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Education / Training A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 2

A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

My enshrined 124.

Before we begin, I have to share a laugh with all of you. This is especially for BG_Farmer, who last week had a discussion with me about unloading a muzzleloader.

I was out at the range yesterday and among the guns I shot was my new Thompson/Center Hawken. Of course, the sights were open post and bead. Shot No. 1 went through the X-ring at 50 yards. So, I loaded ball No. 2 very carefully. And, I put a cap on the nipple only after I was in firing position. Then–nothing! The cap fired but nothing else happened.

I waited for about 30 seconds for a hangfire, and then the truth of it hit me. For the first time in 45 years of shooting muzzleloaders, I had failed to put gunpowder into the rifle! So, my status as the Master Doofus of the Universe is, once again, secure–and I have a ball to get out of my barrel. Fortunately, I was using Triple Seven powder, a replica powder that doesn’t attack the bore like black powder.

The first shot from the Hawken muzzleloader went through the X-ring at 50 yards. Shot two is still in the gun.

So, all that talk about how I never had to unload a ball before just went away. BG_Farmer, you may have 12 hours to gather a crowd to mock me.

Now, on to today’s report

Well! This report that I thought would be finished today is turning into quite the crowd-pleaser. Just two days ago, we had a comment from a reader named Simon Kenton who remembers his 124 fondly as being a real tack-driver with the vintage Beeman Silver Jet pellets. He stockpiled 5,000 of them and hates to shoot them because they aren’t available anymore.

I also remember Silver Jets as the best pellets for the 124 back in the 1970s and ’80s. But when I competed in field target with a 124 in the late 1990s, I used the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier, which, at the time, was considered the most accurate pellet in the world. And I’m referring only to the Premiers that come in the brown cardboard box.

So, I’ll test this 124 for accuracy with Silver Jets and Premiers, and perhaps even some JSB Exact 8.4-grain domes. Sorry Kevin, but I don’t seem to have any Beeman FTS. I have Trophys, but that’s all.

Please don’t worry about the status of the gun. If something happens, it’s only an airgun after all. I’ll do everything to protect the exterior finish, but if I have to rebuild the powerplant for any reason, the rifle will only get better as a result. And after I rebuild it, it will last many decades longer than it would have with the original parts. We know that today, but of course it was not known when the 124 was new back in the 1970s.

For the collectors
And I need to clarify a point for all the collectors. I said in the first report that the 124 dated back to 1972, but that isn’t entirely accurate. The basic rifle did exist at that time, but in the United States it was called the F-12. In Germany it was called the model 121. The 124 was first called by that designation in the 1974 edition of the Beeman catalog–the ultra-rare second edition. In that catalog, Beeman explains that the 124 is an upgraded version of the F-12 rifle that previously existed. That probably means the 124 designation started some time in 1973. Yes, there are FWB sport rifles marked as model 121, and yes, they were also capable of velocities up to 780 f.p.s. When the exact upgrades were made that differentiated a 124 from a 121, I do not know; but it sounds like a great research project for some day when I’m tired and just feel like reading.

The .22 rifle
To round out the report, there was a .22 caliber version of the same rifle that was marked as the model 127. They were never as popular when the gun was being made, because in those days .177 caliber was king in the United States. Finding a 127 is more difficult than finding a nice 124. However, for some reason, the price is seldom that much higher. The 124 still holds sway over the 127, even today.

The Beeman R5/model 125
Beeman also had a very small number of 124s barreled in .20 caliber and labeled model 125. It was never an official model, but Robert Beeman was very keen on .20 caliber and was seeking at the time to create an R5 rifle for his line. Beeman remembers three or four of these rifles being built by Feinwerkbau. They were not marked with the R5 designation, though that was the plan once production began.

What stopped the project cold was the requirement to purchase .20 caliber barrels 5,000 at a time. Beeman was prepared to order 500 of the R5s, but he wasn’t ready to commit to 5,000, so the rifle was never built. Two of the prototypes, marked as “Sport 125 Cal.5/.22” were sold from the Beeman used gun list. The company also advertised the new R5 in their 10th edition catalog; but since there were no guns to sell when that catalog came out, the price was listed as NA. Catalog 10A followed the same year, and the R5 model was removed. Many people who have seen just the 10th edition of the Beeman catalog believe that a Beeman R5 existed, when in fact it never did. Robert Beeman wrote a very detailed description of all that transpired on this project for my magazine, Airgun Revue #3.

Today, I want to show you more of the contents of this sarcophagus. I’ve already discussed why filling the barrel with common grease is not a good protective measure, so let’s look at some other preservation techniques that backfired.

Baggies don’t protect
The orignal owner also felt that Beeman Silver Jets were the best pellet for the rifle. Instead of making a single storage compartment for the square cardboard box the Silver Jets came in, he divided 500 pellets into two plastic bags that were tucked into smaller asymmetric compartments. You can see them in small slots on either side (the top and bottom) of the rifle’s forearm in the case. Unfortunately, he was unaware that plastic bags are not an effective vapor barrier. Over the years, the acid wood gasses corroded all the lead pellets to the point that they’re now covered by a thick coat of white lead oxide powder. These pellets are now useless. I leave them in place as tutorials for whenever I show the rifle.

Beeman Silver Jets came in a square box with a padded styrofoam insert. These pellets are 20-30 years old and not oxidized.

Silver Jets on the left came from the box. The oxidized one on the right came out of one of two baggies inside the gun box.

Another fact the original owner was unaware of is the tendency for the original FWB piston seal material to dry rot. He purchased three spare piston seals that are now, sadly, hardened to the point of uselessness. The plastic bag they’re in also did noting to preserve them. That’s okay, though, because I would never put an original FWB piston seal back into a rifle anyway. I would use something made from modern synthetics. Feinwerkbau wasn’t alone in making this mistake. Diana also used the same flawed material in their target air rifles and pistols of the 1970s, as did Walther.

You don’t have to be an expert to see the damage here. The piston seal is dried and cracked from storage. Each of the three seals has two o-rings. The larger one is the breech seal, but I don’t know where the smaller one goes. These are still usable.

The rest of the inventory
For those who like to keep score, the box contains these things, besides the rifle and owner’s manual:

500 Silver Jet pellets
Beeman deluxe cleaning patches
Can of Birchwood Casey Sheath
Bottle of Beeman Silicone Chamber Oil
Bottle of Beeman Spring Cylinder Oil
Two stainless steel oiling needles
Leather sling
Three-piece sectional cleaning rod
Two .177 brass bore brushes
Beeman Pell Seat
Three piston seals
Three breech seals
One new mainspring
One aluminum trigger blade

None of these products have been used. They are there for “that day” when they are needed.

And, now, the velocity
Or not!

The Crosman Premier pellets refused to come out of the end of the barrel. They went perhaps 7/8 of the way through and stopped. I checked and replaced the breech seal, but no luck. That means the piston seal has finally given up the ghost. The last time I shot this rifle through a chronograph, it registered about 760 f.p.s. with Premier Lites, but that time is past. And the parts in the gun are of no help in fixing the situation.

I left the first part of the blog exactly as I wrote it, so all of this that you are reading has transpired before your eyes. I will now tune the gun with a modern FWB 124 tuneup and then test it for you.

279 thoughts on “A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 2”

  1. Dear BB,

    I am your reader from Indonesia, and reading your FWB 124 report was really exciting. Currently i was reviving my father FWB 124, i believe from 1970's production line (because of black plastic trigger). I'm using Maccari 'Mongoose' Tune Up Kit + Maccari heavy tar, change the breech seal, and got 850-860 fps using Beeman Silver Bear and around 670 fps on H&N Barracuda Match, also the rifle shooting like a champ. I'm curious about FWB124 maximum power potential, so i looking forward for your next report. Do you think i can improve my current FWB124 tuning?

    Also, many months ago i also asking you about using .177 cast 'pellet' in PCP for supersonic velocity, and i only got around 850-900 fps (35-40fpe) using 22grain custom made 'pellet' in 65cm barrel (twist about 1:10-12, bullet length 9mm), but the grouping was not good, around 2inch in 26m, can you also give me advice about this matter? Thank you very much!

    Best regards,


    • Thanks so much for your info about the 124. I have had mine since around 85 or 86 and it is my favorite rifle. I put on the scope mounts you mentioned and am still gettin a lot of fliers. I can usually set it up on my bench and hit under dime size at about 45 to 50 ft and can’t get her there. I am using Gamo Redfires anLeaper 4×32. Oh and you are right on about the difference between solid walnut and deep bluing as being like an older Italian sports car and a new one!

          • I have not quite figured out this site yet so I am bothering you because I do not know how to post to an open forum. Do you have any suggestions for a rear sight cover for my 124? I also would like a different muzzle break than the one I bought from Beeman 20 yrs ago! I got Tim Eincks name at the gun show after looking at a 124 DLX he had customized. The man that had it was asking 1200 bucks. No one seems to be able to contact Tim? Oh yea and maybe a suggestion for a nice sling. Thanks for your help. If you are anything like me and my 124 I can talk about it for days!

            • Beemnz957,

              Posting comments to the current blog is easy. Go to this page:


              and click on the button that says Read More at the bottom of the paragraph. The way the blog is laid out, you can see many of them on the main page, but to make comments you need to go to a specific report. The comments will be below.

              As far as sling choices, that’s difficult. What belt should I buy? Hard to answer until you know a dozen things about me.

              Some slings are made for shooting and others are just carrying straps. Got to figure out which one you want first.

              Rear sight COVER? I don’t know what that is.

              Muzzle breaks are sold by their inside diameters. Fins out the size of the barrel and shop that way.

              Never heard of Tim Eincks. Can’t help you there.


              • There are two screws that are left when you remove the rear sight. This gun had a plate that covered the the area between the screws and accepted the original screws. I need a carrying sling for hunting and the problem is the pre-mounted sling mounts are 20mm. I have found many but not one that fits the smaller european swivel.

  2. omnislash ,

    Today's blog was published with two of the same photos and Blogger software isn't permitting me to fix it. If I ever do get it fixed, the second photo shows an oxidized pellet next to a good one.

    I don't think I can improve the velocity over what you are getting. In fact, I would be very happy to get what you got. I hope to use the same tuneup kit that you did, so any difference will be between our individual guns.

    As for your PCP, I can't think of anything to say. I don't know the quality of barrel you used, but if it isn't an airgun barrel then the bore is too small. Firearms use a true .17 caliber while airguns are very close to .18 caliber.


  3. Dear BB,

    Thank you for your advice!

    Yes, i think i will leave my FWB 124 as is. I already satisfied with my tuning.

    As my PCP barrel, it is a airgun barrel. In my country there is so many gunsmith for airgun, but they use hand-made technology for making airgun, so maybe we cannot compare the quality with the branded airgun. Using regular pellet it can achieve half-inch grouping in 26m. But i think i cannot do more for my experiment in my PCP. I think .177 has it own limitation for power and velocity. Unfortunately in my country max legal caliber for airgun is .177, if there is no legal max caliber, maybe we can also make big bore airgun 🙂

  4. B.B.
    I only had to pop a ball once on the range. About 5 gr of black worked down the hole under the nipple launches a ball pretty good. Watch where you point it…it will shoot hard enough to kill.


  5. Twotalon,

    That's good news. As Triple Seven is slightly more enerjetic than straight black powder, I'm starting to feel confident.

    Do you know I don't have a nipple wrench yet? Never having to unload a front-stuffer has made me lazy. My Hawken has stainless nipples and the one that's in now seems to be in solid, though the former owner always removed it for cleaning after firing the rifle. I don't want to use penetrating oil on it because I'm going to try to load powder once it's out. So I need to get a good nipple wrench.


  6. Mr. B,

    I got about half inch 5-shot grouping using regular pellet (local production pellet in my country which looks like H&N Barracuda Match) in my PCP barrel, around 10.8 grain with 1000-1050 fps, distance 26m. I also surprised it can group well in high velocity.


  7. BB,
    Have you ever read Mel Tappan's book Survival Arms? Mel Tappan thought wrote in the 70s. He wrote a book called Survival Arms and also wrote a monthly column in Guns and Ammo on Survival. Mel thought there was going to be an economic collapse in the US. He thought this would lead to some time a lawlessness in which people who had prepared would have to defend themselves against lawless gangs who would loot and kill to steal what they could. Mel Tappan mainly wrote about building a Survival arsenal. He recommended 308 battle rifles like the HK91 and the Springfield Armory M1A. He liked Colt 45 ACP pistols. For Practical weapons he recommended bolt rifles and high power revolvers. He recommended guns with which he felt he could trust his life. Mel Tappan also recommended airguns! He read and believed what Robert Law said and the FWB 124 (or as Law labeled them, the F12) was the latest and greatest and was recommended as the airgun of choice. For a pistol he recommended the FWB65. He recommended getting and storing extra maintenance parts including extra mainsprings, piston seals, and breech seals.

    I think your rifle was entombed to be a survival airgun.

    I have an old copy of Mel's book I can loan you if you would like to see it. The pages are coming loose from the binding. It has been one of my favorite books for the last 40 years.

    I never felt the danger of the economic collapse that Tappan felt but I like the high bar he set for things he recommended.

    David Enoch

  8. B.B.
    I always remove the nipple for cleaning. It helps remove powder residue from the vent when you pump hot water through it.
    Get fouling buildup in the vent and under the nipple, and you have a misfire waiting to happen. Not only is there more restriction to the cap's flash, but the residue will attract oil.
    Oil and powder do not mix.

    The flash hole needs to be clean and oil free. Never over oil the barrel. Oil in the breech kills a powder charge.

    I use a bit of Knight breech plug grease in the nipple threads to ease nipple removal when cleaning.


  9. Twotalon,

    I just ordered a nipple wrench and a bullet puller.

    I know about oil and powder. That's why I won't use penetrating oil on the nipple.

    Nipple removal was always in my plans, but I forgot to get the wrench until now.

    I used to clean black powder with mops. With a flintlock you don't have as many cleaning options, though I also cleaned a vintage Green River target rifle that way and never had a problem.


  10. Al,

    Yes, I will blog the installation of the Mongoose kit. Jim didn't have names for these tunes when I used to do them in the 1990s, but I suspect they are the same ones I used to do. I've done about 6 of them.

    Most of my 124s had between 860 and 880 f.p.s. with Premier lites after a tune.


  11. Everyone,

    Edith just heard from Jim Giles who spoke to Robin Parks. The Little Rock Airgun Show is definitely cancelled.

    I am very sorry to see this show go away. It means that Roanoke is the only airgun show remaining that I attend.

    I know how difficult these shows are to run, because I ran one at Damascus, Maryland for four or five years. But it was worth it, and it made money for the club that put it on. That show ended when I left Maryland for Texas.

    We need a show that is centrally located in the U.S. There used to be one near St. Louis, which would be a fine location.


  12. David,

    Yes, I know about Mel Tappan. Unfortunately that was also the time when airgunners were killing goats on Catalina Island with FWB 124s, so I avoided that whole group of people. I don't think Mel was involved with that, though.


  13. B.B.

    No powder is better than, powder, ball, powder, ball. My brother in law was guiding in new mex and had a guy do the above. The wiz took the gun apart and proceded to drive the ball powder in the middle and ball out. Shot himself in the foot and eye at the same time when the powder couldnt take anymore pressure. He lived but unfortunetly lost some vision.


  14. Markus,

    No, I won't be there again this year. I was there last in 2006. I am trying to convince Pyramyd AIR that we need to attend, but they don't see the need.

    I keep telling myself I will go alone, but that hasn't happened yet, either.

    Maybe next year.


  15. Tom. I've tuned 7 124's and have used both the Mongoose kit as well as the Old School Kit. I like the OS kit better. The FPS was the same. Shot cycle charasteristics of the OS kit feels better. Less preload and great wire make the kit so nice. The OS kit gets me between 805-830 fps with JSB Exacts 8.4 gr. in all the guns I did. The degree to how much I took off the seal was the main difference in final fps. Don't take so much off the seal that the piston falls on its own weight. That info is old and had been said so by JM himself. 1-2 lbs to start the piston sliding after moly lube is about right.


  16. I am looking for recommendations and opinions for a new gun. Here are the requirements:

    – 900-1000 fps .177 gun

    – It's for plinking, target shooting (10-40 yards), and possibly some limited field target. I have never tried field target, so an entry-level gun would be fine, but it must have reasonably good accuracy.

    – *Must* be fairly quiet. How quiet is that? Hard to describe. I have a Daisy 953 now that is quiet enough. I could go a little louder, but not too much.

    – Weight doesn't matter too much, although I'd prefer to avoid the heaviest guns.

    – I already have a pretty good scope.

    – Given the wretched economy, I can't justify spending more than about $300, unless it is really wise to do so. The cheaper the better though.

    – I'd prefer non-PCP, due to the equipment needs, but I'd consider it. If I went that way, the Discovery would work, but it's apparently loud. That's a deal breaker.

    Does someone make a springer/gas ram as quiet (ok, within reason) and accurate as a Marauder? That would be ideal.

    I am considering the Remington NPSS and the one of the Diana 34/P/Pro/Compact variations.

    Between those two, which is the more accurate? I am willing to work on my hold as needed.

    I know the NPSS is pretty quiet, but how about the 34? Would I need to get one of those after-market springs installed to quiet it down?

    What others should I consider? Am I living in a fantasy world with all these requirements?

    Thank you for your insight and opinions!


  17. I sent my 127 off to Beeman for one of their Supertunes in the mid to late 1980s. Have you any idea of what sort of piston seal Beeman used at that time.

    I live at 5000 feet above sea level. When the gun came back from Beeman it shot at about 750 feet per second, with a deviation of 1 fps over ten shots.

  18. Kevin,

    I wondered what the "Old School" kit was all about. Maccari doesn't explain the performance in his description.

    Of course when I did my tunes he didn't have names for them, but I think I may have done an Old School tune once. He asked me to try it and I remember there was a long spacer. I also remember a mainspring with three collapsed coils in the middle, though that may have been his TX 200 tune.


  19. Oxidizer,

    the rust or oxidized coating increases the diameter of the pellet making for a poor fit plus if the oxidation is not evenly distributed around the pellet, which it usually isn't, you've lost your accuracy for that pellet.

    Fred PRoNJ

  20. B.B.,
    With the Crosman plant and Paul Capello within spitting distance I'm surprised you don't attend the show in Baldwinsville. And Pyramyd AIR is less than a days drive! Maybe we will see you there?


  21. Don't worry BB, you,re not a true muzzle loader aficionado until you forget to put the powder in the gun. Anyone whom hasn't done this hasn't shot theirs enough.

  22. There are no collapsed coils on the OS kits I've seen in the last year or so. It just appears that the additionals preload on the Mong. kit does not render any more fpe and adds some harshness compaired to the os kit. IMHO.
    The OS kit cocks like butter with 2 fingers and gives nice power.

    Yes if you like instant gratification and want the get the 8.4 grs up to 860+ fps you could take the seal down to ultra loose fit but they say you pay for it 1000-3000 shots down the road. Size it snug to get in the 805-830 fps iwht the JSB exacts and you will love the cycle and accuracy.
    JM has improved the steel and post treatments he does to the springs in the kits today I think. Take the OS kit spring even if lubed ultra sparingly and even if the guide is not super tight there is no twang or buz with this install. JM has said something in the past on this development and if I recal it went like this: "I even took the arctic spring and put it in a R9 with guides turned down to give a loose fit, you know R9's will buz with nailed guides and there was no twang, something I thought was not possible before. Something about the springs treatment that alters its DNA per say and causes it not to buzz as much." Now I may have made several errors on how I quoted here as I'm going off memory but It is close.


  23. Zen,

    both the NPSS and the RWS 34 are very accurate rifles with the NPSS being the quieter of the two. However, neither is up to competition standards for FT if you really want to be serious, as I understand it. But that needn't stop you if you want to try the sport and get a feeling of what is involved. It's what I'd like to do, if I get some time.

    You need to go to the next stage in rifles – RWS 52, AA410 or Maurauder. For a recommended selection of FT rifles, go to the main website of Pyramyd AIR and just do a search for Field Target rifles.

    As respects quieting a rifle, an after market spring won't do it unless you're interested in reducing the power significantly. What does is invariably referred to as a moderator, muzzle break or suppressor. BB wrote a blog about this topic a couple of years ago and I suggest you go to the top of the blog and on the right hand side you'll see a search box. Type in your search request (moderator, silencer, etc) and you should find that article.

    There are muzzle breaks available, especially for the Discovery. Just know what you're getting into.

    I hope this helps you. There should be some more comments coming for recommended rifles from the rest of the group plus Wayne aka Wacky Wayne is the current FT expert so I'm sure he'll chime in.

    Fred PRoNJ

  24. Zen,

    Your requirements are all over the board.

    Let's simplify them. First, forget price. It's not a factor if what you want cannot be bought. And if it can be, you need to know the truth–not a lie wrapped in some made-up price barrier.

    Now the simple answer to your needs is a TX 200 in .177 caliber. It is super-quiet, super-accurate, has a wonderful trigger and will give you great pride of ownership.

    The price, however, is $569, which you said is too much. Okay, at this point in the discussion, price matters very much. So a new TX 200 is out.

    Is there anything near the quality of a TX 200 for less money? Well, there used to be. It was called the BAM B40. It's a TX 200 clone that sold for just under $300.

    Pyramyd AIR stopped selling the B40 because there were too many returns for quality issues. So somewhere their quality slipped. I don't know if they brought it back, but my instinct tells me to shy away from a new B40.

    What about the RWS Diana 34 that you mentioned? Well, it's a breakbarrel, so getting good accuracy means YOU must use perfect shooting technique. If you can learn to do that, the 34 is a really wonderful airgun. And the price is right for your budget.

    The NPSS is another great airgun, and even quieter than the 34. But it is also a breakbarrel and therefor difficult to shoot accurately. It is accurate, but you must use perfect technique.

    I would rate the Diana 34 as more accurate than the NPSS.

    A tuned 34 would be about as quiet as an NPSS.

    The absolute finest choice for you in all things except power is the Benjamin Legacy that is only available from Crosman directly. It is a sheer delight to shoot, but it isn't capable of 1,000 f.p.s. More like 550 f.p.s. in .22 caliber.


  25. BB + anyone else interested in blackpowder shooting.

    Your ball first loading is what we in the blackpowder hobby refer to as.. "A Dry Ball". LOL! I've seen it done many times and have done it myself twice.

    I have 2 marks on my ramrods.
    I fully insert the ramrod with the gun pointed up and I put a white mark on the rod at the point where it is even with the muzzle. (a small scratch filled with paint around the diameter of the rod works very well)
    One is with no load at all so that I can quickly check to see if the gun is loaded if I can't remember loading it.
    And the other mark is with a powder and ball loaded with my most common charge of 100grains of BP so I can then see if I have "dry balled" it or not… LOL! If the marks do not line up, I know something is wrong.
    Of course, a good idea is to "ping" the barrel to check for a load. You just point the barrel straight up with the butt on the ground and insert the remrod. Let it down about 1/2 way and release your grip on the ramrod. An empty gun will "ping" as the metal tip of the ramrod strikes the steel breech of the empty barrel. A loaded one will just "thud" as it strikes either a soft lead ball or just a powder charge if loaded for parade or re-enactment shooting.
    The marks are the best bet though. I have not tried the Ping test on a gun loaded with a copper coated sabo round, so I do not know how it reacts, but I am certain it would not "ping" as loud as an empty gun would.

    Happy and SAFE shooting everyone!


  26. It was on a closed forum that JM ran and bloged with us. It still exists but it is not open for new members and there are only 14 of left on it. JM stopped posting over a year or more ago. No one really posts over there anymore sadly and it is mostly dormant. I used to love it over there….


  27. Revwarnut,

    Would you believe that I actually know about marking the ramrod? I just hadn't gotten around to marking this one yet.

    I can see that I have taken the whole muzzleloader situation too lightly. I need to stop and pretend I am a newbie, because, with a 30-year lapse, that is what I am! Just shooting BP cartridge guns is no substitute for front-stuffing.


  28. If the breach plug is removable, the easiest way to remove a ball with out powder is to remove the breach plug and push a cleaning jag down from th muzzle.

    I once missed a deer and tried to reload, but I forgot to use a jag while I was cleaning. It was so cold that day that even after the gun had just been shot, the barrel was cold enough to freeze the patch in place. I poped a few caps and thought that the patch had come out. I poured in the powder and loaded the bullet. When I tried to unload into a hill, the gun didn't fire. I held the gun into my shoulder thinking that it could be a hangfire. Turns out that the patch was still frozen solid between the breech plug and the powder. We had to heat the barrel with hot water several times to melt the frozen spit patch before we could take out the breech plug and push out the 250 grain bullet and 100 grains of black powder, all wedged behind (or in front of, depending how you look at it) a patch.

  29. Another thing to remember is that if you realize that you may have forgotten the powder when the ball is already part way down the barrel. DO NOT STOP THERE!
    You should push the ball nearly the rest of the way down if you are going to use a powder charge dribbled into the nipple to remove the ball. This not only maximizes the push effect of the small charge, but it prevents a pressure spike from the expanding gases building pressure in a large airgap between the charge and the ball.
    That is where the marks on the ram rod come in handy. You know to stop just a bit before you reach the "empty" mark + the height of the ball (.5 inches for a 50cal) to allow just a bit of space for powder behind the ball. Of course, there is also the chance with several guns that the nipple is not at the very breech end of the barrel and so if you push the ball past the point where the nipple enters the barrel, you will not be able to get any powder behind the ball. Then you will need a ball puller. The problem with a ball puller is that as you screw it into the ball, it makes the ball tighter in the barrel as the screw enters the ball.
    If you want to see if the ball is past the nipple, just insert the rod all the way, place your thumb on the rod at the point it exits the barrel, then while keeping your thumb in place, remove the rod and place it against the outside of the barrel and see where the tip of the ramrod is in relation to the nipple. If it is even or past the nipple, the ball is also past the nipple.. Bummmer… The dribble of powder method or a Co2 ball remover won't work, so get out the rod puller.

    Sometimes removing the breech plug is required, but many of them are not easy to remove, so it is a last resort.

  30. BB
    A 30 year lapse in BP shooting… Welcome back! I guess this little error will serve as a wakeup/refresher for you then.
    Probably a good thing it happened, your old skills and practices will come back to you quickly.

    I hope others get something out of this, that is why I went into such detail.
    Let others learn from our mistakes.


  31. Looks like the enshrined fwb 124 will turn into at least parts 3 & 4 with a new tune and breech seal? along with accuracy testing with a variety of pellets. If I had a tin of beeman fts pellets I'd send them to you but I included them with the fwb 124 guns that I sold.

    It's becoming clearer to me why I never got into BP.


  32. omnislash,

    If you have the inclination to try and find a barrel for your gun with a twist rate more compatable with your custom pellets, we'd be interested in how that shoots.
    Mr B.

  33. Fred,

    In your response to Zen you mentioned muzzle breaks and said "There are muzzle breaks available, especially for the Discovery. Just know what you're getting into."

    Could you elaborate on the factors? I would like to get a Marauder some day, but my budget may dtive me to a Disco with a TKO break to keep it quiet enough.

    The only drawback I come up with is the added length of the gun and maintining alignment with the bore. Are there others we should be aware of?

    Alan in MI

    Alan in MI

  34. Alan in Ml,

    I didn't check the link Fred posted, but I'mm 99% sure it's the one about the legality of such devices.

    I've read it and other articles about LDC's, moderators, shrouds, etc. FYI I own 4 different ones. I wouldn't have one that's threaded without the Federal tax stamp–way too easy to put on a powder burner.

    TKO makes a good product that works well on my Discovery, if that's the way you want to go.

    Mr B.

  35. blowgunner 62 and revwarnut,

    I have already tried to remove the breech plug. That was the first thing I did. Apparently Thompson/Center really anchors their plug, because this one isn't going to budge. I managed to snap off the rear sight screw while trying, though, so now I also need a new one of those after I get the stub out with an Easy Out.


  36. off topic of todays post but please help me.

    right before a made an oder i just came to a realization.

    im a left handed shooter. i cannot find a single left handed air rifle. Now, before you link me to the ambidextrous air rifles on PA. id like to narrow down this margin. I.E. the hammerli 850 I've been pondering for quite some time and i almost purchased it today until i realized the bolt is on the right side intended for right handed shooters, so on to my next choice. the benjamin discovery, katana, even the marauder and of witch i had my sights set on all seem to be for right handed shooters. so can you guys show me where to look for a left bolt action? can you order them direct from the manufacturer? i cant possibly be the only left handed shooter out there. (excluding those break action rifles (although all the higher end side-lever cocking rifles seem to be for right handed shooters as well. how can you expect to accurately shoot. follow up shots with the action being on the wrong side? please someone help me out

  37. B.B.

    Isn't there a special load-withdrawing tool/bullet puller? Civil War officers had such things. I believe I saw one displayed at my blackpowder workshop. It was a rod that you poked down the muzzle with a little spike at the end for digging into the lead of the ball and pulling it out. Sounds like a better solution than taking the rifle apart and inserting powder to blow the ball out.

    I wouldn't feel self-conscious about the mistake. There are no end of things that can go wrong with blackpowder. As you may know, Civil War rifles have been recovered with 10 full charges stuffed down the barrel. The soldier had forgotten to pull the trigger. Good thing. If he had, the gun would have blown up on him. Granted that this was in the heat of battle but still….

    There are no end of screw-ups in the complexities of shooting generally. I have forgotten the Allen wrench needed to adjust my scope at the range, forgotten the cardboard backing for my targets, forgotten ammunition. In each case, the whole trip was down the drain. I don't believe I'm much of a candidate for blackpowder shooting.


  38. Frank B.,

    I finally understand your comment about getting all the microscopic saw teeth on a knife edge to line up for best results. The samurai bladesmith says that this is why he advises to hone with the blade going away from the edge. The saw teeth are moved into alignment that way. With the knife moving towards the edge, the teeth will get pushed all different ways. My knife was positively feasting on newspaper last night which was a great feeling. Still no shaving sharp edge, though.


  39. BB;

    Thompson/Center makes a breech plug wrench that you will need if you want to remove the breech. But, perhaps you were using one? A bit of Triple 7 worked in after your remove the nipple will do the trick.

    Question, when did the FWB 124's start to use a better piston seal? My gun is from the late
    80's but still works OK. It also shoots the Silver Jets very well. I have about 1500 which are only used for squirrel patrol.


  40. Ok, stupid mistakes are just that… stupid mistakes! let's not powder them as something they are'nt.

    That said, stupid mistakes are not just for BP shooters either. this year I went Dove hunting everything, vests, ammo, lots & lots of shells in different loads and power, water, camera, pack, binocs, sunscreen, camo this, and camo that, handgun, snake bite kit… everything for the whole day of hunting and for just exploring the area incase no birds (new area this year), that is except for my shotgun. I left it in the case in the driveway on my trailer fender!!

    Had to hike like mad to get to a ridge for cell reception to call my wife to get shotgun back in the house before someone finds it!!

    Talk about stupid mistakes… and do you think my wife went easy on that one? LOL!

    We all do it, just don't all talk about it.


  41. Alan In MI,

    Kevin has given you the right response. I can also voucch for TKO as a superb product for the Discovery. I also recommend his trigger kit.

    Casey – we did have a blog within the last month or so about some Crosman or Benjamin rifles that have ambidextrous stocks and the bolt could be swapped from the right side to the left side. Unfortunately, I believe this was for the Challenger, which is intended for 10M shooting so not really a plinker or hunter. I wish I could help out more here. We need some lefties to respond to you.

    Fred PRoNJ

    wv: arighte – I'm serious

  42. CJr,

    I've been bemoaning and ganashing my teeth trying to figure out how I can shoot in your matches cause I don't have a .177 capable of shooting accuratly enough to be competative with Mr T. and all his friends out there.

    Well shame on me! My Diana 35 said try me out please. You'll be happly surprised. I did and was rewarded with a 5 shot .312 edge to edge group.

    Please send me the link to where you're shooting so that I can give it a try.

    Mr B.

  43. BB,

    As Mechredd said, don't feel too awful bad about the dry ball. There are basically only two types of BP shooters in the world: 1) Those who have done the same thing and, 2) Those who will, one day.

    As a suggestion; when using that nipple wrench, try to choose a day when some Zen can be thrown at the project. It has been a couple of years, but good quality nipple wrenches were hard to find when I last looked for one.

    Again, don't be too hard on yourself. That's OUR job 😉


  44. Zen,

    The price constraint makes me think you should go for a used gun.

    It's not easy to get a good used TX-200 or RWS54, 52 or 48 for $300, but it happens on the yellow classified.. sometimes.

    My personal suggestion would be to save up, watch the yellow classified for an Air Arms s400 like this one.. I bet you could make a deal with this guy, he has been trying to sell it for a week now..


    An Avenger 1100 ($150 or so).. would get you on the range… and hit enough targets… but mostly… that would let you make friends with someone who would let you try some of his old guns… believe me most people at a meet will have old guns, you can get a deal on, or probably terms on.

    My guess is once you try the sport, meet the folks, and try their guns… your budget constraints will disappear:-)

    Heck, I don't even know you and I'd be into helping you start out in a Marauder in a field target stock and scuba tank with $300 down and pay as you can type deal… with a name like Zen, I can't loose:-) email me direct if your interested

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  45. BB,

    Please understand that my stupid mistake comment was aimed at me and what I did. 'dry loading' seems like a mistake of skipping steps in a process, one of a break in concentration.

    Leaving one's shotgun in the front yard, however… well, I think I've aptly labeled that one! 🙂


  46. Revwarnut's detailed and careful explanations are superb. His various posts should be consolidated into a little "how to" for ball removal. A guest blog on black powder guns and their intricacies and the sport of shooting them would be a fun read. He is a good writer. Reading all about B.B's misadventures has cast my imagination back a few centuries, and made me wonder how many guys, in the heat of battle, had a similar slipup, with fateful consequences…


  47. AlanL;

    It happend a lot. Rifles and Muskets were found after battles with a number of loads in them.
    When they didn't fire, soldiers just loaded them again and again.

    Sometimes they just forgot to pull the trigger and kept loading!

    It's very understandable with the high stress and little training.


  48. B.B.

    Thanks for the reply. I am surprised everyone has the Silver Jets on their list. But then I only tried them in my 881…maybe I should have given them a second chance when I picked up the R-1.

    I may use Wayne’s Burro instead. A couple wiz bangs should speed it up. (They sold these at fairs in the 1960’s – you stuck them in the tailpipe of a car)
    Afterwards it could make a nice Chili in the crock pot. Yummy.


  49. Casey,
    I'm left handed so I know what you're going through. Still, I have never shot a gun with the bolt on the left, huh! My biggest problem with firearms is that the ejected shell comes across my face.

    I golf right handed because that was all there was available to me when I learned. I think because of it I play better than most right handers although I never seem to find those kind in my foursome.

    Here's how I rationalize living with my "handicap". I shoot ambidextrous rifles because I think (right or wrong) trying to resell a lefty would be near impossible. Therefore, I have learned to adapt to shooting left handed and cock with the right. As far as followup shots? I practice one-shot-one-kill. I may never be as fast as a right hander on followup but I'll bet I don't lag by much.

    And, to me, this follow up you're talking about only applies to a multi-shot PCP rifle anyway because with anything else (break barrel, multi-pump, or pistol) the quick followup point becomes moot. I can see where the importance would come into play if you going into serious 10m competition, for instance.

    Oh, and incidentally, I had to learn to bat right handed because back then they didn't make left handed bats (har,har).


  50. Mr. B,

    go here:


    click on eMatch info in the box on the left.

    If you're going to shoot bench then go to the link there under "Target Sources" and print off the bench target. Then, see if your .312 group is good enough 🙂

    If you just want to snicker at my scores, click on "eMatch Scores" and scroll down to the last bench match that's not still active.


  51. Mr B.,
    on the the Airgun Arena forum under eMatch Restrictions, Bill Clarke said that if there is enough interest, he will start a .22 caliber match. I assume that the Airgun Arena match is what you're talking about, right?

    Just reply to that post saying you're interseted.

  52. Edith,

    is there any punishment we can inflict on Cjr. for that really horrible joke (they didn't make left handed bats)? Maybe suspend his publishing rights for this weekend?


    Fred PRoNJ

  53. Mr. B,
    Once in the airgunarena, click on forum in the box on the left, then look down the forum list for "Target Shooting", click on that, then click on "eMatch airgun requirements" and enter a post comment.

    You'll have to register and login before you can post on the forum or even enter a match. It's easy enough.


  54. BB,

    No mockery from me — I am amazed you made it that long. When I started at my club, the first or second thing the old guys would ask me is if I had a ball puller in my kit! Nothing to be ashamed of — just be glad a bear wasn't charging:).

    If you can get it out with powder, that's good, but a ball puller isn't that bad: put it on the rod, and push into the ball while turning. Stop when you feel the screw bottom out or you'll strip the lead out. You'll need a t-handle, ramrod puller, or (what I use) a pair of vice-grips clamped to the ramrod handle. Always keeping the muzzle in a safe direction, lodge the ramod/end into a strong notch, such as between fence rails, in the crotch of a tree, etc., and pull from the butt or breech end. It won't be too hard, but be gentle as possible b/c you don't want to strip the threads.

    There is also a CO2 tool, but I've never used it. I've also read about putting grease fittings into the nipple threaded hole and pumping the barrel full of grease to push the ball out — sounds like it would be messy!

    I don't have a nipple wrench, but my nipple is easily accessible with a pair of needle-nose pliers I carry, and the barrel comes off with the nipple still on. As TwoTalon says, I remove the nipple during first-stage of cleaning (after pumping some water through it) in order to prevent gettting it stuck (rust under threads). I intend to get a nipple wrench someday, but this works for me.

  55. Kevin's remark about the Ft. Hood shooting yesterday got me to wondering whatever happened to Sgt. Kimberly Munley who heroically stopped the shooter and was badly wounded herself. There has been surprisingly little news about her compared to other people who, in just about every case, are much less deserving.

    Turns out she has her own blog. The last post, in January, shows that she is having a rough time recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. Also, she apparently is thinking about writing a book on her life as a policewoman that includes the Ft. Hood incident but is having trouble getting the project started. I find this awfully strange since she of all people should have people knocking down her door with big contracts.

    Anyway, go over and say hi and thank you



  56. Chuck,

    Publishing "wrongs" is nothing new.. Publishing "rights" in this day and age is the rare thing:-)

    either way keep the groans coming.. we can bounce them off each other:-)

    Wacky Wayne

  57. Wacky Wayne, yesterday you said you prefer JSB pellets. I am shooting a unmodified 2240 (plinking at about 25-30ft). I asked which JSB you would recommend but never heard back. Have you thought about it, I know there are a lot of questions running around here but was just wondering before I purchase more pellets. Thanks

  58. OK, did I say things are crazy now in the pellet world?

    two boxes of old crosman CPH Die #2 just sold for $200 on the yellow classified!!!

    The Die #8 march 17 2008, box I've been weighing has about half the variance of the JSB…. mostly (80%) 10.55, 10.5 and 10.45 grains.

    What a world!

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director, Ashland Air Rifle Ragne

  59. B.B.,

    I could not help but wonder if the survivalist former owner of the preserved 124 had ever actually shot a springer. Apparently, the preserved gun had not been used for extensive practice.

    I would hope he had prior experience shooting spring guns. A survival situation would not be the time to have to learn how to shoot one of those.

    Maybe a better choice for a survival air gun would be a multi-pump pneumatic. Anyway, it was a great find and I'm glad you wrote about it. I have been intrigued by the preserved airgun kit ever since you first described it some time back.


  60. Desertdweller,
    Good point about the multi-pump for survival! Anybody have any thoughts on reliability of multi-pumps vs springers? Would a multi-pump really be a better survival gun?


  61. Matt61,

    This may explain the lack of publicity. I copied it out of her blog- her words:

    "Instantly, they took me and my family into a private room. They stated that the media has been calling especially that morning. They wanted to put me in as a confidential patient so that I won't be getting visitors and phone calls. I'm glad now that I chose that route because I've been in pretty bad shape before today and not up to talking or seeing anyone.
    After deciding to go confidential, they took me in the back…"


  62. Off topic a bit… some notes on dismembering a Mendoza (an RM200, same basic mechanism as, I believe, all of their springers):

    1) I GOTTA figure out a way of removing the spring without the trigger mechanism falling apart. It's a bear to reassemble.

    2) The seal is a solid, non-parachute type. By necessity it has to be something of a loose fit, which explains all the oil burning and inconsistent velocity noted in some examples.

    3) It's fairly easy to convert it to a Maccarri small Apex seal.

    4) It seems to use SAE dimensions, not metric.

  63. BB,I'm not sure who mentioned it above,but this needs more elaboration…..If you buy a nipple wrench,avoid any mass brands.In fact,I know a thousand people must owe you a favor,I would reccomend you get one made! The ones that are readily available are not tool steel.Heck,I think they are pot metal.I've gone through 3 in one day.I have seldom been as disgusted with a product.All the anti-seize thread lube I used,you would think the tool had it easy!But every one I have ever bought fell apart like it was made of candy!!!!FWIW…Frank B

  64. okay, this time I'll appeal to the masses for any response. I'm running short on .22 pellets and would like any recommendations for quality, clean pellets to shoot in my 2240 mainly for plinking at 25-30ft before I make my next purchase. Thanks.

  65. chuck,

    when i learned to shoot nobody corrected me when i shot with my left hand, also i believe my left eye is my dominant eye, however, i play most sports right handed, but i write with my left hand.
    I am mostly ambidextrous but i just feel very comfortable shooting left handed. Now don't get me wrong tomorrow ill shoot right handed and see the difference in groups if any.

    Now as for the guns i listed earlier i was talking about bolt action in co2 or pcp with multi shot repeating capabilities. and even some without.
    i like side-lever cocking as found in some rws models as well as bolt actions. i just see it as being quite cumbersome when shooting a group
    or when shooting in competitive positions.(prone,ect..)
    Also, i love to shoot and would love to compete but maybe field target instead. i love those distance shots out past 50 yards.
    having said that should i just start training myself to shoot right handed now? will that give me a better chance?
    Finally, if your a lefty, what do you shoot?
    p.s. i also bat right handed lol.


  66. Matt61,keep up the good work.I enjoy hearing of your progress.The next time you have an edge that sails through newspaper but won't shave…..Take a brown cardboard box,lay the blade flat with the cutting edge trailing…now raise the back about 30 degrees and stroke.Do the same with the other side.One side or the other will feel different on the cardboard.Repeat this,alternating strokes….until the difference feels minimal.[maybe 10 strokes each]now carefully test what you have on hair.Let me know what the result is…. Frank B

  67. CJr, BB,

    I was thinking about the way a springer needs to be held to be accurate, where a pneumatic would be easier. Especially for someone used to shooting powder burners.

    A springer would give one a greater rate of fire than a multipump pneumatic. And for someone used to shooting them, may make a better survival gun.

    I want to thank BB for his photo of how to place the thumb of the trigger hand when shooting a springer with the Artillery Hold.
    I have been working hard at practicing with my two springers (an RS-2 and an XT). But didn't know about the thumb thing. When I go out shooting this weekend, I'll be sure to try it out.

    I can get higher scores with my multipump pneumatics, but my springer scores are slowly closing in on them. It reminded me of a quote I read recently on this forum, to the effect that a pneumatic will give you more hits on target, but a springer will make you a better shot. Very true.
    I probably use my springers three times more often than my pneumatics.


  68. Rikib,this time of the year in Georgia using Co2….Premier domes would be good.Whatever you choose keep the weight at 14.3 grains or less…and please know that little lead flakes and slight weight differences are not as signifigant as they sound when we talk about them here.The temp. variance and velocity from shot to shot are the main issue.Make sure you space your shots at least 20 seconds apart is the main concern for you with Co2 and a 2240.Get lots of cans to shoot at,and enjoy!!!

  69. Rikib,do me a favor and Email me at frankbpc@aol.com….I will send you some pellets to try out and compare in your 2240.Some premiers and some JSB exacts…..no one can really tell you which is best in your gun untill you try both,and I want you to work on technique and FUN!!!!

  70. Matt61,

    Something that works for me when honing a knife is to ease up on the pressure I'm putting on the blade as I'm finalizing it's edge. Have you tried it? It seems to me that I get a much sharper knife that way.

    By the way do you use a leather strop and if so what do you use to charge its surface?

    Some how I missed your reference to the samurai sword sharpener dude. Would you point my humble undeserving self in his direction most appreciated.

    Mr B

  71. Casey,
    I'd say no don't shoot right handed if it's not natural. Shoot left handed and learn to cock right handed. Right handed will also screw up your dominant eye. Ask Edith because she's right handed with a dominant left eye.

    I have an IZH-61, a Talon SS and a Marauder amongst a couple break barrels. I can hold the Marauder pretty steady with my left hand still positioned near the trigger and the gun pointing down range but the finger alongside the gun like BB always teaches, all the while I'm cocking it with my right hand. Same goes with the Talon SS. The IZH-61 has a side lever.

    I don't experience any disadvantage with any of these rifles but then I've never gone head-to-head with a right hander to see the diff. In competition there is plenty of time to sight in your next shot but I know those shooters like to keep a constant hold so there must be something important there. I think it's mental but then sports is mostly mental.


  72. Desertdweller,

    I would question the rate of fire need. I'm certainly not speaking from experience on this but would welcome any comments from the hunters out there. Just how many times have you had to take that quick second shot because the first one didn't do the job?


  73. FrankB,
    Now I don't feel so bad about not buying a nipple wrench. My nipple has never been any tighter taking it off than when I put it on, but I shoot and clean immediately on a weekly basis (weather permitting). Usually, I put a very, very tiny amount of Wonderlube on the threads of the nipple and the clean-out screw; as they are screwed in, the lube is pushed up to the base or head and forms a sort of seal.

  74. BGFarmer,I am pretty dilligent about cleaning and lubing too…it's that much more important with revolvers…so many nooks and crannys in that cylinder.I have seen others get away with less dilligence,but I don't know how.Maybe the problem is unique to the pistol wrench,but I assure you it is garbage.The problem compounds itself when the first and second tool breaks,the dirty nipple is still in place and the store is out of them!

  75. CJr and blowgunner62,

    Just finished printing out some targets. Looking at the first one as it was coming out of the printer and was thinking gee, that doesn't look too bad. But when I saw the one inch scale I said oh sh..t cause it measured one and one half inches– a big difference or should I say a "little" difference?

    I'll let you know how a practice session goes.

    Buy the way, does anyone have a 12" .177 cal barrel for a Talon SS that they'd be interested in selling? Plese e-mail me at Dropdog2@Aol.com. Thanks

    Mr B.

    WV = repigfo

  76. FrankB,
    I can see that being more of a problem with a BP revolver. I didn't mean to imply there was any lack of maintenance on your part. Some of my BP buddies have Army and/or Navy style revolvers and the cleaning routine seems to be a lot worse for them. One was worse than the other, I think, but I can't remember which one.

  77. In the 1970's, gun-writer Mel Tappan used to recommend the FWB 124 as the perfect "survival gun" for when disaster (of whatever kind) happens. He recommended keeping a 124 with a supply of ammo and spare parts. Perhaps, the previous owner of your 124 was a survivalist and he had stored his 124 awaiting the disaster that never came (yet, anyway!). What a great blog. Many thanks

  78. Rikib,
    at 25 to 30 feet, I'd shoot a good .22 cal wadcutter. This H&N has always shot well for me in 2240's.

  79. CJr,

    I don't use my airguns for hunting, so I have never found myself in the situation of needing a quick second shot. Maybe rate of fire is a moot point.
    But maybe not in a survival situation. For example, if you are shooting at a group of game animals from cover, and your first shot misses but does not spook them, a fast follow-up shot may get a hit before they catch on.
    This may sound unlikely, but I can remember hunting gophers in an open meadow with .22 rifles. A missed shot often resulted in the gopher standing up higher in an effort to see what was going on.

    Like Edith, I too am right-handed with left eye dominant. My way of dealing with that has been aiming with my right eye anyway. If I am using my scopes in the correct way, with both eyes open, my dominant eye wants to override the sight picture my right eye is seeing. So I squint a little with my left eye.


  80. AlanL,

    Yes, the UTG mount with no droop compensation is the one for the RWS 350 Magnum.

    Are you getting one of them? They are wonderful rifles, but hard to cock in their factory configuration. And, being breakbarrels, they are ten times more difficult to shoot accurately than your 54. I am afraid that your 54 may have spoiled you.

    This should prove interesting–to see what effect going in reverse has on a shooter. Most shooters graduate from breakbarrels to side or underlevers to the 54 to PCPs. The 350 will make you appreciate the 54 that much more, I believe.


  81. JGC,

    Yes, the Roanoke Airgun Expo is open to the public. There is also a gun show in the same civic center hall on Saturday and Sunday, so they overlap on Saturday (the airgun show is always Friday and Saturday).

    I will most likely test many of the new Evanix rifles.


  82. AlanL,

    I own and use two different chronographs. The first one is an Oehler 35P chrono I use because I am a gun writer. The Oehler is undisputedly the finest chronograph on the market. But don't look for one, because the P (printer) model is no longer available. They sell for double the new price of $350 on Ebay, when they come up. All writers need one to sound credible in print, though that is starting to change with a new crop of younger writers.

    I use a Shooting Chrony Alpha model chronograph 90 percent of the time these days. They are accurate enough for any job I do with airguns, and much simpler to use indoors than the Oehler. They are rugged, well-made and they give you a number. Unless you are going to court to prove a case, that number is very credible.


  83. Vince,

    I've never been inside a Mendoza. How interesting that they don't use a parachute seal. I'm thinking some good returns could be had by installing one. Does the Apex seal require much sizing?

    With a parachute seal they should be more consistent. Velocity might increase if the fit was better, but not if its loose.

    What are your experiences?


  84. The standard small Apex seal fits just fine. It's made for a 26mm bore, and the Mendoza uses a 25.4mm (1"). Converting it was real easy.

    But I've got it all back together – and for the life of me I can't figure out WHY on earth it's only generating 4 ft-lbs. of energy. Powerplant energy is actually about 23 ft-lbs, which should translate into almost 7 at the muzzle. It's easily 150fps slow. Sure, I tarred the spring – but the spring in the RM200 is actually pretty stout. The powerplant has a REAL short stroke – less than 2" – but I've had leather-sealed bottom-feeder Chinese springers do a lot better than that with the same powerplant dimensions.

    Stupidly I didn't chrony it before… but it was burning so much oil I don't know if it really would have meant anything.

  85. Vince,

    What finish is on the cylinder walls of the compression chamber? Is it a mirror finish? That can be a problem.

    Do you think the compression chamber walls are parallel, or do they taper toward the transfer port end? That can be another problem.

    How large is the transfer port? If its bigger than 0.125" that can be a problem, as well.

    The spring tar may subtract 30 f.p.s. velocity but not more. Is the spring TOO stout? That can be another problem. A weaker spring can actually be faster than a stout one.

    If the piston is heavy or if there is a forward spring guide (a top hat), the rifle may like only very heavy pellets. You may find that Kodiaks or 18-grain JSBs give greater power, assuming .22 caliber.

    Those are my thoughts on the subject.


  86. Les,

    I know 10m competition shooters spend a lot of money on their gear including jackets, pants, shoes, glasses, hats, slings, etc. They are especially concerned about the sling because of its steadying characteristic. Once they get all this stuff set up the way they want it they don't want to move at all. In this case you will need the cocking bolt on the correct side. But then after all this investment in equipment it would be foolish to skimp on the rifle so that justifies the extra cost of a left handed rifle.

    I have been eying the AirForce Edge. It has the ability to place the bolt on either side and is designated a 10m Sporter Class rifle. I shot one at the last NRA convention in Phoenix and liked it very much. It is light enough for me to shoot standing off hand without getting quickly fatigued.

    The Airgunarena eMatch site has multiple non-bench rifle classes that would be fun to enter and I think an Edge would be ideal for that. They also have multiple pistol classes…Ahhhhh! Get me out of here!!!!!


  87. Oops,
    My last post should have been addressed to Casey the lefty instead of Les on followup shooting but could apply to both. This begs a question, if you spent $3,500 for a competition rifle would you take it hunting? Hmmm…maybe not, not enough power.


  88. [repost- fixed a little error]

    Thanks for the info on the chrony and base. Ummm… yes, I've been bitten by the bug. I'm turning into a collector… yikes!!!

    You may remember I wanted that recoil experience, precisely because I feel like a spoiled wimp with the 54. How'm I ever gonna know that I can really shoot with a rifle that doesn't require true mastery of the artillery hold? So… with the disappointing news that I couldn't rent a gun anywhere [hey Wacky Wayne– now there's a business idea for you: mail order rifle rentals!] I instead searched for a used RWS 52 to buy, to have the closest possible comparison with my 54. There was none to be had that I could discover. Then, in the process of researching the issue of the deceiving rivets, I called Umarex. (Those are really nice people by the way. I mentioned that I was a little unhappy with an unsightly blemish to the blueing on the cocking lever of my 54. They immediately offered to replace the cocking lever under their lifetime warranty. I protested that there was no functional defect, only a blemish that bothered me every time I looked at it. They insisted no problem, it was covered. All I have to do is send them the lever. Now that's what I call service! In contrast, one of the gals in Pyramyd's customer service told me my rifle was more than 30 days old so they couldn't help me– I was on my own.) But I digress– back to my conversation with Umarex: When I asked them about the rivets in the 54 and asked them about the 52, they told me that they are discontinuing the RWS Diana Model 52 from their line-up. I was shocked. Such a nice rifle! I asked why and they said that most people prefer the cheaper 48 and few care enough about the nicer stock on the 52 to make it worthwhile, so they decided to discontinue carrying it. (I guess this must be true because even Diana stopped making the 52 Luxus with the beautiful basket weave checkering and ebony endcaps, such a shame). Then I noticed that Pyramyd suddenly dropped their price on the .22 cal. Model 52, so… (gulp!) I bought one. And the mount and rings and scope, Gawd!

    And now I have gone nuts and bought a .22 cal 350 Magnum too. So now I'm the proud owner of a new Bronco, a 54, a 52, a 350, and a Crosman 1377, and not enough time to shoot them all.

    It's all you guys' fault! What have you done to me? This is tooo much fun!


  89. AlanL,

    Then I would like to hear your observations of both the 52 and especially the 350 Magnum. Do you find the 350 difficult to cock? Is it harder to shoot accurately? Have you now started to learn about the artillery hold?

    You complained so about the bulk of the 54. Obviously the 52 is similar in size, though the stock is slimmer. The 350 Magnum, in contrast, must feel very slim.

    And you probably notice that the 52 torques to the right when fired, right? How does that feel after the 54?

    How about the Bronco? Isn't it a sweetie?


  90. Hey AlanL, we tried to warn you! All you new people on this blog take note. You'll have the best time of your life here but a financially draining one. But hey it's only money and the alternative to spending it on airguns is to leave it for your kids. Whatca gonna do?!


  91. AlanL,
    I bought the blue (beta) chrony and the printer. I highly recommend both. The reason I went with the blue instead of the red is with the printer I didn't feel the need for the remote display. Since the printer appears to have as long a cord as the remote display the remote becomes redundant.


  92. B.B.,

    The Bronco sure is! Too bad I will give it to my daughter :-

    Oh yes, I forgot to mention, a Daisy Model 25 (current edition) and a Marlin Cowboy (not out yet), one of which will be for my son. When the Cowboy comes in I'll be able to decide which is the better gun.

    Meanwhile, the 52 and 350 are still in transit. Will let you know as soon as I have anything meaningful to say about them. Next on the list: A TX 200 in .177 caliber, eventually. And then (dare I admit it?) an S-410 some day still far off. If I ever climb into PCP's that is.

    And then I'm done. Or done for, when my wife finds out. She's no Edith!!!


  93. I got my new squirrel target out today to see how it works for shooting 10m standing offhand since that seems to be the more respectable way to shoot 🙂

    I made a couple observations right off: 1) when shooting offhand I do not need a resettable target, 2) most of my shots are centered right around where the string connects to the target. It's like I'm determined to shoot the string off. I've read comments from some of you on this blog who have done exactly that. Go back to sleep Murphy!

    A third observation I made and a safety issue is that hitting the squirrel and not the paddle behind it causes the pellets to bounce back at me. The pellets are smashed flat but apparently there is still enough energy left in them to bounce back. The ones that hit the paddle stay behind the squirrel pretty much but the ones that hit the squirrel itself bounce back as much as 12 feet, so far. The majority that bounce back end up around four feet. So, it's probably not a good idea to shoot very close to these things.


  94. AlanL,

    My take on the chrony is a little different than Chuck's. I went with the remote display, and still plan to get the printer.

    With the remote display, I was able to build plywood gaurds that drop over the chrony to protect the sky screens, but still can see the display since it is remote. There is not much benefit with this for close MV testing, but there is a big difference with testing at distance (mostly to determine BCs of pellets). I set the chrony in front of the trap and then put the remote display on top of my pellet trap, and I can read the results through my scope. Great for the longer distance work. Even if you have the printer, it is nice to know if you are getting readings real time on each shot without having to walk all the way around that nice pool of yours.

    Of course, you could always just apply the same approach to chrony's that you are using with guns – buy them all! (just kidding, sort of – I'm jealous). Although it would be nice to have two chronys – one at the muzzle and one at the target.

    Alan in MI

  95. Alan in MI and AlanL,
    The beta chrony has a digital display on the front also but I can see that it would be vulnerable to hits if left uncovered in your situation. Interesting setup by the way. I think in your case the Alpha is the better way to go. And it's only $10 more.


  96. AlanL,

    I'm on my second Chrony Alpha. The first died a slow and horrible death but it was tough, absorbing several pellets before I finally was able to nail the LCD.:) And, the Chrony was positioned only 1 or 2' away from the muzzle. That Chrony helped me to find out my RWS 350 was down on power which was ultimately traced to that leaking seal.

    I guarantee you that you will find the 350 is a really difficult rifle to shoot accurately and will not compare to the 52 which is my most accurate spring piston rifle. Both will give you a real workout.


    part of the fun of this sport is finding out which pellet your gun or rifle likes best. Shoot 5 or 10 shot groups and see which pellet groups best. I bought a pellet sampler from another vendor. I can tell you that the majority of the pellets grouped like a shotgun and I started believing I couldn't shoot worth a damn. Then the first accurate pellet came up and I put together a 1/2" group at 30 yards.

    You can forego the sampler kit and concentrate on what everyone else has suggested. I would add that I get pretty good results from RWS' super H and their normal, domed pellet (name escapes me now).

    Also you newbies keep in mind these diablo pellets do not shoot well above 900 fps due to running into the soundbarrier. You have instability as the pellet passes through the barrier – both times.

    This is why competition rifles and pistols shoot around 500 fps and slower – greater accuracy.

    Fred PRoNJ

  97. Les, I too am right handed left eye dominant. It gets really hard sometimes to focus in on a target, you think you got it then everything gets blurry, at least for me anyway. I read somewhere that a true marksman shoots with both eyes fully open so I'm trying hard to do that, not coming very easy though.

    Fred PRoNJ, thanks for the info about the pellets and fps. I always assumed that I would have greater accuracy with more fps and a heavier pellet. But looking at expensive competition pistols their fps is about the same as my 2240. Thanks for the info

  98. twotalon,
    I want a 12" .177 caliber barrel for my Talon SS so I can shoot it in the matchs with Chuck. Currently the only .177 rifles I have are a Diana 35 and a leaking 1077. The SS in .22 on CO2 is sudden death on starlings, grackles and crows out to a lasered 29 yards. With its AirHog shroud I once got 3 crows out of the same flock.

    On second thought either a 12" or 24" barrel would work equally well for what I want to do.


    A couple of years ago I was the proud owner of a Diana 35, a Crosman 140 that I had as a kid, a Pleasure KS-2 in .177 made in China and 2 Pioneer .177 pistols also made in China.

    Today that modest rather inexpensive group of air guns has grown by seven rifles, two pistols, a Chrony and printer, two HPA pumps, and HELP cause I've been looking for another PCP–too many choices not enough wallet.

  99. Come on Mr B… bring on that leaky 1077! Let's see whatcha got! you don't need no Talon!

    (this may possibly be my first airgun smack talk ever published)

    can you believe WV is credd (as in I ain't got no)


  100. Mr B.
    If you are running CO2 only, then I don't know what you would get out of any of the barrels.
    Running on air, …
    12" .177…850 fps /w cph
    18" .177…1000 fps /w cph
    24" .177…no way.


  101. Mr B.
    A lot of starlings have died…even in a little cross wind…from 55-60 yds with my 12" .177 setup.
    My talon also wacks them at this distance with Kodiaks, but the flocks don't come back very soon. Shooting 18" .22 with Condor tank.


  102. twotalon,
    The way I read it Mr B wants to compete in the eMatches, but only .177 is allowed at this time. His Talon is .22 so that disqualifies him. If he can swap barrels he'll be able to compete against my .177 Talon on CO2 and if .22 matches materialize he can swap back to .22 and be able to compete against my Marauder (on air).


  103. twotalon,

    I run both CO2 and HPA. CO2 is what I use in the city cause my back stop is 16 yards away from my back door and HPA is overkill. However, if the occasional opossum comes wandering by it's a bottle change and I'm on HPA shooting one mil dot high compaired to the CO2. CO2 and the 12" inches barrel gives about 600fps and 24" gives about 650fps.

    When I'm at the cabin in Upstate NY it's HPA all the way with the 24" barrel and AirHog shroud.

    You said no way in .177 in a 24" barrel on HPA. I thought one of those Eun Jin 16.1 or something similar would stay this side of super sonic and work ok.

    Mr B.

  104. Mr B.
    Never tried the 24" .177 or the eun jins.
    Most of my starling shooting runs from 20-30 yds.
    Have shot the 24" .22 on the talon with standard tank. Great shooter, but the extra length and weight seem to get in my way.

    By the way,..my 12" .177 corkscrewed until I recrowned the muzzle.


  105. twotalon,

    After being smacked down by Chuck, it pains me to say that he was correct in telling you about why I wanted a .177 barrel for my Talon SS except for one small fact. I wanted it to be able to kick his… twice:).

    By the way, nice shooting–stalings at 55-60 yards.

    Mr B.

  106. Mr B.
    Just a note..
    I have shot one hole groups that looked like a single 22lr hole at 25 yds with the 18" .177 barrel. Bench rest of course!!!

    If you get a good barrel you will have the necessary hardware to kick CJr's butt..

    Have not worked out the best pellet for the 12" .22 barrel yet.


  107. twotalon & Mr B,

    My .177 Talon on CO2 gets low 600 and runs mostly middle to upper 500s depending on how fast I shoot. Right now on a new bottle that feels pretty cold from storing it under my stairs my read was 554. While shooting 60 eMatch targets in 50 minutes on a warmer bottle I started out at 614 and dropped to mid 500s If I then waited a couple minutes it would be back up to over 600 on that next shot. My indoor range is 68 degrees.

    My .22 Marauder gets over 900fps with CP 14.3g on a fresh air fill of 2500psi down to 2000 then shoots upper 800s til 1500. At 1,000 it's in the upper 700 range.

    I hope the eMatch director, Bill, can find a couple more .22 competitors to start a .22 competition. Mr B did you cast a vote for .22? Bill said he needed at least 4 to compete and I think with my vote he had three that were interested.

  108. I've got a newbie-ish question for anybody that has an opinion.

    Recently I fixed the breech seal on my 36-2 because it was shooting erratically, etc. The fix worked great on my standard pellets for this rifle, e.g., Superdomes, Crosman Field Points, etc., and full power (by informal testing, no chrony) and, more importantly, accuracy was restored. Encouraged, I tried the Crosman Premier Ultra-Mags (something like CPH in a tin, I assume). These pellets hit my targets like a sledge hammer, but (finally my question) they do not penetrate the same way as lighter pellets. For example, at 10 yards, a Crosman point will go through a steel can full of water, never to be seen again, whereas the heavier pellets will go into one side, bounce off the other and sink to the bottom. On empty cans, the results are even more perplexing: the points behave the same, but the heavy pellets don't even penetrate one side consistently — they will knock the can for an impressive loop and in some cases bend the can.

    My best guess is that the power level drops off a lot for the heavies, but the way they hit has me wondering if that is the whole story. It almost seems like the heavier pellets are transferring energy more effectively at the expense of penetration, but since the frontal area is the same, that doesn't make a lot of sense.

    Any thoughts or experiences appreciated.

  109. twotalon,

    To glean some of your expertise, you know, now that I've gone back over my chrony tapes I noticed that I was getting middle 600fps readings that dropped to high 500s on rapid shooting until I replaced a defective tophat(? that cylindrical silver thing that you pull the pellet back against with the bolt) and after that I started getting the low 600s that dropped to the mid 500s. I wonder if there is something I needed to adjust on replacement?


  110. CJr
    I have never fooled with CO2 so I have no idea if tophat adjustments have any effect or not.

    What was wrong with your tophat on the CO2 adapter??

    I only have 3 standard tanks, 1 micrometer, and one condor…no CO2.


  111. BG_Farmer,

    You have to ask if anyone here has an opinion? Heavier pellet transfers more energy to the target while the lighter one punchs clean through and keeps going saving some of its energy for other things.

    All the energy of heavier one is transfered into the water filled can cause that pellet doesn't exit the can. For the empty can the transfer of energy again from the heavier pellet starts the can moving and sometimes bends it while the lighter one punchs through retaining a significant amount of energy.

    Mr B.

  112. BG_Farmer, I've wondered the same thing myself. I thought I would get better penetration and destruction with a heavier pellet but even at close range I'm getting a lot of bounce back, so I think I will try going with a lighter pellet for penetration and forego the destruction unless I use wad-cutters. I'll be watching to see if anyone posts any good info on this subject

  113. Going back to my questions about Crosman Premiers and thePremier wadcutters of yesteryear. If the domed Premiers group better than the wadcutters, even the very best, in a competition rifle, then with electronic scoring targets does it matter that they aren't wadcutters?

    After all, the reason for a wadcutter is to make clean holes in paper for easier scoring. But with modern competition scoring devices, there isn't any paper!

    Anybody have any thoughts? And of course any thoughts about whether the Premier would perform better at 10 meters?

  114. twotalon,
    The tophat would slowly move out toward the front of the gun until it was so far I couldn't pull the bolt back far enough to latch it. I could work it back in with my fingers but after a couple more shots it'd move back out again.


  115. another question about pellets. any thoughts or opinions about Hyper Velocity lead free pellets. I have read many reviews some really good, some really bad. They sound good for a 2240 which I shoot. One of my main concerns is that a review stated that plastic residue was being left in the barrel. Is this isolated or have any of you heard this happening with this type of pellet?

  116. rikib,

    I can certainly relate to your sighting problem. I read the same thing about keeping eyes wide open.
    Maybe this advice was meant for those who do not have our problem.
    This is why I try to keep my left eye somewhat open. If I open it fully, I lose my sight picture.

    Maybe Edith can give us some advice on this.

    This afternoon, I spent two and a half hours out in the desert shooting the RS-2 at targets at 25 yards.

    I had rescoped the gun with a Tasco 3-9X "Bucksight" scope with 50mm objective lens. This scope is sold as "shockproof" and so far has held up much better to recoil than the original scope.

    The Tasco, being intended for powder burners, has a pre-set parallax of 100 yards. Since I usually shoot at 20 and 25 yards, I had to shim the rear ring to compensate. Finally got "good enough for today" results. Still needs some more tweaking.

    I say, go with what works best for you, rather than with someone else's opinion of how a "true marksman" would do it.

    I did try BB's suggestion of keeping the thumb parallel to the stock. Worked OK, but I still need a lot of work on my Artillery Hold. Maybe it will get better in a few more thousand rounds.


  117. For you right handed shooter that are left eye dominant.

    You may try putting a blinder over your left eye. Allows light transfer and minimizes eye strain which squinting does not. It, in time, purportedly can train your right eye to become dominant.


  118. rikib,

    The plastic tipped pellets have never been close to accurate in any of my guns. I've also read about the plastic fouling barrels but never shot them long enough in any guns to find out. I find it hard to believe that the plastic tip could consistently make contact with the side of the barrel to create fouling though.

    Many people remove the plastic tip from these pellets and shoot them as "hollow points" and rave about their accuracy. I tried this as well and it didn't improve the accuracy in my guns.

    Buy a tin and let us know how they do in your guns. If they do foul your barrel(s) then clean them.


  119. Volvo,

    Pellseat arrived. Wanted to thank you very much. Very kind gesture that's greatly appreciated.

    Another dimension in accuracy testing is born into my world.


  120. Les, like you said you need to go with what works for you I totally agree. I try to keep both eyes open (I wear glasses/contacts) as I did in the military. It seemed to work best for me, sorta seeing the target in my mind. But you put it best when you said "go with what works best for you", everyone is different. If I try to focus with one eye everything becomes a blur.

  121. Kevin, thanks for the info think I'll order a tin of those high velocity pellets right now. when I get them I let you know how they work, I'm only shooting a 2240 but they are supposed to be rated for a low to medium velocity gun. thanks

  122. While on the subject of pellet testing for accuracy I wanted to share something.

    I have several new guns and several used guns that are new to me. It's only been recently that our weather has allowed me outside to test for the best pellet and I witnessed something very interesting during my pellet testing.

    To determine the best pellet in a newly acquired gun I used to shoot four groups of five shots (twenty pellets) and then move on to the next type of pellet.

    Now I shoot my entire target using one type of pellet which is fifteen groups of five each (sixty pellets).

    Here's the interesting part. The groups will walk (change poi) until at least group number 5 and sometimes until group number 10. Up until group 10 (fifty pellets) the groups usually shrink in size too.

    After group 10 the poi doesn't change and the group size is consistently the smallest unless I've done something wrong.

    A light went off. Do airgun barrels need to be "seasoned" with new ammo like a firearm barrel?

    Although I don't have an explanation this phenomenon has been consistent with almost all pellets in all my recent acquisitions. Even when I switch back to "the most accurate pellet" during that shooting session it took 30-40 pellets before it would tighten up to the group sizes and poi that it was capable of previously.

    This was more pronounced in the two springers shooting 630-810 fps but it was also mildly apparent in a new pcp that shoots 940-990 fps.

    Anyone else have this experience?


  123. Question on plastic tipped pellets: How much heat is generated by a pellet as it travels down the barrel and is it enough to melt the plastic tip causing the residue problem?

  124. Kevin, I noticed a similar effect while plinking at 60 yards. Swithching pellets – usually – meant that I needed to put several shots through the barrel before the POI would stay consistent. But I only seemed to need a half-dozen rounds or so.

    It didn't seem to matter – obviously – when switching between pellets made with the same metallurgy (like Premiers and CPHP's)

  125. To all,

    Here's some Bonaire underwater photos taken by one of my dive buddies:


    This is a video he made of a Lionfish. Lionfish are not native to the Caribbean and have been introduced there by a damaged aquarium in Miami by hurricane Andrew in 1992. Since they have no natural enemies in the Caribbean they have spread like crazy and are causing great concern.



  126. Chuck,

    Never dug my plastic tipped pellets out of the duct seal to see if the tips were intact. Someone should do that.

    Thanks for the underwater photo's and video. You got a lot closer to that lionfish than I would have. Last time we dove in cozumel they were thick. They even have contests to thin the lionfish population.

    Interesting about the introduction from the hurricane in Florida. Weren't there less than a dozen that were accidentally released from the aquarium after the hurricane? These things must be prolific breeders.


  127. Kevin,
    Yes, there were not very many released at all but they bred like crazy because nothing would eat them. I don't know what eats them in the Indo-Pacific but I sure hope they don't introduce it, too, to control them. From what you said about Cozumel it sounds like it's too late to do anything. I wonder what else got released that hasn't shown up yet.


  128. twotalon, like you said they are not plastic tipped pellets (I was starting to wonder), but plastic jackets. I did purchase a tin tonight from PA to see how they work in my 2240 (hopefully the plastic won't foul the barrel). I'll post results after I receive and try'em out.

  129. FrankB.,

    Thanks for the tip on stropping with the cardboard. I took up your challenge. I did the samurai routine, then I stropped on my leather strop. At this point, I could get hair with repeated passes over the forearm but not cleanly like your knife. I did 10 strops on each side with cardboard (of which I have a great deal). Results were about the same. I could shave a few individual hairs with multiple passes. Getting the hair to pop off the arm must take some doing. By the way, the samurai sharpener says that wet newspaper is the ultimate stropping surface he has ever encountered.

    Mr. B. The samurai sharpener is a fellow named Murray Cutler who is the 17 generation Yoshimoto bladesmith. He's also the first foreigner to get a hunting and fishing license in Japan which is probably even more incredible. His site is Carter Cutlery and you can view his sharpening technique on YouTube. I must say that his methods have beaten all the previous ones that I've tried. For stropping which is an addition to the samurai technique, I use a Russian leather strop glued to a kind of wooden paddle all of which I bought from Lee Valley Tools. I charge the strop with green oxide compound, also from the same place. A blogger from long ago with a deep knowledge of knives and guns advised this stuff, and there are good reviews of it on the web.

    All, I happened to run across video of the Guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on YouTube and I'm quite fascinated. I saw them in person years ago but was too far away to appreciate what they were doing. They just looked kind of inhuman. The video is amazing. They spin those M14s at high speed with no error at all. Everything else is absolutely perfect. No burping, sighing, coughing, sneezing, sweating, forgetting what to do, ever. They spend 5 hours a day shining their shoes and measure their uniforms to 1/16 of an inch. With that sense of perfection, they should all be fantastic shots. Kevin, watching them may improve your mood about the United States. Any institution that can produce guys like this must have something going for it.


  130. rikib
    Next time, look at what the reviews say…and what they DO NOT say.
    They say"light,fast,lead free, penetrate steel cans".
    They DO NOT say "accurate to any distance". There are no representative group sizes posted.
    Some did say that the accuracy falls off with distance.

    So, if you want to shoot holes in steel cans and break bottles at close range, they should work. If that is not your goal in life, then either get the cheapest pellets available… or …get whatever shoots the best.


  131. Matt61,

    Yes, those soldiers are amazing. They alternate with incredible clockwork precision and go on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of weather, regardless of Anything! They can be stopped Only by a direct order from the president. I've heard that this has only ever happened twice. Once by Clinton during a fierce hailstorm and I don't recall the other occasion. They are truly amazing. Anybody that ever travels near Arlington should pause and take in the ceremony of the changing of the guard, and reflect on what it means. It is an experience that you will never forget.


  132. Pete,

    It may not matter whether a pellet is a wadcutter or a dome when sound-scoring targets are used. But you have to consider the entire infrastructure. Those sound targets are very expensive, so they don't exist below the national level, and often not even there. Optical scoring is still alive and constitutes the majority of scoring.

    The system will never change the rules as long as one component requires the use of wadcutters.


  133. Kevin,

    I have dug the Polymags out of duct seal, and the plastic tips do stay sort of "intact." I think a better phrase would be "in place" because they don't come out witht the lead pellet, but sit precisely where they belong. The cup just opens up enough to let go of the tip when you pull the pellet back out.

    Inerestingly, the hollowpoint cup expands back so much that they often peal back and form a separate ring that is loosely wrapped around the body of the pellet. The diameter then measures about 0.3" at that point – not bad expansion for starting from .22. I don't think that translates into field performance as the duct seal stops them in about half an inch – in fact I find the best expansion in duct seal seems to come from wadcutters.

    The most interesting one was a Polymag that went hole-in-hole on top of a Beeman FTS. The red tip pentrated the FTS pellet and sticks out about half it's normal length.

    Alan in MI

  134. rikib,
    Here are some videos from my Bonaire trip to keep you entertained today.

    Queen Parrotfish crunching the reef. Listen closely and you can hear it:


    Queen Parrotfish browsing:


    Whitespotted Filefish:


    French Angel:


    Bonaire Reef life:



  135. CJr,

    Thanks for the link to your photos. All of my diving was in fresh water. Your pictures are like something out of National Geographics Magazine.

    Mr B.

    This is unbelievable! Blogger needs his mouth washed out with a bar of soap for saying"fockitu"

  136. Kevin,

    If what you say is true about pellets seasoning the barrel, I will never again be able to do an accuracy test. I barely have the time to shoot the guns as much as I do. This would add hours to the process.

    Still, I guess the accuracy I get is relative. In other words, a good pellet will always be better than a bad pellet. It just might not ever be as good as possible, with the limited shooting I do.

    I seldom shoot a given pellet more than 40 shots before moving on. Sometimes if I get a good five-shot group followed by a good ten-shot group I stop right there. Because three pellets can easily take over 100 shots to test.


  137. B.B.,

    You don't know how good what you said just made me feel. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who needs to shoot 40 pellets to get a good five-shot group! It is even more reassuring, coming from someone of your, ahem, caliber.


  138. Matt61,

    Appreciate your vote of confidence for my optimism.

    Alan in MI,

    Thanks for the details about polymags. They patterned like a shotgun in my guns so I've never paid much attention to them. Gave the remainders of a tin I had away.


    Haven't been diving in years. Appreciate you triggering (pun intended) some fond memories. Lionfish are apparently good to eat but I sure wouldn't want to clean one.


    Never tried those plastic jacketed pellets. Interested in hearing about your experiences with them.


  139. B.B.,

    My silly recent observation during pellet testing while interesting to me certainly doesn't warrant a change in your methods.

    Your accuracy tests are, and will continue to be, the most relevant.

    I'm continuously amazed at your ability to begin testing with the "right" pellets. Your experience and intuition eliminate more than half the pellets that you know will probably not group in the gun you're testing. I'm slowly honing this skillset.

    Not only do you post 10 shot strings with different pellets but you narrate the quality of open sights, divulge the type of scope and quality of reticle & parallax problems and in addition share any struggles with hold sensitivity. All relevant to accuracy and often overlooked by other "testers".

    Don't change a thing. Since people all over the world wait on your tests in new guns before committing to a purchase I'm not the only one that believes in your testing parameters as is.


  140. Mr.B, Kevin, Rikib,
    Thanks for the feedback, but I'm still confused as to why it happens, if it is common — which it seems to be (I read a little on the yellow forum last night). Assuming the kinetic energy is roughly equal, the heavier pellet with the the same cross-section and and even higher cross-sectional density seems like it should penetrate at least the same. In the case of the canon ball versus high-speed bullet, there is a huge difference in both cross-sectional area and cross-sectional density. This would seem to be more analogous to 125 gr. .30-06 compared to 180 gr. .30-06, but they both go through cans, I would almost bet:).

    Actually, I'm not ultimately interested in shooting cans, at least all the time:). It was just one of the few times I've ever seen something so counter-intuitive.

  141. Kevin,

    I won't change only because I don't think I have the time to. But your observation unnerves me.

    I always thought I was settling in when the groups started to improve. From what you say, though, it can be demonstrated that more shots increases the chance for better groups. As a tester, I have to know more about that.

    Don't sell yourself short. I learn as much as anyone from this blog.


  142. On switching pellets, an adjustment period seems to be common for me when switching from pure lead (RWS or JSB) to wheel weight material (Crosman) or vice versa, although it seems to settle down faster than 40 shots, but that is perhaps because I'm not shooting off a bench for groups.

  143. BB,

    You're right. It was just the geek in me wondering if, at the highest levels of shooting, there was a technical change that could improve on the already fantastic scores that are achieved.


  144. B.B.,

    Yes sir, this switching pellets and group sizes has pushed by curiosity button. I'll have to wait until our never ending wind takes a break and shoot some groups.

    Hopefully you'll hear from me before the day is out.

    Mr B.

  145. BG_Farmer,

    You need Herb.

    Sorry for my oversimplification. You've touched on something that must take into account projectile stabilization (yaw), bc, penetration index (also mislabeled killing power, knock down ability and several others by ballistic amatuers). In other words weight alone can't explain the phenomenon.

    Let's use your analogy. A 125 gr vs. 180 gr in 30-06. Yes, they will both go through and through a can up to a certain distance. But for sake of an easily imagined distance lets use a 55 gallon steel drum instead of a can. At what distance will the 180gr loose energy because of weight and drag and not be able to penetrate the 55 gallon steel drum while the 125 gr still punches through and through?


  146. Chuck,

    awesome pics! thanks for the link. I used to have marine aquariums and miss the fish. that was a hobby that makes the air gunning hobby seem cheap! Never had a lionfish thought
    . Fire angel, maroon clown, hard to remember from the archives!

    Thanks again for the pics, looks like you had fun.

    I especially like the 'beerfish'


  147. Kevin,

    I think we need both Herb and Rocket Jane.

    This is obviously a question in extremal ballistics, and don't you want to know?

    About 20 years ago, several theoretical physicists from the Army theorized that Billy Dixon could not possibly have shot an indian off his horse at 1,538 yards with a .50/70 rifle because, given the low muzzle velocity of the cartridge, there is no way it could travel that far. So the U.S. Army at Fort Huachuca used millimeter wave radar (the telemetry guidance stuff for gee-whiz missiles, I guess) to "watch" lead bullets fly from black powder cartridge guns. Turned out the .50/70 will go as far as 2,500 yards and the old .45/70 goes another 1,200 yards farther.

    Point is, we can't always explain ballistics with numbers.


  148. good morning,
    i know you should leave pressure in the resevoir of the Benjamin Marauder for the seals. but i was curious if you can leave 2000 psi in the resevior if you are done shooting for few days?

  149. Ironone1/tncruiser,

    Yes, it is advisable to do so.

    I leave my precharged rifles filled to maximum all the time.

    Please just ask a question once. We will answer it.


  150. B.B.

    Let me add more food for thought..

    If your not using weighed pellets, then your tests have a much higher room for error.

    From what I've been seeing with the crony set up inline with my indoor 20 yard target and bench rest, is telling me I'm going to weigh all my pellets for any serious shooting… tests or contests..

    Since Tom doesn't have time to weigh pellets… Now we need a someone or someones, to weigh pellets for Tom to test with…
    did someone say they were bored???

    I'll buy the scale.. but who to send it to???

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director, Ashland Air Rifle Range

  151. B.B., BG_Farmer, et.al.,

    Back in the day we tested for penetration. Solids, soft tips noslers. We used boards, ballistic gel, then water jugs, then water jugs with boards inbetween. Very scientific. LOL!

    Although we used published ballistic charts as a guideline, without a chrony, we were more focused on stabilization and penetration. We were never convinced that our testing material came close to replicating live animal tissue but it was interesting to see how some bullet styles penetrated straight through while others would tumble. This of course affected penetration but logically would also affect velocity/ft. lbs.

    I'd have to say that although the tests ferreted out many variables that we didn't think about initially and was therefor inconclusive it was still interesting. An excuse to shoot?

    This was back in the day when noslers were first made available for the .300 weatherby. After those testing sessions I hunted exclusively with the 180 gr noslers and never regretted it.


  152. BG_Farmer,

    I'm thinking it's a good thing to have your projectile end up almost completely through your target… that way all the foot lbs end up in/on the target and not in something behind the target.

    That's why I'm really liking the marlin 1894 in 45 long colt. It's sort of like a large air gun in the way it delivers it's foot lbs on target. I'm liking slow and heavy… more and more… the more I shoot any guns..

    Wacky Wayne

  153. Seasoning the barrel, or seasoning the shooter? Kevin and BB, it seems to me that shooter are much more variable than either barrels or pellets. We get into a "groove" with a particular rifle on a given day, with specific wind, light, etc. Then we do better than usual. When testing, do we think about how we expect a certain gun/pellet combination to perform? Do we think about how much time we have left to complete the test?
    Your extraneous thoughts can affect your performance.

    To test Kevin's observation, what if you had a friend load the rifle, so that you had no idea which pellet you were using? A blind test might help remove shooter variability.

    –Mike U

  154. Wayne,

    Together, within 24 hours, I think we made B.B.'s s*&! list.

    I really wasn't suggesting that he add to his already rigorous testing routine. Now to suggest weighing pellets…..Uh Oh.

    Do you really think we'll be welcome here anymore?


  155. BG_Farmer
    You had most of the answer in your first post….
    Which penetrates easier????

    FULL vs. EMPTY….
    Inertia of the water prevents the metal from "giving" and spreading out the force of impact.

    Think about it for a while. It's perfectly logical.


  156. Kevin,

    We can share the load, by sending Tom weighed pellets to test with.

    I don't have time to.. I have to weigh my own.. they become so precious when you have a pile that all weighs the same:-)

    But there must be someone with lots of time to donate to our cause of accurate tests in a short time frame.

    I'll donate the scales…

    B.B. still loves us.. he's just cussing us out … with a smile..

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director, Ashland Air Rifle Range

  157. Mike U,

    You have made some very valid points about the shooter variable.

    In my pellet tests I shoot from a bench at 25 yards. The springers were both tuned and have over 1,000 pellets through each. Although this minimizes the shooter variable it doesn't eliminate it entirely.

    What I found interesting is that the groups would shift and tighten consistently. In other words, after shooting a variety of other pellets and then going back to the "best pellet" it would shoot a large group at about 11:00 and slowly shift and tighten up to 3:00. From that point on the group stayed at 3:00 and usually got tighter unless I caused a flyer.

    Nonetheless you're correct that the shooter variable was in the equation. Interesting thought to have someone else load the pellet so it's a "blind" test for the shooter. Need to find that person. Also need a gunbearer. LOL!!


  158. B.B.,

    Your highly interesting penetration tests posted on 28 Sep 2005 and also at
    raised a question in my mind. Is it at all harmful to shoot round balls through rifled barrels? Should balls only be shot through guns (unrifled barrels)? Is it known whether the rifling imparts any spin to the balls? Lastly, should only lead balls be shot through rifled barrels or are zinc or steel bb's also acceptable? (I would imagine that steel balls would be the most potentially damaging to finely rifled barrels, is that right?)


  159. AlanL,

    A properly sized lead ball will never harm a rifled barrel. Steel BBs will cause harm, but the makers of inexpensive airguns are willing to suffer the loss. That's why there are pellet guns with rifled bores that also allow steel BBs to be shot.


  160. Wayne,

    You are onto something very big. Elmer Keith was the main proponent of large, heavy and slow. You need to read him.

    Also, your .45 Colt, which was the round I shot more as a young man than any other, is an excellent game-getter. An 11-year-old girl dropped a full grown boson with one from a Little Sharps rifle.


  161. B.B.,

    Most hunters I know and read about have their barrels seasoned since they shoot the pellet that's most accurate in their barrels.

    I think a cold barrel and scope are a bigger problems for hunters (airgun and firearm) especially springers. I only hunt with a pcp now but used to take several shots to warm the gun before heading out with a springer. Problem was at some of the temperatures I hunted it cooled off and I didn't want to shoot anymore since I was in the midst of my prey. Forced to take closer shots if it was cold.

    Haven't you had this same experience especially with a cold springer?


  162. BB,Kevin,TwoTalon,Wayne,
    Hey I just found the "newer" (200++) comments! First time I've seen that happen. Oh yeah, many hunters sight in a cold, clean barrel, although they will not tolerate a rifle that is too "off" on a second shot.

    I think we have similar scientific backgrounds:).

    I agree about wanting to leave all the energy in/on target, I'm just interested in what is going on.

    Pointed vs. Domed. I agree that is a possible contamination, one of the reasons I said I need to experiment more (that and I like to shoot stuff). The points really are not that different from the dome in this case, however, and I think the Copperhead wadcutters act like the points at this range, though, if I remember correctly.

    I also agree about the full/empty distinction, but it only reinforces the difference in penetration. I'm guessing that the speed of the pellet IS of primary importance in terms of how the metal reacts to being "accelerated":).

    Off to the lab!

  163. Slinging Lead,

    On 3/1/10 you said, "I also give you credit for making absolutely no attempt at trying to hide the damage to the stucco, which I specifically warned you about. And don't try and blame it on your 'helper';^)"

    You WOULD notice that, wouldn't you?! :-))

    I meanwhile finished my table to hold the trap. I'm very pleased with it, so the monitor stands are now retired. Let me know if you want to see a picture and I'll email it to you.


    On 2/28/10, you said, "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 …. but I don't know if the plywood would absorb a pellet. Can you test that out?"

    I did. My various domed .177 pellets out of the Bronco and Crosman 1377 (with 7-10 pumps) all penetrate two pellet depths (i.e. I see the tail of the embedded pellet inside a wound channel as deep as the pellet itself.) My domed .22's (out of a heavy springer) also penetrate to about 4 to 5 pellet depths (the hollow points about 3.) I have had NO ricochets off of plywood.

    That said, I can confirm that if you hit South African stinkwood (Ocotea Bullata) you will get a hearty ricochet. Fortunately, there's no plywood made out of that!


  164. BB,

    Thanks for the pics on the artillery hold. The thumb position got me thinking… have I been trying that? So I took the old CFX out of the closet, reapplied the rear sight (had it scoped when I used to shoot it and took it off for use on another rifle), set up a little range on the side of the house and set target out at 35yds.

    Wow, for such a small adjustment it was hard to believe that the groups weren't too bad. Off the bench, open sights, Beeman crow magnums in the sun I was getting 5 shot groups of 3/4"! Before my groups were somewhere in the 12" range.

    I'm wondering what I can do with match pellets. Hmmm… a couple thousand pellets, a new scope, a better shooting bag, targets, and build a cover over the slab on side yard, move the BBQ, build that wind break the wife has been wanting… hey wait a minute, this is starting to sound like my to do list!! Ha! Ha!

    seriously, I feel like a kid again. I even printed up some targets (mercy, those things are small!)


  165. AlanL,

    I guess hail would be enough to stop the Tomb Guard. That would be a massacre.

    BG_Farmer, you sound correct to me. If there were two projectives of equal cross-section but one was heavier and denser, I expect it would penetrate further. What is the contrary example?

    Kevin, I couldn't find your comment about better accuracy with increasing shots. Something about altering the bore? I know that David Tubb likes to put several shots through his barrels before going for record. Something about fouling them and heating them up. 221 comments is a bit much even for a weekend.

    All, nothing like starting your day with a shooting session. As you commit to the shot with all those tiny forces in play, it's like surfing. And as a tip for expanding the size of your indoor range, just let your glasses fog up. It will be like shooting out on the Arctic tundra.

    Good news on the knife front. My knife positively roared through a tomato. I touched the blade to the tomato and my microscopic teeth bit right in. Then a slight pressure and the knife sank all the way through to the cutting board in one motion; there was no sawing. Also, while washing my knife, I brushed my thumb over the edge and scraped it up pretty badly. If it were one of Frank B.'s knives I would have been in real trouble. Still. What feats of the kitchen….


  166. Yeah, up until today my Crosman 760 has been shooting cicles around that Gamo. I too used to holding tight to shoulder. the whole rifle should be resting and balanced on the open hand under the breach, right? (In my case on tops of fingers, hand closed due to a sling mount).

    Thinking of going ahead with the gas piston upgrade, uh ho, sounds like more $! How do you guys keep from going broke?


  167. Fellow Scientists:),

    I checked the Copperhead Wadcutters at the same range as the points and heavies, with interesting results. 1) With can full of water, the wadcutter penetrates one side and sends up a beautiful plume; doesn't appear to even dent the other side. 2) With empty can, it penetrates both sides very consistently.

    The results with the full can are consistent with the heavies, but almost certainly can be explained by the brick-like BC of a wadcutter. The empty can behavior, therefore, is like the points, although you can see that the wadcutter smacks the can a bit harder.

    I'm still a little confused, but that is always the case. Perhaps speed really does kill, at least for brittle membranes:). This may be invaluable knowledge when we are forced to hunt for our own food — I don't want to miss a shot at a delicious Chunky Sirloin with Vegetables because I'm using the wrong pellet:).

  168. Matt,
    Its just some perplexing results I had the other day when testing the breech seal fix on my 36-2. It may just be because I'm a clown or my rifle doesn't like heavies.

  169. AlanL,
    I just spent 2 hours in Menards today designing my home built target stand. I must have looked like a kid with a giant Tinkertoy set. I had pipes and joints and elbows all over the place, fitting them together trying make something. Fortunately the PVC section is in kind of a remote location.

    I think I can do it for about $40-$45 out of 1 1/2" PVC pipes and 3/4" plywood and two metal stand plates to bolt the plywood shelf to. The beauty of it is it will break down easily for transporting should I want to take it to the range.

    Thanks for the pics they helped me form my mental image of what it should look like. The wooden stand you have is still tempting me but I think it would be harder for me to transport. You know if you would have raised the stand in the picture you showed us just a little bit more you wouldn't have taken all that heat about stucco chips 🙂


  170. Kevin,Bgfarmer,etc…,I think I just got another awesome deal.I will be doing some more woodworking it seems,because I just bought another DIY FWB124 stock blank.Only this time I got a Tyrolean blank in nicely figured american[Florida] walnut for less than 200$!I couldn't resist,even though I don't have another FWB 124 I will post before pics this time…can't wait to use what I learned last time!!! Frank B

  171. Wayne,

    Do you remember Keith vs O'Connor? Heavy bullet going at a modest fps vs light bullet bullet at warp speed. You and I are on the same page with the heavy bullet and its smashing power.

    A humble rather silly suggestion for you from me is adding a whole bunch of weighed to the nearest hundredth pellets of his choice Maybe he'll put a bee in the bonnet of oops sorry.

    Frank B,

    Should be a piece of cake for a man of your talent. Laser is cool. I've got to get my son's help to do some actual measurements of beam size on target 100, 200, and 300 yards.

    Mr B.

  172. Frank B,

    Look on gunbroker. There's a fwb 124 sport with pristine blueing. That could be your action for the new stock.

    Curious about your new diy stock.


  173. Want to thank everyone that chimed in this past 24 hours with insight and observations about my quirky pellet testing phenomenon.

    Really enjoyed the input.


  174. Almost forgot.

    In hindsight, I should have quit the contribution to the older comments on the blog much earlier. I'm impressed by the number and quality of contributors.

    Can't help but wonder where Sumo, Herb, Jane, Dr. G. and other worthy contributors are. You're definately missed by me.


  175. CJr,

    I think you're doing this 'cause you really just wanna play! $40-45 in materials PLUS your labor and you'll be at $100, AND I bet your stand will be heavier. The SMS-6000 stands break down into 4 parts within 30 seconds (plate, base and 2 tubes) and the allen wrench comes included (did you notice how it nests for storage in the little ring on the tube?) And the pair is just $49.99.

    I want to see pictures of your creation as soon as it's done!


  176. MrB,What a great idea measuring the beam size at different distances!I am anxious to see what you get.We can compare it to the included specs.The ND5 seems fully capable of illuminating clouds and pointing out constellations.
    Kevin,Thanks for the tip RE: gunbroker….going there now.

  177. Kevin,

    All this business of seasoning your barrel has me unnerved too. Here I am, never shooting more than 35 pellets of a kind at a time, wondering why my shots are mostly still all over the place.

    Several days back when I posted my different pellet tests I said I really didn't like the domed 14.3 gr. JSB Exacts so today I decided to give them another chance. I also decided to readjust my scope on the 54 forward because I realized I was always straining backward to get the right eye relief at maximum magnification. Then I shot the JSB's and tinkered with the scope all afternoon until finally around 5 o'clock I kept getting 1/2" 5-shot groups in the bullseye at 25 yards with fair consistency. Then I switched to Baracuda Match. 1" groups way up and to the left. Back to JSB Exacts. Gone were my 1/2" groups. Now they were shooting centered but high. 10 shots later they slowly started coming back down into the bullseye.

    You've got me freaked. Here I am, trying to decide what's gonna be my 'permanent' pellet and I'm more confused than ever. I'm kinda scared of the Crosman Premiers because you all say they foul the barrel long term. Now what…

    WV: cromagg. Yup. But I feel more like a Neanderthal.

  178. AlanL,
    Hmm…methinks you're right. Me want to play. Yes, I did notice the wrench. Just for clarity sake I was comparing my CJr-1000 to your wood stand and not the 6000 but I'll assume you knew that.

    Another issue is my stand may be steadier out in the dirt clods and cornfields of Illinois because they'll be articulated and more like spider legs. Eh, that's the dream ayway.

    I'll send pics when it's done.


  179. AlanL,
    BB has said, lightly oiled Premiers do not foul the barrel. And from personal experience my fingers get virtually no black dust on them after they've been oiled. Incidentally, BB also said that black dust is not lead dust but something else put on the pellets for some reason. I forget. One of my problems is I get the general message but can't remember all the details.

    Pour the pellets into another box, carefully, and in the original box put in three drops of pellgun oil at different spots in the bottom sponge. Place enough pellets back in, single layer, to cover 3/4 of the sponge, then gently roll the pellets around on the sponge with your finger until they are very lightly coated, you can tell when they are. Your finger should be very lightly damp, also. If it's really wet you used too much oil.

    I hope this helps…because I've hung my hat on it.


  180. Chuck,

    That's interesting. I had thought Ballistol might be a better lubricant for the pellets than Pellgun oil. I don't keep the CP's in their cardboard box because they leak out of the interstices in the bottom. There's no way I'm gonna sit there and roll pellets around on a sponge with my fingers. I have them all in a little acrylic food container and figured I'd do two squirts of Ballistol into the container, then gently move my container around so the pellets jumble up like bingo balls in a cage til they're all evenly coated. Or is this a bad idea?


  181. Chuck and Alan L,

    I wash the crosman pellets first with rubbing alcohol, then coat them with coconut oil, and that also takes away all the black fingers… and hopefully the need to clean ones barrel.. I don't know at this point.

    They also shoot more consistent…. and about 8% faster with the coconut oil.

    After a full box and part of another, the weighing results are still showing that the CPH 10.5 are 87% in the 10.45, 10.5 and 10.55 group with the largest percent being the 10.5 that they are supposed to be… only a few 10.35, but a good percent are 10.6 and a very few 10.65

    ..much better than the JSB heavy.. so if your going to shoot un-weighed pellets your probably best to shoot the CPH… at least the ones from die #8 since that's what I'm weighing.

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  182. B.B. and Edith..

    Congrats on a new milestone! 245 and counting on a two day weekend!

    Any particular book on Keith that I should read first?

    Mr. B.

    I've not heard anything on "Keith vs O'Connor".. what's the story?

    The more time I spend in the woods around here, the more I believe in shots under 75 yards… I doubt I'll be shooting my Howa 1500 in 30-06 much anymore.. or the Vanguard 7mm rem mag… maybe if I take a trip to the eastern Oregon high desert…

    ..but, I just haven't seen any situations on this side of the cascades, with open shots at 100 – 150 yards.. more like 25 to 75 yards tops… just right for the marlin 336 in 30/30 or now my favorite marlin 1894 in .45lc.

    That brand new 1894 in .357 has me very disappointed.. doesn't feed well, trigger is still to stiff and heavy, and the new sights are not as nice as the older ones. I can't believe I have to take a new gun into a smith for work!.. I might send it back instead and let the factory make it smooth.

    but still, they are so easy to shoot and carry.. how could life be better?

    Wacky Wayne

  183. AlanL,
    I'm no expert, I just try to listen and remember 25% of what I hear. I think what you're describing may be overkill on the oil. Maybe one spritz, but be careful tumbling. BTW, rolling them round with my finger only takes about 10 seconds, tops.

    The CP boxes I got last time had a rather thick sponge in the bottom and another one on top. I don't recall having any problems with pellets leaking out. A few, maybe four or five, do go down between the sponge and box but that hasn't created any issues. I wonder if the boxes have changed since I ordered last. It's been a few months.

    I like Wayne's idea of the coconut oil but I'm still waiting for his guns to dissolve or be eaten by monkeys


  184. Wayne,
    Are you weighing before or after the coconut treatment? If weighed after, I would be concerned the coating has to affect the readings as being heavier. If weighed before, I would be concerned the coating has to affect some consistency in the weights after the readings. Do you find any of this to be true?


  185. Kevin,
    The Pell seat will give you an additional variable. Yeah! Hot, cold, lube, clean barrel, pellet type, pellet weight, dirty barrel, grip, and now seat depth.

    Bg Farmer,
    If I read correctly, you were surprised that a heavy slower pellet did not penetrate as well as lighter faster one.
    The analogy I would like to offer is .177 vs. .22 out of the same modest powered rife. This is simply a more extreme version of what you are noticing. Up until the R-1 came about, Dr. Beeman suggested .177 for hunting because of the superior penetration. The advantage given for the slower and heavier .22 was the greater jolt to inanimate objects. Tom Holzel came to the same conclusion when he tried using .25 caliber pellets on crows. The slow heavy pellets could not penetrate the wing feathers.

    In your case, the difference is not as great as .177 vs. .22 caliber but the same thought applies, that the slower moving pellet simply lacks the velocity to penetrate like the lighter one. Also, light to medium powered Springer’s almost never achieve their peak energy with a heavy pellet. As I mentioned earlier, it was not until the R-1 came along that a magnum rifle was actually considered better in .22 caliber. (It was still a dog in .25, but the Patriot changed that)
    Now as far the firearm caliber dispute, being that Buffalo are pretty thin here, I’ll take a .270 over a 45-70 any day of the week.

    Anyone thinking about a PCP,
    .22 caliber will be far better for hunting, as they fly every bit as fast as .177. Not only that, .25 caliber will finally make sense as more than just a novelty.

  186. AlanL,


    I apologize for shifting your focus from accuracy to nuances of pellet testing with different types of pellets.

    Forget about lubing, forget about washing, forget about weighing just shoot your pellets. I didn't have issues with pellets that contained antimony until I shot over 500 of those pellets. Ignore this crap.

    What I would suggest, now that you have a good shooting bench and now that you've got good eye relief on your scope is to shoot a bunch of pellets.

    Take one type of pellet, unwashed, unlubed, unweighed, unsorted AND SHOOT 60 OF THEM AT ONCE. Don't worry about fancy targets. I take heavy stock 11 X 14 paper (purchased at walmart) and put a red mark less than the size of a pellet with a magic marker for my targets for pellet testing. Real fancy. LOL!!

    Three across five down. Shoot. Make sure your poi is different than your poa by at least 1/2" so you don't obliterate your poa.

    If your shots are "still all over the place" it's not because you're barrel is not seasoned or because you're not washing your pellets, or because you're not weighing pellets.

    You need to work on basics. Make sure your cheek is at the same point on the stock everytime. Make sure the ao is adjusted crisp before you take a shot. Make sure that you don't have any cant in your sight picture before you pull the trigger. Make sure your trigger pull is straight back before you slowly squeeze. Make sure before you pull the trigger that you can relax your hold, close your eyes and when you re-open them the crosshairs are still on target.

    The last suggestion is the most important and was saved for last since most believe that humans only remember the last thing that was suggested.

    If you can't close your eyes, relax your hold, then reopen your eyes and still be on target you should work on that.

    Once you can get your gun to group with all the pellets touching then worry about these silly things.


  187. Thanks Kevin! That's much more in tune with my hopes. Then again, humans, like water, will always seek the path of least resistance! I'm still curious though, why Wayne likes coconut oil better than other types of oils. And which other ones has he tried, I wonder. If oiling Premiers yields speeds 8% faster (per Wayne) shouldn't other pellets benefit from this as well?


  188. Volvo,
    What surprised me was the difference that velocity made in terms of penetration — I thought momentum was supposed be just as good as kinetic energy:). Good to know its not just me:).

    Soon we can hunt bear with muzzleloaders — can't get much better short range hunting action than that! Who needs those needle guns:).

    Kevin gave you the straight truth. Don't forget to follow through on your shot, either. Just one more thing — when you do find the perfect pellet, it is likely to have been discontinued right after you rec'd you last shipment, or the company will have changed dies:)!

  189. Wayne,

    You said "Keith vs. O'Connor"… what's the story?

    I nutshell, Elmer Keith shot too many 44 magnum loads and rattled his brain loose, where as Jack O’Conner was fine gentleman that enjoyed shooting real field targets with a .270 Winchester.


  190. Volvo,

    no problem, my brains got rattled out long ago:-)


    Kevin gave you great advice!

    But also, keep your boxes and paper work on the guns you just bought… you'll get more money for them when you decide to sell them and get the Air Arms s400 with side lever and power adjuster.

    I predict you'll end up with 3 or 4 Broncos for the family to shoot together, and the Air Arms or Marauder to shoot field target and everything else you could ask an air rifle to do.

    You've already spent the money, so now it's just a little tradin:-)

    I think a few folks here have seen my similar predictions come true:-)

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director, Ashland Air Rifle Range

  191. Muzzleloaders now..

    oh my.. I just got settled in my cowboy outfit.. and now I've got to go back to the civil war!

    I've seen the guys at the range playing with them, but so far I'm not attracted… just luck.


    also I use the coconut oil because it's not toxic, IT'S FOOD.. AND GREAT FOOD AT THAT! and it works great on the pellets. It does increase velocity with JSB pellets as well.

    We had a scare here with TwoTalon and a toxic pellet lube.. he can tell you the details… not a pretty thing.

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director, Ashland Air Rifle Range

  192. Like AlanL said, why coconut oil? Why not another oil, say a couple squirts of olive oil or canola oil. Just curious. Is coconut oil just very lightweight? "Pam" cooking spray is lightweight, I am being serious just want to know.

  193. rikib,

    You're looking for a secret to shooting. There isn't a secret. Practice.

    Practice your cheek weld, same pressure at every point you contact the gun, breathing with the goal for relaxation prior to pulling the trigger, repetition of trigger pull with equal travel each time and a follow through that allows you to see the target after the trigger has been pulled.

    Now lets consider the fine tuning of shooting airguns.

    Weighing pellets, washing pellets, lubing pellets (with correct lube for the certain velocity you're shooting), seating pellets, breathing exercises, proper physical conditioning, diet, mental toughness preparation and praying and others IMHO are the minutia in the averall scheme of accuracy in shooting an airgun.

    There isn't a short cut to accuracy in shooting but there are many details that can shrink groups that extra 1/64".


  194. Chuck,

    I weigh first, then roll them on a sponge soaked in the coconut oil… It must be warmer than 75 degrees, since the coconut oil gets solid below 70 degrees.


    I haven't tried the other cooking oils yet. I like the coconut oil because it's thicker and gets solid… I guess I like a heavier coat on the pellets.

    Coconut oil doesn't get rancid like other cooking oils will.

    Alan L.

    Have as much "fun" as you can with springers.. when you get good groups and then can't repeat them, it's not as much fun.


    Tonight, I tried your test with my Air Arms s410 and s400 and got similar results with some flyers I don't usually see.

    So then, I tried it with USFT#6.. not one flyer, switching back and forth with JSB and CPH. I used up the 10.35 and 10.40 I had sorted out in CPH and the 10.35 JSB I had sorted. 10 of each switching back and forth. Every pellet was within 18fps over 60 shots, and all went inside the 1/4" ring on my targets at 20 yards!!! well … some were touching the side of the ring:-)

    ..so what does that tell us?.. I used the same pellets in the Air Arms so what gives? My USFT is more accurate… yeah but.. not that much more accurate, the flyers with the Air Arms were too wild.. not normal.

    How does the USFT solve this problem?.. I'm glad it does, but I don't get why?

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  195. Kevin,
    I do know the finer points of shooting. I learned them with 20yrs in the military and security force training many years ago. I am not that familiar with airguns and I'm trying the get the most penetration and velocity out of a pellet fired from my 2240.

  196. BB

    Let me say first, your excellent advice nearly put me to sleep with boredom tonight!

    Now for the explanation; About a month ago, I bought the Gamo CSI Whisper, Camo Stock in .22 cal from PA. It's the Gas Piston conversion and I bought it after reading your reviews.

    Until tonight, the accuracy had been sporadic at best and mostly, inexplicable. Scope is Bushnell 6-12 X 32 rated for springer airguns with parallax down to 10 yds, mounts are Beeman, rock-solid with scope stop pin, ammo has been Gamo Hunter semi-round nose (fits best in breech).

    I have used sandbags from bench, bi-pod on barrel and nearly all other "holds" UNTIL… I re-read your artillery hold blog and watched your video (again). Funny how sound advice never applies to us until we REALLY listen!

    Now, to explain the boredom tonight. After re-reading your advice I took out the rifle and went down to the 10 meter range in my garage and practiced shooting exactly as you suggested. Steady, but palm open on the swell in front of the trigger guard, inner palm against the trigger guard, left thumb off the stock entirely and right thumb draped in-line with the stock on the right side of the pistol grip (not over the comb). Mostly loose grip except for enough grasp to manage the trigger hand and a light compression against the shoulder with the butt-pad.

    BAM! The first pellet zinged into the 3/4 inch square of my paper target. BAM! The second pellet hit about one pellet diameter below the 1st one! These were followed by 9 more rounds going though some previous holes and some within another pellet diameter of the previous rounds. All-in-all, only one pellet skimmed through the edge of the 3/4" bullseye/square!

    I shot sitting down, left elbow on left knee for a prop and no other supports or bags/benches. If this keeps up, I will be happily bored for hours pouring one pellet into another throught these targets!

    It's been said here hundreds of times but, your advice and help for the airgunners of the world is more than just "tech-talk", it's like having a friend that brings you another dose of happiness in the pursuit of enjoyment in our hobby of choice.

    My Gamo rifle just took on a new personality and potential Tom, thanks for all the help!

    Brian in Idaho

  197. Brian,

    It never fails! When someone discovers that the artillery hold really works, their life takes a turn for the better. Suddenly all those impossible tight groups they've been seeing for years make sense. They really ARE possible, after all.



  198. Brian,

    now try a different pellet. Switch to a Crosman Premier, then an RWS dome, then a JSB Exact. Tell us if your groups tighten up. Now you're entering the addictive phase of airguns!

    Fred PRoNJ

  199. As a newbie, I found this blog very informative… thanks everyone.

    I have my father's 1978 FWB F-124 Sporter with a Bushnell scope and the plastic trigger. It was hardly ever used, but is now unable to consistently discharge a pellet completely through the barrel. Some pellets only make it 3/4 down the barrel requiring me to remove them with a cleaning rod. It also leaves odd debris inside some of the pellets… perhaps particles of hardened lubricant?

    Any suggestions on what I should do next? I am handy with tools but never repaired a gun.

    My Dad also purchased 1500 of Beeman's Silver Jet Magnum pellets back then and they seem to be in good condition… should I be saving them and instead use something else for testing and practice?


  200. Hudson River,

    No, that's not hardened lubricant. It's pieces of the piston seal that have softened to the consistency of wax. Don't shoot your gun again until it has a new piston seal.

    You are on part 2 of this blog, but I went on to write 13 more parts. Here is the last one that has links back to all the rest:


    Look at part 14 to see how the piston seal disintegrates.

    Parts 12 and 13 show you how to break down the gun and replace the piston seal, but only if you own a mainspring compressor. This rifle should not be taken apart without one, as it is very dangerous.

    You probably also need a new mainspring and breech seal by this time. Pyramyd AIR, who hosts this website, can overhaul your rifle and fix whatever it wrong. They are now the only U.S. Beeman-authorized airgun repair shop. Contact Gene, the service manager about getting your rifle repaired.


  201. Hudson River,

    I forgot to address your question about the Silver Jet pellets. I actually tested them against the best pellets made today and they did well, but they are no longer the best pellets available. They have more collector value than shooting value at this point.

    You can read that test here:



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