by both EH Harrison and CE Harris back in the late 1970's and early 1980's. They used a 788 in accuracy tests with the 30-30 cartridge and the cast Lyman #311391 gas check bullet. I used that bullet in my 30-30's and it is indeed very accurate. Also author John Malloy wrote an article in the 1995 Gun Digest , that was titled " All Those Other 30-30's". He refered to the bolt actions like your 788 and the Savage 340's. BTW, I have a 788 in .222 and it is a tack driver. I also agree with you on the 30-30 cartridge , but I have used only cast bullets in mine. Take care , Robert

  10. B.B.
    Very nice little tool kit.

    There is nothing like having a lot of tools that can be used in those hard to get to places. Vise grips and screw drivers that are best suited for pry bar work just don't cut it when you need to do some fine work.


  11. B.B.

    Good luck with the 788. Strangley enough there is a 788 in 30-30 sitting about 10' from me now. Its been shot with cast bullets quite a lot. I have shot 1" groups at 100 yards with cast bullets. Might suggest a look at Accurate 5744 powder. Bulks up well for cast bullet loads of moderate velocity. Also noted that strong alloys not really needed for velocities in the 1200-1600 fps range. Ditto gas checks. It will be interesting to follow your quest for 30-30 accuracy.


  12. B.B.
    Some other really nice things to have are gun screwdriver sets, "T" handle allen wrenches, and sometimes "ball head" allen wrenches. Complete sets in both standard and metric of course!!!


  13. One more bone I wish the manufacturers should throw us: a low-profile rear sight that will attach to 11mm dovetails.

    Something like the rear sight from a Diana rifle seems about perfect; simple, low profile with nice adjustability. This type of sight must adorn hundreds of models of airguns. Why don't they have the same thing, but with dovetail clamps and available separately?

    I put a steel a breech on my 1377c. Now I want to use open sights but the old sight from the plastic breech doesn't fit and all the aftermarket rear sights are HUGE and don't adjust downward far enough. The one I built out of duct tape isn't cutting it.

    More on topic: the .30-.30 project has me intrigued. These types of experiments often yield surprising results.

    "It was too accurate…so they killed it." That's hilarious.

  14. B.B.,

    Finally admit you're spoiled. Good first step.

    Wow this article struck a chord. Lot of great comments already. I feel warm and fuzzy with all the firearms guys chiming in.

    I still have my winchester 94. I used it primarily for close shots in black timber while hunting elk. It's really beat up but lots of fond memories associated with that one. Never even considered experimenting with a 30-30 as a long range benchrest gun. Leave it to you. Always used off the shelf ammo for it. Rarely shot that gun past 50 yards but with open sights it was one of those guns that you just knew you could rely on to hit where you aimed.

    That little light on the right in your photo appears to have 3 legs (tripod) that are adjustable. Ingenious. I have a bench light with one long adjustable leg (snake light?). Great idea but you have to find something to wrap it around or shape it into a tripod. I like yours better.

    I've lost count how many "projects" you have in the works. Seems like a new one pops up everytime you and Mac get together.

    I think it was in the book, Ben Franklins letters to his son, that he said a man has truly accomplished something worthy when he has a family that loves him and one true friend.


  15. Happy New Year Everyone!

    I have been wiped out this lack week with a bad cold. I haven't even felt like looking at the internet or watching TV. But, I am feeling better and back at it today.

    What kind of distance do you need to shoot center fire rifles out to determine absolute accuracy? For Pellet guns it's a minimum of 50 yards and even better at 100 yards to decide between the best of the best. Will it take 300 yards or longer to make such a determination with firearms? I think the most realistic goal you can have is to prove the 30-30 is a more accurate cartridge than most people think.

    I remember reading in an old outdoors book by Kephart, or Whellen or someone similar about the 30-30. He said they killed everything from Elk to Moose to Grizzly Bears with the 30-30 until folks told them that you had to have more power to do that. Of course those guys were hunters who got within "bow range" before they pulled the trigger.

    Have you done any accuracy testing on the S200 yet? I am sure enjoying mine.

    David Enoch

  16. BB,

    Yes, I knew you were working on a .22 and have been meaning to ask about it, plus offer you encouragement. Sounds like you have the project well under way if you already have a barrel made — don't hesitate to send me a prototype for testing. I can probably shoot a barrel out for science:).

    Slinging Lead,
    The clamps are the problem — if you can file a dovetail into the breech, you could use many of the excellent low profile sights available. There are plenty of good but cheap ones available for black powder rifles.

    I meant it about your photography coming along well– its not as easy as it seems like it should be.

  17. JT,
    That's exactly what I was talking about with the Red Ryder. The old loading port allowed you to stand the gun up, cup your hand around the fill hole and pour them in, but the new one is a slot on the side of the barrel, which for me makes it harder to load and keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. I think that in attempting to prevent users from putting their hands and face near the muzzle, the designers may have taken a giant leap backwards in terms of both ease of use and safety.

  18. Robert,

    I plan to only shoot cast bullets, too. I'm hoping that by single-loading and seating each bullet out to the rifling I can get 10 shots into a half-inch at 100 yards. That will come after I free-float the barrel and bed the action.

    And of course I will need a great load.


  19. BB,

    Hate to be the spoiler here but BAH HUMBUG! What difference does it make if someone can shoot a custom 30-30 very accurately under precisely controlled circumstances?

    There are PLENTY of other cartridges will do the very same thing. Some even easier and with less bother!

    Face it you are bored, want to find something to occupy your time and this is it.

    Most of us out here don't have your money or time. We want an inexpensive gun off the shelf which is accurate and inexpensive to shoot!

    Be nice if you could write articles about such.

    Also would be nice to see some one drum up some support and interest for the .17 Mach 2 cartridge. IMHO it far out classes the .22 lr and the .17 HMR. More accurate than the .22 lr and much less expensive than the HMR. Only problem is lack of available guns 4 it. I want one bad and can't even find one, nor any available barrels.

  20. Kevin, BG_Farmer, and all,

    My R10 stock refinish is moving along – just applied the second coat of RLO. I posted pics of the stock after staining, and it's starting to look very nice. While the wood on the left side of the stock is fine, the right side has far more character. In person, the finish is quite a bit lighter than it appears in the photos, which were taken in low-light using a flash.

    After the first stripping, I went back with three additional coats, then gave it a good wipe down with MEK. By the time I was done, the checkering looked pretty rough. It was also very apparent that several of the cuts extended into the surrounding bead.

    As for the checkering, it was cut, not pressed, whereas my R7 definitely has pressed checkering. I don't see how that could be recut should I ever have the urge to take on that stock (not likely – it's in good shape). Anyway, recheckering took an afternoon, was not nearly as difficult as I'd feared, and was worth the effort. However, I did not work as hard as I should have at removing all of the previous finish in there. I'm now thinking of staying with the maple stain vs. ebony on the checkering, as I'm afraid of the ebony stain wicking beyond the checkering. What's left of the original finish leaves the checkering looking a little dirty if you look at it closely.

    After a final sanding with 600 grit, I applied one coat of Laurel Mountain Forge Maple and left it to dry. I didn't have any problems with penetration – it's quite a bit different from any oil-based pigment stains I've used before. Very nice stuff.

    As the stain dried, the color intensity faded as expected. The first coat of RLO brought it back, and I'm now working on filling in the grain with 600 grit wet. I expect to use that for 1-2 more coats (moving to 800 and 1000) before I go to the synthetic pad.

    One problem I've found – a hairline crack at the back of the cocking lever cutout. It's about 3/4 inch long, and I'd like some advice on how to treat it. Superglue from the inside of the stock? Coat the inside with epoxy? A bit of polyurethane or wood glue???




  21. Yeah, a blog by Edith! Finally, some talent in this joint;)

    Peter, you took the words out of my mouth.

    Kevin, they have a two pack of tripod lights made by Stanley at Wally World. Can't remember the price exactly but it was surely under $20. They also have a CREE LED flashlight made by Coleman that uses 3 AAAs (included) and gets 118 lumens for only $25. And only 5 inches long.

    BG Farmer

    The breech already has the 11mm dovetails. I had been thinking inside the box and only looking at airgun providers for the sights. I will expand my search. If you have any suggestions, they would be much appreciated. Thanks for the tip.

  22. BB: you will find that the gas check bullets will be more accurate despite harder alloys or the velocity you will shoot them at. This is only my opinion , but that's what I've found with cast bullets in .30 cal in the .30-30, .30-40 , and .30-06, the three I've used extensively. If you could provide me with your location I would be happy to send you some bullets to try. I have a Loverin style bullet in a Lyman mould #225438, that I use in my .22 Hornet and .218 Bee. It is a gas checked bullet of about 45grs. I also have several .30 cal moulds , one is also a Loverin style. SR 4759 is a very good powder for the cast bullets. You will also find that the 788 with it's 1 in 10" rifling will show best accuracy at 1600 to 1800 fps, using a 200 grain bullet cast of 90-7-3 lead,antimony,tin alloy. Also try Hornady .310 round ball with about 7.5- 8.0 grains of old dirty Unique powder underneath them for a 25 yard plinking load , or for small game like rabbits. My 30-30's will stack these. Just use a pinch of Dacron over the powder and push the ball in the case mouth. No tools needed, and no you will not bulge a barrel with the Dacron as an over powder wadding, despite what some have written. Robert.

  23. Kevin,

    The tripod light was the one Tom wrote about in a previous blog in December. It's got powerful magnetic feet, and it's really useful. Tom can put it on a storage cabinet or his metal tool chest and use it to shine on whatever he's photographing or while working on his guns. It's proven to be very useful. It's called A Joby Gorillatorch. You can buy it on Amazon.


  24. pcp4me,

    Responding to your, "So what?" comment, I am doing this because the .30-30 has never been represented as an accurate cartridge. It's claim to fame is as a deer-killer.

    Wouldn't it be funny if the fastest car in the world turned out to be the Checker Marathon? I mean, wouldn't that surprise everybody? Everyone who thinks the Ruger .204 is the next best thing would be incredulous to discover that a .30-30 is more accurate–if it turns out that it is.

    As for the .17HM2, I can ease your pain just a little. A friend of mine built me one and built one for himself, too. So far we have shot a 0.18" five-shot group at 50 yards and many that were under a quarter-inch. So, yes, that is a fascinating round.

    By the way, I blogged that gun. It was the gun whose barrel I blued with Blue Wonder. Still perfect and rust-free, thanks for asking.


  25. Hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year…and that the coming years bring happiness (and guns) to all.
    I remember when I was target shooting back in the 70's. I had an Anschutz .22, but when I decided I wanted to do longer range shooting my dad found a real clean .222 Remington 788. He (my dad) had a Model 700 in 22-250 with a bull barrel, and on a windless day the 788 could easily keep up to it out to 250 yards.
    Another one of the sweet rifles I lost when I decided 20 years ago that shooting wasn't a sport I had time for anymore 🙁
    Also, in your photo…the Gorilla Light.
    An amazingly handy little light. I purchased one just before Christmas because I was finding these old eyes were having a bit of a problem the small parts included in the model kits my boys have started building.
    Now I use it nearly every day. I especially find the magnetic feet to be a wonderful idea. The other day I had to connect some wire underdash to a new speaker in my vehicle and it was great to just use the magnetic feet to set the light and then point it to where I wanted it. Sure beats trying to hold the flashlight with the teeth, as in the past.
    CowBoyStar Dad

    BTW…the Beretta Elite works great…but the Nerf Vulcan machine gun (both Christmas presents for the boys) is a hoot. How else can you fire 3 rounds/second in the living room and not create havoc. (well, the cat may not agree)

  26. CSD,

    You are the second person to respond with the fact that the 788 in .222 is a tackdriver. My last .222 was a Sako Mannlicher that I used to hunt with in Germany. It was accurate, but since I never shot it at paper I don't know how accurate.

    Just two weeks ago I bought a Savage model 24 with a .222 on top and a 20 gauge underneath. I'm waiting for a new firing pin and I will see how good that one is.

    The .222 is one of the reasons I'm so hot on the .30-30. It boils down to the long neck. Where the .223 takes a lot of work to be accurate, the long-necked .222 seems to do it in stride. I now have a .223 single shot that I plant to pit against my new .222 and see who wins. I will probably report the outcome.

    Hey! isn't this supposed to be an airgun blog? 🙂


  27. <"So, were does contentment come it? Why, with you guys, of course. This blog has evolved into the nicest place on the internet, in my opinion. And I no longer have to know everything, because you guys cheerfully chip in and help the new airgunners find answers to their questions">

    I think most of the THANKS! goes to you and the Wife BB, you Blog and reviews and comments keep us all interested and coming back for more. Happy New Year to you and all the airgunners out there who appreciate your time and efforts.

    Brian in Idaho

  28. Edith, Slinging Lead, and all frustrated CFX owners,

    I contacted the tech dpt @ PA this morning. Stacey returned my call regarding the gas spring conversion on the CFX. This is the scoop.

    THEY DO THE CONVERSION!!! they just don't list the CFX. (Smaller gun… not as fast as other models… people mistakenly think their gun shoots slower… etc…)

    The PA site has the piston for about $110, you make the purchase, ship your gun to 'em, they do the install for FREE, and for the month of January any purchase over $100 includes free shipping! so it's one way shipping for free, not bad. I didn't check on the cost of freight from CA to PA but I could guess under $25. Stacey was going to check on it for me but that's not her dpt and I asked her not to bother.

    She did say a few times that this conversion does not raise the velocity (maybe 10fps, or so) so don't expect to get more than your's gets now. The piston is an improvement for other things than velocity.

    One more thing here, as BB and others have noted recently, Gamo in their fully operational backward thinking has changed the triggers to a proprietary design on all the NEW CFX's, as weLl as a host of other models, and WILL NOT WORK with the current piston. A new piston has to be designed. If your CFX has a plastic trigger forget it. Metal trigger models only.

    Looks like there may be some hope for that old CFX after all. Now if I can just scrape up another $135 after spending too much over Christmas… 🙂

    Love this blog. Great people! Stay Unretarded!


  29. Thanks for the tips on maintenance of SSP's the other day. Cant find any Crossman Pelgunoil locally so i'll just order some. I'm sure I will need it eventually. My Walther LG90 is supposed to make it here tomorrow. It is supposed to be about 10 degrees here tomorrow, to cold to work outside so I guess I'll just have to stay in and shoot my new rifles. Darn, I really wanted to go to work.

    Found a place nearby that has an airgun silhouette league tonight, but asks that you don't use high power rifles because of damage to the targets. I sent an e-mail asking what they consider "high power". I plan on shooting my AA TX200 with JSB 10.2gr. Does anybody know about what feet per second my TX200 should be shooting these? I plan on getting a Chrony but don't have one yet.

    By the way my rant isn't directed towards manufacturers but gun store workers. I went into a local gun store a while back asking about the air rifles they had. Told the guy what I wanted out of an air rifle and asked if he had anything like that. I got that arrogant attitude like I couldn't afford or appreciate anything of quality. Then he said "Unless you want to spend FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS ON A STOEGER". So I left without buying anything. Sure am glad I found PA and this Blog. I have since spent a lot more than $400 on my new walnut TX200 and LG90. Sorry but thats my day late rant.

  30. in regards to the 30-30 being the most accurate cartrige, hmm… I've got a .243 in both varmint and hunting configurations, as well as 308, 30-06, and 22-250 and I gotta say that .243 is the best of all. I'm not an expert or pro shooter but I haven't ever been able to group tighter groups than either one of my .243's. and this week end i fed a lot of different ammo through that varmint gun.

    should be interesting to see how this unfolds.

    pins and needles


  31. In regards to the velocity of the TX200. I plugged 16.17 ft/lb (the energy B.B.'s TX200 produced) and 10.2 grain pellet and came up with about 845 ft/sec. Sound about right?

  32. dsw,

    I have a .243, but it's a Winchester model 88 and I don't think lever actions are as accurate as bolts or single shots. I would love to explore the .243, but right now I'm busy with the .22 Hornet (reloadable .22 rimfires) and now the .30-30. Plus I'm building a .45-70 rolling block in the background.


  33. BG_Farmer,

    You are absolutely correct. In the past I used my camera almost exclusively for family shots. Point. Shoot.

    Close up photo's trying to show detail is a whole different world.


  34. David,

    Your long-range question is a good one, and very difficult to answer.

    "What kind of distance do you need to shoot center fire rifles out to determine absolute accuracy? For Pellet guns it's a minimum of 50 yards and even better at 100 yards to decide between the best of the best. Will it take 300 yards or longer to make such a determination with firearms? I think the most realistic goal you can have is to prove the 30-30 is a more accurate cartridge than most people think."

    Black Powder cartridge shooters thjink that 200 yards is too close to determine accuracy. They like starting at 300 yards and 500 yards is better. They say that smokeless powder can keep up with black powder out to 200 yards, but beyond that, the black powder is more accurate.

    I don't begin to have the ranges I need to play in this game. For me the world is limited to 200 yards.

    And I think you probably stated my goal more realistically than I did. Just showing the accuracy potential is probably all I can hope for in my experiment. I doubt I will ever break a one-inch 10-shot group at 200 yards. But who knows?


  35. Jay,

    Your stock is showing great improvement! I can see the grain vs. the old muddy finish.

    Congratulations on the checkering. Good job. Your choice of sticking with the checkering as is vs. an ebony stain is a good one in my opinion since you've already started to fill the pores of the wood with RLO. You'd have to re-open those pores on your checkering otherwise most of the ebony stain would sit on top of the checkering.

    I agree with you some of the shadows from the old finish are showing but the look is unique and much more appealing to me than the old finish.

    I'm trying to understand where your hairline stock crack is. Is it on the inside of the stock? I'm assuming if it were on the outside that you would have repaired it prior to staining and applying RLO so that may have been a dumb question. If it's on the inside use glass bedding epoxy (you don't need the glass for a hairline crack just the epoxy). Acraglas is the epoxy I always used on stocks. Like most glues and epoxies this will soak into the grain of the wood and be a bear to stain around and finish around so be careful where you put this.


  36. Mrs Gaylord,

    You've been a big help today. I didn't intend to turn into your project.

    Hope you don't mind but I've suggested to my wife that you Christmas shop for me next year.

    Ho, Ho, Ho.


  37. dsw,

    Thanks for the update on the gamo cfx.

    The fact that PA can still install the air venturi gas spring in a cfx has to be one of the best kept secrets out there.

    From now on you will always be known as 007 to me.


  38. Scott TX 200,

    Your guestamations without a chrony sound about right. The specs on the Pyramyd AIR site under the TX 200 MKIII is 930fps. It's likely that they used a lightweight pellet (8gr?) for these specs.


  39. Jay,

    OK. Get in your time machine and travel backwards 30 days. Mix sawdust with glue…..

    Seriously, how deep is the crack? If it's shallow and therefor not structural you can take some of your fine sawdust particles, add some RLO (and maybe stain to try to match, remember how light the stain dried to when color matching). The RLO will act as adhesive to keep the sawdust in place but will not be adhesive enough for a structural repair. Just a hairline crack right?

    When you do this think in terms of filling a large pore in the grain of your wood just like you're doing now with RLO but you'll never create enough slurry to fill your crack (without sanding your stock lopsided) so you need to add slurry (very fine sawdust).

    By the way it looks like you're doing a good job of keeping the edges on your stock, especially in the cheek piece, sharp. Keep up the good work.


  40. Jay,

    Understand your concern. Stress crack that's clearly following the grain.

    I can't tell from your photo's how deep the crack is. Is it through and through?

    After you stained and let the stock dry did you start with 100% RLO or did you thin it? How many coats of RLO and at what percentage stregth are now on the stock/over the stress crack?


  41. Kevin,

    Also, I can't tell how deep it is, though it does appear all the way across the end grain inside the cocking slot. From the surface, it looks like nothing more than a grain.

    With the low temperature over the last two weeks, it's been exceptionally dry – around 20% relative humidity inside. I wonder if the stock dried out a little too much after I stripped it?



  42. Mr B,

    Thanks for the link. I bookmarked it and will reak it soon.

    Thought about going outside for the latest pictures but the high was only 19 degrees. High on Thursday, in town, is supposed to be 15 degrees. Although I could tolerate the cold, it hasn't allowed the snow to melt and the reflections off the snow in every direction is not something I can master.


  43. Jay,

    No such thing as the stock drying out too much after stripping. Not drying enough is the problem.

    Getting the stock too wet and then quick drying could be a problem but I don't think it caused your crack. It looks like a stress crack to me.

    If you thinned the RLO to begin with and are progressively making your RLO thicker then the crack should be filled. If it's not filled by the time you're at 80-20 I would mix in some very fine sawdust and create a bigger slurry over the crack and that will fill it. It doesn't appear that you have enough area in the crack to inject epoxy. Look inside the cocking slot and see if you could inject any epoxy from the side or the top of the crack. At this point you don't want to apply epoxy from the bottom. Gotta go.


  44. BB,

    Didn't mean to add another project to your list. I just never thought of the 30-30 as an especially capable round and have been purchasing around it for years.
    Guess I'm just saying hmmm…


    007. LOL!


    (word verification thingy is really kickin' my but today!!!) trying for a third time 🙂

  45. B.B.–Scott298–congrat's on that great gift fron your wife! When I was dating mine she surprised me with a Remington woodmaster semi auto BDL grade in .30-06. Right after getting married I spent most of my thanks-givings in VT where my folks had a ski lodge. I guess taking off year aftr year with the guy's to go deer hunting soured her a little on fire arms-oh well. Are you giving any thought in doing any reloading on the 30-30? We used to have one at thr lodge but it was stolen. ( if you already covered the reloading I apoligse for asking again-couldn;'t go thru all the comments-just had hand surgery a couple of hours ago and still having trouble seeing.) Best wishes weth your new "friend" and I hope you and "mom" have a great new year!

  46. Scott,

    Yes, I plan to reload ONLY for the .30-30. In the beginning I will start with factory rounds, but they are so outclassed by good handloads thet they will slip by the wayside pretty quickly.

    I haven't discussed handloads yet, but one powder I'm trying for sure is H4198. I love it in my 6.5 Swedish Mauser and in my .43 Spanish. I'm hoping the .30-30 case is the right volume for it.

    Robert has suggested another powder that I will try and there are a couple others I'll want to try, as well.


  47. Hey B.B,

    Not sure if you're still interested in knowing this, but a friend of mine tested his new Gamo Hunter Extreme and would not get more than an average of 1380fps with the raptor pellets.

    There was this one time when it shot 1440fps. But then averaged to 1380fps over further shots.

    He was unable to get any groups below 9" at 40 yards with the same pellets.

    The first gun developed a crack in the stock after a few shots. It was returned for this one. No idea about the velocity developed on the first one.


  48. BB,

    The 30-30 is what it is. A marvelous short range big game cartridge made for some nice short handy guns.

    Good luck trying to prove it is the "most accurate" cartridge out there! I doubt you will convince many people of that, including me. Ask any master level bench rest shooter if they would even consider it for their bench rest guns? Or ask any master level 1000 yard shooter if they would even consider it for their guns?

    Is it capable of good accuracy? Yes, likely it is. So are hundreds of other rounds when hand loaded under very controlled conditions.

    Can it be made to shoot <.2" groups at 200 yards? MAYBE, under controlled circumstances with a highly reworked or custom bolt or single action and very specific custom tailored hand loads!

    But heck there are a few off the shelf guns will deliver <.5" groups with factory ammo at 200 yards.

    My point? The 30-30 was never meant to be a 200 yard tack driver. It was meant to be a "minute of boiler house" cartridge for deer sized game at 50 – 100 yards or less. It was meant to be used in light carbines which could be carried on the saddle of a horse or toted around all day and not fatigue you.

    It does what it was meant to do quite well! It simply flies in the face of logic to try to prove it is the "most accurate" cartridge designed. Or to even try to prove it is an extremely accurate cartridge.

    It simply doesn't matter! Plenty of other cartridges fit that niche already.

    Happy New Year!

  49. Scott,

    that's a very funny comment from a gun store salesman that high quality and Stoeger air guns are synonymous. When I stopped at the Stoeger booth in AZ at the NRA show, all the air rifles on display were made in China. While I'm sure some are very fine rifles, Chinese products aren't yet in the high quality area as far as I'm concerned. Unless Vince has worked them over!


  50. pcp4me,

    save your breath man, BB's on a mission! Logic has nothing to do with it.

    I'm quite sure that there are many, many cartridges out there that get purchased on a daily basis that out shoot a 30-30 in accuracy 7 days a week, BUT, none of which would require the amount of time and or money that this 30-30 project will require! besides reinventing the wheel is fun isn't it?

    BB, Just funnin. Not meaning to snipe ya! I'm anxious as anyone to see what comes of this.


  51. Hey BB,
    Just getting into serious airguns as I have just got my firearms license, needed here in Canada for anything over 495fps. I have been doing alot of reading lately (your blog has been quite helpful, thanks) and have narrowed down my choice to a few guns. My priorities are quietness and accuracy without getting to crazy in price, uses – 99% target/backyard plinking.
    I had decided to spend more money than I intitally wanted and go with the Marauder until I found out that Canada bans them due to its silencer.
    So I was hoping you could rate my remaining list in terms of noise (accuracy I have a pretty good grasp on)
    1. tx200
    2. hw97
    3. hw98
    4. crosman npss

    I have a yard that backs onto a forest but neighbors on either side, so lots of shooting room but would like to not annoy the neighbors.

    Thanks allot,

  52. BB; Go easy on the bolt stop. It is only a single pin and will shear
    if you hit it too hard, too may times when the bolt is opened. New ones can be hard to come by. However, the 788 may be the most accurate 30-30 ever.


  53. Andrew,

    Shame about Canada not allowing the Marauder. Sounds perfect for you.

    Have you used the search box over on the right hand side of this page to read the multi-part series that B.B. has done on most, if not all of the guns on your list?

    Great information in this library of archived articles accessed through that little box.

    You've chosen a couple of classics. Good luck and Happy New Year.


  54. Thanks Kevin, yes it is a shame and a complete joke but thats life.

    I have used the search box ALOT :o). Thing is there are not any comments ( I could find ) that directly compare sounds. I guess for most people it is not that important to know other than Quiet or Loud.

  55. Andrew,

    I'm going to dodge your question on quietest but wouldn't be surprised if most say the npss first then the TX.

    You can ignore this if you want since I'm poking my nose where it wasn't invited.

    You said you plan on using the airgun 99% of the time backyard plinking/target shooting. Why are such heavy, powerful guns on your short list? Powerful usually equals noisy in springers.


  56. Andrew,

    The NPSS is definitely the quietest gun on that list. The rest are all about the same to my ear.

    Indeed, too bad about the Marauder.

    Not to second guess your choices, as I've owned most of those rifles and they're all stellar but Kevin makes a good point about the size/weight power level of those guns for backyard use.

    Have you considered a Weihrauch 50S ? Really fantastic rifle. Light, faster and easier to load than an underlever. Outstanding, well made rifle.

  57. Andrew,

    Since derrick38 started it and since you already like the looks of the npss my vote is….

    The new crosman benjamin legacy. If I could get over the looks of the stock (I'm a traditional wood guy) I'd already own one. As it is I'm having a mental tug of war and may end up owning one for another back yard plinker. Since the npss is on your list you have to take a look at this one.

    Sorry. We're not shortening your list but adding to it. 😉


  58. Andrew,

    derrick38 makes some good points about a breakbarrel being easier and more fun to shoot than an underlever or sidelever.

    Since I'm still trying to make a case for your backyard plinker you should also factor in cocking effort. High powered guns will get tiring to cock during an afternoon of plinking. Most, but not all, medium powered springers are much easier to cock than the guns on your list.

    Maybe you've already taken cocking effort into account in making your list.


  59. I've noticed that products that have been only built a few years that have a good sales record, low price, good quality and last a long time gets axed. Then some new model that looks nearly the same for twice the price comes out and is total crap.

    Sometimes, Ebay aka fleebay does pull through for finding those impossible parts to fix what you need, but why can't the best just remain the best and just increase the price a little?

    A reputation is only as good as the products a company continues to make and now what it use to make. Crap is crap nomatter what you paid for it.

    Sorry, I spend a day trying to order in office supplies that don't exist anymore. ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!

    BTW….my little 98 year old winchester pump .22 hits under .400 at 10 meter with cci cb caps with original open sights. I haven't shot it in a while. With some practice I bet I could cut that in half. All the 10M air rifle/pistol practice with open sights has helped a lot.

  60. Cocking effort is not a major issue, friend of mine has a old (unknown brank) airgun that we measued at around 45lbs cocking. That wasn't horrible for a few hours of shooting but probably my limit to maintain the fun. Plus I could use the exercise :o)

    Power is mainly for distance, I can set up targets easily 75 to 100yards away in my yard, I like the challenge and would probably get bored with something smaller. I already have a cheap Beeman (490fps) right now and would like something more versatile.

    I hadn't noticed the legacy, whats the difference between it and the crosman?

    Thanks for your help.

  61. Andrew,

    Crosman makes the NPSS (Nitro Piston Short Stroke) and the new Benjamin Legacy.

    I don't own one and no one to my knowledge has shot one but B.B. The legacy has a piston for a powerplant (like the NPSS) and has a stock that looks very similar to the NPSS, is less velocity than the NPSS and therefor has less cocking effort and is very quiet.

    I'll say one other thing in favor of lightweight, medium powered springers for plinking and then I'll shut up. With higher velocity usually comes hold sensitivity. The TX 200 has legendary accuracy but is hold sensitive. If you've read B.B.'s multi series articles on the NPSS it's hold sensitivity made the master dig deep into his knowledge base to group well with this gun. All guns are hold sensitive to a degree but a lower velocity gun usually requires less technique.

    I just want you to have fun but if you've caught magnumspringeritus only time spent plinking with one of these beasts will cure you.

    Now, if the gun you were searching for was for hunting larger small game then……


  62. B.B.

    For the 788 try cast bullets in the 150 to 190 gr range. Those worked best in my rifle.


    There seem to be a few rifles for the 17M2 out there. I shoot it in a Marlin 917. Seems to be just as accurate as the 17HMR.


  63. Kevin,

    Thanks again for your comments, honestly I thought I was looking at "lighter" guns. Perhaps I am aiming too high (pardon the pun).
    If you were to make a list of 3 or 4 guns that were quiet, accurate for plinking/target use in the 50-75yd range what would you put on it?

  64. Kevin,

    Your list is A-OK for that kind of distance. Didn't realize you were fortunate enough to have that kind of space! From that list and at that distance, (and assuming all the PCP's are off the table due to noise or restrictions on sound moderators) I'd vote for the HW98. The adjustable stock is a nice feature and the trigger is exceptional.

    The triggers are all better in your first 3 listed choices. The NPSS has a decent trigger, but it's not as finely adjustable as a Rekord or AA trigger.

    Whatever you choose, don't worry, you can't possibly make a bad choice from those four air rifles. You should add the HW80 (AKA: Beeman R1)to your list, too if you need yet another gun to agonize over.

    Have you considered just buying all four of them?

  65. To all my friends;I,with Wacky Wayne's tip and his offer to vouch for my credibility,have agreed to buy USFT # 92!!If someone told me two years ago I would spend this much on an airgun,I would have laughed and called them crazy!But at 43,I see that life marches on…and what makes you happy shouldn't be questioned.I have justified this as an investment…it should be a good one!Now to wait for santa's brown truck! Frank B

  66. Mr B,thank you,pictures of course….I still intend to send you that ND 5 laser collimeter to play with for a couple weeks,if you are still interested.Maybe you could guest blog it for us.you would be giving BB some 30/30 time!! Frank B

  67. B.B.
    I bought a 788 in 1983 or 1984 on clearance at the time in .223, ended up selling it for a 700 Classic with pretty wood, mistake number #27. However, once I had the 788 I had completed my quest for all the “real guns” I needed and shortly after put my first R-1 in lay way.

    Picked up a bunch of old new stock in the last month or so to play with, including two that arrived today.

    Frosty cold out of the boxes they are just now dry and up to room temperature:

    Daisy 130B (Spanish made Gamo, supposedly not intended for the US market – just sent as a fill in) It will get the GRT or GXT trigger. Anyone have a preference? Can’t ask this question on the yellow.

    Sheridan Sliver Streak C9 – found this for less money than a Benjamin 392, so it seemed like a steal. Unfortunately I don’t have any .20 caliber pellets to put in it, so I’ll shoot it tomorrow.

    Couple weeks older:

    The Crosman 1077W which is a blast for plinking – They need to make this into a PCP. The negative I read on the rifle really doesn’t bother me. Some complained about the power, but I get 550 fps to 620 fps depending on the pellet which is fine for plinking. The double action pull is not so bad either. Anyone who shoots a revolver knows how to stage a trigger and it never jams as long as the pellets are fully seated. One CO2 cartridge is good for 60 shots, which means loading the twelve shot magazines 5 times and tearing up some targets. Only downside is it temping to shoot non targets in my basement.

    Izzy 61 – best value for ten meter targets with open sights.

    Still on the way:

    RWS 40M – not a lot of info on this one, I am guessing it is one notch over a 34? Like the rest it is old new stock. Time will tell.
    These should give me plenty to play with during the long cold winter months ahead, all for less than the price of that first R-1.

  68. BB
    I'm really pulling for you on this 30-30
    project,since I used to own a Savage bolt
    action drop free clip fed 30-30.
    This was a few years ago when I still
    hunted and I got rid of a Winchester .243
    and a Browning .270 because I was more
    accurate with the Savage.The .270 was more of a rested shooter for me cause it
    was longer and heavier.The .243 was
    lightest and had the least kick I think due to being semi auto.
    A local ammo dealer loaded the 30-30s
    with a 160 grain ballistic polymer tip
    bullet that really worked well with
    the bolt-clip design of the Savage.
    Sorry don't know what powder but he said
    it was as close as he could get a 160gr.
    round to factory performance.Never had
    to track a deer or hog more than 20 yds.
    so it was a good performer,but I never measured groups on paper other than
    side by side visual.I recall that from a rest at 100 yds. all three would group
    smaller than a quarter.
    I hope you have lots of fun with this one and I'll be waiting for the results
    so I can brag more about my favorite round 🙂


  69. I was reading an archive blog about peep sights…

    Can anyone tell me if I install a peep sight will my standard front fiber optic sight work well with that or do I need a new front sight as well? This would be on the Mendoza Rm-600.

    Thanks, Scott

  70. Andrew,

    If you are not going to move around much with the rifle I would vote for the HW97K. A heavy beast, that weight along with the fixed barrel makes it easier to shoot accurately than most Springer’s. Surprised however that you can’t get a Marauder, DAK in Canada sells most of the shrouded FX rifles, but then they don’t sell the Whisper.

  71. Volvo,you must have found a time capsule or an abandoned airgun mine!congrats…some good finds…a walnut 1077 is very cool.the added heft must be nice.Tim Mcmurray could hook you up a bulk fill extension tube…that might be sweet!If you have a minuite,please email me at frankbpc@aol.com…I have a question for you off blog. Frank B

  72. Chuck,I'm probably the LAST person the USFT was made for!!!!!Thank you for the kind words.I am hoping this year brings me people to shoot with…I have a good shooting buddy,6 hours drive south,that is no help.Hoping to hook up with Brad Troyer,he lives here in Huntsville,AL.I have uncovered a FT group,but they lost their sponsor property. Frank B

  73. Jay,
    For some reason, my browsers are acting up today, and I can only see smallish pictures of the refinish, but even at that I can see much better grain definition and it looks good. I'm glad you re-stained, and the LMF stuff sounds good.

    Regarding the crack, its unfortunate, but not the end of the world. At this point, I might just do nothing more than fill/coat/seal it well like Kevin suggests and fix it if it breaks. If you can do something from the back, expoxy would be the best choice, if you can get it into the crack (especially with a pin); superglue shouldn't hurt if that's all you can get in there, but wait till the finish is done and cured some.

    The best way to fix it (if you had seen it or if it breaks in the future), would be a steel pin and epoxy. It shouldn't take either much epoxy or a huge pin if I'm understanding the crack correctly (humm, that doesn't sound good:)), but it will leave something to patch up. If you do that, you'll be surprised how hard it is to see the plug (covering the hole) once you've gotten over the job:). You could even do it now and touch up the stain, if it looks like the crack is likely to grow quickly, but you'll have to be able to overlook the imperfection until you forget about it.

    Hope that helps some, but keep in mind I can't see the crack, so I may be talking crazy:)!

  74. BB, I'm not sure if this is what you're aiming for but it almost sounds like your .22 centerfire that duplicates .22 rimfire ballistics, is an attempt to replicate something like the old .22WCF round (45 grain bullet, 13 grains black powder, around 1500 fps) and .22-15-60 Stevens (60 grain bullet, 15 grains black powder) .22-10-45, and .22 Extra Long CF. If it is, you might check around and see if you can find information about the bullets and loadings (or equivalent loadings since I doubt you want to mess with black powder) used in those rounds so you don't have to completely re-invent the wheel.

    I'd give you more information on those rounds, but Sam Fadala's "The Book of the .22" didn't go into much detail with those early .22 centerfires beyond pointing out that the .22 WCF was one of the cartridges that led to the .22 Hornet and giving a rough velocity figure for it.


  75. Frank B
    Have you tried hooking up with the FT guys
    in S Tn.I think they are in Pulaski.
    shouldn't be much of a drive for you but I
    don't know which side of the city you're
    on.Maybe 1-2 hrs.tops.Should be worth
    checkin into.They are on the net,I'll try to find a link for you.If not you can probly find 'em on the yellow.

  76. JT,you are one of the AL people I hope to get to meet and shoot with…The guys in Pulaski are hosting the ones that lost their shootin' spot down here.I will make an attempt to hook up with them….when it warms up!Thanks for that though.Look me up if time ever permits. Frank B frankbpc@aol.com

  77. BB and guys,

    As I promised, I opened today the box of my new Air Arms s410. Man, my first PCP!

    The metal is very well finished, the beautifully finished walnut stock made my father say 'wow'; and the weight and feel of the gun is very, very good.
    I cannot wait to shoot it in the range, and see what is capable of. I'll tell you soon how it performs.
    By the way, I like also firearms, altough I shoot only once or twice per year. I readed some 'American Hunter' and 'Gun World Annual' among various magazines when I was a child (I learned my poor English that way!), and I'm sure I'm not the only one that enjoys when you write about 'powderguns'.

    Finally, your yesterday's blog was terrific. I hope your(our) claims will be heard

    Anthony from Guadalajara

  78. A good evening to B.B. and to all the other knowledgeable air gunners out there.

    Please excuse my butting in but I find that I am perplexed by something and cannot find much supporting or contradicting information. I'd like to ask if anyone has pondered (or experienced) the damage to the mainspring of a spring-piston air rifle by using too heavy a pellet.

    For those that are interested, here is the background info. Impressed with the accuracy of the Air Arms TX200 MkIII in .177 that I purchased in September 2009, I decided to order the same rifle in .22 and it is presently on its way to me. I was determined to shoot the best pellet available at 50 yards so initially chose the H&N Baracuda Match .22 Cal, 21.14 Grains, Round Nose (details copied from https://www.pyramydair.com). Over the weekend however, I found something which made me question my choice of pellets.

    First, my decision to shoot the Baracuda Match pellet. I had tested this pellet and the Beeman Kodiak Match (in .177) in my TX200 and RWS 54 with excellent accuracy. So when I found that H&N had reintroduced the Baracuda Match pellets, the choice was seemingly simple. I had also found that the Crosman Premier Light would produce tiny groups at 33 feet and decided it would be the main pellet for my .177 TX200.

    Second, the discovery that rattled me. Although a heavy pellet with a high ballistic coefficient would apparently be the best choice at longer ranges, they may not be advisable because they might DAMAGE THE MAINSPRING! Please read the last two sections at the bottom of the following page: https://www.charliedatuna.com/Tune-ups.htm

    I find it difficult to believe that a heavy steel spring could be damaged by using a 21 grain pellet when a pellet just 7 grains lighter would be just fine, but I'm no expert. The H&N Baracuda Match is even listed as a recommeded pellet under the TX200 page on Pyramyd Air's web site! (See /product/air-arms-tx200-mkiii-air-rifle?m=174)

    I realize that the new rifle (probably) won't "blow up" if I shoot the 21.14 grain H&N Baracuda Match but am I shortening the life of the mainspring by 10%, 25%, 50% if I do? Any thoughts?

    Thanks to all who choose to read and respond to my predicament.

  79. Anthony from Guadalahara,there is nothing wrong with your english!! Holy Cow,are you lucky…An AA S410,what an awesome first PCP.You should be blown away by the accuracy!Search Youtube to see it in action,then read everything Wayne on this blog had to say about his!Be safe, and keep us posted!

  80. Mystery,

    No mystery, too light or too heavy a pellet in a Springer is not ideal. If you shoot enough, you can actually hear when it sounds right. Long before the internet I figured this out shooting my R-1 which did not do well with heavy Kodiaks; it preferred a medium heavy pellet in .177 that is no longer made.

    As far as damage to the spring I can’t say for sure, but I got thousands of shots in .177 from that rifle, then changed it to .22 caliber and got thousands more. After 20 years it was still shooting as strong as ever with the original spring, so I wouldn’t worry about the spring too much.

    However, I would guess in .22 cal you should stay around 16 grains maybe try the some JSB’s ?

    The real heavy stuff is best left for PCP’s, but I think a quality Springer is hard to wear out.

  81. mystery2me
    I don't have enough springer experience
    to give a definite answer and I'm sure
    some of the better qualified folks on here
    will be able to give you a good response.
    I have read a lot of opinions that go both ways but I think fit of the pellet
    has as much to do with spring and seal
    wear as weight does.If a heavy pellet
    doesn't seal in the bore it can be just
    as bad as a too light pellet.
    Maybe a better question is:Do you see
    springs and seals as consumables the
    way some guys do?They figure they're
    gonna wear out regardless so they shoot
    the most accurate and best suited pellet
    that they can find.These folks say that
    the TX 200's are so easy to work on
    and springs and seals so inexpensive
    that it's worthwhile to shoot what works best.On the other hand some guys
    want to get the longest life for their
    money so they go the other way and find
    the pellet that gives acceptable
    performance with the least chance of
    damaging the gun.
    I think if you decide which way you feel
    about that it might narrow your pellet
    choices down a bit:)
    Sorry if I added more confusion instead
    of helping.


  82. Andrew,

    I have read what others have told you. Too bad about the Marauder, which I guess is because of the baffles. Good thing the RCMP hasn't noticed that the TX200 has a baffled barrel, also.

    The TX200 is the best overall rifle on your list. The NPSS is the quietest. The Benjamin Legacy SE is even quieter and easy to cock, but they are only available in limited quantities, since Crosman is not sure they will manufacture them. Those currently on the market are more like test samples.

    My vote is for the TX200


  83. J.,

    I'm looking for a little less velocity in my Hornet. About 1,200 f.p.s., tops.

    That Fadala book sounds like one I need to read. I will start looking for one today. I really like Fadala as a gun writer, and I note he is one of the very few firearms writers who also understands airguns.


  84. mystery2me,

    The heavy pellet/light pellet controversy has ranged on for many years.

    I agree with what has been said here, that with a springer a medium-weight pellet is often best. That would be the 15.6-grain JSB in your .22.

    I also agree that the TX 200 is the easiest spring rifle to repair–not even needing a compressor for disassembly.


  85. Andrew,

    B.B. has spoken to your question about your initial list. He's never steered me wrong.

    Sometimes I've gotten exactly what I asked for but later learned I was too uninformed to have been able to ask ALL the questions I should have.

    Volvo also has an enormous amount of experience with a wide array of firearms, springers and pcp's. He admits that most of his experience is with springers. Volvo said something very interesting. "If you're not going to move around much……a heavy beast…"

    Andrew you said that "you thought you were looking at lighter guns..". Check the weight of these guns under the specs and remember to add the weight of a mount, rings and scope (which I assume is appropriate if you want accuracy out to 75 yards as you said).

    Although the total weight of the heaviest gun on your list is on par with a typical olympic rifle shot offhand, it's not enjoyable to me to cock and shoot a heavy powerful airgun all afternoon while target shooting in my backyard.

    You asked me, "If you were to make a list of 3 or 4 guns that were quiet, accurate for plinking/target use in the 50-75yd range what would you put on it?"

    If it were me, I would look closer at the pcp's that are available in your area. If DAK sells the FX line of pcp's you have a whole new world of options available.


  86. Anthony from Guadalahara,

    I am adding my congradulations to your first air gun. Way to go guy. Wonderful choice. Please keep us informed on your experiences with it.

    Mr B.

  87. BB,

    Then the .22-10-45 is probably closer what you wanted since according to Fadala the .22 Long and .22 LR were originally loaded with 5 grains of black powder. Given that early .22LR rounds would have been turning out around 900-1000 fps max with 40 grain bullets, something like a .22-10-45 should give you around what a modern .22LR High-Velocity bullet turns out.

    Again going off what Fadala wrote, apparently a company called Ideal offered bullet molds and loading information on these old .22 center-fires. However it looks like the mold's and reloading book are from somewhere around 1900-WWI vintage. Its possible that it might have smokeless powder loads (this is just a guess, but if it does they're probably in the 3-3.5-grain range given the ratio I'm seeing in Fadala's book of black to semi-smokeless to (early) smokeless loadings). However I don't know how well they'll translate to modern powders. And I don't know the exact diameter of the bullets so it may simply be a tangent. I'm hoping though that they might give you a starting point/cut down the amount of testing you need to get a .22 Hornet load to where you want it. My only concern is that the Hornet probably has a bigger case. If so squib loads like these may cause pressure issues.

    As for Fadala's book… I can help with that. Amazon has it starting at around $5 used:


    Given that the cost for new is over $50, buying used makes sense to me, then again I'm cheap.


  88. J.,

    I already bought Fadala's book from Amazon. Thanks for the link.

    Your remark about the possibility of squibs made me think of Trail Boss powder. I probably can't cram enough into a Hornet case to get the bullet much over 1,000 f.p.s., if that. Then there is 4198, which seems to be legit for the Hornet. I love the stuff and would enjoy using it.

    Any way I go, this is going to be a very cheap round. The primer will be the big item, but I will be shooting for under a nickel a shot for the foreseeable future.


  89. B.B., Volvo, and JTinAL,

    I hope you see this, as it's been a few days since I posted my inquiry… Thank you all for your replies and recommendations. I will start with that "heavy" H&N Baracuda Match because it should have the best wind-bucking ability at 50 yards. I will go on to test the JSB Exacts as well as the Crosman Premier.

    JTinAL, your advice was especially thought-provoking. Accuracy is my highest priority. If the spring lasts 10 years shooting mediocre groups, what fun would it be? If it lasts 2 years shooting great groups and then needs a new spring, then so be it!

    With deepest gratitude,

  90. B.B.

    Thank you, I will keep you informed! Since we had something like 8 inches of snow the last two days, I don't think I'll be able to get to the outdoor rifle range anytime soon; being in retail, I work weekends so the range is out of the question until our season winds down for the summer beginning in May. Until then, I'm going to try pulling a few strings so I can sight in and shoot some groups indoors at 50 yards.

    Having caught the accuracy bug many years ago, I started out shooting benchrest rifles so tiny 5-shot groups gets me tingling all over! My Feinwerkbau 603 Match rifle I purchased two years ago routinely shoots groups that look like a single pellet hole. Of course, it's scoped, with Leupold's 6.5 – 20 x 40mm EFR. Maybe it's a stretch expecting similar results at 50 yards with a sporter but I'm very impressed with the quality of the TX200's.

    By the way, I just took delivery of the .22 yesterday and it's beautiful, of course, especially the walnut stock.

    Take care B.B., I'll chat with you again soon.


  91. For your accuracy 30-30 test i recommend leverevolution 160 gr from hornady. In my marlin 336 will easily produce sub 1" groups at 100 yards and sub 2" groups at 200 yards and as an added bonus drops deer like a 30-06.

  92. Anonymous,

    that's very good shooting. However, very few of the blog commentors will read it as we rarely go to the older comments.

    There are a core group of us who volunteer to monitor the old blog comments and advise new commenter's to navigate to the current blog to post.

    The current day's blog can be found here:


    Welcome to the airgun blog. We all look forward to your participation and comments.

    Fred PRoNJ

  93. .30-30,

    Thanks for your comments. I want to do this with lead bullets, the way Harry Pope did it in the 19th century. His 10-shot 1/10th-inch group at 200 yards has been an inspiration to me for many years. I doubt the .30-30 can do that good, but I'd like to see how far it can be oushed.


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