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I’m glad I don’t judge beauty contests

by B.B. Pelletier

I get burned out on airguns from time to time. When it happens, I can remember being excited over this or that gun in the past, but nothing I see, touch or shoot at this time evokes the slightest measure of appreciation. You could hand me an HW55 Tyrolean with a full bas-relief stock worthy of the renaissance–and I would yawn.

When that happens, I have to do something else. For years, something else has been shooting firearms, reloading and casting bullets. Anything to break the connection with pellet guns for a time. Unfortunately, a number of circumstances–the weather, a heavy work schedule and my recent illness–have all conspired to keep me from going to the range since before Christmas. I’m ready to pull my hair out, if I had anything to grab onto.

Then, I happened to mention that I rode a BMW R26 while in college in the 1960s. A thoughtful reader sent me a link to a You Tube video of a prima R 26 that the owner starts and runs while walking the viewer around on a tour. Seeing that video was a mini-holiday for me.

The BMW R26 single-cylinder motorcycle is like an HW55 on wheels.

That got me looking at all the vintage Beemer motorcycle videos on You Tube and there are quite a few of them. That got me searching eBay Motors for what one of these treasures might cost–not that I would ever buy one. Five thousand $US seems to be the going price for a refurbished bike from Indonesia. Another $1,500 transport to the U.S. and who knows what to clear customs would get you a restored bike in beautiful condition–if it all worked out, that is.

That got me searching for a vintage motorcycle sales here in the U.S. and, lo and behold, I found one. A great one! Walnecks.com has lists of vintage and antique motorcycles that will astound you. There are many old R12/R26/R27 bikes to choose from. But if you’re an Indian fan, and I’m talking about the original Indian motorcycles now, then there are Chiefs, Scouts and even a couple straight fours. I didn’t find a Scott Flying Squirrel or a Sunbeam, but who knows what’ll be there next week?

What does this have to do with airguns? Nothing–yet. But you know that it’s coming.

And here it is. When I absolutely cannot look at one more synthetic thumbhole stock wrapped around a bucking, buzzing thousand-foot-per-second .177 breakbarrel with a beer-can trigger, I go to the American Vintage Airguns Forum. I call it my quiet place. Here the guns are old and so are the contributors. If they’re young, they sure don’t act it. Everyone respects the vintage stuff made in the days before the velocity races began. It’s like an airgun show on the internet.

A bas-relief Tyrolean stock. This is an Aydt schuetzen rifle, but that isn’t the point. This beauty is what puts me at rest when I’m bummed out.

The nice thing about this place are the friends you make. They’re willing to bend over backwards to help a fellow airgunner. I think they’re as nice as the readers of this blog, if you can believe that! If you have a question, they’ll try to find the answer for you. And some of our most notable readers are also over there, so you won’t feel lonely.

Here’s a tastefully engraved Stevens scheutzen rifle. When I see work like this, I can’t take my eyes away.

This Martini Swiss schuetzen rifle has traditional Swiss engraving and carving. You don’t even have to shoot guns like these to enjoy them.

Anyway, that’s how I’m feeling today. I’m gonna get out to the range next week and bust some caps to get my sanity back–or what passes for it.

And THAT, my friends, is why I’m glad I don’t judge beauty contests.

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.

133 thoughts on “I’m glad I don’t judge beauty contests”

  1. For those that aren't too far from Birmingham, AL and like vintage motorcyle museums, this is probably the best we have to offer in this country:


    I'm going down there next Tuesday and Wednesday and will make sure I find time to visit this museum again. Think of it as the NRA Firearms museum or the Winchester Museum (is that the name?) out in Cody, WY. Both make your mouth open in wonder and pleasure.

    Fred PRoNJ

    Did I mention the office is closed today due to over 1' of snow? Woo-hoo.

  2. B.B.
    I hear you loud and clear on getting burned out on this or that! I myself get burned out on all the speed freak compound bow users these days, the ATV's and alot of other new fangled crud.

    To break it up I read Traditional Bowhunter. The people are a step back in time, the ones that stood by a handshake, and the writing is superb in my opinion. To get away I also read this BLOG:), it is full of new knowledge and today a couple of sweet new leaks.

    Get out the range or some canyon and shoot an old lever action, stevens falling block 22 favorite or perhaps a classic 1911 and you will feel better.


  3. Good morning BB. This is off topic, but have you heard of the Pedersoli Hawk rifle? It is a muzzle loading rifle that fires .177 caliber pellets and uses only the power of a 209 shotgun primer as propellant. They also make a companion revolver for this rifle. I thought that I'd ask you about this because I remembered that you have mentioned parlor guns a few times.

  4. B.B.,

    The best motorcycle collection I ever saw was the temporary Guggenheim museum exhibition in the basement of the Bilagio (or maybe it was a different casino) in Vegas, some 8 or 10 years ago. It contained numerous machines loaned from private collections, starting with the first little steam engine powered bicycles with flat leather belt drives all the way through the modern exotics. You could rent a headset and get a detailed history of each bike in the museum. The Italians, British, German, Russian, Finnish and Japanese bikes were all represented. Old Harleys and Indians in abundance, all immaculate, and other American makes I'd never heard of. A shame it was only a temporary exhibition. It moved on to Memphis. I don't where it is now, or even if it is still intact. Your blog brought back memories.


  5. mechredd,

    I haven't yet seen a primer-actuated pellet gun that worked well. The ones I've tried all shot horribly.

    However, given that Pedersoli is doing it, I'd give that gun a chance. The Europeans know what accuracy is, and Pedersoli isn't likely to risk their reputation on a gun that can't shoot.


  6. Shhhhh. Now you've done it. You've gone and posted a link to the vintage forum, one of the best-kept secrets in the internet airgun world. There truly are some extraordinary gentlemen who frequent there, and the depth of knowledge and experience is sometimes humbling. Yet they are always willing to help. One of the nicest places to hang out on the web. Just make sure to put the drool guard over the keyboard before opening the pictures.

  7. BB: I know how you feel. Take a break and bust some caps. Rabbit season here is almost over, but I think I'll take my vintage Luger pistol out for a winter walk. Much more satifying to shoot than a modern plastic pistol, and actually accurate enough to head shoot rabbits with. How's your cast bullet project going with the Hornet, did you get your mold? Take care ,Robert

  8. Robert,

    Yeah, I wanted to get away this morning, but a couple official duties have me pinned down again.

    I've done squat on the Hornet, other than think about it. Haven't bought the mold yet.

    I did have a question for you. It's been 35 years since I sized bullets with gas checks. When I went to do it for the .30 caliber bullets I had cast for the .30-30, I didn't get too far. The checks seemed to all hang up on the bases of the bullets.

    Got any advice?


  9. Lyman gas checks are a bit more forgiving of shank variations since they don't crimp. Alloy will also cause variations in the as cast diameter. Linotype typically has an as cast diameter one or two thousands bigger than softer alloys.

    You may also want to try some plain based bullets. I'v used a Lyman 130gr bullet at 1400 to 1500 fps with no problems in ther 30-30. I use a 788 like yours. It also works well in my DAQ .308.


  10. BB,

    My experience with the 30-30 and cast bullets is that you have to keep the velosity low to get any kind of accuracy. I have been told that the rifling twist is a bit too fast for best accuracy with cast bullets. So, slower works better.

    Be careful with those motorcycles!
    The people in cars and trucks don't look for bikes. I gave up on street bikes as there have just been too many bike accidents involving my friends. None of them was their fault.


  11. Al,

    I am casting pretty soft. Probably 30:1 with very little antimony.

    I'm using Hornady gas checks, so I'll get some Lymans and give them a try.

    Since I'm going for extreme accuracy at 200 yards with the .30-30, I don't want to be constrained to any bullet. I want to use what works best. If it were my choice alone, I would always use a plain-base bullet.

    Thanks for the tip.


  12. Mike,

    I promised Edith years ago that I would quit riding motorcycles, so all I do now is look and reminisce.

    I agree that the roads are not as safe today, and if I did ride, it would only be on the slower country roads.

    Thanks for your concern.


  13. Pete,

    Since I don't compete at the world level I('m going to send you to where they do.

    Scott Pilkington is the armorer to the USA Shooting airgun team at the Olympic, and his website is loaded with ISSF references:


    Warren Potter, who works for Scott, has competed in the Olympics as an air pistol shooter.


    February 26, 2010 6:23 AM

    Scott Pilkington's site is great, of course. And I go there often, but I do like your style of descriptions; Scott doesn't do your kind of testing and analysis either.

    (And you're a better writer)

  14. BB;
    I live in the reverse. That is, I ride motorcycles, some classic Brit Bikes, and shoot airguns (and others) when I get burned out on bikes. :o)
    In fact, it was your blog and the American Airguner show on the Sportsman's channel, that got me back in the airgun game. Thanks for that.
    Today is my birthday, and at 64 I'm planning my summer vacation with a ride to the Big Bend and maybe some off-road adventures with my BMW F650GS. You never get too old to ride!
    Have a gud un from the DFW area (where it's cold and overcast);

  15. Back in 1992, I used to ride a 1982 yamaha maxim 650 until I was nearly ran off the road twice returning on a long road trip.

    I few years ago I bought an 1985 maxim x 700. I always wear helmet now and I mainly cruise out on all the back roads at a whopping 40 to 50 mph.

    I figure if it's my time to go….I'd like to go out with a smile on my face.

  16. For a change of pace here in the UP of Michigan during the winter. I ride a Ski-DOO 600 MXZ cross country near my home. It's kind of like riding motorcycles but no traffic to deal with.

    Of course their is also always squirrel patrol off my back deck with the airgun of the day.


  17. B.B.

    I'm surprised you haven't burned out before. Anyway, I have the very thing for you! It will allow you to keep your promise to Edith and enjoy motorcycles again. Google "Venom GPV-1" and read about the hottest new rc motorcycle out there. It is a very faithful reproduction of full size racing bikes down to the real rubber tires, and between the fork and a bunch of other things I don't understand, there are endless options to tinker. It goes up to 25mph at least. YouTube has some videos of people who have dedicated rc motorcycle courses made of asphalt (seem to be concentrated in the UK), and watching them spin the GPV-1 through them is a revelation. I'm still mystified at how they keep the motorcycle upright. I believe there is some kind of gyroscope built in like the Segways.

    Slinging Lead, I'm not exactly sure what Mike Melick did to my IZH 61. At first, he said that there was "lube in the groove." But later he said that it needed a lot of lubrication–perhaps to some other part of the rifle. I also know that he replaced some part from the spring that looked like a cylinder with a round plate attached to one end with a delrin version of the same thing. Anyway, when I sent it off, the rifle was shooting all over the place, and I thought it was done for. Afterwards, it was its old accurate self with a smoother and more solid cocking action. Mike wouldn't even accept payment for all this which I find incredible. He's very versatile in his tuning, so I would make him one of your first choices for tuning springers.

    BG_Farmer, I was out of touch over the Christmas season. Send me a link to your story about the Buck and the Victorinox. I would love to read it. Whitman was a wild one. There are newly discovered photographs from his era of a naked old man who looks a lot like him, and a fair amount of scholarly ink has been spilled on whether it is really Whitman….

    On the subject of .22s, you hear a lot of rhetoric about how the Mauser action was the ultimate bolt design from which everything since has declined. But there is another body of thought that we are just getting going with the bolt-gun technology. The best evidence is that the MOA groups that used to be the province of custom rifles are now fairly routine. The new technology includes concentric barrel design, button-rifling, pillar/glass bedding, improved materials, better trigger. In a word–Savage. They have a rimfire to suit your needs. In addition, the Anschutz 64 is an expensive though still attainable .22 that you would need to be an Olympian to tell from the 54 action rifles. And it has a magazine too.

    Frank B., the darn shovel is offering unique and multiple sharpening challenges. Not only is the edge curved–the first step in difficulty after a straight edge–but it is curved (concave) slightly out of plane. I'm bringing the highly-touted Spyderco 701 Profile system to bear on this one.


  18. OT,or maybe not….This winter I have turned to working with my hands on sporting projects.Every day I spend time on one of my time consuming projects….The FWB stock was one of them.I also clean,polish by hand,sharpen by hand, and conserve every knife I can lay hands on….including my friend's.A new friend I met at a diner showed me a hand made fixed blade with a one piece stag handle.He is a WWII vet and native American named Grey Eagle.I talked him into letting me work on this crude but solidly constructed knife.The work was so rewarding to me that I asked for nothing in return…It came out as nice as any custom knife could!Yesterday Grey Eagle presented me A stag handled ceremonial knife with an 8" blade made from buffalo shin.It means as much to me as any knife in my collection,and I have many!!! I just wanted to share this little adventure with you guys… Frank

  19. BB,

    I am not surprised that you occasionally get burned out on airguns. I did a guest blog last summer and it was a lot more work than I thought it would be – doing it on a daily basis must be a chore at times.

    Unfortunately we have weather in the 40's here in Gerogia so doing a guest blog on a Crosman 116 to give you a day off is not really practical.


  20. MR B,I shipped the ND5 to you today.You should have it within the week.Please enjoy it,explore what can be done with it…keep it a month if you like.Just don't forget you said you would try to do a guest blog on it.I mounted the ND3 on the scope of the Condor last night.what a powerful wicked addition to my "moneypit"airgun!!!The Condor has everything but a baseball card in the spokes….Frank

  21. Matt61

    Thanks for the info. I really wanted to like the 61 but couldn't. It might stack 2 or 3 pellets, but thats about it and rare. I thought originally it was the composite receiver, but have heard enough satisfied reviews to see that was not really an issue. I think that I need to give it another chance. I look forward to doing business with M.Melick.

  22. I took the TX200 apart this morning. Very easy job, thank you for the instructions. The mainspring does appear to have a cant at one end. It's so slight, to my eyes its hard to see how it would wreak such havoc.

    I have had it less than a year. Any chance AA would send a replacement spring?

    Anyone have any suggestions regarding this? Anything else that might cause a harsher firing cycle/increased vibration/POI shift? Also is there any reason to update the piston seal or is the stock one good?

  23. Slinging Lead, I don't know how a slight cant would cause that sort of behavior. Frankly, I wouldn't worry about it. No spring is going to be perfect.

    Was the gun dry inside? What sort of shape is the main seal in? How 'bout the breech seal?

    I don't remember – had you ever chronied the gun and noticed a change in velocity?

  24. Slinging Lead, I don't know how a slight cant would cause that sort of behavior. Frankly, I wouldn't worry about it. No spring is going to be perfect.

    Was the gun dry inside? What sort of shape is the main seal in? How 'bout the breech seal?

    I don't remember – had you ever chronied the gun and noticed a change in velocity?

  25. Incidentally, the Air Venturi Bronco shoots better every day. Sadly, this one is destined to be a gift for my nephew. I may be tempted to purchase another Bronco to take it's place, unless I get a look at his papa sometime soon.

  26. Vince

    I have no chrony but the start of the problem was very obvious in terms of firing behavior. Louder and harsher. Vibration then increased to a painful twang then slowly subsided. POI shifted left and up all the while. The tiny one-hole groups at 10 yards, once easy, were now impossible. Dime to quarter sized groups at 30-40 yards before the problem went to 6-7 inch 'groups'. I checked the mounting screws but didn't find a problem.

    The mainspring has a liberal coating of what looks to be moly grease. The piston was lubricated more conservatively, but plentiful at the C clip bushings. All the seals, to my untrained eye, look to be fine.

    It used to fire so smoothly. Now it has more kick than my Diana 52 with none of the former accuracy.

    Frank B

    I looked for the spring special this morning, but the Today's Special is now a custom Turkish walnut stock for a FWB 124! Perhaps you are trying to tell me something! I looked under tune kits but found no spring for $25. My internet is possessed by demons however. Thank you for your efforts to help me. You are one of the good ones.

  27. CJr,Generosity pays off in your heart immediately.It will always make you feel like worthwhile individual!When things go well in your life,you will feel deserving.When things are bad,you will feel you deserve better,and rest easy because of that belief.Sorry to sound like Confutious{sp?},but these are things worth knowing….We have talked about so many things,I have not asked about his tribe or his service yet….I don't want to treat him like a novelty.I'm sure he will share these things in time.He has invited me to a pow-wow,he said I should dance with them!!{side note:I have a very bad back,and walk like I'm 8mos. pregnant!!}I told him they would call me "dances with mushrooms"

  28. SlingingLead,I doublechecked the whole site…They aren't fooling! Todays special must be just that:today only!Sorry about that.I swear it was up there.Anyway that is a well hidden spot to check periodically. Frank B

  29. Aaron

    Re: The 100mm side wheel scope on the Diana 52.

    It does shift a little. At closer focal ranges it is almost imperceptible. The further out you go the more obvious it is. It is easy to dial back in, but I can see how it would get tiresome.

    When you think about it, the size of the side wheel gives you precision adjustment, but also a big lever for forces to act upon. If the wheel was perfectly weighted, recoil forces would have no effect. The reality is that the wheel almost certainly has subtle weight imbalances bound to throw it off. It is a shame you cannot adjust the tension on this wheel like you can on the W/E adjustment turrets.(NOTE TO MANUFACTURERS)

    Even more argument for the almost flawless Leapers 4-16x50AO. (for springers anyway) This is THE bargain as far as scopes are concerned in my opinion.

    Enjoy your new 52. Have you seen the luxus stock for the 52? Whoah momma!

  30. Can anyone tell me why a Crosman 111 tank shouldn't be refilled?I assume it is safety,but what exactly?The one I just got still has Co2!Is it the lack of a burst disc?Or maybe the 56 year old fittings?

  31. BB,

    I have two friends that used to ride Urals. Notice the past tense. When Joe picked his up at the dealer in NC, it was running on one cylinder. A valve had broken so in the parking lot, he removed the head while the dealer removed one from a bike still on the showroom floor. Watching Joe, the dealer asked if he had ever done this before. Joe was a Yamaha/Kawasaki/Velocette/Harley/Penton dealer for at least 30 years. Now he's retired and happy in NC as the Safety Range Officer of the Charlotte Gun Club. He does have a garage full of two stroke piddlers that he loves to restore.

    My other buddy was disappointed he couldn't keep up with highway traffic with his sidecar equipped Ural. They are/were crude bikes compared to the present and required extensive maintenance but many of the old timers like that.

    Now if you want to look at another classic, it's brand new made in India:


    and has all the technology advances of the original English made 1955 model but don't hold me to that.

    Duskwright or his buddies will have to chime in on the Dnieper as I don't believe they are imported here.

    Again, thank you one and all for the many suggestions to look at for .22 rim fire rifles. I have so many that I have to put them on a spreadsheet!

    And now my research and hunt begins. Hopefully, my buddy in NC will come across a nice one at the Gun Club.

    Fred PRoNJ

  32. Matt,
    I posted on the Christmas Day blog comments (just checked). We were all talking about you, perhaps just to see if you were really off the blog on vacation or just playing hooky:).

  33. Vince/Slinging Lead,
    I'm thinking breech seal. My 36-2 started shooting rough and almost dieseling (except there is no fuel to speak of) and scattering shots, especially with heavier pellets. Since the spring and piston seal look good, my suspicion was the breech seal, a hard piece of cheap plastic that sits in the sliding cylinder. The old breech seal came out fairly easily with just a tug from some needle nosed pliers.

    Researching it on the Yellow, I saw that B3's can use 5/16" (ID) fuel line, which is available everywhere; 36-2 is related, so it was worth a try. First I tried 1/4, which I had a roll of in barn, but ended up going to town and spending $3 for enough 5/16" (ID) fuel line to keep me in breech seals for a while:).

    Cutting the right length is a bit tricky — I left a little long so it could squish down, but it quickly conformed to the function. A quick test yesterday seemed to indicate that it worked well — the firing cycle is again smooth. I know its not the same rifle — or even in the same family — but thought it might help.

  34. BB,thanks for the 111 tank answer,I just asked out of curiosity.I quit fighting safety rules a couple accidents ago….:] About the knife,can you help me by posting a link?actually,you are busy….don't worry,I'll figure it out.LUCKY is my middle name!!

  35. Matt61,If I can help with the shovel problem,let me know…..and be real careful,awkward equals dangerous.you can always grind the outside to 30deg. and leave the inside square.It will still get shave sharp,and it is a shovel:]

  36. B.B.
    The Vintage Forum.
    Bought a rifle from a fellow there that would not let me pay him until I used it for a few weeks. Prior to that he sorted through the 18 examples he had to find one he felt would best fit my needs.

    Some wonderful people on there, but then you can look in your own backyard and find some pretty amazing people too.

    Word verification.

  37. Lawd ha'mercy, can't believe I didn't figure that one out for myself. Thank you Volvo.

    Vince, my pull rod, yes pull rod came in! Tomorrow morning will see me undertake the replacement. Await the howls as I maybe mess things up even more…


  38. Thank you Frank! I will duly report on how it goes. You should see the instructions that came with it from Umarex. I think a shot of brandy in my breakfast coffee is called for before I start tomorrow…

  39. BB: Just got in from work and saw your question. As Al, mentioned, alloys, and the uniformity of the base (where the gas check seats)on the bullets casted, may cause some gas check seating issues. This is what I do. I have a Lyman 450 sizer and dies for it. I use both the Hornady and Lyman gas checks. With the Hornady's, I just set the gas check into the sizing die base then set the bullet on it, then size the bullet. The checks always stay on, and I visually check to see if it is on straight. The bullet of course has to be designed to accept a gas check. With Lyman's gas checks,I do the same. The Hornady's are designed to crimp on, but the Lymans certainly won't come off easily. In fact, I find little difference in how they behave, in practice or performance. I use, and have gotten the best accuracy with the Lyman #311391 gas check bullet, in my 30-30's. I have never gotten best accuracy with any plain based cast bullets in that caliber. BTW, despite my best intentions, I didn't get out either. It's really harder to be self-employed than most folks think. Robert.

  40. BB,

    I have no knowledge wrt the Dnieper. The Ural has improved significantly since first introduced to the US. But the materials used, metallurgy, machining of critical internals and resulting clearances are years behind the Japanese, Italians, Austrians, Germans and even Americans (Harley and Polaris or Victory),

    To buy a Ural is kind of like buying a vintage MG or Triumph Sports car. Neat but lots of hands on maintenance required.

    By the way, someone has purchased a Crosman XL1100 and has left a comment with his impressions on the Tuesday, Feb 23rd comment section, if anyone's interested.

    Fred PRoNJ

  41. B.B.,

    Another one of "those" questions: If you fire a Crosman Premier Light pellet through that 1500 fps Benjamin Trail XL magnum (instead of a heavy pellet), isn't that almost as bad as dry firing the rifle? Or is a light pellet enough to prevent all damage?


  42. AlanL,

    The rifle I'm testing is a .22, so no chance of that.

    Why would anyone use a light pellet like that in a rifle like this? And, no, the pellet would work as it is supposed to.

    What are bad are the light synthetic pellets. They would be bad in these rifles, though Gamo bases their entire sales campaign on shooting Raptors in their Hunter Extreme.


  43. BB, correct me if I'm wrong – but light pellets and dry-firing is pretty much a non-issue with gas spring guns, as least as far as potential damage to the rifle goes. I'd always heard that these practices had a bad effect on spring life.

    The only other issue I could think of is the seal getting beat up by the piston slamming home a lot harder than it's supposed to.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  44. B.B.,

    You're such a nice guy.

    Comparing the Webley and Scott to your Whiscombe 4 barrel set. LOL!

    I would imagine that you'd be that guy with the new gulfstream G 650waiting on the tarmac for refueling next to me and my cessna 150. You'd be nice enough to find similarities between these two planes as well.

    I can hear you humbly saying, "Well, they'll both get us to where we're going."


  45. B.B.,

    I'm not saying anybody necessarily would want to, but speed freaks are out there (I'm one!!) and it was just a scientific curiosity question. After all the admonitions I've read about never dry firing a spring gun, it just seemed to me that maybe firing a too-light pellet out of a super magnum might come close to violating that edict, by providing insufficient resistance to prevent damage from slamming the piston. Just a curiosity. Are gas spring guns less susceptible to damage from dry firing than traditional spring piston guns?


  46. Kevin,

    I think I like the Bombardier Challenger a little better, but hey, don't knock that 150– it got me out of a tight pickle once or twice before… but that's a story for a different forum.


  47. Slinging Lead –

    Thanks for the info, couple questions. Did you try shooting with the sidewheel removed? Did the AO adjustment move each shot without the wheel? Also, if you shot it with the wheel off, do you think you could shoot off hand and be able to adjust the AO while still holding the gun on target? I'm just trying to give you an excuse to shoot some more!! (as if any of us really needed an excuse.)

    Thanks again


  48. Slinging Lead –

    Thanks for the info, couple questions. Did you try shooting with the sidewheel removed? Did the AO adjustment move each shot without the wheel? Also, if you shot it with the wheel off, do you think you could shoot off hand and be able to adjust the AO while still holding the gun on target? I'm just trying to give you an excuse to shoot some more!! (as if any of us really needed an excuse.)

    Thanks again


  49. Kevin,

    Oh, come on, now! Comparing your Webley Mark II Service in the case with all three barrels to a Cessna 150. More like a Staggerwing Beech!

    BTW, I plan to bring a couple nice airguns to Little Rock just to show them off to certain folks like you. I'm bringing my FWB 124 in the case/shrine, my Hy Score 801 and possibly the Whiscombe. I would love to see that Webley up close and personal.


  50. B.B.,

    Guess I'm turning into a wishy washy fancy man. You got me reconsidering little rock.

    Funny you should mention your fwb 124 in the cocoon. I retrieved your shotgun news article the other day, the four horseman, where a picture of that wonderful gun is prominently displayed. Re-read the article in preparation for potential vintage purchase.


  51. Tom,
    What is your springer recommendation in the HW/Beeman line for target, plinking and pest control, inside 30 yds? I'm in Colorado at apx. 1 mile elevation. I'd prefer less as opposed to louder report. Thank you for your kind help and great blog!

  52. Aaron

    I did not try it without the wheel. I thought about it, but rejected the idea as ridiculous;^)

    Actually I only thought about it as I began to write my post about shooting with the wheel. I guess I will have take the wheel off, and do the tests again…( fake sigh )

    "Please Br'er Fox, don't throw me in the briar patch"

    As for adjusting the AO turret, while holding on target, shooting offhand… not with these scrawny bird arms. We're talking about 11 pounds here. The 100mm wheel makes it possible, because you can reach up with your thumb, while still supporting the forearm. I don't think I can adjust the turret while still supporting the forearm. I will try, and let you know the comedic results. I don't know if I could reach up and adjust with the smaller 80mm wheel even, and reasonably hold on target.

    I think this scope suits the Marauder perfectly. It seems like overkill for the Discovery, even though the Disco is accurate enough. It is HUGE so it looks out of place, and adds too much weight to a rifle I want to keep light.

  53. Anonymous HW guy,

    If everybody else is going to suggest the R9, I'm going to zig instead of zag and suggest the HW50S, or R8 (if you can find one) If less is truly more, get the R7. I don't have either of these yet. But they are on the short list.

    .177 caliber. These are smooth, accurate target shooters perfect for your 30 yard range. They are adequate small game hunters at short range, but if you want to push your hunting range out, I would get something more powerful for humane kills.

  54. Vince

    I have sent you an Email. Thank you for your gracious offer to help with the TX200. I wont feel complete until she's stacking pellets again, knowing you are in my corner helps me breathe easier.

    Your comments and advice are one of the main draws of this blog for me. I come for the articles, but stay for the comments!

    A tip of the hat to all the regulars who make this place what it is. Vince, Derrick, Kevin, Volvo, Bruce, BG Farmer, Chuck, Frank B, Matt61, Jane, Herb, FRED, twotalon, ajvenom, DB, David E, Bobby N, Wacky Wayne, Trout Underground, CowBoyStarDad, dsw, Jim in PGH, several Alans, JTinAL, AR Tinkerer and probably a couple dozen others whom I hope I didn't offend by forgetting their names.

    Don't you wish there was a Pyramyd AIR Report for every aspect of life? I do!

    WV: erless. To err is human, to erless would be devine!

  55. Slinging Lead,

    So sorry to hear that the IZH 61 is not working for you. I feel personal pain…. By all means, send it along to Mike Melick, and he will fix it if it can be done. Also, I have to admit that this rifle is sensitive. It's been shooting a little high and right for me, and I was starting to wonder if I needed to send it to Mike again. Then, I applied the "Centurion Effect" (TM) by going more deliberately through the steps of my shooting method–instead of sniping–and I got back on target.

    BG_Farmer, I found your posting and thanks to all for your thoughts. I did miss the blog. Very impressive with the Buck knife. That is right up there with a story from Razor Edge Sharpening Systems Owner, John Juranitch, who claims to have won beard sharpening contest with his knives. He says at one of his exhibitions, a guy showed him a knife with serrations, and Juranitch offered to grind the serrations off for him (another vote against serrations). When the guy replaced it into his sheath, after being admonished to be careful, it sliced effortlessly right through the back.

    Anyway, I think those people who are scoffing at factory edges must be the same ones who claim they can hold .25 MOA all day long. The factory edges I've seen are all impressively sharp.

    Thanks to all for your votes of confidence for my knife-sharpening quest, and for the advice. Time for a report. I had a minor breakthrough in going for a slightly bigger angle than I had been using and it's easy to make knives stick in a plastic pen now. I'm still working on the right pressure. For awhile, I was honing so lightly that I was not even taking off the burr. Here's a question. Many knife ads will claim that their knives are "hand-buffed." What does that mean? The samurai sharpener said that he would demonstrate hand-buffing. Then, it looked like he just ran the blade over a spinning wheel briefly. I couldn't see anything. Incidentally, his methods are coming in slightly ahead of the traditional burr-on, burr-off method that I'm using. Just wait until I get the Japanese water stones.

    Frank B. great job with Grey Eagle's knife. Did you just sharpen or also polish and do some other treatment. The buffalo shin is the handle material, right?

    Regarding theory of blogs, I might try a bit of Walt Whitman to liven up the library blog which is so far dormant. Whitman published Leaves of Grass, then wrote a bunch of anonymous reviews saying how great it was. Maybe I'll write all the blog posts and all the comments too and see if that generates anything….

    In other news, a violent gang of gun thieves in the Sacramento area has made news by ramming their car through the front of gun stores and making off with their loot. It's like something out of Dirty Harry. Their prize? Airsoft guns….

    I hope Joe B. on Maui is fortified against the tsunami.


  56. No Matt the knife for Grey Eagle has been returned.I didn't take any pics.I did about 8 hrs of finishing on a knife that had potential but was nowhere near what I knew I could make it…and it was dull as an ax handle.He was so impressed with the finished knife, He presented me with a ceremonial dagger with an antler handle and a Buffalo shinbone blade about 9" long!!It also has a turquoise cabuchon on the pommel.I'll email a pic in 5 min…

  57. Slinging Lead, you're too kind. I hope I speak for the rest when I say we all enjoy helping others. Also, I understand that BB will make a gift of a certain USFT to the one that is most helpful :).

    My son, who is out in IL working at his Co-op job for school (it's part of the curriculum), when to a range today and rented a .22 rifle. He called me to say he wants one, as well!

    Now I have to shop for two!

    Fred PRoNJ

  58. BB: I just recalled something I did when I had this problem with another bullet project. Have you tried taking a ball bearing , or a ball end punch and tapping it onto the gas check to slightly flare it? Don't distort it, just give it a little tap to help start it on the bullet's shank easier. Then set the check in the press and size the bullet. Tedious, but it may work for you. Probably would be best to try this with the Lyman's gas check, as they are more forgiving., but try it with the Hornady's if that's all you have. Also , have you considered using paper patched bullets in your .30-30 project? Take care, Robert

  59. BTW, Tom : A polished acorn nut, 10-32tpi, works great as the ball end of the punch , described in my post above. Just screw a short screw or treaded rod into it for a handle. I just tried it on a .25 cal. cast bullet that fit too tight on a Lyman .25 cal gas check. The bullet was from a very old and well worn mould. Good luck, Robert

  60. Frank B
    Since you hadn't heard about the bike
    museum I guess I better remind you of
    the gun and knife shows.The one held at
    the VBCC is one of the best in our area.
    If you aren't registered I can send you
    notice when they e-mail me about area
    events and can get you the info to register for e-mails then as well.

    Slinging Lead
    Thanks for the recognition.
    I hope everyone feels the same way I do.
    the act of helping someone in whatever small way I can gives me the best reward
    in the way I feel about myself.
    Knowing something or doing something
    that can help someone else feel good
    is one of the nicest things I've ever
    felt.No other reason to do it for me.


  61. JT,I usually go to the ones held at the Cahaba Shrine….pretty bored of them.It's like Shang hi!I was wondering if you were OK,hadn't heard from you in a few…yes,I'd like to register for VBC show updates,just to go.Last thing I need is more anything!

  62. Frank B.

    driving to Birmingham from NJ isn't something the bosses approve of. I fly into Birmingham via Newark to Atlanta Tuesday AM. I'll be visiting clients in the area and will do my best to get to Leads, AL. By all means, bring the kids, grandkids, girl friend (I don't think a wife will appreciate this type of museum unless she loves motorcycles) for a walk through time and some outstanding works of art. If you visited the website, you can see that Barber also has a weakness for Lotus cars.

    Barber is a diary farmer who expanded his business to where he became a multi-millionaire. By the way, there will be a World Class race there this year, called MotoGP which I would dearly love to make. A chance to see the best in the world on two wheels!

    Fred PRoNJ

  63. Frank B,
    The stock is really cool. I even enjoy just looking at it.

    Did you notice the engraved portrait on the Swiss scheutzen rifle (the final pic from BB's blog)? I think it's Wayne!

  64. Slinging Lead,

    You're doing a great job in responding to older comments and herding. Thank you for helping to grow this wonderful blog.

    Hope you get your issues resolved quickly with the TX 200.


  65. Thanks Kevin. You are a tough act to follow.

    I DO enjoy it. As FRED (or was it Frank B?) and JTinAL stated, it makes you feel good when you try to help others.

    Also my fiance, friends, neighbors and family members are probably sick of hearing about airguns by now, so it provides me with an audience;^)

    WV: desesse. Yes, airgunning IS a disease.

  66. Frank,

    Well, shut my mouth! I have written about the enshrined 124 in so many places that I was certain I had written about it here, as well. But a search revealed nothing. And I have a more powerful search tool than you readers have.

    If nobody can point me to the report, I will do a special on this rifle for everyone this week. It's a story that deserves to be told.


  67. B.B.,

    Although you never wrote about your unique entombed fwb 124 here, you did give it honorable mention in several places and even provided a picture here:



  68. FrankB.

    What a beautiful knife in your photos. It reminds me of the crysknives from Dune made from the tooth of a sandworm which was a snake as tall as a building and 100 yards long. I guess you can't sharpen a buffalo shin knife.


  69. BB,I would love to hear about this one!I spent 45min last night looking everywhere…..and thinking how much effect it has had on me finding this blog.You have taught me so much…The Marksman model 70 .22 HW/BSF merger rifle led me to you,BB.That was way back in '07.Aaah,the strings of fate.About 40 airguns later,here we are….Thank you,Tom

  70. Matt61,I can sharpen nearly anything!Buffalo shin is sharpenable,the barbs on that knife are wicked points that could draw blood easily….but it is ceremonial,and needn't be functional.Have you ever encountered a swordfish bill?Organic razor edge!!!This bone held up a 3,000 lb buffalo at a full run.That tells you something of it's hardness!

  71. If you can put up with me,consider it done!Even you would be proud of some of my collection!It's far from a done deal,but I'm working on acquiring a Shamal AND a HW 55 T.Are you proud of me yet?

  72. BB, derrick38, Frank B

    What are you guys trying to do? Kill me? Suddenly everyone's crawling out of the woodwork with thier beautiful customized FWB 124s. Dang. The wife doesn't even know about the Marauder yet!

    However, I am fully behind a blog on the enshrined 124. Please do. If you can work it in, how about a photo of TOM AND EDITH'S CLOSET OF AIRGUN DELIGHTS. Or perhaps it deserves a blog of it's own.

  73. I used to do a lot of firearm trading. Once in awhile someone would ask for a photograph of my gun collection while in trade talks. Big turnoff for me.

    Maybe I'm a little paranoid about theft or maybe I naively thought of gun trading like poker game and didn't want to show all my cards.

    Nonetheless, I respect those that only show their cards one at a time.

    Probably not a coincidence that one of my favorite poker games is "roll your own".


  74. B.B.,

    I need to echo Frank B's sentiments but from the other end of the canyon.

    Your knowledge, writing style and enthusiasm for airguns has also had a dramatic affect on me.

    You owe me a lot of money.

    Please call so we can work out a payment plan that will enable you to reimburse that portion of cost of these fine airguns that you are responsible for recommending.

    Mornings are best for me.


  75. Kevin

    I certainly didn't mean to pry.

    If BB wants to keep the sanctity of his collection to himself, it only adds to the mystery, so much the better.

    But just like the link to Frank from the Netherlands Gun Room from the vintage forum that you pointed out, it would provide inspiration, validation, and justification to many. I have made Franks gun room my wallpaper on my monitor for this week because it is beautiful to me.

    I can't decide if BB owes me money, or if I owe him money for his recommendations. I can only hope my nephew enjoys shooting his Bronco as much as I do!

  76. Kevin,You are such a first class gentleman!I was gonna point out how much money BB has cost me in those last three years.I like that being a gentleman figures into your dealings….you set a fine example,and are a pleasure to know.This blog is full of extraordinary people,and I am honored to have found it.Thanks for posting the photo link!That stuff NEVER works for me.I need to locate someone unemployed to tutor me.They are my pictures and I couldn't "copy and paste"them….didn't hold my mouth right,as they say around here!…..Frank

  77. SlingingLead,you have truly become afflicted….One of the onset symptoms was the setting of airguns one doesn't yet own as background…Mine was a camo Condor pic I still have somewhere,no bs!To show you where you are heading,you should know that I now have a Condor with ultimate condor package,three tripods,airhog moderator,AF laser,three barrels,streamlight XL2,ND3 greenlaser collimiter,Three diff. scopes,latest is Konuspro 8x32x50 AO……way better than my old screensaver…..and that stuff is just for my Condor!That's where you are heading,be forewarned!!!!

  78. Slinging Lead,

    Merely my observation and personal prejudice.

    You can pry all you want.

    B.B. can take care of himself.

    Everytime I communicate with frakor it amazes me at his knowledge that could only be first hand. His gunroom is testimony. It would be easy for someone in his situation to be bold, brash, arrogant and unapproachable. He's the opposite. It would be very difficult to find someone more passionate about vintage airguns that was as willing to share insight and knowledge. He's truly an unsung hero for collectors and I'm not sure there's anyone else that can fill his shoes when that inevitable day comes.

    As a selfish airgunner I'm hoping that someone with bigger shoes than I wear in the airgunning world would encourage and orchestrate a comprehensive catalogue of the airgunning knowledge that is still alive before it's too late. An airgun writer that could assemble, assimilate and regurgitate in writing this valuable information before it's lost to the gamo generation would be ideal.

    I think you owe it to your nephew to break that bronco in correctly before giving it to him. Shoot enough pellets so its no longer dieseling, smooth out the cocking, break in the trigger and determine what pellet is best. Every good uncle would do the same. You owe it to him. 😉


  79. TwoTalon and Alan in MI:

    I owe you an apology. A few days ago I made a ridiculous assertion about the depth of pellet penetration in duct seal with my new RWS Diana 54, and both of you called me on it. You were right. This was based 1) on an error, and 2) inexperience that didn't alert me to the fact that my number was wrong. I asked my helper to stick a cocktail straw in the holes and read me off the number on the ruler. He did. 2 and 1/2 or so. I've since discovered that it was centimeters! I had assumed it was inches.

    I have since built myself a new pellet trap (more appropriate to my dreadful shooting skills) and took the opportunity to make a very quick and simple penetration test for different pellets. I have prepared a PDF with a few nice pictures. Therein you will see the true numbers (and my helper!) Here's the link:


    Once again, my apologies to you all for the earlier misinformation, and thanks for the constant education and encouragement that I receive on this blog. It was CJr who first turned me on to duct seal. Thank you Chuck! TwoTalon, Alan in MI, A.R. Tinkerer, Mr.B, Fred PRoNJ, Kevin and Slinging Lead also deserve many thanks.

    I have tried to give a little back by posting such things as my detailed illustrated instructions for pull rod replacement in Diana sidecockers. I hope I can do more in future.


  80. AlanL,
    Nice job on the box! I'd like to do one of those. Right now I just use a cardboard box. I noticed the stand you have it on. It looks adjustable for height. Can you show how it was constructed? Is that metal or PVC?

    I can't take credit for the duct seal idea since I got the idea from someone else on this blog about a year ago. I will take credit for passing the idea along, though 🙂 I tried to find their names but could only come up with BB and Rabbit. I know there was at least one other who mentioned it but my memory isn't that good and my search ability isn't either.

    The only thing I might caution about is ricochet off the plywood. My grand kids have had some ricochet problems with IZH-61s at 10m hitting various other objects like plastic cows, and army men, and a green bean can, they know first hand how important safety glasses are, but I don't know if the plywood would absorb a pellet. Can you test that out?


  81. AlanL,

    Great trap! That is huge – I'd hate to have to move it around much.

    No apologies needed – TwoTalon and I were just concerned about your safety, because if you were getting that much penetration we figured something must have been wrong with the duct seal.

    Glad everything is working out well!

    Alan in MI

  82. Ya know, when re-reading this blog something occurred to me. Especially when looking at the bas-relief Tyrolean stock BB posted a picture of.

    Gamo should release a special variant of the Hunter Extreme with an engraving of a hog in the stock – in commemoration of the pig they executed with that gun and a PBA pellet.

    Wouldn't that make everyone feel better???

  83. Vince,

    Yes Sir! Just thinking about your proposal has put a spring in my step, a smile on my face and a song in my heart!!!

    Thank you so very much for startig March off with a lion's roar.

    Mr B.

    WV = menarya (only if the pig doesn't need a coup de grace)

  84. Chuck,

    I'll be glad to send you more pictures of the stand. Now that I've found the perfect height I want to keep it at, I don't need to adjust it, so I've now built myself a simple table out of the leftover 3/4" plywood and a few 2×4's I had. Email me at alan@ludeca.com and I'll send you more pictures. Meanwhile, the stands are high quality- heavy duty aluminum, fully adjustable- I think they easily hold 150 lbs each, and have a couple of rubberized strips on the plate at the top that hold anything you put on it nicely. The plate is 9" x 9" and rotates, but can be tightened in place, so the whole thing is fully adjustable. If you raise it high I would wish the base to be a bit bigger, but it's stable. Model # is SMS-6000 Speaker/Monitor Stand. They normally cost $69.99 each, but are currently on sale at Musician's Friend for $49.99 a PAIR(!) which is a steal. Free shipping if you order over $99, that's the catch, so I picked up some guitar strings for a friend while I was at it. Here's the link:


    I think they're the perfect stand for a smaller trap than the monster I built, for use indoors and out, or use both stands together for a big trap like mine.


  85. Blog Index For February 2010

    1. AirForce Edge – Part 7
    2. Gun-buying tips and scam alerts
    3. The Gamo DynaMax repeater – Part 1
    4. Hy Score 801 – Part 3
    5. BKL rings – Part 2
    8. Gamo Dynamax repeater – Part 2
    9. How and when PA got started – Part 4
    10. Some precharged pneumatic basics explained
    11. Gamo DynaMax repeater – Part 3
    12. Precharged pneumatic (PCP) airgun fears
    15. Breech-seating tests – Part 1
    16. The Bronco from Air Venturi – Part 4
    17. Mounting a globe front sight on an RWS 48/52/54
    18. The Crosman Silhouette PCP pistol – Part 1
    19. Changeable air transfer ports
    22. Refillable 12-gram CO2 cartridges
    23. Benjamin Trail NP XL1100 – Part 1
    24. Disassembling and assembling a TX200
    25. The Crosman Silhouette PCP pistol – Part 2
    26. I'm glad I don't judge beauty contests

    I meant to post this earlier but did not realize until late friday that the end of the month fell on the weekend. consequently its here at the end (for now) of the comments instead of at the beginning where I meant to put it. Sorry.

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