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Education / Training Single mom teaches children to shoot – Part 3

Single mom teaches children to shoot – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, we’re going on a shopping trip. We’re going to look at all the stuff (besides the gun) that you need to teach children to shoot. I talked about the different guns you could look at in part 2, so I’ll assume you have something in mind. The stuff I’m going to look at today is the stuff that husbands and boyfriends never think about until you’re ready to start the shooting session…and then they try to improvise. We’re not going to improvise. We’re going to have the right stuff at the beginning.

Safety is the stuff people tend to forget about. There’s not too much, but it’s darned important to the program, so let’s get it right the first time. The first thing we’ll look at is a backstop.

Don’t believe that you can stop pellets with a cardboard box filled with newspaper. If you try to do that, you’ll have holes in your wall before long. We’re going to spend a little money and buy exactly what you need.

First, let’s buy a pellet trap. For Cathy, the mom with twin boys, I recommend letting them shoot by turns so you need only one trap. When the shooter is on the line, he should have a dedicated trap that’s used only by him. Of course, when the next shooter comes up, he’ll use the same trap. The point is that when one person is shooting, there should be no sharing of traps. The trap should be located directly in front of the shooter at the appropriate distance. The ideal distance for our sport is 10 meters, which is 11 yards. If you don’t have that, use what you have. Twenty-five feet will work just fine.

I recommend the Crosman 850 trap, which suitable for all the guns I’ve recommended. I’ve actually tested this trap with much more powerful rifles, but I don’t recommend that you use it for anything above what we’re using in this program…a .177 cal. pellet rifle that doesn’t exceed 650 fps.

Safety glasses are another item you need. One pair for each person who’ll be in the area. My recommendation is to have one extra pair.

Don’t let anybody tell you that you can print out targets from the internet. Sure, you can do it…and you can also run your Cadillac on 87 octane gas for a while, but it’s a false economy. Bond paper tears and doesn’t give a good scoring hole, which you need for training. It IS possible to back up bond paper with cellophane tape, but don’t tell me you’re willing to do $10 worth of labor to save a nickel on a target. Buy targets from a reliable manufacturer. One of the best is National Target Company.

I recommend the 12-bull air rifle target. Since these are actually slightly larger than the pellet trap, let’s cut them in half so they fit. We don’t want anyone shooting outside the pellet trap.

Mom, you must be concerned about that pellet trap. I know that I would be. What if the kids missed the trap entirely when they’re just starting out? For safety’s sake, let’s put a plywood board behind the trap. A 4’x4’x1/2″ plywood board should be sufficient to stop any stray pellets. If you’re worried about the kids shooting below the trap, raise it against the plywood board with something stout, like bricks or a cinderblock. Your shooters should not miss an area that large, no matter what they do.

For training, you need to economize on pellets because you’re going to go through a lot of them. I recommend Gamo Match. Do not buy your pellets from Wal-Mart or any discount store, as they will not be as accurate as your shooters can shoot. Those discount pellets will be counterproductive to your program.

That’s the stuff you need to buy, but there are other things you’re going to need. A table for the beginning shooter to rest his gun. Some kind of cushion upon which to rest the gun when not shooting. Take a look at the Shooter’s Ridge Monkey Bag, which is just about ideal for what you need. The shooters will begin their training sitting in a chair behind the table and bag. As the lessons advance, we’ll teach them the shooting positions and do away with this setup. But, it’s always handy to have the table and bag because you may want to sight-in the guns from time to time. And, this is a stable way to do it.

The only other thing you need is a place to shoot. For that, you need to consider safety. There shouldn’t be any doors downrange through which people could materialize. Animals should be kept out of the range entirely. You need a strong light on the target, and just enough in the shooting area for the shooter to see. You can get a strong light at a home improvement center for under $10.

That’s it. That’s your list to complete; and when you have, you’re ready to start your lessons.

106 thoughts on “Single mom teaches children to shoot – Part 3”

  1. B.B.,

    I respectfully disagree with your statement that Wal-Mart pellets are inferior to pellets from other places. Wal-mart sells the same Crosman premiers that PyramydAir sells. However, they don’t sell the premiers that come in the cardboard box. Since this was brought up in regard to cost effective pellet shopping, I would recommend taking advantage of PyramydAir’s “Buy 3 tins, get the 4th free” offer. If you see some premiers at Wal-mart though, I wouldn’t consider them any different then any other Crosman pellet. I bought some .22 cal Premiers at Wal-Mart, and they shoot well.


    • My local Wal-mart sells .177 cal Premiers as well as .22 cal. They also sell Daisy pellets, and they are pretty bad. Just because Daisy pellets seem rather cheap. They make some nice zinc plated BBs, but their pellets are garbage. If you want more than 3 tins of ammo, PA is the way to go. Can always check your local Wal-mart as well to see if they stock Crosman Premiers.


    • Ryan,
      Here’s a potential myth. I have heard that Wal-Mart products are inferior to the same products sold elsewhere. The reason is that Wal-Mart places a huge order for a product and the manufacturer does a special run just to satisfy the Wal-Mart order.

      Wal-Mart’s huge volume order gets a corresponding huge discount so that special run is set up to cut costs for the mfgr. Whether that means less than normal quality materials and/or less than quality quality control or perhaps they just throw into the mass everything that fails the quality checks of previous runs.

      This potential myth applies to refrigerators, TV’s, alarm clocks, flashlights, pellets…well you get the picture.

      Am I alone on this? I could be insulting reputable companies as well as Wal-Mart. I did a search on snopes and found some minor issues but nothing to really backup what I heard.

      • CJr,

        The Wal-Mart marketing story is no myth. I have been on the other side, negotiating a deal with Wal-Mart, and I can assure you that companies often do change their specs to sell at the huge discounts Wal-Mart demands. They tell you what they will pay for your product, and if you can’t sell it for that, no deal.

        The deal is, when Wal-Mart carries you, you are made. Of course that is something of a myth, too, as Remington discovered when Wal-Mart forced them to take back 10 million dollars in unsold product a few years back.

        I doubt that Crosman pellets of the same model are any different at Wal-Mart or Pyramyd AIR. And I’m pretty sure Crosman hasn’t got the time to set aside their crappy pellets just for Wal-Mart. Wal;-Mart will not carry the premium lines of pellets, like the boxed Premiers, but the regular Premiers aren’t bad pellets. Of course, you don’t use domed pellets for shooting targets, which is the subject of the blog, but the discussion is a good one.

        But larger items like airguns are often made with different specs for the big retailer. I have watched manufacturers calculate how they could do it.

        I should add that changing the spec doesn’t make the product inferior. It makes it cost less, and sometimes that can result in less performance, but that’s not a given.


        • Do you think it’s possible that Wal-mart is able to sell the exact same product for less, because they buy such large quantity? Wal-mart sells a 500 tin of .22 cal Crosman Premiers HPs for $6.97. PyramydAir sells the “same” thing for $8.25. If you take advantage of the 3 tins, 4th free, you are getting each tin for $6.18. So Wal-mart is good if you want one or two tins, but not good if you want 3 or four. I think that Crosman has a decent margin on their pellets. They are able to sell to Wal-mart for a bit less, as it gets their products offered to a large number of people. Sounds logical to me.


          • Ryan,

            No, Wal-Mart goes far beyond the simple business model you mention. They force the seller to their price, which they base on a market survey and several factors such as the popularity of the product. If Hanna Montana is hot, they will give her product line a break. But Daisy is Daisy and they beat them up to get the price they want.

            Now, it is in Daisy’s interest to own as much real estate in the Wal-Mart store as possible. Both to promote themselves and to keep other airgun companies out. There is only a limited amout of shelf space devoted to airguns. Wal-Mart knows that and uses it in negotiations.

            Wal-Mart’s top 7,000 vendors are required to have an office within five miles of the Wal-Mart home office in Bentonville, AR. Doing business with them is huge and nothing like the free enterprise most of us envision.


            • Not only does Wal-Mart state the price they will pay manufacturers for their products, they sometimes also chisel away at this price over time. So you strike a deal with Wally and you are in the money for a while. Then in a couple years, they will demand a lower price. OK, you can handle it. Then they want another price drop. And another. Don’t agree and you are out. Some manufacturers will have spent significant capital tooling up to reach the production levels Wal-Mart requires. Now they have lost their biggest contract and have expensive equipment to pay for that they can’t use. It is enough to drive some firms out of business completely.

              Wal-Mart definitely has adopted the Chinese version of ‘Capitalism’. Sam must be spinning in his grave.

              • and that’s exactly what happened to Rubbermaid. They went into Chapter 11 and were taken over by a rival. A very sobering case model for all business that want to deal with Sprawl Mart.

                Fred PRoNJ

        • My last comment is meant for Chuck.

          B.B. I know what you mean. Just look at the Benjamin Trail NP Vs. Crosman Titan GP. Both are made in China, but the features cut from the design for the Titan, could have saved lots of money for Crosman.


          • Ryan,
            The answer to your last comment is yes, the large volume is the reason for the lower price, but I also think the manufacturer has to make up the difference somehow. There must be some business majors out there who know the formula.

      • CJr,

        Big stores have enough $ to get special runs. Isn’t that what Sears did/does? Wal-Mart is no different.

        Many people will see the brand name and buy it because it’s the brand name they recognize but they got it at a real bargain price. They don’t bother to compare features. I have seen feature discrepancies between Wal-Mart’s versions of my non-Wal-Mart purchased Food Saver vacuum sealer and Dyson vacuum cleaner. Those were 2 things for which I wanted all the features, even if it costs more.


      • I worked at a shoe/boots company for a (thank god because it was an awful job) very short period of time and we sold the same boots to wal-mart and some other stores but where the other store took a 100% profit (sometimes more) walmart only took between 65% or 75% but it was the exact same products so it depends on what you are buying.
        Tires are a nice example of this as they will have the name brand that you know and trust but the model name or number will not be the same as in other stores and won’t be found in the manufacturer catalog or website (just like the Crosman Titan GP) and won’t be the same quality or have the same features BUT will also be cheaper. I don’t think anyone is getting ripped off it’s just a question of shopping and being careful what you’re buying and knowing what you really want and expect.

        Now back to airguns, should I buy an Izh-60 or an Izh-61 ?

        • I own an IZH-61 as my first good springer. It is easy to shoot, cock and is accurate but then you apparently know all this. You can buy an IZH-61 which has a 5 shot clip but you can also get an insert for it that will allow single feed if you feel (and some on this blog do) that single feed is more accurate.

          Now, having said that I can’t find the single feed clip on the PA site. What gives?! I know thay had them because I got one. Maybe it came standard with the rifle. I don’t remember now. Ooo, hate getting old!

          • CJr

            The 61 doesn’t come with an extra spring or seals anymore either. }:^(

            Also the trigger is not adjustable anymore, but to be completely honest the trigger is quite nice and I have little need to adjust it.

              • CJr

                Yeah, what is that stuff anyway? Its like oily waxed paper that is all crinkly. I was disappointed that there was no extra springs, or seals for that matter. It is very easy to forget you’ve already taken 5 shots, and dry fire these babies. I used Nick Carter’s suggestion about using a silver Sharpie to mark the 3rd chamber, or the last one that is exposed after you have chambered the 5th shot. It makes it much easier to keep track.

                • SL,
                  I didn’t get any seals with my 61’s but did get the extra spring. I know what you mean about accidental dry firing. I have instructed my grandkids that if they see three holes do not cock the gun there are no more pellets. It’s virtually fool proof…virtually, I say.

    • Ryan,

      I never said Wal-Mart pellets are inferior. I said they are not top quality, which they aren’t. You won’t find H&N, Vogel or RWS R10 pellets there anytime soon.

      Target shooters want to shoot a pellet that maximizes the accuracy of their gun. Saving money is secondary. That’s why I recommended Gamo Match – a good, economical pellet that you can often find at Wal-mart.


      • I know some German and just thought of this: Vogel translates to bird and Meisterkugeln translates to masterballs, just as Jagermeister translates to master of the hunt. Hmmm

      • B.B. You sound somewhat contradictory. In your blog you write, “Do not buy your pellets from Wal-Mart or any discount store, as they will not be as accurate as your shooters can shoot.” Yet you recommend Gamo Match pellets, which you say can be found at Wal-mart. If you suggested H&N pellets I would understand. Sorry if I misunderstand.


  2. I forgot to mention that I think the best economical pellet for intro shooting is going to be the RWS Hobby. The pellet is well known to be accurate, clean and uniform. At $1 more per tin, I would think that the hobbies are money ahead of the Gamo Match pellets. The build quality on the Gamo’s is not the best for the money. Just my two cents.


    • Don’t know if I’ll ever buy Gamo’s again for my 2240. I use them as trash pellets. Mainly taking out frustration on inanimate objects at close range. That’s after I get rid of a lot of deformed pellets.


  3. Well I’m calling it a night. Have a lot of yard (garden) work to do tomorrow and is supposed to be over 100 with humidity. Not looking forward to it again at all, summer is just beginning.


  4. Good morning,night or day !I think that we all agree that hobbies age among the best but for 17 cal also i would recomend CROSMAN FIELD(they are good in fact),would not count of gamo match just like this …

      • AJVenom, CJr,


        Amazing how similar Karen and Mariska looked back then, huh? It was that early seventies look.

        At my birthday party I invited a girl to dance the reverse of this single and she ran to the kitchen and brought me a broom instead. That incident is still remembered by some of my friends. I wish I remembered what that B-side song was…


        • AJ

          That is just about the saddest thing I have ever heard. It’s almost like one of those movies on the Lifetime channel!

          You should take some of the little green army men to work with you. They will help with the loneliness, and you can get the guy with the mortar launcher to take out useless co workers.

          It was a tragedy about Karen’s anorexia. Strange how the body and mind can turn against itself and destroy.

  5. Hello BB,
    My dad getting the .177 BSA Meteor out for a spot of target practice was always an event for me and my brother as kids.
    He taught us to use that rifle like he taught us to use his tools.
    In a very methodical way.
    The trouble was,by my teenage years he had me doing more hammering than shooting 🙁

    1-0 to Ghana!
    And you have Germany in your group as well.Mein Gott.
    You might get fed up having to listen to Clapton by the end of this tournament I think 🙂
    England had better win it’s group or we will be up against Germany next.

    • DaveUK,
      I think you are living to close to those Germans. You’re beginning to talk like them 🙂 You’d better move to the states to get away from them…oops that won’t work… read this from wiki:

      “German Americans comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country’s largest self-reported ancestral group. [1] California, Texas and Pennsylvania have the largest numbers of German origin, although upper Midwestern states, including Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and The Dakotas, have the highest proportion of German Americans at over one-third.”

      Before you of German descent flame me…my daughter-in-law is 100% German and a credit to her country of origin…I took German in high school and enjoyed it…I love German potato salad…I love, absolutly love, Dark Dab beer! Go Dortmund! It breaks my heart that Dark Dab gets only a C+ rating from the Beeradvocate. Who do they think they are anyway?


  6. I’m a fan of Shoot-N-C targets especially for young/new shooters. Although they’re terrible for shooting “the best groups your gun is capable of” the instant feedback from the yellow blast is novel for new shooters. The colored reaction from the Shoot-N-C target is more fun for new shooters when compared to just a hole in paper. It keeps my young daughter and her friends more interested in shooting longer sessions.

    RIP Jimmy Dean.


    • Yep… a reactive target holds the attention of young shooters more than just plain paper. Shoot N-C fits that bill. Later steel reactive targets.

      But if you really want to teach good shooting; you’ll need to include nice NRA targets at some point.

  7. Now, about today’s article…

    Please stress that everyone in the shooting range area wear safety glasses not just the shooter. I know this sounds like a given but it’s so easy for someone to think they’re safe because they’re out of the line of fire.

    And please be aware of ricochets, the very reason for safety glasses in the first place. There will be ricochets, not maybe, but definitley.

    Why doesn’t IE8 have a spell checker?


  8. A word to the wise…I have metal reactive targets on my indoor 10m range. I have the Gamo Squirrel resettable and the kind that has four paddles that swing up and are reset by hitting a paddle on top.

    I also have acoustic ceiling tiles that are peppered with tiny holes above these metal targets. Pellets will shatter upon striking a metal reactive target! I don’t know which brands do it specifically so I assume they all do. Beware!


    • CJr:
      I have a similar metal reactive target array except the four animal shaped paddles knock down instead of up.
      The reset paddle is a real bonus and saves a lot of walking back and forwards.
      I love it.

  9. A word on Walmart. I too have heard the ‘special run’ therory (I think it is more than a myth). What I have noticed is that there are some items (the windshield washer fluid and dish detergent brands I buy come to mind) that have nearly identical packaging but the Safeway sold version is 1000ml and the one at Walmart is 900ml.
    It isn’t false advertising…more of a case of Walmart (I feel) hoping the average consumer doesn’t check these things that closely.

  10. I have a bunch of .177 pellets from walmart. A couple of tins of Crosman pointed pellets, and several tins of the Premier HP pellets. The pointed ones were afwul through my Discovery, giving 3″ patterns at 50 yards. The HP Premiers from walmart gave approximately 1″ groups at 20 yards. I can only imagine the brown box Premiers will do better.

    • I have gotten crosman pellets from wallyworld many times.
      Some tins shoot pretty good on average, some tins shoot poorly. Some tins are very clean while others are full of dirt and flakes. Some tins seem to be a mixed bag of pellets of considerably different sizes.
      The latest addition to our local store is the .22 cphp. The tin I picked up had very clean and shiny pellets, but size ran equal to or considerably larger than my boxed cp’s.
      There does not seem to be much consistency. You get what you get and hope for the best.


    • Oh yeah,
      Domed pellets usually shoot the best, particularly at distance. The more round the profile of the head the better, so that air flow over the head of the pellet stays more symmetrical if the pellet were to fly a bit cockeyed on exit from the muzzle. This lets the air flow over the skirt help pull the skirt straighter back behind the head.

      Now, take a pellet that is flat, pointed, or hollowpointed…
      If the pellet flies a bit cockeyed, the airflow over the head will be non-symmetrical, cause the head to attempt to plane, and cause uneven airflow over the skirt that will not provide the best drag to square up the pellet. This would be similar to an arrow with a crooked broadhead and one badly damaged fletch. Both ends would be trying to steer the arrow in different directions.

      If the pellet does not have a good and positive fit to the barrel on BOTH ends, it will always come out the muzzle cockeyed no matter how good the crown is.


  11. B.B.,

    You’re dead right: it makes no sense to print targets off the internet on cheap copy paper to save a penny a bulls eye (maybe not that much; paper and ink cost money) only to have them rip at the first or second shot.

    Until recently I used National Target Company targets, and got them directly from NTC as they were my local company, across the bridge in Maryland, willing to let me pick up a supply at their door, and happy to custom cut 10m air pistol targets to fit my metric target trap. But lately I have quit using them.

    Since some time last year I have noticed that they have made at least one — and I think two — reductions in paper thickness and stiffness to the point where they tear even with wadcutters and don’t leave clean scorable edges. On humid days (and in DC we have few that aren’t) they become limp as cooked spaghetti. A single pellet from either pistol or rifle(an IZH-46M, FWB C-20, and FWB C-62) can rip a half-inch long tear, even if there were no other shots near by. Sadly, I’ve declared “targetruptcy” and tossed them; it is cheaper to use Kruger/Gold-Medal or Edelmann targets where I can still score after 5 (rifle) and 10 (pistol) shots in the same bulls eye than to use NTC’s products where one shot is the most you can use in rifle and 2 in pistol.

    Even the high school teams around here have made the switch on cost grounds alone.

    Given the quality of the guns they sell and the shooters who buy them, PA ought to think of adding a line of competition-capable targets.


  12. I’ve been using the Edelmann for a couple of years now and find them to be very good. As Pete mentions, I can fire 5 shots at the pistol bull, and even overlapping hits are cleary defined.
    Sort of to do with todays topic, our family recently joined our local fish and game association. Checked out the facilities this weekend which include centerfire, rimfire and pistol ranges (all outdoor). There is a segment of the pistol range that is also set up for air rifles/pistols and they are very airgun positive. As well there is skeet, archery, a pocnd stocked with trout plus overnight camping facilities. Family membership was $130…money well spent in my opinion.
    All we did this weekend was some fishing, but in a couple of weeks the boys want to head out on a Friday evening, set up camp, get up at 6AM to fish for the morning and they shoot after lunch.
    I see all of my sons young friends whose parents have totally given into the video game scenario and I feel for these kids…they don’t know what they’re missing just because the parents won’t make the effort to get their kids away from the game consoles.

    • CSD,
      I pay $75 per year for range use here and we don’t have 1/3 the facilities you do. So, yes you have a really good deal going there! We have maybe 8 different range areas: a couple suitable for pistol only, only one for shotgun and an archery area. That’s it. There are a couple more under construction but there is no camping or fishing facilities at the range. I cna always use the longer ranges for air gun but their not dedicated. BTW, I get some really strange looks when I pull out the Talon SS, and a lot of questions. Maybe I’m planting some seeds.

  13. Yes, light is a hugely important factor. Without sufficient light, I can hardly see out of competition grade aperture sights, and with any other kind, good light will be easier on the eyes.

    With the free shipping deal from PA, I don’t know why one would want to buy pellets from any place else.

    Slinging Lead, I’m jealous of your RWS 52. How’s the trigger which is the only slight objection I have to the B30. At what range do you shoot your cockroaches? Do you shoot offhand? Sounds like you would have to.


    • Matt61

      I am on dayshift now, so I will miss out on most of cockroach season this year. I was shooting them from fairly close range, typically 15 feet away or so. The best are the pregnant females, as eggs go spraying. Cool.

      I shoot offhand with the open sights. The rear sight is pegged out on its windage adjustment for some reason. I had a scope on it at one point, but it wasn’t shooting well. I may try again, but I like the 61 for mini sniping, so the current setup is working.

      You have an Anschutz .22lr target rifle and YOU’RE jealous of ME? HA!

      I really do like my 52. I like the trigger as well, but wish it weren’t plastic. It is definitely heavier than the Rekord trigger or Air Arms trigger, but it is silky smooth and predictable. The rifle is nicely finished and very accurate (and heavy.) I must say I prefer underlever cocking to sidelever cocking from an ergonomic standpoint. It is harder to stabilize the butt on the 52 when cocking than the TX200.

  14. What height scope rings are recommended for 40mm objectives on the Marauder? I have been looking at the leapers accushot rings, but I’m not sure if I should order medium or high rings. I like the accushot rings because they have 2 screws on the clamps instead of one.

    • Forgot to add, can the accushot rings be used on a Marauder in the first place? It looks like they have a stop pin in them, and I’m wondering if that is removable for use on dovetails without a hole in them.

      • RoninUT,
        I haven’t seen an answer to your ring size question yet but I have a feeling it’s going to be similar to the pellet choice question – it depends. I have a 40mm scope with B-Square adjustable rings on my Marauder which probably make them medium height with no problem. You might even get by with short rings with the 44mm, but I think cheek weld is the deciding factor.

        With your natural cheek weld where will the eye piece be? Where will your eye be compared to the different size rings. Are you big headed, small minded, or just average (we’ll take your word for it). Do you own any rings to test with?

        I know, you want to order it all at the same time. BTW, the B-Square rings do have removable stops but I’m not sure the Marauder needs barrel droop compensation. Again, it’s that memory thing. Maybe someone else remembers.


      • RoninUT,

        Yes, Leapers Accushot (and UTG) rings have removable stop pins. Chuck said B-Square, but I’m not sure if he meant the Accushot or if he was really referring to B-Square.

        I don’t have a Marauder, so I can’t recommend a mount height, but don’t forget to consider the added bulk of the scope cap. Also, a little more clearance for AO is not necessarily a bad thing, so your fingers have more room to rotate it.

        – Orin

        • RoninUT,
          Yes, I meant B-Square. $47.95 fully adjustable: B-Square 10101 1″ Interlock Adjustable Rings, 11mm Dovetail



          • Oh – sorry Chuck. I didn’t see the first part of your post where you said you had B-Square mounted on your Marauder… only the last part where you said the stops were removable. Sorry about that.

            – Orin

      • Thanks for your input.

        I just went ahead and ordered both medium and high rings.

        I figure I’ll have a spare set that can be used on something in my collection. In any case, the rings I have on my Discovery are just walmart weaver rings so it couldn’t hurt to replace them with nicer rings. Of course, then I’ll have to go sight the scope in again… shucks! 😉

    • I had a Leapers 4-16×50 scope on my Marauder. I first used some unknown-brand medium rings. There was some clearance, but not enough for the lens caps. I remounted with Air Force see-through high rings and had plenty of room. For a 40mm scope, medium should be high enough.

  15. BB, a question I have been meaning to ask you: why is so much energy lost in a multi-pump such as a 397 as opposed to a breakbarrel? The Benjamin has to be pumped 8 times at the same cocking effort of the break barrel, and still gets lower velocities. Where is the energy going?


    • HK,I will also point out that there is mechanical friction involved in a pumping stroke that can not be ignored.In a comparison,if the friction is the same for each,the one requiring 8 strokes loses 8x the energy!

  16. HK,

    Most of the energy in the 397 is lost through the heat of compression. But the spring gun is only 25 percent efficient, either. We are really comparing apples and oranges to compare these two powerplants.

    Incidentally, you just made one of Robert Beeman’s classic arguments for getting a springer.


    • BB, before you got sick(*) you wrote something about the velocity of the Izh-46M, and noted that if you pumped it full, then pumped it a couple of more times very quickly you coaxed a fair amount more velocity out of the gun. Same thing. With the first pump you warmed the cylinder a bit from the heat of compression, but it cooled quickly; the second pump warmed it some more, and it didn’t cool as much. When you pumped a third time, the compressed air stayed warm from the heat in the cylinder, and more free energy was available to the pellet.

      (*) Actually, you may have written it a couple of years ago. I found it when I was deciding whether or not to buy an Izzy.

  17. Hallelujah everybody! The Marlin Cowboy is now estimated for delivery August 16! Once again, another last minute two-month push back of the delivery date and all the rest of the items in my order go along for the ride. And of course, as always, no courtesy email or heads-up of any kind from Pyramyd AIR to this effect. By the time they process my order (if ever!) the expiration date on my credit card will be history, the other items I ordered (in January!!!) will long since have been sold and my kid will be too old to care. So much for the suggestions on customer service that I presented a couple of months back which Edith mentioned had been passed on “to the highest levels” of PA. Viva Pyramyd AIR and its pie-in-the-sky delivery estimates!


    • AlanL,
      OUCH! I remember those conversations. Don’t know why PA cannot ship as available with charging extra S&H. Maybe one day they will catch up to some customer satisfaction.


    • Can you cancel the entire order, and then place two separate orders? Sounds like it would be worth a few bucks in postage. But Amazon doesn’t charge extra for doing it right!

    • I totally understand your pain. If you are anywhere near as stubborn as I am, you will not relent on a matter of principle. However… it would be much less frustrating to just get the stuff that is in stock and wait for the Marlin. By the time it comes into stock you may have found some other things you want to add to the order. OR maybe you find the Marlin elsewhere, and PA misses out on this sale. The free market rewards those that can provide. I am certain Mr. Ungier would approve.

      Have you gotten the youngun shooting yet?

    • AlanL,

      I feel for you. I am currently trying to rectify something with PA, and it hasn’t been that positive of an experience. I don’t order anything that is out of stock. This helps avoid delays in shipping. I hope you get your products soon.


    • AlanL,

      Pyramyd AIR contacts the mfr to verify dates that a product will be shipped to them. From there, we estimate the day it will arrive and how long it will take to enter the product into our inventory. If the mfr does not provide shipping info by the time they promised, someone at Pyramyd AIR contacts the mfr to see what’s up. Sometimes, the mfr has to rely on a plant elsewhere to provide parts for the product that they’re building or the entire product. If the mfr is unable to meet their original ship date, then we ask them when they think they’ll be able to ship. Then, the whole process starts over. That’s what’s happened with the Marlin Cowboy. So, you shouldn’t be irritated at Pyramyd AIR…take it out on Crosman, as they’re the ones providing the ship dates 🙂

      I don’t know the situation for this gun, so I can’t say where the hold up is. But, I do know that it isn’t Pyramyd Air’s fault for not having the right in-stock date. They just wrote the date they were given by Crosman.

      It’s hard to place blame when you don’t know all the players and all the moves. The most convenient place for blame is the retailer since that’s who you deal with…but it’s certainly not the source of problems. Don’t forget, Pyramyd AIR is getting jerked around just like you are, and they’re just as frustrated. By not having products in stock, your order cannot be charged to your credit card. Delays hurt them, too, and they’re just as frustrated.


  18. Most computer printers can use thicker paper than 20 lb. or 24 lb. bond. Check the printer’s specifications on its manufacturer’s website. Office supply stores sell ‘card stock’ 110 lb. weight paper for about $0.05 per letter size sheet, which is close to Pyramyd’s price for National Target’s 7″ x 7″ Air Pistol Target @ $0.08 ea.

    My experience is that 110 lb. paper produces a sturdier target than the National Targets. Letter size 8 1/2″ x 11″ targets fit nicely in the Archer Airgun Silent Pellet Trap I use. Creating targets on the computer also provides more options for design and color, but “your mileage may vary.”

      • Rather than assuming a printer can / can not use heavyweight paper, check its help menu, or its manufacturer’s website. Search on ‘media type’ or weight. I was pleasantly surprised that my HP inkjet was unfazed using 110 lb. paper.

  19. Wanted to give you folks an update on the California Kingsnake I caught. She is doing very well. I just fed her a live mouse. She struck at it instantly, and constricted it in less than a minute. She is very calm now, and is great at being handled. I also fed my cornsnake a live fuzzy, and he ate it very quickly. First time feeding him live since he was a hatching. Cleopatra is the Kingsnake’s name. She is beautiful.


  20. Wow, Wal-Mart sure is taking a beating on here. Good job! My wife & I have actually been saving money by not going there. Now we shop at local supermarkets and use their free discount cards, big savings. Rollback prices are a joke. Just to get you into the devil’s den.

    When you get bad customer service (which is wrong) you may just need to be a little kinder. I have had family members and relatives that worked (some still) for the company. The employees get all kinds of promises when hired, but laughed at when they mention them after being hired. In today’s economy everyone is trying to hold on to what ever job they have. Poor customer service really isn’t acceptable, but neither should be being a poor customer.


  21. About shooting glasses, I have bad (not horrible) vision and have worn glasses since age 3. I’m too old and too cheap to convert to contact lenses. My glasses are polycarbonate, but don’t provide the wrap around protection that shooting glasses do. Given the unpredictable nature of ricochets or shattering pellets, I wish Pyramyd would sell shooting glasses that fit over normal glasses.

  22. Orin took some nice pictures of some pellets for me. Makes me happy to be able to look at beautiful, real life pictures of some amazing pellets. Thank you Orin for doing an amazing job. 🙂


  23. Now if I could get some pics of the H&N copper coated round balls, that would be sweet. I found one place that sells them, but they have a poorly designed ordering system. I forget who bought some of those copper coated round balls, but hopefully its someone with a camera and some time. 😛


    • Ryan,

      I saw this kinda late tonight, but I will photo the balls and post to Photobucket tomorrow evening if you like. The ones I got are the exact 4.5 mm diameter. They shoot great in a Weihrauch HW30. If you shoot them in a Bronco order at least 4.52, preferably 4.53 mm, or they’ll roll half way down the barrel and you’ll get little compression.


      • AlanL,

        Thank you for offering to photograph the round balls for me. I still need to find a good supplier of them, cough, PA, cough. I know of only that one site that sells the 4.5mm ones. I would love to know of a distributor that sells the other sizes as well. If anyone finds one, let me know.

        I wonder if anyone knows more about the barrel size of the Daisy Powerline 953 Target Pro. I am planning on getting this gun soon, and would like to get the best size round ball for it.


        • Ryan,

          Funny you should ask about the 953… I just bought one. The barrel size is a little difficult to gauge because the pellets are seated by a bolt, so I can’t really get a micrometer in there. I can tell you that my H&N Baracudas (.178/4.52mm average heads and .183/4.65mm average skirts) and CP’s (.177/4.50mm heads and .182/4.62mm skirts) seat with force. The JSB’s (.174/4.42mm heads and .177/4.50mm skirts) and JSB Heavies (.175/4.45mm heads and .180/4.57mm skirts) – that are inaccurately labeled 4.52 – basically fall in. The most accurate pellet in it so far (out of around 15 tried) is the 4.50 H&N FTT (.177/4.50mm heads and .180/4.57mm skirts). The FTT’s gave me a .4″ 10-shot group at 20 yards, benched.

          By the way, when I measure a new batch of pellets, I select 10 from the tin that appear perfectly concentric. Then, using digital calipers accurate to 5/10,000″, I take 5 or 6 measurements around each section (head diameter, skirt diameter, length) and calculate the average for that pellet. I do this for each of the 10 pellets and then average out the dimensions of the sample.

          Based on the above figures, I think I would start with a 4.50mm round ball. I wish I had some to try out for you, but I don’t.

          – Orin

        • I should also mention that I haven’t tried any match pellets… simply because I don’t have any. I bought this gun to keep the English sparrows off my bird feeder, so I’ve mostly stuck with diabolos and my goal is to find the most accurate pellet/highest energy pellet combination for taking the little buggers out. So far the FTT’s take the cake, followed closely by Beeman Crow Magnums. Surprised by the crow mags? So was I. Aside from 2 fliers that opened it up to .75, a 10-shot group at 20 yards was under .3″ CTC.

          – Orin

  24. Just an interesting little bit of trivia.

    Have any of you ever seen a fire piston? It’s a little device used by certain primitive cultures to start a fire by dieseling. It consists of a wood tube and a wood piston with a little hollow in the end. You fill the hollow with a combustible material and insert the piston into the tube and give it a sharp whack with the palm of your hand, then remove it quickly. If you do it right, the little piston will have a glowing ember in the end. They use a small gasket made of string to form a seal so you get good compression.

    I thought this would be of interest to the spring piston owners. 🙂

    • RoninUT,

      Yeah, those things are sweet. I’ve seen them made out of wood, metal, and plexiglas cylinders. I thought about making one for myself, and then forgot about it until you just brought it up. There are lots of good YouTube videos on fire pistons.

      – Orin

  25. So did anyone notice that the new website, Airgun-academy, was done by the guy from Airgunweb, Rick Eutsler. I personally don’t like his video reviews. He is not good on camera. Has anyone else seen his stuff?


    • I mentioned the same thing a few weeks ago. It’s not so much the guy, any review is greatly appreciated but let’s say the quality of the vids leave some place for improvement, it all seems improvised to me, it’s especially apparent when compared to the great quality Paul Capello and the new airgun academy vids gives us. I guess we’re a spoiled bunch 😉 and I also asked (but I don’t remember getting an answer on this) if it is ok to grab a rifle by the scope like he did on Bronco vid ?

  26. I made a mistake the other day about a single pellet feeder for the IZH-61. I hope this does not cause anyone too much distress. As far as I know now there isn’t one. So whoever was trying to decide between the 60 and 61 I may have steered you wrong. Your question still stands about which to get. My apologys.

  27. I’ve just got back into air guns after 30+ years. Last time I was shooting I was just a kid. Now I have my sons plinking with my old BB guns. Daisy Red Ryder and model 103 that are still working well. Teaching them gun safety. I’m thinking about making a quiet pellet trap as I’m using a pellet gun as well. Right now we are using a cardboard box stuffed with magazines. I don’t like the idea of pellets getting lost in the yard.

    I just picked up a Benjamin 392 from Pyramid for my use and I also want to fix my ancient Daisy 880 (won’t hold air) for my sons to start using in a couple years.

    Question for BB: Where do you bring all the spent lead pellets for safe disposal?

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